Saturday, March 18, 2006

MSNBC Report on the Military and Gang Bangers

MSNBC's Joe Scarborough reported on Wednesday night's Scarborough Country that the U.S. military is actively, sometimes knowingly, inducting violent gang members into the armed forces where the latter learn tactics of urban warfare, which they use against local police when they get out of the military. During the broadcast, the crawler at the bottom of the screen mentioned that both the Crips and the Bloods (both of which have groups in Nashville) are known to have had members trained by the military.

According to the report, while the military denies recruitment of gang bangers, gang experts are reporting to undercover gang cops that militarily trained gang members are leaving the military and applying their killing skills against police. Scarborough referred to the January 2005 killing of a police officer in Modesto, CA by Marine Andres Raya as an example. Local FBI officials in El Paso, TX told a reporter for the El Paso Times that they are concerned that the influx of soldiers through base realignment and closure would itself lead to a spike in gang-related activity. A Fayetteville, NC detective told Scarborough that he has seen gang members going in and out of Fort Bragg for years. He also said:
I received a letter from a probation and parole officer with over 20 years experience in the California area, who recently wrote me, stating that [U.S. military] recruiters had actually come to her, requesting that she sign a petition to pretty much expunge records of known gang members on probation and/or parole to join military ranks.
I know the Pentagon is hard up for new recruits necessary to replace the 20,000 casualties suffered by U.S. forces even though George W. Bush declared "Mission Accomplished" over 1,050 days ago, but if these reports are true, Rummy and his Pentagon crewbies have developed a knack for cultivating criminal elements at home. And Americans have a lot more to be concerned about beyond Pentagon blunders in the Middle East.

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