Douglas Andrews / January 13, 2022

Why Did the DOJ Just Form a New Domestic Terrorism Unit?

The Biden Justice Department will soon increase its surveillance activity on those it deems politically troublesome.

The question is rhetorical: Why did Joe Biden’s Department of Justice decide to form a new domestic terrorism unit? We all know the answer. If you’re a neo-Nazi or a Donald Trump supporter or a concerned parent or a COVID realist, the Democrats might just want to keep a closer eye on you — you know, just in case you get a bit carried away in your exercise of the First Amendment. And what better way to keep an eye on you than by dedicating and funding a new government unit to the task?

Oh, they’ll claim to be on guard against those pesky neo-Nazis and white supremacists who haunt Joe Biden’s fever dreams, but that relative handful of extremists is neither a new threat nor a particularly dangerous one. No, the threat is you.

And so, the Biden Justice Department is forming a new domestic terrorism unit to help keep tabs on a threat that, according to the administration’s enablers at The Washington Post, “has intensified dramatically in recent years.” As the Post reports:

Matthew G. Olsen, the head of the Justice Department’s national security division, announced the creation of the unit in his opening remarks before the Senate Judiciary Committee, noting that the number of FBI investigations of suspected domestic violent extremists — those accused of planning or committing crimes in the name of domestic political goals — had more than doubled since the spring of 2020.

We mentioned Olsen briefly just yesterday. He was one of two Biden DOJ bureaucrats who appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday and for all intents took the Fifth. Olsen and Jill Sanborn, executive assistant director of the FBI’s National Security branch, played dueling banjos to see which of them could rack up the most “I cannot answer that” responses to Republican senators’ legitimate questions about the bureau’s role in the events of January 6.

“I’ve decided to establish a Domestic Terror Unit to augment our existing approach,” said Olsen. “This group of dedicated attorneys will focus on the domestic terrorism threat, helping to ensure that these cases are properly handled and effectively coordinated across DOJ and across the country.”

That an anonymous Beltway bureaucrat like Matthew Olsen apparently has the power to singlehandedly “establish a Domestic Terror Unit” should alarm us about the unchecked ascendancy of the security state. This does nothing to advance the cause of Liberty. To the contrary, it does just the opposite.

“I don’t think it’s necessarily called for,” said former FBI Assistant Director Chris Swecker, “given that they already have a national security division, as does the FBI, and another section that covers counterterrorism. … I just hope it’s not just focused on right-wing extremism.”

Swecker knows that’s precisely where this is headed, and he knows what it means. “This is an area that’s fraught with First Amendment concerns,” he said. “It’s very easy to slip across that line and start investigating ideology and thoughts and not just violent behavior and the type of conduct and activity that steps over the line.”

We can’t say he didn’t warn us.

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