Saturday, February 12, 2011

Overview of the Michael Yon Saga

War on Terror News accepted Michael Yon's challenge to research, and put together this fact-based series, using Yon's own words found on the public record:


Overview of the Michael Yon Saga

"To sin by silence, when they should protest, makes cowards of men." Abraham Lincoln?


I hope with this overview of the Michael Yon Saga, I can wash my hands of him. I have no doubt he'll try to spark new controversies, and there will always be a question of whether it is better to ignore the attention whore, or to apply the attention his bad behavior warrants. I didn't undertake this series lightly, but the record had to be corrected. I will not allow him to dictate my actions via bullying nor threats.

But Yon has an international audience, and by his own standard, he should be debunked.

Because I have ignored Yon for so many years, I was unaware of much of his behavior. I was surprised that he had banned Mary Ann, one of the most prolific volunteers in the very organization which he endorses. In my research I found out why: she had asked Yon, and another Journalist to correct a story that credited her for things she had not done. Consequently, it also had him playing the role of a hero, which he later admitted was nothing more than sending an email. While Yon eventually changed his story on his dispatches, he left the original intact elsewhere. The Daily Mail had picked up the story based on Yon's original, and emails with the author, and while it was corrected according to The Daily Mail's policies eventually, the linked source still contains some misperceptions.

Yon had demanded I research, and he also asked his fans to find my name, rank, and unit. The problem was and still is that his definition of research is reading his site and buying his book. He plastered his links all over Blackfive. But it was when I began getting emails from people Yon thought knew me, indicating he was bullying them, that I put some pressure on him. When he began interrogating good people on Facebook, I responded at his site. He certainly didn't seem to like what he had grabbed hold of, but he should understand that threats only embolden a Veteran, and bullying innocent bystanders is not an endearing trait.

But this isn't about me. In Yon's words, I'm just calling the ball where it fell. On the eve of what he would explode into an international incident, he was praising General McChrystal, and complaining that American Generals were commenting on the chances of the American Hockey Team in the Olympics. Hockey is not my bag, but that was a big game. I won't bemoan those that watched, particularly those that got a break from combat to do so, but evidently Hockey is something Yon hates. I don't know why, but it is. I didn't see any complaints from him that Troops watched the Super Bowl...

Read the rest of this here.

Will these facts change anyone's mind about Yon's motivations? Will Yon's own words, captured and highlighted in WOTN's detailed examination, affect Yon's income, or reputation, among his die-hard sycophants? We cannot know,for sure, but one thing I DO know: sometimes we all have to break our silence, and speak up against even the most (apparently, and temporary) 'revered' public figures, even in the face of fervent detractors. To do otherwise is to condone unacceptable behavior. In this case, Yon attempted to smear and sully the reputations of honorable men. He very publicly attacked more than a few, and attempted to threaten careers of men far better than himself. He also claimed credit for events which were not his to claim. As WOTN demonstrates, Yon's own words provide irrefutable proof of the truth.

Will Yon - or his followers - learn anything from this series? We cannot predict. All any of us can do is speak up, and answer falsehoods. WOTN has answered Yon's falsehoods - and the truth is now part of the permanent record.

My quote of the day: “Popularity is the easiest thing in the world to gain and it is the hardest thing to hold” (Will Rogers)

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