A few weeks ago Bernard von NotHaus, purveyor of the gold/silver backed “Liberty Dollar”, was convicted on numerous charges including making, possessing, and selling his own coins, as well as conspiracy against the United States. Western District of North Carolina US attorney Anne Tompkins issued a Department of Justice press release that should raise blaring, high decibel sirens across the entire Union:
Attempts to undermine the legitimate currency of this country are simply a unique form of domestic terrorism, U.S. Attorney Tompkins said in announcing the verdict. While these forms of anti-government activities do not involve violence, they are every bit as insidious and represent a clear and present danger to the economic stability of this country, she added. We are determined to meet these threats through infiltration, disruption, and dismantling of organizations which seek to challenge the legitimacy of our democratic form of government.
The definitions for what is or is not a “terrorist” are ambiguous as defined by the Patriot Act, and have been progressively, hastily and secretively expanded over the course of the last decade. A “terrorist,” it seems, is now anyone who actively engages in an activity – whether it’s violent, peaceful, public or private – perceived to threaten the legitimacy and/or stability of our government.
An eighteen year veteran of law enforcement recently published an article at James Rawles’ Survival Blog detailing how perceptions in law enforcement are being molded to fit the new paradigm. The use of the term “terrorist” to describe a wide variety of crimes, and more alarmingly, the passive behaviors of those who intend to do no harm to the government or the public, is being injected into the broader consciousness and everyday semantics of the American people.
During the past several years, I have witnessed a dramatic shift in the focus of law enforcement training. Law enforcement courses have moved away from a local community focus to a federally dominated model of complete social control. Most training I have attended over the past two years have been sponsored by Department of Homeland Security (DHS), namely the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
No matter what topic the training session concerns, every DHS sponsored course I have attended over the past few years never fails to branch off into warnings about potential domestic terrorists in the community. While this may sound like a valid officer and community safety issue, you may be disturbed to learn how our Federal government describes a typical domestic terrorist.
These federal trainers describe the dangers of extremists and militia groups roaming the community and hiding in plain sight, ready to attack. Officers are instructed how to recognize these domestic terrorists by their behavior, views and common characteristics. State data bases are kept to track suspected domestic terrorists and officers are instructed on reporting procedures to state and federal agencies. The state I work in, like many others, have what is known as a fusion center that compiles a watch list of suspicious people.
So how does a person qualify as a potential domestic terrorist? Based on the training I have attended, here are characteristics that qualify:
- Expressions of libertarian philosophies (statements, bumper stickers)
- Second Amendment-oriented views (NRA or gun club membership, holding a CCW permit)
- Survivalist literature (fictional books such as “Patriots” and “One Second After” are mentioned by name)
- Self-sufficiency (stockpiling food, ammo, hand tools, medical supplies)
- Fear of economic collapse (buying gold and barter items)
- Religious views concerning the book of Revelation (apocalypse, anti-Christ)
- Expressed fears of Big Brother or big government
- Declarations of Constitutional rights and civil liberties
- Belief in a New World Order conspiracy
Reading this law enforcement officer’s account may seem like conjecture, considering that we’re supposed to be living in America, historically the last bastion of freedom in the world. But this isn’t conjecture, nor are these the ravings of a disgruntled law enforcement officer.
Take, for example, the now infamous MIAC Report, from the Missouri Information Analysis Center, which is responsible for collecting incident reports of suspicious activity and analyzing those incidents to build profiles of potential terrorists and terrorist activity:
The MIAC report specifically describes supporters of presidential candidates Ron Paul, Chuck Baldwin, and Bob Barr as militia influenced terrorists and instructs the Missouri police to be on the lookout for supporters displaying bumper stickers and other paraphernalia associated with the Constitutional, Campaign for Liberty, and Libertarian parties.
Police are educated in the document that people are are anti-abortion, own gold, display an assortment of U.S. flags, or even those that talk about the film Zeitgeist, view the police as their enemy and conflates them with domestic terrorists like Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh, Olympic bomber Eric Rudolph and other domestic militia groups who have been charged with plotting terrorist attacks.
Across the entire United States, similar reports are being disseminated to law enforcement, and as incidents of “domestic terrorism” become more broadly prosecuted, reported, and the terminology is further entranced into the daily vocabulary, more people will find themselves the target of probes, investigations and on terrorist watch lists, no-fly lists, and no-work lists.
In a previous report we facetiously opined and calculated that the terrorist watch list may exceed the US population by 2019. Perhaps we weren’t so far off with our assessment.
Given the direction things are going, and the sheer scope of the tentacles of the ever-growing police state, it’s only a matter of time before everyone, regardless of lifestyle choice, preferred reading genre, political leaning, religious conviction, shopping behavior, hobbies and interests, will qualify as a ‘domestic terrorist.’
Be advised: You are now a “person of interest.”