Sunday, June 21, 2015

Implications of FBI “Not Terrorism” Position

FBI Director James Comey is stating that according to his national policing agency the heinous act of the Charleston Church killer Dylann Roof was not an act of terrorism: 

He states:
“Terrorism is act of violence done or threatens to in order to try to influence a public body or citizenry so it’s more of a political act and again based on what I know so more I don’t see it as a political act.”

The following is the generally accepted government definition of terrorism:
“The unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof in furtherance of political or social objectives.”

This statement from the FBI Director, comes out just as reports are revealed across the news services detailing the racist manifesto, including a myriad of politically racist goals and aims of the racist killer Roof:
Roof has reportedly admitted that he was intending to ignite a race war.  He told one of his victims that he was letting her live so she can pass a message on to the world.  He told her: “'I have to do it. . . . you're taking over our country. And you have to go.”

So even though he openly expressed his racist goals to one of the victims that survived – clearly an “unlawful use of force against  persons”, an attempt to “coerce the civilian population, or any segment there of,” in this case the entire Black population of the USA, “in furtherance of political or social objectives (‘you have to go.)” - not terrorism? What is this head G-man thinking?

When an FBI Director says "It's not terrorism" - it is not just some Facebook user ranting in comments under a link - it is a top level law enforcement official that reports to the Director of National Intelligence who reports directly to the president staking out an official position of the national police force that defines the policies, resource allocation and direction of the investigations that will move forward.

There is no doubt in my mind that the FBI’s prepared statements were vetted with his boss, Director of Intelligence James R. Clapper who in turn vetted it with President Obama himself.  There are clearly strategic and legal reasons why the US government and the Obama Administration, through the FBI Director, is taking this position.  I would suggest the following are some of the reasons:
1. Admitting that it is terrorism points out the failure of the FBI of preventing this heinous act with all of the allocated counter terrorism resources.   It would be admitting total and abject failure of the FBI and the Obama Administration’s focus on the “war on terror.”  With all the billions expended and agencies amassed, all the weaponry and the war making, all the draconian NSA spying – they could not find this killer’s website where he was openly planning a massacre.  Admitting that this was an act of terror would be a tacit admission of total failure of the war on terror.
3. The FBI is likely utilizing the white supremacy networks for various operations and any counter terrorism investigation into the networks would reveal the FBI hand in the infiltration, manipulation and likely criminal acts.  Channeling an investigation into terror potential of the white racist networks would possibly reveal an FBI hand in the creation and promotion of such organizations and possibly in encouraging violence by them,

Clearly the actions of this racist killer affects the Black citizenry by striking mortal fear in each and every one that this can happen at any time - even at, during or after a religious service or study in the supposed sanctuary of one's church and reintroduces the understandable distrust that Black people have of white men and women. It's affect is profound and pervasive and for someone in this national position of leadership to stake out this position demonstrates that the US clearly has no intention of rooting out this domestic terrorist threat against the Black population of this nation.

That is why the best response we have is to continue to build and organize the "Black Lives Matter" movement.

Recent article on how police impunity might have contributed to this act of terror:

Meanwhile let's continue to build the Million People's March Against Police Brutality - it is clear the FBI is not going to stop the racist killings by police either:

The following are some of the comments coming in from social networking on these talking points:

" Racist terror is the mainstay of white supremacy and colonialism/capitalism. "Terrorism" is a political propaganda term reserved for anti-imperial violence and is never used to refer to either state or racist/right terror directed against people of color. The media are simply corporate controlled mechanisms for disseminating propaganda, salted with a few op eds to cover the odor." offers Michael Novick, editor at Turning the Tide: Journal of Anti-Racist Action.

"If this heinous act doesn't fit the current legal definition of 'domestic terrorism' then the law needs to be changed! This guy committed this act with the intention to not only hurt but strike fear into the hearts of Americans, especially black Americans, so I can't think of any label more fitting than terrorism," states Michelle Dubell a Camden, NJ area activist.

“The head of the fbi should know what terrorism is and isn't. he heads a terrorist organization himself.” From Emma Rosenthal, an activist from the west coast.

"Of course it was terrorism. As is Obama's drone program. Textbook terrorism, both cases, individual and state terror,"  states Nsumi Jerzy-Kulczycki of NYC.

One activist begged to differ with this comment:
"The FBI defines terrorism as "The unlawful use of force and violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives." What political or social objectives were furthered by this lone massacre that has no support?"

Responding to that critique:

Saying it has no support - is not the point - and an unproven supposition any way. It clearly coerced the Black population which is now fearsome of additional attacks, angered, frustrated. Are some in the Black communities considering a physical response? Very possible which would move toward the killer's goal of race war.

Just because there has been a couple of blog articles with a few quotes from white supremacists bemoaning the attack - that does not represent an exhaustive probe into the white supremacist psyche and prove that there are no other killer wannabe's who - like Roof - are prone toward a similar attack. Certainly there is no proof whatsoever that there is no support - only a couple of blog articles about some right wing quotes crtiical of Roof's action.

Even that so many politicians are making racist remarks about the Confed flag and about this attack not being racially motivated is a political result of the attack - pointing up to its success in further generating racism - and I would say one step further - the FBI refusing to use counter terrorism resources (which is what the director's statement amounts to ) to investigate the action and the white supremacist networks is itself a racist result consistent with the racist goals of the action.

And now this - apparently Roof's message is gaining some political support:  .

Thursday, June 18, 2015

When Black Lives Don’t Really Matter in the USA . . . This is Where it Leads

Politicians, preachers and others are trying to exploit the slaughter by a young white racist terrorist of 9 worshippers at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, in North Carolina including the Rev. Clementa C. Pinckney, the church pastor who is also a state senator there in North Carolina.  They are trying to steer the discussion away from the subject of race and saying  that it was an attack on the Christian faith – and somehow had nothing to do with race.

It *IS* about race . . . and not only that . . . it *IS* because in the USA - as we see over and over - BLACK LIVES REALLY DONT MATTER - the system makes that clear and a racist whose father gives him a gun for his 21st birthday takes it to the next level.

The guy wears racist emblems on his jacket, brags about connections to racist groups, makes racist jokes, tells the victims he is shooting them for racist reasons - then these white politicians and preachers say "its not about race."

In recent months it has been made abundantly clear that in the eyes of the “powers that be” – Black Lives – really don’t matter.  In case after case, many caught on video and broadcast repeatedly on new sites and television, unarmed Black men and women are gunned down and beaten down by police, in one case mauled by a police dog . . . and police are protected from questioning, release of information is delayed, investigations move along at snail’s pace, waiting for community outrage to lose some steam, and then results are announced: no indictment, not guilty, no charges, police just doing their job.

The message?  Black Lives really don’t matter in the USA.  That plants a seed.   Impressionable minds, perhaps raised up with a racist American subculture, watching cops get off for killing unarmed Black men and women, over and over . . . cops that are held up as the heroes of society to be venerated (like soldiers also are venerated) are being molded.

Meanwhile, sectors of the Black communities across the USA “ain’t having it.”  The Black Lives Matter grass roots movement is exploring strategies and tactics to attempt to demand justice, stepping outside of established barriers of normal protest (permitted march on a weekend around empty buildings) and political expression (like pouring political capital into the Democratic Party that  proves itself ineffective in representing the concerns of Black Lives Matter) and disrupting traffic, commerce, seeping into the expression of high school students in the classrooms . . . 

All of this is making a certain sector of white America nervous – a sector that supports mass incarceration and likes to know that such a large percentage of Blacks are incarcerated or on the verge of being incarcerated, a sector that parrots the police line of defense every time they blow away another unarmed Black man or woman, a sector that believes they are truly entitled to their more comfortable lot in life and truly believes that those who are barely surviving or not even deserve their plight because they do not work as hard (or some other pablum) . . . they are nervous that part of the super oppressed Black population of the United States is becoming restive.
The killer made allusion of this fear in the quote: “'I have to do it. . . . you're taking over our country. And you have to go.”

Whenever there is a mass shooting there are theories of what made the killer think: violent video games, violent themed music, violence in television and movies . . . 

Well how about this theory.  This is obviously a racist mass murder – the killer’s roommate even says the killer had been planning it for 6 months.  Across the country police are blowing away and otherwise beating and killing unarmed Black Men and Women and even children and they are getting away with it.  The justice department, the prosecutors, the judges, the political representatives, the two dominant political parties justify the ongoing blood spill.  Meanwhile as much as politicians and everybody else says we have too many prisoners and we need to do something about it – nothing is being done and the police continue to enforce laws that criminalize poverty and the impoverished and round up thousands of mostly Black and Brown and almost exclusively impoverished into the mass incarceration facilities.

Maybe the fact that in the United States the powers that be make it clear that Black Lives Don’t Matter in their view triggered this racist youth – after his daddy bought him his gun for his 21st birthday – to pump bullets into the bodies of 9 Black worshippers. 

The only hope is for the Black Lives Matter movement to continue to organize and thrive and develop into a sophisticated unbought movement – to gain justice for the victims, to be the kind of force organized and united and in motion that the powers that be have to be careful about and have to address in actuality – not with superficial reforms that leave the system of impunity intact – but with actual justice . . . NO JUSTICE NO PEACE!  #BLACKLIVESMATTER !

In NJ . . . we can struggle in this direction by organizing for the most massive march possible on Saturday, July 25 in Newark - the Million Peoples March Against Police Brutality: