The rub comes in when those who oppose this agenda are viewed as "Enemies of the State."
The Bush administration used their failure to prevent the 9/11 disaster to vastly expand the powers of the Executive branch to monitor groups they deemed "radical." From the Patriot Act to The War In Error to the FISA amendments--all giving vast new super secret surveillance authority to the Executive to monitor Enemies of the State.
Well, it was sold as keeping us safe from terrorists, but when policy hit practice it was discovered the Executive surveillance apparatus was monitoring the radical Socialist organization known as "Amish" and communist sympathizers called "Catholic Workers" and far-left pinko radicals known as "peace protesters and environmentalists."
Left-leaning bloggers sounded multiple warning bells, led by Glenn Greenwald, about the President seizing the power to break the law. Indeed, many of those on the left are calling for investigations and prosecutions to this very day for constitutional violations.
From the right of the blogosphere we were routinely mocked and derided for the claim of trampling on civil rights in the face of a Global War On Terror. We were told dead people have no rights and the constitution is not a suicide pact.
Now we have a new Executive, who unfortunately is defending the prior practices and blocking investigations into these new powers.
The difference is the Enemies Of The State have completely changed. Gone are those subversive "peaceniks" like Amish and Catholics, and environmental wackjobs like Greenpeace and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
The creepily named "Department of Homeland Security" has just issued a report to local police forces warning of "growing right-wing extremist activity."
Naturally, right-wing bloggers are outraged at this and immediately revert to their default position as victim and martyr. Perhaps they feel "rightwing extremism" perfectly describes themselves and their flying monkeys.
The Department of Homeland Security is warning law enforcement officials about a rise in "rightwing extremist activity," saying the economic recession, the election of America's first black president and the return of a few disgruntled war veterans could swell the ranks of white-power militias.
A footnote attached to the report by the Homeland Security Office of Intelligence and Analysis defines "rightwing extremism in the United States" as including not just racist or hate groups, but also groups that reject federal authority in favor of state or local authority.
"It may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single-issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration," the warning says.
The man arrested this weekend for allegedly sending white powder to media figures and other high-profile people may be a big admirer of conservative syndicated columnists Ann Coulter and Michelle Malkin, according to a writer interviewed on MSNBC.
When MSNBC host Keith Olbermann -- one of the people who received the white power(sic) allegedly sent by Chad Castagana -- interviewed Radar Online senior writer John Cook yesterday, Cook speculated that "Coulter and Malkin ... sort of present a kind of rhetorical world view where they have their troops out there, and I think he thought of himself as one of their troops and wanted to live up to their standards."
Cook also said: "(W)e should point out the evidence is not conclusive, but -- it's circumstantial, but it's good evidence. It appears that Mr. Castagana was a poster to the FreeRepublic, which, as you know, is an online library of some of the most thoughtful right-wing thinkers out there. And his -- the Marc Costanzo alias that he used, his profile said, 'Ann Coulter is a goddess and I idolize Malkin and (conservative pundit Laura) Ingraham.' And there are a lot of posts that suggest that he's a big fan of Malkin and Coulter."
Bloggers on the right, like Jonah Goldberg, our lady of concentration camps Michelle Malkkkin (who now apparently defends Terrorists Rights) , John Hinderaker, and Glenn Reynolds are all whining about this report more than a loose fan-belt. However, these same individuals were the greatest cheerleaders in defense of the previous administrations claims of extra-legal surveillance authority.
This points out two things in my mind. First of all, these right-wing bloggers are ridiculous and completely unmoored from any fundamental position. Secondly, our surveillance state must be reigned in and violators of the law must be prosecuted.