Is the Justice Dept.'s New Program to Find Homegrown Terrorists Wonderful or Worrisome (or Both)?


Can't anybody in the administration even give a speech about fighting terrorism without making us sound like a bunch of collectivists?

Today Attorney General Eric Holder introduced the public to a "pilot program" the Department of Justice is rolling out to better attempt to track down people living in the United States who may be considering running off to join ISIS and becoming terrorists. Guess the mass surveillance and those fusion centers aren't working out after all (if there were any doubts following the Boston Marathon Bombing). Holder's announcement is typically vague and full of Pablum about how we Americans are all the same and are working together and share the same ideals, unnecessarily padding out the word count. Here's an excerpt that appears to contain the most substance:

Today, I am announcing that the Department of Justice is partnering with the White House, the Department of Homeland Security, and the National Counterterrorism Center to launch a new series of pilot programs in cities across the nation.  These programs will bring together community representatives, public safety officials, religious leaders, and United States Attorneys to  improve local engagement; to counter violent extremism; and – ultimately – to build a broad network of community partnerships to keep our nation safe.  Under President Obama's leadership, along with our interagency affiliates, we will work closely with community representatives to develop comprehensive local strategies, to raise awareness about important issues, to share information on best practices, and to expand and improve training in every area of the country.

Already, since 2012, our U.S. Attorneys have held or attended more than 1,700 engagement-related events or meetings to enhance trust and facilitate communication in their neighborhoods and districts.  This innovative new pilot initiative will build on that important work.  And the White House will be hosting a Countering Violent Extremism summit in October to highlight these and other domestic and international efforts.  Ultimately, the pilot programs will enable us to develop more effective – and more inclusive – ways to help build the more just, secure, and free society that all Americans deserve.

We know that bulk collection of metadata has been ineffective in actually combating home-grown terrorism. We know that actually old-fashioned policing and communicating with the community is vital to tracking down actual threats. This shouldn't be a "pilot" program at all but rather something that law enforcement agencies should have been doing all along.

And yet, when we look at the Department of Justice's own tactics as well as behavior from folks like the New York Police Department, it's difficult to imagine that this program is going to be about things like "facilitating communication." This is a Department of Justice that has blocked efforts to challenge its no-fly and watch lists that make travel miserable for thousands of Americans despite having no known connection to any terrorist organization. When the American Civil Liberties Union challenged the federal no-fly list, some of the people they represented testified that they had been told they could get their rights back in exchange for becoming informants for the federal government. The New York Police Department's surveillance on Muslim communities in the city and in New Jersey had other problems with its use of informants. If this program is about drawing more informants into the government fold, we should be concerned about what tactics they'll use to get information.

For that matter, we should most assuredly be concerned about what tactics they'll use to actually catch suspects. The FBI has notoriously broken up "terrorist plots" that they had actually created themselves to draw in subjects who have expressed anger and rage at the United States but lacked the resources (and possibly the intelligence) to actually orchestrate anything dangerous. And then they foil the "plot," arrest the guy, and send him to prison. Given that this is a big pilot project with a public rollout, there's going to be pressure for outcomes. Catching people and putting them in jail is what they're going to want to brag about.

McClatchy's coverage of today's announcement highlights the "challenge" that the Justice Department has to "tamp down fears that the push for improved communication is a ruse to make it easier for law enforcement agencies to conduct domestic spying activities." The Department of Justice and the National Security Agency currently do not have the best reputation for honesty and transparency right now. Why would anybody believe Holder's intentions at this point?

A video of Holder's statement is here.

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  1. I give up. Just give us Stasi like secret police so that we at least know where we stand as a nation.

    1. Based on a previous thread, we already have a large percentage of the population ready to report on their neighbors, so that’s in place.

  2. “””‘The FBI has notoriously broken up “terrorist plots” that they had actually created themselves”””

    Yeah!!!!. FBI saves us from FBI bomb plots!!!!

  3. Horrifying Link of the Day: A child cancer specialist has admitted sexually abusing boys in his care.

    Myles Bradbury, a paediatric haematologist at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, committed sexual offences against boys aged 8 to 17 between 2009 and 2013, Cambridge Crown Court heard.

    The 41-year-old from Herringswell, Suffolk, pleaded guilty to 25 offences including sexual assault and the making of more than 16,000 indecent images.

    1. I don’t know what a pedoatric homotologist does, but i never would have guessed it involved molesting little boys.

      1. I am at least somewhat suspicious of any man who spends lots of time around young children that aren’t his.

    2. 17? How does a 17 year old male allow this to occur?

      That is disgusting though. Poor kids.

      1. I’m guessing the having no energy because dying of blood cancer has something to do with it.

      2. He’s English, and self defense gets you thrown in prison there.

        1. Bite the pillow and think of England?

  4. She a regular racist tea bagger…..mcconnell/

    Sure you are not sweety. Wake me when you don’t vote for Harry Reid as majority leader.

    1. It’s a pretty clever ad, though, to inspire KY voters to vote Democrat to show their opposition to Obama and his Republican status quo.

      If it works, Kentuckians whose livelihoods depend on coal are sure to be disappointed if the Dems need her vote in the Senate. And you can bet that her commitment to the 2nd Amendment is limited as well.

      1. To be fair, Kentucky has given us 2 of the best 3 congress critters we’ve had in our lifetimes, so maybe we should give them the benefit of the doubt for now.

        1. Who’s the other one?

          1. Rand, Amash, and Massie are the three I were referring to. Rand and Massie both being from KY.

          2. I’m guessing someone in the House we’ve never heard of. Or maybe Hyperion is a seasoned citizen with fond memories of John Sherman Cooper.

            1. Right, Massie. Completely forgot about him.

            2. Read above, I’m sure you’ve heard of all of them.

  5. to better attempt to track down people living in the United States who may be considering running off to join ISIS and becoming terrorists.

    I can see it now:,, ….

    1. Wow dude I never thought of it that way before

      1. If you guys weren’t on A List before…

  6. Um, how is radical nutjobs deporting themselves to a battlefield thousands of miles away from the “homeland” a thing that needs to be stopped?

    1. Exactly. As long as we know they went so they cant’ get back in, better over there than here.

    2. Didn’t the US allow American commies to go to Spain and join the Abraham Lincoln Brigade?

      The problem is that these guys will get valuable training in the world’s best terrorist university as well as hands on experience in the world world.

      Nothing substitutes for training and experience.

      1. From what I’ve seen, the world’s best terrorist university is either Langley or Quantico.

  7. ways to help build the more just, secure, and free society that all Americans deserve.

    Yeah, about that..

    F ? S = k. The product of Freedom and Security is a constant. To gain more freedom of thought and/or action, you must give up some security, and vice versa. –Niven

  8. You know who else started their career engaging in civil disobedience and ended up in a leading government position?

    1. Oliver Cromwell?

    2. Paul atreides?

    3. David Ben-Gurion?

    4. Mandela?

  9. Is it racist of me to suspect that there will be more people found who own Confederate Flags than people found who own Osama’s Little Brown Book?

    1. And pick up artist. Don’t forget the pick up artists.

    2. I would say you can 100% count on it. Most of the terrorists will probably be tea party members, I’m sure.

    3. They will also target people who fly their state flag instead of or in concert with, but an insufficient distance beneath, the stars and stripes.

      1. I’ve been plotting making a video using cartoon caricatures of posters here at H&R. In it, the heroes (that would be us commentariat) are rolling through an arid highland terrain in a modified jeep with gadsen flags, drinking beer, smoking weed, and snorting coke off the arses of hookers. The theme music is TV Dinners by ZZ Top. At some point in the video we have to stop and take a pizz and we then urinate all over bobble head caricatures of certain world leaders, among them Obama, Putin, the president of France, not sure who else needs to be in there…

        Does that get me on the list?

        1. Add Pelosi and La Clinton bobble heads.

          1. The Harry Reid bobblehead must have an open mouth.

          2. needz more ass-sex and Mexicans

        2. Suggested dialogue: “Where we’re going, we don’t need ROADZ”

          1. I like it, I think I’m using this, you get a spot in the vid.

    4. And Vets / Military members, can’t forget those obvious defective people who swore an oath to that odious Constitution which is full of all sorts of seditious anti-gov writings !

    5. Is it racist of me to suspect that there will be more people found who own Confederate Flags than people found who own Osama’s Little Brown Book?

      Not at all. Frankly, I’m surprised no one has flown a plane into a building while blasting Dixie!

      Although, I’m guessing most people who own confederate flags don’t do a lot of flying.

  10. So I was just coming back from the beer store where I had purchased questionable items, beer.

    I turned the corner to get on my street and once again, 2nd time in as many weeks, I spied some troublesome children running an undoubtedly unlicensed lemon-aid stand.

    So my question is, do I do my patriotic duty and ‘say something’, you know, since I obviously ‘saw something’. Or do I remain silent and let the terrorists win?

    1. I’ve seen a couple (what I would assumed to be unlicensed) lemonade stands this year. Can’t recall seeing any of them more than once. They were in inconvenient locations for parking, or I might have stopped. Then again, if I did then I’d be an older man approaching a female child. So if I keep driving I’m a jerk, and if I stop then I’m a creep. You just can’t win.

      1. Meh. If I ever come across one I’ll be dumping all my cash into their jar along with a little business card that reads “Fight government regulation.”

        1. That’s it, mister, you’re on the list!

          1. I remember when I was a kid I ran a stand with my neighbor friend. It was boring and we made little money.

            But then some guy came up and asked if we had any blueberry flavored lemonade. We were both really confused and said we didn’t.

            He’s like, “Oh well, here’s twenty bucks anyway, keep running a good business.”

            Wish I could find that guy now and be his friend.

            1. Foolish mortal = that was Capitalist Jesus, and he has been with you ever since.

              1. “My son, my precious child,
                I love you and I would never leave you.
                During your times of trial and suffering,
                when you see only one set of entries in your ledger, it was then that I embezzled from you.”

            2. I remember having a pair of stoned mexicans in a rape work van stop and ask me “you have any beer, man?”

              Yes stoned mexican guys, I, a 10 year old child, have beer for sale behind my barely legible handwritten sign .

              1. If you were the Libertarian Kwisatz Haderach, you would have.

              2. Maybe you look like Bart Simpson.

          2. We’re ALL on the list, Hyperion.

            1. Yeah, but some of us are MOAR on the list than other, especially that damn Slovenian goat fucker.

              1. Anonbot got on the list first…and unlike most of us it’s also a registered sex offender.

  11. “Why would anybody believe Holder’s intentions at this point?”

    Same reason they voted for Obo; not real bright.

    1. Yep, same reason why they apparently disapprove of our leadership at record levels, yet keep voting the same idiots back in again and expecting something different.

      I have this bad feeling that once a society has reached a certain level of dumb, there is no going back to sanity.

      1. No, you can get back to sanity, but a lot of stupid people are gonna have to die first.

        1. I think the NAP rules that out. But liberals are aborting all of their potential offspring, so there’s that.

          1. NAP’s require reciprocity which a proggie will never provide.

            1. How does the NAP ‘require reciprocity?’ If you are defending yourself from another’s aggression your actions are not themselves aggression.

              1. So, then all we have to do is taunt the progtards into attacking us, and as they don’t have weapons cause they hate guns, we just shoot them all, in self defense. Makes sense. Remember it wasn’t me that suggested this, it was Bo, I was just an innocent who was attacked.

  12. Today, I am announcing that the Department of Justice is partnering with the White House…

    How do you “partner” with your boss? Can Holder even get through a single sentence coherently?

    1. O’s “subordinates” criticize “his” policy, eg, on drugs, in a way that would get a person in a normal person fired for insubordination. Assuming that his subordinates are actually defying his will as opposed to helping him play a double game.

  13. Terrorism is far less of a threat to my freedom than my own government so, yeah, the federal government continues to worry me as its screw never stops turning in the name of ‘safety and security’.

    1. “We haven’t had desserts in our schools. This is my fourth year, and I’ve never seen a dessert served in the school. The kids like kale here, and they eat broccoli. Really, we’ve been ahead of the game,” Shelley Mathias, principal of Burlington’s Edmunds Elementary School, tells Watchdog.

      Jesus God, that sounds like hell on earth.

      1. Oh come on man, if you eat your kale like a good little comrade, you get a torfurkey treat once a week!

        1. Abortion is beginning to look an awful lot like euthanasia in Progland.

          And I have nothing against kale chips–I make them occasionally with an obscene amount of kosher salt and olive oil when I want to pretend I’m eating healthy–but I can’t imagine the sort of child who would enjoy such a thing. Children should beg for Twix bars and settle for creamed corn and beans, the way God intended.

          1. Amen. Kale can be good, but it’s an acquired taste that children generally don’t appreciate. It’s also extremely hard to prepare in a way that doesn’t taste terrible.

            1. Lightly blanched and dripping in melted butter and parmesan.

              1. But butter and parmesan have fat!!!111!!!

      2. I liked kale as a child, however I’m pretty sure that I was the only child who liked kale. I still eat pounds of the stuff. And it turns out that I have a rare blood clotting disorder that requires regular supplementation with vitamin K to keep from bruising like a peach. Care to guess what vitamin kale is probably the best dietary source for?

  14. One could definitely decrease the threat of domestic terrorism by not importing more Muslim immigrants, but apparently Minneapolis needs more Somalis, for some reason.

    1. Actually given the track record, Muslims from Europe are the issue. Somalis are just Kochtopus operatives. At night they dismantle the roads.

      1. I thought the DOT dismantled the roads. Learn something new every day.

      2. A number of Muslims from Minneapolis (and elsewhere in the US) have gone to fight for ISIS.

  15. So I haven’t seen Shriek around all day..

    A former State Department official has told lawmakers that Hillary Clinton allies privately removed politically damaging documents before turning over files to the supposedly independent board investigating the Benghazi terror attack.

    The account from Raymond Maxwell, former head of the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs (NEA), was first published in The Daily Signal. Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, confirmed to on Monday that Maxwell told him and other lawmakers the same story when they privately interviewed him last year about the attacks and their aftermath.

    1. Why are you lighting the Shreeky signal?

    1. SF’d link

        1. CNN is where brain cells go to die.

        2. The guy couldn’t just ‘get married’, but had to justify his choice in the context of some grand progressive political narrative.


          This is why i think libertarianism has something to offer when Nick says, “we’re more interested in expanding the areas of life that are free from politics”… or something like that. i can never remember how he puts it.

          I am genuinely sick of the “politicize everything” world.

          1. That’s why I’m still angry Foster just didn’t straight up bitch slap Liu when he was on the Independents just out of principle.

          2. I think it makes a good overall point, that rather than seeing the movement for same sex marriage as undermining marriage it actually has put a new emphasis and spotlight on marriage as an institution.

            1. Yes, from the point of view of a SJW, it enforces the institution of marriage, as defined by SJWs. For the same reason that it’s stupid for the SnoCones to harp on the “institution of marriage” it’s stupid for the SJWs to emphasize the institution of marriage.

              1. I don’t know, seeing people working so hard to have the chance to be in these committed relationships could cause someone to find such things more appealing with no other comment on marriage policy in general.

                1. I see your point, but i doubt very many people are thinking “if the gays have gone through so much to get married, then it must be good!”

                  Marriage is primarily driven through governmental incentives, cultural inertia, and the hybridized morals of our society. Marriage is “the next thing to do” for so many unthinking people to the point that I doubt any thought beyond “i don’t get to fuck around anymore” goes through their heads. Those who marry for religious reasons aren’t going to be inspired by this. Those who are unthinking, or who marry because it’s “the next thing to do” aren’t going to be inspired. The only people who would be are the dyed in the wool SJWs.

              2. But that’s not even it. The entire article is just Liu strutting around like a peacock with a smug sense of moral superiority pinned to his chest like a gold medal.

                1. But that’s not even it. The entire article is just Liu strutting around like a peacock with a smug sense of moral superiority pinned to his chest like a gold medal.

                  And in the context of marriage… to a woman who he’d been in a committed relationship for what, nine years?

                  Yeah, the paper in the state capitol’s filing cabinet really made it all different.

                  1. That the reason this institution is vital is that in the end it’s not about rights; it’s about responsibility — of one spouse to the other; of the couple to their people, and vice versa.

                    That’s a bunch of fucking shit. I’m sorry but responsibility to your parter, your spouse, whatever, comes entirely FROM YOU. Getting a license from the government means fuck all in this instance, beyond the fact that the government can make the implicit contract very ugly to get out of by law.

                    Your commitment to another human being comes from within yourself. If you were unable to express that commitment without a license and permission from an apparatchik working for the state, I feel very sorry for you.*

                    *none of this is to suggest that I didn’t believe in the right of gays to seek and acquire that license– a license which has fuck all to do with a personal, moral commitment.

                    1. Goddamnit, now I wanna punch a hole through some sheetrock.

                      That the reason this institution is vital is that in the end it’s not about rights

                      The institution as it relates to a marriage license is ONLY about rights. That’s it. Period, the end. It’s about the legislated rights and privileges extended to married couples by state and federal governments.

                      And by that I don’t say that it’s wrong. If those rights are conveyed, and gay people are denied those rights, they should be able to pursue those rights and privileges like any other.

                      But this Liu guy is just blowing smoke up our asses. If he actually believes that his partner/wife wouldn’t really be 100% committed to him until they signed a form, I weep for their relationship.

                  2. Her name is Jen?. Jen? with an accent aigu on the “A”.

                    That deserves a swift knife edge of the hand to Mr. and Mrs. Liu’s throats just for that.

          3. For a proggie politics is family, it is life, it is community, they can not separate government from what they are and thus can’t help but politicize anything and everything.

  16. Ross Douthat Nails it On Cruz’s Lecturing Persecuted Middle Eastern Christians on Why They Must Love Israel

    “If Cruz felt that he couldn’t in good conscience address an audience of persecuted Arab Christians without including a florid, ‘no greater ally’ preamble about Israel, he could have withdrawn from the event. The fact that he preferred to do it this way instead says a lot ? none of it good ? about his priorities and instincts.

    The fact that he was widely lauded says a lot about why, if 2,000 years of Christian history in the Middle East ends in blood and ash and exile, the American right no less than the left and center will deserve a share of responsibility for that fate.”……html?_r=0

  17. Eric Holder is a Moron, Period.

    1. OK anon-bot is freaking me out.

      1. No shit. I may have to back off my snarky AI comments.

  18. Tasty seared raptor, anyone?

    “Big solar plant in Mojave Desert gets state’s OK”
    “It (different plant, same tech) has come under fire by U.S. Fish and Wildlife officials for igniting birds, butterflies and other objects that pass through the superheated area of “solar flux.”…..hc-bustech

    According to an article on that other BrightSource plant the carbon released in construction and the off-peak natural gas generation just about equals the carbon ‘savings’ the plant is supposed to generate.
    But, hey, the the FEELZ are groovy!

    1. Ah man. Joshua Tree is my favorite rock climbing spot in the whole world. Fucking greenies, ruining the world in order to “save” it.

      1. The plant is off in the distance on the low desert side of JTree – you have to work pretty hard to have a good view in that direction.

        1. Still uncool. My grandma used to live in Desert Hot Springs, and I’d head over to Joshua Tree to goof off after I’d completed my monocle polishing duties –my parents leased me out as old lady slave labor every summer.Grandma thought FDR was a fascist asshole (she’d rant about him all the time) and kept all her savings in silver and gold coins stashed in biscuit tins around the house. Definitely good libertarian trainer she was.

          1. The more interesting view of the facility should be from the top of the tram on San Jacinto.

          2. BuSab Agent|9.15.14 @ 8:51PM|#
            “Still uncool. My grandma used to live in Desert Hot Springs, and I’d head over to Joshua Tree to goof off after I’d completed my monocle polishing duties…”

            Ever read “The Man From the Cave”? (…..m+the+cave )
            I hunted and fished when I was a kid, so this story only resonates as romance to me. But a good read.

        2. If you fly from SF to Florida, you’ll pass close to the Ivanpah one. It’s gigantic.

          1. Supposedly powers 4,500 homes (WITH the off-peak natgas burn).
            LA’s population is ~13m, say 6 peeps per home, 2,166,666 homes, /4,500 = 481.5 Ivanpahs.
            Yeah, that’s realistic. I can see it easy! Real easy; you can see ’em from the space station!

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