Bravo Zulu to Pentagon spokesman John Kirby, a retired admiral, who calmly and professionally responded to the most bizarre question posed to a defense official in recent memory:
“An Army major was reportedly drugged and bitten by strippers in Poland. Will that affect the U.S. military’s footprint in that country?” asked this author, fulfilling his duties as your intrepid and uncompromising senior Pentagon reporter.
John Vandiver of Stars and Stripes first reported that the executive officer for the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade’s “No Mercy” battalion had allegedly disappeared after he and other soldiers visited an off-limits strip club in Poland. Maj. Matthew Conner, an Apache pilot, was eventually found and claimed he had been drugged and then held captive by strippers, who bit his nipples to keep him awake as they gave him lap dances and racked up charges on his credit card.
Conner came away with the incident with receipts showing he had been charged 50,000, but it was unclear if that amount was in dollars in Polish zloty. Either way it is unlikely he will be able to submit those expenses for reimbursement using the Defense Travel System.
During Monday’s Pentagon press briefing, Task & Purpose queried Kirby about the episode. Perhaps another reporter would have phrased the question differently in order to downplay the more unwholesome aspects of the story. But Task & Purpose’s senior Pentagon reporter is a well-known bastard, and he’s just the type of person to play up the seediness of it all.
Kirby initially appeared taken aback when asked if the fact that Connor had allegedly been drugged and bitten by Polish strippers would change the U.S. military’s footprint in the country. The retired admiral’s face betrayed his emotions of disbelief.
To Kirby’s credit, he quickly regained his composure and stifled a laugh as replied: “Jeff, I don’t know anything about that story. I’ll have a look at it. I’m not going to take that question.”
Despite being shocked by the Task & Purpose reporter’s total lack of any kind of a filter, Kirby was able to continue with his response: “But, Jeff: No, no, no – Jeff, let me just state clearly that we have a strong military relationship with Poland and we expect to see that continue to grow and to improve. But I don’t know anything about this particular item.”
Thank you, Adm. Kirby, for your service.
Featured image: A screenshot from C-SPAN coverage of the Pentagon briefing in which John Kirby was asked about Polish strippers reportedly biting an Army officer.