By Ted | AuxBeacon News Contributor
[Editor’s Note: We received this in our inbox. Thank you for your contribution.]
This is a good example in how Civil Air Patrol corporate discredited News of the Force (NOTF) and other media outlets that conveyed a negative, factual light on the CAP. It is a dirty technique used by CAP Corporate to keep Congress and the authorities from investigating. Whistleblowers are ignored, defamed, discredited, labeled as troublemakers, isolated, and banned from all of CAP. If any media outlet covers the negative Press, they are labeled as “fake news” and if the story is damaging enough, the CAP may go as far as having the story removed by its lawyers claiming it is a homeland security threat. As a result, the CAP gets away with crimes and other violations while the whistleblower is destroyed.
CIVIL AIR PATROL MEMBER MESSAGE TO NOTF:
In a message dated 3/9/2006 1:43:01 P.M. Atlantic Standard Time, [email protected]… writes:
I am referring to NOTF (News of the Force). Through their emails and NOTF members who post on various CAP web forums, it is my humble opinion that they go waaaaay beyond whistle-blowing and “trying to do the right thing.” While they may be spearheading noble causes, their actions and statements have alienated them from any reasonable CAP member who might normally join their cause. They have denigrated to name calling and childlike attacks against anyone who disagrees with them.
Even the Executive Director of CAP sent down an email not too long ago to all corporate officers telling them these former members should not be taken seriously. The simple fact is that while at one time they may have been die-hard supporters of CAP, they are now only interested in defaming the organization in any way they can.
The “positive media” they now send out is the result of people rightly pointing out that all they do is post anti-CAP messages. As a result of my outspokenness against their statements and actions, I have been branded ignorant, “too young to see reality,” and needing a pacemaker (a joke on my nickname). What I find most ironic about these folks is that in reality I support some of the causes they front, but I don’t agree with the extremism they use to try to make their points. Because they are insulting those that see the problems they vocalize, they will never gain support and will never “win.”
NEWS OF THE FORCE RESPONSE:
Sent: Thursday, March 09, 2006 5:31 PM
Subject: [capfl] Re: Winter Board Meeting Retention and Image
Here at News of the Force, we try not to reply to messages such as this because experience tells us that it just keeps the CAP member going on and about it. It’s better to just ignore it than to ignite a controversy.
However, let us just mention some things here in reply to your message:
1. News of the Force does between 50 and 100 military news stories each and every day, including weekends and holidays. Less than one-half of one percent of the stories we do have anything to do with the Civil Air Patrol. When we do a CAP story, we even include information at the end for people who might like to sign up (Web sites, phone numbers, etc.). But, following your apparent logic, since we do stories about sexual abuse at the Air Force Academy, rapes at the Coast Guard Academy, sexual assaults by Marines in Japan, and abuse of prisoners by the Army, it would appear that we simply hate everybody.
2. Not once since NOTF was founded has anyone proven any story we’ve done about the CAP to be false. Certainly, some may be exaggerated because of the attitude of the source, but never have they been proven false. If you stand shooting on a pistol range and somebody keeps supplying you with ammunition, are you going to stop shooting?
3. And, speaking of shooting, Let’s review:
a. One story we did last year involved a CAP squadron commander in South Florida being relieved because he allowed a police SWAT team demonstration for his cadets. Less than six months later, we did a story about a CAP officer in Missouri who took his cadets out to a range and allowed them to use weapons, and that was OK — he was a “hero.” Perhaps you could tell me: Where is the logic in allowing CAP cadets to shoot guns, after relieving a squadron commander because he allowed his cadets to watch professional law enforcement officers shoot guns? Now, don’t misunderstand: I’ve always been an advocate of allowing CAP cadets to fire weapons on a military range under the watchful eyes of military range instructors. I think that’s something they should be learning.
b. When we did a story last summer about a Missouri Wing squadron setting up shop to sell fireworks, the CAP put a stop to that. One “flaming” e-mail message we got from a CAP officer said, “Are you proud of yourselves now?” In fact, we were proud of ourselves — we may have kept a CAP cadet from being maimed or killed. One particular CAP officer was extremely irritated because we stopped a major fund raising activity. Just how much is the hand — or the eye, or the life — of a CAP cadet worth? If that had been allowed to continue, can you imagine the story we would have had — and the lawsuit the cadet’s parents would have had? (By the way, that particular staunch supporter of the CAP has recently had his own membership suspended.)
c. And in our recent story about a female CAP cadet having been allowed to have had sex with a Naval Sea Cadet at an encampment inside a CAP van, we got a raging e-mail from the girl’s father, threatening to sue us and claiming that the story was entirely false. Of course, that was after said female cadet got on a CAP e-mail host and not only admitted the incident, but stated that she was joining the Coast Guard and “would now be rocking the Coast Guard’s vans.” It seems her dad never got around to reading his own daughter’s e-mail.
d. What was interesting, too, was our recent story entitled, “The CAP’s Tennessee Wing: A Wing Without a Prayer.” When we did that three-page expose, which included information from an actual USAF inspection report and a photograph of a Tennessee Wing cadet — in uniform — tied to a cot with duct tape over his mouth, can you imagine the number of e-mails we got about that? You’d be wrong — we received not one. Of course, it’s hard to argue with hard evidence.
e. And when we did our story entitled Blue Extortion, which was about the Tampa cops’ methods of writing traffic tickets, it wasn’t because I’m a “disgruntled former member” of the Tampa Police. Although I was a cop in two different states, I was never a TPD cop.
We don’t make any of this stuff up — we report the news, and the fact that someone doesn’t agree with the news does not make it “not the news.”
The fact that I am a former member of the CAP does not mean that I am in any way out to “get the CAP.” If anything, it simply means that I know enough about the organization to be able to do a story about the CAP and actually know what I’m talking about. This year, I passed 33 years of service in the Army. When we do a bad story about the Army, does it mean I’m out to “get” the Army? Of course not. When we do story about some hapless submarine commander running aground, are we out to “get” the Navy? Of course not. If we do a story about some jet-jockey crashing his plane, are we then to be considered “out to get” the Air Force? Of course not. Those stories are NEWS.
CAP members who think we are “out to get the CAP” are very impressed by their self-importance, but, in actuality, we’ve got a lot bigger fish to fry around here.
On the other hand, there’s only one other auxiliary organization of the armed forces — the Coast Guard Auxiliary. We’ve yet to hear about a member of the CGA abusing any youngsters. True, they don’t have cadets — but if a CGA member sexually assaulted a neighbor, do you not think that would make the news? To my knowledge, that’s never happened. That, however, points up a difference in leadership between them and the CAP. Not once have we found, or run across, a story about any CGA member doing such a thing, or even being charged with a crime.
The CAP keeps deliberately stepping in it and expecting to come up smelling Forest Lawn on Memorial Day. We know it’s not the fault of the grunts out in the field, doing all the work and getting none of the money. It’s a leadership problem, and, however unfortunate, until the leadership problem is fixed, the paint is going to get splashed in a lot of places where it probably doesn’t belong.
Your message, however, in a typical CAP style, decries what we say, and then goes no to defend what you say. By the way, NOTF has never accused you of being too young to understand, nor have be made any fun of your name.
If you’re going to defend your own right to your opinion or to say something, you need to remember that others have the same right as you do. That’s called freedom of speech, or, in this case, the freedom of the press. Remember that without a free press, there can be no democracy. Personally, I don’t agree with anti-war protesters, Cindy Sheehan, or any of the others of their ilk. And, I don’t necessarily like or agree with a lot of the news stories I hear and read. But I’ve spent most of my life defending their right to express their opinions, and if I don’t like a news story I see on TV, I can either change the channel, or turn the thing off.
So, why not send me a copy of that letter from the CAP? There’s got to be a story in there….a military auxiliary trying to suppress or interfere with the freedom of the press. Let me guess who signed that one….Gen. Pineda, perhaps?
If the CAP leadership took the time to send out a letter like that, you’d have to ask yourself: what are they afraid we’re going to find out about this time? Whatever that might be, trust me — we WILL find out. Because that’s what we do.
News of the Force
CIVIL AIR PATROL RESPONSE: (DISCREDITING THE MEDIA – NOTF)
At 10:58 AM 3/11/2006,
Skip, Here are a few items of correction by paragraph:
#2 There are stories written by NOTF that are not only exaggerated, but certainly are false. Why prove them false to you? You said it in your opening paragraph Its better to just ignore it than to ignite a controversy. Everyone knows that adding fuel to a fire just make it bigger and more dangerous. Also, its obviously just not worth it to dignify a response to false, accusatory, and inflammatory articles and emails. Again, I quote what you wrote earlier Its better to just ignore it than to ignite a controversy. This is what all of our CAP leaders should be doing anyway. There is too much work before us with maintaining our focus and vigilance on our 3-fold missions, than to be worried about the barrage of accusations and inflammatory emails that have been rampant here recently, by several disgruntled former CAP members. Actually, its just plain disgusting.
#3a Heres one false article here. Since I was the Wing/IG at the time of this Swat Team Demonstration in south Florida that you speak of, I know of the incident personally, and other incidents involving this particular unit and commander. Theres so much more to this story and apparently you dont know all the facts; however, Im not going to prove you wrong here either, as integrity and confidentiality of an investigation and those involved shall prevail, and remain constant and paramount (especially to me). It is not becoming to sling mud and slander someone or an organization. All that nonsense seems to accomplish is bring you down to the nasty mire and muck with the one who is slinging it. Not a pretty picture is it?
#3e Reporting the News is one thing, especially when its done professionally, ethically, unbiased, and without malice or prejudice. However, what I’ve been reading recently does’nt fit that category and I think I’ve bit my tongue long enough. I agree with Daniel P. that the ones (former disgruntled CAP members) causing controversy and who are being inflammatory, are only alienating more and more people. Their negative and radical or fanatical actions and/or views reflect a growing distrust and disgust, and Im sure I speak for the vast majority. Now Im not saying NOTF does’nt do a good job on reporting of most stories, I appreciate the positive stories you promote and write about the good CAP! It just seems to me when it comes to a CAP story that has a negative connotation, you seem to at times put your own personal spin on it and name individuals in a demeaning manner, particularly one individual. This one individual appears to be your nemesis and you mentioned his name in the next to last paragraph in an accusatory and disparaging manner. You have done this in several of your NOTF articles in the past. See, this is not professional, ethical, or unbiased reporting. It shows the author has malice and prejudice toward the subject and this causes you to lose credibility. Now, these statements are my own and are my personal observations.
If any branch of service or organization like CAP screws up and does something wrong, of course it should be reported. No one and no organization is perfect as we all know, and we must own up to our shortcomings and mistakes, learn by them, and move on. If there are violations of CAP regulations, then they should be addressed and investigated. Im sure if something occurs in CAP that is of a negative nature, you will find out about it and will be excited to report it; however, it should be reported in the appropriate fashion. You are the Editor of NOTF and you will do whatever it is that you like to do. The only thing I can say is that if this type of reporting and negativity persists, all I can do is remove myself from this list, and from the CAPFL Talk list as well just like so many others are doing. Since I dislike large, uncontrollable fires, I will refrain from any future responses that you or anyone else may seek on this mail list distribution. I wish everyone well, and in closing I quote the words of Rodney King, Cant we all just get along?
Gary W. Owen