Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Enemies List

The Nixon Obama Administration has issued an enemies list, according to this Washington Times story. Really, it doesn't take much imagination to conceive that "people who disagree with us" could easily be construed as "right-wing extremists". And the the political appointees in this administration have as little imagination as anyone I've seen. Has anybody else been listening to the anti-war rhetoric for the past seven or eight years? The same people who won the election? Here's a quick list of categories of people who make the Obama administration uneasy:

  • Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans (They know how to use guns and they're easily manipulated, I guess)
  • Pro-life activists (Catholics, Evangelicals, and other assorted nuts "clinging to their religion"),
  • Immigration activists (Only racists could possibly want immigration laws enforced)
  • Gun owners (The second amendment? That's obviously a conspiracy!)
  • Those who "reject federal authority in favor of state or local authority" (Watch out, Governor Perry!)

And they are careful to throw in references to Timothy McVeigh to make us all realize just how serious this is. Now of course there are serious domestic threats to the public. We did indeed see the so-called "militias" and "survivalists" on the news, on the Sunday talk shows, and in the newspapers, leading right up to the Oklahoma City bombing (and beyond) and they were indeed kooks. But that category necessarily also includes violent (but earnest and misunderstood) criminals like Kathleen Soliah, 16 Puerto Rican terrorists, Bill Ayers, et cetera, et cetera. So left-wing extremists are to be given a pass in Obama's America?


raluke said...

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Napolitano stands by 'extremism' report

Audrey Hudson and Eli Lake

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said she was briefed before the release of a controversial intelligence assessment and that she stands by the report sent to law enforcement that lists veterans as a terrorist risk to the U.S. and defines "rightwing extremism" as including groups opposed to abortion and immigration.

The outcry resulted in a demand from the head of the American Legion to meet with Ms. Napolitano, a request the DHS chief said she would honor next week when she returns to Washington from her current tour of the U.S.-Mexican border.

"The document on right-wing extremism sent last week by this department´s Office of Intelligence and Analysis is one in an ongoing series of assessments to provide situational awareness to state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies on the phenomenon and trends of violent radicalization in the United States," Ms. Napolitano said in a statement.

"I was briefed on the general topic, which is one that struck a nerve as someone personally involved in the Timothy McVeigh prosecution," Ms. Napolitano said.

"Let me be very clear: we monitor the risks of violent extremism taking root here in the United States. 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," Ms. Napolitano said.

"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," Ms. Napolitano said.

The nine-page document titled "Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment," has caused an outcry from veterans groups, Republican lawmakers and conservative activists.

"Rightwing extremism," the report defines in a footnote on Page 2, goes beyond religious and racial hate groups and extends to "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," said the report, which also listed as suspect gun owners and veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

The American Legion on Tuesday criticized the report as unfairly stereotyping veterans.

"I am aware of the letter from American Legion National Commander (David) 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," Ms. Napolitano said.

"As the department responsible for protecting the homeland, DHS will continue to work with its state and local partners to prevent and protect against the potential threat to the United States associated with any rise in violent extremist activity," Ms. Napolitano said.

Mike Marsh said...

I just read the report (cover to cover -- it's short and in a large font), and I think the Times is skewing it significantly. The report doesn't paint veterans, anti-abortion activists, immigration opponents, or gun-rights activists as right-wing extremists with a broad brush. It points out that the current social and economic conditions give the violent extremist groups that espouse these (mainstream) views an added hook with which to recruit new members who feel alienated and marginalized. Aside from its exclusive focus on right-wing groups, it's otherwise pretty balanced. If anything, it points out the need to treat our veterans well (which should be a no-brainer) and make sure they have the support they need, and address the legitimate concerns of mainstream conservative advocacy groups. Every movement has its nutjobs and troublemakers.

Yes, it would have been nice to see a discussion of eco-terrorist groups and other left-wing violent extremists, but they're probably recruiting about as successfully now as they have been for the past few years, and status quo might not merit inclusion in the new report. Note also that at least two arrests were mentioned in 2007 and 2008, when Federal law enforcement was under Republican direction.

Oh, and Anderson Cooper is an immature douche. 'Nuff said about that.

And still no per-post comment feeds?

raluke said...

I know, I'm sorry about the comment feed. I tried what you said and it doesn't like me. More likely, I'm still not doing it right. Since you constitute my entire audience, I could let you know when I post comments. I'd like to get into the habit of posting the article that sets me off because sometimes they're taken down after a few weeks. I figure I won't fall afoul of any copy right laws since I don't have any Google ads. Or at least they won't come after me for that reason.

Tongue-in-cheek: The Washington Times slants its reportage? Perish the thought! :-)

I referenced the Times article because it allowed me to list the most categories. I thought I'd found another that also included tax protestors but then couldn't find it back. Maybe I should dial back my venom until I can find more reputable sources. But nobody ever responds when I talk about liking butterflies and sunny days.

Mike Marsh said...

Actually, I checked the box that sends me email when a new comment is posted. :)

Oh, I can take a position against butterflies -- their larva eat all sorts of plants, making my largely untended yard look that much the worse. And don't get me started on sunny days...

In one of his books, P. J. O'Rourke had a great take on taxation. His line of reasoning was, to paraphrase: If Grandma doesn't pay her taxes, she could be arrested. If she evades arrest, she could be tracked down. If she further resists, she could be shot. This leads to the gun-to-Grandma's-head test for taxpayer-funded activities. Would you let Grandma get shot for the sake of X? If not, X shouldn't be funded by tax revenue.

I just looked it up -- it's in Parliament of Whores, and it was "gray-haired mother," not Grandma. Very funny book.

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