DAVE ROSS

Ross: The long time refusal to recognize right wing extremism led to Jan. 6

Jul 26, 2022, 6:50 AM | Updated: 7:46 am
(Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)...
(Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
(Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Republicans have complained that the January 6 committee isn’t investigating the real reason Jan. 6 happened, that being a complete lack of preparation by the Capitol Police. That’s what they plan to investigate if they take over the House in November.

But it turns out that investigation has been done. It was written by a reporter of Politico, Betsy Woodruff Swan, who spoke at yesterday’s meeting of the Virginia Bar Association. Yes, I’ve been watching C span again. And she said there was an extensive report by the Department of Homeland Security back in 2009.

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“An Analyst within the Department of Homeland Security (DOH), an Intelligence Analyst warning about extremism among American War Veterans coming back to the country,” Woodruff Swan said. “This guy was concerned that some of these American veterans were being radicalized.”

Again that was back in 2009, at the time a conservative blogger leaked the report.

“It drew very, very angry condemnation, particularly from congressional Republicans,” Woodruff Swan said. “Basically, signals that any suggestion that there could be domestic extremism as a problem on the far right in the United States was overwrought, political targeting, and the Secretary of Homeland Security apologized for it.”

Had to apologize to the American Legion, in fact, and it was all over talk radio that the Obama administration had slandered conservatives

“Portraying standard ordinary everyday conservatives as posing a bigger threat to this country than al Qaeda terrorists.”

The man who wrote that report, who was a counterterrorism analyst in the U.S. army lost his job., and after that, according to Betsy Swan, no one would do a similar investigation.

It sent the signal that if you wanted to ascend within DHS, within the FBI, you needed to stay away from the issue of domestic threats.

And within a year of that report, there were no DHS analysts looking for signs of domestic terrorism. In an interview, a few years later, the analyst who wrote that report, Darrell Johnson, said he stood by his work and was very careful to state that only a small percentage of veterans had been radicalized.

“But since we have such a large military, that small percentage could actually equal hundreds, if not a few 1000 people,” Johnson said. “It only takes one person like Timothy McVeigh with the skills that he learned in the military, and the mindset and training he received, to carry out a massive bombing.”

So there it is, 11 years ago the Obama administration caved to political pressure and stopped investigating right-wing extremists, even as white supremacists were using the presence of a black man in the White House to recruit their militias.

And so in the opinion of Betsy Swann, it’s no surprise that the Capitol Police had no idea what was coming. You can hear Betsy swans clip and draw your own conclusions.
Listen to Seattle’s Morning News with Dave Ross and Colleen O’Brien weekday mornings from 5 – 9 a.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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Ross: The long time refusal to recognize right wing extremism led to Jan. 6