Tuesday, April 14, 2009
DHS and Rightwing Extremists
Michelle Malkin has confirmed that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) report issued on 4/7 on Rightwing Extremism is for real. At first she thought it might be a joke.
The report is all over the news today and it truly is quite incredible. Consider this excerpt (via Michelle):
"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."
I can go along with the identification of hate groups. We all know who they are and the damage they cause. But to label those that are "antigovernment" or those that favor states authority as "rightwing extremists" is incredible.
Law Professor William Jacobson's response to this passage points out that "This definition is so broad as to include anyone who seeks to preserve the foundation of our federal-state constitutional distinction, under the 10th Amendment ("The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people"), because such a person could be deemed to 'reject federal authority in favor of state or local authority.'"
It gets worse. Consider this passage - this is the one that really got me [emphasis mine]:
"Rightwing extremists are harnessing this historical election as a recruitment tool. Many rightwing extremists are antagonistic toward the new presidential administration and its perceived stance on a range of issues, including immigration and citizenship, the expansion of social programs to minorities, and restrictions on firearms ownership and use. Rightwing extremists are increasingly galvanized by these concerns and leverage them as drivers for recruitment. From the 2008 election timeframe to the present, rightwing extremists have capitalized on related racial and political prejudices in expanded propaganda campaigns, thereby reaching out to a wider audience of potential sympathizers."
This passage made my blood run cold. If you dislike the President's policys you are now an extremist? And could "expanded propaganda campaigns" be referring to the Tea Parties? Just maybe? What a coincidence that this report just came out. As far as the "restrictions on firearms ownership and use" goes, last time I checked, the Second Amendment was still intact.
And be aware of this passage:
(U//FOUO) DHS/I&A will be working with its state and local partners over the next several months to ascertain with greater regional specificity the rise in rightwing extremist activity in the United States, with a particular emphasis on the political, economic, and social factors that drive rightwing extremist radicalization.
In other words, they're looking for you.
According to this document, if you exercise your right of free speech you are likely to be labeled an extremist. Everyone at the Tea Parties tomorrow will be labeled extremists. Now, we all know what extremists really are. I'd say the Weather Underground was an extremist group, for example. Animal rights groups that bomb labs would be extremists.
If I disagree with funding in the Omnibus bill of tatoo removal for gang members, or for the federal government funding promotion of astronomy in Hawaii, or even funding LaRaza (speaking of extrmists) then I'm the one that should be viewed with suspicion. Got it.
It's quite an incredible document. Michelle has the PDF and Legal Insurrection has more analysis. Critical Narrative also has analysis. American Power suggests that the White House will need to do some damage control on this one, and predicts a larger groundswell of mobilization in the days to come.
Update: The American Legion responds (h/t: Hot Air and Michelle Malkin)