Racial Extremists Are Infiltrating the Military for the Chance to 'Kill a Brown'
Stay up to date with the latest headlines via email.
The racist skinhead logged on with exciting news: He'd just enlisted in the United States Army.
"Sieg Heil, I will do us proud," he wrote. It was a June 3 post to AryanWear Forum 14, a neo-Nazi online forum to which "Sobibor's SS," who identified himself as a skinhead living in Plantersville, Ala., had belonged since early 2004. (Sobibor was a Nazi death camp in Poland during World War II).
About a month after he announced his enlistment, Sobibor's SS bragged in another post to Forum 14 that he'd specifically requested and been assigned to MOS, or Military Occupational Specialty, 98D.
MOS98D soldiers are in high demand right now. That's because they're specially trained in disarming Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), the infamous roadside bombs that are killing and maiming so many U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Presumably, part of learning how to disarm an IED is learning how one is made.
"I have my own reasons for wanting this training but in fear of the government tracing me and me loosing [sic] my clearance I can't share them here," Sobibor's SS informed his fellow neo-Nazis.
One of his earlier posts indicated his reasons serve a darker purpose than defending America: "Once all the Jews are gone the world will start fixing itself." Timothy McVeigh
Many analysts believe that Timothy McVeigh, mastermind of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing that killed 168 people, was radicalized during his experience as a soldier in the first Gulf War.
Sobibor's SS included enough biographical details in his various posts to Forum 14 over the years, including that he's a single father from the small town in southern Alabama, that a military investigator with access to enlistment records for recent months should have little trouble determining whether the Army may actually be teaching a skinhead with genocide on his mind about tactical bomb-making.
But there's little reason to expect that will happen.
Two years ago, the Intelligence Report revealed that alarming numbers of neo-Nazi skinheads and other white supremacist extremists were taking advantage of lowered armed services recruiting standards and lax enforcement of anti-extremist military regulations by infiltrating the U.S. armed forces in order to receive combat training and gain access to weapons and explosives.
Forty members of Congress urged then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld to launch a full-scale investigation and implement a zero-tolerance policy toward white supremacists in the military. "Military extremists present an elevated threat to both their fellow service members and the public," U.S. Senator Richard Shelby, an Alabama Republican, wrote in a separate open letter to Rumsfeld. "We witnessed with Timothy McVeigh that today's racist extremist may become tomorrow's domestic terrorist."
But neither Rumsfeld nor his successor, Robert Gates, launched any sort of systemic investigation or crackdown. Military and Defense Department 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.
Furthermore, new evidence is emerging that not only supports the Intelligence Report's original findings, but also indicates the problem may have worsened since the summer of 2006, as enlistment rates have continued to plummet, and the military has struggled to meet recruitment goals in a time of unpopular war. Asked about the latest developments, military officials this fall declined to comment.
A new FBI report confirms that white supremacists are infiltrating the military for several reasons. According to the unclassified FBI Intelligence Assessment, "White Supremacist Recruitment of Military Personnel Since 9/11," which was released to law enforcement agencies nationwide: "Sensitive and reliable source reporting indicates supremacist leaders are encouraging followers who lack documented histories of neo-Nazi activity and overt racist insignia such as tattoos to infiltrate the military as 'ghost skins,' in order to recruit and receive training for the benefit of the extremist movement."