Back in March, an unnamed Missouri police officer leaked to the press a report issued by the Missouri Information Analysis Center (MIAC) – part of the law enforcement “fusion” effort now being organized by the Department of Homeland Security around the country – titled “The Modern Militia Movement” and dated Feb. 20, 2009.
The MIAC report specifically described supporters of presidential candidates Ron Paul, Chuck Baldwin, and Bob Barr as “militia” influenced terrorists and instructed the Missouri police to be on the lookout for supporters displaying bumper stickers and other paraphernalia associated with the Constitutional, Campaign for Liberty, and Libertarian parties.
Just a fluke, all taken out of context, apologists explained at the time – when the document received any coverage, at all.
But now comes a new, April 7 assessment from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, titled “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment,” obtained by Reuters and other news media on April 14.
Actually, what the document finds is just the opposite of what its overblown title suggests: “The DHS/Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A) has no specific information that domestic rightwing terrorists are currently planning acts of violence,” the report admits at the outset.
Nonetheless, such characters need to be watched, the boys in Washington now advise.
After all, “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,” the report continues.
Got that? Although your government can’t find any actual EVIDENCE that any “rightwing extremists” are planning any violent or criminal acts, government agents are now advised to keep a close eye on them … just in case.
The report warns that military veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with combat skills could be recruitment targets, especially those having trouble finding jobs or fitting back into civilian society.
Also worth keeping an eye on, the report warns, are “those that are mainly anti-government, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority.”
Good heavens! Does anyone still harbor such a dangerous notion, in 21st century America? Why, if folks like Tom Jefferson and James Madison were here today, they’d be … arrested, apparently.
“These assessments are done all the time, this is nothing unusual,” DHS spokeswoman Sara Kuban insists.
Some domestic commentary has been right on target. Constitutional attorney John Whitehead, for instance writes a cogent piece asking “Are we all enemies of the state?”
But since it offers the advantage of some geographic perspective, I particularly enjoyed the analysis of James Delingpole.
“Such 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 from which in four agonised years time the US will be lucky to escape even half-way recognisable,” Mr. Delingpole commented on Wednesday.
“Today – Tax Day – many of these ordinary, decent, Obama-fearing folk have gathered at Tea Party events in 500 locations across the US to protest against rising taxes and the ever increasing role of Big Government in their lives.
“How has the Obama machine responded? Well, funnily enough, in a manner which would surely meet the approval of its Socialist counterparts on this side of the pond: by smearing the opposition.”
The Homeland Security directive is designed “to help police spot the tell-tale signs indicating potentially dangerous right wing extremism,” Mr. Delingpole points out. “They include: Being unimpressed by America’s first ‘African-American’ president; Objecting to tax hikes; Disliking big government; Talking concernedly about the state of the economy and job loss, especially in the manufacturing and construction sectors,” (and) “Opposition to abortion, gay marriage and gun control.
“No really, I’m not making this up. Here’s a representative paragraph:
“Many rightwing extremists are antagonistic toward the new presidential administration and its perceived stance on a range of issues, including immigration and citizenship, the expansion of social programs to minorities, and restrictions on firearms ownership and use. Rightwing extremists are increasingly galvanized by these concerns and leverage them as drivers for recruitment. …
“Sound familiar?,” Mr. Delingpole asks. “Well it should do to anyone who has watched a TV thriller in the last two decades. Have you noticed how the bad guys in these series hardly ever to belong to any of the terrorist organisations which pose a genuine threat (animal rights; Islamists; etc) but almost invariably to some sinister extreme right terror group we’ve never heard of before?
“Leftie screenwriters, bien-pensant ecclesiastical bloggers, ghastly lefties generally, just love the idea that the greatest danger to the world comes from the extreme right. And it just doesn’t. … Right-wing extremism is a mythical left-liberal bogeyman, nothing more,” Mr. Delingpole concludes.
“Burgeoning Liberal Fascism, on the other hand: now there’s something we should worry about very much indeed."
Vin Suprynowicz [send him mail] is assistant editorial page editor of the daily Las Vegas Review-Journal and author of The Black Arrow. Visit his blog.
Copyright © 2009 Vin Suprynowicz