The FBI isn’t breaking up with the SPLC — it’s just not keeping the relationship “official”

posted at 12:01 pm on March 31, 2014 by Dustin Siggins

Last week, the FBI received a lot of attention and praise from conservative sources for finally eliminating the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) from its website’s list of “hate crimes” resources. However, while a headline at Breitbart says the FBI “dumps [SPLC] as hate crimes resource,” and an article at The Daily Caller said the FBI was “breaking ties” with the SPLC, a public statement from the FBI and the agency’s own website indicate the removal may mean just that — removal from the site, not a diminishing of the relationship between the two organizations. From my article on the subject last Thursday:

Apparently bowing to pressure from pro-family organizations, the FBI and the U.S. Army have removed the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) as a “hate crimes” resource on their websites. However, comments from the FBI indicate they may continue using SPLC as a resource.

An FBI spokesperson told LifeSiteNews that their Civil Rights program now “only provides links to resources within the federal government.”

“While we appreciate the tremendous support we receive from a variety of organizations, we have elected not to identify those groups on the civil rights page,” the spokesperson added.

Justin Higgins of JHPolitics.com sees the same problem I do — the spokesperson’s statement indicates the change may just be a public relations move, not a substantive shift in FBI policy:

We should not be so quick to assume that the Obama Department of Justice isn’t continuing to work with radical left-wing outlets like SPLC. Removing a few links from a website is a good start, but this battle is not over until our government stops the blatant assault on conservative and Christian groups. That means a formal end to the SPLC having input on what constitutes “hate” in the United States. There is no evidence that their input has been mitigated.

Media Matters came to the same conclusion, noting that the FBI probably isn’t breaking off its partnership since it still lists the SPLC and other outside groups — including other far-left organizations such as the National Organization for Women and the Human Rights Campaign — on its overview page:

Public Outreach: The FBI has forged partnerships nationally and locally with many civil rights organizations to establish rapport, share information, address concerns, and cooperate in solving problems. These groups include such organizations as the NAACP, the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Anti-Defamation League, the National Asian Pacific American Legal Consortium, the National Organization for Women, the Human Rights Campaign, and the National Disability Rights Network.

The FBI’s close ties with the SPLC actually go back further than the Obama administration, to at least 2007, when the federal government partnered with the group to examine unsolved Civil Rights-era racial crimes. That relationship has expanded under President Obama, to the point where the SPLC was involved in anti-Christian information being given out to soldiers. That policy was sharply opposed by Army Secretary John McHugh last year, and the Army rightly ignored the SPLC’s call to put the American Family Association on its list of organizations soldiers cannot join while in service.

Of course, the FBI shouldn’t be working with the SPLC at all. In addition to the SPLC’s influence on the gunman who attacked the Family Research Council’s headquarters in 2012, their definition of “hate groups” is far more expansive than the FBI’s definition of a “hate crime”:

Under federal law, according to the FBI, “[a] hate crime is a traditional offense like murder, arson, or vandalism with an added element of bias. … Hate itself is not a crime—and the FBI is mindful of protecting freedom of speech and other civil liberties.”

However, according to the SPLC, “Hate groups have beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics.” It also says that “hate group activities can include criminal acts, marches, rallies, speeches, meetings, leafleting or publishing. … Listing here does not imply a group advocates or engages in violence or other criminal activity.”

Ignoring the question of whether “hate crime” laws should exist in the first place, this definitional difference is problematic. However, as one critic notes, the SPLC is all but the only organization of its kind in the country, and therefore it has enormous influence in the media and elsewhere.

While some might take the FBI’s move as good news, the agency seems more likely it is simply keeping the relationship off the Internet. Not only does the spokesperson’s statement indicates the FBI will continue to work with the SPLC (and the Anti-Defamation League, which was also removed from the FBI’s resource page), but now it will be done away from the public’s eye. So rather than a break-up, it looks like the relationship has simply become more clandestine. This is not good for transparency, especially given the other far-left groups the FBI has partnerships with.

Note: Be sure to check out Higgins’ website. Not only does he have a name almost as cool as mine, the blog he founded and runs has solid commentary on national politics and the Virginia Senate race.

Dustin Siggins is the Washington, D.C. Correspondent for Lifesitenews.com and formerly the primary blogger with Tea Party Patriots. He is a co-author of the forthcoming book, Bankrupt Legacy: The Future of the Debt-Paying Generation. His work has been published by numerous online and print publications, including USA Today, Roll Call, Hot Air, Huffington Post, Mediaite, and First Things.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Naturally The Regime isn’t going to separate from it’s favorite hate group.

ConstantineXI on March 31, 2014 at 12:07 PM

By their own definition, the SPLC is a hate crime group.

melle1228 on March 31, 2014 at 12:09 PM

By their own definition, the SPLC is a hate crime group.

melle1228 on March 31, 2014 at 12:09 PM

The SPLC has inspired leftist terrorism as well.

ConstantineXI on March 31, 2014 at 12:13 PM

Putting lipstick on a pig. Hate Group

workingclass artist on March 31, 2014 at 12:17 PM

Public Outreach: The FBI has forged partnerships nationally and locally with many civil rights organizations to establish rapport, share information, address concerns, and cooperate in solving problems. These groups include such organizations as the NAACP, the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Anti-Defamation League, the National Asian Pacific American Legal Consortium, the National Organization for Women, the Human Rights Campaign, and the National Disability Rights Network.

Funny the Jew-hating and terrorist-funding Council on American–Islamic Relations isn’t listed.

Speaking of hate, the White House reporter for the Jerusalem Post was denied a visa for the Presidential trip to Saudi Arabia because he’s a Jew. The White House kicked him off the trip and made the trip any way. That’s absolutely reprehensible that this nation would bow to such hatred on the part of the Saudis. But the White House sent a very strongly worded note.

Happy Nomad on March 31, 2014 at 12:18 PM

The FBI got a call from Obama/Holder to remind them that all southern whites are “racist”.

Tater Salad on March 31, 2014 at 12:23 PM

Speaking of hate, the White House reporter for the Jerusalem Post was denied a visa for the Presidential trip to Saudi Arabia because he’s a Jew. The White House kicked him off the trip and made the trip any way. That’s absolutely reprehensible that this nation would bow to such hatred on the part of the Saudis. But the White House sent a very strongly worded note.

Happy Nomad on March 31, 2014 at 12:18 PM

But NO ONE WAS MADDER than Obama about it when he read about what his Regime did in the newspaper.

Obama, like all weak and inept managers is very inconsistent. However, there are certain things he IS consistent on, and this is one of them: his constant favoring of islam and his discrimination against Christians and Jews. Discriminating against Jews and Christians is consistent with a muslim upbringing…

It’s these consistencies that give a glimpse into Obama’s carefully hidden foundation.

ConstantineXI on March 31, 2014 at 12:27 PM

While some might take the FBI’s move as good news, the agency seems more likely it is simply keeping the relationship off the Internet.

Most transparently corrupt administration ever.

rbj on March 31, 2014 at 12:28 PM

The FBI got a call from Obama/Holder to remind them that all southern non liberal whites are “racist”.

Tater Salad on March 31, 2014 at 12:23 PM

Fixed.

ConstantineXI on March 31, 2014 at 12:28 PM

Most transparently corrupt administration ever.

rbj on March 31, 2014 at 12:28 PM

Obama’s Executive Branch is being run with all the ethics and competency of Ray Nagin.

ConstantineXI on March 31, 2014 at 12:30 PM

The FBI got a call from Obama/Holder to remind them that all southern whites are “racist”.

Tater Salad on March 31, 2014 at 12:23 PM

…fixed!

KOOLAID2 on March 31, 2014 at 12:32 PM

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has admitted that it doesn’t probe left-wing extremist groups, just alleged conservative extremist groups.

bw222 on March 31, 2014 at 12:35 PM

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has admitted that it doesn’t probe left-wing extremist groups, just alleged conservative extremist groups.

bw222 on March 31, 2014 at 12:35 PM

Yet the mystery continues as to how tracking “hate groups” has anything to do with the South, poverty, or the law.

Happy Nomad on March 31, 2014 at 12:45 PM

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has admitted that it doesn’t probe left-wing extremist groups, just alleged conservative extremist groups.

bw222 on March 31, 2014 at 12:35 PM

Yet the mystery continues as to how tracking “hate groups” has anything to do with the South, poverty, or the law.

Happy Nomad on March 31, 2014 at 12:45 PM

Have to grudgingly give credit to SPLC for one thing…they have exposed the virulent racism that exists in the Blue State O’bama claims to have been born in, a state where whites are in the minority.

Hawai’i Has a Racism Problem

Does Dear Leader know about this?

/

Del Dolemonte on March 31, 2014 at 1:09 PM

As I suspected.

PattyJ on March 31, 2014 at 1:10 PM

Yet the mystery continues as to how tracking “hate groups” has anything to do with the South, poverty, or the law.

Happy Nomad on March 31, 2014 at 12:45 PM

…or Bermuda or the Cayman Islands where they hide their fat bank accounts.

slickwillie2001 on March 31, 2014 at 1:14 PM

Have to grudgingly give credit to SPLC for one thing…they have exposed the virulent racism that exists in the Blue State O’bama claims to have been born in, a state where whites are in the minority.

Del Dolemonte on March 31, 2014 at 1:09 PM

Hey, I lived in Montgomery for a while and saw these critters up close. I’m not willing to give them credit for anything but a clear radical agenda that starts with a deep seated hatred of whites. They are like a (former?) HA troll whose world includes the continued victimization of blacks and no change in civil rights from the conditions that existed on Bloody Sunday at the Edmund Pettis bridge in Selma.

Happy Nomad on March 31, 2014 at 1:16 PM

Putting lipstick on a pig.

Yeah, but that pig still looks like the FBI!

Another Drew on March 31, 2014 at 1:26 PM

Yet the mystery continues as to how tracking “hate groups” has anything to do with the South, poverty, or the law.
Happy Nomad on March 31, 2014 at 12:45 PM

It doesn’t, it’s about the money, and separating it from the rubes on the Left.

Another Drew on March 31, 2014 at 1:30 PM

Yet the mystery continues as to how tracking “hate groups” has anything to do with the South, poverty, or the law.

Happy Nomad on March 31, 2014 at 12:45 PM

Well, duh, HN! “South”?!? Doesn’t that just scream “hate”? Sheesh, man, you must be a racist.

GWB on March 31, 2014 at 1:39 PM

I paraphrase but it is in HIS autobiography:
‘… if the political winds change direction, I will side with my Muslim beliefs.’

Yea, it’s in his phriggin’ BOOK.

And then there is the CAMPAIGN saving LIFESAVER from George Stehphanopolis during a pre2008 election interview:
Obowmao: ” … my Muslim faith.”

Stephie the Gimmedat shrimp: “You mean your Christian faith.”

Obowmao: “Oh, yes my christian faith.”

I personally believe that POTUS King Putt, ‘THE Worst’, doesn’t have a religious bone in his entire body and certainly has NO FAITH in ANYTHING except HIMSELF.

Missilengr on March 31, 2014 at 1:50 PM

“Hate groups have beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics.”

They just described the gender and racial studies department at every college in the United States.

RadClown on March 31, 2014 at 1:55 PM

Well, duh, HN! “South”?!? Doesn’t that just scream “hate”?

GWB on March 31, 2014 at 1:39 PM

Only if you live in someplace like New York where, outside South Beach and the Florida Keys, the South is nothing but trailer parks and fried okra.

Happy Nomad on March 31, 2014 at 2:01 PM

Republicans yawn.

Wigglesworth on March 31, 2014 at 2:37 PM

Happy Nomad on March 31, 2014 at 2:01 PM

Well, there you go, being all bigoted and stuff toward northerners. See why they think you guys are all racist?

And what the heck is “okra”? Sounds like one of them things you shouldn’t eat from the side of the road.

GWB on March 31, 2014 at 3:04 PM

“Hate groups have beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics.”

Wouldn’t that definition include the Congressional Black Caucus?

Kritikal on March 31, 2014 at 3:05 PM

SPLC is nothing but a group of race baiters with no legal standing. If they call bran you a member of a hate group or an individual as a racist then you are presumed guilty prior to any guaranteed rights according to the constitution

jaywemm on March 31, 2014 at 3:32 PM

The SPLC and the ACLU are Communist organizations. They’ve been well-funded for decades upon decades, and not through the nickels and dimes contributed by well-meaning “Liberals” living in their parents’ basements or Che T-shirt wearing college idealists.

Anyone who thinks these and similar organizations will have less power when the One (finally) goes elsewhere need a reality check.

Dr. ZhivBlago on April 1, 2014 at 5:39 AM