Md. Guard Issues Warning to Staff about Local TEA Party Protestors
Posted on April 15, 2009
By David Noss
CALLAWAY, Md. (April 15, 2009) - A document issued by the Maryland National Guard on April 9 warns full-time Guard personnel to be aware of threats from local citizens protesting income taxes during grass roots events known as TEA (Taxed Enough Already) Parties -- one of which was held on Solomons Island March 22. The Guard document, "Planned TEA Party Protests (FPCON Advisory 09-004)," was believed to have first been revealed by a blog called The Jawa Report. A call today to Col. Kohler, Md. National Guard Public Affairs in Baltimore, confirmed the authenticity of the document. The document was officially classified as UNCLASSIFIED/FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY (U/FOUO). (The document appears in its entirety at the bottom of this article)
The Guard document describes the TEA Party protests as a movement. "Numerous entities have formed recently to express displeasure/anger over recent federal/state government actions: more taxes, increased spending, higher deficits, a surge of borrowing to pay for it all, bailout of the financial institutions," stated the document under the heading of SITUATION. The document appears to treat protestors as potential terrorists. The Point of Contact is identified as "Antiterrorism Program Coordinator" and provides a redacted army.mil email address. The verbiage in the document advises Guard personnel to prepare for the worst. "Commanders are encouraged to update alert rosters and review emergency evacuation plans/rally points. Ensure all facilities have emergency phone lists posted (i.e. FBI, FIRE, POLICE, HOSPITALS, EMS, ETC…). Be aware of and avoid local protests." Despite the alarmist warnings in the document, the lead paragraph states, "there is no known direct threat to MDNG facilities and MDNG members, they may become a target of opportunity during plan protest activities throughout Maryland."
The Guard document follows closely on the heels of a Dept. of Homeland Security document, released on April 7 that profiles American citizens who are concerned about gun rights and the "current economic and political climate" as potential rightwing extremists and domestic terrorists. The document is titled "Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment" and was recently profiled in a Washington Times article.
Yet another Homeland Security document from the Missouri Information Analysis Center (MIAC), leaked to the press in March, profiles vocal supporters of Ron Paul, Bob Barr and Chuck Baldwin as potential domestic terrorists. The so-called MIAC document also cautions police to be aware of citizens carrying a copy of the U.S. Constitution, labeling the document as "political paraphernalia."
Ron Miller, a prominent Republican from Calvert County who ran against Rep. Steny Hoyer in 2006, and one of the organizers of the TEA Party protests in Maryland, told somd.com that the revelation of the Md. Guard's document was "kind of timely" given the discovery of the aforementioned Homeland Security document. Miller said he had received reports from unknown sources that some individuals opposed to the TEA Party message might try to insert themselves into the protests to discredit the initiative. However, nothing happened at any event, to Miller's knowledge, that supported the reports. Miller was on the way home from today's TEA Party protest in Annapolis when we spoke to him. The Annapolis event was specifically mentioned in the Guard document. Miller said he estimated there were 2500 people at the event he attended. "There were no problems that we could determine," said Miller. "Given the weather, it went very well."
Protests were also scheduled today for Baltimore, Bel Air, Cecil County, Frederick, Cumberland, Havre de Grace, Salisbury, Westminster, and Washington, DC. Even Rep. Steny Hoyer (D) agrees in principle with the TEA Party movement. In an unrelated statement today concerning "Tax Day" Hoyer said, "I am pleased that President Obama has asked Paul Volcker and his Economic Recovery Board to look at ways to make our tax code more simple and fair."