As early as mid-Nov 2020, Biden was already discussing the need to pass further laws against domestic terrorism. This is interesting since under the 2001 Patriot Act (which was meant to be a temporary enforcement in reaction to 9/11, however, is still in place 19 years later), domestic terrorism is already defined as;
“activities that (A) involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the U.S. or of any state; (B) appear to be intended (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) to influence the policy of government by intimidation or coercion; or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and (C) occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the U.S.”
So, the question begs, what else needs to be added to the Patriot Act, which was recognised at the time of its enforcement as something that should only be temporary since it was understood that it infringed upon civil liberties? Come to think of it, why is the Patriot Act still in place, which allows for the indefinite continuation of human rights violations such as warrantless wiretapping; illegal torture, kidnapping, and detention; mass surveillance; government secrecy; Real ID; no-fly list; political spying; abuse of material witness statutes; and attacks on academic freedom?
As Glenn Greenwald wrote in his formidable paper The New Domestic War on Terror is Coming, “what needs to be criminalized that is not already a crime?”, keeping in mind that as of June 2020, the United States has the highest prisoner rate in the world, followed by El Salvador, Turkmenistan, Thailand and Palau.
Well, the answer is apparently simple and as always for our own good. We have come to a point in time where the enemy is not some radicalized ideology, it is not some foreign despot, it is not even the threat of war (whether it be economic, cyber or nuclear), but rather it is ourselves. We, the people, are the new enemies of the State.
You may protest “Not I! I am a model citizen! I pay my taxes on time, I am never late or call in sick for work, I make sure to be up-to-date with the newest ‘woke’ revelations and I don’t engage with anything outside of the mainstream matrix during my free-time.”
People such as yourself think, that when the Biden Administration is calling for tougher laws against domestic terrorism, that it is obviously meant for the ‘other guy,’ those uneducated bigots who are screaming at the top of their lungs “Treason!” and inciting what we are told to be forms of ‘insurrection,’ all in the name of the archaic ideas of ‘patriotism’ and the ‘U.S. Constitution.’
You, unlike so many others, have no problem recognising that the U.S. Constitution is actually part of the problem, that by the standards used today, the U.S. Constitution is itself responsible for ‘inciting violence’ and thus guilty of domestic terrorism, and thus needs to be revoked.
But you see… that’s just not good enough.
Though you are well on your way to becoming a model citizen in the 21st century, you still have a little ways to go. It is for this reason that a guide to 21st century Newspeak has been recently released to make sure that well-intentioned citizens like yourself are fully informed of what is required of you in terms of appropriate behaviour, as well as appropriate thoughts, and though this will take a little more time, appropriate instincts.
Gina Haspel, who was confirmed as director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in May 2018 and held the post until 2021, first attracted controversy over her role as chief of a CIA black site in Thailand in 2002 where so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques” were applied to prisoners.
Gina Haspel, who was the first female director of the CIA from 2018 to 2021, observed a prisoner being subjected to “enhanced interrogation” that included waterboarding at an agency black site, reported The New York Times.
Controlled by the Central Intelligence Agency, such black sites are used by the US government in its War on Terror to detain enemy combatants.
The revelation came in testimony during a hearing in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in May. The pre-trial hearings are part of the drawn-out trial of detainees facing capital charges related to allegations that they conspired in the September 11 terrorist attacks in 2001.
So-called “psychologist” James Elmer Mitchell, who helped to invent and implement into common practice the agency’s interrogation programme, which included rectal feeding, hanging by handcuffs, and waterboarding, testified in relation to events that took place in late 2002. He revealed that along with another CIA contract “psychologist”, John Bruce Jessen, they subjected a Saudi prisoner, Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, to waterboarding at a CIA black site in Thailand.
Nashiri is accused of orchestrating the bombing of the US Navy destroyer USS Cole in 2000, which killed 17 American sailors.
The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed a new bill that would greatly enhance the federal government’s ability to spy on Americans in an alleged effort to combat “domestic” terrorism.
H.R. 350, or the “Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act,” passed by a margin of 222-203. The vote was almost entirely along party lines, with every single House Democrat and a lone House Republican– the reprehensible RINO Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois– voting to approve the measure.
The proposal would reportedly create “domestic terrorism offices” within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Department of Justice (DOJ), and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), according to The Hill. The offices would be tasked with “monitoring and scrutinizing potential terror activity,” with a heavy emphasis on terror activity deemed motivated by “white supremacist” or “neo-Nazi” sentiments.
Democrats have predictably framed the bill as a necessary response to the mass shooting perpetrated by an avowed white supremacist at a Buffalo, New York, grocery store last week. The perpetrator, however, characterized himself online as being in the “mild-moderate-authoritarian Left category.”
Many Republicans have slammed the bill as a frightening example of government overreach. Texas Republican Rep. Chip Roy, for example, said the bill constitutes the “empowerment of the federal bureaucracy to target Americans.” He added, “This is nothing more than empowering the federal government to police thought and speech in the United States of America, and we should oppose it roundly.”
The National School Boards Association (NSBA) admitted Friday to colluding with senior White House officials to develop a letter asking the federal government to investigate concerned parents speaking at school board meetings as “domestic terrorists.”
The admission comes after an internal review, which was prompted by significant backlash to the letter that led Attorney General Merrick Garland to sic the FBI on parents and use “counterterrorism tools” to investigate them.
Parents speaking at school board meetings across the country were primarily outraged by the revelations that their children were being indoctrinated with critical race and queer theories, as well as the draconian coronavirus policies that masked children and shut down schools, leading to significant learning loss and other developmental stunting.
NSBA investigators placed the blame for the letter — from their end — almost entirely on Chip Slaven, who at the time was the Interim CEO and Executive Director of the organization. Slaven worked closely with White House Senior Advisor to the President Mary C. Wall, who “had advanced knowledge of the planned Letter and its specific contents and interacted with Mr. Slaven regarding the Letter during its drafting,” according to the findings of the inquiry.
Democrat President Joe Biden is reportedly set to remove five extremist groups from the official Foreign Terrorist Organization list.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken reportedly claimed in a notification to Congress that each of the organizations is now defunct.
“The groups include Basque Fatherland and Liberty, also known as ETA; Aum Shinrikyo, a Japanese doomsday cult; Kahane Kach, a radical Orthodox Jewish group, as well as two Islamic groups, the Mujahideen Shura Council in the Environs of Jerusalem, and Gama’a al-Islamiyya,” Fox News reported.
“The Biden administration dragged out briefings about this for months, then went radio silent, then quietly rushed it through hoping no one would notice until it was a done deal,” a senior Republican congressional aide told the network. “Republicans on the Hill believe this was a dress rehearsal for trying to remove terrorism sanctions on the IRGC.”
The move comes as Biden is reportedly considering lifting the Foreign Terrorist Organization designation on Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in exchange for a public commitment from Iran that they will play nice in the region.
During the pandemic, police departments across the country decided that now would be a great time to acquire armored tanks. And the reasons they use to justify those purchases are infuriating.
What started out as a ludicrous reason by police in Juneau, Alaska to justify purchasing a Lenco Armored Vehicle BearCat G3, has turned into a dubious campaign used by police across the country.
Eight days ago, the Juneau Empire reported how city officials thought that if the Juneau Police Department changed the paint color of their armored tank, the public would be more willing to accept it.
“It can’t look like what we see in these pictures here,” Assembly member Christine Woll said. “It’s a small thing, but I think it helps people understand what’s coming toward them in that moment,” Woll said.
After receiving startled reactions from the public, the police department claimed that they needed a tank to protect the public from extremist protests.
“The BearCat is a customizable all-steel armored vehicle that accommodates up to 12 fully-equipped officers, and used by police departments and other agencies for everything from rescues in difficult-to-access remote areas to ‘extremist’ protests where gunfire and other threats are present.”
Using the threat of “extremist” protests as a reason to purchase an armored tank is about as absurd as it gets. Or so I thought.
The Juneau police also claimed to need an armored tank to respond to landslides and avalanches.
“The Juneau Police Department envisions using the BearCat to respond to natural disasters such as landslides and avalanches where road access is impossible for existing vehicles, as well as high-threat situations such as evacuating people from neighborhoods while under gunfire.”
Which excuse is more preposterous? I am not sure, but I think it is probably the first: protecting the public from extremist protests. A close second, is needing tanks to respond to landslides and avalanches which stretches law enforcement’s credulity to absurd lengths.
Republican Reps. Jim Jordan (OH) and Mike Johnson (LA) sent a letter to the US Attorney General claiming that whistleblowers have come forward and revealed that the FBI has labeled dozens of investigations into parents who protested schools’ COVID policies with a threat tag, created by the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division, despite Merrick Garland having previously claimed that it never happened.
In September, The National School Boards Association (NBSA) sent a letter to the Biden administration comparing parents who protested school’s COVID policies to domestic terrorists. The Justice Department issued a memo five days later directing the FBI to investigate threats to school boards.
According to the letter written by Jordan and Johnson on Wednesday, an internal email from the FBI’s criminal and counterterrorism divisions instructed agents to label all investigations and assessments of threats directed specifically at education officials with the threat tag “EDUOFFICIALS.”
Jordan and Johnson wrote that the whistleblower claimed that the FBI opened investigations with the EDUOFFICIALS label in “every region of the country,” on “all types of educational settings.”
The congressmen cited multiple examples where someone reported a parent, or an elected official, using the FBI’s National Threat Operations Center and compared the center to a “snitch-line” for tips about parents at school board meetings.
One of the psychologists paid tens of millions of dollars by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency to oversee the interrogation of prisoners in the so-called War on Terror provided new details on Monday about the torture of a Guantánamo Bay detainee at CIA “black site” in Thailand.
The New York Times reports James E. Mitchell told a military judge during a pretrial hearing at Guantánamo that Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri—a Saudi national facing possible execution for allegedly masterminding the deadly 2000 bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen—broke quickly under torture and became so obedient that he would crawl into a cramped confinement box before guards ordered him to do so.
Initially, guards had to force al-Nashiri into the box. But according to Mitchell, the prisoner “liked being in the box” and would “get in and close it himself.”
Annie W. Morgan, a former Air Force defense attorney who is a member of al-Nashiri’s legal team, told the Times that when she heard Mitchell’s testimony,
“I got the image of crate-training a dog and became nauseous.”
“That was the goal of the program, to create a sense of learned helplessness and to become completely dependent upon and submissive to his captors,” she added, referencing a tactic taught in U.S. torture programs and documents dating back to the 1950s.
Gail Helt, a former CIA analyst who advocates Guantánamo’s closure, tweeted, “Imagine the hell Mr. Nashiri experienced outside of that box that made him prefer being inside it.”