(DailyVantage.com) – Paul Rieckhoff, a guest on an MSNBC panel, called for legislation focused on cracking down on “domestic terrorists” in a 9/11-type response akin to the Patriot Act against “far-right” extremists. “We’re in a battle for hearts and minds… After 9/11, we created the Department of Homeland Security. There was the Patriot Act. I think we need the same kind of tectonic shift.”
Rieckhoff’s comments highlight an emerging trend supported by the intelligence community. With similar talking points, former CIA Director John Brennan has also directed his rhetoric against the far-right, which demonstrates the Biden intelligence community’s attitude toward those whom they politically deem as “religious extremists, authoritarians, fascists, bigots, racists, nativists, even libertarians.”
These remarks have drawn conservative criticism against the potential for government crackdowns against groups deemed “extreme.” From the religious to libertarians to “white supremacists,” who no longer need to be white, the political expansion of what groups are considered “far-right” serves to smear conservatives. What is most concerning to Republicans is that action from the intelligence community could be politically motivated against them.
Recently, Republican lawmakers on the House Judiciary Committee pressed Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director Christopher Wray on a leaked memo from the FBI Richmond division that detailed a potential investigation of Catholic communities deemed “radical-traditionalist.” While Wray asserted that an internal investigation was underway, the fact that there was a document to investigate Catholics was enough to concern lawmakers.
Another leaked FBI memo even stated that the Gadsden Flag and other symbols signal militia violence and extremism. With this trend of “signs of domestic terrorism” against conservatives and Republicans, the intelligence community would need real evidence to counter the belief that they are politically motivated in their actions. With the politicization of the intelligence community, it will serve as an important issue in the 2024 General Elections. Republicans may see this as an opportunity to mobilize their political base and implement reforms if they retake the Senate.
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