Tuesday, June 30, 2020

My Washington Times 'On Crime' Column On Retired Navy SEAL Jack Carr On 'Savage Son' And His Navy SEAL Character James Reece

The Washington Times published my On Crime column on retired Navy SEAL Jack Carr and his character former Navy SEAL James Reece.

With the publication of “Savage Son,” the third novel in the series that features former Navy SEAL James Reece, Jack Carr has become an established top-notch thriller writer.

“As a former Navy SEAL. Reece had recently proven himself particularly skillful at adapting; he’d outwitted a national security apparatus set on killing him and then unraveled a plot that put the president of the United States in the crosshairs,” Jack Carr writes in the beginning of “Savage Son.” 

“A man named Vic Rodriguez led the paramilitary branch of the Central Intelligence Agency as the director of the Special Activities Division. He’d then recruited Reece for the mission that had saved the president’s life and spared Ukraine from a chemical weapons attack. Vic recognized Reece’s aptitude for aggressive problem solving and wanted to bring the frogman further into the fold.”  

Jack Carr is the pen name of a retired Navy SEAL. He served from 1996 to 2016 and he went from an enlisted SEAL sniper, to a junior officer leading assault and sniper teams in Iraq and Afghanistan, to a platoon commander practicing counterinsurgency in the southern Philippines, to commanding a Special Operations Task Unit in the most Iranian influenced section of southern Iraq throughout the tumultuous drawdown of U.S. Forces.

As Mr. Carr notes in the preface of “Savage Son,” he was first introduced to Richard Connell’s great short story, “The Most Dangerous Game,” in junior high school. The short story, which appeared in Collier’s Weekly in 1924, was about a mad hunter on an island who hunted men.

“Upon that initial reading the story, I was determined to one day write a modern thriller that paid tribute to this classic tale, exploring the dynamic between hunter and hunted. Fast-forward thirty years. As I prepare to leave the SEAL Teams, I laid out my ideas for what would become my first novel, ‘The Terminal List.’” 

I reached out to Jack Carr and asked him how he would describe his character James Reece and his three thrillers; “The Terminal List,” “True Believer” and “Savage Son.”

“James Reece is a man on a journey. He is a likable guy you’d want to have a beer with but who can also flip a switch to get the job done. He has the training and experience to do the things he does in the novels. He is a student of war and of the hunt,” Mr. Carr replied. 

You can read the rest of the column below or via the below link: 

Monday, June 29, 2020

Chinese Citizen Convicted Of Economic Espionage, Theft Of Trade Secrets, and Conspiracy: Defendant Stole From U.S. Companies To Benefit Instrumentality Of The Chinese Government

The U.S. Justice Department released the below information:
Hao Zhang, 41, of China, was found guilty of economic espionage, theft of trade secrets, and conspiring to commit both offenses today, announced the Department of Justice.  The ruling was handed down by the Honorable Edward J. Davila, U.S. District Judge, following a four-day bench trial.
Evidence submitted during the course of the trial demonstrated that from 2010 to 2015, Zhang conspired to and did steal trade secrets from two companies: Avago, a designer, developer, and global supplier of a broad range of analog, digital, mixed signal and optoelectronics components and subsystems with a focus in semiconductor design and processing, headquartered in San Jose, California, and Singapore; and Skyworks, an innovator of high performance analog semiconductors headquartered in Woburn, Massachusetts.  Judge Davila found that Zhang intended to steal the trade secrets for the benefit of the People’s Republic of China.
“The defendant plotted with Tianjin University to take trade secrets from two U.S. companies, including his own employer, to China for the benefit of the Chinese Government,” said Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers.  “Today’s guilty verdict on all counts is an important step in holding accountable an individual who robbed his U.S. employer of trade secrets and sought to replicate the company’s technology and replace its market share.  The Department of Justice’s commitment to prosecuting these cases should serve as a cautionary tale to anyone considering doing the same.”      
“A free nation is naturally innovative.  No nation is more innovative than the United States.  Countries without freedom cannot match our innovation, and inevitably must resort to theft.  Theft is not innovation.  By combatting theft, we protect innovation and freedom,” said U.S. Attorney David L. Anderson for the Northern District of California.
“Economic Espionage is a pervasive threat throughout the United States, particularly to the San Francisco Bay Area and Silicon Valley which is the center of innovation and technology,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge John F. Bennett.  “While this case exemplifies how easily a few motivated employees can conspire to misappropriate intellectual property for the benefit of the People’s Republic of China, Zhang’s conviction should serve as a warning to our adversaries that the FBI and our partners remain committed to aggressively investigating and prosecuting these crimes.”
According evidence presented during the bench trial, Zhang stole trade secrets relating the performance of wireless devices.  Specifically, Surface Acoustic Wave (SAW) and Bulk Acoustic Wave (BAW) filters are used in wireless devices to eliminate interference and improve other aspects of device performance.  Film Bulk Acoustic Resonators (FBAR) are one type of BAW filter.  The most common and most profitable application of FBAR technology is as a radio frequency (RF) filter for mobile phones and other wireless devices.  Technological advances in FBARs have played a substantial role in creating smaller, more efficient wireless devices for both consumer and military applications.  Avago, one of the victims of Zhang’s theft, was the leading company in the United States manufacturing and selling FBARs.  Zhang’s other victim, Skyworks, was developing its own BAW technology.
Evidence at trial further showed that in October 2006, Zhang and his co-conspirators started a business in China to compete with Avago and Skyworks.  One of Zhang’s co-conspirators, Wei Pang, started working at Avago at the same time.  Zhang and Pang illicitly shared trade secrets with each other and with co-conspirators in China while they worked for the U.S. companies.  Zhang and Pang then connected their venture to Tianjin University (TJU) in China, an instrumentality of the Chinese government.  By 2009, they left their work in the United States to relocate to China, following a plan laid out by TJU officials to form another company, Novana, in the Cayman Islands.  Along the way, Zhang obtained patents in his own name using trade secret information he knew was stolen from Avago.  Zhang also worked with stolen trade secrets in a lab he founded at TJU while developing his new FBAR business. The FBAR processes that Zhang and his co-conspirators stole took Avago over twenty years of research and development to build.  Additional evidence during the bench trial demonstrated that Zhang engaged in economic espionage to help TJU and Zhang’s Chinese company unfairly compete in the multi-billion dollar global market for cell phone RF filters. 
Zhang was charged in a superseding indictment returned by a federal grand jury on April 1, 2015.
Zhang is currently released on a $500,000 secured bond. 
Zhang’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for Aug. 31, 2020, before Judge Davila in San San Jose.  The maximum statutory penalty for each count in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1831 is 15 years in custody and a fine of $250,000, plus restitution if appropriate.  The maximum statutory penalty for each count in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1832 is 10 years in custody and a fine of $250,000, plus restitution if appropriate.  However, any sentence will be imposed by the court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.
Michelle J. Kane and Susan Knight are the Assistant U.S. Attorneys who are prosecuting the case with the assistance of Rebecca Shelton, Susan Kreider, and Laurie Worthen.  The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the FBI.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Russian National Pleads Guilty For Role In Transnational Cybercrime Organization Responsible For More Than $568 Million In Losses

The U.S. Justice Department released the below information:
One of the leaders of the Infraud Organization pleaded guilty today to RICO conspiracy.  Infraud was an Internet-based cybercriminal enterprise engaged in the large-scale acquisition, sale, and dissemination of stolen identities, compromised debit and credit cards, personally identifiable information, financial and banking information, computer malware, and other contraband. Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division made the announcement.
Sergey Medvedev, aka “Stells,” “segmed,” “serjbear,” 33, of the Russian Federation, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Court Judge James C. Mahan in the District of Nevada.  According to the indictment, the Infraud Organization was created in October 2010 by Svyatoslav Bondarenko aka “Obnon,” “Rector,” and “Helkern,” 34, of Ukraine, to promote and grow interest in the Infraud Organization as the premier destination for “carding”—purchasing retail items with counterfeit or stolen credit card information—on the Internet.  Under the slogan, “In Fraud We Trust,” the organization directed traffic and potential purchasers to the automated vending sites of its members, which served as online conduits to traffic in stolen means of identification, stolen financial and banking information, malware, and other illicit goods.  It also provided an escrow service to facilitate illicit digital currency transactions among its members and employed screening protocols that purported to ensure only high quality vendors of stolen cards, personally identifiable information, and other contraband were permitted to advertise to members.  In March 2017, there were 10,901 registered members of the Infraud Organization. 
During the course of its seven-year history, the Infraud Organization inflicted approximately $2.2 billion in intended losses, and more than $568 million in actual losses, on a wide swath of financial institutions, merchants, and private individuals, and would have continued to do so for the foreseeable future if left unchecked. 
The investigation was conducted by the Las Vegas Office of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations and the Henderson, Nevada Police Department.  The Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs provided significant assistance in securing the defendant’s extradition from Thailand.  Deputy Chief Kelly Pearson and Trial Attorneys Chad W. McHenry and Alexander Gottfried of the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section are prosecuting the case.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Philly Prime Podcast: Veteran Police Chiefs Mike Chitwood Sr. and Mike Jr. Offer Thier Take On The Philadelphia Protests

Veteran reporter Dave Schratwieser interviews veteran police chiefs father and son Mike Chitwood Sr. and Mike Chitwood Jr. about the out of control violent protests in Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Police response on the Philly Prime Podcast.

You can listen to the interview via the below link:


Note: The top photo is of Mike Chitwood Sr., the middle photo is of Mike Chitwood Jr., and the above photo is Dave Schratwieser.

Once A Mafia Prince: Patrick Bet-David's Interview With Philip Leonetti, The Former Underboss Of The Philadelphia-South Jersey Cosa Nostra Organized Crime Family

Patrick Bet-David interviewed Philip Leonetti, the former underboss of the Philadelphia-South Jersey Cosa Nostra crime family who became a government cooperating witness and the author of Mafia Prince: Inside America's Most Violent Crime Family and the Bloody Fall of La Cosa Nostra.

You can watch the interview via the below link:


I reviewed Mafia Prince for the Washington Times and I interviewed Philip Leonetti.

You can read my review of Mafia Prince via the below link:


And you can read my Crime Beat column and Q&A with Philip Leonetti via the below link:


Friday, June 26, 2020

Ralph Cipriano: Did Police Commissioner Taking A Knee Violate Dept. Policy?

Veteran reporter Ralph Cipriano (seen in the bottom photo) at www.bigtrial.net asks whether the Philadelphia police commissioner violated policy by “taking a knee" with protestors? 

Earlier this month outside City Hall, Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw knelt in solidarity with protesters angry about the murder of George Floyd in police custody.

"I'm here not only in solidarity, but in collaboration, in the spirit of partnership, in the spirit of fellowship," she told the protesters on June 6th, who hailed from nine black fraternities and sororities. "I appreciate the spirit of peace that you're bringing here, and the spirit of positivity and collaboration. We will get through this together."

To the protesters, it may have come across as a conciliatory stance, but in taking a knee, along with Deputy Commissioner Melvin Singleton,  Commissioner Outlaw appears to have violated the Philadelphia Police Department's written directives for handling demonstrations and labor disputes.

According to the Police Department's Policy Directive 8.3, Section E, "Police personnel of all ranks shall maintain complete neutrality and objectivity at all times." Section G further states, "Under no circumstances shall the department be made subservient to any group."

How much more subservient can you be if you're taking a knee?

I asked Staff Inspector Sekou Kinebrew, commanding officer of the Philadelphia Police Department's Office of Public Affairs & Media Relations, if the police commissioner's decision to take a knee violated the Police Department's Policy Directive 8.3.

"The directive was not violated," Kinebrew wrote back in an email.

So I sent Kinebrew pictures of Outlaw kneeling and wearing what appears to be a salmon pink and apple green-colored facemark.That's the official colors of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, which is listed on Outlaw's resume. I asked Kinebrew if wearing those colors amounted to taking a side in the dispute between protesters and the police.

"No," he replied.

I asked Kinebrew if he was telling me that I wasn't seeing what I saw in the photos I sent him.

"No disrespect," he wrote back, "But I'm done commenting on this."

Other cops had different opinions.

"In other words, directives don't apply to the top brass," one cop wrote. "What would happen if a cop took a knee at a KKK rally?"

"How dare they take a knee for an organization that clearly chanted, what do we want, dead cops, when do we want it, now," another cop wrote. "I will never bow to those who disrespect the badge."

"It makes the department look weak," the cop said. "I was sick to my stomach when I saw that happen," she said about the kneeling. "Strength comes from standing your ground, not pandering like a fool."

I asked a black cop if he would take a knee for the protesters.

"Hell no," he said. "That's the position of surrender."

And from a tactical point, the cop said, "the worst position you can be in is on the ground." If the demonstrators rushed the cops while they were kneeling, they could have grabbed an officer's gun, or his Taser, the cop said. 

… At yesterday's press conference, Outlaw promptly served up Deputy Commissioner Dennis Wilson, who  promptly fell on his sword. 

"Me and me alone" ordered the tear gas, Wilson confessed, so he was taking a voluntary demotion down to chief inspector.

To many cops, the ritual humiliation of Wilson was hard to stomach.

"Translation," wrote one veteran Philadelphia Police Department commander in an email, "I am blaming this on that white Republican asshole Dennis Wilson to skirt any and all responsibility."

"Well, 'Commissioner,' if you weren't hiding in the comfort of your office while the rest of us on the street were getting our asses kicked by the 'peaceful' protesters who were rioting, looting, burglarizing, stealing, vandalizing, taking over the Expressways, committing arson, assaulting police officers, and the list goes on, maybe you would have actually been there, on the front lines, as is expected of a leader, so you could have called the shots," the veteran police commander wrote.

In her email to police headquarters, Outlaw also announced that an officer assigned to the SWAT team who was filmed using pepper spray on three civilians sitting on the ground had been given formal notice of a 30-day suspension, with intent to dismiss.

"Translation," the veteran police commander wrote. "We are going to lock up his white male Republican ass to cater to Black Lives Matter and the mob."

Outlaw was taking a pounding in other quarters. On the latest episode of the Philly Prime podcast, Dave Schratwieser of Fox 29 interviewed former famous Philly cops Michael Chitwood Sr. and Michael Chitwood Jr., who between them have 85 years of police experience.

Schratwieser asked both Chitwoods about their reaction to the Philly riots. 

"I've never seen anything like it in my life," said Chitwood Sr., the retired police superintendent of Upper Darby, and before that, a highly decorated Philadelphia police officer. 

"Philadelphia was not prepared for the violence that occurred," Chitwood Sr. said.

"What I saw was a complete lack of leadership in Philadelphia from the mayor and the police commissioner and somebody has to own that," said Chitwood Jr. He's currently the sheriff of Volusia County, Florida, and the former police chief of Daytona Beach. Before that, Chitwood Jr. was a decorated lieutenant in the Philadelphia Police Department.

As far as the mayor owning "a complete lack of leadership," fat chance. All Jim "Sanctuary City" Kenney knows how to do is pander and apologize. And hide behind the skirt of his rookie police commissioner. 

"I think the commissioner should have been out there in front leading and if the order had to be given, she should have given the order," Mike Chitwood Sr.said. 

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

FBI Warns Of Potential Fraud In Antibody Testing For COVID-19

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is warning the public about potential fraud schemes related to antibody tests for COVID-19.

Scammers are marketing fraudulent and/or unapproved COVID-19 antibody tests, potentially providing false results. In addition, fraudsters are seeking to obtain individuals’ personal information (names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, etc.) and personal health information, including Medicare and/or private health insurance information, which can be used in future medical insurance or identity theft schemes.
In response to the vast number of COVID-19 cases, and in an effort to return to a normal economy as soon as possible, researchers have been encouraged to devise testing methods that can be quickly and easily deployed to test large numbers of individuals for COVID-19 antibodies. However, not all COVID-19 antibody tests have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and their efficacy has not been determined.
The FBI warns the public to be aware of the following potential indicators of fraudulent activity:

Claims of FDA approval for antibody testing that cannot be verified.

Advertisements for antibody testing through social media platforms, email, telephone calls, online, or from unsolicited/unknown sources.

Marketers offering “free” COVID-19 antibody tests or providing incentives for undergoing testing.

Individuals contacting you in person, phone, or email to tell you the government or government officials require you to take a COVID-19 antibody test. 

Practitioners offering to perform antibody tests for cash.
The FBI recommends:
  • Checking the FDA’s website (fda.gov) for an updated list of approved antibody tests and testing companies
  • Consulting your primary care physician before undergoing any at-home antibody tests
  • Using a known laboratory approved by your health insurance company to provide the antibody testing
  • Not sharing your personal or health information to anyone other than known and trusted medical professionals
  • Checking your medical bills and insurance explanation of benefits (EOBs) for any suspicious claims and promptly reporting any errors to your health insurance provider
  • Following guidance and recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other trusted medical professionals
If you believe you have been the victim of a COVID-19 fraud, immediately report it to National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline at (866) 720-5721 or justice.gov/disastercomplaintform, or the FBI (ic3.gov, tips.fbi.gov, or 1-800-CALL-FBI).

Tear Em Down Protestors

Thursday, June 25, 2020

WikiLeaks Founder Charged In Superseding Indictment New Allegations Assert Assange Conspired With “Anonymous” Affiliated Hackers, Among Others

The U.S. Justice Department released the below information:
A federal grand jury returned a second superseding indictment today charging Julian P. Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, with offenses that relate to Assange’s alleged role in one of the largest compromises of classified information in the history of the United States.   
The new indictment does not add additional counts to the prior 18-count superseding indictment returned against Assange in May 2019.  It does, however, broaden the scope of the conspiracy surrounding alleged computer intrusions with which Assange was previously charged.  According to the charging document, Assange and others at WikiLeaks recruited and agreed with hackers to commit computer intrusions to benefit WikiLeaks.
Since the early days of WikiLeaks, Assange has spoken at hacking conferences to tout his own history as a “famous teenage hacker in Australia” and to encourage others to hack to obtain information for WikiLeaks.  In 2009, for instance, Assange told the Hacking At Random conference that WikiLeaks had obtained nonpublic documents from the Congressional Research Service by exploiting “a small vulnerability” inside the document distribution system of the United States Congress, and then asserted that “[t]his is what any one of you would find if you were actually looking.”
In 2010, Assange gained unauthorized access to a government computer system of a NATO country.  In 2012, Assange communicated directly with a leader of the hacking group LulzSec (who by then was cooperating with the FBI), and provided a list of targets for LulzSec to hack.  With respect to one target, Assange asked the LulzSec leader to look for (and provide to WikiLeaks) mail and documents, databases and pdfs.  In another communication, Assange told the LulzSec leader that the most impactful release of hacked materials would be from the CIA, NSA, or the New York Times.  WikiLeaks obtained and published emails from a data breach committed against an American intelligence consulting company by an “Anonymous” and LulzSec-affiliated hacker.  According to that hacker, Assange indirectly asked him to spam that victim company again.
In addition, the broadened hacking conspiracy continues to allege that Assange conspired with Army Intelligence Analyst Chelsea Manning to crack a password hash to a classified U.S. Department of Defense computer. 
An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime.  Assange is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.  If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison on each count except for conspiracy to commit computer intrusion, for which he faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties.  A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
John C. Demers, Assistant Attorney General for National Security, G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and James A. Dawson, Special Agent in Charge, Criminal Division, FBI Washington Field Office, made the announcement. First Assistant U.S. Attorney Tracy Doherty-McCormick, Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kellen S. Dwyer, Thomas W. Traxler, Alexander P. Berrang, and Gordon D. Kromberg, and Trial Attorneys Adam L. Small and Nicholas O. Hunter of the Justice Department’s National Security Division are prosecuting the case.
Assange is currently detained in the United Kingdom on an extradition request from the United States.  Assange’s extradition to the United States is being handled by the Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs and UK authorities, including the Home Office and the Crown Prosecution Service for England and Wales.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Ralph Cipriano: Ten Tough Questions The Philadelphia Inquirer Would Never Ask Mayor Kenney

Veteran reporter Ralph Cipriano (seen in the below photo) at BigTrial.net asks Philadelphia Mayor Kenney (seen in the above photo) ten tough question that he says the Philadelphia Inquirer would never ask (but ought to).

A big problem in this town is that Mayor Jim Kenney, District Attorney Larry Krasner, and the reporters and editors at The Philadelphia Inquirer are all card-carrying Progressive Democrats who share the same values, think the same thoughts, and drink the same Kool-Aid.

And one of the first rules of being a Progressive "journalist" and social justice warrior is that you don't embarrass or hold accountable a public official who happens to be a fellow Progressive Democrat down with the cause.

So in that spirit, Big Trial, which is barred from attending Mayor Kenney's virtual press conferences, and is typically stiffed by the mayor's press office whenever it asks a question that the administration doesn't want to answer, is going to publicly post 10 tough questions for our mayor. 

These are questions that the Inquirer would never ask, and some of these questions Kenney's flacks so far have repeatedly refused to answer. But nevertheless these are 10 questions that demand answers.

Question 1. The week before the start of the George Floyd protests, the Police Department knew that massive crowds of protesters were headed their way, plus plenty of outside agitators who were ready to rumble. 

So why was the rookie police commissioner, the police department, and the entire Kenney administration caught flat-footed? Why were Kenney and Outlaw and Managing Director Brian Abernathy completely unprepared for the chaos, rioting, looting and arson fires that ensued? 

The mayor and police commissioner have announced the hiring of a private consultant to review the police department's response to the riots, especially questions about the cops' use of force. But the battle was lost before the protesters ever came to town. 

What we're really dealing with here is a complete failure of leadership on the part of Mayor Kenney and his hand-picked rookie police commissioner, Danielle Outlaw to come up with a tactical plan to protect the city from an invading army of protesters and criminals. 

Mayor Kenney, isn't this charade of hiring an outside consultant to second-guess the police response to the riots, and especially the focus on the so-called use of excessive force, just a diversionary tactic to get around the real issue, which namely is your complete failure as a leader?

Question 2. While the "protesters" were looting stores with abandon, setting arson fires and blowing up ATMs all over town, typically with no police officers in sight to protect citizens or property, why was the Kenney administration secretly tying up some 48 plainclothes detectives with 24/7 private security details for top city officials? 

For at least 11 straight days during the riots, those private security details were parked 24/7 outside the homes of officials such as the managing director and the health commissioner, 16 of 17 City Council members, as well as the mayor's fiancee.

The mayor, of course, was already protected by a 24/7 security detail that included a lieutenant, a sergeant and ten police officers who chauffeur the mayor around in brand new Chevy Tahoe. The D.A. also has his own private security detail of three officers who drive him around in a Ford Expedition.

But on top of those details, the Kenney administration during the rioting also provided private security details for Kenney's girlfriend and the top city officials listed above.

Isn't this a double standard? One set of rules for the people on top of the City Hall pay scale, and their significant others, and another set of rules for the rest of us, who were left to fend for ourselves? 

Does anyone see a problem with a mayor who's whacking the police budget, but has no problem using the cops to guard his top officials and their families, and the mayor's girlfriend, with private24/7 security details?

So it's time for the mayor to fess up on the private security details. We need a full list of who got them and why, and what was the cost. 

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

Babylon Bee: With Statues Gone, Pigeons Forced To Poop On Rioters

The Babylon Bee takes a satirical shot at violent protestors pulling down statues.

U.S.—With more and more statues across the country being pulled down, pigeons are being forced to redirect their payloads to different targets.

As soon as statues are pulled down, the pigeons turn toward the nearest available target: angry rioters.

"Yes! Down with racism--AHHHHH!!!!" screamed one rioter just after pulling down a statue of Christopher Columbus. 

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

U.S. Army Soldier Charged With Terrorism Offenses For Planning Deadly Ambush On Service Members In His Unit

The Justice Department released the below information:
Department of Justice announced the unsealing of an indictment charging Ethan Melzer, 22, of Louisville, Kentucky, for allegedly planning an attack on his U.S. Army unit by sending sensitive details about the unit – including information about its location, movements, and security – to members of an extremist organization named Order of the Nine Angles (O9A), an occult-based neo-Nazi and white supremacist group.   Melzer is charged with conspiring and attempting to murder U.S. nationals, conspiring and attempting to murder military service members, providing and attempting to provide material support to terrorists, and conspiring to murder and maim in a foreign country.  The FBI and the U.S. Army thwarted Melzer’s plot in late-May 2020, and the FBI arrested Melzer on June 10, 2020.  The case is assigned to U.S. District Judge Gregory Woods.
“As the indictment lays out, Ethan Melzer plotted a deadly ambush on his fellow soldiers in the service of a diabolical cocktail of ideologies laced with hate and violence,” said Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers.  “Our women and men in uniform risk their lives for our country, but they should never face such peril at the hands of one of their own.  The National Security Division is proud to support the efforts of those who disrupted this planned attack and to seek justice for these acts.”
“As alleged, Ethan Melzer, a private in the U.S. Army, was the enemy within.  Melzer allegedly attempted to orchestrate a murderous ambush on his own unit by unlawfully revealing its location, strength, and armaments to a neo-Nazi, anarchist, white supremacist group,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss for the Southern District of New York.  “Melzer allegedly provided this potentially deadly information intending that it be conveyed to jihadist terrorists.  As alleged, Melzer was motivated by racism and hatred as he attempted to carry out this ultimate act of betrayal.  Thanks to the efforts of the agents and detectives of the JTTF, our partners in the Departments of Defense and State, and the career prosecutors of this office, a hate-fueled terrorist attack against American soldiers has been thwarted.”
“As alleged, Ethan Melzer sought to facilitate a deadly mass attack on his fellow service members by disclosing sensitive information to multiple extremists, including al-Qa’ida.  The FBI’s top priority remains protecting Americans from terrorist attacks, at home and abroad, and this case highlights the outstanding work of the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Forces, along with our U.S. military partners, to identify and disrupt threats like this one against our men and women in uniform,” said Assistant Director Jill Sanborn of the FBI's Counterterrorism Division.
“Melzer declared himself to be a traitor against the United States, and described his own conduct as tantamount to treason.  We agree.  He turned his back on his county and his unit while aligning himself with members of the neo-Nazi group O9A,” said FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Office William F. Sweeney Jr.  “Today, he is in custody and facing a lifetime of service – behind bars – which is appropriate given the severity of the conduct we allege today.” 
“This case is another example of the international responsibilities of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s New York Joint Terrorism Task Force,” said Dermot Shea, the Commissioner of the New York City Police Department.  “Its FBI agents and New York City police detectives will travel anywhere in the world to bring terrorists to justice, in this case a soldier who is alleged to have forsaken his oath to the United States military and his fellow soldiers.”
According to the criminal complaint and the indictment charging Melzer, which were unsealed today in Manhattan federal court:
Melzer joined the U.S. Army in approximately 2018, and he joined O9A by approximately 2019.  Members and associates of O9A have espoused violent, neo-Nazi, anti-Semitic, and Satanic beliefs, and have expressed admiration for both Nazis, such as Adolf Hitler, and Islamic jihadists, such as Osama Bin Laden, the now-deceased former leader of al Qaeda.  Members and associates of O9A have also participated in acts of violence, including murders.
In approximately October 2019, Melzer deployed abroad with the Army.  Prior to planning the attack, Melzer consumed propaganda from multiple extremist groups, including O9A and the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, which is also known as ISIS.  For example, in connection with the investigation, the FBI seized from an iCloud account maintained by Melzer an ISIS-issued document with a title that included the phrase “HARVEST OF THE SOLDIERS” and described attacks and murders of U.S. personnel in approximately April 2020.
In approximately April 2020, the Army informed Melzer of plans for a further foreign deployment by his unit.  Melzer thereafter sought to facilitate a deadly attack on his fellow service members.  After he was notified of the assignment, Melzer used an encrypted application to send messages to members and associates of O9A and a related group known as the “RapeWaffen Division,” including communications regarding Melzer’s commitment to O9A and sensitive information related to his unit’s anticipated deployment such as locations, movements, and security, for purposes of facilitating an attack on Melzer’s unit.  Melzer and his co-conspirators planned what they referred to as a “jihadi attack” during the deployment, with the objective of causing a “mass casualty” event victimizing his fellow service members.  Melzer acknowledged in electronic communications that he could be killed during the attack, and, describing his willingness to die, wrote “who gives a [expletive] [. . .] it would be another war . . . I would’ve died successfully . . . cause [] another 10 year war in the Middle East would definitely leave a mark.”  
On or about May 17, 2020, Melzer exchanged electronic communications regarding passing information about the anticipated deployment to a purported member of al Qaeda.  Between approximately May 24 and May 25, 2020, Melzer sent additional electronic messages with specific information about his unit’s anticipated deployment, including, among other things, the number of soldiers who would be traveling, the location of the facility to which Melzer expected the unit would be deployed, and information about the facility’s surveillance and defensive capabilities.  Melzer promised to leak more information once he arrived at the location of the new deployment in order to try to maximize the likelihood of a successful attack on his unit. 
During a voluntary interview with military investigators and the FBI, Melzer admitted his role in plotting the attack.  Melzer said that he intended the planned attack to result in the deaths of as many of his fellow service members as possible.  Melzer also declared himself to be a traitor against the United States, and described his conduct as tantamount to treason.   
Melzer is charged in the Indictment with (1) conspiring to murder U.S. nationals, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2332(b)(2), which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison; (2) attempting to murder U.S. nationals, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2332(b)(1), which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison; (3) conspiring to murder U.S. military service members, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1117, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison; (4) attempting to murder U.S. military service members, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1114, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison; (5) attempting to provide and providing material support to terrorists, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2339A, which carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison; and (6) conspiring to murder and maim in a foreign country, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 956, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.  The statutory penalties are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant would be determined by the judge.
Assistant Attorney General Demers and Acting U.S. Attorney Strauss praised the outstanding efforts of the FBI’s New York Joint Terrorism Task Force, which consists of investigators and analysts from the FBI, the NYPD, and over 50 other federal, state, and local agencies; the FBI’s Legal Attaché Office in Rome, Italy; the Air Force Office of Special Investigations; U.S. Army Counterintelligence; U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command; Attorneys from the U.S. Army Africa Office of the Staff Judge Advocate and 173rd Airborne Brigade; and the U.S. Department of State Diplomatic Security Service.
This prosecution is being handled by the office’s Terrorism and International Narcotics Unit.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sam Adelsberg, Matthew Hellman, and Sidhardha Kamaraju are in charge of the prosecution, with assistance from Trial Attorney Alicia Cook of the Counterterrorism Section.
The charges in the complaint and indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Monday, June 22, 2020

Babylon Bee: Navy SEALs To Be Replaced With Social Workers

The Babylon Bee takes a satirical shot at the notion of defunding police departments. 

U.S.—The Navy SEALs are being disbanded and replaced with a new branch of the military: The United States Social Workers.

The social workers will be dropped into terrorist hideouts to talk with militants about their feelings and defuse the situation. The move was made as a push against police work and firearms continues across the nation. As people continue to call on police departments to be defunded, the next logical target was the Navy SEALs. 

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

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Remembering My Late Father On Father's Day

Today on Father’s Day I’ve been thinking about my late father, Edward Miller Davis.

My father is seen in the above photo with me when I was 17 years old and had just returned home in May of 1970 after completing Navy Boot Camp.   

My father, a Navy veteran of WWII who served as an Underwater Demolition Team (UDT) frogman, was proud and happy that I had joined the Navy. He was also proud that I had received orders to the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk and would go on to serve on the carrier during the Vietnam War. 

(My father is the chief in the center of the UDT 5 team photo below).  

My father died in 1976 at the age of 57. 

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Joseph Wambaugh's Letter To The Editor Of The Los Angeles Times Concerning The Atlanta Police Shooting Of Rayshard Brooks

In response to an editorial on the Atlanta police shooting of Rayshard Brooks in the Los Angeles Times, Joseph Wambaugh, a former LAPD Sgt and the author of classic police novels and true crime books, wrote a letter to the editor.

To the editor: The Los Angeles Times Editorial Board wrote, “Authorities say he resisted, took an officer’s Taser and began to run, and one of the officers shot him in the back.” (The emphasis is mine.)

Newsflash: We saw him resisting on video, and we saw him running with the Taser. You also omit the fact that Brooks fired the Taser at the officers chasing him.

Joseph Wambaugh, San Diego.

I reached out to Joseph Wambaugh about this and he said, “The LA Times predictably deleted my last sentence:  "Is the Times editorial staff working for the Brooks family lawyer?"  

You can also read my On Crime column at the Washington Times on Joseph Wambaugh's true crime classic The Onion Field via the below link:


And you can read my Q&A with Joseph Wambaugh via the below link:


Friday, June 19, 2020

Former Defense Intelligence Agency Analyst Sentenced For Leaking Classified Information To Journalists

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

A former employee of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) was sentenced today to 30 months in prison for leaking classified information to two journalists in 2018 and 2019.

“Frese repeatedly passed classified information to a reporter, sometimes in response to her requests, all for personal gain,” said Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers.  “When this information was published, it was shared with all of our nation's adversaries, creating a risk of exceptionally grave harm to the security of this country.  His conviction and sentence demonstrate the Department’s commitment to the investigation and prosecution of such betrayals by clearance holders as part of our mandate to protect our citizens and defend the national security of the United States.”
“The American people expect those entrusted with our nation's most sensitive secrets to keep those secrets safe. Mr. Frese did just the opposite,” said Assistant Director Alan E. Kohler Jr. of the FBI's Counterintelligence Division.  “The FBI is committed to protecting the national security interests of the United States and will vigorously pursue investigations into current and former clearance holders who leak classified information.”
“When our nation’s secrets are published, in print or online, those secrets are made available to all of our adversaries,” said G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “Frese’s choice to betray his oath to his country had real consequences and caused actual harm to the safety of this country and its citizens.”
“When Mr. Frese chose to provide classified information to members of the media, he violated his oath to serve the United States as a trusted government employee,” said Timothy R. Slater, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI's Washington Field Office.  “Put in the hands of our adversaries, this information causes damage and harm to our country.  This investigation and today's sentencing serve as a reminder that unauthorized disclosures of classified information is a crime, and will not be tolerated.”
According to court documents, Henry Kyle Frese, 31, of Alexandria, was employed by DIA as a counterterrorism analyst from February 2018 to October 2019, and held a Top Secret//Sensitive Compartmented Information security clearance.  United States government agencies have confirmed that in the spring and summer of 2018, News Outlet 1 published eight articles, all authored by the same journalist (Journalist 1) that contained classified NDI that related to the capabilities of certain foreign countries’ weapons systems.  These articles contained classified intelligence from five intelligence reports (the Compromised Intelligence Reports) made available to appropriately cleared recipients in the first half of 2018.  The topic of all of these initial five Compromised Intelligence Reports – foreign countries’ weapons systems – was outside the scope of Frese’s job duties as an analyst covering CT topics.  The media articles, and the intelligence reporting from which they were derived, both contained information that is classified up to the TS//SCI level, indicating that its unauthorized disclosure could reasonably be expected to result in exceptionally grave damage to the national security.  The intelligence reporting was marked as such.
According to court documents, Frese and Journalist 1 lived together at the same residential address from January 2018 to November 2018.  Throughout 2018 and 2019, Frese and Journalist 1 “followed” each other on Twitter, and on at least two occasions Frese re-Tweeted Journalist 1’s tweets announcing the publications of articles containing NDI classified at the Top Secret level.
In or about April of 2018, Journalist 1 introduced Frese to a second journalist (Journalist 2).  Subsequently, Frese began texting and speaking with Journalist 2 by telephone.  Between mid-2018 and late September 2019, Frese orally transmitted NDI classified at the Top Secret level to Journalist 1 on 12 separate occasions, and orally transmitted NDI classified at the Secret level to Journalist 1 on at least four occasions.  Frese knew the information was classified at the Secret and Top Secret levels because the intelligence products from which he had learned the classified information had visible classification markings as to the classification level of the information, and the intelligence products accessed by Frese were stored on secure, classified government information systems.
In relation to one of the 12 times Frese orally transmitted Top Secret NDI to Journalist 1, in or about mid-April to early May 2018, Frese accessed an intelligence report unrelated to his job duties on multiple occasions, which contained NDI classified at the Top Secret//SCI level (Intelligence Report l).  A week after Frese accessed Intelligence Report 1 for the second time, Frese received an April 27, 2018 Twitter Direct Message (DM) from Journalist 1 asking whether Frese would be willing to speak with Journalist 2.  Frese stated that he was “down” to help Journalist 2 if it helped Journalist 1 “progress.” During the same April 27, 2018, Twitter exchange, Journalist 1 indicated that a certain United States military official told Journalist 2 that the official was not aware of the subject matter discussed in Intelligence Report 1.  Frese characterized the official’s denial as “weird” and commented on the source of information contained within Intelligence Report 1.
Several days after the April 27, 2018, Twitter exchange, Frese searched on a classified United States government computer system for terms related to the topics contained in Intelligence Report 1.  A few hours after searching for terms related to the topic of Intelligence Report l, Frese spoke by telephone with Journalist 1, and several hours later he spoke by telephone with Journalist 2.  Immediately after the call with Journalist 2, Journalist 1 called Frese. During at least one of the calls with Journalist 1 and Journalist 2, Frese orally passed Top Secret NDI derived from Intelligence Report 1.  Approximately 30 minutes after Frese spoke with the two journalists, Journalist 1 published an article (Article 1) which contained Top Secret NDI, orally communicated by Frese and derived from Intelligence Report 1 classified at the Top Secret//SCI level.
On at least 30 separate occasions in 2018, Frese conducted searches on classified government systems for information regarding the classified topics he discussed with Journalists 1 and 2.  On multiple occasions in 2018 and 2019, Frese conducted searches on classified government systems because of specific requests for information from Journalists 1 and 2.
Additionally, between early 2018 and October 2019, Frese communicated with an employee of an overseas CT consulting group (Consultant 1) via social media.  On at least two occasions, Frese transmitted classified NDI related to CT topics to Consultant 1, using a social media site’s direct messaging feature.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Danya E. Atiyeh, Neil Hammerstrom and Trial Attorney Jennifer Gellie for the Counterintelligence and Export Control Section of the National Security Division prosecuted the case.

Babylon Bee: Cracker Jack Changes Name To More Politically Correct Caucasian Jack

With products like Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben’s changing their brand names to a more politically correct name, the Babylon Bee offers their satirical take.

PLANO, TX—When ballparks finally open again, those standing for the traditional seventh-inning stretch will be singing some different lyrics to "Take Me Out to the Ballgame."

After over 100 years of selling its caramel popcorn snack under the name Cracker Jack, Frito-Lay announced today that it would be rebranded as the less offensive "Caucasian Jack."

"We are very sorry to all the crack---er, I mean, Caucasians we have hurt over the years," said a spokesperson. 

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

Thursday, June 18, 2020

"I Can't Breathe": South Philly Columbus Statue In A Box

Veteran reporter Ralph Cipriano at BigTrial.net offers a piece on the Columbus Statue in South Philadelphia. 

After city workers got through boarding up the 20-foot high Christopher Columbus statue at Marconi Plaza, the city solicitor signed a stipulation yesterday that will prevent trigger-happy Mayor Jim Kenney from toppling the marble monument in the middle of the night, like he did with the Frank Rizzo statue.

The stipulation was signed by City Solicitor Marcel Pratt, and George Bochetto, the attorney for the South Philly residents who went to court Sunday night seeking an emergency injunction to protect the Columbus statue from the city and Kenney.

At 12:37 p.m. today, Common Pleas Court Judge Paula Patrick signed the stipulation, which became the judge's order. And "any violation of the terms . . . will be contempt of court, and punishable in the same fashion as an injunction order," Bochetto wrote to his clients.

The order calls for the Philadelphia Art Commission to hold a public process "to determine the possible removal" of the Columbus statue. "Consistent with its prior plan, the City presently has no intention to and will not remove, damage, or alter the Statue, until such time as the Art Commission determines whether it should be removed, or, if sooner, upon Court Order," the order states.

In the meantime, "The city will reasonably protect the Statue pending a decision by the Art Commission," the order states. 

"Accordingly, the City has constructed a wooden box that encompasses the entirety of the Statue. At the request of Plaintiff's Counsel, the City will negotiate in good faith with Plaintiff's Counsel in developing a plan within the next ten days to possibly modify the boxing apparatus.

"After the city boxed up Columbus, photos were circulated around South Philly statue saying, "I can't breathe."

Bochetto wants to alter the wooden box. "It is my intention to get a Plexiglass panel to show the top of the statute," Bochetto wrote his clients.

The city posted a message at the base of the wooden box saying that the Columbus statue "has been a source of controversy in Philadelphia and across our country."

"Many are calling for the removal of the statue," the message reads. "The City understands their concerns," and, "We are committed to listening to all and moving forward in the best way to heal our deep divides."

"The boxing is to preserve the statue while the Art Commission process is followed. No decision has been made on whether the City will remove the statue."

… On Tuesday, Fumo went on Facebook to denounce Kenney as a "small-minded immature fat baby" who is so "insecure the only way he thinks he makes himself big is to punish South Philadelphia where he came from."

In his Facebook post, Fumo blamed Kenney for "vindictively and as a punishment" transferring Captain Louis Campione, commander of the 1st Police District out of South Philly after Campione acted to quell tensions in Marconi Plaza by ejecting a so-called "reporter" for Unicorn Riot who the captain said was "inciting a riot."  

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