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

“If large numbers of people believe in freedom of speech, there will be freedom of speech even if the law forbids it. But if public opinion is sluggish, inconvenient minorities will be persecuted, even if laws exist to protect them.”     George Orwell

May 14, 2009

DHS Pulls Report On “Right-Wing Extremism”

by Doug Mataconis

It was just a little over a month ago that our own Stephen Gordon was among the first to break the story about a Department of Homeland of Security report that appeared to label most conservatives and libertarians in the country as “extremists.”

Now, the Washington Times reports that DHS has officially pulled the report:

A contentious “Rightwing Extremism” report that warned of military veterans as possible recruits for terrorist attacks against the U.S. was not authorized, has been withdrawn and is being rewritten, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told Capitol Hill lawmakers.

“The wheels came off the wagon because the vetting process was not followed,” Ms. Napolitano told the House Homeland Security Committee on Wednesday.

“The report is no longer out there,” she said. “An employee sent it out without authorization.”

The report was shared with state and local law enforcement officials nationwide via the department’s internal Web site on April 7, angering Republican lawmakers and military veterans who said it unfairly stereotyped veterans.

Ms. Napolitano did not say when the report was taken off the “intel Web site” and all Homeland Security Department Web sites, but she said it is in the process of being “replaced or redone in a much more useful and much more precise fashion.”

Of course, that doesn’t really answer the question of whether or not the report reflects official thinking inside DHS as to what the difference is between a terrorist and a political protester.

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4 Comments

  1. It has to reflect their thinking and that of the current administration. They are rewriting it in a way that would disguise better their motives. It’s still going to be the same anti-conservative drivel. We are still seeing people being pulled over, not for moving violations but for the bumper stickers they display. Is it really a free country??

    Comment by Red — May 14, 2009 @ 6:51 am
  2. From what I have read, much of this report was created during Bush’s reign but was unpublished until now.

    We need to step back from the abyss here and ignore the false conservative vs liberal dichotomy. Both terms have been abused and misused to the point that they are currently meaningless and used simply as emotional levers.

    Comment by MichaelJN — May 14, 2009 @ 8:03 am
  3. I have read those assertions that it was created during the Bush administration – in fact, every time this issue comes up on an internet discussion thread, I see it mentioned.

    But I have never seen any links to prove this assertion. So is it true, or is it an urban myth, which started off as an (unsupported) counter-”talking point” and it just gets repeated often enough until it becomes accepted “truth.”

    Work on it certainly could have started, after the election but prior to the inauguration. (the term “this historic election” is used in it – so it presumably did not pre-date Novemember, 2008). That does not necessarily mean it was “Bush administration” creation. The lifetime of secure employment, Federal bureaucrats have been known, at times, to have their own agendas I do believe. And Bush was supposedly not exactly a popular figure in many of his adminstration’s agencies.

    What I do know is that I printed off the entire report and read it several times, in its entirety, when it first came out. And a piece like that – full of broad generalities, could be cranked out in a couple of hours.

    Comment by southernjames — May 14, 2009 @ 9:08 am
  4. I don’t believe there is a false conservative and liberal dichotomy. So many people are operating from those two camps it is impossible to dismiss the existence of such. Perhaps you mean that in the sense that government/politics has used those labels as a way to manipulate the populace into supporting party agendas to which I could see your point. People not parties, is what the focus needs to be.

    Comment by Red — May 14, 2009 @ 11:32 am

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