|Thomas J. Fiscus, 14th Judge Advocate General
United States Air Force
|Questions, Comments and Speaking
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response. By submitting a question or comment the author also authorizes me to minimally edit the submission for
clarity and length.
|Questions or Comments Submitted and My Answer
From: Amy Rosen [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Sunday, December 02, 2007 10:15 AM
Subject: Tom Fiscus' Website
Forgive me, I am not one to forward websites to long lists of people, but in this case there are so many
people I know that NEED to look at this material that I thought I'd do it in one shot. I had the privilege of
meeting then General Tom Fiscus when he was the Judge Advocate of the United States Air Force. (the
chief lawyer for the Air Force). He was contemplating future retirement and his next professional step,
and was in my cohort in the Broad Fellowship. In this capacity we spent a dozen long weekends together
looking at school reform activities nationwide. We had many opportunities to have long after session
discussions about his career, the military and Iraq. It was 2004 and Abu Grhiab and Guantanamo torture
tactics were well under way.
While always discreet and professional, it was clear that Tom was struggling with the policy directives of
the White House and appropriately using his role as lead counsel at the White House to raise these
issues. It was also clear that this life long soldier believed in the "system" and thought that this was part
of his job. In between trips to Iraq to consult with his lawyers on ground and his day to day life in
Washington, he would make time to join our sessions were the focus was entirely on kids and how to
improve academic outcomes for those at risk. Midway through our year long program it became painfully
obvious (front page NYTimes and Wash Post articles) that what Tom believed was necessary to do his job
well, had landed him in a devastating personal scandal that would ultimately destroy his military career, his
financial security and almost his family. The rest is history and this website tells the story and provides
the documentation, but in a nutshell, the questions he raised internally, and his unwillingness to
represent the Air Force's support for unconstitutional practices made it necessary for him to be
A "whistleblower" reported that he had sent inappropriate emails to a female subordinate and the rest is
history. In addition to being forced into early retirement, demoted to a Colonel, having all kinds of
horrifying and inaccurate stories about his personal life reported publicly, he also had to withdraw from
the Broad Fellowship to focus on defending himself through this process. Needless to say, while making a
valiant effort to defend himself legally, the damage had been done and today Tom and his family continue
to struggle with how to recover from the loss of everything professional that he knew and believed in.
Please look at this site, make your own judgments and those of you connected to the media, Presidential
campaigns or other public venues, take the time to pass on this information to the appropriate folks,
investigate the validity and feel free to contact Tom directly and use this episode to make sure that this
disgraceful episode in our country's history is not repeated and that the current practices of torture are
My Comment: Amy Rosen is one of the brilliant cohort of achievers dedicated to improving public education in our country. My dream
after leaving active duty was to serve as a K-12 urban school district superintendent because I believe public school education is a
crucial aspect of our national security. As she says above, we trained together for urban school district superintendency with 20 other
outstanding leaders in education, industry and the military in the 2004 Broad Foundation Urban Superintendent's Academy class.
Tributes for everything that you did in the service of your country – in your 32 years of service in the Air
Force and especially in the time leading up to the untimely and outrageous forced end of your military
career. Clearly your actions in terms of refusing to varnish the truth and insisting on the integrity of the
JAGS were courageous, a reflection on your character and an attempt to keep our country from going
further down the road of condoning torture and other actions against what our country and its military has
always stood for. The way in which these actions were wrongfully punished reflects the worst of an era that
history will deem as a time when our country almost lost its moral character and integrity. I am privileged to
call you a friend and to have worked with you on the Department of Defense Task Force on Domestic
Violence in the Military, where your influence and wisdom was incredibly important. And I am incredibly glad
to finally understand what happened to you.
Jacquelyn C. Campbell, PhD, RN, FAAN
Anna D. Wolf Chair & Professor
The Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing
My Comment: Dr Jackie Campbell and I served together for three years from 2000 to 2003 on the Congressionally mandated Defense
Task Force on Domestic Violence. Dr. Campbell, whose achievements in the field of domestic and sexual violence and related fields are
legend, spent many hours educating me on the issues and improving my understanding of the causes, dynamics and effects of domestic
violence. The twenty-four members (twelve civilian members from outside the military and twelve DOD members) prepared over 250
major recommendations to the DOD for action to deal with the blight of domestic violence in the military. Four years after the completion
of our final report, far too many of those recommendations remain to be implemented. I consider my service on the Task Force, and the
understanding I came to have of the need for confidential reporting of domestic violence, as one of my proudest career achievements.
My email triggered many sympathetic responses, but also the one below. I'd
welcome your thoughts.
If you are interested in a debate re policy and security, I would welcome
it, but this is a joke. I am by no means a blind faith follower of this
administration, but the facts below are completely incorrect and
misleading. This guy was thrown out because of long term adultery and
lying about it, both of which are court martial offenses in the military
(BTW, he was demoted to Colonel which they don't do based on innuendo as
suggested below). Moveon.org-esque inflammatory and totally incorrect
pieces do nothing to advance real political discussions. Given the
intellectual capital involved, I would suspect we could play on a higher
plane than the current level of blogosphere crap. Fiscus is no "cause".
He is no Genarlow Wilson.
I’ve gotten a few like this. Given what has been written and said about me for the last three years, it’s hardly surprising.
The facts don’t have to come from me. Incredibly bad as it is, the IG Report itself does not claim that I had adulterous relations with any
of the military females involved. I never denied that years before, I had a brief affair with a civilian, for which I am grievously sorry. That
said, the sexist speculations and interpretations of the investigators, predicated as they were on the bogus diagnosis of the Air Force
psychologist (which colored every line of the report), are not evidence. Simply put, if I was having sexual relations with any of the
women (all given immunity and treated as victims) who were made part of the disciplinary case against me, wouldn’t at least one of
them have said so under the duress of the investigators’ alternating heavy pressure and cloying sympathy? None said they thought I
was even trying to have a sexual relationship with her. If such had been the case and the evidence existed, why didn’t the DOD choose
to send me to trial? They were hardly doing me any favors at the time.
Non-judicial punishment allowed the DOD to rely on a much lesser standard of proof and no evidentiary requirements. For example,
when my counsel asked for the evidence supporting the obstruction of justice allegation (supposedly attempting to delete unspecified
email) the answer was, you can have it if you demand court-martial. Believe it: not taking my case to trial was a carefully scripted
decision on the part of the DOD. It allowed them to claim I did things without the pesky problems of criminal due process. Yes, I could
have rolled the dice and risked everything. But, at 55, could I really stand to lose my pension and health care because I got convicted of
allowing an NCO to sign her first name to an email? It was an absurd Hobson’s choice. I opted to protect my family as best I could.
Lying about it? There was never any allegation that I lied about my relationships. If the deleting email allegation is what the writer is
talking about, he needs to look at my website. That one was dismantled by the government’s own computer technician and the shoddy
investigative techniques of the IG. The IG was forced to conclude (and the investigation report makes clear that they tried mightily to
conclude otherwise) that my actual duty performance was above reproach, no government resources were ever improperly diverted
and no one ever received any undue professional benefit or suffered any negative professional effects from my relationships.
The demotion to colonel was only partly about me anyway. It was intended as an incredibly powerful message sent to other senior
military officers to stay in line and not stray off the administration reservation. That decision was taken well before the case broke.
Have the writer read Scott Horton's letter cited on the home page of my website.
I don’t know of Genarlow Wilson, but whoever he is, I don’t claim to be him. I neither claim angel status nor do I accept being labeled the
devil. I hope this helps.
From: "Cerf Chris" <CCerf@schools.nyc.gov>
To: "Whitney Tilson" <WTilson@tilsonfunds.com>, "Thomas Fiscus" <email@example.com>
I've read the whole file and completely agree with Tom's comments here. I also have the dubious advantage
of once having been a pretty good litigator myself. While I hope I always acted appropriately, I do know the
tricks of the trade -- what to charge, how to turn witnesses, how to find an "expert" who will say anything,
what forum to proceed in, etc. All, and more, were employed here. I used to oversee FBI background
investigations at the White House, and so read literally thousands of reports from full field investigations.
My general conclusion is that there are very, very few people who would survive a comprehensive review of
all their email and every aspect of their life for whom something embarassing didn't turn up.
Chris Cerf is one of that brilliant cadre of educators with whom I studied at the Broad Foundation, Urban Superintendent's Academy. A
former President of the Edison Schools, he is now working to better the lives of the school children of New York City, under Chancellor
Nick Egnatz <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
As a former Air Force enlisted man, I thank you for your service to your country in trying to insure the rule of
law by standing up to the criminal Bush Administration. My opinions of the military were gathered in my four
years of service (1966-1970 including one year in Vietnam ) and in subsequent life experiences.
The observation of this former E-5 are that officers only get promoted if they play ball and pardon the
expression, kiss ass with their superiors. It is a system which completely stifles the individual. While I
understand that military disciple requires this to an extent, when the individual is forced to do things against
his or her moral code, then it goes too far.
I commend you for your stance on the torture issue. What was your stance with the Bush Administration on
the legality of the war? The United Nations Charter (“the supreme law of the land” as stated in the U.S.
Constitution) specifically says that Security Council approval must be given before the initiation of the use of
force. You were a lawyer, a two star general and the Air Force JAG. What did you do to stop this criminal
action before the fact and or protest it after the invasion?
I appreciate you taking the time to view and consider my website.
I have a son in Iraq at this moment and believe me, I want the war to be over today for him and everyone else's sons and daughters.
You ask a very valid question about what I and other senior officers did about the war at its start. The short answer is: probably not
enough. While it would be reasonable to believe that general officers had all the inside information before the order to attack came from
the President, that was not the case. As you know, military personnel are trained to obey and we did. Many of us were skeptical of the
Administration's claims about Saddam's WMD capability, but we had no information to counter it. It became clearer when the
Administration switched its mantra from WMD to Iraqi Freedom. I personally believed that I could do more to preserve the Constitution
by pushing back on the inside than from outside. In hindsight, I should have resigned in protest over the detainee interrogation/torture
issue, if not the war itself. I do believe others feel the same way. Had I done so, I could at least have spoken publicly about the issue. The
Administration has seen to it through its actions against me, that no one will seek my opinion or knowledge on the issues. One
courageous professor at Reed College here in Portland, wanted me to speak to his class about the interrogations issue. After Googling
me, his Department head cancelled my appearance.
"Alter, Jonathan" <JAlter@newsweek.com> wrote:
Dear Mr. Fiscus:
I'm reporter and columnist for Newsweek. Your case was recently brought to my attention. I have a couple of
1). Given the help you provided to Sens. McCain and Graham, why didn't they come to your aid after the
accusations against you?
2). Am I correct in understanding that you sent letters to your senator, Ron Wyden, and received nothing
back at all?
3). Of the accusations against you, which was the most damning in the eyes of those not already biased
against you? (I know you don't consider any of them damning, but others clearly did, and I need to know why).
Sincerely, Jonathan Alter
Dear Mr. Alter –
Thank you for writing me. Here are the answers to your questions, seriatum:
1. Naturally, Senators Graham and McCain are the best sources for that information. My theory about their disappearance is
relatively simple. Whenever sex is mentioned in connection with any high profile individual, regardless of the context, politicians know it
is a losing proposition to become involved. I was totally naïve to think that either of these two ambitious politicians would come to my
aid once I began helping them. Toss in the use of an Air Force psychologist (see below) to give the vague allegations vastly more
sinister connotations and no one is going to touch it – not Graham, not McCain, not even the media, except to report and extrapolate the
allegations themselves. You’ve written extensively and you know as well as I that once sex is mentioned, everything else of
consequence ceases to be heard. It seems to be about the only unforgivable sin, unless one happens to be disloyal to the President by
helping Graham and McCain give the administration a black eye over torture.
2. You are correct in your understanding. Senator Wyden was lionized recently in the local press for having derailed the nomination
of a person to be some deputy in the CIA, because the nominee hadn’t done enough to try to prevent torture. It’s ironic that my
complaint makes clear what happened to someone who did try to speak truth to power on the torture issue, yet Wyden did not
acknowledge the copy I sent him of my complaint to the DOD Inspector General. Neither did he answer an email I sent through his
website asking that he intercede to help get the DOD to move on my Whistleblower Complaint after nearly a year had passed without
action. I sought Wyden’s help since Senator Gordon Smith’s office (which apparently has cognizance over the Congressional aspects
of my case for reasons unknown) was doing nothing to press the DOD. Wyden is not alone. Graham didn’t acknowledge it either. My
representative, David Wu, likewise did not acknowledge my Complaint. At least McCain sent me a note saying he was leaving it in the
hands of Smith.
3. You’re asking me to fathom other peoples’ thinking, which was a large part of what was so wrong with the investigation and
follow-on actions in my case. Your question does it as well by saying that you “know (I) don’t consider any of them (the allegations)
damning . . .” That is not true. I have always acknowledged that my relationship with one female major (who did not work for me but
was also a judge advocate) was inappropriately personal and I said so in my website. What was so damning was the unlawful use of an
Air Force psychologist to diagnose me a sexual predator, based solely on reading a carefully selected subset of my illegally seized
email. That travesty is catalogued in my complaint to the Arizona Board of Psychologist Examiners and attached to my Whistleblower
Complaint, on my website www.thomasjfiscus.net. I have attached the psychologist complaint here for your review. The Arizona Board
initially determined that the psychologist should receive disciplinary action for her conduct. However, the Air Force put on a major show
of force on the psychologist’s behalf and the action was reduced to a letter of reprimand (also attached). The psychologist’s diagnosis
of me colored every line of the Inspector General Report. How could it not? That’s likely to be the unstated undercurrent in any
conversation you have with anyone who purports to have official knowledge of my case.
Jeff Walker <email@example.com> wrote:
Dear General Fiscus,
I just viewed your website after the URL was forwarded to me by a friend on active duty. I was already retired
by the time this all went down, so really have no opinion since all I have heard is a lot of very attenuated
However, regardless of any discipline issues, I had no idea how strongly you had stood against the many
travesties of justice and insults to the Constitution wrought by the current Administration. I have done much
speaking and writing on legal issues emanating from the GWOT since retirement as part of my ongoing work
(begun on active duty) with the American Society of International Law and the Federal Judicial Conference—
including several panels with John Yoo, among many others. (DoD General Counsel actually sent someone
to see what I was saying early on—but were stupid enough to send an old friend of mine who promptly told
me he was there to spy on me!) I have forcefully said on many public occasions over the last four years that
it would surely be the uniformed lawyers of the military services that would form the last bastion of
resistance—and support for the Constitution—against these many unspeakable policies. I am happy to learn
that my faith was not misplaced.
Regardless of the details of the case against you—and I am not one prepared to throw the first stone—you
should be quite proud of the principled stand you took as a matter of duty and loyalty to the Constitution.
History will not be kind to this Administration but will record with honor the valiant efforts of the few (I count
myself in a small way in this group, too) who opposed them from the earliest days.
I am currently the managing partner of a law and international development firm with 20 employees (including
13 attorneys), so am keeping busy.
Jeff Walker, Lt Col (ret), USAF
I so appreciate you taking the time to look at my website and let me know you're out there. I remember you well and that the Air Force
made some mistakes with your career. I am thrilled to hear that you have spoken forcefully for the Constitution and the rule of law. If
you have done any writing on the subject, I'd appreciate seeing that work.
It had been my hope that Sept of 06 would bring some sanity to the torturous interrogation techniques issue based on the stand McCain
and Graham "seemed" to be making. That they eventually caved to the administration was a terrible disappointment to me. One
mystifying aspect of that bizarre scene was the performance of the JAGs that appeared before the SASC to register their disagreement
with the concept of the Geneva Conventions being "quaint" only to send out a letter the next day (no doubt at the behest of Jim Haynes)
saying they could live with the administration version of the bill?!
Anyway, Jeff, it's good to hear from you. I'm not in much of a position to help anyone, but if I can assist as you do your good works on
behalf of the nation, please don't hesitate to let me know.
From: Ed Ransford [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Monday, December 03, 2007 5:09 PM
Subject: RE: Tom Fiscus Website
Read info from the site today – very interesting and enlightening – especially with today’s revelation about
the Iran nuclear weapon intelligence estimate ‘screw-up’! Question I have is why has the web site not been
given over to a ‘20/20’ investigation? With McCain in the Presidential race his camp would probably be very
forthcoming - or very close mouthed. Either way would be interesting to see.
You've actually hit upon the reason for my web site's existence. I didn't really want to post up a website because people automatically
assume it's biased (as if what the government puts out isn't biased). My hope had been that an outside, objective writer would be
interested in the story and bring balance in telling my story. Sadly, what I've learned through all of this is that an accusation of "sex" in
America stops all other relevant discussion. In October 06, I cooperated with CBS' 60 Minutes which sent a producer to my house. We
spent five hours together and he left enthusiastically saying he would return with a crew within two weeks. For reasons not disclosed
to him, the project was nixed by his higher ups. ABC and NBC news have both approached me on the story and decided against it. Jane
Mayer of New Yorker magazine actually wrote a 5000 word piece on my case only to have her editors refuse to print it. Jane was not
told why. I don't know if it has something to do with the McCain connection or is simply DOD officials ominously citing the "diagnosis" of
the AF psychologist (the one who never met me, never interviewed any witnesses, and was fed a carefully selected set of my emails,
solely upon which her diagnosis was based). Whatever the reasons, it falls to me to tell it in this way.
Lynda Beck <email@example.com> wrote:
You are pathetic and you should have been court-martialed!! You're swine!.
Lynda Beck, MSgt Retired
MSgt Beck -
Given what you've read and heard, your reaction doesn't surprise me. What does surprise me is that people hold it against me that the
Air Force didn't choose court-martial. Do you think the Air Force was doing me some sort of favor by putting me to the Hobson's choice
of demanding trial or accepting Article 15 proceedings? If they had the evidence to convict, you're right, they should have tried me. But,
they didn't and they knew it. You didn't read the witness testimony to the IG. It paints a very different picture from the one you've seen.
You can believe this or not, but in many ways, it would have been easier for me if the Air Force had chosen to roll the dice and go to trial.
At least then, the issues would have been narrowed, the prosecution would have to produce hard evidence, witnesses could be cross
examined and a jury would have to be convinced beyond a reasonable doubt. I don't expect people to understand the decision made
with my counsel to accept Article 15. Most don't even understand that it's not a guilty plea to do so. In demanding trial, I might have
prevailed on all the major charges but been convicted of something like a reg violation for sending unofficial email, even though
practically everyone does it. I would have won the battle and lost the war. I would have preserved something of my standing with the
JAG community and crushed my family economically. I had to choose my real family.
From: "Ed Quinn" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: "Thomas Fiscus" <email@example.com>
I find your site to be most impressive. This is a shocking story, which I look forward to discussing with you at
some point when we both have the time. I have always thought that Roche was a contemptible person, and
have heard nothing good about Jumper. I think that the two of them did immense and lasting damage to
USAFA. (I understand from one of our classmates who was in position to know that they may very well have
wanted to damage the institution in the interest of what they saw to be larger goals.) They clearly would not
have minded ruining our friend, Dave Waggie, who was among the more principled guys in the AF. Sounds
as though they really went to extremes with you, though. I recall the consternation about SAF and AFGC
which you expressed during the 2002 Reunion. Obviously, there was even more going on than you knew or
I'm afraid that I am about the farthest thing from an unbiased reader. You are a good friend, and it is painful
to read of the damage done to you and your family. Further, I am spring-loaded to think the worst of the
people in the current administration, particularly those responsible for political-military decisions. As bad as
Roche was, he did not really stand out from a Pentagon pack which included Rumsfeld, Feith, Wolfowitz, etc.
Although I never thought of myself as a hard-core career military guy, the older I get the more highly I identify
with the uniformed military relative to the civilian neocons who have dominated government for the past
several years. (It doesn't help that so few of them served in the military themselves.) I think what they did
with the senior military leadership during the run-up to Iraq and have continued to do for much of the time
since has been highly abusive to the interests of the country. This includes the stifling of opinion, the
systematic advancement of yes-men, the failure to impose accountability upon those who have failed to
perform, and the willingness to trash the careers and lives of several senior officers who have dared to step
out of line.
Thanks for your perspectives. I absolutely agree that Roche and Jumper had it in for the AFA and were not unhappy to have the chance
to work a lot of harmful changes on the Academy. What they did to Dave Wagie and to John Dallagher was criminal. Dave in particular
got unfairly trashed for things he had no control over and not even reason to know about.
I remember sitting at my desk on September 11. I was just putting down the phone from talking to USAFE/JA as the aircraft slammed
into the Pentagon. I have no idea why, but my thought was: "I only hope the Republic can survive." I still have that concern and even
more so now. With a cowed Congress, nearly all neocon judiciary and a somnolent/unquestioning press, the Administration has taken
us to the brink of a police state. I look back on my military service and lament that during those 37 years in uniform, we managed to
become what we were supposed to be defending against.
MAJOR GENERAL Tom Fiscus:
(I refuse to call you Colonel).
Permit me to introduce myself. My name is Dan Eikleberry, USAFA class of 1968, retired USAF reserves, and
retired Boeing 747 Captain , United Airlines. My good friend (and your classmate) Roger Parsons has
forwarded me your web site link and I have spent the past 8 hours reading almost all of it. (Hey, at 0400, I
grew weary of all the attachments, despite how interesting they were!).
Obviously, hind sight being closer to 20/20 than the incredible 3 days you had to make a decision on whether
to go for the a full Court Martial or the Article 15 process despite not even having full disclosure of the
prosecutor's evidence and documents of their investigation; perhaps you would have been better off with
the Court Martial?
But... considering the railroad job of the investigation, your connection with the two senators, and the
determination of the administration to dreg up whatever it took to drum you out of the corp, even given the
extra time to prepare a proper defense, take depositions from the alleged witnesses, and counter each and
every 'specification' of the anonymous complaint in your Article 15....... I think the administration would have
found a way to drum up even more charges as they were convinced to remove this thorn in their side. So,
perhaps the outcome of a Court Martial would not have been any better.
Your Whistleblower letter to the IG of Nov 16, 2006 is still unanswered? It seems quite lopsided that you had
only 3 days to prepare and defend your self in the Article 15, and yet, the IG gets more than ONE YEAR to
investigate, and respond to your complaint.
Has there been any response at all? I could not find any update on your website.
It appears that Mary Walker and General Cook are the lowest forms of life in the service of their country. Just
How have you faired in your admission to the bar in Oregon? Clearly, your forced retirement from the USAF
had nothing to do with your skills as a lawyer and ability to practice law -- it had only to do with someone's
perception of military rules, and false accusations as evidence in a retaliatory investigation to discredit you.
I am truly upset and frustrated at how you have been treated by the Bush administration, all because of your
position on such things as torture and treatment of prisoners, and other matters which were contrary to
administration positions. i suppose its a good thing you did not take a stance on abortion, taxes, welfare, or
illegal immigrants being granted social security benefits!
I wish you well, and hope your life is being put back together. I presume and hope you and Carolyn are well
on the road to a better life, and the IG comes back with a favorable decision on your behalf.
Your 32 years of service makes mine (8 years, active duty, combat tour in Viet Nam, + 13 years inactive ready
reserve) pale in comparison. I have nothing to show for it, other than a wall certificate, a DD-214, and some
photographs. My ID card was confiscated at Nellis AFB because it expired the day before my 60th birthday
and the USAF refuses to issue the permanent card due to some change in the regulations. I'm finished and
done with the USAF. I don't get a dime, I get no benefits, and have totally disconnected myself from anything
to do with the USAF and the USAF Academy forever more. I retired from United Airlines and they terminated
the pension plan I had worked for for 28 years. Life is not fair.
But you and I are survivors. . Stick with it, and good luck, Major General Tom.
You are correct in you assessment about taking a court-martial vs. the article 15. They would have found some way to convict me of
something, even if it was for spitting on the street. The result would have been catastrophic. Within the three days we were allowed to
make the decision, neither I nor my counsel could figure out how to defend something that had never been charged as an offense
before (the tenor of my email). There’s an interesting little twist in the Article 15 process that relatively few folks understand and which
makes it even more difficult to craft and present a defense. It is that even after the Commander makes his decision to punish someone
under Article 15, he (or a higher level commander) can change his mind and go for a court-martial anyway. Anything the accused said
while defending himself in the Article 15 process is then admissible in the subsequent court-martial! It truly was a Hobson’s choice. I
believed that General Cook would see through it all for what it was, but he didn’t.
Yes, my Whistleblower Complaint is still unanswered. I was interviewed telephonically by the DOD IG investigator for his “preliminary”
inquiry in May of this year, but have heard nothing further. I’ve sought help from my Senators and Congressman, but to no avail. None
seem interested in pushing the DOD to answer. Most don’t bother to answer my mail or calls.
I am still slugging it out with the Oregon Bar. I remain hopeful that it will soon be resolved. At nearly two years since I took and passed
the bar exam, it has been a confusing and exhausting further ordeal.
From the sounds of it, Dan, you’ve been pretty poorly served yourself both by the Air Force and United. I’m familiar with the United
bankruptcy, but did not know that they terminated their pension plan. They pay no pension benefits at all? I’m shocked that the Pension
Benefit Guaranty Corporation hasn’t had a role in this to protect those who were purportedly covered. This is outrageous. Is there
anything I can do to help? We survivors have to stick together!
From: "Blevins, Robert" <Robert.Blevins@650mi.shape.army.mil>
General, I found your website to be quite illuminating. The Bush
Administration has been playing hardball with knives for the past 7-8
years. I didn't vote for President Bush during either election and I'm
counting the days until his Administration ends. It has been bad for
America and the credibility and moral standing that the US previously
enjoyed around the world, even here in "Old Europe," as Secretary
Rumsfeld once called it. I just hope that the politics of character
assassination, etc., end with his regime, although I'm not betting on
it. I sincerely hope that your reprisal complaint gets a fair hearing
and a decision in your favor.
Bob Blevins is a terrific officer (retired) with whom I served and eventually assigned to some of the hardest jobs in the JAG Corps. He
always performed superbly and his support means a great deal to me.
Art Kerr <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
It's not clear what you have in mind with publication of your
viewpoint on your web site. What's your desired outcome? Who's your
intended primary readership?
Your questions about my intended outcome and audience are good ones. The intended outcome is relatively simple: bring some sort of
balance to the story of my career and its end. As it is, there is no balance. It is also to make clear that there were some of us who were
trying to do the right thing within the system and for it we were devalued and held to be disloyal, despite being correct. Like everyone
who has served a long time in the military, I had some homilies that developed from observing people and situations. As a JAG who saw
the results of a lot of investigations over my 32 years, I long ago come to the realization that (homily alert) "If and when the government
decides it wants to get you, it will." I never imagined my own homily would become applicable to me.
I don't seek exoneration, only balance. I accept responsibility for my mistakes, and clearly I made some. However, I disagree with
anyone who says that my side of the story is not worth telling or that I should not tell it. Every story has a context and the one
surrounding mine was ignored. The hyperbolic nature of the investigation that occured in my case and the crushing actions taken as
the result of it must be addressed. It's not as if the government always gets it right - WMD in Iraq to justify the war, lies about
wiretapping the citizenry and the sabre rattling over the Iranian "nuclear weapons program" come to mind. I feel an obligation to tell my
story for my family (my grandchildren might want to know), what few friends I have left (I've discovered more since the site went up)and
to the public, including my former communities (JAG, AF, USAFA grads, etc). Hopefully some will be able to allow an alternate view to the
official one to enter into their thinking. Believe me, Art, I did not want to put up a website to tell my side, but that was the only option
available. I documented it as best I could, given that the vast bulk of my FOIA requests for data that would support my position were
I'm happy to enter into any reasoned discussion. Even if sometimes painful, it has to be better than exile.
Sent: Monday, December 03, 2007 12:29 AM
Subject: Re: Fw: Tom Fiscus Website
After reading, "Takeover" by Charlie Savage recently which talks about the JAG disagreement over the
torture issue along with other equally disturbing actions, I find MG Fiscus' account completely credible.
Please pass along our support.
Don is talking about "Takeover: The Return of the Imperial Presidency and the Subversion of American Democracy", by Charlie Savage.
It details the efforts of the Administration to subvert the traditional checks and balances of government created in the Constitution. It
also discusses the Administration's views toward those of us who resisted this hyperbolic extension of Executive powers.
After my departure from the Pentagon, there appears to have been a short period of truce on the Administration's effort to politicize the
JAG Corps. It didn't last long however, as Charlie Savage subsequently reported for the Boston Globe in December 2007.
Fortunately, by the time this most recent effort took place, people had wised up to the Administration's overreaching. See the article by
Rick Maze for the Army Times Newspapers.
Erik Holmes <email@example.com> wrote:
I read a Boston Globe article yesterday that says the White House is pushing a proposal to put the
promotion process for all JAGs under the Pentagon's general counsel. This seems to get right to the issue
that you talk about on your Web site -- retribution against JAGs for opposing the administration's detainee
policies. Apparently the proposal, part of a broader set of proposed changes to officer promotion
procedures, has been circulated around the Pentagon for comment. Have you seen these proposed
changes, and can you provide a copy to me? I'd also like to talk to you about these proposed changes after I
get a chance to take a look at them.
Mr Holmes -
I read the article by Charlie Savage and suggested he read my National War College paper on the original "hostile takeover" attempt
made by Jim Haynes/Terry O'Donnell/David Addington back in the early 90s. It is available on my website on the Chronology page.
I do not have a copy of the proposed changes to JAG promotions as I receive little to no information from my former colleagues. Putting
JAG on the defensive by finding a way to trash me was just the first step in the renewed plan to politicize military law and military
From: "Dan Lohmeyer" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
We haven’t seen each other for over 35 years. We didn’t spend very much time together at the Academy
beyond the fact that we were Comp Sci majors together with Skip Van Orne and a few others. It was a pretty
small group. I do clearly recall you as someone who was a good guy, as well as begin quietly confident,
capable and quite intelligent.
Your career success validates that clear recollection. I’ve noted with interest your progression and am
pleased you did so well.
As for the subject of the web site, I just have to say that I am not really all that surprised at the conduct of the
Administration toward you. I have always seen 9/11 as giving George Bush the “mandate” he wasn’t capable
of getting from the electorate, and I feared that in his inexperience and naïveté he would screw it up. My
only hope was that he had good advisors, and we all know how that played out. What they have done to our
national model of justice is perhaps the most troubling of all they have wrought, except for the fact that there
seems to be an awful lot of folks agreeing with them. As it all unfolded, I wondered if ANYONE was telling
these guys that it wasn’t how America acts (my wife kept telling me to “…stop talking to the television!”). I’m
now pleased and grateful to understand you were there doing that—thank you. Another validation of my
And now they have run you over with the bus; something they seem to do with regularity although this ordeal
seems particularly conspiratorial and preordained—pretty scary. This isn’t the country you and I gave major
portions of our life to serve; I hope it gets turned around soon.
Tom, beyond my thanks I offer my sincere condolences for your treatment. I do hope that you, your family and
your legal career will be able to move beyond all this. The sooner you shake the dust off your sandals the
better. Not sure there is anything I can do to help; I do make that offer. Please feel free to call if I can.
It is so good to hear from you. I do remember well our tiny crew of "computer geeks" back at the zoo. Thank you for taking the time to
look at my website and for writing me such a thoughtful, kind and moving note. With few exceptions, our classmates have been very
supportive and Carolyn and I are grateful for that support. It has been a lonely three years.
You are so right about the Administration. I only hope the republic can survive another year of its reign of lawlessness and subversion
of the Constitution.
I would not presume to ask your help, but if you care to, please ask your Congressional delegation to press the DOD for a decision on my
Complaint. It only took them 50 days to investigate me, but in 13 months they have not to acted on my request. I don't know if they hope
to draw it out until the Administration has left office, but they're headed that way.