The Obama campaign had been hoping that veterans and their families — especially among the post-Sept. 11 generation that served in Iraq and Afghanistan — would be part of their path to victory: They’re a high turn-out demographic and concentrated in battleground states, with nearly 1 million each in North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia, and 1.6 million in Florida.
But recent polls make clear that the president’s campaign is losing the battle. Even as Obama leads in Colorado, Florida, Ohio and Virginia, Mitt Romney is up by double digits among veterans in those states. Nationwide, he’s got a commanding 20-percentage-point lead over Obama and has overtaken the president with younger veterans.
“It’s no contest,” said Maurice Tamman, a Reuters data news editor who has polled on veterans and the presidential campaign.
It is no contest. The military community knows leaders, and the current C-i-C is no leader.
Michael St. Jacques is a brew meister of rare talent, and once a year he showcases this at an event call St. Jacquestoberfest. I attended the inaugural two years ago and for some reason was cynically excluded from the guest list for this year. That type of disrespect will not go unchallenged, so Mr. (and I use that term ever so lightly) St. Jacques was served notice that I would attend by force if necessary. It was, and so a proper military offensive (definitely the correct term) was mounted, the results of which can be seen in the video below. Suffice it to say that given the richness of the area in Civil War history it was an entirely appropriate assault.
There were a number of bloggers in attendance including some luminaries from the "no-longer-the-farm-team" This ain't Hell,TSO (who also burns poo for the American Legion) and the proprietor Mr. Lilyea. Mr. (ish) St. Jacques runs a blog called the Sniper that these days seems to specialize in pictures of scantily-clad women and Photoshops of poseurs (you are welcome for the traffic). A number of his co-bloggers were there as well. But the true star of the event was the amazing, lovely and completely incomprehensible Boston Maggie. She deigned to grace us with her royal presence, and we bowed and scraped as best we could given the fact that TSO was the only one who could decipher the obscure language she speaks. Great to see her regardless. There was one notable missing miscreant as our own Matty O' Blackfive had blathered greatly about his impending attendance and then failed to proerly execute an airborne infiltration, somehting about flight problems. BAH, a real man would have hijacked a plane. Anyhow, much fun was had by one and all, and I don't believe there were any arrests, which was a pleasant change.
At Friday's parade in Tehran, Gen. Ami Ali Hajizadeh, who heads the Revolutionary Guard's airspace division, warned that the system was ready in case of an attack on Iran.
"This system is built with the aim to confront American warplanes," Hajizadeh said, adding that Raad carries missiles with a range of 50 kilometers (30 miles), capable of hitting targets at 22,000 meters (75,000 feet).
If they can see them. Any question about whether or not pursuing stealth technology is important? And, is there any question about who the Iranians see as "the enemy"? That "leading from behind" and "open hand" sure has paid dividends, hasn't it?
--A little Navy focus, such as everything you ever wanted to know about the new Zumwalt class of destroyers (DDG 1000) but were afraid to ask, plus a bonus article on Naval surface warfare. Both articles are written by RADM Thomas Rowden who is the director for the Navy’s Surface Warfare Division.
--Bonus Navy focus, the USS Ft. Worth, a Freedom variant of the littoral combat ship, has joined the fleet:
The weapon features a target acquisition system that calculates the range to a target with a push of a button and transfers the data to the electronic fuse built into the 25mm round. When fired, the projectile is designed to explode directly above targets out to 600 meters, peppering enemy fighters with shrapnel.
The XM25 has created a lot of excitement in the infantry community, but it has also attracted its share of criticism from door-kickers that the five-shot, 14-pound weapon system is more of a burden than a benefit to combat units.
The Ranger Regiment isn't so sold on it:
In March, elements of 75th Ranger Regiment refused to take XM25 with them for a raid on a fortified enemy compound in Afghanistan, sources familiar with the incident said.
After an initial assessment, Ranger units found the XM25 too heavy and cumbersome for the battlefield. They also were concerned that the limited basic load of 25mm rounds was not enough to justify taking an M4A1 carbine out of the mission, sources say.
The 33,000 additional U.S. troops that President Barack Obama ordered to Afghanistan to tamp down the Taliban attacks nearly two years ago have now left the country, but a new wave of deadly insider attacks and a reassessment of how NATO troops partner with Afghans have raised questions about how well the military strategy is working.
"Have raised questions?" Those questions were raised when this surge and a sell by date were announced at the same time. You don't "surge" to victory by announcing a pull out date when you do.
Time to get out of that cess pit and let them return to the 7th century where they belong.
Army Staff Sgt. Matthew Sitton knew there was the threat of casualties when he deployed toAfghanistan for his third tour of duty, but he said he was "totally on board with sacrifice for [his] country."
What he didn't agree with, though, was his chain of command, who mandated Sitton's 25-man platoon to take twice-daily patrols through fields littered with explosive devices. The platoon was averaging an amputee a day, Sitton said, and since the patrols didn't have an end goal, he didn't see the point of risking such extreme danger.
Sitton was so concerned with his platoon's safety and morale that in June, he wrote a measured letter to Rep. C.W. Bill Young, R-Fla., who chairs the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee.
"I feel myself and my soldiers are being put into unnecessary positions where harm and danger are imminent," Sitton wrote in an e-mail. "There is no endstate or purpose for the patrols given to us from our higher chain of command, only that we will be out for a certain time standard."
"We are walking around aimlessly through grape rows and compounds that are littered with explosives," he wrote.
That's what happens when you don't have a plan or strategy to win. You mark time and go through the motions. Only in this case the "motions" can cause death. By the way, Sitton was KIA less than two months after he sent the email to Young. He was killed by an IED. He left behind a wife, a 9-month-old son. In a moral world, the man in the White House would be haunted by that death and so many others.
A U.S. soldier who fled to Canada to avoid the war in Iraq has been arrested and detained at the U.S. border after losing her deportation case.
Kimberly Rivera, who lived in Canada for five years with her husband and four children, was issued a deportation order last month and given until Sept. 20 to leave the country.
Rivera, a 30-year-old Army private, served in Iraq in 2006. She said she became disillusioned with the mission. She crossed the border into Canada while on leave in February 2007, after she was ordered to serve another tour there. After arriving in Canada on leave, she applied for refugee status.
Really? Where'd she think she'd be going and what did she think she'd be doing?
"It doesn't get any clearer than this. The risk that we've pointed out, of Iraq War resisters being punished as prisoners of conscience isn't just risk, it's fact," Marciniec said.
Prisoners of conscience my ass. She joined during a war, what, did she not imagine she'd have to participate?
You know what they're supposed to do with deserters in a time of war. But my guess is she'll get something like this instead:
[T]wo other Iraq war resisters who were deported, Robin Long and Clifford Cornell, faced year-long jail sentences upon their return.
Long was given a dishonorable discharge in 2008 and sentenced to 15 months in a military prison after pleading guilty to charges of desertion.
Bottom feeding losers who hadn't the guts or gumption to do what they signed on to do and ran off claiming they were "disillusioned".
Tell that to SSG Sitton's widow, face-to-face, I dare you.
The Washington Guardian has a clarification on the role of the Two-Ex-Navy Seals who did their frogman best to save our ambassador.
The two former SEALS, Tyrone Woods, 41, and Glen Doherty, 42, were not employed by the State Department diplomatic security office and instead were what is known as personal service contractors who had other duties related to security, the officials said.
The two ex-Seals and others engaged in a lengthy firefight with the extremists who attacked the compound, a fight that stretched from the inner area of the consulate to an outside annex and a nearby safe house -- a location that the insurgents appeared to know about, the officials said.
I hope that these two sheepdogs made those Arab hill-billy, Stone Age, ass-pirates pay dearly for every inch of territory between them and the ambassador before they were overrun. God Bless them, their families, and may they find peace now that they have been called home.
Especially, I am getting tired of being called a racist in a country that elected a bi-racial man who came from the household of a single mom to be the President. Hey Tammy, he didn't get to the White House with just black people voting for him, a whole bunch of white soccer moms in the suburbs had to vote for him too.
But evidently, Major Tammy Duckworth (Double amputee helicopter pilot hit by an RPG in Iraq), now candidate for IL-8 has decided that in the most free country in all of human history where it was possible for her to have the opportunity to fly the most advanced helicopters in the US Army and elect a bi-racial president is full of racist hood-wearing Klan Members.
and it turns out, this is also the place that a very bad man went to school and it took place days after we saw our ambassador being drug through the streets of Benghazi... Nice job...
I have had an impacted ass-load of this particular brand of slander, grievance mongering, and generalization because of MY race. That is the very definition of racism to me; when Ms. Duckworth decides that because the face moving in next door to me or starting a business in town is a different color than mine that somehow I am threatened by that, I get an overwhelming urge to being river-dancing a mud-hole in her backside and kicking it dry in the hot, hot sun. I am pretty certain I don't need to spend good bandwidth talking about how many of us served with every race while in the military and work with every race of people now in our lives and I am pretty certain that changes in "demographics" DON'T make us uncomfortable.
So, I think I have covered on the fact that I am not a racist, and neither is anyone I know and as a member of the other side of this debate, I am done trying to prove a negative.
What makes me uncomfortably pissed off is the fact that this country has a political party that divides people by race, gender, national origin, sexual orientation and then tries to tell the world that they are "inclusive;" as if the soccer mom who is Latin or Black has any different concerns for her children, her family, or the situation the country is in than a White Soccer mom. This is also the party that assumes that women are a collection of parts that support a living uterus and are concerned only about what government may or may not tell them to do with it; instead of a person with a brain who might be concerned about jobs, unemployment, debt, government regulation, high taxes or her son serving overseas in Afghanistan.
And what pains me the most, is that those that support the Democrat party to an overwhelming degree have no idea of the racist history of the party; some examples of which can be found here, here and here.
Who's the racist now Candidate Duckworth?
I don't know if this is some kind of Stockholm Syndrome or some deeply recovered mental illness, but she doesn't get to call me and every other white person in America racist while saying it at a gathering of Muslims while wearing a head scarf and not have someone call her out on her bullshit...
The following review by Elise Cooper is an exclusive for BlackFive readers. You can read all of our book reviews by clicking here or on the Books category:
Dale Brown’s latest book, Tiger’s Claw, proves once again that he is able to bring to life a thrilling and dramatic story that could be in the headlines in the near future. Currently China is in a position to challenge America militarily, economically, and politically. After reading Tiger’s Claw people might understand how the Chinese-American rivalry will play out.
The plot starts out with a powerful China and a US weakened by an economic downfall. After China launches its first successful test of its anti-ship ballistic missile the US President, Kenneth Phoenix, fears the America will lose its naval supremacy. Because America is recovering from a massive recession and has no funds to compete with China’s advancing technology the President enlists the support of retired US Air Force Lt General Patrick McLanahan. His idea is to have the US refurbish old but potent long-range bombers that will be able to push back against Chinese aggression. After being given the green light he leads a force to challenge the Chinese threat head-on.
Dale Brown told BlackFive that he wanted to alert his readers by creating a doomsday scenario, especially since sequestration appears to be going forward. Sequestration is the trillion-dollar budget cuts mandated by the Budget Control Act, passed by Congress last year. As of January 1st, 2013, half of those cuts must come from defense, $500 million over a period of ten years. Brown stated, “I decided to paint a picture where China gets strong enough, rich enough, and bold enough to enforce their historical claims of the South China Sea.”
This book is about outsourcing America’s defense to private contractors. Since Brown was a USAF navigator in the B-52G Stratofortress bomber and a radar navigator in the FB-111A supersonic bomber he definitely knows about how long-range bombers work. He uses his past knowledge to show the need for long-range bombers because of China’s distance and their 100 million soldiers.
In one of his past books, Plan of Attack, he created an American Holocaust, having Russia wipe out two-thirds of America’s nuclear capability, leaving only submarine cruise missiles. His books previous to Tiger’s Claw are about a militarized space, but because of the real-life budget cuts Brown had to create a universe that “adapted to the real world. Thus, I came up with a story about outsourcing American fighters. I got the idea from viewing the Boneyard at the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. B-1 bombers were just sitting out there. I had the idea to dust off these airplanes and re-build them with modern systems capable of flying long range.”
As with all his books the military hardware and technology have been the main characters to support the plot. He told BlackFive, “The characters live to support the gadgets. After twenty-five years of doing this I decided that character development must be secondary to the plot.”
Tiger’s Claw is a very insightful and interesting book. Readers will be able to gain an understanding on where the next danger could be for America’s military. It has an interesting and fast paced plot that is very realistic.
A good E&E bag is essential, and when you do find a truly good one, it can be wonderful. The Tac Ruc E&E from MilitaryLuggage.com is a truly good bag. So much so that I'm considering making it my SAR bag since the things needed for an emergency bug out are much the same for an emergency SAR call-out.
UPDATE: Changed the title by removing ref to LA Times since this is an Op-Ed piece.
Nice to know that our intellectual leaders, constitutional scholars and moral arbiters in the liberal elite are on the case to let us know what we can and cannot say. This Op-Ed bit in the LA Times purports to make the legal case that the Mohammed film does not qualify as protected speech. Here is some of her argument.
In one of the most famous 1st Amendment cases in U.S. history,
Schenck vs. United States, Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes
Jr. established that the right to free speech in the United States is
not unlimited. "The most stringent protection," he wrote on behalf of a
unanimous court, "would not protect a man in falsely shouting fire in a
theater and causing a panic."
Holmes' test — that words are not
protected if their nature and circumstances create a "clear and present
danger" of harm — has since been tightened. But even under the more
restrictive current standard, "Innocence of Muslims," the film whose
video trailer indirectly led to the death of U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens among others, is not, arguably, free speech protected under the U.S. Constitution and the values it enshrines.....
The current standard for restricting speech — or punishing it after it
has in fact caused violence — was laid out in the 1969 case Brandenburg
vs. Ohio. Under the narrower guidelines, only speech that has the intent
and the likelihood of inciting imminent violence or lawbreaking can be
The case she references (Brandenburg) was s a Klan leader inciting a mob to violence. One person directly telling a group to go forth and commit illegal acts of mayhem, NOW! The Mohammed movie does a lame job of pointing out some things about him that quite a few Muslims don't like. There is no call for them to go out and kill Ambassadors. there is no call for any type of action at all. There is simply a point of view expressed that some people have decided, on their own, is out of bounds. Taking this seriously legally dubious standard, you remove all responsibility from the criminals who kill and riot and place it on another for simply saying something the mob doesn't like.
That should not be a hard concept to grasp, and yet we see far too many "educated" folks debating whether the filmmaker has gone too far, and far too few asking if it is proper for the mob to set standards of speech. The fact that someone could foresee the possibility that saying certain things will anger certain people, does not and cannot make the speaker culpable if the audience decides to go on a murderous rampage. The applicable analogy to Brandenburg would be when the Imams in the mosques last Friday told their flocks to be outraged by the insult to their prophet and take action. That is inciting someone to imminent violence. But somehow that doesn't get nearly the scrutiny.
Free speech is the cornerstone of our American exceptionalism and there is no place for appeasement of unappeasable hordes in it. The most important speech to protect is the most controversial, and that is the standard we must not alter. As far as the crying fire in a crowded theater, watch the sorely missed Christopher Hitchens demolish that and explain this som much better than me in this video.
Team Obama Gives Away CIA and SEAL names to Hollywood?!
Posted By Blackfive
This is absolutely pathetic amateur hour BULLSHIT. The pandering for this movie is a joke. The leaks only serve Team Obama and only harm our abilities to carry out operations (see Jimbo's USA Today Op-Ed post below). The ramifications on the families of these CIA and military patriots is profound.
"The CIA and DoD did not authorize the filmmakers to make the names they
shared with them public, to publicly associate the individuals with the
CIA or DoD, or to expose those individuals’ identity in any publicly
released film, and there was no reason for the CIA or DoD to have
believed that any of this would have happened," the Justice Department
brief says. "In fact, [Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence Mike]
Vickers specifically told [filmmaker] Mark Boal, in providing him with
the name of someone he could talk to, that 'the only thing we ask is
that you not reveal his name in any way as a consultant.'"
What's Team Obama going to about this one? Find some amateur donor to make a movie to distract us from the real issue? Oh wait...
Raise your hand if you want to be a part of any TS missions that will save lives and defend our country...but in the process your identity will be given to Hollywood?
Op-Ed in USA Today on SEAL author and other leakers
Posted By Uncle Jimbo
I have a piece in USA Today about what repercussions the SEAL who wrote the bin Laden piece should face. I didn't write the throw the book at him headline, but this about sums it up.
If the No Easy Day author revealed
classified information, then he deserves the full penalty of the laws he
broke. But if Pentagon officials go after him, they better work just as
hard to punish all the administration sources.
Secrets are secrets, and leaking them should get you hammered.
Since the folks inside the White House who have been non-stop publicizing this will almost certainly face zero punishment, then neither should the author. But all that accomplishes is to devalue our national security to entertainment, or worse political campaign propaganda and that is a shame.
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.