Monday, August 17, 2015

Retiring Army Chief of Staff GEN Ray Odierno Suggests Embedding US Troops in Iraqi Combat Formations - Are Some Vietnam War Lessons Learned Applicable to the Present Iraq Situation?



With over four years serving at the highest levels of command in Iraq, it is arguable that GEN Odierno is the World's most savvy expert alive on the subject of fighting in Iraq so it isn't surprising that he spent much of his 12 August final Pentagon press conference reflecting on Iraq.



“I believe that if we find in the next several months we’re not making the progress … we should probably absolutely consider embedding some soldiers with them, see if that would make a difference,” GEN Odierno said. “That doesn’t mean they would be fighting, but maybe embedding them and moving with them...."  This not something new as in the past GEN Odierno has said that embedding US troops, who have been training and advising the Iraqis since last year, “probably would make them more effective.”



GEN Odierno retired from the Army two days later on 14 August after serving four years as the Army Chief of Staff.  With almost 40 years of service including well over four years in Iraq, more than any other Military General Officer, he might know what he's talking about.  In addition to commanding all forces in Iraq as the Commander, Multi-National Force-Iraq (Sep 08 - Sep 10); he had previously served in Iraq as Commander, Multi-National Corps-Iraq (Dec 06 - Feb 08); Commander, 4th Infantry Division (Mar 03 - Apr 04); and during Desert Storm he had been the Executive Officer, Division Artillery, 3rd Artillery Regiment, 3rd Armored Division (Dec 90 - Jun 91).  Hence, he might be on to something when he suggests embedding US Troops in Iraqi combat formations.  This would not be a new concept in that during the Vietnam War we embedded US Advisor in all Republic of Viet Nam (RVN) combat formations and it proved very effective.  Although the US might have technically lost the War, it is indisputable that neither any US Forces nor any of our RVN allies with embedded Advisors were ever defeated on the battlefield.



Now this is a subject I do have a little first hand knowledge about.  As a new Second Lieutenant (2LT) out of OCS but with some prior enlisted service, I was sent to Vietnam and, because I was fortunate enough (or unfortunate depending on your perspective) to have passed the Vietnamese Language Test, I was assigned as an Advisor embedded in an Army of the Republic of Viet Nam (ARVN) Infantry unit.  During my extended tour I came to admire the fighting spirit and bravery of the ARVN Soldier but their leadership was unimpressive.  Many of the officers lacked initiative which might have been a result of the consequences of failure.  You couldn't fail if you didn't act but what was worse than failing was for their Advisors to go up the "advisory chain" complaining about their inaction to their superiors.  During my extended tour I went from green 2LT to combat seasoned First Lieutenant (1LT) to experienced Captain (CPT) where I was then the Senior US Soldier embedded in the unit.



I can't speak for all US Advisors but I suspect my experience was representative of what many of us found.  Although we did not command the ARVN units, once we had proven our competence, when we spoke our ARVN counterparts accepted our "advice" like they had "heard it from a burning bush."  Embedded US Troops provided the leadership that the ARVN units needed to become an effective fighting force.  Although I've been to Afghanistan, I've never served in Iraq so I don't know if US Advisors would have the same effect on Iraqi combat formations but it would certainly worth a try.  I do know that the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) was a battle hardened force with 40+ years of experience fighting on their home turf yet they never won a single battle against a RVN Unit with embedded advisors.  It wasn't until US Combat Forces which included Advisors were withdrawing in 1971-73 that ARVN units started losing engagements.



Operation Lam Son 719, a limited-objective offensive campaign conducted February - March 1971 in the southeastern portion of the Laos by RVN Forces was the first major operation conducted without embedded US Advisors and the results were devastating.  Although both the US and RVN Presidents "spun" the operation as a roaring success and proof "Vietnamization" was working, it had really exposed grave deficiencies in the South Vietnamese military's planning, organization, leadership, motivation, and operational expertise -- expertise that had previously been provided by US Advisors.



So why were we accepted by the ARVN commanders?  Because when we got into some "bad shit," the American Advisor or "cố vấn  Mỹ" could call in a very accurate US Artillery fire mission and adjust fire, could get US Attack Helicopter gun ships on station and on occasions could even get fast movers (Air Force Close Air Support) to wreck havoc on the enemy. We could even get US "Dustoff" Medivac helicopters to come in to hot LZs, something ARVN pilots were reluctant to do.  I found that over time the last thing my counterpart wanted was for anything to happen to me -- which was very comforting.  Although initially accepted for the support we could provide, any Advisor "worth his salt" soon found himself "virtually" in command of the unit.



Embedding US Advisors in Iraqi Combat Units is not without risks and Advisors do have to participate in ground combat by virtue of where they must be physically located in order to be effective and to be credible, an Advisor has to share in the risks which means leading from the front.  Hence, US Advisors are “boots on the ground,” especially Advisors embedded at the company and battalion levels.  You can’t call in or adjust artillery from the rear, you can’t coordinate air support from the rear and you certainly can’t laze a target for a Fast Mover from the rear.  These are task that require the advisor to SEE the target and to see the target you must be out front where the danger is.



Like I said in the beginning, I don’t know if GEN Odierno’s suggestion of embedding US Troops in Iraqi units will work but what I DO know is that what we’re doing now is NOT working so we need a change of tactics ASAP before it’s too late. I also know that embedding Advisors in RVN units worked against one of the most experienced, dedicated and battle hardened enemies we’ve ever faced.  And finally, I know that If conditions on the ground continue to deteriorate, there will come a time when the only viable option remaining to salvage the situation will be a major deployment of US Ground Forces, probably in the range of 75,000 to 100,000 troops, which is something body wants to see happen.  A modest deployment of 7500 to 10,000 Advisors now is certainly worth the gamble.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Senator (D-NV) Harry Reid Becomes a Dual Award Winner Receiving Both the PolitiFact “Pants on Fire” Award and the Coveted Washington Post “Four Pinocchios” for His Bogus Lie That 30 Percent of US Women Rely on Planned Parenthood for Health Care



Although Harry has told some outlandish tall tales on the floor of the Senate where he is protected by law, even if the statements are clearly libelous or even slanderous, but in a 29 July 2015 floor speech he made this statement that even Ripley wouldn’t have believed.

“The Republican bill pretends to be for women’s health, but it would prohibit federal funds to go to an organization that is the health care backbone for American women during their lives. In fact, it is the only health care that a significant number of women get. For about 30 percent of women, that’s their health care.” 

Thankfully, Michelle Ye Hee Lee, a Washington Fact Checker was “on the job” and wrote the below column on 5 August 2015, calling him out on it and pointing out where he again couldn’t or wouldn’t get his “facts” straight.  We all remember when Harry took to the Senate floor to slander Mitt Romney with his totally false Four Pinocchio claim that Romney had not paid his taxes in 10 years.  It seems Harry has no shame and tells whatever lie he wishes, as long as he is protected by saying it from his protected perch on the Senate Floor.  Of course you notice he never utters this nonsense from outside the Senate where he would be subject to a law suite.

The anti-abortion Center for Medical Progress has recently released five covert videos of Planned Parenthood officials describing in graphic detail how they alter their abortion procedures so as to preserve fetal body parts including “whole cadavers” in order to maximize their sales value.  As it is illegal to alter abortion procedures or sell fetal tissues for profit, there is an effort by conservatives in Congress to cutoff Planned Parenthood’s federal funding.  It was in defense of Planned Parenthood funding that Harry made his “Pants on Fire” and “Four Pinocchios” winning false claim that “eliminating their funding would jeopardize health care for 30 percent of women.”

It is a fact that in 2013 Planned Parenthood received $528.4 million in Government funds, mostly from Medicaid reimbursements and grants.  According to the 2013 Census there were 161 million US women with 120.3 million over 20 years old and another 10.3 million 15-to-19 in age.  If 30 percent of them relied on Planned Parenthood for their health care, that would be 36 to 39 million women but according to Planned Parenthood only 2.7 million women and men visit its health centers every year. Hence, even Planned Parenthood says Reid’s statement is bogus.

Planned Parenthood officials do claim that “one in five women in the U.S. has visited a Planned Parenthood health center at least once in her life.” Still using the 2013 Census data, that would be 26 million US women over 15 years old but that “one in five” statistic is highly questionable as it was based on a Planned Parenthood internal poll of dubious methodology.  Opt-in Internet surveys, which do not accurately estimate population values, do not meet anybody’s polling methodology standards.  Also, that was “one in five” at least once over a LIFETIME!

In 2011, there were about 4.6 million women who received Federally funded health care (including contraceptive care, screening for sexually transmitted infections and cervical cancer screening) but if even 30 percent of all those women went to Planned Parenthood centers, the number would still be a fraction of Reid’s bogus figure. 

The Washington Post was correct in calling out Reid for his bogus claim that 30 percent of women rely on Planned Parenthood for their health care and so he was a well deserving recipient of  the PolitiFact “”Pants on Fire” Award as well as the Washington Post’s coveted Four Pinocchios.


Saturday, July 25, 2015

Does Draft Dodging Trump Trump's Presidential Bid with Veterans - It Does with This Vet!

Unfortunately, much of what the Donald says I like but also unfortunately he has completely disqualified himself as Commander-in-Chief material by his disgraceful McCain remarks and the disrespect he has shown for all Vets. I don’t speak for all Vets but I’m pretty well connected with the Military and most everyone I know feel the same as I do.  We feel that if “The Donald” had a little more self respect, he would just come clean about his Draft Dodging and confess he was just a coward and did everything short of maiming himself (which he didn’t have the guts to do) to avoid military service and danger rather than spinning yarns Ripley wouldn’t believe about “bone spurs but can’t remember where?”  Hence, using “Guts” to describe Trump would be a gross misnomer.  Bill Clinton is still excoriated as a Draft Dodger, isn’t “The Donald” every bit as worthy of the title?

Active military service was an absolute certainty for any male born between 1941 and 1950 unless he was morally, mentally or medically unfit, or took some overt action to "dodge" the draft.  THAT IS A FACT.  Draft dodging does not necessarily mean “illegal” as the 1968 Webster’s Dictionary defined a “Draft Dodger” simply as “a person who avoids military service.”  Applying for student or occupational deferments, leaving the country, hiring a sympathetic doctor to “discover” a disqualifying ailment or signing up for ROTC without any intentions of participating were all things people did, legally and illegally, to avoid performing their duty.  One thing is certain, when someone like Trump Dodged the Draft, someone less eligible (and usually less educated or affluent) had to take his place.

As someone actually drafted from Joe Biden’s hometown of Scranton, PA and after graduating from OCS (still carrying a US serial number) went to Vietnam as a 2nd Lieutenant not yet old enough to drink and extending to come home an older and wiser Captain with a CIB, I know a little about how the draft worked.  When I took my physical the Doctor actually pulled my left knee out of the socket from where it had been dislocated playing football.  Although a disqualifying item, when I got to the end of the physical the clerk stamped “waiver” on my physical form and I was inducted that evening.  Hence, I learned that if you didn’t have a disqualifying feature a doctor could see with his own eyes like missing an arm or a leg, you were going to pass the physical.  The only way to “beat it” was to fight induction by hiring a sympathetic doctor to “discover” a disqualifying ailment and then a lawyer – which I suspect is what The Donald did.

I suspect Shakespeare’s St. Crispin's Day Speech delivered by Henry V before the Battle of Agincourt (Act IV Scene iii) best describes “The Donald’s” problem:

From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered,
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers.
For he today that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition.
And gentlemen in England now abed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,

And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's Day.

If “The Donald” was not fit to serve when his Country needed him during Vietnam, what makes him fit to serve now?  I wonder if he still "holds his manhood cheap?"

To be fair, Vietnam-era Draft Dodging was a bi-partisan character flaw that afflicts politicians at a much higher rate than the rest of the general population and included most of the present Members of Congress that come from that 1941-1950 cohort, the prime draft age during the war.  There are still 27 Senators from that age cohort of which only three (3) saw active military duty and only one sports a Vietnam Service Ribbon.  In the House there are still 99 from that cohort with ten (10) having seen active duty but only four (4) Vietnam Vets.  Then there’s Senator Blumenthal (D-CT) who claimed to be a Vietnam Vet but was really a reservist whose only active duty was a short stint for training.  In his defense, he had seen a HBO rerun of the Oliver Stone movie Platoon.  Now contrast that to Gov Perry’s service.  Commissioned out of Texas A&M ROTC in 1972, he completed pilot training and flew C-130s all over the World until leaving the Air Force after 5 years in 1977as a Captain.

To be completely fair, both Dick Cheney and Joe Biden also did everything short of maiming themselves (neither had the guts) to dodge the draft during Vietnam.  By comparison, those cowards make "W" look like a war hero! (Bush flying antique Air National Guard Convair F-102s was probably in more danger than I was during my CIB-earning tours in Vietnam!).  As long as we’re naming Vietnam era Draft Dodgers, let’s not forget Bill Clinton and Mitt Romney. 

If your Rep or Senator is from the Vietnam generation and you’re curious what he did during that War, check out my Blog article at:  http://old-soldier-colonel.blogspot.com/2015/05/what-did-vietnam-era-age-members-of.html

Both The State Dept & Director of National Intelligence Inspectors General (IGs) in Essence Are Calling Hillary Clinton a Liar: Her Private Emails Did Contain Classified Information!


Did Hillary Clinton lie when she said that her private emails contained NO Classified information or when she quibbled that the information was not classified at the time she sent it?  Don’t take my word for it but just read the statement signed and released on 24 July 2015 by the Inspectors General (IGs) of both the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) and the Department of State (DoS) to see what they say in their own words.  In essence, both IGs have called Hillary a LIAR and contradict her accretion that she had “followed appropriate practices in dealing with classified materials.” Also, both IGs state unequivocally that Hillary’s “emails contained classified information when they were generated…” and “This classified information should never have been transmitted via an unclassified system.”  Note the IGs say the INFORMATION WAS CLASSIFIED WHEN THE EMAILS WERE GENERATED – NOT later classified after the fact! In my previous Blog article I highlighted how the Washington Post Fact checker had already discredited Hillary’s declaration that “Everything I Did on Email Was Permitted” (http://old-soldier-colonel.blogspot.com/2015/07/hillary-clinton-cheated-out-of-4th.html).  Then on 11 August, the ODNI IG informed Congress that at least two of Hillary's emails he reviewed were TOP SECRET and contained information that, the unauthorized disclosure of which reasonably could be expected to cause exceptionally grave damage to the national security.  The question for the American public is: can a person that handles the Nation’s most sensitive classified information in such a cavalier fashion be trusted to run the entire Government?
 

On Friday/24 July, the same day that the IGs released their public statement, the Justice Department issued their own statement that they had received a “referral” by the ODNI IG of the potential compromise of classified information in connection with the private e-mail account that Hillary Rodham Clinton used while she was the secretary of state.

You’ll notice that in the above statement signed by both I. Charles McCullough III, The ODNI IG, and Steve A. Linick, the State Department’s IG, they found four (4) Classified emails in the “limited sample” of just 40 emails they reviewed so were required by Federal Law to make a referral to they FBI.  Extrapolating using simple math would mean that Ten Per Cent (10%) of Hillary’s emails contained classified information so it's expected that thousands of her messages contain information at the SECRET or TOP SECRET.

Executive Order (EO) 12356, The U.S. Classification of Information System, defines the three classification levels:

(1) "Top Secret" shall be applied to information, the unauthorized disclosure of which reasonably could be expected to cause exceptionally grave damage to the national security.
(2) "Secret" shall be applied to information, the unauthorized disclosure of which reasonably could be expected to cause serious damage to the national security.
(3) "Confidential" shall be applied to information, the unauthorized disclosure of which reasonably could be expected to cause damage to the national security.

Hence, as a minimum thousands of her emails sent and maintained on her personal server in the basement of her unsecured residence in New York and transmitted in the clear over the public internet contained information that “could be expected to cause EXCEPTIONALLY GRAVE DAMAGE to the national security.”

When Hillary stated at her 10 March 2015 New York City Press Conference that: "I Did Not Email Any Classified Material To Anyone On My Email. There Is No Classified Material." she was once again lying through her teeth but I do believe her when she went on to say that: “So I'm certainly well-aware of the classification requirements ….” If you take her at her word that she was “aware of the classification requirements” than the logical conclusion can only be that she felt they did not apply to her when she sent those thousands of emails that contained classified information “which reasonably could be expected to cause  EXCEPTIONALLY GRAVE DAMAGE to the national security.”

Worse yet, that classified information “which reasonably could be expected to cause  EXCEPTIONALLY GRAVE DAMAGE to the national security” may “still exist on at least one private server and thumb drive that are not in the government’s possession,” according to the 24 July statement issued by both IGs.  Clinton’s private server and the thumb drive containing 30,000 e-mails she turned over to the State Department were still in the possession of her attorney, David Kendall, at the time of the IGs statement and were only turned over to the FBI on 11 August.

One thing that Hillary did get right was who she selected when she “lawyered-up” to avoid jail time for her compromise of classified information.  Remember David Kendall is the same attorney that represented GEN David Petraeus in his legal proceedings concerning his unauthorized release of classified information.  Even though Petraeus released the information to his biographer/mistress who possessed a Top Secret security clearance, she did not have a “need to know” nor was she acting in her capacity as a reserve Army Military Intelligence officer.  The information which was not properly marked or identified as classified was contained in handwritten notebooks and none of the information made it into the public domain but the release to her was still a security breach for which he was punished.  Although the Obama Administration has been really tough on criminals convicted of disclosing classified information, the General was sentenced to just two (2) years probation and a $100,000 fine.

Hillary’s breach was far more serious and damaging in that Intelligence Community professionals are confident that the Chinese and Russian government cyber professionals thoroughly compromised Hillary's home-grown server in the basement of her New York house. They are also confident that at least three other governments successfully hacker her. Not only was her "clintonemail.com" domain name a little obvious but they were also tracking many of her key subordinates that also exclusively used their clintonemail.com accounts to communicated with her through her private server.  Also, the information was transmitted in the clear over the internet and she gave the information to some people who had NO clearances at all such as Sidney Blumebthal.  Although Hillary’s breach was far more serious, using the same Obama Administration’s lenient treatment for his appointed minions one would expect her to get off with just a fine and probation but no jail time at worst.

(Maybe Congress should subpoena the Chinese and Russian intelligence agencies for Hillary’s emails including the 30,000 missing ones? This might even reveal what the ones she turned over actually contained before she edited them to remove anything embarrassing or criminal!)
Although Hillary suffers from “Clinton Syndrome” (The psychological disorder rendering the sufferer incapable of being truthful) she appears to be invoking the “I was too stupid to know the information was classified” defense.  It's novel but rarely works, especially for someone who believes she's smart enough to be President. One thing for certain, her favorability and trustworthiness ratings have plummeted since this controversy began last April and one can only imagine how the bottom might fall out of her candidacy if she has to campaign from jail! 

The Statement from the ODNI and State Dept IGs is posted above and below I’ve also posted the ODNI IG 23 July 15 Memo to the chairmen and ranking minority-party members of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees which complains that his "request for State to give the intelligence community a copy of all the e-mails had been rejected …."  Hopefully the IGs can now obtain all the emails from the FBI.



Thursday, July 16, 2015

Hillary Clinton Cheated Out of a 4th Pinocchio by Washington Post Fact Checker for her Bogus Claim That “everything I did on e-mails was permitted”



During a 7 July 2015 CNN interview Former secretary of state and presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton made this ridiculously BOGUS and untruthful accretion that:

“Everything I did was permitted. There was no law. There was no regulation. There was nothing that did not give me the full authority to decide how I was going to communicate. Previous secretaries of state have said they did the same thing…. Everything I did was permitted by law and regulation. I had one device. When I mailed anybody in the government, it would go into the government system.”

Hillary’s BS accretion was so outlandish that it prompted Glenn Kessler, the Washington Post Fact Checker, to “examine” the veracity of her claim about her “e-mail practices,” which led him to conclude that it reminded him of then-Vice President Al Gore’s statement in 1997 that there was “no controlling legal authority” concerning his phone calls from the White House seeking Democratic campaign contributions.  Hillary claimed that “everything I did was permitted” because “there was no law … there was no regulation.” but the WaPo Fact Checker doubted that.

When Hillary was secretary of state there were already in place State Department rules on how to handle e-mails and whether to use a personal e-mail account.  Hillary said that other secretaries “did the same thing” which was untrue because only Colin L. Powell sent e-mails from a personal account and NO previous secretary had gone so far to conceal their official communications as to set up an exclusive and private e-mail server in the basement of their personal residence to handle all of their departmental communications.

In 2009, eight months after Clinton became secretary of state the rules on handling electronic records were clarified in the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) update which stated: “Agencies that allow employees to send and receive official electronic mail messages using a system not operated by the agency must ensure that Federal records sent or received on such systems are preserved in the appropriate agency record-keeping system… The responsibility for making and preserving the records is assigned to the head of each federal agency.”

As a result of this CFR update, Secretary Clinton sent out a personal cable under her own signature warning employees to “avoid conducting official Department business from your personal e-mail accounts.”  Too bad Hillary didn’t follow her own warning but was her actions were in keeping with her “do as I say, not as I do” and “rules don’t apply to me” philosophy.

What is indisputable is that Hillary flaunted the spirit of the laws and rules in place at the time she was in office.   Although she suggests that “when I mailed anybody in the government, it would go into the government system” and so that signified compliance with the requirement to maintain federal records, is bogus in so many ways.  Not only did her practice make it difficult to locate records in response to specific requests as her e-mail would be in another official’s inbox and would not exist in the federal system as part of Clinton’s outbox, but because most of her close inner circle communicated exclusively on her private Clintonmail.com email system, those official communications never even entered the government system.  An official’s government outbox would be the first place that people seeking records would look and recall that the State Department contacted Clinton, seeking copies of her e-mails, precisely because officials were unable to locate e-mails in response to queries from a House committee investigating the 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya.

One other important detail missed by the WaPo Fact Checker which might have persuaded him to award Hillary that coveted 4th Pinocchio was that when several of the emails Hillary eventually did turn over (under duress) were compared with ones obtained from other sources it was noticed that she had altered several of her emails to edit out passages that she probably felt would be unflattering to her. I suspect one the real reason she provided hard copies rather than the electronic files, in addition to the hard copies were much harder to review, was that experts would have been able to detect her edits from the electronic versions. I would add that altering "official records" is a federal offense but I’m confident that Obama's Dept of Justice would never pursue a Democrat for a violation of Federal Law.

Before Hillary even joined the Obama administration — the Foreign Affairs Manual made it clear that before a senior official (such as a Senate-confirmed presidential appointee) departed government service, he or she must prepare an inventory of personal papers that are proposed for removal. The manual states that “correspondence or e-mail received or sent in an employee’s capacity as a Department official is not personal.”  Hillary certainly failed to live up to that requirement, as she had retained those e-mail records for nearly two years after she left office before returning them to the State Department.

Hence, when Hillary’s campaign erroneously suggests she could determine what actually was a federal record, her State Department-related emails were obviously official records and it would be disingenuous for anyone to argue otherwise.

So how did the WaPo Fact Checker conclude Hillary’s whopper was only worthy of three Pinocchios?  He found that she had argued her case on narrow, technical grounds, but had not actually complied with existing rules as virtually everyone else understood them.  Her decision to use a private e-mail system for official business was highly unusual and flouted State Department procedures and while she claimed “everything I did was permitted,” she certainly DID NOT comply with the requirement to turn over her business-related e-mails before she left government service. That’s a major failure that she continues to lie about.  The Fact Checker concluded Hillary went too far in suggesting her actions were ordinary – -and she stretched the limits of existing laws and regulations.


Although the WaPo Fact Checker Awarded only 3 Pinocchios


Given he failed to recognize Hillary had gone so far as to edit and alter some of the emails she eventually did turn over thus falsifying them, this should have justified award of that coveted 4th Pinocchio.


One final observation concerning Hillary’s emails, the Intelligence Community professionals are confident that the Chinese and Russian government cyber professionals thoroughly compromised Hillary's home-grown server in the basement of her New York house. They are also confident that at least three other governments successfully hacker her. Not only was her clintonemail.com domain name a little obvious but they were also tracking all her key subordinates that also exclusively used their clintonemail.com accounts to communicated with her through her private server. I suspect one of the reasons she did not want to turn over her server was because US government cyber forensic professionals would have verified the compromise.

Maybe Congress should subpoena the Chinese and Russians for Hillary’s emails including the 30,000 missing ones? This might even reveal what the ones she turned over actually contained before her minions edited them!

For those of you interested in reading the WaPo Fact Checkers 9 July 2015 article, here it is:

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Mr. President, Who YOU Appoint to Be the Next Secretary of the Army Will Clearly Demonstrate If YOU Truly Care about the Army and Our Soldiers! Make the Right Choice!

Updated: 6 Jul 2015

Mr. President, Who YOU Appoint to Be the Next Secretary of the Army Will Clearly Demonstrate If YOU Truly Care about the Army and Our Soldiers!  Make the Right Choice!

As the son of a career military man, birthed by a military doctor and the first time I moved off a military base was when I got drafted, I thought I knew all there was to know about the military.  To my surprise, I learned more about what it meant to be a Soldier during my first 24 hours IN the military then I did being AROUND the military for my first 19 years!

With this experience, I have to ask the President to find someone who has donned a uniform in defense of this Nation to be our next Secretary of the Army, to lead our Army that has endured over a decade of sustained combat.  John McHugh, the present secretary, has announced he is leaving.

In my opinion there are several former Soldiers that meet that criterion but none better qualified than former Army Chief of Staff and current President & CEO of the Association of the US Army (AUSA), Retired General Gordon R. Sullivan.  Although 77 years old, the General is in excellent health and as AUSA president is intimately familiar with all the challenges facing the service and has been a fierce advocate for Soldiers.  A two tour Vietnam Vet with multiple other tours in Europe and Korea, he has never been political although In August 1993, President Bill Clinton appointed him Acting Secretary of the Army while he continued to serve as Army Chief of Staff so he has previous experience in the job.

True, Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter never served in uniform but he did have 7 years in the Department of Defense prior to his nomination as SECDEF and he was smart enough to get retired Marine Colonel Bob Work, a combat veteran with over 27 years of active duty, to be his Deputy. Work also had four years as Under Secretary of the Navy.  Also true, outgoing Army Secretary John McHugh never served but it shows.  His seven years as secretary have been marked by reduced morale, increased suicides, declining readiness and a hollowing of the force not seen since the Carter Administration.  Although his deputy, Under Secretary Brad Carson, spent some time in Iraq as a Navy Intelligence officer after being turned out of Congress, he received his Direct Commission at age 42 to polish up his resume so had little real military experienced and no practical Army experience -- and it showed.  Thankfully, Carson has left and former Congressman and ex-Soldier Patrick Murphy will be the Under Secretary for whomever is selected to be the new secretary.  Murphy spent four years on active duty as an Army JAG and served a tour as a staff attorney in Baghdad.  Although not a Combat officer, at least he has experience as a Soldier.

With all this said, rumors abound that President Obama intends to nominate Political Hack Eric Fanning to replace McHugh although he is definitely NOT what we need as our next Secretary.  Granted he is a seasoned community organizer having been a leader of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund helping Democrats get elected but this hardly qualifies him to lead our Nation’s Army in the final year and a half of the Obama Administration.  The next few years promises to be challenging as the Army deals with considerable force reductions and refitting from a decade of War.  The next Secretary needs to be able to hit the ground running with a deep understanding of not only how the Army runs but also has the deep respect of serving members -- Someone like General Sullivan.  Granted, the next secretary will really be a "caretaker" only serving for the remaining 14 months of the Obama Administration but it will be a crucial period as the Army faces the most severe troop draw down since the end of the Vietnam War.

Mr. President, this is another opportunity for you to secure your legacy.  Are you going to saddle the Army with a political hack who knows nothing about the Army, strategically, tactically or culturally, for your final time in office or will you appoint a “Gordon Sullivan” type that actually can do something to rebuild the Army after a decade of War.  This is your chance to demonstrate you really care about Soldiers and match your rhetoric with actions.  Appoint Gordon Sullivan NOW!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Why the Republican National Committee (RNC) Needs to STOP Having John Bolton Send Out Solicitation Letters and E-Mails!



Today I received the below E-Mail from John Bolton soliciting contributions for the RNC and became so incensed that I fired back the below response explaining why Draft Dodging Chicken Hawk Bolton was the wrong person to use for fund raising and why he was the wrong messenger for talking about why the Democrats and especially Hillary Clinton are soft on National Defense.  Here is that exchange.


Sent: Saturday, June 27, 2015 1:20 PM
To: 'John Bolton'
Subject: RE: Act now before it’s too late

Sir,
To be equally blunt, I am a retired Army Colonel Vietnam Vet and life long Republican so please DO NOT insult me by sending me an appeal for a donation from a self described Vietnam Draft Dodger and Chicken-Hawk like John Bolton!
            It’s a little difficult for us real Vet to take Uber-Chicken-Hawks like John Bolton seriously when he discusses today’s conflicts although I must admit he did demonstrate a certain “Military expertise” by his uncanny ability to “avoid armed conflicts” in his youth by doing everything short of maiming himself (which he didn’t have the guts to do) to avoid any brush with danger when his Country needed him during the Vietnam War.
            Born in 1948, John-Boy Bolton reached draft age in 1966 at the beginning of the real US involvement in Vietnam and when the War was still very popular but instead of subjecting himself to the draft, he enrolled at Yale.  Over the next four years while the fighting raged, John-Boy was the campus big advocate of Vietnam engagement while enjoying four years of uninterrupted student deferments.  In 1970 when his deferments ran out, he drew a low draft number but wanted to go to law school so John-Boy was sufficiently connected politically to get a highly a coveted position in the Maryland National Guard thus ensuring he would never be exposed to danger.  Now Reservists and Guardsmen are likely to be called up and serve in a war zone but during Vietnam, they had about as much chance of going to Vietnam as being struck by lightning.
            John-Boy wrote in his Yale 25th reunion book "I confess I had no desire to die in a Southeast Asian rice paddy. I considered the war in Vietnam already lost."  He later explained that he decided to avoid service in Vietnam because "by the time I was about to graduate in 1970, it was clear to me that opponents of the Vietnam War had made it certain we could not prevail, and that I had no great interest in going there to have Teddy Kennedy give it back to the people I might die to take it away from."  Of course John-Boy could have gotten in on the ground-floor of the conflict in 1966 and anytime before 1970 to help ensure a different outcome.
            I would add that I went to Vietnam as a young second lieutenant in 1968 and extended there to come home a rather older and wiser Captain in 1970 and I can assure John-Boy that the War had NOT been lost by 1970 when he refused to serve.  Rather the Vietnamese were beginning to hold their own with reducing American direct combat support and it was not until the Democrat Congress completely cut off support to the South Vietnamese Army in 1974 while Soviet and Chinese increased their support to the North that the ARVN began losing ground.
            Hence, if even today John-Boy is still so misinformed about Vietnam and is not even ashamed of his deplorable personal conduct during that War even to the point of slurring those of us still serving in 1970, why should I believe anything he says today.
            Please NEVER again send me anything signed by John Bolton or any other draft dodging chicken hawk of his ilk!
COLONEL, US Army Retired

From: John Bolton [mailto:volunteer@action.gop.com]
Sent: Saturday, June 27, 2015 11:04 AM
Subject: Act now before it’s too late

I’ll be blunt: we’re heading down a dark and dangerous path. The 2016 election is the make-it or break-it point for our nation’s future. It’s critical to reversing the failures of the Obama presidency and preventing a repeat in another Clinton White House.

GOP

I'll be blunt: we're heading down a dark and dangerous path.

The 2016 election is the make-it or break-it point for our nation's future. It's critical to reversing the failures of the Obama presidency and preventing a repeat in another Clinton White House.

That's why it is urgent you help the RNC meet their critical end of quarter goal before midnight on June 30.

The Obama-Clinton rudderless foreign policy has weakened our national defense, leaving us susceptible to our enemies. And it has diminished our standing on the global stage, causing America to lead from behind.

What we've seen time and time again under Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton is this pattern of indecision, and worse, inaction. They have been so blinded by their own radical ideology that they can't even formulate a real strategy for taking on the world's enemies.

What this world needs now more than ever is American leadership. But to restore American leadership, we must elect a Republican to the White House.

We need a president who will defend the country. We need a president who will defend our core values. And we need a president who puts our national security at the center of every policy decision.

To make this happen, we need you to step up and act before Tuesday's deadline.

We must fuse our intense desire to win the White House with our need to keep House and Senate majorities that can support our conservative policies.

Act before it's too late: contribute to the RNC today.

Thanks,

Ambassador John Bolton