Wednesday, October 13, 2010

She's Baack

Glenn MacDonald at will never win a Pulitzer Prize. But he deserves tremendous credit for following a story that the MSM forgot (read: never bother to pursue in the first place). It's a story of deception, cover-up and corruption at the highest levels of our military.

We refer, of course, to the saga of Air Force Major Jill Metzger. She's the personnel officer who disappeared during a TDY deployment to Kyrgyzstan back in September, 2006. Major Metzger vanished during a trip to a shopping mall in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan's capital city. Video surveillance footage showed Metzger leaving her group voluntarily, under her own power.

She resurfaced three days later with an improbable tale of being abducted and held hostage, before the 90-pound officer overpowered her kidnappers and escaped. Major Meztger (a two-time winner of the Air Force Marathon) said she then ran 30 miles barefoot to freedom.

Kyrgyz police officials who investigated the incident said that Metzger gave conflicting accounts of her disappearance, then refused to provide any additional information, after speaking with representatives of the U.S. Embassy. She left the country less than three days later and returned to her assignment at Moody AFB, Georgia. Metzger has refused all media requests for interviews about her "abduction" and "escape."

But Mr. MacDonald, a Vietnam veteran and former reporter for UPI and ABC Radio, decided to dig deeper. What he uncovered was stunning. Sources in the Air Force Office of Special Investigations (the service's undercover investigation unit) told him that Major Metzger failed not one, but two, polygraphs. Agents also told him that her story had more holes than a block of Swiss cheese and when they confronted her over obvious contradictions, she refused to cooperate. Those revelations are even more stunning when you consider that Metzger's husband is an OSI agent, and her father-in-law is a senior officer in the organization.

MacDonald was also to first to reveal that Metzger refused a pregnancy test and rape kit after her repatriation (there are credible reports that she obtained an abortion during the disappearance). And, MacDonald's website followed that exclusive with reports of Metzger refusing to cooperate with U.S. investigators; her subsequent diagnosis with post-traumatic stress disorder, and her transfer to "temporarily retired" status--with a tax-free, 100% disability pension to boot.

Now, has learned that Major Metzger has returned to active duty. After three years on the retired list, Metzger is back in uniform, as Chief of Community Programs at Andrews AFB, Maryland. Officers and NCOs at the base tipped Mr. MacDonald that Metzger has returned to active status. An Air Force public affairs officer--speaking on the condition of anonymity--confirmed that Metzger is now serving at Andrews. Her husband is also reportedly assigned there; AFOSI Headquarters is located at that installation.

With Major Metzger back on active duty, the Air Force (seemingly) has an opportunity to clear up all those unanswered questions about her "abduction." Lest we forget, the incident damaged relations between the U.S. and Kyrgyzstan, and cost American taxpayers millions of dollars in higher basing fees and investigation costs. Not to mention the quarter-million or so that Metzger collected during her three years on the temporarily retired list.

Unfortunately, the USAF has no interest in re-opening the Metzger file. She is apparently well-connected with the brass, going back to her days as a marathon champion. When Major Metzger returned to Manas AB after her kidnapping, she was greeted by then-Lieutenant General Gary North, Commander of U.S. Central Air Forces. But North didn't want his presence known. "You didn't see anything," he told a security forces specialist, pressing his ceremonial coin into the airman's hands. "Don't talk to the media."

Metzger was placed on the retired list ten months later, after being diagnosed with PTSD and awarded a full disability rating. Despite the "ravages" of her condition, Major Metzger still found the strength to compete in the annual Air Force Marathon. Meanwhile, hundreds of troops wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan wondered how Metzger moved through the system so quickly, and received a 100% disability rating--despite never seeing combat.

Four years after her disappearance in Bishkek, the Jill Metzger scandal still stinks to high heaven. Major Metzger's fellow airmen--and the American public--have a right to know what really happened in September 2006 and why the truth has never been revealed.

As for Mr. MacDonald, he deserves plaudits for keeping the story alive. Even if the brass wants the cover-up to continue, and MSM press outlets (including those that cover the military) simply don't care.

1 comment:

Vigilis said...

In fairness, either this is a case of covert service to her country à la CIA, or it is an overt cover-up à la Air Force PR regarding " temporarily retired".

We either owe Major Jill Metzger (age unknown) a tremendous debt of national gratitude, or immense public scorn reserved for cowardly traitors. Politically, she has been very well protected --end of story.

Still, I applaud Glenn MacDonald, because his instincts are 100% patriotic and always appropiate. Either our CIA apparatus has become juvenilely deficient in devising appropriate covers (50-50%chance) or Major Metzger is simply a lying whore.

Per the public part of her DD-214 (Standard Form 180), Major Metzger's decorations indicate creditable military service of either a patriot or an carefully imbedded spy. The latter should be totally beyond question given current emphasis on homeland security.

What I believe, unfortunately, is that we will never hear any more credible facts about Metzger, either way.

The leading unanswered question is simple: does Metzger come from a politically connected or otherwise influential family?

If Glenn MacDonald can discover and report that one simple answer, we may have an answer.

Vigilis (very, very high security clearance - long ago)