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September 2010

Tony Curtis, 1925-2010

Rest in Peace, Tony Curtis.  Not only a Hollywood icon, a former WW 2 Navy sailor.

Tony Curtis passed away today at age 85.  He was always a good one, enjoyable to watch in those movies back in the late 50s like “Some Like It Hot“, as the Great Leslie in “The Great Race” and, of course “Operation Petticoat”, the yarn of the US Navy submarine USS Sea Tiger and its mad cap adventures in the opening days of WW2 – highlighted by its ending up being painted pink..

In addition to being a pretty good actor (Academy Award nomination in 1958 for The Defiant Ones), Curtis was also a Navy man, serving aboard USS Proteus, a submarine tender, during WW2 and watched the surrender of Japan from his ship about a mile away.


Rest your oar, sailor.  Thanks for your service and all that you did to make us smile.

Some photos of the submarine used in Operation Petticoat, USS Balao, are over on my Instapinch blog.  The sail of the Balao is now on display on the Washington Navy Yard - painted in Navy gray, unfortunately.

Pakistan Blocks Our Supply Convoys

[Let's try this again - didn't publish my comments]

I found the following story on the NPR iPhone App:
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=130234301&sc=17&f=1001Pakistan Blocks NATO Supply Route To Afghanistan
by The Associated Press
The Associated Press - September 30, 2010Pakistan blocked a vital supply route for U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan on Thursday in apparent retaliation for an alleged cross-border helicopter strike by the coalition that killed three Pakistani frontier troops.The blockade appeared to be a major escalation in tensions between Pakistan and the United States...


Well, perhaps the border guards should wear uniforms instead of man jammies....and stop allowing the Taliban to cross the border...and from launching mortars.

Most likely though, this is the Pakistan government's show for Pakistanis upset at our high level intel officials visiting Pakistan.

See this: http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2010/09/29/cia_chief_leon_panetta_briefs_pakistan_intelligence_chief_on_major_attack

John Brennan's gotta go

I am not a John Brennan fan so it takes near zero effort to get behind a call by a well-respected group of national security professionals calling for the exit of Obama's CounterTerror chief. The simple reason is that we cannot have a person in this job who is unable to even articulate the name of the enemy we fight.His latest embarrassment involved a Hamas operative who has been sported about to some of our most sensitive CT facilities as part of a Muslim Outreach program. The folks behind the call for the boot are:

Frank Gaffney, President, Center for Security Policy

Lieutenant General William G. “Jerry” Boykin U.S. Army (Ret.), former

Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence

Admiral James “Ace” Lyons, U.S. Navy (Ret.), former Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet

Patrick Poole, Counterterrorism Expert

Clare Lopez, former CIA Officer

“Deputy National Security Advisor John Brennan must resign his post immediately,” said Mr. Gaffney, whose Center for Security Policy sponsored Team B II’s recently released report entitled, Shariah: The Threat to America.  “Mr. Brennan is, at best, willfully blind to the threat posed to the homeland and national security of the United States by those who adhere to shariah.  In the wake of this recent episode at the National Counterterrorism Center, in which the FBI gave a guided tour of one of our most sensitive counter-terrorism facilities to a known Hamas operative, it is clear that the cluelessness fostered by Mr. Brennan is causing an empowering of the wrong sorts of Muslims in America – and endangering the American people.  As the Team B II report documents, this is not an isolated incident.  Rather, it is emblematic of misbegotten and reckless policies that can only be corrected by a change in leadership at the top of the Nation’s homeland security team.”

They also just released a report called "Shariah- The Threat to America" on the worldwide enemy who has engaged us in a very Long War struggle. They have aligned themselves as a modern analogue to the Cold War era Team B which offered alternative looks and suggestions about major national security issues.

I think this effort is much needed and the light these folks are shining is vital. We are experiencing a shake up of American political culture domestically. This should also include a long hard look at America's place in the world, the threats we face and what we are going to do to change that calculus in our favor. This is a good step down that path.

Stuxnet's effects on Iranian nuclear program

Since we are fighting Iran in both Iraq and Afghanistan, it's nice every once in a while to see some progress. The Stuxnet worm is currently hammering Iran's industrial computers such as those found in their nuclear plants, and while the Iranian Revolutionary Geek Squad is trying to get a handle on the worm, more versions appear. But the secondary effects of Stuxnet may be more damaging than the infection itself (from The US Report):

“Since Iran's nuclear program in all probability would be a 'closed' system – without internet access – an individual would have had to carry a thumb drive into the facility and insert that into the system,” said Fred Burton, Stratfor's Vice President of Intelliegence in a video report available to members of Stratfor, a global intelligence company.

Burton says that the resulting investigation could have a more profound effect on the nuclear program than the infection itself, planting a “seed of paranoia among the managers and bosses, and everybody in the workplace becomes scrutinized as a potential leak.”

Burton also surmised that if this were in fact a covert action by a nation-state, evidence could be planted implicating key scientists or engineers.

And in case you missed it, Venezuela's state-run Conviasa Airlines has shut down its flights between Caracas, Syria, and Iran. From Fox News:

Intelligence analysts with both the CIA and Israel said that, despite the listing of the flight as a regular commercial route and a code share with Iran air -- Flight IR744 is also Flight VO3744 -- there was no way that anyone could buy a ticket and travel without being vetted by the Venezuelan or Iranian government.  And without passport controls, flight manifests and other documents, it meant some of the world's most dangerous men could travel without fear of being uncovered.

Iran has been shuttling agents to the Americas through Venezuela for some time, and intelligence suggests that Venezuela may have ben shipping uranium to Iran on these flights.

Western Culture, a return

Sean Linnane, a 1st Group alum I know, is doing some work in what tends to be Grim's bailiwick Western Culture, what remains of it. In this case he has some ideas about what it is really made of.

We must teach our unique Western Culture to our children, or we are doomed to lose it. We must defend our Western Culture by celebrating it, proudly proclaiming it for what it is: the greatest creation of Human Civilization, born in Ancient Greece and Israel, fought for at Marathon and Thermapylae, from whence sprung Democracy, Rule of Law, and Freedom of Thought.

The focus is on our shared Judeo-Christian heritage, and the principles ensconced in the Old and New Testaments, Aristotle's Theory of Happiness, Plato's Republic, the legacy of Cicero, Magna Carta, the Declaration of Independence and the Preamble to the Constitution; and that the freedom of the individual citizen versus an oppressive government is the first value adopted and never abandoned.

Freedom of the individual from tyranny is the theme of the Bill of Rights; the first ten amendments to the Constitution, of course. And of those ten amendments, the one which guarantees all of the others is the Second Amendment.

A serious re-evaluation of the pronciples that define our culture and our lives seems to be underway. The Hope & Change has workedto awake the sleeping giant that is middle America. We all figgered our rights were covered and our government didn't get to run our lives. Well every once in a while you gotta kick government in the nads and remind it that we run things not them. Seems to be breaking out all over. Good!

Post 9/11 GI Bill Transferability

Just a quick head's up to those out there who may be thinking of transferring any Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits to a spouse or your kids.  I looked into it a few weeks ago and found out a pretty important little detail - you can only do it if you are still on active duty or as a drilling reservist.  I retired from the US Navy Reserve on 1 Jan of this year.  #2 daughter started her first year at George Mason a few weeks ago and I began to look into the transfer of what benefits I had in the new GI Bill.  It is not spelled out very clearly in the instructions and I had to go through about 4 or 5 different organizations and people before I could get the skinny on this, but while I can still use those benefits, I cannot transfer them to my kids.  Would that have made a difference in my decision to retire?  Possibly. If I knew there was a requirement for being on active duty or still drilling to that transferability, it might have been worth staying in the reserves, even in a non-pay drill status for a couple more years.

Just something for your back pocket if you are thinking of transfering those benefits and contemplating retirement.

The VA page for the Transferability requirements are here.

How fake vets get away with it...

It's complicity with the media, that's how.

The Farm Team guys over at This Ain't Hell have been at it hard lately- un-burying what's been buried, revealing what's been stashed in the backgrounds of these fakes.

Jonn and TSO often ask people in various areas for assists, and we GLADLY do so.  This is a case where, since I was 'local' they asked us to help uncover a few idiots.  One, Dunan Strandlof (here, and here), had his case tossed by Judge Blackburn earlier this year; another, Kevin Grimsigner, is likely to skate because the MFM isn't willing to do its' homwork, so it's up to guys like Jonn to do the dirty work.

Then, they (the Denver Post) want US to share with them what we have; when we ask them to reciprocate, we're basicaly told to 'eff off'.  So, when it comes to more Stolen Valor info, more guys that need help, we're going at this in a different direction- and leaving the Denver Post behind.  And you wonder why they are tanking and losing cred?  And it's not like I wasn't graduated from the same journo schools as they have been (E.W. Scripps, anyone?) 

Go take a read at TAH- and while you're at it, send a nice, FRIENDLY note to Lee Ann, editor at DP; here is her email, [email protected], and here is her phone: 303-954-1754.  Hey- both are published on their site so I'm not releasing confidential info. I'm not providing linky's back just to double their readership.  And be sure to leave a FRIENDLY voicemail or two or thirty...

Meanwhile, we're back on the Strandlov and Stolen Valor issues; and there are several good military-supportive radio stations around here.  As well as other publications.









Gunships in Waziristan

Good thing is they are ours. Not very far into Pakistan, but it sets a nice precedent that crossing from one rock to the next does not absolve you of being a rat bastard terrorist.

Ten Haqqani Network fighters fighters were killed during a clash this morning along the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan, a US military official told The Long War Journal, but current reports indicate the helicopters did cross into Pakistan to engage Taliban fighters. The military official said that ISAF is still gathering information on the clash.

The fighting took place near Combat Outpost Narizah, an Afghan base just eight miles from the Pakistani border in Khost province, the official said. Khost is a stronghold of the Haqqani Network, an Afghan Taliban subgroup based in North Waziristan, Pakistan.

Now we are denying that we did this and that's fine. What we say publicly with the Pakistanis isn't the important thing here. This gives the jihadis something to talk about as they sit around the fire waiting to molest goats. It doesn't matter what we do as much as what our enemies think we do. Perception is reality and if they start having dreams about Apaches lighting up their little convoys with 30mm HE rounds to augment their current night sweats about Predators and Reapers bringing Hellfire and damnation....well good! Let that be the reality they perceive.

The Talibs and their foreign compatriots of ass need to learn that whatever Obama may have said about some troops leaving next Summer, he sure believes in stacking dead tangos like cord wood.

Shiny Happy Secure Freedom radio

I guested for Mr. Gaffney on Secure Freedom Radio today, but I decided that the show needed a little happy happy, joy joy. I always end up bummed out about humanity's chances after hosting. I mean I talk to the smartest people around whose job it is to watch what all the bad guys are doing and when I'm done I figger we're doomed. So today I helped them take a  positive view about everything. You can tell me if we succeed or not, it was the most fun I have had hosting.

Peter Schweizer joins Jim to talk about the cyber warfare occuring in Iran. Next, Gordon Chang  discusses the talks of successsion in North Korea. Finally, John Perdue shares the results and his opinions regarding the Venezuelan elections.

Special Forces Legend Defamed by the Military Order of the Purple Heart?

COL (ret) Henry Cook is a Special Forces legend.  In Viet Nam, Henry Cook was a junior officer serving in 1967-68 in the Mobile Guerilla Forces that operated behind enemy lines for extended periods of time.  In 1968-1969, Cook then went on to lead teams of the Mike Force. Henry Cook was wounded twice in Viet Nam (once while fighting an attack on the hospital in which he was recovering from being wounded in the field).  He's been retired twice because he was called back to active duty during Operation Desert Storm.  Henry served his country for 42 years, with 33 years of that service in the US Army Special Forces.

So this article below is a bit disturbing:

BILOXI, MS (WLOX-TV) - Retired U.S. Army Special Forces Colonel Henry Cook is a 40 year military veteran who nearly died when he was wounded in Vietnam. He is also a Hancock County attorney, who has donated thousands of hours of legal work to veterans over the years.

In fact, his work has been so important that three years ago, he was chosen to serve as the National Commander of the Military Order of the Purple Heart. Cook told WLOX News that he was honored when he was chosen to serve as the groups National Commander. He knew it would be a wonderful opportunity to help veterans all around the country.

But not very long after he took office, things began to change for the worse. It all started with a report that aired in 2008, on ABC'S Good Morning America, by chief investigative correspondent Brian Ross. It found that The Military Order of the Purple Heart was not a very good steward of the millions of dollars donated every year to help Purple Heart veterans...

Go here for the rest of the article.  Below is video of the interview - they call COL Cook "venerated" which is a gross understatement: