Homeland Security-Funded Study Pushing Tea Party Terrorism Narrative 6/11/12 By Patrick Poole In an era of agenda-driven academic research, who watches the watchers? Or more accurately, who gets to designate and categorize the objective data? This is the question raised after examining a study and related dataset recently published by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) at the University of Maryland. START was launched in 2005 with a $12 million grant from the Department of Homeland Security, and is recognized by DHS as one of its Centers for Excellence. In December, DHS announced it had renewed STARTs funding to the tune of $3.6 million. A recent START study titled Hot Spots of Terrorism and Other Crimes in the United States, 1970 to 2008 puts the excellence description in question. A press release announcing the report states the study concluded that nearly a third of all terrorist attacks between 1970 and 2008 occurred in just five major metropolitan areas. The study was based on a START database called Profiles of Perpetrators of Terrorism in the United States, and both the report and database are supported by the DHS Science and Technology Directorates Human Factors/Behavioral Sciences Division. Reading through the study, some baffling issues arose. In Table 4 (p. 22), titled Hot Spots of Religious Terrorism by Decade, three hot spot areas Los Angeles, Manhattan, and Wasco, Oregon (former home of the Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh) are identified: --- But looking at the START datasets codebook, other startling problems emerge. Compare how the START researchers define left wing and right wing extremism. Left-wing extremism is defined at follows: Extreme left-wing groups want to bring about change through violent revolution rather than through established political processes. In addition, this category includes secular left-wing groups that rely heavily on terrorism to overthrow the capitalist system and either establish a dictatorship of the proletariat (Marxist-Leninists) or, much more rarely, a decentralized, non-hierarchical sociopolitical system (anarchists). Fair enough. Now, right-wing extremism: The extreme far-right is composed of groups that believe that ones personal and/or national way of life is under attack and is either already lost or that the threat is imminent (for some the threat is from a specific ethnic, racial, or religious group), and believe in the need to be prepared for an attack either by participating in paramilitary preparations and training or survivalism. Groups may also be fiercely nationalistic (as opposed to universal and international in orientation), anti-global, suspicious of centralized federal authority, reverent of individual liberty, and believe in conspiracy theories that involve grave threat to national sovereignty and/or personal liberty. (Emphasis added) If youre fiercely nationalistic (pro-American), anti-global (anti-UN), suspicious of centralized federal authority (like the Framers), reverent of individual liberty (like Patrick Henry), and believe in conspiracy theories (like the federal government allowing the sale of assault weapons to Mexican drug cartels to justify limiting Americans rights under the Second Amendment, a la Fast and Furious), then according to these taxpayer-funded researchers, you too are on the extreme right-wing. Many Americans would be surprised to find themselves so categorized by the researchers at START. It should be no surprise that two subgroups identified in the codebook under extreme right-wing include gun rights and tax protest. Tea Party terrorists, anyone? --- The PJ Tatler » Homeland Security-Funded Study Pushing Tea Party Terrorism Narrative "we got some of that loot"