Wrong About Right-Wing Extremists

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record ," April 14, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: As many average citizens protest government spending, some veterans are not happy at the government for a different reason tonight. In a new report, the Department of Homeland Security warn that veterans returning from war could become radicalized into right-wing extremists. Really? That's becoming radicalized right-wing extremists?

Joining us live is John Sommer, senior executive director for the American Legion. John, radicalized? Right-wing zealots? Extremists?


VAN SUSTEREN: Well, what -- I mean, what's -- what's the -- I mean, I know you're a little -- you're unglued about this report, and I can understand why. But what's going on?

SOMMER: Well, unfortunately, this is a report that has very little evidence, it's not an evidence-based report. It has no empirical data, no specific facts and no documentation. What it does, it singles our returning war veterans as particular threats to the United States.

VAN SUSTEREN: Who wrote this? I mean, who's the idiot?

SOMMER: We don't know...



VAN SUSTEREN: Let's get right to the point. I mean, who wrote this stupid thing?

SOMMER: We haven't seen a name. We just know that it came out of the Department of Homeland Security. Unfortunately, it certainly appears to us to have a political bias to it. And unfortunately, it's a casual defamation of servicemen and veterans.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, but there's -- there's just no history of it! I mean, it's just so bizarre. I mean, out of the tens of thousands of veterans coming back, why would our government put together a report and suggest that veterans are going to come back and be right-wing radicalized, whatever?

SOMMER: The way the report -- what it states is that with the experience in combat, these individuals coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan are ripe for the picking by these right-wing extremists.

VAN SUSTEREN: Why was this -- why was this even written, though? I mean, what's the point of this document?

SOMMER: We don't know.

VAN SUSTEREN: I mean, like, did someone pay to have this written?

SOMMER: It appears that it was written by someone probably -- my guess would be a political appointee within the Department of Homeland Security or someone with strong political beliefs.

VAN SUSTEREN: So someone's salary was paid, and this is a document that's supposed to go out to law enforcement across the country which says, basically, that because of economic reasons or return (ph) disgruntled vets, that we should be worried.

SOMMER: Yes, and it's slanderous to suggest that disgruntled military veterans...

VAN SUSTEREN: It's slanderous...


SOMMER: ... terrorism threat...

VAN SUSTEREN: It's slanderous. It's insane. It's insulting. It's all those things. And worse yet is we paid for this.


VAN SUSTEREN: Anyway, John, thank you. Nice to see you, sir.

SOMMER: Thank you. Good to be here.

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