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Published Date Author: , April 7th, 2011

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Finding Out by Oliver North


WASHINGTON — “It’s all unfolding just like you said it would.” This flattering accolade was proffered by a retired military officer this week as we discussed how units loyal to Moammar Gadhafi were pummeling rebel forces in eastern Libya. My friend is a “contractor” with a company uncharitably referred to around here as a “Beltway bandit.” He and his colleagues more accurately are portrayed as “auxiliaries,” and they describe themselves as being “quietly engaged” in “peripheral activities supporting our national interests.” Nearly all of the younger ones involved in these endeavors are military veterans of the decade-long fights in Afghanistan and Iraq.

It was an auxiliary — not a U.S. military or government source — who encouraged me to report that allied air-ground control teams and commandos were already on the ground in Libya providing target data when the first French and British airstrikes took place near Benghazi on March 19. Afterward, I was disparaged for disclosing classified information. The critique is misplaced.

My reports described why these ground control teams were essential to allied aircraft attacks on Gadhafi’s armored mechanized units that were about to overrun rebel forces. I noted that these close air support missions preceded U.S. and British missile strikes and airstrikes against Gadhafi’s air defense sites and that they had nothing to do with establishing a no-fly zone as we were being told by the Obama administration. The information I relayed was not classified — but it could not be independently confirmed. Now it is.

On Wednesday this week, Reuters was the first to report that President Barack Obama “signed a secret order authorizing covert U.S. government support for rebel forces seeking to oust Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.” The story, filed from Washington, was sourced to unnamed government officials. Since then, the story has been amplified and embellished by every mainstream media outlet in the U.S. and overseas.

A “secret order” — properly referred to as a presidential finding — is required when the commander in chief deems that vital U.S. national interests require the involvement of U.S. intelligence agencies in “covert activities.” According to press reports, the finding authorizes a “full range of activities,” from “collecting intelligence” on Gadhafi’s forces to “gathering information on, training, paying and arming regime opponents.”

Of course, that’s the mission of the U.S. special forces. Their motto, De oppresso liber (“To free the oppressed”), is particularly appropriate for the situation in Libya — but not for the O-Team. When asked, White House press secretary Jay Carney refused to comment “on intelligence matters” but maintained our policy remains unchanged: “Gadhafi must go.” Obama says that “we are examining all options to support the opposition” while insisting that “no American troops will be deployed on the ground in Libya.” And he proudly proclaims, “We have handed off operations in Libya to NATO.”

The incoherence in all this — including the recently leaked presidential finding — is simply stunning and reflects what’s happening on the ground. The no-fly zone now being “maintained by our coalition partners” is in fact being run by U.S. officers wearing NATO hats. The intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, search and rescue, and command and control aircraft being employed over Libya are being flown by American pilots and aircrews.

The O-Team — uncertain and somnolent from the start about what to do about the protests that began last December in Tunisia — once again is caught in the web of ambivalence. This perpetual state of “What do we do now?” is potentially catastrophic for the people of Libya.

This week, first at National Defense University and then at Georgetown University, Obama claimed to be at once a leader and a follower. He told his audiences that “we stopped Gadhafi’s deadly advance” but that NATO is now “protecting Libyan civilians.” He said, “We’ve led an international effort in Libya to prevent a massacre and maintain stability throughout the broader region.” And now we know — undoubtedly thanks to a “leaker” in the Obama administration — that the president has “boldly” ordered our intelligence services into the fray.

“Prevent a massacre”? Try telling that to the tens of thousands of Libyans in Bin Jawwad, Ras Lanouf and Brega who were turned over to Gadhafi’s tender mercies this week when rebel forces retreated yet again toward Benghazi.

“Maintain stability in the broader region”? Perhaps an administration spokesman can explain what that means to those who belong to disparate protest movements in Syria, Yemen, Bahrain and even Iran.

Meanwhile, we still don’t know who the “rebels” we “covertly” are helping really are. Rep. Mike Rogers, chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, put it best: “It’s safe to say what the rebels stand against, but we are a long way from an understanding of what they stand for.” Now that Obama has committed us to war, finding out who our allies are may prove as difficult as discerning what this administration stands for.


Best Guns for Killing Somali Pirates by Richard Johnson


The scourge of pirates off the coast of Africa is a problem as old as the United States. For historical context, ‚”…to the shores of Tripoli…” in the Marines’ Hymn specifically refers to the Barbary Wars in which the USA went to war against the Barbary pirates off the coast of North Africa.

It is my assertion that the way to end the piracy is to end the pirates themselves. When the cost of doing business becomes too high, the smarter of the pirates will find some new trade in which to engage. The less intellectually gifted will feed the fish.

Understand that I do not believe there is a need to send in the Marines to handle this problem, though they could certainly address the issue with their usual panache. Rather, if the shipping companies merely employed small teams of properly armed security contractors, the issue would sort itself out.

So, if you were putting together a security team to guard a ship moving through the area, with what weapons would to equip them?

The Weapons

Barrett M107A1 Rifle – For the ultimate in long distance engagement, several members of your team should be set up with the Barrett M107A1 .50 BMG rifles. The Barrett will give your team the ability to reach out and touch one of these would-be pirates at more than 1000 yards.

The M107A1 is an evolution of the model 82A1/M107, and makes the perfect rifle platform for the .50 BMG. The A1 is four pounds lighter than the original M107, and has been redesigned to take advantage of the Barrett .50 BMG Suppressor.

While no .50 caliber rifle can be completely silenced, the suppressor does an excellent job of masking the rifle’s position, meaning the ruffians will have a hard time pinpointing your team members’ positions.

And lets face it… 15,000 foot pounds of energy heading down range is just plain fun.

AK-47 – The AK-47 is the ubiquitous select fire rifle. Rugged and dependable, it comes chambered in a .30 caliber cartridge of medium velocity allowing skilled team members to effectively engage pirates beyond 100 yards. The AK is also good for closer in work, should you allow such a thing to happen.

Magazines, parts and ammo are easy to find in that region of the world, so keeping the guns running should not pose any problems. Plus, if you get to the region and decide to bring on some additional hired help, the folks you hire are likely to already by proficient with the AK.

Mossberg 590A1 – Nine rounds of 12 gauge makes for an ideal gun for close in work. Make mine the 590A1 with the Speedfeed stock (four more rounds on tap), ghost ring sights and bayonet.

It is tough to beat a 12 gauge pump for reliability, stopping power or flexibility. Load the team up with 00-buck with one ounce slugs in reserve. If any pirate gets close enough to attempt boarding, let the lead fly.

As retired Detroit cop Evan Marshal once said, “Nothing says ‘I hate you‚’ quite like a 12 gauge shotgun.”

Glock 18 – In actual combat a handgun is a pretty poor tool to have to pick up and use, so we better make it a full-auto. Essentially a Glock 17 with a selector switch, the G18 can burn through 9mm ammo at a rate of about 1200 rounds/minute.

Carried with the 17 round magazine, and backed up by a couple of 33 round mags, the Glock 18 could prove to be critical in getting out of a sticky situation.

M2 Flamethrower – This is one weapon that would do more to prevent future pirate attacks than any other. The M2 is a backpack sized flamethrower projects a burning stream of fuel and inflicts horrific death and destruction on the enemy.

The range of the M2 is roughly 35 yards, so it is a tool you want to keep ready for when the buggers get close. More modern versions of the M2 are available, but call me nostalgic… if the M2 was good enough for the Marines clearing Iwo Jima, it’s good enough for me.

Humans have a primal fear of fire and being burned. A man can see a .50 cal round take his buddy’s head off, and act like it doesn’t bother him. But let these pirates see a boatload of their buddies burned to death by one of your security team members and they will suddenly find themselves without the same bravado they once had.

What Would You Take?

So, what would you outfit your team with? There are plenty of alternatives. For example, a Mosin Nagant 91/30 with a bayonet affixed is about six feet long. That could make a great weapon to repel boarders as they try to climb up the side of your ship. Besides, you can’t just walk into Sears and buy a halberd anymore.

Maybe a Mk 19 40mm grenade machine gun? Nothing beats belt fed grenades, right?

At the end of the day, the tool is largely irrelevant. It is the willingness to fight. If every ship these would be pirates tried to capture had armed men aboard, the pirates would move on to something else. Attacking and securing a waterborne vessel is not easy, and all it takes to repel thuggish boarders is the will and the weapons.


Subject: Man Survives Blizzard Only to Battle U.S.FS. MUST VIEW THIS





=================================================================================== Make sure you go full screen. Click on the icon to the right of the HD logo. This is in HD and it really is beautiful. It’ll take your breath away.

B17 and B25 WWII Bombers over and around Arizona’s Superstition Mountains and Saguaro Lake. The photography is HD, the planes are gorgeous, and, most notably, it is shot as the B17 takes off from Falcon Field in Mesa, AZ and then flies over the Superstition Mountains. to the east of Apache Junction and then on to Roosevelt & Canyon lakes on the east edge of the Phoenix valley. The backdrops are stunning. Music is from the mini series John Adams. Great combo.


================================================================================= New Engine…


============================================================================== USAF Museum Great pics. Enjoy!

http://www.cdsg.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=381 http://www.cdsg.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=381 =========================================================================================

Understanding Engineers #5 The graduate with a science degree asks, “Why does it work?” The graduate with an engineering degree asks, “How does it work?” The graduate with an accounting degree asks, “How much will it cost?” The graduate with an arts degree asks, “That Tank’s Camoflage paint doesn’t go with these shoes”.


Here is a collection of old city maps from the University of Texas (some with pictures)




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