After discussing the three ISIS terrorist attacks on Friday on Sunday's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" with Rep. Peter King (R-NY) and ABC's Pierre Thomas, host Stephanopoulos raised a NY Times article which suggested that white supremacists are a bigger threat to Americans than ISIS terrorists. The dour-faced King adamantly disagreed with the liberal Times, “Every murder is horrible, but there is no comparison between these white supremacists and an internationally coordinated movement, That's The New York Times at its worst.”
As the former chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security and present chairman of the House Counterterrorism and Intelligence subcommittee, Rep. King certainly knows what he is talking about when it comes to both threats.
King started the segment with a warning about ISIS:
There's great concern. I would say there's probably more concern now than at any time since September 11th. And as you said, there are these lone wolf attacks. But ISIS, really, they have a multi-level sense of operation. It's not just the lone wolves. Also, there can be some coordination among these so-called lone wolves that are out there.
But then the host and former Clinton operative changed the topic the NY Times, White Supremacist story.
Stephanopoulos: All of that is chilling. And, at the same time, I was struck by a "New York Times" report this week, Pierre, that pointed out a study by the New America Foundation, that said that since 9/11, nearly twice as many people have been killed by white supremacists and anti-government extremists as radical Muslims.
They also add a study from researchers at Duke University in North Carolina, which asked 382 police and sheriff's departments nationwide to rank the three biggest threats from violent extremism. About 74 percent listed anti-government violence, 39 percent al Qaeda-inspired violence.
Pierre Thomas answered first suggesting that law enforcement cares more about ISIS because the numbers that would be killed and injured the international terrorist attack would be much higher than a white supremacist. King agreed:
King: Yes, I -- I totally just -- disregarded what "The New York Times" said. The fact is, I -- I can't believe any (INAUDIBLE) law enforcement officer, looking at the potential of threats that are out there -- for instance, the Boston Marathon bombing, there were four killed. Almost 300 people were wounded. And the fact that in the -- that Eric Holder, who was a pretty liberal attorney general, said what kept him awake at night was the lone wolf Islamist terrorist who would carry out an attack.
There's no -- listen, every murder is horrible. There is no comparison between these white supremacists and an internationally coordinated movement which, if the attacks were not stopped, we could have thousands and thousands of deaths.
Just seven years ago, the attempted subway attacks here in New York would have killed hundreds, if not thousands, of people, if that were not intercepted.
So everything should be investigated, everything should be stopped. But to compare these deranged white supremacists with an organized international terrorist movement, that's "The New York Times" at its worst.
A section toward the end of the NY Times piece may suggest why it was an important topic for both the Times, and for Bill Clinton's former press secretary, Stephanopoulos. The article talks about these white supremacists as being right-wing:
“Law enforcement agencies around the country have told us the threat from Muslim extremists is not as great as the threat from right-wing extremists,” said Dr. Kurzman, whose study is to be published by the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security and the Police Executive Research Forum."
But when it gives examples of white supremacist activity they speak of neo-Nazis:
In 2012, a neo-Nazi named Wade Michael Page entered a Sikh temple in Wisconsin and opened fire, killing six people and seriously wounding three others. Mr. Page, who died at the scene, was a member of a white supremacist group called the Northern Hammerskins.
In another case, in June 2014, Jerad and Amanda Miller, a married couple with radical antigovernment views, entered a Las Vegas pizza restaurant and fatally shot two police officers who were eating lunch. On the bodies, they left a swastika, a flag inscribed with the slogan “Don’t tread on me” and a note saying, “This is the start of the revolution.” Then they killed a third person in a nearby Walmart.
The ultimate extreme of the right-wing are anarchists, people who believe in no government. The neo-Nazis the NY Times speaks of are "national socialists," or extremists on the liberal side. It's a common mistake by progressives who are either misinformed or who are trying to slander the conservatives with whom they disagree.