28 March 2013
Over the past couple of years, I repeatedly warned the US Army that Master Sergeant Christopher “CJ” Grisham is a lethal threat. These warnings were ignored.
Grisham has harassed a long list of people, and has stalked me. Ignoring him did not work. Grisham contacted units with which I was embedded, and he impeded my wartime work. I continued to warn the Army that if they did not get this Soldier under control, there would be consequences. After some time, the inevitable occurred.
I never met Grisham. Never saw him in person. Never spoke with him. Initially, his motivations for stalking me were mysterious, apparently stemming from my failure to answer an email during a period when I was receiving thousands. Despite my efforts, nearly 8,000 emails remain unopened, though I continue to work through the backlog. Grisham seemed to be upset that I did not reply. I do not recall his message.
Over time, Grisham’s intentions became clear. He craves attention, and I had a large footprint at the time, due to public interest in the wars.
Grisham joined the angry chorus of stay-at-home, radically rightwing milbloggers who were apoplectic when I declared from Afghanistan that Brigadier General Daniel Menard should be fired. When I subsequently added General Stanley McChrystal to the list and called for him to be relieved, the criticism reached a crescendo.
Months later, Menard was relieved of command, charged with transgressions of military justice, based on a few comments that I published on Facebook.
President Obama then fired General McChrystal due to his own indiscretions. I returned to Afghanistan at the personal invitation of General Petraeus.
Grisham can be persuasive. He wasted no time contacting Soldiers attached to the combat unit that I embedded with, filling their heads with stories, some of which were believed by those who were dull enough.
Although I was giving positive ink to 4-4Cav, problems percolated from Civil Affairs (of all places) Soldiers that I had not yet met, and my subsequent total face time with them does not exceed five minutes. Grisham had contacted members of the Civil Affairs unit attached to 4-4Cav, to rally them against my work. Members of 4-4Cav and their families appreciated the dispatches and made me feel welcome, but the Civil Affairs tainted by Grisham became a problem.
Meanwhile, Grisham was a poster boy for Soldiers’ Angels, a charity organization that was later exposed funneling donations to a company partially owned by the son of the founder. Nepotism.
Grisham raised money for Soldiers’ Angels, and he persuaded them to join him in creating problems for me. Collectively, they leaked over social media, and their activities gradually came into focus.
SA shared the same modus operandi with Grisham: when anyone posed an innocent question about their activities, the questions were not met with polite answers but were dismissed with aggressive public ridicule and ad hominem attacks. Valid questions were never answered.
Donors were afraid to ask about the lavish parties thrown by SA, and the habit of a board member to misuse donations to fly his girlfriend to assignations. The curious were beaten down and ridiculed.
The leadership of Soldiers’ Angels implemented a culture of fear. Members were afraid to question their leadership, and to criticize it was to invite a tidal wave of ill. Some members were afraid to leave the organization to join another.
There is nuance: SA is a vast organization, and members out on the tendrils who were doing important work may not have realized that at the core, SA was rotting.
Many folks will defend SA with their hearts, not realizing the charades and politics back at HQ. Adding to confusion, unrelated organizations lifted the name “Soldiers’ Angels,” though are not related to the original group.
These details lead to misunderstandings. When criticizing Soldiers’ Angels leadership, many people may believe offense is directed at them, when in reality the ridicule is limited to this group at HQ.
Initially the leadership of SA had its way, but when I left the war, there was time to research the charity and the subsequent revelations were devastating. The organization today is collapsing.
In retrospect, they realize it would have been better to leave me alone in the war.
In 2011, while we both were in Afghanistan, Grisham made a not-so-veiled threat in writing that he would like to kill me. I was accompanying combat missions in Zhari, while Grisham never left Kandahar Airfield (KAF) about twenty miles away. KAF was the hub that I often passed through and sometimes lived on.
So now I needed to be watchful for IEDs, suicide bombers, enemy gunfire, green on blue attacks and US Soldiers in the rear, in the form of Grisham and his pals. I had to worry about my back, so it was over.
The US Army should never leave senior NCOs in war zones carrying automatic weapons when they display signs of instability, and for the most part, this policy is observed. Sometimes troops are disarmed, or the bolts are removed from their weapons, but many blue on blue murders in Iraq and Afghanistan still occurred.
Grisham complained on his blog and on Twitter of fear, stress, and mental issues while he was in Afghanistan, and the Army subsequently did the right thing and sent him home about halfway through his tour.
Grisham saw no combat in Afghanistan. He publicly insists that he completed his tour there. This is a lie.
Given my vulnerability to a defamation lawsuit, I would not dare write these words if they were untrue. If any of my statements were unsupportable, Grisham and Soldiers’ Angels could crush me in a court of law.
It will never happen. Truth remains an affirmative defense, and they are all sufficiently public figures. I lawyered up in advance of publishing the most perilous pieces. We reviewed every word in detail, figuring that a lawsuit was inevitable.
Grisham boasts that he received a Bronze Star with V (valor) award for wiping out an Iraqi squad with only a grenade and a pistol. In three years of embedding with units in combat, I have never seen such a feat, nor heard about anything comparable.
Why is this important? Soldiers’ Angels siphons millions of dollars that could go someplace worthy, like Fisher House, and Grisham, despite his behavior, remains influential through his writings and podcasts.
He uses the Bronze Star medal and “PTSD” as credentials, and simultaneously wields both the medal and “PTSD” to shut down anyone who dares challenge his views. He sometimes interacts with national media.
Grisham refuses to publish the narrative for his Bronze Star medal to support his claims.
Repeated FOIA requests return no evidence that Grisham ever engaged an Iraqi squad. No one who served with Grisham has come forward to support his statements. Where is his commander who submitted the story of wiping out an Iraqi squad? Give us names, a date, a place. If this occurred, he was out there with a unit and there would be plenty of witnesses.
Eventually, as so often happens, Grisham’s Bronze Star citation materialized:
Unlike most Bronze Stars with V, which are appropriately granted for specific acts of valor under fire, Grisham’s does not cite a particular incident.
A typical Bronze Star with V cites a specific event, such as this: http://www.armywriter.com/bronze-star-medal-v-device.htm
Grisham’s is a strange citation for someone alleging that they single-handedly wiped out an Iraqi squad. The omission reeks of a scam.
Grisham’s medal is an attaboy, a “Thank you for coming to the war” award, issued for the period 20 March to 30 April. The Army issues these like confetti during a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Yet Grisham unleashed an advertising blitz. In 2009 the Army Times interviewed Grisham and published:
“…during the invasion of Iraq, Grisham took down a squad of Iraqis when his counterintelligence detachment got pinned down in an ambush. He earned the Bronze Star with ‘V’ after rushing through the gunfire by himself with just a 9mm pistol and a hand grenade.”
If true, Grisham should have received a Silver Star, and knowing Army Public Affairs, they would have run this up the flagpole.
Nowhere in Grisham’s records that have been released through FOIA is there any mention of this alleged action. No eyewitnesses have stepped forward to confirm his claims.
It appears that Grisham duped Army Times staff writer Jon R. Andersen, who despite my repeated efforts to seek clarification, also refuses to provide evidence for the claim, thus jeopardizing the credibility of Army Times.
Andersen and Army Times appear to be carrying Grisham’s water in what amounts to a case of Stolen Valor.
Gannett, which owns Army Times, can clear this up by publishing the documentation that allowed Army Times to print that account of Grisham’s actions.
One might believe that Soldiers who have been to war have no reason to engage in Stolen Valor, yet even otherwise admirable soldiers often embellish their pedigrees.
A Command Sergeant Major of FORSCOM engaged in Stolen Valor when he lied about being a POW. Those who are interested can Google the perplexing case of CSM Richard Cayton.
Admiral Jeremy Michael Boorda was Chief of Naval Operations when he was called out for wearing an unauthorized “V” device for valor. He committed suicide. Shot himself in the chest.
By many accounts Admiral Boorda was a great officer. I have seen people talking about him in private circles, people who knew him well, who said he deserved the “V”, but it was not authorized.
Such cases erupt so often that the Ford Motor Company could learn something from the Stolen Valor assembly line.
Jessica Lynch was awarded a Bronze Star with V, while assigned to the same Division during the same timeframe as Grisham.
Jessica was described as bravely fighting back the enemy during an ambush, but she later stated that she never fired her weapon and that she was unconscious during the engagement.
Jessica honorably asserted that she did not deserve the award.
This was during the beginning of the Iraq campaign when the number of medals being handed out practically threatened a bronze shortage.
Such cases illustrate the difference between Stolen Valor and Counterfeit Valor.
When Ranger Pat Tillman was killed by fratricide by other US Rangers, it was distressing, and embarrassing.
Pat Tillman turned down a multi-million-dollar NFL contract to serve his country. In return, our own men shot him, and then his command manufactured a coverup. There was no enemy around. The shooting was done by Tillman’s own unit:
From Pat’s Silver Star narrative:
“Caught between the crossfire of an enemy near ambush, Corporal Tillman put himself in the line of devastating enemy fire as he maneuvered his fire team to a covered position from which they could effectively employ their weapons on known enemy positions. His audacious leadership and courageous example under fire inspired his men to fight at great risk to their own personal safety, resulting in the enemy’s withdrawal, his platoon’s safe passage from the ambush kill zone, and his mortal wound. Corporal Tillman’s personal courage, tactical expertise, and professional competence directly contributed to his platoon’s overall success and survival. In making the ultimate sacrifice for his team and platoon, Corporal Patrick D. Tillman reflected great credit upon himself, the Joint Task Force, and the United States Army.”
This palliative, keep-your-mouth-shut medal, though completely counterfeit, was endorsed by General Stanley McChrystal himself, who later warned President Bush that it was fake: the truth was leaking, muddying the water of lies.
Later, the three-star General McChrystal received a fourth star. When I encountered his bullshit in Afghanistan, I bucked the prevailing winds and I asserted that he should be fired. This was severly damaging to me, but that is fine.
Jessica and Pat were both cases of Counterfeit Valor, where their imaginary actions were manufactured for public relations. The awards were administratively real.
These were not cases of Stolen Valor. The recipients did not carry the bucket of public relations lies. Jessica debunked them. Pat was dead. The Rangers in his platoon spoke for him.
Had Jessica fallen in line and kept her mouth shut, we might never have known. How many times has this happened?
Counterfeit Valor cases can be difficult to prove because they are often included in official records. Witting officials already have lied about them.
It is no secret that some commanders submit medals to cover their own poor performance, or to disguise embarrassment, or as favor.
Most saddening is that I have been with numerous battalions where nearly everyone in the battalion deserved at least a Bronze Star with V.
Deuce Four in Iraq is a fine example. Even most of the TOC-jocks went on hairy combat missions. This battalion, and others, such as 4-4Cav, 2-7Cav, 1-6FA, 1-4INF, and most of the 1st and 5th Styrker Brigades, Pedro, Dustoff, all those excellent British infantrymen, deserved nearly blanket Bronze Stars with V, or equivalent. The British Soldiers deserved it just for showing up to work in Basra and Sangin.
In many of the units I wrote about, the hard part would not be in figuring out who deserved the award, but who did not. My friends from all of these units do not brag about all the war they waded through.
Stolen Valor cases are often exposed when the perpetrator is immodest. As the tales unfold, the perpetrator displays typical behaviors:
1) Attention is garnered because he (sometimes she) is boastful, or because perpetrators exploit credentials for gain or fame. Such decorations are abused to support VA claims for PTSD, for example.
2) When confronted, Stolen Valor perpetrators typically refuse to provide documentation, saying they are above it. A corollary to this behavior is the claim that “records are classified.”
In practice, this is rarely true. When the “classified records” card is played, assume that the claim is fraudulent until proven true.
In the perhaps 1% of cases where the statement is factual, there are mechanisms that the VA can employ to verify them.
3) The person under scrutiny is uncooperative, makes counteraccusations and unleashes ad hominem attacks, claiming that investigators are on a witch hunt. (Sometimes they are.) This deflection is common. In all cases, releasing pertinent documentation could make the dispute vanish and exonerate the accused. But since the accused is guilty, he digs in.
4) FOIA requests to the National Personnel Records Center return no supporting documents, upon which the accused indicts the military for poor record-keeping (which is sometimes shoddy), while still refusing to provide documentation themselves.
5) They threaten lawsuits, and they sometimes actually file suit, but they lose. I watched a recent case closely.
A lawyer named John Giduck claimed special operations expertise in his background biographies for speaking engagements and in his books, and he made big money presenting seminars to law enforcement agencies around the country. After the speaking tour begins, it becomes its own credential and often nobody checks the original man.
Giduck made outlandish claims and was exposed as a fraud, yet he sued real special operations veterans for telling the truth.
Sadly, a few credentialed members of the special operations community vouched for Giduck, and a famous and influential author sent me a long email in support of John Giduck.
People such as Giduck can be difficult to expose even when the glove fits. When they have strong social support from credentialed people, and when the house of cards is discovered, sometimes the supporters dig in with the accused because they are embarrassed, or because they have personal interest in ensuring that his credentials not be shattered. This creates a fog of confusion. Using counteraccusations, even a guilty party can come out on top.
This dynamic in the Giduck case caused a rift within the special operations community. A small number of corrupt diehards defended Giduck, though most of his allies fell silent.
The majority called out Giduck, and then Giduck sued nearly 50 people. Giduck lost his case, and was ordered by the judge to pay the attorney fees of those he had sued.
Giduck so far has refused to pay, so the defendants have placed liens on his real property. Other defendants have filed a countersuit. The case continues. I continue to watch with interest as motions fly.
6) Some, when cornered, finally confess to fraud, while others carry the stink to the grave, even when everyone sees through. Giduck is still dug in like a tick on a hounddog.
Both the Special Operations Association and the Special Forces Association repudiated him, but Giduck insists that he is the victim of a “global criminal conspiracy to destroy his business.” He still has defenders.
7) Some appear to truly believe that they performed the actions that they claim, even when their claims are definitively disproven. They seem prone to self-delusion.
Powerful contrary evidence can include proof that they were not in-country, for example, or that they were assigned to a different unit, or that they never served in the military.
These cases unfold frequently. Some people probably believe they are Jesus, but others latch onto the military. Perhaps they are not lying in the moral sense because they seem to believe it, just as some people believe they are sorcerers or vampires.
Given Grisham’s refusal to provide supporting documents, the repeated FOIAs that returned no evidence, his frequent boasting about the medal, his constant ad hominem counterattacks along with perpetual threats of lawsuits, and the vanishing possibility that he is Rambo enough to wipe out an Iraqi squad with a grenade and 9mm pistol, a reasonable man can conclude that it is probable that Grisham is lying.
Grisham does not owe explanation to me, but he owes it to you, and to the public at large, and he owes it to those whom he asks for money.
He owes explanation to the Gannett Corporation and to Army Times staff writer Jon R. Andersen, whose credibility is jeopardized.
Gannett and the Army Times have an obligation to subscribers, to readers, and to advertisers to come clean.
If Grisham duped the Army Times, fine. It happens to the best of us. Come clean. We will get over it quickly.
But if Gannett and the Army Times aids and abets Stolen Valor or disrespects readers by failing to confirm that it has legitimate evidence, it undermines its own credibility and legitimacy.
The Afghanistan War
While Grisham was deployed to Afghanistan, enemy bombs and bullets were literally killing Soldiers with whom I was embedded.
Rather than trying to figure out who was killing Soldiers in his area of responsibility, Grisham was laboring over his blog while stationed in the air-conditioned rear at Kandahar Airfield.
It has been reported that US citizens pay about one million dollars per Soldier per year to deploy to Afghanistan. While they are deployed, troops should work, and most do.
But while we were getting blown up and shot, Grisham was blogging thousands of words, including:
“Today, I listened to the advice of more than a few people and finally went to the TMC and Combat Stress hospital. My right hand hasn’t stopped twitching after nearly a month and it’s beyond irritating. I’m not sleeping, not eating, and highly irritable. I’ve been under a lot of stress and feel like many of those above me are just making things worse. So, for three hours today, I sat and got to revisit many issues related to my PTSD, depression, and anxiety as well as some new ones.”
We sent this guy to beat the Taliban. The Taliban monitor sites by deployed troops. They must have been laughing their turbans off.
Why would a counterintelligence senior NCO flood the Internet with photos of himself, his wife, and his children, all while talking about his mental and money problems? That is borderline solicitation to sell state secrets.
To an enemy intelligence professional, his words sound like, “I am crazy, weak, I do not like my leadership, and need some money. I have a Top Secret clearance and a computer that flies on the highway of secrets.” “Boris – send this Grisham the honey trap, not that he needs a trap!”
Instead of figuring who was shooting at us, Grisham was spending massive time harassing me on Facebook, haunting my website, and continuing to cause problems within the unit that I was covering.
His flaccid command group cost the 4-4Cav a possible book. A documentary film company was lining up to come over. As a result, the courageous efforts of 4-4Cav will never be properly documented.
One wonders if any of our KIA would still be alive if Grisham’s commander had exerted appropriate authority over his Intelligence unit, and focused them on the battlefield instead of on Facebook, blogs, and mischief that so clearly exposes us to espionage and exploitation.
Grisham was all about attracting attention, latching like a remora onto anything related to PTSD, constantly trying to associate with famous people, or to get his picture taken with celebrities, which he would publish. An enemy spy could tap into that vanity.
People with Top Secret clearances should not blog about every facet of their lives, while advertising they have TS clearance, as Grisham so often does. At minimum, this creates a personality profile that a professional can use to fashion a key to unlock a brain with access to state secrets.
When I did not give Grisham quality time, he stalked. Anything for attention. I was giving great press to 4-4Cav, but never mind that. If Grisham could not get ink, neither should they.
So now our fictitious enemy spy knows that Grisham will sell out fellow Soldiers, does not like his leadership, has money problems, purrs for attention, wants to be a hero, and is weak. Anyone could cut a key to open that door.
When MEDEVAC failures mounted and I exposed them, Grisham latched on. Grisham knows nothing about MEDEVAC or real combat, yet that did not stop him from contacting the press and Congressman Todd Akin and others who were taking up the cause.
Our efforts and the team that we created led to MEDEVAC changes that must have already saved lives.
According to Army Dustoff and Air Force Pedro pilots, our efforts worked, yet Grisham in his quest for glory publicly opposed the MEDEVAC issue, again selling out comrades in exchange for attention, while waving his Bronze Star.
If Grisham is not a traitor in the legal sense, he is a moral traitor. He frequently sells out fellow Soldiers for a minute of press or gratification.
In Afghanistan, command refused to order him to stop troublemaking. I asked the key people to intervene and finally began arguing with PAO officers, one of which, a lieutenant colonel at RC-South, I hung up on.
It was becoming tiresome to get shot at with bullets while pulling knives from my back. Life is too short. It is said that I had already embedded more with combat units than anyone in US history. If they wanted good ink, they had to cooperate. No negotiation on that. Nobody needs embeds, and nobody will beg to give good ink to the Army while risking getting their legs blown off. I was only there at invitation of Petraeus, but he was back in America, and I would not reach that high for this.
But should this have been a surprise? In Afghanistan, Grisham fell under the command known as RC-South.
During Grisham’s tour at Kandahar, Brigadier General Jeffrey Sinclair was relieved from RC-South and sent home, and today is on trial for rape, among other crimes.
There is no dispute that Sinclair engaged in adultery, a violation of military discipline. Sinclair does not deny it, but is contesting the allegations of rape and other charges.
Sinclair is another pedigreed soldier loaded with ribbons and medals and accolades, above reproach from we mere mortals. It was difficult to get relief in that command climate which must have sanctioned his attacks, despite the positive dispatches I was publishing.
Finally, in 2011 in Afghanistan, Grisham gave up. His character was shattered. He could no longer handle the stress of working in the rear on dusty Kandahar Airfield.
The incoming rockets were loud and caused buildings and Grisham to tremble. During one attack, Grisham wanted to run for a bunker, but a female Major ordered him to remain at work in the office. Grisham tweeted that the rockets frightened him.
While the base pizza makers, the ice cream sellers, journalists, and thousands of civilian contractors endured the rocket strikes for years, US Army Master Sergeant Christopher “CJ” Grisham was spent. He asked to leave Afghanistan and to go home.
The self-described hero, who claimed that he rushed through a hail of bullets with only a grenade and a pistol, wiping out a squad of Iraqis, tweeted:
“I’m no longer in theater. I requested to come home early to deal with some issues.”
Publicly emasculated, the tweet backfired. Grisham deleted it, changing his story much later, saying that he was ordered home for skin cancer.
After losing his piece of the war in Afghanistan, Grisham went home to Temple, Texas, and posted this image, while his unit remained in-country. Young Soldiers stayed behind to do their duty, and Grisham bragged online about going to a Godsmack concert. Again, the very definition of a moral traitor.
Earlier, he had complained about money problems and his inability to pay his bills, and then he admitted that he purchases ammunition with every paycheck.
Today Grisham lives in Temple, Texas.
On 16 March 2013, he was charged with resisting arrest. He was carrying a pistol and an AR-15 rifle in public.
From the local paper in Temple:
“The officer said Grisham was angry and irate, yelling at him that he wouldn’t give up his gun, yet he reached to take it from Grisham. … Grisham tried to pull it away…officer reportedly drew his weapon and pointed it at Grisham.”
“…officer finally gained control of…Grisham and held him against…patrol car until help arrived….passively resisted their attempts to handcuff him….additional weapon under his shirt at his waist.”
Just the day before he was arrested, a story appeared online about his previous dealings with the city:
“When Temple resident C.J. Grisham, a U.S. Army master sergeant, presented the Temple City Council with a gun rights resolution, the city became one of a series of Texas cities and counties being called on to articulate commitment to Texas residents’ Second Amendment rights. Per the Temple Daily Telegram, Grisham asked the council to ‘declare that citizens’ rights to keep and bear arms will not be infringed upon.’”
Grisham then sparked a public letter writing contest with Temple Mayor Bill Jones. The “Iraq and Afghanistan combat veteran” baited Mayor Jones into being an actor on his stage. The press was already running stories. 2nd Amendment defenders were getting riled up, having no idea they were just props in Grisham’s play. Perfect.
The props were in place for a confrontation with police, similar to what he had done in Alabama with a school board, described in this 2009 article:
Grisham acknowledged standing up on his seat and slamming his fist at the parent meeting, but said his behavior was not alarming. Others apparently disagreed.
Superintendent Ann Roy Moore said she received e-mails from parents who claimed to be uncomfortable with Grisham's behavior at the parent meeting. She said the school's principal, Avis Williams, contacted a Redstone liaison officer about the situation but not Grisham's commanding officer.
Grisham, who did not attend the Thursday meeting, said the complaint led to his demotion from first sergeant to master sergeant. "My standing has been put into question" with his superiors, he said before the meeting.
As per normal, in 2009, he alerted the press: “Grisham’s supporters, led by WVNN talk show host Dale Jackson, helped fill the board meeting room.”
In 2009, major bloggers came out to support him. Though his conduct scared a room full of civilians, and they reported his behavior to the local military, Grisham resorted to typical threats to sue them. He set up a legal fund, and stayed engaged in the press battle. No legal case was brought, and the money that he raised disappeared.
2nd Amendment Icon
Today in 2013, Grisham is trying to reincarnate himself as a war hero and 2nd Amendment icon. Many true champions and martyrs are arrested and jailed, so the frauds need to follow the same script in this play.
On 16 March, the day after the Examiner article above was published, Grisham grabbed a long gun and a pistol, and corralled his son, who Grisham claims is working on the requisites to be an Eagle Scout, and he set out to attract some publicity.
Lights, Camera, Action
Using his 15-year-old son as a prop, Grisham walked down a four-lane highway with the assault rifle, like he was walking patrol in Baghdad. He crossed another four-lane road and kept going. The rifle was loaded with a magazine and a round in the chamber.
Given the climate in America, is there any wonder that a civilian might call 911 and report a strange man walking along the freeway with an AR-15? Is there any wonder that police responded to the call, sending a squad car to check it out? Grisham knew how to make all the actors assemble and read his script. His son was instructed to videotape the events.
Grisham is quoted in the local paper:
“This past weekend while on a 10-mile hike with my 15-year-old son to complete requirements for his Eagle Scout rank, I was illegally detained, stripped of my weapons, and arrested when I refused to voluntarily surrender them.”
The Eagle Scout twist was a nice touch.
Only a sick man would use his son as a stage-prop and cameraman in an armed confrontation with law enforcement. Grisham has privately shared this video in an effort to gain support, but as happened during the Alabama drama, Grisham is known for creative editing.
It is notable that no major group such as the NRA has lifted a finger in support. If the NRA would get involved, that would be a coup.
Meanwhile, Grisham began another fundraiser for $11,000 on Indiegogo, claiming that his arrest is a 2nd Amendment issue that should concern us all. He claims that a tyrannical government illegally seized his guns, adding that he could lose his Top Secret clearance and pension.
Grisham is the last person that any of us need to defend our 2nd Amendment rights. He is a perfect poster boy for radical opposition and disarming veterans. He publicly complains about hearing voices in his head, and published about curling up in the fetal position on his bed, unable to function. If any Soldier’s right to own privately owned weapons should be reviewed, Grisham is that soldier. We cannot accept this person as a 2nd Amendment advocate.
How does someone who complains that they hear voices, someone who is deceptive by nature, who is beset with anger issues and self-proclaimed money problems, hold a Top Secret clearance? This is a recipe for disaster. Bradley Manning comes to mind.
Manning had sufficient free time while on duty to laboriously gather gigabytes of State Department cables, and to send them to WikiLeaks. To say that Manning represents a failure of supervision is an understatement.
Manning, like Grisham, was in an Intelligence position. Special scrutiny and oversight over such troops should be a given, for obvious reasons.
Grisham’s current fundraiser is fraudulent. He sells it as a 2nd Amendment issue, when clearly the 2nd Amendment, Eagle Scouts, police, journalists, Mayor Bill Jones, a “war hero” and his son the cameraman, are all stage props to raise money and attention.
I alerted the Army Inspector General and I received a reply, though if experience is any clue, it is doubtful that Grisham’s chain of command will do much. The Army has become undisciplined.
To put this in perspective, during my eight years with combat troops (nearly five years on active duty, and three as a writer), I have said that only two soldiers represented lethal threats.
The first soldier is dead. He shot himself in Afghanistan after an investigation was launched into claims that he sexually harassed another officer. A FOIA request returned the investigation, which I read in amazement. He was sick.
Yet he was a West Point grad (top of his class), a Ranger Regiment veteran of two wars, from a pedigreed family, much decorated and a true war hero. Another “untouchable.”
No civilian could criticize this man and survive with reputation intact. In combat, I saw him in action. He was the real deal, but personally, he was an arrogant, self-centered monster to nearly everyone, including his men.
He confronted me one day in Iraq literally snarling with anger. It was a dog snarl. A corner of his upper lip was twitching wildly like a fishhook was pulling it. I have never seen a person’s lip do that. His adrenaline had dumped. He was screaming. I was mesmerized by his crazy lip. He was a breath away from attacking.
We had just been in a serious firefight. Three men had been hit that morning in two separate events (one enemy, two U.S.), and there had been hand-to-hand combat. One of his men told me later in concern that he nearly had taken the firefight as a chance to shoot me, and in an unguarded moment, actually said so to his men. He could not even control what came out of his mouth. He hated and despised anything that smacked of media.
He did not scream at me at the firefight. It was maybe an hour later, back on base, that his lip was twitching, and he was screaming one foot from my face, I told him to “#@$! off!”
No Sigmund Freud was needed to see that he was homicidally loony, with boiling anger issues. He was an emotional wreck, but he was an untouchable.
I warned several times that he would kill somebody, or that one of his men might kill him. Though I expected his premature death, his suicide was a surprise.
His crimes were revealed by the investigation. He put a female officer through hell because she refused sex, and despite being so smart, he would email her explicit traffic. He was newly married with a young child. He was physically courageous but a moral coward. He proved both with his rifle.
The second lethal threat I warned about is Christopher Grisham.
I have a few theories about why the Army has not discharged Grisham. 1) His command wants him around because he serves some purpose other than work. 2) He has the goods on some high-ranking people in his chain of command. 3) The Army is simply broken.
If forced to choose one these probabilities, I go with number three.
The Army is broken, and it has failed to properly supervise Grisham, and he repeatedly engages in contentious behavior that frightens and angers civilians, in the most public venues possible.
Weak leadership that allows this to continue brings bad light on the Army, a ton of ill-will, and questions about the Army’s ability to defend the United States.
In closing, Gannett, Army Times, and staff writer Jon R. Andersen should come clean with proof of Grisham’s claims, or apologize for being duped into telling readers that he wiped out a squad of Iraqi soldiers with a pistol and a grenade.
Written proof of Grisham’s alleged heroics can suffice for purposes of due diligence. But it will not address the fact that the Army is well known for Counterfeit Valor.
I invite anyone who can validate Grisham’s version of events to come forward with evidence. Without that narrative, and credible eyewitnesses to back it up, this duck is cooked.
Grisham and instability during his Afghanistan tour.
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