Michael Miselis took part in the violent Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville. So far, it hasn’t damaged his standing at Northrop Grumman.
He Is a Member of a Violent White Supremacist Group. So Why Is He Working for a Defense Contractor With a Security Clearance?
For months, ProPublica and Frontline have been working to identify the white supremacists at the center of violent demonstrations across the country, including the infamous Unite the Right rally last August in Charlottesville, Virginia. The Rise Above Movement, a Southern California group that expresses contempt for Muslims, Jews, and immigrants, became a focus of that effort.
Ultimately, ProPublica and Frontline determined the man in the violent footage was Miselis, a 29-year-old pursuing a Ph.D. in UCLA’s aerospace engineering program. Miselis was identified using video footage and social media posts, and reporters confirmed his identity in an encounter with him outside his home. In interviews, a number of California law enforcement officials said Miselis was a member of RAM.
In addition to his scholarly pursuits, Miselis works as a systems engineer for Northrop Grumman, the giant defense contractor with a plant in Redondo Beach, California.
Several current and former employees at Northrop Grumman told ProPublica and Frontline that Miselis has received a security clearance to work in a computer modeling and simulation group within Northrop’s aerospace division. Such security clearances are typically issued in a two-step process. The federal Office of Personnel Management conducts an investigation into the individual. The agency’s findings are then forwarded to a special unit within the Department of Defense, which makes the final determination on whether the person should receive a clearance, a status that often allows the person access to classified or otherwise sensitive information concerning national security.
Keegan Hankes, an analyst with the Southern Poverty Law Center who follows RAM closely, said he was surprised that nothing has been done about Miselis’ employment and security clearance.
“They’re openly motivated by racism,” he added of RAM.
“I can’t believe that participation in an organized white supremacist group focused on street-level violence wouldn’t jeopardize your security clearance,” Hankes said.
Let the Dept of Defense know you want Miselis' security clearance pulled.