The Department of Defense will now be using its power and resources to monitor the online activity of its members. Technology and capabilities that were originally designed to be used against foreign enemies of the United States will now be used to hunt down and track “extremists” within the ranks.
According to an internal document, the Pentagon is starting a new program to screen the social media profiles of servicemembers. The details of exactly how this will be done are still uncertain, but Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has made it his mission to find and expel anyone he perceives to hold “extremist” views.
To help him in achieving this goal, he has appointed Bishop Garrison as Senior Advisor to the Secretary of Defense on Human Capital and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Garrison’s view toward Trump supporters, such as claiming that anyone who supports Trump is a racist, have been well documented by Revolver News. There is concern over his seemingly broad definition of “extremist”, causing many to wonder if this new social media surveillance program will be used to unfairly target those in the DoD who simply hold political views that are not in line with the current administration.
Retired FBI agent Mike German, who has worked undercover infiltrating extremist groups, called monitoring servicemembers’ social media a “flawed strategy” and an “unnecessary privacy invasion”. He also added, “It will undoubtedly produce a flood of false positives that will waste security resources and undermine morale…” and that it will not “identify the real problem”.
Low morale within the Armed Forces is beginning to permeate throughout the ranks. Many servicemen are troubled at the idea of the US military using its resources against them, rather than maintaining an outward focus and utilizing its tools of surveillance against foreign threats.