The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.

Marine’s Arrest Again Raises Issue of Extremists in the Military

By Mark Potok on February 12, 2009 - 3:07 pm, Posted in Extremists in the Military

It’s no surprise that a person who allegedly hoped to kill President Barack Obama has white supremacist leanings. But the fact that the threat allegedly came from a U.S. Marine has again raised the issue of extremists in the military.

Marine Lance Cpl. Kody Brittingham, stationed at Camp Lejuene, N.C., was arrested in mid-December on an unrelated armed robbery charge and, as a result, separated from the service on Jan. 3. But a search of Brittingham’s barracks also turned up a journal containing white supremacist material and a plan to kill Obama, according to a newspaper account. That reportedly prompted a Secret Service investigation of his alleged threats against the president that is ongoing.

The incident is the latest disturbing account that suggests extremists are infiltrating the military — even as officials deny there’s a problem. Yesterday, Southern Poverty Law Center President Richard Cohen wrote to the Pentagon expressing his disappointment that military officials have taken no action on evidence of white supremacist activity in the military provided as early as 2006 by the SPLC.

“To be frank, it appears that we’re not getting anywhere,” Cohen wrote to Under Secretary of Defense David Chu in his Feb. 11 letter. “We provide evidence from multiple sources about the problem of extremists in the military, and you continue to claim that the military already has a zero-tolerance policy. You tell us that we should bring any information we have about extremist activity by specific Service members to the attention of appropriate Service authorities. But, as we have explained in our reports and in previous letters to you and the Secretary, we have done so, and the authorities have not taken action.”

The SPLC first brought the problem of extremists in the military to the attention of Pentagon officials in 1995, when three neo-Nazi soldiers stationed at Fort Bragg murdered two black North Carolinians. Then-Defense Secretary William Perry responded forcefully, saying there was “no room for racist and extremist activities within military.” A major investigation and crackdown followed in 1996.

But a decade later, military recruiters, under intense pressure to meet quotas for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, began to unofficially lower entrance standards. As a result, in 2006, the SPLC issued a major report, “A Few Bad Men,” that revealed that large numbers of neo-Nazi skinheads and other white supremacists were joining the armed forces to acquire combat training and access to weapons and explosives.

The SPLC report was sent to then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld along with a letter from Cohen urging the military to adopt a zero tolerance policy with regard to extremists in the ranks. Forty members of Congress wrote a similar letter, as did Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.). But in his letters of reply, Chu dismissed all their concerns as exaggerated. The military took no remedial action.

Two years later, in 2008, the SPLC reported on new evidence — including an unclassified FBI report — that supported its initial findings. After that report, Cohen wrote Chu, again asking that the military adopt a zero tolerance policy. Chu replied on Dec. 28, saying the military already had such a policy in place and needed nothing more. “We are committed to sustaining a culture in which all personnel from diverse backgrounds serve together in defense of our great nation,” Chu wrote.

But numerous cases suggest otherwise.

One example of the military’s failure to act was cited in SPLC’s original 2006 report — the case of Matt Buschbacher, a Navy SEAL who attended the 2002 leadership conference of the neo-Nazi National Alliance while on active duty. This group’s leader has espoused murdering America’s Jews in abandoned coal mines and was the author of The Turner Diaries, the race war novel Timothy McVeigh used as a blueprint for the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. The SPLC alerted military officials to the fact that Buschbacher was producing neo-Nazi recruitment fliers via his Racialpride.com website while on active duty. But Buschbacher was allowed to complete his tour of duty in Iraq and given an honorable discharge.

Also mentioned in the 2006 report was the case of Robert Lee West, then an active duty member of the Air Force. When the SPLC informed officials of West’s activities, which included posing in front of a swastika flag with two assault rifles and ranting about the “Zionist Occupied Government,” they said no action would be taken unless he recruited fellow extremists or committed a crime.

Extremist infiltration of the military was also detailed in a much more recent report from the FBI, “White Supremacist Recruitment of Military Personnel Since 9/11,” which was released last summer to law enforcement officials. “The military training veterans bring to the [white supremacist] movement and their potential to pass this training on to others can increase the ability of lone offenders to carry out violence from the movement’s fringes,” the FBI report said.

Also in 2008, a new report by the SPLC revealed that 46 members of the white supremacist social networking website Newsaxon.com then identified themselves as active-duty military personnel. Six of these individuals were members of the “White Military Men” subgroup on the site. The report also quoted a racist skinhead who last year posted a comment to a neo-Nazi online forum, excitedly saying that he’d joined the Army and specifically requested an assignment where he would learn how to make an explosive device. “I have my own reasons for wanting this training but in fear of the government tracing me and me loosing [sic] my clearance I can’t share them here,” the poster, “Sobibor’s SS,” wrote. Sobibor’s SS provided enough biographical information that military officials should have been able to identify him. The SPLC reported this information to the military, but no action seems to have been taken.

In this week’s letter, the SPLC’s Cohen asked Chu not to again ignore the warning signs. “In our view, the continued presence of racial extremists in the military is a recipe for disaster,” Cohen wrote. “The recent case of Marine Lance Cpl. Kody Brittingham illustrates the point. … We urge you to take action.”

  • kitwench

    So, members of the military are just as likely to be decent, crazy, bigoted, loving, stupid, witty and secretly deranged as anyone else?
    Shocking…

  • John

    This is a reply to Carter

    Carter, you said “When an individual is enlisted in the military that does not deprive him of his rights”

    Wrong! As a veteran, I can tell you that when anyone enlists in any branch of the military, they do forfeit some rights. Ever hear of the UCMJ? Uniform Code of Military Justice. Its a parallel legal system, and far more restrictive that Civil Law. Service members are subject to both at the same time, as a result, Double Jeopardy does not apply to them.

    Military regulations are enforced as if they were equal to the UCMJ as well. You sacrifice your individual freedoms to wear the uniform. The Armed Forces are not and never will be a 9 to 5 job.

  • http://www.wwe.com Ryan

    What some people are failing to realize is that there is racism and extremism everywhere in the world today not just the military. Those same extremists arent just white supremicists either, there are black, white, brown, yellow, and whatever. Theres nothing wring with being prideful of your heritage or your skin color. I am proud of the fact that I am a white male serving in the military. I have been discriminated against by superiors and those of the same rank who were different colors. It works all ways. The minute someone says something and they are white and its directed towards another race they are racists and bad people. But when it happens in reverse there is nothing wrong. I can be called every deragatory name for a wite man there is and no one sees anything wrong, but the minute I utter anything that even resembles a racist comment, my career is over and I can even get jail time. There is something seriously wrong with our society

  • Andy Buschbacher

    Matt Buschbacher has not been involved in any Neo-Nazi organization for some years now. He no longer believes in that. Don’t continue to condemn him for his past but praise him for waking up and realizing the lies of the Neo-Nazi movement and getting out of it.
    And by the way Steve, he is one of your cousins, mine too.

  • http://dayspringsofglory.blogspot.com/ Glenn Franco Simmons

    Mr. Carter and SPLC bloggers, I apologize, I did not finish my thought above.

    What I meant to say was this, with a biracial president, we have to be on extreme alert for white supremacists, yes.

    I neither endorse nor oppose President Obama, but the last thing I want is for our president to be harmed. I don’t care what his politics are, he is our president and we, as a society, must do everything to protect him.

    Disagree with him all you want, but in your disagreement, do not encourage vitriol that will encourage others to potentially take into their own hands a horrific thought to do our president any harm.

  • http://dayspringsofglory.blogspot.com/ Glenn Franco Simmons

    Mr. Carter,

    For some reason, I just got notified of your comment on my comment, so although it’s March, I’m still responding to your thoughtful commentary.

    I agree with you about the isolation that young people must feel in order to join a gang.

    Mr. Carter, you also put it so heartfelt and articulately when you stated, “This issue of gangs in general within the US Military makes me extremely sad. Young people on mil bases are (on occasion) ripe for recruitment due to feeling of isolation, etc.

    “Sad commentary on family systems dynamics & support via our military housing. It places the challenges of support further on the military family. A tough load to bear.”

    With a biracial president — he IS NOT Africa-American, my SPLC friends, and don’t charge me with racism, ok? Why? Because I have TWO beautiful granddaughters who are biracial with a black father and white mother. They are neither my heritage, Italian-, Welsh- and Scottish-American or African-American. They are all of them, that terrible word, an “assimilation” of diversity in our human family.

    Yeah, that thing U2 said in the lyric, “When All Colors Will Bleed Into One.”

    As I only believe in one color, human, with its wonderful shades, shapes, sizes, cultural diversities, etc., U2 could not have been more prescient when it sang that lyric so long ago.

    Before conservative jingoists charge with of being a “bleeding-heart liberal” whom conservatives love to bash. I’m actually a CONSERVATIVE RELIGIOUS SPLC supporter and have been an SPLC supporter for more than two decades as a conservative newspaper editor who has promoted the SPLC countless times in his newspaper columns and now on my blogs.

    Thank you, Mr. Carter, for such a heartfelt, understanding comment, because we have to realize that some of our youth may be prone to making the grave error of joining one these organizations, be it a gang that is dedicated to eradicating my black relatives or other gangs who deal drugs and death to any “color” of American if they happen to be of the “wrong” gang sign.

  • Steve R

    Kody was involved in armed roberies with African American Marines, loved an African American high school teacher, and follows racist ideals.

  • Joe Camel

    A fix for this is to not allow redneck racists who are not “enlightened” like those from the large cities in the military. Maybe it is time for only good liberals to enlist, fight wars, protect the country, you know, do their part.
    No, one guy does something, so that makes it a “white guy” issue. Issue is, the pathetic whiny folks don’t want to be in the military, do their part. They just want to bitch about it.
    Maybe we can do like the Romans did, outsource our protection..seems to have worked for them…Geeze.

  • http://human human

    this is too much,racisim has to stop! We are all humans no matter what our color of skin is!

  • Carter

    In response to Mr. Glenn Franco Simmons:

    This issue of gangs in general within the US Military makes me extremely sad. Young people on mil bases are (on occasion) ripe for recruitment due to feeling of isolation, etc.

    Sad commentary on family systems dynamics & support via our military housing. It places the challenges of support further on the military family. A tough load to bear.

  • Glenn Franco Simmons

    Unbelievably, History Channel, history.com, has a show on right now, 6 p.m., Pacific Time, chronicling street gangs in the military.

    That includes neo-Nazi gangs and white-supermacist gangs, but these are not the only gangs, and SPLC should not only focus on white racist gangs. It should also focus on all gangs. All are repugnant.

    It showed gang members at musical events on military bases flashing gang signs, and it reported gang crime committed on foreigh soil.

    There also is a report on gangs. Here is the link: http://209.85.173.132/search?q.....#038;gl=us

    It’s an unclassified document.

    The History Channel said the Pentagon said there is less than 1 percent of soldiers who are gang members, but this represents an entire Army base of gang-bangers spread throughout the military.

    Of course, the Pentagon did not respond and the show is not over.

  • http://glennfrancosimmons.blogspot.com/ Glenn Franco Simmons

    My son is in the military and he’s hardly a racist/white supremacist, but I realize you are not saying all military personnel are white supremacists.

    I wouldn’t worry as much about these people getting their “hands on weapons” as much as I would worry about their training being used to gather weapons, including biowarfare capabilities, to carry out their evil agendas.

    What also concerns me as much as racists in the military are gang affiliations, which I believe pose a greater risk at this time than white supremacists, but it’s not as sexy to go after gang affiliations as it is white supremacists, is it?

    That said, gang affiliations obviously include white supremacist gang affiliations, but there are criminal enterprises with gang members in the military and they are not all neo-Nazis.

    All, however, are repugnant and a danger to democracy, and I applaud the SPLC’s efforts, but please don’t stop there.

    Perhaps I missed you going after other gang affiliations, and if I did, I stand corrected.

    Also of concern in the military is the “boys-will-be-boys” macho attitude that allows military personnel, usually men, who go to strip bars, bars and other venues where women are objectified as mere objects rather than persons.

    The result is drunken soldiers, rapes, domestic violence and immoral behavior.

    The military needs to clean up its acts, including our military personnel in Iraq who have admitted to having sexual liaisons with Iraqi women, who reportedly were prostituting themselves.

    This is also repugnant and military discipline should be so exacting as to prevent this and to severely punish this behavior.

  • Sylvia Pinyan

    I think you should make this (and other articles) available to readers to e-mail to their friends. More people need to be aware of what is going on.

  • Master Sergeant

    Believe me, the military circles I traveled in have a zero tolerance for the bigotry described in this article. However, there is a great big can of worms here that no one wants to open. If you have a Black Military Social Group, then you have to allow a White Military Social Group and a Native American Military Social Group and an Asian Military Social group, etc. Racism cuts more than one way. The biggest racist pig I met in the military happened to be a black male CSM. He was a bully and had a chip on his shoulder. Lots of patience with his black Soldiers and quick to deride and punish his “not black” Soldiers. He had hundreds, yes hundreds, of IG and EO complaints against him. Never any action taken. I wouldn’t stand for it and he stayed away from me and my Soldiers. A sharp public rebuff does wonders. So what do you do about groups for which the sole requisite to join is to be of a particular race? Anytime you base membership on race you are racist. ? Notice that sentence ends in a period. Anytime you make a decision based on race, you are racist. ? Look, another period. So yes, there is racism in the military, but there is sure a h-ll of a lot less tolerance for it there than in your home town.

  • ms. pitbull

    I lived in a Marine Corp town and I *know* that there are quite a few racists in the military.

  • Carter

    I think that some people need to look up the definition of the term “REACTIONARY”.
    Not everyone who happens to be conservative is a racist. The more ANYONE practices the politics of divisiveness, the more we become unhappy & self serving.

    I was witness to a right-wing talk radio show host who when asked about the results of the election replied, “Well, it certainly gives me something to talk about for the next four years. But I deeply believe that it was a very healthy thing for race relations in this country & am deeply moved by what it provides people as an example of what can be accomplished by hard work & acceptance of all people as human beings first”.
    This is as near as a quote as I remember, but I was moved that this person saw what Good the election results provided. (He was not on the air at the time & I have no right to publicly mention his name. I simply want to make a point & not aggrandize this individual.)
    STOP categorizing anyone with a differing opinion with paranoia & suspicion. Not everyone who votes differently is a bigot. Not everyone need ascribe to the same world view. Those who demand this are the essence of The Problem.
    Change starts with one’s self. Start looking in the mirror & see if some of the problems in this country can be dealt with by realizing that people are different & being different is OK. There is a very large difference between someone of differing political views & a bigot.
    This country should never demand that we all conform to one ideological perspective of the world around us. When any individual does that; they are part of the problem and NEVER part of something wholesome or decent; Left, Right or Centrist.

  • Herman

    I live in a real racist, Republican Party [neo-con]…controlled, back-water state called Texas….and in a real sorry county called Brazoria County. Our entire state has no Democrats or Liberals that hold any statewide offices. The Republicans in Texas have voted 99.9% of the time with Bush/Cheney/McCain/Palin to deny Civil and Human Rights to millions of citizens in Texas. They preach hatred at every bend and turn against Gays, Liberal Christians, Progressives, Liberal Democrats, Union members, Latinos, African-Americans, and they have waged a war of genocide by any means necessary against us. These dirt-bags of the Republican party have conducted their racist Drug-War which has resulted in one in three young Black men being incarcerated in Texas’ Gulag-Stalag Concentration Camp prison system. And believe me when I say there are millions of White Liberals warehoused in these concentration camps here in this perverted Police State of Texas.
    Ft. Hood…is the largest military base in the world….and I know for a fact that the military has recruited all kinds of gang members, white skin-heads as well as others….trains them to be killers who hate every Liberal Man , Woman, and Child in America.
    These gangsters are specifically joining the US Military to learn how to wage war on Liberals in America as well as over-seas. Just look at the Zetas in Mexico, the Taliban and Osama bin Laden in the Near East, and all the innocent Progressives murdered in Latin America by trainees of the “School for the Americas” at Ft. Benning, Georgia! All of these murderers and terrorists groups have obtained their weapons training from the US military establishment! The entire US Military’s officers corps which is full of Liberal hating thugs…needs to be “Purged” before they end up murdering all Liberals while we are a sleep in our beds. I don’t trust any dirt-bag, racist, right-wing cops… and I sure as hell don’t have any trust for any of the Officer Scum-bags in the US Military, and their campaign of Oppression Against Liberals in this World!
    Herman- Alvin, Texas.

  • D. Boswell

    I’m not surprised by the DoD’s lack luster response to Mr. Cohen’s letters of concern. The Defense Equal Opportunity Mangement Institute (DoD’s EO school) has watered down the training it provides to Equal Opportunity Practitioners to almost nothing. It’s almost as if the military wants the world to believe that they have eliminated racism and discrimination. They are of the opinion that the battle has been won. Its almost like declaring victory in Iraq.

  • mountaingirl08

    Military leaders must be ignoring the elephant in the room.

  • Carr

    There should be segragated units in our military today. The “African American” can cook, clean and wash the clothes of REAL Americans on a daily basis. I spent twenty years on active duty and have no use for the black RACE away from freedom. Your tax dollars at work. $$

  • Sandy

    It is difficult to understand Chu’s stonewalling. Should we be contacting our representatives about this?

  • Michele

    I have worn the uniform of this great country and I have also been an Equal Opportunity Advisor and I know first hand that there is a problem with racism in the military. I can not for a second believe that anyone in a leadership position would attempt to deny the problem before them. It is a sad day when you know that there is a problem and refuse to address it appropriatly. Even one act of racism is one to many. I pray to God everyday that no one will be stupid enough to hurt President Obama because if they do I truly believe this country would have WWIII within its borders.

  • mountaingirl08

    How can the armed forces screen out every single neanderthal that enlists or tries to enlist? There is no way that a sizable number of the ignorant trashy types can be prevented/removed from the armed forces. Will there be a sort of “don’t ask; don’t tell” policy to ferret out the kluxer types? Will military intelligence track down national socialists and so on?
    Got any ideas?

  • Ronnie

    Sure they have Neo Nazis within the Armed Forces. The Canadians just captured The Beast of Bolzano. He was in the military 1944-1945 located at the Bolzano Italy Facility. They detained him and sent him back to Italy to stand trial for his immoral behavior. SS Nazi Michael Seifert lived in Canada since 1951 until his capture recently. Read his Biography. Sure they have Neo Nazis within the Armed Forces. SS Captain
    Erich Priebke massacred 335 civilians at the Ardeative Caves on the outskirts of Rome during WW II

  • ELois Poole-Clayton

    I have a remedy! Be more persistant at learning the real characters of the individuals that are now working for our president, for as it appears, some didn’t accept their positions for the right reason. I personally feel that some were expecting things to go just as they use to and our president has a beter agenda. What he wants, will stabalize the entire country, which will bring many to a point oh humbleness and the average member, isn’t use to that. Our president, is about real change and I don’t have any doubt, that he’s doing the right thing. Now, if all are on the same page, the same stradegies that worked to made them so happy before he became president, with a touch of change, just imagine how balanced the economy will be, doing things his way! I know that means sacrificing those big bonuses, but doing so, without gripe, will reassure our president, that he can take a chance on trusting you to help him secure the economy further.
    Think about it!

  • http://michelle2005.wordpress.com Michelle

    I posted this article on my site and got told that I was racist for pointing out racism. How weird is that?

    I’ve had the “HateWatch” web address on my blogroll for almost a year but wonder how many people actually take time to look up these available statistics for themselves.

    Keep up the great work.

    Michelle

  • john wayne

    as this white lady once told me while waiting in line at the supermarket, because of a rude and racist little old lady behind me. “were not all like that”. its been going on for generations, everyone hates someone else. remember, there are more decent men, women and children of every character and pigmentation from all walks of life, those wh0o feed the good wolf, lightbearers, were quite strong and quite stealthy, there are more non racist people now than there were 10 yrs. ago. having said this. stop fixating on trying to change someone into your’e mindset. “be the change that you wish to see in the world”. gandi.

  • mountaingirl08

    Is it some sort of master plan to infiltrate the military or what? It’s more likely undereducated whites are enlisting in the military because of the rotten state of the economy. Members of that demographic feel they have been shut out and dumped on and fail to see the correlation between lack of an education and underemployment. They blame minorities for their economic woes.
    Timothy McVeigh was a “pissed off young hick” (re John Douglas, criminal profiler) who did quite well in the military. He won a bronze star, I believe. His type performs quite well in the structured environment of the military.

  • Deirdre M

    I second the motion that you include Facebook sharing. Perhaps MySpace, as well. This information needs to get out there.

  • smolder

    I pledge to protect my president.
    I place myself forward in words
    and in front of him. I would literally too,
    if only I could. I would stand as a human shield.
    For now, only in meaningful words.
    Come get me ignorant fools!

  • Rob

    There is a good chance some of these guys joined these groups after they were in the military. Most of these guys are young and once they see the world as a “grown up” they become radicalized. Everybody has predjudices, sometimes people feel like they have no place to turn. I don’t think anyone can argue that there is a lot of forced beliefs being pressed on people.

  • jean letts

    I disagree that any free speech issue is at stake here. President Obama is Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the United States. If there is a person in any branch of the military who believes he should be assasinated, then that person should be required to resign his/her commission at the very least.

  • http://cheryloropal.blogspot.com Cheryl Lynne Oropal

    Needless to say, this is sickening and even worse how the Marines are covering this up! As a transsexual-lesbian woman , I know all too well what it is like to deal with both sexism and homophobia ; especially from these white , macho-male shaved head racist and homophobic a**holes of which we’ve surely got our share right here in Southbury, Connecticut. What is worse is this, the military , especially the US Marines; gives these human excrement all the training they need to become powerful, mean fighting men in the name of ” defending our country”. They supply the guns, teach them how to fight like renegades and when they get out from service ; look out! Put simply, they become DANGEROUS! But of course many see them as ” heroes” because of their ” dedication to ” God” and Country!

  • David Peter

    As a retired Air Force NCO, I am appalled that the national leadership fails to take action against military members who are expousing racist views which call for the overthrowing of the U.S. government. These views are in violation of the oath all U.S. military members take upon enlistment to defend the constitution from enemies foreign and domestic. I disagree that military members have the right to be members of extremist racist groups as that is a violation of their enlistment oaths. The military command authorities should root out all these extremists and prosecute those they can and discharge the rest with less than honorable discharges.

  • Mrs Jalica Miller

    Extremest have been apart of the military fabric for years…Who are you kidding! We have members that speak quietly, unobscured by what is “right” and put the Governor first for their own means to downgrade the President…Plots would not be noticed if we were not paying attention to the “bullfed garbage that laces our military”..One forgets the military was comprised of racist long before we could keep equality for all! This is something the government allowed, and now! The intimidation, the single minded reasons to call the way they push minorities around then the minorities become ruthless in getting even…All because the military officials from the bottom who do have prejudice to keep their positions will use their buddies to casue great upheaval in forms of missing papers and more…records missing…harrassment, and other pathetic things that go on…There are military members who stand up to this kind of tactics to undermine the very reason why we are there in the first place…It was never warm for me…staying on top of the ugliness to override professional opportunity was ridden with unjust acts…I know…I gave thirty years and uncovered the most crueliest of acts that go unnoticed and swept up under the carpet as isolated incidents…Nothing is isolated until the “big wigs” make it so…fear of loosing their positions…and sweetning the acts of those who do what they are told to create disharmony! Extremest of race and more are lined in our military forces…”Try Me” I stood toe to toe with the likes of such, and those who use personal reasons to justify their inept ability to trash me through a coarse of meaningless games to sufice as “personal indifferance on my part” What does a Woman of my stature tell…The Ball bounces twice but this Lady of the Uniform learned the game that feeds on lies!

  • Daniel

    There are so many factors, its hard to tell where the problem begins and ends. Just as all well connected idiots do Chu just passed the buck. ” Oh, well we already have a policy so…. what more do you want from us?” How about enforcement of that policy? First of all, I think many of these young men are undereducated and misled. They’ve likely been grown up in backwater towns that nurtured their mentality.How does one combat this? Sensitivity training, not for a select few who may need it …. but for EVERYONE. Fair is fair. That might weed out a few knuckle heads by wisening them up. For the die hard psychos call in CID, NCIS, OSI, and the Officer of the Investifgator General…etc to keep an eye on them. Sooner or later, they will slip up. Whther it be Myspace, Facebook, or the company they keep the U.S Military has always had a good purpose for behavioral modification. We have the resources available to root these extremists out but no action has been taken. These people need to do their job. Racist extremists are a domestic threat. If it were up to me, I would take it a step further and ban these types of websties such as stormfront. Outright ban them! Freedom of speech can only take you so far, when people start talking about murder and genocide of a people that has already suffered it is too much. Our society needs to take ahold of these people and reign them in. At least monitor their communication until the Mil has a reason to give them the boot.

  • Stephen D.Parsons

    It is important, I think, to get as much publicity as possible about this threat to our President’s safety and to others safety.

  • Jill Oserowsky

    Please include Facebook links for your articles so that we can disseminate them that way as well.

  • Sheffield

    Hi the whole idea of the SPLC is to drag these folks and, behaviors into the light. I do not agree that we can never eliminate racism…it can be done by continuing to addess the ongoing flare ups on a daily basis…today and, everyday. That’s why I give cash to the SPLC!

  • Les

    The overwhelming majority of Service Members are NOT in favor of extremist groups of any sort. They join to serve the nation. By self-selection and training, they are focused on obedience to law.

    During the 1950s-70s, we had to sign a statement asserting we had never been members of any of a long list of Communist or Fascist organizations. Lying on such a form was a serious offense. Free speech types pressured the military to stop that practice. Those who favor a crackdown on right wing extremists must consider the difficulties and possible implications of reverting to that sort of policy.

  • Steve Buschbacher

    I have been an SPLC member for the last two years. I am also an NAACP member. I am ashamed and disgusted that someone with the same last name as me (even spelled the same way) should disgrace my proud family name with his racist hatred.
    We need to take immediate action regarding the infiltration of people like him in our military. We rely on the military to protect us and our freedoms. I hate to think that someone like him has a trust like that.

  • Carter

    When an individual is enlisted in the military that does not deprive him of his rights: that is something of a slippery slope when you tell someone what is acceptable speech outside of Service-related interaction. That being said it’s very clear that sedition is a crime & WN often cross the line to seditious behavior / speech. Their flag burning antics put them close to that at many a rally & gathering.
    Realistically however, if there are documented cases of a dozen individuals committing a criminal act(s) – that needs to become obvious to the command structure that it will spread & gather force. Such a thing may not be! But the “line” should be at a level of recruitment which is not an easy thing to accomplish.

    We have as an example this fellow who has a higher security clearance (the Navy commando) appearing at a WN gathering: does ANYONE think this guy’s career in the Navy will have come to a close?
    I certainly do.

    But these examples of neo-Nazi activity are simply NOT at the numeric level that some sweeping legislation need take place. It may come down to a question of allocation of resources; both financial & logistical. A few bad men doesn’t warrant that level of reaction.

    As for the “training” being disseminated via these jerks; I really don’t think that’s much of a worry……& I’ll be very blunt.
    Military training teaches you how to use military materials. It does VERY LITTLE to teach you how to “make bombs out of Kool-Aid”. The teaching of the use of weaponry is directed at materials that are provide by our patriotic military contractors (sarcasm alert). Even IF military equipment WAS available to the average individual, it’s cost is astronomical! But in reality even such things as .50BMG rifles are about $10,000 & individual cartridges cost about $8. Mortars are NOT available but each shell costs our government about $130 for a 60mm. Practice rounds are not that cheap either.
    Explosives used in the military are so restricted & covered with tracing micro-dots & paperwork that they are simply not a object available to an individual; period.
    The improvisation of such weapons is VERY limited & that information is available to the public & has been for decades. The fear of this stuff falling into civilian hands is a top priority of many Federal agencies as well as the Military.

    I am NOT saying that racism in the military is not a serious matter; but it IS a limited one. Often on a bottom line level, men fight for the lives of those around them, often from all walks of life. The notion that they separate as they did during FDR’s time (with Black units & Asians being put in concentration camps) is not a reality in today’s military. At least to the degree that would warrant wide-level investigations. Individuals who hold such beliefs are not as prevalent as during WWII.
    Out of ANY group of 1000+ individuals there is always going to be a percentage of people who hold such beliefs. Dealing with this should not become a witch-hunt for such things [as who does not use PC language] or else we are going to place our resources in an area where we are wasting effort. The Military is a world unto itself & should not be made into some construct of everyday society. It is NOT everyday society…… – Just my opinion but paying close attention to the language used by 19 year old Hip-Hop fans will lead us down a path of wasted effort….
    Halting the career of a SEAL who attends anti-government rallies is obviously already in place. And who was to say this was not a Domestic counter-terrorist Sting that was blown by all concerned?

  • Air Force Brat

    I agree with GENO. Trade the white supremacists (and any other haters) for gay and lesbians willing to serve. Assuming the commonly stated number of 10% of the general population being gay, and assuming less then 10% are at least openly racist, let alone on a KKK or assassin level, it’s a net gain for the military.

    Having grown up in the military with a white mother and a black stepfather (on a Southern Air Force base, no less), I can say that the vast majority of the military are tolerant and great people. The military should seek to preserve the high honor of the service and the sacrifices of it’s members by keeping out the racist. They do no honor to the minority servicemen (including my step-grandfather, a Tuskegee Airman) or the other soldiers that fight beside their fellow soldier, caring not the color of his skin, religion, or sexual orientation, and only seek to survive and complete their mission.

    I hope the SPLC continues the pressure on the Pentagon to keep its personnel up to the honorable level we expect from our armed forces.

  • Marvin Blades

    One of these days, America will really affirm its claim to brotherhood and opportunity for all, devoid of hate, racism and sexism…….one day!

  • Kathy

    The fact that white supremacists have been allowed into the military doesn’t really surprise me. Would they not be invaluable to the “neo-con” agenda which has been advancing for the past 20 years? As far as I can see “neo-con” is just another word for fascist and you don’t have to see a swastika on Cheney’s suit to know him for what he is. We must not be complacent about the fact that a peaceful election and transition were “allowed”. Cheney and his legions have not gone away and their plans are still in place.

  • Carl Banks Jr.

    I have a solution that will help bring about some
    change in the military. Any supremacist whether they
    are white,black brown, red, yellow or polka dot needs
    to be sued when they perpetuate racism. Any
    military officer who condones racism should be sued.
    SPLC in conjunction with other entities should
    bring suit against any military personnel who
    practices and preaches racism.
    Carl Banks Jr. A Vietnam Veteran

  • Joel Welty

    I get really upset thinking about racists and other extremists with their hands on the weapons our armed forces equip them with. Such warped minds are capable of anything.

  • GENO the Shadow Wolf

    “To be frank, it appears we’re not getting anywhere.”–Cohen

    Probably not, In fact, I think it has more to do with the very fact that our military is stretched thin. With 2 wars currently happening in Iraq and Afghanistan, and a possible war being waged on Iran. I wonder if this is why there is no action taken. Especially if “40 members of Congress” wrote in letters addressing this problem. Not to forget the FBI’s findings which was also legit enough to seek action by military officials. I’m also wondering why the pentagon is not reinstating gays back into the military? If they can reinstate gays and purge the white supremacists, we would have a decreased chance of a future assasination plot by the neo-Nazis in the military….