March 17, 2010
Once again, the Southern Poverty Law Center has accused Alex Jones of inciting the cop killer Richard Poplawski.
Heidi Beirich, director of research at the Southern Poverty Law Center, repeated the accusation to Renea McMasters, who had driven from Missouri to the SPLC headquarters in Montgomery, Alabama, to find out why the SPLC has included American patriots in a recent report entitled “Active ‘Patriot’ Groups in the United States in 2009.
The SPLC report accuses We Are Change, the Constitution Party, Brave New Books in Austin, Texas, the Oath Keepers, and many other organizations of engaging “in groundless conspiracy theorizing, or advocat[ing] or adher[ing] to extreme anti-government doctrines.”
In the interview with McMasters, Beirich claims opposition to the government has led to “domestic terrorism and violence” (Beirich makes the fallacious and unsubstantiated claim at 5:12 in the above video). Beirich accuses We Are Change of espousing the same sort of conspiracy theories as James von Brunn, the white supremacist who shot and killed a guard at the Holocaust museum in Washington, D.C., on June 10, 2009.
In fact, We Are Change takes its name from a Mahatma Gandhi quote and the group with loosely-knit chapters around the world has not advocated the violent overthrow of the government or does it espouse the sort of violence or domestic terrorism Beirich eludes to in her comments.
In addition, Beirich characterizes “conspiracy theories” about the Bilderberg Group, the Federal Reserve and the international bankers as antisemitism, a claim so ludicrous it defies explanation. “People die because of this stuff [conspiracy theories],” she tells McMasters. It is domestic terrorism, she asserts numerous times.
In the Gary Franchi video below, Beirich tells McMasters Alex Jones is responsible for the murder of police officers in Pittsburgh. “Alex Jones is a lunatic,” she declares. “And hes not… the guy who shot the three cops in his front yard, Richard Poplawski in Pittsburgh, about April of 09. Do you know where he got the idea of hating the government from, who he listened to on a regular basis?… Alex Jones.”
Beirich also slanders Gary Franchi of Restore The Republic during the interview. “He’s insane as well,” declares the SPLC director of intelligence research.
Within hours of the shooting in Pittsburgh, Dennis B. Roddy of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette mentioned Alex Jones in connection with the murders. “Believing most media were covering up important events, Mr. Poplawski turned to a far-right conspiracy Web site run by Alex Jones, a self-described documentarian with roots going back to the extremist militia movement of the early 1990s,” Roddy wrote.
In fact, Poplawski murdered the police officers after they arrived following a call by his mother to have her son evicted from her house. Poplawski’s murders had nothing to do with the fear of Obama grabbing guns or rightwing extremism, as the corporate media claimed. It was about an angry young man with a disordered mind. It was the result of an emotional outburst by a deranged individual.
Gary Franchi of Reality Report TV and Restore the Republic provides additional comments made by Heidi Beirich.
On April 5, 2009, the SPLC wrote that Poplawski was “a fan of far-right websites run by anti-government conspiracy-monger Alex Jones.” Raw Story also claimed Poplawski was influenced by Alex Jones. Raw Story eventually posted a retraction after they were informed that Poplawski had no connection to Jones and in fact disliked and often criticized him.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette did not print a retraction but did back off some of its initial claims.
There is absolutely no evidence Alex Jones was associated with Richard Poplawski. In an attempt to forge a link, the SPLC and Beirich have consistently attached the ravings of a violent minority of white supremacists to the overwhelmingly peaceful patriot movement.
In fact, as Infowars and others have documented, the FBI and the SPLC have been intimately involved in promoting the white supremacist cause in order to grow their cottage industry of fear-mongering, slander, and libel. In 2003, the McCurtain Daily Gazette obtained an unclassified copy of a memorandum from the Director of the FBI revealing the SPLC’s role at Elohim City (the Identity movement settlement in Oklahoma) in relation to the events surrounding the Oklahoma City bombing.
On April 6, 2009, Prison Planet and Infowars advised “the Daily Kos, the ADL and the other blogs who have jumped on this fallacious and slanderous bandwagon in an attempt to smear Alex Jones, Infowars and Prison Planet to follow the example of Raw Story and issue retractions. Let it be on record that we are currently considering what further action to take should retractions not be forthcoming.” The liberal website Daily Kos eventually posted a retraction.
But even with all the retractions and a lack of evidence that Alex Jones had anything to do with murder in Pittsburgh, Heidi Beirich insinuates otherwise. She repeats the discredited claim that Poplawski was motivated to murder by Alex Jones, his radio show and websites. Beirich ignores the fact Raw Story and others were obliged to post retractions when presented with the evidence and has also ignored the fact Alex Jones continues to speak out against racism and has denounced Richard Poplawski and his murderous behavior on numerous occasions.
The SPLC and the ADL continue to disseminate misleading information about Alex Jones and the patriot movement because they are alarmed by the popularity of the movement and the effectiveness of its political activism. Instead of admitting the patriot movement represents grassroots political activity in the American tradition, they continue to drag out the same old threadbare canards about racism, antisemitism, white supremacy.
Calling Alex Jones and Gary Franchi insane merely demonstrates how desperate they are to slander and demean the patriot movement at all cost and continue to operate their cottage industry based on misinformation, fear, and outright lies and fabrication.