A National Shame


“In all our training, we were told to be ready and accept Afghan corruption as a way of doing business,” my buddy told me.

My friend is an Army officer who spent some time in Afghanistan advising local police, and to this day, he is haunted by the thought that what he saw one night at an Afghan police chief’s home was not the police chief’s nephew, as he had claimed, but a sex slave. “He looked traumatized,” my buddy said. “Looking back, he probably saw a whole bunch of us gathering at the chief’s house and thought he was going to be gang raped. He was terrified.”

My friend didn’t put it all together – the training, the instructions to ignore what was described as differences in culture, the young boy cowering in a corner of the police chief’s house – until later. And when he saw a PBS Frontline report about the “Dancing Boys of Afghanistan,” he knew. His interpreters told him about the crying they heard at night in their rooms, and he knew. He realized what was going on, and to this day, he feels guilt and remorse for not telling his chain of command what he saw.

But along with this guilt, my friend wonders if his chain of command would have done anything at all to protect this boy and others like him, because apparently, the United States military has turned its back on horrific child abuse in the name of collaboration with other cultures and maintaining good relations with the Afghan police.

In his last phone call home, Lance Cpl. Gregory Buckley Jr. told his father what was troubling him: From his bunk in southern Afghanistan, he could hear Afghan police officers sexually abusing boys they had brought to the base.

“At night we can hear them screaming, but we’re not allowed to do anything about it,” the Marine’s father, Gregory Buckley Sr., recalled his son telling him before he was shot to death at the base in 2012. He urged his son to tell his superiors. “My son said that his officers told him to look the other way because it’s their culture.”

This is disgusting! What’s even more disgusting is that two Soldiers who took it upon themselves to protect an innocent boy apparently got punished for it.

SFC Charles Martland and CPT Dan Quinn, according to press reports, beat up a militia commander who had a boy chained to his bed as a sex slave. Reports vary about just how badly this pederast scumbag was beaten, since he walked away from the incident – something that would never have happened had I been in that room (at the very least, he would not have walked away with his genitals intact) – and went to another military base to complain about his treatment. However, because the two acted in defense of an innocent and apparently ignored orders to turn a blind eye to such abuses, the two faced disciplinary action and had their military careers ruined.

After the beating, the Army relieved Captain Quinn of his command and pulled him from Afghanistan. He has since left the military.

Four years later, the Army is also trying to forcibly retire Sgt. First Class Charles Martland, a Special Forces member who joined Captain Quinn in beating up the commander.

As a matter of fact, a recent report says the Army has rejected Martland’s appeal of his discharge order!

The Pentagon now denies that any such orders to ignore Afghan abuses of young boys exists. The military denies this is official policy. And yet, my friend says his pre-deployment training included instructions to ignore blatant “corruption” and that it was simply a part of the Afghan culture.

Listen, I’m the last person to go off half-cocked about the military. I love the military. I’m an Army veteran. I joined the armed forces out of a sense of obligation – because I love my adopted country, and because I considered military service an honor. I felt my duty was not just to defend the Constitution of the United States, but to uphold the values, honor, and tradition of military service – to protect innocent lives. I still abide by this duty. I still believe my oath holds.

And that’s why I cannot fathom how any policy would defend this… this destruction of innocence… this abandonment of human decency… this outright annihilation of the human soul!

My friend thought about reporting what he saw, but did not think it would do any good. “We were told to accept Afghan corruption,” he said. And worse, after that night, the boy was taken elsewhere, and they never saw him again. Lance Cpl. Gregory Buckley Jr. confirmed my friend’s report in a conversation with his father before he was shot to death in 2012. He told his father that he could hear Afghan police officers sexually abusing boys they had brought to the base from his rack. “At night we can hear them screaming, but we’re not allowed to do anything about it,” the Marine’s father said. “My son said that his officers told him to look the other way because it’s their culture.”


FUCK THEIR CULTURE! There. I said it. It’s as clear as I can make it. This isn’t culture. This is child abuse. This is sub-human and unconscionable, and we – as American service members – should never walk away without doing something!

What kind of savages enslave little boys and use them as sex toys? What kind of sadists hear a child scream in pain as they forcibly penetrate them and take away every shred of dignity, innocence, and spirit, and then not only continue the act until sated, but chain the child like an animal – like property – and continue the abuse?

This is what we’re supposed to “unofficially” turn a blind eye to?

Sure, the Pentagon denies there’s an “official” policy in place to ignore child rape. But when numerous troops confirm that they were instructed to “ignore all corruption” and were hesitant to bring blatant incidents of abuse to the attention of their chain of command…

…and when two heroes who dared to confront the monster in front of them were penalized, their careers ruined, how can any rational, thinking human being NOT perceive this as anything BUT official policy?

“I was never told to report it or not to. You knew who had a chai boy and who didn’t,” another friend and veteran told me.


“The reason we weren’t able to step in with these local rape cases was we didn’t want to undermine the authority of the local government,” Dan Quinn told CNN. “We were trying to build up the local government. Us acting after the local government fails to can certainly undermine their credibility.”


“I was there in ’10-11 and saw proof of the debauchery constantly. I asked an O-6 about it and was told point blank ‘there’s nothing we can do about it,’” says yet another Soldier.


Another friend of mine, who spent a lot of time in Afghanistan as a civilian, told me she fired one of her Afghan employees after discovering footage of him getting obliterated in a heroin den with an boy on her iPad. “When the dancing ended, things went from bad to worse,” she recounted. “I wanted to be sick.” She turned the video over to the Afghan police, quoted the Koran and Afghan law to him on the subject, and then told him his family would be notified of the shame he brought upon them. He broke down, but it is an ugly facet of one part of their society, she said, and it happens a lot.

No, this is not a big secret. Our troops know it’s happening, and they’re disgusted by it. Civilians know what is going on. Media outlets have run the stories about these poor kids and the slime who abuse them. It’s common knowledge. But now that SFC Martland’s case is hitting the news, the DoD feels it necessary to deny the policy that directs our troops to ignore it?

This is what we’ve come down to? We’re so anxious to prove how non-interventionist, benevolent, non-occupationist and victorious against the Taliban we are, that we have not only joined forces with a bunch of savage pedophiles, but ignore the rape and enslavement of children on our own military bases?

Count me as one of those Soldiers who would not only ignore any direct order given to ignore the abuse, but who would stomp the pernicious bag of diarrhea committing said abuse into a moist, smelly spot on the pavement!

It’s one thing to respect another culture – yes, I’ll drink that jet fuel you call booze. No, I won’t care if you scratch your nuts at the dinner table. Of course I will respect your traditions at Ramadan and will not eat in public. I’ll even avoid making eye contact with the men in Afghanistan, as their culture dictates.

But where do we draw the line between respecting someone’s culture and allowing twisted troglodytes to destroy the lives of children for the sake of their status and their insatiable, depraved sexual proclivities?

Shouldn’t we, as Americans, military service members, and human beings intervene and stop these acts of malicious debauchery?

Sure, our mission is to fight the Taliban. Sure we’re supposed to train the Afghans to defend their own country. But it’s part of our mission to ensure that the innocent are protected. It’s our moral duty to ensure that murderous pederast scum do not destroy young lives. Not in a million years would I ever turn my back on an innocent child! Nor would I ever stand idly by and allow obvious, vicious, barbaric acts of rape – violations of human rights – go on under my nose!

I understand that if we start intervening in local jurisdictions, we will be viewed as an occupying force. I understand we need to allow Afghan law enforcement to do its job. I know we would scream bloody murder if another nation or an international organization attempted to intervene in our society, our law enforcement, and jurisprudence. I also understand that there’s a fine line between non-interference and allowing atrocities to go on unchecked under our noses – especially on our own bases. It is the very law enforcement officers whose job is supposed to be to protect innocent people from predators, who are violating children and beating women for protesting said abuse of their sons!

Enough is enough! We cannot stand by and do nothing; the fact that our Soldiers feel they cannot put a stop to this travesty is a national shame.

By the way, Congressman Duncan Hunter has written a letter on SFC Martland’s behalf to Secretary of Defense Ash Carter. In it, Duncan reiterates that Martland could no longer stand by and do nothing while atrocities were committed by the local police commander, and that his decision to intervene and protect the child was a moral one – as an American and a human being.

hunter letter

Drooling, cross-eyed retard sets stage for next tranche of SJW butthurt


I don’t know about you guys, but I’m really sick and tired of sniveling, perpetually-offended social justice warriors foisting their chafed labia on the rest of us via political and social pressure! It seems their entire lives consist of finding outlets for their affronts and offenses – real or imagined. I honestly can’t figure out how people who are so touchy and faint-hearted managed to live to adulthood with that much sand in their collective twats!

Enter this Rick Perlstein thing. I hesitate to call it a man, because no one bearing gonads should be this shrewish and whiny! Frankly, no one with any set of female genitals should be this petulant as well; hence it’s a “thing.”

Just take a look at this hypersensitive hipster wannabe uber douche! If this creature has any testosterone coursing through its body, I’d be shocked.

His latest screed takes on that shocking, racist, pernicious, filled with lying myths, and did I mention RACIST? symbol of white cis male hetero hate – the POW-MIA flag.

Yep, you read that correctly.

Does anyone else smell liberal panty-shitting?

Jonn over at TAH takes down this blubbering cock pickle’s “facts” pretty damn well, so I won’t rehash that here.

I was particularly fond of Jonn’s reply to this slack-jawed twat’s claim that “The number of actual prisoners, was about 550. The number of downed, missing pilots were spoken of, prima facia, as if they were missing, too, although almost all of them were certainly dead.”

Yeah, well, there were 591 POWs released for Operation Homecoming on February 12, 1973. According to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, there are still 1627 Americans missing from the war in Vietnam. Yeah, odds are that they’re dead, but they’re still missing, dimbulb. By the way, there are 83,117 Americans missing from all of our wars back to World War II. Even though the flag was borne out of the Vietnam War, it represents all of our POW and Missing – which is why the DPAA is still recovering World War II remains.

What I will say is this.

I realize all you members of the Covenant of the Chafed Cunt are interested in is finding the racism boogieman around every corner and under every bed. I realize you have no concept of honor, camaraderie, loyalty, or true friendship, because all your relationships are ones of convenience to be relegated to obscurity once they’ve outlived their usefulness. But not all Americans are like you, thank dog!

Those troops are likely deceased, but they have families, lovers, friends, and comrades awaiting closure, hoping to bring their remains home. They have a nation grateful for their service that wants to see its children come home. They have proud service members of yesterday and today, hoping their remains will see the land they loved again. And they will not forget.

We exchange prisoners for all sorts of things, including five Taliban scumbags for one deserter just this past year. Should we not at least afford those who died in the service of this nation the courtesy of making an effort of repatriating their remains? Well, if we are human beings with a shred of decency, we certainly would.

Those of us who claim membership in the human race, but act more like petulant monkeys, tossing shit grenades at everything they may find not to their liking, may think otherwise.

Perlstein is one of the latter.

A Long Time Until Now


As many of you know, sci-fi author Michael Z. Williamson and I have been friends for well over a decade now. My memory is faulty, so I can’t remember exactly how we met. I do know that Mike and I have nearly identical political views, and the conversations we have – whether in person, or online – are always fun, sometimes weird, but always interesting in some way. I provided some basic feedback and edits on his novel “Freehold” before it was published and edited by real professionals, and since then, I’ve read every novel Mike has written, as well as reviewed quite a few.

Mike’s latest novel, “A Long Time Until Now” is by far one of his best. It showcases his superb storytelling ability, as well as his knowledge of military operations, and his ability to turn what I consider to be dry research into something readable, fast-paced, and exciting. From the description on Amazon:

Ten soldiers on convoy in Afghanistan suddenly find themselves lost in time. Somehow, they arrived in Earth’s Paleolithic Asia. With no idea how they arrived or how to get back, the shock of the event is severe. They discover groups of the similarly displaced: Imperial Romans, Neolithic Europeans, and a small cadre of East Indian peasants. Despite their technological advantage, the soldiers only have ten people, and know no way home. Then two more time travelers arrive from a future far beyond the present. These time travelers may have the means to get back, but they aren’t giving it up. In fact, they may have a treacherous agenda of their own, one that may very well lead to the death of the displaced in a harsh and dangerous era.

Is the concept new or unique? Probably not. But the style, the writing, the characters, the story… I was hooked from the first page, much like I was when I first read “Freehold.” I understood the characters. I didn’t like some of them, and that’s a sign of a remarkable author – an author who can make characters seem real enough and human enough to make the reader have actual personal feelings for them.

The knowledge of military operations and the need to build an op from the ground up with few resources and a small number of personnel. I’d forgotten how important admins were to a unit. We sometimes look at them as REMFs who sit in their offices playing solitaire and lose our leave paperwork. We sometimes forget that they serve a critical function. Mike reminds us.

Cross training. We sometimes forget how important being a Soldier – first and foremost – is. We focus on our MOS, thinking we probably won’t need to use all those skills they taught us in basic training… combat aid, shooting, all the common tasks every troop should know. But what happens if you’re thrown into an unfamiliar environment, and you have to survive? How much will you remember? And beyond the basic skills of knowing how to put on a tourniquet and starting an IV line? How much do you know about astronomy, land navigation, basic sanitation, cooking, erecting a shelter? Do you know a foreign language? Do you know enough about its roots to adapt that skill to a completely unknown method of communication? Do you know about other cultures – enough to establish a respectful relationship with them, even though they may be something completely foreign compared to anything you’ve ever seen?

All these fields… medicine, history, sociology, foreign languages and culture, geography, astronomy… Mike demonstrates in a stark and emotional way just how critical it is for the modern Soldier to become a well-rounded individual. There’s no skill that our troops should eschew as unnecessary, especially with the current deployment tempo.

The research done for this novel is quite staggering. Mike describes it in an essay on Baen’s site, and it’s enough to make my head spin.

I sought professional papers on the subject. They’re sparse. Still, I read what there was, and quite a bit on other parts of Eurasia. I found one academic in the field who’d respond to my requests for help; Michael Williams (no relation) of the UK was helpful with some other sources and papers. His site is http://www.prehistoricshamanism.com/. My friends Jessica Schlenker (biologist) and Dale Josephs (research librarian) found a few more. Ross Martinek (petrologist) had some information on terrain and climate. I gathered what I could from all these.


Next, I started experimenting. I learned or refreshed quite a few skills while writing this. I made fire by friction with a firebow and fire plow. I tried several types of bugs, and prefer them cooked. Emily Baehr brought a bag of weeds (that’s plural, okay?) and showed me how to find an entire salad’s worth of greens in temperate biomes, even in residential lawns. I used primitive weapons to bag a few targets. I use bows regularly, and have thrown spears. I tried atl-atls and slings. I knapped some bottle glass.

Then I developed several recipes that will appear in my next collection of stories and articles. How do you cook a tasty meal with minimal spices and no cooking utensils? Well, it turns out you can create quite a few spices and seasonings from plants in the carrot family.

There are a lot of edible plants and quite a few spices in the Apiaceae family. In fact, almost all edible plants come from about six families, and do so in the last 7000 years or so. Before that, there’s some evidence of rice and wheat, and occasional possible evidence of fruit domestication (versus actual agriculture).

If you think any of this is easy, I would urge you to think again. Research in and of itself is a laborious process, but try and synthesize dry scientific data into a fascinating look into what could happen when a group of modern warriors is thrown into a frightening environment that challenges them to utilize every skill they have, as well as develop new ones, while throwing into doubtful chaos some very basic religious and social mores, and you have something special.

That’s what this book is. I’m not saying this because I have a personal relationship with the author. I’m saying this because it’s true.

Things that make you proud


Normally, not a lot of things make me cry… well, maybe lately, because of the unreal stress of having thieves steal my house, but generally no. But this week has been different and emotional.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few days, you’ve heard of the riots in Baltimore this week that resulted in attacks on police and destruction of property, as well as school cancellations. The violence is personal for me, because I lived in Baltimore for several years. I graduated from the Johns Hopkins University. I had a house there. I worked there. I have friends there. For several years, it was my city too, and to watch it turn to chaos was jarring.

But among all the negatives – the looting, the burning, the pillaging and destruction, there were some rays of sunshine.

Baltimore residents cleaning up the CVS that was damaged and looted.


The Baltimore mom who yanked her errant offspring from the streets around after she saw him among the rioting crowds. Kudos to her, despite the douchey, hanky-wringing, and pants soiling by the “everything is racism” crowd about people applauding the “beating of a black child.” It’s called parents taking responsibility for their children, you idiots. Learn from her!

The folks who helped and supported the police as they worked to control the unrest.


All of this fills me with SO much hope!

While this story fills me with tears of joy, because I’m a veteran… because I’m a woman… because…

A patio chair smashed the sandwich shop window.

Glass fell around Midshipman Brad Kadlubowski, seated before a window, at the Subway shop in Baltimore.

Inside, a father steered his wife and two children to the back of the shop on Saturday. His son has asthma; the father worried about tear gas.

Another chair smashed another window.

Everyone to the back, the midshipmen instructed.

There’s this commercial for the Navy on TV nowadays that I see sometimes. It features a bunch of Navy folks in all types of different jobs standing in defense of civilians. It’s beautifully done, and it’s a brilliant campaign. These Midshipmen embody everything in that great ad. They embody everything a character in “A Few Good Men” said about the Marines in that particular case, but it really applies to all of our military. “Because they stand on a wall and say, ‘Nothing’s going to hurt you tonight, not on my watch.‘”

Beautifully said, and beautifully expressed. My special feelings of warmth go to Midshipman Madisen Grinnell. When caught in the protests, these Midshipmen directed families and  to the back of the Subway shop, with women and children furthest back for safety. But not Midshipman Grinnell. “You’re in the military and a midshipmen — you should be in the front,” she insisted.

In the midst of all the drama and tears, Midshipman Grinnell, her male friends, and the folks in Baltimore who stood shoulder to shoulder united for peace, have been bright spots in an otherwise horrid week.

Hope in humanity a bit more restored than it was a few days ago.

Thank you.

Titillation – it’s not a dirty word


Gina Elise has been entertaining and thrilling America’s hospitalized veterans since 2007. Her 40s-style pin-up calendar has raised and donated thousands of dollars for veterans’ hospitals, and has delivered calendars featuring photos of beautiful, scintillating, vintage-styled women to bring a little cheer to our wounded warriors, as well as sent them downrange for a morale boost. The photos are sexy, but not trashy. There is no nudity of any kind. And Gina Elise has been lauded for her volunteer work for the troops, visiting, entertaining, delivering calendars, and thanking them for their service. What’s not to love, right? PinUpsForVetsCover2014

Enter Amy Bushatz. Now, I don’t want to call her a dependapotamus, because it’s obvious, she at least has a brain in her head and is doing well in her own right, without glomming on to her military spouse. She’s the editor in chief of Military.com’s spouse and family blog SpouseBuzz.com and covers spouse and family news for Military.com. She’s a journalist who has been featured as a subject matter expert (ostensibly on military family issues) on various media outlets. So one would think this person would have a healthy enough ego that she wouldn’t need to whine about military spouses looking at a sexy calendar. But no… Apparently, Gina Elise is “parading” herself in front of other women’s husbands, and Amy’s labia is chafed because of it.

Maybe it’s just me, but I’m pretty sure there are better, more effective ways to support veterans than by parading yourself around in front of someone else’s husband while wearing sexy retro outfits and burlesque costumes, shooting provocative pin-up calendars and holding a burlesque show fundraiser.

Judging from some of the comments, it’s not just you. There are a whole lot of other insecure, whining sows out there, who are threatened by sexy women dazzling the troops for even a few moments! And there probably are better, more effective ways to support veterans, but you apparently aren’t taking any steps to discover and implement them. Instead you’re impugning an interesting, unique, and beautiful way to not only raise money, but morale!

Or maybe I’m crazy. Maybe I’m “just” another jealous military spouse who would prefer her husband’s eyes be on her, not on some busty veteran supporting pin-up girl, regardless of her good intentions or “good cause.”

If your husband is looking at the pin-up girl, instead of at you, then there is probably a problem, and it’s not caused by a photo of a pretty girl in vintage wear. The two are not mutually exclusive.

Donating money? Good. Visiting vets in hospitals? Very good. Using sex as support, especially when there are other options? In my opinion, very not good.

Wow, sniveling prude much? Sexy doesn’t always equal sex. Titillation doesn’t mean smut. Flirtation doesn’t mean adultery. The female body is beautiful. And Gina Elise’s work is certainly no more erotic than a Titian, and I’m fairly sure you wouldn’t have a problem with your husband looking at one in the museum, would you? Venus here certainly has less clothing on than Gina Elise in any given photo, and yet you’ve got sand in your vagoo about the calendar?


Oh, but that’s not a photo, and it’s just different! Yeah, it’s different. Gina Elise and the girls in the Pinups for Vets calendar are strong, beautiful, secure, real women! Are you threatened by their power, their commitment to our troops, and their allure?

I get that some of this is supposed to be a throw-back to World War II era pin-up paintings on bombers and risque support “for our boys.” I probably wouldn’t have liked it then, either.


Guess your kids are going to miss out on some great works of art, Amy. No Guillaume Seignac. No Titian. No Lorenzo Lotto. No Tintoretto or Reubens. What a sad, sheltered, uncultured life you must lead!

So maybe I’m a prude. Maybe using sex to boost morale (because really, that’s what is going on here in a way) is A-OK and I need to get my act together.

Yeah, you do. You’re vilifying beautiful women whose only goal is to bring a little joy to our troops. You’re maligning them as some kind of sluts. Instead of expressing a modicum of respect and gratitude for people helping our service members, you treat them like whoring homewreckers. Maybe you should be looking in the mirror and asking what is wrong with your own relationship that you feel threatened by these women.

These women are elegance. These women are nostalgia. These women are joy and light and entertainment for thousands of troops. These women are sheer beauty. And you are a bitter, insecure hag who feels threatened by art and strives to tear it down to mere tits and ass. I say this as a woman and a veteran: grow up, Amy. You’re pathetic! And Gina, I support you and your mission and admire your grace, style, and imagination! Keep it up.

Appropriating Chris Kyle


I saw “American Sniper” on its opening weekend. It’s hard to say I enjoyed it.  I’m not sure anyone can enjoy a movie such as this. I can say it was well-acted, well-produced, and well-written. I can say that Bradley Cooper and Clint Eastwood did a fantastic job with a very difficult subject. I can say it was a fascinating, sad, emotional, inspiring, and interesting look into the mind and heart of a man who saved hundreds, if not thousands, of American lives.

Whatever you may think of the Iraq war, the intelligence failures that led us there, the 9-11 Commission report, the Iraqis, or the hundreds of Iraqi threats neutralized by Chris Kyle, he was a warrior – and a very skilled one. He did his job, and he did it superlatively. He saved American lives, and there are warriors out there who are grateful that he was up there with that rifle, protecting them from on high. He was a father and a husband. His view of the war was certainly different than many others’, but having saved so many American lives, he was a hero.

As a friend of mine put it, “the simple fact is, when we deploy, we have a mission and an objective, that’s all. Politics, religion, point of view……don’t factor in. We go, we do the job, some of us write a book about it, and some of us just buy a bottle and move on.”

Some people just don’t understand that. From the first day “American Sniper” hit the theaters, attention-whoring celebutards rushed to condemn the movie, comparing it to Nazi propaganda and calling Chris Kyle a coward (to be fair, Seth Rogen walked back his stupid comment after being widely panned as a moron), while the usual crowd of leftist writers proceeded to use the movie, and Kyle’s life, as fodder for their continued EvilBooshIraqWarBad campaign.

Enter this dude. Now normally, I wouldn’t give Salon the time of day. Even without reading the article, you know this is going to be an EvilBooshIraqWarBad screed, but because this was written by ostensibly an American sniper, who claims to have served in Iraq, I figured I’d give it a read.

Salon describes the writer thusly: “Garett Reppenhagen served as a Cavalry Scout Sniper with the 1st Infantry Division in the US Army and deployed on a peacekeeping mission in Kosovo and a combat tour in the Diyala Province, Iraq in 2004. Garett works as a Regional Director for Vet Voice Foundation and is a veterans advocate and social justice organizer.”

Social justice organizer… This alone sets off all kinds of alarms, but I decided to give it a read anyway. In this essay Reppenhagen describes events much differently from Kyle’s experience.

Unlike Chris Kyle, who claimed his PTSD came from the inability to save more service members, most of the damage to my mental health was what I call “moral injury,” which is becoming a popular term in many veteran circles.

As a sniper I was not usually the victim of a traumatic event, but the perpetrator of violence and death. My actions in combat would have been more acceptable to me if I could cloak myself in the belief that the whole mission was for a greater good. Instead, I watched as the purpose of the mission slowly unraveled.

I served in Iraq from 2004 to 2005. During that time, we started to realize there were no weapons of mass destruction, the 9/11 commission report determined that Iraq was not involved in the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, false sovereignty was given to Iraq by Paul Bremer, the atrocities at Abu Ghraib were exposed, and the Battle of Fallujah was waged.

The destruction I took part in suddenly intersected with news that our reasons for waging war were untrue. The despicable conduct of those at Abu Ghraib was made more unforgivable by the honorable interactions I had with Iraqi civilians, and, together, it fueled the post-traumatic stress I struggle with today.

He warns the reader not to take “American Sniper” as the sole view of the Iraq war. OK… he’s correct. Everyone’s experience in the war is different. I was also deployed to Kosovo, and I’m fairly sure that my one-year experience there was much different from Reppenhagen’s. That’s not an unfair warning. Like I said, everyone’s experience is different.

That said, what really bothers me is that the people trying to appropriate Chris Kyle’s story to their own experience. Reppenhagen obviously doesn’t get what “American Sniper” was about. This was Chris Kyle’s story. It was his war. It was his experiences. It was his point of view. This was one man’s account: Chris Kyle’s. And yet, Reppenhagen seems chafed that “American Sniper” didn’t tell his story, didn’t focus on his political views and his doubts, didn’t show his disenchantment with Abu Ghraib, the 9/11 Commission Report, or his view of the Iraqi people.

Guess what! It’s not Reppenhagen’s story. It’s Chris Kyle’s. And Reppenhagen seems to want to appropriate Chris Kyle’s story and apply it to his own experiences.

Know what? When you sell your own memoir and get a movie deal, you can tell your story. But the continued attempts to spew a political message using an American hero as a vehicle, while discounting his experiences or downright smearing him and what he went through is getting old.

Additionally, Jonn mentioned Reppenhagen was a candidate for the board of the Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) in 2010. Interestingly, he was apparently good buddies with Stolen Valor phony Rick Duncan aka Richard Strandloff, and couldn’t tell the guy never served. That’s also interesting. Normally veterans are damn good at weeding crap out of their ranks. This guy… apparently bringing Strandloff into IVAW and “raising a lot of awareness” for his political agenda was important enough to overlook his fraud.

So yes, maintain a 360 point of view when it comes to “American Sniper,” but understand the movie and the book as one man’s point of view, and extend that objective 360 eye to the people who see it fit to criticize the movie.

Their motives aren’t as pure as they may lead you to believe.

Wait and See on Bergdahl (UPDATE: Military says “FALSE”)


I’m at home today, nursing a cough that’s so dry and racking, I’m afraid I may vomit up my diaphragm… or lose bladder control… or something. The screeching histrionics about the so-called “blizzard” that was supposed to hit the east coast culminated with a dusting of light snow in my driveway *EVERYBODY PANIC*, and I was going to head to work until I almost hacked up a lung.

So I’m home.

The first thing that hit my Facebook feed this morning from EVERY. SINGLE. CONSERVATIVE. WEBSITE. was the claim that Bowe Bergdahl (I absolutely refuse to call him SSG, as I am absolutely convinced that he’s not just a deserter, but a traitor who should be hanging from a tree, rather than sitting in a cushy office, being paid a military salary) is about to be charged with desertion.

If true, this would make me happier than a pig in shit. The problem is that EVERY. SINGLE. CONSERVATIVE. WEBSITE. is citing the same source: Retired Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer, who currently works for the London Center for Policy Research, who revealed this information to Fox News host Bill O’Reilly, and claimed he received it from two independent military sources.

“The Army has come to its conclusion and Bowe Bergdahl will be charged with desertion,” he told O’Reilly.


“This is shaping up to be a titanic struggle behind the scenes,” he told O’Reilly. “Believe me, the Army here wants to do the right thing … And the White House, because of the political narrative, President Obama cozying up to the parents and because he, President Obama, releasing the five Taliban … The narrative is what the White House does not want to have come out.”

Yes, conservative “news” sites are citing BILL O’FUCKINGREILLY’s interview with a retired O-5, who works for some obscure think tank, citing secondary sources without corroborating evidence.

Know what?

I think I’ll wait. I don’t know how true LTC (ret.) Shaffer’s claims are. Just like I don’t know whether his claims of DIA mishandling information about the 9-11 attacks are true. I don’t know who his contacts in the military are, or whether they’re credible. I also don’t know what kind of access his contacts have to information. For all I know, they could have overheard gossip in the halls of the Pentagon.

And while I would do a little happy dance if Bergdahl was, in fact, charged, I’ll wait for corroborating information.

You should too. WorldNetDaily is not a credible source.

UPDATE: My friend Cassy found this story from Military Times that quotes Army spokesman Paul Boyce  as saying the investigation is not over.

I knew Paul from my PAO days – I doubt he even remembers who I am, as it’s been 10 years, but I also remember him to be a very straightforward, honorable guy, and I’m glad he’s still doing military public affairs.

The Army continues to review the case against Bergdahl, said Paul Boyce, a spokesman for Forces Command, on Tuesday.


But Boyce said there is no charge sheet and that the Fox News story “seems to be speculative in nature.” Bergdahl’s attorney Eugene Fidell declined to comment. NBC News, citing an anonymous senior defense official, is also reporting a desertion charge is coming, possibly within the week.

Older Entries

%d bloggers like this: