The media clamps down like a pitbull on anything that suggests our combat troops acted negligently. You want to clear your name? Good luck finding a reporter within 500 miles who thinks that's news. But they'll be right there to parrot anything the enemy says about our forces causing civilian casualties....We need to stop publishing names until charges are filed as you are guilty the second an allegation is leveled.
Then the New York Times:O'Rourke, Sloat and Morgan questioned the propriety of Pihana and the commander who ordered the investigation, Army Maj. Gen. Frank Kearney, then the head of Special Operations Command Central. The court's final report says Pihana took an "unbalanced approach" to his investigation and thus reached "inaccurate conclusions." It says Pihana, Kearney's chief of staff, may have been "negatively influenced" by Kearney and others in the command — and that, above all, it was inappropriate for Kearney even to have assigned the investigation to his chief of staff, as doing so inherently raises questions about neutrality.
The DoD IG's redacted report:Mark Waple, a civilian lawyer representing Captain Staffel, said the charges against his client and Sergeant Anderson carry a whiff of “military politics.” In an interview, Mr. Waple said that General Kearney proceeded with murder charges against the two soldiers even after an investigation by the Army’s Criminal Investigation Command concluded in April that the shooting had been “justifiable homicide.”
https://books.google.com/books?id=DvXoICsQPKoC&pg=PA266&lpg=PA266&dq=patrick+pihana+air+force&source=bl&ots=dB8BEgxVST&sig=oGdtNf28nkht1V2k7a6I0RtrCXU&hl=en&sa=X&ei=d9IFVZH2OMb7aqLYgIAO&ved=0CFMQ6AEwDQ#v=onepage&q=patrick pihana air force&f=falseI'd like to know what Pihana's background was/is? JAG? Pilot?
Was the LNO from MARSOC, or just an officer no one wanted around?This is a great series of articles and very illuminating. I know "Fast Freddy" Calvin very well and know him to be a good officer. A few points:
Your LNO is a direct reflection of you and your unit. Sounds like a lot of these problems were exacerbated by having an incompetent and lazy LNO at HHQ. Sometimes you are only as good as your LNO. This LNO Major should have been selling Fox Company's capabilities to get them missions and assuaging any doubts about their conduct or proficiency. Clearly he didn't do either and the Marines paid for it.
The perception of an act may outpace its reality. Task Force Violent? It may just be a call sign but that choice of words makes you look over aggressive during an investigation. Which is what happened. I am sure there were other cases where the Marines came off as overly aggressive and this probably came back to haunt them. I have to watch this myself since crazy shit comes out of my mouth all the time. I was quoted the other day as saying: Most tactical problems can be solved with an equal dose of aggression and violence. I honestly believe that but you have to know your audience. Saying that to the devils before patrol is great, having that as your email signature line may not be as great.
Don't lie to your HQ and tell them you are doing one thing and then do another. That's a no-go under any conditions.