DHS Hates To Say We Told You So, But… They Told Us So

April 19th, 2010at 11:24am Posted by Eli

I’m not sure this is necessarily an indication of timidity (although in the Obama administration I would never rule that out); it might simply be that a follow-up doesn’t really add anything we don’t already know.

Despite a recent upsurge in threats and violence by far-right groups and loners, the Homeland Security Department appears gun-shy about reporting or monitoring the trend too closely. Domestic security and counterterrorism officials say that even though, in light of recent events, a controversial report issued a year ago by Homeland Security about a “resurgence” in far-right radicalization and recruitment appears well informed, if not prescient, the Department has done nothing to re-issue the report or update it.

When its report titled “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment” first leaked to the media last year, the Homeland Security Department was slammed by conservative activists and pundits for even daring to address the issue. Blogger Michelle Malkin called the report a “hit job on conservatives,” alleging it was “one of the most embarrassingly shoddy pieces of propaganda I’d ever read out of DHS. I couldn’t believe it was real.” Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich tweeted, “The person who drafted the outrageous homeland security memo smearing veterans and conservatives should be fired,” and the issue became major fodder for Fox News hosts.


While not formally withdrawing the report, Napolitano and other senior Homeland Security officials apologized for it, saying it was poorly written and not properly reviewed before it was issued. But as we reported here last year, Napolitano also indicated that the report would be “replaced or redone in a much more useful and much more precise fashion.”

Napolitano has not followed through on that, however, even though recent news events—including the crashing of a plane into an IRS office in Texas by a tax protestor, a torrent of threats against cCongressional leaders, and the takedown of the bizarre but well-connected Hutaree militia (whose membership, as we noted here, included former U.S. military personnel)—have substantially vindicated Homeland Security’s judgments of last year. Asked why the department hasn’t updated the report or produced a fresh take on evidence about potentially threatening far-right activity, Homeland Security spokesman Sean Smith told Declassified: “The recent arrests and incidents have provided local law enforcement on the front lines more than enough reminder to be vigilant to the threats from violent extremism.”

What’s to update?  The far-right fringe is still full of crazy, potentially violent extremists.

Entry Filed under: Politics,Republicans,Terrorism

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