CNN and Time have retracted their whole cloth "Tailwind" fiction. They have hung their corporate heads and shuffled their feet, and retracted the bastard child of their collective hubris ... kinda, sorta. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. Now let's move on. ... WHOA! AT EASE! WAIT! This fight is not yet over. Theodore Roosevelt reportedly said. "It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly." As I write this, CNN has just used spokesmen from two Special Forces veteran organizations to CNN's best advantage. I just hung up the phone from speaking with Tom Marzullo, the Studies and Observation Group veteran who first responded to the propaganda pusillanimous with which Peter Arnett polluted the airwaves. I will share with you portions of a recent Marzullo e-mail and interrupt briefly with my observations. THIS is one of the key reasons that I don't join clubs and organizations. Please note once again, two recurring themes. The first phrase (which some will find appropriate) belongs to Colonel David Hackworth, and refers to "Perfumed Princes" who are titular leaders who posture, pose, and routinely demonstrate greater concern for their own appearance and perceived "Image" than the troops they are supposed to lead: "Leaders are responsible for the welfare, discipline and tactical deployment of their men." The second phrase is the Metcalf bromide: "It is not WHO is right or wrong, but WHAT is right or wrong. ..." CNN has exploited mouthpieces for two veteran organizations: Special Operations Association (SOA) President Clyde Sincere; and Special Forces Association (SFA) designated spokesman Rudi Gresham. Says Marzullo: "In October 1997, Clyde Sincere is the person that was provided the intelligence forecast that CNN's April Oliver (recently fired) was in the process of producing a program that would accuse the U.S. and Special Forces soldiers of using nerve gas during 1970 operation." Sincere had advance warning and did nothing. He either forgot, or ignored the axiom "lead, follow or get the hell out of the way." "After the CNN/Time story broke on June 7, Sincere again refused to take any action or make any statements to the press and instructed every member of the SOA not to speak to the press, and that if they chose to, that they could not represent themselves in any way as speaking for SOA," Marzullo continues. "Declaring that he had no policy on the Tailwind story, he aligned the SOA to Rudi Gresham of the SFA. Only after it was clear that the story had been debunked by people whom he did not support or assist in any manner, did he come forward to speak about his views on the story and after the retraction to make demands to settle the case. On July 3, he issued an internal statement in which he refused to allow the participation of the SOA in any legal action as he feels it is futile to fight CNN." (Two-hundred and twenty-two years ago this guy would have been a Tory for fear of joining the 4 percent-7 percent of the colonists who DID fight for Liberty and Freedom). "The morning of July 4th, he went on the air to be interviewed on CNN and make demands (as if this "Perfumed Prince" had anything to do with victory). "Within a couple days of the CNN/Time Tailwind story first SFA president, Jake Jacobson, appointed Rudi Gresham (a former aide to General Yarborough) to be the organization's spokesman," Marzullo points out. " Jacobson issued instructions identical to Clyde Sincere. Gresham orders the immediate cease of any actions in the press by all SFA members against the CNN charges, stating that anything said by anybody will have to be approved by HIM." I don't know Gresham but I get the feeling he is the kind of myopic chairborne dweeb who would bring a swagger stick to a gun fight. "Gresham refused to speak to any other veterans fighting the CNN/Time story, but demanded that all information uncovered be turned over to him and not released to the press, stating clearly that HE is in charge," says Marzullo. "Jacobson and Sincere back Gresham's position in phone calls and then in written statements. Gresham orders no SFA/SOA support be given to the June 23d debate/news conference at the National Press Club in Washington DC that directly led to the CNN/Time "retraction" nine days later. Sponsorship of the panel was through the support and generosity of Bob Brown, publisher of Soldier of Fortune magazine. Gresham has now made statements describing the SFA/SOA victory over CNN and making appearances on CNN to voice his demands. "During his time as a press aide in the Reagan White House, Gresham established a professional and personal relationship with Tom Johnson, now CEO OF CNN/Time. " Beware the perfumed princes. It is NOT the critic who counts ... it is those IN the arena. You have not heard the last of this story.