March 6, 2010
Janet Napolitano and the DHS are now vindicated. The mentally disturbed Pentagon shooter is more evidence of rightwing extremism violence. Or so Bill Weir of ABC News insists. The corporate media “journalist” (teleprompter reader) and co-anchor of Good Morning America Weekend Edition waved around a printout out of the DHS report this morning.
“Back in April, almost a year ago, the Department of Homeland Security put out this assessment, called ‘Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment.’ And the title alone stirred up a political firestorm for the Secretary, Napolitano. She apologized, had to reaffirm that the government doesn’t monitor people who are opposed to this administration. But as a law enforcement officer, how do you make the distinction between somebody who has a legitimate different point of view from this government and someone who might become unhinged?” Weir said.
See the video:
The Bedell case has become a circus sideshow and reaffirms the false right-left paradigm. Neocon Republicans insist Bedell was a registered Democrat while so-called liberals and progressives argue he was a poster child for the Tea Party and “militia” movements.
“As we saw in Austin, far-right extremist rhetoric plays no small role in inspiring these acts. And inevitably, it is ordinary Americans who pay the price,” writes David Neiwert for Crooks and Liars.
“We now know that the guy thought the government and the Bush family were behind the 9/11 attacks (or ‘demolitions’ as he called them), and was basically frothing at the mouth with Bush hatred,” writes a blogger going by the handle Zombie on the neocon Pajamas Media website.
Zombie, to his credit, says that more than anything Bedell was a lunatic. Meanwhile, one of his neocon comrades, the Fox News darling Michelle Malkin, can’t help but note Bedell was a registered Democrat.
- A d v e r t i s e m e n t
The CIA’s favorite newspaper has weighed in. Bedell, Joe Stack, and James Von Brunn, the elderly neo-Nazi charged with killing a guard at the U.S. Holocaust Museum last June, “appear to have drawn ideological nourishment from the same well: online communities of like-minded people who validate and amplify extreme views. Today, more than in recent years, such communities are tapping into a broad undercurrent of anti-government discontent fueled by economic recession, joblessness and concern over the growing federal deficit, according to experts who have studied the phenomenon,” write Joby Warrick and Spencer S. Hsu for The Washington Post.
How to put a damper on this electronic undercurrent “anti-government discontent”? Clamp down on the internet, of course.
Cass Sunstein to the rescue. In his recently published book, On Rumors, Obama’s regulatory czar suggests websites be forced to remove “false rumors” (as determined by the government) or face prosecution under libel laws. In an academic paper, Sunstein argued that the government should ban conspiracy theories and launch a renewed COINTELPRO initiative and infiltrate “extremists who supply conspiracy theories” and unconstitutionally disrupt anybody who disagrees with the government.
“We can readily imagine a series of possible responses,” Sunstein wrote. “(1) Government might ban conspiracy theorizing. (2) Government might impose some kind of tax, financial or otherwise, on those who disseminate such theories.”
Sunstein’s over-the-top fascist solutions in response to people who oppose the government are probably a bit too extreme for the squeamish gang in Congress. Instead, they appear ready to support a bill now in the Senate that will give Obama the power to shut down the internet in response to a cyber attack.
As Boston Review journalist Evgeny Morozov noted last year, the cyber war threat is seriously overblown. “It is alarming that so many people have accepted the White House’s assertions about cyber-security as a key national security problem without demanding further evidence,” writes Morozov. “Have we learned nothing from the WMD debacle? The administration’s claims could lead to policies with serious, long-term, troubling consequences for network openness and personal privacy.”
Any legislation emerging in the weeks ahead will be designed to go after “online communities of like-minded people who validate and amplify extreme views,” not Muslim hackers secreted away in remote caves.