It Appears Brig. Gen. Neil Tolley Has Been Fired or Stepped Down … Maybe

01.06.12

Categorie: Blog Business, David Axe, Reporters, Special Forces |
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by DAVID AXE

Five 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, has either been fired or has voluntarily stepped down, or perhaps was slated for rotation in any event. Per a Pentagon press release dated today, his replacement is:

Brig. Gen. Eric P. Wendt, deputy commander, Regional Command North, International Security Assistance Force, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Operation Enduring Freedom, Afghanistan, to commanding general, Special Operations Command Korea, U.S. Forces Korea, Republic of Korea.

To be clear, I never wanted Tolley fired — as though I had any say in the matter, which I obviously don’t. I made it clear in several media interviews that I didn’t want Tolley to suffer.

I did, however, want an apology from Tolley … and never got one.

Update #1: I’m told there are several feasible cover stories (that could in fact be true). Namely, the Pentagon could say Tolley, who had been in his former post since late 2010, was due for rotation. But the timing seems … suspect.

Update #2: Reportedly the Pentagon says Tolley’s replacement was planned long in advance. Timing still feels fishy to me.

Update #3: Steve Herman at VoA reports that Tolley’s replacement was long planned.

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8 Responses to “It Appears Brig. Gen. Neil Tolley Has Been Fired or Stepped Down … Maybe”

  1. Brian Black says:

    Does Axe really deserve an apology from Tolley? He quickly made it clear that the quotes attributed to him by Axe were correct, and that he misspoke by presenting what he wanted to put across in a way that might be misconstrued; however, Axe did report Tolley’s comments out of context, thereby presenting an entirely different reality.
    It appears to me that two people are at fault here. In a room that I assume must have been brimming with military journalists, it seems that only one picked up this incredible scoop and ran with it – as though waking up half way through the presentation. Axe has been vindicated, as far as the quotes are concerned, but he should maintain some humility when it comes to expecting an apology.

  2. danny black says:

    why does Axe deserve an apology? He claimed that the US was sending troops into the DPRK, a statement that 30 seconds of fact checking could have shown was false. It was clearly a big enough deal for him to mention it but not enough to even ask if his “interpretation” was correct.

    Maybe next time, he’ll bother to check what he was writing was not patent bollocks

  3. Brian Black says:

    Perhaps the magnanimous action for David Axe now is to repeat what I think he’s made clear already -that it was a genuine misinterpretation of what had been said- but also to offer a sincere personal apology to Neil Tolley for any difficulty or embarrassment caused to him.

    If Neil Tolley were then to offer personal apology of his own, then that would likely be the best public outcome that either could hope for. If Tolley were not to reciprocate, then sobeit – time to move on. It does after all appear that it was the idle response from some Pentagon press officer that gave the impression that Axe had dreamed up his quotes; not Tolley.

  4. Alejandro says:

    To be the Devils advocate it is still unsure weather or not the General was aware that the press were allowed at his speech, as Mr. Axe was originally denied entry into the room, as well as the fact that Mr. Axe’s expertise (if one can describe it as such)is covering the various shadow wars and military interventions the United States undertakes.

    A military surveillance mission into North Korea (which is also the only country the United States is legally at war with) is both feasible, rational, and justifiable given the circumstances of the article and the generals position and rank place him on the the list of people who would have knowledge and authority to supervise such a mission should it have occurred.

    Let us take a moment and also reconsider the scale at which the United States conducts intelligence operations in the wake of both the Cold War and September 11 and weight them against the priority of knowing North Korean troop movements and the purpose of North Korean military buildup near the DMZ after the fairly recent death of their glorious leader.

    Considering some of the more recent events in other parts of the globe, the “Abbottabad” Raid, mysterious deaths/assassinations of Iranian Nuclear Scientists, the sudden Ethiopian and more recently Kenyan Interventions/Invasions of southern Somalia, nearly every other major action taken by the Colombian military, Operation Odyssey Dawn, and the support of the Free Syrian Army, it is safe to assume that the department of defense is willing to engage in risky and sudden actions given the opportunity.

  5. [...] 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 also possible he was due to be replaced in any [...]

  6. Random_Dude says:

    General Officer/Flag Officer assignments are typically posted months in advance by the Department of Defense. BG Tolley was neither fired nor did he step down. He still due to rotate this fall as per the norm.

    If you don’t know how to decipher context and manner of speaking then maybe journalism just isn’t for you. Additionally, if you don’t have the slightest inkling as to how the DoD works insofar as the posting of GOFO assignments is concerned then maybe you ought to find a new line of work. At least Google, sheesh.

    Somehow, you’re the only blogger (or journalist) that I have seen cover this story and somehow construe BG Tolley’s remarks as anything other than hypothetical or speaking in generalities.

  7. [...] #28: BG Tolley has been fired, has stepped down voluntarily or, at the very least, is being rotated into a different [...]

  8. Gunner says:

    Frankly, I think Axe is a mouth breathing idiot. Who in Gods name would write a post like that willy nilly? Why?

    A. It’s bullshit in which case you’re an idiot.

    B. It’s true, and writing about it seriously puts our troops at risk, in which case you are a treasonous idiot.

    I would say the jury says, IDIOT!

    Kill yourself now.

    You freaking moron.

    Gunr

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