Former New York City police commissioner Bill Bratton told Shepard Smith Friday that “for the last 20 years our biggest concern was international terrorism — ISIS, Al Qaeda,” but “now it’s here and it’s us, and it’s the citizens of the United States, some of whom are rebelling against everything we thought we believed in for the last 300 to 400 years.” (Apparently Bratton subscribes to the 1619 Project, which dates America’s founding not from 1776, but from 1619, so as to add on 150 extra years of slavery and oppression.) And Bratton wasn’t alone: his analysis of the “far-right” threat is the latest establishment media narrative.
Former FBI director James Comey joined in the fun. Asked by a British broadcaster if he thought “far-right extremism in the US” was “a greater danger to the country than Islamist terrorism,” Comey answered in the affirmative, and added: “The threat has slowly risen as Donald Trump and those around him have withdrawn the control rods. America has always had a radioactive stew of racist conspiracy-minded misogynist people oriented towards violence. We’ve always had that in this country. But we’ve managed over generations to contain it inside a containment building as you would with a nuclear waste pile and put control rods down into it which we’re cultural. And that calmed the radiation. And over the last five years Donald Trump and those around him have pulled the rods out with signals and dog whistles and sometimes explicitly”
A former Homeland Security Department counterterrorism official, Nate Snyder, likewise also affirmed Friday that the biggest terror threat the nation faces today comes from “violent white supremacists, neo-Nazis, sovereign citizens, militia movements.”
It’s easy to push this narrative today, when even putatively “conservative” writers are piling on President Trump for supposedly inciting a riot that began in Washington as he was calling upon the crowd to remain peaceful, and that even CNN admitted was “not just a protest that spiraled out of control,” but showed careful advance planning.
Never Trumpers will Never-Trump, no matter what the evidence is, but it is important to recognize what Bratton, Comey, and Snyder, and others like them are trying to do. Remember in Animal Farm how Boxer the horse struggled to remember, as the pigs implemented their totalitarian rule, how things had once been different? It’s all-important to remember, and these vicious and mendacious propagandists such as Comey, Snyder and Bratton, and many others, are doing their level best to make sure we forget.
Remember: It wasn’t “far-right extremists” who rioted all summer in Portland, Seattle, Kenosha, Wisconsin, New York, Atlanta, Washington, DC, and numerous other cities that I have already forgotten. It was Leftists: Antifa and Black Lives Matter, who have also been found to have been among those storming the Capitol that is being used as a Reichstag Fire pretext to shut down dissent from the Leftist agenda. When Snyder talks about “violent white supremacists, neo-Nazis, sovereign citizens, militia movements,” what he really means are ordinary citizens who oppose the dominant political philosophy. Lies like what Bratton is spreading here are in service of solidifying the hegemony of that philosophy.
Nor is this idea new. Back in September, the far-Left hate site Raw Story took the opportunity of the 19th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 jihad terror attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people to advance the claim that nowadays, the foremost threat the nation faces is not from jihadis, but from – you guessed it – “far-right white supremacists who love Trump.” It’s as predictable as it is absurd.
The Raw Story piece, written by Alex Henderson and picked up from the even loonier AlterNet, claimed that “although the 9/11 terrorist attacks underscored the dangerous fanaticism of far-right Islamist groups, countless Republicans and supporters of President Donald Trump have ignored or downplayed another terrorist threat from the far right — white supremacy and white nationalism — and that threat is alive and well in the Trump era.”
Henderson’s claim wasn’t original, either. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), in a 2018 interview, fed the fires of the “white supremacist terror” hysteria when she asserted that “our country [no, not Somalia] should be more fearful of white men across our country because they are actually causing most of the deaths within this country.” Omar also offered a ready solution: “Profiling, monitoring, and creating policies to fight the radicalization of white men.”
As I noted back in November 2018 when CNN’s intrepid journalist Don Lemon made the same claim, it originated with an April 2017 Government Accountability Office (GAO) study that counted 106 people killed in 62 attacks by “far-right violent extremists,” as compared to 119 people killed in 23 attacks by “radical Islamist violent extremists.” A larger number of people were killed in the jihad attacks, but there were so many more “far-right” attacks that this establishes conclusively that America has a much bigger problem with the “far-right” than with jihadis. Doesn’t it?
No. One major problem with the Government Accountability Office study leaps out from page 6 of its report, where you will see that the count of fatalities committed by “far right wing extremists” and “radical Islamist extremists” begins on September 12, 2001. Why was that day chosen? Why not start the study at the beginning of a year, or of this century?
The answer is clear: if the GAO had gone back one more day, the number of Americans killed by Islamic jihadists would have been several thousand more than those killed by “far-right violent extremists.” The GAO obviously started its study on September 12, 2001, in order to manipulate the results so as to exaggerate the terror threat from the “far-right” and minimize it from Islamic jihadis. This is a “study” that was conducted in order to justify a predetermined conclusion, not a genuinely dispassionate search for the truth.
As ubiquitous as this propaganda is, insistent repetitions of Big Lies doesn’t make them true – even when they’re repeated by supposed experts such as Bratton, Comey, and Snyder. The Leftist propaganda is especially thick and insistent these days. Dissenters would be wise to remain wary of all establishment claims at this point.
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He is author of 21 books, including the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book is Rating America’s Presidents: An America-First Look at Who Is Best, Who Is Overrated, and Who Was An Absolute Disaster. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.