(sorry for being a little late on this – family in from out of town - MD)
Just to be clear – this is the Department of Homeland Security’s report on ‘Rightwing Extremism’, dated 07APR2009:
(Here’s the link to the .pdf)
The most glaring feature that leaps to the fore when reading this ‘report’, is that it is regrettably light on facts or references, seeming instead to follow an “Everyone Knows” approach to fact-gathering, i.e. :
“Where are you getting your information?”
“What do you mean? Everyone knows it’s true!”
In the course of my work, I’ve seen … quite a few… threat assessment reports.
This one is a political editorial wearing ‘threat assessment’ clothing.
The DHS/Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A) has no specific
information that domestic rightwing* terrorists are currently planning acts of violence, but rightwing extremists may be gaining new recruits by playing on their fears about several emergent issues. The economic downturn and the election of the first African American president present unique drivers for rightwing radicalization and recruitment.
So straight-away, the authors of this “report” state that they … well,… have nothing to report in the way of actual facts or information – nothing actionable, nothing specific – not even a currently-identified group to use as an example…
… only a general notion that the hordes of Rightwing-Nuts (that everyone knows about, after all) may be recruiting new members.
…Because the President’s Black and ‘everyone knows’ that those on the Right are violent racists.
Oh Wait! There’s an asterisk in there! Let’s see what details or clarifications are provided:
* 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.
So, included under ‘Rightwing Extremism’ are:
- Those “based on hatred of particular religious, racial or ethnic groups” (Nation of Islam, Black Panthers & CAIR – welcome aboard, guys!)
- Those who think that the Federal Government has no business exercising control over local governments, OR that government in general has no business dictating to the individual in a free society (see also: Washington, Jefferson, Franklin)
- Those dedicated to opposing abortion or illegal immigration (letting the Leftist discussion-framing peek through, they’ve – once again – left out the word ‘illegal’)
…So much for ‘asterisks’.
“Threats from white supremacist and violent antigovernment groups during 2009 have been largely rhetorical and have not indicated plans to carry out violent acts.”
“Nevertheless, the consequences of a prolonged economic downturn—including real estate foreclosures, unemployment, and an inability to obtain credit—could create a fertile recruiting environment for rightwing extremists and even result in confrontations between such groups and government authorities similar to those in the past.”
Again – we have a threat assessment report that states:
“While there is no ‘there’ there – well,…well… there could be!”
Very informative – Very Useful.
And then there’s the Report’s version of ‘The Race Card’:
“Rightwing extremists have capitalized on the election of the first African American president, and…”
…and don’t you dare try to dispute that, or you will have denied the very existence of racism in this country as a motivating force at the forefront of the American mind – and you know what that would make you.
Next, we move on to the part of the report that says that the Right Wing Extremists become dangerous every time there’s a Democrat in the White House:
“The current economic and political climate has some similarities to the 1990s when rightwing extremism experienced a resurgence fueled largely by an economic recession, criticism about the outsourcing of jobs, and the perceived threat to U.S. power and sovereignty by other foreign powers.”
Wrapping up our 90’s-Flashback and closing the circle:
“Growth of these groups subsided in reaction to increased government scrutiny as a result of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing and disrupted plots, improvements in the economy, and the continued U.S. standing as the preeminent world power.”
Oooh, I see.
So now that we have a POTUS who has a history with domestic-terrorist-bombers, is actively working to tank the economy, and intends to downgrade us from “preeminent world power” to “citizen of the global collective” – we can expect an uptick in groups of people who think that ‘Change’ is not necessarily ‘Progress’?
Good thing we’ve got this report to tell us that.
And now we get into that part of the report that is my personal favorite…
“Proposed imposition of firearms restrictions and weapons bans likely would attract new members into the ranks of rightwing extremist groups, as well as potentially spur some of them to begin planning and training for violence against the government.
The high volume of purchases and stockpiling of weapons and ammunition by rightwing extremists in anticipation of restrictions and bans in some parts of the country continue to be a primary concern to law enforcement.”
So – propositions within our government to abrogate the right of the people to keep and bear arms (as recognized in the 2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution) – would not be met by “We The People” with open arms… some of them might even take it into their minds that the government lacks the right or legal authority to do something like that and *just might* be willing to actually fight to keep those rights, as the founders of our country did so many years ago.
You know, I just had a thought on this one.
Remember back when, in an attempt to create a sense of moral-relativism to excuse terrorists around the world, the meme was “Well, George Washington was considered a terrorist in his time too!”
The point of that bit of pablum was to say:
‘You can’t say that suicide-bombing terrorists terrorists are inherently bad because they are just fighting for their version of freedom – JUST LIKE OUR FOUNDING FATHERS DID!’
So – at what point did ‘fighting for freedoms like the founding fathers’ go from being a “Good” thing when used to apologize for terrorists, to being a “Bad” thing when applied to people taking precautions against the loss of those same freedoms and rights… that our founders actually fought for?
**Jump straight into the comments if you’ve got something there, because I don’t get it. **
Followed Immediately By:
“Returning veterans possess combat skills and experience that are attractive to rightwing extremists. DHS/I&A is concerned that rightwing extremists will attempt to recruit and radicalize returning veterans in order to boost their violent capabilities.”
I’m going to stop after this, because the rest of the report just regurgitates the same dreck over and over in an apparent attempt to make it all scarier/more-damning by repetition.
But seriously – “Returning Veterans”?
According to the US Census there were 23.7 Million military veterans in the U.S. in 2006
But somehow, the “returning veterans” today are different – THESE are the ones to watch out for.
I guess that’s particularly true if they’ve got a Ron Paul bumper sticker.
Poorly written, lacking anything specific in the way of references, examples, citations or even …well,… threats to be assessed, this “report” does nothing but attempt to demonize/criminalize those “rightwing” enough to disagree with Obama’s intent or direction – stopping just short of actually calling all of us “Domestic Terrorists” (which wasn’t supposed to be a ‘bad thing’ during the election) but suggesting that we should all be watched very carefully…
… because you never know – and particularly not when you work for the DHS’ Office of Intelligence and Analysis.
P.S. - I’m already getting reports that the approach of the MSM (NBC specifically) to this has been to essentially read-the-report, interview someone from the Southern Poverty Law Center and show stock footage of the KKK.
Nothing to see here, folks - move along.