EDITOR’S NOTE: I’ve been following the case of Army Ranger 1st Lt. Michael Behenna since 2009. I even wrote a book, Three Days In August, about Army Sgt. 1st Class Kelly A. Stewart, another wrongfully-convicted man the lieutenant befriended while both served time behind the walls of the U.S. Military Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. Today, I share an email update (unedited below) from Lieutenant Behenna’s parents, Scott and Vicki Behenna:
To all the thousands of Michael supporters,
Michael’s case, including the Petition, the Government Response, and the Reply to the Government Response, is now complete and before the Supreme Court. The Supremes have set Michael’s case to be initially discussed at their conference on May 30th which is ironically during the 50th Anniversary of Brady vs Maryland (the Supreme Court case demanding that prosecutors disclose all beneficial information to the criminally accused). During the conference, four out of the nine Supreme Court Justices must vote to hear the case in order to grant certiorari. If certiorari is granted in Michael’s case it would be the first time the Supremes would have granted a service member’s appeal from the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces (CAAF). Needless to say, anxiousness will abound for the next few weeks and prayers are certainly welcome. We should have the Court’s decision sometime during the first week of June. If the Court grants certiorari, Michael’s case would proceed through a briefing process, oral arguments, and a decision by the Supreme Court hopefully before the end of the year.
We can’t thank you enough for all the encouraging cards and letters that you sent to Michael for his birthday. As Michael told us this past weekend it is these cards and letters that help him navigate the sometimes helpless and hopeless thoughts that have haunted him these past four years behind prison walls. He reads every card and letter sent to him, but given his prison schedule of work, exercise time, meals and early lights out he unfortunately does not have time to send out very many thank you notes. For this he sends his apologies and hopes a day will come soon when he can thank all of you in person.
If you did not see the Mother’s Day tribute to Vicki last Sunday in the Oklahoman, hopefully the attached video and article will describe the huge appreciation we have for all your support and what your individual words of encouragement have meant to Michael and our whole family.
Bob McCarty has connected the dots to a story that otherwise would not have seen the light of day. He has exposed the ongoing and unceasing activities of a small group of US government bureaucrats that should outrage the entire US population.
It is unconscionable that administration-after-administration has allowed this national disgrace to continue unabated for the past 50 years. The safety and security of our military members should trump the agenda of a handful of power hungry bureaucrats. The absolute faith by these bureaucrats in a scientifically flawed device – namely the polygraph – appears to have caused significant damage to the international reputation and security of the United States.
Further, the stamp of approval given to the polygraph by the US government appears to have also caused serious damage to other nations as well – Iraq, Afghanistan and Mexico to name a few. The true extent of the damage caused by polygraph will perhaps never be known, since the US government does not publicly admit to such gross maleficence and failures. However, the cases brought to light by Bob McCarty are a damning indictment against continued support of the polygraph by the US government.
It is amazing that otherwise world-class agencies such as the FBI, CIA, DOD, and DHS continue to rely on a 100 year old technology that is scientifically proven to be worthless for intelligence screening operations. This book should be required reading for all involved in the “War on Terror” both at home and abroad. Bob McCarty should be commended for exposing this pseudoscientific government-backed fraud.
During a morning news conference today at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., U.S. Navy SEAL Team Six family members said a flawed vetting process is partly to blame for the deaths of their loved ones in Afghanistan. In my just-released nonfiction book, THE CLAPPER MEMO, I reached the same conclusion based on four years of in-depth investigation.
Though I was unable to attend today’s news conference in person, the NPC web page for the event contained an outline of seven items family members said they would reveal while highlighting “the government’s culpability in the deaths of their sons in a fatal helicopter crash in Afghanistan following the successful raid on Osama Bin Laden’s compound.” One of those items appears below and is particularly relevant:
#6. How Afghani forces accompanying the Navy SEAL Team VI servicemen on the helicopter were not properly vetted and how they possibly disclosed classified information to the Taliban about the mission, resulting in the shoot down of the helicopter.
In THE CLAPPER MEMO, I not only expose major flaws in the eight-step vetting process currently being used to vet Afghans before they are allowed to don their uniforms and work alongside Americans assigned to train and mentor them, but I trace the problem back almost ten years to the issuance of the first of three Department of Defense memos. All three memos deemed the polygraph the only credibility assessment technology approved for use by agency employees (i.e., military and intelligence personnel). One was issued by James R. Clapper Jr., now our nation’s top intelligence official.
“You have got a wealth of people in the Air Force who understand what this job has to be, and if the allegations in this case are true this was not someone who understood what his job was about,” said Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) in a news release I received from her office via email today. “I will be watching very closely who is selected to replace him, because I think this will be one of those times you can send a message.”
U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.)
The senator was, of course, referring to the job held by Lt. Col. Jeff Krusinski, the officer in charge of the U.S. Air Force’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office, until he was arrested during the wee morning hours of May 5, according to a police report published the next day (shown below):
SEXUAL BATTERY, 05/05/13, 500 block of S. 23rd Street. On May 5 at 12:35 am, a drunken male subject approached a female victim in a parking lot and grabbed her breasts and buttocks. The victim fought the suspect off as he attempted to touch her again and alerted police. Jeffrey Krusinski, 41, of Arlington, VA, was arrested and charged with sexual battery. He was held on a $5,000 unsecured bond.
If Colonel Krusinski is guilty, he should suffer the appropriate punishment. Until that is determined, however, people like Senator McCaskill — who knows better as a former prosecutor in Jackson County, Mo.– should shut their mouths and remember the presumption that a person is “innocent until proven guilty.”
Unfortunately, Senator McCaskill has a track record of struggling to keep her mouth shut, especially while serving as a mouthpiece in DoD’s War on Men.
“Rape is the crime of a coward—and rapists in the ranks are masquerading as real members of our military,” Senator McCaskill explained in a March 13 news release, adding,“The focus of our efforts should be on effective prosecution. There’s no reason a General who’s never heard the testimony of factual witnesses should be able to wipe out a verdict with the stroke of a pen.”
Even more unfortunately, she’s been joined in her latest effort by news organizations — see here, here and here as examples — who’ve gone the extra mile to convey a mugshot image of the 41-year-old officer as “already guilty” while making no mentions of important facts about the man.
Neither the senator nor the media outlets mention that, according to this commentary, Colonel Krusinski deployed to Iraq in 2009 to serve as Deputy Expeditionary Mission Support Group Commander at Joint Base Balad.
And who cares that he served honorably for more than 21 years! He might <emphasis added> have committed a misdemeanor sexual assault and, at a minimum, deserves to be treated as innocent until proven guilty.
All that aside, I cannot imagine anyone wanting to replace Colonel Krusinski as chief of SAPRO and a co-conspirator with Senator McCaskill in destroying the military from within.
This is ugly folks.
UPDATE: A few minutes before publishing this piece, I heard a radio report featuring President Barack Obama stating, “I have directly spoken directly to Secretary Hagel already today, indicating to him that we’re going to have to not just step up our game – we have to exponentially step up our game to go at this thing hard.”Reuters confirms the quote.
If you’re like me, you believe U.S. military and intelligence professionals deserve the very best equipment available when it comes time to interrogate enemy combatants and suspected terrorists and vetting others who work alongside Americans in places like Afghanistan. Unfortunately, many of the 150-plus people mentioned in my recently-published second nonfiction book, THE CLAPPER MEMO, seem to think otherwise.
Your challenge, now, is to take a look at the list of names below — which, by the way, includes top government officials, Islamic terrorists, university professors and top-level politicians — and determine which side you believe each person is on when it comes to wanting the best for our troops in harm’s way:
A thru C — Dante Acosta, Rudy Acosta, Shia Ahmed, John R. Allen and Mohammed al-Khatani; Aldrich H. Ames, Rob Andrews, Tariq Aziz, Brian Badura and Christopher Daniel Bagley; Allan D. Bell Jr., Catherine F. Bishop, Bradley Blackburn, Christopher ‘Kit’ Bond and Jeffrey Bordin; Bryan D. Brown, John C. Brown, George W. Bush, Stephen A. Cambone and John G. Capps; Michael H. Capps, James L. Chapman, James R. Clapper Jr., John Cook and John Evader Couey; Robert J. Cramer, Christina R. Crossland, Michael Crow, Stephanie Crow and Jimmie E. Cummings; and Randy “Duke” Cunningham and Chris Cuomo.
D thru G — Kelly R. Damphousse, Steven Davis, Bill Dedman, Mike DeFrancisco and Martin E. Dempsey; Jeff Deskovic, John Deutch, Lincoln Diaz-Balart, Robert Dodd and Glen Doherty; Heath Druzin, Donnie Dutton, William F. “Bill” Endler, Anders Eriksson and Chris Fausett; Thomas E. Feucht, Sheri Flynn, Wilson H. Ford, Dave Foster and Gary Gallagher; Christopher Garver, Robert Gates, Edward I. Gelb, Larry Greenemeier and Bill Greenwalt; and James Gregory and Glenn Greenwald.
H thru L — Wayne V. Hall, Daniel Halper, Mark Hansen, James Harnsberger and James Harrison Jr.; Jolene Hernon, Seth Hettina, Lori Hodge, Harry Hollien and Paul R. Hollrah; Jim Holmes, Frank Horvath, Charles Humble, Saddam Hussein and Ernest Istook; Patrick J. Jones, Janet Joyce, Hamid Karzai, Marty Kauchak and Norman Kempster; Ronald Kessler, Donald J. Krapohl, Francisco Lacerda, Ulf Laessing, Indira A. Lakshmanan and Wen Ho Lee; and David Lerman, Som Lisaius, Natalie T. Lu and Mark Lunsford.
Q, R and S — JonBenet Ramsey, Ronald Reagan, John Redfield, Drew Campbell Richardson and Geraldo Rivera; Robert W. Rogalski, Brian Ross, Donald Rumsfeld, Andrew H. Ryan Jr. and Wilberto Sabalu; Catherine Sanders, Rick Santorum, Diane Sawyer, George Schulz and Sediq Sediqqi; Stuart Senter, Scott Shane, Larry Shaughnessy, Kendall Shull and “Commander Simon”; and Sean Smith, Jeffrey St. Clair, Marigo Stathis, Mark Stephenson and Christopher Stevens.
T thru Z — Jim Talent, Bruce G. Taylor, Marisa Taylor, Clarence Thomas and Sheila Tillery; Len Tria, Deidra Upchurch-McCloud, Greta Van Susteren, Thomas F. Veale and John Anthony Walker Jr.; and Milton O. ‘Skip’ Webb, Tim Weiner, John Wendle, Tyrone Woods, R. James Woolsey and David Wyllie.
Based upon limited information, it’s difficult to make such determinations, isn’t it?
During the next few weeks, I’ll be making the rounds on talk radio programs around the country to talk about my just-released second nonfiction book, THE CLAPPER MEMO. The talk radio tour begins in St. Louis.
On Saturday morning, I’ll be a guest of Dr. Randy Tobler on FM News Talk 97.1‘s The Randy Tobler Show. The segment is slated to begin at 6:45.
On Wednesday night, I’ll make a guest appearance on Missouri Grassroots Radio, hosted by Lisa Payne-Naeger. The segment is set to take place during the 7 o’clock hour.
I hope you’ll listen to both programs and call in with your questions.
In THE CLAPPER MEMO, I take readers behind the scenes of a 40-year turf war and share what I learned about polygraph loyalists and their no-holds-barred campaign to eliminate competing investigative technologies that threaten to put them out of business. Most importantly, I connect the dots between three Department of Defense memos — including one signed by James R. Clapper Jr. before he became the nation’s top intelligence official — and hundreds of American casualties resulting from “Green-on-Blue” (a.k.a., “Insider”) attacks in Afghanistan during the past six years.
The product of an exhaustive four-year investigation, this book has already received three major endorsements (shown below):
• “Bob McCarty’s book, THE CLAPPER MEMO, represents perhaps the most thorough investigative reporting I have encountered in years. I direct the attention of the so-called major media to it. This is how it’s done!” — David P. Schippers, former director of the U.S. Department of Justice Organized Crime Task Force in Chicago; Chief Investigative Counsel for the U.S. House of Representatives during Clinton Impeachment Hearings (1998); and author of the book, SELLOUT: The Inside Story of President Clinton’s Impeachment.
• “Any American with a sense of fair play and a desire to see that our intelligence and vetting personnel have the best information possible should read THE CLAPPER MEMO… clearly an unconscionable cover-up.” — Capt. Larry W. Bailey, U.S. Navy SEAL (Ret.), former commander of the U.S. Navy Basic Underwater Demolition/SEALs Training Program (a.k.a. “BUD/S”) and co-founder of Special Operations Speaks; and
• “Bob McCarty has uncovered a high-tech ‘turf war’ pitting those who want the best for our troops against others who seem to be focused on their own self-interests. Sadly, it seems the wrong people are winning this war. I highly recommend THE CLAPPER MEMO.” — Maj. Gen. Paul Vallely, U.S. Army (Ret.), former deputy commander, U.S. Army Pacific now serving as chair of two organizations, Stand Up America and Nemo Arms, Inc., he became well known as a senior military analyst on Fox News Channel from 2000 to 2007.
Trade paperback versions of the book will be available online at Amazon and a number of other online locations, and I will update this post as each site “goes live.”
As was the case with my first book, Three Days In August, you will be able to place orders for paperback copies of THE CLAPPER MEMO from most local bookstores after it enters the distribution system. In addition, the paperback will become available at more online retailers during the next few days.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Early this afternoon, I received an unsolicited message from a retired Air Force officer. With her permission, I share it (below) with only minor modifications, mostly related to formatting:
Lt. Gen. Craig A. Franklin, USAF
First, let me thank you for taking on the issues you do. I have read many articles regarding the “sexual assault/exploitation” of women in the military (AF lately), and shake my head in disbelief.
I was a Commissioned Officer (Ret O-5) for 23 years in the Air Force. While flirting certainly did go on, never once did I ever feel threatened [sic], in any way. I have known (military and civilian) women who were far from saintly and would do things out of vindictiveness to destroy a spurned lover’s career, including lying.
In the military, I spent time overseas, as well as living in field conditions during the Iraq War (I am a nurse) where there were about 100 women and 3000 men in our camp. I always felt our senior leaders were very protective of us. I am not implying that sexual assault does not go on. It does and it needs to be dealt with no different than the civilian system. I do not however, believe it is the rampant issue that the media would lead one to believe.
It seems that to be a male in the military implies instant guilt when a female makes an accusation of sexual-anything. I find this very disturbing. It is akin to the old “witch hunts.” The accused men deserve the same defense as those tried in a civilian court, and I’m not convinced that is happening.
U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.)
When I read the reports re: General Craig Franklin, I immediately knew that if General Franklin felt like the accused was innocent, he did what he needed to do, irregardless of what is politically correct (Sen. Claire McCaskill). My husband and I have been acquaintances with General Franklin professionally for many years. You will not meet a man with a deeper sense of loyalty and integrity than him.
It disgusts me that people such as Senator McCaskill are making an issue of a decision he was entitled to make and did so according to his knowledge and his integrity. I applaud him for do the “right” thing, not the current “politically correct” one.
Thank you for taking a stand on behalf of those who may otherwise have no support.
Charlotte J. Fulton
Read more about the kinds of cases to which she’s referring in my series, DoD’s War on Men.
FYI: In case you don’t think I have a heart, let me share a story. When I was a young second lieutenant on my first assignment in the Air Force, I had to handle a sexual assault case. A senior enlisted member of my staff had attempted to sexually assault a junior enlisted member of my staff inside her on-base quarters. After an investigation, he was able to avoid court-martial proceedings by accepting a demotion, a sizable reduction in retirement pay and an immediate and sizable financial penalty. The accuser was satisfied with the outcome, and justice was served.
U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) continued playing her legislative role in support of DoD’s War on Men, the no-holds-barred effort seemingly aimed at convicting any male serviceman accused of sexual assault and making an already-flawed military justice system worse.
U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.)
During the lunch hour today in the nation’s capitol, according to this media advisory, she was scheduled to be flanked by “more than 100 survivors of sexual assault pushing for changes in the military justice system” as she delivered the keynote address during the Service Women’s Action Network’s Summit on Military Sexual Violence at the Hyatt Regency Washington.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s not that I don’t believe some of the so-called “survivors” suffered some sort of sexual assault; instead, I tend to place more trust in what I learn by reading actual investigation reports, Records of Trial and transcripts from hearings held before and after courts-martial took place. Why? Because I don’t trust politicians who use people as props, and I don’t trust lawyers. Senator McCaskill matches both descriptions!
Stewart, whose life story is chronicled in my first nonfiction book, Three Days In August, faces living the rest of his life as a convicted sex offender — unless a presidential pardon comes his way — because the convening authority in his case, Brig. Gen. Steven L. Salazar, opted against ordering a new trial or overturning his conviction. His decision came despite the testimony of three individuals — people who did not know Stewart but knew his accuser — during a post-trial hearing. They said the accuser had lied multiple times during Stewart’s trial!
Since publishing the book in October 2011, I’ve been contacted by dozens of people connected by birth, marriage or friendship to men serving in the U.S. Armed Forces, men facing or already convicted of crimes under the banner of sexual assault.
The most recent case involves Air Force Lt. Col. James H. Wilkerson III, a fighter pilot who was on the fast track toward general officer status until Kimberly Hanks accused him of aggravated sexual assault. NBC News aired a version of the case (see video below) that included an interview arranged by the group, Protect Our Defenders.
A friend of Colonel Wilkerson contacted me recently and advised me to look at “Defense Exhibits Q,” a short video showing the room in which the alleged assault took place and the path leading to the upstairs quarters where the colonel and his wife, Beth, said they were sleeping.
“Pay attention that the overhead lights are the only lights in that room,” the friend wrote, including a photo of the room (above). “Then read her testimony. Completely exclude (Colonel Wilkerson) and look at what she said occurred, and it’s simply not possible.”
Included, but certainly not alone among the documents and videos, is one of special interest to me as the author of another soon-to-be-published nonfiction book, THE CLAPPER MEMO, because it relates to the polygraph.
While court records show Colonel Wilkerson volunteered to submit himself to a polygraph exam, he did so under the mistaken belief that it would help him clear his name. Like most Americans, he was unaware of how unreliable polygraph exams can be. Fortunately for the colonel, General Franklin is familiar with the polygraph and cited its “inherent unreliability” in his letter to Secretary Donley. And he’s not alone!
“Bob McCarty has uncovered a high-tech ‘turf war’ pitting those who want the best for our troops against others who seem to be focused on their own self-interests,” said Maj. Gen. Paul E. Vallely, a retired Army officer most Americans recognize asthe senior military analyst who appeared so many times onFox News Channel from 2000 to 2007. Referring to those of the polygraph-only mindset, the man who now headsStand Up America added, “Sadly, it seems the wrong people are winning this war. I highly recommend THE CLAPPER MEMO.”
Capt. Larry Bailey, U.S. Navy SEAL Ret.
“Any American with a sense of fair play and a desire to see that our intelligence and vetting personnel have the best information possible should read THE CLAPPER MEMO,“ saidCapt. Larry W. Bailey, a retired U.S. Navy SEAL who once served as commander of the Basic Underwater Demolition/SEALs (a.k.a., “BUD/S”) training program and now serves as a founding member ofSpecial Operations Speaks. Later, he described what I reveal in the book as“an unconscionable cover-up.”
This is not the first and will not be the last article in my series, DoD’s War on Men, so stay tuned!
EDITOR’S NOTE: In case you don’t think I have a heart, let me share a story. When I was a young second lieutenant on my first assignment in the Air Force, I had to handle a sexual assault case. A senior enlisted member of my staff had attempted to sexually assault a junior enlisted member of my staff inside her on-base quarters. After an investigation, he was able to avoid court-martial proceedings by accepting a demotion, a sizable reduction in retirement pay and an immediate and sizable financial penalty. The accuser was satisfied with the outcome, and justice was served.
Air Force Lt. Gen. Craig A. Franklin appears as if he’s not going to go down without a fight when it comes to allegations by Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and others that he was wrong to dismiss a sexual assault conviction against Lt. Col. James H. Wilkerson III.
Lt. Gen. Craig A. Franklin, USAF
Today, the Third Air Force commander who served as convening authority in the case against Colonel Wilkerson made a plethora of case-related documents available to visitors on the Air Force Freedom of Information Act website.
Collectively referred to as the Record of Trial, the list of documents includes all pre-trial, trial and post-trial documents as well as a link to the six-page letter (pdf) General Franklin voluntarily wrote to Secretary of the Air Force Michael B. Donley — which I referenced in an article published Thursday — appears on the site.
Is this an unprecedented move by a convening authority? I don’t know for sure. It is, however, a bold move by a general officer who seems to be focused on doing what’s right instead of doing whether it takes to earn a fourth star. For that, I salute you, General Franklin.
Read more about this case and others I’ve highlighted in my series, DoD’s War on Men.