Anonymous individuals within the Department of Defense appear to have made an attempt to smear the credibility of UAP whistleblower David Grusch by tipping a reporter working for The Intercept off to a prior PTSD-related mental health issue that Grusch had received treatment for, an all too common issue that affects one in five combat veterans. So far, there has been significant blowback against using Grusch’s former mental health status as a way to discredit his current endeavors: “Why stigmatize somebody for a PTSD diagnosis that was fixed?” investigative reporter Ross Coulthart remarked. “That was no issue at all to the Defense Department; it’s just a pretty lame and quite frankly, dopey effort to try and discredit a good human being.”

Although there were earlier allegations that Grusch’s medical files had been improperly leaked to the press, this doesn’t appear to have been the case: while discussing the subject with “both DoD and intelligence” representatives, Ken Klippenstein, a reporter with The Intercept, insinuated that Grusch was in some way “unreliable”, contrary to the description of being described as being “beyond reproach” by fellow UAP whistleblower Colonel Karl E. Nell, amongst others.

This led Klippenstein to make a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the Loudon County Sheriff’s Office for any records involving one of Grusch’s former addresses; the request yielded two reports regarding incidents that presumably involve Grusch: although the names and other personal information regarding the individuals involved are redacted, the address on the report matches that of Grusch’s residence at the time.

In an interview on Breaking Points, Klippenstein said that although he had to obtain the documentation himself, he “did talk to intelligence and DoD people” who insinuated that Grusch was “unreliable.”

“There are people that I know in DoD and in Air Force that I figure probably know this guy so I started asking, and they’re telling me he’s unreliable, and I think, ‘okay, how can I find more?'” Klippenstein explained, eventually leading him to his queries with the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office.

In the interview, Klippenstein also questioned why, given the circumstances, Grusch was able to keep his security clearances while five White House staffers had been let go due to prior marijuana use; however, it’s important to bear in mind that the use and possession of cannabis is a criminal offense under federal law—hence the dismissals—while suffering from PTSD is not.

“His mental health has absolutely no bearing on the veracity of [Grusch’s] reporting,” according to former CIA Staff Operations Officer Tracy Walder, who also considers this to be a smear campaign. “He sought treatment for mental health and he needs to be commended for doing that.

“Clearly, when he was vetted for his security clearance, that would have come up when he re-upped; and so clearly they decided that he was healthy enough to be fit for duty and to receive that security clearance.”

Speaking in an interview on NewsNation, investigative reporter Ross Coulthart questions why these records were released to begin with, saying that “under the Virginia information laws [regarding] non-criminal records held by public bodies, they arguably should have withheld those portions of non-criminal incident, or other non-criminal reports or materials, that ‘contain identifying information of a personal, medical nature, where the release of such information would jeopardize the safety or privacy of any person’.” Although the names of the individuals involved were redacted, the name of the hospital where the individual was admitted, along with the nature of his stay, is fully available in the document.

Grusch did not keep his previous struggle with mental health secret: aside from having received treatment for his condition and subsequently being cleared for both duty and a high security clearance, he disclosed this episode of his life to Coulthart in the weeks before going public.
“I served in Afghanistan and I had a friend that committed suicide after I got back,” Grusch said in an unaired segment from the NewsNation story aired on June 5. “I dealt with that for a couple years and I’m proud as a veteran not to become a statistic. Totally took care of that issue in my life and it doesn’t affect me anymore.”

“For anyone to seek to use the suffering of veterans, people who are dealing with PTSD, is utterly reprehensible,” Coulthart stressed in an interview with NewsNation’s Chris Cuomo. “It’s contemptible and should be exposed; there should be an investigation into how a sensitive file was so obviously leaked within the intelligence community to try and discredit a good human being.”

[Editor’s note: I had originally prepared a short summary of the reports to include here, but upon reflection I decided to not include it, partially because the available details may have been illegally released to the press, but mostly out of respect for David Grusch’s privacy.

Although PDFs of the reports can be viewed on the original article posted on The Intercept, it is not necessary to read them: they document the plight of a man who was in serious emotional distress, and wound up being admitted to hospital for treatment.

In the end, for the general public their contents are neither here nor there: they’re not any of our business, but rather that of Grusch’s and those that were trying to help him on those dark nights; they have absolutely no bearing on his current endeavor to bring clandestine legacy UAP programs to accountability.

For those that do suffer from PTSD—combat-related or otherwise—please don’t suffer in silence; if you are unable to seek treatment, at least try to talk to someone you trust about what you’re going through. You may find that your well-being is a lot more important to you and those around you than you realize. ~Matt]


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  1. This is no surprise, and I can’t believe it took as long as it did for the big smear campaign to get rolling. The fact that they are going after Grusch due to PTSD is reprehensible and and a huge slap in the face to veterans and others that suffer from it.

    I mentioned this at the time of the hearing that the appearance of James Clapper sent off warning bells, and why the press hasn’t followed up on THAT is pretty obvious—they didn’t dare. He’s a well-known liar.

    ‘The government has already made significant changes in how it considers mental health in the security clearance process. In 2016, James Clapper, then the director of national intelligence, removed the requirement to list mental health counseling (unless the condition impairs an applicant’s judgement) from Standard Form 86, the questionnaire every clearance seeker must fill out for their investigation. National-security leaders have stressed the importance of mental health. “It’s important to dispel this myth about seeking support and seeking treatment, and how it could possibly negatively impact your clearance,” said Mark Frownfelter, assistant director for the Special Security Directorate within the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, in an interview last year. In November, the Central Intelligence Agency named its first Chief Wellbeing Officer. ‘

    Yeah…right. And awful.

  2. It’s been more than a year since Grusch started talking to reporters, and this is all his detractors could dredge up.

    It smacks of desperation on their part, and looks like it might backfire: I suspect this will just serve to make Grusch seem even more sympathetic to those that might have been on the fence about his credibility.

    1. Agreed. The cat’s out of the bag, and a half-assed smear campaign ain’t gonna change that.

  3. With all the crazy stuff going on here in the USA lately, I don’t think it will work either. The credibility on so many levels is just not there. Plus, there are plenty of distractions and people have already moved on to the next big thing. Picking on the PTSD aspect is just so… low and shameful.

    1. You said it. The indifference concerning these hearings by the general public seems like there wasn’t enough drama or entertainment involved to get most folks to pay attention. Maybe a saucer on the White House lawn is the only thing that’ll shake things up.

      1. Well, they did their best in July 1952 in Washington, DC over a period of several days and it didn’t work. Either it wasn’t widely publicized nationwide at the time, or a lot of people developed collective amnesia. I asked people who were adults at that time, including family, and they don’t recall anything about it. Of course, news coverage was different then, but it did make headlines:

        1. The Air Force “debunked” the D.C. event at a major press conference. The visual sightings were [supposedly] misidentified astronomical objects and the radar readings were due to temperature inversion, present over the city at the time.

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