Scott Horton Interviews Kelley B. Vlahos

Scott Horton, May 18, 2012

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Kelley B. Vlahos, featured Antiwar.com columnist and contributing editor for The American Conservative magazine, discusses retired General Stanley McChrystal’s generous retirement package, lucrative speaking fees, and new “teaching” position at Yale University; the celebrity status of retired military and government officials, even when they are notorious for torture, coverups, and being fired for insubordination; the missing-in-action campus antiwar movements in “liberal” American universities; and how military women rape victims are punished for reporting the crime, often discharged with “personality disorders” and stripped of health care and retirement benefits.

MP3 here. (27:47)

Kelley Beaucar Vlahos has spent over a decade as a political reporter in Washington DC. Currently, she is a contributing editor for The American Conservative magazine and its daily weblog, @TAC. She is also a Washington correspondent for the DC-based homeland security magazine, Homeland Security Today, a long-time political writer for FOXNews.com, a regular columnist for Antiwar.com and a contributor to CriminalJustice.Change.org

18 Responses to “Kelley B. Vlahos”

  1. General McChrystal wasn't fired for losing the war Kelley, but because he dissed the President and his advisors.
    If you recall, McChrystal and his subordinates had a frivolous little skit going where they would sing 'Afghanistan' to the tune of the Village People's 'YMCA'.
    They messed up because they partied in the presence of a journalist who did his job and reported the macabre scenario.
    The secret leadership course at Yale probably represents nothing more sinister than the teaching of a good natured song-and dance routine over the cold corpses of civilians.

  2. 'The definition of torture was in dispute at that time'. That's like claiming 'the definition of rape was in dispute at that time'. I guess these definitions are always in dispute for the ruling/military classes. For the rest of us there's the police state.

  3. What is happening to the women in the military is an act of treason – betrayal of your own members is as low as a human being could possibly fall.

  4. Welcome to Umar JustEmpire.

  5. They don't call it the Poison Ivy League for nothing.

  6. Yalies founded the CIA. Nuf said.

  7. To be nonsarcastic for a moment. The purpose of schools like Yale is to prep future PTB to obey.

  8. Speaking of how vets are being treated, a friend who works for the VA says they are cutting back. I asked her how that could be since so many are returning are so damaged. She said that the VA is offering sick vets $25,000 in exchange for giving up their lifetime medical benefits. Since $25,000 is a lot of money to a sick 20–something, they get a lot of takers.

  9. The sooner this corporate fascist Imperium dies,the better for the whole world

  10. The global elite award a few with well paid sinecures for supporting their agenda. McCrystal's speaking fees and cushy jobs are his award. Yes, war is a meat grinder but it also an engine of giant wealth extraction. Trillions of dollars have been spent in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere but rest assured that money isn't lost. Those trilions have found happy homes in the back accounts of the war contractors and the mega banks.

  11. @mickperry:

    I agree with Kelley that McChrystal was fired largely because he was losing the Afghan War (see discussion in my post "Something to Die For" and "Throwing My Shoe at Bob Woodward … Not" at http://www.feralfirefighter.blogspot.com). Marjah wasn't working as promised as the proof of concept of "clear, hold, and transfer." (see Ben Anderson's book "No Worse Enemy" and DVD "The Battle for Marjah"). Le'Affair Rolling Stan was a good excuse for Obama to cut McChrystal and Petraeus down to size.

  12. I get a 'server not found' message re your blog, but to address your point, when did failure ever merit firing? I suspect you'd have to go a long way back to find an example; probably even into the previous century.
    9/11 happened and no one got fired.
    There were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and no one got fired for this colossal intelligence screw up.
    Why is Marjah so significant as to warrant a fundamental change in the behavior of a rogue state?

  13. I hope Kelley will be invited back to talk about the issue of women and rape in the military. I was (a woman) in the military more than 30 years ago, and there were the same problems – it's not something new. It may be worse because so many women are deployed overseas now (and in places where the men don't have ready access to bars and prostitutes near their bases).

    (Back then, women could be discharged for getting pregnant, and many chose to get pregnant as a way out. Others tried to commit suicide after constant sexual harassment, etc… Women on ships could still get off a ship if pregnant, so that happened – and still does, although the statistics about that are closely held.)

    It is very difficult to do anything about it, since you usually have to go through your chain of command to complain, and the people in that chain of command may very well be the problem in the first place; even if they're not directly involved, by the time you work your way up the chain, they will have heard all kinds of lies that discredit you…. You are a slut or a lesbian or a bitch (excuse the language) or a troublemaker – or any combination of the above… Sad to see that this hasn't changed in all these years. And many in the military will tell you that you knew it was like this and chose to enter anyway – so you really wanted this life…

    This is one of those issues where it never ceases to amaze me that the story doesn't become big… it does get reported now and then, but it's never more than a blip on the radar. (Another story that I always think of in this context is the killing of baby girls – or foetuses – in India. If we suddenly wanted to go to war with India, we would never hear the end of it, but short of that, no one cares about the millions of missing girls.) I hope people are aware of how selective the reporting is; of all the things that happen around the world, or even in one's own country, we hear only a select few; the choice is made on the basis of what someone thinks is newsworthy, and that is a bias we should be aware of.

    Obviously, no one has anything to gain by making it known that women are harassed and even raped by the heroes of our military. So thanks for staying on it, Kelley and the other few journalists that cover this.

  14. Exceptional Americans — State-church though control

    So, go into any fifth grade class in public school and you will hear the teacher proudly proclaimed,

    Declaration of Independence
    “All men are created equal…
    certain unalienable rights…
    Life…”

    So, if life is not a free gift from nature that we should feel grateful for, but an unalienable right we deserve, should we not be proud? For if we deserve life, then we also must deserve the wealth needed to have a life. Then we must deserve to earn all we can earn, be all we can be, take all we can take, own all we can own and to be a dictator over all who are on land that we own.

    And so, go into any church and be filled with pride, for a teaching about our nation is that we are the most wealthy because we are the most righteous, to wit,

    “No one who has left home or wife or brothers or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God will fail to receive many times as much in this age and, in the age to come, eternal life.” Luke 18:29

    Problem is, righteous means harmless, as in pacifist, that’s what I always say.

  15. SPELLING CORRECTIONS — PERFECTIONEST THAT I BE

    Exceptional Americans — Church and state brainwash

    So, go into any fifth grade class in public school and you will hear the teacher proudly proclaim,

    Declaration of Independence
    “All men are created equal…
    certain unalienable rights…
    Life…”

    So, if life is not a free gift from nature that we should feel grateful for, but an unalienable right we deserve, should we not be proud? For if we deserve life, then we also must deserve the wealth needed to have a life. Then we must deserve to earn all we can earn, be all we can be, take all we can take, own all we can own and to be a dictator over all who are on land that we own.

    And so, go into any church and be filled with pride, for a teaching about our nation is that we are the most wealthy because we are the most righteous, to wit,

    “No one who has left home or wife or brothers or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God will fail to receive many times as much in this age and, in the age to come, eternal life.” Luke 18:29

    Problem is, righteous means harmless, as in pacifist, that’s what I always say.

  16. Exceptional Americans — Church and state brainwash

    So, go into any fifth grade class in public school and you will hear the teacher proudly proclaim,

    Declaration of Independence
    “All men are created equal…
    certain unalienable rights…
    Life…”

    So, if life is not a free gift from nature that we should feel grateful for, but an unalienable right we deserve, should we not be proud? For if we deserve life, then we also must deserve the wealth needed to have a life. Then we must deserve to earn all we can earn, be all we can be, take all we can take, own all we can own and to be a dictator over all who are on land that we own.

    And so, go into any church and be filled with pride, for a teaching about our nation is that we are the most wealthy because we are the most righteous.

    "No one who has left home or wife or brothers or parents
    or children for the sake of the kingdom of God will fail to
    receive many times as much in this age and, in the age
    to come…" Luke 18:29

  17. Problem is, righteous means harmless, as in pacifist, that’s what I always say.

  18. Women in combat — Now official

    Last week the military announced that women would now fight in live combat on the battlefield.

    Problem is, when faced with mortal danger, women grab their hair, step back and scream. Truth is, only men have deadly force and when faced with a life and death situation will grab a rock, step forward and yell.

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