The following is an op-ed was submitted to TWP by special guest contributor Reloaded. The views and opinions expressed by contributors are their own and not necessarily those of The Washington Pundit or its management.
The U.S. military has already been weakened by the greed of the military industrial-complex, but there is something even more dangerous going on and very few Americans are paying attention.
Recent evidence shows that the so-called Gülenist movement, officially designated as a terrorist organization, i.e. the “Fethullahist Terrorist Organisation” (“FETÖ”), by the Government of Turkey, has also started infiltrating the U.S. military. This modus operandi is a methodology that they have used successfully for decades in Turkey by corrupting the military education system.
The Turkish Armed Forces (TAF), NATO’s second largest army, only started taking precautions when the infiltration was first noticed in 1986. However, the scope of the infiltration and the secretive nature of the organization was severely underestimated until Gülenist elements resorted to a violent coup attempt in July 2016. Soldiers loyal to the terrorist organization bombed Turkey’s National Parliament and Police Headquarters was obliterated while dozens of unarmed citizens lost their lives before the coup was finally suppressed.
The first time that an official investigation was opened against FETÖ leader Imam Fethullah Gülen was on March 19, 1999, on the grounds he was trying to overthrow the secular democratic constitutional order. Gülen was able to leverage health problems as an excuse to flee Turkey to the United States on the day the investigation was opened, and settled in a fortified compound in the town of Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania, somewhere in the Pocono Mountains. He was initially refused residency by the a U.S. court, but when top officials with close ties to the Bill Clinton White House formally intervened on his behalf, the court reconsidered. He resides there to this day. The the location and magnitude of security with which it is surrounded is hard to explain for someone who is a self-proclaimed “teacher” who has no income and is suffering health problems.
These terrorists manage one of the largest charter school networks in the United States. Fethullah Gülen and his Islamist cult manage well over 200 charter schools with more than eighty thousand students attending his schools across the U.S. with at least one of these schools is located on a U.S. Air Force Base. Perhaps most worrisome and is they receive more than $750 million each year from U.S. taxpayers to run and maintain these schools which they use to indoctrinate students.
Many of the FETÖ-affiliated charter schools engage in visa fraud and salary kickback schemes while corruption and sexual harassment incidents never seem to cease being reported. Despite all of the this, these schools are able to continue to increase in number of branches and students, while receiving millions more from the federal, state, and local governments. For reasons this author found hard to identify, American mainstream media has abruptly stopped reporting on this Islamist cult and its members once they failed to take power in Turkey through military force. One can’t help but wonder whether the decades-old relationship between Fethullah Gülen and the Clintons has something to do with the unofficial but obvious code of silence on the issue.
There are many other examples of corruption by Imam Gülen’s followers. For instance, Hürriyet Arslan, who runs a used-car businesses in New Jersey, admitted to having defrauded the U.S. Department of Defense a total of $23.5 million. While the media might be forgiven for not broadly reporting these corruption stories, a recent self-stated admission that the U.S. military is being infiltrated by an Islamist cult that is designated as a terrorist organization by a NATO ally should be harder to ignore. In a recent interview, a former follower of Gülen named Ihsan Yılmaz who is now working as a professor in Australia, admitted that FETÖ operates a special unit focused on facilitating the infiltration of the U.S. Army.
Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III recently ordered a DOD-wide stand down to assess the problem of “extremism” in their ranks. While the U.S. military is being pushed to political chaos and division with baseless extremism allegations, other genuine threats like Gülenist terrorists are allowed to metastasize into a clear and present danger for American national security.
Infiltrating into the military and gaining enough power and influence to attempt a coup will take time, but Gülenists are experienced at this and will patiently wait until the right time to strike. It is past time for Americans to understand the danger they are facing in their own backyard.