Skip to comments.The New Push to Criminalize Dissent
Posted on 06/15/2009 7:00:02 PM PDT by FromLori
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) withdrew its controversial report on Right Wing Extremism (PDF) as a terrorism threat back in May, but now left-wing media pundits say its time to bring back the report that tarred all U.S. military veterans and any political conservative as potential terrorist threats.
Last Friday, the New York Times Paul Krugman launched a full endorsement of government attacks on the political right: With the murder of Dr. George Tiller by an anti-abortion fanatic, closely followed by a shooting by a white supremacist at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the analysis looks prescient . Politicians and media organizations wind up such people at their, and our, peril. Just in case that was too subtle, Krugman titled his piece The Big Hate.
The DHS report said veterans were a potential terrorist threat, and now leftists argue it was prescient. After all, alleged Holocaust Museum shooter James Von Brunn appears to have been a veteran of World War II, having served as a PT Boat captain. The recent murder of abortionist George Tiller on May 31 was at the hands of a person the media identified as a right-wing extremist. The report was vindicated, right? No, the report cited recent veterans, not World War II veterans, as the primary terrorist threat from veterans. And the nation has hardly undergone an epidemic of anti-abortion-related violence. Three deaths and less than a dozen acts of violence in the past decade against abortionists across a nation of more than 300 million people, the majority of whom call themselves pro-life. The pro-life movement universally condemned the murder and prides itself on respect for all life, especially those babies in the womb that fit any scientific definition of human life.
Other left-wing pundits are saying the same thing as Krugman. "The overall report was very prescient," Brian Levin, director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University in San Bernardino, told the Christian Science Monitor. And the leftist People for the American Way has called for a newer, updated version of the DHS Right-Wing Extremism report.
Krugmans column was followed by his New York Times colleague (and predictable conservative-hater) Frank Rich, who wrote that animated criticism of the Obama administration, such as a political speech by actor John Voights to bring an end to this false prophet Obama, constitutes language that incites people to terrorist violence. This kind of rhetoric, with its pseudo-Scriptural call to action, is toxic. It is getting louder each day of the Obama presidency. No one, not even Fox News viewers, can say they werent warned.
The key phrases in Krugman and Richs pieces are that Politicians and media organizations wind up such people at their, and our, peril and No one, not even Fox News viewers, can say they werent warned, respectively.
The real objection behind such reports is not that they are singling out particular groups, though they clearly do this. The DHS also came out with a report on Leftwing Extremists. Thats balance, right? Wrong. Both reports are an affront to freedom. They constitute, like Krugman and Richs remarks, an attempt to intimidate anyone who has any disagreement with current federal policies by tarring them as potential terrorists. It isn't "balance" if you paint anyone who criticizes government policies as being a potential terrorist. The "left" or "right" distinctions become meaningless in such a context.
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano lied in an April 15 statement , saying, We are on the lookout for criminal and terrorist activity but we do not nor will we ever monitor ideology or political beliefs. But thats precisely what the reports do. The right-wing report in particular focuses upon lone wolf offenders, i.e., people with no ties to organized political movements. A right-wing lone wolf terrorist is just another way of saying insane criminal. But its not just the DHS that is concerning itself with right-wing lone wolves.
"Lone-wolf offenders continue to be of great concern to law enforcement," the Wall Street Journal reported June 15. The FBI has contracted with Harvard University to study psychological profiles of lone wolf extremists, according to the Journal. The contract is part of an ongoing FBI program to watch political groups as potential terrorists under its Operation Vigilant Eagle program. The FBI is the Journal reported, quoting an FBI memo, trying to identify a potential lone wolf before he or she would act out violently."
Deputy Assistant Director of the FBIs Counterterrorism Division, Michael Ward, said in an interview last fall that preventative crime is their goal: "Anyone who would be inclined to act out, we'd have a sporting chance to take any kind of preventative measures we can."
Conservatives and everyone else who criticize government policies have been informed that they are being watched, and in the words of Frank Rich, they have been warned. The question is, will citizens allow themselves to be intimidated, or will they insist through their elected representatives that the intimidation from Washington stop?
Ironic isn’t it? The left always cried and whined about their right to dissent was being squashed.
Bush was extremely lenient with his dissenters.
He even let them make movies about people planning to assassinate him, publish books to the same effect, and basically use free speech in ways that this administration seems to consider criminal.
With the murder of Dr. George Tiller by an anti-abortion fanatic, closely followed by a shooting by a white supremacist at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the analysis looks prescient”
Right. Two isolated murders by individuals who may or may not have been right-wingers. Do they have a crystal ball over there at Homeland?
This is like saying Lee Harvey Oswald proved the so-called Red Scare right.
I don’t think Bush was “lenient with dissenters”.
Bush, for all his faults, was a freedom-loving American who happened to be President and didn’t let the fact that he was President get in the way of his love of and understanding of the basic freedoms of America.
He truly believed in the right to dissent. It had nothing to do with being “lenient”.
IG UESS OBAMA HASNT HEARD OF THE FREEDOM OF SPEECH. LOL WHAT A SURPRISE
Simply more proof that Barry can not handle criticism since invariably to Barry, criticism = dissent. The irony here is that we all know that Dems and Liberals can NOT handle criticism, period. In light of such, I am not surprised that dissent may become criminalized.
I know Barry has got to be soooooooooo proud of himself....
Constitution has become a main visitors entrance door mat at the WH, have you not heard? ;-)
Lenient is almost the wrong term for how Bush tolerated the insane left. The single most frustrating part of being a conservative was to go out into the world and defend the man and his administration when he wouldn’t defend himself. He let the left fling poo all over him.
I do get your point however.
It’s time to defang the left in a huge way.
i guess its hard to get education on AMERICAS MOST IMPORTANT VALUES in KENYA.........
They would still whine and cry if someone tried to take away a porn peddlers right to distribute smut to school children. They'd be up in arms about protecting pornographers. And they want to be able to say ANYTHING about conservatives - jokes about raping our children, condom practice for our kindergartners - stories that we're all killers - anything goes when it's coming out of a liberals mouth.
What they want to restrict is conservatives right to speak back to them. In short, liberals are much more like Iranian Mullahs, North Korea's dictators and Germany's brown shirts. Liberals are just old fashioned thugs. Freedom for themselves and none for us.
Oh yeah. The left is no different from the Communists and Nazis.
When Paul tries to pin him on Conservatives he shows his true colors.
Time to check through Paul's cellphone directory and his landline calls over the last year ~ see how many times he contacted the guy.
Totalitarians are defined by their tactics NOT their choice of victim. And yeah, today it IS the liberals ...
But that's no different than haters who hated "joos" or racists who hated blacks. It's the tactics that are defining - not the choice of victim. Krugman has defined himself.
This time it's us - conservative Americans. Millions of us painted with the broadest of brushes.
A broad brush Krugman would never use on millions of liberals if 2 or 3 liberals - or 2 or 3 Muslims were killers. No, he knows better than that.
In Krugman's twisted mind, the case is built and he's looking for other to hate with him. Maybe Letterman could hate with him - but Letterman went too far too quickly.
The country wasn't ready for jokes about the rape of a 14 year old - even if the raped child was a Jews - oops - I mean conservative.
I'll bet he thought the rape joke about Palin's daughter was funny. If Krugman had his way conservatives would wear yellow triangles, or stars or "K's" on our clothes so people would know who we were.
We know his type.
NAZI GERMANY REBORN
What’s interesting is that there are two lines of thought/[un-]reason which would ‘validate’ the DHS’s report:
1 - The presence of the warned ‘extremism’ which would justify the DHS’s existance.
2 - The ABSENSE of the warned ‘extremism’ which would ‘prove’ the efficiency/effectiveness of the report.
Either way, the DHS has set itself up, in its own mind anyway, for a win-win situation.
The FBI is the Journal reported, quoting an FBI memo, trying to identify a potential lone wolf before he or she would act out violently.”
Guilty of thought-crimes. It’s impossible to disprove a thought. The left looked at 1984 as a map instead of a warning.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.