Afghanistan riches- Lithium for all my friends
Deadly 4G phone claims 3 more scalps

Michael Yon- The end game

If you are sick of this topic, trust me I am with you but when someone starts exposing our security vulnerabilities to the world I can't just ignore it and hope it goes away. Yon published an email chock full of information that had no business being discussed in a public forum. I wondered just what his standards were, or if he had any. Then the next day he published another email from a troop in Afghanistan w/ more complaints about the rules they are forced to fight under by Yon's nemesis McChrystal. He didn't publish the kid's name, but in the interest of fair play I will, along w/ Mike's response to him.

Michael Yon
 to me
show details 7:58 PM (16 hours ago)

Sam --

You got it bro.  Stay well.

I'll keep hitting them!


On Sun, Jun 13, 2010 at 2:14 AM, Sam Thistle <[email protected]> wrote:
Mike I can't thank you enough for being the voice of the troops. We been getting shit on w/ all these pussified directives from McChrystal and the rest of them and at least somebody is standing up to them. I'm a SSG in Division (508) near Kandahar and we just had the most fucked up thing I've seen happen. We caught a guy with a tool bag in his trunk that had 5 cell phones some digital clocks, wire, electrical tape, wire cutters etc. It was a bomb kit for sure, no explosives but the guy, his car and the bag all tested pos for explosive resedue. We take him in and they call him up the chaon and they fucking say we gotta let him go. Guy was on a list that says we cant fucking arrest him cuz hes related to a fucking tribal leadre. Then the next day we get a visit from ISAF and they pulled all the leaders into a meeting and said we gotta have permission to take anyone in, before even detian them we gotta call it up the chain and get it cleared. un fucking beleivable. Anyhow you can publish this just dont use my name, I got enough shit to worry about. Keep figthin for us man.

Sam Thistle

If the name Sam Thistle sounds familiar to some of you, well that's because Sam was my best friend and I've written about him many times here.

Some of you have read this touching tale of cultural outreach and in this post-Brokeback time I feel the whole story can be told. The picture shows my buddy Sam Thistle in Kabul on the one year anniversary  of 9/11.

But you see he died 7 years ago and the email was from me. The level of fact checking Yon is doing is laughable or more properly non-existent. At a minimum he should have asked for a confirmation email from a .mil email address and some other verification, but he didn't. Here is what he wrote when posting this fiction.

[Edited some spelling errors.]

There you have it, Mike doesn't fact check, he spell checks. I made it very easy for Mike to find out this was BS and he didn't care. If he had done even the most basic work any professional does, and which we do here at Blackfive when we get random email, he would have found out that Sam was my buddy and he could have made me look stupid, instead he threw the last shreds of his credibility out the window.

There was a time when Yon was a respected voice writing about the war, but he has long since let his ego and his inability to play well with others destroy that. He has a long track record of getting into beefs and then writing scathing "dispatches" about the folks who are screwing up his war. This record is longer than many know and the first time I heard about Yon, it wasn't by name it was by bad reputation. When you graduate the Special Forces course there is a dinner where you are given your Girl Scout hat and sing the Ballad of the Green Berets. Before that dinner our Sr. Instructor pulled all the brand new weapons sergeants aside and told us not to get big heads and start acting like cowboys because back a few years when they still let you join SF right off the street some young punk got his beret and went off and got in a bar fight and punched some guy who hit his head on the ground and died. If that story sounds familiar, it did to me when Yon started reporting from Iraq and I was reminded by some folks ( and later in his book) that he was the guy in that cautionary tale of how not to act in Special Forces. The rest of his short stay in Group was equally undistinguished. 

He still has a lot of people who believe he is speaking truth to power. To me it looks like he is just throwing shit against the wall, or at Gen. McChrystal to see if any sticks. I said before that when someone with Yon's wafer-thin Special Forces resume calls one of our great warriors an incompetent liar, I know who I will stand with. Grow up Mike and remember what you started out doing. Although if he stays true to form I assume he will soon deploy lawyer J. Noble Daggett.

The Donovan is reminded of a song.