The Texas Tribune reports:
Law enforcement on Tuesday evening alerted members of the Texas Legislature about “a credible threat” to their safety, citing that the concern was targeted at members who voted for the new six-week abortion ban passed by lawmakers earlier this year.
In an email to lawmakers Tuesday, Kevin Cooper, the Department of Public Safety’s chief of government relations, said the agency had received “a CREDIBLE THREAT TO YOUR SAFETY from the Federal Bureau of Investigation for a majority of you in the Texas Legislature.” Cooper said in a follow-up email that the threat “only applies to those members who may have voted for” the abortion bill that passed as Senate Bill 8 during the regular legislative session that ended in May.
The threat was apparently made on Reddit and included the names of House and Senate members who voted for the legislation. The user threatened to “end each one of you” and said the lawmakers at hand “are not people to me.”
My first clue that this was a false flag claim* meant to suggest that pro-choice advocates were making what amounted to death threats against those who voted for the Texas six week vigilante enforced abortion law was that it was made on Reddit where, from what I can tell, anybody can post anything.
* A false flag operation is an act committed with the intent of disguising the actual source of responsibility and pinning blame on another party. (Wiki)
What makes this “a credible threat” worthy of alerting members of the Texas legislature that they might be in danger? Does law enforcement base this claim on anything more than one post on Reddit?
This is as far as the police went in explaining their rational:
A spokesperson for the Texas Department of Public Safety said in a statement to The Texas Tribune that it “takes all matters of personal security and public safety very seriously and we do not discuss details of ongoing threats and investigations.” (Texas Tribune)
We don’t know whether the police tracked down the person who posted this threat on Reddit and determined the threat needed to be taken seriously. We don't even know if the person in question even lives in Texas or anywhere near Texas.
I doubt I am overly suspicious or cynical when I think that this warning from the Texas Department of Public Safety is purely political in nature and the police have no more information than this one Reddit post. I also think that whoever posted this did so to make the pro-choice legislators, and the pro-choice residents in Texas look bad. I would bet that this person is rapidly anti-abortion.
The Texas Department of Public Safety is basically the Texas State Police. Wiki tells us that they are under the thumb of Gov. Greg Abbott and the Republican controlled Texas Senate.
The Department of Public Safety of the State of Texas, commonly known as the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), is a department of the state government of Texas. The DPS is responsible for statewide law enforcement and vehicle regulation. The Public Safety Commission oversees the DPS. However, under state law, the Governor of Texas may assume command of the department during a public disaster, riot, insurrection, formation of a dangerous resistance to enforcement of law, or to perform his constitutional duty to enforce law. The commission's five members are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Texas Senate, to serve without pay for staggered, six-year terms.
I think the leadership of the state police would want to please Gov. Abbott. Publicizing this alleged credible threat certainly plays into his agenda.
This isn’t the first time something similar has happened in Texas:
Texas rep placed under state protection after filing bill to ban abortions
State Rep. Tony Tinderholt, R-Arlington, has been placed under the protection of the Texas Department of Public Safety after getting death threats following his filing of a bill to criminalize abortion in Texas.
Perhaps I am looking at those who are pro-choice through my progressive rose-colored glasses when I don’t see them as people who would be inclined to make public threats of violence against those they disagree with. I doubt it.