Right Wing Nut House



Filed under: Government, Politics — Rick Moran @ 6:58 am

I wonder if the FBI is going to have enough agents to cover all the tea parties scheduled for tomorrow?

It was easier to keep track of us crazy right-wing (or is it rightwing?) fanatics in the old days. I can recall going to several demonstrations at the Islamic Center in Washington, D.C. back in early 1980 to protest against the Iranians holding our diplomats (they wouldn’t let us any closer to the shuttered Iranian embassy). Working the outskirts of the crowd with their cameras were two or three guys whose clothing and demeanor screamed “Feds!.” They took pictures of everyone in the crowd of about 200 and then got in their dark sedans and left. No doubt, on some old fashioned microfiche somewhere in the bowels of FBI headquarters, there are images of a young me, face twisted in anger, shaking a fist at a burning effigy of Ayatollah Khomenei. (In fact, there is an inset picture of me doing exactly that on the contents page of a Newsweek from that period.)

Today, technology has married with Big Brother to make it possible for the FBI, Homeland Security, ATF, and all the police apparatus of the state to determine whether I’m a threat before I even leave my house. The science of security has advanced far beyond our wildest dreams in the 1980’s as the tools to spy on American citizens become ever more intrusive and problematic. In addition to the technology available to today’s internal security agencies, huge advances in the science of psychology aid the state in profiling who might be a threat.

During the Bush years, anarchists and far left anti-war activists (and some who were ludicrously innocent) became targets of interest for the FBI and other agencies. Then of course, there’s the whole NSA program/Terrorist Surveillance matter that President Obama continues in some form to this day. Many on the left and right believe that these programs have broken the law, going too far in seeking to protect the United States from another terrorist attack. If they haven’t broken the law, they have certainly walked right up to the line of legality and pushed the envelope.

You may recall the Republican Convention of 2008 where activists, planning to disrupt the proceedings, were taken into custody as a preemptive measure against what the authorities considered to be the threat of violence.

There is more, of course, Without much fanfare, government has expanded its powers to evaluate the threats that ordinary citizens pose to security. We on the right apparently didn’t mind very much as long as the left was being targeted, although agencies like the FBI and ATF have had a long standing interest in keeping track of the various militias, skin head groups, radical Christian racists, and other right wing fanatics who have been a concern for a couple of decades.

I say that conservatives “apparently” didn’t care because for the last 8 years it was never a big issue on the right except when the occasional court case would be decided or some nugget of information about the Bush administration’s internal security efforts would be leaked. And then it a was a four square defense of Bush and attempts to justify what the administration was doing. Why that is true I can only speculate but I have to go back to the fact that the targets of these programs were not people loyal to George Bush and the Republicans and hence, the cocooning that is part of both the left and right blogosphere allowed most conservatives to ignore the problem or excuse it.

Judging by this report from Homeland Security entitled “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment,” it would appear that the shoe is about to be placed on the other foot and it is now the turn of conservatives to become targets of interest for the internal security forces of the United States. But instead of targeting the usual suspects like the Kluxers and Skin Heads, DHS apparently believes that you may be a threat if you are anti-abortion or anti-immigration reform:

Rightwing extremism in the United States can be broadly divided into those groups, movements, and adherents that are primarily hate-oriented (based on hatred of particular religious, racial or ethnic groups), and those that are mainly antigovernment, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority, or rejecting government authority entirely. It may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration.

And our returning veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan will bear close watching, according to DHS:

Returning veterans possess combat skills and experience that are attractive to rightwing extremists. DHS/I&A is concerned that rightwing extremists will attempt to recruit and radicalize returning veterans in order to boost their violent capabilities.

Now it should be said that most of this document deals with the threat posed by the kooks. But there are troubling references throughout that make it clear that not toeing the administration’s line on some issues is enough to warrant attention:

Over the past five years, various rightwing extremists, including militias and white supremacists, have adopted the immigration issue as a call to action, rallying point, and recruiting tool. Debates over appropriate immigration levels and enforcement policy generally fall within the realm of protected political speech under the First Amendment, but in some cases, anti-immigration or strident pro-enforcement fervor has been directed against specific groups and has the potential to turn violent.

If you are passionate about enforcing the law against illegal immigrants and protecting our borders, you may become a target. If nothing else, this kind of thing may have a chilling effect on internet free speech. If you’ve read as many pro-enforcement rants as I have, you know that hyperbole and exaggeration are sometimes used to make the author’s point. Such rhetoric now could easily be construed as “right wing extremism” and make the writer a person of interest.

Anti-gun control advocates may also become targets:

(U//FOUO) Open source reporting of wartime ammunition shortages has likely spurred rightwing extremists—as well as law-abiding Americans—to make bulk purchases of ammunition. These shortages have increased the cost of ammunition, further exacerbating rightwing extremist paranoia and leading to further stockpiling activity. Both rightwing extremists and law-abiding citizens share a belief that rising crime rates attributed to a slumping economy make the purchase of legitimate firearms a wise move at this time.

(U//FOUO) Weapons rights and gun-control legislation are likely to be hotly contested subjects of political debate in light of the 2008 Supreme Court’s decision in District of Columbia v. Heller in which the Court reaffirmed an individual’s right to keep and bear arms under the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, but left open to debate the precise contours of that right. Because debates over constitutional rights are intense, and parties on all sides have deeply held, sincere, but vastly divergent beliefs, violent extremists may attempt to co-opt the debate and use the controversy as a radicalization tool.

By lumping legitimate concerns about draconian gun control measures by second amendment advocates - who can be just as passionate as pro-enforcement writers - with right wing extremists, it is an open invitation to treat just about anyone as a potential threat.

Understand there is no particular animus on the part of the national security apparatus toward the right (or left for that matter) but rather the simple, dumb brute bureaucratic mindset that will always seek to expand the scope of their little universe to include as many groups and individuals as possible just through sheer momentum. Bureaucrats believe they are doing a good job if their departmental budgets increase every year and in order to do that, they must justify their request for additional funds by making work for themselves. If you are borderline in your advocacy (by their lights) chances are, you will become part of their little digital dragnet if for no other reason than bureaucratic “progress” is measured in how many more kooks your department is keeping track of this year than last.

I think Michelle Malkin - no doubt on someone’s list somewhere - nails it pretty good here:

They were very defensive — preemptively so — in asserting that it was not a politicized document and that DHS had done reports on “leftwing extremism” in the past. I have covered DHS for many years and am quite familiar with past assessments they and the FBI have done on animal rights terrorists and environmental terrorists. But those past reports have always been very specific in identifying the exact groups, causes, and targets of domestic terrorism, i.e., the ALF, ELF, and Stop Huntingdon wackos who have engaged in physical harassment, arson, vandalism, and worse against pharmaceutical companies, farms, labs, and university researchers.

By contrast, the piece of crap report issued on April 7 is a sweeping indictment of conservatives. And the intent is clear. As the two spokespeople I talked with on the phone today made clear: They both pinpointed the recent “economic downturn” and the “general state of the economy” for stoking “rightwing extremism.” One of the spokespeople said he was told that the report has been in the works for a year. My b.s. detector went off the chart, and yours will, too, if you read through the entire report — which asserts with no evidence that an unquantified “resurgence in rightwing extremist recruitment and radicalizations activity” is due to home foreclosures, job losses, and…the historical presidential election.

In Obama land, there are no coincidences. It is no coincidence that this report echoes Tea Party-bashing left-wing blogs (check this one out comparing the Tea Party movement to the Weather Underground!) and demonizes the very Americans who will be protesting in the thousands on Wednesday for the nationwide Tax Day Tea Party.

Without any evidence, DHS has decided that the current recession has so unhinged conservatives that many are likely to go from advocacy to violence after hearing the Siren song of extremists. As Malkin points out, past assessments of potential left wing extremism have focused on specific groups. This report - offering very little in the way of statistical support for its findings - paints a frightening picture of armed militias and “lone wolf” extremists posing a threat to our security. One might assume that militia membership has increased. But is that enough to justify targeting conservatives in an expanded government effort against legitimate targets like Kluxers and Skin heads?

There is no evidence presented in the document that militia recruitment has spiked or is an imminent threat. In fact, they say as much in their conclusion:

DHS/I&A assesses that the combination of environmental factors that echo the 1990s, including heightened interest in legislation for tighter firearms restrictions and returning military veterans, as well as several new trends, including an uncertain economy and a perceived rising influence of other countries, may be invigorating rightwing extremist activity, specifically the white supremacist and militia movements. To the extent that these factors persist, rightwing extremism is likely to grow in strength. (emphasis mine)

Pardon me, but the fact is, DHS doesn’t know squat and is only guessing. And it appears to me they are using the possible increased threat from extremists to target those whose only sin appears to be having strong disagreements with the administration over political issues.

So as I wondered at the top of this piece, will the FBI have enough agents to cover all the tea parties tomorrow? And if you’re at a tea party and you see some nondescript individual at the edges of the crowd snapping pictures or taking movies, don’t accost them. Offer them a cup of coffee. They’re just doing a job they were sent to do by others whose agenda - at least as it appears from reading the DHS report - is inimicable to liberty and antagonistic toward legitimate political debate.


  1. Does this mean the Right will be rediscovering civil liberties other than gun ownership? Hey, welcome back. Where you all been for the last eight years?

    Next thing you’ll be telling us American citizens can’t just be declared enemy combatants and held indefinitely without bail or charges simply because the President says so.

    Comment by michael reynolds — 4/14/2009 @ 7:40 am

  2. I have a few comments. The first is where did this document originate? Anyone please? It’s not classified so it should be generally available from official sources. I can’t find a link. Second. These kinds of reports take months if not more to produce and yet miraculously it has appeared within 90 day of the new administration. I need more proof of legitimacy.

    Comment by muffler — 4/14/2009 @ 7:52 am

  3. A fairly fair take on both sides - However I just don’t think anyone - media, goverment or otherwise will take much interest in the tea parties… They’re pretty much a yawn…

    Comment by Tim — 4/14/2009 @ 8:17 am

  4. Muffler:

    Kudos. I think you may be right.

    I just did Google search on a couple of extended cuts from the document, using quote marks. Google turned up only two hits, neither was a DHS or other government site, both right wing blogs.

    Not exactly proof of anything, but someone with more time on their hands might want to take a closer look.

    Considering the fact that Malkin called two people at DHS who defended the report, one must come to the conclusion that either;

    1. The report is real; or

    2. You’re a nincompoop.


    Comment by michael reynolds — 4/14/2009 @ 8:20 am

  5. This is a guideline fr law enforcement, not a statistical study. Second of all, specific groups are mentioned. It specifically mentions hate groups, dangerous conspiracy theorists, violent anarchists, and the fringes of legitimate conservative issues.

    Nowhere does it address taxes or the tea parties or even come close to labeling all conservatives terrorists or extremists. It’s like reading a speech critical of Catholics and thinking that they are attacking all christians.

    Comment by Smellerbee — 4/14/2009 @ 8:30 am

  6. Seeing we are being called terrorists does this mean we could become as popular as Obama’s buddy Bill Aires?

    Comment by steve — 4/14/2009 @ 8:56 am

  7. It’s amazing how few on the right seemed to see this coming. Though nearly as dramatic, it definitely reminds me of Pastor Martin Niemoller’s famous poem that’s etched in stone in the New England Holocaust Memorial. Adapt it any way you want, but it still boils down to the same thing in the end…

    “In Germany, they came first for the Communists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist;

    And then they came for the trade unionists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist;

    And then they came for the Jews, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew;

    And then . . . they came for me . . . And by that time there was no one left to speak up.”

    Comment by Chuck Tucson — 4/14/2009 @ 9:10 am

  8. Rick, would this report have any bearing on the report recently issued by Missouri that said law enforcement should view with suspicious anyone who displayed such signs (bumper stickers, window stickers, etc) as Ron Paul bumper stickers, pro-gun stickers, stickers related to Christianity, the “Don’t Tread On Me” flag and a number of others?

    For a copy of the Missouri directive read:


    The blogger, Gateway Pundit, first brought this to the attention of his readers. It seems that once it was made public, the State of Missouri pulled it back. Remember, it was the St. Louis prosecuting attorney’s office that said it would arrest, and prosecute, any one they deemed was spreading false rumors about Obama.

    But unlike some, I am not worried about the hand of Big Brother hooking up to listen to me organize our local Tea Party with my Democratic Party counterpart. And if the NSA wants to listen to me bitch about the cost of my uninsured motorist insurance (that I have to carry because illegals drive in Texas without insurance and without licenses), they are free to do it. So far, I haven’t seen any black vans outside my house or any black helicopters hovering over it.

    So Rick, are you willing to admit that on some issues, Glenn Beck is not as crazy as you would like to portray him? Are you now willing to admit that there are passages in the GIVE Act that places restrictions on children and forces school districts to implement the GIVE Act or forfeit federal educational funding?

    Also, I have been told to inform the Tea party attendees that if anyone asked them for thier names/addresses they are to simply respond by answering John/Jane Q. Citizen on Everyman Street. Seems the left intends to take names. Why would that be?

    Comment by retire05 — 4/14/2009 @ 9:14 am

  9. And I should trust Malkin why exactly?

    Let me see if I have this right: everything reported by the MSM is suspect. But a report from a Right wing provocateur should be taken at face value?

    Comment by michael reynolds — 4/14/2009 @ 9:31 am

  10. Just some clarification … Can’t speak to the authenticity, but as presented, it IS a classified document. The category may only be ‘UNCLASSIFIED’ as opposed to SECRET or TOP SECRET, but the sub-category of ‘FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY’ limits it’s distribution to official channels only and forbids public dissemination. If it is real, it was leaked. If you can’t find it on the DHS or some other Government website only proves their web admins are doing their jobs and preventing unauthorized access to classified documents.

    Comment by Michael S. — 4/14/2009 @ 9:38 am

  11. retire05,

    It doesn’t matter how much you want them to hear you bitch and moan, it’s still pathetic to watch you not care about your own civil liberties.

    The irony of watching the right re-examine the left on how to protest effectively is astonishing. Dear left wing terrorists, can you give us some pointers on how to protest something? We haven’t done it in decades, so we’re a bit rusty. I can’t wait to hear the sound bites form the tea parties.

    It’s going to be interesting to see how you deal with being marginalized and completely ignored by the very same people you marginalized and completely ignored.

    Comment by Chuck Tucson — 4/14/2009 @ 9:44 am

  12. I see this as the further Europeanization of the United States, wherein citizens are treated more and more like subjects and even benign dissent is viewed as, if not treason, something not done without express permission. Within the EU, limitation of rights is seen as a positive rather than a negative. The recent flap over Mr. Koh was a good illustration of how large swaths of our electorate have bought into this bullshit. Along these lines, within the EU criticism of massive Islamic immigration has been deemed a hate crime whereas an imam can incite violence with abandon. It isn’t so much that the latter is supported as the former interferes with state policy and must be silenced. As an analogy, the vast majority of Americans oppose amnesty for illegal immigrants without assurances of border security first, so the default position of even our government is to attribute the worst possible motives to those who oppose one of its pet projects.

    So I wasn’t surprised to read this directive to law enforcement.

    Andrew Breitbart summed it up nicely: economic Marxism (his words) I don’t like but can accept. Cultural Marxism (his words) scares the fuck out of me. Substitute whatever word is more accurate than “Marxism,” and this is how most of us feel.

    Comment by jackson1234 — 4/14/2009 @ 9:56 am

  13. ChuckTucson, perhaps you would like to give us a list of names of people whose civil rights have been violated by illegal wiretapping? Not just your standard crap that it has happened. Names. Dates. Convictions obtained for the violation of an individual’s civil rights obtained by the ACLU? How did that law suit filed by the Michigan ACLU work out?

    Did you have the same reservations when the Eschelon Program was in force? Or are you one of those liberals when asked about the Eschelon Program says “What? What program? Never heard of it.”?

    No one is looking to the left to protest. If we were, we would be deploying the tactics of CodePink, NION, ANSWER Internation and all the other left wing groups that use violence when protesting. I am sure you are not going to see rioting in the streets, bricks thrown through store windows, orange paint being sprayed on the Capital steps and Obama being portrayed as beheaded on a placard.

    I am not going to be marginalized. I am one person, speaking my voice, exercising my First Amendment rights. I have never tried to deny the left the same right.

    Perhaps you should get off the internet, Chuck. I am sure you are being monitored by the evil Bush regime. Oh, wait, Bush is no longer out of office, so if you are being monitored, there must be another force behind it.

    I will be waiting for those cases of violation of civil liberties by illegal wire tapping. I’m sure you have them handy.

    Comment by retire05 — 4/14/2009 @ 9:57 am

  14. @ retire05

    Hear, hear.

    @ Chuck Tucson

    Totally serious question … please explain specifically how you have been ‘marginalized and completely ignored’. Trying to understand your perspective.

    Comment by Michael S. — 4/14/2009 @ 10:06 am

  15. @ Retire05:

    Seems like there have been a few lawsuits in the last couple of years specifically to determine “names of people whose civil rights have been violated by illegal wiretapping”. The government has refused to reveal who has been tapped, what was collected, and what purposes it was used for — and as a result the courts have blocked the suits because nobody can prove standing to act as a plaintiff. It’s a fantastic legal circle: The government has admitted they violated citizen’s rights, but can’t be held accountable.
    I would think as a “conservative” that would scare the hell out of you. Isn’t that the very image of “Big Government Trampling John. Q. Citizen” that the movement is so obsessed with?
    The whole “they can listen because I’m not doing anything” argument never made any sense to me. Do you care if police randomly walk into your home and rifle through your possessions? I assume you’re not breaking any laws, so no big deal, right?
    The whole reason the Framers created the BoR is specifically because they believed just trusting the government not to abuse its power was an unbelievably moronic and suicidal idea. Isn’t that belief a founding tenet of Conservatism? And if it isn’t . . . what the hell is Conservatism all about?

    p.s. — it probably won’t apply at most of the Tea Parties, but in certain circumstances giving law enforcement a fake name and address (like John Q. Public) is a crime (In Ohio it was called Obstructing Official Buisness, a 2nd degree misdemeanor). Heck, in some states refusing to give a name is a crime. And if they really wanted to get cute, whomever told you to break the law could theoratically get roped into a conspiracy charge. Just an FYI.

    Comment by busboy33 — 4/14/2009 @ 10:38 am

  16. Extremism now defined by federal law enforcement as outspoken opposition to any of Barack Obama’s policy positions. Now, since we’ve all been admonished by our betters in the conservative movement to keep our opposition to Obama as “loyal opposition,” how does one oppose having one’s point of view potentially criminalized, while simultaneously remaining loyal to those who seek to criminalize it?

    Comment by Anon — 4/14/2009 @ 10:44 am

  17. ChuckTucson, perhaps you would like to give us a list of names of people whose civil rights have been violated by illegal wiretapping?

    Anyone who’s internet communication information has been routed through an AT&T hub since approximately late 2001. Just because you don’t understand it, doesn’t mean it’s not happening.

    Not just your standard crap that it has happened. Names. Dates. Convictions obtained for the violation of an individual’s civil rights obtained by the ACLU?

    I’m not doing your googling for you. If you’re really interested, see:

    Jewel v. NSA
    Hepting v. AT&T (class action)

    Did you have the same reservations when the Eschelon Program was in force? Or are you one of those liberals when asked about the Eschelon Program says “What? What program? Never heard of it.”?

    Of course. Furthermore, just because a person is a civil liberties advocate, doesn’t make them a liberal. Your logic is full of fail.

    I am sure you are not going to see rioting in the streets…

    Maybe we should. Throw some tea into the water retire05, it’s part of the foundation of the country.

    I am not going to be marginalized. I am one person, speaking my voice, exercising my First Amendment rights. I have never tried to deny the left the same right.

    You marginalize yourself by saying “And if the NSA wants to listen to me bitch about the cost of my uninsured motorist insurance… they are free to do it.”

    No, actually they aren’t free to do it. The fact that you don’t care if they do is disturbing and demonstrates a lack of foresight and an ignorance of your own basic rights.

    Perhaps you should get off the internet, Chuck. I am sure you are being monitored by the evil Bush regime. Oh, wait, Bush is no longer out of office, so if you are being monitored, there must be another force behind it.

    The Obama Administration has claimed that the government cannot be held accountable for illegal surveillance under any federal statutes. This is a horrible step that trumps what the Bush administration started, and for you to dismiss it out of hand is telling of the fact that you don’t comprehend what’s happening all around you. Obama is even worse than Bush, and you mock me and advocate his position without even realizing it. All you see is red vs. blue.

    Comment by Chuck Tucson — 4/14/2009 @ 10:47 am

  18. Rick-

    If this development really does imply a move toward marginalizing political opposition through official channels, we needn’t worry about the federal government implementing Stalinesque tactics like gulags and show trials. On the other hand, no one should be surprised if the IRS suddenly wants to chat with a disproportionate number of conservatives and Republicans.

    Comment by Sirius — 4/14/2009 @ 10:49 am

  19. Considering the fact that Malkin called two people at DHS who defended the report, one must come to the conclusion that either;

    1. The report is real; or

    2. You’re a nincompoop.

    Yes, but she hasn’t yet peeked through their windows to see what their counter-tops are made of.

    Comment by angulimala — 4/14/2009 @ 1:02 pm

  20. I love how liberals have been protesting, violently, for the last 50 years and we are supposed to view them as freedom fighters. The conservatives want to protest once, and all of a sudden we are terrorists to the state. The president refuses to call radical Islamists who blow themselves up terrorists, but now people who want the constitution upheld are terrorists. I thought that Hillary said that it was patriotic to voice your opinion against the government. What happened to that? It’s patriotic to voice dissent against a republican, but to do so against a socialist, er a democrat makes you a terrorist. People need to wake up and watch the “change” we are getting. This is the most thin-skinned, idiotic bunch of whiney brats to hold public office I have ever observed in my fairly long lifetime! And the most destructive!

    Comment by Gayle Miller — 4/14/2009 @ 1:03 pm

  21. It should be an interesting evening tomorrow. Five of us from this neighborhood are going downtown to the Tea Party here in Richmond, VA to show our concerns on the tax and spend policies of this administration, and to further the movement, leading to 2010.

    I intend to smile for the camera if I get a chance, but, then, the FBI, NSA, CIA, DOD, and the USAF have a damn complete file on me anyway, so what the hell! The files need updating, though, since I retired in 2000.

    I wonder why the Left is so concerned about our peaceful protest demonstrations? could it be that they are trying to frighten us away from the TP?

    Comment by mannning — 4/14/2009 @ 1:04 pm

  22. THis report is porrly written, and will probably be used to by the left to defend some policy or another from Obama that others find objectionable. Now, having said that, this line from Malkin:

    “By contrast, the piece of crap report issued on April 7 is a sweeping indictment of conservatives”

    is horse manure. Unless of course she means to imply that all conservatives are now Rightwing Extremists. Which if course they are not. Again, this is why the report is poorly written. The report clearly only pertains to far right extremist groups, like the Klan or people such as McVeigh, and has nothing to do with moderate conservatives. However, the report was writtn in such a poor fashion that it allows people like Malkin to bend it to her agenda in such an easy fasion.

    Comment by Robert — 4/14/2009 @ 1:18 pm

  23. “…to show our concerns on the tax and spend policies of this administration…”

    “…I wonder why the Left is so concerned about our peaceful protest demonstrations?…”

    I believe it is because people on the left/center don’t understand what the hell the right is trying to accomplish? There is one, and only one, reason why the right is throwing “tea parties”…and that is because democrats are in control.

    If the tea parties are to “show concerns of spending policies of an administration” where were the goddamn tea parties during the prior administration?

    Comment by Hugh Larious — 4/14/2009 @ 1:43 pm

  24. Gayle Said:

    The president refuses to call radical Islamists who blow themselves up terrorists,

    citation needed.

    Comment by Chuck Tucson — 4/14/2009 @ 2:05 pm

  25. ChuckTucson, oh, yes, lets’ do talk about Hepting vs. ATT. Let’s talk about the Electonic Frontier Foundation who brought the law suit and started by the lyicist for the Grateful Dead (I’m sure no drugs were involved when that organization got kicked off). And most of all, let’s talk about their star whistle blower, Mark Klein.

    Now, the left wing media went nuts over Klein, who has been listed as either an ATT engineer or an ATT technician. He was neither. His official ATT/CWA status was “frame attendant, Area 1″.

    Now Klein makes some pretty outlandish claims. And I am more than happy to debunk them since the 9th Circus Court of Appeals has decided to take the case.

    Klein claims he worked for ATT, first in New York, then in California. But he would have had to quit ATT/NY and re-hire ATT/California and since ATT was disbanded before he did that, he really went to work for PacTel (Pacific Bell) which is now ATT and has been for quite a while. He retired in 2004 after 22 years of total service, and if you were curious, you can reseach the history of ATT, PacTel and New York Bell. Not that I think you will. He simply calls it ATT because that is now it’s corporate name.

    Klein claims that a special room was built to handle the illegal wire tapping. It is called a “frame” and there are many frames to a communications system. Ones in small towns or neighborhoods that connect to the “main frame”. The main frame at the old St. Louis headquarters was located at 1010 Pine. The main frame (that ties in all the smaller frames) in Austin is on Silver Dollar.

    Klein also claims that he was working at an office responsible for the internet service when an NSA agent showed up and wanted to see the “set up”. This is bogus because the police are not allowed into any facility without a first line supervisor. So Klein would not have been allowed to allow ANYONE into the frame without a first line being in attendence. Standard procedure for any of the Bells, along with ATT, has always been that the police have the area supervisors phone number and if admittance is required into a facility, the police have to be escorted by management. So his claim that an NSA agent just showed up is totally bogus.

    Klein also claims he was given a “wiring diagram” to the secret room. Hello, all frame attendents have wiring diagrams to the frame. Guess what, they are on a clip board, hanging on the wall inside the frame. Some secret, right?

    Also, Klein claims that he “stumbled upon documents that, he said, nearly caused him to fall out of his chair. The documents, he said, showed that the NSA gained access to massive amounts of email and search other internet records………..” Klein said that although he did not have a “security clearance”, the documents were not classified.

    ATT does not give “security clearance”. In order to get into an ATT building, you are given, at time of hire, a bar-coded ID card that opens the doors to the frame. And documents, unless they pertain to the frame attendent specifically, are not just allowed to lay around.

    Now to Klein himself. He is a nut case. He filed a number of union grievances claiming that management was following him around. None of those grievances ever went to arbitration as they, like the rest of his tall tales, were bogus.

    Klein is also claiming that ATT hacked into the frames of other communication companies.

    Klein is a grassy knoll kinda guy, as you seem to be. He also admits that he was in Washington, D.C. in 1969 as a Vietnam war protester.

    Now, I am sure you are wondering how I know all this. Simple, 33 years with ATT (first with Southwestern Bell, then SBC, then ATT, then Bell South which was acquired by ATT). One of my best friends is a frame attendent at the main frame in Austin.

    Thanks for providing a good laugh. Had EFF taken this case to any other court in the land other than the 9th Circus, they would have been laughed out of the court room.

    But let’s just assume that the FBI wants to tap someone’s phone and asks the communications company to assist. The procedure requires first a court order, presented to management by a FBI agent, at which time, it is management, not some union flunkie that sets up the tap. Also, at no time is the FBI allowed to remain unattended without upper management being present.

    The ACLU/Michigan tried to take the federal government to court saying that their phone conversations with their clients at Gitmo were being wire tapped. The court threw it out for lack of evidence.

    Perhaps you can get under Rick’s bed now that he has come out from under it.

    That’s the last comment you will leave at this site. You want to piss on someone, go piss on your wife.


    Comment by retire05 — 4/14/2009 @ 2:19 pm

  26. Robert:

    “The report clearly only pertains to far right extremist groups, like the Klan or people such as McVeigh, and has nothing to do with moderate conservatives.”

    That makes is so much better. Has Il Duce Jr.’s Ministry of Truth named a commisar yet to determine how “moderate” a conservative must be before he isn’t an enemy of the state? Can a conservative be as far to the right as Code Pink was to the left and still be moderate enough not to require surveillance?

    Seriously, this was one of the most unintentionally funny things I have read on this site since I have lurked here let alone posted.

    Comment by jackson1234 — 4/14/2009 @ 2:36 pm

  27. @manning:
    Who’s concerned on the Left? I certainly don’t speak for The Left, but I haven’t seen or heard any “concern” from my leftie friends of from the Leftie media I view. Lots of chuckles at the “teabagging” references and bemused confusion as to exactly what the protest is actually about (beyond the leftie assumption that its simply an “Obama is the AntiChrist” party) . . . but no concern.
    If the concern is embodied in the report referenced in the original post . . . then I echo the other people who want to read it for themselves. All due respect to Ms. Malkin, but she’s hardly an objective reporter. Perhaps the report does say all those things, but I prefer to determine that for myself.

    Comment by busboy33 — 4/14/2009 @ 2:41 pm

  28. “If the tea parties are to “show concerns of spending policies of an administration” where were the goddamn tea parties during the prior administration?”

    Ummm, you do understand that Obama is taking Bush’s overspending and doubling up on the problem? Using the CBO’s numbers (supposedly non-partisan but the former head was a member of the left wing Journo-list so probably leaning left), Obama’s own budget director (that very same member of Journo-list) said that his own budgets were not sustainable.

    But what I don’t understand is why you’re not protesting? You clearly imply the Bush budgets were bad. Since Obama plans on doubling, or worse, the bad Bush deficits you must be outraged! If you’re to be consistent, that is.

    Comment by EBJ — 4/14/2009 @ 2:48 pm

  29. @EBJ:

    I hated most of the last bailout package just as much as I hate most of the current stimulus package. The difference as I see it between me and “tea party” participants is that I don’t hate it more just because a democrat is president.

    Comment by Hugh Larious — 4/14/2009 @ 2:54 pm

  30. I find it funny that the right waited until a republican wasn’t in office (president) before throwing their tantrums.

    Is it because the current bailout is significantly larger? A bailout is still a bailout. What is your “A $ amount bailout/stimulus package…I’m going to a tea party then!” breaking point? 200 billion?

    Comment by Hugh Larious — 4/14/2009 @ 2:58 pm

  31. “During the Bush years, anarchists and far left anti-war activists (and some who were ludicrously innocent) became targets of interest for the FBI and other agencies”

    In the 90s we had Ruby Ridge and Waco. Is there really an equivalent in the Bush era? Yeah, there’s an aspect of what goes around comes around in this as when your party is in power there’s nothing to rebel against (for the most part). But there’s a difference between laying low and watching vs sticking a thumb in the eye of groups you don’t like. For that matter, what’s the Bush era equivalent of the wave of IRS audits conducted on rightie think tanks in the last half of the 90s?

    Comment by EBJ — 4/14/2009 @ 2:58 pm

  32. Well, during the Bush era and the warrantless wiretapping and violations of Constitutional protection against warrantless searches, the neo-coonservatives were fond of proclaiming “if you’ve done nothing wrong, then you’ve nothing to worry about”.
    Shouldn’t that same mindset hold true today? Or has the morbidity of hypocrisy come home to the practitioners of that black craft?
    So, what’s the problem? Take it like real men and quit whining.

    Comment by Joe Heathen — 4/14/2009 @ 3:00 pm

  33. I’m thinking those who find the report harmless should re-read the report. best, Kay B. Day

    Comment by Kay B. Day — 4/14/2009 @ 3:01 pm

  34. “The difference as I see it between me and “tea party” participants is that I don’t hate it more just because a democrat is president.”

    I guess you missed the part about the doubling of Bush era deficits. In both paragraphs. Or are you really going to say the magnitude doesn’t matter?

    “I find it funny that the right waited until a republican wasn’t in office (president) before throwing their tantrums.”

    Tell it to Supreme Court Justice Harriet Myers! That will get a giggle. You can scoff at people being concerned but not taking to the streets at $300 billion deficits and then doing so when $500 billion deficits becomes the GOAL and $700 billion is the average. I’ll scoff too. People that know basic math really piss me off.

    Comment by EBJ — 4/14/2009 @ 3:05 pm

  35. Irony alert on aisle 31.

    Comment by EBJ — 4/14/2009 @ 3:10 pm

  36. Americans only have First Amendment rights as long as we are content not to exercise them. It has been this way my entire adult life. This is nothing new, but it is nice to hear someone acknowledge reality. It’s refreshing.

    Comment by bsjones — 4/14/2009 @ 3:19 pm

  37. Being neither “Rightwing” (one word?) nor left, I am deeply concerned about the severe direction of our federal government over the last 20 years. Both Republicrats and Demoblicans are squarely responsible as both seem bent on “getting one over” on the other side that both have rationalized the “lesser of two evils” and consistently voted candidates into office who are not worthy of the responsibility.

    Our government is making unmistakable moves in consolidating power without regard to it’s own restricting law, the Constitution.

    At this point, I don’t care which group is being targeted because allowing the federal government to go after any group is by default, allowing them to come after me at any given time. G.W. Bush set up the infrastructure to allow Obama to proceed with his extremist government but that doesn’t mean he (or his supporters) will be dictating in 20 years. You leftists should consider that the pendulum always swings the other way eventually, do you want to hand the other side the keys to a fascist government?

    I don’t.

    Comment by American Sharecropper — 4/14/2009 @ 3:23 pm

  38. Here is the liberal Glenn Greenwald’s take on the subject. He he blogs at the liberal Salon.


    Comment by bsjones — 4/14/2009 @ 3:28 pm

  39. Some perspective might be in order.

    Why the quick assumption that this was the product of leftwing political appointees and not simply career gov’t staff?

    Why no recognition of the basic fact that violence is more likely from extremists of the opposition party?

    Finally, why so paranoid that “rightwing extremists” is Obama-code for “mainstream conservatives”?

    Comment by angulimala — 4/14/2009 @ 4:58 pm

  40. It comes down to the rights that are guaranteed to us under the Constitution (and perhaps implied in the Declaration of Independence).

    First, do we accept that we have these rights universally?
    Second, when, if ever, do we limit these rights?
    Third, what is the procedure for abridging these rights, if, and when it is justified?

    Do we accept the ACLU stance that there is never a justification for limiting rights? Or, do we just abridge the rights of those with whom we disagree? In other words, why are we only getting exercised about this now?

    There are a few civil libertarians on the right, the most prominent being Ron Paul, but I think many on the right are only upset because the right to assemble and petition the government for a redress of grievances as represented by Tea Parties is only now potentially going to be infringed.

    Comment by bsjones — 4/14/2009 @ 5:20 pm

  41. The document has now been widely reported and I withdraw my earlier concerns as to its authenticity.

    That being said it really is rich to see conservatives who derided every liberal objection to increased government surveillance now shrieking like hysterical ‘tween girls.

    Let me ’splain this to you, geniuses: powers granted to a Republican president accrue to his successor as well. The tools you thought were no big deal when wielded against the people you don’t like, now may be directed at you. That’s why we need principles — principles and laws that apply even when the “victim” is someone other than you.

    Put another way: if you want rights and protections you’re going to have to share them with the whole class.

    Comment by michael reynolds — 4/14/2009 @ 5:25 pm

  42. 1. The document is a poorly-written and ill-thought-out PowerPoint presentation. As a civil servant, that combination comes as no surprise.

    2. The prior Administration wasn’t good on civil liberties, though it stayed close to the eighteenth-century lines of the Constitution. (Anything crossing a border can be searched, and anyone outside the borders may be detained.) The new Administration doesn’t seem to be in a hurry to change it.

    3. Just a quibble about the NY Times article Rick referred to: the standard of proof to obtain a search warrant is fairly low. Anyone in a building during a search may justifiably be detained for the duration of the search. And that’s all that is in the article–no preventive detention or anything scarier than the day-to-day use of the police power.

    Comment by Mike — 4/14/2009 @ 7:02 pm

  43. [...] ENEMIES OF THE STATE I wonder if the FBI is going to have enough agents to cover all the tea parties scheduled for tomorrow? [...]

    Pingback by Right Wing Extremist… « Truth, Lies and In Between — 4/14/2009 @ 7:18 pm

  44. Rick, just today on local talk radio, Wausau,Wis, people were calling in saying that tea parties weren’t enough, that outright rebellion was needed. This isn’t the first time I’ve heard these sentiments, and at least the radio host,arch conservative, tried to downplay remarks like these. That is why I’m not surprised with Homeland Security being worried. I’m sure they’ve heard reports of armed rebellion too. Beck, Limbaugh, Hanitty, keep trying to fan the flames because they hate Obama. Kooks on the right suck up every word of those clowns. The right better tamp it down or innocent people could end up getting hurt.

    Comment by Joe — 4/14/2009 @ 8:11 pm

  45. I agree with both M Reynolds and Joe, very very few on the right (except Andrew Sullivan - does he still count as right?) said anything against the infringement of human rights pushed under the Bush administration. Many on the right including Mmme Malkin called those on the left traitors and terrorists and NOW you’re complaigning that an overblown body like Homeland Security might be doing the wrong thing?

    Secondly, there have been a number of minor McVeigh incidents where morons who have been fed by the Becks and Savages and Coulters have gone and shot up churches etc because they were out to kill “traitor librals”. It is not just the Dave Neiwerts who are scared of mouth breathing, Beck listening extremists.

    Comment by yoyo — 4/14/2009 @ 9:19 pm

  46. Need proof that democrats are stupid. Read the comments. Hey dimwits, the entire Homeland Non-Security Department document is available for download from DHS files. You find it. If all else fails your feeble mind go to Michele Malkin’s site and download (PDF).
    A lot of Americans are looking for the coming revolution, not of the conservatives making but the only way this country will ever get back to the constitution. I see a governor told the dummies in O’Dumbo’s administration to learn to read the 10th Amendment. Even a democrat may be able to do that, it’s really short and to the point. Doesn’t even have any of the big words democrats crave from an idiot Harvard grad. Now one of you little brained democrat boys and girls correct my english. By the way, I was reared in a democrat family and it took 40 years to see the democrats light was a freight train coming toward the American citizen at 100 MPH. Sit down and try to figure out when you were taught or learned that you wanted to be a Nazi or communist and live in a third world sh** hole.

    Comment by Scrapiron — 4/14/2009 @ 9:28 pm

  47. Joe:

    They don’t fan the flames because they hate Obama. They fan the flames because it makes them rich and powerful.

    I really don’t worry too much about a radicalized far right. I don’t doubt we’ll get a few nuts acting out, hopefully not as successfully as Tim McVeigh. But I suspect that as the economy improves and all the dire nutjob predictions of doom fade, so will the ardor of the far Right.

    These people — as opposed to their opportunistic instigators — are rage-o-holics. They need someone to blame for their unsatisfying lives, so they search for scapegoats. Pretty much like their fellow nutjobs on the far Left. If they commit crimes we’ll throw them in prison. If they just want to vent their spleen as they realize the world has moved on without them, that’s their right. This is a free country.

    It’s actually comforting to realize that people like Limbaugh are just whores, doing it for the money. Limbaugh needs a stable world of private jets, Cuban cigars, tailors, Maitres ‘D and drug-mule maids. He’s no more a revolutionary than I am. And he has nothing at all in common with the hysterical losers who will show up to tea parties tomorrow and whine about taxes they don’t actually pay but that Limbaugh does.

    And I think it’s especially soothing to realize that the man paying for the teabagger publicity machine is an Australian-American billionaire (my paymaster as well, FYI) who could hardly be any more devoted to the status quo. If it starts getting crazy Rupert will pull the plug.

    Considering the fact there were 500 tea parties planned before Fox News even mentioned them, it takes a truly uninformed person to make the claim that Murdoch is “paying” for teabagger publicity. Fox is so late to this party, they are virtually irrelevant.

    And I would be very careful in positing that the tea party attendees will be made up mostly of kooks. That’s the spin that will come out of it but a couple of those events are going to draw thousands of people, mostly middle class, mostly taxpayers. You will have a hard time saying this is an extremist movement when every indication is to the contrary.

    Myself, I think they are a waste of time - especially since because they are so disorganized, there will be little or no followup to tap into the emotions raised by the protests to develop a true grass roots movement that can make a difference in politics. But parroting mindless lefty talking points about them only shows you to be a brainless twit who doesn’t know jack shit about the event.


    Comment by michael reynolds — 4/14/2009 @ 9:44 pm

  48. @mannning said:

    “I wonder why the Left is so concerned about our peaceful protest demonstrations? could it be that they are trying to frighten us away from the TP?”

    No, we’re just surprised as hell that you’ve grown the balls to be able to teabag. If you claim the southern spirit, you would’ve protested a long time ago, so don’t get all righteous on us now. You’re just mad because you lost and that’s the only thing you’re pissed about.

    Comment by VA2CA — 4/14/2009 @ 10:40 pm

  49. Scrapiron,
    Can you tells us which comments prove democrats are stupid? Are you even sure you know which comments were written by democrats? Will you explain this stuff about being a Nazi or communist and living in the third world?

    Can you do this without name calling?

    Comment by bsjones — 4/15/2009 @ 1:27 am

  50. Gee, so now the wingnuts decide they might not like the Patriot Act, denial of habeus corpous, unlimited wirerapping, torture, surveillance, no-fly lists, and Jack Bauer. You never thought you’d be the target. Silly wingnuts, karma’s a bitch, and she’s vindictive. You’d better behave.

    Comment by Magic Dog — 4/15/2009 @ 1:32 am

  51. The only thing that may slow down the surveillance of the right by those now in possession of the keys to the executive washrooms in Washington would be another major attack from external forces (Islamic Terrorist). And I suspect thats in the planning stage even as I make this comment. Thats not to say, that we have no loons on the right–we certainly do, but the left has us beat on that score. I’ve no doubt that during these last 3 years of the Obama administration that incidents will occur, both from the right and the left. But I would suggest that if an attack comes on Obama it is more likely to come from those on the far left as apposed to those on the far right. History lesson: JFK—killed by far leftest Oswald, RFK—killed by leftest Sirhah. One can go back farther and find different outcomes, but these two are the most recent.

    Comment by Ron Russell — 4/15/2009 @ 1:32 am

  52. Rick, have you seen this?

    What If Rightwing Extremism IS On The Rise?

    What do you think?

    Comment by A Giant Slor — 4/15/2009 @ 1:03 pm

  53. [...] Right Wing Nut House » ENEMIES OF THE STATE [...]

    Pingback by HOTAiR: Confirmed: The Obama DHS hit job on conservatives is real | Fire Janet Napolitano — 4/23/2009 @ 8:26 pm

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