A new war on terror is brewing.
Much like its George W. Bush-era counterpart, this new campaign is the product of an alliance of politicians and government officials as they seek to gain additional federal powers to fight terrorism.
Unlike its previous iteration, however, this new war on terror is to be fought domestically.
Its enemy is not the Islamic State group, al-Qaida or any other foreign threat. Rather, under the direction of the Biden administration, this new effort seeks to end the supposed threat of homegrown, far-right, white supremacist terrorism.
In order to further this domestic war on terror, politicians and federal bureaucrats have spread false and exaggerated claims regarding the Jan. 6 Capitol incursion, painting it as some sort of armed terrorist insurrection — as if the few hundred unarmed protesters and rioters were part of a premeditated plot to overthrow the entire U.S. government.
While inflated rhetoric is often the norm within the realm of government and politics, this specific instance is a calculated act with a specified goal, according to one national security expert.
In his view, efforts to push this supposed “insurrection” are nothing more than a ploy to “institutionalize the use of state power to implement the woke agenda.”
“It is a classic example of ‘never let a crisis go to waste,'” Jim Hanson, president of the Security Studies Group, told The Western Journal.
Before joining the Security Studies Group, Hanson served in the Army Special Forces and conducted counterterrorism and counterinsurgency operations as well as diplomatic, intelligence and humanitarian operations in more than a dozen countries.
Consequently, Hanson has seen his fair share of insurgencies — and, in his opinion, the Capitol incursion was anything but.
“It is a riot. You know, it was definitely a tiny group of people who may have had some insurrectionist ideas, but they didn’t even bring guns,” Hanson said. “You know? I mean, how intense of an insurrection are you having if you didn’t even bring anything beyond bear spray?”
Nevertheless, Democratic politicians and left-leaning media outlets (and even a select few Republicans) continue to forward a number of false claims and exaggerations to support this “insurrection” narrative.
Inventing an Insurrection
The first of these claims involves Eric Munchel, a rioter seen carrying zip-ties within the Capitol. A photo of Munchel was used by various outlets — including Politico, The Washington Post and The New York Times — as evidence that rioters had entered the Capitol with premeditated plans to kidnap members of Congress.
Capitol riot suspect Eric Munchel, dubbed “zip tie guy,” to be released from jail pending trial.
As a public defender, I represented a client charged with stealing detergent. Held in on $3000 bail he could not afford.
Two. Systems. Of. Justice. pic.twitter.com/OhQaa8EKWJ
— Eliza Orlins (@elizaorlins) January 23, 2021
However, according to the very lawyers who prosecuted Munchel’s case, this was nothing more than a media fabrication. A Jan. 21 court filing submitted by the prosecutors found that Munchel had not brought the zip-ties with him. Rather, he found them within the Capitol and was merely attempting to keep them away from Capitol Police officers.
Another claim — that the so-called insurrectionists entered the Capitol bearing firearms — was found to be similarly dubious.
On March 3, Jill Sandborn, the FBI’s director of counterterrorism, admitted as much during a joint hearing of the Senate Rules and Homeland Security committees.
“How many firearms were confiscated in the Capitol or on the Capitol grounds that day?” Republican Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin asked the FBI official.
“To my knowledge, we have not recovered any on that day from any of the arrests at the scene at this point,” Sanborn answered.
Perhaps the most egregious Jan. 6 falsehood was the assertion that Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick had been murdered by pro-Trump rioters who beat him to death with a fire extinguisher. This claim was forwarded by multiple New York Times reports and even President Joe Biden himself.
Washington’s chief medical examiner found that Sicknick had suffered two strokes on Jan. 7 — after the riot — and had died of natural causes unrelated to the previous day’s events.
As journalist Glenn Greenwald pointed out in his breakdown of false claims regarding the riot, “Without Sicknick having his skull bashed in with a fire extinguisher, there were no deaths that day that could be attributed to deliberate violence by pro-Trump protesters.”
In addition to the many false claims, Johnson’s team made another finding that dismantles the insurrection narrative. According to security footage unveiled by the senator on June 10, as many as 300 unauthorized individuals (roughly 38 percent of the total rioters) were allowed to enter the Capitol through the upper West Terrace doorway while five Capitol Police officers stood by. One officer was even gesturing toward the door as these individuals walked past him.
Conventional wisdom would suggest that violent insurrections would not begin with police officers peacefully ushering the so-called insurrectionists inside.
In spite of all this, the Biden administration has used its influence to “create the appearance of a conspiracy to commit an insurrection,” according to a June 5 report in Human Events by Hanson. Titled “An Invented Insurrection,” it details an indictment filed by the Biden administration on May 30.
The federal indictment claimed that members of the Oath Keepers — a group of “current and formerly serving military, police, and first responders, who pledge to fulfill the oath all military and police take to ‘defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic,'” according to their website — had conspired to commit illegal acts on Jan. 6.
As Hanson points out in his piece, however, the indictment proves the opposite. Evidence provided in the filing shows that the only action these Oath Keepers had “conspired” to take was to “petition the government for redress of grievances where citizens who believed an investigation into the election was needed gathered to say so.”
So then, why spread so many false claims?
In Hanson’s view, the answer is simple: Claiming that an “armed insurrection” led by “domestic extremists” is looming empowers the state with seemingly unlimited authority.
Infringing on the Rights of Rioters and Protesters
Already, it appears that this false “insurrection” narrative is giving federal agencies authority that would otherwise be seen as an infringement of constitutional rights.
“They have arrested pretty much anybody who took a selfie in the Capitol for federal crimes. They’re overcharging everything. They’re keeping people in solitary confinement, no bail, and basically abusing state power in a very scary way,” Hanson told The Western Journal.
The federal crackdown on those present on Jan. 6 has indeed been extensive. As of March 13, 312 people had been charged in relation to the incursion, The Washington Post reported.
In many cases, it appears that those arrested for being present at the Capitol had little or nothing to do with the violence.
One couple present at the rally preceding the incursion — who never entered the Capitol — had their house tossed, their electronic devices seized and even a pocket Constitution taken from them by FBI agents.
Additionally, according to a report from Politico, one defendant housed in the D.C. jail was allegedly beaten by guards. The report also found that those being held in connection with the incursion “have been placed in restrictive housing” and have been subjected to “23-hour-a-day isolation.”
Many such defendants are being held indefinitely.
According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Kathryn L. Rakoczy, the sheer number of cases requires “postponement” and “moving too fast will make prosecution ‘impossible, or result in a miscarriage of justice,'” The Post reported.
In the same story, the outlet admits that prolonged imprisonment is “threatening defendants’ constitutional rights to a speedy trial.”
These abuses may very well extend far beyond the events of Jan. 6 and those involved, Hanson warns.
Making Jan. 6 the New 9/11
During the Bush administration, the original war on terror saw the state gain unprecedented new powers.
This was thanks largely to the 9/11 Commission, an independent committee created to recommend actions the government could take to avoid terrorist attacks. Congress also passed the Patriot Act, which granted the National Security Agency the ability to spy on American citizens.
Many critics have since argued that these powers seriously violate Americans’ rights to privacy.
Those pushing the new domestic war on terror are taking their cues from the 9/11 Commission.
Evan Hill, a reporter for The New York Times, confirmed as much shortly following Jan. 6 when he tweeted that a “former intelligence official on PBS NewsHour” was saying U.S. officials “should think about a ‘9/11 Commission’ for domestic extremism.”
Former intelligence official on PBS NewsHour tonight saying that the US should think about a “9/11 Commission” for domestic extremism and consider applying some of the lessons from the fight against Al Qaeda here at home.
— Evan Hill (@evanhill) January 19, 2021
Retired Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal, formerly the head of Joint Special Operations Command in Iraq as well as the commander of all U.S. and allied troops fighting in Afghanistan, voiced similar sentiments in comparing the two wars on terror.
“I did see a similar dynamic in the evolution of al-Qaida in Iraq, where a whole generation of angry Arab youth with very poor prospects followed a powerful leader who promised to take them back in time to a better place, and he led them to embrace an ideology that justified their violence. This is now happening in America,” McChrystal said, according to Yahoo News.
Furthermore, Democrats in Congress — led by House Speaker Nanci Pelosi — are creating their own Jan. 6 commission to investigate the Capitol incursion.
Unlike its 9/11 counterpart, however, the Jan. 6 commission will not be independent.
Instead, Democrats will be controlling the selection of members, according to CBS News.
In the stated view of Democrats, Jan. 6 was not an isolated event. Instead, it was exemplary of a larger problem the U.S. faces — right-wing, white supremacist terrorism.
The State Targets ‘White Supremacy’ While All Conservatives Are Labeled ‘White Supremacists’
“They are going to use the idea that ‘white supremacy’ — which is their social engineering, you know, that’s their woke bugaboo — they are going to use that now as a terror threat,” Hanson told The Western Journal.
“And, consequently, they’re going to use that to push farther into the more moderate, you know, parts of conservatism.”
Genuine acts of white supremacist extremism have become increasingly rare in the United States.
In fact, the FBI’s most recent hate crime numbers show that white people are underrepresented among hate crime offenders. While whites make up roughly 76 percent of the population, according to the U.S. Census, they make up only 52.5 percent of hate crime offenders, according to the FBI report.
However, with the rise of “critical race theory” and other social justice philosophies, the term “white supremacy” continues to become more vaguely defined.
Those on the political left are not alone in pushing this new meaning of “white supremacy,” however.
These increasingly vague definitions also have been adopted by high-ranking military officials.
In July 2020, a Fox News report found that an Army base in Alabama had disseminated handouts to military personnel that claimed the following were all forms of “covert white supremacy”:
- Saying “All Lives Matter” or “Make America Great Again.”
- Denial of white privilege.
- Anti-immigration policies.
- American exceptionalism.
- Celebration of Columbus Day.
- Claiming reverse racism.
- English-only initiatives.
In more recent news, on June 23, the highest-ranking general in the U.S. military admitted to supporting the study of critical race theory — the very philosophy responsible for broadening and obfuscating the definition of “white supremacy.”
Chairman of the Joints Chiefs of VIRTUE SIGNALING—“General MILLEY” — knows what happened January6th: an outbreak of “White Rage” —Milley should Resign IMMEDIATELY and Pursue his Passions. Race based nonsense. pic.twitter.com/afONwBl8fm
— Greg Kelly (@gregkellyusa) June 24, 2021
“I want to understand white rage, and I’m white. And I want to understand it,” Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff, said while testifying before the House Armed Services Committee.
He went on to say that critical race theory “matters to our military and the discipline and cohesion of this military.”
During an appearance on CNN, retired Army Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling defended Milley, saying, “He’s faced with extremism in the ranks. He’s faced with an enemy that is based on white rage.”
“He’s trying to get to know the enemy,” Hertling said.
These officials are taking their cues from Biden’s “woke agenda,” Hanson explained.
“They literally talk about how they will stop domestic terrorism by stopping racism and stopping inequity and stopping all of these other buzzwords that come from the woke agenda,” he said.
“They think those are essentially the root causes of domestic terrorism, and so they’re going to conduct a combined social engineering and thought police implementation that’s going to give them power against all these things.
“And it’s quite possibly the most grotesque abuse of state power I’ve ever seen.”
The Domestic War on Terror
The government already has announced several plans for confronting the supposed forces of white supremacy and right-wing insurrection.
“Terrorism is the threat that gives them, you know, the ability to go beyond, to go, actually, counter-constitutionally and start freezing free speech and start freezing freedom of association and other things,” Hanson told The Western Journal.
Indeed, the label of “terrorism” gives government officials more authority. The Daily Beast quoted one “senior Justice Department official” as saying the legal definition of domestic terrorism serves to “expand a lot of authorities we can use,” possibly including nationwide search warrants, expanded law-enforcement access to education and tax records and harsher sentencing.
On Feb. 26, Biden’s deputy attorney general, John Carlin — citing the events of Jan. 6 — promised an “enhanced response” to domestic terror groups.
Americans were given a glimpse into that response in a June 15 “National Strategy for Countering Domestic Terrorism” report released by the Biden administration that detailed plans to confront “racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists who promote superiority of the white race” (a strict definition that excludes antifa militants and Black Lives Matter-inspired racial justice rioters).
The “National Strategy” goes on to say that “the U.S. Government” will “address online terrorist recruitment and mobilization to violence by domestic terrorists through increased information sharing with the technology sector.”
In other words, the government will enlist the aid of Big Tech companies — companies well-known for labeling mainstream conservative opinions as extreme forms of “hate speech” — to help identify right-wing extremists.
“In the guise of protecting us against domestic terrorism, they’re going to work to counter mis- and disinformation with the social media companies,” Hanson told The Western Journal.
“No, you know? That’s literally, right there, crossing that First Amendment line. They’re just trying to outsource it,” he said.
The End Game
No one person has covered this new “domestic war on terror” more extensively than Greenwald.
The award-winning journalist, lawyer and author made his bones confronting and exposing what he viewed as attacks on civil liberties propagated by the federal government during the Bush and Obama administrations.
In his opinion, the aim of this new war on terror is to shut down the speech of everyday Americans by loosely applying labels such as “extremist” and “white supremacist.”
“They never say, almost certainly because — just as was true of the first set of new War on Terror laws — their real aim is to criminalize that which should not be criminalized: speech, association, protests, opposition to the new ruling coalition,” Greenwald wrote in January.
“The answer to this question — what needs to be criminalized that is not already a crime? — scarcely seems to matter. Media and political elites have placed as many Americans as they can — and it is a lot — into full-blown fear and panic mode, and when that happens, people are willing to acquiesce to anything claimed necessary to stop that threat, as the first War on Terror, still going strong twenty years later, decisively proved.”
In summary, politicians, military personnel and other government officials are creating an antiterrorism campaign aimed at targeting white supremacist extremists. It began with the Capitol incursion but aspires to extend much further.
While the prevalence of white supremacist groups wanes, the definition of “white supremacy” continues to broaden, with an increasing number of mainstream conservative and even classically liberal ideas becoming identified as “extremist.”
If Hanson and Greenwald are to be believed, conservatives need to prepare themselves. Otherwise, civil rights, civil liberties and other American freedoms may soon become a distant memory.
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