FBI and Homeland Security Department officials on Thursday reiterated yet again one of the most frequently repeated refrains of the Biden administration: that “white supremacists” and other “domestic extremists” constitute the foremost terror threat the nation faces. Now the only thing they need to complete the picture are some actual white supremacist extremists, and the feds are busy working to solve that problem now. But whether they’re catching them or creating them is an open question.
On Thursday, Hulu began streaming a documentary breathlessly entitled “The Informant: Fear and Faith in the Heartland,” narrated by that paragon of journalistic objectivity, George Stephanopoulos. “As homegrown extremist groups remain one of the greatest threats to the United States,” the teaser asserted, “George Stephanopoulos gives an exclusive look at the incredible true story of how an ordinary man from Kansas risked his and his family’s lives to stop a terror attack.”
Wonderful, right? But in touting the show, ABC News tweeted: “In 2016, four militia men were finalizing a plot to bomb the mosque and homes of Muslim refugees in a Kansas town. Authorities say it could have eclipsed the Oklahoma City bombing. But one of them was an FBI informant.” Or, as one Twitter user commented, “The FBI did a great job of stopping themselves yet again.” Was this another case of entrapment? Would the plot have existed at all without the informant’s role? Given the fiercely political use of the FBI by Merrick Garland’s Justice Department, these are important questions, but the answers may never be forthcoming.
Meanwhile, the FBI is currently pursuing no fewer than 2,700 investigations of “domestic extremism,” more than twice the usual number of such investigations. The dramatic increase in investigations suggests, at least in a sane world, a response to a sharply increased threat, but Biden’s handlers have shown no evidence of a massive spike in “white supremacist” terrorism.
It’s just something we’re supposed to take their word for. Timothy Langan, the assistant director of the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division, recently presented it to Congress as axiomatic: “It goes without saying that the threat from domestic terrorism is heightened and has significantly increased in the last 18 months.”
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Frame-Up) made the same claim: “We must also acknowledge the persistent role white supremacy and white nationalism have on the frequency and severity of these threats. It is an indisputable fact that a growing number of domestic terrorist threats arise from people driven by hatred and a stated desire to harm people because of the color of their skin or their religious beliefs. We are seeing a sharpened edge to the threat, an increasingly persistent and coordinated effort to terrorize based on these repugnant views.”
Are we really? Rep. Rick Crawford (R-AR), a member of the counterterrorism and counterintelligence panel of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, recently observed: “Our concern is that the FBI, being a preeminent counterterrorism agency, along with the CIA [and NSA], that those assets could be turned inward to target U.S. citizens without a foreign nexus. You have people that are ramping up the rhetoric on domestic violent extremism…to sort of make the case for and essentially justify the misuse, potentially, of intelligence assets that are specifically authorized for foreign threats. We’re playing fast and loose with the definition of what constitutes a domestic terrorist, and that’s the danger of going down this road without the appropriate safeguards. We’re kind of treading on thin ice here with regard to just sort of cavalierly throwing this term around. I think we’ve gone a step too far — well beyond a step too far. I think this is dangerous.”
Indeed. We saw exactly that recently when Attorney General Merrick Garland directed the FBI to work with local law enforcement authorities on “strategies for addressing threats against school administrators, board members, teachers, and staff,” when the “threats” actually amounted to vociferous disagreement with the imposition of critical race theory and other elements of the woke agenda in public schools. Or as Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) put it to Garland:
“So what is the National Security division [of the FBI] doing? They’re supposed to be chasing jihadists and Chinese spies. What is the National Security division have to do with parents at school boards?”
Former acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf put it succinctly: “The administration’s new strategy on dealing with domestic terrorism only makes the bias more apparent. On the one hand, the document is a public safety policy ‘nothing burger.’ There really isn’t anything new or different. On the other hand, it is a messaging document designed to tar progressive opponents as dangerous and unstable.”
Indeed. And much more is coming.