West Point Report: Understanding America’s Violent Far-RightTruth!

Summary of eRumor:

This is a forwarded article that alleged that a report by Professor Arie Perliger called “Challengers from the Sidelines: Understanding America’s Violent Far-Right” had been introduced into the curriculum at the West Point Academy.   The report addressed the “dramatic rise in the number of attacks and violent plots originating from individuals and groups who self-identify with the far-right of American politics.”

The Truth:

The report was written on January 15, 2013 and can be found on the West Point Combating Terrorism Center website.

News of this report went viral on the Internet after a January 21, 2013 Washington Times article that said this report outraged critics of federalism and labeled conservatives as violent.  The article also said that the report belittled  “conservatives in general, saying they live in the past while liberals are future-oriented.”

The article in the forwarded email originated from the American Free Press, which was posted on their website on February 13, 2013.

updated 02/18/13

A real example of the eRumor as it has appeared on the Internet:

West Point Cadets Taught Patriots Are Terrorists

February 13, 2013 AFP

• Influential study published by an Israeli academic at America’s top military school seeks to brainwash future military leaders into believing those who advocate small government, individual sovereignty, freedom and liberty are the enemy
By Victor Thorn

At West Point where cadets are groomed into officers, a new 148-page report released on January 15 is urging enlisted men and women to be on alert for “terrorists” in the form of those who consider themselves patriots.

This study, released by the United States Military Academy’s Combating Terrorism Center, is entitled “Challengers from the Sidelines: Understanding America’s Violent Far-Right.” Its author, Professor Arie Perliger, the Director of Terrorism Studies at the Combating Terrorism Center and Assistant Professor at the Department of Social Sciences at West Point, holds membership in the Council on Foreign Relations and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, as well as being a former instructor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Considering his background, Perliger warns that growing legions of conservative-minded citizens across the U.S. pose a serious threat to our nation’s safety. Yet, whom precisely does Perliger deem as being affiliated with what he labels the “violent far right?”

In his own words, Perliger placed a bulls-eye on those who “espouse strong convictions regarding the federal government, believing it to be corrupt and tyrannical, with a natural tendency to intrude on individuals’ civil and constitutional rights.”

Even more specifically, Perliger asserted that other so-called extremists fall into the categories of anti-federalists, fundamentalist Christians, survivalists, gun-rights advocates, libertarians, pro-lifers, and those who oppose high taxation.

Not content with simply fingering these broad-reaching factions, Perliger zeroed in on another favorite globalist target. “Some groups are driven by a strong conviction that the American political system and its proxies were hijacked by external forces interested in promoting a New World Order.”

This umbrella characterization includes constitutionalists, those wary of a growing police state, and political activists such as some tea partiers. Thus, by using manipulative, emotionally-charged language intended to divide-and-conquer, Perliger equates those interested in preserving their individual freedoms with skinheads, neo-Nazis and militia members. Or, even more condescendingly, he smears conservatives as being backward, archaic and living in an era that has passed them by. In contrast, Perliger applauds liberals as future-oriented and progressive in their views.

Dr. Herbert W. Titus, a constitutional law professor and former dean of the Regent University School of Law “says it’s an attempt to link conservative thought with violence.”

Titus told WorldNetDaily: “Professor Perliger has adopted the strategy of many left-wing members of the professoriate, concentrating on the behavior of a few in order to discredit many who hold similar views but who do not engage in any form of violence.”

“His theory is that of the iceberg, that which as seen may be small, but it hides what is a much larger threat just below the surface. Obviously, the professor disagrees with those who favor small government, cutting back of federal government encroachments upon the powers of the state and to discredit this movement focuses on a few gun-toting militia,” Titus said.

“Like so many in the Obama administration, Perliger does not want to engage in any dialogue on the issues, but just discredit an entire political movement by ad hominem charged words,” Titus said. “Perliger is not a serious scholar, but a propagandist for the existing regime.”

West Point Urged to Fire Nutty Professor
• Citizens up in arms over professor’s attempt to demonize true American conservatives

The president of a popular conservative advocacy group is calling on West Point to fire the author of a controversial report that paints conservatives as terrorists. In a January 29 interview with AMERICAN FREE PRESS, Bill Wilson of Americans for Limited Government expanded on these thoughts.

“I’m sending a letter to the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee insisting that all funds be withheld from their Combating Terrorism Center until this guy [Perliger] is fired and his report withdrawn,” he told AFP.

When asked what most incensed him, Wilson replied, “Perliger’s report isn’t an isolated incident. We’ve seen this type of demonizing ever since Obama took office. The left is going for the kill by using raw partisan political propaganda. The author of this report wants people to look those of us with traditional conservative values who support limited government as dangerous and suspect. He’s saying: this is somebody you don’t want to be. Instead, Perliger favors those who always submit to collectivism and the group. But this type of mindset is what doomed the former Soviet Union.”

Wilson added, “The military implications are really dangerous because Perliger wants to breed a whole generation of officers that may not respect sovereignty and autonomy.”

In a January 28 article, Wilson expanded on this notion. “[We] are being taught to view freedom-loving Americans as violent racist terrorists-in-waiting as part of the federal government’s ongoing jihad against common-sense fiscal conservatism and constitutionally limited government.”

AFP inquired about what forces were behind Perliger’s work. “In 2009 the Department of Homeland Security offered a course curriculum prepared by the Southern Poverty Law Center [SPLC] that was meant to cast suspicions on returning vets because they might harbor right-wing affiliations,” he said. “The SPLC is a sleazy left-wing group.”

But he didn’t stop there in terms of culprits. “The mainstream media is owned by a handful of corporations that are completely compliant in their worldview that government is always best and correct, and those who don’t support it are wrong,” he said. “Real journalism doesn’t exist in the mainstream media any more.”

The conversation then turned to another subject that contradicted Perliger’s conclusions. “The hard left,” Wilson stated, “is far more violence prone that anyone on the right. Groups like the Earth Liberation Front and animal rights advocates will sabotage train tracks, spike trees, and have threatened to destroy the Keystone Pipeline.”

Wilson emphasized that an unmitigated assault is being waged against the citizens of this country. “Every day the First Amendment is being shutdown, and now Obama is trying to kill the Second Amendment. Why shouldn’t everyone be suspicious of what they’re doing? The left is waging an incredible assault on our Bill of Rights by undercutting and taking away this contract between the American people and the states.”

In closing, Wilson pointed out a more subtle aspect of Perliger’s smear tactics. “In the past, we didn’t let politics get involved in the military,” said Wilson. “But Perliger gave the officer corps pure political indoctrination as if they were the old Red Army. What used to be a very important feature—the non-political nature of our military—is now being turned on its head.”