More political persecution

The last time we had a document alleging a terrorist threat from liberty-minded individuals, it was the state of Missouri.  This time, the federal government (Department of Homeland Security) is the one aggressively using the terrorism label

The document has been confirmed as real.

Some quotes:
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.
So disagreeing with the elected president's policies is evidence of "rightwing extremism"? 

Reason magazine has the libertarian take.  They quote the following passage:
The Department of Homeland Security is warning law enforcement officials about a rise in "rightwing extremist activity," saying the economic recession, the election of America's first black president and the return of a few disgruntled war veterans could swell the ranks of white-power militias. A footnote attached to the report by the Homeland Security Office of Intelligence and Analysis defines "rightwing extremism in the United States" as including not just racist or hate groups, but also groups that reject federal authority in favor of state or local authority.
So racist hate groups are automatically right-wing, and favoring local or state government over Federal government is sufficient to attract law enforcement attention? 

For that matter, are returning military veterans somehow suspect if they begin engaging in political activity after leaving the service?  The American Legion responds to that smear by demanding an apology.

Ed Morrisey also has some quotes from the report, including the key fact that they have no evidence of anything they are warning us about:
The DHS/Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A) has no specific information that domestic right wing terrorists are currently planning acts of violence, but right wing extremists may be gaining new recruits by playing on their fears about several emergent issues.
When you get right down to it, this isn't about terrorism at all; it's about an agency that perceives itself to be a likely target for Obama's budget axe trying desperately to make itself appear useful to the new leader.  They have decided to do this by publishing propaganda about Obama's political enemies, and using the authority of our national security infrastructure to unjustly smear everyone who believes in liberty with racist, anti-semitic associations.  Never mind that there is no such association.

Unfortunately Obama is exactly the sort of politician who is likely to seize that power with both hands and hang on as tightly as he can.

UPDATE: More from Michelle Malkin.  The Southern Poverty Law Center was involved in the Missouri report too.  Money quote:

If you can redefine dissenting opinion as "hate," you can brand your political opponents as "extremists" and you can marginalize electoral threats. "Antigovernment"? "Pro-enforcement"? "Disgruntled"? Feeling taxed enough already and "recruiting" and "radicalizing" your friends and neighbors through "chatter on the Internet"?

We are all rightwing extremists now. Welcome to the club.

This entry was published Wed Apr 15 03:38:46 CDT 2009 by TriggerFinger and last updated 2009-04-15 03:38:46.0. [Tweet]

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