Timothy McVeigh was an American soldier.
Veteran Timothy McVeigh helped blow up Oklahoma City's Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in 1995.
Obviously, American veterans are very dangerous people, and should be watched closely.
No, I don't believe it: but that's apparently the sort of logic that Homeland Security is using these days.
I'm Not Making This Up"Right-wing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment," is a Homeland Security/FBI collaboration. And, parts of it may make sense.
"Though the nine-page report said it had 'no specific information that domestic right-wing terrorists are currently planning acts of violence,' it said real-estate foreclosures, unemployment and tight credit 'could create a fertile recruiting environment for right-wing extremists and even result in confrontations between such groups and government authorities similar to those in the past.'..." (CNN)
"Right-wing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment" may be very nice and sensible. But if it's anything like the (draft, I trust) copy of a MIAC report with a similar subject, everybody to the right of Pelosi could be in trouble.
MIAC identified people who supported Ron Paul, Chuck Baldwin, or Bob Barr in the last election as potential terrorists. Also people who were pro-life.
As I said, I am not making this up.
I wish I were.
Looking Forward to a Nicer America?I think I can understand the current administrations preference for dropping the term "War on Terror." It's so, well, warlike. And most people agree that war isn't nice.
From the sounds of the current Homeland Security head, we may be in for at least four years of euphemisms.
"...During her confirmation hearings, Napolitano told a Senate committee she preferred to use the term 'man-caused disasters' in lieu of 'terrorism' to describe the threats and potential threats with which her department must deal...." (USN)
If this keeps up, we may have to learn contemporary newspeak, just to figure out what our leaders are saying.
Overseas, a Mixed Bag of OpinionsI found two rather different takes on the report:
- "The Obama administration has issued a chilling warning to US police forces about the threat of a rise in violent rightwing extremist groups...." (guardian)
- The Homeland Security/FBI report "is the latest wheeze dreamed up by the Obama administration to distract us from the fact that roughly half America now realises the man's New Deal II project is a slow-motion car crash...." (telegraph)
"...'Their leftwing assessment identifies actual terrorist organizations, like the Earth Liberation Front and Animal Liberation Front. The rightwing report uses broad generalizations about veterans, pro-life groups, federalists and supporters of gun rights,' said Smith. '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.'..." (FOXNews)
Actually, I'm delighted and a bit surprised that ELF and ALF were identified as being similar to 'terrorist' organizations. For much of my life, their sabotaging of logging operations and setting the odd fire was viewed as overly-fervent political statements. Or, by the news, ignored outright. As I've said before, I've done time in academia.
'Those People' Again?It's possible that the report suffered from lack of direct contact with dangerous people like veterans. I don't know exactly who put the report together. It's quite possible that they were people who have had extremely little direct contact with American veterans.
There hasn't been a military draft since 1973. I don't have statistics, but I think it's possible that an all-volunteer armed forces has resulted in fewer people having had personal contact with people who served, or are serving, in the armed forces. The American military today isn't, demographically, an exact replica of America as a whole. They're better educated, more likely to be from the middle class, and disproportionately Asian or Hawaiian / Pacific Islander than your group of "average American." (January 4, 2009)
It's possible that, after leaving the armed forces, veterans don't go into the elite circles that drafted "Right-wing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment."
And, the people who drafted the report are human beings. It's a very human thing to fear the unknown.
Lets Hope the Nice Talk Today is TrueAs Timothy McVeigh demonstrated, you don't have to be an Islamic Arab to be a terrorist.
And, as I've written before, every system of belief has it's crazies.
I'm glad that Homeland Security realizes that not everyone who is concerned about environmental issues is a potential terrorist. I just wish that the same courtesy would be extended to people who served in America's armed forces, supported Ron Paul, or have views that are not in accord with Nancy Pelosi's.
- "The 90% Solution: American Guns, Mexican Raids, and Common Sense"
(April 2, 2009)
- "No More "War on Terror" - Officially?"
(March 30, 2009)
- "Pro-Life? You May be a Dangerous Domestic Terrorist! MIAC Says So"
A Catholic Citizen in America (March 23, 2009)
- "Feeling Ungood About Doublethink? Here's Help"
A Catholic Citizen in America (March 23, 2009)
- "Somalia, Minnesota, and Common Sense"
(March 22, 2009)
- "Banning Online Terrorist Recruiters? Be Careful About What You Wish For"
(March 10, 2009)
- " 'Towelhead,' 'Retard,' and Talking Sense in a Global Society"
(February 24, 2009)
- "Kaffiyeh Craziness at Gateway High"
(February 19, 2009)
- "Assumptions; the Ames Anthrax Strain; Ames, Iowa, and Fort Deterick"
(August 15, 2008)
- What 'everybody knows' isn't always so.
- "All Those Poor, Uneducated, Minorities Being Drafted in America!"
(January 4, 2009)
- "Napolitano defends report on right-wing extremist groups"
CNN (April 15, 2009)
- "Republicans criticize report on right-wing groups"
The Associated Press (April 15, 2009)
- "The New McCarthyism: DHS Reports on Right-Wing Extremism"
U.S. News & World Report (April 15, 2009)
- "Chorus of Protest Grows Over Report Warning of Right Wing Radicalization"
FOXNews (April 15, 2009)
- "US govt faces veteran anger at extremism report"
AFP (April 15, 2009)
- "Obama administration issues warning over rightwing extremists"
guardian.co.uk (April 15, 2009)
- "Those Evil Right Wing Extremists who would DESTROY America"
telegraph.co.uk (April 15, 2009)
1 A tip of the hat to Walt Kelly, creator of the Pogo comic strip. "As is well known" was a catch-phrase, if I recall correctly, of a character in that strip: one Simple J. Malarky, Walt Kelly's take on Senator J. McCarthy.