Self-described as “dedicated to producing fearless, adversarial journalism,” The Intercept gives Speri a platform to demonstrate exactly how provincial and insulated from her “flyover country” subject matter an Italian-born Bronx resident can be. Still, that’s no excuse for sloppy, one-sided agitprop masked as “real reporting,” although why she should be any different from her peers in the “mainstream” is a fair question to ask.
Eager to advance a meme developed and honed in the Obama administration, that the greatest threat to U.S. domestic tranquility originates from evil “conservatives,” Speri continues the successful practice of conflating Constitutionalists with “white supremacists” and haters, and nowhere is that more demonstrably disprovable than in her all-too-familiar smear job on Oath Keepers.
A primary source for raising the “extremism” flag? A 2009 report from Janet Napolitano’s Department of Homeland Security, specifically identifying those opposed to illegal immigration and “disgruntled military veterans” as groups meriting special scrutiny over domestic terror concerns. That would be the same DHS that relied on the Southern Poverty Law Center in a subsequent “intelligence assessment” exercise in politically-inspired conflation.
“Mark Potok’s armed DHS sock puppet parrots SPLC lines — again,” friend and colleague, the late Mike Vanderboegh observed at the time, dismissing the report with the jaded candor of someone who has seen the con before. “It looks to me like all these high-paid tax feeders did was regurgitate Potok’s latest lies…”
While admitting that Napolitano subsequently backed off the 2009 report due to flak, that tradition appears to be continuing unabated at The Intercept. Not only did Speri rely on SPLC as a primary go-to source, but also parroted without challenge the report’s lead researcher, Daryl Johnson (now head of DT Analytics, a consulting firm pinning its fortunes on continued demand for the SPLC narrative:
Johnson singled out the Oath Keepers and the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association for their anti-government attitudes and efforts to recruit active as well as retired law enforcement officers. “That’s the biggest issue and it’s greater now than it’s ever been, in my opinion.”
“Anti-government”? This is a group that at its core exists to encourage current and retired military, police and first responders to keep their oath to “support and defend the Constitution [and] bear true faith and allegiance to the same,” and that restricts membership in its Bylaws with this requirement:
No person who advocates, or has been or is a member, or associated with, any organization, formal or informal, that advocates the overthrow of the government of the United States or the violation of the Constitution thereof, shall be entitled to be a member or associate member.And as for being in any way affiliated with “white supremacists,” again, one need only check the Bylaws:
No person who advocates, or has been or is a member, or associated with, any organization, formal or informal, that advocates discrimination, violence, or hatred toward any person based upon their race, nationality, creed, or color, shall be entitled to be a member or associate member.
Perhaps with Hillary Clinton’s loss in November, DT Analytics is in desperate search of a public/private partnership from which to feed (especially if Johnson’s YouTube viewership is any indication of interest). Presumably, sales aren’t exactly brisk for his “Right-Wing Resurgence: How a Domestic Terrorist Threat is Being Ignored” (with a Foreword, unsurprisingly, by SPLC’s Mark Potok!), but at least Amazon’s “Look inside” function gives us a chance to see just how badly they want to include Oath Keepers in that threat, and how accurate what he’s saying about them is.
For instance, right there in Chapter One, page 4, we’re told:
“On April 11, 2009, the day on which the DHS assessment was leaked, the Oath Keepers had not yet announced their existence publicly.”
What is this? And this? And…
Back in March, 2009, I’d blogged that Oath Keepers was featured on the G.Gordon Liddy Show (and on an Arkansas radio program). And they’d posted a video announcing themselves on YouTube. I actually first blogged on Oath Keepers here.
If the head of DT Analytics totally blows the basics like this, what else can’t we trust, and what should that say to anyone thinking about retaining his consultancy “services”? And if Oath Keepers actually were a threat, what does it say about so many of us knowing about them while our “Homeland Security professionals” remained blisssfuly oblivious, awaiting SPLC agenda instructions?
And what does it say of the journalistic standards of The Intercept, parroting that agenda while the truth about Oath Keepers lay a couple minutes of internet checking and a bias and presumption-free introductory phone call away? Assuming truth was ever the objective…?
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