Several groups listed as hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) got millions in government-backed Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, money intended for businesses with 10 or fewer employees that have been harmed by the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic.
The groups include the anti-Muslim organization The Center for Security Policy; the two anti-immigrant groups, the Center for Immigration Studies and the Federation for American Immigration Reform; and three rabidly anti-LGBTQ groups, the American Family Association (AFA), Liberty Counsel and the Pacific Justice Institute (PJI).
According to the SPLC, all three groups regularly fight against LGBTQ civil rights. The PJI has said gay marriage would lead to legalized polygamy and incest, LGBT History Month in schools promotes gay pornography, and compared gay marriage to Nazism.
Spokespeople for the Liberty Counsel have called homosexuality immoral, unnatural, and self-destructive; called same-sex marriage “destructive to individuals and … our very social fabric,” has said gay marriage would lead to a “rampant increase in diseases,” and have called LGBTQ rights a “direct assault on our religious freedom and freedom of speech.” The group is currently suing a Connecticut school board in order to ban transgender students from participating in high school sports.
The Liberty Counsel received somewhere between $350,000 and $1 million from the PPP program, and the Pacific Justice Institute received between $150,000 and $350,000.
The AFA has called transgender people sexual predators and child molesters, declared homosexuality as hazardous to one’s health, said Islam is a religion of intolerance and war, and claimed that gay men were responsible for “Adolph Hitler… the Brown Shirts, the Nazi war machine and six million dead Jews.”
“Many of these groups that traffic in hate are already well-resourced, with a constant injection of funding from far-right mega-donors and dark money foundations,” Imraan Siddiqi, executive director of the Arizona branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), said to the Center for Media and Democracy.
“This just highlights more cases of vital funding getting into the hands of those who didn’t need it, while many small businesses in our communities came up empty and are having to fold,” Siddiqi added.
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‘What a Danger He Is to Democracy’: National Security Experts Blast Pompeo’s ‘Reckless’ and ‘Dangerous’ Comments
Defense and national security experts are raising concerns over Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s remarks Tuesday, promising “a smooth transition to a second Trump administration.”
His words were seen as anti-Democratic and contrary to the rule of law in what many still believe is the greatest democracy in the world.
Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power called Pompeo’s comment “incredibly reckless, dangerous, and damaging to US security.”
CNN Senior National Security Correspondent:
We're gonna have a really hard time lecturing the rest of the world about elections after all this. https://t.co/kLlal3Tw6z
— Alexander Marquardt (@MarquardtA) November 10, 2020
Former Pentagon Press Secretary, CIA Spokesman:
Still time to impeach Pompeo.
— George Little (@georgelittledc) November 10, 2020
CNN national security analyst, former advisor to the National Security Council (NSC):
Pompeo’s hypocrisy knows no bounds. What a danger he is to democracy.
— Sam Vinograd (@sam_vinograd) November 10, 2020
US academic specialist on international affairs, professor at the U.S. Naval War College:
Andrei Gromyko is in hell thinking: "I've known a lot of shady foreign ministers, but I like the cut of this Pompeo fellow's jib." https://t.co/JxZmJefak2
— Tom Nichols (@RadioFreeTom) November 10, 2020
Washington Post bureau chief for Mexico and Central America:
The world isn't interpreting this as a joke. https://t.co/HE2bTHtvjo
— Kevin Sieff (@ksieff) November 10, 2020
Giuliani Spent Years Advocating for Group Once on Terrorist Watchlist
NBC News is reporting Rudy Giuliani advocated for an Iranian group that had been on the federal terrorism watchlist while serving as the personal attorney to the President of the United States. For about a decade Giuliani did work for the Iranian group, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (MEK). He never registered as a foreign agent.
The MEK has been described as an Iranian, Islamic, socialist militant group. NBC News calls the MEK an “Iranian group with bloody past,” and reports it was a “State Department-designated foreign terrorist organization until 2012,” which would encompass the time Giuliani admits he represented them.
Giuliani, in an interview with NBC’s Andrea Mitchell earlier this year described himself as “one of their top spokespeople,” and NBC says he’s been doing speeches for the organization for over a decade.
“For nearly a decade,” NBC reports, Giuliani and former Giuliani law partner Michael Mukasey, also a former U.S. attorney “have pushed the agenda of the MEK, giving paid speeches and writing newspaper op-eds expressing support for a group linked to the deaths of six Americans in the 1970s.”
“But it wasn’t until late last month that Mukasey registered as a foreign agent lobbying pro bono for MEK’s political arm. Giuliani still hasn’t, raising the possibility that the Justice Department could target him in an illegal lobbying probe, experts say.”
Giuliani met with MEK officials at least once every year since 2014. A range of issues were discussed, including “Iran’s nuclear weapons as well as Iran’s terrorism in the region, including Iraq and Syria” in 2014, the plight of Iranian dissidents living in Iraq in 2015, and the protests in Iran in 2018.
During that period, he has appeared at MEK-related events in Poland, Albania, Paris and Washington. FARA experts say Giuliani’s speech in Washington in May 2018 and U.S.-based writings in support of the group are particularly problematic.
Here is Giuliani last year speaking to the MEK and leading a chant for “regime change” in Iran, barely weeks before officially becoming the president’s personal attorney. Regime change in Iran is not Trump’s official policy.
You can read NBC’s full report here.
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