Homeland Security publishes broad report on “right-wing extremism”

Posted on April 14, 2009


A report from the Department of Homeland Security is causing a stir today by warning of risks associated with “right-wing extremism.” Such behavior, the report outlines, is driven by the recession, illegal immigration and the election of a black president, and warns against a few disgruntled veterans returning home from war swelling the ranks of hate groups. It goes on to define such right-wing extremist groups as not only white supremacist groups and anti-government militias, but also any group or entity that rejects federal authority in favor of state or local authority. It’s a broad and sweeping definition that seems to cast doubt on anyone seeking to curb the power of federal government.

Not surprisingly, conservatives are in an uproar over the report. Michelle Malkin is calling the report a “hit job on conservatives”, Ed Morrisey describes the document as an “execrable … war on federalism” that has no actual data to back up its conclusions, the Anchoress questions whether Homeland Security is picking a fight, and RedState slams it as a blatant propaganda effort to lump conservatives together with wackos. It’s all just the tip of the iceberg.

Homeland Security has issued other reports in the past about left-wing cyberattacks and environmental terrorism, but in those instances the reports were specifically focused on those named groups which might pose a threat. While it’s important to keep an eye on any potential threat, this report seems to broadly and needlessly lump in those that believe in federalism and separation of powers with anti-Semitic hate groups and wacked-out militiamen.

And it’s important to remember that this report wasn’t issued in a vacuum. At the same time this report was written and compiled, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano, and on a broader scale the entire Obama administration, have replaced the “War on Terror” with the ridiculously euphemistic “overseas contingency operations” and acts of terrorism with “man-caused disasters.” The new Orwellian terms seem to indicate a level of detachment from reality which is only reinforced by the misguided and broad-sweeping indictment of anyone who seems to think the federal government is capable of overstepping its bounds.

The head of the American Legion has expressed severe disappointment with the report, a disappointment which I share. Even it wasn’t meant to, the report will give ammunition to those eager to unfairly paint all conservatives with the broad brush of Timothy McVeigh and abortion clinic bombers. Apparently, you can’t just agree to disagree anymore.

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