Further Responses to the Missouri Militia Memo

patriot_act_tooTwo exceptionally poignant responses to the MIAC document were released today. The document, which profiles potential domestic terrorists/violent militia members for Missouri law enforcement officers, specifically states such individuals may display materials “from the Constitution Party, Campaign for Liberty or Libertarian Party” and “these members are usually supporters of former Presidential candidate: Ron Paul, Chuck Baldwin and Bob Barr”.

Anthony Gregory, editor-in-chief at Campaign for Liberty had this to say:

Peaceful Dissent and Government Witch Hunts

As most readers of this are probably aware, the Campaign for Liberty has been singled out, along with a few other political groups, in a leaked Missouri state government report, “The Modern Militia Movement.” The document tells state officials to be on the lookout for violent extremists while conflating them with pretty much anyone who criticizes the government. Perhaps most troubling, the information apparently comes from the Department of Homeland Security, meaning that similar documents could be circulating in states other than Missouri.

The brush with which this report paints critics of the federal government is so absurdly broad that it should not have to be taken seriously. The report lumps together violent white supremacists with the diverse and broad coalition behind Ron Paul, a man who has called racism “simply an ugly form of collectivism, the mindset that views humans only as members of groups and never as individuals.” People who favor peace and cooperation among nations are thrown together with belligerent nationalists. Militants who saw George W. Bush as their savior and loved the war on terror are associated with those of us who saw Bush’s reign as a long period of attacks on social peace, international harmony and freedom. We who criticize the Federal Reserve, fiat money, and inflation — many of whom were inspired by great Jewish economists like Ludwig von Mises and Murray Rothbard — are conflated with peddlers of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. Promoters of social harmony and cooperation are branded as antisocial promoters of conflict. The wide net cast catches both domestic terrorists and anyone who happens to favor constitutional government, oppose international bureaucracies, question the IRS, CIA, FBI or United Nations, subscribe to libertarian politics or oppose the military draft.

This should all be too ridiculous to address, but police carrying out nationally directed profiling have not been known to be the most nuanced in their investigations. So there is some legitimate concern for freedom activists of all stripes.

The report’s categorization of so many different types of people as potential threats to domestic peace takes on a distinct flavor in these Obama years, targeting tens of millions of conservative-leaning Americans who wish to peacefully live their lives in freedom — people who take their Second Amendment rights seriously, people who oppose the staggering growth of government in modern times, people who do not fit into a politically correct mold of good citizenship. It is thus a dangerous report, but it is not anything qualitatively new in the history of the American Republic. Sometimes the fear-mongering was simply stupid and counterproductive; but many times it meant severe attacks on the civil liberties of peaceful Americans.

Continue reading…

Campaign for Liberty also published an online Citizens’ Petition for Redress of Grievance to be delivered to the Missouri Governor and Attorney General, most likely when Campaign for Liberty is in St. Louis for its first Liberty Regional Conference this weekend. I would love to see Ron Paul deliver these petions personally!

Please read and sign the Campaign for Liberty petition. You do not have to be a Missouri resident to do so – just an American citizen who believes in free speech, the right to assemble and the right to participate in peaceful political activism.

In another beautifully written response today, Chuck Baldwin, former Constitution Party presidential candidate, said:

Thanks to a concerned Missouri state policeman, a nationally syndicated radio talk show host stated that he was alerted last week to a secret Missouri state police report that categorized supporters of Congressman Ron Paul, Bob Barr, and myself as “‘militia’ influenced terrorists.” The report, he said, “instructs the Missouri police to be on the lookout for supporters displaying bumper stickers and other paraphernalia associated with the Constitutional, Campaign for Liberty, and Libertarian parties.”

[snip]

I realize that there are people who will dismiss this kind of story as insignificant. They shouldn’t. This is very serious and should be treated as such. Anyone who knows anything at all about history knows that before a state or national government can persecute–and commit acts of violence against–a group of people, they must first marginalize the group from society’s mainstream and categorize it as dangerous.

Rome did exactly that to Christians, as did Mao’s China; Hitler’s Germany did the same thing to Jews; Stalin’s Russia did the same thing to political dissenters, etc. That a State police agency in America would actually infer that people who supported Ron Paul, Bob Barr, or myself in a political campaign are somehow indistinguishable from violence-prone “militias” is beyond insulting: it is a smear campaign, and might should even be regarded as a hate crime!

[snip]

Do you not see how dangerous this kind of slanderous labeling can become? It could affect your flight status when you try to board an airline. It could affect your application for sensitive jobs. It could affect your adjudication before a court or judge. It could make you a target for aggressive law enforcement strategies. It could affect your being able to obtain a passport. It could affect one’s ability to purchase a firearm or receive a State concealed weapon permit.

This is very serious business! We are not talking about private opinions. We are talking about law enforcement agencies. And remember, most law enforcement agencies share these types of reports; therefore, how many other state police agencies have similar reports floating around? Probably several. Plus, how do we know that this report was not influenced by federal police agencies? We don’t.

Rest assured, I do not plan to take this lying down. As one who is personally named in the above report, I demand a public retraction and apology from the MIAC and Missouri State Police. I can tell you that my family is extremely distraught that their husband, father, and grandfather would be labeled in such a manner. I am also not ruling out legal action. In addition, I am discussing an appropriate response with Ron Paul and Bob Barr. I will keep readers posted as to what comes of these discussions (as I am at liberty to do so, of course).

In the meantime, I encourage everyone who believes in the freedom of speech and who believes that the MIAC report is an egregious miscarriage of justice to contact the appropriate Missouri police officials. Here is the contact information:

Email address: Brandon.middleton@mshp.dps.mo.gov

Missouri Information Analysis Center
Division of Drugs & Crime Control
P. O. Box 568
Jefferson City, MO 65102-0568
Phone: 573-751-6422
Toll Free: 866-362-6422
Fax: 573-751-9950

And lest one thinks that none of this concerns him or her, I would like to remind you of the lament of Martin Niemoeller back in the days of Hitler’s Germany. Niemoeller was a decorated U-Boat Captain and pastor of great distinction. An avid anti-communist, Niemoeller at first supported Hitler’s rise to power and was hesitant to oppose the violations of civil rights against various groups he personally found distasteful. It did not take long, however, before Niemoeller realized that when laws protecting the rights of all were removed from some, no one was safe–including him. Unfortunately, he learned his lesson too late, as he, too, was persecuted and imprisoned by Hitler’s State Police. Here is what Niemoeller said about his indifference:

“They came first for the communists, and I did not speak up-
because I was not a communist;
And then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak up – because I was not a trade unionist;
And then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak up because I was not a Jew;
And then they came for me-and there was no one left to speak up.”

Continue reading…

Finally, the Liberty Restoration Project is purchasing copies of Aaron Russo’s documentary America: Freedom to Fascism (also specifically mentioned in the MIAC document) for each member of the Missouri state legislature. The DVDs are to be hand delivered Monday, March 23rd.

It is vitally important to speak up against any kind of profiling and, as Anthony Gregory pointed out so well in the article, lumping peaceful activists in with violent radicals. If we do not speak now, we may not get the chance later.

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