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Who is Delmart "Mike" Vreeland?
October 11, 2002 6:48 AM   Subscribe

Who is Delmart "Mike" Vreeland? The strange case of a man who made a handwritten note while in jail during summer 2001 predicting details of the Sept. 11 attacks. He claims to be an agent for the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) with advance knowledge of the attacks. The ONI claims he is a conman and compulsive liar trying to save himself from extradition to the US.
In the end, this six-month investigation for GNN confirmed what many already know: Delmart Vreeland is a liar and an accomplished conman, adept at spinning tales, and manipulating allegiances to further his own goals. In other words, he is the perfect candidate for work in U.S. intelligence.
Who is Delmart Vreeland? - Conman, Intelligence Agent, or both?
posted by tranceformer (19 comments total)

 
I'm sorry. I just can't accept the Guerrilla News Network as a credible source of information.

Occasionally they spin an interesting yarn, but so do these guys, and with less purple prose.
posted by Pinwheel at 6:57 AM on October 11, 2002


This is a strange one - there are many inconsistencies, for example:

On February 13, 2002, a former U.S. Attorney named Tom Henry wrote Vreeland a letter. Henry, who is Leo Wanta’s legal advisor, had put Vreeland through a series of tests attempting to see if Vreeland could recognize certain "passwords or security code names." Vreeland aced it. Henry's letter concluded, "On best information and belief I am of the opinion that my clients would endorse that you gathered the information that you have shared with my client while acting in the capacity of an 'intel op' agent of the U.S. Government." In the past, Henry has worked with the Department of Justice in the Ford Administration before moving on to become a consultant on business matters in China.
and:

Although all of Vreeland's records came up blank on almost all of the Navy's databases, when Gilford checked Vreeland with the D.E.E.R.S (Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System) he was able to view a "read only" record that confirmed Vreeland joined up in November 1985. But this time the D.E.E.R.S record showed that he was in the Navy's employ until December 9, 2000. For some reason, someone in the Navy had changed course and now the record read closer to what Vreeland originally claimed. I double-checked this D.E.E.R.S record at the local Navy/Marines recruiting station, and the exit date of year 2000 was there as well.
posted by tranceformer at 7:11 AM on October 11, 2002


Following Pinwheel's second link I found this tidbit:

Here is how to have sex Amish-Style!
Turn off all the lights in your house. The Amish have no electricity, which means every sexual encounter takes place by romantic candlelight.....
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 7:15 AM on October 11, 2002


Agreed with Pinwheel - without any documentation, I have a tough time believing "Guerrilla News". Further, any article about 9-11 that begins by quoting Pelosi loses a bit of credibility - she's to the modern left what MacArthur was to the old right. She's always on the hunt for some right-wing conspiracy, but lucky for her, so is half of Oakland.
posted by Kevs at 7:15 AM on October 11, 2002


I agree with you about the objectivity of the source - but if you read the article (which is a bit long I admit) there are some things that are quite difficult to explain. see above, and On January 10, Vreeland defense attorney Slansky pulled a dramatic courtroom stunt. He called a Pentagon operator from a speakerphone in open court, and asked if there as a listing for a “Delmart Vreeland.” He was given an office number and phone extension. The prosecution countered that Vreeland is a computer expert who likely discovered a way to hack into the Pentagon's network from jail, or had simply called the Pentagon from a jail phone and conned a military switchboard operator into assigning him an office and phone extension, though they offered no proof to support their argument. Discussing this that morning at the lodge, Vreeland was incredulous: "You can track an IP [Internet Protocol number] in a heartbeat. Why haven't I been prosecuted for this? That's so stupid."
posted by tranceformer at 7:24 AM on October 11, 2002


he sounds like a Richard Case Nagel wanna-be.
posted by clavdivs at 7:28 AM on October 11, 2002


From Justice Archie Campbell's ruling against Vreeland:

"The sheer size of the conspiracy against him and number of conspirators boggles the imagination. It is implausible that the necessary coordination and secrecy could be established and maintained between and among U.S. Naval Intelligence, the FBI, the U.S. Federal Government, the Russian secret police, a number of state and local governments and court officials and corrupt American judges and mob and organized crime and Mafia hit men."

And, later:

"Quite apart from the inherent implausibility of a successful secret conspiracy of this historically unparalleled scale, there is no credible motive for the highest powers in the United States to conspire against this man who appears on this evidentiary record to be nothing more than a petty fraudsman with a vivid imagination... There is no independent evidence to support his colossal allegations and the allegation of conspiracy, on its face, has no air of reality."

Oh, but he would say that, wouldn't he?
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 7:32 AM on October 11, 2002


lupus: this guy is certainly a liar, a thief, and a conman - and elements of his story are demonstrably false. The question I asked was "is he also an intelligence agent?" And if not, how do you explain examples such as those listed above? He hacked into the Pentagon and set himself up an office? He guessed at the Tom Henry's intelligence questions and got them right? He was promoted to Lieutenant in only 5 months in the Navy, although he "refused to do pushups"?
posted by tranceformer at 7:43 AM on October 11, 2002


a former U.S. Attorney named Tom Henry wrote Vreeland a letter. Henry, who is Leo Wanta’s legal advisor, had put Vreeland through a series of tests attempting to see if Vreeland could recognize certain "passwords or security code names." Vreeland aced it. Henry's letter concluded, "On best information and belief I am of the opinion that my clients would endorse that you gathered the information that you have shared with my client while acting in the capacity of an 'intel op' agent of the U.S. Government." In the past, Henry has worked with the Department of Justice in the Ford Administration

Of course, someone who was a U.S. Attorney (like thousands of others across the country) during the Ford administration in the mid 70s, probably prosecuting civil rights violations or counterfeiting charges, would know "passwords and security codes" for high-level intelligence operations in completely different agencies, and even more likely for ones that occured in the 80s and 90s.
posted by chris24 at 7:51 AM on October 11, 2002


chris24: Yeah, I laughed my ass off at that one. Somehow I don't think a US attorney is going to be read into any Naval Intelligence programs-- last time I checked, each service has its own lawyers.

And if he was, he'd damn well know better than to try to "quiz" anyone. So would Vreeland, if he actually was cleared. Even talking about your clearance level is verboten.

Intelligence work isn't like it's depicted in the movies.
posted by Cerebus at 8:26 AM on October 11, 2002


chris/cerebus: read the article before you discuss it
posted by tranceformer at 9:02 AM on October 11, 2002


I'm sorry. I just can't accept the Guerrilla News Network as a credible source of information.

So what credible source of information would you prefer to hear it from? The New York Times? Maybe the Washington Post?
posted by furious-d at 9:58 AM on October 11, 2002


chris/cerebus: read the article before you discuss it

I wish I could have those ten minutes back, but unfortunately I did read it. And what in it was supposed to convince me that "U.S. attorney" Henry had any knowledge of intelligence ops, or even intelligence? Was it his letter? (Citing in paragraph 3 his unnamed client's supposed dealings with unnamed government agencies certainly qualifies him as an expert in my mind.) Or the fact he's the lawyer for Wanta, the other con man besides Vreeland in the article.
posted by chris24 at 10:31 AM on October 11, 2002


tranceformer: I did. My point is simply that it's obvious that he's nothing more than a con-man wannabe, and coming to this conclusion requires far less analysis than a nine-part article.

Developed-- single-handedly, I'm sure-- a missle defense system for the Nuclear Weapons Training Command, indeed.
posted by Cerebus at 10:39 AM on October 11, 2002


And further-- while it does require a CAC to access DEERS, it didn't in 1986. Indeed, CACs were only actually selected by the DoD PKI SPO about 18-24 months ago, and had only been piloted in the Navy for a year or so before that.

Further, you're not bloodly likely to find an open DEERS/RAPIDS terminal in your local recruiting office, and any recruiter who *has* access and allows you to view someone else's *personnel record* is in violation of the 1974 Privacy Act (among other things), and can look forward to some nice, heavy-handed disciplinary action as a result.
posted by Cerebus at 10:49 AM on October 11, 2002


Some setup:They even composed a Negativland-esque, anti-Vreeland reworking of the disco hit "In the Navy." Well, goll-Damn! Put that shit on P2P!

Pretty sure Diana - not Delmart - Vreeland must be behind all of this. Just wish the GNN could be a bit more succint.
posted by DenOfSizer at 10:56 AM on October 11, 2002


Well, goll-Damn! Put that shit on P2P!

Don't say I never gave you nothin': "In the navy" (mp3 link.)

The best DMV site out there is the one put together by the anti-Vreeland crowd; don't waste time on the GNN story -- which is just a rehash of everything already known, strained through an unfortunate writing style.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 11:13 AM on October 11, 2002


lupus, yr a wonder_boy. My Friday now has meaning. Danko!
posted by DenOfSizer at 11:54 AM on October 11, 2002


Without wanting to speak to any of the other merits (or non-merits) of this case, I can categorically state that I've seen more than a few open DEERS terminals in empty, unlocked, unguarded offices in my time...
posted by adamgreenfield at 8:00 PM on October 11, 2002


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