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Savage sues Napolitano for targeting vets
Posted By Bob Unruh On 04/17/2009 @ 12:00 am In Front Page | Comments Disabled
“It is a civil rights action brought under the First and Fifth Amendments to the United States Constitution, challenging the policy, practice, and custom of the United States Government that targets for disfavored treatment those individuals and groups that are considered to be ‘rightwing extremists,’” the complaint announced today said.
The federal agency recently targeted those individuals in its report called “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment.”
According to the federal government, members of the suspect group of people include those who:
The case seeks a declaration that the DHS policy violates the First and Fifth Amendments, a court order permanently enjoining the policy and its application to the plaintiffs’ speech and other activities, and the award of reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs.
WND had reported earlier on the report and the reaction it has drawn, including just a day ago when the Law Center said it had submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to the DHS, demanding to know why it calls Americans who oppose abortion, support the 2nd Amendment and dislike lax immigration “extremists.”
“This is not an intelligence report but a diatribe against those who oppose the policies of the Obama administration,” Richard Thompson, president and chief counsel for the organization, said of the request.
“It is a declaration of war against the American people and our constitution. It is a prelude to extreme gun control legislation and hate speech laws targeting Christian churches and others who oppose abortion and same sex marriage,” he continued. “The federal government should be focusing its attention on the 35 radical Muslim compounds in the U.S. training its followers on how to kidnap and kill Americans.”
Amy Kudwa, a spokeswoman for the DHS, said the agency as a matter of policy doesn’t comment on pending litigation.
The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan on behalf of Savage, Gregg Cunningham of the pro-life Center for Bio-Ethical Reform and Iraqi War Marine veteran Kevin Murray.
The federal agency’s action “encourages law enforcement officers throughout the nation to target and report citizens to federal officials as suspicious rightwing extremists and potential terrorists because of their political beliefs.”
“The report even admits that the department has no specific information on any plans of violence by so-called ‘rightwing extremists.’ Rather, what they do have is the expression of political opinions by certain individuals and organizations that oppose the Obama administration’s policies, and this expression is protected speech under the First Amendment,” Thompson said.
“Janet Napolitano is lying to the American people when she says the report is not based on ideology or political beliefs. In fact, her report would have the admiration of any current or past dictator in the way it targets political opponents,” he said.
The action alleges the policy “is a tool of intimidation for federal, state, and local government officials. It provides a basis for government officials to abuse their positions of power to stifle political opinion and opposition.”
“Pursuant to the ‘Rightwing Extremism Policy,’ federal officias will work with state, local, tribal, and private sector entities to conduct surveillance and to gather information in order to deter the activities of those individuals and groups considered to be ‘rightwing extremists,’” the case said.
The agency’s intention is to enforce the policy through “state and local fusion centers, which are local intelligence centers created by DHS to combat ‘terrorism’ and related activities that are deemed to be ‘criminal,’” the case said.
Napolitano, on a Fox News appearance today, backtracked a little, saying, “To the extent veterans read it as an accusation … an apology is owed.”
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