Subjects Respond to Washington Monthly Article

A few days ago I blogged on a report in the Washington Monthly about some self-styled experts in terrorism who are currently advising law-enforcers in the USA. One of the individuals discussed was a certain Sam Kharoba, who has since stopped by with a comment. Here’s an extract:

Recently, the Washington Monthly published an article by two leftist liberal reporters attacking counter terrorism training efforts in the United States. The article is a testament of how liberal leftist reporters twist the truth to suit their agendas. It is very evident that these reporters; true motive is to attack law enforcement and counter terrorism efforts in the United States….

It is apparent from their twisted reporting that no matter what information or facts were presented to them, their true motive was to falsely paint law enforcement efforts as anti-Muslim and discriminating. For example, my statement regarding Muhammad followed a four hour instruction block detailing facts from the Qur’an (, the Hadith ( and Muhammad’s biography ( and ( to substantiate the statement. They did not report on these facts. My statement about Muslims lying is once again taken out of context. I explained the Muslim theological concepts of Taqiyya ( and Kitman ( which clearly provide Muslims the right to lie to non-Muslims to protect Islam and Muslims. The statement regarding Muslims lying was addressed in the context of those Muslims who lie about true Islamic theology to non-Muslims and not a blanket statement regarding all Muslims as the reporters chose to portray…

I carefully distinguish and explain the words Islam and Muslims. Islam is a theological doctrine that contains violence; however, I stated many times that not all Muslims are radical. The reporters chose not to report on this distinction because it does not fit into their agenda.

So far, so confused. Who exactly are “those Muslims who lie about true Islamic theology”, if not moderate Muslims? And why are most of the references here to polemical anti-Islam websites rather than to serious sources? That in itself sets off alarm bells.

…The reporters slanted and distorted information in order to attack law enforcement. This report is a testament to the sad state of affairs of leftist media who will use any means to attack their opponents on the right. The law enforcement community must be doing something right since we have not been attacked in the past 9 ½ years with the exception of Major Hassan Nidal at Fort Hood… The reporters also ignored the recent report on radical Muslim activities in the United States “Shariah – the Threat To America”… The report clearly indicates the domestic threat but this was not reported on since it did fit their premeditated agenda.

I am left wondering who is more dangerous, the terrorists themselves or leftist liberal reporters…

This is playing to the gallery: the Washington Monthly report does not “attack law enforcement” or try to suggest there is no such thing as Islamic terrorism. What it does do, though, is highlight potential problems with the quality of training from self-styled “experts”.

Kharoba signs off by commending an article by “Major Joseph M. Bail, Jr. (ret.)”, a recently retired police officer from the City of Chester, Pennsylvania PD. His piece is entitled “Dispelling the Falsehoods of Washington Monthly Magazine: How the Liberal, Left Wing Media Lies To Destroy Our Mission and our Men”, and focuses for the most part on the magazine’s treatment of John Giduck. The Washington Monthly raised concerns about Giduck’s claims to have been trained in Russia; according to Bail:

…I have traveled to remarkable places around the world with John, and had experiences beyond anything I could have ever imagined as a police officer in the United States.  I have attended training that John and others at Archangel did, and have had the honor of doing training for them.

Bail explains that Giduck, while working on his master’s degree in St Petersburg, came into contact with “KGB Lt. Gen. and Director Anatoli Kurkov”, who was the husband of one of Giduck’s teachers. This led to training at “on a brand new compound of Vityaz on the Balashikha Army Base outside of Moscow”; the Washington Monthly came up a blank because they failed to ask the right people:

Igor Livits was a  sergeant on an elite Soviet military team that guarded its nuclear missile silos.  He says, “That is just naive for them to think they would be told anything by anyone in Russia.”

(Kurkov has himself been involved with law enforcement training in the USA; in 1996 the Rocky Mountain News reported he was “sharing his experiences with Colorado police.”)

Bail also has testimony from other Giduck associates:

Mike Rich worked for Archangel for years, and was one of the first people John started taking with him for training.  He is an instructor in Russian hand-to-hand combat systems, and holds a black belt…. “I was there when Col. Sergei Lisyuk, the commander of Vityaz and their version of a Medal of Honor Recipient, took his own sterling silver challenge coin out of his pocket, and his own beret off of his head, and presented them to John after getting through a particularly grueling program.

Yuri Ferdigalov was a GRU spetsnaz commando, severely wounded in the Nagorno-Karabakh war.  Now a contract consultant and instructor with Archangel he traveled to Beslan with John as the Beslan siege was happening, then spent three months there with him over three trips interviewing the spetsnaz who fought the battle out, FSB officials, other government agents and townspeople.  Yuri confirms that they spent a great deal of time with officers and commanders from Alpha, SOBR and Rus in addition to FSB [KGB] agents involved in the government’s operation. I can verify the same thing as I went with John and Yuri on their third and final trip.

…Professor Emeritus Walt Copley, Ph.D. destroys Stalcup and Craze’s intimation that John did not know the head of the KGB in St. Petersburg.  Dr. Copley is a retired Air Force officer who spent 22 years doing counter-espionage work for the U.S. military before earning his Ph.D. and becoming a college professor.

And as with Kharoba, the piece ends by suggesting that the journalists were in on a Muslim conspiracy:

One must ask the question of whether articles of this nature are attempting to point out the shortcomings of current terrorism training or is it the practice of  taqiyya (Islamic Principle of Lying for the Sake of Allah).

Also backing Giduck is thriller-writer Brad Thor; on Big Peace he writes that:

John Giduck, Sam Kharoba, retired Marine Lt. Col. Joe Bierly, and retired Army Major Richard Hughbank are being singled out and slandered in hopes that they will stop teaching our law enforcement officers how to identify terrorists and prevent terrorist attacks.  It is reckless, it is reprehensible, and it should not be tolerated.

For some reason neither Thor nor Bail mention Keith Flannigan, who was also discussed critically in the article. And even if the Washington Monthly has erred on the subject of Giduck’s links to the Russian military, a problem noted in the original article remains:

“The former military guys [working as trainers] are always looking at this thing from a battlefield perspective,” explains Jack Cloonan, a twenty-five-year veteran of the FBI who worked in the Osama bin Laden special unit from 1996 to 2002. “They are always looking at it as a U.S. military operation. But what does that have to do with sitting in the Bronx? Or trying to blend into society to carry out an attack? It’s just not related.”