Mo. State Police Report says You’re a Potential Terrorist: Not Profiling, It’s An "Educational" Document…
A document from the Missouri Information Analysis Center, a division of the state police, conflates privately organized militia groups with libertarians, Ron Paul supporters, Constitutionalists, race separatists, and even some collectivists, who distrust the Federal Reserve. The document, which we obtained last week, is marked "Unclassified, Law Enforcement Sensitive," indicating that the Missouri state patrol guys don’t want to talk about it. We can confirm that last bit as they failed to return phone calls or email. Before running the document I wanted to verify it. The Associated Press has since picked the story up, so we’re running it now.
The AP story quotes Lt. John Hotz of the Missouri State Highway Patrol who called the report "an educational thing."
"Troopers have been shot by members of groups, so it’s our job to let law enforcement officers know what the trends are in the modern militia movement."
The most encouraging thing I see in this story is that it leaked.
We’ll be following this one.
March 16, 2009 Update. The Missouri Libertarian Party issued a press release, available here.
Additional Note from Jeff: This "analysis" by the Missouri Information Analysis Center has the fingerprints of the Southern Poverty Law Center all over it. Morris Dees of SPLC has for years maintained a site for tracking "hate groups." That’s fine and dandy, but Mr. Dees is very good at drawing connecting lines between organizations and individuals even when there is rather obviously very little or nothing to connect them. Back in the mid 90’s I attended a presentation by an associate of the SPLC and sat in stunned disbelief as he drew circles on the board containing the names of organizations and individuals he said were connected. Among these were connections between groups like the KKK, neo-Nazis, and such, and groups like NRA, the John Birch Society, and GOA. He drew other links between these groups, militia organizations, and individuals including Larry Pratt of GOA, and most shocking to me, Neal Knox, my own father.
Now I know a bit about the NRA and I know Larry Pratt to be a fine Christian man. I also know that there is absolutely no truth to any allegation that Neal Knox was any more connected to these groups and their philosophies than Morris Dees himself is. The "connections" were based on the simple fact that the individuals and many in the groups al espoused one or more similar beliefs such as belief in the Second Amendment as an individual right and that the federal government should be constrained by the US Constitution.
For Dees and his friends to make such links is simply outrageous. For official government agencies – particularly law enforcement agencies – to use these bogus connections or draw connections of their own suggesting that millions of law-abiding, patriotic Americans are "potential terrorists" because they object to excessive taxation or question the wisdom and constitutionality of the Federal Reserve system – or they believe that they have a God given right to the means necessary to defend their families and their nation – is beyond outrageous, it borders on criminal.
Barack Obama has much closer ties and connections to terrorists and subversive philosophies than do most tax protesters, gunowners, or Constitutionalists, yet asking questions about these connections is one of the indicators that the Missouri "analysis" suggests is an indication of being a dangerous extremist.
Rather than paint with a broad brush anyone who questions government actions or motives, the government needs to be openly, and honestly answering questions, correcting procedures, and abiding by the letter and spirit of the Constitution.
Case in point: After the lunatic in Alabama’s recent killing spree, the streets of the small town where it happened were patrolled by armed soldiers from nearby fort Rucker. While some would say that’s a reasonable response to such a violent event, especially in light of the terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India recently, the fact of the matter is that armed military troops patrolling the streets of America is ILLEGAL. The military is for fighting foreign enemies in wars, not enforcing laws in the US. There are specific and clear proscriptions against military involvement in civil affairs. Whether their use in this case was "harmless," or "reasonable," or "appropriate," the fact remains that it is absolutely ILLEGAL and must not be done. If we the people wish to change that, we need to address it Constitutionally and legislatively, not just allow the government to ignore the law.
March 18 2009 update. Rush Limbaugh reported on this story at the beginning of his broadcast today.
March 27 2009 update. The entire Missouri state governmetn is running from the report as fast as they can. It has been officially "withdrawn," as reported here.