Would-Be General Opined on NFL Kneelers, Elizabeth Warren, Karl Rove

Would-Be General Opined on NFL Kneelers, Elizabeth Warren, Karl Rove

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Kareem P. Montague has been opinionated on Facebook since 2011, taking jabs at Republican political operative Karl Rove, posting messages about Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s first Senate campaign in Massachusetts, defending the pro football players who take a knee, and denouncing “white privilege.” 

Now an Army colonel, Montague—a veteran of conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan—has been awaiting confirmation to be promoted to brigadier general since March. The promotion has been stalled along with those of about 200 others

In February, the Defense Department adopted a policy of allowing three weeks of taxpayer-funded paid leave and reimbursement of travel expenses for enlisted women to get an abortion. Initially, Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., sought to halt the military promotions to force the Pentagon to yield on the abortion policy. 

The holds have caused more information to emerge about the would-be recipients of the promotions. 

Tuberville retweeted a thread by the American Accountability Foundation, a watchdog group, about Montague’s various politicized comments and social media posts. 

“The Senate needs to do our job and take a closer look at many of these nominees. These jobs are too important not to,” Tuberville posted on X, formerly known as Twitter. 

In September 2017, Montague had a near 1,000-word, 10-point Facebook post defending players in the NFL who kneel rather than stand for the national anthem. “The flag and the anthem—do you remember why Moses and his people spent 40 years in the desert? Mostly, it was because they were foolish (and impatient) and they forgot that symbols are not the real thing. Worshiping a golden calf was an insult to God,” he wrote. 

He later added in the post: “Protests – news flash for the ‘stop politicizing my sports’ crowd, protests are supposed to be messy. That’s the point, sometimes you have to shut down a city bus line to point out the obvious. We’d love to have a nuanced debate on CSPAN, but most of you who are blissfully ignorant of a particular issue would miss it. You’re too busy watching football.”

In point eight, he talked about so-called white privilege.

“Our country, despite its great ideals and its promise, was still founded on the backs of an entire race of people,” he wrote. “A system of de facto and de jure segregation has created a long-standing imbalance in our country. As a result, there is a general advantage to being white in this country. There’s nothing any of us needs to do about it, just acknowledge that it is a real thing.”

In another lengthy Facebook post a month earlier, he denounced Confederate statues, asserting, “It is time for us to stop revering these leaders with public building statutes, military base names, and public schools.”

Montague was a distinguished military graduate from Harvard University in 1995, according to the Defense Department. He most recently has been the chief of staff of the Army. Montague was twice deployed to Iraq, most recently in 2008-2009 as the war wound down, and twice to Afghanistan, most recently in 2015-2016. He was also deployed to Kosovo in 2001, just a few years after U.S. airstrikes. 

“When we take a look at Col. Montague, you quickly discover that he’s beloved by the Army brass not because he’s a war fighter, but because he’s a social justice warrior,” Tom Jones, president of the American Accountability Foundation, told The Daily Signal. The Pentagon, he said, “needs to start over on these promotions and select men and women on merit, not on political activism.”

Montague posted on Facebook in August 2011 about being promoted to colonel. 

In a September 2011 Facebook post, after his promotion, he appeared to back Elizabeth Warren, who was elected to her first term in the Senate the next year. The post highlighted a comment in which Warren said, “There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own,” and went on to explain that people owe their fortune to a collective. 

“You built a factory out there? Good for you. But I want to be clear: You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for; you hired workers the rest of us paid to educate; you were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for,” Warren said in the quote highlighted by Montague. “ … But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.”

But other political posts came before his promotion.

In May 2011, he ripped Rove, onetime adviser to former President George W. Bush, over Rove’s lack of knowledge of rap.

“Do you want to know why 92% of blacks vote strictly Democratic, this is why,” he wrote. “The fact that Karl Rove can’t distinguish between Common and someone the likes of Snoop or other “gangster rappers” is indicative of the belief among so many African Americans that the Republican Party just cannot relate. Words cannot express how sad/angry the arc of this ‘controversy’ made me today.”

Earlier that month, he posted, “This is hysterical,” regarding then-President Barack Obama’s remarks at the White House Correspondents Dinner. In a follow-up post, he remarked on someone who neither he nor anyone else knew would someday be president. 

“Even funnier! The Trump lines were priceless,” he wrote of comedian Seth Meyers’ jokes about Donald Trump. 

In April 2011, he extolled a film about Harvey Milk, a San Francisco politician and gay rights activist, writing, “Great movie that I watched tonight. I feared it would be too preachy, but it was not. Well-made film about an interesting person, living during an interesting time. Add it to your cue [sic], you won’t regret it.”

The Defense Department did not respond to an inquiry for this article. 

Biden has criticized Tuberville for holding up the military promotions, calling his actions “dangerous” to national security. 

The Daily Signal previously reported on Air Force Col. Ben Jonsson, who wrote positively about critical race theory and who Biden nominated for promotion to brigadier general. It also previously reported that Tuberville had blocked the promotion of Navy Capt. Michael Donnelly, who allowed a drag queen show on the USS Ronald Reagan, a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier.

The Alabama Republican is also blocking the promotions of two Air Force generals nominated by Biden: Lt. Gen. Kevin Schneider as commander of Pacific Forces, who called for expanding “diversity, equity and inclusion” in the military, and Brig. Gen. Elizabeth Arledge, who complained about “whiteness,” to major general.

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About the Author

Tony Beasley
Tony Beasley writes for the Local News, US and the World Section of ANH.