Tuesday, April 8, 2008

McHenry Violates Green Zone Military Security

I can't say it any better than this headline at Alternet: "GOP Rep Reveals Details of Green Zone Attack; Did he Get U.S. Soldiers Killed?"

From Vet Voice, (an website by American veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan):
In an effort to bolster his own national security credentials in the midst of "Sniper-gate," Congressman Patrick McHenry (R-NC) gave away intelligence information last week that could have aided Shi'ite militias and/or other terrorist organizations in targeting the Green Zone. Only two days after McHenry promoted a video of himself in the Green Zone describing in detail the effectiveness of the rocket attacks on Easter Sunday, the area was hit with a barrage that killed two U.S. soldiers and wounded 17 others. It was the deadliest attack on the Green Zone so far this year.
The backstory: McHenry spoke at a Lincoln County event of how he was turned away from the Iraq Green Zone gym. He went on to describe an attack during his visit. Here's the video of him calling the military sentry "two-bit," and going on to describe a rocket attack while he was in the Green Zone.

The campaign of Republican opponent Lance Sigmon contested Pat's version of events, quoting a Pentagon spokesman who said, according to the Sigmon website:
the facts were somewhat different, emphasizing that there were no fatalities from that rocket attack.
As the mainstream media picked up the two stories, McHenry defended himself using a video posted at his official Congressional website. According to Thoreau at BlueNC:
The video shows McHenry right after the blast in front of an unnamed structure, describing the events of the blast- including some key information about not only what in the Green Zone was hit, but explaining his current position as smoke rose behind him.
From Vet Voice:
In a post earlier this morning, I detailed how 32-year-old Congressman Patrick McHenry (R-NC) had not only violated OPSEC procedures while in Iraq, but also endangered American troops located in the Green Zone. McHenry--a fervent war supporter who has never served in the military--was apparently content to promote his Baghdad adventures at the expense of U.S. troops on his Congressional website, during public appearances, and on YouTube.

He did this until he got called out today.

Once the video started appearing on sites like VetVoice, The Huffington Post, and AlterNet, McHenry's office immediately removed the video from both YouTube and his website, leaving the sites above with dead links. It's unclear as to whether McHenry had the video pulled out of a sense of new-found responsibility to America's Armed Forces, or whether he just thinks he can sweep the fact under the rug that he got caught trying to burnish his own foreign policy credentials at the expense of troops serving in combat. Calls to his office requesting information on the reason were not answered, as none were attempted until after close of business this afternoon.
Vet Voice's Brandon Friedman (whose post was picked up at Alternet) tries to give McHenry the benefit of the doubt, that perhaps his mistakes are honest and caused by ignorance, not malice. But even people who don't know McHenry's pathetic, hypocritical history are having trouble making excuses.
I'd like to think that Congressman McHenry realized what he did wrong and that he feels genuine remorse. However, if that were the case, I would have expected an apology to have been issued in conjunction with the removal of the video--though none was. That leads me to believe that McHenry pulled the video because he's more worried about the damage this could do to him politically--not because he's concerned about how his actions could affect the troops or their families.
Here's more from Thoreau at BlueNC
The irony? Patrick McHenry has previously bashed ABC news and other groups for giving out key information online... just as he just did. In fact, he was quoted as saying the following:

In a carefully worded request, seven House GOP lawmakers led by Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., asked the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to "look into the releasing of sensitive information and its impact on the security of our nation, the performance of our government agencies, and the viability of our diplomatic relationships overseas."
Since the video is rightfully no longer available here's Huffington Post's transcript:
McHENRY: Good morning. You see, right over my back here (points), there was a rocket attack this morning. According to our folks here, there were eleven rockets, uh, one hit just over my head, another hit a parking lot, and another hit the gym. Well, interestingly enough, I wasn't able to get into the gym this morning because I didn't have an ID that was appropriate. And so I was escorted back to the room and just a few minutes later, that's when the rocket attacks occurred. So, uh, small wonders. . .what a small blessing. . .a big blessing on Easter Sunday morning. So, thanks so much.
But will the people of North Carolina's 10th district boot this loser? As a DFA staffer wrote: For Republicans the Rules Don't Apply.

Support Daniel Johnson. Write a letter to the editor. 10th District press is failing to cover this story adequately. (See list of newspaper LTE links in left column.)


Jack said...

Hey Pat, resign now before you make a fool out of everyone around you. We all know that you are watching.

HEY NRCC's Tom Cole, if you think that this makes the GOP look bad, wait til the real good stuff hits good ol' Pat in the near future. ut him off and wash your hands of him.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe that traitor is still in office. What's he in DC for, aside from swilling at the trough, rubber-stamping neoKKKon agenda and access to Guckert for a good spankin'?

William D. Lindsey said...

As a Catholic, I am so ashamed of McHenry and his testimony (not!) to Catholic values. This trip to showcase himself as a swaggering, posturing military big boy, his coverup of the huge amounts of money going to the military, and his vote against health insurance for children.

Where did he learn his "Catholic" values? Wherever it is, they surely did a bad job of teaching him some very core values.

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