Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

April 13, 2009

If you are reading this, you may well be a terrorist

by Stephen Gordon

Last night, I uploaded a document I had received by e-mail and wrote the following:

According to this new Homeland Security report, all it takes to fit the terrorist profile is to have general anti-government feelings or prefer local/state government to federal control over everything.

The federal Homeland Security Department document entitled “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Environment Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment” contains the following definition:

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.

Also targeted in the report are veterans, folks anticipating additional restrictions to their Second Amendment rights, and those concerned about the loss of U.S. sovereignty.

This report implies that one harboring these sorts of views is a racist as well as a potential terrorism suspect.

Michelle Malkin has followed through and verified that the Department of Homeland Security takes credit for the report:

The “report” was one of the most embarrassingly shoddy pieces of propaganda I’d ever read out of DHS. I couldn’t believe it was real.

I spent the day chasing down DHS spokespeople, who have been tied up preparing for a very important homeland security event later today: The First Lady is coming to visit their Washington office. Priorities, you know.

Well, the press office got back to me and verified that the document is indeed for real.

They were very defensive — preemptively so — in asserting that it was not a politicized document and that DHS had done reports on “leftwing extremism” in the past.

As Malkin suggests in her posting, it’s time to make a few last minute signs for April 15th Tea Parties.

UPDATE: The White House responds:

The White House has distanced itself from the analysis. When asked for comment on its contents, White House spokesman Nick Shapiro said, “The President is focused not on politics but rather taking the steps necessary to protect all Americans from the threat of violence and terrorism regardless of its origins. He also believes those who serve represent the best of this country, and he will continue to ensure that our veterans receive the respect and benefits they have earned.”

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  • Syntax

    Awwwwww….shoe is on the other foot now and you don’t like it? Gee….too bad. When you have individuals (Bachmann, Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity, Norris, Malken) using violence and terrorism inciting words like “revolution”, “rise-up”, “arm yourselves”, “militias” etc. Well? Three police officers lost their lives over a gun ban that doesn’t even exist but that didn’t stop Glenn Beck and the leader of the NRA to promote the fear of it. Osama Bin Laden never flew a plane into any buildings either but his rhetoric is just as much of a threat. Last time you people got uppity, we lost a Federal building in Oklahoma City. Ounce of prevention and all. Patriot Act is there for a reason.

  • http://gordonunleashed.com/blog/ Stephen Gordon

    Syntax,

    I’ve always been very adamantly and vocally opposed to the Patriot Act, as well. If you hadn’t noticed, this is a libertarian site, not a conservative one.

  • http://gunshowonthenet.com/ E. David Quammen

    Syntax, you have got to be one sick-minded puppy to have those thoughts wriggling around in your head. Tell me, what do you think of THESE people and their quotes? –

    “We have counted the Cost of this Contest, and find nothing so dreadful as voluntary Slavery.–Honor, Justice and humanity, forbid us tamely to surrender that Freedom which we received from our gallant Ancestors, and which our innocent Posterity have a Right to receive from us. We cannot endure the infamy and guilt of resigning succeeding generations to that wretchedness which inevitably awaits them, if we basely entail hereditary bondage upon them.

    “Our Cause is just. Our Union is perfect. Our internal Resources are great; and if necessary, foreign Assistance is undoubtedly attainable.–We gratefully acknowledge, as signal Instances of the Divine Favour towards us, that his Providence would not permit us to be called into this severs Controversy, until we were grown up to our present strength, had been previously exercised in Warlike Operations, and possessed of the Means of defending ourselves.–With Hearts fortified with these animating Reflections, we most solemnly, before GOD and the World declare, that, exerting the utmost Energy of those Powers, which our benificent Creator hath graciously bestowed upon us the Arms we have been compelled by our Enemies to assume, we will, in defiance of every Hazard, with unabating Firmness and Perseverance, employ for the Preservation of our Liberties, being with one Mind resolved, to die Freemen rather than to live Slaves.”

    – John Dickenson and Thomas Jefferson, July 6th, 1775. A DECLARATION By the Representatives of the United Colonies Of NORTH-AMERICA, now met in General Congress AT PHILADELPHIA, Setting forth the CAUSES and NECESSITY Of their taking up ARMS.
    http://gunshowonthenet.com/SecondAmend/TakingUpArms.html

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, -That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government…”

    – Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776
    http://gunshowonthenet.com/DecofInd.htm

    “If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no resource left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense which is paramount to all positive forms of government . . . The citizens must rush tumultuously to arms…”

    – Alexander Hamilton, Federalist #28, Dec. 26, 1787.
    http://gunshowonthenet.com/FederalistPapers/FedNo28.html

    “…Self defence is a primary law of nature, which no subsequent law of society can abolish; this primæval principle, the immediate gift of the Creator, obliges every one to remonstrate against the strides of ambition, and a wanton lust of domination, and to resist the first approaches of tyranny, which at this day threaten to sweep away the rights for which the brave sons of America have fought with an heroism scarcely paralleled even in ancient republicks….”

    – Elbridge Gerry, Observations On the new Constitution, and on the Federal and State Conventions. By a Columbian Patriot. Sic transit gloria Americana. [Boston: 1788.]
    http://gunshowonthenet.com/2ALEGAL/PamphletsConstitution/ObservationsGerry.html

    “…If their ideas should succeed, a principle of mortality will be infused into a government which the lovers of mankind have wished might last to the end of the world. With a mixture of the executive and legislative powers in one body, no government can long remain uncorrupt. With a corrupt executive, liberty may long retain a trembling existence. With a
    corrupt legislature, it is impossible: the vitals of the Constitution would be mortified, and death must follow in every step. A government thus formed would be the most formidable curse that could befall this country. Perhaps an enlightened people might timely foresee and correct the error; but if a season was allowed for such a compound to grow and produce
    its natural fruit, it would either banish liberty, or the people would he driven to exercise their unalienable right, the right of uncivilized nature, and destroy a monster whose voracious and capacious jaws could crush and swallow up themselves and their posterity.”

    – Fisher Ames, House of Representatives, June 16, 1789.The Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution [Elliot’s Debates, Volume 4]
    http://gunshowonthenet.com/2ALEGAL/Precedent/HouseJournal06161789.html

    “If, by the mere force of numbers, a majority should deprive a minority of any clearly written constitutional right, it might, in a moral point of view, justify revolution–certainly would, if such right were a vital one. But such is not our case. All the vital rights of minorities and of individuals are so plainly assured to them by affirmations and negations, guarantees and prohibitions, in the Constitution, that controversies never arise concerning them.”

    – President Abraham Lincoln, Inaugural Address of March 4, 1861. [Journal of the Senate of the United States of America]
    http://gunshowonthenet.com/AfterTheFact/SenateJournal03041861.html

    Do you even know what a Bill of Rights stands for?

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  • Sam O.

    “Last time you people got uppity, we lost a Federal building in Oklahoma City.”

    “You people?” “Uppity?” (which, by the way, was a term used by racists and bigots against blacks for decades… I’m not saying you’re a racist or bigot because you used the term, but it was an interesting choice of adjective).

    Which “you people” are you blaming, Syntax? I’m a moderate, but I embrace many conservative values. This report pretty much says I’m a terrorist. Maybe you too. Are you saying people like me murdered hundreds of innocent people in the Oklahoma City bombing? Irresponsible, ignorant, and hate-mongering talk.

    Conservatives are not perfect, nor are moderates, nor are liberals. There are admirable as well as terrible people in each group.

    But slapping a label and cynically blaming millions of people because of someone who does evil like Timothy McVie or Ted Kaczynski or David Koresh is indicative of the very same paranoia you claim to oppose. Bigots are blinded by their insecurities and rage, and categorically and erroneously lump all in a group (i.e., Jews, blacks, Hispanics, Hindus, Japanese, Irish, Christians, Muslims, etc.) as all having exactly the same characteristics. So, in so doing, Syntax, you’ve shown that you have a potential tendency towards terrorism, as cited and defined in the DHS report.

    I’ve noticed that liberals are doing this bashing more frequently these days. Hey, your nomination “won,” so why the continued hate against people who are against higher taxes, government waste, abortions, or are military veterans? You should be jubilant over the prospering economy. And if you’re not, you could be a terrorist.

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  • southernjames

    I suppose in the world of people like Syntax, anybody who held their nose and reluctantly voted for GWB in 2004 as the barely “least worst” choice between the two (legitimate, with an actual prayer of winning) candidates – but then watched with dismay as W firmly established his legacy as a big government big spender, who refused to ever pull out his veto pen – a category to which millions of us belong – have zero credibility to now be opposed to his 400 billion deficit turning into trillions, literally overnight. On spending bills which are not read at all, let alone subjected to public debate in order to shine light on whether all those hundreds of billions are REALLY designed to “stimulate” the economy.

    “Dissent is the highest form of Patriotism” is all I heard out of the left during all those years when the hue and cry was to declare Iraq a “failure” right now, and bring the troops home today.

    Now, that the left is in power – to those of us who have opposing political views, it is STFU. You support Dear Leader. Or, you are a “Right Wing Extremist” or at the very least a right wing extremist sympathizer. According to his own Dept. of Homeland Security.

    Syntax, please provide any direct link (as opposed to a left wing echo chamber talking point), where: Beck, Hannity, Limbaugh or Malkin have specifically told their listeners to “arm themselves,” to “rise up” (VIOLENTLY, as opposed to peacefully exercising the 1st amendment rights, which at least theoretically, are supposed to still apply to conservatives and not just PETA or Code Pink groups), to form or join armed Militias, or any other DIRECT quotes from those commentators encouraging or fomenting violence or armed vs. peaceful revolution.

  • Smellerbee

    This report specifically addresses extremist groups. Only through quote-mining and willful disregard of specific sections of text could this be read as labeling all conservatives terrorists.

  • southernjames

    Smellerbee. I read the report. What “specific extremist groups” does this report specifically address? Even in general?

    Name them, and point them out to me.

    What “quote-mining” is going on? The report consists of a lot of unsubstantiated, generalized speculations of how those holding politically incorrect (to the current people in power) and therefore politically unacceptable positions should be viewed with caution as posing a potential threat or danger to Homeland Security.

    This money quote is not “quote mining” but sums up the demonization (what else would you call the label “right wing EXTREMIST”) of millions of everyday Americans.

    “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)(NO SCARY BOOGEY MAN GROUP IS ACTUALLY IDENTIFIED BY NAME – Hmm, I wonder why?), AND (note the word “and”) those that are mainly antigovernment, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority (e.g., libertarians or political conservatives???)OR rejecting government authority entirely (NAME of said organization(s) please, and how they pose a “threat?”). It MAY include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion (so any and all right to Life groups – including Catholic church activists, are now, by definition, potential “right wing EXTREMISTS”?) or immigration.” (consistent leftist tactic of leaving off the word “illegal” – but the point being – if you organize a COUNTER-protest to La Raza, YOU’RE the threat to domestic peace and tranquility, NOT La Raza).

    Sure seems like conservatives and libertarians, are swept up in the “right wing extremist” net, to me.

    But I’ll read it again, to see if the report carves out in any way, shape or form – or even vaguely IMPLIES – that it is referring to some heretofor unindentifed Appalachia Survivalist Militia organization, or some fringe anti-abortion outfit that once every 5 years or so, sets off a bomb at a clinic, or any specific Neo-Nazi Skinhead Group – all of whom must be recruiting new members by the thousands (!!) due to the “economic conditions” and the “historic election of an African American.”

  • Caporip

    “This report specifically addresses extremist groups. Only through quote-mining and willful disregard of specific sections of text could this be read as labeling all conservatives terrorists.”

    Smellerbee is precisely correct. Note that DHS released a very similar report on left wing extremists groups in January.

  • Caporip

    SouthernJames,

    there is a difference between what Smellerbee wrote “specifically addressing extremist groups” and what you said he wrote “addressing specific extremist groups.”
    As has been said “only through quote-mining and willful disregard of specific sections of text” in this case Smellerbee “could this be read as labeling all conservatives terrorists.” You’ve provided a fine example.

  • southernjames

    Is he truly “precisely correct?” Or did the “similar” report on “left wing extremist” narrow the scope and focus on specific organizations? As opposed to a broad generalized categories into which about 80 million(?) people could fall.

    If anyone has a link to the January “left wing” report, please provide it, so that we can compare for ourselves.

  • southernjames

    My accidentally mistating his quote in my rush — saying “specific extremist groups” instead of “specifically addresses extremist groups” provides a fine example of why my entire post is, apparently, bullshit.

    My humblest apologies.

    Allow me to correct myself and change my second sentence to: “How does this report specifically address extremist groups?”

  • Suprsvc01

    Hey Syntax,

    I resent your derogatory use of the terms “you people” & “uppity” to denegrate someone you disagree with. Obviously you’re nothing but a closet racist stuck in some 1960’s hallucinogenic mindset. You liberals are all alike. As soon as you disagree with someone you label them, and start calling names. Get your head out of your arse.

  • Suprsvc01

    To Sam O & southernjames,

    BRAVO! You two have done a wonderful job in presenting focussed, lucid explanations (with referenced support) for why the content of this DHS document is so problematic & disturbing. I’ve noticed that you’re principal detractors on this blog (e.g., Smellerbee & Caporic) merely restate their “opinions” as though they were fact, without even attempting to offer any of the “specifics” onto which they claim hang their opinions. This is typical liberal attack mode.

  • Merf

    As unreal as it sounds, it now seems that this report was, indeed, written by the DHS.

  • Jeannie O’Lexey

    Suprsvc01,

    Do you start all your posts by rudely addressing others with an abnoxious “Hey”; just because you “disagree with” them; so as to “denegrate” them? (Social skills, please.)
    Since you think all liberals are alike, and suggest they label & name-call others as soon as they come up against opposition…
    well you must be a liberal too!, since you angrily spouted off this little name-calling rant in the second sentance of your post!: “You are nothing but a closet racist stuck in some 1960’s hallucinogenic mindset.”
    Actually, you know what I think you are with your “resentment” & animosity?
    I think you are a bigot, “blinded by your insecurites & lack of knowledge, lumping anyone whose ideas differ from yours into one group”.
    (Thanks for the definition on bigot Sam O.) And thanks Suprsvc01 for giving us a living example of what one looks like.
    I pity you & think you should gett off your “arse” & take a brisk walk in the outdoors. Take some deep breaths & take a load off my friend. Let it go, Let it go.

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  • http://www.mikesoh.com Mike

    I’m providing a mirror to help allieviate the stress on your server:
    http://www.mikesoh.com/incoming/hsa-rightwing-extremism-09-04-07.pdf

    MD5SUM:
    eda2637cc9536e667dba2fc44473200f

  • Gill O’Teen

    Thanks, Mike. I’ve been searching for a copy of this document via google. That’s how I found this site.

    Gill

  • http://gordonunleashed.com/blog/ Stephen Gordon

    Mike,

    Thanks.

    I just moved the .pdf to another server, as well. We also have a lot of people hotlinking the document and are working to resolve that issue, too.

    We’ve also removed a lot of the widgets such as recent comments and quotations until our server load decreases.

  • southernjames
  • Mike

    Well, I guess we now know why there are bills in the House and Senate to create large “camps” on military bases to help the U.S. in case “something happens”. We “right wing extremists” will have to be held somewhere.

    What have we come to? I believe we have lost our minds.

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  • http://N/A Sarah

    If you step back and remember the church Obama and Opra goes / went too – Obama left – to save face for awhile. But that church’s preacher – Rev. White – preached over-n-over – TO HATE AMERICA! And THERE IS NO GOD! GOD IS IN SIDE OF YOU ONLY – PINCH YOURSELFS – THATS GOD! And Obamam’s been going there over 20 yrs. That should tell the American people SOMETHING RIGHT THERE! This country is gonna turn into another HITLER COUNTRY! MARK MY WORDS !!!!

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