Last week, after a couple motivated by far-right ideology killed three people in Las Vegas, we wrote about the Right’s efforts in 2009 to quash a Department of Homeland Security report on violent right-wing extremism .
Right-wing groups pounced on the report because it dared to note that violent right-wing extremists — people like Timothy McVeigh and the Hutaree militia and abortion clinic bombers — are motivated by right-wing issues. The Right eventually made such a fuss that the DHS pulled the report — utterly infuriating the conservative Republican analyst who had written it, who noted that his small team studying “non-Islamic domestic extremism” was later cut down to just one person.
But the myth that the Obama administration declared all Christian conservatives and Tea Partiers to be potential terrorists has lived on in the right-wing myth machine.
The story came up again earlier this month when Gun Owners of America director Larry Pratt joined conspiracy theorist Alex Jones on Infowars.
Jones asked Pratt about a Washington Times report about a 2010 Pentagon directive — an update to a series of similar directives crafted under previous administrations — outlining how and when the military can use force to quell domestic unrest “in extraordinary emergency circumstances where prior authorization by the president is impossible.”
Jones, of course, read this to mean that it is “official and has been confirmed” that the military is “training with tanks, armored vehicles, drones” to “take on the American people, mainly the Tea Party.”
“Well, he’s certainly not thinking that Muslims are a threat,” responded Pratt, “so he’s turning to his political opponents, declaring that they’re the enemy and ignoring the fact that Muslims from time to time have a tendency to go ‘boom.’”
Pratt then cited the 2009 DHS report to claim that the Obama administration has “fingered veterans as potential terrorists, people who believe in the Second Amendment, who are pro-life, who want to work for limited government.”
“I guess the idea of limited government really would terrorize a socialist,” he said, adding, “The enemy is freedom and they really are doing what they can to extinguish it.”