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Boston Globe Criticizes Extremist Report

John on April 27, 2009 at 1:00 pm

One of the most liberal editorial pages in the country just dumped all over Janet Napolitano for her transparently political attack on conservatives:

PARTISAN turmoil that lingered after this month’s tea party protests reignited recently, when the Department of Homeland Security issued a report to federal and local law enforcement officials on right-wing extremism. The report detailed current economic and political factors that could enhance recruitment for extremist groups. Yet the report defined extremism in a way that implicates a huge portion of the political spectrum. Conservatives are right to be angry.

The report drew particular criticism over comments on “disgruntled military veterans,” who, it suggests, may be targeted by extremist groups looking to use their “skill and knowledge to carry out violence.” Missing was any empirical evidence for its claims beyond the examples of Timothy McVeigh and Richard A. Poplawski, the Pittsburgh man who recently shot three police officers and exhibited fears that the government would take his guns.

Worse, the report’s depiction of an extremist describes the political beliefs of many Americans, saying that “many right-wing extremists are antagonistic toward the new presidential administration . . . immigration . . . and restrictions on firearms.” But Americans have every right to oppose all three. Drawing a parallel, even implicitly, between specific political beliefs and criminal intent is something Americans must oppose, regardless of political affiliation.

Kudos to the Globe (wow, did I just say that?) for noting what many of us in the blogosphere did a couple weeks ago. The Globe does get one thing wrong and it’s significant.

The first paragraph makes it sound as if the report was issued in the wake of the Tea Party protests. In fact, the report was rushed out the door one week before the protests and came to most people’s attention by way of a report about it in the Washington Times one day before the protests. And, as Roll Call reported (via Weekly Standard), a high ranking Democratic staffer was passing out memos to press specifically stating that the people attending the protests were “racists” and “neo-Nazis” (in other words, right-wing extremists).

The evidence suggests that this political hack job was intentionally designed to throw a wet blanket on the protests. Given these circumstances, the Globe isn’t nearly upset enough.

[HT: Hot Air for the editorial]

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Category: Politics |

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