MIAC Responds to Ron Paul letter and Draws Additional Criticism from Pro-life Groups
Today the Missouri Information Analysis Center (MIAC) responded to the public letter sent to them by former Presidential candidates Ron Paul, Bob Barr and Chuck Baldwin. The letter from the three former candidates was concerning them being mentioned by name in an internal MIAC document titled “The Modern Militia Movement.” The three were angered by the document and asked that it stop being circulated and distributed. MIAC’s response today was in the form of a statement released to the press written by director John Britt. In the statement Britt says:
“In recognition of the mistaken inclusion of this information by the MIAC in its February 20, 2009 report on the militia movement, I have ordered that the offending report be edited so as to excise all reference to Ron Paul, Bob Barr and Chuck Baldwin and to any third-party political organizations. Additionally, you may rest assured that the report is not posted on any website maintained by the State of Missouri…The Missouri Department of Public Safety regrets any inconvenience or issues caused inadvertently by the unnecessary inclusion of certain components by MIAC in its militia report.”
Governor Nixon made it clear that MIAC would continue collecting and distributing information that they felt was relevant to protect the public. MIAC will continue to circulate the document with the small portion about third party candidates removed.
While the press statement might have succeeded in getting the three candidates off of MIAC’s back for the moment, today another conservative organization are stepped forward and publicly criticized the MIAC Modern Militia Movement document. Missourians United For Life, a pro-life organization, has asked the American Civil Liberties Union to apply for a restraining order against the Governor in U.S. District Court. If there ever was a manifestation of the phrase “politics make strange bedfellows,” this partnership would be it. Ed Martin, President of Missourians United for Life offered his views on the situations:
“What Governor Nixon is telling Missourians is if you disagree with him on the issue of life or display a pro-life bumper sticker or wear a pro-life pin, you may subjected to action by state law enforcement or your personal information might be sent to a law enforcement analysis center.”
This case shows the misunderstanding and mislabeling that those in the Libertarian/Ron Paul movement had to deal with in the last election cycle. That is the real importance of this recent event, not that every Missourian with a Ron Paul or pro-life bumper sticker needs to worry about being stopped by police and interrogated, but rather that the document offered concrete proof that the government is taking active steps to marginalize a politic movements. But hopefully by fighting back in the press and through the courts the movement is showing its resilience and was given an unexpected chance to clear the name of a movement that has been long misunderstood.