Thursday, January 18, 2018

The Defense Department Seeks To Connect With America Through ‘This Is Your Military’ Initiative

Lisa Ferdinando at the DoD News offers the below piece:

WASHINGTON, Jan. 18, 2018 — The Defense Department is launching an initiative  called “This Is Your Military” to highlight the work of service members, dispel myths about military service, and increase awareness among the American people, the deputy assistant to the secretary of defense for outreach announced today.

The effort, which kicks off Feb. 1, aims to introduce the American people to the 1 percent of the population serving, Amber Smith said at a Bipartisan Policy Center panel discussion titled “Warrior Caste: Who Will Serve in America’s Future Military?”

"We want to showcase how the military is relevant to Americans’ lives on a daily basis, and how innovative the department is, and how we’re a force for good," she said.

Internal data indicate the civilian-military divide is expanding, she noted. "That ultimately is a threat to the viability and the sustainability of the all-volunteer force, which in the long term has some national security risks,” Smith explained.

Sharing the Military Story

The “This Is Your Military” effort will highlight missions the American people might not connect the military to, Smith said, such as hurricane relief efforts in Florida, Texas and Puerto Rico.

Further, Smith said, DoD wants to dispel misperceptions about military life – for example, that people leave service physically or emotionally broken. Also, she said, incorrect information is out there about what jobs women can serve in and that characterizes military life as lonely and not family friendly.

“We just want to get the facts out there, and in doing so, balance the scale,” Smith said. “So, yes, people might still be familiar with the negatives, but they're also familiar with the positives that come along with serving.”

The effort aims to reach people who are not familiar with the military or may not know the positives of service, she explained. “We really want to articulate a message of what the military is doing, tell that military story to a nonmilitary audience, and really create some interest for people who don't necessarily care,” she added.

External Outreach on Various Platforms

Outreach efforts will include coverage of sporting events and military engagements, as well as videos, photos, graphics and other products, Smith said.

The initiative will conduct outreach on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, all tied together with the #KnowYourMil hashtag. 

Each month, the initiative will highlight an aspect of military life such as military jobs and benefits, entrepreneurism and innovation, global missions and family life.

The initiative will work with all the military services and leverage their existing outreach programs as well, she said.

The Path Not Taken: Edward Lansdale And The American Tragedy In Vietnam


Gary Anderson offers a review of Max Boot's The Path Not Taken for the Washington Times.
Edward Lansdale is probably the greatest cold warrior that most Americans have never heard of. Max Boot has written a fascinating account of how this California college humorist, frat boy and advertising executive evolved into a counterinsurgency expert before the term was even coined. He was a virtual shadow American proconsul in both the Philippines and South Vietnam in the 1950s wisely advising both Philippine President Ramon Magsaysay and South Vietnamese leader No Dinh Diem on how to deal with Communist inspired insurgencies.
His success in the Philippines was spectacular and made his reputation. In Vietnam he was originally successful, but saw his influence wane for reasons beyond his control. However, he became the father of today’s American counterinsurgency doctrine even though few American advisers have been able to replicate his skill in influencing foreign leaders.
Max Boot has become one of the master chroniclers of American counterinsurgency efforts, and his biography of Mr. Lansdale is a tribute to a guy who recognized the threat of insurgency in a post-World War II environment where most American leaders saw only brute force a a solution to any political-military problem. 
Although he never admitted it publicly until late in his life, Mr. Lansdale was a CIA agent with a cover as an Air Force advisory officer. In the Philippines of the early 1950s he became a personal adviser to the Philippine defense minister — and later president — Magsaysay in putting down the Communist inspired Huk rebellion by convincing Mr. Magsaysay that the key was not just killing insurgents, which only created more insurgents.
Mr. Lansdale argued that success was dependent on getting the people to stop supporting the insurgents, and have some hope that the government was a better alternative. Eliminating insurgents militarily was only a secondary part of the Lansdale approach. It worked in the Philippines because Mr. Lansdale developed a unique brand of trust with that nation’s leader.
When he was asked to do the same things in South Vietnam, Mr. Lansdale was initially successful in developing a personal rapport with Prime Minister Diem. However, Mr. Lansdale eventually lost influence with Mr. Diem due to the machinations of Mr. Diem’s brother No Diem Nhu and his manipulative wife Madam Nhu. Absent Mr. Lansdale, the Kennedy administration eventually lost confidence, and authorized a military coup that resulted in the death of both of Diem and his brother leading to a series of disastrous military juntas.
You can read the rest of the review via the below link:

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

FBI Arrests Ex-CIA Officer Living In Hong Kong: Former Chinese-American Case Officer Charged With Illegally Holding Secrets On Recruited CIA Assets


Veteran national security reporter Bill Gertz offers a piece at freebeacon.com on the former CIA officer arrested for mishandling classified material.
A former CIA operations officer has been charged with mishandling secret information about recruited CIA agents, the Justice Department announced Tuesday.
The former case officer, Jerry Chun Shing Lee, also known as Zhen Cheng Li, was arrested by FBI agents at New York's John F. Kennedy Airport on Monday as he returned from his residence in Hong Kong, the department said in a statement.
Court documents in the case indicate Lee was under FBI counterintelligence surveillance since 2012, when agents secretly searched his Honolulu hotel room and found two books containing secrets about recruited CIA "assets."
Lee, 53, is a naturalized U.S. citizen living in Hong Kong. He served in the Army from 1982 to 1986 and graduated from Hawaii Pacific University in 1992.
He joined CIA in 1994 and according to FBI Special Agent Kellie R. O'Brien, was trained in "methods of covert communications, surveillance detection, recruitment of assets, handling of assets, payment of assets, operational security, and documenting, handling and securing classified information." O'Brien was the FBI counterspy who wrote the criminal complaint filed in federal court Jan. 13 and unsealed Tuesday.
Lee also held a top-secret security clearance and had access to sensitive compartmented information—secret information used to protect intelligence programs.
In August 2012, Lee moved from Hong Kong to northern Virginia and during a layover of several days in Honolulu FBI agents conducted a search of his hotel room and photographed two small books, a datebook, and an address book.
"The photographs of the books were reviewed by a CIA classification authority who determined that the books contained classified information," the FBI criminal complaint said.
The 49-page datebook "contained handwritten information pertaining to, but not limited to, operational notes from asset meetings, operational meeting locations, operational phone numbers, true names of assets, and covert facilities," the complaint stated.
The address book also held the true names and phone numbers of assets and covert CIA employees, as well as the addresses of CIA facilities.
You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Former CIA Officer Arrested For Retaining Classified Information


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

Jerry Chun Shing Lee, aka Zhen Cheng Li, 53, a former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officer, was arrested last night on charges of unlawful retention of national defense information.

Dana J. Boente, Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security and U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Andrew W. Vale, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, made the announcement.

Lee was arrested after arriving at John F. Kennedy International Airport in Queens, New York.  Lee is a naturalized U.S. citizen, currently residing in Hong Kong, China.  According to court documents, Lee began working for the CIA as a case officer in 1994, maintained a Top Secret clearance and signed numerous non-disclosure agreements during his tenure at CIA.

According to court documents, in August 2012, Lee and his family left Hong Kong to return to the United States to live in northern Virginia. While traveling back to the United States, Lee and his family had hotel stays in Hawaii and Virginia.  During each of the hotel stays, FBI agents conducted court-authorized searches of Lee’s room and luggage, and found that Lee was in unauthorized possession of materials relating to the national defense.  Specifically, agents found two small books containing handwritten notes that contained classified information, including but not limited to, true names and phone numbers of assets and covert CIA employees, operational notes from asset meetings, operational meeting locations and locations of covert facilities.

Lee made his initial appearance this afternoon in the Eastern District of New York.  He is charged with unlawful retention of national defense information and faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, if convicted.  The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes. If convicted of any offense, the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court after considering the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.  A criminal complaint contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime.  Every defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Neil Hammerstrom of the Eastern District of Virginia and Deputy Chief Elizabeth Cannon of the National Security Division’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section are prosecuting the case.

Monday, January 15, 2018

FBI Releases Age-Progressed Photos Of Four Most Wanted Terrorists From Pan Am Flight 73 Hijacking


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

The FBI Washington Field Office announced today the release of age-progressed photographs of four alleged hijackers charged in the United States with the September 5, 1986 attack of Pan American World Airways Flight 73 in Karachi, Pakistan: Wadoud Muhammad Hafiz al-Turki, Jamal Saeed Abdul Rahim, Muhammad Abdullah Khalil Hussain ar-Rahayyal, and Muhammad Ahmed al-Munawar. These images were created by the FBI Laboratory using age-progression technology and original photographs obtained by the FBI in the year 2000.

The attack on Pan Am Flight 73 resulted in the murder of 20 passengers and crew, including two Americans, the attempted murder of 379 passengers and crew, and the wounding of more than 100 individuals on board.

This announcement is in coordination with the U.S. Department of State Rewards for Justice Program, which is offering a reward of up to $5 million each for information leading to the arrest and/or conviction of the alleged hijackers. Each of these individuals is believed to have been a member of the Abu Nidal Organization (ANO), previously on the U.S. Department of State’s list of designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations.  Each suspect is currently on the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorist List.

Anyone with information regarding these terrorists is asked to contact the FBI, the nearest American Embassy or Consulate, or submit a tip on https://tips.fbi.gov, which can remain anonymous.

Individuals on the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorists List have been indicted by sitting Federal Grand Juries in various jurisdictions in the United States for the crimes reflected on their wanted posters. The indictments currently listed on the posters allow them to be arrested and brought to justice. Additional information regarding the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorists program can be found at: https://www.fbi.gov/wanted/wanted_terrorists

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Health Issue Delays Trial For 'Skinny Joey,' Reputed Philly Mob Boss Who Moved To Boca Raton


The Sun-Sentinel offers a piece on Joseph Merlino's racketeering trail bring postponed.
A reputed Philadelphia mobster’s racketeering trial has been postponed at least a week because of a medical issue, according to court documents.
Accused mob boss Joseph “Skinny Joey” Merlino — whose trial was slated to start on Jan. 16 in Manhattan Federal Court — remains in South Florida recuperating from a heart ailment.
Merlino went to a Boca Raton hospital emergency room on Tuesday, suffering from “chest pains and coronary spasms and shortness of breath,” one of his lawyers said Thursday.
Merlino, 55, has reportedly survived more than 25 attempted hits and beat three murder raps.


Hospital tests had “abnormal” results and “revealed two ‘significant’ blockages,” said Merlino’s attorney Edwin Jacobs.
The alleged gangster’s doctor said Merlino is on medication and needs to be under “close observation for adjustment of medication,” according to a letter submitted to the court. As a result, the note explains, Merlino can't fly or travel for at least two weeks.
The trial has been postponed until Jan. 22. 
You can read the rest of the piece via the below link: