Conservatives Upset About DHS Report Issued Under Auspices Of Bush Appointee

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If an April 7 memo by the Department of Homeland Security is to be believed, the ranks of right wing radical and white supremacist groups–and the dangers they pose–may be growing.

And, after years of turning a blind eye to (or outright supporting) Bush-era curtailments of civil liberties, conservatives have predictably ignored reacted with great hostility to the news…before stopping to take stock of the situation. The report on right wing groups, it turns out, was prepared by the Extremism and Radicalization Branch of DHS’ Homeland Environment and Threat Analysis Division. That Division falls under the purview (PDF) of the Under Secretary For Intelligence & Analysis–or, in this case, the Acting Under Secretary For Intelligence & Analysis Roger Mackin, who was appointed on September 10, 2008 by noted left wing partisan George W. Bush.There’s another aspect to this, too, which similarly cuts against the idea that there’s anything particularly partisan going on here. As Greg Sargent has reported, the same DHS division prepared a similar assessment of the threats posed by left wing extremists on January 26, 2009–just days after Barack Obama was sworn into office.

None of this is to say there isn’t now, or that there never will be, politicized activity out of this branch or division under Obama’s leadership. And if some day there is, it should be brought to light. But his administration’s still incredibly young–even if his ultimate goal is to put Bush-era corruption of the executive agencies to shame, he hasn’t really had enough time yet.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at brian@talkingpointsmemo.com
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