“Soldiers in the hands of an angry government”

Rebekah Sanderlin offers her thoughts from 2013 on this next Memorial Day. While SMA Dailey is concerned about uniforms, the costs of which will be born by military dependents . Interesting how everything cycles, but the Army never gets beyond bitterly resenting its dependents: children, spouses, and retirees. Ms. Sanderlin observed:

Since March 2011 it’s only gotten worse. My military community has been kept dangling over a fiery lake of burning threats by Congressional leaders and a President more concerned with defeating the other party than with upholding the sacred agreement they entered into with the greatest group of patriots this nation has ever known.  They throw us scraps in the form of speeches and do-nothing committees, but we know better now: We are soldiers in the hands of an angry government. Except — except it’s all a game to our political leaders, and we are the pawns — the disabled, disaffected and increasingly divorced pawns.

We still think war is a matter of being the last man standing. That’s putting all your chips on the table then lighting the roulette wheel on fire. That isn’t war. The Army is busy losing the war we will fight in 20 years and beyond. So, while the SMA and the brass worry over the fabric textures and color coordination – something the gentlemen did on the Titanic as they slid beneath the waves, for me, it seems I have as many friends in various national cemeteries as I do in life. They did as they were trained and as they believed, just as the Army’s Sergeant Major and general officers do now in their pursuit of Fierce Fabulousness. A toast of whisky to all of my friends, family and co-bloggers, and wishes for a safe, peaceful weekend to you too.

Posted in Army, Army National Guard, Army Reserve, Elements of National Power, Leadership, Veterans' Issues | Leave a comment

Fire Him Now

Apparently an employee offered to allow inspectors to see the remains of Senator John Glenn, Colonel USMC (Retired).  They demure.  The employee should be fired.

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Biowar Wednesday

Just in time for a supper: Biowar Wednesday! Judge Alice Hill starts us off with an argument for a coordinated defense against pandemics.

Although every U.S. president since Bill Clinton has developed policies to tackle the threat posed by deadly pathogens, at their core those biodefense efforts have left the nation dangerously vulnerable. Biodefense, like other catastrophic risks, requires a comprehensive approach, and currently we lack that.

Sounds like a no-brainer, right? The Center for Disease Control put forward a plan in 2004 but its appraisal of the American medical battlespace is bleak because it hasn’t changed:

Terrorist incidents in the United States and elsewhere involving bacterial pathogens (3), nerve gas (1), and a lethal plant toxin (i.e., ricin) (4), have demonstrated that the United States is vulnerable to biological and chemical threats as well as explosives. Recipes for preparing “homemade” agents are readily available (5), and reports of arsenals of military bioweapons (2) raise the possibility that terrorists might have access to highly dangerous agents, which have been engineered for mass dissemination as small-particle aerosols. Such agents as the variola virus, the causative agent of smallpox, are highly contagious and often fatal. Responding to large-scale outbreaks caused by these agents will require the rapid mobilization of public health workers, emergency responders, and private health-care providers. Large-scale outbreaks will also require rapid procurement and distribution of large quantities of drugs and vaccines, which must be available quickly.

That’s from 2004. Use of diseases in war has been around for millennia. The good old days were filled with folks keeling over and dying due to illnesses we would consider an annoyance today. For much of the world, they remain vulnerable to the worst of it, while our dependence on medicine, clean water and various anti-bacterial soaps may leave us more vulnerable than our great grandparents. With new tools to modify the genes of diseases, and the availability of education, what mischief might be wrought?

Consider the CDC’s recommendations from their 2004 plan and ask where we are today.

  • U.S. public health agencies and health-care providers will be prepared to mitigate illness and injuries that result from acts of biological and chemical terrorism.

  • Public health surveillance for infectious diseases and injuries — including events that might indicate terrorist activity — will be timely and complete, and reporting of suspected terrorist events will be integrated with the evolving, comprehensive networks of the national public health surveillance system.

  • The national laboratory response network for bioterrorism will be extended to include facilities in all 50 states. The network will include CDC’s environmental health laboratory for chemical terrorism and four regional facilities.

  • State and federal public health departments will be equipped with state-of-the-art tools for rapid epidemiological investigation and control of suspected or confirmed acts of biological or chemical terrorism, and a designated stock of terrorism-related medical supplies will be available through a national pharmaceutical stockpile.

  • A cadre of well-trained health-care and public health workers will be available in every state. Their terrorism-related activities will be coordinated through a rapid and efficient communication system that links U.S. public health agencies and their partners.

I don’t mean to beat a dead goat, but what is your biodefense?

Posted in Defending the Homeland, Readiness | Leave a comment

Socially acceptable treason

The NYT-bestselling post mortem “Shattered” details where the narrative of Russia hacking the election came from. Spoiler alert: it was developed November 9, 2016, by Hillary and her campaign staff; and sold by an uncritical news media who’ve sold it every day since then. In all the garbage surrounding the subsequent marketing of Russia-as-villain (wow, have we come a long way since Teddy Kennedy), even to the extent CNN and MSNBC refused to cover the bombing in Manchester, UK until after they had finished the near-hourly sales pitch of the POTUS-Russia hacking collusion. For the purpose of this post, the Democrats’ narrative is at best a hilarious fart of karma. At worst it presents the gravest threat to American existence  since Valley Forge.

America’s government is attacked daily. Some attacks are successful, but the overwhelming majority are blocked. In the battle of wits and technology, America wins more often than not, and won where it really counts for the good of the Nation. I say “won” because the bad guys haven’t won because of their own intelligence and new inventions but because America lost the human dimension to securing their information. America created its own demons by encouraging them to steal secrets and publish them in order to embarrass whomever the sitting POTUS is, and then we fete these insiders and their publishers as heroes when they are anything but.

There are four major hacking threads being conflated into one confusing story: the State Department, the National Security Agency, the Democrat National Committee, and of course the infamous Hillary Clinton homebrew email server. These seem similar and combined have a multiplicative affect on our national conversation on governance. The key similarity comes from an insider stealing information and publishing it for a reward.

The State Department hack came from one-each Progressive Hero Private Manning – now free and eligible for an Honorable Discharge and with free and ready access to all the privileges granted you, me and every MOH winner. Private Manning is a Progressive Hero for stealing several hundred thousand classified documents from DoD and State and giving them to WikiLeaks to publish. The side effect was every Progressive narrative on Iraq and Afghanistan were shown to be false, but the candor and information damaged America. Manning was feted as a Hero – ‘free Manning’ posters were posted at the Metro stop for Arlington National Cemetery. Julian Assange, an avowed anti-America Aussie, was celebrated as a brave superhero for taking down the undefeated American military.

If Clayton Lonetree had only cut his balls off and worn a dress, he’d be a free man and given all the benefits of an Honorable Discharge as well. One of the interesting little factoids lost in the WikiLeaks publications was there was a number of non-government email addresses. Given that information, hackers such as Guccifer easily penetrated the email accounts of former Secretary of State Colin Powell, Hillary-mentor Sidney Blumenthal, and… Hillary Clinton. Who hacked the 2016 election? Who couldn’t hack it given the straight line from Private Manning to Hillary’s personal email server.

The NSA hack came from Libertarian-Progressive Hero Edward Snowden, and then by a group calling itself “Shadow Brokers,” who auctioned off the tools behind the 100-nation cyber-attack. Snowden used the execrable anti-American Glenn Greenwald as his mouthpiece, peddling the story to the WaPo and whomever would buy it. I wonder why these heroes always have to go to hardcore America-haters to get their message out? As an aside, the hack into hospitals and turning of vehicles and household appliances into malevolent robots should have killed the idea of the Internet of Things. Snowden is a hero. No doubt about it. His information confirms the insider leak to the New York Times who published a story on the core of the NSA spying apparatus. James Risen, Eric Lichtblau and Judith Miller went to jail to protect their insider sources. This prompted Congress to pass another Whistleblower Protection Act, which was subsequently jettisoned in January 2009. I do expect the Act to be resurrected now that a Republican is POTUS. The twin hacks of the NSA provided America’s enemies with both the targets and the tools to hack.

There is an argument to be made that America, being overtly evil in all it is and does, brought this on itself. I don’t disagree that utter depravity fuels the attacks, and I don’t disagree that America brought it on itself because we celebrate esoteric governance information. We call it leaks and whistleblowing when the information confirms our biases, and hacking and espionage and treason when it damages our security and upsets our notions. When members of Congress released information damaging to then-POTUS Bush 43, the Left was cool because Bush had stolen the election in the Supreme Court. Anything to damage Bush 43 was acceptable, regardless of the collateral damage.

Most of our younger readers may not recall L’affaire Plame, in which the leaker, Colin Powell’s deputy Richard Armitage, was celebrated while the Vice President’s Chief of Staff, Lewis Libby went to prison for not having anything to do with it. But it was an attack by Powell to take down the Vice President, Dick Cheney, which was a proxy attack on Bush 43, so the Left was cool with the guilty party escaping punishment. An insider giving away state secrets was celebrated, so why wasn’t there an expectation that some day an insider would give away the Left’s most-guarded secrets?

Seth Rich. His is a story you won’t find in the Leftist news media. Is this a case of snitches get stitches, or in Rich’s case 2 bullets in the back? This rather decisive yet fabulously coincidental means of sealing a leak will permeate the Left and encourage a bit less principled heroism.

When Private Manning truly got the hacking ball rolling in 2009, Obama was POTUS but Iraq was still Bush’s War, so the theft and subsequent marketing of state secrets were hailed by the Left. That myopic focus on hurting America permitted a lot of very disgruntled insiders to weigh their bets and decide that espionage against America is a great and wonderful thing, and it pays well in fame, and the punishment is 3-hots & a cot for just a little while. Who hacked the 2016 election? The Democrats did, beginning with their loss in December 2000 and their desire for revenge which culminated in a hilarious karmic fart of mainstreamed, socially acceptable treason.

Posted in Chaos, Cyberwar, Defending the Homeland, History, Insurgency & Counterinsurgency, Uncategorized, VMI | Leave a comment

Command Influence Begins at the TOP

There is a reason why other nation’s military Commanding Officers are no longer the convening authority or approval authority for Courts Martial.  Based on what I read here the unlawful Command Influence came from the very top of the department of defense political chain of command and the military chain of command.  The conviction should be tossed and the sailor record cleared.  By the way, the Admiral who succumbed to Command Influence should be recalled and reduced in rank to Ensign as he clearly lacks any moral courage to do the right thing.

Posted in Military (in)Justice, Navy, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Another Trip Down the New Rifle / New Caliber Road

Here.

The weapon designs being tested will be “unconventional,” officials said, and likely not one that is currently commercially available.

Some intermediate calibers being tested include the .260 Remington, 6.5 Creedmoor, .264 USA as well as other non-commercial intermediate calibers, including cased telescoped ammo, Army officials said.

“Unconventional design” often ends up meaning “weird, maintenance-intensive, and expensive”. Or, “something really interesting and promising that gets fucked up during the acquisition process,” such as we noted here.

But, it’d be nice to see it go the other way!

Posted in Arms and the Citizen, Army, Gear | 4 Comments

Iron Sharpens Iron: VMI Valedictorian 2nd Lt. Drew Borinstein

In August, Borinstein’s mother, brother and sister were killed in an airplane crash near Fredericksburg while on the way to watch him graduate from an officer training program. The tragedy followed the unexpected death of his father 16 months earlier at the family home in Shelbyville, Indiana.

 VMI is a very tough place to attend without tragedy in a cadet’s life.  But many VMI cadets rise through the coals and become greater than they would have been.  2nd Lt. Drew Borinstein is one of those VMI Men.  Rah Va Mil!
Posted in Marine Corps, Rockbridge County, Uncategorized, VMI | Leave a comment