This Friday, January 20th 2017 will be the 45th Presidential Inauguration where Donald Trump will be sworn in as President of the United States. Many of us have chosen on that day to exercise our 1st Amendment rights and demonstrate in opposition to some of the policies of the incoming administration. In a free and democratic society, this is our right. But according to the Joint Base Lewis-McChord Force Protection Division, expressing our opposition to government policies makes us domestic extremists, terrorists, and a danger to the community.
Thomas Rudd, the Joint Base Lewis-McChord Force Protection Division director, and his deputy, Daniel Vessels, are antiterrorism officers at the military base. In their daily antiterrorism bulletin, they are warning the personnel at the base, and every other reader of their bulletin, against attending these 1st Amendment protected gatherings. They call these public gatherings and 1st Amendment protected activities dangerous, extremist activities and domestic terrorism. They are warning Joint Base Lewis-McChord personnel that they may not attend these political activities, and they demand that any information gathered about these demonstrations be reported to them as "suspicious activity".
Just what information should be reported? Well, according to Daniel Vessels, the Joint Base Lewis-McChord Force Protection Division deputy director, "nothing is too trivial to report". Are you demonstrating in opposition to the policies of the new administration? The Joint Base Lewis-McChord Force Protection Division wants your name, your address, your vehicle description and plate number, your cellphone number, and anything you have posted to Facebook or Twitter.
If you oppose Trump, the Joint Base Lewis-McChord Force Protection Division wants to know about it, and they will enter your name into their antiterrorism reporting network. So, beware! If you exercise your 1st Amendment rights and speak out against the government you will be labeled a domestic terrorist and violent extremist, and your name will be forever listed in government antiterrorism records. It won't be long thereafter that government agents will come knocking at your door.