From the April 2009 Idaho Observer:

DHS secretary backs report identifying most Americans as potential terrorists

By The Idaho Observer

"The notion that a radical is one who hates his country is naive and usually idiotic. He is more likely one who likes his country more than the rest of us and is, thus, more disturbed than the rest when he sees it debauched. He is not a bad citizen turning to crime; he is a good citizen driven to despair."

~H. L. Mencken (1880-1956)

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said April 15, 2009, that she was briefed before the April 7, 2009 release of a controversial intelligence assessment that identifies many Americans as potentially radicalized rightwing extremists. The report, "Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment," claims that "The current economic and political climate has some similarities to the 1990s when rightwing extremism experienced a resurgence fueled largely by an economic recession, criticism about the outsourcing of jobs and the perceived threat to U.S. power and sovereignty by other foreign powers."

The report also claims that, "Rightwing extremists have capitalized on the ‘historical’ election of the first African American president and are focusing their efforts to recruit new members, mobilize existing supporters and broaden their scope and appeal through propaganda, but they have not yet turned to attack planning."

The "possible passage of new restrictions on firearms and the return of military veterans facing significant challenges reintegrating into their communities could lead to the potential emergence of terrorist groups…" is also cited in the report as cause for the nation’s law enforcement agencies to be on alert.

The only thing that seems similar to the 90s (the Clinton era) is the desire by the president to create division among Americans to justify demonizing "conservatives" as a means to restrict the lawful domestic expression of nonviolent civil disobedience. In fact, the report continually refers to and regurgitates Clinton-era "domestic terror" intelligence and attempts to make it apply to current realities.

The report lumps "potentially-violent neo-Nazi skinheads and other white supremacists," anti-Semites, pro-life Christians, people opposed to illegal immigration, gun rights advocates and military veterans into a category of potentially-radicalized extremists that pose a threat to the present administration.

The report, which has been circulated among law enforcement agencies throughout the country, is so absurd that it is either an indication that the Obama administration is intentionally provoking "conservative" Americans or is woefully out of touch with the true state of growing American dissidence.

In her April 15 statement, Napolitano defended the report. "The document on right-wing extremism sent last week by this department’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis is one in an ongoing series of assessments to provide situational awareness to state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies on the phenomenon and trends of violent radicalization in the United States."

The former AZ governor added, "We are on the lookout for criminal and terrorist activity but we do not—nor will we ever—monitor ideology or political beliefs. We take seriously our responsibility to protect the civil rights and liberties of the American people, including subjecting our activities to rigorous oversight from numerous internal and external sources."

The Thomas More Law Center, a national public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, announced that it has filed a federal lawsuit against Secretary Napolitano. The lawsuit claims that her department’s "Rightwing Extremism Policy," as reflected in the recently publicized report, violates the civil liberties of combat veterans as well as American citizens by targeting them for disfavored treatment on account of their political beliefs.

The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan on behalf of nationally syndicated conservative radio talk show host Michael Savage, Gregg Cunningham, president of the pro-life organization Center for Bio-Ethical Reform, Inc. and Iraqi War Marine veteran Kevin Murray. The Law Center claims that Napolitano’s department has violated the First and Fifth Amendment Constitutional rights of these three plaintiffs by attempting to chill their free speech, expressive association, and equal protection rights. The lawsuit further claims that the Department of Homeland Security encourages law enforcement officers throughout the nation to target and report citizens to federal officials as suspicious rightwing extremists and potential terrorists because of their political beliefs.

Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Thomas More Law Center stated, "The Obama administration has declared war on American patriots and our Constitution. The report even admits that the Department has no specific information on any plans of violence by so-called ‘rightwing extremists.’ Rather, what they do have is the expression of political opinions by certain individuals and organizations that oppose the Obama administration’s policies, and this expression is protected speech under the First Amendment."