Missouri Apologizes to Paul, Barr & Baldwin Over MIAC Report
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
The uproar that ensued as a result of our original story about a document issued by the Missouri Information Analysis Center which smeared third party supporters as potential domestic terrorists has forced the Missouri Department of Public Safety to issue an apology to Ron Paul, Chuck Baldwin and Bob Barr. However, references to people who are anti-abortion, anti-gun control, knowledgeable about the Constitution and even those who simply display political bumper stickers will remain.
As we revealed in our exclusive report two weeks ago, a leaked secret report distributed by the federal Missouri Information Analysis Center lists Ron Paul supporters, libertarians, people who display bumper stickers, people who own gold, or even people who fly a U.S. flag and equates them with radical race hate groups and terrorists.
The MIAC report specifically describes supporters of presidential candidates Ron Paul, Chuck Baldwin, and Bob Barr as “militia” influenced terrorists and instructs the Missouri police to be on the lookout for supporters displaying bumper stickers and other paraphernalia associated with the Constitutional, Campaign for Liberty, and Libertarian parties.
The MIAC report ( PDF) does not concentrate on Muslim terrorists, but rather on the so-called “militia movement” and conflates it with supporters of Ron Paul, Chuck Baldwin, Bob Barr, the so-called patriot movement and other political activist organizations opposed to the North American Union and the New World Order.
Even after an uproar ensued as a result of widespread media coverage of the report, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon had the temerity to stand behind the document despite its blatantly erroneous content and blasé defamation.
However, days after Paul, Baldwin and Barr signed a joint letter demanding that references to themselves and their affiliated political groups be removed from the report, along with a hint of legal action if this didn’t occur, the Missouri Department of Public Safety has issued a formal apology.
“Portions of that report may be easily construed by readers as offensive to supporters of certain political candidates or to those candidates themselves,” Department of Public Safety Director John Britt wrote in his apology letter ( PDF) to Paul, Barr and Baldwin. “I regret that those comments were ultimately included in the final report issued by the MIAC.”
“Unfortunately, in the course of preparing this report, some regrettable information was included in the report on militia groups in Missouri,” Britt wrote. “While the intent of the report was only to identify certain traits that are sometimes shared by members of militia organizations, this report is too easily misinterpreted as suggesting that militia members may be identified by no other indicator than support for a particular candidate or political organization.”
“I have ordered that the offending report be edited to excise all reference to Ron Paul, Bob Barr or Chuck Baldwin,” the letter concludes, without a promise to retract the report altogether, much to the chagrin of the multitude of other banal groups demonized as potential domestic terrorists.
Missourians United For Life, an anti-abortion group, has filed a complaint with the American Civil Liberties Union against Governor Nixon following his public support of the document.
“What Governor Nixon is telling Missourians is if you disagree with him on the issue of life or display a pro-life bumper sticker or wear a pro-life pin, you may subjected to action by state law enforcement or your personal information might be sent to a law enforcement analysis center,” said Ed Martin, President of Missourians United for Life. “This is a clear violation of Missourians civil rights. The only intent of such a report by Nixon’s Administration is to harass and intimidate the governor’s perceived political enemies and chill speech and open debate by those who disagree with Jay Nixon on public policy.”
State Rep. Shane Schoeller of Willard added his criticism to the furore, stating, “I don’t want to evolve into a society where people are watched just because they’re out participating in some freedom of speech activity.”
The fact that the bulk of the report, which equates pro-life groups, political activists and people knowledgeable about the Constitution with domestic terrorists like Timothy McVeigh and Eric Rudolph, will not be redacted, proves that the battle is not over.
Outrage over the wholesale defamation of some of the most patriotic and informed groups of American citizens and attempts to educate police that they should be treated as an “enemy” should not subside just because the state has issued a meek apology to Paul, Barr and Baldwin alone.
The entire report needs to be repudiated in order to create a precedent that educating police with this kind of garbage is an insult to the very oath that they swore by in the first place.