Civil Liberties Watchdog hasn't barked yet

Richard Henry Lee
Our liberties are being assaulted by the Department of Homeland Security's report on Right Wing Extremism yet the ACLU has been silent.

The American Civil Liberties Union
says it "is our nation's guardian of liberty" so one would expect that the ACLU would immediately condemn the DHS report which has been extensively covered here at AT.

The ACLU has attacked the DHS on a number of fronts. Previously, the ACLU issued a press release that stated:

The ACLU is not among those celebrating the Department's fifth anniversary - instead the American people are sorting through the wreckage of the department's many failures. DHS is not an agency of security. ICE raids have made it an agency of terror, SSA no-match letters have made it an agency of economic disaster, Real ID has made it an agency that invades our privacy....

And on April 1, 2009, in another press release, the ACLU was critical of a DHS program called "fusion centers" which are programs for sharing intelligence on crime and terrorism.

Fusion centers have experienced a mission creep in the last several years, becoming more of a threat than a security device. With no overarching guidelines to restrict or direct them, these centers put Americans' privacy at huge risk

This same press release criticized a report by a Missouri fusion center for linking third party presidential candidates, Bob Barr and Ron Paul, with militias:

A "Strategic Report" produced February 20, 2009 by the Missouri Information Analysis Center that described a purported security threat posed by the "modern militia movement" but inappropriately included references to social, religious and political ideologies, including support of third party presidential candidates such as Congressman Ron Paul and former Congressman Bob Barr.

The press release also cited another example of a group which was affected by a fusion center's intelligence gathering effort: the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR):

CAIR is deeply troubled that the North Central Texas Fusion System bulletin labels monitoring the legal activities of American Muslims exercising their constitutional privileges as ‘imperative.'

(Note: For more information on CAIR, use the AT Search link and enter CAIR.)

So while the ACLU will bark when it comes to the DHS sponsored fusion centers linking presidential political activity with militias, the enforcement of immigration policies, and the collection of information about Muslims in America, will the ACLU take a stance on the DHS branding of political activity by conservatives as Right Wing Extremism?

They may yet do so, but it will be interesting to watch what happens in any case.
Our liberties are being assaulted by the Department of Homeland Security's report on Right Wing Extremism yet the ACLU has been silent.

The American Civil Liberties Union
says it "is our nation's guardian of liberty" so one would expect that the ACLU would immediately condemn the DHS report which has been extensively covered here at AT.

The ACLU has attacked the DHS on a number of fronts. Previously, the ACLU issued a press release that stated:

The ACLU is not among those celebrating the Department's fifth anniversary - instead the American people are sorting through the wreckage of the department's many failures. DHS is not an agency of security. ICE raids have made it an agency of terror, SSA no-match letters have made it an agency of economic disaster, Real ID has made it an agency that invades our privacy....

And on April 1, 2009, in another press release, the ACLU was critical of a DHS program called "fusion centers" which are programs for sharing intelligence on crime and terrorism.

Fusion centers have experienced a mission creep in the last several years, becoming more of a threat than a security device. With no overarching guidelines to restrict or direct them, these centers put Americans' privacy at huge risk

This same press release criticized a report by a Missouri fusion center for linking third party presidential candidates, Bob Barr and Ron Paul, with militias:

A "Strategic Report" produced February 20, 2009 by the Missouri Information Analysis Center that described a purported security threat posed by the "modern militia movement" but inappropriately included references to social, religious and political ideologies, including support of third party presidential candidates such as Congressman Ron Paul and former Congressman Bob Barr.

The press release also cited another example of a group which was affected by a fusion center's intelligence gathering effort: the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR):

CAIR is deeply troubled that the North Central Texas Fusion System bulletin labels monitoring the legal activities of American Muslims exercising their constitutional privileges as ‘imperative.'

(Note: For more information on CAIR, use the AT Search link and enter CAIR.)

So while the ACLU will bark when it comes to the DHS sponsored fusion centers linking presidential political activity with militias, the enforcement of immigration policies, and the collection of information about Muslims in America, will the ACLU take a stance on the DHS branding of political activity by conservatives as Right Wing Extremism?

They may yet do so, but it will be interesting to watch what happens in any case.