Tags: domestic | terror | report

DHS Domestic Terror Report Angers Conservatives, Veterans

Wednesday, 15 Apr 2009 07:53 PM

By Dave Eberhart

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A Homeland Security analysis being distributed to law enforcement agencies and warning of a new era of domestic terrorism has provoked a storm of criticism among conservatives who view it as a thinly veiled attack on Republicans by the Obama administration.

The report concludes that a new wave of homegrown terror has been spawned by the election of the nation’s first black president and anger over unemployment, rising poverty and illegal immigration. It singles out returning war veterans as a potential recruiting base for the extremists.

Entitled “Right-Wing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment,” the report has been confirmed as real by DHS chief Janet Napolitano. However, her department has not explained why they’ve never produced a report looking at the violent political left in America.

Perhaps the most vitriolic attack on the report thus far comes from conservative syndicated columnist, author, and Fox News Channel contributor Michelle Malkin:

“I have covered DHS for many years and am quite familiar with past assessments they and the FBI have done on animal rights terrorists and environmental terrorists.

“But those past reports have always been very specific in identifying the exact groups, causes, and targets of domestic terrorism … who have engaged in physical harassment, arson, vandalism, and worse against pharmaceutical companies, farms, labs, and university researchers.

“By contrast, the piece of crap report issued on April 7 is a sweeping indictment of conservatives,” Malkin concluded.

Capitol Hill Chimes In

Meanwhile, according to the Associated Press, House Republican leader John Boehner has described the report as offensive and called on the agency to apologize to veterans.

“To characterize men and women returning home after defending our country as potential terrorists is offensive and unacceptable,” said Boehner, R-Ohio.

Equally unhappy with the report’s take on the vulnerability of returning servicemen and women to being swept up into local terror cells is the top man in the American Legion.

In a scathing letter to Napolitano, David K. Rehbein, an Army veteran and national commander of the American Legion lambasted the report:

“The best that I can say about your recent report is that it is incomplete. The report states, without any statistical evidence, ‘The possible passage of new restrictions on firearms and the return of military veterans facing significant challenges reintegrating into their communities could lead to the potential emergence of terrorist groups or lone wolf extremists capable of carrying out violent attacks.’

“The American Legion is well aware and horrified at the pain inflicted during the Oklahoma City bombing, but Timothy McVeigh was only one of more than 42 million veterans who have worn this nation’s uniform during wartime. To continue to use McVeigh as an example of the stereotypical ‘disgruntled military veteran’ is as unfair as using Osama bin Laden as the sole example of Islam.

“I would be happy to meet with you at a time of mutual convenience to discuss issues such as border security and the war on terrorism. I think it is important for all of us to remember that Americans are not the enemy. The terrorists are,” Rehbein concluded.

Napolitano has accepted the invite from Rehbein and says so publically in a new press release aimed at defusing the controversy stirred up by the report.

Says Napolitano: “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.

“We are on the lookout for criminal and terrorist activity but we do not – nor will we ever – monitor ideology or political beliefs. We take seriously our responsibility to protect the civil rights and liberties of the American people, including subjecting our activities to rigorous oversight from numerous internal and external sources.

“I am aware of the letter from American Legion National Commander Rehbein, and my staff has already contacted him to set up a meeting next week once I return from travel. I will tell him face-to-face that we honor veterans at DHS and employ thousands across the department, up to and including the Deputy Secretary,” Napolitano concludes.

It is doubtful, however, that such efforts at fence-mending can turn back the ire of Michael Savage, syndicated host of “Savage Nation,” who interprets the report as just more corroboration of a creeping Big Brother movement.

In his latest bashing of the DHS and its report, Savage invokes George Orwell’s book “1984” where the slogan of the dictatorship was “Big Brother Is Watching You.”

“In Obama’s America,” says Savage, “Janet Napolitano is in charge of homeland security, so the slogan could well be changed to ‘Big Sister Is Watching You.’

“It turns out that Big Sis has just issued a report warns against the possibility of violence by so-called ‘right-wing extremists.’ And what does Big Sis say these right-wingers are concerned about? Illegal aliens, the increasing power of the federal government, gun grabs, abortion and the loss of U.S. national sovereignty. In other words, anyone who is worried about preserving our borders, language, and culture is on Big Sis’ watch list.

“But here’s something else that the headlines don’t tell you. The report says that these dangerous right wingers engage in “exploitation of social issues such as … same-sex marriage.

“What this means is that even though state after state has rejected gay marriage every time it has been put to a vote of the people, if you oppose the destruction of traditional marriage, if you oppose the gay mafia, then you are suspect. If you aren’t happy with her ‘lifestyle choice’ Big Sis will put you on her list,” Savage concludes.

Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Thomas More Law Center agrees with the criticism articulated by Savage, stating on behalf of the center yesterday: “This is not an intelligence report but a diatribe against those who oppose the policies of the Obama administration. It is a declaration of war against the American people and our Constitution.

“It is a prelude to extreme gun control legislation and hate speech laws targeting Christian churches and others who oppose abortion and same sex marriage. The federal government should be focusing its attention on the 35 radical Muslim compounds in the U.S. training its followers on how to kidnap and kill Americans,” Thompson concluded.

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