Video: American Legion gets apology from Napolitano

posted at 2:45 pm on April 24, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

I just completed an exclusive interview with Commander David Rehbein of the American Legion, who had just come out of a meeting with Janet Napolitano. Cmdr. Rehbein says that Napolitano offered a much more complete apology for the accusation in the DHS report on right-wing extremism that came out earlier this month. He believes that Napolitano will withdraw that report in favor of a better, more specific, and narrower report on actual threats. I also asked him whether the Obama administration appears to have learned from this and the previous controversy over medical coverage of service-related injuries and illnesses, and he graciously acknowledged that they do seem to be learning — and to want to learn.

At the same time, Cmdr. Rehbein underscored how insulting the report was to veterans. Don’t miss this Hot Air exclusive:


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Slow learners.

loudmouth883 on April 24, 2009 at 2:51 PM

Let’s hear the apology in public then; I’ll watch the press conference from my Legion hall.

Bishop on April 24, 2009 at 2:52 PM

He believes that Napolitano will withdraw that report in favor of a better, more specific, and narrower report on actual threats.

First profile on new report:

Name: Edward Morrissey
Occupation: Blogger
Location: Minnesota
Poses Threat To: Sugar-Free Peeps Stockpiles Everywhere

amerpundit on April 24, 2009 at 2:53 PM

In writing? Can we see it? That piece of crap “report” was thrown out there to scare tea party participants. That they manage to shoot themselves in the foot is just bonus points.

Cindy Munford on April 24, 2009 at 2:55 PM

Not good enough. Napolitano must go.

progressoverpeace on April 24, 2009 at 2:56 PM

at least they are learning. I mean we cant expect too much from them, this is still the Administrations first full time job

Yngmarine on April 24, 2009 at 2:56 PM

She’s the best Homeland Security Directory EVER! Insulting EVERYONE about EVERYTHING is just part of the job! After all, this is just the Government protecting us from ourselves! Hey, we elected these guys!

sabbott on April 24, 2009 at 2:57 PM

Progressives never learn from their past, they just keep looking forward after all, and when driving 90 MPH it’s difficult to see that cliff on the horizon.

kirkill on April 24, 2009 at 3:00 PM

amerpundit on April 24, 2009 at 2:53 PM

LOL

The fact that they have to “learn” to respect veterans is bad enough. I would have rathe she show Commander David Rehbein her plink slip rather than provide an apology.

WashJeff on April 24, 2009 at 3:00 PM

Height of incompetence. And she looks like Frank Luntz’s older sister.

BuckeyeSam on April 24, 2009 at 3:03 PM

The inmates are running the asylum.

“I’m sorry” won’t cut it any more. The problem seems to be that all Obama appointments suffer from diarrhea of the mouth. Until there are repercussions, such as the loss of their job, this is going to continue.

Domestically, we can laugh it off; internationally, Obama is looking more incompetent every day.

kenprice on April 24, 2009 at 3:09 PM

I doubt we’ll ever really see it. The damage they intended to do is already done. You can’t ‘unring’ a bell. the lefts method of operation is to use doubt and innuendo. There will always be that level of doubt in peoples minds now, a level of fear (no matter how minuscule), and a fertile bed for the “dangerous veterans” theme the first time one goes of the deep end.

Fighton03 on April 24, 2009 at 3:10 PM

He believes that Napolitano will withdraw that report in favor of a better, more specific, and narrower report on actual threats.

A more specific list of threats than just “American veterans”?

Great. This time it’ll say: “The Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard.”

The original report wasn’t just a massive series of typographical errors. Barak Hussein Obama decided a long time ago who his enemies are – and all of them are Americans.

logis on April 24, 2009 at 3:10 PM

They may “learn what to say”, but they won’t change what they think.
List of enemies to American’s:
Retiring military
Radio Talk show hosts
Conservative TV talk show hosts
FOX News
Bloggers
Palin
Steele
RNC
Black conservatives
Conservatives
Christians
Anti-abortionists
Mormon’s
Interrogators
CIA
FBI
Military
A “Free” Iraq
oh, and some of those very rare and hard to find terrorist guys…

right2bright on April 24, 2009 at 3:13 PM

Not good enough. Napolitano must go.

progressoverpeace on April 24, 2009 at 2:56 PM

Agreed. She need to apologize to America, and then resign.

FuriousAmerican on April 24, 2009 at 3:14 PM

Does this mean I am off their list?

Old Hippie Vet on April 24, 2009 at 3:14 PM

She should still step down….and so should John McCain if he thinks as she does that 9/11 terrorists came thru Canada.

becki51758 on April 24, 2009 at 3:15 PM

Sure took her long enough. I guess when she upset Canada, too, that changed her tone.

AnninCA on April 24, 2009 at 3:16 PM

Let’s hear the apology in public then; I’ll watch the press conference from my Legion hall.

Bishop on April 24, 2009 at 2:52 PM

I’ve always felt that any apology should be at least as public as the original insult.

If the apology is earnest that is.

MarkTheGreat on April 24, 2009 at 3:17 PM

I listened to the interview. Commander Rehbein was very gracious.

RushBaby on April 24, 2009 at 3:17 PM

It doesn’t matter.

They will say anything that keeps them on their agenda to destroy America and punish the people who have held down the Idiot in Chief’s “peeps” for so long.

If some whiney ex soldier guys make a stink, better to brush it aside with a few meaningless words than to let it distract from the mission.

notagool on April 24, 2009 at 3:19 PM

Only slightly more important.

Say hello to your new overlords.

Obama’s plan to cut private banks and other lending institutions out of the market for student loans would also move on a filibuster-free path.

Nuclear option on healthcare invoked:

Most importantly, the tentative agreement would give congressional Democrats the ability to push Obama’s health care initiative through the Senate under rules that prevent filibusters. Under typical Senate rules, 60 votes are needed to advance a bill, but passage of the budget plan would allow majority Democrats to enact the health care plan with just a simple majority and only 20 hours of debate.

But hey. Apologies are more important.

And people doubted that we were heading for a command economy. It’s one where debate isn’t allowed or desired.

lorien1973 on April 24, 2009 at 3:19 PM

Ah, Napolitano says the statute of limitations has run out on her report (which she now says was a draft!) So I wonder what right-wing “extremist” groups will be targeted in the next report. Maybe churches.

Christian Conservative on April 24, 2009 at 3:20 PM

She is a liar. she may be sorry for negative publicity. She may regret it becoming public. I am still convinced she stands behind the report.

seven on April 24, 2009 at 3:23 PM

progressoverpeace on April 24, 2009 at 2:56 PM

Agreed. Not good enough. Nappy slandered more than just vets with her political hitlist. Commander Rehbein appears to be far more easily appeased than I would be in his shoes.

Vic on April 24, 2009 at 3:27 PM

The gay agenda is full of lies.
as we speak, there is legislation regarding hate crimes. One of the foundational statements in the legislation claims that homosexuals are crossing state lines to run from dangerous hate crimes and hate crime perpetrators are crossing state lines to attack groups that are a target of their hate. No support for these assertions.

Napolitano can as easily target people from Oklahoma. We can’t create legislation on a single case.

seven on April 24, 2009 at 3:28 PM

lorien1973 on April 24, 2009 at 3:19 PM

Thanks for the update. Good to know the American way might be killed this weekend.

WashJeff on April 24, 2009 at 3:28 PM

What’s with Democrat Presidents appointing big, ugly, dumb women named Janet to important posts?

Buford Gooch on April 24, 2009 at 3:29 PM

Oh screw the apology! No Veteran I know cares about that.

They want her to RESIGN NOW! I want her to resign now! There is no reason for someone like her and her attitidue towards Veterans and hatred of America to be in that seat PERIOD!

upinak on April 24, 2009 at 3:33 PM

Congrats, Janet. You really have to go out of your way to make me long for the halcyon days of Tom Ridge.

Jim Treacher on April 24, 2009 at 3:38 PM

So what, the American Legion doesn’t speak for every Veteran in this country but is that how the media is trying to shape it? This guy met with Janet Reno and forgave her good for him. Again so what she needs to go in fact she never should have been given this position. Is he really saying he thinks returning Veterans will succumb to terrorist. So whose worse Janet Napolitano or this American Legion Guy?

Dr Evil on April 24, 2009 at 3:38 PM

You know what this reminds me of torture! I should be writing all these incidences down. The DHS and the American Legion are torturing, Fox News viewers.

Dr Evil on April 24, 2009 at 3:40 PM

Too late. She said, and defended it at first. She also needs to apologize to Canadians as well as Americans. And resign.

rbj on April 24, 2009 at 3:46 PM

I also asked him whether the Obama administration appears to have learned from this and the previous controversy over medical coverage of service-related injuries and illnesses, and he graciously acknowledged that they do seem to be learning — and to want to learn.

Yeah, sure. I wouldn’t hold my breathe. Team Barry does not hold the military in high esteem.

GarandFan on April 24, 2009 at 3:47 PM

Video: American Legion gets apology from Napolitano

Baloney…Fat Janet, take the closest door, and exit!

byteshredder on April 24, 2009 at 3:59 PM

Ed, thanks for this interview.

Apology or not, new narrowly worded report or not, I still think Napolitano has to go.

Loxodonta on April 24, 2009 at 4:06 PM

She did not apologize.

There has been another apparent public relations mishap by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. Today she tried to recover from an earlier statement that the 9/11 attackers came over the Canadian border, which she now calls a mistake. But she may have ruffled more feathers when she said: “There are very real differences between what Canada allows in their country and who is allowed in the United States.”

She acknowledged that the Canadian media, “…were not happy with me.” That was made evident by a Canadian newspaper editorial titled, “The Border for Dummies.” The National Post asked: “Can someone please tell us how … Napolitano got her job? She appears to be about as knowledgeable about border issues as a late-night radio call-in yahoo.”

She was also asked today about Republicans who say her apology to veterans for a report saying they were vulnerable to recruitment for domestic terrorism was not sufficient. She responded, “That’s what they’re going to get.”

madmonkphotog on April 24, 2009 at 4:07 PM

Hey Ed why don’t you poll Veterans and ask them if they except her apology and if she should GO?

This American Legion Guy gets to speak for himself so he gets one vote you know like a democracy.

Dr Evil on April 24, 2009 at 4:08 PM

I don’t want their apologies – they are worthless because they are not given in good faith, only to make the noise go away so the dishonoring of their opponents can resume more quickly.

We need to quit asking for worthless apologies from Obama’s slippery eels, and start demanding their heads on a pike.

drunyan8315 on April 24, 2009 at 4:33 PM

This American Legion Guy gets to speak for himself so he gets one vote you know like a democracy.
Dr Evil on April 24, 2009 at 4:08 PM

A personal and private apology is irrelevant to a general and public insult.

I assume Rehbein was trying to say, in an overly-polite way, that he believes that Napolitano is GOING TO correct her mistake.

If he genuinely intends to drop this in return for some behind-the-scenes ass kissing then he, quite frankly, would not be doing his job.

logis on April 24, 2009 at 4:37 PM

This is just CYA from this ****

Don Carne on April 24, 2009 at 4:53 PM

A day late and a dollar short.

Dhuka on April 24, 2009 at 5:18 PM

Had she sent dispatches warning that ‘reliable intelligence’ warns of unnamed ex military plotting violence, she could have smeared the vets and avoided apology.

Instead they put out a report of their professional assessment of returning vets from which there is no retreat

Napolitano did everyone a favor by revealing her hand.

A smarter ideologue would have made the smear stick

Of course she will apologize. That costs about five cents less than a nickle and is worth as much

entagor on April 24, 2009 at 5:28 PM

Why not include Lee Harvey Oswald as another data point for whacko military vets joining extremists groups??? I know as a vet I am extremely susceptible to persuasion.

fenian5 on April 24, 2009 at 6:06 PM

Excuse me – WE did not elect these guys. Kindly speak for yourself.
Nearly half of us voted for the other guy, and more people didn’t vote at all than reportedly voted for Obama.

rishika on April 24, 2009 at 6:21 PM

The apology given, the affected document unchanged, and not recalled. Therefore an empty apology.

Dasher on April 24, 2009 at 6:46 PM

Video: American Legion gets apology from Napolitano

Psst Dave, that’s fine, but now we want to give her a boot, square in her butt, right out the door. Ass-clowns like Janet Napolitano don’t belong in government.

byteshredder on April 24, 2009 at 10:41 PM

Nice catch Ed!

@[email protected] on April 25, 2009 at 10:18 AM

They just announced the replacement of the person responsible for the report. Forget about the dissing of conservatives. Does this look like the biography of someone who would release such a poorly put together report:

Release Date: September 10, 2008

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
Contact: 202-282-8010

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Roger Mackin as Principal Deputy Under Secretary for the Office of Intelligence and Analysis at the Department of Homeland Security. Roger brings an extensive background in intelligence gathering and antiterrorism efforts spanning over four decades.

Roger is returning to public service after nearly four years in the private sector, where he furthered the development of fusion centers around the country. Immediately after the attacks of September 11, 2001, Roger was called on to support the New York City Police Department with various counterterrorism efforts. He later served as director of the intelligence program for the Office of National Drug Control Policy, and was then appointed as U.S. Interdiction Coordinator. During his tenure, the government achieved record-level removal of cocaine from sea and air smuggling routes in Latin America. Concurrently, he stood up the newly created Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Counternarcotics Enforcement and served as its first director under then-Secretary Tom Ridge.

Roger received an undergraduate degree from the University of Miami. His service to the nation began in the United States Air Force, where he earned two bronze stars for special operations assignments in Vietnam. He advanced to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Air Force reserves upon conclusion of his active duty service, at which time he launched a career as an operations, paramilitary and counter-intelligence officer in the Central Intelligence Agency that lasted nearly 30 years.

I am deeply grateful for Roger’s remarkable record of service to his country and for his enthusiasm to return to public service and contribute even further to the safety and security of our homeland.


Statement by Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff on Appointment of Roger Mackin as Principal Deputy Under Secretary for the Office of Intelligence and Analysis

davod on April 25, 2009 at 1:51 PM

If D’oh! Bama doesn’t apologise it never happened, nor mattered.

Extremists of America, UNITE!!

DannoJyd on April 25, 2009 at 6:53 PM