Well-known white nationalist still serves in the air force, Pentagon officials confirmed, two months later The HuffPost first reported at his enlistment. And on Thursday, the chair of a House armed services subcommittee said she would contact the Air Force leadership to see why there had been no action.
The investigation by Representative Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), Who chairs the Military Personnel Subcommittee, concerns Airman 1st Class Shawn McCaffrey, a well-known white nationalist. McCaffrey graduated from training camp in March, as The HuffPost reported earlier this year, even as the military received a historic withdrawal order so it can tackle the issue of extremism within its ranks.
“I’m going to contact Air Force management to find out why this individual who has his own author page on a website for far-right extremists describes himself as an ‘activist’ and co-hosted a podcast weekly in which he attacked Jews, women, LGBTQ + people, the US military and many others using unacceptable slurs – remain on active duty and come under scrutiny given the very public evidence and abundant of its extremist ties, ”Speier said in an emailed statement.
Last week, the Air Force confirmed to HuffPost that McCaffrey had not been kicked out of the military.
“He is currently on active duty as part of technical training,” Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek said in an email. “His case remains under review and no decision has been made at this time.”
Stefanek would not give a timeline for when the Air Force review will determine whether McCaffrey violated military regulations regarding extremism.
Speier thinks it’s been too long already.
“When you pledge allegiance to an organization or ideology that poses a clear threat to our democracy and our government,” she said, “you should not be able to wear the uniform of the United States of America and have access to sensitive government information “.
The outcome of extremists join the army – where they can potentially recruit new members for their cause and gain combat training that they can then use on civilian targets – has recently received increased attention. The problem escalated on January 6, when supporters of former President Donald Trump, many of them with military backgrounds, stormed the United States Capitol in an attempt to overturn the 2020 presidential election results.
In February, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin Posted a 60-day withdrawal order requiring commanders to have “necessary discussions” on extremism with the troops. “We will not tolerate actions that go against the core tenets of the oath we share, including actions associated with extremist or dissenting ideologies,” he wrote in a memo announcing the order.
Two months later, Austin released another note outlining the Pentagon’s plans to counter extremism among the military, including updating the Defense Department’s official definition of extremism and improving how military recruits are screened.
Speier has his own proposal. In February, she sent a letter to President Joe Biden, urging him to issue an executive order requiring the military to screen recruit activity on social media.
“If we were to research violent extremism on social media for all incoming military recruits and those seeking government security clearances, as I requested earlier this year, how many cases like this would we have?” avoid ? she told HuffPost in her statement about McCaffrey.
McCaffrey had many social media accounts that he used to spit racial slurs – “Black lives don’t matter,” he once tweeted – but they were under pseudonyms and may have been hard to find for recruiters. However, the HuffPost presented the Air Force with a detailed list of questions regarding McCaffrey’s social media posts, as well as his offline white nationalist activism, in April.
McCaffrey enlisted on January 26, though the evidence of his life as a racist and anti-Semite was only one Google look far and wide, and even if he made headlines when he was dismissed from his volunteering role for Andrew Yang’s presidential campaign in 2019 because of his far-right beliefs.
the FBI was also aware of McCaffrey’s affiliations with white nationalist groups before he joined the military, HuffPost has learned.
The military has codes prohibiting extremism, but they are vague and often unevenly applied. Of the 11 U.S. military HuffPost exposed as belonging to a white nationalist group in 2019, only six were ultimately expelled.
HuffPost recently reported that aviator Dannion Phillips, who was active in a white nationalist group, was allowed to remain in the air force. It is very possible that McCaffrey is also allowed to do this.
McCaffrey was a prominent member of the white nationalist group Identity Evropa; attended a high-profile white nationalist conference in Washington, DC, in 2016; joined the neo-Nazis in trolling a live anti-Trump art installation in Queens, New York, in 2017; and more recently has become a close ally of white nationalist Nick Fuentes, the leader of “America First” who allegedly helped foment the January 6 insurgency on Capitol Hill.
Until last year, McCaffrey co-hosted a live podcast, “The Weekly Sweat,” where he had friendly conversations with some of America’s most infamous fascists, including the founder of Daily Stormer, Andrew Anglin, who thinks Jews should be gassed.
In one episode, McCaffrey lashed out at Jews and gays. “Fucking queers,” he said. “They keep sodomizing each other. You are never well. And if you think we’re going to stop after chasing the Jews … no. Gay people are never OK under any circumstances and you are not welcome here. It is beyond mental illness. It is a very deep and sick perversion.
McCaffrey also often expressed his contempt for the US military, which he would later join.
“It seems all Marines are gay,” he said in an episode of “Weekly Sweat,” “and I really hope we get into a war soon, so you fucking queers have to stand up for the sand and die and kill all your friends. “
In another episode, McCaffrey argued that women should not be allowed to join the military. “They shouldn’t leave the house,” he said.
McCaffrey, from Novi, Mich., Did not immediately respond to a request for comment for this story.
Calling all HuffPost superfans!
Sign up to become a founding member and help shape the next chapter of HuffPost