While the rest of us may be worried about violent Mexican drug gangs on
our border, or about terrorists who are going to be released from
Guantanimo, the Director of Homeland Security is worried about
Just who are these right-wing extremists?
According to an official document of the U.S. Department of Homeland
Security, right-wing extremists include "groups and individuals that are
dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or
immigration." It also includes those "rejecting federal authority in
favor of state or local authority."
If you fit into any of these categories, you may not have realized that
you are considered a threat to national security. But apparently the
Obama administration has its eye on you.
According to the same official document, the Department of Homeland
Security "has no specific information that domestic rightwing terrorists
are currently planning acts of violence." But somehow they just know
that you right-wingers are itching to unleash terror somewhere, somehow.
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So-called "honor killings" by Muslims in the United States, including a
recent beheading of his wife by a leader of one of the American Muslim
organizations, does not seem to arouse any concern by the Department of
When it comes to the thuggery of ACORN its members harassing the
homes of bankers and even the home of Senator Phil Gramm when he opposed
things that ACORN favored the Department of Homeland Security
apparently sees no evil, hears no evil and speaks no evil.
Maybe they are too busy worrying about right-wing "extremists" who don't
like abortions or illegal immigration, or who favor the division of
power between the state and federal governments established by the
In one sense, the Department of Homeland Security paper is silly. In
another sense, it can be sinister as a revealing and disturbing sign of
the preoccupations and priorities of this administration and their
willingness to witch hunt and demonize those who dare to disagree with
Reportedly, the FBI and the Defense Department are cooperating with the
Department of Homeland Security in investigations of returning veterans
from Iraq and Afghanistan. That people who have put their lives on the
line for this country are made the target of what is called the Vigilant
Eagle program suggests that this administration might be more of a
threat than the people they are investigating.
All this activity takes on a more sinister aspect against the background
of one of the statements of Barack Obama during last year's election
campaign that got remarkably little attention in the media. He suggested
the creation of a federal police force, comparable in size to the
Why such an organization? For what purpose?
Since there are state and local police forces all across the country, an
FBI to investigate federal crimes and a Department of Justice to
prosecute those who commit them, as well as a Defense Department with
military forces, just what role would a federal police force play?
Maybe it was just one of those bright ideas that gets floated during an
election campaign. Yet there was no grassroots demand for any such
federal police nor any media clamor for it, so there was not even any
political reason to suggest such a thing.
What would be different about a new federal police force, as compared to
existing law enforcement and military forces? It would be a creation of
the Obama administration, run by people appointed from top to bottom by
that administration and without the conflicting loyalties of those
steeped in existing military traditions and law enforcement traditions.
In short, a federal police force could become President Obama's personal
domestic political army, his own storm troopers.
Perhaps there will never be such a federal police force. But the
targeting of individuals and groups who believe in some of the
fundamental values on which this country was founded, and people who
have demonstrated their patriotism by volunteering for military service,
suggests that this potential for political abuse is worth watching, as
Obama tries to remake America to fit his vision.