If the mustache, cut closely in the style of Adolf Hitler, does not give it away, then the anti-Semitic rants of YouTube, the testimonies of 34 colleagues and the neo-Nazi reading material certainly do.
Timothy Hale-Cusanelli, a U.S. Army reservist, is – according to court documents – a “confessed white supremacist and Nazi sympathizer.”
The 30-year-old man was charged in January with five counts related to the Capitol riots and refused bail this week after a judge expressed concern over Hale’s alleged enthusiasm -Cusanelli for a “civil war.”
A naval entrepreneur who, according to prosecutors, “has access to a variety of ammunition,” Hale-Cusanelli may appear to be an aberrant figure among the masses who attacked the Capitol on January 6th. But the darkest truth is that Hale-Cusanelli was one of dozens of former or current members of the military who have been investigated or charged in connection with the Capitol riot – at a time when the Pentagon is guard against white supremacy and white nationalism in military posture. a serious threat to the U.S. military.
Hale-Cusanelli has been charged with seven crimes, including obstruction of congressional proceedings, in connection with the Jan. 6 attack. According to the criminal complaint, Hale-Cusanelli, who worked at Earle Naval Weapons Station, a support base for military ships, “has access to a variety of ammunition.”
Prosecutors said on January 14, a confidential source used a listening device to record a conversation with Hale-Cusanelli.
“During this conversation, Hale-Cusanelli admitted to entering the Capitol and encouraging other members of the crowd to” move forward “- giving instructions both by voice and by manual signals,” according to the loading documents. “Hale-Cusanelli told The Guardian that if they had more men, they could have taken over the whole building.” In the recording, Hale-Cusanelli also admitted to taking a flag and a flagpole that he then saw another rioter throw “like a javelin” at a Capitol officer, according to the criminal complaint.
During the investigation, it emerged that Hale-Cusanelli was able to retain his security clearance at Earle Station, despite dozens of colleagues claiming to be open about his white supremacist beliefs, and although ‘he was reprimanded for showing up to work with a Hitler Mustache.
In a March 23 motion opposing Hale-Cusanelli’s release on bail – he has been in jail since his arrest in mid-January – prosecutors said at least 34 of Hale-Cusanelli’s colleagues had stated that he had not hidden his anti-Semitism and racism.
A Navy sailor remembered Hale-Cusanelli saying that if he was a Nazi “he would kill all the Jews and eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner”. A naval master said Hale-Cusanelli said “Jews, women and blacks are at the foot of the totem pole.”
Of more than 160 people arrested at the end of January, nearly one in five were current or former military personnel NPR reported, and there is evidence that an extremist infiltration of the armed forces is taking place.
A Pentagon report released in March found that domestic extremist groups pose a serious threat to the military, both by seeking to recruit members and, more troubling, by bringing existing extremists into the military to acquire a position. training and combat experience.
Authorities estimate that one in five of those charged at the end of February were either military or ex-military, with Jacob Fracker and Thomas Robertson among the first to be arrested for their roles, according to the Military Times. alleged in the riot.
Fracker, 29, is a National Guard Corporal, Robertson, 47, a former Army Reserve Military Constable, and the couple, who pictured themselves inside the Capitol during the siege, were Virginia police officers until they are fired for their part. in the riot. Fracker and Robertson pleaded not guilty to disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building, entering and staying in a restricted building.
Another veteran reportedly involved is Navy veteran Thomas Caldwell. He was arrested on January 19 and charged with conspiracy, destruction of government property, obstructing formal proceedings, and violent entry or disorderly conduct.
Prosecutors allege Caldwell, who served as a naval intelligence officer for 19 years, according to the Washington Post, led a gang of Oathkeepers – a national extremist group – in the assault on Capitol Hill, Caldwell denied.
Donovan Crawl was charged along with Caldwell, a Marine Corps veteran who prosecutors said conspired with Caldwell and others to obstruct Senate confirmation of the Electoral College vote.
It’s not just the arrests on Capitol Hill that worry people. In 2020, a Coast Guard lieutenant was sentenced to 13 years in prison after stockpiling weapons with the intention of killing a number of politicians, journalists and Democratic Socialists.
Federal prosecutors said Christopher Hasson intended “to murder innocent civilians on a scale rarely seen in this country” and described him as “a domestic terrorist, determined to commit acts dangerous to human life” .
While the Capitol Riot may have shed light on the extremism issues facing the military, there is evidence that the problem has been worsening for some time.
A 2019 survey by the Military Times found that 36% of active-duty troops “saw evidence of white supremacist and racist ideologies in the military” – up from 22% the year before. Among ethnic minorities, 53% said they had witnessed racist behavior.
After years of racist pimping and inflammatory rhetoric from Trump, under the Biden administration, there is at least some admitting that there is a problem. In February, Lloyd Austin, the first black secretary of defense in U.S. history, ordered the military to step up efforts to combat white supremacy in its ranks, first by strengthening existing regulations. on extremism in the armed forces.
“The Department of Defense’s job is to protect America from our enemies,” Austin told the US Senate Armed Services Committee in January.
“But we can’t do that if some of these enemies are in our own ranks.”