Republicans rabid over right-wing report

Republicans on Wednesday said a Homeland Security Department intelligence assessment unfairly characterizes military veterans as right-wing extremists. House Republican leader John Boehner described the report as offensive and called on the agency to apologize to veterans.

The agency’s intelligence assessment, sent to law enforcement officials last week, warns that right-wing extremists could use the bad state of the U.S. economy and the election of the country’s first black president to recruit members.

The assessment also said that returning military veterans who have difficulties assimilating back into their home communities could be susceptible to extremist recruiters or might engage in lone acts of violence.

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

The commander of the veterans group the American Legion, David Rehbein, wrote to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano expressing concern with the assessment, which made its way into the mainstream press after conservative bloggers got wind of the analysis.

Rehbein called the assessment incomplete and said it lacked statistical evidence. He said the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing by military veteran Timothy McVeigh was one instance of a veteran becoming a domestic terrorist.

"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," Rehbein said in the April 13 letter.

Napolitano defended the assessment and others issued by the agency.

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

Napolitano said the department respects and honors veterans and that she intends to meet with Rehbein next week after she returns from a tour of the U.S.-Mexico border and meetings in Mexico City.

The agency describes these assessments as part of a series published "to facilitate a greater understanding of the phenomenon of violent radicalization in the United States."

In February, the department issued a report to law enforcement that said left-wing extremist groups were likely to use cyber attacks more often in the next 10 years to further their cause.

In September, the agency highlighted how right-wing extremists over the past five years have used the immigration debate as a recruiting tool.

Between September 2008 and Feb. 5, the agency issued at least four reports, obtained by The Associated Press, on individual extremist groups such as the Moors, Vinlanders Social Club, Volksfront and Hammerskin Nation.

But the references to military veterans in the recent report angered conservatives.

"The department is engaging in political and ideological profiling of people who fought to keep our country safe from terrorism, uphold our nation’s immigration laws, and protect our constitutional right to keep and bear arms," said Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R-Fla.,

Texas Rep. Lamar Smith accused the department of painting "law-abiding Americans, including war veterans, as ‘extremists.’"

Indiana Rep. Steve Buyer, the ranking Republican on the House Veterans’ Affairs committee, said it was "inconceivable" that the administration would consider military veterans a potential terrorist threat.

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On the Net:

Homeland Security Department: http://www.dhs.gov/index.shtm

17 Responses to "Republicans rabid over right-wing report"

  1. storky  April 16, 2009 at 7:58 pm

    “This is from a Key Finding listed before the sections on returning vets being recruited by existing extremist groups.”

    The asterisk in the FIRST SENTENCE of the Key Findings refers one to the footnote defining domestic rightwing terrorists as HATE groups:

    KEY FINDINGS

    The DHS/Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A) has no specific information that domestic rightwing* terrorists are currently planning acts of violence, but rightwing extremists may be gaining new recruits by playing on their fears about several emergent issues. The economic downturn and the election of the first African American president present unique drivers for rightwing radicalization and recruitment.

    The footnote sets the tone that the term “domestic rightwing terrorists” refers to members or potential members of HATE groups. Veterans who support, maintain or seek membership in hate groups qualify as domestic rightwing terrorists under that definition. The report does NOT in any way represent ALL veterans as domestic rightwing terrorists. That misinterpretation is maliciously incendiary and just plain STUPID!

    – – – – – –
    Ignorance is not a virtue!

  2. almandine  April 16, 2009 at 8:11 pm

    The footnote identifies 2 categories of extremists… not terrorists… those hate-oriented types AND those [others] that are mainly anti-government… including [those] dedicated to a single issue…

    Not even Boehner said ALL vets were being extremist, much less terrorists.

    ———————

    Forrest said it best.

  3. storky  April 16, 2009 at 8:19 pm

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

    Tell me more, Forrest.

  4. almandine  April 16, 2009 at 9:44 pm

    Screw this. The report is just a bunch of propaganda designed to sow discord. Job done.

    The footnote speaks for itself.

  5. storky  April 16, 2009 at 8:54 am

    Boehner should apologize to the public for his failure to read and comprehend the DHS report that shares concerns over growing recruitment into HATE Groups.

    The DHS report does NOT consider veterans to be the threat, rather they worry that recent veterans will be targeted for recruitment by HATE groups seeking advanced weapon skills.

    The right-wing morons, rather than read the scant nine page report, have adopted someone else’s misinterpretation as truth.

  6. almandine  April 16, 2009 at 2:50 pm

    Reading, comprehending ?

    The report says, quote:

    “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.”

    This is from a Key Finding listed before the sections on returning vets being recruited by existing extremist groups.

    Morons, huh?

    Collectivism is slavery…

  7. southgeorgia912  April 16, 2009 at 9:39 am

    It’s not just veterans they consider in that category – it’s ANYONE who disagrees with President Obama. With this administration, you’re either on Obama’s side, or you’re nothing but scum. It’s a label he, Pelosi, Reid, et al, are sticking to veterans, GOP, people taking part in the Tax Day Tea Parties who are disgusted with the overbloated tax and spending in Government.

  8. JerZGirl  April 16, 2009 at 3:27 pm

    Oh, puhleez. For eight excrutiatingly long years, this country put up with attacks on anyone who dared to question or disagree with the Buffoon-in-Chief, often being investigated, interrogated, having their patriotism questioned or even losing their jobs for not towing the GOP line. I don’t see even one microspeck of similar action being taken here. The fact is, radicalism can come from ANYWHERE, from ANYONE. It only takes the right trigger to push people into it. And, until that person turns, we don’t really know with absolute certainty who it will be. But, we have to rely on past experiences to keep our eyes open to any possibilities of militant uprising, whether it come from a single disgruntled individual or a group hell-bent on “taking back” their country.

    ————————————————–
    “There is a sufficiency in the world for man’s need but not for man’s greed.” ~ Mohandas K. Gandhi

  9. storky  April 16, 2009 at 8:08 pm

    “It’s not just veterans they consider in that category – it’s ANYONE who disagrees with President Obama”

    BULLSHIT!

    Republicans are little more than spoiled stinking brats. After years of underhanded and illegal tactics to trample dissent, you cry and bellyache about being ignored.

    Stop projecting your psychotic hallucinations on others.

    It sucks to be irrelevant, but you clowns brought it upon yourselves.

  10. dandraver  April 16, 2009 at 10:21 am

    from what I heard, this report was commissioned by the Bush administration. I’m in the American Legion, and I’m sure that there had to be something in that report for the commander to go to the DHS and express his concerns.

    Knowing the type of goons from the last administration, I wouldn’t be surprised if the report originally railed about (I’m guessing) LEFT-WING extremists like PETA or the anti-logging people. Because its now Obama’s baby, its veterans and NRA folks. If this had come out during the Bush administration, I’m sure the democrats would have been crying. It shouldn’t matter when it came out, the fact that the jerks in Washington actually did this and believe it should frighten everyone.

    In a way I agree with the above statement about the Obama administration, because its so much like what Bush said, you’re either with us or against us.

    People enlist in the military, take an oath to protect and defend the Constitution, get sent overseas to fight “terrorist” (and protect corrupt warlords and politicians, oil fields and poppy crops), but when their enlistment is up and they come back home, they have the potential to be “domestic terrorists”. Insanity

  11. griff  April 16, 2009 at 10:51 pm

    Actually, the left-wing extremists had their very own report.

  12. spartacus  April 16, 2009 at 12:21 pm

    Perhaps part of the concern over the military coming back from overseas is due to the indoctrination they received while over there: a steady diet of right wing talk radio, with no other views being expressed. All they got was all Bush, all the time; with us or against us; Bush and his crowd are great, the others are weak and un-American – you get the picture. They listened to conservative, and neoconservatives, spouting the stuff that drives people like me crazy over the objections of many, who thought that our troops should be able to hear more than one view, if they had to listen to political opinions at all. However, that isn’t what happened. Rumsfeld, Cheney, Bush, and everyone else in that crowd wanted our soldiers to be good little neocons without questions. In the past, other armies in other countries have done the same thing, with a disasterous result for their country, and sometimes other nations as well.

    Our troops were abused so badly by the previous administration in so many ways: this was just one more, but perhaps it was the most insidious of all.

    However, that being said, conservatives need to read what’s there and stop equating the word ‘conservative’ with the word ‘extremist’. Unless I’m very much mistaken, they are not the same thing (although one can be another). A lot of consevatives ARE extremists (is that why Rush is so upset, since that’s what he expects out of his audience?), but most of them are NOT variety who’d become terrorists or attempt to overthrow the government. What this report is talking about is something altogether different than merely being a conservative. If those going into apoplexy over it are really that up in arms, then maybe their reasons should be looked at, whether they’re congressmen or not. One congresswoman, Michelle Bachman, has advocated stockpiling guns and taking violent action if necessary: some of her colleagues, and certainly right wing talk radio, seem to be encouraging an attempted coup because they’ve lost power, and are afraid they won’t get it back because they’ve lost the support of the majority of the American people. They are creating an atmosphere within a very weak minded section of the public (no, none of this is directed at the military), many of whom: consider themselves dittoheads; can’t think for themselves; don’t realize their taxes are LOWER; didn’t realize they were doing worse under Bush; and can’t see the forest for the trees. Many of these people are uneducated, easily led, and perfect sheep. What they’re told, they believe, and they’re fed a steady diet of this nonsense and anger by Rush et al and Fox Noise. While not all of them, nor most of them, will become right wing terrorists, there are always a few who will (and already have). The difference between a left wing extremist and a right wing one, is that the left winger, who might be a part of PETA or Greenpeace, isn’t: likely to be packing; join a paramilitary group; shoot a few cops or government officials; attempt a coup; blow up government buildings; hole up in a compound and shoot it out; etc. In other words, the left wing group won’t take violent action, nor try to overthrow the government, nor anything else of the kind, but work within the framework of the law (although stopping a ship while not using any guns as it’s illegally hunting whales is another matter).

    What the conservatives denouncing this report need to do is: let go of the rhetoric that might encourage people to react as terrorists; stop insisting that the government is coming to take people’s guns away, which is untrue; come out against the behaviors noted in the report which might lead to violence; etc.

    The majority of right wing conservatives are law abiding, decent people, just as our troops and returning troops are. Those who aren’t should stop being fed the vitriol that might send them over the edge by right wing talk radio jocks, who should realize what their venom might do to the sheep who listen to them, and have enough sense to tone it down a notch or two. They can be hateful without being inciteful.

  13. RichardKanePA  April 17, 2009 at 12:18 am

    spartacus,
    I very much wanted to agree with your comments until your example of letting groups unlike a few right wing groups not being dangerous was Greenpeace and PETA. Of course the Bushes thought Animal Liberation Front messing with meat or Green peace trying to block nuck tests was terror, which I don’t want to agree with but the Weatherman who avoided killing people, didn’t stop blowing up evil property just because someone died in an explosion, and don’t forget the Panthers and I forgot his name who sent package bombs to companies that blatantly harmed the environment.

    The latest basic training weapons training, teaches people to shoot automatically. I’m surprised more troubled veterans both left and right don’t imagine they are back in combat.
    ยป
    Your name: RichardKanePA

  14. griff  April 16, 2009 at 9:31 pm

    Okay folks, take a deep breath and take a look at the document, specifically the document properties, by simply right-clicking anywhere on the document and clicking Document Properties, and see that it was created 1/23/2007 and modified 4/7/2009.

    So it appears that the assessment was commissioned during the Bush administration and recently updated by Obama’s. And it happens to be no worse than this one, outlining leftwing extremists and cyber attacks, created on the same day and revised on 1/26/2009.

    I think it’s safe to say that the only ones who consider this a partisan issue are we the fools, who allow the government and the media to get us infighting along imaginary partisan boundaries instead of coming together and finding common cause to ensure that government stays within its legal boundaries when addressing these things.

    Folks, tyranny has no party affiliation, it only knows who its enemies are, and that happens to be anyone that opposes it. And it’ll use any means to ensure that the population remains distracted and divided while it carries out its mission.

    “The ideal tyranny is that which is ignorantly self-administered by its victims. The most perfect slaves are, therefore, those which blissfully and unawaredly enslave themselves. A truth’s initial commotion is directly proportional to how deeply the lie was believed. It wasn’t the world being round that agitated people, but that the world wasn’t flat. When a well-packaged web of lies has been sold gradually to the masses over generations, the truth will seem utterly preposterous and its speaker a raving lunatic.” – Dresden James

  15. bryan mcclellan  April 16, 2009 at 10:45 pm

    Griff, I’m going to allow for carbon precipitation..

  16. dandraver  April 17, 2009 at 1:46 pm

    spot on griff

  17. towerclimber  April 30, 2009 at 5:26 am

    I have to agree with Dresden James…
    BOTH the left and the right in Washington have been selling partisanship to “We the People”.
    I have, many times, had to remind folks that we’re all Americans here. Who we need to look at is Congress as well as the President. The President is still coming in fuzzy but we have seen Congress for a long, long time. While I do not advocate allowing free reign by the president without the checks and balances of congress, I do suggest we get them out of power and get folks in there that will actually vote the will of the people and not the will of the PAC’s and lobbyists.

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