Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Navy Seal Tellng the Truth? Carl Higbie

Enemies, Foreign and Domestic: A SEAL’s Story is a new book by former Navy SEAL Carl Higbie. Higbie was on the Navy SEAL assault team that in the summer of 2007 captured the most wanted man in the Middle East (apart from Osama bin Laden) – Ahmed Hashim Abd Al-Isawi, known as the Butcher of Fallujah. But afterward, Higbie and others in his unit were charged with prisoner abuse when Al-Isawi alleged that they had bloodied his lip.

Suddenly, the “mission accomplished” became a much more challenging ordeal as Higbie et al were threatened with courts-martial over supposedly roughing up a ruthless terrorist. When he went public with his account of what happened, the Navy pushed back hard to save face and protect careers. But Higbie pushed back harder.

Higbie, also the author of Battle on the Home Front: A Navy SEAL’s Mission to Save the American Dream, became a SEAL in 2003 and deployed twice in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He is now a political commentator in national media including the Fox News Channel, Wall Street JournalThe Washington Post, The Daily Caller, and Breibart. He graciously agreed to answer a few questions for FrontPage Mag about his lates book, Enemies, Foreign and Domestic.

Mark Tapson:         About the mission to capture and extract this high-value target, the Butcher of Fallujah. You and your unit accomplished the mission, handed him over, and all seemed good – but then what happened afterward? 

Better would have been to allow the subject to begin the answer where he chooses which is always critical.  It reveals priority.  The IR had it being after the hand over.  This presupposes no prisoner abuse took place and effectively removes the potential for analysis of the time period that is either extremely sensitive (possible guilt) or would move quickly without sensitivity (possible innocence) for the purposes of analysis.  This is another example of why Analytical Interviewing is vital for anyone seeking answers; be it a journalist, HR, or investigator.  

Carl Higbie: After turning over custody to the Master at Arms (MP), the MP admittedly left his post. 

This is reported as fact; no sensitivity associated.  This does not mean that it happened, but it does mean the subject believes it to be true.  Deception is an act of the will that is deliberate.  This intention is what causes the 'pause' of transmission that triggers stress, and can be discerned in a variety of ways, including skipping over time.  

During this time the prisoner bit his lip (as testified by an oral surgeon) and spit blood on his clothing. Out of fear for his own career, the MP concocted a story that he saw many of us abuse the prisoner. This story was fabricated, as was apparent from his numerous changes in his official statement.

Note the consistent past tense language. 
Note the closeness of the account. 
Note that the account is called "a story", which is followed up with consistent language in "this story." 

MT:     The accusation should have been cleared up quickly, but instead, the Navy did its best to break you and the other suspects down and get confessions out of you. Tell us what happened.

CH:     Initially we were investigated by NCIS and their investigation made the recommendation to not charge us. It was our Commanding officer along with General Cleveland that decided to proceed despite the facts. Because of the lack of evidence, they wanted to proceed “general’s mast” where there is no need for evidence and a punishment can be issued arbitrarily. They were doing to his to save face and “make an example” out of us.
We all requested a courts-martial so we would have a fair trial and be able to present evidence in our favor. The command tried to talk us out of this because they knew they would lose. They separated us and threatened us with all kinds of punishments, but we held strong and forced the courts-martial.

The need to explain the reason "why" decisions were made is presupposed and does not represent hyper sensitivity.  It is expected.  
Note consistent pronoun and verb tense.  
Note the lack of qualifiers.  
Note "we held strong" suggests that the resistance was not easy, and may even had been compromised by one (or some) seals wishing to end the ordeal.  

MT:     Why do you think this guy made such a serious accusation about some of his fellow soldiers, and why do you think the higher-ups weren’t more supportive of the accused, especially considering that the so-called victim was a terrorist?

Compound questions should be avoided.  

CH:     The higher-ups were afraid of simple allegations, how that would affect their careers. They lost sight of the mission and their duty to their men. They put politically correct public image in front of their oath. They had us pegged for guilty from day one despite all  the evidence. So much for “innocent until proven guilty.”

When discussing motive, the 'why' is essential: 

MT:     What’s your opinion of the Rules of Engagement our warriors were bound by which were so strict that merely bloodying a terrorist’s nose could get you court-martialed? Do you think those ROE are proper or are they hindering our men in the field and perhaps even endangering them?

Both compound questions and a statement.  He has given the subject a ready made excuse: 

CH:     Rules of engagement are different from guidelines for treating prisoners.

The subject refuses the ready made excuse.  The Rules of Engagement and how a prisoner may have been treated are two different issues.  

 I think the Rules of Engagement are atrocious.

This is an important sentence.  Thus far, he has spoken for them all; consistently.  Now, with the emergence of the pronoun "I" he gives personal opinion with "I think" 

Note the present tense verb as important, as it indicates that this is ongoing to the time of this interview.  We look now for this to continue and for universal application (2nd person)

 You cannot have one side playing by a set of rules that does not apply to the other side. War is not a moral endeavor, it is people killing each other; therefore you must be willing to be as ruthless as your enemy.

Note universal 2nd person pronoun usage is appropriate and consistent

As for prisoner handling, we should never have stood any discipline after NCIS cleared us and recommended not going forward. This is what investigations are for and they should not be overstepped by a commander who has no knowledge of the situation. Moreover, who cares if a terrorist that we had legal authority to kill had a bloody lip?

Note the lack of accusation specifics here.  Keep this in mind as the interview progresses, considering the Commander in Chief, Barak Obama, and the following:

1.  Obama's refusals to call Islamic terrorism "Islamic"
2.  The cleansing of the training manuals according to the 'recommendations' of the Muslim brotherhood
3.  The freeing of prisoners 
4.  The exchange of prisoners
5.  The denial of confessed motives
6.  The arming of Iran and the deceit that was used to influence the American public 
7.  The importation of Islamic peoples into the nation
8.  The setting of imans teaching Islam in federal prisons
9.  The direct attacks on Christian chaplains 

What is the relationship between the subject (Navy SEAL) and his commander in chief? (consider this as current to the date of the interview for proper context) 

MT:     After you were eventually cleared, you wrote a book – as a private citizen, not as a SEAL – called Battle on the Homefront based on your experiences, in which you complained about various ways in which Americans are failing to live up to our country’s own exceptionalism. But the Navy brass gave your manuscript the runaround and did their best to suppress publication. Why do you believe they did that, particularly since many of them privately agreed with what you wrote?

CH:     I spent almost two years, 24 times the length of time the DOD has allowed by their own standards for the review. At every corner, they stonewalled me, refusing even to conduct a review. I had been consulting an attorney throughout the process who was dumbfounded, as we had continuously jumped through hoops to accommodate their ever-changing requirements.

Consistency noted.  

this provides an excellent opportunity for a lesson:

"I consulted an attorney" versus "I had consulted an attorney" versus "I had been consulting an attorney" in Statement Analysis. 

This brief change goes against the "Law of Economy" where the shortest sentence is best and must represent a change in reality. 

"I studied law" versus "I had studied law" shows a change in the past tense usage that represents time. 

In criminal cases, this is often the 'missing' moment in time where a violent act may have occurred.  

He said, in less than a micro second of time, "had been" as additional language.  This takes a specific past tense reference in time, and 'spreads it out' over time. 

Here, in context, it is explained by the subject, himself.  Often, this is not the case. 

This is a very strong signal that the subject is telling the truth in this point.  He said, "throughout the process", which limits time, but to no specific definitive point in time. 

It is consistent with "had been" as an 'imperfect' past tense reference.  

The book was controversial and no one wanted to review it because they were concerned about how it would affect their careers if they were the ones with the approval stamp on it. The military spent more resources trying to bury it than it would have taken to conduct the review. After a review from NCIS on security, and under advice from my attorney, we published without command approval since they had failed to comply with their own rules.

A frightening point where the subject 'broke' the rules with the need to 

a.  bring his attorney into the pronoun "we" regarding publishing
b.  the need to explain why it was published without approval:  "since they had failed"

Note "had failed" and not "failed" (see above) uses this as a spreading over time. 

This suggests:

The subject and/or attorney and/or publishers likely debated various dates to "well, just go ahead and publish" with some veto, argument, etc, pushing it off until "we" were comfortable that the approval was well past a deadline.  

MT:     Since leaving the Navy, you’ve pursued a path as a political commentator in the media. Is that another way you feel you can best serve your country? Do you have political ambitions in the future as well? Tell us about what you’re doing to help reinvigorate the American Dream.

3 questions

The question "why" is met with "because"; it is not sensitive. 

CH:     I have pursued the political route because I believe that to be the root of the problem today. I am unsure whether I will run again but I am heavily involved with this presidential race and many other races as well. If we want to fix this nation we have to start at the top.

Question:  What is missing from the interview?

Answer: Accusing a specific leader. 

Note that even in the political context, there is the absence of  blaming the Commander in Chief. 

Analysis Conclusion:

Although the IR was favorable and conducted a poor interview, the answers given are reliable.  

Carl Higbie has told the truth about the process and avoided blaming the Commander in Chief which is likely something very important to him and to Navy SEALs and other dedicated military professionals.  

It suggests honor and that the book is not likely to have blame shifting, responsibility shifting or other such divergence from "what happened", as an account.  


Apple said...


I have another question regarding a seemingly truthful statement. The article is about a recent shark attack of a young teen in Florida. A witness stated the following:

"Someone [was] saying, 'Oh, my God, he got bit,'" the witness, who wasn't identified, told the station. "All you see is blood dripping and dripping.""

"you see" is distancing and it is told in the present tense. I assume this is due to the shock of what he witnessed but how easily can we apply SA to this language? I read it often in truthful accounts.


Tania Cadogan said...

Off topic

CHESTER, Ill. – Jurors have found former suburban Chicago police officer Drew Peterson guilty of trying to hire someone to kill the prosecutor who helped convict him in his third wife's death.

Jurors reached the verdict Tuesday afternoon after deliberating for little more than an hour.

Peterson was accused of trying to hire a fellow inmate's uncle to kill Will County State's Attorney James Glasgow. Peterson is serving a 38-year sentence in ex-wife Kathleen Savio's death and faces up to 60 more years in prison.

On Tuesday, prosecutors said prison recordings of Peterson speaking with a fellow inmate prove he wanted the prosecutor killed. But Peterson's defense lawyer says Peterson never explicitly says in the recordings that he wanted Glasgow killed.


Excellent news, now they need to charge him with murder of his 4th wife's death.
This means he will probably nbever be released which is great news.

John Mc Gowan said...

OT Update:

From Ayla to cornfield chases: Charles Rumsey reflects on 21 years with Waterville police
Deputy chief for last nine years, Rumsey leaves his post Wednesday to become police chief in Cumberland next week.


WATERVILLE — Ask Deputy Chief Charles Rumsey to cite a case he has worked on in the last 21 years on the Waterville Police Department that stands out for him, and without hesitation he mentions Ayla Reynolds.

The 20-month-old toddler was reported missing from her Violette Avenue home five years ago, launching the largest police investigation in Maine history. She has never been found and police say they think she is dead.

Being on the inside of the investigation, watching it unfold, working with and experiencing the cooperation between local, state and federal officials work aggressively to solve the case is something Rumsey is proud to have been a part of, he said Tuesday.

“The case isn’t successfully concluded yet, but I’m very confident, being on the inside, that everything that could be done was done,” Rumsey said.

Anyone thinking the case will remain cold might heed Rumsey’s words:

“I think if I was the person responsible for that crime, I would not be very comfortable right now,” he said. “There are people working on the case who are extremely committed and extremely competent, and I feel optimistic about that case being solved.

Asked if he thinks he knows who is responsible for Reynolds’ disappearance, Rumsey hesitates a few seconds and then responds confidently.

“I do, yes. And time will tell if the evidence bears it out.”


John Mc Gowan said...

Update from an earlier OT:

Emotions escalate, theory surfaces as family enters Day 4 without missing girl

SAN CARLOS PARK, Fla.- Family members said they have a theory about the disappearance of 9-year-old Diana Alvares, who was last seen Sunday at 2 a.m. in her home on Unique Circle in the Sheltering Pines Mobile Home Village.

Hand-drawn photos of butterflies embellish the door to her room, which has a since that reads “Keep Out.” Inside, colorful clothes hang over Alvares’ mattress, which is on the floor and missing sheets. Before she vanished, the 9-year-old may have taken with her a green blanket with flower print, deputies and family members said.

Alvares was last seen asleep in her bed when her pregnant mother, Rita Hernandez, checked the rooms of their mobile home after waking up around 2 a.m. to make a bottle of milk for a baby in the home. Five hours later Hernandez checked the little girl’s room again.

Alvares was gone.

Tension grows

She is 4-foot-4 with black hair and brown eyes, authorities said. Alvares might be wearing blue bottoms and her parents said she went to bed in a black long-sleeve shirt with rhinestones. When Hernandez woke up around 7 a.m., she noticed something strange: all four of the burners on her stove were turned on, according to Alvares’ stepfather Uribe Jimenez.

He noticed Alvares’ purple-striped shoes were missing from her room.

A family member said Alvares could be with a man who rented a room in the home. Alvares was very attached to this man, who moved out of the home two weeks ago, the family member said. According to family, this would explain why the family dog did not bark when Alvares disappeared.

Deputies have not confirmed any detaiabout this former housemate.

An intense atmosphere surrounded the girl’s house Tuesday. Crime scene tape was around the perimeter of the home, where crime scene technicians began an examination around 10 a.m. Investigators were interviewing neighbors and diving in a nearby pond as the search encompassed air, land and water.


John Mc Gowan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John Mc Gowan said...

But with the weekend of her disappearance behind them, tension grew, exploding on the lawn outside the 9-year-old’s home where family members were seen arguing Tuesday. Jimenez said the sheriff’s office isn’t doing enough to find his stepdaughter and is leaving the family in the dark.

“I didn’t go to sleep last night, man,” he said. “I know that it is getting more dark, more dark. No answers, nothing.”

The Lee County Sheriff’s Office has not held press conferences but is communicating with the public and media through emails and Facebook posts.

The family was allowed to return to their mobile home Tuesday but a cousin, Nancy Martinez, said they have avoided Alvares’ room.

You just don’t want to go into the bedroom. That is not an option right now. I mean it’s heartbreaking,” Martinez said. “It is a door that we want to keep closed until she comes home because she will come home.”

Search effort continues

Lee County sheriff Mike Scott vowed in a statement Monday to do whatever it takes to find the girl, and multiple Urban Search and Rescue Task Force teams used machetes to hack through heavily wooded areas near the family’s home.

The sheriff’s office said authorities have received tips from people who believe they spotted Alvares, but the information often comes hours after the sightings.

Authorities issued a Florida missing child alert, but no Amber Alert has been sent. Law enforcement must believe an abduction has taken place, and descriptive information about a suspect or a suspect’s vehicle must be available for an Amber Alert to happen. Also, the child must be at risk of serious bodily injury or death. Deputies haven’t given any indication of any such known risk.

The Lee County School District sent out an alert to parents asking them to call the Lee County Sheriff’s Office if they had any information related to the search. People across the community expressed their concern as time ticked away with no sign of the girl.

“That’s pretty much your worst nightmare,” parent Mark Siverling said. “I can’t imagine something like that.”

Frustrated and worried, Jimenez said he feared for the worst.

“I feel like she’s not here no more, man,” Jimenez said. “That’s my heart that’s telling me. That’s all my heart is telling me. I feel that she’s not here no more.”

This maybe due to what LE has said above. Or knowledge/belief of something more nefarious. It is also a true statement, that is, she isn't there at this present time.

He said Tuesday that he plans to defy orders against conducting his own search.

A $6,000 reward is being offered for information leading to missing Alvares. If anyone knows the whereabouts of the 9-year-old or spots her, call 239-477-1000 or 911 immediately so authorities can dispatch a deputy to that location, the sheriff’s office said.


Nic said...

"all four of the burners on her stove were turned on"


“You just don’t want to go into the bedroom. That is not an option right now. I mean it’s heartbreaking,” Martinez said. “It is a door that we want to keep closed until she comes home because she will come home.”

Are stovetop burners the equivalent as lights turning on?

Turner said...

So many posts are of deceptive language, It's great to read truthful statements as another way of learning statement analysis.
I find myself (my mind) working over time in any random conversations going on - like a recent family reunion. :)
I can only imagine what it must be like to be Peter.