In a strongly worded letter to members of Congress, Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) founder Morris Dees last week expressed serious concerns about growing signs that members of neo-Nazi groups are infiltrating the US military. According to the SPLC website, Dees asked Congress to take steps ‘to ensure that the armed forces are not inadvertently training future domestic terrorists.’

According to SPLC, recent scrutiny of a neo-Nazi website operated by the National Socialist Movement revealed ‘dozens of personal profiles … where individuals listed ‘military’ as their occupation.’ Further, FBI and Department of Homeland Security reports, published within the past year, suggest the likely infiltration by extremists is a serious problem.

In his letter, Dees wrote, ‘Evidence continues to mount that current Pentagon policies are inadequate to prevent racial extremists from joining and serving in the armed forces.’

Dees urged quick action. ‘Because the presence of extremists in the armed forces is a serious threat to the safety of the American public, we believe Congressional action is warranted,’ he wrote.

The ‘overwhelming majority of US servicemembers reject extremism and are dedicated to serving and protecting the highest ideals of our country,’ Dees continued. ‘[W]e owe it to our courageous men and women in uniform, and the American public, to remain vigilant to ensure that the ranks are as free of extremists as possible.’

The SPLC, which follows the activities of hate groups across the country, has repeatedly warned the Pentagon over the past three years about the possible infiltration of the US military by hate groups, ‘but no apparent action has been taken.’

The SPLC said it found approximately 40 personal profiles that listed ‘military’ as an occupation, including one individual who claims to be in Afghanistan. That individual cites his favorite book as ‘The Turner Diaries,’ which is believed to have been used as a guide to the Oklahoma City bombing by Gulf War veteran Timothy McVeigh.

Mark Potok, director of SPLC, added that while the Pentagon is committed to forcing out gay servicemembers, it appears to be less than interested in rooting out neo-Nazis or members of other hate groups. ‘It seems quite anomalous that the Pentagon would consider homosexuals more of a threat to the good order of the military than neo-Nazis and other white supremacists who reject our Constitution’s most cherished principles,’ said Potok. Since 1994, 12,500 gay servicemembers have been expelled from the military because of their sexual orientation.