Here we go again. The FBI and Homeland Security are sounding the alarm bells once again to watch out for “anti-government extremists,” which criteria naturally include conservative dissenters.
Shouldn’t they be more worried about the Occupiers, who have a proven track record for violence?
Patrick Temple-West reports at Reuters:
Anti-government extremists opposed to taxes and regulations pose a growing threat to local law enforcement officers in the United States, the FBI warned on Monday.
These extremists, sometimes known as “sovereign citizens,” believe they can live outside any type of government authority, FBI agents said at a news conference.
The extremists may refuse to pay taxes, defy government environmental regulations and believe the United States went bankrupt by going off the gold standard.
Routine encounters with police can turn violent “at the drop of a hat,” said Stuart McArthur, deputy assistant director in the FBI’s counterterrorism division.
Read more at Reuters
Got that? If you are opposed to paying exorbitant taxes, onerous government regulation, or fiat money, the FBI considers you a potential “extremist” who could “turn violent at the drop of a hat.”
Also on the “suspect” list: people concerned about online privacy:
Being concerned about your online privacy might be a sign that you’re up to no good, says the FBI and the US Department of Justice, via a collection of 25 fliers to be distributed to people working at airports, construction sites, electronic stores, hotels/motels, storage services, financial institutions, and many other places.
Among the fliers is also one aimed at Internet cafe employees and, among others, lists the following behaviors as suspicious:
- being overly concerned about privacy, attempting to shield the screen from view of others
- using anonymizers, portals, or other means to shield IP address
- using encryption or steganography software
- communicating through VOIP or a PC game.
To be fair, the leaflet does include a lot of other suspicious behaviors and notes, at the end, that “it is important to remember that just because someone’s speech, actions, beliefs, appearance, or way of life is different; it does not mean that he or she is suspicious,” but I suspect that will not give much comfort to people who might be flagged as terrorists just because they care about their privacy.
Read more at Help Net Security
If you happen to believe that “the government deliberately is stripping Americans of their freedoms” and ardently support 2nd Amendment rights, you too qualify as a potential danger to society:
A recently published “lexicon” distributed to thousands of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) targets citizens concerned about their Second Amendment rights and the steady encroachment of the federal government, categorizing such as “militia extremists.”
…what drives militia extremism according to DHS now is “belief that the government deliberately is stripping Americans of their freedoms.” It is demonstrated by opposing “many federal and state authorities’ laws and regulations, (particularly those related to firearms ownership).” Would writing about those topics (as I am now) fall under “facilitation”? On its face, it’s hard to see how it could be excluded under DHS’s broad definition.
Another indicator, according to DHS, is that militia extremists “often belong to paramilitary groups,” which would mean that there are “militia extremists” who aren’t part of a militia. So if you oppose federal regulations and support the Second Amendment to the Constitution, and though you don’t actually belong to a militia, you can still be branded a “militia extremist” by your own government, and presumably be targeted by law enforcement agencies.
Read more at PJ Media
Jazz Shaw opines at Hot Air:
Let’s see… people who are unhappy about tax policy, are opposed to excessive environmental regulations.. sound like anyone you know? That final one, though – identifying people who wish to return to the gold standard – seems to be a particularly focused shot at Ron Paul’s followers, particularly given all the headlines he’s getting as a presidential candidate. […]
The agency really needs to give us a bit more to go on here, as Nalle points out. With this “rise of incidents” they manage to cite two men in Arkansas and one in Texas who engaged in gunfights with the police during traffic stops. The rest of the “increase” in cases are, by their own admission, complaints filed against white collar criminals engaged in fraud and/or tax evasion.
When it comes to violence, I think we can all remain firmly on the side of the FBI. If there are any more violent kooks out there building bombs for home use, I certainly want them found. As for the three men noted in the report, if you happen to be the type of person who reacts to a traffic stop by whipping out a gun, the odds are pretty good that you’ve got bigger issues to deal with and are likely several french fries short of a Happy Meal.
One closing thought for you to ponder. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen these reports, and it doubtless won’t be the last. But … is it just me, here, or do they seem to mostly pop up during election years when there’s a Democrat in the White House? Hey… I’m just asking here. No need to send the ATFE over to my private gun range or anything.
FBI Terrorist Alert: Beware of Those Who ‘Reference the Constitution or Bible’
You may be a suspected terrorist if you oppose ‘taxes and regulations’
FBI mounts campaign against “sovereign citizen movement”
Feds on the lookout for “anti-government extremists”
U.S. government now views protesting Americans as terrorists – You’re either with us or against us
Obama to focus on homegrown extremists in new security strategy
White House Highlights Need to Monitor Online ‘Extremism’
Stop Calling the Tea Party Extreme. It Isn’t.