WASHINGTON?? Attorney General Garland testified before Congress that the FBI was not conducting operations against American parents as “domestic terrorists.” It turns out he was either lying, or very misinformed.
On Tuesday Republicans in the House Judiciary Committee released whistleblower documents showing that on October 20, the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division and Criminal Investigative Divisions had created a threat label, EDUOFFICIALS.
It instructed that the tag should be applied to ‘surveys and reviews’. of threats to ‘school administrators, board members, teachers and staff’. The purpose of the tagging is to ‘help mitigate this threat at the national level’. and identifying trends, strategies and best practices. to combat the perceived threats to school staff.
This problem first broke on October 4, when the Ministry of Justice announced that Attorney General Garland had instructed the FBI to form a broad task force to establish mechanisms to prosecute crimes based on an alleged “increase in intimidation, intimidation and threats of violence against school board members, teachers and workers in our country” . s public schools.??
The task force included the Department of Justice? National Security Division, which was created in 2006 under the re-authorization of the USA PATRIOT Act to consolidate the division’s primary national security operations. Serving as an interface between law enforcement agencies and the intelligence community, the division was designed to focus on the threat of domestic and international terrorism in the United States.
General Garland’s memo was in response to a Sept. 29 letter from the National School Boards Association asking the Biden administration to classify as ??domestic terrorism?? protests against school curricula and programs and that it is prosecuting concerned parents under the PATRIOT Act and federal hate crime laws.
Leaked internal emails indicated that the NSBA was working closely with the White House to formulate the letter, and the Justice Department’s prompt response also suggested this was a coordinated effort. The NSBA came under heavy fire for labeling parents as terrorists and turned down the letter. Yet two dozen state education boards have either revoked, withheld, paid dues, or otherwise withdrew their membership in the organization.
Although the NSBA withdrew their letter, Mr. Garland didn’t enter his memo. In testimony to Congress on Oct. 21, the Attorney General defended his approach, proverb that “the first amendment right of parents to complain as vociferously as they please about the education of their children, about the curriculum taught in the schools” is “not at all what the memorandum is about, nor are the words” domestic terrorism’. or ??PATRIOT Act.??
The AG angrily rejected the idea that “the PATRIOT Act would be used in the circumstances of parents complaining about their children” or that it “would be labeled as domestic terrorism”. Division no less than Garland’s denials.
The highest-ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee, Jim Jordan of Ohio, promptly shot a… letter to Mr. Garland who said the new information “casts into doubt the accuracy and completeness of your affidavit.” Jordan says the new memo “provides specific evidence that federal law enforcement has operationalized counterterrorism tools at the behest of a riotous special interest group against concerned parents.”
If Garland was aware of this attempt, which was sent by the Bureau the day before he testified, Mr. Jordan that Mr. Garland ‘deliberately misled’. the Judiciary Committee on the Nature and Extent of the Department’s Use of Federal Counter-Terrorism Tools to Attack Concerned Parents at School Board Meetings. Mr. Jordan invited the Attorney General to amend his October 21 testimony to address the discrepancy.
It’s unclear how many FBI agents have been sent out to monitor parents, what tools they used to carry out their surveillance, whether subpoenas have been issued to allow wiretapping or other more sophisticated means of gathering information, and how many U.S. civilians are branded with the EDUOFFICIALS threat tag.
Questions also remain about Mr. Garland’s potential conflict of interest involving his son-in-law Xan Tanner, a co-founder of Panorama Education, a consulting firm that multi-million dollar contracts supportive?? equity?? training in schools. This is exactly the kind of thing that parents protest.
The Justice Department has reviewed the recent revelations about the use of the discredited Steele Dossier to conduct domestic espionage operations in the 2016 Donald Trump campaign. poll recent years have shown a growing partisan division over respect for the once vaunted FBI. The new whistleblower documents are another blow to the credibility of the Justice Department and the FBI and will bolster the case for tough reforms from these politicized organizations.