Theodore's World: Senators Express Outrage over “Right Wing Extremism” Report

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April 22, 2009

Senators Express Outrage over “Right Wing Extremism” Report

Sen. DeMint

Washington, DC - U.S. Sens. Jim DeMint, David Vitter, James Inhofe, Tom Coburn, Sam Brownback, Richard Burr and Lisa Murkowski yesterday sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano requesting an explanation of the methodology used by the department to draft its recent controversial report outlining the threat of rightwing extremism for America’s law enforcement.

The report by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security cites a potential link between rightwing extremists and veterans returning from combat duty, Second Amendment advocates, small government activists and individuals who espouse certain conservative viewpoints.

“This document is absurd and offensive,” said Sen. DeMint. “It suggests that Secretary Napolitano believes our Navy SEALs could be an equal or greater threat than the pirates they took down. Does the President really agree that veterans and tea party soccer moms are terrorists-in-waiting?”
“Certainly, extremism of all varieties is a threat to the United States and her citizens throughout the world,” said Vitter. “But I don’t believe that this report contains any evidence that would justify singling out these particular groups of Americans as suspected terrorists. To suggest that returning soldiers or Second Amendment rights advocates are prone to joining extremist groups is insulting and highly inflammable – in addition to being a questionable focus for the Department of Homeland Security, especially when our southern border is still a source of major concern for a majority of Americans.”
“I was shocked to learn that this report classifies the brave men and women returning home from combat and operational deployments around the globe, who have been honorably defending our country, as potential terrorists,” Inhofe said. “As a Senior Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, I am especially proud of our soldiers returning home and I find it extremely regretful that they have been subjected to such an insult by this report. Furthermore, I find it reprehensible that within this report Americans who hold certain beliefs regarding issues such as immigration, the Second Amendment, and abortion fall under the report’s broad generalization of rightwing extremists, and are therefore considered a potential threat. I believe this report to be very offensive to many Americans.”
“Under DHS’s bizarre guidelines many of our founders, were they alive today, would be classified as potential terrorist threats. This carelessly written and poorly reasoned report is offensive to not only our veterans, but to every American who is passionately committed to the ideals of limited government, life and liberty that made our country great,” said Coburn.
“This DHS report is insulting to American veterans and patently untrue,” said Brownback. “American military veterans deserve the respect of a grateful nation, not suspicion and slander. I join millions of Americans in thanking our nation’s veterans for all of their sacrifices.”
“Our nation’s veterans have bravely sacrificed themselves to ensure our security, and they deserve our honor and our respect,” said Burr. “To classify those who protect America from the dangers of terrorism as potential terrorists themselves is an insult.”

A copy of the letter is attached.

The Honorable Janet Napolitano
The Department of Homeland Security
310 7th Street, S.W.
Washington, DC 20528-0150


Dear Secretary Napolitano,

We write today regarding the release of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) report entitled “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment” and prepared by the Extremism and Radicalization Branch of the Homeland Environment Threat Analysis Division.

While we agree that extremists of all varieties represent a potential threat to the United States, we are troubled by some of the statements included as fact in the report titled above.

First, your report states that “rightwing extremists will attempt to recruit and radicalize returning veterans in order to exploit their skills and knowledge derived from military training and combat.” Using the DHS rationale, do you also believe that weapons familiarity and tactical training means local, state, and federal law enforcement personnel, and members of the National Guard, are also being recruited? To suggest that a soldier returning from a combat tour is more prone to join an extremist group is unconscionable and insulting to our brave men and women who risk their lives protecting our freedom.

Second, the report states that the millions of Americans who believe in the Second Amendment are a potential threat to our national security. Why? Do you have statistics to prove that law-abiding Americans who purchase a legal product are being recruited by so-called hate groups? If so, please present us with DHS’s independent data.

Third, the report identifies those individuals who believe in such issues as pro-life legislation, limited government, and legal versus illegal immigration as potential terrorist threats. We can assure you that these beliefs are held by citizens of all races, party affiliations and sex, and should not be listed as a factor in determining potential terror threats. A better way to describe them is as citizens exercising their First Amendment rights.

Also, you listed those who bemoan the decline of U.S. stature and the loss of U.S. manufacturing capability to China and India as being potential rightwing extremists. We would suggest that the millions of Americans who have lost their jobs in the manufacturing industry to foreign countries are not potential terror threats, but rather, honest Americans worried about feeding their families and earning a paycheck. Once again, to classify Americans who have lost their jobs as potential terror threats does a disservice to millions of Americans.

In closing, we support the mission of DHS in protecting our country from terror attacks and are proud of the many DHS employees who make this possible, in conjunction with our state and local law enforcement. We ask that DHS not use this report as a basis to unfairly target millions of Americans because of their beliefs and the rights afforded to them in the Constitution, and that you provide us with the data that supports the claims listed in the report titled above.

Wild Thing's comment........

I appreciate that these 7 senators have sent a letter to Homeland Security, the letter itself was rather weak. It should have been longer, and conveyed more outrage. But I guess it was better than nothing.

My question is, Where are the REST of the senators on this issue? For the government to attack veterans and conservatives as possible enemies of the state is reprehensible! -- not to mention ridiculous -- and dangerous.


....Thank you Mark for sending this to me.

3rd Mar.Div. 1st Battalion 9th Marine Regiment
1/9 Marines aka The Walking Dead
VN 66-67

Posted by Wild Thing at April 22, 2009 05:48 AM


Did not see the two M's on there. McCain, Murtha.
Bob A.

Posted by: Bob A at April 22, 2009 09:15 AM

The outrage needs to come from all of us who have worn the uniform or still wear the uniform. I called/emailed my entire congressional delegation including the above mentioned Senator Brownback.

Posted by: Glenn Cassel AMH1(AW) USN RET at April 22, 2009 09:16 AM

What Napolitano's report showed is that the Left is in office and they are launching an attack on the Right. The Obama administration considers the Right to be the enemy of their policies. Obama can reach out to the Castros and Chavez, apologoze to Europe for something? and bow to Saudi royalty. But now Tea Party attendees are more of a threat than islamic terrorists.

Welcome to Orwell's world.

Posted by: TomR at April 22, 2009 12:29 PM

If only 7 Senators express outrage over the Napolitano DHS “Right Wing Extremism” report, then it only stands to reason that 93 of them support it.
7 out of 41 'Honorable' Republican Senators, now that's the solidarity that won the last election from the biggest whorehouse on the Potomac. Honorable my ass!!!
Thank you for your lack of temerity GOP!!!

Posted by: Jack at April 22, 2009 01:06 PM

When all is said and done it is SOCIALISM. Now why are so many democrats interested in Socialism. Well if you strip away the frills what do you have left. If you remove the 'So' and then the 'M' now the root of the problem comes to light. The reason the democrats like socialism so well is simple--Cialis.

Just look at your typical democrat. Can anyone honestly say, that anyone of them have recently gotten laid ?

I'm serious, Pelosi, Reid, Schumer the list is endless.

Posted by: Mark at April 22, 2009 01:38 PM

Bob A., me either, good point.

Posted by: Wild Thing at April 23, 2009 12:28 AM

Glenn Cassel AMH1(AW) USN RET, that is great,
I agree. I am so proud of you for doing that.
Just thinking now of seeing truck loads of
mail, phone lines shut down from being so
busy and on overload from the thousands and
thousands of Vets doing that.

Posted by: Wild Thing at April 23, 2009 12:34 AM

Tom,they really see there are tons of us
out here. heh heh YIPEE!

"now Tea Party attendees are more of a
threat than islamic terrorists."

Posted by: Wild Thing at April 23, 2009 12:36 AM

Jack, that is what I was thinking too.
Where the heck are the rest of them,
they take their salaries but they
don't really fight the enemy within.

Posted by: Wild Thing at April 23, 2009 12:39 AM

Mark, that was GREAT how you did that.

Posted by: Wild Thing at April 23, 2009 12:41 AM