Posted tagged ‘Missouri’

Apology! (sort of)

March 24, 2009

seal_moThe state of Missouri apologizes to Paul, Barr & Baldwin over MIAC report.

But “domestic terror” smears against anti-abortion, anti-gun control, bumper sticker political activists will remain. Read the full story at PrisonPlanet.com, where the story first broke two weeks ago.

Read the letter Paul, Barr and Baldwin sent to Governor Nixon here (PDF). Read the letter of apology here (PDF).

Missouri Libertarian Party Demands Answers

March 23, 2009

From the Missouri Libertarian Party concerning the infamous Missouri Milita Memo:

Missouri Libertarian Party

PO Box 78623

St. Louis, MO 63178-8623

www.lpmo.org

For Immediate Release

March 22, 2009

Contact: Mike Ferguson, Missouri Libertarian Party Spokesman, at 816.695.1425 ormike@focalpointcommunications.net.

Missouri Libertarian Party Demands Answers: Why Was U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s “Civil Liberties Impact Assessment Template” Ignored in Creation of MIAC “Strategic Memo”?

(Columbia, MO) –  The Civil Liberties Impact Assessment Template (1), a guideline created by the US Department of Homeland Security’s Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, was obviously ignored by the Missouri Information Analysis Center (MIAC) when creating the now-infamous “Strategic Memo” on militia activity.

The document in question is a training memo for law enforcement in Missouri that characterizes certain political views as potential indicators of involvement in extremist, violent militia activity. Among the political views listed are opposition of illegal immigration, opposition to abortion, opposition to federal taxes and opposition to gun control legislation.

The memo also lists displays of support for third parties, like the Libertarian Party, and former presidential candidates Bob Barr (Libertarian) and Ron Paul (Republican) as being among the “paraphernalia” that could indicate involvement in hate-based militia groups.

MIAC is a “fusion center”; a cooperative of local, state and federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies, including the US Department of Homeland Security.  The Department of Homeland Security has a document designed to prohibit the political profiling and other civil rights violations contained in the “Strategic Memo.”

Specifically:

Under the “Other Rights” portion of the template, the following question must be considered when considering any program or activity: “Could the program limit protected political or religious expression? Could the program implicitly chill open discourse or a person’s ability to express their beliefs in writing that does not threaten or amount to shouting fire in a theater?”

Because the US Department of Homeland Security is a cooperating agency in the “fusion center’s” domestic intelligence efforts, its regulations and safeguards for citizens should be observed in all activity.

Missouri Libertarian Party spokesman Mike Ferguson asks if these safeguards were considered during the development of the training document. “We want to know if a Civil Liberties Impact Assessment was done at all. Training law enforcement officers to watch for political speech like signs and bumper stickers when trying to determine if someone is part of a violent hate group will, obviously, ‘chill open discourse’ and people’s willingness to express their beliefs. Just knowing you might be profiled in a way that links you to groups like these discourages people from making their voice heard.

“This training document is not only misguided, it is dangerous and clearly violates the safeguards designed to protect our First Amendment rights.”

The Missouri Libertarian Party reiterates its desire to have representatives meet with Governor Nixon, and with the leadership of the Missouri Highway Patrol, the Missouri Information Analysis Center and the Missouri Department of Public Safety. Ferguson states “We want to be part of the solution that keeps our troopers safe, stops the real bad guys and protects our freedoms at the same time.

“Unfortunately, our repeated requests to have that discussion and reach a solution have been rejected so far.”

(1) The US Department of Homeland Security Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties’ Civil Liberties Impact Assessment Template can be found at: http://www.it.ojp.gov/documents/Civil_Liberties_Impact.pdf
 
Mike Ferguson
 
http://www.mikefergusononline.com

MIAC Contacts Liberty Restoration Project

March 23, 2009

Friday, March 20, 2009, Major Replogle of the MIAC contacted Liberty Restoration Project’s Bryon Huber concerning the infamous Missouri Militia Memo:

MIAC UPDATE: 3/20/09 MUST READ
MIAC UPDATE: PLEASE READ AND SPREAD
I (Bryon) was contacted by Major Replogle who is in charge of Missouri’s Criminal Patrol, and oversees the MIAC. He called me on behalf of the Governor to discuss the Modern Militia Movement document. It was a great conversation and he assured me that the intent of the report was to educate police officers, officer safety and alert them of new trends. He also acknowledged that some of the wording could have been better, but that they (MIAC and MO) stand firmly behind this document. I asked him if it would be possible to have a retraction of the document, and he informed me that it was never meant for the eyes outside law enforcement and the officer who leaked the document violated the law. He also reminded me that they are standing firmly behind the document.

On behalf of the Liberty Restoration Project, I offered to bring a team of liberty minded citizens to a meeting to discuss crafting a new document that could be used in its stead. He welcomed the opportunity for us to come out and help educate their team. He also mentioned that not one law enforcement agency has contacted the MIAC to express disdain for the document, and that it appeared that all agencies were appreciative of the information in the document.

I asked Maj. Replogle about the officers that perished by the hands of “militia” members, he cited 3 unfortunate circumstances. I couldn’t write fast enough so please pardon my inaccurate recount of the officers or situation. He mentioned an officer who was killed in the line of duty in 1985 by a member of the Christian Identity Movement (white supremacist group). He cited the David Tate case where Mr. Tate was transporting a van full of explosives and automatic weapons. Tate was pulled over and he began to open fire on the officers, killing one with 11 rounds and another was wounded. Another officer died a year after being shot through a window of his own home (1987). Obviously the threat is real, and paramilitary groups do exist. He also added an example of a theoretical situation, that if he or another officer were to pull over a vehicle that was breaking the law, and they saw a bumper sticker that read “Don’t take my guns away”, they would instinctually use caution, that the person inside MAY have a firearm.

I was also repeatedly assured that no officer would profile vehicles with political information on the vehicles or because of profiling; he commented that the officers take the Constitution very seriously and would never encroach on our civil rights. If we ever felt that our rights were encroached upon, to contact the police department in question and let them know and an investigation will be launched.

With all that being said, he wanted me to inform EVERYONE that they have set-up an email account specifically for the MIAC concerns. He asked me to direct everyone to that email and they will look into everyone’s concerns. That email is:

MIACINFO@mshp.dps.mp.gov

Now here is my take on this conversation (Maj. Replogle, I hope you still understand my concerns and don’t hate me for this), the MIAC is not going to budge on this document, AND NEITHER ARE WE!!! Our demands are clear and precise. We feel that this document is a potential violation of our 1st Amendment rights to freely express ourselves without fear of being singled out. If Governor Nixon won’t retract this document and apologize for unintentionally slandering an ENTIRE group of AMERICAN’S based on their political beliefs, then we will continue to fight against the state of Missouri until we feel that this injustice is corrected.

So PLEASE, continue to call Governor Nixon and RESPECTFULLY tell them that you won’t tolerate being singled out as a domestic threat and that you will not spend one dime in Missouri, and advocate against his re-election until he fixes this.

(573) 751-3222
PLEASE continue to contact the MIAC, tell them thank you for taking the time to talk personally to the Liberty Restoration Project, but you won’t back down either!

MIACINFO@mshp.dps.mp.gov

We WON’T take this laying down! We won’t continue to slowly let our elected officials strip away what’s left of our liberty. What we are asking is NOT asking much. It wouldn’t take much for them to fix this problem, but their adamant defiance to respond to the people they EMPLOY will not be tolerated any more.

If we don’t stand out ground here, then we will have failed the children yet to come!!!

United,

Bryon Huber

Director of Public Relation

Liberty Restoration Project

Bryon@libertyrestorationproject.org

Major Replogle’s assurances are not terribly reassuring. The campaign to have this document retracted must go on.

Missouri Militia Memo Goes Mainstream

March 20, 2009

The Missouri Militia Memo controversy picked up some mainstream media coverage today.

Local ABC television affiliate KMBC:

 

Rush Limbaugh:

 

Glenn Beck (with guest Penn Gillette):

 

And the Missouri Campaign for Liberty responds to the MIAC report:

The Missouri Campaign for Liberty finds the recent Missouri Information Analysis Center (MIAC) Strategic Report to be misleading in its presentation of facts, and well below the quality that our hardworking Missouri law enforcement officials deserve. The report, dated 2-20-2009, entitled “The Modern Militia Movement” was issued to State and local law enforcement officials across Missouri to warn and inform them about current trends in radical militias.

The misrepresentations in this document, whether intentional or not, are dangerous to both private citizens and public safety. Providing law enforcement officers with documents containing misleading information is simply unacceptable. These brave men and women who patrol our neighborhoods and highways must be able to identify threats to themselves and public safety, but this report and its amateurish presentation stands only as an obstacle to these officers’ discernment process.

The author of this report implies that Campaign for Liberty has a violent and radical membership when its mission statement clearly states that the only means for pursuing its goals is by political and educational means. Under Political Paraphernalia the document states, “it is not uncommon for militia members to display Constitution Party, Campaign for Liberty, or Libertarian material.” Reading this document, one could easily be led to assume that Campaign for Liberty is a radical, violent group, when nothing could be further from the truth.

Therefore, the Missouri Campaign For Liberty hereby demands that a formal and public apology from Governor Jay Nixon, Director of the Department of Public Safety John Britt, Missouri State Highway Patrol Colonel James Keathley, and Missouri Information Analysis Center Director Van Godsey be issued immediately, and that each organization and person wrongly characterized as militant be given an opportunity to distribute a document asserting the true nature of their person or organization to the same law enforcement officers that received the original report.

We would like to invite all law enforcement officials to our Freedom Celebration featuring Judge Andrew Napolitano of Fox News and Congressman Ron Paul on Friday, March 27th, at 8:00 p.m. at the Millennium Hotel in St. Louis. This event is free and open to the public and will allow officers to experience just how wrong the MIAC report is in its irresponsible profiling of Campaign for Liberty Members.

Source

Further Responses to the Missouri Militia Memo

March 18, 2009

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.

MIAC Report – Update

March 16, 2009

Blog Blast from Liberty Restoration Project:

BLOG ENTRY FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
MISSOURI LIBERTY GROUP RESPONDS TO MIAC MILITIA REPORT

The Liberty Restoration Project (www.libertyretorationproject.org), a Kansas City-based political education organization has begun to implement a strategy in response to a Missouri Information Analysis Center (MIAC) Strategic Report on the modern militia movement. The report, released February 20th, suggests that bumper stickers and publications showing support for Ron Paul, the Libertarian Party, the Campaign for Liberty, and other aspects of the Freedom Movement may be “political paraphernalia” used by members of radical militia groups. The report also considers anti-abortion signage, documentaries such as Freedom to Fascism, the Gadsden Flag, and signage critical of the Federal Reserve Bank to be “propaganda” and possible indications of paramilitary extremism.

The Liberty Restoration Project (LRP) has announced a five-part strategy to face the implications of the MIAC report:

1. SUNSHINE/FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUESTS: On Monday, March 16th, requests for documents, emails, publications and multimedia used as sources for the MIAC Report were made under the Sunshine Law in Missouri by members of LRP. These requests for developmental resources and information were hand-delivered to Governor Nixon, the State Highway Patrol, the Missouri Office of Homeland Security, and the Department of Public Safety.

2. THE MISSOURI LEGISLATURE: On Wednesday, March 18th an email blast and phone bank campaign will be launched to Missouri legislative representatives to make them aware of the Sunshine Law requests and to provide the MIAC information and to ask for an investigation. Once the Legislature is back in session (March 23rd), representatives of LRP, Campaign for Liberty, and other participants in the Freedom Movement will lobby legislators in person in Jefferson City.

3. MONEY TALKS: Working with Restore the Republic, Kansas City activists will begin strategic communication with the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and the Missouri Tourism Council. They will be notifying them of the intent to deter tourism and travel to Missouri until a retraction is made by Governor Nixon.

4. PUBLIC RELATIONS: Members of the Liberty Restoration Project will be releasing Letters to the Editor and Opinion Articles once the Governor and other agencies have had three days to reply to the Sunshine requests. The editorials will be sent to all newsprint and news media in Missouri.

5. A CALL TO JOIN US AND CONTINUE THE WORK: We in the Freedom Movement must continue the message. We have nothing to hide and nothing to fear – it is the ones who wrote the MIAC report that fear the Freedom Message. The Campaign for Liberty Regional Conference must sell out and get media attention and the Kansas City Monopoly March (End the FED II) on April 25th could be the biggest in the nation!

While the inclusion of our political movement may be a benign mistake in the intent of the MIAC report, the suggestion that criticism of government policy, a political philosophy outside of mainstream party design, and liberal activism is akin to terrorism must be revealed and abolished in its earliest stages. LRP also wishes the Department of Homeland Security to differentiate paramilitary anti-government groups, which the report considers to be “militia”, with a Constitutional militia which exists in many states throughout the Union. The Liberty Restoration Project is demanding a retraction by the Governor as the Chief Executive in title on the report itself and an apology from the MIAC. Please show your support by volunteering to phone-bank, donating, checking with officials in your state to see if similar documents exist, or just sending along a letter of encouragement.

In Liberty,
Kent Andel, The Liberty Restoration Project

Domestic Terrorist? Me?

March 15, 2009

gadsdenIn a story first broken by infowars.com and confirmed by private citizens and local media (KansasCity.com, Columbia Daily Tribune, KMOV, Fox 4 ), the Missouri Information Analysis Center (MIAC) distributed a report entitled “The Modern Militia Movement” to Missouri law enforcement agencies.

The document lists numerous criteria that law enforcement officers should look for in identifying potential domestic terrorists and militia members. Among these criteria are:

Belief that:

Obama may enact firearms confiscation

Obama may not meet constitutional requirements to hold the office of President

The New World Order is a real agenda of certain politicians and other powerful “elites”

FEMA camps may be real

US military forces may be used for firearms confiscation and relocating citizens to FEMA camps in violation of the Posse Comitatus Act

US government may fall due to economic collapse

Possible Contstitutional Convention may alter or remove the 1st and 2nd amendments

NAU is a real agenda of certain politicians and other powerful “elites”

County Sheriff is the highest local authority

Also:

Anger towards the Federal Reserve System and all forms of tax collection

Oppose Ammunition Accountability legislation

Oppose any required Universal Service Program in the US

Oppose RFID tracking of citizens

Ideologies Include:

Christian

White supremacist

Neo-Nazi

skinhead

anti-government

anti-Semitic

anti-immigration

Sovereign Citizen

anti-abortion

tax resistors [sic]

Training Includes:

Military Simulation events – paintball or Airsoft “war games”

Militia and survival training events

Communications – short wave radio, internet forums, Yahoo groups, blogs and social networking sites, online talk shows

Recruitment – gun shows, internet forums, websites, social networking sites, informal social networks

Organization:

  • Public groups – groups that “desire to aid the County Sheriff or Governor in emergencies such as a natural disaster”
  • Committees of Safety – organization “established to lobby government officials and confront corruption”

Common Militia Symbols:
Association with 3rd party political groups. Display of materials from the Constitution Party, Campaign for Liberty or Libertarian Party. “These members are usually supporters of former Presidential candidate: Ron Paul, Chuck Baldwin and Bob Barr”.

Pictures, cartoons, bumper stickers that contain anti-government rhetoric. Also the Gadsden (“Don’t Tread On Me”) Flag, Sovereign Citizen flags, upside down US flag, First Navy Jack. Other literature and media include Zeitgeist the Movie (anti Federal Reserve System) and America: Freedom to Fascism (anti income tax documentary).

One local Freedom Movement group, The Liberty Restoration Project, is asking for “a retraction of this document, and a public apology made, and if this is not met, the LRP has promised heavy activism against their Division and will pursue further actions to correct what they feel is a devastating misrepresentation of what the “Freedom Movement” is about.”

In addition to the above press release, the first step of the Liberty Restoration Project’s plan of action will be to deliver letters (with video cameras) requesting information from FEMA, Dept of Public Safety, Govenor Nixon, and MO Highway Patrol in accordance with Missouri’s Freedom of Information Act / Sunshine Law. They plan to deliver these letters on Monday, March 16, 2009.

I do not belong to any militia group and I am most certainly not a racist or neo-nazi but I do hold a number of the beliefs and display some of the “symbols” referenced in this document. I have been a follower of the Zero Agression Principle all my life, even before I learned it had a name. I have met many others in the Freedom Movement who could say the same. I also happen to live in Missouri, not far from one of the alleged FEMA camps.

Missouri law enforcement officers take note – I am not your enemy, nor are the many others like me. If a day ever comes when you are ordered to target and/or detain your fellow citizens based on profile elements from the MIAC document I hope you will remember this and remember to what and to whom you swore an oath.

For those of you who live in states other than Missouri, do you know what your state’s “Fusion Center” is doing? Be aware – these Fusion Centers are a national network.

Does having political opinions that differ from those of the current powers-that-be make me a potential terrorist? Have we really arrived at the point where even peaceful dissent makes one an enemy of the state?

I sincerely hope not.

Watch this blog for updates.