DoD Spokesman Labels ‘Insider Threat’ to Troops in Afghanistan ‘As Dangerous As It Ever Was’

Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby was quoted in Stars and Stripes Friday as saying the “insider threat” against American forces in Afghanistan is “as dangerous as it ever was.” And he’s right. What he did not mention, however, is the fact that many “insider attacks” are preventable.

Click image above to read more posts about "Green-on-Blue" or "Insider" attacks.

Click image above to read more posts about “Green-on-Blue” or “Insider” attacks.

Admiral Kirby’s comments likely stem from the fact that he’s been kept in the dark about decisions made by senior Department of Defense officials during the past decade that have resulted in the best screening and interrogation tools available being kept out of the hands of U.S. military and intelligence officials. Out of the hands of interrogation officials in places like Afghanistan and Iraq. And, most recently, out of the vetting process used to screen recruits hoping to serve in Afghanistan’s military, police and security agencies.

Click image above to order.

Click image above to order.

In my latest nonfiction book, THE CLAPPER MEMO, I share never-before-published details about decisions made by DoD officials at the highest levels — including Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. when he was serving as Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence — and about decisions that should be made in the future.

Unfortunately for good men like Spc. John A. Pelham, 22, of Portland, Ore., and Sgt. First Class Roberto C. Skelt, 41, of York, Fla., any decisions to change policy will come too late. The Army Special Forces Soldiers were killed Wednesday when, according to the aforementioned Stripes report, two individuals wearing Afghan National Army uniforms opened fire on them with machine guns. They became casualties of yet another “Green-on-Blue” or “Insider Attack.”

Click image above to read endorsements of THE CLAPPER MEMO.

Click image above to read endorsements of THE CLAPPER MEMO.

Capt. Larry W. Bailey, U.S. Navy retired, came to understand the gravity of this situation after reading THE CLAPPER MEMO. In fact, the former commander of the U.S. Navy SEALs training program described what I reveal in the book as “an unconscionable cover-up.” Others have offered similar assessments.

See if you agree. Order your copy 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.

German Police Detective Has Memory Issues

Unlike most people who read reporter Nancy Montgomery‘s article published Saturday in Stars and Stripes, I noticed something terribly wrong in some of the comments attributed to German police detective Daniel Lorch. His words conflicted with the real-life events chronicled in my book, Three Days In August, which chronicles the life story of former Army Sgt. 1st Class Kelly A. Stewart and the military justice debacle that ended his stellar career as a Green Beret and landed him behind bars at Fort Leavenworth.

Kelly A Stewart with Book

Kelly A. Stewart with copy of book.

About halfway into the Stripes article, Montgomery shared comments made by Detective Lorch about his experience as an investigator and his personal opinion “that (Stewart) was guilty” of a variety of sexual assault-related charges stemming from a one-night stand involving the highly-decorated Special Forces soldier and a 28-year-old German woman. The reporter did not, however, include any comments by the detective about the complete lack of physical evidence and eyewitnesses to the alleged crimes.

Next, Montgomery attributed a statement to the detective about a taxi driver being among the people (plural) who had allegedly seen Stewart’s accuser the morning she left his hotel and later provided corroborating trial testimony. Apparently, the reporter did not ask the detective for details about those people. Nor did she ask about their testimony during the trial. Why? Because, contrary to what the detective said, only the taxi driver testified as a witness during the trail. Additional witnesses to her departure from the hotel could not be found.

Finally, Montgomery quoted Detective Lorch on the matter of what the taxi driver allegedly saw when she picked up the accuser outside Stewart’s hotel:

“He described, very detailed, very clearly, her physical damage,” Lorch said. “He was sure something very bad had happened to this woman.”

The detective repeatedly referred to the taxi driver in the masculine sense when, in reality, the taxi driver was a middle-age woman with memory issues. I highlighted those issues in the book and in an Oct. 7, 2011, post. An excerpt from the post appears below:

During questioning six months before the trial, according to official court documents, the taxi driver told German police officials, “I’m sorry I don’t see her in front of my eyes anymore right now,” later adding, “I believe she had blonde dyed hair. I don’t remember her clothing or age right now anymore.”

During the trial one year after she had allegedly picked up Stewart’s 28-year-old accuser in front of the Stuttgart-Marriott Hotel in Sindelfingen, Germany, the taxi driver was able to remember accurate details about Stewart’s accuser (i.e., that she was wearing knee-high boots, had long black hair, etc.) that she wasn’t able to remember when it should have been fresh on her mind. A miracle perhaps or was it coaching by prosecutors that helped her “improve” her memory?

Montgomery’s article came 24 days after she had contacted me via email, informing me that she was interested in doing a story about the latest development in the Stewart case, had read my website and wanted to talk.

In a written reply to Montgomery, I told her I had spent a lot of time one year earlier with John Vandiver, a Stuttgart-based Stripes reporter, and that the effort — via phone and email — had yielded not a single story. Furthermore, I told her, I wasn’t excited about speaking with Stripes again and shared a link to a story I published April 19, 2012.

Montgomery persisted, however, and wrote that her story would be about the “latest legal step, the request for reconsideration” from the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces.

KAS Stripes BOLO Poster

“Be On The Lookout” poster issued Aug. 20, 2009.

Because I had written about the CAAF-level step in the appeals process Nov. 27, 2012, I decided to make an offer to the reporter.

“Shoot me all of of your questions and let me know your deadline,” I wrote, “then I’ll do my best to answer them by your deadline while allowing time for follow up.”

Rather than shoot me a list of questions, however, Montgomery informed me that she was going to review some of what Vandiver had gathered when he had talked with me a year earlier. She said she didn’t want to “duplicate some of the work he already did with you and ask questions you’ve already answered. But I am wondering how you got involved in the case. I don’t have a deadline yet.”

Montgomery was, of course, referring to a Nov. 21, 2011, phone interview I gave to Vandiver. It was followed by several email messages and resulted in three articles — #1, #2 and #3 — being published early in 2012. Unfortunately, all were published by yours truly, not Stripes.

“Nancy, I talked with John about how and why I became interested in the case,” I replied. “I also wrote a piece about it: http://threedaysinaugust.com/?p=1136.”

And that was that.

Montgomery did not forward any more questions or make any further attempts to obtain my input. In fact, her name did not appear on my radar again until today when Stripes published her report about the status of Stewart’s appeals process — a report from which she not only omitted my name and the name of my book, but failed to share critical details I had published Thursday in an update to my Nov. 27 piece, Green Beret’s Defense Attorneys Cite Ineffective Counsel During Trial, Ask Court to Reconsider:

UPDATE 12/20/2012 at 8:30 a.m. Central: Bad news received from the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces: “On consideration of Appellant’s petition for reconsideration of this Court’s order issued November 15, 2012, it is, by the Court, this, 19th day of December, 2012, ORDERED: That said petition for reconsideration is hereby denied. For the Court, /s/ William A. DeCicco, Clerk of the Court.”

To read the never-before-published details about Stewart’s wrongful conviction, read the book, Three Days In August. Based on 18 months of research, interviews with the key players and access to the actual Record of Trial, this book is available in paperback and ebook via most online booksellers, including Amazon.com.

Stars and Stripes Newspaper Sits on Truth About Green Beret’s Bogus Court-Martial Conviction

Kelly A. Stewart

ON AUGUST 20, 2009, Stars and Stripes editors were understandably quick to publish Sgt. 1st Class Kelly A. Stewart‘s mugshot after he was convicted and sentenced by a court-martial panel during three days in August 2009. Since then, however, they have been unwilling to publish details of what actually took place inside a U.S. military courtroom in German and resulted in the wrongful conviction of a highly-decorated Green Beret combat veteran.

ONE-HUNDRED FIFTY DAYS AGO, I was interviewed by John Vandiver, a Stuttgart-based reporter for the 70-year-old publication for members of the U.S. military community in Europe. The subject of the interview was the book I had written and published last fall about Stewart’s life and wrongful conviction, Three Days In August: A U.S. Army Special Forces Soldier’s Fight For Military Justice.

FIFTY-TWO DAYS LATER, it became clear that Stripes editors were not interested in publishing the nitty-gritty details of the case.

In a Feb. 27 post, I speculated about several possible reasons why they had yet to run an article based on the interview. Among the reasons I cited was the fact that Vandiver, through no fault of his own, was unable to land the extensive interviews with key players or obtain a copy of the Record of Trial — two things that make my book about Stewart’s case so captivating at the same time as it dismantled the prosecution’s case against the soldier. Read the reviews here.

ONE-HUNDRED FIFTY DAYS after my interview with Vandiver, Stripes continues to sit on the story about my book and, in turn, continues to sit on the facts underlying his wrongful conviction, many of which were never heard by members of the 10-member court-martial panel that heard the case.

TODAY, on the day Stewart’s case went before the Army Court of Criminal Appeals, Stripes published a 400-word piece, Ex-Green Beret begins appeal of sex assault conviction. Unfortunately for those who hunger for the truth, the article made no mention of the book or the fact that its author — yours truly — had been interviewed about it almost six months ago.

WHAT AM I TO THINK NOW?

I’m convinced Stripes editors are content running interference for a system that wrongfully convicted an elite soldier based almost solely on the words of an accuser with a history of mental issues that were never allowed to surface during the trial. Apparently, they don’t fear being held responsible when tens of thousands of members of the military eventually learn about Stewart’s case and realize, “That could’ve been me!”

Want to find out what Stripes editors are not willing to share with you? Read Three Days In August, a book that paints a portrait of military justice gone awry that’s certain to make your blood boil.

For information about ordering the book, click here.

For more information about the book, visit ThreeDaysInAugust.com.

UPDATE 12/28/2012 at 9:35 a.m. Central:  Five days ago, I shared a new observation about the latest Stripes article on Stewart’s case.  It’s a doozie.  See German Police Detective Has Memory Issues.

Is Story of Green Beret’s Wrongful Conviction Too Hot for Editors at Stars and Stripes Newspaper?

On Nov. 21, I was interviewed by John Vandiver, a Stuttgart-based reporter for Stars and Stripes, the newspaper published continuously since 1942 for members of the U.S. military community in Europe. The subject of the interview was my book, Three Days In August: A U.S. Army Special Forces Soldier’s Fight For Military Justice, which chronicles the life story and wrongful conviction of a highly-decorated Green Beret combat veteran, Sgt. 1st Class Kelly A. Stewart.

Near the end of my interview with Vandiver, he told me, “I really appreciate you taking some time to talk about the book and the case, so we can have a story out shortly about the efforts of Kelly to have a retrial.” I was hopeful.

During the 98 days since that interview took place, several well-respected writers and journalists have shared their opinions about the book. For instance:

Richard Miniter

Richard Miniter, the award-winning investigative journalist, New York Times best-selling author, radio host, public speaker and frequent world traveler, read the book and described it as “Well-written and thoroughly researched” before adding that it “paints a convincing portrait of a military justice process that appears to have lacked one essential element – justice.”

American Legion New Media Editor Mark Seavey, himself an Army combat veteran, read the book and used 1,700 words to explain his conclusion that Stewart “was railroaded by German protection laws”; and

Pamela Geller

Pamela Geller, best-selling author and founder of AtlasShrugs.com, read the book and published a glowing review which included this harsh conclusion: “What emerges is a picture of a military establishment that is cowed by political correctness to the extent that it is even willing to throw our fighting men and women to the wolves to appease the left.

For some reason, however, Stripes hasn’t published Vandiver’s article.

On Feb. 21, Vandiver forwarded bad news in the most recent of many email exchanges since the interview. His editors had told him they “need a more solid news development in order for the story to run” and, as a result, he’s “in a holding pattern until the hearing is held on Kelly’s appeal request.”

Apparently, the publication of a book that essentially shreds the government’s case against a soldier is either not considered “newsworthy enough” by Stripes editors or it’s simply too hot for them to publish. I suspect the latter.

It could be that Stripes editors are intentionally suppressing the story in an attempt to maintain good relations with German government officials while keeping U.S. military personnel in the dark about the case, the details of which might cause them to think, “That could’ve been me!”

Alternatively, it could be because Vandiver, through no fault of his own, was not able to land interviews with key players — because none of the players on either side are talking — or obtain a copy of the Record of Trial which I was able to get. As the appeal process approaches another important milestone, none of the key players — including, on the advice of his attorney, Stewart — are talking.

Regardless of what Stripes editors choose to report about Stewart’s case, you don’t have to wait to find out what really happened. You can make your own judgments based upon never-before-published details of the case found only in my book, Three Days In August: A U.S. Army Special Forces Soldier’s Fight For Military Justice.

To order a paperback version of the book via Amazon, click here.

To order the Kindle version of the book, click here.

To order a paperback version of the book from Barnes & Noble, click here.

To order the Nook version of the book, click here.

To read more reviews of the book, click here.

UPDATE 12/28/2012 at 9:37 a.m. Central:  Five days ago, I shared a new observation about the latest Stripes article on Stewart’s case.  It’s a doozie.  See German Police Detective Has Memory Issues.

Soldier Seeks Refuge in the Black Forest (Update)

UPDATE 10/01/11 at 3:05 p.m. Central:  With my book, Three Days In August, scheduled for release Oct. 19, I’ve removed posts containing content found in the book and ask readers to visit the book’s website to learn more about it.  Thanks!

FYI: If you enjoy this blog and want to help keep reading stories like the one above, show your support by using the “Support Bob” tool at right.  Thanks in advance for your support! Have a wonderful 2011!

Bill Mauldin Immortalized on Postage Stamp

Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist Bill Mauldin today received one of the nation’s highest honors in being featured on a U.S. postage stamp. The 44-cents stamp was dedicated at the New Mexico History Museum in Santa Fe, N.M., and goes on sale nationwide today.

During World War II, Mauldin’s cartoons, appearing in Stars and Stripes, made him a hero to many in the military. His sympathy for “dogfaces,” the slang term for soldiers in the infantry, was clearly expressed through his characters Willie and Joe, who gave their military audiences a hearty laugh and civilians an idea of what life was like for soldiers.

My Dad, Circa 1944

In 1945 Mauldin won the first of his two Pulitzers “for distinguished service as a cartoonist” and the Allied high command awarded him its Legion of Merit. His illustrated memoir, “Up Front,” was a bestseller. That same year, his “dogface” Willie appeared on the cover of Time.

In 1958, he took a job as a cartoonist for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the following year he won a second Pulitzer for his cartoon portraying Boris Pasternak, author of “Doctor Zhivago,” as a Soviet prisoner.

U.S. Postal Service art director Terry McCaffrey chose to honor Mauldin through a combination of photography and an example of Mauldin’s art. The photo of Mauldin is by John Phillips, a photographer for Life magazine; it was taken in Italy on Dec. 31, 1943. Mauldin’s cartoon, showing his characters Willie and Joe, is used courtesy of the 45th Infantry Division Museum in Oklahoma City, Okla.

EDITOR’S NOTE: My dad was one of those “dog faces” for whom Mauldin had sympathy.  To read “My Father’s War Stories from World War II,” click here or on the photo of my father, above.

Stripes: Report Faults Computer in B-2 crash

Air Force Photo

Stars & Stripes reported today that, according to the Air Force accident investigation report released yesterday, the Feb. 23 crash of a B-2 “Spirit” bomber on Guam was caused by bad computer data sent to flight control computers from three tiny sensors on the bomber’s wings.

Despite rumors to the contrary, I could find no mention in the article that Air Force officials had placed blame for the $1.4 billion loss directly on the Microsoft Windows™ Vista operating system.

Nothing like a little pro-Mac humor to start the weekend!