There has been a great deal of controversy over the release by the Department of Homeland Security of an analysis by its Extremism and Radicalization Branch about the threats posed by right-wing extremism. One of my sources at DHS recently provided me with a copy of another highly-classified memorandum prepared by that same office. Because of its importance to the public debate, I have reproduced it below, with the informant’s email information deleted to protect his identity.
CLASSIFIED FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
U.S. Department of homeland Security
Office of Intelligence and Analysis
21 April 2009
Prepared by the Extremism and Radicalization Branch, Environment Threat Analysis Division. Not coordinated with those wusses at the FBI.
TO: Janet Napolitano
Department of Homeland Security
RE: Follow-up to 7 April 2009 Report: “Right-wing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment.”
(U)SCOPE: Recommendation for implementation of immediate surveillance of right-wing extremists in Virginia
As you are aware from the 7 April report that DOS circulated to federal, state, and local law enforcement personnel, we are concerned over radicalization and recruitment by right-wing extremists who pose a danger of instigating domestic terrorism. In that report, the Extremism and Radicalization Branch (ERB) warned about right-wing extremism that is “mainly antigovernment, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority” and is against “restrictions on firearms ownership and use.”
In fact, one of our primary concerns is the “high volume of purchases and stockpiling of weapons and ammunition by right-wing extremists.” We expressed our concern “that right-wing extremists will attempt to recruit and radicalize returning veterans in order to boost their violent capabilities.” In fact, we are very worried about the “militia movement’s opposition to gun control efforts, criticism of free trade agreements … and perceived government infringement on civil liberties.”
Our review and monitoring of public meetings and publications in Virginia have brought to our attention two individuals who fit these profiles and who, in our informed law enforcement opinion, are right-wing extremists who pose an imminent danger to the United States, particularly the federal government.
SUBJECTS OF INVESTIGATION:
The first individual is a resident of Louisa County, Virginia. He urged his fellow Virginians to arm themselves in a diatribe at St. John’s Church in Richmond, when the legislature was in session. In fact, he urged mobilization of a militia to oppose federally-authorized confiscation of illegal weapons and ammunition. St. John’s Church is obviously a violent Christian Identity organization (see page 4 of our initial report) and its dangerous, fundamentalist Christian cult will be the subject of a separate law enforcement memorandum.
This individual opposes gun control measures and has been involved in the militia movement, radicalizing other individuals in his state by speaking out against our regular army forces. He asserts that a standing army is a “mercenary force” that is subversive and “dangerous” to the liberties of the people. He has stated publicly that “the militia is our ultimate safety … we can have no security without it. The great object is that every man be armed. … Everyone one who is able may have a gun.”
It is clear that he could be involved in the recruitment of veterans to serve in his “militia” forces. While ERB recognizes the rights to free speech, this Virginian is inciting individuals to acts of violence. One of our agents at a public meeting heard him say that “if we wish to be free, we must fight! — I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms and to the god of Hosts is all that is left us.” In fact, this Virginian has openly defied government authority, proclaiming in one of his speeches that “I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty — or give me death!”
The second right-wing extremist is a resident of Fairfax County, extremely close to Washington, D.C., giving us great concern over his physical proximity to the government and particularly the president. He has written and spoken strongly against the federal government, even asserting the Constitution is “dangerous” and actually claiming that it should never have been signed.
As we discussed in our initial report, this individual is extremely anti-government, rejecting federal authority in favor of state authority. He regularly preaches that the federal government endangers the civil liberties of Americans. In fact, he has spoken out against our president because of the latter’s support for the Constitution and a strong federal government. (We have notified the Secret Service, which is taking appropriate steps to also investigate the danger this extremist poses to the president.)
This individual has taken the radical view that the federal judiciary is dangerous and published a letter in the Virginia Journal claiming that its power will “absorb and destroy the judiciary of the several States.” (The U.S. Marshals Service, which protects federal judges, has been notified.) He believes the president has “the unrestrained power of granting pardons for treason, which may be sometimes exercised to screen from punishment those whom he had secretly instigated to commit the crimes, and thereby prevent a discovery of his own guilt.”
In fact, he makes the (clearly treasonous) assertions that Congress has so much power, when combined with that of the president, that it can “destroy any balance in the government, and enable them to accomplish what usurpations they please upon the rights and liberties of the people.” Similar to his fellow Virginia radical, this individual has warned about Congress “disarming” citizens and he has spoken against our standing army, and is thus clearly involved in the right-wing militia movement.
Both of these right0wing extremists, as we said in our initial report, “are focusing their efforts to recruit new members, mobilize existing supporters, and broaden their scope and appeal through propaganda.” It is clear, as we outlined on page 6 of the report, that these individuals “may attempt to co-opt the debate [about constitutional issues] and use the controversy as a radicalization tool,” particularly with veterans of the regular Continental Army.
Therefore, based on our analysis, we are recommending that Secretary Napolitano approve asking the Justice Department to make an immediate, secret application to the FISA court for a warrant authorizing 24-hour surveillance, including wiretaps, on Patrick Henry and George Mason. We will shortly be forwarding a similar request to Secretary Napolitano regarding a third extremist in Virginia, a colleague of Henry and Mason. An informant named W.S. Smith forwarded to ERB a letter Smith received from this individual in which he was inciting right-wing violence, proclaiming that the “tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” He also asserted that “a little rebellion now and then is a good thing,” an obvious ploy to recruit members for militia and other anti-government organizations.