Marilyn Writes

Marilyn MacGruder Barnewall began her career as a journalist with the Wyoming Eagle in Cheyenne. During her 20 year banking career, she wrote extensively for The American Banker, Bank Marketing Magazine, Trust Marketing Magazine, and other major industry publications. The American Bankers Association (ABA) published Barnewall’s Profitable Private Banking: the Complete Blueprint, in 1987. She taught private banking at Colorado University for the ABA and trained private bankers in Singapore.

Sunday, May 29, 2011


By Marilyn M. Barnewall
May 29, 2011

Members of the military snapped to attention and saluted as they pushed my stepfather’s flag-covered body down the hallways to the morgue of the local Veteran’s Administration Hospital. His sacrifices for his country ended on March 23, 2011.

Chester Roy Brown (later changed to Roy Chester Brown) was his name and he was born January 5, 1920. Roy’s early years were spent in a Denver orphanage. He enlisted in the Army and was wounded in flight as a bombardier gunner over Europe. He loved his country. Roy’s burial was with military honors. Local veteran volunteers made sure the appropriate flags were waving softly in the breeze and that a 21-gun salute rang out over my peaceful Grand Valley that day. He would have been proud. I certainly was.

My annual Memorial Day article last year began by talking about how President Barack Obama went to Europe just before Memorial Day (2009) and apologized for America being American – and upset a lot of us. The history of Memorial Day is in that article and you can find it here.

On Memorial Day 2009, I wrote an article for European friends – about Obama apologizing for his country. At the time, I wanted to clarify how Americans feel about our nation (since the man elected to the Presidency seems unable). You can find that article here.

As I write this 2011 Memorial Day article, our President has just made an utter fool of himself (and embarrassed our country) while toasting – or, perhaps better said, attempting to toast – the Queen of England. Everyone stood and he began talking – and when “God Save the Queen,” the British National Anthem, began playing, he continued talking. “To the Queen…” he finally said, raising his glass. No one else moved – including the Queen. They were standing at attention for their country’s National Anthem.

In Ireland, Obama-ites didn’t even prepare well enough to know the Presidential Limo (fortunately it was the false flag limo) couldn’t “get over the hump.” He can’t travel without embarrassing his country. If this man doesn’t understand that he’s surrounded by idiots, he’s not smart enough to be President of the United States.

Those who have followed my articles over the years know that my Memorial Day articles always include photos of military cemeteries around the world, listing the number of our young men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice while fighting on foreign soil. The photos below are offered with the greatest respect for the sacrifices made.

But I want to say something first.

I believe the most damning thing one human being can do to another is use for personal gain the honest sacrifices made for our nation by others. Too many politicians try to enhance their personal images by linking themselves to the brave exploits of others. For example, according to an article in Veterans Today, the May 1, 2011 death of Osama (Usama, if you prefer) bin Laden was his second, not his first, death.

Gordon Duff is a Marine veteran who served in Vietnam. He is Senior Editor at Veterans Today. His career has included extensive experience in international banking along with such diverse areas as consulting on counter insurgency, defense technologies or acting as diplomatic officer of UN humanitarian groups.

Duff wrote a stinging article about the Obama Administration’s use of the “death” of Osama bin Laden. He points to the negative impact this event will eventually have on members of our military. He questions the death by pointing out that the CIA validated bin Laden died on December 15, 2001. I found the article of particular interest because a friend, Lee Wanta, is quoted. Many readers write to me with questions about Ambassador Wanta and they may find his insights of interest.

From Gordon Duff’s May 5th article bin Laden’s second death (link here):

“Either way, there is one victim for certain and that is the members of the military services of the United States who will be judged, not by the real facts but rather the political machinations of the increasingly bizarre stories released to the press on a daily basis.” …

“Worse yet, senior CIA officials from the Reagan/Bush I era claim bin Laden was and always continued to be “rock solid” as an American intelligence agent until his death, or at least one of his deaths.”


“Emil Lee Wanta (Note: The correct name is Lee Emil Wanta, a natural born American citizen; history here – MB), the White House official designated to repatriate Stinger missiles still in Afghanistan and Pakistan after the Soviet withdrawal, first met ‘Tim Osman,’ the CIA code name for Osama bin Laden in 1989. Wanta, along with William Casey and Bill Colby (CIA Directors) made up the ISA (Intelligence Support Agency), a group tasked with eliminating rogue intelligence operations, CIA and others that had sprung up resulting from operations in Central America and the Af-Pak theatre.


“Wanta was originally named by Reagan as Inspector General of the Department of Defense, eventually slated to take over as Defense Secretary from Casper Weinberger (later convicted during Iran Contra and pardoned). That appointment was blocked by Secretary of State George Schultz.

“Wanta, then working out of Vienna, was approached by Osama bin Laden, the CIA’s prime intermediary with both Saudi Arabia and resupply operations in Afghanistan, with replacing Stinger missiles claimed to have been expended in combat with both Soviet forces and those of the Afghan government. Wanta describes his meeting with ‘Tim Osman,’ Osama bin Laden’s ‘working identity,’ along with James Chi, the then station chief in Islamabad.

“‘Stinger missiles had been found for sale in the Peshawar arms bazaar, offered to any and all takers. The first order of business was to recover these weapons before they fell into the hands of real terrorists, those not in the employ of the CIA.’

“Wanta and Chi put out a ‘buy order’ and repurchased several missiles for cash. They then met with bin Laden. They confronted bin Laden with the fact that some of the missiles they recovered bore the serial numbers of units listed by bin Laden as ‘expended.’ Bin Laden then indicated that the remainder of the Stingers were stored in Peshawar." (Note: Pakistan -- MB.) “‘Bin Laden was very specific on how he was to be paid and more specific on how unpleasant things would get if money wasn’t forthcoming.’

“Payment was arranged directly to bin Laden who had the missiles loaded on trucks. Bin Laden is described as in traditional garb, shod in sandals and very unkempt. Meetings were held in English.

“The bin Laden Stinger inventory, 116 missiles, were flown into Frankfurt, Germany and turned over to Customs and Treasury there. Secretary of State Schultz complained that the use of Germany in this transaction violated the prerogative of Secretary of State and filed a formal complaint.” (Brief break in the Veteran’s Today story.)

(BARNEWALL NOTE: Ambassador Wanta mentioned bin Laden to me long before Obama’s attack on the Pakistani “bin Laden compound.” He said bin Laden died at Tora Bora on December 15, 2001. As the plane carrying the Stinger missiles was en route to Frankfurt, the agents Wanta wanted on the ground to take possession of the missiles weren’t available. He believed a double-cross could be in the making. The plane, originally scheduled to deliver the missiles at Frankfurt Main, Germany, was diverted by Lee Wanta, mid-flight, “from Frankfurt Main to Wien” (Vienna, Austria). He immediately flew the agents he wanted to Vienna to meet the plane. Air traffic control along with State Department diplomats were put off balance by the mid-flight change of destination, but the Chancellor of Austria assisted and the plane landed safely in Wien, the missiles were recovered.)

(Back to the Veteran’s Today article:) “Wanta reports that bin Laden was considered the CIA’s most trusted and reliable asset. That relationship continued, part of the complex interaction between the Bush family, the bin Laden family and their son, Osama bin Laden. At no time was Osama bin Laden ever considered ‘rogue’.” (End of Veterans Today article quote.)

In his article, Duff raises a most interesting – or, damning – question: Is the reason for the mysterious “at sea” burial of Osama bin Laden necessary because his body had been frozen for ten years? Duff’s article quotes numerous Intelligence Operatives.

There is no excuse for a Commander in Chief to willingly put troops at risk for no reason other than to gain polling points. Gordon Duff has credibly raised an issue that, if true, is a slap in the face to the brave men and women we honor this Memorial Day weekend… people who, by law, must respect any orders given by the President of the United States as “Commander in Chief.” This must be investigated!

Article continues after the pictures.

1. The American Cemetery at Aisne-Marne, France; 2,289 American soldiers buried here

2. The American Cemetery at Ardennes, Belgium; 5,329 American soldiers buried here

3. The American Cemetery at Brittany, France; 4,410 American soldiers buried here

4. Brookwood, England American Cemetery; 468 Americans soldiers buried here

5. Cambridge, England; 3,812 American soldiers buried here

6. Epinal, France American Cemetery; 5,525 American soldiers buried here

7. Flanders Field, Belgium; 368 American soldiers buried here

8. Florence, Italy; 4,402 American soldiers buried here

9. Henri-Chapelle, Belgium; 7,992 American soldiers buried here

10. Lorraine, France; 10,489 American soldiers buried here

11. Luxembourg, Luxembourg; 5,076 American soldiers buried here

12. Meuse-Argonne; 14,246 American soldier buried here

13. Netherlands, Netherlands; 8,301 Americans buried here

14. Normandy, France; 9,387 American soldiers buried here

15. Oise-Aisne, France; 6,012 American soldiers buried here

16. Rhone, France; 861 American soldiers buried here

17. Sicily, Italy; 7,861 American soldiers buried here

18. Somme, France; 1,844 American soldiers buried here

19. St. Mihiel, France; 4,153 American soldiers buried here

20. Suresnes, France; 1,541 American soldiers buried here

This partial count of American soldiers buried at these European cemeteries totals 104,366. This does not include Arlington and all of the other veterans’ cemeteries around America, Europe and elsewhere. Many, like my stepfather, are buried in private cemeteries. God bless them all.

What can you do to more actively support your military?

Visit and remember the 57 American soldiers killed in the Middle East last month and that each has a name and a family. To date, there are 6,013 Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom casualties confirmed by U.S. Central Command. You are able to watch your evening news – or, perhaps better said, your evening indoctrination session – because of these soldiers.

Find out about Project Hope. Over 1,000 WWII vets die every day. We speak English rather than German or Japanese today because of these men and women. Project Hope is made up of people – like my friends, Kent and Rose – who accompany elderly WWII veterans so they can visit the Memorial built for them in Washington, D.C. Most are frail and require assistance – it is a wonderful project!

"You will never know how much it has cost my generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you make good use of it." John Quincy Adams.

© 2011 Marilyn M. Barnewall - All Rights Reserved


Marilyn MacGruder Barnewall began her career in 1956 as a journalist with the Wyoming Eagle in Cheyenne. During her 20 years (plus) as a banker and bank consultant, she wrote extensively for The American Banker, Bank Marketing Magazine, Trust Marketing Magazine, was U.S. Consulting Editor for Private Banker International (London/Dublin), and other major banking industry publications. She has written seven non-fiction books about banking and taught private banking at Colorado University for the American Bankers Association. She has authored seven banking books, one dog book, and two works of fiction (about banking, of course). She has served on numerous Boards in her community.

Barnewall is the former editor of The National Peace Officer Magazine and as a journalist has written guest editorials for the Denver Post, Rocky Mountain News and Newsweek, among others. On the Internet, she has written for News With Views, World Net Daily, Canada Free Press, Christian Business Daily, Business Reform, and others. She has been quoted in Time, Forbes, Wall Street Journal and other national and international publications. She can be found in Who's Who in America, Who's Who of American Women, Who's Who in Finance and Business, and Who's Who in the World.

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