Feds: Let’s Launch a Domestic Terror War!

Ever since the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol that killed five people and injured hundreds, lawmakers and current and former government officials have been discussing how to launch a new war on extremism—only this time, the target is less Afghanistan, more Alabama. Indeed, after the chaotic milieu of militia groups, alt-right media figures, and Trump supporters violently stormed the halls of Congress, Time reports that:

A growing chorus of security experts and politicians has cast the mob, or parts of it, in terms that are typically reserved for ISIS and Al Qaeda. Some commentators have even begun to call for a new American war on terror in response to the Capitol riot, one aimed at President Trump’s more radical supporters on the right.

I think we can all agree that the desire to fight violent cadres of armed maniacs, many of whom are mobilizing online, is a noble goal. Yet the notion that the U.S. government somehow needs more money and power to accomplish this has raised eyebrows, while also spurring fears about what a new internal security program would do to balloon the already dystopian levels of domestic surveillance that Americans live with daily.

Nonetheless, national security professionals have been vociferous about the need for a paradigm-shift. Former CIA Director Leon Panetta recently penned an op-ed in which he claimed America is “again at war with terrorism, only this time” the terror is “homegrown.” Similarly, another former CIA official recently suggested to NPR that the government treat domestic extremists the same way that the U.S. treats terrorists in Afghanistan.

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