Thomas J. Fiscus, 14th Judge Advocate General
United States Air Force
Last official photograph
taken at the Pentagon

photo by Mr. Ron Hall
Chief Air Staff Photographer

Major General Thomas J. Fiscus
The Judge Advocate General
United States Air Force
Feb 2002 - Jan 2005

Welcome to my website.


For nearly 37 years I was privileged to wear the
uniform of my country.  I wore it in Vietnam as an Air
Force Academy cadet, in Germany during the Cold
War, in Saudi Arabia for Operation Southern Watch
and in the Pentagon on Sep 11, 2001.  During the last
2 ½ years of that career, I was proud to have
reached the pinnacle of my profession by serving as
The 14th
Judge Advocate General of the United
States Air Force, the senior uniformed lawyer of that
service.

If you have read accounts of the end of my military
service, you saw how I was  investigated by the
Inspector General based on an
anonymous allegation
of unprofessional relationships.  I was then
punished under the very system I had upheld and
defended for my entire professional life as a judge
advocate.  Some initial media accounts of the
investigation noted the conflict between me and
high ranking civilians in the Bush administration
over torture and the detainee interrogations at
Guantanamo and Abu Grhaib.  Since the media didn't
know what they were on to, DOD officials quickly
overwhelmed that thread.  With a skill developed by
much practice, the DOD leaked carefully selected
half-truths from the incomplete investigation to
poison the public perception of me.

What happened to me and my family was best
summarized by journalist
Sidney Blumenthal.  Writing
for Salon.com about the Bush Administration and the
torturous interrogations of detainees being
investigated by Senators Lindsay Graham and John
McCain,
Blumenthal wrote in September 2006:


". . . Before the committee vote, the administration had tried to coerce the military's top lawyers, the
judge advocates general, into signing a statement of uncritical support, which they refused to do. The
Republican senators opposing Bush's torture policy had first learned about the military's profound
opposition from the JAGs. For years, the administration has considered the JAGs subversive and
tried to eliminate them as a separate corps and substitute neoconservative political appointees.

In the summer of 2004, Maj. Gen. Thomas J. Fiscus, the top Air Force JAG and one of the most
aggressive opponents of the torture policy, privately informed senators that the administration's
assertion that the JAGs backed Bush on torture was utterly false. Suspicion instantly fell upon Fiscus
as the senators' source. Military investigators were assigned to comb through his e-mails and phone
calls, and within weeks he was drummed out under a cloud of anonymous allegations by Pentagon
officials of "improper relations" with women. The accusations and his discharge were trumpeted in
the press, but his role in the torture debate remained unknown."  

However, what
was known by Bush Administration officials was much more.  In a letter to me in
November, 2006,
Mr. Scott Horton, a distinguished member of the New York City Bar, who had been
following the torture debates wrote me the following:

" . . . In mid-June 2004, I was contacted by . . . a high-ranking individual who served within the Office of
the Secretary of Defense ("OSD").  This individual told me that senior political appointees within OSD
were extremely upset by information that they had received to the effect that Senators John McCain
and Lindsay Graham . . . had secured information about the internal decision-making process on
detainee policy issues which made clear that the OSD had acted in direct opposition to the unanimous
advice of the TJAGs.  As you know, at this time official Pentagon spokesmen had given completely
false assurances to the contrary.  The political appointees were described as being in a "state of
rage," and were described as having taken a decision to figure  out who "had gone to McCain and
Graham and turned them."  A decision had been taken that this person, once identified, would "not
merely be dismissed" but would be "totally humiliated and destroyed . . . as an example" to the other
JAGs about the consequences of crossing the Administration on this issue.  My informant was
extremely concerned that a political vendetta was being launched that would destroy the career of a
fine JAG officer, but . . . he did not know who the likely target was.  Although I was in communication
with Senators Graham and McCain at the time, and sensed that they were getting information directly
from within the Pentagon, I also had no idea who was coming into the crosshairs.

It subsequently has become completely clear to me that you were the individual who was identified
and targeted by political operatives in the OSD in June 2004. The "anonymous" charges, Inspector
General's report and psychologist's report were all tools used in the vendetta . . . I am convinced to a
point of moral certainty that they resulted from a politically inspired vendetta and therefore lack
fundamental credibility . . . I write today realizing the tremendous injustice that has been done to you,
a well respected officer who gave long and honorable service in the interest of his country, simply
because of your opposition to ill-advised policies."  


This site endeavors to balance the account of how doing my duty to support the rule of law in
America's domestic and international spheres led to crushing retaliatory actions against me and my
family by civilian authorities of the Bush administration.  These began shortly after I began
helping
Senators Lindsay Graham (R-SC) and John McCain (R-AZ) investigate the genesis of the torturous
interrogation techniques used on detainees at Guantanamo, in Iraq and Afghanistan and leading to
the Abu Grhaib debacle.  As above described by Mr. Horton, officials of the Bush Administration
operated to end my successful military career with such severe, lasting consequences for my family
and me that other military lawyers would shy away from asserting legal limits on our country's
response to terrorism and to the dangers of politicization of the military itself.  Sadly, it worked to
perfection as those DOD officials were abetted by my military superiors and my deputy, who
succeeded me.  

To accomplish their aims, those officials invaded and illegally searched my e-mail accounts and
telephone records.  As we have subsequently learned about domestic wiretapping, it is almost a
certainty that my private telephone conversations with Senators Graham and McCain were also
captured.  I was
anonymously accused of violating regulations governing relationships with female
service members and other women.  None of the women named in the
anonymous allegations had
ever made any complaint about me nor did they during the investigation.  Reminiscent of the 1950's,
an Air Force psychologist, who never met me, provided a ridiculous "diagnosis" to the investigators
on the basis of carefully selected information provided to her by them.  She later
faced disciplinary
action by her licensing authority for her actions.  As the Bush administration had planned, the case
generated the kind of hysteria that salacious allegations against a public official routinely do.  Hence,
few would question the motives behind my destruction.  Once the salacious foundation was laid with
the leaked half-truths, the Administration could do anything it wanted to me and my family while nearly
all my "friends" were repulsed or cowed into walking away.  What was said and printed at the time
bears little resemblance to the actual facts.  One has only to think of the tragic story of Richard Jewel
to realize the power of false information printed as the truth.

My story is about a life lived from the age of 18 in  the uniform of our country.  To be sure, it is an
imperfect life in which I made personal and professional mistakes.  The picture of that life, created by
those who had the power to do so, is a cruel caricature of the actual life I led.  It is one that those who
know me well and have stood by me understand is not true.  I believe I owe it to my family and friends
and to the public whom I served so long to tell the truth about what happened to me.  Much of the
data which would help tell the story has been withheld by my former colleagues, but I believe I have
amassed sufficient documentation to allow the reader to make up his or her own mind about the
“justice” that was done in my case.

The last five years of my service were Strange Days indeed.  But my Strange Days are just one more
egregious example of the Bush Administration resorting to retaliatory, punitive action to severely
wound or destroy loyal American families by sending the message to career military, civilian and
diplomatic personnel that dissent, critical thinking and reasoned opposition will result in personal
pain far beyond mere exclusion from the councils of power.  It is the "politics of personal destruction"
so aptly described in the account of Ambassador Joe Wilson and his wife, Valerie Plame, in his book:
The Politics of Truth.  Please click the link to begin the saga of my Strange Days.
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