NY Times graphic to go with the article.
Update: April 21, 2014: Meghan Kelly reported on this story on The Kelly File Monday evening. She discussed the author’s – Kathleen Belew’s – viewpoints. She is writing a book linking Vietnam Vets to White Supremacists and the religious right.
Original Story: April 17 2014: The NY Times opinion pages took a huge leap with an editorial two days ago by claiming that veterans under stress end up as homicidal maniacs. The author of the piece has a point to prove and will go to any illogical lengths to prove it.
She took the case of the vicious, murdering White Supremacist, Frazier Glenn Miller, and, because he was a veteran, decided to connect that to his hate-filled rampage.
Miller is the former Klansman who murdered three innocent people outside two synagogues this past week simply because they were Jewish.
This is one excerpt from the author’s article:
The number of Vietnam veterans in that movement was small — a tiny proportion of those who served — but Vietnam veterans forged the first links between Klansmen and Nazis since World War II. They were central in leading Klan and neo-Nazi groups past the anti-civil rights backlash of the 1960s and toward paramilitary violence.
This isn’t true. Vietnam Veterans were the most badly treated military in recent times. They went to war for the government under Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson and they were reviled when they came home instead of being thanked for serving their country. They had rotten vegetables thrown at them when they disembarked from planes after spending almost a year in the hellhole of Vietnam. Any soldier who suffered stress was used as an example of how “crazy” Vietnam Vets are. Now this woman who wrote the article is resuscitating the myth.
For this author – Kathleen Belew – to invent her own facts, demonizing Vietnam Vets to prove her thesis, is unacceptable.
In her article, she continually uses this maniac, Frazier Glenn Miller, as proof! She then throws in Army vet Timothy McVeigh to clinch the deal. Two evil lunatics! Two! That’s her case!
Her other proof comes from a debunked 2009 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) report that claimed veterans could become domestic terrorists. DHS had to withdraw the report because it was not based on fact. She revived the report in this piece and then said, “The department shelved the report, removing it from its website. The threat, however, proved real.”
Do you want to know how it proved real? Miller proved it! This one man is supposedly proof!
This is the line from the report that she particularly liked and which was based on imaginative thinking, not fact:
“Military veterans facing significant challenges reintegrating into their communities could lead to the potential emergence of terrorist groups or lone wolf extremists carrying out violent attacks,” the report warned. The agency was “concerned that right-wing extremists will attempt to recruit and radicalize returning veterans in order to boost their violent capabilities.”
She does present one more bit of evidence – veterans suffer from high incidences of combat trauma. She does not have any way to relate that to them suddenly becoming white supremacists except for this crazed killer, Frazier Glenn Miller, and of course McVeigh.
photo of Kathleen Belew, liberal out to demonize the military using hot air and no facts.
What about the Fort Hood shooter? Was he a white supremacist or was he a Puerto Rican supremacist?
Anyone can take any aspect of a person’s nature and use it to prove a point. As a researcher, this author makes a good popcorn maker. She needs to apologize to the veterans of America. She is pursuing her doctoral thesis on this issue and has a book in the hopper. Her sensationalized article on the backs of veterans’ reputations is a disgrace and the NY Times is a disgrace for printing it.