Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano apologized directly today to Commander Dave Rehbein, head of the American Legion, after a recently leaked DHS intelligence report suggested that right-wing extremist groups might recruit military veterans returning from overseas deployments. The 45-minute meeting occurred at DHS headquarters in Washington this afternoon.
A detailed account of the meeting from the American Legion states that “Hunched forward with head bowed, the Secretary of Homeland Security looked the National Commander of The American Legion straight in the eye and said, very quietly, ‘I’m sorry, Dave.'”
“The report was not worthy of this department, or of veterans,” Napolitano said to Rehbein, according Legion spokesman Craig Roberts, who attended the meeting. “It was very badly written and should never have been released,” she said.
The secretary “was very contrite” and that both her words and body language reflected her sincerity, Roberts said in an interview.
In her own written statement after the meeting Napolitano said, “We connected meaningfully about the important issues that have emerged over recent days, and I offered him my sincere apologies for any offense to our veterans caused by this report.”
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