Or, in this case, someone else.
9/11, Focus Groups, Fear, and the MIACApparently1, the Missouri Information Analysis Center, or MIAC, is a government collective set up by the Missouri state government. It's supposed to identify warning signs, so law enforcement can spot potential domestic terrorists.
So far, so good. I think it's prudent to keep an eye on the equivalent of a wild-eyed loony with an assault rifle, before he starts down shoppers at the mall. But, to continue the analogy, I think it's crazy to stake out the sporting goods store that sells BB guns.
Which may be what's being recommended in Missouri.
According to the MIAC (draft, I hope) report, you're a suspected domestic terrorist if you:
- Supported third-party candidates like
- Ron Paul (Republican, Constitution Party)
- Chuck Baldwin (Constitution Party)
- Bob Barr (Libertarian)
- Are an "anti-abortion activist"
- Believe the United States, Mexico and Canada will someday form a North American Union
- This is described as a "conspiracy theory" - It's a new one to me
- Possess the
- Gadsden "Don't Tread on Me" flag
- Widely available anti-income tax film "America: Freedom to Fascism"
I didn't support, or vote for, Ron Paul: but I can't seriously believe that my neighbors who did are domestic terrorists. Not even potential domestic terrorists, any more than any person with an opinion might, conceivably, go crazy and start building pipe bombs.
The same goes for people who own the Gadsden flag.
"Anti-abortion activists" might, legitimately, be called domestic terrorists. If that term is used to describe people who want to blow up abortion clinics (excuse me: is the euphemism still 'women's health centers?') or kill abortionists.
But, if an "anti-abortion activist" is someone who seriously thinks that killing a baby is naughty, that mothers shouldn't have their kids killed - and says so in public - that puts me on MIAC's suspect list.
There are 58 of these Fusion Centers, set up by the Department of Homeland Security. I can only hope that the other 57 have a tighter grip on reality than this bunch seems to.
Dangerous Revolutionaries Holding Washington D.C.!Take a good look at the flags that the MAIC identifies as having links to domestic terror:
Hello! Earth Calling MIAC! The Colonists Won!I don't doubt that there are real domestic terrorists who use: the Gadsden flag; variations of the current American flag; the colors red, white, blue, yellow, or green. But that doesn't mean that everyone who uses these things is dangerous.
Strike that. Potentially dangerous, but in a very selective and sanctioned way. Like the first Commander in Chief of the New Continental Fleet. That's the flag his ships used, in the upper left corner of a page from the MIAC's report.
I realize that the propriety of signing off on the Declaration of Independence can be debated: but by now it's a done deal.
And, like it or not, the "Gadsden flag" is part of American history: and not everyone who, on the whole, is satisfied with the results of that colonial revolt, is a danger to friends and neighbors. newspeak for 'pro-life.'2 I have to be: I've read Humanae Vitae, researched what the Catechism has to say about killing innocent babies (the gist of it is "don't"), and paid attention to what the Vatican says.
And, I've made no secret of it.
Which, quite possibly, makes me a suspected subversive extremist radical domestic terrorist, in MIAC's eyes.
I grew up in the sixties, and absorbed some of the 'question authority' ethic of that epoch.
Sound odd, coming from a Catholic? And a convert, at that? Not really. I question authority: but that doesn't mean I necessarily defy or avoid it. In the case of God and his Church, I realized that there was absolutely no way I could beat God, so I joined his outfit. Call me shallow: but I like power. Besides, I can't come up with a better ethical system than the Word of God, as preserved and transmitted by his Church.
My views and way of life being what it is, I get pegged as "conservative" quite a bit. Which is, as far as it goes, somewhat accurate. Much of what I believe and do is "conservative," by today's standards.
I don't mind: labels are useful, and calling me "conservative" is a convenient way for people to think about me. And, back in the sixties, I looked like a pencil-necked geek: right down to the pencil protector and huge larynx.
I missed out on the whole freak-your-parents-out, long hair and love beads hippy thing.
So, on the far side of middle age, I get a kick out of being 'one of those people.'
As long as nobody apart from a few policy wonks and over-age-in-grade Vietnam War protesters take the MIAC's recommendations seriously.
Today, MIAC's Report is a Mildly Off-Color JokeIf law enforcement or anybody else with real power takes these madcap opinions seriously - and implements them - we could all be in for a world of trouble.
It isn't that long ago that the Maryland State Police put some nuns on their watch list. And then took them off.
I do not agree with the politics of those nuns, but they were not, in my opinion, a threat to American security.
Granted, it's unsettling to know that three nuns could break into a secure American military facility, paint slogans on the walls - in blood - and leave before anybody noticed. But embarrassing whoever was supposed to be in charge of security is not "terrorism."
And I really don't think that writing graffiti is 'terroristic,' even if I don't agree with the sentiments expressed.
I'm hoping, quite sincerely, and praying, that crazy ideas like that (draft?) MIAC report don't take root. If they do, I'm very concerned that it may be 'happy new year, 1984.'
More-or-less related posts:
- "Feeling Ungood About Doublethink? Here's Help"
(March 23, 2009)
- "Tolerance, Opinions, Newspeak, and Today's America"
(March 13, 2008)
- "CCSU Students Talk About Guns: Naturally, Their Professor Called the Police"
Another War-on-Terror Blog (March 4, 2009)
- "William Felkner vs. College Conformity: Traditional Information Gatekeepers Face Another Challenge"
Another War-on-Terror Blog (December 16, 2008)
- "Conservative? Liberal? Democrat? Republican? No, I'm Catholic"
(November 3, 2008)
- "Maryland State Police to 'Terrorist' Nuns: Oops, Our Bad"
Another War-on-Terror Blog (October 11, 2008)
- "Third Party Candidates And Ron Paul Supporters Are Potential Terrorists, Says The Missouri Government"
ShortNews.com (March 23, 2009)
- " 'Fusion Centers' Expand Criteria to Identify Militia Members"
FOXNews (March 23, 2009)
- "An analysis of the Political Motivations and Implications behind the MIAC's Strategic Report on the Modern Militia Movement."
Southeast Missourian (March 22, 2009)
- "Report wrongly targets groups"
LDNews/Lebanon Daily News op-ed (March 21, 2009)
- "Flags of the American Revolution"
The American Revolution Home Page
(WARNING! Contains images which may not conform to MIAC guidelines.
1 "On March 12, 2009 the following article authored by internet reporter Kurt Nimmo was published on Alex Jones' www.infowars.com website as well as the Truth News internet news site, ( http://www.truthnews.us/?p=2720 ):...
"'Alex Jones has received a secret report distributed by the Missouri Information Analysis Center (MIAC) entitled "The Modern Militia Movement: and dated February 20, 2009. A footer on the document indicates it is "unclassified" but "law enforcement sensitive," in other words not for public consumption. A copy of the report was sent to Jones by an anonymous Missouri police officer.'..." (Southeast Missourian)
2 "Newspeak" is one of many words which George Orwell introduced in 1984. Since newspeak contains terms which describe a disturbing number of accepted ideas in contemporary America, I've started a sort of glossary of newspeak terms: "Feeling Ungood About Doublethink? Here's Help" (March 23, 2009).