Category Archives: Homeland Security

>Fake Outrage = Fauxtrage

>The predictable right-wing pearl clutching over a Dept. Of Homeland Security report about extremist groups has put my bullshit meter into overdrive. The fact that the report was initially requested by the Bush Administration, although the Malkintents refer to it as the “Obama report,” was my first clue.

The fact that they completely ignored this January 26, 2009 report on left-wing extremists was my second clue.

But, facts be damned, this is a made-for-prime-time, right-wing talking point, neatly manufactured and packaged by the conservative echo chamber to reinforce the stereotype that Democrats/liberals hate the troops, Obama is gutting the military, and ZOMG we’re all gonna diiiiiiieeeee!!!!!!!11!!1!

So why the hell DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano is apologizing, when no apology was necessary, is beyond me. Have you people not been paying attention for the past eight years? At all? No?

Here is the predictable pattern of these things: Drudge, Malkin, Reynolds et. al. get in high dudgeon over some imagined slight, Rush and the Fox-heads flog it mercilessly, Democrat apologizes, and it’s all filed away in the collective unconscious as another case of liberals behaving badly. So what have we learned, people?

Here are the facts of the story, which Napolitano or one of her underlings could easily have trotted out. From the memory hole, 2006:

A decade after the Pentagon declared a zero-tolerance policy for racist hate groups, recruiting shortfalls caused by the war in Iraq have allowed “large numbers of neo-Nazis and skinhead extremists” to infiltrate the military, according to a watchdog organization.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks racist and right-wing militia groups, estimated that the numbers could run into the thousands, citing interviews with Defense Department investigators and reports and postings on racist Web sites and magazines.

Give the Bush Administration credit for doing the requisite follow-up with its own report–begun last year!–to determine what impact this may have on domestic security.

Does it mean all veterans are racists or white supremacists? No. Does it mean serving your country in the military makes you susceptible to hate group indoctrination? No.

Does it mean anyone even said any of those things?

No.

It’s all just manufactured, more Kabuki theater for the gasbags to chew over, and people in the Administration and Democratic Party in general need to quit apologizing for the right-wing’s insistence on getting their facts wrong and spinning lies.

What’s that famous quote from Adlai Stevenson? “I’ll stop telling the truth about Republicans when they stop telling lies about Democrats”? Something like that.

Anyway, it’s time everyone got a clue. Stop empowering the lies and the lying liars who tell them, Democrats.

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Filed under conservative bloggers, Democratic Party, Homeland Security, right-wing hate

>‘Tis The Season To Spread Fear

>This morning I was surprised to see one of these ads on CNN. They’re nearly identical to the “wait for marriage to have sex or your life will be ruined” PSAs I wrote about in early September; both ads feature cute little kids, and both creeped me out enormously.

The terrorism ad went like this:

[Child’s voice:] Mom?
Dad?
How long should I wait for you?
Mom…
If I’m at soccer practice …
What if something happens?
Will you come get me?
[Announcer:] There’s no reason not to have a plan in case of a terrorist attack.
[Child’s voice:] Mom, if you’re not home, should we go to the neighbors’ house?
[Announcer:] And some extremely good reasons why you should.
[Child’s voice:] Can you tell me?
[Announcer:] Talk to your family about what you should do in case of an emergency.

Using cute little children and scary words like “terrorist attack” in the same 30 second spot is pretty emotionally manipulative, but that’s also why it’s such an effective fear tool. Using child actors to ask “Mom, what if something happens? How will I find you?” sure tugs on the heartstrings. Add an announcer’s voice reminding us that we need to be prepared for a terrorist attack and I get a visceral “Ohmygod” feeling in the gut.

I also have to wonder why we’re seeing these particular PSAs now. Ready.gov has all sorts of emergency preparedness PSAs; why the terrorism ones? I mean, it’s hurricane season; how about telling families to be prepared for that? Or how about earthquakes. Electricity grid failures. Bridge collapses. Toxic waste spills. Africanized bees, body snatcher invasions, little green men from Mars. Seriously, why did they have to say be prepared for a “terrorist attack” specifically?

This is actually an old campaign that started in 2004, but I think this particular ad is new, as its not listed on Ready.gov’s PSA menu.

But regardless, seeing ads telling moms to be prepared for a terrorist attack at the same time the White House is trying desperately to keep funding for the Iraq strikes me as rather fishy.

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Filed under fear, Homeland Security, PSAs, Ready.gov

>Guts

>[UPDATE]:

via Flying Junior in comments, Committee on Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie G. Thompson wonders:

What color code in the Homeland Security Advisory System is associated with a “gut feeling?” What sectors should be on alert as a result of your “gut feeling?” What cities should be asking their law enforcement to work double shifts because of your “gut feeling?” Are the American people supposed to purchase duct tape and plastic sheeting because of your “gut feeling?”

Heh.
————————-
I have a gut feeling Michael Chertoff is full of shit.

The Homeland Security chief may have a hunch that terrorists are gonna attack this summer, but I’d like to think the people responsible for protecting us are using more than guesswork.

You know, liberals have been saying from the beginnning that Bush’s war misadventure has made America less safe, that we’ve created a whole new generation of people who hate us for what we’ve done in Iraq, that Al Qaeda is using Iraq to train terrorists, and that this whole “they’ll follow us home” argument against troop withdrawal is just stupid since, guess what folks, they have maps there and they know where America is.

So, I’ve got a gut feeling we’re going to be attacked, too. Maybe not this summer. Maybe not this year, or even this decade. But it’s silly and childish to think it’s not going to happen at all.

But I also have more than a gut feeling that the Bush Administration uses these terrorist threats to manipulate and distract the public. After all, back in 2005 Tom Ridge told us so. And when something as abstract as Michael Chertoff’s “gut feeling” takes the place of real news, I have to wonder what’s up. You gotta wonder: what else is going on now that the Administration might not want us talking about? The Iraq War? A DoJ scandal? Administration officials refusing to testify before Congress? Scooter Libby’s free bird waltz? A “family values” Republican in the D.C. madam client list?

It boggles the mind that the people who are supposed to protect us are playing fast and loose with American fears about our security. It’s unconscionable.

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Filed under Homeland Security, Michael Chertoff, terror alerts