The Jake Diliberto fairy tales

| June 11, 2012

I wrote about Jake Diliberto a few weeks back. He’s one of the founders of “Veterans for Rethinking Afghanistan” which is a group of veterans who seek to have the US withdraw from Afghanistan. He appears on al Jazeera, the old, failed Olbermann show and Russia TV, like the clip above in which the presenter at about 1:18 into the video calls Jake an “Iraq and Afghanistan veteran”. Here’s screen shot that Hondo found from Jake’s time in college when he told the publication’s writer that he was in the Marines as a special operator;

And here’s his HuffPO profile which says that Diliberto is a veteran of Afghanistan and Iraq;

EDITOR’S NOTE: Since I first took the above screen shot of Diliberto’s bio on HuffPo, he’s changed it to read that he served in “Af/Pak” in 2001 because I told him that I was publishing this and sent him a copy of the draft of this post.

I’m having trouble getting his records, but I’ve got something better – I’m getting emails from his former platoon sergeant and squad leader and his battalion commander who tell me things that I wouldn’t find in his records anyway. It seems that Jake was a big shitbird and he was a shitbird before the war against terror even began.

Some folks overheard him telling his mother that he was calling from a secret mission in Cuba in the Spring of 2001. When this was reported to his squad leader, Diliberto was punished for lying to his mother by being placed on guard duty, during which he fell asleep and was rewarded with Non-judicial punishment (NJP) which means he was fined and restricted with, perhaps some extra duties.

In another incident, he was telling stories to a person he thought was a civilian about his time with Force Recon. Turns out that she was actually the battalion commander’s daughter. The BC was pretty angry about that and called him on the carpet.

His squad leader also caught him on leave wearing a Force Recon T-shirt on his way home when he thought he was safe from his unit’s scrutiny.

The unit deployed immediately after 9-11 by ship. his leaders put him on duty in the kitchen of the ship where he intentionally lanced his hand to get out of working there. When they got to Pakistan prior to their deployment into Afghanistan, Diliberto locked and loaded his weapon and threatened his corporal which resulted in the unit giving him another NJP action and included a bust to Private. His unit went on to Afghanistan while Diliberto went back to working in the ship’s kitchen.

In 2002, when his unit got back on the ship, they heard stories from the sailors with whom he interacted about his wild tales of daring-do in Afghanistan. they also discovered evidence that he was emailing back to the States the same tales and that he was working with SEALs, so they took away his privileges to put an end to his antics. For the remainder of the cruise, Diliberto spent his time on paint duty. Here’s a statement from one of his senior sergeants describing his shitbird behavior;

Our platoon was responsible for tracking throughput of all personnel and equipment from ship to shore or across a port or air terminal. From time to time, we were also responsible for performing helicopter external air transport operations.

I did two back to back Mediterranean deployments with this unit in this capacity. After my initial nine month work up phase and subsequent six month deployment, roughly half of my platoon was on their second deployment. Once we returned they were issued orders back to their parent commands, either to process out of the Marine Corps at the end of their enlistment or carry on. It was shortly after I did a turnover of Marines that Jacob Diliberto checked in to my platoon. I am not sure if he was a Lance Corporal at that time or not but I do know that he was new to the Corps. He came in and immediately started telling stories to boost him up and appear more seasoned to the Marines that had been in the fleet longer and maybe had experienced more. One thing that sticks in my mind but I didn’t give credence to it at the time was he told us that he had just been transferred to us from Marine Recon. Earlier in my career, I worked in a para loft and knew many of the parachute riggers that worked at the few units on base here that jumped. I also was a drill instructor prior to this duty and served with a few Marines who were in the reconnaissance community, so when I double checked these claims, they turned up just as I had suspected. Lies. Each member of the platoon has a record jacket that is kept internal to the platoon (separate from their official Service Record Book), to keep up with shots, dental status, annual qualifications i.e.: gas chamber, physical fitness tests…etc. In them there is also a section for each Marines squad leader to annotate infractions on a counseling sheet. These were kept “in house” but were nonetheless there in the event that something became a trend and needed to be taken care of through non-judicial punishment. The counseling statements were there as proof that something was addressed and corrective action was discussed. Other than the cursory initial counseling that I gave to all of the members of the platoon, which outlined what I expected of them on a day to day basis, this integrity violation was probably his first derogatory entry.

If one name was always on my mind during this time it would most definitely be LCpl Jacob Diliberto. On a daily basis, I was filled in by the NCOs’ of the platoon of what “Diliberto did this time”. The list of his infractions is immense, some were as mundane as having a dirty room, not shaving properly or being late to work but I will just touch on the ones that are blatant misrepresentations of the truth. To those not very familiar with the workings of the military, I will try to further illustrate something for you. There are really only two times that the commander, in this case, a Lieutenant Colonel, and the unit Sergeant Major would know the name of such a junior member of the command as well as they did this Marine. Those are he did something so outstanding that he was recognized in some sort of meritorious way or he was continually doing dumb things and his Platoon Commander and Platoon Sergeant were “on the carpet” explaining his actions. This individual was far to the right hand side of the latter category.

At one point in time during one of our times back in garrison, LCpl Diliberto went to the base swimming pool on his off time and struck up a conversation of an unsuspecting young lady, who if memory serves me correctly, was underage. He is a very prolific speaker. Just “Google” his name and you will see countless other unsuspecting folks being filled with his untrue stories as well. But, I digress. It seems that in the course of his conversation with the girl at the pool he told her that he was with Force Recon in his attempt at impressing her. I would have probably never heard of the incident except for the girl that he was talking to was none other that the daughter of the MSSG Commander. My Captain and I were obviously brought in and then the LtCol had a piece of him. The bigger of the two offenses was the age of the girl and then the constant lying.

During the course of our work up training to become a Special Operation’s Capable MEU we had to do various field exercises, integrations with the Navy by boarding the ship for a week or two here and there and things such as this. The special operation designation is in no way as sexy as it sounds although, I am sure that it was booster fuel for the war stories that LCpl Diliberto was concocting up. For a MEU to become a MEU (SOC) it has to meet certain criteria and able to perform various functions. Some of these for example are to conduct non-combatant evacuation operations, humanitarian assistance and mass casualty assistance to name just a few. Before boarding ship for the last time, the MEU is evaluated on each of these functional areas and must pass them before setting out to sea. On one of our field operations to Fort AP Hill, Virginia to train for some of these tasks, we were getting settled in the open squad bay billeting and the Marines were afforded the opportunity to explore the area, make phone calls, check out the PX and things of this nature. I was with some of the NCOs’ by a bank of pay phones and we saw LCpl Diliberto on the phone telling his mother that he was about to go into Cuba on a secret mission. Lying to your mother is bad enough but spreading misleading information about what we do for a living isn’t part of what we do for a living. We allowed him to finish his call and then questioned him and once again made the appropriate counseling statements and put them in his now ever growing folder. When we are billeted in an open squad bay situation, roaming guards called “fire watch” are posted when the lights go out and are rotated every hour. Obviously the ones that are continuously doing dumb things get the least desirable time slots. For lying once again, LCpl Diliberto was placed on fire watch at some point during the night. He was found asleep on post. An egregious infraction. For it he was awarded his first NJP. Being his first time, he was docked some pay, given some restriction, had to do some extra duty and put on a suspended reduction in rank. Meaning, that if he kept his nose clean for X number of months he would remain at his current rank.

Another incident that took place after work ups and prior to us leaving. It was during a period called block leave. Half of the unit gets to go home for a set amount of time and when they return the other half gets to go. One of my NCOs’ grew up in northern Wisconsin and LCpl Diliberto grew up in Illinois. His NCO saw his car pulled off of the highway and parked erratically in the ditch. He knew the vehicle because of the vanity license plate that was easily identifiable from the road. As the NCO approached the Jeep Cherokee, he saw the Marine sleeping in his vehicle dressed in black silk running shorts as well as a FORCE RECON shirt and combat boots. The rest of the Marine Corps wears green silk shorts as part of the physical training uniform. An optional item that is favored by the recon community at the time was the black silk shorts. I can just imagine the tales that were told on the trip from Camp Lejeune, NC to that spot on I-65 north, close to his home of record.

Upon our collective return to base, we were tying up loose ends and getting ready for our six month deployment. We were within weeks from departing and the unfortunate events of September 11 happened. We left at our regular scheduled time but where we would end up was uncertain but there was a good possibility where we’d end up.

During the transit over there the ships computer administrators had set up an “Any Sailor/Any Marine” email system. We began receiving emails from supportive folks in the states. One of my fellow Gunnery Sergeants told me that he got an email from a woman that had also been having an email conversation with LCpl Jacob Diliberto. She indicated that he was telling her that he had already been ashore and inside of Afghanistan and in combat. This was well prior to any ground forces, other than legitimate US Special Forces, being in country. We once again counseled him for his continual lying and had his email privileges revoked.

Our first stop was a multi-national operation in Egypt called Bright Star. After that we set out on ships again and were ordered to the Arabian Gulf, an area outside the normal operating area of an east coast MEU. We were to join the 15th MEU (SOC) out of Camp Pendleton and conduct combat operations in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
While we were steaming toward there, the air campaign was well under way and the news was pretty focused on the region.

We hit the beach in Pakistan via landing craft in the last few days of November 2011. My platoon was responsible for coordinating the movement of equipment from ship to shore and then from an airfield further inland to other areas within the theater of operations via fixed wing aircraft. We lived at the airfield about eight miles inland and worked throughout the night during the initial push. Every evening selected Marines would work the beach and the others would stay behind and work the airfield. One evening when we loaded up on the trucks, one of my Corporals told me that LCpl Diliberto had “locked and loaded” his weapon and pointed it at him. We were authorized to carry our M16’s in Condition 3, which is weapon on safe, bolt home on an empty chamber, magazine inserted and ejection port cover closed. By his actions he made his weapon ready to fire. I immediately took his weapon and rounds away from him and informed my Captain of what had happened. The decision was then made that it would be best to send him back to ship, as at this time we were pretty much over babysitting him. We called the ship and informed the command of the incident and our intentions and were cleared to send him on the first landing craft available. Upon getting back on ship, the MSSG Commander met LCpl Diliberto and lifted the suspension on his reduction in rank. Thus creating Private First Class Diliberto.

He spent the remainder of the deployment working below the decks of the ship busting rust and painting things. In the twenty years I spent in uniform, I have served with, led, mentored and trained countless Marines. In that time, I have never before and never since come across a more dishonest, deceitful individual. It disgusts me every time I receive a phone call or email from someone, telling me that they saw Jacob Diliberto on CNN with Larry King, General McCaffery and General Clark, Winter Soldier and the various other television news programs and newspapers that obviously don’t screen their guests or do any kind of fact checking. I have seen him referred to as a veteran of Afghanistan, which I know for a fact is a lie. I have seen him referred to as a retired Corporal which I know is a lie. With his reductions in rank at the point of his 4 year enlistment makes it almost impossible for him to even have been promoted to Corporal. After we parted ways though, I cannot verify that. I have seen him talk about being part of Special Forces units, which I know for a fact is a lie. In short, we need to stop him and expose him for what he is. A fraud that has no problem with stolen valor.

And, oh, I’ll add that I had a discussion by email with Diliberto once in which he admitted that he never served in Iraq either. Apparently, the closest he got was Kuwait where they had him pulling guard duty somewhere he couldn’t mess shit up. He made it sound like it was some high speed security detail, but given the character of his service before 2003, I’m guessing he was pulling security about three layers back from the front, some place like the port.

I’m sure every one of you have had a Jake Diliberto in your platoon, and now he wants to be responsible for our war policy. And he hides behind his religious studies.

For the record, every step of the way, I’ve been in contact with Diliberto to give him an opportunity to respond and all I get is crickets…so….

Hondo has requested a FOIA on Diliberto and we’ve been waiting for it, as soon as it shows up, I’ll post it, but in the interim, I’m guessing that statements from the folks who’ve served with him are probably more important than any military records at this point.

Added; DIliberto’s records are posted at this link, but for ease of access for our readers here you go;

Diliberto DD214

Diliberto Assignments

Category: Antiwar crowd, Phony soldiers, Rethink Afghanistan

Comments (51)

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  1. NHSparky says:

    Sadly, I’m visualizing the faces and names of the Dilibertos I’ve known in my time in. And it makes a shiver run down my spine.

  2. headhuntersix says:


    Since you’ve wasted time on this dirtbag, any chance you could look into the rest of the group. If this POS is full of it, who knows about the rest. What a shitbag.

  3. Just A Grunt says:

    About dipshits claim to taking 3rd place in some skydiving competition. Not according to these folks at the <a href=""US Parachute Association

  4. Just A Grunt says:

    Sorry screwed up the link trying to be so smart. Try this.

  5. AW1 Tim says:

    Yeah, we had a guy like this in one of my commands.

    The fellow was not only a lazy, no-account sailor, but also a thief. I fingered him for cutting the lock off of my locker and stealing my leather flight jacket and some personal gear I had stowed there.

    I was away on an overnight flight and when i returned, noticed the lock was missing on my locker. There was a pile of metal shavings on the floor right under where the lock should have been. It was a brass Navy padlock, an issue item you could request.

    After noting the missing items, I informed the duty officer and made a formal complaint. Then I checked with tool control to see who had checked out a hack saw. Turns out there was only one guy who signed one out. Then i checked with Maintenance Control to see if any work was done the would have required a hacksaw. The maintenance Chief, whom I knew pretty well, checked and said there was nothing done that would have required a hacksaw, and also took an interest in the case.

    Well, when confronted with the information, this seaman dirtbag admitted he had used the hacksaw, but claimed he was using it on his car. Apparently the unauthorized use of a tool, and on duty hours, was a lesser offence in his mind than stealing. The Command Master Chief and his Division Chief went to the barracks and searched his belongings. They didn’t find any of my gear, but apparently he had had it, because they found unit patches that were the same as I had on my stolen jacket in this moron’s waste basket.

    Anyway, this was the last straw in a long line of things this kid had done. He was sent to an almost immediate Captain’s Mast, where he was reduced in rank, lost a month’s pay, and was given an admin discharge. The paperwork for the discharge had already been set in motion, and was presented to the now Seaman Apprentice at the conclusion of mast.

    While all this was being done, his belonging were packed into a seabag and after he signed his discharge papers, he was driven by the CMC and two Master at Arms to the bus station, and was given a ticket to his home of record and $20. He was watched until he boarded the bus and it departed the station.

    Long story, but it’s true that every command has at least one of these fellows.

  6. 0311 says:

    Hey JAG, I thought the same thing, but the article is from 2005. I found this:

  7. Just A Grunt says:

    0311 Good catch. I didn’t notice the date of the article. I stand corrected.

  8. Hondo says:

    0311: There’s no thumbnail on the first link matching the photo in your second link. But his claim does seem accurate. This link may be a bit clearer, and also verifies Diliberto’s skydiving claim.

    Look near the bottom of 2005 results under “Freeflying Intermediate”.

    Another validation for the “even a stopped clock . . . . ” proverb.

  9. Ex-PH2 says:

    A lot of people have delusions of grandeur. Most of the time they are harmless. I once knew a gekko who claimed he was a velociraptor on his mother’s side. We all have our dreams, right?

  10. Semper says:

    Why is it never enough to say something as awesome as “I earned the title UNITED STATES MARINE?”. Being a marine is not enough?? How cool is it to be a marine. I am a combat veteran, and served tours to Iraq and Afghanistan, I keep company with other combat veterans, who served mostly in Iraq and Afghanistan…I did my job, and came home. Why can’t these cunts be more like the rest of us who went, worked, returned….to me, these story creepers……one uppers, whatever, are more dangerous than the outright takers…..these guys really did part of it….so they are more credible to some extent. Semper Fi -a simple marine

  11. hueydoc says:

    here’s his linkedin bio more fiction than Harry Potter

  12. Anonymous says:

    He was in my platoon. Glad this stuff has come to light. I am tired of posers.

  13. RandyB says:

    And FWIW, you can find his earlier HuffPo description archived here:

  14. fatkid0481 says:

    I was his Cpl. When he checked in from MOS school, I also deployed to Kuwait with him. All of the lies he has told makes me sick.

  15. Ex-PH2 says:

    Really, I think all these gloryhounds who want to claim being a part of something “special” should have a convention, with a special event that gives a prize for whoever can tell the biggest whoppers and make them believable.
    And their pictures should always be published.

  16. TSO says:

    “Observed Terrorists and engaged with insurgents on a daily basis…”

    OK, I’ll bite….was that the entire period from 2000-2004 you have listed on your bio? Why the fuck didn’t you tell anyone you were engaging terrorists daily before 9/11? You could have stopped it from happening Jake.

  17. MSgt0491 says:

    fatkid0481, contact admin with more info. We are trying to figure out his rank and what he did in Kuwait. I wrote the section in gray above. I know what he was doing from 1999-2000 and it wasn’t what our Poe-like frined claims.

  18. DR_BRETT says:

    “. . . being a part of something “special” . . .” —

    BEGINS, with BEING SOMEONE, first —
    the frauds must get a life, which means WORK (self-devotion) .

  19. 68W58 says:

    OK, I’ll bite….was that the entire period from 2000-2004 you have listed on your bio? Why the fuck didn’t you tell anyone you were engaging terrorists daily before 9/11? You could have stopped it from happening Jake.

    TSO-he was probably on the Cole. Or maybe on embassy duty in Kenya or Tanzania (or maybe both-at the same time). Anyway-he’s been ordained as an expert on military affairs by the meedja. What have you ever done?


  20. seth says:

    haha I remember this turd, he was a one of a kind.

  21. Anonymous says:

    I was with jake for a couple years and actually my roommate for a little while. I am so disgusted with the lies. One of my fondest memories was when he had a physical altercation with a smaller marine and cracked his head open. The another platoon member made him pay for that mistake. It wasn’t very pretty.

  22. Ex-PH2 says:

    I wondered if there is a name for people who do the things that Jake the Jerk has been doing, and thanks to Sandusky’s pedophilia trial, going on now, there is a name for it.

    It is called ‘histrionic personality disorder’.

    There is a long list of characteristics that spill over into other disorders, but it is essentially the venue of someone who wants to be the center of attention all the time and will use any means — including lying his ass off — to get that attention. It’s more common in men than in women, but women can be that way, too.

    So the next time one of these slugs shows up, you know what the problem is. There is no pill for it. Perhaps a cattle prod?

  23. Anonymous says:

    in reference to the altercation he was involved in inside the barracks, he was bullying a smaller older marine, and when someone his size came calling, it got ugly. He got his ass whooped like the punk he his. he’s a liar, i was actually decent to him, more so than he ever deserved, because i thought i could turn him into a decent marine. His ego and his bs are too much. he can’t be helped. it’s a real tragedy that a news station would put this moron on alongside people who create and change military strategy. he isn’t a combat vet. If larry king ever does a special on midnight firewatch, or njp, that would be the only good time to have this idiot on.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Believe it or not I was a Corporal in the same Plt as This guy. He did lie alot about everything. He is a smooth talker but none of it is true. I remember when he racked that round on the back of a 5 ton, and we had him sent back to ship quick. Some people are high speed low drag, Jake is not one of them.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Should put my name on that up above, but here it is now. I’ll never forget him or all his stories that were not true

  26. Anonymous says: #25 and #26 would be my comments

  27. Hondo says:

    Anonymous (25/26/27): this site’s owner, Jonn Lilyea, would probably like to hear from you regarding the details – specifically, I think he’d like confirmation of exactly where Diliberto did and did not serve (a 2nd source confirmation is always good). He can be reached at the e-mail address in the link titled “Contact Us” just above this article’s title.

  28. Anonymous says:

    I can’t even watch that video up above. The sarcastic eye-rolling of the anchor turns my stomach. Nothing like judgement being passed by someone who has no clue about what she speaks.

  29. (Former) Sgt Taylor says:

    I just came across this junk. I was also in the MSSG (26th MEU) while Diliberto was there. He was a “red patcher” or “shore party or TSB. I was also there for all the above bullshit he did. He was also caught with a Purple Heart on. A major sin of stolen valor, I’ve had many fellow marines come back with life changing injuries. I also remember after we went to non lethal weapons training at SOTG (special operations training group) and I seem him wearing an SOTG instructor shirt. He’s a terd and I’d be willing to give a statement as well. Also anyone with the MSSG during that time I’d like to reconnect and shut this shithead down.

  30. Green Thumb says:

    Shitbag. I bet he has the keys to the training area…

  31. Got Info says:

    I have information I would like to share privately.

    I know Jake and if I am right he will monitor these sites almost on a daily bases.

    Personally I am tired of this and I would like to report what I know. I know of a few other people as well.

  32. Twist says:

    @36, Us the “contact us” option at the top of the page. It will tell you how to get in contact with the admins of this page.

  33. Vet says:

    I went to college with this Marine (Illinois State U.). I met him in college with a few other vets. NO one liked/believed him. He said he was force recon and received a purple heart for getting blown up in cave in Afghanistan. The guy was full of antics and creeped a lot of girls out at the bible study we were in. He applied for a position at the local church and got denied because of his erratic behavior displayed around campus. He ran around the football field drunk at one occasion and jumped on top of a port-a-potty. Non of the other vets even associated themselves with him, we all looked at him and shook our heads. I will forgive the guy if he comes out and apologize for all the bullshit he is spreading.

  34. GreenMonster says:

    This clown should be stripped of the title U.S. Marine!!!! He is an embarrassment to the Corps.

  35. Green Thumb says:

    Heard that.

  36. Terminal_Corporal says:

    One of the reasons that Diliberto was sent back to the ship was that he was pissing soo many people off, and fucking up soo bad, the command was afraid that he would end up getting the shit beat outta him by the Marines in his Platoon. That would even be more paperwork.. He is a Lair, and a Fruad. He is the ONLY person that I have know in the Marine Corps that DOSENT deserve the title and need to be erased from any Marine Corps Records as ever being a Marine!!!!

  37. ArmyATC says:

    This guy needs to be called out again. he’s still rocking the lies. here he puts himself out as a OIF veteran.

    • Green Thumb says:

      What a sack of shit.

      “There is some humdiggery going on”. Yeah, right in his two-hole.

      This guy is a stooge. I cannot believe that he was on that show as an expert.

      The only thing this guy is an expert at is giving tugjobs.


    • Climb to Glory says:

      What a complete shitbag. He’s perfect for RT News. A phony military expert for a phony news network.

      • Green Thumb says:

        I also wonder if he finished that Divinity degree being that he always seems to be moving around.

        What a complete and total loser.

        I can see him in the future being Commander Monkress’ at All Points Logistics personal assistant. In a plethora of ways, no less.

  38. Anonymous says:

    I am a former marine and former roommate (after his marine days) of Jacob Diliberto. I am glad to see the his dishonesty coming to light. I feel sorry for him for being so insecure that he has to make up such grandiose lies (he used to tell one particular story where he saved a marine from a burning tank while under fire). However, he needs to be exposed and the media and his organization need to hold him accountable and should no longer trust him. He causes people harm through his lies…I’ve experienced it first hand. I always knew his stories were insanely exaggerated but I never realized it was to this extent. And ironically, he studied ethics and always discussed it. Too bad he hasn’t used his skills as a speaker and his abilities in persuasion and rhetoric honestly and with integrity.

  39. Green Thumb says:

    Dildoberto = loser.