FBI

The FBI's Orwellian Little Program To Catch Would-Be Jihadis

The Shared Responsibility Committees program will force ordinary Muslims to spy on their own communities

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The NSA claims to have sweeping powers under the Patriot Act to conduct mass surveillance of Americans. That is

Spy
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bad enough. But what's even worse is when it comes up with Orwellian euphemisms for what it is doing. That's the case with a creepy little program called the Shared Responsibility Committees that the FBI is currently beta testing. The program is being billed as a handy little way of empowering Muslim communities to flag prospective jihadis in their midst.

In reality, however, it will turn Muslim leaders into Stasi-like FBI informants against their own communities. I note in The Week today:

The program, which the FBI claims to be piloting in unnamed communities, would sign up community leaders, imams, mental health professionals, and teachers into committees, notes Georgetown University Law School's Arjun Sethi, whom the FBI asked for input. It would refer individuals it has flagged by unspecified means as "at risk" of going jihadi to the relevant committee, who would contact them and conduct a series of meetings. The committee would offer the FBI its recommendations — whether to drop or continue the investigation or arrange therapy — which the FBI would be free to reject. The whole time that the committee is doing its work, the FBI could simultaneously be conducting its own criminal investigation. Worse, although the FBI doesn't have to disclose its findings to the committee, it would be free to seize the committee's notes and proceedings and also subpoena its members to testify against the suspect.

Go here to read the whole thing.

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  1. If these “at risk” people aren’t already angry, they certainly will be after a few meetings with the FBI.

    1. And after a few more meetings, the FBI will manufacture a “terrorist attack” to arrest them for!

  2. The committee would offer the FBI its recommendations ? whether to drop or continue the investigation or arrange therapy

    Pray away the jihad?

    1. Terrorist therapy? What the fuck, I don’t even…

  3. The Muslim communities are just a beta test for this. They want us all to rat out our neighbors for any possible slight of the great state. What do you think ‘see something, say something’ was all about. Hey, it’s not only ok to rat out your neighbors, but being patriotic means that you should actually watch them all of the time and if they’re doing anything that you think might be suspicious, just give us a call! Nothing can possibly go wrong with this.

    1. Nothing can possibly go wrong with this.

      I was going to type something similarly sarcastic.

      1. Of course, after hyping this paranoia, we’re also going to hear story after disingenuously wailing story from the media about how racist dude on the plane reported poor innocent Muslim woman to the authorities and how awful the stupid hoi polloi are.

        1. I don’t think it is paranoia to think that the Muslim community has a terrorism problem.

          And yes, if you or I call the FBI about a Muslim we think might be a terrorist, we will be labeled racists and likely put on a watch list ourselves. Apparently, the FBI can only investigate Muslims when they have the okay from the Muslim community.

    2. I feel like I read a book about this happening. Nineteen…something…whatever. Everyone seemed really happy there. Loved their Brother or something.

      1. It was called 1944 and they made it into a kick ass video game where you shot down planes and sunk ships.

    3. I am not seeing it. How is this different than what they do ever day? Except that there is a committee out there to talk the FBI out of going after you.

      1. You don’t really think they thought this through in terms of being effective, do you? It’s just another cash grab to create more ineffective bureaucracy. Hey look, we have a shiny new idea, that probably won’t work, just like our other ideas didn’t work, but give us more money so we can try it!

      2. Or after you.

        Or do you somehow think that the people you say have a ‘terrorist problem’ will suddenly be all ‘I love America’ just because they’ve gotten a seat on the local CDR?

        Or, do you think that these people will do what little people with a modicum of power have done for the entire existence of humanity – use that power for personal gain?

  4. Any government program with the words “shared responsibility” in the title should be treated with scorn and distrust.

    See also, Affordable Care Act “shared responsibility payments”

    1. Any government program with the words “shared responsibility” in the title should be treated with scorn and distrust.

      FIFY

      1. True enough. “Share responsibility,” however, tends to suggest that it will be worse than usual.

  5. My neighbors can rat me out to the FBI. Anyone’s neighbors can call the FBI and claim they are a terrorist. I won’t be getting a committee of my peers to give a recommendation to the FBI on whether it should investigate me.

    If anything this looks like it is giving Muslims more protection that non Muslims. If the FBI ever thinks I am a terrorist, I am going to jail until I get a chance to prove I am not in court. Getting therapy won’t be on the options list.

    1. What exactly do you… I mean… how do you cure someone of wanting to commit a terrorist act with therapy? That has to be one of the stupidest things I’ve ever heard. The person intent on terrorism will go about planning his attack while getting this therapy and be laughing at the fucking infidel retards.

      1. That is a good question. But apparently the FBI thinks you can. I think Dalmia is totally missing the point of this. This isn’t some kind of Stasi operation. This is the PC liberals at the FBI giving the Muslim community a vote over whether they investigate someone.

        1. You know who else a had a Stasi-like organization?

    2. That’s stupid. The FBI won’t act on every little claim that someone is a terrorist. If they DID, we’d see a LOT of accusations being called in ALL THE TIME similar to “swatting”. If you REALLY think that you’ll be thrown in jail because I pick up a phone and cry Terrorist, you are (happily) mistaken!! The US police aren’t THAT bad yet!! Heck, if I didn’t want to end up on a list myself I’d be tempted to call the FBI and tell them you are a terrorist just so you can witness nothing happening to you.

      Rather, the FBI needs some sort of probable cause before they can actually do the whole “move them to jail” thing. Probable cause like, say, a committee of people determined to be authorities on the subject of you and your motivation because of a shared faith, who could very well arbitrarily decide to give the FBI an excuse to claim probable cause.

      The FBI needs probable cause. These committees generate probable cause.

      1. Do you really think they will throw a Muslim in jail on the mere accusation? No. But they will investigate both. That I guarantee you.

        And the committee doesn’t generate any more or less probable cause than anyone else. Adn they don’t need probable cause to investigate you.

      2. The FBI needs probable cause. These committees generate probable cause.

        The FBI is perfectly capable of generating probably cause out of thin air all on its lonesome.

    3. While I don’t disagree with the ‘giving Muslims extra privileges’ part, no, the FBI thinking you’re a terrorist will *not* get you thrown into jail until you prove otherwise.

      The FBI *loves* them some terrorists and will go through a hell of a lot of effort to ‘encourage’ you to act – even to the point of supplying you – and *then* you’ll end up in jail.

      Maybe. Definitely not until you actually plant the (hopefully) fake bomb they gave you. But hopefully before you wander off, they forget where you put the bomb because they weren’t actually watching you all that closely and someone else finds it.

      But either way, its a win-win for the Feebs as they get to point to another terrorist plot they’ve stopped.

      After the above, *that’s when* you get your free ticket to Gitmo.

      1. Yeah, that is a good point.

  6. Obviously it’s a shit policy with far reaching implications for liberty. But it’s worth noting that it was crafted with the idea in mind that “moderate” Muslims by and large have been sitting on their hands about jihadis and terrorism.

    ICM (2016): 2 in 3 Muslims in Britain would not report terror plot to police.
    http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/…..730825.ece

    And more generally the large degree of support that terrorists and Islamists receive from ordinary “moderates”.

    1. British Muslims are not American Muslims. America kicks Britain’s ass on integration. And Britain’s Muslim population is largely drawn from countries where Salafism is strong, whereas US Muslims typically come from other countries. British “Moderates” are extreme in comparison to American “Moderates” for this combination of obvious reasons (and groups determined by the American government as being “Moderates” for the purpose of getting free military equipment are more extreme than both).

      As for the thing with the cops?? The survey wording is that two thirds would not report a person that they suspected “had become involved with terrorist sympathisers”, not that two thirds “would not report a terror plot” as you falsely claim. Read the article you linked yourself. I would completely support these Muslims in doing so. The police have a history of overreacting to perceived threats and I for one would consider it IMMORAL to point an organization like that at someone I know just because they sympathize with criminals or associate with people who sympathize with criminals. Only a copsucker would think reporting every single person you suspect might be loosely connected with crime would be a good idea for rehabilitating them.

      1. TL;DR;

        Britain fucking sucks, don’t use it’s shitty track record to impugn America and trusting the cops to rehabilitate a friend is a recipe for getting your friend shot by a trigger-happy overzealous officer.

      2. How many terrorists attacks from native born Muslims has Britain suffered in the last 15 years? How many has the US? I don’t think we kick their asses at all.

  7. Comit?s de Defensa de la Revoluci?n
    Blockleiter
    Informeller Mitarbeiter
    Shared Responsibility Committee

  8. “it’s hard not to laugh”, but even harder not to weep at the thought of the way our civil liberties–the civil liberties that belong to all of us–are being taken away. Thanks, Obama.

  9. I don’t understand why so many people around here are so quick to see government self-interest in things like this, but suddenly go blind when it comes to Muslim immigration. Every Muslim immigrant, every Muslim refugee, is one more excuse for government surveillance. And with good reason! The threat is not coming from Japanese or Christian or Jewish immigrants. Duh.

    So now, Obama wants to bring in 1500 Syrians a month, with reduced screening. (As if screening does anything.) So in addition to higher welfare spending, some of them (or their kids or grandkids) will inevitably become radicalized. And then we need More Surveillance.

    Counting on a magical thing called “assimilation” to prevent this is foolish. Folks may not have noticed, but “assimilation” is politically incorrect. It’s now multiculturalism, people. “Respecting” other cultures, ethnic enclaves, ethnic grievances. And Muslims are very good at the ethnic grievance game.

    1. Every Muslim immigrant, every Muslim refugee, is one more excuse for government surveillance.

      The government will use anything and everything as an excuse for more surveillance. If it wasn’t this, it would be child molesters or drug addicts. Stop pretending as if it’s anything but the government’s fault. It’s the government that is the real enemy here, as it is conducting the unconstitutional surveillance and passing all these horrific laws.

      And with good reason!

      There is no good reason or excuse for mass surveillance. None. If you disagree, you fail to see the value of freedom.

      1. There is certainly a reason to surveil Muslims, because Muslims want to take over the world. It’s in the Koran. It’s Allah’s orders. It’s not some “Islamophobic” conspiracy theory. If you think it is, you haven’t read up on Islam. No, maybe not every single individual Muslim, but then, not every single individual KKK member is plotting terror. The FBI tries to watch all KKK members, anyway. Getting watched goes along with being in a group that advocates violence.

        Child molesters and drug addicts aren’t trying to take over the world.

        You are also missing the main point: we don’t have a national policy to import child molesters and drug addicts. We do have a national policy to import Muslims.

        1. There is certainly a reason to surveil Muslims

          If we have evidence that an individual Muslim is doing something illegal, the government can get a warrant to conduct surveillance on that specific person. “Being a Muslim” is not a crime and nor should it be. This isn’t hard to comprehend.

          It’s in the Koran. It’s Allah’s orders.

          Lots of things are in the Koran. Most Muslims probably don’t bother following those parts. I would use an analogy, but I have a feeling you’d confuse it with a direct comparison.

          The FBI tries to watch all KKK members, anyway.

          It shouldn’t. Get a specific warrant.

          Child molesters and drug addicts aren’t trying to take over the world.

          And yet both of those things are routinely used to try to justify horrendous policies, including unconstitutional surveillance.

          Speaking of which, it seems that you’re one of the people using Muslims as an excuse for more government surveillance. That’s not a very libertarian position.

          You are also missing the main point

          Well, the main point of my comment was to say that there can be no good reason for mass surveillance, since mass surveillance is necessarily bad.

          1. Most Muslims probably don’t bother following those parts.

            This indicates you don’t understand Islamic theology. The Koran is all one piece. It’s not like the Bible. Officially, nobody gets to pick and choose which parts to follow. The bad parts are always there, ready to be taken literally by anyone devout, with the support of Islamic clerics and tradition.

            1. Officially, nobody gets to pick and choose which parts to follow.

              Yet, most Muslims clearly and obviously do pick and choose which parts to follow. Even the violent ones do that, as there is plenty of other heinous and stupid garbage that even they choose not to follow. Like with people of other religions, they all have their rationalizations for why they do this, but the reality is that they simply don’t take their so-called holy book as seriously as they’d like others to believe.

              1. You don’t seem to understand the implications of this.

                1) When Muslims do take it seriously, they have total theological justification for violence. The majority of Islamic scholars will back them up. This is not the case with other religions. E.g. the Bible doesn’t tell people to kill anyone who insults Jesus or who leaves Christianity.

                2) You can’t predict which Muslims will take it seriously, or when. All you can know is that some large percentage (compared to other religions) will do so, and enjoy far more support from their co-religionists, compared to anything similar in other religions. E.g. when a Christian nut shoots up a church or abortion clinic, what percentage of other Christians support that? An infinitesimal fraction, compared to the 5-75% of Muslims (depending on the survey question, time and place) who support religious violence.

                In short, the argument “don’t worry about Muslims, because most of them don’t really follow their religion” is hugely flawed.

                1. 1) When Muslims do take it seriously, they have total theological justification for violence.

                  Okay.

                  2) You can’t predict which Muslims will take it seriously, or when.

                  In general, you can’t predict which people will become murderers or criminals or when they will do so. That doesn’t justify mass surveillance; nothing does.

                  All you can know is that some large percentage (compared to other religions)

                  The actual percentage is not that large. There’s no need to try to make it seem large by comparing it to other religions.

                  In short, the argument “don’t worry about Muslims, because most of them don’t really follow their religion” is hugely flawed.

                  No, it’s simply true that most of them don’t really follow their religion. Your ‘But… but… what if they did!?’ scenario doesn’t really scare me, either.

                  The more important thing to understand, though, is that nothing ever justifies mass surveillance. I hope you agree.

  10. Every time I read a story like this, I grow more pessimistic about my odds of dying peacefully in bed rather than winding up as a bullet-riddled corpse in my own home after a shootout with some law enforcement agency or other.

    1. That’s what you get for living in the Dar al-Harab (House of War).

  11. In reality, however, it will turn Muslim leaders into Stasi-like FBI informants against their own communities.

    Maybe, like most Americans, some of them don’t think of terrorists as “their own communities”.

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