Context of the Korea Special Forces Story

28.05.12

Categorie: David Axe, North Korea, Special Forces |
Tags: ,

by DAVID AXE

Some folks have accused me of “fabricating” quotations I attributed to Army Brig. Gen. Neil Tolley regarding U.S. surveillance operations in North Korea. See the original story here … and skepticism here and here.

The context was a panel featuring theater Special Operations Forces commanders at the SOFIC conference in Florida the week of May 21. Tolley spoke on the record to an audience of hundreds of industry, government and media representatives.

If he was speaking hypothetically, he did not say so. He spoke in the present tense … and at length. (Probably five minutes or so.)

Update #1: Oops. Actually, don’t take Paul McLeary at Defense News as corroboration. He has a different spin on the story. And besides, I forgot that he and I used some of the same notes — my notes. But my notes have Tolley saying what I attribute to him in the story.

Look people, Korea’s not my usual beat. Far from it. I don’t always know what’s news and what isn’t in Korea. But I was in the room at the conference. I took notes. There were many hundreds of witnesses — and cameras, too, I think.

Update #2: People are telling me that surely Tolley was speaking hypothetically. If so, he did not specify. Or if he did, I did not hear him. I heard him describing the technical challenges of conducting human surveillance in North Korea. He described the problem, and his solution to the problem, and the challenges incumbent in the solution. Sounded pretty concrete to me.

Update #3: Comment from U.S. Forces Korea:

Brig. Gen. Tolley recently participated in a theater special operations command commander panel discussion at a Special Operations Forces industry conference.  Some reporting has taken great liberal license with his comments and taken him completely out of context. Quotes have been made up and attributed to him.  No U.S. or ROK forces have parachuted into North Korea. Though special reconnaissance is a core special operations force mission, at no time have SOF forces been  sent to the north to conduct special reconnaissance. The use of tunnels in North Korea is well documented. Several of the known tunnels along the DMZ are visited by tourists every day.

Update #4: Frankly, I’m relieved to hear the military say we’re NOT sending troops into North Korea. Some observers wonder how I could ever believe that we HAD — after all, that would be an act of war. Yes, but we routinely strike military and terror targets in foreign countries in ways that could be construed as acts of war. Pakistan, anyone? Korea watchers are SHOCKED at Tolley’s comments, whatever the general’s true meaning was. I guess I wasn’t as shocked because I’m accustomed to creeping American warfare.

By the way, I’m beginning to realize what a big deal this all is. Wish I’d realized that earlier. But all that doesn’t change what Tolley said, according to my notes.

Update #5: I got to say, I’m hating this. I honestly had no idea this tiny little story would be such a big deal. Yes, the news was “surprising” to me. But a lot of news is a surprise to me … that’s why it’s news.

Update #6: I really hope someone has a transcript of this panel. Are my handwritten notes inaccurate? Was the general vague in his comments? A third-party written record will help clear this up. Anyone?

Update #7: So I’m attaching photos of my notes. Hard to read, I know. And yes, I could FAKE notes. So I realize these won’t necessarily convince anyone who thinks I’m a North Korean agent trying to incite a war. For what it’s worth …

Update #8: Any other reporters who want clarity on this chain of reporting, contact me at david_axe-at-hotmail.com. I’m in U.S. eastern time.

Update #9: Can I reiterate please how much I’m hating this? I’ve been shot at and blown up and even kidnapped without feeling as crappy as I do about this. I’m in this weird vortex where so many people are telling me I could not possibly have heard what I said I heard that part of me is beginning to believe them. I keep re-reading my notes, as though looking for something new. I’m a reliable note-taker and a fairly seasoned reporter (I think) but I can only write down what I hear and what I understand. Did I really screw something up here? Am I being snowed by a general who said something he shouldn’t have and now fears for his career? Is it all a misunderstanding? I have no idea any more. I just have these two sheets of paper in my hand … and a lot of people telling me I’m about to start a war.

Update #10: I’ve emailed the conference organizers asking for a transcript. Hoping they have one … and can clarify what’s happening here. I’ve spoken to several reporters tonight who are trying to suss out the truth. It’s been a long sleepless night — and it’s not nearly over.

Update #11: The kicker? My power is mostly out at home, so I’m trying to manage this crisis in, ahem, less than optimal conditions. This sucks.

Update #12: Talking to U.S. Forces Korea, trying to get SPECIFIC remarks from them regarding exactly what quotations I “made up.” Several hours into this hoopla, I’m actually starting to get mad. I was in the room when the general spoke. I took notes, for crying out loud. I discussed the general’s comments with other people after the fact. I’m not perfect. But I’m also not crazy.

Update #13: National Defense Magazine was in the room — and published their story a week before my own. Their wording makes Tolley’s comments seem hypothetical, I think.

Update #14: Still waiting on U.S. Forces Korea to call back. My sense at this point is that Tolley found himself saying more than he really wanted to, but can claim he was only speaking hypothetically. Allow me to be clear: if he was speaking hypothetically, it was not at all clear from his comments.

Also, it’s not clear to me he knew there were reporters in the room. I was fully accredited for the conference and wearing a bright orange badge identifying me as press. (There were at least a dozen reporters at the event at any one time.) The orange badge granted me access to some speeches and activities, but not others. Before Tolley’s speech, I was actually turned away from the auditorium by a guard who insisted press were not allowed. I checked with event organizers. They said press were allowed, and escorted me back into the room. Did Tolley know there were reporters in the room? I’ll ask once USFK calls me back.

Update #15: Okay, I think it boils down to these words: “We have to put humans there.” (Both my notes and National Defense‘s story include this quotation.) When Tolley said this, was he saying we might have to put humans there in North Korea, or we already are? I understood him to mean we already are. He apparently claims otherwise.

Update #16: I spoke to USFK Col. Jonathan Withington. “I don’t have his transcript in front of me,” Withington said. “The important thing is at no time have Special Operations Forces gone north into North Korea.”

I told The Diplomat I will step down as a regular contributor. I want to spare them any additional damage. But let me be clear: Tolley did not state that he was speaking hypothetically. And he described in detail his need (either at present or eventually, conditionally — he did not specify) to “leap” forces north with ever-lighter and better equipment. I’m told that represents a present or potential violation of the Koreas’ armistice. Which, apparently, USFK takes very seriously … though Pyongyang does not.

Update #17: There is news.

I have info from another reporter who was in the room. They say they are told no transcript of Tolley’s comments will be available, contrary to what I was told earlier. Plus, this is what the reporter says Tolley said:

Concealment of their entire military infrastructure is hidden from satellites and other aerial  reconnaissance and that is an issue for us, so our ISR platforms are not as effective as we need them to be. So we put humans in there. Without going into too much detail on our war plans, we send ROK soldiers, Koreans, to the north, and U.S. soldiers, to do the old special reconnaissance mission. We used to do it in the 80s in Europe. It’s roughly the same kind of thing.

Sounds pretty concrete to me. And matches what I reported, minus the hemming and hawing on the “We send” line.

The other reporter asked Tolley for clarification and PRIVATELY — and not to me — he said this:

No, no, no, I meant future war plans, i.e. in the event of future all-out hostilities, I would send up USSOF-ROK teams behind enemy lines and they’d need to gather intelligence without much logistical support. The whole country is already starving and if there is all-out war, my people will need to carry in their own supplies, and use equipment that is self-sustaining, where it is solar  or battery powered.

It’s clear now that Tolley misspoke and USFK is in damage-control mode. At my expense. USFK’s claim I “made up” Tolley’s quotations is a LIE. I will be demanding a retraction of USFK’s statement.

Update #18: Another reporter who was in the room has corroborated the quotations I attributed to Tolley.

Update #19: Pentagon Press Secretary George Little is saying on TV that I “contorted, distorted and misreported” Tolley’s comments. Not true. See VoA’s Steve Herman: “An experienced military reporter in the room in Tampa May 22 tells me @daxe did NOT misquote BGEN Tolley on SOF into #DPRK.” I have contacted Pentagon media officer LTC James Gregory demanding comment. I sent him multiple accounts of Tolley’s comments.

Update #20: Reporter Sean Naylor: “I was there. Maybe a misspeak but Tolley clearly said ROK and US troops were going into NK for recon, as @daxe reported.”

Update #21: For the record, I have been sitting in front of my computer and iPhone for 15 hours, with a two-hour nap. Damage control from 11 PM last night to now 2 PM EST. And there’s no end in sight.

Update #22: I’ve contacted LTC James Gregory again. He can be reached at james.gregory@osd.mil.

LTC Gregory,

You’ve seen all my corroboration. Is the Pentagon going to retract its accusations against me or not? To repeat, I’ve been accused of “making up” and “contorting” open comments by BG Tolley. Two other reporters in the room say I did not do so. What is the Pentagon’s response?

Regards,

David Axe

Update #23: Dino Pignotti from the National Defense Industrial Association, which hosted Tolley at SOFIC, has not responded to my query regarding transcripts of the event. I hear through a couple sources that there will be no transcripts. Hoping that’s not true. [Update: Dino wrote to say my note had been funneled into spam, hence the delay. He added that no, there is no transcript.]

To Gen. Tolley: It’s now 5:30 AM in Seoul, so you’re probably awake. How about a comment? You’re surely an impressive officer, but are you also a decent person? I have been thorough and utterly transparent in laying out the facts as I see them. I’ve posted my notes. I’ve gotten corroboration from other people who heard you speak. So now it’s your turn to answer for your command’s claim that I “made up” quotations in my story. You’re a soldier. Now be a man.

I called back LTC Gregory seeking comment. I had told him earlier that if I didn’t get anything back from him by the close of business today, I would consider it a “no comment.” I left my number. He has my email. If I don’t hear back in 45 minutes, then the official response from the Pentagon is “no comment.” They repeatedly accused me of misquoting someone — including on on national TV. They refuse to release a transcript. They ignore the two other reporters who corroborate my reporting. And still … “no comment.”

Update #24: Victory! LTC Gregory called to say that I was accurate in my quoting of Tolley — and U.S. Forces Korea’s statement accusing me of “making up” Tolley’s comments cannot be defended. Read Gregory’s statement here.

Update #25: From U.S. Forces Korea: “After reviewing the remarks made by Brig. Gen. Neil Tolley at a Special Forces Industry Conference on May 22 in Tampa, it is evident there were opportunities for attendees to draw the wrong conclusion from what he said.”

Update #26: From Voice of America’s Steve Herman: “BGEN Tolley in statement: “After further review of the reporting, I feel I was accurately quoted” (by @daxe).”

Update #27: A former Navy SEAL named Brandon T. Webb wrote a suicide note in my name and posted it to his blog. After a few hours he added a disclaimer stating it was satire.

Update #28: BG Tolley has been fired, has stepped down voluntarily or, at the very least, is being rotated into a different position.

Update #29: Steve Herman at VoA reports that Tolley’s replacement was long planned.

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53 Responses to “Context of the Korea Special Forces Story”

  1. ewok40k says:

    just an idea… paradrop several dozens blocks of dry ice into NK, watch NK paranoia go up to eleven when they find parachutes, we can even hope some search parties start shooting each other…

  2. The Diplomat says:

    Update #17
    Clarification on North Korea
    By The Diplomat

    In response to the controversy that has attended yesterday’s story on North Korea, The Diplomat has sought corroboration. While the author strongly disputes the contention that any quote was fabricated, we acknowledge the possibility that Brig. Gen. Tolley was speaking hypothetically, about future war plans rather than current operations. The author insists he heard no such qualification, but if there has been a misunderstanding then we regret any confusion.

    http://the-diplomat.com/flashpoints-blog/2012/05/29/clarification-on-north-korea/

  3. [...] On his blog, Axe initially defended his reporting before equivocating. [...]

  4. Matt says:

    This reminds me of when a friend asked me whether I was stationed in North Korea or South Korea. While not expecting my friend to be an expert on North Korea, I could understand how he didn’t know. I speculate I may have known no US forces were in the North prior to enlisting, but figured the politics of it are just above my level of understanding; just how segregated the people of North Korea are from the free ‘capitalist’ world is sometimes difficult to believe and I could see how someone might believe that cross-border incursions would be ordinary like during the cold war with the former USSR.

  5. James says:

    Isn’t this a severe breach of journalism 101? You “thought” or “assumed” or “Korea’s not my usual beat” are horrible excuses. In addition, your story relies on a few barely legible, scribbled notes and your recollection of the conference.

    The U.S. parachuting into North Korea would be front page on every newspaper in America. Liberal license indeed….

    My guess is you wrote the article in a Tampa strip club, all-night-drinking FOG. I bet your head is clear NOW.

  6. Lol says:

    Lol trolololol

  7. [...] Diplomat has yanked my “commandos in North Korea” story, under pressure from those who claim I “made up” Brig. Gen. Neil Tolley’s [...]

  8. Michael says:

    I think this is all pretty simple…you lack the required background knowledge to cover North Korean affairs. An admission of putting boots on the ground inside the DPRK should have generated several follow-up questions and clarification.

    You’ve done the honorable thing by resigning from your post.

  9. [...] On his blog, Axe initially defended his reporting before equivocating. [...]

  10. It’s very easy to see why it would be the official policy of the United States government never to acknowledge or disclose any special forces activity in North Korea. It’s also very easy to see why the United States might be tempted to use its special forces for that purpose. After all, reconnaissance of super secret enemy locations is what special forces are *for*.

    I don’t have much difficulty accepting the position of the individuals concerned: i.e. David Axe heard what he heard, Brigadier Tolley misspoke but can, under no circumstances, acknowledge or confirm boots on the ground.

  11. David Axe says:

    I also think it’s simple. The general said what I said he said. U.S. Forces Korea lied when they claimed I “made up” his comments.

  12. [...] Given the backlash Tuesday to his initial four-paragraph story, he had become uncertain about its accuracy, he said. He posted his notes from the event on a personal blog. [...]

  13. Michael says:

    Again, you should have asked for a clarification once the General made his remarks. The fact that you did not understand the ramifications of his comments indicates that you lack sufficient knowledge to be reporting on this subject.

  14. Sol says:

    David!

    Stop it! You wrote what you heard and thats the end of it. All this second guessing is unnecessary. The general got outside himself, said things that he shouldn’t have and is now trying to walk it back.

    Personally I’m waiting to see what happens in a month or so if not sooner. But all things considered this walk back by SOCOM is rather tepid. Also its interesting that we haven’t seen an eruption by S. Korean newspapers or policy makers. Everything points to you being right. No attendees are being trotted out to refute your story. Other journalist aren’t slamming you in the press.

    Just hang in there guy!

  15. David Axe says:

    Yeah, I’ve got two other reporters who were in the room backing up my quotations. I’ll be seeking a retraction from U.S. Forces Korea.

  16. ptc says:

    Even if he was speaking in hypothetical terms, that violates one of the cardinal rules of talking to the press: NEVER SPEAK IN HYPOTHETICALS!!!! A) Because someone may take you literally, and B) You may really want to talk about some cool classified op, but can’t, so you mutter “hypothetically speaking” under your breath before launching into discussions about classified ops so you can cover your ass.

    It’s this General you should be getting grilled for either misspeaking or talking about something he knows he shouldn’t be talking about. Not you.

  17. Valparaiso says:

    Oh, man, this is such utter bullshit. Some general screws up his statement and you get shit on.

  18. Jordan says:

    Hmm, not surprising that they would throw you under the bus rather than admit they made a mistake.

    Although I question the idea to run with such a controversial story without some extra safe fact checking.

  19. David Axe says:

    Yeah, call me silly, but I didn’t actually think the story was all that controversial. Neat and surprising, but also fairly routine in this era of creeping warfare.

  20. J Davis says:

    Your surprise that this “little” story is such a big deal exposes your weakness in reporting on it. It is a problem that you don’t see how this is controversial this issue is. You clearly don’t understand the fine lines of the DMZ cease fire agreement over there and that is a big problem. It’s irrelevant if Tolley mis-spoke or you heard it wrong. The fact that you don’t get why this is such a big deal is a problem. If you knew why this was such a big deal, you might have checked the quote before you ran it.

  21. ColKurtz says:

    Yes, sorry to pile on, but honestly it’s not matter of whether it’s your “beat” or not. North Korea completely manufactures reasons for aggression, as any person who covers war in general should know. Maybe you heard about them torpedoing a South Korean naval ship a couple of years ago, killing 39 sailors, completely unprovoked. No reason given (they denied it despite overwhelming evidence). They shelled a south korean island a few months after… killing 4 south koreans (including 2 civilians). They claim, completely proven bogus, that South Koreans fired on them first.

    So if they’re making things up to kill people, how do they react to a story of US infiltration? It’s not an exaggeration to say your story could have(or might) invite some sort of saving-face response. You have read that North Korea has a new leader, right, who might look to this as a reason to respond to bolster his leadership with the military? Nor is it an exaggeration to say that if North Korea does use this in some future aggression, you may honestly have blood on your hands… because you didn’t do some basic fact-checking and didn’t understand its significance.

    You should just stop, the story doesn’t have legs, and your comment about wanting a retraction is ridiculous. You admit you’re not completely sure if you heard it right, and there are conflicting accounts. Your story is wrong, but unlike most subjects, it could have dangerous ramifications even if wrong. You did the right thing by resigning.

  22. [...] are in agreement that the words you heard came out of his [Brig. Gen. Neil Tolley's] mouth. I don’t believe what you wrote is inaccurate. … I heard him say those [...]

  23. C Karsten says:

    @ ColKurtz,

    Surely considering “if they’re [North Koreans] making things up to kill people, how do they react to a story of US infiltration?”. If anyone is in line for reprimands and resignations, it is the general who was foolhardy enough to make the statements in a room full of reporters, and not the reporters covering it. Assuming otherwise is a little like putting the cart before the horse.

  24. Wedge says:

    “Yeah, call me silly, but I didn’t actually think the story was all that controversial. Neat and surprising, but also fairly routine in this era of creeping warfare.”

    The above is an admission that you don’t know much about North Korea and the American and South Korean relationship with it, “creeping warfare” or not. Other reporters figured out that this would be major news and sought clarification before filing a story that would have been earth-shattering had it been true.

    Also, just because the USFK, which has historically badly handled PR, did you wrong doesn’t make you right in this whole affair.

  25. Tracie says:

    Looking at your notes, which you are using as corroborating evidence, it seems they are all partial quotes with no complete sentences. As a journalist myself (covering North Korea from the South, not that that makes a difference), I’d say if you don’t have the skills to take better, more complete notes, you should purchase a voice recorder. In fact, why not do so anyway? Then you have what was said, verbatim, rather than cobbling together a story from partial quotes out of context.
    And yes, with something that obviously IS a big deal, clarify before publishing.

  26. David Axe says:

    No, my note-taking habits work just fine for me — have for years. The FORM of my notes was never the issue. U.S. Forces Korea insisted that the CONTENT — that is, the actual quotations and facts — were fabricated. But now the Pentagon admits that’s not true.

    It’s rare I’ll take audio recordings at a trade show because I’d wind up with many many hours of chaotic audio to sift through looking for my actual information. Written notes are much more precise and, most importantly, searchable. I have to report and write stories on very tight deadlines, day after day. No time for transcribing hours of tape.

    And for most magazine fact-checkers, written notes are adequate.

  27. David, I’ve been reading your stuff for a while now and I’ve always enjoyed it. However, I’m a little surprised that as a seasoned military blogger, you thought it would be a good idea to report this…at least without first maybe asking the General if that was a good idea. This is a story I would expect the New York Times to run with, not someone who should know or appreciate the implications of such a story. As soon as I read the first paragraph, before any of this blew up, I knew this would cause problems. Reporting that we are dropping US soldiers into North Korea..that is a huge deal..this is not some drone strikes in Pakistan. The implications are enormous, not only to the potential for an overreaction from NK leading to war, but to risk our soldiers lives if they are in fact over there. If the General was telling the truth, it should have been immediately obvious that he said more than he intended too. immediately. I’m not sure why you thought it was a good idea to report this without checking first, but it’s clear to me if in fact there were other reporters in the room, most of them appeared to know better.

  28. [...] Press Secretary, potentially sparks a nuclear war with North Korea, and comes out on top – all in one day. This entry was posted in War Is Boring. Bookmark the permalink. ← Casualty [...]

  29. And it’s a shame you are more worried about your reputation than the potential ramifications of your negligent reporting. This is the kind of stuff that gets people killed, and in the worst case, could start a war. The more I think about it, the more shocked I am. The fact that you have been vindicated in your accuracy as to what was said does not make this even close to OK.

  30. Steve Weintz says:

    So shaming the messenger is how we handle 3-stars who talk too much in public.

    Other seasoned reporters may have sat on the comment, but then, who owns their shops? How secure are their jobs? David is independent, like the blog says. It’s his own butt on the line, not an editor beholden to moneymen.

    Regarding his concern for his reputation, it’s called self-reflection. It implies a moral compass and a willingness to challenge personal beliefs.

    Th implications of the story are indeed big — that’s why it’s news. It’s NOT news that we are currently engaged in a silent war with an adversary we’re still at war with 60 years later. It’s NOT some kind of professional lapse to report that SOCOM is actively working in a country that’s going down the toilet in 2 years and taking the Yellow Sea with it.

    Finally, condescending lectures from the headmaster don’t cut it as commentary. @casual observer: I’d like to see your chops.

  31. [...] his report), requested for a transcript of the speech (weirdly unavailable) and posted his hand written notes from that day, along with several other comments, on his blog as [...]

  32. [...] Given the backlash Tuesday to his initial four-paragraph story, he had become uncertain about its accuracy, Axe said. He posted his notes from the event on a personal blog. [...]

  33. casual_observer says:

    Steve, it’s funny that his moral compass didn’t consider the risks to the lives of those soldiers who might be parachuting behind enemy lines in NK…arguably the most dangerous place in the world for US troops given their isolation from support. That isn’t Pakistan where you can just sneak a helicopter across the border and pick them up, or walk back across the border to friendly territory.

    The General screwed up too, and his job should probably be on the line for saying something like that. Officers have been fired for much less. But that does not justify the actions of the messenger, because this doesn’t become an international boondoggle without him.

  34. David Axe says:

    @Casual:

    I’m a REPORTER. It’s my job to be a messenger. I don’t lord over American generals deciding which of their on-the-record comments about military operations should be considered safe to report. It’s his job to maintain his own organization’s operational security.

    On the other hand, if you really do want reporters to be the arbiters of operational security, I’d be happy to assume the role. That would mean declassifying ALL U.S. military operations from throughout history, so that I can begin deciding what should be reported and what shouldn’t. Hint: I’m going to report everything.

  35. Bryan Kay says:

    Chin up, David. Gotta love some of the sanctimonious responses you’re getting. Fact is, like Hillary Clinton, the guy “misspoke” and you’re taking the heat with both barrels.
    Also, this pap about your note-taking: nonsense. Unless you can write shorthand, you’ll struggle to get down tranches of complete sentences of what people say as the rate at which the average person speaks is about 150 words per minute, if I remember correctly. These days – or when I was trained in 2003, at least – they teach Teeline shorthand as the industry standard at 100 words per minute. The older method, Pittman’s, takes longer to learn but allows you to get up to about 200 word per minute. In an ideal world, I guess we’d all have this skill – and organizations wouldn’t be so quick to shift the blame.

  36. Bob Coleman says:

    Don’t do that again.

  37. David Axe says:

    Don’t do what, Bob? Report shit? Please.

  38. [...] you to feel that’s what [Pentagon spokesman George Little] is doing. We are in agreement that the words you heard came out of his [Brig. Gen. Neil Tolley's] mouth. I don’t believe what you wrote is inaccurate. … I heard him say those [...]

  39. [...] I discuss North Korea, Special Forces and the military’s accusations (since retracted) that I fabricated a news story about the [...]

  40. Sample Jack says:

    This is the same David Axe who was kicked out of Iraq as an embedded journalist for reporting on the US Army’s secretive counter-IED jammers, a topic that at the time was a big “no-no” to report on due to the effectiveness of the jammers and the need to keep the operation of the devices a secret.

  41. Matt says:

    “Report shit?”

    Let’s agree that a modicum of your ignorance allowed you to do just that.

  42. [...] you to feel that’s what [Pentagon spokesman George Little] is doing. We are in agreement that the words you heard came out of his [Brig. Gen. Neil Tolley's] mouth. I don’t believe what you wrote is inaccurate. … I heard him say those [...]

  43. [...] das werden kann, wenn man sein Hirn ausschaltet, bevor man schreibt, davon kann ja gerade ein amerikanischer Journalist ein Lied singen, der eine Story über angebliche Missionen amerikanischer Spezialkommandos in Nordkorea geschrieben [...]

  44. [...] When we asked George the day before yesterday about the North Korea story, he was very dismissive of it, to say the least, and was critical of the reporter who wrote it. And [...]

  45. [...] the height of the controversy over my recent story in The Diplomat about Special Forces in North Korea, I stepped down from my role as a regular [...]

  46. [...] days after falsely accusing me of “making up” quotations I attributed to him, it appears Brig. Gen. Neil Tolley, commander of Special Operations Forces for U.S. Forces Korea, [...]

  47. a soldier says:

    hey man, i got nothing against you reporting the news, but what does piss me off, as it does with every reporter, is your blatant disregard for soldiers well beings. wether there were guys on the ground or not, reporting what you did could have put lives at risk. And, you’re not the first. i watched this happen numerous times through out Iraq and Afghanistan. I got free speech and all, but think about the second and third order effects.

  48. [...] it appears that Neil Tolley, the general who accused me of fabricating quotes attributed to him, has either been fired or has voluntarily stepped down — though it’s [...]

  49. John says:

    David,

    Next time, you should take a recording machine
    with you so that you can play it on web site.

    Cheers!

  50. Matt says:

    Yes, David, a recording machine is in order. I think Dr. Strangelove could invent such a thing for just the likes of you.

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