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       Insider Threat: The Mogadishu Diaries 1992-1993, p.1

           E. Clay
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Insider Threat: The Mogadishu Diaries 1992-1993

  Insider Threat

  The Mogadishu Diaries 1992-1993


  Mogadishu Diaries is a work of historical fiction. It is a personal account based on real events and conversations extracted from my journal and my memories of them. In order to maintain anonymity, in some instances I have changed the names of individuals and altered sequences of events.

  Mogadishu Diaries Bloodline was subjected to a Department of Defense pre-publication review on 8 January 2013.

  Copyright © 2013 E. Clay

  All rights reserved.

  New Paradigm Publishers

  ISBN: 978-0-9971954-9-1

  No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted by any means without the written permission of the author.


  I served in Mogadishu, Somalia with the author. Although we supported different missions, we shared many of the same experiences. I find the book Mogadishu Diaries exceptionally detailed and accurate in retelling a story that so many have forgotten.



  Somali Warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid ruled the streets of Mogadishu with an uncanny elusiveness that frustrated US/UN coalition strategists. Our mission was to quell intra-Clan violence and secure major supply routes for aid. It was assessed that Aidid might be the beneficiary of an intelligence leak. Joint Task Force Headquarters responded with a clandestine Counterintelligence operation designed to identify and neutralize this “Insider Threat.” This classified operation was known as Operation Looking Glass. The Counterintelligence community pinned the success of this sensitive operation on the shoulders of one man. Political infighting would complicate the mission’s agenda, but not after a relentless pursuit to expose a collaborator.

  Table of Contents

  Chapter 1 – The Legend of Dr. Louis Johnson Jr.

  Chapter 2 – Next Wave

  Chapter 3 – Headliner

  Chapter 4 – Velvet Knife

  Chapter 5 – Office Hours

  Chapter 6 – Me and Crocket

  Chapter 7 – No Graceful Exit

  Chapter 8 – Offense Intended

  Chapter 9 – A Fool and his Honey

  Chapter 10 – Unholy Trinity: Lockdown

  Chapter 11 – Counterintelligence was Here

  Chapter 12 – Sex, Drugs and Classified Material

  Chapter 13 – The Positives of Negativity

  Chapter 14 – Grounds for Dismissal: Folgers

  Chapter 15 – Behind the Green Door

  Chapter 16 – Devils in Black Boots

  Chapter 17 – Witch Doctors and Healers

  Chapter 18 – No Need to Know

  Chapter 19 – When Death Knows Your Name

  Chapter 20 – Anatomy of an Interview Pt.1

  Chapter 21 – Intermission

  Chapter 22 – Anatomy of an Interview Pt. 2

  Chapter 23 – Death of a Private First Class

  Chapter 24 – Twenty Seconds of Restraint

  Chapter 25 – High Risk Counseling

  Chapter 26 – Three Shades of Treason

  Chapter 27 – A Place for Saboteurs and Traitors

  Chapter 28 – For My Eyes Only

  Chapter 29 – Court Marital on My Mind

  Chapter 30 – Heartbreaker

  Chapter 31 – Divergence of Protocol

  Chapter 32 – MARFOR Homecoming

  Chapter 33 – MARFOR Awards Presentation

  Chapter 34 – “You Have One New Message”

  Chapter 35 – Class 6-99 Dismissed

  Glossary of Terms


  About the Author


  This book is dedicated to all the US Service members who lost their lives in support of humanitarian relief operations in Somalis from 1992-1993

  - (Operation Restore Hope/Operation Continued Hope)


  Counterintelligence (noun)

  1. Proactive activities designed to identify, exploit, neutralize, or deter foreign intelligence collection and terrorist activities against the US.

  Chapter 1

  The Legend of Dr. Louis Johnson Jr.

  Navy and Marine Corps Intelligence Center, Dam Neck, Virginia

  6 August 1999

  Today marks the 20th anniversary of my Marine Corps career. I should be on leave, but my Officer in Charge needed a volunteer to attend the Naval Intelligence Mid-Career course. Since I was the only Gunnery Sergeant in my shop who had not attended, here I sit. According to schedule, the next speaker was Dr. Louis Johnson Jr. I had heard of his accomplishments from early on as he was considered one of the brilliant minds of modern day intelligence. Dr. Johnson was retiring in the fall and this was his final speaking engagement capping off an illustrious thirty-five-year career. It was four p.m. and this was the last presentation; I guess they saved the best for last. At the end of the presentation, Dr. Johnson would personally hand out our Certificates of Completion. I found it interesting that the previous speakers had their official picture on their bio page in our student handouts. On Dr. Johnson’s bio, it read “No Photo Available.”

  “Marines and Sailors, would you please stand and welcome Dr. Louis Johnson Jr.,” commanded the course chair as he opened the door to welcome the distinguished guest.

  We all stood in silence; you could hear a pin drop. I was assigned a back row seat and I wanted to get a good look at this larger-than-life living legend.

  In walked a well-dressed gentleman wearing a form-fitted navy blue suit, white shirt and matching dark blue tie.

  “Thank you very much for allowing me to address such a fine cadre of seasoned intelligence professionals. It has been said that some people will spend an entire lifetime wondering if they ever made a difference. I submit to you, Marines and Sailors do not have that problem,” Dr. Louis said as he walked through the ranks of the class with an air that exuded absolute confidence.

  “In this game, there are no fouls called and there are no timeouts. The adversary is multi-disciplined and innovative, and he will eat your lunch if you give anything less than your very best!” Dr. Louis commented as he removed his glasses and placed his right hand on the shoulder of the Master Sergeant sitting in the first row.

  As his presentation continued, it became more interesting. I lost track of time and before I knew it, it was almost five o’clock.

  I was captivated, inspired and surprised. He lived up to the hype and more. I didn’t want his presentation to end. His vocal cadence was charismatic and pleasing to the ear. His passion, demonstrated by a range of facial expressions and gestures was nothing short of oratorical brilliance.

  Dr. Johnson looked at his watch and solicited questions from the class.

  “Sir. Gunnery Sergeant Patterson, from the First Surveillance Reconnaissance and Intelligence Group. Could you tell the class what was the lowest point of your thirty-five-year career?”

  Dr. Johnson stroked his salt and pepper mustache as he contemplated an answer.

  “Hmm. I have had many tough challenges in my career; however, June 8th, 1980 comes to mind. On that day, I was arrested in Minsk, Belarus in my hotel room around one a.m.. I was charged with cooperation with a foreign intelligence service … Article 356. The State Department diligently petitioned the Belarusian government for my release but we had no political leverage.”

  “So how were you released?”

  “I was released because of the influence of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.”

  Dr. Johnson’s revelation puzzled everyone. We all wondered why the Russians intervened to negotiate the relea
se of an American during the height of the Cold War. Dr. Johnson easily discerned our incomprehension and addressed the class.

  “Yes. You heard correctly. The Russians. The Ruskies had significant influence over Belarus and I was released after 90 days in solitary confinement in a one-for-one swap. The U.S. had a very high-ranking KGB Colonel in custody for collecting information on Russian asylum seekers. In the end, I was released and the Russian KGB officer was deported to Russia. I never found out what was in the deal for Belarus. I simply did not care at the time.”

  The Marine to my left, whom I called Spring Butt during most of the course, had a comment (one of many he had during the week).

  “You mean he was declared Persona Non Grata,” Spring Butt commented in a weak attempt to demonstrate his knowledge to the class.

  Dr. Johnson placated the young student and answered him.

  “As I stated, he was deported. Persona Non Grata is a legal diplomatic term that typically implies diplomatic status. The KGB officer was under non- official cover, leaving him vulnerable to arrest and prosecution.

  “I have time for one last question and I would like the most junior ranking member to have the opportunity.”

  We all looked around trying to figure out who that was. Then the class chair interjected.

  “Stand up, Gunnery Sergeant Miller?”

  Gunnery Sergeant Miller was caught off guard and stuttered a bit before gaining his composure.

  “Gunnery Sergeant Miller, from the Third Marine Expeditionary Force G-2. Dr. Johnson, what was the most memorable operation that you supported?”

  Dr. Johnson began walking to the front of the class and grasped the certificates on the podium, and with his free hand, he pointed to Gunnery Sergeant Miller.

  “I am glad you asked that question. I have planned, executed and supported many operations in my career, but the operation I am most proud of is Operation Black Boots. I say that with all sincerity because I am convinced we saved lives. Sometimes you have to think outside the box and embrace a paradigm shift.

  We accomplished that with Operation Black Boots and it was a big success.”

  “Today I pass the torch to you. Just tell me one thing. Class 6-99…Do you have it?” Dr. Johnson bellowed from the podium.

  “Sir! YES SIR!” the class responded in unison. “After thirty-five years in the game, I stand relieved of my watch.”

  When he concluded his presentation, he was given one of the longest standing ovations I had ever witnessed and it was deafening. As I stood to applaud, a wave of emotion came over me. I quickly reached for my prescription sunglasses to conceal my unexplained response. I was emotional because I knew this man, he was a friend. More than a friend. I became nervous because I knew I would have to shake hands with him and receive my certificate, and pretend we were strangers. Although I could never acknowledge our past, it did not stop me from reminiscing about a chapter in my life that I would never forget.

  Chapter 2

  Next Wave: Mogadishu Somalia

  14 February 1993

  I had been in Mogadishu now about two months and our sister services, particularly the U.S. Army began to settle in for the long haul. Temporary structures were replaced with more robust and permanent fixtures. The only upside was that shower facilities were being erected. For the first two months, we used five gallons plastic water cans to bathe. Bathing was out in the open, at least for the males.

  Newbies checking into camp with their crisp dry- cleaned uniforms and gung-ho attitude began to grate on me. Two months in Mogadishu seemed like life without parole. I started a journal the day I arrived to capture all of my experiences during the deployment. The journal entries over the last two weeks were almost identical, except for the meals I ate. The arrival of such large numbers of personnel signified a longer commitment than I expected. I could tell by the upgrades on the compound, this was going to be much longer than a six-month deployment.

  My last Officer in Charge was an absolute nightmare. When he was relieved of his duties and sent home due to the Commander’s “loss of confidence,” I didn’t lose much sleep. I was just hoping his replacement would be more reasonable and fair.

  It was 9:30 a.m. and I could already feel the beads of sweat forming underneath my camouflaged T-shirt. As I reached for my canteen, I saw a three-vehicle convoy of newbies passing through the front gate creating a light sand cloud. Some troops were singing Marine Corps songs, the ones we were now prohibited from singing back home because of vulgarity. They obviously didn’t have a clue what they signed up for. As they dismounted, they looked around and observed the “Mad Max” like conditions they would come to know as home. Many had the “WTF” look on their faces. I remember that feeling well. I scanned the first two trucks to see if I knew anyone. “Not this time,” I thought to myself as I turned my back and headed to my cot in the old Marine House.

  “Hey Pint,” someone called from behind.

  Pint was my nickname back in high school. I was called Pint because I was one of the smallest wrestlers on the Varsity team at 126 lbs. Only one person in the Corps knew me by that name … Eric Sherman.

  I stopped dead in my tracks and made a quick about face.

  “Sherm! My man!” I said as I playfully punched him in his chest. I was thrilled to see Eric. Eric and I enlisted in the Marine Corps together under the old buddy plan right after high school in 1979. We first met at summer camp in 1973, and at the age of twelve, we knew everything there was to know about girls, or so we thought. Besides the fact he was about a half foot taller than me (6’3), forty pounds heavier (230 lbs.) and White, we could almost pass for brothers.

  “Welcome to the Mog,” I said as I extended my arms and did a 360 pivotal turn.

  “Man! It is hotter than sin here. Dude, something smells like ass, what is that?” Eric complained as he covered his nose with his T-shirt.

  “It takes about a week to acclimate to the weather, and the stench is the smell from the latrine. Actually, the smell is not that bad right now because the latrines were emptied a few hours ago,” I added.

  I started to chuckle to myself as I saw Eric’s eyes starting to water.

  Eric began staring at me, as if I had three heads or something.

  “Your face. Dude, what happened to you?” Eric lamented.

  “What? What’s wrong with my face?” I asked slightly concerned.

  “Dude. The last time I saw you, you were more of a Bill Cosby type of skin tone. Now you’ve gone all Wesley Snipes on me,” Eric laughed.

  “Yeah man, this is my Mog tan. Don’t worry, you will get yours too, sooner than you think. Check this out; I went to the doc last week because I thought I had skin cancer or something on the back of my neck. Turned out I had my first case of sunburn. Scared the mess out me,” I said as I showed him my war wound.

  “Clay, I fought like hell to avoid coming here. I have a wife back home who really needs me,” Eric complained.

  Eric was a confirmed bachelor and the news surprised me.

  “Sherm… congratulations. I didn’t know you had a wife,” I commented as I started to shake his hand.

  “Oh, I didn’t say she was my wife,” Eric said jokingly.

  “Same ol Sherm,” I responded as I shook my head.

  “So when did you pick up Gunny?” Eric asked, still speaking through his shirt.

  “On the last year’s Gunny board,” I responded as I motioned to him to follow me to reception.

  “Yeah, me too,” Eric replied as he waved to a young Lance Corporal standing next to his sea bag looking around.

  “Who is that?” I asked.

  “Oh that’s my troop, Lance Corporal Sullivan. We’re stationed at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar near San Diego.

  “Sullivan, this is Gunny Thompson. We came in the Corps together,” Eric said as he slowly lowered his T- shirt from his face.

  “Orahh Gunny. Where’s the chow hall? I am starving. All we had to eat on the plane was bologna sandwiches with fu
rry mold inside,” Lance Corporal Sullivan lamented.

  “Oh, you didn’t know? It’s the beginning of Ramadan and there is no eating between four a.m. and eight p.m.,” I replied as I winked at Eric.

  I tried to keep a straight face but the bewildered expression on the young troop’s face was too much, so I let him off.

  “Just kidding. Lighten up; the only thing that keeps anybody here sane is their sense of humor.”

  I pointed to the tent where we ate chow and told him the noon meal would be served in about forty minutes.

  As the three of us headed toward the reception tent, we saw a very tall and distinguished Black gentleman jump off the truck. Several Marines were assisting him with his gear. He had to be an officer, and a high ranking one at that. You could tell by his carriage and demeanor.

  “I wonder what rank he is?” I asked Eric.

  “A Major, maybe…I can’t see his rank.” Eric replied.

  “No way. Probably a Colonel, I’m guessing.

  We both shrugged our shoulders and continued on our way to reception. On the way, I kept looking back at the gentleman who walked in the other direction with two junior Marines carrying his bags. I saw very few Marine officers that carried themselves like he did. The few that did were General Officers. I wanted what he had, absolute confidence and poise. I knew I would run into him again, but it would be much sooner than later.

  Chapter 3


  14 February 1993

  As we stood in the chow line, I began to fantasize about my favorite foods back in the States.

  “Man, I could really go for a Denny’s Grand Slam about right now,” I said to Eric as we slowly moved through the line.

  “No, how about a Wendy’s double bacon cheeseburger,” Eric commented.

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