Did Ft Hood Briefing Label Tea Party, Evangelical Christians Terror Threats?

Fort Hood is investigating unsubstantiated claims that troops were told to consider the Tea Party and Evangelical Christians domestic terror threats and that contributing to them could violate Military law.

So far, at least three upset people have reportedly come forward, but none have been seen.

An anonymous soldier contacted KCEN after the insider threats pre-deployment briefing on post last Thursday.

That soldier says he or she did not contact the Chaplains Alliance for Religious Liberties, which confirms to KCEN HD News that they have received two additional complaints about the briefing.

Those complaining claim that they were told Evangelical Christians and the Tea Party should be considered domestic terror threats, along with "radical Muslims."

They also claim they were told they could be punished for contributing to or participating in those groups, because they might be considered to be providing material support to terror organizations.

The anonymous soldier wrote to KCEN in a statement, "I was very shocked and couldn't believe what I was hearing at that briefing. I took an oath when I joined the Military to support and defend the Constitution of the United States. I feel like our First Amendment rights, that I'm supposed to support and defend as a soldier, were being taken away."

That soldier reached out to Michael Berry, a lawyer at the Liberty Institute, who is in the process of fact gathering right now. 

Barry said, "We at Liberty Institute hope that the Army takes corrective action and ensures that the training that they conduct from this point forward is appropriate and does not smear the name of good organizations, like Evangelical Christians or the Tea Party."

Tom Rheinlander, Director of Public Affairs for Fort Hood released a statement on the issue.

It says, "When a reporter's claims of improper references to certain groups as being
extremist were brought to the attention of Fort Hood leadership on Friday,
October 18, a commander's inquiry was immediately initiated.  Although the
initial information gathered about the training did not substantiate what
was claimed to have occurred, an investigation was initiated later the
same day because of how seriously the Army and Fort Hood leadership regard
the proper training of our Soldiers.  The investigation is ongoing; thus
far, the investigating officer has not corroborated any of the reporter's
claims."

Reporter: Sophia Stamas sstamas@kcentv.com

Photographer: Chris Buford cbuford@kcentv.com


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