After the Capitol riot, Democrats who had ignored the violence of antifa and Black Lives Matter over the past year suddenly got religion when it comes to fighting domestic terrorism. Yet after the initial push, the issue seemed to fall into the background as Americans focus on the border, infrastructure, and other issues. Meanwhile, the Biden administration has set the gears in motion.
Late last month, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) under Biden issued a memo warning that “events associated with the 100th anniversary of the [Tulsa Race Massacre]…probably are attractive targets for some racially or ethnically motivated violent extremist-white supremacists to commit violence.”
A DHS spokesperson admitted that there were no specific or credible threats to justify the warning, but DHS issued it, anyway. No violent white supremacists went on any mass rampages on the anniversary of the massacre, however.
This was far from the first time DHS issued such a warning. Back on January 14, numerous federal agencies warned about potential violence in Washington, D.C., and all fifty state capitols as “extremists” might protest Biden’s inauguration. That did not come to pass. On January 27, DHS warned about a “heightened threat environment across the United States that is likely to persist over the coming weeks” from “ideologically-motivated violent extremists with objections to the exercise of governmental authority.” That threat also failed to materialize.
As Glenn Greenwald noted, these vague threat assessments echo the first War on Terror. “They are just generalized warnings designed to put people in fear about their fellow citizens and to justify aggressive deployment of military and law enforcement officers in Washington, D.C. and throughout the country.”
“Americans have seen this scam before. Throughout the first War on Terror, DHS, which was created in 2002, was frequently used to keep fear levels high and thus foster support for draconian government powers of spying, detention, and war,” Greenwald noted.
Biden has called for new laws against domestic terrorism, which would enable the federal government to continue its anti-terror tactics, but applied to American citizens who disagree with his leftist agenda.
Even in lieu of such laws, the Biden administration is already waging a new War on Terror that has largely flown under the radar. Last month, CNN reported that “the Biden administration is considering using outside firms to track extremist chatter by Americans online, an effort that would expand the government’s ability to gather intelligence but could draw criticism over surveillance of US citizens.”
Ironically, the same Democratic Party that spent last summer denouncing the police approved $1.9 billion in additional spending for Capitol security and police. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (D-N.Y.) “Squad” had the power to stop the funding and give teeth to their “Defund the Police” agenda, but half of them instead voted “present,” ensuring the bill’s passage.
Perhaps most chilling, Democrats are demanding the return of due-process-free no-fly lists to crack down on “extremism.” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) demanded that the FBI ban January 6 rioters and other “domestic extremists” from air travel without any conviction of a crime and without a hearing to determine whether the prohibition is justified.
Thompson even demanded that the no-fly list include Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), grounding two of the duly-elected members of the United States Senate for raising questions about an election in the same manner as Democrats did in 2017.
Meanwhile, the Biden administration is foisting lessons on “extremism” on whole branches of the military. The vague terms that these lessons employ are extremely malleable, and warnings about “extremism” threaten to bring a culture of fear and self-censorship into the military. Many of these lessons falsely claim that the First Amendment does not protect speech that “threatens to undermine our government.”
In his speech to commemorate the Tulsa Race Massacre this past week, Biden not only compared the Capitol riot to the Tulsa massacre (a true act of white supremacist violence that killed at least 39 people) but he explicitly connected this “through-line” to his upcoming “broader strategy to counter domestic terrorism.”
The Biden administration is using the awesome might of the U.S. government to demonize conservative critics as enemies of the state. These subtle moves may not gain much media coverage, but conservatives cannot afford to miss them.