- The Washington Times - Monday, January 25, 2021

Former Rep. Tulsi Gabbard said she fears a Democratic-led effort to combat domestic terrorism could be used to eventually target Christians or “anyone who loves freedom.”

Appearing Friday evening on Fox News, the former Democratic presidential candidate from Hawaii slammed Rep. Brad Schneider’s proposed bill, the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act, which would give law enforcement authorities more tools to monitor groups they consider extremist.

“It’s so dangerous,” Ms. Gabbard said. “As you guys have been talking about, this is an issue that all Democrats, Republicans, independents, libertarians should be extremely concerned about, especially because we don’t have to guess about where this goes or how this ends.”

The former congresswoman criticized recent comments by former CIA Director John O. Brennan, who claimed the Biden administration, in response to the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot, was trying to “uncover as much as they can about what looks very similar to insurgency movements that we’ve seen overseas, where they germinate in different parts of a country, and they gain strength, and it brings together an unholy alliance, frequently, of religious extremists, authoritarians, fascists, bigots, racists, nativists, even libertarians.”

Ms. Gabbard said that’s a slippery slope.

“When you look at their process and they start looking at what characteristics we’re looking for as we are building this profile of a potential extremist, what are we talking about?” she asked. “Religious extremists, are we talking about Christians? Evangelical Christians? What is a religious extremist? Is it somebody who is pro-life? Where do you take this?

“You start looking at, obviously, has to be a White person, obviously likely male, libertarians, anyone who loves freedom, liberty, maybe has an American flag outside their house, or people who, you know, attended a Trump rally,” she continued. “Once you start walking this down the path, you see where it leads — to a very dangerous undermining of our civil liberties, our freedoms in our Constitution and a targeting of almost half the country.”

Ms. Gabbard said President Biden should denounce Mr. Brennan’s comments and focus Americans on uniting around the Constitution.

“All of this just goes to further tear our country apart,” she said. “And it moves towards what Joe Biden said in his inauguration speech that shouldn’t happen, which is a dehumanization of your opponent. And that’s where his voice is so necessary right now. He is the president of this country, he delivered this speech, his voice, himself speaking to the American people — he needs to denounce people like John Brennan and their statements, bills like the one Adam Schiff put forward and truly speak to the American people about how we must come together around the Constitution and around our Bill of Rights, around these rights that have been endowed to us by our creator.”

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