SECDEF46’s first action on military sexual violence: ordering top generals, senior Pentagon officials, heads of defense agencies to provide a comprehensive report in 2wks on what their sexual assault prevention measures are *& if they’re working.*
Importantly, many involved in their dystopian symposium are the same far right influencers who‘ve been building digital propaganda machines and mainstreaming & propping up their ilk into 2020 elections.
While many will laugh that a scam GoFundMe got one of the most calculated contemporary American Nazis in our midst, we must stop underestimating them. They are highly resourced, connected to the most powerful & strategically organized.
And they are mainstreaming beyond just you.
While many have hand waved them them off as they did Trump in 2016, they have been tactically building a disinformation & white nationalist propaganda machine towards influence & credibility building.
They’ve been deliberate in using identity politics & Dems failings as a tool.
It’s chilling how this interviewer can’t stop war-orgasming throughout this horrific war crime puff piece.
Not a blink or critical question when Gallagher shruggingly says this is normal.
Absence of interviewing other unit members, DoD, in country partners is glaring.
Not coincidental that Gallagher and his wife have announced their forthcoming book on the heels of this @60Minutes interview, one again the worst of the worst in our military enriching themselves off revisionist tell all’s that attempt to wipe the slime off their reputations.
As a reminder wks ago the cabinet-level Secretary of the VA, accused Andrea, a veteran & VA patient, of lying after coming forward abt being sexually assaulted at a VA. He said "unsubstantiated claims [...] could deter our veterans from seeking the care they need and deserve”
But based on the whistleblower it seems even before Wilkie made this statement he'd already been abusing his power, undercutting the IG, spending official time & resources investigating & rifling through Andrea's military service records, to discredit her personally.
Today was hard on a few levels but I’m so proud of showing up with other vets I admire today, re-upping #VetsVsHate
#VeteransDay is always a mixed bag. To my fellow veterans, I can’t say enough how much I believe in us.
I believe in us not being disposable or another afterthought of a statistic. I believe in us not being grifted & exploited by *any* politician or white nationalists. I believe in our worth & complexities beyond plastic faux-patriotism.
In other dystopian news, this is happening. A symposium celebrating a privately funded, not up to code, wall on private land. Steve Bannon, the wall fundraiser vet, Kris Kobach, nationalist influencers & more. They’ll also be touring & propagandizing ICE concentration camps.
Despite failures, hate and fear stoked by “”ThE WaLL”” generates many opportunities to capitalize & swindle their own base, particularly elders & retirees. It’s also created coalition & normalizing for dangerous nativists. As it‘s always been an intended. reuters.com/investigates/s…
The strategy here is not only to capitalize on fear and hate but to undermine government to even further legitimize themselves while creating grounding for Steve Bannon’s economic #nationalism.
Memorial Day is full of complicated feelings & for us who live it all year round, painful. Until we as a people & a nation demonstrably care & respond to the horrific human costs and destruction of war, it increasingly feels like a long weekend of cheap platitudes & empty noise.
#MemorialDay increasingly feels suffocating to me. It’s full of tough ironies, hypocrisies & gross capitalization that aren’t openly discussed but certainly felt. It has a way of lionizing war & white washing memory & complicated emotions in a way I feel dishonors those I’ve lost
In the yrs I’ve mourned & worked to honor one of my good friends, the contradictions have been more stark & clear. While I‘d never want anyone to know war-related loss of a loved one whether combat, illness, suicide, etc I often wonder what sharing this burden actually looks like
Going to the border w a group of progressive #veterans & @Ocasio2018 NY14 organizers to respond to the #asylum crisis one of the most important actions this year. It reminded me of our collective power & #military veterans & families' unique strengths & instincts as organizers /1
Coming together quickly for urgent collective action, we realized most of us had a #military affiliation, whether we enlisted ourselves or our mother, uncles, or cousins served in uniform.
Nearly all of us were also #immigrant-connected— immigrants or the children of immigrants
Many #progressive military #veterans are wired w critical, transferable skills that make us incredibly effective organizers. Particularly in high pressure, chaotic situations
*Vets of color in particular hold massively under-tapped insights & analytical power for change* /3
If you're just sharing photos of desolate refugee #CentralAmerican families under attack, commenting without any meaningful action behind it, no organizing to call Members of Congress, to deploy to the border, to provide humanitarian aid, you're adding to the fodder & trauma /1
We've long warned that treating us #CentralAmericans like enemy combatants, like vermin, in animalistic terms, creates grounding for violence. Use of tear gas is a litmus test for the envelope this administration can push & to fan hate & fear for support from their base. /2
Something I've taught in depth is the Pyramid of Hate/Violence. Bias & complicity require a broader, larger populous to manifest. Escalation doesn't bc it's passed a threshold of normalization. The Discrimination tier often is formalized policy, ie. Trump's border tactics /3
Leaving Detroit this morning, my Lyft driver was wearing a camo Marines baseball cap. I asked if he was a vet and we started talking about #VeteransDay, how weird it can be, and our service. He told me familiar rough stories about serving in Riyadh during the Gulf War. /1
We connected abt rich politicians & corporations sending working ppl to fight wars they wouldn't fight themselves, money in politics, & healthcare. He kept looking at me in his mirror & abruptly switched gears.
"What I'm most curious to see is this situation on the border." /2
We talked about it. He repeated a lot of conspiracy theories. We both shared our fear of violence erupting- although had different instincts of how that would start. He was very curious about my story & ideas but very convinced a political operative organized the #caravan /3
9/11 is a tough mixed bag but ultimately it’s all hard.
A reminder that we are complex beings and although trauma makes it more difficult, we can hold multiple competing thoughts at once. /1
I continually feel a lot of complicated thoughts about the traumatic event that terrorized entire people’s and lost us so many brave emergency responders. I abhor the violence & bigotry bred from that trauma that continues to be pervasive. /2
I have complicated feelings of deep gratitude that a teacher rushed our history class in front of a TV to watch the 2nd plane hit in real time. I think abt how seeing that terrorism in that moment differed from my countless hours analyzing terrorist acts in the military /3
Unfuckingbelievable. This kind of scapegoating and betrayal after giving up your life to become part of the shrinking pool of people who serve in uniform, is unconscionable and dangerous #WhereisMattis#VetsAgainstTrump
What is unfathomable is the hypocrisy. This soldier clearly passed the Army’s standards & requirements- around training, health, behavior/comportment- kept her nose clean, did her job for 4 yrs. All just for this soldier to be kicked out w no real cause & risk #deportation.
You know how isn’t always kicked out of our #military with this kind of vigor?
Sexual predators and criminals
Corrupt, fraud-waste power abusers
Hyper-religious homophobic commanders who still don’t respect or uphold open service policies