Colts 2009 Draft Recap

Filed in SportsTags: Colts, Draft, Indiana, Indianapolis, NFL

OVERALL

The Colts addressed several needs, and did so without reaching and without giving away the farm in up-trades. The Colts added a viable #2 RB to replace Dom Rhodes, two big run-stuffing DTs, a project CB to add depth, a project slot receiver/potential kick returner, a value-pick late-round QB, a punter to replace Hunter Smith, and another value-pick, late-rounder OG.

The Colts made only two, very minor draft moves: trading up in the second round to get DT Moala (which cost the Colts their fifth-rounder), and trading their 2010 sixth-rounder to get P/K McAfee.

The only mildly surprising omission from the draft slate is LB. Either the Colts didn't like the value at LB at their selection points, or else the team is satisfied with the current linebacker corps. Either way, it is difficult to argue for an LB over any of the Colts' picks (except perhaps QB Painter - though he could easily prove to be a much cheaper #2 QB than Sorgi, and equally effective).

ROUND 1

Summary

With the 27th overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, the Indianapolis Colts take:

Donald Brown, RB, UConn
Donald Brown, RB, UConn

Donald Brown, RB, UConn
(HT: 5'10" / WT: 210lbs / 40: 4.51s)

The Colts have a tendency to draft skill position players on the first day of the draft, and in the first round in particular. Thus, a RB selection isn't surprising. Polian has indicated that Brown was drafted not as Addai's replacement, but rather as Dom Rhodes' replacement (whom the Colts lost to free agency in the off-season). While the Colts have a young offensive line that led to much of the team's rushing problems in 2008, it is also clear that the Colts - like most of the teams in the league - are moving away from a feature-back system to a two-back system. Thus, the Colts need a solid back like Brown to fill that second-back role.

This pick addresses an obvious need (solid #2 running back) with a player who should be well-suited to the Colts' system, wasn't a reach, and saw the first-round pick used for a relatively safe RB selection.

ROUND 2

Summary

With the 51st overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, the Indianapolis Colts take:

Fili Moala
Fili Moala, DT, USC

Fili Moala, DT, USC
(HT: 6'4" / WT: 305 / 40: 5.16)

Note: The Colts traded their 61st pick in the second round along with their 5th round pick, for the 56th pick in the second round from the Dolphins.

The Colts gave up a fifth rounder to move up five spots in order to nab Moala - a solid DT that should fit perfectly into the Colts' defensive line. Moala's skills appear to be well-suited to a one-gap system such as the Colts'. Moala was knocked for being unable at times to shed double-teams in college; however, if he can draw double-teams with the Colts, then his job is already done, since if he is being double-teamed, then either Freeney or Mathis will be singled up on the ends. Moala provides a big, run-stuffing body on the interior line, and has a frame that could allow him to bulk up even more.

This pick also addresses an obvious need (beefing up the interior DL) with another player who should be well-suited to the Colts' system, and didn't cost the Colts much to trade up to get.

Round 3

Summary

With the 92nd overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, the Indianapolis Colts take:

Jerraud Powers, CB, Auburn
Jerraud Powers, CB, Auburn

Jerraud Powers, CB, Auburn
(HT: 5'9" / WT: 188lbs / 40: 4.49)

The Colts needed depth at corner, and Powers should be a good fit at nickel. Powers is possibly a project pick, but may prove to be an upgrade over Tim Jennings sooner rather than later.

Round 4

Summary

With the 127th overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, the Indianapolis Colts take:

Austin Collie, WR, BYU
Austin Collie, WR, BYU

Austin Collie, WR, BYU
(HT: 6'1" / WT: 200 / 40: 4.63)

With the departure of Marvin Harrison, the Colts needed depth at WR. The emergence of Gonzales last season as a legitimate outside receiver, coupled with the team's young, talented TE corps will give the Colts plenty of options in the 2 TE set. However, the Colts are at their best with a true slot-receiver option. Collie will fit in perfectly in that role, and could play immediately. Also, Collie could be used as a returner on special teams.

With the 136th overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, the Indianapolis Colts take:

Terrance Taylor, DT, Michigan
Terrance Taylor, DT, Michigan

Terrance Taylor, DT, Michigan
(HT: 6'0" / WT: 306lbs / 40: 5.39)

Note: compensatory pick

The Colts have had a long-standing need for stability on the interior defensive line, especially in running situations, and Taylor should be a player who can step in immediately and contribute. This pick resembles a typical Polian mid-rounder value pick, and should make Colts fans quite happy. Taylor and Moala appear to be direct responses to the Colts defense's glaring inability to get off of the field in short-yardage situations last season.

Round 6

Summary

With the 201st overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, the Indianapolis Colts take:

Curtis Painter, QB, Purdue
Curtis Painter, QB, Purdue

Curtis Painter, QB, Purdue
(HT: 6'3" / WT: 225lbs / 40: 4.87)

This pick is a prime example of Polian's draft philosophy of taking the best player available at the given pick. The Colts still have depth needs at LB, and need a punter, but Painter could at least challenge Jim Sorgi for clipboard duty behind Peyton Manning.

Round 7

Summary

With the 222nd overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, the Indianapolis Colts take:

Pat McAfee, K, West Virginia
Pat McAfee, K, West Virginia

Pat McAfee, K, West Virginia
(HT: 6'1" / WT: 221lbs / 40: 5.0)

(Note: The Colts traded their 2010 6th Round pick for the 222nd pick from PHI.)

The Colts needed a punter to replace Hunter Smith, whom the Colts lost to free agency. McAfee was both a punter and a place kicker at WVU, and showed ability both to force fair catches and to land punts inside the red zone. McAfee also has Hunter Smith's size and tackling ability, which has been important at times in the past for the Colts punt-coverage unit.

With the 236th overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, the Indianapolis Colts take:

Jaimie Thomas, OG, Maryland
Jaimie Thomas, OG, Maryland

Jaimie Thomas, OG, Maryland
(HT: 6'4" / WT: 323lbs / 40: 5.42)

The Colts add a value pick in the seventh-rounder Jaimie Thomas, who has shown good skill at left guard. Thomas is just the sort of late-round, low-risk pick that may very well shine under the tutelage of Howard Mudd.

2009 NFL Draft – Colts: Round 7

Filed in SportsTags: Colts, Draft, Indiana, Indianapolis, NFL

With the 222nd overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, the Indianapolis Colts take:

Pat McAfee, K, West Virginia
Pat McAfee, K, West Virginia

Pat McAfee, K, West Virginia
(HT: 6'1" / WT: 221lbs / 40: 5.0)

(Note: The Colts traded their 2010 6th Round pick for the 222nd pick from PHI.)

Analysis:

  • ESPN.com

    McAfee has excellent leg strength and accuracy; he was our top-rated place-kicker in this year's draft.

  • NFL.com

    Positives: Good, not great, leg strength. ... Can get 4.5-second hang-time on punts of 40 yards or longer to force fair catches. ... Capable of placing the ball inside the 10. ... Handles poor snaps. ... Strong last line of defense; has a stout build, can get the angle and is aggressive in tackling returners in the open field. ... Snaps his hips through the ball on placements, part of his soccer background. ... Holds a full follow-through after placements.

    Negatives: Has a slow three-step delivery (1.4 seconds) when not using a rugby style. ... Doesn't get a spiral or turn over most punts. ... His longer punts are limited in hang-time (around 4.3 seconds). ... Limited directional-kicking ability. ... Must get placement kicks in the air more quickly to prevent blocks. ... Missed two field goal tries of reasonable distance in the 2007 loss to Pittsburgh at home which cost WVU a shot at the national championship. ... Was not accurate from 40-plus yards before 2008, making only 11-of-25 attempts over his first three seasons. ... Most of his kickoffs do not reach the end zone; must sacrifice hang-time to get it there.

  • Fanhouse

    When teams start trading up for kickers, you know you're close to the end. McAfee has great leg strength, but is inconsistent. A dome might help.

  • NFL Draft Countdown

    Strengths:

    Excellent size and bulk...Has a very strong leg...Handles pressure pretty well...Serious and focused on the field...Intelligent...Can also kick off... Versatile and can punt in a pinch ...Team leader and captain.

    Weaknesses:

    Inconsistent...Not super accurate and missed his fair share of attempts...Had a major breakdown and missed two short field goals against Pitt in 2007...Needs to work on refining his mechanics and technique...Might be a bit of a jack-of-all-trades but a master of none.

With the 236th overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, the Indianapolis Colts take:

Jaimie Thomas, OG, Maryland
Jaimie Thomas, OG, Maryland

Jaimie Thomas, OG, Maryland
(HT: 6'4" / WT: 323lbs / 40: 5.42)

Analysis:

  • ESPN.com

    Thomas has a quick first step that helps him get in strong initial position. He lacks lower-body strength and could struggle to anchor against bigger interior defensive linemen.

  • NFL.com

    Positives: Good upper-body strength. ... A bit high with his hand placement, but keeps his feet chugging and can pop, turn and pancake his opponent to clear a hole. ... Good first-step quickness to get to the second level. ... Aggressive. ... Looks to hit someone and keeps his head on a swivel to help teammates when not covered up. ... Good effort downfield to block. ... Three-year starter.

    Negatives: Carries some unnecessary weight around the middle. ... Marginal lateral quickness. ... Struggles laterally in space, losing his balance when asked to make blocks in the open field or when helping with unexpected blitzes. ... Requires a medical check on right leg; missed half of the 2007 season due to a broken right fibula.

  • SI.com

    POSITIVES: Large, strong blocker who moves well on his feet. Displays footwork in space, shows above-average ability blocking in motion and gets movement run blocking. Quickly gets off the snap, drives defenders off the ball, and can adjust to linebackers on the second level. Effective position blocker who seals defenders from the action, and fights with his hands throughout the play.

    NEGATIVES: Inconsistent in his game, and stands to develop a nasty streak. Must improve his blocking balance. Has off-the-field issue that could raise flags.

    ANALYSIS: Thomas possesses outstanding size and has the ability to be a starter at the next level. He must iron out the rough edges of his game and show that he is willing to play hard for 60 minutes, but he offers a good degree of upside.

  • NFL Draft Countdown

    Strengths:

    Excellent height and bulk with long arms...Physical and aggressive...Is stout at the point...Gets a good push in the run game...Decent lateral agility...Strong hands...Great awareness...Good motor...Experienced.

    Weaknesses:

    Average athleticism and quickness...Is not real strong...Doesn't always play with proper leverage...Limited range...Struggles in space...Can improve his hand use...Conditioning issues...May lack a killer instinct.

  • Fox Sports

    Though physical and athletic, some scouts have noted that Thomas' lack of balance, particularly in the open field, could hurt him in the draft. Teams may also be hesitant to select him due to a broken right fibula that forced him to miss half of the 2007 season. However, Thomas could be an attractive selection for teams looking for a drive-blocking guard, as he excels at attacking in short areas and creating holes.

2009 NFL Draft – Colts: Round 6

Filed in SportsTags: Colts, Draft, Indiana, Indianapolis, NFL

With the 201st overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, the Indianapolis Colts take:

Curtis Painter, QB, Purdue
Curtis Painter, QB, Purdue

Curtis Painter, QB, Purdue
(HT: 6'3" / WT: 225lbs / 40: 4.87)

Analysis:

  • ESPN.com

    Painter has excellent size and a live arm to make all the NFL throws. However, he locks on to his No. 1 receiver too much and must do a better job with his overall decision making.

  • NFL.com

    Strengths: Good size and bulk for the position. Durable four-year starter from a system that produced starting NFL QBs Drew Brees (Saints) and Kyle Orton (Bears). Quick set up and delivery. Legitimate NFL arm strength and accuracy. Can make every NFL throw, showing the zip, touch and deep accuracy necessary to attack every level of the defense. When given time in the pocket, shows very good accuracy. Can hit the moving target, giving his receivers the opportunity to take advantage of their abilities to run after the catch. Not particularly athletic, but can roll out, square his shoulders and throw accurately on the move.

    Weaknesses: Struggles with pressure. Fails to feel the pocket collapsing around him and too often either absorbs hits or forces the ball into coverage. Will stare down his primary target and trusts his arm strength to put the ball into extraordinarily tight windows. Simply hasn't made the improvements throughout his career expected of a four-year starter. Has struggled in big-game situations. Missed time as a senior with a separated right shoulder that requires a medical check.

  • SI.com

    POSITIVES: Nice-sized passer with an erratic game. Patient in the pocket, displays a good knowledge where his receivers are on the field, and goes through receiver progressions. Displays zip on the short and intermediate passes. Gets outside the pocket and then makes the throw on the move. Stands in the pocket and takes a hit in order to get the ball away.

    NEGATIVES: Changes his point of release, which adversely affects his accuracy. Struggles hitting receivers in stride, scatters passes, and usually high of the mark when he tries to put extra zip on throws. Puts the ball up for grab and tosses the pass in to covered receivers. Holds the ball too long and gets antsy under the rush. Rarely came through in the big game for Purdue.

    ANALYSIS: After looking like an NFL prospect early in his Purdue career, Painter has struggled to capitalize the past two seasons. He possesses average arm strength, less-than- desirable accuracy, and makes poor decisions. Painter has the tools to work with, and he showed positive signs at the combine. He must get his game back on track and learn to play in a disciplined NFL passing system to have a career at the next level.

  • Fanhouse

    Bryan Hoyer has officially fallen off the draft's metaphorical cliff. Painter's a marginal prospect at best.

  • NFL Draft Countdown

    Strengths:

    Terrific height and bulk...Arm strength is more than adequate...Solid mechanics...Quick delivery...Good anticipation and timing...Has a lot of big-time experience...Very productive...Decent program pedigree.

    Weaknesses:

    Not a great athlete...Can be wildly inconsistent...Lacks great accuracy and touch...Makes too many bad decisions...Tends to stare down his targets...Isn't very mobile...Footwork will have to be tweaked...Did not play in a pro style offense..Leadership ability has been questioned.

  • Scout.com

    STRENGTHS: Pocket Awareness, Release, Size

    AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT: Accuracy / Consistency, Decision-making

    Painter has ideal size and possesses strong mechanics. He stands tall in the pocket and displays good awareness. He has a quick release and is accurate hitting his receivers in stride. He’s a tough competitor who buys time for his receivers and will stay in the pocket until the very last moment to complete a pass. He has the ability to escape the pocket and make throws on the run.

  • Fox Sports

    While Painter has good size for the position, possesses some speed, a legitimate arm and comes from the program that sent Drew Brees and Kyle Orton to the NFL, prospective teams could be scared off by the shoulder injury. In the right situation, and if his shoulder checks out, Painter could be a steal in the middle rounds.

  • Football's Future

    Strengths

    Painter is a very good pocket passer that has shown the ability to sling the football all over the field, racking up amazing numbers in the process. He has a strong frame and the toughness to sit in the pocket until his man gets open. Painter also shows a very good arm, and should not have any problems getting the ball to his receivers at the NFL level. He also has a knack for being able to elude the rush and buy time to make things happen.

    Weaknesses

    The big issue with Painter is the issue all Purdue QB’s face, and that is the system. It is favorable to posting very good stats for the QB, but more importantly, has the QB lining up in shotgun formation. Painter will need to learn to take the snap from under center, and learn to start reading the action dropping back instead of getting the ball in position to see the entire field. The progress he displayed as a junior was halted as a senior, where he looked more like he did during his first two years in the program. He was getting flustered in the pocket and forcing bad throws down the field.

    Future

    Painter was arguably the top senior QB entering the season but like his main competition for that title, Cullen Harper, he struggled. He took a step back and is now a late round pick at best. He has some tools to develop so someone may take a flyer on him but Painter has a tough road ahead of him and will have a long wait on draft day.

2009 NFL Draft – Colts: Round 4

Filed in SportsTags: Colts, Draft, Indiana, Indianapolis, NFL

With the 127th overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, the Indianapolis Colts take:

Austin Collie, WR, BYU
Austin Collie, WR, BYU

Austin Collie, WR, BYU
(HT: 6'1" / WT: 200 / 40: 4.63)

Analysis:

  • ESPN.com

    Collie runs precise routes and consistently creates separation coming out of his breaks. Combined that with his reliable hands and you have one of the better chain-moving wideouts in this year's class.

  • NFL.com

    Positives: Legitimate NFL build. Muscled up athlete. Faster on the field than his rather pedestrian 40-yard dash time would indicate. Good initial quickness off the snap. Good hand usage and lateral quickness to gain a quick release against press coverage. Sharp, savvy route-runner. Varies his speeds and can sink his hips to generate separation. Good burst laterally. Works his way back to the ball if he sees his quarterback in trouble. Soft hands. Snatches the ball out of the air and is quick to put it away. Can track over either shoulder. Good elusiveness to make the first defender miss and strength to run through arm tackles. Good vision and will cut it back inside. May lack elite deep speed, but good early acceleration. Averaged 26.5 yards per kick return from 2007-08.

    Negatives: Questionable deep speed to challenge over the top. Will be older than most NFL rookies (24) due to his LDS mission. Questionable level of competition. Statistics inflated due to BYU's scheme and defenses keying on TE Dennis Pitta.

  • SI.com

    POSITIVES: Reliable, sure-handed pass catcher with natural receiving skills. Quickly releases off the line, sells routes, and plays with excellent balance and body control. Makes good use of the sidelines, knows where he is on the field, and displays good focus at all times. Makes the reception running laterally without breaking stride, looks the ball into his hands, and quickly transitions from making the reception to running after the catch. Consistently extends and catches the ball away from his frame. Tough, fights to make the reception, and uses his frame to shield away opponents. Consistently finds the open spot in the defense, or follows the quarterback across the field to make himself an available target.

    NEGATIVES: Marginal speed and cannot separate from opponents down the field.

    ANALYSIS: Collie is an active receiver who displays outstanding pass-catching skills and football instincts. One of the more sure-handed receivers in this draft, he will be effective for a timing or West Coast offense that requires him to run a lot of underneath routes.

  • Fanhouse

    The prototypical Colts receiver -- good hands, great route-running, true passion for the game.

  • Yahoo Sports

    Collie lacks ideal athleticism, but he is a good route-runner who knows how to high point the ball and is a great fit in the Colts' offense.

  • NFL Draft Countdown

    Strengths:

    Very good height and bulk...Soft, reliable hands...Good focus and will make the spectacular catch...Excellent route runner...Nice ball skills and body control...More quick than fast...Tough...Good strength...Is not afraid to work in traffic...Intelligent...A hard worker...Productive.

    Weaknesses:

    Doesn't have the speed you look for...Isn't explosive...Won't get much separation...Isn't a vertical threat...Not real elusive...A bit older than the normal prospect..Has short arms..The product of a spread offense.

  • Scout.com

    STRENGTHS: Hands and Concentration, Route-Running Skills, Toughness

    AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT: Downfield Threat, Speed

    Collie is a physical receiver who plays much faster than his timed speed. He has good size and strength and gets a great release off the line. He’s a solid route runner who has tremendous hands. He’s aware of his surroundings and consistently finds openings within a defense. He’s not a burner, but is deceptively quick and has the ability to get vertical. He’s strong after the catch and doesn’t go down easily.

  • Fox Sports

    Plays faster than his 40-yard dash time. Makes up for lack of speed with soft hands, good vision and quickness. Uses his hands and agility to separate from press coverage. A smart route runner, often baiting defenders by starting his routes slower than usual. Good bulk, has the strength to run through arm tackles. Has some value on special teams.

With the 136th overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, the Indianapolis Colts take:

Terrance Taylor, DT, Michigan
Terrance Taylor, DT, Michigan

Terrance Taylor, DT, Michigan
(HT: 6'0" / WT: 306lbs / 40: 5.39)

Note: compensatory pick

Analysis:

  • ESPN.com

    Taylor possesses a squatty build that allows him to generate good leverage on the interior. However, he is a bit undersized and is going to have problems anchoring against double-teams at the NFL level.

  • NFL.com

    Positives: Prime NFL nose tackle candidate. ... Plays with good leverage, keeping his pad level low and square and getting his hands high and inside. ... Does not move much against double teams, holding his ground against the run. ... When fresh, he gets off the ball and pushes the center into the backfield to blow up inside runs. ... On occasion he can quickly knife through the A-gap to get pressure on the quarterback. ... Will chase downfield at times. ... Plays with a mean streak. ... Voted team captain in 2008.

    Negatives: Short and not in great shape. ... Does not shed blocks when straight-up on his man, but makes plays when lined up on the shoulder of the center or guard. ... Better conditioning could help him get off the ball and collapse the pocket consistently. ... Doesn't get his hands up often enough to break up passes. ... Exposed a bit at the East-West Shrine Game for being a bit of a one-trick pony. ... Makes piles in short-yardage situations but does not stay on his feet consistently enough to stop the runner.

  • SI.com

    POSITIVES: Strong, wide-bodied defensive lineman tough to move off the point. Built low to the ground, plays with leverage, and gets underneath opponents. Possesses a thick lower body, tough to handle on the inside, and holds his ground. Displays good first step quickness, fires through the gaps upfield or bulrushes opponents off the line. Constantly doubled or focused on by opponents.

    NEGATIVES: Inconsistent in his play and effort. Does not overwhelm lesser opponents, and too easily locked up at the point by a single blocker. At times seems intimidated on the field. Slow locating the ball. Must develop more moves with his hands.

    ANALYSIS: Taylor is a prospect who came into this season with high grades, and much was expected of him. Like many of his predecessors from Michigan, (Allan Branch and Gabe Watson) Taylor failed to deliver and is watching his draft stock tumble. He has the build and strength to handle the duties as an interior lineman or play nose tackle, yet he must start to play with a sense of urgency for 60 minutes or he'll be looking for a new line of work.

  • Yahoo Sports

    Taylor is a big, physical defensive lineman who can eat up blockers and clog run lanes. The Colts needed to add size inside and he certainly fits the need.

  • NFL Draft Countdown

    Strengths:

    Good bulk...Super strong...Plays with great leverage...Excellent run stuffer...Is able to occupy multiple blockers...Stout at the point of attack..Can collapse the pocket...Nice instincts and awareness...Tough and nasty...Durable...Has a lot of experience against top competition.

    Weaknesses:

    Short and squatty...Not much of a pass rusher...Has an inconsistent motor...Range is pretty limited...Doesn't pursue well...Struggles to get off blocks..Poor stamina...One-dimensional...Questionable work ethic.

  • Fox Sports

    Taylor is a prototypical, run-stopping defensive tackle. He takes up a lot of space in the middle of the line and almost always warrants a double team. He was a power lifter in high school, which prepared him well for the gridiron. If he's lined up off the shoulder of an interior lineman, he can shoot the gap and wreak havoc in the offensive backfield. Taylor needs work on his pass rush and may become a run-only type of defensive tackle in the NFL. If he is blocked straight up, he tends to not shed the block and lose his effectiveness. He does not tip many passes, and he also has trouble staying on his feet to make plays. Taylor is strong enough to possibly play nose tackle in a 3-4 defensive scheme, as he has a wide body and is tough to move. He has great football instincts and gets to the ball quickly. He will be a solid pick for a team that needs some beef in the middle of the defensive line.

  • Football's Future

    Strengths

    Taylor is a classic nose tackle. He is built low to the ground with a wide base, and is very difficult to move off the line of scrimmage. His thick build and natural strength allow him to hold his ground and clog running lanes. Taylor does supply some penetration ability because he does have some quickness. He comes off the snap quick, and once he is moving upfield he is difficult to stop because of his power and momentum he has built up.

    Weaknesses

    Although he has some quickness to slip into the backfield, Taylor is strictly a run stopper in the NFL. He will only fit teams that are looking for a nose tackle. His size suits him well at that spot but should limit him in any other role.

    Future

    Taylor is a very good run stopper and is going to make some team happy in April. He should be one of the top nose tackles available, and could hear his name called in the third round and provide a run stuffing boost to his new team.

2009 NFL Draft – Colts: Round 3

Filed in SportsTags: Colts, Draft, Indiana, Indianapolis, NFL

With the 92nd overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, the Indianapolis Colts take:

Jerraud Powers, CB, Auburn
Jerraud Powers, CB, Auburn

Jerraud Powers, CB, Auburn
(HT: 5'9" / WT: 188lbs / 40: 4.49)

Analysis:

  • ESPN.com

    Powers does a good job staying low in his backpedal and does an adequate, but not great, job of opening his hips when he's forced to turn and run. He's also strong enough to re-route receivers at the line of scrimmage, but he doesn't always play with enough of an edge.

  • NFL.com

    Positives: Short, but has a legitimate NFL build. ... At least adequate deep speed. ... Flashes an aggressive initial hand punch at the line of scrimmage. ... Good hip swivel to turn and run with receivers. ... Good agility and quickness out of his breaks to close on the ball. ... Peeks back at the quarterback and is willing to gamble. ... Can adjust his body in space to make the athletic interception. ... Rides receivers throughout the route and isn't intimidated by bigger receivers. ... Reliable open-field tackler who flashes some pop. ... Good agility to avoid blocks.

    Negatives: Might be too short to handle working on the outside. ... Good open-field tackler, who flashes some pop, but his physicality hasn't translated into forced fumbles. ... Can be too aggressive. ... Has a tendency to bite on the fake and lacks the elite burst to recover when beaten initially. ... Fought a nagging hamstring pull as a junior.

  • SI.com

    POSITIVES: Athletic cornerback rarely challenged by opposing signal callers. Fluid flipping his hips off the line, possesses a burst of speed, and displays a nice break to the throw. Works hard to get off blocks and comes up the field to defend running plays or screen passes. Strong at the point of attack.

    NEGATIVES: Very quick out of his backpedal. Just average height, which may cause matchup problems.

  • Fanhouse

    Not really spectacular at anything, Powers will rely on fitting into Indy's system more than blowing anyone away.

  • Yahoo Sports

    Powers is an immature corner, but possesses good ball skills and is comfortable in space. He is a nice fit in the Colts' Cover 2 scheme and does a nice job closing on the ball and playing the run.

  • NFL Draft Countdown

    Strengths:

    Above average athleticism...Okay speed...Quick with a burst...Smooth with fluid hips...Great hands and ball skills...Decent leaping ability...Is technically sound...Good footwork and uses his hands well...Physical and aggressive...Sufficient instincts and awareness...Solid production.

    Weaknesses:

    Does not have the ideal height or bulk that you look for...Isn't very strong...Not a great tackler...Struggles to get off blocks...Won't offer much in run support...Takes too many chances...Durability concerns.

2009 NFL Draft – Colts: Round 2

Filed in SportsTags: Colts, Draft, Indiana, Indianapolis, NFL

With the 56th overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, the Indianapolis Colts take:

Fili Moala
Fili Moala, DT, USC

Fili Moala, DT, USC
(HT: 6'4" / WT: 305 / 40: 5.16)

Note: The Colts traded their 61st pick in the second round along with their 5th round pick, for the 56th pick in the second round from the Dolphins.

Analysis:

  • ESPN.com

    Moala looks the part of an interior defensive lineman in a one-gap scheme. He's an excellent athlete who moves well laterally movement and can be effective getting down line in pursuit. However, he'll need to get stronger in order to consistently anchor against the double team on the interior.

  • NFL.com

    Positives: Moala lacks sudden closing speed, but shows good lateral quickness and above average footwork, along with the agility and balance to change direction and flow down the line. He is strong on the inside gap charge and can dominate with his hand swipes. He has a nice combination of power and quickness to stack and shed. Moala might lack sprinter's legs in pursuit, but shows good body control working in space. He is a normal-to-short strider who has a good short burst to gain penetration. He still looks lanky, despite being 300 pounds and has the frame to carry at least another 20-25 pounds of additional bulk. He is quick to recognize blocking schemes and locate the ball.

    Negatives: He needs to improve his overall strength and hand usage. He lacks the foot speed to make opposite field tackles, but shows relentlessness in his play and will make the second effort when his initial move fails. He just needs to play under better control, as he does get frustrated when stood up by the blockers, but that is his own fault, as he will get too tall at times and lose leverage. He will need to add bulk and strength to compete at the next level, but does respond well to hard coaching.

    Compares To: BARRY COFIELD, New York Giants -- Like Cofield, Moala can't be judged on personal statistics, but needs to be reviewed based on the success of the team because he is a classic mauler in the middle of the field. His constant double-team battles led to USC's linebackers having great success being freed to wreak havoc in the backfield. He is quick to get position, redirect and extend his arms to stalk, wrap and secure the ball carrier in run containment. He reminds a lot of the Cofield because of his lateral agility, change of direction and dominance when he slides down and plays over the center. He still needs some technique refinement, but if he can improve his overall strength base, he will be a solid supporting role player for a defense looking for someone to handle the inside trash.

  • SI.com

    POSITIVES: Athletic defensive lineman who displays the ability to force the action. Moves well on his feet, makes plays laterally, or knifes to the inside of blocks and gets penetration up the field. Displays an explosive first step off the snap, keeps his feet moving on contact, and shows a burst of closing speed. For the most part, plays with good lean and pad level.

    NEGATIVES: Must improve his hand technique and do a better job protecting himself. Occasionally plays tall and makes himself an easy target for blockers. More of a first move lineman who must beat blockers off the snap.

    ANALYSIS: Moala has flashed dominance the past three seasons, and he is a lineman who takes over games. He must improve the details of his position, add bulk to his frame, and develop more moves with his hands to have any chance of impacting at the next level. Moala could develop into a productive starter at the next level if the pieces fall into place.

  • Fanhouse

    The Colts wanted a guy to help anchor their defensive front, and Moala should help at least add depth up there.

  • Yahoo Sports

    Moala is an big, explosive interior lineman who will give the Colts some much-needed help inside. He possesses a good first step for his size and knows how to push the pocket, but really struggles moving laterally and wears out quickly.

  • NFL Draft Countdown

    Strengths:

    Excellent athleticism...Very quick and agile...Good speed...Adequate size with long arms...Has a big frame with room to grow...Active and does a nice job in pursuit...Good range and mobility...Can penetrate and slice into the backfield...Productive pass rusher...Decent instincts and awareness...Versatile...Good bloodlines...Great program pedigree.

    Weaknesses:

    Inconsistent and disappears for stretches...Plays too tall at times and doesn't always use good leverage...Has some trouble getting off blocks...Does not use his hands well...Needs to get stronger...Is not overly stout at the point...Some minor durability and character issues.

  • Scout.com

    STRENGTHS: Athleticism, Hand Quickness, Size

    AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT: Pass Rushing Skills, Techniques and Moves

    Moala is a versatile defensive lineman who can play inside or outside, depending on the scheme. He has a great frame and could add more bulk, but he’s a strong performer. He’s quick off the line and uses his hands extremely well. He’s durable, plays with a high motor and gives maximum effort. He’s not a pass rusher and lacks explosion. He plays too high and doesn’t play with leverage.

  • Fox Sports

    Successfully capped his career with the Trojans by earning AP All-American third- team honors. Moala offers rare size, strength and surprising effort downfield. Originally signed with USC out of high school in 2003, but Moala did not qualify academically and instead attended Cypress Junior College, before transferring back to USC in 2004. Was since a consistent member of the Trojans' defensive line rotation, starting every game for the Trojans over the past two seasons, and 38 games overall. A more valuable contributor than his yearly average production (26 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss and 3.0 sacks) would indicate, Moala isn't going to fill the stat sheet, but his presence inside forced opponents to double-team him often, opening up opportunities for his playmaking teammates.

  • Football's Future

    Strengths

    Moala is a solid all around tackle, having the ability to impact the game in a variety of ways. He has a great frame, with the room to get bigger and stronger. He plays with good leverage, and shows the ability to hold his ground at the point of attack and clog running lanes. Moala also shows the burst off the ball to get into the backfield to disrupt the action. He flashes a mean streak on the field and can be unblockable when he does.

    Weaknesses

    Moala has had some success and has had a lot of talent around him on the defensive line while at USC, but has never dominated at any point. He doesn’t toss lineman around to make the tackle, and he isn’t going to blow through the interior line of every snap to be a major disruption. He does have a tendency to get complacent on the field which causes him to disappear at times, so he will need work on playing with a more consistent motor on the field.

    Future

    Fili Moala is a good defensive tackle that can do a few things very well, but does not dominate in any one aspect. He was a victim of the hype machine, entering the year as a top ten pick on many boards. That type of hype was unwarranted, and led to a lot of people labeling him overrated. He is a solid prospect and his potential would make him a very good second round selection.

2009 NFL Draft – Colts: Round 1

Filed in SportsTags: Colts, Draft, Indiana, Indianapolis, NFL

With the 27th overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, the Indianapolis Colts take:

Donald Brown, RB, UConn
Donald Brown, RB, UConn

Donald Brown, RB, UConn
(HT: 5'10" / WT: 210lbs / 40: 4.51s)

Analysis:

  • ESPN.com

    There's a fine line between patience and hesitation for running backs and Brown does an excellent job of straddling that line. He reads his blocks extremely well, hits holes as they open and reads the flow of defenses well. There are some questions about his pass-catching ability but we believe he's going to develop into an excellent receiver, especially after watching him catch and track the ball during UConn's pro day.

  • NFL.com

    The elusive runner from Connecticut has outstanding speed, quickness and vision. He excels at running between the tackles and is an ideal fit in the Colts' zone-based running game. With Joseph Addai suffering from durability issues, Brown could blossom as a rotational player.

  • SI.com

    POSITIVES: Well rounded ball carrier with a versatile game. Displays outstanding vision, ball carrying instincts and patience. Waits for blocks to develop, immediately finds the running lanes and displays terrific open field running skills. Creates his own yardage, makes defenders miss and displays terrific footwork with the ability to sidestep or avoid piles. Runs with a compact style, outstanding balance, body control and tough to knock off his feet. Flashes power on the inside with the ability to breaks several tackles and pick up yardage off initial contact. Effectively uses a straight arm to keep plays alive and shows the ability to pick up the tough yardage. Easily turns the corner, cuts back against the grain and loses little momentum when he must immediately alter his running angle. Solid pass catcher out of the backfield.

    NEGATIVES: Never really carried the load until his junior season. May not have the size or ability to be used as a short yardage runner in the NFL.

    ANALYSIS: Brown has been very productive in college showing steady progress and an all-around game. He can be used in a variety of systems at the next level and his versatility makes it difficult to characterize him as a specific type of ball carrier. He may start his career as a rotational running back yet could quickly grow into a teams prime ball carrier.

    PROJECTION: Second/Third Round

  • Fanhouse

    Maualuga and Ziggy Hood are still on the board, but Bill Polian thinks enough of Brown to take him here. The former UConn star had a great Senior Bowl, and the Colts have a pretty good track record with first-round picks.

  • Yahoo Sports

    Colts RB Joseph Addai has struggled staying healthy of late and Brown makes some sense here. Brown does a nice job attacking the line of scrimmage and catching the ball out of the backfield. However, I still think the Colts would have been better served going with a DT like Ziggy Hood.

  • NFL Draft Countdown

    Strengths:

    Natural runner with great vision and instincts...Very patient...Terrific balance...Excellent feet and is elusive in the hole...Quick through the line...Shifty with some wiggle...Moves well laterally...Has the ability to break tackles...Soft hands and a good receiver out of the backfield...Is intelligent with great awareness...Made a lot of big plays...Proved he could be a workhorse...Hard worker with top intangibles...Productive.

    Weaknesses:

    Just average size and bulk with a maxed out frame...Not a blazer and isn't going to run away from people in the pros...Isn't real strong or powerful...Not a great short-yardage runner...Not overly elusive in space... Has room to improve as a blocker ...Only one year as a starter.

  • Scout.com

    STRENGTHS: Elusiveness, Power, Tackle-Breaking Ability

    AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT: Blocking Ability

    Brown is a strong, compact runner who’s tough between the tackles. He has the ability to get on the edge, but he’s at his best running North-South. He’s quick through the hole, shifty in the open field and has the quickness to be elusive in the open field. He has great vision and balance and falls forward when being tackled. He has good hands out of the backfield, but has to work on his blocking.

  • Fox Sports

    Positives: Compact build. Runs with a low center of gravity. Good speed to and through the hole. Best attributes might be his vision and stop-and-start ability. Shifty runner who can slide in and out of the hole at the point of attack and hit the seam before it really opens. Deceptively fast once he gets to the second level. Good balance to appear to lean one way to deceive the oncoming safety, only to bounce the other. At least adequate straight-line speed to gain yardage in chunks. Soft hands out of the backfield and an alert receiver. High effort player.

    Negatives: A bit narrow in his shoulders and might lack the frame to add much weight. Might lack the bulk and leg drive to be a true bell-cow runner at the NFL level. Lacks elite speed to breakaway from NFL defenders. Marginal size and strength as a pass blocker. Struggles of past Connecticut backs to translate their collegiate success to the NFL will force some teams to pause on draft day, especially considering the role left tackle William Beatty -- himself a first-day prospect -- had on Brown's success.

  • Football's Future

    Strengths

    Brown is a well rounded back that can a bit of everything. He has good quickness to and through the hole, and the speed to break off big runs when in space. He is elusive and can make defenders miss, and quickly get up the field. Brown runs bigger than his size indicates, as he is a tough kid that will fight for extra yards at the end of the run. He has shown the ability to carry the load and continue to pick up yardage later in games. Brown has also shown some potential as a receiver, and even has experience returning kicks in college.

    Weaknesses

    While Brown is a solid all around back, he doesn’t standout physically in any area. He has average size, which could bring about some questions about how well he can handle carrying the ball inside on a full time basis. He also may lack the true blazing speed to consistently hit the corner and run away from defenders.

    Future

    Brown is a very solid prospect and appears to have everything it takes to be a productive pro running back. He had an excellent all around combine performance, and elevated his stock into the top 50 of the draft. Brown was among the leaders in pretty much every category, but the 4.51 40 and 41.5 inch vertical are the numbers that truly stood out for him. Brown has improved his stock, and could possibly be the third back selected in the draft.

A Critical Look at the DHS Report on Rightwing Extremism

Filed in Politics, Social IssuesTags: Constitutional Rights, Democrats, Military, Republicans, War on Terror

I know I'm a few days late in responding to this story, but it has taken me a while to put my response together.

Mere weeks after the MIAC terrorism report came to light (and was subsequently rescinded due to public outrage), The Liberty Papers and Roger Hedgecock broke the story about an eerily similar report out of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, titled Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment (PDF report from Michelle Malkin).

Generally speaking, the issues with the Rightwing Report, which the DHS has confirmed and stands behind, can be grouped as follows:

  1. Overly broad definition of "rightwing extremism" (RWE) that conflates right-wing ideology/socio-political views with extremism/violence (i.e. MIAC II)
  2. Failure to identify RWE groups or individuals, identify any evidence of risk of impending rightwing extremist violence, or specify/quantify assessments
  3. Downplaying the differentiation between mainstream rightwing groups and lone wolf fringe extremists, and the relative risk of each
  4. Conflation of militia movement with extremism/voilence (i.e. MIAC II)
  5. Conflation of disagreement with liberal policy changes with racism
  6. Conflation of racism (and anti-semitism) and "rightwing extremism"
  7. Conflation of racist beliefs with anti-government beliefs
  8. Conflation of economic downturn/poverty with rightwing radicalization
  9. Failure to cite sources for assessments/assertions

Each of these points will be addressed at length, below.

Very quickly, the story exploded on the right, including Michelle Malkin, Red State (including Moe Lane, Warner Todd Huston, and Hogan), WorldNetDaily, The Anchoress, Legal Insurrection, HotAir, and PowerLine (to whose post I will return shortly).

The outrage hasn't been limited to the blogosphere. This Ain't Hell, Michelle Malkin, and Gateway Pundit reported on the American Legion's response to the report's implications toward returning military veterans. Likewise, Michelle Malkin and RedState (including Warner Todd Huston and E Pluribus Unum) report that seven U.S. Senators have sent a letter to Janet Napolitano demanding that she produce the evidence used as the basis for the report. Also, Designated Conservative reports that the Thomas More Law Center has filed a request with the DHS challenging the report.

Apparently, though, some don't seem to understand the problem. Charles Johnson of LGF has deemed outrage at the report to be the stuff of the "black helicopter" crowd. Informed Speculation (the erstwhile Decision '08) fails to understand the indignation. Strata-sphere calls the response "hemming and hawing", and "shrillness." Likewise, "moderates" are dismissing the outrage.

The primary argument of those who dismiss this outrage is that DHS has issued similar reports regarding leftwing extremism. The secondary argument appears to be that DHS should be concerned with potential acts of violence, whether they originate from the left or from the right. The final - and most particularly asinine - argument is that the report originated with the Bush Administration.

(Ed Morrissey and Michelle Malkin smack down the latter argument. Napolitano was in such a hurry to get the report out that she failed to address internal civil liberties concerns regarding wording of the report's definition of "rightwing extremism.")

Since the story first broke, the Leftwing Extremism report has surfaced: Leftwing Extremists Likely to Increase Use of Cyber Attacks over the Coming Decade (PDF report from FOX News). Unfortunately, the Leftwing Extremism report in no way resembles the Rightwing Extremism report, as I will address shortly. Also, a reading of the two reports provides the response to the latter argument. Real, hard evidence of past and continued leftwing extremist violence exists and provides the basis and support for the Leftwing Extremism report; however, baseless conjecture provides the basis and support for the Rightwing Extremism report, which even states that no evidence whatsoever exists that rightwing extremist violence represents a current threat.

(Note: The Rightwing Extremism report was prepared by the Extremism and Radicalization Branch, Homeland Environment Threat Analysis Division and coordinated with the FBI. The Leftwing Extremism report was prepared by the Strategic Analysis Group, Homeland Environment and Threat Analysis Division.)

Rather than the mere existence of a Leftwing Extremism report quelling the expressed concern regarding the Rightwing Extremism report, a reading of the Leftwing Extremism report actually confirms much of that concern:

First, the Leftwing Extremism report provides a very narrowly focused definition of leftwing extremism, including in the definition not just ideology but also that such extremists display a willingness to violate the law to acheive their objectives.

Second, the Leftwing Extremism report specifically names the extremist groups to which the report applies. The report differentiates between animal/environmental rights extremists and anarchist extremists. The report lists by name such animal/environmental groups as Animal Liberation Front, Earth Liberation Front, Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty, elements of Animal Defense League, and Earth First; and such anarchist groups as Crimethinc, the Ruckus Society, and Recreate 68.

Note: oddly, the report includes not merely "anti-government" but also the following ideologies under "anarchist": anticapitalist, antiglobalization, communist, and socialist, anti-Western-government, and anti-large-business. Regardless of the "anarchist" designation for these ideologies, the report - rightly so - includes them as leftwing (further putting the lie to the Rightwing Extremism report that attempts to lump some of these ideologies under rightwing extremism).

Rather than imagining some perceived risk or threat of violence where no supporting evidence exists, the report identifies concrete examples of recent leftwing extremist violence, and bases its assessments on those examples.

Third, rather than implying that all ideologically similar groups fall under the extremist definition, the report clearly states in its definition of Leftwing Extremists that these such groups tend to be composed of lone wolves, small cells, and splinter groups, rather than being hierarchally organized.

Fourth, the Leftwing Extremism report provides a source summary statement, explaining its methodology and sourcing of information from which the report's assessments are derived.

Each of these points is in direct, stark contrast with the Rightwing Extremism report, as I will explain. (Related: Jonah Goldberg posts quite a few reader comments making similar points comparing and contrasting the two reports.

The critical point that the nay-sayers appear to be missing is that such a report has consequences. Already, (via Liberty Papers) the report has led to tea party protesters in southern Maryland being labeled as a potential concern. And as the NRO Corner points out, the report is part of a pattern for Obama.

Now, on to the report itself. Here are my issues with the report, point by point.

#1 Overly broad definition of "rightwing extremism" (RWE) that conflates right-wing ideology/socio-political views with extremism/violence (i.e. MIAC II)

Unlike the Leftwing Extremism report, which differentiated between ideology and proclivity toward acts of violence, the Rightwing Extremism report makes no such differentiation.

A footnote on page 2 of 9 of the report provides the report's definition of "rightwing extremism":

Rightwing extremism in the United States can be broadly divided into those groups, movements, and adherents that are primarily hate-oriented (based on hatred of particular religious, racial or ethnic groups), and those that are mainly antigovernment, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority, or rejecting government authority entirely. It may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration.

This definition of "rightwing extremism" is the foundation for the report, and the assessments made thereafter reflect this foundation - including its inherent problems and incorrect conflations. Both this definition and the report itself incorrectly conflate racism (including anti-semitism) with rightwing extremism, racist beliefs with anti-government beliefs, the militia movement with extremism/violence, right-wing ideology/socio-political views with extremism/violence, and disagreement with liberal policy changes with racism. In so doing, both this definition and the report itself fail to identify RWE groups or individuals and fail to offer any specification or quantification of the assessments made.

Later, having implicated the "militia movement" and white supremacists as falling within its definition of "rightwing extremists", the report identifies the ideological issues of these entities. Under Revisiting the 1990s on page 4 of 9 of the report:

Paralleling the current national climate, rightwing extremists during the 1990s exploited a variety of social issues and political themes to increase group visibility and recruit new members. Prominent among these themes were the militia movement's opposition to gun control efforts, criticism of free trade agreements (particularly those with Mexico), and highlighting perceived government infringement on civil liberties as well as white supremacists' longstanding exploitation of social issues such as abortion, inter-racial crimes, and same-sex marriage.

The report's definition of RWE also includes the following:

Rightwing extremism in the United States ...may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration.

Of course, the report takes a page from the MIAC report - and typical liberal obfuscation - by claiming rightwing opposition to "immigration", when in fact rightwing ideology is opposed not to immigration but rather to illegal immigration. Opposition to illegal immigration is generally a rightwing issue; however, xenophobia - which is far more likely to lead to anti-immigrant (illegal or otherwise) violence - is by no means a rightwing ideology.

Anti-abortionism is clearly a rightwing ideology, and abortion clinic bombing and other similar acts of violence are rightly considered to be rightwing extremism. Oddly, the report neither discusses the past trends in, nor assesses the future risk of, such anti-abortion extremism.

Thus, putting together all of the above, all of the following ideologies are included as potentially related to "rightwing extremism":

  • hatred of particular religious, racial or ethnic groups
  • antigovernment
    • rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority
    • rejecting government authority entirely
  • abortion
  • (illegal) immigration
  • opposition to gun control efforts
  • criticism of free trade agreements (particularly those with Mexico)
  • "perceived" government infringement on civil liberties
  • inter-racial crimes
  • and same-sex marriage.

This definition of "rightwing extremism" is so overly broad that it actually includes leftwing ideology. The report frequently references and discusses racism and white supremacists; however, white supremacists (National Socialists, Aryan Nation, etc.) generally adhere to socialist - i.e. leftwing - ideology. Likewise, most criticism of free trade agreements has come from not from the right but rather from the left.

Worse, having made an overly broad definition of "rightwing extremism", the report later asserts that "rightwing extremists" are, as a group, mutually exclusive from "law-abiding Americans". On page 6 of 9, under Judicial Drivers, the report states:

Open source reporting of wartime ammunition shortages has likely spurred rightwing extremists - as well as law-abiding Americans - to make bulk purchases of ammunition. These shortages have increased the cost of ammunition, further exacerbating rightwing extremist paranoia and leading to further stockpiling activity. Both rightwing extremists and law-abiding citizens share a belief that rising crime rates attributed to a slumping economy make the purchase of legitimate firearms a wise move at this time.

Not once, but twice in the same paragraph, the report indicates that "rightwing extremists" are not law-abiding Americans.

Whether intentional or unintentional, the implication being made by the report is unmistakable: rightwing extremism is defined by ideology devoid of proclivity toward violence, and rightwing extremists are by definition not law-abiding citizens.

#2 Failure to identify RWE groups or individuals, identify evidence of risk of impending rightwing extremism violence, or specify/quantify assessments

Unlike the Leftwing Extremism report, which explicitly names the leftwing groups to which the report applies, the Rightwing Extremism report fails to identify any rightwing groups explicitly. Further, unlike the Leftwing Extremism report, which identifies explicit acts of violence committed by leftwing extremists (as well as communications indicating intent to continue such acts) and bases its assessments on those acts, the Rightwing Extremism report indicates that no evidence exists that rightwing extremists are intending to commit any acts of violence - and then proceeds to assert baseless speculation of an increased risk of rightwing extremists committing acts of violence. The Rightwing Extremism report consistently references "extremist groups" and "militia members", but likewise consistently fails to identify any such groups or militias by name. The report identifies only two entities by name: Timothy McVeigh, and Christian Identity.

On page 2 of 9, under Key Findings, the report states:

The DHS/Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A) has no specific information that domestic rightwing terrorists are currently planning acts of violence, but rightwing extremists may be gaining new recruits by playing on their fears about several emergent issues.

The report asserts that "rightwing extremists" may be gaining new recruits, but fails to identify any such groups. Nor does the report offer any statistics on increase in numbers of recruits.

The first bullet point under this paragraph indicates:

Threats from white supremacist and violent antigovernment groups during 2009 have been largely rhetorical and have not indicated plans to carry out violent acts.

Again, the report apparently has some specific knowledge of some sort of rhetoric, yet fails to identify the groups for which this rhetoric is known.

The second bullet point makes a similar assertion:

Rightwing extremists have capitalized on the election of the first African American president, and are focusing their efforts to recruit new members, mobilize existing supporters, and broaden their scope and appeal through propaganda, but they have not yet turned to attack planning.

Once again, the report apparently has some specific knowledge of some groups capitalizing on the election of the first African American president, yet fails to identify any such groups.

On page 3 of 9, under Exploiting Economic Downturn, the report states:

Rightwing extremist chatter on the Internet continues to focus on the economy, the perceived loss of U.S. jobs in the manufacturing and construction sectors, and home foreclosures.

Again, the report apparently has some specific knowledge of extremist Internet "chatter", yet fails to identify the source of or the groups participating in such chatter.

On the same page, under Historic Presidential Election, the report states:

Rightwing extremists are harnessing this historical election as a recruitment tool. Many rightwing extremists are antagonistic toward the new presidential administration and its perceived stance on a range of issues, including immigration and citizenship, the expansion of social programs to minorities, and restrictions on firearms ownership and use. Rightwing extremists are increasingly galvanized by these concerns and leverage them as drivers for recruitment. From the 2008 election timeframe to the present, rightwing extremists have capitalized on related racial and political prejudices in expanded propaganda campaigns, thereby reaching out to a wider audience of potential sympathizers.

Again, the report apparently has some specific knowledge of RWEs harnessing the election as a recruitment tool, yet fails to identify any such groups. Nor does the report offer any statistics on increase in numbers of recruits.

The subsequent bullet point states:

Most statements by rightwing extremists have been rhetorical, expressing concerns about the election of the first African American president, but stopping short of calls for violent action.

Again, the report apparently has some specific knowledge of some sort of rhetoric, yet fails to identify the groups for which this rhetoric is known.

The bullet point continues:

In two instances in the run-up to the election, extremists appeared to be in the early planning stages of some threatening activity targeting the Democratic nominee, but law enforcement interceded.

And again, the report references specific incidents, yet fails to identify the involved parties (much less, any group to which they may have belonged).

On page 5 of 9, under Illegal Immigration, the report states:

Over the past five years, various rightwing extremists, including militias and white supremacists, have adopted the immigration issue as a call to action, rallying point, and recruiting tool.

Again, the report apparently has some specific knowledge of militias and white supremacists adopting the illegal immigration issue, yet fails to identify any such groups. Nor does the report offer any statistics on increase in numbers of recruits.

On page 5 of 9, under Legislation and Judicial Drivers, the report states:

Many rightwing extremist groups perceive recent gun control legislation as a threat to their right to bear arms and in response have increased weapons and ammunition stockpiling, as well as renewed participation in paramilitary training exercises.

Once again, the report apparently has some specific knowledge of groups increasing weapons and ammunition stockpiling and renewing participation in paramilitary training exercises, yet fails to identify any such groups. Nor does the report offer any statistics on increase weapons/ammunition stockpiling.

The report offers the same treatment of so-called disgruntled military veterans; however, this discussion is addressed previously and not repeated here.

On page 8 of 9, under Outlook, the report states:

  • Following the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah federal building in Oklahoma City, the militia movement declined in total membership and in the number of organized groups because many members distanced themselves from the movement as a result of the intense scrutiny militias received after the bombing.
  • Militia membership continued to decline after the turn of the millennium as a result of law enforcement disruptions of multiple terrorist plots linked to violent rightwing extremists, new legislation banning paramilitary training, and militia frustration that the "revolution" never materialized.
  • Although the U.S. economy experienced a significant recovery and many perceived a concomitant rise in U.S. standing in the world, white supremacist groups continued to experience slight growth.

And once again, the report apparently has some specific knowledge of a decline in number of militia groups as well as a decrease in militia group membership rolls, yet fails to identify the groups or offer any statistics on that decline. Likewise, the report offers no statistics on the asserted slight growth in white supremacist groups and fails to identify those groups. Perhaps most interestingly, the report asserts both that militia membership has been in decline for more than a decade, and may now be increasing - yet offers no statistics whatsoever to support either assertion.

#3 Downplaying the differentiation between mainstream rightwing groups and lone wolf fringe extremists, and the relative risk of each

The report consistently references (and maligns) militias as "rightwing extremist" groups, and associates a risk of potential violence with such groups; however, the report downplays its conclusion that the greatest risk comes not from militia groups, but rather from "lone wolves" and "small terrorist cells". Even worse, the report actually concludes that the greatest risk comes not from militia members at all, but rather from white supremacists.

From a sidebar titled Lone Wolves and Small Terrorist Cells on page 7 of 9, the report states:

DHS/I&A assesses that lone wolves and small terrorist cells embracing violent rightwing extremist ideology are the most dangerous domestic terrorism threat in the United States. Information from law enforcement and nongovernmental organizations indicates lone wolves and small terrorist cells have shown intent - and, in some cases, the capability - to commit violent acts.

  • DHS/I&A has concluded that white supremacist lone wolves pose the most significant domestic terrorist threat because of their low profile and autonomy - separate from any formalized group - which hampers warning efforts.
  • Similarly, recent state and municipal law enforcement reporting has warned of the dangers of rightwing extremists embracing the tactics of "leaderless resistance" and of lone wolves carrying out acts of violence.
  • Arrests in the past several years of radical militia members in Alabama, Arkansas, and Pennsylvania on firearms, explosives, and other related violations indicates the emergence of small, well-armed extremist groups in some rural areas.

On the same page, under Disgruntled Military Veterans, the report conflates the risk of lone wolves and small terrorist cells with militias:

[Returning veterans' military training and combat] skills and knowledge have the potential to boost the capabilities of extremists - including lone wolves or small terrorist cells - to carry out violence. The willingness of a small percentage of military personnel to join extremist groups during the 1990s because they were disgruntled, disillusioned, or suffering from the psychological effects of war is being replicated today.

If the real threat comes from lone wolves and small terrorist cells, why does so much of the report focus on the militia movement and militia groups - groups that have repeatedly and consistently repudiated the extremist viewpoints and ideologies of those lone wolves and cell groups?

#4 Conflation of militia movement with extremism/voilence (i.e. MIAC II)

In a near carbon-copy of the MIAC report, the DHS report conflates militias and the militia movement with extremism and violence. Going even further, the report implies that militias are part of the "domestic rightwing terrorist and extremist groups" designation. To wit, on page 2 of 9, under Key Findings, the report indicates:

The current economic and political climate has some similarities to the 1990s when rightwing extremism experienced a resurgence fueled largely by an economic recession, criticism about the outsourcing of jobs, and the perceived threat to U.S. power and sovereignty by other foreign powers.

  • During the 1990s, these issues contributed to the growth in the number of domestic rightwing terrorist and extremist groups and an increase in violent acts targeting government facilities, law enforcement officers, banks, and infrastructure sectors.
  • Growth of these groups subsided in reaction to increased government scrutiny as a result of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing and disrupted plots, improvements in the economy, and the continued U.S. standing as the preeminent world power.

This assessment under Key Findings does not specifically address or identify militias; however, the Key Findings section is a summary of findings that are further discussed and elaborated in the rest of the report. Compare that summary statement with the following assessment found on page 8 of 9 of the report, under Outlook:

A number of law enforcement actions and external factors were effective in limiting the militia movement during the 1990s and could be utilized in today's climate.

  • Following the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah federal building in Oklahoma City, the militia movement declined in total membership and in the number of organized groups because many members distanced themselves from the movement as a result of the intense scrutiny militias received after the bombing.
  • Militia membership continued to decline after the turn of the millennium as a result of law enforcement disruptions of multiple terrorist plots linked to violent rightwing extremists, new legislation banning paramilitary training, and militia frustration that the "revolution" never materialized.

Comparing these two assessments clearly indicates that the report is implying that DHS considers the "militia movement" as (at least part of) the "domestic rightwing terroriswt and extremist groups" that saw a decline in membership as a result of increased government scrutiny following the bombing of the Oklahoma City Federal Building bombing.

Having established this implication, the report then uses the possible correlation of issues of concern in order to conflate even further militias and extremism/violence. Under Revisiting the 1990s on page 4 of 9 of the report:

Paralleling the current national climate, rightwing extremists during the 1990s exploited a variety of social issues and political themes to increase group visibility and recruit new members. Prominent among these themes were the militia movement's opposition to gun control efforts, criticism of free trade agreements (particularly those with Mexico), and highlighting perceived government infringement on civil liberties as well as white supremacists' longstanding exploitation of social issues such as abortion, inter-racial crimes, and same-sex marriage. During the 1990s, these issues contributed to the growth in the number of domestic rightwing terrorist and extremist groups and an increase in violent acts targeting government facilities, law enforcement officers, banks,and infrastructure sectors.

The report asserts that, somehow, the militia's issues of concern (gun control, free trade agreements, government infringement of civil liberties) relate to white supremacists' issues (abortion, inter-racial crimes, same-sex marriage - though why abortion and same-sex marriage would be issues for white supremacists I have no idea). Having made this assertion, the report then makes the blanket statement that "these issues contributed to the growth in number of domestic rightwing terrorist and extremist groups and an increase in violent acts targeting government facilities, law enforcement officers, banks, and infrastructure sectors."

Lest any pretense remain, the report then directly calls militias "rightwing extremists." Under Illegal Immigration on page 5 of 9 of the report:

Over the past five years, various rightwing extremists, including militias and white supremacists, have adopted the immigration issue as a call to action, rallying point, and recruiting tool.

And again, under Outlook on page 8 of 9:

DHS/I&A assesses that the combination of environmental factors that echo the 1990s, ...as well as several new trends, ...may be invigorating rightwing extremist activity, specifically the white supremacist and militia movements.

Having thus grouped militias (as a whole) under the "rightwing extremist" designation, the report then attempts to correlate militia membership with violence/extremism. Under the same Illegal Immigration section, the report lists three examples of violence directed toward illegal immigrants, two of which involve militia members:

  • In April 2007, six militia members were arrested for various weapons and explosives violations. Open source reporting alleged that those arrested had discussed and conducted surveillance for a machinegun attack on Hispanics.
  • A militia member in Wyoming was arrested in February 2007 after communicating his plans to travel to the Mexican border to kill immigrants crossing into the United States.

The problem, of course, is that (once again) the report fails to demonstrate an understanding of the principle that correlation does not prove causation. As with the MIAC report, the DHS report fails to address whether or not the militias of which these criminals were members sponsored or condoned their criminal actions. Further, the report fails to indicate that such occurrences are not the norm, but rather the extreme exception for militias and militia members. Oh, and JustOneMinute (h/t Transterrestrial Musings) uses some "open source reporting" of his own to debunk both points.

The report goes on to conflate further the actions of fringe extremists with militias. On page 6 of 9, under Perceived Threat from Rise of Other Countries, the report indicates:

  • Fear of Communist regimes and related conspiracy theories characterizing the U.S. Government's role as either complicit in a foreign invasion or acquiescing as part of a "One World Government" plan inspired extremist members of the militia movement to target government and military facilities in past years.
  • Law enforcement in 1996 arrested three rightwing militia members in Battle Creek, Michigan with pipe bombs, automatic weapons, and military ordnance that they planned to use in attacks on nearby military and federal facilities and infrastructure targets.

(Note that the first bullet point includes the report's only reference thus far to a potential differentiation between militias and extremists.)

Once more, in a sidebar titled "Lone Wolves and Small Terrorist Cells" on page 7 of 9 of the report:

Arrests in the past several years of radical militia members in Alabama, Arkansas, and Pennsylvania on firearms, explosives, and other related violations indicates the emergence of small, well-armed extremist groups in some rural areas.

Again, in all cases, the report still gives no indication of whether or not any militia sponsored or condoned such extremist activities.

However, perhaps the most insulting assertion in the report's conflation of militias with extremism and violence is the report's association with military veterans with extremism and violence. On page 7 of 9, under Disgruntled Military Veterans, the report states:

DHS/I&A assesses that rightwing extremists will attempt to recruit and radicalize returning veterans in order to exploit their skills and knowledge derived from military training and combat. These skills and knowledge have the potential to boost the capabilities of extremists - including lone wolves or small terrorist cells - to carry out violence. The willingness of a small percentage of military personnel to join extremist groups during the 1990s because they were disgruntled, disillusioned, or suffering from the psychological effects of war is being replicated today.

  • After Operation Desert Shield/Storm in 1990-1991, some returning military veterans - including Timothy McVeigh - joined or associated with rightwing extremist groups.
  • A prominent civil rights organization reported in 2006 that "large numbers of potentially violent neo-Nazis, skinheads, and other white supremacists are now learning the art of warfare in the [U.S.] armed forces."
  • The FBI noted in a 2008 report on the white supremacist movement that some returning military veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have joined extremist groups.

Allow me to digress for a moment, on the matter of Timothy McVeigh. McVeigh - rightly so - is the poster child for extremist violence and domestic terrorism. He is not, however, an example of rightwing extremism. Timothy McVeigh associated primarily with neo-Nazis. The book that influenced his bombing, The Turner Diaries, was written by a neo-Nazi. Neo-Nazis - that is, National Socialists - are leftwing, not rightwing. Socialism is a leftwing ideology (an issue that I will address in a later post). McVeigh was not a member of any militia, nor did any militia support, endorse, or condone his actions. Even the ADL - no friend of militias - admits frankly that Timothy McVeigh was not connected to the militia movement:

No, [Timothy McVeigh] was not [connected with the militia movement]. He was not really connected to any particular movement. On the "hate" side, he obviously loved "The Turner Diaries" by William Pierce and read The Spotlight, the publication of the extremist and anti-Semitic Liberty Lobby. On the "anti-government" side, he attended a couple of militia meetings and half-heartedly attempted to start a militia group in Arizona, which came to nothing. He never really joined anything, either as a card-carrying member or even an explicit endorsement. This is also one reason why there was little support for McVeigh, simply because no one viewed him as one of "their own."

Also, as Gateway Pundit points out, McVeigh was military trained not as a bomb-maker, but as a gunner. He did not get his terrorist training in the U.S. military.

It is striking to note that, in a report released in 2009, the only (and, ostensibly, best) example of a military veteran/militia member/terrorist is someone who committed a terrorist attack almost fifteen years ago and one whose alleged militia association has been thoroughly disproven. As the American Legion points out, Timothy McVeigh is one of several million military veterans of contemporary warfare.

I could address these obvious insults to our military veterans, but the American Legion and others did a much better job already.

Also, the good folks at PowerLine (linked above) have already addressed and debunked the source information to which the report alludes, regarding extremists joining the military and returning veterans joining extremist groups.

On the report's assertion that "large numbers of potentially violent neo-Nazis, skinheads, and other white supremacists are now
learning the art of warfare in the [U.S.] armed forces" [emphasis mine, links in original]:

The "prominent civil rights organization" is the left-wing Southern Poverty Law Center. But what support is there for SPLC's assertion that there are "large numbers" of "white supremacists" serving in the armed forces--as opposed to, say, a "tiny handful"? The SPLC's full report is entirely anecdotal; the closest thing to data is this:

[Scott] Barfield, who is based at Fort Lewis, said he has identified and submitted evidence on 320 extremists there in the past year.

But even this alleged statistic appears to be false. Barfield was a gang investigator, and what he actually said was: "I have identified 320 soldiers as gang members from April 2002 to present." So we now have the Department of Homeland Security defaming our servicemen on the basis of a press release by a left-wing pressure group that misrepresented the principal empirical support for its claim. Nice.

On the report's assertion that "[the] FBI noted in a 2008 report on the white supremacist movement that some returning military veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have joined extremist groups" [emphasis mine, link in original]:

So, how many are "some"? You can read the FBI report, titled "White Supremacist Recruitment of Military Personnel since 9/11," here. Notwithstanding the deliberate vagueness of the Homeland Security document, the FBI was actually very specific:

A review of FBI white supremacist extremist cases from October 2001 to May 2008 identified 203 individuals with confirmed or claimed military service active in the extremist movement at some time during the reporting period. This number is minuscule in comparison with the projected US veteran population of 23,816,000 as of 2 May 2008, or the 1,416,037 active duty military personnel as of 30 April 2008. ...

According to FBI information, an estimated 19 veterans (approximately 9 percent of the 203) have verified or unverified service in the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

There you have it: a whopping 19 actual or alleged veterans of Iraq or Afghanistan have joined the "extremist movement." (The FBI notes that some of these "may have inflated their resumes with fictional military experience to impress others within the movement.")

#5 Conflation of disagreement with liberal policy changes with racism

The report's definition of "rightwing extremism" includes "those groups, movements, and adherents that are primarily hate-oriented (based on hatred of particular religious, racial or ethnic groups)". The first paragraph under Key Findings (page 2 of 9) lists "the election of the first African American president" as a "unique [driver] for radicalization and recruitment." The first bullet point under this paragraph references "white supremacists" as one group of such RWE.

On pages 3 and 4 of 9, under Historical Presidential Election, the report states:

Rightwing extremists are harnessing this historical election as a recruitment tool. Many rightwing extremists are antagonistic toward the new presidential administration and its perceived stance on a range of issues, including immigration and citizenship, the expansion of social programs to minorities, and restrictions on firearms ownership and use. Rightwing extremists are increasingly galvanized by these concerns and leverage them a drivers for recruitment. From the 2008 election timeframe to the present, rightwing extremists have capitalized on related racial and political prejudices in expanded propaganda campaigns, thereby reaching out to a wider audience of potential sympathizers.

The bullet point that immediately follows (on page 4 of 9) states:

Most statements by rightwing extremists have been rhetorical, expressing concerns about the election of the first African American president, but stopping short of calls for violent action. In two instances in the run-up to the election, extremists appeard to be in the early planning stages of some threatening activity targeting the Democratic nominee, but law enforcement interceded.

The problem with conflating racism with RWE is that racism, bigotry, and other "hate-oriented" ideologies are not a right-or-left political matter. The right/left political spectrum involves the level of government involvement in and control over the life of the individual. The right favors individualism/federalism and the left favors socialism/statism. One can adhere to an ideology of bigotry while ascribing to a right or left political viewpoint.

Right-wing ideological groups do not inherently support or condone racism. With respect to racism against "African Americans", it was the right that led the abolitionist movement, fought for an end to slavery against the southern Democrats (figuratively in the legislature and literally in the Civil War), issued the Emancipation Proclamation, and introduced the Equal Rights Amendment. With anti-Hispanic racism and violence, the issue is mostly apolitical and manifests in inner-city/gang violence between "African Americans" and Hispanics.

Consider also that the report defines not only racists as "rightwing extremists", but applies the broad "hate-oriented (based on hatred of particular religious, racial, or ethnic groups)" description. Much of this type of bigoted ideology belongs to leftwing extremists.

On page 5 of 9, under Illegal Immigration, the report "notes that prominent civil rights organizations have observed an increase in anti-Hispanic crimes over the past five years."

The problem with this statement is that the "prominent civil rights organization" is (once again) the Southern Poverty Law Center, and the SPLC's "observation" is an intentional misrepresentation of FBI crime statistics. As this press release from FAIR (h/t 24Ahead) explains:

When examined responsibly, the FBI hate crime data show a dramatically different story than the one the SPLC portrays. First, in order to suggest an artificially large increase in the raw number of hate crimes, the SPLC selects 2003 as its base year, one of lowest years on record for hate crimes against Hispanics. If one compares the number of hate crimes between 1995 (the earliest report available on the FBI's website) and 2006 (the most recent statistical year available), one would see that the number of hate crimes has increased only 17 percent.

But even this is not the whole story. The SPLC conveniently forgets to index the raw hate crime data with the population, a step always taken by the FBI to more accurately depict an increase or decrease in crime. Thus, when one indexes a 17 percent increase in hate crimes against Hispanics with a 67 percent increase in the Hispanic population between 1995 and 2006, it becomes clear that the rate of hate crimes against Hispanics has in fact dropped dramatically -- by about 40 percent.

#6 Conflation of racism (and anti-semitism), anti-government beliefs, and "rightwing extremism" (RWE)

On page 3 of 9, under Current Economic and Political Climate, the report indicates that "the historical election of an African American president and the prospect of policy changes are proving to be a driving force for rightwing extremist recriutment and radicalization." As an example of this threat, the report references the recent Pittsburgh police shootings, and stating (among other things) "The alleged gunman's reaction reportedly was influenced by his racist ideology and belief in antigovernment conspiracy theories related to ...a Jewish-controlled 'one world government.'" On the same page, under Exploiting Economic Downturn, the report states, "Anti-Semitic extremists attribute [U.S. job] losses to a deliberate conspiracy conducted by a cabal of Jewish 'financial elites.'"

With respect to anti-semitism, this ideology is found predominantly on the left.

Returning to the report's definition of "rightwing extremism":

Rightwing extremism in the United States can be broadly divided into those groups, movements, and adherents that are primarily hate-oriented (based on hatred of particular religious, racial or ethnic groups), and those that are mainly antigovernment, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority, or rejecting government authority entirely. It may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration.

The report conflates hate-based groups, movements, and adherents with antigovernment groups, movements, and adherents, without offering any reasoning whatsoever for why these two ideologies should be grouped together. The only example offered of such reasoning is the previously mentioned Philadelphia police shooting incident. According to the report, "[t]he alleged gunman's reaction reportedly was influenced by his racist ideology and belief in antigovernment conspiracy theories related to gun confiscations, citizen detention camps, and a Jewish-controlled "one world government." The report conflates the ideologies but fails to observe the fundamental concept that correlation does not prove causation.

In reality, leftwing extremist groups (including white supremacist groups) tend to be racist, anti-Christian, and anti-government, and tend to favor violent opposition to and overthrow of government. The militia movement - from which rightwing extremism ostensibly comes (and with scant evidence to support the assertion, at that) - tends to be race-agnostic, Christian, and vigilant toward government, and tend to favor defensive readiness in case of government oppression.

Note also that for leftwing white supremacist groups extremism is the norm, while for rightwing militia groups extremism is the (incredibly rare) exception.

#7 Conflation of economic downturn/poverty with rightwing radicalization

The report asserts that economic downturn and poverty is a driver for rightwing radicalization. On page 3 of 9, under Current Political and Economic Climate, the report states:

DHS/I&A assesses that a number of economic and political factors are driving a resurgence in rightwing extremist recruitment and radicalization activity.

Further on the same page, under Exploiting Economic Downturn, the report states:

Rightwing extremist chatter on the Internet continues to focus on the economy, the perceived loss of U.S. jobs in the manufacturing and construction sectors, and home foreclosures. Anti-Semitic extremists attribute these losses to a deliberate conspiracy conducted by a cabal of Jewish "financial elites." These "accusatory" tactics are employed to draw new recruits into rightwing extremist groups and further radicalize those already subscribing to extremist beliefs. DHS/I&A assesses this trend is likely to accelerate if the economy is perceived to worsen.

(Strange, but I don't remember the G-20 protesters being particularly rightwing; quite to the contrary, such protesters have been traditionally leftwing.)

On page 4 of 9, under Economic Hardship and Extremism, the report states:

Historically, domestic rightwing extremists have feared, predicted, and anticipated a cataclysmic economic collapse in the United States. Prominent antigovernment conspiracy theorists have incorporated aspects of an impending economic collapse to intensify fear and paranoia among like-minded individuals and to attract recruits during times of economic uncertainty.

On the same page, in a sidebar titled Perceptions on Poverty and Radicalization, the report states:

Scholars and experts disagree over poverty's role in motivating violent radicalization or terrorist activity. High unemployment, however, has the potential to lead to alienation, thus increasing an individual's susceptibility to extremist ideas. According to a 2007 study from the German Institute for Economic Research, there appears to be a strong association between a parent's unemployment status and the formation of rightwing extremist beliefs in their children - specifically xenophobia and antidemocratic ideals.

Oddly, the unemployment lines and welfare rolls swell with people who generally adhere to leftwing ideologies. Further, 50 years of welfare state have led to a class of citizens who adhere to and who vote for candidates who adhere to leftwing ideologies. If poverty and unemployment were drivers for formation of rightwing extremist beliefs, then our major metropolitan areas and inner cities would not be the liberal bastions that they have become.

On page 5 of 9, under Illegal Immigration, the report states:

Rightwing extremists were concerned during the 1990s with the perception that illegal immigrants were taking away American jobs through their willingness to work at significantly lower wages. They also opposed free trade agreements, arguing that these arrangements resulted in Americans losing jobs to countries such as Mexico.

Later, under Perceived Threat from Rise of Other Countries, on page 6 of 9, the report states:

Rightwing extremist views bemoan the decline of U.S. stature and have recently focused on themes such as the loss of U.S. manufacturing capability to China and India, Russia's control of energy resources and use of these to pressure other countries, and China's investment in U.S. real estate and corporations as a part of subversion strategy.

The report obfuscates the issues of illegal immigration and domestic job losses to illegal immigrants with the issues of free trade agreements and domestic job losses due to outsourcing. The former are indeed rightwing issues, and have led to almost no extremist activity or violence; however, the latter are generally leftwing issues, and have led to several instances of extremist activity and violence. Further, given recent news, it is clearly no longer merely a perception that illegal immigrants are taking jobs away from American citizens.

#8 Failure to cite sources for assessments/assertions

The report repeatedly asserts potential outcomes (things that may happen, or are likely to happen, etc.), and fails to cite even one source.

The most significant of such assertions may be the first sentence of the report (page 2 of 9) [emphasis added]:

The DHS/Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A) has no specific information that domestic rightwing terrorists are currently planning acts of violence, but rightwing extremists may be gaining new recruits by playing on their fears about several emergent issues.

Summarizing other such assertions, page by page, starting with page 2 of 9 [emphasis added]:

Nevertheless, the consequences of a prolonged economic downturn - including real estate foreclosures, unemployment, and an inability to obtain credit - could create a fertile recruiting environment for rightwing extremists and even result in confrontations between such groups and government authorities similar to those in the past.

The possible passage of new restrictions on firearms and the return of military veterans facing significant challenges reintegrating into their communities could lead to the potential emergence of terrorist groups or lone wolf extremists capable of carrying out violent attacks.

Page 3 of 9 [emphasis added]:

Proposed imposition of firearms restrictions and weapons bans likely would attract new members into the ranks of rightwing extremist groups, as well as potentially spur some of them to begin planning and training for violence against the government.

DHS/I&A is concerned that rightwing extremists will attempt to recruit and radicalize returning veterans in order to boost their violent capabilities.

DHS/I&A assesses this trend is likely to accelerate if the economy is perceived to worsen.

Page 5 of 9 [emphasis added]:

DHS/I&A assesses that rightwing extremist groups' frustration over a perceived lack of government action on illegal immigration has the potential to incite individuals or small groups toward violence. If such violence were to occur, it likely would be isolated, small-scale, and directed at specific immigration-related targets.

Such activity, combined with a heightened level of extremist paranoia, has the potential to facilitate criminal activity and violence.

Page 6 of 9 [emphasis added]:

It is unclear if either bill will be passed into law; nonetheless, a correlation may exist between the potential passage of gun control legislation and increased hoarding of ammunition, weapons stockpiling, and paramilitary training activities among rightwing extremists.

Open source reporting of wartime ammunition shortages has likely spurred rightwing extremists - as well as law-abiding Americans - to make bulk purchases of ammunition.

Weapons rights and gun-control legislation are likely to be hotly contested subjects of political debate in light of the 2008 Supreme Court's decision in District of Columbia v. Heller in which the Court reaffirmed an individual's right to keep and bear arms under the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, but left open to debate the precise contours of that right.

Because debates over constitutional rights are intense, and parties on all sides have deeply held, sincere, but vastly divergent beliefs, violent extremists may attempt to co-opt the debate and use the controversy as a adicalization tool.

Rightwing extremist paranoia of foreign regimes could escalate or be magnified in the event of an economic crisis or military confrontation, harkening back to the "New World Order" conspiracy theories of the 1990s.

Page 7 of 9 [emphasis added]:

DHS/I&A assesses that rightwing extremists will attempt to recruit and radicalize returning veterans in order to exploit their skills and knowledge derived from military training and combat.

These skills and knowledge have the potential to boost the capabilities of extremists - including lone wolves or small terrorist cells - to carry out violence.

Page 8 of 9 [emphasis added]:

DHS/I&A assesses that the combination of environmental factors that echo the 1990s, ...as well as several new trends, ...may be invigorating rightwing extremist activity, specifically the white supremacist and militia movements.

To the extent that these factors persist, rightwing extremism is likely to grow in strength.

Unlike the earlier period, the advent of the Internet and other informationage technologies since the 1990s has given domestic extremists greater access to information related to bomb-making, weapons training, and tactics, as well as targeting of individuals, organizations, and facilities, potentially making extremist individuals and groups more dangerous and the consequences of their violence more severe.

Of the few statistics to which the report alludes, sources are referenced but not cited properly or even named specifically. To wit:

On page 5 of 9, under Illegal Immigration, the report states [emphasis added]:

DHS/I&A notes that prominent civil rights organizations have observed an increase in anti-Hispanic crimes over the past five years.

On page 6 of 9, under Legislative and Judicial Drivers, the report states [emphasis added]:

Open source reporting of wartime ammunition shortages has likely spurred rightwing extremists - as well as law-abiding Americans - to make bulk purchases of ammunition.

On page 7 of 9, under Disgruntled Military Veterans, the report states [emphasis added]:

The willingness of a small percentage of military personnel to join extremist groups during the 1990s because they were disgruntled, disillusioned, or suffering from the psychological effects of war is being replicated today.

After Operation Desert Shield/Storm in 1990-1991, some returning military veterans - including Timothy McVeigh - joined or associated with rightwing extremist groups.

A prominent civil rights organization reported in 2006 that "large numbers of potentially violent neo-Nazis, skinheads, and other white supremacists are now learning the art of warfare in the [U.S.] armed forces."

The FBI noted in a 2008 report on the white supremacist movement that some returning military veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have joined extremist groups.

And as was shown previously, failure to disclose sources for such statistics prevents the reader from discerning any potential bias in the source material. Considering that one of the "prominent civil rights groups" referenced in the report is the Southern Law Poverty Center, a well-known liberal activist group, conclusions drawn from such a source must be buffered against the inherent bias of the source. Likewise, failure to cite the specific FBI report facilitates the report's out-of-context use of the source to mis-construe its results.