Having already survived several combat deployments in Iraq, Army Special Forces Sgt. 1st Class Kelly A. Stewart never expected to come face to face with death during a tour of “schoolhouse duty” at a NATO training center in Germany, but he did. Some of the details of the Green Beret’s brush with death appear in the excerpt below from my first nonfiction book, Three Days In August:
Kelly Stewart returns from a mission in Iraq.
Panicking because they had eaten up some time, they began hooking up bottles and IVs and then another bad thing happened: Stewart had an allergic reaction to a drug the German doctors used and went into anaphylactic shock.
“(There’s) nothing like being double-handcuffed and (having) your feet shackled and strapped to a bed (while) going into anaphylaxis,” Stewart said. “I’ve seen a lot of people go through it, but being conscious and going through it is very difficult.
“It just started off as being real tight in the chest,” he continued. “The next thing you know, it felt like somebody put lighter fluid on me and caught me on fire.
“I couldn’t breathe at all, and everybody was kind of panicking around me, trying to give me medication to stop what was happening.”
Soon, the Germans said they didn’t have a doctor who could treat him, that he was probably having liver and kidney failure and was probably going to die. Their message to the American cops: “We need to get him out of here.”
“Of course, I’m understanding what the Germans are saying and what they’re telling the cops,” Stewart said. “They’re kind of underhanded, saying, ‘We can’t treat him here. We need to send him over to Landstuhl,’” the U.S. Army’s largest hospital in Europe.
“What they’re saying in German is, ‘We need to get him out of here, because he’s not going to survive,’ and they didn’t want that (outcome) in their hospital.”
On Day Two of the Army’s court-martial of one of it’s finest Green Berets, a prosecution attorney cited a suspect source as he questioned Sgt. 1st Class Kelly A. Stewart about his training. See if you can spot the source in the excerpt from the Record of Trial that appears below:
Click on image above to order book.
TC: At the SERE course you’re taught how to resist violent captors, is that correct? Stewart: Again, sir, unless I’m authorized by the SOCEUR Public Affairs Officer, I can’t discuss the training that I received at the SERE-level C School.
TC: You’re taught how to resist torture? Stewart: Again, sir–
TC: We’re going to go through this, so, that’s fine– Stewart: No, again, sir, I don’t know what I’m authorized to discuss with you because I’m not the releasing authority of my training.
TC: I got this off of Wikipedia.com.
[Legend:SERE = Survive, Evade, Resist and Escape; TC = Trial Counsel; SOCEUR = Special Operations Command Europe; CDC = Civilian Defense Counsel; and MJ = Military Judge.]
That’s right! He said, “I got this off of Wikipedia.” Unbelievable!
How would you feel if you were found guilty by a court-martial panel (i.e., the military equivalent of a jury) that sided with a prosecutor who cited Wikipedia.com as a source during your cross-examination?
FYI: I shared the piece above for the first time four years ago today. Since then, I’ve covered many other military justice cases. I hope you’ll read and share this story as well as the others I’ve written and published. Thanks in advance!
Though I spent much of the week engaged in offline research and writing, I did manage to knock out a few pieces for publication. Those pieces and other details of my week appear below in this weekly recap for the week of Oct. 18-24, 2015.
Sunday, Oct. 18
While I published nothing new on my websiteSunday, I did manage to air some opinions on my Facebook page. For instance:
• When I learned Captain America was battling right-wing conservatives in Comicbookland, I called that “INK that st-INK-s”;
• After reading a CNN report about astronaut Scott Kelly breaking the American record for number of days in space, I said “I don’t miss him.” As far as I’m concerned, the husband of former Arizona congresswoman Gabby Giffords can stay in space indefinitely — or until he backs away from his belief that gun laws need to change because of the act of one nutcase;
• I shared a two-year-old photo (above) of Butters, my office assistant, on duty; and
• On the day before the fourth anniversary of the release of the paperback version of my first nonfiction book, Three Days In August, I shared a photo of a war hero, whose life is chronicled in the book, shaking hands with a country music superstar, Toby Keith.
Click on image above to order a copy of Three Days In August by Bob McCarty.
Your mission should you choose to accept it: 1) Watch this interview; 2) Read the letter I sent recently to Army Chief of Staff General Mark A. Milley; and 3) Contact the officials listed at the end of this piece, and let them know you believe Maj. Christian “Kit” Martin deserves better than he’s receiving at the hands of the military justice system.
Click on image above to read the story I published Jan. 23, 2012, and, again, nine months ago, about radioactive waste issues outside of St. Louis County, Mo., and about a state agency report due to be published in January 2016.
I also pointed my Facebook friends to a Washington Post article about the “trap” that is the U.S. military’s whistleblower law and how it allows general officers to “get away with it” while innocent men and women suffer. In turn, I pointed them to my own article about abuse by an Army two-star general that has a career Army officer facing sexual assault allegations made against him by a woman who is a convicted felon.
Thursday, Oct. 22
On Thursday, I covered the first several hours of the congressional “lie-athon” with a piece under the headline, House Benghazi Committee Grills Hillary Clinton. I had to stop when I, along with members of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, took a lunch break. I was afraid I might lose my lunch if I continued to watch the hearing.
Friday, Oct. 23
On Friday, I published nothing new on my website but did express disappointment over the following news items:
• In sharing this sad news, I wrote, “I’m sick of reading reports in which ‘unnamed military officials’ are cited as having confirmed details about the activities of elite warriors. They are known as “quiet professionals” for a reason. Divulging details about their activities, even after their deaths, only serves to put future missions at greater risk. That said, I still offer my SALUTE to Sergeant Wheeler, a fellow Okie!”; and
Today, I plan to read through some trial transcripts I received during the week while also watching some college football on television, so don’t expect anything more from me today.
FYI: Related to one of those trial transcripts, I was able to track down the female accuser of a U.S. Soldier who had reportedly moved from her hometown in Europe to California and married a different U.S. Soldier she had met in her hometown. It turns out she didn’t move to the Golden State at all. Instead, I found proof she is living and working in another state more than a thousand miles away. Stay tuned as I try to help the Soldier she accused of rape — who’s already completed his prison sentence and is living as a convicted sex offender — have his sentence overturned. Meanwhile, enjoy your weekend!
Four years ago today, the paperback version of my first nonfiction book, Three Days In August: A U.S. Army Special Forces Soldier’s Fight for Military Justice, went on sale for the first time. Little has changed, however, when it comes to the Pentagon’s relentless campaign of political correctness (a.k.a., “witch hunt”) to convict any and all men accused of sexual assault, regardless of whether such crimes actually occurred.
Click on image above to order copy of book.
In Three Days In August, I not only chronicled the life story of former Army Green Beret Sgt. 1st Class Kelly A. Stewart, but I dissected the events leading to the false sexual assault allegations made against him by a German woman, the military trial that followed and his conviction in what can only be described as a “kangaroo court-martial.”
Still on sale at Amazon.com, Three Days In August is, in my biased opinion, a must-read book for active-duty, retired and former members of the U.S. military. Likewise, I believe it should be read by anyone who knows someone in the military or who cares about those who serve.
“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.
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 Nightlinesegment 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?
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.
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: