Category Archives: Unconventional Warfare

The US Code of Conduct

One of the things one learns as a recruit is the Code of Conduct for American Soldiers (etc). The Code was introduced after the Korean War and has an interesting history. Here, Jack Webb introduces it, then called the Code of Conduct of the American Fighting Man, in a 1959 training film. Webb is best known today for his deadpan detective on the long-running police procedural Dragnet, but his best movie role as The D.I. may have got him this gig.

The US did not have such a code prior to the Korean War. Given the extreme resistance displayed, sometimes to the point of death, by US Prisoners of War in Japanese and German camps, none was thought to be needed. The behavior of some prisoners held by the North Koreans and Chinese during the 1950-53 Korean War came as a shock.

Some prisoners captured in this conflict went far beyond the name, rank and serial number that POWs are compelled to provide to their captors, and provided not only information, but also propaganda statements and other active collaboration. While many of these men were conscripts and short-service officers poorly acculturated to the military, this behavior was so contrary to both past experience and leaders’ expectations of the conduct of American fighting men as to alarm the military and drive the creation of a military code or creed.

The Norks and Chinese did not seek tactical or technical information, in their interrogations. They sought to break men just for the sake of breaking them, and they also sought converts to their Marxist faith.

Accordingly, the Eisenhower Administration proposed and promulgated a Code of Conduct. Marion F. Sturkey wrote, in The Warrior Culture of the US Marines, that:

After the war the American armed forces jointly developed a Code of Conduct.  The President of the United States approved this written code in 1955.  The six articles of the code create a comprehensive guide for all American military forces in time of war, and in time of peace.  The articles of the code embrace (1) general statements of dedication to the United States and to the cause of freedom, (2) conduct on the battlefield, and (3) conduct as a prisoner of war.

The Code was established by Executive Order 10631 of Aug. 17, 1955; since then it has been modified by XOs 11382 of Nov. 28, 1967, 12017 of Nov. 3, 1977, and 12633 of Mar. 28, 1988.

Some of the changes have been minute or driven by desire to update to the latest politically correct terminology. Others have been more substantive.

The biggest change came after the Vietnam War. At the time, the Code came in for criticism due to its inflexibility. A number of stubborn captives (Rocky Versace springs immediately to mind) resisted to death. This led to a code with a little more “give” in it than the original, solid version Webb uses here.

Frankly, we prefer the Webb version. In captivity, the war is not over, it continues.

In 1918, the US Declared War. On Squirrels.

The BEST Squirrel is the Dead Squirrel — 1918 propaganda points.

War just doesn’t get any more unconventional than this. This bizarre and one-sided battle has just been profiled at some length in Pajamas Media. It did tie in to the WWI war effort, by arguing that the bushy-tailed rats devastated farm production and threatened the economy and war effort. The attack on several species of California ground squirrels, in what was then a predominantly rural, agrarian state in a similarly rural, agrarian country, produced its own propaganda:

Here’s a taste of the article.

For practical application, a poison barley recipe was included.

“Kill the Squirrel” cartoons, essentially propaganda, were also created depicting squirrels as German soldiers wearing spiked helmets and iron crosses. The father squirrel wore a upturned mustache, much like Kaiser Wilhelm’s. The Four-Minute-Men, volunteers who delivered four-minute speeches to garner support for the war efforts, had talking points designed to convince ranchers and farmers to kill the “little ally of Kaiser.” They included:

  • The BEST squirrel is the dead squirrel.
  • The Hotel California board bill for ground squirrels in 1917 […] was $30,000,000—yet unpaid.
  • The squirrel does not recognize daylight saving. He uses it all.
  • He preys on our crops in countless hordes. He fills the ranks of the killed in true military fashion.
  • Why hesitate? We can get ‘em. How? Poison ‘em, gas ‘em, drown em’, shoot ‘em, trap ‘em, submarine ‘em.
  • Are you not willing then to give your whole-hearted support to this state-wide movement to KILL THE SQUIRREL?

By the end of Squirrel Week, children had handed in over 104,509 tails, marking the effort as a huge success.

You Californians probably didn’t know this about your squirrel-cidal ancestors. A propaganda flyer also  instructed readers on squirrel characteristics and behavior, and advised them to stop killing natural squirrel predators, such as snakes and raptors, in order to enlist Nature’s red fang and claw in the Squirrelcaust.

We do recommend you Read The Whole Thing™. The propaganda is reminiscent of some of the mobilizations or campaigns of totalitarian nations, such as Nazi Germany or Red China.

Pentangle Blew $125 Billion (a Year)

burning-wasting-moneyAfter nearly eight years of being fully occupied in throwing hosannas and rose petals in the path of all that is officialdom, some event has occured that has stirred the dormant investigative reporting beast at the Washington Post into wakefulness, if not yet motion. (Over-under on that event? We’ll take 20 Jan 17 in the pool, thanks). First discovery by this newly enlightened outpost of the IVth Estate? The Pentagon wastes boatloads of money. Actually, the Pentagon figured that out itself, and then did its best to cover it up:

Pentagon leaders said they fretted that by spotlighting so much waste, the study would undermine their repeated public assertions that years of budget austerity had left the armed forces starved of funds. Instead of providing more money, they said, they worried Congress and the White House might decide to cut deeper.

So the plan was killed. The Pentagon imposed secrecy restrictions on the data making up the study, which ensured no one could replicate the findings. A 77-page summary report that had been made public was removed from a Pentagon website.

The “plan” that was killed was a plan to save money by eliminating fat and duplication among the DOD’s over one million back-behind-rear-echelon paper pushers. They suck up almost a quarter of every defense dollar.

2300-1-pentagon1113

The guy who first ordered, then buried the study? The same Robert O. Work whose fingers seem to be on everything screwed up, except for the personal smiting that Ray Mabus has delivered unto the sea services. Work’s heart was initially in the right place, but after the study was underway, he got a new boss not interested in saving money:

Money toilet paperWork acknowledged that the push to improve business operations lost steam after then-Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel was replaced by Ashton B. Carter in February 2015. Carter has emphasized other goals, such as strengthening the Pentagon’s partnerships with high-tech firms.

Work’s message to Congressional budget-cutters? Suck it up, Buttercup.

“We will never be as efficient as a commercial organization,” Work said. “We’re the largest bureaucracy in the world. There’s going to be some inherent inefficiencies in that.”

The part that killed the report for Work was a clever chart that the makers produced, which showed what the DC bloat costs the United States in combat power.

He singled out a page in the report. Titled “Warfighter Currency,” it showed how saving $125 billion could be redirected to boost combat power. The money could cover the operational costs for 50 Army brigades, or 3,000 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters for the Air Force, or 10 aircraft-carrier strike groups for the Navy.

“This is what scares me,” he said, according to the two people present. Work explained he was worried Congress might see it as an invitation to strip $125 billion from the defense budget and spend it somewhere else.

The team working on the project started with an estimate of just how fat the Pentagon’s fat tail was. But when they started adding up positions and dollars, they realized the real numbers were half again as high as their highest, wildest estimates.

2300-2-pentagon1113The article is one revelation after another. (The average low-level Pentagon bureaucrat costs over $200k a year, for instance; 192,000 overpaid bureaucrats manage real estate for DOD). Read The Whole Thing™.

And there’s the matter that the Washington Post knew about this in 2015, but didn’t think it was worth writing about until their party lost an election.

Update

The title of this post has been corrected. It originally said <i>million</i>, and didn’t note it was <i>every year.</i> -Ed.

Last-ditch IS tactics in Sirte, Libya

un-libyaFrom the Libya Herald (associated with the recognized government of Libya and its international partners):

At least two females who seemed to be civilians surrendering to Bunyan Marsous forces, blew themselves up today after being brought inside BM lines, killing four fighters and injuring more than a dozen others.

One of the women had brought two children with her, reported Reuters, but did not detonate her explosives until the infants had been taken to an ambulance.  The children were reportedly hungry and dehydrated.

The Bunyan Marsous and other groups advancing into ISIL territory have called to civilians to bug out, if possible.

This incident follows the flight of other women from IS positions in recent days, in response to loudhailer calls for civilians to escape while they could. One young Tunisian girl who surrendered earlier this week has had her story of being duped into joining IS given wide publicity by the BM operations room.

The US continues desultory air strikes.

Yesterday according to US Africa Command,  there were three US air strikes all against terrorist positions.  There have now been 470 American raids since August.

Libyan Government forces and their allies, like Bunyan Marsous, are doing what they can for force protection.

On Wednesday a BM commander was reported to have said that his men would be holding back from further advances and loss of life.  Though tanks, armoured cars and self-propelled guns continue to be in the front line, the attackers have largely been content to bombard terrorist positions while laying down suppressive fire.

And learning a lot about IS defensive tactics.

With the capture of each new building, the extent of the IS defences becomes clearer, with networks of bomb shelters, tunnels and communication lines knocked through buildings. Some of this labyrinth is booby-trapped, a few parts, it seems are well concealed. It is reported that today terrorists started firing from a building that had been taken and supposedly cleared by BM fighters. It is not known if the  terrorists had hidden themselves inside the ruins or had later returned to it through tunnels.

This should be not much of a surprise. It’s conventional MOUT defensive tactics, and ISIL leadership primarily come from the Saddam-era and Qaddafi-era conventional armies. ISIL messaging in particular always shows their troops, unlike pro-government forces in Iraq, Libya and Syria, in standardized uniforms.

In other news from the Herald, one gets the impression that the chaos that Libya is already, is spinning further out of control. A presumed ISIL operative planted a bomb in a latrine in the Benghazi hospital treating government troops, and a battle kicked off in Tripoli between forces loyal to the Presidency Council and forces of former allies grand mufti Sadek Al-Ghariani, ploitical figure Khalifa Ghwell, and their Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG). Read The Whole Thing™ to get a sense of the factional chaos that now reigns in Qaddafi’s former kingdom. Even with a program, it’s functionally impossible to tell the various players apart.

Update: 1130R

Some typos noted by John M. below have been fixed.

With respect to Sirte, media are reporting today that it has fallen to Libyan government forces and the ISIL-associated militiamen have fled or been destroyed.

The suicide attack of the woman with accompanying children was both a response to the Libyan government (etc.) forces’ calls for noncombatants to come out, and an illustration of an ineffective last-ditch tactic (did kamikaze attacks ever win anything, even tactically? No, they just sacrifice people to kill a few enemies, and the kamikaze side always loses in the end).

The short-term prognosis is probably further government gains over a divided and largely ruined nation. The long term prognosis is probably seething, perpetual rebellion and persistence of a failed state across the Med from Italy.

Traitor Requests Preemptive Pardon

mad-magazine-trading-private-bergdahlWith the motions phase of his trial not going well, Bowe Bergdahl — through his radical lawyers led by elderly Stalinist retread Eugene Fidell — has requested that his name be added to President Obama’s last great list of pardoned prestoopniki.

The request for pardon shows, perhaps, that Bergdahl and his lawyers know what’s been obvious to anyone following his saga — the dude’s guilty, guilty, guilty.

White House and Justice Department officials said Saturday that Bergdahl had submitted copies of the clemency request seeking leniency. If granted by Obama, it would allow Bergdahl to avert a military trial scheduled for April where he faces charges of desertion and misbehavior before the enemy. The misbehavior charge carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.

If the pardon isn’t granted, Bergdahl’s defense team said it will expand its legal strategy to the new administration by filing a motion arguing President-elect Donald Trump violated his due process rights with scathing public comments about the case.

Bergdahl deserted his post in 2009 and went over to the Taliban. Hundreds of Americans risked their necks searching for him, and some of them were killed. Others suffered life-changing wounds.

In May 2014, the Administration made a secret deal with the Taliban to swap 5 terrorist leaders detained in the Guantanamo Bay facility for the traitor. Unlike the men who were placed at risk or injured seeking him, or the families of the slain, or, for that matter, any of the soldiers who went to Afghanistan and did their duty, the turncoat’s release was celebrated by President Obama. Giving the President’s general tilt towards jihadi terrorists and against American fighting men, a pardon is a real possibility.

Bergdahl is unlikely to be as celebrated by President-Elect Trump, who has pointed out that “in the old days,” we shot traitors like him.

Fidell, the Leftover Left activist leading Bergdah’s delay-disrupt-deny defense, thinks he can use Trump’s hostility to his client to get the traitor sprung, if appealing to Obama’s fondness for his client doesn’t work.

Fidell said he plans to file a motion seeking dismissal of the charges against Bergdahl shortly after the January inauguration, arguing Trump violated Bergdahl’s constitutional due-process rights.

The defense has been noting Trump’s comments about Bergdahl in what they’ve dubbed the “Trump Defamation Log.” A version included in the court record lists 40 such instances as of August.

“All of these things put together and repeated rally upon rally for basically a year have a cumulative effect that I think is totally at odds with the right to a fair trial,” Fidell said in a phone interview.

Unfortunately for Gene Fidell, whose dream world would be a regime where radical lawyers could control who could speak and what they could say, his dream isn’t becoming real.

Good luck with the technicalities, because everyone knows, regardless of legal maneuvers, that Bowe Bergdahl is a traitor and a prince of Blue Falconry. Even the Taliban don’t want him back!

The Volcano, Filipino Nationalism, and Tomorrow

Mount Pinatubo erupted in 1991, and made negotiations for the retention of Clark AB moot.

Mount Pinatubo erupted in 1991, and made negotiations for the retention of Clark AB moot.

Filipino President Duterte is wildly popular in one place, and wildly unpopular in another. The first is in his native country, where he has waged an unflinching war against drugs and crime — a war that has often rejected legal and human rights restraints, and that considers a dead dope dealer as big a check in the W column as one in handcuffs. The second is in the hearts and minds of the transnational elite, including the journalists and diplomats of just about the entire world, and especially with the elites’ Supreme Personality of Godhead, President Barack Obama. As a result, a number of bridges between the once inseparable allies have been set alight, and Duterte is cozying up to American rivals in the region, even appearing willing to cede Filipino claims to sovereignty (which the Philippines lack the ability to defend, anyway) in the contested Spratly Islands, which are now partly occupied by China.

Today, the crater lake of the resting volcano is a tourist stop, and these 1991 billows of ash turned out to be great fertilizer.

Today, the crater lake of the resting volcano is a tourist stop, and these 1991 billows of ash turned out to be great fertilizer — after, unfortunately, killing most everything green that was in their way.

The US military and the Filipino military, which was created in the American image, have always been closer than the societies in general. It will be a measure of President-Elect Trump’s ability to make deals, whether he is able to restore any of the former closeness between the two historic partners. Because, while Duterte and Obama have driven their nations apart from one another, the schism goes back decades, and is bigger than a couple of cults of personality. This page tells some of the diplomatic history of the US withdrawal from Clark Airfield (which was accelerated by the unexpected eruption of Mount Pinatubo in 1991) and Subic Bay, a departure which threw 140,000 skilled Filipino dock and aircraft-maintenance workers, and at least 20,000 skilled prostitutes, out of work.

The bases were closed, at Filipino demand, and the question became — would there be some sort of alliance and / or access agreement? At  that page, the then-ambassador remembers:

The reason I urged the Filipinos to keep our defense relationship active – this was in 1992 or early ‘93 – was that I felt that they were going to find the Chinese putting pressure on them as Beijing pressed its claims for the Spratly Islands and other areas in the South China Sea, some of which the Filipinos claimed….

The Chinese asserted their presence in this contested area in the South China Sea because of a growing nationalism, which led them to want to reinforce their territorial claims. But I also think they did it as a way of making everybody aware that the Americans were not around anymore, and that the Philippines and the other ASEAN countries would have to deal with China on their own.

I had urged Secretary Baker to take a fairly active position in response to Chinese efforts to put pressure on the Philippines and others who were our friends or allies in the region on the issue of the territorial disputes in the South China Sea.

I made the argument that even if we weren’t a direct claimant to these territories ourselves, if we were not seen as supporting the interests of key allies like the Philippines, then other allies in the region who are much more important to our interests – especially Japan, which had its own territorial dispute in the East China Sea with China, and Korea – would begin to have doubts about our staying power and our value as a defense partner….

Read The Whole Thing™ (and the several other diplomatic reminisces there).

Much or the damage to US interests in the Pacific Rim has been done by two administrations that saw the “little brown guys” of the region’s many proud nations as so many infantile savages to be lectured and hectored into our superior way of doing things. This policy was not a success in 1977-80 and was even less successful in 2009-2016.

This World Airways DC-10 was destroyed by Pinatubo. More photos of the eruption here at NOAA.

This World Airways DC-10 was destroyed by Pinatubo. More photos of the eruption here at NOAA.

Back in 1991-1992, the US wanted to stay, and many Filipinos wanted the US to stay. But a combination of political weakness on both sides of the negotiation, political posturing, and political opportunism, led to a different outcome.

Right now, US-Filipino relations are in a state as ruined as Clark Air Base was in 1992. If we want to repair that damage, we need to start by listening to Duterte, and not drumming on how deplorable he and his voters are. It’s their country, they get to run it. We ought to be telling them why we should, and how we can, help them, and be honest about how that will help us.

The Best Comment on Castro’s Expiration

castroFrom the always interesting Peter Grant:

The news that Fidel Castro has died brought back one memory in particular.

I was standing in the Angolan bush, along with a group of UNITA rebels.  They were cleaning up after a firefight – which meant leaving the enemy bodies where they had fallen, but stripping them of their weapons, uniforms and supplies.  Everything would be washed, cleaned, repaired if necessary, and reissued to new owners, who would use it to kill more of the enemy.

Among the dead were two very young Cuban conscripts, some of the tens of thousands of troops sent by Fidel Castro to prop up the brutal pro-Communist regime in Angola. They were probably well under 20 years old.  They hadn’t even finished growing;  they still had that gangling, slightly disjointed look of late adolescence.  Both looked as if they didn’t yet need to shave every day.  They never would, now.  Their AK-47’s were still half-slung.  They hadn’t even managed to raise them to a firing position before the RPD bullets found them.

This is very typical of Peter, and one reason he’s a better man and a better Christian than Your Humble Blogger. We’d be laughing at their dead young conscript asses: “Heh, should have stayed in your own third world hellhole. No fun to be you now, is it? Loser.” Peter sees their humanity. He doesn’t say it here, but we bet he prayed for their souls.

A grizzled NCO looked down at them, and an odd look came over his face. He spat to one side, very expressively, and murmured, “Just one more. That’s all I ask.  Just one more.”
I looked at him, and my eyebrows rose.  He caught my expression, and nodded.  “I want the bastard who sends kids like this over here to die.”

The Cuban communists have never told their people the truth about their losses in Angola. Generally, when they faced the Springboks, or Savimbi’s UNITA, they got their heads handed to them. They only did well against the disorganized FNLA and its ill-assorted mercenaries, and even there, their losses were out of all proportion to the relative strengths of the parties. But the official Cuban government figure was under 3,000 killed (independent estimates run 5-10,000 Cubans lost).

Peter has an interesting and eclectic background, and blogs at Bayou Renaissance Man. He’s worth reading, both on the blog and in his fiction (science fiction and Westerns).

The OSU Attacker Gets Reinforcements

2,500 more of these are on the way. And that's just the beginning.

2,500 more of these are on the way. And that’s just the beginning.

While the eyes of most interested in national security are on the excellent appointment of USMC Gen. James Mattis — and it’s worth it just to see the egg on hack reporter Colin Clark’s face for a bullshit report based on an “anonymous source” who probably didn’t exist, or whom he misrepresented — a more serious national security event just happened.

The lame duck “security” establishment is rushing “refugees” from jihad exporting nations to the United States — and the State Department is treating their names, points of origin, and destinations as classified information.

You know, like they didn’t do with their actual classified information, which is why a mountain of it is on Wikileaks, and whatever isn’t there is on servers in the Lubyanka. Fox:

In an unprecedented move, the U.S. State Department has classified details on refugees to be resettled in America via a secret deal made with Australia. The bi-lateral agreement, which Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull called a “one-off,” involves 2,465 people currently being held in Papua New Guinea and Nauru who will now be transferred onto U.S. soil.

Officials, however, did confirm countries of origin to be Iran, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia, Iraq and Sudan, as well as some deemed “stateless.”

Every single one of those nations is a net producer and exporter of terrorists, although Sri Lanka terrorism seems to be in remission at the moment. Still, the principal reason a refugee would free Sri Lanka is due to connection to the crushed Tamil separatist movement, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.

The stateless are people who have been expelled from their home nations, primarily because their loyalty is elsewhere, for example, to a transnational pseudo-religious terrorist movement.

While this is hitting the mainstream media (well, some of the mainstream media) cold, Refugee Resettlement Watch was on it last month, before it actually happened. (She’s also got pictures of those fine “refugees” burning their camp down in a fit of inchoate anger in 2013).

In two related stories at the New York Times, one revels in the collapse of the immigration courts under lawyers’ obstruction and over a half-million backed-up deportation cases, and another tries to tell the story of the OSU jihadi, but can’t figure out why he did it.

It’s the Islam, stupid. We don’t need, and we can’t afford, even one more Somali. The Times says the attack was no big deal because the 11 people slashed by the attacker (and the one hit by police friendly fire) are not going to die. If the rest of these people did what the “assimilated, happy” “refugee” did in Columbus, then 27,115 people will be hospitalized with serious wounds. It’s not like we have any shortage of murderous refugees, violent immigrants and criminal alien mayhem already.

But hey, if it’s a Mattis story you want, Ralph Peters (LTC, MI, Ret.) has a good run-down on the guy.

If we don’t answer when you call, it’s because we’re out buying 2,465 more rounds of defensive ammunition, just in case.

Terror and Narrative™

mohammed_cartoonAnother murderous Mohammedan migrant attempted the 6th and primary Pillar of Islam at the Ohio State University in Columbus this week. It made an initial splash in the news, and then was quickly hustled off the front pages and out of the 24-hour cable cycle, for Narrative™ violations.

The chain of events went something like this:

  1. Somali “refugee” goes a-jihad with car and machete.
  2. Cops ventilate him. (Good).
  3. Media fake-newses “active shooter event.”
  4. Moms Demand etc. call for gun bans, and mourn the shot jihadi. (Remember when they mourned Tamerlan Tsarnaev?) shannon-15-watts https://twitter.com/shannonrwatts/status/803272416428429312bloomberg-soros-axis-for-jihad
  5. The Jihadi’s ID and motive were close-held by the media, but leaked, inevitably.
  6. He posted his desire to “kill a billion infidels” on Facebook.
    https://twitter.com/pspoole/status/803418811194019840
  7. Fallback media position: his motive is unknown.
  8. School paper hailed his diversity, back before he was an attempted murderer.
  9. The college administration still praises him, and calls for the mourning of his death (to Hell with the others he attacked; his was a Black Criminals’ Lives Matter life).
    https://twitter.com/WDFx2EU16/status/803391745710919680osu-administrator-for-killer
  10. Now everyone is supposed to pretend that such things as OSU being a Gun Free Zone, OSU supporting his Jihad Quest (because Diversity is Our Vibrancy™), and Columbus being a Sanctuary City for criminal aliens, all didn’t matter.

But wait, it just keeps getting better. Here, the Washington Post notes that the soi-disant Islamic State, an organization that no lesser authority on Islam than B. Hussein Obama has said is “not islamic,” has claimed the would-be murderer as a “soldier,” which doesn’t mean the same thing in mohammedan circles than it does to actual, you know, soldiers.

The Moslem terrorist community “fears backlash” after their latest fang-plant in the hand that feeds them. Narodniy Politicheskiy Radio has another Somali “refugee” named Mohamed at OSU, who is bothered by the terror attack:

My stomach did fall….Not just because of what happened today, but because of what will happen tomorrow.

Yep, it doesn’t bug him at all what his guys do to the kufr, but it bugs him that the kufr might just be on to them.

And Think Progress condemns the OSU attack because… wait for it… it

raised tension in an American community already facing demonization….left them in a vulnerable state

And, also, because Trump. Because everything is his fault now. The Think Progress article closes with a threat:

We came here to practice our religion.

Well, that’s what this barbarian just did, and we’ve had enough of your murderous mohammedanism.

Terrorist co-conspirator CAIR said some people would:

…falsely link this tragic incident to the faith of Islam and the Muslim communities…

Yeah, that’d be us. And everyone else who can fog a mirror. Except for the “falsely” bit. (Remember the CAIR scam that collected money “for victims of terrorism” after 9/11… and used it to reward the survivors of Hamas suicide bombers? They’re hoping you don’t).

And Rob Wells of ABC News headlined his concern trolling:

Somali, Muslim communities fear faith-based vengeance after OSU campus attack.

A gun-control activist at Yahoo News, one Caitlin Dixon, meanwhile, belatedly admitted that the attacker didn’t use a gun, but because she and other media fabricators initially reported that he did, it was time to “look at Ohio gun laws.” True, although not the way she means; Ohio is late on the campus carry and constitutional carry trains.

Finally, to put a perfect cap on things, let’s juxtapose two messages. Lame Duck President Barack Obama, via misnamed spokesman Josh Earnest:

Our response to this situation matters. If we respond to this situation by casting aspersions on millions of people that adhere to a particular religion or if we increase our suspicion of people who practice a particular religion, we are more likely going to contribute to acts of violence than we are to prevent them.

Translation: We’re doubling down on ignoring Islamic terrorism.

Juxtapose the terrorist’s message, on his Facebook page:

By Allah, we will not let you sleep unless you give peace to the Muslims. You will not celebrate or enjoy any holiday. Btw, every single Muslim who disapproves of my actions is a sleeper cell, waiting for a signal. I am warning you Oh America.

Yeah, well, America lives and you’re as dead as Mohammed, kid.

A Breitbart reporter asked if the President had found time to call the campus cop, Alan Horujko, who ended the terrorist’s spree at about the one-minute mark, with a couple of well-placed pistol rounds. Earnest dissembled, but ultimately admitted the answer was, “No.” Why would he? Horujko is on one side, with the victims, and the President’s on the other, with the terrorist.

Death of an Ambassador

adolph_spike_dubsNo, we’re not writing about Benghazi, but the last time a US Ambassador was murdered in the line of duty: Adolph “Spike” Dubs, Ambassador to Afghanistan, shot and killed on 14 February 1979. As is often the case with ambassadors in hardship posts, Dubs was not a political appointee, but a career diplomat.

Dubs had served as a Naval officer in World War II, and is interred in Arlington National Cemetery. Then-President Jimmy Carter attended the interment.

Yesterday, Wikileaks dumped a large tranche of State Department cables from 1979. These cables are marked as declassified on the site. One of these cables provides previously unknown information about the death of Dubs.

We have made the following edits:

  1. Imposed paragraph breaks
  2. Corrected some obvious typos
  3. Deleted declassification markings and page headers/footers.

We did preserve the overall headers of the two sections of the document.

Bruce Amstutz, who signed the cable, was the Deputy Chief of Mission (and became Chargé d’Affaires on Dubs’s death).

The deleted declassification header/footer was on every page, and reads:

Sheryl P. Walter Declassified/Released US Department of State EO Systematic Review 20 Mar 2014

There are many conspiracy theories about the death of Dubs, most of which ascribe his murder to the Soviets. This cable recounting ground truth as observed by an American officer on the scene, suggests that Dubs was killed either by friendly fire or by the Afghans holding him hostage during a haphazard rescue attempt by Soviet-controlled or -advised Afghan police.


CONFIDENTIAL
PAGE 01
KABUL 01470 01 OF 02 260751Z
ACTION SY-05
INFO OCT-01 ISO-00 SYE-00 /006 W ------------------041674 260752Z /34 O 260602Z FEB 79
FM AMEMBASSY KABUL TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2460
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 1 OF 2 KABUL 1470
SY CHANNEL
FOR: DASS, CC/TAGS AND SAS
E.O. 12065: RDS 3 AND 4 2/25/85 (GOLACINSKI, ALAN B.) OR-A
TAGS: ASEC SUBJECT: KIDNAPPING AND KILLING OF AMBASSADOR DUBS: STATMENT OF HAROLD D. WANKEL, DEA OFFICER

1. (U) THE FOLLOWING IS A STATMENT OF EVENTS WITNESSED AND PARTICIPATED IN BY HAROLD D. WANKEL, REGARDING THE KIDNAPPING AND KILLING OF US AMBASSADOR ADOLPH DUBS IN KABUL, AFGHANISTAN ON FEBRUARY 14, 1979. MR. WANKEL WAS APPOINTED A SPECIAL AGENT WITH THE BNDD ON SEPTEMBER 20, 1970 AT KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI. HE SERVED THERE UNTIL JANUARY 1971 AT WHICH TIME HE WAS ASSIGNED AS A SPECIAL AGENT TO THE DETROIT OFFICE AND REMINED THERE UNTIL JANUARY 1978. IN JANUARY 1978 MR. WANKEL WAS APPOINTED THE DEA ASSISTANT COUNTRY ATTACHE TO AFGHANISTAN. ON NOVEMBER 20, 1978 MR. WANKEL WAS DESIGNATED AS THE DEA COUNTRY ATTACHE TO AFGHANISTAN, A POSITION WHICH HE CURRENTLY OCCUPIES.

2. (C) ON FEBRUARY 14, 1979, AT APPROXIMATELY 9:10 A.M. I OVERHEARD A CONVERSATION AT THE AMERICAN EMBASSY CONCERNING AMBASSADOR DUBS. THE SUBSTANCE OF THE CONVERSATION WAS THAT AMBASSADOR DUBS HAD JUST BEEN ARRESTED BY KABUL POLICE OFFICERS NEAR THE USICA OFFICES IN KABUL. IT WAS STATED THAT THE AMBASSADOR HAD BEEN STOPPED AND DETAINED BY POLICE' WHILE HE WAS BEING DRIVEN TO WORK BY HIS CONFIDENTIAL CONFIDENTIAL PAGE 02 KABUL 01470 01 OF 02 260751Z AFGHAN CHAUFFEUR.

3. (C) SOMETIME LATER IN THE MORNING IT WAS STATED AT THE AMERICAN EMBASSY THAT THE AFGHAN GOVERNMENT WAS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ABDUCTION OF AMBASSADOR DUBS. AT THE SAME TIME I HEARD THE RUMOR THAT TERRORISTS HAD ABDUCTEDAMBASSADOR AND TAKEN HIM TO THE KABUL HOTEL.

4. (C) AT APPROXIMATELY 11:45 A.M., WARREN MARIK, AMERICAN EMBASSY OFFICER, AND MYSELF DROVE IN MY VEHICLE TO THE AREA OF THE KABUL HOTEL. I PARKED THE CAR A BLOCK AWAY FROM THE HOTEL WHICH WAS NECISSITATED BECAUSE KABUL POLICE HAD THE KABUL HOTEL AND BORDERING STREETS CORDONED OFF. WE WALKED TO THE HOTEL WHERE WE WERE STOPPED BY POLIC AND DETAINED FOR A FEW MINUTES UNTIL OUR IDENTITIES WERE ESTABLISHED AND OUR PRESENCE IN THE HOTEL APPROVED BY OTHER AMERICAN EMBASSY OFFICERS AT THE HOTEL. OUTSIDE THE HOTEL WERE NUMEROUS POLICE OFFICERS ALONG THE SIDEWALK. I SAW THREE OFFICERS WITH AUTOMATIC RIFLES DIRECTLY ACROSS THE STREET ON THE BALCONY OF A BANK. THIS BALCONY WAS APPROXIMATELY THE LEVEL OF THE SECOND FLOOR OF THE HOTEL.

4. (C) WARREN MARIK AND I ENTERED THE HOTEL LOBBY AT APPROXIMATELY 12:04 P.M. A FEW MINUTES LATER MR. MARIK, MYSELF, MICHAEL MALINOWSKI AND DR. ROTZ CARRIED A MEDICAL STRETCHER UPSTAIRS (ONE FLOOR) TO A FOYER AREA LOCATED APPROIXIMATELY 75 FEET FROM ROOM 117 WHERE I WAS TOLD THE AMBASSADOR WAS BEING HELD BY TWO AFGHAN TERRORISTS BELIEVED TO BE ARMED.

5. (C) IN THE FOYER AREA WERE RSO CHARLES BOLES AND EMBASSY OFFICER BRUCE FLATIN, AS WELL AS FOUR INDIVIDUALS IDENTIFIED TO ME BY WARREN MARIK AND OTHERS, AS SOVIET ADVISORS. ONE SOVIET ADVISOR WAS TALL, APPROXIMATELY 6'2", BALDING AND WAS WEARING A BLACK TRENCH COAT. ONE OTHER ADVISOR WAS SHORT, 5'8"-5'9" AND WAS WEARING A HAT AND TRENCH COAT. OF THE OTHER TWO ADVISORS, ONE HAD SALT AND PEPPER HAIR AND THE OTHER WAS BLOND. PRESENT, IN ADDITION TO THE AMERICANS AND SOVIETS, WERE NUMBEROUS AFGHAN POLICE OFFICERS, SOME OF WHICH I KNOW PERSONALLY. AMONG THEM WERE: EXECUTIVE SECRETARY TO POLICE COMMANDANT TAROON (I DON'T KNOW HIS NAME), TAROON'S PERSONAL ENGLISH-LANGUAGE INTERPRETER (I DON'T KNOW HIS NAME. YOSUF SAHAR, CHIEF OF THE ANTI-SMUGGLING UNIT, AND GUL MOHAMMED ANDAR, CHIEF, CID, I WOULD ESTIMATE AT LEAST 20 AFGHAN OFFICIALS IN VARIOUS LOCATIONS ON THE SECOND FLOOR. THESE LOCATIONS WERE THE FOYER AREA WHERE THE AMERICANS AND ONE OR MORE SOVIETS WERE PRESENT, THE STAIRWAY LEADING TO THE LOBBY, AND THE AREA IN CLOSE PROXIMITY TO ROOM 117.

6. (C) SOME OF THE SOVIETS, AND IN PARTICULAR THE TALL BALDING INDIVIDUAL, SPENT MUCH OF THEIR TIME WALKING FROM ONE OF THE AFOREMENTIONED AREAS TO ANOTHER TO CONVERSE WITH AFGHAN POLICE ABOUT THE SITUATION. TWO OF THE SOVIETS, ONE OF WHICH WAS THE TALL BALDING ONE, WENT TO THE HOTEL FOYER WINDOW AND SURVEYED THE BANK BALCONY ACROSS THE STREET WHERE I HAD PREVIOUSLY NOTICED POLICE WITH AUTOMATIC RIFLES.

7. (C) AT SOME POINT IN TIME, I BELIEVE AROUND 12:25 P.M., I HEARD RSO BOLES TRANSMIT OVER HIS RADIO THAT THE AFGHAN POLICE HAD DECIDED TO RUSH THE ROOM IN 8-10 MINUTES. OVERHEARD ON THE RADIO AT THAT TIME WERE COMMENTS FROM THE AMERICAN EMBASSY SAYING TO THE EFFECT THAT WASHINGTON URGED NO SUCH ACTION BE TAKEN. BOLES TRANSMITTED TO THE EFFECT THAT THE AFGHANS HAD BEEN TOLD THAT BUT WERE UNDER DIFFERENT ORDERS. AT THIS TIME I NOTICED COMMANDOES IN FLACK JACKETS WITH WHAT I BELIEVE TO HAVE BEEN AK-47 RIFLES MOVE INTO POSITION NEAR THE DOOR OF 117. A PICTURE OF AMBASSADOR DUBS WAS PASSED AROUND THE SECOND FLOOR FOYER AREA AND WAS BEING STUDIED BY AFGHAN POLICE. CONFIDENTIAL

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8. (C) NEAR THIS JUNCTURE IN TIME A SMALL SLENDER INDIVIDUAL IN CUSTODY WAS SEMI-DRAGGED/MARCHED TO THE FOYER AREA. THIS PERSON HAD A BLANKET OVER HIS HEAD AND WAS BEING INTERROGATED BY SOME OF THE AFGHAN POLICE. THE CAPTIVE WAS BEING ROUGHED UP AND MAN-HANDLED BY HIS INTERROGATORS. I WAS TOLD BY AN AFGHAN THAT THIS PERSON WAS ONE OF THE TERRORISTS THAT HAD BEEN CAPTURED IN THE HOTEL. FROM BITS AND PIECES OF CONVERSATION I OVERHEARD, I WAS GIVEN TO UNDERSTAND THAT THE TERRORISTS IN ROOM 117 WANTED THE RETURN OF THEIR CAPTIVE COMRADE WITH HIS WEAPON. IT WAS FURTHER MY UNDERTANDING THAT THE AFGHAN POLICE AND SOVIET ADVISORS WERE CONTEMPLATING THE RETURN OF THE CAPTIVE TO ROOM 117 AS A RUSE TO GAIN ENTRY TO THE ROOM.

9. AT THIS TIME I OBSERVED TWO SOVIET ADVISORS WITH AN AUTOMATIC PISTOL WALK PAST THE FOYER AREA WHERE I WAS STANDING TO APOINT APPROXIMATELY 20 FEET DOWN THE HALLWAY TOWARD THE STAIRWAY. THERE I OBSERVED THEM HURRIEDLY INSPECT THE PISTOL AND WORK ON IT, EITHER TO ALTER IT SO IT WOULD NOT FUNCTION OR TO REPAIR IT SO IT WOULD FUNCTION. AFTER A FEW MINUTES THEY GAVE IT TO AN AFGHAN POLICE OFFICER WHO HURRIED BACK TO THE AREA OF ROM 117 ALONG WITH THE CAPTIVE. FOR A REASON UNKNOWN TO ME, THE CAPTIVE WAS NOT RETURNED TO ROOM 117 BUT KEPT IN THE HALLWAY.

10. AT APPROXIMATELY 12:45 P.M. A SOVIET ADVISOR WENT TO THE WINDOW OF THE SECOND FLOOR HOTEL FOYER AND REPEATEDLY HELD UP ONE HAND WIDESPREAD WHICH I TOOK TO MEAN THAT IN FIVE MINUTES THE POLICE ON THE BALCONY ACROE STREET WERE TO FIRE AT OR NEAR THE WINDOW OF ROOM 117 TO DRAW THE ATTENTION OF THE TERRORISTS WITHIN ROOM 117. AT THIS TIME SEVERAL AFGHAN POLICE ARMED AND WEARING SOME PROTECTIVE CLOTHING WERE STATIONED OUTSIDE ROOM 117.

11. (C) DUE TO THE IMMINENT ACTIONS OF THE AFGHAN POLICE, WARREN MARIK, MICHAEL MALINOWSKI AND MYSELF WERE GIVEN LAST MINUTE INSTRUCTIONS BY DR. ROTZ AS TO THE HANDLING OF AMBASSADOR DUBS AND STRETCHER IN THE LIKELY EVEN HE WAS WOUNDED IN THE UPCOMING AFGHAN POLICE RUSH OF THE ROOM.

12. (C) AT APPROXIMATELY 12:50 P.M. I SIMULTANEOUSLY HEARD WHAT I BELIEVED TO BE THE FORCED ENTRY OF ROOM 117, SHOOTING FROM THE BANK BALCONY AND FIRING FROM INSIDE THE HOTEL ROOM AREA OF AUTOMATIC RIFLES OR MACHINE GUNS. THERE WAS ONE VERY LONG BURST OF FIRE AND TWO OR THREE SHORT INTERMITTENT BURSTS. THE LAST SHORT BURST CAME FROM WITHIN THE ROOM AND APPROXIMATELY 10 SECONDS AFTER THE PRECEEDING BURST. BEFORE THE FIRING WAS OVER A SOVIET ADVISOR REAPPEARED AT THE FOYER WINDOW FACING THE BANK AND WAVED HIS ARMS IN A SIGNAL TO STOP FIRING. THE SHOOTING WAS QUITE LONG. I WOULD ESTIMATE IT LASTED 40-50 SECONDS.

13. APPROXIMATELY 30 SECONDS AFTER THE FINAL BURST OF SHOOTING, DR. ROTZ, MYSELF, WARREN MARIK AND MICHAEL MALINOWSKI RAN TO AND ENTERED ROOM 117 WITH THE STRETCHER. I OBSERVED IN THE RIGHT HAND CORNER OF THE ROOM THE AMBASSADOR SLUMPED OVER IN A CHAIR, ONE TERRORIST LAYING TO HIS RIGHT AND ONE TERRORIST LAYING ACROSS THE ROOM NEAR THE WINDOW. ALL THREE APPEARED TO BE DEAD. AMBASSADOR DUBS HAD WHAT APPEARED TO BE WOUNDS TO THE HEAD AND BODY. DR. ROTZ AND I HURRIEDLY PLACED HIM ON THE STRETCHER AND MICHAEL MALINOWSKI, WARREN MARIK AND MYSELF HURRIEDLY RAN FROM THE ROOM CARRYING THE STRETCHER WITH AMBASSADOR DUBS. WE RAN ALL THE WAY DOWNSTAIRS AND PLACED THE AMBASSADOR AND STRETCHER IN THE AMBULANCE WHICH SPAY TOWARDS THE AMERICAN DISPENSARY, DRIVEN BY RSO BOLES. DR. ROTZ AND NURSE MARJORIE YAMAMOTO ATTENDED TO THE AMBASSADOR IN THE REAR OF THE AMBULANCE.

14. (C) AT THIS TIME AFGHAN POLICE UNCEREMONIOUSLY CARRIED/ DRAGGED THE BODIES OF THE TWO TERRORISTS THAT HAD BEEN SHOT IN ROOM 117 DOWN THE STAIRS THROUGH THE HOTEL FIRST FLOOR LOBBY. ONE APPEARED TO BE MOST PROBABLY DEAD. THE CAPTURED TERRORIST WAS ALSO BROUGHT DOWNSTAIRS BY THE POLICE. THIS TERRORIST WAS KICKING AND STRUGGLING IN THE WAKE OF CASCADING BLOWS FROM THE NUMBEROUS AFGHAN POLICE OFFICERS. HE DID NOT APPEAR TO BE SERIOUSLY HURT. AT NO TIME DID I SEE A FOURTH TERRORIST EITHER ALIVE OR DEAD.

15. (C) MYSELF, WARREN MARIK AND JAY FRERES THEN WENT BACK TO THE SCENE OF THE SHOOTING. ONE AFGHAN POLICE OFFICER DRESSED IN NATIVE AFGHAN GARB APPEARED TO BE GIVING ROOM 117 A CURSORY EXAMINATION. I WENT INTO ROOM 117 WHICH WAS BY THIS TIME COVERED WITH AN INCH OF WATER FROM A RADIATOR HEATER THAT HAD BEEN RUPTURED DURING THE GUNFIRE. THERE WERE NO GUNS OR ANYTHING ELSE LAYING AROUND THAT WAS OF OBVIOUS EVIDENTIARY NATURE. I NOTICED THAT THE TOP HALF OF THE INNER DOOR, WHICH WAS GLASS, WAS APPARENTLY SHOT AND THE GLASS FRAGMENTS FOR THE MOST PART WERE IN ROOM 117 AS OPPOSED TO THE INNER HALLWAY. I ALSO NOTICED THAT IN THE CEILING AND UPPER WALL AREA WHERE AMBASSADOR DUBS WAS FOUND WERE SEVEN TO NINE BULLET PENETRATIONS. THE ANGLE THAT THESE BULLETS HAD STRUCK GAVE ME REASON TO BELIEVE THEY HAD BEEN FIRED FROM THE BANK BALCONY ACROSS THE STREET BECAUSE OF THE LOCATION OF THE BALCONY VIS-A-VIS ROOM 117.

16. (C) THE ONLY ASSUMPTIVE STATEMENT I WOULD MAKE REGARDING THE SHOOTING IS THAT I BELIEVE AMBASSADOR DUBS WAS SHOT AT THE OUTSET OF THE SHOOTING. I STATE THIS BASED THE FACT THAT AMBASSADOR DUBS WAS FOUND SEATED ON A CHAIR LOCATED AGAINST THE WALL WITHOUT ANY SIGNSTRUGGLE OR ATTEMPTS TO TAKE COVER WHICH I FEEL WOULD HAVE BEEN A NATURAL REACTION IF HE HAD NOT BEEN SHOT IMMEDIATELY WHEN THE SHOOTING BEGAN. (END OF STATEMENT)

17. (C) EMBASSY COMMENT: WE DO NOT BELIEVE IT ADVISABLE TO RELEASE THE NAMES OF AMERICAN WITNESSES AT THE KABUL HOTEL OUTSIDE OF THE DEPARTMENT. AMSTUTZ CONFIDENTIAL NNNN

 

That concludes the document. For a different American witness interview, which contradicts this one in a few places, see this interview with former Political Counselor Bruce Flatin in a foreign service officers’ informational website. (Flatin is mentioned in the above cable). The points of contradiction are minor, and probably result from the normal divergence we see between eyewitnesses, plus the fact that DEA officer Wankel’s statement was given within days of the events, and Flatin’s interview took place in 1993.

Another previously unreleased Amstutz cable describes what a Belgian bank official saw from across from the hotel and reported to the Embassy.

Particularly interesting in Flatin’s report is the mechanism of Spike Dubs’s death: “about four” .22 slugs in the brain. The Soviets and Afghans fanned the conspiracy talk by murdering the captive hostage takers, and failing to disclose evidence, including the weapons retrieved from the room where Dubs was held captive and killed.