Soon, We'll All Be Radicals

A series of leaked "intelligence" reports have caused quite a dust-up over the last several weeks. A Texas fusion center warned about a terrorist threat from "the international far Left," the Department of Homeland Security and a Missouri fusion center warned of threats posed by right-wing ideologues, and a Virginia fusion center saw threats from across the political spectrum and called certain colleges and religious groups "nodes of radicalization." These are all examples of domestic security gone wrong. The way for local police to secure their communities against real threats is to focus on criminal activities and the individuals involved in criminal activities.

If these "intelligence" reports described recent crimes and the people who perpetrated them, there would be little problem from a civil rights perspective, and it could actually be helpful to the average police officer. Instead, they have followed a "radicalization" theory popularized by the NYPD (PDF). That theory postulates that there is a "path" to terrorism that includes the adoption of certain beliefs, and political, religious, or social activism is viewed as another step toward violence. Actual empirical studies of terrorism conducted in the Netherlands and Britain refute this theory, but the idea that hard-to-find terrorists can be caught by spying on easy-to-find activists appears too hard to resist to U.S. law enforcement. This anti-scientific approach to counter-terrorism might explain the steady drop in terrorism prosecutions.

Even if First Amendment concerns are put aside, vague intelligence reports like these are entirely unhelpful to the street cop or agent. What could a cop reading the Virginia fusion center report do but start watching student groups? What could an agent reading the Missouri fusion center report do but start monitoring the above-ground anti-tax, anti-abortion and pro-gun activists? These are places you are unlikely to find the bad guys. Information about a suspicious arson, or the methods of an individual convicted of sending dangerous substances through the mail might actually arm a law enforcement officer with information he or she could use to solve crimes in their own areas. Focusing on ideas rather than crime, the latest bulletin from DHS cites an increase in "rhetoric," yet doesn't even mention reports that there was a dirty bomb found in an alleged white supremacist's house in Maine last December. Learning what to look for in that situation might actually be useful to a cop. Threat reports that focus on ideology instead of criminal activity are threatening to civil liberties and a wholly ineffective use of federal security resources.

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Vic Livingston


I am a journalist whose telecommunications have been sabotaged for five years — from hijacked passwords and the hijacking of control over my computer connection, to malicious tampering with content and outright censorship of my political speech and my ability to browse and post to certain web sites.

I have memorialized many of these affronts in a running contemporaneous journal posted to the "free speech" section of this blog (thank you, ACLU).

Here is that link:

Non-Active link:

But it takes more than a recitation of alleged abuses to correct these blatant infringements of basic constitutional rights — not just the first amendment right of free speech, but freedom from unreasonable search and seizure of my internet connection, and freedom from the government’s use of telecommunications as a tool of psychological harassment, control, prior restraint and outright censorship.

I m encouraging the ACLU to file a class-action suit against government warrantless surveillance on these grounds. I ask that all NowPublic readers join in this effort.

This is not a matter of the government’s declared right to perform surveillance on American citizens if it does not actually disclose the collected information (a dubious claim, for sure).

This case involves the use of telecommunications as an instrument to control telecommunications, and to harass citizens whose political speech does not meet with the approval of fusion center totalitarians.

I have reason to believe the DHS fusion center in Newtown, PA, near my home, is responsible for these egregious violations of my rights -- and that state and local officials also may be complicit.

These infringements have materially affected my ability to pursue my journalism career, and also have resulted in other related damages stemming from the blatant interference with my ability to use the internet — and even to compose on my personal computer.

My telephone and internet communications remain subject to such interference, even interception. Important email typically does not draw a response.

ACLU, please consider these alternate grounds for a class-action suit that would restore the constitutional rights of all users of telecommunications — and result in a recovery of damages suffered at the hands of totalitarians in government at all levels — federal, state and local.

That is the only way these abuses can be stopped — through legal action that results in official accountability and punitive sanctions.

Fire off an email to and let them know what you think.



I think that when the DOD is issuing reports of domestic terrorism: it is something we should start considering. I think the radicalization of America is bound to happen sooner or later.


McCarthyism is making a comeback!


What is the ACLU's position on the Assessment Document by the US. Dept. of Home Security about "Right Wing Extremists"? I think, a communist governmnet could not have put together a more damning documnet than this.

A real American

You people are sick SOB. You weaken America ever day with your far left crap. You would rather protect people that would kill you in your sleep and let your family watch while it happend. Hopefully you will burn in hell. Or maybe the next time the attack us it can happen to your family. F U all!

Vic Livingston


• Is surveillance the "cover story" for a nationwide "harassment and censorship" protocol -- a means to CONTROL telecommunications, not just spy on it?

OR if link is corrupted):

Flyover state

If the ACLU has any integrity, they will come down hard on Napolitano/Pres. Obama for the appalling report from the Dep of Homeland Security. There were no facts to back up any of the statements/opinions- just slander against veterans and law-abiding citizens with conservative political views.


How can the ACLU oppose the DHS reports yet support Hate Crimes legislation? Hate Crimes legislation does nothing more than punish "thought crimes."

To maintain a free society, we must punish CRIME, not the thoughts behind it. I'd consider any intentional act of harm or destruction to be a hate crime. Why is some "hate" worse than others? Why should thoughts incur a harsher punishment? Isn't that discriminatory in itself, since it paints certain individuals' basic rights as more sacrosanct than others individuals'?

Additionally, it's not much of a leap to begin punishing people just for "hate" and soon, "hateful thoughts" become criminal. The potential for abuse here is staggering yet the ACLU continues to push this drivel forward, even when anyone can see that it will lead to the suppression of our free speech rights. Just look at Canada and the UK if you need evidence.

The DHS report seeks to stigmatize a group of individuals based on their personal convictions, i.e. their "thoughts." So I'm rather confused at the blatant hypocrisy displayed here.

Eric Dondero

Wait a cottin pickin' second. The first report from the obscure Texas organization was about a threat from "international" terrorism. The report from the DHS targets domestic terrorism.

Are you trying to say that there is no threat from international terrorism?

There's a huge difference there. Stop trying to downplay the importance of the DHS report, by putting it in the same sentence as some obscure report on international terrorism.

I know you liberals find yourselves in an uncomfortable position explaining away your fellow lib Janet Napolitano's efforts to stamp out free speech of us libertarians, but it's a cold hard fact.

Deal with it.

Eric Dondero, Publisher
Libertarian Republican

Tim Libbey

This is right soon we will a be radicals
My Townwas puting in water in 07 they seizes 7th of a acre and did a home invation to apprais my homes vaule before seeking einment domain the judges let the case open on 12/12/07 with a countersuit for 600 millon dollar
but I can not buy legil represontaion In the punishment Phase of the trail. one layer told me to freedom of information act the contract and buy a old hunting rifle I would be much happier with the out come Time/for money.Still shopping


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