Thursday, April 16, 2009

GOP Mad About DHS Report

Nation, I am getting a chuckle out of the way the Republicans are taking this latest document from the Department of Homeland Security so personally. The DHS has issued a report, which you can read HERE, warning of the danger of rightwing terrorist groups. The report was requested, perhaps ironically, by the Bush administration.

This has been a running theme on this blog. I have noted many times the strange fact that the news media will not use the word terrorist to describe individuals who are clearly terrorists, if they do not fit the Bush-era profile, that is, someone connected to Muslim radicalism. For instance, last month I wrote about the guy up in Maine who had all the stuff to make a dirty bomb, he had uranium, everything. He was a jerk, his wife finally shot him. He had nothing to do with al Qaeda, and everything to do with the Nazis. He was "allegedly furious over the election of President Obama," had contact with white supremacist groups. Not a word in the news about him. Contrast with "dirty bomber" Jose Padilla, who took on an Arabic name and knew somebody who knew somebody in al Qaeda, and did not have any uranium.

The report by the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Intelligence and Analysis says:
...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.

That seems somehow obvious. We have Fox News stirring up dissent, hoping for revolution with their teabagging parties. You have Texas threatening to secede and Georgia threatening to both secede and disband the United States of America (passed by 43-1 vote of the Georgia Senate, see HERE for more), the wackos on the far right are willing to do anything to undermine the Obama administration. These are times that encourage certain nutty individuals to join up with rightwing militias and other groups.

So Homeland Security is concerned about domestic terrorists, as well as swarthy foreign types. Good.

There was a section that remarked on the fact that some militias are infiltrating the military, and some veterans come back with military training and a chip on their shoulder.

Check it out.
WASHINGTON – Republicans on Wednesday said a Homeland Security Department intelligence assessment unfairly characterizes military veterans as right-wing extremists. House Republican leader John Boehner described the report as offensive and called on the agency to apologize to veterans.

The agency's intelligence assessment, sent to law enforcement officials last week, warns that right-wing extremists could use the bad state of the U.S. economy and the election of the country's first black president to recruit members.

The assessment also said that returning military veterans who have difficulties assimilating back into their home communities could be susceptible to extremist recruiters or might engage in lone acts of violence. Republicans criticize report on right-wing groups

The Republicans are indignant, of course.
[DHS Secretary Janet] Napolitano defended the assessment and others issued by the agency.

"Let me be very clear — we monitor the risks of violent extremism taking root here in the United States," Napolitano said in a statement. "We don't have the luxury of focusing our efforts on one group; we must protect the country from terrorism whether foreign or homegrown, and regardless of the ideology that motivates its violence."

Napolitano said the department respects and honors veterans and that she intends to meet with Rehbein next week after she returns from a tour of the U.S.-Mexico border and meetings in Mexico City.

The agency describes these assessments as part of a series published "to facilitate a greater understanding of the phenomenon of violent radicalization in the United States."

The Republicans are concerned about a report badmouthing rightwing extremists because that's their base. Moderates are deserting the GOP -- yesterday's teabagging parties show you what's left of them. Hopefully their numbers remain small.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

April 16, 2009 10:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"the wackos on the far right are willing to do anything to undermine the Obama administration"

Oh yeah, like throw teabags.

Gee, what if one struck someone.

The violent thugs!

The Republican party is not mad because right-wing extremists are their base. They object to the attempt to associate dissent with extremism.

In a former life, TTF had similar objections.

Liberalism has always had a totalitarian slant. Whenever in power, they try to use government pressure to stifle dissent.

btw, the suggestion in the report that retiring soldiers are susceptible to becoming terrorists is particularly offensive

it's the kind of thing that could end the Obama era real fast- like the 2010 congressional elections

April 16, 2009 11:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

leftwing dhs report

April 16, 2009 11:57 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

btw, the suggestion in the report that retiring soldiers are susceptible to becoming terrorists is particularly offensive

The DHS report does not mention "retiring soldiers," it mentions "returning veterans" as follows:

(U//FOUO) 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.

It was "particularly offensive" when Timothy McVeigh, a "returning veteran" became "radicalized" by domestic militias and decided to instigate his own revolution against the government of the United States of America, the government he had sworn to uphold and the nation he'd sworn to protect. Similarly it is offensive to realize that another Timothy McVeigh could be "radicalized" to act violently, thanks to all the anti-Obama revolutionaries out there.

If Republicans "object to the attempt to associate dissent with extremism" they should quit talking about such radical things as secession and dismantling the United States.

April 17, 2009 7:29 AM  
Anonymous Robert said...

It amuses (and disturbs) me that people consider themselves mainstream conservatives identify with a DHS report about right-wing extremists. The report was about groups like neo-nazis and white power groups. Do they identify with them?

My students were all atwitter about the teabagging day. At least the boys all knew the Urban Dictionary meaning of the word, and thought it was hilarious that people were having protests about this (apparently it's something you can do on various video games).

April 17, 2009 10:05 AM  
Anonymous Robert said...

Weren't the Alien and Sedition acts a Federalist notion?

My experience has always been that social conservatives are all about prohibiting expression that they disapprove of (such as my entire life).

Anonymous, as usual, is full of stercus.

April 17, 2009 10:08 AM  
Anonymous Derrick said...

Many teabags are not biodegradable, especially if they have a little staple connecting the string to the pouch. "Teabagging" should be illegal. Leave it up to the GOP supporters to kill the earth a little more and call it "patriotic".

Interesting how people say that we are being taxed more yet I see extra money in my paycheck due to tax cuts. Get with it, people!!

April 17, 2009 11:14 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

Look what the CRW's allies and pro bono lawyers, the Thomas Moore Law Center -- who lost their lawsuit filed here in Montgomery County in a last ditch effort to overturn the State Board of Education's ruling that MCPS and its BOE had violated no one's rights when they enacted the approved amendments to its sex education curriculum -- are up to now. They've filed a federal lawsuit against DHS

for what it calls its "Rightwing Extremism Policy," claiming rightwing extremists' rights have been violated.

Salon reports:

Conservatives' furor over a recent Department of Homeland Security report warning law enforcement that the political and economic situation might help potentially violent rightwing extremist groups recruit new members shows no signs of abating. In the latest move against DHS, radio host Michael Savage joined with a conservative Christian legal group, the Thomas More Law Center, to file suit against DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano and Attorney General Eric Holder.

To be clear, the report isn't really what the right believes it is. To begin with, the idea for it didn't come from the Obama administration -- it was prepared by an office still headed by a man appointed to his post by former President Bush. And it doesn't demonize mainstream conservatives, or veterans, in the way that some pundits on the right say it does, though it is true that some of the language used could have been much more precise. In the case of veterans, the analysis simply points out, "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."

Unsurprisingly, then, the suit filed by TMLC on behalf of Savage and other plaintiffs, relies upon a fundamental dishonesty in making its claims. In what appears to be an attempt to boost their case that rights have been violated, the complaint refers to the report as the government's "Rightwing Extremism Policy," as if the government is using this document as an outline for how to treat conservatives. But, really, it's an intelligence analysis -- no more, no less. It's not a policy, it's a warning. And, of course, DHS has produced plenty of these on all sorts of groups with all sorts of political and religious ideologies, and some have focused on the left...

April 18, 2009 7:59 AM  

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