Monthly Archives: July 2013

The Manning Verdict (document)

Bradley Manning Support NetworkThe attached document is the actual judge’s verdict in the Manning case. The Army has said previously that:

Manning was charged with aiding the enemy in violation of Article 104 of the Uniformed Code of Military Justice. He was also charged with 16 specifications under Article 134 of the UCMJ: wrongfully causing intelligence to be published on the Internet knowing that it is accessible to the enemy.

He was charged with five specifications of Theft of Public Property or Records, in violation of 18 United States Code 641; eight specifications of Transmitting Defense Information, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 793(e); two specifications of Fraud and Related Activity in Connection with Computers in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1030(a)(1) ; and five specifications under Article 92, UCMJ, for violating Army Regulations 25-2 “Information Assurance” and 380-5 “Department of the Army Information Security Program.”

"Position of humility, march!" Our best guess is he gets 20-30 years.

“Position of humility, march!” Our best guess is the little weasel gets 20-30 years.

Except for the Article 104 charge and one of the Article 134 charges, the prosecution ran the board.

(U) Bradley MANNING verdict, 30Jul 13

We previously reported that Manning would be sentenced today. That is incorrect. The sentencing phase begins today, but both sides have said they want to call many witnesses, and it could take until 23 August!

Meeting a soccer mom, and what’s wrong with Ms. Mag on guns

crashed cycle signPerhaps “meeting” isn’t exactly the word, because she didn’t see us coming, and we’re only here at all because we saw her first. She was pretty, blonde, liberal, preoccupied, and in a hurry. The first two characteristics were evident at a glance (we did not explore the blonde-ness for authenticity. Odds are, not; but there’s no direct evidence either way). The “preoccupied” follows from the fact that she was in an enormous luxo SUV — the sort successful men buy their wives for “safety” when they know the wife is such a bad driver that even a Volvo will not preserve her nor the posterity from the inevitable impact — and in heavy traffic due to a lane closure for construction, and on her cell phone. “Liberal?” Massachusetts plates, and driving as if mere proles were less entitled to the roadway.

And the “hurry” was demonstrated when she exited the one traffic lane and ran our bicycle off the road. We, and the bicycle, are repairable.  The soccer mom in the Lexscalade further demonstrated her hurry by taking off (she never stopped yammering on the cell phone, or, for that matter, looked up). And despite having the means, motive, and opportunity, we restrained ourselves and didn’t draw and improve the gene pool by blowing her into Organ Donor City. Actually, “restrained ourselves” isn’t really true, because the thought never really occurred to us, and we didn’t think about how liberal ladies in Lexscalades intersect with liberal ladies losing it over gun owners until we read a few lines of Hersch Smith’s at the Captain’s Journal. He is riffing off an airhead’s anti-gun articles at Ms. Magazine. (We know what you’re thinking: ‘What, Ms. Magazine is still publishing? Didn’t they turn into trolls after burning their bras in 1971 or something?’). El Capitán:

The drama is exhausting and breathtaking. But the thing that really worries me isn’t that she has a gun. It’s that bimbos like this can purchase an SUV the size and weight of my Ford F150 and drive it down the road with screaming kids in the back whilst jabbering on the cell phone attached to her ear, after qualifying with a driving test that a monkey could be trained to take. Makes you stop and ponder, no? It’s one reason I drive so defensively on the road nowadays.

Well, you’ve heard enough. Heidi went into the experiment choosing to endanger herself and others, be irresponsible, and conclude that we should all be controlled in the same way she needs to be. It’s called by various names, e.g., reasoning in a circle, assuming the consequent, etc., and it’s perfectly innocent and benign as long as you don’t try to prove anything that way. Heidi has proven nothing except her own predilections and predispositions. What she says basically has no bearing on responsible gun owners.

“Heidi” is one Heidi Yewman, who — and we are not making this up — carried a gun irresponsibly for 30 days to demonstrate, we are not making this up either, that irresponsible people can get and carry guns. Irresponsibly.

Not sure what the masthead motto of Ms. Magazine is, but if this is the sort of story they publish, it ought to be “No $#!+, Sherlock, with a faint aroma of burnt bra elastic.” Our recommendation to you: don’t do like we did, and follow Smith’s links to the articles. The stupid stings the eyes (or maybe it’s the bra-combustion copolymers and other byproducts). Just read his two takedowns: first article and last article.

 

OT: Gee, remember school lunch?

According to the news (a while back, to be sure), they’ve had to raise school lunch prices in Portsmouth, NH, because participation is down. The kids ain’t buying the lunches, but prefer to brown-bag it — or go without. You have to go way, way, way deep into the story to find out why.

Officials cited several factors in the dwindling of school meal purchases. One is implementation of new guidelines as part of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act championed by first lady Michelle Obama, which requires a fruit or vegetable be served with the meal and originally restricted protein and grain to 2 ounces per day.

“The implementation of these guidelines has had a greater effect than was anticipated,” Bartlett said Tuesday night.

via Portsmouth school meal prices hiked 25 cents | SeacoastOnline.com.

Ah, so that’s the answer! The kids stopped buying lunch when the lunches started sucking worse. Who could have predicted that? And there’s another interesting detail in there. Yes, the First Wookiee, who’s projected the “body issues” she has with her own two-axe-handles’-worth of posterior onto America’s undeserving schoolchildren, has restricted kids to basically trace amounts of meat. And now the kids (their parents, really) can pay more for the food they’ve already demonstrated they don’t like.

The countdown to “preference cascade” is running.

Perhaps the fact that the Washington would-be micromanagers don’t get the incentives around the subject of guns is not a unique thing. Perhaps it’s a marker for something deeper that they’re no better at managing school lunches than they are at fighting crime with dumb-ass gun laws.

But we can probably be thankful that government is the most inefficient social organization the human race has yet devised. Imagine the disaster if we actually got all the government we pay for!

Breaking: Manning beats ‘Aiding’ rap, guilty on other charges

Bradley Manning Support NetworkWell, it’s official. Bradley Manning’s court-martial is over, and all that remains is his sentencing, which should take place tomorrow. (Justice is seldom denied by delay in the military justice system. Manning will be serving his sentence by Wednesday afternoon, and will probably be in the US Disciplinary Barracks in Leavenworth, Kansas by the weekend).

He was acquitted of the most serious charge, “Aiding the Enemy.” The judge ruled that the prosecution’s reach exceeded its grasp here: while Manning’s leaks definitely had the effect of aiding the enemy, they didn’t prove that that was his intent. He seems to have been so spoiled, narcissistic, and childish that determining what his intent really was is beyond psychiatry as much as it is beyond courts.

Manning was also acquitted on one other charge, an Espionage Act violation for leaking an Apache helicopter video showing the death of Reuters stringers embedded with an insurgent group. He was convicted of an Article 134 violation over the same leak, and numerous other Espionage Act violations.

It was a foregone conclusion that he would be found guilty on some charges: he admitted his guilt to ten lesser-included offenses months ago, in a Hail Mary attempt to get the prosecution to drop the remaining charges and to minimize his prison time. This attempt didn’t work. Manning was convicted of all the original charges, except the two mentioned above.

Even before he got in trouble over the leaks, Manning was a massive underperformer, even by MI’s low standards. He had been reduced from SP/4 to PFC for an incident in which he punched an female co-worker in the face (and she proceeded to beat the snot out of him). He ws caught, not because of the Army’s counterintelligence efforts, but because the drama queen in him kept boasting to friends old and new, one of whom finally turned him in.

If Judge Lind chooses to max him out, he’d get 136 years. It’s anyone’s guess what his sentence will be, but our guess would be 20 to 30 years. We’ll know tomorrow morning: sentencing’s at 0930 Eastern.

When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have hammers

"This is my hammer...there are many like it, but this one is mine -- wait, does this pink tie make me look gay?"

“This is my hammer…there are many like it, but this one is mine — wait, does this pink tie make me look gay?”

Although, to be sure, the hammer was only used to make the kid unrecognizable after his tormentors — his mother and stepfather — killed him with other means. “Ah,” you think, “this is where the gun comes in, right?” Apparently not. They used, a medical examiner has testified, “a combination of too many over-the-counter medications, pneumonia and severe burns.”

Charming people, these.

Fox News:

Prosecutors say 34-year-old Nathanael Sloop and his wife malnourished and abused the boy for days until he died in May 2010. Sloop is accused of using a hammer to disfigure Ethan Stacy’s face and burying his body in the northern Utah mountains.

You might ask, where was the kid’s actual father? He had put the kid on a plane to these folks less than two weeks before, as a consequence of a custody ruling.

 

Bud Day, American Hero: RIP

“Hero” is a little-used word these days, and when it is used it is thrown about casually, applied to the pretty faces of prolefeed entertainers or the physical talent of some guys who throw a ball. That is, when it’s not used ironically, by hipsters who take joy in being far beyond such antiquated subjects as heroes.

There is no irony in calling Bud Day a hero, nor in saying that the day of his inevitable-one-day passing, which happened to come on Saturday, is a day that deserves the tolling of bells, the retelling of legends, and the display of an unprecedented level of national gratitude.

We won’t be having that, of course. Like most of America, our President and other national leaders admire Michael Vick, a soulless barbarian with a rare talent at ball-throwing, more than they would admire Day, if they’d ever heard his name. We live in a time when celebrity itself is the ultimate get-out-of-jail-free card, when what consequences befall you depend on whether you can ask the arresting officer the question of the modern patrician: “Do you know who I am?

As an example of the shameful ignorance of Day, here is the entire obituary notice posted on a local TV station’s website:

FORT WALTON BEACH – USAF COL (ret.) George E. “Bud” Day, a Medal of Honor winner, a WWII Marine, and Vietnam POW, passed away early Saturday morning in Ft. Walton Beach.

His wife, children and grandchildren were present. They had communion before Bud passed away.

The funeral is expected to be Thursday at the Emerald Coast Conference Center with burial at Barancas National Cemetary in Pensacola.

Day was considered by many to be a true war hero.

He was shot down in his Air Force F-100 in August, 1967 and was captured by the North Vietnamese and imprisoned as a POW at the “Hanoi Hilton”.

He spent 5 years and 7 months imprisoned with Navy Pilot John McCain, who also had shot down. The two were cellmates. McCain later went on to be a U.S. Senator.

No doubt the kid reporter who drafted this had no earthly idea who Day was, and yet the same media drone could almost certainly stack the Kardashians, total wastes of protoplasm that each one is, in order of birth and pass on a few salient facts about each one’s love life.

If you don’t know Day, you might not get steamed at this child’s writing: “Day was considered by many to be a true war hero.” That’s the product of a modern, values-neutral, university education talking. Maybe even the Columbia School of Journalism, but more likely a Columbia wannabe — they tend to be even smarmier than the real thing.

The reporterlet did at least link to this Air Force History page on Day. It’s a decent overview, but the man’s life is rather larger than that.

Here are a few facts about Day that you’re going to miss if you rely on the mainstream media, especially, God help you, TV or cable news, for information.

  • With the passing of SF officer Bob Howard, with whom Day was roughly tied for decorations, Day became the undisputed most-decorated veteran of the Vietnam unpleasantness. (Note: nobody really keeps track of this, and anyone who is himself claiming to be the “most decorated” anything, or boasting about medals, is almost certainly a phony or exaggerator; in World War I parlance a “four-flusher.”)
  • Bud continued working for veterans and service people until his health failed. Any good veterans’ cause could rely on him for a donation, a letter, or a personal appearance.
  • He was a veteran of World War II, Korea and Vietnam. But all his valor awards are from Vietnam.
  • He was a founding member of an elite fast FAC unit, the Misty FACs. Other Mistys include round-the-world-nonstop pilot Dick Rutan. They flew the F-100F Super Sabre, a plane that was already obsolete but carried a very large share of the air war.
  • He was held prisoner — and tortured nearly to death — for over five and a half years.
  • An example of his post-service activism? A lawsuit he filed to make the DOD keep promises of retiree health care, promises that had been abandoned by Pentagon suits, forced the Tricare for Life program that, albeit imperfectly, at least addresses these unkept promises.

For Bud’s own website, go to Colonel Bud Day.com. A great biography of the man is American Patriot by Robert Coram (best known for his influential John Boyd biography, which is available at Amazon (Kindle edition, also in other formats). His own two books are out of print but available in the secondary market: Return with Honor and Duty, Honor, Country. For a fantastic picture of Bud taken recently, standing in front of an F-100F like the ships he flew in combat, go to Robert Seale Photography (the next shot is a Day shot, too, and here’s Robert’s blog about the photoshoot, which yielded a Smithsonian Air&Space magazine cover). We really wanted to use one of Robert’s photos here (he has some with Bud and his son George, also a former fighter pilot!), but we don’t want to infringe his rights — he makes his living with his camera, after all. So go to his site and enjoy the pictures!

Not everybody liked Bud. Some years ago, he was a runner-up in the now-forgotten TV personality Keith Olbermann’s “Worst Person in the World” segment. This disappointed Bud; ever competitive, he felt cheated of the top honor. Unfortunately, Olbermann’s ratings terminated his TV run before the war hero and the failed sports- and newscaster could get a rematch.

The world was a better place with Bud Day in it, and even as our population climbs towards 7 billions, it’s a bit emptier without him.

Sunday in the company of some aging warriors

The last couple of days have been spent, in part (not a large enough part, damn responsibilities!) in the company of some men who are not as young, and not as hard, as they once were.

In those days, they never thought they would be encumbered with ex-wives, and mortgages, and crabgrass. Indeed, some of their peers never were.

There are many military reunions worth attending.  Our objectives are to make the Special Forces Association annual meeting (only made it once), the Special Operations Association Reunion (never made it yet), and two low-key, private events. One is for men who were members of the ASA-SOD program, which evolved into several other things over the years. We missed that this year. The second is an annual reunion and lobster dive open to all men who ever served on a particular A-team. (No one takes attendance, and over the years, various buddies, family members, and one National Guard infantry guy who helped our team out sometime in the 1980s and never really stopped being an “asset” have become team-dive fixtures). This year, the oldest of the guys was an A-team XO in Vietnam before joining this particular team. Five sergeants major who came out of the team made it on Saturday.

And there was one guy who came because he was a fan of WeaponsMan.com, having been introduced to the site by a former team sergeant on the team.

Most of us served in many units and on many teams, and it’s hard to put your finger on the intangibles that make one team “special.” (It’s not just the size of the Bluebird taking ’em to the range!) Ultimately, it comes down to the people. Each of these guys is a complicated human being with strengths and flaws.  But somehow they all meshed together and the team was greater than the sum of its parts, even surviving the disbandment of the Group (the guys turned up all on one team in another group, allowing the longitudinal traditions to continue).

So, we still owe you, dear readers, the Saturday posts.

When guns are outlawed, only outlaws… oh, wait.

Brian Croall, rockin' the Sleepy-the-Drawf beard. Newington NH PD photo.

Brian Croall, rockin’ the Sleepy-the-Dwarf beard. Newington NH PD photo.

George Zimmerman certainly would decline the support. Police arrested a strange New Hampshire character last week, Brian Croall, a man “well known to authorities” from several prior arrests. He was initially busted for spray-painting racist messages about Trayvon Martin and other graffiti that called Zimmerman a “hero.” But he wasn’t just anybody: he was already a convicted felon, and the nearly 40 guns he had in his house raised his bail to $50k and are likely to keep him behind bars for a long time. (He could, but won’t, get a 10-year Federal count for each one. But the local US Attorney has little interest in pursuing felons in possession).

NEWMARKET [NH – ed.] — Police arrested a local man Tuesday, after they seized 39 weapons from his home, according to Police Lt. Kyle True.

True said police found the weapons at a 20 Durrell Drive home, including pistols, revolvers, shotguns and rifles.

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$50K bail for felon facing firearms charges
They also recovered more than “1,000 rounds of ammunition” from the home of Brian Croall, 44, in what True said is the biggest seizure of weapons by Newmarket Police that he can remember.

“He is not allowed by law to possess or have under his control, now that he is a convicted felon, any weapons,” True said Tuesday night. “I would say anyone who … has been ordered by a court not to have weapons and he defies that order, we do believe he is a danger.”

via Newmarket felon allegedly had 39 weapons in home | SeacoastOnline.com. And an updated story with a few more details.

To the uninitiated, “1,000 rounds of ammunition” sounds like a lot; to most of us, it’s an afternoon, and for somebody with 39 guns, it’s less than 30 rounds each.

And far from being some innocent, set-upon activist, this is a guy who’s already fired a gun recklessly in a populated area. Apart from his antisocial graffiti habit, he’s also accused of threatening three of his neighbors, and faces some drug charges as well. (Wonder if the drug use is causative to some of the antisocial and threatening behavior). His attorney is arguing that the guns were the property of the felon’s now-deceased father, but we don’t see how that gets Croall off the hook. (If a felon inherits firearms, he can’t take possession, but must dispose of them lawfully).

What a DOD Furlough really looks like

There’s been a lot of news lately about the furloughs of DOD employees; we were curious about what it really meant. A friend obliged with a copy of his furlough notice, received in May, which took effect in July. We have redacted both his information, and other personally identifying information of the Pentagon personnel bureaucrats that are given in the message. Here’s a picture of the first paragraph of the first page of the three-page letter.

Thanks for your service, now hit the bricks for a while.

“Thanks for your service, now hit the bricks for a while.” — SecDef Chuck Hagel.

Army insiders will have no problem mapping out that office symbol; quite a few DA civilians work there, and almost all (if not all) of them got one of these. Like many retired service members who continue to contribute to National Defense in some way or other, this individual can’t participate in the retirement program; he’s already retired, from the military service, and Congressmen, who earn lavish lifetime benefits from a single two-year term, have banned veterans from “double dipping” in the interests of, naturally, “fairness”. (Many of them also earn military retirements from bogus, near-no-show JAG jobs. Fairness depends if you’re a politician).

The furlough notice goes on to say that if someone in a similar position didn’t catch a furlough, it’s because he or she is already working without pay (for example, a reserve officer working for retirement points alone), the person is actually a loaner or joint-program assignee from one of the uncut or less-cut departments, or are mission-critical or exempted by Secretary Hagel.

Hagel’s memo listing the exemptions is interesting, and it’s quite a bit longer than the individual kiss-off. After a bit of sniveling about how much it grieves him to do this, he gets down to it. Some are clearly common sense (Navy nuclear reactor workers, check). Medical and public safety personnel (i.e. DOD cops) are exempt. Some are clearly political in nature (all Presidential appointees won’t “share in the sacrifice” — that’s for the little people). Foreign nationals employed overseas won’t be cut. But many weird exemptions are due to weird provisions in other laws: the DOD can’t furlough its hundreds of H-1B visa temporary immigrants without then losing their visas, it can just furlough their citizen peers.

The combat zone doesn’t mean what you think it means, either. Albania (where the biggest danger is romantic entanglement with the hot local women), Bosnia, Croatia, Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, and Serbia all count, even though the shooting war in that AO wound up about 14 years ago — so long ago that the Hague is actually getting to the end of its ethnic-cleansing trials. As well as the “usual suspects,” where a feller actually could get shot or blow’d up, the nations containing the entire logistical train of the rump GWOT are also included: Bahrain, Djibouti, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikstan, UAE, Uzbekistan.

(These safe-as-houses places are used in a game by Air Force members, senior officers, and DOD civilians that goes like this: fly into one on the last day of the month, like 31 July. Overnight and fly out on 1 August. Presto! You get “combat pay” and tax exemption for the entire months of July and August. The night of 30 September/1 October you can do it again! Just like being part of the war, without the inconvenience, hardship and risk).

By far the majority of DOD personnel drawing “combat pay” and receiving combat tax exemption are not exposed to risk; it’s just become one more entitlement, under the radar. But that’s another issue entirely. (We’re not sure if the one-day-a-month artful dodgers have managed to inoculate themselves against the furloughs, too, by their monthly trip to “combat.” Probably).

Like most everything that’s all screwed up in modern life, there’s a lot of lawyer work in this. But we thought it would be worthwhile to put the actual documents up, not the dishonest spin coming from Hagel’s flacks (who are “mission critical” and exempt, natch), and the confusion emanating from the militarily-ignorant media.

The entire individual Furlough memo:

what a furlough looks like.pdf

The Hagel memo on the exceptions.

DoDFurl5_14.pdf

What a week…

…working on long form and on rapidly-developing stuff means, never getting finished. Jeez.

We don’t think we’ve had one gun technology post go up all week. Our apologies to our faithful readers, and “stuff is coming.”

Today, we may finally get the post on Bull’s space gun up, as well as a look at what a DOD civilian employee’s furlough looks like from the receiving end.