Category Archives: Phonies and Assclowns

Failure of Selection and Assessment

Probably the most critical task in any organization is personnel selection and assessment. High-functioning organizations have formal selection gates that select personnel who will be able to perform at the desired level, and ongoing assessment procedures that will, among other things, identify nonperformers and separate them.

Of course, we’re thinking of special operations units, but selection and assessment have been employed before by civilian organizations with resounding success. We’ll have an example after the video. For now, have a look at a failure of personnel selection and assessment. Yeah, it’s another quivering-coward-shoots-a-dog video:

This officer, Tarek Hassani, is clearly badly suited for his job, due to cowardice. Cowards abound, they’re a fact of human life, because courage is a trait like many others that’s distributed on a curve. Guys like Bud Day are on one tail of the bell curve; guys like Tarek Hassani are on the other; most of us cluster in the middle somewhere. Somewhere out on that left tail of the bell curve, long before we get to Hassani, is a cut-off (“we know it when we see it” but probably about 2 standard deviations below the mean) beyond which the absence of courage, or presence of cowardice, is no longer a trait within a normal range, but is pathological and defining: the man is a coward.

Cowards can’t be cured, but they still can do many productive jobs in society. But cowards like Hassani are a bad fit in armed positions. Whether they will fire or not fire under stress cannot be consistently predicted, only that they’ll do it without exercising judgment. They can’t, because they’re too scared (as Hassani admitted when he emitted the Mantra after this incident). Notice how Hassani’s voice gets extremely high-pitched? That’s panic, fear taken to the point of near paralysis. It’s an involuntary response to fear that has been studied extensively.

For all his fear, the dogs do not attack him. They bark and growl at him. He goes aggressive and kicks the dog (and he kicks, no surprise, like a girl). When he shoots the dog, it’s standing several feet away, barking at him. (And even having made the decision to fire, he fires poorly, delivering  a cruel, painful wound instead of a kill shot from approximately four feet away. Want him shooting past your head in a hostage situation?)

He got out of all trouble with the Coward’s All-Purpose Mantra: “I was in fear of my life,” and his effeminate vocal pitch in and around the incident suggests that he really was in mortal fear over a couple of barking dogs. Contrary to Hassani’s evident belief, he was never in mortal danger. The dogs are not rabid, and as we’ve researched before, no policeman has ever died from the bite of a non-rabid dog. A lot of dogs have died from the shots of yellow policemen, though.

Christ, what would he do if he were ever really in danger?

(That last is a trick question. No one knows the answer because he was hired, armed and deployed with no selection and assessment for performance under stress. However, the best guide to future behavior is past behavior, and he’s already choked once).

After he kills the dog, Hassani briefly gets control of his fear, only to lose it again when the citizen is difficult with him. We don’t think that obstreperous citizen had any idea how close he was to being shot himself. After all, the same cop he was baiting was the same gutless yellow coward who just let panic and terror drive him into shooting the dog.

Certainly, the citizen or citizens who let his, or their, unruly dogs run wild, is not blameless. If you live among other people, you have a duty to control your animals. And Hassani is not blameless — while the chief is backing his decision, it’s not only a bad decision, it has revealed a lot about his personality and character deficiencies to anybody who wants to know. (Defense lawyers, wouldn’t you like to know a particular officer has fear-management and self-control issues when he’s planning to testify?)

But what’s really at fault is the deficient or absent selection and assessment process that turns loose a guy who is just a bundle of terrified, jangling nerve endings, armed with a gun and shielded by a badge, on a largely defenseless public.

Ask yourself, having seen the man driven to terror by a barking dog: if he were engaged by an armed criminal, could brother officers count on him? Or would he be a wild-firing friendly-fire threat? He couldn’t restrain himself in this case, not from shooting the dog nor from threatening the citizen with screams and obscenities. How much worse would his behavior get if the threat that terrified him were real? 

Tarek Hassani may be a fine fellow in nine different ways, but he lacks the physical courage and self-control to be a policeman. And his chief lacks the moral courage and integrity to cut him loose. The department needs a new chief (just roll the dice, you can’t do any worse) and Hassani needs a new career, selling shoes or something where his lack of courage and self-control can’t hurt anyone. If he stays on the police, he’ll be in the news again.

We mentioned that selection and assessment as derived for special operations units is much more widely applicable. For example, an aviation college experimented with an ab initio flight training program for carefully selected (that word!) college graduates. The criteria it used were ingeniously selected: airline managers subjectively selected a group of pilots who were their idea of “model employees,” and assessed the set of best employees with psychometric and personality assessment batteries. The students selected for the ab initio experiment were the nearest analogues to the employees the airlines already preferred. The result? Very low training attrition, very high student performance, more model employees at the airlines.

If you select the right people, training to even a high standard is a pleasure. If you select the wrong people, or don’t even make efforts to select anyone in particular, you can never train them to a high standard and might, as you see here, have employees who fall far short of an adequate standard.

Hat tip:

He’s so smart he’s in prison

From one uniform to another, that's Hoffman's story.

From one uniform to another, that’s Hoffman’s story.

Robert Patrick Hoffman II was a career Navy CTT, an enlisted rating involved in the collection and processing of electronic intelligence. He was a submariner (CTs are often assigned to subs). Both the intelligence and submarine fields let a sailor develop a lot of knowledge, knowledge that hostile intelligence services want, and that a sailor — active or retired — is sworn to protect.

But when he retired, Hoffman decided to try to sell his knowledge to a foreign intelligence service. His motivation seems to have been money, and ego: he was too clever by far to be caught by what he saw as the dull and plodding FBI. He also fancied himself a ladies’ man, like James Bond, without the patriotism and loyalty. Except, he was going to betray the Russians too, for the sheer hell of it, to show he was smarter than them, too, well, and also for money. Once he got things going with the Russians, he was going to go the FBI, he wrote in a sort of diary he kept, which he titled with notable grandiosity, Operations Log.

He thought he was James Bond, in a Man Without a Country way.

He thought he was James Bond, in a Man Without a Country way.

Imagine his surprise when he went to the FBI and found out, ultimately, that the “Russians” he was dealing with were, wait for it, FBI agents all along. Even the “Russian chicks” who interest se seemed to be part of his FSB compensation package.  Not until the FBI set the hook in him a little deeper, did they finally reel him in.

He had written in his “diary,” which was full of contempt for the FBI and CIA and his outrage at the Russians’ bad tradecraft, that he was finally going to go to the Bureau.

When I go to the feds I don’t want them to think I am there for the money. Technical advice and assistance, sure, but a handout, not my style. There is also the possibility that they arrest me. That would be funny honestly. Not funny for Colette, but here I am struggling to eat on a daily basis, and they send me to the one place I’d be most comfortable, prison. At a minimum I expect to by locked in an interrogation room for the rest of the day so I better go now so I can get some studying in for tomorrow’s final if/when they release me.

The traitor didn’t make his final. (Repeat after me: Awwwwwww). On the plus side, we’re told that  educational opportunities abound for inmates in the Federal Bureau of Prisons system. And, as the excerpt from his “Operations Log” notes, he faced the possibility of imprisonment with notable sang-froid — at least, as long as it was a theoretical possibility.

According to, they don’t have a number for him yet, probably because he was just sentenced days ago. He got 30 years for trying to sell his real secrets to what turned out to be real spies. He’ll be knocking on the door of 70 when he’s released.  Here are some more stories about him in the Virginian-Pilot, and again.

Here are excerpts from his Ops Log that were entered into evidence in his trial: robert-hoffman-docs.pdf

Here is a motions judgment from the case which includes a recap of the facts of the case: robert-hoffman_instructions_motion.pdf  (Funny fact. The judge goes to great pains not to name the country where Hoffman made an approach to foreign intelligence officers, but the name of the capital city is in the Ops Log excerpts. D’oh!)

Both courtesy (There is a stash of documents at the Virginian-Pilot also).

Exit question: wonder if Hoffman still thinks that FBI agents are stupid?

Assclown of the Ides: Gregory C. Banks

For Banks (l.) every day is Halloween.

For Banks (l.) every day is Halloween.

Were we chumps to go to SFQC, or what? Because this assclown not only awarded himself SFQC qualification, he promoted himself to major while he was at it.

And Gregory C. Banks managed all this without the keepers of the records ever having any indication he was in the army. Ever. Either he’s so superstealthy that the air itself doesn’t dare to flow back in to the places he’s just left, or he’s full of shit.

You know what the right answer is. If he were any more full of effluent, the septic system truck would be backing up to him right now. WFSB-TV interviews a man who fingered him as a phony:

“He said he was a special forces major and was stopping through. He was back from deployment for a couple weeks, problem solving overseas,” said a man, who asked Eyewitness News to conceal his identity because the accusations he’s making are explosive, and he worries for his safety.

According to this man, another man, by the name of Greg Banks, was coming to the Mason’s Hall in Danbury every few weeks. Banks would eventually show up one day in his dress blues with some awfully impressive medals.

“He walks in bronze star, purple heart, dress blues,” the man told Eyewitness News.

The man added that he thought “something was not right.”

“He gets all these awards all the sudden, he has a purple heart after being away for a couple weeks,” the man said. “What happened?”

The tipster told Eyewitness News that he started checking into Banks. He looked at official records, searched online, and talked to friends who actually are special forces. There was no record of the man, who identified himself to the Mason’s as Brother Greg Banks.

gregory_c._banks_phony_2Hey, a Mason wouldn’t lie to a brother, would he? Maybe he’s a phony on that score, too.

There were other red flags, according to Eyewitness News’ source.

“He was wearing the wrong color beret. He was wearing it incorrectly,” the man said. “He had awards on his chest that didn’t make any sense.”

Convinced Banks wasn’t in the military at all, he reached out through an associate to the I-Team and the station started digging. Eyewitness News’ request to The Pentagon for any military records for Gregory C. Banks came up empty. There’s no record of a soldier by that name.

via Gregory C. Banks Clinical Psychologist and Special Forces Fraud – Professional Soldiers ®.

A number of things are jacked up about Banks’s uniform, including both things that are out of place, and things that a Special Forces officer would not be wearing at all.

gregory_c._banks_phony_letterBoth the tipster and the TV station independently sought out Banks’s military records. To which the Army replied: “What records? We never heard of the guy” (left).

The tipster noted to the channel 3 I-Team that Banks’s impersonation is a slap in the face to every legitimately wounded service member. Yeah, and we in SF are not too thrilled about it, either.

But you want to know who’s a bigger scumbag than Greg Banks? William Gerrish. He heads the Connecticut office that licensed Banks to, among other things, counsel veterans for PTSD. Gerrish says he doesn’t see where Banks has done anything wrong worth investigating.

And that’s the government that knows better than you whether you need a gun. Lord love a duck.

Some more details about Banks’s imposture and how he was exposed at the Danbury (CT) News-Times. Best bit: the young man who fingered Banks as a phony isn’t a vet, but he had been in Junior ROTC and has friends who went on to serve; he could tell Banks was off-base on his uniform. Well done, kid. If you wonder how vets feel about this, check out This Ain’t Hellwhere a retired Navy Master Chief helped expose Banks, too. Bravo Zulu.

And if you want to know how SF guys think about guys like Banks, here’s a thread at BLUF: we don’t like ’em.

If you read nothing else on PTSD…

A "PTSD counselor." He turned out to be a phony, imagine that.

A “PTSD counselor.” He turned out to be a phony, imagine that. Hey, Chris, he’s from Houston; is he out of prison yet?

…read Chris Hernandez’s post at BreachBangClear, PTSD and Fakers and Frauds and WTAF? Not just because he quotes The initial story he tells (of seeing a PTSD story on the tube, rolling his eyes like most of us combat vets do, and then being shocked when the subject of the story was a personal friend of his who he knew had seen a ton of The Elephant) is one he’d told us before, and many of you will sympathize.

Actually, we’d recommend one more read to you, and that’s the chapter on PTSD, its origins and its wide application to fakers, in Stolen Valor buy B.G. Burkett and Glenna Whitley. (Chris, you should read this just because they’re fellow Texans). Stolen Valor tells the story of how the national reputation of Vietnam veterans was ruined by a media fixated on outrageous stories — stories that came from fakers and people replaying movie scenes for various advantages.

The fakers are nothing new, although the real vets of Vietnam were especially ill served by them (and by the media who lionized them. The Boston Globe actually got a murderer, Joe Yandle, out of jail with a phony Vietnam trauma tale, and the jitbag — never in combat — killed again). Burkett and Whitley recount how the “last living veteran” of the Civil War turned out to be a phony… as did the second and third to last “veterans.” Here in New England, colonial and state legislatures were plagued with phony veterans claiming pensions or back pay from the Revolution, the French and Indian, and even King Philip’s War.

Napoleon’s Invalides had to deal with fake old grognards, and today’s VA is no different. But the well-meaning civilians that run VA are rubber-stamping claims from people who are using long-discredited wannabe tropes like “my records burned in the fire!” and “there were no records because I was classified Top Secret Imaginary!”

Shakespeare’s rousing speech in Henry V speaks to some of the reasons that “soldiers” emerge in the decades after the war. “Men in England now abed… will hold their manhoods cheap” when they meet a veteran who was with the young King on St. Crispin’s Day. In some subset of human beings, envy, an ugly enough emotion on its own, twists itself into impersonation. Many mean nothing by it; they just want a better answer for “what did you do in the war, Daddy?” than the answer they went with during wartime.

Yet, we couldn’t do our jobs out in our various positions along the spear, if we didn’t have a strong economy, brilliant scientists, focused engineers, and all the other specialists that make a modern society work. So there’s no reason for anyone that does a job in the productive economy — a job someone is willing to pay him or her to do — to feel bad about not joining the Army. Maybe we could have used that person, but what he or she did was worthwhile by definition (i.e., somebody paid for it). Why not be proud of what you actually did?

And then there are the ones who claim some benefit for personal advantage. The PTSD phonies are in that class. Many “professional veterans” turn out to be in that class. Stolen Valor recounts the story of an SF guy and a SEAL who started a Vietnam War museum. They had a nice little museum going, even though each was a phony (and here’s the laugh: while their stories were as transparent as air itself, each thought the other was real and was worried about his buddy finding out his own imposture). And phony trauma claims are so widespread that we confess we once erred the other way, as Chris caught himself doing: we assumed all PTSD stories were bullshit, because so many are.

The phenomenon of soldiers having psychological difficulties, alienation, repression, soldiers’ heart, shell shock, call it what you will, is as old as warfare. The Vikings probably got grimmed out by their battles, and probably self-medicated with mead and wenching; and that works as well for most guys as anything in the limited aid bag of today’s psychiatry. Chris nails it, in our view, here:

Right or wrong, combat vets like me who know guys with legitimate PTSD problems feel nothing but disgust at those who whine, exaggerate or flat-out lie about their experiences. And maybe I’m the only one who feels this way, but it seems that the fakers outnumber the real victims by about 5 to 1.

Well, there’s at least two of us.

It was some real frankness from some real combat vets — one a humble recipient of the DSC who survived more wounds to his person than some entire units — that caused us to readjust our attitude towards PTSD, and admit it might actually exist. (Seriously, a good look at how the diagnosis was created, by whom, and why — it was a Vietnam War protest by an activist doctor — will shake your faith in it as a medical dx, too).

Soldiers, and veterans, are individuals, something that’s lost when we think of them as the collective “troops.” A million Afghan and Iraq vets have a million discrete experience sets, and will react differently. In our community (SF), actual PTSD is pretty low because we have a very high level of stress inoculation and a dissociation response that would probably constitute illness in the general population — it’s an excellent adaptation to stressful environments, not so much for taking Kid to the school dance or running out to Five Guys for a burger. Survivor’s guilt? That, we’ve got, but for most of us it’s our own goddamn business, thank you for your concern.

But I know SF guys who are sure they have experienced PTSD, including guys who can’t be milking the VA system for a disability because they’re 100% for real, physical, sometimes debilitating, injuries. To those guys, I listen. To the scamming Air Force chick who had a story in some chick magazine about how she’s a mental basket case because of the hardships of FOB life, like, what was it, “soggy vegetables?” Not so much. (That she’s a basket case, we will accept. That the bad menu on base did it, nopers). Most Americans have no idea that the 80% of the military that never leaves a large base has regular “steak and crab leg” or “steak and lobster” days. It’s traumatic that surf-n-turf can’t be the fare every day for Air Force newsletter writers like that Unique And Special Snowflake™. And she’s got a disability for it. War is hell.

For the real trauma victims, whom you might not know when you see ’em. listening and taling seems to help. At least, when the conversational partners are other vets. This is the germ of truth behind the rap sessions and the well-meaning, but clueless, “facilitators.” (Once such a program gets infected by wannabes, it probably can’t be saved at all. In a sort of veterans’ Gresham’s Law the phony vets drive the authentic ones out).

Economists know that if you tax something, you get less. (That’s the whole reson for Pigovian taxes, like cigarette taxes, and was the original concept of the NFA transfer tax). If you subsidize it, you get more. We’re now subsidizing a Bonus Army of people who are not disabled, but have been convinced that they are. No good comes of that, and probably the worst of it is the diminution in those people’s capacities and potential.

Over at Breach Bang Clear, some commenters are tearing Chris a new one because he called out the epidemic of phonies. One questions his own service, which he’s documented online pretty extensively (and honestly). Someone blames him for military suicides.

Yeah, that new phenomenon. Prediction: if someone does a study of the thousands who are on disability thanks to PTSD, without a matching Purple Heart or equivalent noncombat trauma, you’ll find that now that they’re getting the eagle’s kiss in the mail, their suicide rate is below average. Bet?

TSA grabs for more power

tsa checkpointThe TSA, America’s least competent government agency, continues to seek new fields for its trademark alternative to competence, rather than address its existing problems. The corrupt agency’s latest power grab, last week, bestowed on its low-integrity and even-lower-intellect staff the “right” to conduct warrantless, no-notice raids on repair shops where airplanes and their components are fixed.

Having alienated the traveling public, they’re now moving on to deal with the menace of terrorists from stealing airplanes off the aviation equivalent of the Jiffy Lube lot. The last time this happened… well, it actually hasn’t happened yet, so the payroll patriots of the TSA are stepping in to screw up the in-maintenance aircraft the terrorists have so resolutely resisted screwing up. (Terrorists, after all, are sly and cunning and bear considerable watching).

In the decade since the creation of the TSA, its agents have never caught a terrorist or prevented an attack. Instead, they’ve stolen millions from passenger luggage — usually with complete impunity — and groped, ogled and humiliated millions of passengers on their way to complete mission ineffectiveness. Most seriously, they have caused thousands of deaths — more dead Americans than Osama bin Laden — by making flying so unpleasant that long-distance travelers revery to the less-safe mode of travel, driving.

The Transportation Security Administration on Friday unveiled long awaited regulations designed to protect against terrorist strikes involving aircraft repair stations near airports.

Part of the government’s response to the 9/11 attacks of 2001, the regulations extend TSA’s security enforcement authority over the Federal Aviation Administration-certified stations, where commercial planes undergo maintenance.

The regulations, which take effect next month, reflect the government’s view that the stations “continue to be a prime target of terrorist threats,” according to a notice to be published in Monday’s Federal Register.

Yeah, definitely. Remember all those terrorist attacks against airplane repair stations? What, you don’t? Think really hard. An outfit with the integrity of the TSA couldn’t just be making it up.

Oh, wait.

Noone good, decent, moral, ethical or intelligent has ever been employed by TSA in any capacity whatsoever. In the main, they’re the sweepings of halfway houses, doss huts, and rehab clinics.

In particular, the rule aims to keep terrorists from commandeering unattended aircraft that are capable of flight and crashing them into populated areas.

“Enhancement of security at repair stations that have access to runways will mitigate the potential threat that a large aircraft could be used as a weapon,” the agency contends.

The regulations allow unannounced inspections at the facilities. Based on inspections, the TSA will have authority to order the repair stations to take corrective action.

The new rule comes on top of regulations already put in place by the FAA, which has sought to fill safety gaps in the years since the Sept. 11 attacks.

via TSA expands reach with new anti-terror regs | TheHill.

It gets better. A number of trade unions, like the AFL-CIO, are complaining that the new TSA raid mandate doesn’t punish the innocent (and just coincidentally, we’re sure, non-union) repair stations enough. 

Screenshot 2014-01-17 16.08.13Because nothing says, “The union is out for the working man,” quite like sending mouth-breathing, armed, grade-school dropouts of the (just coincidentally, we’re sure, unionized) moral-turpitude-saturated TSA to raid your competitors.

Even the typically lowball estimate that’s part of the Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) and the Final Rule admits that complying with the new rules will cost repair stations millions a year — and that’s before they get raided.

Fortunately there’s a way to save yourself if the TSA raids you. Just throw them a preteen child.

Assclown of the Ides 2014 01: Mark Kirk

Mark Kirk, Playing dress-up in front of an A-6.

Mark Kirk, Playing dress-up. Source: Kirk campaign (he was not an A-6 crewdog).

Mark Kirk is a Republican Senator from Illinois. He’s also a serial military Stolen Valor candidate, whose no-heavy-bending career as a mostly-nonflying desk jockey intelligence officer has been the basis of repeated and persistent claims of combat service and awards that have turned out to be, there’s no other word, phony. We’ve beaten up phony Democrats before (Dick Blumenthal, come on down!), so doing the same for Republicans is fair play. 

So Kirk makes phony service claims. Well, what can one reasonably expect from someone who’s both a lawyer and a politician?

Kirk keeps his uniform among other things in his capacious closet. Oh, wait….

Kirk keeps his uniform, among other things. in his capacious closet. Oh, wait….

Did we mention, from Chicago? 

While serving the only God he has ever served — himself — as a staffer and lawyer-lobbyist in Washington, the Navy gave him a reserve officer’s commission in 1989, as they often do for politically connected DC maklers. 

This not only gets the Navy an insider for their lobbyists to speed-dial, it gets the insider a second fat pension for little to no effort.

Kirk served in several brief “war tourism” junior intelligence officer deployments, but he hasn’t been able to keep himself from running off at the mouth with tall tales about his service:

  • He claimed to have been named “Intelligence Officer of the Year.” In actuality, he was a very junior officer at squadron level in a Wing that got an “Intelligence Unit of the Year” award. Somehow this unit award, mostly for others’ work if he contributed to it at all, became an individual award when filtered through Kirk’s Washington value system and retold by Kirk. Further, the award was not a military award at all, but one made by a trade association. ‘
  • Like his fellow Senator Dick Blumenthal (D-CT), who also served in a special assignment for political wheels and never saw action, Kirk (R-IL) has told tall tales of combat survival. “The last time I was in Iraq,” Kirk boasted, “I was in uniform, flying at 20,000 feet, and the Iraqi Air Defense network was shooting at us.” Called on it, Kirk at first tried to brazen the story out, but when it was clear that records showed he was never under fire, he mumbled that his memory had failed him. (There is a word for people that remember combat they were never in… we mean, besides “Senator”).

Here’s Kirk making the bogus boast:

Kirk has also spent a year on, essentially, fully paid leave while recovering from a stroke. Despite the fact he was racked out with the stroke, he kept voting (or someone voted for him), especially when his vote was needed — or, presumably, paid for.

Yeah, don't you always remember stirring tales of the combat you were never in? What… no?!?

Yeah, don’t you always remember stirring tales of the combat you were never in? What… no?!?

After kicking his wife of eight years to the curb in 2009, Kirk has emerged as an outspoken supporter of gay rights. Not that there’s anything wrong with that™. (He could form a closet Stolen Valor Republican Caucus with Lindsey Graham).

It’s obvious that Kirk is a man of deeply deficient integrity. He will say anything, do anything, and claim anything to aggrandize himself. To Mark Kirk, the guys who do the actual fighting are chumps to be used — in his world, their laurels exist for him to steal.

Since he’s so proud of his own “combat” service, want to guess whether he thinks the actual combat vets should be allowed to own guns? Or “ordinary” citizens, for that matter? Yep, he’s a vote and sponsor for every gun ban that bubbles up out of the tar pits of Congress.

Unfortunately, he’s not up for reelection this year.

Maybe in Prison he can Pass as a Cop

Jonathan Stevens in a familiar pose -- facing a mugshot camera

Jonathan Stevens in a familiar pose — facing a mugshot camera

Look at Florida, where the bad cops ain’t necessarily cops:

Police say 24-year-old Jonathan Stevens was arrested in Tampa over the weekend after flagging down a police officer. He had flashing red and blue lights on his SUV, and had a gun and a badge around his neck.

“The officer was suspicious. It just didn’t seem right to her,” said TPD spokesperson Andrea Davis.

Stevens’ car was not from a government agency, and he was not a government employee. Police say he admitted to making the whole thing up, and it’s not the first time.

In September, the Manatee Sheriff’s Office says he pulled over a driver in the parking lot of the Ellenton Outlets. He also faces charges related to that incident.

via Police: Fake cop pulled over real cop – FOX 35 News Orlando.

Wonder what Stevens's fellow defendants think about his cop act?

Wonder what Stevens’s fellow defendants think about his cop act?

OK, so that’s two times. You have to wonder how many times this assclown has done this and gotten away with it. But he ought to have tightened up his mental shot group by now, right? Errrrr… not right.

So what does this knucklehead do? Jan. 2 and he’s back at it:

His latest brush with the law happened this week when he grabbed a bite at Acropolis in Ybor City.

He made quite an impression.

“Acting like he was someone of authority all the time, in an off way,” said waitress Charley Pairas.

Pairas say he’s a regular customer, sometimes showing up two times a day. She thought he was an officer.

He even played the part.

“Every time I see him come in, he had a police vest on and a little badge that would hang down,” she said, adding that he would ask for a law enforcement discount.

Not just a three-time poseur but a cheap poseur.

Restaurant manager Jennifer Slater had her suspicions.

“He doesn’t act like our cops. I’ve never see him protecting our streets in Ybor,” Slater said.

He was arrested that day for impersonating a police officer, but it’s not the first time. A couple of days before, Stevens pulled over a real Tampa police officer in her patrol car.

So what story does his attorney tell?

His attorney Charley Demosthenous explained to the judge his client is an Army veteran who suffers mental issues, including extreme post-traumatic stress disorder.

“He was injured when his Humvee rolled over, and then he was beaten severely shortly afterwards, and almost died. He’s on medication as a result of that,” Demosthenous said.

Boy, that smells like bullshit to us. Not a lawyer’s bullshit, but a lawyer who’s been successfully bullshat himself. A severe beating seems more like what Stevens needs, than what he’s already had; and we’re suspicious of “vet” and “PTSD” claims of a guy busted three times as a phony cop. What are the odds he’s just as phony on that? Just about unity, we’re thinking.

Jeez, it’s not like Gulf Coast Florida cops need him. They’ve got enough bad publicity already (cowardly cop shot dog while raiding wrong house), imagine if this nutter was a real cop.

If you want to be a cop, the safe approach is to apply and then attend the academy. Just sayin’. Otherwise, the first guys who actually believe you are a cop might be your cellmates.

Iranian Criminal threatens WeaponsMan


Smile for the mugshot, jailbird.

Sharzad Mir Gholikhan, a convicted felon and sometime Iranian government agent, has threatened us (from Iran, apparently, and from an electronic address associated with an Iranian government propaganda agency), for calling her a weapons trafficker. Her picture is to the right; we believe this is a passport photo from State Department files. Here’s what she says:

Shahrzad Mirgholikhan
[email on file — claims an Iranian official status]
[IP on file —  from the – block historically associated with Iranian terrorist and government agency use].
Submitted on 2013/12/23 at 15:32 | In reply to [a WeaponsMan commenter].
How dare you are to use my name and give me the title of weapon trafficer! Remove my name from your False News otherwise I will take legal actions. SHAHRZAD MIRGHOLIKHAN

She addressed the comment to one of our commenters, but since he didn’t call her a “weapons trafficker,” she probably means us. We did call her a weapons trafficker. Let us explain why.

Shahzad Mir Gholikhan and Mahmoud Seif

Shahzad Mir Gholikhan and Mahmoud Seif, Iranian agents and weapons traffickers.

Here are some facts. She was arrested in Austria in 2004, caught red-handed in the act of weapons trafficking. Specifically, she was acquiring night vision devices which she said were going to the Iranian military and Revolutionary Guards, and she boasted about her connections to Iranian officials.

Sharzad had used the cover name of Farideh Fahimi to set up the deal between American and Austrian agents (unknown to her and her IRGC bosses, who thought they were corrupt Western businessmen) and Iranian agents.

(If you have a cover name, You Just Might Be a Spook).

Another shot of the lovely, and criminal, couple. She now says it's all his fault. He vanished back into the IRGC.

Another shot of the lovely, and criminal, couple. She now says it’s all his fault. He vanished back into the IRGC terror network.

She and her co-conspirator, allegedly her then-husband but possibly another Iranian agent (it is common to cover agent pairs as husband and wife), pled guilty in Austria to “Trading Defense Articles without a License” and served a short sentence.

She then fled to Iran.

She was in Iran at the time an indictment was issued by an American court in September, 2005.

For reasons known only to Gholikan and her bosses, she returned to the United States in 2007 and faced charges of weapons trafficking in US Federal Court. She was convicted of weapons trafficking in April, 2008.

She, in fact, pled guilty to weapons trafficking, but withdrew that plea when she discovered it came with a prison sentence.

She, in fact, stood trial twice, one mistrial with an American defense attorney, and one spectacular failure of a conviction acting as her own lawyer. (One is reminded of the conventional joke about a party to proceedings who acts pro se).

She, in fact, was sentenced to five years.

She would still be in prison in the United States if she had not been released as part of the current administration’s policy of appeasing the terrorist-mullah state.

She is permanently banned from the United States as a convicted felon.

She and her then-husband were involved in a scheme to buy industrial quantities of night vision equipment and smuggle the materiel to Iran, where it would be used by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (the parallel terrorist army modeled on the Nazi SS) or exported to Iran’s terrorist clients worldwide.

Iran, the government of which still employs Sharzad Mir Gholikan, is the world’s single most active worldwide terrorism-sponsoring state, and has been since the Islamic revolution in 1979. The mullahs and their various Charlies McCarthy  used to deny this, but now they don’t even bother any more.

Incidentally, on the Spiegel link above, it’s nice to see Ahmadinejad praising Columbia University, a place that university President Lee Bollinger made safe and welcoming for anti-semites of all kinds, including the vertically-challenged Iranian frontman.

This is not secret stuff. It’s easily found with a few minutes monkeying with a search engine.

  • The alternative Miami New Times tells her story — she’s just a Mom Who Learned 1 Weird Trick of smuggling arms. The story’s primary source appears to be jailhouse comms from Gholikhan herself, hardly a credible person, and it’s full of weird things: “Experts say the coveted Generation III model [of night-vision goggle, presumably the PVS-7D] — commonly called ‘the Pirate’ by U.S. infantrymen — is the second-most-wanted item on foreign spies’ wish lists.” Whaaat?
  • She first started turning up in Iranian PressTV (a state-controlled news agency, that also is a common cover-for-status for IRGC terrorists and terrorism managers) while still in the jug, retailing a story of torture (the only detail of which is that they — O the humanity! — put her in handcuffs). The story contains the laughable line, “contrary to the harsh treatment of Iranians in US custody, the detained US citizens were treated well….” It’s laughable because Iran doesn’t even treat detained Iranians humanely, for crying out loud. PressTV was waiting for her on her release in early 2012 as part of the Obama Administration’s appeasement offensive, and she now pings us from a PressTV address.
  • She didn’t like prison, she told (who else?) PressTV:

She gave several interviews to Press TV during her time in prison speaking of her terrifying ordeal and mistreatment at the hands of prison staff. She said that she had been harshly treated and tortured by the prison officials.

“I am disgusted… by these people and their treatment. I would rather die than being in this garbage can one more day,” she told Press TV in one of her telephone interviews from the prison.

You’re not supposed to like it, honey child. It’s prison. You go there because you were bad. We commend to you a wise old American saying: “Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time.”

We’re real sorry you didn’t like American jail, Shahrzad. And we’re real intimidated by your legal threats. The last time Iranian agents came for us, they had guns (and were also trying to bribe our local nationals to do their dirty work for them). Nota bene that we’re still here. Sorry about that.

TSA Fails at One More Thing

tsa checkpointWe know, kind of a dog bites man story. The TSA has failed at everything, and it’s really no good at anything, except turning welfare bums into an angry and corrupt version of Paul Blart, Mall Cop. But from time to time some other branch of government investigates some aspect of the TSA’s work, in this case their Behavioral Detection Officers. Red-on-red ensues.

A BDO is an 82-IQ TSA guy given some pop-psychology training in spotting terrorist “tells,” who then goes out and harasses the traveling public with his insta-expertise. In this case the investigating agency is the amusingly named Government Accountability Office, which always strikes us as something like a Whorehouse Saving It for Marriage Office. The GAO report to Congress is here. The underlying and larger GAO Study is here. The bottom line, per GAO, is that per the psychological state of the art:

[T]he ability of human observers to accurately identify deceptive behavior based on behavioral cues or indicators is the same as or slightly better than chance (54 percent). GAO also reported on other studies that do not support the use of behavioral indicators to identify mal-intent or threats to aviation.

This caused a small splash in the corners of the media that are not in love with the TSA. Some media adore the agency, simply because it’s a welfare program for the mentally deficient that swells the ranks of government worker unions. And others dislike it, for the same reasons. For example, the Washington Times:

Government investigators said Wednesday that there is little evidence to show TSA employees are able to pick out potential terrorists by profiling behavior and that the agency may be wasting hundreds of millions of dollars on the 3,000 officers hired to do so.

TSA Administrator John S. Pistole is scheduled to appear before the Homeland Security Committee on Thursday to talk about the recent shooting at Los Angeles International Airport. [Ranking Member of the Committee Bennie] Thompson said the agency chief will have to explain why he thinks the behavior money is well-spent.

Desperate to preserve the program, TSA defended the research and said its own study shows its officers are “substantially better at identifying high-risk passengers than a random screening protocol.”

The TSA Peepers and Gropers Union wanted Pistole to ask for law enforcement credentials and guns for their mouth-breathing members, but he didn’t.

The Times’s analysis of the GAO paper is OK, so Read The Whole Thing™. But you also should read the whole paper, both to get a sense of the problem in depth (it’s only 14 pages, but that’s much longer than the précis that can be jammed into a news story — or a blog post, for that matter), and because the Times missed something big.

Some or our take-aways from the report:

  • Every boondoggle needs an acronym, and this one is SPOT: Screening of Passengers by Observation Technique. (Down, Spot. Bad dog).
  • “TSA has expended a total of approximately $900 million on the program since it was fully deployed in 2007.” Emphasis ours: this is a billion-dollar boondoggle.
  • “TSA deployed the SPOT program without validating the scientific basis for identifying passengers who may pose a threat” – a 2010 finding that’s unimproved in 2013. (Link to the 2010 GAO report, which is not as negative as the new follow-up).
  • “[T]he SPOT program lacked performance measures.” (2010, again).
  • The ace BDOs identified thousands of “threats to aviation” with their mad psyop skillz, of whom actually 0.0% turned out to be actual threats to aviation. 0.6% of the “threats” they flagged wound up being arrested, but usually because the individual was an illegal alien, had bogus documents, or was wanted on outstanding warrants.
  • A mere 99.4% of the travelers singled out for extra harassment using this methodology were BDO/SPOT false positives.
  • The rate of arrests varied enormously from one airport to another, indicating a lack of standardization, but no airport had higher than 17% of law enforcement referrals (a second stage referral) arrested. The airports with the higher rates of referral are suspected of using racial profiling to find their higher share of illegal immigrants and false documents.

Not all these findings were caught by the Times, and some of them are certainly shocking. But the Times’s reporters also missed, or at least, didn’t emphasize ,the finding that was, for us, the bombshell of the whole piece. It relates to the TSA’s “own study” the Times mentions above, and the GAO says:

GAO found that DHS’s April 2011 validation study does not demonstrate effectiveness of the SPOT behavioral indicators because of methodological weaknesses.… Specifically, as GAO reported in November 2013, these weaknesses include, among other things, the use of potentially unreliable data and issues related to one of the study’s outcome measures.

Let us translate that for you: DHS’s April 2011 study, which was made in response to, and purports to contradict an earlier GAO report critical of the Behavior Analysis Officer boondoggle, was a false, misleading report.

Now, it might have been deliberately false. And it might have been simple incompetence. With DHS and TSA, it’s hard to pick one over the other.

We do know this, and have frequently said so: Not one good, decent, honest, moral, ethical, intelligent or competent individual has ever been employed by the TSA for any purpose whatsoever.

As the non-reaction to the 2010 Government Accountability Office report shows, there is no accountability in government, and there won’t be this time, either, unless Congress takes action (so we could probably have left out all from the comma before “unless,” right?)  But there still is a faint hope. Zeroing out the funding for this wasteful, disruptive, and ineffective project, as Rep. Thompson (D-MS) wants to do, is a good start.

How the Administration plans to celebrate Veterans’ Day

jfonda2Allegedly antisemitic, arguably anti-American, rangey and cadaverous of appearance and impractical and doctrinaire of thought, foreign-born Samantha Power was always a … curious … choice for UN Ambassador. But she is probably a pretty good marker for how the Administration feels about its combat veterans: in general, it prefers those who betrayed them. Power’s Vets’ day message for you: “There is no greater embodiment of being outspoken on behalf of what you believe in — and being ‘all in’ in every way — than Jane Fonda.”

New U.S. ambassador to the UN Samantha Power didn’t waste her diplomatic skills on Vietnam veterans at a New York speech, praising actress Jane Fonda for “being outspoken on behalf” of her convictions.

Power, 43, was speaking at the United Nations Association of the USA 2013 Global Leadership Awards in New York Wednesday.

“Hi everybody,” Power said, according to a transcript. “You know life has changed when you’re hanging out with Jane Fonda backstage. There is no greater embodiment of being outspoken on behalf of what you believe in — and being ‘all in’ in every way — than Jane Fonda. And it’s a huge honor just to even briefly have shared the stage with her.”

via America’s top UN diplomat has high praise for ‘Hanoi Jane’ | Fox News.

One wonders which of Fonda’s reported actions Power finds worthy of such “huge honor.” Was it crewing-up on a 57mm AA gun? You did recognize the setting of the photo above, yes? Here’s another from the same shoot (without resorting to the most common one):


Haranguing POWs on propaganda audio tapes she made for their captors? Haranguing them in person? Informing on them? Precipitating their torture? (She admits all but the last, but still condemns veterans for criticizing her).

Of course, Sam Power is not the only Administration figure who likes Jane Fonda, but dislikes combat veterans (at least, American ones). There’s this knucklehead:


So what does 70-something-and-wrinkly Hanoi Jane say now? She says vets need to “get a life” and forget about her betrayal. A bit too late for the ones who didn’t survive her buddies, the people who shot them down or the ones who, with her moral and possibly actual, physical, support, tortured them to death. They can’t get a life because they no longer had a life. Thanks, Jane. Thanks, Sam.

So remember that Hanoi interlude, the formative event in the Legend of Jane Fonda. That’s what Sam Power is celebrating; that’s the only A-Level public episode of Fonda’s long and parasitic trustafarian life. Well, some vet already drafted a suitable reply:


Table for two. Sharia Sam Power is joining her.