MIAC Hearing: Worse than we thought? Guilt by Association Until Proven Innocent & The DC Museum Shooter.
Government, Media, and Police Perceptions of State Intelligence Fusion
by Kevin L. Kobe
The following was written over the course of June 10-13, 2009
JUNE 10, 2009 | Jefferson City, Missouri
The Missouri House of Representatives special committee on state intelligence held its first hearing on the Missouri Information Analysis Center. After the recent actions discussing de-funding MIAC, The change of leadership at MIAC, and the politicians denouncing the Militia Report, we were to believe that the issues were understood and being addressed.
However, This committee hearing has opened my eyes that the Missouri Highway Patrol and members of the state house have no idea why their operations are dangerous and tyrannical. This three hour hearing went forward, beginning with some structural rules, followed by a slide show powerpoint on the operations of the MIAC. This slide show outlined how and when the MIAC was created, the agencies that utilize their services, and some of the cases where MIAC has provided successful information in solving crimes. One thing missing from this powerpoint was the hot button issue of Strategic Reports. The powerpoint was filled with examples of “Cattle Theft Intelligence” and the presentation even included a case where a website moderator contacted law enforcement, who then contacted MIAC, who then contacted Lee's Summit Police, who then contacted a school to verify a comment on a website where a child expressed concern about the possibility of his school being attacked. The concern turned out not to be an active plot.
One of the first comments that stood out in the minds of the patriots listening, was from Representative Viebrock. He mentioned “A revolutionary war mentality I'm hearing around the state that needs to be watched.” Shortly after, the questions turned to the Strategic Reports, and it seemed that the longer the discussion went on, the less ashamed the officers defending their organization appeared to be in relation to profiling citizens.
First Col. James Keathley was asked if MIAC still issues Strategic Reports. MIAC apparently is not currently issuing these, and they aren't looking to in the near future, with the current feelings about such reports.
Then the line of questioning turned to future reports. The possibility of future Strategic Reports is not ruled out, but again, are not currently being planned or worked on.
Continued testimony mentioned several times extreme cases of citizen violence on police or the public. Including the shooting of Dr. George Tiller 2 weeks ago, and the shootings at the National Holocaust Museum this very morning. The citing of these extremes as an excuse to “detect and analyze trends” would have been disturbing enough, but the case they really pushed was the shooting of a Missouri Law Enforcement Officer years ago by “A guy that possibly could have been identified by the rhetoric on his bumper stickers.” Questioning from the committee revealed a response that information should always have a criminal predicate.
The first of the public testimony was from LRP's own Catherine. She mentioned various flaws from federal funding, the use of federal agencies through state operations, the direct mention of the Federal Reserve and other “Government Criminals” and who is profiling and studying this criminal activity. She then asked the committee if the “Revolutionary mentality” frightened them more, or that the actions of government has placed people in the position where they feel they need to take that approach frightened them more. She asked about reports that much of the information in the Milita Report came from the Southern Poverty Law Center, a political based influential study group. She also brought up an interesting point on the timing of the creation. It was mentioned earlier that the Militia Report was started in June 2008, upon request (didn't mention who requested it), and compiled by an employee who they were keeping anonymous, an “Iraq Vet.” Catherine pointed out that May 31, 2008 was the state convention in which Ron Paul's state campaign was at odds with the established members of the Missouri Republican Party. Within a month, this document which directly names Ron Paul and Campaign For Liberty begins being drafted by the State, upon request?
The next citizen testimony came from a passionate man who was concerned with state family services and warned of the dangers of targeting those passionate against government intervention in the lives of individuals.
The next public testimony came from the Cole County Sheriff Greg White, Who described himself as an Iraq Veteran, pro-life and pro-second amendment. He advocated for the strategic reports to be reinstated as an active policy, mentioning the need for examining behaviors, and likened the practice to “School personnel studying bad behaviors to find out which students are problem children.”
The final testimony came from myself. I mentioned how nervous the buzzwords of the day had made me. I mentioned the dangers of profiling, The absurdity of comparing a free populous to school children to be studies and dealt with, and how talking about how bumper stickers can change the fight or flight response of a police officer during a public interaction is not always a good thing.
The following day, June 11, KY3 the NBC affiliate in Springfield, MO covered this hearing. They also have a “Political Notebook” blog in which they took segments of Catherine Bleish and Sheriff Greg White's testimony and “pitted” them against each other in all of their coverage. They also had a video of Governor Nixon requesting that the House members not read too much into the MIAC operations.
In this coverage, only the other police testimony is described, not the other citizens who testified against profiling. The testimony shown is shortened, and David Cantanese's twitter posts from the MIAC hearing, one which says “Ron Paul supporter on a diatribe” have conversations traced to a few individuals who are insulting the idea that we wouldn't agree with what police feel they need, one even repeating the guilt by association idea that the Holocaust Museum shooting showed the need to profile “All Fringe Groups”
The reason I bring this last point up, is not to associate KY3 or David Cantanese with those who follow and comment on his Twitter, but to show how guilt by association seems to be the name of the game now.
The night of June 12th, I managed to catch a report on CNN of “Lone Wolf Extremism” where Anderson Cooper and several “experts” were discussing racist extremist behavior. Statistics and reports from the Southern Poverty Law Center were being cited every few minutes. Every expert during the 20 minutes that I was watching came from either a racial diversity group or from a diversity department of a University. They even had a “former skinhead” who now worked under a diversity group. It was even mentioned that the current dislike for President Obama is fueling racist groups.
Since then, Glenn Beck has associated the Holocaust Museum Shooter with 9/11 protesters, without citing any source.
Keith Olbermann felt the need to mention that someone who worked on the Ron Paul Campaign lives in the same house as the person that the Holocaust Museum Shooter gave a website to.
And a CBS News blogger has written a report calling for “People who spread hate” to be “Rounded up” before “More Holocaust Museum Shootings” happen.
I am not going to be afraid of perceptions. Some will read this and say that I'm reading more into these things or tying random things together or taking things too personally. Let the facts be known in a manner that shows why I feel targeted by media, government, and the attempt to create public perception of hate:
Several media attempts are now being made to tie in grassroots political activists with racist extremism, without citing credible sources.
The MIAC Militia report mixes racist & extremist behaviors with things supported by grassroots political activism
Several attempts are being made to associate dislike for the President's policies with hatred and racism.
The MIAC report, even though the Highway Patrol says that there has to be a “Criminal Predicate” they still specifically listed by name the “End The Fed” rally that was organized by Liberty Restoration Project. If our speech is not being accused of being criminal then why weren't we contacted with information that criminals attended or planned to attend our rally? If we are being accused of being criminals, where is the evidence or the case against us? Or is Freedom and the restoration of Constitutional Principles now considered criminal? Also mentioned were supporters of presidential candidates, and we are not hearing any reports of criminal activity around Ron Paul, Chuck Baldwin, or Bob Barr. I also would like to know what the film “America: From Freedom to Fascism” has to do with crime.
Not a single person associated with MIAC has been able to answer the “Trends” and validity question with recent examples of extremism tied to the profile in the Militia Report. Every case so far, cited in the report and from members and supporters of MIAC happened years before the Ron Paul, Bob Barr, and Chuck Baldwin campaigns. Years before the release of “America: From Freedom to Fascism” and years before the “End the Fed” rallies. The Holocaust Museum and Dr. Tiller shootings happened after the release of the militia report. Why was there a need for this report in June 2008 when the Militia Report began or February 2009 when it was released?
If we create these organizations to examine and report on criminal trends, I would like to know which other “Trends” that have been reported on. In the Kansas City area our local government has installed several red light cameras because we had a problem with people running red lights. Where is the Red Light Running trend report? A few years back there was several news stories of women attacking pregnant women and cutting babies out of them. Has there been a report on these practices? How about a report on Teachers having sex with students, or religious leaders sexually assaulting children? These are all things we hear about as “Criminal Trends” in our society, are these groups being profiled? How about Governors? With what happened to Former Governor Elliot Spitzer of New York and Former Governor Rod Blagojevich of Illinois, and the recent accusations that Governor Jay Nixon's office was attempting to influence legislators' votes with career advancement opportunities show that Governors can be included in a “Criminal Trend Report”
Why is Governor Jay Nixon flip-flopping on this issue? First he supported the document fully, then he had nothing to do with it and blamed his predecessor, and dealt out punishment, and now he is coming out again asking us not to throw the baby out with the bathwater when it comes to our Highway Patrol profiling us?
Catherine asked in the hearing about Centralization in reference to Knowledge as Power. When the State and Local governments are collaborating with the Federal Government in a program that collects Intel on our state's citizens, is it a general good idea to give power on that level upwards in the chain? Is the Department of Homeland Security using the information gathered by local governments? If so, are they using it to database and compile profiles on whole segments of local populations, or profiles on innocent individuals?
The media and government commentary on “Hate crime” and “Hate speech” never define the terminology of these phrases. When they do discuss “Hate” they never make a calculated examination of what should be protected under the First Amendment and what should be watched and controlled. They appear to cast a wide net that seems to include all controversial speech that they do not agree with.
Cointelpro was a program spying on Civil Rights activists. It was profiling and intelligence. I did not agree when our government targeted these Civil Rights activists. While I agree with closing the borders, I did not agree with our government targeting Latinos that are already here. After 9/11 I did not agree with the wish of some to profile middle easterners and members of the Muslim religion.
One of the key backbones to our society is Innocence until proven guilty. Justice must remain blind. If you didn't agree when the media said that “anti-war supports terrorists” then please don't buy into the current feeling being portrayed that “conservative ideals and activism supports racists and extremism.”
If you live in Missouri, it is your duty to keep an eye out for the Missouri House of Representatives Website for the upcoming roaming committee town hall hearings on the MIAC center and try to make it to one near your area and defend free speech and the freedom to associate without being guilty by association.