Musings —01.24.2021 01:30 PM—
Because his rhetoric about fighting racism is just that: rhetoric.
From today’s New York Times:
The Biden administration on Friday announced an initiative aimed at overhauling the government’s approach to domestic terrorism. It ordered intelligence agencies to conduct a comprehensive threat assessment of domestic violent extremism, and develop the capability to counter extremism and disrupt extremist networks in coordination with federal departments overseeing evolving terrorism threats.
It’s a step in the right direction. The administration should look to pass a bill similar to the now pending Transnational White Supremacist Extremism Review Act that seeks to direct the intelligence community to develop and disseminate a threat assessment on violent white-supremacist groups operating overseas, some of which may have connections to U.S.-based extremists.
While much of the threat is indeed domestic, there are growing links with transnational far-right groups that are likely to strengthen in the immediate future. A directive to scrutinize transnational groups could uncover links to individuals or organizations operating on U.S. soil.
Lawmakers should also make domestic terrorism a federal crime. There are valid concerns about a domestic terrorism statute, including issues of free speech and assembly, and also the potential for abuse — corrupt politicians could use domestic terrorism designations against perceived political enemies. Transparency and oversight must be essential components of any new legislation.