Right Wing Extremists in Government, LE and the Military... as a threat
Today's data dump on the Oath Keepers
Photo: FILE - Proud Boys members Zachary Rehl, left, and Ethan Nordean, left, walk toward the U.S. Capitol in Washington, in support of President Donald Trump, Jan. 6, 2021. An upcoming hearing of the U.S. House Committee probing the Jan. 6 insurrection is expected to examine ties between people in former President Donald Trump's orbit and extremist groups who played a role in the Capitol riot. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)
After reading the following reporting from the Associated Press, I felt compelled to add my professional insights to the story. The AP does excellent reporting but there is more to the story when viewed through the eyes of a CT/ counter-terrorism prism. This Associated Press piece is but the tip of the iceberg
Imagine this; within a year of the 9-11 attack by Al Qaeda, there was a document dump that identified an equivalent number of government, LE/ law enforcement and military names that were affiliated with AQ’s anti-western, violent extremist, organization. Would they still be in their jobs? Of course, this is a rhetorical question. Those identified would be suspended, fired, indicted and most certainly the focus of intense LE and intelligence investigations. Yet here we are, after a decades long increase in far-right extremism and often, violent extremism, with these folks occupying responsible positions of power, within community, state and Federal leadership.
January 6th, 2021’s armed insurrection, in support of a defeated POTUS, organized by former military leadership like Mike Flynn and supported by a virtual, “who’s who” of most known US and some foreign, right wing violent extremist groups, should have been a loud, still ringing alarm. The number of right-wing extremist groups in the US, outnumber Islamist groups or in fact, any other category of extremist groups. Again, they operate openly and have political, LE and military positions of power and/ or authority.
Another dynamic is at play here. One of the two major political parties in the US, provide top-cover for these groups and often, openly court their support. The majority of today’s Republican Party is dominated by extremist ideologies based on conspiracy theories. They have allowed and, in some cases, enabled Russian aggression towards all Americans, as we have seen in both the 2016 and 2020, presidential election cycles.
For the former POTUS, what are called CI, Counterintelligence “red-flags” have been publicly and frequently visible since at least his candidacy in 2015. Countless well-documented relationships with active and former Russian intelligence. Are well-documented in volume V of the SSCI, Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, then chaired by Republicans. Volume V is the CI report and encompasses 966 pages with many, CI-related redactions. The exchange of voter’s personal data acquired from Facebook and delivered to Russian intelligence by high-ranking Trump campaign officials, meetings between the Trump family members with Russians tied to their intelligence services etc. Still, the Republican party openly supported him and still does… blindly.
Before anyone loses their sanity due to my labeling the party itself extremist, I am NOT saying that all Republicans are extremists. I am saying that the extremists who enabled this potentially catastrophic, security threat in the Oval Office, control the party and therefore, so-called, “principled conservatives” have no say in the party. At this phase of our history, a vote for the right is quite literally, a vote for extremism and grave security threats. Still, registered Republicans, have been so conditioned by decades of increasingly extremist media like FOX, Breitbart, Newsmax, OAN and otherwise, that they will still vote straight ticket R instead of putting country over party.
There is a reason that I raise the issue of media in this piece. I have a variety of professional focuses in national security, but influence involving extremism and influence in support of national security objectives, are my core specialties. How political parties condition their followers will take another several articles to unfold and will be later focuses for TAT. You will find it both fascinating and terrifying at the same time. More to follow on this topic… a lot more.
Any person, from either party who is not fully or accurately informed, is not fulfilling their duty of citizenship according to most of our founders. The preeminence of “fake news” sites, mostly seen these days in support of right-wing causes, dominate the US, media landscape. The well-conditioned audiences respond like Pavlov’s dog to the stimuli supplied by the Alex Jones, Oath Keepers, 3%ers etc. January 6th proved that. The “big lie” was and still is an evolving conspiracy theory that consciously and subconsciously, triggered an armed insurrection. That threat still exists and is in some ways, more dangerous now.
Now that you’re wondering, what the beginning of the article means to how it has evolved until now, I’ll tell you a terrifying truth. That “Pavlovian” dynamic still exists. Those listed in the Oathkeepers data dump and who occupy positions of power, authority and control, are those Pavlovian dogs that will most likely respond to threats against their cult hero and his conspiracy theories… subconsciously. That my fellow Americans, is a very serious threat as we approach the midterm election. That over a hundred statewide candidates for office, all around the country are running on the big lie and other Trump conspiracy theories, should tell you instantly just how pervasive the threat is. This election is not about R vs. D. It is about whether or not, our democratic republic’s values survive intact.
As a teaser for my fellow Texans, one of these days, I’ll write about the overt and ever-present threat to constitutional values in Texas. Gov Abbott and his cohorts are literally shaping a Confederacy 2.0, complete with Jim Crow, 2.0 voting restrictions.
I’ll wrap this up with a quote from Thomas Jefferson about the requirement for an educated citizenry and I will preface the quote with the following statement or my own, “Conspiracy theories are self-imposed ignorance.”
"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be."
--Thomas Jefferson to Charles Yancey, 1816. ME 14:384”