American History X

One of our big complaints with media (right-wing and left-wing….although moreso right) is that they take things out of context to suit their own needs.  The big story in the right wing media (aside from their growing excitement about teabagging tomorrow) is a Homeland Security report on “Right Wing Extremism” that was made public today.  The always amusing Michelle Malkin has summarized the report by saying, “the piece of crap report issued on April 7 is a sweeping indictment of conservatives. And the intent is clear.”  In typical Journalism 101 fashion, she never says what the intent is and allows your imagination to run wild because there’s no intent detailed in the report.

In fairness, here’s the report and here’s Malkin’s article.  (UPDATE: Ms. Malkin has changed the link on her article a few times since we first posted this.  We are hardly self-important enough to think it’s because of us, but it’s fun to watch her run and hide from liberal bloggers.  On the off chance that we lose the trail again, just go to michellemalkin.com)  We haven’t had the best luck with people actually reading through the links we recommend.  This time…really….don’t just trust us….read it.

The report itself is prety boring.  It’s conclusions are:

1) “The DHS has no specific information that domestic rightwing terrorists are currently planning acts of violence, but (they) may be gaining new recruits by playing on their fears about several emergent issues.”  Those issues are the economic downturn and the election of our first African American President.

2) “The current economic and political climate has some similarities to the 1990’s when right wing extremism experienced a resurgance…”

3) “The possible passage of new restrictions on firearms and the return of military veterans facing significant challenges reintegrating into their communities could lead to the potential emmergence of terrorists groups…”

Are you scared and outraged yet?  Ready for the part where it’s made clear that right wingers are on the verge of starting a violent revolution?  Keep waiting because that’s the extent of the findings.  The remainder of the report justifies these findings with specific examples of events of the past eight years.  The worsening economy, disgruntled veterans, illegal immigration and all the other things that have developed….during the Bush administration may have the effect of making people in the right wing….unhappy.  You can even agree with Malkins’ faulty premise that this is an attack on all conservatives!  The report concludes that there’s no indication that there will be any violent actions, no indication that action needs to be taken to “put down the unrest”.  It says, in very specific language that ultra-radical conservative groups are not happy and that more people may join their ranks.  Super.  Good luck at the next election.  How’d that hate-based, self-persecuted agenda work for you in the last election?  Frankly, I hope you stick with it.  I was worried that someone might get a clue and recognize that Americans are looking for “positive change”.  I think there might have been a couple of exit polls on this…oh wait, it was called the 2008 Presidential Election.  You should check it out…

What Ms. Malkin fails to mention, but we assume you know, is that reports like this take a little time to put together.  This is the Federal Government, ya know.  So….the report was commisioned in July of 2008 by….(drumroll), George Bush’s Department of Homeland Security.  In case you’ve linked here from Malkins website (yes, we seeded her site to draw you here.  Radical, eh?), I’ll say that slowly and clearly:  Right wing conservatives in the George Bush administration though it might be a good idea to check in on the neo-conservative elements in our country.  And you thought he only illegally wire-tapped Arabs?!  Disappointed?  I betcha….

But the fun part comes when you read Malkin’s article.  Here’s the good parts:

1) “One of the spokespeople said he was told that the report has been in the works for a year. My b.s. detector went off the chart, and yours will, too”

Why?  There’s nothing in the article that refutes that this was a report commissioned by a concerned Republican administration.

Malkin then quotes sections of the report without explaining why (did she even work on her high school newspaper?!), so we’ll do the explaining for her.

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.”

We’re talking about extremists, not Rush Limbaugh and the premise that hate oriented groups have a tendency to be ultra-conservative shouldn’t be too shocking, should it?  Nor should the premise that hate orientated groups tend to focus on religious, ethnic or racial issues seem like a big jump in logic (is there a Hershey Bar hate group?  That, I would join.  Such an overrated candybar.  Give me a Heath Bar, anyday).

2) “(U//FOUO) Over the past five years, various rightwing extremists, including militias and white supremacists, 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, anti-immigration or strident pro-enforcement fervor has been directed against specific groups and has the potential to turn violent.”

Again, Republicans fearing immigration….pretty well documented.  Didn’t GW want to build a fence across the Mexican border?

3) “(U//FOUO) DHS/I&A assesses 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. 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.”

Again, we’re talking about right wing extremists, not your typical tea-bagging Republican.  Neo-conservative hate groups with ex-military folks is a concept that dates back at least to the Vietnam war.  By the way, Malkin actually comments on this one and labels it “anti-military bigotry”.  Isn’t actually arguing that we need to take care of the people exiting the military before they become disgruntled?  Wouldn’t that be the opposite of bigotry?  I would define anti-military bigotry as perhaps not having adequate hospital facilities for veterans, which was a Bush problem, but I digress.

4) “I asked both DHS spokespeople to tell me who, specifically, the report was accusing of “rightwing extremist chatter” and which “antigovernment” groups are being monitored as “extremists.” They say they’ll get back to me.”

Obviously, she’s feeling a little self-conscious.  I’m sure she’d love to find something that says they’re talking about Fox News, but they’re not.  I suspect her reading comprehension is comparable to her writing skill.  She sees “rightwing” and “chatter” and skips right over extremists.

In the end, she wants you to take particular notice of this line in the report:

“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’m confused.  Dick Cheney says Obama is soft on terrorism, but when a report comes out suggesting that we keep an eye out for domestic terrorists, he’s being…..ucky.

She then wraps up her article by saying she’s a right wing extremist and is guilty of extremist chatter.  If, in fact she has posted racist, biggoted, or terrorist-based comments, then I’d like her to prove it and post it on her site.  Then we won’t have to read her incompetent writings anymore.  However, if she is writing conservative, pro-Republican calls to buy bags of tea, put them in an envelope and mail them to the White House to protest taxing the top 10% in the country.  Welcome to America.  Land of free speech.  Clearly you’re allowed to say whatever you want.  Unfortunately, what you write is contributing to….The Dumbing of America.

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~ by toddc2001 on April 14, 2009.

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