DHS documents picking a fight? UPDATED

Boy, I don’t like that header, and hope it won’t come to that, but who knows anymore?

I really did not want to get back into politics so soon – I have other things on my mind – but I’ll just throw these out and you guys make your own stew.


Gov. Rick Perry joined state Rep. Brandon Creighton and sponsors of House Concurrent Resolution (HCR) 50 in support of states’ rights under the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

“I believe that our federal government has become oppressive in its size, its intrusion into the lives of our citizens, and its interference with the affairs of our state,” Gov. Perry said. “That is why I am here today to express my unwavering support for efforts all across our country to reaffirm the states’ rights affirmed by the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. I believe that returning to the letter and spirit of the U.S. Constitution and its essential 10th Amendment will free our state from undue regulations, and ultimately strengthen our Union.”

Perry continued: “Millions of Texans are tired of Washington, DC trying to come down here to tell us how to run Texas.”

I don’t disagree that the Federal Government is too big, and encroaching too broadly on state’s rights. Anyway, here is something for the secessionists.

Item: The DHS goes broad and unfocused in a document that Ed Morrissey calls execrable, one that could seriously infringe on the civil rights of ordinary conservatives and those who are center-right.

Far-right extremism is certainly something to be concerned about, just as we should be concerned about the sort of far-left extremism we saw in Europe during the G-20. But this doc certainly does seem like the fed is taking liberties with how they are defining “extremism”. Or, more precisely – in the language of the document, itself, how they “may” be defining extremism down the road.

Yes, it’s the job of the DHS to consider possible threats to the nation, and yes, the far right has already demonstrated that there is a need to be aware of them. But this document does not seem to see any threat at all from the “far” left. Therefore, it strikes me as unbalanced, especially when some on the far-left seem amenable to aligning with islamofascism if it serves their anti-Israeli goals. (see my update; I don’t know everything)

The DHS has few specifics; I’d frankly like it better if it did. I have no illusions that this bit from Napolitano is not exactly what it seems to be, which is a blueprint for the eventual (not immediate) re-defining of what constitutes extremism in America. The fact that this document only sees threats from the right is precisely what makes it suspect. (checking on that, see below)

Dissent – normal, healthy political dissent – which was “patriotic” just six months ago, and expressed without encumbrance throughout our history (until now) seems to be under attack. This document is just a vague beginning. Once the larger targets are disabled, the smaller targets will come into focus. (since the document was leaked while “similiar” reports on leftist activities were not, I’ll stand by that)

As some of us have noted, everything that was projected on to the Bush administration is finding real expression in the Obama administration. I’m still waiting for the part where those who predicted that “Bush will declare martial law and never allow another election” pooh-pooh the right who say it of Obama. You know it will happen.

So, you see…we’re in a bad place, in these United States.

Expect this: while the left is busy cheerleading, they won’t notice the erosion of their own rights (the ones they were so hyper-vigilant about and imagined losing constantly in the last 8 years), so they will be useless in a pushback. Meanwhile the right will simply be so distracted with it’s usual infighting – those “pure” conservatives busily wagging their fingers at “impure” conservatives, who will increasingly walk away from them – that it will be divided and conquered.

The arena is teeming with activity and everyone is very, very loud, and too many are completely earthbound in their thoughts about it all. A few years ago, I wrote:

We are going to have to turn away from our distractions – the television, the radio, the magazines, the talkshows, the films, the fashions, the escapist entertainment, even the internet. We will have to turn away from these empty things – to make them smaller in our lives, where they and the popular culture now loom so large – and we are going to have to get quiet.

A good musician knows that music is not created only by playing notes, but by understanding the spaces between the notes, and their value. Just so, it will not be enough to simply repeat what is true – if that is all we do, it will only add to the din – there must also be silence, in which to do our other, more powerful work.

I keep saying it – and it makes a lot of my Christian friends unhappy – but in order for some things to happen, other things must be allowed to happen first. If you don’t let the crucifixion happen, you get no resurrection. Too many are forgetting it; they’re looking at all of this through thoroughly earthbound eyes, relying on utterly earthbound tactics, and forgetting the mystical and the supernatural component that is essential in all of this. Without that, faith is just ideology with a Holy Bible wrapper, and that is a road to idolatry.

It’s something we have to think about. No matter how urgently we want America to be what we have always known it to be. Sometimes things have to happen, so that other things may happen. That’s all I am saying, just now.

I told you I didn’t want to start talking about this stuff. (And I think I have whiplash from jumping into this fray too quickly)

UPDATE I: When you see how the mainstream press is reporting this document it seems pretty clear that its (the leak’s) purpose is meant to create a narrative. That narrative will be used to excite and frame legislation. One quote:

DHS spokeswoman Sara Kuban said Tuesday the report was one of an ongoing series of threat assessments aimed at “a greater understanding of violent radicalization in the U.S…A similar assessment of left-wing radicals completed in January was distributed to federal, state and local police agencies at that time.”

I’ve been googling and don’t see any similar reports on “left wing radicals” and extremists. The must exist, but perhaps the press did not any such report “newsworthy”? I’ll keep looking.

UPDATE II: AJ Strata has updated his own piece, which (I think wisely) urges some cool-headed review of the document but (I think unwisely) stoops to name-calling while he does it. In any case he has some comments that are worth reading. Also, Little Green Footballs is urging some deep breathing here, and I think that’s probably wise, too.

For my part, I will say again that I believe extremists and zealots on all sides need DHS assessing from time-to-time, but the leak of this document – and the press’ immediate embrasure of it – all stink to high heaven as a move to create a useful narrative.

There. Can I be more balanced?

To paraphrase President Obama,can’t I just enjoy my Easter – which is still going on for the next 48 days?”

UPDATE III: Rand Simberg replaces “rightwing” with “leftwing” and makes a few other changes, and presents a document that would have the press and the Democrats howling. Double standards. Go figure.

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