Fox Business' Brian Sullivan falsely asserted that DHS "nam[ed] veterans groups as possible extremist groups" in a recent report on right-wing extremism. In fact, citing an FBI assessment authored during the Bush administration, the report warned of a possible resurgence among extremist groups that "will attempt to recruit and radicalize returning veterans."
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On the April 23 edition of Fox News' Your World, guest host Brian Sullivan falsely asserted that "the Department of Homeland Security nam[ed] veterans groups as possible extremist groups" in an April 7 intelligence assessment on right-wing extremism. In fact, the report warned of a possible resurgence among extremist groups that "will attempt to recruit and radicalize returning veterans in order to exploit their skills and knowledge derived from military training and combat." As Media Matters for America has repeatedly noted, the DHS report cited a 2008 FBI report authored during the Bush administration as evidence that "some returning military veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have joined extremist groups."
Sullivan misrepresented the DHS report during an interview with Rep. John Carter (R-TX), who has cited the report in calling for DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano's resignation. During the interview, Sullivan also did not challenge Carter's false claim that Napolitano "basically is labeling anyone who disagrees with the agenda of the administration should be watched by the law enforcement agencies in this country, because they could be possible domestic terrorists." In fact, while the report addressed potential issues that could spur right-wing extremism, it did not allege that individuals "could be possible domestic terrorists" simply because they hold conservative views. At no point did Sullivan note that DHS also issued a January 26 report on left-wing extremism or that both assessments "were commissioned under the Bush administration," as Fox News homeland security correspondent Catherine Herridge has noted.
From the April 23 edition of Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto:
SULLIVAN: Now to those calls for the secretary's resignation over the report on so-called right-wing extremists. Our next guest says it's enough for the secretary to step down. He's leading the calls for her resignation.
Joining us now, Republican Congressman John Carter of Texas. Congressman, thank you for joining us. You had the 9-11 gaffe that Catherine [Herridge] just talked about, and the report from the Department of Homeland Security naming veterans groups as possible extremist groups in that report. What do you make of this? Do you think she should step down?
CARTER: Well, the veterans thing is shameful, but the truth is she names just about everybody you can think of as a possible terrorist. And she basically is labeling anyone who disagrees with the agenda of the administration should be watched by the law enforcement agencies in this country, because they could be possible domestic terrorists. And she specifically says returning veterans from the Gulf wars are very likely to be trained with weapons, and therefore, possible terrorists.
She should be ashamed of herself for what she said about those people that fight for our country. And you know, I have a lot of them in my district, and quite frankly, I think the president ought to fire the lady.
SULLIVAN: And you are doing something about it tonight, correct?
CARTER: We did something last night, and if we can get the time, we'll be doing something about it tonight, and we'll be doing something about it every night until we get something done about it.
SULLIVAN: But do you have support -- Congressman, do you have any support from some of your colleagues on this?
CARTER: Quite a few colleagues are supporting me. I had five -- I have five or four of them down there last night, talking on the floor of the House. And it's embarrassing, if you read this report, if you believe anything different from the administration -- basically, she's saying to law enforcement across the country, keep an eye on these people. Keep an eye on these people who believe in the right to keep and bear arms. Keep an eye on these people who are against the abortion process. Keep an eye on just about anybody that disagrees with the budget or with the stimulus package, or all these other things. Even that are -- that complain about jobs going offshore. So, it's everybody.
SULLIVAN: All right, Congressman Carter, we do appreciate your time. I know you're busy, thanks for joining us on Your World.