Drunken Monkeys, Milkooks, Military, and the Media

image001US Army Master Sergeant and milblogger, CJ Grisham: known for spamming Wikipedia and other outlets with false information

(This dispatch is intended for investigative journalists who may be interested in military propaganda targeting US citizens.  Much of the account is first person, the way that it unfolded.)

25 April 2012

USA TODAY journalists are experiencing something that I first began describing roughly two years ago.  When a writer pens uncomfortable words about the military, the writer invites systematic defamation.  This dispatch reveals fact-patterns and information that can reveal the tell-tale fingerprints of the propaganda machine.

USA TODAY reported last week:

"Misinformation campaign targets USA TODAY reporter, editor"

WASHINGTON – A USA TODAY reporter and editor investigating Pentagon propaganda contractors have themselves been subjected to a propaganda campaign of sorts, waged on the Internet through a series of bogus websites.

Fake Twitter and Facebook accounts have been created in their names, along with a Wikipedia entry and dozens of message board postings and blog comments. Websites were registered in their names.

The timeline of the activity tracks USA TODAY's reporting on the military's "information operations" program, which spent hundreds of millions of dollars on marketing campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan — campaigns that have been criticized even within the Pentagon as ineffective and poorly monitored.

This also happened to me.  After I wrote that two Generals should be sacked, certain milblogs began a military-sponsored attack against me. They alleged that I had PTSD and that I had been dis-embedded from US, UK and Canadian forces for security violations.  They also claimed that my own service record was tattered.  None of it was true.  My time in the military was honorable, and in the wars as a writer, I had not embedded with Canadian forces, nor was I ever dis-embedded from other militaries for OPSEC violations.

I have been dis-embedded for writing things that they did not like.  Generals often are sacked for doing or saying things that people do not like.  McChrystal, for instance.  The list is very long.

image003Milblogger Jim Hanson (“Uncle Jimbo”) of Blackfive, calls this his “backyard office.” Music, laptop, drinking and blogging. In this image, it appears that Jimbo is making a self-portrait by remote control. Jimbo never saw a day of combat, and he admits that he has never been to Iraq or Afghanistan.

Milbloggers such as Jim Hanson at Blackfive wrote that I was kicked out of Afghanistan and Iraq.  Untrue.  Of the approximately 65 countries that I have traveled in, only Burma ever denied me a visa.  The bedroom and backyard milbloggers do not grasp that the US military has no control over travel to Iraq, Afghanistan, or to Canada.  All are sovereign countries that control their own immigration and borders.

image005Master Sergeant CJ Grisham, a friend of Uncle Jimbo, Tweeted this image of a dismembered field mouse that he bragged about killing. (More context, later)

UNSTABLE SOLDIER

The US Army deployed an unstable milblogger, Master Sergeant CJ Grisham, to Afghanistan. The Army shipped Grisham back months early, in March 2012, after he complained of mental problems.  Grisham, still a soldier, and a de facto spokesman for the US Army, has previously claimed that he hears “voices in his head,” and has expressed suicidal thoughts.

Even today this Army sanctioned milblogger’s accusations against me remain on Wikipedia.

image007

The USA TODAY folks are experiencing normal misinformation operations.  My own Wikipedia page has at times been largely fiction.  A target can spend his waking hours guarding a Wikipedia page against sabotage.  I myself have made no entries or deletions but I have asked others to make Wiki factual.  They encountered difficulty making the changes stick.

Link to Michael's Wiki Page

The military media hit team creates spoof websites, fictitious Facebook pages, and in my case, somebody also registered a fake Skype account.  It is conceivable that someone has used this Skype account to misrepresent me to media, or to others:

image009

Milblogs, such as Blackfive, who are so often implicated in propaganda campaigns, are nominees in this year's annual milblogger awards, sponsored in part by the US Army, and hosted by milblogging.com.

Jim Hanson, sometimes called “Uncle Jimblow,” or “Jimbo,” is tightly and publicly associated with other questionable milbloggers such as Matt Burden and CJ Grisham.

Modus operandi

Blackfive, Mudville Gazette, or any of another dozen milblogs would write the initial propaganda, which associates, such as Grisham, then would cite on Wikipedia or send out to journalists or to other bloggers.

Key: By stroking milblog thought-leaders, the military can harness a pack response with little input.  Their ink is attainable with simple favors and a little bit of attention.

General McChrystal Strokes Jim Hanson

In 2010, Uncle Jimbo was in direct communication with General Stanley McChrystal and staff.

Uncle Jimbo passed around and bragged about his communications with General McChrystal:

image011

People like Hanson are key in the sense that prostitutes in Colombia are key.  Guys in key places use their services, but would prefer to keep it in the dark.

Hanson directly stated, in writing, that he was sanctioned by high authority to discredit my work.  I pushed back, saying that the above statement looked like “Sholtis” wrote it. Jimbo replied, “Mikey, C'mon do you think I would lead with the real shit. That was just to make sure you understood that this transcended just ISAF.”

Lieutenant Colonel Edward “Tadd” Sholtis was copied on the above email from McChrystal.  Sholtis, a media operative for McChrystal, was also secretly running a blog called “The Quatto Zone,” but the website Mudville Gazette exposed him privately.

After I wrote that McChrystal should be fired, Sholtis secretly sabotaged me.  Some of his backchannel communications made their way to me.  (Sholtis later admitted unequivocally in writing to being part of a conspiracy.)

During 2010, General McChrystal had a ridiculous media fight after trying to close a few Burger Kings in Afghanistan.  There must have been a thousand international stories about the Burger King onslaught.  The distraction from the fight with the Taliban and building Afghanistan was a global story.  This misplaced priority was symptomatic.

The war had turned into a bloody circus.  On March 2, 2010 I published that Canadian Brigadier General Daniel Menard should be fired:

image013

On 15 April 2010, I would be dis-embedded by ISAF for reasons I still do not fully understand.  Those reasons probably were related to my writing that General Daniel Menard should be sent home.  It didn’t help that Menard is Canadian, and I am American.  Menard was the first military person I had ever said should be fired.  The silliness of the war had become overwhelming.

Facebook post:

image015

McChrystal was trying to control the message and he needed suckers.  Experienced war correspondents were the last thing that the Generals wanted around.  After dis-embedding me because there was “not enough space,” McChrystal’s public affairs crew embedded a 21-year-old “journalist” with zero experience.  His name was Michael Enright.

Mr. Enright spent a few weeks in Afghanistan and he saw no combat.  He went home to America, got drunk, and he slashed a taxi driver’s throat.  Nearly killed the guy.

Enright’s lawyer, of course, started talking about PTSD.

McChrystal’s crew was on a roll.  In addition to Enright, they embedded Michael Hastings from Rolling Stone, during a command trip to Europe.  Some of the crew, including McChrystal, reportedly got stumbling drunk with Hastings on 16 April, staggering out of a Paris bar after midnight.

Hasting’s book has the chapter:

TOTALLY SHIT-FACED
APRIL 16, 2010, PARIS

Jake [McChrystal staffer] wobbled up the stairs in the lobby, a glass of beer he’d taken from the bar still in his hand.  Charlie [a Colonel] collapsed in a chair in the lobby, checking his Blackberry.”

“That’s dangerous to do while drunk,” [Hastings] said to him.

On 15 April, the day before they got drunk in Paris, McChrystal’s bunch dis-embedded me in Kandahar.  People were calling me crazy for saying that two Generals should be fired.  I started to leave Kandahar Airfield to stay downtown in Kandahar City.  I was late getting to the house, which was lucky: A truck bomb hit it that night, leaving many dead and injured.

The truck bomb left me stuck on base waiting for an airplane to Jalalabad.  Thanks to McChrystal, I had nothing to do.  So I revealed that Brigadier General Daniel Menard was having an affair with a staffer.  That caused a huge scandal and Menard was later relieved of command.  I revealed the case due to his military incompetence, and because I was stuck on base with an idle mind.  Strangely, McChrystal accidentally helped Menard get relieved.

After McChrystal’s night of drinking in France, Hastings describes the Paris hangover of 17 April 2010:

The team woke up at seven A.M. the next day.  McChrystal allegedly got his seven miles of running in.  The staff went up the Eiffel Tower.  The generals were worried that other tourists in the elevator car could smell beer on them.

Blackfive swung into action on 18 April, with a rant, and reposted my Facebook entry.  I had called Senior Public Affairs people crazy monkeys, but had I known they were actually getting drunk with Rolling Stone when I wrote that, I would have said Crazy Drunken Monkeys:

image017

Approximately a dozen milblogs (many of them current nominees for the 2012 milblog awards), defended McChrystal and attacked me at once.  Some claimed to be my friends, but I had never met any of them, and I did not even know most of their names, other than Matt Burden.  I had met Matt briefly in Chicago back in 2006.

As for the kinetic war, and the information war, McChrystal had no method.  I didn’t see any method.  They were monkeys in the cockpit of a war, pushing buttons and trying to sound confident.  The war was just a thing that they were doing, and on 16 April, they were doing it in Paris.

image019But what did I do wrong?                                                                                                                                                          Photo DVIDS

For his antics, General McChrystal got called to the main office.  The White House.  I emailed to the public affairs office of Secretary of Defense Robert Gates to please fire McChrystal and that I would support Petraeus.  General Petraeus knows how to win.

Soon, Petraeus was standing there with President Obama.  I was watching in rapt amazement, and I pulled out my BlackBerry and I emailed Petraeus right when he was standing there with Obama getting the job.

Comments   

 
+5 # RE: Drunken Monkeys, Milkooks, Military, and the MediaHeath 2012-04-25 17:36
Wow !!! Just Wow !!! I knew you were the real deal having gone to war with the US Troops. That is pretty disturbing another guys who are bloggers are doing these things. To be a soldier is to tell the truth at all times.
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+12 # RE: Drunken Monkeys, Milkooks, Military, and the MediaHeywood Jablomi 2012-04-25 17:38
It always amazes me how unstable people cry out for help, in various forms, and nobody seems to notice.

How is it that Grisham can massacre small animals and then post photographic evidence on the internet, and no one seems to consider this aberrant?
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+11 # RE: RE: Drunken Monkeys, Milkooks, Military, and the MediaTB 2012-04-25 19:26
Quoting Heywood Jablomi:

How is it that Grisham can massacre small animals and then post photographic evidence on the internet, and no one seems to consider this aberrant?


Don't know what is going on the military these days but if there had been a world wide web like we have today and one posted such material while on active duty one would be in for a whole lot of shite come tumbling down, by almost every military agency to which one was connected, Security, Staff Judge Advocate, Base Commander's Office, one's own staff level commander, the list goes on, not to mention a courtesy visit from the Chaplain :-*

Hells bells, my first First Sgt (we called him Red, for a good reason) would have had me in his office screaming at me while standing @ attention if I acted in anyway scary Grisham has exposed:-?

God help us if this what the military is accepting in it's ranks today and then keeping them there after they have been outed as kooks :sad:
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+2 # RE: RE: RE: Drunken Monkeys, Milkooks, Military, and the MediaMoira 2012-04-26 14:20
I just read your comment and wanted to know if your 1st (Red) was Red Gebhard? He was my Dad. Just curious.
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+8 # lawerlyPeter 2012-04-25 17:49
Michael, you need to go to law school.
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+7 # RE: lawerlyTB 2012-04-25 19:08
Quoting Peter:
Michael, you need to go to law school.

You are so right Peter ;-)
You either need to be lawyer or have one at your elbow if, you're a prominet writer/reporter these days with any kind public exposure :-*

Disclaimer: The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers'
William Shakespeare @ Henry VI 8)
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+7 # OMG...TB 2012-04-25 18:04
First off the pictures of the milkooks you show, especially Grisham, Scary VERY SCARY :o

Secondly I went to the awards nomination for the category you linked to, "Best U.S. Reporter Blog" (just what does that mean btw) and noticed the "comments" section where one supposed to make a nomination, has been mysteriously cut off while the folks that had already been nominated where of folks who as far as I can see have NEVER spent ONE day in combat or a anywhere near a real combat zone!

Who is Susan Katz Keating anyway?

What a FARACE!
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+11 # RE: Drunken Monkeys, Milkooks, Military, and the MediaHeath 2012-04-25 18:07
One more thing after reading this a 2nd time. If someone can not set foot in a country to report on the war then he has no business reporting on the war period. I think military.com is very busy & they need to verify that their guys are the real deal. The guy with the dead mouse needs serious help. Shooting empty beer cans is one thing but harming animals is quite another. Even the bear & deer hunters make sure the animals do not suffer. Legitimate war reporters have very serious responsibilitie s and carry the voice of the US Troops. Sometimes the troops need a change of generals, just like the politicians.
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+8 # RE: Drunken Monkeys, Milkooks, Military, and the MediaTheOldMan 2012-04-25 18:49
The losers and wannabes will always be with us. It's a shame to have to waste time exposing them...
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+9 # MilKooks and MilGeeksTB 2012-04-25 18:49
When I was a political activist back in Florida one of the disturbing things that I encountered while working with the Vietnam Veterans of Brevard County was the insidious nature of those that parade themselves as combat veterans and/or appear to speak for/to that group, many times for financial or personal gain, when in fact they never possessed a DD-214 in their life :o

These new frauds now have a high-tech means of perpetrating a Wizard of Oz scenario wherein they can fool many of the people, most of the time, and make bank off of same :sad:

You now have a vast sea of armchair milkooks and milgeeks either blathering away about something to which they have no direct context or reposting material from the mega-glomerate mainstream media while running paying ads on their sites, some of them paying quite well I imagine, enough say, to sit in ones backyard and swill beer, while listening to god-knows-what :-?

NOTE: The main reason why I follow Michael's blog is because I know combat veterans just like him, much older these days, but made of the same, "right stuff", character, integrity, honesty, and valor, the hallmark of what is supposed to be the American military man or woman! (something that seems to be endangered these days :o
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-3 # RE: MilKooks and MilGeeksSFC Holmes 2012-04-25 19:18
"The main reason why I follow Michael's blog is because I know combat veterans just like him"

FYI, Michael Yon is NOT a combat veteran. Just clearing the air a little.
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+23 # Yon's Combat ExperienceDonS 2012-04-25 20:25
Quoting SFC Holmes:
"The main reason why I follow Michael's blog is because I know combat veterans just like him"

FYI, Michael Yon is NOT a combat veteran. Just clearing the air a little.


True, Michael did not see combat as an active duty soldier. But, he has seen more combat as a civilian war correspondent dodging real bullets, risking IEDs and RPGs, armed with only a camera, than most veterans. I'd say that takes just as much, if not more dedication and courage, and he deserves our respect.
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+19 # Definition of a combat vetAirForceBob 2012-04-25 20:45
FYI, Michael Yon is NOT a combat veteran. Just clearing the air a little.

While he didn't see combat duty as a Green Beret, He has now seen more combat than most ever will,, or ever care to. Just sayin.....
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+10 # RE: RE: MilKooks and MilGeeksTB 2012-04-25 21:54
FYI, Michael Yon is NOT a combat veteran. Just clearing the air a little.

Let see, so he may not be a "military" combat veteran but from the stories I have been following since he started this site, I have seen more combat through his eyes than ALL of the armchair milbloggers, milkooks, and milgeeks combined, MMMKAAY :sigh:

Being a little persnickety there, Holmes 8)
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+11 # Duty, Honor, CountryFThomas 2012-04-25 22:38
Wow! What a read! It has appeared for quite some time that the big boys, brass or scrambled egg hat wearing idiots that Michael describes are intent on "miss-informati on" to their superiors and country through any means possible. Access to the internet and the ease of spreading lies and promoting their own agenda gives them too much access to the press to subvert the truth.

It has nothing to do with winning a war and is simply costing us the lives of young soldiers from all countries involved in Afghanistan or Iraq. Time to strike the gear boys! Pack it up! Come home! Let the Drunken Monkey’s and the Muslim fanatics duke it out one on one.

A total and complete dereliction of duty!

The simple fact is that they have and do completely obliterate the integrity of the US Military and their position and rank.

It is disgusting and disheartening to go to the VA Hospital and see young men missing limbs from IED’s and to read the reports of another young soldier’s life ended at the hands of the enemy. There is an enemy within that is not focused on the real war.

They have totally tarnished the creed of our soldiers and their branch of service whatever it might be:

Duty, Honor, Country!
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+6 # Neighborly fraud...jetdrvr 2012-04-26 16:44
There is nothing more repugnant to me than a man who claims to be a combat vetran and isn't. I have a neighbor like that. We had a couple of conversations wherin he made some totally preposterous claims abot serving in Mietnam. His like were so blatant, that I just stood and listened to hear what outrage he would eventually arrive at. This man purports to be a practicing Christian, and I was always taught that Christians were students of the truth. I won't bore you with the details, but I have never, in my 69 years, heard someone fabricate a compendium of lies of that magnitude. Now, when he appears, I just wave and nod, and sneer.
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+6 # RE: Drunken Monkeys, Milkooks, Military, and the MediaHeath 2012-04-25 19:27
This is a list of wartime reporters throughout the centuries.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_correspondent

Most of them were military men who became war correspondents. They were soldier's soldiers. I think Michael Yon is going to become the 21st century war correspondent reporting from hotspots like Aghanistan to future war events like US Troops stationed in Israel during the future bloody event that is sure to happen in Israel. The military drafting of US Troops will make war reporting even more important both to the US Troops and the American People here at home.
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+9 # McChrystal to speak May 1.MikeD 2012-04-25 19:35
What's funny is that the minute I finished reading this I received an invitation to listen to McChrystal speak on 'Plywood Leadership: Lessons on Leadership from a Warrior, Statesman, Scholar'. He will 'address such key leadership principles as transparency and inclusion'. Wow. It will all happen on May 1 from 11am-12:30pm ET.

http://www.skillsoft.com/infocenter/events/ldc.asp
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+16 # LtColUSMC0802 2012-04-25 19:59
Excellent write-up, Mike.

You are doing the Lord's work. Proud to have met you while in Kabul about a year ago now. I am a pretty good judge of character (my ex-wife being an exception), and I frankly do not fool easily. You are the real deal, and I will gladly stand beside you against any of your detractors any day of the week.

The offer for a Shiner Bock stands next time you come back towards Texas, my friend.

Semper Fi,

USMC0802
Desert Storm/OIF/OEF
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+16 # RE: Drunken Monkeys, Milkooks, Military, and the MediaPapa Ray 2012-04-25 20:20
SFC Holmes, you are right in that Yon did not see combat while enlisted in our Army, but he has seen much combat as a corespondent covering the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

What is more amazing is that he did it unarmed, that is without a weapon but with a camera and pencil and paper.

That takes as much gumption and courage as being a grunt (who you are with sometimes) that DOES have his weapon.

I saw a couple of war corespondents long ago and far away that I would call combat veterans.

I also seem to remember a few from earlier wars, that I would also say were combat veterans.

Papa Ray
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+12 # 19k30 retired ARNGSam 2012-04-25 20:21
II've never been to Iraq or Afghanistan. My military career was not especially distinguished. In roughly 9 years active duty in the USN I did two tours in country and a WestPAC. My highest award was the USN Combat Action Ribbon. I finished my military career in the National Guard.

That said, I have noticed a few things that I will comment on.

In my second tour I did work as an Advisor. Based on my experience and what CAP Marines have told me. Trying to pound the local forces into a mold labeled American GI junior grade is a mistake. I believe in finding out what the locals are good at and building on that.

Remember, I'm not some distinguished Soldier or Sailor. It was a good 14 months in country before I really had the beginning of a clue as to what was really going on in my AO. It was very much more complex than I'd ever dreamed it might be.

During the Indian Wars, The PI Insurrection, the various Central American Interventions and the China Sailors; you had Soldiers and Sailors, who essentially spent their careers in the AO and became very knowledgable about it. aside from a handful of Special Ops people, I don't see that any more.

Again I'm just a retired National Guard SSG
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+7 # Yon a beacon of honesty in a field of bullshitAshley Payne 2012-04-25 21:57
Ultimately the reason I read Mr Yon's blog is because he can put across strong stories with thoughtful opinion, and can prove his facts and narrative with combat photographs that are very obviously the real deal. In the rare cases Yon gets a detail wrong he corrects himself honestly.

I have no objection to non combat veterans blogging on military matters.
The other blog I read and trust in this field is civilian Richard North's defenceoftherea lm.blogspot.com , which offers infrequent but clear critique of many UK military policies. North's forte is logic and press research and not the raw reportage that is the impressive feature of Mr Yon's dispatches. The book Ministry of Defeat is, for me, the best critical reckoning of the failure of the UK armed forces in Iraq.

In summary, Mr Yon has earned my trust and respect by being a reliable witness at ground level, Mr North has earned my trust by clarity of thought and willingness to explore the reasons for a defeat which is otherwise denied in the British media.

The other milbloggers need to live up to the high standard set by the above in order to be taken seriously. Their disturbing failings are made abundantly clear in the above post.
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-2 # HEAR, HEAR!TB 2012-04-25 22:17
Well put!

Blimey if ye din't throw shite on all Michael's detractors, eh what 8)
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+7 # HEAR, HEAR!TB 2012-04-25 22:35
One more quaint observation, and I love this part, Michael has a penchant for putting together words and images that tell more than one story.

Take for instance the reference to "Drunken Monkeys" and then superimpose that on the image of the loser sitting in his backyard WalMart glider on grass that hasn't seen a lawn mower in months, swilling beer and blaring music through his WalMart stereo :eek:

Yah boy, I really want to know what this mental midget thinks, youbetchabygoll y, eh :-*
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+9 # Got your backL McCarron 2012-04-25 23:59
Just sent a small donation. A lot of folks got your back, brother.
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+7 # RE: Drunken Monkeys, Milkooks, Military, and the MediaDeidre 2012-04-26 01:02
Blackfive was one of the first milblogs I ran across. I followed it for some time, then began noticing any number of items which seemed off to me...no way to prove it since I'm not military. But some of the writers just did not seem trustworthy or even very rational any more. Stopped following several years ago. Mudville Gazette's proprietor is a combat veteran, however. I don't think he should be included in the same sentence with Blackfive.
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+14 # RE: RE: Drunken Monkeys, Milkooks, Military, and the MediaJGreer 2012-04-26 13:51
Quoting Deidre:
Blackfive was one of the first milblogs I ran across. I followed it for some time, then began noticing any number of items which seemed off to me...no way to prove it since I'm not military. But some of the writers just did not seem trustworthy or even very rational any more. Stopped following several years ago. Mudville Gazette's proprietor is a combat veteran, however. I don't think he should be included in the same sentence with Blackfive.


Ditto. This is how it works with bloggers. We read them and they either gain our trust or they lose it. Yon is one of the very few that make my 'trust' list. I won;t claim to agree with 100% of his material, but I'm confident he provides a no bullshit view from his perspective. That perspective being smack in the middle of the wars.

Finally, I want our military to be strong. When Yon and others expose problems it creates an opportunity to correct them and ultimately stregthen. When propagandists attempt to distract from those problems, they only allow those problems to fester, permitting weakness. If someone thinks Yon is wrong, then fight him with facts, not with bullshit.
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+4 # RE: RE: RE: Drunken Monkeys, Milkooks, Military, and the MediaGeorge 2012-04-26 18:36
Quoting JGreer:
Quoting Deidre:
Blackfive was one of the first milblogs I ran across. I followed it for some time, then began noticing any number of items which seemed off to me...no way to prove it since I'm not military. But some of the writers just did not seem trustworthy or even very rational any more. Stopped following several years ago. Mudville Gazette's proprietor is a combat veteran, however. I don't think he should be included in the same sentence with Blackfive.


Ditto. This is how it works with bloggers. We read them and they either gain our trust or they lose it. Yon is one of the very few that make my 'trust' list. I won;t claim to agree with 100% of his material, but I'm confident he provides a no bullshit view from his perspective. That perspective being smack in the middle of the wars.

Finally, I want our military to be strong. When Yon and others expose problems it creates an opportunity to correct them and ultimately stregthen. When propagandists attempt to distract from those problems, they only allow those problems to fester, permitting weakness. If someone thinks Yon is wrong, then fight him with facts, not with bullshit.


Couldnt agree with you more!
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+4 # RE: Drunken Monkeys, Milkooks, Military, and the MediaMarkT. 2012-04-26 01:18
Hi Michael, I hope Fox tv news hires you as a war correspondent. You would be perfect for Fox tv news and fit right in. Need more honest people like you. 8)
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+5 # RE: Drunken Monkeys, Milkooks, Military, and the MediaKurt Olney 2012-04-26 02:31
KEEP UP THE GOOD FIGHT!
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-5 # RE: Drunken Monkeys, Milkooks, Military, and the MediaJim07 2012-04-26 03:45
You don't get ahead in the US military by being competent. Competence is the last thing they want. It is a huge bureaucratic organization based on the WWII model of overpowering the enemy with massive industrial production and self-sacrificin g citizen soldiers. It worked then, it has not worked since. What real success has the US had militarily since WWII? Essentially none.
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+2 # ConfusedJeff 2012-04-26 05:06
First, it is hard to know whom to trust these days. I don't follow Michael closely but it seems he has a high opinion of General Petraeus. Recently I read this article which puts Petraeus and other senior leaders in a less than flattering light (http://www.senseofevents.blogspot.com/2012/04/in-war-truth-is-first-casualty.html). I am also reading The Wrong War by Bing West that purports to show the absolute absurdity of the COIN strategy in Afghanistan. There is Bomb Patrol Afghanistan on TV which is disturbing to watch because of the senseless mission of clearing IED's by day only to have the enemy put them back overnight. Lastly, who could contend with a straight face that Afghanistan is a success when it has been ten years already with no victory? So far, my interpretation of the war is that we have a massive failure in integrity at the general officer level and another massive failure in tactics and strategy.
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+1 # RE: ConfusedCamo 2012-05-01 18:27
What you stated as failures are direct results of misusing the military. Their (our) main purpose is to break things and kill people. The armed services aren’t trained to build communities, governments or long-term relief operations. Combat leaders need clear goals, and a vision of what constitutes mission completion. None of this is clear in military terms when trying to build communities or infrastructure, which is why we can win all the battles, and still lose a war. All this should be handled by the State Dept or other NGOs and transferring these duties over to the military is a HUGE mistake. If these organizations won’t or can’t step up to the plate, then we need to get out.
In short-term ops, the military can fill the gap for humanitarian relief and security. However, combat ops are very different than police work, which is needed for long-term security. The confusion or blurring of police work and combat ops puts our troops in jeopardy by causing chaos, mission creep and all sorts of unintended consequences.
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+2 # RE: Drunken Monkeys, Milkooks, Military, and the MediaZek202 2012-04-26 07:39
What about the military cutting off the soldiers ability to post almost real time to blogs like RedSix in Armor Geddon, the battle for Fallujah. Would you approve of more direct reporting like that? As long as opsec is preserved.
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+3 # Sounds familiarjack mccarthy 2012-04-26 08:09
as a man accustomed to a life filled with bullshit. Your stories hit home as accurate.
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+11 # Some many wars - not enough time.austenlennnon 2012-04-26 10:35
Never ceases to amaze me of the number of people who would see other people silenced. The tactics are straight from the Communist party handbook yet they profess to be great American patriots.

I suppose that we could dismiss their ranting and attacks as the work of fanatics and madmen but we don’t report from a country that has millions of guns and bullets which could easily go astray.

Michael Yon has been a great source of information to us Brits, (Well the Brits who give a damn.) He never minces his words and he spits out the truth like a machine gun.

The world needs more people to stand up and speak out. At the moment the monkeys have got the microphone and the controls of the plane. (This is not an attack or reference to your President but a reference to the people in power who are pressing buttons without knowing the consequences.)

It is hard to fight City Hall and the only people who can fight City Hall are the citizens. The same applies to the City Hall that is called the Pentagon.

Well done Michael. Don’t let these strange people keep you from what you do best…… I could say that I am behind you but I suspect that, at times, you would like some bugger to be beside you!. But I am there is spirit if not flesh.
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+6 # RE: Drunken Monkeys, Milkooks, Military, and the MediaHeath 2012-04-26 17:35
I think it is good that Michael Yon is taking some time out of his busy schedule to expose the frauds. Nobody likes doing that but I think the readers need to know the difference between a war reporter blogging the truth so that Michael Yon can move forward with the educational efforts of how we can help our US Troops and allied troops fight the global war on terror. (GWOT) Here is a $20. contribution I am sending in the mail and I hope you can continue to travel the world reporting from the battlefield and tell the truth. Have your list of congress & senator contacts close by and do your American duty to see that the US Troops are well taken care of.
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+5 # Thank you!Rose in Wyoming 2012-04-26 18:01
Hey Michael - I've been glued to your online magazine since I discovered it. I'm an ex-military wife and and military mom. I'm SO VERY APPRECIATIVE of your articles, your pictures, and your insight. I'm so thankful to have you as a source of info, because of your experience and ethics. Keep up the good work!
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+4 # RE: Drunken Monkeys, Milkooks, Military, and the MediaKen Paul 2012-04-26 19:33
Mike
I could not ascertain from your story if the milblogers are part of M.I. PhsyOps.
I served 3 tours in Viet. with PhsyOps at MACV and what you describe would have gotten us busted and Ops against the US News was a no no. (Even though the will to do so was strong.)
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# RE: Drunken Monkeys, Milkooks, Military, and the MediaSigivald 2012-04-26 23:54
Grisham captions, “Just being a redneck in the front yard shooting cans.” There is a famous “redneck joke” about “shooting cans.” Puerto Ri-Cans, Mexi-Cans, and Afri-Cans. This racist joke is as commonly known in the South as are grits.

Uh, yeah, if you say so.

On the other hand, people also shoot literal metal cans for fun, ubiquitously.

So I don't think it's fair to assume "racist joke" from "cans".

(This should not be taken as anything other than a call on the dubiousness of that specific implication/inf erence, I emphasize; I've never read Grisham's work and wouldn't know him from Adam, and have enjoyed Mr. Yon's reporting over the years.

But that? "Cans means a reference to this racist joke, not to shooting actual cans", with no more evidence?

I wouldn't let someone make that sort of accusation against Hitler without pointing out it's a cheap shot.)
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+2 # · · · — — — · · ·Michael Yon author 2012-04-27 10:57
Sigivald,

Do you know what this means? · · · — — — · · ·

I'll bet that if you don't know what that means, but you show it to an old-timer Green Beret, he'll instantly know what it means.

How about this song? dih dih dit dah dah dah dih dih dit

Does that tune ring a bell in your ears? A lot of people instantly will know what that means, and maybe you do, too.

Now, if someone from the South, where I am from, and where Grisham spent much time, says to me, "I'm being a redneck shooting cans," that means · · · — — — · · ·, · · · — — — · · ·, · · · — — — · · ·.

The meaning is crystal clear and unambiguous for those who know the code. For those who don't, it's just noise.

-- .. -.-. .... .- . .-.. / -.-- --- -.
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# RE: · · · — — — · · ·Chris Higgins 2012-09-29 18:12
Ha Ha Michael,
If someone makes the I'm just a redneck shooting cans crack to me I'm thinking -... ... and ..-. ..-
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# Naughty code, ChrisMichael Yon author 2012-09-29 18:33
Am thinking same, though.
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-5 # While i agree...D-bar 2012-04-27 19:56
I dont disagree with everything Yon says, a lot of his articles are good, and it is nice to see a reporter or milblogger who spends time over seas. However there are a few of his ideas that personally irritate me.
The red cross thing, which i have commented on, and this...
General fired for secuirity on a bridge? I would understand the NCOIC and OIC directly responsible for bridge but a general? that's a little far away from the immediate supervision to be responsible.
Its the same idea as every unit i have ever been to agrees with. Say a soldier goes out on the weekend and gets a DUI. his chain of command is brought in and chewed out by CSM. I have never understood that, the leadership can not be with their joes 24/7, they can not force the joe to obey, no mind control possible, the choice to drive drunk is a personal one not a failure on leadership.
The bridge example is same, the General can not possibly be everywhere at once checking everything all the time, thats why the military has a chain of command and delegates authority down the line. Fire the people directly responsible for the actions, discipline the chain of command, but dont go to far up the ladder, in my unit alone, if i mess up i dont expect the commander or CSM to get flak for it, they arent responsible for my actions.
Saying the general should be fired for bridge security is like saying obama should be fired for mcchrystals action, the logic must follow, if the chain of command is responsible then it must go all the way up...
I do agree on the milbloggers who dont go to war, i dont pay attention to them cause they are not worth reading in my opinion, i read michaels and agree with some of what he says and disagree with others. But i do recognize he has gone over and i thank him for doing that and putting his money where his money is.
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-2 # what is treason?Casey 2012-04-27 23:50
I see the sycophants are out in force today.

Mr. Yon's Jedi mind powers are in full force today, given that he can instantly decipher what Grisham is thinking.

Yon may be a great writer, but doesn't know a darn thing about semiotics & linguistics.

Or, to quote Freud, "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar."
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+3 # RE: Drunken Monkeys, Milkooks, Military, and the MediaSteveIndy 2012-04-28 04:26
How is it that the Marine who wrote his objections to Obama on his facebook page is getting a "less that honorable" discharge, and Grisham hasn't even been talked about ?
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+5 # ThunderTom Weiss 2012-04-28 08:41
Currently in RC-E on an ANA advisory mission. Love your stuff Michael, we've never met but I've heard of you through friends. Keep it up. When I see the two pages of evidence you lay out, then check Blackfive and all they've got is "Yon is batshit crazy", I think it's pretty clear who has the truth on their side.

If you make it back in the next 6-7 mos, you're more than welcome out in Paktiya province.
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+3 # RE: Drunken Monkeys, Milkooks, Military, and the MediaJoel Bouckaert 2012-04-28 12:38
This is a great blog, Michael. Keep up the good work!
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+3 # RE: Drunken Monkeys, Milkooks, Military, and the MediaLori 2012-04-28 14:28
Fox & Friends should hire you. :lol:
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+4 # RE: Drunken Monkeys, Milkooks, Military, and the MediaAbdiel 2012-05-01 19:18
Shalom Mr. Yon Will you cover the upcoming war in Israel ?
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+2 # RE: Drunken Monkeys, Milkooks, Military, and the MediaWestie 2012-05-02 15:56
Thanks Mr. Yon, you've done good work!
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+1 # RE: Drunken Monkeys, Milkooks, Military, and the MediaChris Higgins 2012-09-29 17:57
This is no surpirse to me. I am an average guy who is a bit of a news junkie. I explore a lot of current event blogs. Especially those related to the wars our soldiers are engaged in (Blue Star dad). When I read a post with El Torro Caca, I comment and present the facts as I have seen them reliably reported. Certain sirte routinely remove these posts, or the comment is attacked by people whose world view does not seem fact based. Thanks for pointing out some of the worst offenders.
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-1 # RE: Drunken Monkeys, Milkooks, Military, and the MediaLawrence Neal 2012-09-29 20:25
Always p-lenty of incompetence at the top, because they're bureaucrats instead of fighters. But what about the other end, all the gang bangers the recruiters are taking to fill their quota?
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# PatriotismBarry Cooper 2013-02-04 16:54
What I think you report well is that patriotism--the reflexive emotions that come with seeing a flag or hearing the national anthem--needs to be reflective, and it needs to ask questions.

Just because our troops are fighting, and just because we care about them, does not mean necessarily that they are fighting for OUR freedom; nor does it mean that their fight is effective and competently led. It does not mean good men are not dying for no reason.

Reading the history of the Vietnam War as covered in Lewis Sorley's "A Better War" was instructive to me. The war basically had two phases: incompetent, and competent. Only the first phase was well told.

I was a bit shocked some years ago talking with a very well placed, very influential, hard charging senior officer that his faith in the collective intelligence of our military was small. He was even then in the process of moving on to a more senior command role, and perhaps he has injected some intelligence there, but his cynicism left a mark on my enthusiasm.
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