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In memory of a first & last Father's Day

Unfortunately, that first & last were the same – the Father’s Day of 2016. On June 19th.

The little boy that made any sense to that Father’s day was just 17 days old. 311 more words

Child Loss

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In memory of a first & last Father’s Day

Unfortunately, that first & last were the same – the Father’s Day of 2016. On June 19th. The little boy that made any sense to that Father’s day was just 17 days old. Attached to more tubes & wires his body could endure. His chest was closed just the previous day, 9 days after his open heart surgery. His dad, a nervous, emotional, worried and tired bag of love, stood motionless looking at his son, wondering if he’ll be able to hold him for his second. That was probably the longest he looked at him without a blink. His wife captured that moment on her phone. He, who had imagined his first Father’s Day to be different, to be slightly colorful, came out of the ICU, teary-eyed, told his wife – “I hope it’s not my last.” His wife vividly remembers that conversation. She knew too, that there’s a possibility that it could be his last. But both of them caught hold on to that one tiny bit of hope that was the only way forward. She didn’t want to give him any false promises. She just smiled. Maybe, held his hands. When the day started with both of them acknowledging that it’s Father’s Day, with a happy yet worried smile, they didn’t know it could get this intense. A friend who did not have the courage to send him a note, sent her instead: IMG-20160619-WA0018 She passed it on to him. He smiled & responded to that friend with the pic from that day of him looking at his son, standing by his bed – a pic that spoke of multitude emotions. Later that day, in their hunger for the deserved acknowledgement, they reminded their son’s surgeon that it’s that special day. He’s a father too; he’ll know it. A while later, when reality slowly started biting, she told him – I don’t think I’ll have my first Mother’s Day with him. And, you may not have your second.”  She was right!

Military Intelligence (Not The Oxymoron)

These days in the news and opinion blogs we see a lot about the CIA, NSA, etc…..has anyone asked…where did all this stuff begin?

Yep, another Professor’s Classroom….. 257 more words

International Situations

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World War I and the Origins of U.S. Military Intelligence

World War I and the Origins of U.S. Military Intelligence; James L. Gilbert; Rowman & Littlefield, London, 2015. Near the beginning of the Revolutionary War, George Washington purportedly said, “The necessity of procuring good intelligence is apparent and need not be further urged.” Even in the 18th Century the importance of intelligence collection and analysis was understood. Today commanders often take for granted the fact that they will have robust intelligence assets and organizations to inform their decision making process, supporting them in ways Washington never could have envisioned. But as James L. Gilbert points out in his book, World War I and the Origins of U.S. Military Intelligence this was not always the case. George Washington who is often credited as the United States first great spymaster ran several spy rings during the revolutionary war including the famous Culper Ring.  The Culper Ring is credited, among other things with providing Washington early warning of British activity and helping identify a British spy working with Benedict Arnold. Washington’s intelligence collection abilities were so good that an unnamed British Intelligence Officer is often quoted as saying, ““Washington did not really outfight the British. He simply out-spied us.” It would take the U.S. Army almost 150 years to comply with George Washington’s urging and create a permanent Intelligence apparatus.

As James Gilbert describes, the origins of U.S. Military Intelligence is the story of the efforts of two men, Dennis E. Nolan and Ralph Van Deman. Nolan, an aspiring teacher and decorated veteran of the Spanish-American War, caught the eye of General John J. Pershing while serving as his adjutant. That contact with Pershing, commander of the American Expeditionary Forces, would lead to his selection as the first Intelligence Officer (G-2) on an American General Staff in the field.

Van Deman, a Harvard graduate, was attending school at Fort Leavenworth when he met the future head of the Military Intelligence Division, Colonel Arthur Wagner. Colonel Wagner convinced Van Deman of the importance of intelligence. This would lead him to establish the Military Information Division of the Philippines, the first field intelligence organization on the islands. During the war both men would rise to leadership roles supporting two different missions within the Military Intelligence Division (MID). Van Deman would take charge of MID operations within the United States. A thankless job, Van Deman would be responsible for, among other things, all counterintelligence operations within the U.S. Nolan on the other hand, would deploy to France, becoming General Pershing’s G-2 responsible for all intelligence operations of the American Expeditionary Forces. Nolan would go on to build what people think of today when they refer to tactical Military Intelligence, while Van Deman’s efforts back in the United States, led to him being called the father of Military Intelligence. IT WOULD TAKE THE U.S. ARMY ALMOST 150 YEARS TO COMPLY WITH GEORGE WASHINGTON’S URGING AND CREATE A PERMANENT INTELLIGENCE APPARATUS. In Gilbert’s descriptions of the fledgling Army intelligence organization, many parallels can be drawn between today’s intelligence operations and those of 100 years ago. Two disciplines in particular stand out in their similarities across the bridge of history. Both Signals Intelligence and Imagery Intelligence can draw a direct line between the programs of then to now.

SIGNALS INTELLIGENCE

Today when you think of Signals Intelligence (SIGINT), the shiny cubed buildings of the National Security Agency or the revelations of Edward Snowden may come to mind. But a hundred years ago SIGINT was in its nascent stages. Gilbert describes the almost accidental birth of SIGINT and cryptology linking them to the efforts of one person, Herbert O. Yardley. According to Gilbert, the Army had two other very strong cryptologists, Major Joseph Mauborgne and Captain Parker Hitt, who had built their own cipher devices; either of which could have “greatly aided in securing US combat communications.”  In another parallel to today, the Army personnel system mismanaged the talents of Mauborgne and Hit.  Both were assigned to other duties, Mauborgne to the Philippines to run the Corregidor Signal Corps Radio Station and Hitt was selected by General Pershing to be a member of his staff, keeping them out of the cryptology business and preventing those cryptosystems from being used. This mismanagement left an opening for Yardley, who while working as a clerk and telegrapher at the State Department before the war, taught himself how U.S. codes worked. He later wrote a paper that would result in the State Department’s changing its entire code system. When World War I began, Yardley decided to take his skill as a cryptographer to the Army. Ralph Van Deman recognized his talent and put him in-charge of the American Cryptographic Bureau.

Yardley’s reputation as a puzzle solver moved swiftly throughout the government and he began to get requests for support in solving the seemingly unsolvable. Mr. Gilbert describes one such case, as a member of the Justice Department wanted to know if strange holes in a pigeon’s wings were the work of enemy agents attempting to slip messages through undetected. It turned out to be the work of lice.

In August 1918, Yardley deployed to Europe to assist with Allied Cryptographic bureaus. Upon his arrival, he found the Allies less than willing to work with him, a frustration that would dog him throughout the war.  Later in life Yardley would be named head of The Black Chamber a forerunner to the National Security Agency.  The Black Chamber was successful in breaking several diplomatic codes.  When it was shut down in 1929 Yardley wrote a book about the organization called “The American Black Chamber”.  As a result of the secrets revealed in his book congress passed the first laws protecting code and cypher secrets.

IMAGERY INTELLIGENCE

The cover of the book used for this review is adorned with bi-wing pilot decked out in a soft helmet and goggles holding a large box. This photo represents some of the first usages of aerial photography, or Imagery Intelligence (IMINT). Today the access needed to be successful in this discipline of intelligence is taken for granted. Satellites and Unmanned Aircraft can provide an unblinking eye on the battlefield with no risk of loss of life by those controlling the collection. This was not the case in World War I. To get the same images that we take for granted today someone had to fly over enemy territory, oftentimes unarmed aircraft, low enough and slow enough to get a decent picture. Flying low and slow, however, also meant they were perfect targets for anti-aircraft guns. Other methods included putting a person and camera in a balloon that was even easier targets for enemy aircraft. The ratio of risk to reward for these missions was far from ideal. The technology of the day made the images collected from these missions only marginally effective. The requirement for the camera to be held steady caused many pictures to come back blurred. In most cases, more information was gleaned from debriefing the pilots on what they saw as they flew over the battlefield.

LINKS TO WORLD WAR II

Gilbert ends his discussion on the origins of army military intelligence by attempting to link what was started in World War I to what would come with World War II. The unfortunate answer was that there were not many direct links. He describes that, as with the end of many wars, senior leaders failed to incorporate lessons learned. Military intelligence would atrophy from lack of use. Experienced intelligence soldiers were moved to other areas. Dennis Nolan attempted to prevent this loss of talent by creating the Military Intelligence Officers Reserve Corps, but Gilbert explains it turned into a place “where veterans gathered occasionally to maintain social connections and swap war stories.” There were a few successful linkages between the two wars. For instance, the Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence on the Army General Staff would become a permanent position. Additionally, Herbert Yardley would continue to put cryptography at the forefront of intelligence operations by breaking Japanese codes, but unfortunately SIGINT would be transferred to the Signal Corps where it would take 15 years to get back on track. Imagery Intelligence is the one area that truly took off during the interwar period. Advances in both aircraft and camera technology would significantly increase the capabilities of the discipline. Aircraft conducting the missions would transition from slow moving bi-planes to fast, nimble, specially equipped fighter aircraft which were less vulnerable to being shot down.  The camera systems would be greatly improved as well going from a plate film that required the camera to be still for several seconds to one that could take multiple frames in the same time period. The images from these cameras would become clearer and provide more valuable information than ever before. In the end James Gilbert provides a fine accounting of the frustrating beginnings of Army Military Intelligence. His descriptions provide the reader a good look at the successes and failures of an organization just beginning to come into its own. Gilbert does focus his research on the higher echelons, which while appropriate for the scope of the book, does leave the reader wondering what life was like at the battalion and regiment S-2 levels. This makes Shipley Thomas’s S-2 in Action a great companion read. Thomas’s book, which was published just prior to World War II, describes life as a untrained battalion level S-2 during World War I. Reading the two together ties the tactical and strategic level understanding of how the Army Intelligence discipline came into existence.

James King is a U.S. Army officer currently serving as an Executive Officer for a Military Intelligence Battalion. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Sociology from the University of Washington and a Master’s degree in Strategic Intelligence from American Military University. The views expressed in this article are his own and do not represent those of the U.S. Government, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, the Department of the Army or the Department of Defense.

12 Year Old Georgetown Middle School Girl Called An Ape. Slave.

Georgetown middle school girl called an ape, slave by fellow students.

By Claire Osborn – American-Statesman Staff

Highlights

School issued a report saying the girl “was a victim of more than one incident of racially harassing conduct.” 1,425 more words

Featured

Change

The ocean’s waves come quietly ashore,
Then disappear as quickly as they came.
No matter what the sand was like before,
When water leaves, it’s never quite the same.

Poetry

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Change

BY ANGELA UMPHERS RUEGER
The ocean’s waves come quietly ashore, Then disappear as quickly as they came. No matter what the sand was like before, When water leaves, it’s never quite the same.

America's Cult of Ignorance

There has been a wealth of fake news these days…..and some lap it up like a thirsty wildebeest …..there has been a big push, from the Right, to try and re-write history or to try and discredit it as best they can……even an anti-education movement….. 543 more words

Politics

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America’s Cult of Ignorance

There has been a wealth of fake news these days…..and some lap it up like a thirsty wildebeest …..there has been a big push, from the Right, to try and re-write history or to try and discredit it as best they can……even an anti-education movement….. Let us look at democracy….you know that thing that we Americans are so proud of that it hurts…..Liddell Hart wrote……
We learn from history that democracy has commonly put a premium on conventionality. By its nature, it prefers those who keep step with the slowest march of thought and frowns on those who may disturb the “conspiracy for mutual inefficiency.” Thereby, this system of government tends to result in the triumph of mediocrity—and entails the exclusion of first-rate ability, if this is combined with honesty. But the alternative to it, despotism, almost inevitably means the triumph of stupidity. And of the two evils, the former is the less. Hence it is better that ability should consent to its own sacrifice, and subordination to the regime of mediocrity, rather than assist in establishing a regime where, in the light of past experience, brute stupidity will be enthroned and ability may preserve its footing only at the price of dishonesty.
How accurate can one person be even 100 years ago? All this has done one thing expertly….made Americans as ignorant as a stump. More people are better educated than ever before, and knowledge is easier to come by.  So why do we so often scorn those who plainly know more than we do?
There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.’”
Source: America’s Cult of Ignorance – The Daily Beast One of the best examples of this ignorance is the Press Secretary, Sean Spicer……all one has to do is listen to his answers to questions and the ignorance spills out like milk from an overturned glass…. The ignorance that has invaded our society goes all the way up to the White House……yes, I mean the president!
Let’s connect the dots between Donald Trump’s “tax plan”, his invitation to the murderous leader in Manila and saying he would be “honored” to meet with the dictator of North Korea. And let’s throw in his claim that Trumpcare will be better than Obamacare and that his skeletal tax plan would make him pay more. While these facts might seem unrelated, each points to a fundamental truth about Trump that I have been trying to get people to understand since he announced his latest presidential campaign in June 2015: Trump doesn’t know anything.
Source: Donald Trump’s ignorance is becoming more evident with each passing day | David Cay Johnston | Opinion | The Guardian Expertise is dying in this country…..everybody does not try to educate themselves for they are the smartest person they know….. “Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn”  Ben Franklin “I am patient with stupidity but not those that are proud of it”  Edith Sitwell And then my fave quote….”Stupidity is the deliberate cultivation of ignorance” Side Note:  I think Trump has proven that a good business man does not make a good president.  Maybe now we can put that piece shit slogan to bed for good.

The Imperative of Replacing Google and Facebook

Source: The Imperative of Replacing Google and Facebook | New Eastern Outlook

journal-neo.org

Tony Cartalucci

May 12, 2017

 

Nations are beginning to take more seriously the control of their respective information space after years of allowing US-based tech giants Google and Facebook to monopolize and exploit them. 951 more words

Activism

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The Imperative of Replacing Google and Facebook

 

6533243Nations are beginning to take more seriously the control of their respective information space after years of allowing US-based tech giants Google and Facebook to monopolize and exploit them.

Vietnam, according to a recent GeekTime article, is the latest nation to begin encouraging local alternatives to the search engine and social media network in order to rebalance the monopoly over information both tech giants enjoy in the Southeast Asian country today.

Google and Facebook: More than Search Engines and Social Media

The two tech giants and others like them may have appeared at their inceptions to political, business, and military leaders around the world as merely opportunistic corporations seeking profits and expansion. However, Google and Facebook, among others, have become clearly much more than that. Both have verifiably worked with the US State Department in pursuit of geopolitical objectives around the world, from the collapse of the Libyan government to attempts at regime change in Syria, and using social media and information technology around the world to manipulate public perception and achieve sociopolitical goals on behalf of Wall Street and Washington for years. The use of social media to control a targeted nation’s information space, and use it as a means of carrying out sociopolitical subversion and even regime change reached its pinnacle in 2011 during the US-engineered “Arab Spring.” Portrayed at first as spontaneous demonstrations organized organically over Facebook and other social media platforms, it is now revealed in articles like the New York Times’, “U.S. Groups Helped Nurture Arab Uprisings,” that the US government had trained activists years ahead of the protests, with Google and Facebook participating directly in making preparations.

Opposition fronts funded and supported by the US State Department’s National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and its subsidiaries Freedom House, International Republican Institute (IRI), and National Democratic Institute (NDI) were invited to several summits where executives and technical support teams from Google and Facebook provided them with the game plans they would execute in 2011 in coordination with US and European media who also attended the summits.

The end result was the virtual weaponization of social media, serving as cover for what was a long-planned, regional series of coups including heavily armed militants who eventually overthrew the governments of Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and Yemen, with Syria now locked in 6 years of war as a result. It was during Syria’s ongoing conflict that Google would find itself involved again. The Guardian in a 2012 article titled, “Syria: is it possible to rename streets on Google Maps?,” would report:
In their struggle to free Syria from the clutches of President Bashar al-Assad, anti-government activists have embarked on a project to wipe him off the map. Literally. On Google Maps, major Damascus thoroughfares named after the Assad family have appeared renamed after heroes of the uprising. The Arab Spring has form in this regard. When anti-Gadaffi rebels tore into Tripoli last August, the name of the city’s main square on the mapping service changed overnight – from “Green Square”, the name given to it by the erstwhile dictator, to “Martyr’s Square”, its former title. The internet giant’s mapping service has a history of weighing in on political disputes.
Google’s monopoly in nations without local alternatives ensures that public perception is lopsidedly influenced by these deceptive methods.
The Independent in a 2016 article titled, “Google planned to help Syrian rebels bring down Assad regime, leaked Hillary Clinton emails claim,” would expand on Google’s activities regarding Syria:
An interactive tool created by Google was designed to encourage Syrian rebels and help bring down the Assad regime, Hillary Clinton’s leaked emails have reportedly revealed.  By tracking and mapping defections within the Syrian leadership, it was reportedly designed to encourage more people to defect and ‘give confidence’ to the rebel opposition.
Clearly, more is going on at Google than Internet searches. Nations would be equally irresponsible to allow a foreign corporation to exercise control over their respective information space – especially in light of verified, documented abuses – as they would by allowing foreign corporations to exercise control over other essential aspects of national infrastructure.

Vietnam Taking Control of its Information Space 

The GeekTime article, shared by the US State Department’s NDI on Twitter titled, “Is Vietnamese campaign to build a Facebook alternative fighting fake news, or fostering censorship?,” claims (emphasis added):

During a parliamentary committee meeting earlier this month, Truong Minh Tuan, Minister of Information and Communications in Vietnam, said that the government is encouraging Vietnamese tech companies to build local replacements for platforms such as Facebook and Google (which are the most popular in their categories in Vietnam). 

The article also reported:
It is part of a wider campaign to “strengthen cyber security” and the integrity of the country’s information. “The plan is to try and address the problem of how ‘fake pages’ with anti-government content grew uncontrollably on Facebook,” said Tuan. “Going further, we need social networks provided by local businesses that can replace and compete with Facebook in Vietnam.”
NDI’s mention of the article is meant to imply that the Vietnamese government stands to profit from the localization of search engines and social media – and it does. However, the localization of Vietnam’s information space is no different than the localization of Vietnam’s defense industry, energy and water infrastructure, schools, and healthcare institutions. They are the Vietnamese people’s to control, not Washington, Wall Street, or Silicon Valley’s. Whether the Vietnamese government abuses that localization or not is the business of the Vietnamese people. The actual concern NDI has is that once the localization of information technology is complete in Vietnam, forever will these effective vectors of sociopolitical subversion be closed to the corporate-financier special interests driving US foreign policy and the work of fronts like NDI.

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook”.