Showing posts with label Terrorism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Terrorism. Show all posts

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Knight Fall (James Maguire Series - Book 4)

Now that the hoopla of the 2016 Presidential Election is finally over, I am pleased to announce that my latest novel: Knight Fall, has been released as an e-book on the Kindle platform.

This is the 4th book in the James Maguire series and the 6th book in chronological order. To see the book progression, please click here.

Thank you for your continued support. I hope that you enjoy this and all my other books.


Sunday, October 9, 2016

Donald Trump Uses Bad Words

Special Snowflake Trigger Alert - Bad Words Ahead

“Extra, Extra – Read All About It”

That’s the traditional call of the paper seller announcing breaking news. Back in the day it was usually a serious news story, like war or a major criminal incident, today it heralds the latest salacious bullshit that is being peddled to you by an ever growing partisan media. 

Really, It Sounds As Stupid As It Looks.......
Case in point, the latest ‘safe-space triggering’ comments by Donald Trump.

Many of you know about my deep-rooted loathing for coincidence.  So it should come as no shock that that this little nugget fell from the skies almost at the exact same time that WikiLeaks dumped another treasure trove of documents pertaining to Hillary Rodham Clinton.  Mind you, this release comes on the heels of the Guccifer 2.0 dump earlier in the week.

Can you guess which the main stream media sought to capitalize on?

Yes, apparently ‘grabbing pussy’ is much more news worthy than the Democratic nominees admission, behind closed doors, that her campaign is basically a lie. Well, at least as it pertains to the little people she is trying to court.

Wake up people.

Is what Trump said crude? Yes.

Was it inappropriate? Probably.

Is it earth-shattering? No.

Is it limited to men? Hell No!

Anyone who is talking about how ‘upset’ they are about what Donald Trump said eleven years ago is either a liar, a social justice warrior or a practicing Puritan.  For them I have nothing, but for the rest of the adult world: Grow Up.

Here’s a news flash, real people talk that way. Hell, I talk that way and so do you.

Have we forgotten that this was a private conversation? Have you never said things in a private conversation that were, how shall we say: risqué? If someone ever played a highlight reel of all the crude things I have ever said, stock in popcorn would jump 515% as folks gathered around the TV screen to watch.

And if you think it’s just men that speak this way, I have some news for you. Go to a male strip club one night. You’ll hear ‘church women’ say things that would make a Navy Senior Chief Petty Officer blush.

And where was the media’s moral indignation when Hillary said "Come on Bill, put your dick up! You can't fuck her here!"

I’m sorry, but this whole ‘I’m offended’ shit is a joke and is wearing really thin.  You know what I am really offended by? This whole wussification of America bullshit.

Donald Trump said something I don’t like…….’ Really, special snowflake, did anything offend you in Fifty Shades of Grey? Because that happy little BDSM romp, written by a woman mind you, sold like over eighty million copies, prompted a sequel along with a movie, and I’m pretty sure there was a lot more going on than ‘pussy grabbing.’

SHAMELESSS PLUG: As an author, I’d like to point out that my books also contain a bit of ‘adult reading’ as well……. You know, if you’re not so easily offended.

We also have to come to terms with an amazing double standard in this country. I have often lamented that the concepts of hypocrisy and irony are lost on the left. The same folks who slam Trump for saying mean things to women are the same ones championed Hillary for standing by her man when he went through the vast Right Wing conspiracy to undermine his presidency. The fact that he actual did the things he was accused of and that she mocked and ridiculed the victims is apparently inconsequential.

Damn It, Stop Objectifying Me !!!
Nor is the fact that many of her biggest supporters, you know, folks Miley Cyrus, Jay-Z, Beyoncé, and Kanye engage in behavior that glorifies what Donald Trump spoke about. I’m sorry, but I have a problem with being lectured on the issues facing this great Nation by a guy who started out his life by selling drugs on the streets of Brooklyn.  I would also like to point out the hypocrisy of being lectured on the objectification of women by a singer who engages in simulated sex acts during her show. Oh Hannah Montana, how far thou have fallen.


That’s the hypocrisy.

The truth is that the media is doing everything they can to shift your attention away from all the negative information surrounding who THEY have decided must win.

When you look at the facts, Hillary Clinton’s actions speak much louder than Donald Trump’s words ever could.

We have real issues facing this country, a lot of which Hillary Clinton has been involved in, yet no one is focusing on them and I have to wonder why. At the last debate, questions were raised about Donald Trump’s taxes and a comment he purportedly made about Miss Universe back in 1996, but not one question about illegal immigration, terrorism, or about the fire storm that is raging throughout the Middle East.

Seriously? This is allegedly what is passing for journalism in the twenty-first century?

Unfortunately, many of those issues could legitimately be laid at Mrs. Clinton’s door, so I can understand why no one wanted to go there.

The funny thing is that nothing Trump did on his taxes was any different then what the majority of tax payers do every year. The problem was the sum of the loss. HRC even used it to question how smart Trump was, having lost nearly a billion dollars. What she didn’t tell you was that the Clinton’s did the same thing on their taxes with a nearly three-quarters of a million dollar loss. She also doesn’t want to talk about the fact that her State Department still has six billion unaccounted for.

That’s the irony.

The latest release of documents is being slammed, not for their content, but because those vile Russians are allegedly behind it all. Think about that for a moment. Not what HRC and her closest aides have done, but what those bad hackers have done.

This sums it up best: ZERO accountability / ZERO responsibility – Focus the blame on someone else.
America is still struggling.

We are still facing desperate financial times and we have illegal immigrants, along with terrorists, streaming across our southern border. What does HRC have to say about that? Well, according to a speech she gave to a Brazilian bank in 2013, this is how she feels:

"My dream is a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders, some time in the future with energy that is as green and sustainable as we can get it, powering growth and opportunity for every person in the hemisphere…. We have to resist, protectionism, other kinds of barriers to market access.”

The truth is that HRC does not care about you. You do not have the kind of money that she wants so you are only going to get lip service. It’s not about America’s bottom line, but hers.

Here’s the truth about her campaign slogan: Stronger Together. She only needs you to elect her so that she can continue the relationships she has built with Wall Street and the wealthy.  

But now, even the Republican sharks are circling the waters because of Donald Trump’s words……

What they don’t want you to know is that they, politicians on both sides of the aisle, have been collectively grabbing America’s pussy for decades and taking what they want. This fact seems to have become lost to us and I have to believe that is by design.


At the end of the day, Trump represents a threat to the political status quo and that scares the hell out of them. Like the democrats, they are part of the problem; the other side of the same coin if you will. I couldn’t care less if they pull their support for Donald Trump, but I hope that they understand I will be pulling my support for them. Just like Hillary Clinton they have only needed me when they want something, but they have to be threatened to do the right thing when it doesn’t benefit them.

November 8th will be historic. It will be a referendum on our political system. It will either be a vote to maintain the political status quo, which has brought us to this place we are in, or a vote to shake things up.


I know where my vote is going.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Fifteen Years Later – Remembering the Attacks of September 11th

I got up, just like I do every September 11th, and looked outside.

I like rainy days, over cast days, hot days, cloudy days, hazy days, every day other than the one I that is forever seared into my brain.

I got up this morning early, before the sun had come up, and stepped outside. Fifteen years ago I did the same thing, heading out of the house before the sun had come up to do my tour of duty as a city-election supervisor for the NYPD. That morning the air was cool and crisp, a nice respite from the dog days of summer we had just gone through.

As the sun came up over Brooklyn, the darkness was chased away by shades of gold, and red and orange. The rising sun turned the once black sky into a majestic blue, unmarred by any clouds. It was a rich shade of blue that I will never forget, a color that looked as if it had been pulled directly from God’s pallet.

Had I seen it before? Probably, but before September 11th it meant nothing. Now, I will take the image to my grave.

So it was with trepidation that I stepped outside, feeling the coolness of the air. As I grudgingly watched, sipping my coffee, the sky once again began its transformation, chasing away the blackness. As the sun took hold, the dew on the blades of grass were transformed in to a field of sparking diamonds. Off in the distance the fog rolled across the tops of the corn fields. It was a scene that, on 364 other days, would be breathtaking in its scope and beauty. But this was day 365.

As I watched the sun rise, the sky once again has turned blue and, try as I might, I can’t find a single cloud in the sky.

As I write this, I watch the clock, ticking off in my head mentally where I was on that fateful morning. My travels will take my partner and I through the streets of Brooklyn to the hell that was Manhattan on the morning of September 11th. Our conversation will go from typical morning banter, laughs as we search for the elusive ‘Vote Here – Aqui’ signs, which signaled our latest election poll target, to hearing the first calls over our portable radio, and, after realizing we had been attacked, heading in to Ground Zero, unaware of what we would face when we arrived and saying goodbye to one another, just in case.

In just under a half hour from now the 1st plane will have struck the North Tower….. and so the memories will all come flooding back.

My partner and I were lucky that day. We were spared the fate that so many others faced, due in no small part to an elusive pack of cigarettes.

Today I mourn for my friends, co-workers, and all those lost, not just at the World Trade Center, but at the Pentagon and in the skies above Pennsylvania as well. I remember the bravery that came through in the days and months after the attack; my heart beaming with pride just because I was lucky enough that God choose me to be a member of the greatest police department in the world, the NYPD.  And I will forever carry in my heart and mind the Department motto: Fidelis Ad Mortem (Faithful Unto Death)

But I also mourn for those who died on the other September 11th Attack.  And just as I will not forget the names of Moira Smith, John Coughlin, Joe Vigiano, Rodney Gillis and all the other members of the NYPD who died that day, I will also not forget the names: Christopher Stevens, Sean Smith, Ty Woods and Glen Doherty. Nor will I forget those who, laying aside everything else, rushed in to save them, accepting that it might be their last day as well.



Those of us who survive such things are torch bearers for the real heroes, the men and women who selflessly gave their lives for their fellow man. We must never forget them and we must never let their deaths be in vein.

So, today I will mourn, as I do every September 11th. I will thank God for saving me and my partner that day, thank him for having given me the opportunity to be a part of something so much greater than myself and to be able to share my story, so that the true heroes are never forgotten. On November 8th, 2016, I will honor those lost in Benghazi, making sure that they are Never Forgotten.

Someone recently asked me if I thought we had learned anything from the attack. Sadly, the answer to that question is a resounding no. Just like the warnings, the lessons are all there, we have just ignorantly closed the book. Blithely choosing to bury our heads in the sands of political correctness; believing that the old Beatles song ‘Love Is All You Need’ is the answer to all our ills. It isn’t. You don’t have to agree with me, but my opinions are based on cold hard fact, not fiction or personal desires.

God bless you all and may God bless America.


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Sunday, August 14, 2016

Who is Hillary Clinton and what has she done?

Apathy, Thy Name is Hillary
Many years ago, eight to be exact, I wrote about then Senator Barack Obama and asked the same question under my former Andrew, the Angry American persona.  

Mind you, this was during my pre-author days, and long before I found an effective editor, so don't judge me.

The truth is that we have a big problem in this country. We are electing people without any form of due diligence. We get too caught up in the empty promises, the campaign theatrics, and the party nonsense. Then, before you know it, it is the day after and we are left wondering what the hell did we just do? Unfortunately, at that point, it is too late.

Now a lot of folks seem to be repeating the same mistakes we did back in 2007/08, which is to not properly vet the candidates. I keep hearing about Hillary Clinton’s accomplishments, but to be honest, no one can actually name one. Heck, that’s not surprising considering the candidate herself can’t name one. To be fair she points to obscure things, but nothing tangible. However, you can read her book: Hard Choices, which promises to address these questions. It doesn't. 

Thanks, I think I’ll take a pass. You see, back in the 90's, when I was assigned to the NYPD's elite Intelligence Division, I worked on Bill Clinton's security detail when he visited New York City. I saw this 'loving' couple up close and personal. All I can say is do not believe everything you see and less than what you hear. 

If you enjoy political intrigue, I suggest reading my books. At least in my books no one makes excuses for their actions.

But let us consider who we are dealing with here:

  • She attended Wellesley College, majoring in Political Science, and Yale, where she graduated with a law degree.
  • During her college years she was very active in politics, Republican politics to be precise. She was even the president of the Wellesley Young Republicans. She left the party over the Vietnam War and Civil Rights issues.
  • She was an attorney for the prestigious Rose Law Firm in Arkansas where she would make full partner. She was twice named in the 100 Most Influential Lawyers by National Law Review.
  • She was Arkansas’ First Lady for twelve years (1979-1981, 1983-1992)
  • She served on the Board of Directors for WALMART, as well as several other firms.
  • She was the First Lady of the United States (1993-2001)
  • She served as Senator from New York (2001-2009)
  • She ran for President in 2008
  • She was Secretary of State (2009 – 2013)
And now she is the Democratic nominee for President.

She has been in the public eye for the better part of 3 ½ decades. So how in the hell can you not point to ONE tangible accomplishment? 

On the flipside, I can sure as hell point to an awful lot of controversies: Whitewater, Paula Jones, Cattle Futures, Filegate, Travelgate, Norman Hsu, Monica Lewinsky, FBI Background Records, Benghazi, E-Mail / Server, Clinton Foundation……

I’m sorry, someone with this much baggage shouldn’t be pointing fingers at anyone else.

That being said, you have to ask yourself if the world is a better place for her involvement and the answer is simply no. I cannot see anything in the record that points to her as being singularly qualified to be President. In fact, don't take my word for it, but consider what President Obama said about her in 2008: "Hillary Clinton. She’ll say anything and change nothing." 

While First Lady, and despite having control over both houses, she was unable to get enough votes for the Clinton Health Plan and the proposal was ended in 1994.

In 1997 she did manage to get passage of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, but whether it was her, or the bill’s big name backers (Ted Kennedy and Orrin Hatch), is questionable.

As Senator, she managed to sponsor only three,….. yes 3, bills that became law:

S. 1241:  A bill establishing the Kate Mullany National Historic Site in the State of New York.
S. 3613:  A bill naming a post office the "Major George Quamo Post Office Building."
S. 3145:  A bill designating a highway in New York as the Timothy J. Russert highway.

WTF?

To be fair, she sponsored 355 bills, but of these, only twenty passed the Senate. I’m sorry, but you took over the seat of Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, probably one of the most prolific politicians of the 20th century, and this is the best you can do?

I will leave it to those of you, who are so inclined, to pour over the bills; perhaps you can glean something to polish her record a bit.

To be equally fair, then Senator Barack Obama only sponsored 127 bills, 2 of which passed the Senate. You be the judge of the effectiveness of these two constitutional juggernauts. Just remember Clinton’s comments in the 2008 campaign when she accused him of voting ‘present’ 130 times as an Illinois State senator. 

Neither seems very keen on the idea of doing the people's work.

When I look at her record as Secretary of State, I am even more disheartened.

During President Bush’s time in office, the left routinely referred to it as Cowboy Politics. They lamented our status in the world. Hell, even entertainers ‘apologized’ for him.  President Obama was supposed to ‘fix’ it all, and his appointment of Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State was meant to facilitate the repair work. Remember the infamous Russian ‘reset’?

Yeah, how’s that working out?

The truth is that, if you spent even a minimal amount of time watching or reading the news, you would have witnessed the decline in stability throughout the world under Hillary Clinton’s watch. From Russia to Libya, it seemed as if the United States government was asleep at the wheel.

And if one person points to the Iran deal as being an accomplishment, I will personally come to your house and slap you senseless or at least make you read Bishop's Gate !!

I actually heard someone point to the killing of Osama bin Laden as a positive. Then again, I also heard the credit given to President Obama.

Really?

Ultimately the credit is awarded to the person that answers the fateful question: ‘Mother, May I?’, but let’s be brutally honest for one moment. It was the operators on the ground who located bin Laden and it was the Navy SEAL’s who dispatched him to the afterlife. Giving the thumbs up, to go after the most wanted man in America, the mastermind behind 9/11, is kind of a no-brainer.

While we are on that subject, how did that work out for Shakil Afridi? Dr. Afridi worked for the CIA, running a cover program that ultimately led to the positive ID of Osama bin Laden. So what happened to him? He’s pretty much fucked as he was left out to dry. Pakistani authorities caught him trying to escape over the border and he was sentenced to thirty-three years in prison. Despite some political lip service from Clinton’s State Department, nothing has been done to help Dr. Afridi, but why should he be any different? In fact, it has been speculated that Afridi was made the sacrificial lamb by the CIA and Hillary's State Department.

No matter where you look, this administration has screwed the pooch. From Iran, to Egypt, to Iraq, to Afghanistan, to Russia, to Libya, to Syria, to Israel. To be honest, I’m surprised we haven’t managed to piss off the Canadians yet. The bottom line is that you can certainly argue that, when she left, the world was actually less stable than when she took the job.

What clinches it for me is that little diplomatic outpost in Benghazi.

Yes, yes, I see you in the back with your hand up and that wild look in your eye. I know what you are going to say: ‘The subject of Benghazi has been settled, it was all just a vast right-wing witch hunt meant to destroy her reputation….’

Sit down and shut up, you’re making a fool out of yourself. Just because the media fed you some talking points and Congressman John Lewis, along with the rest of the Democratic cheering section, pointed an angry finger at Republicans, doesn’t mean the issue was actually addressed. In fact, I actually had one person make the argument that Republicans were ‘never concerned about diplomatic attacks until Benghazi.’

Really?

The truth is that any attack is horrific, but it wasn’t the attack that got to people. It was the cover-up!

I spent twenty-two years in law enforcement. It’s a dangerous job and we all know it. Losing an officer in the line of duty is tragic, but imagine being a cop, under fire, and calling for help and somewhere the dispatch supervisor turns off the radio. Help isn’t coming.

Don't believe me? Well then, ask: Kris Paronto

That was the reality of Benghazi and no one has ever been held accountable. I’ve written about this before and why Benghazi matters in terms of this Presidential election. Once you get past the political speak, you begin to see a pattern of deception. Sadly, the folks who were there are being both marginalized and vilified.

Maybe some of the millennials can point to her increase in Facebook and Twitter engagements as a positive sign, but that’s not exactly a glowing endorsement for someone to be President of the United States. As for me, I’m tired of the Clinton’s and their political games.

I’m going to vote for Donald J. Trump.

Yes, I do have issues with him, but when I look at his business record: I will gladly gamble on the four bankruptcies, actually four Chapter 11’s over twenty-five years, which are not always the result of bad business decisions, as most actual  business owners will tell you, and his many successes’. Do I think he is the A+ candidate that we all want? No. But, truth be told, we have not had an A+ candidate in a VERY long time. What I want is someone who is business savvy and who will at least attempt to stop the ship and put it back on its proper course.

The alternative is Hillary Clinton, a woman whom I firmly believe is a pathological liar and someone who will continue the destructive pattern we are currently on. The threats we face, in terms of foreign and domestic terrorism, grow larger every day. Yet we cannot even begin to address these issues because we are focusing on the every growing Clinton scandals. Even now we are unraveling the details of a pay-for-play scam that would send any 'law-abiding' citizen to federal prison for a very extended sentence. 

You do not have to agree with me on Trump, but I beg you to consider the ramifications and the long term effects on this country. We are twenty trillion dollars in debt and I guarantee you that we won't last much longer.

Monday, July 11, 2016

The Aftermath of the Dallas Police Shootings - Violence Based on a Lie

As I sat in my hotel room up in Chicago, watching FBI Director James Comey’s testimony before congress Thursday morning, I could not imagine how my Monday morning blog could not be about Hillary Clinton. Sadly, the shooting of the police officers in Dallas, including five who died, during a Black Lives Matter protest later that evening would cause me to re-evaluate that idea.

I will save my response to Director Comey’s finding for a more appropriate time.  For now I want to focus on the social issues that are tearing apart the very fabric of this country. I am asking you to please consider everything that I am about to tell in light of the false narrative that you are being spoon fed by the politicians, pundits and so called community activists.

First and foremost is the chilling fact that: #BlackLivesMatter (aka: BLM), like its predecessor: #HandsUpDontShoot, is a lie.

Why do I say that?

Because, just like the real reasons behind gun violence, the people pushing this agenda are completely disingenuous and have no answers as to how to take action to save any lives, let alone black ones.

You know who does? The police.

Yes, those very same blood-thirsty, racist cops are the only ones who are proactively doing something to save lives, especially black ones.

You must be thinking to yourself that I have completely lost it and I can honestly understand why. It’s hard not to believe this stuff when you are being bombarded with it at every turn. Every day the media is reporting about the latest ‘murder’ of a black man by ‘racist’ cops. Hell, even Congress and the NFL got in on the act. But just because you are repeatedly being told something doesn’t make it factual. Consider this quote before you go any further:


A lie doesn’t become truth, wrong doesn’t become right and evil doesn’t become good, just because it is accepted by the majority.” – Rick Warren

We have to move beyond the narrative and look at the facts. Now some people in politics and the media don’t want to do this because it is going to cast a spotlight on the fallacy of their claims. By creating this fictitious boogieman it serves four purposes:
  • Makes someone else responsible for the problems
  • Creates a sensational storyline that sucks in under-informed viewers / readers
  • Provides a financial cottage industry to those willing to exploit it
  • Unjustly demonizes a group of people they already do not like
  • Sadly, this is a classic case of a ‘Lather, Rinse & Repeat’ problem.

So what is the truth, you ask?

Well, much different than what they want you to believe.

The recent attack and assassination of the police officers in Dallas underscores the reality. Those officers were there to protect the BLM protestors. None of the officers in Dallas had been involved in any way with the recent shootings, yet they were being vilified as if they had pulled the triggers themselves. The fact is that the only one that went there with a hate-filled agenda was the shooter and when that shooter opened fired what happened? The police officers, the same ones being demonized by the crowd, rushed in to put themselves between the shooter and protesters.

Yep, sounds just like the blood-thirsty, racist cops we are being warned about.

So how did social media, that bell-weather for the state of decay that has become America, respond?  Not surprisingly, in typical BLM fashion:
  • “Y’all pigs got what was coming for y’all.”
  • “Yeah it's lit in Dallas fuck the pigs !!”
  • “Next time a group wants to organize a police shoot, do like Dallas tonight, but have extra men/women to flank the Pigs!”
  • “These fucking pigs deserve Dallas, and every incident after Dallas until reform. Fucking disgusting animals.”
  • “Dude hell yeah someone is shooting pigs in dallas. Solidarity.”
  • “DALLAS keep smoking dem pigs keep up the work.”

Unfortunately, this vile, hate-filled rhetoric is nothing new. It wasn’t too long ago that we heard chants of: “What do we want? Dead cops. When do we want it? Now!” and “Pigs in a blanket, fry ’em like bacon!”

But surely if the problem is truly as bad as we are being told, then surely there is some emotional justification for all this, right?

The simple answer is no.

To be sure there was a time when racism was a very real problem in this country, but the same can be said with just about every other country in the world. The truth is that there will always be some form of racism and or discrimination. Do you think those comments above are any less racist just because they are directed at the nameless / faceless police?

If those in the BLM community have that much of a problem with the police, then why do they still pick-up the phone and call 911 when they need help? Not sure how to reconcile exactly how you can be so vehemently anti-police one moment, and then hide behind them the next.

Now I know there are those who will contend that the police killings of innocent black are of such epidemic proportions that it justifies some of this anger.

Once again, the truth is no.

To be fair, there are bad cops, just as there are bad politicians, reporters, community activists, doctors, lawyers, firemen, etc. and we should do our best to root them out, because they do a grave disservice to the vast majority who do their jobs with professionalism. But the lie of the epidemic of racist cops killing unarmed / innocent blacks is just that, a lie and just because a lie is told enough times doesn’t make it the truth. I don’t care who is telling you this, whether it is a politician, celebrity, pundit, or the person on the street corner, it will never be the truth and here is why:

The population of the United States is roughly 318 million people. Of that number, approximately 40 million are black. There are less than eight hundred thousand sworn members of law enforcement.

Let that sink in for a minute.

Law enforcement makes up just a quarter of a percent, 0.25%, of the population of the United States!
In terms of the black population it is a ratio of 50:1

So how many blacks have been killed by police so far in 2016? 123.

If you like math that is equal to 0.000307499% of the black population.

Just for comparison, there have been almost 250 blacks killed in the city of Chicago during the same time period.

Do you need me to do the numbers?

The reality is that, if you are black, you are twice as likely to be killed on the streets of Chicago then you are in the entire United States. Yet, I can’t recall ever seeing a single BLM march through the Chicago neighborhoods of Austin or Englewood. Guess they don’t like protesting in war-zones.

The truth is that while more whites are killed by the police (238 vs 123 YTD), blacks are killed by cops more often than whites, proportional to population, but the contrast in numbers is still ridiculously low: 0.0003% vs 0.0001%

This is what we are all up in arms about? 0.0002%

All lives matter, but we must consider what is really going on here.

I’m sorry, but I would really like to know how this adds up to systemic racism of epidemic proportions?

Where is the moral outrage at the murders occurring in Chicago? 

Where are the President, Attorney General, and all the other indignant politicians demanding a full Justice Department investigation into the atrocities being committed daily on the streets of that city?

Because the reality is that politicians have no response for the rise of inner-city crime, like Chicago. Murders there are truly at epidemic proportions. They know the problem, but it is the 800 lb political gorilla in the room that no one wants to talk about. They would rather talk about incarceration rates, yet make no mention of recidivism rates, or point out how blacks are stopped at disproportionately higher numbers than whites.  Call me crazy, but how many white people do you see walking down the streets of places like: Brownsville (New York City), Englewood (Chicago), Compton (Los Angeles), Sandtown (Baltimore), or Highland Park (Detroit). 

So who exactly should the police be stopping? Think about that for a moment. Should we have quotas based on ethnicity? A cop in Brownsville can only stop a racially diverse number of people per day? If you get robbed should the cops be prevented from stopping someone, who fits the description, because they have already stopped a person of that color earlier in the day?

We truly need to #WakeUpAmerica

The police are not the enemy. They are the ones you call when you need help, the ones who run toward the danger while the rest of society runs toward safety. Ask those innocent people trapped within those dangerous inner-city neighborhoods who they want to make things safer. It certainly isn’t the drug dealers or the gang members.

The thin blue line is just that, thin.

We are nothing more than a veil which separates the sheep from the wolves, but more and more it seems that there are many who want to tear that veil away. Through incendiary rhetoric and baseless accusations they castigate the very small fraternity sworn to protect them. They goad the masses into violent action and then feign surprise when act. Each act dismissed as ‘lashing out in frustration’ only serves to further embolden the criminal element.

As a society, we are quickly approaching the edge of our own demise.

The calls for violence, the tacit approval of urban destruction, all in the name of a proven lie, is quickly undermining our very foundation. It is a self-fulfilling prophecy turning our society into an US vs THEM state, all because our elected representatives are more inclined to blame others instead of taking responsibility for the decades long practice of turning a blind eye toward the real problem.

The problem is that one day they will get their wish, and anarchy will become the rule. Then who will they blame for the continual carnage in the black community?

Baseless cries of racism mask the true problem. The true racism is the political one that contends that the system, not a lack of personal responsibility, is the problem; that the police, not the criminals, pose the greatest threat. Ask yourself why those who represent these inner-cities are always looking to blame someone else, instead of re-evaluating their decade’s long failures in government.

Where are the inner-city success stories? Where are the places that four to five decades of democratic control have: reduced poverty, lowered crime, raised education levels, and reduced the need for public assistance?

Anyone?

In 2014, Eric Garner died in New York City. Everyone seemed to jump on the ‘I Can’t Breathe’ bandwagon, yet everyone seems to miss the very point that Garner’s ability to utter the words ‘I Can’t Breathe’ negated that statement. If you can’t breathe, you can’t talk. Some have broken out their medical textbooks and tried to spin this, saying that even if you can’t breathe you can still utter some words, but Garner said ‘I Can’t Breathe’ at least eleven times while still continuing to resist arrest which occurred under the direct supervision of a female, black sergeant.

Eric Garner was not an innocent. He had a record of more than 30 arrests, dating back to 1980, on charges including assault and grand larceny. At the time of his death, he was out on bail after being charged with illegally selling cigarettes, driving without a license, marijuana possession and false impersonation.   Garner also did not die at the scene of the confrontation. He suffered cardiac arrest in the ambulance taking him to the hospital and was pronounced dead about an hour later. The 6-foot-3, 350 pound, man suffered from a number of health problems, including heart disease, severe asthma, diabetes, obesity, and sleep apnea.

Maybe, just maybe, he contributed to his own demise by engaging in criminal behavior and then resisting arrest? When the officer went to take him into custody Garner physical swatted the officer’s hands away from him, escalating the situation. He made that choice. If he had not resisted I imagine the outcome would have been completely different.

The question is what would you like the police to do? The cops are being blamed for enforcing laws that they didn’t create. How would citizens feel if they called 911 to report a crime only to be told ‘that’s been determined to be a minor crime and we no longer enforce them’?

In 2015, Freddie Gray died in Baltimore.

Baltimore is a city comprised of a 63% black population.  It has a black mayor, black police chief (at the time of Gray’s death), black state’s attorney, and a predominantly black city council presided over by a black council president.  The last four out of five mayors have been black and the last four out of six police chiefs have been black. The police department is a majority-minority department. It is a city that has been controlled by democrats for eighty-four of the last one hundred years and yet Gray’s death was somehow made out to be racist, even though three of the six officers involved were black.

Really?

To be sure, all lives matter. The officers involved didn’t set out that day to kill someone. If you believe that then I truly feel very sorry for you. Of the six officers involved, only one officer had a disciplinary record, stemming from a domestic incident.

Not exactly the picture of the racist cops everyone tried to portray.

Understand that Freddie Gray was also not an innocent person. He had a criminal record that included drug charges, parole violation and other crimes. At the time of his death he had five active criminal court cases pending. He had also served four years in prison. At the time of his arrest he was in possession of an illegal knife. The state’s attorney, Marilyn Mosby, tried to muddy the waters by saying the knife was legal in Maryland, but ignored the fact that it was actually illegal in Baltimore.

What the state’s attorney also didn’t want you to know was that three weeks prior to the incident, she had requested enhanced drug enforcement efforts at the corner of North and Mount, the area where Gray was arrested.

The truth is a much different picture than is routinely portrayed.

In the case of the recent shooting of Alton Sterling, the police were called after someone said Sterling had threatened them with a gun. Upon arrival of the police a struggled ensued and Sterling was subsequently shot. He was in fact armed with a gun.

An examination of his criminal history shows thirteen arrests including: Assault, Juvenile Sexual Offender, Burglary, Weapons Possession, Narcotics, Resisting Arrest, Domestic Abuse….. Not exactly the poster child for: ‘I was minding my own business and the cops attacked me for no reason.’

Once again we have a criminal, engaging in criminal behavior and armed with a weapon, yet it is the fault of the racist police.

As I previously wrote about, the New York Times did a story that documented seventy-three fatal police shootings over the course of a 1 year period, from August 2014 to August 2015, throughout the United States. In all but three cases, the shootings where the end result of what started off as some type of criminal activity. Perhaps it isn’t about racist cops, but about the criminals and their behavior?

So why do these false narratives continue to persist? For the reasons I outlined at the beginning:
  • Politicians, who bear a substantial responsibility for the decay of our inner-cities, blame someone else. They elevate themselves as the people’s champion, in order to get re-elected, to continue fighting to correct some fictitious problem.
  • Pundits sensationalize erroneous storylines because, truth be told, bad news sells. They look at the same impartial data, but then cherry pick it to support their pre-determined conclusion. Add to the fact that violent protestors and property destruction draw viewers who stay glued to their TV sets and increase ratings.
  • The activists realize that there is fame to attain and money to be made.
  • And finally, there is a certain segment of society that is anarchistic in nature and is exploiting the situation to justify their desire to simply destroy things. They want to speed up the confrontation.

This country will never be able to move forward until we begin to embrace the truth and not the stories we are being told. The problem is that this will require us to educate ourselves and not believe the lies. It will require us to expect more from the politicians we elect to represent us.

Until then, the police will continue to do their job; putting their lives on the line to keep the citizens of this great nation safe, even when those same citizens are protesting and shouting ‘Fuck the Police.’

Violence multiplies violence. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” - Dr. Martin Luther King

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Monday, July 4, 2016

Benghazi: Lies, Misdirection, Silence and the 2016 Presidential Race

I write books. They are mostly mystery / thrillers with a healthy dose of political intrigue thrown in for good measure. I get a lot of enjoyment in spinning a tangled web of lies and deceit, but lately it seems that my fiction is taking a back seat to real life.

In the latest installment of: ‘What did I do to piss you off this time?’ I think it is time we re-visit the whole ‘Benghazi Thing.’ I say this, because there are some people who still just don’t get it.

I read a post on Benghazi that went something like this: “I would love a debate about policy. Or we could say just vote democratic because of the thirty embassy attacks when Bush was president and the hundreds that died.”

<Squinting> Huh? Are You F’ing serious?


You see, this is the bullshit they do. They, as in the poorly uninformed, have learned it from the politicians and pundits. Don’t argue the actual point, just change the narrative. As if the attack on Benghazi was just another terror attack, or the lives lost were somehow the same as the ones killed
in other attacks.

Here is a newsflash: The Benghazi attack was a completely different animal because, when the attack occurred, the government failed them and then lied to us.

I read a CNN article the other day which said: “House Republicans capped a partisan, two-year investigation of the Benghazi terror attacks Tuesday with a report that faults the Obama administration for security lapses that led to the deaths of four Americans, but contains no revelations likely to further damage Hillary Clinton.”

Let that sink in for a moment.

No revelations likely to further damage Hillary Clinton?

As opposed to all the other stuff that has damaged her, but yet we somehow still want to believe she is capable of being President.

Fine, whatever, here’s another glass of Kool-Aid, drink up.

And why exactly was this ever partisan to begin with?

Investigations, especially ones dealing with a terror attack in which an Ambassador and CIA contractors are killed, should never be partisan, they should always be a search for the truth. What is sad to me is that a large group of people are making partisan political comments without knowing any of the facts. The majority of Americans have no clue about what happened at Benghazi, either before, during or after the attack. They have relied on carefully crafted talking points instead of actually researching it for themselves. I’d venture to say that almost no one has actually read the 800+ page report.

In a way, it’s kind of like that whole Affordable Care Act debacle.

In case you’d like to take a walk down memory lane, here’s a piece I wrote right after the attack when they were pushing the video and spontaneous demonstration theory. You remember that lie, don’t you? Consider that the first of many to come.

As I mentioned before, most American’s have no clue as to what they are talking about. They couldn’t even begin to tell you how long Libya has been an independent state; let alone what the state of the country was leading up to the attack. Fortunately for you, I have written a Libya / Benghazi primer course for you, to bring you up to speed.

Bear in mind that these posts tend to be a bit long, but that’s the key. They are not your cliché riddled talking points.

You know, I’ve lost count of the number of times I have heard people say: “It wouldn’t have mattered if they sent troops; they wouldn’t have gotten there in time.”

Really? And exactly how did you, or they, know just how long the attack was going to last for?

I guess using that analogy, the next time you’re the victim of a violent crime, don’t bother calling the police because chances are they won’t get there in time either.
13 Hours: Paramount Pictures

Making a cavalier statement like that is fine, in hindsight retrospection, but I can tell you that in the middle of an attack no one knew how long it was going to last…… 13 HOURS is a long time to wait for help. If you feel the need to make a flippant comment on this topic, I highly recommend watching the movie, 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi, or read the book, 13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened in Benghazi,  by Mitchell Zuckoff, before you do.

The fact is that when word of the attacks reached the Embassy and the CIA Station in Tripoli, in less than an hour, they managed to assemble a response team and acquire an aircraft for transport. The team, dubbed Team Tripoli, consisted of four Tripoli Station GRS members, one of whom was Glen Doherty, two Defense Department special operators, and a CIA linguist. An hour after they got to the airport in Tripoli they were in Benghazi.

So much for not being able to get there in time.

Now, Hillary Clinton, the woman at the heart of the Benghazi attack, who is looking to be our next president, is telling the world that there is nothing more to see here and that we simply need to move on.

Really? Must be nice to be able to lie to the American people, including the families of those four dead Americas and then tell them to move on.

 Here is what we know:

The Ambassador, as well as the folks doing protection, requested additional manpower and resources which were routinely met with no response or were refused by senior officials in Washington.  I’m not talking 1-2 requests, but nearly 600 security requests / concerns from January through September 2012. While some were acted on, the majority, including the requests for additional manpower, were not. In fact, manpower was reduced leading up to the attack. Clearly there were issues going on!!

Say what you will, but when an Ambassador, the President’s personal representative to a foreign nation, requests additional security, that cannot be overlooked, nor should it be dismissed by underlings sitting in a cushy office in D.C.  When everything is said and done, the Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, dropped the ball. It was her agency and even the State Department ARB said security was ‘grossly inadequate.’  If you don’t believe that she was responsible, then you need to stop blaming Bush for everything because apparently the ‘buck’ really doesn’t stop anywhere in Washington.

The fact is that the State Department assessment of Benghazi in 2011 and 2012 noted rising crime and a high-risk of militia violence left by the toppling of Gaddafi. The precarious security situation was exacerbated by inadequate security at the Benghazi facility, which was plagued by equipment failures, a lack of manpower and relied too much on unreliable local militia for protection.  Ironically, one of those Washington State Department bureaucrats, Charlene Lamb, had the audacity to say: “It is very unfortunate and sad at this point that Ambassador Stevens was a victim, but that is where ultimate responsibility lies."

Wow, the State Department denied additional security, but it’s really the fault of that poor schmuck who died.  Oh, it should be noted that, while denying the requests for security, the State Department, through their spokeswoman, Victoria Nuland, emailed Stevens to ask how to describe the security incidents in 2012

Really, Vickie?

I would like to imagine that Steven’s reply was something like: “They just attempted to assassinate the British Ambassador with an RPG. I guess you could say all’s well. Wish you were here, darling.”

One of the things that has always troubled me about this attack was our response or lack thereof.  On the night of the attack did the President issue Cross Border Authority? If you don’t know what CBA is, then click the link. The Congressional report now presents a distinct dilemma that no one seems to be considering or even talking about. 

According to the report, the military did not carry out then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta's order to deploy U.S. forces to help rescue Americans under fire in Benghazi. If this is correct, and the President gave CBA, then we have an act of gross dereliction of duty on the part of senior members of the military. Or, as is most likely the case, we are not being told the full story, yet again.

I’m sorry, but I simply do not believe anything that comes out of the mouths of those inhabiting that cesspool known as Washington, D.C. As someone who has served under a chain of command, I know that there are consequences to failing to take action as directed by a superior, especially when four Americans die in a terror attack.

Consider the following and ask if you think this is plausible:

The President directs the Secretary of Defense to take action.

The Secretary of Defense notifies the Pentagon which in turns notifies the Commanding General of AFRICOM, General Carter Ham. 

By all accounts, General Ham immediately began directing / assembling units for deployment, a deployment that never occurred.

Shortly after the dust settled, General Ham announced he was retiring, for personal reasons, after only serving ½ of his scheduled rotation as head of AFRICOM and only a few years shy of mandatory retirement.  When announcing Ham's replacement, his X.O. at AFRICOM, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta praised Ham's service. A report from the department said leaders remain "fully confident" in Ham's performance. Even Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said that Ham “has the full confidence of the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.” Little attributed the change to Ham's "decision to retire," which he described as "an entirely personal decision."

Now, Congressman Trey Gowdy, who led the Congressional investigation into the attacks, states that Carter Ham acknowledged that he altered President Obama and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta's order to deploy to Benghazi to rescue American personnel, and redirected the deployment to Tripoli, Libya instead.

Wait, how does a commanding general, who acted in contradiction to the direction of the President and Secretary of Defense, still enjoy 'the full confidence of the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff?'

I’m sorry, but I call bullshit. That would fall under Article 92 UCMJ: Failure to Obey Order or Regulation and is a Courts Martial offense.

In October 2012, General Ham told Rep. Jason Chaffetz that after the 9-11 Benghazi terror attack he was never given the order to secure the consulate in Benghazi.

Wait, he was NEVER given the order? Yet we are also being told that he was ordered, but that he  redirected the troops, from where they were being requested, to a city over 400 miles away.

Add that to the fact that Leon Panetta testified that: “The President made clear that we ought to use all of the resources at our disposal to try to make sure we did everything possible to try to save lives there.” He further testified that within an hour of his return to the Pentagon, he issued an order to deploy the identified assets. “My orders were to deploy those forces, period.…It was very clear: They are to deploy.” Yet it took nearly two more hours before the Secretary’s orders were relayed to those forces and then several more hours before any of those forces moved.

But how does this even make sense, considering the statement in October 2012 by Panetta where he said: "The basic principle is that you don't deploy forces into harm's way without knowing what's going on; without having some real-time information about what's taking place. And as a result of not having that kind of information, the commander who was on the ground in that area, Gen. Ham, Gen. Dempsey and I felt very strongly that we could not put forces at risk in that situation."

So now the Secretary of Defense says they decided not to take action.

Not sure what he meant by not knowing what was going on, as I think it was pretty clear from the drone flying above, the calls from the Benghazi facility, and the reports at the CIA Annex as to what was going on.

If all of this seems confusing and convoluted to you, imagine how the folks on the ground felt.

Kris ‘Tanto’ Paronto, one of the CIA contractors who went to the aid of the Benghazi facility, said “I asked for the Spectre and ISR [an armed Predator drone]. At midnight, they told us they were still working on getting us that Spectre gunship. Not that it was not available, but that they were still working on it.”

According to Paronto there were two AC-130H Spectre gunships on call that night, both within range of Benghazi. One of them was a six-hour flight away, co-located with a U.S. special operations team in Djibouti, and the other was at Naval Air Station Sigonella, in Sicily. In addition, the European Command (EUCOM), Commander’s In-Extremis Force, was on a counter-terrorism training mission in Croatia. A three-hour flight from Benghazi.

Paronto says that he knew people in that unit and when he spoke with them, after he and his security team got back to the CIA Annex from the diplomatic compound, he was told that “they were loading their gear into their aircraft and ready to go.” Later, they informed him that they had been shut down sometime after midnight.

All evidence now points to a specific stand-down order issued by Secretary Clinton, since the Libyan facilities came under her direct authority. Without a specific request for assistance from the State Department, the Pentagon was powerless to act.

Why do I say this?

Because, in 2015, the State Department released an email that was sent at 7:09 p.m. EST (1:09 a.m. Benghazi time) from Jeremy Bash, an aide to the Secretary of Defense, directly to Hillary Clinton’s office, informing them of the various military assets that were “spinning up” to deploy to Benghazi. Among those assets were Special Forces operation specialists (C-1/10), the In-Extremis Force Paronto talked about, stationed in Croatia, along with two U.S. Marine Corps Fleet Anti-terrorism Security Team (FAST) platoons based in Rota, Spain, the Spectre gunships, armed Predator drones, and possibly elements of Marine Expeditionary Units in the Mediterranean and the Red Sea.

We know this is accurate because, in preparation for deploying the C-1/10 directly to Benghazi from Croatia, General Ham, issued orders transferring authority for C-1/10 to him from European Command (EUCOM). General Ham was actively beginning to stage units to rescue those in Benghazi.

The email further states, and this is VERY important: “Assuming Principals agree to deploy these elements, we will ask State to secure the approval from host nation. Please advise how you wish to convey that approval to us.”

To date, the State Department has not released any reply from Mrs. Clinton’s office to Bash’s email request. Why?

What we do know is that the top U.S. diplomat in Tripoli at the time, Gregory Hicks, testified that the State Department NEVER requested country clearance from Libya for any U.S. forces that night.

And whatever happened to the C-1/10 in Croatia?

When orders finally went out from Panetta’s office, an hour later, they included a re-transfer of C-1/10 from AFRICOM back to EUCOM, along with orders for the unit to deploy to Sigonella, Italy, the NEXT DAY, and hold in place

C-1/10, the Special Forces team that is actually trained to conduct hostage rescue and high-profile missions was activated to respond and then told to stand down.

Have you read that and let that really sink in?  Are you getting these flip-flops?

Are you seeing that there was never going to be a rescue?

So what exactly did the President authorize that night? Again I ask: was Cross Border Authority ever issued? But, like the former Secretary of State famously said: “What difference does it make?”

The presumptive democratic nominee,  along with the majority of democrats in Congress, are telling you to move along; that there is nothing to see. I don’t know about you, but the only thing I’m not seeing here are real answers, except from those who were on the ground in Benghazi, and those answers paint a sordid picture of lies, treachery, treason and deceit. Not exactly the qualifications I find particularly pleasing in a Presidential candidate.

We, as American’s, now have the government that we allowed. Our leaders no longer respect us nor do they believe they have to answer to us. That is sad and it is the primary reason we are in the state of division that we are. We have to wake up and take back our country one election at a time. We can have civil discourse and we might not always agree, but the time has come for us to educate ourselves and not rely on what we are being told.


The truth is that, from the very beginning, they lied to us about what happened in Benghazi. Now the question is how many more lies were told. To determine that it is up to us to research the facts and vote accordingly.

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