Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The Way Things Work in The Third World and Louisiana

Pardon the redundancy.

The U.S. Congress gives Louisiana $12 Billion dollars (OUR tax dollars - from all 50 states) for Hurricane Katrina recovery.

The Louisiana legislature creates a Disaster Recovery Unit to spend that $12 Billion dollars through community development block grants (a recipe for graft).

Bryant Hammett, Jr. (Democrat-Ferriday [Little Port-au-Prince], Louisiana), Chairman of the powerful House Ways & Means Committee, applies for a job in the new Disaster Recovery Unit which he helped create.

Grinnin' like a possum eatin' grapes

Bryant Hammett, Jr., who is tight with that national disgrace and thoroughly incompetent governor, Kathleen Babineaux Blanco, alternately insists that:

a) he saw an advertisement for the job on a website.
b) a friend told him about the job.

Bryant Hammett, Jr., also the sole owner of Bryant Hammett & Associates LLC, a civil engineering and land surveying business that benefited from state contracts while he was Chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee, doesn't see a problem with applying for the job.

Neither does the Louisiana Board of Ethics (talk about oxymorons). The Louisiana Board of Ethics says it's OK for Hammett to take the job.

[Kinda reminds me of that old song: You ain't done nothin' wrong, but you ain't done nothin' right.]

Bryant Hammett, Jr. resigns his position (he was term limited to 2008) in the legislature which he has held for 15 years.

Bryant Hammett, Jr. gets the $140,000/year job as Infrastructure Manager/Senior Engineer for the Disaster Recovery Unit which will dole out the $12 Billion dollars.

Bryant Hammett & Associates LLC will be precluded from doing any work for the Disaster Recovery Unit, BUT the firm could be a subcontractor on jobs involving regular Community Development Block Grant funding and continue to do work for other state agencies AND local governments EVEN IF they (the local governments) receive Disaster Recovery Unit funding.

$12 Billion dollars taken involuntary from the pocketbooks of taxpayers across the nation and sent to Louisiana to be spent as Bryant Hammett, Jr. sees fit.

It's enough to make a rabbit spit in a pitbull's face.

Legislator takes job to help rebuild state
Rep. Hammett to resign, will direct rebuilding
Ferriday legislator considers recovery job
Hammett Considers New Job
Hammett considers new job

If you want to learn more about how Louisiana works -- and we all should since we've given the state $12 Billion dollars -- then don't miss this excellent blog: Louisiana Political News Service

Monday, May 01, 2006

Janet Hale, Department of Homeland Security

Now ain't this a daisy? From Drudge comes this pointer to a Washington Post story that is just ... just ... something:

Prostitution Alleged In Cunningham Case, Investigators Focus on Limo Company

So how does Janet Hale fit into this, Monk? I'm gettin' to that part.

Our tax dollars are paying for a convicted criminal to provide limo service to senior officials of the Department of Homeland Security -- the same limo service that is transporting whores to hook up with congressmen.

Christopher D. Baker, president of Shirlington Limousine and Transportation Inc., has a lengthy criminal record that includes drug possession, attempted petty larceny, attempted robbery and car theft. Christopher D. Baker has had huge financial problems - both personal and business.

The Department of Homeland Security rewarded Mr. Baker with two contracts worth about 25 million dollars.


Mr. Baker appears to have been the sole bidder for the contract under a government PRO-graaaaaaaaam that LIMITS COMPETITION to businesses in poor neighborhoods. How nice and politically correct!

Janet Hale is the Undersecretary for Management at DHS. She is responsible for budget, appropriations, expenditure of funds, accounting and finance; procurement; human resources and personnel; information technology systems; facilities, property, equipment, and other material resources; and identification and tracking of performance measurements relating to the responsibilities of the Department.

Janet Hale was the person who approved spending 25 FUCKING MILLION DOLLARS of OUR MONEY on a convict who has an extensive criminal history.

How Proud She Must Be

So yeah, I'm pretty pissed off at Janet Hale about that.

But what is just damn near unbelievable is that this involves the Department of Homeland Security -- at a time when we are at war with savages who just a few years ago slaughtered thousands of our fellow citizens. Savages who are NOT done with killing us. Savages who demand that we either convert to their twisted religious ideology or die by the sword of Islam.

How much easier can we make it for the savages of al-Qaeda?! Afterall, they are NOT stupid savages. Hell, just start a limo service in a poor neighborhood and Janet Hale and the Department of Homeland Security will award you 25 FUCKING MILLION DOLLARS to transport their senior officials.

Don't even get me started about why we're paying 25 FUCKING MILLION DOLLARS for limo service.

It's not hard to get our heads around that kind of money when we think of what "only one million dollars" will buy.

For instance, "only one million dollars" will buy about 25 of these:

Hell, Janet, just give me 25 of those bad boys and my retired buddies and I will transport your pathetic asses for free. We all have Special Background Investigations and we are all trained marksmen. What more could you ask for??

And Janet, if you're reading this and take me up on my offer, throw in one of these for the team leader (me):

500 horsepower, 8.3-liter, Viper-powered V-10, fire engine-red, Dodge Ram pickup truck

Monday, March 27, 2006

Microsoft, Your Slip Is Showing (Passion)

Microsoft recently announced that it's follow-on to Windows XP will ship later than planned. The revamped OS, Vista, is not ready. It won't be ready until 2007.

Some Microsoft employees, specifically the Windows team, are letting the world know what they really think about that slippage.

It's a thing of beauty... their passion, that is. More on that in a moment.

I've been a huge fan of Microsoft for a lot of reasons -- a big one: the people at Microsoft have changed the world. They continue, today, to chart an historical, world-changing course. How many people (outside the United States Armed Forces) can say that? And the change has overwhelmingly been for the better, IMHO.

I've never owned a MacIntosh. I did train on an Apple IIe once upon a time back when I was computer illiterate. My experience with the Apple IIe contributed immeasurably to my "remain computer illiterate and preserve your sanity by staying away from anything with a once-bitten apple thingy on it" attitude.

That attitude stayed with me for another 10 years. I saw my first Mac at about the same time I saw my first Windows-based PC. Somebody was working up briefing charts on a Mac for the monthly training conference. I was sitting nearby doing my charts the old-fashioned way: butcher paper and viewgraphs.

The guy on the Mac was mumbling about how much better Mac's graphical something or other was compared to Windows. It was all Greek to me. His slides sure were pretty, though. That's what I remember mostly... and me thinking, "Damn, that thing's got one of those 'once-bitten apple thingy' logos on it" ... and ... "For an infantry officer, he sure is acting pretty gay about that computer."

And oh yeah, the Commanding General was impressed by the 1st Cavalry Division patch and motto on each and every slide. That Mac guy started a revolution within the headquarters of 1st Cav -- a cheese revolution and by default, a Windows revolution.

The Army had mostly Windows PCs and anyone who wanted their slides to be as pretty as the Mac guy's needed to learn Windows and something called Harvard Graphics (I stuck with my butcher paper and handwritten viewgraphs during this revolution and was promoted to Major anyway). Briefings got so pretty that the mice used to stand around with little signs that read, "Please feed me. 1st Cav stole all the cheese." OK, I didn't actually see the mice holding up signs....

This was also the birth of the Mac vs (Windows-based) PC "war" for me. It bored me to tears back then and still does. Look, they're both great. You fall into one camp or the other mostly because you started out working on one or the other, loved one or the other -- or hated one or the other and switched to one or the other. That's about it, isn't it? Well, that ain't war. That's freedom to choose.

Unless, of course, you work for either Microsoft or Apple... then it's fully macking, thermo-digital, trench warfare.

And this partly explains the passion of the comments you will read on this post at Mini-Microsoft.

Skewering the Microsoft leadership. Calling for heads to roll. Frustration. Disgust. Dark humor. Cynicism. Optimism. Pessimism. Rage. Love. Hate.

Another reason -- big reason -- why the Microsoft commenters are so passionate: They give a damn. Whatever else you may think about their comments, their Give-A-Damn meter is registering in the Green. Sure, it may seem like I've got it ass backwards and they're pegged out in the dreaded Red zone.

I'm sure a few are indeed red-zoning, but what I see mostly are folks who want to to be the best. They want their team to be the best. They are proud people. They are winners. They hate the thought of losing -- in any endeavor... to any person or thing.

The people who work for Microsoft are not only some of the best minds in the computer industry, they give a damn about what they do. That is a good thing.

Whatever leadership/management problems are festering at Microsoft and within the Windows division, specifically (and there do seem to be problems), surely no leader/manager wakes up in the morning saying, "Lemme see how I can fuck up things today". [to which, I imagine, there are some on Mini-Microsoft who would reply, "Yes, they do. And stop calling me Shirley."]

It's more likely that the leadership/management problems can be attributed to the Peter Principle:

"In a hierarchy every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence."

In this specific case, one might say that the road to Vista slippage was paved with the good intentions of some incompetent leaders/managers.

In other words, there's nothing broke that can't be fixed with competent leaders. If BillG is reading the comments on that blog, I hope he's not tone deaf. If so, he'll miss the good that I and (I'm sure) others see... and then he'll probably do something stupid like try to go after the blog owner and commenters.

Seems to me that it would be better for Microsoft if its workers felt free to vent on a blog on the company's intranet. Leadership needs this type of honest feedback. The organization would be better for it. And the Mac people would be munching on popcorn while watching "24" DVDs, rather than munching on popcorn while watching Microsoft folks munch on one another.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Putting Dignity Back Into Graft

Ferriday, Louisiana is the hometown of:

Jerry Lee Lewis, Mickey Gilley, Jimmy Swaggart:

First cousins to one another -- their mothers were sisters

the late Howard K. Smith:

and the beautiful Campbell Brown:

What Ferriday has become should have Jerry Lee kicking out the footlights, Mickey singing the blues, Swaggart praying for Ferriday's redemption, Howard K. rolling over, and Campbell Brown investigating.

Ferriday has become a dump, a cesspool and one of the most notorious speedtraps in Louisiana .. and thus, the United States.

So far this year Ferriday has collected over $400,000 in traffic fines. The mayor seems to be shooting for $1 million before the end of the year -- that's about $840,000 more than the annual average of $160,000 before the present mayor took office.

To some, the new mayor's motto seems to be:

"Put Dignity Back Into Graft"

Mayor Allen's Money Machine

Oh, and Ferriday's population? About 3,700. A pissant of a place on a major route (US 65) to a major tourist attraction -- Natchez, Mississippi.

If you're coming from North Louisiana, you have to pass through Ferriday to get to Natchez. On the other hand, if you're coming to Natchez from South Louisiana, you have to pass through Woodville, MS -- another speedtrap, but nowhere near as bad as Ferriday.

I suppose you could go way out of the way to get to Natchez, but why should anyone need to do that?

I could very easily bypass Ferriday, but I don't. I like to live on the edge. Besides, it's interesting to see a piece of Haiti in the USA. Ah, the sights and smells of Ferriday, Louisiana -- Little Port au Prince!

The extremely low speed limits should be punishment enough. I mean to make anyone drive that slowly (25mph) through such an asshole of a place is sadistic.

Businesses are starting to react to Ferriday's new notoriety. At least one, Imogene's Restaurant, has moved to nearby Vidalia. Imogene says the move was due to lower rent in Vidalia. Well, the atmosphere is much better there, too. Wal-Mart is considering moving, but insists it has nothing to do with Mayor Allen's Money Machine.

Stories abound about drivers who swear they were not speeding and police who refuse to let the accused see the radar reading. Some have even claimed that the Ferriday Police Department are big on racial profiling -- of white people. I don't know about that, but I rarely see anyone but whites pulled over.

Will the Louisiana State Police or Attorney General eventually investigate? I doubt it.

Maybe it's something the U.S. Justice Department will look into. I mean, afterall, if people are being harassed based on race, that does seem to fall within the federal civil rights statutes.

I propose a billboard kinda like this on all roads leading to Ferriday:

Meantime, people should avoid doing business in Ferriday. Don't spend money with the businesses there. If enough people start doing that, then maybe the pain threshold will be reached.

Ferriday actually has potential to be a nice place, but they've chosen to be just another banana republic. I'd be ashamed to call Ferriday home.

Jerry Lee, Mickey, Jimmy, Campbell? Ya'll hear me?

Monday, June 13, 2005

A Quiet FBI Takedown

Calhoun, Louisiana is not much more than a truck stop halfway between Monroe and Ruston on Interstate 20, in the pine forests and rolling hills of Ouachita Parish. Blink and you miss it.

Those who regularly travel that 30-mile section of I-20 know that it is a rare thing not to see one or more Louisiana State Troopers writing speeding tickets (they hide in the median, amongst the pine trees and sometimes have spotters on overpasses -- even been known to use radar-equipped helicopters).

But what very few people know (even the citizens of Ouachita Parish) is what went down in Calhoun a few weeks ago. Some, if they read the Monroe or Shreveport papers, may think they know, but if they relied on newspaper reporting they only got part of the story. The story didn't run on the wire services. It was a pretty bland story as stories about conspiracy to commit armed bank robbery go.

And a pretty bland Department of Justice press release.

April 29, 2005

Monroe, Louisiana . . . A federal grand jury in Shreveport has returned an indictment charging MORRIS LYNN GULETT, age 49, of Calhoun, Louisiana, and CHARLES SCOTT THORNTON, age 23, of Piedmont, Alabama, with conspiring to commit armed bank robbery, United States Attorney Donald W. Washington announced today. GULETT and THORNTON are scheduled to be arraigned in United States District Court in Monroe on May 6, 2005, at 9:00 a.m.

GULETT and THORNTON were each charged with one count of conspiracy to commit armed bank robbery; one count of conspiracy to possess, carry and use a firearm to rob a bank; one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon; and one count of forfeiture of a firearm.

The indictment alleges that between April 8 and April 21, 2005, GULETT directed THORNTON to leave the State of Louisiana and travel to the State of Alabama to locate a bank to rob. It is also alleged in the indictment that GULETT, who is a convicted felon, and THORNTON had numerous firearms in their possession, including two SKS semi-automatic rifles, a Mossberg 12 gauge shotgun, and a Firestorm .45 caliber semi-automatic pistol.

What's not in the news stories or press releases is that Morris Gulett is a leader in the Aryan Nations and a Christian Identity pastor --

nor are there details about his felony conviction: in 1997, he rammed a Dayton, Ohio police department cruiser with his van. He was charged with two counts of felonious assault on a police officer.

The Moody Aryan
Intelligence Report, Southern Poverty Law Center

Morris L. Gulett, 48 | DAYTON, Ohio

Vietnam veteran Mo Gulett has been associated with the neo-Nazi Aryan Nations* for many years, almost all of them as a lieutenant of Ray Redfeairn (see The Cop-Shooter), the long-time Ohio state leader who became famous in the movement for shooting a police officer repeatedly but failing to kill him (see Death's Door). Gulett had his own violent run-in with police on March 2, 1997, when officers spotted him heading his van the wrong way down a one-way street.

In a 12-mile chase that finally ended in the Dayton suburb of Beavercreek, Gulett crashed his vehicle into a police cruiser, tried to run one officer off the road and attempted to run down another officer. In the end, he crashed and his van landed in a creek. Later, Gulett would say he fled because he didn't have a driver's license and, anyway, he "was just in one of those moods." He pleaded guilty to aggravated assault on a police officer.

He faced up to twenty years in prison, but a plea bargain allowed him to serve only about a year.

After his release in 2000, Gulett moved to Calhoun, LA and became the Louisiana Aryan Nations leader. (see MIPT Terrorism Knowledge Base)

Shortly after his arrival in Calhoun, Gulett founded the Church of the Sons of YHVH / Legion of Saints. (Warning: this link takes you to Gulett's website.) The church is internet-based, complete with streaming (screaming) audio of Pastor Gulett's hate-filled rants against anybody who is not white and whites who do not accept the Christian Identity faith. He reserves his most venomous attacks for Jews and Blacks and Catholics. He just barely refrains from crossing the "Kill 'Em All" line -- just barely. He can hardly contain himself as he preaches his hate. (The FBI imaged (copied) his harddrives -- hopefully, they can use what they find to bolster their case against him).

The Aryan Nations splintered into various sub-groups after two major setbacks: the successful SPLC case, Keenan v. Aryan Nations, against the Aryan Nations in 2000 and the death of its founder, Richard Butler, in September 2004.

Since then, leaders of various white supremacist groups, have been "campaigning" to become the new leader of the Aryan Nations and to rebuild it. Until his arrest by the FBI this past April, Morris Gulett seemed poised to do just that. It appeared to me that he was winning "the hearts and minds" of the majority of sub-groups. Self-proclaimed Aryan Nations leader August Kreis would probably disagree.

Gulett's arrest has thrown the Aryan Nations into further disarray, but Gulett is not done. From his jail cell at the West Monroe Correction Center, Gulett seems to have appointed an acting senior pastor for the Church of the Sons of YHVH / Legion of Saints, and ordained two new ministers, one of whom is Martin Lindstedt -- Warning: this link takes you to Lindstedt's website -- a nutcase familiar to Missouri residents. Shortly after his promotion to minister, Lindstedt was arrested for first degree statutory sodomy (sex act with a child under the age of 12).

And evidently, Gulett is also issuing instructions on how best to proceed with the Church's business, to include:

- keeping morale up: "What I do want is for the Church of the Sons of YHVH / Legion of Saints to continue the most important work we have embarked upon. It must continue and not fall by the wayside. The Jews and their ZOG agents fear our work or they would not have me where I am" (ZOG = Zionist Occupation Government)

- administration of the church's website: "I need to get the website in secure hands...Right now the website is paid up for the next 2 - 3 months so we have a little time in that respect. It only costs $20 per month for the site not including the Radio portion..."

- church snailmail: "She (Gulett's mother) does have the key to the P.O. Box and has been retreiving the Mail. I do not think ZOG can touch the mail but will check with my lawyer." (Yeah, Gulett, age 49, lived with his mama in Calhoun, LA)

- church bank account: "The Church bank account to the best of my knowledge is still in tact and the Pay Pal account at the web site should still be intact also. I will be maintaining control of the bank account just as I will be ownership and control of the church website as you suggested. However we may need to make some sort of provisions for a second person besides myself to have access to the bank account and Pay Pal for Church expenditures"

NOTE: the quotes above are supposedly from Gulett's snailmail -- they can be found at the church's forum. You've been warned.

So while Gulett may be going to prison for a long time, succession has already begun.

Yet another troubling thing about these white supremacists is their proclivity to reach out to Islamofascists, a point that is certainly not lost on the FBI. I'm not aware of any evidence that the Aryans have met with al-Qaeda, but I would not be the least bit surprised to learn that they have.

There are hundreds of hate groups out there. Some are more active than others, but they're all bad for America.

Thankfully the FBI and state and local law enforcement are aided by such organizations as the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Anti-Defamation League and the Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism. While I do not necessarily share some of their politics (for example Morris Dees can fairly be called liberal), I applaud their efforts in helping our nation live up to its highest ideals.

And oh by the way, Calhoun, Louisiana is not a bad place. It's pretty countryside and good people live there (spread out a bit, probably a neighbor every 1/2 mile). They just had a venomous snake coiled up in a shack out on Zodie Sims Road and didn't know it.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

When Woodpeckers Rule The World

When woodpeckers rule the world, I'll cut 'em some slack. But they don't -- yet -- and I'm not in a slack-cutting mood.

Actually it's not the woodpeckers' fault. They just do what woodpeckers do: peck wood.

But millions of taxpayer dollars are being spent on woodpeckers. Millions spent and millions more budgeted -- to ensure woodpeckers have wood to peck. But not just any wood -- military reservation-flavored wood.

What? You haven't heard? No "Save the Woodpecker" marches in your town?

Red-cockaded Woodpeckers? Does that help?

I didn't think so.

What if I told you that the millions of taxpayer dollars being spent on Red-cockaded Woodpeckers (RCW) are focused almost exclusively on military reservations and that the efforts come to an abrupt halt at the military reservation boundaries -- no matter how many thousands of forested acres are adjacent to the military reservation?

And what if you knew that military commanders were forced to spend a lot of time and energy to adjust training so as not to disturb the Red-cockaded Woodpeckers?

Further, what would you think about the fact that the quality of military training has suffered/is suffering because some nitwit somewhere decided Red-cockaded Woodpeckers on military reservations needed protecting?

And finally, what would you say about money being taken from military training and operations budgets to help fund the very things that are degrading training and operations?

Follow me down the rabbit hole where national security meets enviro-wackoism. This is not satire. It's not made up. You can't make this shit up.

I'll use Fort Polk as an example, but keep in mind that all Army posts are adversely affected by federal and state environmental regimes that are very simply Out. Of. Control.

Fort Polk, Louisiana is home to the Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC). The JRTC is the Army's premiere light infantry training center, modeled very much after the National Training Center (for mostly armored warfare) in the Mojave Desert. Nothing in the world, except combat, comes close to these training centers.

Fort Polk is 44,000 acres of pine trees, briars, hills, swamps, rattlesnakes, copperheads, coral snakes, water moccasins, scorpions, brown recluses, black widows, ticks, chiggers and zillions upon zillions of mosquitoes. A perfect place for Army training.

Fort Polk is surrounded by HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of acres of like terrain. In other words, Fort polk is a relative sliver of land in southwest Louisiana. You'd think that Fort Polk's relatively small size coupled with its training mission would exempt it from the clutches of the enviro-wackos. You'd be wrong ... vewwy, vewwy wrong.

If a Red-cockaded Woodpecker nests in a tree on Fort Polk, that tree then automatically has a 1/2 mile protection buffer -- meaning military training that might disturb the woodpecker is prohibited within that buffer. And for those Red-cockaded Woodpeckers that choose not to nest in a tree on Fort Polk (I know, I know .. this is getting beyond silly, but it's true .. I swear), the U.S. Fish & Wildlife do-gooders are creating "cavity" trees on Fort Polk to lure the woodpeckers -- Woodpecker Welfare Housing Projects, I reckon. And yup, the man-made cavity trees, occupied or not, have a 1/2-mile protection buffer.

Doesn't take too many RCW trees with 1/2-mile buffers to start restricting training. And that is what has happened and is happening at Fort Polk. Military training is not as good as it can be because we must protect the woodpeckers.

Lest we not understand, there's a 242-page Integrated Natural Resources Management Plan 2003-2007 (at a cost of a cool $33 mil) for Fort Polk that lays it all out for the woodpecker and other animals .. and plants, too. And you just gotta see the laws and regulations governing the implementation of this plan ... but first,


Just who decided that Army training disturbs the Red-cockaded Woodpecker, anyway? I dunno. Did someone interview the feathered few? Probably some wacko will claim so. And if Army training disturbs the RCW -- (Not likely. I trained there for 4 years in the 80s when Fort Polk was home to a mechanized infantry division and the woodpeckers don't seem any worse for the wear) -- so fucking what?! Let them nest in the trees populating the hundreds of thousands of acres surrounding Fort Polk. Are we really paying people to track woodpecker copulation? Yes. We really are paying people to know whether woodpeckers are fucking and making baby peckers. When did all this begin? A long, long time ago. This spans several administrations, at least back to President Carter. When will it end? Apparently, no time soon. At whom do we point the finger? Well, when we point, we just need to remember that 3 fingers are pointing back at us: We The People. Oh, and ya know how many M16A2 rifles $33 mil will buy? About 65,000 -- enough to fully equip 3 Army divisions.

But I digress .. or something. OK. Now for the laws and regulations. JUST SKIP OVER IT WHEN YOU START TO FEEL THE LEAST BIT QUEASY and continue reading what the Monk has to say way, way below.

Appendix 1.4.5: Regulatory Instruments that Affect Natural Resources Management on Fort Polk

Below is a list of the most significant federal and state laws and regulations and other regulatory instruments that may govern implementation of this Integrated Natural Resources Management Plan.

Federal Laws
- American Indian Religious Freedom Act (42 United States Code (USC))
- Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (PL 101-336; 42 USC 12101)
- Archaeological and Historic Preservation Act of 1974 (PL 93-291; 16 USC 469 et seq.)
- Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 (PL 96-95:16 USC 470aa-11)
- Bald Eagle Protection Act (PL 86-70, as amended)
- Clean Air Act (as amended through 1990)
- Clean Water Act of 1978
- Conservation and Rehabilitation Program on Military and Public Lands (PL 93-452)
- Conservation Programs on Military Reservations (PL 90-465)
- Endangered Species Act of 1973 (PL 95-632, as amended)
- Erosion Protection Act (33 USC 426e-426h)
- Federal Facilities Compliance Act of 1992 (PL 102-386; amending 42 USC 6961)
- Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (7 USC 136 et seq.)
- Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments of 1972 (PL 92-522)
- Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act of 1980 (PL 96-366; 16 USC 2901)
- Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act (PL 85-624)
- Hunting, Fishing and Trapping on Military Lands (an update to the Military Construction Authorization Act 10 USC 2665)
- Migratory Bird Conservation Act (Chapter 257; 45 Stat 1222; 16 USC 715 et seq.)
- Migratory Bird Treaty Act (PL 65-186; 16 USC 703 et seq.)
- Mineral Leasing Act of 1920 (30 USC 181 et seq.)
- National Forest Management Act of 1976
- National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (as amended, PL 91-190; 42 USC 4321 et seq.)
- National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (as amended, PL 89-665; 16 USC 470 et seq.)
- Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (25 USC, Section 3001 et seq.)
- Non-game Act (PL 93-366)
- Noxious Plant Control Act (PL 90-583)
- Outdoor Recreation on Federal Lands (16 USC 4601{1})
- Plant Protection Act of 2000 (replaces Federal Noxious Weed Act of 1973 (PL 93-629))
- Sikes Act Improvement Amendments of 1997 (PL 105-85, as amended; USC Title 16)
- Timber Sales on Military Lands [An update of the Military Construction Authorization Act] (10 USC 2665)
- Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Act (PL 92419;68 Stat 666, as amended & 86 Stat 667; 16 USC 1001)

Executive Orders and Presidential Memoranda
- Executive Order 11593, Protection and Enhancement of the Cultural Environment
- Executive Order 11988, Floodplain Management
- Executive Order 11989, Off-Road Vehicles on Public Lands
- Executive Order 11991, Protection and Enhancement of Environmental Quality: Amends Executive Order 11514
- Executive Order 12608, Protection of Wetlands: Amends Executive Order 11990
- Executive Order 12898, Environmental Justice
- Executive Order 12962, Recreational Fisheries
- Executive Order 13007, Indian Sacred Sites
- Executive Order 13045, Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks
- Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments
- Executive Order 13112, Invasive Species, 1999
- Presidential Memorandum, Environmentally and Economically Beneficial Practices on Federal Landscaped Grounds (April 26, 1994)
- Presidential Memorandum, Government-to-Government Relations with Native American Tribal Governments

Department of Defense (DoD) Directives/Instructions
- DoD Directive 4150.7, DoD Pest Management Program
- DoD Directive 4700.4, Natural Resources Management Program
- DoD Directive 4710.1, Archaeological and Historic Resources Management
- DoD Instruction 4715.3, Environmental Conservation Program
- DoD Instruction 4715.9, Environmental Planning and Analysis
- DoD Instruction 5000.13, Natural Resources
- DoD Directive 6050.1, Environmental Effects in the United States of DOD Actions
- DoD Directive 6050.2, Use of Off-Road Vehicles on DOD Lands
- DoD Directive 7310.5, Accounting for Production and Sale of Forest Products
- Department of Defense, American Indian and Alaska Native Policy

Army Regulations (AR)
- AR 200-1, Environmental Protection and Enhancement (Department of the Army 1997c)
- AR 200-2, Environmental Analysis of Army Actions, 32 CFR Part 651 (Department of the Army 2002)
- AR 200-3, Natural Resources, Land, Forest, and Wildlife Management (Department of the Army 1995a)
- AR 200-4, Cultural Resources Management (Department of the Army 1997b)
- AR 200-5, Pest Management (Department of the Army 1999a)
- AR 215-1, Morale, Welfare, and Recreation Activities and Nonappropriated Fund Instrumentalities
- AR 350-4, Integrated Training Area Management (Department of the Army 1998)

JRTC and Fort Polk Regulations
- JRTC and Fort Polk Regulation 385-1, Training Facilities Guide (Chapter 11, Environmental and Natural Resources Management)
- JRTC and Fort Polk Regulation 210-18, Installation Hunting, Trapping, and Fishing Regulations
- Exercise Rules of Engagement, Chapter 16, Environmental Protection During Field Operations

Anybody still think it's easy being an Army training officer?

Look, I've limited this rant, so far, to woodpeckers, but there's more -- much, much more. The list of environmental restrictions placed on military training goes on and on and on. So why am I picking on woodpeckers? Coz it's fun to pick on woodpeckers.

But I'm not gonna stop there. More to come. Teasers:

Maneuver corridors at Fort Stewart, Georgia that once supported mechanized infantry battalions have become so constricted due to environmental restrictions that it's not permissable to maneuver much more than a platoon at a time (that's 4 vehicles). Fort Stewart is home of the 3rd Infantry Division. You may have seen them on television taking down Baghdad. Think about that. Sure they took it down, but no thanks to the enviro-wackos.

For years, digging at Fort Hood, Texas has not been allowed. Smoke, used for concealment of military operations such as breaching obstacles, is now severely restricted. Helicopter flight paths and flying times are being impacted because helicopters are loud and their loudness offends the sensibilities of the people who chose to build houses right up next to the post boundaries. Artillery firing is becoming more and more restricted for the same reasons. Fort Hood, Texas is home to the 1st Cavalry Division and the 4th Infantry Division (Mechanized) and a shitload of M1 Abrams tanks, M2/3 Bradley Fighting Vehicles, AH-64 Apaches, etc etc.

More later ... I figure the woodpeckers are enough for now.


It's later. 2 more posts:

It's Not Just Woodpeckers

Enviro-Assault On National Security: A Case Study


Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Herbert J. Lloyd: The REAL Man From Hope

Retired Brigadier General Herbert J. Lloyd is a native of Hope, Arkansas. He joined the Army as a private and served as Rifleman, Machine Gun Squad Leader, and Rifle Platoon Sergeant.

As a Sergeant First Class, he attended Officer Candidate School and was commissioned a Lieutenant of Infantry in 1964.

He served two tours in Germany and saw service in Vietnam in 1962-63, 1966-68, and 1972.

He served as a Platoon Leader, Company Commander, and G3 Training Officer in the 82nd Airborne Division.

He also served as an Advisor with the Vietnamese Rangers and the Vietnamese 6th Airborne Battalion.

He was Chief of Tower Committee and Chief of Operations in the Airborne Department at Fort Benning, Georgia.

Additionally, he has served as:

Tactical Officer, United States Military Academy, West Point, NY
Brigade Executive Officer, 8th Infantry Division, Germany
Commander, 3rd Battalion, 11th Infantry, 5th Infantry Division, Fort Polk, LA
Deputy Chief of Staff, 5th Infantry Division, Fort Polk, LA
Commander, 2nd Brigade, 5th Infantry Division, Fort Polk, LA
Chief of Staff, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, NY
Assistant Division Commander, 2nd Infantry Division, Republic of Korea

Lloyd & Love - Colonel Herbert J. Lloyd with his righthand warrior, Command Sergeant Major Ivanhoe Love

He is a graduate of the US Army War College, the Command & General Staff College, Infantry Officer Advanced Course, Ranger School, Pathfinder School, Northern Warfare Mountain Climbing School and Jungle Warfare School. He holds a B.A. and M.A. from Auburn University.

Here are just a few of his awards and decorations:

2 x Silver Stars
1 x Soldier's Medal
7 (not a typo - SEVEN) x Bronze Star Medals (with "V" device for Valor)
2 x Purple Hearts
Combat Infantryman's Badge
Master Parachutist Badge (with 3 Gold Stars for combat jumps)
Ranger Tab

Herbert J. Lloyd: American Samurai & Greatest Warrior of the 20th Century

He has so many awards and decorations that when he wore his Army Dress uniform, his Combat Infantryman's Badge very nearly rested on top of his left shoulder.

In 1986, while still on active duty, then-Colonel Herbert J. Lloyd was inducted into the OCS Hall of Fame at Fort Benning, Georgia. OCS graduates will understand what an extraordinary honor that is -- especially considering who the other inductees are and that most are inducted long after they have left active duty.

Herbert J. Lloyd is one of the most extraordinary men I have ever met. Any soldier who has ever served with him can attest to the life-changing influence he has had on them.

In my humble opinion, he is the greatest warrior we've had in modern history.


NOTE: If you would like your comments posted in the comments section below, please send an email to: merrymadmonk@gmail.com

Tuesday, December 21, 2004


(scroll down for Updates)

At least 19 American soldiers are dead. Over 50 wounded.

What happened? ... well, they don't know yet. First, the military thought that it might have been a rocket or mortar attack. Now they have backed off those early reports (by the way, first reports in combat are almost always wrong).

Update from Defense Department Operational Update Briefing, 22 December: Shortly after noon yesterday, anti-Iraqi, anti-coalition forces attacked the dining facility located within the Forward Operating Base Marez in Mosul, killing 22 people, including 13 U.S. military, five U.S. civilian contractors, three Iraqi security force members and one non-U.S. person. An additional 69 people were injured in the attack, including 44 U.S. military, seven U.S. contractors, five Department of Defense civilians, two Iraqi civilians, 10 contractors of other nationalities and one of unknown nationality and occupation.

What happened? Soldiers died needlessly due to negligence.

Someone, somewhere in the chain of command forgot that these soldiers were in a combat zone. Some commander(s) somewhere in the chain of command is negligent.

Terrorists may have been the bombers, but the high death toll is directly attributable to the chain of command.

How can I say this?

Look at the pictures. Just about any soldier or marine can tell you what's wrong with these pictures.

No tactical feeding. They were bunched up in a mess tent where one explosive device can take out most of your unit.

No Kevlar helmets. Instead, they're wearing we're-in-the-rear-with-our-gear softcaps -- except that there are no rear areas in this combat zone.

It makes me sick. It pisses me off. I want the chain of command to answer for this massacre.

Meantime, do not use mess tents to feed troops in a friggin' combat zone. Conduct tactical feeding. Make the troops spread out .. 5-10 meter interval between each soldier. Just like every damn field manual, tactical SOP and common sense tell you.

If you thought the mess tent was a morale booster, what do you think now?

And get rid of the damn softcaps. Burn 'em. Get your soldiers in their Kevlar helmets ... and with the chinstraps snapped. The helmet is standard headgear in a combat zone -- for a damn good reason. It greatly reduces the chance that flying shrapnel will pierce your skull.

And where is their LBE (load bearing equipment) that contains a couple of things mightily vital in a combat zone -- a first aid kit and ammunition?

No Nuclear-Biological-Chemical protective masks - a standard part of a combat uniform. It is always with you. You sleep with it just as you sleep with your weapon.

At least they had their weapons, but with a situation this screwed up I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't have ammunition for their weapons. Not that it would have helped in this situation, but what if the bombing or whatever was followed by a ground attack?

An old boss of mine, one of the most decorated soldiers in our Army's history, taught us many things about combat. One of the things that Herbert J. Lloyd taught us:

"Laid back commanders have laid out troops."

That's what happened here.

UPDATE #1 (11:00pm CST):

Associated Press:

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - A 122mm rocket slammed into a mess tent Tuesday at a military base near the northern city of Mosul, ripping through the ceiling and spraying shrapnel as U.S. soldiers sat down to lunch. Officials said 22 people were killed in one of the most devastating attacks against Americans in Iraq since the start of the war.

The dead included 20 Americans - 15 of them servicemembers and five civilian contractors. Two Iraqi soldiers also were killed. Sixty-six people were wounded, including 42 U.S. troops, Capt. Brian Lucas, a military spokesman in Baghdad, said early Wednesday.

(emphasis added)

This is the part that is just maddening:

Like most mess halls at U.S. bases in Iraq, the dining area at Base Marez is covered with a tent. Insurgents have fired mortars at the mess hall more than 30 times this year, Redmon said. (Jeremy Redmon, a reporter for the Richmond (Va.) Times-Dispatch embedded with the troops in Mosul)

Mortar attacks on U.S. bases, particularly on the huge white tents that serve as dining halls, have been frequent in Iraq for more than a year. Just last month, for example, a mortar attack on a Mosul base killed two troops with Task Force Olympia, the reinforced brigade responsible for security in much of northern Iraq.

I don't know what to say .. other than this is unacceptable. You don't have to be on the ground in Iraq to know that this is just flatass wrong.

If this part of the report is true -- that we're using mess tents at most U.S. bases in Iraq -- then Generals Abizaid and Casey have some explaining to do.

I'm stunned.

UPDATE #2 (2:15pm CST):

ABC News is reporting that it was a suicide bomber.

Nothing official from CENTCOM or DoD.

I want to be clear about something. I know General George W. Casey, Jr. He's a fine officer and a good man. I know General Abizaid by reputation only -- and he has an exemplary one.

But they need to explain to the American people why some of the bases in Iraq have a military posture not far removed from a stateside garrison.

I think I know some of the answers that would be given, and I'd be curious to know if I'd be standing alone in my bewilderment.

UPDATE #3 (3:10pm CST):

Suicide Bomber

Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that from investigations into Tuesday's blast in a mess tent on the base, "it looks like it was an improvised explosive device worn by an attacker."

The explosive was apparently packed with pellets the size of BBs that ripped across the tent when it exploded, Brig. Gen. Carter F. Ham, commander of Task Force Olympia - the main U.S. force in nothern Iraq - told Bill Nemitz, a columnist with the Portland (Maine) Press Herald who was embedded with the troops at Marez.

At a Pentagon press conference, Myers defended Ham over security measures at the base. "We know how difficult this is, to prevent people bent on suicide and stopping them," Myer said. "I think he has a very good plan for force protection. This is an insurgency."

"As we know someone who's attacking can attack at anytime using any technique," Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld said, speaking alongside Myers. U.S. personnel "have to be right 100 percent of the time. An attacker only has to be right some of the time."

I disagree with General Meyers' assessment of BG Ham's force protection plan.

I agree wholeheartedly with Secretary Rumsfield. We have to be right 100% of the time.

But what does right look like?

It ain't clustered troops in softcaps in a combat zone.

UPDATE #4 (12/23/2004, 3:10am CST):

Excerpts from the Defense Department Operational Update Briefing, December 22, 2004.

Question: Can I do a follow-up, Mr. Secretary, on that same issue? Do you and General Myers think it's unwise or was unwise to put 400- plus servicemen and civilians and others in a huge tent the size of a football field on a base in a combat zone, a base that had been hit by mortars and RPGs? And if you do think it's unwise, are either one of you or both going to sound off to Generals Casey and Ham, or take them to the woodshed?

General Meyers: These are the calls that the combatant commanders make. And any judgment that General Ham is up there and not worried about force protection is ludicrous. This is a man that's -- I don't -- can't remember when General Ham first went in up there -- that has been working the security up there in that region for the Iraqi people for many, many months, at great personal sacrifice to himself and his forces. He has led them well.

We have had a suicide bomber, apparently, strap something to his body -- apparently a him -- and go into a dining hall. We know how difficult this is, to prevent suicide -- people bent on suicide and stopping them.

We understand how difficult that is. But I think -- this was the insurgents that did this. It's not General Ham that attacked his dining hall. I think he has a very good plan for force protection. I know what some of the long-range plans are up there.

This is an insurgency. And I think if you step back a minute and you think about insurgencies versus conventional warfare, in conventional warfare at some point you're going to get to an unconditional surrender, and in many cases you have very neat front lines. We have no front lines. The front line can be the dining hall, it can be the road outside the base, it can be the police station or the governor's office or the mayor's office down at Mosul. That's their territory. They operate all over that. They can wear -- and they do -- wear clothes like every other Iraqi. It's a much different thing and the mindset has to be much different.

What it tells us is -- and we know this from our history with insurgencies -- it's going to be very tough. And as this insurgency has changed in its nature and is character and has become more intense, our resolve just has to be all that tougher. And I know the Iraqi resolve is hard and tough and I know that our resolve is hard and tough.

Question: Would you not agree, both of you, however, that putting 400 people in a huge tent is a tempting target for the insurgents or anybody else?

General Myers: There are lots of congregations like that of various formations where it's, for a(n) individual bent on suicide with a VBIED -- vehicle-borne improvised explosive device -- or one strapped to their body -- we've seen in other countries -- and so, I mean, it's not a viable strategy to ask everybody to separate. So I think commanders are very much aware of that and try to prevent that.

(Emphasis added)

Entire briefing

"We have no front lines. The front line can be the dining hall, it can be the road outside the base, it can be the police station or the governor's office or the mayor's office down at Mosul."

Exactly! All the more reason not to cluster troops. All the more reason to burn the softcaps and wear Kevlar helmets. All the more reason for wearing LBE with ammunition, first aid kit, NBC protective mask, etc.

I don't want to hear that wearing all that combat gear is a pain in the ass. I already know that it's a pain in the ass.

It's also a pain in the ass to be wearing all that combat gear plus a 90-pound rucksack on a 12-mile forced march -- through mountains -- at night -- in sub-freezing temperatures. And just when you think you can't take another step, it's your turn to carry the 23-pound M60 machine gun.

Pain is relative.

Wearing only the Kevlar and LBE doesn't sound so bad now, does it?


Welcome to readers of The Anchoress

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Unauthorized Disclosure

That's classified. I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.

The origin of that line is debatable (Dr. No?), but all we cared about as young guns was that it worked (No, really. It did -- to varying degrees of success) on the babes at the "Triangles" club down the road from Fort Huachuca.

I suppose we could have said, when queried about what we do:

That's classified. I could tell you, but then I have a personal, moral, and legal responsibility at all times to protect classified information, whether oral or written, within my knowledge, possession, or control. Further, I must follow procedures that ensure that unauthorized persons do not gain access to classified information. I have been advised that any unauthorized disclosure of classified information by me may constitute a violation, or violations, of United States criminal laws, including the provisions of Sections 641, 793, 794, 798, 952, and 1924, Title 18, United States Code, and the provisions of Section 783(b), Title 50, United States Code.

... but the former phrase was considerably easier to remember and recite in a state of blissful inebriation while working towards hormonal convergence. And the "Triangles" babes were quite taken with it.

Sooooo...what are we to make of the recent disclosure of classified information by 3 Democrat senators?

If you haven't heard, Senators Jay Rockefeller, Dick Durbin and Ron Wyden -- Rockefeller and Wyden are members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence -- disclosed, without authorization, classified information.

Not just any classified information, either. Nosireebob, they went whole hog.

To get to the seriousness of what they disclosed, let's look at some definitions.

Classified information falls into 3 categories:

1. Confidential - unauthorized disclosure of which reasonably could be expected to cause damage to the national security of the United States.

2. Secret - unauthorized disclosure of which reasonably could be expected to cause serious damage to the national security of the United States.

3. Top Secret - unauthorized disclosure of which reasonably could be expected to cause exceptionally grave damage to the national security of the United States.

The information the 3 senators disclosed falls under category 3.

Examples of "exceptionally grave damage" include, but are not limited to, armed hostilities against the United States or its allies, disruption of foreign relations vitally affecting the national security, compromise of national-level cryptographic systems, exposure of intelligence sources or methods, and substantial disruption of the capability of the National Command Authority (i.e. the President/Secretary of Defense) to function in times of peace or crisis.

It gets worst.

Top Secret information is further protected by compartments -- that is to say, certain programs are so sensitive that access is restricted to a relatively small number of folks who:

a. hold a Top Secret security clearance
b. work on the program, or
c. have a need to know about the program

There's even a name for it. Top Secret - Sensitive Compartmented Information, aka Top Secret/SCI or simply TS/SCI.

Now at this point, we haven't necessarily entered the "Black" world. Not all Top Secret/SCI programs are "Black", but ALL "Black" programs are Top Secret/SCI.

Black programs are off the books. Unacknowledged. Don't show up in the intelligence budget.

An even smaller number of people are cleared and have a need-to-know.

Some refer to Black programs as "Above Top Secret". Legally, that is not accurate -- but it is true.

Black programs are officially known as Special Access Programs (SAP) and not just anybody with a Top Secret clearance is gonna be allowed to know anything about them.

Those who work on the programs or have a need-to-know about the programs must never acknowledge there is such a thing as, say, Project X.

If queried about Project X, "That's classified. I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you" is not an acceptable answer. Neither is, for that matter, "no comment". You don't even try to be cute. There are acceptable responses, but if I told you ...

Further, if someone cleared for a Black program is questioned by a non-cleared person, a report to the appropriate security official is mandatory. A process follows to determine if the program has been compromised. You would rather be nibbled to death by ducks than to go through that process.

A lot of money, time and energy (less if we would be smarter) are spent on protecting these programs. Often the cover is elaborate and includes a disinformation plan.

Now, I realize this may all sound a bit like James Bond -- or worse, Maxwell Smart -- but it is very serious business.

As a democratic society, we've not come up with a better way of protecting our most sensitive secrets from the likes of China, Iran and North Korea.

There is oversight on the Black world -- to include congressional oversight. Americans should not want it any other way.

But we should expect those who oversee the Black world to not behave like idiots.

Senators Rockefeller, Durbin and Wyden did not get permission to disclose the information before they blabbed about it. There are established procedures to do that. They ignored the procedures.

Well, maybe they knew that the answer would be no and felt so strongly about it that they were willing to risk criminal referrals. Maybe so.

But before we let the press make them out to be martyrs, the chance of U.S. Senators being prosecuted is nil. And the senators know this.

In fact, prosecution is very difficult even if the defendant is not a U.S. Senator. You end up disclosing more about the program and intelligence methods and procedures than you would if you just leave 'em be. Maybe a shot across the bow (criminal referrals, in this case). Publicly disgrace them (but that assumes they are moral men). Anyway, that's about all that will probably happen to the SOB'ing senators.

If I were King, they would, at a mininum, be removed from the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and their security clearances would be revoked.

But alas, I'm just a Monk.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Merry Mad Monks of the DMZ

This post is born through encouragement from one of my favorite bloggers and Dennis who actually lives in a monastery 9 months out of the year. Thanks for your interest.

Our lineage dates back almost 600 years to Kim Chong-so, a powerful warrior/councilor who secured fame in establishing six military garrisons in northeast Korea under King Sejong's "expansion of the frontier region of Chosun".

Chosun Warrior (Seoul Art Center)

In 1953, after the Korean War, a small group of highly trained American soldiers unofficially became part of a Korean miltary order that traces its lineage back to Kim Chong-so and his Chosun warriors.

Initially garrisoned with Korean soldiers in austere quarters near Munsan-ni, a few miles south of the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone), they were nicknamed the "Merry Mad Monks of Musan-ni" by other American soldiers who marveled at the lives these men led.

While officially known by another name, they adopted the moniker Merry Mad Monks.

In May 1957, the nickname was changed to the Merry Mad Monks of the DMZ.

In 1961, the unit moved even further north and was garrisoned at Camp Kitty Hawk. A new facility, appropriately named The Monastery, became a home away from home for the Monks living on the DMZ.

The Monks lead a highly specialized, hand-picked, 600-man American/South Korean military force which protects members of the Military Armistice Commission, visiting Heads of State and other dignitaries. It also guards the truce village of Pan Mun Jom and conducts ambush and counterinfiltration patrols in the DMZ.

While most Americans are not familiar with the Merry Mad Monks, Pan Mun Jom, or the DMZ, the South Korean government officially recognizes these men as national treasures.

On "Conference Row" aka "Death Row". The "MP" armband is a requirement of the Armistice Agreement. These are infantry soldiers, not MPs.

Eyeball To Eyeball -- My friend Jorge "Ranger" Rangel keeping a watchful eye on North Korean guards peering into the Military Armstice Commission building at Pan Mun Jom. It's an intense place. Stay alert, stay alive.

Sniper Practice. One shot, one kill.

Patrol returning from mission. In the background is a North Korean guard tower. These types of daytime patrols are multipurpose: provide security to the villagers of Taesong-dong, the only South Korean village in the DMZ; conduct reconnaissance; show force.

The most infamous incident involving the Monks was the 1976 Pan Mun Jom Axe Murders.

In August 1976, two of our Monks -- Major (promoted posthumously) Arthur G. Bonifas and First Lieutenant Mark T. Barrett -- were, without provocation or warning, attacked and massacred by a superior force of axe and pike wielding North Korean troops.

Click on photo to enlarge

The incident nearly re-started the Korean War. American and South Korean forces were put on the highest state of alert. As 2nd Infantry Division and 1st ROK Division combat units maneuvered into the DMZ,  US aircraft carriers took up positions in the Yellow Sea and the Sea of Japan.

Faced with the reactive and combined forces of the United States and its Korean Allies, Kim Il-Sung issued his first ever and only apology.

Besides the brutal deaths of Major Bonifas and First Lieutenant Barrett, 59 other Americans and 377 ROK soldiers have also made the supreme sacrifice in defense of freedom and democracy in Korea since the Armistice.

In 1984, a firefight occurred at Pan Mun Jom when Vasily Matauzik, a Soviet citizen visiting North Korea, ran across the Military Demarcation Line (boundary between North and South) to defect.

North Korean guards immediately started firing at him and ran across the line in pursuit. JSA soldiers returned overwhelming fire against the North Koreans, killing 3 and wounding 5. One JSA soldier, Corporal Jang Myung Ki, was killed and one, Corporal Michael Burgoyne, was wounded.

Jang Myung Ki -- Killed in the line of duty while protecting the lives of his comrades and a Russian defector on 23 November 1984.

One of the 3 North Korean soldiers killed turned out to be Captain Pak Chol. In 1976, he had ordered the murders of Bonifas and Barrett. Captain Pak, aka "Bulldog", was taken out by a JSA soldier firing a 40mm grenade launcher. It was a direct hit.

In 1986, Camp Kitty Hawk was re-named Camp Bonifas.

The poem below was read August 18, 1986 by Mrs. Arthur Bonifas, widow of Major Arthur Bonifas, at the ceremony memorializing Camp Bonifas in honor of her late husband.

There he stands, that man of mine,
out on that lonely plain,
In a country strange and different --
it's hard to say its name.
Does that country ever value
how much he sacrifices,
To guard their lives, their hopes, their dreams
in the face of their world crisis?

He stands and he feels loneliness,
alone there standing guard,
To see that our flag of freedom
flies from that fragile lanyard.
And does our country realize
that we too share that post with him?
For our sons are growing up without him
and his parents' eyes grow dim.

So please don't take for granted that man
who patiently stands,
Away from home and family
serving in a foreign land.
He has, and will continue
to strive to ease our pain.
For the tears that fall from your eyes
are reflected in the same.

Yes, there he stands, that man of mine,
out on that lonely plain,
In a country strange and different,
and we scarce can endure the pain.

The "Merry Mad Monks of the DMZ" remain active. The traditional lifting of vintage snake wine to welcome newly joined Monks and to bid farewell to those departing can be heard throughout the halls of the Monastery on frequent occasions.

The north wind moans amid the bare boughs
the moon shines coldly on the snow.
I stand, great sword in hand
on the furthest frontier fortress.
I whistle; and the long loud sound
hangs unanswered on the air.

Kim Chong-so (1390-1453)

Thursday, December 16, 2004


Bill Kristol and Senator John McCain want a new Secretary of Defense.

I want a new 500 horsepower, 8.3-liter, Viper-powered V10, Dodge Ram pickup truck. I prefer fire engine red. I'm short by about $46,000, though. If you wish to give me one of these fine machines, please leave contact info in comments.

Secretary Rumsfeld has performed a great service to this nation in very difficult times -- under pressure that most of us can only imagine.

He serves at the pleasure of the President of the United States. President Bush wants him to stay on longer. When President Bush decides it's time for change, he'll accept Secretary Rumsfeld's resignation and nominate someone else for Secretary of Defense.

I put a heckuvalot more trust in President Bush on this matter than I do William Kristol or Senator John McCain.

And Lord, help the military if John McCain were to become the next DoD chief. Some of the same generals whining to the press about Rumsfeld would gain a new appreciation of "Don't ask, Don't tell." Bend over buddy.

Rumsfeld took charge of a Pentagon that had, for 8 years, suffered from the lack of adult civilian supervision. Bill Clinton, the draft dodger, didn't want to be viewed as an anti-military Commander-in-Chief. He appointed weak Secretaries of Defense and let the generals run the place. That suited the generals just fine.

Contrary to popular myth, a lot of Pentagon generals are adverse to risk. They may not have been that way in their younger days as studly Captains and Majors, but after multiple tours at the Pentagon and other staff jobs -- jobs that take them away from troops -- something happens. They lose the edge as they gain rank and prestige. Too many worry about punching the ticket to the next billet. Don't rock the boat. Play it safe.

Not all generals. Too many.

That's why we bombed Serbia from 15,000 feet. It's why we launched cruise missiles at aspirin factories, unoccupied Iraqi intelligence headquarters, and empty tents in the Afghanistan sand.

Most of these generals sat on their thumbs as Clinton and Congress (Senator McCain's buddies, the Democrats) decimated the military ranks. Don't rock the boat. Play it safe. Get that next plum assignment. Get that next star.

Not all generals. Too many.

They played it safe, got their way and they got used to getting their way.

Enter Donald H. Rumsfeld.

He took charge and left little doubt who was boss. He did more than ruffle some feathers -- he rocked their world.

And the world of the Pentagon generals needed rocking.

He hadn't been in the job 3 months before some generals started whispering to the Washington Post: Rumsfeld was mean. Why Rumsfeld acted like he ran the place!

Before September 11, 2001, Washington conventional wisdom had Rumsfeld being replaced by year's end.

But that all changed. Rumsfeld stood tall in the storm. He showed uncommon strength and purpose. The American people responded positively to Rumsfeld's daily briefings -- they loved him.

For a long while the whispering generals let Rumsfeld be. They could read the situation. They're not stupid, afterall -- just political.

Again, not all generals. Too many.

I don't know that the generals are whispering to the press about Rumsfeld today. Some of that is probably still going on. This latest criticism of Rumsfeld seems to come mostly from politicians and pundits.

As you listen to the criticisms of Rumsfeld -- not enough troops, not enough up-armored HMMVs, forces stretched too thin and on and on -- keep in mind what he inherited.

Bill Clinton and the liberal Democrats decimated our military. They cut the Army from 18 divisions to 10 .. sent 300,000 soldiers packing. They cut the Navy in half .. from 600 ships to 300. The Air Force was equally decimated. Overall, the active duty military lost 700,000 soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen.

[PAUSE] . . . and consider those numbers.

They tried to have Defense on the cheap, shifting assets, that were best left in the active duty lineup, to the Guard and Reserves.

As Clinton and Congress slashed and hacked our military strength, Clinton increased our operational tempo (deployments) by 300% -- sending us to deal with such "national security threats" as Haiti and Bosnia and Kosovo (we're still there carrying the Europeans' water).

And there's more .. 20 out of 22 of our Army training centers were rated at the very lowest level of readiness. Political Correctness ran rampant. "Consideration of Others Training" came close to trumping combat training .. and on and on.

Remember these headlines?

Click on photo to enlarge

"An Army In Decline -- What Clinton-Gore accomplished that our enemies could not"

President Bush and Secretary Rumsfeld inherited a mess. What took 15 years to rebuild after Vietnam, the Democrats decimated in Clinton's first term.

By the middle of Clinton's second term, the military readiness situation was dire. Plans for further cuts were shelved. Secretary Of Defense William Cohen tacitly admitted that the cuts had been too deep. The Defense Department initiated a program to try to get recently cut junior officers and noncomissioned officers to return to active duty. The service chiefs from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines were dispatched to Capitol Hill to ask for more resources.

The Clinton administration learned too late that it is easier to tear the military down than it is to build it back. With a stroke of the pen you can cut the force, but it takes years to train replacements. It takes years to build the Staff Sergeants, Sergeants First Class, Captains, and Majors -- those mid-level ranks that run the military -- the ones who took the brunt of Clinton's cuts.

Then before President Bush had even completed 8 months in office, with our military force structure dangerously thin, with our operational tempo still hovering around 300% over norm, with our military stretched to the breaking point .. two terrorist-guided commercial jets brought down the twin towers, another crashed into the Pentagon and another, aimed at either the Capitol or the White House, crashed in a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania when brave passengers said "Let's Roll!" and attacked the terrorists.

We have been at war ever since.

Believe it or not, Rumsfeld's critics are using this recent statement to beat up on him:

"As you know, you go to war with the Army you have. They're not the Army you might want or wish to have at a later time." -- Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld

What am I missing?

Oh. My new 500 horsepower, 8.3-liter, Viper-powered V10, fire engine-red, Dodge Ram pickup truck.