Pentagon Contracting Blunders Highlighted in Article, Book

In his latest article in The Washington Times, Rowan Scarborough tells a story of poor decision-making at the Pentagon that is very similar to the story I tell in my latest nonfiction book, THE CLAPPER MEMO.

The book, THE CLAPPER MEMO, is shown superimposed on a photo of an M4 carbine. Photo credit: U.S. Army photo by Spc. Ken Scar.

The book, THE CLAPPER MEMO, is shown superimposed on a photo of an M4 carbine. Photo credit: U.S. Army photo by Spc. Ken Scar.

Scarborough reports on Department of Defense decision-making that has resulted in the flawed M4 carbine being foisted upon Soldiers who, in order to have it work somewhat reliably, must make their own modifications to it.

What happens to Soldiers unable to make those mods? I think the answer to that question is obvious.

In THE CLAPPER MEMO, I use nearly 300 pages to reveal how the same kind of decision-making has resulted in the century-old polygraph remaining as DoD’s credibility assessment technology of choice even after a newer technology proved itself less expensive and more accurate.

Along the way, I share never-before-published details about key decisions made by top DoD officials — including Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. when he was serving as Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence — and about key decisions that need to be made in the future to correct grievous wrongs.

Retired U.S. Navy Capt. Larry W. Bailey 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 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.

Officer Becomes Poster Child for Navy’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Yesterday, I received a Facebook message from a woman who told me the condensed-version story of her husband — a Navy officer, loving father and veteran of multiple combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan — who became a poster child for the push to stem sexual assaults in the Navy.

From left, Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Rick D. West and Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert listen as Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus speaks during an all hands call aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5) March 5, 2012, at Naval Station Norfolk, Va. Sexual assault was one of the topics during the session. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Peter D. Lawlor/Released)

By her account, his story rings similar to that of Army Green Beret Sgt. 1st Class Kelly A. Stewart, the man whose life is chronicled in my book, Three Days In August.

While I’m not yet at liberty to disclose the names of the individuals involved, I can offer a few key details that this sailor’s wife — herself a Navy veteran — shared with me:

First, she said, senior Navy officials decide to press charges against her husband despite the fact that an Article 32 (i.e., preliminary) investigation produced a recommendation against sending her husband to face court-martial proceedings;

Second, she said, her husband was convicted of aggravated sexual assault against an enlisted female sailor even though she claimed she could not remember details about the series of events — including the alleged assault — that had taken place at and near a pub in Germany; and

Third, she said, the conviction came at the end of a week-long trial that took place on the heels of the Navy’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

Aside from the three points above, it’s important to note that this Navy officer’s wife isn’t simply out to free her husband from a jail cell; instead, she said, she wants to affect change in the military justice system so that people like here husband do not have their lives impacted in such a horrible way.

I’ll provide updates — about this case, about another career ruined, about another warrior behind bars — as I learn more.

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.

‘No Easy Day’ Describes Green Beret’s Time on Witness Stand

NO EASY DAY is the title of a soon-to-be-released book by a former Navy SEAL-turned author of an unauthorized account of the 2011 Navy SEALs raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan.  It could also describe the time former Green Beret Kelly A. Stewart spent testifying during his court martial in August 2009.

According to The Daily Beast, Admiral William McRaven used a letter to members of the his Special Operations Command to issue a veiled warning to man behind the book, NO EASY DAY.  The Special Operations Command commander wrote the following:

“Every member of the special-operations community with a security clearance signed a non-disclosure agreement that was binding during and after service in the military. If the U.S. Special Operations Command finds that an active-duty, retired or former service member violated that agreement and that exposure of information was detrimental to the safety of U.S. forces, then we will pursue every option available to hold members accountable, including criminal prosecution where appropriate.”

I will, of course, leave it up to Admiral McRaven and others to determine whether or not that book’s author — whose name I will not reveal — violated the terms of his service.  In the same breath, however, I’ll offer applause for Stewart, who refused to violate the terms of his nondisclosure agreement — even while on trial for his life in a military courtroom in Germany.

The government’s cross-examination of then-Sgt. 1st Class Stewart on Day Two of his court-martial began with the trial counsel asking him questions about friendships he had established in Germany since his August 2008 arrival in the Stuttgart area.  Before long, however, it turned into a somewhat-heated exchange—something Stewart later described as being similar to a courtroom scene from the movie, A Few Good Men.

In that scene, a Marine colonel (Jack Nicholson) on the witness stand was accused by a young Navy defense attorney (Tom Cruise) of ordering a “Code Red”—an illegal beating of a Marine by members of his platoon that resulted in his death and a subsequent cover-up.  Several minutes of heated exchange between the officers resulted in the colonel finally losing his cool and admitting he ordered the attack.

“Every schooling and every assessment that the military has done on me to assess that I’m stable,” Stewart said, “and that I’m trusted with national security issues and that I can be trusted to make the right, conscious decisions, now is being turned around (so that) every one of those (are) predatory skills that I used to go after Miss Heinrich.”

Still, the trial counsel tried to paint Stewart, a man who had risen into the top three percent of the Army, as a master manipulator whose SF training helped him know how to control a person like his accuser, Greta J. Heinrich.

Blow-by-blow details of Stewart’s testimony appear in the book, Three Days In August: A U.S. Army Special Forces Soldier’s Fight for Military Justice, by Bob McCarty.  It’s available in paperback and ebook via most online booksellers, including 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.

Guilty of ‘Phoning It In’: House Veterans Affairs Committee Members Snub Veterans

Almost four months ago, retired Air Force Chief Master Sergeant John Stewart used an online submission tool to convey a message to members of the U.S. House of Representatives Veterans Affairs Committee in Washington, D.C.  A veteran who retired after almost three decades of active-duty service in the world of Air Force Special Operations, Chief Stewart needed to share his observations about that committee’s work.  The response he received today shows members of the committee appear to be ignoring veterans and “phoning it in” from the campaign trail.

Army Green Beret Sgt. 1st Class Kelly A. Stewart stands alongside his father, retired Air Force Chief Master Sgt. John Stewart.

On Monday, Feb. 27, at 9:05 p.m. Eastern, the chief clicked “send” on the following message, subject: “Reforming VA’s Flawed Fiduciary System”:

I read with interest notes from the recent The Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations (O&I) of the U.S. House Committee on Veterans Affairs regarding the atrocious fiduciary system.  I note there were none of us out here impacted by this flawed system appearing before the oversight hearing.  Afterwards I could not even contact the Chairman because his website refuses anyone not within his political district of responsibility.

Trust me, if you had brought a few of us up there experiencing this system I believe the final decision would have been to completely overhaul, or replace, the current methods. 

As an example I am currently a Member of the Board for our County Advisory Board, Member of the Board for Operation Welcome Home, Editor of two veterans newspapers, webmaster for 7 veterans websites, have performed hundreds if not thousands of funerals for veterans at national and private cemeteries, and more.  Yet I have been declared incompetent and if I had been privileged to relate the story of that process and what has occurred since it would have clearly shown just how flawed this system is.  And, I am only one of many.  Google “veterans fiduciary problems” to prove my point.

I pray you do something to rectify this situation and if any further hearings are planned you bring we little guys up there to tell it like it is.

John Stewart
CMSgt, USAF (ret)

Today at 2:41 p.m. Eastern, Chief Stewart received the less-than-thoughtful reply below from “The House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs”:

Dear Mr. Stewart,

Thank you for contacting the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. We depend upon hearing from veterans utilizing VA care and services to better serve your needs here in Congress. As the Committee with jurisdiction over the Department of Veterans Affairs, we thank you for taking the time to provide us with your experience. This information allows us to follow-up directly with VA regarding matters you bring to our attention.

Sincerely,

The House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs

Apparently, no one on the committee was brave enough to have his name appear below such a weak response during an election year. No surprise there!

I’d say Chief Stewart was more than kind to describe the response as “Absolutely amazing.”  After all of the hardship and sacrifice he and his wife, Renate, have made for this country during the past 30-plus years — including seeing their son, Kelly, wrongly convicted of crimes — one would think he might deserve just a bit more respect.

If you think Chief Stewart and other veterans deserve a little more respect than this reply demonstrates, CONTACT YOUR ELECTED OFFICIALS IN WASHINGTON, D.C., and demand they provide it!

UPDATE 6/30/12 at 6:24 p.m. Central:  This New York Times article seems to corroborate how Chief Stewart has described his VA experience during conversations with me.

* * *

Be sure to order a copy of my book about Stewart’s son, Three Days In August: A U.S. Army Special Forces Soldier’s Fight For Military Justice.  It will make your blood boil just like the news above probably did.

In addition, I invite you check out the website for my upcoming second nonfiction book, THE CLAPPER MEMO. Thanks in advance!