Thursday, March 31, 2016
Paris Terrorist Salah Abdeslam Agrees To Turn Snitch For French Police… Making The World's Most Wanted Man Now The No.1 ISIS Target
Julian Barnes at the British newspaper the Daily Mail offers a piece on Paris terrorist-turned "supergrass," as the British call a rat or a snitch.
Paris terrorist Salah Abdeslam has agreed to turn supergrass for French police - making the world's most wanted man now the number one ISIS target.
The 26-year-old, suspected of being the logistics chief behind the deadly Paris terror attacks in November, was captured earlier this month during a raid in Brussels.
Abdeslam has not spoken to investigators since the Belgian capital was hit by suicide bombs at the airport and a metro station last week. But this morning it emerged that Abdeslam now wants to 'cooperate' with French authorities.
The terror suspect had previously told interrogators he had intended to blow himself up at the Stade de France stadium in Paris but had backed out at the last minute.
You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:
Wednesday, March 30, 2016
Todd Garbarini at cinemaretro.com offers a review of one of my favorite films about the U.S. Navy, The Last Detail, which was recently released on DVD.
In the mid 1980’s, I caught ABC-TV’s premiere broadcast of Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining (1980) and it changed me forever. I became a huge fan of both Stanley Kubrick’s and Stephen King’s work, as well as classical music. Despite the protestations of many a film reviewer regarding the casting of Jack Nicholson, I greatly admired his performance in the film, and eagerly sought out all of his films that I could find on home video and television at the time. Among them was a film that I had not heard of before, the story about two Navy lifers transporting a convict to the “brig”, a military prison, for having stolen $40.00 out of the Polio contribution box (the Commanding Officer’s wife’s favorite charity – oops!!). Hal Ashby’s The Last Detail(1973), which opened in New York on Sunday, February 10, 1974 (having premiered in L.A. in December of 1973) , contains my favorite film performance by Jack Nicholson, which is saying a lot considering that his turn as R.P. McMurphy inOne Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975) is the role that most critics think of when they discuss his work. Here he plays Billy "Badass" Buddusky, a U.S. petty officer who, along with Richard "Mule" Mulhall (the late Otis Young), is tasked with escorting a sailor, Larry Meadows (Randy Quaid), from their home base in Norfolk, VA to Portsmouth Naval Prison up in Maine.
You can read the rest of the review via the below link:
Note: The film was based on Navy veteran Darryl Ponsicon's novel.
You can order the novel via the below link:
Tuesday, March 29, 2016
Former Navy Noncommissioned Officer Sentenced To 24 Months In Prison For Accepting Bribes While Serving In Afghanistan
The U.S. Justice Department released the below information:
The FBI, SIGAR, CID, DCIS and OSI investigated the case. Trial Attorney Daniel P. Butler of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney David L. Goldberg of the Northern District of Florida prosecuted the case.
As I noted in my previous post, on this day in 1973 all U.S. combat troops left Vietnam.
You can watch a short video that tells the truth about the Vietnam War via the below link:
You can also read Philip Jenning's book, The Politically Incorrect Guide to The Vietnam War.
Posted by Paul Davis at 10:29 AM
Labels: Philip Jennings, The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Vietnam War, The truth about the Vietnam War.
As History.com notes, on this day in 1973 all American combat troops withdrew from South Vietnam.
Two months after the signing of the Vietnam peace agreement, the last U.S. combat troops leave South Vietnam as Hanoi frees the remaining American prisoners of war held in North Vietnam. America’s direct eight-year intervention in the Vietnam War was at an end. In Saigon, some 7,000 U.S. Department of Defense civilian employees remained behind to aid South Vietnam in conducting what looked to be a fierce and ongoing war with communist North Vietnam
You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:
You can also read my Counterterrorism magazine piece on the Vietnam War via the below link:
And you can watch a short video on the Vietnam War via the below link:
FBI: A Look Back At The Coors Kidnapping Case - Law Enforcement Collaboration And Public Assistance Played Key Role
Monday, March 28, 2016
I took my 10-year-old step-grandson to the Tarantulas: Alive and Up Close exhibit at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University in Philadelphia today.
Tarantulas have a reputation that precedes them—terrifying, fast, hairy, scary—the biggest, baddest, and most fearsome of all spiders. In the Academy’s newest hands-on exhibit, Tarantulas: Alive and Up Close, you will come face-to-face with a stunning array of live tarantulas … fangs and all.
Visitors to Tarantulas can:
- Play a guessing game to learn about speedy tarantulas that dwell in the highest treetops and others that live underground, only emerging under cover of darkness to ambush their prey.
- Find out why certain species prefer the desert and the rainforest.
- Learn how tarantulas may play an important role in human medicine.
- Get the facts on why tarantulas are so hairy.
- Explore a tarantula burrow.
- See live feedings.
- Check out arthropods under a microscope.
- Dress up like an eight-legged beast to get your photo taken.
We also saw the museum's wildlife dioramas and while we there I talked the boy into accompanying me to the live tarantulas exhibit. He was leery, but he finally gave in and went in bravely to see the tarantulas with me.
We had a good time.
You can learn more about the Philadelphia museum via the below link:
Tennessee and New York-Based Defense Contractors Agree To Pay $8 Million To Settle False Claims Act Allegations Involving Defective Countermeasure Flares Sold to the U.S. Army
Sunday, March 27, 2016
My Philadelphia Inquirer Review Of Mark Bowden's 'The Three Battles Of Wanat And Other True Stories'
As I wrote at the top of my review, I saw Mark Bowden at a Center City book store some years ago when he was promoting one of his books.
I recall that he spoke of his pleasant surprise that military people and their families were willing to open up to him. He noted that he didn’t serve in the military and previous to his Philadelphia Inquirer series on Black Hawk Down and his subsequent book, he had never covered the military.
As a Navy veteran, a former Defense Department civilian employee, and a writer who covers the military for The Journal of Counterterrorism & Homeland Security Int’l, I’ve associated with sailors, soldiers, marines and airmen nearly all of my life. For some years now I spoken to a good number of current and former armed forces members who very much like Bowden’s Black Hawk Down, Killing Pablo, Guests of the Ayatollah, and his other books on the military.
You can read the review via the below link:
Note: You can click on the above to enlarge.
After Easter dinner and our family gathering every year, my wife and I sit down and watch Mel Gibson's film about Jesus Christ, The Passion of Christ.
You can read my column on Gibson and the film via the below link:
Jazz singer and songwriter Michael Franks calls himself an 'old jazz guy.'
I like his song The Lady Wants to Know.
You can listen to the song via the below link:
Saturday, March 26, 2016
Cheryl Pellerin at the DoD News offers the below piece:
WASHINGTON, March 25, 2016 — The U.S. military killed several key Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists this week, including a senior ISIL leader and finance minister who led certain external affairs and plots, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said here today.
During a Pentagon press briefing, joined by Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Carter said the coalition is systematically eliminating ISIL's cabinet, including Haji Imam.
“He was a well-known terrorist within ISIL's ranks, dating back to its earliest iteration as al-Qaida in Iraq when he worked under [the group’s leader Abu Musab al-] Zarqawi as its liaison for operations with Pakistan,” the secretary said.
Hampering ISIL Operations
“The removal of this ISIL leader will hamper the organization's ability … to conduct operations both inside and outside of Iraq and Syria,” he said.
Carter said Imam is the second senior ISIL leader the coalition has killed this month. Earlier this month defense officials confirmed the death of ISIL's so-called minister of war, Abu Omar al-Shishani, known as Omar the Chechen.
When the fight against ISIL accelerated a few months ago, the secretary said, the coalition began with storage sites where ISIL holds its cash, and now the leader who oversees all funding for ISIL operations is dead, hurting the terrorist army’s ability to pay fighters and hire recruits.
“Our campaign plan is first and foremost to collapse ISIL's parent tumor in Iraq and Syria, focusing on its power centers in Raqqa and Mosul,” he added.
In Syria, coalition-supported local forces recently took the town of Shaddadi, repelled ISIL's counterattacks and ultimately severed the main artery between Syria and northern Iraq, making it harder for ISIL's leaders and forces to travel between Raqqa and Mosul, Carter said.
Iraqi forces have moved from their staging base at Makhmur and are advancing to new positions as part of the early stages of operations to collapse ISIL's control over Mosul, the defense secretary added.
U.S. Marines near Makhmur now are providing artillery fire there at Iraq’s request, he said, to help protect and support the Iraqi advance against ISIL.
“In both Syria and Iraq we're seeing important steps to shape what will become crucial battles in the months to come,” Carter said.
As local partners move forward, the coalition continues to bring relentless pressure on ISIL commanders in Mosul, the secretary added.
Along with killing Imam, U.S. forces targeted Abu Sara, a top ISIL leader charged with paying fighters in northern Iraq, and several ISIL associates who were directly involved in external plotting and training, he said.
“These precise actions came after recent strikes that destroyed a significant quantity of improvised explosive devices and bomb-making equipment that could have been used against our partners headed for Mosul,” Carter added, noting that the actions are believed to be successful and damaging to ISIL.
The defense secretary said the momentum of the campaign against ISIL is clearly on the coalition’s side.
“The United States military will continue to work intensively with our coalition partners to build on this progress, as our counterparts throughout our governments work to defend our homelands at the same time,” he said.
Carter also announced that yesterday he and his Saudi counterpart, Deputy Crown Prince and Defense Minister Mohammad bin Salman, agreed to convene a U.S.-Gulf Cooperation defense ministerial on April 20 in Riyadh ahead of President Barack Obama's participation in the U.S.-Gulf Cooperation Council leaders’ summit there the next day.
“This will be an important forum to build on our counter-ISIL defense ministerial in Brussels last month,” Carter said.
The meeting also will strengthen U.S.-GCC defense partnerships by allowing participants to review and discuss the way ahead for joint regional defense initiatives that all committed to during the 2015 US-GCC Camp David Summit last May, the secretary added.
Note: In the above DoD photo by Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Tim D. Godbee, Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, answer questions about efforts against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant during a news conference at the Pentagon, March 25, 2016.
Charles Krauthammer offers his take on President Obama's trip to Cuba in his column at the Washington Post.
You can read the rest of the column via the below link:
Highest-Ranking Navy Official Sentenced To 46 Months In Prison For Accepting Bribes From Foreign Defense Contractor In Massive Bribery And Fraud Scheme
Friday, March 25, 2016
I'm a cigar smoker. I've been smoking cigars since I was a very young man.
I recall smoking a fine cigar when I was in my early 20s on the fantail of a U.S. Navy tugboat at the nuclear submarine base in Holy Loch, Scotland. Another young sailor approached me and asked, "Don't you feel old smoking a cigar?"
"No," I replied. "I feel... prosperous."
At a recent gathering of serious cigar smokers, I was bold enough to state that I thought Cuban cigars were overrated. I prefer a Dominican Republic Cohiba to a Cuban one. It seems to me that the Communist Cubans don't quite grasp the concept of quality assurance.
I was surprised to discover that a good number of my fellow cigar aficionados felt the same.
So I pleased to read that Christopher Sabatini offered a piece on five Cuban myths in the Washington Post, and he included Cuban cigars as one of the myths. Cuban health care and Che Guevara are two other myths Mr. Sabatini pokes holes in.
President Obama’s historic trip to Cuba this past week returned U.S. and world attention to the small Caribbean island of 11 million people and the long, curious history between it and the United States. It’s hard to think of a similarly sized country that has had such a memorable, tumultuous, often romantic hold on U.S. history and imagination. That narrative encapsulates a welter of assumptions — some propagated by the 1959 revolution, others by the Cuban diaspora and the rest by Americans who haven’t seen Cuba up close in more than half a century. Here are some of those myths.
You can read about the five myths via the below link: