The U.S. has tacitly admitted that it is using Weapons of Mass
Destruction, WMD, in Afghanistan, Yemen, and all other places that it
conducts kinetic activity. Iraq? Tons of the stuff was deployed - and
by definition, Saddam had far more of it than you could possibly
How? How could a nation so set on PREVENTING the use of WMD end up using it in such huge quantities itself?
Simple- the U.S. has basically indicted itself.
You see, this past week the FBI released the indictment of one Eric
Harroun, 30, known to Syrians as “the American.” According to a story
in the WaPo:
The complaint says Harroun conspired to use a weapon of mass
destruction, the RPG, which carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.
He made his initial appearance in federal court Thursday.
...unless RPG technology has improved vastly since I last fired
one, there’s no possible way that it should fall into the category.
Taking out a tank or a low-flying helicopter is destructive, no doubt,
but it ain’t massive.
(A) any destructive device as defined in section 921 of this title;
(B) any weapon that is designed or intended to
cause death or serious bodily injury through the release, dissemination,
or impact of toxic or poisonous chemicals, or their precursors;
(C) any weapon involving a biological agent, toxin, or vector (as those terms are defined in section 178 of this title); or
(D) any weapon that is designed to release radiation or radioactivity at a level dangerous to human life;
Alas, following the trail to section 921, we see that:
4) The term “destructive device” means—
(A) any explosive, incendiary, or poison gas—
(iii) rocket having a propellant charge of more than four ounces,
(iv) missile having an explosive or incendiary charge of more than one-quarter ounce,
(v) mine, or
(vi) device similar to any of the devices described in the preceding clauses;
(B) any type of weapon (other than a shotgun or
a shotgun shell which the Attorney General finds is generally
recognized as particularly suitable for sporting purposes) by whatever
name known which will, or which may be readily converted to, expel a
projectile by the action of an explosive or other propellant, and which
has any barrel with a bore of more than one-half inch in diameter; and
(C) any combination of parts either designed or
intended for use in converting any device into any destructive device
described in subparagraph (A) or (B) and from which a destructive device
may be readily assembled.
So, by the very definition that the U.S. uses to prosecute criminals,
we, the good 'ol U.S. of A., is conspiring to inflict WMD across the
But how is it possible that the lowly RPG, and by association, the
40mm grenade, the 155 artillery shell, and the 81mm mortar, could be
considered a WMD? Read the definition above- if it contains more than one-quarter ounce of explosive, its a WMD. How much do these explosives hold? You can check that here. For example, the M362 HE round contains 2.10 pounds of the stuff. Pretty massive WMD, if you ask me.
The asshat Harroun definitely needs prosecuted (see Jimbo's post
below)- and introduced to a few new virgins afterwards if he is so
inclined to assist (possibly) AQ-associated groups. But to do so under
the guise that RPG's and similar munitions are WMD is beyond the pale.
What next? Do you see 30-rd magazines being slipped into this
definition? Because well, a grenade can kill only 1 person; 30-rd mags
can kill up to what, 30?
Masses, I tell you. That's mass destruction right there.
U.S law has gone beyond the ridiculous here. And we've only done it
to ourselves. But want to know something? It gets worse- just ask our
good buddy Bob Owens:
prosecutes Army veteran that conspired with wrong rebel group to shoot
10 Syrian soldiers; refuses to prosecute Attorney General than ran guns
to narco-terrorists used in 302+ murders
So they're willing to prosecute someone who fires ''WMD'' in Syria,
but not go after someone who killed U.S. citizens right here in our own
What goes around comes around, and bites you right in the ass...
Ok, I have to admit- I've been struggling with this one. I'm a bit torn, for several reasons which will become clear in a moment. But first, I want to let my good friend CSM Steve Valley say a few words on this book- he took the time to read it and send me a review; Steve and I served in Baghdad together, near the same time as this author David Abrams. I wanted another set of eyes on this to see if it were only my perceptions that were skewed. From the good CSM:
I’ll admit, as an Army Public Affairs officer that served in
Baghdad for more than a year, I was really looking forward to reading David
Abram’s book “Fobbit”. Abrams is a retired Army Master Sergeant that served at
Camp Liberty, Iraq in 2005 with the Third Infantry Division Public Affairs
Office and if anyone was going to write about the complex workings of the
Army’s wartime communications machine from an insider’s perspective then this
would be it
“Fobbit” received numerous accolades and wonderful reviews
by the biggest names in book reviewers including the trio of heavyweights—the
New York Times, Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times. This of course made
me think in the back of my head that the book is either the instant classic the
media portrayed it as (which I really thought it would be considering that a
Soldier wrote it) or it was going to be a book that made a joke of my fellow
REMFs that did great work even though there never left the Forward Operating
Base (FOB) for their entire tour in Iraq.
Unfortunately for me, the latter of the two scenarios was
the truth as “Fobbit” gave neither an accurate portrayal of a senior enlisted
public affairs NCO or for that fact, any Soldier written about in this work.
Although “Fobbit” is a novel with supposedly fictional characters, Abrams based
it on his journal that he kept during his year tour of duty in Iraq, so I bet
you can picture Abram’s former office mates arepracticing their basic rifle
marksmanship with his face as the target because of how he portrays them in the
Before I delve into why this book didn’t measure up to me
let me clear the air and say that David Abrams is a wonderfully talented writer
that shouldn’t have to worry about signing a multi-project book deal with a
major publishing house. He’s master story teller that has got a real gift for
prose. The Army has very few of these mucho-talented scribes and it will miss
Abrams because he is that good. His words flow magically from page to page and
he has created a great work of fiction, the key word being fiction, because in
my opinion, this book doesn’t come close to describing how a real public
affairs office operated in Iraq looked like.
I saw first-hand both a corps/division public affairs office
at Baghdad’s Camp Victory and the Combined Press Information Center (CPIC) in
the Green Zone and each of them differed greatly from the public affairs shops
Abrams describes in Fobbit. I saw great PAOs and some that didn’t know the
difference between an off-the-record interview and a live press conference, but
both organizations thrived in the daily quagmire working public affairs in
Baghdad during one of the most significant periods of times of the war.
On a daily basis I worked with lower enlisted Soldiers that
completed the most difficult of missions while senior officers navigated
impressively through the massive levels of bureaucracy which made it nearly
impossible to put out an effective command message, never mind the right
message. These people cared about their job and how the war was being portrayed
back home, but this facet of conducting public affairs during was was never
mentioned by Abrams.
Instead, Abrams ridiculed every level of Soldier portrayed
in “Fobbit”, from an impatient and micromanaging chief of staff to an incompetent
staff of commissioned public affairs officers hiding under their desks to avoid
senior leadership, to a completely useless and embarrassing infantry company
commander that ends up being the focal point of the story; as if anyone this
pathetic would actually be allowed to serve as a commissioned officer in
The main crux of the story is how the U.S. military is
deciding on how to report the 2,000th warrior killed in action in
Iraq. The military is hoping for a story of heroics as U.S. forces reach this
horrific milestone, while in actuality the 2,000th killed in action
is none other than the utterly useless example of a disgraced infantry captain
who was relieved from command after making bone-headed decisions in the field
cause innocent Iraqi deaths and his Soldiers immediately losing the little
amount of respect they had for him in the first place. The captain ends up the
unlucky 2,000th American killed when he’s hit with a rogue mortar
while drinking an Australian lager floating on an inner tube in a luxurious
pool at Camp Liberty.
I remember being at the CPIC in 2004 when we were planning
the strategy to announce the 1,000th U.S. military member killed in
Iraq and it was nothing like the insincere atmosphere that Abrams writes about.
This whole scene irritated me because there is absolutely nothing funny or
petty about announcing the death of a fallen warrior in fiction or in real
life. In fact, we weren’t even thinking of the story about the fallen warrior,
in as much as trying to figure out the right theme and message that the U.S.
military wanted to highlight to the American people back home whose support we
were on the verge of losing.
In my opinion, there’s a logical reason why movies like
Green Zone end up being panned by the public while books like David Bellavia’s
“House to House” become instant classics---It’s because Americans want to read
about factual stories from there service men and women no matter good or bad,
not fictional stories that make our warriors look like fools serving in
While Abrams book has done extremely well on Amazon, most
likely cashing in on the rave reviews in the main stream media, I’d bet that a
large amount of readers that actually served in uninform in Iraq would shake
their heads at the unprofessional, untalented and unskilled characters depicted
as Army Soldiers in “Fobbit”. Yes, we’ve all served with officers and NCOs that
made us wonder how they survived that long in the military, but I don’t
remember serving with anyone as incapable and flat out dumb as the main
characters in this piece of fiction.
While Fobbit is an enjoyable story, remember its pure
fiction and shouldn’t be looked at as anything remotely described as the real
life experiences of a wartime public affairs Soldier.
Let me put it succinctly: Abrams is basically trying too hard to write M*A*S*H on the backs of his fellow soldiers. He even states in his interviews that is what he's trying to do. But, based on how this book is presented, he's not taking 'literary license' with what happened- he's bashing the PA. Although the PAO world is far, far from being immune to criticism, Abrams goes a bit too far.
That, and he's NOT funny. I think that's where he falls down hardest- the humor he tries just falls flat. No laugh track? Well, maybe that would help. I'm no Seinfeld, but neither am I a 1Lt. Hauk. Abrams needs comedy writing training if he's going to do more of this.
So what's the confliction here? As I mentioned up top, trying to review this without seeming self-serving was why I have delayed posting this. See, the good CSM and I have been working a little project ourselves- Steve has a script out making its way around Hollyweird- he has been working on the writing for this for over 2 years, and enlisted some of my help to round it out. Now, he has some true heavyweights looking it over, and we hope to have good news soon. Its a far more realistic setup, and it's based on the situation in and around the Green Zone and the especially the CPIC- the Coalition Press Information Center. Nearly everything that happened in Baghdad, and to Iraq, meandered thru the CPIC in some fashion- whether it was the players, the news about it, or the situation itself- the CPIC (based in the Baghdad Convention Center) was front and center.
David, it was a bit better than you portrayed it, an a whole lot more comical at times as well...
A U.S. Army veteran was charged with conspiracy Thursday for fighting alongside a Syrian rebel group linked to al-Qaeda.
Eric Harroun, 30, known to Syrians as “the American,” crossed
into northern Syria in January and joined members of Jabhat al-Nusra to
fight against the Syrian military, according to an FBI agent’s affidavit
in support of a criminal complaint filed by prosecutors in federal
court in Alexandria.
This gets just a little interesting when you make the fairly simple assumption that we are supporting some of the rebels in Syria. We are also talking like we may be doing even more than that from our lead position in the rear. This guy just picked the wrong bunch of Anti-Assad rebels, you know that whole al Qaeda thing, and got out in front of our policy. It does start to get a tad messy when we start actively working to depose Assad, but have to start sorting out which groups to actively work with.
Thus far the folks who have been rising to take the reins in the countries blossoming in the Arab Spring year deux have been fairly oppressive and rather unsavory themselves. Mostly it seems that they have been trading tyranny for theocracy and maybe even terrorocracy. Maybe the UN can send a Special Rapporteur to the region to sort out the good guys from the bad ones. Nah that won't work, they would just end up finding a way to blame the whole thing on Israel.
UPDATE: Evidently, Bill DID serve as a Marine in Vietnam. Megyn Kelly and one of our favorites, Pete Hegseth, CEO of Concerned Veterans for America, discussed this article over at FOX News and can be seen here (one of the many places)
And he is doubling down on his "this costs too much to honor everybody." Well Bill, it also costs too much to give EVERYONE unemployment for 99 weeks and SSID too.
I probably should start with this:
He·ro·ic: adj. also he·ro·i·cal 1. Of, relating to, or resembling the heroes of literature, legend, or myth. 2. Having, displaying, or characteristic of the qualities appropriate to a hero; courageous:
Evidently, libturd columnist Bill McClellan over at the St. Louis Post Dispatch thinks he has found the way to rescue the economy and save us from the deficits that have us mortgaged to China (yeah, what could go wrong there?)
Both the federal government and the state government are broke. So why are we providing military funeral honors for all veterans? It is a nice gesture we can’t afford.
Certainly, men and women killed in combat deserve full military honors. It’s a way for the country to say, “We honor the memory of those who died in our service.” These military honors — and the thought behind them — are intended to provide some solace for the families of the fallen.
But what about the guy who spends a couple of years in the military and then gets on with his life? Bear in mind that most veterans did nothing heroic. They served, and that’s laudable, but it hardly seems necessary to provide them all with military honors after they have died.
Let me clear it up for you Bill, since it sounds to me like you either didn't serve or you served as a file clerk who never went anywhere or did anything (which does happen). I can say, having the benefit of a quarter of a century of military service behind me, I can tell you that signing on the dotted line to say that you will wear the uniform of your country and do what your country asks of you for a very specific amount of time, endure privation, pain, loss of freedom and some hardship, learn a trade or a skill, take on more responsibility than most 18 to 21 year olds understand, do all of it for low pay and then possibly die horribly or be disabled for life in the process; when others your age are sitting in a college classroom, hanging out at the Sip and Save, or working for minimum wage jobs--well, I think that sounds pretty heroic to me. Probably sounds heroic to alot of other people too. Just saying "I do solemnly swear" adds a clarity to your life that most will never know.
If we are going to talk about budget reform and the "little things" that add up to big things, how about we start with SSID being bigger than unemployment compensation and food stamps combined, welfare and the Obumbler Administration eliminating the work requirement which is outside the law for him to do, Food Stamp rolls surging 70 percent, and the 1,000 other programs that are a black hole of generational wealth redistribution instead of deciding that the 24.50 they pay the live bugler for TAPS to be played has to go?
I like that he couches the argument as a "final chance to serve your country". C'mon families and vets, that 24.50 is gonna save us! This will be your chance to take one more for the team!
You can find this intellectual lightweight and all around ass-hat to let him know your opinion at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
As long as I am in a highly PO'd mood courtesy of several factors including self-important petty tyrants making legal threats against a brother without cause or need, well, I might as well go whole hog here.
I first wrote about the despicable and disgusting treatment of PO Howse here, and explained for the slow why I was so upset here. I've been in touch with Virgin Atlantic (and no, no more free links for them), but have not heard from Sir Richard (too busy attacking the 2nd Amendment and freedom, and accusing the NRA of murdering children to reply), and I have not been able to contact PO Howse or her family despite several efforts to do so. That's important, as until a statement is made by her or a representative, the matter is still open as there is no other way to know if she has accepted the apology and/or anything has been done to try to make up for the shameful humiliation to which she was unconscionably subjected.
Virgin's official statement will be below the fold, but I'm not impressed with it. See my parsing of statements in the previous stories as to why. Feh.
Sir Richard's contacting PO Howse was via e-mail, apparently too busy talking about being nice to women to do anything substantive about his staff humiliating her. At least the head of customer service had the balls to call her in person.
No real answers to any of the questions I asked, the statement is all they are saying as they hope this quickly fades away (and swept under the rug one can imagine). Well, I think you can count on my not forgetting, and continuing to follow-up on this.
Meantime, no links and no business to any part of the Virgin empire if I can help it: Virgin Air, Virgin Mobile, Virgin Travel, Virgin Entertainment, etc. When the founder can't be bothered to call someone wronged as badly as PO Howse was; when it is far more important to talk about supporting women rather than fixing when his empire clearly wronged a woman; and, when it is far more important to attack freedoms in another country because of his, er, shortcomings -- well, that's time for me to take my business elsewhere. What you do is up to you, but at least you have some food for thought as you decide.
Also, Virgin Atlantic and Sir Richard, the questions I asked in the first two stories still stand. Anyone there have the fortitude and integrity to answer them?
UPDATE/NOTE: G4S also issued a pseudo-apology over the deliberate and despicapble actions of their "officer." Does anyone have the fortitude to simply say "we screwed up, we are sorry, and we are doing X, Y, & Z to make sure it doesn't happen again" ??? Is it really that freaking hard?
UPDATE: Sadly, it appears the USO has doubled down on stupid. There will be more to come from TSO, who is livid right now over the response received. With this coming on top of reports that the USO is going after the "One Boy USO" as well, it seems that someone has indeed shot themselves higher than in the foot. If there is any adult in charge at the USO, please step forward, you are urgently needed.
When I read this post over at TAH, my jaw hit the floor. I think a lot of the USO overall, and know that it is not a monolithic organization, and that there are in fact several USOs because of the national USO going away for a while years ago. That said, there is the big USO, and the ones like the USO of Indiana that are part of but separate from the big one.
Seems someone at the big USO got their panties in a twist over a four-year-old post by The Sniper and demanded he take down his blog. What's more, no one at the district or national seems to know how to respond to e-mails, even when they've been given the f*****g e-mail addy four or more times. A chirpy comment on a post is NOT an acceptable response and in fact is pretty damn amateurish and unhelpful IMO. If you can't be bothered to respond to e-mails sent multiple times by the legal representative for the person you are going after, don't make things worse by pretending you don't have it.
The Sniper has a response, and I sincerely hope that the adults get involved and deal with this issue. I think Dallas might need a new director, one who has a brain, courage, inegrity, and more. For me, I have no faith or confidence in the lady currently in charge, much less whoever is helping her at HQ. I also think I'm going to continue doing what I can for the USO of Indiana, who does a great job looking after troops in Indiana (and special call out to the wonderful people at Camp Atterbury!).
Again, the USO has done a lot of good, and it is a shame that someone in their organization is trying so hard to destroy that, and to drive a wedge between the milblogs and the USO. I sincerely hope that is not some new corporate policy, as I would love to be able to continue to support the USO.
Mr. Sinise, if you still read here, help please? Any adult at HQ? The Dallas director has administered a shot to the foot, and I would hate to see it move up any higher than it already has. Keep in mind, you attack one, you attack all and like The Sniper, I hate bullies.
Working at Blackfive does have benefits. Right after getting to meet good and interesting people, the best benefit is finding good things. Those who have met me know I like good food and drink, possibly a little more than I should. Good coffee is something I appreciate, and I know others do too -- particularly out in the field. I made friends on embed by bringing good coffee with me.
I wish that I could have had Lock-N-Load Java with me for those embeds. The kind folks at Lock-N-Load have sent me some of their products to try, and I (and my hosts) are very much enjoying the opportunity.This isn't a company that just does your standard blend and roast, but one that is dedicated to providing the finest coffees for all range of uses.
This week's review is of the sampler pack of their Task Force Zulu premium single origin coffees. As a coffee snob appreciator, I like single-origin coffee. In fact, I had a favorite for making in a french press on those days that called for a really good start to the day. Any of these coffees will give you that.
Our tour started with the amazing Papua New Guinea. Amazing is not too strong a word, as this medium roast coffee has a good body, wonderful flavor(s), clean finish, and absolutely no bitterness. The write-up talks about dried fruits and other notes, and they are indeed there. If you like complex coffees that are balanced and with no bitterness, this is a great coffee to try. My host likes cold coffee, as in iced, and not every coffee holds up to that -- and this one did with even more notes and flavors coming out.
Next up was the light roast Rwandan. As I noted on Facebook, it has a good body and flavor, with hints of plum and fruit. The body is a bit lighter, but not weak. The finish was good, and the overall flavor truly is unique. If you like a lighter roast and coffee, without loss of flavor or complexity, you should try this one.
Then we tried their Ethiopian coffee. Let me preface this by saying that a particular Ethiopian coffee is my favorite mentioned above, and I benchmark other coffees against it. Despite not being made in a french press, and being a medium light roast instead of a darker roast, the Lock-N-Load Java Ethiopian more than held its own. This is a solid coffee with rich complex flavor, hints of fruit and herbs (to me), and a clean finish. I really want to try this in a french press and compare to what I normally get/got.
Finally, we tried the Costa Rican. I put it off because my host has not had good luck with Costa Rican coffees before, but this one may have changed that for him. It has a solid body, with the hints of sweetness for which Costa Rican coffee is known. A light roast, it is flavorful and presents the best qualities of Costa Rican coffees.
Now, I know I've talked about a french press a few times here, and for more than one reason. To me, it is about the best way to make coffee there is. Sadly, my glass french press is not able to travel with me because, well, it's glass. For those in the field, that is a drawback. Well, not anymore as thanks to Lock-N-Load Java you can get a stainless steel french press to go into the field with you. And, yes, this is now on my Amazon Wish List.
Oh, did I forget to mention that the company is veteran owned, has an option for you to ship coffee to the troops, and does other good work? Well, here you go and more is coming on some of those good works. Stay tuned.
It's also not just me that likes them. Check out this review at TAH.
This is an annual repost honoring Casey Sheehan who gave his life in a fight to save his brothers on a Palm Sunday, seven years ago...
Casey Sheehan grew up in a devout Catholic home. He served as an altar boy and then as a key member of his church's youth group for years.
When he was old enough, Casey joined the Boy Scouts, becoming the very second Eagle Scout out of his troop.
He enlisted in the Army when he was twenty years old. He decided to be a mechanic. He would undergo Combat Lifesaver training - a class on how to give IVs and treat trauma only second in intense learning to combat medic training. He was also certified to assist with giving communion to soldiers while in the field.
Specialist Sheehan re-enlisted in the Army in 2004 knowing full well that he could be sent into a combat zone.
Casey Sheehan was a Humvee mechanic with the 1st Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment.
On April 3rd, 2004, forces loyal to Shi'ite cleric Muqtada al'Sadr stormed police stations and government offices in Sadr City (a city of over 2 million). They knew the Americans would come, and they wanted a fight. Muqtada Sadr was working them up into a religious frenzy. And he had his thugs murder anyone who he thought might stand in his way - even other Shi'ite clerics. His forces were known as the Mahdi Army.
American forces quickly surrounded Muqtada al'Sadr's quarters.
On April 4th, 2004, al'Sadr's Mahdi forces blocked roadways and bridges with burning tires, vehicles and trash. Visibility was less than 300 meters anywhere in the city. They began to attack American vehicles on patrol throughout Sadr City - some were protecting Shia worshipers (Holy Arbayeen) while others were escorting city government vehicles.
A battle raged across Sadr City. Insurgents assaulted American troops while looters and mobs formed and stormed through the streets. Word spread quickly across the American FOBs that there was trouble.
Soldiers of the 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment were ambushed with RPGs and pinned down and dying. While fighting off an attack himself, the Commander of the 2/5th, LTC Volesky, called for help. A Quick Reaction Force (QRF) was formed of volunteers - their mission was to go out and rescue the American troops.
Casey Sheehan's Sergeant asked for volunteers. Sheehan had just returned from Mass. After Sheehan volunteered once, the Sergeant asked Sheehan again if he wanted to go on the mission. According to many reports (and according to his own mother), Casey responded, "Where my Chief goes, I go."
The QRF was launched. Not long after entering the Mahdi area, the QRF was channeled onto a dead-end street where the roofs were lined with snipers, RPGs, and even some militia throwing burning tires onto the vehicles. The Mahdi blocked the exit and let loose with everything they had.
Sheehan's vehicle was hit with multiple RPGs and automatic-weapons fire.
Specialist Casey Sheehan and Corporal Forest J. Jostes were killed.
A second QRF was formed - all volunteers - to go rescue the first. Specialist Ahmed Cason was hit in the second QRF - but kept fighting until he bled to death.
They were Spc. Robert R. Arsiaga, Spc. Ahmed Cason, Sgt. Yihjyh L. "Eddie" Chen, Spc. Stephen D. Hiller, Spc. Israel Garza, Cpl. Forest J. Jostes, and Sgt. Michael W. Mitchell.
It was Palm Sunday.
Palm Sunday commemorates the day that Jesus entered Jerusalem. Back then, the palm frond was a symbol of victory - laid beneath the feet of those of the highest honor and triumph. Some believe it was this honor fit for a king that forced Jesus's enemies to act and crucify him.
In recognition of Casey, the Catholic Chapel at Fort Hood, Texas (where Sheehan was stationed) named the Knights of Columbus chapter the "Casey Austin Sheehan Council".
Casey also received the Bronze Star for his Valor that day.
Lt. Gen. Robert Brown, First Corps Commander, presents Sgt. Peter Cimpoes with the Silver Star Medal at 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment's award ceremony March 20, 2013 at St. Martin University's Marcus Pavilion in Lacey, Wash. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. David T. Chapman)
From the 75th Ranger Regiment:
Sgt. Cimpoes received the award for his actions during a night combat operation in Ghazni Province, Afghanistan, Oct. 11, 2012. During a heavy firefight with enemy insurgents in a targeted compound, Sgt. Cimpoes climbed to the roof of a one story building in order to reach two wounded Rangers. Once Sgt. Cimpoes reached the roof, he selflessly exposed himself to enemy fire and engaged and killed three enemy insurgents, who were as close as five meters away, with direct fire and grenades. Sgt. Cimpoes then maintained his suppressive fire against two additional barricaded shooters allowing other Rangers to evacuate the wounded from the roof to a casualty collection point. His actions ultimately saved the lives of two of his fellow Rangers.
If PO Howse, or any of her friends or family, read this, I would very much like to speak with you or a representative. Please contact me via blake at blakepowersDOTnet or Facebook. I would very much appreciate it.
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.