April 16, 2009

Selective Memory

In 2008, the FBI released a report titled White Supremacist Recruitment of Military Personnel Since 9/11, finding that although military veterans don’t make up a large percentage of “white supremacist extremists,” these veterans have taken on leadership roles in the movement. The report further warned that, while the hate groups had stagnated and been in decline for several years, new groups made up of well-trained veterans could crop up, and said the groups have "the potential to reinvigorate the movement."

On April 7, 2009 the Department of Homeland Security issued a comprehensive threat report [PDF] titled Right-wing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment. The report includes a subsection titled “disgruntled military veterans,” in which it references and directly quotes the 2008 report. The American Legion and conservative commentators, who paid no attention to the 2008 report have found reason to denounce the 2009 report, calling it politically motivated and slanderous toward veterans.

With David Rehbein, National commander of the American Legion, leading the charge, America's second largest veterans group accuses the Obama administration of unfairly painting military veterans as right-wing extremists. Rehbein is particularly upset because of a mention in the report about Timothy McVeigh.

On Wednesday, John Sommer, a colleague of Rehnbein’s, appeared with FOX News host Greta Van Sustren. The two spent time raking the report over the coals. Gretta said, among other things, “It's slanderous. It's insane. It's insulting, it's all those things.”

Michelle Malkin titled an April 14 blog report Confirmed: The Obama DHS hit job on conservatives is real, in which she states that the report is “one of the most embarrassingly shoddy pieces of propaganda I’d ever read out of DHS. I couldn’t believe it was real.”

The 2008 report discussed all the same material and mentioned McVeigh, but the American Legion didn’t notice. Gretta didn't seem to think the Bush administration report was insane, and Michelle was apparently not embarrassed.

What a difference a single year can make.

HT Politico


FOX Newsperson Catherine Herridge has this morning revealed that the reviled report, as well as an earlier report [PDF] focusing on left wing extremists, was compiled at the request of the Bush administration.


"Well this is an element of the story which has largely gone unreported. One looks at right-wing groups, as you mentioned. And a second is on left-wing groups. Significantly, both were requested by the Bush administration but not finished until President Bush left office."

HT Think Progress



Rogue Medic said...

This is why I almost never watch comedy shows, politics has more densely concentrated giggles.