Yesterday, a copy of a Department of Homeland Security report was leaked, detailing the increasing radicaliziation of “rightwing extremists.” One portion of the report warned that “rightwing extremists will attempt to recruit and radicalize returning veterans in order to exploit their skills and knowledge derived from military training and combat.”
This morning on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” host Joe Scarborough expressed fury at the report’s mention of veterans. Ignoring the report’s conclusion that right-wing groups would try to recruit veterans, Scarborough declared that the Obama administration was “targeting veterans” and waging a “war on veterans”:
When you have a president and you have the Department of Homeland Security more focused on targeting veterans than on protecting our border on the South where a war is breaking out, or protecting us from, I don’t know, al Qaeda? Isn’t this interesting: they no longer want to use the term “war on terror”? They don’t want to use “the war on terror” because that makes them feel uncomfortable, but they have no problem targeting veterans returning from war. This is perverse. … There’s not a war on terror but there may be a war on veterans.
Scarborough declared that if Dick Cheney had done something similar, the entire media would have been appalled.
What if Dick Cheney decided that he was going to target liberals? … Can you imagine what certain newspapers and cable news shows would do if George Bush and Dick Cheney decided to target democratic loyalists, and say that they may be a terror threat?
Of course, DHS already wrote a report on “left-wing extremists,” completed earlier this year. “This is the job of DHS, to assess what is happening in this country, with regard to homegrown terrorism, and determine whether it’s an actual threat or not, and that’s what these assessments do. This is nothing unusual,” a DHS official told Fox News.
More importantly, the report did not target “conservatives” or “Republican loyalists.” Indeed, it’s odd that conservatives like Scarborough would willingly group themselves and Republicans in with “rightwing extremist activity, specifically the white supremacist and militia movements” — the actual focus of the DHS report. Scarborough is not alone in this lumping, however; yesterday, Michelle Malkin declared that the report a “hit job on conservatives,” while Fox News linked the report to the conservative “tea parties.”