Seven years ago today, I shared a piece under the headline, Few Differences Between Somali, Domestic Pirates. Little did I realize how much I’d miss those Somali pirates after they were replaced on the world stage by new dogs known as ISIS.
Above: A screenshot of a post published 8 years ago today, but no longer online.
On Nov. 18, 2008, I wrote:
Regardless of where they sleep — or don’t sleep — at night, modern-day pirates seem to be receiving a lot of attention of late. Perhaps their notoriety stems from the fact that they share so much in common.
Sea-loving lowlifes can be found hijacking ships off the coast of the lawless Puntland region of northeastern Somalia” and pointed to examples of their latest work:
• On Sept. 27, the Somali pirates seized a cargo ship containing 33 Russian T-72 battle tanks bound for Kenya. Though nearly two months have passed since its capture, the ship and its prized contents remain in the hands of the pirates, birthed alongside 11 other illegally-seized ships.
• Some two weeks later, the Somali pirates nabbed an Iranian vessel carrying what was later determined to be a floating “dirty bomb” headed for the Israeli coast. It was recovered — but only after 16 pirates died from burns suffered as a result of their proximity to the vessel’s radioactive cargo.
• Over the weekend, the Somali pirates hijacked what has been described as the largest “booty” ever seized by marauders at sea — a Saudi oil tanker carrying $100 million of “black gold.”
Chief Gangplankster Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and cronies in 2008.
Conversely, land-lubbing pirates can be found wearing silk and wool suits while walking the halls of government in our nation’s capital, promoting a massive bailout of the financial industry by the federal government (a.k.a., “taxpayers”):
• Two months ago, domestic pirates tossed about problem-solving figures that ranged from $700 billion to $1 trillion — or, by some estimates, an estimated $6,500 per family. After much rhetoric was exchanged, they passed a two-phased bailout package — $350 billion per phase. Pirates voting in favor of the measure reconciled their actions by claiming that “doing nothing was not an option.” Soon after, they began feigning surprise over the fact that the people they put in charge of the money can’t tell us where they’ve spent it.
• Today, the same pirates, led by Chief Gangplankster Harry Reid (D-Nev.) are holding meetings to discuss the matter of a proposed $50 billion bailout of the nation’s domestic automobile industry. That industry, by the way, is one many of the pirates say is “too big to fail.” Apparently, their financial illiteracy prevents them from reading articles on the subject — like this one by George Will — that explain in precise detail that the industry has failed.
Obviously, both groups of pirates are keen on taking advantage of opportunities in order to realize their own twisted versions of success. My worry, however, is that the pirates in Washington will, one day too soon, pass what might be described as a piece of ‘dirty bomb’ legislation that blows up on in the faces of all Americans.
Seven years later, Somali pirates have been replaced by ISIS fighters, but the ranks of our domestic pirates have seen only minor leadership changes (i.e., Paul Ryan replace John Boehner as speaker of the House and Mitch McConnell took the Senate gavel from Harry Reid). And, as for so-called “dirty bomb” pieces of legislation,” we’ve seen plenty of ’em blow up in our faces.
After reading several new articles and dozens of status updates, you know a little about what I’ve been doing this week. In order to provide you a more-thorough look at what I’ve bee up to, I offer this weekly recap for the first seven days of November 2015.
Is it just me or does Butters, my office assistant, have hair like Donald Trump?
On a lighter note nestled among several football- and cat-related items, I asked readers to take a look at a photo (top of page above) and answer a question — “Is it just me or does Butters, my office assistant, have hair like Donald Trump?”
Monday, Nov. 2
On Monday, I was engaged in research and, as a result, posted no new articles. I did, however, share several items on my Facebook page. For instance, I recalled how, on that day three years earlier, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction had issued two new reports about the situation in that country and how, in 2012, I had reached one conclusion about the contents of those reports: “A quick review of the two reports seems to indicate things are not only going downhill in this war-torn country, but they’re going downhill fast.” I closed my Facebook update by writing, “I don’t do this often, but I’ll do it today: ‘I told you so!'”
Tuesday, Nov. 3
Under the Tuesday headline, Help Find World War II Hero by Veterans Day, I shared details about an effort to locate a World War II Soldier whose likeness was captured in a portrait drawn by one of his German prisoners of war. Click here or on the portrait to read the article, realizing we now have only four days remaining to find him by Veterans Day.
Do you know the name of the American World War II Soldier shown in this sketch drawn by one of the German prisoners of war for whom he was responsible? If so, contact me.
On my Facebook pageTuesday, I lamented the loss of daylight hours and how I had decided to tackle it by changing up my exercise routine by adding a pre-breakfast workout in case I didn’t make it to my favorite lake before darkness fell. I explained how the “change” began at 5:30 a.m. and involved walking one mile and running one mile while listening to Twenty-One Pilots. “Who?” you say. My youngest son went to their concert over the weekend, so I decided I should find out the answer to that question, too. While their music is better than their photo, their songs are probably not gonna be among my first jukebox choices.
Also on my Facebook page, I noted an ABC News report about Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. speculating that ISIS might have brought down the Russian passenger jet Saturday. In response, I wrote, “I’m sure they did not,” before explaining that my opinion was based on why I uncovered during the four years I spent investigating things with Clapper’s “fingerprints” all over them — things you can read about in my second nonfiction book, The Clapper Memo.
“Very interesting. Answers? I have none.” I used those words to describe the content of a NASA video (above) captured by astronauts on the International Space Station Oct. 29. What do you think about this item I shared on my Facebook page?
Of course, I could ask the same thing about this video.
i offered a sarcastic call for “KNIFE CONTROL NOW!” after coming across this CNN report about a stabbing incident at the University of California-Merced. FYI: The perpetrator involved in the stabbings was Faisal Mohammad, an 18-year-old who wrote a two-page manifesto, according to another CNN report. Sadly, Merced County Sheriff Vern Warnke was reluctant to describe the incident as anything but “a teenage boy that got upset with fellow classmates and took it to the extreme.” Really?
Thursday, Nov. 5
On Thursday, I shared a message received from the wife of a military man who was wrongly accused and convicted of sexual assault by a woman, whom I later discovered had made similar allegations against two other ex-husbands. Read her chilling message under the headline, Wife Offers Details About Wrongly-Accused Husband’s Case.
Click on image above to read about military justice gone wrong.
On my Facebook page, I shared another political jab — this one aimed at Hillary Clinton. “I think Hillary Clinton should apply to become the first female former first lady to fly in space,” I wrote while introducing a link to the NASA webpage where she could apply. “She can run for president after she returns from Mars with an accomplishment on her resume.”
In another status update that day, I shared details about Haitians lambasting the American Red Cross for spending so little out of the half-billion dollars in donations it has received since earthquakes ravaged the island nation in 2010. Not surprised by the claim, I went to the ARC website for the “Haiti Assistance Program” and looked at the numbers ARC is touting:
$448,000,000 Donated minus $173,000,000 Used equals $275,000,000 Unused
In other words, many dirt-poor Haitians have waited 5 years for help while ARC sits on a “nest egg” of $275,000. That prompted me to ask, “Can anyone say special prosecutor?”
Friday, Nov. 6
The most important thing I did Friday involved mailing a letter to the National Archives at St. Louis. In it, I requested information about a former Army Soldier who, I’ve been told, lives an active life and works full time despite receiving benefits while categorized as “100 percent disabled.” His wife, a basic training washout, also reportedly collects benefits after being diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder as a result of something that happened during her three days in the military. What might have caused her issues? Stay tuned for updates.
Saturday, Nov. 7
Today, I will enjoy the sunshine and exercise a bit before settling in to watch my Oklahoma State Cowboys, #10 in the coaches poll, defeat Texas Christian University, #3 in the same poll. They play at 2:30 p.m. Central on Lewis Field, inside the confines of T. Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Okla. GO POKES!
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President Barack Obama’s purge of senior military officers who do not think like he does appears nearly complete. As evidence, I point to Air Force Maj. Gen. James Post and a comment he reportedly made about Air Force personnel exercising free speech.
An A-10 Thunderbolt II from the 442nd Fighter Wing, Whiteman AFB, Mo., flies a combat mission for Operation Enduring Freedom over Afghanistan. (U.S. Air Force photo/1st Lt. Jeff Bellenski)
The excerpt below, which appeared in a Jan. 15 article in the Arizona Daily Independent, contains some rather inflammatory words attributed to General Post, vice commander of the U.S. Air Force’s Air Combat Command:
At the same time IraqiNews.com reported on a local source in Nineveh province who said that “the ‘Wild Boar’ aircraft which belongs to the U.S. Air Force has carried out four air strikes that killed and wounded dozens of ISIS elements, adding that the aircraft sparked panic in the ranks of ISIS, USAF officers were being told by Post, “if anyone accuses me of saying this, I will deny it . . . anyone who is passing information to Congress about A-10 capabilities is committing treason.”
An excellent follow-up piece offers more evidence of how Air Force leaders, led by Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James, seem committed to removing the A-10 “Warthog” aircraft from the war against the Islamic State despite its superior and often-proven abilities to reek havoc on members of the terror group. If only those in top leadership positions within the Air Force had read articles such as the one written by then-Maj. David Kurle and published Aug. 18, 2006, they might reconsider.
Click on image above to link to article at Defense.gov.
Of course, the Air Force officer’s article contains a quote from a veteran A-10 pilot that, according to General Post, is treasonous:
“There have been numerous occasions where our troops have been taking heavy fire and we show up, and either our presence ends the engagement or we employ against enemy positions and end the engagement,” said Air Force Col. Tony Johnson, the 455th Expeditionary Operations Group commander.
In a way, this fight against what works best (i.e., the A-10) reminds me of the fight between polygraph loyalists and backers of the credibility assessment technology that was proven to work much more effectively against detainees in the war on terror and others until, that is, it was unceremoniously banned without explanation by Department of Defense leaders. You can read more about that topic here and, in much more detail, in in my second nonfiction book, The Clapper Memo.
UPDATE 4/19/2015 at 1:22 p.m. Central: Check out the limited-time free-books offer here.
Most news reports about President Barack Obama’s expected announcement about so-called immigration reform — that he will issue an executive order and open the illegal immigration floodgates — seem to be focusing on the impact five million new legalized residents will have on the already-tenuous job market for Americans already out of work. What they ignore is a far more serious subject, one the Washington Timesreported on more than six and a half years ago.
Click image above for link to Washington Times article Feb. 6, 2008.
Here’s a snippet of what the Times reported:
Senior al Qaeda leaders have diverted operatives from Iraq across the globe and are increasing preparations to strike the United States, senior intelligence officials told the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence yesterday. They said the terrorists had plans to attack the White House as recently as 2006.
“Al Qaeda is improving the last key aspect of its ability to attack the U.S. — the identification, training and positioning of operatives for an attack in the homeland,” said Michael McConnell, director of national intelligence, which oversees all 16 U.S. intelligence agencies.
The prospect of terrorists entering the United States is much more troubling than any problems caused by a flood of impoverished and poorly-educated people from Mexico, South America and elsewhere. Why? Because terrorists can do immediate damage with dirty bombs, biological weapons and/or — insert audible gasp here — nuclear weapons that can create far more serious problems than unemployment. As recently as one week ago, a report surfaced about a terrorist from Turkey being captured after crossing the border into Texas.
Of course, there have been a handful of articles in which news outlets like USA TODAY do the bidding for President Obama, quoting Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson as saying the president’s executive order will include measures to boost border security. Will he follow through and work with Congress to implement tough measures to thwart members of groups like al-Qaeda and its upstart cousins in the Islamic State (a.k.a., “ISIS” and “ISIL”)? Color me skeptical.
My point: Members of Congress need to hold the president accountable and do whatever it takes to ensure that the nation’s primary focus lies on securing the nation’s borders and preventing terrorists from entering. Only after that problem is solved should anyone in Washington pretend to deal honestly with immigration reform.
Election of the Ethically Dead by David Donar – http://politicalgraffiti.wordpress.com
It’s 2014, President Barack Obama is in charge of U.S. efforts in Iraq, and things have gotten exponentially worse than they were four years ago.
According to a BBC World News America/Harris Poll conducted Aug. 19 and 23, 2010, more than half of Americans — 57 percent to be precise — believed Iraq was better off than it was before the U.S. invasion seven years earlier.
Conversely, according to an NBC/Wall Street Journal/Annenberg poll conducted last week, a combined 68 percent of Americans say they have “very little” or “just some” confidence that Obama’s goals of degrading and eliminating the threat posed by ISIS will be achieved.[Editor’s Note: In case you didn’t know, ISIS is the Islamic terror group President Obama calls “ISIL” so as not to reference the group’s role in seizing large portions of Syria (the “S” in ISIS stands for Syria) and Iraq, killing thousands and threatening to export their terror attacks to the U.S. and Europe.]
Thought they don’t offer a head-to-head comparison, the poll numbers highlighted above remain telling nonetheless. So much so, in fact, that they prompted me to off a flashback to two 2007 videos featuring well-known U.S. senators:
On Jan. 30, 2007, then-Senator Obama (D-Ill.) introduced legislation calling for a phased redeployment of U.S. combat troops in Iraq (VIDEO).
On April 18, 2007, Senator Reid said, “This war is lost” during a speech on the floor of the U.S. Senate (VIDEO).
Eye-opening stuff to think about as the 2014 and 2016 elections draw near.