Courage and character will be explored by luminaries from Madeleine Albright to Kael Weston, Bono to Bernard-Henri Lévy at The Hero Summit, an invitation-only event from Newsweek and The Daily Beast, in Washington this November 14th and 15th. Keep checking this page for the latest as new speakers are announced.
Madeleine K. Albright
Chair, Albright Stonebridge Group; Chair, Albright Capital Management
Former secretary of state Madeleine Albright is the chair of both the global strategy firm Albright Stonebridge Group and Albright Capital Management LLC, an investment advisory firm focused on emerging markets.
Previously, Albright served as the U.S. permanent representative to the United Nations and was a member of the president’s cabinet. In 2012, she was chosen by President Obama to receive the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, in recognition of her contributions to international peace and democracy.
She teaches the Practice of Diplomacy at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service.
Every Wednesday at 3 p.m. EST, Newsweek & The Daily Beast and a special guest host an hour-long discussion with readers about military and veterans’ issues. This week, Paul Rieckhoff, founder and CEO of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), discusses the political climate facing veterans returning home. To join the conversation, go to Twitter and tweet with the hashtag #vetchat.
Visits Arlington Cemetery.
President Obama visited Arlington National Cemetery on Sunday morning to mark Veterans Day. The president observed a moment of silence and laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. “The memory of your loved one carries on not just in your hearts, but in ours, as well,” Obama said in remarks at Arlington’s Memorial Amphitheater. “Whenever America has come under attack, you’ve risen to her defense.” America needs to better serve its newest veterans, Obama said, calling the men and women who served in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan some of the most dedicated in the nation’s history.
Aaron Scheinberg of The Mission Continues hosts this week’s #vetchat.
Every Wednesday at 3 p.m. EST, Newsweek & The Daily Beast and a special guest host hold an hour-long discussion with readers about military and veterans’ issues. This week, Aaron Scheinberg, West Point graduate, Iraq War veteran, and Director of Strategy and Research at The Mission Continues discusses how continued service can ease the transition home. To join the conversation, go to Twitter and tweet with the hashtag #vetchat.
Team Rubicon, a nonprofit that deploys veterans to help with disaster recovery, did their part to aid victims of Hurricane Sandy in lower Manhattan last week. Team member Curtis Coleman, a former Marine, shares his thoughts on heroic leadership.
A voter guide for the 2.5 million post-9/11 military veterans, from Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.
Eleven years ago in October, American military forces launched a war in Afghanistan that’s still raging today. One would think that the war and the postwar care for the veterans that fought in Afghanistan and Iraq would be a crucial part of the 2012 presidential campaign, but that hasn’t been the case.
In stump speeches and campaign pit stops across the country, President Obama and Governor Romney have made cursory references to veterans’ care and benefits, but offered little in the way of specifics. And in the debates, the candidates spent more time talking about Big Bird than they did vets’ policy. ObamaCare versus “Obama Cares” and “Romnesia” are funny, but also a sad commentary on the state of our political discourse. The Main Streets in countless American towns and cities are pushed aside for carefully crafted PR zingers.
But whoever wins on Tuesday, America’s 2.5 million post-9/11 veterans—more than 60,000 in Ohio alone—will be looking to the president to address the education, housing, employment, and health-care challenges they face every day—and to do so substantively, the same way they have tackled the fallout from Hurricane Sandy. Just because the war in Afghanistan will end someday doesn’t mean it already has, nor does it mean that the effects of it are going away anytime soon. Quite the contrary, in fact.
Lost in the good news of this months’s jobs report was the fact that the unemployment rate for America’s new Greatest Generation is still at 10 percent, more than 2 percentage points higher than the rest of the country. Within that group, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 15.5 percent of our female vets are unemployed. Not only are those numbers appalling, but the government’s research on the veteran community is woefully inadequate. If we’re going to make progress on vet employment, we need reliable data to provide effective support from the public, private and nonprofit sectors. Yet neither candidate has demanded real change for veterans.
Which is why Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) have released a voter guide to educate all Americans on the most pressing challenges challenging our new Greatest Generation. If the political leaders on both tickets don’t address critical issues like employment, support for our female warriors, and VA reform now,when will they? The answer is never. Veteran and civilians alike need to make clear at the ballot box on Tuesday that we expect nothing less than smart, committed plans that do more than pay lip service to veterans’ care.
In this week’s #vetchat, Marine, entrepreneur, and filmmaker Zach Iscol discusses why post-9/11 vets have had trouble finding work back home.
Every Wednesday at 3 p.m. EST, Newsweek & The Daily Beast and a special guest host hold an hour-long discussion with readers about military and veterans’ issues. This week, Marine, entrepreneur, and filmmaker Zach Iscol—who wrote for the Beast today on why and how companies should hire vets—discusses why post-9/11 vets have had trouble finding work back home. To join the conversation, go to Twitter and tweet with the hashtag #vetchat.
On average, one active duty soldier and 18 veterans commit suicide every day. Morrison and members of the military community discuss why the numbers have gone up, and what can be done.
Welcome to the debut of #vetchat, a weekly Twitter conversation—every Wednesday at 3 p.m. EST—where Newsweek and the Daily Beast’s @HeroSummit and a guest host talk with tweeters about a topic of importance to the military and veteran communities. Follow and join the conversation at the hashtag #vetchat.
This week host Marjorie Morrison (@AskForHelp)—a psychotherapist and author of The Inside Battle: Our Military Mental Health Crisis—discussed military suicide.
A new weekly Twitter chat from the Hero Project, happening every Wednesday at 3 p.m. EST, dedicated to military and veterans' issues.
Newsweek & The Daily Beast is proud to announce an ongoing online conversation about military and veterans’ issues, held every Wednesday at 3 p.m. EST at the hashtag #vetchat. Today’s chat is being hosted by The Daily Beast's Michael Daly. Each week’s conversation will inform Hero Project TV, the Beast series hosted by Jarhead author and Marine veteran Anthony Swofford, which airs every other Friday morning.
#vetchat—every Wednesday at 3 p.m. EST
Military deaths in Afghanistan hit 2,000.
Five people were killed in Afghanistan on Saturday in what may have been another “insider” attack - bringing the total number of U.S. military depths in the country to 2,000. Two Americans and three Afghans are thought to have been killed in the firefight, though few details were available early on Sunday. The incident appears to have occurred after a disagreement of some sort broke out at an Afghan National Army checkpoint. If the altercation was an attack on NATO forces by Afghan soldiers who were militants wearing army uniforms, it would bring the total number of coalition deaths in such attacks this year to 53.
Massachusetts native Glen Doherty was killed in the attack against the U.S. embassy in Libya this week. Here, family and friends eulogize the former Navy SEAL, outdoor enthusiast, and patriot.
Glen Anthony Doherty
July 10, 1970—Sept. 11, 2012
Glen Anthony Doherty was the second of three children born to Bernard “Ben” Doherty, now of Charlestown, Mass., and Barbara Doherty, now of Woburn, Mass. His older brother is Greg Doherty of Kensington, Calif., his younger sister Kate Quigley of Marblehead, Mass. The siblings were great lifelong friends. They grew up in Winchester, Mass., across the street from a patch of woods where they first fell in love with the outdoors. Ben Doherty, the son of Irish immigrants who kept a chicken farm in Billerica, Mass., is a former boxer and Massachusetts boxing commissioner, as well as a successful stockbroker, who raised the children to be athletic, tough, hard-working, and family-minded. Barbara Doherty, who opened and for years ran a candy store in Lexington called The Candy Castle, is an extremely warm-hearted and friendly woman who raised her children to be kind to everyone, and who opened her home as a second home for all her children’s friends.
Glen Doherty (Katie Quigley)
Glen was very loyal to his friends and family. He kept the same core group of friends since elementary school, and it was their loyalty to each other and fun-loving nature, as well as Barbara’s welcoming home, that brought them from being a one-time crew of social misfits to the center of an awful lot of damn fun people of all stripes who remain tight to this day. After high school, Glen attended Embry Riddle aeronautical university in Arizona, where he flew planes, rode a motorcycle, and decided that the only thing cooler to do than what he was doing would be to up and leave. His fearlessness took many forms throughout his life, but was always at his core. He became a ski bum at Snowbird, Utah, in the winters, working at restaurants and becoming a phenomenal skier on both regular and telemark skis, as well as a talented cook and afterparty expert.
In the summers, he was a white-water rafting guide down the Colorado River, where his knowledge of the outdoors, his responsibility, and his abilities to tell a great tall tale and get everyone to have fun made multi-day journeys from Moab to Lake Powell experiences of a lifetime for many. He was always a hard worker and extremely responsible, which never managed to drive a wedge between him and the lovable riff-raff who shared his lifestyle. His athleticism also led him to become a triathlete during this period. The many friends he gathered during these years always remained as dear to him as he was to them, and he took every opportunity, usually meaning a few weeks a year, to return to his beloved mountains and friends in Utah.
A desire to push himself and to use his talents to make genuine change in the world led him to join the Navy SEALS in 1995. He passed the training and became a paramedic and sniper, with the Middle East as his area of operations. His team responded to the USS Cole attack, among other missions. In 2001, he got his knees reconstructed and was planning on exiting the military when Sept. 11 happened. He now was not allowed to leave and didn’t want to. He married Sonja Johnson, his girlfriend whom he’d known since high school, and went overseas again. He participated in two tours of the 2003 Gulf War, “Iraqi Freedom.” In the first, his team began by securing the Kuwait oil fields before the invasion officially began to prevent the environmentally disastrous recurrence of them being burned, as had happened under Saddam Hussein’s orders during Desert Storm in 1991. Then they led the earliest Marine contingents battling on the move from the south of Iraq toward Baghdad. He was peeled from his unit for sniper duty for several days, returned to it before the taking of Baghdad, and continued with it to take Saddam’s hometown of Tikrit, where it finally got a breather in Hussein’s riverside palaces once those were cleared. He returned for another tour to the troubled country the following year. About fighting in Iraq, he simply believed that the possibility of liberating the country from a tyrant and making democracy possible for the Iraqi people was worth risking his own life for.
The Pentagon has condemned ‘No Easy Day’ for revealing the SEALs’ operational secrets. But it showed no such concern in giving director Kathryn Bigelow access to inside details for her upcoming movie on the bin Laden raid.
Our president has promised to bring those who killed our diplomats in Libya to justice.
This almost certainly means that special operators such as Seal Team 6 are even now poised for action.
In preparing to be deployed, they no doubt are following what the controversial book, No Easy Day, by Matt Bissonnette (writing as Mark Owen), terms “Big Boy Rules.” The author says he learned the basic principle behind these rules after receiving a six-page, single-spaced official itemization of what to bring on his first deployment to Afghanistan with SEAL Team 6.
“The suggested packing list basically told us to bring everything,” he says.
He went to his new team leader. “Dude, what do you think you need to bring for deployment?” the team leader asked. “Bring what you think you need.”
The book cites this as an example of the “Big Boy Rules” that guide the team.
Speakers at Newsweek and The Daily Beast’s live-journalism event will include Adm. William McRaven, Madeleine K. Albright, Garry Kasparov, Bono, and Aaron Sorkin.
Newsweek and The Daily Beast are pleased to announce a new annual summit: ”The Hero Summit: An Exploration of Character and Courage”—a powerful two-day gathering in Washington, D.C., Nov. 14–15.
Bob Leverone / AP Photo
The Hero Summit—an invitation-only event that will be streamed live at The Daily Beast—will examine the essential elements of moral, political, intellectual and physical courage, resilience, and selflessness.
We’ll hear from the men and women of the U.S. military on the greatest moments of heroism they’ve ever witnessed, on the concept of sacrifice, and on the lives of America’s veterans. We’ll also hear from those who shape and influence foreign policy, national security, and military issues about the question of our national character, set against the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq and Afghanistan. And throughout the summit, political dissidents, artists, and journalists will shine light on the wide range of expressions of courage and valor, and what it really means to speak truth to power.
Speakers include Admiral William McRaven, Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient Alfred Rascon, former Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright, Bono, Garry Kasparov, screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, philosopher Bernard Henri-Levy, vet entrepreneur Zach Iscol, and others. Read the full agenda here.
Facing threats from the Pentagon and the prospect of reprisal from al Qaeda, the man who dished on the bin Laden raid cancels media tour for his new book.
Usually, when an author pens a bestseller and promotes it on 60 Minutes, a major publicity tour ensues and, if he or she is lucky, maybe even a bit of literary fame. But for the former Navy SEAL operator who wrote an unauthorized, first-hand account of the 2011 raid that killed Osama bin Laden, the publication of the book has brought a bunch of problems.
A Pakistani policeman stands outside the compound where Osama bin Laden was killed in an operation by U.S. Navy Seals, on May 4, 2011, in Abottabad, Pakistan. (Warrick Page / Getty Images)
Christine Ball, a vice president of the Dutton imprint that published No Easy Day, said Monday that the author who is using the pseudonym Mark Owen gave his first and last media interview to CBS in an episode that aired Sunday.
“At this point we are not scheduling any further interviews with Mark or Kevin Maurer, his coauthor, for security reasons,” she said. “As anyone who watched 60 Minutes can tell you, they went to great lengths to disguise Mark. We want to take even more precautions now that his name has been outed.”
Last month, Fox News first reported that Owen’s real name was Matt Bissonnette, a decision that prompted Dutton to cancel a scheduled media tour for security reasons.
“He should go into hiding,” said Don Mann, a former member of SEAL Team Six and the author of the book Inside SEAL Team Six, which explores the world of the elite group behind the bin Laden raid. Mann said Bissonnette will have to “have an identity change, and a name change; he will be a target for the rest of his life. Our enemy will not forget that he was one of the people who put a bullet into Osama’s body.”
Navy SEAL Matt Bissonnette’s account, 'No Easy Day,' describes the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound in ways that repeatedly contradict the Obama administration’s version of the story.
Navy SEAL Matt Bissonnette, writing under the pseudonym Mark Owen (with Keven Maurer) in the forthcoming, No Easy Day, describes his participation in the raid on Abbottabad in 2011 that killed Osama bin Laden. Bissonnette’s story directly contradicts the Obama administration’s version of the raid on several key points. The book is to be published next week by Dutton.
Bin Laden Was Already Dead
Bissonnette writes that as the Navy SEALS walked up the stairs of bin Laden’s Abbottabad compound, they saw “a man peeking out of the door.” The Associated Press reported that bin Laden disappeared inside a bedroom after hearing suppressed gunfire. When the SEALS followed him inside, they found bin Laden on the floor in blood with a hole through the right side of his head. The SEALs then shot bin Laden’s twitching body several times until he became motionless. The Obama administration had previously claimed that the SEALS had shot bin Laden because they had assumed he was reaching for a weapon. A White House spokesman said in an email, “'As President Obama said on the night that justice was brought to Osama bin Laden, "We give thanks for the men who carried out this operation, for they exemplify the professionalism, patriotism and unparalleled courage of those who serve our country."'
Bin Laden Was Unarmed
Despite widespread media reports that bin Laden brandished a weapon and resisted when the SEALs entered the room, Owen writes that bin Laden was actually unarmed, according to the Daily News. Bissonnette’s assertion that bin Laden did not make any effort to defend himself contradicts the White House’s account of the raid, according to Forbes. There was no 40-minute gunfight, he writes, and the SEALs were not fired at as they approached the compound.
He Wasn’t Prepared for an Attack
After searching bin Laden’s bedroom, Bissonnette writes that he only found two guns, an AK-47 and a Makarov pistol, and both had empty chambers, according to The Huffington Post. “He hadn’t even prepared a defense,” he writes. “He had no intention of fighting.” Bissonnette claims that, in his experience, it’s common for top leaders to be unprepared for a raid. “In all of my deployments, we routinely saw this phenomenon. The higher up the food chain the targeted individual was, the bigger a pussy he was.”
Two Women Confirmed bin Laden’s Identity
When the team members entered the bedroom where bin Laden had been shot, they discovered a group of women wailing over his blood-drenched body. According to Bissonnette, bin Laden was wearing a sleeveless white T-shirt, loose tan pants, and a tan tunic. The SEALs then began examining his face to ensure it was bin Laden, before finally interrogating a young girl and one of the women who were crowding around bin Laden’s body—both women, Bissonnette writes, confirmed his identity.
A Soldier Sat on bin Laden’s Chest
Bissonette also claims that bin Laden’s body was not treated with quite the same level of respect that President Obama promised it had received. Although bin Laden was given a full Muslim burial at sea, Bissonnette reveals that one of the SEALs sat on bin Laden’s chest on the floor of the cramped helicopter during the flight out of the compound. The helicopter was crowded with about 24 SEALs because one of the helicopters had crashed in Abbottabad before the raid began. Troops must sometimes sit on their own war dead in crowded helicopters, so this is not an entirely uncommon practice.
See who’s attending and what’s on tap at the October 10 event in Washington, D.C.
No to Syria. Army veteran Brian Van Reet argues against intervention.
This map, created by the Center for Investigative Reporting, displays 58 VA regional offices and the number of backlogged claims by week on a national, regional and local level. This application will update itself every Monday to show each office's change in pending claims.
From Adm. William McRaven to columnist Nicholas Kristof to Bono, WATCH VIDEO of the summit’s must-see moments.