The Biden Administration’s Domestic Terrorism Strategy is an announcement that they’re coming for you.
The Biden Administration’s National Strategy for Countering Domestic Terrorism is, by its own admission, the first of its kind. The authors call it “America’s first government-wide national Strategy” to eradicate internal opponents of the regime—that is, not only to deter “violent extremism,” but even, in the words of Biden’s opening memo, “to root out the hatreds that can too often drive violence.”
This unprecedented state intervention into every level of American life is justified, the Administration claims, by the unrest that occurred at the Capitol on January 6. That event, while regrettable and ill-judged, has also been thoroughly mythologized into a veritable Reichstag Fire by Democrat politicians, Republican enablers, and a chorus of willing journalists.
A few buffoonish and overzealous protestors have been narrativized into a cabal of organized insurrectionists who brought us, in the words of Democrat Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, to the brink of “a martial state.” One must admire the sinister rhetorical economy of a Party that can invent a threat of martial law while working steadily, and quite in the open, to impose it themselves.
At the heart of this assault on Americans by their government is a lie: the lie that Trump supporters killed Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick on January 6. As Northeastern Political Science Professor Max Abrahms notes in this feature, “Even after the official medical examiner concluded in April that Sicknick died from natural causes, President Biden, MSNBC, and CNN have continued to promote the politically self-serving fiction that he was killed in a terrorist attack.” Now, in the Administration’s new document, this invented murder is presented as the disastrous climax of an equally dishonest story about a supposed plague of right-wing terrorism in America.
“Domestic terrorism is not a new threat in the United States,” the Strategy explains. “It has, over centuries, taken many American lives and spilled much American blood—especially in communities deliberately and viciously targeted on the basis of hatred and bigotry.” What this means in practice is spelled out by a list of gunmen and bombers, all of them inheritors of a line tracing back to the Ku Klux Klan. There is Santino William Legan, who killed three shoppers in northern California, and Patrick Crusius, the suspect in the deadly El Paso shooting. There is Timothy McVeigh, an ex-Army man who bombed a federal building in Oklahoma City. And there is a general reference to “violence and xenophobia directed against Asian Americans; the surge in anti–Semitism; and more.”
Nowhere in this sordid tale do we find mentioned the scores of young men, almost all of them Muslim, who were arrested throughout the 2010s under suspicion of collaborating with ISIS. There is not a word about the BLM- and Antifa-led guerilla campaigns that claimed the lives of police officers like David Dorn and ravaged the property of American workers—to the tune, as Pedro Gonzalez notes, of “$1 billion to $2 billion in paid insurance claims.”
Naturally it is not noted that these homegrown terrorists are being not only absolved of criminal charges but egged on by fantastically powerful oligarchs—among them now-Vice President Kamala Harris. None of this is germane as far as the Strategy is concerned: the one great story, the only permissible story, is about white Americans ruthlessly executing minorities.
Many of the cited cases fit uncomfortably within this narrative mold: as Kyle Shideler observes, “the Biden Administration feels obliged to pad its account of domestic threats with a Dallas Black Lives Matter supporter or a Bernie Sanders campaign volunteer and SPLC enthusiast.” But mere facts do not deter the report’s authors. They insist: “racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists (principally those who promote the superiority of the white race) and militia violent extremists are assessed as presenting the most persistent and lethal threats.” Or, to use the words of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (mouthing words prepared for him by countless radical theorists): the problem is “white rage.”