US taxpayers are footing the bill for a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) experiment involving the creation of a game-like program whose stated goal is to make sure people make the right real life decisions – especially in terms of what’s known as domestic terrorism, and learn to recognize “signs of radicalization.”
But the obvious political/ideological slant as to who these radicalized domestic terrorists are expected to be – namely, people with values typically associated with conservatives – makes the discovery of the memo controversial.
America First Legal (AFL), which positions itself as an alternative to the ACLU, announced that it has come into possession of internal DHS documents thanks to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request which details the scheme in question.
The outline, dubbed, Choose Your Own Adventure, proposes five story branches, each with three video scenes, screenshots of the documents obtained by the AFL show.
Some of the “radicalization” scenarios, presented in a proposal that originated from DHS’ Office for Targeted Violence and Terrorism Prevention (OTVTP), include fictitious characters like an online gamer who is described as using “mean and degrading” language, as well as “a budding conspiracy theorist,” a pro-life activist, and a stepfather who is also “anti-government/authority” – and an abusive parent.
The group said that the memo with the proposal dates back to late January 2021, a little over a week after Joe Biden was sworn in, and the concept is criticized for being politically charged, specifically for allegedly profiling conservatives.
The memo estimated a budget of $75,000 per day, plus $25,000 in labor costs, and the OTVTP stated it expected to reach its target audience, which is general public “and bystanders” via websites, social media, paid media, earned media, and stakeholder outreach.
One of the points made in the proposal is that, from the point of view of the DHS, “domestic terrorism can happen to anyone, but anyone can also help prevent it.”
But when it comes to who is likely to become a “domestic terrorist” – that’s not just “anyone.” The agency’s opinion is clear from the chosen characters and the beliefs/characteristics the memo’s authors chose to assign to them.
AFL Senior Counselor and Director of Investigations Reed D. Rubinstein blasted the discovery as proof of the DHS morphing from a domestic intelligence agency into a “Stasi-like Deep State internal security apparatus.”
“It is a very long way from ‘see something, say something’ regarding an unattended suitcase at the airport to profiling patriotic and politically conservative Americans as abusive parents and domestic terrorists because they oppose abortion on demand and voted for former President Trump,” Rubinstein said in a statement, adding, “The agency is out of control.”