We all know Joe. That guy in the unit who always knows things are going to suck. That guy who consistently finds the dumbest thing to do. That guy who thinks there is probably nothing funnier than a fart. You know.....Joe. Well here is a bunch of the 2nd of the 503rd's Joes trying to stay sane in Afghanistan. It's the same bunch from The Chosen Few.
JD Johannes explores an idea that I have considered a distinct possibility for a while. Let's declare the tribal areas of Pakistan it's own fiefdom, and then let's stomp a mudhole in the asses of the bastards making it a living hell.
As B5 has said in a previous posting, there are some exciting things coming up. This is why you've not heard from Mr Wolf in some time here. I've been busy with the gang 'keeping house' on some things, and have hardly had time to comment let alone put up a decent post. But, it will be WELL worth it. We promise.
Seeing what is coming up in the news lately with our good friends at the ACLU, I had to put up something to better set expectations with what is REALLY likely to happen around the photos of Abu Ghuraib (A-G) being re-released. What the idiots over there are doing is likely to be as bad as what the soldiers did at the infamous prison. US soldiers WILL DIE over their actions in demanding 'more evidence'.
As some of you may recall, I was in initially involved in looking at the investigation surrounding A-G and how the Army was going to try to deal with the release of the photos from England and her unit. Having been called in by the JAG to review material, and come up with an approach on how to 'get in front' of the story, we reviewed everything they had in order to find photos that conveyed the seriousness of the matter without at least attempting to address Islamic sensitivities. We knew going in that it was going to be a bombshell.
We realized from the outset that if we didn't try to take 'control' of the news cycle and how it was addressed, we'd forever be playing catch-up and have no chance of regaining ANY semblance of believability.
That bird has come home to roost. It's hungry, and it's not leaving anytime soon.
The ACLU filed FOIA paperwork (Freedom of Information Act) in late 2003 after rumors began swirling of potential abuses in Afghanistan and Iraq holding and containment areas (they were not 'prisons' per se, but places that people captured in kinetic operations were being held until such time as the Coalition could determine what to do with them). Convinced that BushCheney were ordering their wholesale slaughter and torture, and that the CIA was blindly carrying out these orders, the ACLU inserted itself into the issue, if only to use it as a front to get more funding and influence. After A-G was 'settled' in 2006, they again filed FOIA in order to see if they could gain access to any photos or material that was NOT released in the initial onslaught. THIS upcoming re-release is what is going to re-set the Middle East on fire again.
There are photos from the A-G unit that have not been released. NOT A SINGLE ONE of them will shed any new light on what the detainees went thru or what England and the gang did. Not.one.iota. What it will do is re-ignite the sensitivities of Islamic fascists around the world and drum up new jihadists in search of an outlet. Tickets and rides into Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan are going to become hot commodities. (Get yours now!)
MOST of the material related to A-G not released is of the sick sexual practices of England and her 'bunkmates'. They seemed to tape each other in every Kama Sutra event they could. Beyond these, the only thing the ACLU could gain from this is to pressure the current administration to go after Bush administration personnel. And that's all they want to do. More lawyering business for lawyers.
The administration, as well as DoD, is caught between their 'base' on the far, far, far left and inflaming a huge segment of the populations around the world (and that includes veterans and those in the military). The President could easily step in, determine that releasing them would be detrimental to the war effort, and declare them 'Top Secret' and not releasable. Unfortunately THAT would inflame the ACLU and their ilk like no other action. But it would save lives in the long run. LOTS of lives.
Sources both inside and outside the administration tell me that they are NOT well prepared to deal with this issue at all. Gen Petraeus is right in wanting to step out in front, as he's called for the release. But he's trying to do what WE called for back in early 2004; had we been able to convince the powers that be to do so, we'd be far better off. I totally blame only one person- BG Kimmitt for convincing others not to produce and put out the material. Why? Given that now-VP Biden testified at Kimmitt's confirmation hearing to the State Department (Kimmitt was TOAST in getting his nomination thru before Biden stepped in; Kimmitt has 'issues' dealing with subordinates, and Kimmitt's family has long, deep ties to Biden's thru various law firms) and Kimmitt's likely Democratic ties, there may well be a case where he was holding back for later.
The new images that the ACLU seeks will only fuel the fire, as they are seeking whatever 'evidence' they can get of anything going on in other places. I'm not convinced there are any pictures of it going on from other areas. If there are, they'll be quite old. The best defense DoD has is to show the dates on any of them and detail how things have changed drastically once the command structures became aware of them- because I'm CERTAIN they did as no one wanted ANOTHER A-G on their hands.
Outside the puzzle palace, I'm told that commands are girding for any upswing in violence should additional images come out. They completely understand what is likely to be the 2d and 3d order effects and are properly preparing. Our troops are not stupid. They'll be ready.
The administration gains nothing by letting the ACLU carry on with its antics. Letting the lunatic fringe force their hand on policy and previous administrations gains nothing. Letting them get away with murdering troops thru actions like this does not, either. 'Leadership' sometimes means making decisions you are not happy with but are best in the long run.
Last week, I had a chance to listen to a speech at Ohio University by LTG Freakley, the Accesions Command chief, who detailed how we in America have ''a serious leadership problem- in too many places strong leadership is sorely lacking, and too many so-called 'leaders' have no idea how to do so.'' His comments that night resonated loudly throughout the crowd. And I agree with him 100%.
WOW! I lost all respect for Jon Stewart a while ago. He plays the card that he is just a humble comedian and not pursuing a political agenda. Yeah, well, BS. Anyone with a room temperature plus IQ knows better and sadly he has stopped even providing any comedy along with his agit-prop. He wants to take on weighty issues without suffering the consequences of having to know what the hell he is actually talking about. He is a classic limousine liberal, comfortable enough denouncing anything right of center without acknowledging, or even realizing, that the world view he pisses on is the one that allows his ass-clownery. He got his come-uppance when Cliff May from FDD brought some reality to Stewart's fantasy land. The moral high ground is a place liberals have unfairly claimed for far too long. They want to be pure and kind and loving without noting that this requires Sheepdogs covering their flock's extremely exposed asses. Enough from me, watch a thinker demolish a sorry tragi-comedian.
Larry Shaughnessy is a CNN producer Laughing Wolf and I met at the journalism seminar we went to a while back. He is a good dude, I know I am saying that about a CNN guy but trust me I gave him quite a ration of shite while we were there. He has a great story about his grandfather in WWI and his two bouts with a deadly flu.
Editor's note: With fears of a swine flu pandemic rising daily, CNN
Pentagon producer Larry Shaughnessy remembered a batch of letters from
his grandfather, a World War I soldier who battled the Spanish flu
pandemic of 1918-1919......
Culhane's letters to his older brother Frank and his long-time "chum"
Clif Pinter are a young soldier's firsthand account of life as a
draftee private and how he coped with a disease that would haunt Army
camps around the United States and eventually infect people around the
world. Some estimates say as many as 50 million people were killed by
what's called the Spanish influenza in 1918 and 1919, far more than the
number killed in combat during the war.
Some of you noticed that there is a new logo at the start of our videos these days. One of the announcements Matt hinted at last week is the formation of a media production company called SOG Media. This grew out of the original coverage we had been doing of events in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Philippines and other areas in the future. A trip to Iraq by JD Johannes, LTC Steve Russell and Brian Bennett led to three video pieces being sold to TIME.com including an exclusive interview w/ Gen. Odierno and convinced us that we didn't have to simply fact check and correct the news, we could make it.
So we formed SOG and are actively working to get our coverage on as many major media outlets as possible. It was a great feeling to be invited to 30 Rock and throw on my pretty clothes to pitch NBC on the concept as well as the other networks. We are getting excellent traction and since they have had to cut back staff and bureaus, having our folks do the leg work is very attractive to them.
We called it SOG (Special Observers Guild) because we are working with pros who have already earned their spurs by doing quality work. We are simply doing the admin, ops and sales work so they can do what they do best, which is march to the sound of gunfire. Our two featured videographers JD and Dave Tate both love to do that and they bring compelling and engaging pieces back for the rest of us. JD is currently packing for a trip to A-stan next month and we will all enjoy the fruits of his labors.
We have many irons in many fires and we should have more good news about making the news to come. If by chance any of you have contacts who can help with getting our content in front of major outlets please feel free to let me know.
From Laurie at Soldiers' Angels New York comes word of the first Blue Star Canteen for vets and active duty soldiers. Go read about a wonderful idea being done by an amazing group of Blue Star Mothers.
Some of you will recognize the name, some may need to go here to read about this member of SEAL Team 10. This Friday, the Erik Kristensen Eye Street Klassic golf tournament is taking place to raise money for a scholarship fund in his name to Gonzaga College High School in Washington, DC. If you are in DC and golf, go enjoy a round for a good cause. If not, there are still ways you can help remember and honor a warrior and help the next generation.
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.