Janet Napolitano is probably getting some satisfaction from the fact that reality has proven the bulletin issued by her Homeland Security department last year -- warning that the nation was about to be hit by a fresh wave of right-wing extremism and its attendant violence -- all too prescient.
Especially the part where it warned that these extremists were working hard to recruit military veterans:
Returning veterans possess combat skills and experience that are attractive to rightwing extremists. DHS/I&A is concerned that rightwing extremists will attempt to recruit and radicalize returning veterans in order to boost their violent capabilities.
At the time the bulletin was issued, the right-wing media put up a hue and cry claiming that DHS was smearing veterans as potential terrorist threats, and demanding Napolitano's head. And even though Napolitano rebutted their nonsense, the conventional-wisdom talking point out of the affair was that DHS had unfairly smeared folks in the military.
Now it's clear that the Pentagon is aware that it has a problem: From Stars and Stripes:
The Pentagon is cracking down on extremism in its ranks with a new set of rules restricting servicemembers from participating on the Web sites of supremacist groups.
A new Defense Department directive on dissident and political activity issued on November 27 — the first since 1996 — says servicemembers “must not actively advocate supremacist doctrine, ideology, or causes.” This includes writing blogs or posting on Web sites.
... Last July, Stars and Stripes reported that 130 members of newsaxon.org, a social networking Web site affiliated with the National Socialist Movement, had listed “military” as their job in “Facebook”-style user profiles. Swatsikas, Nazi symbolism and militant imagery emblazon the site.
Army and Defense Department officials said at the time that extremist activity was not considered “an Army-wide issue.” And there was confusion, Potok said, about what defined “active participation.” Previously, membership alone in an extremist group was not enough for disciplinary action, though banned activities included distributing materials and demonstrating.
“The one worry here is that enforcement of these regulations may be very uneven. It leaves the decision up to local commanders and we’ve really yet to see how that’s going to work,” Potok said. “The hope is that this clarifies that even advocacy of these kinds of ideas is not consistent with being in the military.”
The arrests of the Hutaree militia made clear that the concern was full grounded in reality. As Newsweek observed in its report on the rise of right-wing extremists:
The rambling rants of the Hutaree might seem funny, in a sick sort of way, but they are far from harmless. The FBI busted nine members last month for allegedly plotting to trigger an "uprising" against the government by assassinating a local police officer and then ambushing colleagues who attended the funeral by blowing up improvised explosive devices. They may have had some professional instruction: one of the men in the group, Michael Meeks, is a Persian Gulf War veteran who served four years in the Marines and was a decorated rifle expert, according to Marine Corps records. Another member, Kristopher Sickles, is an Army vet (discharged "under other than honorable conditions," according to prosecutors).
After all, as we explained at the time, the DHS report's assessment of the situation vis a vis veterans was if anything understated: