January 6 was a day that will live on in infamy, an unparalleled assault on the precious vital organs of our exceptional democracy that this great nation is still reeling to recover from, or at least so I’m told. According to the mainstream media and heavy hitters in both parties, this thing was worse than 9/11, Pearl Harbor, and Showgirls rolled together. I’m sorry dearest motherfuckers, believe it or not, I’m really not trying to be a contrarian bitch here, but I just don’t see it. From where I was sitting, the whole shit-show looked more like a glorified soccer riot for pissed-off diabetic boomers than any kind of coordinated assault on what passes for democracy in this shithole country. A weird grab bag of QAnon imbeciles, Proud Boy informants, and Archie Bunker armchair racists got all hopped up on the insane rhetoric of their one-term demagogue and stormed the Capitol without a game plan that amounted to much more than fuck-stuff-up-for-Donald!
Our heroes in the Capitol Hill Police, with a few over publicized exceptions, did everything but hold the door open for these out-of-breath hooligans and the majority of the fatalities were caused by the unruly horde’s own stampede. The only clear cut homicide was an unarmed woman shot by a cop. Even the FBI, who never misses an opportunity to scare the public into approving more funding for another boondoggle, conceded that this clusterfuck was an unplanned fiasco, and considering that the Proud Boys are basically on loan to the Bureau, they oughta know.
All being said, the whole ordeal was more of a humiliating spectacle that showed the country how flimsy state power truly is than any kind of white power coup d’etat. But the imagery of weekend militiamen aimlessly stalking the halls of power played perfectly into a dream that the newly elected president, Joe Biden, coddled well before dementia rendered him a babbling nincompoop. A dream that formed the foundation for the Patriot Act. A dream to use the threat of the radical right in this country as a convenient excuse to bring the War On Terror home. The notion of domesticating America’s horrific foreign policy should be terrifying enough even if the universally loathsome neo-Nazi’s of this nation were the real target. But the published White House Strategy for Countering Domestic Terrorism, which Biden tasked his National Security Council with authoring a week after January 6, has made it startlingly clear that this is not the case.
The document, released in June, doesn’t just single out the far right but casts a disturbingly wide net for its potential targets to include everything from animal rights activists to the dangerously broad scourge known simply as “anti-government extremists.” Perhaps even more startling is the Department of Homeland Security’s related Center for Countering Domestic Extremists, which has announced its ominously vague intention to “deradicalize” suspected thought criminals like you and me before we even become terrorists by using the Rhodes Scholars in local law enforcement along with mental health services to surveil those deemed to be socially isolated or mentally ill.
Lets call this what it is, a federal booster shot for America’s already bloated police state, and judging by this white supremacist institution’s track record, the real targets will never be the Blue Lives Matter Mafia that made up the mob on January 6. Like always, the true targets of government domestic warfare will be the groups that pose the greatest threat to its malignant power; pissed off people of color and their radical white allies. I know this because I’ve heard this story a few times before and it always has the same ending.
Communism was J. Edgar Hoover’s excuse to the suits in Washington for his counter-insurgency program, Cointelpro, and he picked the perfect scapegoat for the height of the Cold War. But communism was always a secondary target at best for Hoover, a renowned white supremacist in his own right. Hoover’s number one target was always the Civil Rights Movement and its more militant progeny in Black Power. Over two decades, that lumpy old sack of bastard launched a covert total war against everyone from the Freedom Riders to the Black Panther Party.
The FBI tapped phones, planted evidence, and locked up peace-loving radicals for decades on phony charges. They attempted to blackmail Martin Luther King into committing suicide with evidence of his infidelities and actively fomented violence within radical organizations leading to the deaths of promising voices for revolutionary change like Bunchy Carter and Malcolm X. By the end of the sixties they were terrorizing movements as diverse as the Youth International Party and the American Indian Movement and setting up gangland executions like that of Fred Hampton and Mark Clark.
Cointelpro was the original war on terror, and it rapidly devolved into a bloodthirsty jihad against any American who dared to challenge the status quo in a country at war with the third world. On September 11 that war was delivered back to our doorstep with the blowback at the Pentagon and the World Trade Center. This tragedy could have been a teachable lesson in the karma that comes with an imperial foreign policy. George W. Bush decided instead to use the trauma caused by these events to double down on the war machine and launch his own war on terror. The official target of this new forever war was radical Islam. But this boogeyman was largely just an excuse for America to level any third world regime that refused to bow to our quest for international hegemony.
Of course all of these regimes just happened to be lead by charismatic if less than heroic men of color like Muammar Gaddafi and Bashar al-Assad who attempted to offer their region alternatives to western dependence. In the most sickening of ironies, the US chose to destabilize these secular strongmen with the very jihadists we were supposed to be over there fighting. Our new scapegoat, radical Islam, ended up more powerful than it ever was before, giving us a perpetual excuse to fight these wars forever. J. Edgar would’ve been proud if he weren’t already burning in hell.
And so it goes. Each generation’s new war on terror relies on scapegoating whichever group happens to be most loathed by the public during its respective era. In the 1960’s it was the commies. In the 2000’s it was radical Islam. Today it’s white supremacists. But the scapegoat is never the true target and the true target is usually the same, Black and Brown anti-colonialists, both at home and abroad. Biden’s war on domestic terror didn’t begin with the white riot of January 6. Hell, it didn’t even begin with Biden. Biden’s government-wide strategy to reign in anti-government extremism is nearly identical to Bill Barr’s Task Force under Donald Trump to do the very same. I don’t believe this is a coincidence. Joe Biden made the unusual decision to keep Barr’s point man on this operation, Christopher Wray, as director of the FBI. This is the same Christopher Wray who infamously testified before congress that “Antifa is a real thing.” before railing against the scourge of “violent anarchist extremists.”
25% of the FBI’s current domestic terror investigations are related to the George Floyd Uprisings of America’s 2020 summer of rage, and I believe that this was the cataclysmic event that truly provoked our new war on domestic terror, not some sad partisan riot at the Capitol, but the largest domestic uprising since the days of Cointelpro. An uprising that torched police stations and inaugurated anarchist autonomous zones in their place. An uprising that brought everyone together, from inner-city Blacks to suburban anti-fascists to rural Boogaloo Bois. An uprising too popular for Joe Biden to declare war on, so he needed a scapegoat so loathsome that no sane human being could possibly defend it.
Don’t believe the hype, dearest motherfuckers. The new war on domestic terrorism has nothing to do with combatting white supremacy. If it did, it wouldn’t be fought by the American government, the greatest source of white supremacy the world has ever known. From this source, any war on terror should be considered just another terrorist attack.