Tag Archives: Washington Post

Bob McCarty Weekly Recap: Oct. 18-24, 2015

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.

Butters, my office assistant, on guard.

Sunday, Oct. 18

While I published nothing new on my website Sunday, 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.

Kelly Stewart & Toby Keith

Click on image above to order a copy of Three Days In August by Bob McCarty.

Monday, Oct. 19

On Monday, I published a piece that might make you sit up and take notice of what could happen, real and imagined, to your retirement plan in the not-too-distant future. At the same time, it qualifies as shameless self-promotion of my crime-fiction novel, The National Bet. Either way, I think it’s worth reading. You’ll find it under the headline, Bob McCarty: ‘I Had No Advance Knowledge of President Obama’s Sinister Plan to Hijack Your Retirement Savings.’

Click on image above to order your copy of The National Bet by Bob McCarty.

Click on image above to order your copy of The National Bet by Bob McCarty.

That same day, I marked the aforementioned publishing milestone by publishing an article under the headline, Pentagon ‘Witch Hunt’ Continues as Book About Wrongful Prosecution of Green Beret Marks Fourth Anniversary. In sharing the article on Facebook, I made a statement and asked a question:

Even after beating this “drum” for more than four years, it seems too few people give a damn unless they see one of their own family members impacted by this witch hunt. Do you give a damn?

Sadly, the answer for most people is “No.”

In addition, I shared more observations and opinions on Facebook. Among them were the following:

• I wrote, “I smell a lawsuit,” after reading about a shootout at the OK Corral that mistakenly involved real bullets;

• I labeled Richard Branson’s opinion piece about drug policy a “headscratcher”;

• I wrote, “Glad to see this. I’ve never paid for a review or for social media “friends” to promote my books — and never will,” after reading a piece about Amazon suing more than 1,000 people over fake reviews; and

• I shared some old memories, including the Facebook cover photo (below) that I had used three years earlier.

My Facebook cover photo Sept. 22, 2012.

I used this graphic as my Facebook cover photo Sept. 22, 2012.

Tuesday, Oct. 20

I published nothing new on my website Tuesday, but I did use Facebook to alert people to several items, including:

• A challenge issued to folks following my coverage of the military justice saga of Army Maj. Christian “Kit” Martin:

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.

• A radioactive waste-related story I had published In January 2015; and

• Two great LifeZette articles, Time for Senate Geezers to Go and Paralyzed by Bureaucracy, by my California friend Katy Grimes.

Wednesday, Oct. 21

After coming across reports on the CBS Evening News and in the The Los Angeles Times about the inherent dangers of radioactive waste colliding with an underground fire in St. Louis County, I tried Wednesday to rekindle interest in a story I had published for the first time in January 2012 and, again, nine months ago. Published under the headline, Will Missouri Legislators Finally Decide to Pay Attention to Radioactive Waste Issues Outside of Saint Louis County?, it concerns radioactive waste issues in St. Charles County, Mo., and a state agency report due to be published in January 2016. It’s a must-read if you live anywhere near St. Louis!

Click to read about my "Uphill Battle for Answers."

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:

• I wrote, “Shaking my head in disbelief even though I’m not surprised. Or something like that,” after reading news about the Department of Justice opting against prosecuting former IRS official Lois Lerner;

• 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

After reading that drinking beer slows down Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, I shared a far-less-serious note, writing, “It’s true! I can’t remember the last time I shook uncontrollably after enjoying a beer,”

Saturday, Oct. 23

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!

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.

Click on image above to order Bob’s books.

Democratic Treachery Rears Its Ugly Head

EDITOR’S NOTE: Below is a guest post by Paul R. Hollrah, a resident of Oklahoma who writes from the perspective of a veteran conservative politico and retired corporate government relations executive whose life experience includes having served two terms as a member of the Electoral College. Even if you disagree with him, this piece will make you think long and hard.

DEMS by David Donar at http://politicalgraffiti.wordpress.com.

DEMS by David Donar at http://politicalgraffiti.wordpress.com.

As we enter the preliminaries for the 2016 presidential election, Democrats and their allies in the mainstream media… including such heretofore “fair-minded” journalists as Chris Wallace of  Fox News Sunday… are trotting out their favorite “gotcha” questions, reserved exclusively for Republican candidates. To date, their two favorites are: “Are you personally opposed to gay Americans or same-sex marriage?” and “If you knew then what you know now, would you have sent U.S. ground troops into Iraq in 2003?”

No less a liberal icon than Bob Woodward of the Washington Post has set the record straight on the buildup to the Iraq War. In a May 25 appearance on Fox News Sunday, Woodward agreed that George W. Bush may have made mistakes, but that to say he had lied to get us into war was “grossly unfair and inaccurate.” He said, “I spent 18 months looking at how Bush decided to invade Iraq… lots of mistakes… but it was Bush telling George Tenet the CIA director, ‘Don’t let anyone stretch the case on WMD.’ He was the one who was skeptical.”

Woodward continued, “And if you try to summarize why we went into Iraq, it was momentum. That war plan kept getting better and easier, and finally at the end people were saying, ‘Hey, look, it’ll only take a week or two.’ And early on it looked like it was going to take a year or eighteen months, and so Bush pulled the trigger. A mistake certainly can be argued, and there’s an abundance of evidence. But there was no lie in this that I could find.”

Throughout calendar year 2002, policy-makers in Washington and around the world searched for ways in which to eliminate the threat posed by the weapons development programs of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. Finally, on November 8, 2002, the U.N. Security Council adopted, unanimously, Resolution 1441. Under Resolution 1441, the Security Council recognized “the threat Iraq’s noncompliance with Council resolutions and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and long-range missiles poses to international peace and security.”

Resolution 1441 affirmed that Security Council Resolution 678 of November 29, 1990, authorized member nations to “use all necessary means (emphasis added) to uphold and implement Resolution 660 of August 2, 1990 and all relevant resolutions subsequent to Resolution 660, and to restore international peace and security in the area.” It was the authority of the U.N. that member states relied upon in their decision to use military force against Iraq.

Few members of Congress were anxious to see American ground forces engaged in a ground war in the Middle East. Accordingly, during the summer of 2002, under the theory that no dictator can remain a dictator unless his people believe him to be both omnipotent and omniscient, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI), chaired by Porter Goss (R-FL), authorized funds for an “Infowar,” or SOFTWAR, offensive against Iraq… where SOFTWAR is defined as “the hostile utilization of global television to shape another nation’s will by changing its view of reality.” The goal of the SOFTWAR offensive was to remove one or both of the omnipotence/omniscience advantages from Saddam, advancing the day when the Iraqi people would find it beneficial to overthrow the dictator. (The SOFTWAR concept was the brainchild of my longtime friend, Chuck de Caro, an Information Warfare lecturer at the National Defense University and other agencies of the U.S. defense/intelligence establishment.)

The SOFTWAR offensive authorized by HPSCI, as a supplement to its FY 2003 defense authorization, read, in part, as follows:

SOFTWAR

The budget request contained $63.9 million in PE65710D8Z for Classified Programs for the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence)…

The Committee notes that information operations (IO) is increasingly becoming a more significant weapon in modern military, and moreover, asymmetric operations…

The Committee is somewhat concerned that insufficient consideration is paid to developing a capability to shape the information sphere for asymmetric operations… The Committee understands that there has been proposed a concept called Infowar, in which intelligence analysis of the threat Infosphere is coupled with the knowledge management functions of television, and an offensive management plan is developed for execution. The Committee notes that this concept is different from more traditional IO approaches in that it does not “attack” the threat directly, but rather through the threat’s intended public information consumers. The Committee believes this is a worthwhile new approach and believes the Intelligence Community should pursue it vigorously.

Therefore, the Committee recommends $73.9 million in PE65710D8Z, an increase of $10.0 Million in Classified Programs-C3I, for the SOFTWAR program.

However, the U.S. Senate, comprised of 50 Republicans and 50 Democrats, changed from Republican to Democratic control on May 24, 2001, when Sen. Jim Jeffords (R-VT) left the Republican Party to become an Independent, aligning himself with senate Democrats. As a result, when the HPSCI authorization arrived in the U.S. Senate as a supplement to the FY 2003 Defense Appropriations bill, senate Democrats decided that it was more important for them to have a political issue to use against G.W. Bush in his 2004 reelection campaign than to avert a ground war in Iraq.

During the months of September and October 2002, when the HPSCI proposal was hopelessly stalled in the U.S. Senate, I assisted de Caro in lobbying key senators, seeking to gain their support for HPSCI’s SOFTWAR offensive.   We met with senior staff aides to then-Sen. Dick Shelby (R-AL), vice chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and then-Sen. John Warner (R-VA), the ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee. And we met on several occasions with senior aides to then-Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, who, along with the late Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV), chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, were the key players in the effort to fund the SOFTWAR offensive in Iraq. But the enthusiasm of aides to Rockefeller and Byrd were not in sync with the political games that their employers were playing.

While Democrats made impassioned speeches on the floor of the senate, insisting that the Congress could not give George W. Bush the war powers he sought, and that a way had to be found to remove Saddam Hussein through non-violent means, they were busy behind closed doors instructing the staff of the Senate Appropriations Committee to kill the HPSCI SOFTWAR authorization… our last best hope of averting a ground war in Iraq. Senate Democrats were so intent upon creating an issue to use against G.W. Bush that when they were asked to fund the project for a single dollar, just to get the offensive “in the pipeline,” with supplemental funding to be added during the 108th Congress, they refused even that.

U.S. Army soldiers move down a street as they start a clearing mission in Dora, Iraq, on May 3, 2007.  Soldiers from the 2nd Platoon, Alpha Company, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division patrolled the streets in Dora.  DoD photo by Spc. Elisha Dawkins, U.S. Army.

U.S. Army soldiers move down a street as they start a clearing mission in Dora, Iraq, on May 3, 2007. Soldiers from the 2nd Platoon, Alpha Company, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division patrolled the streets in Dora. DoD photo by Spc. Elisha Dawkins, U.S. Army.

Thus, as coalition forces prepared for war with seeming unstoppable momentum, the Iraq War Powers Act, P.L. 107-243, passed the Republican-controlled House on October 10, 2002, by a vote of 296-133, and the Democrat-controlled Senate on October 11 by a vote of 77-23. Twenty-eight Democrats, including Senators Rockefeller, Clinton, Kerry, and Biden voted in favor of the war powers resolution.

But that was not the last we heard of Senator Rockefeller’s role in sabotaging the Iraq war effort. In the December 3, 2005, edition of the Canada Free Press, writer Joan Swirsky published an article describing events before and during the Iraq War, titled, Rockefeller’s Treachery.

Ms. Swirsky reminds us of Rockefeller’s Nov. 14, 2005, appearance on Fox News Sunday, during the period in which he served as chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. In that interview, Rockefeller recalled, “I took a trip by myself in January of 2002 (months before the HPSCI proposal was approved by the House of Representatives) to Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Syria, and I told each of the heads of state that it was my view that G.W. Bush had already made up his mind to go to war against Iraq – that that was a predetermined set course which had taken shape shortly after 9/11.” It was an entirely baseless charge.

Ms. Swirsky went on to say, “By himself, and fully armed with America’s most sensitive intelligence, Senator Rockefeller decided to go to three Arab countries – including Syria, which is on the State Department’s list of terrorist regimes and a close ally of Saddam Hussein – and literally alert them to what might befall a neighboring Arab state.” Putting this sharply into context, Ms. Swirsky reminds us that, “This was Senator Rockefeller’s judgment only four months after September 11th and a full year before President Bush expressed any intention to go to war.”

Finally, on March 20, 2003, with all multinational coalition forces in place, the invasion of Iraq commenced. And while Democrats continue to this day to try to convince the American people that G.W. Bush and Dick Cheney lied to launch the Iraq War, there is a strong case to be made that it was their own politically-motivated treachery that was most responsible for our entrance into the war. In that war, some 4,500 American men and women, and countless Iraqis, paid with their lives. Clearly, their blood is on Democrat hands, not on Bush and Cheney’s hands.

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.

Click on image above to order Bob’s books.

Bob McCarty’s Weekly Recap: Dec. 21-27

I like to think I emphasized quality instead of quantity during the week of Christmas 2014. That in mind, I share highlights of the past seven days at BobMcCarty.com below:

This January 2014 photo shows Butters, my office assistant, looking into his porcelain bowl in an effort to predict how the year might turn out.

This January 2014 photo shows Butters, my office assistant, looking into his porcelain bowl in an effort to predict how the year might turn out. I shared it in a post Dec. 23. To read it, click on the image above.

Sunday, Dec. 21 — Distracted by family obligations, I posted nothing at BobMcCarty.com this day. It gets better below, I promise!

Monday, Dec. 22 — While spending most of my day working on my next book, I did share some good news about my just-released crime fiction novel. Read about it under the self-explanatory headline, The National Bet Receives Two 5-Star Reviews.

Tuesday, Dec. 23 — Under the headline, 2014 ‘Most Unusual Year I’ve Experienced’ Online, I explained what it was that made my eighth year online dramatically different than the previous seven.

Wednesday, Dec. 24 — Because I’m married to a flight attendant, I’m accustomed to being flexible around the holidays. This year, as we had during each of the previous nine, we celebrated Christmas a day early to accommodate her schedule. As a result, I focused on family and food instead of fodder for this website.

Thursday, Dec. 25 — After a Washington Post article about the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta caught my eye Christmas Eve, I shared details about how the CDC fits into the mystery inside my just-released crime-fiction novel, The National Bet.  Some of those details appear under the headline, Error-Prone CDC Figures Prominently in New Fiction Novel.

Friday, Dec. 26 — Recent news about the al-Shabaab terror group reminded me of the action in the opening chapter of The National Bet, so I shared an excerpt in a post under the headline, Africa-Based Terror Group Plays Part in New Fiction Tale. Later the same day under the headline, Top Intel Official Gets Away With Lies for 53 Weeks (so far), I reminded readers that Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. had gotten away with lying to Congress for more than a year thanks to inaction by soon-to-depart Attorney General Eric Holder. I ended the day with humor. Finally, after coming across a 2016 presidential straw poll at Townhall.com, I thought it might be fun to ask my online friends to enter my name as a write-in candidate — so I did ask! Details at Author Asks for Your Presidential Straw Poll Write-In Vote.

Saturday, Dec. 27 — I ended the week with a look back at a shoddy act of journalism that took place two years ago. You can read it where it appears under the headline, Flashback: Stars and Stripes Reporter Fails To Do Her Job.

The remainder of the year will probably be as slow as the past week, so I recommend you get your fix of Bob McCarty by ordering copies of my books. Details about how to do that appear below.

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.

Error-Prone CDC Figures Prominently in New Fiction Novel

A Washington Post article caught my attention yesterday, because it reminded me of how the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta fits into the mystery in my just-released crime-fiction novel, The National Bet.

Ebola

Ebola

After receiving some critically-important news from the CDC director, the book’s main character, FBI Special Agent “Joe-L” Wilson, remains unfazed. Excerpted from page 207 of the paperback version of the book, the paragraph below explains why:

The news didn’t register as much of a shock to Wilson, because he remembered reading reports during the past two years about a half-dozen incidents involving CDC employees and the mishandling of some potentially deadly pathogens, including smallpox, anthrax, botulism bacteria, and a virulent bird flu virus. And who could forget the Ebola debacle.

If you like crime-fiction stories that seem as if they could have been ripped from the headlines, I think you’ll love The National Bet as much as others have already. See the reviews here and here.

To learn more about the book, click here. To order copies, click here.

UPDATE 4/19/2015 at 1:27 p.m. Central: Check out the limited-time free-books offer here.

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.

Click on image above to order Bob’s books.

Army Special Forces Veteran Shares Something in Common With North Saint Louis County Residents Facing Fines

To those people who think it’s a stretch to compare turmoil in the lives of residents in and around Ferguson, Mo., to the turmoil that has permeated the life of a former Army Special Forces Soldier, I say, “YOU”RE WRONG!” Below, I explain why.

For many in North St. Louis County — an area that includes Ferguson, the town of 20,000 made famous by violent protests that followed the officer-involved shooting death of 18-year-old Mike Brown in August — anger has festered over an issue unrelated to Brown far longer than it has over the grand jury’s decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson for killing Brown. The anger stems from being on the receiving end of warrants — in some municipalities, the average number was five warrants per year — one too many times. In some case, fines and court costs that result from appearing in municipal court to deal with those warrants total hundreds of dollars, according to Radley Balko’s Washington Post report published Sept. 3. That leaves those people facing difficult decisions.

If they miss work in order to make their court appearances, they risk being fired from their jobs. Conversely, if they make their court appearances and pay the fines associated with their infractions (i.e., speeding tickets, moving violations and other infractions), they risk not being able to pay their monthly bills and/or feed their families. In the town of Pine Lawn, for instance, Balko reports the fines total $1.8 miilion or around $576 per resident, an amount equal to 4.5 percent of an average resident’s annual income!

Some will argue that the individuals stopped by police in North St. Louis County deserve the tickets they receive, and I’m sure some do. At the same time, however, I empathize with those people — and I think it’s a large population — who, when faced with making the difficult choice between paying the monthly bills and using the same money to pay off city-issued fines imposed by overzealous law enforcement agencies, opt against paying the fines and court costs.

Fortunately, one Missouri legislator, Sen. Eric Schmitt recently introduced a municipal court reform measure in an effort to reign in overzealous municipalities who are currently allowed to bring in up to 30 percent of revenues through traffic tickets. If the measure becomes law, the income threshold will drop to 10 percent.

“Where does the former Green Beret fit into this equation?” you ask. Allow me to explain.

Kelly Stewart & Toby Keith

After spending several years behind bars at the U.S. Military Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., as part of the sentence imposed on him following a two-day military trial during which he was tried and convicted on sexual assault charges, Kelly A. Stewart served his time, finished his parole and was trying to live his life as best he can with a “sex offender” label hanging over him while he ekes out a living from a job that pays barely $10 an hour. That’s when the former Green Beret medic received a letter, informing him that he owes the Army approximately $27,000 and much begin paying it back at the rate of $700 per month.

Obviously, someone who spent his life savings defending himself in court against false rape and kidnapping allegations levied against him by a then-28-year-old German woman — and former mental patient — can’t possibly afford to make remuneration of $700 per month. So what does he do?

Should he fail to make payments to the Army, the equivalent of a Ferguson resident failing to appear in municipal court to answer for an outstanding warrant, he faces the likelihood of returning to federal prison. It’s a lose-lose proposition, and Stewart doesn’t have a state senator writing legislation on his behalf. Instead, he needs the American people to learn about his case and make conscious decisions to help — quickly!

To learn more about his case, order a copy of my first nonfiction book, Three Days In August (October 2011), in which I chronicle this highly-decorated combat veteran’s rough encounter with the military justice system.

For a snapshot of his situation and how you can help, read this letter and/or read my recent article, HELP: Former Green Beret Faces Possible Return to Prison! Thanks in advance!

UPDATE 4/19/2015 at 1:16 p.m. Central: Check out the limited-time free-books offer here.

If you like this article and my other efforts, 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.