Under Federal Criteria Memory Hole’s “Preoccupation With Press Coverage of Terrorist Attacks” May Constitute “Dangerous Speech”

Thomas S. Neuberger
The Rutherford Institute
(April 7, 2016)

In July 2015, I reported on and analyzed the FBI’s Communities Against Terrorism Program and concluded that it made every adult citizen a terrorism suspect. In January 2016, the FBI announced that it wants to make every high school teacher, administrator and student in America a spy to report to it or local State police suspicious words or activity by any FBI-ShadedSealteenager attending our schools. The FBI was not satisfied with its 2012 Communities Against Terrorism Program which asks our neighbors to read any of 25 widely circulated posters and then to report us if we act in certain suspicious ways. Now the FBI has widened its net to over 15 million teenagers in our high schools.

As I explained previously, the dangerous speech which the FBI wanted our neighbors to report included, for example, (1) posting anti-government or environmental slogans, banners, or signs that imply violence; (2) spraying anti-government graffiti; (3) downloading material of an extreme or radical nature with violent themes, or preoccupation with press coverage of terrorist attacks; (4) making unusual anti‑U.S. comments; or (5) making extreme racist or religious statements coupled with sentiments which appear to condone violence. As can be seen from this list of overbroad, vague and legally protected activities or speech which the FBI claims are red flags for terrorism, the FBI has little concern for our Bill of Rights, such as the right to speak freely or to read what we want.[Emphasis added.-Ed.]

And now, with a little sugar coating and Orwellian new speak, there is a dire warning that without this new program a student out there may detonate a “weapon of mass destruction” on all of us. So in January the FBI went after all our high school students when it issued its Preventing Violent Extremism In Schools Guidelines. Specifically, the FBI wants its spies to report any “statements or actions” which “cause concern.” “Schools should focus on a student’s behaviors and communications,” such as supporting “domestic extremist movements,” international terrorist organizations or hate crimes.

Within its category of “domestic terrorists,” the FBI identifies several violent extremism movements, “including but not limited to animal rights and eco‑terrorists, and anti‑government or radical separatist groups.” There it is again, “anti-government” speech, just like in the widely circulated FBI posters. The FBI puts such domestic groups right up there with ISIS and Al Qa’ida, as those who “decry western policies” or mistrust the government. Indeed, the FBI also identifies as needing watching teenagers with unacceptable “religious or cultural biases” after being raised in families outside the mainstream of society.

FBI “Communities Against Terrorism” Suspicious Activity Reporting Flyer, Source: PublicIntelligence.net

Now to keep a classmate from eventually using that ever useful propaganda tool known as a “weapon of mass destruction,” what will your average non-lawyer teachers do when “anti-government” words come out of the mouth of a student who opposes an oil pipeline or wants to “save the whales”? Call the FBI, of course. Will they err on the side of safety or let youthful exuberance slide?

The core problem here is that “the FBI defines violent extremism as encouraging, condoning, justifying, or supporting the commission of a violent act to achieve political, ideological, religious, social or economic goals.” But its premise is wrong that suspicious comments against government or vague or cryptic warnings that suggest or appear to endorse the use of violence in support of a cause are grounds to consider someone a potential terrorist. Remember Patrick Henry’s Revolutionary War cry – “Give me liberty or give me death.” If ever there was a statement endorsing violence, this is it, but he was a patriot. And I emphasize that the Supreme Court has ruled repeatedly that government, and this includes the FBI, cannot “forbid or prescribe advocacy of the use of force or of law violation except where such advocacy is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action.” Brandenburg v. Ohio (1969). So reporting students for “encouraging, supporting or justifying” violence as a means to social goals is clearly illegal. In a classic case, this must lead to the investigation of students reading about or discussing revolution, Marxism, Communism or whatever failed doctrine is still out there, even the radical theories behind the American Revolution in 1776 or the French Revolution a few years later.

Writing for the Rutherford Institute, constitutional attorney John W. Whitehead has pointed out the conflict here with our own early history: “Try suggesting, as Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin did, that Americans should not only take up arms but be prepared to shed blood in order to protect their liberties, and you might find yourself placed on a terrorist watch list and vulnerable to being rounded up by government agents,” he notes. Declared Jefferson, “What country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance. Let them take arms.” Observed Franklin, “Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well‑armed lamb contesting the vote!” So what if a well-read student suggests in class, as Thomas Paine, Marquis de Lafayette, and John Adams did, that Americans should, if necessary, defend themselves against the government if it violates their rights. He or she may be labeled a domestic extremist for such “anti-government” sentiments.

So if our public, private or religious schools anywhere in the United States give in and spy on over 15 million students, do the new Guidelines say anything about protecting the freedoms our fathers in World War II died to preserve? Buried in 28 pages we do find a paragraph containing a long mouthful of legalese which claims to recognize the “difference between protected speech and illegal incitement” and concedes that “espousing anti‑U.S. sentiment or extremist rhetoric is not a crime.” Educators are advised that “the issue is not if the individual voiced his/her support, but rather has advocated imminent violence in support of an extremist organization and that violence is likely to occur as a result.” For example, students consuming “violent propaganda” may result “in a strengthening of beliefs and aid development of radical views or a willingness to use violence in support of an ideology.” Again, what will a non-lawyer administrator do in light of these long equivocating statements and the possible threat of mass destruction? He or she will err on the side of safety which, I expect, is the real purpose behind the FBI’s Guidelines.

And this will take us one step further down the road to a police state with our neighbors, teachers and others monitoring our thoughts, speech and communications for disfavored ideas. And then there will be the knock at the door demanding to question our son or daughter because someone has turned them in to have their thoughts, tweets, Facebook posts, reading material or speech reviewed before federal or local police.

The FBI is making us into a nation of spies and informers at the cost of our heritage and freedoms. It is behaving as the feared Stasi in Communist East Germany, the secret police in Stalin’s Soviet Russia, or Hitler’s dreaded Gestapo, turning every neighbor into a spy on the other. For the FBI most of us incorrectly fit the bill as extremists or terrorists. But again, recall our Colonial ancestor Patrick Henry, who argued about the value of potential violence in 1788, “Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined.” The FBI wants to question every student voicing similar sentiments.

That is plainly un-American and should not be permitted in any public, private or religious school.

Thomas S. Neuberger is an author and a civil liberties attorney.

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45 thought on “All Our Children Are Now FBI Terrorism Suspects”
  1. This clearly demonstrates that our government has become the enemy of the citizens of the United States,This is a criminal enterprise that is guilty of State Sponsored Terrorism, 9/11, shooting hoaxes (Sandy Hook, Boston, San Bernadino, Orlando),
    our Media is no longer investigative reporting, they are guilty of RICO CRIMES in as much as they have become the propaganda arm of these criminals, they are staging these False-Flag frauds and they are culpable, as are all the crisis actors who did this for a gold shekel,
    our country has been conquered from within,
    the International Jewish Banking Cartel took control of our money in 1913 and they control our Congress today,
    The Federal criminals in DC are planning to give the Israelis $40,000,000,000 in aid this month!
    It is time to abolish the criminal two-party system and restore our Constitution, and put these traitors in Guantanamo

  2. Criticizing the government is terrorism? Ridiculous. To quote their old saw, “Why be afraid if you don’t have anything to hide …”

    Off topic, but a good video shows the actors in Orlando preparing for their interviews at a Subway close to the Pulse. Looking pretty happy for people who have been traumatized. At the 6:21 mark or so:


    1. I think we need to start a thread on the zaniest phrases that are coming out of the mouths of these crisis actors/CIA handlers (as I think this one, CHRIS ENZO is, as you watch him coach the other crisis actors on their lines in another video),

      here’s my entry into the crisis actors competition for the most ridiculous abuse of the English language:



  3. these lib-loons are really getting serious about blocking free speech. I just read about the little recently gang raped (idaho?) girl by several illegal immigrant mooslim boys who then peed in her mouth. one was actually given high 5’s by his ‘father’. the state a.g. and the fed. a.g. are both turning flips trying to cover it up. warning people who try speaking out about this abomination. then I saw another one, then another and …
    these type activities are being cover up in several states as well as in Europe.
    looks to me like the rhetoric and atrocities are accelerating as our betters realize the American people are now wide awake, except for the mentally dull ones who always vote based on skin color or religion or gender. what was it that great man said? oh yeah, something about ‘the stupid you will always have with you’?

      1. This happened to me a few weeks ago Mary. I posted one vid but another showed up and that one changed again. No telling how many times it changed. Musical vids./

  4. Not only are our children now terrorism suspects, they are also being systematically terrorized themselves by the “active shooter” drills perpetrated in the schools, with surprise lock-downs, “law enforcement officers” shooting at them with AR-15 type semi-automatic rifles, and the students required to fall “dead” on the floor. Time to home-school, if you aren’t doing so already…

    Much horrifying footage in this video:


  5. Newtown Police leave their jurisdiction, drive their own vehicle, don’t wear police uniforms to threaten a blogger who phoned Newtown lawyer Monte Frank. If Frank is being partly paid by tax dollars, why would he sic his two pitbulls on someone who contacted him?

    Frank’s offices are in Danbury and Bridgeport. According to the guy who posted this, they drove across the state to accost him.


    1. Well this guy was a little low-brow the way he talked to these clowns but it does demonstrate that the police are acting as goons,
      no law about calling someone, but I must wonder if he made a harassing call the way he talks here,
      I understand the inclination but when facing authorities you simply must take the high ground in the manner that you respond to them, or you give them the advantage

      1. Yep, though I love to see people confront them like this, and they are clearly in the wrong coming to this guy’s house because he made a phone call to Monte “The Sissy” Franks, it scares me. The police have been given a completely unconstitutional license to invade anyone’s private property they choose to, threaten them, search them, arrest them, and even shoot them. The citizens have had their rights removed from them, and if these officers pulled out a gun and shot this guy, there’s not a judge in this country that would indict them; they would simply claim that he threatened them. It’s sad that our country has come to this, but it is true. I don’t want to be a coward, but…….I don’t know…….

      1. Ray, We’ll never be able to prosecute these thugs for acting like the mob and operating under color of law BUT we can certainly turm them in for the Tinted Windows.

        Thats a $250.00 Fine here in Los Angeles…hahaha

        That was Great!

  6. I’m sure the “Global Anti-Semitism Review Act of 2004” would fit this agenda. I tried to post the link not too long ago but it never got posted so I won’t try again.

  7. Does it mean anything that this business tax invoice for Pulse Nightclub was submitted the day before the shooting?


    Pulse registration expired at the end of 2013.


    There was another website that gave the seating capacity as 60. There are about 11 parking spaces. Where did these 300 people park? What would the Fire Marshall say about that many people being sardined in. There were additional exits that people would have to pass to get into the washrooms. They had the hiding in the washroom theme at Sandy Hook, too, with Kaitlyn Roig stuffing 15 students and herself into a bathroom. They need new scriptwriters!

    This person on Facebook has done a great job researching the Pulse, licences and other legalities. She has copyrighted her work, however, so if you are not on Facebook, you won’t be able to read this.


  8. Making USUAL “anti-U.S. comments” is fine, but “unusual” (viz. creativity) will be penalized 🙂 great job, FBI! Way to protect us from ourselves! I’ll sleep a lot better tonight knowing that no innovative free speech will go unpersecuted. Pathetic… –Paul

  9. I would add…Preventing Violent Extremism by definition demarcates another area: nonviolent extremism. [Which is exactly what all of us are.]

    Therefore, the only acceptable disposition is measured, beige, vanilla speech/life. Big fan of the Dallas Cowboys or New York Yankees? Then you might be a sports extremist. A fan (short for fanatic).

    Like cigars? Like art museums? You might be an aficionado. Shame on you for having interests!

    Have a favorite TV show? Ever watch more than one episode at a time? Then you are (perhaps unknowingly) engaging in nonviolent extremism. Your enthusiasm must be squashed at all costs.

    Thank God for the FBI!!!


  10. An instructive Wikipedia page [i know I know] is List of cognitive biases. What one pretty quickly realizes after combing through this interminable litany is that EVERYTHING is a bias. Every little action. Each word.

    This is because people are being compared to machines. Contrasting humans with machines allows for an endless list which points to the fallibility of humanity. The opposites of biases (which are continually being marginalized by AI computers/machines) are rarely highlighted for the rigidities which typify them.

    This also parallels the mental health diagnosis explosion which posits that EVERYTHING is a personality disorder.

    In fact, I’m guessing that if your personality is TOO ORDERED (?), then that too is a disorder. See how that works?

    Kinda like “the law”. So much is illegal that it is only the prosecutorial discretion of your masters (those “above” you) which is keeping you out of jail/legal trouble.

    Who could possibly find problems with such a perfect system?


  11. There should be plenty of fodder for the FBI after BREXIT. Trump supporter? Then you are opposing globalism from the right (whether you know it or not). Read anything from the Centre for Research on Globalization (in Canada)? Then you are opposing globalism from the left (even if you believe yourself to be merely “researching”).

    Opposing globalism is the ultimate sin in academia.

    But there is more than one globalism. There is natural globalism (a product of technology) and unnatural globalism (a product of supranational policy…particularly keen on erasing national sovereignty…or even better, proclaiming its demise a fait accompli with ubiquitous condescension).

    There’s a big difference.

    If you agree with the wisdom of BREXIT (as I do), then you are throwing your lot in with the “old, uneducated, provincial” voters of Britain.

    For the pollsters cited by PBS and others (concerning the demographics of the Leave voters), are you as sure about their identities as you were sure that Remain would prevail? Which is to say, maybe they are not as old and uneducated (or at least unwise) as you make them out to be.



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