The Office of Intelligence and Analysis uses a broad brush to define dozens of supposedly extremist ideologies inside the United States, in a report called "Domestic Extremism Lexicon," which was withdrawn within hours after its release in March.
Tuesday, May 05, 2009
The Department of Homeland Security is reining in a "maverick" division of the agency following criticism of a report it issued that details domestic "extremists" ranging from anti-tax movements to pro-environment groups, a DHS official told FOX News on Tuesday.
The report, released in March and recalled within hours, was on top of a controversial document the same office produced last month that said U.S. veterans were ripe for recruitment by terrorist groups.
The quickly withdrawn report, titled the "Domestic Extremism Lexicon," comes from the department's Office of Intelligence and Analysis, the same unit that produced the report on right-wing extremists recruiting vets. The document, first uncovered by The Washington Times, uses a broad brush to define terms used when analyzing dozens of supposedly extremist ideologies inside the United States.
They cover: Jewish extremists, animal rights extremists, Christian identity extremists, black separatism extremists, anti-abortion extremists, anti-immigration extremists, anti-technology extremists, Cuban independence extremists and tax resistance extremists, to name a few.
Department spokeswoman Amy Kudwa said the report was not authorized and is not being used.
"The lexicon was not an authorized I&A product, and it was recalled as soon as management discovered it had been released without authorization," Kudwa said. "Since this happened prior to our last experience, our new internal protocols were obviously not in place. Even so, this product is not, nor was it ever, in operational use."
The Homeland Security official who spoke to FOX News said the office that released the report had taken on a "maverick" attitude by acting without authorization and is now being "reined in."
In addition to the report on right-wing threats issued last month -- for which DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano apologized -- DHS detailed left-wing threats in a similar report released in January.
The "Domestic Extremism Lexicon" covers ideologies across the spectrum.
An explanation at the top of the document claims the glossary is meant to provide "definitions for key terms and phrases that often appear in DHS analysis that addresses the nature and scope of the threat that domestic, non-Islamic extremism poses to the United States."
The authors wrote "that DHS/I&A intends this background information to assist federal, state, local, and tribal homeland security and law enforcement officials in conducting analytic activities."
The definitions are rather broad and apparently raised flags within the department.
According to the document, for example, tax resistance extremists are people who "vehemently believe taxes violate their constitutional rights ... Members (of this group) have been known to advocate or engage in criminal activity and plot acts of violence and terrorism in an attempt to advance their extremist goals."
The top of the document also defines "alternative media" as something sinister -- though the term is commonly used to describe blogs and popular publications like New York's Village Voice.
"Alternative media" is "a term used to describe various information sources that provide a forum for interpretations of events and issues that differ radically from those presented in mass media products and outlets," the report says.
The report also covers domestic groups more commonly referred to as extremist, like neo-Nazis.