Bristol Palin can't wait to marry Medal of Honor recipient, Dakota Meyer, so after what can only be described as a whirlwind relationship the two got engaged today in Vegas.
They have only dated for about two months, after Dakota Meyer met Bristol and Sarah Palin in Las Vegas (see his public Instagram, and Bristol Palin's public Instagram).
This was also the occasion where Dakota Meyer and Sarah Palin proudly posed with the controversial poster which read "FUC_ YOU Michael Moore". Bristol Palin took a photo of the moment and displayed it on her Instagram as well as at "her" blog (a blog which is ghost written by conservative author Nancy French).
Dakota Meyer also proudly posted the "FUC_ YOU" photo on his own facebook.
I'll spare you my remarks........
CLICK ON PICTURES TO ENLARGE:
|Photo from Bristol Palin's public Instagram|
|Photo from Bristol Palin Public Instagram|
|Dakota Meyer with Sarah and Bristol Palin Vegas two months ago|
|Photo Dakota Meyer public Instagram|
Kentucky TV-station LEX 18 News confirmed the engagement on their website, but provides no further details. Dakota Mayer lives in Kentucky
Note by Patrick:
I really, really hoped that there would not be a reason to publish another post about the Palins anytime soon, but this new development was of course too important to give it a pass.
We wish Bristol and Dakota all the best, and lots of luck!
Hopefully there will be no reason to publish another post about them in the near future. We can only pray.
For the purpose of documentation, here is how Dakota Meyer, Bristol Palin and Sarah Palin announced the engagement.
Dakota Meyer on Facebook (click to enlarge):
Bristol Palin (on her blog, ghostwritten by Nancy French):
Ghostwriter Nancy French shared the link to the post on facebook as well, naturally:
In the typical "low-key Sarah Palin fashion" (snark!), the disgraced former Governor wants the world to know via facebook that she is also very, very happy about the new addition to her family:
A review of media reports written about Dakota Meyer reveal that he was involved in a number of newsworthy incidents in the past.
I will let the reports speak for themselves.
Where to start? Well, let's start with Fox News, they always write the truth, as we all know, so you better believe it...
They published a rather intriguing story back in December 2012:
So what happened? Fox News explains:
COLUMBIA, Ky. – Medal of Honor recipient Dakota Meyer is recovering after allegedly being attacked by a teenager over the weekend in Kentucky, but details of the fight and what provoked it remain unclear.
Police said Thursday they arrested 18-year-old Kanissa'a Thompson and charged him with second-degree assault in the altercation, which occurred early Sunday at a facility called Red Barn Event Rental, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported. The facility near Colombia, Ky., is used to host various events, from wedding receptions to class reunions.
WYMT-TV reports Meyer was injured badly enough that he was treated at a local hospital and released. The severity of the charge indicates that the victim was seriously injured, a State Police spokesman told the Herald-Leader.
State police didn't release details of the incident in Kentucky, but the owner of Red Barn told the Herald-Leader that he had rented it to a woman who seemed to have been a student at a nearby college for a private event.
Fox News also broadcast a TV-report about this incident.
This report is still quite "sketchy", but can we find more details?
The Lexington Herald Leader reported that the accused teenager denied the allegations:
COLUMBIA — The 18-year-old farm worker charged with assaulting Medal of Honor recipient Dakota Meyer claims he never touched the high-profile Marine veteran and puts the blame on an unidentified young woman.
Kanissa'ai Thompson is charged with second-degree assault for allegedly inflicting serious injury on Meyer, 24, during an early-morning fight Dec. 9, but Thompson said he never touched Meyer.
"I never got involved," he told the Lexington Herald-Leader in an interview Friday.
Meyer received medical treatment for the injuries he received at a party held in a Columbia business commonly called the Red Barn.
Alexis Tooley, a friend of Meyer who was at the party, told the Herald-Leader she later saw three staples closing a wound on Meyer's head. She said the party had gotten "crazy," and more than one fight had broken out.
Thompson said Meyer got involved in a scuffle between young women before he was injured.
The newspaper could not independently verify Thompson's account. Thompson said he would call others who could support his story and ask if they would contact the Herald-Leader, but none did.
Meyer said he did not want to discuss details of the incident, but said Thompson's story was false.
"This is definitely not what happened," Meyer said.
Meyer said the attack was the first time he'd feared for his life since returning from Afghanistan, where his actions in a deadly firefight earned him the Medal of Honor, and that it was unfortunate the incident happened in his hometown.
"I hope this is something we can all learn from and it's a stepping stone to making the community a better place," Meyer said in a statement.
A "crazy" party, and a big fight? Sounds somehow familiar. In any case, we still do not know what actually happened, who hit who, so to speak, and who is to blame.
According to the report, the situation was complicated:
Thompson said the party involved students from Lindsey Wilson College, a liberal arts college in Columbia affiliated with the Methodist Church. There were 100 people or more at the party, many of them drinking and dancing, Thompson said.
Thompson said he talked to Meyer at the party before the trouble started. Meyer was among those drinking, he said.
Tooley said she was walking away from the area of a confrontation when she was knocked down from behind and someone began hitting her in the head.
It was Meyer on her back, Tooley said.
However, Tooley said if Meyer did shove her, she does not think it was on purpose.
Tooley, who is not the woman Thompson claims injured Meyer, said she and Meyer have been friends since high school.
Tooley said she was face down and couldn't see who was hitting her. She has heard differing accounts of who hit her, but said she doesn't think it was Meyer. It's possible someone trying to hit Meyer hit her, she said.
When Meyer got off her or was pulled off her, she looked to the side and saw him on his hands and knees, with blood on his face, but no one was hitting him at that point, Tooley said.
Tooley said she left quickly.
Thompson said he believed Meyer had identified him as the assailant because of the potential embarrassment of being hit by a woman, but Meyer disputed that contention during a phone conversation he had with Thompson on Friday.
Meyer called Thompson while he was being interviewed by the Herald-Leader, and Thompson allowed a reporter to listen to the conversation.
Meyer said he did not identify Thompson as the person who kicked him while he was down. Other witnesses gave statements about who assaulted him, Meyer said during the call.
Thompson had called Meyer earlier in the week to talk about the incident, and Meyer called back Friday to see if Thompson was serious about wanting to join the military, which they had discussed earlier.
But we still do not know exactly what happened, just that several people were apparently involved. It is also not easy to understand why Dakota Meyer was "on the back" of female student Alexis Toole.
Also, it does not appear that we will ever find out what actually happened.
The last reports about this incident which can be found on the internet are a few reports which say that the accused man, Kanissa'ai Thompson (full name actually Kanissa'ai Ali Thompson, according to his facebook), entered a "not-guilty plea":
From then onwards, there was apparently "total silence" in the media. I could find no more reports about the trial, or the outcome. My impression is that the charges have most likely been dropped, but I do not know this for certain.
Then there is another incident regarding Dakota Meyer, which also received a lot of coverage in the media, and which was also mentioned in the report by Fox News which I quoted above:
Meyer also found himself in the center of a controversy last year, filing a lawsuit against a former employer over claims that he is mentally unstable and a problem drinker.
His lawsuit claims that defense contractor BAE Systems retaliated against him for objecting to the company's sale of high-tech sniper scopes to the Pakistani military. Meyer claims a manager at the British company said he was "mentally unstable" and had a "problem related to drinking in a social setting," according to the lawsuit.
AP reported more details about the case in November 2011:
According to the lawsuit filed Monday, BAE hired Meyer in March but the relationship quickly soured. Meyer said he became dismayed in April upon learning that BAE had pursued sales of weapons systems to Pakistan, and sent an email to his supervisor expressing his disapproval.
Meyer wrote that it was "disturbing" how U.S. troops were being issued outdated equipment when better, advanced thermal optic scopes were being offered to Pakistan.
"We are simply taking the best gear, the best technology on the market to date and giving to guys that are known to stab us in the back," Meyer wrote in the email, according to the lawsuit.
Roehrkasse, the BAE spokesman, said it is the State Department and not BAE that makes the decision on which defense-related products can be exported.
"In recent years, the U.S. government has approved the export of defense-related goods from numerous defense companies to Pakistan as part of the United States' bilateral relationship with that country," Roehrkasse said.
Meyer claims his supervisor began berating and belittling him after sending the email, at one point allegedly taunting him about his Medal of Honor by calling it Meyer's "pending star status." That supervisor, Bobby McCreight, is also named in the lawsuit and is still employed by BAE. Roehrkasse said McCreight is a former decorated Marine sniper.
Meyer resigned from BAE in May. He then tried obtaining a job at a former employer, San Diego-based Ausgar Technologies, but the lawsuit claims the opportunity fell through after McCreight characterized Meyer as a poor employee during a conversation with a manager who had to approve new hires.
It was then reported in December 2011 that Dakota Meyer dropped the lawsuit against BAE, and that the case was settled. The contents of the settlement were not disclosed.
Finally, the most "sensational" report are the results of the extensive investigation conducted by news organization McClatchy into the claims of Dakota Meyer (and the Marine Corps) about what happened in 2009 during the battle in Afghanistan which earned Dakota Meyer the Medal of Honor. The last report from this investigation was published in October 2013.
The findings by McClatchy were quite devastating for Meyer, because it became obvious that his own account of the battle, as told in his 2013 book titled "Into the Fire: A Firsthand Account of the Most Extraordinary Battle in the Afghan War", was at least partially untrue.
I find it actually quite remarkable that a news organization conducted this investigation, as a "Medal of Honor" recipient should usually be beyond reproach. But the journalists apparently believed that they had good reasons for the investigation.
Excerpt from the article, which includes also a very detailed graphic presentation of the incident:
WASHINGTON — In his memoir of the 2009 battle in Afghanistan that brought him the Medal of Honor, Marine Sgt. Dakota Meyer describes how he reflexively switched from his machine gun to his rifle and back to his machine gun as he mowed down a swarm of charging Taliban from the vehicle’s turret.
“My mind was completely blank. I fired so many thousands of rounds I didn’t think what I was doing,” Meyer, then a corporal, wrote in his 2012 book, “Into the Fire: A Firsthand Account of the Most Extraordinary Battle in the Afghan War.”
But videos shot by Army medevac helicopter crewmen show no Taliban in that vicinity or anywhere else on the floor of the Ganjgal Valley at the time and location of the “swarm.” The videos also conflict with the version of the incident in Marine Corps and White House accounts of how Meyer, now 25, of Columbia, Ky., came to be awarded the nation’s highest military decoration for gallantry.
The videos add to the findings of an ongoing McClatchy investigation that determined that crucial parts of Meyer’s memoir were untrue, unsubstantiated or exaggerated, as were the Marine Corps and White House accounts of how he helped extract casualties from the valley under fire. The White House and Marine Corps have defended the accuracy of their accounts of Meyer’s actions. The Marine Corps declined to comment on the videos.
Army National Guard Sgt. Kevin Duerst, the helicopter crew chief whose helmet camera recorded one of the videos, confirmed the absence of insurgents on the valley floor as the aircraft flew in on a first run to retrieve casualties.
“We totally flew over everything. . . . There was nothing going on down there,” Duerst said in a telephone interview Friday. “There was no serious gunfight going on.”
Former Army Capt. William Swenson, who’s to receive a Medal of Honor from President Barack Obama on Tuesday for gallantry in the same battle, declined in an interview Sunday to directly address questions about the purported swarming of Meyer’s vehicle.
But, he said, the videos showed the reality of what happened in the Ganjgal Valley on Sept. 8, 2009.
“Those videos allowed me to relive the reality of that battlefield: what I saw, what other people saw, where people were, the valley, the terraces, the trees, the friendlies,” meaning Afghan and U.S. forces, said Swenson, 34, of Seattle. “It shows the truth of that battle, a truth I never expected to see again.”
In a telephone interview Friday, Meyer said, “I wrote my book to the best of my recollection of what happened. And if that’s not it, then that’s not it.”
After reviewing the videos, Meyer said his vehicle was charged after the helicopter had departed with Swenson’s wounded sergeant and an injured Afghan soldier. His book, however, puts the “swarm” before the aircraft landed for the pair.
Bing West, who co-authored the book, didn’t address the videos in an email, saying only that a McClatchy reporter who survived the ambush “has annually dredged up baseless innuendoes to attack the Medal of Honor process and to denigrate the valor of Meyer."
The videos aren’t the only new evidence that’s surfaced that disputes crucial events described in the official accounts and in Meyer’s book.
The Army narrative of how Swenson was nominated for the Medal of Honor and Swenson’s comments in the interview undermine the book’s claim that Meyer killed an insurgent with a rock after he’d joined the then-Army captain in an unarmored pickup to recover casualties.
It was Marine Capt. Ademola Fabayo, not Meyer, who rode in the truck with Swenson, according to Swenson and the account posted Thursday on an Army Web page devoted to Swenson’s Medal of Honor. Fabayo was a lieutenant at the time.
“Fabayo and I fought side by side for the entire battle,” Swenson said. “When Fabayo and I returned into that valley in that unarmored truck, he was shooting out of his passenger side window and I was on the radio, driving.”
It wasn’t until the pickup broke down and Fabayo and he switched to an armored Humvee for a final run that Meyer joined Marine Sgt. Juan Rodriguez-Chavez, an Afghan translator and them, Swenson said.
The Army narrative and Swenson’s account are corroborated by sworn statements included in Meyer’s Medal of Honor file or given to military investigators after the battle by Rodriguez-Chavez, Fabayo and then-Maj. Kevin Williams, the Marine commander who nominated Meyer for his Medal of Honor.
The videos, Swenson’s comments and the Army account of Swenson’s actions add to the controversy that’s embroiled the battle from the minute it erupted. Tipped off in advance, scores of insurgents trapped Afghan forces and their American trainers in the U-shaped valley, firing storms of bullets and shells from a fortress-like village and the surrounding slopes.
A nearby U.S. base failed to provide air support or adequate artillery cover to the Afghan and U.S. forces for 90 minutes. Two Army officers later received career-ending reprimands, while Swenson – in an interview with military investigators – accused senior U.S. commanders of imposing politically driven rules of engagement that were getting U.S. troops killed.
The battle, which lasted six hours, cost the lives of five American servicemen, nine Afghan troops and an Afghan translator, and 17 others – including Swenson and Meyer – were wounded.
Swenson, who was training Afghan Border Police on his second tour of Afghanistan, and Meyer, who was training Afghan troops, were recommended separately for the Medal of Honor for repeatedly returning to the battlefield to retrieve casualties, including the bodies of three Marines and a Navy corpsman. Swenson also was recommended for his role in extracting U.S. troops from the ambush.
In addition to finding that key parts of Meyer’s memoir, as well as the Marine Corps and White House accounts of his actions, were embellished, untrue or unsubstantiated, McClatchy’s investigation raised questions about the military awards process, which some lawmakers, military officers and veterans groups say is subject to improper influence and manipulation.
McClatchy’s findings were based on dozens of military documents – including sworn statements by American participants in the battle – and on interviews last year with nine Afghan troops who survived the clash near the border with Pakistan.
The purported “swarm” of Meyer’s vehicle by charging insurgents is a major facet of the official narratives and his memoir.
In the book, Meyer and West wrote that Meyer, firing from his Humvee’s turret, killed up to five of some 10 insurgents who assaulted the vehicle as he and the driver, Rodriguez-Chavez, pushed into the ambush zone in a rock-strewn wash that leads up the Ganjgal Valley to the village of the same name.
Their telling describes Meyer’s purported thoughts and actions as he mows down Taliban with a .50-caliber machine gun and his rifle. Rodriguez-Chavez ran down an insurgent, they wrote.
Narrating the incident at Meyer’s Sept. 15, 2011, award ceremony, Obama related how the insurgents were “running right up to the Humvee, Dakota fighting them off.”
Meyer and West wrote that the “swarm” occurred just before an Army Black Hawk helicopter landed to retrieve Swenson’s sergeant, Kenneth Westbrook, who died a month later from complications from the treatment of bullet wounds. A map in the book titled “Meyer swarmed during MEDEVAC” pinpoints the location of the swarm at 300 meters – 328 yards – ahead of where the Black Hawk landed.
The videos, however, dispute the accounts of the “swarm” in the book, the Marine Corps accounts and the narrative Obama read.
This quoted report by McClatchy from 2013, reporting about the video evidence, was actually preceded by a first report by McClatchy from 2011, which originally started the controversy:
In this original report, McClatchy also noted that it was actually unnecessary to embellish the story, as Dakota Meyer undoubtedly performed "heroic deeds." But possibly not the actions which become part of the official narrative:
But there's a problem with this account: Crucial parts that the Marine Corps publicized and Obama described are untrue, unsubstantiated or exaggerated, according to dozens of military documents McClatchy examined.
Sworn statements by Meyer and others who participated in the battle indicate that he didn’t save the lives of 13 U.S. service members, leave his vehicle to scoop up 24 Afghans on his first two rescue runs or lead the final push to retrieve the four dead Americans. Moreover, it’s unclear from the documents whether Meyer disobeyed orders when he entered the Ganjgal Valley on Sept. 8, 2009.
The statements also offer no proof that the 23-year-old Kentucky native "personally killed at least eight Taliban insurgents," as the account on the Marine Corps website says. The driver of Meyer’s vehicle attested to seeing “a single enemy go down."
What's most striking is that all this probably was unnecessary. Meyer, the 296th Marine to earn the medal, by all accounts deserved his nomination. At least seven witnesses attested to him performing heroic deeds “in the face of almost certain death.”
Braving withering fire, he repeatedly returned to the ambush site with Army Capt. William Swenson and others to retrieve Afghan casualties and the dead Americans. He suffered a shrapnel wound in one arm and was sent home after the battle with combat-related stress. Meyer’s commander, Lt. Col. Kevin Williams, commended him for acts of “conspicuous gallantry at the risk of his life … above and beyond the call of duty.”
But an exhaustive assessment by a McClatchy correspondent who was embedded with the unit and survived the ambush found that the Marines' official accounts of Meyer’s deeds — retold in a book, countless news reports and on U.S. military websites — were embellished. They're marred by errors and inconsistencies, ascribe actions to Meyer that are unverified or didn’t happen and create precise, almost novelistic detail out of the jumbled and contradictory recollections of the Marines, soldiers and pilots engaged in battle.
The approval of Meyer’s medal — in an unusually short time — came as lawmakers and serving and former officers pressed the military services and the Pentagon to award more Medals of Honor because of the relatively few conferred in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Only 10 of the decorations have been awarded since 2001, seven of them posthumously.
Meyer is the first living Marine since the Vietnam War to be awarded the honor. It was first bestowed in 1863.
So, whatever one might think of Dakota Meyer, he certainly is no stranger to controversy.
The "Daily Beast" conducted a longer interview with Dakota Meyer in May 2014.
There, he also briefly addressed the controversy regarding the circumstances of the battle for which he received the Medal of Honor:
BVR: So you would say the lack of Medals of Honor is due to the military vetting people more closely, getting more sworn statements—+++
DM: I think there is more technology available. And I think the standard, it’s almost an impossible standard to receive the medal.
BVR: You were the first living recipient—
DM: The first living Marine since Vietnam, yeah.
BVR: As far as the controversy, do you have anything you want to say to people who have publicly doubted the Marine Corps’ official account of the Battle of Gangjal?
DM: No. I mean there’s really nothing to say. The medal was given on all eyewitness accounts. The only statement that wasn’t used in that was my own.
BVR: So you would say that account was accurate and there were not exaggerations or inaccuracies?
DM: I don’t know. That’s the thing. You’re trying to ask me about something four years ago and I can’t sit and… well, it’s 2009, five years ago. The only thing people are doubting are the numbers of people saved and the numbers of people killed and to that I say, I don’t know what the numbers are. I wasn’t out there trying to click, trying to keep stats. I can say this. I didn’t kill enough and I didn’t save enough.
The Houston Chronicle published a very interesting article about Dakota Meyer in December 2011:
Meyer won't talk about the suit on the advice of his attorney. He conceded that he briefly drank too much, though it was before he worked for BAE. Then 22, he'd returned from Afghanistan and blew off steam with friends, drinking once or twice a week.+++
"I didn't come back and drink a lot because of the war," Meyer said. "Just imagine being away from your friends for four years and coming back home and being home. You're going to take a month to hang out and do stuff."
Quitting the bottle
Meyer said the heavy drinking stopped in June 2010 after he found a support network at Lindsey Wilson College in Columbia. Meyer didn't go to work for BAE until the following March.
"I have been with him in a number of social situations and it's just never been something that's ever crossed my mind," said Chris Schmidt, the college's dean of students.
Before Meyer went to war, he was a standout player on the school's varsity football squad, earning "Defensive Player of the Year" honors while also playing running back.
In theory, he shouldn't have been a running back. His father warned Meyer that he was too big. But once told it was impossible, Meyer worked to prove his dad wrong.
There was only one rule.
"I don't want a quitter," Michael Meyer told him, "because if you quit now, you'll quit in life."
Persistence had been a trademark from early childhood. The elder Meyer recalls a time when his son, then 8, took up snow skiing. He tumbled down the slope again and again, but doggedly trudged on to the next one when given the chance to call it a day.
His track coach, Will Hodges, said Meyer's work ethic was the difference-maker. "He'd do more than anybody else," he said.
To become a running back, Meyer spent part of his sophomore year as a cheerleader. That helped give him the strength and balance needed to run from the backfield.
Meyer also needed to increase his speed and stamina, so he joined Hodges' track squad at Green County High School. Meyer really stood out for his decision to tutor special-education kids.
He gave Ben Tucker, an autistic student, a football jersey and walked the halls with him. In class, he helped kids with disabilities on math and reading assignments. "It would not be the popular thing to do to hang out with someone with a disability, but he didn't treat them that way," said Tucker's mother, Diana.
Former football coach Mike Griffiths said Meyer's mother left the family when he was a baby.
"That's enough to do it to you," Griffiths said. "That protection that he didn't maybe receive, he felt like, 'Hey, I can do something about it because I know what it's like to be different.' "
On a new mission
Everything has changed since President Barack Obama placed the medal around Meyer's neck.
He travels constantly, recently flying to Rhode Island, Boston and New York. Meyer is spearheading a drive to raise $1 million for the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation, and so far has helped net $325,000.
He goes to Los Angeles this week. There will be many other public appearances, but they aren't his way of trying to make right a day he believes went badly wrong.
"I'll never be able to make that up," he said.
Just for the record, I would like to add this exchange from the comments below - responding to one of Sarah's and Bristol's fans: