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Last Missions

Michael Yon and the cards he has dealt

Mike Yon has apparently taken some time in Thailand to address what I wrote about his exit from Afghanistan.

Though I am working on Afghanistan dispatches, during breaks over the next days I will address some those who took part in the blog lynch mob. Will start with BlackFive since it's fairly famous and influential.

I didn't particularly want to write that post, but he was calling Gen. McChrystal an incompetent liar and that he wasn't up to the task of running the war. Several people had contacted him and tried to tell him to chill out prior to me and a number of others calling him out publicly. He probably should have just let this lie, since he seems to have become more rational after some time in Thailand. But he emailed and told me to show my cards and called our collective ethics into question, so....

I wrote the following:

He has claimed he was told there was no room for him to embed, well that is not what I heard. It appears he was again removed for violating the embed rules. At some point you need to own up to the fact that it's not the rest of the world.....it's you. That point is now.

If by show my cards he means announce who told us that, well no thanks. Why would I expose something told in confidence so he could call these folks liars and incompetent or monkeys. Suffice it to say the sources are not in public affairs or on McChrystal's staff, and have no axe to grind with Yon. He posts a letter from the PA folks telling him his embed was ended because they had a waiting list of journalists waiting to embed and says that this clears him. Well apparently he has a short memory as he didn't believe that for a second when it happened. How about if I show his cards.

Michael Yon Looking for reports from the surge of embedded reporters that McChrystal's gang said needed my cot. Where are they? Apparently my cot is still empty. As the days/weeks unfold, and the mass of stories from embedded reporters do not arrive, folks will see that McChrystal's gang was lying.

Michael Yon I have in my possession compelling evidence of General McChrystal's smear campaign. It's been sent to my attorney. The sad part is that McChrystal is incompetent even with a smear campaign. Official statements by his people -- in writing -- have been defamatory and libelous. A writer must be able to spot libel just as ...a soldier must be able to spot IEDs. It's part of the job. If you can't spot it, you will get hurt. Further evidence of McChrystal's incompetence is the ease with which he jerks a writer from the field and gets a laser on himself/staff for lying. And then his own staff commits defamation and libel. They fight like children.

Michael Yon I strongly believe that this decision had to be blessed by a General officer. Will say it clearly: I do not trust General McChrystal or his PAO staff to honestly report to the American public.

I also mentioned that this wasn't the first time he had been booted and he can hardly dispute that since he has written about it. Here in a post entitled Bullshit Bob.

The surprise discontinuation of my embedment from the British Army left my schedule in a train wreck.....I do not know the reason for the embed termination.  My best guess is that it relates to my sustained criticism that the British government is not properly resourcing its soldiers.....Those officers are either completely oblivious to the actuality of the situation or lying......By perpetrating falsehoods that undermine our combat capacity, Richardson has helped the enemy.......The fact that the British Minister of Defence (MoD) would go on record with hogwash is again symptomatic of a much larger problem.  Mr. Ainsworth is lying to the British public about the helicopter issue in Afghanistan

Hmmm, the speaker of truth to power surrounded by a sea of liars, seems to be a theme. He has done some good work and without a doubt took the most iconic picture of the Iraq War, but calling into question the competence of Gen. McChrystal to run the war was ridiculous.

Today, I do not trust McChrystal anymore than some people trust the New York Times, Obama or Bush. If McChrystal could be trusted, I would go back to my better life. McChrystal is a great killer but this war is above his head. He must be watched..

So there are my cards Mike. If you want to be taken seriously, you might want to quit dealing them to the world. Why don't you head to Bangkok, wander down to Soi Cowboy and have a nice cold Singha.

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