Why Wouldn't We Believe Whistleblower Claims of Domestic Threat Inflation? | Opinion

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) recently revealed allegations of egregious FBI politicization that buttress Sen. Charles Grassley's (R-IA) damning conclusion from days earlier, based on his own findings of malfeasance: The FBI and the DOJ may be "institutionally corrupted to their very core."

According to Rep. Jordan, FBI whistleblowers assert they are being pressured to reclassify investigations as "domestic violent extremism" (DVE) when not merited, and rewarded for swelling the DVE caseload.

Given what we have learned in recent years about our security state, claims that the FBI would cook the books, inflating the threat our Ruling Class tells us is driven overwhelmingly by those who disagree with its orthodoxy, in order to justify a sprawling crackdown, would seem all too credible.

The overarching narrative propagated by our Ruling Class since Donald Trump descended the Trump Tower escalator in 2015 is that he is a bigot, traitor, and danger to America. January 6, 2021, in the Ruling Class's telling, represented the natural manifestation of the threat Trump had stirred within the republic—demonstrating that he had created an army of bigots, or at minimum traitors, and dangers. It was the day when MAGA became mujahideen.

Of course, there was no "insurrection" on January 6. But the Capitol breach was the singular data point our regime could use as an accelerant to a years-long inquisition against dissenters—and waging it in the name of "defending democracy" from the scourge of "white nationalism," or something.

The most disturbing and dangerous aspect of the inquisition has been the weaponization of the national security, intelligence, and law enforcement apparatus against regime critics. The Ruling Class has equated dissent with danger, cast dissenters as domestic terrorists, and marshaled the awesome power of the security state and its private sector auxiliaries against them pursuant to America's first-of-its-kind National Strategy for Countering Domestic Terrorism. That strategy makes imposing regime orthodoxy, while punishing dissent, a national security imperative.

Despite this whole-of-government-plus mobilization, authorities have never been particularly forthcoming about the size and scope of the threat, and whether the threat justifies bringing the Global War on Terror to the home front. We are supposed to take their word for it—to trust the very institutions that have, as best illustrated in the Russiagate/Spygate affair, recklessly and ruthlessly pursued their political foes, while protecting their own, delegitimizing themselves in the process.

What little evidence the security state has produced about the domestic terror threat, be it in the form of declining annual domestic terror arrest figures, or its citing of several attacks per year resulting in fewer casualties than are seen within some cities in a month, makes the Ruling Class's case less than compelling.

One of the few metrics to which the Ruling Class has pointed in order to justify its chilling "counterterror" campaign is a reported surge in domestic terrorism investigations. This brings us to Rep. Jordan's revelations.

In a July 28 House Judiciary Committee hearing, one day after Rep. Jordan sent his letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray pressing him on the whistleblower allegations, Jordan asked Matthew Olsen, head of DOJ's National Security Division, about claims of "juiced" case numbers. Olsen demurred, claiming despite all evidence to the contrary that "in every case, we follow the facts and the evidence and the law and we do so without regard to politics or ideology." This would be news to the non-violent January 6-ers held in pretrial detention for months on end, and the likes of Gen. Mike Flynn, Roger Stone, James O'Keefe, Steve Bannon, John Eastman, and Jeffrey Clark, to name just a few.

Would threat inflation really be hard to conceive of?

The FBI seal is seen outside the
The FBI seal is seen outside the headquarters building in Washington, DC on July 5, 2016. YURI GRIPAS/AFP via Getty Images

The national security apparatus, as Olsen noted in testimony touting the opening of a new domestic terrorism unit on account of the purported rising threat, has said the threat is primarily driven by those "motivated by racial or ethnic animus," and others "hold[ing] anti-government or anti-authority views."

That is, it has created a broad and liberal definition that could cover tens of millions of people—namely, but not exclusively, consisting of conservatives, since they are the primary critics of the regime, and the regime casts their views as "anti-government or anti-authority" and/or rooted in "racial or ethnic animus."

This is a form of threat inflation all its own.

It manifests itself in Department of Homeland Security threat bulletins classifying dissenters from Covidian orthodoxy and skeptics of U.S. election integrity as dangers, right alongside those parents the FBI slapped a threat tag on merely for opposing woke local school boards.

Further evidence of threat inflation can be seen in the sheer length to which the government has apparently gone, beyond vague threat bulletins, to demonstrate the magnitude of the purported threat.

Consider law enforcement's apparent role in hatching the Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI) kidnapping plot in the run-up to the 2020 presidential election.

And then consider the feds' approach to the "Capitol breach"—federal parlance for an event routinely compared to 9/11 and Pearl Harbor. Set aside questions the Whitmer caper raises about what government assets might have been doing on the Capitol grounds on January 6, and why the government won't answer questions about it. The FBI director classified January 6 as a domestic terror attack. The Justice Department's Counterterrorism Section is involved in prosecuting cases. Prosecutors have, albeit unsuccessfully, sought a terrorism enhancement in sentencing for one of the accused.

But while authorities strained to make January 6 a murderous, armed insurrection, led by Mullah Trump, here's the reality: The sole individual killed that day was a protestor, shot by a U.S. Capitol Police officer. Not a single one of the eight weapons charges—out of hundreds of largely non-violent alleged offenses—concern arms brought into the Capitol. President Trump called for supporters to march there to "peacefully and patriotically" make their voices heard, during a speech delivered while Capitol grounds were already being breached, and had in the days prior called for thousands of National Guardsmen to be posted to D.C. The facts simply belie the narrative.

And that is the implicit argument Rep. Jordan's whistleblowers would seem to be revealing about the FBI's domestic counterterror focus, more broadly.

Would it stun us that a regime that redefines "recession," or "vaccination," would also redefine critics as domestic violent extremists and unrelated cases as DVEs, in pursuit of power?

The only thing that ought to stun us would be for our purported representatives to hold to account a Deep State lashing out in ever more destructive ways against regime critics.

Ben Weingarten is a senior fellow at the London Center for Policy Research, fellow at the Claremont Institute and senior contributor to The Federalist. He is the author of American Ingrate: Ilhan Omar and the Progressive-Islamist Takeover of the Democratic Party (Bombardier, 2020). Ben is the founder and CEO of ChangeUp Media LLC, a media consulting and production company. Subscribe to his newsletter at bit.ly/bhwnews, and follow him on Twitter: @bhweingarten.

The views expressed in this article are the writer's own.

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