AFP, July 7, 2006
Neo-Nazi and white supremacist hate groups are taking advantage of relaxed recruiting standards to infiltrate the US military to get combat training, a civil rights group reported.
The Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks domestic extremists groups, called on US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to adopt a zero-tolerance policy toward white supremacist groups in the military.
“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 center’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,” he said.
The report quoted a Defense Department gang investigator, Scott Barfield, as saying neo-Nazis “stretch across all branches of service, they are linking up across the branches once they’re inside, and they are hard-core.”
“We’ve got Aryan Nations graffiti in Baghdad,” he was quoted as saying. “That’s a problem.”
“Recruiters 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,” Barfield said.
A Pentagon spokesman acknowledged there have been incidents involving gang-related graffiti, but said dealing with it was the responsibility of military commanders.