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Comments by YACCS
Saturday, July 08, 2006

About the Army and Nazis

How did he become a soldier?

The Military IS NOT Recruiting Neo-Nazis and Hate Groups
by Ronald X [Subscribe]
Fri Jul 07, 2006 at 07:10:42 PM PDT

Clammyc's headline announcing The military is recruiting neo-nazis and hate groups caught my eye, as it evidently did many of yours. After reading his diary, I want to ensure you they most certainly are not.

The most glaring problem with this diary is the use of the word recruiting in the title. The NY Times article clammyc references as his source is titled Hate Groups Are Inflitrating the Military, Group Asserts. Use of the word recruiting in the dairly title implies that the military is actively seeking neo-nazis and their ilk to join the armed forces; nothing could be further from the truth. I do not know if clammyc intentionally or accidentally substituted recruiting for inflitrating, but it clearly led many respodents to believe the military is actively seeking racists for enlistment.

The NY Times article is based on a report from the Southern Poverty Law Center titled Racist extremists active in U.S. military. The article claims that the military "has relaxed standards designed to weed out racists extremists", not that the Army is actively seeking to recruit them. The article states "thousands of soldiers in the Army alone are involved in extremist or gang activity", quoting unnamed Department of Defense investigators. I'm not sure what they're basing that on, but based on my personal experiences I do not believe racist and gang activity is nearly as wide spread as this quote leads us to believe. I also disagree with the article's assertion that "(m)ilitary extremists present an elevated threat both to their fellow soldiers and the general public. Today's white supremacists become tomorrow's domestic terrorists." The only example I can think of is Timothy McVeigh, and he is used later in the SPLC article as the sole example. All of the incidents of domestic terrorism I can recall since Oklahoma City have been carried out by foreign born terrorists, including the plot thwarted today. I admire the SPLC for the great work they've done - especially Morris Dees - but I don't agree with all of the assertions in this article.

The NY Times article elaborates and quotes Scott Barfield, who is identified as a Department of Defense investigator. He claims that "(r)ecruiters are knowingly allowing neo-Nazis and white supremacists to join the armed forces, and commanders don't remove them from the military even after we positively identify them as extremists or gang members." I'm not sure what Mr Barfield means by these statements. I'm not sure how a recruiter can knowingly sign up a neo-nazi or white supremacist, or under what criteria they would reject them. I would assume any American has the right to join the military as long as they can meet the requirements and abide by the rules and laws of the Armed Forces. Since most racists are idiots, I assume they have a hard time achieving a passing score on the ASVAB. That goes for neo-nazis as well as the gang members that the SPLC article references.

Let's assume the racist or gang member enters the military. They're in for a very solitary life, as their beliefs aren't tolerated. The military has an extensive Military Equal Opportunity program, and all complaints are aggressively investigated. Again, I don't understand how Mr Barfield can make the claim that commanders aren't discharging Soldiers that violate regulations against racist activities. I would encourage him to file a complaint with the Inspector General if he believes commanders are negligent in their duties.

Are there racists and gang members in the military? Of course there are. The military is a reflection of society as a whole. The difference is that racists and gang members are not allowed to behave as they do in general society. A true racist would have an extremely difficult time serving in the military; it would be akin to trying to hold one's breath for an entire enlistment to avoid breathing in the stench of all the other races.

If, as the NY Times article asserts, the neo-nazis and white supremacists are joining the military to learn combat skills, then they can do that easily enough without having to serve with those they see as inferior races. The internet is full of web pages devoted to basic infantry and special forces tactics. Getting guns isn't a problem, so why bother serving with those you detest?

I was also irritated by clammyc's assertion that

So now we are taking members from our own hate groups, giving them a gun, very little training and sending them overseas to go kill.
The section that got me was the
very little training
bit. The enlisted Infantry course is 14 weeks long, and before a Soldier is deployed they go through several months of preparation with their unit. Statements like that show an ignorance of the military, so I'll make you a deal, clammyc; I won't comment on your profession if you'll stop posting fact-challenged and inflammatory diaries about the military.

What bothered me more than the diary were some of the responses, especially those that made Nazi or death squad comparisons. I've said it before and I'll say it again - ignorant and inflammatory comments like those give the Rethugs all the ammo they need to label Kossacks as extremist and anti-military. You can hate Bush and Rumsfeld all you want, but leave my brothers and sisters in arms out of it.

So there - I've had my say. The original article was recommended and had 556 comments when I posted this. Tip, flame, or recommend as you will. Someone has to stand up for the men and women serving our country.

Where I'm come from: I retired after 22 years active duty, and now train the men and women of our Armed Forces.

Actually, what I think is the sign that recruiters are turning a blind eye to recruits who would have been booted is the ruling on tattoos. Once, any questionable tattoo would have prevente enlistment. Now, unless it's obvious, it gets by.

There have been reports of gang grafitti on equipment in Iraq. So there has been some recruiting of otherwise unsuitable people.

My question, though, is how did Steven Green become an infantryman?

See, that's the problem here. This guy, who was a 10th grade dropout with a GED managed to become an infantryman, which means he passed through Benning and no one noticed any problems. Yet, within months of his deployment to Iraq, he was deemed so unsuitable for military service that he wasn't just sent home, given a new job off the line, or courtmartialed. He was turfed out the Army, which means he scared the shit out of someone.

And remember, the murders weren't discovered until after two of his former platoon's members were brutally tortured to death. And this bastard then went to their funeral.

So what the hell did he do in the Army to get him booted that quickly. He wasn't stateside, he was a combat infantryman. There is a story here, a real one, and it's not good. Because no one figured out his issues until he was on the line. Which is amazing. The 101st tend to get better quality officers and NCO's. No one noticed that this guy was batshit crazy until he had a gun and other people were depending on him.

I wonder what he did to get booted from the Army. I doubt it was any kind of cover up, since this guy's life reads trouble. Was he the kind of guy who got into low level trouble, not enough for jail, but always into something? Was he a manipulator? What is curious is that he was only in the Army 11 months. Was he a supremacist who was found out? What was going on with him to get him turfed so quickly?

IRR Soldier answers some of my questions


Great post. You are 100% correct. I served as an LT in a light infantry battalion in the 10th Mountain from '98 to '00. There were NO dropouts or GEDs ... none. The oldest enlistees at the time were only 34. The Army has certainly lowered its standards.

Infantry formerly required an AFQT score in the low 40th percentiles, with Artillery and Fabric Repair Specialist consituting the lowest acceptable scores - 31st percentile on the AFQT. Now, all bets are off and we are enlisting guys with AFQT %s in the mid teens - aka. Cat IVs.

Where am I going with this ... a few places.

1) There is intense pressure on battalion and company commanders in the training base (yes, Benning Infantry OSUT too) to keep entry-level training attrition as low as possible. Evaluation reports and other intangibles are directly tied to lowering attrition. This even is ocurring for medical issues which would have instantly resulted in seperation as little as 3 years ago. I have several guys that I was an LT with that are now commanding rifle companies .... you wouldn't believe who's been allowed to enlist under 11X in the past 9 months ... 40 year olds, felony waivers etc.

2) As I referenced last week, this is an example of the self-selecting MOS populations brought on by the point-of-sale job reservation system. Recruiter + MEPS guidance counselor + ASVAB score + applicant desire are the only factors that really come into play. The applicaant is guaranteed their MOS before even serving a day in the Army. In a time of war, this is disaster. The Infantry will naturally attract sociopaths and undesirables when a four year enlistment virtually guarantees 3 tours in Ie=raq/A'stan (the 3rd one on stop loss). Even a small % of guys like Green can have disastrerous effects on a unit.

3) As for your remedies... unfortunately, those options don't exist in Rumsfeld/Schoomaker's leaner Army where we're all "warriors" and the word soldier is spelled with a capital S (yes, a new Army reg). The modualarization push has basically spread us hopelessly thin and there are really no jobs off the line left on most Army posts. Borrowed military manpower (ie. junior enlisted working outside MOS is a big no-no these days in the XVIII ABN Corps which the 82nd, 101st and 10th MTN all fall under). The number of excess working out of their MOS is actually tracked by the highest levels on monthly USRs.

Court-martials - very rare. High burden of proof for the prosecution and less than a sure thing. A chapter w/ honorable discharge is the quickest remedy.

I doubt noone saw his problems before. The Drill Sergeants were probably told by the 1SG or Commander not to worry, the Platoon Sergeant at Campbell was told not to worry until something bad happened ... I really wonder what

posted by Steve @ 12:04:00 AM

12:04:00 AM

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