Southern Poverty Lie Center

The Feds and the Southern Poverty Law Center target patriots

August 18, 12:08 PMSan Diego Immigration Policy Examiner
Carl Braun

               US Flag Flies Over Camp Vigilance

First it was “right wing extremists” and now any Patriotic American who doesn’t buy off on the left’s view of things may find themselves lumped in with Tmothy Mcveigh in this new SPLC Intelligence Report.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, fierce protector of all things left, has published an August 2009 special report entitled “The Second Wave—Return Of The Militia’s."  In it are “documented” cases of how right wing fanatics are again on the loose wreaking havoc across America and endangering the common welfare of us all. Though the report cites seventy-five incidents since 1995 in a piece called “Terror From The Right”, the real point of the special report is to highlight the right’s reportedly racist reaction to our country’s first Black President.

In the midst of all the bombings and train derailments by the KKK, White Supremacists and Unibomber wannabees is an article called “Nativists to Patriots” about a dangerous bunch in San Diego’s East County.

The author, David Holthouse, has a promising career as a writer of fiction. Mr. Holthouse, an “undercover investigator” for the Intelligence Report tells of his covert visit to Camp Vigilance in May of this year.

“As evidence of a militia resurgence mounts, nativist vigilantes are increasingly adopting the ideas of the ‘Patriot’ movement.”

Camp Vigilance is the home of the Minuteman Corps of CA (MCCI) and the non-political Border Patrol Auxiliary (BPAUX). It is located in the high desert of east San Diego County and is adjacent to public campgrounds where visitors routinely walk through camp to see the 1856 Stagecoach Depot on the property. It was the site of the 2009 July 4th patriotic celebration and BBQ attended by some 450 local radicals and dastardly devils like former Congressman and Presidential candidate Tom Tancredo, the nation’s most decorated military hero USMC Sergeant Major (RET) “Iron Mike” Mervosh, Civil Rights activist Ted Hayes and former border agent Nacho Ramos of Ramos & Compean fame. A dangerous bunch to be sure, that is if you're drug smugglers or border invaders.

David must be awfully good at this covert stuff or he wandered over with the tourists. No one ever remembers him being there. Some do remember an odd looking guy asking a lot of questions a few months back but the description does not match his photo. Wouldn't be the first time an undercover agent of whatever came to camp. It is pretty much an open book though when David says he was on the property neither MCCI or BPAUX were. Let’s not take minor details though and ruin the story. We're just getting warmed up.

As any good writer of fiction knows your story becomes most believable when you combine fact with fiction. I like to call it “faction”. The faction writers like Dan Brown of Davinci Code fame for example, take a real location, a thread of evidence, a sinister plot and develop each into a compellingly story.

Here is where Holthouse excels and why I think he is wasting his talents working for the SPLC. He took a real place like Camp Vigilance, did some interesting research on the web, maybe even drove by it and then created a fictional militia training camp. Does that sound cool or what? I mean there were no fences of concertina wire or guard towers on the corners of the property, which would have added to the story but he did mention it had a well- guarded security perimeter. I will have to remember to ask the Sheriff and Border Patrol, who have unfettered access to the property, to assess the perimeter and make sure it is up to their standards.

Does training occur there? Yes it does. In fact it better. The Minutemen wouldn’t want anyone going into the field that hadn’t been properly trained. Here they have a record of nearly one million man hours of volunteer border watch duty without a single injury or incident. Are there a communication center and camping spots? Another direct hit. This guy is good. But then, just as the story was getting juicy, his political left-leaning train runs right off the track.

“A public address system plugged into a massive RV amplifies ResistNet, an Internet radio program broadcast by the Patriot Network, which promotes conspiracy theories and right-wing antigovernment militancy”.

For a moment there I had a vision of Tokyo Rose. Bit of a stretch David. Didn’t know there was a public address system at Camp Vigilance (there isn’t) and no one I have spoke with even knew what Resistnet Radio was. The thin plot starts to unravel. He goes on to describe statements that people made but never quite got around to saying who made them. The inconsistencies in his story are remarkable. They are a combination of left-wing looney scare tactics and frenzied descriptions of the mysterious cultish type behaviors of the right-wing, unwashed masses.

The truly disturbing part of all of this is not his factional visit to camp but that the Government actually relies on the SPLC for intelligence on right wing “subversive” activities. So does the media. It appears there is truly no room these days for factual information from credible non-partisan sources.

In the introduction of this fantasy liberal bedtime story, "Intelligence Report" Editor Mark Potok references the:

“virulently antigovernment “Patriot” movement, made up of paramilitary militias, tax defiers and so-called “sovereign citizens.”

"Oh better watch them “sovereign citizens” Mark. I hear through the grapevine they whisper “prohibited“ things in the dark about the Illuminati and the evil Federal Reserve. Best to call in the thought police. This bunch might get wild and start calling liberal politicians’ nasty names. In fact, I’ve seen them do it!

Mark uses historical data of the myriad of domestic terrorist activities to set the stage for his grand finale. When comparing this right revolt against the last time a Democrat held the White House, Potok says:

“A key difference this time is that the federal government —the entity that almost the entire radical right views as its primary enemy — is headed by a black man. {Noooo. Not a black man} That, coupled with high levels of non-white immigration and a decline in the percentage of whites overall in America, has helped to racialize the Patriot movement, which in the past was not primarily motivated by race hate.”

That the “Secure Borders” movement was formed while the current President was still a “community organizer” and the country was governed by a white Republican man from the second most heavily minority populated state in the country is well, I don’t know…maybe too factual and certainly not melodramatic enough for this story. It detracts from the socialist fervor of his allegory.

Nor should we consider other facts like the Minuteman group that uses Camp Vigilance was founded by a man whose wife is Asian and his children are bi-racial. That the Northern California Chapter was founded by a man, John Clark, who’s wife is a LEGAL Latina immigrant from Chile and a victim of illegal alien crime herself, is probably not good for the racist part of the story either. That the group is made up of people from all races and several ethnicities doesn’t bode well for the factional division they seek to spread. I’ll bet it riles up the lefties though.

Despite the broad brush, Caucasian pink, “right wing extremist” paint job the SPLC has done on the Minuteman Movement it is surprising that on it’s own website there is one word curiously absent from its list of “hate groups” across the US. Want to guess which one that is?

Despite 599 SPLC intelligence Reports on their activities and the methodical nature in which they categorize the 926 “registered racist hate groups” in the United States, the term “Minuteman” is nowhere to be found on the "Hate Group" map.

It is obviously more fun and perhaps more effective in a smear campaign to create a bogeyman in the crucible of literary fiction than to factually report on one. I hear there’s an alleged terrorist compound in Islamberg New York and I did also notice they haven’t had a single SPLC “Intelligence Report” written about them. Not one. Fertile territory for someone seeking to expose radical militia's. Pack your bags David. Better bring the long johns. It’s cold in them thar hills. Be safe. I hear those boys “play for keeps.”


Carl Braun is an analyst for the Homeland Security Policy Institute Group and he's logged 5,000-plus hours on the border. He has written several books including his most recent on Border Insecurity, "Above All Else". Contact Carl at

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