A report out today makes it clear why the military is now meeting their recruiting goals, and it's not good news: neo-nazis are infiltrating the military.
"There is mounting evidence that military recruiters and commanders, under intense pressure to meet manpower goals with the country at war in Iraq and Afghanistan, have relaxed standards designed to prohibit racist extremists from serving in the armed forces," the [Southern Poverty Law Center's] Chief Executive Richard Cohen told Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in a letter...
The military toughened its peacetime policy toward extremists in 1996, after decorated Gulf War veteran Timothy McVeigh was convicted of detonating a truck bomb that killed 169 people in Oklahoma City.
But the Montgomery, Alabama-based center said in a report that military officers were proving less likely in wartime to weed out extremists, especially those in combat units....
"We've got Aryan Nations graffiti in Baghdad," the report quoted a Defense Department investigator as saying.
The center said young civilian extremists are encouraged by adult leaders to enlist in the military to gain access to weapons and training and to recruit other military personnel.
"The reasons are obvious: soldiers are trained to be proficient with weapons, combat tactics and explosives, to train others in their use, and to operate in a highly disciplined culture that is focused on the organized violence of war," the center said...
The Defense Department investigator quoted in the report said he has identified 320 extremists over the past year, only two of whom have been discharged.
Investigators also uncovered an online network of 57 neo-Nazis on active duty with the Army and Marines, spread across five military installations in the United States, the center's report said.
This is pretty frightening in itself. We know how incompetent our Federal government is in terms of matters like this. You know, a fixed budget. As I pointed out when homeland security funds were diverted for this coming year from high terror target risks to places subject to natural disasters, they are always preparing to fight last year's battle. And the older the story is, the more it is ignored.
Which is why the next Timothy McVeigh is probably getting his training right now, at our expense.