A national defense analyst and former U.S. Army officer says he's dumbfounded that a West Point graduate who openly espoused radical far-left views was allowed a commission in the Army.
According to the Army Times, photos posted online by Second Lt. Spenser Rapone show the then-cadet posing with a Che Guevara t-shirt under his uniform and a sign stating "communism will win" under his cap at his May graduation from the famed academy.
Bob Maginnis of the Family Research Council, who is himself a West Point graduate, questions why Rapone was allowed to graduate since such views didn't materialize on his graduation day.
"Someone must have known about this sort of behavior pattern well before, and they are negligent in the conduct of their job," Maginnis complains. "He should have been discharged from the military academy long ago."
What's the big deal?
"[If] Che Guevara idolatry is good enough for the U.S. Commander in Chief of U.S. armed forces, then why not for a measly cadet at West Point? Have we forgotten that last year when [President Barack] Obama visited Havana, he posed in Revolution Square in front of a gigantic effigy of Che Guevara?"
Cuban-born anti-communist activist
In a statement West Point stated that Rapone's actions "in no way" reflect the values of the U.S. Military Academy and said it was investigating him.
Rapone's behavior caught the attention of Town Hall columnist Kurt Schlichter, a former U.S. Army officer.
"A United States officer cannot be a communist, or a Nazi, or a jihadist," he writes. "These vile allegiances are incompatible with military service, and we are under no moral obligation to enter into a suicide pact by letting these vermin into our officer corps."
Schlichter goes on to suggest the armed forces has "lost its way" and is suffering from a weakened purpose under the Obama administration.
Maginnis says it is appropriate that Rapone's behavior is being investigated by the military chain of command.
"If they can press charges, they should," he says. "This kid has disgraced himself and the armed forces, and he has made disrespectful comments about the Secretary of Defense and others. He is not the type of officer that we want serving in today's armed forces."
There are a number of statutes under the Uniformed Code of Military Justice that apply to Rapone, he adds.
10-4-2017 - Comment from Humberto Fontova added.