Twenty state AGs have signed an open letter to US Attorney General Merrick B. Garland and FBI Director Christopher Wray denouncing the targeting of Catholics.
A recently leaked document showed that the FBI was targeting Catholics based on information provided by the SPLC.
A footnote in the letter describes the SPLC as “utterly discredited as a reliable source”
The memorandum’s reliance on the SPLC is particularly disappointing, given that the SPLC has been utterly discredited as a reliable source.
Its founder is said to have “viewed civil-rights work mainly as a marketing tool for bilking gullible Northern liberals,” and former staffers have confessed that the SPLC has been “ripping off its donors” by failing to “live up to the values it espoused.” Bob Moser, The Reckoning of Morris Dees and the Southern Poverty Law Center, New Yorker (Mar. 21, 2019), https://tinyurl.com/ht6nkfn2. It should come as no surprise, then, that even the mainstream media has begun to call into question the SPLC’s mission and methods. See, e.g., David Montgomery, Is the Southern Poverty Law Center Judging Hate Fairly?, The Washington Post (Nov. 8, 2018), https://tinyurl.com/mwcj6vuz; Ben Schreckinger, Has a Civil Rights Stalwart Lost Its Way?, Politico (June 28, 2017), https://tinyurl.com/y7zfmxsu. Indeed, the FBI at one time recognized this reality, having reportedly dropped the SPLC as a hate-crimes resource in 2014. Valerie Richardson, FBI, Southern Poverty Law Center partnership alarms conservatives, AP News (July 30, 2018), https://tinyurl.com/yckkpt77.
The letter was signed by the following AGs:
- Steve Marshall (Alabama)
- Treg Taylor (Alaska)
- Tim Griffin (Arkansas)
- Chris Carr (Georgia)
- Raul Labrador (Idaho)
- Todd Rokita (Indiana)
- Brenna Bird (Iowa)
- Kris Kobach (Kansas)
- Daniel Cameron (Kentucky)
- Jeff Landry (Louisiana)
- Andrew Bailey (Missouri)
- Austin Knudsen (Montana)
- Mike Hilgers (Nebraska)
- Dave Yost (Ohio)
- Alan Wilson (South Carolina)
- Johnathan Skrmetti (Tennessee)
- Ken Paxton (Texas)
- Sean Reyes (Utah)
- Jason S. Miyares (Virginia)
- Patrick Morrisey (West Virginia)
Ironically, even the far-left Anti-Defamation League has denounced the SPLC. ADL national spokesman Mark Pitcavage publicly accused the SPLC of making “wildly inflated” claims and hyping alleged threats that are “virtually non-existent.”
In 2019, SPLC founder Morris Dees was forced to resign in disgrace from his own organization. The exact reason is a secret. However, there had been sexual misconduct allegations against Dees for decades. Shortly after, SPLC bosses Richard Cohen and Heidi Beirich were also forced to resign in disgrace. The rest of the organization saw them as tainted by their ties to Morris Dees and said the group needed a fresh start.
Heidi Beirich was in charge of the “Intelligence Project” when the group first began launching vitriol at Catholics. Her replacement is Hannah Gais. Among other things, Gais has publicly glorified criminal violence against conservatives. Gais is also an outspoken advocate of social media censorship. Recently, she publicly glorified Joseph Stalin on Twitter.