Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Who Needs Burning Man?

I want tickets to Sovereign Man. For a libertarian minded (small 'l") classical liberal like myself - could you imagine a line up like this? 

Ron Paul, Jim Rogers, Nigel Farage, Jim Rickards, and Peter Schiff, all on stage at the same time, Saturday night, in Santiago, Chile. OK, I could pass on Ron ... but the others; prime.

Here is the CDRSalamander tie-in: what is one of the historical seeds of violent revolution? Large segments of young people who feel they have no future. Have you looked at the youth unemployment rates in Europe?

Want the most dangerous COA? Let Nigel give it to you.

The Value of a Loadmaster

I usually avoid posting on such things, and you have to feel for the family members and friends of the lost - but when the enemy tries to take credit when they deserve none - sometimes you have to make an exception.

First of all remember, seven of our countrymen were lost in the video below.
Video apparently shot from a vehicle dashcam shows the National Airlines Boeing 747 taking off from the Bagram Airfield military base, just north of the Afghanistan capital of Kabul, on Monday.
Seven passengers – all of them American citizens – were killed in the crash
The Taliban was quick to take credit for downing the cargo plane, a claim which NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) dismissed as “false.” NATO said emergency personnel who arrived at the scene were investigating the cause of the crash, adding that no insurgent activity in our around the base was recorded at the time.
When the flight recorders are retrieved, we'll know more - but one thing is clear; the Taliban did not take this plane down. Smart money is that after takeoff, the load shifted, CG shifted aft, stall, and that's all she wrote.

NB: this happened on 29APR13. The date on the dashboard camera is wrong.

Hat tip PD.

I'll Take the Eagle over the Seven Stars

There are cliches and there are truisms. 

A few of truisms I like to keep handy:
1. You can often judge a man not so much by his friends, but by his enemies.
2. The louder someone protests, the weaker their position.
3. If you aren't making someone uncomfortable, you aren't doing your job.

Now, if you can get all three wrapped in to a nice, tight bunch ... then you've got something.

Remember about six-weeks ago, our friend Captain Henry J. Hendrix, Jr., USN, published a little thought piece, "At What Cost a Carrier?"

Well, well, well; Ser Jerry Wirebrush seems to have generated some secondaries.

Big Navy saw his 'widdle eaglet perched on the CNAS standard, and countered with a Vice Admiral and two Rear Admirals squatting astride FP in the form of David Buss, Bill Moran, and Tom Moore. 

Well played sir; well played. 

I want to use this as an educational opportunity. Go to the first link and read Jerry's article ... then go to the festival of stars article.

In one you have some critical thinking, testing the assumptions that everyone is comfortably resting on ... and then you have in the other, oh sorry guys - but this is really embarrassing to do ... but ... first - in the words of a great American - the random-Flag-Officer-article-generator nothing-burger;
When Adm. Jonathan Greenert assumed office in September 2011 as the 30th chief of U.S. naval operations (CNO), he issued "Sailing Directions" ... Since Day One of Greenert's tenure ... The Navy must, as Greenert's "Sailing Directions" states, provide "offshore options to deter, influence and win in an era of uncertainty." ... the strength of the U.S. Navy derives from more than just hardware. It derives from the adaptability and flexibility of this combat-proven team that throughout the past 70 years has evolved to overcome potential adversary capabilities. Time and again, the innovative and evolutionary character of naval aviation has proven its value to deter -- or substantively and decisively contribute -- to major conflicts around the globe, protect commerce and free trade, and ultimately contribute to the security of the United States. ... Greenert has used the USS Enterprise as a prime example in his "Payloads Over Platforms" theme for the future design of our Navy, and it is a testament to the aircraft carrier's proven track record of strategic adaptability.
Then we have this shiv between the ribs;
As we deal with declining budgets, there will be pressure to pursue a strategy suggested by some critics (who are mostly focused on near-term cost and perceived vulnerability) to eliminate some big-deck, nuclear-powered aircraft carriers (CVNs) and convert the "savings" into some quantity of smaller surface combatants and L-class amphibious ships.
For the record - many have been advocating this well before the present budget situation.

We also have some things that are, to be blunt - spin and a-historical.
What clearly distinguishes the U.S. Navy from the rest of the world is its nuclear-powered aircraft carrier and extremely effective (and becoming more so) embarked carrier air wing (CVW).
(BTW, can you find the whopper of the typo in the article? Funny.)Yes, and no. The airwing is much less effective than it once was. We have a deck full of short-legged light fighters, no organic ASW assets outside embarked RW that have other missions that need to be done, no organic tanking (buddy tanking does not count), and the surface force that goes with the CSG is much smaller with little depth to the bench.
...the revolution in precision strike weapons, such as the Tomahawk Land Attack Missile (TLAM)...
Oh please. TLAM is well over a quarter century old. That is not revolutionary ... even UCAV when it comes online will not be revolutionary. You keep using that word, I do not think you know what it means.

Now, to be fair - the good Admirals do have some solid points to make - but 85% of the people will never read them because YOU HAVE TO GET TO PAGE 2 OF THE FRACKING ARTICLE TO READ THEM.

Seriously, make sure and read the second page. There you will find good, solid, reasons to defend the large deck carrier - something I happen to share with the authors (no offense Jerry, but I like some of your points as well).

Good googly moogly; slobber the boss on page 2; get your best point out on page 1. You mean to tell my in that chop-chain from he11, no one mentioned that?

Harumph ... Staff work. That isn't the point, really. At least not for me. No, here it is.

Big Navy has made some very bad calls in the last 20-years that has made the CVN less attractive and less useful - unforced errors.

We gave too much to the theory of "efficiency" over effectiveness. We sold away the best part of carrier air - long range strike. The ability to keep the bird farm far away from threats so the airwing could do the Lord's work at will. A very good modernized A-6F/G instead of the transformationalist's A-12 would have been nice. Throwing away the F-14D/Tomcat-21 for the F-18C/D/E/F as if they had to be a zero-sum game. Throwing away the organic tankers.  Etc.

With the "new" A2AD threats ... and we force our self closer to shore and more reliant on land-based tanking.  

It is hard to sell a Camaro as a sports car if you are only going to give it a V-6.

Let the discussion continue and ponder a bit - when it takes three Admirals to patch together something against some Captain ... I think we may have a discussion that is well worth everyone's time and mental effort. 

BZ to all.

Monday, April 29, 2013

The Future is ..... a Frigate

Verily, verily, verily .... all will come in to Plan Salamander and supplicate themselves upon the alter of logic.

OK, as usual I am claiming credit for common sense - but let a guy have some fun where he can.

Common sense isn't that common - and often times people seem to compromise themselves in to a parallel universe. A few iterations in to excessive compromise and conflicting priorities gets you - as we discussed in part in yesterday's Midrats - to where we are with LCS.

It is one thing for the gray beards to discuss such things - but when the forward looking leaders of tomorrow come to the same conclusion, then we may be on to something.

BU's Midshipman Thibault over at CIMSEC gets an approving scowlish nod from the Salamander.
In order to dominate undersea warfare, the vessel must protect itself from air and sea threats. The small SPY-1K, a single DART-capable 76mm naval gun, quad-packed ESSM or VLA ASROC in an 8 cell tactical length Mark 41 VLS, 4 Harpoon or new ASuW missiles, Block 1B CIWS and several 25 mm and .50 caliber weapons will provide strong protection against a variety of threats ranging from enemy surface combatants to ASCMs and swarms. An effective Combat Information Center near the bridge and using the newest computer systems will provide this vessel to best protect itself from enemy assets trying to interrupt its main function, finding and destroying submarines.

However, there must be a point where the proverbial line in the sand is drawn. This vessel does not provide area air defense, it does not perform land attack missions, and it does not seek out surface combatants. The Navy requires flexible warships which can take the fight to the enemy. It is not a jack of all trades; it destroys enemy submarines.
Shipmate - you're talking a good multi-mission frigate - and you're talking smart. A little rough in a spot or two - but you're on the right vector.

When an old Yugoslav Navy torpedo boat Skipper, a retired USN CDR, and a minty-fresh MIDN's ven diagrams are at 85% overlap ... I think that's good company to keep.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Going Small(er) - on Midrats

If the requirement is to be able to operate, fight, and win in the Littorals - is the Littoral Combat Ship the answer?

Other nations have the same requirement - yet have come up with different answers.

Are we defining our requirements properly in face of larger Fleet needs and the threats we expect?

What platforms and systems need to be looked at closer if we are to have the best mix of capabilities to meet our requirements?

To discuss this and more, join us this Sunday from 5-6pm EST.

Using his article in Armed Forces Journal, Go smaller: Time for the Navy to get serious about the littorals, as a stepping off place, our guest for the full hour will be Milan Vego, PhD, Professor of Joint Military Operations at the US Naval War College.

Join us live if you can, but if you miss the show you can always listen to the archive at blogtalkradio.
Listen to internet radio with Midrats on Blog Talk Radio

Sunday Funnies

Somewhere in here there is something to be said about how we do our FITREPs and what happens in the Detailer shop.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Lt. Gen. Flynn Goes Salamander

All I need now to send me in to a weekend of Zen is for the CNO to ask Congress for a multi-mission Frigate - but for now, this will do;
Unmanned aircraft are good for surveillance and reconnaissance, but the best way to learn about your adversary is through human intelligence, said Army. Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency.

“We can think about ISR platforms and we can think about the different ways that we will collect and the kinds of stuff that we need … but we really do have to have some folks that are studying and know when we get out into these environments what is happening out there,” Flynn said on Friday at the C4ISR Journal conference.

While he’s a “huge fan of ISR,” human intelligence provides a “fingertip feel” of your adversary, said Flynn, one of three authors of a January 2010 paper arguing that U.S. intelligence efforts in Afghanistan were too focused on killing badguys instead of understanding the human environment in which U.S. troops operate.
Good googly moogly, I cannot understate how important that man in that position making that statement is.

For decades, the transformationalists and technology-fetishists have hobbled us intellectually by denigrating what is the most powerful super-computer and reconnaissance asset in existence; the human mind.

Someone send me a memo where VADM Copeman is asking for the MK-71, and I'll go ahead and start blogging about establishing and managing Deep South heirloom apple orchards organically instead (maybe).

Fullbore Friday

A man's man, a man of God, and someone who really knew, "What would Jesus do?"
... Kapaun defied orders to evacuate, knowing it meant he would most certainly be captured. He pleaded with an injured Chinese officer to call out to his fellow Chinese to stop shooting, an act that spared the lives of wounded Americans.

As Kapaun was being led away, he came across another wounded American in a ditch and an enemy soldier standing over Sgt. Herbert Miller, ready to shoot. Kapaun pushed the enemy aside and helped Miller as they were taken captive. They arrived days later, by foot, at the village in Pyoktong, where a POW camp eventually was established.

"This is the valor we honor today -- an American soldier who didn't fire a gun, but who wielded the mightiest weapon of all, a love for his brothers so pure that he was willing to die so that they might live," Obama said.

At the camp, Kapaun cleaned others' wounds, convinced them to share scarce food, offered them his own clothes and provided spiritual aid and comfort. On Easter in 1951, he defied his communist captors by conducting Mass with a makeshift crucifix.

He died on May 23, 1951, at age 35, after six months in captivity.
As we see with those like Father (Captain) Emil Kapaun, USA who have been awarded the Medal of Honor - it gives one pause to consider your own character - and gives a challenge to meet a higher benchmark in your simple, soft, and easy daily life.

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, March 3, 1863, has awarded in the name of Congress the Medal of Honor to Chaplain (Captain) Emil J. Kapaun, United States Army.

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty:

Chaplain Emil J. Kapaun distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty while serving with the 3d Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division during combat operations against an armed enemy at Unsan, Korea, from November 1-2, 1950. On November 1, as Chinese Communist Forces viciously attacked friendly elements, Chaplain Kapaun calmly walked through withering enemy fire in order to provide comfort and medical aid to his comrades and rescue friendly wounded from no-man’s land. Though the Americans successfully repelled the assault, they found themselves surrounded by the enemy. Facing annihilation, the able-bodied men were ordered to evacuate. However, Chaplain Kapaun, fully aware of his certain capture, elected to stay behind with the wounded. After the enemy succeeded in breaking through the defense in the early morning hours of November 2, Chaplain Kapaun continually made rounds, as hand-to-hand combat ensued. As Chinese Communist Forces approached the American position, Chaplain Kapaun noticed an injured Chinese officer amongst the wounded and convinced him to negotiate the safe surrender of the American Forces. Shortly after his capture, Chaplain Kapaun, with complete disregard for his personal safety and unwavering resolve, bravely pushed aside an enemy soldier preparing to execute Sergeant First Class Herbert A. Miller. Not only did Chaplain Kapaun’s gallantry save the life of Sergeant Miller, but also his unparalleled courage and leadership inspired all those present, including those who might have otherwise fled in panic, to remain and fight the enemy until captured. Chaplain Kapaun’s extraordinary heroism and selflessness, above and beyond the call of duty, are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, the 3d Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, the 1st Cavalry Division, and the United States Army.
The New York Times has more detail on Chaplain Kapaun, read it all, but here is the Executive Summary:
... in May 1951, guards sent him into isolation, without food or water, to die. As Mr. Obama recounted, based on testimony from Father Kapaun’s comrades, the priest looked at the guards and said, “Forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

His remains were never recovered. At war’s end, the surviving P.O.W.’s walked out of the camp with a four-foot wooden crucifix they had made in his honor.

Hat tip Croc.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

SAPR-T, for "Thighs"

UPDATE: Well, cr@p. Somethings are too good to be true. The DailyMail is a reliable source ... but no one is perfect;
News outlets across the world are reporting the dramatic story of a female U.S. sailor who fended off a knife-wielding attacker in Dubai and put him in a leg lock.

Turns out, the story is probably bogus — at least the part about the woman being a U.S. sailor.

Navy officials have uncovered no record of such a woman, and there were no U.S. Navy ships in Port Khalid, where her ship was said to have been in port. ... It’s possible the woman, identified in one report as simply “MJ,” was a civilian mariner from the U.S.

Now here is the American female Sailor that I know! 

Victim? Yea, right, here's a title for 'ya from the DailyMail;
US sailor thwarts Dubai bus driver rapist after putting him in strangehold with her thighs and then beating him into submission.
The details;
An off-duty US navy sailor wrestled a bus driver to the ground and beat him into submission after he attempted to rape her at knife point, a court heard yesterday. 
Prosecutors said that she knocked the knife from his hand, broke it in two, bit him in the hand, forced him to the ground and locked him between her thighs. 
The woman, 28, was on 24-hour shore leave in Dubai and was attacked as she returned to the port where she was based after a day shopping.

She had been attempting to hail a taxi after visiting shopping centre, Mall of the Emirates and a supermarket when a bus pulled up next to her. 
After climbing aboard she became suspicious of the drivers route. She said: ‘I noticed he did not take the main road and when I asked him he told me not to worry.’

He then drove for a further 10 minutes before stopping in an area where other buses were parked and attempting to kiss her.

When she refused him he pulled the knife and threatened to rape her but she was able to subdue him.
That is who you want giving SAPR training.


Australia and New Zealand have always been game ... and have punched above their weight.

When either supporting our shared mother country - or their American cousins - they more often than not are there.

In honor of our plucky cousins, let's go from WWI, to Vietnam, to Afghanistan in order to say; thanks and well done.

Diversity Thursday

It's been awhile since we've had fun with Potemkin photography - as someone who is getting tons of stuff in the mail from colleges for the Wee Salamander, I have been having a hoot over schools that are over 85% Caucasian and 50% male, but you have to get to page 6 of the catalog until you see one. The whole thing is almost as funny as it is patronizing.

The Navy is especially clunky on how it stage manages its pictures, up to and including the Faux SWO from last year.

DivThu can be such a drag most weeks as we catalog the official racialists and good people being ordered to sell their soul ... well ... we have that today too, but let's have fun and laugh while we do it.

First of all; let's look at the demographics of the US Naval Academy:
Naval Academy population breakdown by race:
- 85.86%
African American
- 5.35%
- 3.56%
American Indian
- 0.40%
Native Hawaiian
- 0.23%
Mixed race
- 2.35%
Other race
- 2.25%

6.9% of people are of Hispanic or Latino origin.
... or you can use the appropriately photo-covered "Class of 2016" snapshot from USNA:
- 777 (64.2%)
- 142 (11.7%)
Multiple Races
- 96 (7.9%)
African American (in combination w/ other races)
- 87 (120) (7.2%)
Asian American (in combination w/ other races)
- 78 (127) (6.4%)
American Indian
- 8 (0.7%)
Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander
- 6 (0.5%)
- 17
It is all kind of silly, isn't it? Any why are only African-American and Asian-American allowed to be combined with other races? Really people ... you are becoming a self-parody.

Well, it is also 76% male.

So, now that we have the demographics from two different sources - average the two and keep moving to contact.

We are going to have a table to share chow with an important guest. Of course, we cannot have random seating; no. We will make sure we have just the right people at the table so the camera can get things just right.

Hmmmm .... will the (D)iversity Bullies constrain themselves?

Hey, look! It is the First Lady of the United States! Let's make sure she has a representative sample of the student body.

No cheating! ... don't count the Commissioned white guys and the SECNAV nee former Governor of Mississippi ... and feel free to laugh at the dislocated jaw eating style if you wish. Classic.

So, there you go.  Feel free to do the percentages yourself, but here is what I see.

There are 12 MIDN at the table. One of the 12, the one on the far side of the Loop, cannot be identified if by the (D)iversity Bullies' Gesellschaft für Rassenhygiene, so we'll count it as 11.

What is Annapolis?  Well, it is:
- 45.5% male.
- no more than 45.5% white.
- 27.3 to 36.4% African American.
- 9-18% Asian American.
- More importantly, it is only 9-18% white male.
- Hispanic? Who knows as it is an artificial construct anyway ... could be all or none.

As a final note; Midshipman Chock - in case you haven't been told 1,000,000 time already - if you do not go aviation, your classmates will beat you.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Blog You Should be Reading

Are you reading Norman Polmar's posts over at navyhistory.org blog?

Well shame on you if you aren't classics like this;
After dozens of letters and many hundreds of manuscript pages exchanged between us, we finally met in March 1969 when Genda visited the United States. He was invited to the United States in part to participate in the Naval Institute’s distinguished visitor program. (I had been assistant editor of the Naval Institute Proceedings from 1963 to 1967.)

During his visit Genda spoke at the Naval Academy to an audience of Naval Academy midshipmen and faculty, and area USNI members. When asked if the Japanese had possessed the atomic bomb, did he believe they would have used it against the United States, he replied, “I think so.” When in a later conversation I raised the subject to him, he responded, “Why wouldn’t we have?” (He also spoke at the Smithsonian Institution while in the Annapolis-Washington area.)

That week Genda and I had a lengthy, private session at his Annapolis hotel. His English was excellent, his views candid, and his personality overwhelming. During our discussion of the Battle of Midway (June 1942), we spoke of the failure of the Japanese to detect in a timely manner the three U.S. carriers that arrived in the area unbeknown to the Japanese. One of the Japanese search planes had developed engine trouble and had not been immediately replaced. It was in that plane’s search sector that the U.S. carriers were located.

When I asked Genda if another scout plane from the carriers or one of the accompanying cruisers or battleship should have quickly been launched to cover that sector, he responded, “Of course.” Not really thinking, I asked whose fault it was that a replacement plane was not immediately dispatched. Without hesitation, he pointed to his own chest and said: “Genda!”

Genda sent me a very kind letter when he received a copy of our book—Aircraft Carriers: A History of Carrier Aviation and Its Influence on World Events, published in 1969. The title page listed me as author “In collaboration with” General Minoru Genda, Captain Eric M. Brown, and Professor Robert M. Langdon of the Naval Academy.

We exchanged notes over the next few years, albeit with far less frequency than when we were working on the book. He retired from the upper house in 1986 and passed away three years later, the day before his 85th birthday.
That stuff is solid gold.

DNI and the Conventional Wisdom Pony Show

The annual threat assessment from DIA is out. You an get it here or just read it below.

Besides the buildup in Vietnam in the '60s and the invasion of IRQ a decade ago, what major military action or attack in the last 70 years fell in line with conventional wisdom the year or two prior? 

Sure, from the edges and afterthoughts you could see that someone was thinking about it - but it was never the majority of opinion.

The Korean War, Cuban Missile Crisis, Falkland Islands, the fall of the Soviet Union, etc etc ... conventional wisdom doesn't have a great track record more than a year or two out ... if then.

So, that is why I find things like UNCLAS threat assessments so interesting. Is isn't what they say the most about - though that is a useful contrary indicator - but what they dismiss, give only a passing mention to, or provide incomplete context to - that is what I find interesting.

History shows us that it is the things that don't concern you, that you put the B-team on - that is where your Strategic Surprise comes from; sometimes.

So, let's look at it from that point of view. DIA's threat assessment as a contrary indicator. What does it tell us?

First of all, what do we not need to worry about? Well, in a quick reading, it seems that a lot of space is given to China, Syria, Iraq, and Russia. Good, no need to worry about them any time soon.

Oh, AFG - touchy subject and I don't want to dwell on that rolling train wreck retreat-COA that we wargamed over cigars in Destille Garden four years ago. No - Cassandra gets bored with that. If you must though, just go to the bottom of page 4. All you need to know is there.

What do we need to look closer at because it seems to not interest DIA too much?
- Page 9: Islamic influence in Latin America.
- Page 10: Irony alert - about only thing this 17APR13 dated document that could even obliquely be used to warn about the Boston attacks.
- Page 21: "India is developing a nuclear capable 6,000km range (ICBM) that will eventually carry multiple warheads." Hmmm ... Indian MIRVs that covers all of China, almost all of Russia and can reach over to the boot of Italy and most of the Muslim world east of Benghazi. Noted.
- Very little discussion on Latin America or sub-Saharan Africa. That is a sure alert that we are missing something here.
- Near the end, there is a throw-away line about "quantum computing or electromagnetic weapons" being developed as a way to counter our strengths. Ummmmm .... yea. With the Admiral Adama disapproved LCS construct and the myopic over reliance on networks and satellites ... ummmm, yea.
- I also like the "General Article" or the policy planner's get out of jail free card; "Technological change has the potential to create surprise."

Therefor; if you take the counter-indicator approach, how should this influence planning? At first glance it is clear:
1. We need to expand HUMINT in Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa and to ensure that we have the light, expeditionary, high-impact/low-overhead forces to act there if/when needed in partnership with friendly nations (USMC and SOCOM call your office).
2. Domestic sources of terrorism traced to radial Islam will grow.
3. Any threat to India from China or the Islamic world could go nuclear very quickly. Remember - India could lose the equivalent of the population of the USA and still have a population almost 3-times our size.
4. If we do not have a Fleet that can digitally quarantine itself and fight - or cannot fight offline - then you open yourself to being defeated without a shot being fired - condemned to float impotent as you are picked off defenseless at your opponent's leisure. Blinded by 21st Century technology - and sunk by mid-20th century weapons. Be robust, be multi-mission, be ready to lose that which you think is safe and still fight and win at sea.

Oh, and the next shooting war where US forces will be used? Odds are, it doesn't get more than half a page - if any mention at all - in DIA's threat assessment.

That is what I am interested in - the minority report. The report from a cell of thinkers, not processors. Where is that?

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

CBDR Pierside

So which line is this on the OOD in port PQS? Where is the OPREP binder?
The Royal Canadian Navy says it is assessing damage after a collision between the warship HMCS Winnipeg and a fishing vessel that happened at about 8 a.m. Tuesday in Esquimalt Habour on Vancouver Island.

A Facebook page called Maritime Forces Pacific posted a message explaining the Winnipeg was alongside a jetty from Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt when the collision occurred.
Watch the video the Royal Canadian Navy's Maritime Forces Pacific FB Page. Warning - Canadian potty-mouth.

Hat tip Nick.

Every Nation has its Budding Totalitarians

Libraries have been filled up with books trying to figure out how the most arguably progressive and educated nation in 20th Century Europe, Germany, could have descended in to the mire of totalitarianism.

How could such a cultured people allow themselves and their nation to be hijacked? Well, the answer is as simple as it is complicated.

As the founders of this nation knew, if you do not reference everything on individual liberty, then the drift will be steady and clear; a stronger and stronger central state.

People are human, and therefor imperfect. Either you accept those imperfections, or you strive in vain to correct them.

In modern times from the terror of the French Revolution to the killing fields of Pol Pot's Cambodia, the self-appointed elite who gained power and then decided that because of their superior wisdom - they can only they can fix the human condition ... well, you know the rest of the story.

Great thing about this nation is that it was formed at the height of The Enlightenment - before the turn towards Statism that characterized the 19th and 20th Centuries. The founders knew that it was best to have the chaos of the individual than the boot of the State.

To keep this system requires a free people who wish to remain free. The Founders set up a lot of firebreaks to protect future depredations by those with an authoritarian mindset - but as firebreaks can be built, they can also be broken down by the people they are designed to protect.

Like someone who takes the top off a levee to improve his view - giving up protection is fine when there is not danger - but when you really need it, it isn't there anymore and cannot be rebuilt overnight.

In our body politic we have plenty of people who are willing to give up a little freedom they have now, for the promise of additional safety later. History shows that every time this happens, you wind up with neither your freedom or your safety - but you only know that if you know your history.

One of the worst of the budding totalitarians is Mayor Bloomberg. As with some totalitarians, they start small. Smoking, food, etc. They also go after the big freedoms too, from guns to speech.

Neo-feudalists, they believe that the people serve the State, and the State serves the leaders. People are not the sovereign ... they are the problem.

Moving from Nanny to Obergruppenführer, almost out of central casting - we have this;
In the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Monday the country’s interpretation of the Constitution will “have to change” to allow for greater security to stave off future attacks.

“The people who are worried about privacy have a legitimate worry,” Mr. Bloomberg said during a press conference in Midtown. “But we live in a complex word where you’re going to have to have a level of security greater than you did back in the olden days, if you will. And our laws and our interpretation of the Constitution, I think, have to change.”
No, no, and in Ben Franklin's name - NO!
“Those who desire to give up freedom in order to gain security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.”

Marines; as I know them

On top of everything else, we seem to ask our veterans to wade through a pop-culture swamp of slanderous innuendo and cliche - especially our combat wounded veterans

Like some speckled backwash from Vietnam, there are those who try to paint people who have served as broken victims - wounded in mind and body - to be pitied and marginalized. Some who push this image mean well, but most who do don't mean well.

Of course, that characterization does not come close to what the actual picture is. Except for a very small group of people who need help, the veteran is not degraded by the experience - he is enhanced. 

The experience creates the kind of person who runs towards the bombs to help the wounded instead of running away from the carnage. It is the type who decides that they need to help others who have just suffered what they suffered before to know that they are not alone, that this is not an end - that they they need a hug and encouragement - that we are all in this war together.

Great men and women - like these Marines.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Keeping an Eye on the Long Game: Part XLVI

In the week last that was Boston, I held this back so we could chew on it a bit when we had some more intellectual white space.

Via the BBC, we have the full text of the Chinese government's Defense White Paper:
The Diversified Employment of China's Armed Forces

Information Office of the State Council
The People's Republic of China
April 2013, Beijing
This should be interesting. Reading through it from a maritime perspective China is unquestionably expansionist ... on the sea side of the equation.
... the PLAN endeavors to accelerate the modernization of its forces for comprehensive offshore operations, develop advanced submarines, destroyers and frigates, and improve integrated electronic and information systems. Furthermore, it develops blue-water capabilities of conducting mobile operations, carrying out international cooperation, and countering non-traditional security threats, and enhances its capabilities of strategic deterrence and counterattack. Currently, the PLAN has a total strength of 235,000 officers and men, and commands three fleets, namely, the Beihai Fleet, the Donghai Fleet and the Nanhai Fleet. Each fleet has fleet aviation headquarters, support bases, flotillas and maritime garrison commands, as well as aviation divisions and marine brigades. In September 2012, China's first aircraft carrier Liaoning was commissioned into the PLAN. China's development of an aircraft carrier has a profound impact on building a strong PLAN and safeguarding maritime security.
Hey, has someone been reading Mahan?
China is a major maritime as well as land country. The seas and oceans provide immense space and abundant resources for China's sustainable development, and thus are of vital importance to the people's wellbeing and China's future. It is an essential national development strategy to exploit, utilize and protect the seas and oceans, and build China into a maritime power.
With the gradual integration of China's economy into the world economic system, overseas interests have become an integral component of China's national interests. Security issues are increasingly prominent, involving overseas energy and resources, strategic sea lines of communication (SLOCs), and Chinese nationals and legal persons overseas. Vessel protection at sea, evacuation of Chinese nationals overseas, and emergency rescue have become important ways and means for the PLA to safeguard national interests and fulfill China's international obligations.
Just a friendly partner, I am sure.
Concluding Remarks
At the new stage in this new century, China's armed forces have effectively fulfilled their new historical missions, and enhanced their capabilities of accomplishing diversified military tasks, the most important of which is to win local wars under informationized conditions. They have resolutely defended national sovereignty, security and territorial integrity, strongly guaranteed national economic and social development and ensured that the people can live and work in peace and stability. Their accomplishment of a host of urgent, difficult, dangerous and arduous tasks has been remarkable, and through their staging of major exercises and training for combat readiness they have won the full trust of and high praise from the people.

At this new historical starting point, China's armed forces are undertaking missions which are noble and lofty, and assuming responsibilities which are paramount and honorable. They will constantly place above all else the protection of national sovereignty and security as well as the interests of the Chinese people. They will persistently regard maintaining world peace and promoting common development as their important missions, and accelerate the modernization of national defense and the armed forces. They will continue to actively participate in international security cooperation, and endeavor to foster, together with the armed forces of other countries, an international security environment of peace, stability, equality, mutual trust and win-win cooperation.
As we drift in to the new maritime paradigm remember; never judge a navy's intentions today - plan against its capabilities tomorrow.

Lt Gen Craig A. Franklin, USAF - Salamander GOFO of the Month

Last Thursday I asked again for someone senior to show some moral courage against the Commissariat. To stand athwart the political tracks and yell, "Stop."

Many of you may be familiar with the PC storm concerning Lt. Col. James Wilkerson, USAF and the following actions of Lt. Gen. Craig Franklin, USAF. Background here, here, here, here, and here.

I'm not going to say much more than to read the above and then bask in the top-shelf demonstration of honor in the face of crassness.

Bravo Zulu General.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

The War Returns to CONUS, on Midrats

The events of the last week in Boston has brought back to the front of the national conscience what, for the lack of a better description, is known as The Long War.

The threats we face are both domestic, foreign, and increasingly a mixture of both. Communication and transportation has created a breed of transnational threats that are not new, and whose causes, resources, and threat vectors are not as opaque as some may try to make them.

Starting out and working in, what are the lessons we should emphasize to mitigate the ongoing threat? As we continue in the second decade after 9/11/2001, what are we doing correctly, what still needs to be done - and what things are we wasting time and money on for little gain?

To discuss, our guest for the full hour Sunday, 21 April from 5-6pm EST be Steven Bucci, Director, Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation.

Prior to his work at Heritage, Dr. Bucci served America for three decades as an Army Special Forces officer, top Pentagon official, and lead consultant to IBM on cyber security policy. He published numerous articles on related issues and regularly contributed to “Security Debrief,” a leading national security blog. He is a sought-after speaker at conferences on cyber security.

As commander of 3rd Battalion, 5th Special Forces, Bucci led deployments to eastern Africa, South Asia and the Persian Gulf -- including Operation Desert Thunder in 1998 in response to Saddam Hussein’s threats to violate the no-fly zone over Iraq.

Bucci completed leadership tours in the 82nd Airborne as well as 5th & 7th Special Forces when, in July 2001, he assumed the duties of military assistant to Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld.

Little over nine weeks later, Bucci witnessed the 9/11 terrorist attack on the Pentagon. He worked directly for Rumsfeld daily for five and a half years. He continued to serve the defense secretary in a succession of posts until retiring from the Army in 2005 with the rank of colonel and stayed on at the Pentagon as a civilian appointee with the title of Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense.

Join us live if you can, but if you miss the show you can always listen to the archive at blogtalkradio.
Listen to internet radio with Midrats on Blog Talk Radio

Saturday, April 20, 2013

2nd Order Ponderings from Boston

As he does often, Mark Steyn manages to catch a fair bit of what I have been thinking under the surface - this time about how the attacks in Boston seemed to be covered by large portions of the 4th Estate.

The last bit summarizes something we all need to ponder when we decide where we get out news, and how we let others inform our opinion - and to think deeper why the decision makers make some things news, and not others.
It’s very weird to live in a society where mass death is important insofar as it serves the political needs of the dominant ideology. A white male loner killing white kindergartners in Connecticut is news; a black doctor butchering black babies in Pennsylvania is not. When the manhunt in Boston began, I received a bunch of e-mails sneering I was gagging for it to be the Muzzies just as hungrily as lefties were for it to be an NRA guy, a Tea Partier, a Sarah Palin donor. But, actually, I wasn’t. On Monday, it didn’t feel Islamic: a small death toll at a popular event but not one with the resonance and iconic quality the big-time jihadists like — like 9/11, the embassy bombings, the U.S.S. Cole. After all, if the jihad crowd wanted to blow up a few people here and there IRA-style they could have been doing it all this last decade.

On the other hand, it didn’t feel like one of those freelance bumblers — the Pantybomber, the Times Square Bomber — finally got lucky. It feels like something in between, something new. Is it just a one-off? Or a strategic evolution?

UPDATE: Boston is bringing both sides together at least.

From the left; Bill Maher:

From the right; Senator Scott (R-SC).

Friday, April 19, 2013

Fullbore Friday

Just a man?
With America's entry into the Second World War approaching, Congress passed the Selective Service Act. Don Faith was called in for his draft physical, but was rejected for the same dental disqualification that thwarted his admission to the United States Military Academy. However Faith was able to appeal the draft board's decision, and he was inducted on June 25, 1941. After completion of Officer Candidate School, he was commissioned on February 26, 1942.

Lieutenant Faith was assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division and spent the remainder of the war with the division. He served as both an aide to Brig. Gen. Matthew Ridgway and as a staff officer in the division. In addition to participating in all of the division's combat jumps during the war, Faith was awarded two Bronze Stars and was promoted to Lt. Colonel.

After World War II, Faith served with the military mission in China until it was withdrawn. His next assignment was with the 7th Infantry Division in Japan as a battalion commander. When the war in Korea broke out during the summer of 1950, Faith and the 7th Infantry were sent to help stop the invasion of North Korea. Faith was the Commander of the 1st Battalion, 32st Infantry Regiment.[2] The 31st RCT was part of the force that pushed north with the objective of reaching the Yalu River. The 31st RCT was on the eastern bank of the Chosin Reservoir when the Chinese Communist Forces (CCF) stage a massive attack on the night of November 27, 1950. This began the Battle of Chosin Reservoir that would last until December 13, 1950.

During a desperate drive south by convoy along the only road on December 1, the 31st Regimental Commander, Colonel Allan D. MacLean was killed so the command of the entire regiment went to Faith.[3] Later the same day, Faith led an attack again a CCF roadblock when he was wounded by a fragment grenade. Faith was loaded into the cab of a 2 1/2 Ton Truck and with Pfc. Russell L. Barney driving it was the only truck to get through the last roadblock. As Barney was driving they were struck by small arms fire by the CCF at which time Faith was hit again and died. At some point Barney had to abandon the truck leaving Faith's body in the truck. Barney made it back to the safety of United Nations lines where he later reported his account.[4] Like all the dead and wounded who were killed by the CCF and left with all the abandoned convoy vehicles, as none of the convoy vehicles made it to safety, Faith was listed as Missing in Action.
For his action:
Medal of Honor Citation

General Orders: Department of the Army, General Orders No. 59 (August 2, 1951)
Action Date: November 27 - December 1, 1950
Service: Army
Rank: Lieutenant Colonel
Company: Commanding Officer
Battalion: 1st Battalion
Regiment: 32d Infantry Regiment
Division: 7th Infantry Division


The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pride in presenting the Medal of Honor (Posthumously) to Lieutenant Colonel (Infantry) Don Carlos Faith, Jr. (ASN: 0-46673), United States Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action above and beyond the call of duty while Commanding the 1st Battalion, 32d Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division, in action against enemy aggressor forces at Hagaru-ri, (Chosin Reservoir) North Korea, from 27 November to 1 December 1950. When the enemy launched a fanatical attack against his battalion, Lieutenant Colonel Faith unhesitatingly exposed himself to heavy enemy fire as he moved about directing the action. When the enemy penetrated the positions, Lieutenant Colonel Faith personally led counterattacks to restore the position. During an attack by his battalion to effect a junction with another U.S. unit, Lieutenant Colonel Faith reconnoitered the route for, and personally directed, the first elements of his command across the ice-covered reservoir and then directed the movement of his vehicles which were loaded with wounded until all of his command had passed through the enemy fire. Having completed this he crossed the reservoir himself. Assuming command of the force his unit had joined he was given the mission of attacking to join friendly elements to the south. Lieutenant Colonel Faith, although physically exhausted in the bitter cold, organized and launched an attack which was soon stopped by enemy fire. He ran forward under enemy small-arms and automatic weapons fire, got his men on their feet and personally led the fire attack as it blasted its way through the enemy ring. As they came to a hairpin curve, enemy fire from a roadblock again pinned the column down. Lieutenant Colonel Faith organized a group of men and directed their attack on the enemy positions on the right flank. He then placed himself at the head of another group of men and in the face of direct enemy fire led an attack on the enemy roadblock, firing his pistol and throwing grenades. When he had reached a position approximately 30 yards from the roadblock he was mortally wounded, but continued to direct the attack until the roadblock was overrun. Throughout the five days of action Lieutenant Colonel Faith gave no thought to his safety and did not spare himself. His presence each time in the position of greatest danger was an inspiration to his men. Also, the damage he personally inflicted firing from his position at the head of his men was of material assistance on several occasions. Lieutenant Colonel Faith's outstanding gallantry and noble self-sacrifice above and beyond the call of duty reflect the highest honor on him and are in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Army.
(This award supersedes the prior award of the Silver Star (First Oak Leaf Cluster) as announced in G.O. No. 32, Headquarters X Corps, dated 23 February 1951, for gallantry in action on 27 November 1950.)[7]
Don, welcome home.
The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that a serviceman, who was unaccounted-for from the Korean War, has been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Army Lt. Col. Don C. Faith Jr. of Washington, Ind., will be buried April 17, in Arlington National Cemetery. Faith was a veteran of World War II and went on to serve in the Korean War. In late 1950, Faith’s 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, which was attached to the 31st Regimental Combat Team (RCT), was advancing along the eastern side of the Chosin Reservoir, in North Korea. From Nov. 27 to Dec. 1, 1950, the Chinese People’s Volunteer Forces (CPVF) encircled and attempted to overrun the U.S. position. During this series of attacks, Faith’s commander went missing, and Faith assumed command of the 31st RCT. As the battle continued, the 31st RCT, which came to be known as “Task Force Faith,” was forced to withdraw south along Route 5 to a more defensible position. During the withdrawal, Faith continuously rallied his troops, and personally led an assault on a CPVF position.

Records compiled after the battle of the Chosin Reservoir, to include eyewitness reports from survivors of the battle, indicated that Faith was seriously injured by shrapnel on Dec. 1, 1950, and subsequently died from those injuries on Dec. 2, 1950. His body was not recovered by U.S. forces at that time. Faith was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor­­ – the United States’ highest military honor – for personal acts of exceptional valor during the battle.

In 2004, a joint U.S. and Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea (D.P.R.K) team surveyed the area where Faith was last seen. His remains were located and returned to the U.S. for identification.

To identify Faith’s remains, scientists from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory (AFDIL) used circumstantial evidence, compiled by DPMO and JPAC researchers, and forensic identification tools, such as dental comparison. They also used mitochondrial DNA – which matched Faith’s brother.

Today, more than 7,900 Americans remain unaccounted for from the Korean War. Using modern technology, identifications continue to be made from remains that were previously turned over by North Korean officials or recovered from North Korea by American teams.
Maj. Gen. Michael S. Linnington, commanding general, Joint Force Headquarters-National Capital Region/Military District of Washington, hands a flag to Barbara (Bobbie) Broyles, during the funeral of her father, Lt. Col. Faith Jr., April 17, 2013, in Arlington National Cemetery, Va. He had been killed Dec. 1, 1950, near the Chosin Reservoir in North Korea.
Hat tip Ricks.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Crowdsource Their A55

Someone knows these two men.

UPDATE: What do these guys find interesting? Check out one of the guys, Tamerlan Tsarnaev's youtube page.

Task Force KAFKA: the strange case of the wandering IG

It is time.

Someone has to do this, so why not me?

Everyone go get a fresh cup of coffee; close the door; put the phone to voice mail - and let's dive in.

Post FOIA, go ahead and follow the click for the NAVINSGEN 201203467 Senior Official Investigation Commander Strike Group THREE 8 Feb 2013 - or just read below. Either way, you'll need it as we'll be discussing by paragraph.

I want you to keep this in mind for the rest of this post as it is critical for all that follows; the core of this IG is in para. 1. Scroll to it then come back ... I'll wait.

All else is secondary to this central initiating charge; "Complainant alleged that Subject was an abusive leader ... "

That is, in the end, what this is all about. The Complainant did not like that the Senior Officer Present Afloat (SOPA), the Subject, called him on his unnecessarily hazardous shiphandling while SOPA was there and ultimately accountable for anything that followed - something every 1/C MIDN understands.

Officers, keep this in mind as well to how we came to this point. Remember what we teach about conflict resolution and redress of grievances. Keeping to the lowest level and try to resolve via an informal process first, then formal. In broad strokes, correct? Correct.

In this case, the Complainant just blew this off.  Nowhere do I see where he talked to the Chief of Staff or the next superior in the Chain of Command first. No, he did two things; 1) immediately selected the nuclear option and initiated an IG and 2) in a spiteful and knowingly ruinous manner, then using his interpretations of private conversations between him and the Subject, rolled in unrelated, highly subjective, and unprovable allegations that were related to the 3rd rail of the Navy; (D)iversity.

To h3ll with the Attorney General and his desire to have us not, "be a nation of cowards" about race - oh no - not in the Navy. You are to be a coward and to be in receive only - even in private conversations - as will be demonstrated in detail, but I'm getting ahead of myself.  Let's look at the allegations.

In para 5, there are four Allegations. #1 is what could best be looked at as a "General Article" i.e. NAVREGS, Article 1131, Exemplary Conduct. That is more or less the Executive Summary.

Allegation #2 goes back to the initiating cause of this IG, Article 1023, Abuse of Authority.

Allegations #3 and #4 are both related to the nasty nature of the Complainant's actions; SECNAVINST 5350.16A, Equal Opportunity within the Department of the Navy and OPNAVINST 5354.1F, CH-1, Navy Equal Opportunity Policy - and NAVREGS, Article 1133, Language Reflecting on a Superior.  

Yes, to be publicly denounced in #3 and #4 as described, innocent or guilty, will end all that took decades to build. The Complainant knew that - he knew exactly what he was doing. The part that makes me feel unclean even reading it, is that it was based on private conversations - candid conversations - and conversations that the details of which vary widely depending on who is telling the story. The fact that the IG defaulted to an already discredited source and the worst case option is highly disturbing.   

There are lessons from Allegations #3 and #4 that everyone who wears the uniform will need to take onboard.  I was taught it as a JO by a wise DH - and it didn't make me the most social person in the Wardroom - but it served me well. We'll get in to that later.

So, the long pole in the tent - what we actually hire a Carrier Strike Group Commander to do is in Allegation #2 and is why this was all started. Let us speak as adults here - it is what happened on the bridge that is important - everything else is just the poison slathered on the edge of the blade.

Para 11 outlines the Complainant's charge that Subject, "exploded and launched into an unprofessional, unbalanced, and disturbing tirade" during a VTC. 

Well, testimony from different people in paras 14, 15, 16, and 17 state in part, "never heard (Subject) raise his voice, .... did not recall a time when Subject had shown and explosion of anger ... had never felt "humiliated" or "personally attacked" by Subject ... could not recall a time when any Warfare Commander was openly reprimanded by Subject ... "

Did people describe a Strike Group Commander who could be a bit "flinty" in Salamanderese? Sure ... but what Shoe Admiral isn't? Military leaders are allowed to be "flinty" and everything I have read, and the first person testimony describes, is well withing half a standard deviation of behavior.  Funny - the only person who seems to have an issues is ... the Complainant. All witnesses are more aligned with the Subject than the Complainant. 

Also remember, this isn't an 8-year YN3 making this charge, this is a Navy Captain. I have to keep reminding myself of this.

Para 20 is when we get to a discussion about what happened on the bridge.  Complainant stated that the Subject, "blew up at me and launched into a tirade in front of my junior personnel. [It} was a clear attempt to debase me in front of my bridge team at a very critical time of the transit."

You need to read para 21 for the context, but here is the point when I come to a full stop and am frankly shocked that this needs explaining .... but the Subject, as SOPA had to explain it. As per the Subject; "I was mindful of the ARLEIGH BURKE incident in Norfolk, where the Commodore was on the bridge, knew the ship was standing into danger and did nothing. And it was my responsibility as Senior Officer Present Afloat to weight-in."

In my world, the SOPA when his Flagship is in danger is cleared hot to act in any way necessary ... but in this specific case, how do objective witnesses report what happened?

Para 23 has the Subject's take on what happened, and then paras 24-31 have a few of these comments; "I saw [the Complainant] and the Admiral have a brief exchange of words. I couldn't make out anything they were saying ... It was brief, and the Admiral left the bridge. ... the Subject did not blow up or yell at Complainant ..."

So, again - we have a situation where the Complainant makes an exaggerated claim that no witnesses agree with - and actually state just the opposite took place. Also, if you have not, I cannot emphasize the critical requirement for you to read paras 27-30, especially if you have transited the waters in question.

Yes, this is mindsplittingly painful to read. You need some comic relief ... and the IG supplies it at a perfect time. Read paras 32-33 only because it has one adult acting butthurt because he thinks the other called him a "fucking shoe."

No, I am not making that up. Para 36 again makes the Complainant seem very small and petty.

Skip to para 50 and read on to 62, and yes, you are reading what you are reading.  42 witnesses were interviewed because one US Navy Captain was concerned that potty-mouth language was used by a Rear Admiral against a nation that has been killing Americans for almost 35-years. 

I really have nothing more to say.

Then all you 13XX types and/or those who have done a Carrier tour, gird your loins ... get your smelling salts ... and prepare to have a good cry; Foc'sle Follies from para 63 through 76. 

Do you know that four letter words and unseemly hand gestures may have been used? My stars and garters!

Again, I don't really have anything to say - I'm gobsmacked that this is where we are. I'll let the Subject speak for me; "We live in a culture where we ask people to risk their lives. Especially the pilots that land those machines on those carriers. They have a culture. A culture based on mutual teasing. Giving each other a hard time. For the purposes of my presentation of Foc'sle Follies, I was adapting to that culture."

Well, so much for multi-culturalism, I guess.

I want to stop for just a moment, and I want everyone to re-read those paragraphs in the attached document. Go ahead, I'll wait.

Now, think back to your deployments, your Shipmates, your Foc'sle Follies - are you ready to be held to this standard? Really? You think this is good? Even better - as Captain Honors taught us - are you ready to be held accountable retroactively

Now for the nasty bits.

As a scene setter - ponder what we have been told over the last couple of decades about "Diversity." Specifically CNOs Mullen and Roughead were beating the drums hardest to ensure that we take (D)iversity in to account in everything we do. Accountability reviews, different recruiting and admission standards based on race and ethnicity, specific career tracking and guidance based on DNA. We have seen Flag Officers shopping (D)iversity lists to potential board members of people who shared their DNA background for goodness sake - and people are supposed to not assume that this does not result in selection results down the road?

We have seen all these things and more, heck - I've participated in special treatment for some due to their DNA as ordered from higher up the chain. It is part of this business and has been for awhile. As a result - would it be unexpected if the topic came up?

Paras 77-100 are dedicated to a Kafkaesque mix of he-said-he-said where in the end - the benefit of the doubt is given to the Complainant who earlier on in the investigation was shown to see the world vastly differently than others who had first hand knowledge of the Subject's words and behavior. Why this change by the IG? Simple; they see anything (D)iversity related as more important than anything else, it is radioactive and if it blows it has one he11 of a frag pattern. Goodness knows the IG doesn't want to be accused of not taking (D)iversity seriously. 

If the allegations are true or not is not central in their mind - it is the charge that gets them excited, and the IG's lack of clear-headed focus is shown early.

Note in the personal email described in para 77, "... and email to six White senior members ..." - stop right there. 

What difference does that make? What if the email was sent to a, dare I say, diverse mix of race and ethnicity ... would that make a difference? Is the IG implying some larger racial context, and in doing so - casting dispersion on all in the email?  

Oh ... but wait ... check footnote #9.  Looks like the Zimmerman rule is in effect; "...(PERS-8) stated that these officers self-reported in their official personnel file that they were White, No Ethnicity, with the exception of Complainant who is listed as White, Mexican."

Yes, the IG made the effort to send names to Millington to get the Navy's Erbgesundheitsgerichte Department of Eugenics' opinion of racial classification of those in the email. Welcome to post-racial America Shipmates.

So, the email wasn't sent to the executive committee of the Grand Kleagles .... and the Complainant was part of that email and claims, I guess, to be Hispanic?

A reminder people; go online and change your ethnicity to anything but White. Get an account at ancestry.com and claim something else you find there or, more accurately, claim mixed race of some kind.  We have Flag Officers who have claimed more with less ... as we've covered here. Just click the Diversity tag and you'll find it all.

Then there is the whole sorted mess about how all of a sudden, Mel Brooks movies are now considered racist.  Has someone told Mel?

How many people here have watched Blazing Saddles? Are we to confiscate all copies of them on Navy ships now? In decades of watching that movie with every sliver of the glorious rainbow that is our Navy ... "I am uncomfortable" was spoken by no one, ever.

Para 81 through 100 cover the topics of private conversations that the Complainant and the Subject had together about some minority Flag Officers. 

Yes, there are no private conversations with the Complainant that will not be kept in strategic use for him to use against you later if needed. Keep that in mind everyone. 

As to the details, there is a wide difference between what the two say was discussed - and based upon what we know in totality, I'll let you judge who should get the benefit of the doubt - but it is a ligit topic.

As for the topic in question, we know that we have special programs, standards, and procedures in dealing with people based on self-identified ethnicity. It is much more than giving more attention to one group vice another; it is more than what goes on in the zero-sum game that is recruiting and admissions (again, just click the Diversity tab if you need context and reference) - no, it is policy. Why can't we talk about possible second and third order effects of said policy? Oh, that's right. 

The tremendous pressure that come via the accountability reviews, phone calls, and yes - IG complaints - make it common knowledge that some, though not all of course, are being selected for reasons other than performance. Who? That is the sad part - most would make it on their own, but because of the different treatment, there is always that doubt. Not fair, but the fault is all Big Navy - not those who talk about it in private. 

As an organization, we admit that we act that way all the time - it is a goal that we are pushing harder in the name-by-name tracking and career management policies based on race that we have documented through the years. It is beyond even Kafkaesque to be punished for actually saying this in a private conversation - when we bring Reserve officers on ADSW just to create the PPT briefings saying so.

People talk of such things in the Fleet. I have had such conversations with people of all races - does that mean our private conversations of grass being green and water being wet are now subject to some bizarre combination of Grand Inquisition and the Star Chamber? The conversation I had with a peer who is of mostly sub-Saharan extraction while fishing - where he brings up topics as outlined in the IG report - does that mean I need to report him? 

Is it worse than minority Flag Officers who have discussed this topic in open forum (watch out, those dudes with loops in the back of the room have ears dontchaknow) - and have bragged about how they were going to ensure that more of their ethnicity would advance through direct intervention based on race?

Have we reached the point that he-said-he-said defaults to whatever sounds worst? Do we make the innocent prove a negative?

The IG totally loses me after para 105 stating, "Our last major discussion of Article 1131, in a senior official investigation conducted in 2003, indicated our belief that no discussion of the standard would be complete without reference to the following John Paul Jones description of a naval officer:..."

Yes, for the love of Pete they use that thoroughly debunked false quote from JPJ in an IG report to judge a real, actual, active duty Rear Admiral. Pathetic.

This whole episode is sad and is a blazing (pun intended) example of a rot at the core of our system. 

Let's summarize. 

What we have here is a subordinate officer whose vast majority of statements concerning what he accuses a superior officer of saying are not in alignment with witnesses' reports. The subordinate shows all the signs of a highly insecure officer who had his feelings hurt. As a result, and knowing that what hurt his feelings could not be used to "get back" at the senior officer, he folded in a toxic stew of unrelated racial accusations based on personal conversations in dispute and a joke from a Mel Brooks movie - none of which offended anyone except the IG.

The Subject is cleared of what is the real issue - but it is the political ones that got him. Yes, it is political.

We have an IG who is trying to survive and do the right thing in a highly politicized environment where anything concerning race is radioactive - regardless on how accurate it is. The results speak for themselves.

No one could survive a dragnet like this. No one. This is a very sad tale - not just for the subject of the IG, but for our Navy - and specifically those on the STENNIS who are still serving under the Complainant; someone whose character we know a lot more about now than we do about the Subject.

Like I said over the weekend, Karma is a b1tch. Complainant, take note.

Those junior, ponder a few special lessons so you don't inadvertently give those who would do you harm weapons to use against you.
1. Trust no one. Contrary opinion and/or statement of fact is now punishable.
2. Put nothing in an email or paper that an IG can get hold of that is not official in nature.
3. Get an ancestry.com account. Use broad brushes. ABW; Anything But White. Don't worry about being untruthful; race/ethnicity is just a construct of the mind - just look at Hispanic from Afro-Cuban to Chilean Germans.

Finally, a point for those who love our Navy;
1. At every point where you can do so without leaving fingerprints or getting yourself in trouble; undermine the (D)iversity machine that is now not just being used just to build up some at the expense of others - but to destroy through denouncement. Introduce errors in to their metrics. Listen respectfully but do not act where you have the option. Slow roll, avoid, re-direct. Keep evidence, names, numbers, images of slides of those things you can being used by those who are abusing the system for their own agenda. This system is not fighting fair, prepare to defend yourself. Wrong but lawful is still wrong. If you cannot act, help those who can. Help those who are being abused by the system - help hold accountable those who are using the system to abuse others and for their own gain.

Our Navy is better than this; our Sailors deserve better than this.