He calls it part of America’s new ‘cold civil war.’
In doing so, Mike Berry, an attorney and Marine Reserve officer, is risking his position in the CEWG and possibly his career in the Marines Reserves.
In a June 19 OPED in the Washington Examiner, Berry writes:
For starters, President Joe Biden recently declared that white supremacy poses the greatest threat to America’s national security. The Pentagon is taking the commander in chief at his word. Instead of monitoring external threats, the Pentagon is on a mission to identify and remove whomever it labels as extremists from America’s armed forces. Ironically, the CEWG has yet to define what it means by “extremism.”
Extremism is usually defined as the threat or use of violence to achieve an ideological agenda. But the Pentagon is now poised to expand upon that definition to include constitutionally protected speech. In other words, sticks and stones may break our bones, but words are the biggest threat.
This should be alarming to everyone, no matter their political persuasion. If the Constitution no longer presents an impediment to appeasing the woke commissars on the far Left, it won’t be long before speech that has always been protected by the First Amendment suddenly becomes criminal. My law firm, First Liberty Institute, is already seeing some disturbing signs.
Berry continues with worrisome examples:
An Army chaplain used his personal social media account to express support for then-existing policy banning those who identify as transgender from serving in the military. The Army relieved him of duty and accused him of “illegal discrimination.”
That’s right, the American government now monitors social media activity in order to ensure service members don’t post, share, or like something “extreme.” If this sounds eerily familiar, it’s because China has been doing it for years.
Meanwhile, service members publicly protested that same [Trump-era] policy, in uniform [in 2019 when it was the law], and nothing happened. If the CEWG does not adequately account for service members’ constitutional rights, we can expect many more struggle sessions to follow.
While ‘wokeism’ in the Pentagon has dangerously mushroomed under Biden, this isn’t a new problem. Berry notes in the Examiner:
Several years ago, the Department of Defense produced a document that labeled those who believe in “states’ rights, individual liberties, and how to make the world a better place” as potential extremists. Apparently, I was mistaken for thinking those were the things I was defending as a Marine. And despite data showing that religious people are the most likely to serve, we are now declaring them undesirable extremists.
All of this is a recipe for disaster. America has real enemies who seek to harm us, and those enemies are likely giddy with every woke pronouncement that America will continue to pour yet more valuable time, energy, and resources into its cold civil war.
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