A bill in Congress would create new domestic terrorism units within the Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, and FBI tasked with spying on Americans considered terrorist threats, then investigating and prosecuting them.
H.R. 350, also known as the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act (DTPA) of 2022, is making its way through the House Judiciary Committee. It would give federal law enforcement agencies the power to classify as “domestic terrorism” whatever the federal government considers a “hate crime.” One of the new “domestic terrorism” agencies the bill would create would focus on “domestic terrorism matters that may also be hate crime incidents.”
These new “domestic terrorism” agencies would also “ensure that such programs include training and resources to assist…law enforcement agencies in understanding, detecting, deterring, and investigating acts of domestic terrorism and White supremacist and neo-Nazi infiltration of law enforcement and corrections agencies.”
Of course, many of those in power consider the Constitution and patriotism to be acts of “white supremacy.” That is openly stated by purveyors of the 1619 Project and its effective champions in the federal bureaucracy.
According to critical race theory, anyone born with pale skin is a potential “white supremacist” by means of his or her inborn “white privilege.” That means this bill could ultimately give federal agents the power to charge local law enforcement officers who love the Constitution with the “domestic terrorist” crime of “white supremacy.” This use of racial division to transfer local police power to federal agencies is already underway.
The Biden administration has also already proven itself willing to apply the extremist label of “domestic terrorists” to parents who publicly disagree with critical race theory at local school board meetings. This bill is exactly in step with that view of dissent as not only merely criminal, but an act of domestic terrorism. So is the Biden White House’s new “Disinformation Governance Board,” which also classifies dissent as a concern for federal law enforcement.
Indeed, H.R. 3350 would also set up a potential federal purge of U.S. law enforcement and military units. It sets up a federal “task force” “to analyze and combat White supremacist and neo-Nazi infiltration of the uniformed services and Federal law enforcement agencies.”
No reasonable person opposes legitimate policing of actual terrorist activities. The problem with the DTPA is that it is being set up for use as a political weapon against conservatives, Republicans, concerned parents, and anyone else who opposes the ruling class.
That is clear also from reading press releases from the bill’s sponsors. In a 2021 press release, main bill sponsor Rep. Brad Schneider, D-Illinois, attempted to indict Donald Trump supporters as domestic terrorists and presented the DTPA as a tool to suppress them: “Unlike after 9/11, the threat that reared its ugly head on January 6th is from domestic terror groups and extremists, often racially-motivated violent individuals.”
Judiciary Chairman Rep. Jerry Nadler also pushed the false idea that the 2021 Capitol riot was a domestic terrorist attack, as opposed to a riot:“In the wake of the domestic terrorist attack on our Capitol two weeks ago, it is painfully clear that the current approach to addressing the real and persistent threat posed by white nationalism and similar ideologies is not working.”
These politicians are not hiding their intentions. They are openly using disinformation and deception to brand anyone who dares question their activities as “domestic terrorists,” “white supremacists,” and “white nationalists.”
The act was first introduced in 2017, long before the events on Jan. 6, 2021. Past iterations have included a “findings” section that lists violent incidents the authors attribute to “white supremacists,” “white nationalists,” and “far-right-wing extremists.”
The 2020 version referenced a 2017 shooting in Canada and a 2019 shooting in New Zealand. It’s unclear why international cases were included in a bill that promotes the idea of a rise in U.S. domestic terrorism. Additionally, the 2020 shooting by Kyle Rittenhouse that a jury concluded was justified self-defense was added to the bill as an example of right-wing extremism.
Absent from the earlier bill version’s findings, however, were mass shootings and attacks by apparent left-wing extremists. No mention was made of the 2016 Pulse Nightclub massacre of 49 people by a Muslim domestic terrorist or the 2017 mass shooting of four white men by Muslim extremist Kori Ali Muhammed, nor the violent attacks across the country by Antifa in 2020.
The findings section was stripped out of the current 2021-2022 version of the bill, but it’s a good indicator of its underlying purpose. So are the events of the past several years, as the label “domestic terrorism” has been applied increasingly more often to Democrats’ domestic political opponents.
Perhaps the most notable of such examples is the January 6, 2021 riot at the Capitol. Leftist media and politicians continue to promote the false narrative that the riot was a planned and organized “insurrection,” a terrorist act during which multiple people, including police officers, were killed. They are keeping these lies alive in the minds of vulnerable Americans, providing a springboard for things like unusually harsh prosecutions and detainment, the partisan and possibly illegal January 6 commission, and legislation like H.R. 350.
The false premise of January 6 protesters being domestic terrorists has resulted in the justification of solitary confinement. It has also led to biased judges passing excessive sentences for misdemeanors. Giving federal law enforcement agencies more tools to brand certain groups of Americans as terrorists will likely lead to more such abuses.
The alleged kidnapping plot against Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in 2020 is another prime example of an attempt to link those on the right, including Trump supporters with domestic terrorism, militia groups, and white supremacists. Although two of the defendants have now been acquitted of charges, and evidence points to at least one of those defendants holding anarchist views and expressing anti-Trump sentiment, the media and government right-wing “domestic terrorist” narrative has remained the same.
That narrative is all-important to the DTPA. Section 3(d) of the act directs the joint domestic terrorism offices to ”focus their limited resources on the most significant domestic terrorism threats, as determined by the number of domestic terrorism-related incidents … for the preceding 6 months.” Applying the label of “domestic terrorism” to those on the political right allows the joint offices to continue focusing their resources on them while ignoring left-wing threats.
When you pair false accusations of terrorism against political opponents with new federal law enforcement offices dedicated to combating “domestic terrorism,” it becomes quite obvious what those new offices are actually intended for. There are already recent, unresolved instances of federal agencies using their investigative powers to intimidate and harass conservatives for political reasons. These include the Russia collusion conspiracy against President Trump (which was aided by two federal departments given more resources here, the DOJ and FBI), the FBI raid on Project Veritas’s conservative journalists, and the designation by the Justice Department of parents opposed to radical local school boards as “domestic terrorists.”
This bill’s great expansion of the domestic surveillance apparatus in America would threaten civil liberties and freedom. The offices created by this act would surely be staffed by radical officials of the Biden administration intent on keeping power and wielding it with a heavy hand.
Contact your representatives and senators to tell them how dangerous this bill is. Then tell friends and family about it and encourage them to speak up too.
Ryan Davison is a writer and geospatial professional. He holds a B.A. in political science from Colorado Mesa University, where he also studied geographic information systems.