Don’t get me wrong. I genuinely appreciate the SPLC, both for the work that they do and the frankness with which they do it. But does the “Stormfront Connection” really warrant a press release?
The Guardian reports:
People charged with the murders of almost 100 people can be linked to a single far-right website, according to a new report from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).
The White Nationalist web forum Stormfront.org says it promotes values of “the embattled white minority,” and its users include Anders Behring Breivik, who killed 77 people in a 2011 massacre in Norway, and Wade Michael Page, who shot and killed six people at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin in 2012.
“We know that the people who are going to commit the kinds of crimes, like the kinds of crimes Miller committed last weekend, this is where they live,” said Heidi Beirich, report author and a director at the SPLC’s Intelligence Project.
Most conservatives have watched FOX News. Most drunk drivers have hung out in bars. Most pedophile priests go to church.
Stormfront is just an internet forum, an idiotsmoot for the terminally stupid. There, they get to spout off about their inherent superiority and their beloved Fürher without the pushback typical of polite society. If you’re a racist and own a computer, chances are you’ve been to Stormfront.
So what’s the big deal?
“We have seen and documented at the SPLC an enormous growth of groups on the radical right, particularly in the last five years,” said Mark Potok, the report’s editor and a senior fellow on the Intelligence Project. “That growth quite clearly seems to be driven by the appearance of Barack Obama on the political scene in the fall of 2008 and of course his subsequent election.”
Potok noted that these hate sites are protected by first amendment rights because they don’t contain concrete plots to commit crimes. He said that law enforcement official unquestionably pay attention to these sites, but criticized how much analysis is done on users by federal authorities.
“We feel pretty strongly that the Department of Homeland Security, which is the lead agency in this country for developing intelligence about these groups and individuals, has more or less taken its eye of [sic] the ball in the sense that since 2009 the department seems more focused on Jihadists terrorism,” Potok said.
Instead of sifting through millions of phone records and emails of people who probably aren’t international terrorists, DHS should be sifting through millions of nauseating internet threads posted by illiterate morons who probably aren’t domestic terrorists? I don’t exactly see how we come out ahead there.