The militarized police response to protests in Ferguson, Missouri has led Americans from all walks of life to question whether law enforcement agencies have gone too far in arming themselves and training as though the civilian population is an ever-present enemy.
Meanwhile, leaked documents from the Department of Homeland Security suggest that police militarization is only likely to increase as officials claim that they are planning for increased “anti-government violence over the next year.”
DHS’s seven-page report, “Domestic Violent Extremists Pose a Threat to Government Officials and Law Enforcement,” cites the standoff between the Feds and Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy as a “perceived victory at Bunkervile” for domestic extremism that will “likely prompt more violence.” DHS officials go on to cite the crimes of Jerad and Amanda Miller, who killed three people in Las Vegas after spending a brief time at Bundy’s ranch before being asked to leave, as more evidence of increasing extremism.
After years of only sporadic violence from violent domestic extremists motivated by anti-government ideologies, I&A has seen a spike within the past year in violence committed by militia extremists and lone offenders who hold violent anti-government beliefs. These groups and individuals recognize government authority but facilitate or engage in acts of violence due to their perception that the United States Government is tyrannical and oppressive, coupled to their belief that the government needs to be violently resisted or overthrown.
If the DHS report sounds familiar, it’s because it echoes the sentiments of a report produced earlier in the summer by the liberal Southern Poverty Law Center.
The organization argued in its executive summary:
For those harboring deep hatred of the federal government, the BLM pullout was seen as a dramatic victory, one instance where the armed radicals of the right stared through their own gunsights at the gun barrels of law enforcement officials and won. Rather than being condemned, their actions garnered the support of numerous politicians, including the governor of Nevada and commentators like Fox News’ Sean Hannity — a truly repulsive spectacle. This pandering to the far right by both politicians and media figures ended in a hurry, however, when Bundy engaged in racist blather about “the Negro.” Racism was crossing a line, apparently, but the calls from the ranch for revolution and outright defiance of federal law enforcement seemed to be just fine with the Hannitys of the world.