August 6, 2009

Disturbing Developments

By Michael Yon

06 August 2009
Sangin, Afghanistan

Paul Mundt is a long-time friend from my Special Forces days. Paul emailed today regarding some disturbing developments on the home front. He emailed the following to the Special Forces Association. The reader should find it self-explanatory. I've known Paul for a long time. Considering the source, my instinct is that this topic is introduced with great merit.

The following email was written by Paul Mundt and transmitted to the Special Forces Association:


Sir, as a matter of introduction my name is Paul Mundt, member 5001 and I served as the Chapter 5 President in 1996 and 1997. I retired from active duty in 2002, moved to Tampa and have worked at CENTCOM and SOCOM since then. Recently I was approached by a private organization, the Foundation for the Defense of Democracy (FDD) on a significant issue. I have worked with FDD in the past and trust their judgment and intent. You can find info on FDD at http://www.defenddemocracy.org/. The issue that I was approached on is a recent ruling by Judge Bates, a DC Federal Circuit Judge. Succinctly this ruling extends Habeas protections to all detainees world-wide and the ramifications on US current ops, especially SOF, are significant. FDD in conjunction with a DC based legal team is filing an appeal to this judge’s ruling known as an Amicus brief. For the Amicus brief to be successful they will need “plaintiffs” that can demonstrate that they will be harmed by the judge’s ruling. This “harm” could come in the form if increased exposure on a target due to increased dwell time to gather evidence, etc…

I can provide additional information to include an information paper. What I am asking is that the SFA reach out to its members, disseminate this information and ask, if interested, that SFA members contact the head of the legal team, Mr. David Rivkin. David is preeminent DC lawyer and is pursuing this appeal pro-bono. Essentially David needs statements from service members with recent ground experience that would be willing to say that Judge Bate’s ruling will have a negative impact on their operations. I apologize for the short fuse but time is short as this appeal will go forward in early September. I will also be in Fayetteville next week for a conference and can further discuss. Finally, this is not about politics. This is addressing a bad ruling by a judge that was never challenged when it was made. We need to fix this soonest.

Thank you in advance, Paul

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