The Extremism and Radicalization Branch of the Homeland Environment Threat Analysis Division of the Department of Homeland Security issued a report last week. It’s called “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment.”…The problem with it is that it makes little effort to document or demonstrate its contention that “extremist” groups are resurgent, that they are right-wing, or that they may be formed from the ranks of “disgruntled military veterans.”…Basically, it’s fancy bureaucratese for: We’re guessing bad people will do bad things because the economy is bad and the president is black. But we have no real evidence…The report insists that returning “disgruntled military veterans” from Iraq and Afghanistan are recruitment fodder for extremist and terrorist groups…John Hinderaker of the Powerline…discovered that, according to the FBI, only 19 Iraq or Afghanistan war vets have joined the “extremist movement”…More than half of America’s 1.4 million active-duty military personal have served in Iraq or Afghanistan…Any way you slice it, 19 yahoos amount to statistical noise so faint you would need one of those UFO-hunting dishes to pick it up…(Right) Winging It at the DHS, Jonah Goldberg, National Review, 4/17/2009
Do yourself a favor, click on the link, and read all of Goldberg’s edgy and sometimes funny analysis of Homeland Security’s bizarre report (look, Janet, no statistics to bother with!) about the terrorist threat from American citizens. Though one wonders: if Leonard Nimoy had introduced the report, would people have listened without wondering about the facts?