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“First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out, because I was not a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out, because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out, because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak out for me.”
– Martin Niemöller
One of the most effective propaganda techniques is to manifest a chilling effect through the demonization of targeted individuals. Chris Broughton was originally cast by the mainstream media as an “angry racist protester,” yet upon discovering he resembled Malcolm X noticeably more than Hal Turner, they had to change their portrayal of him to an “irresponsible gun owner.” Debra Medina was initially hailed by the alternative media as the female incarnation of Ron Paul, yet when she tried to avoid explicitly supporting the 9/11 Truth movement, the Truthers and their ringleader, Alex Jones, cast her as a “flip-flopper” soon after her infamous interview with Glenn Beck, regardless of the fact that she was deliberately attempting to focus solely on Texan political issues instead of commingling them with national ones.
Statists favor the use of censorship, intimidation, SLAPP lawsuits, and malicious prosecutions in order to stifle our common freedoms of speech, press, assembly, and petition, which are explicitly recognized by the several American constitutions. According to the First and Tenth Amendments to the United States Constitution of 1787:
“Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
What this tells us is that the national legislature is clearly forbidden to enact any laws that violate the exercise of those liberties. Since we are also implicitly told by the Tenth Amendment to consider the relevant state constitution, let us now consult Article I §§ 8, 27, & 29 under the Texas Constitution of 1876:
“Every person shall be at liberty to speak, write or publish his opinions on any subject, being responsible for the abuse of that privilege; and no law shall be passed curtailing the liberty of speech or of the press.”
“The citizens shall have the right, in a peaceable manner, to assemble together for their common good; and apply to those invested with the powers of government for redress of grievances or other purposes, by petition, address or remonstrance.”
“To guard against transgressions of the high powers herein delegated, we declare that everything in this ‘Bill of Rights’ is excepted out of the general powers of government, and shall forever remain violate, and all laws contrary thereto, or to the following provisions, shall be void.”
So, we have a constitutional situation here in America whereby expression of a man’s thoughts are considered sacrosanct in the law, and cannot be abridged or curtailed by either the U.S. Congress or the Texas Legislature. If men freely choose to collectively gather together in order to express themselves, that too is sacred, much like the right to keep and bear arms.
The Omnibus Crime Control & Safe Streets Act of 1968, aka, the “Wiretap Statute,” formed the bedrock statutory legislation for all intelligence on criminals. In 2001, both the USA PATRIOT Act and the Aviation & Transportation Security Act were passed; the former permitted the government to warrantlessly search bank statements, medical records, and even your library borrowing history, whereas the latter created the now dreaded Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Following Amerithrax, the Homeland Security Act of 2002 gave more power to the Office of Homeland Security by “upgrading” it to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which is concomitantly headed by a cabinet secretary. Thankfully, the Violent Radicalization & Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007 gloriously failed, although it shouldn’t be ignored that the Congress sincerely tried to criminalize so-called “homegrown terrorism,” a term so vague at the time that its applicability would easily include those constitutionally recognized activities mentioned earlier.
Federal judicial case precedent is blatantly clear about the legality of personal expression, especially political free speech. The United States Supreme Court’s decision in Brandenburg v. Ohio, 395 US 444 (1969) explicitly spells out that mere discussion, or even advocacy, of the people exercising their common right of revolution is constitutionally recognized political expression under the Free Speech and Free Press clauses within the First Amendment, with the only proviso being that said advocacy not threateningly identify any particular individual, and not incite unlawful actions quickly. Now, although the Brandenburg decision should be a suitable defense against all charges of either sedition or seditious libel, because of the lack of incitement, I am hesitant to say whether the case law would suggest it might work should a defendant be charged with conspiracy.
Despite the constitutionality of political expression, the government willfully engages in pigeon-holing American dissidents for “thought crimes” by their political targeting campaigns through the use of defamation, libel, and slander. The copious documentation available to the press and the public about the “intelligence” reports issued by the fusion centers unquestionably demonstrate the government’s ubiquitous attempts at criminalizing dissent primarily through guilt by association, just as in a police lineup. Law enforcement officers are brainwashed by DHS’s scenario training, which encourages their paranoia about the American citizenry. Government police are deceived by the troves of misinformation that play on their inclination to fantasize about catching “the big one,” thereby making them highly susceptible to the Jack Bauer Syndrome. The result of all this government-sponsored defamation is nothing less than the manifestation of a chilling effect through demonization.
Unjust dissident profiling and labeling is not only arbitrary, but also factually incorrect. Whether it be by way of profiling specific behavior as indicative of the “signs of terrorism,” or the regular use of fallacious arguments, the incessant portrayal of American dissidents as criminal malcontents is really beyond the pail. Anyone initially declared an “unlawful enemy combatant” by the Bush White House was legally considered to be so under § 948a(1) within the Military Commissions Act of 2006, although this was meaninglessly changed to “unprivileged enemy belligerent” under § 948a(7) within the Military Commissions Act of 2009, since both terms entailed “material support,” a concept that is ever expanding beyond its purported meaning, which was originally limited to jihadists.
Speaking of fallacious arguments, the government and their corporate partners appear to enjoy using the ad hominem and straw man fallacies without hesitation. The constitutionalist patriot faction is routinely labeled as “anti-government,” despite their public advocacy for restoring constitutional government (that is, the early American republics within these United States). This same political faction is also regularly accused of being “racist” or “racially supremacist,” despite the fact that there is nothing to suggest in what Justices Miller and Moody wrote in the 1872 In Re Slaughter-House Cases and 1908 Twining v. New Jersey decisions, respectively, that race is even relevant to state citizenship at all. Less common name-calling over the years has included, “radical,” “enabler,” and “tax rebel.”
Probably the most commonly used defamatory label used by the State these days is “extremist.” This is rather curious, for up until recently, the closest definition for “extremism” was that there was no objective definition, yet a leaked Department of Defense military scenario training document provided this definition:
“Extremism [is a] term used to describe the actions or ideologies of individuals or groups who take a political idea to its limits, regardless of unfortunate repercussions, and show intolerance toward all views other than their own.”
If I didn’t know any better, I’d suggest that the military’s definition of “extremism” describes the GOP and the so-called “democrat” political parties accurately, but I digress. Unfortunately, this is a tad problematic when you consider that the Congressional Research Service described the term “extremist” as being deliberately vague so that the government can enjoy prosecutorial flexibility in charging defendants for terroristic actions without having to formally charge them with actual terrorism. When Larken Rose, an avowed anarchist, was labeled an “extremist” by a YouTube user who claimed he was a policeman, I’m sure you can begin to appreciate the seriousness of the mere accusation itself, although thankfully, a joint intelligence bulletin by DHS and FBI issued last month (on April 16th of 2015) finally defined, after all these years, what “domestic extremism” means:
“Domestic extremism [is defined as] individuals present in the United States who seek to further political or social goals, wholly or in part, through unlawful acts of force or violence. The mere advocacy of political or social positions, political activism, use of strong rhetoric, or generalized philosophic embrace of violent tactics may not constitute extremism, and may be constitutionally protected.” [emphasis added]
How very revealing this newest definition is, isn’t it? Suffice it to say, the government appears to be backpedaling by narrowing the definition after the fact, much like they did with “terrorism.” So, according to the new DHS/FBI definition, not only does extremism necessarily require actual committed acts of violence, but also that the mere advocacy of such techniques is constitutionally recognized, presumably via the 1969 Brandenburg case. Should Larken Rose, as well as the patriot faction, be expecting apologies from the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), the Homeland Security Advisory Group, the United States Coast Guard, the Federal Protective Service, the United States Military Academy at West Point, or Demos, among other entities, for their systematic demonization of American political dissidents?
This begs the question, though, as to the role of civil disobedience, or perhaps, civil defiance, in light of this newest understanding by what the federal government means by “extremism.” Would Saul Alinksy’s radicals be considered extremist? Alinsky is constantly mentioning throughout his primer about the “revolutionary organizers,” yet I cannot find a black bloc keying cars or bashing in storefront windows anywhere in the text. Would Gene Sharp’s revolutionaries be considered extremist? Again, it’s not as if they are shooting cops anytime soon, so I’m going to assume that even calling them “revolutionaries” is intellectually dishonest. Fascinatingly enough, the removal of the barricades in front of the World War II Memorial during the last government shutdown by WWII veterans, as well as the Cattle Unrustling a little over a year ago in Nevada, were “nonviolently” peaceful, despite the fact they were both acts of civil defiance.
Let us now examine a rather unique case study where said unjust government profiling was used to essentially balkanize and dismantle civic groups. For fiscal year 2012, the New Hampshire Department of Safety applied for a federal grant in the amount of $258,024 for a Lenco BearCat, which is literally an armored personnel carrier. Within the application was this description of New Hampshire’s “terrorism” problem:
“The State of New Hampshire’s experience with terrorism slants primarily towards the domestic type. We are fortunate that our State has not been victimized from a mass casualty event from an international terrorism strike however on the domestic front, the threat is real and here. Groups such as the Sovereign Citizens, Free Staters, and Occupy New Hampshire are active and present daily challenges. Outside of the officially organized groups, there are several homegrown clusters that are anti-government and pose problems for law enforcement agencies.”
This spurred justifiable outrage, such as the Thanks But No Tanks campaign, simply because the NH Department of Safety profiled the Occupiers, sovereigns, and Free State Project (FSP) members as domestic terrorists, without any evidence or probable cause to sincerely believe any of them have engaged in any criminal activity whatsoever. Once Christopher Cantwell explained the rationale as to why statists would want to use APCs against Free Staters, the Free State Project Board of Trustees quickly purged him from their organization, without any consultation from the rank and file membership of the FSP. The subsequent fallout from this has been the adoption of the mainstream media term “violence advocate,” by such alternative media outlets like Free Talk Live (FTL), to describe any political dissident who simply reminds the public at-large of their common right, and even duty, of revolution. Ironically, this politically correct thought policing by the FSP and FTL directly contradicts not only § 627:4 of the New Hampshire Revised Statutes Annotated, but also Articles 2-a & 10 within the New Hampshire Constitution of 1784, which say, respectively, that:
“All persons have the right to keep and bear arms in defense of themselves, their families, their property and the state.”
“Government being instituted for the common benefit, protection, and security, of the whole community, and not for the private interest or emolument of any one man, family, or class of men; therefore, whenever the ends of government are perverted, and public liberty manifestly endangered, and all other means of redress are ineffectual, the people may, and of right ought to reform the old, or establish a new government. The doctrine of nonresistance against arbitrary power, and oppression, is absurd, slavish, and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind.” [emphasis added]
As you can no doubt tell by now, this peacenik agenda by the FSP & FTL is rather, well, anti-libertarian, because these pacifists are using the non sequitur fallacy by insinuating that self-defense implicitly endorses revolution. Individuals who live by the non-aggression principle understand that the deontological burden of proof is much higher for revolution than for self-defense, and the Texan equivalent of NH’s constitution and statutes on this matter lie in Article I §§ 2 & 23 of the Texas Constitution and in the Texas Penal Code §§ 9.31 – 9.33, especially § 9.31(c). This ongoing attempt by the FSP & FTL to drive a wedge between libertarians and the patriots is nothing short of utterly disgusting; whether or not the FSP & FTL are controlled opposition, or are just very useful idiots playing their role according to the Hegelian Dialectic formula, does not matter much, because I think the effects of this peacenik rhetoric speaks for itself in terms of chilling dissent, thereby doing the work of the State for them.
Alarmingly, the very accuracy of the government’s profiling of dissidents, whenever it’s not being deceptively vague, is always methodologically skewed. Fictional predictive programming elements, in movies like Minority Report or television shows like the anime Psycho-Pass, give the impression that the government is omniscient because of its precognitive capabilities. This entire notion of “precrime” is a blatant abuse of mens rea, because it presumes that mere potential criminal intent, absent any criminal action, is sufficient for prosecution by the State. Actual criminal profiling is always done on an individual basis, not collectively (as DHS is all too eager and fond of doing) Actual profiling is very labor intensive in terms of gathering and sorting the evidence, and even then, only specially trained profilers have any sort of real accuracy in constructing offender profiles, above and beyond that of the comparable accuracy of college students, psychologists, and even homicide detectives.
Unfortunately, it’s not just the State that is unjustly profiling dissidents, but also non-governmental organizations (NGOs) as well. The Militia Watchdog by the, ironically titled, Anti-Defamation League (who exist only to defame others), and Meet the Patriots by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), showcase different enemies lists whose purpose is to illustrate specific examples of their political opposition. Personally, I have zero problems with the whole concept of drafting an enemies list for other reasons; what I do have a problem with here is the fact that these NGOs are deliberately lying to the government about said dissidents in the blatantly obvious attempt to sic the King’s guards upon all of them. The SPLC itself is nothing more than a huge scam that was begun by Morris Dees in the admitted attempt to make money by any means possible, as evidenced in part by locals in Montgomery, Alabama describing the SPLC’s headquarters as the “Poverty Palace.” Interestingly enough, it would seem as if the SPLC only backpedaled with regards to their portrayal of Dr. Ben Carson, albeit half-heartedly. Bigotry, much?
Another key aspect of this whole mess is the government’s insistence on “policy” over that of the law. Nearly everything, when it comes to the notorious hoax that is the so-called Global War on Terror, is about “national security policy,” not criminal law or even the Congress’s enumerated power in granting letters of marque and reprisal to privateers in order to attack and capture these elusive “terrorists,” just as if they were the Barbary pirates during the early American republic. Instead of following the legal remedies available to the Congress that are clearly enumerated in the federal Constitution, they have chosen instead to construct this elaborate illusion of security theater throughout much of the federal bureaucracy where due process is routinely denied and the malicious prosecution of individuals such as Larry Myers, Robert Beecher, and Kevin Massey is the “new normal,” not the exception.
Some detractors at this point might question, why should they care if they or others are unjustly profiled by the government, presumptuously skeptical that these attempts at chilling dissent are only practically effective if they are actually enforced. Consider, for a moment, national defense projects such as C3CM, or the TSA’s Screening of Passengers by Observation Techniques (SPOT) microexpressive profiling method, the latter of which the Government Accountability Office (GAO) recommended SPOT be scrapped. Those fusion centers with the inaccurate “intelligence” I mentioned earlier, which were recommended by the 9/11 Commission to facilitate “intelligence sharing,” exist today in the form of the Texas Department of Public Safety’s Texas Fusion Center, which comes under the auspices of the Regional Organized Crime Information Center (ROCIC) that is one of the Regional Information Sharing Systems (RISS) administered by none other than the BJA, much to the chagrin of religious clergy here in Texas.
Enforcement is not only limited to integrated databases and Stasi-styled behavioral detection police checkpoints. Police militarization includes not just the “armoring up” of officers, as evidenced by the earlier referenced BearCat case study, but also the use of Visible Intermodal Prevention & Response (VIPER) teams in Tampa and Atlanta, the dangerously violent midnight raids to enforce narcotics prohibition, and the military’s treatment of protesting as “low-level terrorism.” Whether it’s the U.S. Army Reserve conducting surveillance on End the Fed protestors, or the NYPD turning Pier 57 into a temporary concentration camp, the takeaway here is that the State has a multitude of enforcement options to use once they’ve profiled you as an American dissident.
Of course, the enforcement need not be as draconian as being killed by drone strikes like a Pakistani, simply because the government could just blacklist or incarcerate you on a whim. TSA’s infamous No Fly List has banned young children from flying on commercial jets, yet the No Fly List was also promoted to become a No Gun Buy list by Rahm Emanuel on the premise that your right to keep and bear arms should also be canceled, regardless of the incompetent “mistakes” TSA gets routinely caught doing.
More insidious enforcement necessarily uses Soviet tactics to identify, search, and capture the politically undesirables in question. The advanced imaging technology TSA was using to scan the naked bodies of nearly all passengers, was just exploiting the airports as laboratory beta-testing, for what they want to use everywhere else with the mobile x-ray scanners and their handheld equivalent. DHS’s initial promotion of the Future Attribute Screening Technology (FAST) featured asking stupid questions about copyright infringement while also using biometric facial recognition to scan the hapless citizen for behavioral clues of “malintent,” as if it were a high-tech version of TSA’s SPOT.
Those fusion centers, yet again, come back into play for their role in attempting to profile dissidents as being gang members, pursuant to Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Article 61.02, Texas Penal Code § 71.01(d), and even 28 CFR §§ 23.1 – 23.4, whose authorizing legislation was none other than the infamous 1968 Wiretap Statute, all of which was admitted by the Texas DPS’ TXGANG database overview. Greenmail, much?
Involuntary commitment laws are still legal here in Texas, pursuant to Article I § 15-a of the Texas Constitution, and the Texas Health & Safety Code Ch. 573, 574, & § 571.020. If you express your political dissent on Facebook like Brandon Raub did, then just don’t be surprised when you get whisked away by the government police off to the American version of the Psikhushka.
A few more thoughts on surveillance and enforcement before moving on to mitigation options. Fake online users hired by the government to harass or entrap you is only viable if you leave behind a noticeable digital footprint. Efforts at data-mining your voter files or other metadata is useful only insofar as it increases the predicative ability of the government to anticipate future trends accurately. As United States Attorney Ann Tompkins said regarding Bernard von NotHaus’ Liberty Dollar:
“Attempts to undermine the legitimate currency of this country are simply a unique form of domestic terrorism. While these forms of anti-government activities do not involve violence, they are every bit as insidious and represent a clear and present danger to the economic stability of this country. We are determined to meet these threats through infiltration, disruption, and dismantling of organizations which seek to challenge the legitimacy of our democratic form of government.”
Putting aside the very high degree of cognitive dissonance imposed by that very Orwellian and self-contradictory language by Tompkins, this is exactly what happens when lawyers use vague and ill-defined definitions for words like “terrorism.” It is precisely because of this irrational blind obedience to illusory authority that has led to these ongoing attempts at chilling dissent.
How might it be possible to reign in these tyrannical excesses of government, which directly violate our freedoms of speech, press, assembly, and petition? The answer to security theater is security culture. Hard as it may be to hear, the fact of the matter is that due to the nature of our overall political situation, you and I might as well be kulaks in Soviet Russia or Parisians in occupied France. Civil liberties are, quite frankly, a sick joke, so unless you find yourself in court, despite your attempts to avoid litigation using the tattered vestiges of American republicanism as part of your defense, screaming bloody murder at the airport about constitutional infringements will get you nowhere.
Many people have their own ideas about how to make security culture work. For instance, Bruce Schneier has recommended thinking of security itself as a trifecta of feelings, model, & reality, by which he means our emotional attitude, rational conception, and the objective facts regarding security, ideally bringing our emotions and concepts of security towards what is actually happening to us objectively. What I enjoy about Schneier’s trifecta is that I can extrapolate it out to mean that the government’s security theater is completely skewed because all of its feelings about risks are grossly disconnected from reality, besides the fact that its models are based on feelings and not reason. This is why I believe security theater to be the polar opposite of security culture.
Security culture also entails the use of practical techniques for minimizing threats by adversaries. Aton Edwards has counseled his audience to never underestimate the power of disinformation, by which he means using false information against your adversaries. For instance, driving an inconspicuous car, or using other low-profile techniques, might just make the difference as to whether you are going to have to use the skills you’ve practiced from role-playing police interrogations. Learning what the specific characteristics are that the Missouri Information Analysis Center (MIAC) and BJA are looking for in what they consider to be “suspicious behavior” or “signs of terrorism” will give you a leg up in determining whether you want to antagonize or avoid government police. Better yet, just keeping your own counsel and using believable legends will save you a lot of heartache.
An almost untouched upon element of using security culture in order to sidestep the chilling effect by the State is the secured archival of one’s records. Whether it be by way of encrypted online cloud storage or physical media such as an external hard disk, USB memory sticks, or burnable CDs & DVDs, the fact of the matter is that should your computers be seized or hacked into, you need mirrored spares of your most important files (probably with file encryption to boot). Chilling dissent can be something just as simple as coercively depriving you of your records through subpoena or seizure, so having both digital and paper copies of the same information, preferably in different locations, is definitely something to consider.
While most people could easily begin incorporating security culture into their own lives gradually, there is also a lifestyle choice you could make that is consistent with living off-the-grid. The vonu strategy is the epitome of what some libertarians have called “Going Galt,” where instead of willful apathy, you become purposefully invisible. Practitioners of this strategy believe that the best way to avoid being coerced is to remove yourself from all influences of coercion; this could be done by living in a semi-nomadic way, using mail drops, pseudonyms, crypto-currencies, bartering, or even as a perpetual traveler, all the while abstaining from engaging in activities requiring licensure. Tom Marshall is usually credited with coining the term, and it would also appear that he began following his own advice ever since 1974, when he literally disappeared.
Heading off misconceptions before they rise, I’d like to point out that security culture is not limited to being a “lone wolf” affair by any means. Formulating an “arrest plan” entails having at least one person you implicitly trust on the outside who’d be your single point of contact should you need anything, such as access to the press. People interested in organizing along the lines of leaderless resistance must implement security culture for their affinity group, regardless of whether such affinity takes the form of a security team or a private defense agency. The reason why American patriots like Kevin Massey and William Wolf got persecuted by the federal government the way that they did is because they both had terrible security culture; if monkey-wrenchers can perform their operations successfully most of the time without getting caught, shouldn’t we at least consider the possibility that they take security culture much more seriously than the patriot faction?
In order for the State’s program of chilling dissent to work, they must identify, isolate, and eliminate perceived threats to their alleged legitimacy; what this means is that they cannot eliminate whom they cannot isolate, and they cannot isolate whom they cannot identify. Therefore, their tyrannical designs necessarily requires relentlessly undermining their attempts at identification. As I have admitted before on at least a few occasions, the name “Kyle Rearden” is just my current nome de plume, and in that respect is similar to my previous alias. However, this is not just a pragmatic choice I made, but it is also a principled rejection of my legalized slave name, in much the same way Malcolm X did with his name. I mention this yet again only to stress the fact that if we all are to secure our liberties again, implementing privacy safeguards ought to be an indispensible element in order to avoid becoming susceptible to the temptation of allowing our dissent to be chilled.
Postscript: I’d like to extend a special thanks to Shane Radliff of Liberty Under Attack for graciously hosting all of the original source material I used in preparation for this article. Should you want to learn more nuanced details about how the government profiles dissenters, then I would encourage you to download and read all of the documents and videos from LUA’s profiling archive.