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Here’s a REAL American HERO

September 29, 2009

Here’s a REAL American HERO:

Boykin

Recent photo from “How To Take Back America” Conference – St. Louis 2009

Lieutenant General William G. Boykin (retired) was the United States Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence. He has played a role in almost every recent major American military operation, serving in Grenada, Somalia, and Iraq. He is currently a professor at Hampden-Sydney College, Virginia, and author of “Never Surrender: A Soldier’s Journey to the Crossroads of Faith and Freedom.”

Contents

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Biography

Early life

William G. “Jerry” Boykin was born in rural New Bern, North Carolina. He graduated from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) with a bachelor’s degree in English in 1971.

Early military career

In 1971 Boykin was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Infantry. He also had positions within the 2nd Armored Division, 101st Airborne Division, and also served as a company commander in the 24th Infantry Division (Mechanized). [1] and [2]

From 1978-1993 Boykin was assigned in various capacities to Delta Force. Lt. Col. L.H. “Bucky” Burruss, helping with Delta Force selection at the time, recalled that Boykin “had a bad knee and I thought he would never make it…. I thought, I hate to see this guy busting his [butt], I don’t see how he can make it on this bad road wheel, but he surprised us.” In fact, a Fort Bragg psychologist almost ended Boykin’s career, wanting to exclude him from the Delta Force because he was “too religious”. However, he was finally accepted into the Delta Force at the age of 29. Burruss wrote at the time that “Jerry Boykin is a Christian gentleman of the highest order.” Boykin believed God had a hand in things: “God led me into the Delta Force…. And He said to me, ‘This is where you ought to be.'” [3]

Overseas deployments

By 1980 he was the Delta Force operations officer on the April 24-25 Iranian hostage rescue attempt. Boykin called it “the greatest disappointment of my professional career because we didn’t bring home 53 Americans.” [4] Despite this, his “faith was stengthened” believing he had witnessed “a miracle”: “Not one man who stood with us in the desert and pleaded for God to go with us was killed or even injured that night.” [5]

In October 1983, Maj. Boykin worked as an operations officer during Operation Urgent Fury in Grenada. During a dawn assault to free some Grenada government officials held by the Marxist People’s Revolutionary Army, Boykin was shot in the arm, splitting the bone completely in two. He was told he would never use it again, but his arm healed, which Boykin again believed God was responsible for.

In 1989, Boykin was in Panama as part of the mission to apprehend Manuel Noriega. [6]

From 1990 to 1991 he was at the Army War College. In 1992/early 1993, as a colonel, Boykin was in Colombia leading a mission to hunt for drug lord Pablo Escobar. Seymour Hersh later claimed in The New Yorker that there were suspicions within the Pentagon that Boykin’s team was going to take part in the assassination of Pablo Escobar, and that US Embassy officials in Colombia were acting as support. Hersh refers to Mark Bowden‘s book Killing Pablo which made allegations that the Pentagon believed Boykin intended to break the law and exceed his authority in the operation. Mark Bowden states that “within the special ops community… Pablo’s death was regarded as a successful mission for Delta, and legend has it that its operators were in on the kill.” Hersh also quotes an anonymous retired army general as saying, “That’s what those guys did. I’ve seen pictures of Escobar’s body that you don’t get from a long-range telescope lens. They were taken by guys on the assault team.” [7]

In April 1993, he helped advise Attorney General Janet Reno regarding the stand-off at Waco, Texas between the Federal Government and a religious sect. [8]

In October 1993, Colonel Boykin was in command of the Delta Force tracking down militia leader Mohamed Farrah Aidid in Somalia, during which time the infamous Battle of Mogadishu took place. Boykin recalled seeing a truck pull up to the US base near Mogadishu airport filled with bodies: “I watched that tailgate open and I watched the blood of my soldiers pour out of that truck like water.” Shortly after, Boykin was wounded in a mortar attack on the compound. The Hollywood movie “Black Hawk Down,” which depicts the Battle of Mogadishu, inexplicably omits Boykin’s role as mission commander.

Domestic career

As a result of his injuries, he was assigned to Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon, as Chief, Special Operations Division. It was a period he described as “miserable”. He was overlooked for promotion, and endured serving under an unnamed “foul” man at the Pentagon. During this period, Boykin’s twenty eight year marriage ended when his wife left him. Boykin later claimed that she had said she didn’t love him anymore, and that he was “a religious fanatic”. [9]

Some time afterwards, he served at the Central Intelligence Agency as Deputy Director of Special Activities, and was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General. He was later made Deputy Director for Operations, Readiness, and Mobilization when assigned to the Army Staff. [10]

From April 1998 to February 2000, he served as the Commanding General, U.S. Army Special Forces Command (Airborne) at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. From March 2000-2003, he was the Commanding General, United States Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center, Fort Bragg, N.C. In June 2003, he was appointed Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence under Dr. Stephen Cambone, Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence.

LTG Boykin retired on August 1, 2007 and currently teaches at Hampden-Sydney College.

Awards

Boykin went to Armed Forces Staff College, Army War College, and Shippensburg University (where he received a Masters Degree). His badges include the Master Parachutist Badge, Military Freefall Badge, Ranger Tab and Special Forces Tab. Medals and awards include: “the Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal (with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters), Legion of Merit (with Oak Leaf Cluster), Bronze Star, Air Medal and the Purple Heart (with Oak Leaf Cluster).” [11]

Controversies

Religious views and comments

He has gained notoriety for his Christian Fundamentalist views over the last few years and some public remarks. Boykin is a born-again Christian, who has cast the “War on Terror” in Biblical terms. A Pentagon investigation concluded in 2004 that he had violated regulations by failing to explain these remarks were not made in an official capacity.

Boykin achieved wide-spread media coverage for his statements that appeared to frame the War on Terror in religious terms, first broadcast on NBC News, October 15, 2003 [12]. William Arkin,[13] military analyst for NBC-TV News, was the source of the video and audiotapes of Boykin. The following day the Los Angeles Times ran a piece on Boykin. Amongst several quotes, the LA Times article revealed Boykin giving a speech about hunting down Osman Atto in Mogadishu: “He went on CNN and he laughed at us, and he said, ‘They’ll never get me because Allah will protect me. Allah will protect me.’ Well, you know what? I knew that my God was bigger than his. I knew that my God was a real God and his was an idol.” [14] Boykin later clarified this statement, saying that he was implying that Atto’s true “god” was money.

Boykin’s remarks stirred much anger in the Muslim world and Islamic organisations within the US were highly critical of the comments and called for his resignation, such as James Zogby, president of the Arab American Institute [15], and the Council on American-Islamic Relations. [16]. Several newspapers, such as Newsweek [17], carried articles calling for his resignation, while Democrats John Kerry and Joe Lieberman were quick to denounce the remarks. Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John Warner and Democrat Carl Levin both urged Rumsfeld to launch an investigation. [18] Rep. John Conyers and 26 supporters put forward H. RES. 419 “Condemning religiously intolerant remarks and calling on the President to clearly censure and reassign Lieutenant General Boykin”. [19]

President George Bush distanced himself from the statements, saying that Boykin didn’t “reflect my point of view or the point of view of this administration.” [20] Donald Rumsfeld defended Boykin, describing him as “an officer that has an outstanding record in the United States armed forces”, and that the War on Terrorism was “not a war against a religion”. He also spoke about the right of freedom of speech. [21]

Marine General Peter Pace, vice-chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff revealed “how sad [Boykin] was that his comments created the fury they had. He does not see this battle as a battle between religions, he sees this as a battle between good and evil, the evil being the acts of individuals.”[22]

Boykin issued a public statement stating, “My comments to Osman Otto in Mogadishu were not referencing his worship of Allah but his worship of money and power; idolatry. He was a corrupt man, not a follower of Islam. My references to Judeo-Christian roots in America or our nation as a Christian nation are historically undeniable.” [23] CNN later revealed that several parts of his statement were removed on the advice of Pentagon attorneys. Among the parts removed was Boykin’s assertion that “the sensitivities of my job today dictate that further church speeches are inappropriate”, and “As a Christian I believe that there is a spiritual war that is continuous as articulated in the Bible. It is not confined to the war of terrorism.” [24]

Boykin himself then requested an investigation by the inspector general into the allegations. [25] A ten month investigation carried out by the Defense Department later concluded in August 2004 that Boykin had broken three rules in giving the speeches: not clarifying that he gave the remarks in a private capacity; he hadn’t received clearance for making the remarks; and that he hadn’t declared the reimbursement of travel funds by one of the religious groups hosting the speaking events. However, the report made no comment on the actual remarks made, and little action was taken against Boykin. The three infractions are quite minor, and are rarely prosecuted by officials.[26] The report defended the decision not to comment on Boykin’s actual comments for several reasons, primarily because “freedom of expression considerations under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution apply in this case.” [27]

Some news commentators, such as Republican Patrick Buchanan, believed that there was nothing wrong in what Boykin said. [28] Others saw the criticism of Boykin as an attack on Christian values in America by the Democratic Party. [29] William Arkin was also accused of taking Boykin out of context. Arkin’s impartiality was called into question, since he worked for Greenpeace, Human Rights Watch and the Institute for Policy Studies. Arkin also published his opinions on Boykin without ever having spoken to him.[30] and [31] The media coverage was also seen by some as being an orchestrated campaign by Islamic admirers defending terrorism and trying to discredit “those who warn of Islamists hijacking and perverting the Muslim faith”. [32]

On 10 April 2008, Boykin spoke at Epicenter 2008, a conference in Israel hosted by Joel C. Rosenberg. His closing statement made a large round of applause:

We as believers have been promised that we will spend an eternity with God. Last Saturday I was doing a men’s conference in Fredricksburg, Virginia and I was praying during the worship service and something dawned on me and it was the Holy Spirit speaking to me. And the Holy Spirit said, “this is what I want you to share with My men today”, and I’m going to share it with you and this is what it is: One day, we’re going to stand before the gates of Heaven. Some of us want to be able to walk up there in a white robe and we want to sing Abba Father and Amazing Grace and we want to say to the Lord, “I worshiped You.” But I want you to think about this: Heres the way I want to enter the gates of Heaven. I want to come skidding in there on all fours. I want to be slipping and sliding and I want to hit the gates of heaven with a bang. And when I stand up and I stand before Christ, I want there to be blood on my knees and my elbows. I want to be covered with mud. And I want to be standing there with a ragged breast plate of righteousness. And a spear in my hand. And I want to say, “Look at me, Jesus. I’ve been in the battle. I’ve been fighting for you.” Ladies and gentlemen, put your armor on and get into battle. God bless you.

On September 26, 2009, retired Lt. General Jerry Boykin gave an address at a How to Take Back America Conference in St. Louis, MO. hosted by the Eagle Forum. According to the Canada Free Press, General Boykin asked the audience. “What are you prepared to give up for America? Are you willing to pay the ultimate price?” He followed up with warning, “there is no greater threat to America than Islam” [33]

War on Terror tactics

News reports have also connected Boykin with controversial tactics. The New York Times reported on March 18, 2006 that, when asked by Undersecretary Cambone to “get to the bottom” of abuses committed by an elite counterinsurgency task force, Boykin found no pattern to them, despite ample evidence to the contrary.[34]

A December 9, 2003 item in The Guardian (UK) connected Boykin with secret Israeli counterinsurgency assistance in Iraq, allegedly including assassination squads. [35] In another Guardian article, Sidney Blumenthal, President Bill Clinton‘s former senior adviser and current Washington bureau chief for Salon (US), claimed that towards the end of 2003, it was Boykin who, under Donald Rumsfeld‘s orders, advised then Camp X-Ray head Major General Geoffrey Miller in Guantanamo to transfer the same Camp X-Ray methods to Abu Ghraib and the Iraqi prison system. [36]

In 2003, Seymour Hersh claimed in the New Yorker (US) that Boykin was a key planner, along with Stephen Cambone, behind Rumsfeld’s Special Forces approach to fighting the War on Terror. [37] Furthermore, when Boykin was questioned in a congressional inquiry regarding similarities between current War on Terror special operations and USA’s Phoenix Program during the Vietnam War, he said: “I think we’re running that kind of programme. We’re going after these people. Killing or capturing these people is a legitimate mission for the department. I think we’re doing what the Phoenix programme was designed to do, without all of the secrecy.” [38] and [39]

In 2005, Hersh also claimed that the US had begun to undertake secret, off-the-books, covert missions in Iran to identify key targets for possible strikes in destabilizing their nuclear facilities, and against the larger War on Terror, with the chain of command for the commando operations falling to Rumsfeld, Cambone and Boykin. [40] Hersh claimed these allegations came from “very, very senior” sources, but the Pentagon sharply criticized the article stating that “Mr. Hersh’s article is so riddled with errors of fundamental fact that the credibility of his entire piece is destroyed.” [41]

Mercenary connections

Boykin was also connected to mercenary Jack Idema, a former Green Beret who claimed he had been working for the Pentagon when he was arrested in Afghanistan with two other men, Brent Bennett and Edward Caraballo.

Idema claimed that they “were in contact directly by fax and e-mail and phone with [US Defense Secretary] Donald Rumsfeld’s office”. During Idema’s trial, he and one of his co-defendants produced numerous audio and video tapes in their defense, but they were deemed inadmissible. One of the audio tapes was apparently a conversation between Idema and Jorge Shim‘s boss. Shim, an aide to Boykin, hands Idema over to an unidentified man who says, “We passed all your information to the J2 staff here and to the Defense Intelligence Agency… And we were trying to protect our boss… because he does not need any other scrutiny right now by the press. So we are trying to put a firewall between your efforts and him….”.

The Pentagon denied they had any knowledge of the men’s activities, but later admitted that Idema had handed over someone who he claimed was a top suspected Taliban militant. The Pentagon stated that the suspect was not who Idema had claimed he was, and that he was set free. Idema and his co-defendants were found guilty and he was sentenced to prison for ten years. The judge remarked that “insanity might have been his best defense”. While some believed the case was a sham and there was an element of truth in his claims, Idema was widely seen as a fantasist who, as his former girlfriend commented, “likes his name in lights.” [42] and [43]

Search Wikiquote Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: William G. Boykin

External links

Retrieved from “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_G._Boykin
courtesy of of Wikipedia
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One comment

  1. Thank you oh Lord Almighty for sharing General Boykin with all of your followers. Please give the rest of us the courage to dust off our armor, and following your lead fight for our faith and our Country….I too intend to get good and muddy. Susan



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