Media breathless about 6 years Sikh shooter did in the military 14 years ago...

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Media breathless about 6 years Sikh shooter did in the military 14 years ago...

Everytime a shooting goes on, the media immediately looks for some sort of military angle.  Never mind the fact that one's military service has absolutely nothing to do with the shooting.  And now the media is repeatedly trumpeting the six years that Wade Michael Page did in the military back in the 1990's. 

Take for instance this piece from Christian Science Monitor:

 Wade Michael Page, who officials say shot and killed six people in a shooting at a Sikh temple Sunday in Wisconsin, was a decorated Army veteran psychological warfare specialist and white supremacist who has been watched with concern by anti-hate groups for more than 10 years.

A member of a racist skinhead punk band, Mr. Page, who was killed in a shootout with police, had also tried to make purchases from the National Alliance, a neo-Nazi organization, according to Heidi Beirich, director of the the Intelligence Program at the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).

"We've been tracking him for more than a decade," says Ms. Beirich.

The SPLC has long warned of the dangerous ties between white supremacist groups and the US military. "We know there have been a lot of white supremacists in the military," Beirich adds.

Now, if you read just that, wouldn't you assume that this was some sort of skinhead punk who was engaged in this stuff during the military, or was radicalized during his time in the Army?  Only one significant problem with that theory; he explicitly stated in an interview that he didn't get involved in Skinhead type stuff until fully two years after he received his bad-conduct discharge.

OK, so how about those military awards he received....Medal of Honor?  Silver Star?  Nope, he received Army Commendation Medals and the parachutist badge.  Now, nothing wrong with getting a ARCOM, but when you think of a decorated veteran, is your first thought "I wonder if he got an ARCOM for service?" 

But that "Psychological Operations" training seems kind of scary.  Except that's only part of the story:

Page joined the Army in 1992 and was discharged in 1998, according to a U.S. defense official who spoke under condition of anonymity. He was a repairman for the Hawk missile system before switching jobs to become one of the Army's psychological operations specialists.

And just how scary is this PSYOPS MOS anyway?

Psychological Operations Soldiers use persuasion to influence perceptions and encourage desired behavior. The cornerstone of PSYOP is truth, credibly presented to convince a foreign audience to cease resistance or take actions favorable to friendly forces. During Desert Storm, the effective use of PSYOP was a combat multiplier that directly contributed to the surrender of thousands of Iraqi Soldiers. It is clear its effectiveness saved countless coalition and Iraqi lives.

OK, so let's review.  A horrible person commits an absolutely evil deed.  He was seemingly part of a racist movement that needs to be thoroughly eradicated.  But how does that tie into his military career?  It doesn't.  Nothing he learned in the military in any way shaped this horrific deed.  And he was thrown out of the military 14 years ago, even years before his admitted enlistment in racist causes.  How on earth is his military service the centerpiece of every story from the media that Drudge is trumpeting with each new development?

I fail to see any connection other than that this is yet another way to prejudice people against veterans.  Tell me I am wrong....

Shouldn't we instead be focused on our fellow citizens that were killed?

Prabhjot Singh

Diviapreet Kaur

Savneet Singh

Manmeet Kaur

Shaila Kaur

Jesse Pujji

Darsh Singh


My friend Jonn Lilyea also had an excellent point that should be linked here:

How have any of these John Rambo fantasies played out for the media? How many Special Forces guys have gone on a rampage like this? None. They called Jeffery MacDonald the “Green Beret” doctor who killed his family at Fort Bragg decades ago, but he wasn’t special forces, he was a doctor assigned to the unit.

My favorite was Benjamin Colton Barnes (notice the scary three names) who was supposed to have been trained in awesome survival skills and was on the run after he murdered a Park Ranger in Mount Rainier National Park earlier this year. We warned how legendary his skillz were and they found him dead shirtless in the frozen northwest face down in a creek. Those are mad survival skillz.

John Muhammed, the DC sniper, was characterized as an Army trained marksman, but he was a mechanic who saw an M16 once every year when he had to go through marksmanship training and qualify.

Then there’s Tim McVeigh, their favorite. He was a Bradley gunner, and nothing he did that day in Oklahoma had anything to do with what he learned in the military, unless I missed the class on making a truck bomb sometime in my 11 years in a Bradley.

Posted in the burner | 54 comments
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I have to agree with this article. It was very well written and from my 10 years I spent in the Coast Guard and Army combined, I was a weapons spec and I never once had a feeling of wanting to go kill anyone. I think that these people are distractive and hopefully they will not have an effect on my beloved military.

The SPN Code for Inadequate Personality is "461"....the Code on my 2nd Honorable Discharge is 464 which equates t0 ever did the Navy Medical Command come up with that diagnosis i a five minute exame with no Medical Board Review or Psych Review? Please telephone the WDIV TV 4 News Desk at 313 222-0500 and demand a storyline on my situation...check it out at or follow my personal Posts on my fac book page or you can telephone me at: 313 969-9786...

I find it odd that someone who was eventually given a less than honorable discharge from the military is stiil entitled to use the term veteran. And to focus on that particular facet of his history shows a clear bias towards the military. If this guy was a known hate-monger, wouldn't it be more useful to focus on that?

#1: Everyone on here knows the primary purpose of the military is to defend which is a PC term for use of force, violence, and ending life. My drill sergeant attempted to put fear into us by saying that he could live in the woods for days and could kill each one of our family members. Does that mean that all drill sergeants are nut jobs like he was? No, of course not but what was the point of that? To break us down like we brought nothing of value to the platoon.

#2: Training every individual soldier to grasp this concept and react in this way is a psychological and physical process. The whole point is to ingrain that concept deep in your mind so that when it comes time to tap into it, it's available to overcome a humans natural aversion to violence.

#3: It is important to note military service, especially veteran status, to provide the full story. Whether or not it is used as an angle is the right of any free press. As a veteran and now a person that works with traumatized vets, everyone deals with military conditioning and service differently. Some easily upset, some feel depression, some anxiety, and yes some use their defense mentality coupled with other factors, white power in this case, to express their anger.

#4: Not every criminal and murderous action is a result of service just like not every Muslim is a terrorist.

just because the press has that "freedom" doesn't mean it is right or not harmful. I, too, work with traumatized veterans and none of them have ever killed an innocent person. This killer did not learn this behavior from the military. His job did not entail that type of duty so while he may have endured a basic training similar to yours he had many many years after that without that type of environment. The press needs to heed the fact that some people take what they read as gospel and the truth and they can very adversely affect people's lives. Freedom of the press does not mean freedom to run amok. Your comments are very disturbing and I sincerely hope you don't have contact with any of my veterans!

we agree more than disagree.

EVERY military member is trained to view killing as a means to an end for defense. Not cold blooded killing but the ability to pull the trigger. This was the goal of training reform after soldiers were firing randomly out of fear or the lack of ability to fire on a human being since that cannot be fully experienced in a training environment. Everyone sang cadence about killing without regard for anything but the act itself;
. Saying that doesn't have an effect is defending the military at any cost and that is not what a democracy would allow.

I haven't seen an coverage that entirely blamed his military background so it isn't correct to blanketly say that 'liberal' media is to blame. I think the media doesn't go far enough into a story to even provide a glimpse into everything involved.

As far as work with vets...its absurd to think that one would just tell vets random things unassociated with a plan of recovery. Part of recovery is understanding the cause of your actions and training is a PART of it, not the sole cause. It's actually beneficial to know that training lead up to your ability to get through a traumatic event so that during recovery they can rationalize the fact that aren't the monsters that they think they are.

I sent the following email to the reporter the day the first article was published in the Milwaukee newspaper:

"Question -- what is the real relevance of the headline identifying the Sikh temple shooter as an "Army veteran?" Given his age at around 40 and absent any further explanation in your article, I must assume his military service was around 20 years ago. Why not identify him as a "XYZ High School graduate" or a "former employee of XYZ company" - it would be just as relevant, based on the information that currently is available? I'm not an Army veteran (and I'll guess you never served in any branch of the military), but I think such headlines and irrelevant references shows an unfortunate negative bias on your part against military veterans -- very poor reporting and maligning on an otherwise very tragic event."

Unfortunately, the media continues to focus and headline this individual's former military service -- sadly, it appears that they now consider any veteran as being a potential domestic terrorist. Of course, the Colorado shooter was never reported as not being a military veteran!

Military service is one of the most highly regarded actions an American can perform. a veteran on top of that is the most respected action. Not naming him a graduate of xyz doesn't identify his highest accomplishment. if it was a former NFL player or member of a famous rock band, that would be the running title.

I was in the Marine Corps in 68 and 69. I did not see much racism . I don't know anything about todays military but I do agree the military should not be blamed without proof. They should have investigated before they made the connection. They usually speak without knowing the facts. Now I do think the military does too much behavior modification without the proper credentials. I think it can cause permanent psychological damage. I was told I was a killing machine not a human and all that DI crap. I did not buy into that baloney but I know some who did. I really think the military should rein in the DIs who do these things without any training or consideration of the damage they might cause.

I have to agree that service have nothing to do with the crimes, the media and lefties like to place blame, not find solutions. You wouldn't have any reason to further try to control the "good" guys if there were no "bad"guys to refer to. I don't think military service is relevant especially when they are DISHONORABLY discharged. He was a bad egg BEFORE the military gave him training. His penchant for racism has nothing to do with training either... I did not go to a how to hate others class at any time during my service.
Also the fact that the criminal gets more attention than the victims is rediculous. The criminals want fame as well even when they die too... STOP GIVING IT TO THEM... focus on the victims and how wonderful they were.

He was other than honorable which could have reflected his supremacy beliefs. The military isn't made up of good eggs. Most are normal people from working class families who come in with all kinds of human faults and problems. The silent agreement is that the military is a meritocracy but because the system is far from perfect, many feel resentment. Ask yourself how many times you and friends complained about the way your superiors or brass were doing things wrong. There is a culture of not asking for ideas how to make units run more efficiently or how to address internal problems. there are small steps that can be made but its not the norm and of course that's not only true in the military; its true in many civilian jobs. The victims will be honored as information comes out. That's not liberal is respect for the family and availablity of information.

It is easy for the press to trumpet the Military instead of likening societal failures. Had Page not of been in the Military, perhaps the press would be trumpeting the boy scouts. The press have been a pain in the Military's butt for many decades now. Should we really have expected anything different?

Why do we have to have a facebook account to post a verified comment? Facebook or crookbook is a waste of time. Wake up Legion and let real people speak their mind.

Billy- There is a register button at the top of the screen and you can register a screen name etc there. The reason we use Facebook is because it allows people to share the stories easier, which means more traffic from people who might not be Legionnaires.

Not all of the people look down on those currently serviving.. I do walk up and thank them and shake their hand when apropo. I do even occasionaly see people do generous thanks of paying for a meal for people in uniform. I thank you for you dedicated service Reina. Keep the faith and stay strong. Del x USN 6 years - Nam.

The "veteran" seems to fit the narrative which the current administration seems to be pushing these days, for the wrong reasons. For example, the possible terrorists list put out by the Dept. of Homeland Security a while back. Veterans figured prominently on the folks to watch for possible terrorists activities. This current leftist administration has no love for the veterans, except in a "photo op" sorta way. The media is just playing to that angle to stay on the good side and help the administration demonize veterans.

You had to put politics into the discussion. My question is how does Bush and the republicans rate as pro vet when they used the troops like they were cannon fodder for republican political and financial gain.

The "current administration" is the most veteran friendly administration we have enjoyed for some time. The previous administration lied, and altered military intelligence documents to gain authorization to start two wars. In the Iraq theater of operations, dubya bush had more defense contractors assigned than he had military troops. Take you right wing, bigoted, propaganda and sling it to your skin head neo-con groupies.

Recommend you check out your water source. There is something hallucinatory in the water you are drinking.

I read your comment twice and decided you must be either 14-years old, or the hater, and racist and bigot. And it is not me or my politics, pally--read your own remarks.

that czar of homeland security has put the label "extremist" to any vet who believes in the 2nd
Amendment and God. It is abvious that they want to take all our guns away so we are not a
threat to their left wing socialist goals.

All Veterans have sworn to defend the Constitution against all enemies both foreign and domestid. Never did I take this to mean murdering people who may have "looked" like someone who could be an enemy. To bad someone was not there who took the Second Ammendment for what it says and would have been able to take him down befor he killed so many!!!

We have a political system that basically gives us a candidate from two parties from which to chose.. Republican and democrat. It does this nation no good when the political process is reduced to one party that loves the flag ,God and country and the other is evil un American. I know many patriots who are democrat and I know many republicans that are questionable as to where their loyalties lie but in the whole most from both parties are good Americans. The political issue is basically do you believe in the top down or the bottom up. Communism is basically without credibility today. Oddly the only major communist country is China. The very country in which many republicans do business and want labor in this country to compete against. China and Vietnam were once our enemies militarily but now they are our enemies economically while still using government control of the labor the rich want the USA to compete against. Now you tell me who is the party that does the most harm to our country. As ca Vietnam vet I resent shoes being made in Vietnam with cheap labor to sell in this country. Thats the policy that is un American .yvm5u

When I was in Vietnam we were mainly Democrats, but we had Republicans and we had Republican officers and I don't recall anyone's loyalty or courage questioned because of their politics. Why do you resent trading with Vietnam, anyway? Do you resent buying goods from Germany (they killed more American in 5-yeas of I and II than the Vietnamese did in 10. My daddy was on Guadacanal and later at Iwo and he came to grips with the Japanese--he followed Japanese baseball as well as could be-- about the time I went in and I wonder if you buy Japanese? Do you buy Italiann? You're a bigot and a racist Gerald, but as a favor you should remember WWI was started with the Dims in control of the goverment, as was WWII, as was Korea, as was Vietnam. Yes, Ike had advisors in Vietnam but he advised both Kennedy and Johnson not to expand it (there are tapes of the meetings). Jack K was considering pulling evderyone out when he was killed by a stinking Democrat/Communist, but Johnson completely ignored his advice and invented the Tonkin Gulf Incident with the Turner Joy. If you wonder, I am a conservative today and rarely vote for the freeloading whiners, but almost always vote R.

As always, the main street media always look for a military connection when a tragic killing(s) takes place. I guess to make a headline?? The only time I have found this not to be the case is recently when Trace Gallagher, of Fox News, stated that the perpetrator (recent Colorado shooting) was never in the military. That is a first for me! Usually you only hear if the bad guy is a veteran, not if he was never in the military! Let's be fair to our veterans! Whimpy, 4th. ID, Vietnam-'68-69

If he had been a sniper in the military for 20+ years it could have probably could have come into play, right now it is just the media trying the sensationalize, the press should remember those who died for this country died so they could print trash.

The media hasn't said a thing about the former Marine, current police officer, who was shot several times while trying to get the gunman and protect others!

Since the MSM couldn't link Page to the tea party-- like NBC failed uproariously to do with the Aurora shooter--they went for their next target of opportunity, the military veterans, in their overriding bent to tarnish the traditional American value system.

A question: do journalism schools selectively admit mainly stupid people or have they perfected the technique of dumbing down most of their graduates?

Hey, I'll bet he attended public school, ate hot dogs and maybe even played football as a youth. These must have been contributing factors to him becomming a white supremist. I publicly call for the president to issue one of his special edics and ban these things. Heaven help us.

yep seems to be a connection with the public schools and the weirdos ...he may be a product of one of these schools..prob became a badass in gym class

they don't teach you to gym class. hot dogs are disgusting. I bet he drank some of that crazy water that was refered to earlier.

Veteran status is relative. It's the highest honor he accomplished in life no matter how messed up his beliefs were. yes, they should have mentioned the police person's military history but we expect them to respond in this way. its a given

After I came home from Vietnam, the crimes that were reported on the news always tried to connect the crime with military service. Example "deranged Vietnam Vet" robs bank or does this or that. Well, this type of character association show little patriotism or concern for veterans who served their country. The fact that they were in the military is not the reason for the crime. After several years, this Vietnam Vet/crime association faded away. Lets not start it up again!! Makes association makes me sick everytime I hear it!

I agree that his military service had no bearing on his behavior 13 -14 years after the fact. But this psycho was discharged from the Army under other than honorable conditions. Why was he still allowed to purchase semi-automatic firearms? If he is unfit, for whatever reason, to serve his country - he is also unfit in all other areas of assuming responsibility. I am as pro gun as the next Marine, but there are some people who should not be allowed to own a gun. Psycho military dischargees are certainly among that faction.

India, he was discharged for conduct, not for a medical impairment. You can't take away Second Amendment RIghts without some form of due process, and unless it is a felony that he was discharged (and it was not) then Federal Law would prohibit transmitting that.

Its the same thing that comes up with people who have service-connected PTSD....absent a showing that they are a threat to themselves or others you can't simply take away Constitutional Rights.

India, he was discharged for conduct, not for a medical impairment. You can't take away Second Amendment RIghts without some form of due process, and unless it is a felony that he was discharged (and it was not) then Federal Law would prohibit transmitting that.

Its the same thing that comes up with people who have service-connected PTSD....absent a showing that they are a threat to themselves or others you can't simply take away Constitutional Rights.

good statement except last sentence. are you kidding our constitutional rights are being taken away as we watch. we can't stand another 4 yrs of this president. so please go to the polls anf vote, it's our only way to correct the problems that voters created four years ago.

People are extremely stressed do to the every increasing number of refugees who come to America to eat drink live in subsidized housing(not always apparent).Pepole who are native to America harbor deep resentment for people who are provided for and given special consideration in a plethora of ways because they are different. The media will not publish the wrongdoings of minorities and refugees in the name of political correctness every blighted are of every major city is populated by minorities Unemployment and most other social ills are endemic to minority communities

The shooter is / was hateful, mentally unstable & an ignorant psychopath, what he did is no reflection on the Army or his family, he did what he did and he owns it, no one else. Evil people exist, we deal with them and the outcome of their actions as best we can.

This article is a complete injustice to ture reporters. How can u say he learned nothing in the military that led to this? His actions were his own yes. However, in the military all members are taught to fire various weapons. They are brainwashed to live in violence 24 hours a day. Ptsd is worse then first thiught and still its the right who refuses to fully fund the VA. If the media were truely liberal wouldnt they be cslling out the neo cons for this everyday? This dude was in the service, fact. He learned to fire weapons properly in a deadly manner, fact. He was trained to kill, fact. Again was his service a large part of this action? No but it isnt innocent either. Why do old coocks think the service is soo honorable? Those who service deserve credit and praise from those protected by tservice members. But the us war machine military as a whole is a broken system. Fat white rich old white men who have never served make life and death decisions behind a desk. Not only do they not know what service means they have proven to avoid it at all cost. It also has become a institution that brainwashes emotion out of young men and women as much as possible.

His military service had nothing to do with his anti social attitude and actions. He was just so filled with hate that it had to break out and like most cowards he choose to take it out on people who couldn't fight back. Why I have a CCW and carry in case I run into nuts like him.

I agree there might be no connection, but please explain. Were all the Iraq Abu Ghrab participants sicko's before they enlisted and brought shame on our military?
There might be flaws in our training system.

Hey--once you graduate from basic training, you are a Trained Killer!!

the media doesn't care about facts, they only care about rateings, what a great disabuse or power!

Yellow press and persons who think they know about the military training is a dangerous combination.

@jack I, when was the last time you were in a peaceful setting and gunshots started going off at close range to your area? Unless u have military training, you would be with the majority of humans that freeze up and cant process fast enough to react. Ok so u carry a legal hand gun holding 9 rounds in a holster. Gun shots ring out, u hit the deck, now your own body as well as the pues are preventing you from getting your gun, lift your head high enough to get it out and u risk a bullet to the head. What do you do? The only way to answer that for sure is to have lived through it.just cuz u feel safe with your gun dont mean u are. In fact most who carry guns are cowards. They carry guns out of fear. U can call it personal protection, but what are u protecting aginst? Fear!

Listen folks, I will only say this once. IF, you read history, all nations have their paper trail of psychopaths. It was not until President Garfields assasination that the so called government took
presidential protection serious. yet that did not stop assasinations or attempted assasinations. Even President Washington had his close calls. So it is in every nation, they all have some one or more who is a disgruntled-dysfunctional psychopath. The media assasinated people routinely yet nothing is
done about it. An insult to the Dems and you would think a murder was commited. "NO FAIR" "FOWL"
yet when the same thing is done to a Republican it's fair game. Thats why the media intentionally chooses to be liberals because it sells. All the media is interested is $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$! And the Libs fall for it like a tabloid addiction. Mr. Page is just another psychopath and their are more waiting to make the front page. As long as the media needs front page shock the liberals will suck it up. Violence, sex, shock, foul language, lies etc. It all sells. And the buyers are the liberal socialists. Every country has their sociopaths and media. Like spoiled brats, Psychopaths know how to get attention even if it means in their death. So quit buying the newspapers and watching the biased news and quit being gullible. Do not pay attention to a child throwing a tantrum. Second if you produced a child who gets away from everything, then you in turn are producing a sociopath for a future incident. The next horror is just around the corner. It's not just a U.S. problem. Who is going to be the parent/s of the next Hitler? Stalin?, Yamamoto?, Pol Pot, etc. Socialism is the breeding ground for psychopaths.

thank you right angle

Please, so, you want to gag the media, you damn idiots!!

doesn't matter what he did or didn't do years ago. What has he done most recently.

I agree with others here that his military service that ended 14 years ago and before he was involved with racist groups is irrelevant to the shooting. Ever since Tim McVeigh (who, I hesitate to admit, grew up in the same Western New York county as I), the media idiots like to paint those who've served in the military as right-wing nutjobs that the Department of Homeland Insecurity should be watching closely.


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News from the World of Military and Veterans Issues. Iraq and A-Stan in parenthesis reflects that the author is currently deployed to that theater.