Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Defense Secretary 'Mad Dog' Mattis To Sailors: ‘You're Not some Pu--y Sitting On The Sidelines’


Geoff Ziezulewicz at the Navy Times reports on Defense Secretary Jim Mattis using blunt (and no doubt popular) language while addressing U.S. Navy sailors.

Visiting with sailors at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor in Washington state, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis didn’t mince words when discussing the differences between serving in the military and the civilian population.

Mattis told sailors they would experience the best and worst life has to offer while in the Navy, a sign they are living life to the fullest.

“That means you’re not some p---y sitting on the sidelines”...

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

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

'Fat Leonard' U.S. Navy Bribery And Fraud Case: Active-Duty U.S. Navy Commander Pleads Guilty To Conspiring With Foreign Defense Contractor To Defraud the U.S. Navy


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

An active-duty U.S. Navy commander pleaded guilty today in connection with his efforts to obstruct a federal criminal investigation of the owner and chief executive officer of a multi-national defense contracting firm headquartered in Singapore.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Blanco of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Acting U.S. Attorney Alana Robinson of the Southern District of California, Director Dermot O’Reilly of the Department of Defense’s Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS) and Director Andrew Traver of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) made the announcement.

Bobby Pitts, 48, of Chesapeake, Va., pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the U.S. in connection with the NCIS’s investigation of Leonard Glenn Francis, the owner and CEO of Glenn Defense Marine Asia (GDMA).  Pitts is set to be sentenced on December 1, by U.S. Magistrate Judge Bernard Skomal of the Southern District of California, who accepted his plea today.

According to admissions made as part of his plea agreement, from August 2009 to May 2011, Pitts served as the officer in charge of the U.S. Navy’s Fleet Industrial Supply Command (FISC) in Singapore.  As part of his duties, Pitts learned that NCIS and several civilian employees of the U.S. Navy were investigating whether Francis was over-billing the U.S. Navy on ship husbanding contracts.  Pitts had access to internal U.S. Navy documents pertaining to investigative steps that the U.S. Navy was considering and admitted that he shared this information with Francis, with the intent to impede and obstruct the U.S. Navy’s oversight of its contracts with GDMA.  On Nov. 23, 2010, for example, Pitts forwarded to a representative of GDMA an internal U.S. Navy email discussing FISC’s intention to contact officials with the Royal Thai Navy to determine whether GDMA had been billing the U.S. Navy for services in fact rendered by the Thai government.

In pleading guilty, Pitts admitted, among other things, to working with Francis and other foreign-defense-contractor personnel to help them cover up GDMA’s overcharging practices with respect to providing protection to U.S. Navy forces deployed in the Western Pacific.

So far, 18 of 27 defendants charged in the U.S. Navy bribery and fraud scandal have pleaded guilty.  All defendants are presumed innocent unless and until convicted beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Chief Brian R. Young of the Fraud Section of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Mark W. Pletcher and Patrick Hovakimian of the Southern District of California.  

Monday, August 14, 2017

The Aircraft Carrier USS Gerald R. Ford: ‘A 100,000-Ton Message To The world’


The Washington Times published my piece on the commissioning of the aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford and why carriers are important to America’s freedom.

As an old Navy man who served as a young enlisted sailor on the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk during the Vietnam War, I was pleased and proud to see the U.S. Navy’s newest aircraft carrier, the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), join America’s fleet.

Last month President Trump, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and other dignitaries attended the commissioning of the USS Gerald R. Ford, the Navy’s latest nuclear-powered supercarrier, at the Norfolk naval base. The new carrier was named in honor of President Ford, who served on an aircraft carrier during World War II. His daughter, Susan Ford Bales, the ship’s sponsor, was also in attendance.

“The USS Ford is a magnificent warship that joins the best Navy in the world,” Mr. Mattis said at the ceremony. “It is named after a tried-and true member of the Greatest Generation, and that spirit will permeate this ship so long as it sails on the seas, as well as the U.S. Navy spirit of ‘We have just begun to fight,’ ” he said.

Mr. Trump stated that a ship is only as good as the people who serve on it, and he said the American sailor is the best in the world.

“Among you are great welders, radar technicians, machine operators and pilots,” Mr. Trump said. “You take pride in your work and America takes pride in you. Wherever this vessel cuts through the horizon, our allies will rest easy and our enemies will shake with fear because everyone will know that America is coming and America is coming strong.”


… According to the U.S. Navy, the aircraft carrier remains as the centerpiece of our forward-operating forces. Often the presence of an aircraft carrier has deterred potential adversaries from striking against U.S. interests. Aircraft carriers employ aircraft that engage in attacks on airborne, afloat and shore targets, as well as engage in sustained power projection operations in support of U.S. and coalition forces. The aircraft carrier and its strike group also engage in maritime security operations to interdict threats to merchant shipping and prevent the use of the seas for terrorism and piracy. Aircraft carriers also provide unique capabilities for disaster response and humanitarian assistance.

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

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/aug/14/uss-gerald-ford-projects-american-power/

Note: You can click on the above U.S. Navy photos to enlarge. 

Joseph Bologna, 'My Favorite Year' Actor And Oscar-Nominated Screenwriter, Dies At 82


Mike Barnes at the Hollywood Reporter offers an obituary of writer/actor Joseph Bologna.

Joseph Bologna, an actor, playwright and screenwriter who was so memorable as the egotistical King Kaiser in the 1982 comedy classic My Favorite Year, has died. He was 82.

Bologna died Sunday morning at City of Hope hospital in Duarte, Calif. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer three years ago, said his wife of 52 years, actress and screenwriter Renee Taylor.

Bologna received an Oscar nomination for adapted screenplay, shared with his wife and David Zelag Goodman, for his work on Lovers and Other Strangers (1970). The couple had first written it for Broadway in a 1968 production directed by Charles Grodin.

They penned 22 plays in all, including It Had to Be You, Bermuda Avenue Triangle and If You Ever Leave Me I'm Going With You!

Bologna and Taylor penned and starred in the semi-autobiographical Made for Each Other (1971), which Newsweek called "the best love story & comedy of the year," and co-wrote and co-directed Love Is All There Is (1996), which marked one of the first feature appearances for Angelina Jolie.

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



Note: Not mentioned in the obit is Joseph Bologna’s outstanding role as Bill Bonanno, the son and heir of Salvatore Bonanno, the boss of the Bonanno Cosa Nostra organized crime family, in the TV film adaptation of Gay Talese’s true crime book Honor Thy Father.

I'd like to watch Honor Thy Father, Made For Each Other and My Favorite Year again. Good films. 

Sunday, August 13, 2017

On This Day In History Film Director Alfred Hitchcock Was Born

As History.com notes, Alfred Hitchcock, the director of such classic suspense films as Psycho, Notorious, North By Northwest and To Catch a Thief, was born on this day in 1899.

Alfred Hitchcock, the macabre master of moviemaking, is born in London on August 13, 1899. His innovative directing techniques and mastery of suspense made him one of the most popular and influential filmmakers of the 20th century.

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

Saturday, August 12, 2017

'Fat Leonard' U.S. Navy Scandal: Singapore Executives Sentenced For Fraud In International Navy Corruption Scandal


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

Two former executives of foreign defense contractor Glenn Defense Marine Asia (GDMA) were sentenced today for conspiring to submit bogus claims and invoices to the U.S. Navy in an effort to win contracts and overcharge the U.S. Navy by tens of millions of dollars as part of a years-long corruption and fraud scheme.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Blanco of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Acting U.S. Attorney Alana W. Robinson of the Southern District of California, Director Andrew L. Traver of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) and Director Dermot F. O’Reilly of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS) made the announcement.

Neil Peterson, 39, and Linda Raja, 44, both of Singapore, were sentenced to 70 and 46 months, respectively, by U.S. District Judge Janis L. Sammartino  of the Southern District of California.  Both worked as chief deputies for GDMA, which was owned by Leonard Glenn Francis.   Peterson served as the vice president for global operations for GDMA and Raja served as GDMA’s general manager for Singapore, Australia and the Pacific Isles.

Both defendants were arrested by authorities in Singapore at the request of the U.S. government and were extradited on Oct. 28, 2016.  They each pleaded guilty in May 2017 to one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States with respect to claims.

According to admissions made as part of Peterson’s and Raja’s plea agreements, they and other members of GDMA’s management team created and submitted fraudulent bids that were either entirely fictitious, contained falsified prices supposedly from actual businesses, or fraudulently stated that the business shown on the letterhead could not provide the items or services requested.  In this manner, Peterson, Raja and other members of GDMA’s core management team could ensure that GDMA’s quote would be selected by the U.S. Navy as the supposed low bidder.  GDMA could thus control and inflate the prices charged to the U.S. Navy without any true, competitive bidding, as required, they admitted.

Peterson and Raja admitted that they and other members of the GDMA management team knowingly created and approved fictitious port authorities with fraudulently inflated port tariff rates, and approved the presentation of such fraudulent documents to the U.S. Navy. GDMA thus charged inflated prices to the U.S. Navy, rather than what GDMA actually paid to the bona fide port authorities.

For example, Peterson and Raja admitted that for the visit of the U.S.S. Bonhomme Richard to Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, in or about October 2012, under the direction of Peterson and other members of GDMA's core management team, false documents and inflated invoices were presented to the U.S. Navy.  The full amount billed to the U.S. Navy for this visit was $1,232,858, of which approximately $877,413 was fraudulently inflated, Peterson and Raja admitted.

Peterson and Raja admitted that losses to the U.S. Navy exceeded $34,800,000 as a result of this scheme.

So far, 17 of 27 defendants charged in the U.S. Navy bribery and fraud scandal have pleaded guilty.  All defendants are presumed innocent unless and until convicted beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

The DCIS, NCIS and the Defense Contract Audit Agency are investigating.  Assistant Chief Brian R. Young of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Mark W. Pletcher and Patrick Hovakimian of the Southern District of California and are prosecuting the case.  The Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs provided substantial assistance in this matter.  

On This Day In History Ian Fleming, Creator Of James Bond, Died


As History.com notes, on this day in 1964 the great thriller writer Ian Fleming, creator of James Bond, died.

On this day in 1964, the British author and journalist Ian Fleming, creator of James Bond, the world’s most famous fictional spy, dies of a heart attack at age 56 in Kent, England. Fleming’s series of novels about the debonair Agent 007, based in part on their dashing author’s real-life experiences, spawned one of the most lucrative film franchises in history.

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



You can also read two of my Crime Beat columns on Ian Fleming via the below links: