Saturday, July 11, 2009

A stain on the honor of good men and women

My years in the military were many things. Challenging, frustrating, important, trivial, mysterious, and mundane are just a few words that describe what I went through during my years serving in the active army and later the national guard. One word that could never be included would be "racism". Far from being a group of happy campers engaging in group hugs and singing kumbaya around a roaring fire at night after a hard day of army training we often disagreed, argued, and sometimes even fought each other. Never the less whatever divided us was forgotten when that ugly little monster called "duty" reared its head. It was then that color, nationality, ethic origin, religion, and even sexual orientation was abandoned for army green and the person next to you became your closest family.

Under the ever watchful eyes of the non commissioned officers, or sergeants to you civilians, if someone strayed too far off course they would be more than happy to put a boot up the offending person's ass. If that offending individual resisted such corrective action he or she would be descended upon with such wrath that it would seem God himself had taken an interest in their sinful ways. With this in mind I have been greatly disturbed and brought to shame that the army I served and has done much in the past to weed out primitive and degenerate views is slowly being infected with them again. Not only for the sake of the army that I still respect and admire on so many levels but for the ideals of America and the progress it was made over the centuries, I hope measures are adopted by both my fellow NCO's and the officer corp to stem this evil tide. Read the partial article below and definitely link over to the Southern Poverty Law Center to read the whole piece.

The Southern Poverty Law Center today urged Congress to investigate growing evidence that racial extremists are infiltrating the U.S. military and take steps to ensure that the armed forces are not inadvertently training future domestic terrorists.

In a letter to committee chairmen with oversight over homeland security and the armed services, the SPLC said it recently found dozens of personal profiles on a neo-Nazi website where individuals listed "military" as their occupation — the latest evidence of extremist infiltration gathered by the SPLC. It also cites FBI and Department of Homeland Security reports supporting the SPLC's concerns.

"Evidence continues to mount that current Pentagon policies are inadequate to prevent racial extremists from joining and serving in the armed forces," SPLC founder Morris Dees wrote. He added, "Because the presence of extremists in the armed forces is a serious threat to the safety of the American public, we believe Congressional action is warranted."

The letter was sent to the chairmen of the House and Senate committees on Homeland Security and Armed Services. The SPLC has raised its concerns with Pentagon officials since publishing a report in 2006, but no apparent action has been taken.

In recent months, SPLC investigators found approximately 40 personal profiles that listed "military" as an occupation on the Internet forum New Saxon, which is operated by the neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement. One individual, who claims to be serving in Afghanistan, lists as his favorite book The Turner Diaries, which was written by neo-Nazi leader William Pierce. The book served as a blueprint for the Oklahoma City bombing by Gulf War veteran Timothy McVeigh. Another individual said he was about to be deployed overseas and was looking forward to "killing all the bloody sand niggers." Still another spoke of his hatred for undocumented immigrants.

The SPLC has been involved with this issue for more than two decades. In 1986, the SPLC presented evidence to Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger that Marines were participating in Ku Klux Klan paramilitary activities and urged him to prohibit all military personnel from being members of, or participating in, the activities of white supremacist groups. Although Weinberger issued a directive addressing extremist activity, it ultimately proved inadequate.

The SPLC again brought the problem to the attention of Pentagon officials in 1996, after three neo-Nazi soldiers stationed at Fort Bragg murdered a black couple in North Carolina in a ritualistic, racially motivated slaying. Pentagon regulations were strengthened following an investigation by an Army task force and hearings by the House Armed Services Committee.


Randal Graves said...

Sadly, this isn't surprising given how they've purposely watered down the requirements for service in order to fuel their fucked up wars of choice. Not about getting quality people any more, merely bodies, and given some of the lunatic neocon (sorry for the repetition) jackasses still flitting about the halls of power, I'm sure a lot of this got the Other Way Look until pointed out by someone who isn't a racist tool.

Beach Bum said...

Throwing more fuel on the fire I've heard people with more than minor mental illness conditions are being allowed to enlist. Not sure on the details but while in the service I remember several guys being thrown out for bipolar disorder, paranoia, and one guy that said rats were talking to him at night.

I wish I could say I was joking on that last one but I'm not. This along with the Nazis in the service can really hamstring and ruin a military unit.

Malicious Intent said...

I have read about this going on for a while now, and it is heart breaking. Won't let a gay person in but a racial extremist...sure...why not! Usually gays/lesbians just truly want to serve their country, while the neo nazi groups are just self serving and getting free training on how to kill and kill effectively.

They have a new game now... not to stand out, but to blend in. And that makes them more dangerous than ever.

Vigilante said...


Distributorcap said...

we thought we were "post-racial" after Obama - ha!

as the economy teeters or gets worse (or even NOT gets better) - more and more extreme come out -- and more and more extreme will enter the armed forces... for reasons that are not patriotic or even neutral

Marja said...

Shocking isn't it This darkness seems to infiltrate everywhere. There is a force of people who are getting more aware and peaceful but there is an equal stong force like the one who entered the army and everywhere else. Makes you despair sometimes

sunshine said...

Just popping in to say hi. I'll be back later to read this. Looks like something I won't be able to grasp properly with kids wrestling around me. :)
Be back soon...

Chef Cthulhu said...

When I was exec on a destroyer I remember finding an open laptop in the officer's galley (that's kitchen for you landlubbers). I noticed that iTunes was open and that some of the most racist/hateful band names/song titles I had ever seen were on the screen. I flew off the handle. I also had to give the laptop back and couldn't bring the kid up on charges. First, he wasn't playing any music. Second, he has a right to possess such material and unless I could prove he was taking part in extremist activity we couldn't touch him. He just had to "keep that stuff to himself". Happy ending, he eventually fucked up enough that we kicked him out.

Beach Bum said...

Malicious Intent and Vigil: This is another example of some near "Phantom Menace" lurking in the background. I have real problems also with the Blackwater crowd, mercenaries never have had any ethics and only answer to the person paying them. The Constitution in the long run is toilet paper to them.

I heard one desk bound suit working for one of those mercenary companies speak of something call a "total team concept" with the US military. That is a laugh when they have been free of the UCMJ and make several times more than any grunt, team concept my ass.

Throw in a divided military with African-Americans and Hispanics getting polarized on one side and all those neo-Nazis cockroaches on the other side. In the middle is Mr. and Mrs. Oblivious Middleclass for whom the military is some obscure establishment the working class and poor families let their kids join.

I can easily sit here and think of several really bad scenarios.

DCap: I believe the extremists will continue to join the military even if the economy gets better. I don't believe the military is overrun yet but it only takes one bad apple to spoil the bunch.

Marja: It is strange isn't it? Sort of a gathering of ying and yang forces. Such polarizations never have a happy ending. By chance is New Zealand looking for a few Americans looking to expatriate?

Beach Bum said...

Sunshine: Happy anniversary? Don't worry I tend to run off at the mouth and this post ain't going anywhere.

Chef Cthulhu: Heard about a couple of similar situations while in the active army. During one occurrence with a redneck my platoon sergeant found a way to end his military career. I personally think this is a very bad situation by as you well know the NCO's and officers have a way to deal with such matters when things get extreme.

Keshi said...


I hope u had a good one. Just TC n get well soon.

Abt this post...I think the reason is the bad times...recession. ppl r out to kill each other just to survive! SADLY.


Dusty said...

We are taking anyone that wants to enlist..ANYONE.

Whether they are mentally shortchanged or just want to 'kill towelheads', we are taking them all into the military.

It's sick and depressing as hell Beach Bum.

sunshine said...

Okay I'm back!!
Miss me?? Hehe..

It took me two or three visits to finish this. My own 4 plus another 3 that seem to be staying for the summer while their own Mother does nothing doesn't make for ideal reading conditions. But that's another blog entry for another day....

While I hadn't heard about this, I can't say I'm suprised. I guess it makes sense that these people would get themselves enlisted. They can torment people they work with, whome I'm sure aren't going to "tell on them"... and they get to kill some "arab bastards" into the bargain. Wow! Perfect conditions for haters!!!
So sad. As someone before me said here.. they will take anybody. (except gays)...God Forbid!!!!!!


Beach Bum said...

"Institutionalised racism" : a phrase we hear a lot about over here - often in relation to the major metropolitan police forces. And we've had facist / racist BNP (British National Party) candidates make in roads into our parliament after the expenses scandals turned a lot of folks off "traditional" political parties. It's everywhere and - in truth - there's a little bit of it in everyone. It would be a great shame though, that the American nation - and it's military forces that fought so hard in Europe against fascism may be sleepwalking into such a state.

Beach Bum said...

Keshi: The vacation was too short and too expensive. I think some of this situation results from most of America completely disassociated from having family in the military.

Dusty: Frankly since Bush's adventures began I have supported a return to the draft. Like I wrote to Keshi above far too many people have no stake in America's imperial ambitions. Bringing back the draft would equalize this and I truly believe bring an end to most of these wars. Mr and Mrs. Oblivious Middleclass will not for one minute allow their precious child to spill blood on silly wars the the working and lower classes are suppose to die in.

Sunshine: Like I wrote in the post during my time in the army we were not like that, at least in my little corner of the universe. It wasn't perfect but at least I knew I could trust the guy next to me if the shit started to fly.

On a more happy note I completely understand about the kids and the internet. My daughter right now is screaming for me to fix some toy of hers. So I'm rushing to answer everyone before she pulls me off.

The true Beach Bum: That is one of the thing that scares me. If this degenerate parasites are not controlled and eliminated and are allowed to infect the services even further we be doing more than just sleep walking into a nightmare.

Pagan Sphinx said...

The military is dysfunctional. Yeah, they'll take anyone. Unless they slip that they're gay and then they kick them out. I suppose even neo-Nazis are better than those faggots and queers and dykes, huh?

Great writing here, Beach Bum. Thanks.

Pagan Sphinx

Suzan said...

I've been remiss in not bringing this up with you before, BB, but I'm so glad now that you have addressed this most important social phenomena.

It fits right in with the allowed as natural financial criminality of Goldman Sachs, et al., and the warmongers who rule us now.

Thanks for all you do!


Beach Bum said...

Pagan Sphinx and Suzan: Even now I just can't wrap my mind around this issue to a certain point. But it all comes down to something many others have said and written. The principles that founded this country, liberty, tolerance, and faith have all been sold off by some and just forgotten by others.

As a country we have become enamored with the idea that we rule the world. Our power and money has seduced us and we are now slaves to what we have become. Generally, a mass of spoiled children eager to protect what we have and scared of anyone and everyone who might come and take it. With this corruption we are not so slowly loosing that very power and status. If we continue to slip ever deeper into our self-imposed delusions, reveling in the idea that the world is standing still for us at some point we will be shocked back to reality since the world has little patience with such behavior. We will find that the world has left us behind and that is when we will begin to fight amongst ourselves for what remains. Because that is what lost and spoiled children do.

Chef Cthulhu said...

A few thoughts...

While it enrages me that these people are in my military, there is a big difference between lowering standards (which has happened in some services) and "taking anyone". Evidence suggesting that it's "hard to prevent racial extremists from entering" does not equate to a statement that the armed forces are knowingly recruiting them.

As BB says, it is "A stain on the honor of good men and women" and not the wholesale turnover of the military to racist extremists. Are we seeing more of them? Probably. Before OIF, a full 72% of Americans aged 17-19 were ineligible (as in un-waivable) to serve due to a variety of reasons - health, criminal record, gang/extremist affiliation, etc. You could still get a few that slipped through the cracks - namely, smart/savvy criminals and extremists who could walk the walk. This is nothing new. A few years into OIF, Army standards come down (neither the Navy nor the Marine Corps have reduced theirs) and, as can be predicted, some more will get in. It has been my experience that when they have been identified and shown to be neo-Nazis, etc. they have been booted.

If we're going to take the rest of the report to form arguments, we also need to take the following:

The letter also says that "the overwhelming majority of U.S. servicemembers reject extremism and are dedicated to serving and protecting the highest ideals of our country" and notes that there will never be a fail-safe system to weed out all extremists. "But we owe it to our courageous men and women in uniform, and the American public, to remain vigilant to ensure that the ranks are as free of extremists as possible."

This positive statement - made by an organization that has no vested interest in pulling punches about this - says that the armed forces are not barreling down the hate highway to Nazi-land. But we have to recognize that the lowering of standards means more will get in, and this poses a threat to the armed forces and the nation.

I absolutely agree that DADT has to go and homosexuals need to be allowed to serve openly (unless they are racist or other extremists). Bill Clinton (it was actually a Presidential Executive Order - DoD did not dream this up) didn't do anyone any good when he came up with this.

Another myth is that of the "poor man's war". In reality, the bottom two economic quintiles are UNDER-REPRESENTED in the armed forces. And minorities are under-represented as well.

Beach Bum said...

Chef Cthulhu: Besides being reluctant to again grovel in the verbal emissions of my own pomposity on this subject I've got one more page on your meme to write so I'll be ever so brief.

My biggest concern on this subject is that the army polarizes along racial lines if these extremists are allowed to go unchecked. As you know far better than I unit cohesion is something that can be easily damaged by just a few bad apples. If, for whatever reason, you can't trust the guy or gal sharing your foxhole and you don't think he or she will cover your back, you are in a serious world of shit.

My second concern involves a longer range view and how theses neo-Nazis could become domestic terrorists. Some of these people will always sneak in, there were a few in my active army units, but they need to be identified, isolated, and discharged. Hell lest expend some of the witch hunt mentality searching for Gays and Lesbians on a real problem.

As the SPLC stated the vast majority of the members of the Armed Forces reject these extremists. And I will even write that in my personal experience many members of the army I worked around have a far greater grasp of the Constitution and the other working of the United States government than many of the civilians I either know or have known.

If I haven't stated it clearly DADT has to go, and now.

Another myth is that of the "poor man's war". In reality, the bottom two economic quintiles are UNDER-REPRESENTED in the armed forces. And minorities are under-represented as well.

Chef, my statements on Mr. and Mrs. Oblivious Middleclass are from my own observations and the abject disdain expressed by them for the military. Their precious baby is too good to fight although they are all for someone else to go fight. If you have the data on that information I would appreciate seeing it. It might make me less cynical over a population I have little respect for.

MadMike said...

It is my understanding that this racism does not discriminate Beach, in other words it transcends color and ethnicity, with actual "gangs" forming much like one sees in the nation's penitentiaries. Some are forced to join simply for their own protection. There was a great book written about this relatively new phenomenon and for the life of me I cannot remember its name. Regardless I share your concern and the concern of your readers. Good post.

lime said...

how completely vile. sounds like some folks who need the boot inserted so far up the one end that it comes out the other.

Beach Bum said...

MadMike: I fear for the survival of the country often these days. Everyone seems so bent on the balkinization of it.

Lime: Yeah! After this post I was fairly depressed for a couple of days.