From Alternet: http://www.alternet.org/story/151437/america_the_vulnerable%3A_government_does_nothing_as_right_wing_violence_surges/
Home-grown terrorism is on the rise, but the Department of Homeland Security is scaling down intelligence units that might catch the next Timothy McVeigh before it's too late.
By Mark Potok
June 27, 2011
This March, federal prosecutors charged six members of an antigovernment group called the Alaska Peacemakers Militia with plotting to wage a campaign of murder and kidnapping against court officials and state troopers. They had already amassed an arsenal of weapons, including hand grenades, assault rifles, and a .50-caliber machine gun.
That's exactly the kind of violence that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) warned law enforcement agencies about two years ago in a report about the growing threat of terrorism from right-wing extremists.
But after that 2009 report was leaked to the media, conservative groups and politicians complained — quite wrongly — that it unfairly tarred those on the political right as violent extremists. The American Legion, for example, didn't like the report's assertion that extremists would be interested in recruiting veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, even though it was completely accurate.
Rather than defend the report, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano quickly disavowed it — and criticized it as shoddy work that had not been properly reviewed within the agency.
Bowing to misguided political criticism was bad enough. Now we know that the DHS went much further: It gutted the unit that developed intelligence on the activities of non-Islamic domestic extremists — making it much harder to catch the next Timothy McVeigh before he strikes.
Daryl Johnson, the former DHS analyst who was the principal author of the controversial 2009 report, told the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) in an explosive interview for our quarterly journal,Intelligence Report, that the unit he once headed now has a single analyst where there were once six. Further, Johnson said, the DHS instituted restrictive policies that have effectively ended the issuing of any of the dozens of important reports it previously prepared for law enforcement each year.