Friday, September 30, 2016

Hitler Ascent: 1889-1939


Veteran journalist and author Joseph C. Goulden offers a good review in the Washington Times of Volker Ullrich's Hitler Ascent: 1889-1939.

Even at decades removed, historians remain fascinated with the why — and how — of Adolf Hitler’s rise to evil power, and the role of the German people in his horrendous assault on mankind. Many splendid works already exist, beginning with Alan Bullock’s 1952 masterpiece, and more recently, a two-volume work by Ian Kershaw in 1998 and 2000 (all of which I have read).
Now comes the German scholar/journalist Volmer Ullrich, with the first of two planned volumes, which offers keen insight into how Hitler perfected demography to sway audiences into hysteria. And Mr. Ullrich displays an insight into the making of Hitler that I did not find elsewhere.
When Hitler first dabbled in politics, he was a nobody, a slightly wounded war veteran who had served a jail term for trying to overthrow the government. He eked out a living selling postcards he painted in Munich. One person who saw him in those years later recollected, “When I first met him, he was like a tired stray dog looking for a master.”
But Hitler sensed that war-wrecked Germany ached for a “savior” who would restore to glory a nation defeated because of “Jews, communists and other traitors.” A passage in “Mein Kampf,” which he wrote in prison, revealed both his planned approach and the low mental esteem in which he held fellow citizens: “The receptivity of large masses is very limited. Their capacity to understand things is slight whereas their forgetfulness is great. Given this, effective propaganda must restrict itself to a handful of points, which it repeats as slogans as long as it takes for the dumbest member of the audience to get an idea of what they mean.”
Although his podium voice was shrill and unremarkable, Hitler displayed an ability to exploit the anger of a populace who felt they had been betrayed by their own leaders in war, and suffered from an unjust peace imposed at Versailles by the victors.
You can read the rest of the review via the below link:

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/sep/28/book-review-hiler-ascent-1889-1939/

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

DoD Secretery: 600 Troops to Deploy to Enable Iraqis to Retake Mosul From ISIL


Terri Moon Cronk at the DoD News offers the below piece:

WASHINGTON, Sept. 28, 2016 — About 600 American troops will be deployed to Iraq to further enable local security forces as they prepare to retake the key Iraqi city of Mosul from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said today.
In a statement, the secretary said in anticipation of the Mosul fight, the U.S. and Iraqi governments have agreed that additional U.S. and coalition capabilities could help accelerate the campaign at this critical phase.

Carter said he and Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, recommended deployment of the additional troops to President Barack Obama to further enable Iraqi forces, and that the president authorized it with the support and approval of Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.

Gearing Up for Mosul Offensive
The U.S. troops will work in close coordination with the Iraqi government to provide specific capabilities, such as logistics and maintenance support, and train, advise and assist teams for Iraqi security forces and Kurdish peshmerga for the upcoming Mosul operation. Expanded intelligence resources will be used to disrupt ISIL's terrorist network in Iraq and beyond, Carter said.
“The coalition to defeat ISIL continues to achieve results on the battlefield, and I congratulate Iraqi security forces on their recent progress, including the operation to free Sharqat,” he said. “The coalition will continue to increase the pressure on ISIL in Mosul and wherever it seeks refuge in Iraq.”
Increasing Pressure on ISIL

The addition of more than 600 additional troops in the coming weeks will bring the force management level to 5,262 U.S. troops as of today, said Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, director of Pentagon press operations.

“We are continuing to increase pressure on ISIL in Mosul in particular and in anticipation of that coming fight … as we close in on Mosul,” Davis said.

While most specific locations cannot be released for security reasons, Davis said, he identified two air bases where the American troops will be sent with specific missions: Al-Asad Air Base in the Euphrates River Valley north of Baghdad, and Qayyarah Air Base near Qayyarah City.

Bringing Capabilities to Air Bases

At Al-Asad Air Base, American troops will provide logistics and maintenance, and help with airfield operations to bring the base to a level that can support a greater pace of operations as the Mosul effort progresses.

Military logisticians will work at Qayyarah Air Base similarly to help the base function as the significant throughput point for the Iraqi forces as they move farther north, he said.
“Mosul is very isolated from the major population centers in Iraq, and to have a throughput point in Qayyarah will allow for greater enabling of our operations there,” Davis said.

The press operations director clarified that the additional train, advise and assist teams and additional intelligence support come under existing authorities. “Nothing is changing in regard to the role of our mission, with the role of what our authorities are to do there,” he noted. “This does not mean any greater role for [U.S.] service members in terms of what their mission is.”

Davis added that the fight remains Iraq’s, and “everything we do there is to support and enable them. They will continue to be the primary trigger-pullers.”

Double-Edged Goal

Two things going on: the retaking of Mosul, and helping to ensure a lasting victory for the Iraqis, Davis said.

“From our perspective, this [force management level] increase has been long anticipated [and] long planned,” he added. “We’ve known there would need to be another additive of capabilities prior to the final push [to Mosul].”

The roughly 600 additional U.S. forces are the number of forces expected to enable Iraq to take on its next major objective of Mosul, Davis said. “There are no major objectives after that,” said he added. “This is it. This is the last big holdout in Iraq for ISIL.”

Note: In the above photo by Marine Corps Army Captain Ryan E. Alvis Lt. Gen. Stephen J. Townsend, commander of Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve, visiting Task Force Strike, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) at Qayyarah West Airfield, Iraq on Sept. 23, 2016. 

How Mohammed & The Fatboy Got Caught With 225 Pounds Of Marijuana But Beat The Rap (Thanks To Philly D.A. Seth Williams)


Veteran reporter Ralph Cipriano offers a piece at bigtrial.net on the feud between the Philadelphia Police Narcotics Unit and the DA.

On Jan. 17, 2012, the Philadelphia Police Department's Narcotics Field Unit South tailed a suspected drug dealer to a garage, where they confiscated 53 pounds of hydroponic marijuana with a street value of $481,240.

When the cops interviewed the suspect, Mohammed Samhan, 26, of Los Angeles, he decided to cooperate and give up another marijuana dealer. The cops subsequently raided the home of Kit "Fatboy" Poon, 41, of Northeast Philadelphia. This time, they confiscated 172 pounds of hydroponic marijuana with a street value of $1,565,420.

Faced with serious jail time, Poon decided that he too wanted to cooperate. He told the cops he knew about an even bigger future marijuana shipment due to arrive by tractor-trailer.

With the two accused drug dealers in custody, Lt. Robert Otto, supervisor of the narcs, called Chief Jan McDermott of the District Attorney's Dangerous Drug Offenders Unit, and requested that McDermott conduct "proffers" with both suspects. [A proffer is an interview where, in exchange for information about criminal activity, a prosecutor agrees not to use that information against the suspect.]

That's when the system broke down. Two confidential police memorandums obtained by Big Trial lay out the details of what's been described in court papers as a "petty and childish feud" between the narcs and the Philly D.A.'s office. It was an old fashioned turf battle over who sat in on proffers, which law enforcement agency would collect drug forfeiture money, and who got credit for major drug busts.

Seth Williams put an end to the feud when he announced, via a letter leaked to the media -- without a shred of evidence to back him up -- that the district attorney's office would no longer prosecute any drug cases involving Lt. Otto or five of his officers.  The narcs and their supervisor were subsequently transferred out of the narcotics unit.


You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:

http://www.bigtrial.net/2016/09/how-two-drug-dealers-who-got-caught-red.html#more

Note: While on assignment for Counterterrorism magazine I went out on drug raids with Lt. Robert Otto and his narcotics unit. You can read the piece via the below link:

 http://www.pauldavisoncrime.com/2012/05/chasing-drugs-guns-and-violence-night.html

FBI Director Warns Of A Massive 'Terrorist Diaspora Like We've Never Seen Before' As ISIS Flee Syria To Attack The West


The Daily Mail reports on the FBI director's warning of a future 'terrorist diaspora.'

FBI Director James Comey warned on Tuesday that in the next two to five years a massive 'terrorist diaspora' will happen.

Comey made the statement while testifying before Congress on Tuesday alongside Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and Nicholas Rasmussen, director of the National Counterterrorism Center. 

The three men were at a hearing to examine threats to national security in the country 15 years after the horrific September 11 attacks. 

Comey, 55, said that he is convinced the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) will be destroyed soon, however, that would not be the end of terrorism.


You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3810934/FBI-Director-warns-upcoming-massive-terrorist-diaspora-like-ve-never-seen-vows-review-past-FBI-warnings-suspected-New-York-bomber.html

Monday, September 26, 2016

FBI Releases 2015 Crime Statistics


The FBI released the below information:

 After two years of decline, the estimated number of violent crimes in the nation increased 3.9 percent in 2015 when compared with 2014 data, according to FBI figures released today. Property crimes dropped 2.6 percent, marking the 13th straight year the collective estimates for these offenses declined.

The 2015 statistics show the estimated rate of violent crime was 372.6 offenses per 100,000 inhabitants, and the property crime rate was 2,487.0 offenses per 100,000 inhabitants. The violent crime rate rose 3.1 percent compared with the 2014 rate, and the property crime rate declined 3.4 percent.

These and additional data are presented in the 2015 edition of the FBI’s annual report Crime in the United States. This publication, which is a statistical compilation of offense, arrest, and police employee data reported by law enforcement agencies voluntarily participating in the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, also includes limited federal crime reporting, human trafficking, and cargo theft data.

The UCR Program collects information on crimes reported by law enforcement agencies regarding the violent crimes of murder and non-negligent manslaughter, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault, as well as the property crimes of burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson. (Although the FBI classifies arson as a property crime, it does not estimate arson data because of variations in the level of participation by the reporting agencies. Consequently, arson data are not included in the property crime estimate.) The program also collects arrest data for the offenses listed above plus 20 offenses that include all other crimes except traffic violations.

Prior to 2013, the FBI’s UCR Program collected rape data in the Summary Reporting System under the category “forcible rape.” In 2013, the program removed the term “forcible” from the title and revised the definition. The legacy UCR definition of rape is “The carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will.” The revised UCR definition of rape is “Penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.”

Of the 18,439 city, county, university and college, state, tribal, and federal agencies eligible to participate in the UCR Program, 16,643 submitted data in 2015. A high-level summary of the statistics submitted, as well as estimates for those agencies that did not report, follows:

In 2015, there were an estimated 1,197,704 violent crimes. Murder and non-negligent manslaughter increased 10.8 percent when compared with estimates from 2014.

Rape and aggravated assault increased 6.3 percent and 4.6 percent, respectively, while robbery increased 1.4 percent.

Nationwide, there were an estimated 7,993,631 property crimes. The estimated numbers for two of the three property crimes show declines when compared with the previous year’s estimates. Burglaries dropped 7.8 percent, and larceny-thefts declined 1.8 percent, but motor vehicle thefts rose 3.1 percent.

Collectively, victims of property crimes (excluding arson) suffered losses estimated at $14.3 billion in 2015.

The FBI estimated that law enforcement agencies nationwide made 10.8 million arrests, excluding traffic violations, in 2015.

The arrest rate for violent crime was 157.2 per 100,000 inhabitants, and the arrest rate for property crime was 458.9 per 100,000 inhabitants.

By violent crime offense, the arrest rate for murder and non-negligent manslaughter was 3.5 per 100,000 inhabitants; rape (aggregate total of revised and legacy), 7.1; robbery, 29.7; and aggravated assault, 117.0 per 100,000 inhabitants.

By property crime offense, the arrest rate for burglary was 67.5 per 100,000 inhabitants; larceny-theft, 364.5; and motor vehicle theft, 24.2. The arrest rate for arson was 2.8 per 100,000 inhabitants.
In 2015, there were 13,160 law enforcement agencies that reported their staffing levels to the FBI. These agencies reported that, as of October 31, 2015, they collectively employed 635,781 sworn officers and 277,380 civilians, a rate of 3.3 employees per 1,000 inhabitants.
Caution Against Ranking

Each year when Crime in the United States is published, some entities use the figures to compile rankings of cities and counties. These rough rankings provide no insight into the numerous variables that mold crime in a particular town, city, county, state, tribal area, or region. Consequently, they lead to simplistic and/or incomplete analyses that often create misleading perceptions adversely affecting communities and their residents. Valid assessments are possible only with careful study and analysis of the range of unique conditions affecting each local law enforcement jurisdiction. The data user is, therefore, cautioned against comparing statistical data of individual reporting units from cities, metropolitan areas, states, or colleges or universities solely on the basis of their population coverage or student enrollment. 

Four Chinese Nationals And China-Based Company Charged With Using Front Companies To Evade U.S. Sanctions Targeting North Korea’s Nuclear Weapons And Ballistic Missile Programs


The U.S. Justice Department released the below information:

Four Chinese nationals and a trading company based in Dandong, China, were charged by criminal complaint unsealed today with conspiring to evade U.S. economic sanctions and violating the Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferators Sanctions Regulations (WMDPSR) through front companies by facilitating prohibited U.S. dollar transactions through the United States on behalf of a sanctioned entity in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) and to launder the proceeds of that criminal conduct through U.S. financial institutions. 
Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Assistant Attorney General for National Security John P. Carlin, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman of the District of New Jersey and Assistant Director E.W. Priestap of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division made the announcement.
On Aug. 3, 2016, a U.S. Magistrate Judge Joseph A. Dickson of the District of New Jersey signed a criminal complaint charging Ma Xiaohong (Ma) and her company, Dandong Hongxiang Industrial Development Co. Ltd. (DHID), and three of DHID’s top executives, general manager Zhou Jianshu (Zhou), deputy general manager Hong Jinhua (Hong) and financial manager Luo Chuanxu (Luo), with conspiracy to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) and to defraud the United States; violating IEEPA; and conspiracy to launder monetary instruments. 
Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) also imposed sanctions on DHID, Ma, Zhou, Hong and Luo for their ties to the government of North Korea’s weapons of mass destruction proliferation efforts.
In addition, the department filed a civil forfeiture action for all funds contained in 25 Chinese bank accounts that allegedly belong to DHID and its front companies.  The department has also requested tha the federal court in the District of New Jersey issue a restraining order for all of the funds named in the civil forfeiture action, based upon the allegation that the funds represent property involved in money laundering, which makes them forfeitable to the United States.  There are no allegations of wrongdoing by the U.S. correspondent banks or foreign banks that maintain these accounts. 
“The charges and forfeiture action announced today allege that defendants in China established and used shell companies around the world, surreptitiously moved money through the United States and violated the sanctions imposed on North Korea in response to, among other things, its nuclear weapons program,” said Assistant Attorney General Caldwell.  “The actions reflect our efforts to protect the integrity of the U.S. banking system and hold accountable those who seek to evade U.S. sanctions laws.”
“The charges unsealed today reflect our nation’s commitment to using all tools to deter and disrupt weapons of mass destruction proliferators,” said Assistant Attorney General Carlin.  “One of the strengths of our sanctions programs is that they prevent sanctioned wrongdoers from engaging in U.S. dollar transactions.  Denying the use of the U.S. financial system can greatly curtail illegal activities and disrupt efforts to provide weapons of mass destruction to terrorists and rogue nations.  Those who seek to evade our financial sanctions will be fully prosecuted, and we will be unflagging in our efforts to bring them to justice.”
“The FBI takes violations of these laws extremely seriously and will not hesitate to use our full investigative resources to stop this type of illegal activity,” said Assistant Director Priestap.  “In this case agents, analysts and forensic accountants from field offices in Phoenix and Newark, as well as FBI Headquarters, all contributed to a successful investigation.”
According to criminal and civil complaints, DHID is primarily owned by Ma and is located near the North Korean border.  DHID allegedly openly worked with North Korea-based Korea Kwangson Banking Corporation (KKBC) prior to Aug. 11, 2009, when the OFAC designated KKBC as a Specially Designated National (SDN) for providing U.S. dollar financial services for two other North Korean entities, Tanchon Commercial Bank (Tanchon) and Korea Hyoksin Trading Corporation (Hyoksin).  President Bush identified Tanchon as a weapons of mass destruction proliferator in June 2005, and OFAC designated Hyoksin as an SDN under the WMDPSR in July 2009.  Tanchon and Hyoksin were so identified and designated because of their ties to Korea Mining Development Trading Company (KOMID), which OFAC has described as North Korea’s premier arms dealer and main exporter of goods and equipment related to ballistic missiles and conventional weapons.  The United Nations (UN) placed KOMID, Tanchon and Hyoksin on the UN Sanctions List in 2006.  In March 2016, KKBC was added to the UN Sanctions List. 
In August 2009, Ma allegedly conspired with Zhou, Hong and Luo to create or acquire numerous front companies to conduct U.S. dollar transactions designed to evade U.S. sanctions.  The complaints allege that from August 2009 to September 2015, DHID used these front companies, established in offshore jurisdictions such as the British Virgin Islands, the Seychelles and Hong Kong, and opened Chinese bank accounts to conduct U.S. dollar financial transactions through the U.S. banking system when completing sales to North Korea.  These sales transactions were allegedly financed or guaranteed by KKBC.  These front companies facilitated the financial transactions to hide KKBC’s presence from correspondent banks in the United States, according to the allegations in the complaints. 
As a result of the defendants’ alleged scheme, KKBC was able to cause financial transactions in U.S. dollars to transit through the U.S. correspondent banks without being detected by the banks and, thus, were not blocked under the WMDPSR program.
A complaint is merely an allegation and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
The FBI is investigating the case.  Trial Attorneys Jennifer Wallis and Michael Parker of the Criminal Division’s Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section, Trial Attorney Christian Ford of the National Security Division’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section and Chief Barbara Ward and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joyce Malliet and Sarah Devlin of the District of New Jersey are prosecuting the case.  The Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs provided valuable assistance in this matter.   

Real life James Bond Who Parachuted Into Lake Como Wearing His Clothes Under His Wetsuit During World War II And Twice Escaped The Firing Squad To Be Honored By The Italians


From Ian Fleming's older brother Peter to a good number of World War II secret agents and commandos, identifying the true-life person that Fleming based his iconic fictional character James Bond on has become a cottage industry in journalism and publishing.

Fleming said time and again that he didn't based the Bond character on a single person, but rather Bond was based on a general type of World War II secret agent and commando, many of whom Fleming met while serving as a naval intelligence officer during the war. And Fleming also noted that he gave Bond many of his own personal likes, dislikes and character traits.

But again we have a Daily Mail piece that speculates that Dick Mallaby (seen in the above photo), a WWII SOE commando, was the inspiration for James Bond.

Perhaps his actions and the fact that he wore his clothes under a scuba suit - like Bond in the Goldfinger film - conjures up the Bond image.

While I don't think Dick Mallaby was the sole inspiration for Bond, nor were the others mentioned over the years since Fleming's death in 1964, Mallaby's patriotism, bravery and resourcefulness were indeed the personal attributes that Ian Fleming infused into his James Bond character.  

You can read about Dick Mallaby via the below link:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3803649/Real-life-James-Bond-parachuted-enemy-lines-armed-secret-codes-toothpaste-crystals-radios-honoured-Italy.html