By Tom Ozimek
Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-Mont.) led a group of 30 House Republicans in urging the Pentagon chief to fight back against “creeping left-wing extremism” in the U.S. military.
Rosendale and his GOP colleagues said in their May 25 letter to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin that they are concerned about “the growing trend of left-wing extremism and politicization in our armed forces,” while citing several examples in support of their position that the non-partisan legacy of the U.S. military “is now in jeopardy.”
The lawmakers expressed concern about the firing of a Space Force commander over his remarks that diversity and inclusion training in the military was “rooted in critical race theory, which is rooted in Marxism”; about West Point training that they said was “anti-police” and “racist”; and about the appointment and subsequent reassignment of the first-ever Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer in the U.S. Special Operations Command after the surfacing of “his vast trove of far-left social media posts,” including one that compared former President Donald Trump to Hitler.
The Republicans also objected to some of the efforts of Bishop Garrison, a top adviser to Austin who in April was appointed to head the military’s newly-established Countering Extremism Working Group (CEWG), a body tasked with defining more specifically what constitutes extremist behavior, among other objectives.
“Under the guise of reviewing ‘extremism’ within the ranks of the Department of Defense, it appears that political actors such as Bishop Garrison … have been given broad freedom to both catechize and root out servicemembers who will not affirm far-left doctrines,” the lawmakers contended.
While the lawmakers did not provide more specifics on Garrison’s work, a report from The Intercept, citing internal DOD documents, claimed that Garrison was designing a social media screening program that would “continuously” monitor members of the military for “concerning behaviors.”
The Epoch Times has reached out to the Pentagon with a request for comment on the letter, but did not receive a reply by press time.
John Kirby, the Pentagon’s press secretary, denied the existence of such a program, telling reporters in Virginia last week that, “there’s no pilot program run by Mr. Garrison or the extremist working group to examine social media.”
“There’s no effort inside this extremist working group to somehow spy on every individual in the military or spend hours and hours just gleaning through social media activity, just for the sake of doing it. This isn’t about some sort of surveillance program of our own people,” Kirby added.
Kirby did acknowledge Pentagon efforts predating the extremist working group that “look at the social media footprint when we are considering recruits as they come in,” as part of routine screening of candidates, which he insisted was just “good common sense.”
In announcing actions to counter extremism in the military and establishing the working group led by Garrison, the Pentagon said the group would “discuss the Department’s pursuit of scalable and cost-effective capabilities to screen publically available electronic information in accessions and continuous vetting for national security positions.”
The group “will make recommendations on further development of such capabilities and incorporating machine learning and natural language processing into social media screening platforms,” the Pentagon said, adding that the group “will also ensure training addresses issues raised by commanders and supervisors on ‘gray areas’ such as reading, following, and liking extremist material and content in social media forums and platforms.”
In February, the Pentagon chief ordered a 60-day “stand-down” by all units to address the loosely-defined problem of “extremism” in the ranks of the military.
Days after that announcement, former U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander Steven Rogers told NTD that Austin’s order was unprecedented, unnecessary, and a dangerous road that leads to “communist China.”
“This to me, dangerous, it looks like a political litmus test, and it’s a road that you would only find in communist China or in the former Soviet Union,” Rogers said.
Earlier in May, Republican lawmakers announced a bill to combat critical race theory in U.S. military training programs.
Rep. Dan Bishop (R-N.C.) said at the time that critical race theory “is a divisive ideology that threatens to poison the American psyche.”
“The roots of this ideology are unmistakable. Just as Karl Marx advocated a social critical ethic of societal classism—oppressor versus oppressed—this is Neo Marxist ideology, Cultural Marxism masquerading as history and designed to mislead,” he said.
Affiliate News Feeds
- Washington Examiner
- The Federalist
- The Epoch Times
- The Guardian
- The Gateway Pundit
- Judicial Watch
By Marina Zhang Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed that vaccinated and boosted people made up most of the COVID-19 deaths in August. Of the… [...]
By Petr Svab Officials from the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security frequently met with major social media companies ahead of the 2020 election and pointed out users and… [...]
By Jack Phillips The campaign of Arizona Republican candidate Kari Lake responded to a district court imposing a fine on her lawyers after filing an election-related lawsuit earlier this year.… [...]
Union workers are lashing out at both political parties and President Joe Biden for the rail legislation signed to prevent a strike, calling the provisions a "slap in the face"… [...]
A former professor at the University of California San Diego said she gave all of her students "A" grades and no homework in a recently unearthed video. [...]
A key Senate vote over whether to provide paid sick leave for rail workers is highlighting a divide within the GOP, a party that has increasingly tried to position itself… [...]
Usually when a person defrauds investors of millions of dollars and launders the funds to personal pet projects, he goes to jail. (See: Bernie Madoff.) But in FTX founder Sam… [...]
Insider documents released on Friday confirm Twitter’s decision to suppress the New York Post’s legitimate reporting about Hunter Biden’s laptop mere weeks before the 2020 presidential election was a political… [...]
It would be easy to laugh in the faces of the ADL people but it's not a joke. Putting out these junk studies has real consequences. [...]
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Sunday said the European Union must act to address “distortions” created by the Biden administration’s Inflation Reduction Act (IRA)—part of Biden’s “Made… [...]
Seniors have been severely affected by inflation. Most had to cut back on spending and many needed to take “drastic” measures, such as skipping meals, according to a recent survey.… [...]
SIMI VALLEY, Calif.—The United States is at a pivotal point with China and will need military strength to ensure that American values, not Beijing’s, set global norms in the 21st… [...]
Initiative is part of measures agreed between London’s mayor Sadiq Khan and the police force Police officers in schools are to be monitored to see if they are disproportionately targeting… [...]
Exclusive: economic inactivity due to sickness at highest level since records began, with north, Wales and Northern Ireland disproportionately affectedPeople in the UK are getting “sicker and poorer”, with a… [...]
From first to last, the drum beats were relentless from the small section of Senegal supporters. They pounded in the temples of everybody present, creating an oppressive backdrop to this… [...]
Hillsborough, North Carolina – An elderly Home Depot worker died from his injuries a couple months after he was violently shoved to the ground by a thief. Gary Rasor, 83,… [...]
Twitter continues to censor tweets by Kari Lake and other Trump-Endorsed candidates in Arizona for exposing Katie Hobbs and corruption in Arizona’s elections and the courts. The Gateway Pundit reported… [...]
Joe and Dr. Jill hosted a White House reception ahead of the Kennedy Center Honors show in the East Room. Jill Biden wore another ghastly dress Sunday evening at a… [...]
From Fox News: The Secret Service will not say why they changed their position regarding a government watchdog’s records request into Hunter Biden’s gun investigation records. Government watchdog Judicial Watch… [...]
(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that the United States Secret Service has repeatedly changed its position about whether it is in possession of records related to the investigation… [...]