The most disturbing part of this story is the unit the men came from:  4/3 BCT.  It's a relatively new Brigade Combat Team, stood up to help handle the rotation issues of the recent war, but that's a minor point.  The main point is that this is a unit of regulars, part of a division that is as regular as any in the Army.

Hopefully the future reporting on this issue, and the trial itself, will reveal details that make this less damning than it initially appears.  Bombing the fountain at Forsyth Park?  There's no political purpose to such a thing; almost all you'd be killing is innocent children.


Miss Ladybug said...

The article did say he targeted "troubled" and "disillusioned" soldiers for recruits. Not to diminish the seriousness here, but I just wonder how they thought they would be successful in overthrowing the government, or even in taking over Ft. Stewart...

What bothers me even more, though, is how this fits right in with Dept of Homeland Security's warning that veterans are potential terrorists...

bthun said...

Miss LB, keep in mind it's, as always, a matter of the percentages playing out.

Variations in the human condition cover the bags from Mother Teresa instances through the Hussein/Hitler types, so I'm not surprised when a small percentage from any group deviates from the norm.

Also note that the accused are young men/boys. Experience/exposure and proper guidance/instruction does not guarantee that a good man will be the result.

If they are guilty, and yep, it looks pretty damning, I'll stand by my Hang 'em High principle just as I would for any other terrorist(s) who commits murder.

Eric Blair said...

The AP report I read called them "Anarchists".

Boy, the army has changed.

bthun said...

"The AP report I read called them "Anarchists"."

It did. I suppose I mistakenly used the T word since I seem to be having a harder time keeping the two ists functionally separate as time goes by.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if it will come out that this leader was a FBI informant like Hal Turner. Hopefully not, since it seems like under that individuals "leadership" two people were killed. Still, ever since Fast & Furious was laid on to purposely sell guns to drug cartels I have lost faith.

So many of these small "terrorist" groups like this have turned out to be run/lead by FBI informants I would almost say for sure this is it, but for the dead couple. It may all come out later, who knows...

E Hines said...

Hopefully the future...will reveal details that make this less damning than it initially appears.

Damning for whom? Certainly not the Army, or the BCT. It's only these terrorists* who seem to be damned.

Bombing the fountain at Forsyth Park? There's no political purpose to such a thing; almost all you'd be killing is innocent children.

But that is the political purpose of terrorists--butchery of the most innocent and helpless among us in an attempt to cow so they can impose their way.

*And that makes the AP wrong: these are terrorists.

Eric Hines

E Hines said...

Boy, the army has changed.

Most likely. But not in this direction. No system is perfect at weeding out a priori the scum that want to join.

I'm not worried about the Army over this incident.

Eric Hines

Grim said...

Damning for whom? Certainly not the Army, or the BCT.

That's why I said it was disturbing that this was the Regular Army. That is where the concept of NCO (and commissioned officer) leadership of the men is most rooted.

National Guard units can be excellent units, with great soldiers, but by nature the lives of the men are less ordered by the unit itself. Of the special operations units, some are selective enough to rely on the individual's judgment (I'm thinking especially of the Special Forces), and others (like the Rangers) eject people ("RFS") who don't maintain top-level standards.

The regulars, though, are more forgiving than the Rangers, but in return they are supposed to help the soldier live up to the standard. There is (or is supposed to be) much more deeply embedded oversight and involvement in the soldiers' lives -- even over issues we might ordinarily consider quite personal.

That's why I find this disturbing. It's not that somebody like this could get in; as others have said, no system is perfect and identifying and rejecting the bad guys. It's that things got as far as this in a unit with regular Army leadership.

I think the Army will take a similar view of what this means for the BCT, the battalion, and the company leadership -- increasingly as you get closer to the individuals involved. I just hope that what we find is not damning of them, but explicable.

Grim said...

But that is the political purpose of terrorists--butchery of the most innocent and helpless among us in an attempt to cow so they can impose their way.

If they think that works on Americans, they really didn't learn much in the Army.

Killing the President makes a kind of sense, if you're a group organized for political violence -- it doesn't even matter who the President happens to be at the time, whoever it is, killing him will be highly disruptive to the order you're trying to disrupt. Killing government employees can make sense, if it's part of a large scale strategy that can create disruption on a large enough scale to be functional.

Bombing Forsyth Park doesn't make any sense at all. It accomplishes nothing except to murder innocents and bring down all hell on you and your cause.

MikeD said...

No one said they were rational, Grim. Hell, their plans sound like something a twelve year old would throw out as implausible. What shocks me is not so much that chuckleheads like this could exist in the Army, as it is that one of them could convince three other people (one of whom was an NCO) to join in this lunacy. I may have encountered more than a few piss poor NCOs in my day, but none of them were so brain-damaged as to go along with Private "I'm an Anarchist" without stomping a mud-hole in his fourth point of contact. All I can imagine is that half a million dollars can be pretty convincing.

Eric Blair said...

I will paraphrase Thackeray: "Uncle Sam was in too much want of men to care from whence they came."

That said, Grim is right, you used to get all up in troops' lives when they lived in the barracks during the Cold War. I was in a couple of units that got ranger battalion cast offs. They were ok guys for the most part, but they had done something to boot them out of the rangers--injuries, sneaking women into the barracks, going AWOL and missing movement--nothing earth shattering, but a profile or article 15 out you went.

But, apparently a lot of that 'garrison' behavior went by the wayside during the Iraq and Afghan wars. Now that things are starting to settle down, an army buddy of mine tells me there is much wailing and gnashing of teeth at attempts to start that stuff up again. I gather that troops have a lot more privacy these days than what I remember.

Like I said, a different army.

MikeD said...

Hell Eric, we were sneaking women into our rooms back during the "garrison Army" of the mid 90's. And the women were sneaking men in as well. I could give you chapter and verse on how not to get caught, but it was a "thing" back then even. Not sure it's so different now.

Eric Blair said...

Probably not Mike,--that was just an example of the reasons guys were getting booted from the ranger battalion.

I KNOW shenanigans were going on in my barracks, because it was a mixed gender company, but I didn't go around snooping, as long as people were discreet about it.

The 1SG was another matter. That guy thought nothing of barging into people's rooms, knocking as he opened the door, trying catch somebody doing something.

Grim said...

Regarding the 1SG, are you familiar with the song?