According to a count by the New America Foundation, right wing extremists have killed 34 people in the United States for political reasons since 9/11. (The total includes the latest shootings in Kansas, which are being classified as a hate crime). "Since 9/11 extremists affiliated with a variety of far-right wing ideologies...have killed more people in the United States than have extremists motivated by al Qaeda's ideology."
By contrast, terrorists motivated by al Qaeda's ideology have killed 23 people in the United States since 9/11. (Although a variety of left wing militants and environmental extremists have carried out violent attacks for political reasons against property and individuals since 9/11, none have been linked to a lethal attack, according to research by the New America Foundation.)Bold and shocking! Right wing terrorists lead the pack, lefty crazies haven't killed anyone, so nothing to worry about. Those damned tea baggers need to be stopped!
But here at Fore Left we believe in science and data. So let's not, as the president might say, jump to any conclusions. The New America Foundation think tank, which provided the study via Bergen, and features CNN's Fareed Zakaria and Google's Eric Schmidt as board members, should be a red flag right off the bat. But OK, how did they come to their numbers? Well, here's how they explain in the 'methodology' section:
The dataset also includes individuals inspired by right wing, left wing, and other non-Jihadist political ideologies, who have been indicted for terrorism related crimes. The data on non-Jihadist extremists is less developed than the data on Jihadist extremists but where available it is included to provide a comparison across ideologies. The dataset relies mainly upon court documents, wire service reports, and local news reports as sources.In other words, the grad students involved based a lot of their conclusions on selected stories from the mainstream media. Maybe even stories by CNN's Fareed Zakaria or Peter Bergen! Not very scientific.
If you really insist on seeing some actual data to be sure they're putting this out as propaganda to help Obama defeat the Tea Party in November, look at their list of attacks and you'll see it right there, in black and white, what they consider a "right wing" attacker--confirmed left wing kook Joseph Stack, who flew his plane into the IRS building in Austin, TX, killing a federal worker. The guy who quoted Marx in his manifesto.
If you absolutely insist on seeing their list of left wing attackers, good luck. It's not easily findable on the site. But somehow, as explained in the CNN story, they couldn't find a single example of a left wing attack that killed someone.
Such as, oh, the Obama supporter professor in Huntsville, Alabama who killed three of her colleagues at a board meeting rampage. Not listed.
That's just two, there are many more, especially if one considers the mass shootings in Colorado, Washington Navy Ship Yard, and Newtown, CT, as part of the body count, since all of those perpetrators leaned further left than right if they leaned any direction. Or, we could just say all of the attacks since 9/11 have been pulled off by nuts, including the jihadists, but many serious jihadist attacks that could have killed hundreds or more were stopped. But that doesn't fit the narrative.
And that's not to say there aren't far right wingers who cross the rubicon into violence...they most certainly exist and the government and the public should not pretend otherwise. But researchers and so-called experts should also not pretend when it comes to reality or when making such incendiary charges. Bergen's long been a lefty hack, but Steve Coll of the NAF should be ashamed. CNN should be most ashamed since they published it. They need to focus back on the open Indian Ocean, a porpoise may pop up for a breaking news update.
Funny though, even the biased New America Foundation included Major Hasan's rampage at Ft. Hood as as example of Islamic jihad terrorism, unlike the Obama administration.