DHS report singles out vets as “right-wing extremists”

A recent disgrace of a Department of Homeland Security report on “right-wing extremists” took the liberty of singling out Iraq war veterans as possible agitators of “right-wing violence” against the government. The footnote in the report stems from the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing since Timothy McVeigh was a veteran of the first Gulf War.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has been scrambling to explain and/or defend the report.

The Associated Press reports:

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans on Wednesday said a Homeland Security Department intelligence assessment unfairly characterizes military veterans as right-wing extremists.

House Republican leader John Boehner described the report as offensive and called on the agency to apologize to veterans.

The agency’s intelligence assessment, sent to law enforcement officials last week, warns that right-wing extremists could use the bad state of the U.S. economy and the election of the country’s first black president to recruit members.

The assessment also said that returning military veterans who have difficulties assimilating back into their home communities could be susceptible to extremist recruiters or might engage in lone acts of violence.

“To characterize men and women returning home after defending our country as potential terrorists is offensive and unacceptable,” said Boehner, R-Ohio.

The commander of the veterans group the American Legion, David Rehbein, wrote to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano expressing concern with the assessment, which made its way into the mainstream press after conservative bloggers got wind of the analysis.

Rehbein called the assessment incomplete and said it lacked statistical evidence. He said the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing by military veteran Timothy McVeigh, cited in the report, was one instance of a veteran becoming a domestic terrorist.

“To continue to use McVeigh as an example of the stereotypical ‘disgruntled military veteran’ is as unfair as using Osama bin Laden as the sole example of Islam,” Rehbein said in the April 13 letter.

Janet Napolitano defended the report:

“Let me be very clear — we monitor the risks of violent extremism taking root here in the United States,” Napolitano said in a statement. “We don’t have the luxury of focusing our efforts on one group; we must protect the country from terrorism whether foreign or homegrown, and regardless of the ideology that motivates its violence.”

Napolitano said the department respects and honors veterans and that she intends to meet with Rehbein next week after she returns from a tour of the U.S.-Mexico border and meetings in Mexico City.

Glen M. Gardner Jr., national commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, disputed claims that Homeland Security analysts were describing veterans as terror threats.

“The report should have been worded differently, but it made no blanket accusation that every soldier was capable of being a traitor like Benedict Arnold, or every veteran could be a lone wolf, homegrown terrorist like Timothy McVeigh,” said Gardner, a Marine veteran from Round Rock, Texas. ” It was just an assessment about possibilities that could take place.”

A top Democrat in Homeland Security blasted the report as well:

The top House Democrat overseeing the Department of Homeland Security is demanding that officials there explain how and why they wrote and released a controversial report identifying veterans as potential terrorist threats.

Rep. Bennie G. Thompson of Mississippi, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said in a letter to DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano that he was “dumbfounded” such a report would be issued.

“This report appears to raise significant issues involving the privacy and civil liberties of many Americans — including war veterans,” Mr. Thompson said in the letter sent Tuesday.

“As I am certain you agree, freedom of association and freedom of speech are guaranteed to all Americans — whether a person’s beliefs, whatever their political orientation, are ‘extremist’ or not,” Mr. Thompson said.

The report “blurred the line,” and Mr. Thompson said he is “disappointed and surprised that the department would allow this report to be disseminated” to law enforcement officials nationwide.

I guess we know where this administration is headed. If you have passionate views opposing their socialism, you might end up in a Homeland Security report.

If you believe your money is your money and the government need stop confiscating it for obscene spending, you might be a right-wing extremist.

In fact, we could go through a whole slew of “You might be a right-wing extremist if…”

…you believe in capitalism.
…you believe in limited government.
…you believe politicians should be held accountable.
…you believe in freedom of speech.
…you believe government should cut spending, not raise taxes.

Yes, all of those positions probably make you a crazy right-wing extremist.

Sound off below, I know we can come up with more.


Napolitano apologizes, sort of:

  • D.D.Mao

    Commander of the American Legion David Rehbein said this report is “INCOMPLETE”? Hell ! you’re not grading papers here ….this is a Declaration of War against Veterans,conservatives and the rights given to us in the Constitution.

  • D.D.Mao

    Here’s a quote that our friends on the left have been making for years now and it’s getting more reverent every day.

    “Ideas are more powerful than guns.We wouldn’t let our enermies have guns why let them have ideas.”..Joseph Stalin

  • Mary

    The BUSH ADMIN. ordered this report and it was just completed.

  • Bill Hedges


    Where did you find that Bush did it, I would like to go to that link and study up on it.

    Kind of funny that Napolitano apologizes istead of blaming Bush ? Appears your statement needs deeper investigation to draw out the truth

  • Bill Hedges

    “Seeking to move beyond what he calls a “a dark and painful chapter in our history,” President Barack Obama said Thursday that CIA officials who used harsh interrogation tactics during the Bush administration will not be prosecuted”

    Obama wants to disappoint his radial supporters to get past a
    “a dark and painful chapter in our history,”



    I wish to thank and praise Bush and those that that helped
    to protect and serve our Country.

    Bush does not have to stage a group of soilders

  • Bill Hedges


    “Several of the people who left comments—not to mention my Thomas Jefferson Street colleague Robert Schlesinger—pointed to the existence of a similar report released under the auspices of the Bush administration that they maintained was the functional equivalent of the Napolitano report, only with its rhetoric directed at the American left. In fact, it is remarkably different, and I’d like to show how.”

    Mary, please note_”released under the auspices of the Bush administration”
    Later says_

    “You get the idea. In any case, the level of specificity in the earlier report—while still thin—is nonetheless light years ahead of what is contained in the Napolitano report. And its a far cry from “be wary of returning veterans,” as the Napolitano report suggests, because they may be disgruntled and Timothy McVeigh, who blew up the federal building in Oklahoma City, was both disgruntled and a returning veteran”

    Mary…No…What was released was not Bush. Was “Doctored Bush.” Therefore, don’t accociate Bush.

    Put Napolitano “name on her work of art.”

  • Bill Hedges
  • Bill Hedges

    “Some 6,300 people died last year in drug-related killings in Mexico and the violence has begun to spill over into the United States”

    “The Obama administration is tightening the U.S.-Mexico border to prevent trafficking of U.S. guns to Mexican cartels and is hoping to send Black Hawk helicopters to help Mexican President Felipe Calderon defeat well-armed cartels”

    “Mexican officials want Washington to reinstate a ban on assault weapons that expired in 2004. Some 90 percent of the weapons used by Mexican gangs including the Gulf and Sinaloa cartels come from the United States, Mexican police say?


    “The Myth of 90 Percent: Only a Small Fraction of Guns in Mexico Come From U.S.”

    “While 90 percent of the guns traced to the U.S. actually originated in the United States, the percent traced to the U.S. is only about 17 percent of the total number of guns reaching Mexico.”


    Gee, I wonder why Mexico plays along with president obama… Could it be…MONEY.

    obama, have you no shame. Stop the lies

    “The truth shall set you free.”

    I do not hear obama talking about the stopping of illegals… Just the prelude to gun control attack.

  • Bill Hedges

    WAIT…WAIT…obama know his position is weak…Why else this:

    “Obama pledges help to slow US arms flow”

    “Obama had pledged during his campaign to seek renewal of the ban but has bowed to the reality that such a move would be unpopular in politically key U.S. states and among Republicans as well as some conservative Democrats.”


    Since I am not a obomaite, I believe few words coming from his mouth. He will draw criticism from his radical friends over this. He is not doing this to be my friend.

    He must see writing on the wall.

    Indeed, he was watching through his windows yesterday. What he learned, remains to be seem

  • This report was dated April 7, 2009. Just when does the Obama administration begin taking responsibility for itself? Amazing how Bush still runs the government from Crawford.

  • Bill Hedges

    Never in the course of history has one man done soo much while out of office_Good ole Winston Churchill para phase