Police State America: US Department of Justice to Train “Community Leaders” to be Snitches for the Empire

The Sharpton-ization of the US imperialism's national security state

In quick time after Obama declared a prolonged war on Iraq and Syria, the Department of Justice partnered with the Department of Homeland Security and the National Counterterrorism Center to launch a new domestic surveillance program. This program seeks to expand the surveillance dragnet by training “community leaders” to monitor their communities for signs of “radicalization.” The imperialists are using manufactured fear of ISIS, the proxy jihadists of America’s own creation, as a means to justify such surveillance. The DOJ’s new program is another reinforcement of Washington’s “War on (of) Terror,” which has provided the ideological foundation for white supremacist, imperialist warfare since 2001. Under the guise of fighting “terror,” the imperialists have waged an all out war on the poor, working class, and those who stand against Empire.

In doing so, the “War on Terror” has made it impossible for the ruling class to hide the national security-state apparatus of US imperialism. The passage of the Patriot Act and National Defense Authorization Act, as well as the maintenance of Guantanamo Bay, has sent a clear message that the imperialists are waging permanent war all over the planet for control and plunder. However, the expansion of the national security state is supported by the racist, deceptive narrative of “terrorist” prevention. In reality, imperialism’s erasure of Constitutional law through mass repression stems from a deep fear of popular rebellion. The purpose of the national security state’s illegal wire-taps, search and seizures, raids, and collections of private information is to neutralize any potential threat to the corporate and military dictatorship of US imperialism.

In the book Still Black Still Strong, Dhoruba Bin-Wahad defines the national security state as the network of intelligence agencies, local police departments, and the military institutions used to suppress resistance to imperialism. Dhoruba explains that the national security state was fathered into existence during Washington’s war against socialism and the Black liberation movement. The movement for Black self-determination, most militantly fought for by the Black Panther Party, prompted the Johnson and Nixon Administrations to “neutralize” Black political opposition in the US. The FBI’s Counter Intelligence Program (COINTELPRO) focused most of its efforts on the Black Panthers. The repression was extensive, ranging from the use of informants to disrupt Party efforts and collect information, military-style raids on Panther headquarters, and targeted assassinations and arrests of Panther leadership.

The intensification of the war on the Panthers allowed Washington and local police departments to build the technological and military capacity necessary for the present day “War on Terror.” Dhourba argues that the counterinsurgency tactics employed on the Black Panther Party have expanded to encompass the whole US population. In other words, Washington has broadened its war to include all US citizens. Obama’s kill list, the Patriot Act, and all forms of mass surveillance must be placed in this context. The connection between the mass surveillance conducted by the national security state and the repression of the Black liberation movement cannot be understated, especially when COINTELPRO agents are still employed by Washington.

Enter Al Sharpton. Sharpton is Washington’s top “community leader.” Last spring, the corporate press revealed Sharpton’s involvement in the FBI as an informant on mafia and “drug” cases. However, Sharpton has been accused of being a more sinister type of rat during his period of employment for the FBI. Before Sharpton was Obama’s darling Black servant, he worked tirelessly to catch Black liberation heroine Assata Shakur. According to Black liberation movement activists Ahmed Obafemi and Kwame Brathwaite, Sharpton offered a donation on behalf of two former Black Panthers to Assata and requested to set up a meeting with her. He did so with knowledge of how dangerous such an encounter would be for Assata, who was on the run after escaping from political imprisonment.

Al Sharpton’s work as an informant for Washington is no longer secret. In this period, Sharpton is committed to degrading Black America and defusing potential Black rebellion on behalf of the Obama Administration. Besides this, Sharpton is a top Black spokesman for the privatization of education. Sharpton teamed up with Newt Gingrich in 2009 to promote “school reform.” In each city, Sharpton and Gingrich preached Arne Duncan and Obama’s doctrine of erasing public education from existence to make way for charter schools. Sharpton exhibits an energy few stooges have in promoting imperialism’s exhaustive dual agenda of Black exploitation and repression, while at the same time maintaining the image of “community leader.”

Just as Sharpton is now a public agent for Washington, the surveillance state as a whole is too massive to hide the crimes it was once only able to commit in secret. The newly announced DOJ program claims it will train “community leaders,” such as teachers and social service workers, in the art of identifying “radicals” of the ISIS boogeyman variety. If imperialism were an honest system, the ruling class would explain to the people that it teamed up with its imperial allies to create ISIS, making the move to “spot” ISIS radicals in the US is nothing more than an excuse to rollback civil liberties and ramp up the domestic police state. In a very real way, the best case scenario for Washington’s imperial agenda is the creation of as many “snitches” for Empire as possible. The imperialist ruling class has declared the need for informants with a public face. The Sharpton-ization of the US imperialism’s national security state has officially begun.

Danny Haiphong is an activist and case manager in the Greater Boston Area. Danny can be reached at [email protected]


Articles by: Danny Haiphong

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