As President Joe Biden set a new record for executive orders in his first few days in office, and as former CIA Director John Brennan compared libertarians to ISIS-style “insurgencies,” the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a domestic terrorism bulletin warning about “ideologically-motivated violent extremists with objections to the exercise of governmental authority.”
It stands to reason that federal law-enforcement agencies may be on edge after the breach of the Capitol on January 6, but Biden’s inauguration went off without a hitch. Threats may indeed exist, but the DHS domestic terrorism bulletin is chilling, considering recent moves that suggest Democrats are planning a new domestic “War on Terror” targeting conservatives.
“The Acting Secretary of Homeland Security has issued a National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS) Bulletin due to a heightened threat environment across the United States, which DHS believes will persist in the weeks following the successful Presidential Inauguration,” reads the bulletin, issued at 11:00 a.m. Eastern time on Wednesday. “Information suggests that some ideologically-motivated violent extremists with objections to the exercise of governmental authority and the presidential transition, as well as other perceived grievances fueled by false narratives, could continue to mobilize to incite or commit violence.”
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Americans of all stripes should condemn political violence. Republicans joined Democrats in loudly condemning the Capitol riot and in calling for the rioters who attacked the Capitol to face prosecution to the fullest extent of the law. Yet this bulletin suggests that the forces behind the Capitol riot are just as dangerous as they were on January 6.
Before January 6, President Donald Trump had decided to contest the 2020 election, even going so far as encouraging Vice President Mike Pence to unilaterally reject Electoral College votes from contested states. Most of the Americans who supported this movement did not attack the Capitol, but this movement gave the rioters their opportunity to attack. Since Trump conceded and left the White House, this movement has ended.
Not only has this movement ended, but the domestic terrorism bulletin comes in the wake of Biden’s extremely divisive executive orders. In his first week in office, Biden has signed dozens of executive orders on divisive issues like abortion, transgender activism, shutting down construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, and more. Millions of Americans have “objections” to this “exercise of governmental authority.” Does that make them domestic terror threats?
The terrorism bulletin also mentioned “perceived grievances fueled by false narratives.” Given Joe Biden’s refusal to consider arguments against climate alarmism, transgender activism, and abortion, it seems fair to say Biden would consider the job losses from shutting down the Keystone XL pipeline, fears that transgender orders will destroy women’s sports, and concerns that his abortion policy will enable the deaths of millions of unborn babies “perceived grievances fueled by false narratives.”
This terrorism bulletin will only exacerbate fears that Democrats intend to use efforts against domestic terror to target conservative dissent from the Left’s orthodoxy.
Last week, former CIA Director John Brennan warned against an “unholy alliance” including “religious extremists, authoritarians, fascists, bigots, racists, nativists, and even libertarians” that “looks very similar to insurgency movements that we’ve seen overseas.”
Even Democrat former Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has vocally warned against leftists “who are trying to undermine our constitutionally-protected rights and turn our country into a police state with KGB-style surveillance.”
On the campaign trail, Biden said he plans to prioritize passing a law against domestic terrorism. His blatant double standard in vocally condemning the Capitol riots while coddling the antifa and Black Lives Matter rioters who burned cities this past summer does not bode well for a balanced implementation of any terrorism law.
Biden has arguably demonized conservative Christians who oppose LGBT activism. In 2018, he attacked people who have “tried to define family” in the U.S. as “the dregs of society.” At the CNN LGBT town hall in October 2019, Biden called for a kind of terror watchlist to monitor organizations that oppose same-sex marriage and transgender identity. Biden firmly supports the Equality Act, which would outlaw discrimination against LGBT people. While Americans do not support discrimination, laws like this have been weaponized to punish Christians for refusing to celebrate same-sex weddings.
Biden’s domestic terror agenda may echo that of Attorney General Dana Nessel (D-Mich.), who targeted conservative groups in her announcement launching a new “hate crimes” unit. Nessel condemned “hate groups” in Michigan, referencing the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a once-noble civil rights organization that has weaponized its history in bankrupting groups like the Ku Klux Klan to brand mainstream conservative organizations “hate groups.”
It is not implausible that the Biden administration would weaponize anti-terror laws against conservatives. As PJ Media’s Paula Bolyard pointed out, the Obama administration circulated a terrorism dictionary in 2009 that described “antiabortion extremism” as “A movement of groups or individuals who are virulently antiabortion and advocate violence against providers of abortion-related services, their employees, and their facilities.” It went on to say that some individuals who oppose abortion “cite various racist and anti-Semitic beliefs to justify their criminal activities.”
In 2012, a Department of Homeland Security threat assessment warned of “single-issue” extremists they described as “groups or individuals that obsessively focus on very specific or narrowly-defined causes (e.g., anti-abortion, anti-Catholic, anti-nuclear, anti-Castro). The Obama administration repeatedly targeted pro-life Americans in this way.
Conservatives must be on guard when the Biden administration issues warnings about domestic terror threats based on “objections to the exercise of governmental authority.”
Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.