PATRIOTS WIN PROFILING FIGHT
Missouri Report Smearing Patriots Withdrawn Due to Citizen Pressure
By Mark Anderson
MISSOURI PUBLIC SAFETY DIRECTOR John Britt on March 23 issued an apology letter to Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex.), former Rep. Bob Barr (R-Ga.), and Florida minister and former Constitution Party presidential candidate Chuck Baldwin.
Why? For having included their names in the Missouri Information Analysis Center’s report that linked Americans concerned about NAFTA, the Federal Reserve, the IRS, the proposed North American Union, firearms confiscation and other real issues with “the militia movement.”
Indeed, the embattled MIAC report, first reported in AFP a week ago, implies that any significant distrust of government schemes could be linked with militia activities or untrustworthy “right-wing” belief systems. The MIAC report available online essentially says that while “the militia movement” peaked in 1996, it’s making a return due to the moribund economy.
But the report apparently has been totally withdrawn, not just altered to address the concerns of Paul, Barr and Baldwin, said the head of the Missouri Highway Patrol.
“For instance, the militia report was created by a MIAC employee, reviewed by the MIAC director, and sent immediately to law enforcement agencies across Missouri. The militia report was never reviewed by me or by the Director of Public Safety [DPS], John Britt, at any point prior to its issuance. Had that report been reviewed by either my office or by leaders of the Department of Public Safety, it would never have been released to law enforcement agencies,” wrote Col. James Keathley in an official letter that AFP obtained from Missouri officials on March 31.
He added: “The Missouri State Highway Patrol and the Department of Public Safety believe that law enforcement officers require intelligence of the highest quality and that the report in question does not meet that standard. For that reason, I have ordered the MIAC to permanently cease distribution of the militia report. Further, I am creating a new process for oversight of reports drafted by the MIAC that will require leaders of the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the Department of Public Safety to review the content of these reports before they are shared with law enforcement. My office will also undertake a review of the origin of the report by MIAC.”
The evidently defunct report, for example, had noted that the peaceful “End the Fed” rallies held nationwide at 39 Federal Reserve Banks (12 main branches, plus smaller outlets) last November are part of a movement that ultimately could be “dangerous” to law enforcement.
In fact, many at these rallies came from both liberal and conservative backgrounds. Their concern is simply that the Fed, as the nation’s central bank, is too secretive and is doing a poor job, and thus should be dissolved via legislation.
Britt’s letter of apology to Paul, Barr and Baldwin—all
of whom were 2008 presidential candidates (for the GOP, Libertarian and Constitution parties, respectively)— was in response to a March 20 letter from those three to Britt’s boss, Missouri Gov. Jeremiah Nixon.
Britt wrote to them: “Unfortunately, in the course of preparing this report, some regrettable information was included in the report on militia groups in Missouri. While the intent of the report was only to identify certain traits that are sometimes shared by members of militia organizations, the report is too easily misinterpreted as suggesting that militia members may be identified by no other indicator than support for a particular candidate or political organization. That is an undesired and unwarranted outcome.”
Britt added: “Upon review and reflection, it is the judgment of the Department of Public Safety [DPS] that the report should have made no reference to supporters of Ron Paul, Bob Barr and Chuck Baldwin or any other third-party political organization or candidate. In recognition of the mistaken inclusion of this information by the MIAC in its Feb. 20, 2009 report on the militia movement, I have ordered that the offending report be edited so as to excise all reference to Ron Paul, Bob Barr and Chuck Baldwin and to any third-party political organizations. Additionally you may rest assured that the report is not posted on any website maintained by the state of Missouri.”
Paul, Barr and Baldwin did not merely ask that their names be deleted and that state online postings of the report be dropped, They also challenged the report itself, adding in their letter:
“The ‘report’ draws links between white supremacists, anti-immigration persons, people opposed to gun control and those who do not favor the Federal Reserve banks and much more. Were the ‘report’ nothing more than a nonsensical diatribe penned by some uninformed person, we would certainly not take our time writing this letter.”
Missouri citizens had been preparing to meet with area law enforcement to give them commonsense input on this matter, to try and prevent police from abridging freedom of speech and other constitutional protections afforded all Americans, regardless of their beliefs.
More over, Missouri State Rep. Shane Schoeller, District 139, has sponsored a bill to forbid political profiling. The MIAC report came from an actual place that is part of Missouri’s “fusion center” where information is pooled to tackle crime and terrorist threats. New Department of Homeland Security Director Janet Napolitano visited the center on March 11.
“Napolitano and Gov. Nixon then traveled to Kansas City to address the National Fusion Center Conference. Fusion centers are collaborative efforts by law enforcement and other agencies to pool information, resources and analysis to better address and detect crime and potential terrorist threats. Napolitano called fusion centers, which often receive federal funding and work with federal agencies, ‘the future of law enforcement,’’ stated a DPS news release online.
MIAC went into operation in December 2005 and started 24-hour operations on Oct. 1, 2006, the DPS noted in a brochure.
Mark Anderson is a longtime newsman now working as a corresponding editor for American Free Press. Together he and his wife Angie provide many photographs of the events they cover for AFP. Mark welcomes your comments and inputs as well as story leads. Email him at at [email protected].
(Issue # 15, April 13, 2009)