On March 25th, 2021, Richard Torres-Estrada was assigned as the US Special Operations’ chief of diversity and inclusion. By Monday, less than a week into his new position, Estrada was reassigned after a probe into his social media profiles.
The investigation into Estrada’s profiles found controversial tweets considering the title of diversity chief. Most notably was a post comparing former US President Donald Trump to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler. In the Facebook post from June 20th, 2020, a photo of President Trump standing in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church while holding the Bible is parallel to Hitler holding a book in front of a crowd making the Nazi salute. According to CNN, the photo of Hitler had been altered to show him holding a Bible. Other concerning posts included an anti-police political cartoon.
The probe and investigation were confirmed by the Pentagon press secretary, John Kirby, during a press briefing on Monday. According to Kirby, Estrada is being investigated by US Special Operations Command (SOCOM) head Gen. Richard Clarke, who has the support of Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin. “Obviously, we take the need to promote diversity and inclusion seriously here in the department. the secretary has spoken to that many times,” Kirby said. “And we certainly want that work to be transparent, to be credible, to be effective, and of course professional. We want everybody to take those duties and responsibilities seriously and professionally, but we’re not going to get ahead of Special Operations Command’s investigation.”
“The Commander has directed an investigation to look into the facts surrounding Mr. Torres-Estrada’s selection,” said Ken McGraw, a spokesman for the US Special Operations Command. “It would be inappropriate to comment on specifics until the evaluation is complete.” McGraw told CNN that Estrada continues to work for the Special Operations Command that manages operations for the Navy SEALs, Army Rangers and Delta Force. No other details concerning the investigation have been publicly shared. As of Tuesday morning, Estrada’s social media profiles were no longer public. His new position has yet to be disclosed, although a spokesman stated that Estrada will not be fired as the investigation ensues.
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ARTICLE: ANTOINETTE AHO
POLITICS EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: MILITARY.COM