15 June 2009

neo-nazis? SURE! glbt folks? NO WAY!!!

Photo: Matt Kennard

Iraq veteran Forrest Fogarty sailed through recruitment despite his neo-Nazi tattoos.

oh the insuferable injustice. the military is supposed to ban members of hate groups (like neo-nazi skin heads) but they just can't keep up with their quotas without 'em.

why not fill those skinhead slots with glbt patriots that want to serve, are highly trained to serve and frequently wish to be career service members? well, that would upset "unit cohesion" and lead to loss of morale. (not to mention we would hate to upset the "fierce advocate".)

not that those neo-nazis who kill fellow troops because of their ethnicity or skin color are more deserving or anything.

see this fine upstanding young gentleman? well, via salon (click linky for full article), here's his story of service to our great nation. makes me so proud to be an american.

first a little background on that fine patriot, matt kennard (emphasis added throughout):
On a muggy Florida evening in 2008, I meet Iraq War veteran Forrest Fogarty in the Winghouse, a little bar-restaurant on the outskirts of Tampa, his favorite hangout. He told me on the phone I would recognize him by his skinhead. Sure enough, when I spot a white guy at a table by the door with a shaved head, white tank top and bulging muscles, I know it can only be him.

Over a plate of chicken wings, he tells me about his path into the white-power movement. "I was 14 when I decided I wanted to be a Nazi," he says. At his first high school, near Los Angeles, he was bullied by black and Latino kids. That's when he first heard Skrewdriver, a band he calls "the godfather of the white power movement." "I became obsessed," he says. He had an image from one of Skrewdriver's album covers — a Viking carrying a staff, an icon among white nationalists — tattooed on his left forearm. Soon after he had a Celtic cross, an Irish symbol appropriated by neo-Nazis, emblazoned on his stomach.


But the military ran in Fogarty's family. His grandfather had served during World War II, Korea and Vietnam, and his dad had been a Marine in Vietnam. At 22, Fogarty resolved to follow in their footsteps. "I wanted to serve my country," he says.
"just like those dirty faggots", he did not add. ...but i digress.

Army regulations prohibit soldiers from participating in racist groups, and recruiters are instructed to keep an eye out for suspicious tattoos. Before signing on the dotted line, enlistees are required to explain any tattoos. At a Tampa recruitment office, though, Fogarty sailed right through the signup process. "They just told me to write an explanation of each tattoo, and I made up some stuff, and that was that," he says. Soon he was posted to Fort Stewart in Georgia, where he became part of the 3rd Infantry Division.

Fogarty's ex-girlfriend, intent on destroying his new military career, sent a dossier of photographs to Fort Stewart. The photos showed Fogarty attending white supremacist rallies and performing with his band, Attack. "They hauled me before some sort of committee and showed me the pictures," Fogarty says. "I just denied them and said my girlfriend was a spiteful bitch." He adds: "They knew what I was about. But they let it go because I'm a great soldier."

well, jumpin' jeebus hussein christ in a tatto parlor, thank GOD he didn't have a pink triangle or rainbow flag tatto, because, you know, that would prove he was TEH GAY!


Because of his tattoos and his racist comments, most of his buddies and his commanding officers were aware of his Nazism. "They all knew in my unit," he says. "They would always kid around and say, 'Hey, you're that skinhead!'" But no one sounded an alarm to higher-ups. "I would volunteer for all the hardest missions, and they were like, 'Let Fogarty go.' They didn't want to get rid of me."

Fogarty left the Army in 2005 with an honorable discharge. He says he was asked to reenlist. He declined. He was sick of the system.

the poor dear was "sick of the system". how patriotic. unlike, say choi, tsao (who got the really sweet letter from "fierce advocate"), or fehrenbach (who didn't ask OR tell, he was the product of a witch hunt...which the military claims they don't do any more).

As the conflicts have dragged on, the military has loosened regulations, issuing "moral waivers" in many cases, allowing even those with criminal records to join up.
what a novel idea! maybe they could just start issuing "moral waivers" for the glbt people that are honest about their orientation.

Many white supremacists join the Army to secure training for, as they see it, a future domestic race war. Others claim to be shooting Iraqis not to pursue the military's strategic goals but because killing "hajjis" is their duty as white militants.

Soldiers' associations with extremist groups, and their racist actions, contravene a host of military statutes instituted in the past three decades. But during the "war on terror," U.S. armed forces have turned a blind eye on their own regulations. A 2005 Department of Defense report states, "Effectively, the military has a 'don't ask, don't tell' policy pertaining to extremism. If individuals can perform satisfactorily, without making their extremist opinions overt … they are likely to be able to complete their contracts."

now, riddle me this batman, how did those tattoos not tip his unit off? kinda hard to "don't ask, don't tell" when your the skinhead-version of the illustrated man.

WTF? extremist dadt?!? "overt extremist positions"? what part of all the neo-nazi tattoos is "COVERT"?


now the story moves away from that precious, courageous patriot fogerty for a little background.

Then, in 1995, a black couple was murdered by two neo-Nazi paratroopers around Fort Bragg in North Carolina. The murder investigation turned up evidence that 22 soldiers at Fort Bragg were known to be extremists. That year, language was added to a Department of Defense directive, explicitly prohibiting participation in "organizations that espouse supremacist causes" or "advocate the use of force or violence."

Today a complete ban on membership in racist organizations appears to have been lifted — though the proliferation of white supremacists in the military is difficult to gauge.
...and, i wonder if sec. gates, joint chief of staff adm. mullen or even our commander-in-chief can tell us just how many glbt service members have murdered their fellow soldiers? CRICKETS.

In white supremacist incidents from 2001 to 2008, the FBI identified 203 veterans. Most of them were associated with the National Alliance and the National Socialist Movement, which promote anti-Semitism and the overthrow of the U.S. government, and assorted skinhead groups.

Because the FBI focused only on reported cases, its numbers don't include the many extremist soldiers who have managed to stay off the radar. But its report does pinpoint why the white supremacist movements seek to recruit veterans — they "may exploit their accesses to restricted areas and intelligence or apply specialized training in weapons, tactics, and organizational skills to benefit the extremist movement.

an "overthrow of the u.s. government"?!? REALLY? sheesh, and at the worst, we gays would just go all ninja redecorating and designing new military uniforms.

...and the religious right thinks there's a radical glbt agenda?!? oh, teh irony, it burnzzzzzzzz.


now for some really batshittery:

What about something as obvious as a swastika? "A swastika would trigger questions," Smith says. "But again, if the gentlemen said, 'I like the way the swastika looked,' and had clean criminal record, it's possible we would allow that person in." "There are First Amendment rights," he adds.
newsflash officer smith: if the "gentleman" uses the "i like the way the swastika looked" explanation...he's probably a skinhead....AND GAY!!!


so where do these fine young bald men with neo-nazi tattoos learn that this behavior is perfectly ok?
Geoffrey Millard, an organizer for Iraq Veterans Against the War, served in Iraq for 13 months, beginning in 2004, as part of the 42nd Infantry Division. He recalls Gen. George Casey, who served as the commander in Iraq from 2004 to 2007, addressing a briefing he attended in the summer of 2005 at Forward Operating Base, outside Tikrit. "As he walked past, he was talking about some incident that had just happened, and he was talking about how 'these stupid fucking hajjis couldn't figure shit out.' And I'm just like, Are you kidding me? This is Gen. Casey, the highest-ranking guy in Iraq, referring to the Iraqi people as 'fucking hajjis.'"
stay classy, gen. casey, stay classy.

finally, the reporter wants to interview someone, anyone (even a staffer) from the senate committee on armed forces. of course, they politely declined. however, a subsequent e-mail was sent:
Instead, a spokesperson responded that white supremacy in the military has never arisen as a concern. In an e-mail, the spokesperson said, "The Committee doesn't have any information that would indicate this is a particular problem."
the committee also doesn't have any information that glbt service members would be a "particular problem", either. what they're relying on are over the hill military homophobes who probably still grouse privately about blacks and jews in the military.

the senate committee on armed forces is led by carl levin and john mccain.

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