Friday, April 17, 2009

Red-State Scare

Apart from when they play classical music, I never listen to National Liberal Radio (NPR). Except--occasionally--in taxicabs, like Monday evening, when some NPR correspondent reported an increasingly hostile tone used by Republicans, which had grown more vitriolic than that of Bush opponents in prior years. Uh, I don't think so.

It's one thing to survive an unhinged media; much more alarming is when the government itself goes bonkers. And there's no better description of the new report of the (deep breath) Extremism and Radicalization Branch, Homeland Environment Threat Analysis Division of the Department of Homeland Security, which is titled "Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment." These are the report's "Key Findings" (pages 2-3, classification descriptors and footnotes omitted):
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.
-- 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.

-- 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.
The current economic and political climate has some similarities to the 1990s when rightwing extremism experienced a resurgence fueled largely by an economic recession, criticism about the outsourcing of jobs, and the perceived threat to U.S. power and sovereignty by other foreign powers.
-- During the 1990s, these issues contributed to the growth in the number of domestic rightwing terrorist and extremist groups and an increase in violent acts targeting government facilities, law enforcement officers, banks, and infrastructure sectors.

-- Growth of these groups subsided in reaction to increased government scrutiny as a result of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing and disrupted plots, improvements in the economy, and the continued U.S. standing as the preeminent world power.
The possible passage of new restrictions on firearms and the return of military veterans facing significant challenges reintegrating into their communities could lead to the potential emergence of terrorist groups or lone wolf extremists capable of carrying out violent attacks.
-- Proposed imposition of firearms restrictions and weapons bans likely would attract new members into the ranks of rightwing extremist groups, as well as potentially spur some of them to begin planning and training for violence against the government. The high volume of purchases and stockpiling of weapons and ammunition by rightwing extremists in anticipation of restrictions and bans in some parts of the country continue to be a primary concern to law enforcement.

-- Returning veterans possess combat skills and experience that are attractive to rightwing extremists. DHS/I&A is concerned that rightwing extremists will attempt to recruit and radicalize returning veterans in order to boost their violent capabilities.
According to the Washington Times, "The White House has distanced itself from the analysis." But wait--didn't Obama promise to be both open and accountable? Whatever.

Anyway, I'll forgo extensive analysis--Powerline, Michelle Malkin and others have already "Fisked" the document. Just a few points: More confirmation that the "paranoid style" now largely lies in the left. And, according to them, "We are all rightwing extremists now." To be sure, Candidate Obama warned us--and so now, the Administration's indistinguishable from NPR.


MAS1916 said...

The real difference in tone of the discourse is that conservatives are much more polite. The Bush haters diatribes were laced with foul language and were generally not suitable for public consumption.

However, the Leader's administration is now using government agencies to intimidate voices of opposition. The recent HHS assessment warning of veterans and members of the American Legion that they were subject to surveillance because of their political leanings was a direct attempt to intimidate voters from turning out at the Tea Parties.

suek said...

Additionally, veterans of the military take an oath to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies - foreign and domestic. Given the attitude of this administration toward the Constitution, it's not surprising they have concern about the military - even those who have left the service.
The new "Civil Security Force" supposedly will take an pledge of allegiance to support Obama and his efforts.

Definitely scary.

OBloodyHell said...

> More confirmation that the "paranoid style" now largely lies in the left. And, according to them, "We are all rightwing extremists now."

Dr. Sanity has recently written a couple of short-to-long essays on the Paranoid Style as applied to The Left these days. And, as a licensed mental-health professional (she was a mission psychiatrist at NASA, and assigned to the mission when the Challenger blew up -- so her creds are fairly good at the least), she's legally qualified to discuss mental-health issues.