May 26, 2021
The Biden administration is using the Jan. 6 incursion into the Capitol building as a pretext for a domestic spying campaign that will supposedly target “violent extremists” but is more accurately described as the beginnings of a Biden police state.
Last week, we learned that the Defense Department plans to monitor service members’ social media posts for “concerning behaviors.” According to The Intercept, which broke this story, the plan is to enlist a private firm to do the spying, so as to avoid nasty entanglements with the First Amendment. The Intercept reports that:
An extremism steering committee led by Bishop Garrison, a senior adviser to the secretary of defense, is currently designing the social media screening pilot program, which will ‘continuously’ monitor military personnel for ‘concerning behaviors.’
This isn’t the only such incident.
Earlier this month, CNN reported that the Biden administration “is considering using outside firms to track extremist chatter by Americans online, an effort that would expand the government’s ability to gather intelligence but could draw criticism over surveillance of US citizens.”
And last month, Yahoo News broke the story that the U.S. Postal Service has been covertly monitoring Americans’ social media posts.
“The work involves having analysts trawl through social media sites to look for what the document describes as ‘inflammatory’ postings and then sharing that information across government agencies,” Yahoo said.
That story notes that “such data collection has also sparked concerns about the government surveilling peaceful protesters or those engaged in protected First Amendment activities.”
The New York Post editorial page details various other Biden administration projects aimed at “extremists.”
- Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines published a “threat assessment” focusing on “white extremism.”
- Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas recently declared that “domestic violent extremism poses the most lethal and persistent terrorism-related threat to our country today.”
- Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin ordered a 60-day stand-down in February to review the ranks of the military for “extremism.”
- Attorney General Merrick Garland marked the 26th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing by saying, “The Department of Justice is pouring its resources into stopping domestic violent extremists before they can attack.”
This is all bad enough and should be denounced by anyone who cares about the First Amendment.