Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Immigration And Domestic Terrorism

Dance approvingly cites a quotation from lines ever more unclear:
The point here is that we do not have a long history of homegrown terrorists that are immigrants or that aren’t Christian. This is not the case in Britain: where the devastating 7/7 attacks were carried out by British Muslims, all but one born in Yorkshire, the other born in Jamaica, raised in Yorkshire; and where pockets of disaffected Muslim youth are becoming increasing concerns.

This is what we do better than Europe. We welcome immigration, our national myths are about immigration. But now it seems we’re willing to give up our one advantage and cast suspicion on anybody who doesn’t look American, whatever that means.

FLG is in complete agreement with the second paragraph and is concerned by the Arizona situation. However, he believes that the concerns of lines ever more unclear and others gloss over an important distinction -- there's two types of immigration: legal and illegal. In fact, the naturalized citizens and those aspiring to be that FLG knows are the most vocal opponents of illegal immigration he knows. They spend lots of money and time trying to work the system the correct way. While FLG is very sympathetic to the idea that this Arizona law is problematic, he also would like to make sure we all understand that being against illegal immigration isn't the same as being against immigration generally.

And on the homegrown terrorism point, FLG would like to point out that we don't have a long history of homegrown terrorism period. So, the non-immigrant, Christian point isn't all that applicable.

lines ever more unclear also writes:
Terry Gross did an interview last week with cyberterrorism expert Richard Clarke, who at the very end argued that one of our most serious threats right now is the rise of homegrown violent extremism (militias, Timothy McVeigh-types) emboldened by Republican and conservative elected officials who either “egg them on” or refuse to take a strong stand against them. Here’s the link. I’m with him, I think it’s appalling.

FLG will simply repeat what he wrote previously because we need to keep this all in context:
Listen, what McVeigh did was a horrible mass murder in which hundreds of people, including children, died. There's no excusing that. A similar thing applies to the guy who flew into the IRS building. But the average American has almost nothing to fear from them or their imitators. Their enemy is the Federal government, not the people. This doesn't make it right because it certainly isn't. It's immoral murder. Nevertheless, it makes them far less a threat to the average person on the street than al-Qaeda. Sure, that doesn't help if you work for the Feds or in a Federal building, but it just doesn't make sense within the ideology of the homegrown terrorists to attack the average American. It does for al-Qaeda.

FLG does agree wholeheartedly with overall sentiment in this statement:
Prime example: the very tepid opposition to the crowds who called black Congressman John Lewis and Barney Frank the n-word and the f-word and the person who spat on black Congressman Emanuel Cleaver. The consensus was “we don’t support what they did, but the Democrats aren’t listening.” No, that’s just not good enough. In this country, we do not spit on elected officials and we do not hurl racist and homophobic epithets at elected officials with impunity.

It's pretty fucking appalling.

And yes, FLG has heard that there's supposedly no proof and that there's a reward for proof that hasn't been claimed, but FLG has always thought John Lewis was a stand-up guy. If he says it happened, then that's enough for FLG.

And apologies to lines ever more unclear for blindsiding her with this post.


Kaiser Soju said...

I'm not so sure that the two forms of terrorism compared here don't end up producing the same negative consequences in the long term. Even if the homegrown McVeigh-types attack federal buildings instead civilian targets like airplanes or subways, if there is a sustained pattern of such attacks, the result could well be a kneejerk reaction from the government in the form of additional Patriot Act-esque reductions of civil liberties, or perhaps overly aggressive raids on anti-government groups that haven't necessarily done all that much that is strictly illegal. After all, the feds have just as much of an aversion to being blown up as anyone else, except unlike you or me, they make the laws.

I suppose one could argue that unlike homegrown terrorists, some Al Qaeda-type attacks create problems for specific private industries; e.g., 9/11 and the airlines. Considering, however, that airlines are almost always fighting off the effects of some crisis or another, I don't really feel that this is the primary point.

As far as how the two forms of terrorism look to your Man on the Street, it's pretty much a wash. While technically the Al Qaeda form of terrorism will claim more civilian casualties in the long term, the odds of being killed by a Muslim terrorist are pretty much as long as the odds can get. I mean, if someone is really worried about being blown up by Al Qaeda, then they'd better be seriously terrified of ever getting in a car or going for a swim, because those are far, far easier ways to get yourself killed. I just don't see a substantive danger.

Anonymous said...

Andrew Briebart is the one who offered the $100,000 reward for proof of the racist slur by tea partiers. It wasn't originally Lewis who made the claim of being called the N word. From Andrew at Big Government:

"Rep. Andre Carson wants to change the subject. I don’t blame him.
On April 13, 2010 he told AP reporter Jesse Washington, “I think we need to move toward a dialogue that explores why this kind of divisive and reprehensible language is still making it into our political debate.”
The “divisive and reprehensible language” that Rep. Carson is referring to is his claim that while he left the Cannon office building on March 20 with Rep. John Lewis, they were verbally assaulted by health care protesters hurling the “N-word” at them. He said the scene was so hostile he “expected rocks to come” when he was coming out of Cannon.
"I wanted to see the evidence. I wanted the truth. In the course of our search we have actually uncovered further video evidence that casts serious doubt on Rep.Carson’s claims:

"Now this story is much more important than the accusation of fifteen racists among the thousands of protesters that day. This is now about the accusers.
"It’s not just that Congressmen Carson’s accusation of an extraordinary racist verbal assault by the tea party participants on March 20 doesn’t appear to have occurred, it’s that the accusers have now gone into the bunker and, having raised the incendiary subject, are doing everything they can to avoid the discussion. Why? What’s changed?
"When the accusation was made, the mainstream media made it the number one topic on every news show. The Democratic Party was leading the discussion. But when confronted on the baseless accusation, without even a modicum of evidence that it actually happened, other than an assertion, the Democratic Party, and its symbiotic allies the mainstream media, want to have another “beer summit.”
"No. The Democratic Party and the political left cannot use the race card to shut up its opponents based upon pure fabrication any longer. This failed tactic ultimately serves to mitigate accusations of real racism — which we are not saying doesn’t exist.
"When I offered a reward of $100,000 to be donated to the United Negro College Fund if anyone produced video and audio evidence that this occurred, I was accused of a publicity stunt (because everyone knows that the best way to get publicity in America is to accuse a civil rights icon of lying about racism). Rep. Carson himself suggested that my challenge was “a veiled attempt to justify actions that are simply unjustifiable.” Get it? He calls protesters racist and if you ask him to prove it, you’re a racist, too.
"Needless to say, no one has claimed the $100,000.
"But, I have taken my search one step further. I’ve asked some of the contributors to Big Government to also actively search for video. We have spent the last three weeks searching for any evidence that might support the allegations, without any help from the accusers. The primary accuser, Congressman Carson, who audaciously claimed the crowd screamed the “N-word fifteen times,” would not return our call. So we have gone part way to try and piece together the events of March 20.
Not only is the audio devoid of any racial slur, but the scene at Cannon clearly shows the congressmen coming down the steps completely unobstructed, and with a clear path to the Capitol. And, when we juxtapose the audio accusation Rep.Carson made moments after the alleged event occurred with actual video footage of the moment Rep. Carson claims he first heard the racial slur, it is as plain as day that Congressman Carson was not isolated by a mob and facing a racist throng that could conceivably hurl rocks at him. As you can see for yourself."

Video here:


Mrs. P

FLG said...

Kaiser Soju:

You are approaching this rationally. But the point of terrorism is that people act irrationally to it. For man, well, I guess I ought to say modern man, or at least since Hobbes, the summum malum is violent death at the hands of another human being. Hobbes based his entire political theory around that idea.

Combine this with the inability of human beings to adequately weigh improbable, but high impact risks, and you end up with a tactic that plays on our biggest fears for a political end.

I accept your point about both resulting in a reduction of civil liberties. However, I still think that in the long run the difference in targets (government versus civilians) does and will play a role in how people react to them.

However, there's no real danger from either, unless of course there's some sort of WMD involved, which is probably a remote possibility, but a possibility nonetheless.

Mrs. P:

Thanks for the link.

dance said...

Lines ever more UNclear.

I don't think, though, that the distinction between legal and illegal immigration is particularly germane to the concerns about Arizona, or to that quotation. If anything, Arizona is sparking some pretty nativist attitudes under the surface---"wait, now you wanna check the ID of REAL Americans? Oh, no, this needs to stop!"

George Pal said...

“... the rise of homegrown violent extremism (militias, Timothy McVeigh-types) emboldened by Republican and conservative elected officials who either “egg them on” or refuse to take a strong stand against them.”

Somebody’s just dumped a load of shit and claims it smells like daisies.

How about one, just one, source, of an elected official ‘egging’ or being equivocal about homegrown violent extremism (militias, Timothy McVeigh-types)?

How about one, just one, instance homegrown violent extremism (militias) of the Timothy McVeigh type? I don’t mean the Idaho compound with four guys and a couple of gals (there’s always a shortage of women in these compounds), but actively militant and violent militias making headlines and instilling fear throughout the country, you know- like the Weather Underground, Bader-Mienhoff, et al.

Fearing the ‘potential’ rise of such groups from the Right sounds like someone’s bucking for a Patriot Act II.


"I think it all has to do with life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and the misconception that the government is obliged to provide those things or has the jurisdiction to deny them. We’ve gotten away from the principle that they [government] were only created to secure those rights. And that’s where, I believe, much of the trouble has surfaced." - Timothy McVeigh

To agree with him is not to ‘egg’ on others to his means or end.

dance said...

And AGAIN, "one of our most serious threats" does not connote "I am afraid I personally will die", so your Fed-buildings-only thing STILL misses the point. And I previously overlooked the outrageous notion that because your parent works for the Fed Govt and uses the daycare center there, you do not count as an average American. How many people work for federal or state govts, compared to other large employers?

Anonymous said...

George, did you catch this one? I got it via Instapundit -it's AP's take too:


"FBI agent short on details on militia inquiry

"DETROIT - An FBI agent who led the investigation of nine Michigan militia members charged with trying to launch war against the federal government couldn't recall many details of the two-year probe yesterday during questioning by defense lawyers.

"Even the judge who must decide whether to release the nine until trial was puzzled.

""I share the frustrations of the defense team … that she doesn't know anything,"" U.S. District Judge Victoria Roberts said after agent Leslie Larsen confessed she hadn't reviewed her notes recently and couldn't remember specific details of the case.

"Judge Roberts is hearing an appeal of another judge's order that has kept members of so-called Hutaree militia in jail since their arrest in late March.

"The indictment says the nine planned to kill police officers as a steppingstone to a widespread uprising against the federal government.

"Defense lawyers, however, say their clients are being punished for being outspoken.

"Prosecutors fought to keep Ms. Larsen off the witness stand, saying the defendants had no legal right to question her.

"But the judge said the agent's appearance was appropriate because the burden is on defense lawyers to show their clients won't be a threat to the public if released.

"The nine lawyers asked specific questions about each defendant. Ms. Larsen said she had not listened entirely to certain recordings made by an undercover agent who infiltrated the group.

"She said that because they were still being examined, she didn't know if weapons seized by investigators last month were illegal.

"At other times, Ms. Larsen couldn't answer questions because she said she hadn't reviewed investigative reports.

"Defense lawyer William Swor asked if the No. 1 defendant, Hutaree leader David Stone, had ever instructed anyone to make a bomb.

""I can't fully answer that question,"" the agent replied.

"Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Tukel defended Ms. Larsen, telling the judge it wasn't clear until Monday that she would testify.

"Judge Roberts, however, said she told the government to be prepared last week.

"Assistant U.S. Attorney Ronald Waterstreet played an audiotape of what he said were several militia members talking freely about killing police.

"The participants talked over each other, often laughed and made goofy noises and disparaging remarks about law enforcement.

"Prosecutors objected to questions about interpreting the secretly recorded conversations, but the judge said they were fair game.

"The judge will resume the court hearing today.

"Prosecutors will have a chance to question people who are willing to be responsible for some of the nine if they are released from jail."

As Instapundit said - who is a law professor, "We're in good hands."

Mrs. P

FLG said...


By not average American, I'm not saying unAmerican. I'm just saying the threat aimed at most people in the nation.

Also, on the point about illegal versus legal immigration, I think they are particularly germane. This policy is supposedly aimed at stopping illegal immigration. Now, I don't think it will be particularly effective, nor do I think it's the right way to go about it, nor do I think it is in keeping with the American tradition. But shifting from going after illegal immigrants to the policy being anti-immigration is invalid.

FLG said...

That should've read:

By not average American, I'm not saying unAmerican. I'm just saying the threat is not aimed at most people in the nation personally.

Anonymous said...


Instapundit said,


Mrs. P

FLG said...

Oh, and Mrs. P. The Michigan militia people are fucking nutjobs.

Anonymous said...

I know.

Mrs. P

George Pal said...

Mrs. P.

Quelle surprise!


There’s more necessary than ‘nutjobs’ to make an actionable case in pursuit of a tenuous DHS search for violent homegrown right wing militias.

BTW, Happy Mutiny On The Bounty day everyone.

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