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James Gordon "Bo" Gritz (born in Enid, Oklahomamarker; surname "Gritz" rhymes with "rights") is a former United States Army Special Forces officer who served in the Vietnam War. His post-war activities notably attempted POW rescues in conjunction with the Vietnam War POW/MIA issue have proven controversial. He remained a Special Forces officer until he resigned his commission in 1979. He lives near Sandy Valley, Nevadamarker with his wife Judy.

U.S. Military Service

Major James G. "Bo" Gritz commanded detachment "B-36," U.S. Army Special Forces 5th SFG for a time. B-36 was a mixed Americanmarker and South Vietnamese unit which operated in the III Corps area of Southern South Vietnam.

Attempts to locate prisoners of war

During the 1980s Gritz undertook a series of private trips into Southeast Asia, purportedly to locate United Statesmarker prisoners of war which as part of the Vietnam War POW/MIA issue some believed were still being held by Laosmarker and the Socialist Republic of Vietnammarker e.g., at Nhommarath. Those missions were heavily publicized, controversial and widely decried as haphazard for instance, as some commentators stated, few successful secret missions involve bringing to the border towns women openly marketing commemorative POW-rescue T-shirts.

In the book Inside Delta Force, CSM Eric L. Haney, a former Delta Forcemarker operator, claims that the unit was twice told to prepare for a mission involving the rescue of American POWs from Vietnam. However, both times the missions were scrubbed, according to Haney, when Gritz suddenly appeared in the spotlight, drawing too much attention to the issue and making the missions too difficult to accomplish.

Allegations of U.S. Government involvement in drug trafficking

In 1986, after a trip to Burmamarker to interview drug kingpin Khun Sa regarding possible locations of U.S. POWs, Gritz returned from Burma with a videotaped interview of Khun Sa purporting to name several officials in the Reagan administration involved in narcotics trafficking in Southeast Asia. Among those named was Richard Armitage, who most recently served as Deputy Secretary of State during George W. Bush's first term as President. Gritz believed that those same officials were involved in a coverup of missing American POWs.

During this period Gritz established contacts with the Christic Institute, a progressive group which was then pursuing a lawsuit against the U.S. government over charges of drug trafficking in both Southeast Asia and Central America.

Conspiracy Researcher

In 1989, Gritz established the Center For Action, which was active on a number of issues, mostly pertaining to conspiracy theories. Attempting to build bridges among conspiracy theorists and other activists of both the left and right, in 1990 he held a conference in Las Vegas, Nevadamarker called "Freedom Call '90". Speakers at that conference included October surprise conspiracy researcher Barbara Honegger, Bill Davis of the Christic Institute, conspiracy theorist Eustace Mullins, and several others. This newfound interest in conspiracy theories proved to be as controversial as Gritz's earlier missions searching for POWs, especially after allegations surfaced of antisemitism directed at one of the speakers, Eustace Mullins.

Anti-war activities

During the 1991 Persian Gulf War, Gritz was an outspoken opponent of that war, and linked it to a conspiracy theory alleging plans to implement a one-world government, known as the "new world order." He appeared on Pacifica Radio stations in Californiamarker as a guest several times, and for a short time was in demand as a speaker to left-wing and anti-war audiences. However, during this period he also became closely associated with the Christian Patriot movement on the right, and spoke at conferences sponsored by Christian Identity pastor Pete Peters. When these associations became known to those on the left, especially after the publication of a report by the Los Angelesmarker-based group People Against Racist Terror calling Gritz a "front man for fascism", left-wing audiences lost interest in Gritz, and the Christic Institute and Pacifica Radio cut off any further association.


Gritz is the author of three books. The first, A Nation Betrayed, was published in 1989 and contained Gritz's allegations of drug trafficking and a POW coverup, based on the Khun Sa interview. The second, Called To Serve, was published in 1992 and expanded on the previous book to cover a wide range of conspiracies, including the assassinationmarker of John F. Kennedy, and allegations of a conspiracy to establish a new world order. His third book is titled My Brother's Keeper and was published in 2003.

Populist Party presidential tickets

In 1988, Gritz was the candidate for Vice President of the United States on the Populist Party ticket, as the running mate of David Duke. Gritz pulled out early in the race and ran instead for a Nevada Congressional seat. Gritz was then replaced with Floyd Parker on some ballots. Gritz has claimed he accepted the party's nomination with the belief he would be the running mate of James Trafficant, and that sometime after learning it would be not be Trafficant but Duke and sometime after meeting Duke, he decided to drop out.

In 1992, Gritz ran for President of the United States, again with the Populist Party. Under the campaign slogan "God, Guns and Gritz" and publishing his political manifesto "The Bill of Gritz" (playing on his last name rhyming with "rights"), he called for staunch opposition to what he called "global government" and "The New World Order", ending all foreign aid, abolishing the Federal Income Tax and the Federal Reserve System, and openly proclaimed the USA to be a "Christian Nation", stating that the country's legal statutes “should reflect unashamed acceptance of Almighty God and His Laws." He received 106,152 votes nationwide, or only 0.14% of the popular vote. In two states he had a respectable showing for a third party candidate: Utahmarker, where he received 3.84% of the vote and Idahomarker, where he received 2.13% of the vote. In some counties, his support topped 10-12%, and in Franklin County, Idahomarker, was only a few votes away from pushing Bill Clinton into 4th place in the county. His run on the America First/Populist Party ticket was prompted by his association with another far-right political Christian talk radio host, Tom Valentine.

Also during 1992, Gritz attracted national attention as mediator during the government standoff with Randy Weaver at Ruby Ridgemarker, Idaho.

Controversial activities

In 1993, Gritz changed his emphasis again and began offering a course called SPIKE (Specially Prepared Individuals for Key Events), where those events oppose the New World Order, which taught paramilitary and survivalist skills because he predicted that there would be a total sociopolitical and economic collapse in the U.S. He also established a community in Kamiah, Idaho (contiguous to the Nez Percé reservation) called Almost Heaven.

Several times he used his influence and reputation in the Patriot community in attempts to negotiate conclusions between legal authorities and far-Right activists. In August 1992, he intervened on behalf of Randy Weaver who, with his family, was holed up on his rural home in Ruby Ridgemarker, Idahomarker, after U.S. Marshals attempted to arrest him on a weapons charge. The 11-day standoff, which resulted in the deaths of a U.S. Marshal and Weaver's son and wife, ended after Gritz convinced Weaver to leave his cabin and place his faith and trust in the court system. In 1996, he unsuccessfully attempted to negotiate a conclusion to the stand-off by the Montana Freemen, a group of Christian Patriot activists who were wanted on a collection of charges. After speaking with the "Freemen," he left in frustration, stating that they presented him with what he called "legal mumbo-jumbo" to support their claims, and cautioned others in the Patriot movement not to support them (the stand-off ended when the "Freemen" surrendered after 81 days).

He has been accused of white supremacy by some, although he renounced the belief in an interview with The Militia Watchdog, saying "I've served with black, white, yellow, brown, red; all religions; nobody ever asked you about your religion, your blood bleeds red the same as everyone else."

Subsequent activities

In 1998, Gritz began a fruitless search for abortion-clinic bombing suspect Eric Rudolph in order to save Rudolph's life.

On , distraught about his failing marriage, Gritz attempted suicide near Orofino, Idahomarker.

In 2005, Gritz became an active protester for intervention in the Terri Schiavo case. On , when the tube was removed, he was arrested for trespassing after trying to enter the hospice where she lived.

 he remains active with a website and a radio show called "Freedom Call" on the Free-to-air Ku band via Galaxy 25marker.


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