[pjw] NEWS: Four US generals attend anti-Muslim forum (Intercept 10/15)

Peace and Justice Works pjw at pjw.info
Sun Oct 21 14:07:03 EDT 2018

Hi PJW supporters
We actually got tipped off to this story through the national police 
abuse list serv over at Portland Copwatch, where they posted a piece by 
the founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation.


While it continues to be of concern that foot-soldiers of the bigoted 
right wing agenda keep protesting and prompting street skirmishes in 
Portland (and apparently are staying home in Vancouver to cause problems 
this week by protesting against a gun safety ballot measure in 
Washington), having this kind of explicit Islamophobia at such high levels 
of the military is the kind of thing that empowers the local ignorance.

--dan handelman
peace and justice works
Military Officials Aren't Supposed to Associate With Hate Groups. So Why
Are These Generals Speaking at Frank Gaffney's Confab?
    [32]Murtaza Hussain, [33]Eli Clifton
    October 15 2018, 12:00 p.m.

    Over the past decade, the Center for Security Policy has emerged as one
    of the most notoriously bigoted and conspiratorial think tanks in
    Washington, D.C. Under its founder and president, Frank Gaffney, the
    organization regularly found itself in the news for promoting
    anti-Muslim conspiracies -- including [34]farcically paranoid ones.
    Yet, unlike similar organizations that remain on the political fringes,
    the Center for Security Policy is remarkably close to the halls of
    power -- not just to President Donald Trump, for whom Gaffney was an
    informal adviser during the campaign, but also to the traditional power
    brokers of the defense establishment.

    That closeness will be put on display in Virginia on October 17, when
    the Center for Security Policy will be co-hosting a symposium on
    "asymmetric threats." Organized with the Institute for the Study of
    War, the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies, and the government
    contractor CACI International (whose employees have been accused of
    [35]detainee torture in Iraq), the confab includes scheduled speakers
    who are high-ranking officials in several branches of the military.

      "Frankly speaking, this is a hate group. Its activities have been
      documented for years and are well-known, but under this
      administration, it is making a comeback."

    The presence of those government officials is raising eyebrows.

    "Frankly speaking, this is a hate group," said James Zogby, president
    of the public policy research group the [36]Arab American Institute, in
    reference to the Center for Security Policy. "Its activities have been
    documented for years and are well-known, but under this administration,
    it is making a comeback."

    In addition to Gaffney himself, the list of scheduled speakers includes
    a number of high-ranking active duty military officials. The
    anticipated participation of four active duty lieutenant generals --
    the Air Force's VeraLinn "Dash" Jamieson and David. D. Thompson; Daniel
    J. O'Donohue of the Marine Corps; and Michael K. Nagata of the Army --
    at an event sponsored by Gaffney's group might stand in contrast to the
    equal opportunity manuals issued by each of their respective service

    The Air Force and Army did not respond to requests for comment. The
    Marine Corps referred questions about the event to the Joint Chiefs of
    Staff, who did not return a request for comment.

    Little is usually made of the the armed services' policies on
    associations with so-called extremist groups, but all the branches have
    them. The codes received renewed attention after the participation of
    Marine Corps Lance Cpl. [37]Vasillios Pistolis in last year's violent
    white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Pistolis was
    court-martialed and sentenced to a month in prison, docked pay, reduced
    in rank, and discharged from the Corps [38]upon his release.

    The Army's equal opportunity [39]manual warns that "participation in
    extremist organizations and activities by Army personnel is
    inconsistent with the responsibilities of military service." It defines
    these "extremist" groups as follows:

      Extremist organizations and activities are ones that advocate
      racial, gender, or ethnic hatred or intolerance; advocate, create,
      or engage in illegal discrimination based on race, color, gender,
      religion, or national origin, or advocate the use of or use force or
      violence or unlawful means to deprive individuals of their rights
      under the United States Constitution or the laws of the United
      States, or any State, by unlawful means.

    The Army manual specifies that service personnel are "prohibited" from
    "attending a meeting or activity with the knowledge that the meeting or
    activity involves an extremist cause."

    The Center for Security Policy's recent history is littered with calls
    for religious discrimination; officials, right up through its
    executives, routinely stoke hate against Muslims. A [40]2010 CSP report
    described sharia, Muslim religious code, as "an alien legal system
    hostile to and in contravention of the U.S. Constitution," and CSP Vice
    President Clare Lopez claimed in a [41]2013 speech that "when Muslims
    follow their doctrine, they become jihadists."

    Gaffney, for his part, has explicitly called for the persecution of
    observant Muslims, saying in a [42]2011 interview that that those who
    follow Islamic religious code are practicing "an impermissible act of
    sedition, which has to be prosecuted under our Constitution."

    Though many of the Center for Security Policy's positions are shared
    with the white nationalist movement, Gaffney is usually careful to
    avoid associations with explicit white nationalists. But, in a few
    instances, he has crossed paths with them. In 2015, Gaffney had
    prominent white nationalist Jared Taylor on his radio show, "Secure
    Freedom Radio." [43]Gaffney praised Taylor's website, American
    Renaissance, as "wonderful." In the interview, Taylor and Gaffney
    decried the civilizational threat posed by Muslim refugees in Europe
    and the U.S., and Gaffney said he "appreciated tremendously" the work
    being undertaken by Taylor.

    Gaffney ultimately scrubbed the interview from his website and
    [44]claimed to be "unfamiliar with Mr. Taylor's views on other matters
    and did not discuss or endorse them."

    Gaffney's promotion -- accidental or not -- of Taylor's work, alongside
    the Center for Security Policy's track record of promoting
    discrimination against a religion whose practices would otherwise be
    constitutionally protected, appears to tick several of the boxes of a
    group falling under the Army's definition of an "extremist

    The other military branches share similar policies.

    The Air Force's equal opportunity [45]manual informs commanders and
    supervisors that participating in groups "espousing supremacist causes
    or advocating unlawful discrimination" is a violation of the Air
    Force's equal opportunity policies. And the Marine Corps [46]directs

      Marines must reject participation in organizations that espouse
      supremacist causes; attempt to create illegal discrimination based
      on race, creed, color, sex, religion, or national origin; advocate
      the use of force or violence; or otherwise engage in efforts to
      deprive individuals of their civil rights.

    The officers attending the Center for Security Policy-sponsored
    conference aren't declaring themselves members of the group or even
    explicitly endorsing the organization's anti-Muslim statements. And
    there's no indication that Gaffney or any other Center of Security
    Policy staff will discuss their efforts to discriminate against Muslims
    or spread anti-Muslim conspiracy theories at a conference about cyber
    defense, defense technologies, and procurement.

    But the Center for Security Policy's history of promoting conspiracy
    theories and advocating various forms of discrimination against
    practicing Muslims appears to fall squarely within the military's
    definitions of the sort of "extremist group" with which active duty
    members of the military are forbidden from associating.

    Those who have spent years monitoring the Center for Security Policy
    say the group's continued prominence under the Trump administration is
    troubling, though unsurprising.

    "I don't expect people in the Trump administration to push back against
    this group, given that they share many of its views," said Zogby. "The
    only leverage we have is to continue to speak out about their
    influence, which is like a cancer eating away at government from the

34. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/missile-defense-agency-logo-angers-right/
   35. https://www.theguardian.com/law/2014/jun/30/iraq-lawsuit-defense-contractor-torture-abu-graib
   36. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arab_American_Institute
   37. https://www.propublica.org/article/vasilios-pistolis-imprisoned-marine-hate-groups
   38. https://www.marinecorpstimes.com/news/your-marine-corps/2018/08/01/marine-with-alleged-neo-nazi-connections-booted-from-the-marine-corps/
   39. http://www.ssi.army.mil/ncoa/AGS_SLC_ALC_REGS/AR%20600-20.pdf
   40. http://familysecuritymatters.org/docLib/20100915_Shariah-TheThreattoAmerica.pdf
   41. https://www.splcenter.org/hatewatch/2016/11/04/oklahoma-state-representative-receives-award-anti-muslim-hate-group
   42. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QWqTn_HL5lU
   43. https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/extremist-files/group/center-security-policy
   44. https://www.centerforsecuritypolicy.org/2015/09/30/statement-regarding-an-appearance-on-secure-freedom-radio/
   45. http://www.af.mil/Portals/1/documents/eeo/afi-36-2706.pdf
   46. http://www.marcorsyscom.marines.mil/Portals/147/Inspector%20General/MCO_P5354.1D_W_CH_1.pdf_(MC_EO_Manual).pdf

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