Remember That DHS Report?

Ken AshfordCrime, Right Wing Punditry/Idiocy, War on Terrorism/Torture, Women's IssuesLeave a Comment

Michelle Malkin apparently doesn't think the killer of Dr. Tiller is a "terrorist".  He's an "extremist".  She adds:

Interesting how the t-word has been rediscovered.

She has the memory of a moth.  It was only back in April when the Department of Homeland Security issued a report equating right-wing extremism as a possible breeding ground for terrorist acts.  The right wing reacted to the report with manufactured outrage, and even called for the resignation of DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano.  Michelle was on the forefront of the outrage.  Here's what she wrote:

DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano has turned her attention away from acts of Islamic jihad on American soil (which she now refers to as “man-caused disasters”). Instead, her department is sounding the alarm over an un-quantified “resurgence” in “rightwing extremism activity.” On April 7, DHS sent a nine-page warning memo to law enforcement offices across the country titled “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment.”

The report includes a sweeping definition of the threat:

“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.”

Hmmmm.  In retrospect, it certainly appears like the DHS was on to something….

Michelle went on:

The report offers zero data, but states with an almost resentful attitude toward protected free speech: “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, anti-immigration or strident pro-enforcement fervor has been directed against specific groups and has the potential to turn violent.”

The same, naturally, goes for anti-abortion fervor.

“Potential to turn violent?” So did the hysterical fervor whipped up by Capitol Hill over the AIG bonuses, which prompted ugly death threats from across the country. No mention here, though. Not “rightwing” enough. Nor will you see Obama DHS warnings to police and sheriff’s departments about self-proclaimed bank terrorists such as Bruce Marks of the aggressive Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America or the mob activists of ACORN who have committed burglary, stormed corporate executives’ homes, and vowed to conduct “civil disobedience” by “any means necessary” in response to the “current economic and political climate.”

Michelle, I think your attempts at obfuscation failed.  Epic fail.  The left wing — even the fringe — typically does not react to political frustration with acts of violence.  There's no evidence of that (not, at least, since the 60's). 

But just in case you really believed all the garbage you wrote, Michelle, I hope you found yesterday's events educational (although, this isn't the first time something like this has happened).

[UPDATE: The New York Times is reporting that Tiller's killer subscribed to a newsletter called "Prayer and Action News", which advocates justifiable homicide for abortion doctors]

Mark Kleiman reminds us of the DHS report's relevance.

Remember how Republicans in Congress were all in a dither about the DHS report on right-wing extremist organizations as potential terrorist threats? The Tiller gunman was affiliated with at least two of those organizations. In addition to his connection with Operation Rescue, he was a tax protester, a "sovereign citizen," and a member of the Freemen. Maybe someone should ask Rep. Peter King of New York (ranking Republican on the House Homeland Security Committee) and John Hinderaker of PowerLine whether they still consider the threat of right-wing terrorism to be mere Obama Administration fantasy. (That's beside the fact that the report was ordered up during the Bush Administration.)

Greg Sargent added this morning, "[T]he general intent of the report, which was chock full of warnings about 'lone wolf extremists' capable of violence, now looks perfectly defensible, even reasonable."

Steve Benen:

This really should have been apparent to the administration's detractors in the midst of the "controversy." There are some Americans on the fringes of society who are both radical and potentially dangerous. It only makes sense for the Department of Homeland Security to be cognizant of these threats, and communicate with state and local law enforcement agencies about the possibility of violence.

Yesterday was a painful reminder of this.

Will Malkin connect the dots between the DHS report and Scott Roeder (the murderer)?  Don't hold your breath.

But violent right wing extremists are out there.  Llike the Tiller killer, another member of the "sovereign citizen" movement was arrested yesterday, in a little-publicized story:

Federal authorities in Seattle have filed gun and drug charges against an alleged member of a secessionist movement after agents seized a weapons cache that included four silencers, body armor and a fully automatic rifle.

Filings in the case, currently before the U.S. District Court in Seattle, offer glimpses into the "sovereign citizen" movement and, prosecutors contend, militia groups loosely affiliated with it.

But Malkin and others on the right didn't get it.  Here's the Christian Broadcast Network's David Brody, April 15, 2009:

Abortion Groups Labeled as Right Wing Extremists by Department of Homeland Security

Watch out! The pro-life right wing nuts are on the loose! Be very careful….They could be lurking around any corner!


Hey, that’s basically the message coming from the Department of Homeland Security. In a new report, here’s how DHS defines right wing extremism in America:

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 anti-government, 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.

Read the DHS report here.

The American Center for Law and Justice is outraged to say the least. Read a statement below from the group:

This is an outrageous characterization that raises serious questions about the leadership and direction of the agency charged with protecting Americans in the ongoing battle against terrorism,” said Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the ACLJ.  “Why would the Department of Homeland Security single out groups like pro-life supporters when they should be focusing on identifying and apprehending the real terrorists – like al-Qaeda – groups that have vowed to destroy America? This characterization is not only offensive to millions of Americans who hold constitutionally-protected views opposing abortion – but also raises serious concerns about the political agenda of an agency with a mandate to protect America.”

Now let me just say there are plenty of “nuts” out there to be sure…on both sides. It’s not JUST on the right. Racism of any kind is just plain wrong and hatred with accompanying violence is unacceptable. But to invoke “abortion” into the language of the document can definitely come across as a disservice to all the law abiding pro-life groups out there. Abortion clinic violence is wrong. Don’t get my wrong but why not be more specific about that rather than generically lump it all together under the abortion umbrella?

P.S.  By the way, it is "terrorism".  Terrorism is defined as politically-motivated violence, against a law-abiding American on American soil, intended to scare, intimidate, and change U.S. policy.  Certainly one of the tacit sub-motives of Tiller's killing was not only to stop Tiller, but to discourage others from doing the kind of late-term abortion work (rare as it is) that Tiller did.

Finally, returning to Malkin's post today, she writes:

Unfortunately, some are not content to leave it at that for now. They fail to respect that there is a proper time and place to indulge in political battle.

You can go here, here, and here for all that. Another round-up here.

Tiller’s family is grieving. Those who have jumped to score political points before Tiller is even buried are no better than the Phelps family thugs of the “Westboro Baptist Church” who respect no bounds of civility.

Unfortunately, it’s too much to ask the cable news networks and hyper-partisan snipers on the Internet to have the decency to restrain themselves.

Prepare for a wall-to-wall onslaught of gleeful finger-pointing on the Left and heated responses on the Right.

Prepare for whitewashed hagiographies of Tiller’s career as an abortionist.

Prepare for DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano’s defenders to gloat about vindication.

Prepare for collective demonization of pro-lifers and Christians — and more gratuitous attempts to tar talk radio, Fox News, and the Tea Party movement as responsible for the heinous crime.

Prepare for the continuing redefinition of any and all sharp political disagreement as “hate” — a ruinous trend that inevitably comes back to haunt the hysterical accusers decrying “hate” the loudest.

How unhinged has the discourse gotten already? Here’s the left-wing Daily Kos going after the left-wing John Aravosis for going after Barack Obama because he didn’t go after “right-wing extremism” hard enough.

Cognitive dissonance much. Michelle?  I'm surprised the part of your brain that calls for no political sniping doesn't throttle the other part of your brain that can't help but engage in political sniping.

Sadly, No responds to Malkin's time-and-a-place-for-thee-but-not-for-me:

We concur. This is not the time for partisan sniping and name-calling. Also, Michelle Malkin is a manipulative sack of shit.