Friday, April 2, 2010

War and Disscent Within Our Borders

A 360 Degrees Analysis

In its simplest definition, Dissent is a sentiment or philosophy of non-agreement or opposition to a prevailing idea (eg. a government's policies) or an entity. Citing the First and Second Amendments, so-called fringe groups have taken up the mantle of patriotism.

But questions remain: 1) Do these groups take it to the extreme in their desire to 'restore' America or 2) Is the government, post 9/11, paranoid and taking things to far - are their actions really true and justified?; 3) Is it possible to dig through all the clutter of both sides to see which is more justified: groups that are unhappy and distrust the government or a government that mistrusts its citizenry and has made crime a business enterprise? Claims from both sides don't always seem to add up.

It is evident that politics in America have taken on a new sense of urgency and given rise to emotions rivaling the 60s: politics, as demonstrated by the 2008 Presidential Elections, has become an emotional issue. Extreme viewpoints on both the left and right have become more agitated and vocal.

While 360 has always been watchful, even critical of elected officials who are more fond of rhetoric and non-traditional principals, it will always be leery of groups who take extreme measures to bring about change regardless of their reasoning.

Whether it is groups like the Liberal or the more Conservative Tea or Coffee Parties, many groups are on the government's radar as having the potential for undertaking extreme measures. While not being open advocates of violence, intimidation or overly proactive change, there will always remain the opportunity for many in these groups to promote more radical alternatives to peaceful demonstrations and the ballot box. Likewise, the government has for years anticipated this rise to some extent with more money and resources being allocated to the federal level of law enforcement. A topic we'll soon bring to you in an upcoming 360 In-Depth piece. Once again, we are indeed experiencing perilous times.

FBI: Extremist Letters May Encourage Violence

A federal intelligence note is warning police that an anti-government group's call to remove dozens of sitting governors may encourage others to act out violently.

A group that calls itself the Guardians of the free Republics has a plan to "restore America" by peacefully dismantling parts of the government, according to its Web site.

As of Wednesday, more than 30 governors had received letters demanding they leave office within three days or they will be removed, according to an internal intelligence note by the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security, which was obtained by The Associated Press.

Investigators do not see threats of violence in the group's message, but fear the broad call for removing top state officials could inspire others to act out violently.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal's office confirmed the governor had received a letter and directed all further questions to the Louisiana State Police.

Lt. Doug Cain, a state police spokesman, said the letter from the Guardians of the free Republics arrived at the governor's office and the state police were called.

"They called us as they do for any letter that's out of the norm," Cain said.

He declined to provide specifics about the letter, but said, "I can't say if it was threatening, but I can say that not knowing the group and the information contained in the letter warranted state police to review it." Cain said the letter has gone to numerous governors across the country.

Judge To Rule On Release Of Militia Members

A federal judge is expected to decide whether eight suspected members of a Christian militia accused of conspiring to overthrow the government will stay in jail until trial.

U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Donald A. Scheer in Detroit said Thursday he needed more time to decide whether to grant prosecutors' request that the eight remain locked up. A decision was expected Friday.

The eight are suspected members of a group called the Hutaree, based in Michigan. They're charged with seditious conspiracy, attempting to use weapons of mass destruction and other crimes.

Prosecutors say they planned to make a false 911 call, kill responding police officers and set off a bomb at the funeral to kill many more.

One the Web:

How one of many bloggers break it down.

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