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Category: Citizenship, Culture, Education, Family, History, Leadership, Liberty, Monticello College, Politics, Statesmanship, Virtue Comments: 15

White House Unveils New Strategy to Fight Homegrown Terrorism

Neighborhood watches, Guardian Angels, Dads Against Drug Dealers—these are all groups that are founded and manned by citizens stepping up to protect other citizens against the dark side of society.
The members are almost always volunteers, family men and women who just want to protect their children, families, and neighborhoods from social elements that prey on the weak and vulnerable.
They watch and report things out of the ordinary in their local areas, their vigilance often stops or discourages crime simply by being visible and vocal.
But this same innocuous organization of local citizens has been hijacked by governments and used against the very people it was supposed to protect.
Throughout history, tyrannical, totalitarian regimes such as, East Germany, the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, Communist China, Cuba, Yugoslavia, and many others have often created local social networks of spies and informants comprised of citizens, to keep an eye on and report any suspicious behavior of their own friends and neighbors.  This leads to an environment of mistrust and insecurity.
My own sister-in-law grew up in East Germany and relates that she had an uncle that was a known local neighborhood informant.  At family gatherings when he arrived, the family all switched their conversations to the weather, fearful that any spoken comments deemed contrary to the Communist government might be reported and lead to arrest and incarceration.
This month, the Obama administration may have launched such a program.   The administration claims this program was created to protect us from terrorist activities…but that is the same story told over and over again in the annals of history.
Organizations that come into being spontaneously from concerned citizens and that do no harm, but interfere with the free reign of crime are one thing. Government sponsored organizations and trainings designed to pit citizen against citizen to create an “atmosphere of terror,” is something altogether different and harmful.
Which of these is this new government strategy?….Decide for yourself…….
White House Unveils New Strategy to Fight Homegrown Terrorism
By Mary Bruce
Dec 8, 2011 5:35pm
The White House today unveiled a new strategy to battle homegrown terrorism by fostering coordination between local authorities and teaching officials to better recognize violent extremism.
“Protecting our nation’s communities from violent extremist recruitment and radicalization is a top national security priority. It is an effort that requires creativity, diligence and commitment to our fundamental rights and principles,” read a report entitled, “Strategic Implementation Plan for Empowering Local Partners to Prevent Violent Extremism in the United States.

Al-Qaeda Flag

“What we have to do is be prepared for these different types of approaches that al Qaeda is pursuing,” Obama’s chief counterterrorism adviser, John Brennan, told NPR.
“The large attacks, the small attacks, the groups that are operating together and the individuals who may be vulnerable to these types of entreaties.”
The plan outlined enhanced coordination between local partners – including schools and community groups – and federal law enforcement, and sought to empower communities by teaching local officials to recognize violent extremism.
“Just as we engage and raise awareness to prevent gang violence, sexual offenses, school shootings and other acts of violence, so too must we ensure that our communities are empowered to recognize threats of violent extremism and understand the range of government and nongovernment resources that can help keep their families, friends and neighbors safe,” the report said.
One last thought.
James Madison, fourth president of the United States and “Father of the U.S. Constitution” said that

Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other.
War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few.
In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended; its influence in dealing out offices, honors, and emoluments is multiplied; and all the means of seducing the minds, are added to those of subduing the force, of the people.
The same malignant aspect in republicanism may be traced in the inequality of fortunes, and the opportunities of fraud, growing out of a state of war, and in the degeneracy of manners and of morals engendered by both.
No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.
“Political Observations” (179504-20); also in Letters and Other Writings of James Madison (1865), Vol. IV, p. 491

He also commented that

Perhaps it is a universal truth that the loss of liberty at home is to be charged against provisions against danger, real or pretended from abroad.
Letter to Thomas Jefferson (179805-13); published in Letters and Other Writings of James Madison (1865), Vol. II, p. 141

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Comments (15)

  • Mark T. Ellis

    Please continue reminding Americans about how other countries allowed evil and conspiring men to overtake their liberties. We can be calm and vigilant at the same time.

    December 22, 2011 at 9:48 am
    • Shanon Brooks

      Yes. This is not a time to panic. It is a time to re-evaluate our position and move forward with determination.

      December 22, 2011 at 11:17 am
  • Amber Hopkins

    Pray for Americans to continue to call upon the God of this great country for protection from those who would usurp our liberties for their own gain and power. Pray for our brothers and sisters to recognize the deceptions and false peace attempts that are presented as laws for our safety which in reality rob us of our agency to chose how we live. Pray that we as a nation will educate ourselves of our constitution and teach it to others and keep alive, and governing, its freedom based principles.

    December 22, 2011 at 10:15 am
    • Shanon Brooks

      Thank you. I accept and echo your prayer. May we all remember the Source of all our liberty and true happiness.

      December 22, 2011 at 11:18 am
    • Laurie Gatrell

      Atheism: it’s what’s wrong with America today.

      December 27, 2011 at 9:33 pm
      • Ammon Nelson

        I would say rather that atheism is a symptom of what is wrong with America today.
        Atheism is not a natural state, but rather one of the many possible responses to the lack of honest truth seeking on the part of many religiously devout.

        December 28, 2011 at 8:20 am
        • Shanon Brooks

          I am a christian, but I have a number of good friends who are atheists, at least that is how they label themselves. In my experience, I have not found any two atheists to agree completely on what that term means.
          There is a general dislike for organized “man” lead religion, and there is always a lot of finger pointing at the atrocities of religion, especially christianity, and rightly so.
          My approach to all of this is founded in principle. I care less about how someone labels themselves, and a lot more about how they live their lives, how they treat their spouse and children, how they interact with their community, their views on government.
          I have found claims of religious belief or non-belief to be a poor indicator of who a person is. In fact, I know a number of really good atheists, and a number of really unfaithful christians.
          Action speaks louder that words.

          December 28, 2011 at 10:48 am
  • Ammon Nelson

    I am a strong believer that if local communities and individuals provide the protection/services, that are often provided by less local governments, that not only will the loss of freedom be mitigated, but the necessary protection and/or service will be more effective and efficiently run.
    What if we, instead, started to spontaneously meet in non-partisan community groups to discuss what services and protection we can provide for ourselves? We wouldn’t need to worry about federal agents turning into the Gestapo.
    We need to do this now before informants are planted firmly.

    December 22, 2011 at 1:34 pm
    • Shanon Brooks

      My thoughts exactly. Preemptive action.

      December 22, 2011 at 2:36 pm
  • Justin Lee

    The ideas behind this government plan are evidence of the blind well-meaning leading the blindly ignorant.

    December 22, 2011 at 1:37 pm
    • Shanon Brooks

      How can you help us in Colorado Justin?

      December 22, 2011 at 2:36 pm
  • Gene F. Danforth

    Education is a powerful tool. The Nazis did not rise to power without the help from the west. Eugenics did not commence in Germany without the influence from the west. ITT, IBM and other American companies assisted Hitler with technologies and resisted giving it to our own military. Christler and Ford made huge profits. Auswitz had its foundation in the west. Etc. Etc.
    The same story when the subject on Communism arises. Who funded the Bolshevicks? Not only in 1917 but in 1919 when they faced severe resistance. Tax Free Foundations have giving millions to promote rhadical movemnts
    Gene F. Danforth
    Danbury , N.H.

    December 22, 2011 at 3:00 pm
    • Shanon Brooks

      How far down the rabbit hole do we want to go? As far as we have to find the truth and go back a foundation of truth, principle, and right.

      December 22, 2011 at 3:39 pm
  • Jeff Bradford

    If this government program empowers people to defend themselves than I’m open minded towards it but if it empowers and creates a vehicle for neighbors to judge and accuse one another than it serves to tear us apart and not to bind us together. The freedom our founding fathers promoted was to have power over ones self not the intrusion, judgement, false accusations or control of others. That sounds like state sponsored local tyranny to me.

    December 26, 2011 at 12:01 pm
    • Shanon Brooks

      Your analysis is sound.
      Only time will tell, however, as I look back in history, government sponsorship of these kinds of things almost always leads to loss of freedoms because the government always wants to take the lead.
      On the other hand, when these kinds of organizations spring up spontaneously from the people themselves, then you get a very different outcome.
      Can the people be cruel and harmful to each other? Yes, that is the very reason for government, to protect rights, not to organize local civic activities.

      December 26, 2011 at 12:13 pm

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