By Kathleen Gilbert
WASHINGTON, D.C., May 15, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A widely-criticized report that labeled pro-life activism and other normative conservative positions as a potential sign of violent "rightwing extremism" has been pulled by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
The nine-page document "Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment," said in a footnote that the term "rightwing extremism" "may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration."
The term, said the report, could also refer to groups that reject "federal authority in favor of state or local authority." Many also took offense at the document’s characterization of veterans as likely terrorist recruits. (http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/apr/09041510.html)
DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano told Capitol Hill lawmakers Wednesday that the document, distributed to local law enforcement officials nationwide in early April, had been pulled and is being rewritten.
"The wheels came off the wagon because the vetting process was not followed," Napolitano told the House Homeland Security Committee, according to the Washington Times. "The report is no longer out there. An employee sent it out without authorization."
Napolitano said that the document, which has been pulled from DHS websites, is in the process of being "replaced or redone in a much more useful and much more precise fashion."
Asked whether the person responsible for publishing the report had been fired, Napolitano replied that "appropriate personnel action is being taken."
In mid-April, when the controversy about the report first broke, Napolitano issued a statement saying that she stood by the report, and said that she had herself been briefed on its contents.
See related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:
Homeland Security Targets Abortion Opposition as Warning Sign of "Rightwing Extremism"