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Wednesday, March 13, 2013
WND's Unruh Still Fearmongering Over VA Supposedly Taking Away Veterans' Weapons
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The last time WorldNetDaily's Bob Unruh wrote about the Department of Veterans Affairs sending letters to certain veterans about how they could lose their right to own a gun if the VA finds them incompetent to handle their affairs, he fearmongered that the Obama administration was "threaten[ing] the Second Amendment rights of American military veterans" until dialing it back to an "apparent threat to Second Amendment rights" without telling readers he had changed the content of the article. Unruh also failed to tell readers that the VA was following long-established procedure in sending out such letters.

Unruh is writing about it again, and he's still fearmongering. From Unruh's March 11 WND article:

The Obama administration insists it’s routine for officials to send out letters informing veterans that an unidentified “report” indicates they may be declared incompetent and consequently stripped of their Second Amendment rights.

It’s the same administration that in 2009 warned that “returning veterans possess combat skills and experience that are attractive to rightwing extremists.”

The 2009 report, from the Department of Homeland Security, was called “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment.” It also said Obama’s governmental managers were “concerned that rightwing extremists will attempt to recruit and radicalize returning veterans in order to boost their violent capabilities.”

So when hundreds, perhaps thousands, of veterans began receiving letters like the one dispatched from the Portland, Ore., office of the Department of Veterans Affairs, alarm bells went off.

First, Unruh provides no evidence that the VA's letters have anything whatsoever to do with the 2009 DHS report -- which, by the way, was correct in its assessment of attempted radicalization of returning war veterans, a conclusion also arrived at by the FBI under the Bush administration.

Second, despite citing only one letter received by an anonymous veteran in his article,  Unruh speculates that "hundreds, perhaps thousands" were sent out. Such wiild guessing indicates he has no clue at all how many letters were sent out, has no proof that the VA's procedures on such issues has changed under the Obama administration, and he's just trying to fearmonger.

Unruh also writes that "the VA declined to provide information about any adjudication process." In fact, the VA describes the adjudication process on its website.

Despite the fact that he has no proof that the VA is doing anything out of the ordinary, Unruh continues to fearmonger, allowing the anonymous veteran's attorney -- who is with the right-wing United States Justice Foundation -- ramble at length about the purported slippery slope such letters represent:

“We have to ask who will be next. If you are receiving a Social Security check will you get one of these letters? Will the government declare that you are incompetent because of your age and therefore banned from firearm ownership. It certainly fits in with the philosophy and plans of the Obama administration.”

In keeping with the fearmongering, Unruh brings up another thing completely unrelated to the issue at hand: a study issued by the U.S. Military Academy’s Combating Terrorism Center examining the "violent far right." Unruh lets "constitutional law professor" ludicrously claim that the study's author is representative of "many left-wing members of the professoriate" and is "a propagandist for the existing regime." Because, you know, nothing says "left-wing professor" like teaching at the nation's premier military academy.

Unruh also claims that the study "cites 'anti-abortionists' as an active threat for terrorist activity, followed by anti-abortion activist Judie Brown retorting, "The use of two words expose the bias and hatred for what we stand for as a movement. Those words are ‘attacks’ and ‘violence’."

Unruh and Brown themselves ignore a couple of key words in the study: "far right." The study is not about all conservatives, but -- as the title of the report makes clear -- the "violent far right." The report also states that anti-abortion extremists have mostly switched tactics from attacks on people to attacks on property (though Unruh and Brown are clearly ignoring two other key words: Scott Roeder).

Supposed constitutional scholar Titus also ignored the fact that the study is about the "violent far right," for Unruh paraphrases him as saying that the report is "an attempt to link conservative thought with violence."

Unruh is simply putting his right-wing agenda before the facts. That may be why he's working at WND instead of his former employer, the Associated Press.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:19 AM EDT

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