I'M BEING WATCHED BECAUSE I'M AN EXTREMIST

April 18, 2009

According to the U.S. government, I am an extremist. I am a Christian and believe the Bible from cover to cover.  I meet regularly with other Christians to study God's word. I preach what the Bible says. I believe in the sanctity of human life, oppose abortion, and want to preserve marriage as the union of a man and a woman. I own several guns and regularly take target practice (in fact I shot a 298 out of 300 yesterday).  I consider efforts to infringe on my Second Amendment rights to be wrong and unconstitutional. I fervently support the sovereignty of the United States, and believe in state's rights, I am deeply concerned about our economy, increasingly higher taxes, illegal immigration, soaring unemployment, and actions by our government that will bury my children beneath a mountain of debt.

Apparently, all this makes me a "rightwing extremist." At least, that's what it says in the April 7 "Assessment" issued by the Office of Intelligence and Analysis at the Department of Homeland Security. The nine-page report, titled "Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment," is full of warnings about American citizens who share any part of my background or subscribe to the beliefs above. It is one of the most alarming documents produced by our government that I ever have read.

Evidently, neither you nor I ever was supposed to read this "Assessment." At the bottom of the cover page is a warning that it is "not to be released to the public, the media, or other personnel who do not have a valid need-to-know." We're Americans. We have a need to know what's going on in our government, especially in an administration that promised to be "transparent." A full copy of the report is posted at www.FreedomAlliance.org.

The "Assessment" purports to alert law enforcement officials that "rightwing extremists" -- the term is used more than 35 times -- are intent on exploiting Americans who have strongly held beliefs on everything from Christian faith to rising unemployment, U.S. sovereignty and the Second Amendment. It vilifies those of us in these categories by references to neo-Nazis, racists, militias, white supremacists and other "hate groups." Notably, the report includes a warning that right-wing extremism "may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration."

Though the report proffers a passing reference to the First Amendment, it is replete with bias against conservative thought, writing and communications. On Page 3, law enforcement authorities are warned, "Rightwing extremist chatter on the Internet continues to focus on the economy, the perceived (emphasis added) loss of U.S. jobs in the manufacturing and construction sectors, and home foreclosures." The interesting thing is the fact that there is not one single reference to "left-wing radicals" or "radical left-wingers."

That is a frightening acknowledgment that political speech is being monitored in America. It is also wrong. It's not "perception." It is fact. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the manufacturing and construction sectors have lost 161,000 jobs and 126,000 jobs, respectively, last month alone.

In its "Key Findings," the DHS manuscript boldly charges that "rightwing extremists may be gaining new recruits by playing on their fears about several emergent issues" and offers this warning: "The possible passage of new restrictions on firearms and the return of military veterans facing significant challenges reintegrating into their communities could lead to the potential emergence of terrorist groups or lone wolf extremists capable of carrying out violent attacks."

Under the heading "Disgruntled Military Veterans," the report alleges: "Rightwing extremists will attempt to recruit and radicalize returning veterans in order to exploit their skills and knowledge derived from military training and combat. These skills and knowledge have the potential to boost the capabilities of extremists -- including lone wolves or small terrorist cells -- to carry out violence." These unsubstantiated claims are followed by reminders that Timothy McVeigh, who bombed the Oklahoma City federal building in 1995, was a military veteran. Omitted is any reference to the fact that McVeigh was simply one of more than 40 million veterans of the U.S. armed forces.

Thirteen lines after this egregious, unconscionable slander against those who are military combat veterans, DHS makes the stunning charge that "lone wolves and small terrorist cells embracing violent rightwing extremist ideology are the most dangerous domestic terrorism threat in the United States."

According to this DHS "Assessment," the most dangerous threat we face here at home isn't from radical imams preaching violence in U.S. mosques and madrassas, Islamists recruiting in our prisons, Somali terrorists enticing young immigrants to become suicide bombers, or Hamas, Hezbollah or al-Qaida operatives plotting mass murder. No, according to DHS, the real threat comes from what our government labels "rightwing extremist ideology."

Mr. Obama should disavow this report publicly and fire the officials responsible for issuing it. Those who prepare his remarks for the occasion should insert in the teleprompter former Sen. Barry Goldwater's words on the subject: "Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice."

I cannot help but remember when Joseph Goebbels, Hitler's Chief Propaganda Minister who circulated similar reports and warned of the ultimate collapse of the economy due to the hoarding of money by the Jews.  I am also reminded of Heinrich Himmler, Reichsfuhrer and head of Hitler's Gestapo, the secret police, which investigated, tried and killed many innocence people simply because they disagreed with the leadership of Der Fuhrer. These two spent years watching, spying and rounding up even the least of resisters and carted them off to their doom. Just the thought of these two makes me wonder who the real Nazis are.

If Mr. Obama doesn't disavow this report, if he merely sloughs it off and allows more of this to prevail, we can all look for increased internal security, bills passed through Congress and signed by the President which will make owning a gun, speaking out for the sanctity of human life, preaching against same-sex marriage and disagreeing with the policies of the liberal Reichstag (ur, Washington) a crime, punishable by ______.  It can't be death could it?  They are against capital punishment!

We believe that the Constitution of the United States speaks for itself. There is no need to rewrite, change or reinterpret it to suit the fancies of special interest groups or protected classes.