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Pentagon to Monitor Military Social Media for ‘Extremist and Concerning Behavior’

Pentagon to Monitor Military Social Media for ‘Extremist and Concerning Behavior’

FNC host Tucker Carlson slams Bishop Garrison as a lunatic, and decry’s military leadership’s activist priorities.

Legal Insurrection has been following the fallout from the removal of US Space Force Commander Matthew Lohmeier after expressing concerns about the spread of Critical Race Theory and Marxist thought in the military.

Lohmeier reports that he is receiving a ton of support from his fellow Americans, which is extending to Republican leadership.

Congressman Dan Crenshaw of Texas, a former Navy Seal who lost an eye in combat in Afghanistan, condemned Lohmeier’s removal.

‘We need to be preparing our warriors to fight and win battles, not how to be (social justice warriors),’ he wrote.

‘Far left critical race theory is taught while speaking out against MARXISM is punished??’

A fellow Texan, Senator Ted Cruz, called the move ‘troubling’.

Rep. Andy Biggs, of Arizona, said Lohmeier was a ‘hero,’ adding the US military ‘should be preparing to win battles – not being brainwashed with Marxist ideals’.

And Dan Bishop, of North Carolina, wrote on Twitter: ‘Lt. Col. Lohmeier is correct. CRT is a neo-Marxist ideology. He was punished for telling the truth. We need to fight this with everything we have.’

Outrage is now circling a Pentagon advisor who now is planning to “continuously” trawl the social media accounts of military personnel for “extremist behavior and views.” He will use a private security company to shield itself from concerns that it’s violating the First Amendment.

The program is being spearheaded by Bishop Garrison, a senior adviser to President Biden’s Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, who has previously said Trump and his supporters are racist and is an advocate for Critical Race Theory and the 1619 Project, which teaches that America is an inherently racist nation founded on slavery.

Garrison, a former foreign policy adviser on Hillary Clinton’s unsuccessful presidential campaign, is a director of Human Rights First, a nonprofit that wants to ‘demilitarize and promote racial justice’ in law-enforcement agencies and pushes for refugee protection and asylum, among other things.

The Pentagon social media monitoring program has already sparked backlash over concerns about free speech and fears military members could be targeted for ‘lack of wokeness’.

The Department of Defense has not commented about Garrison’s program but a House Armed Services Committee spokesperson said they believed the social media screening would be in addition to background checks, and not as ongoing surveillance.

The program will likely use keyword searches on social media to identify military personnel with extremist political views or behaviors.

Right now, conservatives are scouring @BishopGarrison’s Twitter feed and are coming up with some chestnuts…like this one connecting support for President Donald Trump to racism.

I hope Garrison enjoys the reverse application of his fun, new rules!

Fox News Channel host Tucker Carlson reviewed the problems that the nation’s military is having due to leftist, social-justice, exo-activist policies. Garrison’s role in targeting our service personnel for potential career retribution was a significant portion of that troubling segment.

Carlson also tied the reports I noted last week about UFOs to the US military’s set of priorities and found it wanting.

…”Imagine a technology that can do 600 to 700 G-forces, that can fly 13,000 miles an hour, that, that can evade radar and can fly through air and water and possibly space, and oh, by the way, has no obvious signs of propulsion, no wings, no control surfaces and yet still can defy the natural effects of Earth’s gravity,” Mr Carlson said, quoting. former Navy pilot’s description of an unidentified aircraft sighting.”

“Sound like a potential threat? You think? So what has the Pentagon done about it? Well, we don’t know the full story as of tonight. But we don’t know that they’ve done anything about it, and then cover the fact they ignored it by declaring the whole subject classified for decades, then spending the rest of the day thinking about how to bomb Syria again and rid the Marine corps of people who voted for Donald Trump.”

Mr Carlson also called Mr Austin’s senior adviser, Bishop Garrison, “a lunatic” for saying all Trump supporters were white supremacists, while also overseeing the Pentagon’s woke agenda.

The anger at the reports are such that the Pentagon is pushing back on the story:

The Defense Department is not planning to troll troops’ social media accounts for extremist activity, the Pentagon’s top spokesman told reporters on Tuesday, contrary to a Monday report about a pilot program to that effect.

The Intercept cited documents and a “senior Pentagon official” in a story about a program that would “‘continuously’ monitor military personnel for ‘concerning behaviors,’” online, spearheaded by the Pentagon’s extremism working group and its chair, Bishop Garrison.

“There’s no pilot program being run by Mr. Garrison or the extremist working group to examine social media,” John Kirby said, calling the story “misreporting.”

The working group is tasked with reviewing current Pentagon policy that touches on extremism, Kirby said, but not with making new policy.

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Comments

It’s going to take more than whining over words to put an end to this. Start with your neighbors that support “Anyone But Trump”.
Being emotional clouds judgement.

JusticeDelivered | May 19, 2021 at 9:48 am

Bishop Garrison is in my opinion another Affirmative POS racist.

Ask him to define “extremism” and “concerning behavior”. When that’s done, we’ll know what this man thinks.
.

    CorkyAgain in reply to DSHornet. | May 19, 2021 at 1:52 pm

    We, on the other hand, can simply point to these quotes from him as an example of what we mean by those words.

Lucifer Morningstar | May 19, 2021 at 9:57 am

Well, time to start using pseudonyms on social media accounts to keep these lunatics from going after you. (You don’t really think this is my real name, do you?)

“Congressman Dan Crenshaw of Texas, a former Navy Seal who lost an eye in combat in Afghanistan, condemned Lohmeier’s removal.‘We need to be preparing our warriors to fight and win battles, not how to be (social justice warriors),’ he wrote.”

Big words from someone who caved to Communist pressure and voted to rubber-stamp the stolen election. You had your chance to practice what you preach, Crenshaw – and you blew it.

Where ‘extremist’ and ‘concerning behavior’ means one or more of the following…

— Trump supporter
— Critical of Critical Race Theory, BLM, or Antifa
— Expressing any skepticism about the integrity of the election
— Expressing skepticism that the 4 hour unarmed mostly peaceful protest of Jan 6 was an ‘insurrection’
— Anything else the Dems have declared ‘settled’ and not open to question.

We are officially a banana republic.

“The Defense Department is not planning to troll troops’ social media accounts”

I seems to remember that like the DHS program to work around the 4th Amendment, the plan was to outsource this program, so with the sharp knife a lawyer, this may be true and false at the same time.

    Absolutely. I’ve said it before. Just because it’s illegal, doesn’t mean they won’t do it.

    nordic_prince in reply to Neo. | May 19, 2021 at 1:53 pm

    Same thing with the “vax passport” crap – rely on the private sector to implement totalitarianism.

      Which is, of course, one of the hallmarks of Fascism. Something the left was really concerned about the past four years, if I remember correctly.

    DaveGinOly in reply to Neo. | May 19, 2021 at 4:39 pm

    The Post Office is already doing that. Why duplicate the effort?

If the GOP doesn’t A) Take back the House and B) be willing to shut down the government for whatever length of time it takes to form statutory prohibition on this kind of government behavior, then it’s only going to get worse.

Considering McCarthy will almost certainly be the Speaker, I’m not hopeful. No one should be.

amatuerwrangler | May 19, 2021 at 10:43 am

Based on the controversy it seems to always stir up (one way or the other) wouldn’t CRT fall within the realm of those things that should be dealt with? Asking for a friend, of course.

NavyMustang | May 19, 2021 at 11:52 am

“He will use a private security company to shield itself from concerns that it’s violating the First Amendment.”

This clown can “shield” the government all he wants, it’s still unconstitutional.

The centralization of this is not, IMO, objectionable. For about a decade now Company Commanders have been responsible for ‘monitoring’ the public social media presence of those in their command.

The objectionable piece here is:
1. Using a private company to provide the data. If it’s data that requires an invitation to view or otherwise not generally available to everyone then that’s a problem.
2. A governmental agency can’t evade restrictions on it’s actions by hiring a third party for the purpose of going around that restriction.
3. The interpretation of the data. How and who makes what determination? Why is one set of data from a particular political viewpoint ignored while equivalent data from another political viewpoint deemed harmful? If a post is encouraging violence or other inappropriate actions why does political viewpoint matter but not simply the content?

Now if all that’s going on is a centralized effort to review public social media content that’s probably fine. It takes that BS off of Company Commands.

If instead they are purchasing data that wasn’t actually ‘public’ in that to view it one needed specific authorization from the person who created it…. that is a big problem.

    alaskabob in reply to CommoChief. | May 19, 2021 at 12:30 pm

    Waiting for the creation of the “political officer” class as per every Communist military.

      CommoChief in reply to alaskabob. | May 19, 2021 at 5:01 pm

      Alaska Bob,

      Pretty sure that the assclown running this program qualifies. More broadly? You want to make O6 so that you have a shot at General or Admiral…then you toe the line from higher. That’s been especially true for a decade and a half or so.

      General officers are to a very large degree self selective. The current Generals recommend those who think like them and have a similar record and experience to be promoted.

      In a Kafka way it makes sense. ‘Hey I am a General, so my knowledge, experience and way of thinking is what made me smart enough to become a General …and boy howdy am I smart’. So these folks pick their replacement from a narrow pool that more or less mirrors themselves.

    Now if all that’s going on is a centralized effort to review public social media content that’s probably fine. It takes that BS off of Company Commands.
    Nope. Still a violation of the 1st Amendment rights of the personnel (as restricted as those are, they still do exist). And it already is that violation regardless of the level of command involved.

    If only used to find actual extremist statements, it might slide by. But generally, you can’t look at the speech of military personnel without good reason to (such as done while in uniform, or using military rank and title).

      CommoChief in reply to GWB. | May 19, 2021 at 2:06 pm

      The official policy of the Army for more than a decade has been that Company Commanders are supposed to ‘monitor’ the public social media of those in their command.

      If the data is unrestricted /public then no expectation of privacy for that data exists. That point isn’t in any dispute, it is settled law.

      The original purpose of the directive was to address potential suicidal thoughts and bizarre comments that are or could be threatening violence. In other words if your Soldier is making comments about harm to self or others then that’s what Commanders were looking for.

      In practice though? Not really any mechanism for evaluation or to ensure follow through. Company Commanders have a ton of things to do. Literally more hours in the performance of all that than exist in the week.

      I can see centralizing this. However, as I stated in the original comment, they can’t scoop up non public data. Nor IMO, should the political or policy viewpoint be the driver.

      Based on the record of the folks heading up this initiative, the DoD is moving to suppress political mainstream viewpoints which is unwarranted and almost certainly illegal.

      The problem in pushing back is the tremendous deference granted by the Courts to the ability of the DoD to regulate the behavior and conduct of it’s members. IMO, the only practical way to end this is through success at the ballot box.

        JHogan in reply to CommoChief. | May 19, 2021 at 3:52 pm

        The official policy of the Army for more than a decade has been that Company Commanders are supposed to ‘monitor’ the public social media of those in their command.

        “More than a decade’?

        Did The Lightbringer set the precedent, create the initial policy, and grease the slippery slope?

          CommoChief in reply to JHogan. | May 19, 2021 at 5:07 pm

          As I recall it was part of the response to the Ft Hood shooting. The primary purpose was to discover if Soldiers were making threats to themselves or others on line.

          The original purpose wasn’t ideological. It was intended to help …or at least have a convenient scapegoat in a Company Commander who failed to adequately monitor for ‘warning signs’.

          The revamped version is totally ideological and, based upon his history, run by a complete whacko.

          GWB in reply to CommoChief. | May 19, 2021 at 6:04 pm

          As I recall it was part of the response to the Ft Hood shooting.
          IOW, yes, 0bama,

        GWB in reply to CommoChief. | May 19, 2021 at 6:02 pm

        That point isn’t in any dispute, it is settled law.
        Lots of things are “settled law” that shouldn’t be.

          CommoChief in reply to GWB. | May 19, 2021 at 8:11 pm

          GWB,

          I don’t understand your point about the 1st amendment and settled law. Above you stated that the 1st A somehow prevents the military from ‘looking at the speech of military members’.

          I pointed out that data in the public domain doesn’t have any expectation of privacy, how could it when the creator placed it into public.

          Further I pointed out that this is settled law. Now you seem to imply that this shouldn’t be settled law.

          I am more than happy to have a conversation but I don’t understand what point you are trying to communicate. Can you clarify?

    DaveGinOly in reply to CommoChief. | May 19, 2021 at 4:40 pm

    2. A governmental agency can’t evade restrictions on it’s actions by hiring a third party for the purpose of going around that restriction.

    Bingo.

    If the government could do this, it could license a private police force and then employ that force to conduct warrantless raids and arrests.

“There’s no pilot program being run by Mr. Garrison or the extremist working group to examine social media,”
Well, not now there’s not.

We really need to dramatically cut the military budget.

They are extremely politicized and leftist and the only cure for that is to hit them in the military budget.

French 3rd Republic did; if you have your theory about a nation that would be capable of conquering us as Germany did to France if we cut the military budget for a few years to depoliticize the armed forces feel free to suggest it so we could all use a good laugh, if we cut our military budget to that of Russia for example that is a large majority of the budget gone and would be called draconian by all of these guys.

Next up – Political commissars embedded at the battalion or company level in order to assure that troops are sufficiently “pure” in their political thought.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_commissar

So, if I said I was proud to be an American…
Where would I be in the mix?

“There’s no pilot program being run by Mr. Garrison or the extremist working group to examine social media”

Truth only a lawyer could love. Neither of them are running the program, the designated private contractor is.

The cadets should just not use any kind of social media at all and claim youthful indiscretion for any previous posts.

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