In his first address to Congress, President Joe Biden declared white supremacists posed the “most lethal” terrorist threat to the United States.
He said Wednesday night the threat “has evolved way beyond Afghanistan,” referring to war that began in response to the 9/11 attacks.
“And we won’t ignore what our intelligence agencies have determined to be the most lethal terrorist threat to the homeland today, white supremacist terrorism,” he said.
“We’re not going to ignore that either,” Biden added.
But Matt Palumbo argues that both Islamic and white supremacist terror have become rare, never accounting for more than 1% of all homicides in any given year, with the notable exception of 2001.
The 9/11 attacks resulted in many more deaths than every white supremacist terror incident in the 21st century combined, he pointed out, writing for The Bongino Report. And recently, Islamic terrorist groups such as ISIS have decimated, thanks to President Trump’s policies.
Just before Biden’s speech, noted ZeroHedge’s Tyler Durden, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., told MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace the “predominant part of that domestic threat” is white nationalists.
“We can’t ignore that because of a political sensitivity that some of the folks are part of the Trump base,” he said.
On Wednesday, Bloomberg reported the Biden Justice Department is considering whether to seek a new law that would allow prosecutors to bring specific charges for domestic terrorism.
Polumbo noted that Biden and fellow Democrats point to a Homeland Security report that spawned headlines such as CNN’s “White supremacists remain deadliest U.S. terror threat.” But the 18th page of the report shows the conclusion is based on a sample size of only one year of data, 2018-2019.
The key passage of the report states: “American domestic violence extremists, racially and ethnically motivated violent extremists – specifically white supremacist extremists will remain the most persistent and lethal threat to the homeland.”
That’s based on white supremacists conducting half of all lethal attacks – eight total – among domestic violent extremists in 2018-19.
Palumbo noted that in 2016, the ISIS-inspired Pulse Nightclub massacre in Orlando alone killed 49 people, more than all white supremacists combined in 2018-2019.
Further, the Homeland Security report doesn’t provide details of the incidents to demonstrate they were indeed terrorist attacks. And neither does a 2017 study by the Government Accountability Office titled “Countering Violent Extremism” that claimed 73% of terror attacks were conducted by “far-right” groups.
In one example of such an attack, the report said, a “White Supremacist member of Aryan Brotherhood killed a man.” But the report provided no evidence of the motive or the race of the victim.
“Since when does a murder become a terrorist incident just because the murderer also happens to be a bigot?” Palumbo asked. “A hate crime perhaps, but not a terror attack.”
In another, a case in which a “far rightist murdered a homeless man” is counted as a right-wing terror attack.
Further, the report describes a “white supremacist” who shot and killed nine people at his community college.” That was the 2015 Umpqua Community College shooting in Oregon, carried out by a self-described “mixed race” man who singled out Christians for his attack.
Palumbo also noted that Muslims make up 1% of the population while Whites make up 63%.
“Even an equal number of attacks from the radicalized fragment of each group would still mean Islamic attacks are 63 times more frequent per-capita,” he argued.
“Overall, the FBI’s perpetrator data shows that whites are underrepresented when it comes to their share of hate crimes committed, accounting for only 52.5% of hate crime perpetrators – though it’s actually 25% of perpetrators when you adjust for the fact that the FBI stats count Hispanics as White.”
And speaking of imminent threats the nation faces, Palumbo added, “one can only wonder why the $2 billion in property damage during the George Floyd riots, or the 19 deaths during them, aren’t counted as ‘left wing terrorism.'”
‘Worst attack on our democracy’
During his presidential campaign, Biden accused then-President Donald Trump of stoking white supremacism and deadly attacks with his rhetoric.
The Democrat has said many times that his decision to run for president was prompted by Trump’s remarks after the deadly riot in Charlottesville in 2017. However, Biden falsely claimed that Trump said white supremacists were “very fine people.” Trump immediately made it clear he was not talking about the neo-Nazis, declaring “they should be condemned totally.”
At the beginning of his address Wednesday night, Biden said the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol was the “worst attack on our democracy since the Civil War.”
That remark drew widespread criticism on Twitter, including from left-leaning journalist Glenn Greenwald.
“January 6 was worse than 9/11? Or Pearl Harbor?” he asked.
“Or the Oklahoma City bombing? Or the dismantling of civil liberties in the name of the Cold War and War on Terror? Or the mass surveillance program secretly and illegally implemented by NSA aimed at US citizens?
“How about the War on Drugs, mass incarceration and Jim Crow? Were those worse ‘attacks on democracy’ than the 3-hour Capitol riot on Jan. 6? The assassination of JFK? The interference in domestic politics by the CIA? The list of worse attacks than Jan. 6 is endless,” he wrote.
Defenders of the president argued the incidents Greenwald cited were not direct attacks on democracy.
But Jerry Dunleavy of the Washington Examiner argued the 9/11 was an attack on U.S. democracy because “Flight 93 was headed for the U.S. Capitol, and if not for the brave actions of those on board, it’s very possible the building would’ve been a smoking crater.”
And 9/11, he wrote on Twitter, “successfully targeted the Pentagon — a prominent global symbol of our democracy’s military might.”
In addition, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated and President Reagan was shot and nearly died.
And don’t forget, he said, that among other domestic terror attacks, the Weather Underground bombed the U.S. Capitol in 1971 and the May 19th Communist Organization did the same in 1983.