Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano wasted little time in going after President Obama’s most beloved opponents, pro-life Americans. In a document entitled “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment” dated April 7, 2009, an “intelligence assessment” is provided to the Department of Homeland Security.
What first caught my attention was a little note at the bottom of page two, which reads:
(U) 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.
Clearly the Obama administration has drawn a line in the sand when it comes to Americans who wish to focus attention on the plight of the preborn, calling abortion by its proper name, and demanding equal rights and equal protection for all, regardless of age, health, place of residence or condition of dependency. Perhaps you are among the extremists this document is discussing; to my mind this sort of extremist is an American expressing his freedom of speech in an effort to bring an end to the heinous crime of direct abortion which is, after all, an act of murder.
Well, look out. Things may get very unpleasant, or maybe not. During a couple of interviews I have given on this ridiculousness, I have stressed the reality that acts designed to intimidate are themselves unlawful, and nobody including Ms. Napolitano is going to harass me and get away with it. Of that we can all rest assured.
We can further be grateful that the Thomas More Law Center has already stepped in and has filed a Freedom of Information Act request demanding to know the basis for the DHS’ recent “intelligence assessment.” TMLC is working in defense of freedom of speech, and TMLC president, Richard Thompson is not pulling any punches.
Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Law Center stated, “Janet Napolitano is lying to the American people when she says the Report is not based on ideology or political beliefs. In fact, her report would have the admiration of the Gestapo and any current or past dictator in the way it targets political opponents. This incompetently written intelligence assessment, which directs law enforcement officials across the country to target and report on American citizens who have the political beliefs mentioned in the report, will be used as a tool to stifle political opposition and opinions. It will give a pretext for opponents of those Americans to report them to police as rightwing extremists and terrorists. You can imagine what happens then.”
Way to go, Dick! You can also view the pdf file of the official complaint on the TMLC web page by clicking on the red lettering.
Jim Clymer of the Constitution Party took a different perspective, shared by many political types, and told his supporters
This is an egregious case of political profiling. The timing of this report – to coincide with tax protests across the country – should not be lost on Americans. It’s indeed a frightening reality when those who subscribe to a Constitutionally based political view are characterized as potentially “violent.”
Clymer, among others, claims that the Homeland Security report is designed primarily to suggest that any American who is protesting Obama’s spending policies is involved in an extremist plot. My view is that there is something more profoundly disturbing about this document than whether or not Americans have the right, if not the duty, to publicly protest high-handed government spending and other policies which literally threaten the family in a number of ways.
I must take note of the fact that this report comes during the same period of time where things have occurred which, I believe, were planned to put President Obama “in the face” of the Catholic Church. My view is that it’s designed to test the waters and see exactly how far the administration can push American bishops.
I say this not only because of his scheduled appearance at the University of Notre Dame, but also because of his appearance at Georgetown University, where public reminders of our Catholic faith had to be covered up. And of course there are the Obama administration’s possible nominations for ambassador to the Vatican, who are all pro-abortion Catholics!
The Vatican has handled the matter nicely, but not so with unanimity among American bishops, at least not yet.
The Napolitano report is no accident, regardless of which type of political agenda you happen to aspire to, because I don’t think it is about politics, but rather about a world view that does not give a single quarter to Christ, His people or His teachings. Further, I am wondering if the report is the first salvo in an attempt to silence God’s people and the truths so eloquently set forth in natural law.
Is it preposterous to consider the possibility that the report was created based on some contrived definition of extremist that includes people who take their faith into the public square in order to fight against evil?
Let’s not forget MSNBC host Chris Matthews and his opinion of those of us who defend life:
On Monday night's "Hardball," [March 2, 2009] Chris Matthews feared Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius, in her nomination fight to head HHS, would be a target of "the terrorism of the, of the anti-abortion people." Then perhaps realizing he called all pro-lifers terrorists, Matthews feebly attempted to amend the statement, as he tried to clarify, "I mean verbal terrorism."
Could the Obama administration be taking its cue from Matthews? Terrorists, extremists … what next?
Might we see a day when publicly proclaiming one’s Christianity could be tantamount to subversive activity?
Interesting questions, aren’t they!
Covering the latest DHS document, Catholic News Agency reports
Under the title “Revisiting the 1990s,” the report claims that “paralleling the current national climate, rightwing extremists during the 1990s exploited a variety of social issues and political themes to increase group visibility and recruit new members.”
“Prominent among these themes were the militia movement’s opposition to gun control efforts, criticism of free trade agreements (particularly those with Mexico), and highlighting perceived government infringement on civil liberties as well as white supremacists’ longstanding exploitation of social issues such as abortion, inter-racial crimes, and same-sex marriage.”
The report “is provided to federal, state, local, and tribal counterterrorism and law enforcement officials so they may effectively deter, prevent, preempt, or respond to terrorist attacks against the United States.”
In other words, if according to one’s understanding of truth and scientific facts, one cannot condone aborting children or the mainstreaming of homosexuality, can we presume that makes such people extremists? Is the embrace of doctrinally sound teachings the equivalent of a terrorist threat?
Lots of questions I cannot answer but the very idea that we have to examine such concepts should trouble every red-blooded American, regardless of his or her political philosophy.
Perhaps the DHS report on “extremism” is not so difficult to understand at all. Perhaps it is far more sweeping than first thought. Only time will tell but as we all know, to be forewarned is to be conscious of the situation and the possible implications.
For as the Washington Times reported after Secretary Napolitano spoke out in defense of the report, “Ms. Napolitano insisted that the department was not planning on engaging in any form of ideological profiling.”
Further, she said
"We are on the lookout for criminal and terrorist activity but we do not – nor will we ever – monitor ideology or political beliefs. We take seriously our responsibility to protect the civil rights and liberties of the American people, including subjecting our activities to rigorous oversight from numerous internal and external sources."
Thomas More Law Center’s Richard Thompson said in a letter to Janet Napolitano published in the Washington Times
“As I am certain you agree, freedom of association and freedom of speech are guaranteed to all Americans – whether a person's beliefs, whatever their political orientation, are 'extremist' or not. …” Mr. Thompson said the report "blurred the line."
That’s an understatement, for sure. Stay tuned – we will be monitoring the Napolitano nastiness very closely.