What We Don’t Talk About When We Talk About Terrorism
DHS/I&A assesses that lone wolves and small terrorist cells embracing violent rightwing extremist ideology are the most dangerous domestic terrorism threat in the United States.” – (“Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment” – 4/7/2009
About that report…
The Department of Homeland Security has stepped back for the past two years from conducting its own intelligence and analysis of home-grown extremism, according to current and former department officials, even though law enforcement and civil rights experts have warned of rising extremist threats.
The department has cut the number of personnel studying domestic terrorism unrelated to Islam, canceled numerous state and local law enforcement briefings, and held up dissemination of nearly a dozen reports on extremist groups, the officials and others said.
The decision to reduce the department’s role was provoked by conservative criticism of an intelligence report on “Rightwing Extremism” issued four months into the Obama administration, the officials said. The report warned that the poor economy and Obama’s election could stir “violent radicalization,” but it was pilloried as an attack on conservative ideologies, including opponents of abortion and immigration.
Daryl Johnson, formerly the senior domestic terrorism analyst at DHS and a principal author of the disputed report, confirmed in an interview that he left in frustration last year after his office was “gutted” in response to complaints.
“Other reports written by DHS about Muslim extremists … got through without any major problems,” Johnson said. “Ours went through endless reviews and edits, and nothing came out.”
Michelle Malkin on the report when it was issued back in 2009:
You cannot ignore the context or the timing of this DHS report. It’s no small coincidence that Napolitano’s agency disseminated the assessment just a week before the nationwide April 15 Tax Day Tea Party protests. The grass-roots events organized by fiscal conservatives, independents, Libertarians, and yes, even some blue Dog Democrats were fueled by the “current economic and political climate” of bipartisan profligate spending and endless taxpayer-funded bailouts. The growing success of the loose-knit movement has invited scorn, ridicule, and fear-mongering from Obama’s supporters. Liberal bloggers have likened the Tea Party movement to neo-Nazis, militias, and even Weather Underground terrorists.
These attempts to demonize the Tea Party movement come on the heels of widespread conservative-bashing over the recent shooting sprees in Pittsburgh and Binghamton, New York. Taking Hillary Clinton’s advice to “never waste a good crisis,” left-wing pundits and analysts have blamed the tragedies on everyone from Rush Limbaugh to Fox News to the NRA.
Back to being mau-maued by the Malkinites:
When the DHS report on “rightwing extremism” was leaked, Napolitano — who Johnson and other officials say had requested the report and heard a briefing in advance on its conclusions — initially defended it, saying “we must protect the country from terrorism whether foreign or homegrown.”
But after 20 conservative groups sponsored ads calling for Napolitano’s ouster, she said it was disseminated without regular review, and apologized to the American Legion for its warning that veterans could be targeted by militias for recruitment.
The DHS civil rights office subsequently was granted veto rights over all DHS reports on domestic terrorists, Johnson said.
Johnson and others said intelligence reports on the resurgence of militia groups in Michigan and Kentucky are among those being withheld by the agency, which he said was “screening for politically sensitive phrases or topics that might be objectionable to certain groups.”
From the NBC News (formerly MSNBC) site just now: “It was not immediately clear why local police were classifying the shooting as domestic terrorism. Federal law enforcement officials told NBC News the suspected gunman had no obvious connection to domestic terror or white supremacist groups and apparently was not on any list of suspected terrorists. The suspect was in his early 40s, and while he had an arrest record, it was for minor offenses, one federal official said.” Perhaps he had no direct ties to groups but: “Officials told NBC News the suspect, who served in the U.S. Army, had many tattoos. The suspect had some kind of radical or white supremacist views but, as far as officials said they had heard, he was not in any kind of radical organization.”
And, here is your bonus crazy courtesy of Jim Hoft’s House O’ Krylon Huffers:
I have no comment other than that guy at Hoft’s site certainly sounds reasonable and deserves a guest spot of Fox & Friends. Maybe his own show…