Almost from the moment he took over the Pentagon, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has said his main mission is to fight “extremism” within his own ranks – apparently a bigger priority than prepping for war with China, Russia, Iran, or any other global wolf now licking its chops with Joe Biden in the White House.
But after five months on the job, and a mandatory day-long, military-wide “stand down” to get a grip on the issue, Austin still cannot define his enemy.
Last week, the Pentagon chief appeared before a House committee and repeatedly dodged the invitation to define “extremism,” as offered by Missouri Republican Rep. Vicky Hartzler.
Hartzler asked three times, and Austin declined to define the term. Instead, he noted, “We are focused on extremist behavior, not what people think or political ideas or religious ideas, but extremist behavior,” he replied.
But the conservative website PJ Media did uncover one definition posited by the U.S. Army.
The outlet received a copy of a directive to the Army Recruiting Command with instructions on how to screen out “extremists.”
“Extremism is defined as an individual that advocates for any of the following,” the document said, providing six criteria.
For example, so-called extremists could be excluded for supporting terrorist or criminal organizations, advocating the overthrow of the U.S. government by “force, violence, or sedition,” or promoting subversion, as in pushing people to break the law or disobey lawful orders.
The other three included demonstrating “hatred or intolerance” based on race, sex (including gender identity), sexual orientation, or ethnicity; “creating or engaging” in discrimination based on race, color, sex (including gender identity), national origin, religion, or sexual orientation; finally, using “force or violence or unlawful means to deprive individuals of their rights to achieve political/religious/discriminatory goals.”
On the surface these seem to comport with typical values all Americans could embrace.
The problem, for conservatives, is that the Biden Pentagon – which is advocating reading left-wing “anti-racist” literature and now paying for transgender sex-change procedures – gets to define what these things mean.
Under these criteria, according to the left’s overly broad definitions, the Army could potentially exclude a Catholic who follows the Church’s teaching on traditional marriage, or a conservative who thinks women’s sports should exclude transgender women, or who supported “sedition” by having voted for people like GOP Sens. Ted Cruz or Josh Hawley, who questioned the certification of Biden’s election.
As PJ Media noted, “It is doubtful whether the Army’s definitions, when put into practice, will respect freedom of expression or association for service members.”
And, it further noted, “Without a definition of ‘extremism,’ the DOD [Department of Defense] cannot allay conservatives’ fears about … about the Biden administration’s radical twisting of civil rights law.”
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