Michael's Dispatches

Drunken Monkeys, Milkooks, Military, and the Media

42 Comments

Hastings went on to write a book called The Operators.  He should have titled it Crazy Monkeys.

Page 28 of The Operators:

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So let’s review:  I was kicked out and replaced by Michael Enright, who slashed a guy’s throat.  Michael Hastings partied with McChrystal in Paris and got McChrystal fired.  Menard was fired.  The Burger King menace in Afghanistan was destroyed.  The Taliban got stronger.

Innumerable stories of our men and women in combat will never be told, thanks to McChrystal’s staff.  But Hastings got a killer book deal out of it.

image023Army sanctioned blogger CJ Grisham, the suicidal mouse killer, who “hears voices in his head,” shows off his gun collection on Twitter

UNSTABLE SOLDIER II

Milblogger CJ Grisham moonlights as a fulltime soldier in Army intelligence.  He was sent home from Afghanistan in March 2012, after complaining again about mental problems, and that his superiors were stressing him out.

After I first exposed McChrystal in 2010, Grisham and other milkooks spent a huge amount of time spamming my website, Facebook, and Wikipedia.

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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.

That Commanding Generals allow a senior NCO to post racist jokes online speaks of ...something.

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Grisham boasted about shooting this field mouse in half.  After shooting it, he took the time to photograph, upload, and brag about it.

At least five people have told me that they felt threatened by Grisham (two Army officers and three women).  Yet he goes on, shooting “cans,” and mice.

Complaining to his chain of command is useless.  I’ve done it many times.

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Grisham spends a great deal of time bashing President Obama—often while wearing his Army uniform.

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As a military writer, Grisham has the “authority” to parrot the Army message.  Here he stands with the excellent Hugh Hewitt, who probably has no idea about all of this.

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Grisham with Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison.

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Grisham with a band.

image036Matthew Burden is considered a major milbogger. Burden is close with Hanson and Grisham. Both Burden and Hanson have refused to step foot into combat in either Iraq or Afghanistan.

BAD SEED

A small number of milbloggers are often present when there is a stench of military misinformation.  One of those mibloggers is Matthew Burden, the founder of Blackfive. Burden invited Hanson to write at Blackfive.

Burden has run for public office, and is also a board member at the very large charity Soldiers' Angels.

David Axe writes:

….Jimbo has plans that go beyond journalism and publishing. Jimbo, whose real name is Jim Hanson, has talked about turning Blackfive into an arm of a private military intelligence network, like a low-rent intel version of Blackwater.

I know this because Jimbo tried to recruit me last summer.

I had just returned from Chad. I had drinks with Jimbo and Blackfive boss Matt Burden. While Matt sat quietly, Jimbo told me how he was frustrated with professional reporters who only report facts, and don’t help use those facts to promote U.S. national security. He said he envisioned building a privately run intelligence network that would use freelance reporters, operating under Blackfive’s auspices and sponsored by corporations, to gather information for transmission to intel analysts in the U.S. He asked if I would be interested in joining up.

I said no, in no uncertain terms. In fact, I recall cursing and yelling.

David Axe writes of Matt Burden's Blackfive:

All this is to say, Blackfive is not just a tacky blog, it’s actually dangerous — the kind of forum that encourages violence and hatred. Don’t believe me? In a recent post discussing the U.S. national debt, Blackfive blogger “Crush” all but advocated the violent overthrow of the U.S. government.

image038Aquarium worker Matthew Burden has political aspirations and uses his blogging, board membership on Soldiers’ Angels, and other high profile activities and people in a bid to extend his influence.

Burden ran for State Representative in Illinois.  During an interview, Burden bragged, “Because of my distinguished military career…”  There is nothing evident that distinguishes Burden’s service.

Despite being touted as a leading milblogger, Burden assiduously avoided going to the wars.  Earlier in the wars, I invited Matt Burden to walk the walk.  He would not do it.  Much of his time has been spent working at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, just off Lake Michigan.  There is nothing wrong with that, but playing up his military credentials is a bit much.

As a man, Matt Burden does not shine.  The aspiring politician depends on reflected glory, and so he keeps as close to combat veterans as possible.

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MILBLOG CONFERENCE

This year’s milblog conference will consist of a who’s who of milkooks.  Not all of the bloggers there could be called kooks or propagandists, but the serious milkooks will be runners and many are listed on milblogging.com.  Blackfive and Grisham are nominated, as are numerous others.

McChrystal’s leadership was so potently toxic, and his information campaign so underhanded, that it fomented damage that continues to unfold two years later.  McChrystal’s 2010 information war got him fired and is directly responsible for my dis-embed in 2011.  (Petraeus invited me back later in 2011. When Petraeus left later that year, the information war was still on and the rest is history).

Milblogging.com energetically supported milkooks in their disinformation attacks.  This fact is indisputable.  Milblogging.com is damaging to positive coverage of US forces in Afghanistan.  Milblogging.com hosts the Milblog Conference.

I am not alleging that milblogging.com is involved in systematic or willful propaganda, but I am emphatically stating that milblogging.com publishes false information.  This could be due to incompetence or laziness rather than conspiracy.

Milkooks play a bit part in the propaganda machine, while providing a manhole entrance down into something much larger.  More interesting than the milkooks will be the military members and others who show up at the conference.

It is important to note that I previously allowed Military.com to publish my work on a free basis, but when they got word about my publishing on this milblogging.com issue, they severed ties the same day, earlier this week.  Milblogging.com is a property of Military.com.

This dispatch could run on for hundreds of pages yet there is other work to do.  For more information, researchers should go here:

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  • This commment is unpublished.
    Heath · 7 years ago
    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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    Heywood Jablomi · 7 years ago
    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?
    • This commment is unpublished.
      TB · 7 years ago
      [quote name="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?[/quote]

      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:
      • This commment is unpublished.
        Moira · 7 years ago
        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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    Peter · 7 years ago
    Michael, you need to go to law school.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      TB · 7 years ago
      [quote name="Peter"]Michael, you need to go to law school.[/quote]
      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)
  • This commment is unpublished.
    TB · 7 years ago
    First off the pictures of the milkooks you show, especially Grisham, Scary VERY SCARY

    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!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Heath · 7 years ago
    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 responsibilities and carry the voice of the US Troops. Sometimes the troops need a change of generals, just like the politicians.
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    TheOldMan · 7 years ago
    The losers and wannabes will always be with us. It's a shame to have to waste time exposing them...
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    TB · 7 years ago
    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

    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
    • This commment is unpublished.
      SFC Holmes · 7 years ago
      "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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        DonS · 7 years ago
        [quote name="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.[/quote]

        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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        Bob · 7 years ago
        FYI, Michael Yon is NOT a combat veteran. Just clearing the air a little.[/quote]

        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.....
      • This commment is unpublished.
        TB · 7 years ago
        FYI, Michael Yon is NOT a combat veteran. Just clearing the air a little.[/quote]

        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)
    • This commment is unpublished.
      FThomas · 7 years ago
      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-information" 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!
    • This commment is unpublished.
      jetdrvr · 7 years ago
      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.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Heath · 7 years ago
    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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    MikeD · 7 years ago
    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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    USMC0802 · 7 years ago
    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
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Papa Ray · 7 years ago
    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
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Sam · 7 years ago
    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
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Ashley Payne · 7 years ago
    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 defenceoftherealm.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.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      TB · 7 years ago
      Well put!

      Blimey if ye din't throw shite on all Michael's detractors, eh what 8)
  • This commment is unpublished.
    TB · 7 years ago
    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, youbetchabygolly, eh :-*
  • This commment is unpublished.
    L McCarron · 7 years ago
    Just sent a small donation. A lot of folks got your back, brother.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Deidre · 7 years ago
    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.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      JGreer · 7 years ago
      [quote name="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.[/quote]

      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.
      • This commment is unpublished.
        George · 7 years ago
        [quote name="JGreer"][quote name="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.[/quote]

        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.[/quote]

        Couldnt agree with you more!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    MarkT. · 7 years ago
    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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    Kurt Olney · 7 years ago
    KEEP UP THE GOOD FIGHT!
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    Jim07 · 7 years ago
    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-sacrificing 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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    Jeff · 7 years ago
    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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      Camo · 7 years ago
      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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    Zek202 · 7 years ago
    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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    jack mccarthy · 7 years ago
    as a man accustomed to a life filled with bullshit. Your stories hit home as accurate.
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    Austen Lennon · 7 years ago
    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.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Heath · 7 years ago
    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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    Rose in Wyoming · 7 years ago
    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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    Ken Paul · 7 years ago
    Mike
    I could not ascertain from your story if the milblogers are part of M.I. PhsyOps.
    I served 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.)
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Sigivald · 7 years ago
    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/inference, 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.)
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Michael Yon author · 7 years ago
    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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    D-bar · 7 years ago
    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.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Casey · 7 years ago
    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."
  • This commment is unpublished.
    SteveIndy · 7 years ago
    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 ?
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Tom Weiss · 7 years ago
    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.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Joel Bouckaert · 7 years ago
    This is a great blog, Michael. Keep up the good work!
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    Lori · 7 years ago
    Fox & Friends should hire you. :lol:
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Abdiel · 7 years ago
    Shalom Mr. Yon Will you cover the upcoming war in Israel ?
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    Westie · 7 years ago
    Thanks Mr. Yon, you've done good work!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Chris Higgins · 6 years ago
    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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    Lawrence Neal · 6 years ago
    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?
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Barry Cooper · 6 years ago
    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.
  • This commment is unpublished.
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