Michael's Dispatches

General Menard in Jail for "Gun Running"


30 January 2014

This is the Canadian Brigadier General that I wrote should be fired for incompetence in Afghanistan. This caused me no end of troubles but was worth it. My work directly resulted in Menard's firing and he departed the Army.

And now he is in jail in Afghanistan. Maybe he has been set up -- I have no idea. But I do hope that he is released from the Afghan jail and sent home in good sorts.


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  • This commment is unpublished.
    Rochelle · 7 years ago
    The article at the link in your post does not use the words 'gun running' anywhere at all. I recall your post regarding his incompetence and unprofessional behavior as an officer while he was in uniform in Afghanistan but don't you think it irresponsible journalism on your part to headline this post accusing him of gun-running when the reference you provide does not back this up? It gives you the appearance of resorting to sensationalist journalism to grab the attention of your audience.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Michael Yon writer · 7 years ago

      A 0 second web search would have revealed this:

      "Former Canadian brigadier-general Daniel Menard in Afghan jail accused of gun smuggling"

      http://www.theglobeandmail.com/.../forme.../article1660 584/
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Diane · 7 years ago
    ;-) Karma....
  • This commment is unpublished.
    lawrence watson · 7 years ago
    Outstanding article.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Michael Yon writer · 7 years ago

    That is a fair and good point. The original article I linked to called it Gun Running. The link:

    http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/world/asia/afghanistan/article 989700.ece

    No sooner did I quote their words that the link disappeared. Curious.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Scootch · 7 years ago
      Thank you for your honest journalism Michael. It almost cures my cynicism.

      Google cache - the original article:

      http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&ved=0CDoQIDAA&url=http% A%2F%2Fwebcache.googleusercontent.com%2Fsearch% Fq% Dcache% AmnYFUuedyGcJ% Awww.thetimes.co.uk%2Ftto%2Fnews%2Fworld%2Fasia%2Fafghanistan%2Farticle 989700.ece%2B%26cd% D1%26hl% Den%26ct% Dclnk%26gl% Dus%26client% Dfirefox-a&ei=8gjrUuP_MYvNkAforYHACg&usg=AFQjCNFeHVvM1t4uuEsv5FBx2vHqdjlBxg&sig2=49EC5vY-6anHIw8Ae7xnLw
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Johanna Stephens · 7 years ago
    What actions if any show he was "gun running"?
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Tommy Barrios · 7 years ago
    Hope he does not get as many folks killed in his new job as he did in his old one as a general ;-(

    BTW I thought gun running was a national pastime in AF/PAK :-(
  • This commment is unpublished.
    James Bowie · 7 years ago
    Hi Michael,

    I looked you up immediately when I saw this story. I remembered how interested you were in Menard and also in defamation law.

    When I saw the "gun running" allegation, I thought you might have more information from your own sources than the Torstar had. You usually are very well informed about military contractors and about Afghanistan.

    The Hill Times is one of Canada premiere news sources for federal political affairs, including military affairs. I've been reading them for years, and this is the first time I can think that they have taken an entire story down in this way.

    Will you keep your lede up?
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Michael Yon writer · 7 years ago

      It is important to pay attention to what I wrote, and the context.

      If I say, "Joe Smith arrested for money laundering," and link to an article that quotes officials saying that Joe Smith was arrested for money laundering, that does NOT say that I said he was money laundering. What is says is that officials say he was money laundering. Was Joe Smith money laundering? Heck if I know.

      The original article I linked to clearly said that Afghan officials accused Menard of gunrunning. Did they, or was the journalist off? I have no idea, but what the article clearly said was that he was arrested for gunrunning. The paper immediately removed the article. Why did they remove it? I have no idea.

      A company spokesman later was quoted that the arrest had something to do with a minor paperwork issue. Again, did the company spokesman Really say this, or was the journalist off? If he really did say it, was it Really true, or was perhaps Menard guilty of some gun infraction such as transporting guns that were not authorized (gunrunning)?

      It is important to pay attention to what was actually written. As it stands, some people appear to be saying that Menard was gunrunning, while the company spokesman naturally says it was a paperwork issue. Do you think a company spokesman is going to come out and say, "Yes, we run guns"? Of course not. Were they running guns? I have no idea.

      Is Menard in jail? That seems to be true. Another thing that is true is that Afghan officials have history of muscling people like this. Another thing that is true is that there are LOADS of contractors there with illegal weapons. I myself sometimes had grenades, a pistol, an AK, when not embedded and in high danger. If I had been arrested, they likely would have called that gunrunning.

      I cannot fathom to remember all the contractors who had illegal weapons and were selling and trading them. It was common knowledge that some special forces teams would trade AK-47s or grenades to contractors, for cases of beer. That is gunrunning on both sides.

      Bottom line: Menard is in prison and has been accused of gunrunning in at least one paper, as quoted by Afghan officials, if the quotes are true and accurate. What is true and accurate is that gunrunning is common, and Afghan authorities muscling people is also common.
      • This commment is unpublished.
        A&N · 7 years ago
        Thanks Mike. You went the extra mile to explain the whole situation here and have proven once again how hard it is to know exactly what happened and what the truth is. You always give it your all to give us the bottom line. You are appreciated. Thank you for the clarification.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Louise · 7 years ago
    More here:

    http://www.sunnewsnetwork.ca/sunnews/world/archives/2014/01/201401 0-100720.html

    The article denies the gun smuggling accusation but cites sloppy paperwork. as the problem.a5s29
  • This commment is unpublished.
    A&N · 7 years ago
    Gunrunning is common now days, Mike. Not to easy to get the truth out about it though, is it. Not in these days of cover ups and out and out lies from both high and low places. Why, our own dear leader has done his share...believe me I know....both to the drug cartels from Arizona (Fast and Furious) and from Libya through Turkey to his buds in the middle east. Course we all know that nothing was going on there, don't we....Nothing going on there....look over here at the need for more welfair and higher taxes folks. I hate being called "the folks"....don't you? Makes you sound so stupid doesn't it? So ignore the naysayers. So many lies around now days Mike that people get confused.....real easy. Yep. Thanks for the up-date and remember....it's harder now days to get the truth out so you just have to try harder. Keep up the good work, Mike.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Michael Yon writer · 7 years ago
      Most appreciated.

      On a side note, if someone is caught gunrunning, naturally they are going to say something like "sloppy paperwork." Remember that it was Menard who tried to hide from responsibility for letting the Tarnak River Bridge get blown up, and then he tried to hide nearly shooting one of our helicopters with his rifle, and then he tried to hide the affair that ultimately got him reduced in rank from brigadier general to colonel. It was I who revealed all of this.
      • This commment is unpublished.
        A & N · 7 years ago
        The N has desended from her smokes run on high and says hello. Oh...we remember when you told us all about those things. We have long memories, Mike. You will always be appreciated. Take care of yourself, Mike. It's a nasty old world out there and getting nastier every day. You have to stop and smell the roses where you can find the roses. Good thoughts.

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