Friday, December 30, 2022
Happy New Year..Same Old Lang Syne
Tuesday, December 27, 2022
Live-streaming the cops.
I've been a cop for almost a quarter century, and I've never had an issue with someone using their camera phone on me, as long as it's from a safe distance. I was once conducting a DWI investigation and a friend of the driver got up close and said, "I'm recording this..." I instructed her to get on the sidewalk and record all she wants. She refused at first and after explaining she had ten seconds to move her ass until I arrested her for Walking in street where sidewalk provided (Yes, that is a city ordinance), she finally backed down.
Now I must say this is an interesting angle to this concept. You're not recording a police encounter, you are live broadcasting it. And that may invite others to try to interfere.
Fourth circuit judge and lawyer face off in legal smackdown over live streaming traffic stops
Argument pits First Amendment rights against Fourth Amendment reasonableness
The traffic stop Consider the real dangers of live streaming to officer safety. Be able to articulate them.
Appellate oral arguments are normally governed by protocol and decorum. A dustup last month in the Fourth Circuit was a notable exception. Before checking out what the brouhaha was about, let’s look at the facts that led to it.
Dijon Sharpe was a passenger in a car properly stopped for a traffic violation by Winterville (North Carolina) Police Department Officers Helms and Ellis. Sharpe began live-streaming the encounter with Facebook Live to his Facebook account. Helms asked Sharpe if he was doing Facebook Live and Sharpe said he was. Helms reached inside the car for Sharpe’s phone, pulling on his seat belt and shirt. Helms explained Sharpe couldn’t do Facebook Live “because that’s an officer safety issue.”
However, Helms didn’t take Sharpe’s phone. Sharpe continued to live stream and message with people watching. Later, Ellis told Sharpe he was free to record the police, adding that the police recorded also, but he wouldn’t be allowed to live stream because that let everyone who followed him online know where the encounter was occurring and there might be just one officer on scene. Ellis said if Sharpe tried to Facebook Live in the future, his phone would be taken, and he would be arrested.
Sharpe filed a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 lawsuit alleging his First Amendment rights were violated...
In two different orders, the U.S. District Court granted summary judgment to the officers, department and town based on the pleadings. The court concluded no circuit had previously found a passenger had a right to live stream a traffic stop. Additionally, the Fourth Circuit had not even decided a passenger had a right to record, let alone live stream a stop.
Sharpe appealed to a 3-judge panel of the Fourth Circuit. In briefing and oral argument, his attorney said other circuits’ decisions that found a right to record traffic stops supported finding a right to live stream them. He contended a generalized statement regarding officer safety did not override Sharpe’s First Amendment right. Live streaming served a strong public and governmental interest in deterring police misconduct. It would also keep officers safer by deterring conduct against them which would be captured on video.
Sharpe’s First Amendment crusade drew significant attention from civil liberties and press advocates. Seven amicus briefs were filed in support of his claims.
Counsel for the officers, the department and the town, in briefing and at oral argument, pointed out the lack of any case that held there was a right to live stream traffic stops. Even within the circuits that found a right to record police, none addressed the right of a passenger in a traffic stop to record.
Counsel also argued that live streaming presented additional risks to officers by alerting untold viewers in present time to the location of the stop thereby creating the potential for a crowd control operation. The Supreme Court had long recognized the inherent dangers of traffic stops for officers and had upheld reasonable time, place and manner restrictions on driver and passenger conduct for purposes of officer safety.
With the advent of flash mobs, etc, by way of instant video communications, this is an issue I'd never thought of. But it makes sense, I've had incidents on the street where things got tense quickly and people who have no dealing with the people being handled by the cops show up. All of a sudden two cops and four people in a car become two cops, four people in a car, and 20-30 people on the sidewalk.
But it was Judge Paul Neimeyer that began a crusade to elevate officer safety to a Fourth Amendment right of police. Less than a minute into Sharpe’s argument, he began interrupting and asking, “What rights does an officer have to maintain control of the circumstances during a traffic stop?”
To answer the question, the officer has no right to maintain control. He has the legal authority granted to him by the state to control a crime scene. Call me a bit particular about that point, but rights do not come because of a badge, but you are "endowed by your Creator," with them.
That being said, the officer had the authority and duty to maintain control of a potentially hostile scene, with any legal means. If there is an issue with the auto driver/passengers, get back up. If people living in the area show up and may cause a problem, get more back up. If the natives are getting restless, call for backup. Twenty civilians see ten cops back up the original two, they will likely get calmer. Showing the flag if you will.
I have no doubt this will be heading to the Supreme Court in the future. Something like this can easily be split decisions by two district courts (i.e., the 9th Circus in California and the 5th Circuit in Louisiana). Once that happens, SCOTUS almost immediately takes the case to settle the matter. I'll keep an eye on this in the future.
Monday, December 26, 2022
We only have some many arrows in our quiver
While I'm generally in favor of our support of the Ukrainians, there is an issue. There are only so many weapons in our arsenal.
We're pushing thousands of anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles out that we are depleting our stockpile. And these are items you don't just pick up at the hardware store. They have to be ordered, the assembly line must be re-established, etc. More from this article
Raytheon CEO Outlines Severe Depletion of Javelin and Stinger Stockpiles amid Ukraine Aid Push
...Hayes spoke about U.S. defense industrial production during a panel on Ukraine at the Reagan National Defense Forum, a high-profile defense-industry confab that attracts a bipartisan congressional delegation, defense contractors, and top Pentagon officials every year.
Although Raytheon is producing 400 Javelins per month with Lockheed Martin as a manufacturing partner, he said, the ongoing fighting in Ukraine has burned through existing weapons stocks.
“The problem is we have consumed so much supply in the first ten months of the war,” he said. “We’ve essentially used up 13 years’ worth of Stinger production and five years’ worth of Javelin production.”
“So the question is, how are we going to resupply, restock inventories,” Hayes added. Raytheon produced Stingers starting in 1977, but the Pentagon had not bought a new Stinger system since 2004, Hayes said in April.
As of May, Washington had sent 5,500 Javelins and 1,400 Stingers to Ukraine. Raytheon won a $624 million contract with the Army that month to backfill U.S. Stinger stocks...
When I served in 1st Battalion 3rd Air Defense Artillery Regiment at Ft Carson CO, we had a dome simulator for our Stinger gunner to practice with. Every year we got less than 10 Vietnam era Redeye missiles (the predatory to the Stinger) to live fire. Granted, this was enough training for most gunners (like simulator time for an airline pilot).
But this shows how easily you can go though your basic load of munitions quickly. And unlike fuel, oil, or small arms ammunition, missiles like this cannot be purchased off the shelf. We need a larger supply to draw upon with the rise of Russia, China and Iran. Not just for us, but our allies. Example one, Ukraine. Example two, Taiwan.
Excuse me, but how is this a federal issue?
A few years ago a lesser-known NASCAR driver named Bubba Wallace found a garage door rope with the end tied into the shape of a hangman’s noose. And this became the latest cause celeb, proof of American racism (including anyone who had never watched NASCAR), in spite of the Mr. Wallace’s relative success and wealth in NASCAR.
So, the FBI sent in, ready, 15 agents to investigate the latest uprising of the KKK. Fifteen agents. Good lord, they didn’t put that manpower to look into the Hunter Biden laptop showing our current POTUS was taking bribes. All that money, manpower, and excitement to learn it was not the only one tied like that, and it had been so for months before anyone knew Wallace would use that garage. In other words, it was much ado about nothing.
Not to be outdone, we now have federal authorities investigating a school library in Texas for LGBTQABCDEFG books.
A Texas superintendent ordered librarians to remove LGBTQ-themed books. Now the federal government is investigating.
The Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights has opened what appears to be the first-of-its-kind investigation into the Granbury Independent School District after it banned school library books dealing with sexuality and gender.
First question, why does the US Department of Education have an Office for Civil Rights? I looked this up:
The mission of the Office for Civil Rights is to ensure equal access to education and to promote educational excellence throughout the nation through vigorous enforcement of civil rights…
The Office for Civil Rights enforces several Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance from the Department of Education. Discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin is prohibited by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; sex discrimination is prohibited by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972; discrimination on the basis of disability is prohibited by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; and age discrimination is prohibited by the Age Discrimination Act of 1975...
Forgive me, but doesn’t the US government have a Department of Justice already? Isn’t its job to enforce the federal laws of this nation? Doesn’t this include the civil rights laws of the federal government? Not sure which is a bigger waste, this or the Department of Education’s Office of the Inspector General?
The U.S. Education Department’s civil rights enforcement arm has launched an investigation into a North Texas school district whose superintendent was secretly recorded ordering librarians to remove LGBTQ-themed library books.
Education and legal experts say the federal probe of the Granbury Independent School District — which stemmed from a complaint by the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas and reporting by NBC News, ProPublica and The Texas Tribune — appears to be the first such investigation explicitly tied to the nationwide movement to ban school library books dealing with sexuality and gender…
“…I acknowledge that there are men that think they’re women and there are women that think they’re men,” Glenn told librarians in January, according to a leaked recording of the meeting obtained, verified and published exclusively by the news outlets. “I don’t have any issues with what people want to believe, but there’s no place for it in our libraries.”
And they don’t. At least not in elementary school libraries. I can see this being appropriate for high school libraries, and maybe junior high, but not for elementary schools. Now the article is does not make clear if this was all school libraries, or just a particular grade level.
But more to the point, this is not a federal issue. The libraries are paid for by the taxpayers (particularly the property owners through their taxes), and if they want to have a say in how their schools are operated, that is their business.
More to the point, nothing is being banned. From the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the definition of banned:
: to prohibit especially by legal means
Is smoking banned in all public buildings?
also : to prohibit the use, performance, or distribution of
ban a book
ban a pesticide
“By legal means?" This was administrative, not legal, so no. Is the “use, performance, or distribution” of these books prohibited? Not at all. You can go to your local bookstore and buy them, or you can get on Amazon.com and order them. If little Jane or Johnny want to read them at school on their lunch break, no one is stopping the kid. But a library, public or private, is not required to provide them. Any library has limits to what it can purchase
Last week I published on the American Free News Network an article on the Congress passing a ridiculous bill funding “de-escalation” training for local law enforcement. It gave an average of $4,000 a year per agency for training most agencies are doing to one degree or another. A point is federal money always comes with strings attached. The bigger point is Democrats want to federalize local law enforcement.
Now we see another example of the federal government trying to stick it’s nose into a local issue. If the parents and taxpayers of the Granbury Independent School District want to control what books are available to their children at their schools, that is, get this, their business. Not the business of a bureaucrat in a completely worthless agency in the District of Columbia. Hopefully this school board tells the feds and ACLU (six of one, half dozen of the other) where they can stick this complaint. Maybe Mitch McConnell can look at deleting this Civil Rights division of the Department of Education as a “priority” of the Republicans in the senate.
Saturday, December 24, 2022
A Holy Night...
Thursday, December 22, 2022
A look at the funeral of one America's greatest warriors
I remember one of the scenes of the movie, where he almost gets killed by an ox cart. His actual cause of death was almost as unbelievable, especially for a man well described as, "A pure warrior...what a magnificent anachronism."
Texas law and Texas K9 killers...
Jury finds man who killed BCSO K-9 Chucky guilty on all charges
Judge will sentence Matthew Mireles in February
SAN ANTONIO – After six days of trial, a jury on Thursday found the man accused of killing a Bexar County Sheriff’s Office K-9 guilty.
Matthew Mireles was facing one count of interfering with a police service animal, one count of evading arrest, and eight counts of aggravated assault of a public servant...
...The charges stem from a chase in January 2019 that started in Karnes County. Police tried to pull him over on a routine traffic stop, but Mireles led officers on a pursuit throughout Karnes County for about 30 minutes before moving into Bexar County.
Mireles fired several shots at the officers who were chasing him.
The chase ended in the area of Loop 1604 and Highway 151, where Mireles got out of his truck, leaving it in reverse.
Deputies would eventually deploy K-9 Chucky, a 5-year-old Belgian Malinois, to try to subdue him. Chucky was able to bite Mireles before Mireles fired several shots at the dog, killing him.
A judge is expected to sentence him in February. Because Mireles had previously been convicted, his sentence could be enhanced and he faces anywhere between 25 years to life in prison.
Gotta love the name of the K9, Chucky. Brings back memories of 1980s movie nights. Hopefully the turd never sees the outside of a prison cell.
RIP Chucky. Till our next Roll Call at the Rainbow Bridge.
Wednesday, December 21, 2022
A look at an interesting issue with carrying concealed.
I've been carrying a weapon almost constantly for a quarter century. Part of the job, and with the surge in crime recently, I'd rather have and not need, then need and not have. My normal off duty is an Sig P365, in a hip holster with one extra magazine slot. For other occasions I have a shoulder holster with two 15 round magazines. Better have more ammo than not enough.
I found this article recently and it brings out a good point on carrying extra magazines. The reason is not running out of ammo. It's in case you have a jam.
Why You Should Carry More Than One Magazine
When choosing to carry a concealed firearm, gun owners are often faced with a number of decisions…How best to carry? What type of holster makes the most sense for everyday carry (EDC)? One question that is frequently asked at gun stores and during firearms training classes is “Why should I carry more than one magazine?” The answer isn’t as simple as it may seem.
Contrary to what we see in movies or on television, the need for more than one magazine is rarely due to simply running out of ammunition. In fact, according to FBI statistics, on average, in most defensive situations, gun owners only discharge three rounds over three seconds from a distance of three yards. This is known as the “rule of threes.”
The real reason it’s important to carry an extra magazine is because of potential gun stoppages related to a magazine malfunction. No matter what gun you own, pistol magazines have a lifespan and wear out over time. Feed lips and followers can become worn, springs lose their strength, and the magazine itself can get dented or dinged from training. Part of the responsibility of gun ownership involves the regular inspection of your firearm before use. However, unlike a car for example, there’s no check engine light on a magazine to let you know it’s time for maintenance. It will simply stop functioning and in a defensive scenario, there’s no sound worse than the click of the trigger with no bang. Simple checks on your magazine like pushing the follower up and down to ensure it functions, or even checking to see that it’s clear of dirt or carbon build up, will go a long way towards ensuring your pistol functions properly every time.
The primary magazine is the one loaded in your pistol. Primary magazines are typically smaller in size to make concealment easier and to prevent printing. What’s printing? That’s when the outline of your gun visibly displays on your clothing when concealed. A backup magazine can usually be concealed in locations that will not print. Popular EDC gear choices include a belt-mounted magazine pouch or a pocket magazine carrier. It is important to ensure that your backup magazine is secure and located in the same place each time you carry concealed. This will also allow you to carry a magazine with a higher capacity because of the vertical position of the backup magazine, making it easier to conceal and access in a reload situation.
Gun stoppages aren’t necessarily caused by magazines, either. If your pistol isn’t regularly cleaned or maintained, you could have issues such as double feeds or stove pipes. Regularly lubricating your gun and replacing the recoil spring every 3,000 rounds are two key preventative measures that responsible gun owners employ to maintain their firearms...
I will say you can never maintain your weapons too much, but the point about the springs is notable. Never considered the recoil spring, but it makes sense. I did get off my ass a few years back and replace the springs in all of my duty magazines (ten in all) for my duty Sig 229 40 caliber. Great article and excellent points on how to safety carry, and be ready when needed.
Tuesday, December 20, 2022
New York is screwing it's cops, and the public, again.
NYPD, last cops out, turn out the lights.
Back in the bad days of Davis Dennis as mayor, New York had over 2000 murders in a year. That's over six a day. Fortunately, the people in the city had enough, elected a strong mayer who hired a cop as his police commissioner, and the took the shackles off the police. One of the procedures was having the cops assertively challenge suspects on the street.
They see a know felon on the street, stop him to talk, conduct a Terry Patdown and feel the outline of a gun. Detain the suspect, retrieve the weapon, the felon gets busted for possession of a firearm and sent back to prison. The fact he was about to rob or kill someone is the great news, and violent crimes collapsed over the Giuliani term.
I am no fan of Mike Bloomberg, but I'll give him this, he kept Giuliani's police procedure in place. Well, last year New York elected a former NYPD captain as their new mayor. And the rest is not good.
NYPD ends prolonged street stops to check for warrants after lawsuit
Police slammed by law enforcement union
NYPD says rise in crime by, against young Americans a ‘disturbing trend’
Fox News’ Laura Ingle reports on the crime crisis as the NYPD reports a growing number of adolescents involved in violent crime.
The New York City Police Department ended a policy of prolonged street stops to check for arrest warrants and ties to other cases as part of a lawsuit settlement...
...The NYPD settled a lawsuit Friday with stipulations that police officers only check for arrest warrants if they have "reasonable suspicion" and that the suspect "was committing, committed or is about to commit" a crime or if there's probable cause that the suspect has committed a crime.
The class-action suit, filed in 2019, challenged the stops as unconstitutional, citing the Fourth Amendment's prohibition on illegal detention and unlawful search and seizure.
So the two "harmed" individuals will receive a total of 10% of the money from the settlement, and the lawyers will make out like bandits. Reminds me of a classic line from Archie Bunker. After someone stole his wallet and he's explaining the facts of the incident to his family, there is a knock at the door. He answers it, and a gentlemen is outside:
"Mr. Bunker, I'm an attorney..."
"Oh, I don't need a lawyer. I've already been robbed."
New York, hate to say it, you're gonna have to hit rock bottom again before you elect competent people to run the city again. Until then, God help you.
Saturday, December 17, 2022
Congress spends money on de-escalation training. Here we go again.
Again, we need to teach the cops to de-escalate. Not the civilians.
While on patrol Thursday I found this interesting article on what our great leaders (excuse me, just spit out some coffee) are accomplishing in the USofA. Passing a budget, which they haven't since FY 2010. No. Bringing spending under control? Nope. Trying to control the border? Funny. No, they will lecture cops on the street on how to do their jobs with "de-escalation training."
We've been doing this, informally and formally, for decades. And the ignorance of the people here is astonishing, even for members of congress. And the "journalist" writing this is not showing himself a genius <sarcasm>, IMHO.
Here we go.
Congress passes bill to fund police de-escalation training
The bill will help PDs adopt de-escalation training when encountering individuals with mental health issues in an effort to reduce officer-involved fatalities
By Farnoush Amiri
WASHINGTON — In one of its final acts of the year, the House passed bipartisan legislation late Wednesday that would empower law enforcement agencies across the country to adopt de-escalation training when encountering individuals with mental health issues as part of an effort to reduce the number of officer-involved fatalities.
Mr. Amiri, police agencies were "empowered to adopt de-escalation training" since they were established. The local sheriffs, police departments, state police, etc are already established and have set training requirements. This is simply eyewash for members of the congress to say, "Hey, I voted for something..."
The bill passed 264-162 with Republican support and capped off a modest two-year effort by Congress to pass police reform legislation. The proposal — first introduced by Republican Sen. John Cornyn of Texas and Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island — will now go to President Joe Biden’s desk for his signature.
“By giving law enforcement the tools they need to help those experiencing mental health emergencies and other crises, we can help make communities safer by building a stronger bridge between the criminal justice system and mental health care,” Cornyn said in a statement late Wednesday.
I will give Biden this, he does know about mental illness. But what tools are the congress giving local cops? Let's see.
The bill that passed the House on Wednesday will amend a 1968 federal crime law to authorize $70 million in annual grant funding for law enforcement training on alternatives to the use of force that include scenario-based exercises for officers. It will also require the Justice Department to develop a series of curriculum and training topics in partnership with stakeholders like law enforcement and civil liberties groups and mental health professionals.
“Whether it be Rodney King, or whether it be George Floyd or any of the number of incidents we’ve seen over the last 30 years: How police deal with force is at the heart of the discussion about policing,” said Chuck Wexler, executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum, a Washington-based think tank. “And what we have come to find out over the last five to eight years is that the training is outdated. It doesn’t live up to current-day practices.”
They are putting out $70 million a year in grants. There are 50 states, over 18,000 police agencies, divide the money by the number of agencies, that's less than $4,000 a year per agency. Not a really good statistical analysis, but good enough. Especially when you see that local/state governments spend over 200 billion a year on law enforcement.
The point about the federal Just-Us department putting out "curriculum and training topics in partnership with stakeholders like law enforcement and civil liberties groups and mental health professionals" is very troublesome. The fact is Democrats want to federalize local/state law enforcement, and they will do it any way they can. And by federalize, I mean destroy.
A point I've written over before is the federal government has pushed for body worn cameras on local cops, they have been very hesitant to have their agents wear them. My personal experience is they have been a net positive for cops, leading to more complaints being dismissed, as the evidence shows the police acted properly.
As far as Mr. Wexler's comment's, he's dead wrong. Rodney King wasn't just walking in the street and four cops decided to beat him for no reason. He had committed multiple crimes and was evading in a vehicle:
At 12:45 a.m. on March 3, 1991, robbery parolee Rodney G. King stops his car after leading police on a nearly 8-mile pursuit through the streets of Los Angeles, California. The chase began after King, who was intoxicated, was caught speeding on a freeway by a California Highway Patrol cruiser but refused to pull over. Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) cruisers and a police helicopter joined the pursuit, and when King was finally stopped by Hansen Dam Park, several police cars descended on his white Hyundai.A group of LAPD officers led by Sergeant Stacey Koon ordered King and the other two occupants of the car to exit the vehicle and lie flat on the ground. King’s two friends complied, but King himself was slower to respond, getting on his hands and knees rather than lying flat. Officers Laurence Powell, Timothy Wind, Ted Briseno, and Roland Solano tried to force King down, but he resisted, and the officers stepped back and shot King twice with an electric stun gun known as a Taser, which fires darts carrying a charge of 50,000 volts.
The issue is a perennial one for the nation. While nearly one in five U.S. adults has a mental illness, people who are untreated are 16 times more likely to be killed during a police encounter than other people approached by law enforcement, the Treatment Advocacy Center, a nonprofit dedicated to getting treatment for the mentally ill, concluded in a 2015 report.
Friday, December 16, 2022
Wednesday, December 14, 2022
Corrections Officer Onochie Sunday IkedionwuRest in Peace Bro…We Got The Watch
Georgia Department of Corrections, Georgia
End of Watch Wednesday, August 26, 2020
Corrections Officer Onochie Ikedionwu died from complications as the result of contracting COVID-19 in the line of duty at Dodge State Prison in Chester, Georgia.
Officer Ikedionwu is survived by his wife, two daughters, and siblings.
Nemo me impune lacessit
Day is done, Gone the sun, From the lake, From the hills, From the sky. All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh.
Friday, December 9, 2022
The Griner trade. Could have been much worse.
I for one am not complaining
Last February I heard Women’s NBA player Britney Griner was arrested in Moscow for carrying hashish oil in her luggage, and like million my reaction was, “Who?” Apparently she is a well know WNBA player and was playing off season in Russia to make some extra cash. Can’t knock her for wanting to make some side money, I do it myself.
As of yesterday, Ms. Griner was traded by Moscow for a convicted Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout. By all accounts, he is a piece of human waste, selling arms to both sides of the Angolan civil war, and other conflicts. Bout was caught when he was lured to Taiwan in a sting operation set up by the US Drug Enforcement Agency:
By 2007, the Drug Enforcement Administration devised a plan to lure Bout out of Russia with an arms deal that would be hard to refuse. The agency hired an undercover agent to contact a trusted associate of Bout's about a big business deal. That exchange led to the first meeting between the DEA's fake arms buyers, who were posing as officials of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, also known as the FARC, and Bout's associate on the island of Curacao, a few hundred miles off the coast of Colombia…
…Weeks later, Bout was on his way to Thailand, thinking he would be meeting with FARC officials to discuss shipping what prosecutors said was "an arsenal of military grade weapons" to attack American helicopters in Colombia.
During a March 2008 meeting in a Bangkok hotel conference room, Bout told the DEA informants posing as FARC officials that he could airdrop the arms in Colombia and acknowledged that the weapons could be used to kill Americans…
OK, after he was sentenced to 25 years (Scheduled to be released in 2029), Russia wanted him back. And whom did he get back in return.
Let's just say Ms. Griner is not Miss America. Not sure if she knelt during the National Anthem or just waited in the locker room until after honors to America were completed, but she did say it should not be played during WNBA games.
For the moment, lets assume the worse about Ms. Griner, is this the worse possible outcome? Not really.
In 2014, then President Obama traded five Taliban prisoners, men who could only be described as high officials in the organization, in exchange for one Army deserter, Bowe Bergdahl. After Bergdahl deserted his unit in 2009, six soldiers were killed looking for him (a seventh died from his wounds later). What’s happened since then? Well, the five served for a time in the Taliban’s political office in Qatar. Latest is four are now officials of the new Afghanistan government that Joe Biden installed (don’t doubt number five is still working for the Taliban).
I remember a very heated Facebook dispute with a high school friend, who claimed the trade for Bergdahl was something “Americans do,” and we don’t leave soldiers on the battlefield. I pointed out to the Obama worshiper (likely has a 10ft by 15ft picture of The One on his wall to worship 5 times daily…slight exaggeration) that Bergdahl was a deserter in a time of war, men died trying to get his ass back, and if anything he should be facing a court martial and execution upon return. Also, prisoner exchanges are one for one, and generally at the same Geneva Convention Level, i.e., Bergdahl would be traded for one Taliban fighter, not five Taliban “generals.”
I explained to my friend, “In the chess game that is war, your idol gave the enemy back their queen, both knights, both rooks, and in return we didn’t get back a checker.”
Now, back to Ms. Griner. Latest I heard was Biden’s State Department was trying to arrange a two for one trade, Bout for Griner and former Marine and civilian contractor Paul Whelan. Reportedly Biden said he made an “agonizing” decision to leave Whelan there because he could bring one home or none home. Reportedly Putin was willing to exchange two for two last summer, but that fell apart.
Mr. Biden, in case you missed it, you have lost your best leverage with Putin. Good luck in future negotiations with him. Damn I would love to play poker with you Joe, but it be unsporting to wipe the floor with a mental defective.
So, in summary, a bad deal, but it could have been much worse.