The left, rallying behind a seething hatred of Trump, is tossing around ideas on how best to criminalize their political opponents.
Mike Giglio writes for The Atlantic:
At the moment, there is a significant disparity in the amount of funds, personnel, and law-enforcement tools that America devotes to combatting Islamist versus white-nationalist terrorism. Finding a way to add white nationalists to the list of U.S.-designated foreign terrorist organizations could help address that, Seamus Hughes, the deputy director of the Program on Extremism at George Washington University, told me. It would lower the bar for law enforcement to be able to charge a person for providing material support to white-nationalist terrorists.
— Phillipe Copeland (@GandalfDaBlac) August 8, 2019
How do we identify white nationalists?
There are the obvious candidates—shaved head guys standard bearing Nazi flags (now inseparable from Gadsden and Confederate flags), marching in torchlight processions, or marked for life with Odal rune and Iron Cross tattoos.
After Charlottesville and the so-called “Unite the Right” rally, the corporate media made it look like these people are a national security threat. The SPLC and the ADL would have you believe there are hundreds of thousands of violent racist white evil-doers spread across the country.
But not even the SPLC can give you an accurate count—or even a clear definition—of what and who these terrible people are.
From the Daily Beast:
The Southern Poverty Law Center hasn’t counted the members of the so-called “alt-right.” A press representative tells The Daily Beast that they’re not aware of any nationwide surveys designed to count them.
Even so, the SPLC claims to know the numbers:
However, they estimate that the KKK counts between 5,000 and 8,000 members nationwide. Back in the 1920’s, when cities across the south were erecting monuments to Confederate generals, the Klan had 4 million members. As Roger L. Simon points out, this would be an impressive decrease even if the population of the U.S. hadn’t swelled since the 1920’s. Back then, the Klan constituted about 4 percent of the entire U.S. population. Now, the KKK is near its nadir. That would make them less than 0.003 percent of the population, even on the higher end of the SPLC’s estimate.
In the past, these folks were basically ignored, derided as anachronistic paranoiacs, even laughed at, but now, since the election of Trump, they are everywhere, more lethal and worrisome than the jihadi serial murderers of the Islamic State.
The hysterical claim we face the threat of white terrorism is promoted by the corporate media. For instance, the Daily Beast (a subsidiary of IAC, a transnational media corporation):
Now, before it grows any stronger, should be the time to move against it with the same kind of concerted international focus of attention and resources that were trained on Osama bin Laden. Now is the time for a global war on white nationalist terrorism…
Networks of white nationalist apologists, sympathizers, supporters and facilitators—vital to any terrorist movement—are deeply embedded in the political and social fabric. They are literally the enemy within…
Voters in Western nations have to understand that the fellow travelers of white nationalist terrorism are not acceptable participants in modern democracies, and vote them out, or see that they are prosecuted, or both.
The FBI was instructed by Congress to provide a definition of a white domestic terrorist. It released a bulletin claiming for “the first time [the FBI] has identified fringe conspiracy theories as a domestic terrorist threat,” according to Yahoo News.
This recent intelligence bulletin comes as the FBI is facing pressure to explain who it considers an extremist, and how the government prosecutes domestic terrorists. In recent weeks the FBI director has addressed domestic terrorism multiple times but did not publicly mention this new conspiracy theorist threat.
The FBI is already under fire for its approach to domestic extremism. In a contentious hearing last week before the Senate Judiciary Committee, FBI Director Christopher Wray faced criticism from Democrats who said the bureau was not focusing enough on white supremacist violence.
The FBI—forever motivated to stay relevant and get its chunk of the federal budget— overshot the target.
The new focus on conspiracy theorists appears to fall under the broader category of anti-government extremism. “This is the first FBI product examining the threat from conspiracy theory-driven domestic extremists and provides a baseline for future intelligence products,” the document states.
In other words, if people believe “conspiracy theories”—for instance, the events of 9/11 are misrepresented by the official narrative—they are “extremist” and “not acceptable participants in modern democracies,” and should be “prosecuted” as criminals providing “material support” to white supremacist terrorists more dangerous to America than ISIS.
Meanwhile, conspiracy theories pushed by the state—Russia sabotaged the 2016 election—are elevated to unquestionable gospel truth. If you question this fairy tale, you’re either a Putin dupe or a believer in bad conspiracy theories, those that expose the crimes of government.
How long before this blog and thousands of others are accused of providing “material support” for terrorists? Because “conspiracy theories” are now a national security threat, should I expect to be interviewed by the FBI, surveilled (more than usual), and possibly put in “protective custody” or sent to a mental hospital?
It sure looks like things are going that way.