Dateline, first iteration January 28, 2021 / Updated June 24, 2021
What makes the current state of war against “terrorism” so dangerous is that the national security apparatus has been politicized, Phil Giraldi writes.
Giraldi's professional background in the national security sector makes him a particularly qualified observer of these devious developments.
President Joe Biden has already made it clear that legislation that will be used to combat what he refers to as “domestic terrorism” will be a top priority. That means that his inaugural speech pledge to be the president for “all Americans” appears to apply except for those who don’t agree with him. Former Barack Obama CIA Chief John Brennan, who is clearly in the loop on developments, puts it this way in a tweet where he describes how the new Administration’s spooks “are moving in laser-like fashion to try to uncover as much as they can about [the] insurgency” [that includes] “religious extremists, authoritarians, fascists, bigots, racists, nativists, even libertarians.”
The United States Constitution’s Bill of Rights, which includes freedom of speech and association, has been under siege for some time now. Government has always used its assumed powers conferred by a claimed state of emergency to deprive citizens of their rights. During the American Civil War Abraham Lincoln imprisoned critics of the conflict. Woodrow Wilson’s First World War administration brought in the Espionage Act, which has since been used to convict whistleblowers without having to present the level of evidence that would be required in a normal civil trial. During the Second World War, Franklin D. Roosevelt erected concentration camps that imprisoned Japanese Americans whose only crime consisted of being Japanese.
But perhaps the greatest attack on the Bill of Rights is more recent, the Patriot and Military Commissions Acts that were passed into law as a consequence of the “Global War on Terror” launched by President George W. Bush in the wake of 9/11. Together with the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which includes a court designed to speed up the warrant approval process, ordinary citizens found themselves on the receiving end of surveillance for which there was little or no justification in terms of probable cause. The FISA process was even notoriously abused in the national security apparatus attempt to derail the campaign of Donald Trump. The tools are in place for ever more government mischief and no one should doubt that the Democrats are just as capable of ignoring constitutional safeguards as the Republicans have been.
What makes the current state of war against “terrorism” so dangerous is that the national security apparatus has been politicized while the government has learned that labeling someone or some entity terrorist or even a “material supporter of terrorism” is infinitely elastic. That is precisely why Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has frequently called out opponents and attached to them the terrorist label, since it then permits other steps that might otherwise be challenged.
And there is also the fact that the playing field has changed since the First and Second World Wars. The government has technical capabilities that were never dreamed of in most of the twentieth century. Edward Snowden and other whistleblowers have demonstrated how the government routinely ignores constitutional limits on its ability to interfere in the lives of ordinary citizens. Not only that, it can monitor the lives of millions of Americans simultaneously, giving the police and intelligence agencies the power to mount “fishing expeditions” that literally invade the phones, computers and conversations of people who have not been guilty of any crime.
The authorizations that already exist will be further weaponized to go after dissidents as identified by the new regime. A bill introduced by House intelligence committee chair Adam Schiff “would take existing War on Terror legislation and simply amend it to say we can now do that within the U.S.” It would be combined with previous legislation, including former president Barack Obama’s infamous 2012 National Defense Authorization Act, which allows the military to indefinitely detain American citizens suspected of terrorism without a trial. Obama and Brennan also assumed an illegal and unconstitutional right to act as judge, jury and executioner-by-drone of American citizens overseas. Given those precedents, a bill like Schiff’s would free the national security community’s hands even more.
The new body of legislation would mean increased secret legal surveillance, suppression of free speech, indefinite incarceration without charges, torture, and even perhaps assassination. If it sounds like totalitarianism it should. There ought to be particular concern that the plan of the Biden Administration to go after so-called domestic terrorists will be this generation’s version of either Pearl Harbor or 9/11. The incident that took place at the Capitol Building on January 6th (already being referred to as 1/6 in some circles) has been exaggerated beyond all recognition and is now being regularly referred to as an “insurrection,” which it was not, by both politicians and the mainstream media. The language used to vilify what are alleged to be “right wing” and “white supremacist” enemies of the state is astonishing and the technology is keeping pace to turn the United States and other countries into police states to ensure that citizens will do the bidding of government.
To cite only one example of how technology can drive the process, Biden has several times threatened to initiate and enforce something like a nationwide lockdown to defeat the coronavirus. Can he do it? Yes, the tools are already in place. Facial recognition technology is highly developed and deployable in the numerous surveillance cameras that are being installed. Wrist bands are being developed overseas that are designed to compel compliance with government dictates on pandemic measures enforcement. If you have been told to stay home and are instead walking the dog your wrist band will tell the police and they will find and arrest you.
The new body of legislation would mean increased secret legal surveillance, suppression of free speech, indefinite incarceration without charges, torture, and even perhaps assassination. If it sounds like totalitarianism it should. There ought to be particular concern that the plan of the Biden Administration to go after so-called domestic terrorists will be this generation’s version of either Pearl Harbor or 9/11.
And, as the old saying goes, the Revolution is already beginning to devour its own children. Universities and schools are insisting that teachers actively support both publicly and privately the new “equity and diversity” order while police departments are purging themselves of officers suspected of being associated with conservative groups, meaning that something like a loyalty test might soon become common. Recently the Defense Department has begun intensive monitoring of the social media of military personnel to identify dissenters, as is already done in some large companies with their employees. The new Director of National Intelligence hardliner Avril Haines has already confirmed that her agency will participate in a public threat assessment of QAnon, which she has described as America’s Greatest Threat.
Haines has also suggested that intelligence agencies will “look at connections between folks in the U.S. and externally and foreign” while Biden on his first full day in office has pledged to thoroughly investigate claims about Russian hacking of U.S. infrastructure and government sites, the poisoning of Putin critic Alexei Navalny, and the story that Russia offered the Taliban bounties to kill U.S. troops in Afghanistan. It could be Russiagate all over again, with a claimed foreign threat being used to conceal civil rights violations being committed by the federal government at home.
And, of course, the new policies will reflect the biases of the new rulers. Right wing “terror” will be targeted even though the list of actual right-wing driven outrages is embarassingly short. Groups like Black Lives Matter will be untouchable in spite of their major role in last year’s rioting, arson, looting and violence that caused $2 billion damage and killed as many as thirty because they are in all but name part of the Democratic Party. Antifa, which rioted in Portland last week, will also get a pass – the media routinely describes leftist violence as “mainly peaceful” and only sometimes concedes that some “property damage” occurred.
It is Trump supporters and conservatives in general who are being shown the exit door, to include calls for “deprogramming them”. The Washington Post’s Zionist harpy Jennifer Rubin recently declared that “We have to collectively, in essence, burn down the Republican Party. We have to level them because if there are survivors, if there are people who weather this storm, they will do it again.” She also echoed calls for making them unemployable, “I think it’s absolutely abhorrent that any institution of higher learning, any news organization, or any entertainment organization that has a news outlet would hire these people.”
As the notably clueless Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said in 2006 while Lebanon was getting bombed and shelled by Israel, “We are seeing the birth pangs of a new Middle East…” so too are we Americans seeing something new and strange emerging from the ruins of Trumpdom. It will not be pretty and after it is over Americans will enjoy a lot fewer liberties, that is for sure.
More on Domestic Terrorism: Who Will Be the Target?
Philip Giraldi • June 24, 2021
We have been taught undesired and quite frankly hypocritical lessons by four presidents in a row and perhaps it is now time that we be left alone!When the so-called war on domestic terrorism was declared quite early on in the Joe Biden Administration it provoked a wave of dissent from those who recognized that it would inevitably be used to stifle free speech and target constituencies that do not agree with the White House’s plans for sweeping changes in how the country is governed. Some rightly pointed out that every time the Federal government declares war on anyone or anything, to include drugs, poverty, or even Afghanistan, the results are generally counter-productive. But others noted that once fundamental liberties are taken away they will likely never return.
At first there were reports that the Justice Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) were increasing their investigations, many centered on the so-called U.S. Capitol “insurrection” of January 6th, which it now appears might have been in part incited by the FBI itself. The scope of the inquiries into how perfectly legal opposition groups operate and proliferate in the U.S. soon broadened to include opponents of much of the social engineering that the Democrats have brought with them to change the face of America. “Hate” or “extremist” groups and individuals became the targets with “hate” and “extremism” liberally defined as anyone whose identity or agenda did not coincide with that of the Democratic Party.
This effort to root out “domestic terrorism” needed a focus and that came with what was claimed to be an intelligence community joint assessment in March which labeled “white supremacists” and “anti-government extremists” as “the two most lethal elements of today’s domestic terrorism threat.” The White House echoed that judgement, claiming that the report’s conclusions had identified “the most urgent terrorism threat the United States faces today.”
The report’s conclusions were somewhat odd and it would be interesting to know who wrote it and whether there was any dissent over what it included. Presumably, no one was empowered to suggest that surging black violence over the past year is a major “domestic terror” issue. The conclusion therefore was skewed – while no one would deny that there have been violent incidents involving white racist group and individuals, they are far outnumbered by the deaths that have taken place due to the black lives matter movement, which both government and corporate America have embraced. Given that, the targeting of “white” groups must be considered to be essentially political, particularly insofar as the White House and Attorney General Merrick Garland have made every effort to link the “racist-extremists” to the Republican Party and more particularly to Donald Trump.
All of this came together last Tuesday when Garland released the first-ever “National Strategy for Countering Domestic Terrorism,” which had been a work in progress ordered by President Biden on his very first day in office. The plan is a curious mixture of enhancement of traditional law enforcement measures, to include calls for increased information-sharing between governments and technology sectors, as well as an infusion of over $100 million to hire more focused prosecutors, investigators, and intelligence specialists. Ominously, it also supports setting up mechanisms for screening government employees for ties to “extremist” and hate groups, meaning that anyone belonging to a group that praises the virtues of European nations or the white race will quickly become unemployed. Such screening is already taking place in the Department of Homeland Security and the Defense Department. The overall strategic objective is to attempt to prevent recruitment by extremist groups by, inter alia, increasing the law enforcement penetration and investigation of such entities while also marginalizing and punishing those individuals who do become members.
Biden’s war on domestic terrorism is so far lacking new legislation that will enable the authorities “to successfully hunt down, prosecute, and imprison homegrown extremists” just because they have been generically labeled extreme, but presumably that is coming. Interestingly, one would expect a Justice Department document to be race and gender neutral, but it is anything but that, again reenforcing that it is a political statement. It sees as a major objective for the government to directly confront “racism and bigotry as drivers of domestic terrorism.”
Merrick Garland spoke briefly to the media when he was releasing the document. He claimed that the robust government approach would not infringe on First and Fourth Amendment Constitutional rights, the rights of free speech and assembly and freedom from searches without due process. But then he oddly enough added that “The only way to find sustainable solutions is not only to disrupt and deter, but also to address the root causes of violence.” If one follows that line of reasoning and accepts that white supremacists are the major problem, then the assumption is that available resources will go to where the problem is: white people who oppose government policies, which might presumably include anyone who voted for Donald Trump.
Garland then added that the new strategy would be “focused on violence, not on ideology,” as “We do not prosecute people for their beliefs.” One might argue with that assertion as the policy clearly targets individuals for their beliefs, including that they have a constitutional right to be left alone by a meddling federal government. Ironically, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) responded to the document by complaining that its tactics employ “abusive counterterrorism tools that result in unfair and unjustified surveillance and targeting of Black and Brown people, particularly Muslims.” ACLU has it wrong and should have read the document more carefully: it actually targets white people.
Inevitably such a report that is seeking to pursue and transform most of the U.S. population produced a reaction. One of the most ridiculous came from Cynthia Miller-Idriss, who heads the Polarization and Extremism Research and Innovation Lab (PERIL) at American University, writing for The Atlantic, who believes it is a “public health problem, not a security issue.” She wrote “The extremism we’re now seeing in the U.S. is ‘post-organizational,’ characterized by fluid online boundaries and a breakdown of formal groups and movements …. To fight this amorphous kind of radicalization, the federal government needs to see the problem as a whole-of-society, public-health issue.”
So if it is a public health issue the government will no doubt order development of a vaccine at great expense that will be mandatory for all Americans above the age of twelve. As Biden has identified the threat in racial terms, even though it is being claimed that no one’s rights will be violated, how will a law enforcement let off the leash to pursue the target of choice respond? What to do about the numerous white ethnic societies that exist in the United States to celebrate their heritage? Italian-Americans, Irish-Americans and German-Americans watch out! And wait a minute, aren’t organizations like black lives matter already supporting a certain level of violence to bring about change? But presumably only “whites” will be surveilled because the government has identified them as the problem. Looking at the issues being raised and the solutions being suggested one might conclude that the real problem in America is not necessarily extremism among the people but rather extremism in the government. We have been taught undesired and quite frankly hypocritical lessons by four presidents in a row and perhaps it is now time that we be left alone!
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