Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The King hearings:
Variations on an extremist theme

The way they both happened together, at what felt like the same moment, seems like something out of a script: On March 9, Kevin William Harpham was arrested in the town of Addy, Wash., suspected of the attempted Jan. 17 bombing of a Martin Luther King unity rally in Spokane, 55 miles south of Addy. Harpham, a known white supremacist with past and possibly current ties to the neo-Nazi National Alliance, was charged by federal agents of building a "weapon of mass destruction" — the bomb found in his backpack — and planting it on the rally route hours before it started.

The next day, Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), the new chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, convened the first of his congressional hearings on the radicalization of Muslim Americans and the potential for domestic terrorism. In his opening statement, King stated that “not one terror-related case in the United States in the last two years involved neo-Nazis.”

That disconnect between fact and assertion highlights a more troubling one: the congressman’s high-profile attention to one form of American terrorism at the expense of exposing the dangers in another. ...

Read more in theGrio

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