To recap, the Obama administration was apparently following the lead of the Bush Homeland Security Department in assessing the very real threat of violent right-wing extremism. Indeed, Bush appointees such as FBI Director Robert Mueller have acknowledged the threat of right-wing extremism multiple times.They're blathering about the focus on recent veterans and how that is unfair. But we've known this since Bush started scraping the barrel to fill military recruitment quotas. I'll repost this:
Wednesday, February 14, 2007And here is Robert Farley at Lawyers, Guns and Money in 2006:
Look who we are training to be killers
To have knowledge of explosives, of methods of torture, of all kinds of weaponry:
The number of waivers granted to Army recruits with criminal backgrounds has grown about 65 percent in the last three years, increasing to 8,129 in 2006 from 4,918 in 2003, Department of Defense records show.
During that time, the Army has employed a variety of tactics to expand its diminishing pool of recruits. It has offered larger enlistment cash bonuses, allowed more high school dropouts and applicants with low scores on its aptitude test to join, and loosened weight and age restrictions.
It has also increased the number of so-called “moral waivers” to recruits with criminal pasts, even as the total number of recruits dropped slightly. The sharpest increase was in waivers for serious misdemeanors, which make up the bulk of all the Army’s moral waivers. These include aggravated assault, burglary, robbery and vehicular homicide.
Update 2/15: The Heretik notices.
ScrapingUpdate:The pattern is clear: The higher the score on the aptitude test, the better the performance in the field. This is true for individual soldiers and for units. [...]
Smarter also turns out to be cheaper. One study examined how many Patriot missiles various Army air-defense units had to fire in order to destroy 10 targets. Units with Category I personnel had to fire 20 missiles. Those with Category II had to fire 21 missiles. Category IIIA: 22. Category IIIB: 23. Category IV: 24 missiles. In other words, to perform the same task, Category IV units chewed up 20 percent more hardware than Category I units. For this particular task, since each Patriot missile costs about $2 million, they also chewed up $8 million more of the Army's procurement budget.
As Eric notes, a bigger Army, under the current recruiting scheme, will inevitably require the admissions of less desirable applicants, reducing overall effectiveness.
Last week, the Department of Homeland Security released a report on right-wing extremism, being fueled by the recession and the disturbing increase in activity from white supremacy groups after the election of the nation's first black President. Basically, fear and economic uncertainty breed a certain strain of anger that could morph into violence. And in particular, the targets here are anti-government hate groups, who may recruit and radicalize American citizens, including veterans.Update 4/16: Here's the full article by David Neiwert.
Of course, this has set off conservative media, who claim that the President is directly targeting conservatives with this report. Never mind that the report initiated with the Bush Administration, and was a companion to a similar report on left-wing groups potentially using cyber-attacks (Here's a separate report referring to left-wing groups back in 2001). Somehow conservative media groups take a look at murderous extremists like Timothy McVeigh and see themselves. Here's Dave Neiwert, an authority on the subject:
Because, you know, the report -- which in fact is perfectly accurate in every jot and tittle -- couldn't be more clear. It carefully delineates that the subject of its report is "rightwing extremists," "domestic rightwing terrorist and extremist groups," "terrorist groups or lone wolf extremists capable of carrying out violent attacks," "white supremacists," and similar very real threats described in similar language.
Nothing about conservatives. The word never appears in the report.