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

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Cinemark is going to find out the cost of foolishness and political correctness.

When Concealed Carry Permits started to spread through the states in the early 90s I admit I was concerned that there may be problems with idiots bumping into each other at bars and getting into shootouts. I fully admit I was wrong about that, CCP holders are overwhelming law abiding. The issue is with the morons that normally are already banned from possessing a firearm, i.e. felons and rap "artist".

Now there is a movement by Handgun Control Inc, The Brady Foundation and other groups to pressure businesses to not allow people with a CCP into their location. Besides the legal question of can a house rule supersede state law, the "Gun Free Zone" movement means the only armed people in the location are going to be bad guys. But we see the results here in the active shooter in the theater in Aurora CO.

I don't question the man who is responsible for killing 12 and injuring 70 is the coward who shot them, James Holmes. However, if one CCP holder was present and could have taken him out, Holmes could have been stopped. And likely this would never have been a national event because the media generally doesn't televise use of guns to stop potential active shooters.

Now Cinemark is about to pay for the foolishness of letting their theaters be an open target area, aka "Gun Free Zone".

Federal judge rules Aurora theater shooting was foreseeable

The owner of the Aurora movie theater that was the site of a deadly 2012 attack could have reasonably enough foreseen the danger of such an attack to be held liable for it, a federal judge ruled Friday.

Noting "the grim history of mass shootings and mass killings that have occurred in more recent times," U.S. District Court Judge R. Brooke Jackson ruled that Cinemark — owner of the Century Aurora 16 theater — could have predicted that movie patrons might be targeted for an attack. Jackson's ruling allows 20 lawsuits filed by survivors of the attack or relatives of those killed to proceed toward trial.

"Although theaters had theretofore been spared a mass shooting incident, the patrons of a movie theater are, perhaps even more than students in a school or shoppers in a mall, 'sitting ducks,' " Jackson wrote.

Jackson's ruling does not decide the lawsuits' ultimate question: Did Cinemark do enough to try to prevent the shooting? The lawsuits argue Cinemark should have had extra security measures in place to discourage the attack and to stop it more quickly once it began.

Instead, Jackson's ruling denies what is known as a "motion for summary judgment" filed by Cinemark. Similar to a previously denied motion, the theater chain had argued that the lawsuits should be dismissed because the attack was "legally unforeseeable."

The trial is set for February.

On October 16, 1991 we had an Active Shooter situation in Killeen TX where George Hennard drove his truck through the window, got out and murdered 24 people. One was a man I knew and highly respected, LTC Steve Dody. Later that year a survivor of the shooting, Susan Gratia-Hupp, testified on how she left her pistol in her truck and if she had not she could have taken Hennard out.

One point brought out in an article from POLICEONE.COM that active shooters are generally cowards:

...Unlike conventional criminal predators, who often have no reluctance about attacking police, active shooters tend to be “cowardly,” Borsch says.

They choose unarmed, defenseless innocents for a reason: They have no wish to encounter someone who can hurt them. They are personally risk- and pain-avoidant. The tracking history of these murderers has proved them to be unlikely to be aggressive with police. If pressed, they are more likely to kill themselves.” In his research, he has found no evidence of any LEO in the U.S. yet being wounded or killed in an active-shooting incident where mass murder was intended or accomplished....

James Craig, Chief of Police for Detroit Michigan, recently said people need to arm themselves because the cops can't protect them. I have to agree with the saying "When seconds count, the police are only minute away." Chief, you are dead on right sir.

Cinemark, you made a foolish decision to bend to the special interest groups who don't want to disarm criminals but to only disarm the American people. You will now pay dearly for it in treasure. Your customers from July 20, 2012 have already paid in blood.

Officer Down

Deputy Sheriff Joseph James Dunn
Cascade County Montana Sheriff's Office
End of Watch: Thursday, August 14, 2014
Age: 33
Tour: 2 years, 5 months

Deputy Sheriff Joe Dunn was struck and killed by a vehicle that was being pursued by other deputies near Belt, Montana.

The driver of the vehicle had been pursued from Great Falls, Montana, along Highway 87 at high speeds when he struck Deputy Dunn near mile marker 77, killing him. The man then turned around the continued back to Great Falls, where he was taken into custody.

Deputy Dunn was a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and had served with the Cascade County Sheriff's Office for 2-1/2 years. He is survived by his wife and two children.
Rest in Peace Bro…We Got 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. 

Geopolitical Weekly: Iraq and Syria Follow Lebanon's Precedent, August 26, 2014

By George Friedman

Lebanon was created out of the Sykes-Picot Agreement. This agreement between Britain and France reshaped the collapsed Ottoman Empire south of Turkey into the states we know today -- Lebanon, Syria and Iraq, and to some extent the Arabian Peninsula as well. For nearly 100 years, Sykes-Picot defined the region. A strong case can be made that the nation-states Sykes-Picot created are now defunct, and that what is occurring in Syria and Iraq represents the emergence of post-British/French maps that will replace those the United States has been trying to maintain since the collapse of Franco-British power.

The Invention of Middle East Nation-States

Sykes-Picot, named for French diplomat Francois Georges-Picot and his British counterpart, Sir Mark Sykes, did two things. First, it created a British-dominated Iraq. Second, it divided the Ottoman province of Syria on a line from the Mediterranean Sea east through Mount Hermon. Everything north of this line was French. Everything south of this line was British. The French, who had been involved in the Levant since the 19th century, had allies among the region's Christians. They carved out part of Syria and created a country for them. Lacking a better name, they called it Lebanon, after the nearby mountain of the same name.

The British named the area to the west of the Jordan River after the Ottoman administrative district of Filistina, which turned into Palestine on the English tongue. However, the British had a problem. During World War I, while the British were fighting the Ottoman Turks, they had allied with a number of Arabian tribes seeking to expel the Turks. Two major tribes, hostile to each other, were the major British allies. The British had promised postwar power to both. It gave the victorious Sauds the right to rule Arabia -- hence Saudi Arabia. The other tribe, the Hashemites, had already been given the newly invented Iraqi monarchy and, outside of Arabia, a narrow strip of arable ground to the east of the Jordan River. For lack of a better name, it was called Trans-Jordan, or the other side of the Jordan. In due course the "trans" was dropped and it became Jordan.

And thus, along with Syria, five entities were created between the Mediterranean and Tigris, and between Turkey and the new nation of Saudi Arabia. This five became six after the United Nations voted to create Israel in 1947. The Sykes-Picot agreement suited European models and gave the Europeans a framework for managing the region that conformed to European administrative principles. The most important interest, the oil in Iraq and the Arabian Peninsula, was protected from the upheaval in their periphery as Turkey and Persia were undergoing upheaval. This gave the Europeans what they wanted.

What it did not do was create a framework that made a great deal of sense to the Arabs living in this region. The European model of individual rights expressed to the nation-states did not fit their cultural model. For the Arabs, the family -- not the individual -- was the fundamental unit of society. Families belonged to clans and clans to tribes, not nations. The Europeans used the concept of the nation-state to express divisions between "us" and "them." To the Arabs, this was an alien framework, which to this day still competes with religious and tribal identities.

The states the Europeans created were arbitrary, the inhabitants did not give their primary loyalty to them, and the tensions within states always went over the border to neighboring states. The British and French imposed ruling structures before the war, and then a wave of coups overthrew them after World War II. Syria and Iraq became pro-Soviet states while Israel, Jordan and the Arabians became pro-American, and monarchies and dictatorships ruled over most of the Arab countries. These authoritarian regimes held the countries together.

Reality Overcomes Cartography

It was Lebanon that came apart first. Lebanon was a pure invention carved out of Syria. As long as the Christians for whom Paris created Lebanon remained the dominant group, it worked, although the Christians themselves were divided into warring clans. But after World War II, the demographics changed, and the Shiite population increased. Compounding this was the movement of Palestinians into Lebanon in 1948. Lebanon thus became a container for competing clans. Although the clans were of different religions, this did not define the situation. Multiple clans in many of these religious groupings fought each other and allied with other religions.

Moreover, Lebanon's issues were not confined to Lebanon. The line dividing Lebanon from Syria was an arbitrary boundary drawn by the French. Syria and Lebanon were not one country, but the newly created Lebanon was not one country, either. In 1976 Syria -- or more precisely, the Alawite dictatorship in Damascus -- invaded Lebanon. Its intent was to destroy the Palestinians, and their main ally was a Christian clan. The Syrian invasion set off a civil war that was already flaring up and that lasted until 1990.

Lebanon was divided into various areas controlled by various clans. The clans evolved. The dominant Shiite clan was built around Nabi Berri. Later, Iran sponsored another faction, Hezbollah. Each religious faction had multiple clans, and within the clans there were multiple competitors for power. From the outside it appeared to be strictly a religious war, but that was an incomplete view. It was a competition among clans for money, security, revenge and power. And religion played a role, but alliances crossed religious lines frequently.

The state became far less powerful than the clans. Beirut, the capital, became a battleground for the clans. The Israelis invaded in order to crush the Palestinian Liberation Organization, with Syria's blessing, and at one point the United States intervened, partly to block the Israelis. When Hezbollah blew up the Marine barracks in Beirut in 1983, killing hundreds of Marines, U.S. President Ronald Reagan, realizing the amount of power it would take to even try to stabilize Lebanon, withdrew all troops. He determined that the fate of Lebanon was not a fundamental U.S. interest, even if there was a Cold War under way.

The complexity of Lebanon goes far beyond this description, and the external meddling from Israel, Syria, Iran and the United States is even more complicated. The point is that the clans became the reality of Lebanon, and the Lebanese government became irrelevant. An agreement was reached between the factions and their patrons in 1989 that ended the internal fighting -- for the most part -- and strengthened the state. But in the end, the state existed at the forbearance of the clans. The map may show a nation, but it is really a country of microscopic clans engaged in a microscopic geopolitical struggle for security and power. Lebanon remains a country in which the warlords have become national politicians, but there is little doubt that their power comes from being warlords and that, under pressure, the clans will reassert themselves.

Repeats in Syria and Iraq

A similar process has taken place in Syria. The arbitrary nation-state has become a region of competing clans. The Alawite clan, led by Bashar al Assad (who has played the roles of warlord and president), had ruled the country. An uprising supported by various countries threw the Alawites into retreat. The insurgents were also divided along multiple lines. Now, Syria resembles Lebanon. There is one large clan, but it cannot destroy the smaller ones, and the smaller ones cannot destroy the large clan. There is a permanent stalemate, and even if the Alawites are destroyed, their enemies are so divided that it is difficult to see how Syria can go back to being a country, except as a historical curiosity. Countries like Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Israel and the United States might support various clans, but in the end, the clans survive.

Syria's Geographic Challenge

Something very similar happened in Iraq. As the Americans departed, the government that was created was dominated by Shia, who were fragmented. To a great degree, the government excluded the Sunnis, who saw themselves in danger of marginalization. The Sunnis consisted of various tribes and clans (some containing Shiites) and politico-religious movements like the Islamic State. They rose up in alliance and have now left Baghdad floundering, the Iraqi army seeking balance and the Kurds scrambling to secure their territory.

It is a three-way war, but in some ways it is a three-way war with more than 20 clans involved in temporary alliances. No one group is strong enough to destroy the others on the broader level. Sunni, Shiite and Kurd have their own territories. On the level of the tribes and clans, some could be destroyed, but the most likely outcome is what happened in Lebanon: the permanent power of the sub-national groups, with perhaps some agreement later on that creates a state in which power stays with the smaller groups, because that is where loyalty lies.

The boundary between Lebanon and Syria was always uncertain. The border between Syria and Iraq is now equally uncertain. But then these borders were never native to the region. The Europeans imposed them for European reasons. Therefore, the idea of maintaining a united Iraq misses the point. There was never a united Iraq -- only the illusion of one created by invented kings and self-appointed dictators. The war does not have to continue, but as in Lebanon, it will take the exhaustion of the clans and factions to negotiate an end.

The idea that Shia, Sunnis and Kurds can live together is not a fantasy. The fantasy is that the United States has the power or interest to re-create a Franco-British invention crafted out of the debris of the Ottoman Empire. Moreover, even if it had an interest, it is doubtful that the United States has the power to pacify Iraq and Syria. It could not impose calm in Lebanon. The triumph of the Islamic State would represent a serious problem for the United States, but no more than it would for the Shia, Kurds and other Sunnis. As in Lebanon, the multiplicity of factions creates a countervailing force that cripples those who reach too far.

There are two issues here. The first is how far the disintegration of nation-states will go in the Arab world. It seems to be under way in Libya, but it has not yet taken root elsewhere. It may be a political formation in the Sykes-Picot areas. Watching the Saudi peninsula will be most interesting. But the second issue is what regional powers will do about this process. Turkey, Iran, Israel and the Saudis cannot be comfortable with either this degree of fragmentation or the spread of more exotic groups. The rise of a Kurdish clan in Iraq would send tremors to the Turks and Iranians.

The historical precedent, of course, would be the rise of a new Ottoman attitude in Turkey that would inspire the Turks to move south and impose an acceptable order on the region. It is hard to see how Turkey would have the power to do this, plus if it created unity among the Arabs it would likely be because the memories of Turkish occupation still sting the Arab mind.

All of this aside, the point is that it is time to stop thinking about stabilizing Syria and Iraq and start thinking of a new dynamic outside of the artificial states that no longer function. To do this, we need to go back to Lebanon, the first state that disintegrated and the first place where clans took control of their own destiny because they had to. We are seeing the Lebanese model spread eastward. It will be interesting to see where else its spreads.

Iraq and Syria Follow Lebanon's Precedent is republished with permission of Stratfor.

K9 Down

K9 Nyx
Mills Wyoming Police Department
End of Watch: Wednesday, July 9, 2014
Breed: Black Lab
Age: 10
Gender: M
Tour: 8 years

K9 Nyx died after being left in his handler's car outside of the Mills Police Department for six hours.

His handler had returned to the police station following a call at approximately 6:00 am and Nyx remained in the vehicle, which had it's engine running. However, the air conditioner had not been turned on. Nyx was discovered in the vehicle approximately six hours later, with temperatures reaching 86 degrees.

K9 Nyx had served with the Mills Police Department as a drug detection canine for eight years.
Rest in Peace Nyx …till our next roll call at the Rainbow Bridge!

In Memory of all Police Dogs

They handled themselves with beauty & grace
And who could ever forget that beautiful face
Whether at work; or at home; whatever the test
They always worked hard; and did their best

They were real champions; at work or at play
But their lives were cut short; suddenly one day
While working on the job with their partner one day
They put themselves out on a limb; out into harms way

They gave the ultimate sacrifice; any dog can give
They gave up their life; so someone could live
The best of their breed; as his partner and anyone would say
Many hearts are now broken; that he had to prove it this way

Now as the trees are blowing in the gentle breeze
The sun is shining; thru the leaves on the trees
The meadows are green; and the grass grows tall
Off in the distance they can see a waterfall

As they look over the falls; down through the creek
The water flows gently; as a rabbit sneaks a peek
Far up above; in the deep blue sky
They see the birds soar high; as they fly by

They see animals playing; at the bridge by a waterfall
Chasing each other; and just having a ball
They play all day; from morning to night
There's no more rain; just warm sunlight

Off in the distance; they hear trumpets blow
Then all the animals look up; and notice a bright glow
The harps would play and the angels would sing
As they know they've come home; they've earned their wings

We remember that they died; in the line of duty
And are now with the Lord; sharing in heaven's beauty
Off to the meadows now; where they can play and roam free
With an occasional rest stop; under a tall oak tree

No more bad guys to chase; or bullets to take
Just a run through the meadow; down to the lake
A quick splash in the water; then back to the shore
Then it's off to the forest; to go play some more

These special dogs are back home; up in heaven above
They're cradled in God's arm's; and covered with His love
We'll light a candle for all of them; in the dark of night
In loving memory of all; these very special knights

By John Quealy

Officer Down

Sheriff Mark A. Hecker
Butler County Nebraska Sheriff's Office
End of Watch: Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Age: 53
Tour: 33 years
Badge # 925
Incident Date: 8/8/2014

Sheriff Mark Hecker suffered a fatal heart attack after struggling with a mental subject he was attempting to take into emergency protective custody.

He began to feel ill several hours later and drove himself to a local hospital. His condition continued to worsen and he passed away four days later.

Sheriff Hecker had served with the Butler County Sheriff's Office for 26 years and had previously served with the Humphrey Police Department and David City Police Department for nine years. He is survived by his six children, five grandchildren, and two brothers.
Rest in Peace Bro…We Got 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. 

Hopefully John Walker gets his correct punishment facing his final Judge

Walker is arguably the worse spy of the 20th Century. Julius and Ethel Rosenberg may top him but they only gave the Soviets something they would have developed in time. Walker spent years spying on America and to his dying day wasn't ashamed that he did it for one reason, the money. As he was being arrested the only thing he tried to do was make a deal to keep him as double agent against the KGB. I think the FBI and CIA were wise in not taking his suggestion.

Absolute power corrupts absolutely and no one thought higher of Walker's abilities than Walker himself. He also tied his older brother and children into his network. The only reason he was not executed was the government wanted to know what he had compromised. From what I've read his disclosures to the Soviets cost us over one billion dollars to correct. It's amazing what a few determined people can do.
John Walker Jr., spy ringleader, dies in prison at 77

Former American sailor convicted of spying for Soviets dies in prison

John Walker Jr., a former American sailor convicted during the Cold War of leading a family spy ring for the Soviet Union, has died in a prison hospital in North Carolina, officials said Friday.

He died Thursday at the Federal Medical Center in Butner, Federal Bureau of Prisons spokesman Chris Burke told the Los Angeles Times via email. Prison officials did not release a cause of death, and the North Carolina Medical Examiner's office had no immediate information on the cause of death. He was 77.

Walker was considered the ringleader of a spy ring that authorities at the time said was among the most damaging in U.S. history.

His brother Arthur J. Walker, who made $12,000 for selling classified documents to Soviet agents through John, died in the same federal prison in Butner, N.C., in July. He was 79.

John Walker Jr. was said to have throat cancer. He was set to be released in May, according to federal authorities.

When the family espionage ring was uncovered, John Walker Jr. was cast by authorities as its amoral mastermind, a manipulator who got his son, Michael, his older brother, Arthur, and his best friend, Jerry Whitworth, to join him.

Walker started spying in 1967 during his Naval career and sold the KGB "vital U.S. cryptographic secrets that had allowed Russian agents to decipher approximately one million coded Navy dispatches," wrote Pete Earley, author of "Family of Spies: Inside the John Walker Spy Ring."

His 18-year spying career was uncovered after his ex-wife, Barbara Crowley Walker, alerted the FBI in the midst of a custody battle between her daughter, Laura Walker Snyder, and her son-in-law, Mark Snyder.

Snyder admitted to The Times that he had once threatened to “disclose whatever I knew” about John Walker if his son was taken from him, but denied knowing any specifics about Walker being a spy. Fearing she might not ever see her grandson again, Crowley Walker went to the FBI, she testified.

John Walker Jr. later agreed to a plea deal, cooperating with federal authorities and testifying against Whitworth in exchange for securing a lighter, 25-year sentence for his son, Michael.

Rest in piss Walker. I for one am glad to see you no longer taking my tax dollars you disgrace to the uniform.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Officer Down

Police Officer Scott Patrick
Mendota Heights Minnesota Police Department
End of Watch: Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Age: 47
Tour: 19 years
Badge # 2231

Police Officer Scott Patrick was shot and killed while making a traffic stop near the intersection of Dodd Road and Smith Avenue, in West St. Paul, at 12:20 pm.

Officer Patrick was standing next to his patrol car's door when the subject fired multiple shots, striking him in the head. He was transported to Regions Hospital where he succumbed to the wound.

The subject, who was identified as a fugitive, opened fire on officers who located him in St. Paul approximately seven hours later. He was shot and wounded by the officers before being taken into custody.

Officer Patrick had served with the Mendota Heights Police Department for 19 years. He is survived by his wife and two teenage daughters.
Rest in Peace Bro…We Got 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. 

And this is why I'm giving the man money

The issues that came out of a police shooting in Ferguson have shown why cops needs lawyers as well as other services to make sure they can do their job.

In the days immediately following the shooting of Michael Brown by Officer Darren Wilson the usual suspects (The Justice Brothers) were on the scene riling up the locals. And the out of town rent a mobs were there to raid people's businesses. And finally that "activist" Attorney General Eric Holder stuck his stupid nose into the situation and did his best to inflame the people of Ferguson. I don't recall him going to visit the officer who had his address broadcast on CNN and USA TODAY. Not, not be outdone, the moron senator from Missouri has stuck her nose into it.
New fear: What happens in Ferguson if no charges?

FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — Conditions calmed this week in Ferguson after nights of sometimes violent unrest stemming from the fatal shooting of a black 18-year-old by a white police officer. But a delicate and crucial question lingers: What happens if the grand jury now considering the case doesn't return a charge against the officer?

The fear among some local residents and officials trying to maintain peace in Ferguson is that failure to charge the officer could stoke new anger among a community profoundly mistrustful of the legal system. Many say they just hope the grand jury's decision, whatever it is, has irrefutable facts to back it up.

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill told The Associated Press she's pushing for federal and local investigations to be completed around the same time so that all evidence in the case can be made public — a step many consider important should prosecutors decide not to charge the officer. Her office said Friday that the Department of Justice hasn't given a timeline for the federal investigation, which centers on whether a civil rights violation occurred when officer Darren Wilson fatally shot the unarmed Michael Brown on Aug. 9.

McCaskill, a former prosecutor in Missouri, said she's hopeful the physical evidence in the case — including blood spatter patterns, clothing and shell casings — will provide "incontrovertible facts" about what happened during the shooting. She said whatever local prosecutors decide, it will be important to explain the decision by providing that physical evidence, and that won't be possible if the federal investigation is ongoing.

McCaskill said she urged Attorney General Eric Holder during a meeting earlier this week to speed up what is typically a lengthier federal process.

"What we want to avoid is a decision being made without all the information being available to the public also," McCaskill said, adding that not being able to do so could "create more stress and certainly much more fear that we would be back to worrying about people being able to protest safely."

"Obviously all of us are concerned not just about that this process be fair, but what does this next six months look like?" she said.
Why do I smell a railroad here?

Senator, for a former prosecutor you should know justice is a slow and deliberative process, the accused (in this case the officer) has the right to, among other things, the presumption of innocence. Now he has used deadly force and there is a process to evaluate it. The incident is investigated and the facts are presented to a grand jury for initial evaluation. They will decide to charge him or not. Assuming he is charged then he has the right to a public trial, the ability to cross examine witnesses, etc.

But the mob Officer Wilson used to protect have made up their mind, so have the idiot Attorney General, Senator McCaskill and the semi-retired President B Hussein Obama. Last week I got into a heated Facebook discussion with a family member who had already convicted the man, especially with "...all the witnesses out there..." My answer was "Let the process play out, in 16 years on the street one thing I know is a witness, upon being under oath, 'revises' their statement when they realize lying now is a felony." And we are still seeing the template of the officer "shooting the gentle giant Mike Brown on the street" crumble in front of us.

So I will do what I can to help a man and fellow officer. I went to the Go Fund Me site and gave $25.00. He will need legal defense and his family will be staying away from their home for a while. If you can please do, whatever you can spare.

Friday, August 22, 2014

K9 Down

K9 Tracker
Alabama Department of Corrections
End of Watch: Monday, July 7, 2014
Breed: Beagle
Gender: M

K9 Tracker was shot and killed near Skipperville while assisting other agencies during the search of a man wanted for first degree child rape and incest.

Two canine tracking teams from the Alabama Department of Corrections had responded to assist deputies with the Dale County Sheriff's Office in the search for the suspect, who had been hiding in woods near his home for several days. An Alabama Department of Public Safety helicopter had located the subject in an area near County Road 33 and County Road 70 and directed a team of officers, including K9 Tracker, to the location.

The subject started to flee as officers approached, and Tracker began to pursue him. The man opened fire on Tracker and deputies, killing Tracker, before being wounded by return gunfire. He was taken into custody and faces additional charges of attempted murder or a law enforcement officers with charges pending for the death of Tracker.

K9 Tracker was a beagle assigned to the Ventress Correctional Facility.
Rest in Peace Tracker…till our next roll call at the Rainbow Bridge!

In Memory of all Police Dogs

They handled themselves with beauty & grace
And who could ever forget that beautiful face
Whether at work; or at home; whatever the test
They always worked hard; and did their best

They were real champions; at work or at play
But their lives were cut short; suddenly one day
While working on the job with their partner one day
They put themselves out on a limb; out into harms way

They gave the ultimate sacrifice; any dog can give
They gave up their life; so someone could live
The best of their breed; as his partner and anyone would say
Many hearts are now broken; that he had to prove it this way

Now as the trees are blowing in the gentle breeze
The sun is shining; thru the leaves on the trees
The meadows are green; and the grass grows tall
Off in the distance they can see a waterfall

As they look over the falls; down through the creek
The water flows gently; as a rabbit sneaks a peek
Far up above; in the deep blue sky
They see the birds soar high; as they fly by

They see animals playing; at the bridge by a waterfall
Chasing each other; and just having a ball
They play all day; from morning to night
There's no more rain; just warm sunlight

Off in the distance; they hear trumpets blow
Then all the animals look up; and notice a bright glow
The harps would play and the angels would sing
As they know they've come home; they've earned their wings

We remember that they died; in the line of duty
And are now with the Lord; sharing in heaven's beauty
Off to the meadows now; where they can play and roam free
With an occasional rest stop; under a tall oak tree

No more bad guys to chase; or bullets to take
Just a run through the meadow; down to the lake
A quick splash in the water; then back to the shore
Then it's off to the forest; to go play some more

These special dogs are back home; up in heaven above
They're cradled in God's arm's; and covered with His love
We'll light a candle for all of them; in the dark of night
In loving memory of all; these very special knights

By John Quealy

Officer Down

Police Officer Christopher Goodell
Waldwick New Jersey Police Department
End of Watch: Thursday, July 17, 2014
Age: 32
Tour: 5 years

Police Officer Chris Goodell was killed when his patrol car was struck by a tractor trailer on Route 17, near Bergen Avenue, shortly before 1:30 am.

Officer Goodell was parked on the shoulder of Route 17, running radar, when the semi swerved onto to the shoulder and collided with the back of the patrol car. The patrol car was then pushed into a retaining wall.

An off duty deputy from out of state was the first to arrive at the collision and immediately began providing aid to Officer Goodell.

Officer Goodell was a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and had served with the Waldwick Police Department for five years. He was survived by his fiancee.
Rest in Peace Bro…We Got 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. 

And I don't think he means Respect my Authoritah!

I sit here in my easy chair, sipping coffee, about the eat breakfast before I mow the lawn. I generally am asleep by this time, but the lawn needs the work.

But Beth gave this to me on my Facebook page and it was interesting. I really like how the man looks at his job.

I’m a cop. If you don’t want to get hurt, don’t challenge me.

A teenager is fatally shot by a police officer; the police are accused of being bloodthirsty, trigger-happy murderers; riots erupt. This, we are led to believe, is the way of things in America.

It is also a terrible calumny; cops are not murderers. No officer goes out in the field wishing to shoot anyone, armed or unarmed. And while they’re unlikely to defend it quite as loudly during a time of national angst like this one, people who work in law enforcement know they are legally vested with the authority to detain suspects — an authority that must sometimes be enforced. Regardless of what happened with Mike Brown, in the overwhelming majority of cases it is not the cops, but the people they stop, who can prevent detentions from turning into tragedies.

Working the street, I can’t even count how many times I withstood curses, screaming tantrums, aggressive and menacing encroachments on my safety zone, and outright challenges to my authority. In the vast majority of such encounters, I was able to peacefully resolve the situation without using force. Cops deploy their training and their intuition creatively, and I wielded every trick in my arsenal, including verbal judo, humor, warnings and ostentatious displays of the lethal (and nonlethal) hardware resting in my duty belt. One time, for instance, my partner and I faced a belligerent man who had doused his car with gallons of gas and was about to create a firebomb at a busy mall filled with holiday shoppers. The potential for serious harm to the bystanders would have justified deadly force. Instead, I distracted him with a hook about his family and loved ones, and he disengaged without hurting anyone. Every day cops show similar restraint and resolve incidents that could easily end up in serious injuries or worse.

Sometimes, though, no amount of persuasion or warnings work on a belligerent person; that’s when cops have to use force, and the results can be tragic. We are still learning what transpired between Officer Darren Wilson and Brown, but in most cases it’s less ambiguous — and officers are rarely at fault. When they use force, they are defending their, or the public’s, safety.

Even though it might sound harsh and impolitic, here is the bottom line: if you don’t want to get shot, tased, pepper-sprayed, struck with a baton or thrown to the ground, just do what I tell you. Don’t argue with me, don’t call me names, don’t tell me that I can’t stop you, don’t say I’m a racist pig, don’t threaten that you’ll sue me and take away my badge. Don’t scream at me that you pay my salary, and don’t even think of aggressively walking towards me. Most field stops are complete in minutes. How difficult is it to cooperate for that long?

I know it is scary for people to be stopped by cops. I also understand the anger and frustration if people believe they have been stopped unjustly or without a reason. I am aware that corrupt and bully cops exist. When it comes to police misconduct, I side with the ACLU: Having worked as an internal affairs investigator, I know that some officers engage in unprofessional and arrogant behavior; sometimes they behave like criminals themselves....

...But if you believe (or know) that the cop stopping you is violating your rights or is acting like a bully, I guarantee that the situation will not become easier if you show your anger and resentment. Worse, initiating a physical confrontation is a sure recipe for getting hurt. Police are legally permitted to use deadly force when they assess a serious threat to their or someone else’s life. Save your anger for later, and channel it appropriately. Do what the officer tells you to and it will end safely for both of you. We have a justice system in which you are presumed innocent; if a cop can do his or her job unmolested, that system can run its course. Later, you can ask for a supervisor, lodge a complaint or contact civil rights organizations if you believe your rights were violated. Feel free to sue the police! Just don’t challenge a cop during a stop.

As I've said to more than a few men in the jail who have complained to me in the jail, "You got an issue with how the cop did his job or if he was justified in pulling you over, fine, call or supervisor or contact Internal Affairs. It doesn't justify you trying to evade detention or resist the officer and his investigation.

...An average person cannot comprehend the risks and has no true understanding of a cop’s job. Hollywood and television stereotypes of the police are cartoons in which fearless super cops singlehandedly defeat dozens of thugs, shooting guns out of their hands. Real life is different. An average cop is always concerned with his or her safety and tries to control every encounter. That is how we are trained. While most citizens are courteous and law abiding, the subset of people we generally interact with everyday are not the genteel types. You don’t know what is in my mind when I stop you. Did I just get a radio call of a shooting moments ago? Am I looking for a murderer or an armed fugitive? For you, this might be a “simple” traffic stop, for me each traffic stop is a potentially dangerous encounter. Show some empathy for an officer’s safety concerns. Don’t make our job more difficult than it already is.

Truer words have never been said. One thing that doesn't exist is a routine traffic stop. You never know what you are dealing with. More times than not it's a person just making a minor infraction. But twice in my career I've pulled over drivers who turned out to be homicide suspects and more than once I've pulled over vehicles not knowing they were stolen. Scary.
Community members deserve courtesy, respect and professionalism from their officers. Every person stopped by a cop should feel safe instead of feeling that their wellbeing is in jeopardy. Shouldn’t the community members extend the same courtesy to their officers and project that the officer’s safety is not threatened by their actions?

Depends on who you pull over and often when you pull them over. There are those who despise cops no matter what, there are those who generally support cops (unless you are stopping them). Most live between those two extremes. And no argument sometimes cops are at their best. However, to all the citizens out there. don't make it worse on all. If you have issue with how cops do their business, call a superior or contact the Internal Affairs office.

Officer Down

Detective Melvin Santiago
Jersey City New Jersey Police Department
End of Watch: Sunday, July 13, 2014
Age: 23
Tour: 6 months
Badge # 2650

Detective Melvin Santiago was shot and killed at 4:09 am when he and his partner responded to a robbery call at a 24-hour pharmacy on the corner of Communipaw Avenue and John F. Kennedy Boulevard.

A male subject had entered the store and assaulted a private security guard. He severely beat the guard and stole his service weapon, then waited for responding officers to arrive with the intention to ambush them.

Detective Santiago and his partner had just pulled into the parking lot as the man exited the building and opened fire on them without warning. Detective Santiago was struck in the head before he was able to exit from the patrol car's passenger seat.

Other responding officers returned fire and killed the subject.

Detective Santiago had graduated from the academy only six months prior to the incident. He was survived by his mother and stepfather.
Rest in Peace Bro…We Got 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 Terrorist Tradecraft Conundrum, August 21, 2014

By Scott Stewart

In last week's Security Weekly, I discussed how the lack of terrorist tradecraft skills has long plagued the jihadist movement. The al Qaeda core has had the most success projecting terrorist power transnationally, but even its operatives have often practiced sloppy terrorist tradecraft. Tradecraft mistakes by al Qaeda operatives have led to plots being detected or botched, including the millennium bomb plots and Operation Bojinka. Sloppy tradecraft also jeopardized successful attacks such as the 1993 World Trade Center Bombing and the 9/11 attacks.

This amateurish level of tradecraft was sufficient in an era such as the early 1990s, when few people were aware of the threat posed by the jihadist movement and few resources were dedicated to countering the threat. However, in the wake of 9/11 the environment became far more hostile to jihadist plotters, and as the focus of every intelligence and law enforcement agency became firmly fixed on the jihadist threat, terrorist operatives' ability to operate transnationally was severely diminished. That is the reason the threat of a spectacular follow-up attack to 9/11 never materialized.

Terrorist threats must be assessed considering two elements: intent and capability. Al Qaeda and other jihadist groups clearly have the intent to attack the U.S. homeland, something that is evident in their rhetoric and their repeated attempts to strike. But what these jihadist groups lack is the capability to fulfill their intent. They do not possess the terrorist tradecraft necessary to bypass the security measures instituted in the wake of the 9/11 attacks or the subsequent enhancements to those measures. Tradecraft is also not quickly or easily learned, and acquiring it through practical experience is difficult for a movement that often uses suicide operatives. These constraints have resulted in terrorist operatives with limited tradecraft capabilities.

Response to Limited Capability

The frustration that jihadists have experienced because of their inability to attack the United States through traditional forms of terrorism -- most notably by sending terrorist operatives to the United States to conduct attacks -- has prompted them to explore alternate approaches. One such strategy has been to attack U.S. aircraft from overseas, circumventing the need to operate inside the United States. This was really a re-emergence of an old tactic, which had previously been employed by Palestinian terrorist groups in various attacks including Pan Am 830, by the Libyans in Pan Am 103 and al Qaeda in the aborted Operation Bojinka (though these past plots did not involve the more recent al Qaeda innovation of suicide operatives.) Since 9/11, we have seen many other plots to attack U.S. aircraft with devices originating from abroad such as the shoe bomb plot, the liquid bomb plot, two underwear bomb plots and the printer bomb plot.

In addition to attempting to directly conduct terrorist attacks themselves, militant ideologues began using their influence to radicalize grassroots jihadists already living in the United States and the West, encouraging those radicalized individuals to conduct terrorist attacks where they live. Initially, this tactic seemed to be successful, producing the Little Rock and Ft. Hood shootings in the United States. Indeed, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula founded their English-language Inspire Magazine in the wake of these two attacks to radicalize grassroots jihadists and to instruct them how to conduct simple attacks. A year later, the al Qaeda core group embraced this approach, releasing a video by Adam Gadahn that encouraged grassroots jihadists to conduct simple attacks where they live.

The Conundrum

Gadahn and al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula ideologue Anwar al-Awlaki urged grassroots jihadists to conduct "simple attacks" using knives, firearms or simple explosive devices. "Build a bomb in the kitchen of your mom" and use them against soft targets, they said. Simple attacks are within the reach of untrained grassroots jihadists. They are also very well suited to the skillsets of jihadists who have received basic military training in places like Syria and Iraq. In other words, they are people who know how to handle firearms and who understand the basics of tactical shooting but lack training in sophisticated terrorist tradecraft.

The poor terrorist tradecraft most jihadists possess and the type of training most receive in places such as Iraq, Syria and Yemen have meant that when jihadists have attempted to plan and conduct spectacular bombings, they have almost always been botched or uncovered by the authorities. An example of a botched attack is the May 2010 Times Square attack, in which Faisal Shahzad was able to obtain the materials required to build a car bomb but was unable to properly assemble a functional improvised explosive device. An example of a plot that was uncovered and thwarted by the authorities is the September 2009 plot to bomb the New York subway system that involved Najibullah Zazi.

In 2010, considering the training and capability of most jihadist militant actors and the new emphasis on simple attacks, I concluded we were about to see a shift in jihadist terrorist tactics away from failed bombings and toward armed assaults. However, the attempt by jihadist ideologues to change the mentality of jihadist operatives has been largely unsuccessful, and it did not produce the volume of expected attacks. We have seen a few simple attacks conducted by such people, including shootings in Frankfurt, Germany, in March 2011; in Toulouse, France, in April 2012; and in Brussels, Belgium, in June 2014. The April 2013 Boston Marathon bombing is a case of unsophisticated jihadists using the bomb-making instructions in Inspire Magazine to conduct a simple attack.

Despite the intensive media coverage and hysteria caused by a simple attack like the Boston Marathon bombing, we have yet to see a large percentage of the grassroots jihadist militant world adopt the "simple attack" concept. For every successful simple attack we have seen, there have been multiple would-be militants such as Terry Lowen, Adel Daoud and Quazi Nafis who have aspired to attacks beyond their capabilities and failed.

This is partly because, apparently, most jihadists prefer to fight on the battlefield against foes like the Syrian military rather than attack civilian soft targets. But beyond the jihadist preference to travel to fight rather than to conduct attacks at home, there is another conundrum that puzzles me. Although most jihadists believe that it is permissible to give one's life during an attack, they continue to aspire to spectacular attacks that are beyond their capabilities and that have a very high chance of failure rather than to simple attacks that are certain to succeed. I am not a psychologist, but I speculate that perhaps there is something in the psychological makeup of people drawn to the ideology of jihadism that causes them to gravitate toward the spectacular rather than the obtainable. Perhaps they also believe that in order to justify their suicide, the attack must be spectacular.

I am not the only one puzzled by this tendency. It also appears to confound the al Qaeda ideologues who do not see the "harvest" of attacks they anticipated. Such people are used to seeing their directives carried out on the battlefield, and they surely must be perplexed that grassroots jihadists continue to botch attacks or walk into sting operations rather than conduct simple attacks within their capabilities.

But it does appear that al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is attempting to adapt to the situation. In response to the ambition of grassroots jihadists, the group has attempted to equip them to conduct the types of spectacular attacks they aspire to. In the 12th edition of Inspire Magazine, published in March 2014, the Open Source Jihad section was titled "Car Bombs Inside America" and contained instructions for building a vehicle bomb. The group republished the section Aug. 16 along with some other previously published material (including the pressure cooker bomb plans used in the Boston Marathon bombing) in a publication entitled "Palestine Betrayal of the Guilty Conscience."

So far, we have not seen any attacks, attempted attacks or thwarted plots containing these vehicle bomb instructions. Still, the instructional material is out there, and given the number of past plots in which individuals attempted to follow the magazine's pipe bomb and pressure cooker bomb instructions, it may only be a matter of time before we see someone attempt to build and deploy a car bomb using these plans. In the meantime, the directions contained in "Car Bombs Inside America" have given intelligence and law enforcement officers new indicators of bomb making activity to look for.


Officer Down

Patrolman Jeffrey Brady Westerfield
Gary Indiana Police Department
End of Watch: Sunday, July 6, 2014
Bio & Incident Details
Age: 47
Tour: 19 years

Patrolman Jeffery Westerfield was shot and killed from ambush as he sat in his patrol car in the 2600 block of Van Buren Street.

A citizen called 911 at 5:50 am after discovering Patrolman Westerfield suffering from gunshot wounds in his patrol car, with multiple shell casing found outside of the vehicle. The exact circumstances of his death are unknown. He had responded to the same area on a call earlier in the night.

Three subjects were taken into custody in connection with Patrolman Westerfield's murder the following day.

Patrolman Westerfield had served with the Gary Police Department for 19 years. He is survived by his four daughters and fiancee. Patrolman Westerfield was killed on his 47th Birthday.
Rest in Peace Bro…We Got 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. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Geopolitical Weekly: Europe's Malaise: The New Normal?, August 19, 2014

By George Friedman

Russia and Ukraine continue to confront each other along their border. Iraq has splintered, leading to unabated internal warfare. And the situation in Gaza remains dire. These events should be enough to constitute the sum total of our global crises, but they're not. On top of everything, the German economy contracted by 0.2 percent last quarter. Though many will dismiss this contraction outright, the fact that the world's fourth-largest economy (and Europe's largest) has shrunk, even by this small amount, is a matter of global significance.

Europe has been mired in an economic crisis for half a decade now. Germany is the economic engine of Europe, and it is expected that it will at some point pull Europe out of its crisis. There have been constant predictions that Europe may finally be turning an economic corner, but if Germany's economy is contracting (Berlin claims it will rebound this year), it is difficult to believe that any corner is being turned. It is becoming increasingly reasonable to believe that rather than an interlude in European prosperity, what we now see is actually the new normal. The key point is not that Germany's economy has contracted by a trivial amount. The point is that it has come time to raise the possibility that it could be a very long time before Europe returns to its pre-2008 prosperity and to consider what this means.

Faltering Europe

The German economy contracted despite indications that there would be zero economic growth. But the rest of Europe is faltering, too. France had zero growth. Italy declined by 0.2 percent. The only large European economy that grew was the United Kingdom, the country most skeptical of the value of EU membership. Excluding Ireland, which grew at a now-robust rate of 2.5 percent, no EU economy grew more than 1 percent. Together, the European Union scarcely grew at all.

Obviously, growth rate is not the full measure of an economy, and statistics don't always paint the full picture. Growth doesn't measure social reality, and therefore it is important to look at unemployment. And though Europe is fairly stagnant, the unemployment situation is truly disturbing. Spain and Greece both have around 25 percent unemployment, the level the United States reached during the Great Depression. While that's stunning, 15 of the 28 EU members have unemployment rates of more than 10 percent; most have maintained that high rate now for several years. More alarming, these rates are not falling.

Half of all EU residents live in four countries: Germany, France, the United Kingdom and Italy. The average growth rate for these countries is about 1.25 percent. Excluding the United Kingdom, their economies contracted by 0.1 percent. The unemployment rate in the four countries averages 8.5 percent. But if we drop the United Kingdom, the average is 9.2 percent. Removing Britain from the equation is not arbitrary: It is the only one of the four that is not part of the eurozone, and it is the country most likely to drop out of the European Union. The others aren't going anywhere. Perhaps the United Kingdom isn't either, but that remains to be seen. Germany, France and Italy, by population if nothing else, are the core of the European Union. They are not growing, and unemployment is high. Therefore, Europe as a whole is not growing at all, and unemployment is high.

Five to six years after the global financial crisis, persistent and widespread numbers like this can no longer be considered cyclical, particularly because Germany is running out of gas. It is interesting to consider how Germany has arrived at this point. Exports continue to grow, including exports to the rest of Europe. (That is one reason it has been so difficult for the rest of Europe to recover: Having lost the ability to control access to their markets, other European countries are unable to compete with German exports. It may be free trade, it may even be fair trade, but it is also a trade pattern that fixes failure in place.) Employment remains strong. The German financial system is viable. Yet consumer and corporate confidence is declining. As we look at the situation Germany is facing, confidence should be decreasing. And that in turn becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy: German employment has been supported by exports, but there is a limited appetite for Germany's exports amid Europe's long-term weakness and a world doing better but still not well enough to float the German economy.

One of the things that should concern Germans is the banking system. It has been the obsession of the European financial elite, at the cost of massive unemployment, and there is the belief, validated by stress tests, that the financial system is sound. For me, there has been an ongoing mystery about Europe: How could it have such high unemployment rates and not suffer a consumer debt crisis? The climbing rate of unemployment should be hitting banks with defaulted mortgages and unpaid credit card debt. Given the fragility of the European financial system in the past, it seems reasonable that there would be heavy pressure caused by consumer debt.

The known nonperforming debt situation is sufficiently concerning. Four countries have nonperforming loan rates surpassing 20 percent. Six have rates between 10 and 20 percent, including Italy's, which stands at 15.1 percent. The overall EU rate is 7.3 percent. Obviously, the situation in Italy is the most dangerous, but there is the question of whether these numbers capture the entire problem. Spain, with 24 percent unemployment, is reporting only an 8.2 percent nonperforming loan rate. Portugal, with lower unemployment rates, has an 11 percent nonperforming loan rate. France (with more than 10 percent unemployment) is reporting only a 4.3 percent nonperforming loan rate. The devil is in the details, and there may be an explanation for these anomalies. But the definition for a nonperforming loan has been flexible in Europe and other places before, and the simple question remains: How can such long-term high unemployment rates not produce significant problems in consumer debt?

It is simply unclear how Europe untangles this Gordian knot. Considering the length of Europe's economic malaise, a strong argument would be required to say this is a passing phase. Given Europe's unemployment, Germany's need to export to the rest of Europe, and persistent weak growth rates now spreading to Germany, it is simply not obvious what force will reverse this process. Inertia is pointing to a continuation of the current pattern. It is hard to see anything that will help Europe recover its vibrancy.

A Political Question

The question that follows is political. If the economic premise of the European Union -- prosperity -- is cast into doubt, then what holds Europe together? This is particularly relevant as the fault line between Russia and the European Peninsula comes alive and as Europe is measuredly asserting itself in Ukraine. Poland's and Romania's interest in Ukraine is clear. Spain's interest is less obvious. The idea of pursuing common goals to preserve EU prosperity doesn't work when the bloc is economically crippled and when signs of divergence are already evident. These include British threats to withdraw from the European Union and the loss of common interests that united the countries when prosperous.

One of the most important signs of divergence is the emergence of anti-establishment and Euroskeptical parties, which did remarkably well in recent European Parliament elections. This political shift has been dismissed by many as merely the result of a protest vote rather than a harbinger of the future. In my view, protest votes of this breadth and magnitude are significant in and of themselves. They remind us that the most dangerous source of social unrest is not the young and unemployed but rather middle-aged men and women who have suffered unemployment and lost their investments. They live in a world of shattered hopes, convinced that others engineered their misfortune. The young throw rocks and then go home. The middle-aged and middle class, having lost their dreams with no hope of recovery, are at the heart of fascism and are the real threat posed by the new European reality.

Russia is important, and so is radical Islam. But the fate of Europe is a vital force that will shape the world. Russian power grows as Europe fragments. Europe has its own internal confrontation with Islam. With long-term sclerosis of the economy and persistent unemployment, how do the Europeans deal with the immigrants among them? How does the Continent accept open borders? The implications are profound, and it is time to consider that a Europe without growth, with high unemployment and with no way out might be the reality for a much longer time than anyone expected.

Europe's Malaise: The New Normal? is republished with permission of Stratfor.

Now is not the time for peace! I would take that as a threat.

As the attention of the country has been focused in that last week to Ferguson MO, a part of the media template is the rioters are composed of locals rising against years of police oppression. Now anything that draws in The Justice Brothers you know they will ship in "rent-a-mobs". Here is a review of their current operations, a business I think I'll call Terrorism Tourism

'This is not the time for peace.' Chicago protester who traveled to Ferguson

On one corner of a battered stretch of West Florissant Avenue, the epicenter of ongoing protests, young men pull dark scarves up over their mouths and lob molotov cocktails at police from behind makeshift barricades built of bricks and wood planks. They call the gasoline-filled bottles "poor man's bombs."
Gee, a Molotov Cocktail to throw at police, citizens and property. Sounds like the descendants of Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights Movement that marched on Washington. .

The young men yell expletives and, with a rebel's bravado, speak about securing justice for Michael Brown, the black teen fatally shot Aug. 9 by a white police officer, "by any means necessary."
Where have we heard that quote before?

They are known here as "the militants" — a faction inhabiting the hard-core end of a spectrum that includes online organizers and opportunistic looters — and their numbers have been growing with the severity of their tactics since the shooting.... 
...But the demonstrators are as diverse as their grievances — and in their methods of addressing them.

Some of the men are from the area -- Ferguson or surrounding towns also defined in part by the gulf separating the mostly white law enforcement agencies from a mistrusting African-American public. Many others -- it is hard to quantify the percentage -- have arrived by bus and by car from Chicago, Detroit, Brooklyn and elsewhere.

They will not give their names. But their leaders say they are ready to fight, some with guns in their hands.

"This is not the time for no peace," said one man, a 27-year-old who made the trip here from Chicago. 
He spoke after a small group of fellow militants held a meeting behind a looted store, sketching out ambitions for the days ahead.

"We are jobless men, and this is our job now -- getting justice," he said. "If that means violence, that's OK by me. They've been doing this to us for years."...
In spite of the double negative, I take it the terrorism tourists mean they will continue with their violent means. I do find his statement of employment interesting, "We are jobless men, and this is our job now-getting justice...They've been doing this for years." OK, your twenty seven, "jobless", but you seem to have the means to travel hundreds of miles and coordinate attacks on civil authorities and civilians while robbing and destroying other people's property. I have to wonder what type of "job" are you qualified for? The term "gang banger"comes to mind.

There is a group of "peaceful protesters" that congregates around the QuikTrip, looted and burned out during the first night of protest. Another gathers near the Ferguson police station. A third more scattered faction organizes, advertises and rallies demonstrators on Twitter, specifically what members of the faction call "black Twitter." "People have been tweeting, 'We are ready to die tonight,' " said Mary Pat Hector, a national youth organizer with the Rev. Al Sharpton's national action network. "It is a trending topic."...
Wait, the supposed reverend Sharpton has followers that are "...ready to die tonight ." Sounds like an invitation to more violence. And Al will be happy. It justified his salary at MSNBC and other revenue sources.

Then there are the looters, leaderless men who under cover of nightly political protest target liquor stores, beauty-supply shops and other businesses with inventories easy to sell and in high demand.

Ferguson police officials would not quantify how many looters have been arrested since the Brown shooting but presented a Washington Post reporter with a stack of roughly 50 arrest reports. While some of those arrested for stealing are from Ferguson, a large number have addresses listed in Illinois or in Texas.

"It's like looting tourism," an officer commented as he showed the reports. He asked not to be named. "It's like they are spending their gas money to come down here and steal."
The officer beat this cop to the term "looting tourism". You got me!

DeAndre Smith, fresh from looting the QuikTrip on a recent night, told reporters: "I'm proud of us. We deserve this, and this is what's supposed to happen when there's injustice in your community. St. Louis — not going take this anymore."...
This is what Martin Luther King and other great men and women died for. A few generations ago black people wanted to sit at a lunch counter, get educatted and employed. Now we have criminals destroying their neighborhoods and she will be shocked when the store doesn't open up again.

..."This was a chance to vent about the national treatment of black men across the country," said Ronnie Natch, a music producer and leader of the "peaceful protesters."

Natch is 30 years old and has a 10-month-old baby. His wife gives out water and fruit to protesters from their base at the burned out QuikTrip.

"We want to show up at the front door every day and say, through words, that this shooting is not going to be swept under the rug," Natch said. "There have just been too many deaths."

..."We can get the same message out without the violence," he said.
No argument Natch, but you're looking at the wrong people. Black men murdered in this country are overwhelming murdered by other black men. It's called inner city gang violence. And nobody sees anything because "Snitches get stitches" or "Snitches. A dying breed." Sorry this lie gives you some justification for committing crimes. BTY Natch, where did you get the "water and fruit"? Was it stolen from the looted stores?

How about this Natch, why don't you get a job, go to work every day, support you family, raise your children, make enough money so you can move out of Da Hood and encourage others to do the same. It really makes you feel better about life when you don't have to worry about your neighbors

Among those who have arrived are self-described young activists, some of whom participated in the Occupy movement. Many of them are white and have been showing protesters how to assemble homemade gas masks — essentially surgical masks fortified with duct tape... 
But the peaceful protesters acknowledge they are probably in the minority as the crowd begins to swell on Ferguson's streets after nightfall.

Dennis Brown, a community activist, described St. Louis and suburbs such as this one as a pot ready to boil over. He said social media has become, in ways similar to its use in recent popular uprisings in the Arab world, an essential organizing tool.

Brown said young people, including many of the "militants," are organized on social media.

"These young people aren't dumb," said Brown, 46. "They are organized. They are smart. They are like computer kings."...
I am taking a class on Homeland Security and one of the recent post I put up was on how criminals and militants use social media to coordinate actions across towns, states or nations. I don't think law enforcement, or the law in general has caught up to technology in this regard. But one thing is certain, the crime and terrorist activity in Missouri is not simply a local event. It would be nice to see if the country's notional "Chief Law Enforcement Officer" would direct the resources of the Justice Department to restore order and then capture and prosecute the offenders. I know that won't happen.

Islamic State setting up its government where it can

While Islamic State is still fighting, it is trying to integrate itself into their conquered lands.

From Electricity to Sewage, U.S. Intelligence Says the Islamic State Is Fast Learning How to Run a Country

The Obama administration's escalating air war against the Islamic State is running up against a dispiriting new reality: The militants are becoming as good at governing territory as they are at conquering it, making it considerably harder to dislodge them from the broad swaths of Syria and Iraq that they now control.

U.S. intelligence officials say the leaders of the Islamic State are adopting methods first pioneered by Hezbollah, the Lebanon-based Shiite militia, and are devoting considerable human and financial resources toward keeping essential services like electricity, water, and sewage functioning in their territory. In some areas, they even operate post offices.

The militants have built new court systems to enforce their harsh interpretation of sharia law, which punishes thieves by amputating their hands and has sentenced numerous Christians and other religious minorities to death because of their beliefs, the officials added.

At the same time, the Islamic State has generally allowed the local bureaucrats in charge of hospitals, law enforcement, trash pickup, and other municipal services to stay in their jobs, according to intelligence officials. In some areas, sitting mayors and other top local officeholders are keeping their posts.

Taken together, the moves highlight the fact that the Islamic State, already the best-armed and best-funded terror group in the world, is quickly adapting to the challenges of ruling and governing. That, in turn, dramatically reduces the chances that the extremists will face homegrown opposition in what amounts to the world's newest territory.

"ISIS is the most dangerous terrorist group in the world because they combine the fighting capabilities of al Qaeda with the administrative capabilities of Hezbollah," said David Kilcullen, a counterinsurgency expert who spent several years working as a top aide to Gen. David Petraeus during the height of the Iraq War. "It's clear that they have a state-building agenda and an understanding of the importance of effective governance."

In some areas under their control, the Islamic State is opening hospitals, building new roads, launching bus services, rehabilitating schools (at least for boys), and launching small-business programs designed to juice the local economies. In Syria, where bread is a core staple, the militants focus on managing local wheat mills and bakeries to ensure that supplies remain high enough to feed a population that was in some areas on the edge of starvation.

The group's focus on good governance, at least by militant standards, starts at the top. In his first public comments after conquering Mosul, the Islamic State's self-proclaimed caliph, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, called on "scientists, scholars, preachers, judges, doctors, engineers and people with military and administrative expertise" to help govern the land his group controls. Those weren't just words: Shortly after taking control of Mosul, Baghdadi transferred the Islamic State's hospital administrator for the Syrian city of Raqqa to Mosul to take that same job there, Kilcullen said.

In Raqqa, which has been under Islamic State control for months, traffic police remain on the streets and local citizens pay taxes to the militants, who in turn give them receipts stamped with the group's logo. A local goldsmith told the New York Times that the taxes are far cheaper than the bribes residents had to pay when Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad was in control. "I feel like I am dealing with a respected state, not thugs," the goldsmith said. 
The Islamic State also launched a "hearts-and-minds" campaign of sorts. In one of the more jarring examples, the group held a "fun day" in Mosul where the militants passed out soccer balls and held Quran memorization and recitation contests. The Islamic State, Kilcullen said, "is thinking like a state."
They can run basic government services. Hell, send them to Houston and have them talk to our mayor.

Monday, August 18, 2014

An appeal for help for a wronged single mother.

Earlier this month posted on Shaneen Allen's trouble being being taken to court by a New Jersey prosecutor. Oh, the picture of Ms. Allen shows her race, but I think it should be mentioned that the prosecutor is white. God knows this would be mentioned if the Justice Brothers were taking up her case, but it don't fit the template.

Anyway, last week I went on her Go Get Funding page and donated $25.00. Please, go there and make a donation. Whatever you can give, even a buck helps. This is an abuse of power that should have never come to court. Hopefully this is killed off quickly.

Security Weekly: Examining the Elements of Terrorist Tradecraft, August 14, 2014

By Scott Stewart

On several occasions, I have noted the differences in the training required for fighting on an insurgent battlefield versus the training required to conduct terrorist operations in a hostile environment far away from the organization. Most recently, I mentioned them in a conversation I had with my colleague Paul Floyd. In that video, I remarked that most of the militants traveling to fight in the battlefields of places like Syria and Iraq receive training that is very similar to what Paul and I received in U.S. Army basic training. These jihadist recruits are given physical fitness training and are taught to use small arms like AK-47s, hand grenades and basic anti-tank weapons such as the RPG-7. They also receive some training in small unit tactics and then receive additional on-the-job training as they fight on the battlefield.

However, by and large, these types of basic military skills are not very useful to someone who has been tasked with traveling to a distant country to conduct a terrorist attack. Even the highly advanced light infantry skills Paul developed as a U.S. Army Ranger would not in and of themselves equip him to function as a terrorist operative in a hostile environment. This is because, in many ways, the skillset required to be a successful terrorist operative -- what we refer to as terrorist tradecraft -- is really more akin to that of a clandestine intelligence officer than that of a soldier. It is no coincidence that during the Cold War, Marxist terrorist operatives were trained by agencies such as the KGB and the East German Stasi rather than the Soviet Army or the East German National People's Army.

Let's examine some of the specific tradecraft skills required to be a successful transnational terrorist operative and note how they are different from the skills required to be a guerrilla fighter on a battlefield.

Terrorist Tradecraft Elements

"Tradecraft" is an espionage term that refers to techniques and procedures used in the field during an operation, but the term also implies that effectively practicing these techniques and procedures requires a bit of finesse. This is because tradecraft skills tend to be as much art as they are science. As with any other art, one can be taught the fundamental mechanics of the techniques, but it takes time and practice to hone the skills required to become an effective terrorist operative.

One of the first challenges a transnational terrorist operative faces is traveling to the targeted country without being detected. In past decades, this travel was often facilitated by state sponsors who were able to provide genuine travel documents or excellent-quality counterfeits. For example, genuine Yugoslavian passports for alias identities were widely used by Marxist terrorist operatives during the 1970s and 1980s, and the Stasi and KGB also provided high-quality counterfeit documents.

Al Qaeda's state sponsors -- Hassan al-Turabi in Sudan and the Taliban in Afghanistan -- did not have advanced document procurement or counterfeiting capabilities, and Sudanese and Afghan passports were quite limited in their utility. Because of this, travel has presented a vexing problem for jihadist terrorist operations directed against the West since their beginning. Indeed, using a poorly altered Swedish passport caused bombmaker Ahmed Ajaj to be arrested when he attempted to enter the United States through New York's JFK airport in September 1992. Because of the bombmaking manuals and other items in his possession at the time of his detention, his arrest could have doomed the World Trade Center bombing plot and led to the arrest of his co-traveler, bombmaker Abdel Basit Mahmoud Abel Karim. It was only due to critical errors by U.S. government investigators that he was permitted to enter the United States on an Iraqi passport using the alias Ramzi Yousef and build his bomb. Amateurish document fraud mistakes also very nearly derailed the 9/11 attacks.

Post-9/11 changes to visa issuance and asylum procedures have presented additional challenges to jihadists seeking to send terrorist operatives to the United States and Europe. It is one of the reasons jihadist groups have used people with authentic travel documents to attempt attacks from overseas, like would-be shoe bomber Richard Reid and failed underwear bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. This challenge is multiplied when several individuals travel together, a likely explanation for why Reid and Abdulmutallab were dispatched as individual one-off attacks and not as part of a wave of similar attacks like Abel Karim and his uncle Khalid Sheikh Mohammed had envisioned for Operation Bojinka.

Once terrorist operatives are able to travel to the targeted country, they must then conduct their operations in a clandestine manner that will not attract the attention of authorities. If the operation is going to be a major one that requires the operatives to spend time in the targeted country and acquire resources, vehicles and safe houses, the operative must have some way of receiving money to pay for these operational expenses. Such costs are obviously increased if the operation requires a team of individuals. Furthermore, communications between the operative(s) and the group's leadership must be conducted in a secure manner, as must the communication between members of the cell in a multiple man operation.

Once the terrorist operative or attack cell is situated and desires to begin operations connected to the attack, the operative or cell must then perform the various steps of the terrorist attack cycle without drawing the attention of the authorities. This means that the surveillance they will be required to conduct during the target selection and planning phases of the attack cycle must be executed without detection. As we have previously noted, this surveillance phase poses a significant vulnerability to terrorist planners.

To an outside observer, surveillance may appear to be a very simple task, but it is actually very difficult to conduct thorough surveillance without being detected. It requires extensive training and practice, yet most individuals involved in terrorist planning simply do not devote the time necessary to master the art of surveillance. Because of this, they display terrible technique, use sloppy procedures and generally lack finesse in conducting surveillance.

Acquiring weapons clandestinely is another difficult task of the terrorist attack cycle. Many plots have been disrupted when planners attempted to obtain weapons, explosives or the components required to make explosive devices. While people residing in a community may know where to go and who to talk to in order to obtain weapons illegally, it is a big challenge for an outsider to do so with very little local knowledge and few contacts. Developing the contacts needed to obtain weapons or chemicals without being detected takes considerable tact and discernment or a fairly sophisticated local network.

But even if the plotter is able to obtain the chemicals required to construct explosives, building an improvised explosive device in a war zone is much different than doing so in a clandestine manner while operating in a hostile environment.

First of all, in a combat zone, insurgent bomb makers often have ready access to large quantities of military-grade high explosives. These explosives are captured on the battlefield, provided by friendly governments or even recovered from unexploded ordnance. Quite often bomb makers will chain together rocket warheads, artillery shells or mortar rounds as the main charge for their device. They are also frequently able to use military grade or commercial detonators, time fuse, detonation cord and activation devices to construct the firing chains for their bombs.

Such purpose-made explosive components are normally inaccessible to terrorist bombmakers, who are frequently forced to fabricate many if not most of the components for improvised explosive devices -- things including detonators, timers and improvised explosive mixtures such as triacetone triperoxide. In the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, even though bombmaker Abel Karim used a chemical engineer named Nidal Ayyad to order the precursor chemicals he needed to construct that device, he still had to manufacture lead azide for his detonators and nitroglycerin for his booster charges from scratch, as well as mix the urea fertilizer and nitric acid required for the urea nitrate main charge. In another example, Japanese Red Army bombmaker Yu Kikumura traveled throughout a significant portion of the United States as he patiently acquired the components needed to construct the fire extinguisher bombs found in his possession at the time of his arrest in New Jersey in 1988.

The Exceptional Individual

When we examine all of the tradecraft elements required to conduct a spectacular terrorist attack -- such as the ability to travel internationally, to operate in a clandestine manner, to conduct surveillance without detection, and to acquire weapons and build bombs -- it becomes readily obvious how they are different from the skills taught in basic military training. These skills cannot be picked up merely from reading articles on the Internet; they are arts that require practice.

It also becomes easy to see that it is a very rare individual who possesses these capabilities. Past examples of successful transnational terrorist operatives -- including Ilich Ramirez Sanchez (also known as Carlos the Jakal), Ali Hassan Salameh, Yu Kikumura, Abu Ibrahim and jihadists like Abel Karim and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed -- have been sophisticated, well-educated individuals who were comfortable traveling internationally and mingling with other educated people. Ramirez Sanchez, Salameh, Kikumura and Ibrahim received sophisticated training in terrorist tradecraft from intelligence agencies in camps in places like Lebanon, Iraq and Yemen. Abel Karim and Sheikh Mohammed received terrorist tradecraft training in al Qaeda camps in Afghanistan.

Although all of the various regional jihadist groups have their own training camps where they teach basic military training, most of these groups -- including al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and the Islamic State -- have not demonstrated that they possess operatives with the type of sophisticated terrorist tradecraft we are discussing. Therefore it is not clear that they can teach those skills to others. These groups have shown the ability to conduct terrorist attacks and insurgent operations in their core areas of operation, but they have struggled to project that capability outside of those areas. Even al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which has attempted several transnational attacks, has done so by dispatching operatives equipped with suicide devices from its core area rather than sending operatives to the target country to plan and execute an attack there.

With the number of educated foreign operatives traveling to join jihadist organizations in places like Syria and Yemen, there are very likely some sophisticated and well-educated people in the mix who have the capability to travel to the West. What remains to be seen is if these organizations have the capability to equip their operatives with the tradecraft skills required to conduct complex, major terrorist attacks.