Wednesday, December 4, 2013
In light of Peter Berg's Navy SEALs film Lone Survivor coming soon to the big screen, I'd like to offer my Counterterrorism magazine piece on former Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell.
Peter Berg based his film on Marcus Luttrell's book.
You can read the piece via the below links:
I also wrote about the U.S. SEAL-UDT Museum in a sidebar to the Luttrell piece.
Veteran journalist and author Joseph C. Goulden offers a good review in the Washington Times of Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger's George Washington's Secret Six: The Spy Ring That Saved the American Revolution.
One of the more telling — and accurate — statements to emerge from the American Revolution came from a British intelligence officer, Maj. Gen. George Beckwith: “Washington did not really outfight the British, he simply outspied us!”
Such was certainly the case in the grim early months of the war, when Gen. George Washington threw an ill-equipped, ill-trained army of volunteers against one of the more formidable military machines of the 18th century. Superior force enabled the British to drive the Revolutionaries from their strongholds in Boston and other parts of New England.
To Washington, retaining a foothold in the New York area represented a make-or-break point for his beleaguered army. British control of the harbor would enable the Royal Navy to bring in reinforcements and bedevil Revolutionary shipping. He also knew that the war would not be a “clash of armies” in traditional European fashion, but a series of maneuvers in which he must ferret out British battle plans and weaknesses.
So Washington’s spymaster, Maj. Benjamin Tallmadge, busied himself organizing intelligence operatives. One of his first recruits, the untrained Lt. Nathan Hale, soon perished on a British gallows, a victim of poor tradecraft. But his bravery earned him eternal fame, including a statue outside the Old Headquarters Building on the CIA campus in Langley.
The story of Tallmadge’s greatest coup is related in “Washington’s Secret Six,” by Brian Kilmeade, a co-host of the morning cable-TV program “Fox & Friends,” and Don Yaeger, a veteran Florida ghostwriter. Although they walk ground already well-trod by historians, their access to TV likely will command a large audience of younger persons who spend scant time with books and who should know about a group of true American heroes.
You can read the rest of the review via the below link:
The U.S. Justice Department released the below information yesterday:
PHILADELPHIA—A federal jury yesterday found 52-year-old Rafael Cordero, a 23-year veteran of the Philadelphia Police force, guilty of interfering with the federal drug investigation of the Christian Serrano/Edwin Medina drug trafficking organizations (DTOs). Cordero provided sensitive law enforcement information about drug investigations to his half-brother, David Garcia, a member of the Serrano/Medina DTOs. Cordero told his half-brother about a surveillance camera put up by the DEA to monitor activities occurring at a garage, located at 538 East Indiana Street in Philadelphia, used by the Medina DTO. When the FBI and DEA executed search warrants at several locations associated with the Serrano/Medina DTOs, including the garage, Cordero, after being informed about the searches by his half-brother and without having any official reason to do so, went to the search location on East Indiana Street and began looking in the windows of the garage. When confronted by law enforcement and brought inside the location, Cordero misrepresented his reason for being at the location and offered to assist with the search. At no time did Cordero provide his name to law enforcement.
Immediately after leaving the search location, Cordero placed a call to David Garcia and shared with him, among other things, how many law enforcement officers were conducting the search and what areas of the garage they were searching. Garcia removed a DVR tape that law enforcement had inadvertently failed to seize during the search and viewed it to see if Cordero was recorded at the garage at the time of the search, which he was. At no time did Cordero inform law enforcement that David Garcia had possession of the video tape.
When questioned by federal agents, Cordero denied giving information to Garcia regarding the surveillance camera, denied knowing of anyone associated with the Indiana Street garage, denied having spoken to David Garcia about the search at the garage, and denied passing on information regarding cooperating witnesses to Garcia, all of which were false statements.
Cordero faces a maximum possible sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment. A sentencing date has not yet been set.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Philadelphia Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Maureen McCartney and Kevin Brenner.
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Veteran organized crime reporter George Anastasia is covering the federal organized crime trial in Philadelphia for Bigtrial.net.
Louis "Bent Finger Lou" Monacello didn't deny that he was cheating on his first wife.
But the mob associate said his business partner, Jack Palermo, was out of line when he told Monacello's wife about it. So he pistol-whipped him, hitting him over the head with the butt of a revolver.
And when another associate lied about $50,000 in gambling debts that he had secretly run up on Monacello, the martial arts trained wiseguy said he "gave him a little kick in the head."
He also acknowledged that he coached three other associates to lie to a Delaware County grand jury that was investigating him in 2008. And that he once told another deadbeat gambler that if he didn't come up with the money he owed, he would be "dead."
Monacello, testifying for the third day in the retrial of mob boss Joseph "Uncle Joe" Ligambi and his nephew George Borgesi, spent most of his time on the witness stand today in a verbal sparring match with Ligambi's lawyer, Edwin Jacobs Jr. What emerged was the life and times of Bent Finger Lou, tales of assaults with baseball bats, kicks in the head, gambling debts, extortions and shakedowns.
You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:
You can also read the Philadelphia Inquirer's coverage of the trial via the below link:
You can read the obituary via the below link:
You can also read about Babe Heffron's life at CNSPhilly.com via the below link:
Monday, December 2, 2013
The James Bond web site MI6 offers a video interview with Dominic Cooper, the actor who is portraying James Bond creator Ian Fleming in an upcoming film bio on Sky TV in the U.K. and BBC America in the USA.
You can watch the video via the below link:
Sunday, December 1, 2013
Drew Mackenzie at Newsmax.com offers a piece on former NYC Mayor and U.S. Attorney Rudy Giuliani.
Rudy Giuliani has claimed that the mafia in Italy put an $800,000 contract on his head while he was mayor of New York City.
Giuliani, who was praised for his leadership during the 9/11 terrorist attacksy, revealed to Oprah Winfrey on her OWN cable-channel show "Oprah: Where Are They Now" that as a former prosecutor he was a target for criminals who he'd put behind bars, especially mobsters.
"I don't think anybody prosecuted more mafia members than I did," said Giuliani, who was U.S. Attorney before becoming the mayor from 1994-2001.
"Certainly, no one sent them to prison for the lengthy periods of time that I did."
You can read the rest of the piece via the below link: