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Not all campaigns involve the violent clash of arms.
Some require other tools.
How these will be applied described here.
You might consider them to be "special" forces.
(...since "taking the boeing" means a lot more money than he's getting.)
The excellent writer and in-theater soldier behind Acute Politics has joined Pajamas Media, has some posts in Doonesbury's site, and apparently will be published in the Doonesbury book.
I wonder if we would have gotten such great writing if he had started a few months later, as Eighty Deuce can attest (h/t B5).
Arkin manages to notice Badger 6 snarking at him in that entertaining post. Of course Arkin misspells the name of our favorite milblogging public figure from OPFOR. (So now in the space of months, he's gotten his name, rank, and job gotten wrong in the MSM--so much for the legions of fact checkers!)
It looks as though Arkin may have backed away from writing about his "obscene amenities" posture somewhat, and now is merely being the guild representative because the guild knows better than those peasant blogger types. I think we addressed that guild thing a while back, but it's going to come up again and again for a while.
I also note that Arkin didn't mention the ending of Blackfive's post, either.
I wonder why.
KAMR -- An Amarillo man has been indicted for lying about earning military medals. Richard "David" McClanahan was indicted in federal court on three counts. Two were for his claims of having military honors including 3 Purple Hearts, 3 Silver Stars, and a Congressional Medal of Honor. The other count had to do with falsifying bank documents. These indictments have been in the works for at least a month, our story however, started two months ago. In the beginning it was a tale of heroics, in the end it turned into an I-Team investigation. David McClanahan was a poster boy of bravery, at least that's what so many believed. The letter from the President confirmed it. It was a nomination for the Congressional Medal of Honor. The letter told a story of valor, and he confirmed it on more than one speaking engagement. At a military banquet on March 24, 2007, McClanahan told the crowd, "It's just a nomination. There are so many more who deserve it." After several calls to the White House and Pentagon we confirmed the letter was a fake. By that time McClanahan had already shared his story with hundreds, including his unsuspecting family. It was a tale of how he killed Iraqis and saved American lives. On paper his story of bravery continued. His resume boasted dozens of awards, including 3 Purple Hearts and 3 Silver Stars. A Lt. Colonel at the Pentagon looked into those claims for us and e-mailed us this response. "The Army is looking into this matter, and as of yet has found no evidence to substantiate McClanahan's claim.
What is it with the MSM, and the blatant disregard to expose the Jesse Macbeths of this war.
AND, I'd liked to know, why were so many so easily fooled; I mean 3 purple hearts, 3 Silver Stars, and the Congressional Medal of Honor, among the many other supposed awards, well, that's pretty damn impressive and a red flag in my book. Not that this could not be accomplished, I'm just saying, I'd have at least checked him out in the beginning before being made a fool of.
According to Jack Barnes, who heads up America Supports You in Amarillo, Texas, McClanahan told him he had been awarded three Silver Stars, three Purple Hearts, the Legion of Merit and a nomination for the Congressional Medal of Honor for combat bravery in Iraq.
"We just embraced this young man. His story was so real," recalled Barnes.
UPDATE: A reader digs deeper into google and emails his findings:
I was surprised that this guy got away with what he did. Was there no one with prior military service looking at McClanahan's supposed experiences and awards?!
--- 29 years old
--- "Retired Master Sergeant" (retired as an E-8 at 29yo?!)
--- See purported list of awards below (screen capture image assembled in Photoshop from online video)
--- Tours: at least one in Iraq; one in Afghanistan
--- Two Navy Achievement Medals (good for a young Army guy)
--- One Navy Good Conduct Medal (even better for a young Army guy)
--- Korean Defense Service Medal
Other info (below) I found while playing on Google.
--- His current wife's MySpace page acknowledging the hoax and her realization that McClanahan was married when they became engaged. Includes scanned images of McClanahan's indictment.
--- A couple forum entries by people conned by McClanahan into believing his story. *** Real sad part is the forum author's remark re people that were on hand to listen to McClanahan lie: "...the mothers, fathers, widows and children of the fallen. There were three families there, and their presence was extremely sobering to us...."***
Page from current wife's (#2) MySpace site:All done!
--- 29 May 2007: Three scanned documents, ("indictments")
--- 26 May 2007: "...It has been confirmed today that David was officially divorced from his first wife on September 28, 2006. A mere 3 months before we were married. I truly feel sorry for anyone who encounters this guy...?I am sure that I'll see the first ex during David's arraignment before the Grand Jury on May 31st. I fully intend on apologizing profusely to her. I had no idea that I was dating and engaged to a married man....?This story just gets more and more bazaar as the days pass. I am writing notes on all the goings-on so I can write a book. People need to know so there aren't any more victims of his crass lies."
--- Page includes other entries/links re McClanahan's hoax
10 October 2006: "...Divorces Granted: Potter County...?VERONICA GARCIA MCCLANAHAN, RICHARD DAVID MCCLANAHAN"
--- 25 May 2007: "...Also there was another man? who I mentioned in another post . If we were told correctly, he may soon become the first living Medal of Honor recipient from Iraq. I wish I could tell you his unbelievable story, but I can't find any public information online, and I hesitate to share anything not already public without his permission....?He is a bright, humble, articulate young man, who came up out of a very rough beginning. He's a Texan who is now in civilian life with a family, planning a career helping others. To top it off, he's square-jawed and good looking, like a too-good-to-be-true recruiting poster....?Believe me, if and when his story becomes public, I'll be back here telling you about the privilege I had to listen to his story and shake his hand....?But he'd be the first to tell you, as he told us, that the heroes were his brothers and sisters who did not return. The heroes in attendance who touched my heart the most, were the mothers, fathers, widows and children of the fallen. There were three families there, and their presence was extremely sobering to us...."
--- 26 May 2007: "...The young man is retired Master Sargent David McClanahan. He has been nominated for an action when his unit was shot down when trying to rescue the injured from an earlier helicopter crash....?He single-handedly dispatched 12 Iraqis before his unit was captured. Later they effected an escape, which required them to kill more Iraqis....?He credits much of his success in life to his training at Cal Farley's Boys Ranch, a home for at-risk youth in the Texas Panhandle, 30 miles northwest of Amarillo....?If he receives the Medal of Honor, he will be the third recipient from the Iraq war, and the first living recipient....?He would be the youngest living recipient at age 29. The next youngest is 57...."
25 May 2007: "...I recently learned of someone from the Iraq conflict who has been nominated for the Medal of Honor. It's an amazing story I'd love to share here, but I can find NOTHING on line under his name...and I don't want to share his name, and don't really want to relate things that were said in a semi-private setting....?Plus, I don't recall hearing details of the action in the press, and I think I would have...it may have been because of security, and classified special ops....?So I was wondering if you could check info on an Army web site, or track it in Congress?????...?If I could find public information, I would share it here. Let's just say that the story I heard could not be used in a "Rambo" movie because it would be too implausible....?If he receives the Medal, he would be the first living recipient of the Iraq conflict. The current youngest MOH holder is 57....?The young man is impressive beyond belief. And as so many of the MOH recipients, he claims not to be a hero. He says the heroes are his brothers and sisters who did not come home...."
(date unknown) ---?"...Jack will be?bringing with him, Master Sergeant David McClanahan, USA Retired. David is?Airborne, Special Forces, and Field Medic. By letterer from the President of the United?States, President Bush, David has been nominated for the Congressional Medal of Honor?by the Army. David will be the third, if approved by Congress, to receive such an award?for combat in Iraq. The first two awards were given to family members, as the soldiers?had made the ultimate sacrifice. David will be the youngest of the 111 living recipients?to receive the Medal of Honor. He is 29 years old. David grew up, attended school K-12, and graduated from Boys Ranch, Texas...."
Mr Arkin continues with his analogy here
I guess I'll continue in my naïve hope that a free press, not a fan base, is our best hope for encouraging impartial and well-rounded criticism.
Well Mr Arkin...my problem isn't with a free press. I actually believe I am part of a free press. My problem is with sloppy, inaccurate, misinformed reporting by the so called MSM. Case in point..from the AP quoting General Odierno
He said he thinks 80 percent of Iraqis — including Sunni insurgents and Shia militants — can reach reconciliation with each other, though most al-Qaida operatives won't.One would assume Gen Odierno was speaking about the entire Iraqi population. Further down in the article -
Odierno said. "I believe about 80 percent are reconcilable, both Jaish al-Mahdi as well as Sunni insurgents," though very few of al-Qaida.One would assume Gen Odierno was speaking about 80% of Iraqi "insurgents" being reconcilable.
Which reality should I chose from this article Mr Arkin?
Michael Yon follows up on yesterday's tease with a powerful explanation of what happened and why.
It's useful to remember, now that everyone's getting buzzword compliant on COIN, that Iraq is also what's left of a Stalinist state. The security apparatus in the Soviet Union was so powerful that it survived the death of Stalin by decades; Saddam idolized Stalin and built his security apparatus the same way. Absolute power corrupts, even in cases where the man with power starts out strong. Also, people in groups tend to tolerate bad actors in their midst much more than they should--just think of a workplace you were in where they didn't fire the guy who was the real pain in the tail.
I don't know more than what Yon tells us--but it sounds as though LTC Crissman's team is walking a tightrope and doing it well.
On Sunday, June 3, Lifetime television will debut a new television series, Army Wives. I had the oppertunity to review the first episode. Should be interesting to read the reactions of "real" Army Wives.
Pat Dollard JD Johannes explains why it feels as though sometimes the ordnance has your name on it, and sometimes it doesn't.
Update: Post fixed. Thanks for the heads up.
Lawrence Kolb is a mouthpiece for Center for American Progress
Former Senator Daschle is the "distinguished fellow" at the Center for American
and holds a special place in history...the first sitting Senate Majority/Minority leader to be defeated in an election since 1952.
We recently had two votes for the Iraq supplemental...a show vote...designed to fill campaign coffers and send a message to the Iraq government which passed in the Senate with a 1 vote majority, and the real vote...which passed by 80-14. Sixty-six senators are not running for re-election in 2008.
To paraphrase Admiral Painter,
Democrats don't take a dump, son, without a planIf Gen. Petraeus shows up in Sept. saying anything close to "all is lost," he will be hailed by them like a Roman General coming back from beating up on barbarians. If not, well, Lawrence Korb has given us a preview. The SMEAREX has begun.
Petraeus is not a reliable source...published a misleading commentary...he would most likely cherry-pick data...It will get very ugly.
Oh, right. Nobody makes a movie about this subject, even if it's as amazing as this little tidbit from Michael Yon at Instapundit.
Toujours l'audace. I want to know more about the op, but the implications had this gone wrong were pretty significant.
I think this says an awful lot regarding the importance that Cook County gives to Veteran's programs and the like. I am almost losing my capacity to be surprised or angry about anything of this nature happening anymore in Illinois.
My eyes are red and swollen, my tissue box is empty, my coffee diluted with tears, but today's Memorial Day Dawn Patrol is up.
Mrs. G writes about the Operation Hero Miles [Frequent Flier] Mile for Mile Matching by the airlines this Memorial Day weekend.
Most people do not realize that even in the direst of circumstances, the military will only pay certain expenses for certain people to travel where a wounded Soldier, Marine, Airmen or Sailor is recovering. When we received the call telling us that Noah had been wounded in Iraq, one of the first questions we asked after the bare bones of the conversation of how he had been wounded and a very brief description of his injuries, was whether we should make arrangements to travel to him. Getting to our son and being there for him consumed us until we were re-united with him. The thought of how much that would cost did not enter our minds because, frankly, you know that you will "sell the farm" to get to your soldier. And the families of the wounded should not have to incur debt or worry how they will pay to be at their loved one's side under those circumstances. And recovering wounded should not have to worry about the effect on their familiy's finances either: they [should] have more important things on their minds. Programs like Operation Hero Miles (and spectacular organizations like Fisher House) are necessary programs that provide incredible and invaluable aid for military families. And just for Memorial Day Weekend, you can double the miles you donate through the airlines' matching "Mile for Mile" program.
Although we did not need to avail ourselves of this program, I hope a parent's perspective of what a program like this means will encourage those of you who might be debating whether to contribute some of those hard-earned miles to make the leap and donate them.
As family of sons and daughters and brothers and sisters and spouses now serving, we have lots to worry about. How to get to them there when you are here should not be one of them.
So drop down and follow the links in Mrs. G's post and donate some miles.
For our fallen...
I meant to ask you how to fix that car
I always meant to ask you about the war
And what you saw across a bridge too far
Did it leave a scar
Or how you navigated wings of fire and steel
Up where heaven had no more secrets to conceal
And still you found the ground beneath your wheels
How did it feel
Bang the drum slowly play the pipe lowly
To dust be returning from dust we begin
Bang the drum slowly I'll speak of things holy
Above and below me world without end
I meant to ask you how when everything seemed lost
And your fate was in a game of dice they tossed
There was still that line that you would never cross
At any cost
I meant to ask you how you lived what you believed
With nothing but your heart up your sleeve
And if you ever really were deceived
By the likes of me
Gone now is the day and gone the sun
There is peace tonight all over Arlington
But the songs of my life will still be sung
By the light of the moon you hung
I meant to ask you how to plow that field
I meant to bring you water from the well
And be the one beside you when you fell
Could you tell
- Bang the Drum Slowly, Guy Clark/Emmylou Harris
This is one of my favorite Emmylou Harris songs... she wrote it after the 1993 death of her father -- a career military member. You can listen here free (you need Rhapsody but it's a free, easy and very quick download) or if you already have Rhapsody the direct link is here. The lyrics (and the voice and phrasing) are worth the listen.
And it's a good time to remind you that not all combat wounds are visible... and that not all combat deaths are those on the battlefield...
x-posted at Some Soldier's MomAll done!
BAGHDAD (AFP) - US forces raided an Al-Qaeda prison camp north of Baghdad on Sunday and rescued 41 Iraqi captives showing signs of having been tortured or mistreated, Lieutenant Colonel Michael Donnelly said.
But what about those 'invincable' AlQueda 'Holy' Warriors...where were they?
As we came upon this thing, we had the captors or whoever was holding them flee the scene
Ahhh...they abandoned their post...didn't even put up a fight....somehow I think the Court Martial will not go well for them.
I just heard about this, but there is still time.
This weekend, the participating airlines will match your donation mile-for-mile, from 6 AM, Friday, May 25th through 11:59 pm, Monday, May 28th. Now is the time to donate those unused miles in your frequent flyer accounts!
Through a partnership with the Fisher House Foundation and individual airlines, airline tickets are available for service men and women wounded or injured in Iraq or Afghanistan or for their families to visit them in the hospital.
At this time, Airtran Airways, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Frontier Airlines, Midwest Airlines, Northwest Airlines, United Airlines, and US Airways accept donations from their passengers.
Maryann points to the care the US provided to the injured Canadian soldiers: Soldier's Angels doing their good work, Fisher House doing the right thing and supporting the Canadian families and soldiers.
It's what you do for a comrade.
I briefly met David while in Germany and he truly is America's friend and he's dumbfounded by his own who have no morals.
(Correction - Author is Ray D not David) No matter.
Headline: "Psychology: Why some People want to have Sex with Buildings and Machines" (Photo caption depicts women holding models of the World Trade Center)
So much for showing respect to the American friends. It doesn't matter that nearly 3000 people died in those buildings. Now it is apparently OK to exploit them for tasteless stories on people with sexual perversions.
As David sometimes says: "You may throw-up now."
James at The American Thinker has his thoughts
No, really. A.L., you'll like this.
I am so sorry to hear about the interruption to your holiday cheer. You say in your column that it all started when the CBC ran a story on some “poor sod” who got his legs blown off in Afghanistan.
The “poor sod” in question, Noreen, has a name and it is Cpl. Paul Franklin. He is a medic in the Forces and has been a buddy of mine for years. I had dinner with him last week in Edmonton, in fact. I will be sure to pass on to him that his lack of legs caused you some personal discomfort this Christmas.
Is there anything better than moralizing by a Finn? Except maybe the same by a Norwegian? Well, until Norway gets their act together, we're stuck with the UN's Martin Scheinin faulting the US human rights record. Needless the say, the 12 page preliminary report, at least as reported, is decidedly weak tea we begin by defining "torture" down:
Still, he said reports that information was obtained from terror suspects using "enhanced interrogation techniques" amounted to a form of torture or inhumane treatment that is illegal under international law, particularly the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights treaty the United States signed.
His report said the prisoners detained by the military at Guantanamo had been categorized by the United States as alien "unlawful enemy combatants," which Scheinin called a "description of convenience" since there is no such category under international law.
International law also has no category for "donuts." Such things apparently then do not exist. That international law has been woefully deficient thus far in responding to (let alone acknowledging) supranational groups engaging in large-scale protracted warfare is a failing on the part of international law, not the US.
Nobody is denying that these douchebags are combatants. It's the fact that they ARE combatants that is the basis for their detention. Nor has the US ever stated that they won't be released after the conflict ends (quite the contrary).
They are either combatants to be released at the end of a conflict as prisoners of war, or people who have to be charged with war crimes and prosecuted accordingly, usually in civilian courts, he said.
In Guantanamo, he said, even an acquittal by a military commission "does not result in a right of release."
Yeah, wanna know what the manual says on that point? That continued detention following acquittal may be appropriate under the law of war. As in, detained until the end of hostilities, as the law of war permits. Scheinin seems to be engaging in an "argument of convenience."
Scheinin also criticized several U.S. laws, including the 2001 Patriot Act, enacted by Congress after the September 11 attacks on the United States, for expanding the definition of terrorist acts "beyond the bounds of conduct which is truly terrorist," and tightening immigration restrictions based on the expanded definitions.
He also faulted our policy of agricultural subsidies to domestic dairy farmers as being "really really mean." All done!
So that we Sea Service types are all singing off the same pages, so to speak.
May No Soldier Go Unloved is Book number one in a Seriers that chronicles the History of Soldiers Angels
Written by the Founders Husband, Book One Centers Around How Soldiers Angels Started and the Mission it set forth.
The incredible journey of one woman's desire to help, and how that has drawn over 120,000 volunteers and millions of dollars to her cause.
Patti Patton Bader has the heart of Mother Teresa, the motivational mastership of Vince Lombardi, and the mobilization skills of Genghis Khan. She was raised an army brat; the great niece of the famous World War II General George S. Patton, daughter of decorated Vietnam Veteran Lt. Colonel David W. Patton, and brother of Iraqi War Veteran David Patton.
When her oldest son, Brandon, was sent to Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom, in the spring of 2003, she decided to send him at least one care package a day and keep a blog of the events that occurred in Iraq and Afghanistan as an electronic scrapbook for Brandon when he returned.
What started out as a mother's small commitment to her son, soon turned into Soldiers' Angels.
The Books Will revolve around Soldiers Angels Motto
May No Soldier Go Unloved
May No Soldier Walk Alone
May No Soldier Be ForGotten
Till they All Come Home.
The First 1000 Books will be signed by the Author and his Wife Patti Founder of Soldiers Angels
A portion of these proceeds will go to Welcome Packs for our deployed heroes!
Get yours Today!
Ancestry.com, a research database for genealogists, has just added a fabulous collection of military records that's worth a look. Their new Military Collection includes all the WWII United Newsreel collection, all the WWII Stars & Stripes editions and something like 7,000 photographs from the Civil War (including the Matthew Brady collection). This is in addition to the muster rolls, draft registrations, pension applications and other data we researchers love to dig through. The Military Collection will be open to all through June 6th and is well worth a visit.
Over in America, home of the free
Land of unlimited opportunity
People in the streets protest whatever they can
While over in Iraq and Afghanistan
The brave, far from home, are standing tall
toeing the line, so they can have it all
Some like to complicate it but it's simple to me
They're making noise, we're making history
We're making history
They're making noise
We're facing the fire
They're playing with toys
Nobody ever said
That it would be easy
They're making noise
While we're making history
Some would like to tell you that we can't get it done
Some would like to think that it's time to cut and run
Me I like to finish something once I've begun
And I don't think I'm the only one
Here making history, hearing the noise
of louder things, bigger things, things that destroy
Things you'd never want to see on your street
Things you might call the price of defeat
So forgive me if I come home a little annoyed
I've been making history while you were making noise
Iraq, May 2007
After effects of the Toby Keith concert: Wrote this country music song while driving around in my humvee. Maybe later I'll work out the guitar part and record.
Remember that kerfuffle last fall when the San Francisco School Board voted 4-2 to kick JROTC out of local high schools? For the sake of the children!
I ran across an interesting dissertation with the title: "A comparative study between Navy Junior ROTC cadets and general population students on measures of dogmatism, personality type, and self-esteem"
I always cringe a little bit inside when I read a topic framed in such a way that it seems to be literally begging the question. It seems to me that any study that asks about "dogmatism" as it relates to high school age JROTC cadets presents at least a rebuttable presumption of an expected result.
Whether or not you find the results counter-intuitive will depend I suppose on the soundness of your intuition.
For my own part, I found it mildly amusing to see that researcher - faced with his own results - said that the topic "required more study."
They depend on the news media for commentary and amplification and insight; they study and memorize the statistics
To continue with this ridiculous analogy.
People who have actually played baseball know that how many homeruns a batter has hit is insufficient information to determine what kind of pitch is most effective against a given batter. How many homeruns were from a fastball, or curveball or changeup is the minimum information required.
Edgar Martinez was one of the most walked players in baseball. If I listen to the MSM it was because opposing pitchers were afraid of his bat...there is a grain of truth to that...Edgar also needed a cane to get to second base...having him on first was a good setup for a double play...I never once heard a baseball announcer say..."Ohh heck...Edgar got walked...it could be a setup for a double play".
I've seen a lot of polls about Iraq published in the MSM...the most important question..."Would you willingly choose a 7th Century Sharia lifestyle?" To my knowledge the question has never been asked or if asked, published. It is an important question...because if the answer is yes...then the only way to defeat AlQueda in Iraq is to subjugate the entire Iraqi population...if the answer is no...then victory is assured as long as we stay long enough to give the Iraqi people a fighting chance to keep themselves from being subjugated by AlQueda.
The problem with the MSM 'filter' is not what they print...it is the critical facts that they don't even consider that ultimately determine the outcome.
The Second Surge
By DJ Elliott, IS1 (SW), USN (Ret)
Think about it. 14,000 more IA personnel.
A Division's worth of new troops added to a 10 Division force.
I had to write the headline myself a week after the data was released to the public since the press did not bother with this major news item.
A 12% increase in IA operational personnel between 2 May and 16 May:
It had been flat at 137,800 since Feb while they trained individual replacements.
The 100% manning point and the overmanning/expansion training started in March.
This was the graduation of a large chunk of the expansion.
The end of Jun will be next batch of new graduates...
If a 12% increase in the IA since Feb is a de-emphasis in Iraqi training, I wonder what McClatchy think an increase is?
70,000 growing to 90,000 per year sounds like a decent rate of training to me.
I think the San Francisco Chronical got it partialy correct.
- There is a second surge: Of Iraqi Army force expansion.
- There will be an all time high of over 200,000 troops at end-year: In the Iraqi Army.
The San Francisco Chronical was just confused as to which army was increasing in Iraq.
At current rate of training the IA will go past the current authorized end-strength of 175,000 in September...
Of note, the OPSEC is better on the identity of the new Bdes than it was prior to my OPSEC rant.
I have only seen hard reporting of three new IA Bdes specificaly identified as forming/new formed and those pre-date the rant:
- 5-10 new formed at Shaibah (West Basrah)
- 4-9 new forming at Taji (North Baghdad)
- 4-4 new formed at Kirkuk for assignment to Samarra (South Salahadin)
- And not so hard data indicating two new Bdes forming in Kirkuk Province: "The central government intends to send an army here, about 6,000 soldiers," Mam Rostam said. "They have been chosen by them. They are not anyone from anywhere in particular. They are very clean. Those 6,000 soldiers will be working in Kirkuk to achieve stability in this city. We’re expecting after this, which is going to happen in a very short time, for the terrorism to be reduced 80 or 90 percent."
6000 is too large for one Bde so this is probably two new Bdes and Div Staff for the new forming 11th IA Div.
If Congress is having trouble with keeping up with the data on ISF improvements and expansion, maybe they should try reading and listening instead of talking.
I had no real trouble noticing a 12 PERCENT increase in the Iraqi Army's operational strength since the begining of May despite the absense of reporting in the press...
So I go to sign on Army Knowledge Online, and what do I see? This:
Sgt. Tierney Nowland teaches the "Macarena" (a type of dance) to an Iraqi Soldier during a break from a cordon and search mission in Ameriyah, May 16. She is a combat cameraman with the 982nd Signal Company. (Photo by Spc. Elisha Dawkins)
The Macarena? I thought we were trying to help the Iraqis? Heh.
Sorry, I have to adjust my post (Adjustment in BOLD)
They depend on the news media for commentary and amplification and insight; they study and memorize the statistics
If this were true, the media, just as a sportscaster, would understand the game, the rules, the lingo and the MilBlogs would not need to correct them daily. AND THE SPORTCASTER WOULD NOT REVEAL THE PLAYBOOK DURING THE GAME!
This is not the first time and will not be the last. Milbloggers here, are aware of this problem, however I don't think the average Joe realizes how often it happens and the problems it causes.
I wish the media would quit taking freedom of speech for granted and realize, that with that freedom comes responsiblity.
Milbloggers are obligated to follow OPSEC rules , unfortunately it means nothing to the MSM
This is what I'm talkin about
Kudos to CNN! Just wish they had not been so slow to come around. Let see if they can keep this up.
I bet their viewership would go up, if they continued this trend.
As Memorial Day approaches, don’t look back on Tuesday and go “I wish I would have done this or that”. Do something special this Memorial Day that recognizes those who have gone before us to make a difference. Don’t look at it as a chance to have a three day weekend to go camping but a special day to acknowledge those who help America what it is today. Below is a post I wrote a time back. Hope you enjoy it and especially this Memorial Day. Semper Fidelis and God Bless America!
This Memorial Day is the first one I have been home at since I deployed to Afghanistan for 8 mos, then Iraq for a year. A lot has happened in that time, to me, my family and my fellow Marines but I haven’t forgotten.
In case anyone's wondering, I'm fine. Have arrived at new location and been quite busy setting up living and working quarters. "Battle Rhythm" is a phrase that describes a routine - and mine's not yet established.
Weather is quite warm - next time you go to the beach on a hot day wrap yourself in an electric blanket and sit near a heater that can throw 10 knots of hot air at you and you'll know what I mean by "quite warm". The good thing is this is mild compared to July and August.
But it's a dry heat.
Oh, and Toby Keith is a great American.
By William H. McMichael - Staff writer Posted : Wednesday May 23, 2007 15:46:46 EDT
Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle ripped the Bush administration Tuesday over what they say is a continued failure by the Pentagon to provide witnesses and information on the training of Iraqi security forces.
“If we cannot get answers, democracy is in trouble,” said Jones, who originally supported the war.
A bit of information that did emerge Tuesday: As of May 9, a total of 337,200 Iraqi Security Forces are “trained and equipped,” according to a biweekly Defense Department update to its quarterly Iraq status report.
Well Congressman...I don't know where you have been getting your information.....but it is out of date..
Last weeks State Department ReportState Department Report lists the size of the Iraqi Army at 151.800 soldiers.
I once wrote to the individual at the State Department who compiles the weekly report with a minor correction...he wrote back thanking me for reading his report because he didn't think anyone read his weekly report.
In any case...I blog a lot about the status of Iraqi forces here.<
This Arkin Clown over at the WaPo thinks Milbloggers depend on the MSM for statistics...well congressman...we don't.
If you want to know how many trucks,rifles, bullets etc the Iraqi Army has I suggest asking DJ here. To be fair to the Washington Post...they don't employ anyone who spent 20 years as a Naval Intelligience Analyst
The Pentagon is being a bit coy about how many C-2 battalions the Iraqi Army has at the moment due to the Force Generation Model the Iraqi Army unit is using. The Iraqi Army has come up with an extra 24 batallions as part of Plan 'B'. But lets not blame the MSM for missing Plan 'B'...they were busy covering every sordid detail of various congressman and senators shouting mindless talking points at each other instead of tending to the nations business.
IMHO The earliest date for Plan 'B' to be ready is September 2007...but then...I get my info from blogs raher than the Washington Post.All done!
According to recently published reports, the Bush administration quietly approached several retired four-star generals last March about accepting a newly created position to coordinate military and political/diplomatic activity in Iraq. None accepted. One of those who refused was highly decorated retired Marine Corps Gen. John J. Sheehan, who was quoted in The Washington Post as saying, "So rather than go over there, develop an ulcer and eventually leave, I said, 'No, thanks.' " How unreasonable indeed it was of the president of the United States to ask a retired Marine Corps four-star general -- during a time of war -- to do something hard, particularly at the risk of an upset tummy.
(Update: h/t CDR Salamander. Whoops, I had forgotten where I found this--apologies for stepping on your post!)
William "The Troops Also Need To Support The American People" Arkin? "Obscene Amenities" Arkin?
The same guy who spends most of his time criticizing anything we do? The guy who wrote an entire book of leaked American code names?
Who the expletive pulled his string this week? Was he feeling lonely or looking for attention?
Andi just wanted to prevent the spittle from flecking everywhere. To continue the analogy, Arkin at the baseball game is Roseanne Barr singing the national anthem: loud, out of tune, and missing the point.
I guess the idea of insulting the dead on Memorial Day just hasn't been good enough for the former Senator from N.C. (who would not have been re-elected had he chosen to run). He wants to allow all the "poor" people serving in the military to upgrade their companions, as Sister Toldja tells us here:
Echoing an insulting theme expressed by Rep. Charlie Rangel and Senator John Kerry, among other reprehensible Democrats, presidential hopeful John Edwards made a call yesterday for not only protesting the war on Memorial Day, but also for a “mandatory military service” requirement to take the ‘burden’ off the poor:What he said was (placed in context):
Last week, Edwards sent a Web notice asking his supporters to use the holiday to speak against the war. Paul Morin, national commander of the American Legion, called the request "as inappropriate as a political bumper sticker on an Arlington headstone."It would be hard to come up with a better response than Sister Toldjah did: "Um, don’t they already have that “chance”, Senator?"
Edwards also called Monday for spreading the burden of serving the country by mandating national service.
"One of the things we ought to be thinking about is some level of mandatory service to our country, so that everybody in America -- not just the poor kids who get sent to war -- are serving this country," he said.
After the event, Edwards said he had not meant to imply that only the poor go to war, only that everyone should serve in some way.
"We have people from all walks of life in America who are serving, including Reservists and National Guard," he said. "What we want to do is to have all Americans to have a chance to serve their country."
I wonder if he is concerned that only "rich people" seem to be able to run for high public office?
UPDATE: Maybe Mr. Edwards could learn something by embedding with the troops?
The most spectacular recent case of a journalist with an antiwar mindset being completely overwhelmed into a change of heart by American soldiers, according to the public affairs officer, was a Greek public television reporter who had been embedded with an infantry unit that became entrenched in a 45-minute firefight with insurgents. Yanked out of the line of fire by a soldier who put the journalist's life above his own, he waited under cover and in fear of his life for the almost hourlong duration of the battle, with the best view possible of American soldiers in action against an armed and murderous enemy. He credits his having lived to tell the tale directly to those young troops.
"He had tears in his eyes as he talked about it," said the public affairs officer. "He just kept saying, 'They saved my life, they saved my life. . . . These are great men; they are heroes.' Even after telling it several times, he couldn't get through the story without choking up--and this was a man who had arrived here with all of the disdain for the Iraq mission and for the American soldiers who he [like seemingly most Europeans] had seen as the bad guys in this fight."
This story is sort of disheartening. Needless to say, I am disappointed in several people that figure in this tale. I would like to say I was shocked, but I am in Illinois (John Kass once held a contest to replace the State Motto "Land of Lincoln" - the winning entry was "Illinois - Will the Defendant Please Rise").
I can only hope that the replacement for this fellow turns out for the better.
Andi, add this to "What They're Saying" about the MilBlog Conference.
And shame on you for not inviting him.
The MilBloggers got an extra boost of attention after the news about the Army's "crackdown" on blogs, with the overheated claim that the new operations security (OPSEC) and bandwidth rules cut off soldiers from their families and restricting people's freedoms. An extra boost from whom, you ask? From the mainstream media they so seemingly despise -- with various noterati of the MilBlog world being interviewed and quoted regarding the impact of the military's new rules.
As I see it, beyond the social networking and communications functions, the Milblogs have set themselves up as an anti-news media squad. The conference included many discussions of the deficiencies of mainstream press coverage of Iraq. In fact, some people actually believe that, with the availability of worldwide news on the Web and the emergence of military blogs, the Pentagon press corps and even the mainstream news media is obsolete.
Which brings me back to the Red Sox game -- specifically, Section 15, where I was sitting. I couldn't help but notice that the baseball aficionados felt quite confident about their knowledge and views. Everyone had an opinion on the game; everyone was an expert.
For the super-fans who can actually afford to go to the games, or who commit their lives to the Sox, the professional reporters are hardly the enemy. These are people who can't get enough news and analysis. They depend on the news media for commentary and amplification and insight; they study and memorize the statistics.
I've often thought if we could cover the military like sports, with transparency and intimate knowledge and a play-by-play that was both affectionate and unsparingly critical, we'd have a healthier debate. Interest and knowledge on the part of the typical American in foreign affairs and national security would actually increase.
But alas, it is the military, and whether it is the death of Pat Tillman or a war plan, the impulse of the institution is strategic defense. Secrecy, of course, is always justified on OPSEC grounds.
It's guys like this that just don't get it.
Affectionate and unsparingly critical... Heh, no comment.
They depend on the news media for commentary and amplification and insight; they study and memorize the statisticsIf this were true, the media would be reporting the many many successes that our men and women are accomplishing, and not just the doom and gloom and the body count.
If this were true, the media, just as a sportscaster, would understand the game, the rules, the lingo and the MilBlogs would not need to correct them daily.
AND THE SPORTCASTER WOULD NOT REVEAL THE PLAYBOOK DURING THE GAME!
This is not the first time and will not be the last. Milbloggers here, are aware of this problem, however I don't think the average Joe realizes how often it happens and the problems it causes.
I wish the media would quit taking freedom of speech for granted and realize, that with that freedom comes responsiblity.
Milbloggers are obligated to follow OPSEC rules , unfortunately it means nothing to the MSM
In fact, some people actually believe that, with the availability of worldwide news on the Web and the emergence of military blogs, the Pentagon press corps and even the mainstream news media is obsolete.As stated in the MilBlog conference, we are NOT anti-media. The MilBlogs could work well with the media. They would benefit from our constructive critism. REPORT THE GOOD WITH THE BAD!
The MilBlogs need the media as a resource, however the media has not recognized that they need MilBlogs.
Obsolete? Not just yet.
UPDATE: Jules has a perfect example of misreporting
OK my rant is done, I'll go back to my little corner and stick to Dawn Patrolling.
What the Tank doesn't tell you is that this kind of article happens in the Navy Times every time there's a random cluster of firings or groundings or whatever. I've seen it over and over again over the years. It's related to the phenomenon you see every time we get an overlap of carriers in the Gulf and the uninformed scream "OMG!!! Invasion!!!!11!!".
Not so--although it sells copies of the Navy Times. These things happen at more or less random times, most of the time. Random things tend to cluster. Just because they're clustered does not mean something's behind it. Correlation does not imply causation (and these firings range from violations of the Three Kiss Principle to other issues).
It's that letter 'e' in the name that changes everything.
--I wonder what the post-speech discussion was like. Did he call her out on it?
--The "atrocity" issue may have soured his desires in that direction.
Get a chance to read what former Democrat Senator Bob Kerry wrote at OpinionJournal.com? Worth a full read, but it is the kind of conversation and ideas I wish we had coming out of the Democrat Party right now.
No matter how incompetent the Bush administration and no matter how poorly they chose their words to describe themselves and their political opponents, Iraq was a larger national security risk after Sept. 11 than it was before. And no matter how much we might want to turn the clock back and either avoid the invasion itself or the blunders that followed, we cannot. The war to overthrow Saddam Hussein is over. What remains is a war to overthrow the government of Iraq.Sigh.
This does not mean that Saddam Hussein was responsible for 9/11; he was not. Nor does it mean that the war to overthrow him was justified--though I believe it was. It only means that a unilateral withdrawal from Iraq would hand Osama bin Laden a substantial psychological victory.
Why, it's National Maritime Day!
As proclaimed here:
In times of war, the Merchant Marine is the lifeline of our troops overseas. By carrying critical supplies, equipment, and personnel, merchant mariners provide essential support to our Armed Forces and help advance the cause of freedom. Today, merchant mariners are supporting operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, and their devotion to duty is a tribute to the generations of men and women who have served our Nation with courage and determination in every conflict in America's history. On this day, and throughout the year, America is grateful for their service.
I wonder what the world would be like if -
The US had left a sizable stabilaztion force in Europe at the end of WWI
The US had not passed the neutrality act of 1936
Rather than create the State of Israel in 1948..force the Palestinians to accept an unlimited right of return of the Hebrews(the original idea).
North Korea had been carpet bombed in '52
Rather than collapsing after a few rather unsubtantial protests in '53, the Iranian parliament had adopted good governance.
Joe McCarthy had spent his energies pointing out the weakness of communism rather than conducting a witch hunt against communists.
Congress had left 25K or so advisors and some aid on the table for South Vietnam.
Carter didn't pull the plug on the Shah of Iran and insisted on incremental reforms.
Carter didn't believe Breznev's assertion that the Soviets wouldn't invade Afghanistan.
The Looney Left hadn't killed the Nuclear Power Industry in the US in the '70's
We had leveled the Iranian Parliament 30 seconds after the US hostages were released.
Bush Senior had actually gone to Baghdad when we had a much larger Army.
Clinton hadn't cut the size of the Army.
Unfortunately...we don't get redo's in real life.
No, not what you are thinking. Look at these three Americans - held hostage by terrorists for almost 4 years.
Relatives of kidnap victims call it "proof of life."Keith Stansell, Thomas Howes, and Marc Gonsalves. Mostly forgotten by all but their family - and they were working for us.
Almost four years have passed since Gene and Lynne Stansell received any confirmation that their son, Keith, a U.S. defense contractor who was taken hostage by left-wing guerrillas in Colombia, was still alive.
The three Americans were captured in February 2003 after their single-engine plane crashed in the Colombian jungle on a counterdrug reconnaissance mission.Yes Virginia, there are still Communist terrorists out there. Narco-Communists - but Communists nonetheless. Do Keith, thomas, and Marc rate the POW/MIA flag as well? If so, who in our government cares? Ever hear anything but an "oh by the way?" Anyone trying real hard to find them? SOUTHCOM, looking for work? Is it part of the CUB? CDR SOUTHCOM calls it "...one of the top priorities.." but a search for "FARC" on the SOUTHCOM website finds just six news bits and nothing else. Your Command Strategy 2016 only mentions FARC once. Once. Just wondering....you mention "diversity" twice....
A gaunt looking Pinchao said he escaped the prison camp in the country's eastern jungle lowlands on April 28. He last saw the Americans on the day he fled, he told reporters. One of the Americans, Gonsalves, was suffering from hepatitis.
For 95 years, with time off for WWII, an important mission involves growlers, Albatross, Hercules, cutters, currents and islands and a foe that can't be destroyed except by time.
Prompted by a disaster that hasn't been repeated, a small team continues with their long-running mission, as explained here.
I have received this public announcement from DOD.
DoD Announces Change-In-Status Of Army Soldier
The Department of Defense today announced the death of a soldier supporting Operation Iraq Freedom, who was previously listed as Duty Status Whereabouts Unknown (DUSTWUN).
Sgt. Anthony J. Schober, 23, of Reno, Nev., died on May 12 in Al Taqa, Iraq, of wounds suffered when his patrol was attacked by enemy forces using automatic fire and explosives. He was assigned to the 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, N.Y.
Rest in peace, comrade.
Yep... ranting again...
The other day the House Committee on Veterans Affairs held a "Symposium" on PTSD. The speakers (besides all the members of the committee) included people from the Thought Field Therapy Center (ummm, tapping various pressure points on your body in a specific sequence and applied to a psychological problem the person is focusing on, "will eliminate the perturbations in the thought field, the fundamental cause of all negative emotions..." [ed. comment: including war??] and you apparently don't have to understand or believe for it to work! Yah.), National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare (represents the interests of community behavioral healthcare organizations nationwide... conducts federal advocacy activities, representing the industry on Capitol Hill and before Federal agencies), American Psychiatric Association, Institute of Rural Health at Idaho State University (improving the health of rural communities in Idaho and the Intermountain Region, as well as throughout the nation and the world [ed. comment: nothing like a little over achievement to scream mentally healthy, huh?]), Wounded Warriors Project (assisting men and women of our armed forces who have been severely injured during the conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other locations around the world) and the American Enterprise Institute [for Public Policy Research] (a private, nonpartisan, not-for-profit institution dedicated to research and education on issues of government, politics, economics, and social welfare. [ed. comment: don't "government, politics & economics" actually preclude "social welfare"?]
I watched the last 60-90 minutes of this "symposium" and to say that I was less than impressed would be an understatement; to say that I was infuriated at times might be an overstatement. Aggravated, agitated (principally at the attitude) might be most accurate.
But what I know for sure is that many of those people DO.NOT.HAVE.A.CLUE about COMBAT-INDUCED PTSD's effect on those with the condition. And a few need to be slapped up side the head for their generally self-serving attitude.
Lots more and all the links at Some Soldier's Mom
The wannabe boot camp washout who "confessed" to being an Army Ranger who committed war crimes, and who got a big following among the gullible left before mil-bloggers (among others) outed him, wasn't forgotten by the criminal justice system. He was charged with two counts today related to his deception under a federal indictment unsealed in Seattle:
A man who tried to position himself as a leader of the anti-war movement by claiming to have participated in war crimes while serving in Iraq is facing federal charges of falsifying his record.Couldn't have happened to a more deserving guy.
A complaint unsealed Friday in U.S. District Court in Seattle charged 23-year-old Jesse Adam Macbeth with one count of using or possessing a forged or altered military discharge certificate, and one count of making false statements in seeking benefits from the Veterans Administration.
Macbeth garnered much attention on blogs and in some alternative media after he began claiming in 2005 to have been awarded a Purple Heart for his service, which he said included slaughtering innocent civilians in a Fallujah mosque.
His story was contradicted by his true discharge form, showing that he was kicked out of the Army after six weeks at Fort Benning, Ga., in 2003 because of his "entry level performance and conduct."
Update: Michelle Malkin has much more.
That's pretty lenient, I would think, although not Sandy Berger lenient. Army Lawyer, what do you think?
NORFOLK, Va. -- Two days before a Navy lawyer allegedly mailed a list of Guantánamo captives' names to a New York human rights group -- tucked inside a Valentine -- he signed a military form agreeing not to disclose ''any government information,'' according to testimony at his court-martial Tuesday.
Navy Lt. Cmdr. Matthew Diaz, 41, faces up to 24 years in prison if convicted of five charges ranging from unlawfully releasing classified material that could harm the United States to conduct unbecoming an officer.
Prosecutors argue that the list containing names, codes and serial numbers of 500-plus Guantánamo captives was a national security secret when Diaz sent a shrunken version in January 2005 to the Center for Constitutional Rights, a civil liberties law firm suing on behalf of both publicly identified and nameless war-on-terror captives.
By the way, he was convicted ...
The jury will begin deliberating his sentence this afternoon.All done!
I watched Idiocracy.
Sorry 'hawk, I found it to be....well, idiotic. Killed it halfway through and stuck in Equilibrium in its place.
Now there's the best movie you've never seen.
Not doing a full post on this... but feel free to pull your favorite parts and
spin comment -- this should be good.
Fox News/Opinion Dyanmic Poll HERE
Pages 10-11 (questions 40-45) are pretty interesting... on deadlines, benchmarks and retreat.
An eye opener for me was that the War in Iraq will be extremely important (52%) or very important (37%) to a person's vote in '08... but viewed (and asked) separately "terrorism" is second at 43% and 38%, respectively.
65% thought Harry Reid's comment on the war being "lost" was unacceptable... the same percentage of people that had an unfavorable opinion of Rosie... (3% had never heard of her.) heh.
Some actual Jefferson Quotes
When, in spite of all efforts to avoid it, a republic must go to war, the focus of the nation is temporarily changed. The President, as Commander-In-Chief, assumes the extraordinary powers necessary to conduct the all-out effort. Citizens and legislators must then put aside differences and unite against the common enemy. Undesirable conduct may be forced on the republic in dealing with an unscrupulous enemy.
"The times do certainly render it incumbent on all good citizens attached to the rights and honor of their country to bury in oblivion all internal differencesand rally around the standard of their country in opposition to the outrages of foreign nations. All attempts to enfeeble and destroy the exertions of the General Government in vindication of our national rights, or to loosen the bands of Union by alienating the affections of the people, or opposing the authority of the laws at so eventful a period, merit the discountenance of all." --Thomas Jefferson to Daniel D. Tompkins, 1809. ME 16:341
In a comment to the post below on Saving Memorial Day, Miss Ladybug wrote:
John Edwards' campaign manager was on a segment on Fox News by phone, along with a man from the American Legion, just a few minutes ago. He (an AF vet, apparently) defends this statement still, saying "dissent is the highest form of patriotism"...A little research will reveal that this quote falsely is attributed to Thomas Jefferson by such figures as John Kerry (see here). This is simply wrong, as explained here:
(I've taken the liberty of correcting a couple of typos)
The trouble is, notes reader Dave Forsmark, who has been waging a one-man campaign to correct what he believes to be a blatant misattribution, "the quote is about two years old, not 200. It was made by [historian] Howard Zinn in an interview with TomPaine.com to justify his opposition to the War on Terror." Someone erroneously attributed the quote to Jefferson soon after, and now seemingly everyone is doing it.Much more on the real source of the quote here.
More to the point, howver, is the idiocy of such a sentiment, as very well expressed by Dean Esmay here:
There's a very common--and very ridiculous--saying that holds that "dissent is the highest form of patriotism." This has always been, quite obviously to any thinking person, total baloney.He also raises the issue of the Westboro Baptist Church.
The Ku Klux Klan are dissenters. Extremist black and chicano separatists are dissenters. Does that make their hateful idiocy the highest form of patriotism?
Perhaps the Edwards campaign wants to be lumped in with such patriots.
I have another quote in mind for such a statement:
Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.And I'm pretty sure of who said that.
The folks at Gathering of Eagles have prclaimed Saturday, May 19 Operation Recruiter Appreciation Day. Click here for details on how you can thank your local recruiting office for the work they do. Details on the Washington, DC recruiter apprecation festivities can be found here.
This is their official position. I have, um, some specific and germane knowledge regarding this action on the part of DoD. Not the decision making process on this particular topic, but regarding the underlying data that helped feed this decision. Which is all I will say about it in a non-.mil domain.
And I support it. The fact that it does inconvenience deployed warriors notwithstanding, I fully support this action by DoD in managing their networks. You'll just have to take me at my word, and bear in mind I'm a milblogger too, and have not been supportive of efforts by DoD to micromanage info flow while at the same time clumsily fighting the Infowar. But on this particular topic - I support 'em.
NEWS RELEASES from the United States Department of Defense
No. 601-07 IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 16, 2007
Media Contact: (703) 697-5131/697-5132
Department Takes Steps to Ensure DoD Computer Networks Available for Operations
To ensure DoD networks are available for combat operations and critical support activities, the
Department issued a directive May 14 that prohibits DoD computers from accessing specific
recreational web sites.The measure preserves military bandwidth for operational missions and enhances DoD computer network security.
The selection of these particular sites was based on the volume of traffic moving from official
DoD networks to the Internet. The sites include:YouTube; 1.fm; Pandora; MySpace; PhotoBucket; Live365; hi5; Metacafe; MTV; ifilm.com; Blackplanet; stupidvideos; and filecabi. Additional sites may be added in the future as part of ongoing efforts to ensure DoD networks have sufficient throughput available to conduct operational and supporting missions as well as enhance DoD network security. [And they most certainly will, as users flex to different sites in order to get around the blocks. It'll keep NETCOM busy. -the Armorer]
This directive does not prohibit any individual, including DoD personnel or their families, from
posting to or accessing these sites from personal or commercial network providers; it only
restricts the use of DoD computer network resources to access these sites.
In Iraq and Afghanistan, many of these sites as well as others have been blocked by DoD for more than two years, some for as long as four years. Consequently, this directive does not prevent deployed DoD personnel from communicating with family members or loved ones.There are a wide variety of commercial communication services such as e-mail, telephone calls and video teleconferencing at many locations in Southwest Asia.In addition, the Army Knowledge Online/Defense Knowledge Online network is available to military members and their families providing a rich information sharing environment, including email, file sharing (pictures, videos, and documents), discussion forums (blogging), instant messaging chatrooms, and video messaging.
Commercial Internet services are also provided by DoD Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) facilities, which are widely available throughout Iraq and Afghanistan and are not affected by this directive.Deployed personnel can access recreational Internet web sites from Internet cafes and other facilities in many locations around the world.These alternative sites do not rely on military bandwidth.
If for no other reason then you'll always hear something new.
The UK just committed and unforced foul - one that gives the Islamists a victory. It plays right into everything they say about the West.
The head of the Army, General Sir Richard Dannatt, said his presence in Iraq would expose the 22-year-old Prince as well as the troops serving with him to "a degree of risk that I now deem unacceptable".Piss poor. This decision should have been made months ago - in a way that doesn't look like a nation just soiled their armor.
Who is running Strategic Communications?
Feingold responds to today’s Iraq Vote.“Today the Senate took another step toward acknowledging the will of the American people, who want to end this misguided mission in Iraq.”
By a vote of 67-29, the Senate rejected an amendment by Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold of Wisconsin to cut off all funds for combat by March 31.
A certain political figure has urged anti-war protests on....Memorial Day.
As should be well understood:
Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service
This "protest" will serve to diminish the sacrifice made by our dead and their families in the service of this country by turning it into a form of political theater, as noted in several distinguished blogs, Chapomatic, Hot Air, Protein Wisdom and Best of the Web, among others.
I will be proud to stand beside anyone, of any political stripe, willing to honor the deaths of men like my uncle in WWII and my two high school classmates who fell in Vietnam and those others who lives were given up for freedom in Korea and a thousand battles and training missions long forgotten but to their families and God. For one day, for a few moments, we, whatever our beliefs, should unite and say "thank you" to those who died for the freedom we enjoy.
But putting politics into play on such a day? Shoddy, insensitve, uncaring, self-centered hardly begin to cover the contempt I feel for the candidate who lowers the already contempible world of politics to this new low.
Please write the John Edwards campaign and denounce this unseemly action.
And on Memorial Day? Shame the protestors by being so much bigger than they or their candidate will ever be.
Honor the fallen.
UPDATE: I see the American Legion is on the case (H/T: The Tank):
That’s because this column is about Memorial Day, a hallowed day that should be about honoring the more than one million men and women who died in the service of this nation in wars and conflicts dating back to 1775. It should be above politics. Period.Time to renew my membership. All done!
Yet one presidential candidate has blatantly violated the sanctity of this most special day. I recently received an e-mail from a group called “Supportthetroopsendthewar.com.” It included a video of former Sen. John Edwards. He calls on Americans to use Memorial Day weekend as a time to “bring an end to this war.” Shockingly, the video is titled “A Memorial Day Message from John Edwards,” with the smoking gun note, “Paid for by John Edwards for President.” Moreover, the e-mail recommends that Americans bring signs with the message “Support the troops, End the War” to local Memorial Day parades. Revolting is a kind word for it. It’s as inappropriate as a political bumper sticker on an Arlington headstone.
Edwards is hardly the first politician from either political party to exploit this day, a holiday that was consecrated with the blood of American heroes. But the e-mail makes me sick nonetheless. It needs to stop. This isn’t about Edwards, it’s about everybody. As national commander of The American Legion, I implore all candidates to refrain from politicking on Memorial Day.
The families of those killed in war should not be led to believe that their loved ones died for a less-than-worthy cause. They died because they took an oath to defend this nation and its Constitution. The sacrifice is the same whether it’s for a “popular war” or an unpopular one. Memorial Day should be an occasion to bring Americans together to honor these heroes.
It brings to mind the words of Army Sergeant First Class Jack Robison, who recently wrote from Iraq, “Sometimes I think God must be creating an elite unit in heaven, because He only seems to select the very best soldiers to bring home early.”
If you want to honor these heroes, visit a veterans cemetery on Memorial Day. Attend a parade without the divisive political signs. Make cards for the comrades of the fallen that are recuperating in military and VA hospitals. Lay a wreath at the stone of a departed hero.
We Americans need to remember why Memorial Day is special. It’s not about picnics or trips to the beach. It’s not about making pro- or anti-war statements. It’s not about supporting political candidates. It’s about honor, duty and the ultimate sacrifice. It’s about people who have decided that the United States is worth dying for.
The SpouseBUZZ gals are back from San Diego (where we had a surprise visit from a very fit celebrity). I'm trying to wrap up the "What They're Saying" post on the conference website. If I've missed a link to your post on the MilBlog Conference, be sure to send it to me so I can add it. I also want to add links to news stories about the conference, which I will do shortly, so send those to me as well.
We'll want to look back on these links next year when we're gearing up for the 2008 MilBlog Conference.
A congressman from New Jersey said yesterday that he would propose a bill that would require all visitors to military installations to undergo federal background checks. The proposal comes in the wake of the charges filed last week against six men accused of planning an attack on soldiers at Fort Dix. The congressman, Representative Jim Saxton, a Republican whose district includes Fort Dix, said his bill would require the background checks for all visitors, including contractors, delivery people and civilians. The authorities have linked the six terrorist suspects to a pizzeria that frequently delivered to the base.
One of the big stories going out around the net right now is that the DOD is blocking some social networking sites, the sites?
MySpace, Youtube, Live365, 1.fm, BlackPlanet, Hi5, Photobucket, Pandora, MTV, FileCabi, StupidVideos and Metacafe
So what does this change for a blogger like me who’s been out to Iraq 3 times and uses 3 of the above services regularly?
I don’t know where these guys who are complaining forward are stationed at but out of my 3 tours, there was a maybe a month of time when we were able to get to these sites from work before it was cut off to our entire base. So we went to the internet café if we wanted to upload pictures and blog posts. I’ve always done it from the internet café, if you’re going to be someone who’s visible like me who blogs under his real name, you have to follow the rules. Another thing no one has mentioned, blogspot.com has been blocked from most of the work computer in Iraq, it’s not a bandwidth hog. That does bother me a bit because I use blogs almost as much as I use the regular news to get a pulse on the world. Know how much blog surfing you can get done in the 30 minute time slots at the internet café? Not much.
Know what happened for that month we could visit those websites? It slowed everything slowed to a crawl, pages wouldn’t load and there were people who wanted to get official work done and it took forever or the sites would time out. So speaking as the geeky guy who loves MySpace, youtube and photobucket, it was a breath of fresh air when the IT guys blocked the heavy bandwidth sites. The internet was moving again and I could get some official work done.
For the guys forward, this rule came about after most of the local networks had blocked these sites anyway, it just puts all of the DOD under the same umbrella. I think it’s a good rule in the war zone unless band width improves but it is sort of silly to do it in the rear where bandwidth is cheap. An even better answer would be to improve the bandwidth, we’re putting enough money into the NMCI, with the amount of money we drop on those guys, we should be able to stream HDTV. Alas that is far from reality.
Cross posted over at Doc in the Box.All done!
"Hickam Air Force Base, Oahu - very nice - what'll you take for it?"
"It's not for sale."
DoD Announces Army Soldiers as Whereabouts Unknown
The Department of Defense announced today the identities of four soldiers listed as Duty Status Whereabouts Unknown (DUSTWUN) while supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. They have been unaccounted for since May 12 in Al Taqa, Iraq, when their patrol was attacked by enemy forces using automatic fire and explosives. They are assigned to the 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, N.Y.
Reported as DUSTWUN are:
Sgt. Anthony J. Schober, 23, of Reno, Nev.
Spc. Alex R. Jimenez, 25, of Lawrence, Mass.
Pfc. Joseph J. Anzack Jr., 20, of Torrance, Calif.
Pvt. Byron W. Fouty, 19, of Waterford, Mich.
Search and recovery efforts are ongoing, and the incident is under investigation.
Our thoughts and prayers are also with the 10th Mountain family on the loss of their Heroes SFC Connell, SPC Courneya and PFC Murphy and on the continued search for their missing brothers.
John Noonan, a U.S. Air Force captain blogger who declined to be further identified, said, "Officers will just say you can't blog because that is the safest way to do it. It will have a chilling effect."
Blogger captain? I wonder if that's like Field Marshall. Anyway, when do I get my check?
I know this isn't "military" but I'll bet the boys flying those whirlybirds were... still might be (Reserve or Guard)...
Check it out... HERE
h/t Cathy at Call Me Grandma
Rohan Gunaratna told a security conference at Lloyd's of London insurance market that Iraq, like Afghanistan in the 1990s, would become a "terrorist Disneyland" where al Qaeda could build up its strength unchallenged.
If U.S., British and other coalition troops withdrew from Iraq in the next year, he said, "certainly the scale of attacks that would be mounted inside Iraq, and using Iraq as a launching pad to strike other Western countries -- countries in Europe, North America - would become such that after two or three years, the U.S. forces will have to go back to Iraq."
I'm not sure what to make of experts stating the obvious...or Reuters actually reporting the obvious.
A "Coast Guard expert" tells Congress it has its priorities for maritime security mixed up:
Members of Congress should be more concerned about the threat of terrorists using mines and small boats to attack multiple U.S. ports and disrupt the economy, according to a U.S. Coast Guard expert.Well, of course, the concern over shipping containers allows for Congressional show boat attacks on Wal-Mart and other businesses, whereas concerns over mines and small boats means you have to deal with real threats.
Lawmakers should grant more funding to port surveillance to counter the threat, Guy Thomas, science and technology adviser for maritime domain awareness at the Coast Guard, said in an interview.
Instead, lawmakers are focusing port security spending on scanning shipping containers for a nuclear bomb, which most experts in the Coast Guard and intelligence community agree should be less of a priority than maritime domain awareness, he said.
And the elder Griffin has been pressed by many of his friends and colleagues in Southern California to join the ranks of the antiwar movement and use the story of his son's death to help end the war. "They just don't seem to understand or accept that my son loved the Army—that the Army saved him in many ways—and that the thing he hated the most was politics getting in the way of finding real solutions for the Iraqis."
Sounds like some other people need a butt kicking too.
This is criminal:
Despite requests from his family members, the Army erased Griffin's laptop hard drive before returning it to them. It's done for security, officials said, but it also erases pictures and writings. Deletions are done by the military on a case-by-case basis, "but a lot of people buy recovery software and get some of the files back," an Army official offered.Someone needs their ass seriously kicked.
This ranks among the finest stories I've seen come from this war.
I've never meant this more: read the whole thing. To excerpt would diminish that which justice demands be full.
Allow yourself a few moments afterward to recover and ponder the question where do we find such men?, then recommit yourself to carry on.
BAGHDAD -- The capture of thousands of new suspects under the three-month-old Baghdad security plan has overwhelmed the Iraqi government's detention system, forcing hundreds of people into overcrowded facilities, according to Iraqi and Western officials.
The capture of thousands of barbaric murdering thugs has resulted in 'overcrowding'. I 've got a cure for this menace...it's called the gallows. Hang the lot of them...it will solve the 'overcrowding'.
Any half decent network administrator can see where the bandwidth is disappearing. I rarely visit centcom.mil as the load time is awful. I'm not an expert on the DOD internet thingy..but something tells me that more bandwidth isn't as easy as calling up the ISP and ordering more bandwidth.
Will this be a big story? It shouldn't, the reasons are as stated, and valid, and the sites are already blocked by lower-level decision makers.
Even if YouTube wasn't blocked, the load times over here would be measured in hours.
Footnote: While the Army is more liberal in their network policing, blogspot, typepad, and other specific sites - Instapundit, for instance - are already blocked at certain USAF installations in the AOR. Seems to be hit and miss as far as individual domains, some blogs pass muster, others don't. That's probably based on the opinion of whoever categorized the site. Oddly, any web site that isn't categorized in the system is automatically blocked just for that reason.
MilBlogs isn't blocked, btw.
A reasoned look at Army recruiting and training challenges.
Glenn Reynolds: "...society isn't living up to the Army's ideals, not the other way around."
Here are some facts and figures to back that up.
Reasons are debatable, but reality is not.
(By the way, recruiting and retention goals are still being met.)
Is there a there there, or are the folks at the NY Times just being d#$% heads?
Starting Monday, the Defense Department will block access to MySpace, YouTube and a host of other sites on official department computers worldwide, in an effort to boost its network efficiency.
Troops and families living on U.S. bases will still be able to view the sites through private Internet networks, but the move leaves servicemembers in Iraq and Afghanistan who use the popular picture- and video-sharing sites with little or no access to them.
This isn't supporting the troops - it's pandering to people who think the troops are victims.
Almost two years ago when my son was deployed I wrote that it was Hard to Be a Soldier's Mom. It's still hard.
The news of the soldiers killed and missing this weekend had me running to the reference sources looking at Our Guys' FOB and outpost info and the location of the attack as reported by the media. They're geographically close and our worry is intensified. Last night my soldier called to wish me Happy Mother's Day (it was Mother's Day where he was...) and we talked about the incident. We talked again of the code soldiers have in such cases. It made me shudder... as a mom... that we ask our young men (and women) to even consider their mortality in such terms, and knowing the love and guts it takes to promise each other those things.
I could hear his voice tighten and his words came hard and fast. If it was possible, I could hear his stress level increase. I imagined his worry... his thoughts pingponging between the past and the present. I hope he doesn't have to attend more memorial services... hope there are no more condolence calls to young wives and holding young sons and daughters on his lap. I know that he is reliving many of the events of his unit's last deployment in the recesses of his brain... and I know he wishes in other parts of his head that he was there... and me thanking the Lord that he is not... but I still have men I love there... in the fray.
I remember vividly the details of the horrific, mind-numbing murders of Thomas Tucker and Kristian Menchaca and how horrified I was... I still am. I know Noah remembers even if he has never spoken to me about them... I know every soldier is thinking about that today. And determind to find their missing brothers.
And as each of our children called today, I had such a tightness in my chest and tears in my eyes knowing that there are five moms -- one an Iraqi mom -- hearing the news of their sons' deaths... on Mother's Day. And there are three other moms who have heard that their sons are missing... and they're remembering the stories of Thomas and Kristian. There are eight mothers who will not sleep tonight...
And tens of thousands more mothers... and wives... will not sleep because of the news blackout... they know their sons are out there looking... in harms way... that their men are up against a determined foe who knows no mercy... no decency... it is every parent's nightmare. I have said many times before that every parent (and every spouse) has that nightmare that something will happen to their child/spouse and that they can't get there. My sleeping and waking nightmare is that one of the children need us and we can't get there... to where they are. We lived that once, but I cannot begin to imagine the suffering that these parents -- American and Iraqi -- are experiencing tonight.
Recently I met a mom whose son has joined the Marines and leaves tomorrow morning for boot camp. She's a nervous wreck. I tried to offer encouragement, but I never pull punches with military moms: I try to help them be stronger and tell them that there are many out there who are proud of their children -- how I am proud of their children -- as they should be -- and that I'm proud of them (the parents) for raising such fine people. They are a wonderful, startling, incredible minority... worthy of our respect... and our worry. I tell them it is hard to be a soldier's mom... or a Marine's mom. Today, it is really hard.
All of us are praying that these men are found... alive... unharmed. I am praying with all my might. I am praying for their families -- their moms, their dads, their wives, children. I want them to know we are praying with them and worrying with them... and hoping with them. Hoping and praying. There is no more that we can do.
And we are praying also for the families of those we have lost... whom they have lost... I hope they know we are mourning with them... and that we are so very sorry for their loss... so very sorry ... and grateful... as individuals and as a Nation.
Yes, it is hard to be a soldier's mom.... or dad... or spouse. For some today, it is the most difficult thing they have ever done...
"The Wichita Lineman" "On the Road Again" with a "Cheeseburger in Paradise" on "Fire"
A fine Navy tradition sort of explained here.
U.S. commander in Iraq: More troops needed
General says he doesn't have enough soldiers for mission in Diyala province
Buried deep in an AP Article today
With violence on the rise, Caldwell also announced that an additional 3,000 forces have been sent to Diyala province, scene of heavy fighting.
Maj Gen Mixons complete statement here
Excerpts that the MSM missed -
Dohuk, Sulimaniyah and Erbil are relatively stable, and they are progressing well...
My overall assessment is that in Nineveh, Kirkuk and Salahuddin provinces we have achieved overall tactical parity against the enemy and in selected areas we have tactical superiority.
Progress in governance is semi-functional in Nineveh, Kirkuk and Salahuddin provinces and making progress every day. These three provinces have completed or are working on their 2007 budget and render minimum or better services to the people of their respective province, and their governors are engaged every day in the progress of governance.
From a breaking CNN story:
American troops were on the hunt in a volatile region south of Baghdad for three members of a U.S.-led military patrol, who went missing after an insurgent attack Saturday that killed five others.Nothing on the CENTCOM site yet.
The U.S. military said attackers struck the team of seven U.S. soldiers and an Iraqi army interpreter...
...U.S. forces are using all assets in their search for the missing troops, who are listed as duty status whereabouts unknown, the military said. Checkpoints have been established throughout the region and aircraft including helicopters, drones and jets have been deployed in the search.
The predawn attack occurred 12 miles west of Mahmoudiya, a city south of the capital in a region that has been nicknamed the Triangle of Death.
A nearby unit heard explosions, and 15 minutes later, a drone aircraft spotted two burning vehicles, according to a U.S. military statement.
Update 1351 MDT: Here's the DoD press release. Nothing really new.
For those of you who can't make it to San Diego, They're going to bring part of the program to you. The panel sessions will be available here on SpouseBUZZ via live web streaming to the first 3,000 spouses who visit SpouseBUZZ at 9:30 a.m. PST on May 12. You can be there without being there.
Don't miss it.
These are some of the most intelligent women I've had the Honor and privilege to meet.
Mary Katherine Ham's got the latest HamNation up, and look at all y'all milbloggers on there!
I think his dolphins have been specially modified.
I haven't followed the MARSOC Afghanistan incident well, but noted that there's been some disturbing reports on both sides. Today, I noticed Pantano's weighed in on the issue.
I don't know enough to say one way or the other, but concede that Pantano is clearly indicating this is his way of maintaining "Semper Fi". Anyone have useful details?
I don't know how much of this story is true, but if all of it is then someone made a huge mistake in joining the Army. Lots of folks make bad career choices. Such is life.
I heard a GI complaining today about how his recruiter screwed him - told him "exactly what he needed to hear" to get him into a carer field he didn't want. He's working with satcom now - but he wanted something in combat arms.
Didn't mean to post dawn patrol here. Too many damn windows open
You know the funny thing about the whole "Pentagon Silencing MilBlogs" thing? Nobody actually reads blogs from deployed troops. Check the site meters for any of them and you'll see what I mean. Even funnier, when all the brou-hah-ha was raging, no one, and by that I mean no one, linked or quoted any of them on the issue. (This is because no one actually reads them, including those who were the most outraged about them being "shut down".) The Mrs had a nice collection on the Dawn Patrol the other day, for the 4 or 5 folks who might actually give a damn.
I suppose part of that lack of readers could be due to the folks at milblogging.com ripping off the deployed guys via their rss feeds, but no one reads milblogging.com either.
Shipmates; this has been another one of my days I get in a Strategic Funk. I see the progress at the Tactical and Operational levels working towards what we want Strategically - but one thing keeps coming to mind. It is all for naught if the Political side fails us. Perhaps tomorrow I will feel better, but with the "Two month vacation meets Yankee go home" with the Iraqi Parliament; and the schoolyard games in the US Congress - my mind keeps going to the Table at Damascus.
Someone help a brother out.
They just don't write opinions like this anymore:
Mrs. Bath, known to her intimates as "Grandma", appears, from the record, to be an ancient and repulsive harridan in an advanced stage of senile decay who divided her professional activities, about equally, between whoring on the one hand and pandering for more youthful acquaintances on the other.
UNITED STATES v. PARKS, 19 C.M.R. 935, 936-937 (A.F.C.M.R. 1955)
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Democratic-controlled House.(ed strikeouts mine)
failed to passdefeated legislation Thursday to require the surrenderwithdrawal of U.S. combat troops from Iraq within nine months, then pivoted quickly to a fresh challenge of President Bush's handling of the unpopular war.
The vote on the nine-month withdrawal measure was 255-171
Yet another "show vote"...this one apparently to appease the Decomcratic "base".
More coverage on the new/not new Milblog regs... and our friends Blackfive and Mike Yon get props...
WASHINGTON — The military blogging community is abuzz over the perceived crackdown on bloggers, who Army officials readily admit are providing firsthand accounts that the media generally miss in daily reporting from the war zone.
The bloggers are now awaiting word on whether the Army will make permanent changes to regulations issued last month that attempt to limit the details offered by soldiers writing from the frontlines.
"The regulation was either poorly written or intended to crack down on bloggers," said Matthew Currier Burden, a former defense intelligence officer who runs Blackfive.net, one of the most widely read military blogging sites.
And our own Army Lawyer...
But a visit to another of the most popular independent military Web sites, millblogging.com, suggests that many soldiers and their supporters are not deterred from their blogging mission. And blogger Army Lawyer, who identifies himself only as a JAG attorney, wrote in his blog that he doesn't think the Army is trying to censor soldiers' Web sites.
"No, the Army didn’t try to ban blogs. No, the Army didn’t backtrack. No, the Army wasn’t going to be some Communist-like organization where only approved information is uttered. And all the histrionic commentary to the contrary ... looks rather silly and borderline insulting," he wrote.
"In no way will every blog post/update a soldier makes on his or her blog need to be monitored or first approved by an immediate supervisor and operations security (OPSEC) officer. After receiving guidance and awareness training from the appointed OPSEC officer, that soldier blogger is entrusted to practice OPSEC when posting in a public forum," reads the sheet distributed by Andi Hurley, a blogger, spouse of a career solder and organizer of the 2007 Milblog Conference.
And DJ Elliott and Badger 6...
"The worst OPSEC violator in the senior staffs is the Pentagon. I get more advance notice from a Pentagon Press Brief of U.S. movements from Kuwait into Iraq than I get from all other sources combined. The Pentagon acts as if it is not at war, and the leaks emanating from Arlington are enormous," blogger D.J. Elliot, a retired Navy intelligence analyst, wrote on The Fourth Rail.
Badger 6, who identifies himself as an Army officer in Iraq commanding an engineering company, writes on his Web log that operational security is tantamount to success in the war in Iraq, although even he has wondered if the decision to update the regulations may have had a political component to it.
Though it includes attempts to paint the picture as something else, Greg Jaffe's Wall Street Journal article is an amazing account of the perserverence of US soldiers in Iraq.
In spring 2006 Tarmiyah, on the surface at least, was a much more peaceful place. U.S. and Iraqi troops surrounded the city with razor wire, set up the patrol base in the city, and began a $16 million campaign to rebuild the city's schools, clinics and sewer system. Soldiers often referred to the city, located 30 miles north of Baghdad, as the "petting zoo," a nod to the number of top generals who came to see what U.S. commanders considered a success story.In the aftermath of an insurgent attack...
Last summer Tarmiyah began to fall apart. A battalion of about 300 to 400 Iraqi army soldiers that had been based in the city was transferred to Baghdad to support the new U.S.-Iraqi effort to stabilize the capital. At the same time, some 6,000 to 10,000 angry Sunnis, driven from their homes in Baghdad by Shiite militia forces, began streaming into this largely Sunni city. Sunni insurgents, affiliated with al Qaeda in Iraq, joined them.
Insurgents began extorting money from Iraqi contractors working for the Americans. And in December, the 150-man Tarmiyah police force, which shared the patrol base with American troops, drew their weapons, saying they were going out on a patrol, and never returned.
The three dozen soldiers from Demon Company were the only security forces left in the city. The soldiers typically spent four days at the patrol base, a spartan outpost without running water or hot food, and then rotated back to Camp Taji, a big U.S. base about 15 miles away, for four days. In February, Staff Sgt. James Copeland -- a broad-shouldered 30-year-old who has a tattoo of a skeletal Uncle Sam flashing his middle fingers snaking up his right arm -- was named acting platoon sergeant of one of Demon Company's four platoons.
U.S. commanders say they are reluctant to give up the patrol base in the city out of concern that it will look like they have been driven out by the enemy. "If we're not out here, they have won," says Sgt. Jason Fisher, a 24-year-old soldier who fought for hours from the roof of the old base.
An Iraqi battalion made up of about 300 to 400 soldiers is expected to arrive in Tarmiyah later this summer to help with security. Until then, the goal is to just hang on and, as much as possible, keep the enemy from completely taking over.
The attack that eroded the troops' faith in Tarmiyah seems to have made some of them more willing to fight for each other. Before the Feb. 19 attack, Sgt. Benton, who had vomited when the fighting was done, insisted to superiors that he shouldn't even be in Iraq. The 23-year-old's enlistment contract ended in November, but the Army, which is short of sergeants, made him finish his one-year tour as part of its "stop loss" policy. Sgt. Benton was furious, and in early February his superiors threatened in writing to demote him unless his performance improved.
"I have to undo a lot of stupid things I have done," he says today. "I have a strong bond with this platoon. I don't want to leave. And if I die out here I don't want to be remembered as the s -- head that everyone had to think of something nice to say about at my memorial service."
An attempt at anti-war spin in the Boston Globe.
Here's a similar try from a couple years back - but at least the older version acknowledged reality: the numbers dropped after September, 2001 - not March, 2003. In this new version of truth that data point is well camoflaged in this passage:
In 2000, 23.5 percent of Army recruits were African-American. By 2005, the percentage dropped to 13.9 percent.
The percentage of African Americans in service now closely mirrors the percentage in the overall population.
So, seems no one really thinks that last "ask us again in 60 days" thing is going to be a go, so now there are a few more proposals being floated...
Majority Leader Harry Reid is expected to move an emergency war funding bill next week in the Senate that looks nothing like the one his House counterparts are expected to pass on Thursday.
Reid, according to aides, will introduce a bill with "[Iraqi government performance] benchmarks de-linked from a redeployment plan."
One idea being seriously discussed is to keep the Oct. 1, 2007, start date for redeployment but include giving President Bush the power to waive that withdrawal. According to the proposal, Bush could then use this authority only in 90-day increments, setting up mandatory reporting requirements as to why the waiver was used.
Reid told FOX News last week that he would like to keep the Oct. 1, 2007, redeployment timeline in any new bill but that the votes are not likely there for passage. And there is little chance the White House would support this approach.
"We aren't going to support any timeline in the bill, even with a waiver," one White House liaison told FOX News.
Tying the $2.3 billion in the bill for U.S. reconstruction aid to Iraqis meeting certain performance benchmarks was an idea that initially appeared to be gaining steam. That does not appear to be the case any longer.
But some of the proposals -- including the "bi-partisan" proposal from Bayh and Snowe -- sound suspiciously like the bill the President vetoed:
Proposals are coming from all quarters in the Senate. The first bipartisan bill appeared Wednesday. Offered by Democrat Evan Bayh of Indiana and Republican Olympia Snowe of Maine, both who recently traveled to Iraq, the bill would tie U.S. troop presence to the Iraqi benchmarks being met.
If the benchmarks aren't met, "U.S. forces associated with the surge would redeploy, and the remaining forces would transition to a far more limited mission," according to a release from the senators.
The Snowe-Bayh bill would dictate a mission of: (a) training and equipping Iraqi forces; (b) assisting deployed Iraqi brigades with intelligence, transportation, air support and logistics; (c) protecting U.S. and coalition personnel and infrastructure; and (d) maintaining rapid reaction teams and special operations forces to undertake strike missions in Iraq against Al Qaeda and for other missions considered vital by the U.S. commander in Iraq.
More on various proposals and some truly idiotic commets from various politicians (ok idiotic politician may be redundant) at FOX
And I am always totally outraged when even the media recognizes that this is all for Democratic "show" -- from CNN
The new proposal is aimed at appeasing Democratic lawmakers who want to end the war immediately and are urging leaders not to back down after Bush's veto. But lacking a firm endorsement by the Senate, the challenge by House Democrats seemed more for political show than a preview of another veto showdown with Bush.
The welfare of our troops be damned -- they're putting on a show??? (ummm... politicians showing off? pontificating? strutting? surprise??) gggrrrrrrr
Well, better than Ted Rall, anyway.
Doonesbury today actually sounded like it was on the same planet. If you read it without the sarcasm in the previous strips for this story arc, that is. There's another kind of weird because the Doonesbury site says it's got a milblog...
DoD Announces Units for Next Afghanistan Rotation
The Department of Defense announced today major units scheduled to deploy as part of the next rotation operating in Afghanistan. This announcement involves a combat brigade and headquarters element totaling approximately 4,500 service members. The scheduled rotation for these forces will begin in early 2008.
This rotation continues the U.S. commitment to maintain two combat brigades in Afghanistan and maintain the level of forces necessary to provide sufficient military capability for the NATO-International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) to further improve security and stability operations.
Specific units receiving deployment orders include:
101st Airborne Division Headquarters, Ft. Campbell, Ky.
4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, Ft. Campbell, Ky.
In consultation with Afghan officials and NATO, commanders continue to assess the situation to ensure sufficient force levels to best support the Government of Afghanistan, perform counter-terrorism operations, assist with reconstruction, and train and equip the Afghan national security forces. Afghan security forces continue to develop capability and assume responsibility for security, and this U.S. force rotation may be tailored based upon changes in the security situation.
...in DFAC: Two Joes talking IEDs.
"You know what it is? Hajji's just p!$$ed at us 'cause we're kicking his f@%&!ng ass."
(Delivered with Attitude, capital "A")
This is getting old really fast... the last time it was funding with lots of pork and deadlines... this time it's eeking out the money in 60 day increments with someone having to beg every 60 days??? I get this distinct feeling that David Obey and his accomplices just are not living on planet Earth... and this proposal has even less chance of making it past the President than the last. Here's hoping a group of Democrats come to their senses and quickly put together a real funding bill so that our troops have absolutely everything they need as long as they need it...
House Democratic Leaders Offer Plan to Fund Iraq War Through July
House Democratic leaders briefed party members Tuesday on new legislation that would fund the Iraq war through July, then give Congress the option of cutting off money if conditions do not improve.
If members agree to back the plan as expected, a vote on the new war spending bill could come as early Thursday. The proposal, pitched last week by Rep. David Obey, D-Wis., was first disclosed last week by The Associated Press.
Democrats told reporters the plan is likely to provide more than $40 billion for the war and other high-priority projects, then vote "mid summer" on whether to release more money for military operations.
The plan had dim prospects of surviving in the Senate, where most Democrats want to guarantee funding for troops through September and were trying to negotiate a deal with the White House.
House Democrats said they weren't too concerned with getting the White House's blessing.
"They know what we're doing obviously," said Rep. Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill. "I don't think their subscriptions to the newspapers ended at any time recently."
The whole story HERE
This guy gets more press than Noonan.
Wanna have some fun in YOUR office? Here's a recipe that worked for me today:
–Take (1) super squared away 27 Delta (paralegal) Specialist who’s new to the Army and just wants so bad to do right and gets freaked over exceptionally small things.
–Add to said E-4 an extreme desire to join the Criminal Investigative Division (CID)
–Get into conversation whereby E-4 innocently reveals he owns (and is presently carrying) a switchblade knife that happens to be illegal in most states and by federal law and on most Army installations.
–Let E-4 go to lunch.
–Proceed to draft a charge sheet charging Super E-4 with violations of Article 92 (Violation of Lawful General Regulation) and Article 134 (Wrongfully Carrying a Concealed Weapon)
–Get the Chief of Justice to sign it as the accuser. Get the Deputy Staff Judge Advocate (an LTC) to sign it as the Special Court Martial Convening Authority.
–Get Super E-4’s immediate supervisor to call him into his office and “counsel” him and mention that CID is now investigating his “confession” to two attorneys that he is carrying an illegal weapon.
–Tell Super E-4 that the Deputy (remember, LTC) is VERY displeased and is the one that decided that charges should be preferred.
–Have a random CID agent appear in the office and talk to the Chief of Justice just as Super E-4 pokes his head out of supervisor’s office to see them talking.
–Add sweat and a lot of nervous pacing from Super E-4.
–Refer Super E-4 to Trial Defense Service (who is in on the joke, of course)
–Have TDS look at the charge sheet and relevant regulations and say basically “You’re f’d.”
–Wait for Super E-4 to return to the office.
–Serves about seven.All done!
Looks like even in the middle of Middle-America the Democrats cannot get away from their Iraq surrender-drum. Everything, it seems, has to be used to attack the war in Iraq.
Gov. Kathleen Sebelius said the government's response to the disaster was limited by ongoing National Guard deployments to the Middle East.Well, something happened on the way to the smear-fest: a rampaging gang of facts.
"I don't think there is any question if you are missing trucks, Humvees and helicopters that the response is going to be slower," Sebelius said. "The real victims here will be the residents of Greensburg, because the recovery will be at a slower pace."
Kansas has 88 percent of its state Guard forces available, and 83,000 Guardsmen from neighboring states are also on the ready should the state request their assistance, Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said Tuesday, citing National Guard Bureau statistics.Somehow, somewhere, someone is going to tie the fires in Georgia to Iraq - or maybe even the heartbreak of psoriasis.
According to Whitman, the Kansas Guard have available 352 Humvees, 94 cargo trucks, 72 dump trucks, 62 five-ton trucks, 13 medium-haul trucks and trailers and 152 2 1/2-ton trucks, a surplus, he noted.
The recent controversy over the Army’s latest update the Army Regulation (AR) 530-1, Operations Security (OPSEC), certainly added discussion fuel and maybe some added media attention to our 2007 MILBLOG Conference.
The controversy took shape in public this week with Noah Shachtman’s article on the OPSEC update in Wired. Since that piece came out, MILBLOGS and other conservative bloggers have reacted strenuously to the new Regulations. But even within MILBLOGS, reaction to the OPSEC update is far from uniform.
Some, like Blackfive and I, are very concerned that local commanders and intermediate commands will shortcut potential OPSEC problems by reading the Regulation literally, and err on the side of caution. This would certainly mean bloggers having their work reviewed and possibly censored, or even with blogs shutting down. Commanders might also consider other prevention measures for electronic email or instant messaging (IM). The AR is written very expansively, and in the interest of giving military personnel a comprehensive summary of OPSEC threats, directs unit Commanders to conduct very thorough OPSEC reviews in a wide range of communications that might otherwise have escaped such scrutiny.
Matt Burden, the MILBLOGGER behind Blackfive, has long been warning that the attitudes towards MILBLOGS from some senior military leadership might soon mean the end of blogging by active duty military. Promotional materials for Burden’s anthology of MILBLOGS, The Blog of War quote a Vanity Fair review, “Grab it before the Pentagon orders it burned...,” in explicit reference to the possibility that MILBLOGS might be shut down by the military.
Earlier updates to AR 530-1, as well as policy announcements from military officials, suggested increased military attention to and concern with military use of new media. In the past two years, some local commanders and higher echelon leaders put pressure on MILBLOGGERS over content. Several MILBLOGGERS voluntarily closed down their blogs pre-emptively.
Other MILBLOGGERS dismiss these concerns as overblown. They suggest Commanders have always had great latitude and control over soldier communications, public posting and/or dissemination of military information, and even pass or entertainment privileges for the soldiers under their command. They also point to interviews given by the AR’s author, MAJ Ceralde, who goes to great lengths to explain that the specifics in the AR are guidelines, and that in no way is the AR intended to shut down or censor MILBLOGS. Military officials have also released a two page fact sheet that reiterates many of the same points made by MAJ Ceralde, which in some cases directly refutes the language contained in the AR.
Still others, among them former military, think it long past time for the military to impose tighter OPSEC restrictions or at least oversight of MILBLOGS who have allowed sensitive information to be made publicly available and exploitable by potential enemies and adversaries.
DoD Announces Force Adjustments
The Department of Defense announced today additional major units scheduled to deploy in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The announcement involves 10 brigade combat teams consisting of approximately 35,000 personnel.
These units will deploy as replacement forces for formations currently operating in Iraq. The deployment window for these units will begin in August 2007 and continue through the end of the year.
These deployments will provide commanders in Iraq the flexibility to maintain the appropriate level of effort based on their assessment of the security situation on the ground.
Specific units receiving deployment orders include:
3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, Fort Hood, Texas.
1st Brigade, 101st Airborne Division, Fort Campbell, Ky.
3rd Brigade, 101st Airborne Division, Fort Campbell, Ky.
2nd Brigade, 101st Airborne Division, Fort Campbell, Ky.
4th Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Polk, La.
1st Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Hood, Texas.
4th Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Ga.
2nd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii
2nd Cavalry Regiment (Stryker), Vilseck, Germany.
2nd Brigade, 1st Armored Division, Baumholder, Germany.
These deployments reflect the continued commitment of the United States to the security of the Iraqi people. The Department recognizes the continued sacrifices of these units and their family members.
..."Quiet, damnit, I'm busy. And besides, I'm sleep deprived and jet lagged."
"Come on, just something..."
Okay, how about this great quote from a story about the guy who dishes out ice cream at a local base:
"So great was the mortar threat that soldiers -- until last month -- wore armored jackets and helmets around the base."
"What part of sleep deprived and jet lagged do you not understand?"
"Oh please, who among us hasn't stayed up way too late with a bunch of milbloggers on the day prior to travelling to a war zone half way around the world via a three-hop flight with six hours of layovers, during one of which you couldn't even leave the plane and then immediately wrote something that will inspire us all on the homefront."
"Maybe tomorrow... for now, read this story and ponder what might happen to these kids if I and 150-odd thousand people dressed like me weren't here tomorrow."
"They'd be slaughtered, that's obvious. But come on, give us a good reason to stay."
"You don't need to stay. I need to stay.
In addition, Dempsey said, experience on the battlefield has imparted quick lessons. He said operational planning has improved rapidly in recent months....
The benefits of that experience are paying out in the current Baghdad surge, Dempsey said. He explained that even six months ago it would have been impossible to bring 5,300 Iraqi soldiers into Baghdad from other parts of the country, but now the Iraqi army is already in its second rotation.
As noted previously here the Baghdad surge for the Iraqi Army is more than just a 'surge'.
Iraqi Army Units from around the country are rotated into Baghdad where the receive intensive training at the Besmaya Range in Urban Warfare after which they are sent into Baghdad for 90 days of on the job training. They are then rotated back to their home stations better trained, better equipped and with more experience. This process sets the stage for an eventual reduction in MNF forces in the outlying provinces.All done!
This features some good footage of the conference and short interviews with Sean and Holly Aho.
I'm compiling a comprehensive list of blogger reaction to the 2007 MilBlog Conference. I'll keep updating the post, so be sure to send me your links and I'll add them.
While you all were
building legendary hangovers hobnobbing with the likes of Miz Ex-Wonkette inside the Beltway, it turns out that some family desires went unmet.
Specifically, in Idaho.
So I'm just, you know, passing the word to help a brother out.
I'm here for you, man.
Glad to see somebody decided to re-register this domain name.
Though I have to say it looked a bit odd to have MG and MILBLOGS go down right after the conference and the new OPSEC flap.
A short segment about the MilBlog Conference appeared today at 12:30 EST on The Pentagon Channel. The conference piece is approximately seven minutes in.
At 5:30 EST this evening, they will feature a longer segment in the first fifteen minutes of their webcast. Click here to watch.
Packing up and heading out to the airport, just wanted to say a big thanks to Andi, and say how wonderful it was to meet her and everyone else.
Greyhawk sends his best and has arrived safe and sound.
Can't wait till next year.
Somewhere in the Pacific Ocean during World War II, an American ship's navigator reached into a drawer and pulled out a chart that the Lieutenant pictured above had a hand in. And people living in the Pacific Northwest are citizens of the U.S. and not Canada because of him. And Pearl Harbor was part of his past. And maybe the first sighting of the Antarctic land mass. The Smithsonian owes him big time, as does the U.S. Naval Observatory.
You may not even know his name or what the U.S. Ex.Ex was. But you can find out more here.
It looks like they took my part of the interview and ran with it, you can watch the video here.
To keep a journal of events and observation.
My mother is a journalist. She edited 9 local weeklies in Connecticut. Nine differnent papers in nine different towns. Signigicant events for a small town..birth of of a child..death of a respective citizen..little league scores...the honor roll at high school. Whether there should be a stop light or stop sign on a major street. Sixteen pages of local content, advertising permitting for 9 different towns.
Somewhere in the late 80's or early 90's a conglomerate purchased the papers from the owners..ABC/Captiol Cities.
Overnight those 16 pages of local content for each of those towns became 12 pages of "common content" and 4 pages of local content. Really hard to fit in stories of little Johnies no-hitter...or Mary Lou's piano recital in 4 pages. Destroyed was the sense of community those papers had provided. But he conglomerate minimized content cost...don't bother with the debate about stops signs...surely a mayor or councilmen is sleeping someplace he shouldn't be...and surely someones brother-in-law had a contract doing some sort of work for the town.
I find it sad...that those who so rightously rail against "corporations" don't rail against that tny handful of corporations that tell us what is most important of all..."what to think".
Those who work for what is now referred to as the "Main Stream Media" wouldn't know what journalism was if their life depended on it. They produce something called "content". The purpose of which is to fill the spaces between "revenue'. There are entire industries set up to "manage" the new cycle. One needs to pay in order to note the passing in an obituary of a doctor who served the community. Forget about Mary Lou's piano recital being "news". Who fathered the child of some woman who lived fast and loose rich woman halfway across the world dominates the news. It is cheap to produce..cheap to report...the "Corporations" that control what we think like if that way.
Anyone who is looking for something call "journalism" in the Washington Post or New York Times or CNN or Fox News or ABC or CBS news will be sorely disappointed. They will find nothing but "content".
There is however hope...something new...called "blogging" has happened. I spent the weekend with patriots who blog. People who have a sense of history and what "journalism" should be about.
We write journals. My mother calls us "pamphleteers"...just as folks life Jefferson and Franklin were once "Pamphleteers"...they put their thoughts on paper...people who would dare to disagree with the King of Englalnd...who would create something like a constitution and bill of rights.
I spent a weekend with ordinary people who have lived extrodinary lives at something called a "Milblogs Conference"...it was an extraordinarily humbling experience. They are the "new" journalists in the spirit of Jefferson and Franklin.All done!
Like last year, I'll compile a comprehensive list of links - an AAR. Please send me your links or trackback to this post and I'll devote one post to blogger reaction to the MilBlog Conference.
Please email your photos to me so I can put a slideshow together.
While it's still fresh, if you have any suggestions for improvement for next year's conference, please leave a comment or email your suggestions. These events are always learning experiences.
We went out to dinner at Rock Bottom brewery with the who’s who of the military blogosphere, we all just met. No real planning involved and took over a big section of the restaurant. Here's a list of who made it. John and Beth of Arrrrrrgggghhh!, Andi of Andi's World, FLB, Carla of Soldier’s Mom, Smash my faithful sailor blogging buddy in crime, Greyhawk, one of the founding fathers, Sgt Hook, AFSister, Chromed Curses, Maryann of Soldiers Angels Germany, Holly Aho and last but far from least, John from Op-For.
Pictures later maybe, there are a few people that don't want their pictures out there. Don't you wish you were a fly on the wall?
Also got to meet Patty from Soldiers Angel's later on last night. Good times, I would blog more about it but we're off to see the town.
Iranian deportations, the score from Spin Zar Stadium, and the Karzai Shuffle can be found here.
The new version of the AR went way beyond what is intimated in the two page fact sheet, and related discussion from some. It delved in great detail into all manner of communications, and specifically states that soldiers need to get Commander and OPSEC Manager review before publishing anything in public media.
It's so broadly written, with specific directives to the responsibilities of Commanders and OPSEC Managers, that I think most Commanders would tend to interpret the bottom line of the Regulation as many of us have, with the end result, telling soldiers to stop blogging.
The local Commander will have the AR, but probably won't even know about the writer's interview, the 2 page fact sheet, all of this "calm down, no change here."
This two page explanation, in fact, seems to contradict several portions of the AR itself, the details of which I am not allowed to discuss, as the contents are FOUO.
Now that there's been a big fuss, and *clarification*, maybe our concerns have been unfounded.
But we shall see, won't we?
I have a great Commander and XO, and I've kept them in the loop. But they did have me touch base with the State Public Affairs Office. That was a bit touchy when I said I might do some interviews about the new AR. It tunred out okay, and I think I can work with them, but who knows how higher level command might react to bloggers in their midst? Or if something becomes controversial? Or they don't care for the message?
I think a lot of MILBLOGGERS will have to deal with the same uncertainties.
I'm deploying to the Milblogs Confernce. The Middle Eastern gentlemen will arrive in the taxi shortly. I bought a new toothpaste at the Grocery store today and told the cashier I was deploying the milblogs conference. I also bought a pizza from another Middle Eastgentlemen. Shhhh...it is a secret.
Phibian forgot to trumpet another find of his--the LPD-17 INSURV.
For you non-Navy types, we've got a three star and staff who goes into every ship and sees how everything works. INSURV is a no nonsense check of whether a ship does what it is supposed to do. LPD-17 is the lead ship of a new class of amphibious ship, to replace some very needed and very old ships. The contracting was problematic, the shipyard changed hands during the build, and it's been a challenge. INSURV dropped by to see and report on this first ship of the new class.
This latest report? Not so good.
Just received a two-page fact sheet. Read it after the jump
Army Operations Security: Soldier Blogging Unchanged
o America’s Army respects every Soldier’s First Amendment rights while also adhering to Operations Security (OPSEC) considerations to ensure their safety on the battlefield.
o Soldiers and Army family members agree that safety of our Soldiers are of utmost importance.
o Soldiers, Civilians, contractors and Family Members all play an integral role in maintaining Operations Security, just as in previous wars.
• In no way will every blog post/update a Soldier makes on his or her blog need to be monitored or first approved by an immediate supervisor and Operations Security (OPSEC) officer. After receiving guidance and awareness training from the appointed OPSEC officer, that Soldier blogger is entrusted to practice OPSEC when posting in a public forum.
• Army Regulation 350-1, “Operations Security,” was updated April 17, 2007 – but the wording and policies on blogging remain the same from the July 2005 guidance first put out by the U.S. Army in Iraq for battlefield blogging. Since not every post/update in a public forum can be monitored, this regulation places trust in the Soldier, Civilian Employee, Family Member and contractor that they will use proper judgment to ensure OPSEC.
o Much of the information contained in the 2007 version of AR 530-1 already was included in the 2005 version of AR 530-1. For example, Soldiers have been required since 2005 to report to their immediate supervisor and OPSEC officer about their wishes to publish military-related content in public forums.
o Army Regulation 530-1 simply lays out measures to help ensure operations security issues are not published in public forums (i.e., blogs) by Army personnel.
• Soldiers do not have to seek permission from a supervisor to send personal E-mails. Personal E-mails are considered private communication. However, AR 530-1 does mention if someone later posts an E-mail in a public forum containing information sensitive to OPSEC considerations, an issue may then arise.
• Soldiers may also have a blog without needing to consult with their immediate supervisor and OPSEC officer if the following conditions are met:
1. The blog’s topic is not military-related (i.e., Sgt. Doe publishes a blog about his favorite basketball team).
2. The Soldier doesn’t represent or act on behalf of the Army in any way.
3. The Soldier doesn’t use government equipment when on his or her personal blog.
• Army Family Members are not mandated by commanders to practice OPSEC. Commanders cannot order military Family Members to adhere to OPSEC. AR 530-1 simply says Family Members need to be aware of OPSEC to help safeguard potentially critical and sensitive information. This helps to ensure Soldiers’ safety, technologies and present and future operations will not be compromised.
• Just as in 2005 and 2006, a Soldier should inform his or her OPSEC officer and immediate supervisor when establishing a blog for two primary reasons:
1. To provide the command situational awareness.
2. To allow the OPSEC officer an opportunity to explain to the Soldier matters to be aware of when posting military-related content in a public, global forum.
• A Soldier who already has a military-related blog that has not yet consulted with his or her immediate supervisor and OPSEC officer should do so.
• Commands have the authority to enact local regulations in addition to what AR 530-1 stipulates on this topic.
I am just going to preempt you Army guys. I just don't know what is going on at Annapolis; we just keep soiling out nest.
Can't find good Docs.
A Navy doctor who regularly acted as a chaperon for the Naval Academy men's gymnastics team is being investigated by the military on allegations that he made secret video recordings of midshipmen having sex in his Annapolis-area home, several legal and Navy sources familiar with the investigation said yesterday. While stationed at the academy, Ronan was the brigade medical officer, served on an "eating disorders and treatment team" and was an officer representative for the men's gymnastics team. Ronan also worked as a team physician for Naval Academy athletics, sources said.Go team! It also looks like we don't pay our people enough either.
A Naval Academy instructor worked as an “independent contractor” for an alleged Washington, D.C.-area madam, according to the defense lawyer for the escort service’s owner.I'll tell you what, Army types. We'll let you have win this season if you will take all our freeks. Please.
Hugh Hewitt interviews Senator Richard Shelby:
HH: The story I’m going to cover, the story I’m going to cover a lot today, Senator Shelby, has to do with the troops. You’re on the Defense Appropriations, so I’ll ask you. You obviously know about blogging, and how people use the internet.
HH: And how soldiers have been blogging from the front lines, and how it’s been very useful to keeping the public informed, et cetera. Today, the Army banned soldiers from blogging, just out and out banned them. What do you make of that?
RS: Oh, I don’t believe I would have done that. I think as long as they’re not giving away positions, and stuff like that, I’ve heard from a lot of our soldiers, and they’re very upbeat. You know, they say support the troops, that we’re doing well, and I believe them. I have some friends over there right now. I had one young man who is a Marine officer, and the head of a rifle company, as we speak, and I spoke to him, and I’ve visited with his family and so forth, and he’s very upbeat. And I think a lot of these troops have been. I think that we’ll have to see what happens. But to undermine our troops is just something I wouldn’t ever want to be a part of.
HH: Now I get e-mails from a colonel in Ramadi, and a colonel in Baghdad, they’re buddies of mine. I post them on my blog, and I want to continue to do that, because it’s first-hand information. Is that an appropriate subject for Defense Appropriations to look into?
RS: Well, I don’t…I’m sure this will probably be brought up when we get into this, or we have a hearing on something that’s relevant to this. But at the end of the day, I guess the commanders issued some order for some reasons unknown to me. I think if you’ve got good morale, which I believe they send the message back, we will do it.
HH: And so I hope you do support them getting their rights back…
RS: Oh, I would. I think we ought to hear from the soldiers. We should not try to shut up our soldiers. They’re in harm’s way, they’re carrying the brunt of this, and their families, and we should support them, and we should listen to them. But the ones I’ve been listening to are upbeat.
HH: That’s why I want to keep the information flowing.
RS: I think it’s good.
HH: These blogs…yeah, they paint a very different picture from what the media does.
By its terms, the new OPSEC regulation does not require approval of all communications beforehand, rather, the obligation is to consult. But as Noah's article points out, the proponent doesn't envision all communications to be monitored nor would it be practical to do so. When a regulation's proponent gives you that kind of guidance, you hang your hat on it.
But even without that, the guidelines still place the authority (or burden) on the commander. Commanders are as varied as snowflakes. Will some lean too far forward and say "no blogs"? Yes. but they could have done that before. While a commander may technically say "No Myspace" "No Ebay" and "No AKO forum posting" they are not obligated to do so under the regulation and, truth be told, commanders that ARE so lacking in common sense probably have other concerns within their units.
By analogy, on the non-deployed side, a commander has every right to revoke your pass privileges and doesn't need much of a reason to do so (if any). Do some commanders do this? Sure. Does it happen often? No. But the authority is there and hasn't proven a widespread problem.
Also, bear in mind that very little of this reg applies to online postings. This is not the Army's "Blogger Regulation." It's the OPSEC reg. This update simply attempts to incorporate into an earlier scheme new technology like blogs and other online public fora.
How does it do on that front? Well, while paragraph 2-1g(1)--the blogger provision--requires consultation before posting information to an online forum. What kind of information are we talking about? The reg defines the information that is to be protected in paragraph 1-5 as Critical Information or Sensitive Information.
Indeed, paragraph 2-1g(2)--immediately following the blogger provision of g(1) states: that they will advise personnel to ensure that sensitive and critical information is not to be disclosed. One of the duties of DA personnel is to know what their unit considers critical and sensitive information.
For example, is my posting on having recently having purchased a Nintendo Wii considered critical information? No. Could it be considered sensitive information? I can't conceive of how. My reading of the reg would be then I wouldn't be required to "consult" with my OPSEC officer prior to posting about my Nintendo Wii, or the latest Dodgers score, as I am presumed to know what sort of information is both critical and sensitive.
Accordingly, taking the author's position that it's impractical to monitor EVERY communication, the most rational reading is that it's for those grey areas where one is not sure if it's an OPSEC issue is where the obligation to consult comes in. And that's where personnel are advised that sensitive/critical info is not to be disclosed.
But suppose I'm wrong, suppose the obligation to consult applies to ALL information. That's where the common sense factor comes in. As your OPSEC officer most likely won't be doing "all OPSEC all the time," he won't be able to consult with every posting in a public forum (AKO forums? Fantasy Baseball?). Will a command thereby ban ALL such postings? Possibly. Will such a goofball decision be upheld by higher authority? Maybe.
But beyond the perennial "I'm the commander so eff off" form of persuasion, how widespread will such blanket denouncements be? Not very, in my opinion. Because for every story about details about the number of pizzas ordered at the Pentagon being considered OPSEC sensitive there are tens of thousands of similar disclosures that are not. Some ideas are too stupid even for the military to adopt. Your mileage and command may vary.
Where does that leave us? Commands with even a modicum of foresight can cure these concerns with a simple OPSEC policy memo that delineates what is considered critical and sensitive information and lay out the procedures for when "consultation" is required. Considering the infinite scope of information potentially encompassed by para 2-1g(1), I expect most will be more related to actual OPSEC matters and not pizza deliveries, and thereby leave the vast majority of milblogging intact.
"Looks like our conference suddenly became even more interesting...."
Someone else thinks so too. Anna Marie Cox, writing at Time Magazine's site:
Just in time for this week's "milblogger" conference in D.C., the Army has issued new regulations for active duty blogger-soldiers: basically, stop. All blog updates must be okayed, and personal emails will be subject to scrutiny. This seems like a mistake to me, as milbloggers are generally advocates for their operation and their word means a hell of a lot more to skeptics than whatever drivel's being broadcast by the Fighting 101st Chairborne.That's a voice from somewhere Left of Center on the Iraq war issue - and the Army can rightfully defend itself by noting this is an OPSEC, not a political issue. But that won't matter one bit on this IO battleground.
It's soldiers, by the way, who can really attest to whether or not the Democrats' position on the supplemental is really "hurting the troops." Wouldn't the administration want to keep their voices amplified? Oh, wait...
Check the comments at Think Progress for an example of the unintended consequences. And note that Lefty blog The Carpetbagger Report (read the comments there, too) links to decidedly Right-of-Center Captain's Quarters, where Ed Morrisey notes
However, no one has any evidence that milbloggers have violated Opsec orders in their communications. The one example offered in Wired is an old story about how people noticed a lot of parked cars and an uptick in pizza deliveries to the Pentagon on January 16, 1991, which presaged the imminent activation of Operation Desert Storm. That seems rather picayune, not to mention outdated.As Virginia Postrel notes at Dynamist,
If that's the extent of their concern and the extent of the violations, then they have sacrificed a powerful voice of support for the Army and the mission in favor of an almost-useless silence.
The geniuses in the Pentagon have decided that soldiers shouldn't be allowed to send emails or post to blogs without clearing the content with a superior officer. (And we know officers in the field have nothing better to do than play editor/flack.) The link above is to BlackFive (via InstaPundit), where there's lots more, including the Wired.com report that should set off a firestorm among people on every side of the war issue. Soldiers have the strongest incentives not to reveal operational details. So why hide their points of view?Decidedly Right of Center, Michelle Malkin: "Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!"
Glenn Reynolds sums up with an economy of words too: "BULLET, MEET FOOT."
But don't worry - no more than one or two million people have read any of that.
More later - for now I gotta go, my pizza just got here.
I 'may' have read the whole 79 pages(The last thing I need is a visit from the FBI). I'm not sure if it is the real document...as it is posted on an Iraqi Website.
IMHO It effectlively ends all communications not specifically approved by an
KGB political OPSEC officer. Family members are to be indoctrinated trained in opsec as well.
Rather than dealing with the reality that we live in an open society...it attempts to create a closed society.
"Service members and families should prepare for deployment discretely".....ohh that's realistic....the army did a great job of hiding the deployment of the 4/2 Stryker brigade from protestors....but hey...if we can keep it secret from Grandma and Grandpa by not drawing attention to ourselves by having say "a pre-deployment party" good old jihadi will be kept in the dark.
The regulation has General Casey's name on it...I think he did a fair job with what he had to work with in Iraq...I'm okay with the fact that he was promoted....the fact that he approved this regulation indicates to me that he is no longer competent to command in a FREE country.
The new OPSEC guidelines are "what's hot" in the world of milblogs today, but has anyone actually read the entire 79 pages? I haven't, and won't until after the conference, but it would be beneficial to hear from someone who has poured over the entire document.
Looks like our conference suddenly became even more interesting....
Considering that the whole regulation...classified Official Use Only has made it "into the wild" I.E. posted in its entirety on the Internet in less than 14 days...I suggest a pragmatic review of what can be kept a secret for what length of time is in order.
*Note - If one million people are on a distribution list...then it is not a secret anymore. If US troops are operating in strength in a city of 6 million inhabitants...the fact that they are there is no longer a secret.
"Once milblogs are outlawed only outlaws will have milblogs - you can quote me on that."
I passed that bit on to a reporter working on an article for Today's Officer back in March, '06. The short version didn't make it, but my larger point did.
On the flip side is a blogger who goes by the handle Greyhawk, publisher of the blog The Mudville Gazette, who notes the requirement is “probably the best way possible to put a stop to blogging from theater.” Greyhawk, currently serving in Germany, notes that registration already has begun to put a chill on milbloggers. “It has discouraged a lot of folks who are ‘by the rules’ types, the kinds of guy who the Army would most like to have telling the story from Iraq,” he says. “Some are concerned about inadvertent OPSEC violations, others of being accused of violating OPSEC by an overzealous senior. But the maladjusted, antisocial types who really hate the Army aren’t going to play by those rules, so in the end my concern is that you’ll see fewer milblogs from the squared-away, professional military types and more from the bitter extremists.”
Army spokesperson Maj. Elizabeth Robbins admits that some bloggers did give up their sites when the registration rule was instituted. “More than a few decided not to keep their blogs,” she notes. “We have stepped up measures to educate soldiers, because not all of them understand they’re making a public communication. And any time you do that, there are ramifications.” Still, Robbins insists, the regulation was not intended to put a stop to milblogging. “There’s certainly no move afoot to quash them,” she says.
Yes, that's the Maj. Elizabeth Robbins who wrote the (award winning) "Muddy Boots IO: The Rise of Soldier Blogs". Read it all - but near the end you'll find she expanded on that bit from the "Today's Officer" piece:
If the Army restricts soldiers from blogging, then soldiers who like the Army and who are proud of their service will comply by shutting down their blogs and removing their positive influence from the blogosphere. In fact, these pro-Army blogs were never an issue, because the Army benefits from the positive coverage. Most Army detractors ignore positive depictions of the military; experienced PAOs will attest that good news is rarely deemed “newsworthy.” Instead, if the Army restricts milblogs then the only voices that remain in the blogosphere will be the disgruntled and disaffected few, egged on by fellow miscreants and fakers. These troublemakers are perfectly capable of shifting the “preponderance of the evidence” in the blogosphere, or worst case, creating phony issues that create noise in the system.I'll take the opportunity to post more details from my original March, 2006 Today's Officer interview too:
Like private citizens, the Army has a limited ability to distinguish between authentic and unauthentic anonymous milblogs. One approach, contained within the April 2005 MNC-I memo, is to require all milbloggers to register with their commanders. Unfortunately, once again, such a policy discourages “good” soldiers while allowing “bad” soldiers to blog unfettered unless caught. From a policy perspective, the Army should feel no obligation to respond to blogged allegations that lack such vital data such as date, specific location, or unit name, for it is impossible to provide detailed responses to anonymous, unspecified rubbish. We need not set a precedent for troublemakers to waste Army resources by blogging falsehoods, and the media cannot credibly publish any such blogged accusations without substantiation.
Lastly, the Army can benefit when individuals quickly speak for themselves in order to rectify inaccuracies in the national and international media. In a small number of cases, milbloggers can defend the Army more credibly and more quickly than official spokespersons.
Military blogs written by those in muddy boots – of their own volition, and in their own words – give readers precious insight into the quality, efforts, and sacrifices of our force. Blogs written within the boundaries of security, accuracy, policy, and propriety are a combat multiplier in the information domain. Commanders must educate soldiers and provide them specific guidelines in order to minimize possible OPSEC and other violations. However, commanders at every level must boldly accept risk in order to support the rewards and warfighting advantages that soldier-authors bring to the information battlespace.
What’s your take on the mandatory registration of bloggers?
- It's probably the best way possible to put a stop to blogging from theater.
What effect do you think that will have on milblogging?
- It's already begun. It's discouraged a lot of folks who are "by the rules" types, the kinds of guys who the Army would most like to have telling the story from Iraq. Some are concerned of inadvertent OPSEC violations, others of being accused of violating OPSEC by an overzealous senior. But the maladjusted, anti-social types who really hate the Army aren't going to play by those rules, so in the end my concern is you'll see fewer milblogs from squared away, professional military types and more from the bitter extremists.
What do you think the future holds for milblogging?
- The Navy has a great approach to blogging, can't cite chapter and verse but essentially a simple disclaimer on the site regarding "views expressed are those of the author", no OPSEC or Privacy Act violations, and off you go. If the Army adopts a similar policy (they won't, if for no other reason then it's the Navy policy, and thus reeks of sea air) they will benefit from the best possible PR they could ever hope for (or pay big bucks to civilian PA firms for! - But that's another miserable failure story for another day...) If not, see "more from bitter extremists" comment above.
Minutes after Bush vetoed the bill, an anti-war demonstrator stood outside the White House with a bullhorn: "How many more must die? How many more must die?"...is mightier than the sword:
Earlier at the Capitol, Democrats held an unusual signing ceremony of the $124.2 billion bill before sending it to the White House.
"The president has put our troops in the middle of a civil war," said Reid. "Reality on the ground proves what we all know: A change of course is needed."
Bush signed the veto with a pen given to him by Robert Derga, the father of Marine Corps Reserve Cpl. Dustin Derga, who was killed in Iraq on May 8, 2005. The elder Derga spoke with Bush two weeks ago at a meeting the president had with military families at the White House.
Derga asked Bush to promise to use the pen in his veto. On Tuesday, Derga contacted the White House to remind Bush to use the pen, and so he did. The 24-year-old Dustin Derga served with Lima Company, 3rd Battalion 25th Marines from Columbus, Ohio. The five-year Marine reservist and fire team leader was killed by an armor-piercing round in Anbar Province.
I posted a round-up of reports about the new OPSEC Regulation over at Dadmanly, links, excerpts and commentary.
But here's the Executive Summary version. Here are the must reads for today:
Shachtman’s Report in Wired
Companion Interview with Regulation Author
Blackfive's The End of Military Blogging
Army To Milbloggers: About Face
COMING DOWN ON THE MILBLOGGERS
Army Forbids Troops From Blogging
AW, HELL — In the vein of obtuse military bureaucracy vs …
Should make for a very very lively MILBLOG Conference...
There is another piece to going forward...that whole "creating time and space for a political solution" thingy...
TIKRIT, Iraq – In an effort to end tribal conflicts that have been occurring for decades, the paramount sheiks from the Karki and Shimouri tribes signed a peace agreement at the home of the Mujema tribal leader in Diyala province, Monday. Specifics of the agreement include freeing previous kidnapped victims and stopping all kidnapping and killing operations; stopping indirect-fire attacks; providing the Iraqi police any members of their tribes which may be linked to insurgent groups; supporting the Iraqi army and police against terrorists; and resolving farming issues among the tribes.
Another "surge" Brigade arrives:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEIf the Brigade sounds familiar, it may be because this is the war machine that couldn't be stopped.
RELEASE No. 20070502-01
May 2, 2007
4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division arrives in Iraq
Multi-National Corps – Iraq PAO
BAGHDAD – Multi-National Corps-Iraq added a U.S. brigade this week to assist the Iraqi Security Forces in and around Baghdad.
The 4th Brigade, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team from Fort Lewis, WA will be deployed in various locations around the country. Their mission will be to assist Iraqi Security Forces to clear, control and retain key areas of the capital city in order to reduce violence.
The brigade includes approximately 3,700 Soldiers.
But if you've noted a sense of desperation in declarations of surge=failure from certain quarters lately, that might be driven by a fear of possible success in an admittedly difficult mission, and an urgent need to mislead the public into believing the strategy is fully in place. One thing you can count on: much of the reporting on progress from this point on will be deceptive at best, agenda-driven at worst, and virtually useless as a result.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
RELEASE No. 20070502-03
May 2, 2007
Baghdad Eagle battalion takes lead in counterinsurgency fight
Multi-National Division – Center PAO
MAHMUDIYAH, Iraq — Iraqi Soldiers have been slowly taking the lead in the fight against terror throughout Iraq, and Tuesday another battalion officially took control.
The 4th Battalion of the 4th Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division’s “Baghdad Eagles” assumed control of the battle space around Yusufiyah.
The battalion has worked side-by-side with the 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry) out of Fort Drum, N.Y., since the 2nd BCT’s arrival at the beginning of September.
The 4-31 Infantry “Polar Bears” have lived and worked with the Iraqi Soldiers for the past eight months, training them in every aspect of counterinsurgency fighting; including finding caches, conducting air- and river-borne assaults into hostile areas, and providing medical and financial assistance to local civilian populations.
The battalion has taken control of about 75 square kilometers in the rural area south of Baghdad. The men of the 4/4/6 IA, which is based on Forward Operating Base Yusufiyah, have met all performance objectives, Warner said. They have proven themselves to be an effective force capable of defeating the enemy and providing security to the citizens of Yusufiyah.
An Iraqi Army In the Lead ceremony is slated for a future date.
...which highlights another recent bit of extremist media ignorance:
U.S. plan backs off training of Iraqis
Policy shift entrusts security to American troop buildup
April 22, 2007
BY NANCY A. YOUSSEF
WASHINGTON -- Military planners have abandoned the idea that training Iraqi troops will enable U.S. troops to start coming home and now say American forces will have to defeat the insurgents and secure control of troubled provinces.
That bit of ignorance was inflicted on America three days after the handover of a complete province to Iraqi authority.
No excuses. No more warnings. Next offense, your family receives a beating.
The inspections begin Friday.
I'm leaving tonight, bags packed. The pre-torn jeans, alas, could not make the trip. They were buried at sea after sustaining mortal wounds during a fierce game of combat crud a ways back. Great story there, having the med group commander duck tape your jeans together during a lull so that you can keep playing. Anyway...
Andi reminds everyone of the dress code (there isn't one). Of course I'm the example for how casual this thing is. Sheesh, I wore a sweater people. I think ya'll are gravely underestimating my committment to this event.
What's an ILE-CC anyway?
'Cause, you know, I don't think it would help any Navy guys make rank. We don't like that edumacation stuff as much.
What caught my ear today is it looks like the Republicans in the House are about to take a pre-emptive fold.
Brushing aside White House opposition, Republican leaders in Congress said yesterday that negotiations on a second war spending bill should begin with benchmarks of success for the Iraqi government, and possible consequences if those benchmarks are not met.The military is but one Line of Operation, but so is the Civil Gov't and its development. Take away support from the Civil Gov't in Iraq and then move the military to "holding pens" out in the desert away from doing anything? WTF?
But GOP leaders did not take the benchmark issue off the table. House Minority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) suggested last week that although Republicans could not accept linking benchmarks to troop withdrawals, they could tie them to $5.7 billion in nonmilitary assistance for the Iraqi government.
Blunt spokeswoman Burson Snyder said yesterday that it would be "premature" to rule out such a proposal, in spite of Rice's comments. "We haven't even begun substantive conversations with the Democratic leadership, so how can we start ruling in or out certain provisions?" she said.
House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) took a similar tack. Boehner "believes members and the administration can and will discuss benchmarks as a way of measuring progress and holding the Iraqi government accountable, and that's where members need to start," said his spokesman Kevin Smith. He added that "tying benchmarks to withdrawal dates or deadlines are a non-starter," but he did not rule out consequences for Iraqi government inaction.
Rep. Bob Inglis (R-S.C.) has suggested that benchmarks be tied to U.S. troop positions within Iraq. If the benchmarks are not met, troops would remain in the country but would be removed from combat zones.
Do any of these people know the '72-'75 slide? Do any of them think beyond the next vote? If that is the halfway point between the Rep. and Dems. then, really, what is the point? If before you even give CDR MNF-I a chance to report back by SEP you already tell the terrorists that if they do X and Y by time Z that we will defund the Iraqi civil gov't by the end of the year and move out to holding pens - then save us all the trouble and order us to come home now - the end will be the same.
Give MNF-I the support and time he needs to make this work. If GEN Petraeus says "Stick a fork in it" then we can take those steps - but let's not create self-fulfilling prophecies.
Someone needs to go to school and the woodshed.
AlReuters has a new tool on Land Mind casualties here
It is still a big "buggy"(doesn't quite work). It is an important point however....how many Iraqi's have been killed by 'insurgent' landmines...how many Iraqi children have been maimed by landmines?
I would hazard a guess in the thousands if not tens of thousands.....
Got you covered at my place. I owe you one for the help on Afghanistan poppy stuff, anyway.
In my post Osama Tips His Hand
I made these statements
Circa 2000 - Saddam doesn't like the US enforcing sanctions against him and Osama wants to control Mecca...Saddam doesn't care about Mecca...but controling the oil fields of Saudi Arabia would make it impossible for the world to maintain sanctions against Saddam.
Sept 2001 - Osama has some of his boys drive airplanes into the World Trade Center...his boys conveniently leave plenty of tracks leading back to Saudi Arabia...Osama could have just as easily used Algerian,Morrocan,Sudanese et al nationals...but no...he chose to use primarily Saudi nationals.
We have better evidence than that. Here is what Tenet(ed CIA Director) told the relevant Senate committee in February 2002:
Iraq … has also had contacts with al-Qaida. Their ties may be limited by divergent ideologies, but the two sides' mutual antipathy toward the United States and the Saudi royal family suggests that tactical cooperation between them is possible, even though Saddam is well aware that such activity would carry serious consequences.
Now we have the resident troll making these statements
lordy, get out the tinfoil hats and pass them around. I guess with logic like this all those 911 conspiracy theories make sense as well. Ash | 04.29.07 - 8:49 pm | #
Now I'll look at some older history
Day 15: Wednesday, Jan. 30(ed 1991)
Scores of Iraqi tanks, thousands of troops advance into Saudi Arabia.
The al-Qaeda leader(ed Osama Bin Laden) was expelled from Saudi Arabia in 1991 because of his anti-government activities.
Saudi Arabia is home to some of Islam's holiest sites and the deployment of US forces there was seen as a historic betrayal by many Islamists, notably Osama Bin Laden.
It is one of the main reasons given by the Saudi-born dissident - blamed by Washington for the 11 September attacks - to justify violence against the United States and its allies.
In the evening of 22 August 1995, the Executive Chairman of the Special Commission met with General Hussein Kamal in Amman. The meeting was attended by Prof. M Zifferero (IAEA), N. Smidovich, and a person from King of Jordan court who served as an interpreter. The meeting started at 1950 hrs and lasted approximately three hours. The General spoke in Arabic with the follow-up translation by the interpreter.
General Hussein Kamal - "the current government will never change. Otherwise I would not leave. They will remain as always. Last time they massed the Army in Basrah ready to go into Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. I thought to leave at that time. They might think they might accuse me of being a traitor but I saw all kinds of battles. Until now it was planned to go into Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. If I stop issuing statements to the public for three weeks, they will return to the old policies. Listen again to Saddam's speeches immediately after the Gulf War and now. Still no changes for Iraq: poorer and suffering. They are only interested in themselves and not worried about economics
Osama was trying to overthrow the Saudi Royal family as far back as 1991. That is a historical fact. Saddams troops crossed into Saudi territory in 1991 as well. Coincidences...
I was wondering how (or if, even) the President would address the 20+ billion in pork the Democrats had slathered into the withdrawal Bill.
After dismissing their demands for declaration of failure and surrender to terrorist thugs, he spoke briefly on that topic:
Third, the bill is loaded with billions of dollars in non-emergency spending that has nothing to do with fighting the war on terror. Congress should debate these spending measures on their own merits -- and not as part of an emergency funding bill for our troops.Indeed. The specifics would be embarrassing to anyone with a shred of dignity or character - and while aiding the enemy is the greater crime, he would have done well to spell these out in detail.
...$25 million for spinach farmers, $74 million for peanut storage, $120M for shrimp research, $283 million in income subsidies for dairy farms, $400 million to rural counties hurt by cutbacks in federal logging, $400 million in additional heating subsidies for the poor, and $1 billion to prevent or prepare for a possible bird flu epidemic.I'm still concerned that will end up being the bribe the Dems demand for eliminating the surrender provisions.
Democrats swear it's a coincidence that President Bush will get their bill calling for U.S. forces to be withdrawn from Iraq today on the fourth anniversary of his "mission accomplished'' ceremony after Saddam Hussein was ousted.Lots of coincidences lately. The day after the House passed the withdrawal Bill, al Qaeda launched numerous suicide attacks in Iraq:
March 24, 2007 -- WASHINGTON - A sharply divided House of Representatives voted yesterday to order President Bush to bring combat troops home from Iraq next year - a victory for Democrats in an epic war-powers struggle and Congress' boldest challenge yet to the administration's policy.But nobody noticed that coincidence.
March 25, 2007 -- BAGHDAD — Suicide bombers struck in force across Iraq on Saturday ...after days of relative calm...
Then, on the day they met with President Bush to discuss the Bill, another amazing al Qaeda attack coincidence cost 200 Iraqi lives
Reid, the Senate's top Democrat, described part of a meeting with Bush at the White House on Wednesday -- the same day bombs killed almost 200 people in Baghdad in the worst day of violence since a U.S.-backed security crackdown was launched there earlier this year.President Bush vetoed the Bill, of course.
Pray for the people of Iraq, and our troops there. They'll probably experience another coincidence soon.
When you think nobody is watching...
BAGHDAD, April 30 — A senior commander in the American military’s main detention center here testified Monday at a military hearing that his predecessor, Lt. Col. William H. Steele, gave computer programs and other gifts to the daughter of a high-value detainee.
The commander, Lt. Col. Quentin Crank, whose military police unit took over for Colonel Steele’s at Camp Cropper in October 2006, said the gifts, which would be a breach of military law and Iraqi cultural norms, were given after Colonel Steele had moved to another assignment in Iraq. The detainee was said to be outraged by the personal contact with his daughter, telling American officials that Colonel Steele was trying to supplant his role as father.
A computer forensics expert testified that an IBM laptop recovered during the investigation contained classified material, 37 adult pornographic videos, 122 adult pornographic images and an e-mail message to an undisclosed person that “appeared to be adulterous in nature.” A second laptop, a Dell, contained the text of a secret document, the investigator said.
So we've got Quentin Crank testifying against Michael Steele in an article by Damien Cave.
Is this a court martial or a porno? And could you tell the difference?
UPDATE: Oops, got LTC Steele's first name wrong. Must've been all that porno talk...
OK, all you submarine types - time to show your historical knowledge and laugh at the situation I am in. I, an Army O-4 who really wants to make O-5, have exactly one paper left in my ILE-CC...and for some odd reason, I have chosen the development of submarines in the inter-war years. So for all you underwater types, I have the following author's works to help me through the briny deep of 1918-1939 submarine development; Gary Weir, Wilbur Cross, John Terraine, Michael Gunton and Richard Compton-Hall. Any of these laughable, mediocre or really good authors?
Who/what else should I find?
Please leave your underwater wisdom in the comments.
I know I am late to the Yingling Babblefest - but besides the huge amount of play his bit is getting - I just don't see much there there. Nothing new or shocking - especially if you know a little military history have read Nagl's Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife: Counterinsurgency Lessons from Malaya and Vietnam and Ricks' Fiasco.
The only meat I saw there was his discussion of GOFO reform - and that was after you had to plow through all the retro-fluffery above it.
His ideas on GOFO reform has spots of good ideas - but the core of it was rot. More Congressional influence on the senior officers? More political Generals & Admirals? Is that really what we want?
Now, if he wants to go after that Albatros of Goldwater-Nichols - well then we would have something!
On balance - yawn.
While we've been discussing the circus, the professionals have been going back and forth about the new counterinsurgency manual. I've got a post at my place that shows the fight card.