Skinheads in Uniform

The New York Times reports on the incredibly important work being done by the Southern Poverty Law Center to uncover a fairly terrifying upsurge in neo-Nazi and skinhead infiltration of the military. The Army cracked down on this after being embarrassed by revelations about Timothy McVeigh’s white-supremacist conversion while in the Army. But you know, the Oklahoma City bombing is so ’90s and we need every solider we can get–except “teh gay,” of course. So recruiters under pressure to meet their quotas are just smiling and nodding while homegrown terror groups build a fifth column inside the military.

A decade after the Pentagon declared a zero-tolerance policy for racist hate groups, recruiting shortfalls caused by the war in Iraq have allowed “large numbers of neo-Nazis and skinhead extremists” to infiltrate the military, according to a watchdog organization.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks racist and right-wing militia groups, estimated that the numbers could run into the thousands, citing interviews with Defense Department investigators and reports and postings on racist Web sites and magazines.

…The report cited accounts by neo-Nazis of their infiltration of the military, including a discussion on the white supremacist Web site Stormfront. “There are others among you in the forces,” one participant wrote. “You are never alone.”

An article in the National Alliance magazine Resistance urged skinheads to join the Army and insist on being assigned to light infantry units.

The Southern Poverty Law Center identified the author as Steven Barry, who it said was a former Special Forces officer who was the alliance’s “military unit coordinator.”

“Light infantry is your branch of choice because the coming race war and the ethnic cleansing to follow will be very much an infantryman’s war,” he wrote. “It will be house-to-house, neighborhood-by-neighborhood until your town or city is cleared and the alien races are driven into the countryside where they can be hunted down and ‘cleansed.’ ”

He concluded: “As a professional soldier, my goal is to fill the ranks of the United States Army with skinheads. As street brawlers, you will be useless in the coming race war. As trained infantrymen, you will join the ranks of the Aryan warrior brotherhood.”

This is not pretend, not made up, and these people are serious. In a climate where mainstream Republicans are demonizing and dehumanizing immigrants and gays in violent terms, these fringe groups are more empowered to act. Maybe it’s just the time I spent in the wreckage of the Murrah Building, but I’m a lot more scared of these people than I am of Zarqawi and bin Laden. I’d rather fight Whitey at home than fight Jihadis over there.