A report from the Department of Homeland Security warning that the recession as well as the current political environment could lead to acts of violence from "domestic rightwing terrorists" became a hot topic Tuesday despite it being listed as "For Official Use Only."
The document, which specifically cited April 4's Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, cop killings as a "recent example of the potential violence associated with a rise in rightwing extremism," enraged conservatives questioning not only the timing of this report's release within days of liberal media representatives blaming the shootings on rightwing talkers, but also just before Wednesday's tax protesting Tea Parties.
As Reuters reported Tuesday, the DHS tried to quell such concerns by claiming this analysis was nothing out of the ordinary:
DHS spokeswoman Sara Kuban said on Tuesday the report was one of an ongoing series of threat assessments aimed at "a greater understanding of violent radicalization in the U.S."
A similar assessment of left-wing radicals completed in January was distributed to federal, state and local police agencies at that time.
"These assessments are done all the time, this is nothing unusual," Kuban said.
Yes, these assessments are done all the time, but do they always end up in the press's hands?
Google and LexisNexis searches identified absolutely no media coverage of the aforementioned January report concerning left-wing radicals. As such, that warning nicely made its way to federal, state, and local police agencies without ending up in press rooms coast to coast.
BUT, an analysis of right-wing threats to national security done months later and conspicuously coincident with high-profile cop killings as well as protests against the current administration's fiscal policies somehow became a hot news story; a Google news search identified 444 reports on this matter already.
Along with that suspicious aroma is the question as to which administration was responsible for each of these reports. After all, the one in January might actually have been prepared prior to Obama's inauguration.
On the other hand, according to a Washington Times source, even this most recent assessment likely "was under works before Obama’s folks came into office."
Maybe so, but that doesn't explain how it got leaked to the press, and why the Pittsburgh cop killings were used as an example of a potential rise in violence associated with rightwing extremism when it was a domestic dispute between a mother and son which flared out of control.