Terrorism and Terrorism by Association
Michael S. Rozeff
by Michael S. Rozeff: It's
misleading can a "news" article get? Try this
headline: "Federal Reserve bombing plot foiled in NYC". There
never was a plot to foil. There never was a plot independent of
the FBI to foil. The plot was of the FBI's own devising and instigation.
There never was an ongoing crime for the FBI to detect and stop.
counteract. To say something is foiled means there has been an action
to counter-act. What? Did the FBI counter-act its own action? We
should give the FBI credit for devising a plot and then stopping
its own plot? We should credit some inept terrorist for threatening
to make a touchdown when he couldn’t get beyond the five-yard line
without FBI counseling and guidance and without the FBI pointing
out the goal line and supplying the football?
The FBI simply
terminated a procedure to entrap some naive would-be bomber. The
FBI even helped him select his imaginary target. "FBI arrests dupe"
is more like it, or "FBI stings dupe", or "FBI concludes its bombing
sting with an arrest".
A sting operation
like this doesn't foil anything. It SETS UP someone for a fall.
It's an enhanced frame-up done with the FBI-encouraged participation
of the person framed. The FBI agents literally become criminals,
conspire as criminals, further the planned crime, and create the
crime. They should arrest themselves.
The plot makes
no sense as a terror plot. It makes sense, however, as both government
propaganda and as a smear of those non-violent persons who are pro-free
market money and anti-Federal Reserve.
negative from this plot and publicity is its propaganda value. It
keeps alive the myth that America is under constant terrorist threats.
It keeps alive the myth that massive resources must be allocated
to federal agencies to counter these threats. It keeps alive the
myth that the U.S. needs to remake the Muslim world in order to
keep America safe. It keeps alive the myth that Americans must abandon
the Bill of Rights or their natural rights in order to be secure
from these threats.
from this plot stems from the target being the Federal Reserve.
The FBI steered the would-be bomber to that target. This makes the
Federal Reserve into a victim, and victims arouse sympathy.
Many people will rally behind the Federal Reserve. This makes it
harder for critics of the Federal Reserve like Ron Paul to be heard
and make their case. They will be associated with terrorism. They
will be looked upon as to blame for motivating or spurring on or
influencing such terrorists. The distinction between violent acts
and non-violent acts of persuasion will be blurred, to the advantage
of the established forces and institutions like the FED. An attack
on the FED will be seen as an attack on the republic.
These are the
kinds of reasons and ideas why the FBI chose the Federal Reserve
as the bomber’s target, before pulling the plug on him.
The same kind
of guilt by association is occurring on a broader scale in the very
concept of "homegrown terrorism". What is the victim of
homegrown terrorism? If you guessed the government, you are correct,
as I shall show.
The word terror
comes from "great fear" or "dread". To terrorize
is to fill with fear and frighten. It is to fill with dread. "Terrible"
is a related term. The term "terror bombing" came first
in 1941 when German air forces attacked Rotterdam. Thereafter, the
Allied forces also used terror bombing.
How does one
transform the word "terror" into an anti-government act?
trick that the government and media use is to define or re-define
criminal acts as terror acts, according to the suspected motivations
of those who employ the violence. In this way, certain violent acts
are defined as terrorist acts, even if they are not acts
that cause great dread or fear and even if they are not designed
to fill with fear. Which violent acts? The ones that are anti-government.
Using this trick, many violent acts that are not meant to instill
terror can be defined as terrorism as long as they are violent acts
directed against the government. Anti-government violence is made
trick makes government the victim. Homegrown terrorism comes
to mean any violence directed at the government, with government
being the target and victim of the supposed terrorism.
The proof of
this is clear. Congress enshrined the term "homegrown terrorism"
in legislation in 2007 in the "Violent
Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007".
In that Act, it defined the term as follows:
term ‘homegrown terrorism’ means the use, planned use, or threatened
use of force or violence by a group or individual born, raised,
or based and operating primarily within the United States or any
possession of the United States to intimidate or coerce the United
States government, the civilian population of the United States,
or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social
the violence is directed first and foremost at "the United
States government" and next at the civilian population of that
government, and that there is a political or social objective. Homegrown
terrorism is, by Congressional definition, anti-government and anti-social.
the crime known as "homegrown terrorism", Congress used
the same trick as it did in defining "hate crime". That
definition occurs in Section 280003 of the "Violent
Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994":
– In this section, ‘hate crime’ means a crime in which the defendant
intentionally selects a victim, or in the case of a property crime,
the property that is the object of the crime, because of the actual
or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity,
gender, disability, or sexual orientation of any person."
What this definition
does is create a set of victimized groups, each of which then can
claim sympathy, can solidify, and can further its political aims.
Congress then can claim that it is acting on behalf of these groups
and deserves their votes.
A hate crime
is not a real crime in and of itself. It is not a crime recently
discovered in the pantheon of crimes requiring natural justice.
It is a politically-inspired crime in a political game. It piggybacks
on a real crime and takes it over as a hate crime, because of its
In the same
way, homegrown terrorism piggybacks on some violent crime and takes
it over as involving terror directed at government.
this rhetorical device, the government turns "homegrown terrorism"
into a term that the establishment powers and media then use to
scare and solidify Americans into being for the government and against
any and all anti-government sentiments and movements, even if they
are non-violent. By turning homegrown terrorism into an anti-government
term, Congress and the media impose rhetorical and conceptual collateral
damage on non-violent anti-government groups which are forced to
separate themselves from the violent anti-government types. It becomes
easier to brand all anti-government ideas as extremist or right-wing
This is the
same procedure that the FBI used by making the Federal Reserve a
target for their bomber-in-training.
Factiva (which covers 8,000 news and publication sources) for "homegrown
terrorism", I can find only two mentions of this term between
1965 and 1990. The term "homegrown terrorism" appeared
first in April of 1986 when the Washington Post used it in
regard to domestic anti-government groups in Europe and the Toronto
Star used it to describe Basque separatists in Spain. The Europeans
were experiencing violent attacks from groups like Red Army Faction,
Action Directe and Red Brigades. In 1991, there is another mention
regarding separatists in Spain.
Hence, at its
birth, the media already chose to apply the term "homegrown
terrorism" to violent anti-government groups. Congress later
adopted the term. This is not as strange or unusual as it may seem.
The media, after all, employ people who are wordsmiths. They promote
concepts and spread them, and they often conceive them. But it’s
also not at all unusual because the media (by this I mean the mainstream
media) are pro-government. The media have a very strong pro-government
bias. A huge part of their reporting is about government activity,
and government sources provide them with a huge amount of copy.
Liberal or conservative biases are at times relevant. But the key
continuing phenomenon that needs to be recognized and understood
is the media’s pro-government bias.
The early media
uses of the term "homegrown terrorism" already associated
anti-government groups with violent terrorism, whether they used
violence or not. If some person or group use violence, then as "terrorists",
they are branded with an added layer of guilt. This procedure is
analogous to charging a criminal with a "hate crime".
If they do not use violence, they are smeared by association. Someone
who is anti-government is placed in the company of violent criminals
or said to approve of them or potentially be one of them or said
to have inspired them.
The term "homegrown
terrorism" achieves guilt by association. More importantly
it achieves guilt by definition. Ron Paul becomes a terrorist by
In 1992, there
is a single mention of homegrown terrorism. The Boston Globe
used the term to cover street violence and drive-by shootings in
In 1993, there
is a single mention regarding Austria and a series of letter-bomb
attacks, thought to be caused by neo-Nazis with anti-foreigner sentiments.
It’s consistent with my hypothesis concerning the pro-government
press that the tabloid Taeglich Alles wrote of this:
there were no foreigners, the terrorists would find other outlets,
because their real target is the republic."
the article also contains a comment supporting my hypothesis that
non-violent groups get smeared by the violent acts of others. The
Greens deputy claimed he was punched after telling the Freedom
Party: ‘Do not be surprised when the seeds you sow bear fruit’."
In 1994, Factiva
turns up no uses of the term homegrown terrorism.
City bombing occurred in 1995, and there are 20 articles using the
term. The following year, there were 24 mentions, mostly about Oklahoma
City. Was this bombing anti-government? Yes. Was it violent? Yes?
Was it homegrown terrorism? No, it was not. It was homegrown, but
it was not terrorism. It was homegrown terrorism only if
one accepts the definition of Congress. Timothy McVeigh did not
aim to instill fear. He aimed
to strike a blow against a government that he thought had betrayed
the Constitution, that he viewed as treasonous, and that he thought
held domestic enemies. He regarded innocent lives lost as collateral
damage. He placed himself in the same position as a fighter pilot:
there is a hell, then I'll be in good company with a lot of fighter
pilots who also had to bomb innocents to win the war."
pipe bombing occurred in July of 1996. This was immediately tagged
as homegrown terrorism. Again, this was a homegrown, violent, anti-government
act, but it was not terrorism. The bomber was Eric Robert Rudolph
expressed in his 2005 statement was his anti-abortion position.
His goal was not at root to instill terror. It was to make an attempt
to end what he viewed as a holocaust arising from government policy.
His anti-government stance arose from his anti-abortion position.
purpose of the attack on July 27th was to confound, anger and
embarrass the Washington government in the eyes of the word for
its abominable sanctioning of abortion on demand."
In one article
bombing, there occurs this explanation of terror bombing:
aerial attack strategy of deliberately bombing and/or strafing
civilian targets in order to break the morale of an enemy, make
its civilian population panic, bend the enemy's political leadership
to the attacker's will, or to ‘punish’ an enemy, while strategic
in nature, is more correctly termed terror bombing."
of aerial terror bombing is equally appropriate for surface terror
bombing. Is a bombing deliberately aimed at civilian targets in
order to break morale, cause panic, inflict needless casualties,
so as to cause the enemy to give in? Or is a bombing aimed directly
at a target that is construed as a war target? Or is it both at
the same time?
If a bombing
or other violent act is to be understood, homegrown or not, domestic
or foreign, it should not be instantaneously branded as terrorism
or homegrown terrorism. This closes down thought. It prevents thinking
about the causes because if terror is thought to be the cause, then
what’s the point of any further understanding? Anti-government violence
is not automatically terrorism, as Congress and the media have promulgated
endlessly. The aims of the people initiating the violence are often
very far from the idea of breaking morale and causing panic.
Even as we
can find flaws in the thoughts of bombers that led them to their
murders or attempted murders, we have to acknowledge that they typically
have grievances that give rise to their aims. They are not simply
mad, bloodthirsty, or perverted serial killers. People who are violently
anti-government may have very good reasons for being anti-government
even if they have very poor reasons for launching the attacks they
another definition in the "Violent
Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007."
RADICALIZATION. – The term ‘violent radicalization’ means the
process of adopting or promoting an extremist belief system for
the purpose of facilitating ideologically based violence to advance
political, religious, or social change."
is a dangerous piece of language. Even though it singles out violence,
it at the same time singles out an indefinable and amorphous body
of thought known as "radical" thought. And the radical
thought is also labeled extremist. The radical thought can be almost
anything that advocates political, religious, or social change,
and these cover a great deal of ground. A great deal of thought
on LRC can easily be labeled as radical or extremist. It is only
a short step for some government authority to link such thought
to some violent action of someone who may have good reason to be
anti-government. Isn’t this possibility going to chill free speech?
Won’t this language intimidate? Isn’t this language meant to intimidate?
I realize that
Congress has inserted such language as this:
measure taken to prevent violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism,
and ideologically based violence and homegrown terrorism in the
United States should not violate the constitutional rights, civil
rights, or civil liberties of United States citizens or lawful
may comfort some, but they will also lull many. The record of Congress
is so bad on constitutional rights and civil liberties that these
words provide no assurance.
S. Rozeff [send him mail]
is a retired Professor of Finance living in East Amherst, New York.
He is the author of the free e-book Essays
on American Empire: Liberty vs. Domination and the free e-book
The U.S. Constitution
and Money: Corruption and Decline.
© 2012 by LewRockwell.com. Permission to reprint in whole or in
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