Thursday, December 08, 2005

Truscott Revealed

I have followed the lead of John in Carolina in watching the development of the Truscott story, and corrections and apologies etc. in the NYT. I just received the note below from a member of Truscott's West Point class (1969) and have his permission to post the note here. It seems like a revealing piece of information about Truscott's early motivations and character. I have done no fact-checking, so you will have to decide for yourself whether you think the story is true.

I have noted your article on L Truscott and the fight with the NYT over Truscott's lying Op-Ed.

I am a member of the Class of '69. I remember Truscott only slightly from the Academy, as we were in different regiments, and did not frequent the same social circles. I have, however, had a bit of "contact/knowledge" of him since graduation. Specifically, the manner in which he left the Army. As far as I know this is little known outside the class. I am sending it for your information, but have no problem with it being passed on.

On graduation I was posted to Fort Carson in Infantry. Truscott was posted to Carson, but in the MPs.

In 1970 [I do not have the specific date, but I think it was in the mid-summer] I was in garrison when I received instructions to report to the CG's office. When I got there there were approximately 18 classmates milling around outside B.G. B. Rogers' office. We were all trying to figure out what we were doing there. General Rogers had been the Commandant when we were cadets, and had left the Academy, to take command at Ft. Carson, at the same time as we had graduated. But why would a bunch of junior Lts be of specific, and immediate, interest to the CG?

After all had assembled we were ushered into the Generals office. The following is a paraphrase of what was said. The conversation is now 35 years old, but the general facts are fresh in my mind.

General Rogers said that he had just released 2Lt L. Truscott from the Army. He had called the meeting so that the true facts surrounding Truscott's release would be known in the event that Truscott attempted to put forth another version [ To my knowledge Truscott has never
personally elaborated on his departure from the Army, but then I have only seen him once since then, at our 10th reunion Unless he or his writing are specifically brought to my attention, I do not seek him out.].

Rogers indicated that while at Carson Truscott had been writing for the Village Voice. Upon learning of this Rogers had called Truscott to his office, presented him with the facts, and had given him an order not to write anything further for the Voice, unless it came across his desk
first. At this point General Rogers was very specific. He said that he had no intentions of prohibiting or censoring anything Truscott wrote. That since it was Truscott's specific intention to cast a negative light on the Army he, Gen. Rogers, needed to know what was written before it was published.

Truscott continued to publish without submitting the text to Rogers first.

Upon learning of Truscotts writing Rogers called Truscott to his office and presented the facts. Truscott then demanded a Courts Martial. Rogers saw this as a further attempt by Truscott to defame the Army with negative publicity. Rogers refused the demand and cashiered Truscott.

Bob Brambila
Class of '69