America’s growing surveillance state
May 15th, 2009 in Breaking News, Police State
America’s growing surveillance state | Matthew Harwood | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk.


The US department of homeland security has once again run afoul of cultural and political conservatives. Last month, a leaked report on rightwing extremism sparked an outcry for suggesting that returning veterans from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq could become domestic terrorists – the next Timothy McVeigh. Now, another document has come to light, and conservatives are having another aneurism.

The 11-page “Domestic Extremism Lexicon” defines potential domestic terrorism threats facing the United States. Produced by DHS’s office of intelligence and analysis, it’s purpose was to define key terms and extremist groups. Conservative websites were apoplectic about how “rightwing extremism” was described:

A movement of rightwing groups or individual who can be broadly divided into those who are primarily hate-oriented, and those who are mainly antigovernment and reject federal authority in favour of state or local authority. This term also may refer to rightwing extremist movements that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration.

Though retracted within hours of its release and recalled from state and local law enforcement partners, the lexicon has nevertheless drawn the ire of rightwing groups, who see it as yet another example of the Obama administration equating anti-immigration and anti-abortion groups with terrorism.

“The ‘definitions’ provided in the lexicon are politically slanted to poison the law enforcement community against millions of Americans who might be called (and who might identify themselves as) political, social and religious ‘conservatives’,” writes William Jasper at the New American. “Law-abiding citizens who oppose abortion, illegal immigration, gun control, homosexuality, expanded federal government powers, and increased government spending and taxes are repeatedly associated with neo-Nazis, skinheads, and other violent and racist ‘hate groups’.”

Source: America's growing surveillance state | Matthew Harwood | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk