Killer J=Terrorist

That’s right, according to Janet Napoletano and the Department of Homeland Security, so called Right Wing Extremists will be considered terrorism suspects.  I was surfing fellow terrorist Michael Savage’s site, and found the following link:

At first glance, it appears to target racists, xenophobes, and McVeigh sycophants.  Read the fine print, it’s scary!  Basically, if you hold a conservative point of view on illegal immigration, gay marriage, abortion, gun control, or state vs. federal governmental control you may be suspect.  For hell’s sake, if you are a soldier just getting back from protecting our country by fighting terrorists then you are considered a potential terrorist.  This is absolute, bat shit insanity.



If you haven’t clicked the link provided, do so now.  The hypotheses and anecdotal reasoning recklessly mashed together to legitimize this crap are ridiculous, lack internal validity, and have poor face value.

By the way, I just got through reading “1984” by George Orwell.  I was thinking of doing a book review of some kind (a bit pretentious for me to review Orwell) but now I hesitate to even discuss anything political.

Orwell’s protagonist had to deal with a government whose slogan was: “Big Brother is Watching You.”  Government entities such as the Thought Police had technologically advanced surveillance to keep an eye on citizens depicted in the book.  People even considered to have a dissenting view were eliminated.  The book was great, but at first I thought it to be far-fetched.

Big Brother

“Thought police?” I thought to myself, “Come on.  That’ll never happen in this country.”


12 thoughts on “Killer J=Terrorist

  1. You know that I have to point out that it was under a Republican administration that private U.S. citizens started having their private phone conversations tapped. Cheers!

  2. I know, and this very policy was started in December. Still Bush domain. Both parties are driving us the wrong direction. Dissent is being quieted. Even though you and I disagree on a lot of things politically, I would imagine you can see how an overbearing government is a bad thing whether it wears R or D.
    If you didn’t notice, third party voters are also on this watchlist.

  3. First of all, I want to thank you for once again providing me with some mental exercise and apologize in advance for the length of this comment. Next, I have to admit I am a little bit confused. I read your post on Sunday (14th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing btw) but didn’t want to respond until I had a chance to go over the report. I finally got that chance today and have to admit I don’t see what the big deal is. Maybe the link is to the wrong report. It doesn’t seem to be the same report that Glen Beck was discussing on his show. It doesn’t talk about watch lists. It definitely is a report about rightwing extremist though. After reading it very carefully however I have to say that it seems to me that all the outrage on the part of the right wing media is misplaced at best and totally manufactured at worst. I am very curious to know which passages of the report you consider to be bat shit insanity – that is, which passages you interpret to say that if you hold a conservative point of view you will be considered a terrorism suspect. Can a brother get some quotes? Also what do you consider to be the hypotheses of the report – again using quotes from the report? Here is my take on it.
    It seems to me that the report operates with an already known/accepted definition of rightwing extremist. The report mostly discusses which issues and factors (political and economic) these groups and individuals are using to recruit, radicalize and incite people to their causes. From the report it seems that they are primarily using immigration and gun control. Specifically, they are inciting fear of the country being overrun by illegal immigrants and the government banning and or taking peoples’ guns. Let’s face it, that’s probably not a bad move on their part. It’s a lot easier to scare people and rile them up over these issues, rather than, capital gains taxes for example. Not to say that there are not plenty of people who get plenty riled up over capital gains taxation – there just aren’t as many that will get riled up to the point of going and stockpiling automatic weapons and performing militia training exercises over it – I’m just saying! But I digress. While the report does say that these rightwing extremist groups and individuals have these views on immigration and gun control, it does not say that everyone that has those views is a rightwing extremist. That seems to be what people are getting confused and upset about. They think that because it says that rightwing extremist have x, y, and z views, that it is saying everyone who has those views is a right wing extremist. This is a common logical fallacy – affirming the consequent if I remember correctly from my Reasoning and Rational Decision Making class I took years ago in college. (I’m sure Sean can correct me on the name of the fallacy if that’s not it).
    The immigration issue provides a good example. The report notes “Rightwing extremists were concerned during the 1990s with the perception that illegal immigrants were taking away American jobs through their willingness to work at significantly lower wages.” However it would be committing the logical fallacy mentioned previously to conclude from this that everyone who is concerned with the perception that illegal immigrants were taking away American jobs through their willingness to work at significantly lower wages is a rightwing extremist. Left leaning labor unions for example share this concern, but are certainly not rightwing extremists.
    As far as returning veterans are concerned, the report merely notes that rightwing groups will attempt to recruit them for their skills and knowledge, not that veterans should be considered potential terrorists. It notes, “the willingness of a small percentage of military personnel to join extremist groups during the 1990s because they were disgruntled, disillusioned, or suffering from the psychological effects of war is being replicated today.” Is that somehow inaccurate or offensive? I think that it might be more accurate if it said “a fraction of a percent” rather than “a small percentage” but that seems like a pretty minor semantic issue – after all, .01% could accurately be called either a fraction of a percent or a small percentage. I don’t consider the statement inaccurate or offensive. In fact this is all the more reason that returning veterans who have put their lives on the line for their country should get all the help and support they deserve rather than having their support programs drastically cut like they were under the Bush administration.
    That’s more or less my take on the report. It’s actually not that different from the DHS report that was issued on leftwing extremist groups in January. See: The report on leftwing extremists focuses primarily on environmental and animal rights groups and anarchists. It discusses how they believe these groups will increasingly turn to cyber attacks in the future. It’s interesting to note that nobody freaked out when the leftwing extremist report came out.
    Before I sign off I will make my best guess as to what is causing all the fuss. If I had to guess I would say it is the note on the bottom of page 2. The note reads:

    * (U) Rightwing extremism in the United States can be broadly divided into those groups, movements, and adherents that are primarily hate-oriented (based on hatred of particular religious, racial or ethnic groups), and 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.

    Basically, this note explains that rightwing extremism can be broadly divided into groups, movements, and individuals that are hate based, and those that are motivated primarily by antigovernment views, whether based on a rejection of the federal government in favor of state or local authority or based on a complete rejection of government authority. It also explains that rightwing extremism includes groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, like abortion or immigration. The thing is, the entire note is talking about rightwing extremists. The note simply divides rightwing extremists into different groups. It does not say that anyone who hates a particular group is a rightwing extremists or that anyone who favors state or local government over the federal government is a rightwing extremist. Perhaps more light can be shed by looking at the leftwing extremist report. The report on the leftwing extremists has an appendix with a more clear definition of leftwing extremist. Similar to the note on page two it breaks down leftwing extremists into groups. For example, it says, “animal rights and environmental extremists seek to end the perceived abuse and suffering of animals and the degradation of the natural environment.” Does that mean that anyone who seeks to end the degradation of the natural environment is a leftwing extremist? Of course not! To think so would be committing the logical fallacy mentioned above. Just because some leftwing extremists seek that doesn’t mean that I am a left wing extremist because I also seek that. Similarly just because some right wing extremists reject the federal government in favor of the state government, does not mean that everyone who favors the state or local authority over the federal government is a rightwing extremist. The report is not saying that. Unfortunately, I think there are a lot of people getting upset because they are committing the error of affirming the consequent.
    Finally, I do have to point out that I understand why right wing blow-hards like Michael Savage, Glen Beck et al. are pissed about the report. They use the same tactics – playing on people’s unease and fears about the economy, immigration, and gun control to get people riled up. The difference is that the rightwing media primarily want people to listen or watch them and to buy their books thereby putting money in their pockets. The rightwing extremist on the other hand want people to take up arms and potentially kill federal agents, their fellow citizens, or illegal immigrants. It’s just interesting that they are using the same tactics. Nobody likes it when the curtain gets pulled back on them, and Glen Beck himself said “if you take what I say as gospel you’re an idiot.”

    That’s my ten cents. Please feel free to point out how/where I am getting it all wrong. And I really am curious as to what passages from the report you take issue with. I love that we can debate and discuss this stuff with out it getting all heated and personal. That’s what we need more of in this country!

    P.S. I also think you should do a book review of 1984. It and Animal Farm are definitely required reading. Did you know that Orwell went to Spain to fight against fascism in the Spanish Civil war and was shot in the throat and almost died? I had a crazy experience in George Orwell Plaza in Barcelona – remind me to tell you about it next time I see you.

  4. First of all, well thought out post. I almost feel like I’m short changing you by responding with paragraphs rather than an essay. 😉 You asked me for a quote from the article regarding what I found to be bat shit insanity, but you found the one I was talking about. Pretty sweet visual of bat guano though, eh? The quote was:

    * (U) Rightwing extremism in the United States can be broadly divided into those groups, movements, and adherents that are primarily hate-oriented (based on hatred of particular religious, racial or ethnic groups), and 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.

    You mentioned I (along with my conservative buddies) may have been committing the logical fallacy “affirming the consequent.” This is: If P, then Q.
    Therefore, P.

    So: If you are a terrorist, you hold conservative views.
    Jeff holds conservative views.
    Therefore, Jeff is a terrorist.

    You are right that this is a logical fallacy. I am also guilty of making assumptions. That being said, government spying based on ideology appears to be a dangerously slippery slope.
    Do I think President Obama is going to parachute through my bedroom window, cartwheel kick the Ronald Reagan Diaries out of my hand while simultaneously cuffing me? No. That’s because I don’t think Obama’s an evil dude intent on repressing dissent. Policies like this, although appearing benign, could potentially set the precedent for more intrusive forms of control.

    In the aforementioned quote, it says right wing extremism can be broadly divided in to hate groups (this I’m cool with even though it’s still thought supression) AND
    “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.”

    Sure, the article didn’t say ALL people who hold these views are terrorists. That would be plain stupid. Even if that was their EXACT intention, we’d never see it written like that in a report. You’ve got to agree with me there. Even if I give DHS the benefit of the doubt, the generality of the statement sets the precedent for more insidious forms of thought control in the future. If I remember correctly, you made the exact same argument I’m making with regard to the Patriot Act. I was all about it at the time, and you said something to the effect of:
    “Even if Bush doesn’t have evil intentions with the plan, the Patriot Act may serve a more evil, dictatorial government’s needs quite nicely in the future.”

    I guess, overall, I feel like conservative ideology is trying to be squashed out. Maybe it’s an overreaction on my part. My opinion is we are fed a message that being conservative isn’t considered “hip” or cool like being progressive, so I’m constantly on the defensive anyway. Conservatives always seemed to be characterized as money hungry racists at worst, lovably ignorant dumb shits at best. Also, all this talk of the Fairness Doctrine has me suspicious. Don’t F*** with my HATE RADIO!!!! haha
    Furthermore, (and I know we disagree on this but let’s save it for another day) I believe the media has a predominantly liberal bias.

    So, maybe I’m reading in to things. Maybe not. I just don’t like what the vagueness and generalities implied within the report leave room for.

    By the way, are you going to Trey’s graduation? If so, I’ll remind you to tell me the Orwell story. Also, by the end of the year I might just come knocking again for your services. That way you’ll be employed for a very short period of time, which might buy me some time to respond to your “book length” responses to my blogs. haha I love this though, man. You’re fun to go back and forth with for the same reasons you mentioned above. Watch the news channels, you’d never know people were capable of having rational discussion.

  5. First, thanks.
    Second, yeah I do. It was a gift from the in-laws. Some of it is interesting. You get to see Reagan’s exact thoughts day to day during the Libyan conflict, Berlin, etc. It’s kind of a trip to read a diary entry that discusses a CIA brief in the same paragraph as dinner with his wife.

  6. Hmmm… So this explains why I’ve always felt a bit apprehensive around you! You damn conservative terrorist! Ha. I kid, I kid. Very interesting! Thanks for this thought-provoking information.
    I do have to agree with previous poster, Jessica, who said, “my very favorite part of this post is the visual aide for bat shit.” Hahaha. Seriously, when I saw that picture, I LMA-allthewayoff! You always keep your blogs entertaining with awesome pics.

  7. You are definitely not short changing me with the paragraphs instead of the essay. I’m not sure when I got so wordy. Like every other bad thing in my life I blame law school. You know lawyers typically charge by the hour – billing in 5 min. increments – so it is normally in our interest to be as wordy as possible. More words = more time = more money. Sorry about that. And yes the bat guano pic is sweet.

    I think we are actually largely in agreement. Government spying based on ideology is definitely bad. However, the line between thought and action can be tricky. There has traditionally been a built in system of checks and balances that keeps the government from being able to spy on citizens without a warrant. Warrants are issued by a separate branch of government and have to be based on probable cause – which has to be based on action, not mere thoughts or ideology. This is why the Patriot Act was such a big deal – it allowed the government to circumvent those checks and balances of requiring a warrant. And once government is given a power it is hard to make it give up that power.

    When there was an outcry from the left over the patriot act, Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh both said, “Civil Liberties don’t mean much when you’re dead.” But in reality it is our civil liberties that are at the heart of our constitutional system of government. That is what our armed forces are fighting to protect, and it is what they take an oath to protect when they swear they will protect and defend the Constitution. (Lawyers take a similar oath when they are admitted to the bar btw.) I would be just as angry as you if the federal government is in fact violating the civil liberties of those who are willing to fight and die for those very liberties.

    What I still don’t see from reading the report however is whether the government has crossed the line. And by the line, I mean the pre-patriot act line. The report certainly raises the issue of how they got their information, and I have read that there may be some congressional hearings into that very issue – which I think is good. If they have not in fact crossed the line there should be nothing to worry about.

    As far as people attempting to squash out conservative ideology – that’s a discussion for a different day. I hope you blog more about it in the future. But briefly, I will say that while it is difficult to discuss ideology in an abstract and general way, of course people are trying to squash it out! Just like people are trying to squash out liberal ideology. Ever hear the one about the tree hugging, birkenstock wearing, volvo driving, latte sipping, over-educated, national defense hating liberal? Stereotypes abound on both sides. Conservatives were so successful at demonizing liberals that the very word “liberal” became something of a slur. Now we liberals are calling ourselves progressives, which is now being constantly attacked and mocked by conservatives. (Yes I do notice when you put the quotation marks around the word progressive). As far as some government and media conspiracy to squash out conservative thought though– I don’t think so. There’s just a market place of ideas out there and the conservative ideas seem to be doing about as well these days as the Dow Jones Industrial Average. I have a theory about ideologies running their course and maybe the conservatives need an update. The Reagan revolution was ridiculously successful – but it is not 1980 anymore. The country and world have changed a lot – time for some new approaches. Of course these new approaches can come from conservative principles – personal responsibility and liberty, limited government, etc., but they need to reflect the reality of the complex and interconnected world we live in. I can admit that Obama’s plan is scary and there is plenty to be upset about, but if the choice is between Obama’s plan and taking the title “Great” away from the depression of the 1930s I’ll go with Obama. There might be more debate if the conservatives actually came up with some alternatives.

    Here are a few links I thought you might find interesting:

    And this clip is actually the first thing that came to mind when I read your response:

    I’m looking forward to seeing you and Katchie next month.


  8. Eric, sorry it has taken so long to respond. I don’t have much more to add other than I’ll try to be less snarky when I talk about liberal stuff. I guess it does go both ways. That John Stewart clip was funny.

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