- The Washington Times - Monday, May 17, 2021

Several members of Congress have come out in support of a U.S. Space Force officer who lost his command following comments he made on a podcast about his book that raises questions about the influence of Marxism and left-wing policies within the U.S. military.

Lt. Col. Matthew Lohmeier had been in charge of the 11th Space Warning Squadron at Buckley Air Force Base in Colorado until he was sacked Friday by Lt. Gen. Stephen Whiting, commander of Space Operations Command.

Officials with the U.S. Space Force confirmed Lt. Col. Lohmeier was relieved due to “a loss of trust and confidence in his ability to lead” based on his comments in the “Information Operation” podcast hosted by L. Todd Wood, a former columnist at The Washington Times.

The decision to fire the Air Force Academy graduate and former fighter pilot is not sitting well with some lawmakers on Capitol Hill. Sen. Ted Cruz called the decision “troubling” while his fellow Texas Republican, Rep. Dan Crenshaw, wondered why so-called “critical race” theory is seemingly embraced by the Pentagon while speaking out against Marxism can get an officer relieved of his command.

“We need to be preparing our warriors to fight and win battles, not how to be” social justice warriors, Mr. Crenshaw, a former Navy SEAL, wrote in a Twitter message.

His book, “Irresistible Revolution: Marxism’s Goal of Conquest & the Unmaking of the American Military,” may have cost Lt. Col. Lohmeier his command but the controversy doesn’t seem to have hurt the sales. On Monday, it was on the bestseller list at Amazon.com.

Rep. Matt Gaetz, Florida Republican, said the decision to fire Lt. Col. Lohmeier was “clearly retaliatory.” A member of the House Armed Services Committee, Mr. Gaetz called the author “a patriot telling the truth about the attempted ‘wokeification’ of our military — and worse.”

“I will be seeking action on this in the Armed Service Committee,” he wrote in a Twitter message.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin ordered a military-wide “stand down” following the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol where several veterans and reservists and at least one active-duty military officer have been implicated. The incident has fueled a sharp debate about alleged “extremists” in the ranks and whether the Pentagon is attempting to purge political conservatives from the military.

In addition to firing Lt. Col. Lohmeier, Lt. Gen. Whiting ordered an investigation into whether the comments made in the podcast constitute prohibited partisan political activity.

“Due to the ongoing investigation, it would be inappropriate to comment further,” a U.S. Space Force spokesman said.

Rep. Ken Buck, a Colorado Republican, said he was outraged to learn about Lt. Col. Lohmeiercase, and defended the ex-commander’s attacks on diversity, “inclusivity” training and race-conscious policies imposed on the ranks.

“It is racist, divisive, anti-American and has no place in our schools or military,” Mr. Buck wrote on Twitter. “It emphasizes stereotypes and perpetuates prejudices by focusing on our differences instead of what unites us.”

GOP Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona said Lt. Col. Lohmeier was a hero for speaking out, even at the risk of his military career.

“Our military should be preparing to win battles — not being brainwashed with Marxist ideals,” he wrote.

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