An excerpt from the new book, “Murphy’s Law: My Journey from Ranger and Green Beret to Investigative Journalist

Another story developed when a fixer we had hired to help translate informed us that there was a big battle going down early the next morning near Kirkuk. No way were we going to pass that up. We left around four a.m. the next morning.

“Just keep driving until you get to the Daesh,” the Peshmerga checkpoint guard said. I was trying to get to the front line to follow along with the Kurdish offensive outside Kirkuk on September 11. Can’t really blame the guard for his concise instructions. As our car approached the front, we saw dozens of up-armored Humvees and pickup trucks. Peshmerga fighters stood around waiting for their orders, talking and smoking cigarettes. As I got out of the car and began walking down the road, a group of Kurdish journalists looked at me and began waving their hands, saying, “No good, no good!”

The puffs of smoke from either IEDs or mortar rounds rose into the air in the distance. Before even getting to the berm lines, I ran into a group of foreigners who had joined up with the 9th Brigade. They all wore MultiCam and balaclavas to conceal their identity. As I was soon to find out, one of them had already had his rifle confiscated because he was taking potshots at the Pesh, mistaking them for ISIS.