Thanks to John Stanton for forwarding an advance copy of his latest article moments ago. This is very alarming news about how the lives of female Human Terrain team members are put at risk by those who are putatively on the same side as them. It makes for very grim reading.
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Death Threat Tarnishes US Army Human Terrain System
Mata La Vaca: Kill the Cow
by John Stanton
Thursday, 26 February, 2009
Sources indicate that Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey of (D‐California) awaits the results of an investigative report by the US Army 101st Airborne Command, stationed at Bagram AB in Afghanistan, into allegations of a death threat made against Dr. [Marilyn] Dudley‐Flores — a former senior female Human Terrain Team (HTT) member deployed to Bagram — by an active duty lieutenant in collusion with the HTT leader. The death threat was written on a white board and was included in a “to do” list. It read, according to sources, “Mata La Vaca” which translates into “Kill The Cow.” Immediately after that incident, other female members of the HTT began to arm themselves apparently because they feared that male members of the HTT, along with a few in the 101st Airborne, were out to get them.
The death threat was the culmination of an effort, say sources, to malign Dudley‐Flores’ credibility with fellow HTT members and the 101st Airborne, and put the women in their place. Sources allege that through the months of November and December 2008, Flores‐Dudley and other HTT female members were deliberately put in harm’s way by Milan Sturgis [see photo below] — a former HTT leader ‐‐ who sent Flores‐Dudley and female HTT members in known hot areas (like Qarabagh) where the Taliban was active, and, in one instance, knowingly had them wait for seven hours on a remote airstrip for a airlift back to Bagram, AB. Sturgis was nearly terminated for, copying wholesale, and changing the facts in a report authored by another HTS member. And, according to sources, Sturgis had mental health issues.
Further, the active duty lieutenant charged with protecting Dudley‐Flores and female teammates acted with discredit by fleeing and not covering Dudley‐Flores when she was fired upon (fire incident) and; in another incident, leaving his sidearm and other arms in a Humvee while a female HTT member was inside a structure interviewing Afghans who, it was later found out, were Taliban seeking intelligence.
Rat Fucking Campaign
Sturgis and the first lieutenant sought to falsify the after action report (AAR) on the fire incident and, it is alleged — according to sources — that Sturgis and the first lieutenant instructed Dudley‐Flores to meet them alone in an isolated part of a building, apparently, to convince her to change her mind about what the AAR should look like. According to sources, fearing for her safety, Dudley‐Flores went up the chain of command at Bagram in an attempt to avoid the meeting. It was at this point in late December 2008 that the females — some on the advice of spouses and partners — started to arm themselves.
Dudley‐Flores and fellow HTT female members were also subjected to sexual harassment and abuse by Milan Sturgis and his cohorts. Sources say that Sturgis, in collusion with other HTT members (male) and individuals in the 101st Airborne led a “rat fucking campaign” against Dudley-Flores. That campaign played on the fact that, according to sources, Dudley-Flores was overweight. The “rat fuckers” according to sources claimed that Dudley‐Flores was unable to buckle her body armor or even get in and out of a Humvee. Further, because of her weight, Dudley‐Flores was nicknamed by male HTT members and some in the 101st Airborne as “The Cow”. In one instance, a picture of a 500 pound stripper on four knees with a midget on top was placed on her desk.
Dudley‐Flores was called the Chief Cow by male HTT teammates and, according to sources, phrases like, “The HTT needs more cow bells,” appeared on homemade posters around the HTT office. Dudley‐Flores was also accused, falsely according to sources, of telling 101st Airborne officers (up to 20) that she was “the first infantry woman in the US Army.” In late December 2008/early January 2009, Dudley‐Flores was terminated for non‐performance.
Former US Army National Guard Lieutenant Dudley‐Flores was the first certified woman combat mountaineer in the Alaska’s US Army National Guard and has hundreds of hours of smal arms training. She also worked in Pakistan during the USSR’s occupation of Afghanistan helping refugees.
While she was at the University of South Carolina, she and her colleagues developed a rudimentary social networking/human terrain mapping‐type program to assist victims of the war in Kuwait. That program, the Victim Assessment Database, was to be used in Kuwait after the first Gulf War but the US government showed no interest.
Sources claim that HTS management knew of many of these activities targeted at Dudley‐Flores and did not act. In July 2007, in a briefing designed for LTG John Kimmons (http://www.dami.army.pentagon.mil/), HTS management knew it had personnel and organizational problems. Those apparently were ignored in favor of marketing the “concept”. Once again, oversight of HTS program has been negligent resulting in the many problems already documented in past articles. [For a copy of the briefing to LTG Kimmons, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.]
In the end, Congresswomen Woolsey’s staff had her pulled out of Afghanistan because they feared for her life.
John Stanton is a Virginia based writer specializing in political and national security matters. Reach him at email@example.com.
- Dr. Marilyn Dudley-Flores: Who I Am
- Profile of Milan Sturgis (“Priest leads a full life,” The Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star, 14 May 2007): “the priest with Serbian roots finds himself leading a Greek Orthodox church in Spotsylvania County, teaching in Boston and running an energy consulting company in Alexandria….Sturgis began his priesthood in Morgantown, Pa., in the 1980s….then he decided to become a chaplain, joining the Navy, which meant he could be assigned to any of the sea services. He ministered to the Marine Corps….Sturgis went to work for a State Department office devoted to religious freedom in the late ’90s, when the Balkans erupted in conflict….He runs Blue Oceans Strategies LLC, an energy consulting group that works with international natural gas and oil companies.”
- Rev. Dr. Milan Sturgis (News from the National Council of Churches): “A Serbian Orthodox priest and former U.S. foreign service officer in the Balkans, Dr. Milan Sturgis….related many of his experiences in Bosnia, Serbia and Kosovo including the loss of cousins, aunts and uncles “who were slaughtered.”
- Milan Sturgis: “Political Advisor, OSCE [Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe], Belgrade, US Department of State” (2004)
- Milan Sturgis: State Department special advisor on democracy issues in post-conflict states
Update #1: Also, see “addenda” below.
Update #2: photos added, thanks to http://www.ops-alaska.com/humanterrain
See also this intimidation on base, against speaking to John Stanton: