- Published: Wednesday, 18 December 2013 14:06
18 December 2013
A troubled US Army Soldier claimed to be assigned to the US Embassy in Bangkok for an unknown purpose.
The active duty counterintelligence soldier, who has a Top Secret clearance, is stationed at Fort Hood, Texas. Until recently, when I alerted the Army of a possible rogue operation, the counterintelligence sergeant listed his duty station as the US Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand.
The soldier has never been stationed in Thailand. There is no evidence that he has ever visited Thailand.
Master Sergeant C.J. Grisham has a history of money raising scams. After his internationally publicized arrest in Texas on a weapons-related charge, Grisham raised and absconded with more than $50,000 in legal defense funds. He did not use the money for his defense, but found an attorney who represented him pro bono. Grisham was convicted and fined $2,000, with no jail time. No charges have been filed over the disappearance of the money.
Many Thai women have been targets of scammers posing as US Soldiers who seek money and romance. Grisham has in the past made a small industry of advising women how to avoid such scams.
Grisham ran rogue operations of a personal nature while stationed in Afghanistan, using his official status as cover. Army commanders prematurely sent Grisham home from Afghanistan to Texas months before he completed his tour, after he complained on Twitter and on his personal website about his fear of enemy attacks and his mental health symptoms. Grisham saw no combat.
Until recently, Grisham’s duty station was listed as follows on an official Army computer system:
The US has long maintained a military presence at the US Embassy and satellite facilities in Thailand, conducting liaison and other operations.
The “Army Basic Branch 35”, listed above, is the US Army code for the Intelligence field. Since the US government does run intelligence operations from the Embassy and related facilities, the listing supports Grisham’s contention that he conducts official business in the Kingdom.
Grisham actually is a counterintelligence sergeant. Despite his legal woes, Grisham continues to enjoy access to classified communications systems. The problem is that Grisham is not in Thailand. Though I alerted the Army about the fraudulent listing, it is unknown to me at this time if changes have been made.
Grisham could use such a listing as cover, to approach and to deceive both US and Thai authorities, masquerading as if he were officially assigned to the US Embassy. This could facilitate high-stakes mischief, potentially complicating Thai-US relations.
We all have seen through WikiLeaks and the revelations of Edward Snowden that the US government wields imperfect control over its Top Secret computer systems, not to mention over the personnel with access to those systems who can abuse them for personal gain.
There is no evidence that Grisham’s official but fraudulent listing was sanctioned by the Pentagon, by the Department of State, or by the US Embassy in Bangkok.
US authorities have understandably declined to comment.
This Army master sergeant has long claimed that he suffers from mental illness, and he has specifically complained that he hears voices in his head.
For years, the US Army failed to relieve Grisham of his duties for his serial misconduct, and despite abundant indicators that Grisham is a security risk, the Army failed to curtail his access to classified communications and computer systems.
Texas civilian authorities took a different approach, and prosecuted Grisham.
Grisham was convicted and fined $2000 for a weapons-related offense. His concealed carry permit was revoked by the State of Texas.
If Grisham is convicted of criminal trespass, his latest charge, scheduled for hearing on 8 January, he faces another $2,000 fine and six months in jail. In any case, he is not in Bangkok and likely never will be.