In an unprecedented move the FBI has placed the Republican Party and the Christian Right on the terrorist watchlist.
The move may be in part because of a new report released from the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point that found, “In the last few years, and especially since 2007, there has been a dramatic rise in the number of attacks and violent plots originating from people and groups who self-identify with the far-right of American politics.”
From 2002 to 2007, only nine right-wing extremists were indicted for their roles in politically motivated murders and other types of ideologically motivated violent assaults. But between 2008 and 2012, the number mushroomed to 53.
By comparison, in 2012, only six people who subscribed to al Qaeda’s ideology were indicted on terrorism-related charges in the United States, confirming the trend of the past four years, which is a sharp decline in such cases.
We asked an FBI agent who was involved in the new classification what the parameters were for the decision. He wished to remain anonymous so that he could speak freely.
“This has been building for a long time. The Bush administration ordered Homeland Security to do a study of domestic terrorism back in 2007. The president wasn’t happy with the results. There was a huge backlash from the Conservatives and he ordered Janet Napolitano to squash the results. Would you like to guess what the results were? It showed that Christian right groups or individuals that follow Christian right ideologies were responsible for more acts of domestic terrorism than any Muslim group. Since then, various think tanks have been studying the problem.
The studies to which he refers are the Combating Terrorism Center’s report cited above, The Southern Poverty Law Center’s investigation that found, “56 percent of terrorist attacks and plots have been perpetrated by right-wing extremists, 30 percent by eco-terrorists and 12 percent by Islamic extremists. The highest number of extremist hate groups ever recorded in U.S. history, with the sharp rise attributed to massive growths in white supremacist, anti-immigrant and radical anti-government groups. Anti-Muslim hate groups have also increased by 300 percent.
The Center’s data also shows, “… That hate groups have increased by 69 percent in the last decade. And the so-called “Patriot” groups have increased nearly 800 percent since Obama became president.
The START database on terrorism in America, which tracks all incidents of political violence, shows that most attacks in the last two decades have been on black churches, reproductive rights facilities, government offices, and individual minorities. And those have been committed mainly by right-wing extremists. From 1990 to 2009, START identified 275 “homicide events” that killed 520 people and were committed by right-wing ideologues. There were many more incidents of destruction of property, nonfatal attacks, and other acts of thuggery by white supremacists, private militias, and the like.
The agent continued, “There doesn’t seem to be a moderate Christian right anymore. They have all become extremists. The same goes for the Republican Party as a whole. They have kept pushing further and further toward Tea Party extremism. Don’t get me wrong, while the Christian right is responsible for the majority of violent terrorism… bombings, assignations … the Republican Party is involved in economic and social terrorism which has directly led to the deaths of countless Americans. They all seemed to have gone bat-shit crazy and they don’t even try to hide it anymore.”
The economic/social terrorism to which the agent is referring is the damage caused by holding the debt ceiling hostage in 2011, the sequestration cuts, the government shutdown, general Republican obstructionism, waging war against women, immigrants, minorities, voting rights, Union rights and the further threat of holding the debt ceiling hostage once again in the coming months.
When asked how the entire Republican Party could be put on the terrorism watchlist the agent offered this, “Anyone who is a self-proclaimed Republican is now a suspect. The party has shifted so far to the extreme that to be a member of it is to condone their violent and oppressive actions. The NSA is now tracking every registered Republican.”
We questioned the legality of the NSA conducting surveillance on the entire Republican Party. The agent responded with, “The Patriot Act that the Republicans wrote and voted into law under the Bush administration gives us the right. Section 802 clearly defines their actions as domestic terrorism.”
Section 802 of the USA PATRIOT Act expanded the definition of terrorism to cover “domestic,” as opposed to international, terrorism. A person engages in domestic terrorism if they do an act “”dangerous to human life”” that is a violation of the criminal laws of a state or the United States, if the act appears to be intended to: (i) intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination or kidnapping.
We asked what comes next? How do you deal with a nearly have the population being labeled terrorist?
“Along with our investigations and surveillance we are starting to build treatment centers to help the citizens afflicted with Republicanism transition to a more sane life. We know some are going to try to change party affiliations to throw us off but we have ways to verify Repulicanism. They are deathly afraid of change. We can just change out their breakfast cereal and monitor the reaction. That’s a dead give-away. Also, they tend have much lower IQ’s so a simple logic test will normally trip them up.