Morgen on April 19, 2009 at 12:09 am
An Op-Ed in the NY Times on Friday commented that conservatives reacted to the DHS report “by throwing a knee-jerk hissy fit” when in fact the report was “true”, and that “nearly all hate groups do indeed follow far-right ideology”. Variations on this theme have been reported throughout the mainstream media the past few days.
This is a clever parsing of words as the most significant left-wing extremist groups are environmental and animal rights groups…which I suppose are guilty only of loving Mother Nature and polar bears just a little too much.
In fact, in a nation-wide law enforcement survey conducted in 2008 by an academic research summit sponsored by the DHS, extreme environmental and animal rights groups ranked 2nd only to Islamic Jihadists as the greatest perceived threats at a national level. [Click for full size]
I have not heard anyone on the conservative side of the aisle deny that right-wing extremist groups pose an actual threat. What so many of us have objected to is the way in which the DHS report implies that mainstream conservative ideologies such as federalism and the sanctity of life are significant factors in the recruitment and support of violent extremist groups. Not to mention the smear on our veterans by singling them out as somehow more likely for recruitment to these groups then other segments of the population.
As this law enforcement survey demonstrates, there are ample security threats posed by both sides of the political spectrum. Fortunately, political considerations do not seem to play as big a role in actual law enforcement and crime prevention. If only this were the case with Secy. Napolitano and DHS leadership in general. One can only hope that this is all political posturing and that the real focus of DHS is still on the threat posed by Al Qaeda. Disturbingly, even this does not seem to be the case.