A key paragraph:
The Patriot movement has made significant inroads into the conservative political scene, according to the new report. “The ‘tea parties’ and similar groups that have sprung up in recent months cannot fairly be considered extremist groups, but they are shot through with rich veins of radical ideas, conspiracy theories and racism,” the report says.
As the movement has exploded, so has the reach of its ideas, aided and abetted by commentators and politicians in the ostensible mainstream. While in the 1990s, the movement got good reviews from a few lawmakers and talk-radio hosts, some of its central ideas today are being plugged by people with far larger audiences like FOX News’ Glenn Beck and U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn). Beck, for instance, re-popularized a key Patriot conspiracy theory — the charge that FEMA is secretly running concentration camps — before finally “debunking” it.
Last year also experienced levels of cross-pollination between different sectors of the radical right not seen in years. Nativist activists increasingly adopted the ideas of the Patriots; racist rants against Obama and others coursed through the Patriot movement; and conspiracy theories involving the government appeared in all kinds of right-wing venues. A good example is the upcoming Second Amendment March in Washington, D.C. The website promoting the march is topped by a picture of a colonial militiaman, and key supporters include Larry Pratt, a long-time militia enthusiast with connections to white supremacists, and Richard Mack, a conspiracy-mongering former sheriff associated with the Patriot group Oath Keepers.
During the past decade we have witnessed dramatic changes in the nature of the terrorist threat. In the 1990s, right-wing extremism overtook left-wing terrorism as the most dangerous domestic terrorist threat to the country. During the past several years, special interest extremism, as characterized by the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) and the Earth Liberation Front (ELF), has emerged as a serious terrorist threat. Generally, extremist groups engage in much activity that is protected by constitutional guarantees of free speech and assembly. Law enforcement becomes involved when the volatile talk of these groups transgresses into unlawful action. The FBI estimates that the ALF/ELF have committed more than 600 criminal acts in the United States since 1996, resulting in damages in excess of 43 million dollars.
A leading example of a black separatist group is the Nation of Islam led by Louis Farrakhan. In 1997, and in less explicit ways since then, Farrakhan made clear that he had renounced none of the anti-white, anti-Semitic, anti-Catholic and anti-gay views of the previous Nation leader, Elijah Mohammed. Those beliefs include the view that Yacub, a renegade black “scientist,” created whites 6,600 years ago as an inherently evil and ungodly people — “blue-eyed devils.” Farrakhan has described Catholics and Jews, who he said practice a “gutter religion,” as preying on blacks. He regrets the “tone” of a former principal subordinate who called for slaughtering white South Africans, but agreed with the message. He called for racial separatism and inveighed against interracial relationships.
Barack Obama is a member of Chicago’s Trinity United Church of Christ. Its minister, and Obama’s spiritual adviser, is the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. In 1982, the church launched Trumpet Newsmagazine; Wright’s daughters serve as publisher and executive editor. Every year, the magazine makes awards in various categories. Last year, it gave the Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. Trumpeter Award to a man it said “truly epitomized greatness.” That man is Louis Farrakhan.
NRO’s Stanley Kurtz on links between former terrorist Bill Ayers and Obama
According to Fact.Check.org, a supposedly non-partisan organization, “There’s…no evidence of a deep or strong friendship with Ayers.” In fact, Obama and Ayers had a significant political partnership. We saw it at the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, where Obama ran a board that was responsible for channeling hundreds of thousands of dollars to Bill Ayers’ education projects. We saw it during the fight over the juvenile justice bill in Illinois in 1997-98, when Obama and Ayers appeared on a panel designed to undermine a very reasonable juvenile crime bill, and when Obama plugged Ayers’ book on juvenile justice in the Chicago Tribune. We also have considerable evidence that the Obama camp has not been fully forthcoming about possible additional connections between Ayers and Obama.
Wikipedia article on Weather Underground, Ayers old terrorist outfit.