Jerry Doyle affected the lives of many – for me, his affects were direct, personal and permanent.
Jerry had this way of drawing people in and making them feel part of his world – both directly and indirectly via media. His role on Babylon 5 made an indelible impression on everyone who saw the series. As Garibaldi and his gruff, take no prisoner’s approach, while going through the character’s own life changing experiences, Jerry was able to project to the world important moral and ethical lessons. While Jerry pointed out to me on a number of occasions Garibaldi was not him, well there was a lot of Garibaldi in Jerry. Through his radio program he reached millions with his rebellion and daring to speak the truth (to all – both sides of the political spectrum). His messages were personal and prophetic, timely and timeless. He was a true renaissance man of politics.
While Jerry and I often mentioned on the air that we were friends (which we indeed were – more like brothers), most of his audience was not aware of the pivotal role that Jerry played in my life.
I am literally here where I am at now, for better or worse, because of Jerry.
Jerry, at least in my part of the multiverse, set in motion what was to become known as the ABLE DANGER affair and put me on my current trajectory.
Before I was a public figure most of you know I was in what we call “career cover” (the status given to an undercover operative) from 1987 to 2005. In 2005 I was suspended from my position as a GS-14 Senior Intelligence Officer (Operations) at Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) over petty administrative issues and to fill the time and earn extra income I was working at the local Home Depot. This was short lived as the Navy came along to put me back into play to help them establish a new operational capability.
In a plot that could have been taken from “24”, in my role as an Army reserve lieutenant colonel I had been brought back attached to the Navy’s internal think-tank, DEEP BLUE to help them come up with new counterterrorism capabilities. While at DEEP BLUE I was directed by its leadership to provide Congress specific information on the technology and operational requirements for the recreation of an ABLE DANGER type capability. It was during this time, while detailed to the Navy, the protected disclosures were made to members of congress that put me in the position of having to make some monumental choices.
In the summer of 2005 The ABLE DANGER issue was something that the public was not aware of – the fact that we hand an offensive effort to attack al Qaeda was known to but a few people and had been suppressed by the 9/11 Commission.
I was being presented with several challenges that required a consideration – and would require personal sacrifice. I did not quite grasp how much sacrifice at the time.
Jerry was a radio talk guy on in the DC market during that time – I listened to him every afternoon driving home from Capitol Hill to Northern VA. And he spoke directly to me – he became that little voice inside my head (with a Brooklyn accent).
I knew and admired Jerry from his role as Garibaldi on Babylon 5. I had watched the old B5 episodes while I was deployed to Afghanistan in 2003 and 2004.
But now, in 2005, Jerry was different from his B5 persona. He had run for Congress as a republican and learned hard lessons regarding politics and the slimy nature of the political underbelly of both parties. He had taken on the role of national radio talk show host – and was kicking ass. To me, his work was not just talk – it was a call for action. He called for accountability – both personal and governmental – on the need for people who knew about wrong doing to come forward and “name names” – well I did – and the testimony I provided on ABLE DANGER was based in format on what Jerry was calling for what was needed: accountability.
He inspired me to act. It was his personal focus at the time of calling for accountability and integrity; both novel concepts in Washington DC.
Over the past 11 years I have referred to Jerry’s impact on me during on air interviews with him a number of times – he deserved credit (or blame if you take the POV of the government) for helping me form a course of action, deliberate about the need to take the action – and then act.
Then as I walked through the firestorm of the ABLE DANGER affair – the personal attacks on me by DOD and others – he was always and unwaveringly loyal. There was never any doubt that Jerry was in my corner and would remain so oriented even if the Shadows themselves came calling.
I’m not sure Jerry knew exactly how important his friendship was to me – we were brothers by the nature of our mutually shared lust for rebellion if that rebellion was justified for the good of humanity.
Months could fly by, but when we spoke it was always as if it was just yesterday we had previously spoken and there was always a clear understanding of message and purpose.
As Jerry once said to me while we were hanging out at a casino in Vegas “Live fast, die young and wear clean underwear, unless you are a hot chick – then go without”. Great advice…to live by!
Here’s to you, Jerry – you lived fast – you pushed hard – you saw the truth. You were amazing, you were the edge which many seek to live at but never come close. We will miss your devotion to the truth and being our collective conscience.
See you out beyond the – by Tony Shaffer
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