Hastings went on to write a book called The Operators. He should have titled it Crazy Monkeys.
Page 28 of The Operators:
So let’s review: I was kicked out and replaced by Michael Enright, who slashed a guy’s throat. Michael Hastings partied with McChrystal in Paris and got McChrystal fired. Menard was fired. The Burger King menace in Afghanistan was destroyed. The Taliban got stronger.
Innumerable stories of our men and women in combat will never be told, thanks to McChrystal’s staff. But Hastings got a killer book deal out of it.
UNSTABLE SOLDIER II
Milblogger CJ Grisham moonlights as a fulltime soldier in Army intelligence. He was sent home from Afghanistan in March 2012, after complaining again about mental problems, and that his superiors were stressing him out.
After I first exposed McChrystal in 2010, Grisham and other milkooks spent a huge amount of time spamming my website, Facebook, and Wikipedia.
Grisham captions, “Just being a redneck in the front yard shooting cans.” There is a famous “redneck joke” about “shooting cans.” Puerto Ri-Cans, Mexi-Cans, and Afri-Cans. This racist joke is as commonly known in the South as are grits.
That Commanding Generals allow a senior NCO to post racist jokes online speaks of …something.
Grisham boasted about shooting this field mouse in half. After shooting it, he took the time to photograph, upload, and brag about it.
At least five people have told me that they felt threatened by Grisham (two Army officers and three women). Yet he goes on, shooting “cans,” and mice.
Complaining to his chain of command is useless. I’ve done it many times.
Grisham spends a great deal of time bashing President Obama—often while wearing his Army uniform.
As a military writer, Grisham has the “authority” to parrot the Army message. Here he stands with the excellent Hugh Hewitt, who probably has no idea about all of this.
Grisham with Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison.
Grisham with a band.
A small number of milbloggers are often present when there is a stench of military misinformation. One of those mibloggers is Matthew Burden, the founder of Blackfive. Burden invited Hanson to write at Blackfive.
Burden has run for public office, and is also a board member at the very large charity Soldiers’ Angels.
David Axe writes:
….Jimbo has plans that go beyond journalism and publishing. Jimbo, whose real name is Jim Hanson, has talked about turning Blackfive into an arm of a private military intelligence network, like a low-rent intel version of Blackwater.
I know this because Jimbo tried to recruit me last summer.
I had just returned from Chad. I had drinks with Jimbo and Blackfive boss Matt Burden. While Matt sat quietly, Jimbo told me how he was frustrated with professional reporters who only report facts, and don’t help use those facts to promote U.S. national security. He said he envisioned building a privately run intelligence network that would use freelance reporters, operating under Blackfive’s auspices and sponsored by corporations, to gather information for transmission to intel analysts in the U.S. He asked if I would be interested in joining up.
I said no, in no uncertain terms. In fact, I recall cursing and yelling.
David Axe writes of Matt Burden’s Blackfive:
All this is to say, Blackfive is not just a tacky blog, it’s actually dangerous — the kind of forum that encourages violence and hatred. Don’t believe me? In a recent post discussing the U.S. national debt, Blackfive blogger “Crush” all but advocated the violent overthrow of the U.S. government.
Burden ran for State Representative in Illinois. During an interview, Burden bragged, “Because of my distinguished military career…” There is nothing evident that distinguishes Burden’s service.
Despite being touted as a leading milblogger, Burden assiduously avoided going to the wars. Earlier in the wars, I invited Matt Burden to walk the walk. He would not do it. Much of his time has been spent working at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, just off Lake Michigan. There is nothing wrong with that, but playing up his military credentials is a bit much.
As a man, Matt Burden does not shine. The aspiring politician depends on reflected glory, and so he keeps as close to combat veterans as possible.
This year’s milblog conference will consist of a who’s who of milkooks. Not all of the bloggers there could be called kooks or propagandists, but the serious milkooks will be runners and many are listed on milblogging.com. Blackfive and Grisham are nominated, as are numerous others.
McChrystal’s leadership was so potently toxic, and his information campaign so underhanded, that it fomented damage that continues to unfold two years later. McChrystal’s 2010 information war got him fired and is directly responsible for my dis-embed in 2011. (Petraeus invited me back later in 2011. When Petraeus left later that year, the information war was still on and the rest is history).
Milblogging.com energetically supported milkooks in their disinformation attacks. This fact is indisputable. Milblogging.com is damaging to positive coverage of US forces in Afghanistan. Milblogging.com hosts the Milblog Conference.
I am not alleging that milblogging.com is involved in systematic or willful propaganda, but I am emphatically stating that milblogging.com publishes false information. This could be due to incompetence or laziness rather than conspiracy.
Milkooks play a bit part in the propaganda machine, while providing a manhole entrance down into something much larger. More interesting than the milkooks will be the military members and others who show up at the conference.
It is important to note that I previously allowed Military.com to publish my work on a free basis, but when they got word about my publishing on this milblogging.com issue, they severed ties the same day, earlier this week. Milblogging.com is a property of Military.com.
This dispatch could run on for hundreds of pages yet there is other work to do. For more information, researchers should go here: