So What Is This Agency All About?

Aaron Klein, author of Fool Me Twice: Obama’s Shocking Plans for the Next Four Years Exposed, raises some interesting questions about the new Interagency Working Group to Counter Online Radicalization to Violence.  I don’t know much about this, so I’m counting on you to chime in.

Is this agency in the good spirit of protecting us from extremists, or does it include the attempt to categorize sensible, peaceful, law-abiding citizens as extremists? I look forward to any information you can provide, and to your thoughts. Here’s a bit of Klein’s article:

With almost no media coverage, the White House last week announced its new Interagency Working Group to Counter Online Radicalization to Violence that will target not only Islamic terrorists but so-called violent “sovereign citizens.”

The FBI defines “sovereign citizens” as “anti-government extremists who believe that even though they physically reside in this country, they are separate or ‘sovereign’ from the United States.”

The law enforcement agency noted such citizens believe they don’t have to answer to any government authority, including courts, taxing entities, motor vehicle departments or police.

The FBI warned that sovereign citizens commit murder and physical assault; threaten judges, law enforcement professionals and government personnel; impersonate police officers and diplomats; and engineer various white-collar scams, including mortgage fraud and so-called ‘redemption’ schemes.

  1. Percival
    Anne R. Pierce:

    “A West Point think tank has issued a paper warning America about “far right” groups such as the “anti-federalist” movement, which supports “civil activism, individual freedoms and self-government.” · 7 hours ago

    Civil activism, individual freedomes, and self-government?  Sounds like those seditious, subversive Sons of Liberty.

  2. The King Prawn

    In other countries we call them different names and arm them to fight the oppressive regimes.

  3. Chris Campion
    Anne R. Pierce: Follow-up question: Is there any connection between the creation of this agency and the West Point policy paper that the Washington Times exposed on January 18?

    “A West Point think tank has issued a paper warning America about “far right” groups such as the “anti-federalist” movement, which supports “civil activism, individual freedoms and self-government.” · 8 hours ago

    Actually, wouldn’t this be a pro-federalist movement?

    Federalism doesn’t mean one super-state ruling over the 50 states, which is what we have now.  Federalism means what the Constitution intended it to mean, where the states have (or had) much more power and influence than they do now.

    If there’s an anti-federalist movement afoot, those people can all be found in one relatively small geographic location, a District, if you will, located somewhere near the Potomac River.

  4. Anne R. Pierce
    C
    Chris Campion

    Anne R. Pierce: Follow-up question: Is there any connection between the creation of this agency and the West Point policy paper that the Washington Times exposed on January 18?

    “A West Point think tank has issued a paper warning America about “far right” groups such as the “anti-federalist” movement, which supports “civil activism, individual freedoms and self-government.” · 8 hours ago

    Actually, wouldn’t this be apro-federalist movement?

    Federalism doesn’t mean one super-state ruling over the 50 states, which is what we have now.  Federalism means what the Constitution intended it to mean, where the states have (or had) much more power and influence than they do now. ….

    Good catch! It would be nice if the average American citizen, let alone the typical American politician would come across the Federalist Papers and be required to learn a bit about Federalism at some point in their education.

  5. TeamAmerica

    I’m sure there are people like those described, but he growing authoritarianism of our gov’t, with AFAIK, DHS and DOE having SWAT teams, is very worrying. Just as Napolitano wants to focus on vets as a terrorist threat, this could easily become a way to at least smear and intimidate gov’t critics, if not to actually provide a rationale to fine, sanction or arrest them.

  6. Aaron Miller

    It sounds like the Obama Administration has declared war on Wesley Snipes.

    He can take ‘em!

  7. Dave Carter
    C

    “…such citizens believe they don’t have to answer to any government authority, including courts, taxing entities, motor vehicle departments or police.”

    Well, it’s about time someone started keeping an eye on Congress and various Executive Agencies.

  8. Aaron Miller
    TeamAmerica: …. this could easily become a way to at least smear and intimidate gov’t critics, if not to actually provide a rationale to fine, sanction or arrest them.

    Of course, there is no perfect program or agency. Nothing is incorruptible. But if the past century has taught us anything about politics, it’s the disturbing frequency of mission drift.

    The Department of Education has its own SWAT team. The EPA tried to call water a pollutant. When our almighty bureaucrats rein in the agencies we already have, maybe we can trust them with cybersecurity.

  9. Anne R. Pierce
    C

    Follow-up question: Is there any connection between the creation of this agency and the West Point policy paper that the Washington Times exposed on January 18?

    “A West Point think tank has issued a paper warning America about “far right” groups such as the “anti-federalist” movement, which supports “civil activism, individual freedoms and self-government.”

  10. Anne R. Pierce
    C

    BTW, I’ve just realized that what really bugs me about this is the hijacking and sullying of the word sovereign and even of the word citizen. Notice how both words are suddenly assigned negative implications. As I said in my comment to Rob’s post above, Language in this century and the last is often used as a tool to deceive, and to make bad look good. (Of course, in the West Point paper it’s even worse with individual rights treated as a negative.)

  11. Pilli

    The first thing I thought when I read the post…Texas!

    As in Texas, Republic of.

  12. Jeff

    Yes, there is a connection. Federal agencies teach emergency responders that the Founding Fathers were terrorists.

    I commented in another thread, liberals think institutionally. They have successfully turned intelligence and law enforcement institutions against conservative ideologies.

  13. R. Craigen

    Does Obama fit this category?  See D’Souza’s film.

    More to the point, could any serious critic of the current admin be considered “anti-government”?

    Exactly what instrument is used to judge the “beliefs” of a person posting things online?  Is this thought-crime.  I think even in the case of genuine jihadists it is a very dicy game restricting speech.  In fact, society is probably far safer if these folks communicate out in the open than to have them forced into secret messaging.  It helps public discourse for such things to be open and verifiable.  The best solution to bad speech, in any case, is more and better speech.

    The marching orders this group has sound remarkably like those Hitler gave to the enforcers of speech codes — the very codes that were put in place in the Weimar Republic to silence the likes of him.  Speech police always lead to unintended consequences, often the opposite of the original intention.

  14. hobbithill

    Side note to the question but…this is just another layer of Government …I am sure there are people working in the government that are doing this job now or should be doing this job…aren’t we suppose to be streamlining Government? Too many bureaucratic levels, layers and committees…why is the solution just another agency! It’s an administrative nightmare!

  15. Fake John Galt

    I am pretty sure they are talking about us.

  16. Illiniguy
    Anne R. Pierce: Follow-up question: Is there any connection between the creation of this agency and the West Point policy paper that the Washington Times exposed on January 18?

    “A West Point think tank has issued a paper warning America about “far right” groups such as the “anti-federalist” movement, which supports “civil activism, individual freedoms and self-government.” · 13 hours ago

    It’s classic Alinsky. Identify, isolate and then demonize your opposition. Their idea of “anti-federalist” is anyone who opposes them.

  17. Devereaux

    One should be careful to not confuse the Federalist forces of old with the formation of the republic. Yes, there was a large input from the likes of Alexander Hamilton, but one should note that he REALLY wanted a kingdom, and wished Washington to be made king. History shows that the federalist side has slowly overwhelmed the republican side, as championed by Jefferson (even if he acted rather contrary to his beliefs when president). The federalists have always been for strong(er) federal (central) government vs state sovereignity.

  18. Anne R. Pierce
    C
    Devereaux: One should be careful to not confuse the Federalist forces of old with the formation of the republic. Yes, there was a large input from the likes of Alexander Hamilton, but one should note that he REALLY wanted a kingdom, and wished Washington to be made king. History shows that the federalist side has slowly overwhelmed the republican side, as championed by Jefferson (even if he acted rather contrary to his beliefs when president). The federalists have always been for strong(er) federal (central) government vs state sovereignity. · 13 minutes ago

    I love it! A discussion of Federalism. Only on Ricochet!

  19. Roberto

    Digging through this morass the effort here  appears to revolve around the work of the Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Homeland Security.

    The FCC has a rather jejune web property, OnGuardOnline.gov which details various online risks: Scams, Computer Security,  Protect Kids etc. to which a new category, Countering Violent Extremism, will be included providing information to whoever actually reads these things.

    The content for this it appears will be drawn from a DHS training program of the same name. The information is all very generic and in the end appears to say very little. If one could ascribe a goal to all this the impression given is of bending over backwards to address domestic Islamist radicalization without ever saying such, The Issue That Dare Not Speak Its Name.

    It appears very much as some incredibly convoluted PC exercise.

  20. Anne R. Pierce
    C
    Roberto: Digging through this morass the effort here  appears to revolve around the work of the Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Homeland Security.

    The FCC has a rather jejuneweb property, OnGuardOnline.gov which details various online risks: Scams, Computer Security,  Protect Kids etc. to which a new category, Countering Violent Extremism, will be included providing information to whoever actually reads these things.

    The content for this it appears will be drawn from a DHS training program of the same name. …………….

    Thanks so much for digging into this. This really helps.

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