Saturday, April 16, 2011

World with commanders' areas of responsibility

Female Colombian snipers 'fighting to defend Col Gaddafi in Libya'

Female Colombian snipers 'fighting to defend Col Gaddafi in Libya' - Telegraph
Prisoners loyal to Col Gaddafi and eyewitnesses in Misurata, the largest city in western Libya partially under rebel control, have given accounts of highly-trained women snipers from the South American country operating in the area.

Mercenaries fighting for Col Gaddafi's regime are reportedly being paid up to $1,000 a day.

None of the Colombians have yet been captured or killed but according to rebels they are part of a wider force of snipers basing themselves on high buildings in Misurata.

The female fighters are likely to be members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), which has been fighting Colombia's government since the 1960s.

Information found on computers belonging to Raul Reyes, a FARC commander killed by Colombian soldiers in 2008, indicated that the guerilla group has long-standing links to Libya.... Rebels in Libya claim they have evidence that Col Gaddafi has also received
assistance from mercenaries or supporters originating from countries as
diverse as Algeria, Belarus and Chad.

-- bth: one should always be cautious of articles exclusively presented by the Telegraph, but that said, this has a ring of truth to it.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

ABC News Exclusive: Pat Tillman’s Mom Wants General Stanley McChrystal Removed From White House Post

ABC News Exclusive: Pat Tillman’s Mom Wants General Stanley McChrystal Removed From White House Post - Political Punch
President Obama appointed retired General Stanley McChrystal to co-chair a commission on military families this week, but according to perhaps the most prominent military family of the last decade, McChrystal is unfit for that duty.

Mary Tillman, mother of Pat Tillman, the former professional football player turned Army Ranger who was tragically killed by friendly fire 7 years ago, is angered by McChrystal’s appointment, telling ABC News that he was part of the propaganda effort pushing the false tale that Tillman had been killed by the enemy, and keeping the truth from the world -- and their family.

“I was actually pretty shocked to hear it; I don't think it’s the appropriate choice,” Tillman told ABC News. “Considering that we have plenty of evidence indicating that McChrystal was involved in the cover-up of Pat’s death...he's not the right person for that kind of a job.”

Tillman says the president's appointment of McChrystal "makes him look foolish, frankly."

She tells ABC News that "someone who has a heartfelt desire to help families would not have been involved in the cover-up of a soldier’s death, especially one that they used to promote a war.”

McChrystal -- who declined comment to ABC News -- was the commander of special operations in Afghanistan when Tillman was killed in April 2004. Soon after McChrystal wrote his commanders an urgent memo that, "It is highly possible that Corporal Tillman was killed by friendly fire.”...

-- bth: she is absolutely right.  McChrystal was involved in the coverup and propagandizement of Pat Tillman.  It was a dumb move by Pres. Obama to bring McChrystal into the White House all things considered.  That is unless they think Petraeus is going to run with Romney.

Analysis: Libya tests limits of NATO without US

Analysis: Libya tests limits of NATO without US
President Barack Obama's insistence that NATO, not the U.S., take the lead in attacking Moammar Gadhafi's military is exposing a hard truth about an alliance that never before fought an air campaign with the U.S. in a back seat. Even against an enemy as weak as Libya, NATO needs the backbone of U.S. might to fight effectively.

It's not a matter of NATO's 27 non-U.S. member countries having too few combat aircraft, pilots or bombs. The problem instead is that while some, such as France and Britain, are willing to participate fully, others have limited their roles to noncombat action, and still others have decided not to participate militarily at all.

All have grown accustomed to a far different alignment — one in which the U.S. leads the way and bears the bulk of the combat burden. That's not a surprise, given that NATO was created in 1949 as a U.S.-led bulwark against the threat of an invasion of western Europe by the former Soviet Union.

Libya was supposed to be different.

In his March 28 speech explaining the mission to the American public, Obama described Libya as an instructive example of a problem that does not directly threaten American security. That means that while the U.S. should help protect civilians there, it should not have to bear the burden on its own, Obama said.

"Real leadership creates the conditions and coalitions for others to step up as well; to work with allies and partners so that they bear their share of the burden and pay their share of the costs," Obama said. He said he was fully confident that NATO, as "our most effective alliance," would be able to "keep the pressure on" those Gadhafi ground forces that had not already been destroyed or damaged in an initial U.S.-led air assault.

At the time of his speech, NATO had just announced the decision to assume full responsibility for commanding the Libya operation, with the U.S. providing support such as flying most of the aircraft that provide surveillance and reconnaissance of the battlefield, as well as flying planes to refuel NATO jets....

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Graham vows to bring Senate to standstill over $40K for project

Graham vows to bring Senate to standstill over $40K for project - TheHill.com
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) has vowed to bring the Senate to a standstill unless congressional leaders agree to allocate $40,000 for a federal study on deepening the Port of Charleston.

Graham says one out of five jobs in South Carolina stem from trade through Charleston’s busy port, and he warns the entire state economy will suffer unless the port is overhauled.

The senator suffered a setback last week when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) did not include the funding in the 2011 budget deal.

Graham said he will not block the budget agreement to keep the government funded through the end of September but that he will hold up all other business until the matter is resolved. He said he would not delay the stopgap spending measure because it includes funding for troops in Afghanistan and Iraq.

But his stand could delay the confirmation of nominees and completion of small-business legislation that has languished on the Senate floor for weeks....

--- bth: petulant titty baby

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

China sends fighters to Pakistan for exercise

China sends fighters to Pakistan for exercise
China and Pakistan have conducted a joint-air exercise called Shaheen-1, which saw the first ever deployment of a Chinese air force contingent to Pakistan.

"A contingent of Chinese PLA air force comprising combat aircraft, pilots and technicians arrived at an operational base of the Pakistan air force," the latter service says. "The exercise has been designed to share mutual experiences, hone professional skills, and accrue maximum benefits from the expertise of the two air forces."

Pakistan has not disclosed details about the types of aircraft involved, the missions performed, the location of the exercise, or the total number of personnel involved. The only official image shows 24 officers, 12 Pakistani and 12 Chinese.

The exercise took place over two weeks in March.

China and Pakistan have a long history of defence collaboration. Most recently the two countries co-developed the Chengdu/Pakistan Aeronautical Complex JF-17 Thunder multi-role fighter. The Pakistan air force also had a prominent presence at 2010's Air Show China in Zhuhai, with a large chalet and several aircraft on display.

At the November show Zeng Wen, vice-president of the China National Aero-Technology Import and Export Corporation, said Pakistan had 50 firm orders for the JF-17, but could end up buying 200. The nation's first two full-strength JF-17 squadrons are in the process of becoming fully operational.

--- bth: the realignment of alliances with India/USA on one side and China/Pakistan on the other is forming up.

Insurgents plant mines to prevent destruction of poppy fields

Insurgents Plant Mines to Prevent Destruction of Poppy Fields
Officials in Helmand provinces say farmers and Taliban insurgents in the province plant mines to prevent destruction of their poppy fields.

According to local officials 7,000 hectares of land in the southern Helmand province have been cleared of poppy.

The destruction of poppy fields in the provincial capital Lashkargah and 10 other districts is continuing, officials said.

The campaign has started a month ago.

Several soldiers of the counter-narcotics department have so far been killed in mine explosions and insurgent attacks in the province.

Dawood Ahmadi, a spokesman for Governor of Helmand province, said 1,300 hectares of land have been cleared of poppy in Marja district alone.

The people and farmers have also cooperated voluntarily by taking part in the destruction of poppy fields in Marja district.

The campaign is expected to be accomplished in less than a month.

Insurgents are believed to be active in some villages of Helmand.

There are around 10,000 UK troops deployed in the province.

Long war: Shifting Taliban tactics in dealing with Marines

Aggressive Marine tactics thin enemy ranks, alter Taliban tactics - Threat Matrix
...West's football metaphor and anecdote more efficiently echo my assessment from January, which was based on my embed in northern Helmand last summer:

But I can attest that the story of USMC entry into northern Helmand has been invariably, incrementally the same: Wherever the Marines took over for the British, the Taliban would initially engage them in stand-up fights, attacking with small arms fire and traditional ambushes; but after a period of about three to six weeks, the insurgents alter their tactics to rely heavily on IEDs and "shoot and scoot" small arms attacks at a distance.

In each successive area, the insurgents made this tactical adjustment because they suffered far too many casualties when trying to hold their ground after engaging the Marines. For example, in late June 2010, RCT-2 officers estimated that 3/7 killed about 100 Taliban fighters in a single engagement just outside a village called Regay, in southern Musa Qala near Sangin. And the Marines were happy to show off bulletin board material: transcripts of intercepted radio communications by insurgent subcommanders expressing dismay that the Americans were more aggressive than their predecessors.

Notably, stand-up Taliban resistance in Sangin has lasted longer than "three to six weeks." This is certainly due to the district's proximity to the border of Kandahar province and its status as a nexus for the insurgents' opium trade.

Taliban alters its deadly IED tactics

Taliban alters its deadly IED tactics - Washington Times
Insurgents in Afghanistan have changed tactics in how they place deadly improvised explosive devices (IEDs), prompting a war-veteran congressman to propose a relatively simple technique to find and detonate them.

Rep. Duncan Hunter, a Marine Corps reserve officer who saw combat in Afghanistan and Iraq, noted that Marines and soldiers are being maimed and killed by foot-deep pressure-activated mines.

The Taliban is creating belts of such IEDs around villages that U.S. troops approach by foot. Mr. Hunter said the IED ring is a relatively new implement in the 10-year-old war.

The enemy had put more focus on burying much larger explosives along roads to blow up armored vehicles and kill multiple troops in one blast.

But in a cat-and-mouse contest, the U.S. became skilled at constantly monitoring roads using high-flying spy aircraft, spotting bomb placers and then calling in helicopter gunships to kill them.

“You don’t hear of very many vehicle kills anymore,” Mr. Hunter, California Republican and a member of the House Armed Services Committee, told The Washington Times. “We’ve kind of fought that battle and won it.”

Yet the Taliban is resilient.

“What they’ve now done is put pressure plates, basically land mines, like the Viet Cong used to do, in defensive perimeters around the villages,” Mr. Hunter said. “Our Marines walk through, and there is enough explosive to either kill the Marine or solider or take off two legs, or one leg or two legs and an arm. Sometimes killing them. Sometimes not.”

IEDs are the biggest killers of U.S. and allied troops in Afghanistan, accounting for at least 57 percent of battlefield fatalities each year since 2007. This year, of 93 allied fatalities, of which 79 were U.S., 57 came from IEDs, according to the website iCasualties.org.

Several weeks ago, Mr. Hunter and a private contractor discussed a simple solution: Provide each Marine approaching a village on foot with a heavy robot affixed with a 3-foot-wide conveyor belt. The Marine could remotely control the vehicle so it travels far enough ahead of him that a triggered blast would not injure any troops.

Mr. Hunter’s idea was buttressed over the weekend when he went bird hunting with Marines wounded by IEDs. They told him some Marines have requested that their families send them toy trucks that they could weigh down and use like bomb-detonating robots.

“When I talked to Marines Saturday, they were all floored,” he said. “That is exactly what they have been asking for.”

Mr. Hunter said he recently discussed the robot idea with Ashton Carter, undersecretary of defense for acquisition. He said Mr. Carter said he would look into it.

The Pentagon had no immediate comment.

“This is one of those things that is very simple,” Mr. Hunter said. “It’s going to make our government look completely idiotic for not implementing this or at least trying to.”

Now in his second term, Mr. Hunter has been a leading advocate in Congress for continually changing counter-IED tactics to match the enemy’s.

He saw in Iraq how the 2006 creation of a special unit, the Army’s Task Force ODIN (observe, detect, identify, neutralize), helped turn the tide of battle. The task force took a new approach: patrol roads in high-flying spy planes, catch the people planting the bombs in the act and kill them.

The Pentagon’s Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization has spent billions of dollars on various gadgets designed to defeat IEDs by detecting or jamming the weapons’ electronics.

In recent months, some commanders have expressed the view that a simpler approach is needed - such as assigning a bomb-sniffing dog to every patrol.

Mr. Hunter said he thinks he succeeded last year in pressing the Pentagon to put ODIN-type task forces in Afghanistan.

Now the department needs a simpler approach to defeat the village land mine, he sai

Long War: Taliban occupy abandoned US outpost in Kunar

Taliban occupy abandoned US outpost in Kunar - The Long War Journal

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- bth: it is not surprising that this outpost would be occupied.  What is surprising is that there is no airstrike on it.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Taliban alters its deadly IED tactics

Taliban alters its deadly IED tactics - Washington Times

Insurgents in Afghanistan
have changed tactics in how they place deadly improvised explosive
devices (IEDs), prompting a war-veteran congressman to propose a
relatively simple technique to find and detonate them.

Rep. Duncan Hunter, a Marine Corps reserve officer who saw combat in Afghanistan and Iraq, noted that Marines and soldiers are being maimed and killed by foot-deep pressure-activated mines.

The Taliban is creating belts of such IEDs around villages that U.S. troops approach by foot. Mr. Hunter said the IED ring is a relatively new implement in the 10-year-old war.

The
enemy had put more focus on burying much larger explosives along roads
to blow up armored vehicles and kill multiple troops in one blast.

But
in a cat-and-mouse contest, the U.S. became skilled at constantly
monitoring roads using high-flying spy aircraft, spotting bomb placers
and then calling in helicopter gunships to kill them.

“You don’t hear of very many vehicle kills anymore,” Mr. Hunter, California Republican and a member of the House Armed Services Committee, told The Washington Times. “We’ve kind of fought that battle and won it.”

Yet the Taliban is resilient.

“What
they’ve now done is put pressure plates, basically land mines, like the
Viet Cong used to do, in defensive perimeters around the villages,” Mr. Hunter
said. “Our Marines walk through, and there is enough explosive to
either kill the Marine or solider or take off two legs, or one leg or
two legs and an arm. Sometimes killing them. Sometimes not.”

IEDs are the biggest killers of U.S. and allied troops in Afghanistan,
accounting for at least 57 percent of battlefield fatalities each year
since 2007. This year, of 93 allied fatalities, of which 79 were U.S.,
57 came from IEDs, according to the website iCasualties.org.

Several weeks ago, Mr. Hunter
and a private contractor discussed a simple solution: Provide each
Marine approaching a village on foot with a heavy robot affixed with a
3-foot-wide conveyor belt. The Marine could remotely control the vehicle
so it travels far enough ahead of him that a triggered blast would not
injure any troops.

Mr. Hunter’s
idea was buttressed over the weekend when he went bird hunting with
Marines wounded by IEDs. They told him some Marines have requested that
their families send them toy trucks that they could weigh down and use
like bomb-detonating robots.

“When I talked to Marines Saturday, they were all floored,” he said. “That is exactly what they have been asking for.”

Mr. Hunter
said he recently discussed the robot idea with Ashton Carter,
undersecretary of defense for acquisition. He said Mr. Carter said he
would look into it.

The Pentagon had no immediate comment.

“This is one of those things that is very simple,” Mr. Hunter said. “It’s going to make our government look completely idiotic for not implementing this or at least trying to.”

Now in his second term, Mr. Hunter has been a leading advocate in Congress for continually changing counter-IED tactics to match the enemy’s.

He saw in Iraq
how the 2006 creation of a special unit, the Army’s Task Force ODIN
(observe, detect, identify, neutralize), helped turn the tide of battle.
The task force took a new approach: patrol roads in high-flying spy
planes, catch the people planting the bombs in the act and kill them.

The
Pentagon’s Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization has
spent billions of dollars on various gadgets designed to defeat IEDs by
detecting or jamming the weapons’ electronics.

In recent months,
some commanders have expressed the view that a simpler approach is
needed - such as assigning a bomb-sniffing dog to every patrol.

Mr. Hunter said he thinks he succeeded last year in pressing the Pentagon to put ODIN-type task forces in Afghanistan.

Now the department needs a simpler approach to defeat the village land mine, he said.

Dismissal, divorce for 173rd Airborne - Army Times

Dismissal, divorce for 173rd Airborne leader - Army News | News from Afghanistan & Iraq - Army Times
Army officials March 25 announced the firing of Col. James Johnson III from command of the storied 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team in a press release — but refused to provide a specific reason why he was sacked.

Yet as he prepares for a possible court-martial, Johnson has to contend with a public legal battle with his wife, who accuses him of using his rank to move her out of the picture, gain custody of their son and move in with his Iraqi mistress.

Johnson has leveled charges of his own, filing a lawsuit that accused his wife of improper behavior as head of the unit’s Family Readiness Group. The bitter back-and-forth has played out from Vicenza, Italy, to upstate New York, where it prompted an embarrassing story in a major tabloid.

The allegations arising from the marital battle provide a possible glimpse into some of the conduct that led the Army to fire Johnson, a 1986 graduate of West Point. According to an Army official, the service is investigating criminal charges of adultery and fraud against him.

The Army relieved Johnson after an investigation “substantiated allegations of inappropriate conduct” and commanders “lost confidence in Col. Johnson’s ability to lead,” said a U.S. Army Europe spokesperson, who would not discuss the case further.

The Johnsons and their attorneys did not respond to several attempts to reach them. But legal papers portray a 23-year marriage rapidly unraveling. Kristina Johnson alleges in documents she filed in U.S. District Court in New York that her husband “consorted openly and notoriously on the military base with his Iraqi mistress.”

In January, James Johnson filed a petition in the New York federal court that asserted his right to custody of their son under international law. The petition was denied by a judge in February, but their divorce in New York state is ongoing.

Johnson, whom the Army suspended Feb. 17 while a 15-6 investigation was underway, was replaced by Col. Kyle Lear, the deputy commanding officer, as interim commander.
Conflicting claims

The well-known 173rd, the “Sky Soldiers,” is the brigade that Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta was serving with in Afghanistan when he performed the battlefield heroics that would earn him a Medal of Honor, the first awarded to a living recipient since Vietnam. The 173rd has deployed four times to Afghanistan, hosted famed journalists Sebastian Junger and Tim Hetherington, and endured the disastrous Battle of Wanat in July 2008.

But much of that took place before James Johnson, previously of the 101st Airborne Division’s 2nd Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, took command in October 2008. The unit deployed to eastern Afghanistan in November 2009.

A month before the deployment, Kristina Johnson confronted her husband with the accusation that he was having an extramarital affair with an Iraqi national who was living in The Hague, Netherlands, she said in court papers.

Though her husband said he ended the relationship, Kristina Johnson said she later uncovered emails that revealed the affair was ongoing and that her husband was providing the woman with “substantial financial assistance.”

Kristina Johnson said in the court documents that her husband gave her a list of more than $27,000 in payments and gifts he provided the alleged mistress, as well as the dates of 20 of his visits to the woman between March 2008 and August 2009.

Kristina Johnson said in court papers, “Despite [her husband’s] continued infidelities and dishonesty I still hoped to save our marriage and I agreed to delete the secret e-mails.”

But a rift opened in July, when Kristina Johnson threatened to leave her husband if he did not take leave and visit his family in Italy, and her husband refused, she claimed.

Instead, in the weeks after, he took a solo vacation in October without calling home and blocked his wife’s access to their finances, save for a monthly allowance of about $1,500, she said in court papers.

By Kristina Johnson’s account, her husband then used the powers of his rank and position to orchestrate her removal from their home on post and to force her return to the U.S. He did this, she claims, in an attempt to gain custody of their then-14-year-old son, while freeing himself to move his alleged mistress onto the post.

Kristina Johnson claims her husband revoked her “command sponsorship,” which denied her access to installation housing and medical services.

James Johnson denied this in federal court papers, saying his superiors in November issued orders that she leave the post, based solely on her “actions and behaviors,” and that he had nothing to do with those orders.

Kristina Johnson was issued Early Return of Dependent orders for her and the family in August, but months later, she alleges in court documents, her husband went behind her back to amend them and send her home alone.

In a sworn statement, Col. Erik Daiga, garrison commander at Vicenza, said he signed the orders because James Johnson had led him to believe the orders were “mutually agreed upon by both Col. and Mrs. Johnson.”

On Nov. 5, Daiga came home for lunch to find an irate Kristina Johnson inside his house with his wife.

“She claimed Col. Johnson was using the ERD process to take her son away from her and she was not going to let that happen,” Daiga said in his statement. “This is the first time I realized that Col. Johnson had not coordinated Mrs. Johnson’s travel arrangements with her.”

The next day, days before her husband returned from Afghanistan, Kristina Johnson and her son flew home to New York on a commercial airline.

James Johnson filed for divorce in Florida in December, and that case has since been superseded by his wife’s filing for divorce in New York.

In January, James Johnson filed the federal petition in New York, seeking custody of their son. In that filing, he accused his wife of trying to run off with their son.

He also accused her of improper behavior as senior adviser to the unit’s Family Readiness Group, of being rude to military spouses and conducting a “sexually oriented” workshop for spouses as an option for separation during deployment.

Kristina Johnson called the allegations a “smear campaign.”

She said in a response that the workshop was conducted by the Vicenza Military Community Behavioral Health Department, one of a series of topics the organization held on issues for spouses facing deployment. She called her husband’s portrayal of the workshop “salacious.”

Her legal filings include sworn statements by multiple FRG participants who refute the allegations, but the embarrassing claims were the subject of a New York Post story in January.

Kelly Thames, former assistant FRG adviser to the 173rd, said in an affidavit connected to the custody battle that Kristina Johnson was an award-winning FRG adviser and that the program stressed healthy strategies for coping with a spouse’s extended absences.

Thames said Kristina Johnson was “extremely effective and well liked by the spouses and members of the community in general.”



Col. James Johnson, the commander of the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, speaks with residents in the village of Powraq in the Pole-Elam district of the Logar province of Afghanistan on April 6, 2010.






-- bth: fucking disgraceful.  Thousands of young men like my son depended on officers like this, but with this type of crap going on, how could these ass wipes function at their jobs much less those subordinate to them.  Sec. Gates needs to step in and set an example with this officer.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Cantor admits Social Security and Medicare ‘aren’t going to be there’ when he retires

Cantor admits Social Security and Medicare ‘aren’t going to be there’ when he retires | The Raw Story
It may just be wishful thinking.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) admitted Sunday that he didn't expect Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare to be around when he retires.

"What we [House Republicans] have said is this: We'll protect today's seniors and those nearing retirement, but for the rest of us, all of us, who are 54 and younger, I know the programs are not going to be there for me when I retire," Cantor told Fox News' Chris Wallace.

"They can't," he added....

--- bth: So Rep Cantor, you're telling me that social security and medicare end 2 years before I retire, after a lifetime of payment but you can justify a massive tax cut for the wealthiest Americans?

Sen. John Kerry Waltham Town Hall Meeting 4/10/11 by Brian Hart

Conflict scoreboard for last 3 years

Innvocation Delivered at Bedford Pole Capping by Rev. John Gibbons

Innvocation Delivered at Bedford Pole Capping | Bedford Town Taxi
Minutemen and Citizens gathered this morning to celebrate freedom at the annual Bedford Pole Capping Ceremony. The event features a reenactment of the reportedly repeated act of placing a red knit cap upon a pole in an act of defiance against the British practiced by colonists in the 1700s.

Reverend John Gibbons delivered the following invocation at the start of the festive ceremony:

Citizens!

It appears that what you set out to do in April 1775 has been narrowly averted overnight: the government is not shut down!

This Pole Capping is, indeed, a quaint event, a colorful event, a glorious event, a joyous event, a romantic reenacted and impressive vignette of bygone America.

But let us never forget that the events we commemorate were in their actuality not at all quaint or colorful or joyous or romantic or particularly impressive.

The events we celebrate were messy, uncertain, inglorious and the color of mud and human blood.

And yet, bygones are not bygones. “The past is not dead,” so said William Faulkner, “in fact it is not even the past.”

That is the way of revolutions; that is the way of the cause of freedom.

The cause of freedom is ever present, here and now.

Last week in a New York gazette there was an article about the current rebellion in Libya, North Africa. Listen to its description for it is as true of 1775 as it is of 2011:

The headline says, “Rebels Don’t Really Add Up to an Army.”

“Freedom!” they shout, as they pair a yearning to unseat (their dictator) with appeals for divine help. “God is great!” (And the gazette continues) “By almost all measures by which a military might be assessed, they are a hapless bunch. They have almost no communication equipment…Their weapons are a mishmash of hastily acquired arms…. They lack an understanding of the fundamentals of offensive and defensive combat, or how to organize fire support. They fire recklessly and sometimes accidentally. And their numbers are small.”

Today we commemorate the small and precarious beginnings of a messy rebellion, the outcome of which was uncertain. And, yes, the outcome remains uncertain in many places in the world today, as it remains uncertain in these United States.

God is great! Allahu Akbar! And may God’s blessing be upon all such hapless rebels as still yearn for human freedom.

Let the people say Amen!

For more information about the Pole Capping Ceremony, visit the Bedford Minuteman Company site. To see more photos of groups preparing for the march to Wilson Park, visit us on Facebook .

Bedford Minutemen - Bedford Town Taxi

Bedford Minutemen PSA from Bedford TV on Vimeo.



The local newspaper is slowly being supplanted by this excellent online news source

Extraordinary IED density

Destroying booby-trapped Afghan towns to save them - Yahoo! News
...Seven of his men were killed and dozens wounded in orchards and towns the Taliban laced with improvised bombs. In one small area, Flynn said, his men encountered about 200 bombs — or one every 40 yards.

"We were fighting in a veritable minefield," Flynn said....

U.S.-Pakistan intelligence operations frozen since January

U.S.-Pakistan intelligence operations frozen since January | Reuters
(Reuters) - Joint U.S.-Pakistan intelligence operations have been halted since late January, a senior Pakistani intelligence officer said, reflecting strain in a relationship seen as crucial to combating militants and the war in Afghanistan.

Uneasy U.S.-Pakistani ties have become even more tense after a string of diplomatic disputes so far this year, including a massive drone strike in March and the case of Raymond Davis, a CIA contractor who shot dead two Pakistanis on January 27 in the eastern city of Lahore.

"Presently, joint operations are on hold," a senior Pakistani intelligence officer told Reuters, adding that they were halted after Davis killed the two men. A Pakistani court has since acquitted Davis of murder and he has been released.

Previous joint operations between the powerful Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency and the CIA have led to the capture of high-profile al Qaeda and Taliban leaders, including Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, the mastermind of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.

"The agency's ties to the ISI have been strong over the years, and when there are issues to sort out, we work through them," CIA spokesman George Little told Reuters. "That's the sign of a healthy partnership."

But a U.S. official familiar with the state of relations said the Pakistanis are making more effort to curb, restrict, or at least more intensely monitor, CIA activities. The revelation that armed CIA contractors such as Davis were working in Pakistan deeply angered and embarrassed the ISI.

"It is our land. We know how to tackle things. We will set the rules of the game. It is not Afghanistan," a senior Pakistani military official told Reuters. "They have to cease spying operations."...

Over 3,100 killed in terror attacks in Pak in 3 years

Over 3,100 killed in terror attacks in Pak in 3 years - The Times of India
ISLAMABAD: A total of 3,169 people have been killed and 6,540 others injured in 2,488 terrorist attacks in Pakistan and PoK during the past three years.

Interior Minister Rehman Malik said in a written reply to a question in the Senate or upper house of Parliament yesterday that 1,579 people were killed in 2008-09 while another 1,590 lost their lives in 2009-10.

There were 1,157 acts of terrorism during 2008-09 and 1,331 incidents of terror during 2009-10. The rest of the incidents occurred this year.

Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province bore the brunt of suicide attacks, which killed 1,524 people in the region.

Punjab recorded 605 deaths, Sindh 134, Islamabad 125 and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir 11.

The reply did not give the figures for Balochistan province and the.

Malik said 360 people allegedly involved in bomb attacks were arrested since 2008.

A total of 222 of these suspects were acquitted by courts, including 172 in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, 36 in Punjab and 14 in Islamabad.

In response to another question, Malik said the government had banned four groups including Lashkar-e-Islam, Ansar-ul-Islam, the Haji Namdar group and Tehrik-e-Taliban Punjab in June and August 2008.

Taliban Get Afghan Aid Money

Taliban Get Afghanistan Aid Money
Some of the money donated by international community to Afghanistan goes to the Taliban through contracts, Afghanistan's High Office of Oversight and Anti-corruption said on Tuesday.

Speaking to TOLOnews on Tuesday, Head of the High Office of Oversight and Anti-corruption Azizullah Ludin expressed concern stressing the need to monitor foreign contracts in Afghanistan.

After the US and Afghan governments expressed concern about the issue, the High Office of Oversight and Anti-corruption urged the Afghan government to closely monitor contracts signed by donor countries.

Mr Ludin says all the details related to the foreign contracts signed in the country should be clear to the Afghan government.

As an example, he hints to a road construction project in Logar province for which the Taliban are also said to have received some money.

"There was a road construction project in Logar in which something seemed to have gone wrong. We investigated and put pressure on the one in charge of the project. He finally admitted that he had given some of the project money to the Taliban," Mr Ludin said.

Concerns have previously been raised in the US about the way US taxpayer money is being spent in Afghanistan.

It was also believed that $55bn of Washington's aid to Afghanistan had not been spent in the right way.