President Obama, fresh off of a deal with international terrorists, is announcing an effort to re-establish a law-enforcement group to prevent homegrown terrorism, according to a report.
Reuters said the new panel, to be announced Tuesday, will focus on cases “that involve Americans who may be spurred to violence for political or prejudicial reasons.”
The panel apparently will include representatives from the National Security Division of the Justice Department, the attorney general’s office and the FBI. The announcement follows Obama’s decision to free five top terror commanders from the U.S. prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in exchange for an American soldier held by al-Qaida-linked terrorists in the Middle East.
The new campaign continues efforts by the Obama administration to address domestic terror, which began in the first weeks of its White House tenure, when the president put conservatives in the bull’s-eye of his campaign.
At that time a newly unclassified Department of Homeland Security report warned of the possibility of violence by unnamed “right-wing extremists,” including opponents of abortion.
The DHS report was followed days later by a report from the Missouri Information Analysis Center that warned law enforcement officials to watch out for individuals with “radical” ideologies based on Christianity.
The Family Research Council, which was targeted by a confessed domestic terrorist more than a year ago, said it will be important to make sure politics are kept out of the debate.
“We must not allow the important work of national security to become diluted by political concerns or motivations secondary to seeking the truth about those who act in violence toward American interests,” said Ken Blackwell, a senior fellow for family empowerment at FRC.
Blackwell said that as the target of a domestic terrorist, Family Research Council “expresses gratitude and appreciation toward all law enforcement involved in the apprehension and prosecution of Floyd Corkins II.”
“Terrorism is terrorism, regardless of the motivation behind the acts,” he said. “What is important is that the United States’ approach to terrorism, whether domestic or international terrorism, results in an evenhanded and objective application of policy and legal frameworks.”
Blackwell said laws and policies “designed to deal with the real and serious danger of violence done in the name of ideas must not be misused to target individuals and groups merely based on differences in viewpoint or ideology.”
In the FRC case, one man was injured when the convicted assailant, Corkins, entered the lobby and started shooting.
Corkins said he chose to attack FRC because the organization was listed as an “anti-gay” hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center on its website.
FRC promotes traditional Judeo-Christian beliefs about the family and homosexuality, but SPLC claims the organization’s “real specialty is defaming gays and lesbians.”
Corkins, a former volunteer at an LGBT community center, pleaded guilty to domestic terrorism.
It was on Aug. 15, 2012, when the heavily armed Corkins walked into FRC headquarters and began shooting with the intent of killing “as many people as I could.” He managed to shoot and injure just one person, facilities manager Leo Johnson, who is credited with heroically stopping the attack.
In a speech at recent the Values Voter Summit 2013, Alveda King, a niece of Martin Luther King Jr., condemned the practice of labeling Christian organizations “hate” groups.
She said Corkins “came to FRC as a gunman, fueled by hate mongering from the Southern Poverty Law Center.”
“The shooter admitted he was directed to FRC’s location by the Southern Poverty Law Center’s website. While SPLC claims to fight against hate, they have been saying hateful things about the Family Research Council and perhaps other groups who are represented her today,” King said.
“Today the shooter is behind bars as the result of being convicted for domestic terrorism. But the SPLC and many others, who couch hate and anger in false claims of civil rights activism, still roam free to confuse the masses with their deceptions,” said King.
Constitutional expert Herb Titus of William J. Olson, P.C. told WND that Americans should be wary by attempts by the Obama administration to crack down on “terrorism.”
“What do they mean by domestic terrorism?” he asked. “The problem, whether it’s called international or domestic terrorism, is the word terrorism. There’s no legal or historic meaning.”
Titus said the definition will provide a foundation for government attempts at “electronic eavesdropping and all kinds of activities uncontrolled by any Constitution.”
The worry, then, is the “highly discretionary power that’s given to the government [and] the notion of preventing terrorism.”
“In order to prevent a particular activity that you consider to be terrorism, it requires you to go to extraordinary measures to keep track of people’s movements, thoughts and relationships and so forth,” he said.
The reality, Titus said, is that civil government is set up to punish wrongdoers but not “prevent something from happening.”
“That’s beyond the capacity” of civil government, he said, emphasizing that only church and community work can change behavior.
The Reuters report said the April 2013 Boston Marathon bombing would not be considered “domestic terrorism,” because it was thought to have been influenced by forces outside the U.S.
In a dispute over a provision in the National Defense Authorization Act that allows the government to gather private details about people without cause, the firm warned the door is open to “detain as a threat to national security anyone viewed as a troublemaker.”
The comment came as the Supreme Court refused to review an appeals court decision that said the president and U.S. military can arrest and indefinitely detain individuals.
The firm of William J. Olson, P.C., which filed a friend-of-the court brief asking the court to step in, noted that not a single justice dissented from the denial of the request for review.
“The court ducked, having no appetite to confront both political parties in order to protect the citizens from military detention,” the legal team said in a statement to WND. “The government has won, creating a tragic moment for the people – and what will someday be viewed as an embarrassment for the court.”
WND has reported since the case developed over the indefinite detention provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act.
The controversial provision authorizes the military, under presidential authority, to arrest, kidnap, detain without trial and hold indefinitely American citizens thought to “represent an enduring security threat to the United States.”
John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute, said that once again, the U.S. Supreme Court “has shown itself to be an advocate for the government, no matter how illegal its action, rather than a champion of the Constitution and, by extension, the American people.”
“No matter what the Obama administration may say to the contrary, actions speak louder than words, and history shows that the U.S. government is not averse to locking up its own citizens for its own purposes,” he said. “What the NDAA does is open the door for the government to detain as a threat to national security anyone viewed as a troublemaker.”
Whitehead said that “according to government guidelines for identifying domestic extremists – a word used interchangeably with terrorists, that technically applies to anyone exercising their First Amendment rights in order to criticize the government.”
There already is precedent for the mass detainment of citizens.
In 1944, while the U.S. was defending itself in a war launched by Japan, the government rounded up thousands of Japanese Americans and placed them in camps under the approval of the high court in its Korematsu v. United States decision.
The new law authorizes the president to use “all necessary and appropriate force” to jail those “suspected” of helping terrorists.
The issue of linking conservatives and Christians to the possibility of terror is a recurring theme in the Obama administration.
Just weeks ago, the chief of the U.S. Army ordered that training for the military on “extremists” be halted until the program can be corrected and standardized to eliminate reported Christian-bashing.
According to Fox News Radio’s Todd Starnes, Army Secretary John McHugh has given military leaders a memo with the orders.
“On several occasions over the past few months, media accounts have highlighted instances of Army instructors supplementing programs of instruction and including information or material that is inaccurate, objectionable and otherwise inconsistent with current Army policy,” the memo said.
Starnes reported an Army spokesman, David Patterson Jr., said McHugh “directed that Army leaders ce ase all briefings, command presentations or training on the subject of extremist organizations or activities until that program of instruction and training has been created and disseminated.”
It was a soldier at a Camp Shelby in Mississippi who presented evidence to media that an Army presenter at a briefing identified AFA as a “hate group” because of its stance on homosexuality and marriage.
Previously, a study at the West Point Military Academy asserted people who are part of the ideological right wing of American society constitute a danger to the nation.
It was just the latest in a steady drumbeat of statements from the administration that even prompted members of both parties in Congress to blast the reports.
For example The Department of Defense was caught teaching that those who oppose abortion are “low-level terrorists.”
And DHS was caught monitoring a blog posted by a Christian who was forced to flee Brazil because of the conflict between that nation’s pro-homosexual “hate crimes” agenda and his advocacy for traditional marriage.
The Obama administration declined comment on its decision to monitor Julio Severo’s unabashedly Christian Last Days Watchman blog.
Then, too, there was a West Point study from the U.S. Military Academy’s Combating Terrorism Center that linked opposition to abortion and other “fundamental” positions to terrorism.