A recently published “lexicon” distributed to thousands of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) targets citizens concerned about their Second Amendment rights and the steady encroachment of the federal government, categorizing such as “militia extremists.”
The “lexicon,” marked Unclassified/For Official Use Only (FOUO), is dated November 10, 2011, and was sent out by email to law enforcement and homeland security agencies on November 14 by LaJuan E. Washington of the DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis.
And as seen with the criticism of the previous version of the “lexicon,” this is hardly the first time that the DHS Office for Intelligence and Analysis has come under fire for targeting citizens with no connection whatsoever to terrorism.
In 2009, DHS came under fire for a 10-page report, “Right-wing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment,” which classified returning war veterans as potential threats. When government watchdogs submitted FOIAs for the sources used in preparing the report, they found that conspiracy websites and far-left outfits had been used, including the Southern Poverty Law Center, which branded the American Legion veterans organization as a “hate group.” Information also surfaced that the report had been rushed out over the objections of civil liberties officials. DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano was forced to apologize to veterans groups and withdraw the report.
Nor is this the first time that homeland security agencies have pushed the boundaries on defining “militia extremists.”
Just a few weeks prior to DHS coming under fire for that “right-wing” report, the Missouri Information Analysis Center, funded by DHS grants, issued a report titled “The Modern Militia Movement,” which branded pro-life groups and those opposed to illegal immigration as potential domestic terrorists. Indicators identified in the report included support for third-party candidates. Political signs and bumper stickers were also suspect, with the Revolutionary War-era “Gadsden flag” specifically called out as a “militia symbol.” The Missouri fusion center later announced it would stop publishing reports altogether.
In light of the recent publication of the DHS “lexicon” that violates their own guidelines, it seems clear that under Secretary Napolitano, DHS officials are intent on continuing to target innocent citizens merely exercising their constitutional rights.
Meanwhile, groups and individuals that federal prosecutors and even federal judges have identified as supporting foreign terrorist groups are actively courted and legitimized by the Obama administration. Leaders from these terror-tied organizations are even being used to help write the DHS department guidelines on “countering violent extremism.”
Is it any wonder then that just last week it was revealed that a DHS-funded study likened terrorism to “ordinary crime” while omitting any reference to the radicalizing effects of Islamic extremist ideology?