The whole point of free speech is not to make ideas exempt from criticism but to expose them to it.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Extremism on the right

So when I was reading the Journal the other day I couldn't help notice the AP story about the Department of Homeland Security (DOC) report on rightwing extremism. I wasn't particularly surprised by the story except for the reference to veterans being targeted for extra caution and observation.

Then I read Randall Rasmussen's post on the Journal's political blog, Mount Blogmore. You can read it at:

I expected Randall's post to be a shrill over-reaction to an innocuous bureaucratic document with out-of-context quotes. So to make sure, I downloaded the document.

Gentle readers, I am not comforted by this report. I am not comforted that DHS wished to have the document viewed only by law enforcement. I am not comforted that the document found its way to the Washington Times, which broke the story. I am not comforted by DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano's explanation. Neither am I comforted by the fact that she would have "changed a few words," if she had the chance. I'm not comforted by her apology to veterans. Read it here:

The report was clearly written by staffers who believe what they wrote – the gist of which is that people who disagree with our new president are susceptible to being brainwashed into becoming terrorists, and as such require additional attention from our constabulary. That is not comforting.

People who believe in states' rights, the Second Amendment, the First Amendment and people who return to the U.S. after risking their lives for our freedom are among those who require special attention.

The document is nine pages long. It can be downloaded from within the original Times story here:

Please download it and read it. They say you're not paranoid if "they" are really after you.


John said...

I don't know. I took the report to mean right-wing extremist groups like the KKK. Just like they had a report awhile ago talking about left-wing extremists.

Anonymous said...

It's probably worth noting the Bush administration got the ball rolling on that report.