Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Wire: Obama Admin Faces Veteran Ire Over Extremist Profiling in Homeland Security Report

Off the Wire

Off the Wire:
EDITOR'S COMMENT: The Department of Homeland Security was created by President George W. Bush in direct response to the September 11 al-Qaeda terrorist attacks. The DHS under the Obama administration profiles Americans who are conservatives, libertarians and returning military vets as potential "right-wing extremists" in new guidelines sent to domestic law enforcement agencies.
WASHINGTON, April 15, 2009 -- Newswires reported today that the U.S. Homeland Security Department is under fire for profiling U.S. troops returning from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars as potential right-wing extremist recruits.

President Barack Obama's appointed head of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, sought to douse anger building in veterans groups like the American Legion over a report from her department warning of a rising threat of right-wing extremism.

French news agency AFP reported that American Legion chief David Rehbein on Tuesday blasted the report as "incomplete, and, I fear, politically-biased" and took special aim at its warning that returning veterans having difficulties reintegrating society could be recruited by right-wing groups for possible terrorist attacks.

In a letter to Napolitano, Rehbein underlined the document's mention of Oklahoma City bombing author Timothy McVeigh's US Army background and called it "as unfair as using Osama bin Laden as the sole example of Islam," AFP noted.

AFP also reported the following news:
"The American Legion is well aware and horrified at the pain inflicted during the Oklahoma City bombing, but Timothy McVeigh was only one of more than 42 million veterans who have worn this nation's uniform during wartime," said Rehbein, who group comprises some 2.6 million members.

Napolitano said she accepted Rehbein's request for a meeting and stressed: "I will tell him face-to-face that we honor veterans at DHS and employ thousands across the department, up to and including the deputy secretary."
Rehbein said the extremist accusation, levelled in an April 7 document designed for local law enforcement officials, was "without any statistical evidence."

(Report from a commercial news source.)

NOTE: Updated to correct typo in second paragraph, fix broken link.

Download related primary document:
Right-wing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment (pdf)

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