In many quarters, the hypothesis is now being formulated that we are experiencing the end of a world, that of bourgeois democracies founded on rights, parliaments, and the separation of powers, and that this is giving way to a new despotism that, as regards the pervasiveness of control and the cessation of political activity, will be worse than the totalitarianism that we have known before.
American political scientists call it the Security State, a state in which “for security reasons” (in this case, for the sake of “public health,” a term that suggests the notorious committees of public health during the Terror), any limit can be imposed upon individual liberties.
– Giorgio Agamben, “New Reflections”
On February 7th, 2022 the Department of Homeland Security issued a new bulletin, defining what it considers to be the “primary terrorism-related threats” to the United States. This directive replaced their previous directive which was set to expire on February 8th.
Over the past decade as new directives were put in place they have, in their essence, been slight modifications of previous bulletins – all of them built upon the same theme. That theme, for a full decade and more, was the Security State’s declared “War on Terror” with the “threat of foreign enemies and foreign influence” regarded as the essential focal point and recurring theme of these memoranda.
While “domestic enemies” were nominally mentioned in past memoranda these references have been in passing and discussed within the context of potential influence from foreign actors. Without fail, the theme of these past seasonal DHS directives featured the constant drumbeat of “enemies from the outside” who sought to interfere with the internal affairs of the United States.
This most recent DHS bulletin issued February 7th changes course dramatically as illustrated through the opening sentence:
The United States remains in a heightened threat environment fueled by several factors, including an online environment filled with false or misleading narratives and conspiracy theories.
A paragraph later the bulletin states:
Key factors contributing to the current heightened threat environment include:
(1) The proliferation of false or misleading narratives, which sow discord or undermine public trust in U.S. government institutions:
For example, there is a widespread online proliferation of false or misleading narratives regarding unsubstantiated widespread election fraud and COVID-19.
These statements represent a radical departure from previous memos. We see a marked shift in the DHS narrative from battling the ill-defined outside influence of “extremist media branches of al-Qa’ida and its affiliates, as well as ISIS” to combating an amorphous terrorist threat from within which utilizes misleading narratives that “undermine trust in US Government institutions.”
This shift in the DHS narrative goes beyond just imagined domestic threats by suggesting that speech itself can now be seen as an act of terrorism. As is often the case, none of the terms are clearly defined or specific examples given, as to what might comprise “misleading narratives” or infractions that “undermine trust in government institutions.”
Further in the bulletin, we find this paragraph which references Covid-19 policies and the experimental Covid-19 injections:
Meanwhile, COVID-19 mitigation measures—particularly COVID-19 vaccine and mask mandates—have been used by domestic violent extremists to justify violence since 2020 and could continue to inspire these extremists to target government, healthcare, and academic institutions that they associate with those measures.
Again no specific examples are given in regards to these purported violent acts which arose from dissatisfaction with Covid-19 policies. The allegation is further mystified by the suggestion that these never-defined acts could inspire future acts of violence.
With such accusatory and suggestive language, this memo should be seen as not only an assault on free speech but also as opening up the door for pre-crime.
All of this must be placed within the context of how the Covid-19 “pandemic” was used as a rationale for locking down the country and suspending our civil liberties for the past two years, for vaporizing businesses by government-issued Covid policies, all resulting in soaring energy/housing/food costs as well as record-level inflationary pressure.
Further implications of this directive must also include an understanding that “our way out”, according to this government, has been a mandated injection (which financially benefits one of the most powerful industries in our nation) and which appears to be causing unprecedented harm.
When seen in total, this bulletin appears to be the government’s initial attempt to quell all discussion and debate on what has to be considered the most reckless and devastating public health policies enacted in this country’s history.
It now appears the long warned about “war on domestic terror” is here. This war involves a Kafkaesque criminalization of whatever the government deems “extremist views” or “disinformation.”
Equally concerning to the attacks we are seeing on our First Amendment rights of free speech and freedom of association is how, through the rationale of the Covid-19 narrative, we are seeing in real-time the “War on Terror” being replaced by the “War on The Virus” as the raison d’être of the National Security State. The danger of such a directive and policy position, if allowed to stand unchallenged, lies in future “Covid-19 Pandemics” being used as rationales for creating more authoritarian forms of governance and serving as a template for how to manufacture perpetual states of emergency.