DoD Spokesman Labels ‘Insider Threat’ to Troops in Afghanistan ‘As Dangerous As It Ever Was’

Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby was quoted in Stars and Stripes Friday as saying the “insider threat” against American forces in Afghanistan is “as dangerous as it ever was.” And he’s right. What he did not mention, however, is the fact that many “insider attacks” are preventable.

Click image above to read more posts about "Green-on-Blue" or "Insider" attacks.

Click image above to read more posts about “Green-on-Blue” or “Insider” attacks.

Admiral Kirby’s comments likely stem from the fact that he’s been kept in the dark about decisions made by senior Department of Defense officials during the past decade that have resulted in the best screening and interrogation tools available being kept out of the hands of U.S. military and intelligence officials. Out of the hands of interrogation officials in places like Afghanistan and Iraq. And, most recently, out of the vetting process used to screen recruits hoping to serve in Afghanistan’s military, police and security agencies.

Click image above to order.

Click image above to order.

In my latest nonfiction book, THE CLAPPER MEMO, I share never-before-published details about decisions made by DoD officials at the highest levels — including Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. when he was serving as Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence — and about decisions that should be made in the future.

Unfortunately for good men like Spc. John A. Pelham, 22, of Portland, Ore., and Sgt. First Class Roberto C. Skelt, 41, of York, Fla., any decisions to change policy will come too late. The Army Special Forces Soldiers were killed Wednesday when, according to the aforementioned Stripes report, two individuals wearing Afghan National Army uniforms opened fire on them with machine guns. They became casualties of yet another “Green-on-Blue” or “Insider Attack.”

Click image above to read endorsements of THE CLAPPER MEMO.

Click image above to read endorsements of THE CLAPPER MEMO.

Capt. Larry W. Bailey, U.S. Navy retired, came to understand the gravity of this situation after reading THE CLAPPER MEMO. In fact, the former commander of the U.S. Navy SEALs training program described what I reveal in the book as “an unconscionable cover-up.” Others have offered similar assessments.

See if you agree. Order your copy today!

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August (Oct '11) and THE CLAPPER MEMO (May '13). To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August (Oct ’11) and THE CLAPPER MEMO (May ’13). To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Green Beret Veteran ‘Speechless’ After Watching Video Featuring New Surveillance Technology

I received a message this morning from a former Army Special Forces friend who said he was stunned to learn that information about a new, state-of-the-art surveillance technology shown in this video (below) is unclassified.

The highly-decorated combat veteran who served as an elite member of the Army Green Berets added that the information about how the technology is used in conjunction with an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) “would have never gone public during past presidencies.

And there’s more.

“Now you see why so many (Special Operations Forces) personnel want to see the Benghazi film,” he continued.  “Amazing how, more and more, our government leaks how we conduct operations.  I am simply speechless.”

I share his concerns.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August (Oct '11) and THE CLAPPER MEMO (May '13). To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August (Oct ’11) and THE CLAPPER MEMO (May ’13). To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Prediction: Navy SEALs Will Ignore Latest ‘Patch’ Directive

UPDATE 11/6/13 at 7:12 p.m. Central:  Someone got it wrong, according to this Navy Times.  Or, perhaps, someone in the Obama Administration decided to let this one go.

In a Daily Caller piece published Friday, former U.S. Navy SEAL-turned author Carl Higbie shares a uniform-related message he received from a former SEAL teammate.  The message to SEALs was clear:  “the only patch authorized for wear is the American flag on the right shoulder” and the First Navy Jack was banned. I have reason to suspect most Navy SEALs will ignore this misguided directive for as long as they can just like they have previous ones.

Naval_Jack_of_the_United_StatesThe new guidance came 11 years and 55 days after all U.S. Navy ships began flying the First Navy Jack in place of the Union Jack.  And it flies in the face of HQ Navy guidance that said Navy ships were to fly the flag for the duration of the Global War On Terrorism.  Only those who believe GWOT is really over and, as President Barack Obama declared in March 2009, we’re fighting an “Overseas Contingency Operation.”  The rest of us wonder if this directive was politically-motivated.  [NOTE:  The now-banned "Don't Tread On Me" message does, after all, appear on yellow flags that serve as the standard of the conservative-libertarian Tea Party Movement.]

The list of previous directives that did not go over well with SEALs includes three issued between 2004 and 2009.  All took the form of memos — including one issued by James R. Clapper Jr. before he became the nation’s top intelligence official — informing Department of Defense personnel that the polygraph is the only authorized credibility assessment tool for use by DoD personnel.

Why did it take three memos over a span of six years to get the SEALs to quit using non-polygraph credibility assessment technology?  The answers, based on my interactions with elite warfighters and others during a four-year investigation, can be found in my latest nonfiction book, THE CLAPPER MEMO.  It’s backed by a number of high-level endorsers.  I hope you will ORDER A COPY TODAY!

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August (Oct '11) and THE CLAPPER MEMO (May '13). To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August (Oct ’11) and THE CLAPPER MEMO (May ’13). To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

‘Green-on-Blue’ Body Count Continues in Afghanistan

According to a backgrounder report published today by Global Times, ten “Green-on-Blue” attacks (i.e., those violent events during which uniform-wearing Afghans turn their weapons on their foreign partners) have taken place this year.   As a result, 14 Americans have died and four have been wounded.  Could these attacks have been prevented?  Some people believe the answer is “Yes.”

TheClapperMemoFrontCoverLR 6-5-13In my latest nonfiction book, THE CLAPPER MEMO, I share the findings of an exhaustive four-year investigation into the background of the federal government’s use of so-called credibility assessment technologies, including the polygraph and its chief non-polygraph challenger.  Among those findings are three memos issued by top Department of Defense officials, one of whom was James R. Clapper Jr. who issued a memo before he was named Director of National Intelligence, our nation’s top intelligence official.

Those DoD memos declared the polygraph the only credibility assessment technology authorized for use by DoD personnel.  Unfortunately, according to U.S. Navy SEALS and Army Green Berets I interviewed, those memos essentially robbed our nation’s elite warfighters of the one technology they had considered their best interrogation/investigative tool — and it wasn’t the polygraph.

Want to learn more about that technology and the efforts to keep it out of the hands of American warfighters?  Want to find out how some, if not all, of these attacks could have been prevented?  You can find out by ordering a copy of THE CLAPPER MEMO.  Available in paperback and ebook versions, it comes highly recommended.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August (Oct '11) and THE CLAPPER MEMO (May '13). To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August (Oct ’11) and THE CLAPPER MEMO (May ’13). To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Should Families of US Soldiers Be Allowed to Sue Dept of Defense?

After reading my book, THE CLAPPER MEMO, an English friend of mine thought I would be interested in a news item that appeared in the Daily Mail earlier this week — and he was right!  Below are the three primary elements of the article:

The families of British soldiers killed in battle have won a landmark legal victory that gives them the right to sue the Ministry of Defence;

The Supreme Court ruled that relatives of four servicemen who died in Iraq could seek compensation for negligence and breach of human rights; and

The UK’s highest court said the Government owed a duty of care to properly equip and train troops sent to war.

As British Defence Secretary Philip Hammond state later in the piece, the repercussions of this ruling could make it “more difficult for troops to carry out operations.”  At the same time, however, they should force top British government officials to “go the extra mile” to ensure their nation’s warfighters have the best equipment and training before they’re deployed to combat zones.

I believe the same would hold true in the United States.

Detainees in Iraq (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Jeremy M. Giacomino)

Detainees in Iraq (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Jeremy M. Giacomino)

Thanks to misguided decisions made by top U.S. Department of Defense officials, American military and intelligence professionals in Afghanistan, Iraq, Guantanamo Bay and elsewhere have been prevented from using the best equipment available when it comes to credibility assessment technology.  Instead, they’ve been limited to using only DoD-approved credibility assessment technologies (i.e., the polygraph and its portable polygraph cousin, the Portable Credibility Assessment Screening System).  Yes, this is the same polygraph technology touted by Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. that’s been so effective (NOT!) at detecting people like Edward Snowden before they share classified information with the world.

DIA Return Address on EnvelopeSince the 2008 deployment of the portable polygraph — often referred to by the acronym, PCASS — to Afghanistan and Iraq, DoD officials have been very reluctant to talk about its successes and/or to share unclassified contract-related information like that I requested via the Freedom of Information Act more than a year ago.

In fact, DoD officials have only mentioned PCASS in public one time since the 2008 announcement about its deployment.  That event took place more than five years later and, coincidentally or not, only two weeks after the release of THE CLAPPER MEMO.

Published on the Facebook page of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan May 14, a status update touted PCASS as a “key component” against “insider threats.”  Without explanation, the posting was removed, and the world hasn’t heard a peep about PCASS since then.  Why?

Fig 5 Insider Attacks on ISAF PersonnelPerhaps because news surfaced about a spike in “Insider Attacks” (i.e., attacks against Americans by Afghans wearing the uniforms of their country’s military, police and security agencies) that followed the deployment of PCASS to Afghanistan.

Interviewed during the four-year investigation upon which THE CLAPPER MEMO is based, members of the U.S. Navy SEALs, Army Green Berets and others seemed to have the real answer to that question:  They told me the polygraph devices don’t work well as well as one non-polygraph one when it comes to interrogating enemy combatants, other detainees and third-country nationals seeking employment at U.S. bases overseas.

To learn more about the non-polygraph tool and why it’s being kept out of the hands of U.S. warfighters, read THE CLAPPER MEMO.  Already endorsed by several prominent Americans, it’s available in paperback and ebook versions.

UPDATE 8/25/2013 at 11:35 a.m. Central:  “What a difference a year makes!” — Aunt of Fallen Marine Ready to Sue Department of Defense.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August (Oct '11) and THE CLAPPER MEMO (May '13). To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August (Oct ’11) and THE CLAPPER MEMO (May ’13). To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Today Marks 4th Anniversary of Green Beret’s Bogus Conviction on Sexual Assault Charges

EDITOR’S NOTE:  Four years ago today, Army Sgt. 1st Class Kelly A. Stewart was found guilty by members of a court-martial panel of several sexual assault-related charges despite the fact Army prosecutors presented no evidence of any kind to prove his guilt.  In short, the highly-decorated Green Beret combat veteran became one of the early victims of the War on Men in the Military.  Slightly modified for stand-alone publication, the excerpt (below) from my book, Three Days In August: A U.S. Army Special Forces Soldier’s Fight For Military Justice, provides graphic details of what happened the night after SFC Stewart learned he had been found guilty.

Sgt. 1st Class Kelly A. Stewart

Kelly A. Stewart

“So, they find me guilty.  It’s late at night.  In an instant, my whole life got flushed right down the toilet,” said Kelly A. Stewart, recalling the verdict that changed his life just before midnight on August 19, 2009.  “I am smart enough to know that my life is screwed.  The rest of my life.  No matter what.  My life is done.

“Clearly, I felt that I was shafted, and I knew there was no way to fix it,” the career soldier and Green Beret explained.  “This is an analogy I use.  It might come across as messed up, but this is my analogy, and this is why I chose to do what I did.

“I was not going to have everybody do prison time with me,” said Stewart, recalling his thoughts after a court-martial panel found him guilty of sex crimes against a German woman and handed down a sentence that included a reduction in rank, from E-7 to E-1, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, eight years of confinement and a recommendation for dishonorable discharge upon release.

“I wasn’t going to go to prison and have my kids have to go through having their dad in prison and my wife having to stand by my side and go without a husband for years —- and, at that time, I didn’t know the length of the years,” said Stewart, a Special Forces combat medic and Level One-trained sniper.  “I didn’t know the length of my sentence; I just knew that I was found guilty.”

That’s when he made a decision.

“I never thought I was going to prison,” Stewart said.  “When I got back after (being convicted), I had a reality check in the hotel room” at the Krystal Inn, the on-post hotel where he was staying near the court building where his trial was taking place at Rose Barracks in Vilseck, Germany.

About the only plans he made took place during the last intermission in the courtroom before his guilty verdict was announced.  After calling his wife and telling her he wouldn’t be coming home soon, Stewart also called his bank and transferred all of the money in his account into his wife’s account.

“I already knew what I was gonna do,” he recalled.

Sgt. 1st Class Kelly Stewart

Kelly Stewart

Back in their room at the Krystal Inn, Stewart and his buddy, Sergeant First Class Detrick Hampton, laid in their beds and talked most of the night until Sergeant Hampton fell asleep around 5 a.m.  Less than an hour later, Stewart began to implement his hastily-crafted plan.

Careful not to wake Sergeant Hampton, Stewart got up out of his bed about an hour later, put on his Army Combat Uniform and low-quarter shoes and collected a few items—including a combat knife and a rubber band—he thought he might need.  Oddly, he left his black Army jump boots in the room.

Quietly, he walked out of his second-floor room at the Krystal Inn where, even after he was found guilty, he was not kept under guard — an indication, perhaps, that some in the Army still didn’t think he was as dangerous as the charges, eventual conviction and news media coverage of his case might have indicated.  He had, after all, never been deemed a danger to others or a flight risk.

Because he had not planned to go away for a long time, Stewart didn’t prepare by gathering lots of clothes, money and 16 passports.  Instead, he ensured only that he had enough money for gas to go where he needed to go to take his own life.  And with three combat tours in Iraq and other stints in Kosovo and Macedonia under his belt, he knew enough about medicine to make it happen.

Once outside the hotel room, Stewart walked the short distance to a staircase in the center of the building, down a single flight of stairs and through an open-air hallway out to the parking lot where his rental car, an Audi Q5, was parked.

He drove the SUV a short distance to the Shoppette —- the name the Army and Air Force Exchange Service gives its convenience stores located on military installations -— where he purchased a laundry list of items:  three 50-count bottles of Tylenol caplets, one 72-count package of Sominex tablets, two 16-ounce bottles of Gatorade Riptide Rush, some writing paper and a couple of pencils.

“I thought about how other people have killed themselves, and they generally either hurt or make a display for other people, but I didn’t want to do is be found dead somewhere where some kid was gonna see me (and) I didn’t want to get drunk and drive down the road and do something irresponsible where I could injure someone else or another family,” he said.  Instead, he tried to pick an out-of-the-way place close by, in the woods, where he knew only an adult would find him.  In the end, he opted for a wooded park area at a nearby training range.

Kelly Stewart

Kelly Stewart

After leaving the Shoppette, he knew he had to reach his destination by 6:30 a.m., the time at which the perimeter road that encircled two Army posts and the training range in between them would close so troops could use it for physical training (i.e., “PT”).

Immediately after pulling off the road and parking his car near a trail, Stewart drank about a fourth of the contents of each Gatorade bottle.  Next, he used the flat surface of a tree stump and the flat edge of a large combat knife to methodically crush 150 Tylenol tablets (500 mg) and 50 Sominex tablets.  Finally, he scooped the now-powdered medicines into the bottles and shook them up.

From his experience in hospital emergency rooms, he knew the crushed tablets, when swallowed, would have a much more toxic effect than coated tablets designed to reach the stomach before their contents were released.  In addition, the sleep medicine would simply make it easier for him to endure his passage from life to death.

Next, he used a 12-foot length of CAT-5 cable that he had had in his room at the Krystal Inn to make a hangman’s noose on an A-frame-style deer stand he found in the woods only a kilometer or two away from the court building.

“I measured the CAT-5 so my feet wouldn’t touch the ground,” Stewart explained.  “There was a base I could stand on to get my neck in the noose, but the base was high enough that, when I passed out, my feet wouldn’t touch the ground.”

At one point before he put the noose to work, a German forest marshal working on the German-American post drove by, saw Stewart in his vehicle and exchanged pleasantries with him.  Upon learning from Stewart that he was “just waiting on doing some training here,” the forest marshal drove away.

Kelly Stewart

Kelly Stewart

In retrospect, Stewart said, “I think that was my divine intervention, telling me, ‘Don’t do it, stupid.’”  But he didn’t listen.

As soon as the forest marshal left, around 9:15 a.m., Stewart began consuming the drink in a process he compared to a Selection event—one of the grueling steps he survived en route to the SF Qualification Course.  In other words, consuming the drink—and keeping it down—was very difficult.

Trying to hold it down was difficult.  Every once in a while, he found himself throwing it back up into the bottle, because it burned so much on the way down.

“Everybody says, ‘I’m gonna kill myself,” he said, “but, to really do it and be successful is an event in itself.”

Why Tylenol, Sominex and Gatorade?  It was part of his plan.

“In SF, we have this acronym called a PACE plan—Primary, Alternate, Contingency and Emergency.  Everything that we do has a four-step plan in there…a redundancy thing…

“I had a PACE plan, but it wasn’t very good,” he said, noting the fact that he had survived.

“The Tylenol was, I guess, the primary thing,” he said, explaining that he had seen enough Tylenol overdoses in emergency rooms to know that it was an effective, but very painful technique.

“The alternate was the sleeping medicine.

“The CAT-5 cable was the contingency.”

Kelly Stewart shakes hands with country music star Toby Keith at an undisclosed location in Iraq.

Kelly Stewart shakes hands with country music star Toby Keith at an undisclosed location in Iraq.

Consuming the toxic cocktail took close to 40 minutes.

“Basically, when I started feeling myself get drowsy, I knew it was time and kind of stood up in this little A-frame deer stand, and I had the CAT-5 cable,” Stewart said.  “I had it double-knotted, and I used a Prusik knot.”  Similar to a slip knot, it was invented by an Austrian for mountaineering and climbing purposes.

While waiting for the drugs to take effect, Stewart wrote one letter each to his wife and daughters, to his parents and extended family, to members of his SF team, to Judge Kuhfahl and to the members of the court-martial panel.  After writing the letters, he put a rubber band around them and placed his Tag Heuer wristwatch, his wedding ring and the money he had had in his pocket on top of them next to his vehicle.  Accompanying those items were instructions for whoever found him to make sure the letters were delivered and the watch and ring were returned to his wife.

It was approaching 10:30 a.m., the time the court was set to convene, and Stewart realized people would start looking for him soon.  Before he could worry too much about being discovered, however, the drugs began to take effect.

“I get drowsy (and) I realize, ‘Hey, it’s time,’ and said some prayers, because I knew I was gonna black out,” he said.  “I had to work my way over to where this hangman’s noose was, because I had to basically kind of climb a little bit on it so that, when I passed out, (it) would catch me” as the contingency and emergency elements of his PACE plan.  That was the last thing he remembered.

To read the remainder of this chapter and learn more about Stewart’s life and the events before and after those described above, order the book, Three Days In August: A U.S. Army Special Forces Soldier’s Fight For Military Justice.  It’s available in paperback and ebook at Amazon.com.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August (Oct '11) and THE CLAPPER MEMO (May '13). To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August (Oct ’11) and THE CLAPPER MEMO (May ’13). To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Book About Green Beret’s Bogus Sexual Assault Conviction to Mark Second Anniversary

To mark the upcoming second anniversary of the release of my first nonfiction book, Three Days In August: A U.S. Army Special Forces Soldier’s Fight For Military Justice, my publisher has reduced prices on the book!

"Three Days In August" by Bob McCartyReleased in October 2011, Three Days In August chronicles the life story of U.S. Army Sergeant First Class Kelly A. Stewart. A highly-decorated combat veteran, Stewart had an unblemished military record and stood among the best of the best as one of the world’s most-elite warriors — a Green Beret. Everything changed after he was accused of raping and kidnapping by a 28-year-old German woman. The “he said, she said” trial, during which he was found guilty of several sexual assault-related charges, took place during three days in August 2009.

The ebook is now available at the retail price of US $3.99.  Sometime during the next 24 to 72 hours*, the paperback [previously US $14.99 (plus s/h/i)] will be available at the retail price of US $11.99 (plus s/h/i). Prices outside the United States will be based on these new U.S. prices. Order your copy today!

*UPDATE 8/15/2013 at 9:20 a.m. Central:  For reasons unclear to me, Amazon has, thusfar, refused to lower the price on the paperback version of the book.  As soon as the price does change, I will post another update here.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August (Oct '11) and THE CLAPPER MEMO (May '13). To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August (Oct ’11) and THE CLAPPER MEMO (May ’13). To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.