Thursday, April 23, 2009

And Now, For My Next Act of Terror...

Believe it or not, I have already received dire warnings for calling your attention to Minipax's characterization, in a memo entitled "Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment," of pro-lifers as potential domestic terrorists. But fear not. This Pro-Life Terrorist™ is not easily cowed.

The American Center for Law and Justice has a link at its website to a petition with which you can protest the Department of Homeland Security calling pro-lifers "rightwing extremists" likely to commit acts of violence.

Resources for My Fellow Terrorists:

At, see this article in which Janet Napolitano defends the inclusion of pro-lifers in the memo.

Associated Content has an opinion column on the subject, addressing the touchy issue of the document's classification--it's not classified, but it's not supposed to be distributed to the media (however, it's readily available on the web). For fairness, the column links a similar document from 2001 entitled "Left Wing Extremism: The Current Threat." However, that memo is about communism and radical Black separatism; it points out that communists committed most of the "officially designated" terrorist acts in the U.S. in the 1980s, and it does not characterize, say, pro-aborticide groups, as potential terrorists. Unlike the " Rightwing Extremism" memo, it is also balanced with a discussion of right-wing extremist and white-supremacist groups. It also distinguishes carefully between violent and nonviolent holders of left-wing ideologies, and emphasizes the importance of free speech, none of which the new document on right-wing extremism does.

More recent and relevant is a DHS document on left-wing threats issued in January, as discussed in PoliGazette. The existence of this memo suggests that the "Rightwing Extremism" memo is part of a series of ongoing warnings about potential threats. However, the "Rightwing Extremism" memo points out specific groups and causes, such as pro-life. The document on left-wing extremism does not do so; it focuses specifically on an Internet-related form of eco-terrorism, mostly perpetrated by animal rights groups. However, it does so without broadly characterizing animal rights activists the way the new memo broadly characterizes pro-lifers. The memo on on-line eco-terrorism, like the "Rightwing Extremism" memo, is non-classified but not for general distribution. But it's easily available on the Internet.

The Volokh Conspiracy has a balanced discussion of the issue, including the frivolous lawsuit from the More Foundation.

The memo's likely effects have probably been exaggerated by pro-life commentators. Nonetheless, pro-lifers are right to protest being characterized as potential terrorists. See this article from Michelle Malkin on that subject.

Also, for a more...erm...personal attack on Janet Napolitano, see this from Gingi Edmonds, which, along with nasty, un-funny jokes about Napolitano, contains this money quote:

The report, "Right-wing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment", reports that right-wing extremist groups may be using the recession and the election of our nation's first African-American president to recruit members.

You know, I'm getting really tired of the color of Obama's skin being the cause of and solution to all of our nation's problems. Long before the color of Barack's epidermis was a daily mainstream media talking point, pro-lifers have been non-violently 'recruiting' others to acknowledge the common sense basics of elementary biology – namely that abortion kills an innocent life. But to Napolitano, the mass slaughter of innocent children won't motivate us crazy right-wingers to action... only opposition to President Barack Obama will. [more...]

And this one:

...When the Department of Homeland Security begins propagating the media's "pro-life violence" mythology, it's time for pro-lifers to put our feet down and demand accountability. If pro-lifers are so violent, where is the violence?

When questioned as to which pro-life groups were suspected of potential violence and why in an interview with CNN's "State of the Union" this past Sunday, Napolitano responded by stating that, "the number of groups are far too numerous to mention". One can only assume she's basing this conclusion on the countless rabid Christian grandmas seen launching Molotov cocktails over the fences of abortion mills. Oh wait! That doesn't happen.

So we're back to wondering: what makes pro-life advocates so dangerous? What is the basis for this statement? The bottom line is: there is none. The pro-life movement is undeniably the most peaceful movement in U.S. history. Throughout the nine-page report Napolitano states that there is "no specific information that domestic right-wing terrorists are currently planning acts of violence". [more...]

Much of the pro-life response to the DHS memo has included (probably rhetorical) expressions of fear that an anti-conservative witch-hunt is forthcoming. Really, though, that won't happen for at least fifty more years. And Catholics can relax, because the witch-hunt's first victims will probably be Evangelicals, since it's usually Evangelicals that leftists accuse of being just as bad as Islamic terrorists, even though Evangelicals are not known for blowing up busses, launching rockets into towns, or crashing planes into buildings.

Nonetheless, the Newspeakish switches in language evident in the memo, in the current administration, and in the country's general political climate, are of real concern: Islamic terrorists are now militants, pro-lifers are potential terrorists, and now people who oppose abortion may even be accused of "verbal terrorism," whatever the hell that is. Leftists have proved willing and able to mangle language to get what they want; they are exactly the people Orwell warned us about. This mangling is evident in the "Rightwing Extremism" memo where Napolitano warns that potentially violent groups include those concerned with a "single issue." "Single issue" is a meaningless leftist catch phrase, a way of dismissing pro-lifers without addressing them in honest discussion or debate: Your problem is, you're too concerned with just this one issue! Ignore the millions of babies being slaughtered behind the curtain! Let's talk about something else!

Although Napolitano undoubtedly had actual, real, violent terrorism in mind when she wrote the memo, the incompetence of the memo, its vagueness, its political correctness, its singling out of pro-lifers, veterans, and people concerned with illegal immigration, its inability to find more than a couple of examples of right-wing extremist terrorism (as opposed to the memos on left-wing terrorism mentioned above, which give numerous examples), and its failure to give concrete or useful data to the law-enforcement agencies it's supposed to inform, are all signs that something's not right in the DHS.
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