Thursday, August 28, 2014

Video: HMS Illustrious Decommissioned

 More on 'Lusty' from Daily Mail.

From Forces News:

The official ceremony to decommission the Royal Navy's last Aircraft Carrier takes place today in Portsmouth following 32 years of active service. She will be preserved for the nation as the oldest ship in the Navy's active fleet.

From The News (Portsmouth)

Crowds turn out to say farewell to Lusty

CROWDS of proud family, friends and veterans are gathered at Portsmouth’s naval base for the decommissioning of HMS Illustrious.

Members of the ship’s company are also preparing to take part in the ceremony this morning.
The Royal Marines band will start the celebrations, with a parade taking place shortly before 11am.
Able Seaman Stacey Bell is one of those who will be saying goodbye to the aircraft carrier.

The 26-year-old said: ‘I have been on board since January. To get such a large ship for your first deployment made it a great experience.

‘When I stood on the flight deck for the first time and looked out at the ocean was incredible.
‘It will stay with me forever - it was my second home.’

The 22-tonne ship was deployed before her naming ceremony en-route to the Falklands in June 1982.
She has clocked up 900,000 operational miles.


 Check out the MoD column:  HMS Illustrious takes final bow

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Wednesday Hero

This Post Was Suggested By Mike

Ens. John Parle

Ens. John Parle23 years old from Omaha, Nebraska
May 26, 1920 - July 10, 1943

From Ens. Parle's Medal Of Honor citation:

For valor and courage above and beyond the call of duty as Officer-in-Charge of Small Boats in the USS LST-375 during the amphibious assault on the island of Sicily, 9-10 July 1943. Realizing that a detonation of explosives would prematurely disclose to the enemy the assault about to be carried out, and with full knowledge of the peril involved, Ens. Parle unhesitatingly risked his life to extinguish a smoke pot accidentally ignited in a boat carrying charges of high explosives, detonating fuses and ammunition. Undaunted by fire and blinding smoke, he entered the craft, quickly snuffed out a burning fuse, and after failing in his desperate efforts to extinguish the fire pot, finally seized it with both hands and threw it over the side. Although he succumbed a week later from smoke and fumes inhaled, Ens. Parle's heroic self-sacrifice prevented grave damage to the ship and personnel and insured the security of a vital mission. He gallantly gave his life in the service of his country.
You can read more about Ens. Parle here

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, August 26, 2014

Video: Whittle on Ferguson and race FACTS

As Sharpton, Jackson, Obama and Holder cling to the race card to explain/justify/excuse the recent - and ongoing - events in Ferguson, Bill Whittle adds facts to the mix..

Take a look:

ISIS to US: Chicago, you're next

From JihadWatch:

Islamic State threatens jihad mass murder attack in Chicago

Robert Spencer
22 August 2014

“we are in your state/ we are in your cities / we are in your streets. You are our goals anywhere.” “we are here #america near our #target :) sooooooooooooon.”

The Islamic State is doing all it can to “strike terror into the hearts of the enemies of Allah” (Qur’an 8:60). “Photo implies ISIS threat to Chicago,” by Mark Suppelsa,, August 21, 2014[...]

There is another chilling Chicago connection in the battle between the US. and extreme Islamic militants isil (ISIS).

First there’s the beheading of the journalist who was the Northwestern graduate.
Now WGN Investigates has found an online war of words and disturbing images that includes an implied threat to a Chicago landmark building.

It’s a nasty, sometimes horrible back and forth coming on the heels of U.S. bombing of ISIS forces in Iraq involving Facebook and Twitter pages with titles like, #AMessageFromISIStoUS and vice versa....

There is more, much more, here.

AFG: UK MWD on the job

From the MoD: 

Corporal Amy-Jane Harrop, a military working dog handler, makes the most of a short break in the shade with her dog, Troy, before moving off again into the heat of the Afghan sun. It is vitally important that the dogs are given as much rest and hydration as the soldiers, as they work just as hard and quite often cover a vast amount of ground. [Picture: Corporal Daniel Wiepen, Crown copyright]

Monday, August 25, 2014

9/11: KSM Obama's new pen pal? Plus other GITMO updates

The quest for justice against the 9/11 co-conspirators is still ongoing at GITMO Military Tribunals..As various GITMO notorious alumni might be grabbing headlines, the "alleged" perpetrators of the worst terrorist attack - thus far - on US soil, continue to manipulate the American justice system to delay paying the piper.

Two weeks ago, the Tribunal was convened for one of its regularly scheduled sessions.. Ultimately, what should have been one week's worth of Hearings became but one MORNING, as the defendants continued to prove their utter contempt for American rule of law.

First there was this, from the Miami Herald:

Alleged 9/11 plotters don Palestinian attire in courtroom Gaza protest

Khalid Sheik Mohammed and the others return to court for a four-hour hearing, their only one of the week, that goes no further in resolving what defense lawyers consider a paralyzing conflict-of-interest question.


Lawyers for the 9/11 accused sparred with a federal attorney Thursday over whether FBI agents secretly questioning their staff stirred a potential ethical issue that paralyzes progress in the case. The judge didn’t resolve it.

Meanwhile, the alleged Sept. 11 plotters waged a silent protest by donning Palestinian attire. The alleged mastermind, Khalid Sheik Mohammed, wore a black checked headdress to court instead of his typical red one and his nephew, Ammar al Baluchi, traded his usual Kuwaiti headscarf for a Palestinian skullcap in what defense attorney James Connell called a “mute, silent expression of solidarity with the people of Gaza.”

David Nevin said his client Mohammed — who once bragged he was responsible for the Sept. 11 attacks “from A to Z” — was so disturbed by news accounts that he had written President Barack Obama directly, about Gaza and “a number of matters.” He called the headscarf switch “a statement of solidarity for the Gazans, for the Palestinians, about what is going on in Gaza right now.”

The lawyers for the five men accused of training, financing, and organizing the 19 hijackers of the Sept. 11 attacks explained the protest after a four-hour hearing. It was their only collective war-court date this week in the case that has been shadowed by the defense lawyers’ discovery that FBI agents had secretly been talking to some defense-team members....

Yes, there is more on that week's GITMO's shenanigans here.

As referenced above, KSM who boasts of his role in the tragedy of  9/11, felt the need to share his thoughts on world events with the current POTUS: 
Accused 9/11 mastermind has written to Obama; Will U.S. military let letter out of Guantánamo?



  Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the man who once bragged that he ran the Sept. 11 terror attacks “from A to Z,” has written President Barack Obama about his views on the situation in Gaza and other current events.

But the military has yet to say if and how it will ever reach the White House.

Mohammed’s defense attorney, David Nevin, disclosed the existence of the letter at a news conference Thursday. In it, he said, Mohammed complains about “Muslim oppression at the hands of the West in general and the United States in particular.” Topics include his views on what happened in Iraq during the period of U.S. sanctions and “events in Palestine and Gaza over the years.”

Nevin said he doubts the letter contains classified information — although he noted that Obama, as president of the United States, has the sweeping power to declassify it.


Meantime, the question remained open Friday: Who has the authority to mail a letter from the alleged 9/11 mastermind to the Constitutional Law professor turned commander-in-chief from a place where the war court is still resolving which portions of the U.S. Constitution apply?

More from Carol Rosenberg on this latest here.... Many other links there  to different aspects of the ongoing Tribunal.

Meanwhile, maybe somebody should tell KSM that a) nobody gives a damn what he thinks or b) even if MIC did care, he is far too *busy* on the golf course. 

As always, the Office of Military Commissions site has regular updates/transcripts.

Related:  Defense lawyers: How would Gitmo convict be executed? - 

                 GUANTANAMO BAY NAVY BASE, Cuba — Defense attorneys for the likely first former CIA captive to get a death-penalty trial at Guantanamo asked a war court judge Tuesday to order the Pentagon to declare how the U.S. military would execute the alleged USS Cole bomber, if he’s convicted.

The question came up at a pretrial hearing in the case of Abd al Rahim al Nashiri, 49, accused of orchestrating al-Qaida’s suicide bombing of the USS Cole warship off Yemen in October 2000. Seventeen U.S. sailors died in the attack.

The Saudi’s defense lawyers invoked a string of botched U.S. executions by lethal injection in their argument that the Pentagon should settle on a mode of military execution before Nashiri’s proposed February trial....

The rest of this one is here. 

Appeals court overturns two convictions of Guantánamo’s lone life-sentence prisoner

Read more here:

Prosecutor opposes order to separate Yemeni from joint 9/11 trial

Omar Khadr case: CBC and other media seek access for interview: Ex-Guantanamo detainee in custody in Canada willing to talk, but federal departments blocking media access

ead more here:

Read more here:

Read more here:

Read more here:
I am on the record as stating I do not believe that our 9/11 families and others directly affected by that day will see justice during the current POTUS' tenure. His actions have proved that he has more concern for the 'rights' and freedoms of the GITMO residents than he does for the safety of US citizens (recidivism rates of the GITMO alumni, anyone?)  He continues to pursue his oft-repeated election promise to close GITMO, and continues to arbitrarily release detainees - most recently without congressional approval of the notorious five in exchange for Bergdahl. Not bad for "we don't negotiate with terrorists" huh?

Be that as it may, I DO hold fast to my belief that there WILL be justice for our 9/11 families. Even if the majority of the msm has moved on, ultimately all the manipulations and games by the 'defendants' will end, and justice WILL be seen to be served..

Daniel Tragerman: "the boy for whom Israel fights"

From Jerusalem Post:


At funeral of child killed by Gazan mortar shell, mother says: We thought you would bring peace
Daniel Tragerman’s family hoped that their boy would be a leader who could bring peace to Israel some day, a dream that was extinguished Friday when his life was cut short after just four years, in a mortar attack on Kibbutz Nahal Oz.

In her eulogy on Sunday, Daniel’s mother, Gila, said the family hoped that now peace would come in Daniel’s death, a tragedy that so far has brought pain and shock to Israelis across the country.

“Daniel, they wanted us to say goodbye to you yesterday, [but] we decided to wait another day – and say goodbye in the light and not in the darkness,” she said. “I wish you would always stay with your charming smile. We love you so much, we don’t want to part from you.”
Gila described her son as “the love of my life, a perfect boy, the dream of every mother and father. Smart, sensitive, advanced for your age in every way. Beautiful, so beautiful.”

She said that on Friday “everything happened so quickly,” and that while Daniel was always the first to run to the safe room during the rocket sirens, “this time you had a frozen look on your face.” She said she called to his younger sister, Yuval, and a moment later it was over, Daniel was gone, and the family “was left with these terrible sights that will follow us for the rest of our lives.”...

More here.. 

Be sure to go read More Sirens Than a Person Can Count

Video: Our Military going hungry

This video is about American Troops, but it could well be any of our Coalition countries, since for years I have seen various reports of our Soldiers having to rely on food stamps and living in substandard housing.

Take a look at this latest:

Published on Aug 18, 2014

 A recent survey found that "25% of military families need help putting food on the table." We can't balance the budget on the back of the Defense Department, and we are seeing the consequences as military pay is decreasing and officers are being issued pink slips while deployed. All of this while food prices rise - Jessie Jane Duff joins the Willis Report to shed light on the troubles facing military families 

Friday, August 22, 2014


Soldiers from 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards have returned from their final deployment to Afghanistan.

Photographer: Sergeant Rupert Frere; MOD Crown Copyright

The 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards enjoyed a rapturous welcome home from streets packed with well-wishers as they paraded through Windsor this morning with the Band of the Irish Guards providing musical accompaniment.

The parade marks their final return from Kabul and gave the public, friends and families, an opportunity to show their appreciation. 351 personnel from the Coldstream Guards and attachments deployed to Afghanistan over the period September 2013 to August 2014.

Number One Company and Number Two Company Coldstream Guards deployed as the Kabul Support Unit from February to August 2014, covering the busy period of the presidential election and providing support to the British Embassy, the Afghan National Army Officer Academy and to International Security Assistance Force Headquarters in Kabul.

Both companies were tasked with protecting UK bases and enabling safe movement across Kabul. They also were responsible for the safety for all UK civilian and military personnel. Prior to their deployment both companies spent 12 months training for the task in Kenya, across the UK and in Germany.

The Homecoming Parade through Windsor is one of two the unit will enjoy. The second will take place in London on Wednesday 17 September and will consist of a parade from Wellington Barracks to the Guards Memorial at Horse Guards.

Colour Sergeant Major Glen Goldthorpe, from Doncaster, only just made it home from Afghanistan in time for the birth of his first son five days ago. Baby Harry, Glen’s wife Jolene and their daughters were in the 3000-strong crowd that lined the route in Windsor today for the Coldstream Guards' homecoming parade.

Glen commented: "It was a double dose of pride for me today to march through the town to such a welcome and with my boy and my family there among them. I've never seen so many people shouting 'well done!' and clapping. The locals have always supported us so well in Windsor but today was really special.

"I was so glad to get back just in time for Harry's birth. But that's what the Coldstream Guards do best - time everything perfectly! It's great to be home."

Photographer: Sergeant Rupert Frere; MOD Crown Copyright

2nd Battalion The Rifles have now taken over from 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards in Afghanistan. Lt Col Mark Gidlow-Jackson, 2 RIFLES Commanding Officer said: “The Battalion has worked tirelessly throughout Mission Specific Training and we are fully prepared for the challenges of the next six months I look forward to picking up where the Coldstream Guards left off.”

Photographer: Sergeant Rupert Frere; MOD Crown Copyright

Read more about the Coldstream Guards:

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Video: ISIS grooming children for jihad

What happens 'over there' DOES directly impact us here.

 Published on Aug 8, 2014 Click here to watch Part 1 now:

In Part 2 of VICE News’ exclusive look at the emergence of the Islamic State, filmmaker Medyan Dairieh meets an Islamic State member from Belgium who works to indoctrinate some of the youngest members of the group. He also gains further insight into the minds of Islamic State fighters as they host celebrations and military parades featuring American tanks and APCs seized from the Iraqi army.

The Islamic State, a hardline Sunni jihadist group which formerly had ties to al Qaeda, is now in control of a large swath of territory in Iraq and Syria. The group, which adheres to the strictest form of Sharia law, is determined to establish a caliphate that stretches across the Middle East and into the rest of the Muslim world.

As the Islamic State continues its violent expansion in Syria and Iraq, it is also working to win the hearts and minds of new recruits and potential new members in areas it controls.

Follow this link to find more VICE videos on ISIS.


Israel: 'Hamas is like ISIS, ISIS is like Hamas'

As Hamas breaks the latest ceasefire by resuming rocket firing into Israel, Netanyahu has this reminder:

Hamas and ISIS: Two branches of the same tree. Both exploiting and endangering children.

Photo: AFP / ImageBank Israel

Meanwhile, Israel continues to target Hamas leadership.

From Israel National News: 

 Three Senior Hamas Commanders Killed in Pre-Dawn Airstrike

In major blow to terror group's military wing, two most senior commanders in southern Gaza eliminated in IDF strike.
By Uzi Baruch
The armed wing of Hamas announced Thursday that three of its senior commanders were killed in a pre-dawn Israeli air strike in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip.

Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades in a statement identified the leaders as Mohammed Abu Shamalah, Raed al-Attar and Mohammed Barhum. Emergency services spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said eight people were killed in the strike.

Witnesses said a four-storey family home was completely destroyed in a series of air strikes.
The airstrike was carried out based on intelligence provided by the Shabak (Israel Security Agency), which led to the identification of two central Hamas figures.

Most senior commanders in southern Gaza

Mohammed Abu Shamalah, 40, was the most senior Hamas commander in southern Gaza, classified by security services as the head of the "Southern Command" of Hamas. Abu Shamalah was responsible for the areas of Rafiah and Khan Younis, and is a longtime friend and associate of Ezzedine al-Qassam's elusive leader, Mohammed Deif, who was himself targeted in an IDF strike yesterday - a strike he is believed to have survived....

Much more here.

Related: Boycott the Jews?  You will die sooner

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Military surplus to local police depts? Maybe not!

Here's a coincidence!

From Homeland Security News Wire:

Lawmakers reconsider transfer of military gear to local police

19 August 2014

Federal officials are considering placing restrictions on the 1990 Department of Defense Excess Property (1033) Program which authorized the Pentagon to give surplus military equipment to local law enforcement units to fight the war on drugs. The program was later explained as also helping in the fight against terrorism. Though violent crime nationwide is at its lowest levels in decades, the transfers of military equipment to police forces have surged...


Though violent crime nationwide is at its lowest levels in decades, the transfers of military equipment to police forces have surged. A June 2014 report by the American Civil Liberties Union found that weapons transferred through the 1,033 program rose in value from $1 million in 1990 to nearly $450 million in 2013. “Every police force of any size in this country has access to those kinds of weapons now,” said David Harris, a police expert at the University of Pittsburgh law school. “It makes it more likely to be used (and) is an escalation all by itself.”...

 Much more here.

Video: Pete Hegseth on ISIS at Iraq/Syria

| ISIS Dissolves Borders, Threatens U.S.

 Published on Aug 14, 2014
 A recent video, released by ISIS, shows them in complete control of what used to be the Syrian/Iraqi border. With the border gone, they can now start to establish their pseudo-nation caliphate. Also featured in the video is ISIS verbally threatening the United States, as well as young children swearing their allegiance to the group. Pete Hegseth joins Fox & Friends to talk about their true intentions.

Pete Hegseth is the CEO of Concerned Veterans for America, a Fox News Contributor and the former executive director of Vets for Freedom. Pete is an infantry officer in the Army National Guard, and has served tours in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Guantanamo Bay.

Stay connected with the Concerned Veterans for America Newsletter HERE: 

Pay attention!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

SGT Mike Stokely: Lest We Forget

Mike's father, Robert, writes this :

8/8/05: Yusufiyah Iraq Mike Stokely as he holds an IV bag for an injured soldier / non life threatening injuries on the ground being cared for by the unit medic. Mike's team and this soldier's team and another team were meeting on the roadway in the Triangle of Death when the insurgents tried to time it to get both trucks. Mike's team had just cleared the IED, barely, and were not injured. Mike's dear friend from high school, Georgia Military and fellow Guardsman, Alden Williams, may very well have taken what is believed to be the last known photo of Mike.

On August 15, 2005 at 6:20 p.m. I was visiting my friend Mike Kam and just sitting by his Koi pond and at ease for a few moments listening to the babbling water. Unknown to me Mike was killed by an IED at that very instant at 0220 hours August 16 local time Yusufiyah. No family can know but they wait, watch, hope and pray when someone they love is in a war zone. You flinch when the phone rings; you jump when a strange car pulls into the drive and you freeze when an unexpected knock comes to the door. It is hard to believe that eight years ago our family was about to be forever changed and our hearts broken. You don't get over it. You just live with it as best you can, some days better than others....

Mike Stokely is an American Soldier who was our son, brother, husband, grandson, nephew, cousin, and friend. He was all in. He gave his best fight, literally being born premature and struggling for life the day he was born April 19, 1982 to the day he gave his life fighting for and serving America on August 16, 2005.

I have written about Mike and his family a few times.   If you have no idea who he is - and you really should - you can go to They Have Names, and Mike Stokely Foundation.

NEVER forget.

'Living Wall' Honors Post-9/11 Veterans and their Families

'Living Wall' will be composed of more than 1000 flowers

By Margaret Voelzke

GO read the whole article here.

Video: Falklands War

Thursday, August 14, 2014

911 Foundation 2014 Ride to Remember

Team 8001's Sponsorship Page August 14-18, 2014 - America's 9/11 Ride Remembering - Lt. Keith Fairben, NYP EMT-P! 

Mark your calendars!

Team 8001 – Remembering Keith
We are riding in this year’s 2014 America's 9/11 Ride to honor our brother Lt. Keith Fairben, NYP EMT-P! 

For each member of New York Chapter 43 of the Red Knights, participation in this memorial event has always been a moving experience and supporting the cause is our honor. Not only are we privileged to be saying “Thank You” to our First Responders, we are rising to honor our own hero Lt. Keith G. Fairben.

Keith was on duty as a paramedic for New York Presbyterian Hospital on the morning of 9/11/01 and was one of the very first units to arrive that morning at the scene.  He and his partner Mario Santoro were instrumental in assisting quite a few people escape from the towers that morning and they both lost their lives valiantly working to bring another person to safety.

The riders from New York Chapter 43 of the Red Knights are looking to honor Keith’s memory by raising $15,000 for this year’s event.  We trust and hope that you will consider being as generous as possible in helping our chapter achieve this goal.

All donations are tax deductible as the foundation is a 501(c)3 charity.

Please support us as we ride to remember and honor our fallen brother.

Many of our members have been participating on this event for many years without soliciting donations or asking for sponsorships. This year, we decided to band our resources and raise some funds to honor the Heroes and Victims from the terrible attacks on this great county on 9/11 and to help raise funds for a great organization.

I know you get asked to donate to many worthwhile causes but the America’s 911 Foundation is very special. Every dollar does make a difference, the foundation has no paid staff or board, it is entirely run by volunteers. The last audit shows that more than 90% of funds received are utilized supporting First Responders, their departments and families. Funds from this event go to our college scholarship program for graduating seniors of First Responders (Paid or Volunteer). It also provides equipment to First Responder Departments and funds National Volunteer Emergency Team (NVET) abilities. Please help me assist in this wonderful cause. Donating online is safe, secure and easy. The foundation will send you a receipt for your generosity.

Thank you in advance for your generosity!

The Members of New York Chapter 43
Red Knights International MC

There are 2 locations you can go to for information:
A Facebook Page for this which is on our group page
Info at our website and the link to donate. 
Also you can go directly to the America's 911 Foundation website.

Thank YOU!!!

Obama NO friend to Israel

While many Americans continue to publicly support Israel, their president continues to undermine Israel, as that country continues to fight the scourge of terrorism invading her borders.

 From Israel National News (and confirmed in a column on Wall Street Journal)

Obama Reportedly Blocks Israel Missile Shipment

US administration officials stop missile transfer, order all future transfers to be scrutinized in sign of further cooling ties.
By Ari Yashar
A new report reveals that US President Barack Obama's administration stopped a shipment of missiles to Israel late last month and tightened weapons shipment procedures to Israel, as tensions between the two nations grow amid Operation Protective Edge.

The report in the Wall Street Journal, released Wednesday night, cites US officials in Obama's administration, who say they discovered Israel had requested a large number of Hellfire missiles directly through military-to-military channels. An initial batch of the missiles was about to be shipped, according to sources in Israel and the US Congress.

At that point, the Pentagon stepped in and put the transfer on hold. Further, top White House officials instructed various US military agencies to consult with the US State Department before approving any additional requests from Israel...

Much more here.

Interesting title on the Wall Street Journal: Gaza Crisis: Israel Outflanks White House on Strategy
 GO read that, too.  That article confirms what I have long stated, that Obama is way out of his league when he attempts to school Bibi.

As further proof of Obama's NON support of Israel, New York Post had this at the end of July.

Obama demands that Netanyahu agree to ceasefire
30 July 2014
Bob Fredericks

President Obama demanded that Israel agree to a one-sided ceasefire during a heated phone conversation with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, according to a report aired on Israeli TV Tuesday.

Both leaders quickly denounced the purported transcript of their private discussion as fake.
But the TV channel that obtained it, state-run Channel 1, stood by its account.

In one bitter exchange, Obama declared that Qatar and Turkey — Hamas’ biggest international supporters — would mediate with the terrorists on Israel’s behalf, according to the TV channel....

Go read more here, 

Let's not forget that Pelosi insists that Qatar assures HER that Hamas is a "humanitarian organisation."

With friends like this...'Nuff said. 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

GITMO: 9/11 Tribunal limps on

Even as the world has gone to hell in a hand basket since September 11, 2001, the five terrorists being tried at GITMO for their roles in that terrible day, have tried all sorts of shenanigans to delay the inevitable.  Of course, they have been aided and abetted by not just their taxpayer-funded lawyers, but along the way the current US administration has meddled constantly..

This week in GITMO another of the five *accused* is seeking to be tried separately, rather than along with the co-accused terrorists:

From The Guardian (London UK):

9/11 suspect seeks to be removed from joint trial over mental condition 

Monday 11 August 2014

Prosecutors in military court say Ramzi bin al-Shibh may be delusional but is competent to stand trial with other defendants

 Ramzi Bin al-Shibh, a Yemeni national, is seen in this undated handout photo. Photograph: Winfried Rothermel/AP

A military court heard arguments on Monday on removing one of five men charged in the September 11 attacks on the United States from a joint trial because of his mental condition.

Prosecutors are seeking to reverse a decision by the judge, Army Colonel James Pohl, ordering a separate trial for Ramzi bin al-Shibh, a 42-year-old Yemeni imprisoned at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

In his July order, Pohl cited issues with Shibh’s competency and a potential conflict of interest in his defense team. Prosecutors say Shibh might be delusional but is competent to stand trial.

Prosecutor Clay Trivett argued that Shibh should be tried with the other four defendants, including suspected ringleader Khalid Sheikh Mohammed...

There is more here.

This follows on the heels of another *accused* in May demanding to be tried separately:

An undated image of Mustafa Ahmad al-Hawsawi, accused of murder and war crimes for the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks. AP Photo/U.S. District Court

From CBS News back in 2012:

[...]Al-Hawsawi, 43, of Saudi origin, is accused of serving as a paymaster and facilitator for the Sept. 11 operation from his post in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, providing money and travelers checks, air tickets, Western clothing and credit cards to four of the 9/11 hijackers (and to a fifth man who was ultimately denied entry to the United States).

He shared with one hijacker a United Arab Emirates-based financial account that funded the hijackers' activities in the month before the attacks. Al-Hawsawi also worked in the al Qaeda media center in Afghanistan from 2000 until he departed for the United Arab Emirates in early 2001.

He was captured in Pakistan in 2003 and held at Guantanamo...

Much more on the  *accused* here.

The prosecution team sent out an update to the 9/11 families yesterday which said - in part:

[...]Yesterday, the Military Judge heard the oral argument on AE312A (GOV), the
Government Emergency Motion to Reconsider AE312 Severance Order.  This order,
issued on 24 July 2014, removed Ramzi bin al Shibh from the joint trial with
the other four accused and set a case against him separately.  The Prosecution
strongly opposed the severing of the case and filed its motion asking the
Military Judge, in essence, to change his mind so that the case can be
prosecuted against all five Accused once and for all.
The defense has 14 days to reply to the Prosecution's motion and their written
replies are due at 0900 on Wednesday 13 August 2014.

There will be more on this in the days and weeks (and yes, months and years) to come. I have always maintained that the actual trial and verdict will not be completed while the Obama administration is in residence.  These last weeks have reinforced my opinion.

However, despite any and all delaying tactics/nonsense, I hold firm that there WILL be justice for the 9/11 families and all of America.  Anything less would be a travesty, and not worthy of the country I know and love.

Updates and details of the Tribunal can be found here.


Related:   Pretrial hearings bog down in 9/11 case at Guantánamo

Wednesday Hero

This Post Was Suggested By Mike

1st Lt. Vernon Baker

1st Lt. Vernon Baker90 years old from St. Maries, Idaho
370th Infantry Regiment, 92nd Infantry Division
December 17, 1919- July 13, 2010

U.S. Army

From Lt. Baker's Medal Of Honor citation:
For extraordinary heroism in action on 5 and 6 April 1945, near Viareggio, Italy. Then Second Lieutenant Baker demonstrated outstanding courage and leadership in destroying enemy installations, personnel, and equipment during his company's attack against a strongly entrenched enemy in mountainous terrain. When his company was stopped by the concentration of fire from several machine gun emplacements, he crawled to one position and destroyed it, killing three Germans. Continuing forward, he attacked an enemy observation post and killed two occupants. With the aid of one of his men, Lieutenant Baker attacked two more machine gun nests, killing or wounding the four enemy soldiers occupying these positions. He then covered the evacuation of the wounded personnel of his company by occupying an exposed position and drawing the enemy's fire. On the following night Lieutenant Baker voluntarily led a battalion advance through enemy mine fields and heavy fire toward the division objective. Second Lieutenant Baker's fighting spirit and daring leadership were an inspiration to his men and exemplify the highest traditions of the Armed Forces.

You can read more about Lt. Baker here

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

Monday, August 11, 2014

Israel: Out of the Mouths of Babes

Over the last month, the world msm has shared many, many stories about the slain children in Gaza.  On a daily basis we have seen gruesome images of dead children - victims of the Israeli 'slaughter' of innocents.

I would never disagree that the children shown are innocents, but what continues to strike me is the lack of coverage of Israeli children suffering.  As regular readers here know, I try and keep up with news out of Israel. The media in the last month has seen fit to 'report' on the terrible conditions and murder of innocent Palestinians, and yet for many years now, that same media has chosen to ignore the daily trauma of Israeli children who,  since birth, have lived with the constant terrorist attacks from Hamas.

Israeli Soldier's Mother has shared the perspective of little Israeli children, whose lives have always been shadowed by the red alerts which tell them they have as little as fifteen seconds to get to the safety of a bomb shelter:

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Things Children Should Never Say

...or perhaps it is more accurate to say these are things children should never HAVE to say

Yoav, 5.5 years old - his family has evacuated to a cabin in the north to get away from the rockets. The owner of the cabin showed the family to the cabin, and told where pool was, and where the dining room is and when the tour was over, little Yoav said, "but you didn't tell us where the bomb shelter is."

Shay, 5.5 years old asked her mother - "Ima, are they shooting in all the countries now?"

Niv, 3.5 years old - "the best weapon is bananas - that way everyone will slip and we'll win."

Keshet, 5 years old - went with her family up north to get away from the rockets and her tooth fell out. She asked her mother, "Ima, how can the tooth fairy get in to here, but the rockets can't?"

She has many more examples, here.

Wouldn't it be grand if Obama cherished these Israeli children - championed them - instead of urging 'restraint' from IDF...

Wouldn't it be something if the never-ending plight of  Israeli children is considered by the world media to be worthy of front page news coverage..

I know, I know, apparently not all children are created equal. 

[Regular readers will know what Brat non-verbal editorial comment follows]

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

WW1 Memorial Tower of London

From MoD:

The Band of the Welsh Guards performs at the Tower of London

A sea of poppies to honour the fallen 

6 August 2014

Defence Secretary attends launch of art installation at Tower of London to remember those who fought in the First World War.

Last night saw the launch of a major art installation at the Tower of London to honour the fallen soldiers of the First World War. Entitled ‘Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red’, the huge and evolving art installation has seen the dry moat of the Tower filled with ceramic poppies to remember those who fought in the First World War 100 years ago. ...


At the event, the Band of the Welsh Guards played ‘Hymn to the Fallen’ and songs from the First World War before performing a joint piece of music written specifically for the event, ‘The Man We Never Knew’ by Edward-Rhys Harry, with the London Welsh Male Voice Choir.
Major Kevin Roberts, Director of Music for the Band of the Welsh Guards, said:

It was a deeply moving and dramatic way to end this momentous occasion and a great privilege for all the musicians involved.

At twilight, the minute guns of the Honourable Artillery Company, the City of London’s Army Reserve regiment, fired a 21-gun salute, and Lance Corporal Stuart Laing, a bugler from the Band of the Welsh Guards, played the Last Post surrounded by a sea of red poppies....

Much more here.

Extortion 17: Always remembered

I stole this from my good friend CSM (R) Mellinger. Today is sad day like any other when we lose a Service Member, but 3 years ago today is the day where we lost the 31 Men of Extortion 17.
Please read and then watch the video.

"You won't remember my name. And you won't remember my face. But here's the thing. You cannot forget theirs." 

On 6 August 2011, a U.S. Boeing CH-47 Chinook military helicopter, call sign Extortion 17, was shot down while transporting a quick reaction force attempting to reinforce an engaged unit of Army Rangers in Wardak province, west of Kabul, Afghanistan. The resulting crash killed all 38 people on board: 15 Navy SEALs from the Naval Special Warfare Development Group's Gold Squadron; two SEALs from another unit and five Naval Special Warfare support personnel; 2 U.S. Army personnel from the 2nd Battalion, 135th Aviation Regiment, part of Colorado Army National Guard; 3 U.S. Army personnel from the 7th Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment; 1 U.S. Air Force Combat Controller from the 24th Special Tactics Squadron; 2 U.S. Air Force Pararescuemen from the 24th Special Tactics Squadron; 7 Afghan National Army Commando; 1 Afghan civilian interpreter; 1 U.S. Military Working Dog.

Major Jake Thornburg is an instructor pilot in the C-17 and KC-135 and is currently the Chief, Commander's Action Group, 62d Airlift Wing, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. Maj Thornburg has multiple deployments in support of Operations ENDURING FREEDOM and IRAQI FREEDOM.


 From Extortion 17

Please go to Extortion 17: Remember our Brothers.  Read about our Fallen Heroes...

From Navy SEALS:

Please take a moment today to remember the ultimate sacrifice of our fallen warriors of Extortion 17. 


These special operators were lost when their CH-47 Chinook was shot down while on the way to reinforce a group of Army Rangers who were engaged in the unforgiving Wardak Province of Afghanistan.  To the families of these brave men, we salute you and will never forget the sacrifices that were made for all of us.  We are forever grateful.

SGT Alexander J. Bennett
SPC Spencer Duncan
CWO Bryan J. Nichols
CWO David R. Carter
SSG Patrick D. Hamburger
TSgt John W. Brown
SSgt Andrew W. Harvell
TSgt Daniel L. Zerbe
PO1 (SEAL) Darrick C. Benson
CPO (SEAL) Brian R. Bill
PO1 (SEAL) Christopher G. Campbell
PO1 Jared W. Day
PO1 John Douangdara & Navy SEAL Dog “Bart”
CPO (SEAL) John W. Faas
CPO (SEAL) Kevin A. Houston
Lt. Cmdr. (SEAL) Jonas B. Kelsall
MCPO (SEAL) Louis J. Langlais
CPO (SEAL) Matthew D. Mason
CPO (SEAL) Stephen M. Mills
CPO Nicholas H. Null
PO1 (SEAL) Jesse D. Pittman
SCPO (SEAL) Thomas A. Ratzlaff
CPO (SEAL) Robert J. Reeves
CPO (SEAL) Heath M. Robinson
PO2 (SEAL) Nicholas P. Spehar
PO1 Michael J. Strange
PO1 (SEAL) Jon T. Tumilson
PO1 (SEAL) Aaron C. Vaughn
SCPO Kraig M. Vickers
PO1 (SEAL) Jason R. Workman

 Remember and honor their and every day....

Wednesday Hero

This Post Was Suggested By Lisa

Mike Berry A different post this week. I don't know anything about Mr. Berry's service, all I do know is that he, and his family, need our help. Mike Berry has served in the Army and National Guard for 23 years and in 2012 was experiencing strange smells, shakiness and feeling faint. Then one day, while making dinner, he passed out. He was taken to the ER where they found a brain tumor.
You can find more information about Mr. Berry, and how you can help, here 

 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.
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Monday, August 4, 2014

World War 1: Lest We forget - videos

From MoD:

2014 marks 100 years since the start of the First World War. 

From the BBC :  

Great Britain Declares War on Germany

Declaration last night after 'unsatisfactory reply' to British ultimatum that Belgium must be kept neutral.

The King's message to his navy - Government to take control of all railways. Admiral Jellicoe to be in supreme command of the Home Fleets.

Huge crowds cheer their majesties at palace - £100,000,000 voted in Commons in five minutes. German invasion of Belgium with airships

Great Britain is in a state of war with Germany. It was officially stated at the Foreign Office last night that Great Britain declared war against Germany at 7pm. The British Ambassador in Berlin has been handed his passport.

War was Germany's reply to our request that she should respect the neutrality of Belgium, whose territories we were bound in honour and by treaty obligations to maintain inviolate.

Speaking in a crowded and hushed House the Premier yesterday afternoon made the following statement: 'We have made a request to the German Government that we shall have a satisfactory assurance as to the Belgian neutrality before midnight tonight.'

The German reply to our request, officially stated last night, was unsatisfactory....

Much more here.

From the CBC: 

Legendary Ojibwa sniper unsung hero of WW I

Francis Pegahmagabow experienced poverty and racism on return to Canada

By Reg Sherren, CBC News Aug 01, 2014


He was the most decorated First Nations soldier in the history of the Canadian military, but very few people have ever heard of Francis Pegahmagabow.

From the time he signed on in September 1914, until the war ended on Nov. 11, 1918, Francis fought.
In fact, of the over 600.000 Canadians who served, he was one of only 39 in the Canadian Expeditionary Force to be awarded the Military Medal and two bars for valour.

In a quiet corner of the old cemetery on Wasauksing First Nation, his military stone stands alone, But the legend of Cpl. Pegahmagabow has lived on this reserve now for almost a century....

Much more (and a great video) here...

 Go read the timeline of WW1 here.


Pack up your troubles

Lest We Forget