SEPTEMBER 18, 2013
The domestic terrorist who carried out the politically-motivated shooting at the Family Research Council (FRC) gets sentenced this week and it should not be forgotten that he got his target list from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a nonprofit that features conservative organizations on a catalogue of “hate groups.”
Floyd Lee Corkins, who has pleaded guilty in the shooting, has admitted that he got his target list, which included the FRC, from the SPLC, a leftwing civil rights group that labels conservatives who disagree with it on social issues hateful. The SPLC’s website features a map of the United States that helps locate what it labels as hate groups around the nation. When an area of the map is clicked, a list appears with the name and location of hate groups. There’s also a “select a state” box where you can simply write in the state and hate groups appear for that particular area.
The FRC, a Christian organization that promotes the traditional family unit and the Judeo- Christian value system, appears on that hate map under Washington D.C. In mid-August of last year Corkins stormed into the FRC’s Washington D.C. headquarters with the intention of killing as many employees as possible, according to a news report that cites legal documents. He had purchased a semiautomatic pistol from a Virginia store the day before the rampage.
Corkins shot an unarmed security guard at the FRC, but the security guard was able to subdue him after a struggle that left the guard with a bullet in one arm. Earlier this year Corkins pleaded guilty to three serious crimes; committing an act of terrorism while armed, assault with intent to kill while armed and interstate transportation of a firearm and ammunition for the shooting. Corkins is the first defendant to be convicted under the D.C.’s Anti-Terrorism Act of 2002, which prosecutes crimes committed to “intimidate or coerce a significant population of the District of Columbia or the United States.”
When federal investigators questioned him after the shooting Corkins explained that he attacked the FRC’s headquarters because the SPLC identified it as a hate group. “I found them online, did a little research, went to the website, stuff like that,” he tells authorities in the chilling interrogation video which is posted on the FRC’s website. “The SPLC’s reckless labeling has led to devastating consequences,” FRC President Tony Perkins said at the time. “Because of its ‘hate group’ labeling, a deadly terrorist had a guidemap to FRC and other organizations.”
In a statement to the court this week, the FRC says its staff lives in fear of a repeat attack and that “every day many on our team are reminded of the attack and relive the trauma.” The statement also reminds the sentencing judge that the gunman’s stated intention was to send a political message by killing as many of its staff as possible and that he was “clearly inspired” by the SPLC’s labeling of FRC has a hate group.
Following the shooting Judicial Watch launched an investigation into what influence the SPLC’s branding of hate groups has had on U.S. government agencies. In January JW obtained nearly 24 pages of emails from U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Civil Rights and Tax divisions revealing questionable behavior by agency personnel while negotiating for SPLC’s co-founder Morris Dees to appear as the featured speaker at a July 31, 2012, “Diversity Training Event.”
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