Recently the Pentagon released a training document labeling certain people as extremists, allegedly to inform Soldiers on the changing face of extremist groups. But, the people who are lumped into this new category may surprise you. The Pentagon owes its veterans an explanation.
Judicial Watch, the conservative watchdog organization, obtained the document published by the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Office through a FOIA request. Within the 133-page training document is a training document warning Soldiers of individuals who may be members of extremist organizations.
The DOD document warns, “that many extremists will talk of individual liberties, states’ rights and how to make the world a better place.”
In a section entitled “Extremist Ideologies”, the training document explains, “In U.S. history, there are many examples of extremist ideologies and movements. The colonists who sought to free themselves from British rule and the Confederate states who sought to secede from the Northern states are just two examples.”
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton making comments to Fox News said he was “disturbed” by what he read in the document.
“It’s disturbing insight into what’s happening inside Obama’s Pentagon,” Fitton said. “The Obama administration has a nasty habit of equating basic conservative values with terrorism.”
Later in the interview, Fitton said, “It’s craziness! It’s political correctness run amok.” Fitton’s comments are included in a great article from Todd Starnes appearing this week in Townhall.com. Read the full article here.
With language like this, veterans may well raise an eyebrow, or express outright disgust, especially after serving their country and declaring their oath to the Founding Document, the Constitution.
“Nowadays, instead of dressing in sheets or publically espousing hate messages, many extremists will talk of individual liberties, states’ rights and how to make the world a better place.”
That right there is a definition of the Soldier’s duty here in the U.S., or so we thought.
One has to wonder why such a document ever saw the light of day; until one finds that it relied heavily in wording and sourcing from the Southern Poverty Law Center, a leftist organization with connections to the White House.
Veterans and Soldiers, Airmen and Marines, are forbidden by the UCMJ to comment or question their civilian leadership, and yet their leadership constantly manipulate the services for their own purposes. This is not the first time the DOD has been in trouble for labeling Christians and Conservatives as extremists to be watched. An e-mail to Soldiers from a Lieutenant Colonel at Fort Cambell Kentucky warned the Soldiers of so-called hate groups like the Family Research Council and the American Family Association, organizations the SPLC has targeted as domestic hate groups in the past. The e-mail was intercepted by Fox News last April.
In the e-mail, the unnamed colonel writes, “When we see behaviors that are inconsistent with Army Values – don’t just walk by – do the right thing and address the concern before it becomes a problem.”
If the colonel had been writing about sexual harassment or assault of women in uniform, or the harassment and hazing of minorities, I would have to agree. But in the intentional labeling of Founding Fathers such as Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and George Washington as “extremists” I would have to say, with all do respect to the colonel, “take a giant leap, Sir!”
The Pentagon really owes an explanation to their servicemembers and veterans of foreign wars. As a DOD trained public affairs operative myself, I have this advice for the Pentagon that I offer for free. You need to distance yourself from these documents and offer an explanation and apology to your core audience. It needs to be sincere and it needs to be in person. I recommend a high-ranking subject matter expert, like a JAG officer of the colonel rank or higher, personally addressing a veterans group such as the Veterans of Foreign Wars or the American Legion. He needs to explain that those incidents and documents do not represent DOD policy and are isolated incidents not properly vetted by command. He or she needs to assure the veterans that such documents will not be published again and they need to explain the Pentagon holds the Founders and the Founding Documents in the highest esteem, respecting the sacrifice of the nation’s veterans who fought, bled and died for the principles that they inculcate.