Michael Behenna Gives First Television Interview Since Release From Military Prison

Michael Behenna, the former Army Ranger officer whose wrongful conviction has been the subject of dozens of pieces during the past four years, gave is first television interview yesterday, 12 days after being released on parole from military prison.

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To see photos of the location in Iraq where the shooting of the known Al-Qaeda operative Ali Mansur took place, read Photos Show Scene Where Trail of Injustice Began.

Culvert 3 Low-RezTo read Carrie Fatigante’s nine-part series about Behenna’s case, go to The Michael Behenna Story: Getting Personal.

To read about the Army’s refusal to release a copy of the investigation report about the incident involving Behenna, read go to Army 15-6 Investigation Report Proves Elusive.

To learn about Army Green Beret Sgt. 1st Class Kelly A. Stewart, one of the wrongfully-convicted men Behenna talked about during the television interview, order a copy of my first nonfiction book, Three Days In August.

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.

Polygraph Expert Reaches Out to Author Prior to Radio Interview

About 90 minutes before I went on the air Thursday as a guest of George Noory during the first two hours of his show, Coast to Coast AM, I received an email from a man who described himself as a certified polygraph examiner on the East Coast. The subject line: “Polygraph examiners will be tuning in tonight!”

George Noory, Host of "Coast to Coast AM"

George Noory, Host of “Coast to Coast AM”

Because I was about to speak to three million listeners about my latest nonfiction book, THE CLAPPER MEMO, via 506 radio stations across the United States and in Canada, Mexico and Guam, the message caught my attention.

Below, I share the text of that message, minus the sender’s name and minus a portion of one paragraph, the content of which would make him easy to identify and, perhaps, too susceptible to unwanted repercussions as a result:

Bob,

I am a polygraph examiner who has alerted (via a LinkedIn forum) potentially hundreds of my colleagues — as well as the forces behind the polygraph establishment — about your radio appearance tonight.

Expect to take some calls from some hardcore polygraph apologists who may wish to refute some of your claims. The usual suspects come to mind.

Personally, I am skeptical of the science behind polygraph, and even more cautious about the forces behind the polygraph industry. As a self-described polygraph realist, I am challenging the American Polygraph Association’s (sic) thinking on the alleged science behind polygraph, and am proposing that the APA not only take on a countermeasure challenge — similar to what George Maschke has long proposed — but to endorse a “Bill of Rights” for polygraph test takers to help prevent future polygraph abuse.

As a result of my strident stance (as evidenced by numerous postings on several polygraph forums) and admitted contact with Marisa Taylor of McClatchy News Service, I am viewed by the polygraph establishment as an iconoclast and apostate. Still, I think there are enough progressives and realists within the APA to help set a new course for polygraph’s future.

Best wishes for tonight. Although it will be late back east, I will do my best to tune in for the duration. Should I fade, there’s always the C2C podcast.

Regards,

Name Withheld

P.S. In September, I bought the Kindle edition of “The Clapper Memo” prior to a flight to Asia, which helped make the journey bearable. A great read!

Click image above to order book.

Click image above to order book.

During the first hour of the broadcast, Noory and I discussed the many details I uncovered about the federal government’s use of credibility assessment tools, including the polygraph, and we discussed many suspect findings that surfaced during my four-year investigation into the subject.

During the second hour, Noory and I fielded a mix of questions from callers across the country. While most of the callers were friendly, a few were not.

One man, in particular, went so far as to challenge my credibility by saying he didn’t believe I had ever spoken to any Army Green Berets, Navy SEALs or intelligence experts. I responded to him two ways.

First, I pointed out that I do have friends in the Special Forces community and had even written a book, Three Days In August, about one of them, former Sgt. 1st Class Kelly A. Stewart.

Next, I told him I was not going to behave like Vice President Joe Biden and break the bond of trust I’ve established with my “Quiet Professionals” friends who agreed to share details about their work in exchange for my promise that I would not reveal their names to the world.

I guess I could have pointed him to the names of people who endorsed THE CLAPPER MEMO, but I’m not sure that would have helped with this particular caller. Oh well.

If you missed the show live, you can download a podcast (subscription required). After listening to the show, be sure to get the whole story by ordering a copy of THE CLAPPER MEMO.

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.

War Against Men in the Military: Cases Bear Shocking Similarities

While reading a WRAL.com article today, I couldn’t help but notice shocking similarities between the sexual assault prosecutions of Army Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair and Sgt. 1st Class Kelly A. Stewart, the man whose wrongful conviction is chronicled in my first nonfiction book, Three Days In August.

Click image above to read other articles in my series, "War on Men in the Military."

Click image above to read other articles in my series, “War on Men in the Military.”

One example can be found in the three paragraphs that follow an explanation of how the military judge in the case decided to prosecute despite a recommendation from the lead prosecutor that General Sinclair’s plea to a charge of adultery be accepted. The example begins in paragraph four as follows:

The defense contends that the captain, who served with Sinclair in Iraq and Afghanistan, committed perjury in a January hearing about finding text messages form Sinclair on an old cellphone, making her a poor witness on which to build a case against the general.

The captain said in the January hearing that she came across the old phone in December and charged it up to see if there was anything on it that would affect Sinclair’s court-martial. A defense forensics expert contradicted her testimony, saying she had turned the phone on several times in the months before she said she found it packed in a box.

The defense argues in the motion that the Army continues to press the case only to support a get-tough policy against sex assault in the military.

Click image above to read reviews of Three Days In August.

Click image above to read reviews of Three Days In August.

Notice the word, perjury, and how a forensics expert proved it? Apparently, perjury by a female in a military sexual assault case isn’t cause for concern.

In the case of Stewart, a highly-decorated Green Beret combat veteran, several instances of perjury surfaced during and after his court-martial.

Two that surfaced during the trial involved a German police detective and a taxi driver whose memory issues are highlighted in the article, German Police Detective Has Memory Issues Like Accuser.

One arose during the pre-sentencing phase and involved the accuser offering a strange definition of “contact.”

Yet another was brought to the court’s attention by a long-time friend of the accuser who made a post-trial statement that should have netted Stewart a new trial.

I, for one, can’t wait to read the trial transcript if or when General Sinclair’s case reaches the trial phase. Why? Because I suspect it will be as chock full of half-truths, lies and innuendo as Stewart’s trial was as the War on Men in the Military continues.

UPDATE 3/16/2014 at 8:13 p.m. Central: Sexual assault charges dropped against general after case tainted by political influence.

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.

Congress Deserves Much Blame for Edward Snowden Scandal

I read with interest this weekend an NBC article in which House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) is quoted as saying that former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden “was a thief who we believe had some help.” Though I don’t have enough information upon which to agree or disagree with that assessment, I do know members of Congress deserve a great deal of blame for Snowden’s actions.

Click image above to read article.

Click image above to read article.

If members of Congress had exercised more oversight of decision-making processes used by federal government agency officials to select credibility assessment technologies, then its unlikely Edward Snowden would have found himself in a position whereby he might be able to compromise national security. Instead, he was able to pass the very polygraph exams that were supposed to have caught him.

“More oversight” would involve holding Defense Intelligence Agency officials accountable to members of the public who attempt to use the Freedom of Information Act to obtain copies of unclassified documents from the agency. I, for one, have waited more than 18 months for DIA officials to comply with one of my requests.

It would also involve tightening controls on programs via which Justice and Defense Department agencies dispense millions of grant dollars to individuals, usually academics, whose research methods often produce results that are suspect at best.

Americans to Congress: "I Can Do Better!"Finally, it would involve listening to people such as the retired U.S. Army Green Beret I interviewed as part of my aforementioned investigation. He used a non-polygraph technology to conduct nearly 500 interrogations — more than any other individual in the U.S. military and nearly half of the total number of exams conducted by Army Special Forces Groups between 2004 and 2009 — and told me he would be willing to testify in front of Congress about the non-polygraph technology he described as “essential” for saving lives in combat zones.

Of course, members of Congress are not alone in being responsible for national security shortfalls. Others are spotlighted inside the pages of my latest nonfiction book, THE CLAPPER MEMO.

The product of an exhaustive four-year investigation, THE CLAPPER MEMO reveals what one retired Navy SEALs training program commander described as “an unconscionable cover-up” and what several other high-profile individuals have endorsed as well.  It’s available in paperback and ebook versions. Order THE CLAPPER MEMO 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.

Reviews Revisited as Book’s Second Anniversary Approaches

With the second anniversary of the release of my first nonfiction book, Three Days in August, approaching quickly, I thought I would revisit some of the great reviews the book has received.

Richard Miniter

Richard Miniter

Book Stirs Old Memories for Reader Who Served in Army April 16, 2012

“I strongly recommend this book” – Another Five-Star Review April 10, 2012

Clay Bowler Reviews ‘Three Days in August’ February 23, 2012

Reviewer Wonders If Movie Deal Could Be In Book’s Future February 9, 2012

NY Times Best-Selling Author Praises ‘Three Days In August’ February 8, 2012

American Legion Publishes Positive Review of Book January 24, 2012

Review: ‘You’ve got to be kidding me!’ January 19, 2012

TDIA ReviewsReviews Continue to Roll In for ‘Three Days In August’ January 9, 2012

Latest Review: ‘Army Destroys Much-Decorated Green Beret’ December 21, 2011

Green Beret’s Story ‘Unreal’ December 11, 2011

Atlas Shrugs’ Pamela Geller Says ‘Stewart deserves that new trial’ December 10, 2011

Don’t Take My Word For It. Ok, Actually You Should!, November 30, 2011

Dr. Elyse Lovell (Family Member of a Victim), November 27, 2011

Nothing But the Best, November 25, 2011

PamGellerCloseup

Pam Geller

Three Days In August: A U.S. Army Special Forces Soldier’s Fight for Military Justice, November 18, 2011

Three Days in August, November 14, 2011

Simply OUTSTANDING!!!, November 4, 2011

A Must Read!!, November 3, 2011

Semper Fi, November 2, 2011

Buy this book!, October 18, 2011

Three Days In August is now available at special second anniversary pricing at Amazon.com.  To order a copy, click 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.

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.