Thursday, April 16, 2009

That DHS domestic-terror report isn't about the Tea Parties -- it's about the Poplawskis

-- by Dave

One of conservatives' least endearing social traits is that It's All About Them. Always.

In the video above, you can see everyone from Rush Limbaugh to the usual Fox talking heads ranting and whining that the recent internal Department of Homeland Security intelligence report on right-wing domestic terrorists was inspired by government fear over today's Tea Parties.

As if. Do any of these people have any idea how long it takes to compile this kind of threat assessment? Ah, but how can we forget? On Planet Wingnuttia, all the world revolves around them and their serial dumbassery.

Minnesota Independent has a wrapup on all the right-wing bloggers who leapt to the assumption that the DHS report was aimed at the "tea parties."

Then there's Lou Dobbs:

He's so certain it's All About Him, he even put up one of his fake polls asking if someone like himself might be a domestic terrorist:

Our poll question tonight is: Do you think a person concerned about borders and ports that are unsecured, illegal immigration, Second Amendment rights or returning veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is likely or even possibly probable, as the Department of Homeland Security suggests to be a right-wing extremist? Yes or no. Cast your vote at We'll have the results here later in the broadcast.

OK, here's a cluestick for the wingnuts: This report, and the timing of its release, is not about Tea Parties. It's also not about Latino-bashers, except to the extent that Latino-bashers like Dobbs get the serious haters all worked up.

It's about Richard Poplawski. And the dozens, if not hundreds, of little latent Poplawskis out there, waiting to pop off and kill more police officers, or just as likely, a crowd of innocent bystanders.

Of course, you all would like us to forget about Richard Poplawski as soon as possible, wouldn't you, given the mainstream right's culpability in that case?

The Department of Homeland Security more than likely couldn't give a rat's patoot about today's right-wing Tea Tantrums, because they're mostly exercises in futility and stupidity anyway.

But I'll tell you who they do care about: the people in uniform who go out every day and put their lives on the line to keep you and I and our families and neighborhoods safe -- that is, the men and women in law enforcement. People like those three officers in Pittsburgh, who had no reason to suspect a killer was about to ambush them.

A recent study by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism lays out in painful detail the very real threat that right-wing extremists pose to people in law enforcement:

Research led by Dr. Joshua D. Freilich (John Jay College, CUNY) and Dr. Steven Chermak (Michigan State University) and funded by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) has revealed a violent history of fatal attacks against law enforcement officers in the United States by individuals who adhere to far-right ideology.

* In the United States, 42 law enforcement officers have been killed in 32 incidents in which at least one of the suspects was a far-rightist since 1990.

* 94% of these incidents involved local or state law enforcement. Only two events—high-profile attacks at Ruby Ridge and at the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City—involved federal agents. Much more common are events like the tragic Pittsburgh triple slayings.

* Attacks on police by far-rightists tend to occur during routine law enforcement activities. 34% of the officers killed by far-rightists were slain during a traffic stop, and a number of law enforcement officers have been killed while responding to calls for service similar to the domestic violence call that precipitated the Pittsburgh murders.

* Firearms were the most common type of weapon used during these fatal anti-police attacks. 88% of the incidents involved guns, while only 6% involved explosives and 6% involved knives. 81% of the victims were killed by guns.

* Only 12% of the suspects in these attacks were members of formal groups with far-right ideologies. The vast majority—like Poplawski—acted alone. This greatly complicates law-enforcement efforts to anticipate which individuals might pose a threat to police officers.

* Beyond these law enforcement murders, far-right violence presents a broader threat to national security and American citizens. Since 1990, far-rightists have been linked to more than 275 homicide incidents in 36 states. These crimes have resulted in the more than 530 fatalities, including the 168 victims murdered by Timothy McVeigh when he bombed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. The vast majority of these suspects are white and male, with almost 70% being 30 years old or younger.

So please, wingnuts, enjoy your little exercise in narcissism today. Because no one really cares.

Just don't whine so loudly when the adults in the room go about their business without paying you a lot of attention. Really, it's not all about you.

Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.

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