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May 2008

Pelosi credits Iran for Success in Iraq

H/T Reader Cary and Ace.
I am beyond the ability to be stunned by Nancy Pelosi any more. She is not bright and unafraid to put political gain and backstabbing above everything. Here she credits recent success not to US and Iraqi efforts but to the goodwill od the freakin' Iranians.

And some of the success of the surge is that the goodwill of the Iranians-they decided in Basra when the fighting would end, they negotiated that cessation of hostilities-the Iranians.

Here is the House Harridan disrespecting our troops, our allies troops and the newest democracy in the Middle East. Download PelosiAudioSm.mov

What a treacherous bunch the Democrats are.


    "Some people wonder all their lives if they've made a difference. The Marines don't have that problem." - President Ronald Reagan


A Marine AH-1A Super Cobra fast-attack helicopter passes by the amphibious assault ship USS Tarawa during sunset over the Pacific Ocean, May 21, 2008. The USS Tarawa is on a scheduled deployment to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility operating in the western Pacific and Indian oceans. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Daniel A. Barker.


U.S. Marines patrol the deserts of the Salah Ad Din province, Iraq, May 16, 2008. The Marines are assigned to 1st Platoon, Company A, 2nd Light Armor Reconnaissance, Task Force Mech, Ground Combat Element, Multinational Force West.    U.S Marine photo by Sgt. Rome M. Lazarus.


U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Alex C. Brilla high-fives a young Iraqi girl during a school supply mission, May 23, 2008, in western Al Anbar province, Iraq. The platoon has been visiting and supplying the school for more than a month.    U.S. Marine Corps photo.

US defies world, maintains right to kill children

The world community led by UK Wuss in Chief Gordon Brown have agreed to ban the use of cluster bomb munitions. The action is taken due to concerns that not all of the bomblets explode and they constitute a risk to children similar to land mines. Here was the US response from a PA officer I met while down in Tampa.

    In staying away from Dublin, U.S officials argued that the talks were not the right forum in which to address the issue and that cluster bombs remain an important part of the country's weaponry. "While the United States shares the humanitarian concerns of those in Dublin," said Navy Cmdr. Bob Mehal, a Pentagon spokesman, "cluster munitions have demonstrated military utility, and their elimination from U.S. stockpiles would put the lives of our soldiers and those of our coalition partners at risk."

I would think it was simple enough to see that as the only superpower we are obligated to be able to counter just about any threat up to and including if the Russians or Chinese decide to roll tanks again. It is one thing to require that there is a plan to dispose of or disable these devices once used, but entirely another to say we shouldn't have them. It gets very stale to be providing the security blanket that allows global trade to happen, and to have to listen to the clueless mewling of those who fail to grasp the concept.

Rachel Stohl, senior analyst at the Center for Defense Information in Washington, said the Pentagon gets "nervous" over discussions on restricting use of a weapons system it has in its arsenal and has used in previous conflicts.

She said the fact that in the past five years no situation has arisen in which U.S. forces have needed cluster bombs should show that they are not critical to modern warfare.

"The fact that these 100-plus countries have been able to come together and develop a convention text signifies that the rest of the world is ready to move forward with international agreements that are pro-humanity," Stohl said. "In the end, the victims of cluster munitions have won.

This moistened bint is dim enough to cite a five year span in which we used no cluster bombs as proof we don't need them. Good Lord, that fails to make even a mite of sense; half our arsenal would be scrapped if this silly pacifist had her way. I hate to bust her bubble but the mission of the US military in wartime is very anti-humanity. You see Rachel, bombs are designed to kill people that is their job and in the end if we use them well and kill enough bad people then the nice batches of humanity you champion can live free without the possibility of being fed into industrial shredders. Thanks for playing you silly twit.

Marine Jailed Over Memorial Day Weekend for Exercising 5th Amendment

    "Out of every 100 men, ten shouldn't even be there, Eighty are just targets, Nine are the real fighters, and we are lucky to have them, for they make the battle. Ah, but the one, one is a warrior, and he will bring the others back." - Hericletus, circa 500 BC

Update 3 (05-29-08):  Just heard about the hearing.  Sergeant Jermaine Nelson has been released from jail on the promise that he will "listen to the prosecutors' questions in the future and respond under direction from counsel."


I believe that doesn't mean much other than, of course, that this is not over.  Far from over.

The good news is that Sergeant Nelson will not have to spend another night with drug dealers and gangsters in jail.  Sergeant Nelson's attorney, Joseph Low, asked us to pass this on to you: "Please tell Blackfive that I think your efforts and supporters really made the difference here."

With less than 24 hours notice, dozens of emails were sent (including some from family members) and over 30 people showed up to support Sergeant Nelson.  Hopefully, we can post pictures soon.

Once again, this proves that you all are the best community on the planet.

Update 2 (05-29-08): The hearing will be at about 11am Pacific time today.  Stay tuned.  Will be posting some of your letters of support (minus identifying info) after the Jump.

Update 1 (05-28-08): It appears that the judge wants to move the hearing tomorrow to avoid the many military supporters who plan on attending.  WARNING ORDER:  Be ready to move to new hearing location.  I will post more information (when I receive any updates) right here.  Nothing changed.  Hearing will be as stated below.

    "Detached reflection cannot be demanded in the face of an uplifted knife." - Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, Oliver Wendell Holmes

First of all, Sergeant Jermaine Nelson needs our support.  Second, he needs some help.  If anyone knows of a habeus corpus specialist in DC, email me.  More details on support are at the bottom of the post.

I have a few things brewing right now and this is one case where I need all of you to help out.  If you google about this case, you'll find a lot of information that contradicts the facts.  In fact, a few media stories have the incident in the wrong battle of Fallujah and have claimed that the house where the incident occurred was demolished, when in fact, it was not.  It's actually been reoccupied by it's original owners and visited by NCIS investigators.

Now, the story behind this mess...

Sergeant Jermaine Nelson enlisted in the Marines in 2001 at the age of 19.  Nelson was a member of 3rd Squard, 3rd Platoon, Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines.  We have posted about them here several times as the Third Herd and their heroics have chronicled in many places.

Nelson's squad leader was Sgt. Jose Luis Nazario.  The others in the squad were Nelson, Ryan Weemer, Juan Segura, James Prentice, and Corey Carlisle.

On November 9th, D+2, 3/1 entered Fallujah as part of Operation Phantom Fury.  Weeks before, leaflets had been dropped into the city telling everyone to leave who didn't want a fight or who didn't want to die.  250,000 civilians fled Fallujah.  Intelligence estimates stated that a few thousand well armed, highly motivated Al Qaeda fighters occupied the city - the estimates also stated that the AQI fighters were most likely drugged to amp up their courage and energy and also that the terrorists knew our ROE and planned to use that knowledge to their advantage.

The mission of 3/1 was to protect the tanks entering the city by moving and fighting house to house.  One house, one block, one street at a time. Their fight, at times, was hand to hand. 

Sergeant Nazario's squad moved along Phase Line Henry.  They had been taking fire from a nearby house, when a sniper bullet struck home, between the SAPI plates in Lance Corporal Juan E. Segura's protective vest.  He died, bleeding out, holding the hand of Ryan Weemer, his room mate and best friend.

The Marines fought back and entered the house. 

Here, the accounts vary greatly.  What is not in contention is that four to eight insurgents occupied a house with weapons and ammo and spent casings.  Those insurgents had been shooting at the Marines and had killed Segura.   The Al Qaeda attempted surrender.

They died.

Later, the squad members had the opportunity to save each other - some more than once.  In fact, Ryan Weemer was in the Hell House where he was shot three times.  He survived that fight along side of Sergeant Major Brad Kasal whom you all should (damn well better) know.

The Thundering Third would have over 30 Marines killed in action and over 600 wounded.  The Marines suffered over 100 killed in Phantom Fury.  There are estimates that the Marines killed over 2.000 insurgents and captured 1,000.

Last July, Ryan Weemer, out of the active Marine Corps, was undergoing polygraph testing to serve as White House Secret Service security guard.  He was asked if he ever witnessed an unlawful death while in Fallujah.  He answered "yes".  According to affadavits, Nazario, Weemer and Nelson shot the insurgents.  The Navy Criminal Investigation Service (NCIS) had investigator Mark Fox look into the claims.   He spent fourteen months on the case.  I believe he is the same investigator on the Haditha case.  He seems to be focused on the Thundering Third. In fact, the first time he brought these charges, they were dropped by the Marines.  Now, after a change in command, he has brought them again and LTG Hellmand has ordered a court martial.

And it gets more murky as the civilian courts get involved...

Gidget Fuentes of the Marine Corps Times reports:

...In 2005, after fighting in Iraq and spending eight years in the Corps, Nazario joined the police department in Riverside, Calif., a growing city east of Los Angeles, where he and his wife settled with their new baby.

But today, from his parents’ house in upstate New York, his future, his finances and his freedom are in doubt.

Nazario, 28, was ending his police shift Aug. 7, 2007, when he was called into his supervisor’s office for bad news: He was facing federal felony charges of voluntary manslaughter for his part in shooting several men to death. Nazario and his infantry squad allegedly encountered the men inside a house during combat operations in Iraq...

Because Jose Nazario is a civilian, now, and no longer subject to recall by the Marines, NCIS agent Mark Fox asked the US District Attorney to charge Nazario with murder.  Nazario was working as a Riverside, California, Police Officer, when he was arrested.  Because he had less than 3 weeks before his probationary period was over, he was fired from the Riverside Police Department.

How can a former Marine be charged in a US court for an alleged crime in Iraq that occurred four years ago?

Jose Nazario has been charged under the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act (MEJA) passed by Congress in 2000. MEJA allows a service member serving overseas to be prosecuted in civilian court for offenses that call for more than one year of imprisonment. 

And now a liberal court in California is trying to set a precedent by trying Sergeant Nazario.

During the week of March 21st, Ryan Weemer was recalled to active duty by the Marines with the intent to try him at a court martial for murder.

Sergeant Jermaine Nelson is pending court martial at Camp Pendleton for murder.  He could receive life imprisonment.

Over at Defend the Marines, Nat Helms writes:

...Moments later, after a conversation with Nazario, Carlisle told Fox that he forcibly ushered away LCpl James L Prentice, a squad member eager to kill another prisoner at Nazario’s behest. Nazario says the conversation never happened.

Carlisle said Prentice was angered that LCpl Juan Segura had just died after being shot outside the house moments before they assaulted it. After convincing Prentice not to get involved Weemer, Prentice, and Carlisle left the building, he claimed.

During the two minutes it took to exit the building, Carlisle said he heard three more shots that he presumed to be Nazario finishing off the three combatants in his custody.

Weemer initially revealed the alleged incident during a job interview for a uniformed Secret Service position in Washington, D.C. in 2006, he said. The allegations came to light when Weemer told federal investigators he had witnessed the unlawful killings while serving under Nazario in Iraq.

After his revelations were passed on to the Naval Criminal Investigative Service in late 2006, NCIS began a 14-month investigation into the alleged killings.

In Fox’s subsequent affidavit in support of his complaint against Nazario filed last August Fox claimed that Nazario—in the heat of combat—killed two prisoners in retaliation for the death of his friend Lance Cpl. Juan Segura. He believes Nelson and Weemer killed two other prisoners.

Nazario denies the event happened and Weemer initially claimed that he was merely a witness to the incident. When revealing the alleged killings for the first time to a reporter in the spring of 2006, Weemer claimed that his squad had chased eight Iraqis into the building where they later died...

Helms also posted a copy of the charges here.

Although there is no forensic evidence (no bodies, graves, grieving family members, Iraqi witnesses, damage, etc.), the US attorney filed charges against Nazario and ordered Nelson to testify before a secret grand jury.  Sergeant Nelson refused.  The US attorney offered immunity from charges in Federal and military courts.  Nelson refused three times - the last, on his knees in prayer, tears streaming down his face, but resolute, knowing he was going to jail for not complying with the judge's orders. The judge, US District Court Judge Percy Anderson, charged Nelson with contempt.

Sergeant Jermaine Nelson spent Memorial Day weekend in jail in LA.  He is still imprisoned and will appear before Judge Percy Anderson tomorrow. 

Sergeant Nelson's attorney said that one of the reasons that he did not testify against Sergeant Nazario was because Nazario had saved his life several times.

You can Google this case and see the differing stories behind that day on November 9th.  I've struggled with this myself, talked to the attorneys, and come to the conclusion that the ROE, the command climate and other aspects of hand to hand combat in Fallujah will show that these Marines did what they had to do.  I doubt that a civilian kangaroo court will understand that.  But at the end of the day, these men will be free.  These Marines deserve to be free.

I believe that those who disagree will be proven wrong.

Jermaine Nelson said the the Marines were the only ones who ever cared about him.  Let's show the good sergeant that he's wrong about that.  There are a few ways that you can help this Marine:

Sgt Jermaine Nelson's next court date is Thursday 29 May 2008 in Los Angeles.

    MUSTER: 1000 HRS 29 MAY 2008
    312 N. SPRING STREET, LOS ANGELES, CA 90012-4793

Get the word out to the military, reserve, retired, and veteran  communities so that as many as possible can show up in support.

Using the LA Metro to get to the Federal Court house in LA:

    From the San Fernando Valley:
    Parking at either Lankershim or  Universal stations is a problem. You may need to find street parking nearby.  If  possible take the Orange Bus line to the Lankershim station.

    Take the Red Line and get off at The Civic center station. Walk east on Tom Bradley two blocks to Spring st. Turn right (north) on Spring, walk one block to Courthouse. 5-10 minute walk

    From Hollywood:
    one can catch the Redline as well.

    From Long Beach or south LA:
    take the Blue line to 7th st. Metro Center, transfer to the red line for two stops, get off at the Civic center station, follow walking directions above.

    From Pasadena:
    Via the Gold Line, as you exit Union Station to Alameda (there is another exit in back), you will be facing the end of Los Angeles Street, go straight onto it, and it turns left to head south.  Proceed directly across the 101 freeway bridge, to Aliso and Turn right.  One block to Main, turn Left, court entrance is mid-block.

    The Courthouse occupies a full block, bordered by N Main, Aliso, N Spring, and W Temple.  There are entries at both Spring (wheelchair access), and Main (not wheelchair accessible) streets.

If you cannot attend than write or call to signal your support of this decorated combat veteran who is being coerced to turn on a fellow Marine.  Keep it professional and to the point:

    Hon. Percy Anderson
    Courtroom No.: 15
    312 N Spring St
      Los Angeles, CA 90012-4701
    213-894-1795 ( if there is no answer  leave a message)

And you can write the prosecutor:

    ATTN: Jerry Behnke, Assistant United States Attorney
    3880 Lemon Street
    Suite 210
    Riverside, California 92501
    Telephone: (951) 276-6210
    Fax: (951) 276-6202

Also, another way to help is to donate to the Sgt Nelson Defense Fund, set up via PayPal. Sergeant Nelson's attorney is former Marine Joe Low who is representing Nelson Pro Bono (but there are a lot of costs that Mr. Low is assuming - including hiring legal specialists, travel, court costs, etc.)

To donate, follow these instructions:

    1) go to www.paypal.com and login. If you don't have a PayPal account you will need to register
    2) once logged into PayPal, click on Send Money
    3) enter the email address of Sgt Nelson's attorney ([email protected]), the dollar amount you wish to donate and check the Service/Other box, click Send Money at bottom of page.
    4) enter billing info for the credit card
    5) enter Sgt Nelson Defense Fund in the subject line and add a message to Sgt Nelson if you like
    6) make the donation

Also, if anyone knows a habeas corpus specialist in the DC area willing to help, please contact meWe should get Sergeant Nelson out of jail as soon as possible.

One last note.  If you want to send a note to Jermaine Nelson, email me, SUBJECT: NELSON and I'll get it to him.

Blackfive Gear- Don't be a DouChe' T-shirts 4 sale

OK people, the Blackfive Gear shop is officially soft-launched. The first batch of Don't be a DouChe' shirts are being printed and you may pre-order them here and now. They come in Army Green with the new Blackfive logo across the back and Che's defaced face on the front. Just follow the link and you can order your very own, guaranteed to piss off the left. Mr. Sparkle email me with mailing info as one of your fans has bought you a shirt, congrats. They cost $20 and $5 to ship. We have already sold 4 in the first 15 minutes. Heh.

T-Shirt Xtra-Large

T-shirt Large

T-Shirt Medium

T-Shirt Small



US uses wrong bullets- "These cans are defective"

Since they can't hammer the military and W over progress in Iraq any more, the AP has moved on to resurrecting ages-old arguments like which round we should shoot. The title of the piece is telling with it's accusatory tone

US uses bullets ill-suited for new ways of war

Strange as it sounds, nearly seven years into the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, bullets are a controversial subject for the U.S.

The smaller, steel-penetrating M855 rounds continue to be a weak spot in the American arsenal. They are not lethal enough to bring down an enemy decisively, and that puts troops at risk, according to Associated Press interviews.

Excuse me, we invented an entirely new way of war? I don't think so, I'm pretty sure we are still pointing our guns at bad guys and making holes in them with bullets. That's pretty standard since gunpowder came about. Now we have an AP reporter, clueless as a hog looking at a wristwatch, finding out that experts are all sure about one thing, bigger bullets make bigger holes. No shit? By that logic our front-line combat troops ought to be equipped with M-105 personal howitzers. One shot one kill, right? The non-alcoholic beer served in theater is not potent enough to get the troops drunk decisively according to Uncle J interviews. There was a study asking combat vets if they believed that bigger rounds would help.

in 2006, the Army asked a private research organization to survey 2,600 soldiers who had served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Nearly one-fifth of those who used the M4 and M16 rifles wanted larger caliber bullets.

So their major data point is that 20% of the troops they asked wanted bigger bullets, is that even a significant number? Second, did they ask them how mush they would enjoy humping another 20 lbs. of freakin' ammo around? What a joke. I am hoping this Chief was quoted out of context, because this statement makes no sense at all.

"The bullet does exactly what it was designed to do. It just doesn't do very well at close ranges against smaller-statured people that are lightly equipped and clothed," says Alexander, who spent most of his 26-year military career with the 5th Special Forces Group.

As opposed to it's effects on large-statured, heavily-equipped and clothed people?

There are many reasons why our troops are outfitted with M4 5.56 caliber guns, and you can find as many experts who will argue that the advantages of more and lighter rounds outweigh the advantage of a weightier round. Well, opinions are like bungholes everyone has one and the AP's opinion is to highlight anything they think reflects badly on our military leadership. I assume the expose on the pitiful stopping power of the 9mm v. the .45 is next. Apologies to all those who take these arguments deadly seriously. I think they are near enough to a wash and affected by so many factors they are not resolvable. The AP is simply looking to stir up controversy and sling mud.

Memorial Day: Remembrance

Others speak far more eloquently than I this day, so I simply say to you:

If you see someone in uniform, or know they serve, thank them.

If you see someone you know has served, thank them.

Remember those who paid the ultimate price so that you are free to celebrate this day as you see fit; that paid that price such tyranny has been halted many times large and small; and, that gave unto each of us that greater love such that one laid down their life for another. Take a moment, if possible make it a special moment with family and friends, and simply remember them.

Remember them with thanks, with love, with joy, and celebration, for they would want it that way.


Memorial Day Coffee For The Troops

When I wrote about Community Coffee and their troop special the other day, I didn't know that yet another coffee company was doing something special for the troops as well (I either missed a memo or a staff meeting). Green Beans Coffee literally serves the troops at FOBs and other interesting locations, and they have a special going on TODAY(!) to benefit TAPS and Soldier's Angels.

Stolen shamelessly from MaryAnn:

May 22, 2008 Pasadena, CA - Green Beans Coffee Company (GBCC) announces the “Memorial Day Green Beans Coffee Special.”

For every purchase made on May 26, 2008 at any location worldwide or online, Green Beans Coffee will donate $1 from your order to the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) and Soldier’s Angels.

Green Beans Coffee has made a name for itself providing top-of-the-line coffee for U.S. troops stationed in war zones across the globe. They have more than 55 frontline locations in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Africa and other overseas locales. They have won the hearts and minds of the troops with quality coffee drinks and baked goods. Their cafés provide a safe, inviting respite for soldiers in dangerous lands.

Jason and Jon Araghi founded Green Beans Coffee in 1996. Its first store, Art Nouveau Café, was located in Saudi Arabia. The café became popular with local U.S. soldiers, who asked the brothers to open a café on a nearby military base. Green Beans Coffee grew with the U.S. military as its footprint expanded in Southwest Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Today, there are more than 55 Green Beans cafés worldwide. Green Beans Coffee Company believes in giving back to its customers that serve in the United States military.

The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) provides a wonderful support network for the surviving families of those who have died in service to America. For more information visit www.taps.org.

Soldiers’ Angels is a grassroots 501(c)(3) non-profit comprised of 200,000 volunteers in over twenty different teams and programs with unique and effective ways to support members of the U.S. military. Soldiers’ Angels operates internationally to provide letters, care packages, and comfort items to the deployed, and support for their families at home. They also provide assistance to the wounded, continuing support for veterans, remembrances and comfort for families of the fallen and immediate response to unique situations. For more information, see www.soldiersangels.org or call (615) 676-0239.

For more information, visit www.greenbeanscoffee.com
Contact: [email protected]
Phone: US (415) 461-4023
Phone: Intl: +965-697-2223

So, you have two ways to help get good coffee to the troops. Please go do one, or both.