Commentary Magazine


Contentions

Michael Scheuer Watch #7: Heavy Medal

In 2005, Michael Scheuer wrote a letter to COMMENTARY in which he stated that he had received the CIA’s Intelligence Commendation Medal for having led a unit that:

helped to capture Talat Fuad Qassem, Ramzi Ahmed Yousef, Wali Khan Amin Shah, and Hakim Murad; broke up Ramzi Yousef’s plot to down fourteen U.S. airliners over the Pacific; destroyed al-Qaeda cells in Africa, the Balkans, and the Caucasus; virtually destroyed the outside-Egypt wing of Zawahiri’s Egyptian Islamic Jihad; supplied all of the information used in the federal indictment of Osama bin Laden.

He also wrote:

There is no need to take my word for any of this: check with the CIA and the citation accompanying my Intelligence Commendation Medal.

From what I have been able to learn from the CIA, and which is what I noted in the June 2005 COMMENTARY, the CIA medal was bestowed on Scheuer in 1995, one year before he was assigned to the Osama bin Laden unit, and also, as I wrote, “well before he could have accomplished a number of the triumphs that he suggests are cited in the commendation, like supplying ‘all of the information used in the federal indictment of Osama bin Laden.’ Bin Laden was indicted in 1998, three years  after Mr. Scheuer’s medal was minted.”

My unconnected dots of the day are:

1. Am I correct about the medal being awarded in 1995?

2. Is the accompanying citation classified or unclassified?

3. What exactly does the citation say? Scheuer has declined to make a copy available. 

4. Can it be ferreted out using the Freedom of Information Act?

If you can help me connect these dots, write to letters@commentarymagazine.com and put Michael Scheuer Watch in the subject line.

Confidentiality is guaranteed. (But see my Why Journalists Are Not Above the Law to understand exactly how far I would go in protecting your identity.)

A complete guide to other items in this Michael Scheuer Watch series can be found here.

 

 



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