To: Janet Napolitano, DHS Secretary
From: Mitch Berg, Right Wing Extremist
Re: Assess This.
I heard your response to American Legion president Rehbein’s criticism of your agency’s report.
Your line (as heard on NPR this morning): “It’s an assessment, not an accusation”.
With all due respect (emphasis on “due”), Secretary Napolitano, that’s a warehouse full of baked wind.
An “assessment”, well, assesses. It quantifies, or at least qualifies, something; in the case of a “risk assessment”, it is supposed to give the “why” as well as the “who”.
But as John Hinderaker pointed out in skewering the report earlier this week, your report doesn’t “assess” anything; it runs down a shopping list of conservative groups, without explaining why any of them are a risk; no incidents, no people, no specifics, merely “watch out for pro-lifers, NRA members, tax protesters, and veterans; they’re all prone to being recruited by all those scary “militia” groups!”
That’s not an “assessment”; it’s a mass drive-by smear, no less so than “assessing” that black men are “prone” to being lazy, that Mexicans are “liable” to be illegals and that women are “likely” to be slaves to emotion to the point that they can’t be trusted with anything important.
If everyone’s a (potential) extremist, then nobody’s an extremist. Unless your only goal is to define “dissent” as “extreme”, “dangerous” or “mentally ill”.
Which, to be fair, seems to be not unthinkable with the Obama Administration; anyone who’d say “You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and…it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations” probably isn’t a stranger to the notion that “dissent is derangement”.
Which was more a Soviet thing than an American one, at least heretofore.
So, with all due (heh) respect, Secretary Napolitano, “assess” this:
Thanks, and do have a nice day.
That is all.