Legitimate protest movements being misrepresented as “right-wing backlash”

Legitimate protest movements being misrepresented as “right-wing backlash”

Steve Watson
Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Was DHS Rightwinger Report Hyped As Pretext To Crack Down On Tax Protests? 150409TEAA wave of mainstream media attention has led to increasing speculation that the Homeland Security report on “the rise of the right wing” was deliberately leaked and hyped as part of an effort to falsely categorize, demonize and crack down on legitimate protest movements that have nothing to do with the right-wing.

Yesterday the Washington Times picked up on the newly uncovered document which we covered in our article on Monday. Now over 500 stories on the report pop up in a cursory google news search.

The report, entitled Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment (PDF link) was leaked to the Internet a few days ago. It equates gun owners with violent terrorists and states that radical extremists are “stockpiling” weapons in fear of an Obama administration gun ban.

The document characterizes concerns about the economy, unemployment, the loss of U.S. sovereignty and the move towards global government as “rightwing extremist chatter on the Internet” which itself is defined as a potential tool for terrorists to network, build bombs, and send encrypted messages to each other.

A footnote attached to the report by the Homeland Security Office of Intelligence and Analysis defines “rightwing extremism in the United States” as including not just racist or hate groups, but also groups that reject federal authority in favor of state or local authority.

The fact that the report also draws on the extrememly recent Poplawski cop-shooting incident, which was universally seized upon by the left leaning media and attributed to the influence of a right-wing backlash, has some asking questions over the timing of the leak.

Reuters report from yesterday revealed that the DHS completed a similar assessment of “left-wing radicals” in January and had it distributed to federal, state and local police agencies. However, no media attention was garnered from the report.

Take this BBC article as one mainstream article as an example of how the DHS assessment is now being presented by the corporate media.

“Some more moderate conservatives have criticised the Homeland Security study. They believe the White House could use it to justify tougher gun laws and restrictions on conservatives’ freedom of speech.”

Restrictions on conservatives’ freedom of speech, as if only conservatives should concerned with upholding the first amendment. Forgive me if I’m wrong but last time I checked the US Constitution applied to every man, woman and child in America.

“The issue is being keenly debated on right-wing blogs and talk shows.”

Instead of highlighting, questioning and decrying the fact that the DHS has labeled those concerned about the economy as right-wing extremists, the mainstream media is pushing and amplifying the very same notion.

Many have also questioned the timing of the surfacing of the new DHS report, just days before the nationwide “tea party” tax protests.

In the wake of the DHS right-wing revelation, the Maryland National Guard has been put on alert in anticipation of today’s protests, while the DHS has refused to deny that demostrators will be surveilled by the agency.

Of course, tea party protesters are not “dangerous rightwingers”, many of them are not even conservatives, but rather libertarians. Indeed there has been increasing chatter regarding the notion that the tea party movment has been hijacked by Republicans. For direct evidence of this, one only has to look to the gaggle of Fox News anchors that have taken over protests throughout the country today.

This is an example of a concerning trend where anyone continuing to criticise the government beyond the lifespan of the Bush administration is now being lumped into the category of “rightwingers”.

Talking heads such as Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity, whose only real loyalty lies with their corporate masters, are seizing upon any movement now critical of the federal government in order to push their tired brand of brainwashing.

The problem is that the real grassroots patriot movements and defenders of the constitution are now being scurrilously affiliated with such universally derided filth.

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