Was a U.S. Medal of Honor Recipient Smeared for Trying to Protect U.S. Troops?
Dakota Meyer was awarded the Medal of Honor fighting to save his Marine brothers in Afghanistan, but as a civilian, he purportedly encountered a different sort of treatment. When he raised objections over the sale of advanced military technology to Pakistan, a defense contractor allegedly smeared the decorated hero – and even belittled the Medal of Honor itself.
After serving his country with the highest distinction, Meyer has been humiliated and effectively ousted from the private defense contracting industry for voicing concerns over what he thought could be a threat to U.S. troops in theater.
His former employer — British defense giant BAE — has claimed Meyer was mentally unstable and had a problem with alcohol. This prevented him from transferring to another contractor — one that trains U.S. military to spot roadside bombs.
The accusations could also put Meyer’s ability to receive a security clearance in jeopardy, which would be a major impediment to working in the defense industry following his years of service as a Marine. Fox News has more:
Considering these issues, it should be no surprise that the former Marine is fighting back. Meyer has filed a lawsuit stating that he was maligned and suffered employer retaliation because of his objection to military sales that he felt could put U.S. troops in danger.
Specifically, Meyer says he didn’t believe BAE should sell advanced thermal optic sniper scopes to the Pakistani military. In an email to his supervisor, he claims to have written: “We are taking the best gear, the best technology on the market to date and giving it to guys known to stab us in the back. These are the same people killing our guys.”
Given the recent skirmish along the U.S. border that ended when NATO forces killed 24 Pakistani soldiers in response to an ambush, the concerns Meyer has raised over Pakistani intentions appear very plausible.
So did BAE sell the scopes in question to the Pakistanis, and if so, who approved the sale?
Julian Barnes at the Wall Street Journal is following the Sgt. Meyer case closely, and wrote earlier this week that:
“It wasn’t clear Monday whether the U.S. ever provided high-tech thermal scopes to Pakistan. Mr. Roehrkasse, the BAE spokesman, said the decision to sell defense equipment is made by the State Department, not BAE. “In recent years, the U.S. government has approved the export of defense related goods from numerous defense companies, including BAE systems, to Pakistan as part of the United States’ bilateral relationship with that country…”
For its part, BAE has said it will defend itself in court against Meyer’s retaliation claims, but stops well short of denigrating a Medal of Honor recipient in public. “Although we strongly disagree with his claims, which we will address through the appropriate legal process, we wish him success and good fortune in his endeavors,” said Brian J. Roehrkasse, a BAE spokesman.
Meanwhile, Medal of Honor recipient Sgt. Meyer has been on a goodwill tour visiting military bases — and he even rang the bell at the New York Stock Exchange.
But it appears he will not rest until anyone responsible for tarnishing his exceptional record is held to account.
(H/T Business Insider)
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