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August 2013



Several of you have sent links and shared with me on Facebook, so I'm posting here to help get the word out.  These are photos of two suspects in the Spokane area who beat and killed a WWII veteran.  They apparently did so without provocation and without an obvious reason (which suggests one in and of itself) as robbery was (apparently) not involved. 

Share these photos.  Spread them far and wide.  Leave them no place to hide. 

Here is the man they murdered:

A nice kindly old man, who survived Okinawa.  More on him here

The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

You know the rest.  Find them.  Let justice be swift, sure, and complete.


UPDATE:  One turned himself in (apparently) and one is still at large.  Details on that and on a vigil held for Delbert Belton here

UPDATE II:  Both are now in custody, and people who were aiding the second perp in avoiding capture were arrested too.  Delbert Belton is a name you should know, and the two who did this deserve nothing other than swift justice and to be forgotten.

A Logical Syllogism

1) Good order and discipline is destroyed by giving in to special pleaders.

2) Discipline is the soul of the army. (George Washington)


Therefore, &*(% this guy.


If there's one person on earth who ought to feel like the Army has treated him with unmerited mercy and gentleness today, it's Private I'll-Be-Out-In-Eight-Years.

Or, as he prefers to be known now that he is starting his prison sentence, "Chelsea."

Book Review: Back in the Fight - The Explosive Memoir of a Special Operator Who Never Gave Up

The following review is a special provided to BlackFive readers by Elise Cooper.  You can read all of our book reviews by clicking on the Books category on the far right sidebar.  While many of us vets are familiar with the story of SFC K (leading a platoon of Rangers, 9 eployments, etc), many people do not know who he is and he is someone everyone should know.  

9781250010612_p0_v1_s260x420Back In The Fight by Sergeant First Class Joseph Kapacziewski, his wife Kimberly, and Charles W. Sasser is an incredible story of perseverance and determination. It has something for everyone including the history of the war on terror, how the Rangers became an elite unit, Joe’s training and combat, and how he and his family faced the new challenges of his wounds and recovery.

The best parts of the book are when Kim and Joe discuss how they bravely endured his recovery and his decision to amputate his right leg. In October 2005 while on a mission in Northern Iraq, insurgents attacked his convoy.  A grenade fell through the gunner’s hatch and exploded, shattering Joe’s right leg below the knee, damaging his right hip, and severing a nerve and artery in his right arm.  After enduring more than forty surgeries, because of the chronic pain and limited mobility, in 2007 he decided to amputate.  Since Joe lived for being a Ranger, he used the Ranger motto, “never surrender,” to accomplish his goal of returning to full combat duty as a squad leader in the Ranger unit in 2008.  This past July he was one of thirty soldiers to be honored at the All Star Game, representing the Boston Red Sox.  He now jokes about his injury, using his beloved baseball, when he noted in the book, “What were the odds that some asshole could have made a major league pitch like that?”

Since he is only thirty years old and has served for almost twelve years he is willing to put himself through the grueling training that the Army Rangers require to prove that he is fit for combat.  He discussed in the book how he must have a proficiency of 80% for the pushup and sit-up drills, do a two mile run, a five mile run in under forty minutes, a twelve mile foot march with forty pounds of gear under three hours, and a parachute jump out of airplanes.  In addition, he had to learn to fast rope out of helicopters without the use of his legs, and to avoid the friction burns by using multiple hand gloves.

Joe stated to BlackFive, “I met the Ranger’s standards and in some cases exceeded them.  I do feel there are always eyes on me and I have to perform at my best constantly.  Since I have become an amputee I have had five deployments to Afghanistan. I wrote the book to provide inspiration for those who may be going through what I had to endure.  I did not want to lose my leg because I thought that would mean I was a cripple.  I had to prove to myself that I could still achieve what I wanted to by putting in the hard work and the time.  I was helped considerably by my ‘Ranger tough’ wife, Kim.”

The parts of the book where Kim gives her impressions are heart wrenching.  She wants Americans to understand that family members also endure the hardship of an injury and must display outward and inner courage.  For her, the nightmare became even more magnified when she had to deal with not only the fact that Joe was critically injured but that the Army seemed to be impersonal when giving casualty notifications and then literally losing Joe’s whereabouts until he arrived at Walter Reed Medical Hospital.  One organization she is grateful to for helping out is http://www.operationonevoice.org/shop/ (book for sale in the charity's shop).

Kim commented to blackfive.net about her experiences, “I gave a lot of people an earful when they came to check in on Joe.  I wanted to make sure this never happened again.  In that sense I was a lot like Scarlett O’Hara: head strong, bull headed, and determined.  Regarding his injury, I thought I was going to faint when I saw his leg.  No one warned us about how much pain he was in.  The “Phantom Pains” were just unbelievable.  He would put his head in the pillow to scream and cry.  I stayed up all night long to press the pain medication button so he could rest.”

Both Joe and Kim are hoping that those who lost limbs, as well as American citizens, will read the book to understand what the injured go through. As Kim stated, “They should not be encouraged to accept their injury as the defining moment in their life so maybe Americans can offer them opportunities to contribute to society and become productive.” Back In The Fight does this and more by telling a story of determination and courage on the part of both Kim and Joe.

Senior Officer Email: The Problem with Army Leadership at the Division Level

Received this email from an Active Duty Army Officer (combat arms, OIF and OEF) concerned about leadership issues and how we are dealing with problems within the troops. Since we've been critical of senior leadership, thought I'd post this with his permission.

1. The same people who approved "morality waivers" to make retention goals are now in charge and wondering why we have so many DUIs, Suicides, and Sex Assaults

2. Seeking treatment for mental health issues is a long-term plan, you're never "cured" and the DOD has absolutely no way to balance keeping the soldier in the force (trained/schooled/promoted) and getting him the treatment he needs.

3. We write policies telling our subordinates to do things that we will not do (cough *counselling subordinates* cough) and we don't punish units for failing.

Case in point: IG inspections.

Generally, these don't exist anymore. Subordinate units get "Staff Assistance Visits" to check that they are doing the things the higher staff is interested in, but not necessarily the way the Army says they will be done (for example, using DTMS to schedule training.)

If a unit has an SAV and fails it completely, the end result is that they will be reinspected, at a later date, to be determined. Usually, that later date is after the people on both staffs have moved on, so what was broken before is still broken. Lather, rinse, repeat. So for failing to pass inspection, a unit has no penalty... what is the motivation to apply resources to the problem to fix it?

We write policies outlining "good order and discipline" telling our soldiers how to behave, but we have no means within those policies to ensure they are being followed, and no penalty for not following the directives. We might, natuarlly, punish a soldier who does not uphold the standards published, but we don't punish that soldier's leaders for failing to influence them to behave within standards. Platoon leaders don't get an ass chewing if their platoons fail muster inspection, Platoon Sergeants don't get shit-canned unless their personal behavior is outside the lines of good order and discipline, and only then if it's for an egregious error like a DUI or raping the CG's cat. Company, Battalion, and Brigade commanders don't get relieved for the failures of their units, they are the cream of the crop in terms of Army officers, (supposedly) and so of course these things can't be indicative of lax standards of discipline on their part. We chase shadows trying to figure out why we have major and minor discipline problems spreading through our formations like a cancer (or more appropriately, like syphillis) when the answer is plain to the casual observer: we have these problems at the rate we have now because we tolerate them. We tolerate the command climates that permit these things to happen. We don't look at undisciplined soldiers as a leadership failure, we see it as an individual soldier problem. We do not look at leaders and hold them responsible for the actions of their troops.

When was the last time the CG walked through the barracks, at night, on a weekend, and asked troops "when is the last time your battalion and brigade commander came through here after hours to check on you?"

I guaran-damned-tee you if it happend once, there'd be brigade, battalion, and company level leaders in the barracks every weekend. Even better, what if he straight relieved the company commander/1SG of the barracks he was most displeased with, and reprimanded the Battalion commander?

What if the CG found PFC Ghettoblaster at the PX with his pants around his ass, hat on backwards, etc. (violating appropriate dress policy) and held him there until his chain of command arrived, and the CG held the Team leader, Squad leader, and Platoon Leader, Platoon Sergeant, and 1SG responsible for PFC Ghettoblaster's failure to understand and adhere to the standard? What if he posted them at the PX until they were relieved by the chain of command of the next PFC Ghettoblaster found in the PX? Bet there's be a lot less underwear showing at the PX. (And yes, this would work if the person violating the policy was a dependednt, too. The only modification being the chain of command explaining why their soldier hasn't explained the standards of dress to his dependents.)

I'm not suggesting that an O8 spend his days making uniform corrections at the PX, or walking through the Barracks every weekend. The CG only needs to do these things once--that's all the influence he needs to apply to the problem to reinforce that it is important to him--and will energize his subordinate commanders to fix the problem.

Apply this methodology to "fixing" the sex assault problem in the Army:

CG gathers BN and BDE commanders--again, the theoretical cream of the crop--and tells them "this division has a problem with sexual assault. The next sexual assault that happens, I will relieve the chain of command from battalion down to fire team. What are your recommendations to fix the problem?" They might come up with some hair-brained ideas, but they may just hit upon a decent solution--now that they have skin in the game.

We don't relieve leaders except for their personal failings--we no longer hold them accountble for the failures of their units. There is no multiple wave relief, either, for exceptionally bad failings, we might relieve one leader (usually a Captain or LT) but a LTC? Not happening. A COL? nope.

And that, in a nutshell, is the problem.

The Verbal Kent of Military Blogging

He's in Gitmo right now at the Khalid Scooter Mohammad trial and they don't even who he really is...

...It started with a series of people testifying about whether one of the accused (Mustafa al-Hawsawi) could speak English.  
I don't find it credible that FBI and other government people interviewed (or interrogated if you prefer) Mr Hawsawi for four days when he couldn't speak any English.  If you've ever deployed and had to talk to someone who doesn't speak English, it's a frustrating and fruitless thing after about 5 mins, and yet they talked to him for in excess of 20 hours.  But, the defense is entitled to do what they can.  (As much as most of you would prefer to skip it all, the Constitution is clear that an accused gets his day in court.)...

Go check out the whole piece.

Secretary of State John Forbes Kerry Unpunishes Four State Employees "Responsible" for Benghazi


Just read this report in the Daily Beast.   

Kerry-fballEssentially, the four State staffers that Secretary Clinton put on admin leave with pay (essentially vacation) as punishment for their botching of the Benghazi murders have been requested to come back to work.  Also, they were never intereviewed or questioned about their roles in the Benghazi affair and no one from State ever talked to them.   



...A senior State Department official confirmed to The Daily Beast on Monday that all four officials placed on administrative leave were now returned to regular duty and would not face any formal disciplinary action. The administrative-leave designation was not a formal punishment, but did prevent the officials from working while the Kerry team, which inherited the Benghazi issue from the Clinton team in February, reviewed their cases...

So, either the four were put on admin leave because they were responsible and then given paid vacations showing us that Secretary Clinton protected them.  Or, they were put on admin leave without explanation or cause in order to serve up some good PR for the department during the Benghazi debacle.

House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R–California) issued the following statement in response to The Daily Beast’s report:

Obama administration officials repeatedly promised the families of victims and the American people that officials responsible for security failures would be held accountable. Instead of accountability, the State Department offered a charade that included false reports of firings and resignations and now ends in a game of musical chairs where no one misses a single day on the State Department payroll. It is now clear that the personnel actions taken by the Department in response to the Benghazi terrorist attacks was more of a public relations strategy than a measured response to a failure in leadership.

In the course of our investigation, the Oversight Committee learned that the State Department’s review of these four individuals did not include interviews with them or their supervisors to either substantiate or challenge allegations. The Oversight Committee will expand its investigation of the Benghazi terrorist attack to include how a supposed ‘Accountability Review Board’ investigation resulted in a decision by Secretary Kerry not to pursue any accountability from anyone.

Read More: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/08/19/kerry-clears-benghazi-officials-clinton-punished.html


Book Review: The Kill List by Frederick Forsyth

The following book review is a special for BlackFive readers provided by Elise Cooper. You can read all of our book reviews by clicking on the Books category on the far right side bar.

9780399165276_p0_v1_s260x420With his latest novel, The Kill List, Frederick Forsyth has come full circle since writing the timeless book, The Day of the Jackal. He returned to the formula that has made him a classic political thriller writer, using his journalistic instincts to make them relevant and realistic. 

The reader can draw upon similarities between his first novel, The Day of the Jackal, and his latest, The Kill List.  Both books were influenced by real life events: the Jackal is hired to kill French President Charles De Gaulle while President Obama chooses which terrorists shall live and which shall die from “a kill list.” Both books go into great detail about the worldwide hunt for the antagonist.

The intense plot has an ex-Marine, special ops person, Kit Carson, whose alias is “The Tracker,” assigned to hunt down and kill an Islamist extremist known as “The Preacher.”  This terrorist was put on “the kill list” after he radicalized a number of Muslims in the US and England to carry out assassinations, one of which was Carson’s father, a retired Marine General.  What makes the task even more difficult is that the identification and location of The Preacher is hidden in a morass of intricate computer defenses.  Among those who are recruited to help find the terrorist are a teen-age boy with Asperger’s syndrome, an expert in the use of computers, and an Israeli agent imbedded in Somalia. 

It appears that Forsyth wanted to give a heads up to those Marines who were killed in the US bombing in Lebanon in 1983.  He told blackfive.net, “This Hezbollah fanatic drove a truck into the US Marine barracks, causing a horrendous explosion.  A Marine witness kept saying about the Arab terrorist, ‘he was smiling.’ I believe this was the first time that the West got an inkling of the mindset of these Jihadists.  They are happy to go because they have either been convinced or convinced themselves that they are going into paradise.  I made my hero a US Marine Colonel, a patriotic man who fought for his country in the Special Forces.  He has now become a man hunter of a vicious killer. My model for the antagonist was the Islamic cleric, Anwar al-Awlaki, who preached violent jihad on the Internet, and was killed in a drone strike.”

Another interesting fact is the relevancy of a quote from The Day of the Jackal, “A fanatic prepared to die himself in the attempt is always the most certain method of eliminating…” Readers should remember this book was first published in 1971, thirty years before 9/11.  The author seems to also make the point in The Kill List when he writes, “Then came 9/11 and the West woke-up at last.” 

Forsyth explained, “I have been accused of seeing the future.  But people forget that 9/11 was not the beginning.  Al Qaeda was working against the US eight years before.  There were the two lethal bombings in Africa in 1998, the virtual destruction of the USS Cole, and the bombings in Saudi Arabia.  Within this period the US did not wake up.  It appeared the forces that be were asleep.”

The author has meticulously researched his book that is strong on insider knowledge about the military, high tech espionage, the existence of a government agency, Technical Operations Support Activity (TOSA), and the thinking of terrorists. Since he started writing this book three years ago it appears he was aware of information before it became public.  Anyone concerned about recent revelations should read this book because the author explains in detail about the secret government organization, TOSA, whose job is to find and eliminate terrorists on “the kill list,” and how easy it is to infiltrate a computer system.  A quote from the book, “It took forty-five minutes for the entire database to be sucked out and “imaged” into the duplicate, then put back without leaving any trace.”

He also gave a heads up that the latest book will be made into a Hollywood movie.  Unfortunately, he loses all creative control so it will be left up to the writer and director to decide how the plot will be implemented.

The Kill List shows how governments use all means available to win the war on terrorism and hunt down the jihadists.  It has topical issues that face the US and England today. Through a very entertaining story Forsyth is able to give details of the processes, organizations, and equipment needed to find the terrorists.

Photo: Tactical Load

Hires_130813-A-ND255-081dArmy Spc. Roger Lewis carries Pfc. Jeremy McCrae to an extraction point during tactical training on Fort A.P. Hill, Va., Aug. 13, 2013. In a real-life situation, casualties are carried to an extraction point where they can be evacuated to receive medical aid. Lewis and McCrae are infantrymen assigned to Company C, 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, known as "The Old Guard." U.S. Army Photo by Sgt. Jose A. Torres Jr.
RE:  Do You Have to Work at Being This Stupid...

Yes, strength is not the only quality one needs in combat, but it IS critical...unless you can use mental telepathy.

Iraq looking for some help from us

Mr Lilyea notes that a country we freed from tyranny is asking for some help so they don't backslide too far.

The AP reports...The violence has spurred Baghdad to seek new U.S. aid to curb the threat, said Iraqi Foreign Minister Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari. He said a U.S. assistance package could include a limited number of advisers, intelligence analysis and surveillance assets – including lethal drones.

“There is greater realization in the Iraq government that we should not shy away from coming and asking for some help and assistance,” Zebari told reporters Friday in Washington.

Jonn responds...Yeah, well, the Iraqis forced us out of their country because they couldn’t come up with a reasonable Status of Forces Agreement to protect our soldiers and Marines from the Iraqi courts. I don’t see them coming up with one now either.

That is partly true, but we did not always negotiate in the best faith.

When Bush was still running things, the Iraqis were playing internal politics and didn't want to be seen as caving to the Western Devils. That was a necessary thing to get an actual government up and running there. The folks who negotiated the short term deal were told by the Iraqis pretty bluntly, just let us look tough here and we will work something out on the back side.

Once Obama took command he had no interest at all in an American presence and little care about reinforcing a fragile ally born from a war he was violently opposed to. So we made all kinds of objections to any agreement, many of them complete BS and so in the end, we got booted. Not much in the way of strategery there.

I am not suggesting that we roll tanks back in, but we don't have many friends in the area. Might be nice to help out someone who owes us and have at least a little clout there. If not, they probably have Putin's number.