General McChrystal fired by President Obama in June, but cleared from any wrongdoing (1981 Orsini McArthur murder case Part 2B)

Late Tuesday afternoon President Obama addressed the media about a revealing Rolling Stone article on Gen. Stanley McChrystal — the top American commander in Afghanistan — and what implications it could have for his administration.

Hot Air pundet reported: 

Pentagon Review Clears Retired General Stanley McChrystal in ‘Rolling Stone’ Article Controversy

 

Cleared…

abcnews

A military investigation has cleared Gen. Stanley McChrystal and his staff of violating military policy in their interactions with a Rolling Stone reporter.

The ensuing article, “The Runaway General,” published in June of 2010, portrayed madcap and unruly General and staff frustrated with Washington policymakers and disrespectful of the chain of command. The article led to McChrystal being relieved of command of U.S. forces in Afghanistan and his subsequent retirement from the Army.

Then-staffers to McChrystal are quoted in the article saying disparaging things about everyone from Vice President Joe Biden and then-National Security Advisor Jim Jones to Sen. John McCain and others.

But the Pentagon’s review of an earlier investigation could not verify many of the claims and anonymous quotes in the article.

A six page memo, issued by the Department of Defense Inspector General disagrees with conclusions of an investigation by an Army Inspector General and issues the following two conclusions:

1 . The evidence was insufficient to substantiate a violation of applicable DoD standards with respect to any of the incidents on which we focused,

2. Not all of the events at issue occurred as reported in the article. In some instances, we found no witness who acknowledged making or hearing the comments as reported. In other instances, we confirmed that the general substance of an incident at issue occurred, but not in the exact context described in the article

 

New probe into an Rolling Stone article on Gen. McChrystal finds he nor any of his aides did anything wrong.

___________________________________________

Whatever happened to some of the main characters in the Orsini McArthur murder case? Carl Wilson’s story is below (part 1)

A FATAL RAID

Pubdate: Sun, 25 Feb 2001
Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (AR)
Author: Jim Brooks, Cathy Frye, Amy Upshaw – Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

MAYFLOWER — Tammy Wilson’s windup alarm clock jangled her from a deep sleep at 6:30 a.m. As far as she could tell, her husband, Carl, was still slumbering undisturbed in his own room. Tammy, 42, worked at a local day-care center and was usually awake before daylight. Carl, on the other hand, often sat up into the wee hours of the morning, watching television or videos.

Since retiring, he had the luxury of sleeping in. After more than two decades together, the Wilsons were still a passionate couple who frequently shared the queen-size bed in Carl’s room. But most nights, they slept apart, especially if Tammy had to work the next morning. On Jan. 12, Tammy woke up alone.

She turned on the bedside lamp, chasing the darkness from her small room. “At that point, all hell broke loose,” she recalls. “I heard a firecracker sound and then I realized there was gunfire.” Within a few panic-stricken moments, Carl was dead and Tammy — barefoot, handcuffed and still in her nightgown — was led to a police car outside. “Only by the grace of God, I wasn’t cuddled up with him that night,” she says. “There’s no doubt I would have been dead too.”

Carl Wilson, 60, was shot at least five times in an exchange of gunfire with police. The shootout occurred when federal authorities raided the four-time convicted felon’s rural Faulkner County home in search of a .30-.30 Winchester rifle. The gun, which Carl’s family and friends say he had owned for more than 30 years, was wanted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Before carrying out the raid in the chilly pre-dawn hours of Jan. 12, the agency was granted a “no-knock” search warrant, which allows law enforcement officers to enter a home without announcing themselves. The search warrant was the culmination of a two-month investigation conducted by the ATF. Bill Buford, the ATF agent-in-charge, says he cannot yet say why Carl was being investigated. Nor can he comment on the shootout until the Arkansas State Police finishes its inquiry. The other agencies involved also cannot comment. The case has been sealed in federal court, so many lingering questions remain unanswered. Tammy says she won’t let the matter drop until she knows what police thought her husband was up to when they came looking for his rifle. “I know the law is going to say a lot of bad things, and I’m trying to prepare myself for them. If there was something so crazy — right or wrong, good or bad — I want to know why. I can take it, but I’ve got to know why.”

Accounts of the raid differ between police and family members who were in the house. Police say Carl shot first.

The family says officers did. On the day of the shooting, Buford told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that officers were slowed by the long muddy driveway leading to the house and had trouble approaching Wilson’s home. Carl began firing as they neared the house, Buford said. “[Officers] returned fire, and Mr. Wilson was killed.” According to a statement issued by the Arkansas State Police, which is investigating the shooting, the gunbattle began after the SWAT team deployed a “distraction device,” and officers announced themselves. “Upon entry, officers were fired upon by [the] suspect, defensive shots were returned,” the statement says. Tammy and a niece who was there that morning say the shooting didn’t start until the special weapons and tactics team entered through two unlocked back doors, one to the porch and the other leading into the house, and set off a distraction device. Singed flooring and a sooty residue on the refrigerator indicate that the device, also known as a “flash-bang,” went off in the hall next to Carl’s bedroom. Tammy says it’s obvious Carl fired his .44 Magnum revolver — at least four spent casings were found after the shootout.

He kept the gun in his bedroom, a few feet away from the foot of his bed in the antique radio his television sat on. Carl wouldn’t have hesitated to shoot anyone he believed was breaking into his home, Tammy says, particularly if he were startled from sleep. “Carl did love and protect his family.

I have no doubt that he shot back.”

No-knock raids have long been a point of contention and have been argued repeatedly in U.S. courts. Under Arkansas law, this element of surprise is allowed if officers believe that announcing their presence would endanger themselves or the people inside. No-knocks also are permitted if there’s a possibility evidence might be destroyed in the time it takes for police to gain entry. In planning the Wilson raid, authorities decided to ask for a no-knock warrant because of Carl’s criminal background and the suspicion that he might be armed, says Lt. Bob Berry of the Conway Regional Drug Task Force. But Tammy says if Carl had known he was wanted by authorities, he would have surrendered voluntarily. “No one should have been shot at — my husband or the officers,” Tammy says. “This was senseless.

Why did it take that kind of excessive force for one gun? “Yes, he has a criminal history, but in that criminal history he’s always been notorious for cooperating with authorities. … When Tommy Robinson [former Pulaski County sheriff] came out here, Carl didn’t greet them with a pistol.

He sat out on the porch and had a cup of coffee with them.” He would have done the same on Jan. 12, she contends. During the exchange of gunfire, two members of the SWAT team were slightly injured. Carl died in his bedroom.

The blood from his wounds seeped through his covers, soaking the mattress beneath. “It may be completely foolhardy for a cop to raid no-knock, but for some reason they do it,” says Little Rock defense attorney John Wesley Hall Jr., who has represented several people involved in search-and-seizure cases. But Berry says the execution of the search warrant was carried out professionally and in the same manner other no-knock search warrants have been served. His agency, along with a local SWAT team, assisted the ATF in both the investigation and the raid. “I don’t see anything that could have possibly been done differently,” Berry adds. “We put long hours into planning this before carrying it out.” No-knocks are most commonly used in drug investigations, when there’s a chance that evidence might be destroyed. But, Hall says, “You can’t flush a .30-.30 rifle down the toilet, so that’s not an issue.

If they’re looking for a rifle, why don’t they stake out the house and wait for him to leave?” Berry says it’s better to corner suspects at home. Attempting to catch someone during his daily routine is just too dangerous. “Anytime you try to do something like that, you run the risk of some innocent person getting hurt or killed,” he says. As for putting the family members of a suspect in peril by raiding a home, he says, “that’s the one reason we do as much planning as we do.” And in the Wilson case, he notes, “The two other occupants were unhurt.” But Hall says the extreme methods used in surprise raids, though sometimes necessary, can be what gets somebody shot. “When they sneak in like that at six o’clock in the morning, they’re just asking for trouble.

Then the only question is, ‘Who’s going to be shot? Is it going to be them or is it going to be us?’ ” Berry says getting a no-knock warrant isn’t easy. A judge must first be convinced that the risk is worth it, especially if a raid is going to be carried out before daylight. In the Wilson raid, officers met at 2 a.m. to review their strategy, which had been mapped out days before. Meanwhile, a surveillance team was watching the home so officers would know who was where and whether any unexpected visitors had shown up, Berry says. That Tammy and Carl usually slept in separate bedrooms wasn’t known, he says, adding, “We weren’t sure on that.”

As the gunfire broke out that morning, Tammy says she ran toward Carl’s bedroom, which was separated from hers by a spare room and bathroom.

On the way, she collided with Dottie McKenzie, Carl’s 20-year-old niece who had been staying with them since the Christmas holidays. Dottie was sleeping in the spare bedroom. Tammy thrust the frightened Dottie behind her just before she was ordered by masked SWAT team members to hit the floor. “They hollered, ‘Get down! Get down! Don’t look at us!’ ” As Tammy lay on floor, facing Carl’s room, she strained to catch a glimpse of her husband. Officers had their guns pointed at him, she says, and were ordering him to get up. “I can’t. I can’t,” Carl replied. From her position on the floor, Tammy could see her husband, propped on a bloody elbow, trying to raise himself off the bed. Then she and Dottie, still barefoot, were hastily led through the house, dodging shards of glass from fallen picture frames, which were scattered across the hall and kitchen floors. As Dottie was escorted out the back door, she saw Carl kneeling at the foot of his bed. His arms were stretched in front of him, and his boxers were around his ankles, she says. After leaving the house, the women were put in separate police cars. For Tammy, it was a surreal ending to a 23-year relationship that no one, not even she, ever fully understood. Years ago, after learning Carl was an ex-con, she repeatedly cautioned herself: “You better buckle your britches, girl. You’re in for the long haul.” But once someone “falls into my heart,” Tammy says, she is loyal. “I honored that man until the day he died. That was my husband and he might not be precious to anyone else, but he was precious to me.”

When they went to the Wilson home, officers were looking for the Winchester, ammunition and any papers pertaining to the gun’s purchase. As a convicted felon, Carl wasn’t supposed to have the gun. But no one can yet say why it suddenly became imperative that the rifle be seized.

That Carl was an avid gun collector had never been any secret to anyone, including local authorities, Tammy says. Tammy thinks maybe the ATF believed the gun had once been used in a crime. Or, she says, it could have been an excuse to get into the Wilsons’ house, just to see what else might be found there. Seized from the Wilson home were the Winchester, seven other guns and ammunition, a bong, a pipe, scales, a plastic bag containing a fourth of a gram of “white powder,” a large Ziploc bag containing smaller bags of marijuana, a pill bottle of marijuana seeds and burned marijuana cigarettes, according to an inventory list prepared by ATF agents. Also taken was a “paper note signed by Wilson,” the list stated. Tammy says the note was tacked to the closet door and was meant to discourage visiting family members who might be tempted to poke around in Carl’s closet, where he kept his guns. It read: “If you open this door, the whole house will blow up. Try me — Wilson.” The probable cause affidavit, which would explain why the ATF was investigating Wilson, remains sealed in federal court. “The main thing the ATF was looking for was the weapons,” Berry says, adding that he can’t comment any further on another agency’s investigation. The task force became involved because there was a possibility drugs might be involved, he says. On Jan. 23, the Democrat-Gazette sent a letter to U.S. Magistrate J. Thomas Ray, requesting that all documents pertaining to the case be made public. In his own letter to the judge, dated Jan. 25, U.S Attorney Michael Johnson said it would be all right for the court to unseal the inventory list of what was seized from the Wilson home. However, he “strenuously” objected to unsealing the probable cause affidavit. “No legitimate purpose is served in unsealing the application for the search-and-seizure warrant and the accompanying attachments,” the prosecutor wrote. The judge responded by unsealing the inventory list. But if the newspaper wanted the affidavit, he said, it would need to file a motion with the court. He also said that the U.S. attorney has thus far offered “no grounds to support his position” in keeping the probable cause affidavit sealed. The Democrat-Gazette filed a motion on Feb. 15, asking that all documents in the case be unsealed.

A ruling is pending. In its motion, the newspaper argues numerous reasons the case should be unsealed. “First the subject of the search warrant is dead, and no criminal investigation concerning him can be on-going,” it states. “A civilian was killed and two law enforcement officers were injured during the execution of this search warrant.

The public is entitled to know the circumstances and manner in which state and federal law enforcement officials carried out their public duties.”

The Arkansas State Police was assigned to investigate the anatomy of the raid. Four days after the gunbattle, the agency issued a statement: “The Arkansas State Police investigation has revealed no evidence of wrongdoing on the part of the Metro SWAT team or any other agency.” This was a preliminary finding based on what investigators were told immediately after arriving at the scene, said state police Sgt. Don Birdsong. The two SWAT team members injured in the raid — Conway police officer Larry Hearn, who hit his head while diving to avoid the gunfire, and Faulkner County sheriff’s Sgt. Jason Young, who was hit in the upper left arm by a piece of shrapnel — have both returned to work. It’s unclear whether the state police investigation is actually finished. Last week, detectives said the results of their inquiry had been turned over to the prosecutor. But Faulkner County Prosecuting Attorney H.G. Foster said on Thursday that police are still waiting for information from the medical examiner, and the case hasn’t been given to him yet. When the inquiry is finished, Foster will decide whether to close the case, press charges or ask the state police to investigate further. Once the case is closed, the investigative file becomes public, and authorities involved in the shootout say they’ll be allowed to talk. So at this time, the silence surrounding the events of that January morning is impenetrable. “I know there are so many officers who want to tell their part,” Berry says. They believe their inability to discuss the shootout makes everybody involved “look bad,” he adds. “I’ve been in the narcotics part [of law enforcement] for nine years and have executed numerous search warrants,” Berry says. “This is the first time anything like this has happened.” Asked what made this raid deadly, he pauses. “I’d like to comment on it, but I can’t until after the investigation is over.”

Carl was well-known to local authorities, even though all of his criminal convictions occurred in the 1960s. Carl did time for burglary, robbery and stealing a car. All told, he served 5 1/2 years in Oklahoma and Arkansas prisons.

He was paroled from the Cummins Unit in 1968. Since then, the man dubbed a “reformed outlaw” by one Pulaski County prosecutor had been linked to two of Arkansas’ biggest and most infamous murder cases and was accused on three occasions of shooting people, including his wife and best friend. Of the three shooting victims, only his friend died. Carl was never charged in any of the incidents.

Tammy refused to press charges. The other shootings were ruled accidental and self-defense. After all of Carl’s brushes with notoriety — whether it was when he testified in murderess Mary Lee Orisini’s trial, or when he nearly became a suspect in the death of pool contractor Johnny Burnett — it is baffling to his family that he died over a long-cherished hunting rifle. Carl always had a “mysterious side,” Tammy says. But she can’t imagine what he might have been involved in that would have put their home and lives under surveillance. There were signs, Tammy says, that Carl had started using drugs again after 12 years of sobriety.

But when she confronted him about a syringe she had found in a rarely used drawer, Carl told her she was being paranoid.

The syringe, he said, was simply a remnant of his past. Tammy was still troubled. “I told him, ‘I’m not going back there,’ ” she says.

Trouble did seem to follow Carl, no matter where he went or whom he befriended. Many of his problems with the law were of his own making.

A few were just plain bad luck. In October 1974, while he was working as a construction foreman at a job in Saline County, Carl shot a co-worker in the thigh.

The shooting was ruled self-defense. Eight years later, Carl emerged as a pivotal witness in the investigation into the July 1982 slaying of Alice McArthur. Alice, the wife of prominent Little Rock attorney Bill McArthur, was murdered by two gunmen.

A few months before her death, someone tried to kill her by putting a bomb under her car. The explosives used to make the device were later traced to Carl Wilson. The man who bought them was Eugene “Yankee” Hall, a friend of Carl’s. Yankee and Larry McClendon would later be convicted of first-degree murder in Alice McArthur’s death.

The hitmen were hired by Mary Lee Orsini, who was convicted of capital murder. Carl testified against Orsini in her 1982 trial. He told the jury that Yankee and Orsini drove out to his home in Mayflower to pick up the explosive that was later used to build the bomb planted in Alice McArthur’s car. At that time, Tammy was living there, but the couple weren’t yet married. While Orsini and Tammy rode three-wheelers, Carl and Yankee smoked marijuana and took a walk to a hunting cabin on the property, Carl gave his buddy a shampoo bottle filled with Tovex, a plastic explosive used in construction. Carl said Yankee told him he wanted the explosive to blow up some stumps. During the lengthy investigation and grand jury proceedings involved in the McArthur case, Carl testified that he had few visitors to his out-of-the-way home. “I just try to stay off up there by myself,” Carl testified. “Even got a sign down there where you come in across the cattle guard: ‘Leave Me Alone.’ ” When asked if he had any enemies, he replied: “No. I don’t do people wrong.” Two days after testifying against Orsini, Carl found himself the subject of another shooting investigation after he killed his best friend, William E. “Sonny” Evans. Carl told detectives that Evans was showing him a .22-caliber rifle in the bedroom of Evans’ home and had taken out the clip when the telephone rang. While Evans went to answer it in the living room, Carl and Tammy examined the gun. The rifle had a unique safety lock on the trigger, and Carl told detectives he was pulling the lock back and forth when the gun fired.

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