Thursday, August 30, 2012


Paul Ryan Speech at the Republican National Convention RNC

If these words do not stir your soul, then you have no soul -S.L.

"College graduates should not have to live out their 20s in their childhood bedrooms, staring up at fading Obama posters and wondering when they can move out and get going with life. Everyone who feels stuck in the Obama economy is right to focus on the here and now.

"When I was waiting tables, washing dishes, or mowing lawns for money, I never thought of myself as stuck in some station in life. I was on my own path, my own journey, an American journey where I could think for myself, decide for myself, define happiness for myself. That's what we do in this country. That's the American Dream. That's freedom, and I'll take it any day over the supervision and sanctimony of the central planners."

- Representative Paul Ryan, candidate for Vice President of the United States.

Paul Ryan's words amaze me. Incredibly, I have never doubted my piece of the American dream, yet I have never taken the American Dream for granted. That's because I earned everything I've got through hard work, blood, sweat, toil and tears.



The sticker on the back of Jeeps says:

It's a
Jeep thing, you wouldn't understand . . .

There are those guns that you need, then there are those that you want just so you can hold 'em in your hot, sweaty hands. That's actually good enough reason to buy a gun, if you can afford it and it helps you get your rocks off - it sure as hell beats buying a boat for basically the same reason. The "Mare's Leg" falls into that category of gun: t's not exactly what you'd call practical, but its the type of gun I like to keep around for general purpose use in scenarios like Civil Unrest, Zombie Apocalypse, or Zulu Dawn . . . not to mention your odd car-jacking or hold-up.

The "Mare's Leg" is one of those Hollywood inventions that has taken on a life of it's own. Steve McQueen first carried one in Wanted: Dead or Alive, when he played Josh Randall, a Confederate veteran and bounty hunter with a soft heart. Randall carried a sawed-off Winchester 1892 model carbine. He had the ability to draw and fire this gun with blazing speed, but the real reason he carried it was the "cool factor."

World-famous douchebag Woody Harrelson carried one in Zombieland - that's almost enough reason to shit-can the idea. Well, you can't blame the gun for that . . .

What's really great about the "Mare's Leg," though, is that it's sold as a pistol, which means I can carry it concealed with my Virginia concealed carry permit. Since it's available in .357 Magnum, .44 Magnum and .45 Colt, and the 12 inch barrel gives it the velocity of a rifle, what's not to like about it? Who cares if its hard to shoot? Like it says on the back of the Jeeps: It's a Jeep thing, you wouldn't understand . . .

Chicks dig 'em . . .

Taurus makes 'em under the Rossi name

Henry makes 'em:

Gunblast reviewed 'em

Even the NRA has paid homage

Team Member VA Shepard writes - but not often enough - from the Norfolk area of the Commonwealth of Virginia.


I came this country with a suitcase in my hand, and everything I am today - everything I have - I owe to this the land of unlimited opportunity. I love this country and everything it stands for, and last night Condi said it better than I ever could in a hundred lifetimes - S.L.

"After all, when the world looks to America, they look to us because we are the most successful political and economic experiment in human history. That is the true basis of “American Exceptionalism.” The essence of America — that which really unites us — is not ethnicity, or nationality or religion — it is an idea — and what an idea it is: That you can come from humble circumstances and do great things. That it doesn’t matter where you came from but where you are going.

"Ours has never been a narrative of grievance and entitlement. We have not believed that I am doing poorly because you are doing well. We have not been envious of one another and jealous of each other’s success. Ours has been a belief in opportunity and a constant battle — long and hard — to extend the benefits of the American dream to all — without regard to circumstances of birth."

- Condoleezza Rice, Secretary of State of the United States of America, 2001-2009

It is significant to hear this theme, the very ethos of Ayn Rand and the TEA Party, described and celebrated by Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin, repeated by Ms. Rice, the heart and soul of the Republican Establishment. We are winning, people, and we will win.


Sunday, August 26, 2012


On August 16 - Thursday a week ago - Marine combat veteran Brandon Raub was arrested by members of the FBI, the United States Secret Service and Chesterfield County VA local enforcement. He was held without charges and committed to a mental ward after a 15-minute interview with a psychiatrist.

The FBI and the USSS were obviously acting on instructions - Raub's detention was in accordance with procedures in place since the Cho incident at Virginia Tech, but the cops and Federal law enforcement didn't follow procedure. The procedures call for a detainee to be seen by a judge within four hours of arrest - this did not happen.

The Ruthorford Institute was instrumental in getting Raub represented and ultimately released - but not before getting the run-around from the authorities; the Veteran's Administration was telling his attorney he wasn't there. Another vet who was in for treatment released Brandon Raub's information which led to his attorney Anthony Troy, former Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Virginia - and the resources of the Ruthorford Institute to eventually getting him out of there.

Brandon Raub is the latest victim of the Eric Holder Justice Department. At least Brandon survived his ordeal, unlike his fellow Marine veteran Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry; armed with only beanbags and sent to do battle against Mexican druglords equipped with US government-supplied assault rifles.

The most disturbing aspect of this entire episode is the committed-to-mental-ward tactic; this is exactly the same way the former Soviet Union used to deal with their outspoken citizens. Dissidents would be commited to so-called mental health institutes where they would be pumped full of drugs - forbidden as torture under the United Nations Universal Charter on Human Rights - on the grounds that anyone who did not believe in Socialism was wrong in the head and needed to be "cured".

For anyone seeking a security clearance, to legally purchase and possess weapons - even to hold a insurance agent's license - any kind of psychiatric history is the kiss of death. The Feds know this, and they know that a shrink can determine anybody to have a screw loose. This is an extremely sinister development.

Liberals dislike the military and they view us veterans as ticking time bombs. I have been told to my face that I am a baby killer, and a journalist explained that I am a "trained killer". Liberal journalists gave birth to the crazed Vietnam veteran suffering flashbacks and going berzerk, and Hollywood took the ball and ran with it. To this day I have no respect for Sylvester Stallone because of the Rambo image he promoted, and Oliver Stone's portrayal of Vietnam Vets as shaken, disturbed, lethal and suicidal war criminal basketcases.

For the record: Brandon Raub committed no crime, no chargeable offense, and there is not even evidence that he owns a firearm.

The Rutherford Institute’s information on Raub’s case is available HERE.

“This is not how justice in America is supposed to work—with Americans being arrested for doing nothing more than exercising their First Amendment rights, forced to undergo psychological evaluations, detained against their will and isolated from their family, friends and attorneys. This is a scary new chapter in our history,” said John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute. “Brandon Raub is no different from the majority of Americans who use their private Facebook pages to post a variety of content, ranging from song lyrics and political hyperbole to trash talking their neighbors, friends and government leaders.”

Below is the full text of Brandon Raub's writings on his Facebook page; the freely expressed thoughts and expressions of a citizen - supposedly guaranteed to the free citizens of this Republic under the 1st Amendment of the Unite States Constitution:

Stormbringer Disclaimer: I do not espouse any kind of violent overthrow of the United States Government; I take my Oath of Allegiance and Oath of Naturalization to this country very seriously. Any 'revolution' which I ascribe to is within the legal framework of our rule of law - such as the Reagan Revolution. I am also not a 9-11 Truther - I have discussed this HERE. Even though I am not a lawyer, in my opinion Brandon Raub's writings below fall way short of sedition. This is also the opinion of his attorney, Anthony Troy, former Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Virginia - S.L.

The Truth by Brandon J Raub on Friday, November 11, 2011 at 10:00 am

America has lost itself. We have lost who we truly are. This is the land of the free and the home of the brave.

This is the land of Thomas Jefferson.

This is the land of Benjamin Franklin.

This is the land of Fredrick Douglas.

This is the land of Smedley Butler.

This is the land John F. Kennedy.

This is the land of Martin Luther King.

This is the land where the cowboy wins. This is the land where you can start from the bottom and get to the top. This is the land where regardless of you race and ethnicity you can succeed and build a better life for you and your family. This is the land where every race coexists peacefully. This is the land where justice wins.

This is the land where liberty dwells. This is the land where freedom reigns. This is the land where we help the poor, and people help each other. This is land where people beat racism.

The Federal Reserve is wrong. They have designed a system based off of greed and fear. They designed a system to crush the middle class between taxes and inflation. This is wrong, and it is unjust. It is wrong.

We have allowed ourselves to be deceived and seduced by the powers of the printing press. It is not a good system. It discourages saving: the foundation for all stable economic activity. The Federal Reserve is artificially manipulating interest rates and creating phony economic data.

This thing has deceived our entire nation.

They created it in 1913. They also created the income tax in 1913. They encouraged the growth of debt so they can tax you on it. There is interest on the debt. Your government is in bed with these people. They want to enslave you to the government so that they can control every aspect of your lives. It is an empire based on lies.

They operate of greed and fear.

There is a better way. It’s called freedom. Freedom is called a lot of things. But there is a true meaning. It means very simply that you have the right to do whatever you want as long as you are not infringing on the freedoms of other people.

I firmly believe that God set America apart from the other nations of the world. He saved a place where people could come to to escape bad systems of goverment. This system we have created works. It really works.

There is evil going on all around the world. The United States was meant to lead the charge against injustice, but through our example not our force. People do not respond to having liberty and freedom forced on them.

Men and Women follow courage. They follow leadership, and courage. Our example has paved the way for people all around the world to change their forms of government.
Force is not the way because liberty is a powerful concept. The idea that men can govern themselves is the basis for every just form of government.

We can govern ourselves. We do not need to be governed by men who want to install a one world banking system. These men have machine hearts. Machine and unnatural hearts.

They have blocked out the possibility of a better world. They fear human progress.

They have monopolies on everything.

This life can be free and beautiful. There are enough resources on this earth to support the world’s population. There are enough resources on this earth to feed everyone. There is enough land for everyone to own their own land and farm, and produce their own energy.

These people have been hiding technology. There are ways to create power easily. There is technology that can provide free cheap power for everyone. There are farming techniques that can feed the entire world.

The Bill of Rights is being systematically dismantled. Men have spilled their blood for those rights.

Your sons and daughters, your brothers and sisters, and Americas best young men and women are losing their limbs. They are losing their lives. They are losing the hearts. They do not know why they are fighting. They are killing. And they do not know why.

They have done some extraordinary acts. Their deeds go before them. But these wars are lies. They are lies. They deceived our entire nation with terrorism. They have gotten us to hand them our rights. Our Rights! Men died for those rights!

September Eleventh was an inside job. They blew up a third building in broad daylight. Building 7.

Your leaders betrayed you.

You elected an aristocracy. They are beholden to special interests. They were brainwashed through the Council on Foreign Relations. Your leaders are planning to merge the United States into a one world banking system. They want to put computer chips in you.

These men have evil hearts. They have tricked you into supporting corporate fascism. We gave them the keys to our country. We were not vigilant with our republic.

There is hope.



As a professional trained in counter-terrorism - which includes securing and detaining noncombatants and a heightened sensitivity to civilian legal parameters as well as the Law of Land Warfare - I have to wonder about the clear lack of situational awareness on behalf of the FBI, the USSS and local law enforcement going into this thing. Did not anyone in the chain as some point speak up and ask, "What are we arresting this citizen for? Is there a crime here?"

And so it begins; the rounding up of law-abiding citizenry for their thoughts. I guarantee if this thing had gone down in Arizona, somebody would have spoken up.



All 9 wounded byatanders hit by NYPD - the shooter didn't let off any additional shots after he killed his intended target.

Mayor Bloomberg is right - they DO need better gun control in NYC.


Saturday, August 25, 2012


Things are happening too fast out there and I've got a life - this blog is just a hobby - maybe this weekend I can get on to some issues which surfaced this week - I want offer up analysis but it seemed this week there simply wasn't enough time - S.L.

SEAL Book on the Osama Raid:

The title itself is a play on the saying "Last easy day was yesterday." This is a slogan the SEALs seem to have taken ownership of, although this was what they told me on Day One of the Special Forces Combat Diver course. I have also heard this phrase at Camp Mackall, where we conduct various phases of the Q Course.

This whole thing is weird on so many levels. The operators in Tier One units are consummate professionals who exist under a strict code of silence. The penalties for knowingly disclosing classified information are clearly stated on Standard Form 312 CLASSIFIED INFORMATION NONDISCLOSURE STATEMENT that we are all required to sign; $25,000 fine and up to ten years in prison.

We all know this; we are reminded often: "Do not write a book."

Now his name is out there - predictable - in writing this book, this SEAL risked potential exposure of himself and his family to retribution by the al Qaeda terrorist network.

And so this begs the question: Why did he do it.

When nothing makes any logical sense on the surface of a thing, we have to sort through it all to find the logic to it. Possibilities:

A) Money. This one falls through the cracks when you balance it out against the risk of fines & imprisonment.

B) He really is that stupid. This makes no sense - you have to have a brain to make it to the upper levels of military elitedom.

C) Hollywood was already briefed by the Whitehouse and so the cat's already out of the bag. Possibly - which leads to my personal theory:

D) This is yet another attempt by Team Obama to discredit the SEALs and other operators behind the Special Ops OPSEC Dishonorable Disclosures video that blasted the Obama Administration for this very thing.

In other words, "Look - the SEALs themselves are leaking info; not just us!" They have already tried to limit damage with the bait-and-switch HuffPo article. We'll know if this is the deal if the SEAL who wrote this book escapes persecution.

I haven't read the thing yet - I just hope he gives credit to JSOC and acknowledges that the SEALs had adult chaperones along for the ride.

However it comes out in the wash, this kid is an idiot for doing what he did. He violated the Special Operations code of silence knowing full well the potential outcome, and for the rest of his life nobody in the community will trust him. Bad move, brother.

Who says that? I say that.


Thursday, August 23, 2012


How to Look for Trouble: A STRATFOR Guide to Protective Intelligence
How to Live in a Dangerous World: A
STRATFOR Guide to Protecting Yourself, Your Family and Your Business

A Primer on Situational Awareness | Stratfor

By Scott Stewart

The world is a wonderful place, but it can also be a dangerous one. In almost every corner of the globe militants of some political persuasion are plotting terror attacks - and these attacks can happen in London or New York, not just in Peshawar or Baghdad. Meanwhile, criminals operate wherever there are people, seeking to steal, rape, kidnap or kill.

Regardless of the threat, it is very important to recognize that criminal and terrorist attacks do not materialize out of thin air. In fact, quite the opposite is true. Criminals and terrorists follow a process when planning their actions, and this process has several distinct steps. This process has traditionally been referred to as the terrorist attack cycle but if one looks at the issue thoughtfully, it becomes apparent that the same steps apply to nearly all crimes. Of course, there will be more time between steps in a complex crime like a kidnapping or car bombing than there will be between steps in a simple crime such as purse-snatching or shoplifting, where the steps can be completed quite rapidly. Nevertheless, the same steps are usually followed.

People who practice situational awareness can often spot this planning process as it unfolds and then take appropriate steps to avoid the dangerous situation or prevent it from happening altogether. Because of this, situational awareness is one of the key building blocks of effective personal security -- and when exercised by large numbers of people, it can also be an important facet of national security. Since situational awareness is so important, and because we discuss situational awareness so frequently in our analyses, we thought it would be helpful to discuss the subject in detail and provide a primer that can be used by people in all sorts of situations.


First and foremost, it needs to be noted that being aware of one's surroundings and identifying potential threats and dangerous situations is more of a mindset than a hard skill. Because of this, situational awareness is not something that can be practiced only by highly trained government agents or specialized corporate security countersurveillance teams. Indeed, it can be exercised by anyone with the will and the discipline to do so.

An important element of the proper mindset is to first recognize that threats exist. Ignorance or denial of a threat -- or completely tuning out one's surroundings while in a public place -- makes a person's chances of quickly recognizing the threat and avoiding it slim to none. This is why apathy, denial and complacency can be (and often are) deadly. A second important element is understanding the need to take responsibility for one's own security. The resources of any government are finite and the authorities simply cannot be everywhere and cannot stop every criminal action. The same principle applies to private security at businesses or other institutions, like places of worship. Therefore, people need to look out for themselves and their neighbors.

Another important facet of this mindset is learning to trust your "gut" or intuition. Many times a person's subconscious can notice subtle signs of danger that the conscious mind has difficulty quantifying or articulating. Many people who are victimized frequently experience such feelings of danger prior to an incident, but choose to ignore them. Even a potentially threatening person not making an immediate move -- or even if the person wanders off quickly after a moment of eye contact -- does not mean there was no threat.

Levels of Awareness

People typically operate on five distinct levels of awareness. There are many ways to describe these levels ("Cooper's colors," for example, which is a system frequently used in law enforcement and military training), but perhaps the most effective way to illustrate the differences between the levels is to compare them to the different degrees of attention we practice while driving. For our purposes here we will refer to the five levels as "tuned out;" "relaxed awareness;" "focused awareness;" "high alert" and "comatose."

The first level, tuned out, is like when you are driving in a very familiar environment or are engrossed in thought, a daydream, a song on the radio or even by the kids fighting in the backseat. Increasingly, cell phone calls and texting are also causing people to tune out while they drive. Have you ever gotten into the car and arrived somewhere without even really thinking about your drive there? If so, then you've experienced being tuned out.

The second level of awareness, relaxed awareness, is like defensive driving. This is a state in which you are relaxed but you are also watching the other cars on the road and are looking well ahead for potential road hazards. If another driver looks like he may not stop at the intersection ahead, you tap your brakes to slow your car in case he does not. Defensive driving does not make you weary, and you can drive this way for a long time if you have the discipline to keep yourself at this level, but it is very easy to slip into tuned-out mode. If you are practicing defensive driving you can still enjoy the trip, look at the scenery and listen to the radio, but you cannot allow yourself to get so engrossed in those distractions that they exclude everything else. You are relaxed and enjoying your drive, but you are still watching for road hazards, maintaining a safe following distance and keeping an eye on the behavior of the drivers around you.

The next level of awareness, focused awareness, is like driving in hazardous road conditions. You need to practice this level of awareness when you are driving on icy or slushy roads -- or the roads infested with potholes and erratic drivers that exist in many third-world countries. When you are driving in such an environment, you need to keep two hands on the wheel at all times and have your attention totally focused on the road and the other drivers. You don't dare take your eyes off the road or let your attention wander. There is no time for cell phone calls or other distractions. The level of concentration required for this type of driving makes it extremely tiring and stressful. A drive that you normally would not think twice about will totally exhaust you under these conditions because it demands your prolonged and total concentration.

The fourth level of awareness is high alert. This is the level that induces an adrenaline rush, a prayer and a gasp for air all at the same time -- "Watch out! There's a deer in the road! Hit the brakes!" This also happens when that car you are watching doesn't stop at the stop sign and pulls out right in front of you. High alert can be scary, but at this level you are still able to function. You can hit your brakes and keep your car under control. In fact, the adrenalin rush you get at this stage can sometimes even aid your reflexes. But, the human body can tolerate only short periods of high alert before becoming physically and mentally exhausted.

The last level of awareness, comatose, is what happens when you literally freeze at the wheel and cannot respond to stimuli, either because you have fallen asleep, or, at the other end of the spectrum, because you are petrified from panic. It is this panic-induced paralysis that concerns us most in relation to situational awareness. The comatose level of awareness (or perhaps more accurately, lack of awareness) is where you go into shock, your brain ceases to process information and you simply cannot react to the reality of the situation. Many times when this happens, a person can go into denial, believing that "this can't be happening to me," or the person can feel as though he or she is observing, rather than actually participating in, the event. Often, the passage of time will seem to grind to a halt. Crime victims frequently report experiencing this sensation and being unable to act during an unfolding crime.

Finding the Right Level

Now that we've discussed the different levels of awareness, let's focus on identifying what level is ideal at a given time. The body and mind both require rest, so we have to spend several hours each day at the comatose level while asleep. When we are sitting at our homes watching a movie or reading a book, it is perfectly fine to operate in the tuned-out mode. However, some people will attempt to maintain the tuned-out mode in decidedly inappropriate environments (e.g., when they are out on the street at night in a third-world barrio), or they will maintain a mindset wherein they deny that they can be victimized by criminals. "That couldn't happen to me, so there's no need to watch for it." They are tuned out.

Some people are so tuned out as they go through life that they miss even blatant signs of pending criminal activity directed specifically at them. In 1992, an American executive living in the Philippines was kidnapped by a Marxist kidnapping gang in Manila known as the "Red Scorpion Group." When the man was debriefed following his rescue, he described in detail how the kidnappers had blocked off his car in traffic and abducted him. Then, to the surprise of the debriefing team, he said that on the day before he was abducted, the same group of guys had attempted to kidnap him at the exact same location, at the very same time of day and driving the same vehicle. The attackers had failed to adequately box his car in, however, and his driver was able to pull around the blocking vehicle and proceed to the office.

Since the executive did not consider himself to be a kidnapping target, he had just assumed that the incident the day before his abduction was "just another close call in crazy Manila traffic." The executive and his driver had both been tuned out. Unfortunately, the executive paid for this lack of situational awareness by having to withstand an extremely traumatic kidnapping, which included almost being killed in the dramatic Philippine National Police operation that rescued him.

If you are tuned out while you are driving and something happens -- say, a child runs out into the road or a car stops quickly in front of you -- you will not see the problem coming. This usually means that you either do not see the hazard in time to avoid it and you hit it, or you totally panic and cannot react to it -- neither is good. These reactions (or lack of reaction) occur because it is very difficult to change mental states quickly, especially when the adjustment requires moving several steps, say, from tuned out to high alert. It is like trying to shift your car directly from first gear into fifth and it shudders and stalls. Many times, when people are forced to make this mental jump and they panic (and stall), they go into shock and will actually freeze and be unable to take any action -- they go comatose. This happens not only when driving but also when a criminal catches someone totally unaware and unprepared. While training does help people move up and down the alertness continuum, it is difficult for even highly trained individuals to transition from tuned out to high alert. This is why police officers, federal agents and military personnel receive so much training on situational awareness.

It is critical to stress here that situational awareness does not mean being paranoid or obsessively concerned about your security. It does not mean living with the irrational expectation that there is a dangerous criminal lurking behind every bush. In fact, people simply cannot operate in a state of focused awareness for extended periods, and high alert can be maintained only for very brief periods before exhaustion sets in. The "flight or fight" response can be very helpful if it can be controlled. When it gets out of control, however, a constant stream of adrenaline and stress is simply not healthy for the body or the mind. When people are constantly paranoid, they become mentally and physically burned out. Not only is this dangerous to physical and mental health, but security also suffers because it is very hard to be aware of your surroundings when you are a complete basket case. Therefore, operating constantly in a state of high alert is not the answer, nor is operating for prolonged periods in a state of focused alert, which can also be overly demanding and completely enervating. This is the process that results in alert fatigue. The human body was simply not designed to operate under constant stress. People (even highly skilled operators) require time to rest and recover.

Because of this, the basic level of situational awareness that should be practiced most of the time is relaxed awareness, a state of mind that can be maintained indefinitely without all the stress and fatigue associated with focused awareness or high alert. Relaxed awareness is not tiring, and it allows you to enjoy life while rewarding you with an effective level of personal security. When you are in an area where there is potential danger (which, by definition, is almost anywhere), you should go through most of your day in a state of relaxed awareness. Then if you spot something out of the ordinary that could be a potential threat, you can "dial yourself up" to a state of focused awareness and take a careful look at that potential threat (and also look for others in the area).

If the potential threat proves innocuous, or is simply a false alarm, you can dial yourself back down into relaxed awareness and continue on your merry way. If, on the other hand, you look and determine that the potential threat is a probable threat, seeing it in advance allows you to take actions to avoid it. You may never need to elevate to high alert, since you have avoided the problem at an early stage. However, once you are in a state of focused awareness you are far better prepared to handle the jump to high alert if the threat does change from potential to actual -- if the three guys lurking on the corner do start coming toward you and look as if they are reaching for weapons. The chances of you going comatose are far less if you jump from focused awareness to high alert than if you are caught by surprise and "forced" to go into high alert from tuned out. An illustration of this would be the difference between a car making a sudden stop in front of a person when the driver is practicing defensive driving, compared to a car that makes a sudden stop in front of a person when the driver is sending a text message.

Of course, if you know that you must go into an area that is very dangerous, you should dial yourself up to focused awareness when you are in that area. For example, if there is a specific section of highway where a lot of improvised explosive devices detonate and ambushes occur, or if there is a part of a city that is controlled (and patrolled) by criminal gangs -- and you cannot avoid these danger areas for whatever reason -- it would be prudent to heighten your level of awareness when you are in those areas. An increased level of awareness is also prudent when engaging in common or everyday tasks, such as visiting an ATM or walking to the car in a dark parking lot. The seemingly trivial nature of these common tasks can make it all too easy to go on "autopilot" and thus expose yourself to threats. When the time of potential danger has passed, you can then go back to a state of relaxed awareness.

This process also demonstrates the importance of being familiar with your environment and the dangers that are present there. Such awareness allows you to avoid many threats and to be on the alert when you must venture into a dangerous area.

Clearly, few of us are living in the type of intense threat environment currently found in places like Mogadishu, Juarez or Kandahar. Nonetheless, average citizens all over the world face many different kinds of threats on a daily basis -- from common thieves and assailants to criminals and mentally disturbed individuals aiming to conduct violent acts to militants wanting to carry out large-scale attacks against subways and aircraft.

Many of the steps required to conduct these attacks must be accomplished in a manner that makes the actions visible to the potential victim and outside observers. It is at these junctures that people practicing situational awareness can detect these attack steps, avoid the danger and alert the authorities. When people practice situational awareness they not only can keep themselves safer but they can also help keep others safe. And when groups of people practice situational awareness together they can help keep their schools, houses of worship, workplaces and cities safe from danger.

And as we've discussed many times before, as the terrorist threat continues to devolve into one almost as diffuse as the criminal threat, ordinary citizens are also becoming an increasingly important national security resource.


"A Primer on Situational Awareness is republished with permission of Stratfor."


Obama doesn't take SEAL group attacks 'seriously​' - POLITICO.c​om

He should - the Liberals are STILL crying "Unfair! Not true!" over the Swiftboat Veterans - still to this day spreading disinformation & lies, trying to walk back the power of outspoken veterans.

November is coming . . . 75 days until vindication . . . 150 days until liberation . . .


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

10 Fun Facts About Interior Design

1. Interior design is basically the practice that deal with the placement and design of furnishings and other elements inside a space like windows, walls, doors, textures, finishes, light, and furniture is called interior deign. All of the said elements are manipulated by an interior designer in order to make the most functional space.

2. Interior designers may plan on various space like offices, homes, airport terminals, shopping malls, hotels, restaurants, schools, and hospitals. One should not confuse interior design with interior decoration as the latter is focused on the selection of color palettes to go with complimentary furniture, window coverings, flooring, lighting, and artwork. Today most interior decorators need to be familiar with architectural detailing like home renovations, floor plans, and construction codes.

3. Interior designers may specialize in a distinct discipline like residential and commercial design, health care, hospitality and institutional design. In areas where profession is government-regulated the designer must have particular qualifications. The designer should also show competency not just in his or her specialty but in the entire profession.

4. Specialty areas involving interior designers are continuously growing and evolving. With an aging population in most countries the focus has been on developing solutions that improve the environment especially for the elderly.

5. There are many disciplines involved in interior design like function, structure, special group needs, specialized performance, discipline for business, presentation skills, computer technology, craft skills, and aesthetic disciplines, among others. The many disciplines that are involved in interior designing shows how encompassing interior designing is. The field of interior designing also requires an interior designer to be adept in science and technology, and be creative as well.

6. The process of providing interior designing services is identical regardless of the type of building. First the interior designer will determine the objectives, time frame and budget of the client. This is referred to as taking a brief. The aim is always to improve the revenue potential of the clients, since even homeowners need to consider the value of their property. Then the designer will outline a cost estimate for the project including the design output and corresponding expenses. Drawings are also required prior to commencing design work.

7. Computer-aided design is normally used by designers these days although hand sketches still remain valuable for their personality. Also called CAD, this is a program that is used to communicate the design in realistic views and various angles. CAD eliminates the need to work on long hours for hand drawing and sketching.

8. After the survey and provision of the working drawing the client will be given an initial concept for approval. Once this is approved the floor plans, alternations, finishing, and furnishings follow. Most probably doors, walls, and windows will be repositioned as well.

9. Employment of interior designers may vary like any other profession. Interior designers may take on regular day jobs with large corporations. Others may take on a project basis. There are designers who need to adjust their working hours in order to suit the needs of the client, meaning they have to work for a lot of hours. Those who are self employed however have a lot of pressure to get clients in order to get themselves adequate income.

10. Interior designers usually travel from one place to another, visiting the offices or homes of their clients. Interior designers’ earnings likewise differ based on their employer, years of experience, and their reputation.

If you are looking into changing the interior design of a room in your house, your entire house or your office, try to look up the Asheville builders and the Asheville construction company. They would surely be able to provide you with the best service and with exactly what you are looking for.

Fellowes Microshred Ms-450cs Micro Shred Paper Shredder Review

If you're looking for a high-quality, medium-duty, deskside paper shredder that offers a high level of security, you needn't look any further than the Fellowes Microshred MS-450Cs. This is a top-notch product from Fellowes that combines great safety features and thoughtful little touches with what's really important: document security. For a relatively low price (under $300.00), Fellowes' MS-450Cs provides an extremely high level of security and it not only can destroy paper, it can decimate other types of media quickly and quietly, making this shredder a great choice for both the home and office.

One of the first things that's noticeable about the MS-450Cs is how quiet it is. Indeed, it's so quiet you can barely hear it working at all, so this shredder would be great for a shared workspace or reception area. The shredder is also very safe to use, so it'd be a welcome addition to homes containing young children and/or pets. Fellowes has given the machine with its patented SafeSense technology which causes the shredder to immediately shut off if it detects hands - or anything other than paper - anywhere near the opening, so you and your loved ones will be safe. (The machine also stops when a jam occurs, thus preventing damage to the machine.) Other features include casters for easy transport, a generous wastebasket capacity of 4.5 gallons, and an additional chamber for media waste. Also, the basket area has a shelf for easy storage of shredder oil and wastebasket bags.

about the MS-450Cs
Fellowes Microshred Ms-450cs Micro Shred

The noise and safety factors are great features to have, but what's truly amazing about the MS-450Cs is its shredding capability. This is a cross-cut machine that can shred just about anything you put into it including paper, CDs, DVDs, and credit cards. (Staples can be put in, too.) This paper shredder can shred up to seven sheets of paper at a time (less if you're shredding non-paper materials) and it can run continuously for 8 to 10 minutes. And best of all, the MC-450Cs pulverizes paper, producing very small paper particles. Identity thieves don't have a chance of stealing any information from documents that are passed through this machine, so the MS-450Cs is the perfect choice if you're concerned about identity theft.

That said, the MS-450Cs' main strength is also its drawback, in a way. The shreds this machine produces are so fine, it's very easy to make a big mess with them. Be sure to be careful when changing or emptying the wastebasket, unless you want to be vacuuming up paper shreds. (And really, who wants to do that?) Also, some users may want to shred more than seven pages at a time. If that's the case, a different shredder would be a wise choice. Offices that are looking for a shredder to share among a number of users may find that the MS-450Cs is a little bit small for that application. A shredder with a larger bin, larger sheet capacity and wider throat may be nice for sharing in a workgroup or department.

Overall, the MS-450Cs is the perfect paper shredder for individuals and businesses who are concerned about document security. If you're looking to safeguard your private information, get the MS-450Cs today and rest easy tonight, knowing your personal data won't wind up in the hands of identity thieves when you use this shredder. This is a great shredder to place beside or underneath your desk to make shredding of confidential documents easy and convenient.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


I met this young man John Neuhaus (not his real name) at an academic symposium on the international security scene. I thought he was kind of bright; he gave a presentation, represented himself as some kind of corporate due diligence (corporate counter-espionage/security) guy. John expressed interest in what I do; I'm always on the lookout for new talent so I developed the contact, as we say in the business.

John works for a security outfit in L.A. - he asked me about training resources so I put him in touch with a friend (Combat Frog) whose company was running a counter-surveillance course.

This is what the Frog came back with:


From: Combat Frog
Sent: Monday, August 20, 2012 4:43 PM
Subject: John Neuhaus


Where the f*ck did you meet this John Neuhaus sh*tbag? We had to kick that stupid f*ck out of our course, which we let him sit in for free.


1. Acting and talking like he was some CIA operator

2. Telling us how many firefights he'd been in.

3. Telling one of the staff that he thought he was gay

4. Later, trying to proposition that same staff member

5. Hitting on one of the instructors wife.

He's lucky he left the course alive. He's damn lucky I was not the one that had to terminate him! What the f*ck dude????



I got on the horn with the Frog right away and opened up with "What are you doing Frog??? John is my best man in my operation! YOU BROKE HIM!!!"

This attempt at humor went over like a fart in a recompression chamber. Man oh man it was worse hearing it straight from the horses mouth. Frog was telling me, "I hope you're joking Sean because you don't want this guy anywhere near your operation! He is beyond flakey, this guy is going to give us all a bad name by association! Cut away, bro! Cut away!"

I apologized profusely of course for wasting Frog's time, and spreading stress & anxiety into his organization. Frog said at the end of Day One the instructors were talking about cutting this guy a Certificate of Attendance and sending him on his way. Then that night at the hotel they were doing a tradecraft training exercise and afterward our man says to one of the role players - who turned out to be the instructor's wife - "Aren't you going to follow me up to my room?" and that was the final nail in the coffin. They sent him packing and didn't want their name or logo associated with him in any way shape or form.

I felt so bad; still do, in fact. This is what I get for trying to help somebody out. All I've got to say is at this point is if this guy is representative of the next generation of warrior then the human race is doomed. This is the end result of a generation that's been on medication all their lives; never worked hard a day in his life, looking for a way to shortcut the system and is probably one of the ones who gave us Obama.

From here on out I only work with people with military or intelligence backgrounds who are vetted & vouched for. Any young guy shows up, wants to get involved in the industry, he can go about it the same way me and all my buddies got here; you gotta pay your dues.

Everybody knows if you want to get into the Shao Lin Temple, you gotta wait outside in the heat and the rain, up to six months maybe, before they let you in - and even then they only let you sweep the floor for the first couple of years. Wax on, wax off.

In the end the Frog and I had a bit of a laugh over it - we're good enough friends and we know each other well enough that this Neuhaus guy's shit doesn't splatter on to me.

"That's my story and I'm sticking to it!"


Monday, August 20, 2012


Looks like a shift of the tectonic plates just took place in the Lamestream . . . S.L.

. . . "Little victories, people. Little victories."



Over five thousand years ago, Moses said to the Children of Israel:

"Pick up your shovels, mount your asses and camels, and I will lead you to the Promised Land."

Nearly 75 years abo (when the Welfare economy started) Roosevelt said,

"Lay down your shovels, sit on your asses, and light up a Camel. This IS the Promised Land."


Congress has stolen your shovel, taxed your asses, raised the price of Camels and mortgaged the Promised Land!

I was so depressed last night thinking about health care plans, the economy, the wars, lost jobs, savings, Social Security, retirement funds, etcera, that I called a suicide hotline. I had to press 1 for English, and then I was connected to a call center in Pakistan.

I told them I was suicidal.

They got excited and asked me if I could drive a truck!


Sunday, August 19, 2012

Your Home Improvement Project - Questions You MUST Ask a Contractor

Choosing a reliable, quality-conscious, home improvement contractor is the most important part of any project. Proper planning, doing the necessary research, and having lots of patience will help to ensure your dream project will not become a living nightmare. Once you have narrowed down the list of contractors (3 or 4) you want to consider for your project, it's time to start getting to know them better...much better! Plan a pre-construction meeting at the project site with each contractor individually and ask lots of questions.

Here is a sampling of some questions to ask the contractors you are considering. These will help get you started:

How will you approach a project like mine? This will give you an idea of how the contractor works and what to expect during the project. Listen carefully to the answer. The contractor's work ethic and other traits can be uncovered listening to the answer.

Have you completed many projects like mine? This will help you determine the contractor's familiarity with projects like yours.

Will I need a permit to do my project? Your contractor should know the answer to this question and be the one getting the permit.

How long have you been in this business? Seek out a local company or craftsman with experience in your community. A minimum of 5 years experience as a business owner is acceptable if everything else checks out.

Do you have employees or do you hire subcontractors? Or both? Who will be overseeing the project? It is good to know what parts of your project will be handled by whom.

Who do I speak with if I have a question or concern? Get exact names and contact phone numbers for all persons who will be involved with your project. It is best to speak with the owner if at all possible.

Are you properly equipped and qualified to do a project like mine? You may be able to hire a handyman to do your project if it is small enough and does not require special training or licensing. If your project requires multiple trades it may be wise to consider a full service company.

What kind of insurances does your company carry? Ask for copies of the insurance certificates to verify coverage. If they employ workers they will need workers' comp coverage along with general liability. Get the name of their insurer and contact them yourself to verify the coverage is intact.

Are you licensed to do my project? If your state does have contractor licensing laws ask for a copy of the contractor's license, then confirm the license number and expiration date with your local jurisdiction. Plumbers, electricians and those who work with hazardous materials are the only trades in Maine that need a license to operate.

Do you do a substantial amount of repeat and referral business? This will give you a good idea about the company's customer satisfaction.

May I have a list of your recent references? The contractor should be able to supply you with a minimum of three references, including names, phone numbers and addresses. CALL THEM! Ask lots of questions. DIG DEEP...and try to see if they might even let you come see their finished project. People who are satisfied with their contractor and proud of their project results like to show them off.

Yes...there are a lot of questions-and others will arise the more you speak with the contractors. Of the many questions you can ask during an interview, the most important question is one you must ask yourself: "Do I feel comfortable with and trust the person I am about to hire?"

Your answer to that question should help make the hiring decision a little easier. Also, remember that reliable, quality-driven contractors are busy for a reason...they are good at what they do and they are worth waiting PLAN and be PATIENT!

Saturday, August 18, 2012


Anti-Obama Navy SEAL leader: I’m a Birther

President Barack Obama is a Socialist, was raised by communists, and wasn't born in the United States, according to the former Navy SEAL who founded the group Special Operations Speaks (SOS), which aims to portray Obama as anti-military in this election season.

That's the teaser thrown out there in an attempt to discredit a different group of former Navy SEALS: the Special Operations OPSEC Education Fund - their video Dishonorable Disclosures went viral earlier this week.

The problem here is that one of these things is not the same as the other:

I am a Special Operations guy - twenty years in US Army Special Forces, and along the way I worked very closely with SEALs, Air Forces Special Tactics and ParaRescue, and USMC Force Recon (before MARSOC was stood up). We are a VERY diverse crowd, and we don't vote as a block. Yes, the majority of us are Conservatives, it takes all types to make an Army and yes, there are Liberals and even card-carrying Democrats amongst us. Albeit, not many.

This attempted disinformation piece posted by Josh Rogin and carried in Huffington Post and Foreign Policy damage control piece states:

Earlier this week, a different group of former Navy SEALS calling themselves the Special Operations OPSEC Education Fund rolled out its campaign to criticize Obama for leaking national security information and taking what it believes as undue credit for the killing of Osama bin Laden. That group claims to be non-political.

But the founder of SOS a similar group with the same mission and the same tactics, says he has no problem admitting that he is against Obama's politics, personality, and believes that America's current president is lying about his origins.

Josh Rogin

This guy probably considers himself a journalist; but you know me, I call it the way I see it: Josh Rogin is basically a conduit and foil for the Obama campaign. Josh Rogin has established himself as a Democratic Party Operative; he is carrying their water, and looking at places he posts I'm not surprised: CNN, MSNBC, and of course the Huffington Post.

This is what journalism is these days. The amusing irony of it all is the people who work at those places will tell you all night and all day; "Rush Limbaugh is not a journalist," they like to repeat this mantra early and often. Whatever - and they consider us the mind-numbed robots. Yeah, right.

FOR THE RECORD DEPT: I am not a Birther

I've said it before: I do not believe that Barack Obama was born outside of this country. The concept that a pregnant woman in her third trimester would embark upon an epic journey that in the early 1960s involved over twenty-four hours and overnight, in-transit stops in completely foreign cities strains the imagination.

My take on it is that Obama's mother Stanley Ann Dunham - an obvious early anti-establishment type - was such a granolahead that she didn't bother to go to the hospital to have the baby; little Barry was born on the living room floor. And then, being the sociology freak that she was, she didn't bother registering the birth. No problem, happens all the time out there in the wilderness.

Moving forward; Stanley marries Lolo Soetoro and it's time to go over to Indonesia. Slight problem; no birth certificate means little Barry can't get a passport. No problem, Lolo calls up his buddies at the Indonesian consulate in Honolulu and they cut him an Indonesian passport.

This is NOT a conspiracy theory, it is a THEORY and it is absolutely believable. I grew up as an expat kid in Southeast Asia and situations like this were common amongst the expat community. At one point in the 1970s, between my parents and my three brothers we legally held passports of four different nations; Australia, the United Kingdom, the United States and Singapore.

My theory also makes sense out of how Obama gained entry into and could afford to attend all those high-end Ivy League schools: foreign student programs, grants and loans. This goes a long way toward explaining why Obama absolutely refuses to release his college records.

For the record I have always said it doesn't matter whether Obama was born in Hawaii, Africa, or on the moon - he was sworn in by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and as such he is legally President of the United States . . .

Until November, that is . . . heh, heh . . .



An editor over at the Huffington Post who shall remain unnamed because she is related to me (I've given her the code name Echo Golf) recently busted me out over the BIRDS OF STORMBRINGER.

According to Echo Golf, The BIRDS are pornography and they exploit women.

OH YEAH ? ? ? Well how uptight is THAT? I pointed out that A) I have never and will never post pornography on STORMBRINGER and B) there is a valid cultural purpose behind The BIRDS - what I’m trying to achieve is a throwback to the old days when they had cheesecake pics on the back of Soldier magazine.

In researching for today's post, I clicked over to The Huffington Post and this is the kind of tripe I found on the front page:

Shirtless Paul Ryan Pic Emerges
And the point here is . . . ? ? ?

PHOTO: Did The Little Mermaid Get A Boob Job?
Seriously? SERIOUSLY? We're supposed to be getting excited here over a DISNEY CARTOON CHARACTER ? ? ?

PHOTOS: Lindsay Lohan Goes Braless, Flashes Serious Side Boob Like big deal and who really gives a whup-de-do? We've all seen her naked and she ain't that hot to begin with . .

and on the Entertainment page:

Your Shirt Is TOTALLY See-Though, Miley Cyrus
Big whup - nothing to see here . . . move along . . .

I post women in bikinis and underwear; a celebration of female beauty, a bit of eye-relief, and my way of saying don't take things too seriously.

Somehow to a Liberal this equals pornography.

The Huffington Post, on the other hand, seems to have an unbalanced OBSESSION with skin.

There are a lot of uptight puritans out there - al Qaeda, the Taliban, and Ahmadinejad to name a few - these guys are THE ENEMY; they enslave and totally exploit women.

We Crusaders on the other hand LOVE women - all kinds of women to include broads, dames, chicks, babes, bimbos, sheilas and members of the female sex. We embrace women, we perform gallant deeds and fight and die for them, and we are mature enough to look at scantily clad women without having an aneurysm. Come to think of it, I've seen more skin inside the Vatican than I ever posted here.

"That's my story and I'm sticking to it!"


Thursday, August 16, 2012


Worthy individuals throughout the Special Operations Brotherhood have been sending me this info over the past 24-48 hours - it is significant and as you will see from the follow on link it is legit and so I post - S.L.

Intelligence and Special Operations forces are furious and frustrated at how President Obama and those in positions of authority have exploited their service for political advantage. Countless leaks, interviews and decisions by the Obama Administration and other government officials have undermined the success of our Intelligence and Special Operations forces and put future missions and personnel at risk.

The unwarranted and dangerous public disclosure of Special Forces Operations is so serious - that for the first time ever - former operators have agreed to risk their reputations and go 'on the record' in a special documentary titled "Dishonorable Disclosures." Its goal is to educate America about serious breaches of security and prevent them from ever happening again.

Use of military ranks, titles & photographs in uniform does not imply endorsement of the Department of the Army or the Department of Defense. All individuals are no longer in active service with any federal agency or military service.

Now here's the verification:

Obama's Strange Dependence on Valerie Jarrett

By Karin McQuillan
President Obama canceled the operation to kill Osama bin Laden three times before saying yes, because he got cold feet about the possible political harm to himself if the mission failed. Instead of listening to advisors from the U.S. military, Defense, or even State, Obama was acting on the advice of White House politico and close friend Valerie Jarrett. Valerie Jarrett?

This account comes from Richard Miniter's upcoming book Leading From Behind: The Reluctant President and the Advisors who Decide for Him. Miniter has written a half-dozen books on the war on terror. He is relying on an unnamed source within the U.S. military Joint Special Operations Command who was directly involved in the operation and planning of the Osama bin Laden kill mission.

Is the story credible? According to Edward Klein, a reporter once asked Obama if he ran every decision by Jarrett. Obama answered, "Yep. Absolutely."

Read the rest of it HERE



On this day in 1977 Elvis Presley went into hiding . . .

Elvis Aaron Presley (January 8, 1935 – August 16, 1977), King of Rock & Roll


I only just became aware yesterday that we got our own Day so it will be difficult to arrange the traditional Airborne Punch - lemme see I've got some French red wine and cognac from those villages we liberated over there . . . some moonshine to remind me of those horrible three weeks at Fort Benning and those terrific two-and-a-half decades under silk in North Carolina . . . something to drink that represents the five continents I soldiered on as a member of the Brotherhood of the Silk . . . of course some Scotch Whiskey because I actually jumped into that place in the dead of night . . .

Here's NRA's Life of Duty National Airborne Day Tribute: “Under Fire Over Fire”


Designating August 16, 2012, as ‘National Airborne Day’.

Whereas the members of the airborne forces of the Armed Forces of the United States have a long and honorable history as bold and fierce warriors who, for the national security of the United States and the defense of freedom and peace, project the ground combat power of the United States by air transport to the far reaches of the battle area and to the far corners of the world;

Whereas the experiment of the United States with airborne operations began on June 25, 1940, when the Army Parachute Test Platoon was first authorized by the Department of War, and 48 volunteers began training in July 1940;

Whereas August 16 marks the anniversary of the first official Army parachute jump, which took place on August 16, 1940, to test the innovative concept of inserting United States ground combat forces behind a battle line by means of a parachute;

Whereas the success of the Army Parachute Test Platoon in the days immediately before the entry of the United States into World War II validated the airborne operational concept and led to the creation of a formidable force of airborne formations that included the 11th, 13th, 17th, 82nd, and 101st Airborne Divisions;

Whereas, included in those divisions, and among other separate formations, were many airborne combat, combat support, and combat service support units that served with distinction and achieved repeated success in armed hostilities during World War II, and provide the lineage and legacy of many airborne units throughout the Armed Forces;

Whereas the achievements of the airborne units during World War II prompted the evolution of those units into a diversified force of parachute and air-assault units that, over the years, have fought in Korea, Vietnam, Grenada, Panama, the Persian Gulf region, and Somalia, and have engaged in peacekeeping operations in Lebanon, the Sinai Peninsula, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Bosnia, and Kosovo;

Whereas, since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the members of the United States airborne forces, including members of the XVIII Airborne Corps, the 82nd Airborne Division, the 101st Airborne Division, the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, the 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne) of the 25th Infantry Division, the 75th Ranger Regiment, special operations forces of the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, and Air Force, and other units of the Armed Forces, have demonstrated bravery and honor in combat, stability, and training operations in Afghanistan and Iraq;

Whereas the modern-day airborne forces also include other elite forces composed of airborne trained and qualified special operations warriors, including Army Special Forces, Marine Corps Reconnaissance units, Navy SEALs, and Air Force combat control and para-rescue teams;

Whereas, of the members and former members of the United States airborne forces, thousands have achieved the distinction of making combat jumps, dozens have earned the Medal of Honor, and hundreds have earned the Distinguished Service Cross, the Silver Star, or other decorations and awards for displays of heroism, gallantry, intrepidity, and valor;

Whereas the members and former members of the United States airborne forces are all members of a proud and honorable tradition that, together with the special skills and achievements of those members, distinguishes the members as intrepid combat parachutists, air assault forces, special operation forces, and, in the past, glider troops;

Whereas individuals from every State in the United States have served gallantly in the airborne forces, and each State is proud of the contributions of its paratrooper veterans during the many conflicts faced by the United States;

Whereas the history and achievements of the members and former members of the United States airborne forces warrant special expressions of the gratitude of the people of the United States; and

Whereas, since the airborne forces, past and present, celebrate August 16 as the anniversary of the first official jump by the Army Parachute Test Platoon, August 16 is an appropriate day to recognize as National Airborne Day: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Senate--

(1) designates August 16, 2012, as ‘National Airborne Day’; and

(2) calls on the people of the United States to observe National Airborne Day with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.



From a fascinating article in Foreign Policy Targeted Killings: A Short History - How America came to embrace assassination sent in by Lunar Spook. Enjoy - S.L.

"The United States government is very clearly on the record against targeted assassinations. They are extrajudicial killings and we do not support that." - U.S. Ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk in response to Israel's targeted-killing policy, July 2001

By Uri Friedman

U.S. President Barack Obama has taken George W. Bush's war on terror to a new level, approving, as journalist David Rohde recently put it in Foreign Policy, "more targeted killings than any modern president" through drone strikes against suspected militants from Pakistan to Somalia to Yemen. The idea of decapitating the enemy's leadership stretches at least as far back as the fourth century B.C., when Emperor Chandragupta Maurya assassinated two Greek governors as part of his conquest of India, though the tactic has become more common over the last century. But what makes targeted killing different from assassination, which the United States banned decades ago? And how has the legal justification evolved for a practice that has become so prominent that the president now personally decides which enemies of the state should live or die?

Following a half-century of efforts to develop international rules for warfare, a peace conference at The Hague produces a treaty prohibiting "belligerents" in an "armed conflict" from killing "treacherously individuals belonging to the hostile nation or army." But key terms such as "treacherously" and "armed conflict" aren't defined in The Hague Convention or its successor agreement, the 1949 Geneva Conventions. To this day, these ambiguities in the law of war cloud distinctions between peacetime and wartime, and between illegal assassinations and legal efforts to kill specific individuals.

The Austro-Hungarian empire accuses the Serbian government of playing a role in the assassination of its heir to the throne, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, by Gavrilo Princip, a Bosnian Serb nationalist. The standoff helps spark World War I.

In the final months of World War II, the British plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler. Schemes include sending a sniper to take out the Führer during his morning walk and poisoning his tea. British officials debate whether killing Hitler will help them win the war - not whether assassinating him is legal - but the plans are never implemented.

The Cold War ushers in a flurry of state-sponsored extrajudicial political assassinations outside the bounds of war, including the killing of recently ousted Congolese Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba, who appeared to be drifting into the Soviet orbit, by domestic rivals acting with Belgian assistance.

The CIA spearheads the Phoenix program, a covert counterinsurgency seeking to "neutralize" Viet Cong operatives in South Vietnam. President Richard Nixon embraces the effort, which kills more than 26,000 Viet Cong by the end of 1972. "We've got to have more of this," he reportedly tells his budget director in 1969. "Assassinations. Killings. That's what the Vietnamese Communists are doing."

Israeli Mossad agents begin covertly hunting down and killing Palestinian militants abroad in retaliation for their suspected role in the murder of 11 Israeli athletes and coaches at the Munich Olympics. The operation causes an uproar in 1973 when Israeli agents mistake a Moroccan waiter in Norway for the mastermind of the Munich attack and gun him down.

After Seymour Hersh's famous New York Times exposé on the CIA's illegal activities, the Senate's Church Committee uncovers assassination attempts against foreign leaders such as Cuba's Fidel Castro. In response, President Gerald Ford issues an executive order banning "political assassination" by the U.S. government - an order future presidents reaffirm. But the assassination ban applies to peacetime, not wartime. "Short of war," the committee concludes, assassination "should be rejected as a tool of foreign policy."

The human rights group Americas Watch begins using the phrase "targeted killings" synonymously with "assassination" to distinguish the killing of specific people outside combat by military forces and death squads in El Salvador from the indiscriminate killings they also perpetrated.

In response to the bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, President Bill Clinton launches cruise missiles at Osama bin Laden's suspected training camp in Afghanistan and authorizes covert operations to capture the al Qaeda leader if possible and kill him if necessary. Administration officials reason that the assassination ban does not apply to a military target like bin Laden, who planned the embassy attacks, and that the United States would be exercising pre-emptive self-defense if it killed him.

Israel, which has been targeting terrorist leaders since the 1970s, conducts its first publicly acknowledged assassination, dispatching a helicopter gunship to kill Palestinian militia leader Hussein Obaiyat in Bethlehem. International media begin referring to Israel's "targeted killing" policy against Palestinian militants, and George W. Bush's administration comes out in opposition to the practice.

Days after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the U.S. Congress passes the Authorization for Use of Military Force, enabling the government to kill members of al Qaeda and its affiliates as part of America's first war against a nonstate actor. The Bush administration's new national security strategy builds on the Clinton team's rationale for targeting bin Laden. "To forestall or prevent . . . hostile acts by our adversaries," the document explains, "the United States will, if necessary, act preemptively."

Continued HERE


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

How To Choose Home Gates And Glazed Doors?

If you are establishing or even upgrading your home, making the right choice of gates and doors for your home is very important. This is because these give a very good impression of your home. In addition, the option you choose has to be strong enough to withstand rain, scorching sun, rain and any intruder. Home gates and glazed doors are among the options that homeowners have to use in their homes.

To make the right choice of these important components of your home, you need to consider the following:

• Make sure that you buy products that have been designed and constructed using quality materials. This will ensure that they will last long. They will also be able to withstand destruction from would be intruders keeping them at bay.

• You also need to know the size of the entry to your home or house. This is very crucial when buying these parts of your home. These products are available in carpenter's shops and can even be ordered in different sizes and dimension. When you make the right order, you can be sure that they will fit in your house without giving you much trouble.

• You also need to get help of a professional. This is very important because a carpenter or professional contractor will guide you in taking measures of the entrance to your home or house. This is of great essence because it will ensure that the entrance will not even give you trouble after it has been fitted in your home or house. It will also not require repair or replacement after being used for a short while.

• It is also important to get help of contractors or carpenters. With many manufacturers of these products in the market today, you might be confused in choosing the right one. As such, it is important to ensure that you get professional help to make the right choice.

• There are many outlets where you can buy home gates and glazed doors today. However, not all outlets offer quality products. As such, you need to ensure that you purchase from the best dealer. This is why you need to do some market research. Many online sites offer reviews written by buyers and constructors. These can give you important information to guide you in making the right choice.

• Price is another factor that you need to consider. Different outlets will sell their products at different prices. The material used in their manufacture may determine the price. It might also be determined by other services such as shipping if it will accompany the products. Nevertheless, with many dealers in this product, getting a product that suits your need is now easy. All you need is to do your research on the Internet to find the most reputable dealer. You can also search in your location.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


Librarian uncovers Natick veteran’s true story: OSS Operational Group

Cary Holmes, reference librarian at Morse Institute Library, Natick Massechusetts

NATICK — Cary Holmes, a reference librarian at Morse Institute Library, was reviewing records as part of a project to dedicate a memorial to the town’s fallen service members when he made a stunning discovery.

Crammed in the back of a dusty folder was a copy of a 212-page, single-spaced typed letter from the Office of Strategic Services, or OSS — America’s first intelligence agency — to the widow of Army Sergeant Alfred DeFlumeri, who had died in World War II on March 26, 1944. It was mailed to 1 Harrison St. in Natick and dated Aug. 6, 1945.

The letter, which provides details of an ill-fated 1944 OSS operation behind enemy lines in Italy to destroy a German railroad tunnel, reads like a bestselling novel — with a tragic ending: All 15 uniformed US soldiers were executed, including DeFlumeri, a Natick native. The rediscovered letter came as a surprise to Natick and to Holmes, a retired teacher who has become the town’s unofficial military historian.

‘‘It was astonishing,’’ said Holmes, who found the letter a couple months ago.
The town had known that DeFlumeri had died in the war, and had even dedicated a bridge in his memory. ‘‘But why, the atrocity, that was unknown,’’ Holmes said.

Holmes showed the letter to Joe Keefe of the National Archives and Records Administration’s Waltham office. ‘‘I was shocked at the amount of detail in the letter,’’ Keefe said. ‘‘Coming from a spy agency, I’m surprised it made it past the censors. I’ve never seen anything like it.’’

The letter may have been an attempt on the part of the commanding officer to provide solace to the wife. ‘‘My guess is that he was probably very close to DeFlumeri and felt that he had to explain to her the details of his death,’’ Keefe said.

Ida C. DeFlumeri had been informed in a letter from the War Department that her husband had been captured and killed, but apparently had not known the details of his death until the letter from her husband’s commanding officer in the OSS arrived two months later.

‘‘It may be some consolation to you to know the facts concerning Alfred which until now we either did not know or could not disclose,’’ wrote Colonel Russell B. Livermore.

As the letter describes, DeFlumeri was in an operational group of the OSS designated as Company A, 2671st Special Reconnaissance Battalion. ‘‘In joining this unit he had volunteered for extra hazardous duty in carrying out such operations behind the German lines in uniform, as might be directed by the Army Headquarters,’’ said the letter.

Read the entire story of their incredible mission HERE

It was later learned that the men had been captured by the Germans on March 24 and executed two days later.

The United States Graves Registration Service exhumed and identified the bodies, and buried them in the US Military Cemetery at Granaglione in Italy. Services were conducted by a Catholic chaplain. ‘‘The act of the German command in executing these men was a wanton disregard of the rules of warfare and constitutes a war crime,’’ the letter said. ‘‘Every effort has been made to apprehend the Germans responsible for this act.’’

According to news accounts, the two officers and 13 enlisted men were discovered in a common grave with their hands tied behind their backs. Joseph A. Libardi of West Stockbridge, Mass., and Liberty J. Tremonte of Westport, Conn., were reportedly among those executed.

German General Anton Dostler, acting on a 1942 order from Hitler to execute commandos without a trial, had ordered the execution despite resistance from officers within his own ranks. He was found guilty of war crimes and was shot by firing squad on Dec. 1, 1945.

Paul Carew, veterans services director for the town, said the atrocity was beyond anything he had encountered involving service members in his territory.

‘‘I’ve heard a lot of stories about atrocities involving veterans, but nothing to this extent,’’ he said. ‘‘These men were executed in uniform.’’

They died in the service of their country, for the cause of Freedom. Honor them - S.L.