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

After Hatewatch Story, Maryland Military Engineer is Suspended

By Bill Morlin on July 8, 2013 - 2:37 pm, Posted in Anti-Black, Extremists in the Military, White Nationalism

The U.S. Army is not commenting on its decision to suspend with pay one of its chemical and biological research engineers while he is investigated for his reported close ties to two racist groups espousing white nationalist views.

John Stortstrom, a mechanical engineer who worked for the Army at its Edgewood Chemical Biological Center (ECBC) in Maryland, was suspended May 28 after published reports disclosed he was among 150 white nationalists who attended the American Renaissance conference in early April in Tennessee. American Renaissance is a journal dedicated to race and intelligence, with a heavy focus on the “psychopathology” of black people. Its editor has written that black people are incapable of sustaining any kind of civilization.

Stortstrom also has been a member of Youth for Western Civilization (YWC), a far-right student group started about five years ago that now appears to be defunct.  Simultaneously, Stortstrom served as vice president of the Route 40 Republican Party Club, based in Edgewood, Md., which recently sponsored an appearance by Matthew Heimbach, president of the racist White Student Union at Towson University.

Stortstrom’s racist affiliations were first reported by the anti-racist organization “One People’s Project” (OPP). The group’s site included a photo of Stortstrom with the caption, “Engineer. Republican. Racist. Military bomb maker.” His racist affiliations — while he works with a security clearance at a U.S. military chemical and explosive facility — subsequently were explored in articles that appeared on Hatewatch and Salon.com.

Stortstrom was put on administrative leave, with pay, on May 28 as a result of the article published on SPLC’s Hatewatch blog, ECBC spokesman Don Kennedy told The Baltimore Sun for a story published on July 4.

“Kennedy would not give any more details about the allegations against Stortstrom, except to say the investigation is ongoing,” the newspaper reported.  The spokesman “also declined to comment on any free speech implications of the action taken by the ECBC.”

“An article came out in the Southern Poverty Law Center and it got back to management, and obviously an investigation was put under way and he was put on administrative leave,” Kennedy is quoted as telling the newspaper.

The newspaper reported that Stortstrom did not respond to E-mail and phone requests for comment, and also declined comment when reached through an acquaintance last week.

While avoiding public comment, Stortstrom does appear to be taking steps to erase and remove details of his various affiliations from Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn.

On a YouTube video that was publicly available in May, he said his job at the Aberdeen Providing Ground is “to provide engineering and chemical expertise to customers in support of obscuration, non-lethal, riot control and incendiary munitions.” It wasn’t clear if the military authorized him to post a video detailing his work with explosives as a government engineer.

Stortstrom also discussed his work with the military’s M-106 “bursting grenade” that fills the air with a “titanium dioxide cloud” after being thrown to provide concealment in “a sniper-defense scenario.”

In reporting on the investigation of Stortstrom, OPP posted a follow-up story with the heading:  “If you hang around with the likes of white supremacists like Matthew Heimbach and the American Renaissance crowd, you are going to raise flags if you are also working for the military! That’s just the way it goes.”

  • Erika

    C gladen if you believe that the U.S. really got out of researching the offensive use of chemical weapons years ago, i have some prime ocean front property in Kansas to sell you.

  • Aron

    C Gladen,

    I’m well aware that the US is no longer in the ChemBio game. That doesn’t mean they don’t store pathogens and dangerous agents as samples at Edgewood. I don’t want someone with that kind of an agenda having access to those same agents.

    Security clearances are priveleges. And priveleges can be revoked for ANY reason. Maybe that’s what YOU don’t seem to understand.

    Also, re-read my comments regarding the M-106 smoke grenade. I know what I’m talking about.

  • Kiwiwriter

    Dan Zabetakis said the following:

    (Kiwiwriter: Are you in New Zealand? What is this Queen and Crown you talk about?)

    Sorry about the delay in answering, but I have a real job and a real family, and real free-lance work, so that takes up a lot of my time.

    I lived in New Zealand, got married in New Zealand, my daughter was born in New Zealand, had my first home and dog in New Zealand, was involved in community organizations in New Zealand, planned to stay in New Zealand, did a lot of my best writing in New Zealand, and regard Christchurch as my adopted home town. Hence: Kiwiwriter.

    As for the “Crown” and “Shilling” reference, my family is English and has provided the Crown with soldiers and sailors since 1680, so that’s a phrase I heard a lot in my family. It’s about government service.

    Back to this case: Yes, this fella has a great deal of rights as an American citizen, and he also signed a great many secrecy agreements and other paperwork when he assumed his present duties.

    He is in a position of great responsibility and high security clearances, and therefore, he has, unfortunately, given up some of his rights — voluntarily — in exchange for the duties and responsibilities he has been assigned.

    Being involved in outfits like American Renaissance could, for example, come to the attention of a foreign country or a terrorist organization, and be used by that nation or organization as a blackmail or ideological tool upon him to yield up secrets. This is not new…it’s the stuff of both fictional and factually spy stories since Casanova and Julius Caesar.

    More importantly, when you’re in a position like that, you can’t be seen as being involved with outfits like American Renaissance. No, they have not called for the overthrow of governments or violence, and they have been careful to mute their racial hatred and animus of people they hate, when making public discourse.

    But they are the “cleaner” version of harsher rhetoric, have considerable ties to such folks, and we have seen such representatives here. You may recall the person I call “Lon Chaney,” who came here under many names, most of them starting with the letter “E,” alternately shilling for American Renaissance, spouting idiotic racist rhetoric, denouncing us as Communist liars, and arrogantly demanding our life stories and 10-year resumes. This person openly told us that being a “neo-Nazi” is a good thing, while swearing adherence to Jared Taylor and American Renaissance.

    These are the birds John Stortsrom is accused of nesting with, and that raises questions about his loyalty, ethics, and personal character, which are critical factors for government positions that require “special trust and confidence.”

    I see from this thread that Mr. Storstrom is on “administrative leave with pay,” so his income is not in any danger, and this matter is being investigated. He may very well be able to convince his superiors that while disliking various ethnicities, he does not support violence, nor does he violate equal opportunity policies at work. Somehow, I don’t think so.

    Yes, it is unfortunate that people in such positions lose some of their rights and liberties as American citizens, because of their positions. I am not happy with it. I am also not happy with the fact that we live in an unpleasant dangerous world. Nor am I happy with the government becoming what it beholds. But I am concerned that this individual, in a position of considerable importance to our nation’s defense, is voluntarily connecting himself to people and organizations that diametrically oppose — and perhaps with force — the ideals and values that our country professes to uphold.

    I would like to see how this plays out. But I find it disturbing that a person in his public position should take such an unusual personal position.

    It is more a question of character, ethics, duty, and honor, than personal politics. His adherence to those concepts of character, ethics, duty, and honor are at issue here…not as much his politics. To me, these concepts are moral absolutes. I hope you can respect those values…I try to live by them.

  • C Gladen

    A lot of misinformation appears here.

    The Edgewood Center is in the chem bio defense business.

    The US got out of the offensive business decades ago.

    No one at that center would have any access to bombs or bomb making materials of any kind.

    Just google them and see for yourself.

  • Erika

    jeff, he works wtih a Top Secret Security Clearance at an Army weapons lab – the rules are different when you deal with the military because people give up some of their freedoms to work in a sensitive location in the name of security. That is perfectly reasonable.

    and anyone who is working for someone else is going to have to follow their employer’s rules. i mean, have you ever bothered to work in a job? people in government employee actually have much stronger protections – being able to be fired for only very limited reasons. if he was working for a private company chances are good that he would have been fired immediately if his employer found out he was going to white nationalist meetings.

    And considering that he is continuing to be paid during the investigation into whether his activities are legal its hard to even think he is being oppressed that much. if he is not violating his employer’s rules he will go back to his job without having lost anything (since he was still being paid). If not, because he was working for the government he will be able to file a grievance and go to federal court to challenge his dismissal. Since federal law provides a very narrow list of reasons of for cause termination there is a good chance that he will probably actually keep his job (contrary to what Dan thinks)

  • Aron

    Persecution? Hardly. He was removed from a high security position and his clearance was revoked.

    I’ve known people who have list their clearance for READING WIKILEAKS or DOWNLOADING TORRENTS.

    The fact that you think this smacks of Fascism shows how little you know of the security field.

  • Jeff Frentzen

    I’ve read these comments justifying persecution of this man based not on anything he has done but because of what he thinks or his associations. Sounds an awful lot like a Fascist group here.

  • Aron

    Dan,

    I’m rather surprised you’ve not heard of Noam Chomsky. Your views seem to very much mirror his.

    As I said before, let him take the government to court. A judge can decide our argument.

  • Dan Zabetakis

    ” you can think whatever you want. But considering their rhetoric, AmRen very much falls into the extremist camp.”

    I had a quick look, and it doesn’t seem that the SPLC considers either American Renaissance or Youth for Western Civilization to be either extremists or hate groups. It is better to call them ‘far-right’, or as I like to say these days “the political mainstream”.

    “I gather you are a follower of my former neighbor Chomsky? His philosophy is impractical. ”

    Don’t know him.

    “There is no such thing as absolute free speech.”

    Of course not. But there is an inalienable right to political and social expression.

  • Erika

    and for that matter, hw do you know without an investigation that his activities are Kosher???

  • Erika

    dan, and how pray tell is the government going to know whether he is in fact violating the law or rules without conducting an investigation???

  • http://aronpublic@gmail.com Aron

    Dan, you can think whatever you want. But considering their rhetoric, AmRen very much falls into the extremist camp.

    I gather you are a follower of my former neighbor Chomsky? His philosophy is impractical. There is no such thing as absolute free speech.

  • Dan Zabetakis

    ” i am very much convinced that you are engaging in the practice known as “concern trolling””

    No, dear, I am standing up for someone who’s rights seem under threat. The fact that I disagree with him is irrelevant, and I am disturbed that everyone else here doesn’t also object.

    (And it is not the actions of the government I object to, but those of the SPLC in targeting a private individual for political expressions and associations that appear fully licit.)

    No one has accused the engineer of the things you imagine. In fact the Baltimore Sun quoted statements from the president of the Republican Club that the engineer is none of those things.

  • Dan Zabetakis

    “Dan, would you not consider AmRen an extremist group? ”

    No, of course not. Racism is not the same as extremism. The SPLC does not report that AR calls for or engages in violence. They are not terrorists and do not advocate the overthrow of the government.

    “In my opinion, his actions violate the Hatch Act.”

    I only note that no one has accused him of this.

  • Erika

    dan, honey, i am very much convinced that you are engaging in the practice known as “concern trolling” because it should not be that difficult to understand why the government is investigating and why it is okay Constitutionally:

    1) white nationalists and white supremacists have a long history of committing violent criminal acts or acts of terrorism against people

    2) the military has released numerous reports (remember the right wing freak out after the most recent one a couple of years back?) about the threat of right wing extremists in the military and the attempts by right wing extremists to access military weapons.

    3) white supremacists and white nationalists tend to oppose the federal government and often advocate for the use of violence against that government

    4) he has been revealed to have ties with known white supremacists and white nationals

    given those four items it would be irresponsible for the military to not investigate how deep his ties to white supremacists and white nationalists are – and to see if he is violating employment rules.

    and the saddest part is that i’m sure if the white nationalists would obtain military weapons and use them in a terrorist attack and it is revealed that the received them from a person working in a government military weapons research lab had known ties to white nationalists you would be howling about the military’s failure to investigate him before the terrorist attack took place.

  • Aron

    Dan, would you not consider AmRen an extremist group? Certainly their veneer is better than Rockwell’s ANP, but they are still extremists.

    In my opinion, his actions violate the Hatch Act.

    Let him file suit against the government. Let the courts decide.

  • Dan Zabetakis

    “your entire argument is based upon a faulty premise – namely that this is based upon his political views and not potential ties to extremist groups”

    No one, not here, nor in any other news source, has accused him of having ties to extremist groups. He has only been accused of membership in political activist groups with views that you (we) disagree with. He has not even been accused of violating the Hatch Act.

    He’s merely a private citizen. He doesn’t have a PR department. He doesn’t have lawyers on staff. It is far to easy to victimize him for doing nothing but exercising his rights. I, at least, will object to that.

  • Erika

    dan, he’s been suspended with pay for an investigation on whether the groups he is associated with are involved in terrorism, anti-government activities, etc. if they are engaged in purely legal issue advocacy he will get his job back. if they are engaged in illegal activity, he will lose his job with the ability to appeal the determination,

    your entire argument is based upon a faulty premise – namely that this is based upon his political views and not potential ties to extremist groups – get over yourself and actually try studying what actually happened in the McCarthy period (why don’t you start by actually reading the court cases from that period such as Joint Anti-Fascist Organizing Committee v. McGrath so you can understand the difference between what the government was doing in the late 1940s/early 1950s and this)..

  • Dan Zabetakis

    There appears to continue to be grave misunderstandings about what is of concern to the security organizations as far as associations of people with clearances. You can look up the relevant form yourself. It’s the SF-86 (Questionnaire for National Security Positions).

    In Section 29 (Association Record) we find a list of yes/no questions starting “Have you ever…”. In condensed form, they are as follows:

    a. …been a member of a terrorist organization?

    b. …been a member of an organization dedicated to the violent overthrow of the US Government?

    c. …been a member of an organization that uses violence to discourage others from exercising their rights?

    d. …advocated acts of terrorism designed to overthrow the US Government?

    e. …knowingly engaged in activities designed to overthrow the US Government by force?

    f. …knowingly engaged in acts of terrorism?

    g. …participated in militias or paramilitary groups?

    That’s the full list. Since none of the groups this engineer is said to belong to would be on this list, he has no known associations that would be questionable.

    Other than this, he retains his full rights of free speech and association.

    (Kiwiwriter: Are you in New Zealand? What is this Queen and Crown you talk about?)

  • Kiwiwriter

    Once you take the Queen’s Shilling, and especially when you advance up the level of security clearances, you cannot ally yourself privately or publicly with persons and organizations that are diametrically opposed to the Crown.

    It is a matter of duty and honor, both personal and professional. And those concepts must be uppermost in the minds of those who choose the career in public and government service.

    It is not “just another job.” It is a calling.

  • Erika

    *sigh* this is not like the McCarthy Era at all – see, it is very simple, in the McCarthy Era people would be fired from government jobs or government contractors simply based upon rumored associations with the Soviets or Communism (which in some cases turned out to be people working for defense contractors who met with the Soviet Embassy during World War II when they were allied with the Americans) following a secret investigation with no hearings whatsoever. The firings were not limited to people working in sensitive jobs who had access to secret information. People working in the lunch counter at a government office building lost their jobs if they had say subscribed to a Communist front magazine.

    There would not have been a suspension and investigation – you would not have the opportunity to contest the charges – you just got fired.

    That – and not people being fired for political beliefs – was the real evil of McCarthism. It has always been perfectly reasonable to deny a security clearance for a person who is involved in groups seeking to overthrow the federal government or potentially involved in terrorism. Its not reasonable to deny a security clearance because of a person’s legal political activities. The investigation is designed to see if his activities rise to the level of being involved with groups engaged in illegal activities – if they don’t he will keep his job. If they do, he will have a chance to challenge the determination in court.

  • John H

    Dan Zabetakis: The issue is not one of freedom of speech. I have been to Aberdeen Proving Grounds (Edgewood is part of Aberdeen). There are a number of high security labs at Aberdeen and Edgewood. To work in one of them you have to go through a security investigation. One part of the investigation is listing every organization you ever belonged to.

    The problem is it looks like he failed to report his membership in several questionable organizations. He is probably also being investigated for revealing his job duties at the lab.

    If you are going to work for the military in a security job you give up some of your privacy rights.

  • Kaba

    Thank the lord for freedom of speech! If it didn’t exist we wouldn’t know that Matthew Heimbach, the guy Stortstrom supports, is a member of a group called the League of the South that is working towards the secession of the southern states, which runs afoul of the mission of the military. He makes note of that in this video he released just a few days ago! http://www.youtube.com/watch?f.....TmhjBZ8QLw

  • concernedcitizen

    Well Susan, I agree with you. However, I am fairly sure that they don’t have hearts to look deep into.

    Some of these people are just cold, ruthless and appear to be devoid of a soul. It is a sad situation that we have such a poisonous philosophy that spreads like a disease in our culture.

    The only way to eradicate it is for those who are victim of it to write about it share their experiences, turn in the culprits and their groups no matter how many of them.

    As the Southern Poverty Law Center continues to publish those articles that keep watch and inform us it keeps the intelligence moving through the hands and minds of the community. That is where we need the intelligence.

    These groups exist and grow due to some failure of the front lines. The front lines being each and every one of us.

    I desire strong front lines because I don’t want to move into communities where these idiots are residing and running things. Who wants these type of people for neighbors, or to have them employed giving you service where you shop?

    Let’s all meditate, pray whatever it is that you do, on the idea of increasing supporters for this organization SPLC. We need one of these in every state.

  • concernedcitizen

    JFM, I don’t believe that those doing the security checks are looking for all the outside affiliations. Meaning that some people may be affiliated through loose acquaintances and friendships with people who subscribe to these groups and they may not even realize it. Working much like a mafia that uses people to weed themselves through the network.

    Next they start with mild influences gaining respect, friendship etc. Working just like con artists and then turning their newly found prey. Just like an organized gang they look for those who have education and influence in areas they believe will be helpful for them in furthering their cause. I don’t know if that was the case with this man but just food for thought on how these monsters infect our communities.

  • Sam Molloy

    This guy is not merely a Republican, or a Conservative, he belongs to overtly racist groups and absolutely should not be given a security clearance.

  • Reynardine

    Some of these guys are so eager to “purify” humanity that they are looking for a magic bullet bioweapon to which only “white” people are immune. Naturally, bioweapons are no such respecters of persons. Nonetheless, one of these arrogant blowholes, thinking there is, could loose a plague on the planet. What this guy is featuring is not exactly working for the Library of Congress.

  • Dan Zabetakis

    “Dan wrote: “I may disagree with everything you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

    oh, yeah, here come the internet tuffguys. herpa derpa derp derp derp. Go get ‘em, Dan. :roll-eyes:”

    I didn’t write that. It was Voltaire. So you can crawl back under your rock.

  • Dan Zabetakis

    Here is what the Baltimore Sun quotes Mullis (President of the Republican Party club of which this engineer is VP) as saying about the speach of Heimbach:

    begin quote
    Mullis said he thought Heimbach’s views were more in line with the conservative group Campaign for Liberty than with the mainstream Republican Party.

    “At the end of the presentation, we made it very clear that we did not agree with his mantra and he was more ‘CPL’ and Libertarian than Republican,” Mullis said. “We appreciated it, wished him ‘mazel tov’ [Hebrew for 'good luck' or 'congratulations'] with his program, but the majority of us were not in agreement with what he was saying.”
    end quote

    Heimbach is a registered Republican, they say, and so his appearing at this group is legitimate. Other people at the meeting (including the engineer) may or may not agree with his views.

    Where then is the justification for the witch-hunt against this guy?

    As far as I can see, he has not been _accused_ of anything that would cause concern for either government employment or security clearance.

    He has not been accused of violating the Hatch Act.
    He has not been accused of advocating the violent overthrow of the US Government.
    He has not been accused of workplace discrimination or harassment.

    He has only been “accused” of having perfectly legal associations and memberships.

    I doubt I agree with him on practically anything, but I will definitively defend his rights to expression and association. I am surprised that most other posters here don’t agree with that. I am saddened that the SPLC publicized this case.

  • Ithink

    “Sue Keller said,
    on July 9th, 2013 at 2:06 pm
    I have mixed feelings about this……….. These groups are allowed to exist here in America yet, this man is in danger of losing his job for belonging to them. When did we see this sort of witch-hunt before? Oh, that’s right, the McCarthy era.”

    I’m sorry, not to sound like a presumptuous ass but you must be white; because only a white right-winger would compare the nebulous concept of freedom of speech and association being violated when a white supremacist in a high-fatality military grade weaponry occupation is fired (a serious threat to the about 30% or so of Americans who DON’T have fair complexion and sufficiently European roots) to the McCarthyism communist witch hunts of the 1950′s, which actually ruined countless innocent, benign lives and demonized completely democratic political opponents as being sub-human.

    The former affirms how far we have to go to reach a mythical ”post-racial America” and how vigilant we must remain about our elected officials regardless of affiliation while the latter proves how incompetent, authoritarian and unnecessarily intrusive government can be when bending to the will of a tunnel-minded, bigoted and anti-intellectual radicalized political minority (i.e. the Tea Party of the mid-20th century; any government is bad government unless if of course involves criminalizing abortion, birth control, homosexuality, civil rights, disproportionately racial/class-based criminal justice corruption and military-industrial complex expansion). All that Fox News and Rush Limbo really does rot I.Q. points at super speed, apparently…

  • Susan Skorc

    Yes he needs to be fired! Racism seems to be getting worse in this country, and people need to suffer the consequences when they practice it. It needs to stop and it needs to stop now! For goodness sakes, we are in the 21st century, and this crap is still going on. People, look into your hearts and souls and realize we are all humans, that is all.

  • concernedcitizen

    Well Zabetakis, it has been my experience that they do not leave their beliefs in the meeting rooms of the racist illiterates.

    And I don’t see why the American taxpayer should have to foot the bill to find out which ones are muddled believers. It is a serious conflict of interest to have ties to groups that preach hate, divide and all around disregard for American citizens that this man is going to serve. It has also been my experience that they don’t stop at the philosophical belief of their “alleged” superiority but that they act out on it towards others in demeaning ways and they engage in behaviors in order to demean, intimidate and intimidate their victims.

    There is no place for this sort of foolishness in our government and it only promises to lead them into lawsuits that the American taxpayer will no doubt have to foot the bill for.

    There is no place for this sort of thing in our military or our defense departments if you don’t believe it just read over the history of those who have been indoctrinated to hate through military affiliations, read the cases, read the case of Chen, read about the Wisconsin shooter who killed all the Sikhs.

    We should have a zero tolerance for this non-sense. If they want to celebrate being white then do so in the confines of their churches or through family and friends or studying history etc. But you do not celebrate being white by trying to overthrow the government because it teaches tolerance and works to help people to live together in unity. You do not celebrate being white by running down or killing minorities or beating up and killing gay people nor giving money to organizations that engage in such behaviors.

    In my opinion these people are not celebrating being white they are celebrating being psychopaths, and agents of anarchy and destruction.

  • robert johnson

    Dan wrote: “I may disagree with everything you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

    oh, yeah, here come the internet tuffguys. herpa derpa derp derp derp. Go get ‘em, Dan. :roll-eyes:

    The US military isn’t required to provide protection for freedom of speech or association, and this was conclusively decided by the US Supreme Court in Parker v Levy (1974), with precedents:

    “In the armed forces some restrictions exist for reasons that have no counterpart in the civilian [759] community. Disrespectful and contemptuous speech, even advocacy of violent change, is tolerable in the civilian community, for it does not directly affect the capacity of the Government to discharge its responsibilities unless it both is directed to inciting imminent lawless action and is likely to produce such action. Brandenburg v. Ohio, [395 U.S. 444 (1969)]. In military life, however, other considerations must be weighed. The armed forces depend on a command structure that at times must commit men to combat, not only hazarding their lives but ultimately involving the security of the Nation itself. Speech that is protected in the civil population may nonetheless undermine the effectiveness of response to command. If it does, it is constitutionally unprotected. United States v. Gray, [20 U. S. C. M. A. 63, 42 C. M. R. 255 (1970)].”

  • lpatt

    It isn’t the M106 that’s a problem it’s the knowledge of technology that is capable of weaponizing biological agents and chemicals and the membership in these groups that are a problem.

  • supersonic250

    Dan Zabetakis:

    I think he should be allowed to say or believe whatever he wants… but when he works in a MILITARY LAB, working on weapons that could EASILY be “misplaced” and used against people whom he disagrees with, I’d say he DOESN’T have freedom to WORK where he wants.

    Freedom of speech only goes so far, and frankly, I feel much safer knowing that he’s under investigation rather than cooking up something that could kill a lot of people.

  • jfm

    I will defend his right to say anything he likes, too. No one is saying he can’t say whatever he wants, but when he is tied to white supremacist groups (many of which advocate governmental overthrow) there is no rule that says the military has to keep in a job that requires top secret security clearance. It’s amazing to me that he ever got past the vetting process to get hired in the first place.

  • Emmett Boyd

    Google “titanium dioxide cloud” and the 1st result I get is for US Patent 4612204, “Incorporation of a clouding agent into a dry beverage mix” granted to General Foods Inc nearly 30 years ago.

    “In the art of the formulation of dry mix fruit flavored beverages, there is a continuing effort being made to duplicate a counterpart natural fruit juice as closely as possible. The imitation beverage must have the mouthfeel, opacity, color and flavor characteristics of a natural juice. These desirable characteristics must be evident from the time of preparation of the aqueous beverage from the dry mix to the time of consumption. In many cases the beverage is not consumed for periods of time up to 48 hours subsequent to preparation.”

    Scary sounding stuff, but you probably drink it when consuming Tang, or maybe Kool-Aid, two General Foods brands which come to mind.

  • Lucas

    Freedom of speech is a right, possessing a security clearance is not. I’m glad that the Army is taking action against someone who associates with radical hate groups. The infiltration of our military and law enforcement by hate groups is a serious concern and the government must remain vigilant.

  • Chris from TU

    I just wanted to offer a clarification / correction:

    The White Student Union is not a group that is recognized by Towson University. While the WSU did apply to become an official TU student union they were unable to meet the requirement of faculty sponsorship.

  • Emily Beleele

    True, his participation in these groups is his right. True also that unless he takes harmful actions against others, it’s legal. However, I don’t want every wackadoo religious, social or political extremist having security clearance, working for my government making weapons of any kind. People are generally given clearance after extensive background checks. It indicates a high level of trustworthiness. (Seems like the Gov’t has had a tough time w/ those clearances lately.) Go get a job in the private sector and do your little hate activities sans access to explosives.

  • Sue Keller

    I have mixed feelings about this……….. These groups are allowed to exist here in America yet, this man is in danger of losing his job for belonging to them. When did we see this sort of witch-hunt before? Oh, that’s right, the McCarthy era.

  • Aron

    Sam, if you look up the M106, it is a simple smoke grenade.
    So yes, that is exactly what AmRen is planning to do.

    And Dan, contrary to what Chomsky claims, there is no such thing as absolute free speech. The courts have decided that time and again.

  • Sam Molloy

    True, Aron. Brach’s Starlight mints contain it as white filler, although their ingredients label lists peppermint oil ahead of it by weight. The generic brands on the other hand have more titanium oxide than peppermint oil. My question is, is this really for sniper obfuscation or are they going to spray every person in America white with it?

  • Ithink

    And damn good riddance! I’m sorry, I’m all for ‘freedom of speech and association’ as far as it goes but that doesn’t preclude freedom from criticism. Its high time that these anti-Semitic and white supremacist ideologue douches at least suffer the consequences of being so in an increasingly open, diverse and interrelated American society. Mr. Stortstrom’s being so from behind closed doors only makes him more of a coward than a David Duke or Donald Black but no less a living combustion of whale dung.

    Only disheartening thing is, can you imagine how many more of these miscreants have positions in the military where they could potentially harm or kill millions of people? My favorite liberal blogger in Charles Pierce recently said it best that “No progressive victory, neither in legislation or historical precedence, is ever permanent.”

  • Dan Zabetakis

    Again, I object to this hounding of an ordinary citizen for his private political beliefs.

    As far as has been reported, his associations are entirely legal. Nothing has been reported that would be of concern to the national security.

    Again, he is not a spokesman for any group nor running for office. What is the justification for hounding him?

    “I may disagree with everything you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

    Who hear wishes to renounce that principle?

  • Kiwiwriter

    Like all such organizations, the Army isn’t going to comment on personnel matters and ongoing investigations.

    I expect that Mr. Stortstrom should better start updating his resume.

  • Aron

    Again, a ‘titanium dioxide cloud’ is simply a cloud of pure white.

    Nothing harmful. Just difficult to see through.