The Asheville Citizen Times (ACT) went all out on its pages for America's Fallen Heroes . . . but did you notice the newspaper seemed to do that mainly when those fallen heroes were local?

I had written up to 2008 that it was strange that the ACT didn't seem to care much about our fallen military heroes outside of its distribution area. But when it involved masking an image of dissing some of our military and other heroes after a local soldier had fallen, the newspaper suddenly was all too glad to wave the American flag.

Here are four amazing stories I know about of fallen heroes the ACT was either glad to pass on, step on, or tried to step on. Their names were Sergeant Christopher Speer, Major Troy Gilbert, Lt. Michael Murphy, and Afghan School Master Malim Abdul Habib. These are the ones I know about previous to 2008. Maybe you know about others since I declined to subscribed to the newspaper around three years ago.


1. On Wednesday, July 16, 2008, the Asheville Citizen Times (AC-T) ran an Associated Press (AP) article on page A2 titled, Guantanamo video offers glimpse of interrogations.

"Khadr is accused of throwing a grenade that killed a U.S. Special Forces soldier during a 2002 firefight that left another soldier blinded in one eye." - AP
Source: AP

The AP story reported that Omar Khadr, a sixteen-year old captured in Afghanistan in 2002, had been recently video taped sobbing for his "mommy."

AP obviously felt it had discovered military abuse, seeming to use this teenage terrorist as some kind of poster child with willing assistance from Khadr's own American lawyers and the AC-T's news editors.

Omar's lawyers had focused on alleged torture, releasing the tape to the media of their client's complaints, the AP article in the AC-T reporting as a side item, "Khadr is accused of throwing a grenade that killed a U.S. Special Forces soldier during a 2002 firefight that left another soldier blinded in one eye."

We left a message with the AC-T publisher's secretary to advise him of the new information we had discovered, saying his AP story had left out the name of the U.S. soldier killed and that he was one of our own living in North Carolina.

The soldier's bro's had also reported the week before Speer's death that he had been a hero, saving the lives of several wounded Iraqi children while walking into a minefield.

The AC-T publisher, as usual, did not respond that his Gannett-owned newspaper would be glad to advise its WNC readers of who Khadr had killed.

Therefore, the AP article printed by the AC-T continues to stand as the man murdered simply being a soldier.

American Military Hero's Death Ignored By Local Newspaper While Terrorist Who Killed Him is Highlighted as if Abused by America

A published Associated Press article recently whined about a Canadian teenage terrorist, Omar Khadr, who was being held in Guantanamo Bay, now being used by opportunist lawyers running a media blitz. It had been picked up by the Asheville Citizens Times (AC-T) (July 16, 2008) along with probably other newspapers across America that had decided to run this story as the AC-T had printed it.*

Funeral for Sergeant Christopher Speer, who never came home again to his famly, wife Tabitha, and his two small children, Taryn and Tanner.


US Army Special Forces Groups (Airborne)

The AP story as published by the AC-T left out facts to remind us what this teenager has done, writing that in 2002 Khadr had simply killed a U.S. Special Forces soldier. 

The soldier had a name. He was medic Sergeant Christopher Speer, who never came home again to his family; wife Tabitha, or his two small children, Taryn and Tanner.  

Omar Khadr was alleged to have also at the same time wounded another medic, blinding him in one eye. Yet this medic, who was still standing, went on to save Khadr's own life, who is now used six years later by the AP for a continued agenda against the military at Guantanamo, an outfit Rush Limbaugh has identified as part of the drive-by media.

Army Sgt. 1st Class Christopher J. Speer, died in August 2002 in Afghanistan.
Military Times

An honor page created for Sergeant Speer had more information the AP had totally left out, thereby missing from newspapers that had simply chosen to cut-and-paste without fact checking:

"Six days before he received the wounds that killed him, Sgt. 1st Class Christopher J. Speer walked into a minefield to rescue two wounded Afghan children."

Speer was reported to had lived in Village Chapel, Pinehurst, North Carolina, originally listed as from Albuquerque, New Mexico. I was able to easily Google this and called the AC-T's publisher to advise him of the AP story they had chosen to run, and that the Asheville Citizen Times should be on the forefront to set the record straight for at least one of our own. 

But my phone call was never returned, not unusual for my experience with this publisher.  In this corrosive media environment, it's sad that so many in the media care to not remember those who have given their lives for this nation and the details of their heroism. such as Sergeant Speer had honorably accomplished in life while serving in the military overseas.

We hope someone will read this and contact their local American Veteran's Association or the Speer family to report the lack of interest of the AC-T, even when advised, in honoring a soldier living in North Carolina who had given his life for his country.

The details of Speer's heroism has been also stepped on by the AP story as run by the AC-T, which seems to advance a continued agenda against our military for simply attempting to obtain information to save American lives in time of war.

You should know it was also the AC-T that ran a huge story in the fall of 2007 on the cover of its Sunday Forum Section, demanding that all U.S. cable providers should carry the Al Jazeera Network for their viewers to watch, the headline reading, " . . . and let's not quash it."

We had written a guest letter (see next story below) for the managing opinion editor, reminding her it was the Arab television networks that had run a video on the charred body of Air Force pilot Troy Gilbert, with his found ID on the screen with his body 10 months before the AC-T's article had run. The letter was never acknowledged, originally sent to the publisher so it would be noticed. It wasn't.

American citizens need to ask a simple question and then demand an answer from the mainstream media and newspapers like the AC-T: "What happened to our basic right to know?"

* Note: Welt Online did acknowledge Sergeant Christopher Speer as the one alleged to have been killed in the grenade attack by Omar Khadr while he was fighting with Al Qaeda. Wet Online is a German news organization.

In addition we also found other versions of AP that had at least mentioned Speer's name, the AC-T for whatever reason choosing to leave that information out when we had checked two AP stories side-by-side. The AC-T story, as printed on July 16, is available for a price via a search of the newspaper's archive. We have the original printed version that lacks Speer's name and his heroism in saving wounded Iraqi children.

This is at the heart of complaints by too many American citizens that the national media, and proven here also the local media, refuses to run stories available about the individual successes of those that serve us in the military. Too often they seem to follow CNN's news guidelines as reported by a military family last year after losing a loved one, "If it bleeds, it leads!"


2. On February 18, 2008, we sent a letter to the new publisher of the Asheville Citizen Times (AC-T), asking him to consider our submission for a guest column of 700 words. The letter had been a work in progress for over five months, building an argument as the AC-T continued its strange reporting on the war in the Middle East.

ACT pushes America's Cable Providers to promote Muslim International News Site . . . where the English version is said to have a much differ spin than its Islamic one.

It was my decision to finally bring to light to the readers what their paper of record had been quietly doing with its biased reporting of the war. Recently, it had even openly supported that the Al-Jazeera Arab Network needed be carried by all cable providers in the United States so American viewers could watch the Arab programming, the newspaper editor even putting in the headline " . . . and let's not quash it."

This was being suggested at the very same time the newspaper was suppressing stories of American heroes from its own readers. We thought that was a double standard and too much like what Limbaugh had referred to as the Drive-by media.

As of this writing, February 21, I have yet to receive any reply from either the publisher or an editor representing the newspaper. Please note that a picture had also been embedded in the letter I had sent, which is now included with the copy I am providing for you to read today.

It is a captured video frame of Major Troy Gilbert's ID via a promotional Arab video that was professionally edited of the crash of his jet, the ID edited over his body after it had been pulled from the rubble. I cropped the picture as much as possible for the least possible image while still allowing the sense of what the Arab producers were trying to achieve.

The captured video frame was intended to only be included with the draft copy and not to run with the final guest column in the paper. I wrote to the publisher that the picture was there to prove a video of Troy Gilbert's burned and torn body had indeed been created and in a full nine months before the managing editor decided to demand that all Americans have access to videos coming from the Arab world.

It proved to me without a shadow of a doubt that the editor knew that fact when she recommended Arab television to be provided by all cable providers in America, understanding that images of the dead bodies of our young men and women, who had served in the military overseas, could be included to wind up on America television screens across the nation in the form of burned and distorted corpses. I almost felt that was the objective of the newspaper's article. What else could the objective be, I had asked myself?

I feel the newspaper's handling of the issues I had brought up in this guest piece was disturbing and suffocated the people's right to know, the whole purpose of a fourth estate created by our forefathers.

The AC-T is owned by Gannett, Inc., publisher of USA Today. I had complained to its CEO three years ago about the strange way the AC-T was reporting some stories, Gannett passing out awards at the time to their paper. I never did receive a reply or that my letter had ever been received. I only discovered later that it had been returned to the AC-T publisher, his forwarding me a copy of his answer to the corporate bosses. That was the last thing I had expected from the professionals at Gannett.

Click here now to read the letter I had sent to the publisher.

3. On September 16, 2007, on the cover of the Asheville Citizens Times Sunday Forum Section, the communications editor proclaimed in a headline, "An American hallmark is free flow of information; let's fight attempts to quash it."

The editor was referring to the Al-Jazeera cable network, her being disappointed that only two cable channels in the United States carried the network, one that Bin Laden has used constantly to transmit his propaganda. It is also the Muslim network of the world, spewing out negative stories against the United States and its attempt to give the Iraqi and Afghan people their freedom.

Our son, who had served in the Marines in Afghanistan, had told how amazed he was at the fight the Afghan Freedom Fighters had in them for freedom, having make friends with some of them.

First the ACT had dissed Major Troy Gilbert in its excitement to promote the Al-Jazeera Arab Network. Than Lt. Michael Murphy was dissed while Bush was giving him posthumously the Metal of Honor. Wasn't that interesting for a newspaper that seems to honor only fallen local heroes?

It was the Al-Jazeera Network that has shown our dead soldiers on video by insurgents that was allowed on the cable network to be shown to its millions of viewers. For instance, recent video footage was shown of the body of the pilot, U.S. Air Force Mayor Troy Gilbert, who was supporting Marines against insurgent gun placements. Gilbert was flying too low, but he had to do that if he was to miss hitting civilians. But at that altitude the insurgence could hit him with ground fire, which they did making his wife a widow.

Al-Jazeera showed his distorted body as filmed by insurgence, his face so swollen his mouth looked like a rabbit's mouth, his teeth sticking out. They also showed all the ID's found on the body, Gilbert's wife knowing he was a hero but also knowing his body had been violated by these men who were freedom's enemy.

The Asheville Citizen Times also passed on the story of the Metal of Honor winner, Lt. Michael Murphy, his Navy Seal team being discovered by local shepherds as they hid in the mountains. Unlike the insurgents, the Taliban, or the soldiers of Nazi Germany, these Seals let the shepherds go understanding they might give away their positions. They did, and it was Murphy who went out into the open to radio for help as he was hit by two rounds and died.

The only American left alive hid under some rocks, and was able to tell of Murphy's heroism when the U.S. soldiers came to claim their dead.

Two readers had asked the newspaper where was Murphy's story, the second one saying the paper had slapped Murphy in the face by only attributing one quote to the story to appease some angry readers. The managing editors and their publisher obviously have no shame in promotion of their secular progressive view of the world while using a free press. The Asheville Citizens Times is owned by Gannett publishing of USA Today.

The Metal of Honor winner the ACT stepped on makes more news in 2011

The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) was founded in 1998 in Washington, DC to bridge the language gap between the Middle East and the West by monitoring, translating, and studying Arab, Iranian and Turkish media, schoolbooks, and religious sermons. MEMRI is headquartered in Washington, D.C. and has branches in Baghdad, Tokyo and Jerusalem, and a staff of over 70 working around the globe.

4. The newspaper allowed a story on Harry Belafonte and an Afghan school master, who had been beheaded in front of his family, to sit and grow old, an editor saying they had been too busy with other articles.

Click here to read a submission that was rejected by the AC-T, relating to the kind of articles they were printing at the time. It also appears in #9. above to the right.

Or what about a Foreign Hero who had demand the right to protect women's rights using President's Bush's efforts to remove the Taliban out of Afghanistan, my having to push the Asheville Citizen Times to have this beheaded fallen hero simply recognized on an opinion page?

The AC-T, owned by Gannett Publishing, is like most of the mainstream media, not one to promote any good news coming out of the Middle East and the success of our troops in providing schools, business enterprises, and hospitals for the Iraqi people. USA Today is the flagship newspaper for Gannett Publishing.

We were told the mentioned article was well written, but that now since the story sat on their desk for two months, it was not longer pertinent to today's news. So we called the publisher, asking what kind of newspaper would purposely suppress the story of an Afghan schoolmaster giving his life so Afghan girls would receive an education?

Word must have trickled down, the editor who had suppressed the story now saying they would publish it but only if I could find a current news story relating to Harry Belafonte. Since Harry cannot keep his mouth shut, the new directive was easy to follow.

The story was finally printed, which was almost identical to an earlier one posted on our Web site. No notification was provided of the story's printing, and a two-year old attribution was used without first allowing it to be checked for accuracy. Also a new photo of the author was provided to the newspaper (required) but ignored.

Therefore the Web site printed in the attribution was old and would have come up as an error if typed in on the Web by a reader of the article. When the AC-T was requested the incorrect Web site be fixed or deleted when the article was sitting in the newspaper's archive, it quickly disappeared from the online archive and we assume sent to virtual heaven, (deleted), as if it had never run in the first place. But several months later in a search it suddenly popped up again.


I dropped my subscription to the Asheville Citizen Times well over two years ago and never looked back.


This is why those who honor our Republic must keep reminding other Americans who respect this country that in the end their freedom only comes from the knowledge of truth, fighting others who are too willing to hide it. - Webmaster



"Freedom is Knowledge"