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Pentagon blasts NYT op-ed claiming US military ‘celebrates’ white supremacy

Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark T. Esper and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Mark A. Milley speak to reporters at the Pentagon, Washington, D.C., March 2, 2020. (DoD photo by Lisa Ferdinando)
May 25, 2020

A top Pentagon official blasted the New York Times late Sunday for the newspapers’ publishing an op-ed piece attacking the U.S. military for supporting white supremacy via bases named for Confederate generals.

Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman slammed The Times late Sunday night, saying in a tweet, “On a solemn day for remembering those that have given their lives for our country fighting against tyranny and subjugation, the NYT has more than a million possible stories of the ultimate sacrifice by American patriots that they could tell. But they don’t.”

“Instead they chose to attack the US military — the most diverse meritocracy in the country and the most powerful force for good in world history. We have many stories of valor still waiting to be told this Memorial Day weekend,” he added.

The Times’ piece published Saturday, titled “Why Does the U.S. Military Celebrate White Supremacy?” took aim at Fort Benning, Fort Bragg, Fort Gordon, and other Confederate military leaders, labeling them “racist traitors.”

“It is time to rename bases for American heroes — not racist traitors,” the article said.

Sen. Ted Cruz also slammed The Times’ piece on Sunday, tweeting, “On this Memorial Day, we give thanks to the heroic men & women who bravely fought and gave their lives to protect the NYT’s right to call the military Klansmen.”

The Times’ piece said, “the federal government embraced pillars of the white supremacist movement when it named military bases in the South,” adding that the act “poisoned the whole of the United States.”

The military leaders for whom the bases are named after “were traitors,” according to The Times’ piece. “These rebel officers, who were willing to destroy the United States to keep black people in chains, are synonymous with the racist ideology that drove them to treason,” the piece explained.

The Times’ piece comes just two days after Trump had taken aim at its executive editor, Dean Baquet.

@deanbaquet is to be seriously respected. He has long been considered one of the dumbest men in the world of journalism, and he became Executive Editor of the Failing New York Times. Not easy to do. He has given up on ‘figuring Trump out,’” Trump tweeted.

“Called it all wrong from the beginning, was forced to apologize (Fake News!) after the seriously wrong call of the 2016 Election, and is now willing to write anything, even if not truthful. He laughs at his boss, Publisher A.G. Sulzberger, and I laugh at them all. The @nytimes is a total mess!” Trump continued.