Part I Is Here:
American leaders potentially conducting military or paramilitary operations in the United States against law-abiding citizens used to be mere speculation, but that is no longer the case as government officials have repeatedly talked about and trained to conduct operations against security threats from Constitution-believing citizens—citizens for whom they are expressing increasing hostility.
Last week SCI noted the recent news that the Ohio National Guard had participated in a training exercise that had it conducting a continental United States operation in response to a terrorist threat from American citizens with a strong affinity for the Second Amendment. People across the country expressed outrage at this scenario but it certainly was not a unique incident.
Official military organizations and other government agencies and individuals have issued reports, official training material, and official communications identifying Americans who believe in the Constitution and the freedoms it protects as potential national security threats. Government officials writing in unofficial capacities have also demonstrated hostility towards these same Americans. Even official government action has been hostile towards law-abiding Americans. At the same time, the government and its officials celebrate and aid illegal alien invaders and other foreign national security threats.
Perhaps the most well-known governmental report identifying Constitutionalists as a potential national security threat was a withdrawn Department of Homeland Security (DHS) assessment. (Classification note: This assessment, including its title, are marked as UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY.) A draft of it leaked to the public and the outrage caused the DHS to retract it. The DHS produced a similar assessment on left-wing extremism (same classification note as previously mentioned) and some have suggested that this shows balance. However, there are some differences in the assessments, with one major difference being that the right-wing assessment struggled to name actual right-wing terrorist events and groups, a problem not found in the left-wing assessment.
Regardless of the fairness of the DHS assessments, two other significant reports on supposed right-wing security threats have been published in the years since then. Both have connections to the government. One was coauthored by a government employee writing in an unofficial capacity (his paper included a scenario of military force being used against a domestic right-wing threat) and the other was an official government report. There also has been at least one other official, government training exercise planned with patriotic citizens as a terrorist threat.
First, The Small Wars Journal published, “Full Spectrum Operations in the Homeland: A “Vision” of the Future,” by Kevin Benson and Jennifer Weber in July 2012. This article offered a scenario of a “tea party” takeover of a South Carolina town in order to theorize on how the U.S. government might use the U.S. armed forces to squash such an “insurrection.” Benson’s biography at the time described him as a retired Army colonel and, “currently a seminar leader at the University of Foreign Military and Cultural Studies at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.” Weber’s described her as having no direct affiliation with the U.S. government.
The scenario included such paragraphs as the following:
The Great Recession of the early twenty-first century lasts far longer than anyone anticipated. After a change in control of the White House and Congress in 2012, the governing party cuts off all funding that had been dedicated to boosting the economy or toward relief. The United States economy has flatlined, much like Japan’s in the 1990s, for the better part of a decade. By 2016, the economy shows signs of reawakening, but the middle and lower-middle classes have yet to experience much in the way of job growth or pay raises. Unemployment continues to hover perilously close to double digits, small businesses cannot meet bankers’ terms to borrow money, and taxes on the middle class remain relatively high. A high-profile and vocal minority has directed the public’s fear and frustration at nonwhites and immigrants. After almost ten years of race-baiting and immigrant-bashing by right-wing demagogues, nearly one in five Americans reports being vehemently opposed to immigration, legal or illegal, and even U.S.-born nonwhites have become occasional targets for mobs of angry whites.
In May 2016 an extremist militia motivated by the goals of the “tea party” movement takes over the government of Darlington, South Carolina, occupying City Hall, disbanding the city council, and placing the mayor under house arrest. Activists remove the chief of police and either disarm local police and county sheriff departments or discourage them from interfering. In truth, this is hardly necessary. Many law enforcement officials already are sympathetic to the tea party’s agenda, know many of the people involved, and have made clear they will not challenge the takeover. The militia members are organized and have a relatively well thought-out plan of action.And then in early 2013 the Combating Terrorism Center (CTC), part of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, published, “Challengers from the Sidelines: Understanding America’s Violent Far-Right.” The author of this report wrote an article on the same topic in late 2012 called, “Identifying Three Trends in Far Right Violence in the United States.” The article included the following:
Conventional wisdom suggests that the most damaging and dangerous mass of an iceberg is actually the section that is underwater. Indeed, the high volume of far right violence reflected in vandalism and attacks against individuals is probably a better indication of the growing threat from the far right than the small number of mass casualty attacks. A group or individual will rarely engage in mass casualty attacks without first moving through the lower base of the iceberg by engaging in low profile attacks. A rise in the number of low profile attacks should eventually result in an increase in mass casualty attacks.
In more specific terms, the findings reflect a steady rise in the level of far right violence in the United States during the last two decades. While some far right groups are clearly in decline, such as the KKK and anti-abortionists, others such as the skinheads, neo-Nazis and militias are still active and represent a growing threat.The author’s understanding of the “far right” clearly is flawed as both Nazis (National Socialists) and the KKK are explicitly left-wing groups, with the KKK during its earliest days having served as the terrorist arm of the Democratic Party.
And then in 2013 The Boston Globe had reported on a planned security exercise that would have had a patriotic-themed group as the villains:
The scenario had been carefully planned: A terrorist group prepared to hurt vast numbers of people around Boston would leave backpacks filled with explosives at Faneuil Hall, the Seaport District, and in other towns, spreading waves of panic and fear. Detectives would have to catch the culprits.
Months of painstaking planning had gone into the exercise, dubbed “Operation Urban Shield,” meant to train dozens of detectives in the Greater Boston area to work together to thwart a terrorist threat. The hypothetical terrorist group was even given a name: Free America Citizens, a home-grown cadre of militiamen whose logo would be a metal skull wearing an Uncle Sam hat and a furious expression, according to a copy of the plans obtained by the Boston Globe.
But two months before the training exercise was to take place, the city was hit with a real terrorist attack executed in a frighteningly similar fashion. The chaos of the Boston Marathon bombings disrupted plans for the exercise, initially scheduled for this weekend, forcing police to postpone. Now officials must retool aspects of the training.Nevertheless, the Islamic terrorist attack on the Boston Marathon did not dissuade Boston officials from abandoning the idea of conducting a similar training exercise (funded, at least in part, by the DHS) in the future:
The training, funded by a $200,000 Homeland Security grant, will probably be rescheduled to early next year, said Transit Police Chief Paul MacMillan, whose agency was slated to participate.
He said he anticipates the new training scenario will be similar to the one already planned.
“Why wouldn’t we do it?” MacMillan said. “Just because we had one event doesn’t mean that we might not have another one. And it behooves us to continually work together to investigate these types of incidents.”So the recent news about the training exercise involving the Ohio National Guard and using Second Amendment supporting terrorists as the villains was not an anomaly.
Furthermore, government action towards law-abiding citizens in 2013 during the so-called government shutdown showed that it is willing to test the waters to see how far it can go in cracking down on private citizens engaging in lawful activity . . .even as it gives special treatment to and works with illegal alien invaders.
There aren’t any signs of imminent American military operations in the United States but the increase in government officials talking about and preparing for military action against Constitution-believing citizens deserves further attention and scrutiny. This issue becomes even more urgent when considering that the media backs the narrative that Americans who believe in the Constitution are a national security threat waiting to explode.
Part III looks at the media backing this narrative.