Combating terrorism has become the top priority of American intelligence services since the 9/11 attacks.
At first, surveillance tools and invasive national security investigations focused on Muslims, but since the 2016 election of Donald Trump, the 2017 Unite the Right protest, and the breach of the US Capitol in 2021, the FBI, Department of Homeland Security, and Department of Justice have placed white Americans with Constitutionally protected conservative, religious or nationalist beliefs in their crosshairs.
Federal officials have shaken billions of dollars from taxpayer coffers to fight domestic terrorism, claiming that this is the deadliest threat facing the homeland today. While Congress has gone along with signing them a blank check, the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act obligates federal agencies to provide oversight committees with annual data on domestic terrorism. So far, they have refused to comply.
A Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed by the left-leaning Brennan Center seeking transparency on this question has finally revealed why the Department of Justice has been so secretive. During proceedings, Judge Randolph Moss ordered the DoJ to release dockets related to 1,140 criminal prosecutions internally labeled as terrorism cases from between 2006 and 2020. Amazingly, it was found that only a 71, or 6% of this sample, had an actual nexus with terrorism of any stripe.
On the question of domestic terrorism, a large percentage of cases labeled as such were interpersonal disputes or isolated “hate crimes” that were not connected to furthering the goals of a political movement. The majority of the cases were non-violent, as in, they did not harm human life. Only 40% were related to “Violent Militia Extremism,” “Sovereign Citizens,” “Racially Motivated Violent Extremism,” — which the FBI, DHS and DoJ publicly name as chief influences in domestic terrorism. The rest dealt primarily with radical environmentalist attacks on corporate property.
The revelation that the feds are, in effect, lying to the US Congress and American people by inventing domestic terrorism statistics it does release triggered a harsh rebuke from Judge Moss.
After an in-camera examination of several criminal cases marked by the DoJ as terrorism related, an indignant Moss addressed the FOIA plaintiffs by saying that the “fact that you are not getting more from the government strikes me as pretty powerful information that you’re obtaining with respect to what the government has been reporting to Congress and to the public over the years with respect to their efforts to combat terrorism.” He concluded by stating that what has been publicly reported by the government on the threat of domestic terrorism is “vastly overstated.”
Moss added that a cross burning on somebody’s property, apparently one of the cases he looked over, while it could technically be classified as a hate crime, it does not fit the statutory definition of domestic terrorism, which requires inflicting or planning to inflict physical harm. Over time, the Judge grew increasingly irritated by the government’s refusal to explain what criteria it has been using to classify a criminal investigation as a terrorism case, “many millions of dollars of money are being appropriated to fight this thing, whatever it might be. It would really be good to know what the Government thinks it is.”
These court disclosures support what FBI whistleblowers have been telling oversight committees for years, which is that federal agents and DoJ prosecutors knowingly miscategorize criminal investigations as “domestic terrorism” in order to serve a political agenda seeking to prosecute First Amendment protected speech or activities. Another whistleblower noted that agents are internally rewarded for domestic terrorism arrests with promotions and raises.
In one example, a whistleblower described how FBI supervisors pressured him to divide a single domestic terrorism investigation into four separate cases in order to create the impression that the issue was more pervasive than it really was.
The FBI continues to demand even more money for its 2024 budget to expand its Joint Terrorism Task Force program in the name of combating domestic terrorism, even as popular opinion hardens against them. Presidential candidates such as Donald Trump and Vivek Ramaswamy have made abolishing America’s political police core campaign promises. It is also point 8 of the National Justice Party platform, “We demand the FBI, which acts as nothing more than a political secret police force for elite interests, be abolished and replaced with a legitimate federal law enforcement agency.”