Archive for the ‘Army’ Category

Retired US Army Lt. Gen. Claudia Kennedy (1947-) probably accomplishes more by 6am than most people do all day.

Born in Germany and raised an Army brat, Kennedy graduated college in the US with a degree philosophy, and then went on to be commissioned in the US Army in 1969. She served in Germany, Korea, and focused her career on Intelligence and cryptology.

Kennedy climbed the ranks and was eventually promoted to Lt. Gen. in 1997 (a historical first) when she was also named the Army Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence (another historical first). Hoo-Yah.

So here’s where the career gets sticky. In 1999, Kennedy made a claim of sexual harassment against General Larry Smith. What makes it such a mess is that the harassment occurred years before. What makes it a spectacularly glorious mess is that Smith was in consideration for the post of Army Deputy Inspector General, aka “The Dude In Charge of Investigating Harassment Claims”.

Kennedy was greatly criticized for waiting 3 years before coming out with her charge against Smith, but this Agent has to admit, I see her side of things. The American Military Machine still has light years to go when it comes to its treatment of female personnel. Many friends of this Agent who serve in our military regular tell tales of what it takes to get along as a dame in uniform, and sometimes it means unfortunately keeping your yap shut when you’d like nothing more than to punch come clown in the nose. Heck, a slew of recent news reports shows the military to be about as female-friendly as a Misogyny Conference in Strip Club in Vegas. Kennedy, at the time, probably saw the incident as a no-harm/no-foul sort of situation and let it go. However, put the man in charge of investigating such behavior, and it becomes a whole new ballgame.

Like Kermit the Frog always says: It Aint Easy Being Green. Women pick and choose their battles all the time and Kennedy certainly chose hers.

Kennedy retired after 31 distinguished years in 2000. Since then, she has been an outspoken critic of the Bush Administration with regards to both the military and women’s treatment in the military, a regular contributor to The Huffington Post, and recently was thought to be on the short-list of potential VP candidates for Barack Obama. And she was also inducted into the Military Intelligence Hall of fame.

And to end tie this all up with one pretty bow of a cliche: A woman’s work is never done.

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You say “potato”, I say “po-tah-toe”, you say “Mata Hari”, I say “get your facts straight”…damn this is getting tiresome…

So history is playing yet another round of “Blame Dame” with the acts of a cowardly US Colonel towards a dame being mislabeled as “Sexpionage”. Sigh.

Here we go: Kim Soo-Im (1911-1950) was a highly educated Korean Socialite. During the post WWII years, when Korea was trying to shrug off it’s Japanese controlled, colonial, feudal shroud, the young and educated were leaning left-towards communism-as a way to modernize their society.

Kim was an orphan who was raised by missionaries and was educated at a prestigious women’s college. She supported herself by working as an office administrator and ran in a highly fashionable circle of Korean intellectuals. In 1941, Kim met Lee Gang-Kook, an older married man who was also the head of Seoul’s leftist movement. They became involved and remained so until the Korea’s crackdown on communists in 1945 forced Lee to flee to Northern Korea.

Kim was left behind and due to her fluency in English, she became a translator for American forces stationed in Korea. Enter Col. John E. Baird. His role in Korea was to monitor the black market, Korean informants, and theft of US Army property. Kim became his assistant, and more, and Baird set Kim up with housing and eventually fathered her child, a son, Wonil Kim.

This went on until m1949, when the US Army began withdrawals, Baird’s American wife came to town for a visit, and Kim’s ex-lover Lee, had risen to political heights in the North and began to pubicly trash talk the Southern Regime.

In 1950, Kim was no longer employed by the US Army and Baird was skipping town back to his family across the pond. This left Kim vulnerable and she was rounded up in a leftist witch-hunt where the South Korean government charged her with a dirty laundry list of crimes, the most serious of which claimed that Kim relayed top-secret US withdrawal plans to her ex-lover Lee in the North.

No evidence was presented. No witnesses were brought forth to corroborate the charges. But on the third day of trial, Kim broke down and confessed. I’m willing to put money that the amount of torture she suffered during her imprisonment, in the form of water boarding, electric shock, and the terrifying use of pliers, played no small part in the matter.

Col. Baird, well aware of Kim’s dire circumstances, and who could have manned-up, stepped forward, and refute the charges, did nothing for her.

Kim was sentenced to death and was swiftly executed.

The US Army, well aware of the situation, did its own follow up investigation and recently declassified reports show that the charges against Kim were a set-up. Not only that, Col. Baird was not privy to any such sensitive information, hence, Kim could have not passed it along to Lee Gang-Kook.

Kim’s son, Wonil, was adopted by a missionary family who eventually headed back to the US. Well aware of his mother’s story since there was a few TV movies aired that trumped her up as an “Asian Mata Hari” (one narrated by an actor by the name of Ronald Reagan), Wonil began a life’s quest in clearing his mother’s name.

Wonil tracked his father shortly before he died in 1980, and despite the undisputable fact that he looks exactly like dear old dad, Col. Baird rejected him outright claiming a “Mr. Smith” as Wonil’s real father. Despite this, Wonil developed a close relationship with his father’s family after his death. Wonil is now collaborating with a Korean filmmaker on his mother’s life story in efforts to dispell the myths that have surrounded her so long.

And the kicker of it all: according the Army intelligence reports, Lee Gong-Kook was employed by the CIA’s Joint Activities Commission in Korea as a secret agent. He was executed in 1953 after the Korean War ended for being an American spy.

Kelly Warren (1966-), part of the Clyde Lee Conrad US Army spy-ring, was convicted of consipiracy to commit espionage and sentenced to 25 years in prison in 1999.

Clyde Lee Conrad was a sergeant in the Army serving in Germany during the final days of the Cold War. He, along with 3 other Army personnel, including Army Private Kelly Warren, a clerk with access to top-secret documents also serving in Germany, sold NATO defense plans of Western Europe should the Soviets decide to invade. The happy recipients of this intel were Hungarian Intelligence Officials.

Not much is known about Warren except that she is from Georgia, served in Germany from 1986-1988, and it is assumed that due to her extremely low pay, Warren was induced, monetarily, to join the ring. She wasn’t nabbed until 1997 and it took until 1999 to finalize her conviction. Cohort Conrad died in prison of a heart-attack in 1998.

Kelly Warren has earned a special distinction in the case. Usually, those nabbed for espionage are middle-aged white gents. Warren is the first female in the military to ever be convicted of espionage. Her reward for such an honor is likely to be serving a full sentence and will not be released until 2024, at the age of 57.