On Hannity, North falsely claimed DHS says right-wing extremism is "number one threat to American safety"

››› ››› ANDREW WALZER

Oliver North falsely claimed that a recent DHS report concluded that "right-wing extremism is the number one threat to American safety and security." In fact, the report does not make any conclusions about what is the biggest threat to "American safety and security" overall.

During the April 16 edition of Fox News' Hannity, Fox News host Oliver North falsely claimed that a recent Department of Homeland Security (DHS) report -- which concluded that "rightwing extremists may be gaining new recruits by playing on their fears about several emergent issues" -- concluded that "right-wing extremism is the number one threat to American safety and security." North added: "That means that if you're a Hamas organizer or a Hezbollah recruiter or a Somali terrorist trying to recruit suicide terrorists, you're lower on the totem pole in terms of scrutiny than a regular American citizen concerned about these things, to include, outrageously enough, American veterans who they think are a target for being radicalized." Host Sean Hannity responded, "Good point." In fact, the report does not say that "right-wing extremism is the number one threat to American safety and security." Rather, it says "DHS/I&A [Office of Intelligence and Analysis] assesses that lone wolves and small terrorist cells embracing violent rightwing extremist ideology are the most dangerous domestic terrorism threat in the United States" [emphasis added]. It does not make any conclusions about what is the biggest threat to "American safety and security" overall.

Echoing other Fox News hosts and contributors, both Hannity and North also advanced the claim that the Obama administration is targeting tea party attendees, as well as conservatives and others, simply because they disagree with administration policies and proposals, a claim Fox News host Shepard Smith and national correspondent Catherine Herridge have debunked. North said of a tea party Hannity attended in Atlanta, "You and that crowd ... apparently have alarmed the Department of Homeland Security." North added: "[T]his report -- which you and none of your viewers were ever supposed to see -- says they're concerned about people who apparently believe that they're Christians, they want to support the sanctity of life, they oppose abortion, want to preserve marriage as a union between a man and a woman, that are veterans with, as I quote, 'skills and knowledge derived from military training and combat.' " Hannity responded: "Colonel, why do I think if we start checking off the list -- on immigration, I'm on the list. On Second Amendment, on being pro-life, on supporting the 20-plus thousand people that showed up in Atlanta last night, I'm on the list."

From the April 16 edition of Fox News' Hannity:

HANNITY: And in "Your America" tonight: Now, earlier today, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano did her best to backtrack on her department's report that said that military veterans may be vulnerable recruits for radical extremist groups. And if she thinks vets and other Americans who simply disagree with the Obama administration are right-wing extremists, well, her department must have been pretty busy yesterday.

Joining me now is Colonel Oliver North, who is the host of War Stories, and this Saturday night, by the way, 9 p.m., he takes us inside special ops -- the special look at the most elite members of our armed forces. Colonel, good to see you. Thanks for being with us.

NORTH: Sean, you must had a great time down there in Atlanta -- you're still hoarse.

HANNITY: Yeah.

NORTH: But I will tell you this: You and that crowd are apparently have alarmed the Department of Homeland Security, because this report -- which you and none of your viewers were ever supposed to see -- says they're concerned about people who apparently believe that they're Christians, they want to support the sanctity of life, they oppose abortion, want to preserve marriage as a union between a man and a woman, that are veterans with, as I quote, "skills and knowledge derived from military training and combat" -- well, I'm one of those.

I also own firearms -- another one of this scatological category in here. I buy ammo. I refuse efforts to infringe on our Second Amendment. All this is apparently wrong by the Department of Homeland Security standards.

HANNITY: Colonel, why do I think if we start checking off the list -- on immigration, I'm on the list. On Second Amendment, on being pro-life, on supporting the 20-plus thousand people that showed up in Atlanta last night --

NORTH: You --

HANNITY: -- I'm on the list.

NORTH: -- you are, according to this, an extremist -

HANNITY: Yeah.

NORTH: -- and you need to be very carefully watched. Here's what's really alarming about this: Number one, it's proof that they are listening. At the bottom of the page on the front cover, it says no one in the public is supposed to see this; it's all for, quote, "law enforcement authorities."

And it warns about right-wing extremist chatter on the Internet that, quote, "focuses on the economy, the perceived loss of U.S. jobs in manufacturing and construction."

HANNITY: Perceived?

NORTH: That's an alarming admission --

HANNITY: Yeah. Yeah.

NORTH: -- alarming, very alarming -- because it's an acknowledgement that they're monitoring political speech.

HANNITY: Well, which is a good point; which means that probably talk radio and probably the Fox News Channel. And, you know, I even said somewhat, you know, tongue-in-cheek last night that, you know, probably they got the license plate of every single person in the 20,000 people that showed up at the tea rally last night or the hundreds of them that went on around the country.

So if we slap a bumper sticker on our car that's pro-life, that's pro-Second Amendment, that's pro-military, Semper fi, in God we trust, whatever it is -- as we look at, you know, some of the video from Atlanta, which went on for blocks and blocks and blocks -- you know, that means --

NORTH: Those are all --

HANNITY: But if I sat in Jeremiah Wright's church for 20 years, god-d America, you know, and America's chickens have come home to roost; if I hang out with Bill Ayers, am I on the list?

NORTH: Well, here's what's really disturbing about it. One is the intrusion into political thought in America that vilifies those of us who have subscribed to any of those, or guys like you and me that subscribe to all of them.

HANNITY: Yeah.

NORTH: Second of all, it's a twisted idea. They're saying that right-wing extremism is the number one threat to American safety and security. That means that if you're a Hamas organizer or a Hezbollah recruiter or a Somali terrorist trying to recruit suicide terrorists, you're lower on the totem pole in terms of scrutiny than a regular American citizen concerned about these things, to include, outrageously enough --

HANNITY: Hey, Colonel --

NORTH: -- American veterans who they think are a target for being radicalized.

HANNITY: Good point, but we could even take it a step further here. You know, these overseas contingency operations -- they're using harsher language, you know, Barack Obama said we'll send Mr. Burgess to tear up Sean Hannity -- they're using harsher language towards conservative talk hosts and people that are pro-life and want to obey immigration laws and that are pro-Second Amendment than they are against Kim Jong-Il and Ahmadinejad and Al Qaeda and some of our enemy combatants and terrorists.

NORTH: We had to run this all the way through the lawyers, Sean, to get this document. We put it up on the Freedom Alliance Web page -- www.freedomalliance.org -- so all Americans could see it, despite the warning at the bottom of it. We believe the American people do have a right to know.

HANNITY: Well, I agree.

NORTH: And they need to know what our government's up to.

HANNITY: Oh, I'm glad you did. Now, we saw, by the way -- and I only have a short time left -- we saw these incredible Navy Seals: three shots, three dead pirates, at incredible -- at incredible distances, on the high seas, factoring high-wind conditions -- an amazing feat. You have a special coming up this weekend going inside special ops on these guys.

Posted In
National Security & Foreign Policy, Terrorism
Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
Person
Oliver North, Sean Hannity
Show/Publication
Hannity
Stories/Interests
Attacks on Barack Obama, Propaganda/Noise Machine
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