The Southern Poverty Law Center today urged Congress to investigate growing evidence that racial extremists are infiltrating the
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
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
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 again in 1996, after three neo-Nazi soldiers stationed at
But a decade later, military recruiters, under intense pressure to meet quotas for the wars in
In 2008, the FBI released an unclassified report that supported the SPLC’s findings. This past April, the Department of Homeland Security issued a report stating that right-wing extremists currently pose the most significant threat of domestic terrorism and expressing the concern that they may attempt to exploit the combat training and experience of returning veterans.
The SPLC letter notes that since 1994 the military has discharged more than 12,500 servicemembers simply because of their homosexuality. “It seems quite anomalous that the Pentagon would consider homosexuals more of a threat to the good order of the military than neo-Nazis and other white supremacists who reject our Constitution’s most cherished principles,” said Mark Potok, director of the SPLC’s Intelligence Project, which monitors extremist activity.
The letter also says that “the overwhelming majority of