The GOP’s 'war on woke' forced the Pentagon to axe its 'countering extremism' initiative: report

The GOP’s 'war on woke' forced the Pentagon to axe its 'countering extremism' initiative: report

A "Countering Extremism Working Group" formed by President Joe Biden's administration was "abandoned" within two years due to Republican lawmakers' attack on "wokeism," CNN reports.

Per CNN, the group was initiated to "root out military extremism," and "to identify people like Jack Teixeira, the 21-year-old Air National Guardsman with a long-history of violent and racist behavior" who is" accused of perpetrating one of the biggest leaksof classified documents in modern history."

Sources familiar with the matter told the news outlet the leak may have been prevented had the effort not been axed due to top Pentagon officials "folding under political pressure from Republicans who lashed out at the initiative as an example of so-called wokeism in the military."

READ MORE: GOP’s 'anti-woke' panic is turning off voters: strategist

Bishop Garrison, a Black veteran who originally led the working group, according to CNN, "came under withering attack in 2021 by GOP lawmakers and right-wing media personalities, including one Fox News host who described him as a 'MAGA purge man' for criticizing former President Donald Trump in a tweet," prior to taking the position.

Although backed by senior Pentagon officials at first, the criticism and pressure from right-wing lawmakers eventually pushed Garrison out.

A defense official said, "He was deemed to be a distraction. He was one of the early casualties in the war on 'woke.'"

Army veteran Kris Goldsmith, who is also Chief Executive Officer of Task Force Butler, a non-profit focused on combating extremism in the military, told CNN, "top Defense officials view the issue of extremism is 'paralyzing.'"

"They're making themselves completely ineffective," Goldsmith emphasized, adding, "I don't recognize any difference today from two years ago in the way that extremism is treated in the military."

READ MORE: 'A bit cringe': These young Republicans think their older counterparts are saying 'woke' too much

CNN's full report is available at this link.

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