- The Bushites and the FBI made a semantic leap recently.
According to the New York Times, a "classified" intelligence
bulletin generated for local law enforcement agencies warns of "individual
extremists" perpetuating "acts of anti-American violence in the
United States." These "[l]one extremists may operate independently
or on the fringes of established extremist groups, either alone or with
one or two accomplices." Timothy McVeigh, Hesham Mohamed Ali Hadayet
(the Egyptian immigrant who fatally shot two people at El Al Airlines'
ticket counter at Los Angeles International Airport in July 2002), and
Paul Hill (an anti-abortion militant who fatally shot an abortion doctor
and his assistant in Pensacola, Flordia, in 1994) are provided as examples
of "solitary extremists."
- It's significant the FBI has decided to use the word
"extremist" instead of "terrorist." Many Americans
-- thanks to the incessant barrage of corporate media palaver -- think
of Osama bin Laden or wild-eyed and bearded Muslims when the word "terrorist"
is rolled out for effect. The FBI, however, wants us to think beyond the
Arab terrorist stereotype. In other words, the threat is no longer limited
to al-Qaeda. Now the crazed and violent terrorist very well may be your
neighbor, the guy with a German or Irish surname. It may be your coworker.
It may even be your brother-in-law.
- Far right-wing militants and members of the so-called
Army of God are indeed rare and hardly pose a threat to the American way
of life. Timothy McVeigh notwithstanding, you are more likely to be killed
by a non-political act of violence or run over by a drunk driver as you
cross the street. Obviously, the FBI is well aware of the useful mythology
of the lone killer (McVeigh, Oswald, Hinkley, Chapman, Sirhan, Ray) and
has cynically decided to add this unlikely category to the pantheon of
evil villains out to get us. No longer are the terrorists over there; now
they are right here in your hometown.
- But let's assume for a moment the FBI is correct. How
would the FBI (now teamed up with the CIA and local law enforcement) go
about catching these malefactors before they commit their dastardly deeds?
"Investigators have intensified their use of covert monitoring using
national security warrants and have questioned a few people who they believe
might engage in violence, a precautionary step that in effect warns interview
subjects that their activities may be under scrutiny."
- In other words, more FBI taps, bugs, and black bag jobs.
- In the year 2000, well before the atrocities of 911,
the FBI's national security wiretapping trumped the previous record of
886 applications in 1999 (as the Justice Department reported to Congress
in May, 2001). The surveillance was authorized under the Foreign Intelligence
Surveillance Act (FISA), a 1978 law originally intended to put a stop to
decades of illegal FBI and the intelligence community domestic spying.
- Section 101 of the Domestic Security Enhancement Act
of 2003, however, removes the requirement that domestic spying under the
authority of the FISA be limited to agents of a "foreign power."
If the Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003 becomes law, secret wiretaps
and clandestine searches would target "all persons, regardless of
whether they are affiliated with an international terrorist group, who
engage in international terrorism." Section 103 eliminates the requirement
that Ashcroft obtain FISA court approval for wiretaps and searches "by
allowing the wartime exception to be invoked after Congress authorizes
the use of military force, or after the United States has suffered an attack
creating an national emergency."
- As for the "wartime exception," think Iraq
-- and then Iran, Syria, Libya, and North Korea. Think about what the Bushites
say about the "war against terrorism" lasting decades, maybe
- Ashcroft butted heads with the FISA last year. He claimed
the Patriot Act allows the Justice Department to seek wiretap and search
warrants where the main purpose of the warrant is investigating crime rather
than intelligence gathering. "It was not the intent of these amendments
to fundamentally change (the surveillance law) from a foreign intelligence
tool into a criminal law enforcement tool," said Judiciary Committee
Chairman Patrick Leahy. "We did not intend it to obliterate the distinction
between the two."
- Ashcroft and the Bushites, however, do intend to "obliterate
the distinction." They are attempting an end-run around our constitutional
right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures.
- It appears the Bushite Justice Department engaged in
substantial snooping of the entirely legal political activities of Sami
al-Arian and his codefendants before handing down a 50-count indictment
(numbering 120 pages) last week. Ashcroft's indictment contains hundreds
of references to telephone conversations and faxes that were apparently
intercepted using warrants obtained under FISA.
- It hardly matters if al-Arian and his codefendants are
convicted; the purpose of Ashcroft's indictment is to sound the alarm and
send an indispensable message to the American people via the all-too obliging
corporate media: considering the perilous threat we face -- not only from
Palestinian fellow travelers and al-Qaeda "sleeper cells" but
(as the FBI would have it) from non-Arab "lone wolves" sneaking
about the heartland -- the Bushites will soon urgently need the sweeping
powers contained within the Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003.
In order to stress this urgency, Robert Mueller III, FBI director, mentioned
"the October 2002 Washington area sniper attacks and the anthrax letter
attacks" in the so-called intelligence bulletin.
- Imposing the Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003
on America would automatically invalidate the "Red Squad" consent
decrees against political spying by local police departments. Last week
US District Court Judge Charles Haight Jr. overturned an 18-year-old court
order, known as the Handschu agreement, which restricted police surveillance
of political groups in New York. Meanwhile, the US Attorney's Office in
Seattle is asking the city to review a 1979 law that bans snooping into
a person's religious or political affiliations, beliefs, or activities.
Seattle wants the law eliminated so it can participate in the testing of
a new Justice Department "anti-terrorism" database.
- The door is now open for the FBI -- with the help of
the CIA, who now have a presence in virtually all FBI offices across America
-- to bring COINTELPRO back in a big way. "The document that launched
the COINTELPRO operations against the black social movements directed FBI
agents to 'disrupt, misdirect, discredit or otherwise neutralize' dissident
movements," writes Brian Glick. "It's not just the surveillance
part of Ashcroft's proposal that is worrisome; it's the psychological operations,
the false rumors, the planted media stories, forged documents and the infiltration
of dissident groups that the people running the country dislike or fear."
- Finally, consider the FBI's definition of domestic terrorism
(as described by Louis J. Freeh before the Appropriations, Armed Services,
and Select Committee on Intelligence on May 10, 2001):
- "The second category of domestic terrorists, left-wing
groups, generally profess a revolutionary socialist doctrine and view themselves
as protectors of the people against the 'dehumanizing effects' of capitalism
and imperialism. They aim to bring about change in the United States through
revolution rather than through the established political process.
- "Anarchists and extremist socialist groups -- many
of which, such as the Workers' World Party, Reclaim the Streets, and Carnival
Against Capitalism -- have an international presence and, at times, also
represent a potential threat in the United States. For example, anarchists,
operating individually and in groups, caused much of the damage during
the 1999 World Trade Organization ministerial meeting in Seattle.
- "Special interest terrorism differs from traditional
right-wing and left-wing terrorism in that extremist special interest groups
seek to resolve specific issues, rather than effect more widespread political
change. Special interest extremists continue to conduct acts of politically
motivated violence to force segments of society, including, the general
public, to change attitudes about issues considered important to their
causes. These groups occupy the extreme fringes of animal rights, pro-life,
environmental, anti-nuclear, and other political and social movements."
- Soon, in order to earn the attention of the FBI and the
New COINTELPRO under the Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003 -- which
Bush will insist be passed soon after Iraq is invaded -- you won't even
need to be a member of one of the above mentioned groups. All you will
need do is agree with the philosophy of "the extreme fringes of animal
rights, pro-life, environmental, anti-nuclear, and other political and
- In the not too distant future thought crime alone will
be enough to earn you the black mark of a "lone extremist" in
the eyes of Ashcroft, Bush, the FBI, and the emerging Ministry of Homeland
- Terrorism -- it's not strictly for Muslims anymore.
- Kurt Nimmo's Another Day in the Empire http://nimmo.blogspot.com/