The following Op-Ed was written by Fred Galvin (USMC retired).
Generals Mattis and General Petraeus collaborated and published the U.S. Army’s Field Manual 3-24 on counterinsurgency operations (COIN) in 2006; it later became Joint Publication 3-24. The publication contained the lessons the generals learned from nearly 19 years of operations in Afghanistan and 16 years in Iraq.
These prolonged operations, which failed to develop strategic effectiveness in the internal defenses of either nation, sadly resulted in the vast majority of senior Pentagon, Congressional, and defense industry leaders adamantly supporting the status quo, urging that the U.S. continue to stay the course and have our tax dollars and military invested in the Middle East indefinitely.
Petraeus began promoting his work with a speech tour, which included Harvard University, describing his Iraq experiences. Harvard is where Petraeus first met Paula Broadwell while she was a graduate student at Harvard University, a U.S. Army reserve officer, a wife, and a mother of two children. The two would later develop a prolonged extramarital affair as Petraeus valued Broadwell’s offer to write a biography, peculiarly titled, “All In: The Education of General David Petraeus.”
Petraeus retired from the Army in July 2011 swiftly accepting an appointment as the Director of the CIA. He was sworn into office by Vice President Joe Biden on 6 September 2011 with his wife of 37 years, Holly Petraeus, by his side. During his 14 months as the CIA Director, Petraeus became the subject of an FBI criminal investigation. The FBI found that the spy director provided unauthorized releases of large amounts of classified national security information and simultaneously had an extramarital affair with Lieutenant Colonel Paula Broadwell beginning in November 2011. (This was during the time in which Broadwell was completing the fatefully titled “All-In” biography on Petraeus.) The FBI investigation uncovered that both Petraeus and Broadwell attempted to avoid the discovery of their crimes by using the same Gmail account to relay messages by leaving draft messages to each other and making calls on burner phones.
The FBI investigation discovered Broadwell’s personal computer to contain over 300 occurrences of classified information. In the fall of 2012, Petraeus denied to FBI investigators having shared classified information with anyone and signed a form upon his resignation from the CIA confirming he had no classified material. Later the FBI seized eight volumes of classified national security information from his home. Petraeus pled guilty to misdemeanor offenses of compromising national security information in a plea bargain, thus avoiding a public trial.
After Petraeus pled guilty to his crimes, he assumed teaching positions with the City University of New York, Harvard University, Yale University, continued to advise the White House, attained board membership at both Optiv, and OneStream, and became partner and Chairman of KKR Global Institute.
In 2005, while then-Lieutenant General James Mattis (call-signs “Chaos” and “Mad-Dog”) commanded the Marine Corps’ Combat Development Command, he began to jointly develop the COIN manual with Petraeus. The COIN or as it was later termed “Petraeus doctrine” focused on winning the “hearts and minds of the population” by employing actions on the battlefield, as Mattis stated, of, “First do no harm.”
On 1 Feb 2005, Chaos attended the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association forum held at the San Diego convention center where he made racist comments, contradictory of his COIN doctrine’s “hearts and minds… first do no harm,” to 200 attendees including San Diego’s KNSD television reporters. He stated, “Actually, it’s a lot of fun to fight, you know. It’s a hell of a hoot. It’s fun to shoot some people. I’ll be right upfront with you, I like brawling. You go into Afghanistan, you’ve got guys who slapped women around for five years because they didn’t wear a veil. You know, guys like that ain’t got no manhood left anyway. So it’s a hell of a lot of fun to shoot them.” There has never been any evidence substantiating Mad-Dog ever shooting anyone or brawling as his tough talk proclaimed.
Nevertheless, on 4 March 2007, 13 months after Mattis’s macho statements the first-ever Marine Special Operations Task Force was brutally ambushed by the Taliban employing a suicide car-bomber, snipers, and multiple echelons of jihadists firing automatic weapons at close range. The Marines, as Mad-Dog would have undoubtedly expected from his previous press statement in San Diego, quickly counter-attacked and destroyed the Taliban, immediately reported the incident to the command center from the ambush site in less than 10 seconds, returned to their base, and treated their one casualty. Only 20 minutes after the ambush, the international press reported that the Marines killed innocent, unarmed Afghan civilians including women, children, and elderly. The Taliban-controlled village from where the ambush was launched along the Afghan-Pakistan border immediately coordinated large scale riots. The rioters pressured the Afghan Provincial Governor Sharzai and the Afghan President Hamid Karzai to take swift action that led a U.S. Army general to expel the entire Marine Special Operations Task Force only one day after his own appointed U.S. military investigator began his investigation. By that point, the investigator had questioned only 10 US Marines and no Afghans.
After the Marines were expelled, the U.S. preliminary investigation continued for three more weeks. It ultimately led to the matter being referred to the U.S. Marine Corps’ jurisdiction. Mad-Dog Mattis was appointed as the military Convening Authority to determine through a criminal investigation if the allegations of homicide were legitimate. Chaos’s investigators uncovered, through interviews and sworn statements from the Marines on the patrol, that the Marines were ambushed by a suicide car-bomber at point-blank range and were attacked by multiple jihadists, on which the Marines returned fire and killed. The Marine Special Operations Task Force commander, who was also on the patrol, provided a polygraph confirming that the Marines were ambushed starting at 9:03 am on an open road where they remained for five minutes before moving from the ambush site and that he did not observe any civilians killed that morning. His statement corroborated the same comments of all the other 29 personnel from the patrol.
After the receipt of the exculpatory polygraph and unanimous testimonies of the patrol’s Marines, Chaos decided to commission 45 criminal investigators and a team of four prosecuting attorneys who aggressively conducted illegal interrogations of U.S. Marines. One interrogation threatened to unlawfully deport one Marine’s mother to Mexico if an NCIS prepared false statement, which would incriminate seven accused Marines of homicide, was not signed.
Regrettably, the Marine was coerced into signing NCIS’s statement. He later admitted, during the trial, that the NCIS statement was a false statement that he signed under duress during this Gestapo style interrogation, (see ABC video at 4:30 mark). Mad-Dog’s torment, created from unprecedented dogpiling of seven criminal investigators and prosecuting attorneys per one Marine, caused permanent damage to the seven Marines’ health, families, and careers. Meanwhile, Mattis obeyed the direction of his superiors which accelerated the approval for his fourth star and transfer of assignment just prior to the tricky trial. The seven Marines who were falsely accused of killing 19 Afghan civilians endured a three-week-long trial.
The verdict came an unprecedented four months later. It was sent only to one media source at the Associated Press on a Friday evening at the start of a four-day military weekend over Memorial Day. Chaos’s successor, as the convening authority for the case, clouded the verdict by not using any legal terms of “innocent” or “not guilty” to clarify the case. Instead, the ambiguous phrase of, “the Marines acted appropriately” led to eight years of multiple media reports claiming that the Marines got away with murder. This led to many international courts and organizations to demand that the Marines be retried.
In 2013, while Chaos served as the Commander of the U.S. Central Command (all U.S. forces assigned to the Middle East), he took the opportunity to develop a long-term relationship with Elizabeth Holmes, a 29-year-old, Stanford University dropout. Holmes was the founder and CEO of Theranos, a Silicon Valley biotech startup, and America’s youngest self-made female billionaire. As time showed, Holmes exploited Chaos’s willingness in order to falsely claim Theranos’s ability to swiftly conduct blood tests on U.S. troops on the battlefield in Afghanistan. Chaos showed favor towards Holmes and while serving as an active-duty four-star general Mad-Dog distorted the truth saying that his efforts were “legal” and forcefully attempted to coerce Pentagon officials to adopt Holmes’s blood-testing technology prior to it gaining FDA approval — which it later failed to get.
“How do we overcome this new obstacle? I have tried to get this device tested in theater asap, legally and ethically…this appears to be relatively straight-forward yet we’re a year into this and not yet deployed.” — Gen. Mattis email to the Pentagon while serving on active duty as the CENTCOM Commander.
Worse yet, Chaos was cautioned by his military legal representative, before his retirement from the Marines, against immediately accepting a board membership with Theranos in 2013. Mad-Dog ignored his attorney’s recommendation to wait out the “cool-off” period for senior military leaders. He immediately accepted Holmes’s board position. Mad-Dog continued to perpetuate Theranos’s false technology by stating to the Washington Post in December 2015 that he, “had quickly seen tremendous potential in the technologies Theranos develops, and I have the greatest respect for the company’s mission and integrity.”
In late 2015, Federal regulators began investigating Theranos over suspicions of the validity of the company’s testing and for misleading investors. Regulators found that Theranos falsely claimed its technology was used, “on the battlefield in Afghanistan.” As regulators began investigating, Theranos’s investors retreated and Theranos quickly cut its staff by 40 percent. Although he was never Airborne qualified, Mattis’s timing for his “golden parachute” escape from the charring Theranos was impeccable. On 1 December 2016 Mad-Dog accepted an appointment to become the Secretary of Defense.
Mattis, like Petraeus, never demonstrated the moral courage to speak out while in uniform regarding his strong opposition to the war in Iraq; Mad-Dog’s own book, “Callsign Chaos” describes how he vehemently opposed the war in Iraq. Immediately after military retirement, Mattis was also a board member for a large defense firm, General Dynamics, where he persuasively advocated in the beltway for increasing defense spending in the Middle East.
Chaos battled President Trump for two years while serving as the Secretary of Defense, urging Trump to remain completely invested in the Middle East indefinitely. This became a pivotal issue leading Mattis to quit and later be fired by the President. Mattis wasted no time in returning again to other high paying defense industry board memberships and positions advising, teaching and lobbying for General Dynamics, the Hoover Institute, and becoming an advisor to the United Arab Emirates. Mad-Dog continues to influence power brokers in the beltway to heavily increase U.S. defense forces and big-ticket programs in the Middle-East.
As in 2005-2006, both Petraeus and Mattis recently coordinated their efforts by writing judgmental articles of the Trump Administration that were published in The Atlantic in June 2020. Contrary to their own Counterinsurgency strategy, their most recent editorials promote sedition from their self-promoting perspectives as inerrant and selfless military experts. Petraeus and Mattis, who both remain unrepentant to the American people for their unethical actions, argue that their enlightened positions are inclusive and oppose divisiveness — except that their personal and public history proves otherwise.
Petraeus argues that his prior ignorance while training or visiting seven U.S. Army bases named after Confederate leaders is not an excuse for tolerating bases named after racists. He does not acknowledge his lack of courage or integrity over these “systemic racist” Army programs which provided his ill-gotten gain over 37 years. He continues to also further identify such problems as Fort Benning’s location being on “former Native American territory that became the site of a plantation,” without putting any skin in the game in the form of providing any resolutions: For example, giving the bases’ land back to Native Americans, selling the military equipment for reparations to former slaves. or offering his entire military retirement salary to immediate family members of indentured servants all of whom were exploited throughout American history and provided him with his woke unwarranted privileges. No. Rather, with just approximately 150 days before the upcoming Presidential election, Petraeus and Mattis acting as 21st century Che Guevaras piously describe America and our President as racist, evil and deranged, while they and their views are selfless, sound, and virtuous.
Mad-Dog’s Atlantic editorial falsely re-writes American military history through stating,
“When I joined the military, some 50 years ago, I swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution. Never did I dream that troops taking that same oath would be ordered under any circumstance to violate the Constitutional rights of their fellow citizens—much less to provide a bizarre photo op for the elected commander-in-chief, with military leadership standing alongside.”
Mattis’s repetitive and self-promoting wisdom, which comes from his 7,000 volume library — something that is overstated in the media who genuflect to their beloved “Saint James Mattis” — overlooked the 1st Marine Division as two of its ground combat battalions were deployed to Los Angeles in 1992 during the riots. They provided active-duty Marines who effectively protected American lives and property without Chaos’s contempt or protest. Just like Petraeus, Mattis never demonstrated courage or integrity while in uniform by protesting any, “violation of the Constitutional rights of their fellow citizens.” It is clear to see the conflict of interest in Chaos’s public revolt against the President who opposes endless funding of defense programs that Mattis aggressively advocates for the Middle East forever wars. After all, his financiers at General Dynamic lavishly reward him for it.
Chaos’s contempt of a “bizarre photo op for the elected commander-in-chief, with military leadership standing alongside,” is akin to the false propaganda he peddled to the Pentagon as a board member at Theranos. In 2016-2018, Secretary of Defense Mattis approved multiple security operations using U.S. Armed Forces to support the President of the United States. Chaos’s predecessor, Secretary Ash Carter, did the same for President Obama with his employment of U.S. Navy SEALs on state roads and waters during his multiple vacations to Hawaii and across the Nation. These precedents run contrary to the historical facts undoubtedly known by the so-called “Warrior Monk” and his 7,000 book library.
Mattis’s analogy below of America’s current state being compared to the Nazi regime more accurately depict his own corrupt actions as a military leader with nearly unlimited power who allowed Gestapo tactics of “Divide and Conquer” in an effort to illegally imprison his own innocent Marines and deport their families for fighting the Taliban after being severely attacked.
The words “Equal Justice Under Law” are carved in the pediment of the United States Supreme Court… “The Nazi slogan for destroying us… was ‘Divide and Conquer.’ Our American answer is ‘In Union there is Strength.'”
The late Congressman Walter Jones sponsored House Resolution 21 (H.Res. 21) on 3 Jan 2017 during the 115th Congress urging the Commandant of the Marine Corps to bring “equal justice” to his Marines by publicly stating that the Marine Special Operators were not at fault for the 4 March 2007 ambush in Afghanistan. A second initiative requesting the Marine Special Operators who were falsely accused be awarded the Marine Special Operator Insignia was also submitted to the Pentagon. These matters were under Mad-Dog’s immediate control while serving as the Secretary of Defense in 2017-2018. He had a two-year opportunity to demonstrate his courage by rectifying his errors of approving illegal interrogations in his attempt to imprison his own innocent Marines. Mattis’s newly found courageous public comments could, as he stated, “unite” by bringing these heroes out of the shadows and back into the folds of the Corps, but his inaction shunned his own Marines.
These facts above are to caution all Americans of senior military leaders whose self-serving actions contradict their carefully coordinated righteous words. These retired senior military leaders are dutifully obeying their defense industry financiers by coordinating a seditious revolution and re-manufacturing history. Their true agenda, which they are being paid to peddle, is an overthrow of the government and its replacement with more willing leaders who will double-down on their endless failed Middle East military escapades.