Politics

Tammy Duckworth Suggests The Pentagon Monitor Social Media Accounts To Stop ‘Growing Radicalization’ In Military

Screenshot/The Hill Events

Michael Ginsberg General Assignment Reporter
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Democratic Illinois Sen. Tammy Duckworth thinks the United States military has a radicalization problem spurred on by social media use.

A “growing radicalization” within the military “comes with social media consumption,” Duckworth told The Hill’s Future of Defense virtual summit on Monday. Duckworth suggested the Defense Department under Secretary Lloyd Austin should make a better effort to monitor media consumption.

“We don’t know what our young troopers are consuming, because we don’t know what they’re consuming on their personal devices and the like. So we need to make sure that we understand what kind of information they’re getting, and that they are trained to recognize false information,” Duckworth said. (RELATED: ‘Right, Well I’m Not An Immigrant’: Sen Tammy Duckworth Corrects Joe Scarborough After He Infers She Wasn’t Born In America)

Duckworth, a retired Army National Guard lieutenant colonel, also blamed the popularity of Fox News for fueling “radicalization.”

“When I first enlisted … sitting in the waiting room, any military activity, there’d be a TV channel on, it was always a Pentagon channel reading the news to me. Over the course of my career, I saw that change to CNN, and then it became Fox. Everywhere I went, it was Fox News, and not just Fox News, but Fox entertainment,” Duckworth said.

“I would say, ‘that’s not actually news. That’s entertainment. If you want news, put on CNN.”

“The main source of news cannot be entertainment. And so that was one of the conversations with the secretary. We have to root this out. We have to figure out which troops are coming into the military with these opinions, with these tendencies. Then we have to figure out what media they’re consuming or they’re in, and who’s targeting them. I’m really pleased that [Secretary Austin] has done a DOD-wide stand down to look at extremism in the military,” Duckworth explained.

Duckworth recently feuded with Fox News host and Daily Caller co-founder Tucker Carlson over Carlson’s comments criticizing the Biden administration’s focus on hairstyles and “maternity flight suits” in the military. (RELATED: US Military Launches Coordinated Strikes Against American TV Host)

In February, Austin ordered that all military commanders and Defense Department supervisors hold training sessions discussing race and extremism issues. During the training sessions, some soldiers reportedly expressed concerns the military was glossing over the summer riots associated with the Black Lives Matter movement.