The White House quietly ordered a widespread review of government counterterrorism training materials last month, following Danger Room’s reports that officials at the FBI, military and Justice Department taught their colleagues that “mainstream” Muslims embrace violence and compared the Islamic religion to the Death Star.
According to a Pentagon memorandum acquired by Danger Room, the White House’s National Security Staff in October requested “Departments and Agencies” to “provide their screening process for CVE trainers and speakers.” (.pdf) CVE refers to “Countering Violent Extremism,” the euphemism du jour for the war on terrorism. The memorandum says that “recent media attention” led to the review, and contains a single attachment to demonstration that attention: “Spencer Ackerman’s Wired.com article.”
The ongoing review will examine whether counterterrorism training material throughout the government is accurate and relevant, and will make sure the briefings given to federal field offices and local cops meets the same standards as FBI headquarters or the Pentagon.
Seeing my name on that memo was unexpected, to say the least.
Thanks to Noah Shachtman and everyone at WIRED for believing in this series.