2011-08-10 "Oath Keepers: FBI Wants Surplus Stores To Spy on Customers; FBI Handout Lists Purchase of Preparedness Items as “Potential Indicators of Terrorist Activities”
Oath Keepers Exclusive: An FBI Denver Joint Terrorism Task Force handout being distributed to Colorado military surplus store owners lists the purchase of popular preparedness items and firearms accessories as “suspicious” and “potential indicators of terrorist activities,” instructing store owners to keep records on and report people who:
“Make bulk purchase of items to include:
* Weatherproofed ammunition or match containers
* Meals Ready to Eat
* Night Vision Devices; night flashlights; gas masks
* High capacity magazines
* Bi-pods or tri-pods for rifles”
The FBI handout, entitled “Communities Against Terrorism: Potential Indicators of Terrorist Activities Related to Military Surplus Stores” also instructs surplus store owners to:
* “Require valid ID from all new customers.
* Keep records of purchases.
* Talk to customers, ask questions, and listen to and observe their responses.
* Watch for people and actions that are out of place.
* Make note of suspicious statements, people, and /or vehicles.
* If something seems wrong, notify law enforcement authorities.”
The handout also instructs surplus store owners to consider as “suspicious” anyone who “demands identity ‘privacy’” or anyone who expresses “extreme religious statements” and those who “make suspicious comments regarding anti-US, [or] radical theology.”
The “Communities Against Terrorism” flyer closes by stating:
Preventing terrorism is a community effort. By learning what to look for, you can make a positive contribution in the fight against terrorism. The partnership between the community and law enforcement is essential to the success of anti -terrorism efforts.
Some of the activities, taken individually, could be innocent and must be examined by law enforcement professionals in a larger context to determine whether there is a basis to investigate. The activities outlined on this handout are by no means all-inclusive but have been compiled from a review of terrorist events over several years.
The handout encourages surplus store owners and employees to provide information on “suspicious” customers by calling the Denver Joint Terrorism Task Force or the Colorado Information Analysis Center. This handout is very nearly identical to one issued by the FBI to gun stores from Connecticut to Utah: PDF [http://oathkeepers.org/oath/wp-content/uploads/FBInotice00.pdf]
This new handout expands the absurdity by now also targeting customers of military surplus stores, and by specifically targeting the purchasing of very common, and very popular, preparedness items such as Meals Ready to Eat (MRE’s) as “potential indicators of terrorist activities.”
While this particular handout is being given to military surplus store owners in Colorado, it is nearly certain that similar versions are being handed out by Joint Terrorism Task Forces in other states. Anyone who has seen such a handout, or who has a copy of one, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You know, “if you see something, say something!” It may be a potential indicator of government terrorist (tyranny and chilling of speech) activities.
FULL PDF OF HANDOUT
NOTE FROM STEWART RHODES, FOUNDER OF OATH KEEPERS:
Islamist terrorists are not known to hang out in local Army-Navy surplus stores, stocking up on MRE’s, high capacity magazines and bi-pods for their long range rifles. As Brandon Smith, over at Alt-market.com notes [http://www.alt-market.com/articles/222-obama-readies-citizen-spies-for-action], “These are very common purchases, not for terrorists, but for Preppers and Survivalists, who are obviously the targets of the FBI profile, not secret Al-Qaeda agents.” Spot on. Obviously the current crop of FBI “leadership” considers anyone who wants to be self-sufficient and prepared to be a “threat” that should be relentlessly tracked and reported.
So if you take preparedness seriously enough to buy a few cases of MREs, or if you see the wisdom in having spare “high capacity” (i.e. full capacity*) magazines for your rifles or pistols, if you don’t want your matches to get wet, if you want to be able to see in the dark, or if you want to be able to shoot more accurately by using a bipod, “you might be a terrorist” (like a bizarre Jeff Foxworthy joke), and the FBI wants your neighborhood Army Surplus Store to play the role of government informant and snitch, like something out of East Germany. As Brandon Smith put it, the FBI handout “even instructs store owners to subtly interrogate their customers in order to draw a fuller profile. THIS IS CALLED CITIZEN SPYING. Period.” Spot on again. That’s exactly what it is – a preparedness focused “see something, say something” snitch program to help track and locate Americans who exhibit such dangerous “prepper” tendencies.
How far we have come from the Founder’s ideal of a “well regulated” (well equipped and well trained) citizen militia where ALL able bodied citizens were expected to keep and bear their own weapons, ammunition, field gear, and other supplies essential to personal military capability and competence. And the Founders expected us to keep that military gear at home and to actually train together in its use so we would “be prepared” for anything, you know, like the Boy Scouts motto. That motto is a sad remnant of the Founders’ ideal of a prepared citizenry. As the Boy Scouts website still notes:
That’s the motto of the Boy Scouts.
“Be prepared for what?” someone once asked Baden-Powell, the founder of Scouting,
“Why, for any old thing.” said Baden-Powell.
Under the logic of this most recent handout, the Boy Scouts should be reported as “suspicious.” I can just hear the people at Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), who likely helped write this handout, screeching “Someone report Baden-Powell to the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force! He’s advocating an extremist, paranoid “prepper” ideology! Oh, wait …he’s dead? Well then, report anyone who quotes him! Such as that subversive remnant of American reactionary radicalization of the youth, the Boy Scouts! That’s a hotbed for extremist radicalization. Why haven’t they been shut down yet?! Someone get Cass Sunstein and Holder on the phone!”
The Founders would have wanted all of us, every one, to “be prepared” for “any old thing.” They would have wanted us to have night vision, gas masks (which come in handy in many situations), “high-capacity” magazines – and the powerful military pattern rifles that use them – bi-pods so we can shoot accurately at long distance, and plenty of ammunition in “weatherproofed” containers (also known as surplus ammo cans). They would have wanted us to have plenty of MRE’s for handy field use, and even “night flashlights.” I suppose “day flashlights” are OK with the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force, but those dangerous “night flashlights” are verboten, and anyone who buys one must be reported! I certainly hope it wasn’t actually someone at the FBI who wrote that.**
This absurd list sounds like it was compiled by someone at the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) or by someone at the Brady Center. I’m shocked it doesn’t also list purchase of “those shoulder things that go up” as a potential indicator of terrorist activity. And it may well have been written by the SPLC. As Oath Keepers exposed in October of 2010 [http://oathkeepers.org/oath/2010/10/08/its-official-southern-poverty-law-center-is-now-part-of-dhs/], the CEO of Southern Poverty Law Center now sits on the DHS “Working Group on Countering Violent Extremism,” which is tasked with designing training initiatives that reach right down to the local community level (as in “communities against terrorism”), to include training local police, social workers, teachers, “child protective services” personnel, and mental health professionals on how to use their power and influence to “counter violent extremism.”
I don’t have to tell you who SPLC likes to label “extremist.” You already know. Just look in the mirror. If you dare to quote the Founding Fathers, if you still believe in the self evident truths and principles of liberty espoused in the Declaration of Independence, if you advocate strict obedience of the Constitution, if you dare to take your oath seriously, and encourage others to do likewise, you are a radical “extremist” according to the SPLC and their “Hate Watch” website, and they will lump you in with neo-Nazis, skinheads, cop-killers and terrorists. And likewise if you support Ron Paul, Chuck Baldwin, or Michelle Bachmann, or if you watch Judge Andrew Napolitano’s Freedom Watch show or like Glenn Beck, since all of them are considered “enablers” of extremism by the SPLC. And of course, Oath Keepers has been a target of their smear campaigns from the day of its founding. I consider it a badge of honor. You know you’re over the target when Mark Potok starts screeching about you on national TV.
And now, as part of the DHS “team,” SPLC is doing their very best to turn the full power of government on you at every level, right down to your local “Mayberry” Police Department. And that’s where handouts like this one come in, encouraging the whole community to be out there monitoring, tracking, compiling dossiers, and investigating anyone who advocates or holds the views and ideals of the Founders or who is actually trying to fulfill their civic duties by practicing those ideals – such as the ideals of preparedness, competence at arms, and being well equipped and well trained.
Funny thing is, who exactly do the authors of these handouts think they are talking to when they ask gun store and military surplus store owners and staff to spy on their customers and serve as a network of government snitches? These stores are usually owned and staffed by veterans, who are also very preparedness minded – in other words, just like the customers the government wants them to inform on. That’s like handing the MIAC report to Ron Paul and Chuck Baldwin supporters and asking them to keep an eye on those pesky, subversive, and potentially dangerous Ron Paul and Chuck Baldwin supporters. It’s absurd.
in fact, asking military surplus store owners and staff to keep an eye out for people who like to stock up on MREs, high capacity magazines, flashlights, and weatherproofed ammo and match containers is like asking a shoe store to keep an eye out for people who take footwear seriously.
And when a store owner gets this list of “potential indicators of terrorist activities” and sees the items he stocks listed there, what is that saying about him? If he is intentionally stocking MRE,s, “night flashlights,” weatherproof ammunition or match containers, or any of the other common-sense, useful items on this list, that makes him an “enabler” and supplier of potential terrorists – at least in the eyes of the authors of this handout.
If the powers that be, and the authors of this silly handout are worried about customers of military surplus stores, I can only imagine what they think of readers of [www.survivalblog.com] or of the listeners and readers of Preparedness Podcast (http://thepreparednesspodcast.com/).
And they are probably on the verge of having strokes over Oath Keepers recently announced Operation Sleeping Giant (www.operationsleepinggiant.com) where we openly urge all veterans to be prepared and to take a leadership role in getting their communities prepared for anything by focusing on four key areas:
1. Food storage, fuel storage, emergency medical, and communications security and independence (and general preparedness). Since food is the hardest thing to improvise, it comes first, so we advocate doing as the Mormons do, by taking food storage seriously [including some MREs!]
2. Physical security and Independence – to include neighborhood watches; mutual aid associations; a volunteer sheriff’s posse (under direct command of the sheriff); and county militias established by county ordinances but staffed by self-supplied and self-funded volunteers (as is done in volunteer fire departments all over this nation); state defense forces under command of the governor; and ultimately, a true state militia, established by state statute, and capable of “repelling invasions” [just imagine Mark Potok reading that!].
3. Economic security and independence – as individuals and communities, including barter networks, use of silver and gold as real money, and sound money bills at the county and state levels (as Utah just passed). See www.alt-market.com for details.
4. State sovereignty and nullification of unconstitutional federal laws and actions. The focus here is on restoring the Republic from the bottom up, by voting out oath breakers and voting in constitutionalists, till we have sheriffs, local and state legislators, and governors who have the knowledge, courage, and integrity to keep their oaths, up to and including being willing to defend the Constitution and the powers reserved to the states and to the people (see the Tenth Amendment) by supporting state sovereignty resolutions and nullification of unconstitutional laws.
[Go to www.operationsleepinggiant.com for more details on that program, and please get involved!]
When the government distributes handouts encouraging gun stores and military surplus stores to track, monitor, and snitch on their customers, you know we are in trouble. But the answer is not to hide, afraid to train and practice preparedness. The answer is for everyone to become a “prepper”, as in all the rebellious gladiators yelling out “I am Spartacus!” when the Roman General demanded to know where Spartacus was. The proper spirit of response it be like Founding Father John Hancock saying “here, let me write my name nice and big, so King George can easily read it.”
That attitude is also expressed in Isaiah 6:8: “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!
The answer to the government’s silly lists is to make the lists so damn long they end up including every able bodied American (who is supposed to be the militia anyway), and thus the damnable lists become useless. Each of us should, rather than being afraid of buying preparedness gear, step up and go shopping, and encourage others to do the same, online, in person, wherever. Give preparedness items as birthday presents and Christmas gifts. Make them a badge of honor, like the Founding generation proudly wearing home-spun. Make the lists so big they become useless.
When the beast is in your face, trying to crush and stamp out the last remnants of your heritage, trying to chill your speech and make you afraid to fulfill your civic duties, afraid to keep your oath by stepping up and getting your community ready for hard times ahead – when the beast is trying to “nudge” you into sitting down, shutting up, and being a dependent, unprepared, scared, and cowardly serf, the answer is to step right up and answer the call. “Here I am. Send me!” should be the battle cry of every one of you.
I recently responded to the Police Chief of Quartzsite Arizona [http://oathkeepers.org/oath/2011/08/05/quartzsite-police-chief-calls-oath-keepers-and-tea-party-“terrorists”-and-reports-them-to-the-fbi/], who likes to make references to “domestic terrorism” when discussing upstart Tea Party people, Oath Keepers and Sons of Liberty Riders, by saying hey, “we’re your huckleberries, Chief.” (and we’ll be marching in Quartzsite on August 27th in support of the Quartzsite Ten!).
Same goes for this nonsense. If the FBI and DHS wants to openly target preparedness minded folks as “suspicious” and worthy of being reported to the Joint Terrorism Task Force, for simply doing what the Founders expected us to do, and what we veterans are duty bound by our oaths to do, and what every American, if they wish to be worthy of being called “citizen” is duty bound to do, well then, Robert and Janet, we’re your huckleberries too! Get in line.
Tu ne cede malis, sed contra audentior ito (Latin: Do not give in to evil but proceed ever more boldly against it)
* Hat tip to James Wesley, Rawles of Survival Blog [http://www.survivalblog.com/] who encourages the use of the term “full capacity” magazines rather than the anti-gunner term “high capacity” since the magazines in question were designed to carry that many rounds.
** We have heard, through the gape-vine, that many current serving FBI field agents are in agreement with us and support what we are doing here at Oath Keepers. They are not happy at all with the politicization of the FBI, but the “leaders” in Washington DC are another matter entirely, and have expressed an intent to use the FBI, along with DHS, BATF, etc., as a weapon against conservatives and constitutionalists. Will be interesting to see how that tension is resolved.