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This true story of a Special Forces officer in Vietnam in the mid-sixties will acquaint you with the unique nature of Special Operations Forces and how covert operations are developed and often masked to permit — even sponsor — assassination, outright purposeful killing of innocents, illegal use of force and bizzare methods in combat operations.

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The Unconventional Warrior
by LTC Daniel Marvin, USASF (ret)

The Unconventional Warrior

        by LTC Daniel Marvin, USASF (ret)
© 2003 Daniel Marvin

Part 21b

A Need for Courage at Home and on the Hill (cont.)

March 3, 2003

In part 16 of this series I discussed the illegal shipment of off-the-books US weapons by US Army Special Forces personnel in Vietnam through Thailand and on via the international mail system, using illegally processed customs declaration forms, to the Detroit, Michigan area. I wrote of the promised testimony I had been assured of by my subordinate officers and NCOs (those who had been directly involved in the entire process of receiving, storing, packaging, inspecting and shipping unaccounted for weapons) that would support my request for an investigation and how that same testimony was subverted by the commanding officer. Actual corroboration of my accusations was initially forthcoming from those same personnel during investigative interviews, as noted and documented in properly authenticated agent reports prepared on DA Form 341 within the final report of the US Army Intelligence Center. However, the Military Intelligence investigators were later refused signatures to support that same testimony when asked to sign sworn witness statements prepared on DA Form 2823 for inclusion in that final report. When first questioned, they told the truth as was noted in the individual investigators reports, but when confronted with actual documentation to attest to those facts by their signature, they modified their testimony to an actual denial of any knowledge of actual suspected wrongdoing. It is assumed that potential repercussions to their military career if they should tell the truth about that matter, made known to them by the commanding officer, LTC Bartelt, led to that change. Colonel Franklin J. Bithos, ACofS G-2, US Army Support Command, Thailand, in his 12 Oct 68 1st indorsement covering a total of 16 Military Intelligence Agent Reports relating to this investigation, advised the US Army’s Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence, via his Criminal Investigation Division: “During this investigation it became evident that LTC Robert Bartelt, Commanding Officer, 46th SFC has exerted influence over the personnel interviewed. This was reflected in their hesitancy in answering questions concerning the activities of the 46th SFC.”

Interestingly enough, during William E. Pepper’s investigation of the circumstances surrounding the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. he found that all Special Forces, intelligence and other supporting military units involved in activities related to Dr. King had been controlled by the Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence, including their infiltration of black militant organizations by government “plants.”

Also of interest is the fact that a memo for record dated 10 February 1968, prepared by the US Army Intelligence Center, Fort Holabird, Maryland’s P&A Division, stated clearly “Though this is normally a Provost Marshal General investigative function, Military Intelligence was directed to conduct the investigation.” Why, I ask? Was it to maintain control of any revelations relating to a piece of the organizational entity that was involved in the monitoring of Dr. King’s movements, the management of the local situation in Memphis the day he was killed, his actual assassination and (pertinent here I believe) the cover up of government involvement, all of which from what I’ve read, was directed by the Army’s Chief of Staff for Intelligence (General Yarborough). In effect, the suspected perpetrators were investigating themselves and thereby keeping it out of the NORMAL investigative channels while ensuring the end result.

After learning of alleged Special Forces involvement in the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (See Part 17 of this series) I mailed a copy of the investigation report of the gun-running activity (which I had effectively stopped from continuing) to the King family attorney (William E. Pepper) for use in the trail held in Memphis that found the government guilty of complicity in the death of Martin Luther King Jr. You be the judge of what happened: who told the truth and what needs to be done to correct what is possible when unbridled power is given to those who command men, money and weapons, writing the rules as they go and maintaining the covert nature to avoid what they feel is even the remote possibility of detection. It is a sad state of affairs in this once great nation of ours, when our elected representatives, from the White House through Congress, would rather not involve themselves in investigations that target any person or office within the highest reaches of government.

In his May-June 2000 PROBE (published by the Citizens for Truth about the Kennedy Assassination – CTKA) article, The Martin Luther King Conspiracy Exposed in Memphis, Jim Douglas, who attended from beginning to end the December 1999 wrongful death lawsuit brought by the King Family (only Memphis TV reporter Wendell Stacy stuck it out with Jim) wrote, “Almost 32 years after King’s murder at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis on April 4, 1968, a court extended the circle of responsibility for the assassination beyond the late scapegoat James Earl Ray to the United States Government.”

Jim Douglas goes on in that same article to quote Dr. King’s son Dexter, who after the trial said, “It is so amazing to me that as soon as this issue of potential involvement of the federal government came up, all of a sudden the media just went totally negative against the family. I couldn’t understand that. I kept asking my mother, ‘What is going on?’ She reminded me. She said, ‘Dexter, your dad and I have lived through this once already. You have to understand that when you take a stand against the establishment, first, you will be attacked. There is an attempt to discredit. Second, [an attempt] to try to character-assassinate. And third, ultimately physical termination or assassination.’”

Sadly, Jim Douglas wrote later, “The Justice Department’s June 9 report on its 21 month investigation into new evidence implicating the U.S. Government in the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. has concluded that none of the witnesses are credible and that James Earl Ray was the lone assassin. “However,” Jim continued, “as the King family has asked, is the government capable of investigating itself in King’s murder?”

Once I’d considered all the evidence, particularly the information provided William E. Pepper by two other Green Berets now in hiding in South America under assumed identity, I thought I’d test the Congressional waters for honest action. My neighbor, who happened to have marched with Dr. King, lent me the book Walking With the Wind – A Memoir of the Movement, written by Congressman John Lewis, a man who had also marched with Dr. King. After reviewing the content of the book I wrote Congressman Lewis in March 2001, asking that he help to put together a coalition to demand a reopening of the investigation into the murder of Dr. King, telling him that I would be pleased to appear before Congress and tell what I know of covert assassination missions. After not hearing from him in the Spring of 2001 I called his office at 343 Cannon House Office Building and spoke to a “senior aide.” She informed me that Congressman Lewis’ message was that he was “more interested in helping to chart the future than in revisiting the past.”

If the reader would go back to Part 6 of this series he or she will note that such a powerfully dangerous weapon as a man-portable atomic bomb, on which I was trained and led a team of Green Berets, with one of our contingency missions being to, on order, blow the hydroelectric plant at the under-construction ASWAN High Dam in Egypt. You will note that shortly after the September 11th terrorist strike I notified the White House and Governor Tom Ridge’s Homeland Security office of the danger these weapons could pose in the hands of terrorists and suggested that they be maintained under strict security measures. After not hearing from either the White House or The Homeland Security Office I wrote Senators, Congressmen, and the New York State Police. The ONLY response I received was from the New York State Police which advised they were waiting instructions from Albany or Homeland Security. That was the 29th day of October 2001.

Does this nation yet maintain the man-portable SADM atomic munitions, and if it does, is it not important to safeguard these weapons to keep them from getting into the hands of terrorists? You know how I feel. If you feel the same, reread Part 6 and then call or write your congressman or senator and demand an answer.

[Edited by Jeanne Calabretta]

Next, on 17-Mar-03, Part 22: Challenge for the Media — Truth When it Hurts

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