Mr. President, Stop Feeding Your Best to the Wolves

Dear President Obama,

As a former CIA paramilitary operations officer, I worked for two of your predecessors. One was a staunch defender of the US Constitution. The other was more occupied with the New World Order. During that time I also worked for two different Directors of Central Intelligence. One was a man I respected greatly, one who understood the origins and importance of the Central Intelligence Agency and the real threat of our greatest enemy of the last century.



The author (right) during his service as a CIA paramilitary in Central America with a comrade.

The other was a boy scout who would have better served his country by remaining a judge or Director of the FBI. The present scapegoating by Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr., reminds me of those later counterproductive days, when those thinking heavily-fought for privileges afforded American citizens should be also given our most deadly foreign enemies on foreign soil, and that we need to be more like the Euros.

According to a July 13, 2011 Associated Press article, former-US Army Green Beret and CIA Paramilitary Operations Officer Steve Stormoen, 56, could potentially be charged with a war crime. The “crime” in question was the interrogation and death, at Abu Ghraib, of a prisoner, Manadel al-Jamadhi, captured during an operation by Stormoen and a team of US Navy SEALs. The prisoner was taken to a shower stall and then, while handcuffed, a sandbag was placed over his face. Within an hour, he expired.

Holder is quickly becoming recognized as the most dangerous man to the American people and The Constitution of the United States, and in no clearer example of this is his office leaking a story to a reporter from AP, to out a former-paramilitary operations officer,

In a glaring attempt to make the United States seem like an even friendlier ally of the Islamist states. From the article it appears the evidence is stacked up against Stormoen.

But, there is a lot Holder’s office did not feed the AP reporter. First, al-Jamadhi was a terrorist, and suspected of the bombing deaths of twelve civilians at a Red Cross facility, and the caching of two tons of explosives for more attacks. At midnight, on the day in question, eight years ago, when the SEAL team and paramilitary officer Stormoen made a dynamic entry, al-Jamadhi went for an AK47.


Stormoen and every one of those SEALs would have been in the complete right to have put two slugs in his chest, and one in the head. Anyone who has experienced such scenarios knows that taking a prisoner alive puts an operator at much greater risk than discharging three quick shots. But, Stormoen and the SEALs were the best of the best, and knew the importance of the information al-Jamadhi could provide: they subdued him, wrestling him into submission, a couple butt-strokes of their weapons in the process. They then took al-Jamadhi to Abu-Ghraib, and after placing him in a cell,

Stormoen left along with the SEALs. Stormoen was not at Abu Graib when the prisoner died. Repeat: he was out with the SEAL team that had captured al-Jamadhi. Secondly, the cause of death was not interrogation, but a blood clot. The clot could have resulted from a number of causes: actions taken to apprehend him and get him under control by the SEALs, or even bindings that could have been too tight, something I personally experienced when I was taken prisoner by Vietnamese militia in 1983—once the bindings were released, a clot could have easily have hit me the way it did al-Jamadhi, and I’m not even mentioning the Vietnamese militiaman’s AK buttstroke across the side of my head the night I was captured: actress Natasha Richardson died from a similar type of blood clot resulting from a minor fall during a ski accident. Now, if al-Jamadhi had perished with wounds and blunt trauma injuries indicative of harsh beatings and bone breaking, there would be no reason for this letter.



President Barack H. Obama Jr., and members of his national security team watch the raid on Osama Bin Laden’s compound by CIA paramilitary and Navy SEAL operators. Currently, the Department of Justice is houndiing Special Forces and CIA veteran Steve Stormoen for the death of detainee he captured. Stormoen was not present when the detainee died.

As for the sandbag later put over al-Jamadhi’s face by interrogators, the loose woven fibers would have caused the intended uncomfortable and strained breathing, but would not have killed him. Every, and I mean, every paramilitary and special warfare unit member has personally experienced this during training to become an operator. It’s why it has been used since at least the Vietnam War, if not as far back as WWI. But, back to the point: while interrogations were carried out, Stormoen was not on site. So, what about those who were?

The Army commander at Abu Graib, Lt. Col. Steve Jordan was indicted, but then the charges were dropped.

The SEAL team commander was found not guilty.

Also, seven prior Directors of the CIA sent a letter to you, requesting you block the Department of Justice from reviewing cases of Agency officers and contractors exceeding legal guidelines, because of the harm it would national security. One of the signers was Director George Tenet, the very DCI from whom Stormoen had refused a CIA retirement medal upon his resignation eight years ago. If Stormoen was at fault, is it not bizarre that immediately after learning of al-Jamadhi’s death, that instead of covering it up, he asked the Army’s Criminal Investigate Command to open an investigation?


Starting eight years ago, the CIA’s Inspector General’s Office has twice investigated Stormoen, and counter to the normally afforded presumption of a citizen’s innocence, under the full assumption he was culpable in al-Jamadi’s death. Each time, what did they find? Not guilty! Both times, no indictment. That was five years of his life, during which, not only he, but also his wife and children, suffered an unimaginable amount of stress, pressure so sever he lost all his hair!

Now, eight years after al-Jamadhi’s accidental death, Eric Holder leaks a story to an AP reporter stating he has empanelled a jury in hopes of charging Stormoen. Is he insane? Does he not have any shred of loyalty to this country and the protection of those who have to fight covertly, at extreme risk to life, with no recognition, for the defense of our great country? In his hounding of a charge, he has not only leaked confidential information to the public and the enemies of the United States, but on a direct level he has put Stormoen and his family in extreme danger: do you think it will be as hard for terrorists to find Stormoen and his family, as easily as it was for the AP reporter who obtained his telephone number, home address, and hounded him?

In the actions of your administration to look good to the world community, by scapegoating a loyal and courageous defender of the United States, you open up a whole can of worms. No other nation would even contemplate what your administration is doing: Britain’s MI6, or any intelligence agency or military of our allies? Never! They protect theirs, as you responsibly should your own. You and your administration too easily confuse the difference between ally and friend: people have friends, nations have allies, and never should the two be confused, especially at the high cost to our citizens.


And this part about “war crimes,” and how war crimes concerning a death have no statue of limitations, as quoted by the AP reporter, will that also come to play with every living serviceman and woman?

Will you retroactively prosecute those who loaded bombs onto bombers headed for Dresden? Will you prosecute those pilots and bombardiers who killed thousands of women and children in Germany? Most definitely you’ll have to go after the submarine captains, right? Any quick reading of such books as Surface and Destroy will offer a full belly on how US submarines torpedoed civilian Japanese fishing boats, and had deck crews machine gun the survivors floating in the water. Will you also go after squad and platoon leaders in Vietnam who put a sandbag over a prisoner’s face and poured water from a canteen to get him or her to talk?


Special Forces soldiers in Iraq

After learning of Holder’s outrageous actions, I’ve already got friends, active duty and former military, from non-com all the way up to brigadier, from the war in the Middle East all the way back to Korea, contacting their legal representation: They’re worried your administration will be going after them, too. What is your gauge as to a war crime? According to Noam Chomsky’s and the Nuremberg Laws on “war crimes,” you and every post-WWII president would have been hanged under its definition.

I never complained that I could never tell anyone what I did for CIA. Not even when I had to lie to friends and family, my closest and dearest, even my former-Marine father, who always suggested I become a Marine, instead of gallivanting on who knows why or what “personal” adventures.


Because of seeing clear evidence of the United States being attacked by a major threat, I’m proud for the work I did for my country: even when my country’s leaders kept quiet about what we did and why, letting the propaganda machine of our enemy overwhelm the media, and taint American public opinion of the war and the CIA—all from fear of the American public thinking we were getting into another Vietnam. And that blade stabbed no deeper into the back of those Americans fighting alongside me, than the day we won the last battle of that eighty-year war, and none but we and the Kremlin knew we had won.

But, if you were to ask me today, after what Holder is doing, if it’s worth it to do something as important as becoming a shadow warrior in the defense of our great nation, so that Americans can go blindly along enjoying the freedoms and safety provided by those fighting wars overtly and covertly, and that while trying to keep you and the men and women in your team alive, while destroying our nation’s blood-sworn enemies, you’ll have to also watch out for our own global government-focused Department of Justice, I’d say, do what everyone else with smarts and a good college education is doing these days: become the CEO of a company, or a Washington D.C.-based politician—It’s safer and more profitable; you won’t be putting the lives of your family in danger, and you won’t be ignored, or spit on, in the end.

Cork Graham

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