The Few, the Proud, the White Supremacists

| July-August 2009

  • White Supremacists in the Army

    image by Pablo Defendini

  • White Supremacists in the Army

In 2006 the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Report warned that white supremacists and neo-Nazis were infiltrating the U.S. military, joining up with “the world’s best-trained, best-equipped fighting force” in order to walk away with valuable combat training and weapons skills. The magazine followed up in its Winter 2008 issue, concluding that since its original report, military officials “seem to have made no sustained effort to prevent active white supremacists from joining the armed forces or to weed out those already in uniform.”

The perils of ignoring this problem are obvious: We don’t want the military “teaching a skinhead with genocide on his mind about tactical bomb-making.” But pressure to keep up enlistment rates during an unpopular war may make officers more likely to turn a blind eye to a swastika tattoo or a racist slogan on a soldier’s MySpace page. What’s worse, the magazine found that in 2006 and 2007, “Army commanders repeatedly terminated investigations of suspected extremist activity in the military despite strong evidence it was occurring.”

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