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Are You an Anti-American Lone Extremist?

by C/O Diogenes Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2003 at 7:51 PM

Do you have a strong viewpoint? Do you believe passionately in some cause? You too might be a "Lone Extremist". As the Bush Junta continues to clamp down in their attempt to stifle dissent we take another step into a "BRAVE NEW WORLD".

Are You an Anti-American Lone Extremist?

Kurt Nimmo

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 forever.

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 social movements."

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 Security.

Terrorism -- it's not strictly for Muslims anymore.

Kurt Nimmo's Another Day in the Empire


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