Tags: Will Swenson | medal of honor | army | spying | Amazon

Daily Beast: Army Spied on Hero Soldier Over a Book Review

Image: Daily Beast: Army Spied on Hero Soldier Over a Book Review
Former active duty Army Captain William Swenson. (Ron Sachs/DPA/Landov)

By    |   Thursday, 26 Feb 2015 02:09 PM

An Army officer who received the Medal of Honor from President Barack Obama was spied upon by military investigators after he was mentioned online in an Amazon book review by another soldier who was the subject of an investigation, the Daily Beast reports.

Will Swenson, who has since returned to active duty after receiving his medal for courageous service in Afghanistan, had his home put under surveillance, and had neighbors and his girlfriend questioned by military investigators, who even went through his trash — all over a response he posted on a review of a book review, the Beast reported.

Swenson had been openly critical over the Army's handling of a battle in which he participated. The Army later lost his paperwork for his Medal of Honor recommendation. It was resubmitted a second time.

"There’s good reason to suspect that the investigation into Swenson was really about his award, his criticism of the Army, and the hope that agents would find something to shut him up," a source familiar with the Army investigation told the Beast. "All of the details the Army was looking to confirm were all within their reach from the beginning, without speaking to Swenson."

The Army responded to an inquiry about the Swenson probe on Jan. 15, 2014. John McHugh, secretary of the Army, noted that the book review was what sparked investigators to target the decorated hero, who was honored at the White House in 2009 for his role in a deadly firefight in Afghanistan.

“Mr. Swenson had also been deployed to Afghanistan around the same time period as MAJ Golsteyn, and was potentially in the same area of operations when the alleged offenses under investigation took place,” McHugh wrote, according to the Beast.

The news website said that documents their reporters had obtained showed "that the Army’s Criminal Investigative Division, or CID, sent agents to question Swenson because he was thanked — along with several other people — in a paragraph-long book review."

The book was "The Wrong War" and it had been reviewed by another soldier previously under investigation, Army Major Mathew Golsteyn, a Green Beret who ultimately was stripped of his Silver Star and tossed from his Special Forces post over unproven allegations of violating rules of engagement "for killing a known bomb maker during his 2010 deployment to Afghanistan," the Beast reported.

Golsteyn was never charged. The Army, in launching an investigation, however, sought to somehow connect Golsteyn and Swenson, the Beast said, noting a previous story it had reported on Golsteyn's treatment.

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An Army officer who received the Medal of Honor in 2013 was spied upon by military investigators after he was mentioned online in an Amazon book review by another soldier who was the subject of an investigation, the Daily Beast reports.
Will Swenson, medal of honor, army, spying, Amazon
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2015-09-26
Thursday, 26 Feb 2015 02:09 PM
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