Thomas McInerney

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Thomas McInerney
Thomas G McInerney.jpg
Thomas McInerney as a Major General (1983, aged 46)
Born (1937-03-15) March 15, 1937 (age 82)
Havre de Grace, Maryland, U.S.
AllegianceUnited States of America
Service/branchUnited States Army
United States Air Force
Years of service1959–1994
RankLieutenant General US-O9 insignia.svg

Thomas McInerney (born March 15, 1937)[1] is a retired United States Air Force Lieutenant General, who served in top military positions under the Secretary of Defense and the Vice President of the United States.

McInerney was a pilot during the Vietnam War. In addition to his Vietnam Service, McInerney served overseas in NATO; Pacific Air Forces and as commander of 11th Air Force in Alaska.


McInerney was born March 15, 1937, in Havre de Grace, Maryland, and graduated from Garden City (N.Y.) High School in 1955. He earned a BS degree from the United States Military Academy in 1959 and a master's degree in international relations from George Washington University in 1972. McInerney graduated from the Armed Forces Staff College in 1970 and from the National War College in 1973.

Military career[edit]

After graduating from USMA in June 1959, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the United States Army. He then joined the Air Force, and completed initial pilot training at Bartow Air Base, Florida, and Laredo Air Force Base, Texas, in November 1960. McInerney was assigned to Luke Air Force Base, Arizona, and later to Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, for advanced gunnery training. His first operational assignment was in October 1961 with the 476th Tactical Fighter Squadron, flying F-104s at George Air Force Base, California. From there he participated in the Berlin and Cuban crises in 1962, flying escort missions in the West Berlin Air Corridor and escort reconnaissance missions over Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis. In April 1963 he was one of the first forward air controllers assigned to South Vietnam with a Vietnamese army division.

Upon his return to the United States in April 1964 he was assigned to the Tactical Air Warfare Center, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, as an F-4C aircraft commander. In February 1966 he attended the F-4 Fighter Weapons School, Nellis Air Force Base, where he remained as an instructor with various F-4 assignments in the Weapons School and the Tactical Fighter Weapons Center, Test and Evaluation Division. Also, he participated in two Southeast Asia deployments as introduction team chief, bringing the F-4D and F-4E into combat.

McInerney volunteered for a fourth tour in Southeast Asia and served with the 469th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, from February until August 1969. After completing the Armed Forces Staff College in February 1970, he was transferred to the Directorate of Operational Requirements, Air Force headquarters. During this assignment he participated in many high-level study groups on the Middle East, air-to-air missile requirements and the F-15 advanced air superiority fighter.

Upon graduation from National War College in July 1973, McInerney was assigned to the 58th Tactical Fighter Training Wing, Luke Air Force Base, as F-104 and F-5 director of operations. He was primarily responsible for German F-104 training and the F-5E Military Assistance Program. In August 1974 he became the air attaché to the U.S. Embassy in London. There he worked for three different ambassadors, assisting them in changing U.S. policy toward the multi-role combat aircraft, and increased standardization with European aerospace and North Atlantic Treaty Organization air forces.

From November 1976 until October 1977 he was vice commander of the 20th Tactical Fighter Wing, Royal Air Force Station Upper Heyford, England. McInerney then became military assistant to Ambassador Robert W. Komer, the adviser to the secretary of defense on North Atlantic Treaty Organization affairs. In this capacity, he helped develop the organization's long-term defense program, which was announced at the 1978 Washington Summit. In March 1979, McInerney became commander of the 3rd Tactical Fighter Wing, Clark Air Base, Philippines, and helped implement the base agreement that placed Clark Air Base under Philippine sovereignty.

In February 1981 he became commander of the 313th Air Division, Kadena Air Base, Japan. McInerney then served as deputy chief of staff for operations and intelligence, Headquarters Pacific Air Forces, Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii, from June 1983 to July 1985, when he became commander of 3rd Air Force, Royal Air Force Station Mildenhall, England. In October 1986, McInerney was assigned as vice commander in chief, Headquarters U.S. Air Forces in Europe, Ramstein Air Base, West Germany.

He became commander of Alaskan Air Command, Alaskan NORAD Region, and Joint Task Force Alaska in May 1988. McInerney assumed command of Alaskan Command upon its activation in July 1989, and became commander of 11th Air Force when Alaskan Air Command was redesignated 11th Air Force in August 1990.

McInerney's last active duty assignment was as Assistant vice chief of staff, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C. He was responsible for the organization and administration of the Air Staff. Additionally, he served as deputy chairman of the Air Force Council and is the Air Force accreditation official for the Air Attaché Corps. He retired from the Air Force on 1 July 1994.

Military awards and decorations[edit]

His major military awards and decorations include:

McInerney has also been awarded the Third Order of the Rising Sun by the Japanese government for outstanding service in enhancing relations between the US government and Japan.

McInerney was inducted into the USAF Order of the Sword in July 1980. This award recognizes both military and civilian individuals for conspicuous and significant contributions to the welfare and prestige of the noncommissioned officer corps and the military establishment. He was the sixth Pacific Air Forces officer and the 63rd officer overall inducted into the order since the Air Force became a separate branch of the armed services in 1947.

Post military career[edit]

Between January 1, 2002, and April 20, 2008, McInerney appeared 144 times on Fox TV.[2]

In 2002, he said a military campaign against Iraq, would be "shorter" than the 42 days it took to complete the Persian Gulf War in 1991, and further, "It is going to be absolutely awesome, and that's why this war, if we do it properly, will go very quick, and we'll have less civilian casualties than we did last time."[3]

In 2004, he claimed that with the aid of Russians, Saddam had transported WMDs and millions to Syria for safekeeping.[4] Although McInernery said they had been moved to three places in Syria and one in Lebanon, the final report of the Iraq Survey Group, by Charles A. Duelfer, special adviser on Iraqi weapons to the C.I.A., concluded that any stockpiles had been destroyed long before the war and that transfers to Syria were "unlikely."[5]

In 2006, McInerney advocated for regime change via military action against Iran and North Korea.[6]

General McInerney has been a member of the Boards of Directors of military contractors, including Alloy Surfaces Company, Kilgore Flares Co, Nortel Government Solutions Inc. Pan American International Academy (Flight Simulators), Agusta Westland NA, and Crescent Partnerships.[7]

In 2010, McInerney provided his support against the court martial of fellow birther Terrence Lakin, who refused to deploy to Afghanistan due to his suspicion of President Barack Obama's birthplace.[8]


Previously, McInerney had called President Obama a treasonous leader who is “aiding and abetting the enemy."[9] McInerney also has said there were "widespread and legitimate concerns that the President [Obama] is constitutionally ineligible to hold office."[10]

In 2015 as a Fox News contributor, and a member of the Iran Policy Committee. McInerney was noted for insisting on Fox News that terrorists had flown the disappeared Malaysia Airlines 370 to Pakistan; that later turned out to be a conspiracy theory.[11][12]

On September 6, 2016, he endorsed the Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump.[13]

In a May 2018 interview with Charles Payne on Fox News, McInerney asserted that torture had "worked on" John McCain and "That's why they call him 'Songbird John,"[14][15][16] referencing a false claim against McCain during the Republican primary in South Carolina in 2000.[15][16] Payne later apologized to McCain and his family for the remark.[16][17] Afterward, Fox News announced that McInerney would never appear on Fox News or Fox Business again.[18]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ U.S. Public Records Index Vol. 1 (Provo, UT: Operations, Inc.), 2010.
  2. ^ analysts named in Times exposé appeared or were quoted more than 4,500 times on broadcast nets, cables, NPR Research, Media Matters for America, lJulie Millican, Jeremy Schulman, Andrew Walzer, Matthew Beidlingmaier, Lauren Auerbach, Tom Allison, Meredith Adams, Mark Bochkis, Kirstin Ellison & Lily Yan, May 13, 2008. Retrieved May 12, 2018.
  3. ^ Fox military analyst McInerney touted military strike "that will take Iran down very quickly" -- but he said same thing about Iraq Research, Media Matters for America, Ben Fishel, April 14, 2006. Retrieved May 13, 2018.
  4. ^ Fox News Conspiracy Theory: Russia Moved Saddam's WMD To Syria, Think Progress, Payson Schwinn, February 22, 2006. Retrieved May 13, 2018.
  5. ^ Scott Shane (23 June 2006). "For Diehards, Search for Iraq's W.M.D. Isn't Over". New York Times. Retrieved 13 April 2018. The final report of the group, by Charles A. Duelfer, special adviser on Iraqi weapons to the C.I.A., concluded that any stockpiles had been destroyed long before the war and that transfers to Syria were "unlikely."
  6. ^ Ultimatum Lt. General Thomas McInernery and Paul Valley, National Review. Thomas McInerney & Paul Valley, May 20, 2004. Retrieved May 13, 2018.
  7. ^ Saddam's WMD Tapes Lt.Gen. Tom McInerney, Fox News, February 21, 2006. Retrieved May 13, 2018.
  8. ^ Linkins, Jason (2010-09-01). "Fox News Military Analyst Comes Out As Birther". The Huffington Post. New York City, US. Archived from the original on 2011-01-07. Retrieved 2011-01-06.
  9. ^ "Fox News General: Obama Is An Enemy Within, Creating A 'Communistic Society' And Aiding Terrorists - Right Wing Watch".
  10. ^ "Trump Introduced By A Birther At Event Where He Walked Back Birtherism".
  11. ^ Castella, Tom de (8 September 2014). "The persistence of conspiracy theories about MH370" – via
  12. ^ "Flight 370 Could Have Landed In Pakistan. Retrieved 30 December 2016". Archived from the original on 2014-10-23.
  13. ^ Reinhard, Beth (6 September 2016). "Donald Trump Receives Endorsement of 88 Military Leaders". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 6 September 2016.
  14. ^ Military analyst on Fox advocates for torture: "It worked on John McCain. That's why they call him 'Songbird John'". Media Matters for America (May 10, 2018)The ultra left wing Democrat arm of the DNC..
  15. ^ a b Erik Wemple, Fox Business guest says torture 'worked' on John McCain, Washington Post (May 10, 2018).
  16. ^ a b c Greg Price, Watch: Former Fox News Military Analyst Resurfaces Fake 'Songbird' John McCain Nickname to Defend Torture Use, Newsweek (May 10, 2018).
  17. ^ Kathryn Watson, Fox Business host apologizes after guest makes derisive comment about John McCain, CBS News (May 10, 2018).
  18. ^ Caitlin Yilek (May 11, 2018), "Fox News bans retired general after McCain torture comments", The Washington Examiner.

Further reading[edit]

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