House GOP Just Innocently Trying To Stop Investigations Into Neo-Nazis In Military And Law Enforcement

Right Wing Extremism
House GOP Just Innocently Trying To Stop Investigations Into Neo-Nazis In Military And Law Enforcement

On Wednesday, the House voted 218-208 in favor of including an amendment to the yearly defense bill that calls for the FBI, Department of Homeland Security, and the secretary of Defense to compile a report on the prevalence of neo-Nazi and white supremacist activity among members of the military and federal law enforcement agencies and what they plan to do to combat it.

The amendment, sponsored by Brad Schneider, will require these agencies to provide information about the number of individuals discharged from the uniformed services and law enforcement due to their ties to neo-Nazi or white supremacist groups, what those individuals did, what the government did in response and what they plan to do about it in the future.

This seems like some pretty good information to have, particularly considering that white supremacist infiltration into the military and law enforcement has been a problem for decades. But you know who really doesn't want that information? House Republicans.

The vote was straight party line, all Democrats for it, all Republicans against.

A second amendment passed 220-205, to order the "Government Accountability Office (GAO) to write a report that reviews how the FBI, DHS secretary and Office of the Director of National Intelligence are complying with 'domestic terrorism transparency mechanisms' that are mandated by federal law.'" Four Republicans managed to vote for that one.

Arguing against the Schneider amendment on the floor, GOP Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona claimed such a report would "denigrate" law enforcement. He also described it as "Orwellian in nature," which just goes to show you just how much he was paying attention in freshman English.

“This amendment attempts to create a problem where none exists by requesting investigations into law enforcement and the armed services for alleged rampant white supremacists or white national sympathies,” he said.

Except there is a problem. In fact, the Pentagon says it's a problem. It issued a report last year saying there was a problem.

The FBI has known about the problem of white supremacists in its own ranks for years. A previously classified report from 2006 detailed what they knew even then about efforts of extremist groups to infiltrate law enforcement for the purposes of passing on their skills and information to these groups.

Via The Intercept:

The unredacted version of the first document sheds further light on the FBI’s concerns, as early as 2006, about “self-initiated efforts by individuals, particularly among those already within law enforcement ranks, to volunteer their professional resources to white supremacist causes with which they sympathize.”

“Having personnel within law enforcement agencies has historically been and will continue to be a desired asset for white supremacist groups seeking to anticipate law enforcement interest in and actions against them,” the report notes in a section that was previously redacted.

Those who research and study white supremacists have also known this was a problem for a very long time, largely because these extremists have not exactly been shy about their desire to infiltrate the military and law enforcement and recruit from them, or to brag when they have done so. It's literally a plotline in The Turner Diaries, a white supremacist novel about a race war, beloved by violent extremists and terrorists from Timothy McVeigh on down. More recently, one in five applicants to the white supremacist group Patriot Front were former or current military, as were many of those arrested for the January 6 insurrection.

This isn't just some liberal plot to make law enforcement and the military look bad. Quite frankly, those groups do a hell of a great job of doing that themselves, and do not need our assistance. This also is not part of some evil plan to divest the military and law enforcement of those deemed insufficiently woke. We're talking about actual extremist groups here who want to benefit from the training and connections that come with membership in these groups.

In its coverage of this story, conservative garbage fire The Daily Caller cited "military and social issues" expert Elaine Donnelly, a Phyllis Schlafly acolyte whose military expertise is limited to founding a right-wing think tank dedicated to yelling about LGBTQ people and women in the military, who warned that the "Biden Pentagon’s focus on white supremacy and similar forms of extremism in the ranks could exacerbate the military’s recruiting crisis," we guess because then none of the white supremacists would want to join up.

That doesn't actually seem like a bad thing.

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Robyn Pennacchia

Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse


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