Weaponized National Security Apparatus Makes for Dangerous America

Weaponized National Security Apparatus Makes for Dangerous America
FBI headquarters in Washington on Jan. 2, 2020. (Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times)
Benjamin Weingarten
While America’s ruling regime engages in a war on wrongthink, targeting perceived enemies—including those it sometimes resorts to creating—with all its might, actual enemies of the republic continue to be able to plot, plan, and sometimes strike.

Consider a few recent stories that illustrate this point and their ramifications.

Several weeks ago in a Michigan court, a massive federal prosecution collapsed when a jury found that one of the most politically potent October surprises imaginable was a farce.

Recall that in the heat of the 2020 presidential election, the FBI revealed that it had foiled a plot by a group of purported militiamen, allegedly enraged over Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Chinese coronavirus policies, to kidnap her.

The accused, a ragtag “pro-Trump” and “anti-government” group who were allegedly behind the wild operation, seemed straight out of central casting in the mind’s eye of a left that increasingly characterizes its political foes as terrorists.

Whitmer, then-presidential candidate Joe Biden, and the political class and corporate media predictably blamed then-President Donald Trump.

“Look at what the bad orange man provoked,” they said.

We'll never know the extent to which this pre-insurrectionary narrative affected voters, but in a pivotal swing state such as Michigan, which had hinged on such a small vote margin in 2016, and in the throes of a heavy early-voting election, the impact weeks out from Election Day could well have been meaningful, if not decisive.

As the alleged conspiracy moved toward trial, suddenly, it began to unravel. In July 2021—days after the Biden administration had released its National Strategy for Countering Domestic Terrorism, which would cite “militia violent extremists” alongside “racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists” as “presenting the most persistent and lethal threats” to the homeland—BuzzFeed reported stunning revelations about the case.

The federal government had at least 12 confidential informants involved in the kidnapping caper.

"Working in secret, they did more than just passively observe and report on the actions of the suspects," the BuzzFeed article reads. "Instead, they had a hand in nearly every aspect of the alleged plot, starting with its inception. The extent of their involvement raises questions as to whether there would have even been a conspiracy without them."

As James Bovard more recently detailed in the New York Post, one informant, Stephen Robeson, a man with a lengthy rap sheet, had organized key events to build the anti-Whitmer cohort. Another, Dan Chapel, would become second-in-command and lead the military training of the group.
"Though several militia members explicitly opposed kidnapping the governor, Chapel and Robeson helped hatch a ludicrous plot to snatch Whitmer from her vacation home and take her away for trial," Bovard wrote. "FBI operatives took the participants, who prattled idiotically about stealing a Blackhawk helicopter, for drives near Whitmer’s vacation home, which supposedly proved they were going to nab the governor and unleash havoc.

"It was all a setup. Shortly before that excursion, an FBI agent texted instructions to Chapel: 'Mission is to kill the governor specifically.' There were as many FBI informants and undercover agents as there were purported plotters in this case."

A Michigan jury concurred with the assessment that this was a fed-concocted plot—that the government had entrapped the defendants.

Of the four alleged conspirators, including two ringleaders tried in the Michigan court, two were acquitted on all charges. A hung jury failed to convict the pair of purported leaders.

The investigation, heralded as a major coup by federal prosecutors, proved to be a calamity on the merits.

But politically, the feds succeeded in helping generate a data point used to justify its war on wrongthink, which would be supercharged by Jan. 6, 2021. The plot, and the plotters, fit to a tee the National Terrorism Advisory Bulletins that the Biden administration would put forth subsequent to the Capitol breach, claiming, albeit euphemistically, that the preeminent threat to the United States was the frothing mad MAGA mob.
Speaking of, there was another major acquittal in Washington in recent days—from the so-called insurrection. Despite prosecutors’ best efforts, for the first time, a Jan. 6, 2021, defendant was acquitted on all trumped-up trespassing charges faced for having entered the Capitol, spent 10 minutes there, and left. He argued that he had been “waved” in by security.

The judge overseeing the bench case concurred. If this precedent were to hold, potentially countless Jan. 6, 2021, defendants might be let off, as videos indicate that perhaps hundreds of individuals were let in by security that day. This, of course, further discredits the insurrection narrative.

As does the fact that a recent court filing suggests that there were at least 20 federal assets “embedded around the Capitol” on Jan. 6, 2021, fueling further questions about what the government was doing that day and why it's so reluctant to answer questions about it or disclose footage of it. How should the public perceive this revelation—which authorities haven't disputed, unlike when questioned about a seeming provocateur in Ray Epps—in light of the government’s involvement in the Whitmer plot? And what should we make of the fact that as the intrepid Julie Kelly has honed in on, the director of the FBI’s Detroit field office under which the Whitmer investigation/operation was run was bumped up to head the FBI’s Washington office three months before the Capitol breach?
While purported white nationalist violent extremists are portrayed as the great threat to the homeland, an apparent black nationalist violent extremist attacked New Yorkers in a Brooklyn subway. As counterterror analyst Kyle Shideler noted, “[Frank] James made repeated and routine references to violence and a willingness to conduct a shooting on social media,” and he “posted material linked to black identity extremist ideologies.” Further, James’s “articulation of black identity extremism appears cogent and in line with common ideological expressions.”

Is it possible that James slipped through the cracks because the security state has de-emphasized “black identity extremists?”

As Just the News reported:
"In a 2017 intelligence assessment, the FBI warned what it called 'black identity extremists' could launch violent attacks in the United States, especially against law enforcement. After the report leaked, liberal groups including the Congressional Black Caucus pressured the bureau to drop its categorization, according to Heritage Foundation senior fellow Mike Gonzalez, who detailed the chain of events in his 2021 book 'BLM: The Making of a New Marxist Revolution.'
"That led the FBI to eliminate its category of 'black identity extremism' as a potential motivation for terrorism and instead adopt the term 'racially and ethnically motivated violent extremist,' which is supposed to cover all ethnically motivated violence but, according to critics, is used to focus on white supremacists."

Such willful blindness may well have devastating consequences.

Another threat in effect downplayed by our regime is that of Islamic terrorists and specifically that posed by their greatest state benefactor, Iran—with which the Biden administration is seeking to strike another disastrous nuclear deal right now, seemingly at any and all costs.

That Iran wishes to avenge the death of former Quds Force Commander Qasem Soleimani by targeting prominent U.S. officials alone should probably kill any deal.

Yet, when just the kind of individuals who might execute such an operation acted suspiciously on our shores, authorities were incapable of sniffing them out—and of course, the administration refused to budge.

Arian Taherzadeh and Haider Ali, men residing in Washington with alleged substantial ties to Iran, were able to develop large weapons caches, rent out apartments on behalf of federal officials, and cultivate ties with them under false pretenses that they were Homeland Security officials, all while allegedly trying to infiltrate the Secret Service.

As Lee Smith said, “It seems odd that these actions barely raised the suspicions of the numerous federal agents living in [their] building.”


Their efforts only made it onto law enforcement’s radar on a fluke, thanks to the work of an alert postal investigator looking into a March assault on a postal worker.

Remarkedly, despite the obvious potential threat, a federal judge in Washington ordered the men released on bail—at the very time Capitol breachers with no criminal backgrounds and hit with nonviolent charges, facing the same court, languish in abhorrent conditions in pretrial detention.

This is just a few weeks in the United States under our current regime, but it reveals the great challenge we face with a national security apparatus that increasingly seems to conflate the regime with the nation as it weaponizes against the regime’s purported foes, while city streets devolve into chaos and dysfunction and other threats to the homeland proliferate.

And all of this largely in the name of "wokeness" and equity.

One’s position on the war on wrongthink, which ultimately threatens not just liberty but American life, must be a litmus test for our political leaders.

They must articulate their understanding of the problem and how they'll combat it, or we'll cease to be America.

Views expressed in this article are opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.
Ben Weingarten is editor-at-large at RealClearInvestigations. He is a senior contributor to The Federalist, columnist at Newsweek, and a contributor to the New York Post and The Epoch Times, among other publications. Subscribe to his newsletter at Weingarten.Substack.com