Declaring opponents of a regime “enemies of the state” is a long tradition in authoritarian governments. Shockingly, the concept is being deployed by the Biden administration.
On June 15, the White House announced a “National Strategy for Countering Domestic Terrorism.” While there is general agreement that terrorism is, of course, a bad thing, the use of the label “domestic terrorist” to subdue those who merely oppose, ideologically and without violence, a current administration is an instrument of oppression.
In the opening months of the Obama-Biden administration, “Operation Vigilant Eagle” was commenced, labelling returning veterans from the Afghanistan and Iraq wars as potential terrorists. That administration failed to provide convincing evidence that veterans were any more prone to terrorism than any other group. What is clear, however, is that military personnel were more prone to have political views contrary to the then-White House than others.
Despite having proven to be a public relations disaster in 2009, the same biased and politically charged concept is again being deployed as a means to intimidate political opponents. This time, “white supremacy” is being used as the excuse to label and intimidate those who have differing views, even if there is no evidence of violence or racial bias. Increased use of the term “domestic terrorist” is not confined to racial matters by some individuals and journalistic outlets. Those who believe there was fraud in the 2020 election have also been informally given the label. Additionally, the use of phrase has been employed to describe those who don’t subscribe to the environmental policies of the left.
There is a clear lack of actual specific statistics, as opposed to anecdotal accounts and broad statements, about the existence of a terror threat from those allegedly operating under what the left labels white supremacy, anti-climate change regulation or other relevant motivations, although isolated acts of violence have occurred and some very minor organizations exist.
Stunningly, however, there is a great reluctance to treat and governmentally respond to left-wing organizations, more ideologically aligned with the Biden administration, such as Antifa and Black Lives Matter, as terrorists despite massive evidence. These organizations have frequently burned buildings, looted stores, attacked individuals — including journalists covering their activities — assaulted federal courthouses, and occupied police stations. They have established “autonomous zones” within U.S. cities. These activities are neither rare, commonplace or unusual for those groups. Indeed, they are their centralized focus.
Mike Gonzalez, writing in City Journal in September, noted:
“…the leaders of the Black Lives Matter organizations … were trained by self-described Marxist revolutionaries who have long used the plight of black Americans as justification for overthrowing America’s constitutional order. They frankly admit that such “organizing” is the key to their goal of world revolution … These facilitators of anti-white struggle sessions disdain the capitalist system and seek its replacement—and the mainstream media cheers them on.”
Antifa shares both BLM’s Marxist roots and its emphasis on violence. Seth Jones, in a report for the Center for Strategic and International Studies gives an example: “One of the most common symbols used by Antifa combines the red flag of the 1917 Russian Revolution and the black flag of 19th century anarchists.”
Biden’s “National Strategy” however, essentially ignores these very real, substantive and continuous threats, while concentrating on anecdotal, infrequent and largely disorganized examples of what the media generally portrays as “right-wing” violence. This is not surprising, considering the mind-set of the current administration. Kamala Harris, for example, expressed support for a nonprofit called the Minnesota Freedom Fund, which pays criminal bail and immigration bonds, and encouraged her supporters to donate to it during BLM protests last summer.
America, with its unique First Amendment protecting free speech, has been reluctant to deal with domestic terrorist organizations as groups, while willing to prosecute individuals from those groups that commit acts of violence. That may be changing, as the Biden administration appears to have more affinity with other nation’s examples than American precedent.
Its “National Strategy” document notes: “We can learn from our international partners’ challenges and successes in disrupting plots and responding to attacks, integrating that expertise into our own planning.”