Surveillance

FBI's Creepy Intiative to Turn Imams Into Informants

The Shared Committees Responsibility program is surveillance masquerading as community service for Muslims.

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Protecting civil liberties has never been the FBI's strong suit. But its new Shared Responsibility Committees

Spy
© Voronin76 | Dreamstime.com

program, which it is quietly beta testing now, is downright Orwellian.

The FBI bills this program as a collaborative effort with Muslim communities to rescue individuals on the road to radicalization. In reality, it is just another questionable informant program that will further alienate Muslim communities and hurt counter-terrorism efforts.

America's Muslim communities are already under massive surveillance. There is, for example, the FBI's informant program, which has grown 10-fold, from 1,500 before the 9/11 attacks to 15,000 informants now. And that's only its official, listed informants. The feds also have a network of unofficial and largely unaccountable spies that is three times bigger.

Many of these informants are desperate people in legal or financial trouble whom the FBI has blackmailed or coerced into enlisting. They spy on mosques and identify vulnerable and often mentally disturbed individuals who might be enticed into committing acts of terrorism. Indeed, a 2014 Human Rights Watch report found that many of the sexy terrorist plots that the FBI claims to have uncovered since 9/11 would never have materialized without the active material support and inducement of the agency itself.

And then there's the program of "voluntary interviews" that CUNY School of Law's CLEAR project (Creating Law Enforcement Accountability & Responsibility) has been documenting. It works like this: FBI agents, without a warrant or court order, accost ordinary Muslims in their homes, colleges, neighborhoods or near their workplace—settings calculated to cause maximum embarrassment—and demand that these Muslims accompany the feds to headquarters for a "chat." Once at headquarters, agents pepper their frightened and confused subjects with questions such as "Do you hate Israel?" and "How often do you call your mother in Yemen?" Sometimes the FBI asks these Muslims to become informants. More often, agents are simply fishing for signs of radicalization.

Such traumatizing encounters, which CLEAR maintains are rampant, have a hugely chilling effect on Muslim-American communities, prompting Muslims who have endured them (and even those who haven't) to delete their social media accounts, withdraw from active participation in their mosques, and otherwise disengage to avoid raising any red flags. Indeed, the NYPD's discontinued Muslim surveillance program that generated outrage because of its aggressive tactics is nothing compared to what the FBI still does on a daily basis.

Given this backdrop, it's hard not to laugh at the FBI's claims that its new Shared Responsibility Committees program is just a friendly effort to "empower" Muslim communities.

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.

The FBI claims that this program will help channel social services early toward individuals showing signs of radicalization and keep them out of jail. That might be a more credible claim if the program was administered by health or other civilian agencies. Instead, given the FBI's involvement, it seems like a naked attempt to erode protections for privileged communication. It'll expand and entrench—even institutionalize—the FBI's network of confidential informants in the Muslim-American community, Sethi worries. Or, to put it more bluntly, it'll turn civilian professionals into Stasi-like snitches.

Indeed, the upshot of SRC won't be early help for "at risk" young Muslims at all. It'll be to inflame them against all authority figures, breeding suspicion and alienation in Muslim communities. This is exactly what is happening with a similar British program called Channel that actually inspired SRC, although Britain, chillingly, is going one step further and legally requiring all public sector workers, including preschool teachers, to report anyone showing signs of radicalization or even just alienation (which would pretty much cover all teenagers).

This isn't the FBI's first attempt to flag prospective "terrorists." Last year, it unveiled an even more ham-handed effort called "Don't be a Puppet"—kind of like a DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Effort) for terrorism. The program's purpose was to help school kids resist terrorist inclinations and help identify peers showing signs of them. It consisted of an interactive video game meant to alert kids to the twisted logic of terrorists. Among the telltale signs of incipient jihadism, according to the game, are beliefs such as "an enemy is responsible for this injustice" and "we must defend our traditions"—never mind that both those statements describe the victims of terrorism just as well as the perpetrators. An outcry by Muslim civil rights groups forced the FBI to can its plans to introduce this game into public school classrooms, but the new SRC initiative shows that it clearly hasn't given up on preemption efforts based on some rather dubious notions about how early jihadis behave.

One reason why America has avoided the fate of Molenbeek, the lawless Brussels neighborhood that has become a hotbed of jihadist activity, is that far from being radicalized, American Muslims are actually very assimilated and remarkably cooperative with law enforcement. For example, in Muslim-dominated Dearborn, Michigan, near where I live, twice in the last few years fathers have turned in their own sons who seemed to be falling prey to radical propaganda.

Squandering the goodwill of Muslim Americans through ill-advised programs that make them feel even more targeted than they already are won't make America more safe—just less free and fair.

This column originally appearead in The Week.

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  1. “The FBI’s troubling program.”

    No way, not those guys.

  2. … 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 say “po-tay-to”, you say “arbeit macht frei”.

  3. “In reality, however, it will turn Muslim leaders into Stasi-like FBI informants against their own communities, notes Reason Foundation Senior Analyst Shikha Dalmia.”

    Yeah, why not just start off with it cranked all the way up to eleven?

    1. Because you can’t spell 9-11 without eleven?

      1. If the FBI actually started disappearing people for thought crime, then what we compare them to?

        Scientologists?

        Is that the way the scale goes?

        When the FBI is getting warrants, etc. is equal to Stasi, I guess the Nazis are worse than that, and then if it really gets bad, do we compare the FBI to Scientology?

        1. So the Stasi didn’t encourage citizens to inform on each other?

          1. Yes, the Stasi encouraged people to inform on each other, but they did a lot more than that.

            Two things don’t need to be exactly the same in every way in order for there to be valid comparisons between them in some ways, but the way the Stasi went about doing surveillance and the way the FBI is doing this are so dissimilar–specifically in regards to rights breaking activity–that I don’t think the two are similar enough in this way to make for a valid comparison.

            If the Stasi accidentally respected someone’s rights in some way, it was a coincidence–not on purpose. If the FBI is getting appropriate warrants and respecting people’s rights in other ways, then they are not like the Stasi in an extremely important way.

            1. Yes, the Stasi encouraged people to inform on each other

              So the comparison in techniques is completely valid.

              Just how much does something have to be “Stasi-like” before it’s fair to call it “Stasi-like?”

              Getting people to rat on each other over nothing more than “perceived” warning signs, that are certainly NOT definite predictors of potential wrongdoing, is an abomination to liberty.

              If an American citizen, Muslim or otherwise, wants to stand on a pulpit and condemn Israel or the US or anyone else, for that matter, it’s their god-given right to do so. Claiming it’s cause for investigation is Orwellian.

              1. So this is how we got the “You Know Who Else” meme, huh?

              2. “So the comparison in techniques is completely valid.”

                No. One of them did it for the sole purpose of violating people’s rights.

                The other is trying to do it within the bounds of our Constitutional rights.

                Can you tell me which was which? Surely you see the difference.

              3. “Just how much does something have to be “Stasi-like” before it’s fair to call it “Stasi-like?”

                Well, there’s certainly a difference between violating people’s rights and not violating people’s rights, isn’t there?

                Encouraging people to inform on each other–by itself–doesn’t violate anybody’s rights.

                Every time the FBI investigates without violating anyone’s rights, it is not acting like the Stasi in a very important way. To ignore the difference between the FBI not violating people’s rights and the Stasi violating people’s rights with total impunity is to ignore the importance of people’s rights.

          2. So the Stasi didn’t encourage citizens to inform on each other?

            Yup. So does Twitter and Facebook… What’s your point?

  4. John approves.

    1. I would think you approve. This is giving Muslims more protection and treating them as a special protected class.

  5. The FBI can conduct a criminal investigation of anyone. This committee is nothing but an extra layer of protection for Muslims that the rest of us don’t get. If someone calls the FBI and says “this John guy is talking crazy and I think he is a terrorist”, the FBI can investigate me and there will be no committee to talk them out of it or convince them I just need to be offered therapy. They will investigate me as long as they want and if they find that I have committed any crime, even one unrelated to terrorism, I am done.

    This set up gives special protection to Muslims. They get a committee of their peers to effectively advocate for them to the FBI. The system is outrageous alright but not for the reason that the Reason staff seems to think it is.

    1. It seems the reason staff are opposed to terrorist attacks per se, but on a functional level – ie willingness to do anything about it – have no problem with the tyrannical ideological objectives, the funding, preparation and selection of “martyers” involved in terrorist attacks.

      What’s the solution here? As far as I can see, SOME libertarians are taking the same tack as liberals: Pretend there is not a massive problem, pretend that not doing anything will solve the problem they deny exists, and blame the government for not protecting us when, inevitably, they fail.

      1. So what’s your solution for upholding due process for muslims?

        1. How about we start by treating them the same as anyone else and not give them a committee to advocate for them with the FBI. That might be a good place to start.

          1. I agree. But my question was aimed at Tim. The question of protecting due process is an obvious follow-up to the question of how to protect ourselves from terrorism, and one that national-security-first types never want to answer.

          2. Coincidentally, I, too, think this program is absolute bullshit and should go away, entirely and immediately.

            /the main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.

          3. Your idea about the committee is stupid, but I see we can ultimately agree here. So yes, let’s scrap this committee!!

            1. Because the reason it is stupid matters. It is not stupid because the government is picking on Muslims. It is stupid because the government has gone insane and decided the Muslim community should get a vote on which Muslims the FBI investigates.

      2. Solution: Stop giving free money, weapons, training, military advice, etc. to Wahhabist motherfuckers.

        Might not fix everything, but it’s a good start to stop arming fucking terrorists and pretending they’re going to help us fight /other/ terrorists.

        1. That’s a start. Ending Muslim immigration would be another good idea.

      3. “What’s the solution here?”

        Constitutuonal carry. Natural selection.

    2. 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. … 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.

      Yeah, if I were a Muslim I’d be super stoked to have this committee dragging me in and asking me questions, the answers to could end up being seized by the FBI and used against me. Some “special protection.”

      1. Not sure why anyone would think this Probable Cause Generator is a “protection”…

        But on the other hand, if John wants to do away with the Probable Cause Generator because he thinks it is giving Muslims “special treatment”… well okay then. We all agree the committee is bad, let’s get rid of it.

        1. You don’t need probable cause to investigate. You only need reasonable suspicisan which can be applied to nearly everything.

          And why do you not think a committee from your community advocating your cause before the FBI is not going to help at least sometimes? This system is effectively going to give the Muslim community a veto over who the FBI investigates. Sure, the FBI isn’t bound but given the state of the PC culture, do you honestly think the FBI is ever going to ignore the recommendation of one of these committees and investigate anyone? Hell no. And if they did, the person who did it would be fired.

          Muslims are just such a special class in most Libertarians eyes, I guess they can’t see how this would actually work in practice.

          1. You don’t need probable cause to investigate. You only need reasonable suspicisan which can be applied to nearly everything.

            How far does particularized suspicion go in this context? Is it enough that there are muslims assembling in one place?

          2. Muslims are just such a special class in most Libertarians eyes

            Definitely not in mine. They should be afforded the same protections as you and I, no more and no less.

            1. Remember though. John’s a super mind-reading warlock. He can see your real intentions and thoughts, even the one’s that you’re not consciously aware of. You may think you don’t see muslims as a protected class, but the all-knowing, all-seeing John knows better…

              1. BUT…I’m wearing my tinfoil hat!

          3. given the state of the PC culture, do you honestly think the FBI is ever going to ignore the recommendation of one of these committees and investigate anyone?

            I’m not convinced that PC culture is as entrenched within the FBI as it is in acedemia, but who the fuck knows? Maybe I’m wrong and the FBI will never investigate another Muslim ever again. Maybe they’ll end up ignoring the next Muhammad Atta and a bunch of people will die in an attack that’s “9/11 times 2356.”

            1. I guess it’s been a while since I’ve seen such a story, but the FBI, not long ago, had little problem essentially entrapping Muslims in fake terrorist plots.

          4. “And why do you not think a committee from your community advocating your cause before the FBI is not going to help at least sometimes?”

            Because, if you read the proposal on the committee, it is not in the arrangement that the FBI goes to the /committee/ to check their suspicions. Rather, the committee comes to the FBI with their suspicions.

            Put it this way. Would you want your own personal committee to investigate you with the function of reporting you to the FBI?? Sure, they might investigate and tell the FBI that John’s a great human being, but being placed under twice as much scrutiny is likely not going to give you good points for law enforcement.

            Unless you really think the Feds /won’t/ use recommendations from this committee as grounds for action…

            This is the FBI proposing this initiative. Something tells me that they would not want to introduce a PC initiative that makes it harder to prosecute people, given their track record. This is designed by and for the FBI, and they are concerned with catching bad guys, which makes them look like they are doing a good job.

          5. Muslims are indeed a special class to many libertarians: it’s the only ideological group that is both 1) explicitly and almost totally anti-libertarian in ideology, and yet 2) libertarians want to bring more of them into the country.

            Those are libertarians who bow down before the totem of “free movement” even if doing so hurts every other libertarian value and cuts their own throat. And anyone who points to the downside of this particular instance of “free movement” is said to have fallen into the sin of “utilitarianism.”

      2. It is still more protection than you and I have. The committee can’t stop the FBI, but they can try and talk them out of it. Who does that on our behalf? No one.

        I get it that Libertarians consider the Muslims to be a sacred class like the gays. But can you at least admit to what this program is rather than trying to claim it somehow hurts them?

        1. This program is stupid and should be scrapped, no doubt. They shouldn’t have any more or less due process than anyone else (you actually got it right at 2:05 above), but I highly doubt if this committee is going to provide much “special protection.” Something tells me that the FBI isn’t very likely to take the committee’s advice.

          Also, what happens if the committee is investigating someone they suspect of becoming radicalized but that person isn’t on the FBI’s radar? The FBI could use these committees to help them identify potential suspects for further investigation, who may or may not be an actual threat. The only way this becomes a “special protection” is if the FBI more often than not takes the committee’s advice when they suggest therapy or some other intervention besides criminal prosecution for a suspected radical.

          Hell, if anything it will probably drive a wedge between any Muslims who are being “radicalized” and their own, non-radicalized members of their community. Which will end up only making things worse, or at best, have no effect at all on the overall level of radicalization of American Muslims. Bottom line: at best this is a colossal waste of time and money, at worse a clusterfuck that will only make things worse – like everything else the government does.

        2. I get it that Libertarians consider the Muslims to be a sacred class like the gays.

          Oh, stop it. Libertarians think Muslims are individuals who should be treated as such. Notice how everyone here is telling you that they don’t think this program should exist? Yeah, it might give some Muslims a veto over who the FBI investigates. It also might allow them to help decide who the FBI should be investigating.

    3. “The FBI can conduct a criminal investigation of anyone. This committee is nothing but an extra layer of protection for Muslims that the rest of us don’t get.”

      It’s not a layer of protection. If it WAS, this would be what it looked like.

      FBI suspects someone.
      FBI goes to Committee with their suspicions.
      Committee decides whether or not the FBI should be looking into it further.

      Instead it is:
      Committee suspects someone.
      Committee goes to FBI with their suspicions.
      FBI decides whether or not to look into it further.

      What is it really?? A probable cause generator. FBI needs probable cause to investigate, this organization fingering someone is probable cause.

      I somehow doubt you would actually want your own, personal organization that can arbitrarily give the FBI probable cause to investigate you, now would you??

      1. The committee can call the FBI sure. But anyone can call the FBI. We have an entire federal system set up to encourage people to rat each other out for terrorism. The only difference here is the committee can then try and talk the FBI out of investigating. You and I wouldn’t get such a benefit.

        Relax, this is giving the sacred class of Muslims more protection. Reason should like that.

        1. John, do you actually read this program?

          Because I can’t find any parts wherein the committee has any power to intervene in an existing situation. Point me where, exactly, in this program is the committee given any powers to veto ANYTHING.

          The committee is not involved in the FBI investigation, beyond providing the FBI names of people they suspect may be radicalized, and they can recommend a course of action to the FBI.

          If the FBI went to the Committee to ask the Committee what to do, then yeah, sure, you have a veto system in place.

          But the Committee’s job is to go out and find “radicalized” people who the FBI /would not have otherwise found/ (otherwise there would be no point passing this) and give their names to the FBI along with a recommendation so that the FBI can determine how to proceed in investigation.

          Would you like if the FBI paid a bunch of people close to you to report you every time they suspected you of committing crimes?? I mean, the people COULD recommend leniency to the authorities, so CLEARLY the Committee Of Monitoring And Reporting John For Suspicious Behavior is a SPECIAL PRIVILEGE!!

  6. Indeed, a 2014 Human Rights Watch report found that many of the sexy terrorist plots that the FBI claims to have uncovered since 9/11 would never have materialized without the active material support and inducement of the agency itself.

    As long as the funding’s the same either way, do you want to risk your safety investigating dangerous criminals or play it safe by pretending to investigate people you pay to pretend to be dangerous criminals? Just how stupid do you think the Feebs are?

  7. Stazi like? Give me a fucking break. There are many many mosques which preach Sharia radicalism. What, are libertarians supposed to pretend this isn’t happening? So you oppose foreign intervention, you oppose intervening in the process of radicalization within the borders. Get your heads out of your asses. I walk by mosques every day which are run by organizations which send money to people who send out their kids with bombs strapped to them.

    If the police are not INSIDE those mosques listening to what’s being said, they are not doing their job. Period.

    1. I walk by mosques every day which are run by organizations which send money to people who send out their kids with bombs strapped to them.

      Am I correct in assuming you have given the FBI this information?

      If the police are not INSIDE those mosques listening to what’s being said, they are not doing their job. Period.

      Solution: the police should LISTEN in to all conversations happening inside EVERY mosque.

      1. Am I correct in assuming you have given the FBI this information?

        The FBI knows about it and doesn’t do a thing. Our government won’t even call the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization.

        And Timothy raises a valid point. It is one thing to insist on total open borders like reason does. To insist on that and to also pretend every group that comes into the country is exactly the same level of threat and the government has no right to acknowledge the reality that most of our problems with terrorism are because of Muslims is a bit much for the non believers.

        Reason’s view of things seems to be that if a few hundred or a few thousand innocent people dying at the hands of fanatical Muslims is the price to be paid for libertarian ideals, well so be it. Amazingly, that idea doesn’t appeal to many people who don’t already share reason’s fanatical commitment.

        1. The FBI knows about it and doesn’t do a thing. Our government won’t even call the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization.

          The FBI has evidence that Mosques in America are funding suicide bombers, and they do not do anything about it?

          1. And if the FBI already knows this information and yet refuses to act on it, what good will going “INSIDE those mosques listening to what’s being said” do?

          2. Yes. They are called “Muslim Charity Organizations”. And 90% of them are a shame and no one does much of anything about it. That is just the truth. Maybe they shouldn’t. But that is absolutely what is going on. Occasionally they will nail someone but very rarely. Mostly it goes on without any issue at all.

    2. I walk by mosques every day which are run by organizations which send money to people who send out their kids with bombs strapped to them.

      Quite an accusation. Do you have any evidence?

      1. He has seen every episode of Homeland. Twice.

      2. Evidense iz 4 fagz.

    3. I’ve been to numerous mosques since 9/11, and what you’ll find there is people trying to teach their children right from wrong, to obey their parents, not to listen to the Devil’s music, women doing their social thing, old men complaining about how rotten kids today are and how much better things were when they were youn–pretty much the same things you’ll find at any Christian church in America.

      I agree, however, that comparing this to the Stasi goes overboard. Abuse of our rights is always a problem and should be actively discouraged, exposed, and punished when it occurs. But I don’t have a problem, in principle, with the government using informants and undercover tactics against biker gangs, the mafia, street gangs, white supremacists, or anyone else that might represent a threat to other people’s rights.

      If someone’s rights are being violated by the FBI, that should be exposed and punished with criminal penalties. If the FBI isn’t violating anybody’s rights, however, then they aren’t like the Stasi at all. To what extent did the Stasi avoid violating people’s Constitutional rights?

      That’s what I meant by stating off by taking it up to eleven. If the FBI is like the Stasi, what are we going to compare them to when they really start systematically violating people’s rights?

      1. If the FBI is like the Stasi, what are we going to compare them to when they really start systematically violating people’s rights?

        Let’s see, what comes after Stasi… the SS? The Gestapo? I don’t know.

        1. Every country governed according to Islam?

      2. “I’ve been to numerous mosques since 9/11,”

        /looks on suspiciously. Picks up phone.

      3. If the FBI is not an organization that systematically violates people’s rights, what more do they have to do?

        Every state police organization is different. Invoking the Stasi is by way of warning, not a statement that the FBI and Stasi are identical. If you consider all the things the FBI has done since the organization’s inception in 1908, you’ll find plenty of similarities with other state police.

        The remarkable thing is how well respected the FBI still is. Did Hoover do that well as a PR man?

        1. “If the FBI is not an organization that systematically violates people’s rights, what more do they have to do?”

          Do they get warrants?

          Do they disappear people and torture them to death for thought crime?

          Violating people’s rights is still illegal in this country. Examples of abuse are notable for not being systematic.

          It isn’t exactly legal for the FBI to violate your rights, is it?

          Not like it is for the IRS or the NSA. Those people systematically violate our rights. And still, I wouldn’t compare them to the Stasi exactly.

  8. Shared Responsibility Committees

    Like the “shared responsibility payment” one is forced to make under Obamacare for failure to obtain health insurance, this shit is gag-inducing.

  9. That’s a first-rate training they give them in the Spies nowadays ? better than in my day, even. What d’you think’s the latest thing they’ve served them out with? Ear trumpets for listening through keyholes! My little girl brought one home the other night ? tried it out on our sitting-room door, and reckoned she could hear twice as much as with her ear to the hole.

    1. Which little girl: your daughter or your captive?

      1. It was my little daughter. She listened at the keyhole. Heard what I was saying, and nipped off to the patrols the very next day. Pretty smart for a nipper of seven, eh? I don’t bear her any grudge for it. In fact I’m proud of her. It shows I brought her up in the right spirit, anyway.”

      2. Both. They’re actually the same person.

        1. The twist is that OMWC’s daughter is a serial killer that lures elderly pedophiles to lures them to the middle of nowhere so that she might dispatch them without fear of being caught.

          1. is a serial killer that who lures elderly pedophiles

            Some linguist.

  10. OT:

    IS “widespread ignorance” about the Bill of Rights a problem, or has it been incredibly helpful in growing leviathan and creating an imperial presidency?

    Fewer than half of American eighth-graders know why we have a Bill of Rights. Only one in 10 understand the concept of checks and balances between branches of government. Most surprisingly, 75 percent of high school seniors cannot name any of the powers granted to Congress by the U.S. Constitution.

    All of those results come from national exams, and they are ringing alarms across the country ? from government offices to school classrooms. So this month, Seattle approved plans to bolster civics education, starting in May.

    Of course, leave it to Seattle Schools to confuse things like enumerated powers, limited government and the BoR to simple “voting”:

    “Especially for kids in low-income schools. They turn 18, and they graduate, and they don’t vote! It’s institutionalized disenfranchisement. My hope is that this is going to change that.”

    “That can be tricky. Even with something as innocuous as a clean water bill, you have to be sure to present both sides,” she said. “This is s new territory for us. But we want to take it on because it’s critical that kids start to evaluate what they see.”

    1. it’s critical that kids start to evaluate what they see.

      Something tells me they only want kids to “evaluate what they see” as long as they come to the right conclusions.

      1. I dunno, I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt that they’re trying. But it seems like based on the quotes peppered in the article, they were primarily concerned with “democratic participation”.

        1. Because they don’t want that public “education” indoctrination to go to waste.
          What good is turning out little progressives if they don’t vote the way they are supposed to?

    2. Frankly, the Constitution has only slightly more relevance to the US than the Magna Carta. I’m not shocked at the widespread ignorance about something that has been reduced to an historical artifact over the last couple of generations.

  11. RE: FBI’s Creepy Intiative to Turn Imams Into Informants
    The Shared Committees Responsibility program is surveillance masquerading as community service for Muslims.

    You can’t have a successful police state without informants.
    Just ask Hitler, Stalin or Castro.
    They’ll set you straight on this matter.

  12. “Especially for kids in low-income schools. They turn 18, and they graduate, and they don’t vote! It’s institutionalized disenfranchisement. My hope is that this is going to change that.”

    Wait, if I choose not to vote, it’s because I’m disenfranchised? I don’t think that word means what he/she thinks it means.

    “That can be tricky. Even with something as innocuous as a clean water bill, you have to be sure to present both sides,” she said. “This is s new territory for us. But we want to take it on because it’s critical that kids start to evaluate what they see.”

    I actually agree with this.

    1. In reply to Paul.

    2. I do to. It’s funny how if you teach a class in civics and politics, you have to stop and remember, “Oh yeah, there are other arguments to every story”

      Imagine the echo chamber that exists in modern schools on “climate change”. Especially when some schools teach directly from “education packets” provided to them from activist groups.

      1. Somehow, I suspect “presenting both sides” will be more in the spirit of: “climate change” is bad but, on the other hand, “climate change” is really bad.

  13. Seems like a neighborhood watch program with a twist.

    I believe US forces used the locals like this in Iraq when trying to rat out the bad guys.

    If I was trying to prevent terrorism, I’d probably consider something like this.

    1. But not with the icky parts.

    2. I believe US forces used the locals like this in Iraq when trying to rat out the bad guys.

      Not against US citizens.

  14. Good article! The “See something, say something” bit we hear all the time in airports and train stations can easily be extended to our schools, places of worship, social services, places of business, neighborhoods, community groups: in fact, just about any institution or group other than the feds themselves!

    Mao had Red Guards everywhere. They were primed to say something and do something whenever they saw suspicious activity. Suspicious activity included wearing glasses, carrying a book – especially a Western book! – and going to the library. Almost anything could get you tagged as an enemy of the state. Next thing you know, you’re sitting in a cell awaiting interrogation, or worse, floating face down in the Yangtze River.

    People have long said, “It can’t happen here.” Next time you hear a “See something, say something” announcement come over the loudspeaker, tune in. Ask yourself whether the speaker’s request sounds like something from 1984. Ask yourself whether constant prodding to turn in people who do “something” isn’t as Orwellian as you can get. We don’t have Stasi-like control and permeation yet, and we tune out the announcements, but we do have the FBI. If I were a Muslim in the United States, I would certainly not feel free. I would feel uneasy.

    1. Ask yourself whether the speaker’s request sounds like something from 1984.

      So much this!

      They play one of those “public service” announcements, daily, on a local radio station. It’s horrifying.

      1. Everybody has heard this shit so many times it’s just noise now.

        1. Yeah, but what percentage buy into it? Even if it’slow, like 5-10%, that’s a problem for liberty.

      2. Oh yeah, right. I think they air those spots right after the Two Minutes Hate. (Or the 24 Hours Hate, if you happen to be tuned to Fox News or MSNBC.)

        And don’t get me started about all the co-eds down at the local campus who are obviously members of the Junior Anti-Sex League.

        How does anyone at this point not realize that Nineteen Eighty Four has certainly come true?

    2. Don’t *suspect* your neighbor – report him!

  15. According to an article I read that I think was linked here — at least outside the Middle East, most young Muslims who become radicalized do so (at least in the early stages) in order to piss off their parents. Like many teenagers, they feel alienated, tragically uncool, and resentful of adults and their stupid rules. Some of them — much to their parents’ chagrin — become fundamentalist radicals rather than punk rockers or Goths. It’s their way to buy into a tough, dangerous, ready-made identity and also thumb their nose at their parents for being too soft and kowtowing to the man. It’s a sort of Islamist equivalent of joining an outlaw biker gang.

    If that’s is true (and I suspect the article might well have been) then how will these authorities distinguish the budding jihadist wannabe from the young punk who just thinks its cool that his mom freaked out when he came home with his earlobes stretched and started dressing almost exclusively in black?

    This reminds me an awful lot of the response shortly after Columbine, when people were saying all the weird, outcast kids who react to being social outcasts by acting all tough rather than just embracing their geekiness, ought to be treated as suspects and should be given “interventions” before they snap and shoot up their school.

  16. It is time to start treating the DEATH CULT called Islam like the Manson Family. Start by deporting every last one…

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  24. Better them than us, I’d say. But there’s this creepy feeling the Methodist White Terror is running a Crusade against the Saracen jihadists so that the last band standing gets to enforce Blue laws and Sharia law on the rest of us. This whole scenario was what the (non-socialist) Liberal party of America formed to fight in 1930. If liberals only knew their intellectual forbears were neo-libertarians who believed “America is being held tight in a strangling grip by powerful groups of men and women, narrow and fanatical of mind, who had constituted themselves an ecclesiastical union, guided by a fatuous intention of making our people virtuous, according to the peculiar tenets and creeds of each group, by legislative enactments…” Is this White Terror any different from Saracen Sharia sheiks?

  25. This whole scenario resembles a satirical skit (in English) by a Brazilian version of SNL for Youtube
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