Fog of Deception

By Bill Knight

Fog of Deception

Part 4 – An American Contractor in Afghanistan

February 11, 2013

Nearly 8 months to the day since the death of Thomas Boyle, his wife still had no reports or findings on how her husband died. Ltc Patrick Michaelis had never come to the Boyle home as he promised.

There was one soldier that contacted Mrs. Boyle on social media soon after the attack.  He commented on nothing other than an occasional ‘like’, so it was at this time that Mrs. Boyle decided to contact him with the hope of obtaining some answers.

The following edited conversation is taken from social media communications between Mrs. Boyle and Michael Austin Whitbeck.  You will remember this is the same soldier mentioned in Part One and can be viewed speaking at the end of the Combat Rescue Series on National Geographic – the second part of ‘Into the Fire,’ which covered the attack at Provincial Reserve.

See video of the NatGeo series, Combat Rescue, Into the Fire  at this link.

Mrs. Boyle  

Austin – I need for you to help me if you would please.  Can you supply to me your account of the incident that day?  Did you notice any odd happenings on base May 24-28? …I’ll explain later but there have been many questions and the Army is giving me nothing.  I have never been told what transpired nor have I gotten the 15-6 I foia’d.  No one has had the decency to tell me what happened.  Thanking you in advance.  2/11/2013

Austin Whitbeck

The incident happened June 19th…so I don’t know what incident you’re talking about on the 24th through the 28th.  I blacked out through most of the incident.  And I’m pretty sure people don’t want to insult his existence by saying what happened.  2/11/2013 8:28pm

Mrs. Boyle

I know it happened on the 19th.  I was asking if you noticed anything on May 25-28….and as far as insulting his existence – you just did.  Or does respect not enter into your vocabulary?  You are not fit to lick his boots.  2/11/2013 8:42pm

Austin Whitbeck

We were out on a mission every day and dealing with a lot of drama so every day sucked for us.  And fine – you want the truth?  He was outside smoking and took 6 to the chest…..You don’t think I was f’d up by kneeling next to him while pulling security after I’d been blown up, shot, and almost shot my own battle buddy in the face after he asked me to kill him?  Fuck off.  You’re not the only one who went through hardships.  2/11/2013 9:52pm

Mrs. Boyle

You are a liar…..I’m trying to solve his murder and never mentioned hardship at all….You have a real funny way of honoring Tom. 2/11/2013 9:54pm

Austin Whitbeck

Have fun dealing with my chain of command.  2/11/2013 10:18pm

Interpreter Farhad’s body lies under his prayer rug. Did Whitbeck shoot him as well when he fell backwards and sprayed bullets into the tents?

Lies, the fog of deception

As depicted in the Combat Rescue series, Austin Whitbeck is seen talking and never mentions being shot.  Whitbeck is not listed on any casualty lists.  What was shown by testimony is that Whitbeck fell backwards with his SAW on full auto – reportedly spraying into the tents.  There was one other casualty on the U.S. side of the FOB besides Tom Boyle – the interpreter Farhad.

Excerpts from the 15-6 sworn statement of SPC Kortney Showerman

“When I looked to my 10 o’clock I saw our civilian Tom Boyle run by the gazebo and get shot three to four times in his right side.”  Showerman further states she could see the rounds impact him and blood spurt out…  She stated that he continued to run in a northbound direction until he was out of her line of sight.

There are essentially two things wrong with her testimony. As previously documented, Mr. Boyle was first shot in the chest 5 times by bullets that had a downward trajectory identified as originating from Tower 5.

Tom Boyle was also shot in his left side and the right buttock but these bullets ricocheted back into his body indicating he was already on the ground. There was no possible way due to the extent of the side/rear wounds that Mr. Boyle ran anywhere.

According to the second autopsy – the independent autopsy – there no longer existed any skeletal frame.  Mr. Boyle could not stand let alone run.  The second shooter rendered Mr. Boyle immobile.

So why would Showerman intentionally lie?

And why would she make this supposed ‘tribute’ to the wounded and Mr. Boyle? Can you even see Mr. Boyle’s name?  Look hard.  It’s as if it was an afterthought.

Let’s examine some of the responses to Mrs. Boyle’s objection to this ‘tribute’.  A tribute she found disrespectful and offensive. But many of the soldiers did not think that way….

Alicia NicholeMaybe you should not make comments especially when you do not have all the facts…

Chad DeRosia I agree with Alicia. Sorry for your loss but we all knew the risks involved by going over there.  And your husband did as well.  His death did not go unrecognized…I know because I was there.

Will LeysI think it maybe time for members of the 303rd past and present to unfriend and block Mrs. Boyle while she continues to grieve for her amazingly patriotic husband.

Scott VanLente….You do what you feel you have to do.  But what would he think of you and your actions and words towards those who did everything they could for him?  ….Only reason I said anything is because these men and women involved in this thread are my brothers and sisters…people I am going to defend and stand by even when I am not in the military because we have that bond. 

But wasn’t Tom Boyle a brother as well?  Tom Boyle served in the Marine Corps in Vietnam.  Semper Fidelis – Always Faithful!  Obviously not the slogan of the 303rd since their loyalty extended only to a select few.  As documented in previous articles, stationed in Tower 5 was Scott Stanly and the roving guard was identified as Justin Williams. Did the fatal bullets come from these two soldiers? Could covering up the fratricide of Mr. Boyle explain the defensiveness of the 303rd?  If truly an accident, why then the cover up?

How do you spell CLUSTERF**K?

Let’s look into the email Mrs. Boyle sent to the Inspector General of the US Army.  Initially the IG’s office asked for the copy of the 15-6 sent to Mrs. Boyle in order to compare it with the one on file when she complained about the investigation.

Her copy was promptly sent.  Mrs. Boyle called and spoke to Rackley, Duane T Mr CIV USAF USCENTCOM CCIG-AD.  At that time Mr. Rackley pulled the report up – paused and stated to Mrs. Boyle, ‘the entire army is not corrupt Mrs. Boyle’. 

She asked what the next step would be – Mr. Rackley stated he would have to get back to her.  Waiting for over a month, Mrs. Boyle called Mr. Rackley – who at that time stated that the 15-6 was accurate, in direct contrast to what he previously indicated … below is what Mrs. Boyle wrote to Mr. Rackley on September 20, 2013. Her observations are based upon affidavits, interviews and recordings.


Carnage after the attack on Provincial Reserve

The 15-6 is flawed in every detail intentionally to protect other army officers and soldiers as well as cover up the involvement of Afghani police.  Clearly the cover up was initiated to hide neglect of duty of several officers and criminal actions with regards to the cover up after the fact.

        – there were a series of vulnerability assessments made of Provincial Reserve regarding the inability of this unit to properly defend themselves in the event of an attack.  These were ignored by Ltc McKinley.
        – the investigation by Reservist Col. Andy Burton who now is the Chief of Police in Saratoga Springs Utah was flawed from the beginning.  The Colonel did not interview the most important eyewitnesses; statements were altered, and leading questions were made during the interviews.  I have those who will testify that contrary to the report – they were pulling US bullets (5.56) out of the armor, tents, and rucksacks from every area on that base.  Yet the 15-6 states none could be found.  Soldiers were picking up spent cartridges for souvenirs.
        – I have the testimony that of the 4 persons in the courtyard at the onset of the attack – one very important eyewitness was never interviewed for this investigation.

        –  the redacted statements from the 15-6 do not even match up with the number of soldiers deployed on that base.  Why were numerous statements missing?  Not redacted missing….
        – I can document that indeed the cameras were operating that day and recorded the incident and my husband’s death.  The camera’s had a battery back- up for 15 minutes.  The attack lasted 12 minutes.  (Since this initial email – CID has admitted to the existence of video recordings of the attack but has to date failed to supply Mrs. Boyle a copy)
        – There was a criminal investigation that followed the 15-6 – those involved are lying as to its nonexistence.  The report was initially listed according to date and my husband’s name was removed intentionally to prevent locating this report.  His death was merely reported as death of a civilian – no name given.

        – Ltc McKinley did not run for cover at the onset of the attack – he had already pulled my husband to the causeway with the ruse of something to read or talk about.  The attack broke out and my husband was one of the first to be engaged or killed.  It is my opinion that my husband was the intended target.
        – Ltc McKinley knew of the attack on a nearby base only hours earlier and he knew of sleeper cell movement – proper procedure would have been to place that base on high alert – why was it not?
        -Ltc McKinley had a soldier reinforce his personal tent with sand/clay bags the day before the attack.  These bags were taken from one of the towers. 

        -Ltc McKinley was heard ordering my husband to report to the toc (command center) knowing this is where gunfire/explosions originated.  McKinley then jumped into one of the porta potties and remained hiding until the attack was over. 

        – Ltc McKinley was not carrying his weapon and had ordered that my husband not carry his…he said it intimidated the Afghani police.  McKinley could have easily requisitioned a handgun for Tom – but he did not.  My husband was defenseless.
        – McKinley told numerous soldiers soon after the attack that he had sent Tom to his death.
        – I have the testimony of one soldier that overheard the order given to Tom by McKinley – and his opinions is that McKinley intentionally and maliciously sent my husband to his death.
        – Testimony will reveal that my husband did not die immediately.  To the contrary he was heard asking for help, falling down after being shot, getting back up in defiance and then being shot again.  Where was our military?
        – Testimony will reveal that 1/3rd of the US forces remained hiding and laying on the floor of their tents during the attack and until it was over.  They did not fight in any respect.  They were cowards.
        – testimony and cameras will document that Lt Bishop – when the attack broke out – ran from his tent to the command center – locked the door – then hid under the desk and cried.  Why Lt Bishop received a bronze star for failing to protect my husband and other soldiers, lying about the incident, lying about evidence (cameras), and having the f-ing balls to speak at my husband’s military memorial service defies common sense.
         – McKinley – whose negligence and criminal cover up of the incident also spoke at the military memorial service – I guess only cowards and liars were given this opportunity.  You can view this service on you tube – search for Memorial Ceremony for Tom Boyle.  It should be noted that this service lasted over 45 minutes.  I was provided only 22 minutes – why?
        – I have signed statement from a soldier who filed the appropriate complaints of cowardice etc – at the Rock Island Arsenal.  This complaint was either hidden or destroyed as no action has been taken.
        – Not mentioned is the inclusion of Shaesta Kahn, an alleged warlord, who was the officer in charge of the small outpost of which Bismullah (the driver of the insurgents) reportedly was stationed.  Bismullah came to PR every day to obtain food for these members of the Afghani Police.  On the day of the attack he also brought 4 ‘new recruits’.
        – when interviewed Kahn denied that Bismullah worked for him.  The investigation stopped there – by US law enforcement, military, etc.  Why????
        – Kahn is still on the job and has been promoted to Commander of Spen Boldak in Kandahar.  (Since the initial email Shaesta Kahn, his son and his son in law were assassinated by his own bodyguard)
– Spen Boldak is located in Paktika province where another LEP (law enforcement professional) also an employee of MPRI was killed in June of 2013

        – MPRI/Engility and the military failed to provide documentation that Mr. Boyle’s rifle was turned in to the US Army.  Where are the records for my husband’s rifle?
        – Throughout the past year I have requested information and made numerous foia requests that were ignored repeatedly.  Who intentionally hid my requests for the 15-6, the video, autopsy reports, etc?
        – On June 30, 2012 I received a call from Ltc Patrick Michaelis Brigade Commander of 8 1Cav, who mentioned his sorrow at my husband’s passing and that he wished to visit my home and speak with me when he returned stateside.  I will provide numerous emails regarding this issue but suffice to say Michaelis was instrumental in the cover up and also ‘losing’ my foia requests.  His intention from the beginning was to verbally give me his rendition of the attack and to prevent me from accessing the 15-6.  Michaelis never came to my home.  I understand the 15-6 was completed around July 20, 2012.  MPRI/Engility was provided a copy but I was not – why???  What is in the real 15-6?
        It is my opinion that the circumstances surrounding the cover up of my husband’s death was intentional.  The cover up includes the truthful cause of death of my husband – friendly fire as well as the ineptitude of the 303rd.   The embarrassment of the cowardice of numerous soldiers should also be noted – which would explain the eagerness of other military members to kick this issue under the rug including the fraternization by female members of the military.  Obviously the military believes my husband’s life was insignificant and I am determined to uncover the complete truth.  To this end, I remain relentless and unforgiving.

The IG response

Mrs. Boyle states she heard nothing more and then decided once again to take measures into her own hands by providing Mr. Rackley a photo she had acquired…below is his response;

Sent: Thursday, November 21, 2013 9:51 AM

Subject: USCENTCOM IG Case File 2013-17215 (Photo)

Mrs. Boyle
Please provide this office with the exact circumstances on how you obtained the photograph of your husband.
Need specifics. (example, full name, web site / e-mail / date etc).

Duane Rackley
U.S. Central Command
Executive Director Inspector General
Mrs. Boyle’s response was silence

Sent: Monday, December 09, 2013 6:13 AM
Subject: RE: USCENTCOM IG Case File 2013-17215 (Photo)

Mrs. Boyle
This is my final request on this subject of the picture.
Please provide me the information requested.

Duane Rackley
U.S. Central Command
Mrs. Boyle’s second response was silence

From: “Rackley, Duane T Mr CIV USAF USCENTCOM CCIG-AD” <
Sent: Monday, December 16, 2013 5:26 AM
Subject: RE: USCENTCOM IG Case File 2013-17215 (Photo)

Mrs. Boyle
Nothing heard. USCENTCOM IG cannot proceed.
Case closed

Duane Rackley    U.S. Central Command

What did the photo depict that so enraged the IG? 

According to Mrs. Boyle it was proof that her husband’s body had been moved and staged.

Proof no one could refute…


Here is the link to the Army’s memorial tribute to  Thomas Boyle.