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by John Helmer, Moscow 

A senior Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) officer, who is the Assistant Chief of Staff at the NATO Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC), faces court martial, “dismissal with disgrace”, and loss of his military pension for having disagreed with Canadian, American, and British military planners of  Ukrainian battlefield operations against Russia. His disagreement was in private, when the officers were asking for his professional assessment, and didn’t like what he told them.

Colonel Robert Kearney was charged by the Canadian military police on April 23.  The charge sheet says he faces “five (5) x counts of Conduct Prejudice to the Good Order and Discipline pursuant to section 129 of the National Defence Act.”  

Public disclosure was delayed by the Department of National Defence in Ottawa until Monday, April 29, when a press release claimed Kearney had been under investigation since another officer filed a complaint against Kearney last November. According to the ministry statement, the military police had “received a complaint of a senior CAF officer allegedly making derogatory and disloyal comments about Senior CAF and NATO members.”

Section 129 of the law refers to “any act, conduct, disorder or neglect”,  but it doesn’t define what “good order or discipline” means in the Kiev and Lvov bunkers where Canadians tell the Ukrainians what to do.  Canadian sources believe the law has rarely been used against an officer of colonel’s rank, and never in a court martial of an officer for warning that military plans risked loss of Canadian lives and resources.

Canadian military sources believe Kearney is being court-martialed now because the Canadian government’s policy to finance, arm, train, plan, and direct Ukrainian operations against Russia is being defeated, and that the military collapse east of Kiev now risks loss of more territory and the lives of Canadians currently working in the Ukraine and at cross-border bases in Poland and Romania. At least one thousand Canadians have been counted by the Russian Defense Ministry on the battlefield since the start of the Special Military Operation; by March of this year, 422 had been confirmed killed in action.   

“The timing of the alleged offences,” says a Canadian veteran who served with US and NATO units in Afghanistan, “was when the Germans took over command of NATO’s rapid reaction force which has been building up men and materiel, including heavy tanks and F-16s, in Romania for a plan to attack Russian forces around Odessa. Kearney’s court martial is a warning to his fellow officers not to object or predict destruction of the NATO forces engaged.”

“Kearney said things that clearly offended the top decision-makers in Ottawa,” the source says. “Criticizing the mission meant criticizing [Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia] Freeland  [lead image, left] and the UCC [Ukrainian Canadian Congress]. Criticizing how the mission was being conducted also meant criticizing the Americans and British. That’s what has drawn the charge of disloyalty.”

Left: Colonel Robert Kearney from a social media posting; right, Kearney’s Meritorious Service Medal citation of May 2012. An earlier MSM was awarded to Kearney in October 2008.  This medal is a US military award to foreign, allied soldiers. Following his first medal citation Kearney was promoted from command of a CAF training base for snipers, tankers, and artillerymen to a divisional headquarters in Toronto.  

Colonel Kearney’s first offence allegedly occurred in December of 2021; this was nine months after Kearney had been promoted to the ARRC staff post in the UK, replacing another Canadian colonel.   

Kearney’s four subsequent offences allegedly followed between January 2023 and November 2023. The offences reportedly took place at the British staff headquarters of the ARRC in Gloucestershire, and then in Romania where the unit has been training for cross-border operations against the Russian Army. 

Since 1945, ARRC has been a British-led land-attack unit aimed at Russia, when “the scale of the Red Threat it faced was daunting.”  While British generals lead the ARRC, Canadian officers staff the deputy posts, and troops from several European states fill the ranks. In the past they have been despatched to fight against Serbia and Bosnia, against the Iraqis in Iraq and the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Since 2022, the unit has been focusing on operations in the Ukraine. In February 2023, a lance corporal whose name was kept secret was awarded a unit medal for “exceptionally rigorous analysis and sound judgement to the chain of command supporting commanders’ decision making up to the most senior levels…Without his dedication, skill as an intelligencer and confidence as a team member, the HQ would not have been on the front foot throughout the Ukraine crisis.”  

By then the difference between Kearney’s assessments and the lance corporal’s had begun to be noticed. Kearney reported to the AARC chief of staff, Major General Mike Keating (right), a British army helicopter pilot who saw action in Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Iraq, and Afghanistan.  He was then vetted for a general’s command by the Pentagon   before his promotion to a US unit in Texas, and then assignment to the ARRC in May 2023. As a graduate student at King’s College in London,    he studied under the Russia academic warfighter Lawrence Freedman.

“Kearney is a competent officer, the charges are bullshit, and General Keating sacrificed his subordinate,” speculates a Canadian military source. “Maybe the Ukrainians heard what was being said, and put pressure on Keating to stop the rot. I mean, the truth.”

There is no reference to Kearney as Keating’s deputy in the ARRC archive; the Canadian Defence Ministry press release is keeping secret what disagreements Kearney had with Keating and other officers on the ARRC staff over plans, operations, and intelligence on the war against Russia in the Ukraine.  “This case will now proceed through the Military Justice System and no further information can be released at this time”, the ministry has said.  

By publishing the offence allegations and concealing Kearney’s criticisms, the Canadian government and the ARRC have eliminated the presumption of Kearney’s innocence, and ensured his court martial conviction. By keeping the case particulars secret, the political bomb Kearney’s case represents is being defused. No Canadian journalist dares to investigate.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s  (CBC) military propaganda reporter, Murray Brewster, claims Kearney was “prolific on social media, Kearney’s posts were mostly personal and when he did comment on the military or allies, it was with congratulatory notes wishing various units a happy anniversary.” Brewster also acknowledges that Kearney’s professional reputation was positive. “Kearney, a veteran of the Afghan war who served as a strategic adviser to former chief of the [Canadian] defence staff [Army General] Jonathan Vance, was known in military circles for his blunt, clear-eyed assessments of complex military and leadership issues.”

For “complex military and leadership issues” read fighting the Russian Army, says a Canadian military source. “Look at the dates of the alleged offences. The first was December 2021 – when the US was preparing the Ukrainians and the NATO support units to go to war against Russia in a surprise attack on Donetsk and Lugansk. Then Kearney allegedly got more emphatic and negative between January and November last year. This was when even the US Joint Chiefs of Staff were warning the White House not to support the Kiev regime’s counteroffensive of that summer. That disaster was obvious by the time Kearney was saying so in November 2023, and the court martial preparations began against him.”

Reporting from Ottawa, Brewster implies that Kearney’s prosecution is the first of its kind.

A Washington source points out that between September 2022  and March 2023 a spate of detailed warnings against the Ukrainian disaster from the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) were leaked into the media by a US National Guard airman first-class  named Jack Teixeira; he has subsequently been convicted and sent to prison for his leaks.  

Kearney’s FacebookLinked-in and Twitter accounts    have been censored.  He and his lawyer have refused to speak to the Canadian press.  

David Pugliese (right), a military reporter in Ottawa for the Ottawa Citizen and National Post syndicate, has been reporting on the sex scandals and abuse of women which have forced the retirements of several Canadian military commanders, and a cancelled rape prosecution  for Lieutenant General Trevor Cadieu, an advisor on tank and artillery operations in the Ukraine.   

According to Pugliese, “Kearney had previously raised concerns about Canada’s military leaders in 2022 after serving senior Canadian military officers gave a standing ovation to a speech by a retired general who criticized everything from the removal of historical statues to government climate change policies. Retired Lt.-Gen. Michel Maisonneuve made the controversial speech while accepting a top defence award from the Conference of Defence Associations Institute.”

“Kearney was one of the few military officers taking issue with the speech. He wrote on Facebook that the Vimy Gala ‘was sullied with arrogance, entitlement, and not in keeping with the humility & spirit of the event. I hope that folks that have worn/wear the uniform, past & present, will not think that all senior leaders support the hubris & arrogance displayed, over being humble, appreciative, and showing humility in such a forum. I also hope that more senior folks, (retired & serving), will speak out in the future. Canada deserves better.’ ”  

Pugliese left out what had been the military targets of Kearney’s criticism of Maisonneuve’s (right) speech in  November 2022. “A great leader”, Maisonneuve had declared to applause, “can take a seemingly insurmountable objective and make it possible to achieve in the hearts and minds of their followers. Thankfully these leaders still do exist in today’s world and there is no better example than Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. In his nightly address he clearly, continuously, and passionately articulates the mission to his fellow Ukrainians. Dismissed early on as ‘an actor, a comedian, a dancer,’ President Zelenskyy has rallied the world to his just cause. He surrounded himself with good people, made difficult decisions and by communicating, has captured our hearts and souls with Ukraine’s plight. God speed Mr. President and Slava Ukraini.”

A storm of public criticism followed Maisonneuve’s remarks, forcing him to respond with a denial that he had been attacking the government or the generals commanding the CAF for promoting woke culture inside the Canadian military. “I am astonished,” he wrote in the National Post on December 1, 2022,  “at how my remarks upon accepting the Vimy Award three weeks ago have been misrepresented and distorted. Some organizations I worked with have decided to cut ties with me as a result.” He reiterated his backing for Canada’s war against Russia. “I stand by my challenge to the leaders of today — take a page from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s playbook: strive to unite us; not divide us.”

Pugliese was asked to clarify what he or his military sources know but he has not reported on the Kearney case yet.  

1. You refer to the date of lodgement of the complaint as five months ago, on November 29, 2023. You don’t identify whether the complaint originated with a German, American or British officer in a position in the UK and Romania to have heard Kearney make the alleged “derogatory and disloyal comments about Senior CAF and NATO members” dating once in December 2021 and four times during 2023? Did the allegations and alleged evidence originate outside the CAF? 

2. Did you have access to Maisonneuve’s “controversial speech” as you appear to have reported nothing about it when it occurred or since?

3. You report that “Kearney was one of the few military officers taking issue with the speech.” For sourcing your adjective “few”, you will have been professionally obliged to contact several — say, more than three — CAF officers. Did you?

4. Your adjective “few” implies that there were others, in addition to Kearney. Is that your understanding?

5. If there were others, have you confirmed that the others have not been charged with any offence?

The questions were framed for the reporter to answer yes or no. Pugliese has refused to reply.  

The wording of the law which is being used to prosecute Kearney is vague.

Source: https://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/

Source: https://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/

Like the two Canadian military reporters, no serving or retired Canadian military officer has attempted to identify what exactly Kearney had said or written to trigger the military police investigation, and what was the nationality of the officers involved.

The Canadian veteran of the NATO mission in Afghanistan observes that “instead of more insight regarding Kearney’s position, we are getting nothing but a list of charges within a temporal context only a few of us can identify as significant. Four of the five counts he’s charged with occurred January to November 2023, when the grand Ukrainian counter-offensive had turned into a grand Ukrainian slaughter and NATO defeat. His apparent griping also became noticeable to ‘senior NATO members’ after the NATO Rapid Reaction Force came under German command and deployed to Romania. After seeing the US and NATO performance in Afghanistan, he knew damn well that beating the Russians, even with an army of Ukrainian zombies, was a pipe dream.”

The source notes that during Kearney’s time on the staff of Canadian General Jonathan Vance he had seen “up close the aberrant behavior”. Criticism of sexual misconduct by Vance and other  senior Canadian officers has been widespread throughout the active and retired Canadian services.

Source: https://www.espritdecorps.ca/
The capture of the state by the Ukrainian lobby led by Freeland, and of the chiefs of Defence Staff by the Pentagon has produced one of the most race-hating governments in the NATO group; click to read more here.  

The source notes that the first charge against Kearney dated in December 2021 is “interesting as well. That was during the time of NATO preparations to back a Ukrainian offensive into the Donetsk and Lugansk republics and into Russia proper. More than likely, Kearney told his fellow staffers that the operational plan was a hugely dangerous idea. Colonel Kearney was seeing the writing on the wall, how NATO wasn’t at all ready, and he didn’t keep it to himself. By November 2023, when the fifth charge is alleged, he had probably said ‘I told you so’ four times too many.”

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