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Dakota Meyer receives the Congressional Medal of Honor from President Barack Obama at the White House on Sept. 15, 2011
On Sept. 8, 2009, United States Marine Corps Corporal Dakota L. Meyer became only the third person since the Vietnam War to not only win a Congressional Medal of Honor but live to tell the tale. A Marine Corps training team, working with a group of Afghan soldiers, had been ambushed. Four U.S. troops were dead, and dozens of others trapped. Meyer made four trips back to the site of the ambush, single-handedly killing eight enemy personnel, retrieving the bodies of his fallen comrades, evacuating 12 wounded and assisting dozens of U.S. and Afghan soldiers and Marines to escape the trap the Taliban had sprung. For these actions, President Barack Obama awarded him the Medal of Honor, the highest military decoration a U.S. soldier can receive, this past September.
Meyer left the Corps in 2010, and joined Ausgar Technologies, a company that trains U.S. military personnel in the use of high-tech weaponry and equipment. Later, Meyer took another job with BAE Systems, a British-owned arms manufacturer. In May of this year, Meyer quit his job at BAE, under circumstances that have led to a lawsuit: Meyer claims that after he raised concerns over BAE’s plans to sell highly advanced military technology to Pakistan, he was bullied, belittled and subject to false accusations that damaged his reputation.
The items in question were 20 advanced optic scopes for Pakistani sniper rifles — scopes better than what U.S. military personnel are equipped with. Meyer wrote in an email to his superior, “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.”
He’s almost certainly right about that. While attempting to read the political and military situation in Pakistan is difficult at the best of times, it seems all but certain that at least elements of the Pakistani state are directly colluding with the Taliban in Afghanistan — perhaps without the approval of the central government, but just as likely with its understanding and support. Pakistan will deny this til the cows come home, but then again, they denied that Osama bin Laden was in their country for years while he cooled his heels just down the road from a major Pakistani military base. Draw your own conclusions.
After protesting the sale of these scopes to Pakistan, Meyer claims he was subjected to workplace harassment, bullying and belittling, all by the superior he had emailed, identified as Bobby McCreight, also a former U.S. military sniper. This, combined with BAE’s determination to go ahead with the sale to Pakistan, eventually led Meyer to quit BAE, after only a few short months. He tried to return to his job at Ausgar Technologies, and was told they were eager to have him back.
But it didn’t happen, and Meyer has alleged in a lawsuit filed against BAE that he received an email from someone at Ausgar Technologies saying that the reason he wouldn’t be rehired was because McCreight had told officials at the U.S. Defense Department that Meyer was emotionally unstable and had a drinking problem.
The allegations have yet to be heard in court, and it will be a nightmare for BAE either way — they either had an employee slandering a Medal of Honor winner or didn’t, but must do battle in court with a Medal of Honor winner to prove it. They’re going to come out looking bad either way.
But if nothing else proves true in his allegations except that Meyer had spoken out against transferring advanced arms to Pakistan, he’ll still have a point. Bad news for BAE might be good news for the Western world — if the upcoming trial to hear Meyer’s allegations helps shine a light on the unconscionable transfer of advanced weaponry and equipment to a country that is unreliable at best and, at worst, an outright enemy, Meyer will be a hero once again.