Category Archives: Don’t be THAT guy

Benchwork with Bubba: Mosin Edition

On this lovely weekend day, as a light snow sprinkles on us in seacoast New Hampshire (Dear God, winter can end any time), we settle in to spend some quality time with our favorite (in entertainment terms)  gunsmith, Bubba. If you’re a habitué of Reddit’s /r/guns, you probably caught this beauty last week, but if not, here it is in all its… glory. It is stunning, for some values of “stunning.”

Tula bubbad Mosin 001Obviously, the guy who posted this bubba’d Mosin on Imgur is having some fun with it, as he carefully photographed it with the props of booze and cartridges. The booze? He explains, “Alcohol for scale and realism.” Gives you the full Bubba. (He is a Marine vet of Afghanistan and has another Imgur page with info about the weapons he used).

This gun seems to hit the high points of Bubbadom on several levels.

  • It started with a Finnish M39, a collector Mosin. The front sight was removed along with the last few inches of the barrel. We doan need no stankin’ sights. The rear sight, however, was left on, because removing that is Hard To Do.
  • The stock is hacked down and the Modern Art forearm tip grafted on.
  • The whole thing is painted OD. Can’t tell if it’s a brush job or rattle cans. When his phone doesn’t ring, it’s the Maaco Crappy Auto Body franchise not offering him a job in their DILLIGAFF Paint Shop.
  • That bolt handle… ugh. First, the workmanship looks like a reject from a Teach Yourself Welding class. Second, that bolt handle is extended and the weirdo industrial knob (which has more than a whiff of Harbor Freight about it)  is cleverly located forward and underneath the trigger entirely; believe it or not, the idea behind modifying rifle bolts, back in the days of Peak Sporterizing, was to make the bolt easier and faster to operate, as well as to clear a scope and mount. Tula bubbad Mosin 002
  • Given that this guy has the metal-shaping skills of Katy Perry, this Acme bolt handle didn’t clear the stock, so he chiseled a gouge in the stock for it to rest in. That part is left in the original bare birch or whatever for contrast. Scandinavian Design FTW!
  • Rather than apply his welding savoir-faire to the trigger, he took the coward’s way out and added a big wide trigger shoe. Because he who dies with the most mods on his gun, wins.
  • The Thalidomide bolt handle still didn’t clear the scope and mount, so you can see some crude saw (note toolmarks) has been used to chop off the after end of the scope.
  • The $10 bargain basement scope (he thinks, a Center Point) and mounts are guaranteed to last at least until the gun is fired. No, handled. Until the gun is handled.
  • The stilt-high see-through mounts are meant to be used with iron sights, by people who buy $10 scopes and therefore need to go to backup any time they hunt outdoors in weather (when was the last time you hunted indoors?). Therefore a cheek weld is impossible.
  • So a hunk of foam is Ace-bandaged on to the stock to make a sort of rustic cheekpiece.

Bubba Facit, as the Romans might have said.

There are actually two versions of the Imgur post, here and here, with very slight differences in the wording, but the same pictures.

Somewhere in Finland, a guy who spent a hunk of the last century turning Mosins into finely crafted moose and elk hunting rifles is weeping inconsolably.

Friday Federal Follies: VA, TSA, DEA, ATF: Fifty Ways to Fail your Nation

Rather than do a more general Friday Tour d’Horizon, we thought we’d zero in today on various ways that various federal agencies are screwing up.

Yes, it is shooting fish in a barrel.

The Department of Veterans Affairs

VA-veterans-affairsTo start with, we have the VA. When they banished some stumblebum named Diana Rubens from the Bureaucrats’ Right Hand of God®, a DC assignment, way out to the far provinces, to wit, Philadelphia, she exacted a payment by way of compensation.

The Department of Veterans Affairs confirmed Wednesday that it paid a senior manager $288,000 in “relocation payments” when it reassigned her from Washington last year to become director of the agency’s problem-riddled Philadelphia office.

The chairman of the House Veterans Affairs committee called the payment to Philadelphia Director Diana Rubens “outrageous.”

Ya think? He also said it “raises questions about VA’s commitment to fiscal responsibility.”  What questions? It perfectly illustrates VA’s fiscal responsiblity, about that of a two-year-old. Nevertheless, a mealy-mouthed spokesman, himself a worthless six-figure drain on the taxpayers, stepped up to defend the VA’s practices of fraud, waste and abuse:

A department spokesman told the Philadelphia Inquirer that federal regulations allow the payment of certain relocation expenses, including the costs of house-hunting, moving, terminating leases, and a per diem rate for meals and temporary housing.

Translation: “Shaddup, peasant, or we’ll give the next payroll patriot half a mil.”

What did your last move cost your employer (or, more likely, you?) The VA paid over $2,000 per mile to move Rubens. No matter how Rubenesque her lifetime swilling at the government trough has made her, that’s too much. Remember, when they say they don’t have enough money to treat sick vets, it’s not that they don’t have money. It’s just that spending it on their ostensible mission is a lower priority than six-figure bogus bonuses for underperformers.

Added VA Item: Exec Given Bonuses for Failing retires

The Washington Post reported Wednesday that “embattled” VA official Glenn Haggstrom, who was paid large bonuses — more in bonuses than a middle-class annual income — whilst overseeing $2 billion in cost overruns and blowing through deadline after deadline, has quietly retired . About the only difference this makes is that he can’t get more bonuses now. We paid him for not doing his job before, and now we’re going to pay him for not doing his job for the rest of his life.

Added VA Item: Legislators Introduce Bill requiring VA to fund hospitals over bonuses.

Naturally, the VA opposes the bill. Details here. Driving the bill is the VA’s budgetary incontinence on the cost of construction of a new hospital in Aurora, CO (eastern suburb of Denver), where the cost bill rocketed from $630 million to $1.73 billion, nearly triple, in about eight months, due to mismanagement by Coffman (in fact the original cost was $328 million, so mismanagement has amplified the cost more than fivefold since the beginning). Amid accusations and acrimony all round, the contractor has walked off the job and the hospital project is standing abandoned and vandalized at this writing. But what’s most important to VA managers got taken care of: Coffman got $64,000 in bonuses. We might not have a king, but it’s good to be Beltway nobility. (Silly colonists, thought they’d built a republic).

TSA: Expedited Pre-Check for Notorious Terrorist

Sarah Jane Olson TSAThe weirdo California terrorist gang, the Symbionese Liberation Army, was one of those bizarre ructions of the 70s. But another bizarre ruction of the 70s was giving terrorists short prison sentences, and one of the released SLA creeps was a woman who then went by the nom de guerre Kathy Soliah, but whose real name was Sara Jane Olson. Soliah/Olson showed up at Minneapolis-St. Paul airport recently, where the TSA’s vaunted pre-check system flagged her as a person needing only token screening.

No one good, decent, honest, intelligent, moral or ethical has ever been employed by TSA in any capacity whatsoever.

CBP: The Border Patrol Perv

Elsewhere in the morass that is DHS, it looks like a Border Patrol supervisor was, not to put too fine a point on it, a perv. Armando Gonzalez is charged with setting up hidden cameras to film women in a restroom at the Chula Vista CBP station.

If we’re not going to let the Border Patrol, you know, patrol the jeezly border, then we shouldn’t be shocked when the devil finds work for these idle hands.

The DEA: Hookers OK, So Long As the Drug Cartels Pay

You have to hand it to senior managers of the DEA who figured out how to avoid getting bad press for spending government money on sex parties with throngs of hookers. They just had their good buddies, the drug cartels, pay for the hookers. Hey, no conflict of interest there.

But the report says they really cracked down on the crooked agents who were partying with the drug traffickers: some of them got punitive suspensions of from two to ten days. (The longer suspensions went to Supervisory Special Agents who took bribes from the drug dealers in the form of “money, expensive gifts, and weapons,” according to the OIG report).

We guess now the drug cops and drug dealers go dutch on the whores, and that’s OK. You could say they’re consolidating agency purchases of hookers and hookahs.

Between the DEA hiring their hookers and the ATF shipping them guns, it’s only a matter of time before the Sinaloas and Los Zetas have their own SEIU local.

ATF: Banning Bullets, Buggering Buddies!

ATF-Molan LabeITEM: Speaking of the ATF, America’s Triggerhappy Favorites also got fired up a bit in the same OIG report that broke the story of the DEA’s drug-funded hooker mixers. In a case that’s been widely covered, for example at CleanUpATF.org, the ATF’s Director of Industry Operations was caught by police in New Orleans prostituting himself in a hotel room. He had replaced a bathroom door with one containing a “glory hole” (if you don’t know, count yourself lucky) and advertised his services on Craigslist in the “men seeking men” personals. His defense? He did this all the time while he was traveling. His punishment? None. After all, ATF senior managers don’t want to be biased against gays, prostitutes, and gay prostitutes, especially in senior ATF management where they’re probably pretty common.

ITEM: In addition, “ATF training” meant something different to two training instructors than to the rest of them. The wayward pair seduced new agents in a training class — for years. And the Program Manager covered for them — for years. Their punishment? Well, they’re still there, still screwing all the new hires, so apparently B. Todd Jones and Tom Brandon thought that was punishment enough.

ITEM: ATF’s drone program was crucified by another report. (That’s a news story; here’s the OIG report). The Bureau blew over $600k on six drones it then never used. Then, it threw another six-figure purchase order down, and bought five more of yet another type or kind. It appears to be driven by FBI envy, but the FBI has fixed wing aircraft as well as drones (the FBI also has 17 drones, but only two pilots. Soviet planning lives at the Hoover Building!). ATF lost its authority for fixed-wing capability when it was found to be acquiring OV-10 reconnaissance/strike aircraft after its fiascos at Waco and Ruby Ridge. In the fallout from the attempted attack-plane acquisition, the then-head of aviation services for ATF was found to be stealing from the agency, and went to prison.

It appears that in addition to its two sets of non-working drones, which produced only one failed attempt at flight, ATF has also had drone missions flown by DHS and FBI, although the record-keeping of all three agencies is too dodgy to count them.

It’s the bad managers at ATF that make things hard for the other percent. But now that they’ve blown over a million dollars on drones without anything to show for it, they’ve decided what they really need is a drone needs analysis.

So that they can justify buying moar dronez. Words fail.

ITEM: ATF Agent, AUSA Corruption & Affair sink cases

Last month, a Federal judge threw ATF agent Lou Valoze and AUSA Cameron Ippolito out of the Southern District of Georgia courts for a long-standing affair and related corruption that has tainted every prosecution to emerge from Valoze’s long string of “storefront stings” in the area. Some 332 cases are in jeopardy (200 involving the dynamic duo directly and 132 more involving Ippolito and Valoze’s subordinate agents), and it appears that the two lovers systematically and routinely lied to judges, which judges tend not to like (although you’d think they’d have gotten used to it). An OIG investigation continues, but so far, no consequences for the two crooked Feds. The defendants they lied into jail aren’t happy, and an interesting detail in that same story: Valoze and Ippolito are both married, just not to each other.

These guns, displayed as seized in a Pulaski, GA storefront sting, are some of the guns ATF keeps in Atlanta for press conferences.

These guns, displayed this time as fruits of a Pulaski, GA storefront sting, are some of the guns ATF keeps in Atlanta for press conferences.

It’s possible that some of the criminals Valoze and Ippolito teamed up to incarcerate will stay in, but if so, it will be despite their dishonest efforts.

It was defense attorney Amy Lee Copeland who exposed the Ippolito/Valoze affair, forcing US Attorney Ed Tarver, who had long known of and tolerated it, to admit it to the court.

ITEM: Another US Attorney in Love / Trouble

Amanda Marshall, US Attorney for Oregon, was involuntarily put on leave early this month after credible allegations emerged that she was stalking one of her subordinates.

And that’s not all….

…it looks like even Interpol is rotten to the core, as another tale of nepotism and corruption teaches us.  Which might be a good time to wrap this post up.

interpol

 

 

NOTE

This post has been edited since going live on 271800 Mar 2015. Two more examples have been added to the initial section on the Veterans Administration, thanks to tips in the comments and email.

OT: What Does it Take to Get Fired, if You’re a Professor?

Marco DorfsmanWell, you could ask Marco Dorfsman (amusingly called Draftsman in one place in the story — Damn You Autocorrect!), and he could tell you.

In December of 2012, Dorfsman altered the student evaluations of his colleague, French lecturer Emilie Taplin, by lowering her student evaluation scores. Court documents state that Dorfsman changed the average scores for every class Taplin taught that semester, as well as her overall average awarded by students. The tampering made it appear that her performance fell below acceptable limits for her department, court documents state.

Taplin’s contract for re-employment for the 2013 calendar year was still under consideration and had not been renewed as of the time Dorfsman altered her student evaluations. In January, Dorfsman said he came forward with what he had done.

“Last December I had what I can only say was an emotional breakdown and I did a terrible thing,” Dorfsman said in an email sent to colleagues on April 19, 2013. “I lost my judgment and in a moment of great stress I tampered with a colleague’s student evaluations.”
The Professional Standards Committee of the Faculty Senate terminated Dorfsman in May 2013 due to “moral turpitude” after an investigation.

But wait! If you were to, as we’re always saying, Read The Whole Thing™, you’d see that it’s not necessarily over. Dorfsman fought the firing, and an independent arbitrator let him stay — even while noting that his underhanded attack on Prof Taplin’s reputation (the reason for which attack is not stated, but we reckon we can guess) not only jeopardized her job (we can not find her listed as current UNH faculty) but also her work visa, which was contingent on the job.

A judge has, on appeal by the University, reinstated Prof Dorfsman’s firing, and rejected a motion for reconsideration. Dorfsman may now appeal to a higher court.

From time to time we encountered the guy in SF who had all the tools to excel in SF but instead displayed what our society once was not ashamed to call what the university has called it in this case — “moral turpitude” (a term that can be a legal term of art with a very narrow meaning, but we’re using it in its broadest and most general sense). Sometimes he had buddies and teammates and even leaders who would go to bat for him, but these cases never ended well (one such has just been an occasion for an enlightening backchannel discussion with a distinguished retired SF officer). The right answer always is the same: give the guy leave and impetus to go excel elsewhere.

Prof Dorfsman may feel terrible about what he did, and he may be bound and determined never to commit such a misdeed again. But there is a bell he can’t unring here; a change of horizons may give him a chance to rebuild his reputation, but UNH should not.

We note that even Michael A. Bellesiles, stripped of the Bancroft Prize when his book Arming America: Origins of a National Gun Culture was exposed as an academic fraud (Clayton Cramer played a major role in this exposure), has been rehabilitated, sort of: a college unconcerned with academic integrity has given him a job; his original, bogus book has been republished in all its fraudulent glory by a Communist publishing house; a new book published to glowing reviews (and nearly nil sales) by a New York house which loves his ideology enough to overlook his scholarship, and uncritical, slobbering tonguebaths in the New York Times and Chronicle of Higher Education. Even though Bellesiles has been exposed as a fraud againin an article he wrote for his friends at the Times. Even though some writers clearly no longer trust him and don’t accept his supporters’ claims that it’s all because of a “swiftboating campaign by the NRA” (which also forgets that the Swift Boat officers and men had the truth of it, and Secretary/Senator Kerry is the one who has been dishonest about his past).

So Dorfsman has a way forward: emulate Bellesiles by attacking what academics everywhere abjure (like gun owners, in Bellesiles’s case) and praising what they adore (like central government control of things like guns).  Will he do that?

Update

Before we could even take the post live, Dorfsman is activating that exact exit strategy. Here he is on twitter, seeing raaaaacism (with the obligatory 5 a’s) everywhere:

dorfus1

(note, we’re having a hard time getting images to load at the moment. Bear with us).

…and here he is, praising socialism.

dorfus2

Yeah, it just hasn’t been tried hard enough. You know, by all those sissies. Like Mao. And Stalin. No real surprise, that a guy who would falsify documents to injure another teacher at his own university thinks he’s entitled to Other People’s Money.

Flashbang & Speedbump Went Shooting

On a range we know well, the two Boston Marathon bombers, the late and unlamented Tamerlan “Speedbump” Tsarnaev, and his brother Dzhokar “Flashbang” Tsarnaev, went shooting just two years ago, a few weeks before committing mass murder, according to evidence revealed in the trial of Flashbang. The Feds have posted a .pdf of their range sign-in sheets.

tamarlan_sign_card

 

They went to Manchester Firing Line on Brown Avenue in Manchester, NH on 20 March 2013, and rented two Glock pistols plus safety equipment (mandatory on the range, naturally). The two residents of militantly anti-gun, 2nd-amendment-abolitionist Massachusetts rated themselves “intermediate” skilled on handguns, although where they acquired that skill is anyone’s guess. (The following self-evaluation is Flashbang’s  Speedbump also rated himself intermediate on rifle. Note that Dzhokar lied about the “unlawful user, or addicted to,” question, according to all his friends.

dzhokar_expertise

Both brothers signed the sign-in sheets; the following is Dzhokar’s.

dzhokar_signature

They lived in Cambridge, a town that requires its own off-duty police to lock up their guns and that as a matter of policy does not issue Licenses to Carry to anyone not politically connected (an LTC is necessary to purchase, own or register a handgun in the People’s Republic of Massachusetts).

The one handgun they had was a 9mm Ruger P95, Serial Number 317-87693, which had had the numbers defaced. They probably acquired it from the Maine drug dealers ATF was able to trace it to as part of their ongoing drug business. Drug dealer Danny Sun bought the gun new from Cabela’s in Scarborough, Maine; jammed up on unrelated charges, he admitted transferring it to  Biniam “Icy” Tsegai, a fugitive from justice at the time, and one of the Somali/Ethiopian/Eritrean “refugees” that have swarmed Maine’s organized criminal activities. According to prosecutors in a related case, the gun came to Tamerlan Tsarnaev through a former classmate at Cambridge Rindge and Latin school (a school where anti-American cant is embedded in the curriculum), a career gun criminal (at 21!) named Stephen Silva.

A few months later, the demonic duo detonated two bombs built according to a plan published in al-Qaeda’s Inspire magazine at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. That night, they snuck up on a MIT campus cop car and shot officer Sean Collier dead from ambush, in an abortive attempt to steal his handgun. Later, they would be involved in a firefight with police in the Boston suburb of Watertown. Tamerlan would fire some 54 rounds and the police several hundred (they were never properly accounted for, but there was mass contagious firing, almost all unaimed). Tamerlan was killed when he ran out of ammunition and threw the empty Ruger at the cops. He was being taken into custody when  Dzhokar ran him over with his own SUV (hence the nickname. “Speedbump.”). Dzhokar, for his part, was wounded in Watertown and then wounded again in a second case of contagious shooting when he was located after a long manhunt and a dragnet that paid only lip service to hundreds of years of requiring a warrant. There have been increasing incidents of criminals using public ranges. Smith & Wesson, still trying to navigate the treacherous waters of the People’s Republic, closed their pro shop range to the public after a records showed that a violent criminal had trained there.

Breaking: Bergdahl to be Charged with Desertion

mad-magazine-trading-private-bergdahlThe only surprise in this is not that the evidence supported charging the little crapweasel with desertion, but that anybody in the Administration, dedicated as it is to “different spanks for different ranks,” was willing to sign off on the charges.

You may recall that in an interview with ABC’s Diane Sawyer, Hillary Clinton (during the initial Taliban negotiations, Secretary of State), said that desertion or not, honorable service or not, it didn’t matter.

CLINTON: [O]ne of our values is we bring everybody home off the battlefield the best we can. It doesn’t matter how they ended up in a prisoner of war situation.

SAWYER (in disbelief): It doesn’t matter?

CLINTON (dismissively): It doesn’t matter.

(Hat tip, Paul Bedard). Of course, given Hillary!’s long-standing disinterest in and contempt for military and foreign service personnel, that shouldn’t be a shocker. (“What difference does it make?”). Stumblebum National Security Advisor Susan Rice, fully briefed on Bergdahl’s betrayal of his mates, pronounced at the time of the swap that he, we are not making this up, “served the United States with honor and distinction.” (We admit, Rice may be using herself as a yardstick, which sets the bar limbo-low).  And the President, in words similar enough to Clinton’s to suggest deliberate messaging, said that he had “absolutely no apologies” for trading the Taliban bigs for the defector. “[W]e don’t condition whether or not we make the effort to get someone back,” on whether the individual was a hostage, a prisoner or, as in Bergdahl’s case, a deserter.

There’s a certain logic to this: their actions make clear that Obama, Clinton and Rice (not to mention junior player in this fiasco, former SecDef Chuck Hagel) don’t view a traitor any differently from any other soldier: even one like Bergdahl who got his buddies killed. In fact, they may prefer the turncoat.

Who Did We Lose for this Putz?

A former soldier who was there when Bergdahl went over the wall breaks it down at, of all places, the generally pro-Administration Daily Beast. Nathan Bethea remembers a friend’s desperate battle against insurgents who seemed to come from nowhere:

[T]he attack would not have happened had his company received its normal complement of intelligence aircraft: drones, planes, and the like. Instead, every intelligence aircraft available in theater had received new instructions: find Bergdahl. My friend blames Bergdahl for his soldiers’ deaths. I know that he is not alone, and that this was not the only instance of it. His soldiers’ names were Private First Class Aaron Fairbairn and Private First Class Justin Casillas.

Not all the casualties were so indirect. Bethea lists six more who actually died looking for the deserting crapweasel.

Though the 2009 Afghan presidential election slowed the search for Bergdahl, it did not stop it. Our battalion suffered six fatalities in a three-week period. On August 18, an IED killed Private First Class Morris Walker and Staff Sergeant Clayton Bowen during a reconnaissance mission. On August 26, while conducting a search for a Taliban shadow sub-governor supposedly affiliated with Bergdahl’s captors, Staff Sergeant Kurt Curtiss was shot in the face and killed. On September 4, during a patrol to a village near the area in which Bergdahl vanished, an insurgent ambush killed Second Lieutenant Darryn Andrews and gravely wounded Private First Class Matthew Martinek, who died of his wounds a week later. On September 5, while conducting a foot movement toward a village also thought affiliated with Bergdahl’s captors, Staff Sergeant Michael Murphrey stepped on an improvised land mine. He died the next day.

Inside the Beltway, that list of names draws a shrug. Those names were mere enlisted swine and expendable junior officers, the sort of people who exist to serve, and to be disposed of, by the Beltway version of Burke’s Peerage.

Who Did We Swap for this Putz?

The five Taliban leaders released for Bergdahl have all returned to war against the USA, one way or another. They’re quite a rogue’s gallery of bad actors, the Weekly Standard’s Thomas Joscelyn called them “Five of the Most Dangerous,” which may be exaggeration, but not by much.  Several of them were wanted by the UN for war crimes, but this decision effectively amnestied them. They are:

kairkhwaKhair Ulla Said Wali Khairkhwa. Why do many Afghans have only one name? Is it because this weasel snapped up five? He’s not funny, though. This fine glowering face was the Ministry of the Interior for the Taliban, was a member since 1994, and was responsible for the secret police. He gave orders for the ethnic cleansing and massacres of Hazara people in central Bamiyan province, in part to get rid of the Hazaras, hated on religious and racial (the TB are Deobandi Sunni, mostly white, and the Hazaras Shia, mostly Asian).

mullah_mohammad_fazlMullah Mohammad Fazl. This scowl just shouts “gentle man of God,” doesn’t it? Well, maybe if your god is allah, and your sacraments are mass murder, slavery, and female genital mutilation, it does. He was a senior Taliban commander — some documents suggest Chief of Staff — and was responsible for integrating Al-Qaeda, Chechen, Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan and other international terrorists into the Taliban fight against the Northern Alliance and, then, against the US-Afghan-led coalition. He also commanded mass murders of Uzbeks and other ethnic minorities before his capture in 2001.

mullah_norullah_nooriMullah Norullah Nori is another mass murderer, in his case of Uzbeks and Hazaras from his post as emir of north-central Balkh Province. There were few Pashtuns in Balkh, so Nori offered local Tajik leaders the Dari equivalent of plata o plomo; he got enough takers that he was able to use his mostly Tajik militia leaders and sub-mullahs to do the dirty work of exterminating entire villages, and driving others into exile (the Hazaras to Iran or to Bamian city where the local Hazara warlord, Khalili, was strong enough to protect them; the Uzbeks to Northern Alliance territory. Nori was taken alive by Uzbek warlord Abdul Rashid Dostum, and handed over to the SF team accompanying him in late 2011.

mohd_nabi_omariMohammad Nabi Omari ran the Taliban ratline through the Khyber Pass that funneled their top leaders out of harm’s way and into the safe hands of Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence, a Taliban sponsor from the movement’s earliest days. It is believed that he was instrumental in the escape of Mullah Omar and Osama Bin Laden from Afghanistan into Pakistan, where both were able to plot further terrorism under the benevolent overwatch of the Pakistani service. Omari, though, waited too long to put himself through the ratline, and fell into American hands. Until his fortune fell into the hands of Americans who value the esteem of jihadis over the lives of their own servicemen — lucky for him.

abdul_haq_wasiqAbdul Haq Wasiq was one of the top men in the Taliban’s intelligence service, astride a Golgotha of torture and murder. He had a comprehensive knowledge of and involvement in  Taliban/Al-Qaeda relations. Like many Taliban and al-Qaeda detainees, he was able to maintain communications with both organizations while in Guantanamo through his attorneys, supplied by the pseudo-pro-bono terrorist bar. (The attorneys are actually compensated indirectly by Gulf terror sponsors for wink-and-nod “legal work”).

Now we find ourselves waiting for a court-martial of a guy who gave his best shot at changing sides, only to find his best shot wasn’t good enough to do more than irritate anybody — except, of course, for the eight-plus men who died because of his betrayal. The whole clown circus will be assembling in the center ring soon. Look for the pro bono lawyers, driven by terror-financier cash under the table, or by simple self-aggrandizement. There will be camera-hounds, and cameras aplenty for them to hound. There will be TV “journalists,” blow-dried coifs over empty skulls, wondering If The Boy Hasn’t Suffered Enough. And worst of all, this craven bugout will not be facing the honest end that Eddie Slovik earned in WWII. They’ve already promised not to execute him, no matter what.

Gee, how humanitarian. 

There’s a probably bogus statistic rolling around, that says that 22 GWOT veterans kill themselves every day, week, fortnight, or some other interval. It’s probably a bogus statistic, derived by the usual media mathematic method of anal extraction, but there are some veterans who do off themselves.

What a crying shame that Bergdahl couldn’t be one.

No, this is not what police are for!

A frustrated Dad wanted his local cops to act like this towards his kid. The cops, sensibly, decided they wouldn't.

A frustrated Dad wanted his local cops to act like this towards his disobedient kid. The cops, sensibly, decided they wouldn’t. (The cartoon appears to be from a prison publication. No surprise that criminals have this view of cops).

The Norman Rockwell view of town cops apparently is in eclipse. Some people think they’re scary. Some people even think that makes them usefulwhen you need to intimidate someone. In fact, in rural NH, one father took the old, “Let government do it,” mantra to unheard-of heights:

The father showed up at the station Saturday afternoon with his son and explained how the boy doesn’t like to listen to him.

At one point, the man asked officer Donald Ross if he would “scare him straight.”
Ross refused to fulfill the request.

“I advised him I would not and that it was his job as a parent to scold and discipline his child for his actions,” Ross wrote in the police logs.

Epping Police Chief Michael Wallace said he’s concerned about the message parents are sending to their children, insisting that police aren’t in the business of intimidating kids.

“Although we can appreciate someone bringing their child to the police department to talk to them and we will always make the effort to talk to them, we’re not here to scare and intimidate the child,” he said.

Wallace said police will take every opportunity to “counsel them and guide them and make sure they make the correct decisions going forward.”

As bizarre as this case sounds, it wasn’t a one-off. It wasn’t even a one-off these last couple of weeks!

In fact, last week a mother came to the police department because she reported that her 10-year-old son was upset and out of control after she told him he couldn’t get an airsoft (pellet) gun.

In that case, the officer spoke with the boy and explained why his mother wouldn’t let him have the gun. The boy was receptive and left the station with his mother after he calmed down.

But Wallace said asking police to “scare” kids isn’t a good approach.

via Epping officer refuses to ‘scare’ boy brought into station by dad | New Hampshire.

We could sort of see doing something like this if the cop is your buddy… the kid is a real pain in the neck… and maybe if the cop’s the size of Mark Richardson, too. But there are 100 ways for this to end badly, and not that many ways for it to end well, except the way that Chief Wallace has his officers handling it: “Sorry, sir/ma’am, bringing up your kid is not our department.”

If you really screw up raising the kid, then the police will be there for him. And the courts, and the department of corrections. This is nothing new.

But parents asking for help from the authorities, probably is. Can you see Paternicus Romanicus taking his posterity, Punknius Junior, down to the slave galleys and asking them to give him a couple laps around the Aegean to see if he likes the criminal lifestyle after all?

Us neither.

The Instant that Ended a Police Career

In his entertaining narrative of the early US Space Program, The Right Stuff, Tom Wolfe writes that, while The Right Stuff couldn’t be precisely defined, you knew who had it — and who lost it. “It could blow at any seam,” Wolfe wrote.

A career in the police or military is kind of like that. While some golden calves get more top cover from leadership than is good for the organization or the nation, for the average guy or gal, it approaches a zero-defects environment. One good screwup — the kind of thing that’s a Major Minus Spot Report in Ranger School, outside the school environment — and the effort you’ve put into your career to date is an irrecoverable sunk cost. This is the story of a patrolman whose single, understandable act of temper ended his and several other careers.

In the denouement of a case we discussed last year, a fired policeman who bounced a mouthy suspect off the wall a couple of times is sitting with a tough decision many who are not policemen face: take a plea and jail sentence, or risk a jury or bench trial and a longer sentence for something that you definitely did?

Nobody knows which way former Seabrook, NH officer Mark Richardson will decide, probably not even Richardson, at this point. It’s a true dilemma.

At first, Richardson got away with the Veteran’s Day, 2009, assault, but in 2014 the victim’s lawyer got hold of the police station surveillance video and the victim put it on YouTube. Reaction was swift: Richardson and an officer who pepper-sprayed the victim after he was down were fired by Chief Lee Bitomski, and two supervisors who falsified records to hide the assault rocketed back down to Patrolman. Here’s the video. Richardson is the big guy (he’s about 6’7″; the suspect weighs about 140 lb, IIRC, roughly half Richardson’s weight):

Anti-cop activists went wild with the video, making it a key scene in the refrain of a rap video, “This is what happens when you call the cops.” (Actually, what happens when you call the cops is that the cops come, which can be good or bad. At a minimum, it’s a good time to lock your poodle in the basement). Here’s that video, you’ll recognize the Seabrook footage when it comes up:

The court raised the stakes for Richardson by handing him the plea in the same session in which it passed sentence on another cop for an unrelated, and less violent, assault. That guy will spend a month in the jug and 11 more on an ankle bracelet, assuming good behavior.  The nine-month sentence Richardson has been offered is likely going to be served the same way, but he can’t know that before he makes his decision.

There’s scant sympathy here for the suspect/assault victim, a crumb who was spitting at cops, except for this: no one deserves to be beaten by police, and as a society you can’t let police get away with it. The officer was, at once, creative in using the wall as a weapon (remember, everything is a potential weapon if you let your imagination free), and tragically mistaken to lose his cool with a mouthy crumb of a suspect. Is that sphincter muscle worth losing a job over? Worth going to jail for?

We believe NH is the only state in the country that makes assault by police a specific crime. The legal theory is that it helps to hold Granite State police to a higher standard than mere citizens. The immediate fact is that it leaves Mr Richardson with a tough decision. But the dilemma was of his own making.

On the Departure of Byron T. Jones

ATF BadgeHe didn’t want to work with you, you know. He didn’t want to give you a fair shake. He wanted to put you in prison — and that was whether you were an industry executive, a firearms end user, or one of his own agents. Whoever you were, if you came under the scrutiny of the “in crowd” in his agency, Byron T. Jones hated you and wanted to destroy you, quite impersonally. Fortunately, he was as incompetent at that as he was at running the agency.

The outgoing ATF director, who so fancied himself a Second Coming of J. Edgar Hoover that he styled his name B. Todd Jones, slipped a brief notice of his resignation into Friday night’s press releases, after deadline for the nightly news.

He had been on the skids since he overreached with his attempt to ban 5.56mm M855 and SS109 ammunition. Pro-gun legislators wanted his scalp for trying, and anti-gun ones wanted his scalp for failing. After a quick canvass of the Dreaded Private Sector to figure out who-needs-a-favor-or-three-at-DOJ,  frightened managers at the NFL bought immunity from Federal investigation on several grounds — by offering him a bolt-hole. He leaped.

Jones’s Legacy: Broad-Based Failure.

On Jones’s watch the ATF failed to investigate systemic gunwalking by Bureau employees to violent Drug Trafficking Organizations, failed to punish the malefactors inside the agency who did this (instead, most were promoted or got other sweet deals), and failed to protect whistleblowers. Indeed, Jones redoubled agency retaliation. Jones turned the organization into partisan political police; everyone knows now that your voter registration is a factor in every ATF investigative and prosecution decision. Every ATF agent and operations inspector reports today to two masters, his supervisors and The Party; and if he will not report to The Party his supervisors cheerfully do it for him, while steering promotions and advancements to those who hold the right Party card.

Attorneys from the Chief Counsel’s Office and DOJ attorneys fed false information by ATF have produced a serious of decisions calling the credibility of the individual attorneys and their investigations into question. But even if these investigations produce indictments — something that the outgoing Attorney General has said will not happen on his watch — the real malefactors, the senior managers, are as immune as the heads of the Sinaloa Cartel are in their lair in Sinaloa.

Old ATF Hands Saw it Coming

Two of the most-retaliated-against agents in Bureau history called Jones’s departure mere days or weeks in advance.

Jay Dobyns, on 6 March, at Clean Up ATF:

Way to go Jones and Company. You’re legacy will be that instead of saving and rehabilitating a troubled agency you ended up tanking it. Taking bets that Jones leaves ATF in the next couple months and leaves everyone else holding the bag.

And Vince Cefalu, on 13 March.

Words starting to swirl that the B Todd is haulin ass soon. We told you his lack of investment in ATF would be apparent. Came in to tank the agency and leaves when Holder can’t protect him anymore. Can anyone name ONE significant policy with long term goals that this regime has contributed? He came in, threatened the agents and padded his resumé.

Jones’s exit announcement hit on the evening of 19 March. Jay and Vince called it, eh?

Holder (l.) and Jones (r.)

Holder (l.) and Jones (r.)

Whether the exit was driven by the abortive bullet ban, or by several cases in which judges have complained about dishonesty by ATF witnesses and attorneys, or simply, as Vince suggested, because Jones lost the “top cover” of his friend Eric Holder, he’s gone in a few days.

We’d like to say ATF would be in better hands, but Brandon isn’t “better hands.”

 

When Guns are Outlawed, only Outlaws will have TSA Uniforms

"Let's play groper and gropee." Hemphill (l.) and Leos (r.)

“Let’s play groper and gropee.” Hemphill (l.) and Leos (r.)

This may be the most amazing story we’ve ever posted here: a tale of gross TSA misconduct that doesn’t even involve a TSA employee. Instead, our dreadful sample of security theater comes via a lawyer (quelle surprise!), one Ryan Hemphill, who was such a lowlife that he pretended to be a TSA drone.

“Doing what?” you may ask. Well, we don’t normally go slumming where this story appeared, the New York Post, but since you asked:

During pretrial hearings, prosecutors said the couple made a sex tape where he pretended to be a “TSA agent, searching her body cavities,” papers state.

Hemphill also had 20 homemade porn videos featuring him choking, water-boarding and torturing women, mostly prostitutes, prosecutors added.

“One of the objects we recovered is a baton, looks like a police baton, and inside, if you undo it, is a sword,” prosecutor Sara Weiss said. “He is in multiple videos holding that sword to the neck of blindfolded women, women he, on some occasions, urinates on, while he makes them recite prayers.”

0313151fiftyshades2sh

We’ve heard of SEAL wannabes, sniper wannabes, and cop wannabes, but a TSA wannabe? Pathetic.

We’d like it on record that, while we do enjoy swords around Hog Manor, we don’t enjoy them in quite the same way.

But gee, this Ryan Hemphill fellow really seems like one of nature’s natural noblemen. (He grew up wealthy, which certainly seems to have made an impression on his character). So what’s he in that part of the court for? You know, the part where the lawyer needs a lawyer (and Hemphill, who is a creep, not a fool, has got a lawyer, one Jason Steinberger)? Well, let’s defer to the Post again:

Hemphill, 33, the son of a pediatric neurologist, is on trial for allegedly assaulting [girlfriend Christina] Leos, with whom he enjoyed S&M sex games at his Murray Hill pad.

[The] Manhattan lawyer who liked to dress as an airport security screener during S&M sessions with his girlfriend wound up choking and threatening her with a knife, prosecutors said Monday.

Christina Leos, a former preschool teacher, described for jurors how her pudgy, bespectacled former boyfriend, Ryan Hemphill, allegedly choked her during one of their rough-sex sessions.

Well Hemphill has certainly done his bit to make pudgy, bespectacled guys more sought after by young women than they have been heretofore.

Note the description of the victim as “former preschool teacher.” When the press want to make an unemployed babysitter look sympathetic, they can!

“It hurt, it scared me, but there was no pain afterwards,” the petite bottle blonde, 32, said in Manhattan Supreme Court.

You’ll have an irresistible urge to wash thoroughly if you Read The Whole Thing™. Another Post story has more details, including more about his creepasmic proclivities, and the fact that he was charged with “Strangulation in the 2nd Degree.” What, degrees? We thought strangulation was one of those things like pregnancy, a yes or no question, but we guess New York law finds distinctions even among the chokers and stranglers.

Maybe 2nd degree is reserved for ligation by litigator.

For the attorneys in our audience: Hofstra Law, and undergrad, honors. And apparently, he hadn’t passed the New York Bar when arrested. You know how it is, though: paint one wall and we don’t call you a painter, but get one lousy law degree and the legal profession is tarred with  your every action for life.

As to why Hemphill is represented by Jason Steinberger, we understand that’s because “Better call Saul!” is a fictional character.

Bubba the Gunsmith has a Rationale This Time

A casual look at this Taurus Judge (or similar) might make you think that Bubba the Gunsmith has been gunsmiting [stet] again. But it turns out there’s a reason for this being so smitten: read on, after casting eyes on the Bubbalicious product.

Here come de judge

This particular member of the Five Lee Sistersdoes of course look like Bubba has been let loose with the Delrin and aluminum, and a $2 knockoff of a Knight’s Armament Co. foregrip. For what purpose would anyone attach this thing to the gimmick of a gun? Because he wants powder burns and lead splatter in his weak hand’s wrist?

It turns out there is a method in this madness, and the clue to it is in this picture. If you look at the engraving on the gun, it has the Taurus “Judge” name on the barrel, and a different marking on the receiver: OC armory, Laguna Hills, California. That’s because Mike Penhall of OC armory is the Bubba who manufactures this pistol into an NFA “any other weapon.”

Why does Mike do that? Because it’s the only way a Californian can legally own a judge.

Excuse us, a capital-J judge. We don’t think it’s legal to own a small-J judge, even in California’s weird legal system, but we expect judges there are bought and sold just like there are they are anywhere else.

Bubbas own JudgeBy adding the fore grip, Mike has transformed the pistol into in AOW. Judge pistol? Banned in CA. Judge AOW? A pile of paperwork, a long wait, and a five dollar transfer tax. But legal in CA.

A lot of people on the net are hyperventilating over this picture, and declaring that this firearm is illegal (right). That’s why wise men don’t get legal advice from the Internet. Given OC Armory’s 07 FFL, it’s perfectly legal, under both federal and state law.

And there you have it. A rational reaction to an irrational gun law, which presents as an example of Bubbasmithing!

Notes

  1. The Five Lee Sisters are, of course, Ug, Home, Ghast, Beast, and Gnar.