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  • Jack 3:11 am on December 14, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: f-35, kris osborn, , , warrior maven   

    F-35 Upgrades 

    The Pentagon is upgrading mission systems avionics as part of a tech refresh effort for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter that improves memory, weapons delivery, storage, processing speed, display video and aircraft parametric data, industry developers said.

    Faster processors improve F-35 delivery of weapons enabled by the latest 3F software drop, such as the AIM-9X air-to-air missile. Also, improved radar warning receiver technology will more quickly identify enemy aircraft and integrate with the aircraft’s mission data files, or threat library.

    The new avionics are intended to enhance the F-35’s sensor fusion so that information from disparate sensor systems can be combined on a single screen for pilots to lower the cognitive burden and quicken the decision-making process. New modules for mission systems will integrate into the F-35s Distributed Aperture System sensors and Electro-optical Targeting System.

    — To Read Warrior’s Report on How the F-35 DAS Can Perform Ballistic Missile Defense CLICK HERE —

    Earlier this year, F-35 maker Lockheed Martin awarded a contract to Harris Corporation to provide the computing infrastructure for new panoramic cockpit displays, advanced memory systems and navigation technology, Brad Truesdell, senior director of aviation systems at Harris, told Warrior.

    The new hardware and software technology, to be operational on the F-35 by 2021, includes seven racks per aircraft consisting of 1,500 module components, including new antennas and weapons release systems.

    — To Read Warrior’s Blockbuster F-35 Weapons and Operations Special – CLICK HERE —

    Some of the components include an Advanced Memory System (AMS) engineered to improve data storage and generate higher resolution imagery to help pilots with navigational and targeting information.

    “Instead of having to measure something in megabits or megabytes, we are now talking about terabytes,” Truesdell said.

    The upgrades include a portable memory device which can quickly be transferred from a ground station to the F-35 cockpit.

    3F Software Operational

    The Air Force is now in the process of operationalizing the F-35’s latest “3F” software iteration, a development which integrates additional technology and equips the stealth aircraft with a wider range of weapons such as the Small Diameter Bomb and AIM-9X, service leaders said.

    After experiencing some challenges during developmental testing, the 3F software drop is now improved and sharpened up for delivery, senior Air Force officials said.

    Many of the JSF’s combat capabilities are woven into the F-35s combat capabilities are woven into developmental software increments or “drops,” each designed to advance the platform’s technical abilities. There are more than 10 million individual lines of code in the JSF system.

    — For Scout Warrior’s Special F-35 Pilot Intv. Report “Flying the F-35” – CLICK HERE —

    Block 3F increases the weapons delivery capacity of the JSF as well, giving it the ability to drop a Small Diameter Bomb, 500-pound JDAM (Joint Direct Attack Munition) and AIM-9X short-range air-to-air missile, service officials explained.

    4th Software Drop

    The 3F software drop is preceded by earlier increments, each one bringing new technical integration to the aircraft.

    Block 2B built upon the enhanced simulated weapons, datalink capabilities and early fused sensor integration of the earlier Block 2A software drop. Block 2B enables the JSF to provide basic close-air support and fire an AMRAAM (Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile), JDAM or GBU-12 (laser-guided aerial bomb), JSF program officials said.

    Following Block 2B, Block 3i increases the combat capability even further, and Block 3F brings a vastly increased ability to suppress enemy air defenses.

    Called 3F, the service is already working on a 4th drop to be ready by 2020 or 2021. Following the drop of 3F, the aircraft will incorporate new software drops in two-year increments in order to stay ahead of the threat.

    The first portion of Block 4 software funding, roughly $12 million, arrived in the 2014 budget, Air Force officials said.

    Block 4 will include some unique partner weapons including British weapons, Turkish weapons and some of the other European country’s weapons that they want to get on their own plane, service officials explained.

    Block 4 will also increase the weapons envelope for the US variant of the fighter jet.  A big part of the developmental calculus for Block 4 is to work on the kinds of enemy air defense systems and weaponry the aircraft may face from the 2020’s through the 2040’s and beyond.

    In terms of weapons, Block 4 will eventually enable the F-35 to fire cutting edge weapons systems such as the Small Diameter Bomb II and GBU-54 – both air-dropped bombs able to destroy targets on-the-move.

    The Small Diameter Bomb II uses a technology called a tri-mode seeker, drawing from infrared, millimeter wave and laser-guidance. The combination of these sensors allows the weapon to track and eliminate moving targets in all kinds of weather conditions.

    — To Read Warrior’s Report on Upcoming F-35 Tests Firing the Small Diameter Bomb II CLICK HERE —



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  • Jack 3:48 am on December 11, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: , , , , , oscars, valerie richardson,   

    Fiction Award? 

    Al Gore’s sequel to “An Inconvenient Truth” has ended up on the shortlist for Oscar consideration despite questions about its credibility raised by challenges to some of its climate-change claims.

    “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power” was among the 15 films included by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on its list of those still in the hunt for 2017 Best Documentary, which will be pared down to five finalists when the nominees are announced Jan. 23.

    “We are humbled to be on the Oscars shortlist for Best Documentary Feature. Our message is more important than ever,” said the film’s Twitter account after the list was released Thursday.

    The Oscar buzz comes despite pushback from skeptics, led by University of Alabama in Huntsville climatologist Roy Spencer, a former NASA scientist who accused Mr. Gore of attributing natural phenomena to human-caused climate change.

    In September, Mr. Spencer published an 84-page e-book, “An Inconvenient Deception,” which blasted the film as “bursting with bad science, bad policy, and some outright falsehoods.”

    “An Inconvenient Truth” was similarly rebuked by skeptics — Danish academic Bjorn Lomborg challenged it in a book and film called “Cool It”—but the movie earned $24 million at the box office, making it the 11th-highest grossing documentary of all time, according to Box Office Mojo.

    “An Inconvenient Truth” also won the 2007 Academy Awards for Best Documentary and Best Original Song, and helped bring Mr. Gore the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for his work on human-caused climate change.

    The sequel wasn’t exactly a bomb but fell short of expectations, earning $3.5 million since its July release despite endorsements from celebrities like Paul McCartney and Bono while registering a tepid 49 percent audience score on Rotten Tomatoes.

    Critics were kinder, giving the sequel a 78 percent rating, but even those who liked the movie were less than effusive in their praise, using accolades such as “workmanlike” and “a hugely effective lecture.”

    “Would I still recommend ‘An Inconvenient Sequel’? Sure, although I doubt there is much one could glean from this movie that couldn’t be obtained by rewatching ‘An Inconvenient Truth,’” said Salon reviewer Matthew Rosza.

    Mr. Spencer’s e-book, now in its second edition, wound up becoming a surprise Amazon bestseller in the categories of climatology, science and math, and environmental science.

    One hotly contested scene shows Mr. Gore walking in ankle-deep water in the streets of Miami Beach, which he blames on sea-level rise due to climate change but which Mr. Spencer describes as a “natural rise [that is] magnified because buildings and streets were constructed on reclaimed swampland that has been sinking.”

    Mr. Gore also says in footage featured in the trailer that he was proven correct when he predicted in “An Inconvenient Truth” that the 9/11 Memorial in New York City would be underwater, which Mr. Lomborg disputed.

    “Then viewers are shown footage of Manhattan taking on water in 2012 after superstorm Sandy, apparently vindicating Mr. Gore’s claims,” said Mr. Lomborg in a June 27 op-ed in the Wall Street Journal. “Never mind that what he actually predicted was flooding caused by melting ice in Greenland.”

    The skeptics’ website Climate Depot challenged more than a dozen of the film’s assertions in an extensive fact-check, while climate blogger Joanne Nova accused Mr. Gore of relying on “cherry-picked extremes.”

    Mr. Gore, the former Democratic vice president, has not responded publicly to the criticism.

    Other documentaries on the academy’s 15-film shortlist include “Jane,” about wildlife biologist Jane Goodall; “Icarus,” which explores secret Russian doping, and “Last Men in Aleppo,” about rescue workers in the Syrian civil war.


  • Jack 1:05 pm on December 10, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: , dan de luce, , , elizabeth shackelford, foreign policy, , rex tillerson, state department exodus, ,   

    Career Shattered? 

    An award-winning U.S. diplomat who was seen as a rising star at the State Department has issued a scathing resignation letter, accusing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and the Donald Trump administration of undercutting the State Department and damaging America’s influence in the world.

    Elizabeth Shackelford, who most recently served as a political officer based in Nairobi for the U.S. mission to Somalia, wrote to Tillerson that she reluctantly had decided to quit because the administration had abandoned human rights as a priority and shown disdain for the State Department’s diplomatic work, according to her letter, obtained by Foreign Policy.

    “I have deep respect for the career Foreign and Civil Service staff who, despite the stinging disrespect this Administration has shown our profession, continue the struggle to keep our foreign policy on the positive trajectory necessary to avert global disaster in increasingly dangerous times,” Shackelford wrote in her Nov. 7 letter, which is published below. One phrase was redacted on Shackelford’s request.

    “With each passing day, however, this task grows more futile, driving the Department’s experienced and talented staff away in ever greater numbers,” she wrote.

    Her former colleagues said her departure — and the sentiments expressed in her letter — reflect a wider exodus of midcareer diplomats who have lost confidence in Tillerson’s management and the Trump administration’s approach toward diplomacy.

    “She’s emblematic of what we’re losing across the board,” said one of Shackelford’s former State Department colleagues. “She is the best among us. We should not be losing the best among us. And that should concern people that we are,” the former colleague said.

    In her letter, Shackelford said she was leaving with a “heavy heart” as she recognized the potential of the State Department’s mission. She said she was “shocked” when Tillerson appeared to cast doubt on the importance of human rights in remarks to department employees on May 3.

    The State Department’s role in internal government debates also had “diminished,” she wrote, with the White House handing over authority to the Pentagon to shape the country’s foreign policy. Meanwhile, unfilled vacancies and proposed budget and staffing cuts had left the department adrift, with weakened influence inside the administration and on the ground, she wrote.

    “The cost of this is visible every day in Mission Somalia, my current post, where State’s diplomatic influence, on the country and within our own interagency, is waning,” she wrote.

    In the closing paragraph of her letter, Shackelford called on Tillerson “to stem the bleeding by showing leadership and a commitment to our people, our mission, and our mandate as the foreign policy arm of the United States.

    “If you are unable to do so effectively within this Administration, I would humbly recommend you follow me out the door.”

    Shackelford was singled out as an especially promising diplomat and was selected for future senior leadership roles, which a veteran foreign service officer said was exceptional at her age.

    When asked about the criticisms in the letter, State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said: “We are not able to comment on the career choices of each person at the Department.”

    “However, I can say that the Secretary has made clear that his objective is to make the State Department more efficient, more effective, and for staff to have a much more rewarding and satisfying career,” she added.

    Tillerson has faced a wave of criticism from lawmakers and former senior diplomats about what they say is the dismantling of the State Department amid a hemorrhaging of top talent, a hiring freeze, and plummeting morale. He has firmly rejected the criticism, insisting the media mischaracterizes the rate of those leaving the department and that his plan to “redesign” the State Department is employee-driven and prioritizes the staff’s well-being.

    “What it’s done,” Tillerson said of the hiring freeze on Friday, “was just a little bit of a blunt instrument to have everyone be a little more disciplined about filling their positions.”

    But even his harshest critics say much of the blame for the troubled state of the foreign service rests with the president, who has shown an impatience with diplomacy and has often sidelined Tillerson.

    Shackelford’s sentiments also reflect a long-held but growing concern among diplomats and experts that U.S. policy is increasingly dominated and shaped by the military, particularly in Africa. The Pentagon has expanded its footprint and operations on the continent with additional funding while the State Department and USAID face steep budget cuts and a dearth of ambassadors or top appointees in Washington.

    Linda Thomas-Greenfield, a retired career diplomat and former assistant secretary of state for African affairs, said the U.S. military has a vital role to play in Africa and elsewhere but said the pendulum was swinging too far away from diplomacy. “You can’t just do military. You have to have the complement of diplomatic and development working alongside the military colleagues,” she told FP.

    Somalia reflects a balance that clearly favors the military, as the State Department lacks the manpower and resources of its Pentagon counterparts. In recent months, the U.S. military has expanded its role with hundreds of troops and more strikes against al-Shabab militants, while diplomatic efforts have ebbed following the departure of U.S. Ambassador to Somalia Stephen Schwartz in October.

    The staff at the U.S. mission have repeatedly asked Washington for permission to meet Somali political leaders at Villa Somalia, the presidential residence, but the State Department has rejected the request on security grounds. U.S. military officers are able to meet Somali officials at the presidential palace, and other foreign diplomatic missions regularly visit the building for talks.

    Friday was Shackelford’s last day as a foreign service officer after nearly eight years in the State Department.

    Born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi, the 38-year-old Shackelford graduated first in her class at the University of Pittsburgh Law School. She worked at a law firm, then the consulting company Booz Allen Hamilton on foreign aid projects before joining the foreign service in 2010.

    Shackelford distinguished herself in South Sudan for overseeing the evacuation of 1,000 Americans and other foreign nationals when violence erupted in Juba in December 2013. For her leadership skills and crisis planning in the evacuation effort, she received a department-wide Barbara M. Watson award for consular excellence.

    During her stint in South Sudan, Shackelford worked to document and focus attention on human rights abuses, according to those she worked with and a personal statement she submitted as part of an employee evaluation. She cultivated contacts with South Sudanese civil society organizations and met with victims and witnesses of atrocities committed in the country’s conflict. Convinced that there could be no lasting peace without coming to terms with crimes committed on both sides, she co-wrote a dissenting cable backed by some of her fellow diplomats making that argument.

    “Her view was if we don’t deal with accountability now, whatever peace that’s achieved is going to be temporary,” said another former colleague, who worked with her in Juba. “She made it her mission to get human rights material out the door.”

    Shackelford is not alone in accusing the Trump administration of backsliding on America’s support for human rights and democracy over the past ten months. Republican Sen. John McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Sen. Ben Cardin, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, wrote a letter to the president on Friday accusing his administration of failing to assert America’s commitment to human rights.

    The lawmakers wrote that “for much of the past year, our national voice on international human rights issues has been largely silent.”

    But Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan told the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Thursday that in a recent tour of Africa, he repeatedly raised human rights concerns with governments in Ethiopia and Sudan, saying it was a crucial element in the fight against terrorist threats.

    “The United States continues to emphasize respect for human rights as a fundamental part of our counterterrorism strategy,” Sullivan told lawmakers.

    Six months ago, when Shackelford began considering leaving the foreign service, her mentors and colleagues encouraged her to stay the course, telling her she had a promising career ahead of her and that the difficulties would pass, she told FP.

    But in a sign of plunging morale in the foreign service, when she spoke to those same colleagues two months ago about resigning, she got a much different response.

    “It had completely changed to a person,” she said. “Nobody tried to talk me out of it. Everybody said, ‘Yep, I get it.’”


    See Also:

    (1) Media Close 2017 Proving Trump 100 Percent Correct About Fake News

    (2) Nikki Haley Backs Trump’s Jerusalem Move in Face of Hostile UN: ‘Change is Hard’

    (3) Trump Demands Border Wall, Immigration Cuts at Swearing In of Pro-Amnesty DHS Secretary

  • Jack 3:06 am on December 9, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Massive Coverup 

    Here’s something you don’t hear every day — but an inspector general who was actually appointed by Barack Obama told Tucker Carlson of Fox News that there was “strategic coordination” taking place among the State Department, Campaign Team Hillary Clinton, certain key legal minds and politicos on Capitol Hill, regarding the behind-scenes talk of The Emails.

    Yes, those emails — the ones that were marked classified and top secret and that were found on Clinton’s private and unsecured email system.

    Thud. That’s the sound of Democrats’ jaws dropping.

    From the mouth of former Inspector General Charles McCullough III, as reported by Mediaite: “I’m well aware there was a strategic coordination between the campaign, the State Department, certain officials at the State Department, certain law firms in town and people on Capitol Hill.”


    About, for instance, what he told Carlson on Fox was a “deliberate effort” to mislead the public about Clinton’s emails. And who was driving that effort?

    In McCullough’s view — the Obama administration and Team Clinton.

    This isn’t exactly shocking to political watchers. After all, conservatives in particular watched with dismay as the FBI’s James Comey came out and on one hand, announced Clinton’s email server was dangerously improper and on the other, that he recommended no charges against her.

    But in the face of Clinton’s complete skirt of accountability on the private email server she was allowed to operate in her New York home — a private server that compromised State Department communications, and therefore, the safety and security of the American citizenry — it’s double face-slapping to hear McCullough speak of the politicizing of the whole investigation.

    McCullough, for instance, claimed he faced “personal backlash” while investigating the emails on the 2016 campaign trail — and that when he told then-DNI head James Clapper that he found Clinton’s email correspondences “extremely reckless,” nothing but coverup ensued.

    He said a “deliberate effort” went forth to mislead the American people about the seriousness of the email scandal and that he personally faced “nothing but contention” for his attempt to sift through the emails and discern the true level of compromise to national security.

    “[I was] chided [for] not considering the political consequences,” he said, Mediaite noted. “I’m an inspector general. That’s my job — to not consider the political consequences. … As an IG, you’re not a D, you’re not an R. You’re an I — you’re an IG. Those are the letters that matter to you.”

    And when McCullough tried further to bring forth his findings into the light?

    He said he was dismissed “as a shill of the right,” his character, “attacked” and sullied.

    That’s got Team Democrat written all over it — Team Clinton, for sure. Attack the messenger — distract from the scandal. America’s politically savvy already knew this was taking place over the investigation of Clinton’s emails. But McCullough’s statements on Fox underscore and confirm. The coverup was massive, the behind-door whispers and strategizing, extensive. And what’s clear is that Clinton will never face accountability, in this lifetime at least, for the compromises to America’s security she shoulder-shrugged with her private email server.


    See Also:

    (1) Justice Dept. lawyer who met with dubious Trump dossier author to be hauled before Congress

    (2) House committee presses FBI chief on political bias within agency

    (3) TIME Holds Bill Clinton Accountable as it Honors Victims of Sexual Assault

  • Jack 3:23 am on December 8, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: bruce g. ohr, , , , , , , , , , ,   


    EXCLUSIVE: A senior Justice Department official was demoted this week amid an ongoing investigation into his contacts with the opposition research firm responsible for the anti-Trump “dossier,” the department confirmed to Fox News.

    Until Wednesday morning, Bruce G. Ohr held two titles at DOJ: associate deputy attorney general, a post that placed him four doors down from his boss, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein; and director of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF), a program described by the department as “the centerpiece of the attorney general’s drug strategy.”

    Ohr will retain his OCDETF title but has been stripped of his higher post and ousted from his office on the fourth floor of “Main Justice.”

    Initially senior department officials could not provide the reason for Ohr’s demotion, but Fox News has learned that evidence collected by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI), chaired by Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., indicates that Ohr met during the 2016 campaign with Christopher Steele, the former British spy who authored the “dossier.”

    Later, a Justice Department official told Fox News, “It is unusual for anyone to wear two hats as he has done recently. This person is going to go back to a single focus—director of our organized crime and drug enforcement unit. As you know, combatting transnational criminal organizations and drug trafficking is a top priority for the Attorney General.”

    Additionally, House investigators have determined that Ohr met shortly after the election with Glenn Simpson, the founder of Fusion GPS – the opposition research firm that hired Steele to compile the dossier with funds supplied by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee. By that point, according to published reports, the dossier had been in the hands of the FBI, which exists under the aegis of DOJ, for some five months, and the surveillance on Page had been commenced more than two months prior.

    Glenn Simpson met with a top DOJ official after the election, Fox News has learned.

    Former FBI Director James Comey, testifying before the House in March, described the dossier as a compendium of “salacious and unverified” allegations against then-candidate Donald Trump and his associates. The Nunes panel has spent much of this year investigating whether DOJ, under then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch, used the dossier to justify a foreign surveillance warrant against Carter Page, an advisor to the Trump campaign.

    The contacts between Ohr and Steele, and between Ohr and Simpson, have not been publicly disclosed nor shared with HPSCI staff.

    The panel has issued numerous subpoenas for documents and witnesses related to the dossier but claims DOJ and FBI have “stonewalled,” an assertion that House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., seconded in a rare public statement in October.

    While the agencies say they have cooperated extensively with Nunes and his team, including the provision of several hundred pages of classified documents relating to the dossier, it was only last weekend that DOJ and FBI agreed to make available to the committee for questioning Peter Strzok, the high-ranking FBI official who was disciplined in July for having sent-anti-Trump texts to a colleague while playing a decisive role in last year’s investigation into Mrs. Clinton’s private server.

    Strzok was removed from the staff of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is probing allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government, and demoted to a position on the FBI’s human resources division. The agencies’ decision to make Strzok available to House investigators came on the same day the New York Times and Washington Post disclosed the existence of the anti-Trump text messages, and Fox News disclosed that Strzok’s conduct in the Clinton case was under review by the FBI’s Office of Inspector General.

    The demotion of Ohr thus marked the second time within a matter of months that the Justice Department and the FBI have disciplined for misconduct a senior official connected in some form or fashion to the Trump-Russia case.

    According to congressional sources, Simpson and Ohr met sometime around Thanksgiving last year, when President-elect Trump was in the process of selecting his Cabinet, and discussed over coffee the anti-Trump dossier, the Russia investigation, and what Simpson considered the distressing development of Trump’s victory.

    How exactly Simpson and Ohr came to know each other is still being investigated but initial evidence collected by the House intelligence committee suggests that the two were placed in touch by Steele, a former FBI informant whose contacts with Ohr are said by senior DOJ officials to date back to 2006.

    Nunes, who has instructed HPSCI staff to draft contempt-of-Congress citations against Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray – preparatory to a House vote on whether the citations should be enforced – issued a fresh subpoena on Thursday specifically covering Ohr and his files.


    See Also:

    (1) House Judiciary Republicans Call on FBI to Explain ‘Special’ Status for Clinton Email Probe

    (2) FBI agent Peter Strzok’s anti-Trump texts demanded by Senate

    (2) DOJ Reviewing More Than 10,000 Text Messages Between Anti-Trump Mueller Investigators: Report

    (3) Ex-CIA: Trump should just pardon ‘everyone’

    (4) ‘Resistmas’: the Hillary Christmas tree topper

    (5) Jerry Seinfeld Endorses Roy Moore?

    (6) Team Obama attempted ‘stealth coup’ by undermining Trump

  • Jack 3:23 am on December 8, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: chris pleasance, , , , ,   

    Strategic Leak? 

    The White House has discussed using experimental microwave missiles against North Korea to disable Kim Jong-un‘s nukes, it has been reported.

    In the event of a war with the dictator the Air Force could use CHAMP weapons to fry the electronics controlling Kim’s latest rockets, stopping them from being launched.

    The use of such weapons, which are not yet operational, was discussed at a White House meeting on North Korea back in August, according to NBC news.

    CHAMP stands for counter-electronics high-power advanced microwave project and was started by the Air Force Research Laboratory back in 2009.

    In 2012 one of the weapons was tested in Utah against electronic equipment that was set up to mirror the capabilities of Iran and North Korea.

    The weapon managed to wipe out everything inside the first building it targeted, including the camera recording the test, before going on to target five more buildings then crashing itself at a pre-determined site.

    This is the only test of a microwave weapon to have been declassified.

    Other tests are believed to have taken place since then to improve the weapon, including mounting it on a missile that is harder to detect and upping the power.

    A 2016 Air Force Research Laboratory document, seen by NBC, says the low-flying missile is ‘capable of flying into a contested area and disabling an adversary’s electronic systems.’

    The news comes days after Kim tested North Korea’s latest ICBM, the Hwasong-15, which is likely capable of ranging all of mainland America.

    North Korea claims the missile is capable of carrying a ‘super heavy nuclear warhead’ and can bring it down to Earth intact, though has not shown evidence of this.

    That test has been followed by the largest joint air drills ever conducted by the US and South Korean air forces in a show of power to Kim Jong-un.

    China has announced it held its own drills involving reconnaissance planes, fighter jets, and an early warning and control aircraft.

    Beijing said the drill was designed as a show of force to Washington and Seoul, though did not not say exactly when or where the exercise took place.


  • Jack 3:25 am on December 6, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: baltimore ravens, baltimore sun, colin kaepernick, , football, jeff barker, player demonstrations   

    A Paradox 

    It seems paradoxical: The Ravens, who have sold out every home game since they arrived in Baltimore in 1996, are advertising tickets for Sunday’s contest at M&T Bank Stadium.

    But this is where the Ravens find themselves in 2017: Contemplating the prospect of empty seats, and appealing to fans to “Win Together. Purchase your tickets today!” even as the team is contending for what would be its first playoff berth since 2014.

    Thousands of fans are trying to resell their tickets to the sold-out game Sunday against the Detroit Lions at 71,000-seat M&T Bank Stadium via Ticketmaster, the team’s official resale outlet, or StubHub. Seats were available this week in almost every section; an $80 ticket for an upper end zone seat could be had for as little as $29.

    Every week, some ticket holders must miss the game. But the NFL is laboring across the board this season to maintain its fan base and minimize no-shows. It’s not just the Ravens. Television ratings are down league-wide and empty seats can be seen at many games.

    The league faces troubles on multiple fronts this year from politics to health and the game itself. There’s fan anger, stoked by President Donald Trump, over the decision of some players to kneel during the national anthem to protest racial inequity and police brutality; injuries to star players such as Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers; fresh concerns about the long-term effects of hits and concussions on players’ brains; and inconsistent play.

    “The Ravens are finding themselves in the same situation as a lot of NFL teams this year,” said T.J. Brightman, president of A. Bright Idea, a public relations and marketing firm with offices in Bel Air and California. “There is a disengagement by fans across the country stemming from the daily and weekly stories the NFL league office confronts.”

    The Ravens, who seem unable to mount a threatening offense, exemplify the challenge on the field. The team ranks 31st of 32 NFL teams in total offense (although, true-to-form, the defense is among the league’s best; the team is the first since the 2003 Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots to record three shutouts in a season).

  • Jack 11:52 am on December 4, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: barnini chakraborty, , , , , , sanctuary cities, todd rokita, , , ,   


    EXCLUSIVE – A Republican congressman plans to introduce a bill Monday that would threaten huge fines and prison time for elected officials accused of sheltering illegal immigrant criminals from deportation, in the wake of the not-guilty verdict in the Kate Steinle murder trial.

    Indiana Rep. Todd Rokita’s bill is one of the most aggressive pieces of legislation to date aimed at sanctuary city policies, going beyond the Justice Department’s threat to cut off grants to those jurisdictions.

    “Politicians don’t get to pick and choose what laws to comply with,” Rokita told Fox News. “Americans are dying because politicians sworn to uphold the law refuse to do so.”

    His “Stopping Lawless Actions of Politicians (SLAP) Act” would hold state and local lawmakers criminally responsible for refusing to comply with federal immigration enforcement efforts. The Republican’s bill would subject violators to a $1 million fine and up to five years in prison if they are convicted.

    “It’s time the federal government gets serious about enforcing immigration laws and holding politicians accountable who conspire to break them,” said Rokita.

    Rokita also supported “Kate’s Law” – legislation that would boost penalties for illegal immigrants who were previously deported and that was named after Steinle.

    On Thursday, Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, an illegal immigrant who already had been deported back to Mexico five times, was acquitted in the 2015 murder of Steinle on a San Francisco pier.

    Zarate’s attorneys argued Zarate had found a gun that accidentally discharged, and the bullet ricocheted off the ground before hitting Steinle. Prosecutors argued Zarate intentionally shot 32-year-old Steinle.

    The killing revived a national debate over sanctuary city policies, as some lawmakers as well as Steinle’s family faulted San Francisco for releasing the suspect from a local jail without notifying federal immigration officials.

    President Trump, who frequently cited Steinle’s case on the campaign trail, called the not-guilty verdict “disgraceful” and a “complete travesty of justice.”
    Attorney General Jeff Sessions took direct aim at the city, saying San Francisco’s “decision to protect criminal aliens led to the preventable and heartbreaking death of Kate Steinle.”

    In an interview prior to Thursday’s verdict, Steinle’s family said they wanted the case out of the national spotlight. “We just want to get this over with and move on with our lives, and think about Kate on our terms,” Jim Steinle, Kate’s father, told the San Francisco Chronicle.

    Following the verdict, he said his family was shocked Zarate was convicted only of firearm possession.

    On Friday, the DOJ released an amended arrest warrant for Zarate for a supervised release violation.

    Rokita’s bill follows a similar attempt in Texas to punish local officials who ignore federal requests to hold and then potentially turn over suspects for possible deportation. That law is the subject of a federal court challenge.


    See Also:

    (1) Bureau of Land Management Agent Promoted After His Gun Stolen, Used to Kill Kate Steinle

    (2) CNN’s Self-Congratulation After Trump’s Attack Only Illustrates His Point

  • Jack 3:32 am on December 1, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: gdls canada, general dynamics, , norman de bono, stryker combat vehicle, weapons upgrade   


    Made-in-London military armour is getting a lot more firepower.

    Some Stryker light armoured vehicles, a mainstay of the U.S. army, are being equipped with a 30-millimetre cannon and anti-tank missiles as the army beefs up its ground forces in Europe.

    Called “upgunning” in military parlance, the changes aim to boost the vehicles’ “lethality” as they face a growing role in Europe, said Col. Glenn Dean, project manager for the Stryker combat team.

    “This need became increasingly evident to the army given increased aggression in that region against a backdrop of limited U.S. armoured forces remaining in Europe,” Dean said by email, adding the new Strykers will be know as “Dragoons.”

    The 2nd Calvary Regiment and its 81 Strykers will offer direct fire support to infantry, he added.

    The new 30 mm cannon can be fired from within the vehicle using a remote weapons station and will first deploy with the European-based 2nd Cavalry on Stryker infantry carrier vehicles.

    From the time the program, known as the Stryker lethality program, was funded to first prototype delivery was only 15 months, Dean said.

    “Not only does this provide improved firepower, it also enhances vehicle survivability by providing standoff against potential threat weapons,” he said.

    As to why this is happening, military publications point to a “fast-changing global threat scenario, which includes the emergence of Russian aggression and accelerated Chinese military modernization — along with rapid global proliferation of attack drones and longer-range precision-guided weapons,” said an article on the website nationalinterest.org.

    The 30 mm cannon can be used to counter unmanned military drones, a growing threat in battle. It will feature “airburst” technology, meaning its rounds can detonate near a target and cause damage.

    “The new weapons are designed to support infantry units on the move in major combat, assist ground formations in armoured warfare, identify and destroy ground and air threats from greater standoff ranges and better enable the army to succeed,” said an article on Scout Warrior, a military news website.

    Stryker armoured vehicles are born in London, before being sent to other General Dynamics plants in the U.S. for final assembly of several variants, from troop carriers and ambulances to mobile gun systems.

    The program will see some work land in London, with suspensions for the armour being done here. It is not known yet whether GDLS will hire more workers as a result of the U.S. army program, said Doug Wilson-Hodge, spokesperson for GDLS Canada on Oxford Street.

    As for where other work will be done, the Dragoon infantry carrier vehicle is assembled by General Dynamics Land Systems in Anniston, Ala., with the turret supplied by Kongsberg Defence in Johnstown, Pa. Work on other variants will be done at GDLS plants in Mesa, Ariz., and Lima, Ohio.

    The program was approved in 2015 and the U.S. military has been testing and evaluating equipped Stryker prototypes in Maryland since January, with field and final testing set to begin in January.

    The army aims to see the entire 81-vehicle brigade deployed in Poland and Germany next year.

    “Army weapons developers are looking to harvest key insights from the current effort and are already looking far beyond equipping Stryker units in Europe toward a larger-scale, fleet-wide upgrade,” nationalinterest.org reported.


  • Jack 2:54 pm on November 26, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: alicia powe, , gender discrimination, gender indoctrination, gender politics, , , , us education, us values,   

    Angry Parents 

    WASHINGTON – Americans are fed up with public school curricula that incorporate gender ideology in the name of civil rights and are fighting legal battles across the country to end the indoctrination.

    Parents in Portland, Oregon, filed a federal lawsuit to reverse a Dallas School District policy allowing a biological female to use the bathroom and locker room for males.

    Allowing the 16-year old transgender female, Elliot Yoder, to use the boys’ facilities violates the civil rights of the majority of students who are not transgender, the lawsuit argues.

    Two years ago, Yoder requested to change her clothes before gym class in the boys’ locker room because other students noticed when she left to change in the gender-neutral facility, which was inconveniently located two floors away.

    The Dallas district accommodated her request, igniting parents to protest at a school board meeting.

    The attorney representing the parents, Herb Grey, argues boys are embarrassed to get undressed in front of biological females and that it is unfair to make the majority of students feel uncomfortable to satisfy the demands of a small minority.

    See what American education has become, in “Crimes of the Educators: How Utopians Are Using Government Schools to Destroy America’s Children.”

    “The key to this whole thing is not just the privacy and the rights of just one student,” Grey explained. “It’s the rights of all the students and their parents, and you can’t interpret federal law and state law and impose it on everyone else and say you’re accommodating everyone — because you’re not accommodating everyone.”

    The American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon and the group Basic Rights held a news conference Thursday, condemning the parents’ lawsuit.

    “The case targets transgender youth for simply existing and seeking an education,” said Mat dos Santos, legal director for ACLU Oregon. “This lawsuit is senseless and cruel, but it is not a meaningful threat to the right of transgender students in Oregon.”

    The Oregon Department of Education and Oregon Gov. Kate Brown are named in the lawsuit because the state guidelines issued in 2016 specify which districts are required to do to accommodate transgender students.

    The guidelines are not the law but were implemented after the Obama administration issued a guidance memorandum reinterpreting Title IX of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to extend to transgender students.

    That guidance later was reversed by the Trump administration.

    The lawsuit also names the Department of Education and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.

    Meanwhile, students in grades K-5 in Seattle will be assigned books and short lessons that teach the new gender ideology according to updated state health education requirements.

    “For kindergarten, there’s a book called ‘Introducing Teddy.’ In it, a bear named Thomas is sad and finally tells a friend, ‘I’m a girl teddy, not a boy teddy.’ Thomas asks to be called Tilly instead. The friend, Errol, says that he doesn’t care and that ‘what matters is that you are my friend,’” reports public radio station KNKX.

    Numerous court opinions on transgender rights have interpreted Title IX protections as extending to transgender students.

    The Portland lawsuit is similar to a suit filed in Palatine, Illinois, in which U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffery Gilbert sided against children and parents demanding their children’s privacy.

    Gilbert ruled last October that high school students “do not have a constitutional right not to share restrooms or locker rooms with transgender students whose sex assigned at birth is different than theirs.”

    See what American education has become, in “Crimes of the Educators: How Utopians Are Using Government Schools to Destroy America’s Children.”


  • Jack 3:07 pm on November 21, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: della reese, dr. charle drake, touched by an angel, university hospital   

    Della Reese: RIP 

    An American singer and television star who owed a second chance at life to a London surgeon has died.

    Della Reese, the actress and gospel-influenced singer who in middle age found her greatest fame as Tess, the wise angel in the long-running television drama “Touched by an Angel,” has died at age 86.

    A family representative released a statement Monday that Reese died peacefully Sunday evening in California. No cause of death or additional details were provided.

    Before “Touched by an Angel” debuted in 1994, Reese was mainly known as a singer, although she had co-starred on “Chico and the Man,” “Charlie and Company” and “The Royal Family” and hosted her own talk show, “Della.”

    She appeared on numerous shows such as “Night Court,” ”L.A. Law” and ”Designing Women,“ but wrote in her 1997 autobiography that she had difficulty being typecast until she landed her “Touched by an Angel” role.

    In 1979, Reese collapsed on Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show from a potentially fatal brain aneurysm.

    Her medical advisers felt the best place for her was in the hands of Charles Drake, a London doctor who had pioneered life-saving brain aneurysm surgery at University Hospital. Drake operated on her for five hours.

    The success of the procedure prompted Reese to perform a benefit concert for the hospital a year later. Reese credited Drake with saving her life and eyesight.

    Drake, chief of neurosurgery at University Hospital and the department of clinical neurological sciences at the University of Western Ontario, died Sept. 15, 1998.



  • Jack 3:26 am on November 21, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: marijuana production, pesticides, pot farms, , sharon bernstein, toxic waste   

    Pot Trouble 

    The volume of banned or restricted pesticides and illegally applied fertilizers in the woods dwarfs estimates by the U.S. Forest Service in 2014, when a top enforcement official testified that the pollution was threatening forest land in California and other states.

    California accounts for more than 90 percent of illegal U.S. marijuana farming, with much of it exported to other states from thousands of sites hidden deep inside forested federal land, and more on private property, law enforcement officials said. The state is still developing a licensing system for growers even though legal retail sales of the drug will begin next year, and medical use has been allowed for decades.

    Ecologist Mourad Gabriel, who documents the issue for the Forest Service as well as other state, local and federal law enforcement agencies, estimates California’s forests hold 41 times more solid fertilizers and 80 times more liquid pesticides than Forest Service investigators found in 2013.

    Growers use fertilizers and pesticides long restricted or banned in the United States, including carbofuran and zinc phosphide. In previous years, it was commonly sold fertilizers and pesticides that were used illegally, law enforcement officials said.

    Exposure to the pesticides has sent at least five law enforcement officials and two suspects to hospitals with skin rashes, respiratory problems and other symptoms, court documents and state data show.

    Use of any chemicals in national forests is against federal law, as pesticides have killed sensitive species and fertilizers can cause algae blooms and bacteria problems in rivers and streams.

    According to unpublished data seen by Reuters, Gabriel, who has visited more than 100 sites in California and is widely considered the top expert on toxics at marijuana farms, calculated that federal land in California contains 731,000 pounds of solid fertilizer, 491,000 ounces of concentrated liquid fertilizer and 200,000 ounces of toxic pesticides.

    If much of the pesticide and fertilizer were released into a single stream rather than scattered around the state in leaky containers, the volume would exceed the amount of chemicals spilled in 2014 into the Elk River in West Virginia, which left 300,000 residents without access to potable water.

    “We’re getting contamination over and over again at those locations,” said Gabriel, as toxins move from unsafe containers into the soil and water.

    pot farm_2

    Fertilizer seen in a makeshift pond with irrigation hoses attached in order to funnel water to grow sites in Mendocino County is California, pictured in this undated handout photo obtained by Reuters July 25, 2017. California Department of Fish and Wildlife/Handout via REUTERS

    At sites that state officials said they had cleaned up completely, his team found 30-50 percent of the chemicals were still there.

    “They are like superfund sites,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Karen Escobar, whose Fresno office has filed numerous marijuana-related environmental damage cases. Superfund sites are those targeted by the U.S. government for hazardous waste cleanup because of the risk to human health or the environment.

    Federal prosecutors have also charged pot growers with environmental crimes in Alaska, Oregon and Washington.

    The most toxic sites cost as much as $100,000 to clean up, leaving taxpayers with a bill that could reach $100 million or more in California alone.

    pot farm_3

    Blue tinted water with fertilizer at an illegal marijuana growing site in Mendocino County, California is pictured in this undated handout photo obtained by Reuters July 25, 2017. California Department of Fish and Wildlife/Handout via REUTERS

    “These places aren’t safe to go into,” said state Assemblyman Jim Wood, who has pushed for cleanup funding.

    Use of toxics has grown over the past three to four years, and chemicals have been found at sites in Oregon and Washington as well, said Chris Boehm, the Forest Service’s assistant director for enforcement and investigation. “In the last couple years we’ve lost a lot of the ground we had picked up in eradicating and cleaning up the new sites we find.”

    The expense and danger of cleanup has created a backlog of 639 illegal marijuana farms awaiting restoration in California, according to U.S. Forest Service data compiled for Reuters. Each farm covers up to 50 acres.

    Gabriel said that figure understated the problem, and pointed out that toxics are used at thousands of illegal farms on private and tribal land. After a year or two, growers often abandon sites, leaving containers of chemicals so toxic a quarter-teaspoon could kill a bear.

    As California moves to license growers, officials plan to regulate the use of chemicals. But rules can only be enforced against those who cultivate pot legally.

    “There are a lot of incentives for continuing to grow illegally,” said Washington Fish and Wildlife Deputy Chief Mike Cenci, citing growers’ distaste for taxes and red tape.

    “We’ve got 4,000 illegal grows in our county,” said Keith Groves, a supervisor of Trinity County in Northern California. “I’ll be happy if we can get 500 of them to become licensed.”


    See Also:

    (1) Banned pesticides from illegal pot farms seep into California water

  • Jack 3:44 am on November 18, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: david e. sanger, , , , , , william j. broad   

    Big Problem 

    WASHINGTON — Concerned that the missile defense system designed to protect American cities is insufficient by itself to deter a North Korean attack, the Trump administration is expanding its strategy to also try to stop Pyongyang’s missiles before they get far from Korean airspace.

    The new approach, hinted at in an emergency request to Congress last week for $4 billion to deal with North Korea, envisions the stepped-up use of cyberweapons to interfere with the North’s control systems before missiles are launched, as well as drones and fighter jets to shoot them down moments after liftoff. The missile defense network on the West Coast would be expanded for use if everything else fails.

    In interviews, defense officials, along with top scientists and senior members of Congress, described the accelerated effort as a response to the unexpected progress that North Korea has made in developing intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of delivering a nuclear bomb to the continental United States.

    “It is an all-out effort,” said Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island, the top Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, who returned from a lengthy visit to South Korea last month convinced that the United States needed to do far more to counter North Korea. “There is a fast-emerging threat, a diminishing window, and a recognition that we can’t be reliant on one solution.”

    For years, that single solution has been the missile batteries in Alaska and California that would target any long-range warheads fired toward the American mainland, trying to shoot them down as they re-enter the atmosphere. Such an approach, known as “hitting a bullet with a bullet,” remains of dubious effectiveness, even after more than $100 billion has been spent on the effort. Antimissile batteries on ships off the Korean coast and in South Korea protect against medium-range missiles, but not those aimed at American cities.

    Three Layers of Defense Against North Korean Missiles

    Washington is responding to the North Korean nuclear threat with a rush of money to strengthen old antimissile systems and inaugurate new ones. The diagram shows a mix of current and proposed options for defeating the North’s long-range missiles.





    Fort Greely, Alaska




    ballistic missile

    Fighter jet

    Interceptor rocket





    Pacific Ocean

    Vandenberg, Calif.

    Ground-based interceptors

    1 Before the Launch
    Attacks on infrastructure
    • Industrial sabotage to cripple missiles
    • Cyber and electronic strikes to interfere with launch and guidance systems
    • Missile strikes on launching pad
    2 During the Boost Phase
    Attacks on rising missiles
    • Fighter jets firing air-to-air missiles
    • Drones firing laser beams
    • Drones firing air-to-air missiles
    3 During the Midcourse Phase
    Attacks on incoming warheads
    • Increasing the number of interceptor rockets to as many as 104 from 44
    • Equipping interceptor rockets with improved kill vehicles that are meant to destroy enemy warheads by force of impact

    So the administration plans to pour hundreds of millions of dollars into the two other approaches, both of which are still in the experimental stage. The first involves stepped-up cyberattacks and other sabotage that would interfere with missile launches before they occur — what the Pentagon calls “left of launch.” The second is a new approach to blowing up the missiles in the “boost phase,” when they are slow-moving, highly visible targets.

    President Trump has praised the existing missile defense system, insisting last month that it “can knock out a missile in the air 97 percent of the time,” a claim that arms control experts call patently false. In trial runs, conducted under ideal conditions, the interceptors in Alaska and California have failed half of the time. And the Pentagon has warned administration officials that the North will soon have enough long-range missiles to launch volleys of them, including decoys, making the problem far more complex.

    That helps explain the rush for new protections.

    “They’re looking at everything,” said Thomas Karako, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, who recently led two antimissile studies and closely monitors the administration’s planning. “What you’re seeing is a lot more options on the table.”

    The $4 billion emergency budget sought by the White House is on top of the $8 billion that the Missile Defense Agency has already been granted for this fiscal year, as well as what other military services and agencies are putting into missile defense. Another $440 million was moved from existing programs to antimissile work two months ago, as the North Korea threat became more serious.

    In the emergency request to Congress, and in documents made public by its committees, the precise use of the funds is cloaked in deliberately vague language.

    Hundreds of millions of dollars, for example, are allotted for what the documents called “disruption/defeat” efforts. Several officials confirmed that the “disruption” efforts include another, more sophisticated attempt at the kind of cyber and electronic strikes that President Barack Obama ordered in 2014 when he intensified his efforts to cripple North Korea’s missile testing.

    Using cyberweapons to disrupt launches is a radical innovation in missile defense in the past three decades. But in the case of North Korea, it is also the most difficult. It requires getting into the missile manufacturing, launch control and guidance systems of a country that makes very limited use of the internet and has few connections to the outside world — most of them through China, and to a lesser degree Russia.

    In the operation that began in 2014, a range of cyber and electronic-interference operations were used against the North’s Musudan intermediate-range missiles, in an effort to slow its testing. But that secret effort had mixed results.



    Defending Against a North Korean Missile

    The United States uses two different categories of missile defense to counter North Korea. Here’s how they work and — sometimes — how they don’t.

    By ROBIN STEIN and DREW JORDAN on Publish Date August 27, 2017. . Watch in Times Video »

    The failure rate for the Musudan missile soared to 88 percent, but it was never clear how much of that was due to the cyberattacks and how much to sabotage of the North’s supply chain and its own manufacturing errors. Then Kim Jong-un, the country’s president, ordered a change in design, and the test-launches have been far more successful.

    The experience has raised difficult questions about the effectiveness of cyberweapons, despite billions of dollars in investment. “We can dream of a lot of targets to hack,” said Michael Sulmeyer, director of the Cyber Security Project at Harvard and formerly the director for cyberpolicy planning and operations in the office of the defense secretary. “But it can be hard to achieve the effects we want, when we want them.”

    Congressional documents also talk of making “additional investments” in “boost-phase missile defense.” The goal of that approach is to hit long-range missiles at their point of greatest vulnerability — while their engines are firing and the vehicles are stressed to the breaking point, and before their warheads are deployed.

    One idea is having stealth fighters such as the F-22 or the F-35 scramble from nearby bases in South Korea and Japan at the first sign of North Korean launch preparations. The jets would carry conventional air-to-air missiles, which are 12 feet long, and fire them at the North Korean long-range missiles after they are launched. But they would have to fly relatively close to North Korea to do that, increasing the chances of being shot down.

    A drawback of boost-phase defense is the short window to use it. Long-range missiles fire their engines for just five minutes or so, in contrast to warheads that zip through space for about 20 minutes before plunging back to earth. And there is the risk of inviting retaliation from North Korea.

    “You have to make a decision to fire a weapon into somebody’s territory,” Gen. John E. Hyten of the Air Force, commander of the United States Strategic Command, which controls the American nuclear missile fleet, recently told a Washington group. “And if you’re wrong, or if you miss?”

    A boost-phase idea getting much notice would be to have drones patrol high over the Sea of Japan, awaiting a North Korean launch. Remote operators would fire heat-sensing rockets that lock onto the rising missiles.

    The Avenger drone, made by General Atomics, has a wingspan of 76 feet and would potentially be used to shoot North Korean missiles as they are launched. Credit General Atomics

    “It’s a huge advance,” Gerold Yonas, chief scientist for President Ronald Reagan’s “Star Wars” program, said of the drone plan. “It’s one of those things where you hit yourself on the forehead and say, ‘Why didn’t I think of that?’”

    Leonard H. Caveny, a main planner of the rocket-firing drones and a former Navy officer who directed science and technology at the Pentagon’s antimissile program from 1985 to 1997, said an accelerated program could produce the weapons in a year or less.

    Dr. Caveny’s team is considering use of the Avenger, a drone made by General Atomics that has a wingspan of 76 feet. “This is going to be a game changer,” said Arthur L. Herman, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute in Washington, who collaborates with Dr. Caveny.

    The Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency is also developing a drone that would fire potent laser beams at rising missiles. But recent plans would have it make its debut no sooner than 2025 — too late to play a role in the current crisis or the Trump presidency.

    Even so, the effort has influential backers. In the recent talk, General Hyten of Strategic Command called lasers much better than interceptor rockets because they avoided questions over firing weapons into sovereign territories, especially to knock out missile test-flights.

    A potent beam of highly concentrated light, he said, “goes out into space,” avoiding the trespassing issue.

    In recent months, Congress has urged Pentagon officials to develop both varieties of drones.

    Theodore A. Postol, a professor emeritus of science and national security policy at M.I.T. who has drawn up plans for a missile-firing drone, argued that fleets of such weapons patrolling near the North, threatening to undo its strategic forces, would be extremely intimidating and create new diplomatic leverage.

    “We need it now,” he said. “My concern is that we get something out there quickly that will pressure North Korea to negotiate.”

  • Jack 2:48 pm on November 16, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: , , , david martosko, , , , , , , , , , ted kennedy, , ,   

    “Good Lord”… 

    Democratic U.S. Senator Al Franken is the latest high-profile man in power to face a sexual assault accusation, after a model-turned-radio host wrote Thursday that the longtime comedian and comic writer kissed and groped her without consent during a 2006 USA tour in Afghanistan.

    Franken, a champion of women’s causes, last month donated money his campaigns and political action committees have received from disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein to the Minnesota Indian Women’s Resource Center.

    And he responded to Weinstein’s apparent history of serial sexual-assault last month in a stinging Facebook essay, saying that ‘the disappointing responses women often face when they go public both embolden harassers and encourage victims to stay silent’.”

    But allegations from TalkRadio 790 KABC morning host Leeann Tweeden, who was a 23-year-old model at the time, could send Franken into the same reputational basket with him.

    A spokesman for Senator Franken, who has served in office since 2009, has not responded to multiple requests for comment.

    On Thursday morning Tweeden posted a lengthy essay describing Franken, before he ran for U.S. Senate in Minnesota, writing a script that called for him to kiss her – and insisting on a full-contact rehearsal backstage.

    And she later was shown a photograph of Franken groping her breasts while she slept aboard a military transport plane on the way home to the United States.

    Tweeden and Franken were both veterans of USO tours, entertaining American military troops; she had already completed eight such trips before the one in question.

    Country singers came along to croon, and some of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders provided window-dressing.  Tweeden had already appeared, clothed, as a cover girl on FHM, Maxim and Playboy.

    But Franken, the comic writer whose ideas propelled much of the first 20 seasons of ‘Saturday Night Live,’ was the main draw.

    ‘I was only expecting to emcee and introduce the acts, but Franken said he had written a part for me that he thought would be funny, and I agreed to play along,’ Tweeden wrote Thursday.

    ‘When I saw the script, Franken had written a moment when his character comes at me for a “kiss.” I suspected what he was after, but I figured I could turn my head at the last minute, or put my hand over his mouth, to get more laughs from the crowd.’

    But on the day of she show, she recalls, Franken insisted on rehearsing the kiss.

    ‘Relax Al, this isn’t SNL. … we don’t need to rehearse the kiss,’ she remembers telling him.

    tweeden_1But nevertheless, he persisted.

    Instead of letting Tweeden turn her head upstage to avoid his lips – a common sleight-of-hend bit of stagecraft – ‘he came at me, put his hand on the back of my head, mashed his lips against mine and aggressively stuck his tongue in my mouth.’

    ‘All I could think about was getting to a bathroom as fast as possible to rinse the taste of him out of my mouth,’ she writes now. ‘I felt disgusted and violated.’

    Franken’s version of the real kiss was never repeated on stage, and she never told the USO brass what happened because ‘I didn’t want to cause trouble. We were in the middle of a war zone, it was the first show of our Holiday tour, I was a professional, and I could take care of myself.’

    On Christmas Eve, after 2 weeks of performing in the Middle East, the troupe headed home on a 36-hour journey.

    Tweeden fell fast asleep in her bulletproof jacket and helmet.

    Later, when a photographer passed out CD-ROMs of candid pictures from the trip, she saw one depicting Franken grabbing her chest.

    ‘I couldn’t believe it. He groped me, without my consent, while I was asleep,’ she wrote Thursday.

    ‘I felt violated all over again. Embarrassed. Belittled. Humiliated. How dare anyone grab my breasts like this and think it’s funny?’

    Like other women in similar situations at the mercy of powerful men, Tweeden says she kept quiet for more than a decade out of fear of what pointing fingers might have done to her career as a broadcaster.

    But a recent appearance by California Democratic Rep. Jackie Speier on her show gave her courage.

    Speier told a story about being sexually assaulted when she was a young congressional aide, an episode where a powerful man ‘held her face, kissed her and stuck his tongue in her mouth.’

    ‘At that moment,’ Tweeden recalled Thursday, ‘I thought to myself, “Al Franken did that exact same thing to me”.’

    And she’s still angry about it.

    ‘Senator Franken, you wrote the script. But there’s nothing funny about sexual assault,’ she wrote.

    ‘You wrote the scene that would include you kissing me and then relentlessly badgered me into “rehearsing” the kiss with you backstage when we were alone.

    ‘You knew exactly what you were doing. You forcibly kissed me without my consent, grabbed my breasts while I was sleeping and had someone take a photo of you doing it, knowing I would see it later, and be ashamed.’

    ‘I want the days of silence to be over forever,’ she added.

    Franken wrote in his own October 11 Facebook essay that ‘[t]he women who have shared their stories about Harvey Weinstein over the last few days are incredibly brave. It takes a lot of courage to come forward, and we owe them our thanks.’

    ‘And as we hear more and more about Mr. Weinstein, it’s important to remember that while his behavior was appalling, it’s far too common,’ he wrote then.


    See Also:

    (1) Sen. Al Franken accused of groping broadcaster Leeann Tweeden during USO tour

    (2) ‘Name them’: Lindsey Graham wants sexual harassers in Congress outed

    (3) Liberals’ Sudden Concern About Bill Clinton’s Behavior Is Cynical And Self-Serving

    (4) Moore mocks McConnell’s call for an investigation into Franken

    (5) Sen. Al Franken to colleagues: Please probe me

    (6) Hillary voters turn on Bill Clinton, say accusations against him are ‘credible’

    (7) Liberals finally hold Bill Clinton accountable for sexual misconduct

  • Jack 3:31 am on November 15, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: , , , , , , , peter huessy,   

    Fake News 

    The New York Times appears convinced the United States has plans to hurl 4000 nuclear warheads at Russian cities in the event deterrence breaks down, a retaliatory threat they claim is far beyond what is needed to keep the peace. Instead, they call for a unilateral cut in our nuclear force to roughly 1000.

    For some reason, the Times did not get the memo some half-century ago that the United States deterrent policy does not target an adversary’s cities. Nor are the number of warheads in the American deployed nuclear arsenal anywhere near the 4000 claimed by the Times.

    They were reduced by half that number in 2002 under the Moscow Treaty, and to even lower by the 2010 New START Treaty.

    The Times, believing American nuclear deterrent policy is still based on burning down to the ground our adversary’s cities, calls for the country to keep no more than a few hundred warheads to incinerate either Russian or Chinese cities, and roughly no more than a total of 1100 warheads to raze the cities of an expansive list of our nuclear-armed enemies.

    The Times’s glaring error is its failure to grasp that since the late 1960’s, the United States deterrent policy with respect to the Soviet Union and now Russia has been one of retaliating against or otherwise holding at risk the military capabilities of our enemies, and moving completely away from relying upon the assured destruction of cities that had earlier been adopted as part of U.S. nuclear policy.

    Targeting civilian populations with nuclear weapons has long been held by America’s leaders to be both an immoral and ineffective deterrent policy. Deterrence requires holding at risk what tyrannical societies value most — and that is their military power, not their impoverished citizens.

    Despite these facts, the Times claims the alleged current American “stockpile” of 4000 warheads the U.S. now has is far too high and can safely be reduced unilaterally, as the U.S. supposedly has more than enough warheads to target the cities of all our adversaries. Here the Times is adopting the most radical position of the arms control community.

    In graphic displays of ostensibly U.S. surplus warheads, the Times calculates — absurdly — that the United States needs precisely 1103 warheads to fire at all our adversaries to maintain deterrence, which they define as killing 25% of our adversary’s populations.

    The Times does acknowledge that American nuclear weapons have already been significantly reduced since the height of the Cold War. The United States has, in fact, cut its deployed, strategic, nuclear, in-the-field weapons from around 13,000 in 1991, to 1550 warheads today, a 90% reduction.

    Ironically, at any one time, roughly 1000 warheads — not the 4000 the Times conjures up — might be on alert and be available for retaliation. There is no possible way we could launch 4000 warheads at Russia or any adversary.

    To get to 4000, after the initial warheads fall to their targets, and the delivery missiles burn up in the atmosphere while returning to earth, we would have to find hundreds of missiles we do not have, place them in our empty silos and submarine launch tubes, load up more warheads and launch them again.

    Can we do this? Of course not. So, what are the real facts of its deterrent capability?

    The U.S. deterrent policy currently holds at risk the critical military capabilities of our adversaries. U.S. national leaders — in this instance, President Barack Obama — determined in the 2010 nuclear posture review and the associated guidance to America’s nuclear commanders that this is what the U.S. needs for deterrence. The nuclear force the U.S. now has was determined to be necessary by the previous administration and previous Presidents. At this time, a new nuclear posture review is examining those requirements; the third such review in the past 15 years.

    Moreover, the number of warheads the U.S. has deployed — on station — in its nuclear deterrent, flow only from the President’s determination, not from some false notion that to deter adversaries, it is necessary to kill millions of people.

    Ironically, writers at the Times have not always thought 1000 weapons were sufficient to deter America’s adversaries or that any deployment number above that level was unnecessary. On May 2, 1982, they ran an column by Senator Gary Hart that chastised the Reagan administration for proposing major reductions in nuclear weapons, and argued that the defunct 1979 SALT II treaty between the United States and Soviet Union — withdrawn from the Senate by the Carter administration after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan — should nonetheless be agreed to as it would supposedly “slow Soviet acquisition of additional nuclear weapons.”

    As one nuclear expert has noted, the United States Senate Armed Services Committee, under the control of the Democratic majority, disagreed.

    It unanimously concluded in 1979 that SALT II was not in the United States’ “national security interests” — precisely because it would not slow the build-up in Soviet nuclear weapons.

    The chief criticism of the treaty, in fact, to which the Times seemed oblivious, was that SALT II would permit a destabilizing vast modernization and expansion of Soviet strategic forces, hardly the “arms control” slow-down the Times would claim was anticipated. The Times appeared to not be aware such growth was allowed, or perhaps the editors were taken in by the “arms control” propaganda of the treaty’s proponents.

    While it is true, for example, that the Soviets under SALT II had to dismantle many missiles, a point the Times emphasized, what was also true was that the remaining silos under the terms of the treaty became the homes of new, vastly more powerful missiles with a lot more warheads. Even if the Soviets adhered to the terms of the 1979 SALT II deal, the Soviets could double the number of their strategic warheads, from 5,000 in 1979 to 9,200 by 1986 and to 12,000 by 1990.

    Under the SALT framework, by the end of the Cold War, the Soviets could build more than 13,000 deployed strategic nuclear warheads, hardly characteristic of any “arms control” within the plain meaning of the term.

    Reagan, on the other hand, sought real arms control — reductions — and spoke about it as early as 1977. As president, he persisted in pushing a strategy of peace through strength, and building a strong nuclear deterrent. While simultaneously seeking major arms reductions, he modernized what was to be kept. He then added the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) in 1983, to further enhance our deterrent capability and undermine the Soviet push for first strike threats.

    While the SALT treaties in 1972 and 1979 were agreements to build-up both the Soviets’ and Americans’ nuclear weapons to the level both had already planned to reach, the START process was a revolutionary change to build-down — reducing while modernizing.

    But most importantly, while SALT led to dangerous instabilities with very large multiple warhead missiles dominating the Soviet force, START sought to channel modernization to vastly fewer warheads and more nuclear warheads based on submarines at sea, only single warhead missiles on land, and flexible bomber rules for the only recallable — air — portion of the U.S. Triad.

    Coupled with that was a major push to challenge the Soviets to eliminate all their SS-20 medium range INF nuclear armed missiles in Europe and Asia under a zero-zero option.

    Ironically, all these ideas were opposed by the then-Soviet inspired and popular “nuclear freeze” which, at the time, the New York Times embraced.

    What was the result of the Reagan revolution in strategic thinking and doctrine of peace through strength?

    Did it work? Yes, the U.S. won the Cold War because President Reagan combined military reductions while pushing for modernization, including SDI. The Soviets had no diplomatic answer to nuclear reductions and could not economically match U.S. modernization.

    Bertrand Russell once said that people “often defend most passionately those opinions for which they have the least factual basis”. The Times certainly does. It apparently believes there is a US deterrent policy of burning cities to the ground, but the policy does not exist.

    The Times supported treaties such as SALT I and II that increased warheads dramatically, but later complained such numbers were far in excessive of what was needed. Russia then labeled as unfair Reagan’s proposals to reduce warhead levels that the Times said were excessive.

    The United States nuclear arsenal is the smallest it has been since the early Eisenhower administration.

    Even at such low levels, the U.S. deterrent holds at risk those military assets most important to our adversaries, the destruction of which would cripple them if they attacked the United States first. That ability has been the essence of American nuclear deterrent policy for at least the past half century — and it has worked perfectly. Radically changing that successful formula, as the Times wants the U.S. to do, would be a reckless, dangerous mistake.

    Dr. Peter Huessy is President of GeoStrategic Analysis, a defense consulting firm he founded in 1981, as well as Director of Strategic Deterrent Studies at the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies. He was also for 20 years, the senior defense consultant at the National Defense University Foundation.


  • Jack 2:50 pm on November 14, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: michael van der galien, , , roger goodell,   


    The NFL’s Compensation Committee will hold a conference call Monday to further discuss the extension of Roger Goodell’s contract. This conference call comes shortly after Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said he wasn’t happy with the proposals currently on the table.

    That’s not very surprising, since Goodell’s alleged counterproposal to the NFL is extremely audacious:

    The committee will address Goodell’s salary and compensation package. The last written counterproposal from Goodell, which was around the first of August, was seeking about $49.5 million per year, as well as the lifetime use of a private jet and lifetime health insurance for his family, according to a source familiar with the negotiations.

    Joe Lockhart, the executive vice president of communications, denies ESPN’s reporting on Goodell’s supposed counterproposal, but the source who first told the network about it stands by his story. At this moment, Goodell makes $30 million a year. $49.5 million would be an increase of nearly 50 percent.

    NFL owners take the report of the $49.5 million wage plus a lifetime use of a private jet very seriously. One owner told ESPN that there are “several owners in this league who don’t make $40 million a year.” He added that the number “just seems too much” and is “offensive. It’s unseemly.”


  • Jack 2:37 pm on November 13, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,   


    Mr. Attorney General, it’s time to do your job.

    Why in 2016 did FBI Director James Comey call the Clinton Investigation a “matter,” not an investigation? After all, Mr. Comey wasn’t Director of the Federal Bureau of Matters.

    Why in 2016 did FBI Director Comey begin drafting an exoneration letter for Secretary Clinton, whom he called “grossly negligent” in an early draft of the letter, before completing the investigation? Before interviewing several witnesses? And before interviewing Secretary Clinton?

    Why in 2016 did James Comey and the Justice Department give Cheryl Mills, Secretary Clinton’s Chief of Staff, an immunity agreement for turning over her laptop computer? Typically, the Department would issue a subpoena or get a warrant and seize it. Why in this case did the FBI agree to destroy the laptop?

    Why in 2016—one day before the Benghazi report was released and five days before Secretary Clinton was interviewed by the FBI—did Attorney General Lynch meet with former President Clinton on the tarmac in Phoenix?

    Why in the days following the meeting, and when emailing with the public relations staff at the Justice Department, did Loretta Lynch use the pseudonym “Elizabeth Carlisle?” If your conversation with the former President was only about golf and grandchildren, then why not use your real name?

    Why was the decision on whether to charge Secretary Clinton made by FBI Director Comey and not the Attorney General?

    Why did James Comey publicize the Clinton Investigation?

    Why in 2016 did the FBI pay for the Russian Dossier? It’s been reported that in addition to the Clinton Campaign and the Democratic National Committee paying FusionGPS for the dossier, the FBI also “reimbursed” Christopher Steele, author of the dossier.

    Why was FusionGPS co-founder Glenn Simpson meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya both before and after her meeting with Donald Trump, Jr.?

    Why is the FBI so reluctant to tell Congress and the American people if the dossier was the basis for a FISA court order permitting the government to spy on Americans associated with President Trump’s campaign? If the dossier was a legitimate intelligence document relied on by the court, then why not just tell the country?

    Why on January 6, 2017 did James Comey brief President-Elect Trump on the dossier? Again, if the dossier was a legitimate intelligence document, then why wait two months after the election to inform the President-Elect?

    Why did the Obama Administration leak to CNN that Mr. Comey had briefed President-Elect Trump on the dossier? Several media outlets had the dossier prior to the briefing, yet no one would print it because most of the document could not be substantiated. In his Congressional testimony, Mr. Comey himself called the dossier “salacious and unverified.” As pointed out in The Federalist, did the fact that the FBI Director had briefed the President-Elect on the dossier give it the “legitimacy” the press needed to go ahead and print something they knew was not accurate?

    Why did the intelligence community in the final months of the Obama Administration unmask names at a record rate?

    Why, after Mr. Comey was fired on May 9, 2017, was it so critical for a Special Counsel be named to examine possible Trump/Russia collusion? So critical that James Comey leaked a government document about his conversations with President Trump through a friend to the New York Times.

    Why is the Special Counsel Robert Mueller? According to The Hill and Circa News, in 2009 and 2010, the FBI through an informant learned Russian companies seeking to do business in the United States were involved in kickbacks and bribes. Yet, FBI Director Robert Mueller did not inform Congress and did not inform the Committee of Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), the entity responsible for the decision on whether to approve the Uranium One deal.

    Why did Robert Mueller not inform CFIUS? And why did the Justice Department put a gag order on the informant?

    Finally, why won’t Attorney General Jeff Sessions—the person with the visibility and responsibility to answer these questions—do his job?

    On , twenty House Republican members of the Judiciary Committee sent a letter to the Attorney General calling for a Special Counsel to get answers to the above questions.

    On September 28, 2017, five House Republican members of the Judiciary committee met with the Attorney General and Justice Department staff to inquire about the July letter.

    The Justice Department’s response? Silence.

    It’s time for Jeff Sessions to name a Special Counsel and get answers for the American people. If not, he should step down.


  • Jack 12:36 pm on November 9, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: becky peterson, bitcoin error, ,   

    Risky Business 

    An estimated $280 million worth of the cryptocurrency ether is locked up because of one person’s mistake.

    An unidentified user accidentally deleted the code library required to use recently created digital wallets within Parity, a popular digital-wallet provider, according to a security alert posted on the company’s blog on Tuesday.

    The freeze affects all multi-signature wallets created on Parity after July 20.

    Multi-sig wallets are especially popular among cryptocurrency startups and other groups because they require more than one person to agree before any currency gets moved around. It’s a safeguard against rogue employees who might want to run off with the money.

    For this reason, it’s also a popular way of storing cryptocurrency raised in initial coin offerings, a new fundraising technique in which investors trade cryptocurrencies like ether and bitcoin for new ones created by companies.

    Exactly how much cryptocurrency has been locked up because of the bug is unclear, but some cryptocurrency blogs have reported that Parity wallets make up 20% of the entire Ethereum network, which powers the ether cryptocurrency.

    Researchers have estimated that about $280 million worth of ether is now inaccessible, including $90 million raised by Parity’s founder, Gavin Wood. Parity has not shared any official totals, though a spokeswoman disputed this number.

    Get the latest Bitcoin price here.>>


  • Jack 3:51 am on November 8, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: , mark prigg, , us navy,   

    Robot Subs 

    It could be the biggest robot craft ever made.

    Lockheed Martin has won a lucrative  $43.2 million US Navy contract to built a radical new giant submarine – without a human on board.

    Called Orca, the Navy hopes to use up to nine of the giant submarines on secret mission.

    They will be able to stay underwater for months at a time,  communicating remotely from enemy waters.

    Called Orca, the Navy hopes to use up to nine of the giant submarines on secret mission. They will be able to stay underwater for months at a time, communicating remotely from enemy waters.

    Officially known as the US Navy’s Extra Large Unmanned Undersea Vehicle (XLUUV),

    Lockheed say the ‘long-range autonomous vehicle will perform a variety of missions, enabled by a reconfigurable payload bay.’

    It says  key attributes include extended vehicle range, autonomy, and persistence.

    Orca will be able to move to an area of operation and ‘loiter’, periodically establishing communications and deploying payloads before returning to its home port.

    A critical benefit of Orca is that Navy personnel launch, recover, operate, and communicate with the vehicle from a home base and are never placed in harm’s way, Lockheed Martin says.

    ‘With each new undersea vehicle that Lockheed Martin designs, we bring to bear the state-of-the-art in technology, and innovative system integration of those technologies, to increase the range, reach, and effectiveness of undersea forces and their missions,’ said Frank Drennan, director, submersibles and autonomous systems, business development.

    ‘With decades of experience supporting the U.S. Navy’s mission, our engineers are approaching this design with a sense of urgency and continued agility.’


  • Jack 4:02 pm on November 3, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: , , sgt. bowe bergdahl, , , ,   

    National Disgrace 

    President Trump tweeted Friday that Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s sentence– a dishonorable discharge, but no prison time for leaving his post in June 2009 — was a “complete and total disgrace.”

    More than eight years after Bergdahl walked off his base in Afghanistan — and unwittingly into the clutches of the Taliban — Bergdahl walked out of a North Carolina courtroom a free man Friday. Bergdahl, who pleaded guilty to endangering his comrades, was fined, reduced in rank to E1 and dishonorably discharged — but he received no prison time.

    Trump, aboard Air Force One en route to meetings in Asia, tweeted his disapproval of the sentence.

    “The decision on Sergeant Bergdahl is a complete and total disgrace to our Country and to our Military,” Trump wrote.

    U.S. President Barack Obama (R) watches as Jami Bergdahl (L) and Bob Bergdahl talk about the release of their son, prisoner of war U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, during a statement in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington May 31, 2014. Obama, flanked by the parents of Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, a U.S. soldier who is being released after being held for nearly five years by the Taliban, said in the White House Rose Garden on Saturday that the United States has an

    Bowe Bergdahl’s parents stand in the Rose Garden with President Obama when Bergdahl’s release was announced.  (AP)

    As part of the sentence, Bergdahl will forfeit his pay of $1000 per month for ten months.

    Bergdahl was shaking and appeared emotional as the verdict was quickly read.

    Bergdahl’s defense lawyer has told reporters after sentencing that his client “has looked forward to today for a long time.”

    Eugene Fidell added: “Sgt. Bergdahl is grateful to everyone who searched for him in 2009, especially those who heroically sustained injuries.”

    Dec. 8, 2010: This file image provided by IntelCenter shows a framegrab from a video released by the Taliban containing footage of a man believed to be Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, left.

    Bowe Bergdahl, left, was held by militants for five years.  (AP)

    Fidell told reporters that he looks forward to the appeals court reviewing Trump’s statements as a candidate, which he appeared to reaffirm on the day Bergdahl pleaded guilty Oct. 16.

    Addressing reporters before Trump tweeted about the sentence, Fidell said Trump had already caused one of the “most preposterous” legal situations in American history.

    He said he looks forward to the appeal, adding: “We think there’s an extremely strong basis for dismissal of the case.”

    Prosecutors had requested a 14-year prison term following a week of emotional testimony from the survivors who were wounded during missions to find Bergdahl after he left the base in June 2009. Bergdahl’s defense team had asked for no prison time.

    Mark Allen.   Facebook

    Master Sergeant Mark Allen suffered a head injury in July 2009 while looking for Bergdahl. The injury left him unable to speak or walk.

    Bergdahl faced up to life in prison for desertion and misbehavior before the enemy.

    Capt. Nina Banks, a defense attorney, said it wouldn’t be justice to rescue Bergdahl from the Taliban “only to place him in a cell” now.

    “Sgt. Bergdahl has been punished enough,” Banks added. “Sgt. Bergdahl paid a bitter price for the choices that he made.”

    During the multiday sentencing hearing, Bergdahl himself testified that he was sorry for the wounds suffered by searchers. He also described brutal beatings by his captors, illness brought on by squalid conditions and maddening periods of isolation, most of it in a cramped cage.

    Bergdahl pleaded guilty on Oct. 16.

    The 31-year-old soldier from Hailey, Idaho, was brought home by President Barack Obama in 2014 in a swap for five Taliban prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. Obama said at the time that the U.S. does not leave its service members on the battlefield.

    Republicans roundly criticized Obama, and Trump went further while campaigning for president, repeatedly calling Bergdahl a traitor who deserved death.


    See Also:

    (1) Their America, and Ours

  • Jack 3:11 am on November 3, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: , houston astros, us baseball, , world series   


    LOS ANGELES — George Springer and the Houston Astros rocketed to the top of the baseball galaxy Wednesday night, winning the first World Series championship in franchise history by romping past the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-1 in Game 7.

    Playing for a city still recovering from Hurricane Harvey, and wearing an H Strong logo on their jerseys, the Astros brought home the prize that had eluded them since they started out in 1962 as the Colt .45s.

    Springer led off the evening with a double against Yu Darvish, and soon it was 2-0. Springer hit his fifth homer – tying the mark set by Reggie Jackson and matched by Chase Utley – when he connected for a record fourth game in a row, making it 5-0 in the second inning.

    Astros manager A.J. Hinch pulled starter Lance McCullers in the third soon after the curveballer crazily plunked his fourth batter of the game. Winner Charlie Morton pitched the final four innings.


    See Also:

    (1) After Winning the World Series, Astros’ Carlos Correa Put a Ring on It!

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