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Tuesday, July 3, 2012
WND Distorts Terrorism Study To Portray Right-Wing Extremists As Victims
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Jack Minor's July 2 worldNetDaily article appears to be written to deliberately distort a federally funded report on terrorism.

Minor writes:

The government is once again promoting the idea of “those who are reverent of individual liberty” being terrorists with a new study funded by the Department of Homeland Security.

The study and related data were recently produced by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism, or START, at the University of Maryland. START was launched with a $12 million grant from DHS and is recognized by the organization as one of its “Centers for Excellence.” In December, DHS announced it was renewing START’s funding with another $3.6 million.

[...]

However, examples of what START considers to be “right-wing” include “groups that believe that one’s personal and/or national ‘way of life’ is under attack and is either already lost or that the threat is imminent.” The report also goes on to describe right-wing “terrorists” as those who are reverent of individual liberty and suspicious of centralized federal authority.

Under such a definition, the Founding Fathers might have been considered right-wing terrorists.

Curiously, Minor fails to quote the full statement from the report regarding "extreme right-wing" terrorism:

Extreme Right-Wing: groups that believe that one’s personal and/or national “way of life” is under attack and is either already lost or that the threat is imminent (for some the threat is from a specific ethnic, racial, or religious group), and believe in the need to be prepared for an attack either by participating in paramilitary preparations and training or survivalism. Groups may also be fiercely nationalistic (as opposed to universal and international in orientation), anti-global, suspicious of centralized federal authority, reverent of individual liberty, and believe in conspiracy theories that involve grave threat to national sovereignty and/or personal liberty.

As the full quote in context illustrates, the report describes right-wing terrorists as paramilitary or survivalists before they are "reverent of individual liberty." At no point does the report describe being "reverent of individual liberty" as the sole evidence of terroristic behavior.

Minor's apparent intent to deceive is further illustrated by the fact that he also fails to mention that the report highlights paramilitary or survivalism as a key component of right-wing terrorism.

Minor also distorts previous findings on right-wing extremism. He claims that "the DHS had previously issued another report listing returning veterans and Christians who believed in end-time prophesies as dangerous right-wing extremists." In fact, the report did not describe all returning  veterans as "dangerous right-wing extremists": it pointed out that "Rightwing extremists will attempt to recruit and radicalize returning veterans in order to exploit their skills and knowledge derived from military training and combat." It further stated that "Antigovernment conspiracy theories and 'end times' prophecies could motivate extremist individuals and groups to stockpile food, ammunition, and weapons. These teachings also have been linked with the radicalization of domestic extremist individuals and groups in the past, such as violent Christian Identity organizations and extremist members of the militia movement."

Minor also wrote: "A report issued by the Missouri Information Analysis Center warned law enforcement agencies to watch for individuals with bumper stickers for third-party political candidates including Ron Paul, Bob Barr and Chuck Baldwin. It also defined radical ideologies as opposing immigration, abortion and federal taxes." In fact, the MIAC report specifically focused on the militia movement; at no point did it state that "opposing immigration, abortion and federal taxes" by themselves made one a "radical."


Posted by Terry K. at 10:07 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, July 5, 2012 10:04 AM EDT

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