We are supposed to help the Federal government by watching one another and looking for warning signs of individuals who might be “radicalized,” who might be “drawn to violence,” who might become “terrorists.” It all gets smudged together in this interview with White House counterterrorism and Homeland Security adviser Lisa Monaco.
What kinds of signs do we look for?
“A parent seeing a kid being more confrontational.” She really said that.
Here’s the full quotation with context:
LISA MONACO: Well, I think what we have learned is that there are limits to what the federal government can do in terms of identifying individuals who are being drawn to violence.
We’re not always going to be able to see the warning signs. The government isn’t best positioned to see that, necessarily, all the time. In fact, we have crunched the data.
GWEN IFILL: But should it be better positioned to see it?
LISA MONACO: Well, I think we can be by working with the community, by engaging more.
We have looked at this very hard. What we have found from one study is that, in 80 percent of the cases, community members saw warning signs, but they didn’t see them as an indicator of a problem, whether it was a teacher hearing from a student that they were interested in traveling abroad to fight, whether it was a parent seeing a kid being more confrontational.
We have to learn together and educate community members and trust in community members who can come and intervene and point that usually youth to a different path.
GWEN IFILL: Is watching for signs, watching for behavior changes, is that a little passive in the face of what’s sadly and repeatedly growing problems here?
This is a recipe for paranoia and the suffocation of children—especially boys trying to become men. It is a justification for giving a kid a ten-day suspension for a bright yellow sci-fi squirt gun. It will lead to the persecution of teens who like to fish.
It is a vicious lie, that people in the “hometown” are to be blamed for missing warning signs. Russian intelligence warned the FBI about their radicalization and they did nothing. Our “protectors” completely failed us and are now preaching at us to blame us and to make us paranoid about one another.
I think Infowars is right to link this interview with the movement to label people who believe in Constitutional government or traditional society as terrorists. Monaco is providing a context to try to make it look sensible for FBI agents to demand that gun shop owners report to them the names of anyone who is against “Big Government.”
If anything, Monaco is even more radical. She wants to use the therapy-industrial complex to intervene in would-be “terrorists.”
GWEN IFILL: Is that a law enforcement response? The debate we always have when things happen is whether it should be a law enforcement response, whether it’s a debate about gun control, or whether it should be a mental health response or something else like that, or are you talking about a combination of all these things?
LISA MONACO: All of them.
If you have a child who is getting “more confrontational,” I hope you are able to deal with it before it comes to the attention of trained-to-be-paranoid “community leaders.”