NORFOLK, Va. — The public affairs officer for the aircraft carrier Carl Vinson has been temporarily relieved of duty following allegations that he was involved in supremacist activities.
Lt. Cmdr. John Sharpe was relieved of his duties Wednesday pending the outcome of an investigation, according to Jim Brantley, a spokesman for Fleet Forces Command.
Brantley said the Navy began a formal investigation after receiving an inquiry from Jenny O’Donnell of Port Folio Weekly, a Hampton Roads alternative newspaper, asking about Sharpe and “alleging his involvement in possible supremacist activities.”
Sharpe could not be reached for comment Friday afternoon.
“Evidently he’s affiliated with an anti-Semitic group, and that’s illegal in the U.S. Navy,” Brantley said. Brantley cited Navy Regulation 1167, which states, “No person in the Naval Service shall participate in any organization that espouses supremacist causes.”
Brantley said Sharpe reported aboard the Vinson in June 2006; he is on administrative leave during the investigation.
The Vinson is currently undergoing a refueling and complex overhaul at the Northrop Grumman Newport News shipyard.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks white supremacists and hate groups, Sharperuns two “radical traditionalist” Catholic organizations that espouse anti-Semitic views, the Legion of St. Louis and IHS Press.
- Navy officer relieved of duty amid anti-Semitic accusations, by STEVEN G. VEGH, The Virginian-Pilot March 10, 2007:
. . . "What do you mean, anti-Semitic? Have I advocated harming people because they're Jewish, hating people because they're Jewish, having any attitude to them because they're Jewish or any other religion? Absolutely not."
He said IHS is principally a publisher of old titles by Catholic writers such as Hilaire Belloc and G.K. Chesterton.
Sharpe said he founded the Legion seven years ago as a Web-based forum for discussion on how Catholicism related to contemporary social and economic issues. He said the site has been inactive since 2002.
According to its Web site, the Legion's goals include "permeating society with the Faith" and combatting "the Judeo-Masonic tendencies of the modern social order."
- Naval officer accused of activity in hate groups Richmond Times Dispatch March 11, 2007.
On IHS Press / Legion of St. Louis' political extremism
Possession of Belloc and Chesterton hardly counts as incriminating evidence. On the other hand, the Legion of St. Louis' distribution of Michael Hoffmann's Judaism's Strange Gods, Prainaitis' The Talmud Unmasked and Henry Ford's The International Jew is a tad more disconcerting.
Likewise, it is curious why a website that was, according to Sharpe, "inactive since 2002", would remain online and active in 2007. One would think if you're distancing yourself from politically extremist and compromising ties one might take it offline, rather than renew the domain name and pay for the hosting.
While IHS Press has sought to present itself as a "Catholic publisher", Sharpe certainly hasn't explained to anybody's satisfaction how his friend and co-founder of IHS Press Derek Holland was a featured speaker at a nationalist convention of the German NPD, or more recently, IHS Press' prominent booth at a white nationalist convention in 2006? Question: Why would a Catholic publisher even seek to peddle his wares to this crowd? Evangelization?!?
Is the U.S. Navy's Investigation Warranted?
Consider some excerpts from one of many articles recently published on Neoconned's website:
Iraq now is occupied and we feel that Iraqis have the legitimate right to resist the occupation. The Baath Party is the leader of the Resistance that will liberate it from the Anglo-Saxon Zionist occupation. We feel that the liberation of Iraq will be achieved very soon and a very progressive leadership will be born that will lead the Arabs to liberate historic Palestine. As a result Arab Unity will be closer to being realized.Source: (An Interview with Ibrahim Ebeid Neo-Conned Blog. IHS Press. May 6, 2006.
Yes indeed we support Saddam Hussein because he is the legitimate President. He is a prisoner of war and those who are living in four square miles - the so-called “Green Zone” - are both traitors and illegitimate because they are the puppets and agents of the occupiers. In no way do they represent the people of Iraq or our ambitions...
Saddam Hussein represents the hope for freedom, unity and liberation. He is a firm believer in the liberation of Palestine, and, therefore, he deserves our support. [...] My opinion is very clear: the Resistance is legitimate and those who are part of the occupational political process are traitors and enemies of the Iraqi people. They should be treated as such.
Now, there is a line between "principled religious opposition" to the war in Iraq -- of which one can point to many examples, even good Catholics who contributed to the Neo-Conned volumes themselves -- and another to publish and promote propaganda clearly advocating the murder of U.S. forces abroad and members of the Iraqi government. That this interview was published on a radical website run by Lieutenant Commander of the United States Navy -- who may very well be called into military service -- should give one pause.
While FringeWatch's original dispute centered on the extremist ties of the founders of IHS Press, it is my opinion that Sharpe's involvement in this project merits the concern of the U.S. Navy.