People Magazine Investigates Premiered ‘Terror in Philadelphia’ on ID: University Student Shannon Schieber Found Raped & Murdered (November 12, 2018)

In 1998, a gifted Philadelphia graduate student is found murdered in her bed. The hunt for her killer forces police to reevaluate a series of unsolved crimes, turning the city upside down. Will her killer be caught or will he strike again? -Terror in Philadelphia, People Magazine Investigates (S3, E2)

Editor’s note: With a cable subscription, you can download the free ID Go app and watch Investigation Discovery programming at your convenience. And for those who do not have cable, you can watch “unlocked” episodes on the ID Go app including the latest premieres. For those who prefer commercial free programming during your binge session, Prime Video has an ID channel: ‘True Crime Files by Investigation Discovery” available for $3.99 a month. It’s a compilation of older seasons but totally worth the cost if you are a true crime addict. Download the ID Go app or purchase ID True Crime Files & binge away.

Related Links:
Death’s Door | People Magazine Investigates
How a Business Student’s Dying Cries of ‘Help Me’ Eventually Led to a Serial Rapist
Mom of Wharton Student Found Raped, Murdered in 1998 Still Wonders: ‘How Could Somebody Do That?’
University of Penn. Student Shannon Schieber Found Raped & Murdered in Home; Air Force SrA Troy Graves Sentenced to Life in Prison (May 7, 1998)
Terror in Philadelphia | People Magazine Investigates | Investigation Discovery (S3, E2)
Terror in Philadelphia | People Magazine Investigates | Investigation Discovery (website)
Terror in Philadelphia | People Magazine Investigates | Investigation Discovery (Prime Video)

‘Gangs and the Military: Gangsters, Bikers, and Terrorists with Military Training’ by Carter F. Smith Released (September 15, 2017)

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Gangs and the Military: Gangsters, Bikers, and Terrorists with Military Training by Carter F. Smith

From the Author: The book documents the long history of gang members (street gangs, outlaw motorcycle gangs, and domestic terrorist – extremists) with military training in parallel with the history of the United States. Gang members have served in the military in each of the wartime eras and they continue to serve today. Some are trying to use the military to get out of the gang life – many are not. The criminals not only tarnish the reputation of the military, they increase the dangerousness of our communities. 

Description: Over the past several decades, there has been a continuous and growing focus on street gangs, outlaw motorcycle gangs, and domestic terrorist and extremist groups. Many of these groups have members with military training, and some actively recruit from current and former military veterans and retirees. That military experience adds to the dangerousness of veteran gang members, as well as those groups they associate with.

In the News:

Gangs in the Military (Fort Hood). -Carter F. Smith (April 18, 2011)

An internal report, obtained by Military.com through a Freedom of Information Act request, shows that gang members were tied to dozens of Army felony law enforcement reports and more than 100 criminal investigations in fiscal 2018, the latest year for which data is available. While these reports and investigations make up less than 1% of all Army law enforcement incidents, the new report shows that the little-discussed problem of military gang activity continues to be a headache for base commanders and other service leaders.” –Army Street Gang Activity is Increasing, Internal Report Report Shows, Military.com (August 17, 2020)

Related Links:
Gangs and the Military and Carter Smith (Website)
Gangs and the Military: Gangsters, Bikers, and Terrorists with Military Training by Carter F. Smith
Gangs and the Military and Carter Smith on C-SPAN (October 14, 2017)
10News I-Team Investigates Gangs In The Military
Red, White and Gangs: The problem of street gangs in the military
WREG Finds Soldier Living Double Life As Gang Member
MTSU professor wins 3rd top national award for gang violence research
East Side Storytellin’117 – When Carter F. Smith Described the Worst of Humanity and Ali Sperry Brought Us Back to Life
Gangs in the US Army Documentary | Military Justice for All
Army Street Gang Activity Is Increasing, Internal Report Shows

Air Force 1st Lt. Anais Tobar Died From a Non Combat Related Injury in UAE in Support of Operation Inherent Resolve (July 18, 2016)

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1st Lt. Anais Tobar, US Air Force

Air Force 1st Lt. Anais Tobar, 25, of Miami, Florida died from a non-combat-related injury on July 18, 2016 in Abu Dhabi, UAE. She was supporting Operation Inherent Resolve on behalf of the 4th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in North Carolina. The Miami Herald reported the Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI) was investigating the circumstances surrounding her death. The official cause of death is unknown.

Related Links:
1st Lt. Anais A. Tobar
DoD Identifies Air Force Casualty
Deployed 4th FW Airman found deceased
Seymour Johnson officer killed in southwest Asia
Air Force Officer Supporting Inherent Resolve Dies of Noncombat Injury
Female Air Force Lieutenant Stationed in UAE Found Dead
Air Force officer supporting Inherent Resolve dies of noncombat injury
US Air Force lieutenant found dead in room in UAE
US Air Force lieutenant stationed in UAE found dead in her room
Air Force Lt. Anais A. Tobar from Miami dies in southwest Asia
US Air Force lieutenant stationed in UAE found dead in her room
Air Force lieutenant from Miami dead at 25, part of anti-ISIS team
An Air Force 1st Lt. Dies In Southwest Asia While in Support of Operation Inherent Resolve
US Air Force lieutenant, 25, stationed in the UAE as part of anti-ISIS team is found dead in her room
Air Force lieutenant attached to anti-ISIS mission found dead in Abu Dhabi
Osceola High grad dies while serving in Air Force
Death Of U.S. Airforce Lieutenant Investigated
Air Force probes overseas death of U.S. lieutenant
Investigations into death of US air force lieutenant in Abu Dhabi under way
Air Force Investigates Circumstances Surrounding Overseas Death of U.S. Lieutenant
Mystery Surrounds Death of Female Air Force Lt. on Anti-Islamic State Mission in UAE
Tribute To Our Fallen Soldiers – US Air Force 1st Lt. Anais A. Tobar, 25, of Miami, Florida
Happy Birthday Air Force


1st Lt. Anais A. Tobar, US Air Force

The Conspiracy Behind the G-RAP War on American Soldiers

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Guard Recruiting Assistance Program

Guest Post Submitted by Darron Smith

In a complicated, twisted tale of alleged corruption and betrayal over budgetary wars, a presumed cover-up simmers at a colossal scale between the Army and the National Guard. Soldiers are the exploited pawns in the largest politically motivated fraud investigation ever conducted by a military component against its own forces. This may sound like suspenseful fiction, but as many National Guardsmen and women can attest, this is all too real. An estimated 24,000 National Guard soldiers have been caught in the dragnet, which all stems from a successful military-enlistment recruiting program that financially compensated citizen-soldiers who aided in efforts to boost military strength. Documents and public records obtained through the Freedom of Information Act along with credible sources points to a disturbing persecution of soldiers and veterans as well as the batch processing of mass indictments.

At a time when US forces were scattered among Iraq, Kuwait and Afghanistan, the overall end strength numbers were low. Army National Guard Director, Lt. General Clyde A. Vaughn (ret), and his staff had an idea to resupply the branches with fresh bodies—make anyone a potential recruiter by offering a financial incentive of $2,000.00 for each successful enlistment. Vaughn deeply felt that a peer-enlistment program might ease the hemorrhaging of a nationwide manpower shortage. And he was correct. The program, dubbed G-RAP (Guard Recruiting Assistance Program), ran from 2005-2012 and was an enormous success, as it replenished the ranks. Other branches of the military ultimately mirrored that recruiting program, but none to the magnitude of the NGB (National Guard Bureau). And none of them received the amount of government money that the Guard received to achieve this success.

Though G-RAP stood as a great achievement in strengthening the reserve forces, by 2012, all RAPs (Recruiting Assistance Programs) were suspended indefinitely, primarily due to media publicity of widespread fraud. NGB took the most heat, consistently projected as having lost upwards of $100 million. The truth, however, has been largely obscured. After four years of costly investigations, only $2 to 3 million “has been successfully prosecuted in civil courts.” But what is more disconcerting is that NGB, routinely criticized for its lack of oversight, no longer had the supervision in their control. Based on a previously unpublished Army Inspector General Report, a closed door meeting took place in May 2007 where it was decided by an ad hoc committee comprised of representatives from Army Criminal Investigation Division (CID), Defense Criminal Investigation Service (DCIS) and the Air Force Office of Special Bureau (AFSOI) “that Docupak would turn over any suspected occurrences of fraud directly to CID,” and that NGB, specifically the State Adjutants General (TAG), would be deliberately left out of the information loop. The rationale given at the time was that the DCIS did not want interference from high-ranking Guard officials.

There is evidence, however, that some TAGs were successfully handling all reported incidents of fraud internally in their own states up until that point with detection and prevention controls. It was not until these controls were halted in the May 2007 meeting that the Guard lost the ability to monitor, discipline and correct such incidents of fraud. Perplexingly, all of this was done without the Guard’s knowledge. In a recent interview in the Washington Times, General Vaughn reported that “he was kept in the dark” about the occurrence of fraud in the field and that CID purposely did not inform him about fraud cases. “No one can correct a problem if you do not know it exists,” stated Vaughn.

The CID did not have any prerogative to make such changes to regulation, as it would require a Congressional act; yet, in 2009 (and again in 2014), changes were made to the CID Manual that removed the language to report crimes through the TAG. But simply changing the manual did not mean it was constitutional to do so under the sovereign rights of each state and US territories. What’s more, there has been discussion in legal circles as to whether or not CID is operating outside its jurisdiction in the investigation of National Guard members. According to the Constitution as well as Department of Defense Directives (DoDD) 5105.77, the NGB is under the direct command of the state TAG and ultimately the governor unless a battalion has been mobilized for federal duty, at which point they then fall under Title 10 (active duty status) and the command of the President. The majority of those indicted are known as “M-day soldiers.” In other words, they are “weekend warriors” working for the Guard once a month and two weeks a year in official drill status (aka, Title 32). If an individual under Title 32 were to come under some criminal deed, it is the role of the TAG to take action. In fact, the TAGs have guidance on enforcing discipline and protecting soldier’s rights as it is articulated in the 2015 Commander’s Legal Handbook. The CID, as a faction of the big Army, only has command over Title 10 soldiers; it does not, to this day, have any authority over most members of the National Guard in these investigations, save a select few individuals who were deployed on active duty while participating in G-RAP.

This then raises the question, why is the regular Army harassing National Guard soldiers and violating their constitutional rights in the first place? Most of the soldiers under suspicion for theft of government property are not subject to regular Army discipline. Before that question can be answered, there is another piece of the puzzle to be scrutinized—the alarming results of CID’s investigations.

The U.S. Army Audit Agency had concern regarding the potential of individual fraud within RAPs. After reviewing over 150,000 enlistments ($339 million in payments), the June 2012 Audit identified 3,200 soldiers in the fraud-risk assessment. They found 1,256 recruiters suspicious of medium to high risk for fraud. Additionally, there were 2,022 RAs that “potentially violated program rules.” Of those RAs, only a quarter of them were found to be intentional acts. The remaining 1,400 recruiting assistants appeared to have unknowingly and unintentionally violated the rules of G-RAP, which is entirely plausible considering there were 60 changes to G-RAP rules during its seven years in existence .

This report fueled an investigation of another style from the Senate Subcommittee on Financial and Contracting Oversight. Despite the Audit’s fraud findings, the Army CID quickly dispatched approximately 200 field investigators under “Task Force Raptor” to scrutinize all 106,364 individuals who participated in G-RAP for any possibility of fraud. Senator Claire M. McCaskill (D, MO) set a directive that CID should flood the nation’s landscape and courageously return ill-gotten dollars to the American taxpayers. CID agents were encouraged to flash badges, obtain DNA swabs, issue polygraph tests and secure fingerprints in an effort to scare soldiers into revealing any useful material that could be later used against them. One former CID agent admitted that they were urged to lie to potential witnesses and persons-of-interest if usable information could be extracted. They were then instructed to report the numbers of potential indictments back to Senator McCaskill’s office on a quarterly basis, ostensibly to ensure they were meeting her demands of accountability. But a federal indictment of fraud is a crime requiring specific intent. In other words, conviction relies on the government’s ability prove the individual knew of the specific rules and guidelines and intentionally broke them for monetary enrichment.

Nevertheless, CID’s report prepared for the February 2014 Senate Subcommittee hearing led by Senator McCaskill found over 22,000 soldiers associated with payments that were at risk for fraud. This number is over seven times greater than the original Army Audit estimation at a rate of 1.7-3%. The FBI estimates that insurance fraud—one of the highest areas of civilian fraud—is at a rate of 3-10% of all insurance cases. Conversely, CID is now suggesting that those who proudly wear the uniform are felons at a rate of over 20%. Put differently, 1 in 5 soldiers are alleged criminals, 2 to 7 times more likely to commit fraud than the civilian population. This is clear evidence that these claims are audacious.

How is it possible that so many service members are accused of fraud? How is it that the CID investigations found an additional 18,000-20,000 offenders from the Audit’s estimation? Is it possible that this is a witch-hunt? This fishing expedition turned into a conspiracy theory as Sen. McCaskill stated, “I mean, it is almost like word got out and nobody was paying attention, and all of a sudden everybody was, okay, the bank is open. Let us go for it.” The moderate democrat further opined, “I mean there is no way that there was not a culture of people saying, hey, here is the deal. There is a bounty and we know these people are signing up.” But rather than a vast number of soldiers intentionally scamming the government they swore to protect, a much more plausible answer would be that most all were following a set of murky rules as they understood them.

Senator McCaskill’s supposed effort directed to bring about justice for the American people instead turned into a catastrophe where the wrath eventually rolled downhill to the most vulnerable of peoples, our service members. Let off the hook were Docupak and military Brass who were responsible for the proper administration and oversight of G-RAP. One possible explanation for the morass is a skirmish over federal defense dollars when the Guard received the lion share of contract monies to operate G-RAP. Or perhaps it is something as simple as an attempt to justify the military drawdown of troops currently underway. This time, the scapegoat would be the American soldier, more specifically National Guardsman, as McCaskill’s goons sought to manufacture felons. Unfortunately, those are the casualties of politics, but these service members deserve more. They deserve answers and accountability from our leaders.

[1] Unpublished U.S. Army Inspector General Agency Report of Investigation (ROI) (Recruiting Assistance Program) 2014.
[2] Memorandum from U.S. Army Audit Agency to Recruiting Assistance Program Task Force Regarding Audit of Recruiting Assistance Programs – Reserve Components (June 4, 2012) (Report A 2012 0115 IEF), Enclosure 1.
[3] CID Investigators report (G-RAP Training) Nov, 2013.

Learn more at Stop G-RAP Injustice on Facebook.

United States Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals Upheld United States v. Jane Neubauer, US Air Force (2016)

Retaliation

On March 10, 2016 the United States Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals upheld United States v. Jane Neubauer, United States Air Force. Is this another case of federal government overreach and denial of due process rights? I think John Q Public‘s assessment of this case speaks volumes of the real issues behind the Command directed prosecution of an airman who blew the whistle after being recruited as an Office of Special Investigations (OSI) confidential informant. The same OSI office she exposed ended up investigating and assisting with her prosecution. This is yet another example of the importance of letting an impartial law enforcement official and prosecutor make decisions about whether to investigate, who should investigate, who to investigate, and whether or not they have the evidence to move forward with a case. The moment a military member asks for an attorney, all criminal justice communications with Commanders and their investigators must cease. Every accused military member should be represented by counsel and afforded their due process rights throughout the entire investigation including collection of evidence. Learn more about your due process rights here.

“There have been many sexual assault accusations far less credible than the accusation made by this Airman. Many that were enthusiastically pursued by prosecutors despite their frailty … many that did not result in disciplinary actions when they were revealed to have been false.

So, what was so special about this accusation?

Well, she was an OSI informant, and the situation cast OSI in an extremely negative light at a time when the OSI informant program was already under fire. The same organization that recruited her right out of BMT to help investigate drug activity at Keesler AFB conducted the investigation that eventually resulted in her prosecution.

If she’s wrong … if she’s bad … if she’s a liar … then obviously she’s the problem. She’ll absorb the negative attention and culpability … leaving OSI and its shady actions in this debacle comfortably out of the limelight.

Another example of prosecutorial inconsistency and arbitrariness in the USAF … demonstrating that it’s not operating an impartial justice system, but a score-settling control device on behalf of the chain of command.” ~John Q Public

Related Links:
United States v. Airman Basic Jane M. Neubauer, United States Air Force
Spies, Lies, and Rape in the Air Force: An Undercover Agent’s Story
Undercover Agent Says the Air Force Is Retaliating Against Her After She Was Raped
Air Force undercover informant claims she is being hounded out of the service after being raped while trying to root out drug rings
Gillibrand Reacts to Air Force Rape Case First Reported by The Daily Beast
The Pentagon’s shameful culture of sexual assault can still be uprooted
Air Force Charges Ex-Informant With Lying About Her Rape
Keesler Air Force Base ex-informant loses appeal
Former Air Force informant who made false rape charge loses appeal
Former Air Force Informant Who Made False Rape Charge Loses Appeal
Honor and deception: A secretive Air Force program recruits academy students to inform on fellow cadets and disavows them afterward
Air Force Cadet’s Secret Story: I Blew the Whistle on Football Players and Sex Assaults
Hearing testimony reveals subterfuge of Air Force Academy informant program
Informant Debate Renewed as Air Force Revisits Cadet Misconduct
Air Force Academy: Please Reinstate Cadet Eric Thomas and Reform the Confidential Informant Program!

Air Force SSgt. Darian Miller Found Dead at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Alaska; Cause of Death Unknown (2014)

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SSgt. Darian Miller, US Air Force (2008 USAF photo by Kemberly Groue)

SSgt. Darian Miller, 38, of Marion, South Carolina was pronounced dead at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson (JBER) in Alaska on February 18, 2014. SSgt. Miller joined the Air Force in 1994 and was assigned to JBER in 2011 where he worked in operations management for the 3rd Air Support Operations Squadron. The Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI) was assigned to investigate the circumstances surrounding his death. The final determination of cause of death was not indicated in media reports. SSgt. Miller was one of four servicemen from JBER found dead this month: Army Sgt. Okan Cetinbag on February 11; SrA Katrina Jackson on February 15; and SSgt. Samuel Davis on February 23.

Related Links:
Airman dies at Alaska base
SC airman dies at Alaska base
Airman from Marion dies at Alaska base
Soldier’s death marks fourth JBER fatality in a month
JBER airman’s passing marks fourth death in February
Violent Crime, Suicide, and Non Combat Death at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska (Army & Air Force)

Air Force SrA Katrina Jackson Died of Apparent Self-Inflicted Gunshot Wound at Joint-Base Elmendorf-Richardson (2014)

USAF Seal

SrA Katrina Jackson, US Air Force

Air Force SrA Katrina Jackson, 22, of Universal City, Texas died from injuries sustained from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound in Alaska on February 15, 2014. SrA Jackson joined the Air Force in 2010 and was stationed at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson (JBER) in 2011 where she was assigned as a patrolman with the 673rd Security Forces Squadron. Media reports indicate that the circumstances surrounding her death were investigated by the Air Force Office of Special Investigations (OSI). SrA Jackson was one of four servicemen from JBER found dead this month: Army Sgt. Okan Cetinbag on February 11; and SSgt. Darian Miller on February 18; and SSgt. Samuel Davis on February 23.

Related Links:
Senior Airman Katrina Jackson
Airman dies on JBER
Soldier’s death marks fourth JBER fatality in a month
JBER airman’s passing marks fourth death in February
Violent Crime, Suicide, and Non Combat Death at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska (Army & Air Force)

Gazette confirms former Air Force Academy cadet’s account (December 7, 2013)

When former Air Force Academy cadet Eric Thomas faced a disciplinary board in August 2012, a special agent with the Air Force Office of Special Investigations said he would come to explain how Thomas worked dozens of cases as a confidential informant and had been of great service to the Air Force.

The agent never showed up, and Thomas was expelled from the academy eight months later. On Friday, an active-duty member of the Air Force Academy with direct knowledge of the case said the agent, Brandon Enos, did not show up because he was told not to by the local OSI commander, Lt. Col. Vasaga Tilo.

Read more from the Gazette here.

The Gazette: Honor and Deception, A secretive Air Force program recruits academy students to inform on fellow cadets and disavows them afterward (December 1, 2013)

Facing pressure to combat drug use and sexual assault at the Air Force Academy, the Air Force has created a secret system of cadet informants to hunt for misconduct among students.

Cadets who attend the publicly-funded academy near Colorado Springs must pledge never to lie. But the program pushes some to do just that: Informants are told to deceive classmates, professors and commanders while snapping photos, wearing recording devices and filing secret reports.

For one former academy student, becoming a covert government operative meant not only betraying the values he vowed to uphold, it meant being thrown out of the academy as punishment for doing the things the Air Force secretly told him to do.

Read more from the Gazette here.

The Gazette: AFA’s Cooks convicted in sexual assault case, booted from military (April 28, 2013)

An Air Force Academy cadet has been convicted by a court martial panel on a sexual assault charge and kicked out of the military.

Air Force Academy cadet Jamil Cooks, who pleaded guilty last week to unlawfully entering women’s dorm rooms at the academy, was convicted by a court martial panel on a charge of abusive sexual contact, the academy announced Sunday morning.

Read more from the Gazette here.