Chapter 8: Truth & Consequences of the ’05 Cal Guard Spy Scandal

In Chapter 7, I argued that the State Active Duty (SAD) system was never  intended to be more  than a cadre staff structured with a few senior officers  and predominately  lower ranking  NCOs. To give  the reader a little more insight,  the California National Guard is  the  only  National Guard in the Nation with a full-time  SAD system. All others use SAD during  emergencies only.

A person occupying a SAD position is, for all practical purposes, a state employee, receiving military pay with housing allowances (non-taxable) instead of civil service compensation. His/her  job is protected under the Soldier’s and Sailor’s Relief Act the same as a civilian job, and, if deployed, the job is protected as if a civilian job plus the state pays a small stipend.  Concurrently, he/she still receives their military drill (one weekend/month) and 30 days military pay. It can be quite lucrative for officers at the top of the food chain with general officers receiving compensation as high as $250,000  annually. 

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the ’05 Cal Guard Spy Scandal. A scandal that was not a case of an errant spy unit as author Bob Aldridge claims in his book America in Peril,  but a case that birthed a Dynasty that has debatably become a California Military run amuck. In this final chapter, I: 

  • Editorialize my views of current leadership;
  • Recommend Corrections; and
  • Conclude with my confidence in legacy to sustain such corrections.


(Top left) Ben Baches, The Laborers International Union of  North America (LIUNA), withdrew the Union's endorsement of Maj. Gen. David S. Baldwin (Top right) after Bay Area and Los Angeles NBC television Investigation  teams exposed his command's "Culture of retaliation and fear" in 2013.  California Gov. Jerry Brown (lower left) signed   SB 1421,
Has Public Lost Confidence in Cal Guard? (Top left) Ben Baches, The Laborers International Union of North America (LIUNA), withdrew the Union’s endorsement of Maj. Gen. David S. Baldwin (Top right) after Bay Area and Los Angeles NBC television Investigation teams exposed his command’s “Culture of retaliation and fear” in 2013. California Gov. Jerry Brown (lower left) signed SB 1422, Military Sexual  Assault Bill, sponsored by Sen. Alex Padilla (Lower right) in the wake of the I-Teams’ reports. SB 1422 creates stringent oversight of the Cal Guard’s military  judicial system for sexual assaults.


“The troops’ hearts and minds” seemed to always tug at Maj. Gen. David S. Baldwin’s conscious, but his political loyalties to the Dynasty seemed to consistently pull him back from the brink of opportunities that would ratify him in their hearts and minds.

A Dynasty with seven primary members’ consumed by seven deadly vices of ambition arguably overtaking the seven Army values for mission. The Dynasty’s vice of pride that allegedly propelled the  ’05 Spy Scandal won state legislative favor for  Baldwin– obligating him to the Dynasty’s influence. A debt that  disputably caused him to hedge on fully honoring those three key documents that drive the DoD community’s federal and homeland security missions: The National Security; National Defense; and National Military strategies.

Enslaving him to the Dynasty’s envy of their internal rivals–those they  perceived loyal to past adjutant  generals–within the Cal Guard Headquarters. Jealously that reportedly precipitated the  manipulation of performance appraisals, forcing Baldwin to struggle with his moral compass. Through my personal observations and mutual mentors we shared, it’s my opinion that Baldwin grappled with either firing officers the Dynasty targeted and his integrity to do what is legally and morally right.

He also reportedly wrestled with accommodating the Dynasty’s wrath to vilify adjutant generals or recognizing their selfless service to organizational teamwork, discipline, self control, and faith in the system. A theme, it appears, that seemed to recur at critical junctions in the aftermath of the ’05 Spy Scandal.

The Dynasty’s gluttony for SAD jobs by either coveting  their  peers SAD posts, or creating unnecessary jobs through Homeland Security  Grant funding. A Dynasty  buildup that cultivated influence at both the California Office of Emergency Services (OES) and Cal Fire.  Power that reportedly swayed these agencies to support Baldwin’s confirmation, influenced the Governor’s appointment process, altogether tempting the future adjutant general to compromise his respect for civilian authority.

The Dynasty’s protection of their own members’ lust, as  it  were,  by insulating those legitimately judged guilty of sexual improprieties from the military justice system; plucking at Baldwin’s friendship to shelter them, testing his  personal courage to face the adversity of holding his  friends to the same standards of conduct as the Dynasty held their perceived enemies.

The Dynasty’s sloth by publically breaking military regulations and protocol as the NBC Bay  Area I-Team reported on allegations of retaliation, sexual assault, sexual harassment,  and  racism of troops at their hands. A situation that arguably challenged Baldwin’s relationship with a key Dynasty member and his duty to reprimand him.

Baldwin, I believe, was hesitant in living up to the Army Values, but did not abandon them completely. His political situation, in my opinion, is much like that of author Bill O’Reilly who says existed between Nicodemus and the Pharisees in his book Killing Jesus. O’Reilly says Nicodemus enjoyed a “powerful role as a member of the Jewish ruling council” making it awkward for him to publically acknowledge and follow Christ’s teachings.

Likewise, Baldwin has disputably deviated from the Army values because he allegedly owes the Dynasty for his political elevation. But Nicodemus redeemed himself by publically declaring “allegiance” to Jesus, assisting with His burial, and eventually being martyred in His name.

Metaphorically, Baldwin must arguably become the Cal Guard’s Nicodemus for ratification in the hearts and minds of Cal Guard  troops.

Exorcising The Dynasty

Secret Telephone Units. Local authorities like UC Davis police could use secret telephone  units (STUs) through California National Guard military intelligence units, like that pictured above, to access time-sensitive information concerning  terrorist cells or lone wolves.  Guard intelligence  could  train, authorize, and maintain  inventories of the highly sensitive equipment. (FLICKR Photos)
Secret Telephone Units. Local authorities like UC Davis police could use secret telephone units (STUs) through California National Guard military intelligence units, like that pictured above, to access time-sensitive information concerning terrorist cells or lone wolves. Guard intelligence could train, authorize, and maintain inventories of the highly sensitive equipment. (FLICKR Photos)

Baldwin can arguably regenerate the Cal Troops’ Faith  in Cal Guard’s justice, operational, and logistical systems if he distances himself from the Dynasty.

The adjutant general can begin, in my opinion, by listening to the Cal Guard’s critical labor, legislative, and elected leader publics. The Laborers International Union of  North America (LIUNA) called Baldwin “impressive” in its February 2012 newsletter.   But they also warned that his success or failure depended on the “directors and personal staff” he hired. LIUNA’s advice: be”slow to hire, quick to fire.”

Advice Baldwin  arguably failed to heed, compelling LIUNA to withdraw its endorsement after the NBC Bay Area and Los Angeles I-Teams exposed the Dynasty’s Culture of retaliation” and “fear.” Similarly, it appears Gov. Jerry  Brown retreated from his  so-called mandate when he signed Senate Bill 1422 in August 2014. The Bill stripped the State Military  Department of authority to adjudicate sexual assaults. All sexual assaults are under the  auspices  of civilian law enforcement agencies, not Guard commanders.

Likewise, the California Senate has arguably sanctioned the Cal Guard’s rank and file’s vote of non-confidence in the Dynasty when it passed the legislation sponsored by former Sen. Alex Padilla, now Secretary of State for California. Under SB 1422, the Dynasty must submit assault statistics to the governor and lawmakers each April, obviously because of their neglect to use their appellant powers to intervene in the sexual assaults, retaliation, and racial discrimination that the NBC Bay and Los Angeles Areas I-Team reported.

A political move that debatably further distances Baldwin from ratification in  the hearts and minds of Cal Guard. Perhaps a more profound consequence of the Truth & Consequences of the ’05 Cal Guard Spy scandal is that it has purportedly sustained a State Active Duty (SAD) system that has hindered the state Guard’s homeland security and federal mission readiness. A SAD system whose core consists of an incestuous blend (reportedly at least two husband-wife pairs on the SAD payroll as well as family members of senior staff) of inner staff marriages and political nepotism that serves personal ambitions at the cost of preparing the majority for the State’s Nation’s missions.

A decade of scandals has arguably chewed up talent and  creativity, once the Hallmark of the California National Guard, in the State Partnership Program (SPP).  According to published reports, the Dynasty has  lagged behind in its mission to help Ukraine establish a National Guard and upgrade its civilian emergency management, forcing  the Army to pick up the slack. It appears that the Dynasty has failed to seize initiatives to help its other  SPP partner, Nigeria, to stabilize its military and government to uproot the Boko Haram terrorist organization. A vision Baldwin never intended bases on my conversation with  him in L’Viv Ukraine in July 2013.

The Dynasty no longer has that experience, training, and creativity it had prior to the SB 807 purge to fill civilian law enforcement and military intelligence gaps. The Information Synchronization, Knowledge Management and Intelligence Fusion” node, if it had matured, would have filled a gap giving lead civilian intelligence  agencies vetted information about  terrorist activity. Without this fusion center, Cal Guard planners had to make educated “guesses” of terrorists activities during exercises in the aftermath of the ’05 Cal Guard Spy scandal.

Continued procrastination of developing this intelligence Quik Stop, however, is arguably risky in the current threat climate. The Nation’s cities are bracing themselves for Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) threats against members of the military, military installations, law enforcement, the U.S. government, and the American public during the  July 4th holiday. A mature intelligence node would give law enforcement  access to the intelligence community’s information highway to better prevent, deter, and protect California citizens from terrorist acts during Independence Day festivities.

Credible intelligence is necessary for strategically anticipating, prioritizing, and staging state and local requests for the Guard’s other Homeland Security assets. Vetted intelligence empowers law enforcement to plan for mutual aid and layer in Guard Homeland Security resources to more effectively deploy Civil support-weapons of mass destruction (CST-WMD) to screen celebration areas for improvised explosive devices  (IEDs), chemicals, or biological weapons.  Information that unshackles civilian law enforcement resources and multiplies their security effectiveness by augmenting Guard Quick-Reaction Forces (QRF) to prevent or contain riots. And, God forbid, Homeland Response Force (HRF) properly positioned to manage the consequences of attacks in the Western United States.

Congress has purportedly created an opportunity for the Cal Guard to reset that intelligence node Col. Robert O’Neill envisioned a decade ago. A node that is arguably politically correct with the passage of the USA Freedom Act–Uniting and Strengthening  America by Fulfilling Rights and Ending Eavesdropping, Dragnet-collection  and Online  Monitoring Act. The new law replaces the Patriot Act, limits the National Security Agency’s (NSA) authority for”bulk collections,” but still allows American Intelligence to track and monitor lone wolves.

A National Guard military intelligence Quik Stop disputably dovetails into the USA Freedom Act, allowing civilian law enforcement, such as UC Davis Police, to  cut  bureaucratic “red tape.” Through this  node, they could quickly validate, or remove suspicion, of whether the Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), who proposed a UC Davis resolution advocating Divestment and Sanctions against  Israel last January should be monitored; then coordinate for appropriate support to protect all students and groups.

Now that ISIS has safe haven to plan attacks inside  the  United States, their threats are arguably more an ultimatum that should be taken seriously. They have reportedly targeted California and 14 other states in the wake of the foiled attack in Garland, Texas. A threat that I think requires a Governor’s exorcism of the Dynasty, rather than a Governor’s mandate. An Exorcism that might include the following:

  •  Swap Mandates. During Baldwin’s confirmation hearing, former State Senator Elaine Alquist recommended he “form an advisory committee consisting of personnel from all levels of the CNG command, identify and resolve issues and report back to the  Senate. Alquist’s idea is a good one, but it might be more effective for the State Senate to directly appoint a committee consisting of  retired National Guard generals and officers to report back to the Senate. I believe California has several retired experienced officers that would volunteer with per diem as their compensation. The legislature could assign a researcher from its California Research Bureau (CRB) to analyze and write this advisory committee’s reports to the  legislature. Swapping out Governor’s mandate with this legislative mandate would restore the Guard’s image  as “citizen soldiers doing extraordinary military missions,” and wipe away the smear of the “most investigated department in state government.”
  • Dissolve the Dynasty.  The Dynasty claims Senate Bills (SB) 807 and 921 reformed the SAD. Conventional military wisdom, however, suggests the SBs are a façade for cronyism–the Dynasty. For true reform, model the SAD after the active components’ Joint Branch systems and modernize: bench-marking military grades and pay; military training, education, and experience requirements; and professional appraisal processes to fairly measure employees’ performance against quantifiable standards. Such changes will replace the pretense of reform with actual reform that Baldwin envisioned in the 2012 November issue of the Grizzly magazine when he said: “…(a SAD system) based on…military experience, technical and operational knowledge, and training required for the positions.”
  • Restore Public Confidence. Consider converting the Cal Guard’s directors of public affairs, government affairs, state personnel director, comptroller, and perhaps Youth Program from SAD (requiring military experience and training) to state civil service positions (not requiring  military training or experience). The Cal Guard’s tendency is to fill these posts with senior and mid-grade officers with “Branch  Immaterial” Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) skills. In layman terms, positions requiring no specific military training, and therefore, can be filled with any officer. Phasing-in civilian professionals removes a military communication barrier with civilian publics, and replaces it with a cadre of experts proficient in managing budget, personnel, accounting, journalism, political science, and  public relations professionals able to relate to all the  Cal Guard’s critical civilian publics. This gives the adjutant general feedback instead of a legend narrative, and restores the grassroots’ voice in the Cal Guard family.
  • Resuscitate the One Team, One Fight, One Future Concept. Strive to reach a consensus on a healthy mix of combat, combat support, and combat service support. The inner service component budget battles between the National Guard, Active, and Reserve Components arguably harm both  national and homeland security. Cooperation among the National Guard–with its strong state  and Congressional lobbies–and the active and reserve components is necessary for military support to Homeland Security, and a  prudent flow of troops for contingencies as  public support for “boots on the ground” continues to grow, according to recent polls.
  • Command Philosophy Change. The Baldwin watch perhaps places too much  emphasis on combat experience. This pressures Cal Guardsmen  to compete for  deployments, diminishing unit integrity and preparedness for civil emergencies, and degrading combat readiness. George Armstrong Custer was combat-experienced, but suffered a career-ending defeat at the Battle of the Little Big Horn. Generals Dwight D. Eisenhower and Gen. George C. Marshall had no combat experience, to speak of, but engineered strategic victory over Europe (V-E Day) and rebuilt Europe after World War II. Balances of combat and staff experience are arguably needed to prevent 9-11 “Little Big Horns” at home, reset military support of Homeland Security, and support long-range “Marshall Plans” to strengthen democracy both at home and abroad.

Conclusion: Legends and Legacies It’s debatably time for California to face the Truth & Consequences of the ’05 Cal Guard Spy Scandal and reset its National Guard. Baldwin can begin, in my opinion, by replacing Dynasty Pharisees’ with long faces with Disciples of his command intent.  A reorganized staff would mark Baldwin’s rebirth into the Military Values. A rebirth  that will determine whether Baldwin’s watch becomes a legacy  or remains a legend.

The crypt of Cal Guard  legacies includes leaders with vision ahead of their time, the audacity to move the cheese, courage under political fire, passion to build a global force, and generals with guts. A mausoleum of pseudo Saints who risked reputations and promotions to better serve their troops. A sepulcher where legends cannot enter because they are fading memories, and where legacies never die because they are selfless works that continue that lineage of legacies to protect and defend the Nation against both foreign and domestic enemies.


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