Cross-posted by Gary Fouse
I knew when Janet Napolitano was appointed the head of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)it was a lousy choice. What were her credentials to begin with-that she was the governor of Arizona, a state whose borders were being overrun with the flow of illegal aliens? Now she is exhibiting the politicization of a federal law enforcement agency under a liberal administration by issuing a DHS "assessment" of the threat of ...........
Don't take my word for it. The handbook is online and you can read the following excerpts yourself. (I got these from Michelle Malkin.com)
Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment.
"Rightwing extremism in the United States can be broadly divided into those groups, movements, and adherents that are primarily hate-oriented (based on hatred of particular religious, racial or ethnic groups), and those that are mainly antigovernment, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority, or rejecting government authority entirely. It may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration."
Comment: Please be specific, DHS. Who are the groups or movements you are talking about? Hate-oriented? We know about the Ku Klux Klan and the Aryan Brotherhood, but who else are you talking about on the right? The KKK and the Aryan Brotherhood are guilky of racial hate, but what other conservative issues are they even aware of, frankly? If the DHS hacks who produced this document want to accuse conservatives of being racists, that is an old canard that has no basis in fact.
As for the anti-government stuff, please be more specific. There are highly-trained legal minds who argue for less government or that states should have more authority vis-a-vis the federal government. So what? Was Ronald Reagan a dangerous right-wing extremist when he preached that government was the problem and should be smaller and less intrusive? No, it is a legitimate political and philosophical question that should always be open to debate in a free society.
As for the single issue examples that are mentioned (abortion and immigration), aside from a few kooks, there are millions of people in this country who think abortion is morally wrong. Are they dangerous rightwing extremists? When the handbook mentions "immigration", don't you think they should have said "illegal immigration"? Few of us are opposed to legal immigration. We are opposed to illegal immigration, and why should we apologize for it? We have the law on our side. All we are saying is enforce the law. But to say that people are against "immigration" implies racism-particularly against Hispanics. My wife is a Mexican immigrant, for cryin' out loud.
"Rightwing extremists are harnessing this historical (stress mine)election as a recruitment tool. Many rightwing extremists are antagonistic toward the new presidential administration and its perceived stance on a range of issues, including immigration and citizenship, the expansion of social programs to minorities, and restrictions on firearms ownership and use. Rightwing extremists are increasingly galvanized by these concerns and leverage them as drivers for recruitment. From the 2008 election timeframe to the present, rightwing extremists have capitalized on related racial and political prejudices in expanded propaganda campaigns, thereby reaching out to a wider audience of potential sympathizers."
Comment: Note the subtle political jab by pointing out President Obama's election as "historic". Implication? Rightwingers are opposed to the election of a black president. We are racists. In addition, we are extremists because we disagree with Obama's leftwing agenda. What rightwing extremists, DHS, capitalized on racial prejudices to try and defeat Obama in the election? The only ones I detected were on the Hillary Clinton campaign. Who, DHS, stated that Obama should be defeated in the election because he was black? Which "propaganda campaigns" are you referring to, DHS?
Exploiting Economic Downturn
"Rightwing extremist chatter on the Internet continues to focus on the economy, the perceived loss of U.S. jobs in the manufacturing and construction sectors, and home foreclosures. Anti-Semitic extremists attribute these losses to a deliberate conspiracy conducted by a cabal of Jewish “financial elites.” These “accusatory” tactics are employed to draw new recruits into rightwing extremist groups and further radicalize those already subscribing to extremist beliefs. DHS/I&A assesses this trend is likely to accelerate if the economy is perceived to worsen."
This is a slam dunk. I would like DHS to name these anti-Semitic elements on the right who speak of a Jewish cabal of financial elites. I can name some names, but they are not on the right. It is on the right that you find support for Israel and documentation of anti-Semitism coming from the supporters of those who want to destroy Israel. So, I am going to do what DHS didn't do and name names. They are the radical Muslim elements, not only in the Middle East, who openly speak of Jews in the same manner as the Nazis did in the 1930-40s, but right here in the US, Canada and Europe- aided and abetted by their leftist radical supporters on university campuses. Jewish banking cabal? Go back and watch Maxine Waters, hardly a rightwinger, questioning Secretary of the Treasury Tim Geithner about "talk going around" about Goldman-Sachs and their role in the financial mess. It was obvious what she was implying (It's the Jews). DHS should check out the blogosphere (which apparently they are doing) and see which end of the spectrum is defending Jews against a very real resurgence in anti-Semitism. I suggest they start with this very blog.
From the report, p. 5:
"Over the past five years, various rightwing extremists, including militias and white supremacists, have adopted the immigration issue as a call to action, rallying point, and recruiting tool. Debates over appropriate immigration levels and enforcement policy generally fall within the realm of protected political speech under the First Amendment, but in some cases, anti-immigration or strident pro-enforcement fervor has been directed against specific groups and has the potential to turn violent."
Comment: I think I adequately addressed this issue above, but if they are referring to groups like the Minutemen, I would point out that this group has not, to my knowledge, committed one violent, provocative or illegal act in carrying out their mission on the border. What acts can DHS point to where opponents of illegal immigration have engaged in violence against illegal aliens?
Disgruntled Military Veterans
"DHS/I&A assesses that rightwing extremists will attempt to recruit and radicalize returning veterans in order to exploit their skills and knowledge derived from military training and combat. These skills and knowledge have the potential to boost the capabilities of extremists—including lone wolves or small terrorist cells—to carry out violence. The willingness of a small percentage of military personnel to join extremist groups during the 1990s because they were disgruntled, disillusioned, or suffering from the psychological effects of war is being replicated today."
Comment: Please be specific. It doesn't say that "extremists are attempting to recruit and radicalize returning veterans". It says they "will attempt to recruit and radicalize returning veterans". What basis or empirical evidence does DHS have for this prediction, which can only cast a shadow over our servicemen, women and veterans? It is insulting, and, like the other statements made in the report, is not backed up by any concrete evidence. It is speculation.
"DHS/I&A will be working with its state and local partners over the next several months to ascertain with greater regional specificity the rise in rightwing extremist activity in the United States, with a particular emphasis on the political, economic, and social factors that drive rightwing extremist radicalization."
Comment: Ominous. It basically says that if you disagree with the current administration, you are going to be investigated.
What is going on here is what we can expect when the far-left takes over federal law enforcement. There are voices of dissent out there, and the new administration, along with their Democratic majority, is looking for ways to stifle said dissent-witness the attempt to revive the Fairness Doctrine-targeted at conservative talk radio.
Of course, for eight years, George Bush, who was called every name in the book by his opponents, was accused of trying to stifle dissent, but there was never any substance to those charges. If there was such an attempt, how come every day, we heard the press, media, Hollywood, the Democrats and universities screaming bloody murder about Bush, Cheney et al?
Some stifling of dissent.
But now that we have a Democrat in the White House and a Democrat-controlled Congress, we are all supposed to shut up. If we disagree with the direction the country is going, we are labeled dangerous rightwing extremists who must be investigated. And don't forget those guns that they are so in love with. Gotta do something about that too. (It was mentioned above by DHS.)
Let's set partisanship aside (if it's possible). Those of who voted for Obama remember very well how unhappy you were with President Bush-and you made your feelings known every day till the day he left office. Are you comfortable with this document put out by DHS?
If DHS can identify any individuals who are preaching racial or religious hatred and advocating violence, revolution or threatening the physical well-being of the president, then they should investigate such persons or organizations. To simply identify the threat as being "Rightwing extremists" is not only irresponsible, but implies that our freedom of speech may be under attack by the current government-namely, the Dept. of Homeland Security.
Afterthought: Wasn't DHS created to fight terrorists?