Thursday, April 16, 2009

NAPOLITANO SUPPORTS HOMELAND SECURITY INSULT TO VETERANS AND SUPPORTERS OF THE CONSTITUTION

Progressive Review - According to the Washington Times, "Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said she was briefed before the release of a controversial intelligence assessment and that she stands by the report sent to law enforcement." The report, widely circulated to police around the country implicitly defined as sources of extremist politics veterans and supporters of one fifth of the ten items in the Bill of Rights. While one may argue with the 2nd or 10th Amendment, it is the job of the police at every level to enforce the laws, of which there is none more important than the U.S. Constitution.

Washington Times - The top House Democrat with oversight of the Department of Homeland Security said in a letter to Ms. Napolitano that he was "dumbfounded" that 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," said Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, in his letter. . .

In her statement Wednesday, Ms. Napolitano defended the report, which says "rightwing extremism" may include groups opposed to abortion and immigration, as merely one among several threat assessments. But she agreed to meet with the head of the American Legion, who had expressed anger over the report, when she returns to Washington next week from a tour of the U.S.-Mexico border. . .

In his letter to Ms. Napolitano, Mr. Thompson demanded that Homeland Security officials explain how and why they wrote the report and whether it poses any threat to civil liberties.

"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.

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

"Rightwing extremism," the report said in a footnote on Page 2, goes beyond religious and racial hate groups and extends to "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," said the report, which also listed gun owners and veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars as potential risks.

The assessment is not the first Homeland Security product to examine threats based on political extremism. In January, the department sent law enforcement officials an assessment of cyberterrorism threats from such left-leaning sources as environmental, animal rights and anarchist groups. .

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