Thursday, April 16, 2009

Missing the point

Janet Napolitano issued a qualified apology over the DHS report on a feared rise of "right-wing extremism".
"To the extent veterans read it as an accusation ... an apology is owed," she said during an on-air interview on FOX News Thursday, a day after veterans' groups and members of Congress blasted her for the report, which they said libeled members of the armed forces.

"This was an assessment, not an accusation," Napolitano continued. "It was limited to extremists those who seek to commit violence within the United States. And all this was meant to do was to give law enforcement what we call 'situational awareness.'"

[ ... ]

"If there's one part of this report that I would rewrite ... it would be that footnote," Napolitano said.
Not terribly surprising, but not only does she miss the point completely, the references to veterans constitute far more than a footnote. In fact, there's only one footnote in the report, and it doesn't mention veterans. Veterans are mentioned eight times in four separate sections of the report, with one section dedicated to the subject. She's deliberately trying to downplay the veteran smear by calling it a "footnote".

But even the smearing of veterans in the report - which is offensive enough by itself - is secondary to the smearing of something like half the US population who, to varying degrees, hold a variety of conservative viewpoints.

The assessment is intended to be an advisory to state and local law enforcement agencies. But if I'm a local cop, I have absolutely no clue who to consider a potential threat on the basis of this report. The absurd generalizations in the report render it utterly useless as a law enforcement advisory.

So, what's the real purpose of the report, Janet?


Anonymous said...

Every one of us should be on the phone to DHS asking to be put on the watchlist and demanding a background investigation. This is nothing more than an attempt to intimidate and marginalize political enemies by the administration. Call their bluff, their socialist messiah is a lie.

Eric said...

You're right. Some people are freaking out thinking that DHS and local law enforcement are going to start monitoring them because of their right-wing ways. That's tin-foil hat stuff. This was nothing more than a sly maneuver to smear political opponents.

Charles said...

Napolitano's report was based on a paper by the Southern Poverty Law Center, - and they were talking about gang members.

The DHS report was nothing but a propaganda pamphlet from the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Didn't take long for DHS to turn on American citizens, did it?

Eric said...

Yeah...the unintended consequences of creating DHS. But it's really just a "wrapper" organization that creates added (and sometimes convoluted) reporting relationships for organizations that already existed in one form or another.

But with DHS being a cabinet-level position, it's now stacked with lefty political appointees who are eager to put their new instruments of power to work for their own purposes.

I still can't believe Charles Johnson at Little Green Footballs (as well as a few others who should know better) is calling anyone who's less than comfy with this bullshit "assessment" a kook.

Charles said...

Napolitano is Lying to Americans About Her Department’s Rightwing Extremism Report; TMLC Files Suit

beth said...

This seems typical of what the Obama administration has been doing. They put something (anything) out there for public consumption. Then when they get called on it, they back peddle and say they really didn't mean it that way or were misunderstood or say people are taking it too seriously. But the bottom line is, they get the propaganda out there (you can't put the toothpaste back in the tube) - and then paint themselves as innocent of wrong doing (its your fault if you misunderstood us).

I thought her 'apology' was lame and unconvincing. Their contempt for the military is obvious - they slam them every chance they get (but then claim they didn't really mean it the way everybody took it).