In recent months, the US news media has been abuzz with more reports about Russian espionage and disinformation tactics than at any other period in recent memory.  At times, watching cable news networks almost sounds like we are back in the 1960’s at the height of the Cold War.  Much of this is a reaction to the election of Donald Trump. Some of the information is credible, much of it is not.  The Russians have been employing active measures against the American populace for at least fifty years, driving schisms in our culture by spreading disinformation like the crack pot theory that the CIA invented AIDs as a weapon against African-Americans.

While Russian espionage must be dealt with in turn, today’s communist threat is a home-brewed variety, an insider threat rather than an international ideology carried along by a super-power like the Soviet Union, and thinking that Russia is still communist is a mis-reading of contemporary politics.  The recent uptick in communist ideologues in America is a disturbing trend.  This fetish for anarcho-communism has been picked up by melodramatic millennials, resulting in the perfect storm of self-righteous fervor.  Modern American communism is represented by antifa anarchists, the World Workers Party, and the Democratic Socialists of America.  A thorough investigation should be made of these organizations in order to better establish their membership, aims, and sources of funding.

Liberals, Democrats, and even socialists are not really the issue here.  The left as a block of individuals are a part of America’s political process.  Just like it is a ridiculous to label all conservatives as racists or Nazis, we cannot fall back on childish generalizations about the left-leaning Americans.  The real issue is communists who believe in revolutionary change.  Revolution is the key word.  These people are uninterested in American democracy, hate our constitution, and want to violently deconstruct the American state, supposedly to replace it with some kind of communist utopia out of a fairy tale.

Our fathers’ generation was raised to hate communism, whether they knew what it was or not.  Many of our fathers fought communism directly in places like Vietnam.  Today’s generation has no living memory of the Cold War and is blissfully ignorant of the horrors of communism worldwide.  Young and ideological, millennials are prone to falling into a political trap the way teenagers girls with low self-esteem fall in love with a pimp who pretends to love them.  Young women should not get into a car with a pimp, and patriotic Americans should not be hitching their wagon to communism.

It is regrettable to even write an article like this because of America’s shameful past with the Red Scare in which innocent parties or Americans who were deemed to have the wrong political ideas were unfairly blacklisted.  However, it is better to have this conversation rather than put our heads in the sand and pretend that we are not facing a communist threat.

NSA contractor Reality Winner and Army officer Spencer Rapone are emblematic of the insider communist threat.

Reality Winner was arrested after she was identified as the individual who leaked classified documents to The Intercept.  We now know that she printed off documents at work, hid them in her pantyhose, and then smuggled them out of the building where she mailed them to the news outlet.  The Intercept published the documents, showing creases in the paper that they scanned, which telegraphed that the documents had been printed.  From there, it must have been a rather short process of elimination as they checked to see who had printed out that classified document.

In a recently released transcript, Winner’s conversation with her sister on Facebook is as follows:

Winner: “Look, I only say I hate America like 3 times a day. I’m no radical. It’s mostly just about Americans obsession with air conditioning.”

Her Sister: “But you don’t actually hate America, right?”

Winner: “I mean yeah I do it’s literally the worst thing to happen on the planet. We invented capitalism the downfall of the environment.”

Now nevermind that modern capitalism was invented in Holland, then spread to Britain, and eventually to America or the fact that countries like India and China do far more to hurt our environment; and that communists have an incorrect and anarchonistic reading of history is already taken for granted.  The main takeaway is that Reality Winner hates capitalism, wants to replace it with something else, and in her own words, hates her country.  Winner took a direct action to undermine her government by stealing classified documents (that describe legal activities) and leaking them to the press.  She is now facing federal charges.

Former Ranger (1st Ranger Battalion) Spencer Rapone has made it glaringly obvious to the world that he is a communist.  His efforts to publicize his beliefs include writing “Communism will win” under his cap at his West Point graduation and wearing a Che Guevara t-shirt under his uniform.  Publishing these pictures of social media makes one wonder if he is not intended to be a recruiting agent for communists within the United States government or if he is actively seeking to be kicked out of the Army due to not wanting to serve out the terms of his commission as a U.S. Army officer.

When the story about Rapone broke, he was out in the field with his current unit, 10th Mountain Division, so everyone was able to view his social media before he was able to lock down his accounts.  During that time, SOFREP was able to peruse his pictures noting a bizarre shift from innocent Army private with an interest in professional wrestling to an insomniac-looking first lieutenant showboating his love for the communist manifesto.

Rapone’s Reddit account.

Anecdotal reports from the Ranger community indicate that he was a good soldier when he first showed up at 1st Ranger Battalion in Savanna, Georgia.  Apparently he got involved with an unsavory woman and began lying to his chain of command.  Eventually he was RFS’ed, Released for Standards, meaning he was kicked out of the Ranger Regiment.

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Rapone appears to be involved with Veteran Democratic Socialists for America.  They have a working group on their website which is described as the following:

The DSA Veterans’ Working Group seeks to provide a conduit for veterans to connect with their communities and with each other to fight for our shared goals: racial, economic, social, environmental, gender, religious and disability rights justice. Our mission continues as organizers and comrades helping to enact democratic socialism.

Veterans have seen the inner workings of the beast that is our capitalist, war driven society, creating profit for the 1% at the expense of the many – who are often from working class backgrounds themselves, seeking opportunities to improve their status through military service. On a more positive note, veterans also understand the value of working as a group towards a common goal or mission.

Our projects will include:

  • recruiting from within the veteran population
  • facilitating the membership of driven and motivated veterans who will support DSA’s mission
  • giving alternative narratives to the military experience which may help people consider socialism superior to capitalism
  • advocating for veterans’ issues in solidarity with our partner socialist organizations.”

It couldn’t be much more clear that this working group seeks to co-op veterans by reframing their military service as being imperialistic and then use the social currency that they have as men who served their country in combat to advance the communist agenda.  Rapone appears to have been indoctrinated and flipped to be used as a communist spokesmen.  But how a young Ranger and WWE fan was turned into a communist remains a bit of a mystery.

A screen cap from Spencer Rapone’s twitter feed before he locked it down.

One suspect is Rapone’s academic advisor and history teacher at West Point, Professor Rosheed Hosein who is reportedly on administrative leave due to a separate matter.  While it is important not to paint with a broad brush, one has to wonder what is going on at West Point these days.  Rapone is probably just a bad apple but it is possible that there is a nest of communists up there.

Rapone poses with Professor Hosein and a fellow West Pointer. “The Intelligentsia.”

Rapone has openly supported communism, stated that the US constitution is bad, has openly written about how speech he disagrees with should be suppressed, and every indication is there that he sees himself as a communist infiltrator in an institution that he profoundly despises. Furthermore, it is difficult to understand how Rapone is not in violation of his oath as an officer to uphold and defend the US constitution.

At the moment, the communist insider threat is a loose diaspora of individuals.  One of the key failings of modern communist philosophy is their belief in leaderless movements.  This goes back to anarchist thinking, the Occupy movement, which is traced back to the Spanish Indignados.  Today’s communists do not know how to effectively use political power much less understand how it works.  One could speculate that since the failure of communism worldwide, that the far left has retreated into other endeavors such as the arts and literature to continue to advance their agenda inside curated walled gardens (like academia where they are safe from reality) rather than embark on real life political projects which could have an impact on reality.

This is good news for now, these communists don’t have their act together as they are so far temporally removed from the effective communists of yesteryear.  However, insurgent organizations evolve based around their personal experiences and tactical defeats.  It cannot be discounted that modern anarcho-communists will eventually realize the true nature of political power and how to use it to their own ends.  It is also not beyond the realm of possibility that some foreign actor begins funding, or even mentoring, communist infiltrators in our government.  There is also the issue of some American communists going overseas to fight in Syria, then returning home.

Let’s not be naive after all.  Russian disinformation, active measures, and reflexive control theory did not start during the invasion of Ukraine or the election of Donald Trump.  The Russian intelligence services have been at this game for a very long time.  It would not be surprising if they had a hand in everything from Occupy, to Ferguson, to Black Lives Matter.  That isn’t to say that they care one lick about these movements, they are just vehicles for their divide and conquer strategy.  Russian political scientist Igor Panarin represents one faction of the Russian elite, the faction that would like to see America split up into several different nations which would fundamentally change and weaken the United States.  We would be done as a global power.  If Russian intelligence were to advance such a strategy they would fund secessionist movements, anarchists, communists, and the alt-right.

To that end, Spencer Rapone and Reality Winner are the canary in the coal mine.  It’s laying dead at the bottom of the cage and it’s time we start taking notice.