If youâ€™re in Missouri, it might be better to take that old Ron Paul or Bob Barr bumper sticker off your car. A February 20 report to help Missouri law enforcement identify domestic terrorists has some alarming advice.
The report is put out by the Missouri Information Analysis Center, which is a â€œpublic safety partnership consisting of local, state and federal agencies.â€ It collects information on matters of homeland security and disseminates it throughout Missouri and neighboring states.
Supposedly, this is a report not meant for public distribution, but it is getting wide dissemination throughout the media. Although not one of my favorite sites because of exaggerated conspiracy theories, infowars.com has copies of the report.
In an attempt to identify where militia members may gather, the report identifies sources of political and anti-government rhetoric that it claims are suspect.
â€œMilitia members most commonly associate with 3rd party political groups. It is not uncommon for militia members to display Constitutional Party, Campaign for Liberty, or Libertarian material. These members are usually supporters of former Presidential Candidate: Ron Paul, Chuck Baldwin, and Bob Barr.â€
Ralph Nader must be jealous not to be included as a subversive.
However, if you think being liberal might get you off easy, there are still ways to catch the liberal terrorists in our midst.
â€œMilitia members commonly display picture, cartoons, bumper stickers that contain anti-government rhetoric. Most of this material will depict the FRS, IRS, FBI, ATF, CIA, UN, Law Enforcement and â€œThe New World Orderâ€ in a derogatory manner.â€
It looks like as long as you donâ€™t question the government, then you wonâ€™t be a suspect. That makes just about everyone a suspect.
Here, letâ€™s give the Missouri authorities a chance to explain themselves as they did in this AP story:
Lt. John Hotz of the Missouri State Highway Patrol said the report comes from publicly available, trend data on militias. It was compiled by the Missouri Information Analysis Center, a â€œfusion centerâ€ in Jefferson City that combines resources from the federal Department of Homeland Security and other agencies. The center, which opened in 2005, was set up to collect local intelligence to better combat terrorism and other criminal activity, he said.
â€œAll this is an educational thing,â€ Hotz said of the report. â€œTroopers have been shot by members of groups, so itâ€™s our job to let law enforcement officers know what the trends are in the modern militia movement.â€
Ron Paul bumper stickers. Anti-CIA rhetoric. That puts you on the path to be watched by Missouri law enforcement because you might be out to shoot them.
The report has some very weak arguments. It lists one of the motivators for the rise of militias the idiotic theory from Russian Professor Igor Panarin that the U.S. is going to split into six different nations as early as this year. According to this delusion, the Western U.S. may become part of China and the east coast will become part of the European Union. I must assume the authors of this report must have been looking for filler to include this lunacy. When Panarin presented this idea in Moscow recently, even the Russians snickered.
The report has just enough viable information about extremist Christian groups, white supremacist organizations, militant abortionists and anti-immigrant backers to give credence that it offers the â€œeducationalâ€ value that officer Hotz said it is about. That is the problem. What is going to stop someone in law enforcement from believing all of it?
As much a threat the federal government can be to civil liberties, it increasingly looks like itâ€™s the state cops that are going to have to be watched. Missouri is not the first state to head in this direction. Recently, a program in Maryland put peace-activist nuns, among others, on its terror watch list. However, all was not lost. In the name of national security, this specially trained unit spent hours investigating a potential chicken theft.
When anti-government rhetoric becomes something law enforcement wants to watch, then we all have cause to worry.