Domestic Terrorists

How many times in the last five years have you heard that termed used? Not only is it a derogatory term in its usage, but the context in which it is used EVERY time it’s uttered is also to paint a group of people as being vile, insensitive, uneducated, and incapable of comprehension of REAL truth. Now we learn that those who number among the Far-Right are really nothing more than “Domestic Terrorists.”

The Intercept justified Democrats’ demands for, and the “need” for, the determination of people identified as “Far Left” as Domestic Terrorists:

“The events of January 6 may be the defining moment of Donald Trump’s presidency. But the siege was also the culmination of years of warnings about the the growing threat posed by far-right extremists. An October report from the Department of Homeland Security, for example, said that ‘white supremacist extremists will ‘remain the most persistent and lethal threat in the Homeland.'”

In the shadow of the January 6 terror on Capitol Hill, emotion has taken over as the justification for targeting a small group of crazy people. Make no mistake; there ARE people on the Far-Right who are extremists. And, apparently, some involved in the storming of the Capitol number among those. But, isn’t it strange that with the FBI’s facial recognition software, their identifying several hundred of those involved, and several arrests have been made, we haven’t seen any parade of the faces of those. Did Far-Right Domestic Terrorists execute those “domestic terrorist attacks?”

Who Numbers Among the Far-Right that Might Be Domestic Terrorists?

That answer is obvious: The Ku Klux Klan, Proud Boys, White Supremacists, and some Far-Right militia members. No doubt, numbered among those who affiliate with these and other such groups are dangerous. No one should diminish that in any way. However, when put in the context of the travesties perpetrated by internal enemies in America and the horrors that are being foisted on our citizens, I struggle to find the atrocities committed by members of these Far-Right factions that could justify the FBI, DOJ, and state and local police committing the necessary resources to battle such a small group of people that commit a pittance of criminal actions as do Domestic Terrorists.

The Democrat Media, when questioned for the names and instances of Far-Right terrorists, always mention Dylann Roof. Dylann Storm Roof is an American white supremacist, neo-Nazi, and mass murderer convicted for perpetrating the Charleston church shooting on June 17, 2015, in the U.S. state of South Carolina. With NO intention of minimizing the horrors of Roof’s actions that day, there is no reasonable justification to label him as anything other than what he is: a crazed mass murderer.

In November, the Wall Street Journal reported that an informal group of advisers had suggested that Biden step up efforts to counter extremism, including by creating a White House post and an interagency task force to oversee efforts to counter “domestic extremism.” On his campaign website, Biden promised to “work for a ‘Domestic Terrorism’ law that respects free speech and civil liberties, while making the same commitment to root out ‘Domestic Terrorism’ as we have to stop international terrorism.” A transition spokesperson told The Intercept that Biden has not yet taken a position on whether “Domestic Terrorism” should be a federal crime or what a statute should look like and declined to comment further.

In an address, while announcing his nomination of Merrick Garland for attorney general, Biden called members of the mob that stormed the Capitol “insurrectionists” and “Domestic Terrorists,” and said that Trump had incited an “all-out assault on our institutions of democracy.”

What Is Domestic Terrorism?

In U.S. terrorism prosecutions, the defendant isn’t charged with “Domestic Terrorism” or “international terrorism” directly. In fact, U.S. law didn’t have a definition of “Domestic Terrorism” until October 2001. Most terrorism prosecutions rely on broadly construed charges of “material support” for international terror groups, even if the defendants have few direct ties to those networks.

Sayfullo Saipov, for example, an Uzbek immigrant who drove a truck down a bike lane in downtown Manhattan, killing eight people, was charged with providing “material support” to ISIS after claiming its cause as his own, despite having no other ties to the group.

But the “material support” provisions work differently for domestic terror acts because the U.S. government doesn’t designate domestic organizations, even those like the neo-Nazi Atomwaffen Division, ANTIFA, or Black Lives Matter, as terrorist groups. Instead, terrorism law can be used to charge someone for providing material support for certain offenses, more than 50 of which can be domestic. They include killing a federal officer, using weapons of mass destruction, and setting off explosives, but not many mass shootings.

Although terrorism laws can apply to right-wing violence, a 2019 review by The Intercept found that as a matter of practice, they rarely are. The review found that since the 9/11 attacks, 268 right-wing extremists have been prosecuted in federal court, but Justice Department prosecutors only used anti-terrorism statutes in 38 of those cases. That formed a sharp double standard with international terrorism prosecutions, in which such laws were used more than 400 times.

Existing law is a difficult and arbitrary patchwork that makes it hard to prosecute certain acts, like politically motivated mass shootings, under terrorism laws. When someone like (Tree of Life synagogue shooter) Robert Bowers kills 18 people in a Pittsburgh synagogue, and he’s not considered a “Domestic Terrorist” because he used a handgun and not a weapon of mass destruction, it really points to the absurdity of the law as it exists today. If that were an individual and that act was proven to be inspired by ISIS, they’d be charged with an act of terrorism.

Is There a Benefit to Labeling Anyone as a “Domestic Terrorist?”

Conventional wisdom is that we have federal laws the punish those who commit the crimes committed by whomever during acts of terrorism. As illustrated above, numerous Americans who have participated in such acts have been prosecuted for and paid for their crimes. Many are still paying for those crimes. Knowing that our federal and state law enforcement divisions are aggressively investigating those from the Capitol incursion on January 6, why is there such a dramatic rush to pass a “Domestic Terrorism” law?

U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, as an original cosponsor helped introduce the bipartisan Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act (DTPA) of 2021 to help prevent, respond, and investigate acts of domestic terrorism.

“The attack on the U.S. Capitol earlier this month was the latest example of domestic terrorism, but the threat of domestic terrorism remains very real. We cannot turn a blind eye to it,” Upton said. “The Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act will equip our law enforcement leaders with the tools needed to help keep our homes, families, and communities across the country safe.

The Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act of 2021 would strengthen the federal government’s efforts to prevent, report on, respond to, and investigate acts of domestic terrorism by authorizing offices dedicated to combating this threat; requiring these offices to regularly assess this threat; and providing training and resources to assist state, local, and tribal law enforcement in addressing it.

DTPA would authorize three offices, one each within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Department of Justice (DOJ), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), to monitor, investigate, and prosecute cases of domestic terrorism. The bill also requires these offices to provide Congress with joint biannual reports assessing the state of domestic terrorism threats, with a specific focus on white supremacists.

A specific focus on white supremacists.” In the Congressman’s use of that phrase in his call for such a law, he reveals exactly what benefits there might be for labeling someone as a “Domestic Terrorist:” Political Weaponization.”

As Joe Biden says so often, “Come on, Man!” Every American understands how various politicians use anything they can find as weapons against their political foes. It depends on what emotional events are the latest to happen anywhere in America. Today, any time there’s some demonstration or protest in the streets during which crimes occur, those on the Left will quickly point to “White Supremacists” as the culprits. It makes no difference that after investigations are undertaken and completed if no white supremacists are found to have been involved, that term has been made the “call-sign” for Democrats explanations for all types of violence anywhere in the nation. Rarely are the real culprits called out for their wrongdoing unless they ARE white supremacists.

Think back through the last few years. We’ve watched the devastation, loss of tens of millions of public and private property destroyed, business shuttered, multiple people wounded, and even deaths happen across this nation. We’ve watched ANTIFA, and Black Lives Matter inspired demonstrations and protests that got out of hand that resulted in death and mayhem in places like Portland, Seattle, Minneapolis, Rochester, and even in New York City and Washington D.C. In each of those cases, it was always known who the groups behind those incidents were.

Have you heard of any calls to designate Black Lives Matter or ANTIFA as “Domestic Terrorist” groups?

Should such designations be given?

In closing, let’s look at the answer to that question in a statement made jointly by 151 organizations in a plea to Congress not to expand terrorism-related Legal Authority. In part, that plea stated:

“We urge you to oppose any new domestic terrorism charge, the creation of a list of designated domestic terrorist organizations, or other expansion of existing terrorism-related authorities. We are concerned that a new federal domestic terrorism statute or list would adversely impact civil rights and — as our nation’s long and disturbing history of targeting Black Activists, Muslims, Arabs, and movements for social and racial justice has shown — this new authority could be used to expand racial profiling or be wielded to surveil and investigate communities of color and political opponents in the name of national security. As Acting U.S. Attorney Michael Sherwin for the District of Columbia stated on January 12, 2021 regarding the January 6 insurrection attack on the Capitol, federal prosecutors have many existing laws at their disposal to hold violent white supremacists accountable.”

As noble as this plea is to Congress, it illustrates once again the political weaponization of titles given arbitrarily to groups, and people within those groups, solely as the political weaponization that empowers certain people to label others. In this case, it targets white supremacists and leaves out ANTIFA, BLM, and other groups that are all involved in similar actions.

Joe Biden ran on a platform of Unity: the unity of ALL Americans. It is impossible to unify any group of people while at the same time labeling many within that group as complicit lawbreakers. Biden’s constant calls for unity are, without question, hypocritical. Why? His actions since election day show his objectives are anything BUT the unification of ALL Americans as one group.

A meaningful act of unification for any government official is to find wrong and who wrongdoers are under the existing laws and hold those accountable who participate in any such acts. Has that what Democrats have been doing since January 6? No. Instead, they have almost daily continually targeted a large group of Americans in a growing crescendo of cries for our government to label all conservatives in the nation as parties to white supremacy, violent extremism, and therefore worthy of segregation from the “worthy” and patriotic Americans!

Think that could never happen? Slaves numbered among such a group. 127,000 Japanese-Americans were put in concentration camps for the duration of World War II! Their crime? Being of Japanese descent, and nothing more.

Who is next? Maybe far-right Republicans, Libertarians, and maybe even registered Independents? That cannot happen, right? Those 127,000 Japanese-Americans emigrated to the greatest nation on Earth and the only nation that reached out to immigrants and welcomed them all with open arms: until the “weaponization” of Identity Politics began.

Here’s one word of advice: “Don’t ever say ‘Never’ again.”

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