Reflecting on the past five years, a leading far-right extremism expert I recently interviewed described the homeland security report as “prophetic.” Mark Pitcavage, the Anti-Defamation League’s director of investigative research, explained that most of the warnings in the 2009 report have become realities. Yet at the time of its release, the document was derided by many inside and outside of government as “ridiculous [and] deeply offensive,” an “inconceivable” assault on US veterans, and, in general, “a piece of crap.” Buckling under political pressure from conservatives, homeland security rapidly repressed the report. Promptly removed from department’s website, the tabooed document also disappeared from the computer systems of state and local law enforcement divisions as well as federal intelligence agencies. The homeland security unit responsible for the report was virtually muzzled. The report essentially fell into obscurity.
The report’s demise was an unfortunate loss for all levels of law enforcement. Since its release, credible plots and attacks by violent extremists have surged. As the report forewarned, responsibility for the vast majority of these events lies with far-right individual extremists and extreme groups. Moreover, veteran and active-duty military personnel, when compared to the general population, were disproportionally involved in far-right extremist incidents. In just the first two months following the report, significant attacks occurred via the hands of major components of far-right extremism. For example, in May 2009, a “soldier” in the Christian terrorist anti-abortion network Army of God assassinated Kansas late-term abortion provider George Tiller. One day earlier, members of an anti-immigrant vigilante group—the Minutemen American Defense—invaded the home of an Arizona Latino and his 9-year-old daughter. Both were killed as part of a plan aimed at securing money to fund the group’s anti-immigrant terrorist operations. Less than two weeks later an octogenarian white supremacist shot and killed a security guard at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum. Reflecting the conspiracy theories adhered to by many white supremacists, hand-written notes found in his car read, “The Holocaust is a lie… Obama was created by Jews… Jews captured America’s money. Jews control the mass media.”
In the five years following the report’s release, far-right extremists have also plotted against and, at times, successfully attacked a wide-range of additional targets, including government buildings and leaders, law enforcement personnel, polling stations, courthouses and judges, a Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade, anti-racist gatherings, a Mexican consulate, synagogues and other Jewish institutions, mosques, a Sikh temple, African-Americans and other minorities, and interracial couples and families.
Despite this grim record—amid a political environment that often discounts warnings of far-right extremist threats and terrorism—the Department of Homeland Security remains reluctant to address the growing threat.
Remember that new creationist movie Charles Johnson recently talked about here? Based on what EssenceOfThought says in his most recent video, it sounds like they don’t take lightly to people critical of their new movie.
Such “good” “Christians” bearing false witness against people who simply disagree with them. They must have a lot of faith in their ability to argue their point if they have to silence people critical of them like this.
If what EssenceOFThought is saying is true, this just goes to show how vacuous creationist arguments really are.
Molly Reilly, Huffington Post: Sarah Palin: ‘Waterboarding Is How We’d Baptize Terrorists’ if I Were in Charge
Delicious word salad as only Sarah! can serve it:
“Come on. Enemies, who would utterly annihilate America, they who’d obviously have information on plots, to carry out Jihad. Oh, but you can’t offend them, can’t make them feel uncomfortable, not even a smidgen,” she said. “Well, if I were in charge, they would know that waterboarding is how we’d baptize terrorists.”
And on guns in schools:
According to Palin, creating gun-free zones in schools and other public buildings is “stupid on steroids.”
“Maybe our kids could be defended against criminals on the spot if more Mama Grizzlies carried,” she said. “And [the] Obama administration wants you ID’d for that? Well, then go ahead and carry a sign too. A sign that says ‘Yeah, I carry a gun because a cop is too heavy.’”
Oh, Sarah, what did we ever do without you?
On Sunday, a man shot and killed a 14-year-old boy and his grandfather at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City and then drove to a nearby Jewish retirement community where he shot and killed a third person. Police arrested a suspect, Frazier Glenn Cross, who shouted “Heil Hitler” after he was taken into custody.
Cross, who also goes by Frazier Glenn Miller, is a well-known right wing extremist who founded the Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan and the White Patriot Party, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Now let’s do the thought experiment in which instead of shouting “Heil Hitler” after he was arrested, the suspect had shouted “Allahu Akbar.” Only two days before the first anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings, this simple switch of words would surely have greatly increased the extent and type of coverage the incident received.
Yet the death toll in the shootings in Kansas is similar to that of last year’s Boston Marathon bombings, where three people were killed and the suspects later killed a police officer as they tried to evade capture. (Many more, of course, were also wounded in the Boston attacks; 16 men, women and children lost limbs.)
In fact, since 9/11 extremists affiliated with a variety of far-right wing ideologies, including white supremacists, anti-abortion extremists and anti-government militants, have killed more people in the United States than have extremists motivated by al Qaeda’s ideology. According to a count by the New America Foundation, right wing extremists have killed 34 people in the United States for political reasons since 9/11. (The total includes the latest shootings in Kansas, which are being classified as a hate crime).
Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld slammed President Barack Obama on Monday, saying “a trained ape” would have better foreign policy skills.
During an appearance on Fox News’ “On the Record with Greta van Susteren,” Rumsfeld criticized the White House for not securing a status of forces agreement with Afghanistan.
“We have status of forces agreements probably with 100, 125 countries in the world,” Rumsfeld said. “This administration, the White House, and the State Department, have failed to get a status of forces agreement. A trained ape could get a status of forces agreement. It doesn’t take a genius.”
This new trend is chilling, frankly. From Jamaica to France to Russia, and many map stops in between, a who’s who of American anti-LGBT activists, feeling defeated and increasingly marginalized here at home, are seizing the chance to stir the pot in any nation that might be willing to see them as soothsayers. It is, to the letter, the strategy we saw in Uganda a handful of years ago, when Scott Lively and other Americans started dropping into the nation and telling locals how downright awful we LGBT Americans are. We all know how that one played out.
Perhaps these exporters of animus get a free trip and a little feeling of importance out of these gigs. But in booking these trips, they are selling out their country and the majority of citizens who support equality for LGBT people, quite literally portraying America as some sort of fallen embarrassment for which we should apologize. They also have been inciting harsh violence against the existing LGBT population. They need to be held accountable for their words, whether spoken in the United States, Peru, or elsewhere around the world.
*UPDATE: Our friends at Right Wing Watch remind us that Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver was also in Peru last fall, where he was treated like a visiting hero: Staver Awarded By Peruvian Government For Helping To Fight Obama’s Godless Colonialism [RWW]
Obamacare opponents have already run more than 30,000 television ads attacking the health law and Democratic candidates who support it, according to the media tracking group CMAG — a staggering 12-fold increase from four years ago. Many of the ads are being run in states with high uninsurance rates where hundreds of thousands of poor people could benefit from the Affordable Care Act, including Arkansas, Kentucky, and Louisiana.
Nearly half of all ads that have been run about the health law in House and Senate races through March 9 are critical of the ACA. And in a reflection of the post-Citizens United political landscape, spending by outside groups without any official connection to a particular organization or party accounts for almost three-fourths of all the commercials, compared to just 13 percent in 2010.
“We knew there would be heightened public awareness around the implementation of the law, and we thought it was important to go up early with a heavy effort,” said Tim Phillips, president of the Koch brother-funded group Americans for Prosperity (AFP), in an interview with Bloomberg.
AFP has run the most anti-Obamacare ads of any political group by a large margin, targeting vulnerable Democrats who are up for re-election, such as Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR) and Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA). The organization’s spots play up misleading “horror stories” related to the health law, such as Americans who have had their insurance policies cancelled or seen their premiums spike. But the ads’ content tends to range from exaggeration to outright misinformation — and AFP has even been caught hiring paid actors to play the roles of “real” local residents.
This is a follow-up to last year’s Page, Homegrown Terrorism Cases, 2001-2012. The New America Foundation appears to have a new site—at least new to me—for their National Security Studies Program with a section dedicated to analyzing homegrown extremism. They list nine major plots in 2013 (individual’s names link to their profiles):
- 2013 Wichita Airport Bomb Plot
Terry Loewen (Jihadist, U.S. Born Citizen, Caucasian)
- 2013 Weapons Purchase
Erwin Rios (Jihadist, U.S. Born Citizen, Ethnicity/Race Unknown)
- 2013 Nabi and Alsarabbi
Humayoun Ghoulan Nabi (Jihadist, Citizenship Unknown/Other, South Asian)
Ismail Alsarabbi (Jihadist, Naturalized Citizen, Arab/Middle Eastern)
- 2013 Kaliebe and Zea
Marco Alonso Zea (Jihadist, U.S. Born Citizen, Hispanic)
Justin Kaliebe (Jihadist, U.S. Born Citizen, Caucasian)
- 2013 Fazliddin Kurbanov
Fazliddin Kurbanov (Jihadist, Citizenship Unknown/Other, Uzbek)
- 2013 Eric Harroun
Eric Harroun (Jihadist, U.S. Born Citizen, Caucasian)
- 2013 Boston Marathon Bombing
Dzhokhar Tsernaev (Jihadist, Naturalized Citizen, Chechen)
Tamerlan Tsernaev (Jihadist, Legal Resident, Chechen)
- 2013 Basit Sheikh
Basit Sheikh (Jihadist, Legal Resident, South Asian)
- 2013 Abdella Tounisi
Abdella Tounisi (Jihadist, U.S. Born Citizen, Ethnicity/Race Unknown)
As of January 2014 the Homegrown Terrorism Tallies since (but not including) September 11, 2001 are as follows:
- Total extremists: 403
- Jihadists: 226
- Non-jihadists: 177
- Victims killed by Jihadists: 23
- Victims killed by non-Jihadists: 29
The purpose of this database is to provide as much information as possible about American citizens and permanent residents engaged in violent extremist activity as well as individuals, regardless of their citizenship status, living within the United States who have engaged in violent extremist activity. We examine both those individuals motivated by Jihadist ideology, understood as those who worked with or were inspired by al-Qaeda and its affiliated groups, as well as those motivated by other ideologies that are non-Jihadist in character, for example right wing, left wing, or idiosyncratic beliefs. Here we provide some of the core findings including the number of extremists indicted or killed by year, the overall number of extremists indicted or killed since 2001, and the number of people killed by extremists since 2001. This data was last updated in December 2013.
Note: Information is now also provided on terror plots “in which the initiating or key role was played by the bulk collection of American telephone metadata by the NSA” as well as a page that asks the question: Do NSA’s Bulk Surveillance Programs Stop Terrorism? A detailed description and full copy of the report that attempts to answer the question can be found here. I tried to link directly to the PDF, however it appears that something in the file name (spaces maybe) prevent it from embedding properly.
Last, but not least, you might be interested in the following report, Jihadist Terrorism: An Assessment Report, by the Bipartisan Policy Center.1 Again, I had no success linking directly to the PDF to embed it, so instead I’ve linked it to the thumbnail in the description below:
The New America Foundation National Security Studies Program dataset of homegrown extremists seeks to provide as much information as possible about American citizens and permanent residents engaged in violent extremist activity as well as individuals, regardless of their citizenship status, living within the United States who have engaged in violent extremist activity.
The dataset has been widely cited. Most recently it formed the basis for the Bipartisan Policy Center’s 2013 report Jihadist Terrorism: A Threat Assesment‘s examination of homegrown extremism, a follow up to a 2010 assessment that used an earlier version of the dataset.
The dataset was originally a collaboration between the New America Foundation’s National Security Studies Program and Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. It underwent a full review, update, and expansion in 2013. The review was undertaken by Jennifer Rowland, a Program Associate with the New America Foundation, and David Sterman, a Master’s Candidate at Georgetown’s Center for Security Studies, working together with Peter Bergen.
There’s one main rule at the conservative donor conclaves held twice a year by Charles and David Koch at luxury resorts: What happens there stays there.
The billionaire industrialists and their political operatives strive to ensure the anonymity of the wealthy conservatives who fund their sprawling political operation—which funneled more than $400 million into the 2012 elections—and to keep their plans private. Attendees of these summits are warned that the seminars, where the Kochs and their allies hatch strategies for electing Republicans and advancing conservative initiatives on the state and national levels, are strictly confidential; they are cautioned to keep a close eye on their meeting notes and materials. But last week, following the Kochs’ first donor gathering of 2014, one attendee left behind a sensitive document at the Renaissance Esmeralda resort outside of Palm Springs, California, where the Kochs and their comrades had spent three days focused on winning the 2014 midterm elections and more. The document lists VIP donors—including John Schnatter, the founder of the Papa John’s pizza chain—who were scheduled for one-on-one meetings with representatives of the political, corporate, and philanthropic wings of Kochworld. The one-page document, provided to Mother Jones by a hotel guest who discovered it, offers a fascinating glimpse into the Kochs’ political machine and shows how closely intertwined it is with Koch Industries, their $115 billion conglomerate.
The more than 40 donors courted by the Kochs include hedge fund and private-equity billionaires, real estate tycoons, and executives of top corporations, including Jockey International and TRT Holdings, owner of Omni Hotels and Gold’s Gym. A number of them have never been identified as members of the Koch donor network, including Schnatter, one of the more prominent names on the list. An outspoken opponent of the Affordable Care Act, he is a longtime Republican donor who hosted a fundraiser for Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign. The document notes that the pizza mogul was scheduled to meet with Ryan Stowers, the director of higher education at the Charles G. Koch Foundation. (Schnatter did not respond to requests for comment.)