Part Twenty-Two

Part Twenty-Two

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

The Unconventional Warrior

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

Part 22a

Challenge for the Media – Truth When it Hurts

March 17, 2003

For years I considered individuals in the news gathering business and their respective editors, managers or employers to be either politically motivated, negligent or cowardly when refusing to deal with some of the more potentially explosive subjects that I have, at one time or another, brought to their attention. Though I now assume some of what I had thought to be true was, in fact, true, I have slowly but surely come to realize that certain powerful interests in our government or corporate entities who owe their profitability or very existence to agencies or departments within our government and who might suffer greatly in one way or another from exposure to a given story have and will take whatever action was and is yet considered necessary to assure its demise. Insistence on publishing, airing or otherwise disseminating the wrong story could be damaging or even deadly to that person or organization that persisted in bringing a specific story into the public domain.

The late Colonel L. Fletcher Prouty was a man whom I admired and could trust to tell me the truth of what went on in the Pentagon in the early 1960s, a time period that saw me involved in a number of covert operations in Europe and in the USA that fell within his overview as Chief of the Special Operations Office with the office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. I had a number of telephone conversations with Fletch and we wrote back and forth from 1995 through 1997 as I was putting together corroboration for a series of books I have committed to write, one of which will be published this Spring (Expendable Elite – One Soldier’s Journey Into Covert Warfare) and one of the major items we discussed was the manipulation of the press. He and I both had provided information critical of our government to many members of the press, TV news, radio commentators and periodical editors with little or no success in so much as gaining any strong interest in what we had reported to them. We both agreed some of the information should have rated intense interest and an inter-media scramble to gain first exposure coverage in the national media.

Jim Marrs, in his book, Rule by Secrecy (©2000 by Harper Collins), tells us: “Writing in 1973, Prouty said the United States is run by a ‘Secret Team,’ an ‘inner sanctum of a new religious order’, answerable only to themselves. ‘The power of the Team derives from its vast intra-governmental undercover infrastructure and its direct relationship with great private industries, mutual funds and investment houses, universities, and the news media, including foreign and domestic publishing houses’ (emphasis mine).”

Some 29 years later, in the book, Into The Buzzsaw – Leading Journalists Expose the Myth of a FREE PRESS (©2002 by Prometheus Books), John Kelly, former editor and senior reporter for the National Reporter, a publication specializing in reporting on the CIA, writes that crimes of terrorism, assassination, torture and systematic violations of human rights as being “part and parcel of deliberate CIA policy (the staff report notes that CIA personnel are ‘directed’ to commit crimes).” He points out rather vividly the fact that the CIA itself intimidates even those who many consider courageous, experienced and trustworthy journalists who would stand their ground for the truth (with Peter Jennings a specific example) assuring that their evil ways are protected from public exposure and judgment.

Just yesterday I received information that Ms Kate Adie, an independent journalist and veteran BBC war correspondent, in an interview with Irish radio, reported that “the Pentagon has threatened to fire on the satellite uplink positions of independent journalists in Iraq.” Ms Adie went on to say that the Pentagon attitude was “entirely hostile to the free spread of information.” And I heard (on the 13 March 2003 NPR Diane Rehm show) that the Defense Department is taking selected reporters to the war zone with their military units. Each is provided a military escort, a tight rein is established on their movement and a review authority is imposed on all reports they submit for publication, airing or viewing.

Having experienced the refusal of government agencies, once warned, to take appropriate action to safeguard this nation from terrorists obtaining and having available to them our potentially most destructive man-portable weapon – the SADM device (Special Atomic Demolition Munition) I am now more concerned than ever.

If the reader would go back to Part 6 (Blow the ASWAN High Dam) of this series he or she will have an appreciation for the weapon I am discussing, my involvement with it and why it poses a real danger in the hands of terrorists. The terrorists’ attacks of September 11th prompted me to provide our New York State Police information on the SADM and some “how to” on suspension bridge construction.

Learning from the State Police that they had received no instruction on what to do regarding the SADM devices and advising me that they were waiting for instructions Governor Ridge’s Homeland Security office, I wrote Governor Ridge:

  October 2001
TS: 
TRO11028
TO: Governor Tom Ridge, Homeland Security VIA FAX
202-456-2461
C/o THE WHITE HOUSE Please forward to Governor Ridge's Office
Dear Sir,
The following was sent to the New York State Police Syracuse Office on 15 October 2001 and I thought I should send the information to your office for application on a nationwide basis. I failed in my attempt to get your FAX number thus I send it through the White House fax facility.
I was involved in a considerable amount of training at the Special Warfare Center at Fort Bragg in 1964 and have been involved in a few assignments that had to do with the type of actions a terrorist may consider In this time of terror attacks on our own soil.
I enclose my bio just for some background information and a copy of page 304 of JCS Pub 1 dated September 1974 as it contains the definition of the SADM (Special Atomic Demolition Munition).
The first item of concern is the SADM as it is a powerful man-portable atomic device that could be used to destroy or disable power stations, particularly those that are a part of a hydroelectric power generating capability which would, if blown - not only destroy a power source, but contaminate the water that was the source of power, carrying potential deadly and/or injury/sickness laden water (from radiation) down-river, which would then affect tens of thousands of people. When I was in the 6th Special Forces Group at Fort Bragg in 1964 I volunteered to head one of three eight-man teams that had contingency missions with the SADM. My primary mission at the time was the power distribution facility of the ASWAN High Dam in Egypt. The dam was under construction by the Soviet Union at the time with the assistance of a US construction company out of Boston, Mass. At that time the SADM devices were stored at Seneca Army Depot (now closed, as you know). The bomb itself weighed about 95 lbs and the trigger device about 35 lbs. If there are any of those devices still in our inventory, the storage areas should be (and I feel certain already are) under close surveillance and high security.
Second; I believe that suspension bridges, such as the Brooklyn Bridge, are particularly vulnerable to attack and would be the kind of target that would have a great impact on not only the thousands of people who may be on it at the time, but disrupt a great deal of traffic capability. I recall being told in a special demolition course that it would be best to blow only one end of one suspension group of cables immediately adjacent to the concrete abutments. When severed, the cable would allow the bridge to twist and turn as it fell, causing real havoc.
If you would like any other thoughts that come in mind from my previous training or experience, just let me know by FAX and give me your fax number.
Signed, Daniel Marvin
 

By the end of the week, having heard nothing from his office, I wrote a second letter to follow-up:

  2 November 2001
TS: TR01 1102
TO: Governor Tom Ridge, Homeland Security VIA FAX
202-456-2461
C/o THE WHITE HOUSE Please forward to Governor
Ridge's Office
Dear Governor Ridge,
Reference is made to my fax dated 28 October 2001 that I sent to you via The White House Fax 0 as shown above.
Inasmuch as this fax concerned extremely dangerous subjects of interest during this terrorist attack sensitive time, I would like to know if you received it. And, I would like to know the proper fax number, telephone number and address for your office should I think of something else that may be of interest to Homeland Security
My 28 Oct 01 fax referred to my 15 October 2001 fax to the New York State Police, telling of my being involved in a considerable amount of training at the Special Warfare Center at Fort Bragg in 1964 and my being involved in a few assignments that-had to do with the type of actions a terrorist may consider in this time of terror attacks on our own soil. I went on to discuss the need to locate and safeguard all stocks of man-portable Special Atomic Demolition Munition and to indicate the potential danger to Suspension Bridges to attack by terrorists.
I know your office is most active and I do not expect a formal response should you feel that merely penning the answers to my questions hereon and returning same by fax is sufficient for your office management criteria.
Most Sincerely,
signed Daniel Marvin
 

After hearing nothing of significance from any government office, on 2 November 2001 I copied the same information on the SADM device to Brit Hume at FOX Broadcasting company via fax # 248-557-1199, to Christopher Porterfield, Time Magazine via fax # 212-522-8949, and on 2 November 2001 to Diane Rehm of NPR via fax # 202-513-3329.

[Edited by Jeanne Calabretta]

Next, on 31 March 2003, Part 22b (Conclusion) Challenge for the Media – Truth When it Hurts