After the mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton, President Trump lowered flags to half-mast until August 8. According to a commentator on MSNBC, that was a secret signal to white supremacists meaning “Heil Hitler,” with H being the eighth letter of the alphabet. As a number of commentators and comedians pointed out, it was the sort of thing one expects from the drunk at the end of the bar, or an escaped mental patient. The speaker was Frank Figliuzzi, the FBI’s former assistant director for counterintelligence.
Figliuzzi is an attorney with a JD from the University of Connecticut. He joined the FBI in 1987 and, among other tasks, served as special agent in charge of the Miami field office. Figliuzzi worked his way up to FBI Chief Inspector and then Assistant Director for Counterintelligence. What actual foreign espionage Figliuzzi managed to uncover has not come to light. On other hand, as an MSNBC mouthpiece, he has revealed a great deal about himself.
In an August 12 appearance on MSNBC’s “Deadline: White House,” Figliuzzi told anchor Chris Jansing that the Trump administration should be viewed through the “lens of radicalization.” Jansing countered that the president demands blind loyalty from his followers, and Figliuzzi clicked on the link.
“Well, this is why it’s so important to look through the lens of radicalization when you look at this president and then apply counter-radicalization techniques, because you’re right, attacking his followers is going to be counterproductive,” said Figliuzzi, and he wasn’t done. “He demands that loyalty, and they are loyal. So if you call Trump followers racist en masse, they simply coalesce around each other and become even more defensive and protective of the leader, just as they would in, say, a terrorist organization to compare to the radicalization.”
As Mike Brest noted in the Washington Examiner, Figliuzzi had indeed “compared supporters of President Trump to members of a terrorist organization,” and that would of course justify militant action against them. As it happens, that is a belch from deep state in general and the administration of POTUS 44 in particular.
“Desire to wage war on ordinary Americans – to disadvantage them and even to kill them – had long been bubbling in the ruling class’s basements,” Angelo Codevilla recently noted on American Greatness. Codevilla cited the Department of Homeland Security’s Hot Spots of Terrorism and Other Crimes in the United States, 1979-2008. This 2012 study classified persons judged to be “suspicious of centralized federal authority” and “reverent of individual liberty” as “extreme right-wing terrorists.”
Consider also Challengers from the Sidelines: Understanding America’s Violent Far-Right, from the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point. This 2013 study warns about the “anti-federalist movement,” whose members “espouse strong convictions regarding the federal government, believing it to be corrupt and tyrannical, with a natural tendency to intrude on individuals’ civil and constitutional rights.” They also support civil activism, individual freedoms, and self-government. In the United States, people of that description fill a rather large tent.
Consider also Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment, an April 2009 publication of the Department of Homeland Security, then ruled by former Arizona governor Janet Napolitano. These right-wing extremists are “mainly antigovernment, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority.” The “possible passage of new restrictions on firearms,” also disturbs them.
Those who find these government studies troubling might recall that POTUS 44, formerly known as Barry Soetoro, refused to link Islam with terrorism. Those who believe the federal government intrudes on individual rights might wonder how the FBI handled actual cases of terrorism under that administration.
As it emerged in Lessons from Fort Hood: Improving our Ability to Connect the Dots, during his medical residency the U.S. Army’s Nidal Hasan demonstrated “evidence of violent extremism,” sympathy for radical Islam, and even wrote papers defending Osama bin Laden. “Yet no action was taken. Instead, Major Hasan was rewarded for his work and promoted.”
In May of 2009, the Army major was communicating with terrorist mastermind Anwar al-Awliki about killing American soldiers. These and other emails between the two were in the hands of the FBI, which looked the other way and dropped the case until November 5, 2009. That day Hasan killed 13 Americans and wounded 42 others, the worst terrorist attack on American soil since 9/11. The president pronounced it “workplace violence,” not even “gun violence.”
The FBI director at the time was Robert Mueller, who served from 2001 to 2013, longer than any FBI boss except for J. Edgar Hoover. It was Mueller who in 2011 appointed Frank Figliuzzi Assistant Director for Counterintelligence. He may be the looniest anti-Trumper on television, but to be fair the former FBI assistant director is an equal opportunity hater.
He tweets about “Moscow Mitch” and as the network explains, Figliuzzi joined Nicolle Wallace “to discuss reporting that a Russian company invested in an aluminum plant in Kentucky soon after McConnell led the efforts to lift sanctions on that company.”
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