Apr 14 2009

The Threat Of Far Right Extremism – Updated!

Latest Update: Reader Colin from DHS comments below. Key points by which he debunks the entire shrillness emanating from the right today:

The report is labeled “Rightwing Extremism”. It should not have been. It should not have been because it is not an accurate statement. 

Now, as I mentioned, this is not the first report of this type to come out of DHS. Domestic terrorist assessments were released during the Bush Administration, as well. In fact, the publishing of assessments of this nature is a fairly regualr occurrance. DHS publishes these kind of reports every few months, publishes a regular border security report, publishes assessments of radical Islamist terrorist groups, and publishes alerts on terrorist methods. Most of those are not leaked, and if they are, people don’t care. However, with Obama around, many on the right (including, often, myself) are so horrified by what he’s doing and saying, that we are just looking for a reason to feel under attack. Frankly, Obama had nothing to do with this report. The people who authorized this intelligence assessment are the same people who were authorizing assessments under Bush.

See, no conspiracy. Classic bureaucratic clumsiness, typical leftward lean to the Feds, and possibly a way for the workers to stoke some interest from the new Democrat boss in their work (and funding requests). No Michelle, they are not out to get us! 

BTW LGF linked to this post (thanks man) and there is a helluva good discussion going on there – end update

Final Addendum: I have been watching this brush fire grow and consume nearly everyone on the right side of the political spectrum. It is truly sad, because this is worse than the claims by the left under President Bush that the NSA was spying on Americans for political reasons. Now, the right is accusing the men and women of DHS of not protecting them from violent groups but of being a political Gestapo going after conservatives (because ‘conservative’ and ‘rightwing’ mean the same thing to some!).

In my book one better have irrefutable proof that DHS is (a) ignoring its responsibility to protect this nation and its people from attack and (b) performing political oppression against constitutionally protected political activities. These are serious charges to be throwing around like the folks on the right are doing today. They better have good evidence this is the case given the slander they are slinging at the good people at DHS.

I did not like it when the left did this to the good people at NSA protecting us, and I am not liking it now with the right making wild accusations against DHS.

Addendum: Folks, there is no mention of Tea Parties in the DHS report. Tea Parties are NOT conservative events, they are grass roots broadly supported events. If these turn into GOP only (purity, remember the drive for purity!) events they will die off. But the DHS is not targeting Tea Parties – for heaven’s sake! -end update

 A little reminder of what right wing extremist terrorism brought to this country

Drama Queen Updates At End

There is a lot of hemming and hawing on conservative blogs about a threat assessment out of the Homeland Security Department which discusses the threat of violent extremism from right wing groups. Somehow the bloggers, media heads, etc think this threat assessment is about them! A strange and egotistical conclusion to be sure.

There are groups who use violence against others who do not follow their beliefs. The history of this country is replete with examples (KKK, Skinheads, Weather Underground). These groups rationalize their violent and deadly actions by using good, reasonable causes as cover. They can and have corrupted good causes on the left and right with their poisonous hate. These are historical facts.

I am not concerned about Homeland Security generating a threat analysis on these people, and I do not take it personally because some of the causes the radicals use to rationalize their violent actions happen to be causes I believe in. I know I am not them and I know their use of violence cannot make a good cause a bad cause. Killing young humans is wrong, and killing people tied to abortion clinics does not change that basic moral value.

But some on the right are acting as if the Obama administration is putting out some PR hit on conservatives! Too many are fantasizing that there are dark, secret forces in the government working to keep liberals in power by arresting and harassing conservative people (who just happen to be violent). It is the strangest and silliest crock I have ever seen. Now I understand how all those conspiracy driven liberals assumed Bush and Cheney were behind 9-11 and were using the NSA to listening in on their mad hatter ranting!

Seems some on the right are now seeing black helicopters on their tin hat mind expanding devices.

First, lets look at some of the ‘offending’ passages. The title itself seems to set the stage for martyrs on the right.

Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment

This is one reason I don’t like the terms ‘rightwinger’ and ‘leftwinger’, though I have occasionally used them. We need terms to separate fringe ideology (e.g., ‘far right’ and ‘far left’) from extreme and radical ideology. I am at a loss for better words, but the way the internet slings around right and left winger I can see how some could have a fleeting initial reaction this is aimed at them. But that initial effect should disappear really quick once you read on and realize this is not aimed at Rush Limbaugh or John McCain, but at truly sick people.

The DHS/Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A) has no specific information that domestic rightwing* terrorists are currently planning acts of violence, but 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.

— (U//LES) Threats from white supremacist and violent antigovernment groups during 2009 have been largely rhetorical and have not indicated plans to carry out violent acts. Nevertheless, the consequences of a prolonged economic downturn—including real estate foreclosures, unemployment, and an inability to obtain credit—could create a fertile recruiting environment for rightwing extremists and even result in confrontations between such groups and government authorities similar to those in the past.

— (U//LES) Rightwing extremists have capitalized on the election of the first African American president, and are focusing their efforts to recruit new members, mobilize existing supporters, and broaden their scope and appeal through propaganda, but they have not yet turned to attack planning.

This clearly indicates this is not about your conservative PAC or GOP neighborhood planning team. To claim otherwise is to actually support the threat this report is assessing. We cannot make these radical extremists part of normal society. We cannot defend them by pretending they are us. We cannot allow people like the Weather Underground (Bill Ayers, et al) to be an example of how to solve differences in our country. There is plenty of blood on the hands of the right and left in this country from times when we did not stop violence because it was done in the name of a cause we believed in. There are those who did not turn in the neighbor, friend or family member who went off the deep end and decided they would play God and decide who should live or die. We cannot allow this to happen again.

These radicals are preying on the anger and frustration of ‘true conservatives’ – and they are doing it by pretending to believe in their heart felt causes. That is why we see this in the report:

(U//FOUO) Rightwing extremists were concerned during the 1990s with the perception that illegal immigrants were taking away American jobs through their willingness to work at significantly lower wages. They also opposed free trade agreements, arguing that these arrangements resulted in Americans losing jobs to countries such as Mexico. 

(U//FOUO) Over the past five years, various rightwing extremists, including militias and white supremacists, have adopted the immigration issue as a call to action, rallying point, and recruiting tool.

The report is clearly stating that heated anti-immigrant rhetoric is making people so angry it CAN drive them into the hands of violent radicals. It DOES NOT say that anyone opposed to immigration or illegal immigration is a rightwing extremists. To say otherwise is an outright lie.

(U//FOUO) DHS/I&A assesses that rightwing extremists will attempt to recruit and radicalize returning veterans in order to exploit their skills and knowledge derived from military training and combat. These skills and knowledge have the potential to boost the capabilities of extremists—including lone wolves or small terrorist cells—to carry out violence. The willingness of a small percentage of military personnel to join extremist groups during the 1990s because they were disgruntled, disillusioned, or suffering from the psychological effects of war is being replicated today.

(U) After Operation Desert Shield/Storm in 1990-1991, some returning military veterans—including Timothy McVeigh—joined or associated with rightwing extremist groups.

This paragraph DOES NOT say our war hero veterans are rightwing radicals. It says the emotional stress on our war hero veterans makes them vulnerable to being preyed upon by rightwing radicals. The concern is these heros are being manipulated and used to give the radicals training and weapons to attack this country. To say otherwise is an outright lie.

The fact is things happened during the Clinton years which were horrible and which stained the conservative movement just as Bill Ayers is a stain on the Vietnam anti-war movement. John Kerry may have invented lies about others to make his fame as an anti-war protestor, but he did not build bombs which killed people. While what Kerry did was despicable, it wasn’t extreme and radical like Ayers. We need to understand when lines are crossed, especially among our own ranks.

During the Clinton years there were murders and attempted murders of Americans in the name of “Pro-Life”:

In the U.S., violence directed toward abortion providers has killed at least 7 people, including 3 doctors, 2 clinic employees, a security guard, and a clinic escort.[4]

  • March 10, 1993: Dr. David Gunn of Pensacola, Florida was fatally shot during a protest. He had been the subject of wanted-style posters distributed by Operation Rescue in the summer of the year before. Michael F. Griffin was found guilty of Dr. Gunn’s murder and was sentenced to life in prison.
  • June 29, 1994: Dr. John Britton and James Barrett, a clinic escort, were both shot to death outside of another facility in Pensacola. Rev. Paul Jennings Hill was charged with the killings, received a death sentence, and was executed September 3, 2003.
  • December 30, 1994: Two receptionists, Shannon Lowney and Lee Ann Nichols, were killed in two clinic attacks in Brookline, Massachusetts. John Salvi, who prior to his arrest was distributing pamphlets from Human Life International,[5] was arrested and confessed to the killings. He committed suicide in prison and guards found his body under his bed with a plastic garbage bag tied around his head. Salvi had also confessed to a non-lethal attack in Norfolk, Virginia days before the Brookline killings.
  • January 29, 1998: Robert Sanderson, an off-duty police officer who worked as a security guard at an abortion clinic in Birmingham, Alabama, was killed when his workplace was bombed. Eric Robert Rudolph, who was also responsible for the 1996 Centennial Olympic Park bombing, was charged with the crime and received two life sentences as a result.
  • October 23, 1998: Dr. Barnett Slepian was shot to death at his home in Amherst, New York. His was the last in a series of similar shootings against providers inCanada and northern New York state which were all likely committed by James Kopp. Kopp was convicted of Dr. Slepian’s murder after finally being apprehended inFrance in 2001.

It is stunning how these incidents start with President Clinton’s election and end around the time of his impeachment. As noted in the report this was the period when Timothy McVeigh killed 168 people, many children going into day care, in Oklahoma City. 

The Homeland Security report rightfully and accurately notes this horrible period in our history as an example of what is possible today. Recall, much of this violence and killing was while the GOP held Congress. It was not the GOP who called for this to happen, but it shows how these radicals can exploit someone’s frustration with American political policy (with some emotional issues thrown in I am sure) to create havoc, and leave good causes tainted and crippled. The fear of Clinton drove a lot of people into violence.

Anyone who is simply a conservative who believes liberal policies suck eggs and Reagan and Bush were on the right path do not have pretend the focus of this report is about them. I don’t. I cannot fathom why anyone else would. And if some liberal shows up who cannot tell the difference between Timothy McVeigh and President George Bush, that is a problem with their world view. Not mine, or the intent of this report. This report is meant to identify possible threats and stop the killing of innocent Americans. 

Conservatives, the government is not out to get you, just as the NSA was not listening in on the left but was seriously tracking down terrorists. Get a grip people, this is getting embarrassing.

Update: Speaking of embarrassing, it seems Michelle Malkin has decided she resembles rightwing extremists who bomb buildings and murder Americans:

Confirmed: The Obama DHS hit job on conservatives is real

By contrast, the piece of crap report issued on April 7 is a sweeping indictment of conservatives. 

What a frigging drama queen! She even notes that DHS has done reports like this on extreme left wing groups, but she cannot help seeing herself as the victim here! This is beyond embarrassing. Is she planning to recruit our war hero veterans and manipulate them into attacking America? Damn, the need for attention with that one is strong.

71 responses so far

71 Responses to “The Threat Of Far Right Extremism – Updated!”

  1. Cobalt Shiva says:

    I assume the fact that this report was put together during the Bush Administration, and that Obama HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH IT, is somewhat irrelevant to you?

    Do you really expect me to believe that this document was in preparation for a whole damn year like the PR flack said? It’s a cut-and-paste hack job from SPLC, La Raza, Handgun Control, Inc., and Code Pink talking points. It probably took all of a week to put together.

    It’s very different from reports that were actually written during the Bush Administration, because it’s awfully damn short on names of people and organizations (the one guy they actually name has been dead and buried for almost eight years, GFR). The lack of hard information in the report makes it worthless to anyone doing actual threat analysis.

  2. giantslor says:

    You, Charles from LGF, Rick from Rightwing Nuthouse, and some others are emerging as the new conservative voices of reason. The rest of the right-wing blogosphere, on the other hand, is emerging as the new moonbatocracy. Ironic, since it’s Malkin and her ilk that love to call anyone left of center “moonbats.” Now she’s the one wearing the tinfoil hat.

  3. kathie says:

    Wasn’t it Bill Clinton that suggested that Rush and the Rush’s of the world incited people like Tim McVeigh to blow up things? It’s easy to go from government talk to political accusations just for fun and a little edge when the poll numbers indicate a needed boost. Just saying!

  4. Mike_Dugas says:

    Regardless of the fact that this report is just one in a series it’s title, Rightwing Extremism, incites discontent and worry on the right and rightly so. At a time when those of us on the right feel as if we are constantly being attacked by the left and its media wing it’s not a far jump to worry that this report will be used against us by them. Even though the report may not have been intended to be an indictment of the right that doesn’t for a minute mean that it isn’t being used just as that. And after all the horribly unfounded and completely fabricated accusations that have been made against Bush and Cheney and Palin and our military I find it ironic that someone would demand we have rock solid evidence “before” we voice our worries.
    Also being that the report was released during the Obama administration is it wrong to wonder if the title wasn’t planned
    after all? I don’t think so as this administration has shown it has no problem misleading the public. To me the report would have made more sense titled something like Homegrown Extremists or the like and should have had everyone from ELF
    to ACORN listed also. I’m sorry but the threat of being listed as
    an extremist because I’m pro-life or a flat taxer or third party member is wrong and potentially scary.

  5. mwfsu84 says:

    Is it too much to ask liberals to follow standards they demand others adhere to?

    Every person involved in the 9/11 attacks was of Middle Eastern origin. Imagine the outcry from liberals had the DHS issued a report on them, filled with the same sloppy generalizations this report has. Would AJ Strata council all Americans of Middle Eastern decent ‘not to worry because the DHS isn’t targeting them.’? I doubt it.

    I submit that mainstream Republicans were targeted and blamed after the OKC Bombing. Bill Clinton blamed Rush Limbaugh and other Right Wing radio talk show hosts who ‘spread an atmosphere of hate.’

    I have yet to meet a conservative that approves of what McVeigh or Eric Rudolph did. I do know, however, prominent liberal leaders like Barbara Lee who have supported cop killers like Mumia Abu-Jamal. And let’s not forget our Teleprompter President, who’s first fund raiser was hosted by a Mr. Bill Ayers. Ayers too, bombed federal buildings. One of his buddies was killed building a nail bomb intended for use at a civilian dance. Of course, Mr. Obama says Ayers was ‘just some guy in his neighborhood.’ Is he really that naive, or just lying?

    I despise what McVeigh did. But if he had done it to protest global warming or capitalism, he’d probably get a professorship instead of the Big Sleep.

  6. ivehadit says:

    AJ, I can’t go with you on this one. If this report had come out under Ford, or Reagan or GHWBush or John Kennedy for that matter, I would not have my antennae up. Why not? Because none of these past presidents were members of the INDUSTRIAL AREAS FOUNDATION nor did any of them consort with ACORN or Rev. Wright or Father Pflager, or Bill Ayers nor did they have Saul Alinsky’s thinly disguised contempt for America, imho. Patterns and context are everything now, imho.

    I have read parts of the report that SPECIFICALLY identify anti-abortion, Christians, against taxes,”against an overreaching federal government” as extremists. Say what? Where is Bill Ayers in this report? Did you hear Chuck Schumer lately?

    I know how this works. They are in a HUGE PR campaign up there in Washington to diminish conservatives, imho. They are masters at fudging the meaning of words to create their “reality”, imho. It’s been done for the past 8 years!
    I would NOT be surprised if FENTON COMMUNICATIONS is helping with this….not one bit surprised.

    A quote from the report from the Washington Times article: “It may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single-issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration,” the warning says. ”

    Go watch The Sound of Music again…it will give you chills as to how easily freedom can be manipulated…right under your very eyes.

    Needless to say, I do.not.trust the occupants in Our Houses. Just my gut opinion. And btw, I was a leader with one of the IAF groups.

  7. gary1son says:

    As colin implies or pretty much says above, these intelligence departments are basically liberal. As is the case I think with most government agencies/bureaucracies. Did anyone notice the raucous, jubilant reception Michelle O. got when she made her recent tour of these places? Could it be that the prosecutors of Ted Stevens were of a certain ideological bent, even though they worked under a Bush administration?

    That’s just the way it is, I guess, after all, you work for the government, and the Democratic party is the party that always argues for bigger government in control of more things. Entrepreneurs tend to be Republicans, I think, because Republicans in general work to hold back the endless tide of new ideas for more government control that only get in their way.

    It’s the same way with journalism, academia and law. Largely liberal. It seems as though it’s up to ordinary average folks out here, who understand that one of the main ideas behind the constitution was to LIMIT the power of government, to carry the bulk of sentiment on the other side. We don’t have giant institutions with massive influence.

    So, I would suspect that reports like this, that tend to reflect worse on the right than they do on the left, ARE routinely conceived of and prepared, regardless of who is the President, but the difference is that now we have people — Janet Napolitano and Barack Obama — who are very willing to approve of such a report — complete with the inaccurate and insulting implications about so many average citizens — getting published and distributed.

    Just a theory, perhaps completely wrong, but one that seems to fit with history and the facts of just who tends to work in these places.

    Perhaps some undue paranoia on the right about this, but at the same time, IF government is being misused to unfairly taint in people’s minds one side of the spectrum using inappropriate references and too broad generalities, this needs to be pointed out, and those doing it need to understand that we are aware of what’s going on.

    We need to demand equal-opportunity demonization. 😉

    We need to have a report detailing the destructive activities of E.L.F., and the pool of ‘leftwingers’ THEY draw from, released on the eve of Earth Day.

    How bout that, Janet?

  8. […] People talk about tipping points. Today I have reached one with regards to the conservative movement and the GOP, due in no small part to the debacle started on the far right blogs regarding the DHS report I posted on earlier. […]

  9. […] only with members of violent fringe groups and actual rightwing extremists — those who, we are assured, are quite different in kind from the rightwing extremists as they are defined in the report […]

  10. […] Strata has an interesting post on the DHS report (be sure to read Colin’s comment)… For the most part I agree with […]

  11. lacegrl130 says:

    I am not sure why you are so angry. I thought the comments were reasoned and calm here. I read other sites and did not come away with the same sense of anger you seem to be feeling, AJ. I am sorry you are so upset by this. I think this is a topic with valid responses and no one was purposely trying to be vicious. I think the report was boiler plate which had been cut and paste recently using words like “right wing” to make a subtle point. I think that is a valid assumption. Even Colin said, “The report is labeled “Rightwing Extremism”. It should not have been. It should not have been because it is not an accurate statement. ”

    It kind of boils down to that. It isn’t accurate and that makes people nervous… But, everyone respects your thoughts, AJ. I’m really saddened to read your new post.

  12. ivehadit says:

    I like this post from TammyBruce.com:

    “The Tenth Amendment

    A post by Maynard

    This seems like a good moment to review the Tenth Amendment.

    The Bill of Rights consists of the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution. The Constitution was adopted in 1787, and the first order of business was to amend it to protect the rights of the states and the people from Federal encroachment.

    The final amendment, the Tenth Amendment, simply reads:

    The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

    In other words, the Federal Government is only allowed to exercise powers that have been explicitly yielded to it in the Constitution. That’s the law.

    How did Washington get so huge and intrusive and overwhelming when its enumerated functions are so limited? Does anyone care that what we’re seeing today is, aside being reprehensible and suicidal, also blatantly illegal?

    Does citing the Constitution make me one of Janet Napolitano’s dangerous extremists?”

    Posted by Maynard · April 14, 2009 04:07 PM ·

    And btw, I am NO FAN of Michelle Malkin whatsoever.

    AJ, I am hearing now about Ms. Brooks being placed at the Defense Dept. Do you know about her????????????? !!!!!!!


  13. AJStrata says:


    This is the result of emails with other conservative bloggers in the background. One woman even sent a backhanded slap at my wife.

    Trust me folks, if you are decent, family oriented, neighborhood loving American – the GOP and conservative movement is not for you.

    It seem some have such emotional issues with being rejected by the voters that the DHS report may be striking closer to home than I would have ever suspected.

  14. MagicDog says:

    Wow, “Strata,” you’d really better watch out for your creeping rationality. What’s next, are you going to tell your fellow nutcases that, while the gays might want to grab their guns, they are no threat to their weapons?

  15. […] extremism is certainly something to be concerned about, just as we should be concerned about the sort of far-left extremism we saw in Europe during the […]

  16. GuyFawkes says:


    “Trust me folks, if you are decent, family oriented, neighborhood loving American – the GOP and conservative movement is not for you.”

    Ummm… WOW. I think I might have gotten banned for typing that before today. 🙂

    So, if you are no longer a member of the GOP, or the “conservative movement” — where do your political loyalties lie now (as well as those of your family, since they all post here too)?

  17. crosspatch says:


    The report is labeled “Rightwing Extremism”. It should not have been. It should not have been because it is not an accurate statement.

    Using “rightwing” was sloppy. It should have been titled “domestic extremists”, and covered the other groups as well.

    Now that is the most clear-headed thinking I have read to date on this issue. Simply changing the reference from “right-wing” to “domestic” would have removed the fuse from this. “Right-wing” means different things to different people. The title “spring-loaded” a lot of people before they even started reading it and once primed, much of the rest of the text could tend to add even more tension. When it is insinuated that the “right” is bad, and that veterans are potentially bad, a lot of people can go off half-cocked.

    The aiming of the report at the “right” and apparently not mentioning the “left” appears discriminatory and can cause an emotional reaction in people who identify with the “right” more than the “left”. It could feel like a personal attack on their own beliefs and a demonizing of the political opposition to the party currently in power.

  18. crosspatch says:

    This is exactly the kind of thing I have been worried that this report will act to enhance.

    Tea Bag Terror: Protests Causing Scares, Evacuations At Congressional Offices

    The legitimate protests of people who are tired of irresponsible spending being twisted into “terror” and people will associate that with “the right” and will use the “right wing terrorist” document from DHS to further their agenda of making anyone protesting the government into a terrorist of some sort.

    The wording of this report was unfortunate but a bonanza for partisans on the left. Not sure if it was by design or idiocy.

  19. giantslor says:

    But it wasn’t a report on domestic terrorism as a whole, it was a report on rightwing extremism. The DHS produces lots of reports. Chances are, they’ve produced one on leftwing extremism, and chances are, they will again. This one just happened to be about rightwing extremism.