Liberty is an inherently offensive lifestyle. Living in a free society guarantees that each one of us will see our most cherished principles and beliefs questioned and in some cases mocked. That psychic discomfort is the price we pay for basic civic peace. It's worth it. It's a pragmatic principle. Defend everyone else's rights, because if you don't there is no one to defend yours. -- MaxedOutMama

I don't just want gun rights... I want individual liberty, a culture of self-reliance....I want the whole bloody thing. -- Kim du Toit

The most glaring example of the cognitive dissonance on the left is the concept that human beings are inherently good, yet at the same time cannot be trusted with any kind of weapon, unless the magic fairy dust of government authority gets sprinkled upon them.-- Moshe Ben-David

The cult of the left believes that it is engaged in a great apocalyptic battle with corporations and industrialists for the ownership of the unthinking masses. Its acolytes see themselves as the individuals who have been "liberated" to think for themselves. They make choices. You however are just a member of the unthinking masses. You are not really a person, but only respond to the agendas of your corporate overlords. If you eat too much, it's because corporations make you eat. If you kill, it's because corporations encourage you to buy guns. You are not an individual. You are a social problem. -- Sultan Knish

Showing posts with label war. Show all posts
Showing posts with label war. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

I Know the British Army is Economizing, but Seriously?

British sniper in Afghanistan kills six Taliban with one bullet

A British sniper in Afghanistan killed six insurgents with a single bullet after hitting the trigger switch of a suicide bomber whose device then exploded, The Telegraph has learnt.

The 20-year-old marksman, a Lance Corporal in the Coldstream Guards, hit his target from 930 yards (850 metres) away, killing the suicide bomber and five others around him caught in the blast.

--

The same sniper, with his first shot on the tour of duty, killed a Taliban machine-gunner from 1,465 yards (1,340m).

Several hundred British and Afghan soldiers were carrying out an operation in December when they were engaged in a gun battle with 15 to 20 insurgents.

"The guy was wearing a vest. He was identified by the sniper moving down a tree line and coming up over a ditch,” said Lt Col Slack. "He had a shawl on. It rose up and the sniper saw he had a machine gun.

"They were in contact and he was moving to a firing position. The sniper engaged him and the guy exploded. There was a pause on the radio and the sniper said, 'I think I’ve just shot a suicide bomber'. The rest of them were killed in the blast."

It is understood the L/Cpl was using an L115A3 gun, the Army's most powerful sniper weapon.
No, this is NOT an April Fool's post!

This is the L115A3, an Accuracy International .338 Lapua rifle:

Nice shooting!!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

9/11 - Does it Seem Like Twelve Years?

Twelve years ago, I was in a car traveling to the Ford plant in Hermosillo, Mexico when the first airliner struck the World Trade Center.  When we arrived at the facility and entered the lobby, a security guard came up and asked if we were aware of "what is going on in the States?"

Needless to say, our meeting that morning was cancelled, and we immediately headed back for the border.  During the entire drive we kept trying to tune in radio stations to get more information.  We heard the report of the Pentagon impact, and then the collapse of each WTC tower.  We weren't sure if we'd get across the border that day, or even that week, and since we'd only planned on a day trip, this wasn't encouraging, but by the time we arrived, the border had reopened.  The line was an hour long, but it did move, and we got home.

My reaction was surprise that it had taken as long as it did before we were hit, and shock at the effectiveness of the attack.  I knew that the reaction to the attack would be swift, and probably severe.

I did not expect a decade-plus of war.  I certainly did not expect said warfare to extend into the second term of our current President, much less expansion of that warfare.

Last year's attack on the Benghazi consulate?  Not a shocker, but the total lack of reaction from Washington was.  "What difference does it make?"  Seriously?


And now Obama wants to strike Syria?


Awhile back on Facebook, someone asked for a one-word description of the Obama presidency.  Most all of the responses were derisive, scatological, or merely angry.  My response was descriptive:  "transformational."  After all, the man said in October 30, 2008 that we were "five days away from fundamentally transforming" the United States.  Five years into his Presidency, I'd say that's the one campaign promise he has most definitely kept

Friday, August 16, 2013

Quote of the Day - "Always Free Cheese in the Mousetrap" Edition

Today's QotD comes from a YouTube video of a citizen speaking in opposition to the city of Concord NH's acquisition of a BearCat armored personnel carrier.  Watch the whole thing, seriously, but here's the QotD:
What's happening here is we're building a domestic military because it's unlawful and unconstitutional to use American troops on American soil. So what we’re doing is building a military.

--

What we're doing here, and let's not kid about it, we're building a domestic army and we're shrinking the military because the government is afraid of it's own citizens.
Only the right-wingers.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Coexist?

Remember this?

 photo coexist-especially-you-assholes.jpg

Found this one tonight via Facebook:

 photo coexist-detonate.jpg

Guess they didn't take the advice.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Had to Share This One!

From AR15.com:
 photo Bad_Angel1.jpg

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Lt Col Louis Edward Curdes

Born: November 2, 1919 Fort Wayne, Indiana
POW: August 27, 1943 Benevento, Italy, P-38G mechanical trouble

Died: February 8, 1995 Fort Wayne, Indiana

Louis Curdes joined the Army Reserves on March 12, 1942. He was commissioned a 2nd Lt, and rated a pilot on December 3, 1942 at Luke Field, Arizona. He joined the 329th FG, but transferred to the 82nd FG, 95th FS, where he saw action over North Africa, Sardinia and Italy flying P-38Gs. On April 29, 1943 he shot down three German Me-109s and damaged a fourth near Cap Bon, Tunisia. Two more Me-109s fell to his guns near Villacidro, Sardinia on May 19. On June 24 he brought down an Italian Mc.202 over Golfo Aranci, Sardinia. Another Me-109 was damaged on July 30 at Pratice di Mare, Italy. His last two victories in the Mediterranean Theater were two Me-109s over Benevento, Italy. During that action he was forced down and taken prisoner. He escaped from the POW camp on September 8, 1943 and managed to survive behind German lines until crossing into Allied territory on May 24, 1944. He requested combat duty in the Pacific, and joined the 4th FS (Commando), 3rd FG (Commando) in August 1944. On February 7, 1945 he shot down a Dinah while flying a P-51D thirty miles SW of Formosa. This feat made him one of three aces to have shot down enemy aircraft of all three Axis Powers. On February 10, 1945 he shot-up an American C-47 which was attempting to land on a Japanese held airstrip in the Batan Islands, Philippines; a chain of small islands north of Luzon. The aircraft force landed and thirteen crew and passengers were rescued. One of the passengers was a nurse that he later married. An American flag was added to the German, Italian and Japanese flags painted on his P-51D. After the war he transferred to the Air Force. He was promoted to Maj on September 1, 1951, and retired from the Air Force as a LtCol in October 1963.

Talley Record: 9 confirmed, 2 damaged

Decorations: 2 DFCs, PH, 15 AMs
Truth is stranger than fiction!

Requiescat In Pacem



Dedicated to my uncles Charles, Bob and Jack.

Edited to add:  Brigid has her say in her own eloquent and inimitable way.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Agenda? What Agenda?

Steven Crowder's latest:


Yup.  Nobody knows nothin' because as former President of CBS News Richard Salant put it:
Our job is to give people not what they want, but what we decide they ought to have.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Need a Laugh?

I did.  I got this in an email today and had to share:
Cheerleaders and Soldiers: Call Me Maybe

The Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders did a dance video to “Call Me Maybe.” U.S. troops stationed in Afghanistan saw it and did their own version, matching the cheerleaders scene-by scene. SO cool!!! Plus the Soldiers light off a four point deuce mortar as a point of punctuation. Soldiers win. Hands down!!! Here are the two videos together.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Why War Should Always be the Politics of Last Resort

Someone you should know, Lt. Col. George Goodson, USMC (Ret):
In my 76th year, the events of my life appear to me, from time to time, as a series of vignettes. Some were significant; most were trivial.

War is the seminal event in the life of everyone that has endured it. Though I fought in Korea and the Dominican Republic and was wounded there, Vietnam was my war.

Now 37 years have passed and, thankfully, I rarely think of those days in Cambodia , Laos , and the panhandle of North Vietnam where small teams of Americans and Montangards fought much larger elements of the North Vietnamese Army. Instead I see vignettes: some exotic, some mundane:

*The smell of Nuc Mam.
*The heat, dust, and humidity.
*The blue exhaust of cycles clogging the streets.
*Elephants moving silently through the tall grass.
*Hard eyes behind the servile smiles of the villagers.
*Standing on a mountain in Laos and hearing a tiger roar.
*A young girl squeezing my hand as my medic delivered her baby.
*The flowing Ao Dais of the young women biking down Tran Hung Dao.
*My two years as Casualty Notification Officer in North Carolina , Virginia , and Maryland.

It was late 1967. I had just returned after 18 months in Vietnam. Casualties were increasing. I moved my family from Indianapolis to Norfolk , rented a house, enrolled my children in their fifth or sixth new school, and bought a second car.

A week later, I put on my uniform and drove 10 miles to Little Creek, Virginia. I hesitated before entering my new office. Appearance is important to career Marines. I was no longer, if ever, a poster Marine. I had returned from my third tour in Vietnam only 30 days before. At 5’9″, I now weighed 128 pounds – 37 pounds below my normal weight. My uniforms fit ludicrously, my skin was yellow from malaria medication, and I think I had a twitch or two.

I straightened my shoulders, walked into the office, looked at the nameplate on a Staff Sergeant’s desk and said, “Sergeant Jolly, I’m Lieutenant Colonel Goodson. Here are my orders and my Qualification Jacket.”

Sergeant Jolly stood, looked carefully at me, took my orders, stuck out his hand; we shook and he asked, “How long were you there, Colonel?” I replied “18 months this time.” Jolly breathed, “Jesus, you must be a slow learner Colonel.” I smiled.

Jolly said, “Colonel, I’ll show you to your office and bring in the Sergeant Major. I said, “No, let’s just go straight to his office.”  Jolly nodded, hesitated, and lowered his voice, “Colonel, the Sergeant Major. He’s been in this G*dd@mn job two years. He’s packed pretty tight. I’m worried about him.” I nodded.

Jolly escorted me into the Sergeant Major’s office. “Sergeant Major, this is Colonel Goodson, the new Commanding Office. The Sergeant Major stood, extended his hand and said, “Good to see you again, Colonel.” I responded, “Hello Walt, how are you?” Jolly looked at me, raised an eyebrow, walked out, and closed the door.

I sat down with the Sergeant Major. We had the obligatory cup of coffee and talked about mutual acquaintances. Walt’s stress was palpable.  Finally, I said, “Walt, what’s the h-ll’s wrong?” He turned his chair, looked out the window and said, “George, you’re going to wish you were back in Nam before you leave here.. I’ve been in the Marine Corps since 1939. I was in the Pacific 36 months, Korea for 14 months, and Vietnam for 12 months. Now I come here to bury these kids. I’m putting my letter in. I can’t take it anymore.” I said, “OK Walt. If that’s what you want, I’ll endorse your request for retirement and do what I can to push it through Headquarters Marine Corps.”

Sergeant Major Walt Xxxxx retired 12 weeks later. He had been a good Marine for 28 years, but he had seen too much death and too much suffering. He was used up.

Over the next 16 months, I made 28 death notifications, conducted 28 military funerals, and made 30 notifications to the families of Marines that were severely wounded or missing in action. Most of the details of those casualty notifications have now, thankfully, faded from memory. Four, however, remain.

MY FIRST NOTIFICATION

My third or fourth day in Norfolk , I was notified of the death of a 19 year old Marine. This notification came by telephone from Headquarters Marine Corps. The information detailed:

*Name, rank, and serial number.
*Name, address, and phone number of next of kin.
*Date of and limited details about the Marine’s death.
*Approximate date the body would arrive at the Norfolk Naval Air Station.
*A strong recommendation on whether the casket should be opened or closed.

The boy’s family lived over the border in North Carolina , about 60 miles away. I drove there in a Marine Corps staff car. Crossing the state line into North Carolina , I stopped at a small country store / service station / Post Office. I went in to ask directions.

Three people were in the store. A man and woman approached the small Post Office window. The man held a package. The Storeowner walked up and addressed them by name, “Hello John. Good morning, Mrs. Cooper.”

I was stunned. My casualty’s next-of-kin’s name was John Cooper!

I hesitated, then stepped forward and said, “I beg your pardon. Are you Mr. and Mrs. John Copper of (address.)

The father looked at me - I was in uniform – and then, shaking, bent at the waist, he vomited. His wife looked horrified at him and then at me. Understanding came into her eyes and she collapsed in slow motion. I think I caught her before she hit the floor.

The owner took a bottle of whiskey out of a drawer and handed it to Mr. Cooper who drank. I answered their questions for a few minutes. Then I drove them home in my staff car. The storeowner locked the store and followed in their truck. We stayed an hour or so until the family began arriving.

I returned the storeowner to his business. He thanked me and said, “Mister, I wouldn’t have your job for a million dollars.” I shook his hand and said; “Neither would I.”

I vaguely remember the drive back to Norfolk . Violating about five Marine Corps regulations, I drove the staff car straight to my house. I sat with my family while they ate dinner, went into the den, closed the door, and sat there all night, alone.

My Marines steered clear of me for days. I had made my first death notification.

THE FUNERALS

Weeks passed with more notifications and more funerals.. I borrowed Marines from the local Marine Corps Reserve and taught them to conduct a military funeral: how to carry a casket, how to fire the volleys and how to fold the flag.

When I presented the flag to the mother, wife, or father, I always said, “All Marines share in your grief.” I had been instructed to say, “On behalf of a grateful nation.” I didn’t think the nation was grateful, so I didn’t say that.

Sometimes, my emotions got the best of me and I couldn’t speak. When that happened, I just handed them the flag and touched a shoulder. They would look at me and nod. Once a mother said to me, “I’m so sorry you have this terrible job.” My eyes filled with tears and I leaned over and kissed her.

ANOTHER NOTIFICATION

Six weeks after my first notification, I had another. This was a young PFC. I drove to his mother’s house. As always, I was in uniform and driving a Marine Corps staff car. I parked in front of the house, took a deep breath, and walked towards the house. Suddenlythe door flew open, a middle-aged woman rushed out. She looked at me and ran across the yard, screaming “NO! NO! NO! NO!”

I hesitated. Neighbors came out. I ran to her, grabbed her, and whispered stupid things to reassure her. She collapsed. I picked her up and carried her into the house. Eight or nine neighbors followed. Ten or fifteen later, the father came in followed by ambulance personnel. I have no recollection of leaving.

The funeral took place about two weeks later. We went through the drill. The mother never looked at me. The father looked at me once and shook his head sadly.

ANOTHER NOTIFICATION

One morning, as I walked in the office, the phone was ringing. Sergeant Jolly held the phone up and said, “You’ve got another one, Colonel.” I nodded, walked into my office, picked up the phone, took notes, thanked the officer making the call, I have no idea why, and hung up. Jolly, who had listened, came in with a special Telephone Directory that translates telephone numbers into the person’s address and place of employment.

The father of this casualty was a Longshoreman. He lived a mile from my office. I called the Longshoreman’s Union Office and asked for the Business Manager. He answered the phone, I told him who I was, and asked for the father’s schedule.

The Business Manager asked, “Is it his son?” I said nothing. After a moment, he said, in a low voice, “Tom is at home today.” I said, “Don’t call him. I’ll take care of that.” The Business Manager said, “Aye, Aye Sir,” and then explained, “Tom and I were Marines in WWII.”

I got in my staff car and drove to the house. I was in uniform. I knocked and a woman in her early forties answered the door. I saw instantly that she was clueless. I asked, “Is Mr. Smith home?” She smiled pleasantly and responded, “Yes, but he’s eating breakfast now. Can you come back later?” I said, “I’m sorry. It’s important, I need to see him now.”

She nodded, stepped back into the beach house and said, “Tom, it’s for you.”

A moment later, a ruddy man in his late forties, appeared at the door. He looked at me, turned absolutely pale, steadied himself, and said, “Jesus Christ man, he’s only been there three weeks!”

Months passed. More notifications and more funerals. Then one day while I was running, Sergeant Jolly stepped outside the building and gave a loud whistle, two fingers in his mouth…. I never could do that… and held an imaginary phone to his ear.

Another call from Headquarters Marine Corps. I took notes, said, “Got it.” and hung up. I had stopped saying “Thank You” long ago.

Jolly, “Where?”

Me, “Eastern Shore of Maryland. The father is a retired Chief Petty Officer. His brother will accompany the body back from Vietnam.”

Jolly shook his head slowly, straightened, and then said, “This time of day, it’ll take three hours to get there and back. I’ll call the Naval Air Station and borrow a helicopter. And I’ll have Captain Tolliver get one of his men to meet you and drive you to the Chief’s home.”

He did, and 40 minutes later, I was knocking on the father’s door. He opened the door, looked at me, then looked at the Marine standing at parade rest beside the car, and asked, “Which one of my boys was it, Colonel?”

I stayed a couple of hours, gave him all the information, my office and home phone number and told him to call me, anytime.

He called me that evening about 2300 (11:00PM). “I’ve gone through my boy’s papers and found his will. He asked to be buried at sea. Can you make that happen?” I said, “Yes I can, Chief. I can and I will.”

My wife who had been listening said, “Can you do that?” I told her, “I have no idea. But I’m going to break my ass trying.”

I called Lieutenant General Alpha Bowser, Commanding General, Fleet Marine Force Atlantic, at home about 2330, explained the situation, and asked, “General, can you get me a quick appointment with the Admiral at Atlantic Fleet Headquarters?” General Bowser said, "George, you be there tomorrow at 0900. He will see you."

I was and the Admiral did.. He said coldly, “How can the Navy help the Marine Corps, Colonel.” I told him the story. He turned to his Chief of Staff and said, “Which is the sharpest destroyer in port?” The Chief of Staff responded with a name.

The Admiral called the ship, “Captain, you’re going to do a burial at sea. You’ll report to a Marine Lieutenant Colonel Goodson until this mission is completed.”

He hung up, looked at me, and said, “The next time you need a ship, Colonel, call me. You don’t have to sic Al Bowser on my ass.” I responded, “Aye Aye, Sir” and got the h-ll out of his office.

I went to the ship and met with the Captain, Executive Officer, and the Senior Chief. Sergeant Jolly and I trained the ship’s crew for four days. Then Jolly raised a question none of us had thought of. He said, “These government caskets are air tight. How do we keep it from floating?”

All the high priced help including me sat there looking dumb. Then the Senior Chief stood and said, “Come on Jolly. I know a bar where the retired guys from World War II hang out.”

They returned a couple of hours later, slightly the worst for wear, and said, “It’s simple; we cut four 12″ holes in the outer shell of the casket on each side and insert 300 lbs of lead in the foot end of the casket. We can handle that, no sweat.”

The day arrived. The ship and the sailors looked razor sharp. General Bowser, the Admiral, a US Senator, and a Navy Band were on board. The sealed casket was brought aboard and taken below for modification. The ship got underway to the 12-fathom depth.

The sun was hot. The ocean flat. The casket was brought aft and placed on a catafalque. The Chaplin spoke. The volleys were fired. The flag was removed, folded, and I gave it to the father. The band played “Eternal Father Strong to Save.” The casket was raised slightly at the head and it slid into the sea.

The heavy casket plunged straight down about six feet. The incoming water collided with the air pockets in the outer shell. The casket stopped abruptly, rose straight out of the water about three feet, stopped, and slowly slipped back into the sea. The air bubbles rising from the sinking casket sparkled in the in the sunlight as the casket disappeared from sight forever.

The next morning I called a personal friend, Lieutenant General Oscar Peatross, at Headquarters Marine Corps and said, “General, get me the f*ck out of here. I can’t take this sh_t anymore.” I was transferred two weeks later.

I was a good Marine but, after 17 years, I had seen too much death and too much suffering. I was used up.

Vacating the house, my family and I drove to the office in a two-car convoy. I said my goodbyes. Sergeant Jolly walked out with me. He waved at my family, looked at me with tears in his eyes, came to attention, saluted, and said, “Well Done, Colonel. Well Done.”

I felt as if I had received the Medal of Honor!

That is all

Sunday, March 10, 2013

"Civilized" Warfare

I got a comment tonight on another post from one "Patrick Henry."  I'll excerpt the significant portion:
Well, if we weren't involved in the middle east and had our troops killing everything in sight....
To which I responded:
If our troops were "killing everything in sight," we'd have been out of there after eighteen months, tops.
This kind of "thinking" really pisses me off.

We're still in Afghanistan after more than 11 years of war, Iraq for not quite 10.  Why?  Because we decided to go to war as gently as possible, and then pick up the smashed pieces and try to build modern nations where there were none before.

Contrast that to sixty-eight years ago this day when we dropped incendiary bombs on Tokyo, killing over 100,000 people - men, women and children - and burning sixteen square miles of the city to the ground.  THAT'S "killing everything in sight."  THAT is total war.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Tribalism

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.


Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address - November 19, 1863
It took another hundred and fifty years, but that nation, so conceived and so dedicated, no longer endures.

UPDATE:  Victor Davis Hanson, Too Few Oppressors, Too Many Victims - Excerpt:
Since the election, some fatalistic Washington conservative elites have accepted — and Obama operatives have rejoiced in — a supposedly new and non-white-male ethnic electorate: Americans will be categorized, and collectively so, on the basis of largely how they look and, to a lesser extent, how they sound. Republicans, then, better get with the new tribalism and remarket themselves to address the new minority monolith.

Accordingly, the enlightened and redeemable liberal elements of the otherwise now played-out old white majority, when combined with the new ethnic minorities, will result in a permanent progressive majority — one that rejects the archaic, if not toxic, racialist values that have been in the past so injurious to the idea of what the United States might have otherwise become. Just imagine a better world with no more required reading of white male Greeks, no more inordinate focus on Shakespeare’s Shylock, no need to suffer through Twain’s N-word or Tolkien's stereotypical dark-skinned orcs — or indeed, the one-dimensional and boring world we inherited from a Jefferson, Madison, Melville, Lincoln, Grant, Edison, Bell, TR, Salk, Nimitz, and Ike.

You Are a Nobody without Your Tribe

Yet the new emphasis on tribe is not necessarily a liberal vision. It ignores all human individuality and assumes that friendships, marriages, and alliances will not dare trump racial and ethic solidarity. Ours is now instead a Galadriel’s mirror of the Balkans, of India’s castes, of Rwanda, but no longer of a multiracial melting-pot America, where our allegiances were to be political, economic, and cultural and not necessarily synonymous with how we looked.
RTWT.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Something Else that Might Move You

I'll be out of town the next couple of days, so NO BLOG FOR YOU!  In the mean time, here's a clip that might affect you in the same way as another recent post:


I should be back on line on Friday.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Quote of the Day - Rachel Lucas (Again)

In its entirety:
He does this because he knows he’s got cover

He is unafraid to stand there and say of a weather event, “We leave nobody behind, we make sure we respond as a nation and remind ourselves that whenever an American is in need, all of us stand together to make sure we’re providing the help that’s necessary” because he knows no one in the mainstream press will hold his balls to the fire for the incandescent hypocrisy and flat-out lie of it. He knows he’ll get coverage like this instead so he’s unsurprisingly fearless – audacious! – in delivering that bullshit with a straight face.
Can I get an "AMEN!"?

Saturday, October 27, 2012

"The sad thing about this story is how believable it is."

The title for this post comes from a comment in this thread at TigerDroppings.com that begins with this post:
Interesting Rumor Concerning General Carter Ham and Stand Down Order (Posted on 10/26/12 at 9:45 p.m.)

I heard a story today from someone inside the military that I trust entirely. The story was in reference to General Ham that Panetta referenced in the quote below.

quote:
"(The) basic principle is that you don't deploy forces into harm's way without knowing what's going on; without having some real-time information about what's taking place," Panetta told Pentagon reporters. "And as a result of not having that kind of information, the commander who was on the ground in that area, Gen. Ham, Gen. Dempsey and I felt very strongly that we could not put forces at risk in that situation."
The information I heard today was that General Ham as head of Africom received the same e-mails the White House received requesting help/support as the attack was taking place. General Ham immediately had a rapid response unit ready and communicated to the Pentagon that he had a unit ready.

General Ham then received the order to stand down. His response was to screw it, he was going to help anyhow. Within 30 seconds to a minute after making the move to respond, his second in command apprehended General Ham and told him that he was now relieved of his command.

The story continues that now General Rodriguez would take General Ham's place as the head of Africon.

I found this story when I got home after hearing this story.

quote:
President Barack Obama will nominate Army Gen. David Rodriguez to succeed Gen. Carter Ham as commander of U.S. Africa Command and Marine Lt. Gen. John Paxton to succeed Gen. Joseph Dunford as assistant commandant of the Marine Corps, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced Thursday.
General Rodrigues Nominated as Head of Africon

As I was typing this I heard John Bolton on Greta say that there are conflicting reports of General Ham's comments on this tragedy and why a rapid response unit was not deployed. Bolton says someone needs to find out what Ham was saying on 9/11/12.

Interesting to say the least.
Angering, in my opinion.

UPDATE:  Borepatch has his take on it.

UPDATE 10/28/12:  Bayou Renaissance Man says this story is just another conspiracy theory with no basis in reality.  I stand by the title to the piece, though.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Two September 11ths

On September 11, 2001, President George H. Bush was
reading along with a group of schoolchildren at Emma E. Booker Elementary School in Sarasota County, Florida, when White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card informed him that a second airplane had just hit the World Trade Center. Bush remained seated for roughly seven minutes, and followed along as the children read the book. After spending about twenty minutes total with the children, Bush was scheduled to give a short press conference at about 9:30 a.m. At the conference inside the school, Bush made his first speech about the attacks and was later taken to a secure location by the Secret Service aboard Air Force One before returning to the White House later that evening.

Bush's critics, notably Michael Moore in his film Fahrenheit 9/11, have argued that the fact that Bush continued reading the book after being notified that the attack was ongoing shows that he was indecisive.
We heard about this ad nauseam for years.

What was Bush supposed to do? The aircraft had already crashed. No one knew what might come next. Things were still chaotic, and information - verified information - was hard to come by.

On September 11, 2012, President Barack Obama was in the White House when the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya was attacked by terrorist forces at about 9:40PM local time, about 3:40PM in D.C. According to the Washington Post:
About a half-hour after militants overran the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, last month, the State Department notified officials at the White House and elsewhere that the compound was "under attack" by about 20 armed assailants, e-mails obtained by The Washington Post on Wednesday show.

Two hours later, the State Department reported that the Libyan militia group Ansar al-Sharia had asserted responsibility on Facebook and Twitter and had also called for an attack on the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli.

--

"Embassy Tripoli reports approximately 20 armed people fired shots; explosions have been heard as well," the center wrote at 4:05 p.m, or 10:05 p.m. Libyan time.
A Predator drone already on station over Libya was directed over the Consulate to observe, providing a live feed to Washington. The U.S. had forces at bases in Italy, just an hour away by air - less, if fighter jets had been dispatched.

The emails sent to Washington were not just plain, everyday emails. They were marked with priorities that got them to the front of the line and to the White House.

By 11PM Benghazi time the fighting at the Consulate was over. The ambassador and one other were dead, but the ambassador's body had not been found yet. Some of the personnel, with the body of one deceased American, relocated to a "safe house" some distance away. At 2AM the safe house came under attack. After about an hour's fighting, two more Americans were dead.

Approximately five hours elapsed between the beginning of the conflict and the deaths of the last two Americans. The email notifications arrived in Washington, and the Predator drone arrived overhead in Benghazi during the first hour of the conflict. If President Obama was not made aware of the situation during that first hour, then his entire staff is incompetent. If he was made aware before the deaths of the last two Americans and took no action...

When will Michael Moore and the rest of the Left declare Obama indecisive?

Edited to add this:
The rescue team from the CIA annex evacuated those who remained at the consulate and Sean Smith, who had been killed in the initial attack. They could not find the ambassador and returned to the CIA annex at about midnight.

At that point, they called again for military support and help because they were taking fire at the CIA safe house, or annex. The request was denied. There were no communications problems at the annex, according those present at the compound. The team was in constant radio contact with their headquarters. In fact, at least one member of the team was on the roof of the annex manning a heavy machine gun when mortars were fired at the CIA compound. The security officer had a laser on the target that was firing and repeatedly requested back-up support from a Spectre gunship, which is commonly used by U.S. Special Operations forces to provide support to Special Operations teams on the ground involved in intense firefights. The fighting at the CIA annex went on for more than four hours -- enough time for any planes based in Sigonella Air base, just 480 miles away, to arrive. Fox News has also learned that two separate Tier One Special operations forces were told to wait, among them Delta Force operators.

A Special Operations team, or CIF which stands for Commanders in Extremis Force, operating in Central Europe had been moved to Sigonella, Italy, but they were never told to deploy. In fact, a Pentagon official says there were never any requests to deploy assets from outside the country. A second force that specializes in counterterrorism rescues was on hand at Sigonella, according to senior military and intelligence sources. According to those sources, they could have flown to Benghazi in less than two hours. They were the same distance to Benghazi as those that were sent from Tripoli. Spectre gunships are commonly used by the Special Operations community to provide close air support.

According to sources on the ground during the attack, the special operator on the roof of the CIA annex had visual contact and a laser pointing at the Libyan mortar team that was targeting the CIA annex. The operators were calling in coordinates of where the Libyan forces were firing from.
But no one would authorize anything.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Quote of the Day - Outsourcing and Offshoring

This is an excerpt from Mark Steyn's recent column, Who's 'Politicizing' Benghazi? at NRO. It's a rather long one:
...the State Department outsourced security for the Benghazi consulate to Blue Mountain, a Welsh firm that hires ex-British and -Commonwealth special forces, among the toughest hombres on the planet. The company's very name comes from the poem "The Golden Journey to Samarkand," whose words famously adorn the regimental headquarters of Britain's Special Air Service in Hereford. Unfortunately, the one-year contract for consulate security was only $387,413 — or less than the cost of deploying a single U.S. soldier overseas. On that budget, you can't really afford to fly in a lot of crack SAS killing machines, and have to make do with the neighborhood talent pool. So who's available? Blue Mountain hired five members of the Benghazi branch of the February 17 Martyrs' Brigade and equipped them with handcuffs and batons. A baton is very useful when someone is firing an RPG at you, at least if you play a little baseball. There were supposed to be four men heavily armed with handcuffs on duty that night, but, the date of September 11 having no particular significance in the Muslim world, only two guards were actually on shift.

Let's pause right there, and "politicize" a little more. Liberals are always going on about the evils of "outsourcing" and "offshoring" — selfish vulture capitalists like Mitt shipping jobs to cheap labor overseas just to save a few bucks. How unpatriotic can you get! So now the United States government is outsourcing embassy security to cheap Welshmen who in turn outsource it to cheaper Libyans. Diplomatic facilities are U.S. sovereign territory — no different de jure from Fifth Avenue or Mount Rushmore. So defending them is one of the core responsibilities of the state. But that's the funny thing about Big Government: The bigger it gets, the more of life it swallows up, the worse it gets at those very few things it's supposed to be doing.