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Potok Claims ‘Explosive Growth’ Of Militias

From the student journalists at MSNBC:

(Click to enlarge)

Election, economy spark explosive growth of militias

By Stephanie Schendel, Murrow News Service
March 7, 2012

As is noted at the bottom of this post at MSNBC: "The Murrow News Service is [sic] provides local, regional and statewide stories reported and written by journalism students at the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University."

In other words, MSNBC is now resorting to "journalism students" to re-write Mark Potok’s press releases from his one man band, the Southern Poverty Law Center.

The election of President Barack Obama in 2008 triggered an explosion in the number of militias and so-called patriot groups in the United States, the Southern Poverty Law Center reported in its annual tally of such anti-government organizations.

There were 149 militias and patriot groups when Obama took office, compared to more than 1,200 today — an increase of 755 percent, the nonprofit civil rights organization reported.

"The increase has just been astounding," said Mark Potok, editor-in-chief of the SPLC report. "The reality is that many of these groups are becoming more and more fearful that Barack Obama will win the re-election. You can see the anger rising along with that fear."

The center also reports a steady rise in the number of hate groups in America — from 604 in 2000, to more than 1,000 last year. Those include anti-gay groups, anti-Muslim groups, black separatists and "Christian Identity" groups, which hold racist and anti-Semitic views that overlap with neo-Nazi beliefs.

The spike in these groups can be attributed to a combination of factors, including the sluggish economy, radical propaganda and anxiety over the election of a black president, Potok said

As we have previously noted, Mr. Potok has been making this same claim, word for word, for years. And he has never produced one scintilla of evidence to document his fearmongering.

And year after year we have pointed out that any check on the internet traffic to these fringe groups’ websites, like Stormfront, show that they get fewer and fewer visitors every year. (See graphic above.)

SPLC provides one of the few annual reports on militia or anti-government groups. The Federal Bureau of Investigation does not track militia groups…

Because they are mostly fantasy.

Spokane-based militia member Ed LeStage, 59, denied that his group, the 63rd Battalion of Lightfoot Militia, which was listed on as an active militia group in the SPLC’s report, was a danger — unless, he said, "you’re a communist or socialist who attacks us."

LeStage, a veteran to the patriot movement, said he believes the increased number of militias comes from U.S. citizens’ desire to restore the country to its constitutional roots. He also said that what he called President Obama’s intrusion on personal liberties also has driven growth in the movement…

The patriot movement first peaked in 1994, said Potok, the author of the SPLC report, in the aftermath of deadly confrontations at Ruby Ridge, Idaho, in 1992 and Waco, Texas in 1993, where anti-government groups came under siege by federal authorities.

Membership then dropped sharply during President George W. Bush’s two terms before rebounding in late 2008 after the election of Obama, which created a backlash that included "several plots to murder Obama," according to SPLC.

The numbers of those groups have continued to grow, jumping from 824 in 2010 to 1274 this year, the SPLC said.

From LeStage’s point of view, though, the risk comes from the top of government.

If Obama is re-elected this year, "we will probably lose our republic," he said. "We will probably turn into another socialist country."

On his website www.modernmilitiamovement.com, some forum members have raised even more dire concerns about the fall’s elections

Modernmilitiamovement.com does not even register on Alexa’s traffic map, it is so wildly popular.

But these details don’t matter. Thanks to Mr. Potok and journalism students, the news media gets to keep promoting their fantasy about all the crazy racist rightwing terrorists out there, who are about to attack any minute now.

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, March 8th, 2012. Comments are currently closed.

21 Responses to “Potok Claims ‘Explosive Growth’ Of Militias”

  1. GetBackJack says:

    And … this is a bad thing?

    PS – I’m pretty sure what statistical base this cluck is using … the vast number of “preppers” out there who are arming themselves, getting prepared, making association with like minded folk, etc etc.

    The milita – e.g. you and me – is in perpetuity courtesy of the Constitution of the United States of America, whose laws are the final arbiter of legality and behavior.

    What’s not in the Constitution is a standing Army.

    Article 1, Sec. 8

    To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

    To provide and maintain a Navy;

    The Navy is in perpetuity. The Army is not. It has to be re-upped every two years to remain legal. It’s why (and no here has ever noticed) the “National Emergency” is voted on in Congress to be extended every two years … and that vote is a voice vote and always abut 3am. The one thing our Founders feared most was … a standing army in perpetuity. They tied that idea down with chains.

    To no avail.

    Those who insisted the phrase be included in the Bill of Rights had a well founded fear of standing armies. They knew how often standing armies, established in the name of defending against external enemies, had instead used the power with which they had been entrusted to enslave the very peoples they had pledged to protect. Those men of wisdom also recognized how the power of tyrants almost always required control over a standing army capable of imposing the tyrant’s will on an unwilling populace. The Continental Congress had no intention of allowing the liberty they sought for Americans to be easily usurped – and they were also determined not to create the means for a tyrant to seize the reins of power from the people.

    And since the Air Force is the child of our Army, it’s origins and legality have had to be manipulated with legalism and Legislative legerdemain in order to produce what we have today.

    There are only two Constitutionally approved forms of armed military allowed — the Navy (thus the Marines) and ….

    you and me

    selah

    • Enthalpy says:

      “George Washington agreed with Patrick Henry on the purpose of the militia: he declared that it was to “oppose the introduction of tyranny.” # Well?

      #
      http://www.libertygunrights.com/GW1790 Plan Column.pdf

    • Mithrandir says:

      FREE POWER…just install a generator to the spinning graves of our founding fathers.

      Knowing how abusive the government was, is, and always will be, don’t the arguments of 1776 sound even more genius?

  2. Astravogel says:

    I think Mr. Potok (if that’s his real name) missed one;
    the Anti-SPLC groups. Possibly numbering in the high
    hundreds of thousands.

  3. tranquil.night says:

    “Thanks to Mr. Potok and journalism students, the news media gets to keep promoting their fantasy about all the crazy racist rightwing terrorists out there, who are about to attack any minute now.”

    News media.. and every other medium. This plotline pops up everywhere in tvland.

  4. Chrispbass says:

    Just like 2008. Here they come….here they come….here come the assassins and militias. Obama is black ya know.

    If Obama is re-elected this year, “we will probably lose our republic,” he said. “We will probably turn into another socialist country.”
    – He’s not just commenting….there is more in that statement then you know!
    ya know what this means right? . You know what it implies right?

  5. P. Aaron says:

    SPLC. One of the richest ‘charities’ that contributes nothing.

  6. finebammer59 says:

    “The patriot movement first peaked in 1994, said Potok, the author of the SPLC report, in the aftermath of deadly confrontations at Ruby Ridge, Idaho, in 1992 and Waco, Texas in 1993, where anti-government groups came under siege by federal authorities.”

    ruby ridge was not a government “siege” on an anti-government group. the feds attacked and killed individuals.

    but the splc and potok has never let the truth get in the way of a narrative.

  7. canary says:

    Stephanie Schendel left this part out of the FBI bulletin. Her opinions of why an increase are insane and I
    can’t even imagine the list POTOK has. No doubt Iraq Soldiers against War, OWS (considering some of the armed protestors arrested) and he goes by “Facebook”?
    There are thousands of OWS type slogans out there growing.

    The article left out the major portion of the FBI report as below.

    The FBI considers sovereign-citizen extremists as comprising a domestic terrorist movement, which, scattered across the United States, has existed for decades, with well-known members, such as Terry Nichols, who helped plan the Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, bombing. Sovereign citizens do not represent an anarchist group, nor are they a militia, although they sometimes use or buy illegal weapons. Rather, they operate as individuals without established leadership and only come together in loosely affiliated groups to train, help each other with paperwork, or socialize and talk about their ideology. They may refer to themselves as “constitutionalists” or “freemen,” which is not necessarily a connection to a specific group, but, rather, an indication that they are free from government control. They follow their own set of laws. While the philosophies and conspiracy theories can vary from person to person, their core beliefs are the same: The government operates outside of its jurisdiction. Because of this belief, they do not recognize federal, state, or local laws, policies, or regulations.1

    • canary says:

      The thousands of muslim terrorist organizations using Facebook with new names and cults are what’s expanding, and let’s not mention 10,000 Mexican gangs in the U.S. alone.

      The article left out the major portion of the FBI report as below.

      The FBI considers sovereign-citizen extremists as comprising a domestic terrorist movement, which, scattered across the United States, has existed for decades, with well-known members, such as Terry Nichols, who helped plan the Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, bombing. Sovereign citizens do not represent an anarchist group, nor are they a militia, although they sometimes use or buy illegal weapons. Rather, they operate as individuals without established leadership and only come together in loosely affiliated groups to train, help each other with paperwork, or socialize and talk about their ideology. They may refer to themselves as “constitutionalists” or “freemen,” which is not necessarily a connection to a specific group, but, rather, an indication that they are free from government control. They follow their own set of laws. While the philosophies and conspiracy theories can vary from person to person, their core beliefs are the same: The government operates outside of its jurisdiction. Because of this belief, they do not recognize federal, state, or local laws, policies, or regulations.1

    • canary says:

      “The thousands of muslim terrorist organizations using Facebook with new names and cults are what’s expanding, and let’s not mention 10,000 Mexican gangs in the U.S. alone.”

      oops, scrub the 2nd post.

  8. mr_bill says:

    This “explosive growth” in militias is likely due to the nerobama regime’s ever-changing definition of radical or extremist group. The DHS, under nerobama has expanded the definition to include veterans, supporters of the Constitution, or anybody who votes against nerobama. They might as well declare 70% of the country to be “radicals.” The irony here is that the true radicals are in charge of the government definitionof the word.

    • Petronius says:

      Just so, mr bill. The regime is constantly enlarging its enemies list to include new groups of Americans.

      Gun owners, greedy oil speculators, Catholic and Evangelical institutions, the evil billionaires and millionaires, bankers, et al. are just the latest categories to make the list.

      This kind of thinking in terms of groups and categories of people is characteristic of totalitarian states everywhere.

      Predation on innocent people is the hallmark of this regime.

      I shudder to imagine what will happen to this country if these Bolshevik thugs are reelected in Nov.

    • Rusty Shackleford says:

      Well, hard to find a place where this comment might fit, but….I dropped my plate and my jaw hit the floor as well because….tonight, on NBC, during primetime, I saw…..(drum roll please) an anti-Obama campaign ad.

      It was aimed at his snarky remarks about “Wall Street Fat Cats” and his verbally trash-talking them, then quickly outlined how many of them are in his cabinet or have choice positions in his administration, as well as those who advised him on the TARP garbage. BY NAME. They played video, repeatedly of him talking about WSFC’s, inserted with the positions of those who are in his BFF list.

      I thought that Rod Serling was going to appear in my living room at any second. That 60 second spot had to cost millions, maybe more than Superbowl Sunday time. But I was glad to see it.

  9. Anonymoose says:

    The only way they can come up with these numbers is to count anyone who’s not going to vote for Obama as part of a “hate group.” They’ve been saying an “explosive growth” for over four years now……well, how come no one sees them except the journalists?

  10. The Redneck says:

    I’ve actually looked at a little of this violence myself:

    http://the-redneck.livejournal.com/50234.html

    • Rusty Shackleford says:

      This has been the story for years. I got into a “discussion” with a co-worker about Oswald and he was telling me that “Oswald had to be a CIA operative. Why, I bet you (meaning me) believe that Ruby shot Oswald in Dallas that day, don’t you? Just cuz it was so conveniently on TV….”

      He went on and on. I then asked him about crop circles.

      Seriously, there are people who think that there is a “right-wing radical university” and it’s where people go to learn how to be racists, homophobes and (gag) “islamophobes”.

      Unreal.

      Yet they themselves will never be found “hangin’ at the gay bar” and by their own definition, that makes them a “homophobe”.

      How quickly did the media try to ascribe the guilty party of shooting Giffords to a “radical right-winger” and it turned out he was a freak-show nutjob with some pretty left-wing radical stuff in his house? When that was discovered it was suddenly, “nothing to see here, move along”.

      This is why I’m grateful for the internet. I don’t watch network TV news. If there’s a show I like on network TV, the sound gets muted during the commercials. Or, if I don’t have time, I’ll get the series when it comes out on DVD. So far, at least, they don’t plug commercials in them as they do during air-time.

      But the internet actually does provide the best counterpoint to the media that has been spewing left-wing crap sandwiches at us for over half a century. However, it’s definitely reaching crescendo levels in the past five or ten years. These neuvo-socialists are of a particularly ridiculous type and again…they are the spoiled rotten little smartasses who were kids in the 60s’ and 70’s. Of course, the 80’s has them too with the likes of Charlie Sheen, that idiot who married that other idiot, Madonna.

      They have commandeered the megaphone and they want only their voice to be heard. Mostly conservatives tune them out. It is unimportant what they say. It has only recently become important because it is now really getting in the way of us being a successful nation. They seem to hate that. They are guilt ridden and the guilt ridden, lacking proper guidance from a clinician, take it out on the people who have no reason to feel guilty at all.

      Case in point: I had a huge argument with a friend many years ago. He had an alcohol problem and he treated me like crap one evening so I cut him out of my circle of friends. Just recently, now that he’s in the twelve-step program…he sent me a letter. Part of the pathology for his disease is to face up to it and apologize for past transgressions. Well…that part went ok…until he started preaching to me. See…I’m not an alcoholic, I rarely ever drink. When I do, it’s to augment the meal, or maybe have one beer to enjoy on a hot day. There is no alcohol in my fridge or my cupboard. I fault no one who drinks and can do so without it being a problem.

      But this guy….he tells me how I need to live my life. Wrong move.

      But liberals are like that. They project their shortcomings on everyone else; Even those they do not know personally. Their “grand awakening” is now the stuff of sharing and…to make it that much better…the stuff of telling others what’s wrong with them. So I find myself in discussions like, “Why should I care about blacks any more or less than I do about other people? I never owned slaves…I never would and I work for my money and so should everyone else.”

      The looks that comment gets is often very telling as to who I’m addressing.

      But that whole liberal guilt thing…just doesn’t work unless EVERYBODY is feeling awful about killing gaia/whales/feeding poor starving babies/the poor (oh…the poor)/helping the people who we’ve decided who need help the most, etc etc etc. (vomit)

      They really hate it when I go about my business and don’t feel the least bit guilty that I have an expensive sports car, boats and such and that other people have so little. Except, I DO say…”Yup, if I didn’t get off my ass like my dad said I should when I was 15, I’d probably be just like them.”

      That’s usually when the fight begins.

    • Anonymoose says:

      I agree with Rusty. I was a friends with a woman a few years ago who still insists that we couldn’t have financially been more better off under Carter; never mind the double digit unemployment, and that to her the economy under Reagan was a depression.

      I’ve also seen the guilt complex and projection, which I first ran into with the gun control crowd. They can’t be trusted with a gun, so why should you? Over and over the radical liberal people I’ve known have had deeply dysfunctional lives and serious big time personal problems, which they try to alleviate by taking on causes and crusades.

      In real life they drink too much, have no emotional or psychological grounding, and a string of troubled relationships, but they stand up for the rights of the “oppressed” and dedicate themselves to saving the whatever, all not to really make the world a better place, but to feel better about themselves.

  11. BillK says:

    … the increased number of militias comes from U.S. citizens’ desire to restore the country to its constitutional roots

    Ooooh, how frightening!

  12. Rusty Shackleford says:

    “The increase has just been astounding,” said Mark Potok, editor-in-chief of the SPLC report. “The reality is that many of these groups are becoming more and more fearful that Barack Obama will win the re-election. You can see the anger rising along with that fear.” …

    Mark Potok is sounding very much as if he’d love an Obama assassination or attempt. You see, for an avowed leftist, it would give them the perfect opportunity to create a martyr, to canonize the flappy-eared clown with the ego problem into an actual god. Can you imagine how quickly the number of Obama statues and major streets named after him in cities? We’d NEVER be rid of the guy.

    The national socialists know they are about to lose and fear that they won’t have anything of any tangible merit to cling to after Captain Skidmark is un-elected. So it’s obvious to me, that since they, themselves don’t like him anyway, might as well use him as a surrogate, if not de-facto, hero.

    By not liking him, it’s obvious to me. It’s a classical twist that resides in the leftists’ litany of twists. They all hate each other. While in front of the crowds, they are back-slapping and smiling and laughing. Behind closed doors they are calling each other names and avoiding one-another. I have watched this type of behavior all my life. Though it’s possibly part of natural human nature, I also say, “When you work for people you respect, it’s easy to go see them in their offices, have meetings, socialize, etc.” But working amongst people you despise, for whatever reason, petty or large, having to even discuss anything with them on the phone is an unpleasant chore.

    The media has kept a lid on unfavorable stories about dealing with Hitlery, D’oh-bama, Reid, Pelosi but things are leaking out about their aloofness, rudeness, self-absorption, nasty comments and name-calling in meetings, etc. Respect is not part of their repertoire and even the lowest ranking left-winger will especially take umbrage to the abuse. If they don’t actively fight it, they passively do so by not returning at some point.

    These people in charge are hugely hateful, angry and bloodthirsty. I saw it in the military, those who had an axe to grind and agendas, both hidden and overt. Unpleasant doesn’t begin to describe them. And yes, they were often black or female.

    But, I’m beginning to suspect that the left, certainly not the right is far more interested in doing any harm to Captain Re-Run so as to secure the sympathy market and vote for the next decade or longer. Otherwise, Potok’s incessant babbling has no practical value at all.

  13. wirenut says:

    How can we teach our young, that, Our gifts come from our creator, not a government? Of any kind! To not defend freedom, is an act to commit suicide. Cowardice at best. Growth of militias???? My arse. Unelected,illegitimate boar-o-crats are a far bigger threat. As well as most academia.


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