Michael's Dispatches

Threat from American Soldier

25 September 2011
Kandahar Province, Afghanistan

Every American service member is a representative of the United States of America.  If an American Soldier were to write about President Obama, “I want to rip his head off and piss down his windpipe!” we would expect that the Secret Service would investigate further before the President visited a base where that troop is stationed.  If that same Soldier published the same words about his Commanding General, while both are in a war zone, his behavior would be grounds for reduction in rank, at a minimum.  Sane or insane, public hatred coming from an armed American Soldier in war should be taken seriously.  The trooper is paid by US citizens, and the weapon in his hands is the property and responsibility of the United States.  He is paid and armed by us to represent us.  His actions, ultimately, are his responsibility and the responsibility of his chain of command.  His every action—in word and in deed—reflects upon the United States.

Threats are especially serious coming from an American service member armed with a powerful automatic weapon and plenty of ammunition.  When those threats occur in a war zone from someone who has publicly discussed his mental health issues, no sane person would brush them off.  Time and again, we have seen tragedies unfold and then look back and say, “There were signs. . . .” In Fort Hood a Soldier murdered 13 people.  In retrospect, the signs were obvious, and we did nothing.  

Over here, in Afghanistan, soldiers have murdered for sport.  I was embedded with their brigade but with different units.  This was a very small group of Soldiers whose actions negatively cast light on the far higher professionalism of the general military population, but they did it nevertheless. Back in Iraq, five soldiers got drunk, raped a young Iraqi girl and murdered her family.  They also murdered the girl.  During the crime in which they raped and murdered the fourteen-year-old girl, they executed her six-year old sister.  Then our soldiers burned the people they murdered.  Iraqis, allegedly in response, kidnapped some of our Soldiers and disemboweled and dismembered them alive.  Our response to the missing Soldiers was to kill a lot of Iraqis in the area while searching for our Soldiers.  The drunken rape, and multiple-murders, and what then unfolded as a result, is a largely untold story of the Iraq war.  We have a small percentage of criminals in uniform in our midst.  The results of their evil actions will echo through history.

During the dozen years I have been in the military on active duty or covering the wars, I have felt threatened only twice by American soldiers.  Both times I warned other Soldiers of sufficient rank and position to cause action.  Nothing happened.  The first soldier is dead.  He shot himself last year.  He was under investigation for sexual harassment of another officer.  He was to be escorted to another base but committed suicide.  When I raised the flag about five years earlier, nobody wanted to believe my confidential warnings probably because of his combat record and the fact that he graduated from West Point, and due to his personal connections.  It was clear at the time that they saw my warnings as evidence of a personal feud between the officer and me.  There was no feud.  He was a dangerous man.

The second soldier is Master Sergeant CJ Grisham.  He is stationed at Kandahar Air Field nearby, where I must often travel.  I have cautioned the Army numerous times through back channels.  This soldier concerns me as a lethal threat to my person.  Most recently, in another angry tirade, Grisham wrote, “I want to rip his head off and piss down his windpipe!”  In my world, there is no television and people die all the time.  All bullets are live.  All threats are real.

Since the current wars began, I have alerted people about four soldiers.  The two Generals I warned about were fired last year—one was subsequently convicted of a crime—and both were sent home from Afghanistan.  They were incompetent.  The third soldier shot himself and went home dead from Afghanistan.  The fourth is CJ Grisham.  He should not be in the US military carrying an assault rifle.  Grisham has the motive.  He has the means.  He has access to his target.  He has stated his desire.  His behavior toward many people in the past has been that of a remorseless, soulless bully.  His narcissism is apparent.  When he’s backed into a corner, Grisham turns on the charm and claims to have PTSD in a shameless act to garner sympathy.  He has gathered small cult-like group who vigorously defend him.

I am an unarmed American citizen in Afghanistan.  I have warned the Army and they have done nothing.  I feel physically threatened by Master Sergeant CJ Grisham.

[Minutes ago I received a message from the Army that they are investigating.]

Sincerely,

Michael Yon
Kandahar Province, Afghanistan

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