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  • Tuesday, April 22, 2014

    Legion Slams Times Guest Editorial

    The American Legion reacted with outrage to a New York Times guest editorial that tried to link military veterans with hate groups, and especially trying to link recent brutal murders to a white supremacist’s military service, which ended decades earlier.

    (The April 15th op-ed piece was written by Kathleen Belew, a postdoctoral fellow in history at Northwestern University.)

    Daniel Dellinger

    Daniel Dellinger

    National Commander Daniel Dellinger fired off a letter that the NY Times printed April 19. In it, he said:

    “I condemn the deplorable actions of Frazier Glenn Miller, charged with three killings in Kansas. Veterans have taken an oath to defend America, not attack innocent civilians. However, the legion takes strong exception to Ms. Belew’s attempts to link Mr. Miller’s military service to the murders that he allegedly committed.

    “The American Legion has long shared Ms. Belew’s concern about white supremacist and radical groups. In 1923, when the Ku Klux Klan still had influence in this country, the American Legion passed Resolution 407. It said, in part, that ‘we consider any individual, group of individuals or organizations which creates or fosters racial, religious or class strife among our people, or which takes into their own hands the enforcement of law, the determination of guilt, or infliction of punishment, to be un-American, a menace to our liberties, and destructive to our fundamental law.’

    “Mr. Miller is just one of more than 42 million veterans who have worn this nation’s uniform during wartime since the American Revolution. Using him and Timothy J. McVeigh as examples of radicalized returning veterans is as unfair as using Osama bin Laden and Khalid Shaikh Mohammed as typical Muslims.”

    Then on April 21, Fox News Anchor Megan Kelley took up the subject with American Legion Legislative Director Louis Celli and Rep. Michael Grimm, R-NY (a U.S. Marine vet).

    “How can someone that is apparently so well educated be so darn ignorant?” Grimm asked. “This is one of the most outrageous things I have seen written.”

    Celli noted that with over 23 million American veterans, “to point out two or three that conducted bad deeds is disingenuous at the very least.”