A private activist organization apparently is picking up where the federal government left off when the Department of Homeland Security issued its “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment” warning that returning veterans and people in a long list of other categories were potential terrorists.
Only the new warning, delivered recently to police officers, sheriffs and other law enforcement personnel across the country, is lumping those dedicated to the constitutional principles on which the nation was founded together with crazed killers.
The fall 2009 “Intelligence Report” was issued recently by the Southern Poverty Law Center, where officials confirmed to WND it was published specifically for and delivered to law enforcement personnel across the nation. The SPLC did not respond to a WND request for other comment
But the article groups members of various organizations such as Oathkeepers – whose mainly military and law enforcement members pledge to uphold their constitutional duties, including the duty to question and refuse what appear to be illegitimate orders – with a man “said to be interested in joining a militia” who is accused of killing two deputies in Florida.
“The situation has many authorities worried,” the report to police officers says. “Militiamen, white supremacists, anti-Semites, nativists, tax protesters and a range of other activists of the radical right are cross-pollinating and may even be coalescing.”
Garbage, says a supporter of the individual rights of gun ownership contained in the Second Amendment.
Mike Vanderboegh is with the Sipsey Street Irregulars, who describe themselves as among the 3 percent as in: “During the American revolution, the active forces in the field against the King’s tyranny never amounted to more than 3 percent of the colonists.”
The SPLC “are conflation experts,” he told WND. “They have a pot and they throw everyone in it in an attempt to tar the rest of us with the racists and terrorists they throw in there.”
He said the largest number of active members of various “militias” are constitutionalists, libertarians and conservatives who simply fear the government’s swift advances toward federal ownership of banks and auto companies, intervention in personal rights such as health care and obstruction of constitutional provisions with gun regulations.
Only the minority are focused on conspiracy theories and the like, he said.
He said, for example, he was at the Oathkeepers April ceremony in Lexington, and the members with no significant exceptions were highly decorated and long-term serving military members and police. The group’s principles include statements they will uphold their oath to support the Constitution.
“What I saw there was quintessentially America,” he said.
The warning from the SPLC echoes the alarmism from the earlier federal report. WND has posted the report online.
It warned of potential terrorism threats from those who:
- Oppose abortion
- Are returning veterans
- Oppose same-sex marriage
- Oppose restrictions on firearms
- Oppose lax immigration laws
- Oppose the policies of President Obama regarding immigration, citizenship, and the expansion of social programs
- Oppose continuation of free trade agreements
- Are suspect of foreign regimes
- Fear Communist regimes
- Oppose a “one world” government
- Bemoan the decline of U.S. stature in the world
- Are upset with loss of U.S. manufacturing jobs to China and India, and more
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano later apologized to veterans for including them in the list but not to other groups of people, not even when WND also reported later that the “extremism” report was confirmed to have been based on Internet “chatter.”
Under the headline “Going Feral,” the SPLC warning to police quotes personalities such as Fox News host Glenn Beck, U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann and actor Chuck Norris.
“It’s like Thomas Jefferson said, a revolution every now and then is a good thing. We are at the point … of revolution. And by that, what I mean [is] an orderly revolution, where the people of this country wake up and get up and make a decision that this is not going to happen on their watch,” the warning quoted Bachmann, R-Minn., saying.
Norris, in a WND column in March, wrote, “How much more will Americans take? When will enough be enough? And, when that time comes, will our leaders finally listen or will history need to record a second American Revolution?”
Beck’s “threat” was, “If this country starts to spiral out of control and, you know, and Mexico melts down or whatever, if it really starts to spiral out of control … Americans … just won’t stand for it. There will be parts of the country that will rise up.”
In a later column, Norris addressed the issue in a discussion of the 9/12 rally in Washington, where hundreds of thousands of people assembled to protest uncontrolled spending by government and its interference in individual lives.
“On Sept. 12, 2001, we sought to protect our nation against terrorists from without. Beginning on Sept. 12, 2009, we are seeking to protect our nation against enemies of our republic from within. Many of us are protesting the present political direction of Washington. Outrageous borrowing, excessive bailouts, massive spending, speedball stimulus plans … swings toward socialism are just a few of things that were protested that day. Of course, economics is far from America’s only problem, as large as it appears to loom,” Norris wrote.
“I want to emphasize: this revolutionary movement is not solely an independent, Republican or Democrat fight. It represents patriots fed up against modernists who seek to overturn almost every principle and tenet laid down by our country’s founders at the inception of our republic. From the East Coast to the ‘Left Coast,’ America seems to be moving further and further from its founders’ vision and government,” he said.
A column by gun rights author David Codrea said, “SPLC’s Larry Keller asserts they are ‘particularly worrisome.’ A fair question might be ‘why’ or ‘to whom?’ It’s not like they’re associated with anything other than patriotism, in spite of his attempts to insinuate racist ties.”
Codrea said a militia was important enough for the Founding Fathers to declare them “necessary to the security of a free state.”
The terror theme also was raised recently by Democrats. WND reported when an “Organizing for America” campaign document outlined a plan to have activists telephone their state’s senators Sept. 11 to demand a “public option,” which critics say would lead to a government health-care monopoly.
Bobby Eberle, posting on a Republican Party site called The Loft, said Obama “and his team have no limits on what they will do or say in order to inject socialist views into the minds of Americans.”
“They also have absolutely no respect or appreciation for the American way and the sacrifices Americans have made in order to stay free and to promote the American way of life across the globe. Just take the latest effort being pitched at BarackObama.com. Rather than remembering the Americans who lost their lives during the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, Obama’s political team wants you to make phone calls on 9/11 to fight back against ‘Right-Wing Domestic Terrorists,'” Eberle wrote.
The OFA plan said,
“All 50 states are coordinating in this – as we fight back against our own Right-Wing Domestic Terrorists who are subverting the American Democratic Process, whipped to a frenzy by their Fox Propaganda Network ceaselessly reseizing power for their treacherous leaders.”
Shortly after the “extremism” report was released, WND reported, the Department of Defense was describing protesters as “low-level terrorists.”
The Thomas More Law Center has 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.