Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Liam’s Got a Gun: Gun Control Advocate Liam Neeson Rarely Without A Gun in Action Films

Broad + Liberty ran my piece on actor and gun control advocate Liam Neeson and The View. 

You can read the piece via the below link or the below text:

Paul Davis: Liam's got a gun (broadandliberty.com)

Liam’s Got a Gun:

Gun Control Advocate Liam Neeson Rarely Without a Gun in Action Films 

By Paul Davis 

Actor Liam Neeson and I have something in common besides our age. We are both unimpressed with ABC’s “The View” — but for entirely different reasons.

In a recent interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Neeson stated he was unimpressed with the show and was uncomfortable during his appearance. He was embarrassed by the co-hosts gushing about being near him on stage, and by Joy Behar professing her crush on him. Behar stated that after she died, she wanted her ashes spread all over the actor, a rather peculiar romantic notion, if you ask me.

Neeson would have much preferred to discuss gun violence in America, which was the subject of the segment on the talk show while the actor was off-stage, waiting for his cue. Gun control is a subject that Neeson is most interested in.

I’m unimpressed with “The View” as the TV program features two women, Whoopi Goldberg and Joy (more like joyless) Behar, who are woefully ignorant of history, civics and political philosophy, and have but a cursory knowledge of current events. 

Jim Geraghty, National Review’s senior correspondent, posted a tweet a while back in which he stated, “‘The View’ is a show about current events, hosted by several celebrities who don’t know much about current events, and who adamantly refuse to learn anything new about current events.”

Goldberg once suggested that President Biden appoint his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, as the Surgeon General of the United States, despite the fact that she has an Ed.D. in education and is certainly not a medical doctor. And Behar stated on “The View” that American gun laws will change “once black people get guns in this country.” Of course, many black people already own guns, so this comment illustrates how clueless she truly is. 

Goldberg and Behar are quite grim and angry, which is surprising, considering they are comedians. I don’t often watch the TV gabfest, but a woman I know who watches the program regularly told me she has rarely heard either of the two comedians tell a joke or relate an amusing or clever anecdote. 

With all of the educated, accomplished and clever women of all political persuasions in the world, why are Goldberg and Behar highly paid TV commentators?

Poor Liam Neeson was disappointed that he could not discuss gun control on “The View.” The Irish actor, who became an American citizen, is a serious gun control advocate, telling a British newspaper in 2014, “I am totally for gun control in the US. The population of America is roughly 300 million and there are 300 million guns in this country, which is terrifying.” 

Yet in nearly every film he has made since “Taken” in 2008, he’s toting a gun and shooting bad guys. In “Taken,” his character makes a much-quoted speech: “I don’t know who you are. I don’t know what you want. If you are looking for ransom, I can tell you I don’t have money. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills, skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you let my daughter go now, that’ll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don’t, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you.”

As he does: with a gun. 

Neeson was on “The View” promoting his new film “Marlowe.” In the film, he portrays the late, great crime novelist Raymond Chandler’s iconic character, private detective Philip Marlowe. 

Marlowe, of course, carries a gun. 

The new film is not to be confused with 1969’s “Marlowe,” which starred the late James Garner as Marlowe and was based on Raymond Chandler’s great crime novel, “The Little Sister.” The film is a favorite of mine, and James Garner is my favorite film Marlowe. He was big, handsome and smoked a pipe like Marlowe in the novels. He was also very good at “cracking wise” like Chandler’s Marlowe.

Liam Neeson is no James Garner, in my view, nor is he as good an actor as Humphrey Bogart, Robert Mitchum, Powers Booth, or any of the other fine actors who have portrayed Marlowe in the past.

The New “Marlowe” film is based on the 2014 novel “The Black-Eyed Blonde” by British author John Banville, using the pen name Benjamin Black. I haven’t read the book, and I don’t think I will, as I don’t think Banville can measure up to Chandler, one of my favorite writers. 

But I’ll probably watch the film, and my poor wife will have to listen to my running commentary throughout.

Especially when gun control advocate Neeson pulls out his trusty movie gun to save the day.

Paul Davis is a Philadelphia writer who covers crime.

Monday, February 27, 2023

A Look Back At Joseph Wambaugh's Classic True Crime Book, 'The Onion Field '

Back in January of 2020, I published my On Crime column in the Washington Times on Joseph Wambaugh’s classic true crime book, The Onion Field. 

The book covers the kidnapping of two Los Angeles police officers and the murder of one of the officers in an onion field. The book also covers the aftermath of the murder.

As Joseph Wambaugh (seen in the above photo), now 86, noted in the column three years ago, “This case remains significant because the Karl Hettinger experience had a lot to do with bringing post-traumatic stress disorder to the fore as it concerns police officers.”   

You can read the column via the below link or the below text:

A look back at Joseph Wambaugh's 'The Onion Field' - Washington Times

Joseph Wambaugh, a former LAPD detective sergeant and the author of classic police novels such as “The New Centurions,” “The Blue Knight” and “The Choir Boys,” turns 83 on Jan. 22.  

Mr. Wambaugh has also written classic true crime books such as “Echoes in the Darkness” and “The Blooding,” but he said he was born to write one true crime book in particular, “The Onion Field.”


Mr. Wambaugh had published two novels prior to “The Onion Field.” Still a working cop, he took a three-month leave of absence to write “The Onion Field.” He read thousands of pages of court transcripts, and he interviewed more than 60 people involved with the case.


The 1973 book tells the tragic true story of an LAPD officer named Ian Campbell who was murdered in an onion field in 1963, as well as the sad aftermath of Karl Hettinger, his surviving partner who suffered psychologically from the ordeal. The book also covers the arrest, trial and conviction of Gregory Powell and Jimmy Smith, the two criminals who kidnapped and murdered the young officer.


The two plainclothes officers pulled over Powell and Smith, who were committing armed robberies. Powell got the drop on Ian Campbell and placed a gun in his back. He ordered Karl Hettinger to hand over his gun, and the officer did so reluctantly. The two criminals then drove the two officers to an onion field in Bakersfield, where Ian Campbell was shot and killed. Karl Hettinger escaped by running through the onion field. The LAPD brass released a memorandum that essentially branded Hettinger a coward for giving up his gun. They made him attend roll calls and repeatedly tell his story to the assembled cops.   

I asked Mr. Wambaugh what compelled him to write a non-fiction book about the case?

Sunday, February 26, 2023

License To Edit: Ian Fleming's James Bond Books Scrubbed By ‘Sensitivity Experts’ Ahead Of 70th Anniversary

I recently reread an old short story by one of my favorite writers, Ernest Hemingway. In My Old Man, Hemingway called one of the characters “the wop.”

Even though I’m half-Italian and I grew up and currently reside in a predominantly Italian American neighborhood in South Philadelphia, I did not take offense. I knew that was the way people spoke in the early part of the Twentieth Century. I also knew that Hemingway loved Italy and loved Italians.

Just as I knew that Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn used authentic language from his time. I also knew that Mark Twain's sympathies lay with the black slaves of his time, despite the fact that he was a Southerner.     

I don’t believe we should judge those from an earlier time based on today’s prevalent attitudes. One should consider historical context before passing judgement.   

The same with the late, great thriller writer Ian Fleming, another one of my favorite writers. 

Even as a pre-teen, when I first read his James Bond thrillers, I knew that his racial descriptions and attitudes towards women were typical of those of his generation and the British class system. 

I was not offended.

Easily offended readers are not Ian Fleming’s core readership, then or now.         

The New York Post reports that the Ian Fleming Foundation, run by Fleming’s family, have decided to edit Flemings’ novels from the 1950s and early 1960s.  

It’s a move that might leave some fans shaken.

Ian Fleming’s James Bond books have been rewritten with modern audiences in mind, with so-called sensitivity experts removing a number of racial references ahead of 007’s 70th anniversary this spring, The Sunday Telegraph reported.

The changes come as books by Roald Dahl have also been scrubbed of potentially offensive language, including “fat” or “ugly” characters — and tweaked so as to make the Oompa Loompas of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” gender-neutral.

All of Fleming’s thrillers — from “Casino Royale” to “Octopussy” — will be re-released this spring after Ian Fleming Publications, the company that owns the literary rights to Fleming’s work, commissioned a review by “sensitivity readers.”

The altered texts will come out this April ahead of 007’s 70th anniversary The altered texts will come out this April ahead of 007’s 70th anniversary

©United Artists/Courtesy Everett Collection

The new versions of the classic novels will include a disclaimer that reads: “This book was written at a time when terms and attitudes which might be considered offensive by modern readers were commonplace.” 

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

James Bond books scrubbed by 'sensitivity experts' ahead of 70th anniversary (nypost.com)

Thankfully, I have all of Ian Fleming’s original fiction and non-fiction books in my library.  

A Look Back At Shemp Howard, The Underrated Stooge

I was and am a huge fan of The Three Stooges, Moe, Larry and Curley.

I loved them as a kid, and I still laugh when I see them on TV or the Internet.  

I also love the fourth Stooge, Shemp.

Joe Ramoni offers a mini documentary on Shemp Howard, called Shemp Howard: The Underrated Stooge.  

As Ramoni points out in the film, Shemp, his brother Moe Howard and Larry Fine (who was from South Philly) were the original Stooges in an act called Ted Healy and His Stooges. Healy portrayed the slapping, eye-poking boss. 

Shemp left the act to pursue a solo career and he appeared in films with W.C. Fields in The Bank Dick, Abbot and Costello in Buck Privates, and John Wayne in Pittsburgh

Shemp’s younger brother, known as Curly, replaced Shemp. Moe, Larry and Curly later left Ted Healy’s act and went on their own to everlasting great fame.    

When Curly became ill, Shemp rejoined the act.

You can watch the short film, and get a few laughs, via the below link:

Shemp Howard | The Underrated Stooge | A Docu-Mini - YouTube

You can also read an earlier post on Shemp Howard via the below link:

Paul Davis On Crime: The Ugliest Man In Hollywood: On This Day in History Comedian Shemp Howard, One Of the Three Stooges, Was Born 

Saturday, February 25, 2023

A Look Back At Legendary NYPD Detective Frank Serpico

In a recent post, I offered a look back at the late Robert Leuci, the former NYPD detective who was the subject of Prince of the City, Robert Daley's true crime book and Sidney Lumet's film, in my 2009 Crime Beat column.

Paul Davis On Crime: Once A Prince Of the City: A Look Back At Robert Leuci, Crime Writer & Former NYPD Detective

Legendary former NYPD detective Frank Serpico read the online column when it originally came out, and he contacted me. He told me that he objected to Leuci calling him an oddball and outcast.

I offered to interview him as well, and we spoke on several occasions over the phone. I finally published an interview with Frank Serpico in 2020 in my Washington Times On Crime column. 

You can read the column via the link or the text below:     

A look back at former NYPD detective Frank Serpico - Washington Times

For many, the patron saint of whistleblowers is Frank Serpico, the former NYPD detective who reported police corruption in the late 1960s and early 1970s.  

Frank Serpico was profiled in a documentary film in 2017 and he was made world-famous as the subject of Sidney Lumet’s film, “Serpico,” which starred Al Pacino as the whistleblowing cop. The film was based on Peter Maas’ 1973 true crime book, “Serpico.”


“Serpico — this apparent hippie, womanizer, hedonist — had dared to do the unheard-of, the unpardonable, in police circles,” Maas wrote in his book. “Having solemnly sworn to uphold the law, he elected to do just that, to enforce it against everybody — and not, in the grand tradition of even the personally honest policeman, against everybody except other cops. He would not go along with the graft, the bribes, the shakedowns, and he refused to look the other way.


“With that decision, Serpico became unique. He was the first officer in the history of the Police Department who not only reported corruption in its ranks, but voluntarily, on his own, stepped forward to testify about it in court.”


Because of his reports and testimony, the New York mayor set up the Knapp Commission, which investigated police corruption. Frank Serpico was then ostracized by many of his fellow officers and his life was threatened. He was later shot in the face by a drug dealer during a raid and he retired from the NYPD due to his injuries.


I asked Frank Serpico how accurate the book and film were.


“The book was very accurate, but it left out a few things for whatever reason and the film was accurate according to the corruption,” Frank Serpico told me. “But there were a couple of scenes where the director and actor took license.


“I was told that Al Pacino was more me than I was, but he over-acted, like the scene where he was up against the wall showing his shield and saying, I’m a cop, I’m a cop. Certain scenes I found embarrassing.”


Did he believe that he had been set up by other cops when he was shot in the face?


“No, I never intimated that, but that is a good question. Where was my 10-13? (Call for Officer Needs Assistance). I was left there bleeding to death and they never called a 10-13. When I got out of the hospital I went to Internal Affairs and demanded to see the report. The call was a signal 10-10, (Investigate Shots Fired), which came from a civilian.


“I had the perp covered and I had my snub-nosed pointed in his stomach and my hand and shoulder jammed in the door. I turned to the cops I was with and asked them what the hell they were waiting for? I turned back and I was hit. I returned fire, hitting the perpetrator.”


He said he was left bleeding to death on the tenement floor until patrol officers drive him to the hospital.


Frank Serpico continues to speak out against police corruption. He said many cops come up to him and say that the film inspired them to become police officers. He is gratified that his story inspires good officers and that is his legacy. The culture that permeates corruption hasn’t changed, he said, but there are good cops out there who have taken up the torch.


“I don’t believe in the term ‘crooked cop,’ there is no such thing,” he said. “You are either a cop or you’re a crook. They are crooks in police uniforms. Some of these guys are cowards and hide behind the police shield and they call honest cops like me oddballs. Police corruption does not occur in a vacuum. It needs to be fertile ground for criminal-minded seedlings to take root. The myth that the department corrupts these innocent, civic-minded individuals is bogus. You must have larceny in your heart to begin with.


“You don’t become a cop to become rich,” Frank Serpico said. “You become a cop to serve the public.”


Although I don’t agree with Frank Serpico on some broader issues, I believe that he had and has the courage of his convictions.


• Paul Davis’ On Crime column covers true crime, crime fiction and thrillers.

Friday, February 24, 2023

Malign Activity: My Counterterrorism Magazine Piece On Chinese Intelligence Operatives Uncovered in The U.S.

Counterterrorism magazine published my piece on Chinese intelligence operatives that were uncovered in the United States.

You can read the piece via the above and below pages or the below text:

On November 16th, the U.S. Justice Department announced that a Chinese spy was sentenced to 20 years in prison for espionage.

The spy, Yanjun Xu, was the first Chinese government intelligence officer to be extradited to the United States. He was tried in Cincinnati.

Xu, who held the rank of deputy division director at the Chinese Ministry State Security (MSS), Communist China’s intelligence and security agency, was convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage, conspiracy to commit economic espionage, conspiracy to commit trade theft, and other related charges in November 2021.

“As proven at trial, the defendant used a range of techniques to attempt to steal technology and proprietary information from companies based in both the U.S. and abroad,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland at the announcement. “Today’s sentence demonstrates the seriousness of those crimes and the Justice Department’s determination to investigate and prosecute efforts by the Chinese government, or any foreign power, to threaten our economy and national security.”

According to the Justice Department, in March of 2017, a GE Aviation employee in Cincinnati was asked to give a report to a university in China. The employee traveled to China, gave the report and was introduced to Xu. Xu paid the employee’s travel expenses as well as a stipend.

Later, the FBI posed as the employee and communicated with Xu. Xu requested system specifications and design process information from the employee, and – with the cooperation of GE Aviation, who was working with the FBI – the employee emailed a two-page document from the company that included a label that warned about the disclosure of proprietary information.

“In February 2018, XU began discussing with the employee the possibility of meeting in Europe during one of the employee’s business trips and asked the employee to send a copy of the file directory for his company-issued computer,” the Justice Department stated. “Xu traveled to Belgium with cash and pictures of the employee on April 1, 2008. He was scheduled to meet with the employee and was arrested.”

“This case is just the latest example of the Chinese government’s continued attacks on American economic security – and, by extension, our national security,” said FBI Director Christopher Wray. “The Chinese government tasked an officer of its own spy agency to steal U.S. trade secrets so it could advance its own commercial and military aviation efforts, at the expense of an American company. This brazen action shows that the Chinese government will stop at nothing to put our companies out of business to the detriment of U.S. workers. As long as the Chinese government continues to break our laws and threaten American industry and institutions, the FBI will work with its partners across the globe to bring those responsible to justice.”

On October 24th Attorney General Garland, FBI Director Wray and other officials announced that the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices for the Eastern District of New York and the District of New Jersey charged 13 individuals, including members of the Chinese MSS and their agents, for alleged efforts to unlawfully exert influence in the United States for the benefit of the Chinese government.

According to the Justice Department, an eight-count indictment was unsealed in New York on October 20th charging seven Chinese nationals, two of whom were arrested in New York, with participating in a scheme to cause the forced repatriation of a Chinese national residing in the United States. The defendants are accused of conducting surveillance of and engaging in a campaign to harass and coerce a U.S. resident to return to China as part of an international extralegal repatriation effort known as “Operation Fox Hunt.”

A criminal complaint was unsealed on October 24th in federal court in Brooklyn charging two Chinese intelligence officers with attempting to obstruct a criminal prosecution in the Eastern District of New York. The defendants remain at large.

In New Jersey, an indictment was unsealed on October 24th charging four Chinese nationals, including three MSS intelligence officers, in connection with a long-running intelligence campaign targeting individuals in the United States to act as agents for China.

“As these cases demonstrate, the government of China sought to interfere with the rights and freedoms of individuals in the United States and to undermine our judicial system that protects those rights. They did not succeed,” said Attorney General Garland. “The Justice Department will not tolerate attempts by any foreign power to undermine the Rule of Law upon which our democracy is based. We will continue to fiercely protect the rights guaranteed to everyone in our country. And we will defend the integrity of our institutions.”

Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco added, “The actions announced today take place against a backdrop of malign activity from the government of the People’s Republic of China that includes espionage, attempts to disrupt our justice system, harassment of individuals, and ongoing efforts to steal sensitive U.S. technology. The men and women of the Department of Justice will continue to defend the United States, our institutions, and our people from foreign threats that violate the law — no matter what form they take.”

The eight-count indictment unsealed in Brooklyn charged a total of seven Chinese nationals – Quanzhong An, 55; Guangyang An, 34; Tian Peng, 38; Chenghua Chen; Chunde Ming; Xuexin Hou, 52; and Weidong Yuan, 55 – with participating in a scheme to cause the forced repatriation of a Chinese national residing in the United States. The lead defendant, Quanzhong An, allegedly acted at the direction and under the control of various officials with the Chinese government’s Provincial Commission for Discipline Inspection (Provincial Commission) – including Peng, Chen, Ming, and Hou – to conduct surveillance of and engage in a campaign to harass and coerce a U.S. resident to return to the PRC as part of an international extralegal repatriation effort known as “Operation Fox Hunt.”

Quanzhong An and Guangyang An were arrested and were arraigned. The remaining defendants remain at large.

“These indictments of PRC intelligence officers and government officials – for trying to obstruct a U.S. trial of a Chinese company, masquerading as university professors to steal sensitive information, and trying to strong-arm a victim into returning to China – again expose the PRC’s outrageous behavior within our own borders,” said FBI Director Wray. “The FBI, working with our partners and allies, will continue to throw the full weight of our counterintelligence and law enforcement authorities into stopping the Chinese government’s crimes against our businesses, universities, and Chinese-American communities.”

About the Author

Paul Davis, who writes the online Threatcon column, is a longtime contributor to the Journal.

Called To Serve: My Q&A With Veteran And Wounded Warrior Advocate Dava Guerin, Co-Author Of 'Called To Serve: The Inspiring, Untold Stories Of America's First Responders'

Counterterrorism magazine published my Q&A with veteran and wounded warrior advocate Dava Guerin, the co-author of Called To Serve: The Inspiring, Untold Stories of America's First Responders.

You can read the Q&A via the below pages or the below text:


 Dava Guerin is an author, freelance writer and a communications consultant. She is also a wounded warrior and military veterans’ advocate. Her books include political and business memoirs; non-fiction works focusing on wounded warriors, veterans and their caregivers. Her books offer forewords written by the late President George H. W. Bush and Former First Lady Barbara Bush, as well as actor and philanthropist Gary Sinise and Fox’s National Security Correspondent, Jennifer Griffin.

Dava Guerin was president of Guerin Public Relations, Inc., a full-service communications firm, for more than twenty years located in Philadelphia.

Her public relations firm, Dava Guerin has worked with numerous U.S. Presidents, including President George H. W. Bush, and managed visits for Presidents Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush as well as world leaders, U.S. politicians and entertainers. She has also created and managed public relations and crisis communications programs for Fortune 100 companies and government agencies.

Guerin’s books include: “Rebuilding Sergeant Peck: How I Put Body and Soul Back Together After Afghanistan” (Skyhorse Publishing 2019); “The Eagle on My Arm” (University Press of Kentucky (2020); “Vets and Pets: Wounded Warriors and the Animals That Help Them Heal” (Skyhorse 2106); “Unbreakable Bonds: The Mighty Moms and Wounded Warriors of Walter Reed” (Skyhorse 2014); “Keep Chopping Wood” (Westbow Press 2016); and “Presidents, Kings and Convicts: My Journey from the Tennessee Governor’s Residence to the Halls of Congress” (Archway, Simon & Schuster 2016.)


Dava Guerin is the co-author, along with Mike Hardwick and Sam Royer, of “Called To Serve: The Inspiring, Untold Stories of America’s First Responders.”

Dava Guerin was interviewed by Paul Davis.


IACSP: Why did you write “Called To Serve”?

Guerin: I and my co-authors, knowing so many law enforcement people especially, thought “Called To Serve” would be a way, along with my books on wounded warriors and veterans, of understanding what these people go through. Why do they want to do these jobs and why they chose to serve, and describe what their lives are truly like, and how they grew up. To really get into their hearts and souls.

IACSP: here is that saying that when something bad happens people run from it, but cops, fire fighters and other first responders run towards it. Why do you think they should be celebrated?

Guerin: Why do they choose to go to work every day, knowing they might not make it home that night, or contract a disease or get burned in a fire? They don’t ask for any attention, and they don’t make much money. They don’t need a lot of outward attention because they dedicate their lives to helping others and they don’t ask for anything in return. First responders are people who don’t really get the accolades they should, yet what would we do if we fell or had an accident, called 911, and no one came? It is disheartening for them to put on a uniform, and some people try to kill them, and they spit on them, and degrade them. .

IACSP: How did you and your co-authors select the people to profile in the book? I believe there are 16 people profiled.

Guerin: Yes, 16. Essentially, there were a couple of people I knew, and I researched it to see who won fire fighters awards and so on. I talked to them first and I found they were super special. Amy Royer, an EMS, as you know from the book, is my co-author Sam Royer’s sister, and she, Sam and myself found all of the people we write about in the book. I could have written 20 more stories easily.

IACSP: You had two co-authors for “Called To Serve.” Can you tell us who they are and how did you come to collaborate with them?

Guerin: Mike Hardwick is a CEO of a company he owns in Nashville, and I wrote his autobiography with him years ago. He has an employee, Sam Royer, who had an idea for a book about police officers. Mike called me up and asked me if I would be interested in writing about police officers with him. To make it a little more interesting, I suggested that we add fire fighters and EMS people. Then you have a really rich group of people. Everyone agreed and that’s how it happened. That’s how the three of us came together.

IACSP: Jennifer Griffin, the very talented and knowledgeable Fox News national security correspondent, wrote your forward. How did she come to write the forward for you?

Guerin: All roads lead back to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Kevin Ferris and I wrote “Unbreakable Bonds: The Mighty Moms and Wounded Warriors of Walter Reed.” I was the communications director for the U.S. Association of Former Members of Congress, and I decided to volunteer at Walter Reed. I went on Valentine’s Day with all these prizes that I brought, and I went into this one kid’s room who had been blown up months before, Mark Sizzler. I went in and his dad was there. His dad asked if I could come back. So, I was going back every week to see Mark and I met his mom, and I met all the other moms. Jennifer is a huge supporter of wounded warriors. She volunteered at Walter Reed, and I met her there and we became friends. She is tremendous. She emailed me one day and asked if I wanted to do a story about John Beck, a soldier who lost both his arms and legs, and I said yes. So I wrote “Building Sergeant Beck,” with Terry Bivins. Jennifer supports everything that has to do with veterans and wounded warriors.

IACSP: Jennifer Griffin is a fine journalist, and it’s good to know she also volunteers to help military vets. When people criticize Fox News, they don’t separate the opinion shows from the news coverage. I think Fox’s news coverage, with reporters like Jennifer Griffin, is basically fair.

You’ve written about Barbara Bush, the former First Lady. Can you tell us about your involvement with her and former President Bush?

Guerin: There is a nonprofit organization called the Children’s Literacy Initiative and they had an idea to have a radio show with Barbara Bush reading children’s stories along with other celebrities. ABC Radio loved the idea, and they pitched it to the White House. She loved it. I was volunteering for the Children’s Literacy Initiative, and I became the communications person for Mrs. Bush’s “Story Time” project. She was so funny and gracious. I got to spend so much personal time with her and her family and staff, and I got to know them very well. I loved her and President Bush. President Bush wrote this beautiful forward to “Unbreakable Bonds.” I was asked to bring all of the wounded warriors and their mothers to the Bush’s home, and we launched the book there. Two years later, Barbara Bush wrote the forward for “Vets and Pets: Wounded Warriors and Their Animals That Help Them Heal,” which I wrote with Kevin Ferris. We brought the veterans and their animals to the Bush home, and an owl pooped on President Bush’s pants. A big one. Mrs., Bush said, “Oh, please. Don’t worry about it, he has plenty of pants.” It was hysterical.

IACSP: You’ve written about support animals for wounded warriors. Can you tell us about that.

Guerin: After we did “Unbreakable Bonds,” I was talking to one of our editors at Skyhorse publishing, and I suggested that we do something about service dogs. The editor came back and said why don’t you include other support animals and broaden it out. So Kevin Ferris and I wrote about dogs, a potbellied pig, birds of prey, cats, horses, and other animals. These animals give so much comfort to wounded warriors.

IACSP: Thank you for speaking to us and thank you for supporting wounded warriors and veterans.


About the Interviewer:

Paul Davis, a Navy veteran who served on an aircraft carrier during the Vietnam War, is a long-time contributor to the Journal and writes the IACSP Threatcon column.