Intercept reporter Ken Klippenstein said in an interview Thursday that military documents he had obtained showed "sloppy language" that could lead many young recruits into believing that "socialists are really scary guys."
During an appearance on Hill.TV's "Rising," Klippenstein discussed military study guides for training that compared socialists to Neo-Nazis and anarchists, categorizing them all as "political terrorists."
"While I don't think they're necessarily going to start kicking down doors and rounding up the socialists, it shows what happens when the military, you know, is tasked with determining what sorts of ideologies they consider problematic," Klippenstein said.
"You start getting sloppy language like this, that, you know, to a young 20-year-old trainee maybe they don't understand that this was just poorly drafted and they end up walking away from a presentation like this thinking, 'Wow, these socialists are really scary guys,' and that doesn't seem great to me," the journalist added.
"Rising" host Colin Rogero noted that there are socialist elected leaders in the U.S. and questioned whether the military equating them to anarchists was an "overreach."
"Yeah, so that's the pitch to the public is, you know: 'We're going to crackdown on Neo-Nazis and white supremacists,' something that I think people broadly — when they hear that — they're kind of like 'Okay that makes sense.' But then when you look at how these things are implemented, it's a little different than how it's described publicly."
According to Klippenstein, there is an attitude in the counterterrorism space that if individuals from one side of the political spectrum are investigated then it is appropriate to "find a sort of false equivalency" and look into the other side as well.