Who Hijacked Our Country

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Homeland Security Department Slanders Veterans!

The Rightwing Spew Machine has sure done a big 180 since January. And it was so seamless. From one day to the next, their slogans changed. Or in some cases, the slogans stayed the same but they meant the opposite of what they meant the day before.

They still shriek “Traitor!” and “You Hate America!” to everybody they disagree with. Only now, the President of the United States is the “Traitor!” Same goes for all those America-hating Socialists who voted for him.

Conversely, the people who hate and slander and threaten Obama are the “Patriots.” The louder and more hateful the speech (using the term loosely), the more “patriotic.” I’m not providing any links, but if you’ve surfed a few rightwing blogs lately, you know what I’m talking about. There are some demented twisted people out there.

And now the Republican Party has its panties in a twist because of a Homeland Security warning. Wait, I thought the Homeland Security Department was our friend and anybody who criticized our friend was a flagburning — oh, that’s right, now the government is our enemy. OK, got it. Damn, I’m really trying to keep up here…

As you’ve probably read, the Homeland Security Department has issued a warning to law enforcement agencies that rightwing extremist groups might use the tanking economy and Obama’s race to stir up hatred and recruit more members. The same report also warned that some returning veterans — if they’re having trouble adapting to civilian life after being on the battlefield — could be susceptible to these extremist recruiters.

VETERANS!!!!! Oh boy, a soundbite! Spin baby spin!

House Republican leader John “Woody” Boehner was on it like flies on shit: “To characterize men and women returning home after defending our country as potential terrorists is offensive and unacceptable.”

Woody was joined in his tantrum by Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R-Fla.; Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas; and Rep. Steve Buyer, R-Indiana.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano replied: “Let me be very clear — we monitor the risks of violent extremism taking root here in the United States. We don't have the luxury of focusing our efforts on one group; we must protect the country from terrorism whether foreign or homegrown, and regardless of the ideology that motivates its violence.”

For once, government scrutiny isn’t limited to just environmentalists, anti-war protesters and people with Middle Eastern names. No wonder the Far Right is having a hissyfit.

cross-posted at Bring It On!

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Blogger The Rambling Taoist said...

I find this whole situation distressing. First, Bush seemed intent on bird dogging leftist groups and now Obama seems just as intent on bird dogging right-wing groups. To be sure, there are groups on both sides of the aisle who may well be dangerous, but I'm sure the majority of the groups being targeted are not.

Of course, there is one prime difference between HSD under Bush & Obama. In the former case, I don't recall that HSD announced they were watching peace activists and vegetarians. I think it was uncovered by the alternative media.

In this instance, though, an announcement was made. Since I no longer trust anything the gov't says, it makes me wonder what the political agenda is behind this. Maybe to instill fear in anyone and everyone not to dissent or HSD may be after you?

April 15, 2009 at 10:06 PM  
Blogger DB said...

Do the right-wingers know Bush commissioned this report along with another one investigating left-wing radicals?

April 15, 2009 at 11:09 PM  
Anonymous S.W. anderson said...

Uh, Tim McVeigh was a veteran. He was radicalized with some hare-brained anti-government hatefulness.

McVeigh blew up the federal building in Oklahoma City, killing a whole lot of innocent people, children included.

So, what part of citing the potential danger of radical crazies recruiting some gullible and/or likeminded returning veterans is so out of line?

FWIW, as a veteran, I assure you veteranhood does not equate with lifelong innocence and virtue. We thank and praise our veterans for their honorable service. We don't give them a Get Out of Jail Free card for life.

Just ask ex-Lt. William Calley.

April 15, 2009 at 11:31 PM  
Blogger S.W. Anderson said...

Rambling Taoist, please at least entertain the idea that there is no political agenda behind this.

We have a Department of Homeland Security. Their job is to detect and assess potential threats. Department people do that and put their findings into reports. Year in, year out, more reports.

No political agenda, no roundup of right-wing dissidents, no midnight knock at the door.

If you perceive this as an effort to instill fear in you or anyone else, you're too many conclusion-jumps ahead of the facts to be believed.

Trust me, if an evil, devious government agency wants to go after its critics, don't look for that agency to telegraph its intentions in a public report.

April 15, 2009 at 11:41 PM  
Blogger The Rambling Taoist said...

Are you suggesting that there was no political agenda behind Bush's HSD keeping tabs on Grannies for Peace? (Now there's a group to keep an eye on!!)

Trust me, if an evil, devious government agency wants to go after its critics, don't look for that agency to telegraph its intentions in a public report.You missed my point. Yes, a gov't that wants to go after people generally does so without fanfare. So, if HSD actually is releasing this kind of info, then it stands to reason there is an explicit political motivation behind it -- the very point I made.

April 16, 2009 at 12:28 AM  
Anonymous Carlos said...

It'll all come out in the wash. Hopefully something will go really right, really quickly and the Right will shut the fuck up with their divisive, ignorant hyperbole.

April 16, 2009 at 2:56 AM  
Anonymous Lyn said...

This report is offensive because it slanders millions of law-abiding Americans who disagree with government. To be overtly suspicious of one's own people is a sign of a corrupted government. This same regime has stopped fighting the war on terror - they don't even want us to use that terminology war on terror. Yet the feel free in characterizing as "domestic terrorists" people who peacefully protest at abortion clinics, or at tea parties, etc.

Of all the legitimate things Homeland Security could be doing - enforcing illegal immigration laws, fighting narcotics and people smuggling at the US-Mexico border, and continuing to fight African and Arab terrorists - DHS instead tells our government and our police to watch out for US.

Every one of us - and you too - should be worried and offended.

April 16, 2009 at 5:50 AM  
Blogger Randal Graves said...

I certainly wouldn't qualify myself as a soldier in the Obama pony brigade, nor a card-carrying member of Yay! Government! but I kind of want the feds monitoring groups that might blow me the fuck up, be the anarcho-lefty hippies or gun-nut Turner Diary troubadours.

Politicized? Sure, in the way that ALL governments will protect their own power at the expense of the people. I see this as useful information.

April 16, 2009 at 9:24 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

TRT: Interesting comparison, that HSD didn't announce that they were spying on peace activists when Bush was president; it was uncovered by the alternative media. Personally I'm glad to have HSD monitoring various groups to protect our safety. I just didn't like the "profiling" they seemed to be doing under Bush.

I don't claim to know whether Obama has an agenda or whether he's profiling certain groups. But I think it's a better balance now. Among all the shouted rhetoric, there are bound to be a few genuine threats; they could be from the left or right extremes.

DB: I doubt if they know it, or would catch the irony if they knew.

SW: I'm also a veteran (Navy, 1969-1973). Vietnam veterans were extremely prone to crime, irrational behavior and homelessness; for the same reasons that Iraqi/Afghani veterans are. It certainly isn't "slander" to point this out. Boehner was just looking for a soundbite.

Carlos: I also hope things will start going right, and quickly. But don't count on the rightwing spewfucks ever shutting up. If they did, what ever would they do?

Lyn: Whoa, got a live one here! I was planning to try a logical response to your comment, until I clicked on your website. People like you actually exist??? Anyway, I won't keep you. You don't want to be late for your next KKK rally, or goose-stepping practice, or whatever it is you do in your spare time -- which you undoubtedly have a whole lot of.

Randal: That's exactly it. Genuine threats could come from any direction. I don't care what somebody says, but if there's a violent plan behind the rhetoric, it needs to be nipped in the bud.

April 16, 2009 at 11:31 AM  
Blogger Snave said...

But of course someone from the Obama administration is slamming veterans! Did we really expect anything less? If McCain had been elected, there would be no disrespect for those who have served.

In light of all the exhortations by the right-wing media types to get angry, to gather for protest rallies, and to arm ourselves to the teeth, I see no problem with issuing a report like this.

If the purpose of the report is to give people pause for thought and to be wary of the possibility there may be domestic terrorism coming to America, so be it. If veterans come home and are susceptible to such rhetoric and fear-mongering, maybe because they are being denied the psychiatric care and/or counseling they need, so be it.

The administration needs to be doing things to offset the ugly fartlike rhetoric coming from the nation's right-wing anus. And if this is one of those things?

So be it.

America will be better safe than sorry when it comes to keeping violence under control here at home. There is nothing wrong with giving out information which may serve to help Americans be aware of potential problems.

April 16, 2009 at 12:42 PM  
Anonymous S.W. anderson said...

Lyn, you exemplify the kind of right-wing shoot-from-the-lip hothead that makes Rush Limbaugh a multimillionaire, gives Michelle Malkin a huge readership — and leaves intelligent, thoughtful people who aren't right-wing hotheads wondering what in the world is wrong with you people.

From a good dictionary:

slandera false, spoken statement about someone which damages their reputation, or the making of such a statement.

Note the inclusion of the word "false."

Lyn tells us:

"This report is offensive because it slanders millions of law-abiding Americans who disagree with government."You either haven't read the report or anything besides a right-wing blogger's opinion about the report, or else you just don't read too good.

The report does no such thing. It cites extremist groups, the kind that make wild, unfounded statements, engage in hate speech and threaten violent acts. That doesn't have anything to do with millions of law-abiding people who criticize the government.

"Yet the feel free in characterizing as "domestic terrorists" people who peacefully protest at abortion clinics, or at tea parties, etc."People who obey the law while peacefully protesting abortion clinics or at tea parties have nothing to worry about, and you know it. People who bomb abortion clinics or use a sniper rifle on their personnel are another matter.

"DHS instead tells our government and our police to watch out for US."Watching out for US is what DHS, the government and police do, Lyn. You'd do well to sign up for a course in American Government at your nearest community college.

April 16, 2009 at 2:43 PM  
Anonymous S.W. anderson said...

TRT, I wouldn't put anything past any federal agency during George W. Bush's reign of error. I don't doubt there was political motivation behind monitoring the Grannies group.

That said, The New Dark Age of Bush joins the Nixon administration in a class by themselves. I do not believe there is political motivation behind what DHS is doing now.

The explicit motivation behind the current report is to alert the public and agencies at all levels responsible for public safety that they should be aware of certain threats, actual and potential. There's nothing devious or dangerous about that.

April 16, 2009 at 2:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This country has a history of favoring right wing groups over left wing.

When the FBI was hounding Jane Fonda, the Communist, and the Panthers, they were ignoring the Klans and the Nazis until finally ordered to do so.

But then they ignored the Mob too but I digress.

Later the nation saw live footage of armed groups having maneuvers in the country, they were either/or/and supremacist, separatist, Turner Diary - philes etc. We were told they have their right to free speech, meantime the feds were hounding Doctors without Borders.

My Mistake. They did discipline the federal agents participating in those armed camps (they had no choice, the cameras caught them and the networks broadcast it)

Republican controlled congress had extensive hearings on incidents such as Branch Davidians (Remember the NRA and Gordon Liddy calling Federal Agents "Jack Booted Thugs","Storm Troopers" and Gordon Liddy explaining on his radio show how to kill an agent wearing a bullet proof vest? If Al Franken said that on a radio show back then - he'd still be in jail today) and that Separatist guy and his sons who were holed up in the hills with guns daring the feds to come and get him - But ignoring the violated civil right complaints of groups like Doctors with Borders.

Under Bush the Ashcroft Justice department crowed as much as possible telling the country how they are keeping us safe from Arab terrorist while a leak of a squashed report found that justice raided a cache of weapons of a white supremacist who was stocking up for the upcoming "race war". The agents reported his stockpile was enough to supply a small army.
The orders came from Ashcroft who never explained why they couldn't tell us they were keeping us safe from domestic terrorist like that race monger?

Groups like Morris Dees and the Southern Policy Law center do more to monitor and disarm right wing militant groups then all the federal agents combined.

The Right Wing groups have always had staunch defenders among the mere conservatives in Congress and I'd like to know why?

If DHS takes this report seriously all I can say is, it's about time!


April 16, 2009 at 4:39 PM  
Anonymous Bee said...

People who murder OB-GYNs because these crazies have deemed them to be "abortion doctors", whether they are or not - right-wing extremists, and some veterans.

Timothy McVeigh (as SW pointed out): right-wing extremist and a veteran.

KKK - right wing extremists, some veterans

Various Skinhead/Neo-Nazi groups - right-wing extremists, some veterans.

People buying out gun stores and gun shows - right-wing extremists and the morons who believe them, and some veterans.

In fact, there are so many veterans thanks to 2 prolonged wars in the last 2 generations that it's hard to NOT find a veteran or 2 or 300 in each of the above groups.

These are NOT groups that dissent, these are groups that hate, and hate, and do nothing all day long but hate. They blame everyone except themselves for perceived injustices which they've never really faced, and then try to pull more marginalized people into their ranks so they can take advantage of them. Usually poor and disaffected youth who tend to be impressionable and believe the "revolution" song and dance. Young 20 year old veterans coming back from Iraq where they saw carnage nearly every day, committed some of it themselves, and they're not going to be at all sucked into one of these nightmares? That's naive thinking, at best. These groups are not expressing "dissent," they are self-serving, opportunistic bullshit masquarading as dissent.

So, Rambling Taoist and Lyn: There was no mention of offensiveness when liberal peace-nik groups were investigated, but now the panties are in a wad over right-wing extremists. You cannot honestly deny that the right-wing does have a plethora of these crazies, and they are plenty dangerous. Honestly - do you ever listen to yourselves?

April 16, 2009 at 5:37 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Snave: "the ugly fartlike rhetoric coming from the nation's right-wing anus" -- good one. And there's always the possibility of some solid fecal matter among all the gas. Better for the feds to investigate and keep us safe.

SW: I also don't think that HSD report was politically motivated, but maybe I'm not being objective enough.

Erik: And don't forget, the night Martin Luther King was assassinated, there were government agents all over the place, looking for Communist infiltrators and leftwing saboteurs. Somehow they didn't notice James Earl Ray perched there with his rifle. (Then again, the King assassination is full of conspiracy theories, but I digress.)

Yes, it's definitely about time the DHS took these groups seriously.

Bee: Excellent. I can't think of anything to add to that.

BUT, I hope you won't lump Rambling Taoist and "Lyn" into the same category. RT is hard to categorize, but he's a Taoist and is, or was, a Green Party member. His blog is interesting.

April 16, 2009 at 6:47 PM  
Blogger The Rambling Taoist said...

I think most of you are missing the point I'm trying to make. Spying on your own people -- many of them who are not a threat to anyone -- is not good form.

As an avowed L-E-F-T-I-S-T (think "socialist"), I was none too pleased to hear that, under Bush, peaceniks like me were being watched. However, I'm equally concerned that, under Obama, lots of law abiding right-wingers are being watched too!

Most of you here seem to think it's okay when the gov't watches people you disagree with, but not when they watch you. I'm saying I disagree with the practice all the way around.

Remember if was under the JFK and LBJ administrations that the FBI was spying on MLK and the SCLC -- really dangerous folks there. NOT!!

April 16, 2009 at 6:49 PM  
Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

TRT, being aware of, sensitive about and keeping a watchful eye on groups and individuals that stress prowess with military weapons, spew hate speech and threaten violent action is not, IMHO, spying.

Goverment spying on American citizens, including those who are outspoken in their criticism of government, our leaders, etc., is definitely wrong. Now, because of the terror war and Bush-Cheney overreach, that is apparently going on, through trolling telecommunications and the Internet. It should be stopped, and I hope Obama will see to it that it is stopped.

FWIW, I never wanted left-wing crazies to take up arms or WMD to go after even the likes of Bush and Cheney, as badly as I ached for them to be out of power and into serious legal consequences. I never heard of any groups on the left behaving that way, but if there had been any, I would want DHS, the FBI or police to keep a close eye on them, just as much as I want a close eye kept on right-wing crazies.

I want a country that believes in and lives by the rule of law.

April 17, 2009 at 12:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First off, I would like to start with an admission. The patriot act as it is called should have been rejected by people of my POV under Bush, I admit that I was wrong not to concede your constituional argument. Not becuase HE intended us harm as a people but becuase it left the power open to those on the left who truly dislike Americanism or the REPUBLICAN government garanteed to us in the constituion. Not the GOP "republican" I mean the REAL republican from Latin res=thing and publica=the public,the public thing of law, as in a fixed body of laws based in Judeao-Christain values and the principles of Locke's,et,al, treatise on natural law and individual liberties. Please try to persuade me that those are the principles and values that the left is in support of. I see no evidence of it and I would really like to bridge the gap between those true CLASSICAL liberals,the enlightend ones who do care about the same things the so called right wing conservatives believe in. The main issue here to clean up is the language that has been perverted over the last century. I believe that fixing the language would help to clarify things for everyone. I was told all my life that I was a right wing conservative. Not so. I am a constitutional moderate,or stated another way, a CLASSICAL liberal,in the same fashion as the founders. It was only thorugh a lot of personal reflection,study of history and philosophy that this truth was revealed to me. The other problem is that those on the left are unable to be fourth right with the people about their own ideologies( the various European isms' ) becuase up til now, it was something that any sane,educated and rational thinking person with a good self image would have rejected out of hand as rediculous. The idea that an individual should subordinate ones self to the collective as an example, is simply put, not human. It was a notion that took the leftisms' 100 years to fully execute to the point of taking control of all of the largest parts of the mind altering apparatus.I.E. the universities,public schools and the main stream media and entertainment,as well as government. Without this mind control apparatus, their goal would have been unattainable. But hey, thanks for the motivation and road map that we in the CENTER are now going to use to reverse and elimininate the leftisms' with for the next 100 years,until once again, the memories grow short and blurry. Then it will be your turn to try again.

April 17, 2009 at 10:18 AM  
Blogger bob said...

I was thinking about this the other day in broad terms. If you think about it, the last time a Democratic President was in office, the internet was in its pubescence. Blogs were unheard of. News was mostly in the papers, and political discussion seemed to be a background type of thing. But with Obama in the White House, and the internet so well developed, the raw underbelly of the typical Conservative seems to be showing in all of its ugly form.

These people are outright scary, backwards, angry, uneducated, easily goaded and coerced, and prodded by their AM radio shows, and now the internet, which they use to parrot whatever latest thing that's been spread over the right wing networks.

I'd go as far as to say that the Republican party seems to be leaning closer and closer to extreme right wing ideology, which in itself is a threat to social well-being and scientific advancement.

What I see and hear coming from these people is troubling and concerning because despite the current admin, rest assured these clowns will one day regain control, and that to me is a rather troubling thought.

April 17, 2009 at 12:14 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Anonymous: You're right that the people who were favor of the PATRIOT Act should have realized that this new power would someday be transferred to a new president with opposing views. And someday the tables will turn again, so I don't want Obama to over-reach. But so far I don't think he has.

Bob: I think the mainstream Republican establishment (assuming there still is one) has been painted into a corner by the Michelle Malkins and Rush Limbaughs. There aren't enough of these far right wackos to win elections, but there are enough of them to make them dangerous if they join militia groups and sleeper cells (as Chuck Norris was bragging about recently).

April 17, 2009 at 6:54 PM  
Anonymous S.W. anderson said...

Someone too bashful to give his/her name wrote: "The idea that an individual should subordinate ones self to the collective as an example, is simply put, not human."
Had that been the case, the Continental Army would never have won America's independence. I can tell you've never served in the military, because subordinating oneself to one's buddies, unit, command, branch of service and, yes, president and country, is the least expected of every soldier, sailor, airman, Marine and so on. Anyone who can't hack that in basic training finds him- or herself back out on the street, pronto. It's considered a matter of life and death by the service members basic trainees are to join.

In civilian society, we don't have a collective, Anon. We have a society of 300 million-plus people. When the canoe gets that full, you can bet those along for the ride have to give up some arm-flailing and boogeying around. Others who don't want to get all wet and some who can't swim demand their fellow passengers behave themselves. Such is life in a big, populous country.

I gather from your comment that you long for the classic days of the Old West, living the life of a free mountain man, making your own way in life not depending on anyone else and not allowing anyone else to depend on you. That being the case, I strongly recommend you head for the outback of Alaska, at least 60 miles past the end of the last gravel road. Build a cabin, live off the land. You could probably escape paying taxes, even. And, as an added incentive, your governor will be Sarah Palin, beloved by true conservatives and feared by moose.

During the long, dark, cold winter months you'll have plenty of time to think. I urge you to use some of that time contemplating something the late Molly Ivins liked to say:

"We all do better when we all do better."

It's a good antidote to the too-common notion that anything not motivated by selfishness must be some kind of socialism.

April 17, 2009 at 7:02 PM  
Blogger Snave said...

Fantastic comment, S.W. I might have to quote you here and there!

April 18, 2009 at 12:24 AM  
Blogger Ricardo said...

There are a growing number of domestic risks. the right is PRAYING we get attacked again from the Middle East. Really they want this because they can blame Obama for something and ramble on about how he's Jimmy Carter and how he's bad for the country and is a secret Arab.

But honestly the next attack (I'll put money on this) will be from their own ranks. Some nut job who went to one of those silly tea parties and claim they did it to defend the constitution. They'll be angry, white, and from the bible belt.

April 20, 2009 at 1:41 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Ricardo: I think you're right, the wingnuts will be thrilled if there's another terrorist attack from the Middle East (or any place where the people are swarthy). They can blame Obama and yell "I told you so!" and all will be right with the world again.

April 20, 2009 at 6:54 PM  

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