Who does the government fear?

Matthew Hoy
By Matthew Hoy on April 14, 2009

UPDATE! This post has been updated

Many of you will recall the report put out a few years ago by the Bush administration's Department of Homeland Security warning of the rise of left-wing extremism. The report singled out universities for their subversive "peace studies" programs (and the affiliated gender/minority "studies" programs) and groups like Code Pink for their actions undermining military recruitment.

The media howled at how the Bush administration was determined to stifle opposition to its so-called "war on terror" and would shortly be rounding up dissidents (like the entire New York Times editorial board) and shipping them off to Gitmo.

What do you mean you don't remember this? It was in all the papers? It was one of the reasons the Democrats impeached President Bush.

OK, so maybe I've got the story wrong.

The Department of Homeland Security is warning law enforcement officials about a rise in “rightwing extremist activity,” saying the economic recession, the election of America’s first black president and the return of a few disgruntled war veterans could swell the ranks of white-power militias.

A footnote attached to the report by the Homeland Security Office of Intelligence and Analysis defines “rightwing extremism in the United States” as including not just racist or hate groups, but also groups that reject federal authority in favor of state or local authority.

“It may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single-issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration,” the warning says.

You can find the report here.

The report also features an entire section on the danger that military veterans pose to the nation.

No, I am not making this up.

(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.

Which has earned a letter from the American Legion demanding that DHS Secretary Janet Napalitano apologize.

So, in this age of Obama, who is the danger to this nation? Islamic terrorists? Nope, conservatives and veterans.

Can you imagine the outrage and wall-to-wall coverage this would have gotten if the situation I described at the beginning of this post had actually occurred? Don't expect to see similar media coverage -- after all, the DHS report is true, isn't it?

UPDATE

This post by John Hinderaker over at the Powerline blog is perhaps the best, most thorough fisking of the DHS report I've seen.

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