DHS Report Spotlights Right Wing Extremists

Filed in National by on April 14, 2009

And it’s about time.

Via Think Progress:

The extreme right — those who are “hate-oriented,” “mainly antigovernment,” or those dedicated to a “single issue” — is a legitimate threat that law enforcement must deal with, according to a new assessment from the Office of Intelligence and Analysis at the Department of Homeland Security. The report, which was coordinated with the FBI and is being given to federal, state, and local law enforcement, warns:

[R]ightwing 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.

Read the whole thing, and then brace yourself for the tiresome, endless whines of victim-hood from a group of people who couldn’t care less who was thrown into Gitmo.  Just like they didn’t give a damn about spending when Bush was in office.

If the “uncertain economy” and a “perceived rising influence of other countries” continues, “rightwing extremism is likely to grow in strength,” the report adds. “[L]one wolves and small terrorist cells embracing violent rightwing extremist ideology are the most dangerous domestic terrorism threat in the United States.”

Which is what we’ve been saying for months.  It’s the lone wolves and small groups that are keeping me up at night.  It’s these individuals who don’t see Beck as entertainment.  And it’s these nuts that Conservatives need to rein in, because, let’s face it, they won’t listen to me.

And if you think I’m over-reacting, consider this: The Southern Poverty Law Center also reports that the “number of hate groups operating in the United States continued to rise in 2008 and has grown by 54 percent since 2000 – an increase fueled last year by immigration fears, a failing economy and the successful campaign of Barack Obama.

There’s a reason right-wing extremists made the list.

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Comments (46)

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  1. Miscreant says:

    Most interesting is how it potentially demonizes returning veterans. For a different, more rational perspective, Steve Newton thoroughly dissects key components of this document at Delaware Libertarian.

    http://delawarelibertarian.blogspot.com/2009/04/latest-dhs-report-on-rightwing.html

  2. jason330 says:

    If you scratch a Miscreant you reveal a violent rightwing extremist.

    The veneer of civilization overlaying the conservative movement is microns thin.

  3. Miscreant says:

    Insightful response, Jason. That’s all you’ve got?

  4. Miss AO says:

    The Southern Poverty Law Center considers the American Legion a hate group last fall.

    They also count NORFED too, darn hateful libertarians that want a currency that will still be standing after the Fed prints more money for all the bailouts.

    Please take with a pound of salt.

  5. anon says:

    Troops returning from a long conflict are historically a risk to any society. It is not a demonization of our troops per se. It is a measure of your civilization how well you manage the mustering out.

  6. jason330 says:

    All I’ve got is the truth bro. You belong to a organization that is in love with guns and violence. Try and deny that.

  7. Unstable Isotope says:

    Hey, if they’re doing nothing wrong they have nothing to worry about, right? [/schadenfreude]

    So will the rightwing join the ACLU to support our 1st Amendment rights?

  8. pandora says:

    Hmm… What if this talk were coming from Muslim Americans?

  9. cassandra_m says:

    Noting that returning vets are potential recruiting targets for these extremist groups doesn’t exactly count as demonization. If these groups aren’t recruiting returning vets, then show some data otherwise.

    Basically, Steve cherry picks a few items out of this report, waves at multiple authors and then tells everyone that the Pittsburgh example doesn’t support the thesis that vets are being recruited. Well, sure — and that is not what the example is there for, either. It is listed under the topic Current Economic and Political Climate summarizing how the current climate affects the rise of extremist activity. No vets mentioned in that section at all. That discussion is in its own section on Page 8.

    Seriously, folks — click through Pandora’s link above to read the entire 9 page assessment for yourself and make your own determination re: any demonization or even the basic worth of this information. It’s interesting what you learn when you click through the links.

  10. anonone says:

    Dear Miss AO:

    The Southern Poverty Law Center does not consider either the American Legion or NORFED as “hate groups”.

    The only thing that should be taken with a pound of salt is the stuff you and your teabagging friends make up.

  11. cassandra_m says:

    Miss AO certainly hasn’t read anything at the links she provided, either.

  12. pandora says:

    Perhaps the real question should be: Why are conservatives so upset? No where in the report are they mentioned. In fact, the report clearly states right-wing extremists as the concern.

  13. cassandra_m says:

    Why do conservatives downplay any connection they and their radio handlers have to wingnut violence? We’re always the ones going overboard on this thing — according to them.

    Part of the difference is who is the “In” group for conservatives — they don’t mind owning and including their fringe groups while most of us are busily running away from the Puppeteers and ANSWER.

  14. Von Cracker says:

    Art’s a strawman-building arsehole who relies on false equivalencies and specious rebuttals to support his selective contempt.

    And before you get your thong in a bunch, Art, let me just say that I call ‘em as I see ‘em.

  15. Von Cracker says:

    No links? Why the moderation?

  16. Tom S. says:

    Ruby Ridge anyone? Anybody remember that one?

  17. pandora says:

    VC, I don’t see you in moderation.

  18. cassandra_m says:

    I just released his posts, Pandora.

    And for Tom S — we remember Oklahoma City, too.

  19. Von Cracker says:

    Danke, Frauen!

  20. Delaware Dem says:

    Some are upset they lost, and let’s face it…. some are upset a black man is in power.

  21. Delaware Dem says:

    VC, for some reason, your comments are ending up in Spam. I have no idea why. I make it a point to clear out Spam frequently and release your comments when I find them.

  22. Delaware Dem says:

    Ruby Ridge, Waco, Oklahoma City, the Atlanta Olympics Bombing, the other Eric Rudolph abortion clinic bombings….

    Right wing violence always rises when there is a Democratic President. Resorting to violence is how some conservatives deal with loss.

  23. cassandra_m says:

    Wonder why conservatives’ hair weren’t on fire at the end of October when this was published by Newsweek?

    And much of what that 9 page summary had to say can be found in this WaPo article from January.

    Wonder if they remember these guys? You know, the ones who wanted to kill 102 black people?

    The media has been reporting (not often enough) on much of what that DHS doc says for almost a year — except they have been talking about it in terms of real extremists meeting real law enforcement. But now that there is a glossy brochure is when conservatives get their panties in a bunch?

  24. Miscreant says:

    “You belong to a organization that is in love with guns and violence. ”

    While I realize that anything other than being in lockstep with other sheep may be a very foreign concept to you, I don’t belong to any “group”. I just strongly believe in the rights of the individual.
    Try and prove otherwise.

  25. Von Cracker says:

    My comments? Spam?

    Undoubtedly.

    :-D

  26. Miscreant says:

    “So will the rightwing join the ACLU to support our 1st Amendment rights?”

    The question is… When will the ACLU join the right wing to support our 1st Amendment rights?

  27. anonone says:

    When will the ACLU join the right wing to support our 1st Amendment rights?

    They have. They have defended the rights of the KKK to march and speak too many times to count. They have always defended the rights of hate mongers to speak and assemble.

    Next question?

  28. cassandra_m says:

    The ACLU has participated in the defense of 1st amendment rights for even Nazis (the Skokie march is the most famous) and the KKK in Iowa and OH that I can remember — all in favor of letting these groups have their public say. The ACLU also did a friend of the court thing for your boy Rush Limbaugh — weighing in against law enforcement taking Limbaugh’s medical records.

  29. cassandra_m says:

    LOL, A1 — I would have been quicker if I wasn’t on the phone.

    I think that the next question is to get an answer to UI’s question above.

  30. Miscreant says:

    “Noting that returning vets are potential recruiting targets for these extremist groups doesn’t exactly count as demonization. ”

    Please read carefully before you jump, Cassandra. I said “potentially” demonizing….

    “If these groups aren’t recruiting returning vets, then show some data otherwise.”

    I won’t deny that they are targeting returning veterans. If these groups are *specifically* recruiting vets, and HS has any reason to believe that all veterans are to be treated as suspect, please show me some data. What they are doing is little more than profiling.

    “… No vets mentioned in that section at all. That discussion is in its own section on Page 8.”

    As suggested by Cassandra, read the document thoroughly. The potential ‘veteran threat’ was first mentioned at the bottom of page one, and discussed in greater detail later in the document.

  31. Geezer says:

    “Right-wing extremists” vs. the “law-abiding”? Aren’t right-wing extremists, just like left-wing extremists, abiding by the law unless and until they do something to break it? Since when are extreme political views, by themselves, the concern of law enforcement?

  32. cassandra_m says:

    Give me a break — I saw the potentially and still don’t see how noting that these groups may be targeting vets as being demonizing. And there is nothing in that report that calls for all vets to be treated as suspect. There is nothing in that report that calls for all conservatives as suspect. They are describing — not unlike the multiple news reports I linked to — increased activity by the wingnut extremists, why that may be so, some of their targets and a little of their history. A lot to try to accomplish in a 9 page brochure, and not much there that is new if you’ve been reading the news over the past year. Besides, this text makes no firm claim (sorta like “potentially”), either:
    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.

    The “targeting vets” spin is a nice chestnut though. Try to impeach the entire business by making up a motive for the report.

    It isn’t like what they note here is beyond the realm of possibility:
    2 Camp Lejune Marine “lone wolves”. I can’t tell from this if either had been in Iraq, but certainly both were disturbed enough to make the threats.

  33. cassandra_m says:

    Right wing extremists who are organizing or inciting violence aren’t exactly abiding by the law. They aren’t just off making crazy puppets.

  34. anonone says:

    cassandra_m:

    Excellent point about the ACLU defending Limbaugh! I’d forgotten about that.

    It looks like miscreant conveniently forgot that he asked the question.

    By the way, the right would love to ignore the mental and emotional toll that war takes on veterans. Ignored and/or untreated, the psychological wounds of war can lead to crimes of violence.

    You can imagine that if a terrorist act is committed by a mentally disturbed veteran, all the right wing nuts will say in one big chorus, “well, nobody could have predicted…”

  35. Geezer says:

    Inciting violence is against the law; I don’t include them in the “law-abiding” description. What I was pointing to is the report drawing some sort of distinction drawn between these two groups, which I don’t think ARE separate groups.

    I would consider many conservatives “right-wing extremists” in their views, but not (so far as we know) in their actions.

    If we allow government to spy on one group because of its political beliefs, then we’re allowing government to spy on us once it decides our beliefs constitute a threat.

  36. Unstable Isotope says:

    Geezer,

    I thought it was worrying in some of the so-called terror prosecutions that people were essentially being convicted of thought crimes.

  37. Arthur Downs says:

    I notice that most of the name calling comes from people who hide behind a screen name.

    Perhaps this is akin to the graffitti that sometimes adorns public toilet stalls.

  38. Arthur Downs says:

    It would be nice if the ACLU would come to the aid of conservative speakers who are blocked by the administrations of so many universities.

    They may be free to speak but there will be extra ‘fees’ assessed.

  39. anonone says:

    It would be nice if the ACLU would come to the aid of conservative speakers who are blocked by the administrations of so many universities.

    Oh, do tell, Mr. Downs. Could you please tell us all about a few of the incidents where public university administrations blocked conservative speakers from speaking on public property.

  40. jason330 says:

    Do cases from his fevered imagination count?

  41. anonone says:

    Only if they have a detailed erotic component.

  42. Bob says:

    Funny though, the claim in the report that this is the number one internal terror concern, while documenting nothing. Meanwhile Earthfirst and other environmental extremists burn car lots and destroy other private property. Other extremists threaten domestic military installations, but no worries there.

  43. cassandra_m says:

    The place where I see the report distinguishing between the Law-abiding and extremists is in the hoarding ammo section — and even then they note that both extremists and regular folks have similar motivations for doing so.

    The name of this report is: Rightwing Extremism: Current
    Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment
    and its scope as listed is this:

    This product is one of a series of intelligence assessments published by the Extremism and Radicalization Branch to facilitate a greater understanding of the phenomenon of violent radicalization in the United States. The information is provided to federal, state, local, and tribal counterterrorism and law enforcement officials so they may effectively deter, prevent, preempt, or respond to terrorist attacks against the United States. Federal efforts to influence domestic public opinion must be conducted in an overt and transparent manner, clearly identifying United States Government sponsorship.

    Meaning that this particular document is an attempt to summarize the influences on the radicalized. This is not about the Michelle Malkins or whoever else we’d very likely agree are right-wing extremists. It is about the ones pointed towards real violence. More from a CFR Backgrounder. These guys are talking about groups like Aryan Nations, KKK, World Church of the Creator (if they are still around), various “militia” groups that come and go (go after members get arrested for something). The government is not monitoring these groups because of their political views, they are monitoring them because they have a history of violence and organizing for violence. Along the same lines, the government isn’t monitoring the Bloods or the Crips because they dress funny or are black or Hispanic — they monitor them because most of their raison d’etre is criminal.

    The current right wing freakout because of this report (and I still want to know why they didn’t freak out at the news reports I posted above which had similar things to say) is more about another opportunity to get their victim on more than anything else. Unless these guys are real members of these extremist groups that pretty much exist for violent action, they are just trying to make themselves look important enough for the government to pick on them.

  44. cassandra_m says:

    And we know that Bob didn’t even read the report.

    Thanks for playing, Bob!

  45. Von Cracker says:

    What screenname, Art?

    BTW – WWWWWWHHHAAAAAAAAA!!!

    WWWWWHHAAAAAAAAA!!!!

    Obviously, I pricked your hot air balloon.