October 15th, 2009, Fairfax, VA—Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson today condemned the Missouri Information Analysis Center (MIAC) and the Missouri Highway Patrol for admitting it has retained no records of a controversial report entitled, “The Modern Militia Movement” that was issued by the federal fusion center in February.
In the “Militia Movement” advisory, police across Missouri were told to keep an eye out for Americans who were highly concerned about unemployment, taxes, illegal immigration, gangs, border security, abortion, high costs of living, gun restrictions, FEMA, the IRS, and the Federal Reserve.
The MIAC advisory also stated that potential domestic terrorists would be attracted to gun shows, shortwave radios, action movies, movies with white male heroes like Rambo, Tom Clancy novels, and presidential candidates Ron Paul, Bob Barr, and Chuck Baldwin.
According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol’s response to ALG’s Sunshine Law Request, “[b]ackground material was not retained by the author during drafting” and “[t]here is no record listing the individual who wrote the report.” In fact, the only record the state of Missouri apparently claims it has of the report was its single draft version.
“This is simply stunning,” said Wilson. “A federal-state intelligence center that is supposed to be collecting and disseminating actionable intelligence to law enforcement personnel sent out an accusatory report, but has no record of who authored it and how it was put together.”
According to MIAC’s website, “Missouri Information Analysis Center (MIAC) provides a public safety partnership consisting of local, state and federal agencies, as well as the public sector and private entities that will collect, evaluate, analyze, and disseminate information and intelligence to the agencies tasked with Homeland Security responsibilities in a timely, effective, and secure manner.”
Much like the controversial Department of Homeland Security (DHS) “rightwing extremism” memo, MIAC’s unsubstantiated report directly cited the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) as a top source of information.
“In fact, there are entire passages in the MIAC report that are lifted verbatim from Southern Poverty Law Center,” said Wilson.
Both DHS and Missouri, when pressed withdrew their memos, followed by public apologies from government officials. Missouri Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder (R-MO) asked that Missouri Public Safety Director John Britt be placed on administrative leave. He still serves as director.
“The tepid response by Missouri to this episode is frankly appalling. If no record of who produced and approved this trash exists, then the entire leadership who was working at MIAC at the time of this report being drafted and issued should be fired and barred from future law enforcement service,” said Wilson.
In August, ALG condemned the methodology used by the Department of Homeland Security in issuing a controversial “right-wing extremism” threat assessment to law enforcement in April. ALG had filed a Freedom of Information request in April demanding all documents related to the drafting of the controversial “right-wing extremism” memo. It received an interim response from the Department.
“Our worst fears about what went into this memo have been confirmed. The government department that was supposed to be tasked with identifying domestic terrorist threats is apparently using news stories, kooky websites, and conjecture instead of actual hard intelligence reporting and analysis,” said Wilson at the time.
Wilson compared the two memos, saying that neither was based on credible intelligence. “Neither memo illuminated on any actual planned attacks or any groups known to be planning attacks, or any groups with histories of perpetrating attacks that are currently conducting any types of operational recruitment, meeting, or planning attacks,” said Wilson.
“In short, both were just political propaganda put forward by both the federal and state government within weeks of one another, designed to perpetuate public perception of ‘rightwing extremism’ and militias,” Wilson added.
“The monitoring of political speech by law enforcement and intelligence agencies is very dangerous, and the perpetrators of these memos need to be held accountable and not allowed to serve in their capacities as government officials,” Wilson said.
“In both the case of Missouri and the Department of Homeland Security, Americans were targeted by law enforcement based upon their political beliefs, and not on their active involvement with terrorist operations. If this continues, the American people will continue to question whether their government is a danger to them,” Wilson concluded.
Missouri Sunshine Law Request to the Missouri Highway Patrol, August 21st, 2009.
Missouri Highway Patrol Response to Sunshine Law Request, October 1st, 2009.
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Request to Department of Homeland Security, April 17th, 2009.
Department of Homeland Security interim response to FOIA request, August 5th, 2009.
Summary of web-links cited by Department of Homeland Security that were used in drafting “rightwing extremism” memo.
Interview Availability: Please contact Alex Rosenwald at (703)383-0880 or at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange an interview with ALG President Bill Wilson.