[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.]
Right now on Drudge you can see these stories:
If you click on the circled link you go to a page on Alex Jones’ website, Prison Planet, asserting that reporter Drew Griffin was put on a terror watch list after a report criticizing the TSA. Only there is one problem: not even CNN alleges that he personally is on the watch list. Watch the video. It’s another man sharing the same name. Which of course creates hell and havoc for the more famous Griffin, but that also blows the revenge story out of the water, right?
But in the same article they made another stunning assertion:
As we highlighted earlier this week, a reported TSA memo was circulated at the height of last month’s opt out controversy which “officially addresses those who are opposed to, or engaged in the disruption of the implementation of the enhanced airport screening procedures as ‘domestic extremists’.”
And if you follow the link you don’t get a document. You get a report on a document. That they don’t show you. And their links don’t seem to lead very directly to anything but it all seems to start with this article by Canada Free Press. Which also doesn’t give you any pdf of a document that at least plausibly looks like what they are describing. Rather, they just have a description and a claim of “trust me, this is for real.” Well, sorry, I don’t trust you. Meanwhile in the Prison Planet article discussing this CFP article, they misrepresent the law to assert that the DHS is getting ready to treat people who dissent from the TSA’s scan or grope as terrorists:
The United States government, under complete control and direction of our elected President, is now actively labeling anyone who exercises their 4th amendment Constitutional right which protects against warrantless and unreasonable searches and seizures as, essentially, engaging in terrorism as defined by Section 802 of the USA Patriot Act:
Section 802 [USA Patriot Act]
(a) DOMESTIC TERRORISM DEFINED- Section 2331 of title 18, United States Code, is amended–
…..(5) the term `domestic terrorism’ means activities that–
…..…..(B) appear to be intended–
…..…..…..(i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population;
…..…..…..(ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or
Though it may seem a broad interpretation, the definitions for domestic terrorism are very vague, allowing for a variety of views depending on who happens to be making the decisions. The very fact that TSA is allegedly going to label opt-out travelers as ‘domestic extremists’ suggest that they are, by today’s standards, considered no different than terrorists – and thus – may have their Constitutional rights stripped and be held without trial
Except that is a clear misrepresentation of the law and all of five seconds of research using free resources would tell you that. The key thing is that this is an amendment which means that this language would be inserted into a larger statute that already exists. And if you look at the whole law, as amended, those lines are clearly taken out of context. Here is 18 USC § 2331(5), in whole:
(5) the term “domestic terrorism” means activities that—
…..(A) involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State;
…..(B) appear to be intended—
…..…..(i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population;
…..…..(ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or
…..…..(iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and
…..(C) occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States.
(emphasis added.) The “and” at the end of (B)(iii) demonstrates that definitions under A, B, C are conjunctive, meaning you have to have all three parts satisfied for there to be a criminal violation. With the “or” at the end of (B)(ii), this means that in order to find that a person is a domestic terrorist, the person must meet the requirements of (A) and (C), and meet at least one of the requirements under (B)(i)-(iii).
In other words, Prison Planet’s excerpt left out the predicate requirement that you must be actually convicted of a crime in America. So merely dissenting doesn’t make you a criminal. Duh.
Now I will confess, I have never received the full set trading cards of internet kooks, liars and radicals, so I didn’t know off the top of my head who Jones was. So this might be old hat, but I googled around and apparently he has been a racist, paranoid conspiracy idiot and Truther for decades. For instance a quick scan of this page proves he is a truther. And this video is where I finally remembered where I heard that name before. It’s a little hard to watch all these years later. It starts off with Vodkapundit mocking some people who wanted to levitate the Denver Mint. No, that is not a typo. They wanted to use their psychic powers to actually lift it, which puts in sharp relief Steven Den Beste’s point in this classic essay Government By Wishful Thinking (if you never read it, you really owe it to yourself to do so). There really are some people who think that wishing for something will make it happen. Scary.
(By the way, if they think just wishing for something will make it happen, and they also believe the Global Warming is going to kill us, why don’t they use their superpower of wishful thinking, to make it go away?)
Then Michelle Malkin shows up and the chant of Love… Peace… Justice is replaced with Kill Michelle Malkin as they surround her. Funny the liberal media never picked up on these scary people being cruel to a conservative, but the people peacefully assembling to protest against Obamacare are scary racists. Anyway, back to the video, Alex Jones is right in front, accusing her of wanting to put people in death camps. And do you think I was kidding about calling Jones a racist? Listen close when he calls her “disgusting mail order trash.”
All of which raises the question, why is Drudge linking to this man’s website? He is a lying, racist, paranoid, idiotic, conspiracy-mongering truther. He should be marginalized into that zone of moronic convergence where David Duke makes common cause with Cindy Sheehan. He should not be getting hits from Drudge, and my respect for that site just went down a notch.
Update: From “Newtons.Bit” in the comments we see Judge Napolitano joining in the truther fun. I had seen articles quoting Napolitano as saying “It’s hard for me to believe that it came down by itself”–referring to Tower 7 at the WTC. I initially thought that the comment was maybe being twisted. But this quote solidifies it: “I think twenty years from now, people will look at 9-11 the way we look at the assassination of JFK today. It couldn’t possibly have been done the way the government told us.”
And please don’t tell me that Rivera is about to be sucked in, next. Oy vey.
[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]