The report, “Challengers from the Sidelines: Understanding America’s Violent Far-Right,” by Dr. Arie Perliger, director of terrorism studies at the CTC, was published on Jan. 15.
“The West Point report makes several dangerously irrational generalizations about the ‘far-right,’ a stunningly one-sided demonization of conservative ideology,” Wilson wrote, noting the report warns of the rising militancy of so-called “anti-federalists” that Perliger says embrace ideas like “civil activism, individual freedoms and self-government.”
“These are the fundamental, constitutional ideals upon which our nation was founded. But if you espouse those views, per the report, you could be labeled a terrorist,” Wilson said.
The report also warns that so-called “anti-federalists” “espouse strong convictions regarding the federal government, believing it to be corrupt and tyrannical, with a natural tendency to intrude on individuals’ civil and constitutional rights.”
Those beliefs, Wilson said, are “widely shared by millions of self-described conservative and libertarian Americans,” noting the work of national pollster Scott Rasmussen, who charts 43 percent of voters that consider themselves conservative.
Wilson also pointed to a recent Pew Research Center poll that found 53 percent of Americans view that the federal government threatens personal rights and freedoms.
“Should Americans who are concerned that the government threatens personal rights and freedoms read into the West Point study that they are now enemies of the United States? The fact this is even being discussed at the premiere military training ground for officers is simply inexcusable,” Wilson said in a statement.
“Reports like the one issued at West Point should raise alarm bells for all Americans, as the very concept of our nation’s military being prepared for battle against its own citizenry is counter to the fundamental principles of our nation. Remember, the founding fathers feared a standing army for this very reason, and it is shocking that after 237 years that these reports could surface from within the military establishment,” Wilson added.
“Perhaps the reason 53 percent of Americans believe the government is a threat to their liberty is because of a stream of reports that target Americans on the basis of their political beliefs similar to the West Point study,” Wilson said.
Wilson called it a “part of a wider pattern of targeting Americans by the military and security establishment that ought to be disturbing to all Americans regardless of political stripe. For those left-wing ideologues who today take glee in these reports issued by the government should be reminded that the targeters today can be targeted tomorrow.”
Since 2009, Wilson noted that:
1) the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued such a report on right-wing extremism that defined the ideology as “groups, movements, and adherents that are mainly antigovernment, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority” that an Americans for Limited Government Freedom of Information Act request had revealed the DHS memo was full of bogus, kooky “sources”;
2) a similar memo was also sent out by Missouri Information Analysis Center to Missouri law enforcement;
3) retired Army Colonel Kevin Benson, seminar leader at the University of Foreign Military and Cultural Studies at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas and former head of the Army’s School of Advanced Military Studies wrote an article in Small Wars Journal depicting a scenario where a “tea party” militia led by “race-baiting and immigrant-bashing by right-wing demagogues” had overtaken the government of Darlington, South Carolina with the tacit consent of law enforcement and a tea party-sympathizing governor;
4) a written exam administered by the Pentagon defined “protests” as a form of “low-level terrorism,” raising serious concerns among civil liberties advocates about how the military views the expression of First Amendment freedoms; and
5) 2009 Nobel Peace Prize nominee Jim Garrow on his Facebook page has claimed that he was “informed by a former senior military leader that Obama is using a new ‘litmus test’ in determining who will stay and who must go in his military leaders. Get ready to explode folks. ‘The new litmus test of leadership in the military is if they will fire on US citizens or not’. Those who will not are being removed.”
“Maybe the American people have every right to be afraid of the government after all,” Wilson concluded, “When a liberal group like the Pew Research Center finds that more than half of the American people feel the government is a threat to their liberty, this a hardly a fringe concern.”