Police Work, Politics and World Affairs, Football and the ongoing search for great Scotch Whiskey!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

A Deputy’s funeral

Earlier this week I posted on the passing of Deputy McDuffie in a traffic accident. Yesterday I attended his funeral in Conroe Texas.

His family requested an escort of the Blue Knights, a police motorcycle club. I’m a member of the Texas VII and we were honored to be asked. In addition to us there was an escort of the Patriot’s Guard Riders.

A peace officer officer’s funeral is similar to a military funeral with the flag draped coffin, honor guards and escort. The fire department is also there and they put an American flag across two ladders. After the Deputy’s casket is loaded into the hearse the radio dispatcher calls his numbers three times and then announces “Liberty County 68, Deputy Sheriff Odell McDuffie, Off Duty.”

We then proceeded to ride down US 59 to the cemetery where the final services were held. The procession must have been over two miles long down the Southwest Freeway.

One thing I’ve noticed about people in the more rural areas is they on their own show respect to a funeral procession. As we were heading down the freeway people going north bound pulled over and waited for the procession to pass. People stood on the side of the road and looked on solemnly. For whatever reason this doesn’t really happen in urban areas.

Small world. I was showing the service flyer to someone at my station and he said “I remember him…he worked at the HEB off Old Spanish Trail…” On the bottom on the second page was “Deputy McDuffie will be missed by the HEB from OST…”

I never knew Deputy McDuffie and I only have a snapshot of his life but I think it can he said he lived well…if too short. I pray for his family and know God will help them through this terrible time.

Rest In Peace friend….

Officer Down

Lieutenant Jose A. Cordova-Montañez
Puerto Rico Police Department
End of Watch: Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Tour of Duty: 30 years

Lieutenant Jose Cordova-Montañez was shot and killed when he attempted to take action while off duty.

He was at a local business on PR-183, in San Lorenzo, when several armed men announced a robbery. Lieutenant Cordova-Montañez identified himself as a police officer and attempted to intervene but was shot four times in the chest. The suspects then stole his service weapon and fled the scene.

He was transported to a local hospital where he died a short time later.

Lieuteannt Cordova-Montañez had served with the Puerto Rico Police Department for 30 years and was going to retire the following year. He is survived by his wife, four children, and several grandchildren.
Rest in Peace Bro…We’ll Continue The Watch

Day is done, Gone the sun, From the lake, From the hills, From the sky. All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh.

OK...there is a question of sanity right now.

My old friend Darren from RotLC linked to this article the Petrelis Files.  I am glad I was sitting down when I read it and still question if I'm on the planet Earth as this moment.

Long short, the current mayor of San Francisco will likely be elected lieutenant governor on Tuesday and the soon to be ex-speaker of the house may be set up as the interim mayor.  No surprise there.

But the major point of the Petrelis Files...Pelosi would be bad for the city because she is too conservative!

Interesting read and it's quick...but I really love this comment from the post:
Akatsukami said...

In The Godfather, Bonasera says to Don Corleone of the punks who beat up his daughter, "Let then suffer, then, as she suffers".

You have inflicted Pelosi on us for years. Now suffer, as we have suffered.
If you are feeling strange right now, it's not you...you have looked at a different dimension...not of reality, but of fantasy.  Unfortunately one of the prime examples of this delusion has a major player in American politics for the last ten years....hopefully Pelosi will be neutered on Tuesday.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Nice doggie...nice doggie...

Can you tell this is not a guard dog but a police K9!

On Denver, UFOs and Byrds

Today as I sit sick as a dog I was delighted to be the recipient of a text message from my old friend Robyn, aka Byrd.  I last saw her in Denver for her wedding and I would like to say I have good memories of the evening but the night is very vague to me...from the accounts I've been able to gather I was the life of the party over a bottle of Red Breast Irish Whiskey and I think I still owe the Rabbi something for the mess I made.  But I digress.

Byrd told me of the Proposition in Denver to set up an Extraterrestrial Affairs Commission and her comment was "this is what happens when pot becomes legal".

I gotta say, knowing Denver...this is about right :)

In Colorado, Flying-Saucer People Are at the Throats of Ghost Hunters - WSJ.com
Colorado Flying-Saucer Believers Have Ghost Hunters in Their Sights
Denver May Not Be Big Enough for Both; Earthlings to Decide on UFO Haven

DENVER—There has been plenty of partisan rancor across Colorado as Election Day approaches. Here in the capital, it's out of this world.

Ballot Initiative 300 would require the city to set up an Extraterrestrial Affairs Commission, stocked with Ph.D. scientists, to "ensure the health, safety and cultural awareness of Denver residents" when it comes to future contact "with extraterrestrial intelligent beings or their vehicles."

Promoting the initiative: Jeff Peckman, a silver-haired entrepreneur who lives with his parents. "Low overhead," he explains. Mr. Peckman is a firm believer in intergalactic life, though he has never been personally contacted by an alien. That gives him more credibility, he says; it's harder to dismiss him as biased.

Mr. Peckman has recruited about 20 volunteers for his campaign.
But we do have opposition to the proposition.
They face an impassioned opposition led by Bryan Bonner, who dismisses the unidentified-flying-object buffs as delusional if not outright frauds.

One thing about Mr. Bonner: He spends his spare time crawling through spooky spaces, deploying remote digital thermometers, seismographs, infrared cameras, electromagnetic field detectors and Nerf balls in pursuit of evidence of the paranormal. He is, in short, a ghost hunter.

And he has rallied his colleagues at the Rocky Mountain Paranormal Research Society to fight Initiative 300 as an embarrassment to science—and to Denver.
"This is about the reputation of the city," Mr. Bonner says.

Hey pal, you elected Pat Schroeder to Congress for years...UFOs and ghosts are minor glitches on your reputation conpared to that.
Initiative 300 made it to Tuesday's ballot on the strength of roughly 4,000 voter signatures. It starts from the premise that intelligent aliens have been visiting Earth for decades, but the federal government has conspired to keep that quiet.

"We need to get this out of the realm of the Tooth Fairy and into the realm of diplomatic protocol," says Ricky Butterfass, who works on the campaign.
I got another old friend Jerry who speaks semi-fluent Klingon...can he be a translator.  I know he will like that money.
..."I don't really believe in extraterrestrial life, but if we set something up like that, we'd be prepared for anything," said Brandon Coby, 23 years old, a biology major at the University of Colorado. "You can't go wrong with it."
Hey Brandon, in case you haven't heard, the UN took care of that.
That logic drives the ghost-hunters at Rocky Mountain Paranormal nuts. Mr. Bonner, a founder of the group, says he has no problem with anyone scanning the skies for UFOs. But he does object to giving the saucer seekers credibility by setting them up with an official commission and posting its findings on the city of Denver's website, as Initiative 300 requires.

Compared to that, he says, his profession is a model of discretion.

"The world is full of ghost-hunters," Mr. Bonner says, "but we're not trying to get ourselves affiliated with the city government."
Good point there Mr. Bonner...but what is worse, the Denver City Council or the United Nations?  Something to contemplate...
As I sit here with a fever and a good chuckle from reading this I have to say I can't wait to visit Denver again (probably by motorcycle this time) and among other things meet my old friend with my customary greeting:

Robyn, You Ignorant Slut! 

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Officer Down

Captain George Green

Oklahoma Highway Patrol
End of Watch: Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Age: 56
Tour of Duty: 31 years

Captain George Green succumbed to injuries sustained the previous day when his patrol car was struck by a dump truck at the intersection of Highway 97 and Turner Turnpike in Sapulpa.

Captain Green was attempting to turn left from the Turnpike onto the highway when his patrol car was T-boned by the truck.

Captain Green had served with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol for 31 years and was six months shy of retirement.
Rest in Peace Bro…We’ll Continue The Watch

Day is done, Gone the sun, From the lake, From the hills, From the sky. All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh.

Jimmy Carter and B Hussein Obama

Got this from my friend Adrian and look at the bottom right...who paid for it.  It was recently put up in Grand Junction CO.

I've looked at Jimmy Carter over the last few years and I see a bitter old man in the sunset of his life knowing history will record him as an absolute failure.  The bad thing is B Hussein Obama will likely eclipse his shortcomings and this country will suffer for it.

A recent article from The American Spectator has a good article on this subject.

What's going on in the World Today 101027





Dispatch: Balancing British Military Budget Cuts STRATFOR

Dispatch: Militancy Returning to Northern Ireland STRATFOR



Russia: Black Sea Fleet Receives Upgrade October 25, 2010

Russia’s Black Sea Fleet will receive 18 new naval vessels before 2020 including six Project 22350 frigates and Project 677 diesel submarines and two Project 11711 large landing ships, the navy central headquarters said, Interfax reported Oct. 25. The Russian navy will also upgrade its Sukhoi Su-24M bombers before 2016 and replace its Beriev Be-12 amphibious aircraft with the Ilyushin Il-38 anti-submarine aircraft.

Russia: French Shipbuilder Ready To Deliver New Vessels October 26, 2010

French shipbuilder DCNS announced it is ready to deliver Mistral class helicopter carriers to Russia featuring built-in domestic navigation technology, firmer hulls to navigate through ice and thicker take-off decks, DCNS Director Pierre Legros told RIA Novosti Oct. 26, adding there is no restrictions in the transfer of technology and suggested Russia could build four Mistrals domestically. Legros said DCNS is ready to receive the contract from Nov. 4 and complete construction in 36 months.

Russia: Militants Acquiring Arms From Military Depots October 25, 2010

Militants in Russia’s North Caucasus have acquired a significant amount of arms from Russian military supply depots, according to Russian Deputy Prosecutor General Ivan Sydoruk, RIA Novosti reported Oct. 25. Sydoruk said all recent attempts to kill law enforcement officers have used state-of-the-art arms and explosive devices, and the situation is worsening due to the prevalence of corruption and bribery in the North Caucasus, which he said has been occurring for decades.
Russia's Economic Privatization Plan STRATFOR


Iran: IRGC Ground Force To Participate In Countrywide Exercises October 25, 2010

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Ground Force will participate in a series of massive military exercises from Dec. 22, 2010-Jan. 20, 2011, a senior IRGC official said Oct. 25, Fars News Agency reported. The drills, aimed at enhancing combat preparedness for the ground forces, will take place throughout the country, the official said, adding that the forces’ rank and file will participate in the exercises.

Iran: Gas Exports Resume To Turkey October 27, 2010

Gas exports to Turkey resumed Oct. 27 as Mostafa Kashkouli Deputy Managing Director of Iran's National Gas Company said the suspension was due to technical problems at the Bazargan Measuring station but Iranian experts made the required repairs in the shortest possible time in coordination with the BOTAS Petroleum Pipeline Corporation of Turkey, IRNA reported Oct. 27.

Iran: Nuclear Reactor Receives Fuel October 26, 2010

Iran began loading fuel into the Bushehr nuclear reactor, Al-Alam TV reported Oct. 26.

Iraq: Homegrown Al Qaeda More Deadly, Bolder October 26, 2010

Al Qaeda’s Iraqi branch has evolved into a more deadly and bolder insurgency comprised of Iraqi fighters hardened in U.S. prisons, Reuters reported Oct. 26, citing military officials. Calling the fighters the “third generation” of al Qaeda in Iraq, the officials said they are more difficult to fight, because they can blend in, they know the weaknesses of Iraqi society and want to pursue spectacular acts rather than battlefield victories. Maj. Gen. Hassan al-Baidhani, chief of staff for the Baghdad operations command, said the insurgents come from the Bucca and Cropper detention camps and elsewhere. He said they are looking for attention rather than success as they attack heavily protected targets and security forces. Al-Baidhani has documented al Qaeda activity for four years.

Iraq: Former Ministers Sentenced To Death October 26, 2010

Former Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz was sentenced to death by the Supreme Criminal Court of Iraq on Oct. 26, Xinhua reported, citing the state-run Iraqia TV. The sentence comes after Aziz, who served under Saddam Hussein, was found guilty of “liquidation of religious parties.” Iraqia TV added former Interior Minister Saadoun Shaker and Secretary to Hussein Hamid al-Tikriti were also sentenced to death.

Israel: Construction To Begin On Border Fence October 27, 2010

Israel will begin construction on a 250-kilometer (155-mile) fence along its southern border with Egypt “within weeks,” AFP reported Oct. 27. The barrier, whose construction was approved in March, is meant to curb the flow of illegal immigrants, according to a statement from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office. Defense officials said construction of the barrier will begin in November. Netanyahu said he wants to see “tangible results regarding the start of work on the ground barrier” incoming weeks and that the security Cabinet would meet on the subject in a month.


Afghanistan: President Confirms Payments From Iran October 25, 2010

Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Oct. 25 acknowledged his office has received cash payments from Iran, but insists the process was transparent, BBC News reported. According to a New York Times report, the money was intended to promote Iranian interests in Kabul. Karzai said the money was not for individual use; rather, it was intended for the president’s office.

Afghanistan: NATO Reintegration Program In Early Stages October 27, 2010

Efforts to disarm and reintegrate Taliban militants into society are in the early stages, with only four or five groups disarmed and contact made with 25 other groups, many of which have only loose ties to the Taliban, Maj. Gen. Philip Jones said Oct. 27, Reuters reported. The head of NATO’s reintegration program, Jones said the fragmented nature of the insurgency necessitates a focus on all levels, adding it is “extraordinarily difficult” to create the requisite conditions for reintegration. An Afghan spokesman for the program said thus far only small, local groups predominantly in the west and north have been demobilized.

U.S.: Taliban Tactics Have Shifted In Afghanistan October 27, 2010

The Afghan Taliban has shifted its tactics in recent weeks to include assassination and intimidation, a U.S. intelligence official said, The Washington Post reported Oct. 27. A U.S. official, citing U.S. intelligence assessments, said that as many as 100 representatives of the Afghan government in and near Kandahar have been targeted for assassination. The Taliban have sent lieutenants to talk to Afghan President Hamid Karzai's government, but that move seems to have been made mostly out of curiosity, officials said. CIA Director Leon Panetta recently told reporters that if there are Taliban elements willing to reconcile, such efforts should be explored, but he has not seen any indications of a serious effort at reconciliation.




Colombia: Two Explosive Devices Defused October 25, 2010

Colombian authorities defused two explosive devices attributed to The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia on Oct. 24, Xinhua reported Oct. 25. A cylindrical device loaded with explosives was found near the landing area of a northeastern airport and was controlled by an electric system targeted at those who used the planes, said military authorities. The second device was found at a bus station in Neiva city in the southern part of the country.
Venezuela: Overcoming an Election Setback STRATFOR

Mexico: 13 Killed In Detoxification Center October 25, 2010

Gunfire killed thirteen retirees at a Tijuana detoxification center in Mexico, said a police official, AFP reported Oct. 25.

Venezuela: Iran To Join LNG Project October 25, 2010

Iran’s Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Company will take part in a Venezuelan LNG production project by providing engineers to carry out the front-end engineering and design phase of the project with the capacity of 5.4 million tons, INSA reported Oct. 25. The National Iranian Oil Company will transfer 10 percent of its share in Iran’s LNG Company to Venezuelan National Oil Company, in turn Venezuela will allocate 20 percent of its share in the Delta Caribe project to Iran’s LNG company.

Mexico: Monterrey Security Law Approved October 27, 2010

The congress of Mexico’s Nuevo Leon state approved an emergency police law that will allow the governor to establish a unified police command for municipalities in the Monterrey metropolitan area, El Universal reported Oct. 27. The legislation will allow the state governor to intervene in municipal affairs in emergencies or events that threaten public order.

Colombia: FARC Uses Homeless People To Carry Explosives October 27, 2010

The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) have used homeless people to deliver explosives used in attacks, according to Colombian armed forces commander Adm. Edgar Cely, El Espectador reported Oct. 27. Cely said the most recent incident occurred in Neiva, Huila department, where a homeless man was used to deliver an improvised explosive device that was detonated, killing the man.

Mexico: 8 Injured In Grenade Attack On Tamaulipas Police Building October 27, 2010
An armed group attacked the headquarters of the metropolitan police in Ciudad Madero, Tamaulipas state, on Oct. 27, Mexican daily Milenio reported. The attackers threw grenades at the building, which is guarded by soldiers and naval personnel, at about 7 a.m. local time, injuring eight people, unofficial sources said.

Mexico: Shootout Closes Bridge, Leaves 3 Police Dead October 27, 2010

Unidentified gunmen killed three undercover Mexican federal police officers Oct. 26 as they waited for a person to cross the Cordova Americas International Bridge between Ciudad Juarez and El Paso, Texas, AP reported Oct. 27, citing local authorities. The shootout briefly forced the closure of the bridge.
Mexico Security Memo: Oct. 25, 2010 Above the Tearline: Counterterrorism and Connecting the Dots STRATFOR

Except where noted courtesy www.stratfor.com


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Geopolitical Weekly : Elections and Obama's Foreign Policy Choices October 26, 2010

By George Friedman

We are a week away from the 2010 U.S. midterm elections. The outcome is already locked in. Whether the Republicans take the House or the Senate is close to immaterial. It is almost certain that the dynamics of American domestic politics will change. The Democrats will lose their ability to impose cloture in the Senate and thereby shut off debate. Whether they lose the House or not, the Democrats will lose the ability to pass legislation at the will of the House Democratic leadership. The large majority held by the Democrats will be gone, and party discipline will not be strong enough (it never is) to prevent some defections.

Should the Republicans win an overwhelming victory in both houses next week, they will still not have the votes to override presidential vetoes. Therefore they will not be able to legislate unilaterally, and if any legislation is to be passed it will have to be the result of negotiations between the president and the Republican Congressional leadership. Thus, whether the Democrats do better than expected or the Republicans win a massive victory, the practical result will be the same.

When we consider the difficulties President Barack Obama had passing his health care legislation, even with powerful majorities in both houses, it is clear that he will not be able to push through any significant legislation without Republican agreement. The result will either be gridlock or a very different legislative agenda than we have seen in the first two years.

These are not unique circumstances. Reversals in the first midterm election after a presidential election happened to Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton. It does not mean that Obama is guaranteed to lose a re-election bid, although it does mean that, in order to win that election, he will have to operate in a very different way. It also means that the 2012 presidential campaign will begin next Wednesday on Nov. 3. Given his low approval ratings, Obama appears vulnerable and the Republican nomination has become extremely valuable. For his part, Obama does not have much time to lose in reshaping his presidency. With the Iowa caucuses about 15 months away and the Republicans holding momentum, the president will have to begin his campaign.

Obama now has two options in terms of domestic strategy. The first is to continue to press his agenda, knowing that it will be voted down. If the domestic situation improves, he takes credit for it. If it doesn’t, he runs against Republican partisanship. The second option is to abandon his agenda, cooperate with the Republicans and re-establish his image as a centrist. Both have political advantages and disadvantages and present an important strategic decision for Obama to make.

The Foreign Policy Option

Obama also has a third option, which is to shift his focus from domestic policy to foreign policy. The founders created a system in which the president is inherently weak in domestic policy and able to take action only when his position in Congress is extremely strong. This was how the founders sought to avoid the tyranny of narrow majorities. At the same time, they made the president quite powerful in foreign policy regardless of Congress, and the evolution of the presidency over the centuries has further strengthened this power. Historically, when the president has been weak domestically, one option he has had is to appear powerful by focusing on foreign policy.

For presidents like Clinton, this was not a particularly viable option in 1994-1996. The international system was quiet, and it was difficult to act meaningfully and decisively. It was easier for Reagan in 1982-1984. The Soviet Union was strong and threatening, and an aggressive anti-Soviet stance was popular and flowed from his 1980 campaign. Deploying the ground-launched cruise missile and the Pershing II medium-range ballistic missile in Western Europe alienated his opponents, strengthened his position with his political base and allowed him to take the center (and ultimately pressured the Soviets into agreeing to the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty). By 1984, with the recession over, Reagan’s anti-Soviet stance helped him defeat Walter Mondale.

Obama does not have Clinton’s problem. The international environment allows him to take a much more assertive stance than he has over the past two years. The war in Afghanistan is reaching a delicate negotiating state as reports of ongoing talks circulate. The Iraq war is far from stable, with 50,000 U.S. troops still there, and the Iranian issue wide open. Israeli-Palestinian talks are also faltering, and there are a host of other foreign issues, ranging from China’s increasing assertiveness to Russia’s resurgent power to the ongoing decline in military power of America’s European allies. There are a range of issues that need to be addressed at the presidential level, many of which would resonate with at least some voters and allow Obama to be presidential in spite of weak political support.

There are two problems with Obama becoming a foreign policy president. The first is that the country is focused on the economy and on domestic issues. If he focuses on foreign policy and the U.S. economy does not improve by 2012, it will cost him the election. His hope will be foreign policy successes, or at least the perception of being strong on national security, coupled with economic recovery or a plausible reason to blame the Republicans. This is a tricky maneuver, but his presidency no longer offers simple solutions.

The second problem is that his presidency and campaign have been based on the general principle of accommodation rather than confrontation in foreign affairs, with the sole exception of Afghanistan, where he chose to be substantially more aggressive than his predecessor had been. The place where he was assertive is unlikely to yield a major foreign policy success, unless that success is a negotiated settlement with the Taliban. A negotiated settlement will be portrayed by the Republicans as capitulation rather than triumph. If he continues on the current course in Afghanistan, he will seem to be plodding down an old path and not pioneering a new one.

Interestingly, if Obama’s goal is to appear strong on national security while regaining the center, Afghanistan offers the least attractive venue. His choices are negotiation, which would reinforce his image as an accommodationist in foreign policy, or continued war, which is not particularly new territory. He could deploy even more forces into Afghanistan, but then would risk looking like Lyndon Johnson in 1967, hurling troops at the enemy without a clear plan. He could, of course, create a massive crisis with Pakistan, but it would be extremely unlikely that such an effort would end well, given the situation in Afghanistan. Foreign policy presidents need to be successful.

There is little to be done in Iraq at the moment except delay the withdrawal of forces, which adds little to his political position. Moreover, the core problem in Iraq at the moment is Iran and its support of disruptive forces. Obama could attempt to force an Israeli-Palestinian settlement, but that would require Hamas to change its position, which is unlikely, or that Israel make massive concessions, which it doesn’t think it has to do. The problem with Israel and the Palestinians is that peace talks, such as those under Clinton at Camp David, have a nasty tendency to end in chaos.

The European, Russian and Chinese situations are of great importance, but they are not conducive to dramatic acts. The United States is not going to blockade China over the yuan or hold a stunning set of meetings with the Europeans to get them to increase their defense budgets and commit to more support for U.S. wars. And the situation regarding North Korea does not have the pressing urgency to justify U.S. action. There are many actions that would satisfy Obama’s accomodationist inclinations, but those would not serve well in portraying him as decisive in foreign policy.

The Iranian Option

This leaves the obvious choice: Iran. Iran is the one issue on which the president could galvanize public opinion. The Republicans have portrayed Obama as weak on combating militant Islamism. Many of the Democrats see Iran as a repressive violator of human rights, particularly after the crackdown on the Green Movement. The Arabian Peninsula, particularly Saudi Arabia, is afraid of Iran and wants the United States to do something more than provide $60 billion-worth of weapons over the next 10 years. The Israelis, obviously, are hostile. The Europeans are hostile to Iran but want to avoid escalation, unless it ends quickly and successfully and without a disruption of oil supplies. The Russians like the Iranians are a thorn in the American side, as are the Chinese, but neither would have much choice should the United States deal with Iran quickly and effectively. Moreover, the situation in Iraq would improve if Iran were to be neutralized, and the psychology in Afghanistan could also shift.

If Obama were to use foreign policy to enhance his political standing through decisive action, and achieve some positive results in relations with foreign governments, the one place he could do it would be Iran. The issue is what he might have to do and what the risks would be. Nothing could, after all, hurt him more than an aggressive stance against Iran that failed to achieve its goals or turned into a military disaster for the United States.

So far, Obama’s policy toward Iran has been to incrementally increase sanctions by building a weak coalition and allow the sanctions to create shifts in Iran’s domestic political situation. The idea is to weaken President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and strengthen his enemies, who are assumed to be more moderate and less inclined to pursue nuclear weapons. Obama has avoided overt military action against Iran, so a confrontation with Iran would require a deliberate shift in the U.S. stance, which would require a justification.

The most obvious justification would be to claim that Iran is about to construct a nuclear device. Whether or not this is true would be immaterial. First, no one would be in a position to challenge the claim, and, second, Obama’s credibility in making the assertion would be much greater than George W. Bush’s, given that Obama does not have the 2003 weapons-of-mass-destruction debacle to deal with and has the advantage of not having made such a claim before. Coming from Obama, the claim would confirm the views of the Republicans, while the Democrats would be hard-pressed to challenge him. In the face of this assertion, Obama would be forced to take action. He could appear reluctant to his base, decisive to the rest. The Republicans could not easily attack him. Nor would the claim be a lie. Defining what it means to almost possess nuclear weapons is nearly a metaphysical discussion. It requires merely a shift in definitions and assumptions. This is cynical scenario, but it can be aligned with reasonable concerns.

As STRATFOR has argued in the past, destroying Iran’s nuclear capability does not involve a one-day raid, nor is Iran without the ability to retaliate. Its nuclear facilities are in a number of places and Iran has had years to harden those facilities. Destroying the facilities might take an extended air campaign and might even require the use of special operations units to verify battle damage and complete the mission. In addition, military action against Iran’s naval forces would be needed to protect the oil routes through the Persian Gulf from small boat swarms and mines, anti-ship missile launchers would have to be attacked and Iranian air force and air defenses taken out. This would not solve the problem of the rest of Iran’s conventional forces, which would represent a threat to the region, so these forces would have to be attacked and reduced as well.

An attack on Iran would not be an invasion, nor would it be a short war. Like Yugoslavia in 1999, it would be an extended air war lasting an unknown number of months. There would be American POWs from aircraft that were shot down or suffered mechanical failure over Iranian territory. There would be many civilian casualties, which the international media would focus on. It would not be an antiseptic campaign, but it would likely (though it is important to reiterate not certainly) destroy Iran’s nuclear capability and profoundly weaken its conventional forces. It would be a war based on American strengths in aerial warfare and technology, not on American weaknesses in counterinsurgency. It would strengthen the Iranian regime (as aerial bombing usually does) by rallying the Iranian public to its side against the aggression. If the campaign were successful, the Iranian regime would be stronger politically, at least for a while, but eviscerated militarily. A successful campaign would ease the U.S. withdrawal from Iraq, calm the Saudis and demonstrate to the Europeans American capability and will. It would also cause the Russians and Chinese to become very thoughtful.

A campaign against Iran would have its risks. Iran could launch a terrorist campaign and attempt to close the Strait of Hormuz, sending the global economy into a deep recession on soaring oil prices. It could also create a civil war in Iraq. U.S. intelligence could have missed the fact that the Iranians already have a deliverable nuclear weapon. All of these are possible risks, and, according to STRATFOR’s thinking, the risks outweigh the rewards. After all, the best laid military plan can end in a fiasco.

We have argued that a negotiation with Iran in the order of President Richard Nixon’s reversal on China would be a lower-risk solution to the nuclear problem than the military option. But for Obama, this is politically difficult to do. Had Bush done this, he would have had the ideological credentials to deal with Iran, as Nixon had the ideological credentials to deal with China. But Obama does not. Negotiating an agreement with Iran in the wake of an electoral rout would open the floodgates to condemnation of Obama as an appeaser. In losing power, he loses the option for negotiation unless he is content to be a one-term president.

I am arguing the following. First, Obama will be paralyzed on domestic policies by this election. He can craft a re-election campaign blaming the Republicans for gridlock. This has its advantages and disadvantages; the Republicans, charging that he refused to adjust to the electorate’s wishes, can blame him for the gridlock. It can go either way. The other option for Obama is to look for triumph in foreign policy where he has a weak hand. The only obvious way to achieve success that would have a positive effect on the U.S. strategic position is to attack Iran. Such an attack would have substantial advantages and very real dangers. It could change the dynamics of the Middle East and it could be a military failure.

I am not claiming that Obama will decide to do this based on politics, although no U.S. president has ever engaged in foreign involvement without political considerations, nor should he. I am saying that, at this moment in history, given the domestic gridlock that appears to be in the offing, a shift to a foreign policy emphasis makes sense, Obama needs to be seen as an effective commander in chief and Iran is the logical target.

This is not a prediction. Obama does not share his thoughts with me. It is merely speculation on the options Obama will have after the midterm elections, not what he will choose to do.
This report is republished with permission of STRATFOR

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Chevy takes on Ford again for police vehicle.

Chevy had a great Impala until 1996 and then got rid of it for reasons unknown. So we were left with only Ford's Crown Vic as a rear wheel drive sedan suitable for patrol. They immediately increased their prices :(

I'm not knocking Ford for this...I'm a strong supporter of the free market. But I've often complained that Ford should have some competition for a real police vehicle. My wish was answered when Dodge came out with the Charger a few years ago and now it looks like Chevy will come back in with a new rear wheel drive sedan.

Allah Be Praised!

Chevrolet Aims to 'Flip' Ford's Patrol Car Dominance - Vehicles - POLICE Magazine
...During a fleet round-table at POLICE Magazine's Torrance headquarters last week, GM executives said the 2011 model to be initially offered with a 5.7-liter V-8 should again make Chevrolet the patrol car of choice.

Currently, about 70 percent of patrol cars now sold are Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptors. The Dodge Charger counts about 17 percent of the market, while Chevrolet's Impala front-wheel patrol car and pursuit-rated Tahoe making up the remainder.

...The confidence of General Motors executives grew with the Chevy Caprice's impressive performance at the Michigan State Police's annual vehicle tests. The vehicle hit a top speed of 148 mph and reached 0-60 mph quickest (6.14 or 6.18 seconds, depending on the fuel mix) of the vehicles tested, including Ford's Taurus-based 2012 Police Interceptor.

...When designing the Caprice cockpit, GM engineers emphasized ergonomics for officers by using scalloped seats with a cut-out so a service weapon or other duty gear won't dig into an officer's back, according to Joyce Mattman, product director of GM's fleet and commercial operations.

"It is their office," Mattman told POLICE. "It's where they spend all their time and it's got to be a comfortable environment for them.
You got that right...work, eat, sleep...err I din't say that! :)  But it is good to know Chevy taking what a cop carries into consideration

Unlike the Chevy Volt, this actually has a market demand and will not need federal bribes, err tax incentives to get bought.  IMHO, Volt will soon take over Edsel as the term for a stupid waste.  This should make Government Motors some real money.

Officer Down


Deputy Sheriff Odell McDuffie Jr.
Liberty County Texas Sheriff's Department
End of Watch: Monday, October 25, 2010
Age: 43
Tour of Duty: 17 years

Deputy Odell McDuffie was killed in an automobile accident on FM 770 in Saratoga.

He was returning from transporting a juvenile to the Hardin County Detention Center at approximately 1:00 pm when his patrol car left the roadway. He over-corrected, causing the vehicle to strike a grove of trees and burst into flames. Deputy McDuffie suffered severe injuries and died at the scene.

Deputy McDuffie had served with the Liberty County Sheriff's Department for 17 years. He is survived by his wife and three daughters

Rest in Peace Bro…We’ll Continue The Watch

Day is done, Gone the sun, From the lake, From the hills, From the sky. All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh.

Monday, October 25, 2010

I need a laugh

Been a few long days (overtime, officer down in the home state, Saints blowing it, etc) and I need a good laugh.  Somehow I thought of this...even after a quarter century this is still funny...just what is needed.

Officer Down

Teaneck Police New Jersey Department
End of Watch: Monday, October 25, 2010
Age: 37
Tour of Duty: 17 years

Police Officer John Abraham was killed in an automobile accident on Teaneck Road at approximately 2:00 am. His patrol car collided with a utility pole, causing him to suffer fatal injuries.

He was transported to Holy Name Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries a few hours later.

Officer Abraham had served with the Teaneck Police Department for 17 years. He is survived by his wife and one child.
Rest in Peace Bro…We’ll Continue The Watch

Day is done, gone the sun, From the lake, from the hills, From the sky. All is well, safely rest, God is nigh.

A tribute to those who wear the badge.

From PoliceOne, for those who wear the badge, carry a gun, have stood a watch, approached a vehicle or building not knowing what awaits, ran down the bad guy, been scared, looked into the face of evil and started the day's work with one goal...to go home from the day’s work.

Be safe out there!

BLUtube is powered by PoliceOne.com

What's going on in the World Today 101024



The U.S.-Saudi Arms Deal and Riyadh's Military Challenge STRATFOR


Strikes to Protest Pension Reform Sap France's Energy STRATFOR

Germany's Short-term Economic Success and Long-term Roadblocks STRATFOR


China Security Memo: Oct. 21, 2010 STRATFOR

Dispatch: The Importance of Turkmenistan STRATFOR


Russia: NATO Guarantees On BMD Sought October 22, 2010

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov met with his German and Polish counterparts, Werner Hoyer and Jacek Najder, respectively, in Brussels on Oct. 22, DPA reported. Russia will only cooperate with NATO’s plan to build a ballistic missile defense (BMD) shield in Europe if it receives guarantees that the BMD system cannot be used against Russia’s nuclear arsenal, Ryabkov said. Ryabkov said it is “extremely important” to be aware of any threats the BMD system would pose to Russian national security interests. Hoyer called on NATO to take Russia’s concerns into account, but Najder said NATO’s decision on BMD would be made separately from a decision to invite Russian participation. All three officials called the meeting a “positive experience” and expressed a willingness to meet again.


Iran: Banks Set Up In Muslim Countries October 21, 2010

Iran is using dummy names and opaque ownership structures to secretly set up banks in Iraq, Malaysia and other Muslim countries to skirt sanctions, U.S. officials stated, The Washington Post reported Oct. 21. Sanctions curtailed Iran’s global banking activities, a U.S. source said, adding Iran wants to buy and set up banks where they believe they will be able to carry out business without U.S. impediments. A spokesman for the Iranian mission to the United Nations could not comment until he spoke with Tehran officials.

Iran, Malaysia: Gachsaran Refinery Deal Inked October 21, 2010

Iran and Malaysia signed an agreement to construct the 3 billion euro Gachsaran refinery to produce 12,000 barrels of gasoline and diesel oil per day, IRNA reported Oct. 21.






Afghanistan: Taliban Still Operational In Kandahar City - Spokesman October 22, 2010

The Taliban claimed responsibility for a number of attacks in Kandahar City the night of Oct. 21, The Voice of Jihad reported Oct. 22, citing a Taliban spokesman. The operations were successful and the group did not suffer any casualties, the spokesman said, adding the attacks prove Ahmad Wali Karzai’s efforts to rid the city of the Taliban have been unsuccessful. The group remains capable of carrying out attacks anywhere in the area, the spokesman said.

Afghanistan: Bomb Blast Kills District Governor October 22, 2010

An insurgent attack with an improvised explosive device killed the governor of Dur Baba in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province as he drove to work, according to a police spokesman, AFP reported Oct. 22. The governor’s driver and two guards were injured, the source stated

Afghanistan: Iran Providing Cash To Karzai Aide

October 24, 2010

Iran has been providing Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s chief of staff, Umar Daudzai, with a steady supply of cash payments for the Afghan president to use to pay Afghan lawmakers, tribal elders and Taliban commanders, The New York Times reported Oct. 24, citing unnamed Afghan and Western officials. The officials said Iran is providing the cash to Daudzai and Karzai to promote Tehran’s interests within the Afghan president’s administration. A spokesman for Iranian Ambassador to Afghanistan Feda Hussein Maliki, who officials said had provided the cash payments to Daudzai, denied the allegations, calling them lies by the West and foreign media organizations.

Pakistan: U.S. Seeks Boost Of CIA Presence

October 23, 2010

U.S. President Barack Obama asked Pakistan to allow additional Central Intelligence Agency officers and special operations military trainers to enter the country to increase pressure on militants near the Afghan border, according to The Wall Street Journal, AFP reported. The requests were rebuffed by Islamabad, which remains reluctant to allow a larger U.S. ground presence in Pakistan, The Wall Street Journal reported.


UAE: Naval Base Opened To Bypass Hormuz October 21, 2010

The United Arab Emirates opened a naval base in its east coast emirate of Fujairah, giving it direct access to the Arabian Sea and allowing it to bypass the Strait of Hormuz if Iran were to close it, Middle East Online reported Oct. 21, citing local media. State-run WAM news agency said the base will allow for a quick response to “natural and man-made disasters” at sea and ensure safe passage for oil exports.


Mexico: Gulf Cartel Denies Responsibility For Attacks October 22, 2010

Suspected members of Mexico’s Gulf Cartel posted four banners on separate pedestrian bridges in Matamoros, Tamaulipas state, denying responsibility for attacks in recent weeks against soldiers and federal police, El Universal reported Oct. 22. In its messages, the cartel said its enemy was rival cartel Los Zetas rather than the Mexican government.

Mexico: FBI Investigating Death In Ciudad Juarez October 21, 2010

The FBI is investigating the death of a 21-year-old man in Mexico who according to his father was a member of the U.S. National Guard, an FBI spokesman said Oct. 21, CNN reported. Jose Gil Hernandez Ramirez was killed in an Oct. 20 drive-by shooting in Ciudad Juarez, according to the Chihuahua state attorney general’s office. The FBI is working alongside the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command

Colombia, Ecuador: Ministers To Discuss 'Sensitive Issues' October 21, 2010

Colombian Defense Minister Rodrigo Rivera will meet with Ecuadorian Security Minister Miguel Carvajal in Quito on Oct. 28 to discuss “sensitive issues” that led to the two nations breaking off political relations in 2008, El Espectador reported Oct. 21. Rivera and Carvajal will discuss the exchange of information for joint operations and analyze material found on computers belonging to Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia leader Raul Reyes

Colombia: FARC Planned Attacks On Public Figures October 21, 2010

The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) planned to attack high-ranking government and military figures in Bogota, including Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and former President Alvaro Uribe, according to Colombian Defense Minister Rodrigo Rivera, Caracol Radio reported Oct. 21. FARC reportedly sent members to carry out surveillance in Bogota prior to the planned attacks and authorities have seized a list of possible targets as well as four explosive devices, El Tiempo and El Espectador reported.

Mexico: Juarez Bombing Suspects Arrested October 21, 2010

Mexican Federal Police arrested 14 bombing suspects and took them to the Federal Police headquarters in Iztapalapa colony of Mexico City, El Universal reported Oct. 21. In the case, an improvised explosive device (IED) was placed in a vehicle in Juarez on July 15. Federal Police have accused Fernando “El Dorado” Contreras Meraz of being the leader of the group and the person who dialed the cell phone to detonate the IED.



Except where noted courtesy www.stratfor.com

Sunday, October 24, 2010

A good look at a politician who has a seriously overrated opinion of herself

I can't recall who said "Character is shown in how a person treats someone who can't help them" but the way little Barbara Boxer treated Brigadier General Michael Walsh was disgusting.  From RightChange a great spoof of this incident.  I pray in ten days Barbara becomes a ex-senator.

Thanks to COL Robert W for this link.

Call Me Senator from RightChange on Vimeo.

Officer Down

Sergeant Timothy Prunty
Shreveport Louisiana Police Department
End of Watch: Sunday, October 24, 2010
Age: 44
Tour of Duty: 19 years

Sergeant Tim Prunty was shot and killed in an ambush attack at approximately 3:30 am. He was standing next to his patrol car outside of a convenience store on Bert Kouns Industrial Loop when another car pulled into the parking lot and the driver opened fire.

Sergeant Prunty was struck by several rounds but was able to return fire before collapsing. He was transported to LSU Health Science Center where he succumbed to his wounds.

A witness was able to provide a description of the suspect's vehicle. Officers located the vehicle a short time later and took the suspect into custody after a short pursuit. It is believed that the man was responsible for shooting at a security guard earlier in the morning. He was charged with first degree murder in connection with Sergeant Prunty's death and attempted murder in the connection with the shooting of the security guard.

Sergeant Prunty had served with the Shreveport Police Department for 19 years. He is survived by his twin brother, who also serves with the agency.

Rest in Peace Bro…We’ll Continue The Watch

Day is done, gone the sun,
From the lake, from the hills,
From the sky.
All is well, safely rest,
God is nigh.

Security Weekly-The Falcon Lake Murder and Mexico's Drug Wars October 21, 2010

By Scott Stewart

STRATFOR published an analysis last Wednesday noting that a reliable source in Mexico informed us that the Sept. 30 shooting death of U.S. citizen David Hartley on Falcon Lake — which straddles the U.S.-Mexico border — was a mistake committed by a low-level member of the Los Zetas drug trafficking organization. The source also informed us that those responsible for Hartley’s death are believed to have disposed of his body and that the Zeta hierarchy was conducting a damage-control operation to punish those responsible for the death and to distance the cartel from the murder. The source further reported that the murder of the lead Tamaulipas state investigator on the case, Rolando Armando Flores Villegas — whose head was delivered in a suitcase to the Mexican military’s Eight Zone headquarters in Reynosa on Oct. 12 — was a specific message from Los Zetas to Mexican authorities to back off from the investigation.

Since publishing the report, we have been deluged by interview requests regarding the case. Numerous media outlets have interviewed Fred Burton and myself regarding the Falcon Lake case. During the course of talking with reporters and customers, it became obvious to us that a solid understanding of the context within which Hartley’s killing occurred was lacking in media discussions of the case. Viewing the murder as part of the bigger picture of what is occurring in Mexico makes it far easier to understand not only why David Hartley was killed, but why his body will likely never be found — and why his killers probably will not be held accountable for their actions, at least in the context of the judicial system.

The Changing Mexican Cartel Landscape

In STRATFOR’s annual Mexican cartel report published in December 2009 (Mexican Drug Cartels: Two Wars and a Look Southward STRATFOR), we noted the growing fracture between the Gulf cartel and its former enforcement arm, Los Zetas, which had become an independent drug trafficking organization. We noted that Los Zetas were becoming increasingly aggressive and that the Gulf cartel was struggling to fend off these advances. In fact, it looked as if Los Zetas were about to swallow up the Gulf cartel.

What had been a tense standoff between the two cartels erupted into open warfare in January when Zeta leader Sergio “El Concord 3” Mendoza Pena died in an altercation between Mendoza and a group of men reporting to Gulf cartel No. 2 leader Eduardo “El Coss” Costilla Sanchez. After learning of Mendoza’s death, Los Zetas No. 2 Miguel “Z-40” Trevino Morales gave Costilla an ultimatum to hand over those responsible for Mendoza’s death by Jan. 25. When the deadline passed without his demand being met, Trevino ordered the kidnapping of 16 known Gulf cartel members in the Ciudad Miguel Aleman area as retaliation. The war was on.

Fearing the might of Los Zetas, the Gulf cartel reached out to their longtime enemies, the Sinaloa federation, and asked for their assistance in dealing with Los Zetas. The leader of the Sinaloa federation, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman Loera, has no love for Los Zetas, who as the former military arm of the Gulf cartel engaged in many brutal battles with Guzman’s forces. Together with another enemy of Los Zetas, La Familia Michoacana (LFM), Guzman joined forces with the Gulf cartel to form an organization known as the New Federation. The stated goals of the New Federation were to destroy Los Zetas, along with the remnants of the Vicente Carrillo Fuentes (VCF) organization, aka the Juarez cartel. A move by the New Federation to destroy the remnants of the Arellano Felix Organization (aka the Tijuana cartel), now very weak, would allow the organization to dominate Mexican drug smuggling routes into the United States. If this New Federation consolidation were to occur (it has not happened yet), it would also likely result in a dramatic decrease in violence in the long term. But the VCF and Los Zetas have not yet been vanquished. This means that while the New Federation clearly has been able to gain the upper hand over the past several months, both Los Zetas and the VCF continue a desperate fight for survival and turf that in the short term means the level of violence will remain high.

The emergence of the New Federation was accompanied by the collapse of the Beltran Leyva Organization, a group formerly allied with the Sinaloa federation that broke away from Sinaloa and allied with Los Zetas and the VCF to fight against El Chapo and his allies. As these two developments played out over the first quarter of 2010, we found them to be so significant that we felt compelled to publish an update to STRATFOR’s annual cartel report in May to document the changes.

Los Zetas: Wounded, but Still Dangerous

Since January, the Zetas have suffered significant organizational and territorial losses. By May 2010, Los Zetas reportedly had lost control of the strategic (and very lucrative) border crossing of Reynosa, Tamaulipas state, to the New Federation and had been forced to retreat north toward Nuevo Laredo and west toward the transportation hub of Monterrey, the capital of Nuevo Leon state and Mexico’s third-largest city.

Significant incidents involving the Los Zetas organization since January 2010 include the following:

Jan. 18: Sergio “El Concord 3” Mendoza Pena killed by Gulf cartel, leading to rupture in Gulf/Zeta relationship.

March 16: Jose “El Cuervo” Antonio Estrada Sanchez, Zeta leader of the Tabasco plaza, or port of entry for contraband, arrested.

March 29: Erick “El Motokles” Alejandro Martinez Lopez, Zeta leader in Quintana Roo state, arrested.

March 30: Roberto “El Beto” Rivero Arana, nephew of Zeta leader Heriberto “El Lazca” Lazcano Lazcano and reportedly in line to be the new Tabasco plaza leader, arrested in Tabasco.

April: Twenty-five law enforcement officials in Nuevo Leon killed by the New Federation for allegedly cooperating with Los Zetas.

May 12: Los Zetas ranch/training facility near Higueras, Nuevo Leon state, seized along with huge weapons cache.

May 30: Hipolito Bonilla Cespedes, Lazcano’s accountant, arrested in Monterrey.

June 9: Hector “El Tori” Raul Luna Luna, Monterrey Zeta leader, arrested.

June 24: Manuel Antele Velasco, Puebla state Zeta leader, arrested.

July 7: Esteban “El Chachis” Luna Luna, Monterrey Zeta leader, arrested.

Aug. 14: “El Sonrics,” Monterrey Zeta leader, killed by military.

Aug. 24: Discovery of 72 dead migrants killed by Los Zetas near San Fernando, Tamaulipas.

Aug. 29: Juan “El Billy” Francisco Zapata Gallego, Zeta leader in Monterrey, arrested.

Sept. 3: Twenty-seven Los Zetas die in firefight with military in Ciudad Mier, Tamaulipas.

Sept. 26: Jose Angel “El Pelon” Fernandez de Lara Diaz, Zeta leader in Quintana Roo state hand-picked by Lazcano in June, arrested.

Sept. 30: Gunmen linked to Los Zetas shoot and kill American David Hartley.

Oct. 6: Jose Raymundo Lopez Arellano, local Zeta leader in San Nicolas de las Garza, Nuevo Leon (Monterrey metro area), arrested.

Oct. 9: Seiky “Comandante Sierra” Ogata Gonzalez, Zeta leader in Tabasco, arrested.

Not Your Father’s Zetas

All of these recent losses by Los Zetas must be considered part of a longer timeline. As early as 2007, STRATFOR began to discuss the toll that the cartel wars were taking on the enforcement arms of the various cartel groups, such as Los Zetas. The life of a cartel enforcer is often quite brutal and short: Enforcers constantly are in danger of being killed or arrested. In 2007, we noted how Los Zetas were looking to bring in fresh muscle to bolster their ranks, to include other former members of the Mexican military and police, former Guatemalan special operations forces (known as Kaibiles), and even members of street gangs like Mara Salvatrucha, aka MS-13. These young street gang recruits frequently are referred to as “Zetitas” or little Zetas.

Such replacements come with a price, however. The original Los Zetas were defectors from Mexico’s Special Forces Airmobile Group (known by the Spanish acronym GAFE), and as such were very well-trained and well-disciplined. As evidenced from the paramilitary training camps uncovered in Mexico and Guatemala, and the fact that Los Zetas reportedly have hired military instructors from a variety of countries (including Americans, Israelis, and some Europeans), the organization has attempted to train their new recruits. But the new generations of Zetas and Zetitas are simply not as well-trained or well-disciplined as the original Zetas. This basic level of training for new recruits has also suffered in recent months as the group has been under tremendous pressure to replace members who have been killed while some of its training facilities have been seized by the authorities. This means the organization has been compelled to use enforcers with very little training who are far less tactically adept than their Zeta masters. They are little more than thugs with guns.

And this brings us back to the Hartley case. Intelligence reports we received indicate that a group of poorly trained Zeta enforcers working to keep the Falcon Lake smuggling corridor safe from encroachment by the Gulf cartel and their New Federation partners killed David Hartley. When viewed within the analytical framework of what has happened to the Zetas over the past year, the intelligence fit. It makes sense to us that the Zetas would be employing poorly trained individuals for such duties, that those performing those duties would be jumpy and that these gunmen likely did kill Hartley without orders from the Zeta hierarchy.

Although some media outlets have portrayed the murder of an American citizen by a Mexican cartel organization as an unusual event, it is really quite common. In fact, 79 American citizens officially were reported murdered in Mexico in 2009, according to U.S. State Department figures, and the State Department notes that there were probably other cases that went unreported. For 2010, the State Department reports 48 American citizens have been murdered in Mexico through June 10. Our research has uncovered at least another six reported deaths since June 10 (including David Hartley), so unofficially the number of American citizens reported murdered in Mexico is approximately 54 for the year to date. While many of the Americans murdered in Mexico are undoubtedly involved in some way with the drug trade, others have no apparent link.

Two of the American citizens murdered in Mexico in 2010 were Lesley Enriquez, an employee of the U.S. consulate in Juarez, and her husband, Arthur Redelfs, a detention officer at the El Paso County Jail. Still, with more than 9,100 murders from cartel violence to date this year in Mexico, the 54 American murder victims comprise only a small percentage of the overall body count. Because of this, some of our contacts in the Mexican government are having a hard time understanding why the Hartley murder has elicited such an intense media reaction in the United States, which in turn resulted in diplomatic pressure on Mexican authorities from the U.S. government. At the same time Mexico is being pressured by the U.S. government about the death of one American citizen, it is also are trying to come to grips with the fact that the lead Mexican investigator in the case was kidnapped and beheaded. This turn of events provides a fairly good illustration of the security environment in Mexico today.

It must also be recognized that any attempt to quantify the death toll in the Mexican cartel wars is quickly complicated by the fact that the cartels have gotten very good at disposing of bodies. Many victims simply disappear, and their murders are never confirmed. For example, in December 2008, American anti-kidnapping consultant Felix Batista disappeared from a meeting at a restaurant in Saltillo, Coahuila state. Batista reportedly was murdered, but no trace of his body was ever found. In addition to dumping bodies in mass graves, using wood chippers or feeding them to vultures, Mexican cartels also have developed innovative ways to dispose of their victims’ corpses. Santiago “El Pozolero” Meza Lopez, a Tijuana cartel enforcer arrested in January 2009, admitted to Mexican authorities that he was responsible for dissolving at least 300 bodies in sodium hydroxide, a process known as making “guiso,” Spanish for “stew.” The cartels can either dispose of a body or mutilate it and leave it to be found, depending on the specific message they wish to send.

Given the well-honed ability of the cartels to dispose of bodies and the fact that Los Zetas reportedly went into damage-control mode following David Hartley’s shooting, it was not at all surprising to receive a report indicating that that the gunmen who killed Hartley reportedly disposed of the body to destroy any potential evidence. We also received reports that Los Zetas No. 2 man, Miguel “Z-40” Trevino Morales, was angry about the murder of Hartley by poorly disciplined Zeta gunmen acting without permission, and is very unhappy with the attention the case has focused on his organization and their smuggling route through Falcon Lake.

While under heavy pressure from the New Federation and the Mexican government, which Los Zetas claim is helping the New Federation against them, the last thing Los Zetas needed was heavy pressure from the U.S. government. This might result in police operations to capture Zeta members and interference with the group’s smuggling activities.

In addition to the loss of personnel on the battlefield, Los Zetas also have lost control of valuable smuggling corridors like Reynosa. This means that any remaining corridors they control are even more important to the group and its ability to make money, which is needed to buy guns and hire and train new gunmen to protect the group against outside pressure by the New Federation and the Mexican government. Intensive law enforcement operations looking for Hartley’s body effectively shut down the Falcon Lake corridor. Due to the losses suffered by the organization from this chain of events, it is not surprising that we have received reports that Trevino wants to execute the gunmen who killed Hartley. This means that the shooters in all likelihood never will be found by authorities, much less arrested or brought before a court of law.

As organizations such as the VCF and Los Zetas become increasingly desperate in the face of attacks against them by their New Federation enemies and the Mexican government, they will likely become even more paranoid — and more dangerous to those not directly involved in the Mexican cartel wars. As this occurs, there will almost certainly be more cases of innocents caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.

This report is republished with permission of STRATFOR

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Obama Department of Injustice and the New Black Panthers case

Although the Washington Post is a leftist newspaper it's not as radical as the NY Times and to a much greater degree comes up with good journalism. Classic case in post is the article looking at the Holder Justice Department's handling of the New Black Panther's voter intimidation case.

Dispute over New Black Panthers case causes deep divisions
On Election Day 2008, Maruse Heath, the leader of Philadelphia's New Black Panther Party, stood in front of a neighborhood polling place, dressed in a paramilitary uniform. 

...Among those who saw the footage was J. Christian Adams, who was in his office in the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division in Washington.

"I thought, 'This is wrong, this is not supposed to happen in this country,' " Adams said. "There are armed men in front of a polling place, and I need to find out if they violated the law, because in my mind there's a good chance that they did."

The clash between the black nationalist and the white lawyer has mushroomed into a fierce debate over the government's enforcement of civil rights laws, a dispute that will be aired next week when the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights unveils findings from a year-long investigation...The Obama administration months later dismissed most of the case, even though the Panthers had not contested the charges.

...the case tapped into deep divisions within the Justice Department that persist today over whether the agency should focus on protecting historically oppressed minorities or enforce laws without regard to race.
OK...only whites cannot be oppressed....I'm getting the image of Monty Python in my head.

At the department, Adams and his colleagues pushed a case that other career lawyers concluded had major evidentiary weaknesses. After the Obama administration took over, high-level political appointees relayed their thoughts on the case in a stream of internal e-mails in the days leading to the dismissal.
Evidentiary weaknesses... a video everyone can see on Youtube and the suspects armed and openly threatening the people there...I said something about justice being blind but let's not get carried away alright.

In recent months, Adams and a Justice Department colleague have said the case was dismissed because the department is reluctant to pursue cases against minorities accused of violating the voting rights of whites. Three other Justice Department lawyers, in recent interviews, gave the same description of the department's culture, which department officials strongly deny.

"The department makes enforcement decisions based on the merits, not the race, gender or ethnicity of any party involved," spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler said. "We are committed to comprehensive and vigorous enforcement of the federal laws that prohibit voter intimidation, as our record reflects."
Right...if there is no more open example of voter intimidation than this I want to see it. If those had been white men dress like that with a stick wouldn't the usual suspects be screaming about voter intimidation.
In Washington that day, word of the racially charged dispute reached the voting section of Justice's Civil Rights Division, a unit already divided over issues of race and enforcement.

The complaint went to Christopher Coates, the section's chief. A respected voting expert, Coates had been hired at Justice during the Clinton administration after a stint with the American Civil Liberties Union. He also came up in an internal watchdog report criticizing politicized hiring at the division during the Bush administration. The report referred to him as "a true member of the team."

Washington Post, maybe you could ask why isn't the American Criminal Lovers Union, err ACLU asking for these emails? I wonder.
Since the division was created in 1957, most of its cases have been filed on behalf of minorities. But there has not always been agreement about that approach.

Civil rights officials from the Bush administration have said that enforcement should be race-neutral. But some officials from the Obama administration, which took office vowing to reinvigorate civil rights enforcement, thought the agency should focus primarily on cases filed on behalf of minorities.

"The Voting Rights Act was passed because people like Bull Connor were hitting people like John Lewis, not the other way around," said one Justice Department official not authorized to speak publicly, referring to the white Alabama police commissioner who cracked down on civil rights protesters such as Lewis, now a Democratic congressman from Georgia.
You mean the Democratic Bull Connor...oh, did I say something wrong.  God knows if he was a Republican this would have been mentioned ten times.  But again you see the difference in the parties and the philosophies.  Conservatives and Republicans are race neutral, focusing on the crime.  Leftists and Democrats focus on the race.
Before the New Black Panther controversy, another case had inflamed those passions. Ike Brown, an African American political boss in rural Mississippi, was accused by the Justice Department in 2005 of discriminating against the county's white minority. It was the first time the 1965 Voting Rights Act was used against minorities and to protect whites.

Coates and Adams later told the civil rights commission that the decision to bring the Brown case caused bitter divisions in the voting section and opposition from civil rights groups.

...The 2008 Election Day video of the Panthers triggered a similar reaction, said a second lawyer. "People were dismissing it, saying it's not a big deal. They said we shouldn't be pursuing that case."

But Coates thought differently; he dispatched two Justice Department lawyers, who interviewed Hill, the Republican poll watcher.

Asked whether any voters were intimidated, Hill said he told the lawyers he had seen three people leave the polling place when they saw the chaos out front. Hill did not have their names and did not know whether they came back to vote.

"We're not going to let this stand," one of the lawyers told him.

A criminal investigation was dropped. But on Dec. 22, Adams, Coates and another lawyer recommended a civil lawsuit under a Voting Rights Act section banning the intimidation or attempted intimidation of voters or those "aiding" voters.

"It is shocking to think that a U.S. citizen might have to run a gauntlet of billy clubs in order to vote," they wrote in an internal memo. Although Adams has called the case a "slam dunk," lawyers acknowledged in the memo that less than 10 lawsuits had been filed under this section of the law and no plaintiff had ever won.
Then who are the lawyers...and if it qualifies as voter intimidation we should take action to punish those who violated one of the greatest acts of the Civil Rights Era.
The dispute over the Panthers, and the Justice Department's handling of it, was politicized from the start, documents and interviews show. On Election Day, the issue was driven by Republican poll watchers and officials and a conservative Web site.
OK, "Republican poll watchers and officials and a conservative Web site" are supposed to be political...just as Democratic poll watchers and officials and a liberal Web site should be. The problem is the political stuff came from the Department of Justice...which is supposed to be blind.

On Jan. 7, 2009, less than two weeks before Obama took office, the Justice Department filed a lawsuit seeking a permanent injunction against Heath, Jackson, Malik Shabazz, the party's national chairman and the party, banning them from standing in front of U.S. polling places with a weapon or wearing the party uniform.

Although the Panthers later denied intimidating voters, they said nothing about the lawsuit. On April 2, the court clerk in Philadelphia entered a "default" against the defendants for failure to respond. The Justice Department had one month to file a motion for a final judgement. A ruling on that motion would have ended the case.

Instead, the department on May 15 dismissed the charges against Jackson, Malik Shabazz and the party without citing a reason.

...Legal experts have called the department's reversal exceedingly rare, especially because the defendants had not contested the charges.
They had the slam dunk and made the conscious decision to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory...why?

...Officials have denied any political considerations and said the final decision was made by Loretta King, a 30-year career lawyer designated by Obama as acting head of civil rights.
No, B Hussein Obama would never put a hack in the bureaucracy would he.

...Justice Department records turned over in a lawsuit to the conservative group Judicial Watch show a flurry of e-mails between the Civil Rights Division and the office of Associate Attorney General Thomas Perelli, a political appointee who supervises the division.

"Where are we on the Black Panther case?" read the subject line of a Perelli e-mail to his deputy the day before the case was dropped. Perelli, the department's No. 3 official, wrote that he was enclosing the "current thoughts" of the deputy attorney general's office, the No. 2 official.
...A few months later, Coates requested a transfer to the U.S. attorney's office in South Carolina. When colleagues scheduled a farewell lunch, one attorney who attended said Coates vented his frustrations, criticizing the department for failing to enforce the law "on a non-racial basis.''

Justice Department officials say they treat everyone equally. Holder, in a speech last year to the Washington Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs said the department's "commitment to Equal Protection - and to full participation in our nation's elections - will not waiver. Never."

That was one month after the end of the New Black Panther Party case.
No Mr Coates, the administration of B Hussein Obama and his hack lawyers only want to pay whitie back. A shame what has become of the DOJ.

In the first month of B Hussein Obama's regime there was an article on Eric Holder (a puff piece from the New York Times) reading a book on abuse of blacks after the civil war in a prison labor program that wasn't much better than slavery.  I thought this seemed like a man with a chip on his shoulder.  Might I recommend to this lawyer another thing to read:  Martin Luther King Jr's Letter from Birmingham Jail.  The operative quote is "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."

You Mr. Holder have yet to learn what a great man like Dr King knew.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Diversity and other madness

I really don't like what I'm seeing here...

I recently retired from the Army Reserve after 23 years. In the last ten years the infection of diversity and multicultural thinking has polluted the planning of the upper bureaucracy. I can't tell you how many times I would spend hours in “diversity” training which can be put down to two words...be professional. But this hydra has taken on a life of its own.

When a Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan went on a shooting spree at Fort Hood last year the Army Chief of Staff showed what he was concerned about:

...Asked whether he thought the Army “dropped the ball” in not responding to warning signs that the major was increasingly radical, General Casey replied that he was encouraging soldiers to provide information to criminal investigators. But he added that the Army needs to be careful not to jump to conclusions based on early tidbits of information.

“The speculation could heighten the backlash,” he said on “This Week.” “What happened at Fort Hood is a tragedy and I believe it would be a greater tragedy if diversity became a casualty here.”...

General George Casey Jr., the Army chief of staff, said on Sunday that he was concerned that speculation about the religious beliefs of Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, accused of killing 12 fellow soldiers and one civilian and wounding dozens of others in a shooting rampage at Fort Hood, could “cause a backlash against some of our Muslim soldiers.”

“I’ve asked our Army leaders to be on the lookout for that,” General Casey said in an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union.

“It would be a shame — as great a tragedy as this was — it would be a shame if our diversity became a casualty as well.” General Casey, who was appeared on three Sunday news programs, used almost the same language during an interview on ABC’s “This Week With George Stephanopoulos,” an indication of the Army’s effort to ward off bias against the more than 3,000 Muslims in its ranks.

“A diverse Army gives us strength,” General Casey, who visited Fort Hood Friday, said on “This Week.”
With respect General Casey, you are wrong. Diversity of thought, opinion, knowledge brings us strength. Diversity of skin colors for diversity's sake does not. And people are afraid of bringing up possible problems. For instance:
He (Maj. Hasan) vocally opposed the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and seems to have moved toward more extreme religious beliefs in recent years, according to the investigators...

...The San Antonio Express-News has reported that classmates in a graduate military medical program heard Major Hasan justify suicide bombings and make radical and anti-American statements. But investigators have said that Major Hasan might have suffered from emotional problems that were aggravated by the strain of working with veterans of combat in Iraq and Afghanistan and by the knowledge that he might soon be deployed to those theaters as well.
People are afraid of raising a obvious issue will end their careers.  Now this push for political correctness on the ranks, err, excuse me, diversity in the ranks led us to this.  

Navy picks 4 submarines to carry female officers
WASHINGTON — The Navy selected four submarines on Thursday to carry the first women serving aboard what has been the last class of military vessels off-limits to them.

Twenty-four female officers are in training for submarine service and are expected to join their boats in December 2011.

The Navy selected the USS Wyoming and USS Georgia, based in Kings Bay, Ga., and the USS Maine and USS Ohio, with their home port in Bangor, Wash.

The Navy announced in the spring that it was lifting the ban on women serving aboard subs. They had been barred on the theory that the close quarters and long deployments common to these vessels were unsuitable for a coed crew.
No, they are unsuitable for a coed crew.  You put women in an extremely confined area for 90 plus days  among men and there will be problems.  Men will work at getting a piece of ass as certain as the sun rises in the east.  Oh question, if one month into the cruise LT Jane Smith comes up and says “I’m pregnant” what do you do?  By regulation she has to be on light duty because full physical training, duty etc is hazardous to the child.  You just made your crew short.  If this happens on a carrier you can get the woman off and get her replaced.  That is not an option with a sub.  What if she comes up two months into the cruise…chances are it happened while on board.  We know what causes this.  That will cause problems.
The 560-foot nuclear-powered ballistic- or cruise-missile submarines chosen Thursday are big by submarine standards, allowing the Navy greater flexibility in designing accommodations for the first women aboard.

The initial class of women will serve in teams of three, all sharing a stateroom, Navy spokeswoman Lt. Rebecca Rebarich said. The lone bathroom for officers will bear a reversible sign — letting men know that it's in use by women and vice versa.

They'll be divided up so that women are assigned to each sub's two rotating crews.

Limiting women to officer slots lets the Navy, for a time at least, sidestep the more vexing and cost-prohibitive problem of modifying subs to have separate bunks and bathrooms for enlisted men and women. Enlisted sailors make up about 90 percent of a sub's 160-member crew.
With deficits like we have right now we have the millions it will take to modify these boats.  With the country at war the biggest issue the Navy has is to improve career opportunities for females.  Talk about head-up-ass-idis.  But again, the people are afraid of raising an issue on this.  You go against the altar of diversity and your career is over.  Bring up the issue of an Army officer openly criticizing the US efforts in the Middle East and you are dead.  Say "maybe we should look again at injecting women in a sub with 150 men may not be the best for the service" and you will soon not be best for the service.  Also, where does this end?  Infantry open to females.  Armor and tube artillery? 

Having the service serve as a social science project can only be a disaster for this country.  The service has one purpose:  To win our wars.  And the people who are really pushing this will not suffer for the damage they did.  Hopefully this madness is stopped beginning on November 2nd.

PS:  Back to the subs, they have also banned smoking below decks.  I've never smoked (I tired a cigarette once when I was 11 and that ended my smoking time) but you should at least let someone who wants to smoke to have a place to do it below decks.  Do you really think smokers will stop for three months or are they going to just find another unofficial place.  Also, can we treat our sailers like adults for a change.