The hits just keep on coming as they say if you fall into the right-wing veteran demographic. After recently getting profiled by the Missouri Highway Patrol and staff being warned about the "crazy vet" during thespian remakes at Penn State, the Department of Homeland Security drops an intelligence assessment that says radicalized veterans compromise the greatest potential for a domestic terrorist threat. Pow, right in the kissah!
The DHS document is classified "For Official Use Only", which means it's not supposed to be available on the internet to likes of me and TSO, but it's a leak that should be discussed because it is disturbing for a lot of reasons. From pg. 7 of the assessment (pdf):
DHS/I&A assesses that rightwing extremists will attempt to recruit and radicalize returning veterans in order to exploit their skills and knowledge derived from military training and combat. These skills and knowledge have the potential to boost the capabilities of extremists—including lone wolves or small terrorist cells—to carry out violence. 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.First off, I disagree with the DHS assessment that supporting the 2nd Amendment right to bear arms to protect against government tyranny is now "extremist ideology". Second, this assessment suggests that cells of disheveled veterans are somehow plotting to attack government infrastructure. I haven't heard about any in the last decade, but I'm sure curious as to what incidents the DHS is referring to when they say "replicated today".
TSO points out that the information of the great white supremacist/McVeigh-style threat that supposedly underscores returning vets comes from an outfit like the SPLC, who has a history of accusing anyone who doesn't support their progressive agenda as a "hate group" (see the case of the American Legion).
Why is the DHS using this heavily politicized information as basis for an intelligence assessment? Is the DHS going to start using David Neiwert's mouth-breathing post about a Timothy McVeigh finishing school as basis to start arresting anyone with a VFW sticker on their car? Paranoid delusion from the left about everyone in flyover Red states being a deranged gun nut is generally rhetoric to denigrate the conservative opposition. It's about as credible as a right-winger like myself saying we needed to round up liberals because their failure to bathe constituted a public health risk. I can't believe the Department of Homeland Security fell for it as a serious threat to national security.
If their was an OKC-style atrocity on the horizon from disillusioned veterans, I would certainly change my tune. But reality suggests that no threat is imminent.