In a bombshell, Politico reported on Friday that the federal government has been worrying about the rise of Antifa since “early 2016,” and even labeled their activities “domestic terrorist violence” — yet the Obama administration said nothing publicly about Antifa despite ample opportunity to do so. According to Politico:
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.
The violence ratcheted up as President Trump’s campaign swung into full gear. The FBI noted violence by Antifa in Texas, Oregon, California. Law enforcement put particular focus on a white supremacist rally in Sacramento: At the Sacramento rally, Antifa protesters came looking for violence, and “engaged in several activities indicating proficiency in pre-operational planning, to include organizing carpools to travel from different locations, raising bail money in preparation for arrests, counter-surveilling law enforcement using three-man scout teams, using handheld radios for communication, and coordinating the event via social media,” the DHS report said.
The FBI and DHS issued a report in April 2016 openly stating that Antifa was prepping for violence; new Jersey law enforcement reportedly stated that Antifa had cropped up in New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Philadelphia. Shockingly, some members of Antifa “have gone overseas to train and fight with fellow anarchist organizations.”
So, where the hell was President Obama while all of this was building?
Remember, in April 2009, shortly after Obama took office, the Department of Homeland Security, under the auspices of Janet Napolitano, issued a report stating that “right-wing extremism” was on the rise, and labeling anti-abortion and anti-immigration groups as suspect. The report specifically called out the prospect of lone wolf terrorism from those who agreed with “right-wing” viewpoints. The report was shockingly vague, but the Obama administration stood by it.
So, how about his apparently very specific report regarding Antifa from the year of the election? Not a peep from the Obama administration. And let’s contrast the language of that 2009 memo with the language of the Obama administration regarding left-wing violence. The 2009 memo stated this regarding anti-immigration groups:
Debates over appropriate immigration levels and enforcement policy generally fall within the realm of protected political speech under the First Amendment, but in some cases, anti-immigration or strident pro-enforcement fervor has been directed against specific groups and has the potential to turn violent.
In July 2016, a black radical who parroted the messages of Black Lives Matter shot and killed five police officers and wounded seven others who were protecting a BLM march, Obama spent an inordinate amount of time echoing the BLM message at their memorial service:
We know that bias remains. We know it, whether you are black, or white, or Hispanic, or Asian, or native American, or of Middle Eastern descent, we have all seen this bigotry in our own lives at some point. We've heard it at times in our own homes. If we're honest, perhaps we've heard prejudice in our own heads and felt it in our own hearts. We know that. And while some suffer far more under racism's burden, some feel to a far greater extent discrimination's stain. Although most of us do our best to guard against it and teach our children better, none of us is entirely innocent. No institution is entirely immune, and that includes our police departments. …When all this takes place, more than 50 years after the passage of the Civil Rights Act, we cannot simply turn away and dismiss those in peaceful protest as troublemakers or paranoid.
President Obama had the opportunity to speak out against left-wing violent movements, to single out Antifa, to disassociate with them, to call them out in the same way Nancy Pelosi did this week, in the same way President Trump has been asked endlessly to call out white supremacist violence. Obama didn’t. Instead, he remained silent on Antifa.
Democrats today have that same opportunity, too, to call out Antifa. But the fact that they won’t be asked to do so by most members of the media demonstrates something vile about our political discourse: that if people agree with the agenda of a violent group, they’re too often willing to downplay the violence in order to promote the agenda.