Just to gain a little perspective on how up-is-down the world is becoming, the Minutemen -- who by any standard are an extremist organization spawned by the militia movement of the 1990s -- managed to force an official investigation of a top law-enforcement officer in Arizona merely for speaking the truth about them publicly:
Back in March, an undercover Mesa police detective spoke at the state Capitol about how the national immigration debate was providing fuel for hate groups and violent extremists throughout Arizona.
Detective Matt Browning, who is recognized as one of the top investigators of extremists and racism in the state, went on to say he believed certain border activists were involved in what amounted to "domestic terrorism."
The East Valley Tribune has now learned Browning spent almost eight months under investigation by his own department for the comments he made that day.
The investigation began after several border activists, including at least one former member of the Minuteman Project, wrote letters and e-mails to Mesa Police Chief George Gascon to complain. They said Browning used his badge to support a political cause, and, in doing so, broke rules of police conduct.
On Thursday, the department released its full investigation to the Tribune. It shows Browning was eventually cleared of all such accusations.
Here's what Browning told them:
Browning told the handful of lawmakers and spectators that he had gone undercover in six white-supremacist groups and three border militias during his career.
"Every meeting, every discussion, everything revolves around immigration," Browning said during his presentation. "Every meeting has started with somebody spouting off something about stopping the dirty Mexicans, stopping the wave of the browns, stopping it from happening."
He said members of the National Alliance, one of the largest, most-active hate groups in the nation, had been cooperating with the Minutemen. He also said some had been trained with firearms and were looking to start a border war.
"It doesn't matter what you want to call it; it's the same thing," Browning said near the end of his talk. "It is terrorism. It is domestic terrorism."
I suppose that you could call this political -- but the division is the far right against everyone else. Especially those with a basic sense of decency and doing what's right.
Good for Detective Browning. But now anyone else in the law-enforcement community who wants to speak up about what the reality on the ground is will have to think twice or three times.