Saturday, June 11, 2011
A Double Standard on Terrorism?
In a blog last month:
I pointed out the downsides of extending some provisions of the "Patriot Act" and also wrote about the FBI's treatment of Scott Crow of Austin, TX (an anti-corporate activist) as a "domestic terrorist". Crow discovered this on requesting FOIA files from the FBI. The files (over 400 pages) showed that they'd been monitoring his activities for the past three years including "tracing license plates of cars parked out in front, recording the comings and goings of residents and guests, and in one case speculating about the presence of a strange object on the driveway" (Which turned out to be a hand made quilt to be donated to a charity, see e.g. The Denver Post, 'Texan's FBI File Reveals Domestic Spying', p. 12 A, 5/29).
Many of the pages (including dozens redacted) were under the rubric of 'Domestic Terrorism'.
So I wondered, after receiving an advance Intelligence Report from the Southern Poverty Law Center, how it could be that someone like Crow gets the evil eye scrutiny of the government while right wing terrorists get a free pass?
According to former Homeland Security official Daryl Johnson(a registered Republican), this seems to be exactly what has transpired, and can be traced back to a report his office filed back in 2009, concerning the threat of right wing terrorism. His April 7 report, headed, Right Wing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment analyzed the causes of the surge in right -wing extremism since Obama's election, and which included numerous incidents - including nearly beating to death of dozens of Obama voters, supporters. They traced nearly all the incidents to the election of the nation's first black president.
The report, alas, was short circuited when one office (or official) inside DHS leaked it prematurely to the media, which then had a field day with it - mainly the conservative zombots of FAUX News etc. along with Lush Limburger. Subsequently, Janet Napolitano's DHS reacted to the stream of criticism by withdrawing the support.
In the preview -prelim SPLC Intelligence Review, Johnson is quoted as noting that one office out of DHS "raised issues" when they saw the report. This was the Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties. Johnson points out that he wasn't required to give the CRCL the report, but did so because "my boss thought we should run it past them". The CRCL had edits but mainly they objected to the definition of right wing extremist.
Under their revised definition, you would NOT be regarded as a domestic terrorist or any kind of extremist if: you were in the Klan, you burned crosses on someone's lawn or elsewhere, you harbored a trrorist in your house, or donated money to groups advocating violence (e.g. the Aryan Nations).
Can anyone efing believe this???
So while the Feds hassle an innocent Lefty merely for demonstrations, or protests against fascist corporations, they let these right wing vermin slide? Allow all their REAL terrorist to have it and do whatever? (Including Anne Coulter, who has actually been chased from Canada for her hate speech against Muslim students there, as I noted in a blog last year).
Johnson observes that after the report on right wing terror was leaked and the Media Right politicized it, his management "got scared and thought DHS would be scaled back. Eventually, they ended up gutting my unit".
Johnson reports all of this occurred within 6-9 months of the leak and one major fallout has been analysts leaving DHS. This IS a fucking travesty! No effing PC about it! Meanwhile, Johnson says that since the report was leaked DHS hasn't released a single report on its own.
In other words, the Extreme Right Terrorists have been given free reign, to do whatever. With no scrutiny, no one can stay on top of them, and it's only a matter of time before they attack someone at sometime. Johnson in the SPLC preview voices the same concerns, saying: "What worries me is that our country is under attack from within, from our own radical citizenry".
But the powers that be would prefer to go after little leftwing guys who occasionally protest corporations than the REAL terrorists of the RIGHT right under their freakin' nose. The SPLC report notes already "small scale attacks" have been made including three mail bombs sent to U.S. government facilities in Maryland and D.C. while a back pack bomb was placed near an MLK Day parade in Spokane, Washington.
It is time now to leave left wing protesters and marchers ALONE, and go after the REALLY Big Right wing fish that abound.
This nation needs to learn from history and fast. The old German Weimar Republic learned too late. They permitted Nazi and fascist right wing gangs to run amuck - beating up Jews, communists and socialists while setting off assorted bombs - convinced a hands-off policy would be best. They didn't want to aggravate the incendiary fanatics. By 1933 they learned that those fanatics and screwballs had no qualms extinguishing the last vestiges of the old Republic once they were in power. (After Hitler became Chancellor) And then the violence REALLY began!
"Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it" - George Santayana