Thursday, May 8, 2009
Republican Representatives have demanded answers from the Department of Homeland Security over the origins of the leaked security intelligence assessment which equates veterans and gun owners with violent terrorists.
House Minority Leader John A. Boehner filed the request using a little known legislative procedure called “a resolution of inquiry”, which ensures that the Democratic leadership will publicly resolve the issue within 14 days.
“The report that came out of DHS was offensive, and unfortunately, Secretary Napolitano still has a lot of explaining to do,” Boehner told the Washington Times.
“She has not explained how this report came about, why she signed off on it, or why she defended it.” the Ohio Republican stated.
The resolution, co-sponsored by Rep. Peter T. King of New York, the ranking Republican on the House Homeland Security Committee, requests that all documents and information pertaining to the compilation of the intelligence assessment be revealed.
“We have made repeated requests that the committee hold a bipartisan oversight hearing, but unfortunately those requests have been ignored. We are left with no other alternative but to demand answers from the secretary of homeland security herself,” Mr. King commented.
The report, entitled Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment (PDF link) was leaked to the Internet a fortnight ago.
Further analysis of the document has indicated that it was created by the DHS in 2007, under the authority of the Bush/Cheney administration, a fact that undermines any opportunity for political pointscoring on behalf of the GOP.
The document characterizes concerns about the economy, unemployment, the loss of U.S. sovereignty and the move towards global government as “rightwing extremist chatter on the Internet” which itself is defined as a potential tool for terrorists to network, build bombs, and send encrypted messages to each other.
It also lists those opposed to abortion or immigration as potential extremists.
A footnote attached to the report by the Homeland Security Office of Intelligence and Analysis defines “rightwing extremism in the United States” as including not just racist or hate groups, but also groups that reject federal authority in favor of state or local authority.
Controversy over the assessment was heightened earlier this week when another disturbing DHS security document emerged.
Entitled “Domestic Extremism Lexicon”, it shockingly lists the “alternative media” with other radical extremist groups and implies that people who disagree with the mass media’s version of events are potential domestic terrorists.
Though Janet Napolitano appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday, she was not questioned on either of the documents.