The Tea Parties held throughout the United States on April 15, 2009, attest to a realization that the nation is under siege by a radical anti-American cabal — it is not, however, those citizens in peaceful assembly voicing their political grievances but those members of the Obama administration who would restrain the constitutional rights of the loyal opposition by the use of fear tactics.
The announcement by U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano that the following groups of U.S. citizens — pro-lifers, gun owners, critics of illegal immigration, and returning military — are now being labeled as potential terrorists subject to government surveillance was timed to strike fear in the citizenry and thus quash political dissent.
Stunning as these tactics are, they should come as no surprise.
President Barack Obama’s meteoric rise in the national political arena testifies to a well-organized, well-financed, and experienced cadre of radical left Chicago-machine operatives. The excesses being demonstrated by his administration are consistent with the Obama campaign rhetoric, which promised change by means of a sharp turn to the left.
The common thread in the Obama administration is the ultra-left to radical ideologies of his campaign advisers, confidants, and financial elitists. The-end-justifies-the-means mentality has been the Obama political motif from early on. Setting aside the checkered pasts of his appointees, it is time for U.S. citizens to focus on the DHS, which was established following 9/11 to protect the homeland, but is being transformed into a political thought police committed to changing America.
Napolitano’s announcement was based on a DHS report dated April 7, 2009, entitled, “Rightwing Extremists: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment.” This published report, paid for by taxpayers, determines that right-wing extremism in the United States consists of alleged “hate-oriented anti-government groups” that include, and this is a quote, “individuals and groups that are dedicated to a single issue, such as, opposition to abortion or immigration.”
The targets of the pro-life charges are the Catholic Church and other Christian denominations. The report also lists gun-rights supporters and, unbelievably, veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces — our returning heroes.
Did Obama mention to the soldiers he met during his recent stopover in Iraq that they would be placed under government surveillance just as soon as he returned them home?
How will they find jobs once back in the private sector if employers hesitate to hire veterans for fear that their businesses then could be placed under DHS surveillance?
An earlier report, issued by the Missouri Information Analysis Center (MIAC), a fusion center where state and local law enforcement agencies share data with DHS and the Department of Justice, was dated Feb. 20, 2009. Entitled “MIAC Strategic Report: The Modern Militia Movement,” it linked conservative political parties and groups to domestic terrorism. Law enforcement officials were warned to watch suspicious persons who supported the following political candidates: U.S. Congressman Ron Paul, a candidate in the 2008 Republican presidential primary; former U.S. Attorney Bob Barr, the 2008 Libertarian presidential candidate; and Chuck Baldwin, the 2008 Constitutional Party presidential candidate. The MIAC report, released to law enforcement officials, advised them to watch for individuals with “radical ideologies” based on “Christian views,” such as “opposing illegal immigration, abortion, and federal taxes.”
Both reports listed as subversive those who display the Gadsden flag, which is among the nation’s oldest flags. During the Revolutionary War, Colonel Christopher Gadsden of South Carolina designed the flag, which has a coiled rattlesnake with 13 rattles on a yellow background and the words “Don’t Tread On Me.” It became the standard of the first commander-in-chief of the Navy. Since the 9/11 attacks, the Gadsden flag has come to represent U.S. patriotism in home ports and abroad. Those displaying this historic flag, including the military, are now subject to federal surveillance.
A quick guestimate is that the majority of U.S. citizens come under the coverage of these reports, including scores of Obama voters. Those not targeted would be radical leftists, anarchists, illegal aliens, and Islamist terrorists, who are to be treated with sensitivity.
DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano had addressed the Third Annual National Fusion Center Conference, held in Kansas City, March 10-12, 2009, where Gov. Jay Nixon, D-Mo., in his address, stood by the MIAC report. The governor now blames his predecessor.
In response to the public uproar unleashed by these two reports, Napolitano has softened her tone, claiming that the DHS report was the product of a lower-echelon bureaucrat and meant merely as a harmless guide, a draft analysis.
Her damage control does not hold water. No bureaucrat would publish such a toxic report without secretary-level approval. Involvement of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the DHS report puts the FBI on the road to becoming a political arm of the White House. Word is that the DHS and MIAC reports came straight from the White House war room, with input from the radical-left Southern Poverty Law Center.
The MIAC and other fusion centers were created to facilitate DHS, DOJ, and state and local law enforcement intelligence-sharing to thwart terrorism, such as the 9/11 attacks on the United States, the Madrid railroad attacks, and Britain’s 7/7 subway and bus attacks — all perpetrated by Islamist radicals.
Is the Obama administration transforming these fusion centers into mechanisms for domestic spying and political strong-arming, the likes of which the United States fought two world wars to eliminate?
Some 58 fusion centers now operate in the United States, with another dozen in the works. In addition to targeting returning military, political third-parties, gun owners, pro-lifers, and those supporting enforcement of U.S. immigration laws, what other groups will the Obama administration add to its enemies list?
Is this the bitter fruit of 9/11? Are law-enforcement fusion centers now to “watch” politically incorrect U.S. citizens?
If the Obama administration is committed to the use of fear tactics in dealing with the loyal opposition, then it gives poignant new meaning to the words of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.”
James Walsh is a former federal prosecutor.
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