Who is Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman?

 

To ask this question is forbidden. As I was told by one of my Ricochet colleagues the other day, “you do not publicly convict a decorated soldier for espionage either. Especially to save your own rear end. Stop telling me how much you love the troops, Donald. You are full of it.”

I’ve seen a lot of that sentiment. No one respects the uniform more than me but I also know that the uniform is not a cloak of holiness. Like the rest of the society it draws from, the US armed forces has its share of people whose actions do not represent the uniform in a good light. The Disciplinary Barracks at Ft. Leavenworth is full of them.

So who is Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman? Let’s ask someone who knows. This was posted on Twitter by Lt. Col. James Hickman, US Army (ret.):

I know LTC Alex Vindman from a Combined US-Russian exercise called Atlas Vision 13 in Grafenwoher, Germany. He worked with the Russian Embassy and I was assigned to the JMTC (Joint Multinational Training Command), within USAREUR (US Army Europe). He worked coordination with the Russian 15th Peacekeeping Brigade, and I was in charge of all Simulations planning, as well as assisting the USAREUR Lead Planner as the Senior Military Planner.

The following account of LTC Vindman’s words and actions are completely accurate to the best of my recollection and have been corroborated by others. We interacted on several different occasions throughout the planning cycle, but it was during the actual execution of the exercise, that we had an issue relevant to his recent testimony. As stated earlier, Atlas Vision 13 was conducted at JMTC in the VBS2 (Virtual Battle Simulations 2) Classrooms for Simulation. Vindman, who was a Major at the time, was sitting in one of the classrooms talking to the US and Russian soldiers, as well as the young officers and GS employees about America, Russia, and (President) Obama. He was apologetic of American culture, laughed about Americans not being educated or worldly, and really talked up Obama and globalism to the point of uncomfortable.

He would speak with the Russian Soldiers and laugh as if at the expense of the US personnel. It was so uncomfortable and unprofessional, one of the GS employees came and told me everything above. I walked over and sat within earshot of Vindman, and sure enough, all was confirmed. One comment truly struck me as odd, and it was with respect to Americans’ falsely thinking they’re exceptional, when he said, ‘He [Obama] is working on that now.’ And he said it with a snide ‘I know a secret’ look on his face. I honestly don’t know what it meant, it just sounded like an odd thing to say. Regardless, after hearing him bash America a few times in front of subordinates, Russians, and GS employees, as well as, hearing an earful about globalization, Obama’s plan, etc…I’d had enough. I tapped him on the shoulder and asked him to step outside.

At that point I verbally reprimanded him for his actions and I’ll leave it at that, so as not to be unprofessional myself. The bottom-line is LTC Vindman was a partisan Democrat at least as far back as 2012. So much so, junior officers and soldiers felt uncomfortable around him. This is not your professional, field-grade officer, who has the character and integrity to do the right thing. Do not let the uniform fool you…he is a political activist in uniform. I pray our nation will drop this hate, vitriol and division, and unite as our founding fathers intended!

Note: The above was written over the course of 11 Tweets and has been edited for readability.

There are 127 comments.

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  1. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    EJHill: No one respects the uniform more than me but I also know that the uniform is not a cloak of holiness. Like the rest of the society it draws from, the US Armed Forces has it’s share of people whose actions do not represent the uniform in a good light.

    If more than half our elected Representatives are willing to follow lies why would we expect a portion of the military, even decorated, not to follow lies as well.

    • #1
  2. DonG Coolidge
    DonG
    @DonG

    This is why the “hearings” have been one-sided and under a cloak of secrecy.  The witnesses and rumor conveyors are dirty partisans.  My gut tells me the Dems do not want an impeachment vote, since it will force an airing of all their dirty secrets.  They prefer to sling mud from the shadows up until election day.

    • #2
  3. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat
    @FrontSeatCat

    Wow – since you can’t get truth from our own government, thank goodness a cigar-chomping no nonsense patriot has the kahunas to speak up.  I believe what he is saying, especially after seeing and hearing Glenn Beck’s “chalkboard presentations” on The Ukraine.  I think he’s up to 3 series. If you haven’t seen them, please watch – it includes Vindman and much more. This is really a stunning place we’re at in the history of our country.

    • #3
  4. Unsk Member
    Unsk
    @Unsk

    It has been rumored by many that during the Obama Administration many left wing military men were promoted to the higher ranks.

    Vindman is just a case in point. Unfortunately, like the CIA, FBI, State Department and just about every Federal Bureaucracy you can think of, being a card carrying Lefty is now the necessary ticket for advancement.  Others far more knowledgeable that me have opined that our military is far too  “General heavy” meaning we far too many officers promoted to the highest ranks where their fighting experience mostly consists of knowing how to maneuver around Pentagon internal infighting and how to best ingratiate themselves with those politicians on the Left all too willing to bend the rules.  

    • #4
  5. Vance Richards Member
    Vance Richards
    @VanceRichards

    EJHill: I’ve seen a lot of that sentiment. No one respects the uniform more than me but I also know that the uniform is not a cloak of holiness.

    Democrats are hoping that the uniform will make their people beyond reproach (Actually they hope others will think that way as they certainly didn’t care about the service of Generals Flynn or Petraeus).  In fact the act of (no doubt pre-planned) political theater that supposedly “pushed” Pelosi towards impeachment was an Op-Ed by left leaning Representatives who happened to be veterans. The fact that they served makes them no less partisan or politically motivated. It would be naive to suggest otherwise.

    • #5
  6. Kay of MT Member
    Kay of MT
    @KayofMT

    In a barrel of apples there are always some rotters, that rise to the top. No different than other organizations. Obama corrupted even more and totally disrespected our military. POTUS is slowly but surely getting them back on track. I will still honor our military. My brother, an officer for over 20 years and still alive, another brother deceased from war wounds, and a dear cousin killed in Vietnam keep me grateful for the vast majority of the decent and honorable military.

    • #6
  7. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    Vance Richards: In fact the act of (no doubt pre-planned) political theater that supposedly “pushed” Pelosi towards impeachment was an Op-Ed by left leaning Representatives who happened to be veterans.

    When you’re out of the uniform I don’t give a flying fig what you do. But when in uniform you respect the chain of command.

    This is an actual quote from an article in Saturday’s Washington Post:

    “…he (Vindman) was deeply troubled by what he interpreted as an attempt by the president to subvert U.S. foreign policy…”

    Excuse me? Who does that guy think sets foreign policy??

    • #7
  8. Vance Richards Member
    Vance Richards
    @VanceRichards

    EJHill (View Comment):

    This is an actual quote from an article in Saturday’s Washington Post:

    “…he (Vindman) was deeply troubled by what he interpreted as an attempt by the president to subvert U.S. foreign policy…”

    Excuse me? Who does that guy think sets foreign policy??

    That’s the thing, since we already have the call transcript, the only thing he can express in his testimony is his personal opinions. Lt. Col. Vindman’s  feelings about what would be the best policy is of no relevance in determining if a crime was committed. 

    • #8
  9. EHerring Coolidge
    EHerring
    @EHerring

    Unsk (View Comment):

    It has been rumored by many that during the Obama Administration many left wing military men were promoted to the higher ranks.

    Vindman is just a case in point. Unfortunately, like the CIA, FBI, State Department and just about every Federal Bureaucracy you can think of, being a card carrying Lefty is now the necessary ticket for advancement. Others far more knowledgeable that me have opined that our military is far too “General heavy” meaning we far too many officers promoted to the highest ranks where their fighting experience mostly consists of knowing how to maneuver around Pentagon internal infighting and how to best ingratiate themselves with those politicians on the Left all too willing to bend the rules.

    I agree about that re some general grade officers and politics but Vindman wouldn’t have been promoted based on politics to Lt Col. Also, the number of general officers is determined by the number of positions that require them. My career field did not have any so I would never have been promoted higher than O-6, Colonel. (I retired shortly before my O-6 board for family reasons) 

    • #9
  10. EDISONPARKS Member
    EDISONPARKS
    @user_54742

    It seems obvious to me on the face of it that anyone who came to voluntarily testify in front of the Secret Schiff committee with testimony which attempted to implicate Trump in some supposed “high crimes” was doing so with a political bias having nothing to do with love of Country or for whatever ostensible good intention the (D)/Lawfare/Brennan ahrsehats could come up with in this latest go around to oust Trump from office.

    Vindman’s testimony is just one more guy passing through the revolving door of contrived political hit jobs to remove Trump whom the Russians colluded to put in power and in the process the Russians screwed over the rightful heir to the throne, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

    • #10
  11. EHerring Coolidge
    EHerring
    @EHerring

    1. Military can only disagree over an unlawful order. Otherwise, it is insubordination, or worse. It can’t have people refusing to obey leadership because they merely disagree.

    2. Vindman had been immersed with State Dept people and bureaucrats for a while, where insubordination with a President they consider “just passing through” was tolerated and even encouraged. He started to become like them.

    3. unfortunately, for him, despite assigned to a civilian posting, he is still a military person, filling a military position, and subject to the UCMJ. I would force retirement with an “honorable” discharge in “the best needs of the military,” unless his insubordination was intentional for the purpose of aiding the impeachment. If it was a political act, I would consider “less than honorable“ discharge, but doubt if he is worth the legal effort to do so, especially without a written trail of documentation of non-judicial punishment. He must be discharged and his clearance must be revoked permanently so he can’t be rewarded with a cushy, “deep state” position., where he could undermine a future President. He can’t be trusted with secure information.

    4. The article serves to confirm our suspicions about his motivations but, unless documented in writing when it happened, wouldn’t be used. Verbal reprimands are legitimate methods of non-judicial punishment, designed to alter behavior. Had he not responded, then a written Letter of Counseling would follow, then a Letter of Reprimand, followed by continued escalation. It would seem to have worked, in this case, but I bet more example from others will come out, if did this elsewhere.

    • #11
  12. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    EHerring: The article serves to confirm our suspicions about his motivations but, unless documented in writing when it happened, wouldn’t be used. Verbal reprimands are legitimate methods of non-judicial punishment, designed to alter behavior. Had he not responded, then a written Letter of Counseling would follow, then a Letter of Reprimand, followed by continued escalation. It would seem to have worked, in this case, but I bet more example from others will come out, if did this elsewhere.

    This incident, alleged to occur in an exercise of many units, was a verbal reprimand by a superior officer outside of Vindman’s immediate chain of command. There would be no opportunity for a formal in-writing reprimand.

    In that thread, LTC Hickman was immediately accused of “swiftboating.” We’ll see if any reporter picks up the story and verifies it.

    • #12
  13. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    EJHill (View Comment):
    In that thread, LTC Hickman was immediately accused of “swiftboating.” We’ll see if any reporter picks up the story and verifies it.

    The existence of swiftboaters shows that our military still produces honorable people.  

    • #13
  14. Goldwaterwoman Thatcher
    Goldwaterwoman
    @goldwaterwoman

    EJHill (View Comment):

    This is an actual quote from an article in Saturday’s Washington Post:

    “…he (Vindman) was deeply troubled by what he interpreted as an attempt by the president to subvert U.S. foreign policy…”

    Excuse me? Who does that guy think sets foreign policy??

    And that is exactly what I find most shocking. His opinion of Trump’s foreign policy was entirely irrelevant. Thanks so much EJ for putting together the Hickman tweets so that we have a better understanding of Vindman’s motivations in this troubling case of insubordination. 

    • #14
  15. Doctor Robert Member
    Doctor Robert
    @DoctorRobert

    Why was such a guy even in the military, much less working in the White House or State Department?

    Some of Mr Trump’s blind spots amaze me.  This is one of them.

    • #15
  16. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    Doctor Robert (View Comment):

    Why was such a guy even in the military, much less working in the White House or State Department?

    Some of Mr Trump’s blind spots amaze me. This is one of them.

    You are not aware that these kinds of people are everywhere? How do you think it is that government and universities can take all that money in and deliver so little?

    • #16
  17. philo Member
    philo
    @philo

    Unsk (View Comment): It has been rumored by many that during the Obama Administration many left wing military men were promoted to the higher ranks.

    Your comment reminded me of an event / report from the Clinton years. I cannot find the original link but found it referenced here:

    On July 7, 1997, in what is being called a mass protest over the conditions in the military (primarily because of administration policy) 24 generals quit. They reportedly had fought a losing battle to correct, modify, or mitigate the politically correct, operational tempo, and repeated “hey you” deployments. They tried to address the problems with readiness (or lack of) and pay. They tried, and they failed to compel the administration to fix what is wrong. Then, in a final act of courage and commitment (two concepts alien to this administration), they ALL went to see Secretary of Defense Bill Cohen, and RESIGNED. Twenty-four general officers representing 600 years of combined military experience tendered their resignations. THAT is a big deal. … So why haven’t we heard about it? .”

    I suspect that, by hook or by crook, there are major swings like this during every administration.  Especially over eight years.  Elections have consequences…

    • #17
  18. EHerring Coolidge
    EHerring
    @EHerring

    Doctor Robert (View Comment):

    Why was such a guy even in the military, much less working in the White House or State Department?

    Some of Mr Trump’s blind spots amaze me. This is one of them.

    Trump wouldn’t have known his loyalties or tried to control military assignments. One can assume that most in executive branch Democrats.

    • #18
  19. EHerring Coolidge
    EHerring
    @EHerring

    EJHill (View Comment):

    EHerring: The article serves to confirm our suspicions about his motivations but, unless documented in writing when it happened, wouldn’t be used. Verbal reprimands are legitimate methods of non-judicial punishment, designed to alter behavior. Had he not responded, then a written Letter of Counseling would follow, then a Letter of Reprimand, followed by continued escalation. It would seem to have worked, in this case, but I bet more example from others will come out, if did this elsewhere.

    This incident, alleged to occur in an exercise of many units, was a verbal reprimand by a superior officer outside of Vindman’s immediate chain of command. There would be no opportunity for a formal in-writing reprimand.

    In that thread, LTC Hickman was immediately accused of “swiftboating.” We’ll see if any reporter picks up the story and verifies it.

    True. What happens next will tell us about his current chain of command. Being a Democrat or supporting the Commander in Chief back then isn’t damning, though. Badmouthing you’re country is. It is his insubordination now that must be addressed and is damning.

    • #19
  20. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    In the commercial world, you don’t rip your own people in front of the customer, let alone the competition. I never served, but I imagine that stricture is even more scrupulously followed there.

    • #20
  21. EHerring Coolidge
    EHerring
    @EHerring

    A thought occurred to me. What if Vindman didn’t go outside of his chain and branch of government after he was told to say nothing? What if whoever talked to the Schiff staffer gave him Vindman’s name? What if the career bureaucrats above him told him to testify despite the White House position that his people don’t testify without counsel present? He would still be a Trump hating toadie, but he would also be the sacrificial lamb for cowards higher up who don’t want to do their dirty work. He still needs to go because he questioned authority in a way he shouldn’t have. The Ukraine niche needs purging.

    • #21
  22. James Gawron Thatcher
    James Gawron
    @JamesGawron

    EJHill (View Comment):

    Vance Richards: In fact the act of (no doubt pre-planned) political theater that supposedly “pushed” Pelosi towards impeachment was an Op-Ed by left leaning Representatives who happened to be veterans.

    When you’re out of the uniform I don’t give a flying fig what you do. But when in uniform you respect the chain of command.

    This is an actual quote from an article in Saturday’s Washington Post:

    “…he (Vindman) was deeply troubled by what he interpreted as an attempt by the president to subvert U.S. foreign policy…”

    Excuse me? Who does that guy think sets foreign policy??

    EJ,

    This is it exactly. He states himself that he didn’t think anything was illegal. So on what grounds does he think he has the right to be setting American foreign policy. He’s not a whistleblower by his own admission. He’s an as*hole.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #22
  23. She Reagan
    She
    @She

    Apparently he has an identical twin brother who is also (imagine my surprise) at identical rank, a US Army Lt. Col.  This one is an NSC lawyer who allegedly “witnessed the decision to move the call’s transcript to a top secret server.”  House Committee members have contacted this lawyer’s lawyer, and a decision will be made as to if he will testify.

    I wonder how many more of them there are?

    • #23
  24. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    She (View Comment):
    I wonder how many more of them there are?

    Clones?

    • #24
  25. She Reagan
    She
    @She

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    She (View Comment):
    I wonder how many more of them there are?

    Clones?

    Gremlins?  Tribbles?

    • #25
  26. HeavyWater Member
    HeavyWater
    @HeavyWater

    I don’t think criticism of Vindman should be considered out of bounds.  But the same thing can be said for criticism of Trump.  Yes, Trump is the president.  But since when are we not allowed to criticize presidents?  

    Pointing out that Trump complained of bone spurs in order to get out of serving in Vietnam is fair.  If a Democrat had done this, you can bet we would be all over it.

    • #26
  27. HeavyWater Member
    HeavyWater
    @HeavyWater

    Doctor Robert (View Comment):

    Why was such a guy even in the military, much less working in the White House or State Department?

    Some of Mr Trump’s blind spots amaze me. This is one of them.

    Trump has hired lots of people and then later criticized them as failures.  Trump hires Jeff Sessions as his Attorney General.  Later Trump says Sessions is horrible.

    Trump hires John Bolton.  Later Trump says Bolton is horrible because Bolton didn’t like Trump’s idea of bringing the Taliban to Camp David.

    It goes on and on.  One day Trump says we have to end these endless wars in Syria.  The next day we are placing our soldiers near oil fields in Syria.

    Trump is always changing in mind and if we don’t change our mind with him we are “losers.”

    No thanks.

    This isn’t to say that I will be jumping on the Elizabeth Warren bandwagon.  But don’t pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining.

    • #27
  28. Spin Member
    Spin
    @Spin

    As a general statement, let me just say:  never trust a Lieutenant Colonel.  

    • #28
  29. Spin Member
    Spin
    @Spin

    Front Seat Cat (View Comment):
    the kahunas

    Don’t you mean cojones?  

    • #29
  30. Spin Member
    Spin
    @Spin

    EJHill (View Comment):

    Vance Richards: In fact the act of (no doubt pre-planned) political theater that supposedly “pushed” Pelosi towards impeachment was an Op-Ed by left leaning Representatives who happened to be veterans.

    When you’re out of the uniform I don’t give a flying fig what you do. But when in uniform you respect the chain of command.

    This is an actual quote from an article in Saturday’s Washington Post:

    “…he (Vindman) was deeply troubled by what he interpreted as an attempt by the president to subvert U.S. foreign policy…”

    Excuse me? Who does that guy think sets foreign policy??

    As previously mentioned, never trust an LTC.  They are high enough in rank to think they know a thing or two…but not high enough in rank to know a thing or two.  

    If he makes it to full bird, then maybe, just maybe he knows a thing or two.  But now it will be highly unlikely he makes it past guard duty.  

    • #30

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