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

“I consider Paine our greatest political thinker. As we have not advanced, and perhaps never shall advance, beyond the Declaration and Constitution, so Paine has had no successors who extended his principles.”     Thomas Alva Edison

April 15, 2009

DHS Responds To Uproar Over Report On “Right Wing Extremism”

by Doug Mataconis

In light of the uproar that we’ve seen over the report that Stephen Gordon brought into the public light earlier this week, the Department of Homeland Security has issued this press release:

Release Date: April 15, 2009

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
Contact: 202-282-8010

The primary mission of this department is to prevent terrorist attacks on our nation. The document on right-wing extremism sent last week by this department’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis is one in an ongoing series of assessments to provide situational awareness to state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies on the phenomenon and trends of violent radicalization in the United States. I was briefed on the general topic, which is one that struck a nerve as someone personally involved in the Timothy McVeigh prosecution.

Let me be very clear: we monitor the risks of violent extremism taking root here in the United States. We don’t have the luxury of focusing our efforts on one group; we must protect the country from terrorism whether foreign or homegrown, and regardless of the ideology that motivates its violence.

We are on the lookout for criminal and terrorist activity but we do not – nor will we ever – monitor ideology or political beliefs. We take seriously our responsibility to protect the civil rights and liberties of the American people, including subjecting our activities to rigorous oversight from numerous internal and external sources.

I am aware of the letter from American Legion National Commander Rehbein, and my staff has already contacted him to set up a meeting next week once I return from travel. I will tell him face-to-face that we honor veterans at DHS and employ thousands across the department, up to and including the Deputy Secretary.

As the department responsible for protecting the homeland, DHS will continue to work with its state and local partners to prevent and protect against the potential threat to the United States associated with any rise in violent extremist activity.

I’ll leave it to others to comment more fully, but I will say that it’s worth remembering that Timothy McVeigh got his start with the so-called militia movement, and he ended up killing hundreds of people.

H/T: Little Green Footballs

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12 Comments

  1. McVeigh did not get “his start with the so-called militia movement.” He “got his start” with the U.S. Army.

    Comment by Jeremy H. — April 15, 2009 @ 12:08 pm
  2. True, but it was during the time he was hanging out with the so-called Michigan Militia that he was introduced to such nonsense as The Turner Diaries

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — April 15, 2009 @ 12:31 pm
  3. I will wait for the “Left-wing Report” to be released discussing the nutjobs that blow up SUVs before I accept Homeland Security’s excuse. (Needless to say, I won’t be holding my breath.)

    It is always worth remembering that there is a perfectly legitimate way to revolt. Provided you follow the guidelines outlined by Jefferson, Homeland Security cannot say anything, much as they might try to spin it their way.

    Comment by trumpetbob15 — April 15, 2009 @ 3:54 pm
  4. Doug,

    What inspired the majority of the “militia movement” was the abuses of power at Ruby Ridge and Waco. Every action causes an equal and opposite reaction.

    Besides, McVeigh was expelled from the Michigan Militia before the bombings.

    If DHS isn’t careful, they could be causing the very thing they’re scared about.

    Comment by Kevin — April 15, 2009 @ 6:14 pm
  5. I thought that the FBI found that McVeigh had no ties to the Michigan Militia, despite what was widely reported. I could be wrong, but I swear this came out at some point.

    Comment by Benjamin L. Reisterer — April 15, 2009 @ 6:59 pm
  6. This report is the kind of thing that drives our country farther apart, and rightfully so. I personally think there should be a few jobs on the line here, starting with Janet Napolitano. There is clearly a political agenda being pushed here. After reading this report I would not blame anyone who feels they fall into one of the categories, which is about half or more of this country, to start stocking up on weapons and getting ready to defend themselves, against the government. Watch how the sell of weapons is going to keep going though the roof. History shows us that this is how fascism normally starts, and has led to the slaughter of hundreds of millions of people around the world. For a report like this to be put out by our government, there is no excuse for it. President Obama needs to do the right thing here, and step up to the plate, fire Ms Napolitano, and then apologize to everyone who was offended by this report, and let it be known that this will not be allowed on his Watch. Anything less will be taken as he agrees and supports it, and will continue to drive this country of ours farther apart.

    Comment by TheBad — April 15, 2009 @ 8:47 pm
  7. trumpetbob,

    I’ve read the leftwing report (you can find it here… It’s mainly about animal rights and environmental terrorists (with a little about “anarchists”). What they point out, though, is that the lefties seem to be more and more drawn to cyber attacks…

    Comment by Brad Warbiany — April 15, 2009 @ 9:40 pm
  8. Followed a link to your site after Googling the infamous report and was greeted with this:

    “Hotlinking content is bad internet karma.
    Shame on you, Fox News. Shame on you, Rush Limbaugh.
    You have servers and advertisers. I pay this out of pocket. Get your own damn
    bandwidth.”

    I don’t know if that was your site or if you were hacked. If you were hacked, I wouldn’t be surprised. If you guys did that, you suck and are part of the same old party / faction / splinter shit that’s damn near ruined this country.

    If you can’t share information and common grievances against the left, you’ll continue to wallow in uselessness.

    Unreal.

    Comment by Mike — April 16, 2009 @ 6:24 am
  9. Mike,

    What you don’t understand is that it’s considered bad form to hot link to a document on someone else’s server, sending thousands of people there and thus increasing the strain on the server’s bandwidth and, in some cases, the hosting costs (which are often based on bandwidth).

    Fox News and Limbaugh have much bigger server capacity than we do, they could’ve hosted the document on their own site.

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — April 16, 2009 @ 7:10 am
  10. Mike,

    I did that. I would clarify a bit on Doug’s statement.

    Fox News and Rush Limbaugh linked directly to the document. They did not link to the blog post which contained a link to the document. They did not in any way mention that the document was sourced from The Liberty Papers. They simply used our bandwidth rather than putting a copy of this on their own servers.

    This site is normally pretty cheap to operate. The level of traffic — UNATTRIBUTED traffic — turned a site that would typically cost less than a dollar a day to operate into $25+ per day. By my back-of-the-envelope calculation, somewhere around 100,000 people over the last two days downloaded that report. If every one of the visitors who downloaded that report actually read Stephen Gordon’s original posting, I would be happy and would gladly pay to host the bandwidth. But they didn’t, they were referred directly to the document by Fox and Rush.

    As far as I can tell, Fox has now fixed this on their end. They have updated their links and are hosting the document themselves. Rush, on the other hand, still has it on his front page. You can click over there and look at the lack of attribution, and let me know what you think of it.

    Comment by Brad Warbiany — April 16, 2009 @ 7:30 am
  11. Tim McVeigh might have started with militias, but he ended in league with Al “There Is No Terrorist Threat” Qaeda and Iraqi agents.
    http://www.frontpagemag.com/articles/Read.aspx?GUID=0345FF37-588D-4C0A-B298-CE29F9DD0D58

    Keep the focus where it belongs or you’ll have an even worse repeat the Clinton years:
    While Tim McVeigh and Al-Qaeda were busily razing America, Clinton’s FBI “‘was charged with determining whether there was a nationwide conspiracy to commit acts of violence against reproductive health care providers.’ The more than 900 targets of all this surveillance included the Christian Coalition, Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Women’s Coalition for Life, Feminists for Life, Americans United for Life, the 600,000-member Concerned Women for America, the National Rifle Association, the American Life League, the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, and even then-Roman Catholic Cardinal of New York John O’Connor.”
    http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/Read.aspx?GUID=112C46BB-EA83-4B57-AC4D-F67A85B0BB18

    Comment by Eric — April 16, 2009 @ 2:32 pm
  12. Just to be clear, the comment above was not written by me, the guy that established TLP a couple years ago.

    Comment by Eric — April 16, 2009 @ 2:42 pm

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