A widely known white nationalist remains to be serving within the Air Force, Pentagon officers have confirmed, two months after HuffPost first reported on his enlistment. And on Thursday, the chair of a House Armed Services subcommittee mentioned she’s going to contact Air Force management to see why there hasn’t been any motion.
The inquiry from Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), who chairs the army personnel subcommittee, considerations Airman 1st Class Shawn McCaffrey, a well known white nationalist. McCaffrey graduated from boot camp in March, as HuffPost reported earlier this 12 months, even because the army acquired a historic stand-down order so it might deal with the issue of extremism in its ranks.
“I will be contacting Air Force leadership to find out why this individual ― who has his own author page on a website for far right extremists, describes himself as an ‘activist,’ and co-hosted a weekly podcast in which he attacked Jews, women, LGBTQ+ people, the U.S. armed forces, and many others using unacceptable slurs ― remains on active duty and under review given the very public and abundant evidence of his extremist ties,” Speier mentioned in an emailed assertion.
Last week, the Air Force confirmed to HuffPost that McCaffrey has not been kicked out of the army.
“He is currently on active duty in technical training,” Air Force spokesperson Ann Stefanek mentioned in an e mail. “His case remains under review and no determination has been made at this time.”
Stefanek wouldn’t give a timeline for when the Air Force evaluation will decide whether or not McCaffrey has violated army rules concerning extremism.
Speier thinks it’s already been too lengthy.
“When you swear allegiance to an organization or ideology that poses a clear threat to our democracy and government,” she mentioned, “you should not be able to wear the uniform of the United States of America and have access to sensitive government information.”
The situation of extremists becoming a member of the army ― the place they’ll probably recruit new members to their trigger, and achieve fight coaching they’ll later use on civilian targets ― has acquired heightened consideration of late. The drawback got here into give attention to Jan. 6, when supporters of former President Donald Trump, many of them with military backgrounds, stormed the U.S. Capitol in an try and overturn the outcomes of the 2020 presidential election.
In February, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin issued a 60-day stand-down order requiring commanders to have “needed discussions” about extremism with troops. “We will not tolerate actions that go against the fundamental principles of the oath we share, including actions associated with extremist or dissident ideologies,” he wrote in a memo saying the order.
Two months later, Austin issued one other memo outlining the Pentagon’s plans to sort out extremism amongst service members, together with updating the Defense Department’s official definition of extremism and enhancing how army recruits are screened.
Speier has a proposal of her personal. In February, she despatched a letter to President Joe Biden, urging him to situation an government order requiring the army to display screen the social media exercise of enlistees.
“If we were screening for violent extremism on social media for all incoming military recruits and those seeking government security clearances, as I called for earlier this year, how many cases like this would we have avoided?” she instructed HuffPost in her assertion about McCaffrey.
McCaffrey had many social media accounts he used to spew racial invective — “Black lives do not matter,” he as soon as tweeted — however they had been underneath pseudonyms, and should have been laborious for recruiters to seek out. However, HuffPost offered the Air Force with an in depth checklist of questions concerning McCaffrey’s social media posts, alongside along with his offline white-nationalist activism, in April.
McCaffrey enlisted on Jan. 26, despite the fact that proof of his life as a racist and anti-Semite was solely a Google search away, and despite the fact that he made headlines when he obtained kicked off volunteering duties for Andrew Yang’s presidential marketing campaign in 2019 as a consequence of his far-right beliefs.
The FBI was additionally conscious of McCaffrey’s affiliations with white nationalist teams previous to his becoming a member of the army, HuffPost discovered.
The army has codes prohibiting extremism, however they’re obscure and sometimes erratically enforced. Of the 11 U.S. service members HuffPost uncovered as belonging to a white nationalist group in 2019, solely six had been finally kicked out.
HuffPost lately reported that Airman Dannion Phillips, who was lively in a white nationalist group, was allowed to stay within the Air Force. There’s a really actual chance McCaffrey might be allowed to take action as nicely.
McCaffrey was a high-profile member of the white nationalist group Identity Evropa; attended a extremely publicized white nationalist convention in Washington, D.C., in 2016; joined neo-Nazis to troll a livestreamed anti-Trump artwork set up in Queens, New York, in 2017; and extra lately grew to become a detailed ally of white nationalist Nick Fuentes, the “America First” chief who reportedly helped foment the Jan. 6 rebellion on the Capitol.
Until final 12 months, McCaffrey co-hosted a livestreamed podcast, “The Weekly Sweat,” the place he had chummy conversations with among the most notorious fascists in America ― together with Daily Stormer founder Andrew Anglin, who believes Jews ought to be gassed.
In one episode, McCaffrey lashed out at Jews and queer folks. “You fucking faggots,” he mentioned. “They can’t stop sodomizing each other. You’re never OK. And if you think we’re going to stop after we go after the Jews… no. Gays are not OK ever, under any circumstance, and you’re not welcome here. It’s beyond a mental illness. It’s a very deep, sick perversion.”
McCaffrey additionally usually expressed disdain for the U.S. army, which he would later be a part of.
“It seems like every Marine is gay,” he mentioned in a single “Weekly Sweat” episode, “and I really hope we get into a war soon so you fucking faggots have to go defend sand and die and have all your friends die.”
In one other episode, McCaffrey argued that ladies shouldn’t be allowed to hitch the army. “They shouldn’t leave the house,” he mentioned.
McCaffrey, who’s from Novi, Michigan, didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark for this story.
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