By Dave Nalle
Following the pattern of other provocative statements about potential domestic terrorist threats from the Obama Justice Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has issued a statement exposing the threat of “hundreds of thousands” of “sovereign citizens” who can turn violent “at the drop of a hat” during encounters with the police.
Citing three specific cases in three years and a trend of an increase in arrests of believers in individual sovereignty from 10 to 18 cases per year, mostly for non-violent crimes, the FBI declared law enforcement to be “inundated” with threats.
This may be the most exaggerated and offensive example of specious fearmongering to come out of an administration which has been promoting irrational fear of generally harmless groups of citizens for three years. The FBI is taking aim at a huge body of citizens who are increasingly angry about government abuse of power and irresponsibility and attempting to turn them into a movement of dangerous potential terrorists.
These dangerous “extremists” hold such horrific views as “outrage at tax collection,” defying environmental regulations and believing that “the United States went bankrupt by going off the gold standard.” The FBI is identifying them as “sovereign citizens” and is defining them as a members of a movement, though they provide no evidence of organized or coordinated activity beyond just being angry with the government, a characteristic shared by about half the nation’s population.
I would say that the concerns over this threat were excessive, but that’s giving the FBI too much credit. Ridiculous is a more appropriate description. Statistically a three year increase from 10 to 18 cases of mostly non violent crimes associated with anti-government activists isn’t a crimewave. It’s not even large enough to qualify as a validly quantifiable trend. Given the hundreds of thousands of crimes committed yearly it’s far below the margin of error for crime statistics.
The FBI claims that they are “being inundated right now with requests for training from state and local law enforcement on sovereign-related matters.” This supposed demand for a response to a nonexistent threat probably would not be there at all had the FBI not been promoting the idea that average citizens are potential domestic terrorists for years. The FBI is creating bogeymen to justify their own actions and to distract from the government’s increasingly callous disregard for the rights of citizens.