Army Pvt. Chelsea Manning, who was sentenced to prison for leaking classified documents and subsequently freed by President Barack Obama, inspired West Point graduate and communist Spenser Rapone to infiltrate the military.
Rapone has come under fire and become the subject of an Army investigation after reports emerged of his open and unabashed support for communism and tweets he made calling for political violence and referring to Secretary of Defense James Mattis as an “evil, vile f***.”
In a Reddit post regarding Manning, Rapone spelled out some of his motivations for remaining in the military and exactly what he wanted to accomplish while serving as a second lieutenant in the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division. Those motivations included Manning’s decision to leak national security documents to WikiLeaks.
Notably, Manning was also part of the 10th Mountain Division.
“I’m currently an infantry officer at Ft. Drum, NY assigned to the same brigade that she was while enlisted,” Rapone wrote in a post. “Every single day I think of the contradictions of being a communist while in this organization, and her courage and tenacity gives me strength to continue the long march through the institutions.”
The “long march” comment refers to a strategy of institutional infiltration and subversion coined by student activist Rudi Dutschke but originally developed by Antonio Gramsci, a Marxist thinker whose thought developed in the wake of the failure of economic determinism to bring about a revolution.
After Rapone posted his comment, another Reddit user warned him not to talk so publicly about where he was stationed.
“I know comrade, but I feel like we should not hide any longer,” Rapone answered.
From his Reddit post and Twitter history, it seems clear Rapone was a dedicated communist and posted about developing a new manual on guerrilla warfare, presumably for use in the U.S.
“I read Che’s Guerrilla Warfare (★★★★) a month or two back,” Rapone said early this year. “An essential text, although, as Che would say, specific to a certain historical context. I’d suggest Marighella’s Minimanual of the Urban Guerrilla (★★★★) after finishing Che’s work. I myself need to read Mao’s On Guerrilla Warfare here soon enough. But, I suppose, more than anything else, the task at hand for all of us is to produce our own text on guerrilla warfare, in the days ahead, yes?”
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