More on DHS domestic terror office that was shut down by GOP pressure

Amy Goodman interviews Daryl Johnson, former Dept of Homeland Security analyst who authored a key report on domestic terrorism in 2009 – a report that the Republicans went nuts over, and effectively shut down the report and the office that was studying the domestic terror threat.

Apparently, Republicans in Congress were congress that a few too many of their supporters might be classified as domestic terrorists – which, if true, means that the report is either too broad, or the Republican base is a tad too crazy.

Here’s an excerpt of the interview:

AMY GOODMAN: How did your report get picked up? How did it get disseminated in the media? What was the trajectory it took?

DARYL JOHNSON: Well, basically an anonymous person sent the report out. Obviously they didn’t agree with its findings, and sent it out to Roger Hedgecock out in southern California who is kind of a conservative radio shock jock who really banters the immigration issue a lot. He is credited with disclosing publicly this report which was not meant for public distribution.

AMY GOODMAN: And so what happened to you, Daryl Johnson, and your unit within the Department of Homeland Security that was looking at domestic terror threats and particularly at white supremacy and neo-Nazi groups?

DARYL JOHNSON: What happened was quite shocking actually. I never anticipated that the Department of Homeland Security, my employer, would actually clamp down on the unit and stop all of the valuable work we were doing. Leading up to this report, and I will talk about this at length in my book, my team was doing a lot of good things throughout the country. We received numerous accolades from law enforcement, intelligence officials, talking about the great work we were doing in the fight against domestic terrorism. Then in lieu of the political backlash, the department decided to not only stop all of our work, stop all of the training and briefings that we were scheduled to give; but they also disbanded the unit, reassigned us to other areas within the office and then made life increasingly difficult for us. Not only did they stop the work that we were doing, but they also tried to blame us for some of the attacks that were occurring.

AMY GOODMAN: And so you lost your job.

DARYL JOHNSON: I didn’t lose my job. They just made it a very difficult environment for me to continue working there so I, on my own recognizance, sought employment elsewhere and started my own consulting company.

AMY GOODMAN: I’m looking at a quick piece from Wired which says, “Since Johnson released his ill-fated report, the Witchita, Kansas, abortion doctor, George Teller, was assinated. A security guard was killed when a gunman with neo-Nazi ties went on a shooting spree at the U.S. Holocaust Museum, the FBI arrested members of a Florida neo-Nazi outfit tied to drug dealing and motorcycle gangs, a man was charged with attempting to detonate a weapon of mass destruction at a Spokane, Washington, march commemorating Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday and several mosques around the country have been vandalized or attacked, including a Missouri mosque that burned to the ground on Monday, which had been attacked before. Were you surprised by the attack on the Sikh temple and all that has taken place since?

DARYL JOHNSON: Unfortunately, Amy, I was not shocked. In fact, I was sitting in my living room with my wife and immediately when I saw the news coverage, I turned to her and said that this was likely a hate motivated crime against Sikhs perpetrated by a white supremacist who may have had military background.

AMY GOODMAN: It is interesting also that President Obama spoke yesterday in Denver with Sandra Fluke who introduced him, the Georgetown University law student who was speaking out for contraception and was targeted by Rush Limbaugh and others, and was talking about women’s health and women’s rights in this country. The neo-Nazi movement, along with the anti-choice movement, do you see links? I’m talking about the extremist wing.

DARYL JOHNSON: There’s definitely links between white supremacists and the anti-abortion issue. That is one of the causes that they rally around and use as a recruitment tool to bring people into the movement. I wouldn’t necessarily say it is strictly neo-Nazi. It could be, also, the Christian Identity Movement, it could be skinheads, it could the Ku Klux Klan.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

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