Today marks the 42nd anniversary of the beginning of the Tet Offensive. Two soldiers earned the Medal of Honor: Frederick E. Ferguson (Hue) and Drew D. Dix (Chau Doc Province, Jan. 31 - Feb. 1, 1968). The two men are the only troops awarded the Medal of Honor during Tet, and both are counted as among today's 91 surviving recipients. Unfortunately, the Congressional Medal of Honor Society will disband when there are only 25 members remaining.
Democrats living large on the taxpayers' expense? Surely not.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has racked up an amazing $2.1 million travel tab during the last two years according to government documents obtained by Judicial Watch through a FOIA request. The Air Force Gulfstream V she rides costs almost $6,000 per hour (an average cost per flight of over $28,000). But that's nothing when you consider the $22,000 per hour price tag of the Boeing 757 that she requested for ferrying her between her district and Washington.
Interestingly enough, over $100,000 of which was for alcohol and food. What is she eating, unicorn steaks?
Now I understand that for national security reasons, Pelosi shouldn't travel commercial. But a non-stop flight from D.C. to San Francisco (first class) costs around $800. In fact, it would take Pelosi 35 first-class commercial flights to equal the cost of one trip on the Gulfstream. She may be second-in-line to replace POTUS, but she isn't Queen.
If the Air Force is willing to take suggestions, I say that they should palletize her and her entourage and put them on Space Available transportation.
Looking forward to the '60 Minutes' expose on this. Holding my breath even.
My good friend David Bellavia's blog is rapidly turning into serious competition for the Onion. I have been exposed to his wicked hilarity for a long while now, but he has brought it out into public for all to see and I strongly recommend you wallow in it. He and I created one of the most amazing pieces of talk radio ever w/ the Blue Falcon Radio segment. He has several contributors from his shady past as a Theater major and assassinator of Stephen Sondheim's play "Assassins". One of these contributors is a vegan and David has asked him to conduct email exchanges with some of the knuckledragger community. I am first in the rack and it's quite a bit of fun. I have suggested Chuck Z as the next to play, that could be epic. Anyhow, go check it out.
This morning I had the pleasure of discussing the Obama administration's approach to terrorism, precipitated by the news that KSM's trial is likely to be someplace other than NYC. That is good news, but not quite the right answer yet. Changing to another civilian venue is not enough, I hear Gitmo is lovely this time of year. The entire Lawfare approach to terrorism is wrong, our enemies know it is war and we need to reciprocate that.
Gen. Petraeus spent some time at the Institute for the Study of War last week and discussed the many challenges CENTCOM and all of us face. Kim Kagan hosted him and you can see the entire event here at ISW's website.
OK let's play the game. Where was this picture taken this morning? More to follow later.
Subsunk called it with Brit Hume's office, although it is actually the Special Report studio and I was in Bret Baier's chair. It was a spot on FOX's America's Newsroom w/ Bill Hemmer about the KSM trial moving and lawfare. Should have video in a bit.
As seen through a night-vision device, U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Chad
Melanson performs a night patrol of the perimeter of Camp Wright in
Asadabad, Afghanistan, Jan. 24, 2010. Melanson is a Kunar Provincial
Reconstruction Team and security forces member assigned to the Nevada
National Guard’s 1st Squadron, 221st Calvary Regiment. U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Brian Boisvert
The English are feeling the pinch in relation to recent terrorist threats and have raised their security level from "Miffed" to "Peeved." Soon, though, security levels may be raised yet again to "Irritated" or even "A Bit Cross." The English have not been "A Bit Cross" since the blitz in 1940 when tea supplies all but ran out. Terrorists have been re-categorized from "Tiresome" to a "Bloody Nuisance." The last time the British issued a "Bloody Nuisance" warning level was in 1588 when threatened by the Spanish Armada.
The Scots raised their threat level from "Pissed Off" to "Let's get those Bastards." They don't have any other levels. This is the reason they have been used on the front line of the British army for the last 300 years.
The French government announced yesterday that it has raised its terror alert level from "Run" to "Hide". The only two higher levels in France are "Collaborate" and "Surrender." The rise was precipitated by a recent fire that destroyed France's white flag factory, effectively paralyzing the country's military capability.
It's not only the French who are on a heightened level of alert: Italy has increased the alert level from "Shout Loudly and Excitedly" to "Elaborate Military Posturing." Two more levels remain: "Ineffective Combat Operations" and "Change Sides."
The Germans also increased their alert state from "Disdainful Arrogance" to "Dress in Uniform and Sing Marching Songs." They also have two higher levels: "Invade a Neighbour" and "Lose".
Belgians, on the other hand, are all on holiday as usual, and the only threat they are worried about is NATO pulling out of Brussels .
The Spanish are all excited to see their new submarines ready to deploy. These beautifully designed subs have glass bottoms so the new Spanish navy can get a really good look at the old Spanish navy.
Americans meanwhile and as usual are carrying out pre-emptive strikes on all of their allies 'just in case'.
Canada doesn't have any alert levels.
And in the southern hemisphere: New Zealand has also raised its security levels - from "baaa" to "BAAAA". Due to continuing defense cutbacks (the airforce being a squadron of spotty teenagers flying paper aeroplanes and the navy some toy boats in the Prime Minister's bath), New Zealand only has one more level of escalation, which is "I hope Australia will come and rescue us".
Australia , meanwhile, has raised its security level from "No worries" to "She'll be al'right, mate". Three more escalation levels remain: "Crikey!', "I think we'll need to cancel the barbie this weekend" and "The barbie is cancelled". So far no situation has ever warranted use of the final escalation level.
Team Rubicon - Updates - January 28th - Moving away from P-A-P
Posted By Blackfive
Today we scoured the city to no avail. No trauma patients, and clinics
are set up every where. Tomorrow we go a town 3 hours away where we
hear there are many people still untreated and with many fractured
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.