Monday, April 20, 2009

Liberty Action Report: DHS Memo a Witch Hunt of Historic Proportions

Americans for Limited Government assess the ridiculous Department of Homeland Security memo.

The American people have a right to know why the DHS is drafting political documents.

Editorial: DHS Memo a Witch Hunt of Historic Proportions

The sinister Department of Homeland Security memo issued to law enforcement entitled, “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment” last week drew the ire of millions of Americans. And now, it is raising serious new questions as to the scope and extent of investigative discretion possessed by the Department's Office of Intelligence and Analysis.

The American people clearly have a right to know why the Department of Homeland Security is drafting political documents, by what process these documents were drafted, who was responsible for writing them, who authorized them—and who is going to bear responsibility for such an outrage. To that end, Americans for Limited Government has filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the Department demanding full disclosure.

ALG's Bill Wilson is asking for any and all documents related to the conception, drafting, and authorization of the memo, which unjustly targeted millions of Americans, political constituencies, veterans, and others as “extremists.”

In defining “rightwing extremism,” the Department memo targets “groups, movements, and adherents… that are mainly antigovernment, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority”. And, it singles out “groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration.”

The memo also painted perverse portraits of “disgruntled veterans” returning from war as being targets of recruitment by “right-wing extremists” without any substantiation.

Department Secretary Janet Napolitano said, “I have to tell you, I was the United States Attorney for Arizona in the 90's when Tim McVeigh bombed the Murrow building in Oklahoma City and unfortunately he was a vet—that's where he got his training. And so when I was told about the report, it rang true with me. This has happened in the past.” Yes, Ms. Napolitano, once—in 233 years.

Making the report's accusations all the more sinister—and threatening—it does not actually report any active recruitment by “right-wing extremists” of veterans: “DHS/I&A is concerned that rightwing extremists will attempt to recruit and radicalize returning veterans in order to boost their violent capabilities.” In fact, the report does not report any recruitment whatsoever: “The DHS/Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A) has no specific information that domestic rightwing terrorists are currently planning acts of violence, but rightwing 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.”

This is simply stunning. If the purported “extremists” only may be gaining recruits, that means by implication that DHS does not have any intelligence that any groups actually are recruiting. They are then only surmising that the political and economic climate could present opportunities for recruitment—while chimerically smearing both conservatives and those the government contends may join them, alike.

And one is reminded of the Medical Dictionary's definition of “paranoia”: “Paranoia is an unfounded or exaggerated distrust of others, sometimes reaching delusional proportions. Paranoid individuals constantly suspect the motives of those around them, and believe that certain individuals, or people in general, are 'out to get them.'” Josef Stalin, Adolf Hitler—and now Ms. Napolitano's Department of Homeland Security—come to minbd

The Obama DHS report is nothing short of a witch hunt. It must be openly and thoroughly rejected by the President. And all those responsible for initiating must be removed and forever barred from public service. Anything less could leave the door open to an enduring tragedy of historic proportions.

ALG CTA: Janet Napolitano's witch hunt is just the beginning. If you carefully read the memo, you are left with the impression that “It could be anyone!” Call the Department of Homeland Security's comment line at 202-282-8495 and let them know that they should be gathering intelligence on real threats and not ones perceived. And, that threat advisories should be specific to the actual threat.

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