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Will posting comments here put YOU on the government's watch list?

David Codrea
October 10, 2010

Several developments have occurred in recent days that indicate something as innocuous as visiting pro-gun rights websites that are critical of government Constitutional compliance, and especially participating in comments and forums, can results in heightened law enforcement scrutiny and even as a supporting criteria for "legal" intervention.

On Friday, I told WarOnGuns readers I was aware of a child welfare case in New Hampshire where one of the criterion for removing a child from its parents was an ostensible membership of the father in what protective services was characterizing as "a militia known as the Oath Keepers."

Long-time readers know we've discussed Oath Keepers--specifically not a militia group--many times, including attempts by the Department of Homeland Security, the Southern Poverty Law Center, opportunistic politicians, and certain media outlets to conflate them with violent haters. For this, and other reasons, I told WoG readers I was deferring to Rhodes to take the lead on this, and maintaining contact with him behind the scenes.

He has since issued this report, used as the basis for a WorldNetDaily story by Bob Unruh. It appears the father in question's tie to OathKeepers was that he commented on their forums. A danger, per Rhodes:

But an even more fundamental point is that regardless of the other allegations, it is utterly unconstitutional for government agencies to list Mr. Irish’s association with Oath Keepers in an affidavit in support of a child abuse order to remove his daughter from his custody.    Talk about  chilling speech!   If this is allowed to continue, it will chill the speech of not just Mr. Irish, but all Oath Keepers and it will serve as the camel under the tent for other associations being considered too risky for parents to dare.   Thus, it serves to chill the speech of all of us, in any group we belong to that “officials” may not approve of.   Don’t you dare associate with such and such group, or you could be on “the list” and then child protective services might come take your kids.

In addition, Rhodes reveals the "Southern Poverty Law Center is now part of DHS," again with further details from WND's Unruh.  Again, per Rhodes:

This is the overt politicization of DHS, to use it against political enemies.

Indeed.  And now a tangentially-related development has been forwarded to me by a source I am keeping anonymous per  request.  The Kansas City Regional TEW Inter-Agency Analysis Center has prepared an "Intelligence Brief" for law enforcement based on Mike Vanderboegh's in-development novel, "Absolved." A key quote from the report:

Vanderboegh’s novella is very similar in nature to a 1978 novella, The Turner Diaries. In The Turner Diaries, an overthrow of the U.S. government and race war was depicted. The novella became, and is still considered, a staple of anti-government, racist rhetoric. Timothy McVeigh was an avid reader of The Turner Diaries and was possibly motivated by its content to conduct his attack on the Oklahoma City Murrah Federal Building.

(Note I have also included the report posted as a slide show for those of you who cannot view the linked pdf file.)

This is straight out of the SPLC/DHS playbook.  Anyone with any knowledge of Vanderboegh and his work knows he a committed opponent of racism and a leading voice against the initiation of force, having made the motto "No Fort Sumters" clear to all who frequent his Sipsey Street Irrregulars blog (Mike's initial take on this story is here).

So what does this have to do with...you?  Well, the KCTEW brief links to WarOnGuns and displays illustrations I developed for Mike, including the mock-up "Absolved" cover and the "III fingers" graphic.  I have featured "Absolved" chapters on my blog and written a column about it with online chapter links here on Gun Rights Examiner. If you've commented on any of these posts, or done the same at Vanderboegh's or sympathetic blogs, it would appear you're in a very similar situation as the father we discussed above, who's postings  on Oath Keepers discussion boards singled him out for special mention in a legal action.

I wish I could say this seems far-fetched, but remember: We're literally dealing with the mentality that puts giant inflatable pink pig owners on government watch lists (seriously--I'm not making that up). And with mentalities that advocate disarming us if our names make their list.

And as with much of what the government does, their drawing attention to "Absolved" will probably have the opposite effect of what they'd like via the "unintended consequences" of generating public interest.

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