You quote Jim Boyd of the Star Tribune issuing the following challenge:
“I served for a year with an Army outfit named U.S. Army Field Activities Command in Washington. I’ll give you a week to find ANY mention of it anywhere. I’ll give you two weeks to find out what it really was.”
Well here’s a link. See page 52, second paragraph from the bottom.
The link above was the first return on the search “Army Field Activities Command” in Google. Took about 30 seconds, to get Google up, copy the phrase, get the return and click on the page. Most of the week is left.
Here’s another link that suggests that the Army Field Activities Command ran Army Intelligence agents overseas.
As to the second part of Boyd’s challenge — what his old outfit really was — it appears, based on the material in the second link, to have been involved in internal security within the military, defense department and affiliated organizations.
Obviously, Boyd is lacking in Internet skills or he wouldn’t have issued this challenge without Googling it first.
Make that Internet skills, and a head screwed on straight. Our own Rocket Man responds to my request for a philosophical analysis:
Truth be told, I’m a little rusty on epistemology, although it was a bit of a specialty of mine, and Deacon’s as well, in college. But I’m a state of the art Google searcher, so it took me about a minute and a half to respond to Jim Boydot’s challenge. The U.S. Army Field Activities Command does not appear to be a super-secret organization, as Boyd suggests, given that the official, publicly-available Dept. of the Army account of the year 1973 notes that: “Pursuant to the action to terminate area intelligence collection activities, the U.S. Army Field Activities Command was disestablished in November 1972 and its remaining responsibilities assumed by the 902d Military Intelligence Group.”
Another reference to the supposedly hush-hush Field Activities Command can be found here.
No doubt if you Googled for another five minutes, more references to the Field Activities Command would tumble out. What is striking to me about this exercise is the spiritual kinship between John (pocketa-pocketa-pocketa) Kerry and Jim (pocketa-pocketa-pocketa) Boyd. Apparently Boyd, like Kerry, envisions himself as a sort of Secret Agent Man. Boyd alluded–vaguely and irrelevantly, of course–to his own Vietnam doings in castigating us as fraudulent, lying smear artists, and, like Kerry, he seems to think that his own Secret Agent Man status gives him a license to slander others while conferring immunity against any response. In that context, it is easy to see why Boyd rises so readily to the defense of Kerry’s fantasies. Boyd harbors fantasies of his own.
That wasn’t, of course, the epistemological problem that the Trunk posed. But it doesn’t take a philosopher to figure out that when there is no record of Kerry’s being ordered into Cambodia; Kerry’s crewmates say they were never in Cambodia; Kerry’s boat was unsuitable for secret missions to Cambodia; no CIA man has come forward to confirm the story of the Magic Hat; there are no documents suggesting that Kerry was ordered into Cambodia; Kerry’s journals don’t say he was in Cambodia; and the last entry in Kerry’s journal depicts him looking wistfully over at the Cambodia border and wondering what is on the other side–well, as I say, you don’t have to be an epistemologist to conclude that Kerry was never in Cambodia.
Epistemologically speaking, you just have to have your head screwed on straight.