Opinion

The left’s war on dissent

Tom Fitton President, Judicial Watch

The far left, led by the Obama administration, has declared a retroactive War on Dissent. Lest you have any doubts, consider this: Were Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, and Benjamin Franklin alive today, the Obama administration would label them “extremists” and ban them, at a minimum, from military service. According to a Defense Department training manual recently uncovered by Judicial Watch, our Founding Fathers, or as described by the Obama administration “colonists who sought to free themselves from British rule,” were “examples of extremist ideologies and movements.”

But, it doesn’t stop there. According to a “student guide” from the Defense Department’s Equal Opportunity Management Institute entitled “Extremism,” if you are an American who “talks of individual liberties, states’ rights, and how to make the world a better place,” you can join the Founding Fathers as enemies of the state.

If that sounds Orwellian, it’s not. It’s Obamian. And it’s not about some fictitious country called Oceana buried in the pages of some futuristic novel. It’s about the United States of America, here and now, where leftists ruthlessly, recklessly equate basic conservative values with terrorism.

The Pentagon training manual not only labels those who love their country “extremist,” it goes so far as to ban them from serving the country they love. The document notes that “active participation…with regard to extremist organizations is incompatible with military service and, is therefore prohibited.”  The emphasis, by the way, is in the original. So both the Founding Fathers and modern day Tea Party members would not be welcome in today’s military?

This craziness is not limited to the Department of Defense. If the Pentagon’s condemnation of those seeking to “make the world a better place” sounds disturbingly familiar, it’s with good reason. According to a document obtained by Fox News in May, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration discovered that when the IRS targeted Tea Parties in 2010 and 2011, it included groups focused on government spending, government debt, and, chillingly, ways to “make America a better place to live.”

Not so coincidentally, the IG also discovered that by 2012, the IRS had expanded its hit list to include organizations involved in “limiting/expanding government.” And if that sounds disturbingly familiar, think back to the Department of Homeland Security attack on “rightwing extremists” in April 2009. The real terrorists, according to DHS, were those who were “mainly antigovernment, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority.” Or, as the Pentagon training manual now warns, those who “talk of individual liberties, states’ rights.”

Of major concern is the fact that the Pentagon’s instruction manual references the radical leftwing Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) as its primary resource for identifying the “extremist” enemy: That’s right, the same SPLC that, on its website, depicts such mainstream conservative organizations as the Family Research Council, the American Family Association, Concerned Women for America, and Coral Ridge Ministries as “hate groups.”

To give you some idea of the dangerous ramifications of such scurrilous leftwing witch hunting, consider what occurred at the Family Research Council DC headquarters in the wake of the SPLC website’s war on dissent. When, in August 2012, a leftwing terrorist shot up the FRC offices, the organization’s president Tony Perkins accused the SPLC of sparking the attack, saying the shooter “was given a license to shoot … by organizations like the Southern Poverty Law Center.” And, in fact, the shooter himself told the FBI that he got the idea to attack the FRC from the SPLC website “hate map.”

The picture is perfectly clear – and it’s not very pretty: The left’s all-out war on dissent, now embodied by the Obama administration, stretches all the way from Philadelphia’s Independence Hall to the Department of Defense, with stops at DHS, and the IRS. And it seems to include those who “talk of individual liberties, states’ rights, and how to make the world a better place.”  If you share these conservative values, you, like the Founding Fathers, may consider yourself a patriotic American. But, be forewarned: the far left considers you unfit for military service and a potential terrorist.  As the media and Congress dance around the non-issues of the day, this pernicious effort to alienate our nation’s military from our populace is largely ignored.  This is dangerous development that warrants the attention of every honest American.

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton is author of the New York Times bestseller “The Corruption Chronicles” and executive producer of the documentary “District of Corruption.”