DHS is drafting its annual threat assessment report, and Politico got hold of the draft: DHS draft document: White supremacists are greatest terror threat
White supremacists present the gravest terror threat to the United States, according to a draft report from the Department of Homeland Security.
Two later draft versions of the same document — all of which were reviewed by POLITICO — describe the threat from white supremacists in slightly different language. But all three drafts describe the threat from white supremacists as the deadliest domestic terror threat facing the U.S., listed above the immediate danger from foreign terrorist groups.
Trump’s current favorite boogeyman, Antifa, is not a threat:
None of the drafts POLITICO reviewed referred to a threat from Antifa, the loose cohort of militant left-leaning agitators who senior Trump administration officials have described as domestic terrorists. Two of the drafts refer to extremists trying to exploit the “social grievances” driving lawful protests.
Lawfare editor-in-chief Ben Wittes was the first to post these drafts, which Politico then dug into. Since Politico released its story on Friday of Labor Day weekend, it took a while for the world to notice. CNN picked it up this morning: White supremacy is 'most lethal threat' to the US, DHS draft assessment says
[Wittes] told CNN that “the most striking thing is in this political atmosphere; they have said what they said” — that white supremacist violence is the threat they are most concerned about.
“I don't want to criticize them when that language is there. That said it is somewhat different in the first draft than the subsequent two and I do think the nature of the change is notable as a reflection of the political pressure they are under,” he said.
The next two drafts reportedly allude to “Domestic Violent Extremists,” or DVEs, instead of “white supremacist extremists” as “the most persistent and lethal threat,” though all three read, “Among DVEs, we judge that white supremacist extremists (WSEs) will remain the most persistent and lethal threat in the Homeland through 2021.”
Trump was returning to a familiar playbook. He was relying on the chaos of the protests to produce the kind of racist backlash that he had ridden to the presidency in 2016. Trump had blamed the 2014 protests in Ferguson, Missouri—a response to the shooting of Michael Brown by a police officer—on Barack Obama’s indulgence of criminality. “With our weak leadership in Washington, you can expect Ferguson type riots and looting in other places,” Trump predicted in 2014. As president, he saw such uprisings as deliverance.
Then something happened that Trump did not foresee. It didn’t work.
(Most of The Atlantic article is about the history of systemic racism, all well worth reading.)
The Politicus is a collaborative political community that facilitates content creation directly on the site. Our goal is to make the political conversation accessible to everyone.Any donations we receive will go into writer outreach. That could be advertising on Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit or person-to-person outreach on College campuses. Please help if you can: