Black people, I have just been alerted to news that will certainly leave you all in a state of shock. This is big...monumental, even. It’s something Black Americans wouldn’t have guessed in...oh, I don’t know...400 years. According to a draft report from the Department of Homeland Security, white supremacists represent the greatest terror threat to the United States.
Three separate drafts of a DHS report reviewed by Politico “describe the threat from white supremacists in slightly different language,” but all three drafts reportedly come to the same conclusion that white supremacists are the deadliest domestic terror threat facing the U.S. and will likely continue to be through early 2021. (If there were a Black DHS, their report would probably replace “early 2021” with “Bruh, forever.”)
To paraphrase the DHS report in my best Denzel Washington voice: Scary Brown foreigners ain’t got shit on wypipo.
“Foreign terrorist organizations will continue to call for Homeland attacks but probably will remain constrained in their ability to direct such plots over the next year,” all three documents say.
Russia “probably will be the primary covert foreign influence actor and purveyor of disinformation and misinformation in the Homeland,” the documents also say.
Former acting DHS Sec. Kevin McAleenan last year directed the department to start producing annual homeland threat assessments. POLITICO reviewed three drafts of this year’s report — titled DHS’s State of the Homeland Threat Assessment 2020 — all of which were produced in August. Ben Wittes, the editor in chief of the national security site Lawfare, obtained the documents and shared them with POLITICO. The first such assessment has not been released publicly, and a DHS spokesperson declined to comment on “allegedly leaked documents,” and on when the document will be made public.
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.
The cut-off date for information analyzed in the earliest draft is August 3, 2020, while the cut-off date for the next two is August 27.
Now, here’s where the story gets interesting (to people who sunburn easily). According to Politico, the earliest draft of the report tells it like it is with no filters: Under the introductory section labeled “Key Takeaways,” the draft reads, “Lone offenders and small cells of individuals motivated by a diverse array of social, ideological, and personal factors will pose the primary terrorist threat to the United States. Among these groups, we assess that white supremacist extremists—who increasingly are networking with like-minded persons abroad—will pose the most persistent and lethal threat.”
The next two drafts under the same section changed the language and call “Domestic Violent Extremists” the “most persistent and lethal threat,” rather than specifically naming white supremacists. But all three drafts include the sentence, “Among DVEs [Domestic Violent Extremists], we judge that white supremacist extremists (WSEs) will remain the most persistent and lethal threat in the Homeland through 2021.”
Wittes explained the differences in the drafts’ language by telling Politico, “It diminishes the prominence of white supremacy relative to other domestic violent extremism, and, without being inaccurate, puts it in a basket along with other violent activity that may be more palatable for the administration to acknowledge.”
Let me find out the DHS is changing the language in its reports because Tangerine Palpatine (I think y’all call him President Trump) would get his Tropicana-stained boxers all in a bunch over any report that explicitly names white supremacists as the greatest terror threat in a country where he claims talk of systemic racism is “un-American propaganda.”
Anyway, John Cohen, who oversaw DHS’ counterterrorism portfolio from 2011 to 2014, told Politico what Black people already know: Ain’t none of this shit surprising.
“This draft document seems to be consistent with earlier intelligence reports from DHS, the FBI, and other law enforcement sources: that the most significant terror-related threat facing the US today comes from violent extremists who are motivated by white supremacy and other far-right ideological causes,” Cohen said.