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Biden Administration to Screen Military for Opinions

by Graham Allen Team

The Biden Administration’s Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has ordered a military stand down to address extremism in its ranks.

The pause of the United States military will take place over the next 60 days.

According to the New York Post, Defense Secretary Lloyd pledged he would “rid our ranks of racists and extremists,” though he declined to offer details on how he planned to see that through.

The decision stems from the chaotic events that took place at the United States Capitol on January 6.

7,000 of the 26,000 National Guardsmen were deployed to the Capitol due to the chaos and may remain there until mid-March.

President Biden has declared domestic extremism as one of the largest national security issues that the nation currently faces.

A definition of what makes someone a domestic extremist is still up in the air.

The FBI vetted the National Guard prior to Joe Biden’s inauguration for extremist ties. 

The effort resulted in 12 guardsmen’s removal from their social media posts because of questionable behavior online. 

Traditionally the restrictions imposed on the military’s political views applied to criticism of war efforts, as the United States v. Howe (1967) addressed or contemptuous speech toward the president.

The problem with vetting is not necessarily the fact that the government wants to vet the military for extremism but how the government defines “extremism.”

Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy told the Associated Press, “We’re continually going through the process, and taking second, third looks at every one of the individuals assigned to this operation.”

“We need to be conscious of it and we need to put all of the mechanisms in place to thoroughly vet these men and women who would support any operations like this,” McCarthy said.

The Associated Press said that people likely to be vetted could be “far-right militants” who back President Trump’s claims that the election was stolen.

Chief of the National Guard Bureau, General Daniel R. Hokanson, said, “If there’s any indication that any of our soldiers or airmen are expressing things that are extremist views, it’s either handed over to law enforcement or dealt with the chain of command immediately.”

Prior to Biden’s inauguration, twelve National Guard personnel were sent home after being vetted by the United States Army and FBI.

Only two National Guardsmen of the twelve sent home were pulled from the assignment for concerns of extremism. 

“We’re, out of an abundance of caution, taking action and immediately removing them from the line of duty at the Capitol and the events taking place, and then we will address them,” said former Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs Jonathan Rath Hoffman.

The Associated Press reported, “Two U.S. officials told the A.P. that all 12 were found to have ties to right-wing militia groups or posted extremist views online.”

While no specific outline of the vetting process was released, Hoffman clarified what the U.S. Military was looking for.

“All I would say with those two individuals is inappropriate comments or texts that were put out there … a lot of looking back at anything that could potentially flag in a criminal history check, anything that could come up in a civilian database that’s being scrubbed by our partners,” Hoffman said.

Hoffman went on to say that the military wasn’t just looking for extremism, “These are vetting efforts that identify any questionable behavior in the past or any potential link to questionable behavior—not just related to extremism.” 

The military’s vague definition of “vetting” military personal could present a problem to those in all branches. 

Vetting like this in the military personnel for political standing in such a broad way has never happened before.

This new form of screening is the latest form of censorship from the U.S. government. 

Most people agree that those with extremist backgrounds may not be suitable for the military. However, the government’s lack of preciseness to define the views that will be vetted could result in a mass exodus from the military.

According to Pew Research center, the majority of active-duty and veterans approved of President Trump by 54%.

If this results in many active-duty military personnel’s expulsion, it could be a crushing blow to the Biden Administration’s job growth.

The United States military was found under the idea of political ideals. If having political opinions is now banned, the U.S. military may look very different than what American’s are used to.



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