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

Missouri National Guard Probes Claims of Neo-Nazis in Ranks

By Bill Morlin on May 16, 2012 - 4:19 pm, Posted in Neo-Nazi

The Missouri National Guard is investigating a new claim that its ranks are infiltrated with neo-Nazis – this time a “patched member” of the violent American Front, whose members stand accused of plotting violence in Florida.

The inquiry comes after the Missouri Legislature conducted a hearing in April to look into how the Guard took more than a year to process three complaints about another guardsmen who was an admitted neo-Nazi.

In the American Front case, a Missouri Guard member identified as Ryan Riley provided firearms and military combat training to members of the white supremacist, militia-style group, including ex-cons, last summer in Florida, court documents allege.

“In July of 2011, Ryan Riley who is a patched member of the AF Missouri chapter was present at an AF compound in north Florida,” the Florida court documents, which just came to light, say. “Riley is also a member of the United States National guard.”

Riley was not among the dozen members of the American Front arrested last week in Florida on state charges of conducting illegal paramilitary training, attempting to shoot into an occupied dwelling, and violating hate crime laws.

American Front leader Marcus Faella “had Riley conduct paramilitary training on techniques (hand-to-hand combat, edge weapon techniques) he learned from the National guard,” the documents.

“During this particular weekend, a National AF meeting was being held.  Additional training was conducted on breaking down assault rifles, water purification and other survival skills.”

Asked about that development, the Missouri National Guard released a statement this week saying a new investigation was under way, the St. Louis-Post Dispatch reported Tuesday.

“The facts outlined in the affidavit are being investigated pursuant to military protocol,” a Guard spokeswoman told the newspaper. “Appropriate disciplinary and personnel action will be taken at the conclusion of the investigation, consistent with military regulations and procedures.”

In the earlier case, a legislative hearing focused on the way Missouri National Guard commanders handled three separate workplace complaints from other state guard employees who complained of a hostile work environment because of the presence of another guardsman who was a professed neo-Nazi.

A day before the hearing, the guardsman, Sgt. Nathan Wooten, was fired from his $27,000-a-year state job serving on a military honor guard that pays respect at funerals of military veterans, the Post-Dispatch reported. It wasn’t known if Wooten remains in the Guard for monthly and summer drills.

Wooten had a portrait of Adolf Hitler in his living room and actively attempted to recruit others to his neo-Nazi beliefs, the newspaper reported. The hearing did not look at the broader question of how many other potential neo-Nazis exist within the ranks.

White supremacists within active and reserve military units have been a problem for years, but the Pentagon enacted tougher regulations in late 2009, restricting active involvement in “supremacist doctrine, ideology or causes,” such as recruiting, fundraising, demonstrating or rallying, training, organizing and distributing white supremacist materials.

The SPLC had been urging the Pentagon to revise the regulations since 2006, when it published “A Few Bad Men,” a report revealing that large numbers of neo-Nazi skinheads and other white supremacists were joining the armed forces to acquire combat and weapons training – skills that could be used to commit terrorist acts against targets in the U.S.

The legislative hearing in Missouri was requested by state Sen. Bill Stouffer, a Republican from Napton, Mo., who told the Post-Dispatch on Tuesday that he “continues to get concerns voiced by guard members that there’s a problem” of  white supremacists with Guard ranks.

The senator was on the Senate floor Wednesday in the waning days of the legislative session and not available for comment.

But one of his senior aides, Heidi Kolkmeyer, told Hatewatch that the senator had not seen the Florida court documents detailing the alleged training conducted by Riley. Provided a copy of those documents, Kolkmeyer said she would be asking the senator if a broader legislative inquiry might now be in order.

  • Falcon6

    I am just encountering just how entrenched this kind of activity is, I have seen this before in California in the 70′s, and now I am seeing it in southwest MO., where active dangerous individuals are using member of local law enforcement to track persons of interest, attempt to break into items like face book accounts. It’s not so much I fear for myself for I am going to die soon do to injuries caused by my work for the DOD, but I know of a family that I feel is in great jeopardy I wish I could step back a find humor in a talk show host, but having lost friends to gangs, no matter what they have as their goal, I still remember the oath I was given many years ago, and will always be ready to stand to protect and defend those who can not defend themselves and the law and Ideals of this country. After reading some of the data on this site I hear a ghostly melody you might know the words they were about the strange fruit that grew on a lonely tree, and I fear those that tend it and the harvest to come.

  • Dale

    It is not just white gangs, there is black gangs and Hispanic. gangs in the service too. Check out their tattoos. i see them all the time.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/GargamelGold?feature=mhee CriticalDragon1177

    Bill Morlin,

    This is really upsetting. To think that such people might be getting military training. It will only make them even more dangerous.

  • Sam Molloy

    Reynardine, I’ll start it.
    Rushbo
    of all the…

  • Reynardine

    Now, it strikes me that the words I discovered that belong to “The Bridge on the River Kwai” theme could undergo updating…

  • http://twitter.com/AronL Aron

    Kate,

    Also as a proud Social Democrat myself, I would be insulting what I believe in were I to actually conflate those two things. Rushbo’s still a dingbat, however.

  • http://twitter.com/AronL Aron

    Kate,

    While I appreciate your intent, I know that after roughly 1934, the ‘S’ in the NSDAP was largely meaningless.

    (I’m an military historian, so I sort of have to know these things :p)

  • Shadow Wolf

    Didn’t the SPLC drafted an Intelligence Report years ago, for the Military Committee and the U.S. Congress to follow up on, with regards to neo-Nazis infiltrating military ranks for their odious purpose of committing possible domestic terrorism?

    I also believe the F.B.I. followed up on the SPLC I.R. on this as well, if memory serves me accurately. This is really nothing new. The U.S. Military was supposed to do something about it when it first sufficed.

  • kate

    Aron, please don’t conflate or confuse the term “socialist” as generally meant today and for the last 100 years with the abomination which was the Nazi “national socialist party”.

    One is a political/socio-economic theory and government model, the other was a murderous crock perpetrated on the European people.

  • Erika

    Aron that reminds me of the joke

    What is the difference between Rush Limbaugh and the Hindenburg?

    One is a big Nazi gasbag and the other is a zeppelin.

  • RailroadMike

    If you notice these people say they are for Christianity and God. The Fascist used these during heated speechs in the proclaining to Americans. This quote comes to mind “If men are sow wicked as we see them with Religon what would they be without it ? Im afraid they are now walking the halls of Congress as we speak.

  • Sam Molloy

    If there is anything we do not need it’s Nazis in the National Guard.

  • Greg

    I was in the MONG in 2001 and MAJ Case asked me “what do you think of Muslims?”. I told her I used to be married to a Muslim. I also was married in Mombasa in 1993. I never found out what she expected me to say.

  • http://twitter.com/AronL Aron

    Considering the Missouri legislature just unveiled a bust of Rish Limbaugh in their Hall of Great Missourians, that wouldn’t surprise me.

    (Mind you, I’m not calling Rushbo a National Socialist. He’s far too nationalistic an nowhere near socialist. Zing!)