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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Constitution Is A Subversive Manifesto Per DHS

Update: Welcome NY Times readers. Do not be alarmed. You have not landed on the set of the movie Deliverance. I just happen to have a point of view you don't hear at The Times. See my related post, I'm Seething Over The NY Times Calling Me Seething

The Department of Homeland Security Report titled "Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment" was first brought to light by Stephen Gordon at The Liberty Papers Blog. The Report was issued a week before the scheduled Tea Parties across the country, and is all over the news today. Reading the report is depressing, not because it reveals any current threat, but because of the shoddy definitions and analysis.

One thing that is not clear from the news reports, to begin with, is that the Report specifically states that there is no current real threat, even from the most extreme White Supremacist groups: "Threats from white supremacist and violent anti-government groups during 2009 have been mostly rhetorical and have not indicated plans to carry out violent acts." From the news accounts, you would think there was an actual threat, but that is not so.

But the even bigger vice is how a "rightwing extremist" is defined. I don't disagree that the few remaining White Supremacist groups should be in any definition, but DHS puts a distinctly political spin on the definition (emphasis mine):
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.

This definition is so broad as to include anyone who seeks to preserve the foundation of our federal-state constitutional distinction, under the 10th Amendment ("The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people"), because such a person could be deemed to "reject federal authority in favor of state or local authority." So Texas Governor Rick Perry, who has come out in support of preserving the constitutional integrity of Texas now should be on the DHS' extremist and radical watch-list.

Similarly, the reference to "abortion or immigration" is purely political. Why pick those two subjects? If someone is planning violence, that is one thing. But vocalizing one's view on a subject and seeking to influence the government are protected by the 1st Amendment ("Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances").

Only in a highly politicized bureaucracy could the Constitution be viewed as a subversive manifesto.

Michelle Malkin has a detailed analysis of the Report.
The Anchoress has a good discussion.

American Power and The Sundries Shack are collecting sources on the Tea Parties tomorrow.
And So It Goes In Shreveport has a countdown.
Whiskey Fire has penis envy so bad it hurts.

UPDATE No. 2: Transterrestial has a copy of what a DHS Report on left-wing extremists would look like, using the same pathetic reasoning (h/t Instapundit).

Related Posts:
Now They're Afraid of "Joe the Sailors"
Liberal Doughboys Afraid of Tea Parties
The Somali Pirates Are Turning Into The Left's Useful Idiots
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  1. Can you imagine the tooth gnashing and garment rending that would have ensued had the Bush Administration released a document that actually detailed anti-war funding...especially ANSWER?

    All of this reminds me of the differences between democrats and republicans.

    When Republicans are in power, Democrats whine and cry about every real or perceived slight or transgression, the media carries water and Republicans bow.

    When Democrats are in power they do everything they (in most cases) falsely accused Republicans of doing and pay no attention to anything anyone else says.

    There are lessons here for the right...

  2. "It may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration."

    What if you are a person dedicated to illegal immigration or abortion as an issue (perhaps you think of it as "MY ISSUE) but you are dedicated to dealing with it calmly, simply, through debate and conversation?

    Wording of this nature will make people become less likely to openly express a valid opinion for fear of being labeled a violent nutcase. The word STIFLE comes to mind.


  3. Yes,

    According to the Obama Administration, the governor of Texas is a dangerous right-wing extremist, since he rejects federal authority in favor of state or local authority.

    Here's video of this dangerous man, announcing loyalty to the Constitutional Manifesto:


    Dangerous, dangerous indeed. Why, it's almost as if the governor is setting the state for a withdrawl from the Union. That in itself will soon be grounds for your arrest for treason.

    Treason is a death penalty crime, remember.


  4. My question a couple of days ago was But what if your loyalty is to the Constitution?It appears that would make one a "rightwing extremist" by definition.

  5. This is downright frightening. Obama & Co. is the master at demonizing the opposition. The left's sophisticated ability to stir up verbal vigilantes to out shout & bully critics makes Nixon look like an amateur. Contrast this with Bush's administration, which was disparaged by the right for not standing up to the opposition, letting the left, fairly, have their say. I've never been afraid of my government until now.

  6. Well, everything becomes clear, finally. Ayn Rand described her private utopia, "Galt's Gulch." Nowadays, a lot of people are wondering where they can find that place.

    Well, go back to 1776. The Founding Fathers gave us "Galt's Gulch," or "Randiana." (With two exceptions, slavery and tariffs.)

    We blew it. The overthrow of the American Republic began with FDR and his attempt to pack the Supreme Court. Today, unfortunately, the Constitution is a dead document.

    Read Mark Levin's "Freedom and Tyranny," and then consider just how much you enjoy the tyranny of Queen Nancy Pelosi.

    We need a new party. Call it the "Federalist Party." Call it the "Party for Economic Sanity." Call it the "Gorilla Party," whatever. We need a party which will elect intelligent Americans who actually respect the Constitution as written.

  7. Because it always white religious conservatives fault...right. So Earth Liberation Front,Animal Liberation Front,Sea Shepard's Society,and PeTA are just lovable groups with a bad rap.

    My fellow conservative,we've seen this before,during the Clinton Admin,where the left labeled us as radical,don't fall for it.

  8. I have began to feel that my present 'government' is our greatest enemy as now constituted. It seems to be running a colossal "Ponzi Scheme" not unlike Barnie Madoff's but at a scale much larger and using diversions like "Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment" reports in order to keep our minds off of the big picture; the planned financial collapse of the United States and its demise as a great nation. My Representatives in Congress aren't even consulted anymore on money matters, they are jammed through Congress overnight with out oversight and they are signed by people given orders. This has to change, the Constitution has to be followed, the Scheme has to be stopped.

  9. I have seen reports in which DHS clames that a mirror-image report regarding "left-wing extremism was published in January. I can find no trace of it. Has anyone seen it?

  10. Is it possible for the government to use the DHS report, showing "rightwing" groups as being potential terrorist to make use of the wire taping provisions that have been used recently to track terrorists?

  11. I read the entire report, and here are my thoughts:

    I think the syntax of the quasi definition of "Rightwing Extremism" as footnoted by the report is shoddy, and is the cause of the problem for those of us who believe in limited government (such as Conservatives and Libertarians) taking offense at being equated with those who "reject" federal authority and may possibly pose some kind of threat. Here is why:

    "Reject" is a strong word, and as such, if a dictionary definition is applied to the word "reject", I think the report would be correct to equate "rejecting" federal authority with rightwing extremism. Conservatives and Libertarians do not "reject" federal authority in any capacity, as the definition of "reject" means (according to Webster's) "to refuse to acknowledge, adopt, believe, acquiesce in, receive, or submit to : decline to accept". Since Conservatives and Libertarians and Republicans do not "reject" federal authority, they really should not feel offended at this report. However, it is fair criticism to argue that this report may likely be used by the left to possibly demonize those on the right who do support and believe in limiting the power of the federal government, and are worried about the current state of affairs with Obama at the helm.

    Conservatives and Libertarians may not like or support some federal authority, but they DO acquiesce and submit to it. This report is clearly referring to the threat of those groups -- "extremists" -- who may, due to their beliefs in conjunction with the present economic situation, refuse to submit to the authority of the federal government and whose actions may become a threat. I see no problem with defining a rightwing extremist in this way.

    I do, however, believe the report could have been and should have been edited for clarity to avoid what I believe is the widespread misinference occurring now. The footnoted definition needed either a colon after the word "antigovernment", or a set of parentheses around the rest of the sentence to make it clear what the report is defining as "antigovernment" in context of the report's overall theme of rightwing "extremism". Certainly it should have emphasized that the report's definition of "reject" was focusing on those groups whose rejection of federal authority includes "a refusal to submit to or acknowledge the authority of".

    My two cents, anyway.

  12. No wonder the Obama administration wants to backtrack on the election trail trailing against the evils of warrantless NSA snooping and the doctrine and application of government secrets: They see it as a way to stifle the dissent they find threatening to their ever-increasing grip on power.

  13. "Only in a highly politicized bureaucracy could the Constitution be viewed as a subversive manifesto."

    I don't know. The federal government has been a highly politicized bureaucracy for decades. I'd submit that only in a bureaucracy intent on replacing our Republic with a socialist State could the Constitution be viewed as subversive.

  14. Spedvet: I am sorry you missed the point. The report is doing exactly what the writers and those who requested it want. It gives them a way to label conservatives as terrorists.

    Wait until Wednesday. You will see the MSM using this report to label the Tea Party'sas right-wing extremist and possibly terrorists.

  15. Me, I was against painting political activists as potential terrorists when it was PETA folks in Atlanta just as much as if it is peaceful tax protestors, and I couldn't agree more with concerns about the creeping power of the executive - regardless of which party is in power.

    If I had to guess why anti-abortion and immigration were singled out, maybe it's because extremists on both issues have killed people in the past and/or are walking around armed to the teeth?

    Kind of ironic that the most moderate comment on this page is from the on person who actually took the time to READ the report before having an opinion about it.

  16. Conservative Scalawag: DHS has previously issued threat reports on groups such as ELF that have used violence in theor goals. Where this report is markedly different, no specific "Rightwing" groups have been identified, nor has any consideration been given to any actual history of violence. The previous report warned of association with known violent groups, not a potential for violence based upon political beliefs.

    In generally I have a problem with using either "left" or "right" to identify animal rights, enviromental or supremecist wacko groups, as these terms are more properly used to describe political philosophies, not dogmatic and obsessive adherence to one specific agenda item. If one insists on using these labels, though, it is instructive to note that major national candidates and pols from the "right" routinely denounce would-be supporters from supremecist groups while major national candidates and pols from the "left" routinely excuse and pander animal rights and environmental groups

  17. "If I had to guess why anti-abortion and immigration were singled out, maybe it's because extremists on both issues have killed people in the past and/or are walking around armed to the teeth?" - Jonathan

    Any you base this assumption upon what? Would it surprise you to know that the most recent anti-abortion murder in the US was over ten years ago (1998). In fact, Wikipedia (not exactly a rightwing source) cites only seven murders in the US. National Abortion Federation (NAF) states that there have been 17 attempted murders in the US since 1977. Violence by an anti-abortion zealot is always wrong, but based only upon the evidence and teh fact that in every case the attack was performed by a lone wacko I see no reason at all to even consider anti-abortion violence as a DHS concern.

  18. It's all part of the Left's demand that everyone else shut up.

  19. Pre-1/20/2009: Dissent is the highest form of patriotism

    Post-1/20/2009: Dissent is treason, not to mention racist.

    I am wondering...if these Vast Right-Wing Groups that the Obama administration sees under every bed do anything, will it be called terrorism or "man-made disaster"?

  20. "In generally I have a problem with using either "left" or "right" to identify animal rights, enviromental or supremecist wacko groups, as these terms are more properly used to describe political philosophies, not dogmatic and obsessive adherence to one specific agenda item."

    Exactly. That the report deems these nut cases as "rightwing" indicates flagrant political bias by the authors.

    So do we not have to worry about potential "leftwing" terrorists? No concerns about a resurgent Weather Underground now that the MSM protects the veneer of respectability of Ayers & Dohrn? How about the executive hunters of the Working Families Party? Increasingly powerful ACORN has plenty of skeletons in the closet -- are we to believe they're benign?

  21. Yeah--

    That why we white conservatives go around joining those holy roller churches and think it's ok for state law on some things to be a wee tad different from what the Feds might have to say in our own private interpretations of "Federalism":

    To wit--we "originalists" are one step shy of training the choir kids to have airliners smash through windows.

  22. I used to work in the government, not DHS but DoD, and this is one of the most politicized documents I have ever read. Not only does it go in with a broad brush and not mention any groups (as DHS has done previously with ELF and others), but then points to a very few events and obsesses on Timothy McVeigh without examining the hows and whys of that case. By not doing that, the atmosphere of 'any of these people could do this' is spread throughout the document.

    By trying to paint a few 'lone wolf' wackos as indicative of an entire part of the population instead of what they are, the idea is that anyone who holds any single overlapping concern of any 'lone wolf' may decide to immitate same or join together in a terrorist group.

    What is even more frightening is the total lack of citation for Islamburg and Jamaat al Fuqra and the Statist and authoritarian beliefs held by those who form those groups... which, in this twisted world, would also be 'right wing' if the political 'left' wasn't terrified of people who can't be browbeaten and who have shown a willingness to kill without caring about outcomes.

    Apparently we have come full circle to where Adams, Jefferson, Franklin, Hamilton, Washington and Madison would be 'radicals' and 'extremists'. Well we always were a Revolutionary Nation...

  23. Thoughtcrime is here.

    Count me in as a 'rightwing extremist'

  24. Lame trolling; sorry, no link! "Penis envy." Try again.

  25. Well, it's official. I'm an Army/Iraq War veteran, therefore, I'm a "security threat" to the socialist regime in D.C.

    Atrocities carried out by Islamic terrorists are now referred to as "man-caused disasters", but apparently Bamster and company have no problem calling American war veterans, Americans opposed to illegal aliens, and Americans who support the 2nd Amendment, "terrorists".

    Welcome to the USSA.

  26. Speaking of the one who spoke about "man-caused disasters" for which Janet Napolitano might also include such things as global warming and carbon belching from smokestakes, it seems per one report that our new Secretary of aforementioned Homeland Stupdidity declares it a tossup about which could be worse:

    Al Quaida--or "right wing" extremists.

    Be careful of where you dumpt your Tea at the parties. And where you name-drop on the Founding Father's intents for the Revolution.

    Big Sister is watching.

  27. Grief. One of those days....

    Corrections: Make that "SMOKESTACKS", and Founding FATHERS' (plural possessive, not singular)

    For good measure I'll leave "Stupdidity" where it is for now....

  28. I find it very offensive to lump people who want to see animals and the environment protected with supremicists!

  29. Just to play the Devil's Advocate here, William, what of the statements to the effect as seen by example of one of Salon.com's commenters in that (and I quote directly from this person)

    "The report doesn't contain any of the following words or terms:

    * Ron Paul

    * libertarian

    * conservative

    * Republican

  30. I should have asked for "William Jacobson", now that I see the other William above me.

    Or course, he can chime in on this also!