As my second nonfiction book, THE CLAPPER MEMO, inches closer and closer to publication, my first book, Three Days In August, turned one-year old this week.
THE CLAPPER MEMO tells the story of a 40-year-old turf war few Americans even realize is taking place.
What started out in April 2009 as a 27-day effort to obtain answers from the Pentagon about the deployment of new interrogation technology to combat zones turned into almost four years of research, investigation and interviews during which I learned more than I ever imagined I might about the people, products and problems inside the interrogation area. And, trust me, it contains details high-ranking government officials would rather not see made public.
Most importantly, I learned how wrong decisions made by some of those aforementioned government officials have resulted in dozens of American soldiers and citizens being injured or killed in Afghanistan, the victims of so-called “insider” or “green-on-blue” attacks. One of those people bearing some responsibility is Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr.
People from all walks of life shared insights, insider information and occasional doses of insanity related to their personal experiences in the arena.
People from across the United States as well as around the world — in places like Afghanistan, Guantanamo Bay, Iraq and Mexico — shared. They shared during scheduled and unscheduled interviews. Through official and unofficial channels. By phone, email message, Facebook message, Twitter and “snail mail.”
Some shared without being asked. Most told the truth. Some did not.
Some were forthcoming with information. Others forced me to use the federal Freedom of Information Act and state “sunshine” laws as tools for flushing out answers.
More than anything else, it was old-fashioned detective work that produced results.
I hope you’ll make plans now to read it.
Until then, I hope you’ll read Three Days In August, my book chronicling the life story and wrongful conviction of Army Green Beret Sgt. 1st Class Kelly A. Stewart. It’s available in paperback and ebook via most online booksellers, including Amazon.com.
During the past 12 months, I’ve had many opportunities to share the basics of Stewart’s story and have found many Americans nod their heads and empathize with the highly-decorated combat veteran’s plight but refuse to engage — by reading the whole story, that is — and speak out on behalf of those in uniform who have been victimized by the military justice system. I hope that changes.
Regardless, I will continue to tell Stewart’s story and to tell the stories of others who, after reading Three Days In August, have approached me with stories of their loved ones — usually husbands and sons — that are eerily similar to Stewart’s.
Note: THE CLAPPER MEMO is the working title of this book but, for reasons I will explain in the near future, will change upon publication.