Saturday, March 15, 2008

IVAW's Geoff Millard - Uber Narcissist!

Geoff Millard has struck me as one of the Iraq Veterans Against the War's most oddly fascinating members. It was hard to break away from observing the ever escalating bizarre antics of now former IVAW member Jonathan DeWald because of the morbid fascination of watching what you just knew had to be a train wreck in progress. Millard is also curiously fascinating to watch as something like an IVAW version of Walter Mitty living in his own world of self-aggrandizing delusions.

Only yesterday at the IVAW's Winter Soldier Investigation Geoff Millard confronted live-milblogger TSO while apparently channeling Laurenti Beria, as reported by Robin at Chickenhawk Express:
And if that wasn't enough, big bad Geoff Millard confronted TSO about making "unauthorized contact" with the WaPo reporter...
TSO (Thus Spake Ortner of The Sniper) liveblogged this after having tried (and failed) to engage the WaPo's Steve Vogel in conversation:
Maybe being thrown out, wait one. (Geoff Millard let me know they are monitoring Sniper, and apparently I violated a rule by talking to the Post guy. Which is odd since I had his people with me and was told it was okay. Whatever, they said I could stay. Whupee! Honestly didn't know.)
Geoff Millard is, of course, all about openess and freedom of speech and a free press and citizen access to the media and all of that, since he is a reporter for the leftist Truthout.org! He only tries to silence what is, I guess, objectively bad!

In July 2006 Robin at Chickenhawk Express reported about Millard's High School knee injury and a re-injury while stationed in Vermont that led to his being on "profile" for most of his time in theatre. That can explain why he was on a general's staff, doing things like preparing and flipping PowerPoint presentations in Iraq. A year ago, Robin detailed Millard's migrating injuries and disabilities that went from knee to depleted uranium exposure to spinal!

Robin linked to the Lonestaricon site which had this about Millard:
[Millard] worked as an assistant to a general he declined to name because he still has a year left on his contract. Because of his physical disabilities, Millard said he is hoping for a medical discharge from the National Guard.
That page is gone, but you've got to love the Wayback Machine! When the try at a medical discharge didn't work, Millard declared himself a conscientious objector. And of course, there is no reason now, one would think, why Millard can't identify the general he worked for.

Robin also reported Millard's fawning admiration of Hugo Chavez:
"Chavez made references to Noam Chomsky [in his WSF address]. I found a politican who can read! Unlike our president - I wonder if he is a functional illiterate. The man almost died eating a pretzel."
On Chavez - "this is a man who is starting to look out for the interests of his people, who's telling the corporate interests a big'no'. He's saying that my job is for the people first and foremost."
"As long as the US is a military superpower, the world is going in the wrong direction. But the hope of Venezuela is that the people from the grassroots level can oppose all that. If they can do it here, then we can do it in the USA."
Millard was reported to have made the following claim, sans those troubling details as we've come to expect with such, like date, unit, persons, event details and signed statement (D.U.P.E.S.) at CommonDreams:
During the summer of 2005, Sergeant Millard, who served as an assistant to a general in Tikrit, attended a briefing on a checkpoint shooting, at which his role was to flip PowerPoint slides.

“This unit sets up this traffic control point, and this 18-year-old kid is on top of an armored Humvee with a .50-caliber machine gun,” he said. “This car speeds at him pretty quick and he makes a split-second decision that that’s a suicide bomber, and he presses the butterfly trigger and puts 200 rounds in less than a minute into this vehicle. It killed the mother, a father and two kids. The boy was aged 4 and the daughter was aged 3. And they briefed this to the general. And they briefed it gruesome. I mean, they had pictures. They briefed it to him. And this colonel turns around to this full division staff and says, ‘If these fucking hajis learned to drive, this shit wouldn’t happen.’”
Whether or not commanding officers shared this attitude, interviewees said, troops were rarely held accountable for shooting civilians at checkpoints. Eight veterans described the prevailing attitude among them as “Better to be tried by twelve men than carried by six.” Since the number of troops tried for killing civilians is so scant, interviewees said, they would risk court-martial over the possibility of injury or death.
That depiction of the attitude of American troops at checkpoints where civilians were killed is reminiscent of the claims made by IVAW co-founder Jimmy Massey. Massey had falsely claimed that his Marine unit had killed thirty civilians at a checkpoint in two days until embedded reporter Ron Harris of the St.Louis Dispatch outed him as a liar. That forced a few papers and the AP that had published Massey claims to issue retractions. In a debate between Massey and Harris, Massey not only retracted the thirty killed civilians claim but admitted that the attitude of the Marines in a unit that had unintentionally killed civilians was that they were angry at themselves for the mistake, as opposed to Geoff Millard's "cavalier" attitude. Massey's incredulous history has forced IVAW to do some backtracking on their co-founder, but Millard repeats the same kind of story.

While Millard's detailess story cannot be checked with what he has revealed, such as the name of the general holding that briefing and the colonel Millard claims made that statement, it is at the least questionable. While it is possible for a soldier to have finished basic training and whatever MOS training that follows to be deployed to Iraq at eighteen, it is fairly improbable. I also had some question about how a .50 cal machine gun (likely the M2) mounted on an armored Humvee would be fired, because that 200 round claim sounded a bit off. I just spoke to a Special Forces weapons sergeant (18B) who concurs that the claim does not sound right. A .50 cal would be fired in short bursts of several rounds each, and it would only take a few rounds to stop a car and a few bursts to all but destroy it. To fire off 200 rounds, the gunner would have to be something like wildly panicked and holding or pulling the trigger for a lot more than required, machine-gun-firing-wise. Maybe if he "testifies" at WSI, Millard will give the details to allow the story to be checked. And maybe I'll win the lottery. Hey, it could happen!

The thing that has most fascinated me, though, about Millard, is his delusional self-promotion. In that, I would vote him the IVAW member most likely to try to follow in the footsteps of John Forbes Kerry. When IVAW takes the next step after WSI ends, and tries according to the script to have the "testimony" entered into the Congressional Record (as per 1971), I expect the go-to man in Congress may be Dennis Kucinich, already possibly sighted at WSI. And yes, that is Geoff Millard and Dennis Kucinich photographed together.

Millard seems unable to resist getting himself photographed in two ways that appear decidely posed.
One way is as the compassionate Millard.

















The other is odd for the clerk to a general. I have not seen photos of a military personage with this much seemingly heroic panache since Douglas MacArthur faded away!










































Here is a bit of contrast: if you knew nothing about them, which of the two men shown in the following photos would you think had served in Iraq as a clerk to a general, and which is a nominee for the Congressional Medal of Honor?





The first and third were, of course, Millard. The second and fourth were of SSgt. David Bellavia, TSO's good buddy and that was his LUIAV (light urban infantry assault vehicle) that David was riding in pic #2.

You can read the narritive nominating SSgt. David Bellavia for the Congressional Medal of Honor here.

Forget which one looks like you might think a "hero" looks like. Which one looks like a genuine human being, and someone who is not full of himself or takes himself too seriously, and whom you would like, trust and maybe even want to have your back?

It ain't, for me, Walter Mitty.

13 comments:

namvet1966 said...

“The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive the Veterans of earlier wars to be treated and appreciated by their nation.”—George Washington.

Robin said...

Denis - The contrast between Ballavia and Millard is PERFECT! One is a hero and the other is a wannabe celebrity in the anti-war realm.

Jonn Lilyea said...

There's one small hole in the .50 caliber fired at a civilian vehicle. If I'm not mistaken, an ammo can of .50 cal ammo only has 50 rounds in it. That means to fire 200 rounds, the 18-year-old gunner would have had to reload three times. Reloading and recharging the fifty is no easy task to accomplish in mere seconds.

Dissenting Patriot said...

Denis,

Honestly, you can do better than this. I'm quite disappointed. Attempting to discredit a veteran for possibly overestimating the number of rounds fired into a vehicle? Who cares if it was 20 or 200?

The point is, the dynamic that has resulted from this occupation (i.e. the killing of civilians, who are often indistinguishable from militants, and the dehumanization that comes from that) has generated a popular insurgency (key word 'popular') that is simply not going to be defeated by force of arms. To call for victory in Iraq is delusional considering that the vast majority of Iraqis support violence against occupying forces. You would have to kill the majority of the population of Iraq to have 'victory', and the idea of that is absolutely absurd.

Denis Keohane said...

“Attempting to discredit a veteran for possibly overestimating the number of rounds fired into a vehicle? Who cares if it was 20 or 200?”

Actually, I care. Millard presented the story as a young eighteen year old going over the edge by firing 200 rounds. If that is true, it’s important. If it’s not true, it’s also important.

“The point is, the dynamic that has resulted from this occupation (i.e. the killing of civilians, who are often indistinguishable from militants, and the dehumanization that comes from that) has generated a popular insurgency (key word 'popular') that is simply not going to be defeated by force of arms. To call for victory in Iraq is delusional considering that the vast majority of Iraqis support violence against occupying forces. You would have to kill the majority of the population of Iraq to have 'victory', and the idea of that is absolutely absurd.”

Why don’t you try to substantiate that “the vast majority of Iraqis support violence against occupying forces”?

YatYas said...

Looking at the picture of Milliard's decorations, it looks like he is wearing a MSM with 2 oak leaves. How did he,an enlisted grunt with the Guardearn 3 MSMs? I could be wrong, but that wouldn't happen in the Corps and I haven't seen that with a number of Army vets from Iraq I know.

Zero Ponsdorf said...

Never, I repeat, never, expect rationality from these folks!

It just ain't gonna happen.

Denis Keohane said...

Yatyas,

There's a couple of folks with image enhancement, better eyes than mine and knowledge of such things checking that out as we speak.

Dissenting Patriot said...

http://www.abcnews.go.com/images/US/1043a1IraqWhereThingsStand.pdf

Dissenting Patriot said...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/09/26/AR2006092601721.html

Dissenting Patriot said...

http://www.globalpolicy.org/security/issues/iraq/mnfrenewal/2007/12iraqenglish.htm

Denis,

There is no popular support for or legitimacy to this occcupation. The majority of the Iraqi people want us out. The majority of the Iraqi legislature wants us out. The majority of the American people want us out. What the fuck are we still doing there? We're forcing economic concessions down their throats- that's what.

http://priceofoil.org/thepriceofoil/war-terror/iraqi-oil-law/

You've been conspicuously silent about Antonia Juhasz's presentation:

http://warcomeshome.org/taxonomy/term/63

I'd like to hear your thoughts about that. You ought to make sure you know what the fuck you're talking about before you start harassing veterans who are trying to make peace with themselves and see justice done.

No wonder the Iraqis are so ungrateful for the "freedom" we've given them.

Army Sergeant said...

While not dignifying the rest of the post with a response, I will point out that as an assistant to a general, Geoff Millard received a lot of what is known as 'face time'. I do not find it unlikely at all that someone who spent time in close contact with a general would receive multiple awards, and I call upon those of you who have had service yourselves to be honest with yourselves about how often face time led to more and higher awards.

Anonymous said...

If you talk to the anti-war crowd that follows IVAW around, you'll even find people more than willing to talk about how Millard is an egotistical, attention seeking, malingering, spotlight narcissist who is always ready to put on a dramatic display decrying racism, sexism, and any other social problem he can use as a scapegoat while making himself out to be a preaching prophet eager to be a protest martyr struggling with Depleted uranium exposure.
And then there is this picture online of powerpoint Millard wearing a Combat Infantryman's Badge (CIB) on his DCU top, an award he did not earn and is not on his paperwork.http://www.peaceandjustice.it/images/cc2/34.jpg
Add Stolen valor to Millard's resume.