Shifting Stories: Napolitano’s Recent Comments No Comfort to Patriotic Conservative Americans ─ Lawsuit Moves Forward
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
ANN ARBOR, MI – Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano’s May 12, 2009, revised explanation to a congressional subcommittee about her Department’s controversial “Rightwing Extremism” report raises even more questions about her candor and competence to protect our nation from terrorists.
Napolitano originally told Americans that she had been briefed before its release and stood by the “Report.” However, when public outrage over its contents reached a crescendo, she backtracked and told Americans she would have “reworded” the section that labeled returning veterans as potential terrorists. When that did not calm the outrage, she apologized to veterans. Now, Napolitano claims a rogue employee published the report without authorization.
On May 12, 2009, Napolitano told a congressional subcommittee that the Report “was not authorized to be distributed, ” and that it was taken off the Department’s website.
Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Thomas More Law Center, reacted to her latest explanation, “Our lawsuit against Secretary Napolitano will continue. Since we filed that lawsuit, additional information has been brought to our attention that creates even more concern that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is unconstitutionally targeting Americans merely because of their conservative beliefs. Moreover, simply removing the report from the DHS website, without a condemnation of its contents and specific instructions to all the enforcement agencies receiving it that that it should not be used, is merely hiding the evidence of an insidious ongoing agenda to go after conservative Americans. In fact, her comment to the subcommittee that the report is being ‘redone’ and will be ‘much more precise’ in view of her previous linguistic contortions, is too vague to give comfort to conservative Americans.”
Significantly, Napolitano has never apologized or retracted the report’s specific targeting as ‘potential terrorists’ conservative Americans who:
- Oppose abortions
- Oppose same-sex marriage
- Oppose restrictions on firearms
- Oppose lax immigration
- Oppose the policies of President Obama regarding immigration, citizenship, and the expansion of social programs
- Oppose continuation of free trade agreements
- Are suspect of foreign regimes
- Fear Communist regimes
- Oppose a “one world” government
- Bemoan the decline of U.S. stature in the world
- Are upset with loss of U.S. manufacturing jobs to China and India
- . . . and the list goes on.
Homeland Security’s “Rightwing Extremism” report, “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment, ” which was first made public in a “leaked” Intelligence Assessment violates the civil liberties of American citizens by targeting them for disfavored treatment on account of their political beliefs.
Click here to read the Department of Homeland Security’s Report.
On April 16, 2009, the Thomas More Law Center, a public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan filed a lawsuit against Janet Napolitano and the Department of Homeland Security in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of nationally syndicated conservative radio talk show host Michael Savage, Gregg Cunningham (President of the pro-life organization Center for Bio-Ethical Reform, Inc), and Iraqi War Marine veteran Kevin Murray.
The Law Center claims that DHS has violated the First and Fifth Amendment Constitutional rights of these three plaintiffs by targeting them for disfavored treatment and chilling their free speech, expressive association, and equal protection rights. The lawsuit further claims that DHS encourages law enforcement officers throughout the nation to target and report citizens to federal officials as suspicious rightwing extremists and potential terrorists because of their political beliefs.
The Law Center is asking the court to declare that the DHS policy violates the First and Fifth Amendments, to permanently enjoin the Policy and its application to the plaintiffs’ speech and other activities, and to award the plaintiffs their reasonable attorney’s fees and costs for having to bring the lawsuit.
The Thomas More Law Center defends and promotes America’s Christian heritage and moral values, including the religious freedom of Christians, time-honored family values, and the sanctity of human life. It supports a strong national defense and an independent and sovereign United States of America. The Law Center accomplishes its mission through litigation, education, and related activities. It does not charge for its services. The Law Center is supported by contributions from individuals, corporations and foundations, and is recognized by the IRS as a section 501(c)(3) organization. You may reach the Thomas More Law Center at (734) 827-2001 or visit our website at www.thomasmore.org.