Michael's Dispatches

Censorship Threat from US Army Public Affairs

85 Comments

28 September 2011

A US Army Captain named Carbone barged into my tent and physically assaulted me.  The interesting backstory is studded with ill-discipline inside the 443rd Civil Affairs Battalion here in Afghanistan.  The 443rd might need some intervention from general officer level.  In any case, that ill-discipline manifested when Captain Chris "AbulMajed" Carbone (his Facebook name) verbally threatened and physically assaulted me.  This happened yesterday. Today the Army threatened to end my embed.  They then ended it.  And now have restarted it again.  (All this in less than 36 hours).

Email from Army:

[To] Michael Yon
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: FOUO

Michael,

I've got to be frank with you, and let you know that your embed is tenuous as of now. This issue with CPT Carbone and SFC Coleman is bringing a lot of negative attention not only to you, but also to RC-South from ISAF Joint Command. LTC Connolly, the new RC-South PAO, has only been in office for ~10 days, and has already gotten two calls from his higher HQs about your postings. While we certainly do not condone any unprofessional conduct by TF Spartan Soldiers, we feel that this whole issue is drawing negative attention to the command.

Therefore, Michael, I'm asking you to please consider removing the FB posts about CPT Carbone, SFC Coleman, and MSG Grisham. These are incidents that should be dealt with among the four of you, and not to a worldwide audience. Your readers do not need to read about personal conflicts. That being said, I am not downplaying the seriousness of any of these allegations against the aforementioned Soldiers, and we will continue putting a "full court press" into investigating these incidents. We take these allegations extremely seriously, as well as the reputations of our Soldiers and task forces.

I will speak with MAJ Casiano about the next course of action here, but want you to understand where this may lead. Please let me know if you have any questions.

v/r,
CPT Sandell

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  • This commment is unpublished.
    Bug · 7 years ago
    Hang in there Mike, but remember to take care of yourself. Now, even more than ever, we need your coverage of our soldiers.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Debra McDowell · 7 years ago
      Michael, if need be, we readers can 'assault' the military ourselves on your behalf...to allow you to keep on doing what you want to do...tell us the unvarnished truth from the front lines. We need you to stay safe and be able to continue to do your work without interference from the very people you work/eat/sleep/go on missions with! Praying for your safety every day!
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Phyllis · 7 years ago
      Gee Mike, maybe the truth, which you write all the time, is hurting some people. If they minded their manners, you wouldn't have to write about it now would you?

      Don't let them end up hurting you Mike. You're the only one who tells us the truth about what's happening over there and we depend on you.

      Take care my friend.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Pete · 7 years ago
      These a-holes deserve a spotlight on them. If their conduct were not unbecoming, they would not have appeared in these pages.
      Go get them.
      Oversight is obviously called for.

      And this physical stuff is way over the top. This guy must really be full of himself to think he could get away with it.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      nampilot · 7 years ago
      nothing new.
      i am a retired army lt col, and its the same old cya.
      you want the most effective resolution
      as quickly as possible
      as these dogs of war
      bite themselves in the ass
      instead of the enemy.
      don't let them bit you.
      access your contacts
      holding the strings of power.
      one call from a friendly general officer
      will put the snarling curs
      back in their cages.
      the cost?
      they will find subtle ways to sabotage you.
      look over the horizon.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Mary · 7 years ago
    More people than you know are reading your posts. They mean alot to us back in the states. We want to know how this ends, and respect the request to handle it personally. You can certainly fill us in later... Gods continued blessings on you all...
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Commenter · 7 years ago
    Mr. Yon, the document is U/FOUO, which means that it should be treated as confidential, and not posted so that it is available to the general public. I think you should respect the designation and not post the contents online.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Tomas · 7 years ago
      For Official Use Only (FOUO) is a document designation, [B]not a classification[/B]. This designation is used by Department of Defense and a number of other federal agencies to identify information or material which, although unclassified, [B]may not be appropriate[/B] for public release.

      I think Mr. Yon knows what can and can not be released to the public.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Mary · 7 years ago
      Oh please, Are you really serious that he should keep this all to himself. He needs this paper trail for cripes sake. He also knows exactly what he's doing. Be Careful Mr. Yon, I glad you have the nads to speak up.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      whamprod · 7 years ago
      [quote name="Commenter"]Mr. Yon, the document is U/FOUO, which means that it should be treated as confidential, and not posted so that it is available to the general public. I think you should respect the designation and not post the contents online.[/QUOTE]
      On the other hand, by treating it publicly, he is being transparent, and his transparency is forcing those responsible to be transparent as well. If it were classified, I'd feel otherwise about it. But you apparently have a small number (maybe 2 or 3) rogue individuals there who are clearly not in command of their faculties, as demonstrated by their treatment of Michael, and if they are not in command of their faculties, then they ought not to be in command of anything in a war zone.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    ranger · 7 years ago
    I think you do an amazing job and I appreciate how you support our troops. However, I agree that the personal issues should be resolved in a more confidential manner, especially if doing so allows you to remain and report.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Judy · 7 years ago
      The question remains: IS there resolution when these issues are taken care of confidentially? Only Michael can answer that.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Nate · 7 years ago
      Remember, the other parties have been very public with their actions too. If this extremely unprofessional captain goes around assaulting imbedded journalists and it isn't reported, who else is he doing this to? MSG Grisham has made his comments in a blog, if i remember correctly (not going to go searching for his ilk to avoid giving him site hits). While I certainly want Mike to remain imbedded, we get great reports about the way things are, these are definitely problems that need to be addressed, not swept under the rug by bureaucrats circling the wagons. Hang in there and take care Mike.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Guest · 7 years ago
    I support you to no end, as bug said let's concentrate on the soldiers. As a writer you do spiffing work Mr Yon.
    As for removing said posts, don't buckle. It's there for us to see.
    Swift and Bold, keep it up. And a big thank you from the Brits.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Texas2Step · 7 years ago
    And you thought life in a war zone was going to be dull, Michael.

    Seriosuly, I second Bug's comment - hang in there because we, USA and the world, need your honest and insightful coverage, but do watch your back too. God bless!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Michael R Perez · 7 years ago
    What? you get assaulted and they want to blame you instead of Cpt Carbone? Not unusual. Please hang in there, Michael. We need your coverage and your frankness/objectiveness so that all can 'see ' what is really happening out there. We'll keep listening and writing. You keep doing the same. Michael R Perez. San Antonio, TX.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Andy · 7 years ago
    Seems I remember you trying to handle this "In house", especially with regards to MSG Grisham? True? You are fortunate Michael, you have a world wide sounding board. This is good because I assume you don't have an effective chain of command. I'm sure there are times when soldiers wish they had a megaphone as loud as yours...
  • This commment is unpublished.
    mike h. · 7 years ago
    U/FOUO = means.. [B]unclassified[/B]/[U]F[/U]or [U]O[/U]fficial [U]U[/U]se [U]O[/U]nly
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Commenter · 7 years ago
      And it is treated as confidential, [B]"which means it cannot[/B] be discarded in the open trash, made available to the general public, [B]or posted on an uncontrolled website".[/B]
      • This commment is unpublished.
        Commentor · 7 years ago
        If it were to be treated as confidential, it would have be marked "CONFIDENTIAL"...
        • This commment is unpublished.
          Commenter · 7 years ago
          [B]For any document/product correctly bearing the U//FOUO handling instruction, certain safeguards must be taken[/B]. Generally speaking, [B]the material should be treated as if it were classified CONFIDENTIAL.[/B] [U]This means it cannot be discarded in the open trash, made available to the general public, [B]or posted on an uncontrolled website.[/B][/U] It can, however, be shared with individuals with a need to know the content, while still under the control of the individual possessing the document or product. Wherever possible, U//FOUO information should not be passed over unencrypted communications lines (e.g., open phones, non-secure fax, personal e-mails). If no secure communications are available for transmission, U//FOUO material may be sent via unprotected means, with supervisory approval after risk has been assessed.
          • This commment is unpublished.
            Chas C-Q · 7 years ago
            I wouldn't call this "an uncontrolled website." (Not controlled by the DOD, maybe; but that cuts no ice with me.) Michael is certainly accountable, and in control.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Kenney · 7 years ago
    I hope that you assaulted him back. 2112 is my tent and no one is coming into my tent and leaving without a dent in their head.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Pete · 7 years ago
    Michael, wisdom and courage, i will pray for you.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Papa Ray · 7 years ago
    Hey Mike, [I]don't get led astray and/or knocked off by the outlying minefields and booby traps[/I], stay away from them and press forward. You have a mission and it will take months if not years to complete. [B]Stay focused.[/B]

    Papa Ray
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Jack Peek Sr · 7 years ago
    This is why a good Marine...MY SON..quit after 13 yrs...THE POLITICAL BS/RULES OF ENGAGEMENT, the ARMY, and all the rest are so PC THANKS TO THE CIC....good men and women...who serve their country haven't a chance.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Bill Coffey · 7 years ago
    Can't recall who said it, but it went something like this, "This war is flooded with human nature". There are many instances in all walks of Army life, especially that life within a combat zone, which are also flooded with "human nature". It is best to handle ALL issues at the lowest possible level and to be quite frank, Facebook is NOT at the lowest level. People make mistakes, leaders have responsibilities, all should use the chain of command as a TOOL to resolve conflict and all should keep "dirty laundry" at the lowest levels unless it can't be solved at that level. Mr. Yon, you are doing great work out there and I pray that you can remain in your current capacity as an "embed", but working WITHIN the military chain of command is a prerequisite, no matter how insane it is or seems to be.
    Very Respectfully,
    MAJ (RET), US Army
    Bill Coffey
    coffeybil@aol.com
    • This commment is unpublished.
      PTB · 7 years ago
      Agree. Too much info about personal conflicts. If Michael is worried about his safety, he can send the information to trusted people but not the world.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Vernon Clayson · 7 years ago
      You've directed your criticism at the wrong party,the Civil Affairs officer should have handled his beef within his chain of command. Taking matters into his own hands was an ethical lapse both in his military role and as an attorney. There's likely more behind his conduct than dislike for Yon, is it possible he has unrelated personal problems? Whatever his beef, his conduct was not appropriate. The author of the equivocal letter is probably feels shame. How many WWII rear echelon functionaries would have assaulted Ernie Pyle.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Michael Yon · 7 years ago
    All military emails (to my knowledge) have headings (FOUO). All communications with Public Affairs is ON THE RECORD. Part of the embed agreement specifically says all communications are on the record.

    This was no personal interaction with Captain Chris "AbulMajed" Carbone (his Facebook name). I had never met him and did not know him. He barged into my tent without introduction. He verbally and physically assaulted me. Captain Carbone committed a criminal act while wearing a US Army uniform and captain's bars. A US Army officer committed a crime right here in this tent. The United States Army should prosecute Carbone.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Jack Peek Sr. · 7 years ago
      Again Sir...There is law less activity.....and its wearing a uniform, maybe GATES should know!
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Gregg · 7 years ago
      Physically assaulting the ex-Green Beret... we can add being witless to his offenses
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Brian · 7 years ago
      This Sounds horrible. What exactly happened between the Capt and you?
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Janice Stroud · 7 years ago
    SO much DRAMA, and not a woman in sight ......
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Kent A. Vining · 7 years ago
    @ Commenter

    [I]For Official Use Only (FOUO) is a document designation, not a classification. This designation is used by Department of Defense and a number of other federal agencies to identify information or material which, although unclassified, may not be appropriate for public release.

    There is no national policy governing use of the For Official Use Only designation. DoD Directive 5400.7 defines For Official Use Only information as "unclassified information that may be exempt from mandatory release to the public under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)." The policy is implemented by DoD Regulation 5400.7-R and 5200.1-R.[/I]

    http://www.wright.edu/rsp/Security/S2unclas/Fouo.htm

    Mr. Yon is well within both his rights and responsibilities regarding FOUO. One only needs go down to the corner Army Surplus store to see FOUO Field Manuals available to the general public.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Joe Vergo · 7 years ago
    Hang tough Michael! Your efforts are definitely appreciated, as is you commitment to the grunts.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Doug Gugino · 7 years ago
    Hello Mr. Yon - during Operation Iraqi Freedom - another fantastic source for information was the Command itself. There was a website that posted all the action(s). I am sorry to say I don't remember the specific. During the last hearings on the Iraq War that General Petraeus was testifying when Hillary Clinton was a senator - I knew of actions, progress, FACTUAL reporting from the Army's site itself. I remember thinking - all Senators - please read these posts!

    There is not such a "information deployment" in support of this war.

    Thank you for being there. Thanks to all that support you (it is left as a given the gratitude I have for our armed forces).
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Victoria · 7 years ago
    Wow. I hope you stay in there Michael as it appears your safety may be questionable with a couple of rogues. But then you were a Marine so no doubt you can handle it. I think it IS important that a possible dangerous soldier get the attention needed for help, as he would not do that on his own. And these things cannot always be worked out amongst themselves, they sometimes need intervention.

    Anyway, good job Michael.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Andy · 7 years ago
      FYI Victoria, Michael wasn't a Marine. He was U.S. Army Special forces. Also, I agree with you completely! I think Michael had no other choice in this situation....
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Mary · 7 years ago
    You do not really state why you questioned these guys' fitness in the first place. The stresses over there are extreme and there is little to no real transition afterwards. That should not be "reported" as breaking news. If, however, you have witnesses clear evidence of traitorous, sedition, or immoral behavior then please report it to the proper channels and report on the proceedings. Otherwise, please don't give the liberal elitists any ammunition against our soldiers.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Leyla Najma · 7 years ago
      I think you need to look at your comment "again" to see what you are really saying. If this wasn't an issue Michael wouldn't have posted it. He has my upmost support and he is an honorable man.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Michael Yon · 7 years ago
    Note: I never questioned the fitness of anyone in the 443rd Civil Affairs Battalion. I did not even know they existed until Captain Chris Carbone committed a criminal act. I then learned that he is in the 443rd. And so I learned both his name and the unit he was in probably in the same hour that he assaulted me. Criminals should not be in uniform, and the Army should not threaten censorship for reporting a criminal act by an officer.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Brett Stokes · 7 years ago
      Nope, you expose bullshit anyway you can. Capt Carbone is a SERVANT of the American people and for him to attack a American CIVILIAN in ANY WAY is UNACCEPTABLE! Good job Yon, keep it up!
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Bill from Philly · 7 years ago
      Michael-
      Why did your man classified the message FOUO? Feels like a trap to me. If you talk about it, "you've released classified information." Remember, Nixon didn't go down for the break-in. He went down for the cover-up.
      Bill
      • This commment is unpublished.
        Chas C-Q · 7 years ago
        The email was labeled "[B]UNCLASSIFIED[/B]" and "FOUO." Blogging is MY's official business.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Mick · 7 years ago
    The email that Mr. Yon posted was for his eyes only not for the public. The email is from a concerned commander who is trying to squash this before it gets really out of hand and the mission is affected and if this shows a pattern of affecting soldiers then he will have to leave. I do believe this that both parties involved created some of the drama and that it wasn't just one-sided. However, a true professional will not post items for the public to read. This was a private matter that should have been handled better and not on a social media posting.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Leyla Najma · 7 years ago
      Maybe what you are suggesting was the problem. Some things can't always be handled "privately" because of circumstances surrounding them.
      It obviously was already out of hand or he wouldn't have posted this. And I question your comment of what you think a true professional is. Again obviously your idea and mine are different. The fact Michael is out with these men risking his life says it all.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Bobh · 7 years ago
      Nobody can doubt Michael's courage in deploying with our Soldiers or his effectiveness in bringing information and understanding about the war to view. Michael seems to generate mutual respect with the fighting soldiers, and is sometimes out of tune with the rear echelon whose assignment is news management. I agree that it would be better to have summarized the email and attributed it to an anonymous person, but this is not normal journalism. The content and tone of the email could be construed as good advice to resolve something quietly, but it equally could be construed as a threat; which of the two could depend on the prior relationship between sender and recipient. And that the army ended the embed and then reinstated it indicates that something is out of shape. I don't think this affects the real mission, though it may affect the mission of Civil Affairs.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Bill from Philly · 7 years ago
      Hey Mick-

      Think about it for a minute. If it is "for official use only", then why is he sending it the military's most prolific and respected blogger? Michael is embedded. He reports on "official" stuff all the time. THAT'S HIS OFFICIAL JOB! If your man wanted to keep it "on the down-low" then he should have gotten away from his keyboard and did a little face-time with Michael.

      Did you ever consider the possibility that he made it FOUO- not to protect our valiant warfighters, but to protect his own/his command's backside? If he is attempting to "classify" his way out of this mess, then he should be brought up on charges. That's how I see it from the sidelines.

      Bill
  • This commment is unpublished.
    A&N · 7 years ago
    You seem to see things are changing-wasn't like this when we first read you from Iraq. Maybe you've been so busy with war that you've missed the political changes. You say.."Censorship Threat from US Army Public Affairs". We've got a war right here in the USA.. a thing called "Attack Watch" with goon squads ready to come into our tents (homes) and straighten us out if we say anything criticizing the Administration or their policies. Report you neighbor type thing. What happened to free speech? You're kidding us..an you expect the Military that we've trusted, supported and loved for over 200 years won't change? They propagandize us. Our Military guys are still the greatest but those who are running the show in DC are not. Not going to get better Mike/ The CC doesn't know how to fight a war and win..not sure he wants to. Our men are still the best but are they being made sitting ducks ....Don't be a sitting duck, Mike. If you can't tell the truth.. get out.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Tony · 7 years ago
    Mike, could you please clarify when the above email was received? At what stage of the assault/di-sembed/re-embed did you get it?
    As always, stay safe and may your god look over you.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    jon505 · 7 years ago
    Mike
    Why did he assault you? What did he think had happened that resulted in this altrication. What was said when you reported it to the MP's? You know the score- get it written down and follow the paper trail. Keep safe and a wise man know when to cut a run?
    jon
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Andy · 7 years ago
      I don't know, but I suspect where Michael is at, a Fire Base, or whatever, there are no MPs...
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Ed · 7 years ago
    Michael, hope you're doing well and thanks for the job you've done (prior service) and the job you're doing now.

    I don't know you but I think we all get a feel for your character from your reporting - that you call a spade a spade regardless of the outcome. I admire that but from experience I can say that it's not always the best choice sometimes - that there can be blowback - as I'm sure you're aware. However, if you've tried to bring it to the attention of senior officers regarding the threats from MSG Grisham and they haven't done anything, what other options do you have? Are you supposed to go home? Are you supposed to just be quiet and take it? No, you're not. I think alot of us would have done the same thing if we were in the same position - to not have done anything would have been irresponsible.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Leyla Najma · 7 years ago
    Wow!
    You mean that they don't want bad press because it makes them look...what "bad?"
    This unfortunately means that the people in command don't want to do anything about the situation. Obviously they don't get it or this would have been resolved a long time ago. And if there was a way for you to resolve things I'm sure you would have done so. To say it's between the 4 of you is absurd. It has everything to do with the men higher rank who are looking the other way while this happens not only to you but probably others.

    They need to do something about the major "Problems" instead of making you their scapegoat!!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Ethan · 7 years ago
    Michael~ Im sitting here shaking my head in total wonder.... "Negative attention to you" haha! I have a feeling somebody new ( only 10 days in) don't like taking heat on a matter this important! hmmm...maybe he needs to do something about a rogue Soldier who takes his gang into a tent of a journalist and assaults him physically!!! We don't need this 2% in the armed forces! I hope this dude gets what he deserves from his higher ups.... I must add.....It strikes me very funny that you are targeted by a idiot like this, your actually one of the few journalist out there who are on THEIR SIDE! ROCK ON MR YON!!!!!!!!!!!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Terri Bell · 7 years ago
    The army and CPT Sandell had a golden opportune moment to turn what the negative attention into a positive one by simply addressing the issue and reassuring action/investigation would be taken immediately and DOING SO! That is all that was needed with maybe a simple apology... however instead Sandell requested the FB posts be removed and stated these were personal conflicts that should be dealt with between the individuals. He blew it! Once Carbone entered Michael Yon's tent and assualted him, it was no longer a personal conflict. It was a criminal assault on a civilian by an army officer on a military installation!

    The army is a microcosm of society... good and bad. This should not cast a negative light on the army in general. The longer they delay in doing so, the more negative attention will be generated. They do not have the time nor should they have to deal with something like this.. so take action and nip it n the bud NOW and be done with it!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Doc Bob Meaders · 7 years ago
    Cockroaches tend to scuttle for cover when exposed to light.
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    Jerry Ogles · 7 years ago
    Courageous move, Michael. Naturally, the command and staff will always attempt to squash any story that is not complimentary to them. They feel secure in the chain, but once out of the chain and out of their control to manage damage, they will take whatever actions - legal or not - to bring the issue back under their control.

    Remember when the Command burned Bibles? They will honor the Quran and burn Bibles with the same General Order.

    Hang in there - All the Way!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Jon · 7 years ago
    You know the ancient Chinese curse: "May you live in interesting times", looks like you're getting a full court curse. Thank you very much for your posts, I greatly appreciate them & the fact that you are willing to turn your life upside down to cover our men & women in harms way.
    Best Regards,
    Jon
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      susan warren · 7 years ago
      Jon, I totally agree with you.....Michael has literally turned his life upside down to get the REAL factual news out that is impossible to get any other way....we are 'there' with him as he covers the troops and their daily lives.....and there are myriads of us at home who crave this coverage and not the pap offered by mainstream media...thanks for putting it out there......
    • This commment is unpublished.
      PhilM · 7 years ago
      [quote name="Jon"]You know the ancient Chinese curse: "May you live in interesting times", looks like you're getting a full court curse. [/QUOTE]

      I've been told the whole "full court curse" is [I][B]May you live in interesting times, and come to the attention of important people![/B][/I] :-)

      I too have followed Michael's dispatches from around our troubled sphere, and been impressed that he keeps a very even keel in his dealings with all sides. Other times he has noted, after the fact, of other 'problems' created by other overbearing and officious personnel that have been resolved without naming names. Those times he's had to put them out were proven necessary after the dust settled, and I expect this will prove so too.

      Thank you for all you do - stay strong, stay safe.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Bob Yosco · 7 years ago
    Pardon the interruption,but you should have kicked the damned dogie's ass. Man lays hands on you then all bets are off. During joint-service deployments I had more than my share of incompetent game-cocks that needed a lesson.

    Semper Fi and don't let the bastards wear you down
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      brenda · 7 years ago
      Yeah, I would have loved to have seen that.
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    gismofly · 7 years ago
    Dear Mike,

    I've never read anything disparaging about US Forces in your write ups. You've always made them out to be heroes which indeed they are. Individual bullies, however, are something else and need to be exposed. Most of your readers have served the colours and know exactly what you are talking about.

    Your articles inspire confidence and affection for the US Forces in Afghanistan and elsewhere. If the US brass get super sensitive about what you write and try to muzzle you then they'll become the enemy too.

    Let your concience be your guide. As far as many of us are concerned you are a US patriot and to be trusted.

    Power to your right hand, son.
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    PPR · 7 years ago
    I'd like to know a few more details. Such as:

    1. The actual circumstances of the (alleged) assault. (Remember, innocent until proven guilty under UCMJ, not guilty as written about on MY. Fairness works both ways.)

    2. More details on being kicked off the embed, then being reinstated. I don't see that in the e-mail. What exactly was your response to the Captain? They DO have a point. The ongoing feud is a distraction from what COULD be fine reporting.

    A good reporter will assemble his facts and then lay out his story. Please do.

    ~ Power Point Ranger
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    John - Capt in ANG · 7 years ago
    Michael, I see it both ways, and I think you should as well. There's usually no reason to air dirty laundry in public if it's avoidable. And, reading his email isn't meeting the threshold of "censorship". Censorship is when they take your publication and change it, or prohibit release. He asked you, "to consider removing it," which is just asking from one intelligent human being to another to "reconsider." Normal, rational people do this all the time. I posted comments initially about the whole thing, and then reconsidering I don't know all the facts, I left some and removed others. Think about leaders you've admired, were they the ones who could concede middle ground, or the ones who dug in no matter. You can win the fight and lose the war, or, be right but be wrong in how you handled it. Just things to consider. Arguing on the internet is like running in the Special Olympics... I will let you finish the analogy in your own mind.
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      Chieftain · 7 years ago
      "Arguing on the internet is like running in the Special Olympics... I will let you finish the analogy in your own mind."

      Hmmmmm... "running in the Special Olympics" is quite an achievement, to my way of thinking. I know a few Special Olympians that you would have great difficulty keeping up with.

      That notwithstanding, arguing on the Internet is probably one of the few ways Michael can keep himself safe out there. He is unarmed, with Danger Close -- disturbingly, from "friendly" forces. Naming names is an excellent technique for deterring opportunistic "problem-solving" by way of fragmentation grenade or other similar "accident". The potential lines of enquiry would be obvious.
      • This commment is unpublished.
        Gina · 7 years ago
        I agree. It gives someone a place to start looking IF "something" were to happen.
        Stay safe Michael. We all look forward to each of your stories and photos. You're a rare breed and we appreciate all that you do.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Ron Kidwell · 7 years ago
    My congressman will hear of this!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Violette · 7 years ago
    Revolving door...kind of "funny", not for you i see ! Keep in or out ,you are the juge. After a night sleep all is more clear and BTW they are many open freindly doors for you every where...
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Jason Woodruff · 7 years ago
    It is super wrong to air this out publicly, as well as publishing the names and ranks of those involved. Is this an OPSEC issue? Maybe not, but it is still super wrong. Ultimately, the families of those soldiers deserve their privacy, and the soldiers in harms way deserve their anonymity.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Paul Michalak Sr. · 7 years ago
    @ Major Bill Coffey. First, MUCH respect and thanks for your service. However, I disagree with the direction of your post. Mr. Yon has said that he tried the channels first to no avail. Being politically correct in today's world gets people killed. Example: Fort Hood. Move the paper. Move the person. Pass the responsibility on to another desk.
    Leadership requires decisive action which was not taken. Furthermore, there are more lives at stake than Mr. Yon's.
    These transgressions were taken by motivated individuals with plenty of forethought. Not a spur of the moment emotional reaction. Conversations had to have take place prior to action and the target was sought out to create opportunity. Without immediate remedy and based on threats and actions, Mr. Yon acted in the best interests of himself and the Army.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Paul Michalak Sr. · 7 years ago
    @ Major Bill Coffey. Last comment was too long and had to be cut.
    Which in your eyes would be the worse scenario? Officer kills unarmed American journalist in Afghanistan or Army takes decisive action to save lives?
    If the Army were to dis-embed Mr. Yon, they would lose a major advocate in the public relations war. As yourself, who else is covering the war?... this way?
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Austen · 7 years ago
    There is a conundrum here.... do you remove the Facebook posts etc and take Cpt Sandell at his word and let this matter be investigated or do you let them remain and get kicked out. Chances are that you will get kicked out no matter what happens but if you get kicked out we lose our pipeline to what is really happening. I, like others, trust your judgement. Do what is right for yourself.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    John · 7 years ago
    Mr Yon, My two Pennyworth. Cut out the names from the public side of this, those like me won't know them from Adam and those around you know them already.

    Throwing the names out here might be putting off some people from coming to your aid.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Tom · 7 years ago
      I have to agree - you wield a lot of power with your world-wide audience. I would keep the names out of initial dispatches where you are being critical of the individual and keep your powder dry should working the chain of command prove ineffectual. Praise in public, reprimand in private is a long standing and, I believe, powerful tool of leadership and you are in a position of leadership because of the power of your words and your audience. Keep up the good work!
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Trevor · 7 years ago
      Nah. Name names. Shame is a powerful tool. If they have nothing to be ashamed of the investigation will show that. Mr. Yon's only weapon is his pen/keyboard.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Chas C-Q · 7 years ago
      I'd say that "Captain Chris "AbulMajed" Carbone (his Facebook name)" is not ashamed of his part in this contretemps ... yet.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Graeme Thompson · 7 years ago
    Mr Yon, at the end of the day you say that a nasty looney with a gun has threatened your life. If it's as you say, and I've no reason to think you' make this up, then call it as you see it. You hae a lot of expierience both as a soldier and a journalist, whether your judgement proves to be right or wrong, noone can question your good faith in making it.

    We have an MSM that basically has been playing the enemy's propaganda game virtually from the start of the War Against Islamic Terrorism. You've been putting your life on the line for years now to let those on the side of freedom know what's happening and the huge sacrifices being made for us. If that doesn't earn you the benefit of the doubt on your judgement, I dont know what will.

    Just dont seek asylum with the Taliban!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Chris R. · 7 years ago
    Michael: Obviously this is instigated by MSG Grisham. That being said, I hope you have friends in (very) high places.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    guest · 7 years ago
    Oh for Heaven's sake. This Captain Carbone is not acting like a member of my armed forces. Maybe some other country's army, but not US. Officers do not go about assaulting civilians, embedded or not.

    I'm not sure how much of an assault it was. Did he beat you, or what? In any case Captain Carbone may find that he's really not officer material. In the civilian sphere (cops, firemen, airline pilots, FBI etc.), such behavior gets you suspended pending termination. I would expect no less in this case, unless the military standards for such behavior in their officer corp don't cover assault of US civilians.

    Is the US Army now so lose on this behavior that they don't come down on it immediately? If so, then we've fallen quite a ways.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Dennis · 7 years ago
    Michael, wish I could say I was surprised. I organized a motorcycle ride, last Saturday to Ft. Campbell to benefit SOWF. We had worked out access to post, but someone got their butt on their shoulders and denied access to more than half of us because they were wearing Combat Vet Assoc patches. "no colors allowed"... He turned away a group of guys that have served, in combat, for his own selfish pleasure... it's just wrong. Political correctness will be the death of us yet.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Alex · 7 years ago
      Could it be that there are reasons other than that they guy had to axe to grind with your group? Aren't "No colors" policies fairly common nowadays? Was there a policy from the post commander than strictly prohibited colors even if they aren't obviously 1%er related? Campbell has had its share of gang issues and may have a blanket (yes, missing common sense) policy.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    KEHammer · 7 years ago
    Dear Mr. Yon,
    While I sympathize with the stress of the tenuous nature of your embed, I'm glad you're back. :-) I nearly despaired when I read that your embed had ended. I understand this situation with CPT Carbone must be very frustrating for you, and I will continue to pray for a just resolution to this conflict.
    God Bless you.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    PNR · 7 years ago
    I've been reading Yon's reports since I was in Iraq in '04. I don't know these other people, but I know Mr. Yon. In 7, almost 8 years of reading his reports, I've never been steered wrong.

    The same can't be said for military PAOs from any branch.

    Nor have I ever seen Yon name names like this unless he had reason to believe the threat was serious - and to date, every time he's believed the threat was serious it was, in fact, serious.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Ned Chipley · 7 years ago
      I'd say things are pretty serious when someone bursts in private quarters and attacks the occupant.

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