AT TRAVIS A.F.B.?
Thousands of service members, especially the enlisted ranks and NCO’s, appreciate and support this web site. We get complimentary e-mail all the time from bases across CONUS and around the world.
But this is the first time we’ve heard one of our friends and readers has been arrested after driving onto a U.S. military installation with a MilitaryCorruption.com sign on the back of his civilian vehicle.
Retired USAF Master Sgt. Rich Giddens tells us Travis AFB/Wing Commander, Brig. Gen. Bradley Barker, “apparently doesn’t like the sign on the back of my truck.”
POSSIBLE “CENSORSHIP” AT TRAVIS?
We’ll let Giddens tell you what happened:
“Monday (March 29) when I took my 7 year-old son to school on base, the gate guards said ‘there’s a problem with your ID card.’ They told me to pull over.
“After about five minutes, a group of them came over and asked me to get out of my truck. They pulled little Ronald out and told me to ‘turn around.’ I asked if they were detaining me, what for and who issued the order?
“Without stating why, they handcuffed me and hauled me over to their office. I didn’t get excited and was very polite to all of them, but advised they ‘check out MilitaryCorruption.com on the Internet, which was founded by a former general and retired Army major.’ They were not amused.
“I quickly learned that Gen. Baker ordered me detained, but no reason was given. They took me to a holding cell and then, after two hours, just as mysteriously let me go without charges. But I was told I’d get a WARNING LETTER in the mail. They didn’t say what the subject was about. I asked if I was banned or barred from the base, and they said ‘no.’
“I noticed about then, the attitude of the security forces changed perceptibly. They seemed more friendly and less suspicious. They even apologized and gave me a ride back to my truck.
“The crazy thing was, MilitaryCorruption.com got a lot more publicity by being parked several hours at the front gate with the sign facing all incoming traffic, than if they’d just let me drive in unimpeded!”
Giddens says he then got in his vehicle and drove onto the base without any further incident [as was reported by our friends over at www.gringoman.us.]
RETALIATION FOR EXERCISING “FREE SPEECH?”
We asked the retired NCO why he thinks he was singled out for the “bully boy” treatment?
“Baker may be angry by something I did last week. I drove onto base and saw all the media speaking to the SJA by the legal office. The Al-Halabi preliminary hearing was getting under way. So I seized a golden opportunity. I drove up, rolled down my window and yelled: ‘Don’t just listen to the government side. Read MilitaryCorruption.com!’
“This severely embarrassed the leadership at Travis, because many reporters and TV crews were there. Later, outside the base, I saw a group of newsmen and handed them fliers directing them to your web site.
“What’s Gen. Baker going to do now? Crawl back to his office and abuse some enlisted guy because he can’t muzzle a retired Air force NCO who knows his Constitutional Right to free speech? Some people are just soooooo sensitive.”
AIR FORCE BRASS ANGRY AT OUR REPORTS
Actually, M/Sgt Giddens (ret.) only has part of the story. We hear from sources at Travis AFB, that Baker and the brass have their “noses out of joint” because MilitaryCorruption.com has been so critical lately about several “womanizing” USAF generals, and called on Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld to fire, “for cause,” Air Force Secretary James “Bullfrog” Roche.
While we didn’t get everything we wanted - Roche is still around for the moment after withdrawing his name for consideration as the new Secretary of the Army – our Pentagon sources say the Bullfrog’s tenure as Air Force chief may be coming to an end soon.
With his bumbling and fumbling over the Air Force Academy sex scandal, alleged protection of “fat cat and brass hat” generals reportedly in trouble over chasing women in uniform, the KC-135 tanker fiasco and other foul-ups, it won’t be long before Roche’s strong critic, Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona), has the satisfaction of seeing “Bullfrog” return to civilian life.
We will continue to report the truth – without fear or favor – about the U.S. Air Force, which has more complaints registered with us about misconduct, double-standards and outright corruption than all the other military branches combined.
Yes, it’s time for Secretary Roche to leave! Our advice is, don’t let the door hit you on the way OUT!