I guess all it took was lawmakers, current and former service members, as well as members of law enforcement to attempt an insurrection for white people to realize that crazy, racist assholes exist in all fields of work. The Department of Homeland Security announced on Monday that it would begin an internal review to assess the threat domestic extremism poses within the agency.
Now if you, like me, just assumed that the Department of Homeland Security was simply another bureau like the FBI or something, well, not quite. According to the Associated Press, DHS is a massive agency that consists of multiple arms, including the Coast Guard, the Secret Service, and ICE. The department is a little under 20 years old, having only been formed in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.
Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas called domestic terrorism the “most lethal and persistent terrorism-related threat” that the nation currently faces. “As we work to safeguard our nation, we must be vigilant in our efforts to identify and combat domestic violent extremism within both the broader community and our own organization,” Mayorkas said when announcing the review.
Last year, Christopher Hasson, a former lieutenant with the Coast Guard, was sentenced to 13 years in prison after it was found he had been stockpiling weapons and planned to carry out a mass attack in line with his white nationalist views.
As more arrests were made following the Capitol riot, it became increasingly apparent that a large number of current and former members of the armed forces had participated in the failed insurrection. As a result, one of the first moves Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin made after being confirmed was calling a “stand down” in the armed forces so military leaders could speak with service members about extremism in their ranks, and remind them that insurrection kind of goes against the oath they took to protect the county.
“Those of us who know DHS well know that the number of problematic officers within DHS is small,” Thomas Warrick, a former senior official at DHS told AP. “But even a small number is corrosive. It undermines the trust of the American people and the entire mission of the department and its components.”
DHS has said that it will issue new policies for reporting threats and suspected extremism from its members. The agency has also told state, local and tribal agencies that receive grants from the department to allocate 7.5 percent of those funds towards preventing domestic extremism.