Michael's Dispatches

Contempt of and for Congress?

US Military Forges Ahead with Deadly Deceptions

Dhaka, Bangladesh
05 February 2012

The US military is toying with American lawmakers.

Based on two key documents submitted to individual Members of Congress and the House Armed Services Committee, by both the Joint Chiefs of Staff and US Army, it’s clear that a concerted, organized attempt to deceive Congress is coming from DoD brass.  Repeated deceptions regarding MEDEVAC failures in Afghanistan continue to be perpetrated in writing by certain leadership elements within DoD.  Rebuttal to an egregious JCS letter is published here.

Subsequent the JCS missive to Congress, the Army also began circulating a statement to Senators and Representatives after CBS aired a story revealing some of the MEDEVAC shortcomings.

As with the JCS missive, the Army statement is a conspicuous attempt to mislead Congress.  It really is that bad.  The deceptions from both JCS and the Army are so egregious, so obvious, and so demonstrable, that the Congress should consider identifying the flag officers responsible to hold them accountable.  The absurdity of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Army submitting unsigned communiqués packed with sleight-of-hand and outright falsehoods, in response to direct, official inquiry, is stunning.  Not only does this demonstrate terrible judgment and dangerous “leadership,” they treat Members of Congress as fools to be played.

Members of Congress have requested truthful information from the Army and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and in return have received contempt.  A minor error can be overlooked, but the calculation involved in repeatedly putting forth the same misleading arguments and falsehoods cannot be seen as a minor mistake.  It’s strategic.

Some top officers do not take seriously the ability of elected officials to see through their clumsy smokescreen.  Senior military officials are testing the will of Congress, doubting the determination of many offices on the Hill to drive forward with investigation—and to uncover the ground-truth we all know is hampering our Dustoff crews in doing the jobs they’re demanding to do.

The anonymous Army statement below is an orphan of unfit parents.  We should hope that Members of Congress are not duped into embarrassing situations by responding to their constituents on-the-record with this issue by relying on unsigned spin like the document below, and the earlier JCS document.  As the issue unfolds at an accelerating pace, and media inquiries to me increase, this fiasco has the potential to damage the credibility of any office defending or avoiding it.

The continuing, unacceptable MEDEVAC failures in Afghanistan are of pressing consequence for troops in harm’s way.  These policies, too, will leave more orphans of war, if not changed.

Yet this demonstrated contempt of and for Congress is a separate matter.  Flag officers should be called before the Congress to explain these communiqués, and their roles in disseminating false information to Senators Kyl, Grassley, Hutchison, and Webb.  These Senators and others have been deceived.

Please read this Army statement:


The orphaned Army statement above is refuted along with the JCS statement.

It's time to lay down the law.

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