The FBI Director says “Antifa is a real thing”. What sort of thing? He says “We look at Antifa as more of an ideology or a movement than an organization.”
Wray’s explaining to a House panel what sort of investigations the FBI is carrying out. What comes across is that the FBI views antifa as one of a number of domestic threats, and one that’s disorganized and no worse than some others. Also coming across is that antifa doesn’t rise to the status of justifying a GENERAL “properly predicated domestic terrorism” investigation. In other words, the FBI has more important fish to fry than antifa viewed as an entity. The FBI is looking at INDIVIDUAL cases, but not at a general terror endeavor. His exact words:
“We look at Antifa as more of an ideology or a movement than an organization. To be clear, we do have quite a number of properly predicated domestic terrorism investigations into violent anarchist extremists, any number of whom self identify with the Antifa movement. And that’s part of this broader group of domestic violent extremists that I’m talking about, but it’s just one part of it. We also have racially motivated violent extremists … militia types, and others.”
This sounds like what a bureaucrat lacking spine would say. The idea is to cover one’s rear, not take sides and cover all the bases. But underneath, it reveals the leader of the FBI telling us that the FBI isn’t doing the job it’s supposed to be doing. Interstate crimes have been committed in mass amounts by highly organized antifa members, and this, according to Wray, provides no sound basis for even thinking of antifa as an organization.
Limiting its description to an “ideology” is clearly wrong. The members of antifa share an ideology, but that’s not all they share. They share a goal. They share the activism and action to riot. They communicate as to time and place. They share outfits and weaponry. They share transportation. They share preparation. They share battle tactics against police. They share targets. All of this is organized, and the FBI’s leader misdirects his own organization to view antifa in a limited way as an ideology or a movement. After seeing vast riots, he vastly underestimates the potential of antifa to disrupt all sorts of things across this country, including the elections. In fact, we can expect that antifa right now is planning further violent mass disruption activities.
A movement is an organization. According to one definition it’s “a group of diffusely organized people or organizations striving toward a common goal relating to human society or social change, or the organized activities of such a group.” Organized people form a movement. Antifa is decentralized and diffuse, forming cells, but the FBI’s failure to identify the coordinated leadership and resource sources doesn’t mean they do not exist.
Compare this explanation of a women’s movement. It involves properties that organizations typically display: resource inputs, funds dispersal, solidarity, advocating and networking. A movement is a decentralized or loosely structured organization. Wray is not going to investigate antifa properly because he’s making a useless distinction between movement and organization.
Wray is not placing enough resources into the investigation of antifa because he downplays it as an organization. He sees no central head or funding. Antifa doesn’t need a conventional structure, and it still can have a structure fit for violent and widespread activism. Doesn’t Wray understand that? Or is he feeding the House the usual bureaucratic pap as civil servants do?
Trump immediately repudiated Wray’s statement, but that statement already found its way into headlines all across the internet. And maybe that’s a good thing for Americans to realize that they have a spineless bureaucrat as FBI director, someone hiding behind useless procedures and protocols, as opposed to being a savvy tough law enforcer who cuts through the inertia of his plodding and rigid organization that doesn’t know how to handle a decentralized but organized threat like antifa.
According to one definition of organization, an organization unites a group of people to attain a shared goal. Antifa meets that criterion. Also, it has leaders who establish roles and responsibilities. The evidence for this is that members of antifa act in a coordinated way to band together against pre-selected targets at designated times, even if we do not observe the managerial structure. But there is also evidence from sources on the streets that during the riots antifa had security persons who control their perimeter and prevent infiltration, and they had prepared stacks of bricks in at least one case.
The FBI should be seeking the evidence that antifa is an organization. It should not be acting as if it’s just a bunch of self-selected thugs and vandals who just happen to coordinate themselves at various sites. Antifa is obviously using internet and phone means to coalesce at times and to control the movements of its members.
The FBI has a left-wing bias. For years, it has regarded the right-wing extremist groups as the prime domestic threat. The FBI acts as if it takes its cues from the Southern Poverty Law Center. Antifa has gotten a pass, partly because of its name. The FBI has tied up a lot of resources infiltrating and spying on these right-wing groups, and now it finds it very hard to shift its attention to where it should have been all along, which is groups like antifa and BLM. Thus, Wray persists in downplaying antifa and focusing on groups that were not responsible for riots in a very large number of American cities.8:57 am on September 19, 2020 Email Michael S. Rozeff