House lawmakers want Veterans Affairs officials to begin confronting “extremism” among veterans across the country.
Inside a proposal introduced by the House Appropriations Committee was the following language: “The Committee is concerned by foreign and domestic actions to exploit veterans through the use of online misinformation and manipulation. These efforts to spread extremist views and conspiracy theories among the veteran community have severely damaging effects, such as spreading conspiracies that may have motivated participation in the Capitol insurrection on January 6, 2021.”
The lawmakers cited the Jan. 6 Capitol riot as reasoning for why they want the VA to begin addressing “extremism” among the military ranks.
Here’s more on the VA budget proposal:
Included in the House Appropriations Committee’s proposal for more than $270 billion in department funding next fiscal year is language focused on “the unique vulnerabilities that veterans face online,” to include targeting of veterans by extremist organizations and groups focused on sowing division in the military community.
It also calls for the department to “establish a comprehensive, evidence-based program to educate veterans about malign influences, transition assistance to include specialized counseling services, as well as research into operations and methods to discern against disinformation.”Military Times
Since the Jan. 6 incident, the issue of “extremism” among the military ranks has been thrust into the spotlight.
During the Capitol riot, 14-year U.S. Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt was shot and killed after entering the building. Many Americans have been frustrated that the identity of the officer who shot Babbitt has still not been confirmed by officials.
Back in April, the Pentagon ordered new steps to weed out “extremism” in the military.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announced the changes in a memo, which included several actions they will be taking to identify and eliminate “radicalism” from the ranks.
The Defense Department’s plan is to update the screening questionnaires for recruits with questions that ask about past or current extremist behavior.