Are you worried about the terrorist next door?


Both personally and professionally speaking, I try to stay level-headed and unemotional in matters of national politics – particularly when policy advisors are concerned. I long ago decided that national policy advisors hold jobs for which I am not remotely qualified. Although it occasionally appears the folks holding those jobs are equally unqualified, in most cases, I am

willing to accept that the President’s advisors know more than I do, and are therefore more likely to be on the right track.

Unfortunately, it seems that Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and her lackeys are not only not on the right track, but they took the wrong train out of an altogether different depot, and are headed in the opposite direction of their destination.

I suspect most people have heard, in some form or fashion, about the Homeland Security report released on April 7 discussing the domestic terrorism threat posed by “rightwing extremists.” On its surface, the report might not be a bad thing. After all, we need to be as aware of threats inside our borders as those outside – no one wants to see another Unabomber, or – God forbid – another Oklahoma City.

That said, as I went about the business of reading the report, certain things struck me as more than a little disturbing.

First and foremost, I find it hard to believe that any law enforcement agency is being given the go-ahead to assess a situation based on such vague information. In nearly every description contained in the report, Homeland Security cited easy-to-pin-down concepts such as:

“A prominent civil rights organization reported in 2006 that ‘large numbers of potentially violent neo-Nazis, skinheads and other white supremacists are now learning the art of warfare in the [U.S.] armed forces’…” The report does not explain which organization made this determination, nor does it quantify a “large number.”

“After Operation Desert Sheild/Storm in 1990-1991, some returning military veterans – including Timothy McVeigh – joined or associated with rightwing extremist groups.” How many is some? Five? Seven? Or 109?

“Rightwing extremism… may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration.”

In my experience with humankind, I don’t recall ever having met ANYONE dedicated to a “single issue” agenda. These issues, as well as myriad others, are planks of a larger platform – be that platform religious, moral or political.

One of the most disturbing things about the report is the fact it cites NO examples of “rightwing domestic terrorism” prior to the 1990s. The entire report, in fact, is a comparative analysis of present-day America versus Clinton-era America. While I understand that Secretary Napolitano was involved in a portion of the McVeigh investigation – primarily his activities in Arizona prior to the bombing – I think that her worldview, and by extension the worldview of those working under her, may be shaped by that experience alone. It almost seems as though Homeland Security perceives a threat in anyone that shares a thread of common belief with McVeigh, no matter how pervasive that common thread might be.

Pro-lifers are apparently prime targets to be recruited by extremist groups. So are people who are against illegal immigration. Oh, and veterans, too, along with people who support gun rights and states’ rights. I think that describes my whole neighborhood, and nearly everyone I have ever met.

Either Secretary Napolitano and her underlings have a far more politicized and myopic viewpoint than I’ve given them credit for, or I have a sleeper cell living right next door.

I’m glad someone told me before I was recruited into their “right wing extremist” way of thinking.


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