On Sunday, June 1st, less than 24 hours after the White House’s Rose Garden press conference announcing the trade for and release of Bowe Bergdahl, I was contacted by a man who told me “I work for the Pentagon.”
He went on to tell me that “the American people need to know the facts regarding this ‘Traitor Trade’ for Bowe Bergdahl, and I want your help in informing them. They need to know about this whole treasonous mess. I read your ‘American Hero Stories’ in the Huffington Post and think I can trust you.” He then arranged for me to speak with two soldiers, “Jimmy” and “Ron” (not their real names), who were in Afghanistan in Bergdahl’s company/battalion in the summer 2009 when he walked off.
I didn’t ask to be approached on a Sunday morning. I was just sitting there minding my own business, writing and working. I had no idea the maelstrom I was about to encounter.
It is an interesting story of fate and chance that a Pentagon official might happen to be reading my “American Hero Stories” column in The Huffington Post and decide simultaneously to get in touch with the author to blow the whistle on the US government and the White House.
Having no idea what lay ahead in my conversation with him or the two soldiers he introduced me to, I was, however, immediately intrigued by the secrecy he showed at all times. And I was afraid. Because if these guys who had risked their lives in battle and faced enemy fire were so afraid, what then about me, a lowly scribbler?
I have always been a columnist. In other words, I didn’t like having to work under the tight and high-pressure deadlines of the scrutinizing editorial oversight that comes with news reporting. I like coming up with my own column ideas and writing them as I wish, both leisurely and naturally while tapping away on the keyboard like a madman. But I love doing them myself and by myself alone.
But this was something completely different. I was going to be doing and learning something new: writing breaking news based on source material and direct quotes.
After I got over the initial shock and fear of what these great Americans told me, I got down to writing. The resulting six-part series has been an education for me. Not only did it open my mind to the corrupt, lethal, and criminal government we find ourselves under’ but it also, conversely, reignited my faith in humankind–and Americans in particular.
Based on what I’ve seen and been told, I estimate the numbers for these five previous columns at more than 150,000 page-views; 20,000 likes; 11,000 shares; and 5,000 comments.
Readers: The extremely high page-view rates, the fantastic ‘likes,’ and ‘shares’ were confirmation enough for me that you were reading and really absorbing what these three brave sources were saying. And for that, I and they are eternally grateful. I’ve never seen or heard of a 50% share-to-like ratio—in other words, more than one out of every two readers who liked these articles also shared them. That’s astronomical.
The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.
This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom