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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  • This commment is unpublished.
    James Valentine · 10 years ago
    Mike, I've been following you for the past years now, & I'm proud someone like you has the ball's & gut's to tell & show it like it really is!!
    God Bless you.
    Keep up the good work!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Mark Ward · 10 years ago
    Mike -- I wonder if this circling of the wagons on the MEDEVAC issue is related to two other instances where the Executive Branch is either stonewalling or asserting perogatives: Fast & Furious (Justice Department) and the "recess" appointments ( to the NLRB and 1 to the new un-oversighted Consumer Protection agency). I also note that three of the four Senators who are being nose thumbed are Republicans. I wonder how much the civilian appointees in Defense are steering the MEDEVAC issue in order to make Senators of a certain party appear impotent for, of course, 2012 electioneering and to also make the Generals look bad. Or is this just more of an Executive Branch power grab scheme. If so, despicable
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Frank · 10 years ago
    This happens all to often. Holder and his bag of scums seem to duck and dodge the Fast and Furious problem. The entire political arena no matter where you are in the Government is nothing but smoke and mirrors. Why does the average taxpayer hate politicians? A simple common sense problem has created a tremendous amount of publicity. Yet we can't have a concise decision. So soldiers loose their life. We fight for what?? In another country for what??
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Retired usmc · 10 years ago
    It's time too bring this Dog and pony show to an end .. If the Joint Chiefs of Staff need a political war on their door step let pick them off one at a time and end their careers through the media. They chose this fight the way I see it now and their demise is now at hand.

    Thanks Michael
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Charles Maxwel · 10 years ago
    Keep chargin! I spent a year in the Big Blue Bedroom that is the auditorium at CGSC and, as a field grade naval officer, it's understandable that I would see things a bit differently. I always liked things that float better than things that roll! I have to tell you, this Army letter speaks volumes of the contorted parsing of words and sentences that I so clearly remember as part of the culture of pseudo intelligencia that is the the majority of the Army mid-grades (staffers, not the battle ready). These staffers could be staring at a live grenade at their feet while writing about 'how they should approach the situation by first reading chapter 4 out of FM-105'!! The winning line in this masterful piece of crap is '...we're a learning organization...' and we looked at our procedures in 2008....! Someone ought to explain that a lot has changed in the 4 years since!!! That red cross is BIG ASS Target! They shout Allah Akbar while they shout. Just the way Maj Hassan did when he killed 1 and wounded 28 at FT Hood. That was deemed 'work place violence.' Another stroke of brilliance that hasn't been overlooked by the public, we just don't have a voice - - YET! Anyway, keep charging. you're on the right side of history. VR/CDR Maxwell, USN(Ret) CGSC class of 1995
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Pencil Neck · 10 years ago

    I'm glad you are shifting your interest back to the U.S. Iraq/Afghanistan were never in our interest beyond spanking the Taliban and taking down the 'Qaeda folks. Mission accomplished years ago. Done. Move on.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Ron Rogers · 10 years ago
    As anonymous letters go, it is very well-written bullshit. You have to wonder if the medical folks got this crap reviewed by a DC attorney prior to shoving it under Congress' door. I too loved the line about being a learning institution! The underlying thesis is fascinating. If we could do it better, tactical consumers in the field would have complained. Well, actually the people who would like to complain are dead. They suggest they are the "Gold Standard." I think that the Air Force Pedro helicopters with 4 crew and usually pararescuemen represent the Gold Standard for responsiveness and capability. Our Army helicopters may be said to have room for 4 litters, but there is only one medic aboard who cannot minister to all 4 casualties. Here is an Air Force Pedro mission. Please note the response time. At the end, one Perdro is carrying 1 personnel and their miniguns.

    The Army has such stories, but their aircraft and the medic in back are not as capable.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Matthew · 10 years ago
    Those Blackhawks are work horses. Any UH60 with two guns and two bodies to man them aren't going to slow those birds down much at all. Using that statement tells me that is all they have to go on.
    As per wiki:
    "Capacity: 2,640 lb of cargo internally, including 14 troops or 6 stretchers, or 8,000 lb (UH-60A) or 9,000 lb (UH-60L) of cargo externally"
    Let's assume two gunners with all their kit equally 500lbs (I think that's over doing it) a couple of miniguns (probably the heaviest compared to the 240) another 200lbs. That's 700lbs! That's nothing! After looking at the operating manual for the UH60 and looking at the performance charts showing the altitude/weight combinations at which it can operate I am lead to believe that the Army General is FULL OF SHIT. Just sayin'.

    UH60 manual online Pages 7-11 and -12 -> http://www.scribd.com/fullscreen/26745677?access_key=key-296j1n5lnx2evnc8lh7h
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Libby · 10 years ago
    So, if "we know from hard experience that the enemy does try to shoot down any and all US and Coalition aircraft," why are we making the Dustoffs even more obvious targets by highlighting their unarmed status with red crosses? This does not compute with me.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Heywood Jablomi · 10 years ago
    Whomever wrote this missive is stupid.

    And they think that we, the American public, are stupid, too.

    Here are some important facts to keep in mind. These are things that the Army Medical Department (AMEDD) does not want you to know.

    1. US Army flight medics are NOT the "gold standard" in MEDEVAC medical care. Saying this bluntly is not intended to malign Army flight medics, nor to provoke contention between flight medics and Air Force Pararescue men (PJ's). PJ's, you see, are trained to a far greater degree than Army flight medics. Their expertise in trauma treatment eclipses that of Army flight medics by several orders of magnitude.

    2. There is a reason why there are so many PJ's on Air Force Pedro's. PJ's are among the Special Forces of the US Air Force. They are trained, primarily, to penetrate denied air space to rescue pilots who have been shot down, who may be wounded, and who may be evading capture. Pedro, therefore, goes in heavy with sophisticated electronics, and several PJ's who are adept at several infiltration methods. PJ's can also fight to a far more elite degree than US Army flight medics. Army flight medics are mere medics with minimal additional training. The additional medical equipment on Army MEDEVACS is minimal.

    . While it is true that Army MEDEVAC can carry more patients than Pedro, it is not realistic to expect the (typically) lone flight medic aboard to do much for his patients during the flight back to a medical facility. (Continued on next page)
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Heywood Jablomi · 10 years ago
    . (Continued from previous post). An Army flight medic can, at most, swap IV bags, monitor the status of tourniquets, attempt to replace tourniquets that slip (wounds that require tourniquets are often quite slick with fresh blood), monitor bandages and attempt to replace bandages that are soaked, and transmit notifications of injuries to the receiving medical facility. Because an Army flight medic is alone, he has his hands full doing anything more, or even doing the above, to a high standard. A Pedro, on the other hand, staffed with multiple PJ's, can dedicate one or two PJ's to each patient. Further, there is no question that Pedro carries, by far, more sophisticated medical equipment. Army MEDEVAC are ambulances. And they are not as well equipped as the ambulances that are parked outside most hospitals in the USA.

    4. Whomever wrote the document posted above insists that the Army is the agent designated by DOD to provide aeromedical evacuation for all armed services. Ok. This is not in dispute. But saying so, indeed, insisting on it, reveals the genuine fear of the constituency that currently controls Army MEDEVAC. They are afraid that Army General Aviation will take their helicopters, or that MEDEVAC helicopters may be diverted to other uses. They are even afraid that the Air Force may be able to wrestle some airframes out of their sweaty hands. (Continued on next page).
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Heywood Jablomi · 10 years ago
    . (Continued from previous post). I would like to remind these contending factions that they work for the American taxpayer. If it is determined that one entity should control helicopters, and then delegate them to a particular mission, like MEDEVAC, then that is what is going to happen. If it would be better to consolidate these airframes under one entity, particularly in an era of shrinking budgets, then that should happen. Military officers who draw salaries fighting these sorts of battles in the Pentagon should be retired. Not grunts. Grunts have honor. Officers like this are politicians, and politics is part of what is wrong with the US Army today.

    4. Lying to Congress, and by extension to the American public, is contemptible.

    There is no question that we need to downsize the US military. The problem is, we need to eliminate about 50,000 Majors, Lieutenants-Colonel, Colonels, and 75% of the General officer corps. How is it understandable or defensible that we have more general officers than ever before? And I mean, we have more now than we had on D-Day.

    These are the scumbags who are plotting the implementation of the coming "hollow Army," and conspiring to shrink the USMC by 20,000 grunts.

  • This commment is unpublished.
    Ron Rogers · 10 years ago
    We clearly have sharp people like Libby and Heywood on this forum. But what the recent Komen Foundation policy reversal tells us is that we should be utilizing Twitter, Facebook, etc. to create a wave of awareness and indignation. Not enough people are aware of this situation and the Army's perfidy.

    A truncated version of Heywood's comments plus referring people to Michael's blog should work. Do some of you know how to get this ball rolling. We need to tap the power of today's "social media."

    Thank you.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Leland · 10 years ago
    Question: When was the last time US Armed Forces fought anyone that followed the Geneva Conventions? Answer: Never.
    Question: Has anyone in the Pentagon ever actually faced enemy in ground combat? Answer: Not many, if any.
    Question: Why would the JCS and the US Army vigorously defend a policy which, on its face, is absurd? Answer: Money, arrogance, internal politics, political correctness, stupidity.
    Comment: You can't make this stuff up! Perhaps its time rid ourselves of this band of fools!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Vernon Clayson · 10 years ago
    The President and his administration have even more contempt for Congress, small wonder, most of the nation has the same feeling towards Congress. They allow Obama to rule by decree and only tentatively disagree before signing off on every demand. The courts are even worse, they refuse to find any fault in his actions or question his background. Contempt of Congress is the new norm.

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