Shortly after the October Revolution, the Bolsheviks began to purge their political enemies. The Czarists, the aristocracy, and businessmen were obviously their first targets, but it wasn’t long before they turned on their former allies on the Left.
First came the Socialist Revolutionaries and the Anarchists, then the Mensheviks, and then factions within the Bolsheviks themselves that threatened the dominance of Lenin, Stalin, and Trotsky.
To purge rivals whose ideology differed only marginally from one’s own required creative adaptations of political terminology to justify their liquidation. The Party hunted down “counter-revolutionaries”, “deviationists”, “right extremists”, “reactionaries”, and many other arcane neologisms coined especially for the occasion. In the 1930s, after the ascendancy of Fascism in Italy at the expense of the Communists, the term “fascist” came into vogue as the preferred designation for an enemy of the state. From then on the Bolsheviks pursued and destroyed “fascists” wherever they found them, and their ideological heirs are still doing the same thing today.
A similar process seems to be underway in the National Security State that is now administered by the Obama administration, with the preferred targets designated as “extremists” and “hate groups”. The pursuit of such “extremists” did not begin with the current administration — Homeland Security was, after all, the brainchild of the Bush administration — but under Janet Napolitano and Eric Holder it has reached a baroque elaboration that the Bush functionaries could only dream of.
In order to justify investigating and prosecuting Muslim terrorists — who really would kill people and blow up infrastructure if they were not obstructed — the feds are obliged to pursue at least as many infidels, in order to demonstrate that no “profiling” is taking place. With the hard Left currently holding the levers of power, this imperative guarantees an open season against “right-wing extremists” — which means virtually anyone who fails to support the full Socialist agenda.
After five years of diligent effort on the part of the nomenklatura who run the federal bureaucracy, we have reached the point that a patriotic American waving the flag on the Fourth of July is demonstrably an “extremist” — and maybe even a potential “terrorist”.
Last month we reported on the question put by ICLA to the official representative of the United States at the OSCE meeting in Vienna about the federal government’s use of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) as a resource to determine which American organizations are “hate groups”. Readers may remember that the representative dodged the question. He affirmed only that the SPLC has the right of free expression under the First Amendment, and never addressed the issue of its use by the government to separate the ideological sheep from the extremist goats.
Confirmation of the current drift of official policy — in which no left-winger is ever an “extremist”, while every right-winger is at least suspected of being one — was reported on Thursday by Judicial Watch. Below are excerpts from their press release about Air Force training materials they uncovered via the Freedom of Information Act:
Judicial Watch: Defense Department Teaching Documents Suggest Mainstream Conservative Views “Extremist”
Defense Document Suggests Colonists Fighting British Rule were members of “extremist movement”
(Washington, DC) — Judicial Watch announced today that it has obtained educational materials from the Department of Defense (DOD) depicting conservative organizations as “hate groups” and advising students to be aware that “many extremists will talk of individual liberties, states’ rights, and how to make the world a better place.” The documents repeatedly cite the leftwing Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) as a resource for identifying “hate groups.”
Judicial Watch obtained the documents in a response to a Freedom of Information Act request (FOIA) filed on April 8, 2013. The FOIA requested “Any and all records concerning, regarding, or related to the preparation and presentation of training materials on hate groups or hate crimes distributed or used by the Air Force.” Included in the 133 pages of lesson plans and PowerPoint slides provided by the Air Force is a January 2013 Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute “student guide” entitled “Extremism.” The document says that it is “for training purposes only” and “do not use on the job.” Highlights include:
The document defines extremists as “a person who advocates the use of force or violence; advocates supremacist causes based on race, ethnicity, religion, gender, or national origin; or otherwise engages to illegally deprive individuals or groups of their civil rights.”
A statement that “Nowadays, instead of dressing in sheets or publically espousing hate messages, many extremists will talk of individual liberties, states’ rights, and how to make the world a better place.”
“[W]hile not all extremist groups are hate groups, all hate groups are extremist groups.”
Under a section labeled “Extremist Ideologies” the document states, “In U.S. history, there are many examples of extremist ideologies and movements. The colonists who sought to free themselves from British rule and the Confederate states who sought to secede from the Northern states are just two examples.”
In this same section, the document lists the 9/11 attack under a category of “Historical events.”
“[A]ctive participation…with regard to extremist organizations is incompatible with military service and, is therefore prohibited.” [Emphasis in original]
The document details the “seven stages of hate” and sixteen “extremists’ traits.”
The SPLC is listed as a resource for information on hate groups and referenced several times throughout the guide.
Of the five organizations besides the SPLC listed as resources, one is an SPLC project (Teaching Tolerance) and one considers any politically or socially conservative movement to be a potential hate group (Political Research Associates).
Other than a mention of 9/11 and the Sudan, there is no discussion of Islamic extremism.
Though the document released today by Judicial Watch was obtained from the Air Force, it originated in a DOD office and is, therefore. Thought likely to be used in other agency components.
I don’t know about anyone else, but I certainly qualify as an “extremist” under the above criteria.
I’m an Extremist Group of One.