House GOP Calls for Investigation into Left-Wing Extremism in U.S. Military

A group of Republican lawmakers called on Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin to launch an investigation into “left-wing extremism” within the ranks of the United States military.

As reported by Fox News, the effort is led by Congressman Derrick Van Orden (R-Wisc.), a former Navy SEAL, and features five other members of the House of Representatives. The letter signed by the six congressmen cites, among other examples, the disturbing incident in which a U.S. Airman committed suicide by self-immolation in front of the Israeli embassy in Washington D.C., live-streaming himself on social media as he screamed “Free Palestine.”

“We write you today as members of Congress, many of us having served our country honorably, in our commitment to the security and integrity of our nation’s armed forces,” the letter reads. “Your dedication to rooting out extremist behavior within our ranks has been well documented and demonstrates a commitment to maintaining the honor and cohesion of our armed forces.”

“It is with this shared commitment in mind that we urge your attention toward the equally pressing issue of left-wing extremism among active-duty service members and veterans,” the letter continues. Citing the aforementioned airman, who described himself as an “anarchist,” the members of Congress declare that his worldview was “incompatible with that of our constitutional republic and entirely inappropriate for a member of the United States Military who had taken an oath to defend it at all costs.”

“This act, motivated by his stated desire to protest Israel in what he described as complicity in injustice, demonstrates the potential for ideologically driven behaviors to undermine the values, discipline, and safety of our military community, irrespective of the political orientation of those ideologies,” the letter concludes.

Austin has repeatedly vowed to combat so-called “extremism” in the military, but has focused almost exclusively on right-wing views held by White members of the military, while completely ignoring left-wing views or extremist views held by minorities. In April of 2021, Austin created a group dedicated to investigating such “extremism,” led by Bishop Garrison, who serves as Austin’s senior adviser on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).

When asked about the letter, a spokesman for the Department of Defense said that “as with all congressional correspondence, the Department will respond directly to the Members.”

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About Eric Lendrum

Eric Lendrum graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he was the Secretary of the College Republicans and the founding chairman of the school’s Young Americans for Freedom chapter. He has interned for Young America’s Foundation, the Heritage Foundation, and the White House, and has worked for numerous campaigns including the 2018 re-election of Congressman Devin Nunes (CA-22). He is currently a co-host of The Right Take podcast.

Photo: WASHINGTON DC, UNITED STATES - DECEMBER 6: U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin gestures as he welcomes Ukraine's Defense Minister Rustem Umerov with an official ceremony at the Pentagon in Washington, United States on December 6, 2023. (Photo by Celal Gunes/Anadolu via Getty Images)