Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Fort Knox Contretemps: “Army Preps for Tea Party 'Terrorists'.”



My thanks to many of you who forwarded me this link. In response, after consulting my many friends in places high and low, I wrote this email to MG James M. Milano, Commander of the United States Army Armor Center at Fort Knox.

-----Original Message-----
From: georgemason1776@aol.com
To: james.m.milano@us.army.mil
Cc: knox.pao@conus.army.mil; eric.c.schwartz@us.army.mil
Sent: Thu, Apr 29, 2010 10:39 pm
Subject: Pertinent questions raised by the Fort Knox exercise controversy that require your personal answer.

29 April 2010
MG James M. Milano
CDR, US Armor Center
Fort Knox
Via email: james.m.milano@us.army.mil

Dear General Milano,

You are no doubt by now well aware of the controversy ignited by Mark Alexander’s article “Army Preps for Tea Party 'Terrorists'.” Mr. Alexander updated his post this evening thusly:

Publisher's Note: Regarding my essay, Army Preps for Tea Party 'Terrorists,' I was contacted by senior command staff at Ft. Knox this week, but an officer in the security loop altered the scenario "in order to make it more realistic." Those alterations were described in my essay, exactly as they appeared. The command staff informed me that the alterations were not approved at the command level and that the individual who circulated the scenario through official channels will "receive appropriate counsel." I was assured that the Command staff would not have authorized such a scenario.

This response is all well and good, sir, but it does raise some issues and questions that should be answered, if not now in the court of public opinion then certainly later in front of Congress.

The over-arching concerns raised by this incident are, in order,

a. The politicization of US Army security exercise, targeting ‘US Persons’ and associated groups to which they belong, for constitutionally protected behavior (free speech, protest for redress of grievances; keeping and bearing arms; expression of political/ideological opinions).

b. The conflation of peaceful, constitutionally protected activity, with arguably militant but mis-characterized “violent” protest groups. (Muslim, Black-Nationalist, and left-progressive and anarchist groups, who do in fact commit violence, are seemingly never mentioned in these scenarios.)

c. The following concerns, excerpted from Alexander’s essay:

“amateurish in its construct …the fact that it made it out into official channels sets an ominous political precedent.”

“… the scenario "misrepresents freedom loving Americans as drunken, violent racists -- the opponents of Obama's policies have been made the enemy of the U.S. Army.”

“... equally concerned that it appears the command staff at Ft. Knox had signed off on this exercise.”

“One officer insisted, "The American people should require greater accountability of their commissioned officers, that they abide by their oath and never allow politically motivated propaganda like this exercise on any post or base again.”


Now if I may guess, and feel free to correct me if I am wrong, this was almost certainly a STAFFEX (Staff Exercise) or possibly a Command Post Exercise – although I doubt that. I very much doubt that this involved any actual ‘troop’ action. I would be very surprised if anyone, other than a few operations and training personnel, and security types were even aware of the exercise or participated. Such participation would have been limited to release of ‘scenario events’ (programmed from the Master Event Scenario List aka ‘MESL’; otherwise known as “MESLs”), acknowledgement by targeted recipients, with appropriate (fictional) responses. Actual dispatch of the QRF is not normally an actual part of such an exercise -- it tests and exercises systems, chains-of-command, and responsiveness of headquarters. As you know, occasionally these do go to the next level and involve actual units and troops.

That being the case, I must ask the following relevant questions:

1. To what level were soldiers and units participant in this exercise? Please specify at minimum the level of participation of the following named organizations: 5-15 CAV (read as “Fifth of the Fifteenth Cavalry Squadron”); 16th Cavalry Brigade; and 194th Cavalry Brigade (both of which are schools units – not operationally deployable maneuver brigades).

2: Were the field or operations command posts of the US Armor Center, US Army Garrison, Fort Knox; 16th Cav Bde (QRF I), 194th Cav Bde (QRF II), and 5-15 Cav Sqdn set up in field or simulated field conditions?

3: Which office (US Armor Center, G3 or US Army Garrison, Fort Knox, DPTMS) planned and developed the exercise? Who developed the scenario event items, specifically the characterization of the “threat” as a mixture of

· “White Supremacists [sic] Organizations”;
· “Local Militia Groups”;
· Anti-Government (Health-Care) Protestors;
· Tea Party

4: Who approved the scenario and the characterization of the “threat” as “armed”; with “combative training”; “some are former Military Snipers”; “Some may have explosives training/experience”; “Viable Threats have been made”; “Many members were extremely agitated at what they referred to as Government intervention and over taxation in their lives….”; “Some members have criminal records relating to explosive and weapons violations.”

5: Does Commander, Fort Knox (either one) consider it appropriate to conflate constitutionally protected speech and civic action seeking “a redress of grievances” (the Tea Party’s purpose and activity) with violent, criminal behavior? Does Commander, Fort Knox, have an opinion regarding the political characterization evident in the conflation of (presumably violent) “white supremacists” and “militia groups” – without appropriate differentiation regarding which type of group have actually been violent in recent political history? Specifically, what about left-leaning progressives and/or anarchists (SDS, etc.), militant environmentalists, or Aryan/Neo-NAZI collectivists – not constitutional militia who are defensive in nature or groups who protest the over-reach of government? Or, as Mark Alexander observes:

“Perhaps the author of the Ft. Knox scenario should focus on a response plan for, say, an Islamic terrorist who attacks unarmed troops on his own post. -- See Ft. Hood / Major Nidal Malik Hasan.”

6: As noted above, Mark Alexander, Publisher The Patriot Post who broke this story on Thursday, 29 April, published an update:

“I was contacted by senior command staff at Ft. Knox on the afternoon of the date of publication. There was a security exercise at Ft. Knox this week, but an officer in the security loop altered the scenario "in order to make it more realistic." Those alterations were described in my essay, exactly as they appeared. The command staff informed me that the alterations were not approved at the command level and that the individual who circulated the scenario through official channels will 'receive appropriate counsel.'”

That being the case, was the person or persons responsible for “altering the scenario” to “make it more realistic” actually disciplined; or is that merely a cover-up to appease concerned citizens questioning the propriety of this event? What was the nature of the discipline?

7: Will Fort Knox publish policy guidance preventing conflation of groups and/or individuals that participate in constitutionally protected behavior (speaking out for redress of grievances; protesting; keeping and bearing arms) as opposed to militant or criminal elements that have broken laws, communicated threats, attacked military installations?

8: Does Fort Knox gather intelligence or security information on US citizens and groups? As you know, gathering intelligence on ‘US Persons’ is a violation of public law and executive order whereas gathering and maintaining records on security threats is arguably not. Where does Fort Knox draw this line, and to what extent does the exercise as written and amended reflect or contradict that policy?

I await your response with great interest.

Mike Vanderboegh
PO Box 926
Pinson, AL 35126
GeorgeMason1776@aol.com

CC: Knox PAO: knox.pao@conus.army.mil; COL Eric Schwartz, CDR, US Army Garrison, Fort Knox; eric.c.schwartz@us.army.mil

24 comments:

Concerned American said...

Suggest you send to the following as well:

Senate Armed Services Committee Members

[Note: Both Sessions and Chambliss are on that committee; I will be asking Chambliss WTF come morning]

House Armed Services Committee Members

Threepers, do the same, by email and phone. Be polite, but insistent, that they get answers to Mike's questions and convey same to you, along with this bonus question:

What is being done to make sure all other officers in all branches do not suffer from a similar 'confusion' regarding legitimate political activity by the very people they are paid to defend?

frosty2 said...

I often wonder how a young solider would feel, while engaged in such an operation, to find his mother, father, brother or best high school buddy at the end of his bayonet.

aughtsix said...

Well done, Sir, very well dome indeed.

That's a terrific letter to have been done in such a short amount of time. You have asked all the right questions and, I'm sure, turned up the heat to where the frog is beginning to squirm.

I second the suggestion that we all do like wise.

Our so called representatives need to know who they represent and what we believe... and what we will NOT tolerate.

And the military must be reminded of their proper role and that which is required of them by Their Sacred Oath!!

Great job, Mike.

Jon

III

Taylor H said...

I never thought this kind of thing would happen in my state...

I guess I should have seen it coming.

Anonymous said...

"b. The conflation of peaceful, constitutionally protected activity, with arguably militant but mis-characterized “violent” protest groups. (Muslim, Black-Nationalist, and left-progressive and anarchist groups, who do in fact commit violence, are seemingly never mentioned in these scenarios.)"

I'm one of those Anarchists that MBV thinks are so dangerous. I'm tired of all the friendly fire, he should at least research different factions to see who is for and who is against him, rather than make enemies of us all. Yeah, we don't get along with the gov't, but neither does he. Then there's this on the front page:

From MamaLiberty over at War on Guns:
"Here's an idea...If nobody wants a 'civil disturbance,' why in heck don't they quit disturbing us?"

ML is also an anarchist, so what gives? Lumping all of us together despite our differing views and methods of revolution, is going to be detrimental to your movement. If you're going to say something about us, please be faction specific... At the very least. I'm saying all this because I care. An old Arab proverb says that "A friend of a friend is a friend, the friend of an enemy is an enemy, and the enemy of an enemy is your friend." Many of us are the enemies of your enemies. We should be friends.

-- Ramen Fiend

Anonymous said...

While I cannot speak for the Air Force, Navy or Marine Corps. I can sadly say with confidence that the Army Officer Corps. is beyond hope. Most Officers do not understand the Constitution and have only glanced over it in a cursory fashion. They also believe, wrongly, that their oath makes them directly loyal to the President rather than the U.S. Constitution in much the same way that German Soldiers were personally loyal to Hitler rather than Germany and her people. The situation with our enlisted men and women is even worse. Most have never read the Constitution at all. Ever. As a general rule both our enlisted and our officers prize their pay and benefits above loyalty to our founding documents and the Republic they established. If the military turns against us we will be in dire straits. The overwhelming majority will not desert even if a modern equivalent of the so-called "final solution" is imposed here in the United States. At most a few hundred will abandon their posts. The rest will obey their orders. God help us all.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the citizens need to run an exercise: "US Armed Forces begin killing peaceful protesters"

Anonymous said...

This is just another straw in the wind. It's a big wind that will continue to blow the closer we get to the mid-term elections. Those of you who are part of the "we are everywhere" movement can take credit for getting under the skins of these collectivists.
Now, their minions in uniform are setting the stage to take us out. It started during the Clinton years when the Twentynine Palms study was done to see if young Marines would go door-to-door to confiscate firearms. I hope you oathkeepers don't get your hopes up too high about the Army refusing to obey any of Barry's Marxist directives. The "ticket punching" that the Officer Corps engaged in during the Viet Nam era is alive and well. I believe a serious study of the techniques of partisan warfare may be in order. Those of us who still treasure liberty and the principles of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution are going to be on our own.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous @1017 has it right, I think.

I've met a few officers and enlisted in the Army who have some (admittedly vague) understanding of the Constitution. For the vast majority, the Constitution is whatever Congress and the President say it is; if they say something is Constitutional, then it is. Period.

Coincidentally enough, we also saw this week the deployment of police in riot gear to deal with protesting grannies in Quincy, IL. If asked to bash heads in, do you think those cops would have hesitated for even one second?

I hate to break it to you guys, but you have to get it through your heads: when the chips are down, neither the the U.S. military nor the collective body of law enforcement officers will be on the side of the people. They will be on the side of the tyrants, as the Founding Fathers feared and predicted to be the case with a permanent "standing army".

When the chips are down, a few will likely defect and fight (and die) for Liberty; some will attempt to sabotage the machine from within and will pay the price for it. The vast majority will kill and destroy (efficiently, methodically, ruthlessly) until any vestige of resistance is stamped out. What the military has learned in Iraq and Afghanistan WILL be used against the American people -- count on it.

Those who continue to care for the vision of the Founding Fathers must factor all this in their expectations of the future, and must stop having faith in law enforcement and the military as a friend to the People.

rexxhead said...

+1 for Anon @10.17

I recently shared with MBV an email conversation with my USArmy(ret) nephew wherein he all but dismissed the C as irrelevant and steadfastly refused to respond to the question "what did you think you were promising?"

Indeed, this next civil (sic) war will be as bloody as the last.

Slobyskya Rotchakokov said...

Anony 5:57 - There is something else that was alive and well during the Nam years and the ghost of it still hovers today - it was / is called 'fragging'.

And Ramen Fiend - not to be disagreeable, but (1) Arab proverbs are generally worth less than a camel turd unless they inspire a fellow to do something wonderful for humanity - like hackling off heads or flying airplanes into buildings. But anyway, (2) a much more accurate corollary of the maxim is, "The enemy of my enemy is my enemy's enemy" Our nation once made the former assumption concerning the Stalinist commies in fighting the Nazi powers. Assuming that they would be friends, or long term allies, was a tactical mistake for which we are still paying.
You are certainly right that not all anarchists are the same, and you might find that Mike and most other threepers do not consider them so. But a number of people who identify themselves as anarchists have indeed been very hostile to the people who wish to restore a Constitutional Republic, and that is where the friction exists.

Dedicated_Dad said...

The documents have been voluntarily removed "at the request of command staff" and for "security reasons."

My comment expressed my disgust at such collaboration by someone daring to write under the header "patriot post."

Does ANYONE have the documents?

If so, can you put them on Rapidshare or some other place where those of us who missed them can read?

DD

Wild Deuce said...

I second the motion by Dedicated Dad. I also share his disgust at the removal of the documents (collaboration) by anyone using the header "Patriot Post."

rexxhead said...

"Command staff" makes requests?

Jayson said...

The 16th Cav is a NCO and officer training unit. Which means that the QRF (quick reaction force) would be full off experienced NCO's (attending school) and a mix of new officers (from the officer basic course) and experienced junior officers (from the advanced course). What worries me is that the 2nd QRF is made up of Basic training units, which have a small number of experienced NCO's and are full of soldiers who have been in the Army less then 6 months.

Redleg said...

Another +1 for Anon at 10:17

In over 15 years Army service I have found most officers that I served with to be careerists who were more concerned with achieving solid bullets for their OERs than doing right by the troops or anyone else for that matter. The few really good officers that I would have walked through Hades for ended up getting out by the time they made Captain. The system isn't conducive or appreciative of really good and caring leadership. If their career is more important to them than their own troops, where do you think the Constitution rates?

I also agree with Anon @ 6:05 as well.

Redleg said...

Rexxhead said "Indeed, this next civil (sic) war will be as bloody as the last."

I think it will be much bloodier due to the lethality of our modern weaponry and due to the great idealogical divide which now seperates us. Yes there were differences in the last one but both sides still had a common heritage and considered themselves to be Americans. I don't think that we can still say that any longer.

Anonymous said...

It is incredible when you consider the number of violent protests like the WTO in Seattle 1999, that the peaceful protests of the Tea Party would somehow provoke this kind of response. If you ever doubt that there are vast left wing conspiracies happening behind the scenes then this is your proof. Before the Nov 2nd election the government (Obama) will find some pretext to unleash the SWAT team on a Tea Party demonstration. They need to destroy the opposition and somehow, some way they will do it.

Anonymous said...

Very good questions Mike. And i like the reminders I am seeing all over. We really are everywhere.

Anonymous said...

Man this is some scary crap. And the worst of it is that Ft Knox is less than 20 min from my AO.
Im sure they have intell on myself and my guys since were so close.
It is also sickining that this training was even thought of. Many members in my family have lived and or trained at Ft Knox and because of that i guess i never thought of this type of scenerio.

Tiger striped III

Ahab said...

Dedicated Dad says the article has been removed from Patriot Post. I have a copy. If you want it, DD, then contact me at:

ahab627@windstream.net

aughtsix said...

The original Patriot Post:

http://patriotpost.us/alexander/2010/04/29/army-preps-for-tea-party-terrorists/

aughtsix said...

It's still there:

http://patriotpost.us/alexander/2010/04/29/army-preps-for-tea-party-terrorists/

Fort Knox said...

Unauthorized scenario information concerning current political issues were added to a planned emergency response exercise held at Fort Knox on April 27. The official exercise script used by the Installation Command Post during the exercise included no reference to the Tea Party movement, political parties or political issues. Fort Knox leadership takes this situation seriously and regrets any misunderstanding this may has caused. An official investigation has been initiated to determine the manner in which this information was included in the exercise scenario. Fort Knox leadership is committed to continued positive associations with our community groups and organizations and will continue to work to enhance and improve those relationships.