Love Liberty? DHS May Label You a Terror Suspect

Posted: Jul 05, 2012 1:43 PM


According to a report prepared by the Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology’s Human Factors/Behavioral Sciences division, people with conservative or libertarian leanings fit the profile of an extreme right-wing domestic terrorist.

Rob Port of Say Anything Blog reports on the Department’s suspect methodology for defining domestic terrorism:

The methodology doesn’t pass the smell test as it claims that “More than 2,600 terrorist events occurred in the United States between 1970 and 2008.” That’s an absurd amount of “terrorism” that breaks down to no fewer than 68 terrorist incidents per year nation wide, or about one incident every five days.

Clearly, there are some serious problems with how they’re defining “terrorism” here. While I’m sure the crimes they track are quite serious, I don’t think most of us would consider incidents that common to be meeting the commonly understood definition of “terrorism.” It wouldn’t be surprising, of course, to learn that they’re setting the bar pretty low in order to inflate incidents to justify bigger security budgets.

The absurdly high number of reported “terrorist events” would be amusing if it were not so dangerous. The loose application of the word “terrorism” has led to DHS creating overly broad definitions of potentially threatening groups. This is particularly true of “extreme right-wing” organizations. People in this group, according to the report, “believe that one’s personal and/or national ‘way of life’ is under attack.” We go on to learn that people in “extremist right-wing” groups are “suspicious of centralized federal authority” and “reverent of individual liberty.” Interestingly, the only thing noted as suspect about “extreme left-wing” groups is their potentially violent tactics. No mention of their ideology and core beliefs.

Somehow, I do not feel any safer knowing that random DHS bureaucrats are busy labeling ordinary conservatives and libertarian citizens as part of an “extremist right-wing” group of potential domestic terrorists. Actually, I am now even more “suspicious of centralized federal authority” and “reverent of individual liberty.”

Editor's note: This post was written by editorial intern, Kyle Bonnell.