FBI terrorist alert: Beware of those who 'Reference the Constitution or Bible'
By Mark Alexander
The FBI held a press conference last week on a terrorist alert bulletin, which it sent to every federal, state and local law enforcement agency across the country. Unfortunately, that bulletin continued a trend of "terrorist profiles" issued since Barack Hussein Obama has been in office. This particular alert identified such broad ideological characteristics that it can be construed to include the activities of tens of millions of law-abiding Americans.
The FBI counterterrorism division report concluded that those who believe that our government has exceeded its constitutional limits or are protesting for restoration of constitutional integrity might pose a threat. By that definition, anyone associated with the "Tea Party movement" is suspect, and that's the problem with this sweeping and politically motivated "bureaucrap."
Make no mistake: There are some deadly anti-government socialist and fascist radicals in America. For example, consider the man who launched someone's political career in 1994 -- Obama mentor William Ayers, who was previously the leader of the Weathermen, a murderous group of radical "useful idiots." They bombed the U.S. Capitol twice, the Pentagon, the Department of State, several federal courthouses, plus state and local government buildings -- with intent to kill. Unfortunately, the FBI never assembled sufficient evidence to convict Ayers. (Lucky break for Obama's career!)
Or how about Obama's radical, racist, hate-spewing pastor, Jeremiah Wright? This is the man who married the Obamas and baptized their children; the same man who regularly sermonized about "the US-KKK-A" with assertions that "The government lied about inventing the HIV virus as a means of genocide against people of color;" the man who said that the U.S. government "gives [black people] drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strikes law and then wants us to sing 'God Bless America.' No, no, no, g-d d--- America!"
The aforementioned FBI alert focused on the so-called "sovereign citizen" movement, which the FBI believes may have more than 500,000 members -- though it has no leaders, no membership roster, no organization at all. There is a "sovereign citizens" website which notes boldly, "We do NOT endorse non-payment of taxes or violence to achieve these changes. We do NOT endorse giving up a social security number and we do NOT endorse violence against the police or the government."
According to the FBI, some of those associated with this movement are engaged in crimes like underpaying taxes and other fraud, none of which should be classified as terrorism. According to a Reuters report on the press release, "Legal convictions of such extremists, mostly for white-collar crimes such as fraud, have increased from 10 in 2009 to 18 in 2011, FBI agents said."
We did the math, and that's an increase of eight convictions.
Meanwhile, more than 5,200 of Obama's Occupy movement radicals were arrested in 2011, many for violent offenses, and some of those directed at police.
This is not to say that the FBI didn't have reason to warn law enforcement agencies. In May of 2010, two sociopaths, one of whom had mentioned "sovereign citizen" on a website, murdered two Arkansas police officers. But why wait almost two years to issue the warning?
Now, I spent some years in law enforcement, and some of those devoted to counter-terrorism. I still hold a reserve national security position with the Department of Homeland Security and, as such, maintain threat currency and contacts with both domestic counter-terrorism folks. I mention this to say I can assure you that most federal, state and local law enforcement personnel abide by their oath to "support and defend the Constitution" and are steadfastly accountable to that oath. In other words, they understand that broadly labelling as "terrorists" those who support constitutional limits on government is offensive to that oath.
However, we now have an established Obama-era pattern of applying such broad labels, which began in 2009 when the DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis issued a report on "Right-Wing Extremism." It claimed that those who use terms including "patriot" or "constitutionalist," and "link their beliefs to those commonly associated with the American Revolution," are a threat. It even went so far as to identify returning war veterans as "potential threats."
That report was so repulsive that it received a prompt rebuke from liberal Democrat Bennie Thompson, then chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, and Republican Peter King, its ranking member. Thompson wrote, "This report appears to raise significant issues involving the privacy and civil liberties of many Americans. ... Freedom of association and freedom of speech are guaranteed to all Americans. ... I am disappointed that the Department would allow this report to be disseminated to its State and local partners. ... I am dumbfounded that I&A released this report."
Thompson protested that the DHS report "blurred the line" between legal and illegal activity.
At the time, DHS spokesperson Amy Kudwa claimed the report was not finished and had been recalled: "This product is not, nor was it ever, in operational use." That notwithstanding, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano defended the report and insisted, "We do not -- nor will we ever -- monitor ideology or political beliefs. We take seriously our responsibility to protect the civil rights and liberties of the American people." (Trust her, she's from the government!)
However, such monitoring is not the contiguous prerogative of DHS, but that of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. This is why the latest national alert issued by the FBI should raise many red flags with overseers in the House and Senate.
Here are some excerpts from the FBI bulletin: "This ... domestic terrorist movement, which, scattered across the United States, has existed for decades. ... They do not represent an anarchist group, nor are they a militia. ... They operate as individuals without established leadership and only come together in loosely affiliated groups to ... socialize and talk about their ideology. They may refer to themselves as 'constitutionalists.' ... Several indicators can help identify these individuals. References to the Bible, The Constitution of the United States, U.S. Supreme Court decisions, or treaties with foreign governments..."
Those clips are taken out of context, but the problem with such broad profiles is that by the time they filter down through the channels, there are, inevitably, those who are not able to distinguish good from evil, or those whose political bias blinds them from such distinctions.
For example, shortly after DHS released its "Right-Wing Extremist" profile, I was contacted by readers, both officers and enlisted personnel, about a security exercise scenario at Ft. Knox. That scenario identified attackers as "Tea Party members" among "white supremacists" armed with "military grade weapons" and "bomb making components." (In fact, many military and law enforcement personnel identify with the Tea Party movement, which is why we were contacted by military readers.)
Within hours of posting that report, senior command staff at Ft. Knox contacted me and conceded that an officer in the security loop altered the scenario to include "the Tea Party in order to make it more realistic." The commanding officer assured us, "an official investigation has been initiated to determine the manner in which this information was included in the exercise scenario."
To make it "more realistic"? Every reader of this column can accurately profile the political views and racial/ethnic identity of the individual who "altered the scenario."
So, given the current FBI profile, if these "terrorists" are members of an organization with no leaders, no membership and, in fact, no organization, how exactly are they to be distinguished from law-abiding political activists who believe our government has exceeded its constitutional authority? How are they to be distinguished from patriotic Americans who advocate for the restoration of constitutional integrity and proper limits on the role of government? There are plenty of us who, in the course of our objections to the erosion of the Rule of Law, might make "references to the Bible, The Constitution of the United States, U.S. Supreme Court decisions, or treaties with foreign governments..."
What purpose does this FBI memo really serve?
In October 2011, DHS attempted to make amends by publishing a training guide for "Countering Violent Extremism." In that directive, Section 2 notes, "Training should be sensitive to constitutional values," and it asserts, "training should support the protection of civil rights and civil liberties as part of national security. Don't use training that equates religious expression, protests, or other constitutionally protected activity with criminal activity."
Perhaps Obama's executive appointees to the FBI should adopt a similar policy and -- unlike DHS -- abide by it. In the meantime, we are waiting for objections from oversight committee Republicans concerning Obama's latest attack on Bible-citing, Constitution-abiding Patriots....
Mark Alexander is the executive editor of the Patriot Post.