John Giduck Files Lawsuit against Special Operations Community Network

Last year, I noted a long report in the Washington Monthly about the quality of counter-terrorism training being given to US law-enforcement agencies. Among those discussed critically in the article was a certain John Giduck, a lawyer who has worked in Russia:

…He claims to have trained with multiple Russian special forces units, and to be certified by the “Vityaz Special Forces Anti-Terror School.” In 2004, Giduck traveled to Russia immediately after the Beslan school massacre and wrote a book called Terror at Beslan. It was published in 2005, and it raised Giduck’s profile, earning him a guest appearance on the Glenn Beck show in the fall of 2007. Among the book’s most sensational allegations is that the terrorists at Beslan systematically raped their hostages, a claim that no other primary source account has made. In the meantime, Giduck has also become an in-demand counterterrorism trainer.


When we wanted to know more about Giduck’s time with the Russian special forces, Giduck wrote back to say that he had done a “series of trainings with Vityaz [a unit of Spetsnaz, the Russian special forces] at their special forces compound and training school on the Balashikha Army Base about 30 miles east of Moscow from 1999 to 2004″ and had had close access to a series of elite Russian units, including Rus, another Spetsnaz division. When we made inquiries at the Russian Interior Ministry, we were informed that Giduck had not trained with Vityaz. Instead, he took a commercial course in extreme survival skills, with no counterterrorism component. Representatives from Rus said they had never heard of Giduck.

Giduck was subsequently defended in an article by Major Joseph M. Bail, Jr. (ret.), a recently retired police officer from the City of Chester, Pennsylvania PD. His piece was entitled “Dispelling the Falsehoods of Washington Monthly Magazine: How the Liberal, Left Wing Media Lies To Destroy Our Mission and our Men”, and it accused the article’s authors, Meg Stalcup and Joshua Craze, of being part of 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).

Bail’s “rebuttal” was promoted by Brad Thor at Big Government; Thor (who has accused me of “utter nilihism” for expressing scepticism of his May 2010 “Mullah Omar Captured” story) had previously narrated an audio-book version of Giduck’s The Green Beret in YouStalcup and Craze in turn responded to Bail’s piece, assuring readers that “we are not covert Muslims attempting to wage a war on America”.

Meanwhile, Giduck has also come under critical scrutiny on a discussion website called SOCNET, which is billed as “The Special Operations Community Network”. In response to this, Giduck has now filed a lawsuit in Colorado against SOCNET users (Case number 12CV128), in which he complains:

“Defendants’ campaign has been successful and largely destroyed Giduck’s ability to be hired as a lecturer/speaker’ teacher. The campaign has drastically reduced the number of lectures/presentation for which Giduck/Archangel were hired and eviscerated their earnings. The campaign has caused Giduck and Archangel to lose nearly $500,000 in annual profits.

“Archangel” refers to Giduck’s company, the “Archangel Group”.

Popehat has surveyed Giduck’s complaint:

In the complaint, Giduck claims that people on SocNet have falsely accused him of posing as things he is not — including a former member of Special Forces. Giduck’s position seems to be that he’s never said he was in the Special Forces; he just markets himself as someone very knowledgeable about Special Forces, someone you should hire to lecture and consult about them. He also asserts there is a conspiracy to ruin him and his lecturing/consulting business, that SocNet commenters called for him to be ruined, and that SocNet commenters called for attacks on him and his wife, resulting in his tires being slashed.

…The complaint mixes allegations about false statements of fact that could plausibly be defamation (like asserting that the defendants accused Giduck of making false claims of being a Special Forces soldier) with allegations directed at statements of opinion that are obviously protected by the First Amendment (like calling Giduck a “creepy-ass dummy” or “moron.”…

A member of SOCNET has also left a comment on this blog, which I have removed due in living in a jurisdiction notorious for “libel tourism”. The comment made a number of troubling allegations about Giduck’s conduct, and that of his associates.

Giduck’s defenders have created a website entitled SoCnetLies, which accuses SOCNET of functioning

as (anonymous) judge, jury and executioner over the professional and personal reputations of those they decide to attack.

In response, there is a site entitled Thetruthaboutsocnetlies (sic):

John Giduck is a public figure considering he is an author and national security/school safety consultant.  Many of John Giduck’s associates have also made themselves public figures. This site uses a combination of truth, opinion, and satire all of which are protected speech with regards to public officials.  If you don’t like what you read, please go to another website.

This site includes a document which is alleged to be Giduck’s US army record; it states that he was discharged after serving for two months in 1987.