The Pentagon has stepped on a land mine in its effort to rid our military of extremism. There was some concern when Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin called a 60 day stand down after the Capitol riot. Many feared there would be an inordinate focus on groups from the political Right. The military-wide event was ostensibly to allow units to take stock of this loosely-defined problem. Now we are seeing what direction they will be taking this crackdown and it seems the concerns were warranted.
They have appointed a Senior Advisor to the Secretary of Defense for Diversity and Inclusion named Bishop Garrison who seems particularly unsuited to the job. Revolver News has unearthed deleted tweets (archived here) where he publicly stated in 2019 about then President Trump:
“Support for him, a racist, is support for ALL his beliefs…
He’s dragging a lot of bad actors (misogynist, extremists, other racists) out into the light, normalizing their actions. If you support the President, you support that.”
This was his opinion of the sitting Commander in Chief, but worse about all of those who support him. That includes a sizable portion of the U.S. military. How can anyone expect him to treat those people fairly as he becomes the decider on what constitutes extremism? And that is one of his direct duties as he will be leading the Counter-Extremism Working Group which is tasked to:
“Review and Update of DODI 1325.06 Extremism Definition: Office of the Secretary of Defense (Personnel & Readiness) and the Office of the General Counsel (OGC) will review and update DODI 1325.06 to more specifically define what constitutes extremist behavior.”
Are we to believe he will set aside his deeply held beliefs that have been the driving force of his entire career and suddenly decide Trump supporters are not racists and misogynists? He either must be intellectually and morally untrue to himself or act to discriminate against those he truly believes are dangerous extremists.
Who would think it’s a good idea to put a person with such exclusionary beliefs in a position working on diversity and inclusion? He seems better suited to be the Woke Conformity and Exclusion Czar.
If this was just an isolated outburst it could possibly be overlooked but Garrison is a zealot who believes one of the greatest dangers to this country is White Supremacy. He is not alone in that, but very few people with beliefs as extreme as his are given this kind of power to enact standards for our entire military. He wrote this in 2019 as well:
“We will continue to face the nation-ending threat of white supremacy and white nationalist extremism unless we invest in Combating Violent Extremism (CVE) programs”
A “nation-ending threat” seems to be more than a bit overwrought. This single-minded approach to what he considers extremism could destroy the cohesion the military needs to accomplish its mission. You will find no mentions of Black Lives Matter or Antifa in his writings, except to praise BLM. But after a year-plus long spree of violence it is malfeasance to overlook at the group whose protests led to the vast majority of the $2B in damage as rioting mobs burnt, looted and injured thousands.
The Biden Administration has poured an incredible amount of effort and resources into investigating the Capitol riot. Biden himself absurdly declared it the “worst attack on our democracy since the Civil War”. This now seems to be another textbook example of the Democrats “never letting a crisis go to waste”. They are pushing to criminalize large swaths of conservatism.
How else can you explain bringing on someone who believes supporting a President and Commander in Chief he dislikes makes you a racist? The Woke agenda and its zero tolerance for dissent is in full force in the Biden Administration. What kind of message does it send to any potential military recruits to find out they would enter an environment where their political beliefs put a target on their back.
There is a place in the military for an honest look at what types of extremism exist and what should be done to fix that. There is no place for an extremist like Bishop Garrison to be leading that effort.