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About That DHS Report on Right-Wing Extremism

Here we go again.

The latest cause for hyperventilation in the right-wing blogosphere is a report from the Department of Homeland Security on the need for vigilance against extreme right-wing groups like Posse Comitatus, militias, “Patriot” groups, and neo-Nazis like the Christian Identity weirdos. Some bloggers, prompted by World Net Daily, are reading this as an attempt to “smear half of the country or more as kooks for criticizing the government’s handling of the economy.”

That’s ludicrous. First, this DHS assessment was begun more than a year ago, before Barack Obama was even nominated. It has absolutely nothing to do with “tea parties,” and it was not done at the behest of the Obama administration.

Second, I’m seeing it brought up repeatedly that the report contains a reference to veterans, mentioning that some of these groups are seeking to recruit them. This is nothing more than a fact, and the report even says that only a tiny number of veterans would join such groups — but that their talents could bring a great deal of capability to the extremists. Has everyone simply forgotten that Timothy McVeigh was a veteran?

The DHS report is not intended to target anyone but the most extreme elements of the far right, and it’s depressing to see so many bloggers jumping to totally unwarranted conclusions.

AJ Strata has a good take on this: The Threat Of Far Right Extremism - Updated!

UPDATE at 4/14/09 1:10:03 pm:

Here’s a link to download the PDF file, from Wikileaks. Read it for yourself, instead of trusting the distorted claims being made.

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Ladies and gentleman, watch Ruth. All through the show, Ruth has been thinking...Ruth has been thinking? ALL THROUGH THE SHOW??? -- 17 November 1974, Philadelphia