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Thursday, June 30, 2005

A Lost Platoon

Over the past few days the SEAL community has been in a state of shock and painful anticipation to hear the full measure of our loss. I have been trying to use the blog as a clearinghouse for updates and information as it became available from media and confidential sources. While the details are not known (and may never be) it seems apparent now that we have lost 12 of our brothers on the field of battle.

I have spent much of the last few days trying to imagine what these operators had been thinking and feeling as this operation unfolded and ultimately fell apart. I have been trying to imagine how I would have felt knowing that my small SR element had been compromised by 100 or more bearded psychos on some mountainside deep in Indian country. Trying to break contact, get comms with the TOC, and perhaps care for wounded comrades all at once. Just the four of us, shoulder to shoulder…back to back. Shooting, moving, making comms and trying to remember to keep one frag grenade on me… just in case.

Back at the TOC, receiving the request for the QRF and hearing even through that weird voice modulation on the SATCOM that they needed help…yesterday. Stuffing ammo into every pouch and running for the helo knowing that your brothers were in trouble, barely holding on, waiting for you to get there. That helo ride must have seemed to last forever, nobody talking, game face on, just focusing on actions on. “Six minutes!!!” Heart racing, looking around now at the rest of the squad. The Chief is reminding everyone where to be, SOPs, he looks at each man, gets eye contact, nods. “One minute!!!” Everybody is up now, bouncing on their knees, turning toward the ramp. “30 seconds!!!”

A Platoon is lost…lost but not forgotten. Never forgotten.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Day of Mourning for SEAL/Nightstalker Community

Froggy will be on the Hugh Hewitt show at 1720 PST 6/30/05

Preliminary reports from Reuters indicate that the helo crash that occurred in Afghanistan yesterday may have contained a large number of SEAL operators. No one is believed to have survived the crash. Details are scarce at this point, but multiple reports indicate that members of a SEAL platoon were aboard the Army MH-47 helicopter. If the helo was in fact an MH-47, then it is certain that the occupants were Special Operations Forces of some type. The MH-47 is only flown by the 160th SOAR.

My heart is pounding with anticipation for the names to be released. Considering that the crew of an MH-47 numbers from 5-7, that would indicate that as many as 12 SEALs may have perished in this crash. The loss of the Nightstalker aircrew is no less tragic, as the 160th and the SEAL Teams have a long history of cooperation and mutual respect.

I don't know what else to say. I am devastated by this news.

MSNBC Reports 8 SEALs were aboard the helo when it crashed (h/t Adele). That is an entire SEAL squad. This would be the largest casualty incident in SEAL Team history. In Vietnam, 5 SEALs died in a helo crash. I just got off the phone with my father-in-law who was in the Teams when that happened. This is a very sad day for the Naval Special Warfare Community, and I would ask that those of you who are able, will donate to the Naval Special Warfare Foundation and the Special Operations Warrior Foundation for the benefit of these families.

Interesting is the change of tone in the reports,

"We presume that all were lost," said a US official in Washington, who asked not to be identified, when asked if all those aboard - including elite US Seals Special Operations troops - had been killed in the crash.

I don't want to make any confirmations at this time, but all reports at this point are that there are no survivors. All we can do now is pray for mercy and for the families of the men involved.

THURSDAY UPDATE: I have been receiving quite a bit of disparate information on what happened, how many Frogs are down, who they were, and the family's notifications. At this point, I just want to express my deep sorrow at the loss of my comrades in the SEAL Teams, the Nightstalkers, and probably USAF CCT as well. No matter how you slice it, this is a terrible incident for US SOF across the board.

My understanding of events is that a reconnaissance element (SEAL or SF?) in the area was compromised by a large taliban force and requested assistance. That assistance came in the form of a Quick Reaction Force (QRF) comprised of at least a SEAL squad of 8 and perhaps a few extra guys who wanted to help out. Currently, USAF CCT operators are embedded with the SEAL platoons in OEF and there is reason to believe that one or more of these airman was aboard the MH-47 that went down.

Media reports and my sources seem to agree that the helo was struck by enemy fire of some kind, and managed to fly a short distance (less than a mile) away from the ambush site before succumbing to the damage to the aircraft. Media reports indicate that 7 operators remain unaccounted for at this time, and it is unclear as to who is being referred to. The crash site has been reached by other US forces (perhaps USAF PJs) and I am not sure about the fate of the recon team that called for support and whether they were able to evade capture or survive the attack of the larger taliban force.

One thing that I think is important to point out is the incredible bravery and heroism of the SOF operators involved here. Imagine being in a small group of operators reporting the activities of an enemy force 25 to 30 times your strength deep behind enemy lines. Well, our SOF operators don't have to imagine it, they do that every day. Imagine going in to rescue your embattled recon team facing 100 or more enemy fighters in a helo with 7 to 10 other SEALs in a high mountain pass in the middle of nowhere probably at night. Well, that's what my brothers were about to do when their aircraft took fire. Recognize that every one of these men know that if captured, they will be peeled like an onion by the savage heathen scumbags that it is their job to annihilate. Think about that.

I don't know about you, but as I wrote that, a chill went up my spine. While this incident is a terrible tragedy, it underscores the deep commitment of the American fighting man to defend this nation, and the incredible intrepidy of our SOF operators. This Independence Day weekend, take a minute and hoist a cold one for our boys. Because it is these men serving our nation around the world for the past 229 years that have made your BBQ possible.

Leadership 101

In case you missed the President’s speech last night, you missed out on a great example of leadership, strategic vision, and confident discipline. It is unfortunate that it became necessary for President Bush to give this address, but he effectively shamed his whiny critics certainly not into silence but shamed them nonetheless. He exposed them for the political defeatist hacks that they are without even mentioning them and their unpatriotic, yes I’ll say it, unpatriotic, anti-American suppression of the best interests of our nation in order to elevate themselves politically. While tired old hypocrites like Ted Kennedy are not difficult to ignore and marginalize for their unrelenting campaign of dishonest tactics, his fellow Massachusetts Senate colleague was the top dog for the Donks last year and has ostensibly some “mainstream” credibility.

His “advice” to the President given unsolicited in the New York Times this morning was funny and disingenuous when I read it this afternoon. After watching the President deliver his speech, it became pathetic and sad in its bitter partisanship and unrealistic fantasy scenarios. I would like to see Kerry’s reaction if the President and the Iraqi government allowed unaccountable militias to “assist” with security during the reconstruction process. I can already hear the cries of, “Right Wing Death Squads,” when the militias start settling scores and plunging the country into an actual civil war as opposed to the make believe one that liberals enjoy foisting onto Iraq already. Kerry much like Algore before him has nothing if not impeccable timing. Just like he scheduled himself to be on Meet the Press on Iraqi Election Day in the hopes of giving George W Bush a giant, “I told you so,” he published his advice for the President today. Utterly repudiated on both occasions, Kerry has to wonder if his political instincts (if he ever had any) have been dulled in the past 20 years of living off of rich women and coasting along without accomplishment in the Senate.

It’s not like the President, this blog, and many other conservatives haven’t been advocating the strategy laid out tonight for the past year, but it was particularly important for him to put it out there now to quell a rising tide of Vietnam style defeatism. The only real talking point that is even available to liberals at this point is the old, “Bush lied about WMD to get us into the war.” Even if it was ever true, it’s a completely moot point and has been for two years.

Iraq is without question the key to victory or defeat in the GWOT. Victory means a tide of democracy and freedom spreading across the region destroying the impetus for the terrorists to even exist. Early withdrawal and therefore defeat means that Iraq becomes the Afghanistan of the 90's with the promoters of global jihad having unfettered access to Iran, Iraq, and Syria with the regime in Saudi Arabia falling soon thereafter just like South Vietnam and Cambodia. Imagine AQ exercising de facto control of most of the world’s oil reserves. “The Great Satan” would be cut off and our economy would be plunged into depression. Oh yeah, and AQ would have vast bases of support and funding to launch an unrelenting series of attacks on the US Homeland. I guess the upside would be improving Army recruitment with massive unemployment sweeping the nation. I don’t know about you, but I like option number one, victory.

It can be funny considering how the Left characterizes the President as a fascist ruler bent on world domination until you stop to consider the consequences of failure in the GWOT. His leadership is almost single handedly standing in the way of the destruction of everything our nation has achieved since WWII. Americans surely have vast areas of disagreement with this President on a host of domestic issues, but no one can deny him his critical importance to the future of this nation. I do thank God for the man, and I hope that he can largely achieve his foreign policy goals in the middle east before his term ends. I don’t see anyone on the horizon besides Vice President Cheney or Condoleeza Rice who has the leadership, courage, and strategic vision to carry us forward in his absence.

Froggy debuts on CNN

Big shout out to Trey Jackson for the video, the notification, and the link!

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Eminently Important, Communities and Redevelopment

Froggy has been holding off commenting on the recent SCOTUS decision due to widespread anger and gnashing of teeth on the Right side of the blogosphere. There has been a decidedly hostile reaction to the decision affirming the right of government to use eminent domain power to make possible private real estate development. I might have been inclined to agree with the sentiment of my conservative colleagues if I wasn’t so intimately familiar with Redevelopment. I suspect we all have issues that cause us to break from the pack when we have some particular insights into that issue. As a commercial real estate developer/ owner/ manager, I think that I can shed some light on an often misunderstood and regularly mischaracterized process.

On the surface, this decision seems to put in jeopardy every American’s home to government seizure, but this is akin to saying that allowing the FBI access to library records puts every American’s reading habits under the scrutiny of law enforcement. The first thing you need to remember about government is that it is slow, inefficient, and its actions are performed by lazy and uncreative people (for the most part). Municipal governments and the people that work for them don’t have the energy, initiative, or motivation to make use of the eminent domain power on a scale that is threatening to most Americans. But this isn’t so much an argument as it is a statement of fact.

Over the past decade, more and more cities have begun to realize that their urban cores have become blighted, crime ridden, and dysfunctional. The revitalization of urban America is moving ahead at an ever expanding pace which is allowing suburbia access to the cultural and historical centers of their communities. The benefits to small business, employment, and even the reduction of traffic amongst others have been and will continue to be profound. The increasing popularity of mixed use development in the urban core is the cornerstone of this effort. But there are obstacles to this progress which communities and developers have to overcome.

Tax increment financing is a way for communities to assist developers in mitigating prohibitively high land and construction costs in designated redevelopment zones. The current annual property tax revenue of a piece of property is subtracted from the projected property tax revenue for the completed development creating a “tax increment”. Using this tax increment as the payment mechanism for a bond, communities are able to inject capital into a development and pay it down without taxpayers coming out of pocket. This is a great way to help get a development off its feet when the parcels are available for sale, but land costs are prohibitive. But what if the parcels cannot be assembled?

That is where eminent domain can have an important role to play. But it is usually used as a last resort. 9 times out of 10, property owners that are “impeding” the progress of development will sell their properties at a premium to the developer. The economic demands of real estate development often make a project impossible to “pencil out” if certain aspects of a site are not available. In a retail project, controlling the “hard corner” with a traffic signal is a prerequisite for a developer’s ability to attract retail businesses to occupy the development. This is especially true for “anchor” tenants like a drug store, market, or perhaps a Border’s Books. The absence of the anchor, means that other natural co-tenants will not be interested which will usually scuttle the project. These types of parcel assembly issues apply to residential, office, and mixed use projects as well. It is at this point, where a project that can alleviate blighted conditions, provide jobs, revenues, services, and pride to a community that eminent domain can and should be used.

The problem that I have with the SCOTUS decision, is that the property which was the basis of this case isn’t (from what I understand) considered to be a blight to the community, and I also heard (not sure) that no attempts were made to purchase the property in the conventional manner. I could still go with the decision in this case assuming the facts as I have if for one thing. In addition to compensating the property owners fair market value for the land and improvements, they should be given property tax relief for any replacement property purchased in the state. In this way, the owners will have an increased amount of capital to purchase a new home, and not have to be penalized with higher reindexed property taxes on the replacement property. I also believe that any potential capital gains taxes be waived as well. There might also be some assistance in financing (loan guarantees or low interest) and relocation (rezoning) by the community to the homeowner to further mitigate the loss of enjoyment of their property. If the project is so important to the community, it is only fair for the community to show its gratitude for the sacrifice of those members whose property is taken.

If the SCOTUS had ruled for the homeowners, the entire concept of Redevelopment may have been threatened altogether. This would have been a disaster. I’m confident that avoiding this possibility probably played into the decision. Homeowners should not worry about losing their homes even with this ruling. Communities that abuse eminent domain will find their elected officials quickly recycled for new ones that aren’t so ambitious. My personal opinion is that this power should be limited to traditionally blighted communities only, but with some incentives such as the ones I mentioned, there can be a benefit to communities and homeowners alike.

I understand there will be criticism of this position, but I have tried to lay the issue out in a realistic way and to educate people about redevelopment and the real estate business. Have at it.

UPDATE: The bottom line is this, without RDAs and ED, the revitalization of America's urban core would be impossible, period. I am not a fan of using ED to take away property in areas that are not blighted. I disagree with the SCOTUS decision on that basis. However, if SCOTUS had ruled the other way, it would have been a death knell to all redevelopment blighted or not. In my opinion, that is why they decided as they did. To prevent the entire process of redevelopment from not only coming to a screeching halt, but also the proliferation of untold thousands of lawsuits against communities and developers this decision is proper in the aggregate. I think that the actual case was not a good representation of property that should be seized through eminent domain. If it isn't blighted, it shouldn't be subject to the ED authority. My assumption is that SCOTUS thought that it would be better to retain this authority in the hopes that communities would tailor the process to in accordance with the wishes of their constituents. I'm not thrilled with what SCOTUS has done, but it is surely not the end of the world like many people are making it out to be.

This is very funny

Saturday, June 25, 2005

The Truth Hurts, Don’t it?

Do you know what is the most entertaining consequence of Karl Rove's remarks? He became the pied piper of guilt ridden liberals in Congress. He said…
“Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 in the attacks and prepared for war; liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers...”
I don’t see the word Democrat anywhere in that most “controversial” statement. Do you? But that didn’t stop Democrats from lining up to claim victim status on the House floor and in press conferences in the Senate. I suppose they can’t help themselves. Like Pavlov’s dog, when the victim bell rings, liberals start to salivate and try to find a video camera to cry into.

The Donks never cease to amaze. I could hardly have come up with a more destructive and baseless analogy to use against US troops than the one trotted out by Dick Turban last week. The deafening silence from Congressional colleagues of this Senate “leader” comparing Gitmo to a Nazi death camp was almost as expected as the rank hypocrisy they have shown this week regarding Rove’s speech in New York.

It makes you wonder if these people aren’t mentally ill. They deplore the death penalty for murderers who endanger our communities, but they advocate for abortion on demand which snuffs out the life of the most innocent among us. They criticize Karl Rove for making a statement that is demonstrably true, and ignore the shameful slander of Dick Turban which is demonstrably false. Is it just contrarianism? Schizophrenia? I don’t know what it is, and moreover I don’t care. Just like I don’t care why “they hate us”. I am not interested in the “root cause” of liberal insanity, I’m only interested in marginalizing and defeating them.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

The Fat, Alcoholic Slob That Cried Wolf

I happened to catch the floor speech (text and audio available) made by the drunken zeppelin from Massachusetts regarding the Iraq war on Hugh’s show this afternoon. It was surreal to hear someone drone on for something like 10 minutes without emotion or interruption spewing forth lie after blatant lie. The contents of his remarks were nearly totally fabricated. So clearly and strangely fabricated that it was like listening to an SNL sketch. He must have a moonbat all-star team on his staff. They must compete with each other to come up with the most outlandish and absurd Iraq war propaganda straight out of al Jazeera. I didn’t see it on TV, but I’ve watched him enough times that I could imagine all 300 pounds of him at the podium grasping his “speech” with his puffy sausage fingers, beads of sweat forming on that spider veined nose and those lies just pouring out of the porcine hole beneath it.

I actually like it when he does this in a sense. I am fairly certain that there aren’t enough US troops to fill a phone booth that could care less what Ted Kennedy says about anything. His rhetoric is so far beyond the scope of rational argument and his delivery so pathetic that his proclamations have no meaning or significance to anyone. Maybe the inmates at DU who worship him and thier kind get a boner out of these screeds, but he has zero effect on any political or policy decision when he stumbles through another one of his doozies.

He tried to deliver a blow to Rummy in a committee meeting earlier, but the Secretary freakin’ body slammed (audio) his fat a$$. If you listen to the audio, Rummy’s disgust and sarcasm are delightfully genuine and moreover, appropriate. Is Kennedy out of control? Sure he is. He’s been out of control since he put his car in the water and Mary Jo Kopechne in the grave.

Kennedy himself and his liberal colleagues in Congress are waging an ill advised war against the United States that is most certainly a quagmire. The DNC is dying. Ted Kennedy is a deadender. He is a suicide bomber but his munitions are low order detonations that destroy the bearer and leave only a mess for bystanders to gawk at.

When the President was reelected, the American people knew that we were going to leave Iraq when the Iraqis were capable of securing their nation and not a moment before. The President has a victory strategy and the fortitude and discipline to carry it out. Ted Kennedy has a different strategy…
“Only progress in bringing the war to an honorable conclusion will lead to a long-term solution to the problem…”
I think we’ve tried that once before and it didn’t quite work out. Every time he opens his mouth, his party loses more credibility. Like the little boy who cried wolf, nobody is listening to the fat, alcoholic slob.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

We Are Overwhelmed...

with the outpouring of support and blessings from the blogosphere. Thank you so much for your kind comments and your prayers. Mom and baby are doing great, and I am trying to get my daughter used to the idea that she isn’t the only game in town. Of course that’s exactly what I don’t want her to feel like so I’m trying to give her extra special attention as well.

Although there seems to be some interest in names, for security reasons I don’t feel comfortable giving any but my own. I know you will understand. Nevertheless, we are grateful for the kind words…and traffic! Glenn put me over 400,000 unique visitors today which is a number that I wasn’t sure I’d reach before my first blogiversary in August.

Daddy's Little Boy


This is my little tadpole, a frogman in training. Mom and baby are doing great. This picture was taken when he was less than an hour old. Posted by Hello

The TADPOLE HAS ARRIVED

8 LBS 10 oz 20 in thank you Lord!

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Al Jazeera - Live From US Senate

Maligning the character of the US fighting man for political purpose is nothing new. Yesterday’s New York Times had an article about the propaganda efforts of the Japanese army in WW II. It seems the Japanese, in an effort to instill fear into the civilian population of Okinawa, made horrific claims against the Americans, encouraging suicide over capture by the barbarous invading forces.

“‘For a long time, the Japanese Imperial Army announced that, on other islands, the women had been raped and killed, and the men were tied at the wrists and tanks were driven over them,’ said Mr. Nakamura …”

Shortly after his mother mercifully killed his twenty-year-old sister (and unsuccessfully trying to kill himself) Mr. Nakamura was captured by the Americans.

“‘The U.S. soldier touched me to check if I had any weapons,’ he recalled. ‘Then he gave us candy and cigarettes.’”

Now I am sure that someone on the left (Durbin...?Durbin...?) will probably call those WW II troop Nazi’s for promoting tooth decay and lung cancer, but I think that most reasonable people can, in this case, draw a distinction between the actions of the Americans and the actions of the Japanese.

Just as it was in the interests of the Japanese to promote disinformation about the American liberators in order to maintain their barbarous stranglehold on the people of Okinawa, so it is in the interest of the Islamic terrorists to mislead the people of the Middle East in order to maintain their oppressive power. I am not surprised when some radical cleric calls us the “great satan”, or when some hotshot terrorist thug talks smack about our troops, on the contrary, I expect it, they are the enemy and that is what enemies do. I am, however, outraged when the enemy's propaganda is served up by a member of the US Senate on the floor of that same institution.

Fighting the propaganda war against our troops has always been and will always been the domain of the enemy. In that sense, Senator Durbin, you are the enemy. While you may not be wearing a hood and brandishing a severed head, you are complicit. The President spoke for America when he said, “Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.” If a tree is judged by its fruit, what color, Senator Durbin, is yours?

Why NOT Just Give Them a Trial?

This is something that liberals and RINOs like John McCain have been complaining about for some time now. The Left has skillfully used current events regarding Guantanamo to move this issue forward to the point where even squishy GOP members and pundits have glommed onto certain elements of the meme. Bill Kristol called for the closure of Gitmo on Fox News Sunday two weeks ago, McCain asked for trials for terrorist enemy combatants on Meet the Cuomo Aid yesterday. This round of sympathetic terrorist coverage started with Tom Friedman’s psychotic rantings in his NYT Column of May 27. This was quickly followed by the NEWSWEAK pack of lies about Koran abuse, the Amnesty International “gulag of our times” charge, and apparently Durbin was batting cleanup with his Nazi/Gulag/Pol Pot blast on the US military. Well, it’s a good thing that he struck out, and better still that he continues to swing wildly as of this writing refusing to even apologize or retract his DIRECT comparison between US troops and the SS. The political momentum that had been accelerating has for the moment been stopped so let’s look at why AQ detainees CANNOT ever be tried.

As a matter of US and international law, illegal combatants (those who do not distinguish themselves from civilians and in fact target them) have no claim to the PRIVILEGES afforded Prisoners of War. Those privileges including freedom from interrogation, recreation, certain standards of living, etc. were part of the Geneva Convention in order to offer incentives for fighting men to follow the Law of Warfare. To give those privileges to terrorists who exemplify exactly the conduct that the Geneva Convention was written to prevent, serves to ENCOURAGE nations and extra-national organizations like AQ to continue to use the barbaric tactics for which they have gained world renown. Contrary to the contentions of the Left that failing to give enemy combatants full US Constitutional protections is a source of anger and increased recruitment, the exact opposite is actually true. When well known international treaties are systematically violated without consequence, those treaties become worthless. Since when are islamic terrorists accustomed to receiving American style due process? Their home countries universally act without regard to international standards of human rights, and routinely torture and unjustly imprison their populations with impunity.

Despite the fact that such trials would be not only unnecessary and actually harmful, they would also be extremely impractical and dangerous to our Constitution and Armed Forces. The Constitution was written to protect the citizens of the US from the potential tyranny of the government, and let us all thank God for that. The purpose of the Constitution was to codify the relationship between the People and their government. When a third party attacks both of those institutions as in the case of a war, that offending party has no claim to the privileges and protections created by the government for the People.

When I was in the Criminal Investigator Training Program at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, the most intense subject of study for us by far was the 4th Amendment to the Constitution. We studied dozens of hours of case law in order to understand what kind of powers we were entrusted with and what limitations were placed on us as LEOs. We had to conduct criminal investigations under very specific rules that had been arrived at through 200 years of court cases and interpretations. If we violated those rules, our cases would fail to convict our targets rendering our exertions meaningless and sometimes exposing us to civil or criminal liability. If the US Courts were to allow enemy combatants access to these protections, it would place an undue burden on the people who are charged with engaging and capturing them…the military. It would be impossible to conduct military operations which are designed to kill and destroy the enemies of the US in a way that would allow for captured illegal combatants to be successfully prosecuted. Soldiers do not write and execute arrest warrants; they engage the enemy and shoot him dead. Much in the way giving privileges to illegal combatants encourages illegal behavior amongst terrorists; giving terrorists rights to due process would encourage US troops to violate the Law of Warfare as well. If US troops knew that enemy combatants were likely to be released if they were not captured in accordance with American evidentiary rules, they would be tempted to stop taking prisoners altogether. This incentive not only puts US troops at risk of prosecution, it also reduces their ability to gain intelligence critical to saving other US soldier’s lives.

Unfortunately, the Bush administration has already needlessly given enemy combatants access to US Courts in the form of hearings and the SCOTUS has allowed them to petition writs of habeas corpus. This is another reason that it is imperative that the make up of the SCOTUS is shifted decidedly to the right… and quickly. While the logic of these arguments will surely be lost on committed liberal moonbats who operate on emotion and a half whip, soy, caramel macchiato, it must be made and remade continually to protect our nation from the grave consequences of losing this battle.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Durbin May Have Embellished FBI Memo

Via Myopic Zeal is the allegation that Durbin may have fabricated parts of his 'torture' example drawn from a confidential FBI memo. The charge is buried at the bottom of a Friday story on Foxnews.com:
"One knowledgeable official familiar with the memo cited by Durbin as well as other memos said the FBI agent made no such allegation and that the memo described only someone chained to the floor. Anything beyond that is simply an interpretation, the official said."
If true this means that the charges made by Durbin that US officials at Guantanamo Bay treated detainees in a manner commensurate with that of Nazis, Soviet gulags, and the genocide in Cambodia are not only obscene but also FALSE.

Realizing that simply chaining murderers to the floor was insufficient to associate US troops with the most sinister and amoral regimes of the past century, Durbin may have made up the demeaning air conditioning treatment, the eeeeevil subjection to 100F temperatures, and the smelly and stinky poop and pee bath that the poor terrorists had to endure. Of course the use of anonymous sources in this instance is troubling, but the memo is ostensibly an actual document that could be accessed at least in part by the public. I call on the Senate Judiciary Committee to either release or review and comment upon the contents of this FBI memo. The public has the right to know, and the Senate has the duty to inform us whether a US Senator fabricated ?tortuous? actions and ascribed them maliciously to US troops serving at Guantanamo.

Making the connection between subjecting terrorists to temperature extremes and poopy pants with treatment in Nazi concentration camps disqualifies Durbin from holding office and demands censure. Maliciously and falsely charging US troops with torture on the floor of the US Senate entitles him to prosecution for Treason under 18 USC 2381.

UPDATE: Allow me to "Revise and Extend" my remarks above. Apparently the "memo" in question is in fact a pair of printed email transmissions from an agent in the Boston Field Office of the FBI. I have no reason to believe that the emails are erroneous although I do find them peculiar. If these activities mentioned by the FBI agent caused so much consternation such as is indicated in the first email, then where is the criminal complaint? Last time I checked, the FBI has the authority to charge anyone for violations of federal law occurring onboard a Naval installation. Liberals want to see terrorists charged and tried in federal court, but they'll take some lowly agent's word for it that these scumbags were tortured never mind the charges for that. The political points scored will do just fine I suppose. If this was the kind of egregious violation that Durbin is alleging, then this "very upset" agent and her management would have done something about it at the time.

The "memo" looks like the FBI is trying to A) Establish the inferiority of other agencies involved in the interrogation of detainees and/or B) Cover their own a$$. One reason that 9/11 occurred was because the FBI was unwilling to cooperate with other agencies due to its superiority complex (which ought not exist any longer). In addition there is the persistent belief in the FBI and the American Left that the Bill of Rights applies to terrorists encountered on the battlefield, just like it does for criminal suspects arrested in a drug bust.

I obviously disagree, but it seems that Durbin was merely parroting an FBI agent that found the minor inconveniences of terrorist murderers, "personally very upsetting." As a former federal agent myself who worked in the Department of Homeland Security, I never knew anyone who would have been "very upset" to see terrorists hosed down with a flame thrower let alone have poopy pants in an air conditioned room.

How Do These People Look in the Mirror?

A very strange SEAL impostor story out of Pittsburgh last week shows the lengths to which some people will go to embellish their military careers for nothing more than narcissistic motivations. A “man” named James Nalls became a mentor to children and eventually gained employment at the Simon Youth Foundation which is by all accounts an outstanding organization dedicated to helping “at risk” children.

Nalls represented himself as not only a Navy SEAL, but fabricated the details of battles in which he participated in Iraq. Apparently, between 2001 and 2004 he would visit the Foundation when he was “on leave” from the military to regale the eager youths with his tales of heroism and adventure from BUD/S to Fallujah. According to Director Terrie Suica-Reed, Nalls claimed to be a fellow traveler of the troubled teens, having gone from a high school drop out to Navy SEAL hero himself. He touted his example of perseverance and dedication as one that the students could emulate.

“Suica-Reed said she was impressed with Nalls' work at the learning center, where he often went beyond his official duties to mentor and befriend students and encourage them to join the military or go to college. Nalls told the Post-Gazette, people at Phase 4 and officials of the Simon Youth Foundation that he was shot in the shoulder during a rescue mission in Fallujah and the injury prevented him from carrying out his SEALs duties, so he was permitted to leave the Navy early.

Suica-Reed said Nalls told that story numerous times to people at Phase 4 and even brought in photographs of a surgery that he said was the surgery to remove the bullet. Suica-Reed said Nalls brought in a bullet to show the staff, saying it was the bullet that was removed from his shoulder. The Simon Youth Foundation pulled from it's annual report an article Nalls had written about himself and detailing his SEALs career, which, he wrote, started after he was in the Navy for about a year. He wrote that he went through six months of training, and then was assigned to a SEALs team that, in January 2004, was sent to Iraq. He said in the article that he "completed a lot of classified missions -- one of them to find Saddam Hussein." He wrote that his SEALs career came to an end "due to an injury I sustained in battle."

To the great credit of the Post-Gazette, they actually checked Nall’s story out with the Navy to confirm his claims.


"His claims do not add up. He was not through BUD/S [Basic Underwater Demolition/SEALs], he did not have any SEALs training and he was not with any of the SEALs in Fallujah," said Lt. Taylor Clark, a public affairs officer with the Naval Special Warfare Command in San Diego. Clark said Navy officials searched records under Nalls' name and under the name James Christe, which he used when he entered the service, and that neither name showed up as a SEAL.

Apparently Nalls told Sucia-Reed that he graduated from BUD/S class 343. Unfortunately, there have only been 256 BUD/S classes in SEAL history so I’ll let you do the math on that one. Nalls continues to maintain that he has “documentation” of his SEAL career, although he also represents much of it as “classified” as well. The documentation the Navy has for Nalls shows that he served as a cook at a helicopter squadron in Norfolk, VA. Except for Casey Ryback in the highly acclaimed (Academy Award, No?) film Under Siege, there are no cooks in the Teams.

First, I would like to thank the Post-Gazette for outing this clown, and proving that the entire print media is not a bunch of lazy leftists who hate the military. You too can out fools that are trying to pretend to be frogs. Authentiseal.org and Veriseal.org are free resources for anyone to use anonymously to verify SEAL claims. I was verified in the first month of this blog, and you are welcome to check me out anytime you want.

Secondly, I have to say that I am saddened that this had to happen. This man for all his shortcomings and inferiority complexes seemed to have a heart for children that had a similar background as he. He could have been a very effective mentor and teacher just having been himself. Now, he has broken a bond of trust with these kids that they will never forget. Just think if you were some teen going to the Simon Center to try to turn yourself around and some big time Navy SEAL hero shows up and tells you that you can do anything in the world just like him only to find out that he was a liar just like every other adult you knew. How devastated do you think you would feel? Trust is probably the one thing those kids need to develop most, and this jackass just pulled the rug out from under them undermining that development and making them more jaded and defensive than ever. Lies are poisonous to children, and it is truly unfortunate that these kids may carry the effects of that poison for years to come.

Froggy OUT.

New Evidence that the DNC is in Deep Trouble

We just returned from my parent’s ranch after having a great lunch together for Father’s Day at the nearby golf clubhouse. I’m not a golfer nor is anyone in my family, but the course near their ranch is just a spectacular place with great food and beautiful views. Anyway, my mother is as hardcore a Democrat as I am a Conservative. I wouldn’t call her a liberal really, because she’s no fan of gay rights, she’s a Navy veteran, and she isn’t down with the whole hedonistic/anarchy thing going on in the hard Left. She is a former City Councilmember and Mayor of our town, and well acquainted with real world politics, not just sniping from the sidelines like most of us. She is also a “born Democrat” partisan that grew up poor in the Midwest, and reflexively sees Republicans as evil.

We try not to talk politics with each other, but we are both junkies and can’t really help ourselves most of the time. Believe it or not, but I am the voice of moderation because if I don’t cut things off soon enough, we’ll end up in a full on screaming match. My mom and I are almost exactly alike in our personalities, ideology notwithstanding, which can be great and also terrible. At lunch we started in with some light political banter, and she told me about a phone call she received from the DNC the other day.

A “man” called from the DNC on a fundraising mission asking my mom to dig deep for the party. He also asked her what issues she was concerned about. That was where he f*ed up. Mom told him she was concerned about illegal immigration and asked the “man” why the DNC didn’t seem to have a plan to deal with it (neither does the RNC, but that’s another post). His answer was that he had recently read an article in Foreign Policy Review (or some such publication) that an individual’s “chances” of being the victim of a terrorist attack were actually very low. Really? Great! Thanks, let me give you my credit card number…NOT!

Well, that answer didn’t cut it for my mom, and well it shouldn’t have. She lives in So Cal, and illegal aliens are a serious drain on our economy and account for tons of government spending to deal with them. As a City Mayor, my mom knows this all too well. It is laughable that the DNC’s policy position on illegal immigration is essentially, “You probably won’t get nuked, when some islamonutter smuggles “the bomb” into the US, so don’t worry about it. We aren’t.”

I could see in my mind’s eye some full on Kool-Aid drinking moonbat barely containing himself from barking at my mom for lack of party loyalty, held in check by the realization that if he pissed this woman off and people like her, the DNC would trail the RNC fundraising effort by a factor of 10 this quarter. She informed him that she wouldn’t be kicking down any change until the DNC gets its act together. I sat there in a state of utter disbelief after having seen the canceled checks written to Howard Dean last year before his head exploded! Then it really got ugly for the Dems.

She started talking about McCain’s appearance on “Meet the (Cuomo Aid) Press” this morning. She was really getting down with the maverick moderate pabulum the good Senator was regurgitating to Russert. She had McCain's talking points down cold, and I just sat there agreeing with her to keep drawing her out. Incredible, my mom's talking like a RINO!

The biggest difference aside from ideology between my mom and me is pride. She has a lot, and I could do without it. I know that I’m a blessed loser, and glad to have what I’ve got. To admit what she did to me at lunch was a very bitter pill to swallow, but she did it. When partisans like my mom turn from the DNC in disgust, those folks are in some serious trouble.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

The Left’s War on the Armed Services

It doesn’t take a tremendous amount of effort to notice the abject hatred for the Armed Forces by the Democrats, the MSM, and the international moonbat society (Amnesty Intl., ACLU, ANSWER, etc.). The problem in my view is that no one outside the right side of the blogosphere has lifted a finger to refute the lies or to defend the honor of our troops. This “movement” has been infecting the country since the invasion of Afghanistan. It started by throwing down the quagmire card before Christmas of 2001 and claiming that US forces were impotent against the mighty mujahideen in the snow capped mountain graves of thousands of Russians. Well, we were pretty much mopping up by the Spring of 2002, and since then the people have held elections, built roads and infrastructure, and are training up a viable Afghan Army to maintain peace for the first time in decades.

But while all but the most strident moonbats kept their powder dry on Afghanistan, the “mainstream” of the Dems and their lackeys put on their tinfoil hats and tightened up their chinstraps with the onset of hostilities in Iraq. The conquest of Iraq was a mandatory action to maintain the security of the homeland for various reasons. But irrational moonbats don’t care about reasons; they just want to lash out at their opponents and the institutions that they despise. And so they have lashed out, and they have been lashing out continuously since the Spring of 2003. I have to admit that it has taken its toll.

Despite all reports to the contrary from milbloggers in the region and operating within the conflict, the MSM has managed to wage an unrelenting campaign of distortion and lies indicating that Iraq is a lawless hellhole with no relief in sight. The casualty numbers have been touted as proof of this, while they pretend to be “honoring the fallen”. At the time of this writing, something like 1700 servicemembers have died in the line of duty during the GWOT. For starters, twice those numbers were snuffed out on 9/11, and there were BATTLES in WWII that had many times more casualties in a matter of days! I’m not callous about battlefield losses, but perspective ought to be maintained. If you want to compare apples to apples, the GWOT has been thankfully a small price to pay in blood and treasure compared to other wars of the past hundred years. We averaged 5000+ casualties a year in Vietnam, and 100,000 a year in WWII.

Which I point out to show that the moonbats using casualty numbers to make the case that the war is a failure or a losing effort are not disingenuous; they are liars. I remember many DU threads before the November 2004 elections openly wishing for more and more US casualties just to use them as an election issue to batter the President. These people were dead serious and were completely unapologetic and without shame calling for US troops to die so they could defeat Bushitler McChimpburton at the polls. Here's a perfect example from Lt. Smash.

The irony and the problem now is that these were the very people agitating about the reinstatement of the Draft, and now the wreckage of their media campaign makes that possibility more and more likely. There is no doubt that the constant onslaught of negativism about Iraq despite the truth of reality has probably affected military recruiting. This is especially so when the parents of potential recruits are taken into consideration. This is exacerbated greatly by seditious statements like the ones made by Senator Turban the other day. The volunteer force is being threatened by the efforts of the Left on every level of society. The media reports being the most obvious, but consider the efforts of school teachers directing students to send nasty letters to troops in combat, or college campi not allowing recruiter’s access to students.

Our government has been intimidated by the Left into fighting the GWOT with one hand tied behind our backs. So many false charges have been leveled by now, that it hardly matters what we do and how we do it. There will never be a way to make the moonbats happy, and there will never be a cause worth dying for in the moonbat world. I do sense a loss of momentum in the GWOT over the past few months though. The President has been focusing on the domestic agenda while the MSM and the moonbats have been plodding along with their propaganda campaign. The level of absurdity has been creeping up higher and higher of late, but with the Amnesty “gulag” charges, and Senator Turban’s remarks being so overtly and shamefully inappropriate, there seems to be an opening.

I would like to see some pushback starting here and now. The President and GOP leaders in Congress need to seize the moment, and rhetorically challenge these anti-American dirtbags. It’s time to haul out the grainy Auschwitz footage, the mass graves, the ovens, the starving gulag inmates and shove it down these Lefty’s throats in public. If GOP leaders are not willing to do this, we have two choices.

Actually start fighting dirty like we’ve been accused, or pack it in. If we are not going to do what it takes to win, then maybe we shouldn’t keep fighting at all.

UPDATE: Victor Davis Hanson writing for NRO:

A war that cannot be won entirely on the battlefield most certainly can be lost entirely off it — especially when an ailing Western liberal society is harder on its own democratic culture than it is on fascist Islamic fundamentalism...

Do yourself a favor and read this entire essay.

Now YOU Can Swim Like a Fish

While Froggy and friends are already like fish in the water, soon the rest of you land lubbers will be able to be as well. An Israeli inventor is in the patent application process for a device that will take air out of solution from seawater just like a fish does. Operating under the concept of Henry’s Law, the device uses a mini centrifuge to lower the partial pressure of a trapped amount of seawater causing the air within to come out of solution like a can of coke releasing CO2 when it’s opened.

The potential for military and commercial use is good in the sense that it would be a much less intrusive rig to wear while performing work underwater. The other advantage is that it obviously eliminates the necessity of jamming SCUBA bottles which takes powerful compressors to perform. I’m not sure that this invention would actually be of much value for SEAL combat swimmers, however. Since the device takes air instead of Oxygen alone out of solution, there is really no way to scrub Carbon from a diver’s exhalations and therefore capture any telltale bubbles. It is bubbles percolating to the surface that SEALs cannot have. Our trusty Draeger LAR V continues to serve the Teams well, and its timeless design is not likely to be supplanted anytime soon.

I’m sure there will be a moonbat islamonutter cleric out there somewhere willing to condemn this technology as a way for the JOOOOOOZ to sneak up on swimming Palestinian children to use in making unleavened bread. Can’t make everyone happy I guess.

"In For a Penny, In For a Pound"

Jay Tea over at Wizbang! ups the ante on the detainees at Gitmo and asks the question: If we're going to be charged, tried, and convicted of torture anyway, why not just torture those fools? Why not indeed? The terrible irony here is that in reality the entire world knows that we are NOT torturing anyone by any reasonable definition of the term, especially our enemies. But what if the world no longer knew that were not torturing detainees? What if we stopped denying it and just said we were interrogating detainees limited only by the desire for them to survive, and left it there?

This exchange between O’Reilly and Col. David Hunt discussing an interview Hunt had conducted with a released Gitmo detainee in Pakistan is illuminating:
O'REILLY: So in the prep for the war in Afghanistan, they [AQ/Taliban] were ordered if you get caught by the Americans, you are to act how?

HUNT: Yes, they would -- to do things that would disrupt. They would -- first of all, they were told they would be treated well. And because of that, to do things like to rub up against the guards, to resist, to make complaints about anti-Muslim things, to make complaints about the Koran, to cause as much trouble without getting hurt as they could. And by the way, because of our lack of language skill initially on our part, and our also lack of understanding because we're not -- we weren't that trained for this, we -- they got away with a lot at the beginning, but we got better.

But the interesting thing about this guy is he said look, we actually like living there. We actually got treated very, very well. Air conditioning is something he never had. In many cases, he lived better than the guards that were guarding him.
9/11 would not have been possible against the modern equivalent of Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, or Pol Pot’s Cambodia for any number of reasons. First among them of course is that free societies are always more vulnerable than oppressive, totalitarian regimes. What deterrence factor does the US have with respect to terrorists making war against us right now? I can't think of any. The terrorists are already death worshippers who gladly kill themselves to kill us. If they happen to fail on their jihad mission, they are taken somewhere where they can relax in a tropical paradise, eat three squares a day, pray five times a day, and continue the propaganda jihad by making up stories to tell their liberal attorneys. Where is the downside?

Outrageous claims against the US made by Senator Turban, Kos, Amnesty International et al have effectively inoculated the administration if they actually choose to use torture on detainees that fell short of actually running a death camp. What would they say? “Bushitler McChimpburton is REALLY torturing detainees now! Before, we were just talking smack, now we really mean it!” Let them cry about it, they’re already crying about it and the American people aren’t listening. At the end of the day, it’s the American people’s opinion that matters, and there is sufficient evidence (pg. 5) to suggest that they’re onboard with a little rough housing.

Like Jay Tea said in his post:

It's time to take the handcuffs off our interrogators and let them do whatever they believe is necessary to get the information we need out of them. Let's use pain, discomfort, drugs, deception, anything we can on these terrorists. Since we're already suffering the consequences of using torture, it only makes sense to me that we gain the benefits of such. Let's show the world just what good old American ingenuity, inventiveness, and resources can achieve.

It could hardly worsen "our reputation around the world" more than Dick Turban already has. The gauntlet has been thrown down, the rhetorical damage is already done. Why not profit from it?

Friday, June 17, 2005

Attacking Your Enemy’s Weakness

This is something that our enemies, aided by treasonous politicians and a willing media, have had great success recently. There is no scenario under which islamofascists can actually invade the US, or even conduct sustained offensive operations on our soil. Eventually we would roll them all up or they would kill themselves in possibly a spectacular (perhaps even nuclear) attack, and that would be about the most they could do. Which is not to say that this is an acceptable outcome, but nevertheless, there is no victory on their horizon under any reasonable standard.

Of course our weakness is our decency and respect for the individual human being, be they American or foreign. Make no mistake; this is a very soft underbelly considering the utter barbarity of our enemies. Our decency is assaulted every time a head is chopped off to the sheer delight of the executioners. It is assaulted each time a bomb explodes in a crowded market killing dozens of innocent civilians.

The islamofascist “culture” reminds me of a group of mischievous teenage boys. I know a little about this having been one 20 years ago. Often boys will get together and talk about the people and institutions that they feel make their lives difficult in one way or another. Amongst themselves these conversations contain much bravado and posturing. They make great plans to get back at their enemies, they conceive of cruel methods of punishment, and every once in a while a group of these boys, usually having little supervision, will actually act on these schemes. While in the US our culture stands in defiance to the exercise of these dark motives, the islamonutter’s culture completely reinforces and supports them. Their media lionizes murderers and gives legitimacy and intellectual support to their twisted and evil motives. The result is a hypermasculine death cult. I use the word masculine for lack of a better term because masculinity demands balance between leadership, a warrior ethic, mentorship, and friendship; none of which are found in the islamonutter.

Their weakness is their pride. Our weakness is the lack of political will to exploit that. We fear the “muslim street” because to offend it is to further “radicalize” the muslim world. Really? How much more radical can it get? The only moderate muslims that I am aware of are members of the elected Iraqi government and they are our allies. Secular liberals have a conniption when they think our soldiers have “mishandled” the Koran. But they confiscate and destroy Bibles at the airport in Saudi Arabia and other muslim countries. “Human rights activists” call humiliation of muslim detainees “torture” that is occurring in a modern “gulag”. Meanwhile there are mass graves spanning the middle east and ample evidence that Saddam Hussein made sausage out of his opponents while they were alive.

These islamocultists seemingly want to die in the act of killing us. This presents a conundrum in that not only do we want to live, we also don’t want them to have what they want. While slaughtering these animals is surely an important aspect of the GWOT, it doesn’t do much for our side in the propaganda campaign. These are people who murder their daughters for being raped in order to uphold the family “honor”. Pride is a terrible weakness to have because it is something that is very easy to take away. Dignity, honor, decency can only be given away while pride is right out in the open for the taking. Let’s take it.

Shame is a powerful weapon when it is wielded with intelligence and guile. At this point, treating AQ detainees with the same dignity and respect shown to members of a chain gang would be a start. Put them to work. Let’s have them grow their own food; the soil is fertile in Cuba. I’m sure there are ditches that need to be dug, toilets that need to be cleaned, clothes washed, etc. Don’t hide it from the world, make a frickin’ web cam site so we can log in and watch Imad scrubbing pots, and Mohammed breaking rocks with a sledge hammer. There is no need for air conditioning in any detainee cell in Cuba. All that is required is a roof. You put those boys outside for 12 hours a day working themselves to the bone, and we’ll see how the recruiting numbers work out. If a detainee wants a day off, he can spend it telling the CIA and FBI what’s on the schedule for AQ ops next month and who is doing what. If not, no problem, grab a shovel and start diggin’. By the way, detainees can read the Koran on THEIR time, not Uncle Sam’s. The schedule of Guantanamo should be made by the Camp not by the inmates. You are in OUR world now Ahmed, not yours.

Make no mistake, I am not proposing any rubber hose treatment, fingernail removal, or genital E-stim, and I want everything to be well publicized and transparent for all to see. I’m not talking about denying medical care or food either. I want these animals to live a long and humiliating life working their a$$es off from dawn to dusk in order to serve as an example to their comrades that the “glory” they seek will not be found making war with the US.

These terrorists should be given three choices: death, humiliation, or surrender. When one of those mischievous teenage boys I mentioned would step out of line, usually having his nose caved in would be enough for him and his friends to abandon their ill conceived plans. Taking away the pride of their most respected terrorists for all to see is likely to cause others to have second thoughts about going up against us. Bowing to the demands of Amnesty International, the ACLU, and seditious Senators has never been a winning strategy. Let's hit them where it hurts by taking their pride, and rubbing their noses in it for the whole world to see.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Illinois, Are You Going to Sit There and Let Your Senator Call Your Sons & Husbands Nazis?

I want Durbin’s job, and I want it now. I’ll be damned if a US Senator is going to get away with comparing my comrades to the Gestapo, or Stalin’s thugs. To the people of the Great State of Illinois, none of you have a hair on you’re a$$ if you do not demand a recall of this piece of trash. This guy isn’t some benchwarmer nutjob either, he is in the Democratic leadership and as such he speaks for the rest of the 44 Senators in his caucus. If you are a Democrat US Senator and you do not have a statement of categorical disavowal of Durbin’s remarks and a plea for him to recant and apologize for them released to the press by close of business today, you are wrong. Barack Obama should be burning Durbin in effigy in the streets of Chicago this weekend. It’s time to step up Senator and give your “colleague” his medicine.

To the blogosphere I say this: BLOGSWARM on Durbin until his a$$ is no longer befouling a US Senate seat. No excuses, no mercy on this one. To the lefty blogosphere, you might want to jump in on this one too. If there is a shred of patriotism and decency left within you, then you have an obligation to drop the hammer on this scumbag as well. It’s enemy sympathizers like this that are dragging you and your party deeper into the fever swamps and further away from foreseeable success at the polls. UPDATE: KOS WEIGHS IN / RUSTY SMACKS DOWN

If Durbin’s charges weren’t so gravely evil, they would be funny. Everyone can laugh at a moonbat; moonbat mockery is the foundation of the blogosphere. For instance this moron, Morgan Reynolds who was a former Bush administration official claims that the World Trade Center was destroyed by “controlled demolition” charges and that there’s no proof that planes actually hit the towers. Now that’s a moonbat we can all laugh at, mock, and heap scorn upon. Here’s Durbin in his Senate testimony quoting an FBI agent: (Audio via Radioblogger)

"On a couple of occasions, I entered interview rooms to find a detainee chained hand and foot in a fetal position to the floor, with no chair, food or water. Most times they urinated or defecated on themselves, and had been left there for 18-24 hours or more. On one occasion, the air conditioning had been turned down so far and the temperature was so cold in the room, that the barefooted detainee was shaking with cold. . . . On another occasion, the [air conditioner] had been turned off, making the temperature in the unventilated room well over 100 degrees. The detainee was almost unconscious on the floor, with a pile of hair next to him. He had apparently been literally pulling his hair out throughout the night. On another occasion, not only was the temperature unbearably hot, but extremely loud rap music was being played in the room, and had been since the day before, with the detainee chained hand and foot in the fetal position on the tile floor."
'If I read this to you and did not tell you that it was an FBI agent describing what Americans had done to prisoners in their control, you would most certainly believe this must have been done by Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime--Pol Pot or others--that had no concern for human beings. Sadly, that is not the case. This was the action of Americans in the treatment of their prisoners.'
Listen up folks, I spent 5 days and nights in the surfzone in Coronado in February of 1992, so don’t tell me Gitmo A/C is torture! One night in Hell Week, my swim buddy and I pissed on each other while shivering in an embrace to try to get warm. One of my classmates had the hair on the top of his head rubbed off by the inflatable boat we all carried because he lost his hat in the surf (He is still bald from it). How about a weeks worth of Immediate Action Drills and buddy carries in August out in the Eastern California desert in temperatures approaching 130F?

What I’ve done is nothing compared to my brothers in Afghanistan and Iraq these past 4 years. They have endured indescribable hardships in order to kill and capture the people who brought down the towers and those who support them. To impugn them and their sacrifices by comparing them to Nazis, gulag guards, and the Khmer Rouge is the basest and most shameful act of ingratitude and treason that I have ever heard from the mouth of a sitting US Senator. Durbin stands alone in the pantheon of political hate speech, and he deserves to be recalled in shame from his position of responsibility.

UPDATE: CONTACT INFO FOR DURBIN
Washington, DC: phone (202) 224-2152; fax (202)228-0400
Chicago, IL: phone (312) 353-4952; fax (312)353-0150
Springfield, IL: phone (217) 492-4062; fax (217)492-4382
Marion, IL: phone (618) 998-8812; fax (618) 997-0176

UNCLE JIMBO TAKES DURBIN ON A TRIP DOWN MEMORY LANE

Bloggers for Censure is up an running. Take a look.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Frank's Place (A Neighborhood in Crisis)

My neighborhood in fact. There is a man in my neighborhood that lives in an Indian burial ground with a Brontosaurus and “monkeymen”. At least that’s what he told the Sheriff’s Deputies and the building inspector who were called to his home last week. As it happens, Frank L. is psychotic… floridly psychotic, paranoid, and delusional. The authorities had been called before of course. Like when he was seen lurking around the neighborhood in Indian war paint grasping a handful of other people’s mail. The Homeowner’s Association took exception when he had a construction dumpster blocking his street for several weeks. He warned some children to avoid his property because the rocks in his yard did not like them. Also the screaming and loud pounding emanating from the premises has raised concerns amongst the neighbors. But no one knew for sure what Frank was up to…until now.

I think it was when Frank tied a rope from the bumper of his Porsche to his garage door and drove away with it that a line was crossed. It was then that we could see into Frank’s world, and we were shocked at what we saw. Frank has removed much of the drywall and all of the flooring from the interior of his home exposing electrical wires, pipes, and gas lines. In fact, when I discussed the condition of the home with the City’s Senior Building Inspector, he told me that he could smell gas in Frank’s house which essentially turned the home into a bomb with all the exposed wires and such. Having a potential bomb in your neighborhood is disturbing enough, but that’s not all. Frank has a certain proclivity for “cleanliness” I suppose you might call it. This manifests itself in his using a garden hose INSIDE his house…every day! Frank hoses down his home and with the wires, and a short circuit, and the gas; well you see where this might lead. As one might expect, there is a significant mold spore situation “brewing” (literally) inside Frank’s place, and of course there are the obligatory rodent carcasses in various stages of decomposition strewn throughout the premises.

So we have notified the appropriate agencies: City code enforcement/building and safety, County Adult Protective Services, County Health, etc. I attended a heated HOA meeting last night about Frank, and it seems that the community is sufficiently concerned and now galvanized. But there are major impediments to ridding our community of the menace that Frank exemplifies. Obviously, the best way to see Frank rapidly depart from us is to notify the lender holding a Deed of Trust on the residence that their asset has been catastrophically damaged. But then what financial entity would loan Frank several hundred thousand dollars? None as it turns out. Frank’s father, who also lives in our neighborhood but in a different area, paid cash for the house and granted it to Frank. So that is a no go. I am unsure what the process might be for the State to evict and assume control over a private residence that is owned debt free by a paranoid schizophrenic, but I assume that it is rather involved. Did I mention that I live in California?

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

The Big Iraqi Picture

I heard the following Rumsfeld clip while listening to the Hugh Hewitt show today. The old pro lays it straight out; this is mandatory listening. The text is available too at Radioblogger.

West Coast Tsunami Warning!

NOAA has issued a Tsunami Warning for the entire West Coast! Froggy's family has oceanfront property in LA and Ventura County so let's hope this is a false alarm!

Monday, June 13, 2005

Are We Becoming Our Enemy?

This is a very serious contention of our friends on the American/International Left which is that the US in general and the Armed Forces in particular have morally degenerated to the point at which our enemies and we are all but indistinguishable. How else to account for accusations made by Amnesty International that Guantanamo Bay is a “gulag”, the President of the United States is no different than Adolf Hitler, US soldiers are systematically targeting journalists for assassination, and the Secretary of Defense and the US Attorney General explicitly advocate torture of detainees and have promulgated policies which are gleefully followed to that end? Proof of our utter barbarity can ostensibly be found in the Time article detailing the interrogation techniques used against Mohammed al Qahtani, the suspected 20th 9/11 hijacker. Or perhaps a more graphic demonstration of the US military’s campaign of terror is the unspeakable horrors perpetrated on helpless muslims at Abu Ghraib. While we’re on the subject of abuse, let’s not forget what my buddies did to poor Manadel al Jamadi, before he was ‘murdered’ by the CIA in custody. Pretty bad, huh? Are you ashamed? Feel like we’re no better than our enemy do ya?

Although it was difficult to come up with all that much material to refute the charges of our morally superior critics, I did manage to scrape together a couple of things:

9/11/01 * * * *

Daniel Pearl

Nicolas Berg

Paul Johnson

Fallujah Contractors

Anfal/Halapja, Kurdistan * *

Saddam’s Iraqi Justice * * *

Like I said, it’s pretty tough to come up with much of anything done by our enemies that are equivalent to the nightmarish reign of terror daily perpetrated on innocent muslims by imperialist US forces. [Sarcasm Complete]

If you had the sac to look at all of those links, then maybe you can muster up the courage to forge ahead undaunted and do what you can to support the people who are wading into the human cesspool and stomping the $hit down the drain for us all. There is no rational case that can be made which equates establishing freedom and democracy in the land of our enemies with the sort of human detritus that fills the rosters of terrorist organizations across the globe, and don’t you forget it! I am not prepared to offer an apology for ANY of our so called “atrocities” in the GWOT. Humiliation and embarrassment are not torture. Torture is torture. “Mishandling” a book that tells its readers to kill innocent people is nothing. It is meaningless and vapid. Ask John McCain how many times a week they served him “honey glazed chicken” at the Hanoi Hilton. Ask a survivor of the Bataan Death March if he would have minded standing in a bucket of ice! One would imagine that these truths would be self evident (like the ones in the Declaration of Independence for instance), but apparently to many they are not. While that is unfortunate, it doesn’t mean that sensible people need to concern themselves with the inane rantings of a vocal but distinct minority of moonbats and self-loathing America haters.

Just don’t let the accusation go unchallenged in your presence that this nation and its righteous indignation to terror and tyranny is anything but honorable.

Drudge Report - Cure For the Common Cold

I have been suffering with a nasty cold for more than a week now. Truly, I have been so miserable that I have had little interested in what has been happening on the political front. Little wonder that I was less than enthused this morning at the prospect of Monday in the office.

After dosing myself with cold medicine and caffeine, and “accidentally” deleting my entire inbox, I unenthusiastically decided to check the news. After reading the Drudge Report, I instantly felt better; all is well with the world:

Howard Dean is still a freak-show. You know it, I know it, and most important the lefties know it – and they still eat it up. Three Cheers for Dr. Tin Foil Hat from Vermont!

Al Franken got an award for being a bore, then while accepting said award, proceeded to bore the entire audience until he was asked to shut up.

I do not know what to think about Hillary’s Tabloidesqe headline, but it made my day.

Good stuff Mr. Drudge.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Honey Glazed Chicken

San Diego Congressman, Duncan Hunter who is also the Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee this morning proceeded to hand Mr. Tom Malinowski of Human Rights Watch his a$$ on Fox News Sunday. Dismissing the ever specious allegations of “torture” taking place at Guantanamo Bay, Rep. Hunter read from the menu that the detainees will be dining from this very Sunday. Honey glazed chicken, steamed vegetables, and rice pilaf which as everyone knows is consistent with the nourishment provided to prisoners of the Soviet Gulag to which Gitmo has been compared. Rep. Hunter described the honey and dates given to detainees to break their fast for Ramadan. He discussed the procedures undertaken by US soldiers with respect to handling the Koran including: wearing gloves, carrying it with two hands, supplying prayer beads and oils for the prisoner’s worship, and playing their call to prayer five times a day over the camp loudspeakers. I can't recall if the Nazis read the Passover seder over the loudspeakers at Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen.

Then Congressman Hunter performed the rhetorical equivalent of grabbing his effete liberal adversary by his pencil neck and slamming his grill on the desk. He did so by pointing out that if the military had supplied these same religious elements and procedures to its own soldiers, the ACLU would sue for violating the “wall” between church and state! Malinowski futilly tried to switch subjects and say that 30 (a huge number in his opinion) out of 68,000 (.04%) detainees handled by the US military in the GWOT were possibly killed as a result of criminal action while in US custody. He went on to charge that these killings were a result of the implementation of policies approved personally by Sec. Rumsfeld and senior US Commanders in the region. Of course, if this “policy” was so harmful and deadly for detainees as to constitute “torture”, I would expect that there would be mass graves filled with detainees and military hospitals swelling with AQ torture victims. Rep. Hunter reminded Malinowski that NO detainees have died in custody at Guantanamo Bay nor have any had even a hand laid upon them. So what are these evil techniques that Human Rights Watch is whining about? Embarrassing one detainee (the real 20th hijacker) with women’s underwear and allowing dogs to BARK! at him. Feeding detainees MREs which are a staple of a US soldier’s diet is considered to be torture. Having detainees stand in a bucket of ice water…you guessed it… torture.

Duncan Hunter summed up the absurdity of this entire charade when he said, “Here you have a guy who was on his way to kill 5000 Americans in the [WTC] Towers, the 20th hijacker. [He was] pushed out of the country before he could do that, and we have people complaining because he had a dog bark at him in Guantanamo.” No $hit.

See Mark Steyn for details

Friday, June 10, 2005

The History of the World According to Jeff @ Beautiful Atrocities

Educate yourselves Via SixMeat

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Buying the Frogmobile

I have been and continue to be very busy with critical work activities. I did take time out this week to get my wife a new car though, and we are both very excited about it. She was driving a 2001 Mazda Tribute which had great reviews when it came out, but we found it to be lacking in many key areas. With a tadpole in the ondeck circle, we needed to get something a bit more roomy, practical, and comfortable. We spent four hours walking around our local auto mall test driving every kind of SUV, minivan, and crossover vehicle we could find. Many of them had some of the features we wanted, but none seemed to have them all, especially at a reasonable price. Then we walked past the Ford Freestyle. I know that it doesn’t look like much, but this vehicle is simply amazing.

My wife is not ready to succumb to the minivan, and she doesn’t like climbing in and out of a big SUV. I don’t know how Ford made a smallish SUVish vehicle big enough inside to comfortably seat six. But it’s like a minivan on the inside, SUV on the outside, only you don’t need to climb into it. The one we bought has leather, rear air conditioning, side curtain airbags going the length of the vehicle, reverse sensor, and is at least $8000 cheaper than any comparable minivan and $5000 less than the nearest similar SUV. Oh yeah, and it gets fantastic gas mileage, too. If you’re in the market for family transportation, you could do a lot worse.

Now for the lesson. Most people hate buying cars because there are few members of our society that are more useless and dishonest than car salespeople. I despise them as a race of human beings with very few exceptions. Are there some decent people in the business? Yes, but not many. I enjoy beating these fools at their own game, and you can too. This strategy can work with just about any type of vehicle.

It all starts with research. Narrow your search down to a couple finalist vehicles and head down to your local auto mall. First, you need to look around at what are the most common packages of options that your vehicle comes with. Just because you can “build” a car on the Kelley Blue Book site doesn’t mean the factory is shipping that exact match to your area. Ordering a car from a dealer WILL cost you, make no mistake. Settle on a package that is commonly available and test drive it. During these early visits to the dealership, do not give out any personal information, it’s all business. It goes without saying that Consumer Reports is the place to go for safety and reliability information. If your choice is not recommended by CR, you might want to rethink it.

Now that you know what you want and what you can get on it, you need to find out how much it costs THE DEALER. The Kelley site and Edmunds are your two best resources for getting the invoice price of your car and its options. Edmunds will also tell you what kind of incentives (rebates, factory cash) are available which is your icing on the cake. Take those figures and plug them into this excel spreadsheet. The spreadsheet is from Carbuyintips.com which is the best place on the internet to learn how to annihilate a car dealer. The spreadsheet will allow you to figure out how much the dealer paid for your car and how much you should pay for it.

Now that you know about how much you are going to spend, it’s time to get your financing squared away (if necessary). If you have a trade in, Kelley Blue Book will tell you what its worth. Get a letter of credit from your bank or credit union for the balance. You do not want to finance through the dealership under any circumstances. Just as you have assembled a research package for the new car, do one for the trade in. The package includes the Kelley print out and comps from your local Auto Trader to establish the resale value of your trade.

Now your assault begins. The internet sales manager is the person you are about to abuse. First you should search dealer inventories in your area for vehicles fitting your requirements. The best place to do this is via the manufacturer’s website. Going through the manufacturer’s site avoids individual dealers that don’t want you to know the details of a vehicle without obtaining your personal info. This way, you avoid contact with dealers that don’t have your car in stock. Request a price quote on that vehicle from the dealer’s websites. Fill in the online forms and watch your email inbox light up like a Christmas tree.

The dealerships that are willing to work with you will quote you a price somewhere below MSRP. If you get quoted MSRP, add that address to your spam filter and move on. Reply to the ballpark emails with the following:

First thank them for getting back to you with a price quote. Copy and Paste your spreadsheet with the vehicle’s options, prices, holdback, and your desired price onto the reply and send it. If he replies that your figures are off, ask him to fax you the invoice. Dealers that won’t fax an invoice should be avoided. You should be communicating by phone at this point. Use his invoice to complete your spreadsheet and resend it asking for a counter offer. At this point one of two things will happen. He will either give you the best price his dealership can on the car, or he will ask you what you want to pay. Your goal is to pay 5% over wholesale dealer cost (invoice price- dealer holdback 2-3%). Pay no more than 8% over wholesale under any circumstances. 8% over wholesale is going to be thousands less than MSRP unless your vehicle costs less than $15,000 or so.

Once you have agreed to the price, you should get down to the dealership within 24 hours to ink the deal. When you get there, be sure to check the salesman’s figures carefully to ensure they match your terms. Bring your trade in package and make sure the salesman sees it so that he knows you will not be lowballed on it. A lowball trade in quote can be as bad as paying MSRP and it is a deal breaker. Go in knowing the minimum that you will accept and stick to it. Obviously, you should test drive and inspect your car, and then it’s time for the finance manager. This is a dangerous moment. Lienance managers are the dealership’s last line of defense, and they will make a run at you. Check every number (bring a calculator), and make sure to check the contract and sign that before you sign ANY DMV PAPERWORK.

If you are going to purchase an extended warranty, get a quote here first and print it out. You want the bumper to bumper coverage and no deductible. When you are signing the paperwork with the finance manager he will bring this up. Don’t pay a penny more than your online quote. Be sure to tell him that you have a quote, but not what it is. Let them offer you the manufacturer policy at their lowest cost. If they beat your online quote, buy it.

Congratulations, you are a car dealership’s worst nightmare. You never set foot in the office before knowing exactly what you were going pay for your car. You can drive home with pride knowing that you got the best possible deal on your car, and secure in the knowledge that you have pummeled a car salesman about the head and neck, which is nice.

Happy motoring.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

All You Really Need to Know

Sorry to neglect for so long, I have been busy with some training and Froggy has been busy making piles of money to loose on the craps table. Things are still incredibly hectic, but I will leave you with three quick thoughts.


1. As for the whole ‘medical marijuana” thing – Do not smoke dope, it is bad for you.

2. As for President Carter’s comments about shutting down the detention facility in Gitmo – Shut up Jimmy.

3. Finally, to this this Spaniard – Take a flying leap at a rolling donut.

‘Nuff said.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Humbled In the Presence of Literary Greatness

One thing I learned at the school of hard knocks - never attempt to upstage greatness, sometimes you have to know when to shut up and sit down.

Peggy Noonan tells us everything we need to know about Deep Throat, Watergate and the MSM. Wow, what a woman; Peggy, you are bad to the soup bone!

Victor Davis Hanson gets it right - I mean all of it. If you do not read this article, Dingy Harry should call you a loser.

Now I am off to kindergarten graduation. While it seems a little overindulgent to me, it means the world to little mug and therefore it does to me too; being a father may be the best thing in the world. Moreover, by the grace of God, there will probably not be a single suicide bomber in sight. God Bless America!

Thursday, June 02, 2005

More From "The Religion of Peace"

While I had originally intended today’s post to be a wholesale repudiation of the supposed "unbreachable wall" (between church and state) that I have been hearing about from some of our commentators, I am compelled to bring to your attention this photo and accompanying AP article from MSNBC.

You see, the boy in this photo is probably not much older than my eldest son; the image is heartbreaking. The savagery of the people who would commit such horrific acts upon innocent children is beyond all reason. The fact that the MSM is now headlining such stories is heartening, but does not excuse the fact that they often come down on the side of the monsters who perpetrate such atrocities.

Thanks to one of our readers for turning me on to Michael Yon’s blog. A great read, straight from Iraq, from a perspective most of us can easily identify with.

It occurred to me, while reading the above-mentioned items, just how fortunate I am to have been to be born here in my beloved United States of America; how fortunate I am that I have not had to watch my children scarred, terrorized, or massacred in front of my eyes. Such gifts we have been given, humbling indeed; let us not receive them unworthily.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Catching Up

Evidently I have been away too long, or so whined Matt in a rather less-than-subtle email last evening, so I am here to do my penance and catch up, and there is much to catch up on.

Let us first dispense with the obligatory Deep Throat comment - I am somewhat ambivalent - however, to put it into perspective, see this piece from Frum, at NRO. I am in agreement with David; so, to all liberals – you had your day in the sun, now go back to your holes.

A sad day in Afghanistan - it seems that one of the courageous freedom fighters had an AD (accidental discharge) with his suicide vest while visiting the local mosque to purge himself of his inner demons. Seriously, how many “Holy Korans” do you think he damaged? Do you think the Muslim world will riot?

As the good news coming out of Iraq seldom makes it past the MSM censors, we need to make sure that stories like this one, detailing the great work our men and women are doing in the rebuilding of Fallujah, are disseminated.

Lastly, while crawling around looking at Memorial Day posts, I came across a poem at The Hidden Fountain, written by a man memorializing his son John, who was lost in the battle of Loos in 1915.

'Have you news of my boy Jack?'
Not this tide.
'When d'you think that he'll come back?'
Not with this wind blowing, and this tide.

'Has any one else had word of him?'
Not this tide.
For what is sunk will hardly swim,
Not with this wind blowing, and this tide.

'Oh, dear, what comfort can I find?'
None this tide,
Nor any tide,
Except he did not shame his kind -
Not even with that wind blowing, and that tide.

Then hold your head up all the more,
This tide,
And every tide;
Because he was the son you bore,
And gave to that wind blowing and that tide!

Rudyard Kipling