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The Quatto Zone - The Only Thing I'll Write About This

The Quatto Zone - The Only Thing I'll Write About This

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Published by Joseph Norman Kish
Friday, June 25, 2010
The Only Thing I'll Write About This

By: Lieutenant Colonel Tadd Sholtis AKA "Quatto"

War correspondent Michael Yon says this of Quatto:

"If we are going to turn this war around, we must Eject the Clowns who have been deceiving the public.
One of those clowns was McChrystal spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Tadd Sholtis, who personally participated in the blog posse against me. (Sholtis was clever enough to participate in writing, which I got hold of.) That Sholtis so terribly lost that battle is evidence of his own military incompetence. That his boss is gone from Afghanistan and I'm going back is final proof.
In his blog, Sholtis pretends these opinions are his own. (While he runs public affairs ops for General McChrystal and uses inside knowledge/access.) That's like a commando saying he does private missions on the side using U.S. intelligence -- with full knowledge of the U.S. military -- but those don't reflect on the U.S. military.
From his Quatto Zone website:
"An Air Force public affairs officer, but the views expressed here are my own and (sometimes sadly, sometimes mercifully) not those of the U.S. Government, Department of Defense, Air Force or anybody else who works for those organizations, period."
---
Sholtis, everything on your "private" website is coming from a U.S. official who spoke/speaks for General Stanley McChrystal.
This is not a "private battle." Sholtis and others came on my radar after the issues with Menard and McChrystal surfaced. I then realized that Sholtis and others were part of the problem. They continue to deceive the public at a time when we need truth more than ever."
Friday, June 25, 2010
The Only Thing I'll Write About This

By: Lieutenant Colonel Tadd Sholtis AKA "Quatto"

War correspondent Michael Yon says this of Quatto:

"If we are going to turn this war around, we must Eject the Clowns who have been deceiving the public.
One of those clowns was McChrystal spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Tadd Sholtis, who personally participated in the blog posse against me. (Sholtis was clever enough to participate in writing, which I got hold of.) That Sholtis so terribly lost that battle is evidence of his own military incompetence. That his boss is gone from Afghanistan and I'm going back is final proof.
In his blog, Sholtis pretends these opinions are his own. (While he runs public affairs ops for General McChrystal and uses inside knowledge/access.) That's like a commando saying he does private missions on the side using U.S. intelligence -- with full knowledge of the U.S. military -- but those don't reflect on the U.S. military.
From his Quatto Zone website:
"An Air Force public affairs officer, but the views expressed here are my own and (sometimes sadly, sometimes mercifully) not those of the U.S. Government, Department of Defense, Air Force or anybody else who works for those organizations, period."
---
Sholtis, everything on your "private" website is coming from a U.S. official who spoke/speaks for General Stanley McChrystal.
This is not a "private battle." Sholtis and others came on my radar after the issues with Menard and McChrystal surfaced. I then realized that Sholtis and others were part of the problem. They continue to deceive the public at a time when we need truth more than ever."

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Categories:Types, Research, History
Published by: Joseph Norman Kish on Jun 26, 2010
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Text-only versionThis is Google's cache of http://www.quattozone.com/. It is a snapshot of the page as it appeared on Jun 26,2010 14:48:28 GMT. Thecurrent pagecould have changed in the meantime.Learn more These search terms are highlighted:
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Friday, June 25, 2010
The Only Thing I'll Write About This
Sometimes youcan be too closeto something to write about it well, so I'llencourage you tocontinue reading better piecesabout theresignation of GeneralMcChrystal frompros who have agood grasp of the basic situation,likeDavid Brooksor the BBC'sJohnSimpson. But heregoes.The most strikingfact of thisincident won't befound in the pagesof 
 Rolling Stone
,although I won't blame you if you buy it for the cover (
right 
)
.
 What is most significant is that mediahype drove admirable policymakers to decide to change leaders inless than 48 hours. Perhaps that's a demonstration of decisiveness, but -- if so -- media owe the deciders and the public something betterthan what they got in this case.Readers of the blog will know that I'm critical of media failures butI'm no enemy of the press -- at least, I wasn't a few days ago. Thedegree of transparency afforded to journalists covering the war in Afghanistan has been unsurpassed. I would like to believe that thepublic's understanding of the war has been improved as a result of this access; however, it's much tougher to believe that now. Looking back, I see too many similar cases where access has beenmanipulated to pursue predetermined agendas, caricatured toemphasize its most sensational aspects, or squandered by lazy instincts to follow the herd. It may be too early to tally the effect of our media culture on national security policy and its implementationin Afghanistan. This week, the human cost, to our shame, is all too
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6/26/2010 The Quatto Zonewebcache.googleusercontent.com/searc1/9
 
evident.The reporter has made a show of professing his integrity , mostly bpointing out that he hasn't been challenged. Maybe that's simply  because, for a dwindling number of people on this planet, there aremore important things than covering your own ass. When you'vegiven offense to those you serve and admire, apologizing and takingresponsibility for mistakes come first. Righting wrongs done to youin the process comes second, if it ever comes at all. Sometimesstaying true to yourself is more important than having the right PR strategy, even in the face of a hatchet job.The most offensive comments appearing in the
 Rolling Stone
article -- by what I believe were a few people of relatively low rank andlimited experience with reporters -- were inappropriate anddeserved rebuke. They should not have been made in the presence of a reporter, regardless of the ground rules in place. But no extendedexposure to staffs at any level of government could have failed toproduce the kinds of comments reported in the piece: commentsmade not out of ingrained malice toward the Constitution, but out of a kind of sour humor that emerges under conditions of intense worand constant scrutiny. That doesn't justify the remarks, but it putsthem squarely in the realm of the forgivably human -- which is tosay, somewhere below the level at which senior military and civilianleaders must keep up appearances.In the end, no unanswered questions about the quality of the articleor the nature of the offense impeded a rush to judgment everywhereat once, which is fairly damning evidence of how much media haveconditioned us to react before we think. The article that promptedGeneral McChrystal's resignation did not even hit the stands beforemedia personalities arriving on scene with promo copies of the piecein hand decided that he had to go. It did not need to happen this way. With the rapid rise o
 Rolling Stone
and the sudden fall of GeneralMcChrystal, journalists and public servants who consider theirpositions a sacred trust have made it harder for themselves to holdout against the barbarians of secrecy, superficiality or sleaze. Once we stop to breathe on this story, we need to ask ourselves
why
.
at3:37 PM 2 comments Reactions:
Saturday, June 19, 2010
Ralph Peters, Special Operations and the Perils of Secrecy 
Thelatestexercise inKarzai- bashing frommediacurmudgeonRalph Petersis aninterestingcase study inconfusingcause with
News from Afghanistan
 Worse Than a NightmareNew York TimesBut there is no evidence at allthat counterinsurgency will work in Afghanistan. It's not working now. And even if wemanaged to put all the properpieces ...Related Articles »NATO says three foreignHindustan TimesThree foreign soldiers werekilled in Taliban-style bombattacks in southern Afghanistan on Saturday,NATO said. The deaths pushthe number of foreign ...Related Articles »'Restrepo' Offers Intimate ABC NewsBy ANDREW KESHNER  Afghanistan is in the spotlightthis week after PresidentObama dismissed the top USgeneral in the war effort, Gen.Stanley McChrystal. ...Related Articles »Should McChrystal'sDallas Morning NewsRobert H. Reid, AP KABUL, Afghanistan – Crouched in afield of opium poppies, a young Marine lieutenantpleaded over the radio for anairstrike on a ...Related Articles »
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2010(18)
June(8)The Only Thing I'll Write About ThisRalph Peters, SpecialOperations and thePerils of...Paying Retail for PeaceThe Comfort of OpinionMcChrystal in BrusselsTempus Fugit or
6/26/2010 The Quatto Zonewebcache.googleusercontent.com/searc2/9
 
effect. Asusual, youcan ignorePeters's assertions. President Karzai really doesn't want to stop nightraids by special operations forces, and SOF activity in Afghanistanactually has increased dramatically under the leadership of the"conventionally minded generals and Are-we-there-yet? pols" thatPeters derides. What you should pay attention to is Peters'sanonymous source within the SOF community and that source'sintent -- to demonstrate the effectiveness of SOF operations. Thenask yourself why such a leak was necessary.The answer is secrecy. Because special operations are conductedoutside the view of independent observers with outcomes reflectedonly in classified documents, they are highly vulnerable to insurgentpropaganda and manipulation by lazy, gullible or dogmaticournalists. No one can say what happens during night raids exceptthe raiders -- who are sworn to secrecy -- and the raidees -- whoaren't predisposed to a charitable view of events. Add in sloppy operational reporting and military communicators who are ill-equipped to monitor and respond to rumors spreading among Afghans and you are left with the distortions of homicidal SOFrunning amok inGardezandNangahar, among other recent examples. You can't blame politicians, particularly Afghanpoliticians, for responding to these alleged atrocities in a reflexively political way. You also can't infer that public opposition from thesepoliticians equates with private rejection of effective means toachieve necessary ends.The blame for anti-SOF rhetoric rests less with public figures than with a lack of transparency in SOF operations that cannot effectively refute critics. (In much the same way, opposition to air strikes anddetention operations stems from strangled information flows withinthose communities.) Special forces willing to accept all manner of risks do not often risk opening themselves to reporting in any meaningful way, even though such access can be managed withground rules on releasable information and the various identitprotections available to print, radio and television journalists.No one should be surprised that this ends badly for SOF. Nor should we be surprised by the ironic denouement. A community that hasresisted legitimate attempts at dialogue with credible third parties by abusing the provisions of operational security finally finds itself  violating those same OPSEC provisions to stoke the sympatheticfumings of an apologist with little credibility among SOF's critics. Toprotect their freedom of manuever against those who would curb it,special forces don't need to convince Ralph Peters or the people whoread him about the utility of violence. They need to convince -- which means they need to engage -- everyone else.
at6:38 AM 1 comments Reactions:
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Paying Retail for Peace
Once you get
Politics Daily 
Barack O'Clock: G-8/G-20Summit Continues, PlusMore Group Photos!
SWJ Blog
Can Counterinsurgency  Work in Afghanistan?
John Brown's PublicDiplomacy Review 
June 26
Rethink Afghanistan
Obama’s pressing of Petraeus in 2007 – Oh,the irony.
On Violence
 What I'd Write
The Thunder Run
From the Front:06/25/2010
BLACKFIVE
Rolling Stone violatedinterview rules
DoD Buzz
Carter Cost Fix RumorsFly 
Danger Room
Military Mulls New Namefor PsychologicalOperations: MISO
DoD Live
Family Focus: How My Family Lives with PTSD
The AfPak Channel
Daily brief: dust settles onMcChrystal firing
The Best Defense
Rebecca's war dog of the 
Fuggedaboutit?The Sound of Guns Where's
Quatto
?
March(4)
February (1)
January (5)
2009(101)
Quatto's Blog Roll
6/26/2010 The Quatto Zonewebcache.googleusercontent.com/searc3/9

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