but, apparently, DHS thinks I could have the makings of some sort of domestic terrorist…
Toward the end of last month, we blogged about a Missouri Information Analysis Center (MIAC) report that named certain common conservative beliefs and support for third party right-of-center candidates as “warning signs” of paramilitary activity. The MIAC report was withdrawn by the Missouri Highway Patrol after it drew criticism nationwide.
You’d think the administration would have noticed. If they did, they didn’t care. The latest is this report from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), entitled: Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment. DHS shares information with centers like MIAC.
Curious what such a vital document asserts? Well, I’d recommend reading for yourself, but just in case you want some excepts, I did a little research for you:
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.
(U) 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, let me get this straight:
I believe in the primacy of state and local authority.
The founders believed in the primacy of state and local authority.
Potential domestic terrorists believe in the primacy of state and local authority.
Therefore, I might be a domestic terrorist or a founder??? (would DHS know the difference?)
That “(U)” at the beginning of the second quote means something important: SHHH, DON’T TELL anyone we said this, it’s FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY. The disclaimer says:
(U) LAW ENFORCEMENT INFORMATION NOTICE: This product contains Law Enforcement Sensitive (LES) information. No portion of the LES information should be released to the media, the general public, or over non-secure Internet servers. Release of this information could adversely affect or jeopardize investigative activities.
Too bad the Washington Times got it, eh?
The Liberty Papers, a libertarian blog that hosts this report makes some good points. Law enforcement should consider crime potential from hate groups – and there is nothing wrong with analyzing historic patterns. Where DHS crossed the line in this report is by separating “rightwing extremists” from “law-abiding Americans.” As in:
Both rightwing extremists and law-abiding citizens share a belief that rising crime rates
attributed to a slumping economy make the purchase of legitimate firearms a wise move
at this time.
That’s where they tar federalist, liberty lovers like me (and the Governor of Texas) with the Timothy McVeigh brush. This sort of equation is especially troubling since “rightwing extremist” in common parlance is used to radicalize anyone who a person views as more conservative than themselves.
Is it credible for Obama to distance himself from this report (as the Washington Times story indicates the White House is doing)? What is it with Democrat administrations and cabinet officials named “Janet” encroaching on our civil liberties anyway?
Oh, rightwing extremists like me apparently aren’t the only ones upset with Obama right now. Leftists think he’s too much like Bush when it comes to secrecy being defended by the Justice Department. They wanted a roll back of FISA but that doesn’t appear to be on the horizon.