NEO-NAZI AND HATE GROUPS JOINING THE U.S. MILITARY

07/12/06

Neo-Nazis and other white supremacists have increasingly been able to infiltrate the U.S. military due to recruitment pressures created by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, a watchdog group said on Friday (July 7).

The Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks racist activities in the United States, said thousands of hate group members are now in the armed forces, especially in the Army, increasing the threat of domestic terrorism.

"There is mounting evidence that military recruiters and commanders, under intense pressure to meet manpower goals with the country at war in Iraq and Afghanistan, have relaxed standards designed to prohibit racist extremists from serving in the armed forces," the center's Chief Executive Richard Cohen told Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in a letter.

Cohen asked Rumsfeld to appoint a task force to determine the full extent of the problem and to adopt a "zero-tolerance" policy toward racist extremists in the military that could be rigorously enforced.

Our guest today was Mark Potok, the top researcher at the Center. He says that although the percent is small, the actual number of racists in the military is quite large. He says the ultimate aim is to foment a race war in the United States.

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