FBI: Peace Activism May Now Be Criminal

Rev Ted Pike & Harmony Daws – National Prayer Network December 20, 2010

Fourteen anti-war activists in Chicago recently felt the cold fingers of government control on Sept. 24 when they were subpoenaed and their homes invaded and property seized by the FBI. These “peace and justice activists, mothers and grandmothersare under grand jury investigation for allegedly giving “material support” to a foreign terrorist organization.

What does that mean? Daniel Kaplan, an intern in the American Friends Service Committee Middle East Program in Chicago, says,

Over the course of this fall, being on the side of peace and justice has gradually meant living in a state of fear. Since September, the FBI has subpoenaed and raided the homes of 19 activists seeking and end to violence in Palestine and Columbia. The rash of raids stems from a [US Supreme] court ruling this summer that redefines the charge of “material support to terrorism.” Before, material support meant supplying support in the form of finances, weaponry, intelligence, or combat training to political bodies defined by the state department as “terrorist organizations.”

Now “material support to terrorism” includes vocal support for such organizations or even advocating open communication with them. For activists in my community, this means that anyone who advocates negotiations with the government in Gaza could be charged with “material support to terrorism,” because Gaza is currently governed by Hamas.

Essentially, it is now a crime to promote direct reconciliation between Palestinian/Gaza organizations and Israel/the United States. The government has criminalized opinions that are not in line with our government’s foreign policy…

According to the Committee to Stop FBI Repression, the 14 activists’ personal belongings—including cell phones, papers and computers—are still under FBI confiscation. The federal law that criminalizes aid and comfort to a terrorist organization was upheld by the Supreme Court in June. “The court ruled 6-3… that the government may prohibit all forms of aid to designated terrorist groups, even if the support consists of training and advice about entirely peaceful and legal activities.” (Emphasis ours)

This means that no longer can Charlie Rose interview on PBS a member of Hamas (as he did this year). No longer can American peace activists, such as former President Jimmy Carter, send messages to Hamas urging compromise and reconciliation. Nor can an American Christian in the Mideast attempt to evangelize or even talk to a member of Hamas. It is now criminal to reason with a large number of the earth’s inhabitants who desperately need Christian faith and reason.

After the Supreme Court ruling, the Jewish Anti-Defamation League heralded the decision as a victory against terrorism. Actually, ADL was elated because it opened bolder possibilities for itself, as Israel’s PR representative, to broaden the definition of terrorism to include those who ideologically oppose America’s “ally in the war on terror.” Because moral and verbal opposition to Israel can be more damaging than financial or military contributions, ADL wants to make criticism of the Jewish state an act of sedition, punishable as a speech crime.

ADL, as well as its sister Jewish attack group, the Southern Poverty Law Center, offers multiple “anti-hate” programs to police and FBI. It schools them in ADL’s definitions and ideological responses to “hate criminals” and “domestic terrorists.” ADL has already described millions of anti-Obama critics as paranoid “conspirators.” (See, ADL Blasts ‘Paranoid’ Right: Are Millions of Anti-Obama Protestors ‘Conspirators?’) In its MIAC directive to Missouri State Police, ADL and SPLC described millions more as “potential domestic terrorists.” (See, Alex Jones’ “Secret State Police Report: Ron Paul, Bob Barr, Chuck Baldwin, Libertarians are Terrorists”) Just this month, SPLC smeared 18 Christian/conservative leadership organizations as hard-core “hate groups.” (See, SPLC Attacks 18 “Hateful” Christian Groups) How long will it be before the FBI considers “home-grown” terrorists as including Christian conservative “haters” – even criminalizing those who communicate with them?

ADL has enormous power within government agencies such as the US Justice Department, Department of Homeland Security, and the FBI. During the Clinton administration, Att. Gen. Janet Reno instructed FBI head Bill Sessions to forge an unbreakable bond of cooperation and information sharing with ADL. According to ADL, their “Hate Crime Working Group Model” has been installed in every state attorney general’s office. Hate crime working groups collect “statistics” and educate law enforcers and society. An example of this is the Judao-protective Knoxville “trunk” which contains a noose, a Star of David and symbols of the Holocaust as part of its show-and-tell tool kit. Fifty-six European nations have modeled their response to hate crimes on ADL’s working groups, definitions and curricula for legal response.

ADL’s site quotes FBI director Louis J. Freeh in 2000,

Let me again thank the Leadership (“ADL”) . . . for giving the FBI the kind support and insight and direction in some cases that have enabled us not only to do our job with respect to counter-terrorism, but to really bring home to the United States the dedication to the principles of the ADL, which resonate not just in civil rights cases, but also in human rights cases, and how important that guidance and inspiration have been to use now for many, many years.

Even if Obama is lukewarm toward support of Israel, ADL is so entrenched within the FBI, Justice Department and police that arrests of peace activists who criticize Israel, or communicate with its enemies, are unsurprising. Stated simply, as it now subpoenas critics of Israel, the FBI is actually facilitating ADL’s pro-Israel directives. Aggressively mixing synagogue with state, ADL makes use of federal and state agencies to pursue its anti-free-speech agenda. We can be sure that, as more proscribed “terrorist” groups are added to the State Department list, ADL’s Department of Global Anti-Semitism in the US State Department will continue to play a pivotal role in deciding who is on that list. (See, The Real Motive Behind the “Department of Global Anti-Semitism”)

This week, 131 veterans and anti-war protesters were arrested outside the White House for civil disobedience. Journalist Chris Hedges gave a moving speech as Iraq war veterans quietly told a cameraman that they can no longer live silently with themselves for what they did. Hedges said with slow eloquence, “ Hope never makes sense. Hope is weak, unorganized and absurd. Hope, which is always nonviolent, exposes in its powerlessness, the lies, fraud and coercion employed by the state. Hope knows that an injustice visited on our neighbor is an injustice visited on all of us.”

What We Must Do

Unless every American of every political and religious persuasion protests, it will not just be Holocaust reductionists like Ernst Zundel, Germar Rudolph and Frederick Toben who will be quietly extradited and imprisoned for questioning Holocaust reality as defined by Israel and ADL. Instead, it will be students, professors, clergy and average Americans who will disappear from their homes, incarcerated for criticizing Israel and its version of Mideast reality. Daniel Kaplan encourages us to immediately call US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald in Chicago: “Call 312-353-5300, dial 0 for operator, and ask to leave a message with the Duty Clerk (paralegal). Don’t just allow the FBI to get away with this.”

An important part of conditioning societies to accept totalitarianism is to first shock them with unprecedented attacks on freedom, exactly as the FBI is now doing. Then, repeat the shocks until gradually a numbed citizenry accepts the police state, convinced there is nothing else to do. Remain shockable! Speak out now in criticism, not only of the FBI but of the puppet master behind hate and speech crime enforcement, ADL.

Unless ADL continues to be exposed, it will relentlessly move forward to criminalize not only “anti-Semitic” critics of Israel but also “anti-Semitic” Christians who accept the New Testament teaching that the Jews had Christ killed. (See, The Real Motive Behind the ‘Department of Global Anti-Semitism’) Tragically, the very evangelicals who occupy the crosshairs of ADL’s malevolence may actually be pleased that those who “curse” Israel (by criticizing her and encouraging dialogue with Palestinians) are now facing arrest. Plagued with political and theological short-sightedness, evangelicals and their media can’t be counted on to even mention the FBI threat, much less oppose it.

It’s up to the rest of us, Christian or not, both left and right, to protest loudly and unceasingly. Otherwise, all who share the “crime” of wanting to think and speak for themselves will go to prison together. 

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Harmony Daws is a writer for National Prayer Network. To greater understand the illogic behind hate laws, read her article “Top Eleven Reasons You Should Fight Hate Laws.”

Rev. Ted Pike is director of the National Prayer Network, a Christian/conservative watchdog organization. 

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