West Point Digs Deeper Hole on Cadet Communist
Time to determine how deep Obama's deep-state socialists have been imbedded in the ranks of American military leadership.
Two weeks ago, I wrote about a West Point 2016 graduate, now-2LT Spenser Rapone, who, despite his brash history displaying contempt for our nation, and his advocacy for communism, was allowed to graduate. As I noted, now-retired Army Lieutenant Colonel Robert Heffington, an Academy history professor in 2015, had issued a sworn affidavit alerting senior USMA command about Rapone.
LTC Heffington was an infantry officer before completing graduate work and accepting a post at the USMA. He was known by those under his command, and by his USMA students, to be a tough and uncompromising man of superior integrity. In his complaint he concluded, “I cannot reconcile the image of a first class cadet at West Point with the things he has posted online for the world to see. To me, these are red flags that cannot be ignored, and I fail to see how this individual can possibly graduate and become a commissioned officer in six months.”
But they did ignore it.
More recently, Rapone, now assigned to the 10th Mountain Division in Fort Drum, has boldly posted his hatred for his commander in chief, SecDef James Mattis, and other senior military leadership on public social media accounts. That constitutes a clear and overt UCMJ Article 88 violation: “Any commissioned officer who uses contemptuous words against the President, the Vice President, Congress, the Secretary of Defense … shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.”
West Point command responded to the exposure of Rapone’s insubordination and UCMJ violations with an official statement asserting, “Rapone’s actions in no way reflect the values of the U.S. Military Academy or the U.S. Army,” and that “Rapone’s chain of command is aware of his actions and is looking into the matter.”
Responding to that lame assertion, LTC Heffington sent a letter to his USMA class of 1997, noting his “intense devotion and loyalty to West Point,” but detailing the inaction over Rapone and how that reflected the degraded “leadership” culture at West Point.
Heffington wrote, “I firmly believe West Point is a national treasure and that it can and should remain a vitally important source of well trained, disciplined, highly educated Army officers and civilian leaders. However, during my time on the West Point faculty … I personally witnessed a series of fundamental changes at West Point that have eroded it to the point where I question whether the institution should even remain open. The recent coverage of 2LT Spenser Rapone — an avowed Communist and sworn enemy of the United States — dramatically highlighted this disturbing trend. Given my recent tenure on the West Point faculty and my direct interactions with Rapone, his ‘mentors,’ and with the Academy’s leadership, I believe I can shed light on how someone like Rapone could possibly graduate.”
However, Rapone’s case is just the latest indicator of military academy degradation under Barack Obama’s regime. Recall that The Patriot Post took on the command staff at the Air Force Academy in 2012, when Obama’s appointees there quietly endeavored to remove “So Help Me God” from oaths in the cadet handbook “to Support and Defend” our Constitution.
Responding to LTC Heffington, USMA Superintendent, LTG Robert Caslen, appointed by Obama in 2013, issued a formal statement, noting that he had been inundated with protests by USMA alumni, but could not say anything while investigations were being conducted. According to Caslen, “Responding to concerns raised about the quality of JSMA graduates takes time, which includes gathering all the facts and taking a hard look at whether USMA is doing everything it can to develop leaders of character…”
Caslen appealed, “Help me prevent the negativity associated with the alleged behavior of one graduate,” and insisted the actions of one don’t reflect the culture at USMA and code of “Honor, Duty and Country.”
On this point, I would agree with Caslen, but the issue is not 2LT Rapone. He came to USMA from the enlisted ranks, having previously deployed to Afghanistan as an Army Ranger with the 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment. Notably, he was “released for standards” from his regiment, meaning there were performance or conduct issues. He gained acceptance to USMA with the endorsement of Rep. Jason Altmire (D-PA), who has since attempted to distance himself from Rapone. I believe Rapone is likely suffering some pathology.
Again, LTG Robert Caslen’s assertions notwithstanding, Rapone is NOT the problem, and in the words of a wise old mentor, “When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.”
Bottom line: The investigation that needed to be done was two years ago, based on LTC Heffington’s original affidavit concerning Rapone. The investigation that really needs to be conducted now is why that didn’t happen — and of much greater significance, determining how deep Obama’s deep-state socialists have been imbedded in the ranks of American military leadership.
Update 6/19/18: The cadet has received an other-than-honorable discharge. He remains steadfast in his hatred for this nation and the Army, however. His last social media post was a picture of him giving “one final salute” — a middle finger aimed at a sign at the entrance to Fort Drum.