Friday, July 07, 2006

Bad Conduct

The Southern Poverty Law Center has some happy news:

"Neo-Nazi groups and other extremists are joining the military in large numbers so they can get the best training in the world on weapons, combat tactics and explosives," said Mark Potok, director of the SPLC's Intelligence Project.

"We should consider this a major security threat, because these people are motivated by an ideology that calls for race war and revolution. Any one of them could turn out to be the next Timothy McVeigh."
It was reported in the eighties and nineties that neo-Nazi groups were stealing and stockpiling weapons and explosives from the military. According to the SPLC, they're still at it:
James Douglas Ross Jr....a military intelligence officer stationed at Fort Bragg, was caught shipping disassembled AK-47s to the United States from Iraq in 2004, officials said. When investigators searched his off base housing, they found a weapons arsenal, thousands of rounds of ammunition, and hate group materials. Ross was forced to return from Iraq and given a bad conduct discharge. "But they let him keep the weapons [he kept in his house]," said Department of Defense investigator Barfield, adding that Ross has since relocated to Washington, where he's a leader of the Eastern Washington Skins, a neo-Nazi gang. "He kept his military connections, and he's still trying to recruit soldiers, so we're still dealing with him."
It'd be interesting to know how many of these soldiers go on to get jobs as private military contractors, and are put in charge of guarding strategic assets, or investigating domestic terrorism, or – best of all – securing the border.

As I noted earlier, the military has a similar problem with black and Latino gangs. And of course, the underlying problem – BushCo’s need to meet recruitment goals at any cost – has been causing more immediate problems on the ground in Iraq:
Insurgents and other criminals have infiltrated Iraqi police ranks due to poor screening procedures by U.S. forces, according to a joint report released Monday by the U.S. Defense Department and State Department. "Recruitment and vetting procedures are faulty," said the report from the inspectors general of both departments.
On the bright side, the diabolical animal-rights activists who supposedly pose the greatest threat of domestic terrorism are probably not signing up en masse for military training. It's hard to get vegan food in boot camp, after all.

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