Open Letter 1st May 2008

To whom it may concern:

I was surprised last summer when General Mattis told me that he was familiar with me because he had read emails and articles that I had written on the Internet.

During a hearing last November, I was surprised that LtCol Sean Sullivan, a Marine Corps prosecutor, questioned Major Jeffrey Dinsmore concerning my motorcycle campaign in defense of the Marines facing courts martial for doing their job in Iraq.

It is interesting that, when you stand for right, word gets around.

I wrote an article early last year concerning a Marine identified only as a Marine Intelligence Officer. At the time, he had information that would totally exonerate the Haditha Marines. My article showed concern for this officer’s safety as he prepared to depart for Iraq on his second tour.

Here is an excerpt:

I am very worried that this Marine may be in extreme danger. After an extended interview, the Intelligence Officer was ushered off to Iraq for his second tour. The importance of his testimony in the alleged “Haditha Massacre” case makes him an extremely prime target for friendly and hostile activity.

This man has stepped up and put his life and career on the line for his troops. I hope ‘true U.S. Marines’ in Iraq surround him and watch his back, so that he will be able to return to testify on behalf of the accused Haditha Marines.

I was truly concerned for this officer because:

1. What I know about “friendly fire” incidents in Vietnam, years ago.

2. Having talked to prosecutors and finding some to have their own agendas, that didn’t necessarily include ethics.

3. This Intelligence Officer was my son.

In December of 2006, just before Christmas, then Captain Jeff called me to let me know that charges were made against Marines of the 3/1. We talked for quite a while first counting the cost to him and his career when, not if, but when he stood up with documented facts of what he knew. We discussed a strategy for the best defense of his comrades with the information that he had. I held a Secret Clearance throughout my career in the Navy and of course knew what not to ask, as he also being the professional, knew what he couldn’t share, and didn’t.

Share your soldiers story with us like hundreds of soldiers have already done.


We have gone through this nightmare for the 3/1 from the beginning, together. In 1993 he sent me a poem that in essence summed up our relationship as a father and son. It declared that he would defend his father to the gallows and more. My defense of him would at least equal that scenario.

That said, this brings us to the reason that I am writing this letter to all.

It was reported to me by multiple sources, who were standing in the hallway leading to the hearing room in the LCpl Tatum proceedings, that while my son, Major Jeffrey Dinsmore, was testifying, Major Daren Erickson, a prosecutor, yelled at his team, “We have to get this guy, we have got to get him, we will get him.”

It’s not difficult to find a record of the ethics, honesty, kindness, intelligence or Marine Corps professionalism of Major Jeff Dinsmore. Just pick up articles and recorded facts through a search engine anywhere for the last two years as he defended his fellow Marines.

Understand, Major Erickson, or anyone who seeks to “get Major Dinsmore,” you will not succeed in your unethical, un-Marine Corps ways.

At Major Dinsmore’s deposition last year, prosecutor LtCol Paul Atterberry approached me and said, “Oh, Mr. Dinsmore, it is so good of you to lend moral support to your son.”

My response was, “I’m not here for moral support Sir, I’m here to watch his back, somewhere some Marines missed the training on Semper Fi, always faithful, sir!”

To whom this may concern, make no mistake, I am watching his back, and “getting Major Dinsmore,” will not happen on my watch! I take threats very seriously.

Don Dinsmore
Dad, U.S. Navy, Retired


Note: Don Dinsmore is a friend and contributor to this website. For more information, see the story of his ride from Seattle to San Diego and the rally at Camp Pendleton

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