The Department of Homeland Security released a ‘Terrorism Threat’ Bulletin last Monday, which warned of a “heightened threat environment” in the US.

The main ‘threat’ identified is “an online environment filled with false or misleading narratives and conspiracy theories, and other forms of misinformation introduced and amplified by foreign and domestic threat actors.”

No explanation or evidence was offered as to why anyone holding differing, erroneous, or even mad, views on a particular subject, or who expresses them publicly, should be deemed a potential “terror threat”, but that seems to be the official position of governments worldwide today.

The language used in the Bulletin is so chilling, it is hard to believe it issued from within a country once viewed as a ‘beacon of democracy’.

The right to ‘free speech’ and the ‘right to dissent’, have been recast as “domestic terrorism”.

The DHS says it is working with public and private partners, as well as foreign counterparts, to identify “false/misleading narratives and conspiracy theories spread on social media and other online platforms.”

It has also set up a new “dedicated Domestic Terrorism Branch”, to gather intelligence, impose censorship and devise other counter-measures.

Anyone deemed to be “seeking to exacerbate societal friction”, “sow discord”, “encourage unrest” or “undermine public trust in government institutions”, are now openly being framed by the intelligence services worldwide, as potential ‘Enemies of the State’.

I can think of no more dangerous or divisive position for a government to take, than this.

Essentially it means governments are putting themselves on a ‘war footing’ against large sections of their own citizenry.

The truly frightening thing about all this, is that anyone who holds a different view to the ‘reigning consensus’, or who wishes to express their opposition to a particular policy or law, is now at real risk of being put on some secret government ‘threat’ list.

Meanwhile, all those democratic ‘checks and balances’, built up over centuries to ensure the ‘power of the state’ remains separate, independent and competing, have vanished.

Today, all branches of power appear to be acting in close partnership and complete synchronicity with each other.

Am I the only one that finds all this a profoundly disturbing development?

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