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News, documents and analysis on violent extremism

Saturday, July 29, 2006

U.S. Military Ignored Early Reports of Racist Infiltrators

By J.M. Berger

In the wake of the Oklahoma City bombing, the Defense Department failed to investigate a nationally televised appearance by a Special Forces sergeant who claimed an extremist movement had infiltrated the U.S. military.

Just days after former soldiers Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols were arrested for conspiring to blow up the Alfred E. Murrah federal building in Oklahoma City, Special Forces Sgt. Steven Barry appeared on "60 Minutes" claiming to lead an army of military trained extremists. Barry appeared anonymously, with his face and voice electronically obscured.

On May 4, 1995, U.S. Rep. Patricia Schroeder wrote to Defense Secretary William Perry requesting a formal investigation into the appearance.

Documents obtained by INTELWIRE through the Freedom of Information Act reveal that, although the request was treated as a political priority, the Defense Department and the Special Operations Command did not specifically investigate the case in any way.

Defense Department Inspector General Documents

Special Operations Command Documents

Instead, the Defense Department brushed off Schroeder's request with a series of so-called "sensing sessions" in which random soldiers were asked generally about any possible extremist leanings. The "sensing sessions" found that there were "no widespread problems" with extremist activity in the military.

The Department ignored the 60 Minutes report, as well as separate reports indicating that Barry had been publishing classified and sensitive material in an extremist newsletter known as "The Resister."

The documents obtained by INTELWIRE state that no investigation was launched into the specific problem of the Special Forces Underground and the Resister.

The Defense Department, Army, Air Force, Navy, FBI and Special Operations Command were all sent FOIA requests by INTELWIRE for documents dealing with the Special Forces Underground.

Only the Defense Department Office of the Inspector General and SOCOM provided or even confirmed the existence documents in response to these requests, despite the fact that other sources clearly indicate such documents exist. Both of those responses appear to be incomplete, failing to address, for instance, an official investigation launched under intense congressional pressure in late 1996.

The failure to investigate or disclose information about the Special Forces Underground was thrown into sharp relief earlier this month when the New York Times reported that Barry was behind a recent surge in white supremacist enrollment in the U.S. Army. The white power movement is exploiting U.S. military recruiting shortfalls to enroll rank and file members to receive military training from the government.

The Times quoted a recent issue of The Resister written by Barry:

''Light infantry is your branch of choice because the coming race war and the ethnic cleansing to follow will be very much an infantryman's war. It will be house-to-house, neighborhood-by-neighborhood until your town or city is cleared and the alien races are driven into the countryside where they can be hunted down and 'cleansed.' ... As a professional soldier, my goal is to fill the ranks of the United States Army with skinheads. As street brawlers, you will be useless in the coming race war. As trained infantrymen, you will join the ranks of the Aryan warrior brotherhood.''

External links on the Special Forces Underground:

Rotten Library Profile

Southern Poverty Law Center

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Views expressed on INTELWIRE are those of the author alone.



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INTELWIRE is a web site edited by J.M. Berger. a researcher, analyst and consultant covering extremism, with a special focus on extremist activities in the U.S. and extremist use of social media. He is a non-resident fellow with the Brookings Institution, Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World, and author of the critically acclaimed Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go to War in the Name of Islam, the only definitive history of the U.S. jihadist movement, and co-author of ISIS: The State of Terror with Jessica Stern.


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