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Former NC National Guard leader sued over hacked email

Posted July 18, 2011

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— A former colonel in the North Carolina Army National Guard has sued two former officers, accusing them of illegally monitoring his email while he was deployed overseas.

Fred Aikens is seeking unspecified damages in the federal lawsuit against William Ingram, former adjutant general of the N.C. National Guard, and former Lt. Col. Peter Von Jess. He claims they invaded his privacy and violated his civil rights.

Aikens alleges in the suit that Ingram was out to discredit him after he complained to the Department of the Army Inspector General that Ingram interfered with his performance evaluation of Von Jess.

After Aikens' unit deployed to Kuwait in 2003, the suit alleges, Ingram ordered two soldiers to intercept Aikens' emails and forward them to Von Jess. Ingram later sent copies of the messages to Aikens' commanders in Kuwait in an effort to substantiate various allegations, the suit states.

The Army Inspector General used the emails in its investigation of Aikens for inappropriate relations with women and a hostile command climate, the suit states.

Aikens retired from the National Guard in June 2005, about the same time that the investigation substantiated the allegations against him, according to the lawsuit.

Former Maj. David Culbreth sued the National Guard six years ago over the intercepted email.

He was dismissed from service based on comments he made in an email he sent from his personal computer to Aikens in Kuwait.

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  • Tarheelfan13 Jul 19, 2011

    rlt197131 stated: "Guess the National Guard has even more stringent rules over personal communications than the Highway Patrol. Where is the ACLU in these cases? It must only defend 1st amendment rights of those who have liberal viewpoints."

    The National Guard is a more highly complex organization than the Highway Patrol is. Military structure and regulation is paramount.

  • country4ever Jul 19, 2011

    I remember Fred Aikens being in the news several years ago but cannot remember the reason. Does anyone else remember?

  • just my2cents Jul 19, 2011

    in government period, they own the computer, the email program and teh time you are working for them. You have to agree to the terms when you use these things, and you sign away privacy rights. I did it, and I am sure he did too.

  • csmith8116 Jul 19, 2011

    As a former NC National Guard officer there has to be more to this story than the simplistic reporting. Ingram was a 2-star Gen and Aikens only a COL. The last time I checked the chain of command, the COL's actions, decisions, military bearing, etc. are all a reflection of the 2-star. If the 2-star wants to order soldiers to intercept government email (sent on government computer and with government mil address) than he has that right as the COL's first line supervisor. If the 2-star wants to alter a performance review conducted by a subordinate on another solider, the 2-star holds that perogative as superior commander over the soldier being rated and his rater. The superior commander is allowed this disgretion because of his rank, authority, and the Army structure of command. Hey COL Aikens, didn't you know that when you join the Army you are the Army? You are a soldier 24 hrs. a day.You wear the uniform (figuratively speaking) 24 hrs. a day.Even as a National Guard Soldier.

  • scubamike1468 Jul 19, 2011

    As a member of the military, if he was using a Government computer, (which he probably was since he was deployed) he gave up his right to privacy concerning any information that goes through, or is loaded on that PC. This is emphasized on Pop Up messages and information awareness training that all military complete each year.

  • carroln Jul 19, 2011

    aclu will only be seen if they can sue someone for attention. You should have figured this out already. Dont call the aclu call the person you have the problem with and keep it to your self.

  • carroln Jul 19, 2011

    who cares what they did. Thats not news thats spreading gossip. WE want to here news. if there is no news then fine, print nothing!! thanks

  • rlt197131 Jul 19, 2011

    Guess the National Guard has even more stringent rules over personal communications than the Highway Patrol. Where is the ACLU in these cases? It must only defend 1st amendment rights of those who have liberal viewpoints.

  • ProudBlackSingleMother Jul 18, 2011

    Politics as usual.

  • funstuffhere Jul 18, 2011

    One thing I learned whilst working with the National Guard during my military career, at the officer level in the NG it is ALL politics!