“This kind of intimidation is so un-American,” he said. “I’m hoping people will rise up against it.”
He was interviewed today about his report by Greg Corombos of Radio America/WND.
The audio of the interview is embedded here:
The DHS document warns against the possibility of violence by unnamed “right-wing extremists” concerned about illegal immigration, increasing federal power, restrictions on firearms, abortion and the loss of U.S. sovereignty. It singles out returning war veterans as particular threats.
The report, titled “Right-wing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment,” dated April 7, states that “threats from white supremacist and violent anti-government groups during 2009 have been largely rhetorical and have not indicated plans to carry out violent acts.”
But the document goes on to suggest worsening economic woes, potential new legislative restrictions on firearms and “the return of military veterans facing significant challenges reintegrating into their communities could lead to the potential emergence of terrorist groups or lone wolf extremists capable of carrying out violent attacks.”
The DHS’ Office of Intelligence and Analysis also defines right-wing extremism in the U.S. as “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 anti-government, 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.”
“[T]he consequences of a prolonged economic downturn – including real estate foreclosures, unemployment and an inability to obtain credit – could create a fertile recruiting environment for right-wing extremists and even result in confrontations between such groups and government authorities similar to those in the past,” the report says.
Hedgecock said the assessment is “very threatening.”
“These [guidelines] are meant to be directions to state and local law enforcement agencies of the priorities,” he said.
“The feds are giving a signal to over 800,000 local and state law enforcement officers [to be] watching people with strong views on illegal immigration, the 2nd Amendment, abortion [that] this is becoming a threat to the government,” he said.
Hedgecock said he thinks it’s a government reaction to the grass-roots opposition to President Obama’s nationalization and socialization plans.
“I think this has to do with the Fairness Doctrine. … Unfortunately, the MO (method of operation) of the national administration … it doesn’t like a lot that’s said at the grass roots,” he said.
He said, “I’m afraid I witnessed the first manifestation of this last Saturday in a Tea Party … in San Diego.
“I noticed a fellow taking video shots of a lot of the people.”
He said he was told the man had taken video shots of vehicle license plants, then got into a vehicle with a federal government plate and drove away.
Hedgecock suggested that may have been the type of surveillance the DHS report seeks.
“If you’re going to protest against Obama, he’s going to know who you are,” he said.
Last month, the chief of the Missouri highway patrol blasted a report issued by the Missouri Information Analysis Center that linked conservative groups to domestic terrorism, assuring that such reports no longer will be issued. The report had been compiled with the assistance of DHS.
The report warned law enforcement agencies to watch for suspicious individuals who may have bumper stickers for political candidates such as Ron Paul, Bob Barr and Chuck Baldwin.
It further warned law enforcement to watch out for individuals with “radical” ideologies based on Christian views, such as opposing illegal immigration, abortion and federal taxes.
Chief James Keathley of the Missouri State Patrol issued a statement that the release of the report, which outraged conservatives nationwide, prompted him to “take a hard look” at the procedures through which the report was released by the MIAC.
“My review of the procedures used by the MIAC in the three years since its inception indicates that the mechanism in place for oversight of reports needs improvement,” he wrote. “Until two weeks ago, the process for release of reports from the MIAC to law enforcement officers around the state required no review by leaders of the Missouri State Highway Patrol or the Department of Public Safety.
“For that reason, I have ordered the MIAC to permanently cease distribution of the militia report,” he said. “Further, I am creating a new process for oversight of reports drafted by the MIAC that will require leaders of the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the Department of Public Safety to review the content of these reports before they are shared with law enforcement. My office will also undertake a review of the origin of the report by MIAC.”