This was written after far too many nights with no sleep due to the actions of those that feel the need to attack others for no reason. I had to speak up again. For those that haven't been involved with this nightmare for long and are offended by my participation...my only comment: Get over it. If you are offended, you are more than likely one of the problems. The vicious and negative actions of a few effect every member of the families of the fallen in that battle, from parents, spouses, grandparents, children, siblings and significant others. When one is upset, all are upset. This has gone on long enough, it has caused unmeasurable pain and it is totally unnecessary. There is no visible goal, unless it is to inflict pain to the point of giving up on life. If that is your intention, then you are barking up the wrong tree. Those kids that died were raised by members of these families. They got their balls from them. Don't underestimate their strength in the face of an attack. And this whole thing is an attack on the families of those that died at Ganjgal, no matter how much you lie to yourself and say it's not.
It occurred to me that this giant clusterfuck really could be part of a smoke and mirrors campaign. It would make sense. I'd really like to believe that no one can be so cruel as to really want those they have judged and condemned for remembering things wrong, or those that aren't supporting their point of view to die. Right? Seriously. What other outcome could they want? Not one person that they are hurting has ever done anything to them. Their actions are more like a schoolyard gang acting like bullies...so what is the intention of a bully? Make themselves feel better, feel important, make their own pain go away? I think that's why bullies are bullies. I'm guessing here so if you have another reason, please let me know.
So, it's a big Smoke and Mirrors Clusterfuck. How does that work? Let me explain:
Ingredients for a Clusterfuck, as defined by me:
- One Ambush in Ganjgal, Afghanistan where the Army refused to send in air support that was determined, by an official investigation, would have almost definitely kept 3 Marines and a Corpsman alive
- One MoH Recipient with memories that conflict with his official statements on both of the investigations*
- Two MoH Recipients with memories that conflict with one single point of view camera in the middle of a battle*
- One pissed off widow with a controversial death that was abandoned by the Army
- One pissed off MoH Recipient who had his MoH recommendation packet lost by the Army
- One pissed off reporter who acted like he deserved a book deal
Add it together and you have a small group of angry people directing their attention in the wrong place.
You have One MoH Recipient (second to receive it) and Two Civilians attacking the first MoH Recipient for memories that the neither MoH Recipients are real clear on. And Why?
I'm going to speculate that all the hatred for ignoring multiple requests for lifesaving air support, the lost MoH paperwork, lack of assistance from the Army after the battle, after the death of a Soldier...that all points at the Army being the responsible party that should be accountable for their actions. But the bitter miserable reporter is acting like the Army's tool, directly or indirectly, and stirring up insignificant matters that are keeping the focus off of the true problem with this whole affair: The Army's actions caused the death of at least 4 people, possibly 5.
The Army is the only one gaining anything out of this, with possible exception of the reporter, whom I expect is gaining monetarily from his job and possibly the Army, off the whole debacle.
What is the real result of this hatred fueled attack? Those three are hurting the families of those lost in the battle. The families get dragged into it again and again. They are opening old wounds that should be allowed to start healing. There is no reason for anyone to attack them but this group of misguided souls is doing just that.
I have only seen one member of that group mentioned above do anything at all to honor the fallen of that battle, to honor others, to make the world a better place with their actions. And now the bitter group are enlisting others in their attack to take down any good that came from that battle.
This was an opportunity to honor those that died, and all they have done is dishonor the fallen and their families. I truly believe that those that died in that battle would be disgusted by their actions, the attacks on their brother.
* note: neither MoH Recipients accounts are exactly as it happened, but I would wager that in any battle, things are never remembered quite like they really happened. You are too busy focusing on what will save your life and the next guy is busy focusing on what will save his life. I doubt both are focusing on the same thing.
published at marines.dodlive.mil on September 14, 2012
A recent article by McClatchy has brought into question the heroic actions that led to the decision to award the Medal of Honor to Sgt. Dakota Meyer on Sept. 15, 2011. This is the latest in a series of disappointing articles by the news service to cast doubt on Meyer’s actions and the exhaustive review process associated with the award. The Marine Corps has full confidence in the veracity of the accounts of the extraordinary heroism demonstrated by Meyer on Sept. 8, 2009, on the battlefield in Afghanistan. The facts of this case are clear, compelling, and have been documented through the rigorous investigative process that accompanies all combat awards. In this case, two Army (AR 15-6) investigations, numerous eyewitness statements, a command inquiry and other supporting documents have verified the accounts of Meyer’s actions. Senior leaders have interviewed eyewitnesses, and their accounts are consistent and corroborated. The descriptions of that day by Marines and other service members aided or, in some cases, saved by Meyer form a compelling composite of courage under fire and extraordinary heroism.
Eyewitness accounts include a Marine captain who was a member of the ambushed patrol, stating, “I was providing him [Meyer] covering fires when I witnessed him run into the village alone and return carrying the lifeless body of one of our fallen Marines.” Similarly, an Army helicopter pilot who flew overhead during the battle notes, “Meyer was the driving force behind that recovery effort, if he had not done what he did we may not have recovered those Marines at all. I watched him brave enemy fire several times to recover his comrades that had fallen on the field.” These accounts are typical of the reactions of other service members present and engaged in the battle.
The facts describing the events of September 8, 2009, are documented and confirmed. In a protracted battle spread across long distances there will invariably be unique recollections of the event; each differing in small detail and each real in the mind of the participant. While it is impossible to reconcile every detail in these separate accounts, the portrait of heroism that emerges from the multiple investigations is clear. American service members performed under extreme conditions that day, many exhibiting a level of bravery well above and beyond the call of duty. Among the displays of valor and dedication, Meyer’s efforts stand out. In short, at great risk to his own life, Meyer demonstrated a level of heroism and courage deserving of our Nation’s highest award for valor.
Observations made by participants in this battle do not support any conclusion other than what has been validated by multiple investigations. The Marine Corps has full confidence in the facts concerning the actions of Meyer in this battle, and rejects McClatchy’s shameful attempt to distort or denigrate his heroic and selfless actions.
Lexington Newspaper harasses American Hero from Ganjgal Ambush - Please join me in telling this paper what we think of this!!
While the military world knows to ignore the sensationalized media stories that get released, civilians aren't usually so aware of what really goes on in the military world. People don't know the truth when media sources such as the Lexington Herald allow stories attacking Medal of Honor recipient Sgt. Dakota Meyer, a story that is full of "facts" that are not substantiated by reliable sources, to be published on it's pages it's guilty of the same acts of harassment committed by the reporter that wrote the article.
Prior to this story being released, I emailed Rufus Friday, President of the Lexington Herald, to ask him to please not allow the release of such irresponsible stories about this American hero that lives within it's own reader area and whose family and neighbors receive this paper on their front porches. His response was to forward my email to the editor, Peter Baniak, who returned the email with the comment "I'm not aware that he has another story coming." And then they published the story when they received it, two days after 9-11 and one day after the attack on Americans in Libya.
These two men knew that this article was full of information that was speculation at best, and not verifiable. They knew that they were potentially causing a stressful situation to someone we owe nothing but gratitude to. They have also caused emotional stress to some of the families of the fallen that Sgt. Meyer recovered.
Please join me in writing, emailing or calling the people responsible for causing this extended amount of grief to people who definitely do not deserve it. Let Mr. Friday know what you think about them publishing stories that are harmful and can't be proven by reliable sources.
Rufus Friday, President & Publisher
100 Midland Avenue, Lexington, KY
Baniak, Peter, Editor & Vice President
100 Midland Avenue, Lexington, KY
Reporter responsible for writing these articles:
700 12th Street NW, Suite 1000, Washington, D.C. 20005
Before you say, "It's the media, what can you really do to make it stop?" think about this...what could a handful of people in a newly discovered country do when England was treating them unfairly? They figured out a solution and fixed the problem! I believe the solution to this problem is for people to stand up and make the people responsible for bad media sources accountable for their actions. It's time we stop letting things go because it's not worth the effort. Stop letting media control the attitude and direction of our country. Our country is always worth the effort!
Once again, a reporter (the same one, who doesn't even deserve to have his name mentioned again) has attacked Dakota Meyer and his Medal of Honor. This time he's gone too far.
The reporter has gone to Afghanistan to interview members of the Afghan National Army to "prove" that the actions outlined in the Medal of Honor narrative are incorrect.
Who exactly did he interview? He interviewed the three individuals that went into the village just ahead of four Americans that were killed in the ambush.
My questions is this: How did those first three guys into the ambush, that happen to be Afghans, come out of that alive when the men entering the village behind them died?
I'm not the only one who thinks this is suspicious. This whole ambush was set up and most certainly required help from within. These three men were probably the ones that were in on the ambush. They probably signalled to the Taliban to let them know it was time to unleash Hell on our troops.
So the reporter publishes two articles this week, which on it's own was incredibly distasteful and insensitive to our country considering what was going on. One article gives "credibility" to these ANA members by having them describe how heroic the ETT members that died were, and the second uses that fabricated "credibility" as proof that the events that were documented by multiple US Military members did not occur.
So, the reporter gets paid by his parent company to sneak into Afghanistan and goes to who could be the enemy, very likely the very people responsible for the deaths of 5 Americans, to get "proof" to use in his personal attack on a Medal of Honor Recipient and the United States Marine Corps.
I'm not so much concerned about our Military community knowing that this reporter is spewing nothing but hatred, misinformation and lies. I've been informed that no one takes him seriously. HOWEVER, this man publishes these lies in papers that Dakota's family have delivered on their doorsteps. They have to exist in a town that doesn't know that the reporter is lying.
That is why I keep trying to get the truth out there in response to his articles. And I will not stop until the reporter stops spreading lies.
I can not begin to guess the reason why Jonathan Landay, a McClatchey New reporter, would publish multiple articles that try to discredit both Dakota Meyer, Medal of Honor recipient, and the United States Marine Corps. Many of his previous articles were published under the guise of shedding light on the Swenson MoH not being awarded yet.
However, if Jonathan Landay had really had Will Swenson's best interests in mind, he would have enlisted the help of Dakota Meyer, and the others that were supporting Landay's efforts, to work together and put pressure on the Army to get Will's MoH packet through it's process before time ran out. I'm sure many people would have happily helped kick the process in the butt to get it to it's final destination...the President's Desk.
What Landay ultimately did was create a chaotic mess of negativity all aimed at Dakota, all so Landay could sell his articles. Clearly, the only interest Landay had in any of this was his own.
Landay had really been helping the Army for the most part. The Army was probably very relieved to have all the light focused on Dakota and the USMC right now. As far as this whole mess is concerned, the bottom line is that the Army screwed up and the Army got people killed. The Army probably does not want the details that they created for Will Swenson's MoH narrative out in public for it to be compared to Dakota's. I have not seen Swenson's narrative but I'm willing to bet it leaves out quite a bit of what really happened, only to cover the Army's collective behind.
Landay repeatedly pointed out that both narratives were different and that he wanted explanations for that. He repeatedly shared information that was considered a private process. I really think that Landay pushed this so far that the Army put the brakes on the MoH process just to cover their own butts. They lost Swenson's packet once before and the USMC got it kickstarted again...who says they can't lose it again?
The deadline has passed for Swenson, and I have no idea what the process is now. You can be sure though that Landay will not just go away. I feel that his true intentions of discrediting Dakota and the Medal of Honor will be visible again very soon.
It's been three years and, even as an outsider looking in, I don't think it ever gets easier on anyone involved. Thank you to all that have helped keep alive the memories of those that died that day. We will never forget.
- Dakota Meyer, the Ganjgal Ambush, and What Really Matters
- Afghan ambush heroics go unrecognized
- Dakota Meyer – Medal of Honor
- DoD - Sgt. Dakota Meyer – Medal of Honor Hero videos
- Moultrie Marine earns Bronze Star
- Marine Corps Times interviews Dakota Meyer, Medal of Honor recipient
- Marine to receive Medal of Honor next month
- 2 officers reprimanded over Ganjgal mistakes
- Reprimands issued for troubled mission
- Rep. wants answers on Ganjgal ambush probe