DHS Report Wrongly Accuses Veterans and Others
April 20, 2009
On the heels of the now infamous Missouri Information Analysis Center (MIAC) report, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has just released an "assessment" report entitled "Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment." With virtually no references, documentation, or annotations, the report, which was released to all branches of American law enforcement, demonizes a host of citizens as having the capacity to become violent "rightwing extremists."
The DHS report warns law enforcement to be on guard against anyone who opposes illegal immigration, same-sex marriage, "free trade agreements," gun control, the "New World Order," "One World Government," the outsourcing of American jobs, the "perceived" threat to U.S. sovereignty by foreign powers, abortion, "declarations of martial law," "the creation of citizen detention camps," "suspension of the U.S. Constitution," or the abridgement of State authority. Also branded are people who believe in "end times" prophecies, and who "stockpile" food, ammunition, or firearms.
I dare say that at least 75% (or more) of the American people have beliefs that fall into one or more categories of the above list. If you are one of them, DHS suspects you of being a "rightwing extremist." But there is more. The DHS report specifically warns law enforcement to be on guard against "disgruntled military veterans," especially veterans returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. You read it right.
Well, if anyone has a legitimate reason to be disgruntled, it is America's veterans. After taking an oath to defend and support America and the U.S. Constitution, and fighting bravely in Iraq and Afghanistan, they returned home to a Department of Veteran's Affairs that treats them as second-class citizens: VA hospitals are often dirty and out-of-date; medical treatments are postponed; medications often take months to arrive; and much of the promised care is never delivered at all.
That said, where is the evidence in the DHS report to substantiate the necessity for American law enforcement to be on guard against potential violence committed by military veterans? It doesn't exist. It is a blanket charge without any substantiation whatsoever. The same is true for the rest of the report. Without documentation, substantiation, or annotation, the report broadly brushes a host of American citizens as being potential "extremists" simply because of their political opinions. This is the same kind of political profiling that we saw in the Missouri report.
Veterans groups nationwide are rightfully "up in arms" over the DHS report. Feeling the wrath of public opinion, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano yesterday "apologized" for "offending" veterans. Fox News reported, "American Legion National Commander David Rehbein, who blasted the report earlier this week as incomplete and politically-biased, said he was pleased with Napolitano's apology." But not all veterans groups share Rehbein's spirit of forgiveness.
Pete Hegseth, chairman of Vets for Freedom, snarled, "It wasn't an apology in my view. It was one of those non-apology apologies. She was sorry that veterans were offended. She should either apologize for the content of the report as it stands or they should rewrite the report and reissue it." Hegseth has it right!
Napolitano did not apologize for the report; she only said she was sorry that vets were "offended" by the report. There is a vast difference. This is the typical cow manure that we are accustomed to from non-elected bureaucrats, especially federal bureaucrats. And please notice that Napolitano offered no "apology" to pro-lifers, proponents of the Second Amendment, constitutionalists, Christians, or anyone else. She couldn't care less if any of these folks were offended. She was only sorry that veterans were offended.
House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) also rightly blasted the DHS report, saying its portrayal of veterans was "offensive and unacceptable." House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Lamar Smith (R-Texas) said, "The rightwing report uses broad generalizations about veterans, pro-life groups, federalists and supporters of gun rights. That's like saying if you love puppies, you might be susceptible to recruitment by the Animal Liberation Front. It is ridiculous and deeply offensive to millions of Americans."
Ladies and gentlemen, the American people must put a stop to this burgeoning political profiling that is currently being forced upon law enforcement. I urge every reader of this column to immediately contact your U.S. House member and two U.S. Senators, demanding that they put a stop to this right now!
In the meantime, I believe we can also assume that the source of all of these reports is either Morris Dees and his Southern Poverty Law Center
Obviously, DHS is still stinging from the embarrassment and setback of the Missouri report, in which three of last year's Presidential candidates (Ron Paul, Bob Barr, and myself) were personally named. In essence, people who voted for and/or supported any one of us were directly labeled as being potential dangerous "militia members." This blatant and outlandish accusation resulted in a maelstrom of protest, which concluded with the report being completely withdrawn. And this is exactly what people should demand in the case of the DHS report: it should be immediately withdrawn!
The current DHS report does not include personal names, except the name of Timothy McVeigh, who is used as an example of what any "disgruntled military veteran" could become. It does, however, regurgitate the familiar themes of the Missouri report: the same groups; the same beliefs; the same generalizations; the same innuendoes; the same broad brushing; the same warnings; the same mischaracterizations; the same political profiling.
As with the Missouri officials, Janet Napolitano has made a critical misjudgment. By including veterans in her broad sweep of "rightwing extremists," she has shown her true colors: and they are not Red, White and Blue. Veterans throughout America should insist that not only must the report be rescinded, but Ms. Napolitano must also resign.
Visit Dr. Chuck Baldwin's website at https://libertyfellowshipmt.com