Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day

Here's a clip of General George Patton speaking in Boston after the war. His tribute to the Army Medical Corps towards the end shows the scope of the loss--and saved--within the Third Army alone.  We have much to be thankful for in this nation. 

ht JOM

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Iraq Victory Update

Another defeat in Iraq, another round of taxpayer-funded mechanized military hardware in the hands of ISIS:
A Pentagon spokesman, Col. Steve Warren, estimated that a half dozen tanks were abandoned, a similar number of artillery pieces, a larger number of armored personnel carriers and about 100 wheeled vehicles like Humvees. He said some of the vehicles were in working condition; others were not because they had not been moved for months.
Now we have to blow it all up. But according to Josh Earnest that's just a 'setback', we are winning otherwise.  So don't let your hair catch fire.  Unless you're an ISIS hostage in a cage, in which case you're screwed.  

Pretty amazing considering recent events--reminiscent of a certain infamous political figure, but here's the bottom line: as long as public opinion polls say no more ground troops in Iraq the president doesn't have to do squat.  Everyone knows he doesn't have a strategy TO WIN; such a strategy would be dangerous and costly.   So he has a strategy--it's called throwing BS around, pretending there is a viable coalition, doing some raids and air cover for the hapless Iraqis while trying to keep the Iranians at bay and negotiating on nukes, all of which acts to run out the clock through 2017.  If ISIS succeeds in pulling off a domestic terrorist attack, blame Bush, unless it's something like this, which would change public opinion on boots.  And they could still blame Bush. Yes, they are that craven.   

Meanwhile in the housekeeping department, apparently the King of Clubs may not be so dead after all (unless this new Izzat is the look-alike phony).  Word is the Iraqi government could not verify his death through DNA because they lacked samples.  Wonder if Mubarak al-Douri might be able to help? 

We also await the formal announcement of the death of AQ number three Adnan Shukrijumah, reported deceased last year in Pakistan, while his face is still on the FBI most-wanted page.  Why is this?  If it's about a DNA match, at last check his family still lives in Florida. 

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Aviation Update

This story is making the rounds with peculiar wording, including on the Drudge Report:
Prominent online security expert claimed to have made one plane briefly fly sideways while he was a passenger on board, FBI investigation states
Emphasis added. How many people reading that actually believed the airplane was going along on a straight path then flew suddenly flew 'sideways', which technically would be, well, impossible? Here's how CBS explained:
During the interviews, "He stated that he successfully commanded the system he had accessed to issue the 'CLB' or climb command. He stated that he thereby caused one of the airplane engines to climb resulting in a lateral or sideways movement of the plane during one of these flights," said the affidavit, signed by F.B.I. agent Mike Hurley.
The documents say Roberts accesses the plane's controls via the in-flight entertainment system, his laptop, and an Ethernet cable.
Aside from the sensationalist nature of the revelation, his contention of hacking the flight computer and issuing a CLB command sounds like it would result in asymmetrical thrust.  Literally flying 'sideways' is certainly not something an aircraft could do, at least not in the world of elementary math and 90 degree angles.  A yaw condition would be something else, assuming this actually happened.     

Keep in mind this takeover revelation comes from Mr. Roberts, not the airline. And it comes from the court releasing an FBI affidavit, which also reads like a warning to everyone about how good the Bureau is at uncovering everything ever done on any PC, which they surely don't mind being out there in cyberland. There was no mention of the flight Mr. Roberts allegedly took over.  Also, it's not known whether his hacked command input actually led to a thrust increase or whether it was coincidental. 

Whatever the case, the FBI seems more interested in getting him in jail than using his information.  It will be interesting to see what happens to a guy who appears to be a cross between Duck Dynasty and Spook Central.  Surely he will ask for a jury trial if it goes that far.  

Of course this possible revelation opens a number of worm cans.  First and foremost, the 9/11 truthers will be pointing to it as incontrovertible evidence the aircraft were remotely controlled and flown into the buildings by Dick Cheney (there will be no links here). In a more recent story it could explain, in a SPECTRE kind of way, the disappearance of MH370.   Presumably also led by Dick Cheney in retirement.

And it may also come into the discussion about the overspeed crash of Amtrak 188 in North Philly.  This tragedy occurred only one day after ISIS had issued an online cyber-threat promising something that would "surprise" the infidels (for liberals reading, that means non-Islamic westerners like you).  There are several reasons they might issue a specious threat, such as watching to see how internet and security professionals reacted to prepare contingency plans, but then again, maybe there was something to it.  

Stories about of ISIS' superior knowledge of the internet and computer systems have been all over the web of late.  How hard would it be for them to employ a guy like Chris Roberts? 

Whether the news on Saturday about a risky attack in Syria where the US Military targeted ONE GUY--and one guy few had ever heard of before--has anything to do with this is unknown.  Until the raid most knew the name Abu Sayyaf as the AQ terror franchise in the Far East.  Risky raids just to capture or kill one unknown guy don't seem to be the hallmark of the Obama administration--how would they have explained mission failure/capture?   There are things we don't know, and won't know.   Sometimes for the good. 

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Side Tracks

Almost all the headline stories of today (and yesterday) revolve around money.   It's the root of every political system.  Fighting over who gets it drives almost everything people discuss, including Tom Brady's suspension.  Things haven't changed much over the course of history, in this regard. 

Monday, May 11, 2015

Go back in the hole, Seymour

Message to award-winning journalist Sy Hersh, the guy who exposed the My Lai massacre and Abu Ghraib: the left doesn't love you unless you are exposing Republican lies, criminality and scandal.  When you expose leftist lies and propaganda you are nothing but a scummy kook, and probably a racist.

So maybe you should consider going back in the hole and waiting until another Bush comes into power, or some other Republican.

After all, Mike Morell, the former second in command at the CIA, who helped propagate the lie that Benghazi was about a hateful video from an American practicing his first amendment rights, has said the Hersh story about bin Laden is "all wrong":
"I started reading the article last night, I got a third of the way through and I stopped, because every sentence I was reading was wrong. The source that Hersh talked to has no idea what he's talking about," Morell said.
Every sentence! Even the ones where he admits the SEALs did a raid and shot bin Laden, apparently--wrong.  Wrong, wrong wrong!

In the same CBS interview the same guy, Morell, apologized to former President Bush, er, no sorry, to former Secretary of State Colin Powell, for sending him over to the UN to lobby for taking out Saddam because..
"We said he has chemical weapons, he has a biological weapons production capability, and he's restarting his nuclear weapons program. We were wrong on all three of those," he said.
So the CIA was 'all wrong'.  But it's nice to see Mr. Wrong apologize to Mr. Wrong for being wrong.  All of which makes Bush the wrongest.  Wait, was Hillary Clinton all wrong when she characterized Pakistan as helpful in getting UBL:
She said: "In fact, co-operation with Pakistan helped lead us to Bin Laden and the compound in which he was hiding."
Gee, that's exactly what Hersh said.   But it's wrong!  Wrong, wrong, wrong.  Maybe Hersh didn't deserve those awards after all.  Or maybe he does.

MORE  5/11/15

It's interesting to watch the mainstream media complain about Hersh's use of one anonymous source.  Wasn't "Deep Throat" one anonymous source?

Anyway, this Eric Wemple blog post in the Post points out why this won't be a major story--it indicts the mainstream press.   It also indicts the idea that waterboarding KSM helped find al-Kuwaiti, the courier Hersh's source claims doesn't exist.  So there's reason for the right wing to scream 'wrong, wrong, wrong' on this as well.   In other words, this is likely going nowhere, or the same place Hersh's story about Bashar Assad's use of (or not) chemical weapons went.

One thing the story claims is that the 'treasure trove' of information obtained in bin Laden's lair, CDs, memory sticks, etc, did not exist.   Investigators have been grumbling about the slow-walk given to the data's release, well, why not release it now, to prove Hersh wrong?   If there really are thousands of intelligence docs redact them, and release them.

MORE  5/12/15

Interestingly, neither the WaPo nor NY Times are front paging their stories at this moment, so you have to search the search bar.  The Times' report is strange, as if giving some credence to Hersh's allegations.   They also point out that an FBI agent described the 'treasure trove' in detail at a trial for an noted AQ figure some months ago, which means the government allowed him to perjure himself.  Either that or Hersh's sources are full of BS.  Or Hersh is actually a kook. Or the Obama administration is lying.  Again. 

Either way, it's certainly entertaining to watch the left throw their hero under the bus, even if gently in some quarters.

FUNNY, THAT  5/12/15

So far the only network news org that has at least partially confirmed Hersh's reportage is NBC News..
The broadcaster has corroborated Hersh's claim that the 'walk in' asset that revealed the vital information as to where bin Laden was hiding was in fact Pakistani.
The official US line, however, maintains that the CIA located him by tracking couriers to his walled in complex in Abbottabad, Pakistan. NBC News stated that it has 'long been pursuing leads about a walk-in', and that their own findings match those reported by Hersh.
So NBC is on board.  At least in print.  At today's White House press briefing the only question NBC's White House correspondent Chris Jansing asked Josh Earnest was about getting Harriet Tubman on the 20 dollar bill. It may have been just me but Earnest seemed almost amused at such a giggly question.  He had probably prepared for worse,  but NBC saved him the trouble today. 

Actually, watching the presser is like watching a White House lecture series with the professional reporters asking weaker questions than students might during a university lecture.  When one reporter--the Fox guy--asked about an inconsistency in the Benghazi narrative Earnest shot back at him, causing many in the room to laugh at Fox.  That's their idea of speaking truth to power.

Over at the State Dept there were no questions asked about it--just like yesterday. At the same time, many prominent political reporters have spent the past few days obsessing over Jeb Bush's inartful reply to Megyn Kelly's question about re-doing the Iraq war.  It's really an amazing thing to witness.