In May 2007, amid a U.S. troop surge in Iraq, Wired magazine published a piece titled “Military Dragged Feet on Bomb-Proof Vehicles.” The article unleashed a whirlwind of controversy that led to congressional hearings and, ultimately, hundreds of millions of dollars for lifesaving equipment.
The exposé didn’t mention Gayl, but he had leaked a key document to Wired. As a science adviser to the Marine Corps, he had recently returned from a stint in Iraq, where he had seen signs the military had delayed the rollout of much-needed armored vehicles known as MRAPs. Gayl briefed the staffs of Sens. Biden and Kit Bond (R-Mo.), who both later praised him as a “hero.”
Gayl claims he didn’t receive any blowback over the first op-ed, but that changed after he wrote another claiming “China-averse special interests” in the United States were “othering” or trying to “dehumanize” the Chinese in preparation for a war.Op-eds in a Chinese state tabloid slammed U.S. policy. The author works at the Pentagon.