Tag Archives: SecDef

Bob McCarty Weekly Recap: Aug. 16-22, 2015

Though it’s been quite a while since I offered a weekly recap, I think one is in order this week as I tackled subjects ranging from 2016 presidential candidates to the revisiting a case of military injustice.

Weekly Recap Aug. 16-22, 2015

On Tuesday, I shared news about a milestone six years in the making. In Sixth Anniversary of Military Injustice Observed, I reminded readers of the basics of the wrongful prosecution and conviction of Army Green Beret Sgt. 1st Class Kelly A. Stewart inside a U.S. Army courtroom in Germany during three days in August 2009.

Later that day, I used a headline to ask a question — Did Man’s Confession Save Parents Who Failed Polygraph? — before sharing news about a case I first reported four years ago which should make people think twice about relying upon century-old polygraph technology.

On Wednesday, I warned about the potential impact the release of thousands of AshleyMadison.com (sorry, but no link today) customer records might have on national security. For details, see Military, Government Security Clearance Holders Vulnerable to Blackmail After Hackers Share Ashley Madison Data.

Within hours, I pointed readers to my piece, Though Facing Possibility of Life Sentence on Bogus Charges, Green Beret Refused to Violate Code of Conduct During Trial, about how the Green Beret mentioned in my post one day earlier had displayed extraordinary courage while on trial and facing a possible life sentence.

On Thursday, I shared a message from a former Army colleague of Kelly A. Stewart, the Green Beret about whom I had written two pieces earlier in the week. That colleague said Stewart ‘Always Had Our Backs’.

Also that day, I shared a Facebook note about another case of military injustice involving former Army 1LT Michael C. Behenna, about whom I wrote dozens of pieces over the years. It appears under the headline, Throwback Thursday: Is Army Protecting Someone in Officer’s Chain of Command?

On Friday, I responded to Secretary of Defense Ash Carter‘s invitation to ask him a question in advance of his Worldwide Troop Talk, set to take place Sept. 1. You can read my response to his invitation in my piece, Secretary of Defense Invites Me to Ask Questions.

Before ending the day, I shared guest writer Paul R. Hollrah’s piece, Donald Trump: A Watershed Moment in History, as a way to show what the former member of the Electoral College thinks about what’s at stake in the 2016 presidential election.

Now, as Bugs Bunny used to say, “That’s all folks!”

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.

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Secretary of Defense Invites Me to Ask Questions

Today, I found myself unable to pass up the opportunity to respond to the offer made in a status update on Secretary of Defense Ash Carter’s Facebook page:  “Have a question for Secretary of Defense Ash Carter? Ask it on his Facebook page at http://facebook.com/SecDef, and he might just answer it during his Worldwide Troop Talk on Sept. 1.”

Click on image above to see the Facebook page containing SECDEF Ash Carter's invitation to submit questions.

Click on image above to see the Facebook page containing SECDEF Ash Carter’s invitation to submit questions.

Okay, so maybe he didn’t invite me personally, but I decided to take it that way. Furthermore, though I didn’t ask SecDef Carter a direct question, I think my request below — which I sent via email to AskSecDef@mail.mil and posted here on the SecDef’s Facebook page — qualifies as a question, because it demands answers:

Dear Secretary of Defense Carter:

For months, beginning July 19, 2012, I tried unsuccessfully to use the Freedom of Information Act to obtain a copy of the Army 15-6 Investigation Report prepared after then-Army Ranger 1st Lt. Michael C. Behenna shot and killed Ali Mansur, a known Al-Qaeda operative, in Albu Toma, Iraq (near Baghdad) on May 16, 2008.

First, I contacted officials at the Army Criminal Investigation Command Crime Records Center at Quantico, Va. Next, I contacted officials at the Army’s primary FOIA office at Fort Belvoir, Va. After that, I contacted officials at Fort Campbell, Ky., home to the Army’s 101st Airborne Infantry Division, parent command of the 1st Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment to which Lieutenant Behenna and his fellow members in Delta Company, 5th Platoon, belonged.

After realizing no success with any of the agencies listed above, I contacted an official at the Crime Records Center and asked her to review the estimated 874 pages of the Report of Investigation that her agency was willing to provide me and see if the 15-6 report was among the documents included.  She told me it was not and suggested I contact FOIA officials at Army Central Command (USARCENT), located at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C.

On Dec. 10, 2012, I forwarded a FOIA request to USARCENT, seeking a copy of the 15-6 report.  Thirty-five  days later, I received a reply from then-Col. Rodney L. Lightfoot, then-Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff at Third Army/United States Army Central Command.  He wrote: “This letter is the final response to your Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request dated December 10, 2012.  Your request was for a copy of the Army Regulation 15-6 investigation report that was prepared following a shooting incident that took place May 16, 2008 in Iraq.  The shooting incident involved Army 1LT Michael C. Behenna and the person who was killed, an Iraqi citizen by the name of Ali Mansur. In response to your FOIA request, our agency conducted an extensive search for records. No records were found in search of the information being requested. No fees have been assessed for this action.”

As an Air Force veteran, I’m asking you, Secretary Carter, to cut through this red tape of bureaucracy and get me a copy of the Army 15-6 Investigation Report concerning the incident involving Lieutenant Behenna.

Please forward the report to me via email at bobmccartywrites@gmail.com or via postal mail to this address:  Bob McCarty, PO Box 1423, St. Charles, MO 63302-1423.

Thanks in advance for your prompt fulfillment of this request.


Bob McCarty

The “Worldwide Troop Talk” mentioned at the top of this piece will stream live from 9-10 a.m. Eastern/8-9 a.m. Central on Defense.gov, and you can count on me watching and providing an update as to how he will respond. Just in case he limits his questions to active-duty military members, I would appreciate anyone in uniform helping me out by duplicating my effort shown above. You can do that in the comments section of this SECDEF status update or via email to AskSecDef@mail.mil.

Thanks in advance for assisting me in this effort. I’ll let you know if it produces any results.

UPDATE 9/09/2015 at 9:29 a.m. Central:  Because 19 days have passed without any reply to the inquiry highlighted above, I resubmitted the request via the Ask a Question online tool at Defense.gov. Not going to hold my breath as I await a reply.

UPDATE 9/11/2015 at 10:29 a.m. Central:  Almost 48 hours have passed since I followed up with SecDef Carter by sending the email message referenced in the UPDATE 9/09/2015 above. In response, I’ve heard only crickets. So much for government accountability and transparency.

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. Thanks in advance!

Click on image above to order Bob's books.

Click on image above to order Bob’s books.