Category Archives: Unconventional Warfare

Breaking: Another Chance for Martland

SFC Charles MartlandSFC Charles Martland, the Special Forces NCO who is being railroaded out of the Army for stopping an Afghan pedophile from continuing to inflict bacha bazi on a young slave boy, has been granted a reprieve to allow him to file another appeal. This news was released in a Friday night data dump, and some of the media are reporting as if Martland has won. According to SF soldiers who have seen the Army ruling, it’s just a temporary delay to let things blow over while a doomed appeal circulates, before pro-pedophile Pentagon personnel people get what they want.

While it’s impossible to put anything past the current leadership structure, the Fox News story indicated that the toxic “Army Values” determination has been removed from Martland’s records:

An Army spokesman said Thursday that Martland’s status has been changed, allowing him to stay in the Army in a statement to Fox News.

“In SFC Martland’s case, the Army Board for Correction of Military Records determination modified a portion of one of SFC Martland’s evaluation reports and removed him from the QMP list, which will allow him to remain in the Army,” said Lt. Col. Jerry Pionk.

The final outcome is unknowable at the moment.

The history of the case is this: Martland got QMP’d out (that is, dropped by a reduction in force mechanism known by the Orwellian name “Qualitative Management Program”) because of a bad NCO Evaluation Report. The bad NCOER, in turn, came about because he objected to the Afghan sacrament of buggery (now on its way to full sacramental status in the Pentagon, as well). You would think that they’d give a medal to a guy who saved a kid from sex slavery, but not Martland: what they want to give him is two in the hat. And the whole NCOER thing is a uniformed bureaucrat’s way of doing it in such a way that there are no prints on the murder weapon. “Oh, no, we didn’t whack him; it was all just automatic after that old meanie gave him the toxic NCOER.”

You would think that speeches like this stemwinder from a Virginia Delegate Nick Freitas would make a difference:

You’d be wrong. In the mixed-up, tossed-up, never-come-down world of Army Values, buggery trumps integrity every time.

And the Great Buggernaut rolled on. But perhaps it will not roll over Charles Martland. Not yet..

Update

This Ain’t Hell covered Martland’s situation based on the Fox News story linked above. Hondo and Jonn’s and his commenters appear to be more confident than we are, that this reversal is the real thing and Martland’s troubles are over, for now.

Administrative Note

We’ll be late with tonight’s Friday Tour d’Horizon. Meatworld pressures are upon us, everything from cat-sitting an ailing furball to trying to buy property to a non-life-threatening but vexatiously painful medical problem. Yes, that sounds like a lot of sniveling, because it is. There is a post set for 0600 tomorrow and we hope to catch up then, and backfill the missing piece. We regret the delay — Ed.

Not All Refugees Want to Blow You Up

suicide-bomber-schoolBut enough do that one wonders about the game of frog and scorpion Western leaders are playing. It’s as if virtue signalling to one’s peers is more important than small things such as survival. If these people were hosting these cuckoo’s eggs in their own nests — they are not going to New York or San Francisco — there would be a certain self-sacrificing nobility in it, but as we just noted, they are not, they are sending them to Manchester, NH or Kalamazoo, Michigan. (Indeed, the number 1 destination for islamist refugees and their embedded terrorist fraction is Texas, thanks to a Federal desire for disruption and the efforts of nihilistic “non-profits.”)

Consider Vox Day’s Three Laws of SJWotics from SJWs Always LieWhatever you think of Day, the book is a superior framework for understanding the Social Justice Warrior tactics of frame-and-shame shut-uppery that are in the forefront of modern discourse. The Three Laws are:

  1. SJWs always lie
  2. SJWs always double down
  3. SJWs always project.

And let’s add to that, the Law of Refugees from SFQC:

  • Experience teaches us that one in ten of refugees coming from an enemy or denied area is either working directly for, or at least reporting intelligence information to, the enemy.

We expected, if these laws are truly laws, for the social-justice obsessed refugee savers to respond to the Paris massacre as follows:

  1. To assert that the refugees are no threat in the future, and indeed, have never been a threat in the past.
  2. To insist on even more refugees.
  3. To suggest that those who would exclude terrorists, not those who welcome them, are a threat to the institutions of the country;

And those things all have happened.

We would further expect:

  • To see more terrorist attacks committed by refugees.

The last, only time will tell, but the first three reactions can already be seen, adding a data point to the data set supporting Day’s theses.

We’re using a bad definition of refugees here

The usual usage of the word refugee suggests a temporarily displaced person longing to return home once the natural disaster or war has abated. No one seriously thinks these are that kind of refugee. These people are looking for permanent resettlement — and some non-zero subset of them are expecting to get permanent resettlement, on perpetual welfare. They are not looking for traditional resettlement, like, for example, the Free Poles that remained in Canada and Britain after World War II rather than return to their Russian-enslaved homeland in 1945. Those people ultimately became the parents of fully-assimilated Canadians and Britons, for whom the Old Country and its ways are little more than an ethnic surname and perhaps some ancestral comfort-food recipes.

Our new wave don’t see themselves going back to their third world hellholes. Yet they don’t feel at all grateful for resettlement — egged on by Western “inequality” preachers, they feel entitled. 

The most probable outcome of these camps or nests of hostile moslems and Arabs in our nation is to see permanent, hard-shelled cysts of unassimilated foreigners embedded in our society.

1. The Lie: “The Refugees Pose No Threat”

Yes, they’re already saying that. Want examples? Barack Obama, the President. David Miliband, former British Foreign Secretary. Hillary Clinton, the Heiress Apparent. Nancy Pelosi, from San Francisco, which is promised zero of the wave (Pelosi’s speech at the link also credits the French government for sending the revolutionary Lafayette to America. No, Louis XVI did not send him). Let’s not just pick on the Democrats. Here’s Jeb Bush. Marco Rubio. And why stick to politicians? For the Brookings Institution, armchair expert Dan Byman sneered days before the Paris attack that “ISIS Doesn’t work that way.” That was, of course, before they “worked that way” the living crap out of Paris, but don’t expect a change in position from Byman (he’ll follow the Third Law).

And yeah, we even have statements that they have never done it, based on the fact that only three of the ISIL attackers in Paris have been positively ID’d as refugees so far. And only two of the Boston Marathon bombers.

We even had the Associated Press run a report that one of the firearms in the Paris attacks came from the United States. (It didn’t. The reporter made it up. That’s what they do).

Indeed. Remember Flashbang and Speedbump? The two “refugees” who absorbed millions in welfare and then committed mass murder with TATP-filled pressure cookers at the Boston Marathon?

Another specious claim we hear is that the US has always welcomed refugees. You know, like this kid:

Elian Gonzalez Raid

OK, maybe he’s not a good example, illustrating as he does that (1) for some Americans, the Cuban government is more beloved than our own, and (2) most Federal Agents will do literally anything if given an order. Look at the guy in the picture. Would he put Jews on cattle cars or push them into gas chambers? Would he shoot Polish officers in the back of the head? You can see at a glance that he would. The character and humanity has been trained out of him, and anything that can be rationalized, he would do.

So, if Elián González is a bad example, how about this one:

Romeike Family

These unwanted refugees fled an otherwise friendly but functionally state-atheistic government that is so opposed to their homeschooling, that the parents will be stripped of their children on arrival back “home”. They have been ordered deported, but the deportation order has been stayed pending further legal proceedings (and Congressional intervention).

Yay! More room for future Flashbangs and Speedbumps.

2. The Double Down: Even More Refugees

After seeing what an open door to unassimilable jihadi refugees gets you, President of France François Hollande closed French borders. For a couple of days. Then he announced he would take 30,000 more refugees, ergo, 3,000 more terrortists. (What does this wright, in due course? President Le Pen, for one).

Im the article linked above, David Miliband says the US must accept 100,000 Syrians a year.

And he doubles down, suggesting that the US reduce its minimal (and, frankly, ineffective, but that would be another post)  screening of the “refugees” for terrorists, because

the current process is needlessly slow.

So the US should…

…eliminate unnecessary time lags and get desperate refugees to safety quicker…

Yeah, Dave. All our trains and planes are not gonna bomb themselves, damn it. We need the 10,000+ terrorists in that bunch, stat!

Miliband suggests we should trust the UN, which

… identifies the families most in need…. screens each family, painstakingly documents their family composition and history of flight from Syria, then refers those who best qualify for the U.S. resettlement program on to the federal government.

That’s the same UN that stored rocket launchers for Hamas? The same UN that prints grade school textbooks for Palestinian “refugees” in which they learn math by counting grenades and RPGs, and word problems about how-many-Jews-has-Abdul-got-to-kill? That UN?

The same UN that sent a known foreign intelligence agent to collect against our base camp in Afghanistan? The UN that’s increasingly an arm of the Islamic Conference? The UN that has outlived its usefulness by decades? That UN?

The UN has been in the pocket of Arab and Islamic terrorists for fifty years, and no one with more than single digits of firing synapses should be willing to trust them to walk the dog, let alone sponsor terrorists into the USA. Frankly, UN sponsorship should be viewed with the deepest suspicion in the light of the wannabe world government’s rocky history with terrorism.

And Miliband goes on to make the false equivalency argument: the US resettled 320,000 Vietnamese in two years, where’s our appetite for Islamic terrorists in similar numbers? This is specious. The Vietnamese were the men who fought alongside ours, and their families, who fled their country under credible threat of death.  If any of these so-called refugees were fighters against ISIL, they ought to be back home, fighting against their enemy, who hasn’t won yet. Somebody’s back there fighting, and it’s not the teeming jihadis in the UN Camps, getting their three hots, a cot, and if UN refugee camps run true to form, instruction in marksmanship and bomb-making.

They don’t assimilate at all. In Belgium, the nation’s entire population of 640,000 moslems, who are mostly isolated from Belgian society, has produced 516 known terror jihadists, not counting the ones recently exposed by the Paris attacks. That’s a rate of 1/1260 or 0.079%, a small percentage, but that’s against a whole national population. Against the US moslem population of 6.2 million that the US immigration policy is expected to produce, that means about five thousand terrorists… if they’re as effective as the Paris attackers (exchange ratio 15.75:1), they could murder 77,500 Americans.

3. The Projection: “Wanting a Safe America is Un-American!”

You knew this was not long in coming. The same suspects are arguing that excluding these terrorists who claim to be refugees is somehow un-American, as if nothing is more American than laying your head down on the stump like Isaac and hoping to hell that the guy with the axe is Abraham.

Folks, many, many Americans, hundreds of thousands of us, have been to the sort of paradise produced by Islamism, and have engaged the sort of creatures this fanatical belief produces of humans. And by “engaged,” we don’t mean the Beltway style of having a no-consequences virtue signaling exchange of pleasantries: we mean exchanged fire with.

The nearest thing, in the popular culture, is the zombies of the Walking Dead, except with the ability to cooperate against the living. When someone chooses Islamism, he has chosen Death, for himself and anyone in range of his TATP onesie, and we can see no compelling reason to open the doors for him to try to make of this country the Mohammedan dystopia he has made of his own.

Counterargument: They’re Not All Terrorists

And you know what? We’ll concede that. They’re not all terrorists. They’re not even mostly terrorists, only a small minority, a percentage is (although what we’ve seen from polling and from studies of 2nd-Generation Refugees indicates that the SFQC Estimate was low).

But 10% of the 100,000 Syrians that Miliband and the UN insist we take per annum is 10,000 terrorists a year. If they are as effective as the Paris attackers, who managed an exchange rate of nearly 16 to 1 against French civilians and security forces, that means they will kill more than a million and a half Americans.

Other pressure cooker (and containing bag) remains of the bomb planted by "Refugee" Tamerlan Tsarnayev. FBI.

Pressure cooker (and containing bag) remains of the bomb planted by “Refugee” Tamerlan Tsarnayev. FBI photo.

The US Refugee policy has been extremely imbalanced, also, not accepting Kurdish and (until recently) Yazidi refugees, only Moslems, the most likely terrorists. Christians, who are subject to the same extermination threat as the Yazidis, remain excluded. A curious refugee program, that refuses the oppressed and welcomes their oppressors.

But then again, the US has always had a strain of irrationality in our politics. In 2016, it seems like Tip O’Neill’s aphorism needs to be updated, and all politics is irrational.

Finally, so what if they’re not terrorists? If every single one of them is the purest Enlightenment liberal, their kids revert to the ancestral religion — and the ancestral love of homicide — at the drop of a hat. Accepting these “refugees,” just like starting the various wars that spawned them, and just like fleeing from the consequences of starting those wars, is a voluntary, unforced error. However, unlike the war-starting and bug-out errors we’ve already made, it’s an error that can still be interrupted in the act of commission.

Weapons Training, Special Training School 103, SOE

Fairbairn's early techniques were codified in this book.

Fairbairn’s early techniques were codified in this book.

The following is a description of firearms instruction at STS 103, which author David Stafford describes as, “one of a network of SOE training schools, and the only one in the Western Hemisphere.” (Other schools were in North Africa, Haifa and elsewhere around the Med, and in Singapore for the Far East). It shows that even 75 years ago, even before the word “mindset” was coined, this abstraction was valued far above practical skills.

Weapons training for OSS and SOE would evolve, but it was based, and remained based, on the work of William Ewart Fairbairn, a man who studied fighting with singleminded intensity, and who along with E.A. Sykes trained the Shanghai colonial police, at a time when Shanghai was a arguably the global leader in applied interpersonal violence and a Shanghai cop had to be quick with hands, feet, knives, and firearms.

As well as being suitably trained for silent killing and on armed combat, the recruits might also have occasion to use weapons, so Camp X gave them weapons training. Sharing the language of the OK Corral, SOE was interested in gunfighting. Since an agent’s life might very well depend on how well he had been taught, instructors would not let a bad shot out of the camp. They instilled in the student mind the impression that he was actually killing the target and to shoot as though his life depended on it. “As with every sport, provided that the principles taught are sound, practice makes perfect.” The principles so diligently instilled in practiced had as their goal, within the constraints imposed by time and the supply of ammunition, “to turn out good, fast, plain shots”. Whether in the use of machine carbines like the Tommy gun or in action with a pistol, the principle was the same: “tremendous speed in an attack with sufficient accuracy to hit the vital parts of a man’s body, for killing at close quarters demands aggression and extreme concentration.”

There were certain obstacles in producing these good, fast, and plain shots. One was the recruits’ previous experience. Instructors presumed that many of their students had some “revolver training in the old style” and, while being careful not to denigrate such skills has might have already been acquired in skeet shooting, had to impart the innovative “instinctive method” of firing.

The first point was that a pistol was not a weapon of self-defence but of attack – it was a combat weapon. Armed with the weapon under consideration, usually a .22 Hi-Standard or .32 Colt, the instructor conjured up a dramatic encounter while on a mission:

Picture in your mind the circumstances under which you might be using the pistol. Take as an example a raid on an enemy occupied house in darkness. Firstly consider your approach. You will never walk boldly up to the house and stroll in as though you were paying a social call. On the contrary, your approach will be stealthy. You will be keyed up and excited, nervously alert for danger from whichever direction. You will find yourself instinctively crouching; your body balanced on the balls of your feet in a position from which you can move swiftly in any direction. You make your entry into the house and start searching for the enemy, moving along passages, perhaps up or down stairs, listening and feeling for any signs of danger. Suddenly on turning a corner, you come face-to-face with the enemy. Without a second’s hesitation you must fire and kill him before he has a chance to kill you.

This method of course meant that an agent would never fire standing straight up, nor in any of the “fancy stances” common to competition shooting, and never have time to use the sights. Since recruits under such conditions might be worried about the accuracy of their name game, they practiced “instinctive pointing”,”the natural way that any man points at an object when he is concentrating”. Students stoodt directly in front of each other and pointed, at the instructor’s commands, to such targets is the exact centre of each other’s stomach, or left foot or right eye. When doing so, no one actually looked down his finger. Rather, “instinctively”, the arm, with the finger extended, came in to the center of the body. Here the finger, and of course its extension the gun, was in position right down the line of eyesight. Such pointing gave the shooter a natural control over direction and elevation when firing.

Applegate shootingAfter demonstrations and practice in holding the pistol or crouching in the firing position, the recruits were ready for some of the more elaborate target exercises using live ammunition. For example, using the .22, students were to imagine that they were outside a German beer cellar, automatics loaded and drawn. In the old style of attack, in order to position themselves for firing, they would have to rely on a totally silent approach. This, of course, was not only dangerous but impossible. SOE felt their method was much superior: “you have reached the doorway of the cellar by a stealthy approach, making no sound whatever. Very quietly turn the handle of the door as far as it will go, And then, preparing yourself for the effort, you kick the door open and kill your targets before they have a chance to realize what has happened.”

If this all sounds rather like a B-grade movie, reads like a spy novel, or looks like a TV SWAT team in action, it’s because SLE instinctive firing was so successful that after the war this innovation swept through commando schools, boot camps, and police academies alike, replacing forever the older shooting style.

Indeed, Rex Applegate, an American instructor trained by Sykes and Fairbairn, would adapt his training notes and syllabi into a postwar book, Kill or Get Killed, that was extremely influential. (The picture above is of Applegate, and it is from this book, which stayed in print for decades).

The gunfighting style of 1942 does look extremely dated today. SOE (and later, OSS) training emphasized instinctive, point shooting, without reference to even the limited, low-profile sights of a wartime or prewar pistol. Nowadays much better sights are used much faster, and pistols are routinely shot two-handed. At the start of World War II, the Japanese alone trained for two-handed shooting; this picture shows that by 1944 Jedburgh teams were training to shoot two-handed, but even long after the war Applegate continued to train one-handed point shooting.

Jeds point shooting 1944

One suspects that William Ewart Fairbairn — by all accounts something of a drip while off duty, having no interests broader than instruction in impartial and immediate unchristian mayhem, and means of delivering same — would approve.

Sources

Stafford, David: Camp X: OSS, “Intrepid,” and the Allies’ North American Training Camp for Secret Agents, 1941-1945. New York: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1987. (pp. 97-99).

Self Foom: un Splodydope à Paris

Brahim Abdeslam, the splodydope seen here in a clip from French TV station M6, which mostly comprises surveillance footage, was a true suicide bomber. Despite wearing a bomb belt and setting it off in the crowded Comptoir Voltaire bar/restaurant in Paris on 19 November 15, he didn’t manage to kill anybody but himself. On a night where his coreligionists were bagging 130 innocent Frenchmen, it was a pathetic performance.

That’s what Islam counts as a failure: the Islamic sacrament of mass murder, interrupted.

Thwarted, even. No 72 virgins for you, loser.

Islam is totally a religion of peace, which is why the scattered bits and chunks of this low-rent bozo got the hadji equivalent of a state funeral in Schaerbeek district of greater Brussels.

More information (en anglais, s’il vous plaît) at the Daily Mirror.

Mattis, Squelching Presidential Talk, Illustrates Why There’s Talk

Jim Mattis is a guy who did several major jobs in the Federal Government and came out of it with no visible Napoleon complex. With the field of Presidential candidates full of would-be Napoleons and maybe a Stalin or two, naturally people wish he was on the ballot.

Hell, Napoleon Himself would look better, and he’s disqualified on two separate grounds, being dead, and French (yes, Corsican; but aren’t Puerto Ricans Americans? Corsicans are like French Puerto Ricans). Mattis:

Following his lecture on the Middle East and Iranian aggression, Mattis, the former four-star commander of U.S. Central Command and a current fellow at the Hoover Institution in California, implied he was mystified by the buzz surrounding his hypothetical candidacy.
“It’s been going on for 15 months. Since coming back from overseas, this is more of a foreign country than the places overseas,” he said. “I don’t understand it. It’s like America has lost faith in rational thought.”

Tell it, General. This  is why people want you, even though it is an irrational thought; it’s less irrational than any of the remaining possibilities. One of which will come to pass.

He declined to comment on the current field of candidates, saying that 40 years as a naval officer had ingrained in him an aversion to taking a partisan stance.

via Mattis: ‘I Don’t Understand’ Speculation about Presidential Run | Military.com.

Some more examples of Mattis logic, something that’s been sadly lacking in what appears to be a bong-fired National Capital Area for quite a while:

Mattis’ remarks focused on Iran, which he characterized as the “single most enduring threat to stability and peace in the Middle East” ….  And it’s clear from Iranian rhetoric and actions, he added, that the country’s leaders do not plan to act in good faith.

“[Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei] summed it up very well when he said those who say that the future lies in negotiations, not in missiles, are either ignorant or traitors,” Mattis said. “That is the Supreme Leader. I think we should take him at his word.”

It’s unfortunate to say this, but whose statements about the Middle East have better foreshadowed events, Khamenei’s or Obama’s?

At least we don’t call our guy, “Supreme Leader.” Any country with a “Supreme Leader” — the position for which at least two of our candidates seem to think they’re running — is a caricature of villainy.

In the face of the Iranian nuclear threat and clear hostile intentions and following an imperfect nuclear deal, the U.S. is in a “strategy-free mode,” he said, shifting attention from one region of the world to another without consistency.

Well, that’s what happens when you don’t understand foreign policy except as an extension of domestic politics.

“My point is, we’ve got to be able to walk and chew gum at the same time.”

You mean, like the one-major-one-regional war preparedness standard that the last several social-justice-over-readiness SecDefs and service secretaries have cut to ribbons. (And yeah, 15 years of war in Centcom, all gains completely undone by an unforced bugout, didn’t help).

“For a sitting U.S. president to see our allies as freeloaders is nuts.”

Only if he values those allies.

Congress, too, has failed, Mattis said.

Yeah. He named three specifics: no standby Iran sanctions (not the Obama would use them, even if Khamenei nuked Pearl Harbor). No AUMF against ISIL. No intelligence funding against our enemies in the Centcom area, like Iran. (And he could have mentioned, against our competitors in PacRim, where there’s an even bigger mess brewing.

“The bottom line on the American situation is that the next president is going to inherit a mess. That’s the most diplomatic word for it.” Iran is a “revolutionary cause devoted to mayhem.”

And what could we do to counter that?

“Worth more than 10 battleships or five armed divisions is a sense of American political resolve.”

Amen. And the thing is, the very reason those thoughts ring out with unexpected clarity for a Washington speech — Mattis delivered these remarks at the Center for Strategic and International Studies Friday — is the same reason we don’t have Mattis as an option. The guy is simply too smart; unlike every single presidential candidate in the race, he has a grasp of the scope of the job, while the rest of them are deluding themselves that they can somehow pick up this dog-dropping of a task by the clean end.

In the end, the very common sense that keeps him on the sidelines is the exact thing that is lacking not just in Washington, but all along the Acela Corridor, where highly verbal people whose entire life has been coasting on their high SATs think that they can lever themselves out of any predicament with the right juxtaposition of words.

Update

We have been reminded of this story about Mattis, a Marine Corps legend that turns out to be true. Enter then-Commandant General Charles Krulak, doing his USMC legend: delivering Christmas cookies to the duty Marines and duty officers at DC-area commands in 1998. Last stop was Marine Combat Development Command. And he asked the duty Marine who the OOD was:

“The young Marine said, ‘Sir, it’s Brigadier General Mattis.’”

Krulak thought the Marine had misunderstood him, so he asked again, but he got the same answer.

“I looked around the duty hut and in the back, there were two cots: One for the officer of the day and one for young Marine. I said, ‘OK, let me cut through all of this: Who was the officer who slept in that bed last night?’

“And the Marine said, ‘Sir, Brigadier General Mattis.’”

At that moment, Mattis walked around the corner.

“So I said to him, ‘Jim, what are you standing the duty for?’ “And he said, ‘Sir, I looked at the duty roster for today and there was a young major who had it who is married and had a family; and so I’m a bachelor, I thought why should the major miss out on the fun of having Christmas with his family, and so I took the duty for him.’ ”

Never before or since has Krulak run into a general officer standing duty on Christmas Day.

“I think it says volumes about Jim Mattis and his leadership style,” Krulak said. “He did it very unobtrusively. He just took the duty.”

One would like to think that other generals, like, say, George Washington, who for all his talents and strengths didn’t have this kind of common-man touch, are sending a Bravo Zulu down from Eternity for that.

And I don’t suppose we need to guess what that major (perhaps a retired colonel or general officer, by now, himself?) and his family think of Jim Mattis.

Update

Prof. Glenn Reynolds, writing in USA Today, has covered the Mattis story from his wise angle, also. His points were ably summed up by the USA Today subhead:

Retired general doesn’t want to be the one who cleans up Obama’s foreign policy mess, and who blames him?

Amen. Reynolds’s story is proof that great minds do, indeed, run on the same channel. (What they don’t do, these days, is run for office, evidently). Do Read The Whole Thing™.

Wednesday Weapons Website of the Week: Doomed Soldiers

doomed_soldiersWhat was so doomed about the “doomed soldiers?” They were freedom fighters. For a nation squeezed between two of the great nightmare totalitarian tyrannies of the 20th Century; at first, the two mighty powers combined to conquer and divide the nation of the doomed; then, one of the two double-crossed the other and started a war, with the doomed’s land a battlefield going and coming; and then, the other gang of totalitarians triumphed, and proved to be even worse in victory than the first bunch had been.

The doomed, of course, were the bold resisters of the Polish Home Army (Armia Krajowa); their nation divided by the de facto Axis allies, Nazi Germany and the USSR, in 1939, only to become a battlefield again when the Nazis turned on their fellow totalitarians in 1941, and for a third time in 1944 as the Red Army harried the Wehrmacht back towards Berlin.

Then in later 1944, the Russian NKVD began to hunt the AK implacably, with unlimited resources, and with a ruthlessness that put the mere Nazis to shame.

A message from one monster to another tells one part of the tale, as Russian troops began to disarm and jail their ostensible allies of the Polish Home Army:

July 20, 1944
L. Beria to J. Stalin
Nr. 778/b
Top Secret
State Defense Committee

[For:] Comrade Stalin, J. V.

Following information regarding operation to disarm enlisted men and officers of the Polish Home Army were received from comrade Serov and Tcherniakovsky: All in all, according to the preliminary assessments, during two days of the operation, 6,000 men were disarmed. Among them, 650 officers and NCOs.

During the disarming, confiscated were 5,100 rifles, 350 machine guns, 230 light and heavy machine guns, 12 light artillery pieces, 27 vehicles, 7 radio transmitters, 350 horses, and large amount of ammunition.

The Polish enlisted men and officers [of the Home Army] are transported under security to the assembly points.

Some of the Poles saw what was up and scattered. The last time Poles had been taken prisoner by the Soviets, in 1939, the officers had been murdered almost to the last man on the direct orders of Stalin via Beria.

It seems as if Beria, at least, was willing to do it again:

2. Enlisted men and NCOs who expressed desire to join the [Communist Polish People’s] army are to be directed to the reserves’ regiments of the Main Recruiting Board, in order to use them in the future as rear units of the Red Army.

3. The officers’ cadre of interest to NKVD-NKGB, counterintelligence, and “Smersh” [… unintelligible]

4. The remaining officers are to be transported to the NKVD camps, because under the present circumstances, they will begin to [re-] organize various Polish resistance organizations.

The Doomed Soldiers site is dense with information and the pathways through it are not always clear or logical. We found it rewarding to hunt up primary sources like the above, and survivor interviews. Plus, there are the many dimensions of human courage, from the guy who broke away from a mass execution (“the PPSh fired… I felt a bullet go through my shoulder”) to the officer who got himself captured and condemned so that he could get eyes on what the Germans were doing in Auschwitz.

The site definitely has a point of view, and sometimes seems to lapse into paranoia. But if you were as ill-used as the poor suffering bastard’s of the Home Army, is it really paranoid to think that everyone’s out to get you?

When All Marines are Mud Marines

USMC EGA eagle globe and anchorThat day is rapidly approaching when the Marines’ fabled “Every Marine a Rifleman, uh, Rifle Entity” slogan will be literally true: when the last few flyable Marine jets and helicopters join the 70% that are already down for maintenance and lack of spare parts.

In some cases, like the non-Super F/A-18s, spare airframe parts have not been made in such a long period of time that Marines have to raid museums for them.

Sometimes it takes the Marines 18 months to get parts for early model F-18 jets whose production was halted in 2001.

“We are an operational squadron. We are supposed to be flying jets, not building them,” said Lt. Col. Harry Thomas, Commanding Officer of VMFA-312.

But hey, the Marine-hating Secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus, has a plan. He’s going to replace the parts, and the 30,000 Marines that he’s dumped, who otherwise might have installed them, with genuine fabulous fairy dust, thanks to his laserlike focus on transgender toilets for all.

It’s not like cutting corners has real consequences, eh?

Lt. Col Harry Thomas, call sign “Crash,” deployed to the Pacific with 10 jets last year. Only seven made it. A fuel leak caused his F/A-18 to catch fire in Guam. Instead of ejecting, he landed safely, saving taxpayers $29 million.

You know, if Thomas flew an operational mission and lost three of his jets, Mabus would have him canned. If he loses three jets because Mabus diverted O&M funds into social engineering, well, crickets then, and how do you like your fierce new tranny cans?

But hey, that was the low point, right, 7 of 10 jets operational. Just about anywhere, 70% is passing, and Ray Mabus grades on a curve so it’s an A…

But that wasn’t the low point:

Right now only two of his 14 Hornets can fly. His Marines deploy in three months.

“We are supposed to be doing the type of maintenance like you would take your car to Jiffy Lube for replacing fluids, doing minor inspections, changing tires, things of that nature, not building airplanes from the ground up,” he added.

Marine jet pilots are down to 4 hours a month, less than Chinese or Russian peers and down from 25-30 hours in the air BM, which seems like a suitable acronym for Before Mabus.

What they’re doing with the spare time is unclear, but odds are it’s attending SHARP briefings or working on flash cards of the fifty-odd Genders-with-a-capital-G that Mabus’s Navy considers superior to the ancient Cismale Heteronormative Patriarchy.

The latest Beltway Brainstorm is just to keep flying 1980s- and 90s-vintage F/A-18s, already committed to fly 2,000 hours beyond their design life of 6,000 hours, to 10,000 hours or more.

And the Marines’ helicopters? Apart from a baker’s dozen tiltrotor squadrons, which finally allowed the retirement of the last LBJ-era CH-46s last year, they operate patched and bandaged 1970s versions of  Vietnam War types.

 

The TSA Loves American Travelers

tsa_turkey_largeAnd because they <i>Love</i> you, they wanna <i>bleeep</i> you. To <i>bleeep</i> your ever-lovin’ brains out, actually.

Then… with no brains, you’ll qualify for work with the TSA!

Judicial Watch has been watching not just the judicials (and, famously, Hillary’s hotline to the Lubyanka email server), but also the TSA, and nobody likes what they’re seeing.

[O]fficials from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) admit that only three airports in the United States require workers to undergo security checks. The astounding admission, delivered this week before Congress, comes on the heels of a number of cases involving gun and drug-smuggling schemes operated by airline employees at major airports, including those located in Atlanta, New York and San Francisco.

In all of the cases, airport workers used their security badges to access secured areas of their respective facilities without having to undergo any sort of check.

Meanwhile, some mouth-breathing mong that the TSA shuttle bus picked up at one of its penitentiary stops (yes, TSA is an Equal Opportunity Employer™ for ex-cons — maybe more than “equal”) is conducting an elbow-deep cavity search on some hapless passenger, looking for what? The person’s pacemaker, presumably, or perhaps his or her kidney stones.

As if this weren’t bad enough, last month government records obtained by the media revealed that 73 employees at nearly 40 airports across the nation were flagged for ties to terror in a June 2015 report from the DHS Inspector General’s Office. The files identified two of them working at Logan International Airport in Boston, four at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and six at Seattle-Tacoma International in Washington State. Here’s the government’s explanation for letting the potential terrorists slip by; the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) didn’t have access to the terrorism-related database during the vetting process for those employees. You can’t make this stuff up!

Really, if Tales of the TSA were a work of fiction, it would have racked up more rejection slips than the initial Harry Potter novel did. Not for lack of entertainment value, but only because there are too many plot holes in the TSA story.

“Which to believe? Boy wizard in a parallel magical universe invisible to us, or the agency supposed to prevent terrorists boarding planes hired actual terrorists and put them to work groping peaceable passengers? Gotta go with the wizard kid.”

Now we learn that only three of the nation’s 300 airports—Atlanta, Miami and Orlando—require employees to undergo security checks before work, even though there’s an epidemic of illicit activity among this demographic. The unbelievable stat was delivered by DHS officials testifying at a Senate Commerce Committee hearing this week. In the aftermath of the Belgium terrorist attacks, the hearing was scheduled to address efforts in this country to prevent attacks on passenger and freight targets that could lead to mass casualties. The head of TSA, Robert Neffenger, told lawmakers that the agency has increased the inspection of employees five-fold in the last five months but admitted improvements must be made and the nation’s airports will provide a report by the end of the month assessing their vulnerabilities.

Where JW goes off the rails is when they look at a recommendation and evaluate it, here:

In a 2015 report the [Aviation Security Advisory Committee] wrote that most airports can’t afford daily employee screening and, even if they could, it wouldn’t do much good. That’s because full screening wouldn’t “appreciably increase the overall system-wide protection,” according to the committee’s findings and “no single measure can provide broad-spectrum protection against risks or adversaries.”

That’s actually true, because adversaries co-evolve with you, and they’re not all stupid splodydopes; the guys sending the splodydopes know what they’re about.

Furthermore, this group of aviation advisors concluded that daily screening of airport workers “is incapable of determining a person’s motivations, attitudes and capabilities to cause harm, among other limitations.” Under that ridiculous argument, airport security would be eliminated altogether for everyone.

Actually, that argument does exactly say why screening is ineffectual, and why the best approach is not hardening the perimeter of airports (at some point, you just move the rich target to the metal-detector queue, which vulnerability  the Brussels attackers exploited), but the aggressive use of intelligence to find, fix, and neutralize the terrorists in their cells. Ideally, in their home nests before they get near ours.

And yes, you should eliminate screening for everyone. It’s security theater and imbues people with a false sense of security.

The Pointy End of Gunwalker

This is how Operation Gunwalker, by which the ATF and its political allies sought to induce a violent crime wave in Mexico, looked from the viewpoint of some of its victims, like US ICE Special Agents Victor Avila Jr and Jaime Zapata. In the ambush reenacted in this video, Zapata was mortally wounded and Avila wounded.

The US media find the ATF managers and political appointees who conspired with them to bring about this result and more to be congenial fellows. Such congenial fellows that they barely even cover any aspect of this story. This video is from the British satellite news station Sky News, which, unlike ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, Fox, ICE or FBI, thinks these crimes are worth investigating.

ICE had the surviving agent’s back.. if by “had” you mean “knifed.” Both the director at the time, John T. Morton, and the director today, Sarah Saldaña, went out of their way to back up their fellow bureaucrats, who armed Zapata’s murderers… and to screw over Avila and his family, and the survivors of the martyr Jaime Zapata.

And then, there’s the ATF’s share of the blame. In the video, whistleblowing ATF agent John Dodson doesn’t sugar coat it: “We are,” he sadly admits, “the very people that killed Brian Terry.” And, it turns out, Jaime Zapata.

“There is a sense here in Congress that the full extent of the gun walking scandal has yet to be revealed,” the Sky News presenter says, in between Congressional and Senatorial interviews.

We concur.

“Victor Avila is also certain that there is more to come out. He is convinced that his case, where weapons were transferred from the US to a Mexican cartel, must in some way be linked to the wider scandal.”

We concur.

We’ll give the last word to former Special Agent Avila: “Absolutely, it’s a cover-up.”

No, we’ll give the last word to his wife, Claudia: “It’s going to come to light.”

My Life on the Terrorist Watch List

tsa-bozoThis will be a rare post written in the first person, because it is personal. It’s the story of my stint on the Terrorist Watch List, one of several secret lists kept by government agencies, including the TSA. As is well known, no one good, decent, honest, competent, moral, ethical or intelligent has ever been employed at TSA in any capacity whatsoever. But they have the power to add you to this list, which is not entirely life-altering, but is an embuggerance of the next order below that.

I’m not alone in being on one of these lists for bogus reasons. Senator Ted Kennedy, whose name was Edward M. Kennedy, was put on the list because an IRA terrorist had used the name Theodore Kennedy as an alias once. (The terrorist in question was ultimately pardoned in a peace deal, and the actual terrorist used to fly with no problems). Kennedy was able to resolve his problem, but only because he was a powerful, senior Senator. Dr. Patrick S. Hackett, a Knoxville veterinarian, has been on the no-fly list for over ten years, not because of his Taliban beard, but because he also shares the name of some IRA crumb.

Hackett found out he was on the no-fly list in 2004 when he accompanied his son, who was attending the Air Force Academy, to McGhee Tyson Airport. He asked for a pass to allow him to accompany his son to the gate.

“They said I couldn’t go to the gate because I was on their list. They gave me a number to call,” he said.

Hackett said he filled out, signed and mailed forms to the TSA to try to straighten the situation out. About a year and a half later, he received a letter from the TSA offering him a “letter of duress” that he could present whenever he was questioned.

When Hackett subsequently used the letter to travel, gate attendants would mark his boarding pass. He would then be subjected to thorough and sometimes invasive searches before being allowed to board.

TSA officials won’t discuss Hackett’s travel status.

“It’s a secret list,” said a TSA customer services representative, who wouldn’t give his name.

via Right name, wrong man: Knoxville veterinarian can’t get off no-fly list.

Liberty TSA scanConcept fail: “TSA customer services representative.” They’re kidding, right? You can almost hear the sneer in that TSA bum’s voice, can’t you? Remember, no one good, decent, honest, competent, moral, ethical or intelligent has ever been employed at TSA in any capacity whatsoever. And having met every level of that organization from Director down to gloved groin-grabbing groper, I can say that with authority.

It gets better for Hackett: his terrorist namesake is out of prison after having done his time forty years ago, but is trivially easy to distinguish from the Tennessee dog doctor:

The difference should be easy to spot. The terrorist is missing an arm and a leg — blown off when a bomb exploded prematurely — while the Knoxville veterinarian has all his limbs intact.

That’s “easy to spot” for you and me. Not for the TSA, who have a median IQ so low they couldn’t be executed for murder in this country, which nobly refrains from putting down the retarded. Hey, maybe Ernst Stavro Blofeld — he’s on the list, with me an’ Ted and Dr Hackett, even though Blofeld’s a fictional character and Ted’s dead — could magically regrow naughty-Hackett’s limbs like a lizard’s, for some nefarious purpose.

If, you know, Blofeld wasn’t a fictional character.

We know how Hackett, Ted, and Blofeld got on the list: the TSA is staffed entirely by drooling imbeciles. So, how did Hognose get on the list?

Turns out, they’re drooling, vindictive imbeciles.

It began with a day job writing aviation news for a trade-press web publication. That put me in a press conference at the National Business Aviation Association somewhere. (Tampa? Anaheim? Dunno. It was a plane and a hotel and a convention center…). The press conference was a rare attempt to put then-TSA head, Admiral Stone, in front of the press.

TSA PervMost of the press (remember, this would have been mostly aviation trade press) were fairly deferential. I wasn’t, although I referred to him (as he made clear was his preference) as “Admiral Stone” and “sir”.

I asked Stone a couple of hard questions. I can’t remember the questions now, but I seem to recall one was about the low quality of his staff, and the other was about whether or not the whole agency was “eyewash” — or what Bruce Schneier was starting to call “security theater,” given that by midday on 11 September 2001, passengers would never again would allow a hijacking.  I do remember his reaction to the questions:

  • He praised the excellence of his people, so he was either lying or out of touch (although you can’t rule out some combination of the two, can you?).
  • He was offended by the suggestion that his security theater was security theater.

It was only after the convention that I realized just how offended he was. That is, when I went to get back on the mailing tube to go home.

tsa checkpointYou would have thought that Osama His Ownself had schlepped his carry-ons into the security line. I was pulled aside; subjected to a pat-down that approached “rub-down,” they should have billed me for a genital massage; had my two carry-ons dumped out and spread out, as one TSA “officer” after another pawed through my stuff. They wrote down and took pictures of the books I was reading; they counted my socks. They started up my computer and did some searches for porn, and seemed disappointed when they didn’t find any. And then they sat me on a chair and told me to wait.

About a half-hour after that, exactly 10 minutes before my plane’s departure time, they told my I could go. I swept the piles of all my stuff off the table into my two carry-on bags, and ran like OJ (in the famous Hertz ad, not from the po-po) through the terminal. They were actually closing the door when I arrived, and they swung it open.

“What held you up?” a stew asked.

“TSA proctoscoping.”

“Yeah, they do that to us sometimes, too.”

Later, I discovered it wasn’t a one-off. Admiral Stone’s vengeance lasted for two or three years. I was able to determine that I had been placed, not on the no-fly list (or I couldn’t have flown at all), but on the Terrorist Watch List, a secret list of, apparently, journalists who pissed off Admiral Stone. When you are on the TWL, or whatever its real name is — the name, too is a secret, unlike, say, NSA code-word programs, or the personally identifiable information of cleared personnel — they do let you fly, but they do what they can to hassle you out of doing it, and subject you to heightened scrutiny. Your moves are also reported, inter alia, to the FBI and to regional interagency Counter Terrorist Task Forces.

The hilarious side of it was that during all of this, I worked, both in my Guard SF gig and in my contract jobs, on anti- and counter-terrorist stuff all the time. I maintained a security clearance, access to Government systems, and an active pilot’s license.

I think the only flights I took during this period that I didn’t fly myself were courtesy of the USAF, Army helicopters, and some guys who had some Mil Mi-8s and didn’t feel like answering questions.  Fortunately, when it was time for my medevac, the California Army National Guard HH-60 crew didn’t check the Watch List, or I might still be out there in the Hindu Kush.

Back in the states, various friends of mine worked in CT task forces here and there, and I’d get calls:

“Nose, I see you’re in town!”

“Yeah, I’m here for Heli-Expo. How’s it going? And how’d you know I was coming?”

“Hey, it’s all great. We got an alert on you at the Task Force. Are you playing for the other team, bro? What’s up with that?”

I’d tell my Admiral Stone story. The cop or agent would laugh. He would explain that they, too, had no idea how someone gets on the Watch List, but most of their “hits” were false positives. Like me and Ted Kennedy, and I’m not too sure about Kennedy. If we both had time, I’d meet my friend and his buddies from the TF in a cop bar somewhere, and over beers we’d share dumb-ass TSA stories. (And the task force officers and agents also had stories that made it clear that, however wrong the TSA is as a response to terrorism, the terrorism itself was real).

And then, next trip, the whole rigamarole would happen again.

For something like two or three years I drove ridiculous distances, took Amtrak, or flew a rented Piper, rumbling through the lower altitudes at 110 knots; I dreaded the transcontinental or international trips that required the human mailing tube, and the extra dose of moronic hassle that came my way from the TSA. Every time.

And then, some time long after Stone left, I showed up at an airport expecting “the usual,” and this happened: nothing. I was off the list, as secretly as I’d gone on; or at least, I was off the part of it that gets one extra scrutiny from the gropers in nitrile gloves.

But we’re sure you felt 100% safer, during the period when I was on the Terrorist Watch List. Because Security Theater isn’t about the security, it’s about the feels. And vis-a-vis the TSA, the public has a bad case of Battered Wife Syndrome.