Friday, April 17, 2009

"Americans Are Not The Enemy"

With these words, David Rehbein, national commander of the American Legion, challenged the Obama administration's Homeland Security directive that federal, state, and local police keep an eye on military veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan as potential right-wing extremist "terrorists."

Interestingly, the word terrorism is one that Napolitano has eschewed as reflecting what she calls "the politics of fear."

Just what does Napolitano mean by her intention to "move away from the politics of fear"?

Are we supposed to put aside our fears of those who intend to blow us up for being American, and replace these instincts of self preservation with a fear of those who put their lives on the line to protect us, who are concerned for the safety of the unborn, or (shudder) who are a mite suspicious that the federal government (so ably represented by Janet Napolitano) isn't the be-all and end-all of wisdom?

Or does Napolitano mean that only certain special people should be afraid?

Like these folks:
Or these:
Or these:

After word of the directive got out, Homeland Security head Janet Napolitano managed to "apologize" to returning veterans saying, "that offense . . . was certainly not intended."

She also managed not to apologize to the rest of Americans who hold constitutionally protected political beliefs that do not mirror those of Barack Obama, Janet Napolitano, or the rest of the Obama constituency.

In an opinion piece in U.S. News & World Report, "The New McCarthyism: DHS Reports on Right-Wing Extremism," Peter Roff argued for a greater response to the Obama administration's profiling of ordinary Americans:
The report needs to be recalled, the person who oversaw its production reassigned or fired and the total amount of money spent on the project—from staff time to production costs to the postage used to mail it—needs to be returned to the U.S. Treasury out of the budget of the Office of the Secretary of Homeland Security. As we have been told time and again, it is no small matter when the U.S. government, as an official matter, questions someone's loyalty. The consequences for this catastrophic misuse of taxpayer dollars needs to be severe for all those involved.
I agree that a greater response to the report is needed, and I think it should go further. Handing a pink slip to the author of the report would be a start, but this expediency would hardly alter the mindset at the Department of Homeland Security, where profiling ordinary Americans for holding political views not aligned with the current administration's doesn't merit the raising of an eyebrow.

The DHS report calls for action by President Obama, or, failing that, by Congress, but I don't think I'll be holding my breath for that.

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