Pentagon Must Disclose White Supremacy in Ranks in Senate Plan


(Bloomberg) -- The Pentagon will be required to submit an unclassified report to Congress detailing how it handles extremist ideologies -- including white supremacy and neo-Nazism -- among U.S. troops, according to a proposal making its way through the Senate.

Under the provision, part of a draft report accompanying the proposed fiscal year 2020 defense spending bill in the Senate, the Defense Department would have to detail its efforts to identify and handle such affiliations as well as disclosing how many violations of military policy that officials have identified over the past 12 months.

The senators’ request reflects lingering concerns that the military isn’t adequately tracking extremist views within its ranks. Earlier this year, a U.S. Coast Guard lieutenant was arrested and accused of stockpiling weapons as part of an effort to start a race war. In 2017, former and serving members of the military were linked to a prominent white supremacy network.

The U.S. has had several high-profile instances in which white supremacists served in the military and turned to violence after leaving the service. Among them is Timothy McVeigh, who was convicted and sentenced to death for bombing a federal building in Oklahoma City in 1995 and Wade Page, who shot up a Sikh temple in Wisconsin in 2012.

The measure is still in draft form: The Senate has yet to adopt the 2020 defense spending bill, which would then need to be reconciled with the measure that passed the House earlier this year.

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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