I can't help but to make a bold prediction publicly so that IF it happens, I'll be credited for having made it. If it doesn't happen, then I'm just another blogger talking smack.
SCOTUS Justice John Paul Stevens will soon announce his impending retirement from the Court. I get the feeling his Hamdan opinion was a parting shot to the President, and he can now go out a liberal icon. The man is well into his eighties, and I would imagine that he feels like he has blown his wad and now it's time for a nap.
This video is Army B-Roll (rough unedited footage) of the memorial service for SPC David Babineau, PFC Kristian Menchaca and PFC Thomas Tucker. It was filmed on June 26th in Mahmudiyah, Iraq, for the 502ND Infantry Regiment, 2ND Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (AA). Sergeant Joy Kroemer filmed the event.
Just returned from a business conference to find lots of people have been blocked from commenting because of my Comment Spam filter.
Question: Why is this happening?
Answer: (1) Russian spammers have been hitting Blackfive.net with about 50-200 spam trackbacks and comments per day. These tend to be of the "adult" only variety that get by my filters for various reasons. Keep in mind that many of the families of the soldiers that I write about read the posts about their loved ones and see the trackbacks and comments. (2) In order to reduce the amount of admin time I spend on this blog, I added a few key words to block the spam. Many of the key words are anatomy or sex crime related, but several others are financial (like mortgage, credit, etc.). I'll bite the bullet and remove the financial ones as that seems to have been the culprit in many of the cases of comment blocking.
Be advised that I am hardly an attorney, but I do have some limited sea lawyering experience which is unlikely to make my assessments of the Hamdan case anymore coherent than usual. Nevertheless...
Contrary to several hystrionic media reports, AQ detainees were NOT afforded all the privileges of POWs in Article 3 of the Geneva Convention. On the narrow issue of the composition of the courts used to try them for war crimes, the Court ruled that the President didn't have the authority to create the parameters for military commissions without the consent of Congress. Interestingly, the Court also ruled that the detainees, instead of being subject to military commissions where they could conceivably prevail and be freed, could simply be held incommunicado without any charges at all indefinitely or until hostilities in the conflict have ended.
I find this a very interesting paradox that has been completely lost on the media as usual. Let me pose a question. Would you rather have a shot at a trial where it is at least possible that you could win or would it be better to simply rot in prison indefinitely without any chance of leaving or even making a case on your own behalf? The answer depends upon who is sitting in judgement on your case. If you were in Turkey caught smuggling heroin, you might as well get comfy in your new home, but with professional US military officers deciding your fate, you'd have to take a shot. Anyway, it is amusing that the President, in essence (not by intent), was trying to give the detainees a chance at freedom and now liberals on the Court and in the media are cheering the Courts decision to remove that possibility.
So the Congress is now starting to put together a template for military commissions which provides the GOP with another (as if it was necessary) opportunity to show liberals as the terrorist apologists that they are. I can see Nancy Pelosi et al bending over backwards to defend the "rights" of detained terrorists on the airwaves while Americans marvel at their willingness to run from a fight AND pander to CAIR at the same time.
One more thing. This post by Oak Leaf is something of a stretch in my opinion:
I wasted 12 months of my life in Afgahnistan for this.Support by the military in the GWOT is going to collapse.
UPDATE: This opinion will go from a ripple to a wave throughout the uniformed military. We were slapped by John McCain last December. Today, we are slapped by the Supreme Court. This afternoon, I am removing myself from the volunteer list at Human Resources Command-St. Louis to re-deploy. I will not be the only one.
UPDATE: I have received three e mails so far from guys in Afgahnistan on my “.mil” e mail. The sentiment is as follows:
$%^& the supreme court. They have no idea what we are going through. Major xxxxxxxxx
My third tour for what? SHIT!!! Captain xxxxxxxxxx
I want to go home to my family now. Master Sergeant xxxxxxxxx
I don't know Oak Leaf and he is certainly entitled to his opinions, but I just don't see the people who joined the military after witnessing the horror of 9/11 are simply going to pack it in after some bizarre SCOTUS ruling. I suppose some of the senior officer types might get their panties in a bunch, but the operators aren't going to even give this issue the time of day except to remark for the 10,000th time how disgusted they are by liberals in the States.
UPDATE: A quick perusal of the comments on Oak Leaf's post provides a disturbing look into how some conservatives can also become unhinged. It is a demonstration of one of the most unproductive debates I have seen on a conservative site in quite some time. It goes to show you that when you allow your emotions to direct your rhetoric, you end up sounding like a moonbat liberal. Conservatives in general and veterans in particular are all about dealing with problems, not whining about them. The decision yesterday is a setback to be sure, but let's not cry over spilt milk, let's come up with a constructive solution and advocate it.
These stories tell us that the war will continue against Iraqi insurgents and against evil men from al Qaeda affiliated organizations, and those who believe the way to send a signal to America is to separate an infidel's head from his neck. No one knows how this will end, but a betting man would probably not bet against GEN Casey and Prime Minister Maliki's plans. The race is not always to the strongest or the swiftest, but that's generally the way to bet.
These stories also show us something about the young Men involved in this war, serving Freedom's side. In all three of these cases, it appears these young Men had hard lives before joining the Army. They suffered, had scrapes with the law (not serious ones), or played teenage pranks on their friends which might have been disapproved of by many. They all three loved the Army. They were all good kids. PFC Tucker was a bit of a rebel until recently, according to his father, who said he had some problems to overcome, asked his Dad for advice, and the course of working through those problems were some of the best times Mr. Tucker had with his wonderful son. They all served willingly despite knowing that their fate could lead to bloodshed, torture, death and sorrow. Some left grieving families, and some may not have. And they all showed more courage than a reporter from the NY Times or Washington Post will ever have.
But they all had someone who would remember them for who they were, for the fine bravery and example they gave, and for the outstanding young Men they were. Because I will remember them fondly, and will do so long after they have been laid to rest.
Navy SEAL Captain Larry Bailey is capitalizing on the successful Swiftboat Veterans for Truth campaign against John Kerry in 2004 with a similar effort to oust mentally deranged unindicted co-conspirator and Blue Falcon of the year Congressman John Murtha.
David Drake has a post you should read. Over the years Jim has given me encouragement, a couple of swift kicks, and been kind enough to tell me when my writing sucked. Directly or indirectly he has bought me dinner and drinks. What makes him truly special is that he did it for so many, and in the process has made the universe of fiction a far richer and more wonderful place. Jim has helped blaze a profitable and rewarding trail into this new electronics age, showing how it should be done. He rescued military science fiction and helped it thrive, and never forgot those who served in reality -- not surprising, nor is the fact that he served in the Army.
My thoughts go out to Jessica, Katherine, Toni, and the rest of the family; to Marla and those in the office; and, to all those in the much larger Baen Family of authors, readers, and leaders. Please keep them all in your thoughts and prayers.
Thank you Jim, for all of it. You will be missed, but your legacy lives on and, thanks to your foresight, will shine on for some time to come.
So the Palestinians have killed an 18 year old Israeli kid, how many does that make? There is a semantics discussion as to what his killing should be called. In their press release, and isn't it quaint that terrorists have press agents, the Popular Resistance Committee claimed credit for executing the boy and some have taken issue with that saying that an execution is a more formal-state-sanctioned killing after a trial, and that what they had done was murder.
OK that makes sense if you allow that there is no Palestinian government, but there is, and it was popularly elected and it is comprised of the very scum who murdered this boy. So rather than call it a murder, a civil crime, let's call it what it is, the actions of a wing of the duly elected Palestinian government. They obviously held an impromptu judicial hearing, weighed the evidence, determined the boy was indeed a Joooo, and executed the just sentence of the Palestinian people.
Now it is up to the rest of us to see if we are cool with kidnapping and execution of innocent civilians by "nations". I seriously doubt the Israelis are, and some serious scunion will be coming down as they remind the Palestinians that even though the Euros may invite them to parties, and they can rustle up some satchels of cash from oil-rich swine, none of those folks are going to pull a Tienanmen Square to stop the IDF from rolling in to shut down the rocket and bomb factories and hopefully rescue their CPL.
So I say let them be executioners, and bear responsibility as a people for the depravity with which their government acts. Let them bear the consequences of their hatred and inability to countenance the very existence of their Jewish neighbors. Let them make the choice that lies directly before them, acknowledge Israel's right to exist on the 1967 boundaries and renounce the "right of return", or enjoy another 50 years as "refugees" without even an actual country.
Another madison.com blogger the Man of Steel sent me this beauty which reminds why burning Old Glory, while constitutional, is still stupid. And make sure to read Froggy's piece supporting torture below.
As a perpetual night owl, I have been watching ABC Nightline with Terry Moron er Moran reporting from Guantanamo Bay. Each report has been more hysterical than the last and the "report" culminated in an expose' of the medical care that detainees receive while incarcerated there. The hypocrisy and feigned expressions of incredulity provided by Moron ought to earn him an Oscar instead of the Pulitzer he is clearly pining for.
Amongst the topics covered on this episode was the "issue" of "force feeding" detainees that choose to go on hunger strikes. Moron in a previous episode nearly tearfully expressed his phony outrage to the Camp Commandant over the issue of the recent detainee suicides and seemed especially hurt and shocked that the Admiral would assert that the suicides were, in fact, expressions of asymmetrical warfare (which of course they are). It was as if he was unaware that islamofascist terrorists were known to regularly "martyr" themselves in the service of allah. On tonight's show, Moron spoke with a senior physician regarding the practice of enteral feeding of detainees to PREVENT their suicides even inquiring if the doctor felt that he was violating his ethics by not "respecting" a detainee's choice to kill himself by starvation. When Moron was shown the NG tubes used to conduct the feedings, he asked permission to open the package in order to inspect its contents. The doctor agreed and watched as Moron manipulated the tiny tube as if to ensure there were no steel barbs attached to it.
Next, Moran interviewed the chief psychologist at the Camp in order to expose her dastardly deeds in assisting interrogators to obtain critical intelligence that has saved American lives. Moron again laid on it thick as ever imploring the behavioral scientist to denounce the crimes against her profession in which he was certain she was engaging. When he asked her if she felt sympathy for her charges for being in such a dire situation her perfectly delivered answer, "Sympathy is not what I do," left Moron in a state of barely veiled disgust and horror. Apparently Moron hadn't heard that the FBI employs teams of behavioral scientists whose job it is to profile and bring to justice serial killers right here in the totalitarian US of A.
Watching Terry Moron labor through his contortions was very similar to watching William Hung butcher classic tunes during his American Idol auditions. The smarminess and disingenuity of his act was so transparent that by the time he was done preening, I got the feeling that he must think his audience was a group of retarded children. Which is exactly what you'd have to be in order to buy the load of crap Moron was shoveling.
Former Paratrooper and Army Officer, "Blackfive" started this blog upon learning of the valorous sacrifice of a friend that was not reported by the journalist whose life he saved. Email: blackfive AT gmail DOT com
Retired Special Operations Master Sergeant, Jim Hanson ("Uncle Jimbo") is now focused on writing about the military, politics, intelligence operations and foreign policy. Email: jimbo AT unclejimbo DOT com
Writer, photographer, and raconteur C. Blake Powers is the Laughing Wolf. He is independent in politics and covers topics including journalism, military, weapons, preparedness, space, science, cooking, food and wine, product and book reviews, and even spirituality. Email: wolf1 AT laughingwolf DOT net Laughing Wolf's Amazon Wish List
Bill Paisley, otherwise known as Pinch, is a 22 year (ongoing) active and
reserve naval aviator. He blogs over at www.instapinch.com on a veritable
cornucopia of various and sundry items and will bring a tactical naval
aviator's perspective to Blackfive. Readers be warned: any comments of or
about the F-14 Tomcat will be reverential and spoken in low, hushed tones.
Email: wpaisley AT comcast DOT net
Mr. Wolf has over 26 years in the Army, Army NG, and USAR. He’s Airborne with 5 years as an NCO, before becoming an officer. Mr. Wolf has had 4 company commands. Signal Corp is his basic branch, and Public Affairs is his functional area. He recently served 22 straight months in Kuwait and Iraq, in Intel, PA, and senior staff of MNF-I. Mr. Wolf is now an IT executive. He is currently working on a book on media and the Iraq war. Functional gearhead.
In Iraq, he received the moniker of Mr. Wolf after the Harvey Kietel character in Pulp Fiction, when "challenges" arose, they called on Mr. Wolf...
Email: TheDOTMrDOTWolfAT gmail DOT com
Deebow is a Staff Sergeant and a Military Police Squad Leader in the Army National Guard. In a previous life, he served in the US Navy. He has over 19 years of experience in both the Maritime and Land Warfare; including deployments to Southwest Asia, Thailand, the South Pacific, South America and Egypt. He has served as a Military Police Team Leader and Protective Services Team Leader and he has served on assignments with the US State Department, US Air Force Security Police, US Army Criminal Investigation Division, and the US Drug Enforcement Administration. He recently spent time in Afghanistan working with, training and fighting alongside Afghan Soldiers and is now focused on putting his 4 year Political Science degree to work by writing about foreign policy, military security policy and politics.
McQ has 28 years active and reserve service. Retired. Infantry officer. Airborne and Ranger. Consider my 3 years with the 82nd as the most fun I ever had with my clothes on. Interests include military issues and policy and veteran's affairs.
Email: mcq51 -at - bellsouth -dot- net
Tantor is a former USAF navigator/weapon system officer (WSO) in F-4E Phantoms who served in the US, Asia, and Europe. He is now a curmudgeonly computer geek in Washington, DC, picking the taxpayers pocket. His avocations are current events, aviation, history, and conservative politics.
Twenty-three years of Active and Reserve service in the US Army in SF (18B), Infantry and SOF Signal jobs with operational deployments to Bosnia and Africa. Since retiring he's worked as Senior Defense Analyst on SOF and Irregular Warfare projects and currently ensconced in the emerging world of Cyberspace.
Major Pain --
A Marine who began his blog in Iraq and reflects back on what he learned there and in Afghanistan. To the point opinions, ideas and thoughts on military, political and the media from One Marine’s View. Email: onemarinesview AT yahoo DOT com
Uber Pig was an Infantryman from late 1991 until early 1996, serving with Second Ranger Battalion, I Corps, and then 25th Infantry Division. At the time, the Army discriminated against enlisted soldiers who wanted use the "Green to Gold" program to become officers, so he left to attend Stanford University. There, he became expert in detecting, avoiding, and surviving L-shaped ambushes, before dropping out to be as entrepreneurial as he could be. He is now the founder of a software startup serving the insurance and construction industries, and splits time between Lake Tahoe, Boonville, and San Francisco, CA.
Uber Pig writes for Blackfive a) because he's the proud brother of an enlisted Civil Affairs Reservist who currently serves in Iraq, b) because he looks unkindly on people who make it harder for the military in general, and for his brother in particular, to succeed at their missions and come home in victory, and c) because the Blackfive readers and commenters help keep him sane.
COB6 spent 24 years in the active duty Army that included 5 combat tours with service in the 1st Ranger Battalion and 1st Special Forces Group . COB6 was enlisted (E-7) and took the OCS route to a commission. COB6 retired a few years back as a field grade Infantry officer.
Currently COB6 has a son in the 82nd Airborne that just returned from his third tour and has a newly commissioned daughter in the 4th Infantry Division.