Extremism, as they call it, is such a huge problem that the Pentagon has spent all year trying to come up with new rules governing the issue and now they’ve issued them. And they include ‘liking’ these so-called extremist views on social media:
AP – Warning that extremism in the ranks is increasing, Pentagon officials are issuing detailed new rules prohibiting service members from actively engaging in extremist activities. The new guidelines come nearly a year after some current and former service members participated in the riot at the U.S. Capitol, triggering a broad department review.
Senior defense officials tell The Associated Press that fewer than 100 military members are known to have been involved in substantiated cases of extremist activity in the past year, but they warn that the number may grow given recent spikes in domestic violent extremism, particularly among veterans.
Officials said the new policy doesn’t largely change what is prohibited, but is more of an effort to make sure troops are clear on what they can and can’t do, while still protecting their First Amendment free speech rights. And for the first time, it is far more specific about social media.
The new policy lays out in detail the banned activities, which range from advocating terrorism or supporting the overthrow of the government to fundraising or rallying on behalf of an extremist group or “liking” or reposting extremist views on social media. The rules also specify that commanders must determine two things in order for someone to be held accountable: that the action was an extremist activity, as defined in the rules, and that the service member “actively participated” in that prohibited activity.
Previous policies banned extremist activities but didn’t go into such great detail, and also did not specify the two step process to determine someone accountable.
So if a servicemember thinks something is funny and ‘likes’ it Twitter or Facebook, and one of their commanders deem it as ‘extremist content’, it appears they can be disciplined for it.
But here’s where it’s going to get interesting:
The new rules do not provide a list of extremist organizations. Instead, it is up to commanders to determine if a service member is actively conducting extremist activities based on the definitions, rather than on a list of groups that may be constantly changing, officials said.
The regulations lay out six broad groups of extremist activities, and then provide 14 different definitions that constitute active participation.
These definitions and groups are what I really want to see and whether they include things like Trump MAGA rallies. It wouldn’t be the first time that Trump supporters have been targeted by the military.
Once they get released, if they do, I’ll let you know more about this. In the meantime, aren’t you glad the military is focused on the real threats to this country???