And They Call Us Paranoid: Obama administration labels millions upon millions of Americans as 'rightwing extremists'
By Jeff Knox
The federal government's latest warning to police agencies about "rightwing extremists" is an outrage and adds fuel to an increasingly troubling situation. The report, titled, "Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment" was produced by the Extremism and Radicalization Branch, Homeland Environment Threat Analysis Division of the Department of Homeland Security, in coordination with the FBI. It consists of 8 pages of what can only be described as paranoid ranting and conflation. Here is how the report defines "rightwing extremism":
"Rightwing extremism in the United States can be broadly divided into those groups, movements, and adherents that are primarily hate-oriented (based on hatred of particular religious, racial or ethnic groups), and those that are mainly antigovernment, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority, or rejecting government authority entirely. It may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration."
With such a definition, DHS could have saved a lot of paper and confusion by simply putting out a statement to law enforcement agencies warning them to be on the lookout for potential terrorists who can be easily identified by the lack of an Obama sticker on the bumper of their Prius.
Instead the report pretends to be a serious analysis of potential threats drawing its information from such notoriously unreliable sources as the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League - two groups which have survived and thrived by drawing connections between groups and individuals where no such connections exist. Here's how their conflation system works: Since Nazi skin-heads oppose gun control and some support the NRA which also opposes gun control, it is reasonable to say that the NRA and Nazi skin-heads are working together and are connected – that indeed, they are basically one and the same.
It appears that Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and federal law enforcement agencies are again falling into the same paranoia cycle which ensnared the feds and former Attorney General Janet Reno in the 80's and 90's and led to the travesties of Ruby Ridge, Waco, and ultimately the Oklahoma City bombing. These events should not be looked at in isolation; they were all part of a cycle of paranoia which could have, and should have been broken long before things went so far.
It is sadly ironic that the Obama administration is reaching out to international terrorists and terrorist states - making careful distinctions between radical Islamist terrorists and the Muslim faith - blaming US arrogance and cultural insensitivity for the terrorist attacks of 9-11 and other assaults while at the same time actively escalating the disenfranchisement of millions of its own citizens who fear government oppression and a loss of constitutionally guaranteed liberties. The Obama administration says to foreign terrorists: "We're sorry our government has not been nicer to you and shown you more respect. How can we make it up to you? Can't we all just get along?" Then they tell millions here at home: "How dare you mistrust us? If you think we're going to oppress you, if you oppose our policies, if you fear us, then you must be a radical rightwing extremist and a threat so we are going to watch you closely and look at ways to subjugate you. If you persist in your paranoid fears we will lock you up because you're too dangerous to be running around loose..."
Paranoia breeds paranoia. Mistrust breeds mistrust. Restriction breeds resistance. And action breeds reaction, escalation, and tragedy. For the Department of Homeland Security to put out a senseless trash piece like this - which contains NO valid intelligence, NO serious analysis, NO worthwhile recommendations, and NO solutions - is inflammatory and just plain stupid.
Any increase in "rightwing extremism" or "anti-government" agitation is a symptom of frustration and distrust. Threatening people who feel threatened is no way to calm their fears. Talking about restricting people who oppose restrictions will not mollify them. Someone needs to let President Obama and his minions know that the old saying; "The beatings will continue until morale improves." is a joke, not a rational political policy.
If President Obama really wants to unite the nation, he will publicly call this nonsense out. He will make clear to his cabinet and staff that political opponents are not enemies of the state. He will acknowledge that there are diverse viewpoints on potentially contentious topics including gun rights, abortion, and immigration. And he will make it clear that tolerance of opposing views and civil debate are the order of the day, that inflammatory rhetoric, demonizing labels, and broad-brush attacks will not be part of his administration's approach. Isn't that supposed to be part of the change Obama promised?
A full copy of the DHS "Rightwing Extremism" report and Secretary Napolitano's statement in defense of the report can be found at The Firearms Coalition's web site at: www.FirearmsCoalition.org.
Permission to reprint or post this article in its entirety is hereby granted provided this credit is included. Text is available at www.FirearmsCoalition.org.
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