Yikes: Air Force Base Warns Service Members Against Participating With Conservative Group

AP Photo/Charlie Riedel

There have been a lot of questions about how woke the military has become over the past few years, particularly during the Biden administration. We reported on a poll in August that found confidence in the military — usually something that Americans rank pretty high — is at the lowest in two decades. That's likely in part due to the woke push within the service, leaving the impression that it's not focusing as much as it should on its main mission. 

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But the text sent out by Minot Air Force Base leadership in North Dakota to their service personnel is raising a lot of concerns about what's going on. 

The text warned against being near an event on Nov. 17 called the "Dakota Patriot Rally" that featured a pro-Trump speaker from the Turning Point Action group, which the text described as "alt-right." It also said that service members should "be cautious" because the event could be "confrontational" to military members. Perhaps worst of all, it warned that "participation with such groups as Turning Point Action could jeopardize their continued service in the US military." The text finishes by saying that there was a "shooting incident yesterday in Minot, unclear if it was related." 

Yikes — how problematic is that? 

First, painting folks on the right as somehow being "confrontational" to military members shows some nasty bias when, indeed, historically, it's been the left that has frequently been confrontational with the military. 

Then, painting Turning Point, which is a pretty mainline group, as "alt-right" seems like a smear.

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But then warning members off from participating with Turning Point? Are they forbidding people from any political involvement now? What's next? Telling members they aren't allowed to be Republicans? Saying they can't support Republican candidates? Telling them how to vote? 

What the heck are Air Force officials doing getting involved in any such political judgments? This seems like it's walking down a very slippery slope and is quite concerning. 

Then that slam about the shooting at the end seems intended to make them fearful about attendance if they hadn't already been warned off enough by the rest of the text. But it appears at this moment to have had nothing at all to do with the event. 

The text message also alludes to a shooting that happened in Minot on Nov. 17, noting that it is "unclear if it was related" to the Dakota Patriot Rally. According to the Minot Daily News, that shooting happened in northwest Minot and resulted in a 29-year-old man being hospitalized while a suspect fled the scene. The state fairgrounds where the Dakota Patriot Rally took place is in the far eastern portion of the city.

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What's going on here? So far, Minot Air Force Base and the Air Force haven't responded to the inquiry. 

But this needs to be looked into right away, and the Air Force needs to answer up. Members of Congress should be pressing the Air Force about what's happening here because it sounds like demonizing a Republican group and trying to intimidate members against political participation, which they have every right to do. 

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