Profiling And Criminalizing Political Dissent

by William F. Jasper

Friday, 20 March 2009 21:51

A recent report issued through the Missouri State Highway Patrol is stirring alarm among citizens and some elected officials that Christians, political conservatives, and opponents of unconstitutional government action are being targeted for intimidation and harassment — or worse. The drafters of the report clearly are attempting to create in the minds of law-enforcement personnel an association between violent “right-wing extremists” and the millions of law-abiding Americans who oppose gun control, the United Nations, the Federal Reserve System, the income tax, illegal immigration, and abortion.

The eight-page report entitled “The Modern Militia Movement” and dated February 20 also specifically mentions by name Congressman Ron Paul (R-Texas), who ran for president in the 2008 Republican Party primaries, and third-party candidates Bob Barr and Chuck Baldwin. The clear implication is that people sporting bumper stickers or literature related to these candidates should be viewed as potential threats that view all law enforcement as “the enemy.”

After listing 18 incidents of “noteworthy militia activity” from 1995 through 2008, some of which involved bombings or armed confrontations with law enforcement, the report states:

You are the Enemy: The militia subscribes to an antigovernment and NWO [New World Order] mind set, which creates a threat to law enforcement officers. They view the military, National Guard, and law enforcement as a force that will confiscate their firearms and place them in FEMA concentration camps. (Bold emphasis in original.)

The report, issued by the Missouri Information and Analysis Center (MIAC), a branch of the state’s Highway Patrol, then states:

Militia members most commonly associate with 3rd party political groups. It is not uncommon for militia members to display Constitutional Party, Campaign for Liberty, or Libertarian material. These members are usually supporters of former Presidential Candidate [sic]: Ron Paul, Chuck Baldwin, and Bob Barr.

Chuck Baldwin is the founder and pastor of Crossroad Baptist Church in Pensacola, Florida, as well as a radio talk-show host and newspaper/Internet columnist. In 2008, he was the Constitution Party’s candidate for president of the United States. In a March 17 response to the MIAC report, he stated:

Do you not see how dangerous this kind of slanderous labeling can become? It could affect your flight status when you try to board an airline. It could affect your application for sensitive jobs. It could affect your adjudication before a court or judge. It could make you a target for aggressive law enforcement strategies. It could affect your being able to obtain a passport. It could affect one's ability to purchase a firearm or receive a State concealed weapon permit.

This is very serious business! We are not talking about private opinions. We are talking about law enforcement agencies. And remember, most law enforcement agencies share these types of reports; therefore, how many other state police agencies have similar reports floating around? Probably several. Plus, how do we know that this report was not influenced by federal police agencies? We don't.

Rest assured, I do not plan to take this lying down. As one who is personally named in the above report, I demand a public retraction and apology from the MIAC and Missouri State Police. I can tell you that my family is extremely distraught that their husband, father, and grandfather would be labeled in such a manner. I am also not ruling out legal action. In addition, I am discussing an appropriate response with Ron Paul and Bob Barr.

Missouri State Representative Jim Guest finds the MIAC report “very disturbing” and has requested a meeting with the agency. “I was rather skeptical at first as to whether it was even a genuine report,” he told The New American. “I thought it could be an Internet hoax.” However, the Highway Patrol soon verified for him that the report was authentic. In a press release/editorial issued March 17, Rep. Guest denounced the report as “profiling to the highest degree to identify citizens of this country who display bumper stickers or other labels as being part of a modern militia movement.”

Rep. Guest is the author of a bill in the Missouri state legislature to oppose the Federal Real ID Act, which establishes a national drivers license and an enormously invasive national database. According to Guest, 26 states have passed some sort of anti-Real ID legislation and 11 states have successfully changed state law to reject Real ID provisions. Guest sees the MIAC report as part of the organized “movement to stop our rejection of the Real ID Act and pending state legislation to protect our 2nd amendment rights.”

“This assault on Americans by profiling us as militant instead of profiling those who are here illegally, or terrorists, amazes me,” says Rep. Guest. However, he vows that he “will not be intimidated” by these tactics.

Feeling heat from the public outcry over the MIAC report, Missouri law-enforcement officials have been trying to downplay the document.

Lt. John Hotz of the Missouri State Highway Patrol told the Columbia Tribune that the document is not intended to promote political profiling. “All this is an educational thing,” Hotz said of the report. “Troopers have been shot by members of groups, so it’s our job to let law enforcement officers know what the trends are in the modern militia movement.”

The Columbia Tribune report continues: "Hotz said using those or similar factors to determine whether someone could be a terrorist is not profiling. He said people who display signs or bumper stickers from such groups are not in danger of harassment from police."

Rep. Guest disagrees, pointing out that because the report wrongfully mixes ordinary patriots in with violent organizations and identifies legitimate political beliefs with a “mindset” that “creates a threat to law enforcement officers,” there is the very real danger that some officers will overreact. This could result in violations of citizens’ rights, or, even worse, lethal confrontations.

Rick Shinn knows from personal experience that the kind of law-enforcement mentality fostered by reports like the MIAC report can lead to undesirable consequences. News of the MIAC Milita report took him back, he told The New American, to an incident a little over 10 years ago, when the Clinton administration was engaged in an eerily similar attempt to gin up an anti-militia, anti-patriot attitude in the law-enforcement community.

Shinn, a videographer, carpenter, and Internet web designer, is a resident/property owner of Incline Village, Nevada, on the shore of beautiful Lake Tahoe. One day while enjoying the Tahoe sunshine on the drive of a private club of which he is a member, he was surrounded by four county sheriff’s vehicles and six or seven officers. It was clear, he said, that they had been attracted to him by his bumper stickers.

“One of them [the bumper stickers] was ‘Get US Out of the United Nations,’ and the other one was about the Second Amendment and the right to keep and bear arms,” he recalled to The New American. “One of the officers who came up said ‘Oh, looks like we’ve got one of those constitutionalists here, eh?’ And I responded, ‘Aren’t all Americans supposed to be constitutionalists?’”

According to Shinn, they detained him for about 45 minutes while they searched his van — without probable cause, without his permission, and without a search warrant. “I didn’t have anything illegal, so they didn’t find anything to arrest me for or ticket me for,” he recalls. Still, it was a very unsettling experience. There was no question in his mind that he had been targeted because of his political bumper stickers, which are a form of expression that is supposed to be protected under the First Amendment. “That was right at the time,” he notes “when Bill Clinton and [Attorney General] Janet Reno, and [FBI Director] Louis Freeh were issuing warnings to local police to be on guard against ‘anti-government’ militias and other ‘dangerous’ patriots.”

Those Clinton-era warnings culminated in the FBI’s 1999 “Project Megiddo” report (see "Criminalizing Dissent" and the Project Megiddo report), which was distributed to law-enforcement agencies in anticipation of millennium mayhem by “right-wing extremists.” Pushing the memory refresh button on the Clinton/Reno/Freeh jihad against “anti-government, right-wing extremists” could prove to be a very useful exercise at this juncture, as increasing evidence points to an earnest renewal of that jihad under the Obama/Eric Holder/Robert Mueller regime.

According to Lt. Hotz in the Columbia Tribune story, the “MIAC, which opened in 2005, is a ‘fusion center’ that combines resources from the federal Department of Homeland Security and other agencies.” It might more accurately be called a “confusion center,” since it appears, at least in this case, to be sowing confusion, and particularly the brand of confusion provided by the federal government’s favorite left-wing extremists at the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), led by millionaire lawyer/activist Morris Dees.

The MIAC Militia report specifically mentions the SPLC twice, but the report reads like a copy-and-paste job from the SPLC’s infamous Intelligence Report, which are notorious for smearing political conservatives, constitutionalists, pro-lifers, and Christian organizations by referring to them as “hate groups” and including them in lists and articles alongside violent and repulsive groups such as the Ku Klux Klan, Neo-Nazis, and skinheads.

The MIAC report’s bullet points on “noteworthy militia activity” appear to be condensed from the SPLC’s Intelligence Report entitled “Terror From the Right,” and the MIAC authors have adopted the SPLC’s terminology, as well its practice of conflating odious and lawless groups with those that are principled and law-abiding.

The SPLC’s “Hate Group Map,” for instance, lists “926 active hate groups in the United States in 2008.” As usual, most of the groups listed are rather small clusters of racist and violent-prone gangsters, such as the White Aryan Resistance, Aryan Nations, the National Socialist Skinhead Front, and the various KKK factions. However, in typical fashion, the SPLC has mixed in other respected organizations that have nothing in common with these certifiable hate groups. For example, Christian groups such as Chalcedon Foundation, Traditional Values Coalition, Abiding Truth Ministries, Westboro Baptist Church (of Topeka, Kan.), the Illinois Family Institute, and the Family Research Institute are included on the “Hate Map” because the SPLC has labeled them “Anti-Gay.”

Likewise, Tradition in Action and The Fatima Crusader/International Fatima Rosary Crusade are included, described by the SPLC as “Radical Traditionalist Catholic.” Groups concerned about the very real crisis involving illegal immigration are falsely labeled as “Anti-Immigrant.” The groups listed include American Patrol/Voice of Citizens Together, Save Our State, California Coalition for Immigration Reform, and American Immigration Control Foundation/Americans for Immigration Control. It labels the VDARE Foundation (publisher of the VDARE Internet site focusing on immigration problems) and the Fitzgerald Griffin Foundation (publisher of Joseph Sobran’s columns and newsletter) as “White Nationalist,” a category the SPLC then associates with “Ku Klux Klan, neo-Confederate, neo-Nazi, racist skinhead, and Christian Identity.”

Similarly, on its web page, “Active Patriot Groups in 2005,” the SPLC lists law-abiding, constitutional organizations such as the John Birch Society, the Constitution Party, the Free Enterprise Society, the Second Amendment Committee, and the American Independent Party alongside various militia groups, bracketing them with articles bearing titles such as: “Hate Group Numbers Up 33%”; “Going Undercover to Target Violent Racists”; “Former FBI Agent Infiltrates Hate Groups”; and “Neo-Nazi Youth’s Rampage Ends in Death.”

To protect itself, the SPLC provides this faux disclaimer: “Generally, Patriot groups define themselves as opposed to the ‘New World Order’ or advocate or adhere to extreme antigovernment doctrines. Listing here does not imply that the groups themselves advocate or engage in violence or other criminal activities, or are racist.”

The “disclaimer” notwithstanding, it is obviously a major purpose of the “Active Patriot Groups” list, like the “Hate Group Map,” to smear legitimate, non-violent, law-abiding groups with whom SPLC disagrees.

The SPLC has been involved for many years in transferring its political bias into federal, state, and local law-enforcement agencies through federal programs such as the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC). The SPLC’s web page on “Law Enforcement Training” boasts:

The Intelligence Project regularly conducts in-person trainings for local, state and federal law enforcement officers by request. We focus on the history, background, leaders and activities of far-right extremists in the U.S….

Intelligence Project staff have been involved in the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center's hate and bias crime "train-the-trainer" program since its inception in 1992. FLETC trains personnel for more than 75 federal law enforcement agencies and provides services for local, state and international agencies.

FLETC invited Intelligence Project personnel to help develop and write courses for a training program to improve the recognition, reporting and investigating of hate crimes. A member of the Intelligence Project staff taught one of the program's first pilot classes in New Jersey in 1994 and continues to instruct FLETC classes today.

The same SPLC web page features a photo of Illinois State Police regional commander Bill Davis shaking hands with and thanking SPLC Intelligence Project staffer Joe Roy for a training presentation.

Obvious questions arise: has Illinois produced a report similar to the MIAC report? How many other state and local law-enforcement agencies have produced similar reports? To what degree was the SPLC, FLETC, the Department of Homeland Security, the Justice Department, and/or the FBI involved in the production of the MIAC report? After repeated calls to the Missouri State Highway Patrol and MIAC, I received a return call from public affairs spokesman Sgt. Jason Clark. Sgt. Clark said he could assure me “one hundred percent” that the contents of the MIAC report “originated locally and not from the DHS or any other federal agency.” As to possible SPLC involvement, Sgt. Clark said he was sure that the SPLC had not conducted any training for the Missouri Highway Patrol. However, he couldn’t rule out SPLC involvement and/or input into the MIAC report, stating, “I’m ignorant as to the sources of the information used.” He provided me with additional contacts within the chain of command to request that information, and The New American is following up on that line of investigation.


Preparing For Civil Unrest In America

Legislation To Establish Internment Camps On US Military Bases

by Michel Chossudovsky

The Economic and Social Crisis

The financial meltdown has unleashed a latent and emergent social crisis across the United States. What is at stake is the fraudulent confiscation of lifelong savings and pension funds, the appropriation of tax revenues to finance the trillion dollar "bank bailouts", which ultimately serve to line the pockets of the richest people in America.

This economic crisis is in large part the result of financial manipulation and outright fraud to the detriment of entire populations, leading to a renewed wave of corporate bankruptcies, mass unemployment and poverty. The criminalization of the global financial system, characterized by a "Shadow Banking" network has resulted in the centralization of bank power and an unprecedented concentration of private wealth.

Obama's "economic stimulus" package and budget proposals contribute to a further process of concentration and centralization of bank power, the cumulative effects of which will eventually result in large scale corporate, bankruptcies, a new wave of foreclosures not to mention fiscal collapse and the downfall of State social programs.

The cumulative decline of real economic activity backlashes on employment and wages, which in turn leads to a collapse in purchaisng power. The proposed "solution" under the Obama administration contributes to exacerbating rather than alleviating social inequalities and the process of wealth concentration.

The Protest Movement

When people across America, whose lives have been shattered and destroyed, come to realize the true face of the global "free market" system, the legitimacy of Wall Street, the Federal Reserve and the US administration will be challenged. A latent protest movement directed against the seat of economic and political power is unfolding.

How this process will occur is hard to predict. All sectors of American society are potentially affected: wage earners, small, medium and even large businesses, farmers, professionals, federal, State and municipal employees, students, teachers, health workers, and unemployed. Protests will initially emerge from these various sectors. There is, however, at this stage, no organized national resistance movement directed against the administration's economic and financial agenda.

Obama's populist rhetoric conceals the true nature of macro-economic policy. Acting on behalf of Wall Street, the administration's economic package, which includes close to a trillion dollar "aid" package for the financial services industry, coupled with massive austerity measures, contributes to precipitating America into a bottomless crisis.

"Orwellian Solution" to the Great Depression: Curbing Civil Unrest

At this particular juncture, there is no economic recovery program in sight. The Washington-Wall Street consensus prevails. There are no policies, no alternatives formulated from within the political and economic system. What is the way out? How will the US government face an impending social catastrophe?

The solution is to curb social unrest. The chosen avenue, inherited from the outgoing Bush administration is the reinforcement of the Homeland Security apparatus and the militarization of civilian State institutions. The outgoing administration has laid the groundwork. Various pieces of "anti-terrorist" legislation (including the Patriot Acts) and presidential directives have been put in place since 2001, largely using the pretext of the "Global War on Terrorism."

Homeland Security's Internment Camps

Directly related to the issue of curbing social unrest, cohesive system of detention camps is also envisaged, under the jurisdiction of the Department of Homeland Security and the Pentagon.

A bill entitled the National Emergency Centers Establishment Act (HR 645) was introduced in the US Congress in January. It calls for the establishment of six national emergency centers in major regions in the US to be located on existing military installations.


The stated purpose of the "national emergency centers" is to provide "temporary housing, medical, and humanitarian assistance to individuals and families dislocated due to an emergency or major disaster." In actuality, what we are dealing with are FEMA internment camps. HR 645 states that the camps can be used to "meet other appropriate needs, as determined by the Secretary of Homeland Security."

There has been virtually no press coverage of HR 645. These "civilian facilities" on US military bases are to be established in cooperation with the US Military. Modeled on Guantanamo, what we are dealing with is the militarization of FEMA internment facilities.

Once a person is arrested and interned in a FEMA camp located on a military base, that person would in all likelihood, under a national emergency, fall under the de facto jurisdiction of the Military: civilian justice and law enforcement including habeas corpus would no longer apply.

HR 645 bears a direct relationship to the economic crisis and the likelihood of mass protests across America. It constitutes a further move to militarize civilian law enforcement, repealing the Posse Comitatus Act.

In the words of Rep. Ron Paul:

"...the fusion centers, militarized police, surveillance cameras and a domestic military command is not enough... Even though we know that detention facilities are already in place, they now want to legalize the construction of FEMA camps on military installations using the ever popular excuse that the facilities are for the purposes of a national emergency. With the phony debt-based economy getting worse and worse by the day, the possibility of civil unrest is becoming a greater threat to the establishment. One need only look at Iceland, Greece and other nations for what might happen in the United States next."

The proposed internment camps should be seen in relation to the broader process of militarization of civilian institutions. The construction of internment camps predates the introduction of HR 645 (Establishment of Emergency Centers) in January 2009. There are, according to various (unconfirmed) reports, some 800 FEMA prison camps in different regions of the U.S. Moreover, since the 1980s, the US military has developed "tactics, techniques and procedures" to suppress civilian dissent, to be used in the eventuality of mass protests (United States Army Field Manual 19-15 under Operation Garden Plot, entitled "Civil Disturbances" was issued in 1985)

In early 2006, tax revenues were allocated to building modern internment camp facilities. In January 2006, Kellogg Brown and Roots, which at the time was a subsidiary of Halliburton, received a $385 million contract from the Department of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE): "The contract, which is effective immediately [January 2006], provides for establishing temporary detention and processing capabilities to augment existing ICE Detention and Removal Operations (DRO) Program facilities in the event of an emergency influx of immigrants into the U.S., or to support the rapid development of new programs...

The contract may also provide migrant detention support to other U.S. Government organizations in the event of an immigration emergency, as well as the development of a plan to react to a national emergency, such as a natural disaster. (KBR, 24 January 2006, emphasis added)

The stated objectives of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) are to: "protect national security and uphold public safety by targeting criminal networks and terrorist organizations that seek to exploit vulnerabilities in our immigration system, in our financial networks, along our border, at federal facilities and elsewhere in order to do harm to the United States. The end result is a safer, more secure America"

The US media is mum on the issue of the internment camps on US soil. While casually acknowledging the multimillion dollar contract granted to Halliburton's subsidiary, the news reports largely focused their attention on possible "cost overruns" (similar to those which occurred with KBR in Iraq).

What is the political intent and purpose of these camps? The potential use of these internment facilities to detain American citizens under a martial law situation are not an object of media debate or discussion.

Combat Units Assigned to the Homeland

In the last months of the Bush administration, prior to the November 2008 presidential elections, the Department of Defense ordered the recall of the 3rd Infantry’s 1st Brigade Combat Team from Iraq. The relocation of a combat unit from the war theater to domestic front is an integral part of the Homeland Security agenda. The BCT was assigned to assist in law enforcement activities within the US.

The BCT combat unit was attached to US Army North, the Army's component of US Northern Command (USNORTHCOM). The 1st BCT and other combat units would be called upon to perform specific military functions in the case of civil unrest: The 1st BCT’s soldiers also will learn how to use “the first ever nonlethal package that the Army has fielded,” 1st BCT commander Col. Roger Cloutier said, referring to crowd and traffic control equipment and nonlethal weapons designed to subdue unruly or dangerous individuals without killing them.

Under the proposed withdrawal of US forces from Iraq under the Obama administration, one expects that other combat units will be brought home from the war theater and reassigned in the United States. The evolving national security scenario is characterized by a mesh of civilian and military institutions:

-Army combat units working with civilian law enforcement, with the stated mission to curb "social unrest".

- the establishment of new internment camps under civilian jurisdiction located on US military facilities.

The FEMA internment camps are part of the Continuity of Government (COG), which would be put in place in the case of martial law. The internment camps are intended to "protect the government" against its citizens, by locking up protesters as well as political activists who might challenge the legitimacy of the Administration's national security, economic or military agenda.

Spying on Americans: The Big Brother Data Bank

Related to the issue of internment and mass protests, how will data on American citizens be collected? How will individuals across America be categorized? What are the criteria of the Department of Homeland Security?

In a 2004 report of the Homeland Security Council entitled Planning Scenarios, pertaining to the defense of the Homeland, the following categories of potential "conspirators" were identified:

"foreign [Islamic] terrorists" ,

"domestic radical groups", [antiwar and civil rights groups]

"state sponsored adversaries" ["rogue states", "unstable nations"]

"disgruntled employees" [labor and union activists].

In June of last year, the Bush administration issued a National Security Presidential Directive (NSPD 59- HSPD 24) entitled Biometrics for Identification and Screening to Enhance National Security. Adopted without public debate or Congressional approval, its relevant procedures are far-reaching. They are related to the issue of civil unrest. They are also part of the logic behind the establishment of FEMA internment camps under HR 645. .

NSPD 59 (Biometrics for Identification and Screening to Enhance National Security) goes far beyond the narrow issue of biometric identification, it recommends the collection and storage of "associated biographic" information, meaning information on the private lives of US citizens, in minute detail, all of which will be "accomplished within the law":

"The contextual data that accompanies biometric data includes information on date and place of birth, citizenship, current address and address history, current employment and employment history, current phone numbers and phone number history, use of government services and tax filings. Other contextual data may include bank account and credit card histories, plus criminal database records on a local, state and federal level. The database also could include legal judgments or other public records documenting involvement in legal disputes, child custody records and marriage or divorce records."

The directive uses 9/11 and the "Global War on Terrorism" as an all encompassing justification to wage a witch hunt against dissenting citizens, establishing at the same time an atmosphere of fear and intimidation across the land. It also calls for the integration of various data banks as well as inter-agency cooperation in the sharing of information, with a view to eventually centralizing the information on American citizens.

In a carefully worded text, NSPD 59 "establishes a framework" to enable the Federal government and its various police and intelligence agencies to: "use mutually compatible methods and procedures in the collection, storage, use, analysis, and sharing of biometric and associated biographic and contextual information of individuals in a lawful and appropriate manner, while respecting their information privacy and other legal rights under United States law."

The NSPD 59 Directive recommends: "actions and associated timelines for enhancing the existing terrorist-oriented identification and screening processes by expanding the use of biometrics". The procedures under NSPD 59 are consistent with an earlier June 2005 decision which consisted in creating a "domestic spy service", under the auspices of the FBI.

Working hand in glove with Homeland Security (DHS), the proposed "domestic intelligence department" would combine FBI counterterrorism, intelligence and espionage operations into a single service.

The new department operating under the auspices of the FBI would have the authority to "seize the property of people deemed to be helping the spread of WMD": They would be able to "spy on people in America suspected of terrorism or having critical intelligence information, even if they are not suspected of committing a crime." (NBC Tonight).