Many U.S. law enforcement and security officials now believe that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has its priorities wrong. According to these highly-experienced professionals DHS resources are being wasted on the so-called “threat” posed to our southern border by the caravan of poor refugees making its way north through Mexico from Central America.
Instead, these experts believe, more resources should be deployed to fight the growing threat to our country posed by white nationalism and white supremacist groups. It is these groups of U.S. citizens within our own borders who have grown increasingly violent and have started to threaten more and more Americans in different racial and religious groups.
For example, on Tuesday DHS officials had a conference call to discuss the Central American migrants. There was no discussion about the murder of 11 Jews in Pittsburgh on Saturday.
According to reporting by The Daily Beast:
“Some participants were flummoxed: In the face of the most lethal anti-Semitic terror attack in American history, was DHS really focused, exclusively, on migrants?”
John Cohen, a former senior official in DHS focused on counter-terror, expressed the opinions of many by saying that DHS priorities seem improper at this time. He said:
“In the world of homeland security, the common practice is to focus on those threats that present the greatest risk. So it’s disconcerting that in a call with national law enforcement and homeland security experts, the focus would be on the caravan versus the increasing number of mass casualty attacks the country’s experiencing, including by white extremists.”
So while the United States is in shock from the latest white supremacist attacks, top security officials are saying that fighting violent white supremacy isn’t a primary focus. In effect, domestic white terrorism is being ignored.
There are many people who say that anti-terrorism resources should be deployed to fight the white supremacist groups since what they are doing is a form of terrorism. Retired FBI and DHS officials have confirmed that fighting domestic terrorism from white supremacist and white nationalist groups is “the lowest priority” of America’s anti-terrorism task forces.
When asked about this the FBI told The Daily Beast that its “top priority remains protecting the United States from terrorist attacks, both international and domestic.”
But according to Cohen, the former DHS senior official, very little is being done. He said:
“We know what the problem is, but every time there’s another one of these attacks all we hear is, ‘Oh, this is shocking, this is horrible, our prayers are with the people, who would have imagined this ever would have happened?’ I think that was the exact quote from the president—‘This was unimaginable.’ No, it’s very imaginable because it’s happening on a regular basis in this country. We’re just not doing enough to stop it.”
What everyone knows, but few people are saying, is that Donald Trump is partially to blame for the increase in violence from white supremacists AND is also partially to blame for making violence from such groups “the lowest priority” of America’s anti-terrorism resources.
So long as Donald Trump is president and in charge of the executive branch of the government this situation is likely to continue. This is just one more reason to make sure that our current president leaves office as quickly as possible. Many Americans’ lives may depend upon it.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.