Chapter 2: Truth and Consequences of the ’05 Cal Guard Spy Scandal

McCarthy Comparisons. Was the U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy's (Left) “Red Scare” of the 1950s comparable to California State Senator Joe Dunn's (Right) "Spy Scare" in 2005? A U.S. Army lawyer stopped McCarthy's fear-mongering in its tracks with the question, "Have you no decency Sir?" Dunn dismissed Army Investigator Reports concluding the California National Guard neither spied on U.S. citizens nor infiltrated Code Red. Although Dunn's senate investigation convicted innocent Guardsmen of spying in the court of public opinion, Karma may have intervened to impose justice in Dunn's case when the California State Bar fired him as its executive director on allegations of ethic violations and filing fraudulent travel expenses. (FLICKR Photos)

In Chapter 1 of Truth and Consequences of the ’05 Cal Guard Spy scandal, I explained that the Intelligence fusion node was part of broader reorganizational change in the California National Guard. An institutional change necessary for the Cal Guard to maintain pace with post 9-11 modernizations in civilian-led counterterrorism and regional catastrophic emergency  response.

These changes required changes to the Cal Guard’s State Active Duty system. Arguing that  synchronizing the SAD system into the post 9-11 National Response Framework (NRF) was akin to breaking up an dynasty,  I opined, that such change threated those comfortable with a SAD system as it existed, and that these officers were conceivably the core of resistance, and arguably the so-called whistle  blowers–the Dynasty–who manufactured the 05 Spy  Scandal. 

 In Chapter 2, I:

  • Describe the Whistle Blowers political tactics and strategies and their similarities to those of ” Sen. Joseph  McCarthy and 1950s Red Scare
  • Share my  observations  of how the media subscribed to these political tactics; and
  • Illustrate how this publicity emboldened Eres’ agitators  to publically pile on false allegations.

I begin with….

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The Reincarnation of Sen.  Joseph McCarthy

McCarthy Comparisons. Was the U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy's (Left) “Red Scare” of the 1950s comparable to California State Senator Joe Dunn's (Right) "Spy Scare" in 2005? A U.S. Army lawyer stopped McCarthy's fear-mongering in its tracks with the question, "Have you no decency Sir?" Dunn dismissed Army Investigator Reports concluding the California National Guard neither spied on U.S. citizens nor infiltrated Code Red. Although Dunn's senate investigation convicted innocent Guardsmen of spying in the court of public opinion, Karma may have intervened to impose justice in Dunn's case when the California State Bar fired him as its executive director on allegations of ethic violations and filing fraudulent travel expenses. (FLICKR Photos)
McCarthy Comparisons. Was the U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy’s (Left) “Red Scare” of the 1950s comparable to California State Senator Joe Dunn’s (Right) “Spy Scare” in 2005? A U.S. Army lawyer stopped McCarthy’s fear-mongering in its tracks with the question, “Have you no decency Sir?” Dunn dismissed Army Investigator Reports concluding the California National Guard neither spied on U.S. citizens nor infiltrated Code Red. Although Dunn’s senate investigation convicted innocent Guardsmen of spying in the court of public opinion, Karma may have intervened to impose justice in Dunn’s case when the California State Bar fired him as its executive director on allegations of ethic violations and filing fraudulent travel expenses. (FLICKR Photos)

The Dynasty arguably used the USA Patriot Act, and the Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003–sometimes referred as Patriot Act II–as the template to prey on Code Pink’s fears of government spying and infilitration.  A  courtesy email from  Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s to the Guard giving it a heads-up of an anti-war rally calling for the state to bring Guardsmen home from the Iraq War was  exaggerated into monitoring  Code Pink.  A de facto investigation launched two months after Col. Jeff Davis turned in his computer and the military department cleansed the hard drive for reuse, was aggrandized into the destruction of files on U.S. Citizens.

Terms found in military doctrine such as “fusion,” “synchronization,” and even “intelligence” were twisted into violations of “civil liberties,” and “monitoring” was warped into infiltration of Code Pink–initiating post-911 McCarthyism in California. Whipping up a “hyper-suspicious,” political atmosphere that activists seized  to insinuate the CNG was packed with spies stalking citizens.  Creating a political theater for a McCarthy incarnate demagogue to enter stage-right and publically batter all who dared to speak out against him.

And the wondering political soul of Sen. Joe McCarthy apparently found sanctuary in living political body of Sen. Joe Dunn (D-Santa Ana) with an investigative staff of, so-called, CNG whistle blowers allegedly eagerly willing to blaspheme any investigation, peer, or authority  challenging Dunn. The McCarthy neophyte would give a performance to remember, one of which Sen. Joe McCarthy might be proud, and one as told by the San Jose Mercury News.

 

Print the Legend, not the facts.
Print the Legend, not the facts.

Shinbone Star Prints the Legend

The San Jose Mercury News, in my opinion, was more interested in inflaming the political atmosphere, than in calling out Dunn on facts that could dissolve their story.

Practically  speaking, the newspaper implied Guard spokesman Lt. Col. Doug Hart was a liar by the way  they  cast his truthful explanations of the absurdity of the spy allegations against Code Pink’s hysteria and Dunn’s  blustering. Hart was proud of his mentorship under former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs Pete Williams and a diehard disciple of the principles of public  information that the now NBC Correspondent  espoused. Hart was especially conscientious of always being truthful to the media–even if it meant admitting military department wrong-doing.

But Dunn consistently engaged Hart through the Mercury News alluding he was part of a cover-up and perhaps in collusion with Eres’s successor–Brig. Gen.  John Alexander and O’Neill–on  a secret  spy unit.  Hart was in a communication dilemma: Dunn was debatably uninterested in the facts; and Mercury News was disputably uninterested in what Hart to say.

I may have witnessed the complication of Hart’s communication gridlock when I had to stand in for him to respond to an inquiry from the Mercury News’ Contra Costa Times edition in early June 2005.  I initially agreed to the reporter’s request to conduct the interview via email, until I sensed someone in the building was spoon-feeding  him  questions for me. After refusing to talk further  unless we could talk by phone, he corroborated my  suspicion when he asked about a General Officer reportedly being fired as we talked–the general of which in  question was in the Adjutant General’s office as we spoke.

I decided it  prudent to limit our conversation to background on doctrine and the Cal Guard’s Standard Operating Procedures (SOP), since I could neither confirm nor deny such reports. The reporter used the 1999 Seattle World Trade Organization (WTO) riots as a hypothetical example for applying doctrine and Cal Guard SOPs. Perhaps faking desire to understand, the the reporter asked my opinion as to whether terrorists could infiltrate those protests to incite riots.

Initially I deflected, saying the FBI could better answer the question than I, but after some friendly bantering, I joked, “Who knows who could infiltrate that type of group and try to stir something up?” After all, we live in the age of terrorism.” The reporter used my quote in the context of Code Pink and their Mother’s Day protest. It’s a quote now living in out-of-context infamy.

The exchange reminded me of the Shinbone Star’s dialog with the fictional character Sen. Ransom Stoddard in John Ford’s Western movie classic, “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.” After Stoddard shares the circumstances behind the shooting and reveals local rancher Tom Doniphon actually shot hired cattle association assassin Liberty Valance, Editor Maxwell Scott crumples the notes, tosses them into a wood stove, and tells Stoddard, “When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.”

In the movie, the Shinbone Star was more interested in protecting a legend that catapulted Stoddard to territorial governor, U.S. Senator, Ambassador to Great Britain, back to the Senate, and odds-on favorite to become his party’s nominee for Vice President–than the facts. I felt the same way about the San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times coverage—disputably more interested in spurring on Dunn’s political career with an intriguing Spy legend than the facts.

The Lucifer Effect & its Elixir

Through  the newspaper, Dunn would stack other allegations of CNG corruption arguably intended to corroborate the  senator’s campaign of a CNG subversion Spy network. Many military department whistleblowers jumped on Dunn’s spy bandwagon.

Lt. Col. John Haramalis, president of the National Guard Association of California (NGAC) recycled a loansharking allegation, in my opinion, that CNG senor leaders shook down a Hollywood filmmaker for a large donation intended for  the NGAC. What really happened was that a Cal Guard Public Affairs Officer convinced Army Public Affairs-Los Angeles to intervene when a SAD General attempted to lease Los Alamitos Joint Reserve Base for a movie unsanctioned by DOD for $210,000.

I was that public affairs officer who  told Maj. Matthew Dana–a Cal Guard state judge advocate (SJA) & NGAC member about it, who pondered out loud whether the movie mogul could donate the money to the NGAC, and then allegedly galloped off to contact the SAD general and set in motion a deal between the NGAC and Gold Rush Inc. 2002. Court records indicate the  agreement soured apparently when all parties realized DoD had forced return of the $210,000 check. This apparently angered the NGAC who hired an attorney to sue for their potion of the non-existent $210,000, prompting State Military Department involvement to bail out Dana–I  presume  one  of the  officers Mercury News reported threatened with  retaliation.

The legend continued with insinuations of CNG as “rogue” leaders who ferociously retaliated against  NGAC members. The implications were rooted in a 2003 letter Haramalis sent to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s office–referenced by the Mercury News–asking that certain senior leaders be administratively relieved and investigated for engaging in patterns of abuse,” and using “undue Command Influence,” to intimidate the NGAC members from testifying before legislative committees.  Allegations investigators determined lacked merit, and innuendos the NGAC’s 129th Air Rescue Wing Chapter said were leveraged without “Justification” and asked for Haramalis’ expulsion, according to a letter attached to the NGAC’s September 2003 secretary’s report.

Likewise, Dunn piled on other unsubstantiated claims of wrong-doing to enhance the spy legend. Routine practices of using federal funding to pay  for SAD jobs became misuse of state funds. Department reorganization Monroe foresaw, and to which Eres was arguably ethically obligated to sustain under the 2005 NDAA, morphed into “failing to get state permission,”–oversight, in my opinion, that is impractical since the California State Military Department is one of the smallest state agencies, and legislature term limits preclude any sustained legislative familiarity with the complicated Cal Guard systems.

More likely, it was the whistle blowers’ concern of DoD reorganization’s impact on state-subsidized SAD jobs and SAD posts funded with federal dollars. The Federal Government funds 95 percent of the Cal Guard’s budget, while California subsidizes five percent of the budget–primarily for the SAD jobs some of which are matched with federal dollars laundered through the State Comptroller’s office.

To me, it appeared whistle blowers,  many  of whom I  considered friends, had succumbed to the Lucifer Effect–the term Dr. Philip George Zimbardo coined for good people doing bad things in a 1971 study of college student’s behavior when given authority roles over peers in a simulated prison. They were disputably jumping on the Spy Scandal bandwagon to protect a SAD Dynasty.  Perhaps whipping up Dunn’s fever and the Mercury News adrenaline to concoct a Lucifer Effect elixir for elected leader and press consumption, intoxicating character and inebriating  judgment.

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In Chapter 3, I give the reader insight into the Whistle Blower’s, a.k.a. Dynasty–inside networking and their manifestation  into a powerful inner circle.

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