Special Ops Under Scrutiny

I know that the public thinks that our special ops can do no wrong….after all they did kill Osama, right?  I wish this was true and in the last couple of years scandal has become synonymous with the command.

In the last year or so SOCOM has had its scandals…..from murder to ambush deaths to loose lips……in Africa alone their ops have gone side ways on several occasion…after all this the Pentagon has ordered a review of SOCOM because of all the scandals that just keep mounding up……I wrote about their problems as they became evident……https://lobotero.com/2018/10/26/socom-you-have-a-problem/

Thanx to all the scandal…..The entire special ops community is under scrutiny…….

This fall has been rough for headlines involving special operations troops.

Two Navy SEALs and two Marine Raiders face murder charges in the death of a Green Beret last year in Mali. Meanwhile, a Navy SEAL is under investigation for murdering an Iraqi detainee, and a dozen of his colleagues could be called as witnesses.

Now, after U.S. Special Operations Command has been entrenched in the Global War on Terror for going on two decades, Congress is calling on a Defense Department review of the entire organization, from its operational load to ― notably ― the state of its professionalism and ethics programs.

The most recent National Defense Authorization Act points to “growing congressional concern with misconduct, ethics, and professionalism,” according to a Congressional Research Service report published in late October.

“That review is ongoing right now,” a defense official told Army Times

https://www.militarytimes.com/news/your-army/2018/12/05/the-pentagon-is-reviewing-the-special-operations-community-after-a-series-of-high-profile-scandals/

I have written that it is shameful to know that the “best of the best” after the media build-up is not necessarily the “best”.  None seem to be immune….the Green Berets, SEALs, Raiders, et al……..

I will be watching and reporting as often as I can on this situation and we hope that this can be rectified without the loss of face.

Special Ops cannot walk on water and they should not be immune to scrutiny….maybe with better oversight these types of scandals can be avoided.

Turn The Page!

Advertisements

Closing Thought–05Dec18

Before the SEALs….before Delta Force….before Special Forces…there was the 1st Special Service Force (1st SSF)……they were a short lived unit made up of troops from the US and Canada…..they proved their worth in the battle for Italy and went on to fight in Southern France during World War Two…..

I introduced my readers to this group back in 2016……https://lobotero.com/2016/11/11/the-black-devils/

04 December is the 75th anniversary of their attack on the Nazi stronghold of Monte La Difensa……

Today’s Army Special Forces groups trace their official lineage from the First Special Service Force (FSSF), an elite American-Canadian commando unit during World War II. Activated, July 20, 1942 at Fort William Henry Harrison, near Helena, Montana, the 3,000-man FSSF contained a mix of American and Canadian volunteers.(1) Trained and equipped for special operations in mountain terrain, the force first saw combat in the mountains of Italy 75 years ago this week.(2)
U.S. Army Lieutenant General Mark W. Clark’s Fifth Army had been pressing northward against the German defenses since landing at Salerno, September 9, 1943, with the goal of capturing Rome. Fifth Army’s approach was blocked by a series of German defensive belts known as the Winter Line. Tough enemy resistance, coupled with rugged terrain, inclement weather, and an inadequate number of Allied troops, slowed the Fifth Army’s progress to a crawl.
The steep slopes of Monte La Difensa presented a formidable obstacle to the Allied advance. In November 1943, the 7th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division tried and failed to seize control of the mountain, despite a valiant ten-day effort. Other 3rd Division units attacked north of La Difensa, but also could not penetrate the stout German defenses. Limited successes along the front were offset by the high casualty rate. November 13, Lt. Gen. Clark called off further offensive operations for the remainder of the month.

https://www.dvidshub.net/news/302175/75th-anniversary-first-special-service-force-monte-la-difensa

I bring this up to help their legacy stay in the minds of Americans….for as it is theirs as well as my unit in Vietnam, the LRRPs, are ate up by the Hollywood story of today’s special ops units.

These men should be remembered for their courage and sacrifice not because they were some part of a greater whole……as the saying goes…”All gave some and some gave all”……

Death In Mali–Continued

I have been covering the death of a Green Beret in Mali at the hands of some Navy SEALS…….this death occurred last year about this time….it has been reported that the SEALs will go to courts martial and now word has come out that the Marine Raiders were more involved than they first admitted……

The account of the death took many different paths and I tried to keep my readers up on the story…..https://lobotero.com/2018/11/13/more-on-the-death-in-mali/

Two Marine Raiders facing murder charges in the death of an Army Green Beret played a much larger role in the death than had been previously revealed through media reports, according to official documents.

Military Times has verified the names of the two Marine Raiders facing felony murder and related charges in connection with the strangulation death of Army Special Forces Staff Sgt. Logan Melgar at his residence in Bamako, Mali, on June 4, 2017.

Gunnery Sgt. Mario Madera-Rodriguez and Staff Sgt. Kevin Maxwell face an Article 32 hearing on Dec. 10 along with Navy SEALs Chief Petty Officer Adam Matthews and Petty Officer Anthony DeDolph.

https://www.militarytimes.com/news/your-marine-corps/2018/11/20/marine-raiders-facing-murder-charges-had-deeper-involvement-in-green-beret-death-than-previously-reported/

I stated after the first report that it was shameful that Americans killing Americans when there are a wealth of others that will gladly do it.

This will not sit lightly on the scorecard of the special ops……

The murder case of SSG Logan Melgar of the 3rd Special Forces Group (3rd SFG) is another tough scenario for the SF Group’s soldiers to bear. The unit lost four of its members in a deadly ambush in Niger and then to find out that one of its finer NCOs was murdered in US Embassy housing while stationed in Mali was worse. But worst of all was the fact that SSG Melgar wasn’t murdered by terrorists but reportedly at the hands of his fellow US Special Operations warriors from the Navy SEALs and Marine Corps Raiders. That is a stain regardless of the outcome of the court-martial on all of SOCOM that won’t soon fade.

While we’re not going to argue the merits of the case, this much is clear. Melgar shared an apartment with two members of SEAL Team Six, operators identified as Petty Officer Adam Matthews and Petty Officer Anthony DeDolph. Both SEALs admitted to breaking into Melgar’s room while he was asleep. Melgar died of asphyxiation and DeDolph has admitted to putting Melgar in a chokehold. The SEALs stories have changed several times which raised red flags which triggered a further investigation.

https://specialoperations.com/33779/the-mali-green-beret-murder-case-is-a-stain-on-all-of-sof/

Time for the “rest of the story” when it comes to this Green Beret’s death……his family deserves closure.

Death Does Not Take A Holiday!

Last week we celebrated a holiday….but for some the days were not all that for giving thanks……

Once again I have the same duty to announce yet another death of an American soldier in Afghanistan……

The U.S. service member killed in Afghanistan on Saturday has been identified as a 25-year-old U.S. Army Ranger from Washington state. Military officials confirmed in a statement Sunday that Sgt. Leandro Jasso, a member of the elite 75th Ranger Regiment, was killed by gunfire in southwest Afghanistan. The exact circumstances surrounding his death remain unclear. Jasso was said to be “mortally wounded by gunfire” during an operation against al-Qaeda in a remote area where U.S. forces are not known to carry out many operations. “The loss of Sgt. Jasso is felt by his family and loved ones, by all who served with him and by all on this mission to protect our country and our allies,” said General Austin Miller, the highest-ranking U.S. officer in Afghanistan. Jasso’s death, six years after he joined the Army in 2012, marks the 10th U.S. combat fatality in the war-torn nation in 2018 alone. The commander for Jasso’s battalion gave his condolences in a statement: “Sgt. Jasso was a humble professional who placed the mission first, lived the Ranger Creed and will be deeply missed.”

(Daily Beast)

SGT Leandro Jasso – Ranger KIA in Afghanistan

I wish there was no need for someone like me to report on every death but as long as we continue to fight endless wars in numerous nations there is a need for someone to report on the evdednts that most Americans are trying to forget.

Sgt. Leandro Jasso R.I.P.

Americans Killing Americans

Closing Thought–16Nov18

Just a few days ago I read a report on a post I did about a year ago…..a story about Americans killing Americans in the West African nation of Mali….https://lobotero.com/2018/11/13/more-on-the-death-in-mali/

That post contains references to all my past posts on this situation…..

It appears that the US Navy has decided to press charges on 4 members of the special ops team operating in Mali……charges ranging from felony murder to obstruction of justice……

Four members of the US armed forces are facing a slew of charges in connection to the 2017 death of an Army Green Beret in the African nation of Mali. Among the charges leveled against Petty Officer Anthony E. DeDolph and Chief Petty Officer Adam C. Matthews, both members of SEAL Team Six, and two unnamed Marine Raiders are felony murder, conspiracy, obstruction of justice, burglary, hazing, and involuntary manslaughter, the Daily Beast reports. Officials say the SEALs and Marines broke into the room of Army Staff Sgt. Logan Melgar at embassy housing in Bamako in June 2017, restrained him with duct tape, and put him in a chokehold, strangling him while “perpetuating a burglary,” NBC reports. The SEALs reportedly tried to resuscitate the 34-year-old Melgar and also tried to open an air wave by opening a hole in his throat.

According to the Daily Beast, which has reported extensively on the case, there was an “ongoing disagreement,” between Melgar, who was part of a six-person intelligence team, and the SEALs “over the SEAL’s professionalism.” Sources say the SEALs would bring prostitutes to the house and were stealing cash meant to recruit local informants. “The place ran like a frat house,” a source told the site. The SEALs and Marines hatched the plot to haze Melgar on June 4, 2017, while the latter was at an embassy party, and attacked him around 5am. They ultimately took Melgar to a medical facility, where he was declared dead. Later, the four engaged in a cover up, per the Military Times, including sharing information about what they told investigators, withholding information from investigators, and getting rid of alcohol kept in the room.

Maybe now the family of the Green Beret will get the answers they deserve…….

There is more bad news for the SEALs……in the past few months reports keep coming out that there is a discipline problem in the organization…..but first my post from a few months ago….

https://lobotero.com/2018/10/26/socom-you-have-a-problem/

https://lobotero.com/2018/10/19/its-about-the-discipline/

It seems that a bunch of SEALs have gotten caught up in a war crimes investigation……

Military officials are prepared to call nearly a dozen past and present Navy SEALs to testify in the case of one elite Navy commando accused of fatally stabbing an Islamic State detainee in Iraq last year, according to documents obtained by Navy Times.

The records related to the Naval Criminal Investigation Service’s probe offer new insight into the probe that will be aired publicly when the case against Special Operations Chief Edward “Eddie” Gallagher goes to an Article 32 hearing Wednesday morning in San Diego.

The documents suggest that military officials have obtained cellphone text conversations showing Gallagher allegedly sought to cover up the fatal stabbing. The records also show that a different special operator may be acting like a mole for federal investigators by attempting to talk to another petty officer who has lawyered up and invoked his right to silence.

https://www.airforcetimes.com/news/your-navy/2018/11/14/more-than-a-dozen-navy-seals-may-get-caught-up-in-war-crimes-investigation/

This is what you get when individuals believe the hype of invincibility…..to believe that any action is acceptable when you are the “best of the best”…..

Secrets The Dead Reveal

I once heard a major say that the “dead reveal their secrets”….he was referring to the Viet Cong that been killed and the intel that was garnered off their bodies…..but the same could be said for many other dead….like those Americans killed around the world or more specific in Africa…..

Because of American dead we learned that we have troops operating in countries like Niger and Mali to mention only a few……in Niger we had 4 Americans killed in an ambush and in Mali we had friendly killing friendly…..

Further Reading:

https://lobotero.com/2017/10/27/what-are-u-s-forces-doing-in-niger-anyway/

https://lobotero.com/2018/11/07/suspicious-death-in-mali/

As the Pentagon was in the midst of reviewing new plans for special operations missions in Africa reducing overall troop numbers on the continent, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis designated three new named contingency operations.

The most recent quarterly report from the Department of Defense Inspector General notes the creation of Operation Yukon Journey, a counterinsurgency operation, and counterterrorism operations in both northwest and east Africa.

Those were named in February, according to the report. The report covered activities in Operations Inherent Resolve from July to September.

https://www.militarytimes.com/news/your-military/2018/11/06/report-reveals-few-details-about-new-named-contingency-operations-in-africa/

Another report is out and it looks like AFRICOM will be losing some of its operating overhead…..

The Pentagon is mulling plans to wind down special operations missions on the African continent and reassign troops to other, more in-demand regions.

The plans, submitted by a top U.S. military commander, align with the Trump administration’s strategy to focus on near-peer threats from countries like China and Russia.

“No decision has been officially made regarding the U.S. counterrorism forces operating in Africa,” a Pentagon press official told Military Times. “In light of the [2018 National Defense Strategy’s] updated priorities, the [DoD] is reviewing plans, operations, and military investments across the globe to develop the best options that address the evolving threat to U.S. national interests.”

https://www.militarytimes.com/news/your-military/2018/08/02/report-africom-looks-to-cut-special-ops-missions-pull-out-hundreds-of-troops-from-africa/

I for one would like to see more of our troops return home…..we already have enough wars we are fighting why look for more?

More On The Death In Mali

A year ago I wrote a post on the mysterious death of a green Beret at the hands of SEALs…..I was appalled at the killing of Americans by Americans….we have enough enemies in the world we do not need to kill each other……then a report came out in a coupe of South American newspaper about the investigation into this death……I wrote…..https://lobotero.com/2018/11/07/suspicious-death-in-mali/

Four days after I read the report an American publication picked up the story…the Army Times……

A Navy admiral will now determine whether two SEALs will face charges in the strangling death of an Army Special Forces staff sergeant last year in Mali.

More than a year after the incident, the Navy’s criminal investigation into the death of Army Staff Sgt. Logan Melgar, 34, has concluded and been turned over to Rear Adm. Charles Rock, commander of Navy Region Mid-Atlantic in Norfolk, Virginia, as reported by the U.S. Naval Institute.

Rock was appointed by Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer to oversee the case, according to USNI.

Capt. Greg Hicks, the Navy’s chief spokesman, told the New York Times that Rock would “review all relevant information pertaining to Staff Sergeant Melgar’s death and make determinations regarding administrative or disciplinary actions as appropriate.”

https://www.armytimes.com/news/your-army/2018/11/07/navy-completes-investigation-into-death-of-green-beret-in-mali-heres-what-happens-next/

Basically the same story as the one I read four days earlier……I wish I had more to write about but I wanted to make sure that my readers were aware that an American publication had picked up the story…..

Hopefully this family will get the answers and the satisfaction they deserve…..