Operation Dancing Goat 2: Tea drinking with Taliban elders
“Mind you the Russians were there from 1979 till 1989. (Afghanistan) It was the Russian Mothers that ended that war and it is the love of a MOTHER to fight for all of God’s children.” – Susan Price
Somewhere on the road in Northern Florida – Nothing is quite so violent – so personally affecting – as to see the door to one’s home broken and splintered where a crowbar destroyed the practicality of the carpenter’s art. It is an act of violation of the privacy of one’s domain – a slap in the face of decency, unsettling, disquieting.
By the time Labor Day weekend 2009 rolled around, Susan Price was used to the kind of violent, sinister “funny things” that kept happening to her. Strangers in an SUV snapped pictures of her home near Atlanta; when she responded to their invasion of her privacy, came outside into her driveway, they sped away. It was a matter of routine during the years before she moved to Florida, years in which investigators were checking out her son’s background for a top secret security clearance that would enable him to handle a job as an aide to a top Defense Department assistant secretary.
A bullet shattered the calm of the day of her 50th birthday, September 29, 2008, a year before his son’s death in combat, as she drove to work on a business trip to Clearwater, Florida, as a marketing specialist. A drive-by shooter sprayed lead at her moving car.
None of that is a mystery to her. She has evidence of why it all happened, and she and other civilians including veterans of wars fought as Marines and soldiers, sailors and airmen, intend to use that evidence to combat what they see as a military bid to carry out a coup d’etat against the civil government inside the borders of the U.S.
They are the resistance to Operation Jade Helm 15, a special ops exercise they see as all part of an ongoing plan to deliver the land mass of the nation into the hands of foreign troops under the direction of the United Nations.
It was all part of a pattern she had learned to live with during the years of her son’s career as a U.S. Marine. Gunnery Sgt. Aaron Kenefick’s elevation to a top secret, compartmentalized clearance came with strings attached. One of them involved suspicious, hostile and violent behavior toward his mother.
“Someone broke into my home as they used a crowbar to break entry from my garage into the house the night before my son was killed that Labor Day weekend,” on September 8, 2009, she recalls.
She is carrying the message that she knows exactly what the burglars who broke into her home were looking for – and why.
Gunny Kenefick left his duty station across Tampa Bay at MacDill Air Force Base, home of CentCom, the command structure that directs all operations in the mideast for the U.S. Armed Forces, in a flurry of angry confrontations with his boss, retired Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt; the Marine Corps reassigned him in August, 2007, to a Marine battalion at Okinawa after they repeatedly clashed over the general’s “unethical” behavior.
The nature of that behavior became a storm of controversy after numerous persons with whom the general worked at CentCom came forward to give sworn statement and write letters to the Inspector General of the Department of Defense about how he treated both them and sensitive official documents during his tenure there as an Assistant Secretary of Defense in charge of the conduct of the war in Afghanistan.
In the days previous to the ambush that took the Gunny’s life and those of several other Marines during “Operation Dancing Goat 2,” Kimmitt had been involved in the minutiae of a lateral move that would take him to another area of foreign policy, as a Deputy Director of the Department of State for military and political affairs.
It was a time of sweeping change in the executive department of the government, a changing of the guard from a Republican President from the neoconservative wing of the GOP to an ultra-liberal south side Chicago member of the Democratic Party, a man of color with a mixed heritage of a black, Islamic father from Kenya, and a white Christian mother from Kansas – a couple who met while on duty with the Peace Corps. The new President had strong ties to such organizations as Saul Alinsky’s Industrial Areas Foundation, and a personal relationship with Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn, a couple who once graced the FBI’s most wanted posters as founding members of the Weather Underground faction of the Students for a Democratic Society.
In nearly 60 pages of heavily redacted official documents forwarded by the IG’s office to Senator Joe Biden, then chair of the Senate Foreign Relations committee, enough comes through to make it clear the investigation was pretty much of a white wash, riddled with softball questions about why the general couldn’t get along with colleagues, co-workers, the people who reported to him at MacDill.
They all politely replied it was all about his forceful, direct and challenging personality – personal traits that often left people unnerved. On a scale of one to ten, he was in the garlic sandwich department – strong.
The names of every person who testified and wrote letters of complaint seeking to block his confirmation as a State Department big-wig is blocked out by a bar of official black. Sometimes whole pages are darkened, as well as the predicate portions of complex sentences denoting the exact nature of their complaints and allegations.
Marine buddies and his mother Susan Price all agree that it was his statements and letters to the office of the Inspector General about Kimmitt that got Gunny Kenefick killed a couple of years later in Afghanistan.
“It is upon information and belief as a couple of my son’s Marine friends from U.S. Central Command – CentCom – mentioned a letter that was sent to the IG from my son…Upon my investigations a few years ago, I found this letter and believe that it is from my son Aaron, as it was sent in 2007, which would have fit perfect as my son left U.S. CentCom August 2, 2007, and reported to 3rd Marine Battalion.”
His allegations, according to her sources and her understanding of her son’s situation, included three areas of unprofessional behavior:
1) Kimmitt demanded that Gunny Kenefick as his enlisted aide leave the secure area of the CentCom headquarters and bring sensitive documents – secret message traffic and cables, reports, and the like – to his private residence after they had been downloaded to his personal computer at his off-post private residence. He demanded the deliveries of official documents to be made off-post at 3 a.m. each day. He was a witness to other similar situations and said so in official complaints and sworn statements.
2) He was a witness to other similar situations involving security breaches, and said so in official complaints and sworn statements.
3) He had personal experience with the general’s impatient affect, his violent ways of talking to people who had to listen to his tirades. He had given statements and written complaints about specific incidents.
In the final hours of his life, Gunny Kenefick and three other Marines of his team were ambushed on a mission to plant NSA apparatus in the Ginjgal Valley area where they were eventually killed. When the ambush didn’t succeed, “Camp Joyce HQ called them and told the four Marines to report hours later as they were going into the village of Ganjgal for a tea drinking mission, aka the mission ‘Dancing Goat 2.'”
As they approached the area in company with a company strength reconnaissance in force, they met withering automatic fire and rocket propelled grenades directed at them by a large number of Taliban fighters who were dug in throughout the village and its strategic overlooks. They were pinned, cut off, in need of air support they were promised in 15 minutes, though the choppers didn’t come for an additional 80 minutes, long after they were all dead. .
“The State Department was there the day before…They were set up,” says Susan Price. mother of a Marine who lost his life fighting in a war most people do not understand.
NEXT INSTALLMENT: The Kimmitt family of professional warriors and their interlocking directorate with military, industrial, financial, public relations, lobbying, and political organizations. Who they are, and why they’re here to stay…