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Trump's terror policies are bad enough now. What about after an attack?

By       Message Trevor Timm     Permalink
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From The Guardian

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Donald Trump has spent the bulk of his new presidency playing tough in the face of terrorism. Yet pretty much everything he's proposed, beyond being bigoted in the extreme, shows just how terrified and weak he is -- all while putting the country at greater risk.

This week, Trump spent much of his time claiming -- falsely -- that the media downplays terrorist attacks for "reasons" he did not explain. "It's gotten to a point where it's not even being reported," he proclaimed at a military event on Tuesday. "And in many cases, the very, very dishonest press doesn't want to report it. They have their reasons, and you understand that." The White House followed up with a list of 73 terror attacks over the past few years which they claimed were "under-covered."

The idea that the media downplays terror attacks is hard to fathom. For 15 years, terror attacks -- and countless terror threats that never materialized -- have led to wall-to-wall coverage on television, in print and online. Many times such coverage has led politicians to implement disturbing policies that would have done nothing to prevent the attacks in the first place and only further restrict the rights of millions of innocent people.

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The numbers back up just how undeniably wrong Trump's claims are: Peter Bergen at CNN calculated that the 78 terrorist attacks the White House claimed were "under-reported" were the subject of 80,000 articles. 80,000!

But what makes Trump's uneducated musing even more infuriating is that at the same time as he instills fear into the American people about Islamist terrorism -- which only does the terrorists' job for them -- he's going out of his way to create a blind spot inside the US government for an arguably greater threat: terrorism committed by white nationalist, far-right groups.

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According to Reuters, Trump wants to change the name of the Department of Homeland Security's "Countering Violent Extremism" program to "Countering Radical Islamic Extremism." Under this plan, violent white supremacists would no longer be targeted. Meanwhile, his "list" of 78 terror attacks that the White House released this week contained exactly zero white supremacist incidents.

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http://pressfreedomfoundation.org

Trevor Timm is a co-founder and the executive director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation. He is a writer, activist, and lawyer who specializes in free speech and government transparency issues. He has contributed to  The (more...)
 

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