Remember the DHS report about Veterans being recruited to Right-Wing terrorist groups which was leaked and led newly appointed Homeland Secretary Janet Napolitano to initially defending the report but later having to apologize and withdrawing the report after she was thrown under the bus by her own party (Bennie Thompson, Congressman from MS) & severely criticized by Republicans.
The Washington Times released a story on April 14, 2009, that said, "The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is warning law enforcement officials about a rise in 'rightwing extremist activity,' saying the economic recession, the election of America's first black president and the return of a few disgruntled war veterans could swell the ranks of white-power militias."
The 9 page report, "Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment", was categorized as "unclassified // for official use only" but a number of news sources had posted it on their web sites.
The report also said that "Homeland Security Office of Intelligence and Analysis defines 'rightwing extremism in the United States' as including not just racist or hate groups, but also groups that reject federal authority in favor of state or local authority."
Profiled groups could include "groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single-issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration."
The response from critics was immediate. (Bolded for emphasis)
House Minority Leader John Boehner called the report "Offensive and Unacceptable" and demanded an "explanation for why she has abandoned using the term ‘terrorist’ to describe those, such as al Qaeda, who are plotting overseas to kill innocent Americans, while her own Department is using the same term to describe American citizens who disagree with the direction Washington Democrats are taking our nation."
Boehner also said that the agency should apologize to veterans.
David K. Rehbein, the National Commander of the American Legion sent a letter of protest to the Homeland Security Secretary concerning the suggestion that veterans were likely to commit acts of terrorism. Rehbein said, "I think it is important for all of us to remember that Americans are not the enemy. The terrorists are."
Conservative journalist, Michelle Malkin, wrote an article on April 14, 2009, calling the report a "hit job on conservatives" and said that it was "one of the most embarrassingly shoddy pieces of propaganda I’d ever read out of DHS. I couldn’t believe it was real."
On April 16, 2009 Fox News reported that Secretary Napolitano issued an apology to veterans in an on air interview saying, "To the extent veterans read it as an accusation ... an apology is owed."
Napolitano offered this explanation, "This was an assessment, not an accusation. It was limited to extremists those who seek to commit violence within the United States. And all this was meant to do was to give law enforcement what we call 'situational awareness.'"
This from the party which ignored warnings about Bin Laden determined to use planes to attack us.
Fast Forward to July 2011
From Think Progress, July 27th 2011, Ben Armbruster writes in an article headlined - After Right-Wing pressure, DHS now has 'just one person' dealing with Domestic Terrorism. The greatest threat of large-scale attacks come from individuals and small groups of extremists who subscribe to radical Islamic or far right-wing ideologies, said Gary LaFree, director of the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism, or START. Gary Ackerman, Research Director at START, said nationally, law enforcement has been focused since the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon in 2001 on the threat of Islamic terrorism, even as the threat from domestic anti-government groups has been growing.
“Some people believe we have taken our eye off the ball when it comes to domestic right-wing extremists,” he said.
It has now been confirmed that the Oak Creek, WI Gurudwara (temple) mass murderer Wade Michael Page was indeed a veteran, White Supremacist, Neo-Nazi and leader of a white power music (?) band called End Apathy. I wish the Obama folks would pull out the DHS report and send it to Boehner and the other Repubs and demand an apology but but that would be politicizing a tragedy right?
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