Monday, October 31, 2011

Video: Made In America

Crank up the volume, and let 'er rip!!!

(H/T Diane - with a review on Taste of Country here)

My regular readers - yes, all 2 of you - know I was not 'made' in America, but I fiercely love my American family.

I believe IN America,

Marine Corps Marathon in AFG: Awesome picture

Especially if you're a Brit!

10/30/2011 - British Army Capt. Frazer Alexander, a vehicle maintenance officer with The Queen’s Dragoon Guards, hobbles away from the finish line of the Marine Corps Marathon Forward at Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan, Oct. 30, 2011. Alexander was the overall winner of the marathon and finished in 2 hours and 49 minutes. More than 300 coalition service members participated in the 26.2-mile marathon, which has been held annually aboard Leatherneck since 2009. The race is a satellite edition of the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C., one of the most popular marathons in the U.S. (DoD photo by Cpl Bryan Nygaard, U.S. Marine Corps/Released)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Yon aims for another target: (Amoral Parasites Part 2?)

In late September, I shared the OED definition of "amoral parasite":
having no moral sense; unconcerned with right or wrong

OED definition of

an organism which lives in or on another organism and benefits at the other’s expense. 2
derogatory a person who lives off or exploits others.

I shared why I think Michael Yon fits that description, and to support my thesis, shared some others' columns on the topic of Yon's *journalistic* pursuits. Those writers are all military experts - either active duty or veterans. You can read my original column here.

Apparently, the Mikey Meltdown continues - and is gathering speed. I DO know, because he told his readers, that he said he would 'go it alone,' and last I read on his 'Dear Diary'...(FaceBook) he was wandering among the Afghanistan people, doing I'm not quite sure what.

It appears he has now retreated hastily to Thailand, after gaining no traction with scurrilous accusations against honourably serving members he was embedded with. How or why his embed ended, I can only speculate, and my regular readers know that is not my style, preferring to deal in facts.

What I know - because Yon has been very busy telling us in his own words - is that he has chosen another target, and has been maligning, slandering, yet more of our troops.

[Side note, from the OED:


  • the action or crime of making a false spoken statement damaging to a person’s reputation:
  • Compare with libel
  • [count noun] a false and malicious spoken statement

So who is he slandering NOW? Special Forces - active and veterans, is who. Read on:


Yon Crosses Special Forces

Michael_Yon_2010-06-13 Gov-Thailand

What does Yon do when people, including current and retired Troops oppose his rhetoric? He attempts to shut them down. What does Yon do when he is caught in a lie? He makes allegations in an attempt to shut up those with proof of the truth.

Recently, an online forum of Veterans and Actively serving Special Forces began discussing Yon's recent crusade against Army DustOff. The question of the forum, "Quiet Professionals" was what their thoughts were of Yon's call and petition to have the Red Cross markings removed from Army MedEvac helicopters. A few of their members had opinions about the concept, and of the author of the referenced article. The opinions on the subject matter were strong, but the opinions on the author were to become strong in manner in which Yon (mis)behaved himself.

A retired SF Team Sergeant noted: "From what I understand Yon has been "escorted" off some Special Operations bases"

"In any case, insinuations that I have been kicked off of SF facilities damage your standing unless you can provide evidence. None exists; it never happened." Michael Yon, 26 Oct 2011 1:14AM, continuing with a veiled threat: "I have turned down those opportunities steadily since 2005. Perhaps I should list the reasons. I think you would rather I not."

For the latest analysis from War On Terror News on the Michael Yon saga, go here.

To see Michael Yon, in his own words, try - and fail - to dodge proof of his false claims of "it never happened...." go to Professional Soldiers here.

Once upon a time Michael Yon was much respected for the work he did in getting out the real stories about the great things our troops are doing. Today? Not so much. (But hey, hit his PayPal!)

Pay attention.

[ BlackFive weighs in, too
This Ain't Hell has a new feature up too, for creative minds!
The Sandgram is also on the job. ]

Freedom is not free

DoD article


The Sydney Morning Herald

Saturday, October 29, 2011

For Brian

"Dear Lord,

Lest I continue
My complacent way,
Help me to remember that somewhere,
Somehow out there
A man died for me today.
As long as there be war,
I then must
Ask and answer
Am I worth dying for?"

My heart is with all of Brian's family, and those who worked alongside him...and love him.

Rest In Peace, my friend. I promise you, I will never stop trying to be worthy of your sacrifice.

Always honoured.

[SSG Brian Cowdrey: "Who Shall I Send?" ]

La Junta laid to rest.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Military Post Offices in Iraq to Close Nov. 17

From the DoD:

By Cheryl Pellerin
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 26, 2011 – Because U.S. forces are coming home from Iraq by the end of the year, the U.S. Postal Service will stop accepting mail addressed to military post offices in Iraq starting Nov. 17, Defense Department officials said today.

Military post offices in Iraq also will stop processing mail Nov. 17, and service members there should begin now to advise those who send them mail about the Nov. 17 deadline.

Mail still in the postal system through Nov. 17 will be processed and delivered to service members in Iraq, officials said.

In November, U.S. military postal service responsibilities in Iraq will transition to State Department embassy or consulate post offices for service members assigned to Office of Security Cooperation or the Chief of Mission in Iraq.

These sites will provide letter and parcel mail services to service members assigned to the Office of Security Cooperation or the Chief of Mission in Iraq.

The transition will be closely coordinated with the U.S. Postal Service Agency, which will delete ZIP codes for Iraq military post offices from the USPS database to prevent undeliverable mail from entering the postal system after Nov. 17, according to defense officials.

If APO mail arrives in Iraq after a service member departs, mail will be redirected to the new mailing address provided or, if no mailing address was provided, returned to sender.

Any mail mistakenly accepted by a USPS post office after Nov. 17 will be returned to sender once it reaches the International Gateway in New Jersey.

U.S. service members in Iraq who do not receive an absentee ballot by Nov. 17 should contact their U.S. Local Election Office to change their address. Unit voting assistance officers can provide state-specific voting details.

Service members who are remaining in Iraq after Nov. 17 and who are there on behalf of or are assigned to the Office of Security Cooperation or the Chief of Mission in Iraq should coordinate with their chain of command and the servicing State Department mail location to receive a new mailing address.

According to defense officials, conditions and situations in the Iraq transition change often. Officials recommend that service members check the Military Postal Service Agency website and USPS Postal Bulletins frequently for updates.

Related Sites:
Military Postal Service Agency

Libya: Secret WMD stash found

27 October 2011

Libya's new leaders announced that they had discovered a secret store of weapons of mass destruction that Colonel Gaddafi had hidden away; the National Transitional Council said the chemical weapons that had been discovered would be secured until they could be safely handed over; in an agreement with western nations in 2003, Colonel Gaddafi pledged to disband his WMD program and hand them over, but the recent discovery suggests he surreptitiously kept large stores of dangerous weapons.

Hands up anybody who is shocked by this revelation! No, I didn't think so. That above came from Homeland Security News Wire, who is using a story published in the Daily Mail UK:

A secret cache of Colonel Gaddafi’s chemical weapons has been found in Libya, the country’s new rulers announced yesterday.

The deadly arsenal proves the tyrant had refused to give up his weapons of mass destruction – despite promising Tony Blair he would relinquish them in the infamous ‘Deal in the Desert’.

The National Transitional Council said the chemical warheads had been secured and would be made safe by experts.

Under examination: One of Gaddafi's deadly missiles that was hidden in one of 80 ammunition bunkers just south of Sirte

Under examination: One of Gaddafi's deadly missiles that was hidden in one of 80 ammunition bunkers just south of Sirte

Read the rest of the story here.

Gadhafi lied? *gasp*

Again, the question must be: what could possibly go wrong as this is '... secured and [...] made safe by experts....' ????

Pay attention.

Canadian WW1 Soldier Buried In France With Full Military Honours

Killed in action: Private Alexander Johnston died in September 1918, aged 33, during the Battle of the Canal Du Nord. His remains were only identified in March (picture courtesy of Daily Mail UK)

From the DND/CF:

October 25, 2011

SAILLY-LEZ-CAMBRAI, FrancePrivate Alexander Johnston, a Canadian casualty of the First World War whose remains were identified last spring, was buried today with full military honours at Cantimpré Canadian Cemetery, in Sailly-lez-Cambrai, France. In attendance were members of Private Johnston’s family, a Canadian Forces contingent, Mr. Marc Lortie, Canadian Ambassador to France as well as other French dignitaries.

“After all these years, we are finally able to commemorate and pay tribute to this great Canadian hero who made the ultimate sacrifice in the service of his country,” said the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence. “By honouring Private Johnston today, we ensure that his courage and personal contribution in ending the Great War will never be forgotten.”

Private Alexander Johnston was born in Coatbridge, Scotland on August 20, 1885, and moved to Hamilton, Ontario, in his late twenties. He joined the Canadian Expeditionary Force on January 5, 1918, and was taken on strength of the 78th Battalion in the field on September 4, 1918. Private Johnston died during the Battle of the Canal du Nord on September 29, 1918.

During the Battle of the Canal du Nord, which took place in the last 100 days of the First World War, the area of Raillencourt-Sailly, France, was taken by the 4th Canadian Division near the end of September and beginning of October, 1918. The 78th Batallion was tasked with taking the villages of Sailly and Raillencourt following the fight to capture the line along the Douai-Cambrai Road. After crossing the Douai-Cambrai Road, the battalion came under heavy machine gun fire, and Private Johnston was lost during this time....


In July 2008, human remains were discovered in Sailly-lez-Cambrai, France. Found with the remains were two collar badges of the 78th Battalion (Winnipeg Grenadiers). The Directorate of History and Heritage was notified of the discovery in February 2009, and Private Johnston’s remains were identified through mitochondrial DNA testing on March 31, 2011.

More here.

Still and video imagery of today’s interment ceremony are available on the Canadian Forces Image Gallery site at

For more information on the identification process for Private Alexander Johnston, please visit:

Additional information on the Canadian military’s involvement in the Battle of the Canal du Nord can be found at the following links:

Library and Archives Canada:

The Daily Mail also has coverage here.

Rest In Peace, Sir.

Saudi authorities seize nearly 1500 toy guns that make "sounds mocking Islam"

From JihadWatch:

In a raid in Jeddah, Saudi authorities seize nearly 1500 toy guns said to make "sounds mocking Islam"

Religious police are now on the lookout for the hottest new gift of the season, Blaspheme Me Elmo. "Anti-Islam toy guns found in the UAE," from Emirates 24-7, October 26:

An Emirati social expert and activist shopping in a local market stumbled across Chinese-made toy guns that issue sounds mocking Islam and called on authorities to take action against such products.
The discovery came a few days after Saudi authorities said they seized nearly 1,500 Chinese-made toy guns issuing sounds that mock and insult Aisha, the wife of the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him).

You can't make this stuff up. ...

Really, you can't. Go read the rest here....

Thursday, October 27, 2011

UPDATE: Yon 'reports': ISAF hits back - with FACTS

UPDATE from BlackFive:

Michael Yon vs. Professional Soldiers - And the winner is...

Posted By Blackfive • [October 27, 2011]

This all begins with Mike Yon's essay about arming medevac birds and removing the red crosses. I'll put the responses from the ISAF PAO (in Afghanistan) after the jump.

Now, pull up a seat and go over to the excellent forum at Professional Soldiers and read the whole thread discussing the article about medevacs. "Team Sergeant" is MSG (ret) Jeff Hinton who has the utmost respect from us here at B5. A lot of the commenters are active duty SF, too. Just do yourself a favor and read the whole thread. The best summary is one of the last comments:


I don't know you (aside from some of your writings) and I don't know many of those here on PS for that matter. Although there are some names that I recognize from another website.

When I read your current article (being discussed here) I thought it was rather interesting and while I may have agreed with some of it in principle, everything that you have written here has completely altered what I thought about you previously.

You have essentially called into question the integrity of professional SF personnel who have served more than a lifetime in special operations. You then attempt to deflect another members claims that he had you bounced from his AO by alluding to the fact that someone in his command may have been involved in a murder.

I have to really wonder about your motivations. To me you are no better than the sleazy reporters who make up their own news and facts just to be heard.

In short you pissed off guys here who it seemed were more than willing to give you the benefit of the doubt and then to top it off you insult them and make accusations. I'll reiterate what others have said. Who is more credible here? You or someone who has spent numerous years in special operations doing the deed. Guys that are in leadership positions who have dedicated themselves to their work and this country.

I am pretty sure that you can answer that question yourself without my assistance....

There is MUCH more, and it IS a must read here. Michael Yon is shown - again - for what he is....'Nuff said from me.

*****Original post:

I'm not going to link to Yon again, but take a look at ISAF's latest response to one of Yon's current 'misinformation' bulletins. (Yes, I'm being kind...) I am not even going to add anything here, letting ISAF's facts speak for themselves. For the record:

From My Position...On the way:

That letter Yon didn't want you to see

ISAF response to Michael Yon's Oct 12 Red Air posting (UNCLASSIFIED)

Michael Yon's blog article of October 12, "Red Air: America's Medevac Failure," contains numerous omissions of key information and errors in fact.

For starters, Yon says the Army lacks the political will to configure its MEDEVAC aircraft like the Air Force's Combat Search and Rescue "Pedros" (Pedros are armed and do not have the red cross markings on the side of the aircraft). Yon is comparing a
pples to oranges. The primary mission of the Pedros is to rescue downed aircrews and other isolated personnel; their secondary mission is to support special operations forces. Both of these missions require them to be armed. If available, Pedros do also perform MEDEVAC missions - again, if available. Pedros can't carry as many litter patients as the Army Dustoffs and there are seven times the numbers of Dustoff helicopters compared to Pedros in Afghanistan. Yon never mentions these critical points.

Yon's point that the Army should arm and remove the red cross from its MEDEVAC aircraft fails to acknowledge larger issues. Doing so would place the US outside its commitment to conducting MEDEVACs under the guidelines of the Geneva Conventions and moral norm for how Western nations identify their aircraft dedicated to medical evacuation.

Furthermore, the Pedro's 7.62 mm or .50 cal. machine gun does provide a level of self-protection but it is not on the level of an accompanying AH-64 Apache carrying 30mm cannon and rockets. The Apache escorts give the MEDEVAC aircraft a much higher level of firepower and protection; something our Soldiers take confidence from when scrambling under fire to evacuate wounded comrades.

As for factual inaccuracies, Yon states that it took 65 minutes to evacuate the Soldier who subsequently died. Not true, the official operational logs show that the mission was wheels down (WD) at the medical treatment facility in 59 minutes; and the MEDEVAC aircraft didn't come from Kandahar, the Dustoff was launched from nearby FOB Pasab and linked up with its armed Apache escort from Kandahar enroute to the Point of Injury (POI). The fact is that despite extended distances and enemy forces in the area, this evacuation was accomplished under the US standard of one hour. Of the 2240 MEDEVAC missions conducted in the RC-S area of operations since 1 Nov 2010 only 1.5% were Out of Standard and 0% of those were assessed to having a clinical impact on the patient.

Yon also states that commanders on the ground have no discretion to call for a Pedro over an Army medevac - an insinuation that they would if given the choice. Yon fails to mention that all requests for air evacuation are called into a central point in each Regional Command called a Patient Evacuation Coordination Cell (PECC). The PECC receives a MEDEVAC request, then determines the quickest way to get the Category A (CAT A) casualty from the Point of Injury (POI) to a Medical Treatment Facility (MTF) that can provide the appropriate level of medical care for the injuries suffered. The ground force commander does not have the capacity to make this call while in the close fight. The system is designed to allow for the most efficient response across the battle space with the assets of not only our MEDEVAC aircraft, but all rotary wing assets. Commanders understand the requirement for rapid evacuation of our wounded Soldiers and every effort is made to execute the MEDEVAC mission safely and effectively. The highest survival rates in the history of armed conflict bears out this fact. In the RC-S area of operations there have been 2240 MEDEVAC missions since 1 Nov 2010 with a 98% survival rate.

Michael Yon's omissions of key information and factual errors have done a disservice to our Soldiers and all those who care about them. These inaccuracies may unnecessarily cause some to doubt the US medical evacuation system in Afghanistan. Further, it could undermine Soldier confidence in what should most certainly be described as the world's finest battlefield evacuation system. [Emphasis mine]


RIP Brigadier General Tadeusz Sawicz

Wing Commander Tadeusz Sawicz
(UK Telegraph picture)

From the Warsaw Business Journal:

Last surviving Polish Battle of Britain veteran dies
26th October 2011

Brigadier General Tadeusz Sawicz was 97 years of age

Brigadier General Tadeusz Sawicz, the last surviving Polish pilot among the 144 who fought in the Battle of Britain, died on October 19, 2011 in Toronto, Canada. He was 97.

He was born on February 13, 1914 in Warsaw. After finishing high school, he enlisted in the army in 1933. A year later, he joined the Aviation Cadet School in Dęblin and served for three years in an air regiment in Warsaw.

Mr Sawicz was also the last surviving officer of the Pursuit Brigade, which defended Warsaw against the German air force, the Luftwaffe, in September 1939. He fought against the Luftwaffe flying PZL P.11c fighter planes.

On September 14, 1939, he flew his plane to the besieged capital, bringing orders from the Polish army's commander-in-chief to the commanders of Warsaw, according to the website of the Polish Air Force.

After the fall of Poland, Mr Sawicz escaped through the south of the country to Romania before heading to France, and then on to Britain. He arrived just in time to fight in the Battle of Britain, which took place between July 10 - October 31 1940.

He commanded all three Polish fighter wings in the Royal Air Force. In 1941, he organized the 316th Warsaw Squadron, which flew Hawker Hurricanes...

More here.

From the UK Telegraph:

When the Germans invaded his homeland, Sawicz was serving in Poland with the 114 Fighter Flight of No 1 Air Wing. On September 1 1939, despite flying an antiquated biplane fighter, he damaged a Messerschmitt Bf 109. On September 5 he was appointed a deputy commander of his squadron, and over the next few days was credited with destroying two enemy bombers and damaging two more.

On September 14 Sawicz flew from an airfield in south-east Poland to Warsaw, by then encircled by the Germans, carrying orders for the defence HQ from the C-in-C Polish Armed Forces. He landed under heavy fire and, after completing his task and repairing his damaged aircraft, he took off the next morning, again under fire. ...

There is much more about this Hero, and yes, it is a MUST READ, here.

Brigadier General Sawicz died in Toronto, and the CBC has the news, too.

Rest In Peace, Sir.

'Voice of Russia' perspective on BHO immigration policies..

Always interesting to see how the rest of the world - and their media - interpret US events. Voice of Russia is one site I regularly check. Today, they have a piece up on BHO's immigration policies. Quite the eye-opener. Read on:

Obama administration toughens immigration policy
Oct 26, 2011 13:28 Moscow Time

Although President Barack Obama ran on the platform of comprehensive immigration reforms, the Obama administration is deporting record numbers of immigrants. Last week, Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, told Congress that the administration’s new policy is to focus on deporting the most dangerous criminals within the illegal immigrant community and it is accomplishing its goal. And while the administration’s new policy puts a high priority on deporting criminal aliens, it also puts a low priority on deporting illegal immigrants who otherwise follow the law.

Like many undocumented immigrants, this woman didn’t want to be identified. She isn’t going back to her home country to get a visa and that means that she is joining the ranks of millions of illegal immigrants. Her story is somewhat unique because she doesn’t fit a typical profile – she is Canadian.

“My fear, you know, is that if I do get ID and they do run my name, I’m not gonna have a chance to go back to the Canadian Embassy, which is Canadian grounds, and renew my six months, but they’ll just send me back and I won’t gonna be able to come back.”

“I suffered something in San Francisco. And I called the police and they told me to go back to Canada, 3 o’clock in the morning, in the middle of a crack district. They wouldn’t help me because I was Canadian. They asked me if I thought I was the Queen of England.”

But some immigrants in America have emerged from the shadows. Arthur and his families crossed the border from Mexico illegally when he was a young child. He received American citizenship when he was 16. But he says many illegal immigrants continue to live in fear. The problem isn’t acute in Los Angeles, where there is a large Latino population and plenty of politicians that didn’t want to look unfriendly towards immigrants. But he says something as simple as a DUI checkpoint is a big deal if you are undocumented.

“There has been a fear of people caught through the driver’s license sobriety checkpoints. That’s the only time I’ve ever heard “all stay out of the street.” Even the Spanish-language media would alert people as well, like driver’s license checks. We all know what that means.”

Why is the Obama administration deporting record numbers of immigrants when the president ran on the platform of comprehensive immigration reform? ...

This really IS an interesting article. Go read here...

CBC scares the Mayor of Toronto! Ford not so classy

From the National Post:

Rob Effing Ford makes a bad situation worse

Kelly McParland 2011-10-27

Rob Ford is going to have to get himself a badge, a T-shirt and maybe some business cards with the de facto new slogan of his year-old mayoralty: “I’m Rob f–king Ford, the mayor of this city!”

If the CBC, preening piously throughout, is correct in its reporting, Toronto’s mayor got more than just a little ticked off when Mary Walsh accosted him in his driveway on Monday, dressed like Marg Delahunty, her sometimes character on This Hour Has 22 Minutes.

After appearing to go along with the gag, he got increasingly peeved. Eventually he marched into the house and, we’re told, dialed 911. When he didn’t get the service he expected on that front, the CBC says, he unloaded on the innocent 911 dispatchers with a mouthload of obscenities.

Sources say Ford turned on the dispatcher, yelling: “You … bitches! Don’t you f–king know? I’m Rob f–king Ford, the mayor of this city!”

Recordings of the call have spread like wildfire throughout the police service — even though officially Toronto police spokesman Mark Pugash tells CBC News they can’t discuss a private call to the 911 service....

Tsk! Not so warm and fuzzy, Mr Mayor? Read the rest here.

How's that Mayor working out for you, Toronto?

Stay classy, Mr Effing Ford!

Testing anthrax vaccine on children? US govt considering it

From Homeland Security News Wire:

Government considers testing anthrax vaccine on children

26 October 2011

The U.S. government is considering testing its anthrax vaccine on children to determine if it has any potential side effects; so far the government's anthrax vaccine has only been tested on adults and members of the National Biodefense Science Board argued that there had been no tests to determine the effectiveness of the vaccine on children; opponents of the suggestion have sharply criticized it on the grounds that it is unethical to test a vaccine on children especially if there is no immediate threat; proponents of testing the vaccine acknowledged the criticism, but maintained that it was critical to ensure the safety of the vaccine on children in the event that it had to be administered; the board is set to meet again on Friday to vote on its controversial recommendation.


So far the anthrax vaccine has been thoroughly tested on adults and more than 2.6 million members of the armed forces have been inoculated, but the government lacks data on how well the vaccine works on children and if it is safe.

Opponents of the suggestion have sharply criticized it on the grounds that it is unethical to test a vaccine on children especially if there is no immediate threat...

There's more, here.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Israel to release 25 Egyptian prisoners for 'Israeli spy' Grapel

Who could have predicted such a repeat of last week's swap to get Gilad Shalit home?!!!

From the BBC:

Egypt to free 'Israeli spy' Grapel under swap deal

Ilan Grapel in hospital in Haifa (2006)

Ilan Grapel was wounded fighting for Israel in the 2006 war with Lebanon

Israel says it has reached a deal with Egypt under which the Egyptians will release a US-Israeli citizen, Ilan Grapel, who has been detained since June on suspicion of spying.

In return Israel has agreed to release 25 Egyptian prisoners.

Mr Grapel has been accused of spying for Israel during the uprising against the former president, Hosni Mubarak.

Israel and Mr Grapel's family say he was working openly for a legitimate aid project in Cairo.

The deal was announced in a statement by the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.

It has yet to be approved by Israel's security cabinet, but the 14-member body will meet later this week and is thought unlikely to reject the agreement...

More from the Beeb here.

From Jihad Watch:

October 25, 2011

Psychology 101: Behavior that is rewarded is likely to be repeated. Behavior that is repeatedly rewarded is likely to be repeatedly... repeated.

Will Egyptian state television hold up his release for an interview, too? An update on this story.

Israel says it has reached a deal with Egypt under which the Egyptians will release a US-Israeli citizen, Ilan Grapel, who has been detained since June on suspicion of spying.
In return Israel has agreed to release 25 Egyptian prisoners.
Mr Grapel has been accused of spying for Israel during the uprising against the former president, Hosni Mubarak...

Read more here.

Expect to see more of these stories, now it is known that Israel WILL do whatever it takes to get their own back, including releasing prisoners.

From Israel National News, an IDF perspective on these prisoner swaps:

Elite IDF Unit Officer: Shalit Deal is Frustrating for Us

Elite IDF Officer: Our unit's members endangered themselves to capture terrorists who were later released. What's the point?

By Elad Benari

An officer in an elite IDF unit told Arutz Sheva on Sunday that he and other members of his unit are upset over the deal to release Gilad Shalit.

Last week, Israel released 477 terrorists in exchange for Shalit, who was held hostage for more than five years by the Hamas terrorist rulers of Gaza. Another 550 terrorists will soon be released in the second phase of the deal.

“We feel frustrated,” the soldier, who can only be identified as D for security reasons, told Arutz Sheva. “We endangered ourselves almost every night to catch these terrorists and they are being let go.”...

There is much more on this issue here.

We are all really happy that Gilad Shalit is home with his family, but a precedent has now been set, which can only bode ill for the future safety of ALL Israelis.

Islam in America: "Interfaith dialogue" or...?

From Radical Islam:

Islamic Law Conquering the U.S.


by Clare M. Lopez

Previously, we looked at the spread of Islamic law - shariah - throughout Western civilization, with a focus on how Western Europe already is slipping under its influence. In this segment, the focus is on the United States (U.S.) and how shariah is establishing a presence in this country as well.

In the U.S., the Muslim Brotherhood leads the offensive to insinuate Islamic law into American society. Established in Egypt in 1928 by Hassan al-Banna, the Brotherhood (or Ikhwan) is committed, just like al-Qa’eda, to re-establishment of the caliphate and global imposition of Islamic law. Its Creed is: “Allah is our objective, the Qur’an is our law, the Prophet is our leader, Jihad is our way, and death in the way of Allah is our highest aspiration.”

Many of the Brotherhood’s internal documents have been made public, as during the 2008 Holy Land Foundation HAMAS terror funding trial in Dallas, Texas. From these documents, we know that nearly every single major Muslim organization in the U.S. is controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood or one of its derivatives.

Among these are CAIR (the Council on American-Islamic Relations), the Fiqh Council of North America, ISNA (the Islamic Society of North America), ICNA (the Islamic Circle of North America), IIIT (the International Islamic Institute of Thought), MAS (the Muslim American Society), MSA (the Muslim Students Association), NAIT (the North American Islamic Trust), and hundreds of others.

In myriad ways, these organizations work to insinuate shariah into American academia, courts, non-Muslim faith communities, government, military, the workplace, and society in general. ...

Yes, there is much more, here.

Pay attention.

Wednesday Hero

Sgt. James Hinson
Sgt. James Hinson
U.S. Marines

Sgt. James Hinson, Marine Barracks Washington motor transportation operator, prepares a dish for a homeless person during a So Others Might Eat volunteer event in northwest Washington, D.C., Oct. 20, 2011. Fifteen Barracks Marines volunteered to assist the SOME staff in feeding homeless men and women from the nation's capitol region.

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives just so others may get to enjoy freedom. For that I am proud to call them Hero.
Those Who Say That We're In A Time When There Are No Heroes, They Just Don't Know Where To Look

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.
Wednesday Hero Logo

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Welcome Home Highlanders!

Highlanders welcomed home from Afghanistan

A History and Honour news article

24 Oct 11

Over 100 Highlanders from 4th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland (4 SCOTS) received an emotional and rapturous welcome when they returned to their base this weekend from Afghanistan.

A Highlander from 4 SCOTS is welcomed home by his girlfriend

A Highlander from 4 SCOTS is welcomed home by his girlfriend
[Picture: Staff Sergeant Ian Houlding RLC, Crown Copyright/MOD 2011]

They were the last members of the battalion to return from a gruelling six-and-a-half month tour in central Helmand where they supported 3 Commando Brigade Royal Marines in preparing the Afghan National Army and Police to fully take over security operations in the country in 2015.

The men and women of 4 SCOTS, which recruits from across Scotland and around the UK, met their families and friends as they arrived at their barracks in Fallingbostel, Germany, after a long flight from Cyprus where they spent their decompression.

500 soldiers from 4 SCOTS deployed to Afghanistan in March as Combined Force Lashkar Gah and conducted operations in support of the Afghan Government across the largest district in Helmand, ranging from the dense Green Zone and farmland of Babaji, through to the deserts and smallholdings of Yakshal and the Arghandab River Valley.

C Squadron from the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards and B Company from 3rd Battalion The Mercian Regiment made up the remainder of the Combined Force....

Read the rest of this great story - my most favourite kind of story! - here.


Family members of vets who commit suicide seek understanding

Photos courtesy of Pansini family
Marine Sgt. Nick Pansini

October 22, 2011

Sgt. Nick Pansini did not come home to die.

Pansini, from Littleton, joined the Marines 5th Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company (ANGLICO) after he finished high school in 2005. After three years in Okinawa and tours in Iraq in 2008 and 2009, he was ready to return to civilian life.

He got a job, a girlfriend and dog, and filled his spare time by riding his mountain bike and putting together two hot rod cars. Nick’s father, Joe Pansini, thought his son had moved on from his war experiences, and was keeping busy.

He learned later that there was one thing Nick was not doing.

“At what point did he deal with his war experience? He did not,” Joe said on Saturday.

Nick Pansini shot himself in his own home in Littleton on July 22, 2010. He was 23 years old and had been out of the Marines for about a year.

“There was not the magical note that was left behind,” Pansini’s father recalled. Not having served in the military, he had no idea what his son was going through, he said....

Much more here.

Wikileaks is broke, shuts down: Assange whines

Poor Julian Assange just can't seem to catch a break these days - and he is blaming it all on those nasty corporations, and banks.

Today, he held a press conference in London to say that Wikileaks is suspending their operations temporarily, because they are broke.

We are forced to temporarily suspend publishing whilst we secure our economic survival. For almost a year we have been fighting an unlawful financial blockade. We cannot allow giant US finance companies to decide how the whole world votes with its pocket. Our battles are costly. We need your support to fight back. Please donate now. (here)

If you really must, go to the link above (that's Wiki's site) and watch the video of Assange telling how Wikileaks needs YOU!

In case you have been living under a rock for the last few years, Wikileaks is the group who have endangered many lives by their cavalier release of classified information, both military and political.

As Wake Up America wrote back in November 2010:

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Wikileaks Releases Largest Classified Military Leaks In History

Part #2- Examples Of Progressive Liberal Wikileak 'Fawners.

Part #3 "The Obama Administrations Utter Failure To Stop Wikileaks"

Part #4 "Wikileaks Founder Julian Assange Wanted By Interpol For 'Sex Crimes'"

Major newspapers throughout the world released the first wave of information from the largest U.S. Military leak in history, which they obtained from WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who has also put the some odd 250,000 leaked cables on the Wikileaks site, despite the site having gone dark and made inaccessible earlier today from supposed DOS attacks.

Wikileaks is believed to have illegally obtained these cables from a former intelligence analyst, 22 year-old Bradley Manning, who has been held in solitary confinement awaiting court martial. He has been charged with charged with unauthorized downloads of classified material while serving on an army base outside Baghdad.

More on that at The Guardian.

The White House appealed to Wikileaks not to release these documents, stating it would put countless lives at risk and jeopardize relations with our allies, but to no avail, Assange was determined to released the secret cables...

Read the rest of that here.

In October, 2010, War on Terror News had a column on Wikileaks:

WikiLeaks - Exposing Those Dirty Little Secrets

WikiLeaks was established back in 2006 by Julian Assange, "a man with a near genius IQ" say some. According to the NYT's Assange redefined "whistle-blowing by gathering secrets in bulk, storing them beyond the reach of governments and others determined to retrieve them, then releasing them instantly, and globally."

Mr. Assange crossed the line when he released classified documents and video pertaining to the Afghanistan War. Completing his journey across that line with his newest release of more classified documents pertaining to the Iraq War, life for the near genius Julian Assange has dramatically changed.

On October 23, 2010 the NYT's described Julian Assange as a "hunted man" who is in such fear of our intelligence agencies that he can barely be heard when he speaks to others. He resorts to encrypted cell phones, fake names, cash only transactions, trusting nobody, not even his once loyal followers.

Oh how the mighty have fallen......I am more than pleased at his sudden change in lifestyle! He is a RAT of the lowest kind!

Adm. Mike Mullen tweets "Another irresponsible posting of stolen classified documents by Wikileaks puts lives at risk and gives adversaries valuable information. 1:19 PM Oct 23rd" The Admiral urged media "to not publish" any of the leaked information.

Under the guise of exposing the dirty little secrets of our military actions in first Afghanistan and now in Iraq, Assange has exposed countless men and women to harm far greater reaching than he ever anticipated. He most likely feels the world has a "right to know" what goes on behind the veil of "confidentiality"

So where is the harm? After all any names that were deemed important were removed....or at least they tried to remove them all. "The harm" is in providing a whole bucketful of looks inside our operations, movements.....basically giving the enemy bits and pieces of "our playbook!"

There is no timeline on when this information will no longer be useful to our enemies.

Let's not forgot about PFC Bradley Manning who is currently in the brig at Quantico, VA. He is "suspected" but not convicted....yet, of providing Assange with the information that has been leaked. PFC Manning was in a perfect position to betray his country, working in Army intelligence. ...

You know WOTN has more, here.

What about Bradley Manning? Wikileaks at one time was supposedly supporting him financially. From Wired:

WikiLeaks Contributes $15,000 to Bradley Manning’s Defense

By Kim Zetter January 13, 2011

WikiLeaks has finally made good on a months-old pledge to contribute financially to the defense of 23-year-old Bradley Manning, according to a group raising money for the imprisoned Army private suspected of providing WikiLeaks its most important U.S. releases.

But the sum, $15,100, is less than half the $50,000 WikiLeaks originally promised. It’s also less than the group pledged in December, when WikiLeaks spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson said WikiLeaks would immediately transfer $20,000 to Manning’s defense fund.

The Bradley Manning Support Network, which expressed frustration last month that it had not received the promised pledge, praised WikiLeaks’ contribution Thursday. ”This donation from WikiLeaks is vital to our efforts to ensure Bradley receives a fair, open trial,” wrote Mike Gogulski, the network’s founder, in a press release....

Yes, there is more here.

Not content with publishing military classified information, Assange and Wikileaks then went on to publish diplomatic cables, which caused more than a few red faces in the global community.

I also recently wrote about Wikileaks endangering the lives of Iraqi Jews.

Today, The Christian Science Monitor has this:

Secrets are safe as WikiLeaks, starved of funds, halts operations

WikiLeaks will not release any more secrets until it can raise enough money to keep going, according to the clandestine group's website. It has been choked by financial institutions that no longer process online donations to WikiLeaks.

By Mark Clayton, Staff writer / October 24, 2011

Call it "the empire strikes back" – against WikiLeaks.

The self-described anticensorship website announced Monday that it is calling a halt to releasing secrets until it can raise enough money to keep its operation going. On the WikiLeaks website, its operators declared it to be the victim of a "blockade" by financial institutions that refuse to process online donations to the organization.

"We are forced to temporarily suspend publishing whilst we secure our economic survival," the website said. "For almost a year we have been fighting an unlawful financial blockade. We cannot allow giant US finance companies to decide how the whole world votes with its pocket. Our battles are costly. We need your support to fight back. Please donate now."...

CSM has a lot more, and it is well worth the read, here.

Wikileaks has caused major damage around the world, and endangered many lives. Along the way, Assange has whined about a world-wide conspiracy against him and his group, even as major media colluded with him to release the document dumps that HE decided the world had a right to know - needed to know.

He collected 1.2m GBP or so as advance payment in a deal to write his autobiography, but later reneged on that, and as yet has not returned the advance to the publishing company. He HAS whined loudly that the publishing company went ahead and published what he had already given them.

From the Telegraph:

Julian Assange writes the first unauthorised autobiography

'All memoir is prostitution' says the WikiLeaks founder with the £1.2 million advance.


24 Sep 2011

The story of how Julian Assange, the Wikileaks founder, became the first man in history to write an unauthorised autobiography will make a great chapter in his authorised autobiography, should he ever reach an agreement with himself to write one. I’m sure he will because you can’t really call yourself a celebrity these days unless you have at least a couple of autobiographies under your belt, preferably before you reach your thirties....


I’d like to be able to reveal that Julian Assange angrily disowned his memoir (the one he got a £1.2 million advance for) on the grounds that it was badly written by his ghost, but as with every other aspect of his mercurial life, it is not that simple. In fact, it is so complicated that I’m not sure I can summarise it here. I’m pretty sure it involves money, though. Indeed, his only significant comment on the subject has been to say that “all memoir is prostitution”....

More here.

I am guessing that Assange is having to rethink just what he is willing to do to raise funds for his ongoing crusade as self-proclaimed champion of the peoples' right to know!

It is safe to say that there are many who won't be shedding any tears for this latest turn in the tides of Assange and Wikileaks' fortunes or 'misfortunes. '

For now, I guess we can say that sometimes silence IS golden.

Has anybody told Bradley Manning yet?

Oh, and one more thing, about that Wikileaks logo?

From logoblink:
Is this Wikileaks logo a rip-off ?

Although they are too similar, I’m sure it’s not on purpose and the second logo is just the same by coincidence. Just two common ideas. Why I think so ? Because if you are man of truth , a man who has principles you’ll never rip off a logo. And the Wikileaks are men of honor, right ?...

There's more here.

And the Wikileaks are men of honor, right ?... Riiiiiiiiiiiight! 'Nuff said!

A Letter to the Lazy

Don't just whine and beat drums about people and institutions you don't know the first thing about.

Dear Demonstrators,

What a great time you must be having. I used to demonstrate a lot myself. In the 1950s and 1960s we marched and picketed for civil rights for black Americans and we accomplished a lot. In the late '60s and '70s we demonstrated to end the war in Vietnam and "bring it on home to Babylon..." as we often said. The results were a catastrophe for the Cambodians but probably good for the U.S., which was caught in a meat grinder there in Asia.

My wife and I also danced and screamed and sang for the Black Panther Party. That was a bit of a mistake but we were at Yale and we didn't know any better.

But we always had specific goals: voting rights. Equal housing and accommodations. Bringing the troops home.

What are your specific goals? It means zero to be against greed. Greed is a basic part of animal nature. Being against it is like being against breathing or eating. It means nothing....

Stein has more. Go read here.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Moments of Silence

From War On Terror News:

Moments of Silence #MoS to #HonorTheFallen 24 Oct 2011 1PM-1:09 ET

Democracy in Libya? Not so fast

The msm is full of news of the fledgling 'democracy' rising from the mass graves of dead bodies in Libya.

The world has watched as NATO and its allies have supported the 'protesters/rebels/insurgents/freedom fighters/alternative government/National Transition Council,' up to, and including, the death of the despot Gadhafi.

The new flag was hoisted, at the UN:

Sep 20, 2011 -

UN raises new flag for Libya

The pre-Gaddafi Libyan flag flies in front of the United Nations headquarters
Image Caption: The pre-Gaddafi Libyan flag flies in front of the United Nations headquarters (Keystone)

The United Nations in Geneva has decided to display a new flag representing Libya’s National Transitional Council (NTC).

In the presence of Libyan UN ambassador Ibrahim Aldredi, the green, black and red flag was hoisted on Tuesday. A small group of Libyans gathered and sang Libya’s new national anthem.

On Friday, the UN’s general assembly decided to recognise the NTC as the official representative of Libya. According to a UN spokeswoman, the flag was raised at the request of the Libyan authorities.

The new flag features a half-moon and a star, and was already the national flag of Libya from 1951-1969. It replaces the green flag of the Moammar Gaddafi regime....(here)

All well and good, and to paraphrase a famous Leonard Cohen song: "Democracy is coming to...Libya."... Really? Even as I write this the CBC is headlining "Today, Libya begins a new road to democracy, human rights..." Really?

The BBC is running headlines like:

Gaddafi death: The bloody birth of a new Libya

The death of Muammar Gaddafi has removed a big problem for this country's transition rulers. It has also imbued the new Libya with original sin it may regret.

The leaders of the National Transitional Council (NTC) during the months of the fight against the colonel often spoke about building a country based on rights, not revenge...(more here)

US calls for independent inquiry as to how Gadhafi died, because that's what democracies do!

However, all is not rosy in Libya. For many months, some have been watching the Libyan 'uprising' with great trepidation. War on Terror News has written many columns on these new 'democracies,' one being The State of the War and The World back in May 2011. WOTN also wrote a long column in February 2011: Who is the Muslim Brotherhood?

NATO may congratulate themselves on a mission accomplished, but by now, some must be asking what shape this 'democracy' in Libya - funded and armed by the rest of us, will take. Back in March 2011:

Libyan rebel commander admits his fighters have al-Qaeda links

Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi, the Libyan rebel leader, has said jihadists who fought against allied troops in Iraq are on the front lines of the battle against Muammar Gaddafi's regime.

Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi, the Libyan rebel leader, has said jihadists who fought against allied troops in Iraq are on the front lines of the battle against Muammar Gaddafi's regime.
Mr al-Hasidi admitted he had earlier fought against 'the foreign invasion' in Afghanistan
Photo: AFP

By , Nick Squires and Duncan Gardham

25 Mar 2011

In an interview with the Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore, Mr al-Hasidi admitted that he had recruited "around 25" men from the Derna area in eastern Libya to fight against coalition troops in Iraq. Some of them, he said, are "today are on the front lines in Adjabiya".

Mr al-Hasidi insisted his fighters "are patriots and good Muslims, not terrorists," but added that the "members of al-Qaeda are also good Muslims and are fighting against the invader".

His revelations came even as Idriss Deby Itno, Chad's president, said al-Qaeda had managed to pillage military arsenals in the Libyan rebel zone and acquired arms, "including surface-to-air missiles, which were then smuggled into their sanctuaries".

Mr al-Hasidi admitted he had earlier fought against "the foreign invasion" in Afghanistan, before being "captured in 2002 in Peshwar, in Pakistan". He was later handed over to the US, and then held in Libya before being released in 2008....

Ooooops! There's more here.

Is there ANYbody shocked by this?

BHO of COURSE had to issue his statement:

WASHINGTON, Oct. 23, 2011 – President Barack Obama congratulated the Libyan people on their Liberation Day, saying the nation is beginning a “new era of promise.”


“On behalf of the American people, I congratulate the people of Libya on today’s historic declaration of liberation,” Obama said in a written declaration released by the White House today. “After four decades of brutal dictatorship and eight months of deadly conflict, the Libyan people can now celebrate their freedom and the beginning of a new era of promise.”

But Obama noted that much hard work remains in Libya. He said the officials of the Transitional National Council must turn their attention to the political transition ahead.

“We look forward to working with the TNC and an empowered transitional government as they prepare for the country’s first free and fair elections,” the president said.

Obama called on Libyan leaders to respect human rights, to reconcile with Gadhafi’s followers and bring together disparate armed groups under government control. He also called on Libyan leaders to secure weapons and dangerous materials. [Yes, emphasis mine]

“As they take these steps, the United States will continue our close cooperation with our international partners and the U.N. support mission in Libya to help advance a stable, democratic transition,” he wrote....(DoD here)

Sounds great, doesn't it?

Not so fast:

Op-Ed: Questions For A New Libya
Oct 23, 2011
By Sadiq Green.

Last Thursday, Libya celebrated the capture and death of longtime ruler Moammar Gadhafi with gunfire and jubilation. Now the work of building a new nation will begin in Libya and all the world will be watching to see what type of new nation emerges.

Questions abound on what's next for Libya beyond the obvious one: What will the new era mean for Libyans, the Middle East, the United States and the world at large? No one can be certain of what is next for Libya or if it will really become a full fledged democracy in the end. Will the future be better for Libyans? Exploring these other questions may provide some answers.

Will Libya descend into civil war? Libya is historically a tribal country with ethnic divisions prone to factional strife and vendettas. During the colonial period, and under Gadhafi’s rule, that was largely suppressed.


Can Libya build a democracy?
Gadhafi's death is clearly a defining moment in the history of the region. Yet it remains to be seen whether the new Libya will be the democratic nation that many western leaders are rooting for. ..


Has NATO created more Islamist enemies? Perhaps the most troubling aspect from the uprising and death of Gadhafi may very well be the emergence of Islamist extremists and other hardliners from within the ranks of the Libyan rebel opposition. Islamist groups have been the biggest winners elsewhere in the Arab uprisings, and they may not necessarily welcome a secular government. Add to that the west and their propensity to turn a blind eye with regards to backing unsavory elements in the short term in order to establish whatever greater goal they're after. There has never been a clear understanding of who the leaders of the rebel movement are and/or whether some of the so-called freedom fighters actually had allegiances with Al-Qaeda and other unsavory groups. There are concerns that the new Western assisted regime will ultimately end up being more anti-west than Gadhafi was. It is not inconceivable that we could see Gadhafi’s regime being replaced by a Sharia regime populated by Al-Qaeda elements.

Gadhafi's death raises more questions than it answers, with perhaps the most pressing being whether can Libyans manage the transition from brutal dictatorship to functioning democracy. They only begin to scratch the surface of what is most assuredly a very historic, exciting and wary time for Libya's people. ...

Much more here, and well worth the read.

And the CBC report I am listening to right now?

[Paraphrasing here]: ...

' ...NTC Officials are saying Libya will be more pious...based on Sharia law. ..

This is bound to raise some eyebrows....'

Ya think? A very wise friend of mine - closely involved in the effort to liberate Libya from Gadhafi - has commented that within ten years Libya will be shooting at us. I am not so optimistic, and figure it will be much sooner than that, before the Sharia law, Islamist extremists of Libya will turn their anger and their weapons on us - their 'liberators.' You know, those weapons that we have given them over these last few months. Yes, we have seen this before.

Demonstrations in Libya of burning the American flag and "down with America" screaming mobs in 3...2...1

Pay attention.