A true criminal act

Ok accidents happen, I get that. An unmarked border in the middle of the desert could be hard to identify and a person or helicopter could accidentally cross it.

KVOA-TV reports that Mexican authorities were conducting a drug interdiction operation when the incident happened early Thursday morning on the Tohono O’odham Indian Nation. The Mexican chopper fired at the agents and then flew back into Mexico.

So how about we all agree and understand that and give us our damned US Citizen and Marine back who accidentally crossed over your border with his legal weapons. He did not shoot at your cops or try to harm any Mexican citizen.

Mexico then contacted U.S. authorities and apologized for the incident.

You fired on and tried to kill two of our federal agents, which I think warrants more than a friggen “I’m sorry”. How about you give us our Marine back with that apology, along with all his possessions, and a deep heartfelt apology from the President of Mexico. Otherwise if our administration had a pair, **they might seed the border with Stinger and other Anti-aircraft weapon platforms to shoot down the next “accident” that crosses over the border.

**Oh how I wish President Reagan was still alive and in office because I know that is exactly what he would have done. In the meantime, can our inept and impudent congress stand up as a whole body and DEMAND the President do something about this?

Read more at http://lasvegas.cbslocal.com/2014/06/27/report-mexican-military-chopper-crosses-into-us-shoots-at-border-agents/

A new film with a personal connection

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Well I recently stumbled across this trailer for the documentary coming out this summer called The Kill Team. I am curious as to how this documentary will play out to see if there is an agenda in it, or if it is truly just presenting facts.

I have talked about the connection with this film and the incident several times on this blog. One of the main individuals involved in this incident and who was found guilty and sentenced to 24 years in prison was Jeremy Morlock. I knew Jeremy when he was a little boy, long before he joined the Army. I knew his parents very well as I had served with his father for several years. Jeremy has many brothers and sisters and I knew the whole family. I was very proud of him when he joined the Army and had talked to him several times online about his late Father and how much he looked like him and my memories of his Dad.

It broke my heart when all of this happened and Jeremy took these actions that took innocent lives. It broke my heart because I knew him as a innocent little boy and I know it broke his mom’s heart to see the world look at her son as such an inhumane animal capable of doing such things. Even though I look at what he did with disgust, in a weird way only possibly understood by those that have served in combat, I can sort of understand how they did this.

Anyway, here is the trailer and I look forward to seeing a screening of this when it becomes available so I can judge how they are going to present this unit and their actions to the world. Learn more at http://killteammovie.com

 

Guest Blogger, Rusty Bradley- Bergdahl has led to Pandora’s Box

I was a tactical operations center chief when Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl walked off his firebase. The entire room held its breath as we read the message, an American soldier was missing. Phones were abuzz and video conferences under way as preparation for contingency operations to support the search were already underway. There would be no limit in the effort to determine the best way to support the search for the missing American.

It seemed like nearly everything came to an abrupt halt. If he was a lost American soldier, we needed to find him. Almost every available asset was diverted in an effort to find Bergdahl, to include the vast plethora of strategic assets, national ISR (Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance) aircraft, Tier One SOF units and massive operations by the regular Army were shifted from the war fighting effort to assist in the search. We went thru all the available information to see how we could assist in the search. Even though he was missing in the East, we would do what we could from the South to help. It was not twenty four hours later that the circumstances surrounding his disappearance would be reported. It left everyone in the room shaking their head.

Now that he is safe, I am relieved and happy for him and his family. I can’t imagine being held by anyone, much less the Taliban, for five years. The only person I am aware of who can sympathize with this experience is Sen. John McCain. But, amid this short term happiness in securing Bergdahl’s freedom is the long term apprehension as a result. The Obama administration has opened Pandora’s Box by doing what we have sworn never to do, negotiate with terrorists. By making a unilateral decision to negotiate with terrorists, Obama has broken national policy and agreed to exchange Bergdahl for five Taliban commanders previously held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

What is the ultimate cost of making this unilateral decision to obtain Bergdahl’s release? It does not matter what side of the isle you fall on politically, this question is being asked amongst the inner circles. This is in no way like the decision to kill Bin Laden. Any grandmother in America would have said “Get him” and know that even if they missed, it could be said that at least he tried. I submit that this decision will have two impacts, one short term and one long term.

The first and short term consequence leaves me shaking my head, yet again. In regard to the release of prisoners from Guantanamo Bay, I have seen the results of these terrorists returning to the battlefield. There is no such thing as rehabilitation. They will return to their acts of terror and inhumanity until they themselves are finally killed. Almost 30 percent of the detainees released from Guantánamo Bay returned to fight, according to research by Thomas Joslin, an analyst for the Foundation for Defense for Democracies. I had to scoff when I read this. I do not have statistics to back up my opinion, only eight deployments to Afghanistan, but I will stand by the statement that I have never known of a detainee who does not return to the battlefield. Terrorists do not decide to go from making bombs to selling cars. It is not an occupational change.

Arizona Sen. John McCain told USA Today Saturday that Guantanamo detainees “are hardened terrorists who have the blood of Americans and countless Afghans on their hands”. “I am eager to learn what precise steps are being taken to ensure that these vicious and violent Taliban extremists never return to the fight against the United States and our partners.” McCain said. I can answer this question for you Sen. McCain, nothing…Nothing at all.

There is no doubt that the five detainees that were released from Guantánamo will kill again. We are leaving a fragile Afghan government and military in Afghanistan to continue the fight, but we’ve now given the enemy five of their commanders, who will no doubt reignite the Taliban’s ideology, methodology, and ultimately, motivation. Their release signals that America will submit.

How much more American blood will be shed under attacks led by these terrorists or worse in trying to apprehend or kill these commanders in future combat operations? What will be the cost in future American lives when these terrorists returned to the battlefield and what future forces will face now knowing that America will negotiate with terrorists? Special operations forces continue to operate in Afghanistan and in over one hundred countries and are now a bigger target because terrorists now know the value of one American military hostage.

“While we are mindful of the challenges, it is our hope Sergeant Bergdahl’s recovery could potentially open the door for broader discussions among Afghans about the future of their country by building confidence that it is possible for all sides to find common ground,” Obama said Saturday.

This comment makes one wonder whether he or his administration can actually digest the “challenges” that will arise from this decision. The ramifications of this decision are far reaching. But the long term and greatest danger will be the administration’s willingness to make a deal. It is no longer the perception of negotiation with America, but the actuality.

This is not going to be just about the military. As in Iraq, Terrorist networks will migrate towards capturing easier targets like civilians to accomplish their goals. What happens when terrorist sleeper cell take over a school, movie theater or church in the US? It has happened in Russia already. We are fighting an enemy that has no problem strapping bombs to their chests and detonating them in a market full of women and children. They readily pack cars and trucks full of explosives and convince their young men to drive these bombs into military and civilian targets.

What happens when Americans are captured in order to free terrorists held by our coalition partners? This list of horrific questions gets worse and worse. What will we do now that the president has opened Pandora’s box?

The results of President Barak Hussein Obama’s decision will likely haunt this country and be chiseled into tombstones long after we are gone.

MAJ Rusty Bradley (Ret.) deployed to Afghanistan eight times, most recently in 2012. After 21 years in the U.S. Army, he was medically retired in 2014. Bradley is also the author of the book “Lions of Kandahar.” www.lionsofkandahar.com

A number of new stories about Bergdahl

Since the Blog post, “Guest Blogger, Raven-Wolf: Bergdahl, How pride and arrogance kept us from getting him back” went up yesterday this blog has received record-setting traffic, breaking the one day number of hits on this blog three times over. In addition the traffic here, there are stories up all over the place on the internet that is revealing a lot of unknown or lesser-known details about the Bergdahl case. I wanted to list a few of them here.

1. Rolling Stone (Pay attention to #7 as it relates directly to Raven-Wolf’s guest blog post).
http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/13-things-you-need-to-know-about-bowe-bergdahl-20140602

2. NY Post
http://nypost.com/2014/05/31/the-bizarre-tale-of-americas-last-known-pow/

3. Telegraph UK
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/10868673/Bowe-Bergdahl-a-darker-story-behind-the-release-of-Americas-last-prisoner-of-war.html

4. Wikileaks Report from the incident
http://wikileaks.org/afg/event/2009/06/AFG20090630n1790.html

5. The Daily Beast (written by a unit member of Bergdahl’s)
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/06/02/we-lost-soldiers-in-the-hunt-for-bergdahl-a-guy-who-walked-off-in-the-dead-of-night.html

This country is focusing on the wrong Zimmerman

While the whole George Zimmerman trial has been captivating the news over the past 5 weeks, it is over. Trayvon Martin has been buried for a while now, and even though it is sad for anyone to lose their life so young by virtue of a freak turn of events, it is over.

What is really sad is why this has all been going on there are real Heroes this country should be paying attention to. Americans who are laying down their lives for us to enjoy all the freedoms that our founding fathers have ensured for us. People like Sonny Zimmerman.

 

 

07/17/2013 10:55 AM CDT

 


IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 517-13
July 17, 2013

DOD Identifies Army Casualty

            The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

Staff Sgt. Sonny C. Zimmerman, 25, of Waynesfield, Ohio, died July 16, in Mushaka, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when his vehicle was attacked by a rocket propelled grenade.

He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, Fort Campbell, Ky.

For more information, media may contact the Fort Campbell public affairs office at 931-217-5074 or 931-220-7993.

2013 Fighting season underway

Between brazen attacks on the airport…

Taliban insurgents on Monday launched a grenade and gun attack on Kabul airport, firing on military facilities before being overwhelmed in an operation hailed as a victory for Afghan security forces.

Two suicide bombers blew themselves up and all five other attackers were killed when elite Afghan troops stormed two multi-storey buildings where the militants were holed up near the airport’s perimeter fence.Read more at http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/-/world/17541616/taliban-target-kabul-airport-in-ongoing-attack/

…Green on Blue attacks…

The shooting in Paktika province is the latest in a string of attacks in which infiltrators or disgruntled Afghan police or soldiers have killed international troops working with them.

The killings threaten to shake the confidence and trust of the two sides as withdrawal of most international troops approaches in 2014.

Read more at http://news.sky.com/story/1101060/afghan-insider-attack-kills-three-americans

…and RBIEDs**…

Watching the man over closed-circuit television, they ordered him to strip naked, which he did. Satisfied, they let him get dressed and took him to see their boss upstairs.Then he blew up. The suicide bomber killed only himself, but Mr. Khalid sustained severe abdominal wounds as well as injuries to his hands and arms.

Now, months after that attack, on Dec. 6, a spokesman for the National Directorate of Security, Shafiqullah Tahiri, confirmed that the attacker had hidden the bomb inside his rectum.

Read more at http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/09/world/asia/attacker-in-afghanistan-hid-bomb-in-his-body.html?_r=0

there is no doubt that the full blown fighting season has begun in Afghanistan. I am so glad we are keeping soldiers there just to watch our stuff until we can get it all back (snarkiness). The pull out needs to happen now, not in 2014.

** Rectum-borne Improvised Explosive Device

Someone’s priorities are all messed up, I hope

I travel all the time, so I was glad when Congress stepped in to force the FAA to stop the furloughs of Air Traffic Controllers. However when see this, I would rather be delayed on my flights then allow something like this to happen. I would gladly sit on a runway then have our wounded warriors have even the slightest drop in their care or delay of attention given to them.

ABC7 has confirmed the region’s two military hospitals are furloughing more than 3,500 civilian employees who care for the nation’s wounded warriors, nearly their entire civilian staffs.

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I am disgusted to see this and convinced of one of two things. Either someone’s priorities are so screwed up they should not hold a public service job of any type, or someone in the Government is wanting to play on America’s heart-stings and using our wounded warriors as pawn’s in the big game of Sequestration.

I only imply the latter because of all the hype that came out of the administration prior to the sequestration when it was all doom and mayhem if Congress did not get it resolved. Remember the prisons would have to release prisoners, the borders would be left unprotected (this happened on purpose in Arizona ironically), our troops would be left without the gear and training they need and of course the old warning that flights delays will happen and flight safety would be at risk. And we see what happened with the last one.

I pray and hope it is because of mis-aligned priorities (i.e. someone’s head is up their fourth point of contact) and not the other reason.
Read more: http://www.wjla.com/articles/2013/05/caretakers-for-wounded-warriors-at-walter-reed-receive-furlough-notices-89467.html#ixzz2Uuq2SxlO

Failure in leadership by the USA and UK

Last fall a group of 15 Taliban fighters breached the perimeter of one of the largest bases in Afghanistan, completely unchallenged. They made their way on the base, taking the lives of two Marines and then destroyed over $200 million dollars worth of US Marine aircraft (almost the entire Squadron).

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After the attack, which resulted in the deaths of two Marines and the largest loss of allied materiel in the 11-year-long Afghan war, the top U.S. commander on the base did not order a formal investigation into the security lapses or sanction any personnel responsible for guarding the facility, the officials said.

It was a joint base with the British and now it appears that because of that fact our country is worrying about embarrassing the British military leadership by publicly stating what everyone in the military knows already.

In the days following the raid, some U.S. and NATO military leaders insisted that the Taliban got lucky by choosing to breach where they did. But several officials with direct knowledge of the assault said in recent interviews that staffing decisions by U.S. and British commanders weakened the base’s defenses, making it easier for the insurgents to reconnoiter the compound and enter without resistance.

This is a disgrace to our entire military, our country and worst of all, the families of those two fallen Marines. There used to be a saying in out country, “The Buck Stops here” which means that whomever is in command it accountable.

You can ask any of my soldiers that ever served with me while I was their First Sergeant and they will tell you that I spoke at length about R.A.I.D. It stands for Responsibility, Accountability, Initiative and Discipline. These were the four tenants that I demanded all of my soldiers exercise all the time. I stressed to them how important it was to apply these to their the lives both on and off duty. In my talks with soldiers about R.A.I.D. I would stress the fact that Responsibility can be delegated but Accountability never can. It is impossible to delegate it. If someone charges you with a responsibility to get something done, you may be able to delegate the task to someone else to physically perform, however you are and always will be accountable to the person that asked or told you to do it. You can’t whine with a “but I told him to do it”. That does not hold any weight or integrity.

So back to this story that came out on Saturday about the dereliction of duty and lack of accountability on behalf of the US and British leadership on the base. The base has been the site of an attempted attack on Secretary of Defense Panetta just six months earlier and it was September of 2012, which was still well within the height of the fighting season in the worst year of violence to date.

“You can’t defend everywhere every day,” Gurganus said in response to a question about the attack. “You base your security on the threat you’ve got.” He said the Taliban caught “a lucky break.”

That statement by MG Gurganus is in itself reason enough to relieve him of his duties and force him to retire. There are many parts in the whole story that are disturbing to read, however that quote above is 100% whining and excuse making. If I was his CSM and was near him, I would have tossed my career right there while I ate him up one side and down the other. I am sure this MG didn’t take whining excuses like that from the Marines in his command throughout his career. Him stating that on the record is a stain on the impeccable reputation of the entire Marine Corps.

The second worse thing stated in this story is the following

No U.S. or British military personnel have been reprimanded as a result of the attack. The Marine Corps does not plan to release its review. NATO also intends to keep its investigation confidential, in part to avoid embarrassing the British for leaving towers unmanned, according to officers briefed on the findings.

“We’ve corrected the deficiencies in security, but we don’t want to put a stick in the eye of our closest ally,” said a senior U.S. official who served in Afghanistan at the time.

To not hold those accountable and be transparent about the mistakes made is a failure on all of the leadership in both countries, all the way to the top. It is amazing how we can make public spectacles out of and punish soldiers who mistakenly throw Korans into a burn put with the other trash they are mixed with, or Marines who out of disgust and anger with a cowardice enemy urinate on their dead bodies (which by the way, nobody in the world gave a crap about except our civilian leaders in the Government) but they don’t make public and hold accountable the leaders and decision makers on this base that directly allowed this to happen.

If this is a sign of what is to come as we drawdown, then it makes it more important than ever to pull all troops out now instead of leaving them there as IED and IDF Fodder for our enemies.

Please take the time to read the whole story. I look forward to your comments and feelings on this topic. Feel free to comment on this blog post and lets chat about it.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/taliban-attack-exploited-security-cutbacks/2013/04/20/b22a0c18-a796-11e2-8302-3c7e0ea97057_story.html

Army Senior NCO denied the rights he has protected

NOTE- This blog entry originally appeared at www.youserved.com but they have removed it because it deals with an on-going legal case. So I am re-posting it here with a few updated edits. 

My very good friend, Top Talk Radio co-host and past Military blogger, Army Master Sergeant CJ Grisham was detained and then arrested a few weeks ago while on a hike in a rural area of Texas for carrying a personally-owned AR-15 rifle. I was notified soon after he was arrested that it happened and have had frequent conversations with him about it.

He is currently fighting this arrest which, based on the evidence I have seen so far, appears to be an unlawful arrest to me. In order to highlight what a small world it is, the Bell Country DA was my personal attorney about 23 years ago for a couple of civil needs. I was one of his first clients as a private practicing attorney and now he is the DA prosecuting one of my closest friends, who would have guessed this?

Anyway, CJ not only has an attorney but also a P.I. and is going to all lengths to defend himself and the rights that he and many of us have fought to protect and maintain. Needless to say this is not cheap and as a Sr. NCO in the Army he is not someone flush with cash so he has set up a crowdsourcing page to help raise the funds needed to fund the legal costs needed to protect his 2nd Amendment rights. He only needed about $11,000 for his attorney fees but as of April 17th he is up to over $29K raised. The way the Indiegogo site works, he cannot stop it. The fundraising campaign has to continue until the end date. I don’t want to divulge all the details, but CJ has plans to use the extra money raised for many other soldiers who have went through what he is now going through.

As part of his case, CJ and his attorney do not want this to be buried in the back page and want to make sure that this arrest is known to all. I want to make note that CJ was originally charged with “resisting arrest” but wasn’t arrested for anything else. I am not a lawyer, but I am not sure how someone can be arrested for “resisting” an arrest that didn’t happen. I would think someone would need to be arrested for something in the first place before they can be charged with resisting it. Well since that initial charge, I guess someone in the judicial system at Bell County realized the same thing and how foolish it was so they have since dropped the “resisting arrest” charge and now are charging him with “interrupting, disrupting, impeding and interfering with a peace officer while performing a duty. Again I question what his “duty” was. It wasn’t like he was responding to some other call or performing some duty that CJ disrupted. I think it is poor attempt to  justify an arrest based on weak circumstances. The full video of what CJ was able to record is available at http://youtu.be/A8r4MK3R4PI.

This story has also been all over the media circuit. You can see it at The Daily Caller, in the Army Times, on The Blaze, Fox News Radio, and today he was interviewed by Glenn Beck himself.

In addition to this being featured on several news outlets, this has caused quite a dialog back and forth by people with opinions on both sides. On the comical and sometimes off-color “Grunts, 11-Bravo” Facebook page the topic generate a flurry of comments back and forth about CJ’s case. The Grunts Facebook page along with other Facebook pages, his blogs and the Indiegogo page all have many comments on this matter, not to mention a slew of comments on all the websites mentioned above.

I am curious what your thoughts are, after reading this, the other sites and seeing the video yourself. Keep in mind that Texas law allows him to walk with a rifle and he has a  concealed carry permit. With all that said, what do you think? Was he treated wrongly? Was he within his rights? Were the officers justified and within the law to arrest him? If you comment I ask that you state your reasoning behind your opinion.

Top Talk discusses Military Sexual Assault tonight

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Top Talk Radio (www.toptalkusa.com) has taken off like crazy since its launch on January 16th, 2013. The guests we have had on the show have been fabulous, and tonight’s show is no different. April is Sexual Assault Awareness month (http://www.sapr.mil/index.php/saam) so CJ and I are dedicating tonight’s show to the topic of Military Sexual Trauma.

Sexual Assault in the military is a rising problem (in my opinion 2nd worst problem behind suicide in the military)  and is something we want to make America aware about. It is a taboo sort of topic that does not get a lot of coverage in the news so this is out attempt at getting the word out there. It is one that is both embarrassing for the victim and the military as a whole. We would love to think that every service member is honorable and has values and morals but the truth is, just like in our society, that is not always the case. The convicted have ranged from lower enlisted to Drill Sergeants to senior leaders. There is even an ongoing trial right now where a One-star General is accused of such acts.

CJ and I will have several guests on who have been victims of sexual assault during their military service. These guests are both female and male, which is important because this is not just a female problem. We are hoping other people will listen to the show, and if motivated to do so, call in if they have personal stories that they would feel comfortable sharing. It may not be something they were directly involved in, but maybe a connection they have to a case.

We will be talking about the impact these acts have on the victim, their loved ones, the unit and the military as a whole. This is a tough topic but one that needs to be covered. We hope that by covering this topic tonight on Top Talk, it will encourage other victims who may have stayed silent and are still fighting with demons today to come forward and seek help and move beyond such horrific events.

Please join us starting 8:30PM ET on www.toptalkusa.com as our show runs every Wednesday night from 8:30-10:00PM. Also be sure to check out our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/toptalkusa or on twitter at http://www.twitter.com/top_talk_usa. If you can’t listen over the internet and would like to call in and listen or would like to call in to comment or ask a question, you can dial 323-580-5659.