That, according to our own Department of Homeland Security. You should start by reading this report from DHS, entitled “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment.”
The essential premise of this document is straight forward enough:
The DHS/Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A) has no specific information that domestic rightwing terrorists are currently planning acts of violence, but rightwing extremists may be gaining new recruits by playing on their fears about several emergent issues. The economic downturn and the election of the first African American president present unique drivers for rightwing radicalization and recruitment.
Now, one of the specific groups it is worried about is “Disgruntled Military Veterans.”
DHS/I&A assesses that rightwing extremists will attempt to recruit and radicalize returning veterans in order to exploit their skills and knowledge derived from military training and combat. These skills and knowledge have the potential to boost the capabilities of extremists—including lone wolves or small terrorist cells—to carry out violence. The willingness of a small percentage of military personnel to join extremist groups during the 1990s because they were disgruntled, disillusioned, or suffering from the psychological effects of war is being replicated today.
Now, just in case you question whether there sufficient numbers of these people to be considered an actual threat, DHS has kindly included some references to such people:
— (U) After Operation Desert Shield/Storm in 1990-1991, some returning military veterans—including Timothy McVeigh—joined or associated with rightwing extremist groups.
— (U) A prominent civil rights organization reported in 2006 that “large numbers of potentially violent neo-Nazis, skinheads, and other white supremacists are now learning the art of warfare in the [U.S.] armed forces.”
— (U//LES) The FBI noted in a 2008 report on the white supremacist movement that some returning military veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have joined extremist groups.
Ok, let’s start at the onset by admitting that there are some real asshats in the military. No doubt about it. McVeigh was clearly one of them. It should be remembered too that he didn’t get into SF, because they correctly identified him as one of them.
What pisses me off about this whole document is two things. First it once again settles into that pattern we see all the time of stereotyping veterans coming as the disgruntled types who could go sketchy on a brown person anytime. Gee, I wonder how they get that impression? Could be from all the liars over at IVAW telling everyone under the sun how they were trained to kill only brown people, how Drill Sergeants beat it into them that brown people were the enemy, etc etc etc. Call it the Geoff Millard School of military science. Mind you, if that stuff happened it was very limited in scope, but you wouldn’t know that from the panelists at Winter Soldier.
But Part Two of what pisses me off is the second bullet up there, to wit:
A prominent civil rights organization reported in 2006 that “large numbers of potentially violent neo-Nazis, skinheads, and other white supremacists are now learning the art of warfare in the [U.S.] armed forces.”
And what “prominent civil rights organization” are they citing to? The Southern Poverty Legal Center, SPLC. I’m not going to go too far into SPLC, but everything you need to know about them should be summed up by this: last year the SPLC listed The American Legion as a hate group because of its position on Immigration. The American Legion even (GASP!) gave an award to Lou Dobbs. You bastards!
To the SPLC anyone who doesn’t believe that our Southern Border should be manned by Walmart greeters handing out happy stickers and water while welcoming them to our country is a racist, a nativist, a white supremacist. So, if The American Legion is a hate group, and the DHS agrees with the SPLC, seemingly enough to cite to them anyway, can we assume that we should root out all those bastards in the military who belong to The American Legion?
How big a problem is rightwing extremism in the military? Well, the FBI report alluded to above shows the shocking (SHOCKING!) statistic that 203 members of white supremacist organizations claimed to have been veterans. 203. CLAIMED they were veterans.
(U//FOUO) Figure 1 illustrates the distribution of the 203 individuals among major categories of white supremacist extremism. Although the count of 203 includes persons with unverified military backgrounds—some of whom may have inflated their resumes with fictional military experience to impress others within the movement—this number is helpful in identifying those groups which most attract and value military experience.
Even one lunatic in our military is one too many for me. There is no place in our military for racism, particularly when you have to rely to the man (or woman) on your right and left to stay alive. But, this seems just a bit more bark than bite, no? 203 people is barely enough to make up a plussed-up company, and I would be willing to bet that the vast majority of this 203 is either completely full of shit with regard to their service, or was some sort of REMF Pogue.
I find it interesting that SPLC hasn’t noted any of the other gangs which have been encouraging enlistment in the military, you know gangs like:
the Bloods, Crips, Black Disciples, Gangster Disciples, Hells Angels, Latin Kings, The 18th Street Gang, Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13), Mexican Mafia, Nortenos, Surenos, Vice Lords, and various white supremacist groups, have been documented on military installations both domestically and internationally.
Yeah, I wouldn’t worry about any of those groups, the ones to really look out for are the people who believe in law and order, and that immigration should be achieved in the traditional manner, rather than just coming across and waiting for the Senate to approve it retro-actively.