Saturday, July 08, 2006

Is the U.S. Army Harboring Racists?

A new report issued by the Southern Poverty Law Center says that due to pressure to keep up recruitment during an unpopular war in Iraq, the U.S. armed forces have become lax in their weeding out of neo-Nazis and members of other violent white supremacist groups.
"Neo-Nazi groups and other extremists are joining the military in large numbers so they can get the best training in the world on weapons, combat tactics and explosives," said Mark Potok, director of the SPLC's Intelligence Project. ... "Any one of them could turn out to be the next Timothy McVeigh."
This is a serious concern, as McVeigh (the Oklahoma City bomber) and Eric Rudolph (bomber of the Atlantic Olympics and several abortion clinics) are just a couple of the domestic terrorists that had their training in how to kill at the expense of the U.S. taxpayers.

For the past decade (since McVeigh), the military has done a good job of training personnel in how to detect and kick-out soldiers who have purposes other than the defense of the U.S. Constitution and all our citizens. But Iraq and Afghanistan have strained recruiters abilities to keep up with the demand for new soldiers.

Commanders are also under pressure and are reluctant to dismiss racist soldiers who have already been deployed. And so, in downtown Baghdad, there is now Aryan Nations graffiti.

The SPLC report is no surprise. A study from the Department of Defense said that:
"The threats posed by extremism to the military are simultaneously blatant and subtle. On the one hand, high-profile terrorist acts and hate crimes committed by active and former military personnel can have seriously detrimental effects on the civil-military relationship as well as on the morale and security of military personnel. On the other hand, even the non-violent activities of military personnel with extremist tendencies (e.g., possessing literature and/or artifacts from the extremist 'movement'; dabbling in extremism through computerized telecommunications activities; proselytizing extremist ideologies, etc.) can have deleterious consequences for the good order, discipline, readiness, and cohesion of military units."
Everybody now acknowledges that the problem is real and serious. The only question seems to be, what will Secretary Rumsfeld do about it?

Read the full report: A Few Bad Men

Read the press release/summary: Racist extremists active in U.S. military

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