Showing posts with label Armed Forces. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Armed Forces. Show all posts

November 16, 2018

Murder Charges For Navy Seal and Marine Raiders


Staff Sgt. Logan Melgar was killed last year in Bamako, Mali.
The Navy will move forward with murder charges against four elite service members who are accused of strangling a Special Forces soldier in Mali last year, U.S. military officials said Thursday.
Two Navy SEALs and two Marine Raiders face charges that include felony murder, involuntary manslaughter, conspiracy, obstruction of justice, hazing and burglary, according to U.S. military documents. They are accused in the June 2017 death of Army Staff Sgt. Logan Melgar, a member of 3rd Special Forces Group.
Military investigators said in charge sheets released Thursday that the accused service members broke into Melgar’s private bedroom in Bamako, Mali’s capital, while he was sleeping, with intent to assault and bound him with duct tape. Then one of the service members put Melgar in a chokehold that was “inherently dangerous to another and evinced wanton disregard for human life,” the charge sheets said. 
The charges, first reported Thursday by the Daily Beast, had been expected for some time in the close-knit Special Operations world, which was rocked by the death. The Navy moved forward Wednesday and has scheduled a preliminary hearing for the four service members Dec. 10 in Norfolk A one-star Navy officer, Rear Adm. Charles W. Rock, has been appointed by the Navy to oversee the proceedings.
A spokesman for U.S. Special Operations Command, Navy Capt. Jason Salata, said in a statement that if substantiated, the allegations would represent “a violation of the trust and standards required by all service members.” The military trusts all of its members to safeguard U.S. interests and to do so with honor, he said.
“We will not allow allegations or substantiated incidents of misconduct to erode decades of honorable accomplishments by the members of U.S. Special Operations Command,” Salata said. “Ours is a culture of professionalism and accountability, which prides itself in being a learning organization that uses critical self-examination in a relentless dedication to improvement.” 
The names of the accused service members were redacted from the charge sheets released Thursday, but they are identified by rank as a Marine staff sergeant, a Marine gunnery sergeant and two Navy petty officers.
Melgar’s death was kept secret by the U.S. military for months as the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and other federal officials began probing what happened. It was first reported in October 2017 by the New York Times. A native of Lubbock, Tex., Melgar had served two previous deployments in Afghanistan.
The accused service members wanted to confront Melgar after he was invited to a party at the U.S. Embassy in Mali and they were not, the Daily Beast reported Thursday, citing people familiar with the case. There allegedly was an ongoing disagreement between Melgar and the others in part because some of them had solicited prostitutes in the past and brought them back to the military’s safe house in Bamako, the Daily Beast reported.
The case marks the latest black eye for the Navy SEALs, who have been faced with a series of allegations involving war crimes. On Wednesday, the Navy began a hearing in San Diego for another SEAL, Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher, who is accused of stabbing to death an unarmed Islamic State fighter in the Iraqi city of Mosul.

July 6, 2017

Sex Abuse Cover Up "Take it Like a Man"


Just a note to dispel a few myths: Men that violate other men see themselves straight and are usually Homophobic (unreasonable fear of being gay). The main factor in any kind of rape is not sex but power. These men get off on power and dominance of another man. Usually, they would have no problem with doing the same to a woman. Adam


Tony as a cadet
Image captionTony's parents were pressured not to approach the police by Sea Cadet officers

BBC Panorama has uncovered evidence of repeated cover-ups of historical sex abuse in Britain's cadet forces.
Victims have spoken for the first time of senior cadet leaders covering up complaints, and pressurising families against going to the police. 
Overseen by the Ministry of Defence, the cadets is one of the UK's largest youth bodies with 130,000 members.
The MoD has paid more than £2m to cadet abuse victims, and says it has "robust procedures in place to protect cadets".
According to Freedom of Information requests, in the last five years 363 sexual abuse allegations - both historical and current - have been made across the UK for the Army, Air and Sea Cadets. 
  • Cadet abuse 'hidden in full sight'
Some 282 cases have been referred to the police and 99 volunteers have been dismissed. 
Panorama's seven-month investigation focused chiefly on uncovering a pattern of historical abuse - conducted by a number of different cadet leaders - in Glasgow, Birmingham and Hertfordshire.

'Take it like a man' Martin was 12 when he was "systematically abused and raped repeatedly over many years" by his commanding officer Brian Leonard, at Tennal Grange cadet base in Birmingham.

He told Panorama: "You are trained to follow orders and you are trained to respect the officers and do as they tell you. 
"That includes having to lie on the floor on a dirty blanket and just lie there and... take it like a man."
Panorama has spoken to 10 men who were abused by Leonard in the 1980s.


Brian Leonard
Image captionMartin's Commanding Officer Brian Leonard (right) died in 1996, having never faced justice.

Martin says: "The thing was it was so blatantly obvious, it was almost as if it was hidden in full sight."
A girlfriend of one of the victims (who has chosen to remain anonymous) threatened to report Leonard to the police in 1987, but cadet officers pressured her to keep quiet.
The sergeant said he would take a statement from her, but warned her not to approach the police. No investigation into Leonard was ever carried out.
Leonard died in 1996, having never faced justice.

Parents pressured 



Tony (still)
Image captionTony's attacker was not suspended, he was promoted and moved to another division

Tony was 14 when he joined Cheshunt Sea Cadets, in Hertfordshire, in 1979. 
He said he woke to find his commanding officer Alan Waters at his bedside while he was on a weekend trip away.
Tony told Panorama: "I looked down and I was exposed… There was no doubt in my mind that he was touching me, no doubt in my mind whatsoever." 
Terrified of returning, he told his parents - whose complaints were met with a home visit from two Sea Cadet officers, in full uniform. 
Tony's parents were dissuaded from approaching the police by the officers and in return for not taking matters further, they were promised that Waters would be moved from looking after children. 


Alan Waters
Image captionAlan Waters held a title in a naval veterans' organisation until March this year

But Panorama has discovered that he was not dismissed or even suspended - he was, in fact, promoted and moved to a division in North London where he was in charge of 10 Sea Cadet units.
What's more, concerns by other members of the corps after this appointment were dismissed by the very top - the Captain of the Sea Cadets - who said the allegations were "thoroughly investigated" and "not proved". 
Waters was later convicted for separate child abuse offences in India in 2006 and placed on the Sex Offenders Register.
Panorama has found out that despite this, until March 2017 he held a title in a naval veterans' organisation - as honorary secretary of HMS President Retired Officers Association. 

'Stuck in my mind'



Joe
Image captionJoe was plied with alcohol and assaulted at his commanding officer's flat

Joe joined the Glasgow Highlanders Army Cadets in 1988 when he was 11. His Commanding Officer, John Fitzpatrick, would invite cadets to his flat, ply them with alcohol and sit them in front of pornographic films before bedtime.
Joe told Panorama: "I mean real hardcore stuff that I've never seen since I was in that guy's company…
"Images that have stuck in my mind to this day... if anybody had put images like that near my kids, I'd want to kill them."
On four occasions, Joe woke up to find Fitzpatrick sexually assaulting him. 


Fitzpatrick then and now
Image captionFitzpatrick (left in the 1980s, right in 2016) was sentenced to two years in prison last year

Panorama has discovered that before Joe was abused, another cadet instructor - Gordon - had received complaints that Fitzpatrick had sexually assaulted another boy.
There were two young witnesses. Gordon went straight to the police, but instead of being congratulated his boss was furious.
Gordon told Panorama the boy's parents defied pressure from senior cadet figures and told the police.
The case went to trial - but Fitzpatrick was found "not proven". He was welcomed back into the cadets - taking up the position of CO again.
However, last year, Fitzpatrick was charged with lewd and libidinous behaviour against Joe and three other boys. This time the case was proven and he was sentenced to two years in prison.


Allegations of sexual abuse in the cadets

The Birmingham case was one of the first cadet cases taken on by David McClenaghan, a child abuse solicitor from law firm BBK.
He told Panorama: "I have absolutely no doubt that the abuse in the cadets will mirror the other scandals like the Jimmy Savile case, like the abuse in the scouts, like abuse in the Catholic church."
The National Association for People Abused in Childhood (Napac) says no sphere of society is immune.
But Napac's chief executive Gabrielle Shaw said the figures obtained by Panorama indicated that people were now more confident about coming forward to report abuse.
She added: "The onus is now on institutions such as the armed forces to deal fully and promptly with reported allegations."
The MoD told Panorama that today all adults who work with children undergo mandatory security and background checks, rigorous disclosure procedures and regular safeguard training. 
A spokesman said: "We encourage anyone who has been a victim or knows someone who has to report it to the police."
The Marine Society and Sea Cadets (MSSC) apologised unreservedly for any hurt in regard to the case of Alan Waters and said what had happened was "not reflective of our organisation today".
The MSSC added: "We now have a zero tolerance protocol and a specialist team to enforce our policies and provide support."
For information and support for anyone affected by sexual abuse (current or historic) - including sources of support for children, young people and concerned parents - please see the listings on BBC Action Line.
Contact BBC Panorama - Do you have a story or information about any abuse/cover up related issue within the cadet forces which you want to share with BBC Panorama?
Please email the team at: cadets@bbc.co.uk
Watch BBC Panorama - Cadet Abuse Cover Up on Tuesday 4th July on BBC One at 22:45 BST, and in Northern Ireland at 23:10 BST and 23:45 BST in Scotland and afterwards on BBC iPlayer.

February 27, 2017

Father of Dead Hero Refuses to See Trump Asks for Investigation



Miami Herald obtained this interviewed  with the father of William “Ryan” Owens
 
 A family photo of William ‘Ryan’ Owens, who was killed in Yemen on Jan. 28, 2017. Owens was the first known U.S. combat casualty under President Trump. Courtesy of the Owens family

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/politics-government/article135064074.html#storylink=cpy
  

When they brought William “Ryan” Owens home, the Navy SEAL was carried from a C-17 military plane in a flag-draped casket, onto the tarmac at Dover Air Force Base, as President Donald Trump, his daughter, Ivanka, and Owens’ family paid their respects.

It was a private transfer, as the family had requested. No media and no bystanders, except for some military dignitaries.

Owens’ father, Bill, had learned only a short time before the ceremony that Trump was coming. Owens was sitting with his wife, Marie, and other family members in the solemn, living room-like space where the loved ones of the fallen assemble before they are taken to the flight line.

“I’m sorry, I don’t want to see him,’’ Owens recalled telling the chaplain who informed him that Trump was on his way from Washington. “I told them I don’t want to meet the President.”

It had been little more than 24 hours since six officers in dress uniform knocked on the door to Owens’ home in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea. It was not yet daylight when he answered the door, already knowing in the pit of his stomach what they had come to tell him.
 
Now, Owens cringed at the thought of having to shake the hand of the president who approved the raid in Yemen that claimed his son’s life — an operation that he and others are now calling into question.

“I told them I didn’t want to make a scene about it, but my conscience wouldn’t let me talk to him,” Owens said Friday, speaking out for the first time in an interview with the Miami Herald.

Owens, also a military veteran, was troubled by Trump’s harsh treatment of a Gold Star family during his presidential campaign. Now Owens was a Gold Star parent, and he said he had deep reservations about the way the decision was made to launch what would be his son’s last mission.

Ryan and as many as 29 civilians were killed Jan. 28 in the anti-terrorism mission in Yemen. What was intended as a lightning raid to grab cellphones, laptops and other information about terrorists turned into a nearly hour-long firefight in which “everything went wrong,” according to U.S. military officials who spoke to the New York Times.

Bill Owens said he was assured that his son, who was shot, was killed early in the fight. It was the first military counter-terrorist operation approved by the new president, who signed the go-ahead Jan. 26 — six days into his term.

“Why at this time did there have to be this stupid mission when it wasn’t even barely a week into his administration? Why? For two years prior, there were no boots on the ground in Yemen — everything was missiles and drones — because there was not a target worth one American life. Now, all of a sudden we had to make this grand display?’’

In a statement from the White House Saturday, spokesman Michael C. Short called Ryan Owens “an American hero who made the ultimate sacrifice in the service of his country.”

The White House did not address his father’s criticisms, but pointed out that the Department of Defense routinely conducts a review of missions that result in loss of life.

Bill Owens and his wife sat in another room as the President paid his respects to other family members. He declined to say what family members were at the ceremony.

Trump administration officials have called the mission a success, saying they had seized important intelligence information. They have also criticized detractors of the raid, saying those who question its success dishonor Ryan Owens’ memory.

His father, however, believes just the opposite.

“Don’t hide behind my son’s death to prevent an investigation,” said the elder Owens, pointing to Trump’s sharp words directed at the mission’s critics, including Sen. John McCain.

“I want an investigation. … The government owes my son an investigation,” he said. 

Next week, Ryan Owens would have turned 37. At the time of his death, he had already spent half his life in the Navy, much of that with the elite SEAL Team 6 — chasing terrorist leaders across deserts and mountains around the world. The team, formally known as DEVGRU,had taken part in some of the most high-profile operations in military history, including the killing of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.

At the time of the 2001 9/11 attacks, Owens was in SEAL training, arguably the most physically grueling and mentally grinding regimens in the military. The team, tasked with tracking terrorists and mythologized in books and movies, had once been dubbed a “global manhunting machine” by the Times.

Despite the lore surrounding the SEALS’ exploits, almost everything about them is kept secret, even their names. Bill Owens knows very little about the actions that his son participated in, but takes pride in the dozens of awards he earned during his 12 deployments. Among them: the Silver Star, Navy and Marine Corps Medal, a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart.

Ryan joined the Navy after high school, following in his brothers’ footsteps. His brother, John, 42, was also a SEAL, and his oldest brother, Michael, 44, a Hollywood police officer, was also in the Navy for a time.

They in turn were inspired by their father: Bill Owens served four years in the Navy, then joined the Army Reserves in Arlington Heights, Illinois. Ryan was born in downstate Peoria. While in the Reserves, Bill worked for Caterpillar tractor company, until he was laid off during the recession in the 1980s. Shortly thereafter, he saw a notice in a military magazine for new recruits for the Fort Lauderdale Police Department, and he successfully applied.

Owens and his then-wife, Ryan’s mother Patricia, moved with Ryan to South Florida. His elder sons remained with Owens’ first wife in Illinois.

Despite the distance between them, the half-brothers were very close, Owens said. They played sports and spent many summers and holidays together. Ryan and his brothers became interested in the military at a very young age. And Ryan dreamed of becoming a SEAL.

“He was always happy,” Bill Owens said of Ryan. “Every picture you see he has a smile on his face. He just had a real positive attitude.”

He was also driven. Ryan was so determined “to be the best” his father said, that when he failed the dive phase of SEAL training, he went out and hired a private instructor to get more training on his off time, and was initially certified as a civilian.

“He went out on his own and became more proficient. That’s the kind of dedication and determination that he had,” his father said.

Bill Owens’ marriage to Ryan’s mother ended soon after they moved to South Florida, and Patricia, who also became a Fort Lauderdale police officer, eventually moved with Ryan and her new husband back to Peoria. She died in 2013.

Ryan spent summers and holidays with his father and brothers in Fort Lauderdale and played catcher during the school year for the Illinois Valley Central High School baseball team, the Grey Ghosts.

  Ryan dreamed of serving in the military from a very early age, his father says. In this family photo, he is playing soldier with his older brothers. Courtesy of the Owens family
A SEAL’s heartache

Standing 6-4, and weighing about 225 pounds, Ryan loved the physical part of the job and serving his country, even though it took him away from his family much of the year.

“I always kept hoping that we would eventually make up for lost time, but that’s not going to happen,” his father said.

Ryan’s military career wasn’t always filled with the adrenaline of hostage rescue missions and midnight raids. In between, there were endless hours of training and planning.

There was also the heartache of losing his military brothers. Ryan was tasked in 2011 with escorting the bodies of 17 of his fellow SEALS home following a CH-47 helicopter crash in Afghanistan, his father said.

“He came back from Afghanistan and had to go to their funerals. It’s unnerving to go through something like that. It was one of the worst days in SEAL history as far as casualties go. He didn’t talk about it,” his father said. “A lot of them, they don’t talk about it, even with their parents.”

Doomed mission

Owens and his SEAL commandos set out in the dark of night. Planning for the Yemen raid began last year during the Obama administration, but the execution was tabled because it was decided it would be better to launch the operation on a moonless night, which wouldn’t occur until after President Trump took office Jan. 20.

According to a timeline provided by the White House, then-National Security Advisor Michael Flynn briefed the president about the operation Jan. 25 over a dinner that included Vice President Mike Pence, Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and top security aides. It was not held in the Situation Room, as had been a practice under previous administrations.

President Trump signed the memo authorizing the action the next day, Jan. 26.

  The younger Owens served under three presidents and met one of them: Barack Obama. This photo is from a visit to the White House. Courtesy of the Owens family
“This was a very, very well thought-out and executed effort,” White House spokesman Sean Spicer said Feb. 2 as questions first arose about the mission. He stressed that it had been thoroughly vetted and planned on Obama’s watch.

Colin Kahl, a national security adviser to former Vice President Joe Biden, however, tweeted his contention that Spicer was mistaken.

“Obama made no decisions on this before leaving office, believing it represented escalation of U.S. involvement in Yemen,” he wrote on Twitter.

At the time of the firefight, Trump was not in the Situation Room, where he would have been directly involved in monitoring developments. Spicer said he kept in touch with his national security staffers, who were directly plugged in. White House officials also pointed out that, in general, counter-terrorism operations are routine and presidents are not in the Situation Room for every mission.

U.S. forces, targeting a suspected al-Qaida compound, immediately faced armed militants, a sign that their cover had been blown. The Washington Post reported that militants, some of them women, fired from the rooftops. Three other commandos were injured when an MV-22 Osprey, sent in to evacuate the troops, crash-landed. It was later destroyed by a U.S. airstrike to prevent it from falling into militant hands.

Some reports have said as many as 23 civilians, including an 8-year-old girl, were killed.

Afterward, McCain characterized the mission as a failure, and Trump responded with a series of tweets defending the Yemen action, and criticizing McCain. The rancor further escalated when Spicer later stated that McCain — or anyone — who “undermines the success of that raid owes an apology and a disservice to life of Chief Owens.”

There is no SEAL mission that is without risk, said Don Mann, a 21-year veteran Navy SEAL, now retired. Mann, the author of “Inside SEAL Team Six: My Life and Missions with America’s Elite Warriors,” said that if the assault team knew ahead of time that it had been compromised, the SEAL commanders on the ground had the ability to abort the raid at any time.

Some reports said that they did know, and went forward anyway.

“The SEALS, unlike other forces, make their decision on the ground and that decision — in this case — cost a life, which is very very tragic, but that’s war,” Mann said.

“These people are good human beings. It weighs heavily on them. Seeing one person die, especially a teammate or friend, is beyond comprehension.”

He said it’s natural that Owens’ loved ones would have questions about what happened, but they shouldn’t be swayed by the politics surrounding the tragedy.

“Nobody knows the truth of what happened except the person on the ground. When politicians get it, they warp it far from the truth,” he said.

Powerful hands

There were so many SEALS at Ryan’s service at Arlington National Cemetery that his father’s arm got tired from shaking so many muscled hands. At the end, before his coffin was lowered, each of the SEALS removed their badges from their uniforms and pounded them one by one into the casket. When it over, the casket was covered in gold eagle tridents.

Bill Owens doesn’t want to talk about Ryan’s wife or his three young children. There are other things that he believes should remain private. He spoke out, he says, at the risk of offending some of his family and friends.

  William Owens said he had deep reservations about the way the decision was made to launch what would be his son’s last mission.Emily MichotMiami Herald Staff
“I’d like some answers about all the things that happened in the timeline that led up to it. I know what the timeline is, and it bothers me a lot,” said Owens, who acknowledges he didn’t vote for Donald Trump.

One aspect of the chain of events that nags at him is the fact that the president signed the order suspending the entry of immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries, including Yemen, on Jan. 27 — the day before the mission.

Owens wonders whether that affected friendly forces in Yemen who were assisting with the raid.

“It just doesn’t make any sense to do something to antagonize an ally when you’re going to conduct a mission in that country,” he said. “Did we alienate some of the people working with them, translators or support people. Maybe they decided to release information to jeopardize the mission.”

These are only some of the many questions that Owens believes should be thoroughly examined, including the possibility that the decision to move forward with the mission was motivated by politics.

“I think these are valid questions. I don’t want anybody to think I have an agenda, because I don’t. I just want the truth.”

[McClatchy reporters Vera Bergengruen and Anita Kumar contributed from Washington.]


April 12, 2014

Vintage Nudes of WWII Buddies in the Service



                                                                              
 
new book by Scotty Bowers and photographer Michael Stokes, takes a fascinating look at the tight “”buddy”” relationships commanders encouraged their troops to engage in to bolster morale during World War II.
The description to “My Buddy. World War II Laid Bare” details Michael Stokes search for over 400 vintage photos, revealing WWII soldiers and sailors bonding in the buff:
Every harrowing day for a serviceman during World War II was potentially his last. To help bolster troops against the horrors of combat, commanders encouraged them to form tight “”buddy”” relationships for emotional support. Many war buddies, together every moment, and depending on each other to survive, formed intimate friendships.
When they weren’t fighting side by side, they relaxed together, discharging tension in boisterous play—sometimes naked play. The full extent of nude horseplay among men during World War II can’t be known, as cameras were rare and film hard to process, but some men did document this unprecedented male bonding in small, anonymous photos mostly kept hidden away until their deaths.
Los Angeles photographer Michael Stokes has spent years searching out these photos and building an archive of over 400 images. His collection includes soldiers and sailors from England, Germany, Poland, Russia, and the U.S.A., cavorting on the sand in the South Pacific, shivering in the snow of Eastern Europe, posing solo in the barracks, and in great happy groups just about everywhere.
These images show men barely out of boyhood, at their physical peak, responding to the reality of battle by living each day to the fullest—a side of the war never before made public.
Out Magazine adds:
There was a certain amount of what they call grab-ass in the service, which is what you see in these pictures.
“Playing grab-ass,” but only when you’re not in combat. You know, it’s just like a bunch of kids together. These guys were all young in the Marine Corps, 18, 19, 20, and they might play grab-ass when they’re swimming in the ocean or swimming in a river. And someone could possibly take a picture.

[ALL IMAGES COURTESY OF TASCHEN. THE MICHAEL STOKES COLLECTION (SUN BATHERS). THE JIM HEIMANN COLLECTION (SHOWER). THE DIAN HANSON COLLECTION (CLIFF DIVE) via Out.com]

January 26, 2014

Sweetish Marines Do “Grease” in Afghanistan



These Marines are really good. They certainly ready for prime time and I don’t mean in war but in something much more un-killing like.

November 23, 2013

USAF Defend their Action Appointing ex-gay Counselor for the Academy




An email from an athletic trainer at the U.S. Air Force Academy pledging to “talk about Jesus Christ” at work does not reflect Air Force policy, the academy said, but the official will not be disciplined.
“Mr. Allen Willoughby does not speak for the Air Force’s Academy and we absolutely do not tolerate proselytizing among our ranks,” said a statement emailed Tuesday to JTA.
Willoughby this month emailed Mikey Weinstein, who founded the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, or MRFF, an organization that exposes and advocates against proselytizing in the military.
“God will always be a part of the U.S. Military even when you are gone to meet him face to face,” the foundation quoted the email as saying in a statement. “I am on staff at USAFA and will talk about Jesus Christ my Lord and savior to everyone that I work with.”
The U.S. Air Force Academy spokesman, John Van Winkle, said Willoughby would not be disciplined and noted that Willoughby sent “an e-mail to the MRFF in his personal capacity and not as a representative of the Air Force’s Academy or the Prep School.”
Weinstein said in a statement that he wanted Willoughby to face disciplinary hearings.
“We want an apology to me, my family and the foundation, and we want him disciplined,” he said.
The MRFF in response posted a billboard at an intersection in Colorado Springs, Colo. where the Academy is located. It features a U.S. flag made up of crucifixes and quotes Willoughby, and then adds: “We get it, but we won’t tolerate it!”

 Below Rachel Maddow dishes out the details on how the USAF Academy is being fought for defending their actions like “All is quiet on the northern front.” Is anything but quiet is anything but wrong what the academy has done.

September 20, 2013

A Young,Lonesome, Gay US Airman-1983 Cold War- JeFF Carney Gave Away The Secrets


Jeff Carney in uniform and the Berlin Wall


Hundreds of spies betrayed their countries during the Cold War, often motivated by ideology, or financial reward. Jeff Carney was different - he was a lonely, gay US airman who dreamed of a new life in East Germany. Years later, he sees parallels between his story and that of Chelsea, formerly Bradley, Manning.
It was the middle of the night in April 1983, when Jeff Carney approached Checkpoint Charlie. His steps grew shaky and he began to sweat.
As he stepped across the painted white line that separated East and West Berlin, he thought he was safe. He thought he was going to live in the east. He couldn't have been more wrong.
East German border guards took him to a small bare room with a cheap desk, a couple of chairs and a German-English dictionary.
"My intent when I went over that white line that night was not in any way to become a spy. My intent was simply to get away," he says.

"My intent when I went over that white line that night was not in any way to become a spy. My intent was simply to get away," he says.
 "I requested to speak to representatives of the East German government and when they came to me they weren't just any representatives, they were the men in the leather jackets so to speak. They were spies."
This was not the reception he had expected. Carney was 19 and had just returned to his posting at Marienfelde in Berlin after a trip home.
His family's problems depressed him - he had joined the Air Force at the age of 17 just to get away - and he spent the evening drinking alone in Berlin, ending the night at one of the city's gay bars.
Carney also hated his job. He felt unwanted and resented the military's ban on homosexuality.
There was nothing ideological about his decision to defect - it was an impulsive move. He thought he would be welcomed with open arms and given a new home in the east.
"I was foolish enough to believe that these people might actually be interested in me as a person. We know today that that's not correct - I was only worth what I had access to," says Carney.
    The East Germans ordered him to go back to his job and become a spy. If he didn't, his commander would be informed where he had been that night.
"To say I was disappointed was an understatement," he says. In his newly published book, Against All Enemies, he writes that he had "sold his soul and now had to commit, for better or for worse".
So Carney's life as a spy began.
The US Air Force had hired him because of his language skills - his job was to listen to East German communications and translate what he heard. Although Carney did not hold a high rank, as a linguist he worked in an environment where sensitive information was discussed.
He smuggled classified documents out of the listening post in his boots and trousers giving them to his handler "Ralph", or leaving them in an ammunition box by a tree in the forest at Eiskeller, on the north-west edge of Berlin.
His contacts called him Uwe - and gave him a camera hidden in a can of Lipton Iced Tea to photograph military papers.
Although he handed secrets to the East German secret police, the Stasi, he argues that he did not betray the American people because "betraying your country and betraying your government are two different things".
He says he helped to maintain world peace and that he never handed over anything that would harm the US.
Pages from Carney's book, Against All Enemies, showing blacked out text

The US National Security Agency has blacked out some parts of Carney's book
One day he heard about a US manoeuvre designed to make Soviet forces think they were being attacked. By monitoring the Soviet response to the emergency, the US would gather priceless information about their electronic communications.
But Carney says it was possible that "something could have gone wrong". If the Soviets really believed they were being attacked, lives could have been lost.
Carney decided it was time for drastic action. He booked a plane ticket to Mexico and turned up at the East German embassy unannounced, demanding they contact Berlin.


Carney sees some similarities between his story and that of Chelsea, formerly Bradley, Manning


He was smuggled out of Mexico and taken to Cuba, then on to Prague and finally to the German Democratic Republic (GDR).
He was given a new name, Jens Karney, an East German passport and somewhere to live.
His first place was a one-room apartment in a high-rise block with nothing but a black-and-white television and the complete works of Lenin translated into German.
It was far from perfect and he later realised the flat was bugged. In his autobiography he writes, "I was often lonely, but I was never alone".
He himself was given work listening to bugged conversations.
But when the Berlin Wall came down, things changed again. The Stasi unravelled and he took a job as a train driver on the Berlin subway.
Passport under the name of Jens Karney
In time, the Americans caught up with him. They seized him in the middle of a street in broad daylight in 1991, and flew him back to the US, where he was sentenced to 38 years in prison. That was reduced to 20 years after he co-operated in debriefings.
Carney served nearly 12 years behind bars and now lives with an adopted son in Ohio. He is unemployed and uses his time to paint.
He sees echoes of his own story in that of Chelsea, formerly Bradley, Manning - the US soldier sentenced to 35 years for leaking classified documents to Wikileaks.
Bradley Manning  in uniform


"When I look at Manning's case I see some similarities - age, experience level, first time overseas, faced with huge responsibility, top secret security clearance at a very young age," says Carney.
Both also struggled with their sexual identities, and were obliged to keep this part of their life secret from the military.
"The differences are, of course, that we are now in the age of computers, while then we lived in the age of paper and pencil," says Carney.
Now approaching 50, he has had plenty of time to think about what he describes in his book as "a long, insane journey that never seemed to stop".
He stands by his actions but "at an emotional level there is a lot of regret because I know what I did hurt people," he says - referring to his family and former colleagues.
So, if he could go back 30 years would he do it differently? No, he says.
"If I was faced with the exact same constellation of events, then I would probably make the same decisions."
Jeff Carney spoke to World Update on the BBC World Service.

How much damage did he do?

Carney compromised Canopy Wing, a highly classified plan designed to disable Soviet communications in the event of hostilities. Part of Nato's strategy was to rely on electronic warfare to deny the airwaves to the Soviet command-and-control structure, thereby handicapping the front-line forces' ability to send or receive orders. It was a highly sophisticated scheme that would render the adversary electronically "blind".
After Carney's defection a damage assessment exercise was carried out. This would have assumed that all the material he had had access to was compromised. Damage control would have included replacing or upgrading Canopy Wing. One estimate of the financial cost of this breach of security, and the new investment required, amounted to $14.5 billion (£9.2bn).
Nigel West, author of the Historical Dictionary of Cold War Counterintelligence

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