On January 31, 2012, the Department of Homeland Security’s Behavioral Science Division pointed to the following as indicators of potential terrorism(please note – as you review the list – that some indicators are conservative, some are liberal and some are bipartisan):
“Reverent of individual liberty”
“Believe in conspiracy theories”
“A belief that one’s personal and/or national “way of life” is under attack”
“Impose strict religious tenets or laws on society (fundamentalists)”
“Insert religion into the political sphere”
“Those who seek to politicize religion”
“Supported political movements for autonomy”
“Suspicious of centralized federal authority”
“Fiercely nationalistic (as opposed to universal and international in orientation)”
“A belief in the need to be prepared for an attack either by participating in … survivalism”
Given that most Americans fall into one or more of these categories, the powers-that-be can brand virtually anyone they dislike as being a terrorist.
A flyer from a series created by the FBI and Department of Justice to promote suspicious activity reporting states that espousing conspiracy theories or anti-US rhetoric should be considered a potential indicator of terrorist activity. The document, part of a collection published yesterday by Public Intelligence, indicates that individuals who discuss “conspiracy theories about Westerners” or display “fury at the West for reasons ranging from personal problems to global policies of the U.S.” are to be considered as potentially engaging in terrorist activity. For an example of the kinds of conspiracy theories that are to be considered suspicious, the flyer specifically lists the belief that the “CIA arranged for 9/11 to legitimize the invasion of foreign lands.”
Many high-level military and intelligence officials say that the never-ending wars in the Middle East and North Africa are reducing our national securityand causing unnecessary misery (and see this). Many patriotic Americans believe the same thing. Does that make them terrorists?
Even if some of these characteristics don’t get one labeled as a terrorist, they may very well get one labeled as crazy. Specifically, government apologists are eager to labelanyone “taking a cynical stance toward politics, mistrusting authority, endorsing democratic practices, … and displaying an inquisitive, imaginative outlook” as worthy of a Stalinist trip to the insane asylum.