Bringing the ‘War on Terrorism’ Home

The Obama cult is revving up its motors for the reelection campaign, with Joe Biden declaiming “General Motors is alive and bin Laden is dead”: that’s the signature slogan MSNBC apparently intends to repeat endlessly until we get some relief on election day. It must be the concatenation of the stars in alignment with Mars, but it looks like I actually agree with something Arianna Huffington said: that this campaign slogan is “despicable,” which it surely is. Naturally, Ms. Huffington doesn’t acknowledge the lie at the heart of the first part of that slogan: GM still hasn’t paid back the bailout money shelled out by taxpayers. If they’re making money, why not reimburse the tax slaves? But never mind: what concerns us here is that the Obama administration is taking credit for a long process – finding OBL – that began in the Bush administration and only culminated under this President’s watch.

But never mind that, too, because one has to wonder: who cares that bin Laden is dead when our endless “war on terrorism” continues? As Glenn Greenwald points out, that war hasn’t slowed down a bit, indeed it is escalating – not only abroad, where our “regime change” machine is homing in on Syria and Iran after having devastated Libya and destabilized Pakistan, but also here in this country. Is it just a coincidence that on May Day, the very day the “Occupy” movement chose for nationwide protests against corporate dominance of American politics, the FBI announced the arrest of five “anarchists” who were supposedly plotting to blow up a bridge in Cleveland?

Not that there was ever any danger of the bridge actually being blown up: like all the high-profile “domestic terrorism” cases touted by the feds these days, this was yet another case of the FBI infiltrating a fringy group and instigating its members into participating in a bogus “plot,” which the feds could then hold up as another “success story” in their ongoing domestic “war on terrorism.” It’s a veritable growth industry, one the FBI and other law enforcement agencies have a vested interest in propagating and encouraging: the more “plots” they can uncover, the more tax dollars are poured into their coffers.

That the timing of this announcement is politically motivated is obvious even to the most naïve observer: this administration is directly threatened by the Occupy movement, in spite of their strenuous attempts to co-opt it. The President’s war chest this time around is going to dwarf that of the Republicans, supposedly the party of Corporate Greed, and the bucks aren’t coming from little old ladies on Social Security and college students dipping into their piggy banks. Last election season, Obama’s bundlers outpaced the Republicans by more than two-to-one, unleashing a veritable cornucopia of corporate donations, earning him the soubriquet “the candidate from Goldman Sachs.” Rather than put up with dissent from his left flank, Obama and his minions in law enforcement are seemingly determined to frame up the Occupy movement just like they tried to do the same with the ultra-right-wing “Hutaree” militia – and let’s hope they have as much success with the former as they did with the latter. Because the judge in the Hutaree case threw the government’s case out, acquitted the defendants, and rebuked prosecutors for bringing the case to court in the first place.

The Hutaree were engaged in a lot of talk, some of it ill-considered, but that is not a crime. The only crime involved the instigations of a paid government informer who insisted that the Hutaree carry out a “war” against the federal government and concocted a plan to kill some police officers. One of the defendants came out of the trial advising people to “watch what you say” – because “even the most innocent statements can be used against you.” In post-9/11 America, that’s sage advice.

The Hutaree militia members were charged with “seditious conspiracy” to overthrow the government, based on over 100 hours of clandestinely recorded audio and the testimony of their paid informant. No doubt prosecutors knew they were treading on shaky legal grounds, but obtaining a conviction is not necessarily the government’s first concern in cases of this kind, because the effect of such prosecutions is to publicize the difficulties “anti-government” individuals and organizations will run into if they persist in their activities. These cases have a chilling effect on constitutionally protected speech, and that is a key aspect of these trumped-up cases. Are you going to oppose the will of the federal government and get yourself into all sorts of trouble – or are you going to keep a low profile, keep your mouth shut, and avoid all sort of unpleasant legal problems? That’s the question “anti-government” activists have to ask themselves, these days, and there’s no doubt many potential dissidents are choosing the second alternative.

In the Cleveland case, we are assured that the elements of the “bomb” were inoperable, and the FBI was in on the details of the “conspiracy” from day one: in other words, this was another Hutaree-type “plot,” a pretext for the government to entrap and prosecute “dangerous radicals” whose only crime is operating outside an acceptable ideological context. In short, it is a propaganda exercise designed to show that the feds need all the “legal tools” given to them by the “Patriot” Act – and that these incursions on our constitutional rights need to be preserved and extended. It’s propaganda aimed at keeping Americans fearful, so that they’ll surrender what is left of their rights to a government ready, willing, and eager to extend its authority into every aspect of our lives – in the name of “fighting terrorism.”

Our phony “war on terrorism” on the international front has given the government a blank check to descend on Americans and root out “subversion” while trampling on free speech and narrowing the range of permissible dissent. One by one, the liberties guaranteed to us in the Constitution are being chipped away by government prosecutors, law enforcement officials, and politicians on the make. Last time this happened – around 1776 – the American people had to take matters into their own hands in order to teach them a lesson – a lesson it appears they have forgotten. And if this be “seditious conspiracy,” then let the feds make the most of it!

Author: Justin Raimondo

Justin Raimondo passed away on June 27, 2019. He was the co-founder and editorial director of, and was a senior fellow at the Randolph Bourne Institute. He was a contributing editor at The American Conservative, and wrote a monthly column for Chronicles. He was the author of Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement [Center for Libertarian Studies, 1993; Intercollegiate Studies Institute, 2000], and An Enemy of the State: The Life of Murray N. Rothbard [Prometheus Books, 2000].