Napolitano Regrets Anger over ‘Right-Wing’ Report

Apr 19, 2009 10:14am

ABC News’ Tahman Bradley reports: Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano says she regrets that some people took offense to a report that "right-wing extremist activity" is on the rise and that groups are trying to recruit disgruntled U.S. troops upon their return home. Although she stands by the substance of the report, which was sent to law enforcement officials across the country and made public last week, Napolitano tried to show she understands why many people were offended. "I regret that in the politicization of everything that happens in Washington, D.C., some took offense," she said on the CNN program "State of the Union." Napolitano also conceded that her department could have been more careful in the language used in the assessment given that every government report and action is politicized. "Anything could have been written better to prevent politicization," she said. The report, which warned that the economic recession, the election of America’s first black president and the return of disgruntled war veterans could give rise to extremist groups, touched off a storm. Even some Democrats expressed concern. Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., who chairs the House Homeland Security Committee, said he was "dumbfounded" by the report."This report appears to raise significant issues involving the privacy and civil liberties of many Americans — including war veterans," he wrote. "The report is not saying that veterans are extremists, far from it," Napolitano explained. "What it is saying is returning veterans are targets of right-wing extremist groups and are trying to include those who commit violent acts in the country. We want to do all we can to prevent that." "One of our missions that Congress has given us and that we do is to try to keep everybody informed. What are the kinds of things that can lead to an act of violence. But in this case, where are groups recruiting."

You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus