Tuesday, April 14, 2009

I am, apparently, a Right-Wing Extremist

From the Homeland Security Administration's report on Rightwing Extremism:

* (U) Rightwing extremism in the United States can be broadly 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 antigovernment, 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.

It would seem that my opposition to abortion and devotion to the Tenth Amendment place me squarely in that category.

So is JayG:

(U//FOUO) Proposed imposition of firearms restrictions and weapons bans
likely would attract new members into the ranks of rightwing extremist groups,
as well as potentially spur some of them to begin planning and training for
violence against the government. The high volume of purchases and
stockpiling of weapons and ammunition by rightwing extremists in anticipation
of restrictions and bans in some parts of the country continue to be a primary
concern to law enforcement.

And Murphy, SpeakerTweaker, et al. (Even Johnny Law, perhaps, being that he's a veteran.):

(U//FOUO) Returning veterans possess combat skills and experience that are
attractive to rightwing extremists. DHS/I&A is concerned that rightwing
extremists will attempt to recruit and radicalize returning veterans in order to
boost their violent capabilities.
Looking over my blogroll, I've got only a handful of people who can't fit in one of these classifications. Of the people who ever directly address politics in their blogs, I've got two (Nurse Ratched & Mightygodking).

Then there is this:

(U//LES) 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.

This conceivably lumps the 48% of Americans who voted for McCain into this group.

Granted, I am being a bit overblown here. None of us whom I've mentioned in this post are violent, or at all prone to violence. It should be clear that we're not barking moonbats like the fellow who murdered three Philadelphia police officers (who is singled out in the report as an example). And yet, as Strings has pointed out, there's already a grassroots movement to "monitor and report all anti-obama activities taking place on the world wide web". (Lack of capitalization theirs, by the way.) There are those out there who will construe simply being against Obama and his policies as tantamount to being white supremacists.

And the gun nuts I read on a regular basis are going to be the first targets.

(U//FOUO) Many rightwing extremist groups perceive recent gun control legislation as a threat to their right to bear arms and in response have increased weapons and ammunition stockpiling, as well as renewed participation in paramilitary training exercises. Such activity, combined with a heightened level of extremist paranoia, has the potential to facilitate criminal activity and violence.

Of course, the actual reason for the build-up is listed in the report as well, though as a cause of extremism, not as a reasonable explanation:

(U//FOUO) On the current front, legislation has been proposed this year
requiring mandatory registration of all firearms in the United States. Similar
legislation was introduced in 2008 in several states proposing mandatory tagging
and registration of ammunition. It is unclear if either bill will be passed into law;
nonetheless, a correlation may exist between the potential passage of gun control
legislation and increased hoarding of ammunition, weapons stockpiling, and
paramilitary training activities among rightwing extremists.

In fact, if you want to try on your tinfoil hat, you might want to take note of the recent blogmeets that centered around gunshoots. The most recent one, of course, was hosted by a suspiciously-bald white man. (That said, I'm sure AD is actually our extremist mastermind here, as he's been involved in at least two of the blogmeets and briefly considered attending the local one here in SA.)

Again, I'm being hyperbolic a bit. But just a couple of paragraphs later, there is this:
(U//FOUO) Open source reporting of wartime ammunition shortages has likely spurred rightwing extremists—as well as law-abiding Americans—to make bulk purchases of ammunition. These shortages have increased the cost of ammunition, further exacerbating rightwing extremist paranoia and leading to further stockpiling activity. Both rightwing extremists and law-abiding citizens share a belief that rising crime rates attributed to a slumping economy make the purchase of legitimate firearms a wise move at this time.

So, which one are we? And who gets to make the determination?

Further distressing to me is this:

— (U) After Operation Desert Shield/Storm in 1990-1991, some returning military veterans—including Timothy McVeigh—joined or associated with rightwing
extremist groups.

— (U) A prominent civil rights organization reported in 2006 that “large numbers
of potentially violent neo-Nazis, skinheads, and other white supremacists are now
learning the art of warfare in the [U.S.] armed forces.”

— (U//LES) The FBI noted in a 2008 report on the white supremacist movement
that some returning military veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have
joined extremist groups.
I'm not a veteran. I am the ex-wife of a veteran, the daughter of veterans, the sister of a veteran. Not a veteran myself, though.

Note that although they only name one returning Desert Storm vet as a bona fide extremist, it doesn't stop some generalizations. Note too that they cannot name the "prominent civil rights organization" that the military is riddled with white supremacists. I'll leave it to the actual veterans to refute that one. If they feel like stooping that low. Next thing you know, a high & tight's going to be pointed to as a sign of having neo-Nazi sympathies.

I will leave you to draw conclusions after you've read the paper. Here's a link to Michelle Malkin's verification of the report. And a quote:

Well, the press office got back to me and verified that the document is indeed for real.

They were very defensive — preemptively so — in asserting that it was not a politicized document and that DHS had done reports on “leftwing extremism” in the past. I have covered DHS for many years and am quite familiar with past assessments they and the FBI have done on animal rights terrorists and environmental terrorists. But those past reports have always been very specific in identifying the exact groups, causes, and targets of domestic terrorism, i.e., the ALF, ELF, and Stop Huntingdon wackos who have engaged in physical harassment, arson, vandalism, and worse against pharmaceutical companies, farms, labs, and university researchers.

This should be worrisome to all of us who are outside of the mainstream. Not just gun nuts, but people who choose not to vaccinate their kids, Freebirth supporters, home schoolers, lay midwives, everyone. If they are successful in going after one group, they will sharpen their swords for others. Personal freedom is a vital issue for all Americans, no matter your particular concern.

I am online friends with a very fine woman (who will be unnamed here for obvious reasons) on the other end of the political spectrum. She's a hippie on a higher level. She lives on a commune (of sorts; it's an artists' enclave). She's supported herself in the recent past by selling some of the finest tie-dye in existence (seriously, she cured me of my hatred for tie-dye). She's also a self-professed socialist. More to the point of this post, she has had two children, at home, unassisted. She doesn't vaccinate. She does things, in other words, that are decidedly unmainstream.

And she is endangered by this report. Why? Because, to put it simply, it can be hard for those in charge to tell right-wing extremists from left-wing extremists. I and my children wear some of her work. I planned for my last birth to be unassisted. My children are selectively vaccinated. I homeschooled until the divorce agreement prevented that, and I am working on my ex-husband in hopes of getting him to remove that restriction (and am trying hard to get the girls into an online school and out of the current environment). We get along quite well. We actually agree on a lot of things. We're not really that different. Do you trust the government to be able to tell us apart? I don't.


BeautifulWreck said...

Omy, even I am going to fall into this category.

Great post Sabra!

Murphy said...

The Corps would be quite understandably miffed if I did NOT have violent capabilities. Guess now that I'm out I should just forsake guns, the right to self-defense, personal responsibility, and independent thought, huh.