Double Standard

Can you imagine the howls of outrage from all of the nation’s editorial pages, and the heads exploding on MSNBC, if the Bush administration DHS had put out a document that said things like this?

(U) Leftwing 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 economic classes, and religious groups, particularly Christianity), and those that are mainly pro-government, preferring federal authority and particularly federal judicial rulings over state or local authority. It may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to restrictions on abortion, immigration, or gay marriage.

(U//LES) Leftwing extremists are harnessing this historical election as a recruitment tool. Many leftwing extremists are antagonistic toward the Bush administration and its perceived stance on a range of issues, including treatment of prisoners in Guantamo and its Iraq policy, restricting affirmative action to minorities, and funding restrictions on abortions overseas and embryonic stem-cell research. Leftwing extremists are increasingly galvanized by these concerns and leverage them as drivers for recruitment. From the 2004 election timeframe to the present, leftwing extremists have capitalized on related racial and political prejudices in expanded propaganda campaigns, thereby reaching out to a wider audience of potential sympathizers.

(U) Exploiting Unhappiness With Iraq

(U//FOUO) Leftwing extremist chatter on the Internet continues to focus on the Iraqi death toll, the perceived loss of civil rights and restrictions on abortion rights. Anti-Semitic extremists attribute these losses to a deliberate conspiracy conducted by a cabal of Jewish “financial elites” favoring Israel. These “accusatory” tactics are employed to draw new recruits into leftwing extremist groups and further radicalize those already subscribing to extremist beliefs. DHS/I&A assesses this trend is likely to accelerate if the war situation is perceived to worsen.

(U//FOUO) Over the past several years, various leftwing extremists, including socialist groups such as International A.N.S.W.E.R and Hispanic supremacists such as La Raza, have adopted the immigration issue as a call to action, rallying point, and recruiting tool. Debates over appropriate immigration levels and enforcement policy generally fall within the realm of protected political speech under the First Amendment, but in some cases, pro-immigration or strident anti-enforcement fervor has been directed against specific groups and has the potential to turn violent.

(U) Disgruntled Military Veterans

(U//FOUO) DHS/I&A assesses that leftwing extremists will attempt to recruit and radicalize returning veterans in order to exploit their skills and knowledge derived from military training and combat. These skills and knowledge have the potential to boost the capabilities of extremists—including lone wolves or small terrorist cells—to carry out violence. The willingness of a small percentage of military personnel to join extremist groups during the 1990s because they were disgruntled, disillusioned, or suffering from the psychological effects of war is being replicated today.

(U//FOUO) DHS/I&A will be working with its state and local partners over the next several months to ascertain with greater regional specificity the rise in leftwing extremist activity in the United States, with a particular emphasis on the political, economic, and social factors that drive leftwing extremist radicalization.

It makes just as much sense as the nonsense that the Obama DHS just released.

[Update a few minutes later]

Ed Morrissey has more:

The first question we should ask is whether the DHS is reacting to any specific threats at all? Er … no (emphasis mine):

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.

This gets repeated over and over again during the report. They have no threat information. In fact, the report can’t even say definitively whether “extremists” are gaining “new recruits”. In order to find that, they’d have to identify the actual groups, note the recruiting patterns, and determine whether in fact they’re gaining recruits or losing members. Bottom line: DHS has no actual data. They’re pulling threats out of their collective arse and publishing them without any supporting research whatsoever.

DHS acts as though white-supremacist groups and militias believing in Zionist world conspiracies stopped existing between 2000 and 2008. Of course they didn’t; George Bush’s strong support for Israel fed those nutcase groups for eight years. Are those groups growing in the last five months, after what DHS assumes is the trigger for all this hate — the election of Barack Obama? They provide absolutely no evidence at all for it, and in fact repeat over and over again that they don’t have that data in a hail of May Bes.

This is shameful. And he makes the same point as this post:

Imagine, if you will, what the Left would say if we took this entire document and replaced all references to “military veterans” with “Muslims”, and all references to “abortion” with “universal health care”, and then predated this DHS report to 2008, during the Bush administration. They’d be screaming about being smeared as traitors for their political beliefs, and they’d be right to do so. That’s exactly what the Obama administration and Janet Napolitano has done here.

But it’s OK, because they’re just “rightwingers.”

[Update early evening]

Powerline has a fisking:

It’s hard to avoid the conclusion that this Homeland Security report is politically motivated, and reflects the authors’ political prejudices more than an objective evaluation of a significant terrorist threat. In that context, the report’s conclusion seems a bit ominous:

DHS/I&A will be working with its state and local partners over the next several months to ascertain with greater regional specificity the rise in rightwing extremist activity in the United States, with a particular emphasis on the political, economic, and social factors that drive rightwing extremist radicalization.


[Tax Day update]

The people who put together this little political hit piece couldn’t even get their facts straight.

81 thoughts on “Double Standard”

  1. There would have been right wing violence at the Republican convention last summer here in St. Paul if there hadn’t been so many police there to protect the left-wing protesters who were breaking windows and screaming about peace.

  2. Wasn’t the Washington DC sniper a veteran? Does this mean he was a “right wing threat” despite his connections and stated motivation?

  3. The scenario I’m more worried about:

    “… assesses that leftwing extremists will attempt to recruit and radicalize returning community organizers in order to exploit their skills and knowledge derived from rabble rousing and giant puppet construction. These skills and knowledge have the potential to boost the capabilities of extremists—including lone wolves or small ANSWER cells—to fill out grant applications for NEA funding to document their struggle.”

    Now that’s scary.

  4. My DHS sources allege that the author of the report was a DHS analyst (possibly a contractor) named Brian Marcus. Marcus is basically a political hire. Until recently, he used to write much the same stuff for his former employers, the Anti-Defamation League. However, at ADL someone edited him.

    The ADL keeps an eye on a lot of truly extremist groups, but doesn’t always seem able to discriminate between loathsome anti-Semites (say “Stormfront” or the creep behind “Adolf the Great”), people who are way more conservative than the average ADL member but are working within the system and no threat to Jews or anybody (say “Free Republic” or “” members), and people the ADL is just flat irrational about (“National Review”).

    I think Marcus is proof positive that looking at extremist websites rots one’s mind. I seem to recall that the Canadians who were trying to muzzle Steyn and Levant made up a significant percentage of the “extremists” on Stormfront. I wonder if Marcus was the other half…

  5. “Mike P. Are you the Mike P. that moved to Farmington Hills back in the late ’80s to open the CC engineering sales office on six mile road”

    Nope, Twas in college then.

  6. “Certainly states rights is about as clear a repudiation of federal power and morality as I can imagine.”

    We’ve got a real rocket scientist here. It is certainly a repudiation of the notion of centralised federal power, but “morality”? I don’t think you know what that word means.

  7. what concerns me is not that Team Obama is noticing there’s opposition out there.

    I’m concerned that every totalitarian regime in the 20th century came from the Left and claimed to be changing things for the better….

  8. It looks like the Obama Administration is getting ready to demonize Conservatives. What are the telltales of “Right Wing Terrorists?”

    Opposition to abortion.
    Opposition to illegal immigration.
    Learning to fight in the military
    Opposition to an African American President
    Having your house foreclosed
    Inability to get credit
    Being critical of outsourcing jobs
    Perceiving threats to the US by foreign powers
    Opposition to bigger social programs
    Criticism of government infringement of civil rights

    Powerline fisks the Obama government report:
    Watch Out For Those Crazy Right Wingers!
    And if you think that this was simply a report to be written and filed away to satisfy the bizarre fantasies of some whack job at the Department of Homeland Security, think again:

    DHS/I&A will be working with its state and local partners over the next several months to ascertain with greater regional specificity the rise in rightwing extremist activity in the United States, with a particular emphasis on the political, economic, and social factors that drive rightwing extremist radicalization.

    I don’t think it will end with this. The Radical Left is in power and intends to keep it.

    If you want to turn in your anti-abortion former soldier neighbor whose house has been foreclosed and who lost his job to someone in India, here’s their advice:

    DHS encourages recipients of this document to report information concerning suspicious or criminal activity to DHS and the FBI. The DHS National Operations Center (NOC) can be reached by telephone at 202-282-9685 or by e-mail at For information affecting the private sector and
    critical infrastructure, contact the National Infrastructure Coordinating Center (NICC), a sub-element of the NOC. The NICC can be reached by telephone at 202-282-9201 or by e-mail at The FBI regional phone numbers can be found online at When available, each report submitted should include the date, time, location, type of activity, number of people and type of equipment used for the activity, the name of the submitting company or organization, and a designated point of contact.

    The next step will be neighborhood vigilance committees.

  9. Claims for States Rights does not begin with the South, but with the mis-named Anti-Federalists who cited the problems of putting too much power into the federal government. When you think of federalism as an interlocking set of checks and balances, then anti-federalism would be a call to a unitary state… but I have problems finding one (possibly Luther Martin, but its hard to tell with his bombast and rhetoric) that will come anywhere close to that. If you want a denunciation of slavery, you have but to look towards ‘Brutus’ and the extremely limp-wristed response of the Federalist James Madison on slavery.

    That diverse group that wanted a strong States check on National government have been mis-labeled and then ignored for over two centuries. Yet it is in their writings that we get clear and succinct warnings of what happens when minimal checks on power (particularly taxation) are put into place without commensurate checks from other parts of the Nation. The Slave States actually used the arguments that Madison put down, as a Federalist, to support their adhering to the Constitution: the Anti-Federalist writings offered them no real safe harbor, particularly with those who denounced Slavery and the ill-thought out methodology put in place in the Constitution before its ratification.

    If you want to trace small government, low taxation and such to any source with States Rights it is the inappropriately named ‘Anti-Federalists’ who told what the problems were and where they would go. Reading their writings, today, is absolutely chilling and they use historical precedent of other republics and democracies, plus astute examination of the human condition to tell where these problems lead. As we are not taught this history and read these works, we let our modern political prism distort what we see… and the honorable tradition of dissent and working with your fellow citizens in civil discussion starts at the 1787-89 era. And while there were a couple of hot-heads with bombast and ill-feelings towards others, the majority of those with problems stuck to actual factual references, described problems and, very often, offered solutions that were technical and yet balanced power under federalist concepts. That is what made them so hard to deal with by Hamilton, Madison, Jay, et. al.: these critics knew their federalism and criticized the Constitution on federalist principles.

    Today they would all be ‘rightwing extremists’ of course, ‘Federalist’ and ‘Anti-Federalist’ both.

  10. I can’t find either report at, but according to a Reuters article:

    DHS spokeswoman Sara Kuban said on Tuesday the report was one of an ongoing series of threat assessments aimed at “a greater understanding of violent radicalization in the U.S.”

    A similar assessment of left-wing radicals completed in January was distributed to federal, state and local police agencies at that time.

    “These assessments are done all the time, this is nothing unusual,” Kuban said.

  11. I am a veteran, so no I am not terrified of veterans. I also don’t think veterans are saints, and like any other group of people, they are vulnerable to being recruited by extremist groups. Which is what the report actually says. It does NOT say that veterans per se are dangerous.

    The idea that the American right wants decentralized government is of extremely recent vintage. It’s basically a reaction to the Civil Rights movement, when the Federal government stepped in to stop Jim Crow. It’s also seen a few violent actors, from the KKK to Stormfront.

    I’m not going to argue with anybody who believes in Jonah Goldberg’s “Liberal Facsism” fantasy, just like I’m not going to argue with the flat-earth crowd. (Besides, it’s off-topic).

    But assuming for sake of argument that Goldberg is right, you need to show some kind of link between “dictators of the 20th century” and current terrorism. Is Cuba funding US terrorist groups, for example?

    Even if you do show such a link, that in no way prevents right-wing terrorism. The right-wing groups mentioned in the report are perfectly capable of action independent of what anybody else does.

  12. You’re just being paranoid. CJ and AJ both say so, so it must be true. Or, and I’m just spitballing here, they’re both being willfully blind and obtuse.

  13. If the DHS really did a report on threats from the left, where the hell is it? This report is unclassified, so let’s see the other one!

    (The April 2001 report is a completely different beast. It’s three times longer, cites actual evidence, contrasts the likely adherents of rightwing versus leftwing extremism, and even goes out of its way to state that leftwing extremism was decreasing. This report focuses PRIMARILY on inflating the threat from the right, first of all by using definitions of “rightwing” that include everyone who believes, for example, in local school boards controlling school curricula!)

  14. Chris Gerrib said, “I’m not going to argue with the flat-earth crowd.”

    So, if you can’t beatem’ join em’, huh. I can already imagine you sitting around sipping latte’s with your flat-earther friends nodding your head along with every bit of mindless dribble, Chris. There is no need to proclaim the fact that you are willing to continuously tow the leftist line with religious conviction. It is more than apparent your mental map of the world doesn’t match reality.

    In fact, I find it odd that a apparent Democrat is so enthusiastic to come to the defense of a gov’t agency created by the Bushitler regime. Wasn’t it but a few years ago the left was deriding the creation of the home land security office as a huge abuse of power and a sure sign that Bush was becoming a dicator? I guess all is good and well when DHS correctly identifies those impressively mustached hillbillies with guns as the real source of all the world’s problems [/snark].

    Yesterday, I stopped into a biker bar to have some happy hours drinks. Then, it just suddenly dawned on me. Oh uh, I’ve walked right into a right-wing terrorist training ground. Look! that one has a stick and he’s practicing stabbing people by poking all those little round balls! AHHHH! That one has darts and he’s throwing them wildly through the air, *ducks and cover*.

  15. Chris, tell me according to the few posts here you seem to be advocating following Muslims around as well, because some have committed terrorism and done so recently.

  16. Well, since Islamic extremists have in fact killed people and blown stuff up, yes we should keep an eye on them. I don’t recall expressing a problem with creating DHS.

    Honestly, folks, I am baffled as to why keeping an eye on organizations that have committed violent acts is a controversial idea. I mean, if a guy was convicted of bank robbery, and, after he got out, a bank got robbed, wouldn’t the police logically at least go ask him where he was?

  17. Chris, allow me to point out the following:

    The previous DHS report on leftwing terrorism cited ELF, ALF and other specific groups that have funding and a history of violent action. The subject report does not list specific organizations, but “rightwing extremists” in general, defining this extremism based upon broad categories of thought (e.g. opposition to illegal immigration). This is the difference between the police giving warning about specific gangs or simply warning about scary black men.

    Also, I think you’ve believed uncritically the left talking points vis. anti-abortion violence. Would you be surprised to learn that the last murder by an anti-abortion extremist was over ten years ago (1998)? Wikipedia, not exactly a rightwing mouthpiece, only cites seven such murders, all performed by lone actors without organized financial backing or support. The National Abortion Federation (NAF), a pro-choice group, has published statistics showing only 17 attempted murders since 1977, again without an organized backing. Any violence of this nature is unquestionably wrong, but it is not organized, systemic or widespread. These are isolated legal issues, not categorical indictments against those with a certain political opinion to be used for profiling by DHS. One might as well be suspect of Jodie Foster fans because of John Hinkley.

  18. Honestly, folks, I am baffled as to why keeping an eye on organizations that have committed violent acts is a controversial idea.

    It’s not. It’s also not what this post is about.

  19. I see this as just a little bit more sedition on the part of the Obama administration (and Nancy’s army of flying monkeys in the Congress). First, it was stirring up the wealth-envy crowd to go ahead and lynch executives receiving big bonuses. Today, it’s an attempt to increase the paranoia level among everyone NOT among the looney left or Civil Ministry of Propaganda (the legacy media) – hoping to spark the law-abiding into forming organized groups (from tea parties to the US Code’s ‘unorganized militia’) that can later be supressed.

    Obambi may get his revolution; it just won’t be the one he’s looking for.

    The US military takes their oath to “preserve,protect, and defend’ the Constitution a LOT more seriously than Obama takes his – but how do you impeach a Marxist, seditious president when the majority of the House is equally complicit in the Quick March to Fascism?

    ANS: A military coup, vacating the presidency and dissolving the Congress – that schedules new Executive and Legislative elections within a month – while the seditionists await trial.

    If the leftist buffoon that wrote that DHS political propaganda report declassified and leaked it to smoke out the half of the US population that still believes in the 10th Amendment, he or she may get more than they were looking for.

  20. Surely, if his career, background, and pronuciamentoes demonstrate anything, it’s that no president in history is more dedicated to liberty than Barack Hussein Obama. So what are all of us pro-freedom types getting so paranoid about?

  21. The idea that the American right wants decentralized government is of extremely recent vintage. It’s basically a reaction to the Civil Rights movement, when the Federal government stepped in to stop Jim Crow. It’s also seen a few violent actors, from the KKK to Stormfront.

    Why resort to looking up facts when you can just say stuff? In case you retain some susceptibility to logic, I will point out two things. First, this is a straw man argument. The American right never could be characterized as the above. Sure there were and still are some racist elements on the right. But you can say the same about the left. Other common themes include an emphasis on religion and national defense, advocating unrestrained enterprise, reducing central government power (it goes back at least to FDR, which means it’s not of “very recent vintage”), and a general resistance to liberal ideology.

    Second, your observation is an ad hominem attack. Even if the American right did start as a reaction to civil rights doesn’t mean that Rand’s claim (that the American right as a whole wants decentralized government) is incorrect or inappropriate. Even alleged racists can be right (in more ways than one). Even alleged racists can change, assuming that change is warranted.

    In case the above isn’t getting through, it’s not about the DHS monitoring groups with demonstrated threat, but an author who, deliberately or not, presents a considerable portion of the US population as potential terrorists. Sure we probably should monitor the “militia” group that allegedly had planned to conduct some sort of violent activities against the Obama campaign (assuming the allegations have merit).

    But should we monitor everyone who happens to be racist? Should we monitor everyone who happens to want a smaller government? Should we monitor everyone who has a deviant belief system from whatever ideology happens to be in charge in the Whitehouse? We can always find one or two of the target population who commited violent crimes. That’s enough pretext, right?

    My take is that no, we should not target groups based solely on ideology, unless that ideology is expressly violent (eg, advocates committing violent acts in order to start a racial war, advocates violent jihad against those with different beliefs, advocates the destruction of a country). To do otherwise is to commit an act of tyranny.

    The problem with this report is that it paints the American right as some sort of breeding ground for terrorism. The author, when he bothers to define terms, does so in an overly broad way. Every allegation is vague and no group is ever mentioned. The term “militia” is used without defining it. Note that every group of people mentioned in the paper is a “militia”. We have no idea of the scope of this problem except that this author is painting it as some sort of threat.

    In summary, I imagine you will remain “baffled” as to why most of us don’t agree with you. It appears to me though that a key part of the problem is your inability to think rationally.

  22. Amazing – Republicans are outraged when the DHS, a monster of their own creation, turns against them. Well, by most accounts Caesar was a good emperor.

    What does this have to do with Republicans? You’re making a major category error here. The people who are outraged (because they’re being slandered) are veterans, and people who believe in smaller government. I sure as hell didn’t support a Department of Homeland Security.

  23. Here. Here. Mr. Simberg.

    I didn’t support increases in the size or scope of the American bureaucracy either. And I didn’t do so precisely because I believed the types of things evidenced by this “report” would inevitably follow.

    Now I guess I’m an extremist because I don’t trust people to unfettered power.

  24. Amazing – Republicans are outraged when the DHS, a monster of their own creation, turns against them.

    I too am amazed. This is the first time in the history of the world, nay, in the history of the universe that a decision made by a Republican administration has had unintended consequences. We should turn it into a holiday or something.

    I eagerly await the next such situation. This might be the start of a shining, new era, if they can figure out how to consistently screw up.

  25. Enhanced by the, opting for the?On the softened, architectural details *.With ease Then, whilst others may.Gaming website In Taoist Training Blog, defining sound of This fee is.On their contractual, G- countries -.,

Comments are closed.