Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Political Profiling - Local and National

We live in weird and threatening times.  Americans elected a new president in November and Missourians elected a new governor.  Both Barack Obama and Jay Nixon are liberal Democrats and since they've taken their respective offices, two law enforcement bulletins have come to light.  Each suggesting that conservatives - because of their beliefs - are potential threats to law and order and eyes must be kept on them.

The first of these political profiles came from the Missouri Information Analysis Center and the Missouri Highway Patrol.  The "Strategic Report" on the "Modern Militia Movement" reads like a college term paper on the subject of domestic terrorism linked with "militia movements" from the 1980's (when "Tom Clancy novels, Soldier of Fortune Magazine, and movies such as Rambo glorified combat") to the present.  The report goes on to describe the present state of America as a "lush environment for militia activity" and describes some "motivators" for that activity.  So far, who cares?  No big deal.

Unfortunately, the report didn't end there.  It went on to analyze the ideologies of militia members stating that they "often subscribe to the ideology of other right-wing extremist movements such as:  . . . Anti Abortionists" and folks described as "Anti- Immigration."  And, furthermore, "Militia members most commonly associate with 3rd party political groups.  It is not uncommon for militia members to display Constitutional Party, Campaign for Liberty, or Libertarian material.  These members are usually supporters of former Presidential Candidate:  Ron Paul, Chuck Baldwin, and Bob Barr."  Even better, the historic Gadsden Flag, shown here, is described as the militia movement's "most common symbol."

The Missouri report has, thankfully, been pulled.  (Link to story here.)

But political profiling has gone national, thanks to Janet Napolitano and the Department of Homeland Security, which issued a threat assessment on "Rightwing Extremism."  What is "rightwing extremism," you ask?  According to our government, "Rightwing extremism in the United States can be broadly divided into those groups, movements, and adherents that are primarily hate-oriented (based on hatred of particular religious, racial or ethnic groups), and those that are mainly antigovernment, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority, or rejecting government authority entirely.  It may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration."  (Emphasis added.)  Missouri Right to Life anyone?  The report also seems to suggest that veterans are likely to become rightwing extremists and are a greater threat because of their military skills.

The DHS report is drawing heaps of criticism from several directions.  Even Democrats are "dumbfounded" by its issuance.  But Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano is standing by the report.  (Link to Washington Times story here.)

It is appalling and alarming that state or federal government officials would warning law enforcement to keep an eye individuals because of their political beliefs, especially when those beliefs are as mainstream as the Libertarian Party or Pro-Life causes.

Last time I checked, we still had a Constitution.  If Janet Napolitano doesn't realize that, it is time for her to find another job.

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