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'Extremism' report based on Web chat
Posted By Bob Unruh On 08/12/2009 @ 7:57 pm In Front Page | Comments Disabled
At least two groups are demanding Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano quit after a report revealed the agency’s recent report on “rightwing extremists” was based on sources no more or less secure than Internet chat.
The DHS report was “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment.” WND has posted the report online for readers to see.
The report, which suggested returning veterans were prone to commit acts of terrorism, created such a furor for Napolitano she has given several explanations for it, including that she would have reworded the report and that it was issued by a rogue employee.
She later apologized to veterans for having linked them to terror.
But critics noted that the report also targeted as “potential terrorists” Americans who:
A new report from Americans for Limited Government now has revealed that according to documents released under the Freedom of Information Act, the DHS report was based on sources including “a frighteningly kooky website” that included a report about a scientist destroying a radio to God.
One of the DHS sources was “whatdoesitmean.com,” the report said.
“And what is the thrust of whatdoesitmean.com – this site the Obama administration considers a reliable source for intelligence gathering against the American people?” the ALG wondered. “Whatdoesitmean.com contends that the government of the United States has been in direct contact with extra-terrestrial aliens through sophisticated radio waves. Its masthead contains unicorns, Tarot cards, secret numbers, and hieroglyphics.
“Based upon these and other similar observations on whatdoesitmean.com (as well as in the intensely frenetic Huffingtonpost.com and the far left Southern Poverty Law Center), the Department of Homeland Security condemned millions of patriotic Americans, including veterans, to intense, daily surveillance by law enforcement officials nationwide,” the ALG report said.
“Janet Napolitano’s DHS did not conduct even the most rudimentary research or investigation,” the ALG said. “It did no statistical analysis. It did not even bother to interview those it accused and allow them the opportunity to defend themselves.
“DHS functionaries simply cruised the Internet (in tin-foil hats, no doubt) and relied entirely upon some of the most disreputable sites on the web to stage its attack upon its ‘rightwing’ targets,” the report said.
ALG President Bill Wilson now has demanded that Napolitano resign her post for using what called “crackpot” sources for a federal threat assessment report to law enforcement agencies nationwide in April.
“Janet Napolitano must resign immediately from her post at Homeland Security over this outrage,” said Wilson.
“The Department of Homeland Security used a kook website to indict the American people in drafting the ‘rightwing extremism’ memo. Its use in intelligence gathering was deplorable and highly dubious, not mention insulting to the tens of millions of Americans who were targeted by the memo,” he said.
“Under Napolitano’s watch, government officials who were supposed to be gathering real intelligence on domestic terror threats were instead surfing the web and reading wacky websites, all to create the public perception of ‘rightwing extremism,’” Wilson said.
The report, Wilson charged, was created “without any intelligence sources, crime data, or actual evidence of planned attacks or any groups known to be planning attacks, or any groups with histories of perpetrating attacks that are currently conducting any types of operational recruitment, meeting, or planning.”
Joining Wilson in the call for Napolitano’s departure was Americans for Legal Immigration PAC.
“Labeling tens of millions of Americans who are veterans, or concerned about taxes, gun rights, or illegal immigration as potential domestic terrorists is inexcusable,” said William Gheen of ALIPAC. “To use anecdotal information found online and provided by discredited leftist groups like the SPLC [Southern Poverty Law Center] and ADL [Anti-Defamation League] to criminalize popular political positions in American cannot be tolerated in a free society.
“Janet Napolitano must resign or be fired by Obama. If not, then all Americans can safely assume that President Barack Obama supports these highly unpopular and offensive policies coming from the Department of Homeland Security,” he said.
The ALIPAC statement said concerns over government efforts to target Americans with conservative values was “elevated” recently by a run of National Guard recruitment ads for “Internment/Resettlement” specialists.
“People who are concerned about illegal immigration and our government’s complete failure to secure our borders and enforce our existing immigration laws during a time of war represents the popular view on these issues, and not some kind of domestic terrorist threat,” said Gheen. “We call for Napolitano’s resignation or termination and ask that all federal officials take immediate actions to dispel public concerns about rampant taxation, gun rights, and open borders plans.”
None of the sources among 217 pages of documentation obtained under FOIA was from a government organization or department, Wilson confirmed.
Shortly after the “extremism” report was released, WND reported that the Department of Defense was describing protesters as “low-level terrorists.”
The Thomas More Law Center earlier filed a lawsuit against Napolitano and the DHS on behalf of nationally syndicated conservative radio talk show host Michael Savage, Gregg Cunningham of the pro-life organization Center for Bio-Ethical Reform Inc. and Iraqi War Marine veteran Kevin Murray.
The lawsuit alleges the federal agency violated the First and Fifth Amendment constitutional rights of the three plaintiffs by targeting them for disfavored treatment and chilling their free speech, expressive association and equal protection rights. The lawsuit further claims DHS encouraged 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.
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