July 3, 2016

SUBJECT:  Rebuttal in Favor of Rudi Gresham


Lately there have been a lot of people who have nothing better to do than to try to track down what they call frauds, liars, scum, etc.  They take great pride in what they think is an honorable mission. The mission consists of taking small parts of the truth, twisting it and then building a lot of speculation and lies created to destroy a person’s reputation. This then becomes their ultimate success.  What a pity.

In fact the perpetrators of this type of work oftentimes don’t know the individual personally to make their own fair judgement, or have listened to conversations from others who also do not possess personal knowledge; but have formed an opinion because of loose talk or even because one individual may have cause to think he was mistreated or not treated fairly enough in the course of a transaction and they immediately use that to justify what they do, never taking into consideration that they only have one side of the story.

That’s why I decided to weigh in to bring some truth to this matter.  First, Mr. Rudi Gresham has been vetted twice by the SFA.  In fact, he is the only member that I know of that has been vetted twice.  The first time was by Jimmy Dean, then President of the SFA and again in 2011 by Kenny Cannon, then Membership Chairman.  In both instances Mr. Gresham’s vetting has stood up to very close scrutiny.  I have been a member of the SFA since 1982 and am very proud of the organization and what is has done since its inception for Special Forces.  I have no problem with the vetting process done by the SFA.  I will tell you that each officer has performed their jobs with true professionalism.

The biggest grief it seems has to do with a lawsuit between the SFA and CNN concerning the Operation Tailwind expose broadcast on television.  It is true that the SOA filed a suit which was thrown out of court.  That’s when Jimmy Dean stepped in and directed the preparation of a second lawsuit along with one already on the docket filed by LTC Gene Mc Carley, the Ground Combat Commander of Tailwind.  LTC McCarley’s lawsuit was upheld and he and several of his men that joined his suit won a settlement.  In fact there were only 2 of 9 lawsuits (LTC Gene Mc Carley and Admiral Thomas Moore) filed that were allowed to be heard.  One of those 7 dropped lawsuits was the one from the SOA of which Tom Marzullo’s self-funded, independent investigation conducted on his own initiative based on interviews of SOG personnel and documentation during the period of October 1997 to April 1998.

Jimmy Dean requested the assistance of Rudi Grisham and his public relations skills and contacts to assist with the Mc Carley and Moore lawsuits because of the poor submission of the SOA which was not considered to be sufficient by the Judge because the SOA lawsuit was written to include all of Special Forces instead of just the members of Operation Tailwind. According to an article written by Matt Fleisher dated August 15, 1999 at 12:00am titled “CNN Still Suffering From Legal Fallout Over Tailwind”, LTC Mc Carley’s suit concerning him and 9 veterans, five of whom had been quoted and five of whom had been just pictured on the report reportedly, received a $750,000 settlement of which $100,000 went to those who were quoted and $50,000 for those who were merely pictured. CNN also paid out $150,000 to Adm. Thomas Moorer, a key source for their report who later claimed his remarks had been improperly framed.

So now let me speculate just a little.  Do you suppose that the attacks on Rudi Gresham may be because of some bad blood between Tom Marzullo and Rudi?  Did anyone think to even contact LTC Gene Mc Carley concerning the lawsuit and who assisted with the defense counselors in this successful lawsuit?  Did Mr. Marzullo ever contact LTC Mc Carley to question his understanding of Operation Tailwind? Was not Mr. Gresham working for the SFA in this matter at the direction of Jimmy Dean?  Why didn’t the attack artists at “Guardian of Valor” do a little more research? Other than a copy of a form 20 and some photos that states Mr. Gresham served in the 82nd what other documents do they have that would support their claims?  And why in the hell should Mr. Gresham provide these people with a copy of his DD Form 214 who have no business in the policies and procedures of the vetting process of the SFA when he has already been vetted by the SFA?  What official or legal status do they possess?

CNN was forced to apologize to the Special Forces Association and the members of the lawsuits.  CNN also fired the producers April Oliver and Jack Smith as well as asking supervising producer Pam Hill to resign.  Mr. Peter Arnett, the narrator of “Valley of Death” had since left for Foreign TV.com after CNN let contract lapse.

During my time disputes were settled in the Detachment not broadcasted all over the internet for the entire world to see.  Apparently there are some things of moral value that have not caught on.  I’m reminded of an old quote that goes something like this:  No person can be so accursed that a loving eye in him can see; hurt not your brother or his reputation in thought word or deed, do not hold evil against him because appearances are sometimes deceptive (author unknown).

There are many more official documents attesting to Rudi’s reputation and outstanding service he performed for the SFA and Special Forces.  There is no doubt many of the services he provided came out of his own pocket.  I don’t believe the accusations of Rudi stealing monies and I don’t believe anyone can provide absolute proof that ever occurred.  I believe they are hate filled rumors from uninformed sources.

So I challenge those who have brought these claims against him to stop believing all you hear and get all the facts before you make any judgements.  Unfortunately the damage you have done to this point will never be corrected.  Nothing ever gets retracted from cyber space.  In doing what you have done to Rudi, you have also done to all of the present and past members of Special Forces as well as the SFA.


/s/ Michael J. Mika