Updated on November 22, 2013
[UPDATE] Michael Yon for Executive Director of Code Pink!!
[UPDATE] Michael Yon just banned me from his FB page for my investigative journalism and exposing him for the incompetent reporter he is.
The polls are open!
Michael Yon yesterday published a “letter” from a “Soldier” in Afghanistan. The Soldier was complaining about what he sees as a failure of our military to respond to militant attacks, something Michael Yon loves to write about. He published our security posture at a combat outpost that put our troops’ safety in danger. There are more responsible ways of bringing this to the attention of the appropriate people than publishing sensitive data on our combat troops. There’s not an American failure too small for Michael Yon. It seems he will post anything sent to him via email if it will make General McChrystal look bad and inflate his ego.
I sought to prove that hypothesis and enlisted the help of my good friend and scambuster, “SSG David Sneakers”. David is no secret to anyone and his connection to me. But, of course, Yon is too busy hunting ghosts for a self-righteous pursuit of glory and donations that he doesn’t pay much attention to anything beyond his 5m blast zone. David suited up and “deployed” to Afghanistan in order to send the following email to Yon:
My name is SSG David Sneakers and I was given your email from a friend (please do not use my name). He suggested I contact you about a situation because you are the only one that cares enough to write about what’s really happening here in Afghanistan. You recently wrote about how we are patrolling with weapons on amber status, but I’ve got a worse one for you.
We are assigned to a small FOB (well, it shouldn’t even be considered a FOB – more like a ROB – remote operating base) also in the Logar Province. We’re an infantry platoon whose mission is overwatch and containment. The problem is that in addition to the other issues brought up to you, we’re so short on supplies we don’t even have a full basic load of ammo per man. When a squad goes out, we loan them ammo and just hope that our base isn’t attacked while they’re away. We have plenty of rockets and grenades, but that means nothing at close quarters.
When our squads go out, they’re sitting ducks. We call ourselves the Taliban’s shooting gallery. Unless we get full on ambushed, we don’t return fire because we’re afraid of running out of ammo for when we really need it. I didn’t join the Army to run from the enemy but that’s what we do. We haven’t had a resupply in nearly three weeks and I’m afraid the Taliban knows we’re running short because they’ve gotten more and more brazen in their attacks.
No on in the chain of command is listening to us. McChrystal is trying to pretend that we are doing well and refuses to send reinforcements. Our BN and Bde leadership doesn’t seem to be listening and tells us to “suck it up and make do with what we have.” Reminds me of what Rumsfeld said about Iraq.
The point – which will escape Yon’s avaricious fans – was to prove that Yon will print anything that meets his narrow agenda of discrediting the man he claims ended his embed. Not once did Yon reply to “David” asking or additional information, clarification, or other identifying information. In all my experiences with real journalists, whenever I’ve said something that seemed outrageous or extreme, they ALWAYS (in my experiences, now) refused to publish that information without double checking it. Yon did not. Instead, I got a near instantaneous reply of “I’m on it” and the information went immediately to his public Facebook page.
Got an email about low-ammo situation in Afghanistan. Am suspicious of such reports. For more than five years, have heard plenty such reports from Iraq/Afghanistan. Got reports we were low on bullets in Iraq when we were practically swimming in ammo. To be sure, there are times especially during heavy f…ighting that ammo runs low/out, and there are logistics hurdles especially in Afghanistan, but I remain unaware of any widespread ammo issues. But soldiers are spread out in many hundreds (or more) places in Afghanistan and so I simply do not know.
If you are having ammo issues, please email privately and I will immediately pass that along to a key person high — very high — in the chain. I cannot publish something like that because if you are low, it could take too long to get resupply.
Fans of Yon should see this for what it is. Instead, Yon will just resort to his default attacks like he did after I responded “Milblogger C.J. Grisham admits to lying” and, of course, did what all good crappy reporters do and “reported” me to CSM of AMCOM, CSM Mellinger.
Let me repeat, Yon never sought additional information nor identifying information of “David Sneakers”. If he won’t vet information from him, who else is he not vetting information from before publishing very critical and damaging information about our troops in combat?
I’ve dealt with people like Yon before who instead of dealing with issues, try to use the military to silence milbloggers. Yon is feeling the heat of his incompetence and doing everything in his power to attack other veterans and discredit their writings, all the while propping himself up as a ridiculous shining beacon of realism and professionalism.
What I did in using David Sneakers was no different than an undercover reporter going into a high school classroom to get a story on underage drinking. But, when Yon finally asked me who “David Sneakers” was, I sent this, which he thankfully published in its entirety on his Facebook page:
It’s no secret that David Sneakers is my alter ego, hence the reason I left the CJ in the email header and didn’t use a completely fictitious name. I use David to expose real issues dealing with our troops, like military scams and fake, agenda-driven journalists. The point is that you are carelessly publishing information as if gospel and I sought to prove that – on my own. It worked. Call it a sting operation. Call it investigative blogging. Call it what you want, but you exposed yourself. You didnt ask for follow up information, didn’t ask for my unit. Nothing.
No, I’m not in Afghanistan yet, but training up for it and you are putting me and my troops in danger with your irresponsible “reporting”.
I’ve been interviewed numerous times by real journalists who refused to run stories or headlines because they couldn’t be confirmed, yet this is what you do.
No, I won’t tell your readers anything, but feel to post this email in its entirety. Feel free to continue labeling me as unhinged, unstable, whatever keeps your conscience clear. But, maybe its you who needs to reevaluate his purpose in life.
I’ll give you a nice little post to link to shortly.
Sincerely, CJ (or David)
So, Yon can accuse me of lying all day long, but it’s simply not the truth. The truth is that our troops are extremely well armed and supplied. Our leaders DO care about the safety and success of their troops. They bend over backwards trying to find ways to be successful with minimal or no loss of life. I trust our leaders to care for and protect our troops, especially General McChrystal under whom I worked in JSOC.