Squaring the Culture




"...and I will make justice the plumb line, and righteousness the level;
then hail will sweep away the refuge of lies,
and the waters will overflow the secret place."
Isaiah 28:17

04/15/2009 (8:46 am)

DHS Extremism Report: Caution/Paranoia

reportcoverextremism

By now you’ve probably heard about the Department of Homeland Security report that Ed Morrissey calls “execrable” and Michelle Malkin calls “a hit job on conservatives.” Dated April 7, 2009, as far as I can tell it was first front-paged by Roger Hedgecock, who provides a link to the .pdf file on his site.

Basically, this report is government-speak alerting law enforcement officers to keep their eyes peeled for right-wingers using fears of the economic downturn, restrictions on weapons ownership, concerns about illegal immigration, and other measures of the Obama administration as tools to recruit to their “extremist” organizations. It does not say that these groups actually plan violent acts — in fact, it’s got virtually no specifics at all, other than the details of the issues they’re concerned about — but it says they might be recruiting based on these issues.

The problem, of course, is that the only specifics in the report detail issues advocacy that pretty much describes the concerns of the mainstream right. In other words, the Obama administration’s DHS is warning law enforcement officers to keep a suspicious eye on all conservatives, lest they turn violent. The report makes no distinction between “extremists” and ordinary conservatives, so if law enforcement officers take it seriously, they’re basically going to be keeping their eyes on about half the country. This is a first in American law enforcement to my knowledge, although I imagine some intrepid history major can whip out some of Lincoln’s measures against copperheads during the Civil War as a counter-example. Be that as it may, it’s chilling.

At the near extreme, this report might be nothing more than the opinion of a paranoiac leftist at DHS thinking out loud that the militias are likely to use current turmoil as a recruiting vehicle. If it’s that, the only problem is that the wording is so unspecific that they’ve taken the entire political right in a net that was aimed at catching hard-right militia. They could solve the entire furor by retracting the report and re-releasing it with tighter wording, including a definition of “extremist” that excludes ordinary Republican and Libertarian issue voters. Let’s hope they do that.

At the far extreme, however, a government that plans to institute restrictive and anti-libertarian measures in the near future might issue a report like this in advance to categorize as “extreme” the expected outrage of ordinary citizens against the loss of their liberties.

And let’s be candid, here: if the Obama administration does intend to remove Constitutionally-protected liberties and criminalize their political opposition, in a style reminiscent of the Bolsheviks in Russia or the Maoists in China, then they are correct in warning against violence from opponents. That will happen; they can count on it. The Tea Party gatherings all over America today signal the administration that some citizens who have never engaged in activism will rise up as activists if his measures go too far. I’ve written before on this blog that certain intentions of the hard left could at the extreme lead to civil war in the United States.

My research regarding Barack Obama’s upbringing and personal history suggest at least some possibility that he’s executing long-established plans to overthrow the US Constitution and replace it with something more like the Communist Manifesto. Short of that, though, there’s also the possibility that he’s just an addled leftist who genuinely believes that conservative ideas are evil and should be criminalized. In practice, there’s no difference between those two positions; both lead to the same, tyrannical, one-party government that suppresses opponents. And both can, will, and by proper moral concern for the rights of humanity must be opposed with force should some tyrant attempt to impose such a government on a free citizenry.

So, which is it? Sloppily-worded government-speak, or preparation for a legitimate uprising by ordinary citizens?

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13 Comments »

April 15, 2009 @ 11:53 pm #

I don’t now if he is this cunning, but my guess falls between your two options. I think it is more malevolent than sloppy govspeech; however, it is leaning toward but not quite as calculated as a preparation for some sort of takover.

My feel is that the Obama administration is priming the pump, so to speak, again channeling one of his mentors, Saul Alinsky. He/they are well aware that some passions are being stoked with his actions, which have not been, let’s say, moderate? I do not foresee violent activity by groups in significant numbers at this stage. Violent protests, bombings, assassinations, etc. other than the notable exception of McVey have pretty much been the provence of the left to date.

However, if he puts this garbage down in an official context, expressing concern prior to the fact, the pump is primed. One or two isolated violent acts by anyone who can be spun as “right wing” (which could mean someone voted for McCain) can be used as an excuse to call for draconian new “measures”.

At first, it could take the form of simply intimidating conservatives from speaking their mind through the pressure of political correctness brought to bear primarily by the fifth column of the media. It sounds ridiculous, but as far as I am concerned we have already been cowed to an extent.

The second step could be legislative, such as new gun laws, or perhaps hate speech ordinances similar to those on college campuses (Justice Ginsburg wants to look to foreign law, why not look to the example set by our institutions of higher learning?).

Find an enemy. Separate him from the pack. Marginalize and isolate him. Destroy him. Not sure of the exact quote but I think that’s the general concept, and I think he’s put this into play very nicely.

April 16, 2009 @ 10:31 am #

Phil -

I wonder (out loud) if Timothy McVeigh’s anti-government tactic might be something that he had in mind…recruitment by right-wing militias, as you point out. I agree that this should be more specific.

I think your final full paragraph is…um…I want to be nice…overstated?(okay, I really wanted to say lunacy). There is plenty of room within the constitution for a leftward shift; it has happened before.

Not that Obama isn’t making some horrid mistakes; the spending levels are quite frightening, unless they are truly temporary in response to the financial crisis. Nothing indicates right now, one way or the other, whether they are.

Many leftists are excoriating Obama right now for continuing to shield the Bush administration under the “State Secrets” policy for prosecution on the telecommunications and torture fronts. You should at least check out Joe’s stuff on that, including the links to Greenwald and his links to people in the mainstream media losing their love for Obama quickly:

http://www.moreunsolicitedthoughts.blogspot.com/

Have a great day, Phil.

April 16, 2009 @ 11:25 am #

“So, which is it? Sloppily-worded government-speak, or preparation for a legitimate uprising by ordinary citizens? ”

Hmmm. Maybe neither one. Perhaps an effort to generate mainstream support of increasingly overt, pre-emptive silencing of pesky critics.

… and at the same time, the next gentle step in that silencing.

April 16, 2009 @ 2:13 pm #

A) “Lunacy” — give me a reason why. “Surely you don’t believe…” is not a reason why. Documentation of strategies like the Cloward-Piven strategy, Alinsky’s Machiavellian tactics, and Soviet infiltration of American systems and movements makes the possibility of a deliberate left-wing take-down plausible. I have not decided that that’s what we’re facing here, but modern history makes it necessary for me to regard it as possible, and — here’s the important thing — nothing in the President’s behavior so far has suggested to me a reason to think that’s not what he’s up to. Quite the contrary; if he was deliberately attempting to produce chaos in order to facilitate a full-blown, left-wing takeover, I can’t think of a single thing he’d have done differently. Can you? (That’s an invitation for a reply, not a rhetorical question.)

B) “unless they are truly temporary in response to the financial crisis. Nothing indicates right now, one way or the other, whether they are.” This strikes me as extreme wishful thinking. Can you think of a single instance in history — not just American history, mind you — where the growth of a government was reversed by the people who produced it? If not, then I submit to you that “nothing indicates one way or the other” is an attempt to ignore history.

And if that isn’t good enough for you (though there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be,) read this. There are disturbing signs that the administration refuses to accept repayment of TARP funds from banks who claim they don’t need them. And read this: there are disturbing signs that the previous administration (and the current one) forced banks to take TARP funds even if they did not want them.

The growth is permanent, short of a revolution.

C) “Many leftists are excoriating Obama right now for continuing to shield the Bush administration under the “State Secrets” policy for prosecution on the telecommunications and torture fronts.”

Not for the first time, you assume that I’m not aware of things the left is doing. I’m very well aware of where they stand on these issues, and I’m not surprised, nor is any preconception of mine disturbed by it.

What I want you to consider, as an exercise in objectivity, is, in what way does the Obama administration’s willingness to defend government shields of secrecy mitigate the charge that they’re deliberately planning some sort of leftist takeover? On the contrary, if they’re seriously attempting takeover, they WANT those shields firmly in place; whereas if they’re simply exercising the leftist agenda in a blind, partisan manner, they’d be dismantling those shields the way Greenwald et al wanted them to. Again, I’ve not finally decided what’s at play here, but the evidence you’re presenting actually supports the “takeover” conclusion, once you’ve thought it through.

Third time, in case you missed it the first two: I’ve not decided that the Obama administration is deliberately planning to replace the US Constitution either explicitly or implicitly. I’m simply defending the inclusion of that possibility as one of the plausible explanations for what we’re seeing. You seem to think that merely including it constitutes “lunacy.” I respectfully disagree. It’s not impossible, and it’s not implausible.

April 17, 2009 @ 10:44 pm #

Meanwhile, one of the REAL threats is being ignored:

http://www.worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=57141

Study: 3 in 4 U.S. mosques preach anti-West extremism
Secret survey exposes widespread radicalism

Posted: February 23, 2008
9:51 pm Eastern

© 2009 WorldNetDaily

An undercover survey of more than 100 mosques and Islamic schools in America has exposed widespread radicalism, including the alarming finding that 3 in 4 Islamic centers are hotbeds of anti-Western extremism, WND has learned.

The Mapping Sharia in America Project, sponsored by the Washington-based Center for Security Policy, has trained former counterintelligence and counterterrorism agents from the FBI, CIA and U.S. military, who are skilled in Arabic and Urdu, to conduct undercover reconnaissance at some 2,300 mosques and Islamic centers and schools across the country.

“So far of 100 mapped, 75 should be on a watchlist,” an official familiar with the project said.

Many of the Islamic centers are operating under the auspices of the Saudi Arabian government and U.S. front groups for the radical Muslim Brotherhood based in Egypt.

Frank Gaffney, a former Pentagon official who runs the Center for Security Policy, says the results of the survey have not yet been published. But he confirmed that “the vast majority” are inciting insurrection and jihad through sermons by Saudi-trained imams and anti-Western literature, videos and textbooks.

The project, headed by David Yerushalmi, a lawyer and expert on sharia law, has finished collecting data from the first cohort of 102 mosques and schools. Preliminary findings indicate that almost 80 percent of the group exhibit a high level of sharia-compliance and jihadi threat, including:

* Ultra-orthodox worship in which women are separated from men in the prayer hall and must enter the mosque from a separate, usually back, entrance; and are required to wear hijabs.

* Sermons that preach women are inferior to men and can be beaten for disobedience; that non-Muslims, particularly Jews, are infidels and inferior to Muslims; that jihad or support of jihad is not only a Muslim’s duty but the noblest way, and suicide bombers and other so-called “martyrs” are worthy of the highest praise; and that an Islamic caliphate should one day encompass the U.S.

* Solicitation of financial support for jihad.

* Bookstores that sell books, CDs and DVDs promoting jihad and glorifying martyrdom.

Though not all mosques in America are radicalized, many have tended to serve as safe havens and meeting points for Islamic terrorist groups. Experts say there are at least 40 episodes of extremists and terrorists being connected to mosques in the past decade alone.

Some of the 9/11 hijackers, in fact, received aid and counsel from one of the largest mosques in the Washington, D.C., area. Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center is one of the mosques indentified by undercover investigators as a hive of terrorist activity and other extremism.

It was founded and is currently run by leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood. Imams there preach what is called “jihad qital,” which means physical jihad, and incite violence and hatred against the U.S.

Dar al-Hijrah’s ultimate goal, investigators say, is to turn the U.S. into an Islamic state governed by sharia law.

Another D.C.-area mosque, the ADAMS Center, was founded and financed by members of the Muslim Brotherhood, and has been one of the top distributors of Wahhabist anti-Semitic and anti-Christian dogma.

Even with such radical mosques operating in its backyard, the U.S. government has not undertaken its own systematic investigation of U.S. mosques.

In contrast, European Union security officials are analyzing member-state mosques, examining the training and funding sources of imams, in a large-scale project.

Some U.S. lawmakers want the U.S. to conduct its own investigation.

“We have too many mosques in this country,” said Rep. Pete King, R-N.Y. “There are too many people who are sympathetic to radical Islam. We should be looking at them more carefully.”

April 18, 2009 @ 6:24 pm #

“Quite the contrary; if he was deliberately attempting to produce chaos in order to facilitate a full-blown, left-wing takeover, I can’t think of a single thing he’d have done differently. Can you? (That’s an invitation for a reply, not a rhetorical question.)”

Um…in 90 days, give or take, of presidency, what ‘chaos’ exactly, would you attribute to Obama that couldn’t also be tied to various and sundry other recent presidents? Do you think Bush/Cheney are in on this Marxist takeover? I KNEW it!

You:
___
““unless they are truly temporary in response to the financial crisis. Nothing indicates right now, one way or the other, whether they are.” This strikes me as extreme wishful thinking. Can you think of a single instance in history — not just American history, mind you — where the growth of a government was reversed by the people who produced it?”

Personally, I think GW Bush was doing a GREAT job of carrying out the Norquist goal of starving out the government to give an excuse to cut entitlements. He didn’t succeed…not enough of a bridge builder. This may have been the right strategy…my only frustration with it was the highbrow notion that he would do it without being honest about what he was doing. Of course, he never would have been elected if he WERE honest, right?

You:
___
What I want you to consider, as an exercise in objectivity, is, in what way does the Obama administration’s willingness to defend government shields of secrecy mitigate the charge that they’re deliberately planning some sort of leftist takeover?
___

Tee hee…for some reason he is also hiding Bush’s administration too…wouldn’t you think that an exposure of the “abuses” and a ripping on the “conservative wrongdoers” would accomplish a lot more toward your Terrifying Takedown of the Constitution?

Sorry – this one has to be given a lot more time to show itself…and if the economy turns around, and the 95% of us who received tax cuts this year actually start experiencing a recovery, let me feed you the words you need:

“The American economy was even stronger than I thought, and overcame even the most herculean efforts by the Obama administration to murder it.”

April 18, 2009 @ 11:53 pm #

Okay, I’m even more game, Phil

1. Whom (actual persons with names or organizations) do you think Obama has concocted the “long-established plan to overthrow the US Constitution and replace it with something more like the Communist Manifesto”. Any proof?

2. Please explain how you think this overthrow might occur – please lay out the steps by which Obama and his co-conspirators could get rid of the constitution.

3. How will Obama deal with the Military in such an attempted coup (our military leadership is overwhelmingly conservative politically). Do you think they would join Obama in an attempt to get rid of the constitution? If so, why?

4. How could Obama possibly criminalize any idea, much less conservative ideas, given the First Amendment and given the fact that the vast majority of federal judges that have been appointed in the last 30 years were appointed by conservatives? Explain how this criminalization might occur – step by step.

These are the questions that (I think) stretch your credibility. But remember…I am just a lowly western surveyor : )

darkhorse

April 20, 2009 @ 5:20 am #

Jim,

Since you’ve been reading this blog for some time, you’re already familiar with the supporting material answering all those questions. Mind you, I’m not in the position of proving that such a conspiracy exists, or that Obama is part of it; my claim, for the sake of the game you’re playing here, is that it’s plausible, not that it exists.

If you’d like to review, visit the following posts:

http://www.plumbbobblog.com/?p=752
http://www.plumbbobblog.com/?p=1452
http://www.plumbbobblog.com/?p=1128
http://www.plumbbobblog.com/?p=215
http://www.plumbbobblog.com/?p=396
http://www.plumbbobblog.com/?p=621
http://www.plumbbobblog.com/?p=1768
http://www.plumbbobblog.com/?p=1564
http://www.plumbbobblog.com/?p=1903

The most believable form of this argument suggests that the Constitution will not be done away with, it will be de-fanged by reinterpretation. This is already well underway, as demonstrated by such judicial atrocities as Boumediene v Bush, Kelo v New London, Roe v Wade, Everson v Board of Education (the wall of separation that must never be breached,) and so forth. Also note the vast proliferation of federal laws that override state legislatures and the grotesque expansion of federal power. Also note the inability of the republic to impeach a clearly impeachable President, not because the claims against him were unproven — nothing could be further from the truth — but because his party made it seem to the public as though enforcing the terms of the Constitution was unthinkable. And now, Congress has attempted to pass Bills of Attainder without a peep of protest from the mainstream, the Executive is taking by force the right to run private companies (CLEARLY unconstitutional) and is not being challenged… Frankly, it’s as though the Constitution does not even exist anymore.

Honestly, Jim… did you think I was writing this blog for my own entertainment? The Republic is dying. That’s why I’m writing.

April 20, 2009 @ 5:54 pm #

That was an excellent review of your viewpoint, I will admit. However, the greatest question I still have is, on what basis do you blame Obama for the “chaos” that you alleged in your last post to me?

Clearly, Bush and his administration were in on the whole deal. I highly doubt that any business takeover that has happened would have been a bit different under Bush.

Now, if you are raising the possibility that Civil War may be necessary (and NOT revolution, as you called it), it will be in the clear knowledge that you are in the minority in your position (based on the election of Obama and his continuing support). Is it not true that Civil War of an elitist minority is much more problematic than Civil War AGAINST an elitist minority?

April 20, 2009 @ 6:23 pm #

Clearly, George W. Bush had some interventionist tendencies, and it was probably not all that difficult for TreasSec Henry Paulson to convince him to buy the toxic loans. You’ll notice, by the way, that that’s NOT what Paulson actually did with the money, so far as we can tell.

However, this:

“I highly doubt that any business takeover that has happened would have been a bit different under Bush.”

…is pretty badly overstated. You really think so? The flap over AIG’s bonuses would not have occurred (mind you, I think the flap was engineered by the Democrats)? The takeover of GM, the firing of its President? The forcing of banks to take TARP funds that they did not want and did not need? You think all that would have occurred under Bush? I don’t.

Furthermore, it’s perfectly obvious that the size of the budget would have been at most half of what it is, if George Bush were still President. Hell, House Speaker Pelosi didn’t even bother trying to pass her budget legislation until Bush stepped down, ’cause she knew he’d veto it and that the veto would stick. Obama quadrupled the Bush deficit in his first month, and his prospective scale-backs of that growth (to “only” double the previous record) is based on wishful thinking.

Obama has moved faster on more fronts than even I expected, and I expected hard-core socialism. So I renew the question, and seriously, take a stab at it: if you were deliberately aiming to create the sort of chaos that would require you to declare martial law and suspend liberties, how would you go about it? And how is that different from what we’re seeing? I’m not being rhetorical, I’m asking.

Per your hypothetical question about civil war: first, let me point out that we have not yet seen the sorts of acts that would require civil war, just the seeds of such acts, and therefore current popularity polls asking “how do you think he’s doing so far” do not bear on that question. We’ll have no idea of the composition of any such movement before the necessity for it becomes evident.

And second, I don’t think minority/majority considerations are even relevant. We’re talking about core principles; if you genuinely believe them, then they’re worth fighting for. These matters are not determined by majority rule. (For that matter, are you aware that only about 1/3 of the colonials actively supported the American Revolution?)

I’m much more interested in dividing the nation into two nations along partisan lines than I am in any sort of war. I think such a move is the only alternative to civil war or complete tyranny, and I think it could be accomplished peacefully. In fact, I’m considering publishing a request for discussion to Internet bloggers from both sides of the aisle to stimulate proposals regarding how, precisely, such a thing could be carried out.

April 20, 2009 @ 9:01 pm #

Phil -

Thank you for not letting my discussion with you frustrate you – quite a reasoned response.

No, we will never know whether, in response to the worst financial crisis in more than 75 years, whether Bush would have also put very serious interventionist measures in place. Toward the end of his administration, he did not seem too shy about heading this direction.

And, considering the crisis, I believe the Obama administration is acting in response. Your argument that the measures may worsen things is very worth consideration; but I don’t think there can be any surprise at the magnitude…unless it continues EVEN IF the crisis subsides.

While I believe the Founders left room in the Constitution for shifts to the left or right (or some other dimension being ignored right now), I wonder how your proposed “Split” would work out geographically?

But things in America continue as they have for centuries: cultural developments from Europe follow over here a couple of decades later. I think enough people have shifted to the left, and continue to do so, that your contingent for the conservative portion of the nation will be quite small if it doesn’t get on the fast track!

April 21, 2009 @ 2:57 am #

“I don’t think there can be any surprise at the magnitude…unless it continues EVEN IF the crisis subsides.”

With deficits now in the trillions, and America’s creditors doubting whether they can ever be repaid, the financial irresponsibility of the US government IS the crisis. It will not subside.

Let’s just remember where this started. A bunch of banks and investment houses discovered that a portion of their loans were badly overvalued. This caused their investors to panic, and the banks froze up.

If nothing had been done at all, eventually the value of the assets would have been reduced to something the market could sustain. It’s likely that many banks would have gone out of business in the meantime, and it’s possible that the credit system would have simply stopped working, but that’s hard to say.

What we’ve done in response has been to pump about $200 billion into the banking system, and attempt to prop up the unreasonable prices of homes. It’s hard to say whether this has helped anything or not. It certainly didn’t solve anything. It may have prevented something.

In addition, though, for every dollar we’ve pumped into banking, we’ve pumped at least $5 into making the government bigger and more intrusive. It’s THAT spending that was not going on under the Bush administration, and it’s THAT spending that now threatens the solvency of US currency.

The mortgage crisis caused by the housing bubble bursting is a worldwide crisis to which two administrations have responded in similar fashion, and it was caused by the actions of many players dating back to the 1970s. The US fiscal crisis is a local, unnecessary crisis caused ENTIRELY by the actions of the Obama administration and the Democrats running Congress, and that now threatens the world economy. These are two, separate crises.

April 26, 2009 @ 1:45 am #

Finally, some conservative common sense on the DHS terror threat report…

The conservative outrage over the DHS report on right-wing terror threats — the one that alerts law enforcement that right-wing extremist groups may make special efforts to recruit returning veterans, and was released in a rush without considering po…..

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