DISCLAIMER: Until proven otherwise, I'm going to go with reader juris_imprudent's assessment that this "report" is a very clever fraud, thus my Quote of the Day for Monday, April 13. I was not the only one suckered (not an excuse), but juris is right - it smells, and I can only plead stuffed sinuses for not recognizing it. Still, I'm not going to pull the post. I admit my mistakes when I make them, I don't shove them down the memory hole.
UPDATE 4/14: Michelle Malkin confirms THE REPORT IS REAL, though she does concur with juris that it is "one of the most embarrassingly shoddy pieces of propaganda I’d ever read out of DHS."
I ought to feel better about not being a dupe, but I think I actually feel worse knowing that the Department of Homeland Security actually did conceive, create, publish, and issue the damned thing.
End of update. Please, read on.
I guess it makes you a potential Rightwing Extremist. I don't listen to Roger Hedgecock. As far as I know he isn't syndicated on any station here, but apparently he got a copy of a Department of Homeland Security report, dated April 7, 2009, and did his show on Friday about it. Someone at AR15.com - a hotbed of over 10,000 potential Rightwing Extremists - posted a link to the document, entitled Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment (PDF), so I gave it a read. It's only ten pages long, including the cover. Aside from the predictable warnings about neo-Nazi skinheads recruiting because our new President has a skin-tone darker than alabaster, there's some actual new stuff our political masters seem to be worried about. Here are some of the
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.Perhaps they read Neil Strauss' Emergency? We now need to be afraid of pissed-off military veterans!
Proposed imposition of firearms restrictions and weapons bans likely would attract new members into the ranks of rightwing extremist groups, as well as potentially spur some of them to begin planning and training for violence against the government. The high volume of purchases and stockpiling of weapons and ammunition by rightwing extremists in anticipation of restrictions and bans in some parts of the country continue to be a primary concern to law enforcement.Well, we knew they were keeping track of the Three Percenters already. That is, after all, their stated goal of being loud, proud, and in-your-face; to make sure the .gov knows there's a line that shouldn't be crossed.
A recent example of the potential violence associated with a rise in rightwing extremism may be found in the shooting deaths of three police officers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on 4 April 2009. The alleged gunman’s reaction reportedly was influenced by his racist ideology and belief in antigovernment conspiracy theories related to gun confiscations, citizen detention camps, and a Jewish-controlled "one world government."Right. This is in keeping with "The Nazis and eugenics were right-wing" meme that Jonah Goldberg so thoroughly debunked in Liberal Fascism. But Goldberg is a JEW, so, um, nevermind. . . (Liberal Fascism will be out in paperback in June, just so you know. Strongly recommended.) Yeah, this nut, probably off his SSRI meds, decides to shoot three cops to death because of his paranoid fear of having his guns taken away, therefore he's the poster-boy for "rightwing extremism."
It goes on in this vein for a while, but here's the really interesting parts:
Many rightwing extremist groups perceive recent gun control legislation as a threat to their right to bear arms and in response have increased weapons and ammunition stockpiling, as well as renewed participation in paramilitary training exercises. Such activity, combined with a heightened level of extremist paranoia, has the potential to facilitate criminal activity and violence.Sounds frightening, doesn't it? Especially those parts about "as well as law-abiding Americans".
During the 1990s, rightwing extremist hostility toward government was fueled by the implementation of restrictive gun laws—such as the Brady Law that established a 5-day waiting period prior to purchasing a handgun and the 1994 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act that limited the sale of various types of assault rifles—and federal law enforcement’s handling of the confrontations at Waco, Texas and Ruby Ridge, Idaho.
On the current front, legislation has been proposed this year requiring mandatory registration of all firearms in the United States. Similar legislation was introduced in 2008 in several states proposing mandatory tagging and registration of ammunition. It is unclear if either bill will be passed into law; nonetheless, a correlation may exist between the potential passage of gun control legislation and increased hoarding of ammunition, weapons stockpiling, and paramilitary training activities among rightwing extremists.
Open source reporting of wartime ammunition shortages has likely spurred rightwing extremists—as well as law-abiding Americans—to make bulk purchases of ammunition. These shortages have increased the cost of ammunition, further exacerbating rightwing extremist paranoia and leading to further stockpiling activity. Both rightwing extremists and law-abiding citizens share a belief that rising crime rates attributed to a slumping economy make the purchase of legitimate firearms a wise move at this time.
DHS/I&A assesses that the combination of environmental factors that echo the 1990s, including heightened interest in legislation for tighter firearms restrictions and returning military veterans, as well as several new trends, including an uncertain economy and a perceived rising influence of other countries, may be invigorating rightwing extremist activity, specifically the white supremacist and militia movements. To the extent that these factors persist, rightwing extremism is likely to grow in strength.
Unlike the earlier period, the advent of the Internet and other information-age technologies since the 1990s has given domestic extremists greater access to information related to bomb-making, weapons training, and tactics, as well as targeting of individuals, organizations, and facilities, potentially making extremist individuals and groups more dangerous and the consequences of their violence more severe. New technologies also permit domestic extremists to send and receive encrypted communications and to network with other extremists throughout the country and abroad, making it much more difficult for law enforcement to deter, prevent, or preempt a violent extremist attack.
Now, for me, this is the pièce de résistance (pun intended):
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. Information from law enforcement and nongovernmental organizations indicates lone wolves and small terrorist cells have shown intent—and, in some cases, the capability—to commit violent acts.As opposed to leftwing extremist lone-wolves and small terrorist cells who, apparently, are only capable of torching animal testing labs, McMansions under construction, and SUV dealerships, or blowing up their own membership by being incompetent bombers like Bill Ayers.
Essentially, the leftwing extremists must not be seen as much of a threat, since they can't (apparently) organize anything as complex as a birthday party for a five year-old.
And, of course, there's the Muslim extremists, who don't do "terrorism" anymore, they do "man-caused disasters."
But here's where the real error lies, I think: misidentifying the problem:
Rightwing extremism in the United States can be broadly divided into those groups, movements, and adherents that are primarily hate-oriented (based on hatred of particular religious, racial or ethnic groups), and those that are mainly antigovernment, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority, or rejecting government authority entirely. It may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration.They missed the single biggest group out there: those of us who aren't anti-government, we just want our elected and appointed officials to do what they swear to do upon taking their offices: uphold and defend The Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign or domestic. As one ARFCOMmer put it:
This "homeland" shit that suddenly started up in the last couple years pisses me off. It reeks of the "fatherland" and "motherland" propaganda shit our enemies used throughout the 20th century. The Nazi regime was "father" to the German people. The Soviet regime was "mother" to the Russian people.This desire, apparently, makes us "antigovernment rightwing extremists."
This guy is our uncle and that's as close as I want the fucker.
I don't need the government to be my big brother, my parent, my nanny, or my caretaker. It needs to maintain public services (roads, etc.), maintain foreign relations and the military, keep the states from squabbling, and stay the fuck out of my life.
So be it.
Because what really frightens them is that we really do know what we're doing. We are, after all, the people who build and maintain the infrastructure of these United States. People like Joe Huffman, who - when he's not coding for Microsoft - makes explosives for fun. People like Mostly Cajun (or for that matter, me), who understand what it would take to bring down our electrical grid. These are just two examples off the top of my head. I'm sure my readers can chime in with their own. That ought to frighten the piss out of our political masters. I know the TEA Parties do.
I wrote another post with this same title almost five years ago. It was about the possibility of another American Civil War. I concluded that piece, thus:
What prevents another Civil War here isn't the Army or the fact that we hold a higher loyalty to our Nation than to our State of residence, it's ignorance and apathy.It would appear that both ignorance and apathy are beginning to wane. And it's not because our new President is black.
No wonder they're worried.