“SOME MIGHT CALL THAT NEGLIGENT HOMICIDE”
by Sharon Rondeau
(Sep. 26, 2016) — In our last article about the death of civilian contractor Thomas J. Boyle, Jr., The Post & Email reported that as a result of private conversations and other evidence she has acquired over the more than four years since her husband’s death, Pauline Boyle contends that the U.S. Army has purposely obfuscated the true cause of death so that certain officers would not have to face the consequences for that which actually occurred.
In recent revelations, she has compared her husband’s death to that of former football player and Army Ranger Pat Tillman, whose death was finally admitted by the Army to have occurred from “friendly fire.” Mrs. Boyle has also said that a cover-up of the facts surrounding his killing is “just like Benghazi,” referring to the terrorist attack on a U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012 which killed four Americans and was initially said to have been a “spontaneous protest” to an internet video.
“You need to keep your mouth shut about it,” one soldier said he was told regarding his knowledge of Tillman’s death.
According to Wikipedia’s entry for Tillman, he “joined the Army Rangers and served several tours in combat before he died in the mountains of Afghanistan. At first, the Army reported that Tillman had been killed by enemy fire. Controversy ensued when a month later, on May 28, 2004, the Pentagon notified the Tillman family that he had died as a result of a friendly fire incident; the family and other critics allege that the Department of Defense delayed the disclosure for weeks after Tillman’s memorial service out of a desire to protect the image of the U.S. military.”
On June 19, 2012, FOB Provincial Reserve came under attack by insurgents, but Mrs. Boyle is convinced that is not what killed her husband, and the Army will not divulge the cause. On September 11, Mrs. Boyle identified Maj. Gen. David E. Quantock as the perpetrator of the cover-up so as to obtain a promotion from Provost Marshal General and commanding officer over Army CID to Army Inspector General, to which he was promoted in December 2014.
In addition to Mr. Boyle, an Afghani interpreter was killed, and there were approximately a dozen injured.
Although a civilian, Mr. Boyle was working in Army intelligence at the time of his death, and his unit reported directly to Army CID. A condolence letter dated June 21, 2012 sent to Mrs. Boyle contained a handwritten note from Quantock, who said that “Your husband was a hero and we so much appreciate his tremendous service and sacrifice for our country!…”
In November 2012, however, Mrs. Boyle received a “no response” letter to her FOIA request to Army CID for records pertaining to her husband’s death, a response attributed to Quantock. “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,” Mrs. Boyle told The Post & Email earlier this month.
Mrs. Boyle believes that “the truth always comes out; it’s just a question of when,” and has been relentless in her search for the truth.
In April of this year, Army personnel were scheduled to meet with Mrs. Boyle at her home to view a video showing all of the events leading up to her husband’s death by gunfire on June 19, 2012. In an interview last spring, Mrs. Boyle related to The Post & Email that family members and a citizen investigator were scheduled to be present, the latter by Skype. However, two days before the scheduled date, the Army insisted that the meeting take place in a hotel conference room an hour from her home, citing it as a “neutral” location.
Mrs. Boyle refused and the Army did not immediately provide her with the video she had been promised. After viewing a video she finally received from the Army through the mail, Mrs. Boyle found it to be heavily edited, pixelated and lacking a date/time stamp.
She therefore submitted a FOIA request for “an unedited, continuous feed, time stamped copy of camera 11 located at Provincial Reserve on June 19, 2012 and identified as such in the video materials provided by CID recently, depicted on video 18, to include the hour before the attack and two hours afterwards.”
On July 22, Mrs. Boyle sent the following FOIA request to Army CID (personal information redacted by The Post & Email):
On August 23, she received a letter referencing an alleged request for “Court-Martial transcripts” stemming from her husband’s death for which she had never asked.
After she made several telephone calls to discover why “Court-Martial” records appeared in the Army’s response, Army CID informed Mrs. Boyle that if there were any responsive records, they would reside with the U.S. Air Force. Mrs. Boyle then sent FOIA requests to the Navy, Marines, and the Air Force and received “no-records” responses from all three.
In response to her continued pressing for a continuous-feed, unaltered video of the events on the day her husband was killed, Army CID wrote on September 16:
On Monday morning, Mrs. Boyle sent the following response to Susan Cugler of Army CID (redactions made by The Post & Email to maintain family-friendly policy):
September 25, 2016
Department of the Army
Criminal Investigations Command
Crime Records Center Ms. Susan Cugler
Quantico, Va 22134
Dear Ms. Cugler,
I am in receipt of your letter dated September 16, 2016 and wanted to take the time to respond to you personally. In your letter you reference one of ‘many requests’ as it pertains to camera 11 on video 18… I have included a copy of your letter for your convenience and review.
In response to that statement perhaps if you truthfully answered any of my foia’s it would have saved all of us a lot of time and taxpayer expense. However, you chose not to take that road. If you remember you have repeatedly denied any reports or records regarding my husband’s death insisting that none existed. You – throughout this despicable ordeal – have decided to continually give me the run around and stonewall me, thinking I would become discouraged and just give up. Clearly, you do not know me or you are simply stupid. You see Suzie, my husband was killed by one of the US Army reservists who had about as much training and discipline as a gnat. Let me correct that statement, my husband was killed by two reservists who despite all odds managed to shoot my husband between 11-13 times – ‘accidentally.’ Some might call that negligent homicide. And you Suzie – have colluded for the past 4 years in keeping this information from me by falsifying responses and reports as well as misdirecting contacts and the location of related documents.
I have attached a copy of a letter dated November 29, 2012, ironically from you Suzie. As a response to my foia request only 5 months after my husband was murdered – you begin your long and boring narrative about not finding any records. Also ironic is the fact that you mention it is made on behalf of Major General Quantock. Who incidentally in 2014 got quite the promotion. I have always wondered if the truth about Tom’s death had leaked out – well would that have affected Quantock’s meteoric rise within our military? Within the November 29, 2012 letter you mention an appeal – one that should be forwarded to you (as the director) for forwarding as appropriate… I have also wondered if this response would be falsified as well and forwarded correctly if at all and more importantly to whom? You must admit your track record is far from stellar when it comes to truthful information. But these musings are not important at this moment.
The attached August 23, 2016 foia response (FA 16-3620) wherein it is stated, ‘be advised USACIDC reviewed your request and determined documents related to Court-Martial transcripts are not under our purview.’ The inclusion of the wording ‘court martial transcripts’ was not written within my original foia request. I was never aware of any court martial and as it turns out – there never was a court martial with regards to my husband’s death. Ms. Kardelis happily signed this letter on your behalf. One might conclude the order to include, ‘court martial’ in the response would be just another ploy for Army Central Command to deny the foia request since they do not hold any court martial records. Or perhaps to buy some time for someone to ‘bring them up to snuff.’ In either case I believe the inclusion of this verbiage was intentional. Ordered by you Suzie, to stonewall again my request for the truth.
Let’s move forward to my foia request of September 16, 2016 wherein I asked for a copy of the video (one you already provided to me) but to please have same, date and time stamped and not edited nor pixilated. I also asked for an extension of the recording to include one hour prior and 2 hours after the attack. There was a little more requested but what is of relevance is your response in which you state, ‘this video was provided to USACIDC authorized for release unredacted by US Army Central Command.’ Please review your letter. So Suzie if you have the ‘unredacted’ video why then do I possess such heavily redacted/edited recordings? And I can prove as much – first let me remind you about the proposed briefing at my home scheduled for April 6, 2016 which was cancelled because CID ‘officers’ (I use that term loosely) refused to drive here and wished to brief me on my husband’s death at some sleezy hotel near the airport over an hour away. So Suzie – if you (crime records/CID – that’s what your stationery states) have in your possession a non-redacted copy of the videos – why is it that the videos I have – all have been modified on 4/14/2016 – that would be videos 1 and 3-8 and videos 15, 16, and 17. Leaving video 2 modified on 5/4/2016 and video 18 modified on 3/16/2016? And why are videos 9-14 missing completely? Silly mistake Suzie – modifications leave a message. Like date and time of the edit as well as the program used. And the narrative written brief itself – well that was altered on 4/29/2016 at 8:25am. All dates after our originally scheduled meeting of April 6, 2016. Still doubt me Suzie – well the dvd’s you sent were written/copied on May 24, 2016 and mailed on May 26, 2016. That whole thing was rather amateurish.
So once again I am going to ask that you send me the video recording you possess – the one that was provided by US Army Central Command for release non-redacted. I will know if you alter it again – or one of your cohorts. Your threat that you will no longer respond to any further letter, emails or requests for videos is futile. Just so we are on the same page I have copied the House Oversight Committee on this issue to include this letter as well as others I am quite sure you will be surprised to hear from in the near future. No threat intended. This is your job Suzie – to respond truthfully to foia requests. You are paid with taxpayer money and it is your obligation to utilize your time effectively. Regardless of what any Major General tells you and let me whisper this, in case you didn’t know you will be one of the first to be thrown under the proverbial bus when the truth is exposed. I said ‘when’ not ‘if.’ Something I was told about lower hanging fruit.
For your added entertainment I have also included a copy of some of the cards which came with flowers to the funeral home when Tom died. The first one may be of interest. I drew an arrow for you so you can clearly recognize it.
May the Peace which comes from memories of love shared comfort you now and in the days ahead.
Our deepest condolences
The US Army Criminal Investigation Command.
That was really touching. Did you chip in Suzie? Did you think I didn’t know Tom worked for CID? Or did you just not care? Seems they eat their own in that office – just saying.
And finally I have included an excerpt from an article about Pat Tillman which includes a portion of a letter written by his father Pat Tillman Sr. – appropriate on many levels.
You are a General,” Tillman’s father writes Jones after being presented with a briefing book of his findings. “There is no way a man like you, with your intelligence, education, military, experience, responsibilities (primarily for difficult situations), and rank… believes the conclusions reached in the March 31, 2005 Briefing Book. But your signature is on it. I assume, therefore, that you are part of this shameless bullshit. I embarrassed myself by treating you with respect [on] March 31, 2005. I thought your rank deserved it and anticipated something different from the new and improved investigation. I won’t act so hypocritically if we meet again.”
“In sum: XXXXXX… and yours.”
So in keeping with the spirit of Pat Tillman I say to you Suzie,
I await my copy of the video. And you should read up on how the Army interpreted the words of Mr. Tillman. I expect the very same response – we have precedence you know.
Mrs. Boyle then received a very prompt response:
Following receipt of Monday’s letter from Army CID, Mrs. Boyle expressed her reaction to The Post & Email:
While I do appreciate the admitting of an error, can we focus again on the request for the video – continuous feed, time stamped, unedited, adding camera 11…. and the reference to Cugler’s response, “This video was provided to USACIDC authorized for release unredacted by the US Army Central Command.”
Clearly the video was authorized for release in an unredacted format – why then did I receive a highly edited video? Or is Ms. Cugler “misspeaking” again?
Rather than forward to another forum for further stonewalling perhaps it is time for Ms. Cugler and CID to provide the unredacted video that US Army Central Command intended to provide to me – along with some semblance of respect.
Sharon Rondeau has operated The Post & Email since April 2010, focusing on the Obama birth certificate investigation and other government corruption news. She has reported prolifically on constitutional violations within Tennessee’s prison and judicial systems.