Have you now, or have you ever been, an Extremist?


Whew, what a relief!  A few weeks ago I wrote a post where I inquired Maybe I Should Turn Myself In? after the release of a classified Department of Homeland bulletin which painted with a broadbrush a fair number of conservatives and veterans as potential right-wing extremists.  Now, I learn, hattip to Ed Morrissey, that if they haul me away, they are also probably taking a lot of you with me!

This memo from the Department of Homeland Security, later retracted, presents a domestic extremism lexicon.  Among the extremists are  anarchist extremists-“A movement of groups or individuals who advocate a society devoid of government structure or ownership of individual property.”;  right wing extremist-“…those who are mainly antigovernment and reject federal authority in favor of state or local authority. This term also may refer to rightwing extremist movements that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration.”;  single issue extremist groups-“Groups or individuals who focus on a single issue or cause—such as animal rights, environmental or anti-abortion extremism—and often employ criminal acts.”  ( Are they still extremists if they don’t employ criminal acts?);  tax resistance movement-“Groups or individuals who vehemently believe taxes violate their constitutional rights. Among their beliefs are that wages are not income, that paying income taxes is voluntary, and that the 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which allowed Congress to levy taxes on income, was not properly ratified.”  One group missed is jihadists for some odd reason. 

The memo was recalled soon after it was released.  I hope that means that there are adults at Homeland Security, and not that the memo gave too much information as to the internal policies that may be at work within Homeland Security.  For those of you eager to turn in members of the above groups, Homeland Security provides the following contact information:

DHS encourages recipients of this document to report information concerning suspicious or criminal activity to DHS and the FBI. The DHS National Operations Center (NOC) can be reached by telephone at 202-282-9685 or by e-mail at NOC.Fusion@dhs.gov. For information affecting the private sector and critical infrastructure, contact the National Infrastructure Coordinating Center (NICC), a sub-element of the NOC. The NICC can be reached by telephone at 202-282-9201 or by e-mail at NICC@dhs.gov. The FBI regional phone numbers can be found online at http://www.fbi.gov/contact/fo/fo.htm. When available, each report submitted should include the date, time, location, type of activity, number of people and type of equipment used for the activity, the name of the submitting company or organization, and a designatedpoint of contact.”

Our tax dollars at work.  I know I’ll sleep better tonight!

8 Responses to Have you now, or have you ever been, an Extremist?

  1. Joe Hargrave says:

    Beat me up for this if you must,

    But there actually HAVE been extremist groups that HAVE held these views and HAVE resorted to acts of violence.

    These statements alone aren’t enough to cause me fear. It is possible to hold any of these views and be a moderate, or an extremist. Am I wrong?

    More importantly, though,

    This is absolutely nothing new. Anyone who thinks this sort of thinking is an invention of the Obama administration in some sort of vendetta against the right is simply wrong. For instance, a lot of people, not all, but a lot of people complaining about this look the other way or even cheer when the state cracks down on anti-war protesters or ‘community organizers’ or anyone on the left.

    There are a lot of people who are going to find themselves in the position of that German minister during the Nazi era. First they came for such and such a group, but I didn’t belong to that group, so I didn’t care. And so on, and so forth – until they came for me. And then there was no one left.

  2. Donald R. McClarey says:

    “But there actually HAVE been extremist groups that HAVE held these views and HAVE resorted to acts of violence.”

    Correct Joe, and what local police want is good intel about actual violent groups and not politicized junk like this. This type of garbage is a waste of taxpayer’s money and routinely goes in the round file at most law enforcement agencies. The telling fact about this piece of tripe is how quickly Homeland Security pulled it back, after someone sentient realized how this looked.

  3. Elaine Krewer says:

    The most powerful lies always contain at least a small measure of truth; otherwise no one would believe them. The “domestic extremism” memo is a good example of that.

    It is a fact that the worst U.S. DOMESTIC acts of terrorism in the last 15 years (Oklahoma City and the Atlanta Olympic bombing) WERE carried out by “right wing extremists”, and it is not unreasonable to assume that it could happen again. That can’t be denied. The problem, of course, is the labeling of anyone with “right wing” views as a potential terrorist.

    Time was, though, when the nation’s most dangerous domestic terrorists (like the Weather Underground and SDS) were undeniably left wing. However, that didn’t mean every single person who protested the Vietnam War was a potential terrorist. When police or National Guardsmen treated them as such (most infamously in Chicago and at Kent State), the results were embarrassing at best and tragic at worst.

  4. Donald R. McClarey says:

    The most interesting feature of the memo for me is the complete abscence of the jihadists, the threat that caused the creation of Homeland Security in the first place. That couldn’t have been by accident. I suspect that there are elements within Homeland Security that wish to shift the focus from this threat to other targets. Why?

  5. Elaine Krewer says:

    Not to get off topic, but it’s my impression that the nation in general was far more divided or polarized in the late 60s and early 70s than it is now. Right after Kent State there was genuine fear that nationwide campus unrest could lead to massive bloodshed, perhaps even a new civil war.

    Or, at least that’s the impression I get from people who lived through that era. I was only 6 years old in 1970 and had no idea what was going on.

    A few years ago I read James Michener’s book on Kent State. The part of the book that really shocked me — assuming it’s accurate — was his interviews with other students, all 20,000 of whom were forced to pack up and leave campus on short notice with only a couple of weeks to go until finals and graduation. When they got home, according to Michener, many of them were treated like lepers, and some of them were told, to their faces, by their own parents, that EVERY student involved in the protest that day deserved to be shot! And this was not an isolated sentiment.

    I realize the campus shootings of today are completely different from Kent State in that they are perpetrated by disturbed individuals and not by law enforcement personnel attempting to contain student unrest. But still, can you imagine students rushing home from Virginia Tech or Northern Illinois University only to be told that every student who got shot deserved it? Or, for that matter, Iraq and Afghanistan veterans coming home to people spitting on them and calling them baby killers, as happened to Vietnam veterans?

    If that was truly representative of the way people felt in 1970, the “culture war” of today is a walk in the park compared to that, in terms of its effect on most people’s daily lives. Can anyone who was old enough to remember that era vouch for that?

  6. Donald R. McClarey says:

    The country was much more divided then Elaine. I arrived at the U of I in the fall of 1975. I was in Army ROTC. During the early seventies the windows of the armory, the headquarters of ROTC, were routinely broken by student radicals and there was an attempt by them to set the building on fire. (Good luck with that! The armory is a huge structure and one of the better built on campus!) The student government held a party in the spring of ’75 to celebrate the fall of South Vietnam and Cambodia. Our instructors in ROTC, all who served in Vietnam, had a few “interesting” stories about the receptions they received after coming back from their tours of duty. I really don’t think the country has ever truly healed from those divisions. They scar over for a while, but in time of crisis they reopen.

  7. Elaine Krewer says:

    Perhaps today’s culture war is simply a continuation of the 1960s culture war which never really ended, as today’s Iraq War is a continuation of the 1991 war which never really ended (at least in the eyes of Congress and most combat veterans’ organizations).

    One thing the country seems to have learned from the Vietnam experience, however, is how to separate one’s convictions about a given war from one’s personal feelings toward the people who serve in it. Nowadays (with only a few exceptions) people who protest a war go out of their way to “support the troops” .

    The same seems to be true of the issues in the current culture war such as abortion and gay marriage. Again, this is just my personal experience and impression, that most people who are pro-life, even if they participate in abortion protests, clinic sit-ins, etc., are kind and respectful toward people they know who have had abortions or been involved in one. And most people who are against gay marriage (including myself) do know people who are gay, even people who are or have been involved in a same-sex union of some kind, but harbor no ill will toward them or their partners personally.

    I also believe that for the most part, ordinary people on the other side of both issues return the favor and are respectful of our convictions. But, of course, it’s always the ones who don’t respect the other side (ACT UP, the Phelps family, abortion clinic escorts, abortion clinic bombers, etc.) who inevitably get most of the attention.

  8. […] Hmmm.  American Catholic violent?  The 59, and counting, bishops and cardinals who have opposed the visit violent?  The 300,000 pro-lifers who signed the Cardinal Newman society pledge violent?  It appears that some people in the Obama administration are reading publications from the Department of Homeland Security! […]

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