Update: For those coming over from Wikipedia, Key was the first US military member to defect to Canada that served in Iraq, those other two never deployed. Telling half truths is a common tactic by people on the far left to discredit people. Notice how no where in that Wikipedia entry were the lies I exposed by Key ever disputed.
Make sure to read this updated posting about Joshua Key, especially if you clicked over to this posting from Wikipedia.
I walked into a book store today and happened to notice a book that was standing prominently on the main book rack with what looked like an American soldier on the cover. I picked up the book and it was titled, The Deserter’s Tale, by Joshua Key. I knew instantly that this book was a hit job of the likes of Jessie Macbeth and Jimmy Massey on our hands. Fortunately the other two were exposed before they could publish books, but this latest pawn of the left has a book out sitting prominently in the front of bookstores spreading probably the same lies and hate of Macbeth and Massey.
I sure the hell wasn’t going to buy what was assuredly leftist propaganda and instead the first thing I did when I got home was begin doing some research into Joshua Key. I can honestly say I was not surprised in the least at what I found out. Here is the background on Joshua Key, he says he enlisted in the Army in 2002 to be able to earn enough money to support his wife and two kids. He enlists as a combat engineer and gets stationed at Ft. Carson, Colorado and then deploys to Iraq in 2003. He served with the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment in Ramadi in Anbar province in western Iraq where Key says he regularly saw war crimes committed by US soldiers. Half way through his tour he was allowed to go on leave home for two weeks where he decided to desert the Army and hide in Canada. He became the first US soldier to flee to Canada and seek refugee status (that served in Iraq) since the Vietnam War. With that said let’s start digging into his story.
First place I checked was Amazon’s reader reviews where a few veterans have already poked holes into his story there. This reader sums up the building backlash there quite well:
Very few of the stories contained inside this book sound familiar to me. None of his interactions with other soldiers reminds me of anything I experienced in my time in the infantry in Iraq. There is also no way that this combat engineer saw as much up-close combat in Iraq as he claims. His unit, the 2nd squadron of the 3rd armored cavalry (400-700 soldiers), only had five guys get killed in enemy action the entire time Key was there. This guy is exaggerating, embellishing, or just flat out lying. I would be interested to hear what other Iraq veterans’ think about this book.
Then I found this link where I downloaded an interview with Key on a Canadian radio station. Before listening to the interview, I knew this guy would turn out to be a fraud, but I didn’t suspect him to make it so easy to show he is a fraud. Let’s start from the beginning with this guy. He says that when he enlisted in the Army he was lied to and told that he could not be deployed and would stay at a stateside location by his recruiter. Notice this guy enlisted after 9/11, who the hell enlists in the Army much less after 9/11 thinking they have no chance of being deployed? Either an idiot or liar. He then goes on to say that most soldiers in the military that enlisted were also told they would not have to deploy as well. He says recruiters were telling potential recruits they would not deploy as a way to get them to enlist. He then drops this whopper that 99% of the military enlisted because they were poor and had no other options. Where did he get that stat from? John Kerry?
Key than went on to say that US Army recruiters are going AWOL because they are under so much pressure to meet recruiting goals. I searched the Internet and could not find one case of any recruiters going AWOL. I figured if a recruiter went AWOL the lefty sites would have that story front and center, but I could not find one. It just seems that if someone is going to throw an allegation like this out there, they would back it up with names at the least. So Mr. Key if you end up reading this, what recruiters went AWOL? I would really like to know.
He also makes claims that soldiers are trained to be bigots in basic training. The drill sergeants trained him that all Muslims were terrorists and needed to be killed. Here is what he had to say in an Australian ABC Lateline interview this month:
TONY JONES: You say of the training that you were told that all Muslims were terrorists, that all Muslims were responsible for September 11. Were people actually saying that to you specifically?
JOSHUA KEY: Yes, and then I got it to the term that instead of being, what would you say, not guilty until proven guilty, I would say to us it’s â€œthey’re guilty till they’re proven innocentâ€, to us all Muslims were terrorists. That’s the way we were taught and it’s the way we conducted our business.
In the radio interview he would also go on to say that soldiers did not receive in cultural or language instruction before deploying and were just trained to dehumanize and kill Iraqis.
That’s funny I must have missed the JAG briefing where we were trained that all Muslims are guilty until proven innocent and all Muslims are terrorists. I was stationed on Ft. Carson the same time as Joshua Key, but not in the same unit. I was a member of the 3BCT, 4th Infantry Division. My unit received training from JAG legal officers just like the 3rd ACR did, but our JAG officers trained us about the laws of war. No where in the laws of war did the JAG officer say all Muslims are terrorists and it is okay to kill them. In fact after that brief the JAG officer had soldiers so scared they were wondering who they could shoot. Additionally, we also received some Arabic training to include how to stop and search possible Iraqis. We were given Arabic language book that we could point to phrases written in Arabic and English to question Iraqis with if we didn’t have a translator. The Iraqis could point to possible answers in the book as I pointed to questions. This book proved invaluable to me in Iraq.
My unit also received Iraqi history and cultural training as well. We were given this book pictured below that covered all aspect of Iraqi culture, customs, and traditions:
Here is the foreword of the book from the Commanding General Raymond Odierno:
No mention from General Odierno to commit war crimes like Key says that he was trained to do. In fact Odierno says:
“…know that civilian military operations are complementary to professionally executed maneuvers to destroy our enemy. Train hard with civil military operations in mind, take lessons learned to heart and learn the information within this handbook…”
So what does this handbook include. Well let’s look at the table of contents:
A very thorough handbook that also proved invaluable to me and my soldiers in Iraq. So how is it that one half of Ft. Carson received such detailed training and handbooks while the other half didn’t? If anyone reading this was a member of the 3rd ACR during this timeframe I would love to hear from you because I’m certain this guy is one again full of crap.
In the Canadian radio interview the reporters ask Key how he felt when he found out he was going to be deployed to Iraq. He said he was patriotic and ready to go fight for his country because of the WMD threat and how he wanted to fight this war now so his children wouldn’t have to later. One of the problems with telling tall tales is keeping all of your tall tales straight. Well let’s look at what Mr. Key had to say in this article via a socialist newsletter that was published in the French LeMonde:
After several months of training I was re-assigned to Fort Carson, Colorado, to the 43rd Company of Combat Engineers. Brandi came to live on the base with the kids. And, in the fall of 2002, the rumours about Baghdad began. Everything was done from the perspective of fighting in the desert, against Iraqi troops. The war games became more intense. Whole regiments were kept on stand-by. Be ready to leave from one day to the next, we were told. And myself, I kept on believing, clinging to their promises. I couldnâ€™t believe theyâ€™d lie to me. I wanted to put the question to an officer, but I was made to understand that I should keep quiet if I didnâ€™t want my family to suffer. I was trapped.
That is a big change in his story between the Canadian radio interview and the French LeMonde article, which I find quite interesting.
Here is another whopper he threw out there that I know is absolutely false. He said that while in Kuwait the military was rationing food and water and he hardly had enough to eat and drink. He didn’t say which camp he was on, but I traveled in between Camp New Jersey, Camp Udari, and Camp New York for various reasons before moving into Iraq in 2003 not to long before the 3rd ACR moved into Iraq. On each of those camps I had more food than I knew what to do with. The cooks that fed us were mostly Pakistanis and Indians hired by a private contractor. They did a good job and regularly fed us steak, lobster, hamburgers, ice cream, cakes, pies, etc. We had plenty of food. As far as water you could get a water bottle any time you needed one. I was never denied a water bottle at anytime in Kuwait. Later during the war there was a time we had to ration water in my unit to two large water bottles a day because we had moved forward faster than our logistics could supply us, but eventually the logistics chain caught up and we were soon drinking as much water as we needed again. If he had said water was rationed during the war while in Iraq, I would more readily believe him, but he said in Kuwait water was rationed, which is not true.
Our man Mr. Key’s tall tales only get taller once he gets into Iraq. His unit, the 43 Combat Engineer Company, which as I said earlier was part of the 3rd ACR was assigned to Ramadi. It is here he says he saw regular war crimes committed. Here is a video interview with Key explaining one of the war crimes he saw committed. He claims he saw soldiers kill a group of civilians than behead them and play soccer with the heads and then proceed to run them over with their vehicles. Yes, I know to reasonable people this sounds absolutely ridiculous, however to lefties they believe this is regularly going on and Key is just confirming it to them. I can say not once during my deployment to Iraq did I see anyone commit any war crime much less behead people and play soccer with the heads. If I did see someone commit a war crime I would be obligated to report it to the chain of command. If they didn’t do anything about it, you could just as easily go and report it to the media. What did Key do, nothing. That makes him complicit in the war crime he says he saw. Also I would like to get more specifics from Key. What unit beheaded these people and what were their names? If they committed war crimes wouldn’t you want these people in jail? Curiously in all the different interviews I found on the web with Key making this claim about the beheadings; in none of them does he say who the soldiers were that beheaded these people.
This wasn’t the only war crime he says he saw. He saw plenty more during the many raids he conducted while in Ramadi. Here is an excerpt from his book of one of those war crimes:
Then something happened that haunts my dreams to this day. All the women were led back inside the house and our entire platoon was ordered to stand guard outside it. Four U.S. military men entered the house with the women. They closed the doors. We couldn’t see anything through the windows. I don’t know who the military men were, or what unit they were from, but I can only conclude that they outranked us and were at least at the level of first lieutenant or above. That’s because our own second lieutenant Joyce was there, and his presence did not deter them.
Normally, when we conducted a raid, we were in and out in 30 minutes or less. You never wanted to stay in one place for too long for fear of exposing yourself to mortar attacks.
But our platoon was made to stand guard outside that house for about an hour. The women started shouting and screaming. The men stayed in there with them, behind closed doors. It went on and on and on.
Finally, the men came out and told us to get the hell out of there. It struck me then that we, the American soldiers, were the terrorists. We were terrorizing Iraqis. Intimidating them. Beating them. Destroying their homes. Probably raping them. The ones we didn’t kill had all the reasons in the world to become terrorists themselves.
Once again Key says he saw a war crime and did nothing to stop it or report it. Key has a hard time keeping his tall tales within some level of reason, but the lefties will believe anything he says so his misadventures just keep getting more and more incredible. In the radio interview, he claims that his unit’s raids were conducted from intelligence they received from the CIA. I did a few raids myself in Iraq and for some reason I didn’t have the resources of the CIA at my disposal. Our unit S2 (intelligence officer) did all the intelligence gathering about potential raids, not the CIA. Think about it, why would the CIA be working with the 43rd Combat Engineer Company? The CIA would be providing intelligence to combatant commanding Generals in Iraq, not Private Key in the 43rd Combat Engineer Company.
He goes on in the radio interview about other times they shot civilians and he says they were denied medical care at US military hospitals in Iraq. Not once had I ever seen this happen when I was in Iraq.
He then says that a colonel, which once again he doesn’t specify who, came to his unit and gave a speech and that soldiers were not allowed to ask questions. However, one soldier did ask a question to the Colonel about why they had older style body armor. He says the colonel didn’t answer the question and that later his commander took half this soldiers pay for six months from him for asking the question. Key says this is why he didn’t want to speak up while in Iraq because he feared his commander would take his money that his family needed. However, there is a big problem with Key’s story, a commander cannot take half a soldier’s pay for six months.
Here is the punishment through the Article 15 process that a company commander can hand out to soldiers for violating regulations and order:
- Restriction to specific limits (normally work, barracks, place of worship, mess hall, and medical facilities) for not more than 14 days
- Extra duties, including fatigue or other duties, for not more than 14 days
- Restriction with extra duties for not more than 14 days
- Correctional Custody for not more than 7 days (only if accused is in the grades E-3 and below)
- Forfeiture of 7 days pay
- Reduction by one grade, if original rank in promotion authority of imposing officer. Not imposable on E-6 or above for USMC, or E-7 or above for other services
- Confinement on diminished rations for not more than 3 days (USN and USMC E-3 and below only, and only when embarked on a vessel)
- Admonition or reprimand, either written or verbal.
Here is the punishment the battalion commander can hand out under a Article 15 offense:
- Restriction to specific limits (normally place of duty, barracks, place of worship, mess hall, and medical facilities) for not more than 60 days
- Extra duties, including fatigue or other duties, for not more than 45 days
- Restriction with extra duties for not more than 45 days
- Correctional Custody for not more than 30 days (only if accused is in the grades E-3 and below)
- Forfeiture of one half of base pay for two months
- Reduction by one (NCO below E-6 in USMC or E-7 otherwise) or more (sub-NCO) grades.
- Confinement on diminished rations for not more than 3 days (USN and USMC E-3 and below only, and only when embarked on a vessel)
- Admonition or reprimand, either written or verbal.
No where in there does it say a soldier can lose half his pay for 6 months. Also soldiers have the right to legal counsel when undergoing an Article 15. A JAG lawyer would have a field day defending a soldier being punished for asking a question of a visiting colonel . This whole claim is total and complete utter nonsense.
Key’s claims of war crimes and atrocities goes on and on with no evidence what so ever of course. I also find it interesting that he admits in this radio interview to stealing money and jewelry from Iraqi homes, which is a crime that he hasn’t been held accountable for. He says because of all these war crimes he saw, he realized the Iraqi terrorists were not terrorists, but in fact freedom fighters. So I guess guys like this according Key are freedom fighters? He also says that American soldiers are the real terrorists in Iraq.
Last November Key lost his appeal for asylum in Canada, but still remains in Canada awaiting to challenge the denial further in Canadian courts. Since Key cannot legally work in Canada due to his status he is dependent on donations from the leftist organizations, which means he is mirroring his story around almost every leftist talking point. The media lets these guys spew their venom without challenging them. In all these radio and video interviews I watched with Key in them; not one of them had somebody on there to challenge Key’s claims. They were all sympathetic to him and were in fact leading him on.
Of course all the leftist Internet sites are Key’s biggest cheerleaders. Unsurprisingly the biggest leftist blog, the Daily Kos loved his book along with every socialist, communist, and even Islamic sites running his story as absolute fact. The reason the anti-war and liberal activists have decided to champion Key is because it is part of their on going campaign to create an image of US soldiers as low life war criminals unworthy of the nation’s respect.
It is tougher to create discontent in the ranks when everyone volunteered to serve, especially now that the left’s argument of soldiers being duped into the military and forced to go to war has been proven wrong. It has been over 5 years since the nation went to war on September 11, 2001, which means all the young soldiers, junior sergeants, and officers that make up the vast majority of the soldiers in the US military enlisted knowing full well they were going to war.
So next these groups tried to create a perception of poor troop morale, which failed, along with their efforts to stop military recruiting by attacking and banning recruiters or going after ROTC programs. Remember all the stories of the military not meeting their recruiting numbers a couple years ago? That was because the military was in the midst of expanding the overall force numbers, which meant more people had to be recruited. Now that the force has completed the expansion it is easier to maintain recruiting numbers which the military has been able to do for well over a year during a time of war. Then the media tried to create an image of US soldiers with higher than normal suicide rates, which once again that was quickly debunked.
Since all these other efforts have failed they have had to implement the strategy to paint soldiers as uneducated low lives that are committing crimes all over Iraq. Let’s not also forget the leftist plants from Amnesty International that enlisted in the military and then suddenly came out against the war before last year’s congressional elections. There group just happened to be backed with a media campaign led by the biggest liberal public relations firm, Fenton Communications. (You need to read my prior postings here and here to understand what I’m talking about.) Remember all this the next time you hear these people say they support the troops.
The US government needs to bring this guy and the rest of his ilk back from Canada try them and uncover all their lies for everyone to see in a courtroom. I have been able to cast serious doubt on Key’s story without even digging very deep, imagine what an investigator looking into Key’s story could uncover. Just like the Massey story no one in the media is even bothering to ask soldiers from the 3rd ACR if Key’s claims are true. How hard would it be to find some soldiers from the 3rd ACR to confirm Key’s claims?
I’m sick of the Masseys, Macbeths, and the Keys out there sliming the military with their lies. I’m not a war criminal and no one I know is a war criminal and those that have committed crimes in Iraq have been tried and jailed. Criminals like Key and his llk sitting in Canada preaching lies about the US military with no evidence to support their claims need to also be tried and sentenced instead of being allowed to serve as leftist propaganda pieces. They may not being doing much damage to the perception of the American military in the US but their lies are being spread abroad with Key’s book being published in Australia, Canada, and six European countries. Key’s lies are tainting all of us who faithfully did our duty in Iraq.
Fortunately with the release this month of his book it appears the US government may finally be taking some action on Key:
A war resisters’ support group says Toronto police officers came looking to question a U.S. army deserter, and it accused police of doing the U.S. military’s “bidding.”
The Toronto-based War Resisters Support Campaign issued a press release yesterday saying that three plainclothes officers visited the home of a Toronto family on March 13 looking for Joshua Key. Mr. Key, 28, is a former combat engineer with the U.S. army who fled to Canada in 2003 after serving in Iraq.
On the same day that police allegedly visited the Toronto family, the group says an investigative division of the U.S. army also phoned the Canadian Peace Alliance, an umbrella organization associated with the war resisters’ group, looking for Mr. Key.
Let’s hope more can be done to expose Key as the fraud he is.
Note: Welcome Blackfive, This Ain’t Hell, Ace of Spades, and other readers linking to this posting. I am glad this posting is getting some attention because as many people as possible should know what a fraud Key is.
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