Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Rightwing Extremism

The new threat.

The Department of Homeland Security recently released a report "to federal, state, local, and tribal counterterrorism and law enforcement officials so they may effectively deter, prevent, preempt, or respond to terrorist attacks against the United States." This sounds like a good idea until you read the content of the report.

The first line of the report provides the basis upon which the rest of the report should be read.

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.

Without specific information, the DHS, under its new leadership, Janet Napolitano, has released a report which points to Conservatives and says, "Terrorists! Racists!" I wouldn't have believed it myself if I hadn't read the report in its entirety. Also, I found some great analysis of the "facts" presented in the report at Powerline.

*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.

But the insults don't stop with the average conservative, they continue by belittling our military and outright declaring that returning military men are susceptible to extremist beliefs and are joining hate organizations such as the KKK. See the powerline post to see how this has been stretched and manipulated.

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.

Is there any doubt that this was purposefully released and publicly leaked just before the Tax Day Tea Parties? It is beyond insulting to be linked to extremism and terrorism for my political beliefs. The report is 9 pages of unsupported libel. The lack of specificity leaves the pages purposefully open to interpretation, mongering fear of the political right. The report is filth and Janet Napolitano should seriously consider stepping down if this is what she has to provide as head of Homeland Security.

1 comment:

Mom G. said...

Just keeping it all in the family, Hyphen. My entire women's Bible Study class participated in an anti-abortion demonstration recently, and your father-in-law is retired military. You just married into the radical right-wing of the Gruetzners!

And to think Janet Napolitano graduated from Sandia High School! She should have stuck to playing clarinet!