“TO HIDE, TO COLLUDE…FOR PERSONAL GAIN”
by Sharon Rondeau
(Sep. 11, 2016) — Several months ago, through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), Pauline Boyle requested copies of all the materials which were to be presented to her during a briefing by U.S. Army Criminal Investigative Services (CID) that the Army canceled. The FOIA request included video recordings of the attack in which her husband was killed – a video that crime records and CID had long denied even existed. Upon receipt of these materials, it was easily ascertained that the video was not continuous-feed or time-stamped and was highly edited and pixelated.
As The Post & Email has reported, civilian contractor Thomas J. Boyle, Jr. was killed on June 19, 2012 by “small arms fire” which has not been officially traced to any particular party or perpetrator, although Mrs. Boyle has been told privately by service members on the base at the time that he was not killed by insurgents’ bullets, as had been reported.
A Vietnam Marine veteran and 30-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department, Mr. Boyle was training Afghani police officers while deployed with the 303rd Military Police Company based in Jackson, MI.
Beginning in July 2012, Mrs. Boyle requested ballistics and casualty reports generated by the fatal incident, when FOB (Forward Operating Base) Provincial Reserve, Kandahar, Afghanistan was attacked by insurgents.
During a number of interviews with The Post & Email, Mrs. Boyle has said that a cover-up of how her husband was killed was enacted to prevent the truth from emerging to protect, first and foremost, the careers of several officers in the U.S. Army. This decision to conceal came directly from the officer in charge of Army CID at the time, Maj. Gen. David E. Quantock, Mrs. Boyle alleges. “It should also be noted that Tom’s mission was directly related to CID; in essence, he worked for the very military entity that initiated the cover-up of his death,” she told us.
Mrs. Boyle has been issued life insurance payouts from Metlife and Aetna based on respective “accidental homicide” and “accidental bodily injury” claims, but several other companies have refused to pay, citing “war risk exclusions.” Her requests to Metlife and Aetna for further documentation as to the ‘accidental’ death determinations have been unanswered or incomplete. Insurance companies involved fail to admit the existence of COLI (Corporate Owned Life Insurance) policies and if the employer, L-3 Communications, was paid benefits based upon accidental death determinations. Mrs. Boyle has additionally received three death certificates on her husband with as many causes of death.
Mrs. Boyle has written to House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz and accused all of the parties involved, including her husband’s employer, L-3/Engility, and the U.S. military, of “fraudulent and criminal activities” revolving around their alleged obfuscation of the true circumstances surrounding his death.
On June 21, 2012, Mrs. Boyle received a letter of condolence from Quantock with an additional handwritten note about the death of her husband.
However, an initial FOIA request Mrs. Boyle submitted in November 2012, just five months after her husband died, received the following response:
Regarding the “no-records” response letter, Mrs. Boyle said:
Oddly enough, this very letter denying me the records and documentation on the cause of Tom’s death was denied by the head of CID, Major General David Quantock. In this letter it is written – “based on research conducted, it appears there will be no criminal investigation conducted on the incident by USACID.” This “no-record” response is made on behalf of MG Quantock, Commander USACID, who is the initial denial authority for USACID records.
So you mean to tell me a civilian is killed on a U.S. military base and no investigation is conducted? In this letter, Quantock goes on to state where else I could contact other offices for additional information. All along, Quantock knew exactly what had happened and how it had happened. Yet he did not have the moral fortitude to relay any of this to me.
[Editor’s Note: The photo at left depicts Quantock pinning a Bronze Star to the uniform of a soldier known to have been on the base during the June 19, 2012 insurgent attack where Mr. Boyle was killed.]
Six months after my husband’s death, I still did not know anything about the circumstances, and the very person who had denied the existence of reports or access to them was essentially Tom’s commanding officer at the highest level.
After reviewing the video-recording she received from the Army in 2016 and finding it lacking, Mrs. Boyle filed a new FOIA request with CID, which initially ignored her request. “I was livid by that time so I copied this same request to MG Mark Inch of CID and forwarded my FOIA to Jason Chaffetz, Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee,” Mrs. Boyle said. “Soon after that, I received a response from CID that my FOIA was forwarded to the U.S. Army Forced Command at Ft. Bragg on June 28.”
On July 7, she received a written response.
Mrs. Boyle then responded on July 8:
Dear Ms Harris,
In contrast to your recent letter – I do not have in my possession a complete copy of the video of the attack at PR on June 19, 2012. I requested a continuous feed, time stamped copy of camera 11 one hour prior to the attack and one hour after. What I have in my possession is an edited version that skips frames and is not time stamped. This complete video is in the possession of CID – who edited it by the way a few months before forwarding to me.
Please comply with my foia request as submitted. Crime records and Army Central have already stated they do not have these records. CID has all the pertinent records. Thank you.
Mrs. Boyle then received the following response from CID:
Not knowing why she received a response encompassing “court-martial transcripts,” Mrs. Boyle made several telephone calls, finally reaching the clerk of military court of appeals, who said she had “nothing” containing the name of Thomas J. Boyle, Jr. or any of the other names mentioned by Mrs. Boyle.
Mrs. Boyle told The Post & Email:
I already knew all the records were “edited;” someone had removed my husband’s name from all the reports. So naturally when someone did a search, his name would not come up. I was told in confidence that my husband’s name was erased to prevent finding the real reports. He was referred to as the “civilian” in all the reports. After a lifetime of service to this country he was downgraded to a man with no name.
“Where did you hear mention of ‘court-martial transcript?” the clerk from the military court of appeals asked me. I forwarded a copy of the response to my FOIA as well as my initial FOIA request. The clerk called CID and spoke to Michelle, who reportedly backtracked and said that she was “responding to language I had put in my FOIA request,” which clearly was not the case. The clerk asked Michelle to read to her my initial FOIA and of course when she read it, there was no mention of ‘court-martial.’ This was another avenue to mislead me by CID.
I was finally told that because the attack occurred at a “joint base,” the Army doesn’t hold the records. Consequently, every FOIA I ever sent previously was put into question because I always sent them to the Army as I was directed – directed by L-3, by the Army IG, and every Army office – public affairs, crime records, and so on. All of these entities directed me back to CID or replied with a “no-response” finding.
I provided a letter from November 2012 which was a response to my first FOIA request, five months after Tom died, and Quantock, who was the head of CID at that time, denied my FOIA as a “no-response.” This action allowed the cover-up to continue. Why and who would go to such great lengths to keep the truth about Tom’s death a secret? Was there more than just my husband’s death to hide? Quantock certainly had the authority to redirect all my FOIAs to his office.
Recently, I learned there was a lot more at stake than just the cover-up of the fratricide. First, let’s look at who would be impacted if the truth were to come out. Of course, the two shooters and issues of criminal wrongdoing would arise. After that, command at PR would be scrutinized, putting an end to further advancement by Ltc Matthew McKinley who reportedly hid behind the porta-johns during the attack as told to me by at least ten soldiers. Then there is Ltc Patrick Michaelis – positioned close to PR and ordering the unusual request to view Tom’s body. The request was honored and Tom’s body was driven to Camp Nathan Smith instead of Kandahar Airfield. Known throughout military circles is the fact that adverse findings make their way to the top of command regarding responsibility and accountability. Whose career would warrant such an extensive cover-up, and who would have the resources and connections to do so?
[Editor’s Note: On December 11, 2014, the Senate confirmed Major General David E. Quantock, United States Army, for appointment to the rank of lieutenant general and assignment as Inspector General, Office of the Secretary of the Army. The promotion was announced on the U.S. Army Office of the Provost Marshal General’s Facebook page on December 19, 2014 (pictured left).]
“And so it boils down to this – nothing was going to stand in the way of Quantock’s promotion. He had the power as MG of CID to make it look as if it was normal military procedure not to conduct a criminal investigation and falsify investigative findings, when in fact, he was promoting his own self-interests. This was all done for his career advancement. He knew any notion of scandal would forever quash any chance for promotion. He did everything within his power to silence me or intimidate me – including ordering a car to run me off the road, I am alleging. He lied to the Senate and received their endorsement under false testimony and facts for the position of Inspector General. Quantock is a man without morals who would do anything to protect his reputation and future advancement, in my opinion.
“When my husband died, every bottom-feeder imaginable appeared. My husband was betrayed by everyone: the Army, the 303rd Michigan Reserve Unit which consisted of police from the Detroit PD and the Michigan State Police, his employer L-3 Communications/Engility Corp, to name a few. All of them, every single entity/person, got something out of it.
“Ltc Patrick Michaelis was promoted to Colonel. McKinley did not get a promotion, but neither did he get court-martialed. Those on base who falsified their statements and went along with the cover-up were given promotions or awards/certificates. Everyone on base who is still in the military has advanced somehow or gotten some benefit out of all this. Even the employer, L-3 Communications, received the accidental death insurance payout listing themselves as beneficiary of undisclosed policies. Everyone got something except us, we who lost our husband and father.
“I still remember and saved the words of one of the soldiers who wrote this to me on Facebook when I asked him to please tell me how my husband died:
February 11, 2013 Facebook response
We were out on 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 wearing his sweat pants. I knelt next to him pulling security. We all just didn’t like that he was gunned down after everything he did for his country. You don’t think I cried at the funeral? You don’t think I was ***** 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? ****, off. You’re not the only one who went through hardships.
Have fun dealing with my chain of command.
Yes, that is how our military talks to widows.
Oddly, Whitbeck never made any casualty lists, nor is there any record of him being treated for “being blown up and shot.” As reported to me by others, Whitbeck admitted he fell backwards with his SAW (semi-automatic weapon) on full “auto” – spraying the tents of other U.S. soldiers. An Afghani interpreter, Farhad, was shot and killed in his tent that day, which was located directly across from Whitbeck’s. In his very own handwritten statement, Whitbeck describes hearing gunfire before the initial attack and that it was coming from the opposite location of where the insurgents were – the location near the porta-johns, the same location where Ltc McKinley was confirmed to have been standing, the location directly below and in the sightline of Tower 5.
What really happened on June 19, 2012 at FOB Provincial Reserve, Kandahar, Afghanistan?