- The Washington Times - Monday, April 20, 2009

The controversial report by the Department of Homeland Security that refers to returning veterans as potential terrorists illustrates how far down the wrong path the department has gone (“Federal agency warns of radicals on right,” Page 1, Tuesday). Homeland Security Secretary Janet A. Napolitano cited her personal involvement in the prosecution of Timothy J. McVeigh as one reason for standing by the report. Does her department really believe that just because McVeigh was an Army veteran we should look at all military veterans as potential threats? That is patently absurd. Equally absurd is the more common belief that because the Sept. 11 hijackers were Muslims we are justified in being suspicious of Muslims in general.

There is a growing trend in law enforcement to try to find types of people who might be or might become terrorists and to believe that radical ideas inevitably lead to radical acts. There is no evidence to support this, but it appears to have taken hold at all levels of law enforcement. Look at the recently exposed Maryland State Police spying scandal, in which state police agents infiltrated anti-death-penalty and peace groups and listed activists as “terrorists” in their database without the thinnest shred of evidence.

The Department of Homeland Security report reveals that under the guise of “situational awareness,” our law enforcement agencies are tracking activities protected by the First Amendment and casting suspicion on thousands of people who have strong political or religious beliefs but no record of criminal activity. We cannot let this stand.



Defending Dissent Foundation

Silver Spring

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