This move delights Trump’s base, but sets a dangerous precedent. Antifa members sometime engage in criminal activities, including violence. They should be labeled as criminals and treated accordingly. Labeling their activities as “terrorist violence” opens the door to treating them as terrorists, which could in turn lead to the suspension or curtailment of civil liberties that has become a standard part of the law concerning foreign terrorists (whether this should be the case is a discussion for another day). Good, bad, or horrible, Antifa members are still US citizens entitled to the full protection of the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Labeling them as terrorists accomplishes nothing and may open the door to labeling other groups as terrorists (including right-wing groups) and curtailing their civil liberties. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:
President Trump was crucified by the mainstream media a few weeks back after hosting an improvised press conference and saying there was “blame on both sides” for the violence in Charlottesville that resulted in the death of a counterprotester. The comments resulted in most of Trump’s advisory councils being disbanded, as CEO’s around the country pounced on the opportunity to distance themselves from the administration, and heightened calls from CNN for impeachment proceedings.
The problem is that while Trump’s delivery probably could have been a bit more artful, the underlying message seems to be proving more accurate with each passing day and each new outbreak of Antifa violence.
As Politico points out today, previously unreported FBI and Department of Homeland Security studies found that “anarchist extremist” group like Antifa have been the “primary instigators of violence at public rallies” going back to at least April 2016when the reports were first published.
Federal authorities have been warning state and local officials since early 2016 that leftist extremists known as “antifa” had become increasingly confrontational and dangerous, so much so that the Department of Homeland Security formally classified their activities as “domestic terrorist violence,” according to interviews and confidential law enforcement documents obtained by POLITICO.
Since well before the Aug. 12 rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, turned deadly, DHS has been issuing warnings about the growing likelihood of lethal violence between the left-wing anarchists and right-wing white supremacist and nationalist groups.
Previously unreported documents disclose that by April 2016, authorities believed that “anarchist extremists” were the primary instigators of violence at public rallies against a range of targets. They were blamed by authorities for attacks on the police, government and political institutions, along with symbols of “the capitalist system,” racism, social injustice and fascism, according to a confidential 2016 joint intelligence assessment by DHS and the FBI.