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)

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Boo Hoo!

It’s so sad to be a conservative these days. The big mean libhruls keep picking on us.

Boo Hoo!

wolfwalker said...

If you dislike the President's policys you are now an extremist?I didn't read it that way. I see how someone could, especially someone scared about what Barry the Pinhead is going to do next, but I don't. I think it's just sloppy writing from a semi-literate low-level bureaucrat.

Remember the difference between squares and rectangles. All squares are rectangles, but not all rectangles are squares. This report is talking about squares (rightwing extremists) and you're reading it as if it's talking about rectangles (all conservatives.)

Don't be a square. :-)

ubu said...

No, the very definition contained with the document defines all rectangles as squares. I could almost let it slide but for those segments quoted. And yes, I read the whole thing.

It's a remarkably fact-free analysis.

davemartin7777 said...

But to label those that are "antigovernment" or those that favor states authority as "rightwing extremists" is incredible.

That's where you lost me I knew this Foxfire tab was a rightwing blog.

Yes, "anti government" as in they would destroy or hurt our American government and officials by force and violence. (we elect or officials, remember?)

"...that favor states authority as "rightwing extremists" is incredible."

Hello? These are people that reject our American system and would exert violence to change it.

I just can't figure out why you people can figure out the difference between someone that disagrees with our system while following laws to change it and someone that will blow up building or kill people to change it.

It's almost as if you give the violent, extreme right cover to do what ever they are planing to do.

No such thing as the extreme, violent, rightwing... they are just patriotic Americans, right?

You people are so busy hating Obama in you vast rightwing echo-chamber on Fox News (the have huge ratings) and all the rightwing blogs, you just don't realize how far of the deep-end you've gone.

yukio ngaby said...

Ah yes... more Anonymous wit and maturity... You really went out on a limb with that "libhruls" thing... Funny...

Now regarding actual comments:

wolfwalker: "I think it's just sloppy writing from a semi-literate low-level bureaucrat."

Published JUST one week before the National Tea Party protests... interesting timing.

wolfwalker: "Remember the difference between squares and rectangles. All squares are rectangles, but not all rectangles are squares. This report is talking about squares (rightwing extremists) and you're reading it as if it's talking about rectangles (all conservatives.)"

Ahh... but we're not the ones defining rectangles and squares. Someone else is. And the report gives no specifications of the differences. Instead any "hackneyed left-wing stereotype of conservatives" is labelled as potentially threatening.

Make sure to not be counted as a square by doing what? Not voicing your opinions about federalism, or talking about legal opinions regarding the 10th Amendment (not exactly a hot topic button in recent years)? Don't be labelled a square by being publicly pro-life? Don't be labelled a square by voicing moderate opposition to the federal government's policies?

davemartin7777 said...

Hi again, this was on the Mahablog and summed up what I wanted to say:

"But according to the Right, we’re not supposed to notice the guys who stockpile guns and fertilizer in their basements until they actually blow up a federal building. On the other hand, unarmed Muslims going about their lawful business are suspect, 24/7.

This goes along with the tendency of U.S. “conservatives” to take no responsibility for their own words and actions. Everything is always someone else’s fault."

Btw, I was kicked from the Michelle Malkin blog for ONE non-offensive dissenting post... so I have to settle on a "D" lister.

Pat said...

Har! A "D" lister?!

It's okay dave; we'll let you play here even though we differ.

yukio ngaby said...

Oops... davemartin777 posted while I was writing. I'd like to respond.

First, congrats on using a name.

davemartin777: "Yes, 'anti- government' as in they would destroy or hurt our American government and officials by force and violence. (we elect or officials, remember?)"

The report is not talking about any specific threat-- in fact, it denies that there is one. Instead it blindly labels conservative views as being inherently dangerous without offering evidence beyond conservative stereotypes.

davemartin777: "Hello? These are people that reject our American system and would exert violence to change it."

Evidence please? And what people specifically? According to the DHS report the definition is so broad that anyone who believes in smaller government, federalism or is pro-life is a dangerous extremist.

davemartin777: "I just can't figure out why you people can figure out the difference between someone that disagrees with our system while following laws to change it and someone that will blow up building or kill people to change it.

"It's almost as if you give the violent, extreme right cover to do what ever they are planing to do.

"No such thing as the extreme, violent, rightwing... they are just patriotic Americans, right?"

Well, I can tell the difference. I can tell when something is a threat (Iran, its numerous terrorist proxies, North Korea, Al Queda) and when it is not (being ex-military, a proponent of fiscal responsibilty or the legal concept of federalism or checks and balances). Again "planing to do..." what plans? What vast right-wing conspiracy is planning to do something? Evidence please... names of groups and past deeds? Timothy McVeigh? Anyone else?

Yes there are extreme right wing groups, some of which plan violence, a few of which actually have done it. But to lump in all those with a pro-life viewpoint (the Catholic Church?), all those who disagree with the govt. on political and fiscal matters (the Cato Institute), with fringe-dwellers like the white supremacists and McVeigh is both ridiculous and intentional.

davemartin777: "You people are so busy hating Obama in you vast rightwing echo-chamber on Fox News (the have huge ratings) and all the rightwing blogs, you just don't realize how far of the deep-end you've gone."

And that is exactly the desired response of the politically motivated DHS report. Of course, you thought that anyway so...

G. R. said...

Thank God, I finally know what I am. I'm a Right Wing Extremist. I thought I was 26 1/2 year Army veteran, who loves God, believes in the Bible, the US Constitution (even the amendments liberals want to overlook), the sanctity of life (even the lowest of the animals), immigration control, etc, etc, etc...
I've never raised my hand in unprovoked anger or never will, unlike Bill Ayers, yet I'm the extremist who needs to be watched?

G. R. said...

P.S.

Isn't strange that kookie right wing radicals only come out of the woodwork when a Democratic administration, ie; Clinton and Obama, are in office?
Where were the kookie right wing radicals during the Bush Administration?

This would make a good South Park episode, like Manbearpig.

The Vegas Art Guy said...

I blogged on this as well and I was not super polite either.