In the wake of last week’s pipe bombs and today’s synagogue murders, we need to recall that, in April 2009, the Department of Homeland Security attempted to issue a report titled “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment.” (PDF)
The report was leaked before it could be released and, immediately, Republican politicians and conservative activists alleged that the report focused on a nonexistent threat and would be used by the government to mark all conservatives, especially gun owners, veterans and Christians, as terrorists.
Under pressure, Homeland Security retracted the report and gutted the unit charged with tracking and combating domestic terrorists. Ironically, the author of the report was a conservative Republican Mormon who watched as his team was dissolved due to the criticism from Republicans, including Senate and House Republicans.
The report specifically assessed “lone wolves” who hold violent rightwing extremist ideology as “the most dangerous domestic terrorism threat in the United States” bent on “committing violent acts.” The report noted that “white supremacist lone wolves pose the most significant domestic terrorist threat because of their low profile and autonomy.”
Apparently disbanding Homeland Security’s team combating domestic violent extremists was worth it so right-wing groups could raise money and whip up fears of conservatives being persecuted.
Every single conservative and Republican who had anything to do with killing the 2009 DHS report has blood on their hands — and there may be more to come.
This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.