Tag Archives: documentary

Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics Used as Weapons Against Honorable Military Men in Sexual Assault Witch Hunt

“Lies, damned lies, and statistics” is a phrase popularized by Mark Twain and used to describe the persuasive power of numbers and, particularly, the use of statistics to bolster weak arguments. Especially during the past few years, lies, damned lies and statistics have been used in tandem with bogus sexual assault claims to end the careers and ruin the lives of military men.

Because Our Warriors Deserve Justice

More often than not, the folks dealing in lies, damned lies and statistics are members of the national news media, politically-active filmmakers and attorneys willing to overlook facts in order to promote an agenda. They’ve become so successful in spreading their misinformation that someone unfamiliar with military life might believe any woman who survives a single day in uniform has done the equivalent of surviving 24 hours inside a third-world prison.

For a stellar example of such biased reporting, one needs only turn to an ABC News Nightline segment about the Oscar-nominated documentary, “The Invisible War, that aired Feb. 22, 2013. Featuring correspondent Cynthia McFadden, it includes mentions of a handful of cases purported to be representative of the so-called sexual assault “epidemic” in the military. Because I’m not privy to the facts of the individuals cases highlighted during the five-and-one-half minute segment, I won’t dwell on them in this piece. Instead, I’ll focus on the lies, damn lies and statistics pitched as truths.

McFadden begins by talking about sexual assault in the U.S. military:

“It has long been a shameful secret inside the U.S. military — the widespread epidemic of rape and sexual assault, where our countries defenders find themselves defenseless and, often, without a way to seek justice,” she begins. “Now, many of them are telling their stories in a powerful and moving Oscar-nominated documentary.”

McFadden continues speaking as images of aircraft and women in uniform flood the screen:

“Women have reached some of the highest echelons in the military. They are fighter pilots. Sit at the controls of Marine One. Have earned Silver Stars for courage under fire. As well as a general’s four stars. While they may be succeeding on the front lines, there is an invisible battle that is taking its toll. Listen to these women.”

The faces on the screen change as each woman has her say:

“Everything changed the day that I was raped,” says one woman;

“He hit me in the head and knocked me out,” says another; and

“I remember holding the closet thinking, ’What just happened?’” says a third.

McFadden’s voice returns to accompany slow-motion video of marching Soldiers, replaced seconds later by a logo for the documentary:

“Their stories are the heart of the Oscar-nominated documentary, ‘The Invisible War.’

A quick dissolve brings the image of a fourth woman into focus, and the woman says, “If this is happening to me, surely I’m not the only one,” before McFadden’s voice returns to accompany more moving images of Soldiers on the march:

“A film that shines a light on a hidden epidemic. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, some 30 percent of women in the military have been raped or sexually assaulted while serving their country.”

McFadden tosses out the “30 percent” figure as easily as a scantily-clad 19-year-old girl in short shorts launches free t-shirts into the bleachers at a semi-pro baseball game, prompting me to ask, “Was it a lie, a damned lie or simply a statistic?”

A simple online search leads me to believe it is, at best, a fudge-flavored statistic (i.e., a statistic about which someone “fudged” the truth). At worst, it’s a lie.

I found only two statistical entries offering such estimations. Both appeared on a VA fact sheet for which a more-detailed VA fact sheet is erroneously cited as a source for claims that 23 out of 100 women (or 23 percent) reported sexual assault when in the military and that 55 out of 100 women (or 55 percent) and 38 out of 100 men (or 38 percent) experienced sexual harassment when in the military.

Next, the Nightline segment moved indoors, into a studio, where Kirby Dick, the director whose filmography includes several documentaries on controversial subjects, sits against a black background and begins to gush statistics while unchallenged by the alleged journalist, McFadden.

Kirby goes on to say something I believe is true — “I’m just astounded by the statistics” — before he cites a statistic he declares to be truth: “Nineteen-thousand men and women are being sexually assaulted each year in the U.S. military.” But is that figure a lie, a damned lie or simply a statistic?

In search of an answer, I conducted another online search and found the figure used by folks at PBS in a report on a case of alleged sexual assault involving Air Force personnel less than three months later. In addition, I found the original source of the figure. It appears on page 13 of the 729-page document, Annual Report on Sexual Assault, Fiscal Year 2012, produced by the Department of Defense Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office. It does not, however, represent things the way McFadden, Dick and the folks at PBS might have you believe.

To understand what the number does represent, one can turn to an explanation that appears in a one of the report’s footnotes — that the estimate was computed using weighted population estimates of the 4.4 percent of active-duty women and 0.9 percent of active-duty men who indicated they experienced an incident of unwanted sexual contact in the 12 months prior to the 2010 Workplace and Gender Relations Survey of Active Duty Members (WGRA) — but that explanation is not very helpful and might have you rubbing sleep out of your eyes.

Click on image above to read article.

Click on image above to read article.

A more helpful explanation appears early in a nine-page article, Fostering Constructive Dialogue on Military Sexual Assault, published inside Issue 69, 2nd Quarter 2013, of the National Defense University Press publication, Joint Forces Quarterly:

At a press conference in January 2012, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta stated that he estimates there were 19,000 sexual assaults in the military in 2011. That number is derived from a statement in the Department of Defense (DOD) Annual Report on Sexual Assault in the Military, Fiscal Year 2010. The report does not actually explain its methodology for arriving at the number, but it does state the number is based on data from the Defense Manpower Data Center 2010 Workplace and Gender Relations Survey. Perhaps more importantly, the report does not refer to 19,000 sexual assaults, but rather 19,000 reports by individuals of unwanted sexual contact.

The Defense Manpower Data Center 2010 survey never uses the number 19,000. Rather, the document relays the results of a survey of 10,029 Active-duty female Servicemembers and 14,000 Active-duty male Servicemembers. The survey itself is forthright and explicit about the numbers it produces and its methodology. The sample size and sample composition necessarily make extrapolation military-wide problematic. The sample was clearly weighted toward female responses, and the definition of unwanted sexual contact did not align at all with the colloquial understanding or any statutory or legal definition of sexual assault. Nevertheless, the number 19,000 arose as an extrapolation from the numbers in this sampling, and this number has pervaded the media discussion ever since. Most practitioners of justice and criminal investigators throughout the military should agree that the figure cited by Secretary Panetta is unrealistically high.

If you suspect the JFQ article was written by a long-in-the-tooth male military officer eager to please his superiors, then you’re wrong. Instead, it was written by then-Captain Lindsay L. Rodman, a female Marine Corps officer who was serving as a Judge Advocate (a.k.a., “military lawyer”) at Judge Advocate Division, Headquarters Marine Corps, at the time she wrote the piece.

A statement Captain Rodman wrote about the 19,000 figure stands as a sort of indictment of those who deal in lies, damned lies and statistics for personal gain:

“Nevertheless, the number 19,000 arose as an extrapolation from the numbers in this sampling, and this number has pervaded the media discussion ever since. Most practitioners of justice and criminal investigators throughout the military should agree that the figure cited by Secretary Panetta is unrealistically high.”

A telling footnote seems to target lazy journalists:

For the numbers to work out according to their math, this extrapolation necessarily requires that half of those victims (up to about 10,000) would be male, which anecdotally seems questionable.”

Other unsubstantiated figures are tossed out during the Nightline segment. Chief among them is one McFadden included in a statement — “In fact, only 8 percent of assault cases go to trial” — that’s not accompanied by any attribution or source document.

Incredibly, according to Dick, military leaders have made his documentary part of DoD’s sexual assault awareness program. Need I say more about how bent and twisted the military has become due to political correctness?

There are more issues l could tackle, but I think I’ve made a strong enough case without going beyond these lies, damn lies and statistics.

To see the impact the lies, damn lies and statistics associated with the Pentagon’s sexual assault witch hunt are having on honorable military men, I encourage you to read about two Army combat veterans:

Maj. Christian “Kit’ Martin is a Ranger and attack helicopter pilot whose trial on bogus sexual assault charges begins Oct. 12 Dec. 1 at Fort Campbell, Ky; and

• Former Sgt. 1st Class Kelly A. Stewart is the elite Green Beret medic and sniper whose life is chronicled in my first nonfiction book, Three Days In August.

This article was updated to reflect a change in the trial date.

UPDATE 12/7/2015 at 8:27 a.m. Central: A military judge continued the military trial date for Army Maj. Christian “Kit” Martin to sometime in March 2016, though no specific date has been set.

UPDATE 12/10/2015 at 11:15 a.m. Central: I’ve learned that Major Martin’s military trial date is set for March 14-18, 2016.

For links to other articles of interest as well as photos and commentary, join me on Facebook and Twitter.  Please show your support by buying my books and encouraging your friends and loved ones to do the same.  To learn how to order signed copies, click here. Thanks in advance!

Click on image above to order Bob's books.

Click on image above to order Bob’s books.

2014 ‘Most Unusual Year I’ve Experienced’ Online

The past 12 months rank among the most unusual I’ve experienced during the eight years my site, BobMcCarty.com, has been online.

This January 2014 photo shows Butters, my office assistant, looking into his porcelain bowl.

This January 2014 photo shows Butters, my office assistant, looking into his porcelain bowl in an effort to predict how the year might turn out. He would have used a crystal ball, but he didn’t own one when this photo was taken and he doesn’t own one now.

The year began innocently enough with yours truly, accompanied by my wife and our two youngest sons, jetting across “the pond” for the wedding of my oldest son to a beautiful young lady from England whom he met at college in South Carolina and would later whisk to the other side of the world for their first post-nuptials jobs.

Because of the wedding commitment, I was unable to travel to Orlando to accept the 2013 Professor James L. Chapman Award for Excellence in person from the National Association of Computer Voice Stress Analysts, so I sent this video acceptance speech in my place.

A serious personnel issue surfaced soon after my return from England. Butters, my four-legged office assistant, threatened me with “clawsuits” if I didn’t improve his working conditions. He seemed to calm down after I installed a new “cubicle” for him and after I agreed to replace it with newer mail-order models several times during the remainder of the year. And I did.

After satisfying the cat, I received good news about a dog — more accurately, an underdog. I learned the first of three arrests had been made in connection with the 2006 murder of 18-year-old Jarret Clark of Broken Arrow, Okla. The news was satisfying, because it appears it will bring closure to those close to the case about which I had kept details (i.e., guest writer Carrie Fatigante’s six-part series about his murder, Whatever Happened to Jarret Clark?) posted online for more than four years.

During the next several months, strange things — think Sony and North Korea — began happening at BobMcCarty.com. As a result, I lost the vast majority of my site’s content — more than 5,000 posts written and published during almost eight years online. As a result, I found myself facing the prospect of starting over from scratch.

Without getting into the oh-so-painful details which I’m not willing to share, I posted this message:

As I approach the eighth anniversary of my online presence, I’ve decided to change directions in a substantial way — that is, I’m moving away from writing on a daily basis on these pages.

In addition to losing content, my site — which once ranked #82 on the list of top conservative websites and generated more than 55,000 visits per month by more than 31,000 unique visitors per month — tumbled into relative obscurity in terms of site traffic as measured by Alexa. FYI: On this playing field, much like in golf, a lower score is a better.

Among the small handful of people with whom I shared specifics about the site’s mad-made issues, some suggested I call out those many suspected were responsible. Though I was tempted to point the blame at Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr., the nation’s top intelligence official whose face and name appear on the cover of my second nonfiction book, The Clapper Memo (May 2013), I had two reasons to opt otherwise: first, I could not pinpoint him with certainty; and, second, I lacked a forum for doing it effectively. Therefore, I abandoned the approach described in the blue-highlighted paragraph above and focused on returning the site to its former glory. The fact that the site had suffered no serious issues after moving to the new hosting company gave me reason for hope.

To reach my former-glory objective while also finishing work on my third book and first crime-fiction novel, The National Bet (November 2014), I divided my time between writing books and writing posts, with much more time going to the former than the latter. As a result, I tried to be more selective in choosing non-book subjects about which to write, and I tried to provide unique and exclusive stories, including several related to the Oklahoma City Bombing Trial still going on in Salt Lake City.

In many of my posts, I tried to “kill two birds with one stone” by connecting the dots between current news and the subject matter of my first two nonfiction novels, Three Days In August (October 2011) and The Clapper Memo (May 2013). Hopefully, the stories didn’t come across as sales pitches. Occasionally, I shared excerpts from my books.

Apart from writing, I made a handful of talking-head appearances, appearing on several popular radio and television broadcasts, including: Coast to Coast AM with George Noory in March; The Scott Horton Show in July; NewsmaxTV‘s America’s Forum in August; Freedom 560 with Ken Clark in September; The Andrea Shea-King Show in November; and The Scott Horton Show again earlier this month.

By the time this year ends, I will have whittled away at my former-glory objective while also selling a few — but not nearly enough — books.

If you’re wondering what 2015 holds in store for me, I can give you a few hints.

Next month, I travel to Orlando for three days to speak before a gathering of investigative professionals from across the country, most of whom work in law enforcement. Upon my return, I’ll host a Los Angeles-based film crew that’s coming to the St. Louis area to interview me about my second book, The Clapper Memo, for a documentary. Though I’m not at liberty to reveal the name of the outlet involved, my three sons agree that my “cool factor” will skyrocket after the documentary is made public — sometime in February.

Beyond writing, speaking and interviews, I expect to finish writing at least one new book — and possibly two — this year. Hope you’ll buy ’em when they hit the market!

FYI: For those of you who wonder about such things, my site’s traffic has climbed considerably during the past 12 months, but still has a long way to go. As a result, I depend heavily upon word of mouth as well as Facebook, Twitter and other social media to help me get the word out about this site and about my books so that I can pay the bills. Thanks in advance for buying my books and encouraging your friends and loved ones to do the same! To learn how to order signed copies, click here.

Click on image above to order Bob's books.

Click on image above to order Bob’s books.

Bob McCarty Offers Weekly Recap: Nov. 29

The week of Thanksgiving began with a bang — or, more accurately, looting and mayhem in the city of Ferguson, Mo., following the announcement of the grand jury’s decision about the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown more than three months ago. Below, you’ll see several of my posts this week had ties to the aforementioned mayhem:

As I prepared to peel potatoes for our Thanksgiving meal Thursday, I felt like a Soldier put on KP duty -- then I realized I had been in the Air Force.

As I prepared to peel potatoes for our Thanksgiving meal Thursday, I felt like a Soldier put on KP duty — then I realized I had been in the Air Force. Click on the image above to see more photos of my Thanksgiving preparations.

Sunday, Nov. 23:  Guest writer Paul R. Hollrah shared his take on Ferguson in a piece published under the headline, Guest Writer Believes Race Relations Near Tipping Point.

Monday, Nov. 24: Not to be confused with the words coming out of the mouths of Al Sharpton and others provoking racial tensions in North St. Louis County, I asked readers to test their skills by playing, “Can You Spot the Liar?” Later that day, I shared the biggest news of the week, NO INDICTMENT OF OFFICER DARREN WILSON!, to which I would add 10 updates during the day.

Tuesday, Nov. 25: Five hours after going to bed at 2 a.m. Tuesday, I shared news about 25 structures burning down, thanks largely to the failures of Gov. Jay Nixon (D-Mo.) to manage the response to protests about the grand jury decision. Later that day, I broke the story about the owners of the Little Caesars Pizza shop in Ferguson suffering their third major disaster in four years. Soon after, I learned about a GoFundMe account being established to help them and their employees recover. After that, I contacted as many people as I could in the local and national media with details. Though the effort had raised more than $2,800 by noon today, it pales in comparison to the effort to help a cupcake shop owner in Ferguson whose business was damaged by the protests.

Wednesday, Nov. 26: Shifting my focus for a moment, I shared news related to Kelly A. Stewart, the former Army Green Beret whose life story is chronicled in my book, Three Days In August. That news came in the form of a piece written by Stewart’s father that appeared under the headline, Father Seeks Support for Wrongly-Convicted Soldier, Son.

Kelly A. Stewart's uniform was covered with signs of his life as a Top One Percent Special Forces Soldier.

Kelly A. Stewart’s uniform was covered with signs of his life as a Top One Percent Special Forces Soldier. Click image to read more posts about Stewart.

Thursday, Nov. 27: Thanksgiving Day seemed an appropriate occasion to Be Thankful for Those Serving Their Country, so I shared one photo of a Soldier working in a mess hall in preparation for the annual feast and pointed readers to my Facebook page to see more. I also helped cook up a feast and caught up on things with a friend who I had not seen in more than a dozen years. I also shared with my Facebook friends news that no riots had taken place to protest the fact that 981 black babies had been killed during abortions in Missouri since the day Brown was shot dead in Ferguson.

Friday, Nov. 28: During the day, I took a break from working to watch college football and spend time with the aforementioned friend. After he departed, my wife and I watched the movie, Chef. After that, we watched Dinesh D’Souza’s documentary, America: Imagine the World Without Her. If I had to recommend only one, it would be the documentary, and I’d make everyone I know watch it.

Saturday, Nov. 29:  Earlier today, I shared snippets from Three Days In August in my piece, Army Prosecutor Wanted Special Forces Soldier to Break Law, Discuss Classified Info in Open Court; He Refused.

For links to other articles of interest as well as photos and commentary, join me on Facebook and Twitter.

Click on image above to order Bob's books.

Click on image above to order Bob’s books.

Bob McCarty Offers Weekly Recap: Nov 15

This week was a productive one at Bob McCarty Headquarters. Below are snippets about what kept me busy:

Click image above to read post about a World War II V-MAIL message.

Click image above to read post about a World War II V-MAIL message.

SUNDAY, Nov. 9: In addition to announcing that my first crime-fiction novel had hit the marketplace in the post, The National Bet Now on Sale in Paperback, Ebook, I shared a piece about one method of communication used by Soldiers — including my dad — during World War II. Finally, I offered an update to an exclusive report I published two days earlier about the Oklahoma City Bombing trial taking place in Salt Lake City.

MONDAY, Nov. 10:  I shared news about something I have in common with the nation’s most-popular talk radio host in my post, Rush Limbaugh Threatens to Sue Democrat Committee.

TUESDAY, Nov. 11: On Veterans Day, I shared news about several special men in my life. The ones in my post, Story of Four Not-So-Famous Brothers Inspires, served during World War II. The one in my post, Wrongly Convicted By Military Justice System, American Soldiers Deserve as Much Attention as GITMO Detainees, served in the modern Army.

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 12:  I offered a warning in my post, YOU Might Be On A Federal Watch List!

THURSDAY, Nov. 13:  I showed off my printed wares along with dozens of other authors at a book lover’s event in O’Fallon, Mo.

FRIDAY, Nov. 14: On this busy day, I shared news about an auction, an interrogator, an indictment and a Saturday talk radio appearance on “TIPPING POINT with BOONE CUTLER” in Reno, Nev.

FYI: A film crew from Los Angeles will be visiting soon to interview me as part of a documentary they’re shooting. Though I can’t divulge more details at this time, I can tell you that the findings I share inside my second nonfiction book, The Clapper Memo, will be front and center. Meanwhile, I hope you’ll read and share my pieces and, of course, buy my books — including the one endorsed by Santa Claus. Thanks in advance!

Click on image above to order Bob's books.

Click on image above to order Bob’s books.