The Endless War of Taqiyya

Montana’s mountains, Wyoming’s Kortes Dam, and the North Shore of Lake

My hometown Whitefish, Montana

My hometown Whitefish, Montana

Superior provided the backdrops of a childhood that instilled a belief that I could be anything I wanted to be if I just worked hard enough and paid my dues. Running wild and free through these landscapes I believed the truisms of my parents, a pair of hardworking WWII vets.

I loved being the good guys, making a difference, and saving the planet. And except for the ‘saving the planet thing’ it all worked as they promised it would but not for the reasons I thought. My ability to succeed as an average Joe was rooted in me. Rather, the freedom to be me was embedded in the founding principles of United States and its culture. Once I made that earth-shaking discovery, I became a

Starving around global campfires was a learning experience.

Starving around global campfires was a learning experience.

roving troubadour starving around the campfires of several socio-political-economic regimes. Later I became an itinerant engineer supporting the military industrial complex. Now I write for the freedom of others to run wild and free, be the good guys, make a difference, save the planet, and be anything they want to be.

Before I could spell ‘Constitution’, the cultural teaching began. My upbringing was traditional Judeo-Christian, but it is not exclusive. Take a set of values—the Ten Commandments of Christians and Jews, the Five Precepts of Buddhists, the Core Values of Hindus, the Five Pillars of Islam, et cetera-and each of us are implored to use it to become an honorable, ethical person who grows spiritually through practicing our individual belief system. Within the myriad philosophical underpinnings of belief systems run common threads that evolve as we move throughahimsa-in-jainism-buddhism-and-hinduism-2-638 the centuries. Don’t lie, keeps your hands off other people’s stuff, and don’t murder are examples that spring to mind. No matter how imperfect we human beings are in the practice of our various beliefs and value systems, we are admonished to strive for improvement and build on our character. Behold the gulf between Muslim extremists and the Western World. Continue reading

Education and The Cold War

Run for the hills. Call your representative from the SUV, but escape any way you can.images The federal government is helping again. When the feds talk about helping you, it’s code for getting into your pocketbook or lifestyle. With all the government help I’ve received lately, I am beginning to feel downright impoverished and threatened. There is no such thing as ‘free community college’, I don’t care how many hours of community service are given by the students. Someone pays and that someone is you, me and our kids.

Remote living is not immunity from federal assistance

Remote living is not immunity from federal assistance

The federal bureaucrats are taking a bow over the latest drop in unemployment, but most of the new jobs available to our kids are low paying service jobs. Not enough to earn a real living. You know what that means. When we die or the feds strip the last penny from our bank account, game over. The government will have spent the last of our money and those children become enslaved. There is a real risk that we are the last Americans to enjoy and prosper from the American Dream.

The push by the federal government to ‘buy’ the education system began long before the Cold War started in 1947. Wresting education from local control has become an art form. I first noticed the federal influence in the 1980s when we were raising our young family in Arivaca, Arizona.

I remember it well because it was the night I realized that I no longer lived in my father’s America. It was cold and dark on that early December 1982 night when stew, homemade biscuits and honey warmed the insides of five hungry, tired people. Dinner was followed by chores and homework.

Our son was assigned dishes and the two girls were told to bundle up the trash and take it out. We, the parents, took care of clearing the table, putting excess food away, and sweeping up. Trouble started immediately. Our eldest daughter informed us that we had no right to force her to take out the trash as that constituted psychological abuse. What? Continue reading

Merry Christmas

Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa, Festivus, Solstice, Bodhi Day are all Decemberwallcoo.com_Christmas_illustration_20071218_el celebrations that inspire, if not encourage, reflection, love, family and forgiveness. Yes, Festivus too. In my culture Christmas suspends time in favor of the emergent soul and its budding faith. It’s also true that, for many, Christmas trappings include traditional family sports arguments, an abundance of food, and gifts galore. The more years I pile on, the less time I choose to spend with the trappings.

On the eve of this Christmas, the house is filled with the noise of two generations of kids; the older kids vying to be young and the much younger adopted siblings squabbling with each other and vying to be old. I find myself grateful for the solace of baking pies and my wee office embraced by hundreds of friendly books piled on and under my desk or stacked somewhat orderly in book cases. The pungent odors of baking spices brightens the room. The noise distanced by several rooms, a closed door, and a yard sounds like music. No one needs me now. It’s my time for reflection and gratitude.

Like a leaf caught in a meander, I wonder why. Why the cruel and unnecessary human and animal violence? Why the divisions of culture and religion each claiming a superior position? Why the false flags and political subterfuges? Why the homeless? Why the homeless veterans? Contemplating why is like pondering infinity, it ties the brain and the soul in knots.

Gratitude is a much easier branch on the river of life; the current is strong and defined. Like you, I can trace my family back to the Revolutionary War and the founding of this country I love. Family members have fought, died, been crippled physically and emotionally, and survived in every war and major U.S. military action. Most fought in the uniformed services, but many contributed in support services. Tonight and tomorrow, our family will celebrate Christmas according to our own traditions because my forefathers and millions of their brethren kept the United States alive. All people in the countries we call the Free World can tell the same tale.

Most of us find comfort in the celebrations of December. We relax our bodies and our paranoia to celebrate a dream of what might be. That’s not always been wise. George

Christmas 1916 an Australian Observation Post near Fleurbaix

Christmas 1916 an Australian Observation Post near Fleurbaix

Washington attacked the Hessians in Trenton, New Jersey on Christmas in 1776. Surprise. It was Christmas 1862, when Confederate cavalry commander John Hunt Morgan launched a Christmas Raid into Kentucky. The Rebel horsemen attacked Union supply convoys, destroyed bridges and fought any Yankee troops they found. Surprise. And, around Christmas 1916 there was a terrible battle on the Eastern Front north of Riga between the Germans and Russians. On Dec. 23, two Latvian brigades

Operation_Linebacke rII_ B-52_Stratofortress

Operation_Linebacke rII_ B-52_Stratofortress

surprised elements of the Kaiser’s 8th Army. During the “Christmas Battle”, about 40,000 troops supported by 200 big guns attacked the German lines. By the end of Christmas week a quarter of them were dead. No surprise. In December 1941, Britain was forced to surrender Hong Kong to Japan and in 1944 Patton rolled into Bastogne. Surprise. In 1979, the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan. Nixon launched the Christmas bombing campaign on Hanoi in 1972. Beginning on December 18th and continuing for eleven days, the air assault Codenamed Operation Linebacker II painted Hanoi’s skies with B-52 Stratofortresses and 2,000 strike aircraft. More than 20,000 tons of bombs were dropped on the city making it one of the largest air campaigns in history.

Fewer tales are told of soldiers quitting the battle for a night of peace and quiet. relates one such event in 1914. “…Starting on Christmas Eve, many German and British troops sang Christmas carols to each other across the lines, and at certain points the Allied soldiers even heard brass bands joining the Germans in their joyous singing.

Christmas 1914

Christmas 1914

At the first light of dawn on Christmas Day, some German soldiers emerged from their trenches and approached the Allied lines across no-man’s-land, calling out “Merry Christmas” in their enemies’ native tongues. At first, the Allied soldiers feared it was a trick, but seeing the Germans unarmed they climbed out of their trenches and shook hands with the enemy soldiers. The men exchanged presents of cigarettes and plum puddings and sang carols and songs. There was even a documented case of soldiers from opposing sides playing a good-natured game of soccer….” These are the men and women who take care of our rude and nasty business on Christmas when diplomacy fails.

Tonight is no exception. Men and women around the globe are watching tracers, stuck in mountain hellholes, or eating dinner in a mess tent far away and down the road. We thank them and the contractors who support them. Today we are fighting a hellacious enemy dedicated to reforming the world in his own image. He is not likely to call it a night and meet in the middle for a hot toddy or friendly game of cards. Gifts and boxes

Someone's child.

Someone’s child.

have been sent and donations made, but it is not enough. The candles in our window remain lit in faith that there is a way home.

Our teenage boys want to be soldiers. They want to huddle in tanks, shiver on decks, and march through the night to save a way of life. I know what that reality looks like and I want them home fighting over whether the last throw of the football was a fair catch.

Merry Christmas from our home to yours. We wish each and every one of you a safe and joyous Christmas. However you celebrate this time in your culture, I am pulling for the human race to survive and thrive together in mutual respect. It’s time to prepare the apples for the next batch of pies.

a scrap of paper blown on a wind

a scrap of paper blown on a wind 

gardener, weaver e loved plants, child to age, watched soil, creatures, sun, rain. learned health, growth, death, tears, smiles, laughter, joy. one day, done, e thought anew, tend people, watch, listen, learn soil, fellows, sun, rain, life anew, a new garden. —a keeper of Perinel

The communists are recapturing Germany twenty-five years after the fall of “The Wall”,

President Reagan giving a speech at the Berlin Wall, Brandenburg Gate ... (

President Reagan giving a speech at the Berlin Wall, Brandenburg Gate …

the Chinese are producing rockets and aircraft carriers as fast as their 3-D printers and workmen will reset, the Indians are testing long-range rockets, the Russians are dumping dollars as fast as the garbage shoots allow, and the United States no longer sits on the top of the economic, moral, or military heap. It wasn’t always that way.

For a glorious 200 years, since Napoleon met his Waterloo, the world thrived under the economic, political, and military leadership of the United States and Great Britain; countries where constitutions drove democracy, natural rights, and statue-of-libertycivil liberties. Individuals became consumed in the fire of freedom and strides of progress covered the globe albeit in fits and starts. The world’s sharp edges are now taking a heavy toll on humanity. Chaos may beget order yet none is visible and that leads me to the poem and why I write.

Written by Leif Smith, “a scrap of paper blown on a wind” opened the shutter in my mind that kept me from understanding why I must write and why the writing must address the legacies of the Cold War. I find, with some surprise, that I am in the second cycle of being while still embroiled in the first cycle of doing. I am, I think, a Keeper in Training; a KIT of Perinel.

In the first cycle, I was driven by the ideals of the United States into service to the country through the sweat of my brow and a grim determination to make the world free. This was my silent promise to the many people I met in my global journey who reinforced my belief that the United States’ founding brothers had it right. To a person, each one I met in Chile, Guatemala, Ghana, Nigerian, India, Thailand, Burma, the Marshall Islands longed to come to the U.S. to work, live without fear, be in control of their own lives for better or worse-be free men and women. This is still a garden I sow.

The discovery that I am in the second cycle came as a surprise. This garden is new and grows tales, parables, lessons, and opportunities to change a tide that has turned from individual freedom and responsibility to nobility of old. It is now a place where czars run the Executive Branch, the peoples’ and states’ representatives are blinded by power and fear, and the Judicial Branch turns its collective eye away from the Constitution in its decision making. No longer is the government afraid of the people as it should be. Now the people are afraid of the government.

I wish to tend people, watch, listen, and learn. I am a Keeper in Training. For the manyilluminated-paper-blowing-in-the-wind who have asked, I write to keep a record of a new garden. Perhaps a hint of the record will appear on a scrap of paper blown on a wind that breathes personal freedom and responsibility into one person’s life.

For Want of a Wrench

The U.S. federal government is lathered up and hell-bent on spending money to

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel

safeguard the nuclear weapons stockpile. I hope so. The nuclear weapons stockpile is a politically benign way to discuss the U.S.’ pile of nuclear weapons. Of necessity it includes the people and infrastructure needed to maintain and deliver them. Secretary of Defense Hagel employs the phrase ‘nuclear deterrence system’ to describe the same stuff; nukes and what it takes to deploy them. I am happy the listen to the lip service being given to safeguarding the nukes by SecDef and the President, but I will believe it when I see it. So far, so good, but all that’s visible to date is Missileers falling on their swords and lip service to problems well-known to military management and policy makers since at least the 1980s. Everyone living in the U.S. as well as all of its neighbors should be worried about political follow-through, because one little rogue nuke can ruin your day.

It was the middle of September in 1980 when famers and residents of Damascus,

Faulkner County Arkansas and the site of  Titan II Launch Complex 374-7

Faulkner County Arkansas and the site of Titan II Launch Complex 374-7

Arkansas woke up to every Americans’ worst nightmare and most never knew it was happening until the injured began to roll in. It wasn’t the first or last incident, but it is a documented incident that went before the President, SecDef, and Congress. They knew. A simple dropped socket wrench on a routine service call at the Titan II Launch Complex 374-7 just north of Damascus triggered a series of events that should frighten the collective daylights out of U.S. citizens:

“…On September 18, 1980, at about 6:30 p.m., an airman conducting maintenance on the Titan II missile dropped a wrench socket, which fell about eighty feet before hitting and piercing the skin on the rocket’s first-stage fuel tank, causing it to leak. The commander of the 308th Strategic Missile Wing quickly formed a potential-hazard team, and by 9:00 p.m., the Air Force personnel manning the site were evacuated. About one hour later, Air Force security police began evacuating nearby civilian residents as efforts continued to determine the status of the missile and the fuel leak.

Senior Airman David Livingston and Sergeant Jeff K. Kennedy entered the launch

Image of the Damascus explosion

Image of the Damascus explosion

complex early on the morning of September 19 to get readings of airborne fuel concentrations, which they found to be at their maximum. At about 3:00 a.m., the two men returned to the surface to await further instructions. Just as they sat down on the concrete edge of the access portal, the missile exploded, blowing the 740-ton launch duct closure door 200 feet into the air and some 600 feet northeast of the launch complex. The W-53 nuclear warhead landed about 100 feet from the launch complex’s entry gate; its safety features operated correctly and prevented any loss of radioactive material. Kennedy, his leg broken, was blown 150 feet from the silo. Livingston lay amid the rubble of the launch duct for some time before security personnel located and evacuated him. Livingston died of his injuries that day. Twenty-one people were injured by the explosion or during rescue efforts….”[1] Continue reading

To All Veterans of All Wars, Thank You

Today, November 11th, is Veterans’ Day in the U.S. It is the day, when we honor and

A WWI battlefield. The battlefields and soldiers differ over time, but the sacrifice remains.

A WWI battlefield. The battlefields and soldiers differ over time, but the sacrifice remains.

pay homage to the 7 percent of the population who donned a military uniform at some point in their lives and took care of business. Without the service and sacrifice of that seven percent, the other 93 percent of the population would likely be toast of some description or another. This day is celebrated throughout the country in many different ways. In President Obama’s 2012 Veterans’ Day remarks, he acknowledged that “…Today, a proud nation expresses our gratitude.  But we do so mindful that no ceremony or parade, no hug or handshake is enough to truly honor that service.  For that, we must do more.  For that, we must commit –- this day and every day -– to serving you as well as you’ve served us….” I agree and wait for that process to begin. It saddens me that the U.S. President chooses to speak in China rather than at Arlington National Cemetery this morning.

Soldiers of the 353rd Infantry near a church at Stenay, Meuse in France, wait for the end of hostilities.  This photo was taken at 10:58 a.m., on November 11, 1918, two minutes before the armistice ending World War I went into effect

Soldiers of the 353rd Infantry near a church at Stenay, Meuse in France, wait for the end of hostilities. This photo was taken at 10:58 a.m., on November 11, 1918, two minutes before the armistice ending World War I went into effect

A temporary cease fire agreed to on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918 dropped a veil of relief on the WWI battlefields of Europe and kick-started the process that is now Veteran’s Day. The peace accords weren’t signed until the next year, but the quiet of 11/11/1918 marked the end of the ‘War to end all wars’[1]. “To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…” These words were spoken by President Wilson on November 11, 1919 during the first commemoration of Armistice Day.

In 1938, Armistice Day became a nationally sanctioned U.S. holiday. “…An Act (52 Stat. 351; 5 U. S. Code, Sec. 87a) approved May 13, 1938, made the 11th of November in each year a legal holiday—a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as “Armistice Day.” Armistice Day was primarily a day set aside to honor veterans of World War I….”[2]

By the 1950s it became clear that war was not going away anytime soon. World War II had begun and ended and the Cold War was off and running in Korea. Tens of thousands of American soldiers had died and millions were wounded. In the 1950s Eisenhower, an old, seasoned warrior was in the Whitehouse. And, soldiers who had seen service in the Civil War and children from soldiers who fought in the War of 1812 were stark reminders that peace was a fleeting dream. Continue reading

Transcend Dance

The U.S. needs a new dance. It is time to go beyond the rhetoric of politicians, rise above

Veterans come together across the pages of history.

Veterans come together across the pages of history.

petty, inane social arguments and give veterans the medical and psychiatric care they need, when they need it. While written for U.S. veterans, the same can be said for veterans in Great Britain, the Philippines and Australia. I know because I lived immersed in these cultures for years.

Nine days ago, I received an email that simply inquired “Doing alright?”.   A simple query, the result of my obvious internet absence over the past several months, was from a vet I admire. Like most living Americans, veterans and soldiers are integral parts of each of our souls: they are wives and

Mother and Father, Mary and Frank Moore before deployment in 1942

Mother and Father, Mary and Frank Moore before deployment in 1942

husbands, brothers and sisters, colleagues, parents, grandparents and friends. They were there for me with words of encouragement when I took my first unsteady steps on the blog scene, provided real life experience when I was sorting out who my audience was, bolstered my first gulp as I dared post my opinion, and each for his or her own reason was there when our country wanted and needed soldiers.

Across the courtyard and down the way lives Tony, a Marine who lost his legs in the first Gulf War. Over the past three months, I’ve grown to love and admire his spirit as well as the tenacity and iron will of his physical therapist. Tony drives a souped-up wheel chair that frequently flies past me at Mach 3, swims every day and possesses the upper body strength of a gorilla. He’s earned and vitally needs but has not received the support of the Veteran’s Administration (VA) for years. And he is only one of thousands. Encouraged by the $16. 3 billion VA makeover signed into reality by President Obama in early August, I eagerly inquired as to its effect on Tony as he is awaiting some surgery to alleviate pain in his back. Nothing. He was told he had to wait another year in an endless queue. Continue reading


The title coupled with a barrage of advertising became a shaped charge and penetrated my psyche. I just had to watch TNT’s Legends. The Cold War birthed many legends and awoke others from deep sleep. Legends are an intentionally bland component of the

Legends are part of the landscape of life.

Legends are part of the landscape of life.

espionage landscape. They have wives, husbands, families, and careers. Legends pass easily through security background investigations because their cover is so deep they are what they appear to be. Sometimes couples are sent to the U.S. to raise their children as legends. China has that kind of patience and the cover is as deep and as good as it gets. Legends steal processes like volumes of research leading to the development of laser technologies rather than discrete things or bytes of data. Once the objective is acquired legends go home and never reappear. The East German Stasi made good use of legends as did the Russians, Israelis, Indians, English, and Chinese. The U.S. probably uses legends too, but the attention deficit disorder associated with American culture renders their effectiveness questionable.

Initiation of any ‘new guy’ at the Nevada Test Site included tales of legends at the

Before he started working for the U.S. government, investigators believe CIA Analyst Larry Wu-Tai Chin was a trained Chinese Intelligence Agent. Photo from Department of Energy, Hanford Dossier 74.

Before he started working for the U.S. government, investigators believe CIA Analyst Larry Wu-Tai Chin was a trained Chinese Intelligence Agent. Photo from Department of Energy, Hanford Dossier 74.

Livermore and Los Alamos National Labs. One such tale from the 1970s intrigued me. A brilliant, young engineer and a natural born citizen of Chinese immigrants working in Livermore leaves the physics lab with drawings in tow one Friday night never to return. The theft isn’t discovered for months. How could that happen? Pretty easily.

The 1970s were a busy time in the nuclear bomb development business. Laser triggers and neutron bombs were coming into their own and testing the products proceeded non-stop. President Jimmy Carter liked the idea of neutron bombs so his administration proposed modernizing the US nuclear arsenal by installing neutron warheads on missiles and artillery shells planned for deployment in Europe. Neutron devices are smaller, minimize physical damage and maximize number of people killed as a result of radiation; ugly realities.

Definition of a Neutron Bomb

“Also called ENHANCED RADIATION WARHEAD, specialized type of small thermonuclear weapon that produces minimal blast and heat but which releases large amounts of lethal radiation. The neutron bomb delivers blast and heat effects that are confined to an area of only a few hundred yards in radius. But within a somewhat larger area it throws off a massive wave of neutron and gamma radiation, which can penetrate armor or several feet of earth. This radiation is extremely destructive to living tissue. Because of its short-range destructiveness and the absence of long-range effect, the neutron bomb would be highly effective against tank and infantry formations on the battlefield but would not endanger cities or other population centers only a few miles away. It can be carried in a Lance missile or delivered by an 8-inch (200-millimetre) howitzer, or possibly by attack aircraft. In

Neutron shell fired from a cannon.

Neutron shell fired from a cannon.

strategic terms, the neutron bomb has a theoretical deterrent effect: discouraging an armored ground assault by arousing the fear of neutron bomb counterattack. The bomb would disable enemy tank crews in minutes, and those exposed would die within days. U.S. production of the bomb was postponed in 1978 and resumed in 1981.”-Source:

The legend in the Livermore Lab had planned and executed his escapade well. The timing was excellent. Did it really happen? The 900-page Cox Report[1] prepared by the Select Committee on U.S. National Security and Military/Commercial Concerns with the People’s Republic of China released in May 1999 appears to confirm the test site gossip. Concurrent with the release of the redacted Cox Report to the public President Clinton announced he had already implemented a couple of dozen of the recommendations designed to stop the leaks.[2] They didn’t work. China’s rapid rise from no scientists of nuclear note to major nuclear power pretty much says it all.

Spiegel’s Gunther Latsch and Udo Ludwig uncovered the Stasi’s legends in a report released in 2011. Even holy men could not be trusted.[3]

“Josef Frindt took his secret to the grave. When he passed away at the age of 81, the pastor in the western German town of Dorsten left a congregation mourning a pious man of God. But what the congregation didn’t know was that their pastor had also worked for East Germany’s notorious secret police, the Stasi.


Under the code name “Erich Neu,” the pastor is believed to have submitted 95 informant’s reports, including ones on a colleague who even at the time showed a

Pope Benedict XVI (R) poses with Bulgarian President Georgi Parvanov during their meeting at his private library on May 22, 2009 in Vatican City, Vatican.

Pope Benedict XVI (R) poses with Bulgarian President Georgi Parvanov during their meeting at his private library on May 22, 2009 in Vatican City, Vatican.

great deal of potential: Joseph Ratzinger, better known today as Pope Benedict XVI. Frindt, who studied and later taught in the city of Münster, delivered information on up-and-coming theologians and future church dignitaries there, including the future pope, who was working at the time as a professor….”

Legends are a peculiar cut of the espionage cloth. I rubbed shoulders with at least one and never guessed until I was questioned. They are the people next door, the friends with whom you share a party or a joke. Legends do their thing and then they are gone. They still operate in industry, the military/industrial complex, and the political field of play. Why is another question. Gunther Latsch and Udo Ludwig offered an insight.

Some former West German collaborators remain proud of the work they did for their brothers in the East. Peter Wolter is one of them. As a student of sociology and philosophy at Münster University in the 1970s, he joined a Marxist student group called Spartakus, which was secretly financed by East Germany. Wolter visited East Berlin frequently, and came into contact with the HVA there.

He established a successful career as a journalist, working for the German Press Agency (DPA) and holding a senior position at Reuters news service. The Stasi was

Photo of hand signal from "Liberty is the right to choose, freedom is the result of that choice." .... for not having worked more efficiently", states former Stasi spy Peter Wolter.

Photo of hand signal from “Liberty is the right to choose, freedom is the result of that choice.” …. for not having worked more efficiently”, states former Stasi spy Peter Wolter.

particularly interested in a relative of Wolter’s who worked in Cologne for the Office for the Protection of the Constitution. Peter Wolter sent reports to East Berlin over a period of 12 years.

Wolter was arrested soon after German reunification. He admitted to having worked for the Stasi, but insisted he had not been a spy or an agent, rather describing himself as a “scout.” A court in Düsseldorf sentenced Wolter, who had founded the homeless newspaper “Draussen!” (“Outside!”), to two years on probation.

To this day, he defends his time as a West German Stasi collaborator. He “helped Europe to have half a century of peace,” he says.

hqdefaultLegends the TNT series is not about legends. It is about a guy who has no business being anywhere near a covert op that requires a cover. And my world of excitement and secrets is long gone. The government reports and studies from the Cold War time shine a bit of light into the dark, dank corners of the past but the government has its own secrets to keep. The legends continue their work. As with physics, reality is relative.

[1] The Cox Report;

[2] Lodi News-Sentinel – May 26, 1999; Panel: China nuclear spying serious, continuing;,3501345

[3] Spiegel Online International; November 24, 2011; Gunther Latsch and Udo Ludwig; Shocking New Research: Stasi Had Thousands of Spies in West Germany;



U.S. Embassies, Consulates, Missions and Their Attackers

At the end of a hectic day, I was fighting through the various posts on Facebook, catching941222_162977380537331_429606287_n up as it were, wondering why I engaged in such self-destructive behavior. I stopped abruptly to stare at a Benghazi post that pointed out ten embassy attacks resulting in sixty deaths during the Bush administration and questioning why there was no Republican outrage. Was this a ‘good point’ or more of the nasty, divisive politics that keeps people from actual dialog? A quick check verified the claim, as far as it went.

Benghazi has become a battle cry akin to ‘Remember the Alamo’ and well it should be. imagesThe horrific murders, the denial of support and the State Department’s lying and manipulation under this administration is shameful. But that is the way it has always been done under all administrations. In the case of Benghazi, a brutal reality was shoved in the face of every American, indeed every world citizen, and the fat is in the fire as it should have been for over a century. The Internet and non-mainstream media have shown light on several appalling foreign policy behaviors. The Benghazi battle cry should seek to bring the U.S. State Department and CIA to accountability, because how the U.S. conducts its foreign policy is the problem.

On September 11, 2012, the day the Benghazi Consulate was attacked, there was also a

A view of the damage to the U.S. Embassy in Beirut in 1983

A view of the damage to the U.S. Embassy in Beirut in 1983

mob attack on the U.S. embassy in Cairo although no one died in that attack. Since Benghazi, there have been three U.S. embassy attacks and one U.S. Consulate attack, two in 2012 in which seven attackers died and two in 2013 in which three local security employees were killed and one attacker met his fate. We discussed G.W. Bush’s record in the first paragraph, but remember the coordinated African embassy attacks under Bill Clinton in 1998? The U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were bombed; in Kenya 213 people lost their lives, including ten U.S. personnel and two U.S. security personnel and in Tanzania eleven died. During the Cold War there were over forty attacks on U.S. Embassies, Consulates and Mission facilities including the 1983 embassy attack in Beirut in which sixty-three died; seventeen were Americans. Not a single presidential administration escapes the spotlight of U.S. embassy attacks. And those are just the ones we know about over the last 80 years. Therein lays the problem-the secrets. Continue reading

A Warrior’s Footprints

Ralph “Scott” Camburn died in March 2013. His soul may have crossed the rainbow

Ralph “Scott” Camburn's 90th birthday party.

Ralph “Scott” Camburn’s 90th birthday party.

bridge, but we, as a nation, should mourn the loss of yet another veteran who spent his life in service to the country he loved. Lt. Col. (Ret) Camburn’s 91 year old weathered, tired body housed memories of flying a B-24 Liberator on 35 bombing missions over Germany with the 8th U.S. Air Corps during WWII and memories of conflicts in Korea, Laos and Vietnam. When he retired his uniform in 1965, service was in his DNA and he kept on serving with Air America where he was assigned to Binh Thuy Air Force Base, IV Corps Tactical Zone of South Vietnam, as an ’AA’ Flight coordinator. And yet, I cannot find a single obituary for this soldier. Is there no one to weep for him save a single friend and comrade?

A Consolidated B-24 Liberator emerges from "Flak Alley" over Vienna, Austria with its No. 2 engine smoking

A Consolidated B-24 Liberator emerges from “Flak Alley” over Vienna, Austria with its No. 2 engine smoking

The B-24 Liberators were the key to achieving the third objective of the war against Germany.  That objective was to conduct an intensive strategic bombardment of Germany in order to destroy its military, industrial, and economic system. Bomb they did and Scott was in the thick of it with his 35 missions between August 1944 and March 1945. “The B-24 Liberators flew 400 bombing missions over Europe during WWII, losing some 10,000 airmen and 1,000 aircraft between 1942 and 1945.”[1]

The average life expectancy of Eighth Air Force crews’ mission completion rate in

448-Bomb Group, 714th Squadron: Scott is in the Front Row Left

448-Bomb Group, 714th Squadron: Scott is in the Front Row Left

1943/1944, was only 11 missions, so Scott beat the averages. Why was the life expectancy so very low? The B-24 Liberator was not as able to take as much punishment as the B-17 because its complex construction, in particular, the wing, was relatively weak. If the wing was hit just right it gave way completely. Photographic records of WW II show B-24’s plummeting from the sky with two wings folded upward like those of a butterfly. In contrast, the sturdiness of the B-17 was almost unbelievable, sometimes returning to base with major components, tail-sections, engines, even wings, very badly damaged, and even on occasion partly missing. The Liberator became the bomber of choice because it could deliver a larger payload.

EDELWEILER, Germany – U.S. Air Force Col. Mark Wells reads names of service members killed during a mid-air collision of two C-119 Flying Boxcar transport aircraft in 1955 while Army Chap. (Col.) James Hoke, Air Force Lt. Col. Brian Bohannon and others look on, Aug. 11, 2006. (Department of Defense photo by Air Force Maj. Pamela A.Q. Cook)

EDELWEILER, Germany – U.S. Air Force Col. Mark Wells reads names of service members killed during a mid-air collision of two C-119 Flying Boxcar transport aircraft in 1955 while Army Chap. (Col.) James Hoke, Air Force Lt. Col. Brian Bohannon and others look on, Aug. 11, 2006. (Department of Defense photo by Air Force Maj. Pamela A.Q. Cook)

Flying in close formation with other transport planes near Chungju on Jan. 24, 1951, a C-119 Flying Boxcar of the Far East Air Force?s combat cargo command spews out its of rations and gasoline to fighting U.N. ground troops anxiously waiting on a snow-covered battlefield a few hundred feet below. More than 300 tons of supplies were airdropped. (AP Photo) (Courtesy of U.S. Military Photo Store

Flying in close formation with other transport planes near Chungju on Jan. 24, 1951, a C-119 Flying Boxcar of the Far East Air Force?s combat cargo command spews out its of rations and gasoline to fighting U.N. ground troops anxiously waiting on a snow-covered battlefield a few hundred feet below. More than 300 tons of supplies were airdropped. (AP Photo) (Courtesy of U.S. Military Photo Store

Scott’s number did not come up in WWII and he survived the Korean conflict as well, although he had a close call. He was a member of the Crew 66 of the “Boxcars”. While it was never clear exactly what that reference meant, a troll through newspapers turned up an August 11, 1955 Ocala Star Banner Article, about the crash of two Flying Boxcars, C-119, into the Black Forest; 66 soldiers were killed.[2] Nine Flying Boxcars took off in formation, two collided. The survivors formed Crew 66.

The Flying Boxcar is one of those aircraft that owes its success to its ability to do a lot of different jobs. It was purpose built as a military freighter, yet it could take as many as seventy five passengers in a seated arrangement, on litters or as paratroopers according to John Refett. It was built with the ability to deliver over ten metric tons of freight to very short airstrips designed for small aircraft but also had the range and equipment to fly to anyplace in the world on its own. In the Korean War, the C-119 was important in transport and airdrop roles; dropping both supplies and airborne troops. During the Vietnam war C-119s were used as third generation “gunships” (these are sideways firing ground attack airplanes that orbit a target). They are workhorses! The military operated them with a maximum takeoff weight up to 100.000 pounds for as long as the engines held together.

As Korea drew to close, Laos and Vietnam

Air America Logo

Air America Logo

were hotting up. Scott, not one to cover his Alpha Sierra Sierra, headed out to help and ended up in the thick of it once again. The Vietnam war in 1964 was the backdrop of Scott’s last tour of duty in uniform. Following his retirement in 1965, Scott joined the Air America team in Viet Nam and was assigned to Binh Thuy Air Force Base, IV Corps Tactical Zone of South Vietnam, as an ’AA’ Flight coordinator.

What Scott did in Laos is not clear. The Cold War was filled with secrets and this is one of them. Connecting the dots, however, perhaps he was involved with the CIA and the Secret War. Continue reading