In the wake of the horrific Sikh temple shootings in Wisconsin, left-wing barrel-scrapers are demanding that talk-radio giant Rush Limbaugh and other conservatives apologize for criticizing a 2009 Department of Homeland Security report that hyped an ominous new wave of violent "rightwing extremism."
I don't apologize. I call foul.
The media lowlifes who exploit every tragic shooting to silence their law-abiding, First Amendment-exercising enemies are tearing this country apart. "Progressives" have had free rein to libel and slander peaceful, liberty-loving citizens -- while whitewashing the violent plots and criminal behavior of their ideological counterparts. No more.
Wade Michael Page was a chronically unemployed Army washout with a drinking problem; a body covered in abhorrent white supremacist tattoos; Neo-Nazi band membership; a recent breakup with his white supremacist girlfriend; and a military discharge under "other than honorable conditions" that suggests to several psychological experts he may have had a disqualifying mental illness.
He was, in short, an unrepentant racist and sicko for whom no decent Americans have sympathy or tolerance.
Before he turned the gun on himself, Page slaughtered six innocent human beings. But instead of mourning their deaths and decrying evil in all its forms, some vultures chose to indict the entire right. Instead of waiting for all the facts to come out about Page's life and mental history, political opportunists rifled through their drawer of partisan grievances to score points.
They are using the Sikh temple massacre to try to delegitimize perfectly legitimate criticism of the Obama administration's 2009 Department of Homeland Security report lumping in homicidal extremists like Page with ordinary activists who embrace the very principles of limited government espoused by our Founding Fathers.
On Thursday, Los Angeles Times reporter James Rainey promoted a smug article titled, "Sorry, Mr. Limbaugh, but Obama agency did not target tea party." Rainey, who describes himself as having "spent many of his 30 years in journalism cogitating on politics," blamed Limbaugh, Rep. John Boehner and yours truly for "prevent(ing) tracking of home-grown crackpots."
The DHS assessments, Rainey claimed, "were carefully couched as trends to beware of, directed not at everyday political activists but at those who planned to use violence to carry out their beliefs."
Sorry, Los Angeles Times. But your cogitating reporter misreported what was in those assessments and why conservatives successfully protested them. The politically timed documents were released just as thousands of peaceful, law-abiding Tea Party members were preparing the nationwide April 15 Tax Day Tea Party protests. DHS's overbroad report didn't just target those prone to violence with "carefully couched" language.
No, Los Angeles Times. The feds engaged in scare-mongering about unnamed groups and individuals "antagonistic toward the new presidential administration" and "those that are mainly antigovernment, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority, or rejecting government authority entirely." Code words for the stimulus-opposing, bailout-protesting Tea Party movement. Duh. For good measure, the report tossed in vague references to pro-lifers, Second Amendment activists and border security advocates, too.
As I noted at the time, past FBI reports on domestic terrorism have always been very specific in identifying the exact groups, causes and targets -- i.e., the Animal Liberation Front, Earth Liberation Front, and enviro-wackos who have engaged in physical harassment, arson, vandalism and worse against pharmaceutical companies, farms, labs and university researchers.
By contrast, the 2009 report was a sweeping indictment of conservatives. The report warned that unspecified "rightwing extremist chatter on the Internet continues to focus on the economy." Conservative blogosphere? Guilty! And the entire report asserted with no evidence that an unquantified "resurgence in rightwing extremist recruitment and radicalization activity" was due to home foreclosures, job losses and "the historical presidential election." To the extent that the DHS assessments mentioned military service members, they focused on Army veterans returning from war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Rainey and his ilk blithely glide over the fact that Page was an Army dropout who never saw combat.
No matter. Liberal commentators have convicted GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann, GOP Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and the entire conservative talk-radio world for Page's murderous rampage. On the dregs of cable TV news, MSNBC's Ed Schultz invoked our criticism of the 2009 report to try to shame and blame Righty.
Meanwhile, these ghouls remain radio-silent about actual domestic terror plots tied directly to the Democratic Party-embraced Occupy movement. Take the ring of self-identified Occupy leaders, members and anarchist organizers in Cleveland, Ohio, charged with plotting to bomb bridges in Ohio and kill potentially hundreds in order to sabotage local business and commerce. One pleaded guilty last month and will testify against the other four -- who attempted to detonate what they thought was an improvised explosive device intended to blow up a local bridge and take the lives of untold commuters across the Cuyahoga River. Media apologists have gone out of their way to minimize the severity of the plot and to enable Occupy organizers to distance themselves from their violent anarchist members.
In the warped world of James Rainey, MSNBC Neanderthals and George Soros operatives, every conservative is a rightwing terrorist. But there are no left-wing terrorists -- only misguided kids whose social justice agenda simply went awry. The bias reeks like an Occupy camp in the dog days of August.