Special Master Asks Trump Team to Back Up Privilege Claim that U.S. Military Is Not Racist
The government’s watchdog office has issued its report on the Trump administration’s attack on the U.S. military’s intelligence programs, asking the president’s team to substantiate the claim that “the United States military is not racist.”
The Defense Department’s inspector general released its report on Thursday, finding that former Defense Secretary James Mattis and now-Chief of Staff John Kelly, along with other senior defense officials, are violating the government’s whistleblower protections by claiming the service is under investigation.
The report suggests that Kelly’s attempts to minimize the “threat of white nationalism” may have amounted to a “deliberate attempt to undermine the Defense Intelligence Agency’s ability to protect our vital national security interests.” The watchdog noted that Mattis and Kelly have sought “to undermine and delegitimize the DIA and its work,” and that the officers used their “publicly available statements to deny that the DIA engages in racial profiling in the manner that they believe.”
The report makes clear that the “president’s claim that the DIA engages in racial profiling is untrue.” It also adds that the report is not the first time Kelly has claimed his staff are being investigated for their “mistakes” or “overreach,” and that he “repeatedly expressed his displeasure at what he perceived as the DIA’s perceived failure to prevent attacks by white supremacists who believe that the United States is under attack by forces that they view as a foreign power.”
The report notes that the DIA’s assessment, which was shared with the White House on May 17, shows the agency “continued to employ racial classifications as a tool to identify and counter violent extremists who are motivated by discrimination or prejudice against a group protected by the United States Constitution.”
The report goes on to note that Kelly had ordered the creation of an alternative group within the DIA that will be focused on “fighting extremist ideologies.”
“Kelly stated that this was his intention to ‘strengthen and enhance’ the DIA,” the report stated. “However, it is now clear that Kelly directed the DIA to use race instead of