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Three U.S. Marines were given highly sensitive intelligence positions despite their participation in the worst attack on the U.S. Capitol since 1814. The reassignments raise serious questions about the ability of the military and the U.S. intelligence community to identify right-wing extremists in their midst.

Joshua Abate, Micah Coomer, and Dodge Dale Hellonen were three active-duty U.S. Marines who participated in the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

All three entered the Capitol during the riot. One carried a “Don’t Tread on Me” flag. Another posted to social media that he hoped for “Civil War 2.”

And despite their participation in the worst attack on the U.S. Capitol since 1814, all three were later given highly sensitive intelligence positions.

The reassignments — which were exposed by The Intercept’s Senior National Security Correspondent James Risen — raise serious new questions about the... ability of both the military and the U.S. intelligence community to identify right-wing extremists in their midst.

The Intercept is going beyond the headlines about Donald Trump and MAGA talking heads to expose the troubling relationship between the U.S. military and intelligence community and the far-right. But as a nonprofit news outlet, we depend on your support to keep this crucial reporting going and bring these uncomfortable truths to light.

Will you make a donation and help The Intercept uncover the links between the U.S. intelligence community and right-wing extremists that other news outlets won’t touch?

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The three Marines are not the first with intelligence community links to be charged in connection with January 6. Last September, a Navy reservist who’d worked with spy satellites was charged after admitting he’d gone into the U.S. Capitol with members of the Proud Boys, an extremist group that was at the center of the insurrection. Dozens of others with military connections have been charged.

But military and intelligence leadership has long ignored the problem of white supremacy within their ranks. And though the Pentagon now says it’s changed course, the problem appears to be getting worse. A 2020 survey found that 57 percent of minority troops had personally witnessed racism or white supremacy — up from 42 percent in 2017.

Congressional Republicans, meanwhile, are now intent on undermining any effort by military officials to root out right-wing extremists, vowing to go after “woke” policies at the Pentagon.

Democrats and the for-profit media have focused almost exclusively on Donald Trump’s role in January 6, ignoring other factors that led to the deadly riot on January 6. The Intercept is nearly alone in working to investigate and report out the power of right-wing extremists within the U.S. military and intelligence community, along with other systemic factors that paved the way to the Capitol attack.

Our nonprofit newsroom relies on readers like you to do this exclusive reporting that other outlets are ignoring. Will you chip in?


Thank you, The Intercept team

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