CV NEWS FEED // An activist hired by the Biden administration to root out “extremism” in the United States Armed Forces has accused all Trump supporters of “complicity” with extremism.
“Silence from our Congressional leaders is complicity,” tweeted Bishop Garrison in a July 2019 Twitter thread about former President Donald Trump. “He is only going to get worse from here, & his party and its leadership are watching it happen while doing nothing to stop it.”
“Support for him, a racist, is support for ALL his beliefs,” Garrison added. “He’s dragging a lot of bad actors (misogynist, extremists, other racists) out into the light, normalizing their actions.”
It appears Garrison was not only referring to members of Congress. Rather, he condemned all supporters of Trump, without qualification. “If you support the President, you support that,” Garrison wrote. “There is no room for nuance with this. There is no more ‘but I’m not like that’ talk.”
Bishop Garrison is a military veteran, activist, and former advisor to the 2016 Hillary Clinton campaign.
The Department of Defense hired Garrison to oversee the counter-extremism efforts which the Biden administration launched in February, claiming that the events of January 6 required a crackdown against ideological threats among enlisted personnel.
In an April memorandum, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin III announced that the Department had instituted the Countering Extremism Working Group (CEWG). The CEWG was tasked with a number of efforts to root out extremism in the military, Austin explained.
“The CEWG will be led by Mr. Bishop Garrison, Senior Advisor on Human Capital and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion,” he wrote.
The CEWG’s orders included reevaluating and updating current definitions of what constitutes “extremist activity,” implementing new questionnaires to aid in vetting (and in some cases rejecting) new recruits, and studying the past social media activity of current service members before allowing them to gain higher ranks or positions that deal with matters of national security.
On an ongoing basis for all members of the Armed Forces, the CEWG will “also ensure training addresses issues raised by commanders and supervisors on ‘gray areas’ such as reading, following, and liking extremist material and content on social media forums and platforms,” Austin stated.
“The vast majority of those who serve in uniform and their civilian colleagues, do so with great honor and integrity,” wrote Austin in the conclusion of the memorandum, “but extremist behavior in the force can have an outsized impact:”
We shall adhere to our core beliefs and values and reaffirm the oaths we each took to uphold and support the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic. …My Point of Contact for these efforts is Mr. Bishop Garrison.”
Republicans Demand Action
Revolver, the publication which first reported on Bishop Garrison’s 2019 tweets, reported Tuesday that a number of Republican members of Congress are demanding the military answer for what they call “the growing trend of left-wing extremism and politicization in our armed forces.”
The Republicans, led by Rep. Matt Rosendale, R-MO, provided Revolver with a copy of their letter to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.
“The military’s long history of standing above politics has made it one of the most respected institutions in America and enabled our armed forces to both defend the Homeland and serve as one of the bulwarks of our constitutional order,” they wrote. “That legacy is now in jeopardy.”
The letter addresses a number of examples of Leftist decisionmaking among military brass, including recent recruitment ads which highlight identity politics and denigrate “patriarchal” thinking, as CatholicVote has reported.
The Republican members of Congress also cite the case of Bishop Garrison directly:
Under the guise of reviewing “extremism” within the ranks of the Department of Defense, it appears that political actors such as Bishop Garrison, the head of the working group tasked with defining extremist views for the Department of Defense, have been given broad freedom to both catechize and root out servicemembers who will not affirm far-left doctrines. Your order for a “stand-down” to ideologically assess servicemembers appears to have been connected to these efforts.
“The sole purpose of the United States Military is to protect American citizens, defend American national security interests, and to fight and win wars when necessary,” the letter concludes. “We urge you to use your authority to take action to fight back against the creeping left-wing extremism in the U.S. military.”