Revisiting American Pie……

International Versus Domestic Terror……

We would be interested in hearing Trump’s take on this as well as his reasons for why it is what it is. Not that we expect he really has any knowledge of or any interest in the data. Especiay as his own hateful bigoted rhetoric is no doubt responsiblefor some of the domestic violence.

Most people arrested as the result of FBI terrorism investigations are charged with non-terrorism offenses, and more domestic terror suspects were arrested last year than those allegedly inspired by international terror groups, according to internal FBI figures reviewed by The Washington Post.

As government officials and activists debate the best way to pursue violent extremists, the figures show how much of counterterrorism work goes undeclared and unnoticed. Thousands are investigated each year. Hundreds are charged with crimes. But the public and the media see only dozens.

The debate centers on whether federal law and law enforcement are too focused on Islamic terrorism and not paying enough attention to the rise in far right-wing extremism. In fact, according to the data, more domestic terrorist targets are being charged, and in both categories, law enforcement often leverage simpler crimes, such as violations of gun or drug laws, to prevent violence.

“It’s violence that we key in on,” said a senior law enforcement official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive federal investigative work. “And sometimes, it’s the violence that motivates someone more than any particular ideology.”

The arrest last month of Coast Guard Lt. Christopher P. Hasson, 49, is the latest example of this pattern. Prosecutors have alleged Hasson is a white nationalist inspired in part by mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik, who in 2011 unleashed two attacks in Norway that killed 77 people.

SKIP

In the 2017 budget year, FBI investigations led to the arrest of about 150 domestic terrorism suspects, according to law enforcement officials. The following year, the figure was about 120.

But because federal law does not designate domestic groups as terrorist organizations, no corresponding terrorism crimes apply to such suspects. And while the number of such arrests fell last year, the senior law enforcement official emphasized that, overall, more domestic terrorism suspects are being arrested.

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Prepare For 2020 and the End of the tRump Era……

After a remarkably successful start for the new Congress, House Democrats got themselves tied up in knots this week. In responding to Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), who accused Israel supporters of loyalty to a foreign country, Democratic leaders encountered the tribalism and extremism that afflict its far left-wing. A resolution condemning anti-Semitism somehow stirred outrage on the far left; the resolution against anti-Semitism became a resolution condemning all kinds of bigotry. (Dual loyalty did get a mention.) Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) weakly offered that Omar just didn’t understand the weight of her remarks.

To its credit, a new group of pro-Israel progressive Democrats, Democratic Majority for Israel, issued a strong statement: “We know that the vast majority of Democrats in Congress, and elsewhere, support a strong US-Israel relationship and abhor anti-Semitism in any form. . . . Let’s be very clear: the issue at stake here is anti-Semitism, not support for, or opposition to, any policy of the Israeli government. Congresswoman Omar’s remarks did not mention a single policy pursued by the Government of Israel.” Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel wrote persuasively as well that the party needed to call out anti-Semitism, and this was just such a time.

Then things got really weird. The voting began, and Republicans started voting “no” — on a declaration condemning hate. No, really. Republican dissenters included a member of the House leadership (Rep. Liz Cheney) and Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.), who fancies himself a friend of Israel, as well as veteran crackpots such as Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tex.). Once more, Republicans snatched back the mantle of racial and religious insensitivity, announcing to the world that they couldn’t possibly be against both anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. Twenty-three Republicans voted no.

Republicans have become intellectually corrupted and morally perverse under a president they have never voted to condemn. There remains a significant batch of Republicans — not one or two — who feel queasy about condemning hate groups, or in this case condemning President Trump’s Charlottesville remarks (which were also referenced).

Pelosi had just been trying to disband the circular firing squad and get back to business (e.g., voting on the Democrats’ massive ethics bill). Maybe she knew Republicans would blow themselves up once again. Maybe she got lucky. However, she wound up demonstrating a point: Democrats are far from perfect. They have a fringe in their party (supported in this case by three presidential candidates), but there are plenty of adults willing to speak out, plenty who have seen the example of the GOP and know that in letting tribalism and extremism run amok they will destroy themselves. It is essential that this recognition guide them in selecting their presidential nominee.

Republicans have learned nothing, it seems. They are incapable of condemning their party’s leader — or heaven forbid, dumping him! — and remain frightened if not in agreement with the xenophobic, white-grievance crowd, which equates condemning bigotry with “political correctness.” (Whites are the victims, gosh darn it!)

Politics is about choices. Democrats did not have a shining moment, but at least they figured out that tolerating anti-Semitism and excuse-mongering for anti-Semitism is reprehensible. Republicans just reminded us of who they are.

 Yup, politics is about chices. As the article effectivey points out republicans have, for far too long, been making the exact wrong choices. With any luck the party supporting Dotard tRump will completely self destruct . From this erson’s erspective t cannpt happen soon enough.