I don’t mean to sound like Chicken Little here, nor do I mean any disrespect to the memory of Walt Kelly. But every so often, I find myself wondering if the sky really is falling. I mean, a year ago or so, if you’ll recall, we had Janet Napolitano releasing a threat assessment that found that the types of people who keep and bear arms, join the NRA, and like to go to the range to shoot, or gun shows to buy, should be classified as proto-terrorists. We were not amused. Now comes word from the FBI that our military (you know…the good guys) have been infiltrated by the bad guys, i.e.: gangs. I’m not sure whether to laugh, or cry.
So here’s the 411. The FBIes tell us that their intel shows that every branch of the service has been infiltrated by gangs. This makes a certain amount of sense, when you think about it. Ghetto or Bario, the only way out (other than a body bag or an education) is likely to be joining up. Fair enough. But the problem seems to be that, once the former gang member goes through basic, he finds himself thrown in with others that he knows from da hood, and all of a sudden the “former” gang member isn’t so former. Then, too, you’ve got to wonder why gangs don’t just throw in with the military.
After all, they have access to the very best, kick-ass guns, unlimited amounts of ammo, and some of the best training this side of Thunder Ranch. Some enterprising, young gang-banger enlists, becomes all he can be for a hitch, then gets out and gets back to the hood, where he becomes the local version of a field general with an intimate knowledge of weapons, tactics, and stratagems. And bonus: He know knows all the inside Baseball moves that Uncle Sam been done teachin’ yo’ friendly neighbor(in the)hood SWAT teams. Now THAT’S the way to level the playing field!
According to the report, the military now includes members from 53 gangs and 100 regions in the in every branch of the armed forces. The list includes every major street gang, prison gangs, and outlaw motorcycle gangs. Lovely. And it gets better: they’ve been reported serving in both U.S. and international military installations.
Through transfers and deployments, military-affiliated gang members expand their culture and operations to new regions nationwide and worldwide, undermining security and law enforcement efforts to combat crime. Gang members with military training pose a unique threat to law enforcement personnel because of their distinctive weapons and combat training skills and their ability to transfer these skills to fellow gang members.
If there’s any good news, it’s that the gangs have concentrated on the U.S. Army, Army Reserves, and the Army National Guard.
Many street gang members join the military to escape the gang lifestyle or as an alternative to incarceration, but often revert back to their gang associations once they encounter other gang members in the military. Other gangs target the U.S. military and defense systems to expand their territory, facilitate criminal activity such as weapons and drug trafficking, or to receive weapons and combat training that they may transfer back to their gang. Incidents of weapons theft and trafficking may have a negative impact on public safety or pose a threat to law enforcement officials.
The FBI points out that many gangs, especially the bikers, actively recruit members with military training and advise young members with no criminal record to join the service for weapon access and combat experience.
Of course the bennies don’t stop there. You got your modern-day Ché Guevara servin’ a hitch and coming back as a newly-commissioned el General, but he’s got some homies still workin’ on the inside, if you know what I mean. Forget that “river ‘o guns” B.S. into Mexico. You’ve got a potential raging rapids of weaponry going out the door on a five-finger discount plan, straight from a U.S. Armory to a bario near you. And we’re not just talking full-auto carbines that would make your average AK or AR look puny by comparison. Nope. We’re talkin’ RPGs, grenades, .50 cals, and some pretty impressive munitions. The possibilities are endless.
And frightening. Gangs are evidently recruiting members with no criminal records to join up and come back with info and connections that can benefit the gang. Think of it like sending your kid off to college abroad, to broaden their horizons. Only these kids are learning how to be soldiers. What a great skill to export for gang use, eh?
Of course, this is of no interest at all to those defenders of justice, the ATF. I mean, why arm gangsta soldierz? They already have the good stuff. And it doesn’t exactly further the ATF narrative, either.
One more fun factoid to fulminate over: When push comes to shove, oh…I dunno, say when the President invokes martial law or something, where will the allegiance lie with Col. Crip and Brigadier General Blood? Will they be playing for Team Uncle Sam, their own gangs, or just freelancin’? And the best part? The same paralysis by political correctness run amok exhibited in the case of the Muslim attacker at Fort Hood in Waco will prevent the military from weeding out the gang members who’ve infiltrated the military.
In the back of my mind, I’ve always felt as if our next-to-the-last resort against the tyranny of a government run amok (the LAST resort being the 2nd Amendment), would be that the military would never take orders directing them to turn on their own citizenry. If we’ve got a military infected with gang members, I’m not so sure about being able to count on the armed services if things do ever get that bad. Hell, I’m not sure I’d trust ’em in a Katrina-style emergency now, either.
There’s a simple solution to this. But it requires top-down leadership, a refutation of politically correct thought, and a willingness to do what’s right – and let the ACLU and others of their ilk go hang. But to do that, it has to be approved by the Commander-in-Chief. And until someone else lives at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, I just don’t see that happening.
I remember when judges were still giving young men the option to join the military (usually the Marines if I remember) to or go to jail. Well, the Army is the last ditch place for a potential recruit to go when they can’t get into the other branches (I was a Warrant Officer and I’ve got some stories).
I was an MP in the US Army for 6 years between 1992 and 1999, so I’m familiar with the issue of gang members in the Army. Most of these guys wind up showing up in combat service support jobs, like cooks, clerks, communications, maybe some of them even get into an artillery unit, but let not your heart be troubled, you will seldom find them in the infantry or the Special Forces. Contrary to the Army’s propaganda, not every Soldier is an elite killing machine, and the kind of training you’d worry about a gangbanger getting is reserved for combat arms troops. As far as getting weapons and ammo, or explosives, it’s possible that they’d get away with as much as they could carry away one time and one time only, and it’s not likely they’d even get away with it one time. When units “lose” grenades or weapons, or god forbid an entire weapon, the entire unit is locked down and a grand inquisition begins, and it doesn’t end until whatever is missing is found. I’m not saying it’s not a problem that there are gang members in the military, but it’s not as big of a problem as you might be scared into believing. They either get kicked out, get their acts together, or they get out after their time is up, not knowing much more than they knew when they left, save maybe some new found knowledge on how to make a floor shine, or how to make yakisoba for 1,000 people.
+1. I’m not too worried about an iron, C4 and AT4 river coming out of our military armories to a neighborhood near you by enterprising gang affiliated service members.
Hey don’t hate on us 92Gs ever want steak in the middle of Afghan I was the guy you talked to, so what we nvr left the base. You should love your support teams. I mean if gang members really want guns they should ask the ATF
+1 I agree completely! I only ever new one person who was unabashedly vocal about being a gang banger, that made it as an 11B, and he was given old school (pre ’02 style) military justice by his peers whenever he stepped out of place.
Who was the brainiac who blacked out the “soldier’s” face? It’s already been published without the “concern” for his privacy.
I’m surprised that the map shows little or low gang membership in NYC relative of course to LA and other places out West.
I hate to sound like I am denigrating the Corps, but the intensity of activity in Southern California is likely due to the fact that those areas are also home to most of the Marine Corps.
– Souther California is already a major vector for gang activity across all the flavors; latino drug runners, black drug distributors and bikers.
– Any gang banger looking to gun-up will likely be most attracted to the Corps as their branch of service for what I think are a multitude of obvious reasons.
– A Marine recruit can complete his entire training and deployment cycle within that particular region (boot at MCRD San Diego, School of Infantry at Camp San Onofre and stationed with a unit at Camp Pendleton). Thusly, they could stay relatively connected to their home gang. Every other service would send you all over the country and station you wherever they feel like.
“In the back of my mind, I’ve always felt as if our next-to-the-last resort against the tyranny of a government run amok (the LAST resort being the 2nd Amendment), would be that the military would never take orders directing them to turn on their own citizenry.”
Uhm, Brad, are you forgetting about Kent State? I’m not sure if there are other incidents (I’m pretty sure there are and I just am not aware of them), but the US military already HAS murdered US civilians for disagreeing with the government.
And agree with the Occupy people or not, but it seems that civilian police forces have no trouble thumping heads in Oakland.
I’m all for seasoning hippies with tear gas when they won’t follow a lawful order… but tossing a flash bang three feet from a wounded guy’s head (at folks trying to render aid), isn’t exactly “Serving” or “Protecting.”
The real tragedy is that the politicians have us so divided against one another that we are basically at each other’s throats for the same core reasons. Just like the Tea Party folks are gloating at how OPD is handling the Occupy movement, the Occupiers will laugh the first time a conservative rally gets a beat down. So the Government has basically 50% support no matter what they do.
It will stay this way until we all realize that American citizens face a common enemy, and it isn’t the other half of the population.
Except that the Tea Party is a group of citizens peacefully exercising their First Amendment rights and not a bunch of juveniles fantasizing that they are in Petrograd in November 1917.
The power players seeking to weaken the American people to empower government and transform society have used the classic strategies of “Divide and Conquer”: separate citizens with different political values into far more serious perceived ‘enemies’ in the Left vs. Right camp debates letting the people focus and criticize each other, and not government, separate fathers from families, position young vs. old, destroy the middle class so there are the rich vs. poor, etc.
Read about the “Bonus Army” for another example of troops vs. civilians.
One of the clearest examples of why we can’t just assume that our government will do the right thing.
Google Gen Douglas Macarthur and the Bonus Army- When called upon by the commander-in-chief, Troops will not only fire upon US citizens, They will fire upon US Veterans
Well I could have told you that… Did the FBI JUST figure this out? I’ve heard this for years from current and ex-military members.
An in-depth study needed to be conducted by a bi-partisan, independent, blue-ribbon panel before publishing the findings that will be filed under “Shit Everybody Already Knows“.
This a DVD going back to info from 2005 produced by the history channel called : Gangland: Basic Training DVD
“In 2005, Richard Valdemar, one of the country’s leading gang experts and a 30-year veteran of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, issued a warning: “Gangs around the country were sending their members to the military to learn urban warfare.” The FBI believes gang members enlist to receive weapons, combat and convoy support training; to obtain access to weapons and explosives; or as an alternative to incarceration.
They have know and CBS, Fox, Hostory Channel and other have other done stories, including one on 60min regarding the issue within the Navy.
Knowing and doing something about the issue are two different things and in political circles one more white paper is another way to stall.
Maybe “Col. Crip” could be convinced that the guys with AK’s and sandals are Bloods. I think things would move much faster.
Nam’s Angels !!!!
LOLOL omg what is this?!
Meh. I don’t think it’s a big deal. It’s pretty hard to retain your loyalty to one group while being integrated into another. I gather group cohesion is pretty important in the Army– pretty unpleasant, I would think, if you don’t think of yourself as being on the same side. Much easier to conform.
I can’t wait for the movie. I can see it now in my minds eye —
“From the producers of The Iron River. Now playing at a theater of the absurd near you.”
The good news is that all of those red gang zones are places where carry is illegal and ownership is near impossible. So even if they do get RPGs and M4s home, they won’t be allowed to use them in the streets. Sleep well, citizens!
This article really does not surprise me. I have sort of heard this type of thing from some National Guard Members. I am not so sure the weapons are swipped during deployment to indiviual active units, but the stuff in warehouses, transit, and inventory are fair game with creative accounting to cover the shrinkage.
Think the movie The Lord Of War or the book Dogs Of War for more inspiration.
Hey, if you canot get it from the US Military, other corrupt nations will happily supply.
It took the FBI long enough to figure it out. I heard gang bangers talking about shooting at others as all of them drove through Junction City, KS. That was back in 92. I’ve known several bikers that were in the Army as well and maintained their affiliation. I think this is just another attempt at diverting attention.