West Point knew that they had an anti-American “commie cadet” on their hands back in 2015 and went ahead and graduated him in May of 2016 anyway, according to new reports.
Spenser Rapone, now a 2nd lieutenant in the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, became the subject of an Army investigation after several of his pro-communism messages on social media were publicized last month, spurring a firestorm of disapproval in the conservative media.
Rapone, who goes by @punkproletarian on his now private Twitter account, has indicated in posts online that he is a “socialist organizer” for the Democratic Socialists of America, an antifa supporter, and a Che Guevara fan who has contempt for the United States military.
Retired Army Lt. Col. Robert Heffington, who taught history at the academy, wrote in a sworn statement in November of 2015 that Rapone’s disrespectful attitude and social media activity were reason for grave concern. The purpose of the statement was to “document potential criminal activity involving the U.S. military and to allow Army officials to maintain discipline, law and order through investigation of complaints and incidents.”
“From his various online rantings and posts, it appears that CDT Rapone is an avowed Marxist, which is completely out of line with the values of this nation and its Army,” Heffington wrote. “Moreover, CDT Rapone’s posts indicate that he hates West Point, the U.S. Army and indeed this country. One post date 16, November states ‘…f*ck this country and its false freedom.'”
Heffington went on to say that Rapone labeled a guest lecturer at West Point a “fascist” and even implicitly justified the actions of ISIS and blamed the United States for terrorist attacks.
“I cannot reconcile the image of a first class cadet at West Point with the things he has posted online for the world to see,” Heffington wrote. “To me, these are red flags that cannot be ignored, and I fail to see how this individual can possibly graduate and become a commissioned officer in six months.”
In his statement, Heffington described a disturbing incident that occurred on November 17, 2015. He said that he was in his office trying to work when he heard yelling and vulgar language coming from Professor Rasheed Hosein’s office. He said he heard several voices loudly arguing about what to do about “a certain colonel.”
Hosein, a professor of Middle East history at West Point, was reportedly Rapone’s mentor and is currently on administrative leave and under investigation for engaging in political activity while in uniform.
Heffington said he entered the office and asked who was doing all the yelling. There were four cadets in the room and only one of them wasn’t wearing his uniform — Rapone. One of the cadets immediately admitted to yelling and apologized. Heffington demanded an answer from the rest.
“We’re in a private conversation here,” Rapone sneered, according to Heffington, who demanded that the disrespectful cadet stand up.
The lt. colonel stated that Rapone snapped back in a loud and disrespectful voice, “Sir, you don’t have the right to use my honor against me!”
Heffington said Rapone continued to argue with him out in the hall for several more minutes with a look of “contempt and hatred on his face.” Rapone later stared at the officer’s name tag in a manner that Heffington took as “a thinly veiled threat.”
According to The Daily Caller, Heffington contacted Rapone’s training, advising, and counseling officer the same day he wrote that report. Heffington said “the officer was disgusted, but not shocked.”
Rapone’s freshman year history professor also reported him to the chain of command, according to The Daily Caller.
In a Facebook post Thursday, Senator Marco Rubio said Rapone is clearly “a national security threat.”
Rubio on Wednesday wrote a letter to the U.S. Army calling on them to “immediately nullify” Rapone’s commission and revoke his West Point degree.
The Army Times reports that Rapone enlisted in the Army as an infantryman in September 2010 and was able to complete the Ranger Assessment and Selection Program.
He was deployed to Afghanistan in the summer of 2011 with the 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment out of Fort Stewart, Georgia, but was “removed for standards” from the regiment later that year.
According to the Army Times, Rapone has been awarded “a Good Conduct Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, an Army Achievement Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal with one campaign star and the Combat Infantryman Badge.”