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Virginia is for lovers, but there's a terrorist behind every dogwood.  Or so you might gather from the "2009 Virginia Terrorism Threat Assessment" by the "Commonwealth of Virginia Department of State Police Virginia Fusion Center" which is part federal and therefore not Virginian and part private and therefore not commonwealth.  The motto of the fusion center on the cover of the report reads "Scienta Est Potentia," but they forgot to add that a little bit of scienta can be dangerous.

The ACLU and Raw Story have been criticizing this report and others by other fusion centers for their tendency to advocate tossing out the Bill of Rights in order to spy on people associated with organizations whose names almost rhyme with those of other organizations once frequented by someone whose cousin had heard first-hand a story about a real live terrorist.

One of the most horrifying threats revealed in this latest report is that someone might hack into road signs as done in Austin.

I feel so terrorized already I'd almost be willing to let my government leave Iraq and Afghanistan.  Oh, what the heck, all right, I agree: end the wars.  

There are, of course, real predictors of terrorism in the world, like the occupation of people's countries, and predictable targets in Virginia, like the Pentagon.  Sadly, energy that could go into improving foreign relations is going into profiling and spying on active citizens, the very people who might help improve the situation.  

"While there is no intelligence that indicates terrorists are planning attacks in Virginia," the fusion center tells us, "the abundance of potential targets provides terrorists with many possibilities and opportunities throughout the Commonwealth."  But ...

"Spanning 39,598 square miles, Virginia has a population of almost 7.5 million residents.   Roughly half of these residents are concentrated in the northern Virginia, central Virginia, and Hampton Roads regions.  All three of these regions feature ethnically diverse populations with cultural ties to the Middle East, the horn of Africa, Southeast Asia, and other areas heavily impacted by terrorist activities.  While the vast majority of these individuals are law-abiding, this ethnic diversity also affords terrorist operatives the opportunity to assimilate easily into society, without arousing suspicion."

The vast majority?  Meaning 100 percent, since there is "no intelligence that indicates terrorists are planning attacks in Virginia"?  When terrorists easily assimilated prior to 9-11 there were FBI reports about them that Washington DC wasn't able to assimilate, although its former director has assimilated well as hired attorney for Prince Bandar.  But, wait!  Guess where these proponents of Scienta see danger lurking next:

"Virginia’s network of colleges and universities also represent a potential avenue of entry for terrorist operatives and a possible forum for recruitment of sympathizers."

There being no evidence of any planned attacks, clearly young people must be being recruited to those nonexistent causes in those hotbeds of heresy where opinions deviate dangerously from the ones ordered by superior officers: colleges.

"A wide variety of terror or extremist groups have links to Division 1."

Extremist groups too?  Guess we'd better spy on them.  What if they started registering voters or something?

"Richmond’s history as the capital city of the Confederacy, combined with the city’s current demographic concentration of African-American residents, contributes to the continued presence of race-based extremist groups.  This area is also the site of several community colleges and urban universities that attract a diverse range of domestic and international students and professors; two area universities are designated as Historically Black Colleges and Universities.  While the majority of individuals associated with educational institutions do not engage in activities of interest to the VFC, it is important to note that University-based students groups are recognized as a radicalization node for almost every type of extremist group.  A small number of Division 1 area college students also align themselves with anarchist or animal and/or environmental groups."

Not environmental groups!  What if they should put up a solar panel or turn off a lamp?  I'm s-c-a-r-e-d, officer, please protect me!  And the "majority" of such people don't engage in activities that interest you?  What about the minority who are not planning terrorism but do manage to interest you?  Are some of them so extremist as to be BLACK?

"... Richmond is also home to several large commercial facilities, including a major NASCAR track."

In fact, I visited that track last year for a Sarah Palin rally, where I filmed these peculiar people, one of whom was dead set on putting bullets into a great many human beings, but he only had in mind Iraqis, so that wasn't terrorism.  However, this decrepit dump of an arena for our bread and circuses did strike me as a prime target for terrorism, especially if every other nonresidential structure on earth had already been destroyed.

Originally posted to David Swanson on Fri Apr 10, 2009 at 10:22 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Didn't I see a movie long ago about this? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    luckylizard, thethinveil

    Yes, I did!  Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

    So, there are Real People™ in Virgina, but since Pod People look just like Real People™, no telling when the invasion might begin!

    "Certainly the game is rigged. Don't let that stop you; if you don't bet, you can't win." Lazarus Long

    by rfall on Fri Apr 10, 2009 at 10:27:21 PM PDT

  •  Now here's the REAL threat (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dancewater

    Bush imported 12,000 Iraqi refugees into this country, most of them from Baghdad, victims of the ethnic cleansing campaigns which Democrats MUST AGREE, "worked," also known as "the surge."

    Now, I don't doubt that we brought a lot of orphaned children and widows here, out of compassion, and since watching the movie about the heavy metal band in Iraq, I don't doubt there are quite a lot of young guys from Iraq who are a lot like us Americans.

    However, when you have a certain former vice president on record with a plan to "blame the next terrorist attack on Iran, so we can nuke them and eliminate my business competitors in the nuclear fuel market," you should be demanding some accountability.

    The person who was overseeing that refugee program at the Dept of Homeland Security RESIGNED a week after Obama won the election. Gee, what was the hurry? EH, JULIE MYERS? Maybe she needs to answering some questions.

    The former vice president started his "we're gonna have another terrorist attack" mantra just before John McCain lost the election, and he has circulated that meme about every three weeks ever since. I know that fucker needs to be answering some questions. Where are the 1,000 missing pieces of nuclear weapons, DICK? How come all the air force officers involved in that are your pals?

    Or, how about some of your other pals, like the Pakistanis involved in the nuclear black market? Or, how about your pals Steve Hadley and Eliot Abrams, who fully outfitted and armed a brand new chapter of AL-QUEDA in Lebanon?

    We have dangerous, fascist ENEMIES in our midst, and their ASSES need to be thrown in the can NOW.

    •  I keep wondering (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      taraka das

      when the high explosive materials in Iraq (that were under UN seal in Iraq, until the US military showed up and unsealed them) that were moved (by unknown parties) in 2003 to parts unknown ----

      well, I keep wondering when they are going to be used and where.

      So far, they have not been used at all.

      The occupation of Iraq will not be disrupted. - Chris Hedges 3/2/09

      by dancewater on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 12:26:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Umm, have you seen the daily BOMB attacks in Iraq (0+ / 0-)

        that have been going on for years?

        Well, those explosives haven't been used yet, right?

        How do you know THAT?

        Pardon me, but when you see hundreds of BOMBS going off every day for years, and then you get a report that tons of explosives are missing in the same area, well, I can put two and two together. How about you?

        •  I don't make that connection (0+ / 0-)

          since weapons experts have stated that the highly explosive materials have NOT been used yet.  They did get moved from the original site.

          There was a bombing in Turkey that some experts thought might have been the highly explosive materials, but after testing, found it was not.

          And yes, I do know about the many bomb attacks in Iraq, I have been following and blogging Iraq for years now.

          The occupation of Iraq will not be disrupted. - Chris Hedges 3/2/09

          by dancewater on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 09:02:01 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Does anyone notice (3+ / 0-)

    that people are screaming about improving education while these fools are not-so-subtly saying that education is a terrorist problem?  The people who do those "studies" are sick...

    -7.62, -7.28 "Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly." -Langston Hughes

    by luckylizard on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 04:20:01 AM PDT

    •  The Feds and radicalization (0+ / 0-)

      The intelligence analysts performing these studies are not only employed by the state (often with Homeland Security dollars), but the FBI and Homeland Security also contribute analysts.  

      The Feds are largely responsible for transmitting this ideology of radicalization down through to the state police.  FBI Director Mueller has been beating this drum for some time.  It was also a topic of discussion at the 2009 National Fusion Center conference in Kansas City.

      In addition, there are no training standards for these analysts.  Based on this report, the only requirement seems to be membership in the Steve Emerson Book Club.

  •  These fusion centers (0+ / 0-)

    seem like an all-around bad idea.

    By being part state, part federal, part private they are, intentionally or not, effectively designed to evade normal chains of command-and-control. As government entities they will be exempt from certain kinds of law and oversight (e.g., they can claim "national security"), as private entities they can claim exemption from other kinds (e.g., private entities don't have to comply with FOIA or the Bill of Rights). Much as international entities can "float over" national boundaries, these can "float over" legal ones.

    The problem with this is actually beyond the potential threat to our liberties.

    Such an organization is practically custom designed as a seedbed of corruption. Revolving doors, cosy contracting, misuse of information and--above all--the kind of internal corruption, the self-dealing, that comes with lack of oversight and that--in the case of law enforcement or epsionage--actually ends up decreasing public safety.  

    Not healthy. Lucrative for some and, no doubt, fun. But there is no reason for us to be paying for this institutionalized paranoia, especially at a time when there are real needs to be met, in education and elsewhere.

    We have enough spy-versus-spy type agencies at the federal level. There is no need to duplicate it at the state level as well. We need to defund ASAP.

    The only question then is what the heck to do with the wannabe TV heroes that definding will disemploy. Could we put at least some of them to work looking for cases of major finanacial fraud? Please?  

  •  Thanks for staying vigilant (0+ / 0-)

    on this, David.  Although, this scienta makes me want to bang my head against a wall.  The police state is here.

  •  anti-terrorism is a domestic issue now (0+ / 0-)

    We've got half a million troops who've seen lengthy urban combat coming back to a wrecked economy and assclowns like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh are busy winding them up. We got Oklahoma City and the D.C. sniper out of thirty eight days of action in Desert Storm - care to guess what the predictions look like for the future?

    They can prattle on about Muslims but those efforts are aimed square at Sarah Palin's base ...

    "Not dead ... yet. Still have ... things to do." -Liet Kynes

    by Stranded Wind on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 06:49:01 AM PDT

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