Saturday, July 11, 2020

LTC Alexander Vindman Is Retiring for the Big Bucks and Contrary to the Liberal Press Allegations, NO One Was Forcing Him Out!


On 8 July 2020 the Washington Post (WaPo) ran this dishonest headline for an article: Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman retires, citing campaign of ‘bullying’ and ‘retaliation’ by Trump after impeachment testimony


The article was written by Missy Ryan and Shane Harris, two people the WaPo identifies as “reporters.”  Unless “Reporter“ is the new WaPo euphemism for a “Liberal activist opinion columnist” then these two are no more “reporters” then I am an astronaut. Only two WaPo “Liberal activist opinion columnists” masquerading as reporters would write a piece like this full of opinions and only a partisan Rag like the WaPo would publish it and try to pass it off as “news.”

Although LTC Vindman through his lawyer made some unfounded allegations about being forced out of the Army when he announced his retirement, the truth is he was not forced to retire and the Colonel’s promotion list had not even been released so he didn’t even know if he had been selected. If he was on the list he definitely had NOT been removed from it.

(Update:  Since this Blog entry was published, Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper acknowledged LTC Vindman was on the COL/06 promotion list and had NOT been removed from it.)

The fact is, LTC Vindman saw an opportunity to cash in on his notoriety that probably would not be there if he attended the War College or accepted an 0-6 promotion because he would have been locked into the Army for several years. If he attended the War College he was locked in for two years from graduation or another three years.  If he accepted promotion to Colonel he would have had to serve three years from his date of promotion in order to retire in that grade. Depending on his promotion number, it would probably be a year before he pinned on Eagles so he would not have been able to retire as a Colonel for another four (4) years. The War College lock in was mandatory but he could have retired before the promotion lock in but he would have reverted to Lieutenant Colonel on the retired list and his retired pay would be as an 0-5/LTC.

Army promotion list are not releasable by the Army until after they have been confirmed by the Senate so anyone discussing who is or is not on the Colonel's list would be in violation of a punitive Army Regulation.  Hence, neither I nor Vindman know for sure if he is on the list and selectees are not even informed until after the Senate acts.  If he was not selected he would still be eligible again for selection next year although after one pass over to Colonel his chances would be greatly diminished.

Having sat on two Army promotion boards I would have been surprised if he were selected looking at his record but if he had, he never would have made general.  He had only one 12 month combat tour and that was as an Infantry Captain and he received no combat awards for that tour.  His contemporaries will all have at least three combat tours and I would be surprised if any did not have at least a Bronze Star. His failure to get a combat award is probably a reflection of his performance in Iraq.  Hence, he is probably wise to retire at this point and move on anyway.

LTC Vindman is retiring for personal reasons and neither the Military or anyone else is forcing him to retire. Of course the Washington Post would never mention any of this, either because they are ignorant about all things Military and DOPMA, which is unlikely, or it doesn’t conform to their desired narrative. Just more confirmation of their new tag line: Democracy Dies in Darkness and the WaPo is Turning Out the Lights.

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Tommy Lee Jones - The War Hero That Never Was but He Sure Loves to Wear the Uniform!

Tommy Lee Jones (born September 15, 1946) is an American actor that has made 64 movies between 1970 and 2020. In 17 of those films he played active, retired or former US Military personnel and in 11 he played Vietnam Veterans, many of whom he portrayed as unbalanced.

            What makes Tommy’s choice of roles curious is despite being of prime Draft age for the Vietnam War and an exceptional athlete being the starting guard on Harvard's undefeated 1968 football team where he was named first-team All-Ivy League, he successfully avoided any Military service or brush with danger. He has never explained how he managed such a remarkable feat but obviously he must have done everything short of maiming himself to avoid being called. Of all the actors too cowardly to have ever served, only Sylvester “Rambo” Stallone has been more blatant in exploiting Veterans then Tommy Lee. The height of chutzpah was Tommy Lee had the balls to play Medal of Honor recipient Five-Star General of the Army Douglas MacArthur. One thing you have to admit about Tommy Lee, for someone that could never bring himself to don the uniform when his Country needed him, he sure has loved to wear one ever since he passed through that “draft eligible” age.

            For the years after the Vietnam War when Vet unemployment rates were high and the public perception of Vietnam Veterans was we were all a “little crazy,” Tommy Lee and “Rambo” Stallone reinforced that perception with the roles they took and how they played us was probably responsible for driving up those rates another 5-10%.  If those guys couldn’t at least portray us accurately, I wish they hadn’t gone out of their way to damage our reputation by making the public think we were all a little unbalanced.

Here are the 17 movies Tommy Lee made where he played something he was too much a coward to ever really be, a Military Veteran:

  • Rolling Thunder – Jones plays a Sergeant Johnny Vohden, a returned Vietnam POW and that borders on crazed killer.
  • The Park is Mine – Jones plays Mitch Garnett, a crazy Vietnam Vet that takes over New York City Central Park.
  • The Package – Jones plays Thomas Boyette, an unbalanced Soldier that had served in Vietnam that escapes while being transported for court martial and is now an assassin.
  • Fire Birds – Jones plays Army Chief Warrant Officer Brad Little, a combat Vet Apache Pilot
  • JFK – Jones plays Army WWII ex-Major Clay Shaw, wrongfully and accused and acquitted of involvement in the JFK assassination.
  • Under Siege – Jones plays Bill Strannix, former Navy Officer Vietnam Vet terminated by the CIA who takes over the USS Missouri with its nuclear weapons.
  • Heaven & Earth – Jones plays Marine GySGT Steve Butler, a crazy Vietnam Vet that commits suicide.
  • Blue Sky – Jones plays Army Major Hank Marshall, a preposterous story set at a Nevada military nuclear test site.
  • Rules of Engagement – Jones plays Marine Colonel Lawrence Hodges, a Vietnam Vet military lawyer.
  • Space Cowboys – Jones plays Retired Air Force Colonel William Hawkins, a Vietnam Vet former astronaut.
  • The Hunted – Jones plays L.T. Bonham, an ex-Soldier now a civilian military combat and survival instructor.
  • In the Valley of Elan – Jones plays Hank Deerfield, an ex-Army MP and Vietnam Vet
  • Stranger on My Land – Jones plays Bud Whitman, an ex-Army wounded Vietnam Vet fight the Government over an eminent domain action.
  • Captain America – Jones plays Army Colonel Chester Phillips
  • Emperor – Jones plays General of the Army Douglas MacArthur
  • Shock and Awe – Jones plays author Joe Galloway, famous Vietnam War reporter who co-wrote “We Were Soldiers”
  • Ad Astra – Jones plays Clifford McBride, a retired former Military astronaut.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

The Mississippi State (Confederate Battle) Flag May Be Gone but the Georgia State (“Start & Bars”) Flag Is Still with Us!


Today, 28 June 2020, the Mississippi State Legislature voted to replace the 126-year-old State Flag by margins of 91 to 23 in the House and 37 to 14 in the Senate. Gov. Tate Reeves (R) will sign the legislation tomorrow.  Although four other state flags (Alabama, Arkansas, Florida and Georgia) still contain Confederate symbols, Mississippi was the only one that still incorporated the Army of Northern Virginia (Confederate) Battle Flag in its design. (https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/06/28/mississippi-legislators-expected-debate-removal-confederate-icon-state-flag/)I understand all the outrage over the Mississippi State Flag because it incorporated the Army of Northern Virginia (Confederate) Battle Flag in the canton which is much more recognized but don’t understand why there is not equal outrage over the Georgia State Flag which is an exact replica of the First National Flag of the Confederate States of America (the Stars & Bars) with the Georgia crest superimposed inside the circle of stars on the canton.  Not only did the entire Confederate Army fight under the “Stars and Bars,” it was the National Ensign and was around longer than either the Battle Flag or the other two National Flags. See for yourself how similar the Georgia Slag is to the” Stars and Bars.”



From 1956 to 2001 the Georgia State Flag also contained the Battle Flag but a new State Flag was adopted in 2003 that intentionally was based on the “Starts and Bars.” The act that created the new flag in 2003 even described it as the First National Flag of the Confederacy and the Georgia Secretary of State website at the time (below but since taken down) made clear its Confederate linage.

It appears the Georgia Legislature must have thought “those dumb Yankees aren’t bright enough to see what we’re doing so we can put this one over on them.”  What does surprise me is that Stacy Abrams didn’t make this an issue in her failed run for Governor, Go Figure?  Now let’s see how long it takes for those “dumb Yankees” to go for a change in Georgia and then they can begin working on Alabama, Arkansas and Florida.




Wednesday, March 25, 2020

The Biden campaign’s false claim a top CDC official was ‘silenced’ - Awarded FOUR (4) PINOCCHIOS by the Washington Post

This 24 March 2020 Washington Post Fact Checker awarding Joe Biden and his campaign 4 Pinocchios is something so significant that it needs to be widely circulated.  Hence, the Old Colonel will post it on his Blog for anyone that missed it in the WaPo or doesn't subscribe to that normally Democrat propaganda publication.

ENJOY







Analysis

The Biden campaign’s false claim a top CDC official was ‘silenced’

By 
March 24, 2020 at 3:00 a.m. EDT

“All the while, anyone who raised an alarm about this — a red flag — was silenced. Look no further than Dr. Nancy Messonnier, a career official at the Centers for Disease Control who was the first to raise the alarm. … Starting the next day, Dr. Messonnier no longer appeared at public briefings of the White House coronavirus task force. The president and the White House sent a clear message to scientists in the government — there would be a price for speaking out and speaking up.”
— Ron Klain, Biden campaign adviser and former Ebola “czar,” in a video released March 21

Former vice president Joe Biden tweeted an informational video on the novel coronavirus that featured Ron Klain, a longtime Biden aide who served as President Barack Obama’s top official overseeing the administration’s response to the Ebola outbreak in 2014. The video was a viral hit — it got more than 4 million views — and it mixed attacks on Trump’s handling of the public health crisis with a pitch for Biden’s proposals.

But Klain’s framing of the Messonnier situation is simply wrong.

Four Pinocchios





The Facts
Messonnier is the director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. On Feb. 25, Messonnier, who is based at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s headquarters in Atlanta, gave a telephone briefing — not on camera — to reporters on the coronavirus outbreak. “It’s not so much a question of if this will happen anymore but rather more a question of exactly when this will happen and how many people in this country will have severe illness,” she said in a clip that Klain says was the “first to raise the alarm.”

One section of Messonnier’s remarks was especially stark.
“I had a conversation with my family over breakfast this morning, and I told my children that while I didn’t think that they were at risk right now, we as a family need to be preparing for significant disruption of our lives,” Messonnier said. “You should ask your children’s school about their plans for school dismissals or school closures. Ask if there are plans for teleschool. I contacted my local school superintendent this morning with exactly those questions.”

Messonnier’s blunt phrasing affected Wall Street. The Dow Jones industrial average slid nearly 900 points, the second day in a row coronavirus worries impacted the market. Some White House aides responded by offering more optimism. White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow, speaking on CNBC, said: “We have contained this. I won’t say airtight, but pretty close to airtight.”

At the time, more than a month after the first case had been identified in the United States, only 426 people had been tested because of a problem with CDC test kits, far fewer than in other industrialized nations. On Feb. 25, there were 57 documented cases of covid-19 in the United States. (As of March 23, about four weeks later, there are more than 46,000 cases in the United States.)

Various news reports indicate that President Trump, who was returning from a trip to India, was upset about the impact her remarks had on the markets. During his trip, the president claimed the outbreak was “very well under control.”

The New York Times reported:
“The president immediately got on the phone with Alex M. Azar II, his secretary of health and human services. That call scared people, he shouted, referring to Dr. Messonnier’s warnings. Are we at the point that we will have to start closing schools? the president added, alarmed, according to an official who heard about the call.”

The Washington Post reported:
“On Feb. 25, Nancy Messonnier, a senior CDC official, sounded perhaps the most significant public alarm to that point, when she told reporters that the coronavirus was likely to spread within communities in the United States and that disruptions to daily life could be ‘severe.’ Trump called Azar on his way back from a trip to India and complained that Messonnier was scaring the stock markets, according to two senior administration officials.”

In the Biden video, Klain claims there was immediate blowback: “Starting the next day, Dr. Messonnier no longer appeared at public briefings of the White House coronavirus task force. The president and the White House sent a clear message to scientists in the government — there would be a price for speaking out and speaking up.” The video imposes question marks over the heads of the people appearing onstage with Trump on Feb. 26.

But if you look closely, you will see there is a woman standing next to Trump. Who’s that? Anne Schuchat, the CDC’s principal deputy director — and Messonnier’s superior.

Indeed, just a day before, Schuchat had participated in a televised news conference of the coronavirus task force, where her message was similar to what Messonnier said, if not quite as stark: “It’s not so much a question of if this will happen anymore, but rather more a question of exactly when this will happen, and how many people in this country will become infected? And how many of those will develop severe or more complicated disease?”

At the Feb. 26 news conference, Trump announced that Vice President Pence was taking charge of the task force. (Previously, Azar had run it.) From then on, briefings were held at the White House, not the Department of Health and Human Services. Trump headlines each one. One would presume either the director or deputy director would be onstage with the president, not a lower-ranking official.

Meanwhile, far from being silenced, Messonnier kept doing her telephone briefings with reporters — on Feb. 28Feb. 29March 3 and March 9. She also appeared in four videos shared on social media, such as this one from March 14.

CDC Briefing Room: Dr. Nancy Messonnier gives an update on #COVID19. For more info visit http://cdc.gov/COVID19 .

“It’s fair to say that as the trajectory of the outbreak continues, many people in the United States will at some point in time, either this year or next, be exposed to this virus, and there’s a good chance many will become sick,” Messonnier warned on March 9.

Before Feb. 25, Messonnier had appeared in 13 telebriefings over six weeks, often issuing warnings. “The goal of the measures we have taken to date are to slow the introduction and impact of this disease in the United States but at some point, we are likely to see community spread in the U.S.,” she said on Feb. 12. “This will require the effort of all levels of government, the public health system and our communities as we face these challenges together.”

The Washington Post reported on March 19 that the CDC’s public voice has been sidelined in recent weeks, in part because the White House briefings kept conflicting with plans for CDC briefings. CDC Director Robert Redfield and “Schuchat have testified before Congress and briefed members in closed sessions,” The Post said. “But top CDC officials have rarely appeared on camera or been quoted in media interviews in recent weeks.” The article said Redfield participates in task force meetings, splitting his time between Atlanta and Washington.

The Biden campaign defended Klain’s comments in the video. A campaign official said it was accurate to say she “no longer appeared at public briefings of the White House coronavirus task force” because she had been with Azar, along with Redfield, at a media briefing on Jan. 28. That was one day before the task force was formed on Jan. 29.

So that was a one-off event, held long before the Feb. 25 call that spooked the markets.
The campaign also pointed to a quote from Thomas R. Frieden, a former CDC director, about Messonnier being “silenced” in a New York Times article about Anthony S. Fauci of the National Institutes of Health.

“Donald Trump neglected and lied about the coronavirus outbreak time and time again, disregarding warnings from his own medical and intelligence experts and downplaying the threat to the public. He was outraged that Dr. Messonnier didn’t follow his example and instead told the American people the truth,” said Biden campaign spokesman Andrew Bates. “And after this incident she appeared in no more briefings with Sec. Azar, a core member of the White House task force. Our assertion about her treatment is backed up by the statement of the former head of the CDC, who said, ‘Nancy Messonnier told it like it is. And she was 100 percent right, and they silenced the messenger.’”

The CDC did not respond to a request for comment.

The Pinocchio Test
Messonnier’s remarks on Feb. 25 may have caught the attention of Wall Street and caused angst in the White House. But we cannot find evidence of her being immediately silenced, as Klain claims in the video.

Messonnier continued to hold her regular telephone briefings with reporters for another two weeks. The task force briefings moved to the White House after Pence was named to head the task force, but Messonnier was not a regular participant and she appears not to have been senior enough to share the stage with the president. And although the CDC’s voice has been muted in recent weeks, that development does not appear related to her Feb. 25 comments.

We concede that news reports indicate Trump was upset by her remarks — and that there are signs he is tired of warnings from scientists and doctors as the economy implodes. He has certainly lashed out at people who have disagreed with him or given him information that conflicted with his point of view. We’ve documented Trump’s many false or misleading claims about the coronavirus outbreak.

But that’s no excuse for this video to claim Messonnier was silenced when, in fact, she kept briefing reporters. Klain would have been on more solid ground to refer to the reporting that Messonnier’s message annoyed Trump. But instead, the video created a false narrative. The Biden campaign earns Four Pinocchios.

Four Pinocchios