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America’s Real Homegrown Extremists

Friday, July 25, 2014 6:18
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America’s Real Homegrown Extremists

Eric Holder wants to convey his all-consuming concern over “lone wolf homegrown violent extremists” who have “domestic concerns”. On July 13 Holder remarked on ABC’s This Week that such bogeys keep him “up late at night” as he and his cohorts attempt “to monitor them, anticipate what it is that they are going to do.”[1]

The Attorney General’s hand wringing is compounded by the Southern Poverty Law Center’s most recent “research” report. The document seeks to inform “law enforcement about the increasingly hostile anti-government movement” the SPLC claims “has grown from 150 groups in 2008 to nearly 1,100 last year.”[2]

“In early June,” the study intones,

two rabid government haters who spent time at the [Bundy] ranch, Jerad and Amanda Miller, strolled into a Las Vegas pizza parlor, walked past a pair of police officers eating lunch, turned and executed the two men [sic]. Leaving a Gadsden “Don’t Tread on Me Flag,” a note saying the revolution had begun and a swastika on the officers’ bodies, the couple went on to murder another man before dying in a shootout with police.[3]

The overall publicity offensive comes one month after Holder announced the re-establishment of the DOJ’s Committee on Domestic Terrorism, initially begun following the bombing of the Oklahoma City Murrah Federal Building and scuttled in 2001.[4]

While Holder and the SPLC unsurprisingly promote the Vegas shooting as a genuine event, there are several uncertain features of the alleged massacre that have been left wholly unaddressed by major media–the foremost being that the Millers were police informants and probable provocateurs. Further, they had been kicked off of the Bundy ranch because of their unusual remarks and behavior.[5]

Despite the Vegas incident’s dubious features, it is a foremost element in cultivating an atmosphere of tension surrounding “extremist” attitudes and hostility toward police exhibited in social media. For example, the topic of “[e]escalating danger by anti-government extremists dominated a four-hour discussion on homeland security” held at the National Sheriffs’ Association conference in June. According to one sheriff in attendance, such extremism is “the single greatest concern that faces our deputies today.”[5]

But recent history strongly suggests how Holder’s crocodile fears and the SPLC’s associated terror mongering are grossly disingenuous. The DOJ’s foremost policing agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, has since 9/11 been the nation’s greatest purveyor of “domestic terrorism.” What goes unstated in corporate news media coverage of the issue is the fact that the FBI’s wanton extremism is self-generated largely to marshal public opinion behind the so-called “war on terror” and thereby justify the broader police state’s continued existence and expansion.

As journalist Trevor Aaronson revealed after an extensive examination of the FBI’s post-9/11 “anti-terrorism” techniques, for over a decade the agency

has built the largest network of spies ever to exist in the United States—with ten times as many informants on the streets today as there were during the infamous Cointelpro operations under J. Edgar Hoover—with the majority of these spies focused on ferreting out terrorism in Muslim communities.[6]

With this in mind, one needn’t stretch their imagination very far to consider the designs the FBI is likely undertaking to foster its “war on [domestic] terrorism.” Such immense schemes are more than sufficient cause to further rethink the already ambiguous roles played by the “Vegas shooters” in last month’s apparent massacre.

Eric Holder and the SPLC are well aware of their own duplicity. The fact that they parade around waving the flag of civil rights should by no means place them beyond the deep scrutiny they so richly deserve. Moreover, their fear-based sermonizing is pitched to the most obtuse and impressionable sectors of the public—those the media routinely inoculate against historical reality, critical thought, and informed citizenship.

Notes

[1] “One-on-One with Eric Holder: Homegrown Terror Threat,” ABC’s This Week, July 13, 2014.

[2] Jason Sickles, “Online Rants, Antigovernment Fuel Fears of US Cop Killings,” Yahoo News, July 14, 2014.

[3] “War in the West: The Bundy Ranch Standoff and the American Radical Right,” Southern Poverty Law Center, Montgomery, Alabama, July 2014, 6. The methodology employed by the SPLC employs topurport a growth of “hate groups” is at best dubious. See James F. Tracy, “Extremist Publicity and Historical Reality,” Memory Hole Blog, March 14, 2013.

[4] “Statement by Attorney General Holder on Reestablishment of Committee on Domestic Terrorism,” US Department of Justice Office of Public Affairs, Washington DC, June 3, 2014.

[5] “Jerad and Amanda Miller: Were Vegas Shooters Informants ‘Gone Off the Reservation‘?” 21st Century Wire, June 23, 2014.

[6] Trevor Aaronson, The Terror Factory: Inside the FBI’s Manufactured War on Terrorism, New York: Ig Publishing, 2013, 16.


Professor James F. Tracy is an Associate Professor of Media Studies at Florida Atlantic University. James Tracy’s work on media history, politics and culture has appeared in a wide variety of academic journals, edited volumes, and alternative news and opinion outlets. James is editor of Union for Democratic Communication’s Journal Democratic Communiqué and a contributor to Project Censored’s forthcoming publication Censored 2013: The Top Censored Stories and Media Analysis of 2011-2012. Additional writings and information are accessible at memoryholeblog.com.

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