The Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, is responding
to outrage over her ‘rightwing extremism’ threat assessment report and
her latest remarks about the unsafe Candadian border by saying…..she’s being misunderstood.

Kinda hard to make that claim when we have that threat assessment out there loaded with warnings about “rightwing extremists” and the possibility that our returning troops may easily be recruited by them.

That report, I said, amounted to “little more than a
nine-page screed against phantoms” and was an overly broad attack that
lumped returning veterans and people who hold certain political beliefs
that are well within the mainstream of American political thought in
with what the department referred to as religious and racial hate
groups…

The Napolitano report, first and foremost, includes “no specific
information that domestic rightwing terrorists are currently planning
acts of violence” but is written in contemplation by the Department of
Homeland Security that “The economic downturn and the election of the
first African American president present unique drivers for rightwing
radicalization.” It is, in a word, supposition.

And awfully worded, at that (the pdf of the ‘threat assessment’ is linked in that article).

It begins:

The Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, is responding
to outrage over her ‘rightwing extremism’ threat assessment report and
her latest remarks about the unsafe Candadian border by saying…..she’s being misunderstood.

Kinda hard to make that claim when we have that threat assessment out there loaded with warnings about “rightwing extremists” and the possibility that our returning troops may easily be recruited by them.

That report, I said, amounted to “little more than a
nine-page screed against phantoms” and was an overly broad attack that
lumped returning veterans and people who hold certain political beliefs
that are well within the mainstream of American political thought in
with what the department referred to as religious and racial hate
groups…

The Napolitano report, first and foremost, includes “no specific
information that domestic rightwing terrorists are currently planning
acts of violence” but is written in contemplation by the Department of
Homeland Security that “The economic downturn and the election of the
first African American president present unique drivers for rightwing
radicalization.” It is, in a word, supposition.

And awfully worded, at that (the pdf of the ‘threat assessment’ is linked in that article).

It begins:

 

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 recuitment.

What?! This is not only playing loosely and irresponsibly with stereotypes, but is actually peddling racism to stoke fear.

It also targets our vets.

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.

Only when this report was made public and outraged decent American
citizens and veterans groups and many congressional representatives did
Napolitano come out and say ’sorry, I wish that part had been worded a
little differently.’

Enough, say some in Congress.

House Republicans are calling on Homeland Security
Secretary Janet Napolitano to step down or be fired in the wake of a
controversial department memo that has sparked indignant battle cries
from conservatives and some veterans.

“Singling out political opponents for working against the ruling
party is precisely the tactic of every tyrannical government from Red
China to Venezuela,” said Texas Rep. John Carter, a member of the
party’s elected leadership who has organized an hour of floor speeches
Wednesday night to call for Napolitano’s ouster. “The first step in the
process is creating unfounded public suspicion of political opponents,
followed by arresting and jailing any who continue speaking against the
regime.”

The incoherence in Homeland Security is clear, and disturbing. And, as Congressman Carter said on the floor of the House, inexcusable.

Sheila Liaugminas

Sheila Liaugminas is an Emmy award-winning Chicago-based journalist in print and broadcast media. Her writing and broadcasting covers matters of faith, culture, politics and the media....