<eng>Fascists Organizing in US Military

The Anarchives (tao@lglobal.com)
Sun, 24 Mar 1996 14:17:52 +0000 (GMT)


"Military members among ranks of Ku Klux Klan
by Patrick Pexton _
Army_Times_ 25 March 1996 )

Pentagon officials say extremist groups are not prevalent in the
military. But it didn't take a reporter many phone calls to find
a soldier on active duty who actively participates in a
Washington-area Ku Klux Klan group, thereby flouting Defense
Department rules.

The enlisted soldier, stationed at Fort Belvoir in Northern
Virginia, would not allow use of his name, nor would he talk on
the phone very long other than to confirm his duty status, and that
he joined the Klan while in the military.

On the other hand, Tom Maddox, spokesman for this particular Klan
group, known as the Invincible Empire Knights of the Ku Klux Klan,
is open and proud of his beliefs. He doesn't mind his name being
published. "A lot of our people are afraid to talk, but I have my
beliefs and I don't apologize for them," said Maddox, a former 10th
Mountain Division soldier who left the Army in 1989.

CLAIMS MANY MILITARY MEMBERS

Maddox calls himself head of security for the Maryland-based Klan
group. He declined to discuss specific numbers, but he says his
group has many military members. He joined the Klan in 1986 while
stationed at Fort Benning, after he attended a rally near Stone
Mountain, GA. He says he was not brought up in a Klan family and
joined only after learning about it in the military. He said he
knew about 25 other KKK members at Benning.
Maddox and his active-duty colleague said they joined because they
saw minorities getting preferential treatment and because of the
opposition to homosexuals in the military.

"I was outranked by people that didn't even speak the English
language, mostly Puerto Ricans," Maddox said. "I found myself
looking at my name tag to see if I was still in the United States
Army. I was outranked by people who would be hard pressed to get
a job on the outside, much less than be an NCO in the U.S. Army."

Maddox and his colleague describe their unit of the Klan as law-
abiding and more moderate than many. They say they pledge
allegiance to the flag, reject violence while condemning the Fort
Bragg shootings as harmful o the cause of white advancement. They
say they don't stockpile weapons in hopes of a white
uprising. But they do wear the robes, demonstrate, pass out
leaflets, and recruit.

They also look down their noses at skinheads, noting that they
confuse style with substance. "They're not organized," Maddox
said. "They think if you shave your head, get the boots and wear
a flight jacket, you're a skinhead. That is easier to do than
joining the Klan."

"I don't believe I'm superior over anyone," Maddox said. "I just
choose the right to be separated from them. It's not a Nazi-type
dea. We are for America. And the military was one of the best
things that happened to me.

"The military was better for both races when segregated," Maddox
said. "Blacks had pride in their units and they did the job just
as well as whites did." In fact, Maddox said he is no different
than the NAACP or black leader Louis Farrakhan.

"When I was in, if you were black you could belong to the NAACP,
but its moniker is the advancement of colored people," Maddox said.
"But if I choose then to belong to an organization for the
advancement of my race, then I had to hide that. In your heart
you don't feel you're doing anything wrong."

Asked if he is a racist, Maddox said it depends on the
definition. "If you consider a racist as someone proud of my race
and looking for the betterment of my race, then yes," Maddox said.
"A racist is someone who is proud of their race and trying to do
something for my race, right along with Louis Farrakhan. In
society's terms, a black man can't be racist."

another story:

Hate in the Army" by Regina Galvin
Army_Times_, 25 March 1996 )
Fort Bragg, N.C. - Spec. Michael Fallon wasn't your typical 82d
Airborne Division soldier.

On duty, he looked like any other trooper wearing the red beret of
the "All American" division. But after hours, Fallon assumed
another identity. Doffing his Battle Dress Uniform in favor of a
uniform of a different sort, Fallon would put on his Doc Marten
boots, rolled up jeans and red suspenders. His shirt covered a body
adorned with nipple rings and an extensive collection of tattoos,
including one of which he was particularly proud -- a racial symbol
on his forearm representing white pride.

Fallon was one of several "skinhead" soldiers at Fort Bragg, N.C.,
who was subjected recently to disciplinary action following several
investigations into extremist activity at the post. In addition
to an internal 82d Division probe and one by the
Criminal Investigation Division (CID), the Army launched its own
investigation following the alleged racially motivated slayings of
two black Fayetteville residents, Jackie Burden and Michael James
on Dec 7, 1995.

PFC James Burmeister and PFC Malcom Wright, fellow soldiers and
acquaintances of Fallon, were charged with the killings. A third
soldiers, Spec. Randy Meadows, was charged with conspiracy to
commit first-degree murder.

TOLERANCE FOR EXTREMISTS

Accusations by rank-and-file soldiers as well as critical reports
in the national media suggest that a command climate existed in
the 82d Division that tolerated extremism within the ranks.
Daniel Voll, author of an article in the April issue of _Esquire_
magazine entitled, "A Few Good Nazis," said that the level of
knowledge the Army had -- and did nothing about -- was "alarming
at the very least."

"They had information as much as a year and four months ago," Voll
told _Army_Times_. "Tom Rivenburgh, the chief of police from
Burmeister's home town, had notified the Cumberland County District
attorney, who in turn notified the Provost Marshal's office at Fort
Bragg to alert them that Burmeister was involved in a plot [to kill
a police official.]"
According to Voll, military officals ignored the information. Voll
also said that on Aug. 28, 1995, the FBI contacted Fort Bragg's
Criminal Investigation Division to inquire about the kind of access
Burmeister had to explosives, saying it had taped evidence that
Burmeister was plotting to transport a bomb across state lines.

_Esquire_ magazine also says that soldiers were allows to display
Nazi paraphernalia on their walls with impunity.


FLAGS AND POSTERS

In an interview with _Army_Times_, Fallon said that his chain of
command knew about the flags, and not until after the slayings of
James and Burden was there a problem with it. "I had a Nazi
recruiting poster on the wall, and during a barracks check my
captain translated it for me," Fallon said. Capt. Andrew Weate,
commander of Headquarters/Headquarters Company, 2d Battalion, 325th
Airborne Infantry Regiment, Fallon's former unit, said that he did
translate a poster, but that it didn't have any Nazi symbolism on
it.

"I saw the poster and asked him if he knew what it meant," Weate
said. "He said no, so I told him. I can't remember the exact
phrase, but it had to do with work and dedication to self and
service. It wasn't a Nazi poster."

Fallon's chain of command said there were no flags on the wall at
the time of Weate's conversation with Fallon.

Weate said he took note of the poster because he thought it was
the same poster his high school German teacher had in his
classroom.
Lt. Col. Karl Horst, Fallon's former battalion commander, said that
after the slayings of James and Burden, investigators
identified Fallon as a skinhead. Horst said he gave Fallon a
counseling statement. "I told him to cease and desist all
activities," Horst said.

However, on Jan. 28, Fallon disobeyed a direct order by
participating in what the 82d Airborne Division called a
"staged-for-the-media" photo session with _Esquire_ magazine. That
act eventually led to his ouster from the Army.

A SCAPEGOAT?

Fallon sees himself as a scapegoat because of his friendship with
Burmeister. "They [the Army] needed to find some scapegoats of
people who know Burmeister," he said. "Now that they found us,
they're trying to get rid of us."

CID also questioned Fallon about another fellow 82d Division
soldier, Spec. Steve Guinn. Guinn, who is with the 1st
Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment recently was recalled
from a bomb school at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida.

Guinn said he has requested to be chaptered out of the Army. "I
fell I've been blacklisted and my military career is over.
Therefore I no longer want to serve in the U.S. Army or serve under
the command of anyone who wished to question my integrity."
In a sworn statement to CID, Fallon identifies Buinn as a
one-time Confederate Hammer Skin, an extremist, racist group of
skinheads based in Dallas. According to a 1992 CID report,
Confederate Hammer Skins have provided security for a Ku Klux Klan
march.

"He [Guinn] often said that the reason he joined the infantry was
to better prepare for the 'Great Race War,'" according to
Fallon's statement. "I think Burmeister committed the murders to
prove himself to Guinn. Burmeister seemed to idolize Guinn," Fallon
told the CID.

Fallon also was asked about a spiter tattoo Guinn was said to have.
Spider tattoos are popular among neo-Nazi skinheads. The tattoo
indicates a member has killed for the cause, slaying, for example,
a gay person or a minority, say experts familiar with such groups.

"We are talking about spider web tattoos and how they meant that
you killed someone. Guinn's statement to that was, 'Been there,
done that, got the T-shirt,'" Fallon stated to CID.

Guinn denied Fallon's accusations. "I think Mike Fallon was trying
to cover his own tracks to take the heat off himself," he told
_Army_Times_. "What's ludicrous is that someone who is supposed to
be so close to the cause would sell his own brother out." Guinn
said that the spider design on his elbow "is just a design."


'SUPERIOR TO OTHERS'

Spec. Joshua Spaid, another in Fallon's circle of friends
identified by the CID as a skinhead, said he also has been used as
a scapegoat, this despite the fact that during a March 13 ABC
"Primetime Live" broadcast he was pictured giving a Nazi salute in
his barracks. Spaid's picture also appeared in _Esquire_.
"Before the shooting, everyone was left alone. No one was ever
bothered. Then the shooting came out. All of a sudden everyone
was investigated," Spaid said.

Fallon first met Spaid last summer after seeing him in the post
exchange wearing thin red suspenders and sporting a newly shaved
head. Last May, Spaid had gone AWOL from his unit, Headquarters
Service Battery, 2d Battalion, 319th Airborne Field Artillery
Regiment.

"I wanted out. I didn't fit in," Spaid said. Instead of being
released, he was given 45 days extra duty by his commander at the
time. Soon thereafter, Spaid said, he became a skinhead.

"I don't want my race to commit genocide. I want my children to
grow up with the same freedoms I had. I don't want them growing
up in an all-black neighborhood," Spaid said.

Spaid said the white race is superior to others. He said he isn't
a neo-Nazi, but he frequently exchanges Nazi-style "Sieg Heil"
salutes with his friends.

"Basically, when we do the Sieg Heil, it's a lot of white pride.
We're saluting each other," Spaid said.

After he was identified by CID as a skinhead, Spaid volunteered
his personal philosophy to his battalion commander, Lt. Col. George
McFarley. McFarley said he told Spaid to stop
participating in skinhead activities. "Spaid was not a stellar
soldier. Possibly he was substandard," McFarley said. McFarley
portrayed Spaid as someone who would not take initiative, showed
up drunk for duty on occasion and had difficulty completing tasks.

"Within my first 60 days [of command], I started discharge
proceedings," said McFarley, who last summer took over command of
the battalion Spaid was in.

"I wasn't a perfect soldier, most of the time I was a damn good
soldier," Spaid said.

"Good soldier and a racist?" McFarley said, "It's an oxymoron."

TASK FORCE FORMED

In December, the Army announced that it had formed a task force to
assess the service's racial climate. Led by Maj. Gen. Larry
Jordan, the Army's deputy inspector general, it has traveled
throughout the United States, Europe and Korea. Spaid said he
thought the investigation would result in "a few guys getting
kicked out of the Army."

Despite allegations that racist behavior was evident long before
the slayings, both McFarley and Horst said there were no outward
manifestations of extremist behavior within their ranks.

There also had been no equal opportunity complaints against either
Fallon or Spaid, nor had anyone from their respective units
complained about their attire or attitude to the chain of command.
Action would have been taken, said McFarley and Horst.
Meanwhile, the two commanders in the 82d are frustrated by what
they see as media sensationalism of a tragic crime.

Horst said that he had been told by one of his battalion
commanders that the soldiers photographed in the _Esquire_
article had been paid $600 each.

The soldiers, Fallon, Spaid and Specs. Steven Manseu, Sean
Brownfield and Gary Fox, all members of the 82d, participated in
a photo shoot with freelance photographer Antonin Kratochvil.
Fox was the only soldier involved who is not believed to be a
skinhead.
In a sworn statement to the Fort Bragg Criminal Investigation
Division, obtained by _Army_Times_, Fallon is quoted as saying that
he wasn't paid by _Esquire_.

"When we were done talking, [Voll] asked us if we would be
willing to be photographed in our skinhead clothing with some flags
and posters in the background," Fallon said in his
statement. "I didn't see a problem with it, but I told [Voll] that
my flagsand banners were at home in Pennsylvania with my brother.
[Voll] asked me if I could have it sent back down for the photo
shoot."

Voll said that _Esquire_ merely reconstructed activities that had
gone on for months in the barracks. Voll vehemently denies payment
for the photos. "_Esquire_ would not, did not and would never
suggest payment for the pictures," Voll said. "For the Army to
have its chain of command engage in such misinformation makes a
mockery of the murder of the two civilians."

"I feel bad for disgracing my unit," Fallon said about being
chaptered out of the Army because he posed for _Esquire_.
However, a day before his discharge, Fallon freely posed with his
Nazi flags for _Army_Times_. Horst said that all the media
atttention is going to soldiers like Fallon while good troops are
being ignored.

What effect has all the media attention had on the morale of those
good troops? "They are pissed off," said Horst.

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