Senator McCaskill Proves To Be Long on ‘Wind,’ Short on Wisdom

After watching the video that accompanied a news release I received this afternoon from Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), I found the news release’s headline, “McCaskill Hears About Success of New Reform to Curb Military Sexual Assault,” incredibly misleading.

How was it misleading? The Show-Me State’s senior senator did more bloviating than she did listening. In fact, she rambled on for two and a half minutes about the so-called “reforms” in the military justice system’s approach to prosecuting alleged instances of sexual assault before Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond T. Odierno got a word in edgewise. And the video was only three minutes and two seconds long!

I guess that’s how she plays the game.

To learn more about the Senator McCaskill’s misguided push for reforms in the prosecution of cases of sexual assault cases — real and imagined — in the military, read my series, “War On Men in the Military.”

To learn more about one case, in particular, that resulted in the wrongful conviction and imprisonment of Army Sgt. 1st Class Kelly A. Stewart, order a copy of Three Days In August.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August and THE CLAPPER MEMO. 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 and THE CLAPPER MEMO. To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Michael Behenna Gives First Post-Prison Television Interview

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.

News9.com – Oklahoma City, OK – News, Weather, Video and Sports |

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 former Army Green Beret Sgt. 1st Class Kelly 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.

Military Justice System Headed Down Same Path as Healthcare

“If you like your military, you can keep your military.”

U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Jeffrey A. Sinclair, the deputy commanding general of support with the 82nd Airborne Division and Regional Command-South, speaks with Afghan media outside of a school near Forward Operating Base Howz-e-Madad in Kandahar, Afghanistan, Nov. 16, 2011. Sinclair was attending an open house, where Afghan students received backpacks full of school supplies. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Amanda Hils/Released)

U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Jeffrey A. Sinclair, then-deputy commanding general of support with the 82nd Airborne Division and Regional Command-South, speaks with Afghan media Nov. 16, 2011. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Amanda Hils/Released)

To my knowledge, President Barack Obama hasn’t said that yet — at least, not in public. But the military justice system seems to be headed down the same path as the nation’s healthcare system.

Unlike the debate regarding healthcare, the debate about the need for military justice reforms involves people in positions of power (i.e., President Obama and members of Congress) who have absolutely no concept of what is necessary in a military justice system, because they have never served. Led by people like Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), they advocate steps that will only worsen an already-flawed system.

One person who seems to understand what’s at stake is Patti Fruit, a resident of the Fayetteville, N.C., area near Fort Bragg. While I don’t agree with everything she wrote in a letter to the editor of the Fayetteville (N.C.) Observer about the headline-making outcome of Army Brig. Gen. Jeffrey A. Sinclair’s court-martial, I do agree with the following point she made:

“Yes, he admits to adultery with underlings, but why military women who have achieved rank did not have the honor and courage to report the general’s advances from the beginning is a question that needs addressing.”

What was the outcome of General Sinclair’s case? Sexual assault charges against him were dropped after political influence, in lieu of facts, was cited as the driving force behind a higher-ranking general’s decision to prosecute Sinclair.

One-hundred-eighty-degrees opposite Ms. Fruit, members of The New York Times Editorial Board revealed in a letter published today that they don’t have a clue about the military justice system.  Their lack of a “clue” is illustrated in the two paragraphs highlighted below:

The deal followed a stunning ruling by a military judge last week suggesting that by holding out for more severe punishment, and by rejecting an earlier plea deal, the senior Army officer overseeing the prosecution might have been improperly influenced by political considerations in bringing the most severe charges against the general because of a desire to show new resolve in the military against sexual misconduct. The prosecution had also been badly shaken by revelations that the general’s accuser may have lied under oath.

The episode offers a textbook example of justice gone awry, providing yet another reason to overhaul the existing military justice system, which gives commanding officers with built-in conflicts of interest — rather than trained and independent military prosecutors outside the chain of command — the power to decide which sexual assault cases to try.

The Times Editorial Board’s description of this week’s happenings in the case as “a textbook example of justice gone awry, providing yet another reason to overhaul the existing military justice system” is about as truthful as any of President Obama’s promises concerning the so-called Affordable Care Act (a.k.a., “ObamaCare”).

Three Days In August by Bob McCarty

Click on image above to order book.

“If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor,” the president said.  We all know how long that promise lasted.

“If you like your plan, you can keep your plan,” the president said.  Tell that to the hundreds of thousands of Americans who’ve lost coverage since ObamaCare went “live.”

“We’re going to work with employers to lower your premiums by up to $2,500 per family per year,” the president said.

Rather than telling us “If you like your military, you can keep your military,” it appears President Obama and his sycophants on The Left are determined to dismantle it without asking for input from anyone else and without regard for or our nation’s security.  In short, the military justice system seems destined toward the same fate as healthcare and, sadly, Republicans in Congress seem to lack the wherewithal (a.k.a., “spines”) to do anything about it.If Americans don’t stand up and demand their politicians stop meddling with the military, then they’ll deserve the military that’s left standing.  And it won’t be pretty.  Or, for that matter, an effective fighting force.

To learn more about sexual assault prosecutions in the military, read my series, “War On Men in the Military.”

To learn more about the case involving Army Sgt. 1st Class Kelly A. Stewart, order a copy of Three Days In August, the nonfiction book in which I chronicle his life story and wrongful conviction in a U.S. military courtroom in Germany.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August and THE CLAPPER MEMO. 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 and THE CLAPPER MEMO. To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Behenna Released From Prison

GREAT NEWS! First Lieutenant Michael Behenna, the young Army Ranger officer sent to prison for killing a known al-Qaeda operative in Iraq, walked out of the U.S. Military Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., this morning, bound for his hometown of Edmond, Okla., barely a month after being granted parole by the U.S. Army Clemency and Parole Board in Washington, D.C.

Behenna, 30, spent five years behind bars after being sentenced to 25 years and, later, having that term reduced to 15 years.  While there, he and Army Sgt. 1st Class Kelly A. Stewart, the man whose life story is chronicled in my book, Three Days In August: A U.S. Army Special Forces Soldier’s Fight For Military Justice, became good friends behind bars at Fort Leavenworth.

Since June 4, 2009, I’ve written and published more than 60 articles about Behenna’s case, including the four highlighted below:

Army 15-6 Investigation Report Proves Elusive (Jan. 15, 2013);

Is Army Protecting Someone in Officer’s Chain of Command? (Aug. 20, 2012);

American Warfighters Deserve Same Consideration as Taliban (July 17, 2012); and

Photos Show Scene Where Trail of Injustice Began (Feb. 10, 2010).

Best wishes to all, and welcome home, Michael!

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August and THE CLAPPER MEMO. 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 and THE CLAPPER MEMO. To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

War on Men in the Military: Cases Shockingly Similar

While reading a WRAL.com article today, I couldn’t help but notice 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.

U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Jeffrey A. Sinclair, the deputy commanding general of support with the 82nd Airborne Division and Regional Command-South, speaks with Afghan media outside of a school near Forward Operating Base Howz-e-Madad in Kandahar, Afghanistan, Nov. 16, 2011. Sinclair was attending an open house, where Afghan students received backpacks full of school supplies. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Amanda Hils/Released)

U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Jeffrey A. Sinclair is shown near Forward Operating Base Howz-e-Madad in Kandahar, Afghanistan, Nov. 16, 2011. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Amanda Hils/Released)

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.

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.

Read the reviews.

Read the reviews.

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 8:11 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 and THE CLAPPER MEMO. 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 and THE CLAPPER MEMO. To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Military Officers Used As Pawns by U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill

Senior military officers are repeatedly being used as pawns in the political campaign that is U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill’s (D-Mo.) War on Men in the Military.

McCaskill News Release 1-17-14

In my inbox this morning, I received another news release from Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) as she wages her “War on Men in the Military.”

Via email today, I received yet another in a constant stream of news releases from the office of the Show-Me State’s senior senator in Washington.  An excerpt the news release appears below:

Former sex crimes prosecutor and U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill today met with Major General Jeffrey Snow, the new director of the Department of Defense Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office (SAPRO), to discuss implementing a series of aggressive, historic reforms addressing sexual assault that were passed into law last month.

McCaskill and Snow also addressed recent statistics that showed a 50 percent increase in reporting in the 2013 fiscal year. Advocates who successfully pushed for changes to the military justice system—including McCaskill—have near-universal agreement that increases in reporting of these crimes will represent progress in the effort to curb them.

“The numbers show that these reforms may already be starting to work, but we have to continue being vigilant in addressing these crimes,” said McCaskill, a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. “Maj. Gen. Snow understands that his job will be incredibly difficult, and he knows he will be under an enormous amount of pressure from me, my colleagues, and the American people to get this right. Retaining a limited role for commanders, while instituting these historic reforms, is the key to curbing sexual assaults in the military, and the key to getting justice for our nations heroes.”

IF all of the claims Senator McCaskill makes in today’s news release were true, then I might be inclined to support her campaign for military justice system reforms.  Unfortunately, however, they’re not!  Instead, they’re just as biased and full of misinformation as those made in a news release I received from her office via email three days ago (see photo below) and in entries on her website page dedicated to this topic.

Photo from Sen. McCaskill News Release 1-14-14.

This photo shows “Claire Bear” meeting earlier this week with Maj. Gen. Margaret Woodward, the outgoing head of the Air Force Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office, and Brig. Gen. Gina Grosso, who has been tasked with filling Woodward’s position.

IF Senator McCaskill and others of her ilk were willing to actually listen to any of the dozens of victims of the military justice system — men and women alike — who’ve contacted me after reading my book, Three Days In August, she would be shocked by the true stories they share.  And, hopefully, she would rethink her position.  So would you!

For a better understanding of the issues involved, I recommend you read two of my most-recent articles about the War on Men in the Military.

To order, click image above.

To order, click image above.

In one piece, I share the views of military defense attorney Richard Stevens as he drives home the point that “the military justice system is being turned into the military prosecution, or persecution, system in court-martial cases alleging rape and/or sexual assault (UCMJ Article 120).”

In another, I highlight a new book, The Whole Truth: The Tainted Prosecution of an American Fighter Pilot.  Written by retired Air Force Col. Bob Harvey, it dissects the wrongful conviction case involving Air Force Lt. Col. James H. Wilkerson III and how a three-star general did the right thing when he overturned that conviction.

If you want to read more about the ongoing efforts to degrade the military justice system, I recommend you read my Top 10 Military Justice System Stories of 2013 as well as a piece published 16 months ago in which an experience military defense attorney says he believes 90 percent of military sexual assault cases would be thrown out of civilian courts due to lack of evidence.

To learn the most-minute details about the wrongful prosecution and conviction of one of our nation’s most-elite warriors, add Three Days In August to your library today.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August and THE CLAPPER MEMO. 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 and THE CLAPPER MEMO. To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

V-MAIL: World War II Soldier Writes Message to Parents

Before there was e-mail, Twitter, Facebook or any of myriad ways for American Soldiers to communicate with loved ones back home, there was V-MAIL. Below is the text of a V-Mail (a.k.a., “Victory Mail”) message dated Oct. 10, 1944. Written by a 20-year-old Army private serving on the the front lines in Northwestern Germany during World War II, it carried thoughtful messages as it was delivered to his parents in Promise City, Iowa:

Vmail Exterior

This is what the outside of a V-MAIL message looked like in 1944.

Dear Dad + Mom,

Below the address block, this is the interior of the V-Mail message.

Below the address block, this is what the interior of the V-Mail message looked like.

I just finished a couple letters so I think I’ll write a few lines to you. The sky is very clear tonight and it is turning awfully chilly. By morning it will be very nippy I imagine. My socks are a little damp so I am going to put on a dry pair before going to bed. Between the bumps, cold + my rifle in bed with me to keep it dry, I admit I have had more comfortable beds. We’re supposed to get two more blankets soon so it will improve the situation alot. I hope. I got three letters today. They started with the eighteenth, the first mail I got + have been going backwards. Today they dated back to the 11th of Sept. I heard you weren’t feeling so good about that time. I hope you are much better now, mom. You should take your regular vacation in Florida again this winter. Right? Well it’s time to put the cat out and wind the clock for tonight. Goodnite.

Your loving son, Ted.

Dad's Official Army Photo

Dad’s Official Army photo

The American Soldier who wrote the letter above was my dad. Fortunately, he and all three of his older brothers who served during World War II came home alive!

Veterans Day remains special to me, in part, because I served and several of my siblings, in-laws and friends also wore the uniforms of this country’s Armed Forces. It is, however, my dad’s Army experiences that stand out the most. To learn more about those experiences, read the 12-part series, My Father’s War Stories from World War II, which debuted in this space May 25, 2007.

Final note: Please share this with anyone you think might appreciate it.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August and THE CLAPPER MEMO. 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 and THE CLAPPER MEMO. To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Second Anniversary of First Book Prompts Review of Book Reviews

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

Reviews of "Three Days In August" by Bob McCartyReviews 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

Atlas Shrugs' Pamela Geller

Atlas Shrugs’ Pamela 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 and THE CLAPPER MEMO. 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 and THE CLAPPER MEMO. To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Observing 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.

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 A. Stewart returns from a mission in Iraq.

Kelly A. 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.

Sgt. 1st Class Kelly A. Stewart at work in Iraq.

Kelly A. 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.

Sgt. 1st Class Kelly A. Stewart on duty in Iraq.

Kelly A. 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 meets country music superstar Toby Keith at an undisclosed location in Iraq.

Kelly Stewart and Toby Keith

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 and THE CLAPPER MEMO. 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 and THE CLAPPER MEMO. To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Book About Green Beret’s Bogus Conviction on Sexual Assault Charges Nears 2nd Anniversary

To mark the upcoming second anniversary of the release of my first nonfiction book, Three Days In August:  A U.S. Army Special Forces Soldier’s Fight For Military Justice, my publisher has reduced the prices on the book!

Three Days In August by Bob McCartyReleased in October 2011, Three Days In August chronicles the life story of U.S. Army Sergeant First Class Kelly A. Stewart.  A highly-decorated combat veteran, Stewart had an unblemished military record and stood among the best of the best as one of the world’s most-elite warriors — a Green Beret.  Everything changed after he was accused of raping and kidnapping by a 28-year-old German woman.  The “he said, she said” trial, during which he was found guilty of several sexual assault-related charges, took place during three days in August 2009.

The ebook is now available at the retail price of US $3.99, and the paperback [previously US $14.99 (plus s/h/i)] is available at the retail price of US $11.99 (plus s/h/i). Prices outside the United States will be based on these new U.S. prices. Order your copy today!

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August and THE CLAPPER MEMO. 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 and THE CLAPPER MEMO. To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.