Source: Chad Groening, Billy Davis
In a bulletin released Monday announcing a heightened threat alert, the Dept. of Homeland Security said spreading false information about election fraud and COVID-19 are a cause for concern, and now the federal government’s reasons for being concerned are concerning much of the American public.
According to the National Terrorism Advisory System Bulletin, the United States “remains in a heightened threat environment fueled by several factors, including an online environment filled with false or misleading narratives and conspiracy theories, and other forms of mis- dis- and mal-information introduced and/or amplified by foreign and domestic threat actors.”
The DHS Bulletin can be read here.
Farther down in the Bulletin, DHS got much more specific about what is making the law enforcement agency uneasy: Claims about election fraud and “misinformation” about COVID-19 are examples of “false or misleading narratives,” it said.
Reporting on the controversial Bulletin, which is quite lengthy, The New York Post pointed out the federal government is openly stating untrue beliefs by the American public “sow discord” and undermine public trust in our government, which is quite an accusation to make from an administration witnessing the American public turn against it according to polls.
In news coverage of the Bulletin, AFN observed that the right-leaning Post and right-leaning Fox News zeroed in the controversial accusation about “misinformation” that is undermining the federal government. Left-wing news outlets CNN and The Hill focused on the Bulletin’s claim that churches and synagogues, and historically black colleges, are a terrorist target.
The Hill story mentions “misleading narratives” in the 15th and final paragraph of its story.
‘MAGA people’ real target
Reacting to the Terrorism Bulletin on American Family Radio, “Today’s Issues” host Tim Wildmon said the federal government appears to be warning that “white nationalists” are threatening to bomb and kill fellow Americans. The real enemies of the Biden administration, he said, are parents who protest at school board meetings, the truck drivers who are organizing to protest vaccine mandates, and “MAGA people” who supported Donald Trump.
Wildmon went on to say the Bulletin is vague in its claims but it’s specific enough for the public to realize who is being targeted by their own government.
Abraham Hamilton III, a former prosecutor and now general counsel at the American Family Association, told the radio program the Bulletin suggests Homeland Security has trained a “terrorism spotlight” on specific Americans.
“Namely people who supported President Trump in 2020,” he said.
Parents were labeled ‘domestic terrorists’
Mat Staver, a religious liberty attorney who leads Liberty Counsel, tells AFN he read through the Bulletin and concluded the public should be concerned about First Amendment-protected speech. Like Wildmon, he also cited angry parents at school board meetings.
“Are they domestic terrorists now under DHS?” Staver asks. “Apparently so.”
There is good reason for that suspicion. Irate parents filled school board meetings through much of 2021 to complain about mask-wearing and to condemn far-left ideology in the classroom. That simmering conflict blew up in the fall after the National School Boards Association asked the Dept. of Justice to investigate threats and violence against school board members. The letter called unruly parents a “form of domestic terrorism” and suggested the Patriot Act could be used to crack down on the public.
Reacting to the letter, Attorney General Merrick Garland told Republican lawmakers he was blindsided about the request even though, just five days after it arrived at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, he personally ordered FBI agents to form a task force to investigate what he called a “disturbing spike” in threats and violence at school board meetings.
Ironically, it was a grassroots group of frustrated parents, Parents Defending Education, who obtained evidence the U.S. attorney general was lying. Using a freedom of information request, the group obtained emails showing the White House had worked closely with the school board association for weeks on the letter before it arrived at the White House.
Who defines ‘misinformation’ now?
Regarding the language about “misinformation” in the Bulletin, Hamilton zeroed in on the statement about “unsubstantiated” claims about election fraud and COVID-19. DHS needs to be challenged about defining election fraud, Hamilton said, since many state legislatures have documented fraud and are now passing laws to crack down on it.
Regarding the pandemic and COVID-19, Hamilton pointed out it was claimed people who got the COVID-19 jab could not spread the virus.
“That was ‘misinformation,’ like, five minutes ago,” he said, “but now it’s pretty much understood to be true.”
A second example is the “lab leak theory” about the Wuhan lab, which was dismissed as a conspiracy theory but has become accepted as a more likely scenario, Hamilton said.
The former prosecutor went on to warn the bulletin provides a pretext for the FBI and other federal agencies to spy on Americans, especially since the Bulletin specifically cites online content the federal government is linking to terrorism.
“So don’t be surprised,” Hamilton concluded, “if this used as a pretext to start spying — illegally in my estimation — on American citizens.”