Attorney General Merrick Garland on Tuesday insisted that the Department of Justice is not targeting U.S. citizens for their political beliefs despite the Biden White House urging Americans to report potentially radicalized friends or family members to the government.
“We are focused on violence, not on ideology. In America, espousing a hateful ideology is not unlawful. We do not investigate individuals for their First Amendment-protected activities,” Garland said.
“As the national strategy makes clear, safeguarding our country’s civil rights and liberties is itself a vital national security imperative,” he continued. Garland went on:
We do not prosecute people for their beliefs. Across the world, extremist or terrorist labels have been, at times, affixed to those perceived as political threats to the ruling order. But there is no place for partisanship in the enforcement of the law. The Justice Department will not tolerate any such abuse of authority.
Garland’s remark comes as the Biden administration announced plans to create ways for Americans to report potentially “radicalized” friends and family members to the feds as part of the White House’s supposed effort to extinguish domestic terrorism.
As Breitbart News reported:
The Biden administration said it would also work with large technology companies on “increased information sharing” to help combat radicalization.
“Any particular tech company often knows its own platform very well,” the official noted. “But the government sees things — actually, threats of violence — across platforms. They see the relationship between online recruitment, radicalization, and violence in the physical world.”
The Department of Homeland Security also plans to deploy “digital literacy” and “digital fitness” programs to help combat “malicious content online that bad actors deliberately try to disseminate.”
“We will work to improve public awareness of federal resources to address concerning or threatening behavior before violence occurs,” a Biden administration official said, adding:
This involves creating contexts in which those who are family members or friends or co-workers know that there are pathways and avenues to raise concerns and seek help for those who they have perceived to be radicalizing and potentially radicalizing towards violence.
Indeed, this is not the Biden administration’s first attempt to combat what he has described as the “rise of political extremism” in the country, vowing to defeat it as laid out in his inauguration speech, in which he also mentioned “white supremacy” and “domestic terrorism.”
Earlier this month, Biden identified “terrorism” derived from white supremacy as “the most lethal threat” facing the country.
“According to the intelligence community, terrorism from white supremacy is the most lethal threat to the homeland today,” Biden said. “Not ISIS. Not Al Qaeda. White supremacists.”
Notably, Biden also suggested this month that global warming is the “greatest threat” facing America. It remains unclear which of those he views as a more imminent threat.
The official went on to describe the strategy as “agnostic as to political ideology or off the spectrum,” although many radical Democrats have made it clear what they consider to be “threats,” accusing several GOP lawmakers, as well as former President Donald Trump, of inciting riots at the Capitol on January 6 and suggesting that the former president is, in fact, a white supremacist.
“What matters is when individuals take their political or other grievances and turn that — unacceptably, unlawfully — into violent action,” the official continued.
“We are investing many agencies of the government and resourcing them appropriately and asking our citizens to participate,” the official added. “Because, ultimately, this is really about homeland security being a responsibility of each citizen of our country to help us achieve.”