CENSORSHIP AT QUANTICO
AND OTHER MARINE CORPS BASES – WE
FILE COMPLAINT – ILLEGAL BLOCKING
OF MILITARYCORRUPTION.COM A FIRST
AMENDMENT, FREEDOM OF THE PRESS
ISSUE – APPEAL TO COMMANDANT TO
OVERTURN BAN – INTIMIDATION CALL
TO OUR EDITOR FROM QUANTICO, MAN
REFUSES TO GIVE ID – MAJ. KATRINA
HENSLEY INSOLENT TO VIETNAM VET
© 2004 – MilitaryCorruption.com
A system-wide ban on this web site is in effect at Marine Corps bases in CONUS and overseas.
We are investigating who is responsible for this illegal and unconstitutional attempt at censorship. Gen. Mike Hagee, Marine Corps commandant, has been made aware of the situation. [See our OPEN LETTER published below.]
Our First Amendment rights have been tested before. In the fall of 2003, a heavy-handed attempt to block MilitaryCorruption.com at the Army’s Carlisle Barracks in Pennsylvania, failed when national news media attention and our willingness to go into Federal Court to fight for freedom of the press, caused the “censors” at the base to back off.
The fact that they didn’t “like” what we wrote was insufficient to justify blocking the site, a professor from Penn State University told the Harrisburg (Pa.) PATRIOT-NEWS.
Likewise, whoever it was at MCNOSC or elsewhere that took it upon themselves to violate the law, they will have to answer for what they have done.
AN APPEAL FOR FREEDOM OF THE PRESS
We have most respectfully asked Gen. Hagee to order the ban lifted and fully expect him, now that he is aware of the situation, to do so. Therefore, it won’t be necessary for a court battle and all the negative publicity the Marine Corps might accrue as a result.
The U.S. Marine Corps is America’s finest fighting force, and we at MilitaryCorruption.com are proud to count thousands of active-duty Marines, plus many more veterans and retired NCO’s and officers among our ever-expanding readership.
Those Marines fighting against terrorism over in Iraq are in our hearts and our prayers. We shall never forget the sacrifices they have made for our country. God bless each and every one of them.
COMPLAINTS FILED WITH IG AND NCIS
Later on in this article, we are going to reproduce some of the e-mail traffic between our editor-in-chief and G6 Maj. Katrina Hensley, stationed at Quantico, Va.
We also are going to reveal parts of the transcript of a tape-recorded phone call made to us by someone at Quantico, who not only refused to identify himself (when asked three separate times) but also incriminated himself by admitting he was NOT calling us (using a Marine Corps telephone from Quantico) on “official business.” He angrily snapped: “It’s on MY business!”
It was clearly an intimidation call, as you will read. But the caller – undoubtedly in contact with Maj. Hensley – didn’t count on our policy of tape-recording [legal under Arizona and Federal law] all incoming phone calls to guard against cranks or threats. We get those from time-to-time. It “comes with the territory.”
As a result of the disturbing phone call – determined to be “harassment” by our legal counsel under the laws of the State of Arizona (to say nothing of federal violations) – we are sending as “evidence” a copy of the tape to the NCIS at Quantico; the Inspector Generals’ office; Col. Mike Lowe, commanding officer at Quantico Marine Base: and to the office of the Marine Corps Commandant, Gen. Mike Hagee.
In addition, copies of e-mail traffic between our editor-in-chief and Maj. Hensley will also be provided those parties.
WE MAKE A POLITE INQUIRY
On May 6, 2004, after numerous complaints from Marines at various installations that they were no longer able to get MilitaryCorruption.com on post computers, we politely contacted the G6 at Quantico, Maj. Katrina Hensley, by telephone and asked if perhaps there might be a “technical problem” that was preventing access on the post system (we did not know how widespread it was as of that date)
She “cc’d” a brief message to our webmaster in which the major referred to our editor-in-chief as “Mr. McDonald, USAR (Ret).” This obvious insult and lack of military courtesy towards a retired field grade officer was first noted by the webmaster, who brought it to our attention.
Having heard from Marines at Quantico that Maj. Hensley could be “curt and rude” in dealings with others, MAJ Glenn MacDonald sat down and composed a polite letter of response to the Marine officer, gently reminding her that he should be addressed by his retired rank in an official correspondence. [We might add, all correspondence between MacDonald and ARPERCEN is always preceded by that field-grade officer’s rank, and then “Ret.” after his name.] At least the Army knows what “military courtesy” is.
EXCERPTS FROM THE E-MAIL TRAFFIC
“I am sure it is an oversight on your part,” MacDonald wrote Hensley, giving her the benefit of the doubt. He explained his long military career, which included several years in Vietnam as an enlisted man and NCO.
“Please refer to me in the future by my retired rank, which is MAJ (Glenn MacDonald). Also my last name is spelled MacDonald, not McDonald. Thank you."
Then the letter went on for several more paragraphs, explaining the problem of the blockage.
“We urge you to take the time to look at our web site and get back to us as to why we are being blocked at several locations – all Marine bases. If it is a technical matter, that can be worked out by your people and my webmaster . . . fine.”
The writer also explained to Maj. Hensley, if the cause was “censorship,” that might result in MilitaryCorruption.com having to initiate “legal action.”
MacDonald suggested Hensley run the problem by the JAG office and ended his professional communication by writing, “We look forward to a head’s up from you as to the situation and hope that this matter can be quickly and quietly settled. Thank you.”
HENSLEY’S RUDE AND INSOLENT REPLY
One would think an individual who has reached the rank of major in the U.S. Marine Corps would employ military courtesy in a written communication, especially after being gently reminded to do so, by a fellow field-grade officer (retired).
Instead, Hensley e-mailed us back with this snippy message:
Mr. MacDonald, (USAR) Ret.
“I appreciate your service to our country (sarcasm) and although I recognize your rank (how?) I DON’T NEED TO BE INSTRUCTED ON THE WAY TO ADDRESS MY CORRESPONDENCE . . .”
And she signed off her brief message with the unprofessional throw-away “screw you” line: “Have a nice day.” As if we are going to, after being so rudely treated!
RESPONSE TO AN ARROGANT OFFICER
MAJ MacDonald was not to be “bullied” by the abrasive Hensley. He responded:
“You wrote: ‘I don’t need to be instructed on the way to address my correspondence.’
“Wrong! You do. Would you address Oliver North, a well-known retired Marine lt. colonel and civilian as ‘Mr. North,’ or would you show him respect for his field-grade rank?
“Why am I any different? Like North, I am a decorated, retired, field-grade officer and multi-tour combat veteran of Vietnam.
“You do NOT ‘appreciate’ (my) service to our country and you don’t properly ‘recognize’ my rank. If you did, you wouldn’t have acted in such an unprofessional way.”
MacDonald went on to cite Hensley’s “shocking lack of military courtesy” and asked if the fierce major had some sort of “agenda” that caused her to “get up in” his face and “disrespect” him.
“Such conduct is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. I expect your prompt and sincere apology by return e-mail. And in the future, address me as you would Oliver North, by my retired field grade rank.”
The “Mustang” officer, who enlisted in 1966 and retired 33 years later, finished his e-mail this way:
“I wrote you a polite, courteous letter which you choose to respond to in an insubordinate and rude manner. Now you have the chance to correct your mistake, before this problem gets any worse for you. I hope you are smart enough to do so.”
A “HARASSMENT” CALL FROM QUANTICO
Instead of taking a good, long look in the mirror and assessing her attitude problem, apparently Maj. Hensley went up the chain-of-command to her boss. We wonder if she bothered to “clue in” Col. Lowe, the base commander of her activities, as well.
Anyway, a male telephoned our editor-in-chief on his private phone line (did Hensley give it to him without permission?) and after some innocuous remarks – charged us with “basically threatening Maj. Hensley.”
Of course we did nothing of the kind, unless you call suggesting that her chain-of-command be made aware of her rudeness and lack of military courtesy is a “crime.”
So outrageous is the call – and the caller repeatedly refused to identify himself when asked for ID – we feel our readers in the Corps, especially Gen. Hagee and Col. Lowe, might be interested in finding out who created an unnecessary problem for the Marine Corps.
WE LEGALLY TAPE-RECORDED THE CALL
Since, as of press time, neither we or the NCIS have the identity of the caller, we shall refer to him by a set of initials. How about “NTB” for “not too bright?”
MAJ MacDonald will be referred to be the first three initials of his rank, or (MAJ).
Phone rings. We answer.
(NTB) – I’m calling two-fold. One, in regard to your inquiry, and second, in regard to your response back to my deputy . . .”
(MAJ) – Well, your deputy deserved everything she got in that response, and . . .”
(NTB) – That’s really a matter of how you’re looking at it, ah . . .”
(MAJ) – Well, I’m looking at it as a professional journalist and former (news correspondent). Oliver North, whom you well know in the Marine Corps, is always addressed as “Col. North,” [Except by pals who call him “Ollie.”] And I think the years I gave my country in Vietnam and almost was killed in action, I deserve to be called “major.” I think it was “over-the-top” for her [Hensley] to address me twice as “Mr. MacDonald, (USAR) Ret.” That’s not even proper grammar.
(NTB) – Well, OK. Just for the record – you know – I have met Lt. Col. Oliver North, USMC retired. And I called him “Mr. North.”
(MAJ) – You did? (incredulous)
(NTB) – Yes, I did. And I have also met multiple generals who have retired – who are now in the civilian sector (duh!) – who are performing civilian work (double duh!) – and not acting in an official capacity (triple duh!), and I refer to them as “Mr.” too.
It’s completely appropriate. (NOT TOO BRIGHT sniffed.)
(MAJ) – You really think that’s “appropriate?” (incredulous)
(NTB) – I think it’s VERY appropriate!
(MAJ) – Well, I don’t!
(NTB) – I’m a retired Marine myself, and I’m in a position where I am addressed as “Mr.,” you know. I do not wear rank on my collar anymore. (duh!)
(MAJ) – What about David Hackworth? He is retired, and he is always referred to as “Col. Hackworth,” Not “Mr.” Hackworth?
(NTB) – OK, well, uh . . .
(MAJ) – Just like Col. Hunt on FOX NEWS, the military analyst. He’s not called “Mr.” Hunt. And he’s retired like me, and a civilian . . .”
(NTB) – Ah, we understand that, but, ah, we also understand those people in the journalistic situation, ah, obviously there is a statement of celebrity that comes, we give someone that rank, and (NOW TOTALLY SWITCHING GEARS) anybody (patronizing) who served in Vietnam is to commended. You have my utmost respect (LOL!) I myself, missed Vietnam by two and a half years. But I wore the uniform . . . (voice trails off as NOT TOO BRIGHT realizes that MAJ MacDonald is indeed a recognized “journalist,” like those mentioned above. NTB has been “bested” in the discussion. And only now, does he understand what a complete fool he has made of himself.)
CHANGING THE SUBJECT TO OTHER THINGS
(NTB) – Let’s address the point of the military web site. The Marine Corps base at Quantico, as an organization, has zero control over what is and is not blocked. Now I’ve just attempted to access your web site from my computer sitting on my desk on this installation (Quantico). [Confirms what caller ID tells us.]
(MAJ) – And what happened?
(NTB) – It would not
allow me in. But it did not indicate I was “blocked” by any military
organization. What it said is, because of the configuration settings on the
server – the DNS entries – of the server I was trying to reach,
that I could not connect. So perhaps this is something on the server.
I would have your people that run your network check and see if dot.mil addresses – specifically USMC.mil addresses – are being blocked.”
[EDITOR’S NOTE: We ran this “explanation” by our webmaster and he said it was “bogus.” Also, many Marines contacted us from Quantico, Camp Lejeune and other posts to say we were “back on” the USMC net as of May 8th.
“Whatever you did it worked!” exulted one Marine NCO. “You site is now open from the Camp Lejeune network. Thank you for talking to MCNOSC or whatever you did, to make this happen.”
Another non-com – this one from Quantico – confirmed the site was being allowed in, but then reported that, just as quickly, within a 24 hour period, it was blocked again!
“We should have known better,” said a Marine lieutenant. “Maybe they just wanted to let it on for a brief time to see where the hits were coming from.” Maybe so.]
As the call continued, we wondered who the person was on the other end of the line, so we exercised our right to ask for identification.
But not before the caller, now shifting to a confrontational stance, accused us of “basically threatening Maj. Hensley.”
We patiently explained what we meant was no “threat” and invited him to read the e-mail, as we had a copy in front of us.
That is when we asked for the caller’s ID:
(NTB) – NO! No thank you. I won’t.
(MAJ) – Wait a minute! You’re talking to me on my telephone, and you’re not going to give me your full name and rank?
(NTB) – I’m not going to give you my full name and rank.
(MAJ) – Why not?
(NTB) – Because I, ah, I have the right to privacy . . .
(MAJ) – Wait a minute. If you’re over her [Hensley] and your responding to me like you’ve said, and you won’t tell me who you are . . .?
LOSING HIS COOL
The conversation heated up as the caller said he was going to refer the matter to the JAG. “What you said was, you want us to refer this to our JAG so they’ll be aware of it. Well, we’re going to take you at your word (sarcasm) and we’re gonna refer this to our JAG so there will be . . .”
(MAJ) – I’m not intimidated by that at all.
(NTB) – I hope you’re not!
(MAJ) – No. Don’t “hope” I’m not. I’m NOT!
Now, I’m asking you, I’m requesting you, to please identify yourself on this phone call since you are an employee, at least of the U.S. Marine Corps. You’re talking to me – you’re talking to the editor of a civilian news organization [MilitaryCorruption.com]. Please, I ask you one more time. Please give me your name.
(NTB) – NO! (smarmy) I won’t give you my name.
(MAJ) – Then we must inform you right now, that this phone call is being recorded. It is legal under the laws of the State of Arizona and under federal statutes. So this call will be forwarded on to the Commandant’s office.
(NTB) – OK, that’s great, sir . . .
(MAJ) – You just bought yourself some more trouble.
(NTB)– No, that’s fine. As you have requested, we will also forward these e-mails to the appropriate people, ah, so we’re compliant with that . . .
(MAJ) – YOU have one more opportunity to show me the courtesy of telling me who is calling me on behalf of the United States Marine Corps. I have a perfect right to ask that . . .
(NTB) – I’m not calling you on behalf of the Marine Corps! (angrily) I’m calling you on the behalf of ME!
(MAJ) – You are referring to Maj. Hensley, which relates to a Marine Corps matter. This is not you personally.
(NTB) – This isn’t a Marine Corps matter . . .
(MAJ) – You have informed me you are her supervisor. Are you over her?
(NTB) – This is a correspondence between you and me . . .
(MAJ) – Are you her supervisor?
(NTB) – Have a good day, sir. (sarcasm)
(MAJ) – Oh! Are you now using the same sarcastic line she used?
(NTB) – Have a good day. (extreme sarcasm) I hope you have a great day!
(MAJ) – Well, I’ll have a better day than YOU will have!
Hangs up the phone.
“HOISTED BY THEIR OWN PETARDS”
There’s an old saying about arrogant people who eventually bring themselves down by their own stupidity.
We think it is safe to say that the article above proves the insolent Maj. Katrina Hensley and her enabler, who was afraid to even identify himself, have been “hoisted by their own petards.”
It remains to be seen what kind of disciplinary action they will face, if any, for their actions in bringing embarrassment to the Corps.
We urge Marines everywhere, active and retired, to photocopy this article and distribute it at your nearest Marine base. Forward it by e-mail. Call or write your buddies. Send it to your congressman. Media outlets, too. Let them know what some people in today’s Corps are like, and ask “What can we do about it?”.
FOR UPDATES AND PREVIEWS OF UPCOMING STORIES – “24/7” – ON MILITARYCORRUPTION.COM, BE SURE TO “CLICK ON” GRINGOMAN.US. THANK YOU.
|OPEN LETTER TO GEN. MIKE HAGEE, MARINE CORPS COMMANDANT|