Homeland Security Again Labels Limited Government Activists “Extremists”

PJ Media reports that on November 10, 2011 an “Unclassified/For Official Use Only (FOUO)” email, from the Department of Homeland Security, was distributed en masse to federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.  The significance of this email  is that its focus was on citizens who are troubled by the overreach of government, particularly in regard to the Second Amendment.

DHS’s definition of  “militia extremists” follows below:

“ (U//FOUO) Groups or individuals who facilitate or engage in acts of violence directed at federal, state, or local government officials or infrastructure in response to their belief that the government deliberately is stripping Americans of their freedoms and is attempting to establish a totalitarian regime. These individuals consequently oppose many federal and state authorities’ laws and regulations, (particularly those related to firearms ownership), and often belong to armed paramilitary groups. They often conduct paramilitary training designed to violently resist perceived government oppression or to violently overthrow the US Government.”

PJ Media’s analysis of the significance of this communication:

“So what drives militia extremism according to DHS now is “belief that the government deliberately is stripping Americans of their freedoms.” It is demonstrated by opposing “many federal and state authorities’ laws and regulations, (particularly those related to firearms ownership).” Would writing about those topics (as I am now) fall under “facilitation”? On its face, it’s hard to see how it could be excluded under DHS’s broad definition.

Another indicator, according to DHS, is that militia extremists “often belong to paramilitary groups,” which would mean that there are “militia extremists” who aren’t part of a militia. So if you oppose federal regulations and support the Second Amendment to the Constitution, and though you don’t actually belong to a militia, you can still be branded a “militia extremist” by your own government, and presumably be targeted by law enforcement agencies.”

The recipients of this email were prompted by the FBI and DNS to report citizens who fit the aforementioned description to their nearest State and Major Urban Area Fusion Center as well as to the local FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force.

Another disturbing element is that, according to PJ Media,  Domestic Terrorism and Homegrown Extremism Lexicon “specifically targets groups based on race, namely “black supremacist extremists” and “white supremacist extremists.”’

Back in 2009, Michelle Malkin reported on the DHS publication, Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment.  Regarding “rightwing extremism” the report states, on page 2:

“Rightwing 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 religious, racial or ethnic groups), and those that are mainly antigovernment, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority, or rejecting government authority entirely. It may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration.”

And, from page 3:

“(U//LES) Rightwing extremists are harnessing this historical election as a recruitment tool. Many rightwing extremists are antagonistic toward the new presidential administration and its perceived stance on a range of issues, including immigration and citizenship, the expansion of social programs to minorities, and restrictions on firearms ownership and use. Rightwing extremists are increasingly galvanized by these concerns and leverage them as drivers for recruitment. From the 2008 election timeframe to the present, rightwing 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 Economic Downturn

“(U//FOUO) Rightwing extremist chatter on the Internet continues to focus on the economy, the perceived loss of U.S. jobs in the manufacturing and construction sectors, and home foreclosures. Anti-Semitic extremists attribute these losses to a deliberate conspiracy conducted by a cabal of Jewish “financial elites.” These “accusatory” tactics are employed to draw new recruits into rightwing extremist groups and further radicalize those already subscribing to extremist beliefs. DHS/I&A assesses this trend is likely to accelerate if the economy is perceived to worsen.”

Veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan were also targeted in the report, describing them as being vulnerable for recruitment into terrorist groups.  Speaker John Boehner’s response was:

“To characterize men and women returning home after defending our country as potential terrorists is offensive and unacceptable.  The Department of Homeland Security owes our veterans an apology. 

Furthermore, the Secretary of Homeland Security owes the American people an explanation for why she has abandoned using the term ‘terrorist’ to describe those, such as al Qaeda, who are plotting overseas to kill innocent Americans, while her own Department is using the same term to describe American citizens who disagree with the direction Washington Democrats are taking our nation.  Everyone agrees that the Department should be focused on protecting America, but using such broad-based generalizations about the American people is simply outrageous.”

Secretary, Janet Napolitano’s explanation, in response to the uproar over the report was to say: “This was an assessment, not an accusation. It was limited to extremists those who seek to commit violence within the United States. And all this was meant to do was to give law enforcement what we call ‘situational awareness.'”  

The DHS and the FBI are not alone in their suspicions of the intentions of those who describe themselves as “patriots.”  The Southern Law Poverty Center’s (SLPC) list of hate groups includes the Family Research Council and Oath Keepers and Pamela Geller is accused, by SLPC, of spewing hate speech.

Meanwhile, according to Judicial Watch, in a recent report from Homeland Security, actual terrorism is designated the same category as that of “ordinary crime” occurring in urban areas.  The radical Islamic component is, of course, omitted.

Judicial Watch also reminds us of what was reported by several media outlets back in 2010 – that  Secretary Napolitano held clandestine meetings with radical Muslims including Hezbollah supporter Imad Hamad and Salam Al-Marayati, the founder of the Muslim Public Affairs Council.

It’s a matter of public record as to which groups are responsible for the majority of acts of terrorism and those groups should be the Department of Homeland Security’s primary targets.

Candice Lanier