Monday, April 21, 2008

Don't Believe Everything You Read!

Dining with Donald H. Rumsfeld, second from left, during his final week as secretary of defense were the retired officers Donald W. Shepperd, left, Thomas G. Mcnerney and Steven J. Greer.

Over the past several years retired Command Sergeant Major Steven Greer and I have become good friends, on a personal and professional level. I've shared things with him that I don't tell most people, and vice versa. Steve was a U.S. Army Special Forces operator. We know some of the same people, and share some of the same interests in combating terror. I respect Steve and I trust him. I've asked for his advice and help more than once and he's always been willing to assist.

He and I have talked about everything from 9/11 terrorists to GITMO prisoners to media consulting. (Note: He's been on Fox News over 200 times.) I've read his works and he's read mine. After I was interviewed on about Sex Crimes and Jihad, I suggested the editor interview Steve, and he did. I've asked Steve's opinion on certain matters and he has asked mine on occasion. "Is there anything you want me to ask the Attorney General Alberto Gonzales?" He wrote me once from his Blackberry, "I'm meeting with him in a bit." I responded with a comment and a question. When he got out of the meeting he told me he asked the question. I laughed in delight and humor.

Once he emailed me before and after taking his picture with Tony Snow, the White House Press Secretary, in the White House! When he went to GITMO, he told me what he really thought, and invited me to go down there.

Steve once introduced me to Jed Babbin, a former under secretary of defense, and other people in political circles. He has read my unpublished works about the troubles with aviation security and homeland defense, and my thoughts on terrorism. Because he understands the enemy we face (terrorists) and the enemy within (ourselves), he has encouraged me to write and go public.

When an air marshal from Las Vegas, Spencer Pickard, showed his face on the ABC's 20/20, Steve contacted me. He's introduced me to people in the media, but as an undercover air marshal, I couldn't go public at that time. At least I didn't want to until I had another job lined up, especially not after what happened to Spencer, who by the way, I think was a courageous, good-to-go guy. (See "Air Marshals Say They Fear Managers More Than Terrorists")

When the Virginia Tech shootings occurred, Steve introduced me to several more media contacts, endorsed me and encouraged me to give my expertise on the matter. I had left the air marshal service and within a very short time I got called up to Iraq. The good news is I can now go public when I get home, and the other good news is I've saved a lot of money on my car insurance this year.

Having said all of that, I totally trust Steve Greer.

The New York Times piece might have a few things right, but for the most part, you should never believe everything you read. Here's the link to the article in question, and below is the response by CSM Steven J. Greer U.S. Army Special Forces (ret.):

I'm the sole retired enlisted member of this military analyst group. I wason several trips to Gitmo, Iraq, etc. I attended countless briefings at thePentagon. I spoke with Mr. Barstow regarding this story and take no issuewith what he has reported. I've provided (still do weekly) hundreds ofpro-bono T.V. and radio interviews regarding our efforts in the WOT. Accessto DOD and the Secretary has been instrumental in providing viewers andfamilies with the most accurate commentary possible. I at no time felt theslightest pressure from DOD to sway my remarks. I have no contractual orfinancial interests associated with the war effort. My intent, and that ofmany of the very professional retired officers I worked with in this group,was to support our men and women in the fight. The very troops we recentlyserved along side of and had responsibility for training and preparing forthe war. I can't say we got it right 100% of the time...we are human. I cansay that our collective efforts were noble and well-intended. I can'timagine what the MSM would have done to the morale of our force had we notbeen so engaged. I have a great deal of respect for Secretary Rumsfeldwhich is not to say I agreed with everything DOD provided us. The analyst'shave hundred's of years of experience and are savvy enough to recognizetalking points that don't quite jive with facts on the ground. By in large,all of us provided a good service to the American people and to our bravetroops serving around the world.

— CSM (Ret) Steve Greer, Eastman, GA

No comments: