I know it is a difficult task for the FBI or whatever law agencies to fight, since it can be difficult to figure out who is an angry racist who is just going to rant online, and who is going to take action in the real world, but I was wondering what is being done.
Mods: I’m not sure if this is the right forum, please move if necessary.
Well, what should they be doing? Given limited resources, which group of violent screwheads should be prioritized? The ones who’ve struck most frequently? The ones who’ve struck most recently? The ones who’ve killed the most? The ones who (general) you hate the most politically?
The last time the US Government decided they were going to crack down on right wing cranks, during the Clinton administration, they did not exactly cover themselves with glory. One hopes the present generation of feds learned from those fuck-ups.
Limited resources? The last time we got a bug up our ass about terrorism we created an entire new goddam cabinet department (DHS)!
I say we take a good chunk of the TSA, perhapst 75% of its workforce, have them stop frisking five year old kids at airports and point them at the actual terrorists that are now in plain sight. They carry flags, shields and weapons - much easier to spot than nail clippers in carry-on luggage.
I’m tempted to say I’m sort of joking and not completely serious about this proposal. After all, 9/11 was on a different scale than what we saw in Virginia yesterday. Then again, racism has been around a lot longer than airplane hijackings and has arguably affected more people over time. Maybe I’m not joking. Maybe we should dedicate ourselves to eradicating the insanity.
As to how? I’m not sure what that effort would look like. But it would be nice to see us make the effort and make it big.
You can’t just target people for carrying flags, shields and weapons. You can’t just target people because of religion or political views, either. That’s why it’s so expensive. They have to monitor vast amounts of communications in a limited away without violating the 4th amendment, and then get search warrants that show probable cause to monitor with closer scrutiny. Then, when there is enough evidence to suspect imminent action, they have to physically follow someone 24/7. All this requires vast resources.
If you read down that is a pretty small program that isn’t law enforcement based. It’s focused on education, community partnerships, and messaging. Refocusing that program has nothing to do with federal law enforcement investigations or support to states targeting extremist groups.
After 9/11 we did target people carrying weapons, we most definitely targeted people because of religion, monitored vast amounts of communications, sometimes went to the trouble of getting warrants and showing probable cause, and sometimes followed people physically 24/7. Why not make that effort for violent racists who carry weapons?
Again, I’m not actually suggesting we duplicate for racism and bigotry what we did after 9/11. Especially since that effort has caused so many problems of its own. But I would like to see us approach the problem with the same resolve we mustered after 9/11, and hopefully think it through a bit better.
Trump has proposed a $54 billion increase for the military. This increase is six times larger than the entire FBI budget. Or to put it another way, Trump wants to increase military spending by about 8%, while the total FBI budget constitutes about 1.3% of our annual military spending.
And let us note that the number of criminal cases investigating leaks is, according to AG Sessions, has tripled and the FBI has created a new unit to manage these investigations.
So if we are to believe your argument, the priorities for Federal law enforcement go something like:
Terry says otherwise. A reasonable suspicion is all the officer needs, and carrying flags, shields, and weapons… well, I can reasonably suspect you’re not on the way to grandma’s house, and if you are, you ain’t going there to bake cookies.
Especially if you have a “III” insignia or a “DON’T TREAD ON ME” banner or a traitor flag on your car.
What do you mean? Every person legally owning a firearm was put under surveillance? Every Muslim was put under surveillance? Do you have a cite for that?
Sure, there were certain operations that focused on Muslims, but in the successful cases that wasn’t the sole qualification for being targeted. Of the potential terrorists they caught, it wasn’t from just mechanically going down the membership lists of mosques and monitoring everyone on the list. Those local jurisdictions that did so didn’t end up stopping any terrorist plans that way.
It could be that federal investigations of white supremacists are being pulled back by the current administration–that wouldn’t surprise me. And I agree that–as much as possible–the feds should be trying to identify potential terrorist of this kind. But even in the past, under the previous administration, most federal charges of terrorism (or hate crimes) against white supremacists were brought after someone committed a regular crime such as illegal weapons possession or assault or murder, got caught by local authorities, and then revealed a motive that warranted federal terrorism (or hate crime) charges being pursued after as a result.
There is so much white supremacist violent chatter on the internet that if every one were investigated fully the feds wouldn’t have time for anything else. With terrorism, in general, it’s hard to predict who are the ones who will take action.
I completely agree that more resources need to be invested in this, but not by following around anyone with a confederate flag. They need to study the backgrounds and online profiles of those who have ended up acting violently, to be able to distinguish between those who are likely to act and those who are just trolls.