Saturday, April 25, 2009

Veterans get apology from Obama Cabinet member for memo connecting them with right wing extremist groups as terrorist threat

Veterans yesterday got an apology from the head of the Department of Homeland Security for a memo she put out concerning domestic terrorist threats and who among us might be more prone to join.

The apology was needed along with an assurance that veterans from the Iraq war would not be singled out for more scrutiny than any other citizen. The only way to get that assurance and sense of respect for service rendered is to press for an apology and explanation.

CNN reports:

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano apologized Friday for a department assessment that suggested returning combat veterans could be recruited by right-wing extremist groups.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano says she offered her "sincere apologies for any offense."

She met with American Legion National Commander David Rehbein at Homeland Security headquarters.

"The secretary started the meeting with an apology to me personally, to the American Legion and to the entire veterans community," Rehbein told reporters after the meeting.

In a statement issued by the department, Napolitano said, "We connected meaningfully about the important issues that have emerged over recent days, and I offered him my sincere apologies for any offense to our veterans caused by this report. ... I pledge that the department has fixed the internal process that allowed this document to be released before it was ready."

The report was an unclassified assessment sent to law enforcement agencies. It was titled "Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment."

The mention of combat veterans surfaced on a conservative radio program earlier this month, and it drew the scorn of commentators and conservative members of Congress. Rep. John Carter, R -Texas, called on Napolitano to resign.

Now it's time to move on.

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