FAIRFAX, VA. (CN) – The Weekly Standard defamed a soldier in an article that claimed she was booted from U.S. Special Forces training for cheating, and falsely reported that she “never spent a day in an actual Special Forces unit,” Kathleen Wilder claims in Fairfax County Court. Wilder, who says she is the first and only women to earn a green beret, demands punitive damages from the magazine and its writer, Michael Fumento.
Wilder says the allegedly defamatory article was published on March 5, 2007, under the headline, “The Democrats’ Special Forces Fetish.”
She claims the article falsely reported that during her final week of training in 1980 “‘she and two male students were caught caching their rucksacks. That is, she and her compatriots were not carrying the rucksacks as required by the instructors, but hiding them to pick up at a later time and date. … All three were dropped from the course, ostensibly for cheating.”
Wilder says she “was not dropped from the program for cheating.” She says she was “the improper target of a false accusation which was thoroughly investigated and discredited.”
Wilder claims the Standard falsely reported that “the only green beret ever awarded to a woman came from a judge.” She says she won her beret after an investigation by Gen. Donn Starry, Commander of the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, who “concluded that the Plaintiff had been subjected to material unfairness when she was declared a nongraduate and that she deserved to graduate. The decision to overturn the decision of the Director of the Special Forces School did not come from a court or a judge, as stated and published by the Defendants, but from a superior commander as a result of a thorough investigation.”
Her complaint continues: “In the article, the Defendants falsely stated that the Plaintiff ‘never spent a day in an actual Special Forces unit.”
Wilder says, “The Plaintiff spent four years in Special Forces and two of those years were spent with the 5th Special Forces Group.”