Army 2nd Lt. Spenser Rapone is currently under investigation by the Army. Photos posted on social media show that Rapone appeared to openly advocate for communism. The images show Rapone in uniform at West Point. In one photo, he spread open his Army grey jacket to reveal a blood-red T shirt emblazoned with the iconic image of Ernesto “Che” Guevara, the Argentine leftist who committed serial executions and human rights abuses to advance communism in Cuba and Bolivia.

In another photo, Rapone appears to have placed a paper sign in his hat that says: “Communism will win." He tweeted under the handle @punkproletarian. Under the hashtag #VeteransForKaepernick, Rapone is seen in an image of himself raising his left fist: the symbol of leftist solidarity and resistance. On his West Point jacket are several medals, including a Combat Infantryman Badge– which means he has actual ground combat experience. After being found out as a communist symphatizer, Rapone tweeted on Monday the words: "In case there was any doubt, hasta la victoria siempre." The latter phrase in Spanish means "Always toward victory," a rallying call used for decades by Spanish-speaking leftists.

Following up his first post, Rapone retweeted images of other #VeteransForKaepernick in their combat uniforms, exhibiting sympathy for the NFL player Colin Kaepernick who originated kneeling in protest during the playing of the National Anthem before games. According to LawNewz, the legitimacy of the photograph was verified by Rapone himself.

The U.S. Military Academy subsequently released a statement on Monday, declaring:

“The U.S. Military Academy strives to develop leaders who internalize the academy’s motto of Duty, Honor, Country, and who live the Army values,” adding, “Second Lieutenant Rapone’s actions in no way reflect the values of the U.S. Military Academy or the U.S. Army. As figures of public trust, members of the military must exhibit exemplary conduct, and are prohibited from engaging in certain expressions of political speech in uniform. Second Lieutenant Rapone’s chain of command is aware of his actions and is looking into the matter. The academy is prepared to assist the officer’s chain of command as required.”

Rapone’s bio notes that he is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America. His Twitter account is replete with denunciations of West Point and the military. He complained that military life “reifies capitalism/imperialism with a brutally hierarchical rank structure.” Rapone also claimed that members of the military “lust for war and conflict. They fetishize violence.”

Echoing the stance of campus leftists elsewhere, Rapone wrote in June 2016, “Fascists dehumanize political opponents…Violence against the far right is resistance, not aggression.” Later that summer, Rapone tweeted his opinion about the Republican presidential candidate. He wrote: “With that speech, Trump confirms the worst suspicion: he is a fascist.”

In October, he asserted that Republicans seek to oppress racial minorities: “The GOP exists as violence against black/brown people, Muslims, LGBTQ community, yet milquetoast liberals actively donate money to it?”

In June, Rapone tweeted kudos to ByYourLogic, writing "Was so pumped for you to go in on [Defense Secretary] Mattis on the latest episode. Definitely the most vile, evil fuck in the current administration." Rapone also slammed Vice President Mike Pence in a tweet  inAugust: “Holy s*** what world do these people live in? “Mediocre and conservative?” Pence is a fucking medieval, cold-blooded killer.”

Rapone may possibly be in violation of Article 88 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, which states: “Any commissioned officer who uses contemptuous words against the President, the Vice President, Congress, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of a military department, the Secretary of Transportation, or the Governor or legislature of any State, Territory, Commonwealth, or possession in which he is on duty or present shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.” Under Article 88, the maximum punishment for the violation is dismissal from the military, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and prison for a year. Rapone has his opinions about members of Congress. For example, he tweeted in July: “Fuck John McCain. Will happily dance on his grave.”



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Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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