Friday, August 5, 2011

Government to Monitor Social Networks For “Extremist Propaganda”

by Paul Joseph Watson

A new strategy document released by the White House promises to “closely monitor…the Internet and social networking sites” in order to “counter online violent extremist propaganda” as the federal government attempts to embed itself further in local communities under the guise of preventing domestic extremism.
The document, Empowering Local Partners to Prevent Violent Extremism in the United States (PDF), focuses on identifying Americans who have supposedly been radicalized or groomed by Al-Qaeda to carry out attacks in the United States.
As the L.A. Times notes, the plan involves “federal departments not usually associated with national security,” and is heavily focused around increasing the federal government’s involvement with schools and the “emotional and behavioral development” of young people.
The document defines extremist propaganda as that which is used to “feed on grievances” and “assign blame.” The government vows to “aggressively” combat such ideology by “continuing to closely monitor the important role the internet and social networking sites play in advancing violent extremist narratives.”
In targeting the Internet and social networking websites for surveillance in the name of fighting domestic terrorism, the White House is continuing in the vein of the previous administration who in 2006 revealed that since 9/11 they had been pursuing a plan to diminish the role of “conspiracy theories” as a primary recruitment tool for terrorists.

The document arrives in the same week that the Pentagon also announced it would be hiring individuals to “detect and track popular ideas on social networks”.
Indeed, one such examples amidst many where the federal government monitored the Internet to counter “extremist propaganda” was before protests against the Federal Reserve in 2009 that took place across the United States. After the demonstrations were organized on social networks, the Pentagon released a “Force Protection Advisory” about “planned protests at all Federal Reserve Banks and office locations within the United States,” that was sent to Northcom and the FBI.
On November 22, 2008, Alex Jones led a rally at the Federal Reserve Bank in Dallas Texas. The Dallas protest is specifically mentioned in the official Army documents.

Despite the White House document’s claim that, “opposition to government policy is neither illegal nor unpatriotic and does not make someone a violent extremist,” the Department of Homeland Security has gone out of its way to characterize adversaries of big government as potential domestic terrorists.
The MIAC Report, admist a deluge of other training documents released by state and federal authorities (or leaked by whistleblowers), equates Ron Paul supporters, libertarians, people who display bumper stickers, people who own gold, or even people who fly a U.S. flag with radical race hate groups and terrorists.
The MIAC report specifically describes supporters of presidential candidates Ron Paul, Chuck Baldwin, and Bob Barr as “militia” influenced terrorists and instructs the Missouri police to be on the lookout for supporters displaying bumper stickers and other paraphernalia associated with the Constitutional, Campaign for Liberty, and Libertarian parties.
A recent DHS promotional video for its See Something, Say Something campaign also overwhelmingly portrayed white middle class Americans as the most likely terrorists. Bizarely, the vast majority of the people seen reporting them to authorities in the 10 minute clip were from ethnic minorities, a theme echoed in the introduction to the White House document which welcomes the “waves of immigrants” who have flocked to the United States.
There seems little doubt that the Obama administration is attempting to marginalize its most fervent critics by characterizing them as potentially violent extremists, to the point where Tea Party lawmakers are now being labeled as terrorists by New York Times writers as well as Vice-President Joe Biden.
Indeed, numerous Democratic strategists have subtly invited a domestic terror attack blamed on anti-government extremists that President Obama could exploit to rescue his sinking approval ratings.
Following Jared Lee Loughner’s shooting spree in Arizona back in January, Politico called on Obama to seize upon his “Oklahoma City moment,” adding that the attack presented a “critical opportunity” to “re-define the nation’s political debate,” a talking point endlessly repeated for weeks that merely became a euphemism for allowing Democrats to exploit the attack to silence critics of big government.

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