National Guardsman suspended over personal website
No holds barred on howtokillpeople.com
The personal assistant to California National Guard's commanding officer was "placed on leave" on Wednesday pending a probe into the content of his personal website howtokillpeople.com.
According to the Contra Costa Times, Senior Airman Travis Gruber of Sacramento - who's been Major Gen. William Wade's aide for a year - didn't actually provide handy tips on how to kill people, but rather let rip against "African-Americans, Jews, Asians, women, gays, and people with physical handicaps".
The paper lists a catalogue of shockers, including "several pictures of Gruber holding what appear to be automatic weapons, including one of him pointing a gun at black people in tribal garb", an attack on Arnold Schwarzenegger "whom he trashes in a posting that questions the governor's intelligence", and a no-nonsense statement reading: "I, honestly, would like nothing more than to assist in the wholesale slaughter of every idiot on the face of the planet."
Gruber claimed on the website to be 26, and made no reference to his National Guard post other than alluding to a job that "allows him occasional access to the governor and others". He referred to his boss as "the big guy" and noted that "when once ordered to drive 'the big guy' to Oakland earlier this year, he loaded a shotgun with extra shells and filled a pistol 'to the brim with hollow-point' bullets because he feared entering the city unarmed".
Just to be certain of attracting the right kind of attention, Gruber wrote of Schwarzenegger's wife Maria Shriver: "Could you imagine waking up, as a child, to the gaping maw of this demon?"
Sure enough, the National Guard put Gruber on "paid administrative leave" as soon as it learned of the site. Spokesman Lt. Col. Jon Siepmann said investigators will "look into the content of the website and make a determination into whether any of it is a violation of military law and regulations".
Former National guard commander Gen. Frank Schober noted it's a crime under military law for a soldier, "including an enlisted member of the National Guard" to use "contemptuous words" against public officials. He suggested Wade might "deal with it humanely and get this man the help he obviously needs," adding: "I don't know if he should be court-martialed. The website seems so far out there. But we certainly don't comment on the governor publicly. We don't do that."
The former commander of the state Army National Guard, William Wenger, offered: "The question has to be asked why an individual with this type of access wasn't vetted more. He would be privileged to a lot of confidential information and conversations. He might be asked his opinion on important matters."
The offending website is currently pretty well shut down, and simply offers the following statement:
If you're coming here from the Contra Costa Times article or the associated press story; this is the entirety of the statement that I released to the author of the article.
This website is comprised of my personal thoughts, feelings and sense of humor and as such does not reflect the thoughts or opinions of The California National Guard, The California Air National Guard, The United States Air Force or any of the commanding officers that represent those organizations. I was under the impression that I was writing anonymously and in that writing I have never mentioned my relation to any of those organizations due to the nature of my opinions. How Mr. Peele acquired that information is beyond me.The purpose of the website is political satire, social commentary and an outlet for my opinions. In no way, shape or form do I condone acts of violence or aggression and this website is not a learning tool for those activities. Certainly some may find the sense of humor and opinions represented here as dark and distasteful; and that may very well be. However it is my sense of humor and these are my opinions alone.I’m sorry if I have misrepresented or left a black mark on the California Military Department, The California National Guard or The United States Air Force. I have the utmost respect for all of these organizations and would not want my website or opinions to tarnish their good names.