His Former Commander Exposes Wild Horse Hater Ryan “Dinky” Zinke’s Navy SEAL Career and Defective “Moral Make-up”

By Don Progreba as published in The Montana Post on MAY 30th 2014

“Another installment in the Dinky Zinke Chronicles.  This was published in 2014 and points to Dinky Zinke being a scum-ball and stealing from the American Tax Payers to go home and visit Mommy YEARS AGO.  It appears that not a damn thing has changed and he obviously did not learn any lessons.  If Capt Bailey only knew, back then, how bad things would get.

Like the other horse eaters before him, Dinky needs to go.  Is ANYONE in the Administration listening out there?!?!?” ~ R.T.


“You gonna fly for FREE, baby!!!”

There have long been rumors about Senator Ryan Zinke’s tendency to both exaggerate his role as a Navy SEAL and to underplay the serious ethical violations that derailed his career, but given the privacy afforded those records, it’s always been difficult to detail the truth about Zinke’s career in the military.

Captain Larry Bailey, who commanded Zinke while he was in his SEAL class, recently wrote a letter detailing some of the problems with Zinke’s military career. What Bailey argues is what many of us who have watched Zinke’s career have also seen: “he is willing to do whatever it takes to reach the next level.”

In short, Bailey argues that Zinke misused Navy funds for personal travel and has inflated the importance of his role in Navy SEAL Team Six. Bailey writes, “He was never a commanding officer and was bypassed for possible consideration for promotion to captain as the result of his travel transgressions.”

No one here has questioned the value of Senator Zinke’s service to his nation in the military, but his tendency to inflate his own role and promote himself at the expense of the truth and even basic decency, has been the defining element of his political career.

Captain Bailey’s letter follows:

It is most unpleasant to write these words, as I have long considered myself a friend of Ryan Zinke.  In fact, he was in the first Basic UDT/SEAL (BUD/S) class to graduate under my command in 1985.  I remember him well and thought that he would have a stellar career.

He did have such a career until he showed a defect in his moral make-up, and the Left is already well aware of what he did, although perhaps not in so much detail as I go into.  They will, however, before the general election, so I have decided to anticipate them by providing this statement.

This information was provided to me by sources personally known to me and to those who were directly involved in the actions involving Ryan.

What did he do?  Simple—he used Navy (taxpayer) travel funds to make multiple trips from Norfolk, VA, to his home in MT, ostensibly to scout out training sites for his squadron.  The truth was that he went to work on some family property and, apparently, on one occasion, took two or three other Navy SEALs with him.

These trips not only involved airfare, but they also involved per diem and personal use of Navy time.  To his credit, Ryan, when confronted with his transgressions, admitted his culpability and paid back the funds he had expended.

Ryan’s moral failings, in my opinion, do not end with his being separated from his SEAL team over the travel scandal.  His political career has some questionable acts associated with it, to include his creation (with some heavy-hitting New York and Boston lawyers and PR people) of Special Operations for America (SOFA), a Political Action Committee, back in early 2012.  At that time, I sought out Ryan to work with me in establishing an umbrella organization of Special Operations Forces from all the services.

After looking carefully at the situation in which he was involved, I just didn’t feel comfortable getting hooked up with what was clearly going to be a high-donor operation and possibly geared to Ryan’s future political benefit.  That has turned out to be the case, as evinced by the fact that, almost immediately after Ryan declared his candidacy for the US House, he resigned as SOFA’s chairman and was given a grant from the very Political Action Committee he established.  That, to me, is not “conflict of interest;” it is “coincidence of interest.”

The account of what I have read about SOFA having its headquarters in property owned by the Zinke family that is across the street from the Zinke family home, further validates the “coincidence of interest” hypothesis.

As a retired Navy SEAL officer, I also take exception to the looseness with which Ryan described his Navy career. Depending on which bio one reads, he was “a” or “the” commander in a certain high-capability Navy SEAL Team. He was never a commanding officer and was bypassed for possible consideration for promotion to captain as the result of his travel transgressions.

He also has stated that former Cong. Allen West has endorsed his candidacy. I spoke with Colonel West personally and learned that, while he spoke kind words about Ryan, he did not endorse him. Subsequent to my conversation with him, Colonel West has made clear that that was not the case and will not be the case during the primary.

Having seen a heavily redacted copy of Ryan’s DD-214, which is a summary of his military career, I noted that, unlike his claim to have received two Bronze Stars for combat, he actually received them for meritorious service. Neither had the Combat “V” for Valor, which would have been the case had he earned the awards for combat.

The statement by a retired Navy SEAL Master Chief sums up the essence of Ryan’s character. The man told me personally that Ryan is PNG (persona non grata) at his old SEAL team, primarily for the misleading statements he has made about his rank and importance at that “special” team. That is a sad commentary on a man who had all the potential in the world and has, instead of coming clean about himself and his mistakes, tries to re-write his personal history in order to achieve political office.

I am certain that Ryan would have acquitted himself well if he had led his men in actual combat instead of being a theater manager of the combat units assigned to him.

I am sure that Ryan will do his best to rebut these serious allegations. He can prove me wrong by making his unredacted DD-214 available for public examination. I would like nothing better than to have been shown that I was wrong, but that won’t happen.

Why do I, a transplanted Texan living in NC, want to rupture more than one friendship over Ryan Zinke’s candidacy for the US House of Representatives? Simple—Ryan’s ambitions will not stop here. He has shown by his dissimulation of facts regarding his career that he is willing to do whatever it takes to reach the next level—in his case, the US Senate. I cannot abide that prospect, because THEN he is representing ME and every citizen of this land as a member of one of the world’s most prestigious deliberative bodies.

Larry Bailey

CAPT (SEAL), USN (Ret.)

Chocowinity, NC

https://themontanapost.com/2014/05/30/his-former-commander-exposes-ryan-zinkes-navy-seal-career-and-defective-moral-make-up/comment-page-1/

Ryan ” Dinky” Zinke Just Might Be the Trump Cabinet’s Most Deplorable Member

by as published in The Daily Beast

“Zinke minted his own coin, and has the flag of the Interior—which he is personally redesigning—raised when he arrives there…”

Ryan “Dinky” Zinke

Like an actor who puts a homburg on his head and a cigar in his mouth to play Winston Churchill, Ryan Zinke galloped into the Capitol his first day on the job as Interior secretary on the back of a brown gelding, 17 hands tall, named Tonto. That two-block trip pretty much ended any resemblance to Teddy Roosevelt, a passionate conservationist who founded the national park system.

For his part, Zinke is intent on shrinking national monuments lands, opening up the Arctic to drilling, and allowing lead bullets in wildlife refuges, among other actions inimical to his job definition which is, simply, to protect the Interior. He used to believe climate change was a real and present danger but gave that up to join Trump’s Cabinet. The best hope of those who care about wildlife, federal lands, endangered species, and open space is that Zinke will soon leave town on the horse he rode in on.

They may get their wish—not because of what Zinke has done in office but because of a problem endemic among Trump appointees. Zinke has a private-jet problem, as does his wife, Lolita. They’ve mixed business, politics, and pleasure on trips that sometimes end suspiciously close to one of their homes in Montana or California.

In investigating the trips, the department’s inspector general has run into another Trump administration problem. Some of the documents needed to justify traveling on the taxpayer’s dime are nowhere to be found. The IG said it had “discovered several issues that need prompt attention and changes to current IOS procedures,” including travel documents involving Mrs. Zinke when she accompanies her husband on official travel.

It’s no surprise that Zinke tried the “dog ate my file” excuse for not producing the information, the default response of people in the Trump administration from Jared Kushner on down. Zinke’s aides went a step further and blame-shifted the whole mess onto the Obama administration. Deputy David Bernhardt said Zinke “inherited an organizational and operational mess from the previous administration,” and that there were “documentation holes” in the records of the previous interior secretary, Sally Jewell.

You can be sure that Jewell didn’t fly to Las Vegas to quickly read a press release related to public lands before celebrating the Vegas Golden Knights hockey team owned by a major donor to his prior congressional campaigns as Zinke did. In doing so, Zinke may have violated the Hatch Act, which frowns on government officials making political appearances.

In any case, the trip exposed the hollowness of Zinke’s other excuse, that an Interior secretary travels to places that are hard to get to. There are daily commercial flights between Las Vegas and Kalispell, Montana, costing $300. His chartered flight there cost taxpayers $12,375.

Zinke is part of an administration that thinks emptying your pockets at security and sitting near a crying baby is for chumps. So far Zinke’s escaped the noose that tightened around former Health and Human Services Secretary Price and the ridicule directed at Treasury Secretary Mnuchin who asked for a plane for his honeymoon and who has had to reimburse the Treasury for wife Louise Linton’s travel (she was the one in the black gloves holding the newly minted dollar bills last week).

But he does have a spouse issue. A Freedom of Information Act lawsuit that forced Interior to release 100 pages of documents contains emails from staffers exasperated at Mrs. Zinke’s needs, like adding guests to official dinners, and her political activity. In September, Mrs. Zinke became chair of the campaign of the Republican challenging incumbent Montana Sen. Jon Tester who, incidentally, voted to confirm her husband.

Then there’s the question of how a two-year-old company with two employees in Zinke’s hometown ended up getting—and then losing—a lucrative, no-bid contract to rebuild Puerto Rico’s electric grid. And his attempt last week—which Trump seems to have kiboshed—to lift the ban on trophy-hunting elephants and lions. Just how delicate does a hunter’s manhood have to be to celebrate hitting the broadside of a barn by hanging proof on the wall of your den? Ask Donald Jr. or Eric Trump.

Zinke is pretentious for a guy who likes to play Every Cowboy in a Stetson and boots. He had a personalized coin minted bearing his name. When he arrives in the morning, staff raises a flag (which he is redesigning) over the Interior building. When he is not there, it is taken down. If he doesn’t stop acting like a Saudi prince, it might come down for good.

Wednesday, he was seen wearing jeans and carrying a copy of Rough Riders: Theodore Roosevelt, His Cowboy Regiment, and the Immortal Charge Up San Juan Hill at Ronald Reagan National Airport headed home for Thanksgiving.

Just maybe he’s learned his lesson. He was on a commercial airline, flying coach.

 https://www.thedailybeast.com/ryan-zinke-just-might-be-the-trump-cabinets-most-deplorable-member