Dereliction of Duty

By Kathy Platoni, PsyD, DAAPM, FAIS, COL (Ret), US Army

*This is an article from the Fall 2021 issue of Combat Stress

God have mercy on the United States. The abrupt withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan had disaster written all over it, precipitating a humanitarian crisis of epic proportions, rivaling its twin on the southern border. Add to this the gross negligence of an immense intelligence failure as the classified information concerning troop withdrawal was revealed by megaphone to the entire world, precipitating the catastrophic fall of the Afghan government in little more than days and giving rise to the advance of the ruthless Taliban as a superpower. This has colossal defeat written all over it, launching a new rule of government that operates by systematic house to house executions as revenge killings, the mass slaughter of innocents, sexual enslavement, human rights violations, and tidal waves of refugees across the globe who may very well be delivering an entirely new and equally lethal brand of terrorism to American soil. The most fortunate will be those who do not survive unimaginable means of torture.1 The recent video of a US sympathizer flying by his neck on the rails of a Blackhawk helicopter, is only the beginning. Rest in peace, “I will never leave a fallen comrade.” This has been rendered meaningless.2

We are now sitting ducks for the Taliban, as we gifted them an entire army and a complete air force. Our weapons, aircraft, vehicles, and war machines are now in their hands, all $86 billion worth, as we handed over the keys of three major airfields in Afghanistan to the enemy. What is to come will be incomprehensible. Is this part of the grand plan of the left to dismantle the United States, and the White House’s contempt for the Constitution and our basic liberties, that have just sold our souls to the enemy with a rabid attack by the deep state? We are treated to a daily dose of White House whoppers, which are piling up as our stability as a nation continues to erode. Dire warnings were ignored for months, as the Taliban began their advance across Afghanistan. It should also be mentioned that once released from the detention camps during the Obama years from Joint Task Force Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, 732 detainees were free to reconstitute as one of the most lethal terrorist forces in the Middle East, back to where they began 20 years ago and fueled with the promise of vengeance. (I was stationed at JTF-GTMO from 2003-2004. There were approximately 775 detainees at Camp America at that time.) We should have expected nothing less. The current American president has brought shame and dishonor to every single Service Member who has donned the uniform and served in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, every family who has lost loved ones in time of war, and every warrior who has sustained the wounds of war. There simply is no prosthesis for amputated spirits of this magnitude. This is the very lowest point in US history, as in our weakened and vulnerable state, we have been disgraced on the world stage as the laughingstock at the hands of a demented and incompetent president who has committed NO LESS than treason. His ineptitude and botched troop withdrawal has already cost 13 innocent lives. Biden’s body bags will multiply by geometric progression.3 He has failed the American people as no other president preceding him. The hasty withdrawal of American forces has created a vacuum that has the potential to bring an end to life as we know it. At the hands of the Biden administration, we have effectively surrendered to the Taliban. His bungled plan of action has put the entire country at very great risk for far worse than what 9/11 brought 20 years ago, overshadowing this nation with a litany of dark days to come. He allowed the entire Afghan Army to collapse and closed down the Bagram Air Base, which he was advised absolutely not to do by military authorities. Two more airbases followed as American troops were forced to desert and abandon them, as if the War in Afghanistan never really happened. It’s time to lay out the welcome mat for them once again.

Add to this the treasonous acts of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Shame, General Mark Milley, who would sell his soul to the devil to maintain his position as the highest ranking military officer in these entire United States for the purpose of self-interest and self-advancement. “This pursuit of partisan politics….are a violation of an officer’s sacred duty and have no place in the United States military.”4 In a disgraceful and unprecedented act of insubordination, General Milley conducted secret communications with the Chinese government, promising to provide them advance warning if President Trump ordered an attack on their communist regime believing that Trump was in a state of cognitive deterioration.5 Unfortunately, he named the wrong president, whose cognitive abilities have repeatedly demonstrated his gross incompetence and negligence of the office to which he has been entrusted. Once found out, the despotic Milley should have resigned immediately. Regardless, he should be tried for treason for acting behind the back of an American president to offer the promise of notification of an attack on our most powerful enemy; this in order to save this country from Donald Trump….and his self-appropriated status as chief negotiator, while attempting to seize power from the White House. Isn’t this what insurrection looks like?

During General Milley’s testimony before Congress on 28 September 2021, this turncoat had the audacity to blame the president for refusing the advice of the Joint Chiefs under oath. US Central Command’s General McKenzie seconded this, and the fact is that both recommended leaving 2,500 sustainment forces in place. There will be no repercussions for these Pentagon perjurers, who would stop at nothing to preserve and promote their careers. The president, of course, denied that he was ever provided this information. In other words, zip accountability rules. No one will ever pay for the incalculable damages done to national security or to the lives so unnecessarily lost. Somebody needs to tear all those ill-gotten medals off the uniforms of these traitors and to demand their immediate resignations, not to exclude Secretary of Defense Austin. The catastrophic failure of the withdrawal from Afghanistan has left Americans stranded behind enemy lines who are desperately trying to get out before it’s too late. It may already be just that (https://www.foxnews.com/live-news/afghanistan-withdrawal-milley-austin).6

And here is the worst of it. As a survivor of the November 2009 Fort Hood Massacre, this is one of the most egregious outcome of the Biden administration’s global failure. The shooter took another day on the world’s stage to proclaim that his Taliban brothers had won, singing high praises to the All-Mighty Allah and congratulating them on their victory over those who despise supreme Shariah law.7 Live from his cell on death row, he directed his attorney to forward his handwritten letter to the Taliban leadership, electrified that the Biden administration is now willing to negotiate with them. We should live in fear that this could really happen at the hands of a tyrannical and incompetent presidency.

How much time do we have left? Is it time to fly the American flag upside down as a national distress call? The Biden administration is well on its way to issuing a death warrant to the United States.

References

  1. Brands, H. (2021, August 13). Retrieved from AEI. (2021, August 13). Retrieved from https://www.aei.org/op-eds/bidens-afghan-withdrawal-achieved-nothing-but-disaster/?gclid=CjwKCAjw-sqKBhBjEiwAVaQ9a8ar8WTTq4saWp2GVBTklLPom0d8K963HaSJ9CM8xk7sCyR__DchzBoCWhMQAvD_BwE.
  2. Admin.(2017, August 29). What does this mean to us as leaders: Leave no man or woman behind? www.exkalibur.com. Retrieved September 29, 2021, from https://www.exkalibur.com/leave-no-man-behind/.
  3. Creitz, C. (2021, August 27). Ingraham: Afghan CRISIS results in ‘Biden’s body Bags’ AS ‘band of incompetents’ affects real lives. Fox News. Retrieved September 29, 2021, from https://www.foxnews.com/media/ingraham-afghan-crisis-bidens-body-bags.
  4. Singman, B. (2021, September 15). Trump acting Defense Secretary Miller says he ‘did NOT’ authorize MILLEY China CALLS, says he should resign. Fox News. Retrieved September 15, 2021, from https://www.foxnews.com/politics/trump-acting-defense-sec-miller-says-he-did-not-authorize-milley-china-calls-says-he-should-resign.
  5. Ibid
  6. Fox News Network. (2021, September 28). Afghanistan withdrawal: Milley, Austin testify in front of Congress on decision: Live updates. Fox News. Retrieved September 28, 2021, from https://www.foxnews.com/live-news/afghanistan-withdrawal-milley-austin.
  7. O’Neil, T. (2021, September 9). Fort Hood shooter congratulates Taliban from Death Row. Fox News. Retrieved September 9, 2021, from https://www.foxnews.com/politics/fort-hood-shooter-congratulates-taliban-from-death-row.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr. Kathy Platoni has been a practicing clinical psychologist for more than 39 years and maintains her private practice in Centerville, Ohio. In service of her country and as an Army Reserve clinical psychologist, she has deployed on four occasions in time of war. Dr. Platoni served as commander of the 1972nd Medical Detachment (Combat Stress Control) at Guantanamo Bay Cuba from 2003-2004, where combat stress control became a critical element of the Joint Task Force mission in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in the Global War on Terrorism.  Having volunteered to return to active duty within weeks of her redeployment from Joint Task Force-GTMO, Dr. Platoni deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, holding the position of Deputy Commander of Clinical Services for the 55th Medical Company (CSC) in Baghdad and seven subsequent locations, finally as Officer in Charge of Team Ar Ramadi, situated the seat of the insurgency and during times of intensive combat. Dr. Platoni was last deployed to the combat theater of Afghanistan from 2009 through late 2010 with the 467th Medical Detachment (Combat Stress Control) in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. As a survivor of the tragic Ft. Hood Massacre in November of 2009, she is an ardent activist for reconsideration of this shooting incident as an act of terrorism to assure that the wounded and the families of the deceased are awarded long overdue benefits and was very instrumental in the awarding of  the Purple Heart Medal to the Fort Hood wounded and to the families of those who lost their lives on that tragic day.

Dr. Platoni is a graduate of the School of Professional Psychology of Nova University (now Nova Southeastern University) in Davie, Florida. She held the position of Army Reserve Clinical Psychology Consultant to the Chief, Medical Service Corp (Chief Psychologist for the Army Reserve pro bono) for six years and is a graduate of the US Army Command and General Staff College. Dr. Platoni retired from the US Army with the rank of Colonel in October of 2013.

Two landmark books, written and edited by Dr. Raymond Scurfield and Dr. Platoni on the subject of war trauma, Expanding the Circle of Healing~Trauma in Its Wake and Healing War Trauma~A Handbook of Creative Approaches, were published in 2012.  She was awarded Diplomate status by the American Academy of Pain Management and was recently appointed Fellow of the American Institute of Stress and distinguished membership in the Institute of Traumatic Stress.

Since the “9/11” tragedy and attacks on the United States, Dr. Platoni voluntarily deployed to New York City on two occasions in order to provide disaster mental

health and critical incident stress debriefing services to members of the New York City Police Department. In 2017, she deployed to hurricane-ravaged Florida to provide disaster mental health services with the American Red Cross and in May and June of 2019, in support of tornado relief in the aftermath of 15 tornadoes that devastated the area of Southwest Ohio in which she resides. She currently serves as the Dayton SWAT psychologist and Mental Health Advisor to the Dayton Hostage Negotiation Team.

For her professional contributions to the field of psychology and decades of humanitarian service, Dr. Platoni was awarded a lifetime achievement award by her alma mater, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, in 2008 and was selected for the very prestigious Dayton’s Ten Top Women Award for the Class of 2012. She was awarded the Legacy Award for community service and volunteerism in the Southwest Ohio area in April of 2013. She was awarded the Legion of Merit for exceptionally meritorious service by the United States Army on 19 July 2014. Dr. Platoni was the recipient of the 2016 IVAT Returning Veterans Resiliency in Response to Trauma Award. This award is given by the Institute on Violence, Abuse and Trauma (IVAT) to a veteran who has experienced specific trauma in war and whose efforts and advocacy have had a notably restorative impact on a traumatized population. Dr. Platoni was inducted into the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame in November of 2019 for her numerous contributions to the Veteran and law enforcement communities. In March of 2020, she was selected as the recipient of both the 2020 and 2021 Best of Dayton Award for Psychologists. In November of 2020, Dr. Platoni was a recipient of the Ford Oval of Honor Award, again, for almost four decades of military and tireless community service.

In March of 2015, COL Platoni was sworn in as a member of the 4th Civil Support and Sustainment Brigade, Ohio Military Reserve; back in uniform for her 39th year, this time as Brigade Psychologist for State Defense Forces.

 

Combat Stress Magazine

Combat Stress magazine is written with our military Service Members, Veterans, first responders, and their families in mind. We want all of our members and guests to find contentment in their lives by learning about stress management and finding what works best for each of them. Stress is unavoidable and comes in many shapes and sizes. It can even be considered a part of who we are. Being in a state of peaceful happiness may seem like a lofty goal but harnessing your stress in a positive way makes it obtainable. Serving in the military or being a police officer, firefighter or paramedic brings unique challenges and some extraordinarily bad days. The American Institute of Stress is dedicated to helping you, our Heroes and their families, cope with and heal your mind and body from the stress associated with your careers and sacrifices.

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