Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Wasn't Me

Man, I got ripped a new one by Uncle Jim the day that DHS report on right-wing extremism (ie, mostly white supremacist stuff) came out. He lashed into me like I wrote the damn thing.

And here we are, not even two weeks after an abortion doctor is assassinated, some white supremacist takes a rifle into the Holocaust museum and kills a black security guard.

I'm not saying the DHS report was accurate. I'm just saying it was kind of truthy.

Updated: I should clarify. Uncle Jim was upset about the DHS report, not because he has sympathies with white supremacists - he doesn't - but because he has sympathies with veterans. Unfortunately, the media reports discussing the issue that day were more interested in hyping the "Homeland Security says returning vets are a threat to homeland security" angle than the "DHS says that white supremacists may target returning vets for recruitment" angle.

Just for the record, the actual report says this:
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.
Nothing about racist vets, or combat vets being a security risk.

In any case, Homeland Security released a similar report in January warning of left-wing extremism. It wasn't as controversial because, well, I guess the left just has fewer "outrage factories."

Updated Again: In discussing this issue with people, I'm hearing a lot of arguments like "Our soldiers can't be right-wing extremists; they're the best and brightest!" I didn't find these arguments compelling when they were being made to prove the Haditha massacre didn't happen or that, no, Scott Beauchamp didn't run over a dog in his Bradley. No, soldiers don't do that kind of thing.


Our military is not made up of perfectly programmed robots. It's made up of people. Human people with foibles, fears, and follies of human people.

In short, the military is not some monolithic island of virtue walled off from the rest of society. No, it is society, only on a smaller scale.

1 comment:

SeanH said...

IIRC some guy named McVeigh was a veteran.