Well, yes. This would not be rocket science. As evidenced by the spate of violence around the country. Be it the killing of a small child, stuffing her in a suitcase and dropping her in an irrigation pond or a mad man slaughtering police officers, when people are desparate enough, they can snap.
Many veterans groups are especially up in arms, not because
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano stands behind the report but because of the negative light it shines on returning soldiers. It says, in part:
"Returning veterans possess combat skills and experience that are attractive to right-wing extremists. DHS/I&A is concerned that right-wing extremists will attempt to recruit and radicalize veterans in order to boost their violent capacities."It goes on to suggest:
"The return of military veterans facing significant challenges reintegrating into their communities could lead to emergence of terrorist groups or lone wolf extremists capable of carrying out violent attacks.What bothers me about this is the fact that it shouldn't even be an issue. We ask so much of our military, under the most trying of conditions. If they come home alive, many are without limbs or full minds, many have mental problems that may not manifest for years. However, given the proper care and opportunities to return to a "normal" life would certainly help negate some of these suggestions before they become fact. The administration has made lots of promises in this area, but it's time for action, not just rhetoric. I'm also uncomfortable with the assumption that enough of our military return in such an unstable state that such occurrences are likely to happen in the numbers insinuated.
It gets worse. It suggests anyone from those opposed to abortion to animal rights activists may be ripe for recruitment. They've suggested to law enforcement agencies to watch for "suspicious" individuals who may have bumper stickers for third party candidates such as Ron Paul and Bob Barr. That would make a lot of folks here in northern Idaho suspect! There are still a good number of Ron Paul signs to be seen around the area.
The American Legion said that this report unfairly Stereotypes veterans.
John Boehner, House Minority Leader said, "To characterize men and women returning home after defending our country as a potential terrorist is offensive and unacceptable."
He's correct. Take it even further - to lump environmentalists, animal rights advocates, those who prefer local government control over federal, or dare to display the "wrong" bumper sticker - or maybe even having attended a "tea party" as potential extremists sends a harsh message.
Our government doesn't trust us. If the feeling is mutual we're all in trouble. Beware the rip tides.