The Daily Kos
(September 8, 2020) — DHS is drafting its annual threat assessment report, and Politico got hold of the draft: DHS draft document: White supremacists are greatest terror threat
White supremacists present the gravest terror threat to the United States, according to a draft report from the Department of Homeland Security.
Two later draft versions of the same document — all of which were reviewed by POLITICO — describe the threat from white supremacists in slightly different language. But all three drafts describe the threat from white supremacists as the deadliest domestic terror threat facing the U.S., listed above the immediate danger from foreign terrorist groups.
Trump’s current favorite boogeyman, Antifa, is not a threat:
None of the drafts POLITICO reviewed referred to a threat from Antifa, the loose cohort of militant left-leaning agitators who senior Trump administration officials have described as domestic terrorists. Two of the drafts refer to extremists trying to exploit the “social grievances” driving lawful protests.
Lawfare editor-in-chief Ben Wittes was the first to post these drafts, which Politico then dug into. Since Politico released its story on Friday of Labor Day weekend, it took a while for the world to notice. CNN picked it up this morning: White supremacy is ‘most lethal threat’ to the US, DHS draft assessment says
[Wittes] told CNN that “the most striking thing is in this political atmosphere; they have said what they said” — that white supremacist violence is the threat they are most concerned about.
“I don’t want to criticize them when that language is there. That said it is somewhat different in the first draft than the subsequent two and I do think the nature of the change is notable as a reflection of the political pressure they are under,” he said.
The Hill reports that the language was watered down, but only slightly:
The next two drafts reportedly allude to “Domestic Violent Extremists,” or DVEs, instead of “white supremacist extremists” as “the most persistent and lethal threat,” though all three read, “Among DVEs, we judge that white supremacist extremists (WSEs) will remain the most persistent and lethal threat in the Homeland through 2021.”
Now, why would there be political pressure, hmmm? Could it be because Trump employs images of violence as political fuel for reelection fight and because Trump ‘Gave Permission’ To White Supremacists Through ‘Racist’ Language And Actions, Former DHS Official Says.
In 2019, DHS officially assessed white supremacy as being as much a threat to the US as Islamic militants: DHS: Domestic terrorism, particularly white-supremacist violence, as big a threat as ISIS, al-Qaeda. Now they want to move it to the top threat.
But the real top threat is the white supremacist in the Oval Office. And he’s getting more obvious about it, as Eugene Robinson makes clear: Trump is shouting his racism. He must be stopped.
There are worrying signs: Right-wing protesters gather outside Portland, adding to tensions.
But there are some encouraging signs: For the First Time, America May Have an Anti-Racist Majority
Trump was returning to a familiar playbook. He was relying on the chaos of the protests to produce the kind of racist backlash that he had ridden to the presidency in 2016. Trump had blamed the 2014 protests in Ferguson, Missouri—a response to the shooting of Michael Brown by a police officer—on Barack Obama’s indulgence of criminality. “With our weak leadership in Washington, you can expect Ferguson type riots and looting in other places,” Trump predicted in 2014. As president, he saw such uprisings as deliverance.
Then something happened that Trump did not foresee. It didn’t work.
(Most of The Atlantic article is about the history of systemic racism, all well worth reading.)
It’s not that we need another reason to get rid of Trump and the GOP, but let’s make no mistake: this election is about the soul of the country. Movement ahead toward racial equality or backwards to white supremacy. It will be an ugly fight, but one we absolutely have to win.
Side note: Workmen have been pouring concrete for a new sidewalk in our neighborhood in San Francisco. Someone (we suspect the workmen) drew TRUMP twice and WHITE POWER at least once in the wet concrete. The city is pushing the contractor to fix it, of course.
Trump ‘Gave Permission’ To White Supremacists Through ‘Racist’ Language And Actions, Former DHS Official Say
(August 27, 2020) — A former Trump administration official said President Donald Trump’s actions and language “are in fact racist” in a video for Republican Voters Against Trump.
Elizabeth Neumann, who as an Assistant Secretary for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Counterterrorism and Threat Prevention, claimed that Trump’s comments about the Charlottesville riots where he said there were “good people on both sides,” along with threatening to “send immigrants back to where they came from” is what “gave permission to white supremacists,” according to the video by Republican Voters Against Trump (RVAT) Neumann said in the video that while she was working at DHS, “we looked at emerging threats including the growing threat from domestic terrorists, and over the period of 2017 to 2018, we started to see that rise of the white supremacist agenda.”
Other former DHS officials and Neumann claimed the Trump administration did nothing to deal with white supremacy, Forbes reported. Neumann said, “there’s not going to be anything substantive done on domestic terrorism,” and added that Trump’s response to riots in Charlottesville in Aug. 2017 was “botched.”
I and my leadership at the Department of Homeland Security were very clear that we found the ideology behind white nationalism, white supremacy, to be a growing threat,” Neumann said in the video.
Neumann, who endorsed Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in the video, also criticized Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. She claimed Trump “didn’t want the economy to tank and he didn’t want a distraction from his campaign,” so he told officials to hold off on moving forward with executing plans to combat the spread of the disease.
“I do not think that we can afford four more years of President Trump,” Neumann said. “We are less safe today because of his leadership. We will continue to be less safe as long as he is in control.”
Neumann said the Trump administration has a “single-minded focus on immigration enforcement,” and that the DHS allegedly is “always in competition for [border] wall money,” Forbes reported.
During the Trump administration, Neumann was a Deputy Chief of Staff at the DHS before serving as a senior advisor to Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly and Kirstjen Nielsen, and Acting Secretary Elaine Duke before serving as assistant secretary, Forbes reported.
Neumann claimed her job was harder because of Trump’s language and actions, though she reportedly voted for Trump in 2016 since his campaign was anti-abortion. She left her position in April, according to Politico She worked on the Homeland Security Council at the White House in 2003 shortly before starting with the DHS, according to her archived profile.
Related: “Joe Biden Says Trump Is America’s First ‘Racist’ President, Trump Campaign Fires Back.”
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