Please note: The Opinions expressed in this column do not necessarily reflect the political or personal opinions of owner of this Blog.
However, I am very pleased by the news presented in this piece.
Well, there is still hope for liberty after all! After multiple thousands of phone calls, emails, faxes, and other communications from outraged citizens, the State of Missouri has rescinded its controversial “militia” report. This proves the point I made in this column recently that the most effective way to fight an ever-encroaching federal leviathan is to focus on our individual states.
Let me review the events of the last few weeks so as to help readers familiarize themselves with this historic–and I do mean historic–episode.
On February 20, 2009, the State of Missouri, via its Department of Public Safety, issued what was called “MIAC Strategic Report: The Modern Militia Movement.” In this report, people who supported Presidential candidates Ron Paul, Bob Barr, and yours truly were referenced as being connected to potentially dangerous “militia members.” But the inference did not stop there. People of conservative ideology were also identified in the State Police report as being potentially dangerous. People who held political opinions opposing abortion, illegal immigration, the New World Order, the North American Union, the Income Tax, the U.N., etc., were profiled in the MIAC report.
Interestingly enough, no left-leaning political ideologies were identified. No Islamic extremists. No environmental extremists. Only people holding “conservative” or “right-wing” philosophies were identified in the MIAC report.
The MIAC report was categorized as “Unclassified/Law Enforcement Sensitive,” meaning the report was intended for law enforcement personnel only. Fortunately, an unidentified (for obvious reasons) Missouri law enforcement officer, who was extremely disturbed by this report, sent a copy to nationally syndicated radio talk show host Alex Jones. Of course, Jones immediately “blew the whistle” on the story. This was on March 11.
On March 14, the Columbia (Missouri) Daily Tribune ran a story on the subject, and on March 17, I wrote my first column about it. From that point, the story went viral.
Internet sites, radio talk show hosts, and bloggers all over America picked up the story, and thousands of outraged citizens began bombarding the appropriate officials in Missouri with protests. Even Fox News Channel talk show host Glenn Beck ran a feature on the story on Friday, March 20, and again on Monday, March 23. The Constitution Party issued a “Travel Advisory” for the State of Missouri, warning tourists and residents about the possibility of being profiled by State Police for such things as having bumper stickers with political statements on their vehicles, etc. All of this commotion was not lost on several Missouri State legislators and executive officers, either.
Missouri Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder called on Governor Jay Nixon (who had previously stood by and defended the MIAC report) to place Department of Public Safety Director John Britt on administrative leave pending an investigation into the report. In addition, several Missouri State legislators said they would introduce an amendment to the Department of Public Safety’s budget barring the agency from using “state or federal funds for political profiling.”
On March 23, DPS Director John Britt sent an apology letter to Ron Paul, Bob Barr, and me stating, “I have ordered that the offending report be edited so as to excise all reference to Ron Paul, Bob Barr or Chuck Baldwin and to any third-party political organizations.”
While Ron, Bob, and I appreciated the apology and retraction from Mr. Britt, the overriding offense of the report still lingered: namely, the report, with a very broad brush, linked people holding conservative political opinions to dangerous and violence-prone “militias,” which Missouri law enforcement personnel were instructed to be on guard against. Therefore, public outcry against the MIAC report continued, Mr. Britt’s apology notwithstanding.
Then, on Wednesday, March 25, the head of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Col. James F. Keathley, ordered the Missouri Information Analysis Center (MIAC) to “permanently cease distribution” of this abysmal report. Keathley said that neither he nor Britt had read the report before it was distributed.
Keathley also noted that the report was filled with numerous spelling and grammatical errors and did not cite any sources for its broad statements about “right-wing” militias. He further said that his department would now review how the MIAC distributes intelligence reports to police officers. He said the process “needs improvement.”
Dear readers, please take a bow! Because of tens of thousands of patriotic, freedom-loving Americans–including thousands of courageous Missourians–the long arm of totalitarianism was shortened just a bit.
This sordid story is truly an embarrassment to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the State of Missouri. Governor Nixon, especially, is left with egg on his face for foolishly and stupidly standing behind the report, when he had either never read it, or, if he had, was just as guilty of political profiling as the ones who wrote the report.
Why DHS, you ask? Because the MIAC report is similar to several other reports currently circulating around various State police agencies courtesy of DHS-sponsored “Fusion Centers.” There is another side of this story that is even more sinister, however.
If we can continue to probe the details of the MIAC report, I am absolutely convinced we will find that this report actually originates with Morris Dees and his ultra-liberal Southern Poverty Law Center. And if my hunch (a very educated hunch, I might add) is correct, it means that the DHS and various State police agencies around the country are allowing a left-wing special interest group to use them to harass, intimidate, and profile people with conservative political opinions.
I would further proffer that those of us who are outraged by this event should not stop with the MIAC report being removed. While this is very good news, the fear and intimidation associated with those referenced in this report has already taken place. Are people opposed to abortion, illegal immigration, the Income Tax, the U.N., etc., now afraid to express their opinions publicly (especially in Missouri)? If so, this seems to me to be the basis for legal action, based on the abridgment of the First Amendment freedom of speech by a State (and perhaps federal) law enforcement agency.
There is yet another chilling question that must be answered: by saying Missouri State Police will “review” how MIAC distributes intelligence reports to police officers, does Col. Keathley mean that the State of Missouri’s law enforcement agencies will continue to promote similar reports, but simply make them “Classified”? In other words, will they (and other State police agencies around the country) simply employ greater secrecy when issuing such reports, but do nothing to change the content of future reports? Hopefully not, but we shall see.
With that said, here are the lessons all of us need to take to heart:
*Every police officer, deputy sheriff, and law enforcement officer in America who believes in constitutional government, individual liberty, and the Bill of Rights needs to be alert for any report that smacks of the MIAC report, and be willing to quickly “blow the whistle” on any such report they see.
*Lovers of freedom should be much encouraged to see what can happen when they are willing to stand up to their State governing officials as they see abridgements to their liberties taking place. I say again, the best way to fight these mushrooming despotic tendencies of government we seem to see everywhere is to focus on our State governments. Do you now see why I say that? Even if DHS was behind the MIAC report, it was the State of Missouri that had to implement it; and it was the State of Missouri that (under pressure) killed it.
See my column on this important subject here.
*Notice, too, that we did not need the major media to achieve this victory. We cut off this one branch of the tyranny tree without the help of ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, FOX NEWS (with the exception of Glenn Beck), or even the Drudge Report. Victory was achieved with the weapons of talk radio, syndicated Internet columns, Internet blogging, and word of mouth.
You see, folks, we can achieve victory without the major media. But we must stay focused and actively involved in our respective State governments. “We the people” are still the power of this country. And don’t let anyone deceive you into believing anything else. Therefore, take heart in knowing that your diligence convinced the State of Missouri to rescind its atrocious MIAC report. Now, don’t let it stop there. Let’s faithfully cut off the tentacles of tyranny wherever we find them. Amen?
Chuck Baldwin’s Website