[Cross-posed at Crooks and Liars.]
Rep. Peter King, in his opening remarks this morning to kick off his congressional hearings on the "problem" of "Muslim radicalization":
This Committee cannot live in denial which is what some would have us do when they suggest that this hearing dilute its focus by investigating threats unrelated to Al Qaeda. The Department of Homeland Security and this committee were formed in response to the al Qaeda attacks of 9/11. There is no equivalency of threat between al Qaeda and neo-Nazis, environmental extremists or other isolated madmen. Only al Qaeda and its Islamist affiliates in this country are part of an international threat to our nation. Indeed by the Justice Department’s own record not one terror related case in the last two years involved neo-Nazis, environmental extremists, militias or anti-war groups.How unfortunate for Rep. King that, just the day before -- and apparently before he could edit his opening remarks -- the FBI arrested a white supremacist for planting a backpack bomb along the parade route for Spokane's Martin Luther King Day celebration in January ... an act labeled by the FBI as an act of domestic terrorism.
He was reminded in short order by Democrat Bennie Thompson:
[H/t Karoli for the videos]
I want to reiterate, however, my belief that a hearing on the linkage between extreme ideology and violent action be a broad-based examination. Yesterday, the FBI made an arrest in a recent Martin Luther King Day bombing attempt. News reports identify the suspect as a member of the same white supremacist group that influenced Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh. I urge you, Mr. Chairman, to hold a hearing examining the Homeland Security threat posed by anti-government and white supremacist groups.Indeed, as Zaid Jilani at ThinkProgress explains, not only was King embarrassingly wrong about right-wing domestic terrorist of recent vintage, he was wrong about the past year as well -- in which there were four terrorism incidents involving neo-Nazis. And that doesn't begin to count the militia cases, beginning with the Hutaree folks.
As a committee on Homeland Security, our mission is to examine threats to this nation's security. A narrow focus that excludes known threats lacks clarity and may be myopic.
For what it's worth, American neo-Nazis are indeed frequently linked up with likeminded fascists in Europe and Australia, and yes, they are all outspoken in their desire to topple the United States government. Peter King may be living in denial, but the rest of us should know that neo-Nazism is indeed an international terrorist conspiracy to destroy America. In case you were wondering.
And as long as Rep. King is trotting out graphics, here's one for him to consider: