April 19th, 2009
10:24 AM ET
13 years ago

Napolitano defends 'right wing extremism' report, regrets offense

(CNN) - Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano continued to defend her agency's recent report warning of right-wing extremist groups, saying the U.S. has active intelligence suggesting such groups are actively targeting disgruntled veterans.

"The report is not saying veterans are extremists, far from it," she told CNN's John King Sunday on State of The Union. "What it is saying is returning veterans are targets of right wing extremist groups that are trying to recruit those to commit violent acts within the country. We want to do all we can to prevent that."

The agency's report, "Right-wing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment," was published last week and said right-wing extremist groups may be using the recession and the election of the nation's first African-American president to recruit members.

Prepared in conjunction with the FBI, the report was distributed to federal, state and local law enforcement officials. Mainstream media picked up the story after it was reported by conservative bloggers.

In the interview with CNN, Napolitano did not name particular groups the report was referencing, but said "Some of them indeed want to do what happened in Oklahoma city, that is commit violent acts within the homeland."

The Homeland Security Secretary also expressed regret that in "the politicization of everything that happens in Washington, DC," some have taken offence to the report.

"But when you read the report, what it was saying is that, look, we have a threat of terrorism within our own shores and one of the groups being targeted to see if they will be aligned with that are some of our veterans," she said.

Napolitano also said the report's language is "is consistent with other reports that have been issued before."

They were issued before Obama was president and they are being issued now and meant to give people what is called situational awareness and they are certainly not intended to give offense, far from it."

soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. Truth Bomb Thrower

    She is like everyone else in the adminstration. She hates the military and patriotic Americans. The new definition of 'right wing extremist' is anyone who questions or disagrees with the government and loves their country. It's a BADGE OF HONOR!!!!!

    April 19, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  2. Join The Dems

    To Lori________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Now you know what the democrats sounded like when all the Bush hate was out there. Just remember what goes around comes around. And by the way, when the government starts controlling private business that is Socialism.

    April 19, 2009 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  3. Joe the Troll

    Willis seaid:

    April 19th, 2009 10:49 am ET

    I think it is outrageous that Napolitano warned of "people with Ron Paul bumper stickers".

    Ron Paul is a legitimate presidential candidate and a long standing member of Congress. Like his politics or not, Paul is does not promote anti American ideas.
    He is a Conversationalist – and that is what scares the Democrats and Republicans, both working to errode our rights and voter power.

    I like Obama, but, Napolitano was a very poor choice and she is the one that needs to be watched.

    Be real, Willis. If a lot of these people have these stickers, that is then a common characteristic. It doesn't mean anyone is blaming Paul or that ALL people with those stickers are automatically terrorists.

    A lot of people on the right would like us to ignore these warnings. They'd like another Oklahoma City, so they can claim that the left didn't keep us safe and only they can. It's a protection racket and it can't be allowed.

    April 19, 2009 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  4. ib

    Liberals spewed hate for the past eight years. They can dish it out but can't take it. This woman should go; be gone and no I don't want anything bad to happen to her or Obama but they are a joke no make that nightmare for people who care abut this country. I don't many republicans want bad things to happen to Obama either. Bet you can't say that about liberals. Just read the obove posts..

    April 19, 2009 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  5. I See Your True Colors Shining Through

    What is most interesting is that standard bearers of the Republican Party got so concerned at this report.

    I (and I think most true Americans) viewed the type of people discussed in the report at the "Timothy McViegh" types. Is that who the Republicans want to defend?

    Maybe they only want to defend those attending the McCain/Palin rallies that said "He's a Terrorist", "He's an Arab", "Kill him" .... those are real Americans, huh?

    Or perhaps they only want to defend those Americans exercising their NECESSARY right to keep and bears arms .... you know they ones that kill 3 Pittsburgh cops, or students at multiople colleges, or even children killing scores of children .... like err, um, Columbine.

    Moderates, join the democrats .... there is NO PLACE for you in the GOP ... that's why David Duke, former wizzard of the ku klux klan ran for public office as a Republican.

    April 19, 2009 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  6. Lynn

    The Republicans showed their lack of concern for the military by their lack of planning when they invaded Iraq causing death and incredible hardships for the troops on the ground.

    The horrendous conditions of military hospitals like Walter Reed also demonstrated their lack of concern. Nothing was done to improve the lack of speedy access by wounded veterans.

    April 19, 2009 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  7. Ian, Philadelphia PA

    I tend to be a little more conservative in my views, but I don't get all the fervor here. It's just not a big deal.

    The report states a fact. Extremists are trying to target ex-members of the military. So? Why would anyone take that as some kind of knock on our armed forces?

    Dumb thing to get all twisted up about. I hate when people call for "apologies" over someone stating a fact ... and that's on either side of the aisle.

    I hate to point this out, but conservatives get angry every time one of them states a fact and liberals jam them up on it ... like calling out the ineffectiveness of welfare or affirmative action eliciting the inevitable shout-downs of "racism" ... it's the same thing. You can't have it both ways. It's always wrong to try and shout down someone who's simply conveying factual information.

    April 19, 2009 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
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