Thursday, September 20, 2018

Violent white supremacist loses job with major US defense contractor

“I can’t believe that participation in an organized white supremacist group focused on street-level violence wouldn’t jeopardize your security clearance.”

Image Credit: Edu Bayer

Shortly after being exposed as a violent white supremacist who brutally attacked counter-protesters during racially-charged rallies in Charlottesville and Berkeley last year, a Northrup Grumman aerospace engineer with U.S. government security clearance recently lost his job when ProPublica and Frontline published photographs of the racist assaulting a black man and throwing a weapon into a crowd of people. Although Northrop Grumman announced on Thursday that an investigation will be launched and that the employee no longer works for the company, the defense contractor did not clarify whether the violent bigot was terminated or forced to resign.

On July 5, ProPublica published an article exposing a 29-year-old Northrup Grumman aerospace engineer named Michael Miselis as a sadistic white supremacist who incited violence during the Unite the Right rally last August in Charlottesville, Virginia, in which neo-Nazi James Alex Fields Jr. was caught on video driving through a crowd of counter-protesters and murdering Heather Heyer. Captured in photographs, Miselis was wearing an athletic mouth guard and had his hands wrapped in tape as he shoved a black man to the ground and began punching him.

During a pro-Trump event last year in Berkeley, California, Miselis was captured on video punching and wrestling with protesters. In addition to violently assaulting protesters, Miselis was also photographed marching alongside two previously identified white supremacists, Tom Gillen and Ben Daley.

When confronted by ProPublica and Frontline journalists in front of his home in Lawndale, California, Miselis reportedly denied the allegations before cowardly driving away.

On Thursday, Northrop Grumman responded to the reports by tweeting, “We do not tolerate hatred or illegal conduct and we condemn racist activities in any shape or form. We are taking immediate action to look into the very serious issues raised by these reports.”

In an internal message to all company staff, Northrop CEO Wesley Bush wrote, “I was deeply saddened yesterday to see news reports alleging that one of our employees engaged in violence as part of the Charlottesville protests. We issued a statement yesterday to reaffirm the values of our company and to state publicly that we will investigate these allegations and act upon our findings.”

On Friday, Northrop spokesman Tim Paynter confirmed that Miselis “is no longer an employee of Northrop Grumman.” Paynter did not clarify whether Miselis was fired or had resigned.

In a recent statement, the FBI said, “While the FBI neither confirms nor denies the existence of an investigation, our agents investigate activity which may constitute a federal crime or pose a threat to national security. Our focus is not on membership in particular groups but on criminal activity. The FBI cannot initiate an investigation based solely on an individual’s race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, or the exercise of their First Amendment rights, and we remain committed to protecting those rights for all Americans.”

During an interview with ProPublica, Keegan Hankes, an analyst with the Southern Poverty Law Center pointed out, “I can’t believe that participation in an organized white supremacist group focused on street-level violence wouldn’t jeopardize your security clearance.”

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