Author Not Surprised by Retired General’s Claim About Muslim Brotherhood Inside Pentagon

When I heard retired Army Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin telling an interviewer in the video below that he knows our government — including the Pentagon! — has been infiltrated at the highest levels by members of the radical Muslim Brotherhood, I wasn’t the least bit surprised.  Why?  I’ll explain after you watch the video below.

I wasn’t surprised, because I spent four years conducting an exhaustive investigation of the credibility assessment tools relied upon by federal government agencies and members of the contractor community as they screen individuals for employment, conduct background investigations and interrogate individuals suspected of criminal, terrorist and/or treasonous activities.

Along the way, I uncovered three separate memos — one of which was issued by then-Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr., who now serves as Director of National Intelligence — via which senior Department of Defense officials informed all DoD personnel that the century-old polygraph was the only credibility assessment technology authorized for their use.

I also revealed the existence of a “turf war” that’s been raging silently for more than 40 years between polygraph loyalists unwilling to embrace a newer, more-reliable technology that’s already been embraced by more than 1,900 local and state law enforcement agencies nationwide.

General Boykin’s claims begin to make sense when one takes into consideration how well the polygraph has performed in several key areas:

• Despite what International Security Assistance Force officials once posted and later removed from the ISAF Facebook page, the portable polygraph deployed to Afghanistan certainly hasn’t improved the vetting process used to screen Afghan recruits or prevented record numbers of “Green-on-Blue” Attacks during the past five years.

• Periodic polygraph exams should have helped prevent the unauthorized disclosure of millions of classified and/or sensitive documents by people like Edward Snowden.  Instead, he was able to pass the very polygraph exams that were supposed to have caught him.

• During the early days of the so-called “Global War on Terror,” officials at Guantanamo Bay found themselves unable to count on support from polygraph loyalists when it came time to interrogate detainees.  And when they turned to a non-polygraph technology and began to realize extraordinary results, DoD officials removed the non-polygraph tool from their arsenal!

The general’s claim also makes sense when one considers that a Freedom of Information Act request, via which I seek to obtain copies of unclassified documents related to DoD contracts for purchases of polygraph equipment, is about to turn 20 months old.

TCM Graphic 2-17-13It’s worth noting that I’m not the only one who believes what I share on this topic in my second nonfiction book, THE CLAPPER MEMO.

Maj. Gen. Paul Vallely, a retired U.S. Army general who once served as deputy commander of U.S. Army Pacific, endorsed the book, wrote, “Bob McCarty has uncovered a high-tech ‘turf war’ pitting those who want the best for our troops against others who seem to be focused on their own self-interests.  Sadly, it seems the wrong people are winning this war.  I highly recommend THE CLAPPER MEMO.”

Capt. Larry W. Bailey, a retired U.S. Navy officer who once served as commander of the U.S. Navy SEALs training program, characterized what I expose in the book as “clearly an unconscionable cover-up of a capability of the U.S. military and intelligence community to vet incoming Afghan (or any other) military personnel.”

David P. Schippers, the man who served as Congressman Henry Hyde‘s chief investigative counsel during the Clinton Impeachment Hearings in the U.S. House of Representatives, described the book as “perhaps the most thorough investigative reporting I have encountered in years.  I direct the attention of the so-called major media to it.  This is how it’s done!”

Gold Star family members have praised the book, too.

MaryLiz Grossetto, the aunt of LCpl. Greg Buckley Jr., a 21-year-old Marine who died in Afghanistan in August 2012 as the result of a “Green-on-Blue” or “Insider” attack,  read the book.  Afterward, she offered this review“Read this book & you will see how our government has for many, many years deprived our military of the best possible tool for vetting & weeding out the enemy.”

Billy and Karen Vaughn shared their observations about the book almost two years after their son, U.S. Navy SEAL Aaron Carson Vaughn, lost his life along with 29 other Americans when their helicopter, call sign “Extortion 17,” was shot down in Afghanistan Aug. 6, 2011.  In their endorsement, they wrote, “THE CLAPPER MEMO by Bob McCarty gives the reader an in-depth look into the dirty little secrets of politics and greed triumphing over safety and security for our fighting men and women as well as the average American citizen.”

I hope you’ll take the opportunity to read the book, too!

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August and THE CLAPPER MEMO. To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August and THE CLAPPER MEMO. To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Admiral Labels ‘Insider Threat’ to U.S. Warfighters in Afghanistan ‘As Dangerous As It Ever Was’

Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby was quoted in Stars and Stripes Friday as saying the “insider threat” against American forces in Afghanistan is “as dangerous as it ever was.” And he’s right.  What he did not mention, however, is the fact that many “insider attacks” are preventable.

Click image above to read more articles about "Green-on-Blue" or "Insider" attacks.

Click image above to read more articles about “Green-on-Blue” or “Insider” attacks.

Admiral Kirby’s comments likely stem from the fact that he’s been kept in the dark about decisions made by senior Department of Defense officials during the past decade that have resulted in the best screening and interrogation tools available being kept out of the hands of U.S. military and intelligence officials.  Out of the hands of interrogation officials in places like Afghanistan and Iraq.  And, most recently, out of the vetting process used to screen recruits hoping to serve in Afghanistan’s military, police and security agencies.

Click image above to order.

Click image above to order.

In my latest nonfiction book, THE CLAPPER MEMO, I share never-before-published details about decisions made by DoD officials at the highest levels — including Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. when he was serving as Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence — and about decisions that should be made in the future.

Unfortunately for good men like Spc. John A. Pelham, 22, of Portland, Ore., and Sgt. First Class Roberto C. Skelt, 41, of York, Fla., any decisions to change policy will come too late.  The Army Special Forces Soldiers were killed Wednesday when, according to the aforementioned Stripes report, two individuals wearing Afghan National Army uniforms opened fire on them with machine guns.  They became casualties of yet another “Green-on-Blue” or “Insider Attack.”

Click image above to read endorsements of THE CLAPPER MEMO.

Click image above to read endorsements of THE CLAPPER MEMO.

Capt. Larry W. Bailey, U.S. Navy retired, came to understand the gravity of this situation after reading THE CLAPPER MEMO.  In fact, the former commander of the U.S. Navy SEALs training program described what I reveal in the book as “an unconscionable cover-up.”  Others have offered similar assessments.

See if you agree.  Order your copy today!

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August and THE CLAPPER MEMO. To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August and THE CLAPPER MEMO. To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Afghan Officials to Release Prisoners U.S. Calls ‘Dangerous’

Today, a possibility I reported 18 days ago became a reality when, according to this report, Afghan government officials ordered the release of more than three-dozen prisoners the U.S. Government considers “dangerous.”

Enduring Freedom

This Feb. 6, 2012, photo shows two released detainees waiting in the Wardak provincial governor’s compound at Forward Operating Base Airborne, Afghanistan. Before their release, the men promised to live peacefully and signed pledges to renounce violence. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Amanda Dick)

Who are the prisoners being released from the Afghan-operated Bagram prison?  Seventeen of the 37 to be released have reportedly been linked to the production of improvised explosive devices that killed 11 U.S. and NATO troops.  Though the source of today’s news does not mention whether or not these soon-to-be-released Afghans were involved in any “Green-on-Blue” or “Insider” attacks, I think it’s safe to assume they would condone and, in the future, be involved in such attacks if given the opportunities.

Sadly, this poor decision made by Afghan officials serving on the Afghan Review Board is not much different than many of the decisions made at the highest levels of the U.S. Government which have had — and continue to have — negative impacts on our men and women in uniform.

To learn intimate details related to some of those decisions, order a copy of my latest nonfiction book, THE CLAPPER MEMO.  Available in paperback and ebook versions, the book received the endorsement of a retired Navy SEALs training program commander who describes what I reveal inside the book as “an unconscionable cover-up.”  Other high-profile individuals endorsed it as well.

UPDATE 2/13/2014 at 9:22 a.m. Central:  They been released!

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August and THE CLAPPER MEMO. To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August and THE CLAPPER MEMO. To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Why Is DIA Stonewalling Me If Almost Nothing About Polygraph Remains to be Classified?

Officials at the National Center for Credibility Assessment, the federal government’s primary polygraph training agency, believe “there is almost nothing about the polygraph . . . that remains to be classified,” according to an article published today by McClatchy News.  Apparently, however, officials at the Defense Intelligence Agency believe differently.

Click image to read article.

Click image above to read article.

How do I know this?  Because Wednesday marks the 18-month anniversary of my filing of a Freedom of Information Act request via which I hoped to obtain unclassified truths about the polygraph from DIA.

As I’ve reported in several pieces during the past year, the latest of which is this one, DIA officials have not only stonewalled my FOIA request of July 16, 2012, but they forced me to file an appeal to their refusal to comply with federal law by providing me with the unclassified information described below:

“…copies of any and all initial and follow-up contracts (i.e., solicitations, contracts, statements of work and task orders) related to the Portable Credibility Assessment Screening System (PCASS) or Preliminary Credibility Assessment Screening System (PCASS) that have been awarded by any Department of Defense Agency to Lafayette Instrument Company of Lafayette, Indiana, and any other contractors, academic institutions, laboratories and subcontractors from January 1, 2000, to present.”

Why am I so interested in these documents?  Because I spent four years conducting an exhaustive investigation of activities inside the credibility assessment arena and, along the way, learned a lot about the players and how their actions over a period of more than 40 years have harmed national security.  Think Edward Snowden, “Green-on-Blue” attacks in Afghanistan, and Guantanamo Bay.

PolygraphAmong those involved are academics, bureaucrats, polygraph examiners who seem beholden to a polygraph-only mindset and earned labels as “polygraph loyalists” in THE CLAPPER MEMO, the nonfiction book in which I share the findings of my investigation.  In addition, there are the tight-lipped folks at Lafayette Instrument, the company mentioned in my FOIA request and the nation’s largest provider of polygraph equipment to the federal government, who have repeatedly turned down my requests for information.  They are mentioned in my book as well.

Rather than reveal all I uncovered in THE CLAPPER MEMO, allow me to suggest you order a copy of the book that reveals what one retired Navy SEAL training program commander described as “an unconscionable cover-up” and what several other high-profile individuals have endorsed as well.

THE CLAPPER MEMO is available in paperback and ebook versions.

UPDATE 1/15/2014 at 4:56 p.m. Central:  After making several phone calls to the offices of my elected officials and to the DIA Office of the General Counsel, I received a message a short while ago from U.S. Rep. Ann Wagner (R-Mo.).  She informed me that she has “initiated an inquiry with the Defense Intelligence Agency” on my behalf.  Now, we wait a bit.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August and THE CLAPPER MEMO. To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August and THE CLAPPER MEMO. To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Government Officials Think Alike When Releasing Bad Guys

Barely four months ago, I shared news from Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. about detainees at Guantanamo Bay and what they did after being released. Today, I can report that ours isn’t the only government inclined to release bad guys from prison too soon.

A U.S. Sailor, foreground, patrols at Guantanamo Bay (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Michael R. Holzworth)

A U.S. Sailor, foreground, patrols at Guantanamo Bay (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Michael R. Holzworth)

According to a Military.com report Wednesday, U.S. military officials said Tuesday that seven prisoners believed responsible for “Green-on-Blue” or “insider” attacks that killed U.S. and NATO troops may soon be released by Afghan government officials.

What was it that DNI Clapper reported four months ago? Allow me to refresh your memory by sharing an excerpt from my piece published Sept. 6, 2013:

Good news from Guantanamo Bay! Well, sort of. The rate at which detainees return to terrorism (a.k.a., “reengage”) after being released “back into the wild” has not increased, according to the latest report from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Instead, the rate has remained at 28 percent — the same as it was the last time I reported it. In other words, only 174 of 603 detainees who’ve been released from the U.S. Navy’s detention facility in Cuba have returned to their wicked ways!!!

ODNI GITMO Reengage 2013 LR

But there is some good news: Nineteen of the 174 have died since returning to terrorism and 52 are back in custody.

And there is more bad news: One-hundred and three are not in custody, probably on their way to Syria to engage in some U.S. taxpayer-supported regime change.

In my recently-released book, THE CLAPPER MEMO, I share details contained in letters and other documents I obtained during the past four years from individuals who served as high-ranking interrogation officials at GITMO. Most importantly, I share how they describe the damage done to national security by a Pentagon decision to strip GITMO interrogators of their most-effective tool for learning about detainees’ past exploits and future plans. And, of course, Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. plays a key role in this story one retired Navy SEAL called “an unconscionable cover-up.”

I wonder what the loved ones of Americans killed or wounded in “Green-on-Blue” attacks think about the prospect of these Afghans being released.

To learn more about the war in Afghanistan and how decisions made at the highest levels of government have had — and continue to have — a negative impact on our men and women in uniform, order a copy of THE CLAPPER MEMO. Available in paperback and ebook versions, it’s received a number of high-profile endorsements since its release in May.

UPDATE 1/09/2013 at 1:12 p.m. Central: I hope Afghan government officials don’t change their minds and release the Afghan killer mentioned in this article.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August and THE CLAPPER MEMO. To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August and THE CLAPPER MEMO. To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Officer Under Fire for Trying to Save Fellow Marines From ‘Green-on-Blue’ Attack

In a piece almost four months ago, I shared shocking news:  Marine Corps leaders were going after an officer who tried to prevent a “Green-on-Blue” attack on his fellow Marines in Afghanistan.  Today, I share an update as that Marine officer, Maj. Jason Brezler, faces an inquiry this week.

In a segment (above) that aired Tuesday night, Greg Buckley Sr. and MaryLiz Grossetto appeared as guests on Fox News Channel’s The Kelly Files to discuss the case of Major Brezler.  Their interest in his plight stems from the fact that Marine LCpl. Greg Buckley Jr., their 21-year-old son and nephew, respectively, died Aug. 10, 2012, precisely as a result of a “Green-on-Blue (a.k.a., ‘Insider’)” Attack — the very thing Major Brezler was trying to prevent.  And he wasn’t alone.  Two other Marines died, too.

The Clapper Memo Front CoverWhat do Marine Corps leaders say Major Brezler did wrong as he tried to save the lives of his fellow Marines?  He used a personal email account to notify fellow Marines of a threat to their safety in the form of an Afghan, Sarwar Jan, who was a “regular” at the camp where Corporal Buckley and his Marine brothers were stationed.

Want to know why am I interested in this case?  Read a piece I published Aug. 25 under the headline, “What a difference a year makes!” — Aunt of Fallen Marine Ready to Sue Department of Defense, then you’ll understand.  After that, order a copy of my latest nonfiction book, THE CLAPPER MEMO.

THE CLAPPER MEMO has received powerful endorsements from Grossetto and several others — among them a former U.S. Navy SEALs commander, a former U.S. Army general, the parents of a member of the U.S. Navy’s SEAL TEAM SIX and the man who served as chief investigative counsel during the impeachment of President Bill Clinton.  After reading it, you’ll understand why.

THE CLAPPER MEMO is available in paperback and ebook versions.

UPDATE 12/20/2013 at 6:48 a.m. Central:  Overnight, I learned via this article that a three-member Marine Corps board of inquiry met this week and recommended Thursday that Major Brezler be separated from the Marine Corps with an honorable discharge.  At first shocked at the finding, I came to understand and agree with it after reading that he had reportedly kept 106 classified files on his personal computer.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August and THE CLAPPER MEMO. To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August and THE CLAPPER MEMO. To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

BETRAYED: Riveting Book by Father of Fallen Navy SEAL

One year and many conversations ago, Billy and Karen Vaughn appeared on my radar screen as the parents of Aaron Carson Vaughn, a fallen U.S. Navy SEAL and their only son. Today, I received a copy of Billy’s book, BETRAYED: The Shocking True Story of Extortion 17 as told by a Navy SEAL’s Father, into which was poured a lot of blood, sweat and tears.

TDIA_BET_TCM 11-9-13

Available at Amazon.com, all three of the books shown here would make great Christmas gifts for anyone interested in current events involving military, intelligence and special operations activities. They are (left-right): Three Days In August by Bob McCarty, BETRAYED by Billy Vaughn and THE CLAPPER MEMO by Bob McCarty.

The Vaughns appeared on my radar screen for the first time in late October 2012 as parents slamming President Barack Obama and others connected to the deaths of 30 Americans, including Aaron, in Afghanistan Aug. 6, 2011. They were understandably angry because of what they were being told about the circumstances surrounding the incident recorded as the single-largest loss of life in Naval Special Warfare history. At the same time, they were understandably angry about what they were not being told about events that ended in the downing of the CH-47 “Chinook” helicopter, call sign “Extortion 17,” and the death of Aaron and so many of his fellow members of the elite Navy SEAL Team Six.

After watching video of the Vaughn’s appearance at a news conference in Washington, D.C., nine months later, I reached out to them by phone and sent them a copy of my latest nonfiction book, THE CLAPPER MEMO, hoping it would resonate with them. While waiting for them to reply, something unusual happened.

Yours truly, Bob McCarty, flanked by Billy and Karen Vaughn.

Yours truly, Bob McCarty, flanked by Billy and Karen Vaughn.

By sheer coincidence, I ran into the Vaughns at an event in Fort Lauderdale the following month. Over dinner, we discussed Billy’s efforts related to writing BETRAYED, as well as my investigation related to THE CLAPPER MEMO. By the time we finished our meals, I had offered to help in any way I could, Billy and Karen had promised to find time in their busy schedules to finish reading the copy of the book I had sent them.

One month later, the Vaughns came through on their promise, offering high praise for my book:

The Clapper Memo Front CoverTHE CLAPPER MEMO by Bob McCarty gives the reader an in-depth look into the dirty little secrets of politics and greed triumphing over safety and security for our fighting men and women as well as the average American citizen. In this gripping account of one man’s quest for truth, McCarty exposes filthy backroom deals bent on squelching the best technology available for securing quick, reliable, lifesaving information in the theater of battle.

The most shocking revelation for us, as parents of a fallen Navy SEAL, was learning that Army leadership was more willing to rely on laboratory studies commissioned by officials and agencies with vested interests in the outdated polygraph than in what they were being told by real-life heroes on the field of battle. The almighty dollar wins again…while the Soldier dies and Americans live at greater risk than necessary. Billy & Karen Vaughn

During the months that followed, I fulfilled my promise as well, contributing to Billy’s book-writing effort by offering insights about “Green-on-Blue” attacks in Afghanistan and how those attacks are connected to serious shortcomings in the vetting process via which Afghan recruits are screened before being allowed to serve in the stone-age country’s military, police and security agencies. The crux of my input appears on pages 165-166 of the book:

BETRAYEDIt wasn’t until July 30, 2013, when the Department of Defense released its Report on Progress Toward Security and Stability in Afghanistan, that we finally learned the truth about a startling and mostly-unreported spike in green-on-blue attacks.

Buried almost one-thousand words into that report, we found news of a 120 percent increase in these attacks from 2011 to 2012, rising from 22 to 48 incidents. Additionally, 29 percent (14) of the attacks in 2012 were executed by more than one person. Prior to 2012, only two attacks had been executed by more than one individual.

In short, more and more of our people are being ambushed by the very Afghani counterparts they’ve been told to trust after letting down their guard in supposed “safe zones” like dining facilities, living quarters and other “inside the wire” areas.

As soon as I finish reading BETRAYED, I will offer a complete review. I assure you now, however, that the book is a must-read for anyone wanting to know the truth.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August and THE CLAPPER MEMO. To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August and THE CLAPPER MEMO. To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

‘Green-on-Blue’ Attacks Taking Deadly Toll on American Warfighters in Afghanistan

According to a backgrounder report published today by Global Times, ten “Green-on-Blue” attacks (i.e., those violent events during which uniform-wearing Afghans turn their weapons on their foreign partners) have taken place this year. As a result, 14 Americans have died and four have been wounded. Could these attacks have been prevented? Some people believe the answer is “Yes.”

TheClapperMemoFrontCoverLR 6-5-13In my latest nonfiction book, THE CLAPPER MEMO, I share the findings of an exhaustive four-year investigation into the background of the federal government’s use of so-called credibility assessment technologies, including the polygraph and its chief non-polygraph challenger. Among those findings are three memos issued by top Department of Defense officials, one of whom was James R. Clapper Jr. who issued a memo before he was named Director of National Intelligence, our nation’s top intelligence official.

Those DoD memos declared the polygraph the only credibility assessment technology authorized for use by DoD personnel. Unfortunately, according to U.S. Navy SEALS and Army Green Berets I interviewed, those memos essentially robbed our nation’s elite warfighters of the one technology they had considered their best interrogation/investigative tool — and it wasn’t the polygraph.

Want to learn more about that technology and the efforts to keep it out of the hands of American warfighters?  Want to find out how some, if not all, of these attacks could have been prevented?  You can find out by ordering a copy of THE CLAPPER MEMO. Available in paperback and ebook versions, it comes highly recommended.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August and THE CLAPPER MEMO. To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August and THE CLAPPER MEMO. To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Did Afghan Government Officials Play Role in ‘Extortion 17′ Crash?

Could untrustworthy officials at the highest levels of the Afghan government be responsible for the single-largest loss of life in the history of U.S. Naval Special Warfare?  I’m convinced they are.

Extortion 17 Lives lost

On Aug. 6, 2011, a CH-47 “Chinook” — call sign “Extortion 17” — was shot down during the pre-dawn hours while on a mission to capture a bad guy in Afghanistan’s Wardak Province.  Among the dead, 30 Americans, most of whom were members of the U.S. Navy’s elite SEAL TEAM SIX.

Because the deaths of these “quiet professionals” came only weeks after Vice President Joe Biden compromised operational security by disclosing details about their unit’s involvement in a raid on Osama bin Laden‘s compound in Pakistan, some people — including family members and friends of SEALs killed in the crash — believe the SEALs may have been sacrificed by the Obama Administration to appease followers of bin Laden.  More likely, however, is that they were set up by unvetted or poorly-vetted Afghan officials allowed to work closely with U.S. and Coalition Forces decision-makers.

Is it beyond the realm of possibilities to think Afghan officials are corrupt enough to engage in such activities?  Hardly  According to a report issued last week by the Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction, the following is true:

Widespread corruption in Afghanistan is a significant problem and remains a threat to the success of reconstruction and assistance programs. In 2012, Transparency International ranked Afghanistan in a tie with Somalia and North Korea as the most corrupt country in the world.  NOTE:  Here’s the link to the 2012 Corruption Perceptions Index if you want to see it for yourself.

Fig 5 Insider Attacks on ISAF PersonnelThese are likely the same kind of people who, after surviving a supposedly-thorough vetting process, have excelled at waging hundreds of often-deadly “Green-on-Blue” or “Insider” attacks against American and Coalition Forces mentors and advisors while wearing the uniforms of their country’s military, police and security agencies instead of the attire of government officials.

Exactly who are the Afghans officials who likely set up the warriors aboard Extortion 17?  Based on what I read among the more than 1,300 pages that make up the Extortion 17 crash investigation report produced by U.S. Central Command, I’d say its the high-level Afghans who serve on the Operational Coordination Group (OCG).

Early in the report, I found the transcript of a briefing conducted nine days after the crash by an American intelligence officer who, at one point, describes himself as “an SF guy by trade.”  His audience is a group of about 18 people assembled at Bagram Air Base as part of the investigation process that followed the crash.  The topic is the OCG’s participation in the war effort.  NOTE:  Because the copy of the report I received was redacted, the briefing officer’s branch of service and rank remain a mystery.  His words from the transcript, however, appear below:

“We made some real money with the OCG; they are the Operational Coordination Group and they assist us with the planning, and the vetting, and de-confliction of our operation,” said the intelligence officer on page 6 of one 134-page document.  “Likewise, once we are done executing the operation, they are able to send the results report, the result of the operations, up through their various administrates.  They are made up of the Afghan National Army, the National Director of Security, as well as the Afghan National Police Force.  They are here on site, but we also have them down at the regional level in RC-South and, in September, we are going to stand up region site up in RC-North.”

“So they have visibility on every operation?” asked the deputy investigating officer.

“Every operation,” the intel officer replied.

“So they knew about the operations?” the deputy asked, apparently wanting to confirm what he had just heard.

“Oh yea,” the intel officer confirmed.

“And they were briefed on it?” the deputy followed, again seeking confirmation.

“Absolutely,” came the reply.

OCG Slide pg 59 Screen shot 2013-09-15 at 11.53Further down the same page, the deputy investigating officer asked another OCG-focused question – “So they have the ability, do they have approval authority on that, to cancel an operation?” and the conversation continued:

“Technically, they do,” the intel officer replied.  “They don’t exercise it, but technically they do have (the) authority.”

“So they either task or approve the operation?” the deputy investigating officer said, seeking confirmation.

The answer:  “Yep.”

More than 50 pages deeper into the document, the investigating officer — then-Brig. Gen. Jeffrey N. Colt before being promoted in 2012 — asked for and received confirmation from the officer representing the Joint Special Operations Task Force Intelligence Directorate (J3) that every mission is vetted through the OCG.  He also received some background knowledge about the group.

“(The Operational Coordination Group),” the J3 representative told him and others in the room, “was formed over two years ago when we said we needed to have really better legitimacy in the eyes of (Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan) in order to maintain our freedom of maneuver. So, these guys are high level officials from Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Interior, and the National Directorate of Security.”

“Really the only thing we keep from them, obviously, is the (Top Secret) level how we got to the target piece of it,” he added a short time later.  “They are briefed on all the targets prior to execution and, you know, technically speaking if they would come to us and say, ‘I don’t want you to execute this mission,’ we wouldn’t do it.”

So, according to transcript, members of the OCG knew about the Extortion 17 mission in advance, were involved in assigning and/or approving the mission and could have vetoed the mission, but did not.

After realizing how deeply involved OCG members are in each mission, I asked myself a question — “Did a failure to properly screen top Afghan government officials before they were allowed to serve on the OCG help bring down Extortion 17?” — and set out to answer it.

SEARCH FOR AN ANSWER

I began by searching online for accurate information about the OCG.  Unfortunately, I found very little information about the group’s existence prior to the crash of Extortion 17. Even the International Security Assistance Force/NATO website contained no mentions of the OCG prior to the crash.

The only online mention of the OCG prior to the crash appeared in a Spring 2007 NATO Review article.  In it, the author, British Army Gen. David Richards, described the introduction of the OCG as a “significant development.”  NOTE:  “Spring 2007″ is a lot earlier than the “two years ago” description (i.e., August 2009) given by the J3 officer as the approximate date of the OCG’s launch.

Eight months after the crash, a DoD news release did mention the OCG, stating that the group had been given the authority to review and approve all special operations missions and to participate in intelligence fusion, monitor mission execution and make notifications to provincial governors.  Two months after that, an ISAF news release confirmed the same.

QUESTIONS ASKED

In addition to searching online, I submitted a list of questions to ISAF public affairs officers via email the morning of Sept. 11.  I wanted to know when and why the OCG was established and who participates in the OCG or comprises its membership.  Most importantly, I wanted to know if non-American and non-NATO individuals are vetted prior to their involvement in OCG and asked for a description of the vetting process if they are.

Two days later, the response I received from Lt. Col. Will Griffin, an Army public affairs officer assigned to ISAF Headquarters, was vague at best:

The OCG was established in 2010 to communicate ISAF Special Operations Forces headquarters’ intentions to our Afghan partners in an expedient and concise manner and likewise provide a means for Afghan National Security Force to convey their concerns and intentions to ISAF SOF HQ.

The OCG is comprised of representatives from coalition forces and Afghan liaison officers.  All Afghan partners are screened and certified by their ministries, as well as completing the same verification process as all liaison officers that work in secure ISAF installations.

Ten minutes after reading Colonel Griffin’s response, I replied by pointing out to the colonel that he had not included a requested description of the vetting process used to screen non-American and non-NATO members of the OCG.   Then I waited for another 15 hours.  Rather than receive a description of the vetting process, however, I received the following message:

The vetting process is a comprehensive look at the individual’s background, associates, personal history, etc.  Operational security considerations prevent me to go into further depth.

After Colonel Griffin offered little in terms of knowledge about the process used — if, in fact, there is one — to vet OCG members, I conducted a less-than-scientific survey of other sources, including friends and acquaintances who’ve spent varying lengths of time in Afghanistan and family members of American “Green-on-Blue” casualties.  The general consensus:  Afghans cannot be trusted.

QUESTIONS REMAIN

Does this information prove, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that some Afghan members of the OCG are corrupt?  No.

Does it prove that Afghan members of the OCG engaged in an effort to down Extortion 17?  No.

Does it prove the OCG has been comprised by Afghans who may be subject to a vetting process that’s even less stringent than that the one used to screen entry-level policemen, security guards and soldiers?  No.

ENCOURAGEMENT

What I can do, however, is encourage Americans to demand answers from their elected officials about Extortion 17 in much the same way they’re demanding answers to questions surrounding the deaths of four Americans at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

BETRAYED New Book CoverIn addition, I can encourage Americans to purchase copies of the upcoming book, BETRAYED: Exposing the High Cost of the War on Terror, by Billy Vaughn.  Along with his wife, Karen, the author of this book has spent a great deal of time and energy looking into the cause of the crash for one very personal reason:  Extortion 17 was the final mission of their son, Navy SEAL Aaron Carson Vaughn.

While you wait for Billy Vaughn’s book, be sure to order copies of my two nonfiction books, Three Days In August (October 2011) and THE CLAPPER MEMO (May 2013). Both are available in paperback and ebook at Amazon.com. Thanks in advance!

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August and THE CLAPPER MEMO. To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August and THE CLAPPER MEMO. To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Flaws in Screening of Afghan Recruits Exposed in New Book

During four years spent conducting an exhaustive investigation, I collected numerous documents related to the vetting process used to screen Afghan recruits before they’re allowed to wear the uniforms of their country’s military, police and security agencies. Today, I share a few examples that appear in my latest nonfiction book based on that investigation, THE CLAPPER MEMO.

In his unclassified May 12, 2011, report, “A CRISIS OF TRUST AND CULTURAL INCOMPATIBILITY,” behavioral scientist Jeffrey Bordin Ph.D., offered a chilling and critical observation for his International Security Assistance Force bosses:

“Four years ago after the May 6, 2007, murder of two U.S. Soldiers (COL James Harrison, Jr., and MSG Wilberto Sabalu, Jr.) by an Afghan National Army (ANA) soldier, an Afghan government official urged ‘patience’ regarding ISAF’s response to this killing. After an additional 54 murders of ISAF personnel since then the time for ‘patience’ is long past. Decisive actions in countering this murder epidemic are called for.”

Read more about this report in my Aug. 12, 2012, post, Little Has Changed 15 Months After Publication of Study on ‘Green-on-Blue’ Attacks.

Spc. Ramiro Bojorquez, a combat medic with the 82nd Airborne Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team, watches a brightly decorated “jingle truck” pass along Afghanistan’s Highway 1 in Ghazni province while he and follow paratroopers patrol the area April 20, 2012.  Keeping the road clear of roadside bombs aids the flow of goods and services, which help build the country’s economy.  (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Michael J. MacLeod)

Spc. Ramiro Bojorquez, a combat medic with the 82nd Airborne Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team, watches a brightly decorated “jingle truck” pass along Afghanistan’s Highway 1 in Ghazni province while he and follow paratroopers patrol the area April 20, 2012. Keeping the road clear of roadside bombs aids the flow of goods and services, which help build the country’s economy. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Michael J. MacLeod)

When I obtained a copy of the Army 15-6 Investigation Report concerning an attack by a so-called Afghan “ally” that took place in Afghanistan March 19, 2011, and left several Americans dead, I found the investigating officer reached several troubling conclusions. Among them, two stood out:

TheClapperMemoFrontCoverLR 6-5-13“…the policies defining the duties and responsibilities for vetting Armed Contracted Private Security Companies operating on International Security Assistance Force installations are vague and confusing.”

“…a larger comprehensive investigation be initiated to examine the vetting and screening procedures across Afghanistan.”

For more details about the 15-6 investigation, read the excerpt from THE CLAPPER MEMO that appears in my March 14 post, Army’s Reluctance to Release Investigation Report Explained.

While the above items are noteworthy, they represent but a tiny fraction of the findings I share in THE CLAPPER MEMO. For more details, including never-before-published documents from insiders at Guantanamo Bay and exclusive interviews with Special Operations professionals, order a copy of THE CLAPPER MEMO. It’s available in paperback and ebook versions at Amazon.com and comes highly recommended.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August (Oct '11) and THE CLAPPER MEMO (May '13). To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August (Oct ’11) and THE CLAPPER MEMO (May ’13). To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.