Archive for Military

Weather Underground co-founder hosted fundraiser for Democrat candidate

weather-underground

KRQE via Marathon Pundit:

From the late 60’s to the mid 70′s the Weather Underground planted and detonated bombs across the United States. A radical anti-war group with violent methods. One of its cofounders was Mark Rudd. The self described intellectual author of the group’s strategy. Rudd – who’s lived in Albuquerque for decades – has expressed regret for the group’s actions. Just a week and a half ago, Democratic candidate for governor businessman Alan Webber held a fundraiser at Rudd’s Albuquerque home. A day later, Rudd endorsed Webber in an email. Tonight, Webber both distanced himself from Rudd and defended Rudd in a statement quote, “I just met Mark Rudd. Of course I denounce terrorism and understand Mark Rudd regrets his involvement with the radical anti- government group from the 1960′s. For over two decades, Mark has been a proponent of non-violence and a teacher at CNM [Central New Mexico Community College].” Another Weather Underground co-founder, Bill Ayers, was in the political spotlight in 2008 for his ties to then-candidate Barack Obama.

If you read Rudd’s Wikipedia biography you will notice he was a leader, along with Bernadine Dohrn, of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) at Columbia University. Rudd and other SDS leaders visited Cuba in 1968 and met with delegates from North Vietnam, Cuba, and the Soviet Union.

Gary Trudeau based the Doonesbury character Mark Slackmeyer on Rudd. Rudd wrote about how great things were in Cuba and he idolized Che Guevara. Rudd was expelled from Columbia after his role in riots and sit-ins.  After SDS splintered:

Rudd and other former RYM members ultimately formed Weatherman, a self-proclaimed “organization of communist women and men.” The new organization was intent on overthrowing the government through violent actions. Spreading communism was a priority for the members of Weather, as when Rudd told other members of SDS, “ Don’t be timid about telling people we’re Communist. Don’t deny it, be proud of it.”

Rudd and his associated participated in events that became know as the Days of Rage.  Rudd and others went underground after an explosion in a Greenwich Village townhouse. Weathermen were constructing nail bombs there when one accidentally detonated and killed three people:

According to Mark Rudd, the plan was to set them off that evening at a dance for noncommissioned officers and their dates at the Fort Dix, New Jersey Army base, to “bring the [Vietnam] war home”.

Webber had the event at Rudd’s house a week and a half ago. Rudd endorsed him via email the next day. It took this long for Webber to distance himself from Rudd after that?

Democrat implies opponent’s military service wasn’t a real job

brown-uniform

Buzzfeed reports:

In a recent ad, Brown referenced being a military lawyer in Iraq.

Speaking at the the Maryland gubernatorial candidate’s forum Monday, Gansler seemed to take issue with Brown’s ad, saying that being governor is “a real job.”

“You know I’m running against somebody who has never managed anybody, never run anything. You know his ads are about how he was a lawyer in Iraq, and that’s all fine and good, but this is a real job.”

Just when Gansler had started picking up some momentum, he suffers a self-inflicted wound today. I’ve included Anthony Brown’s official military portrait above for reference.

Save for one job at a law firm, Gansler has drawn a paycheck from the state or federal government for the largest portion of his professional career. Of course, none of those involved deployment to a combat zone or receiving a Bronze Star, like Brown’s deployment to Iraq as a JAG Officer. I’d like to see Doug Gansler trying to fast-rope out of a helicopter or jump out of an airplane while wearing 35 pounds of combat equipment and 15 pounds of reserve parachute. Those are both things Brown had to do (along with numerous other tasks) to earn the Air Assault wings and Parachutist wings you see on his uniform in the picture above. Brown was a distinguished military graduate in the MIT ROTC program when he graduated Harvard and he’s worked his way up the ranks to Colonel, which means he has been promoted five times and gone through numerous courses of study to reach those ranks. Before he became a military lawyer, Brown graduated flight school and flew helicopters. Brown served on active duty in Europe with the 3rd Infantry Division. He re-branched to Judge Advocate Corps from Aviation after he became a reservist.

Brown’s career after law school included a clerkship for a federal judge, just like Gansler. And, just like Gansler, Brown has worked at a law firm. Brown’s civilian job record looks about the same as Gansler’s – other than Gansler’s political career focused on the legal arena. Maybe these comments today were an attempt to emphasize the new information that came out on Brown’s previously unreported job at a Merrill Lynch office in Maryland?

Regardless, Gansler really stepped in it with his comments today. He hit what is possibly the new third rail of American politics – appearing to criticize someone’s military service. I  am not a fan of either Brown or Gansler politically but, as a veteran myself, I’m behind Brown and highly critical of Gansler on this issue. This is a blunder of monumental proportions when you look at all the military personnel and veterans who live in Maryland. Gansler claiming his job as attorney general in a climate-controlled office or courthouse in Maryland is a real job while slamming Brown’s job deployed as a JAG officer in the desert of Iraq as not a real one rings hollow.

UPDATE

A report from The Daily Record has reaction to the comments:

Jon Soltz, chair of VoteVets.org, a political action committee that endorsed Brown for governor, called the statement “slime ball politics.”

“Doug Gansler needs to stop smearing those of us who served in Iraq as not having had a ‘real job,’” Soltz said in a statement. “It’s a horrible insult to all those men and women who put their lives on the line, and especially those who died, in service to this country.  Additionally, Mr. Gansler, if he chooses to attack an Iraq War veteran, ought to at least admit that the person he is attacking has been serving as Maryland’s lieutenant governor.  This kind of slime ball politics is what turns people off to our democratic process, so Mr. Gansler is doing no favors for Maryland or our democratic electoral system by playing in the gutter like this.”

Soltz went on to demand an apology from Gansler.

The video of Gansler’s remarks is below. It appears the remarks were  posted to the account of the Brown campaign’s tracker assigned to Gansler.

R.I.P. Mickey Rooney – dead at the age of 93

mickey-rooney

Mickey Rooney, born Joseph Yule, Jr., has died at the age of 93. The above photo is one I took of Mr. Rooney at the 2008 National Memorial Day Parade in Washington.

Rooney served in World War II:

In 1944, Rooney entered military service. He served more than 21 months, until shortly after the end of World War II. During and after the war he helped entertain the troops in America and Europe, and spent part of the time as a radio personality on the American Forces Network and was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for entertaining troops in combat zones. In addition to the Bronze Star Medal, Rooney also received the Army Good Conduct Medal, American Campaign Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, and World War II Victory Medal for his military service.

Report: Bin Laden shot more than 100 times

OPERATION NEPTUNES SPEAR

Daily Mail

A new report from a website known within the intelligence and armed services community claims that the sheer number of times that Osama bin Laden was shot is the reason why the government has never released photos of his dead body.

Citing two confidential sources, The Special Operations Forces Situation Report tells how ‘operator after operator took turns dumping magazines-worth of ammunition into Bin Laden’s body’.

[...]

At the time of the assassination, President Obama and his administration argued that they were justified in never releasing the photos of the dead body or the burial at sea because they could be used as propaganda for al Qaeda.

The new theories, however, suggest that they are just trying to avoid retribution for allegedly being excessive.

If this story is true, not releasing photos makes more sense now.

Russians claim to have downed U.S. drone over Crimea

putin

TheWire.com:

A Russian-owned arms and technology company claims that an American surveillance drone was disabled and captured while flying over Crimea. Reports are a little sketchy so-far, but this is what we know. Rostec, a state-owned Russian arms company, says a U.S. surveillance drone was essentially hacked electronically, on Friday using technology they developed, then crashed to the ground virtually intact.

AFP has more details. If true, welcome to the new face of warfare. It is probably good to be skeptical of the claims right now. I wouldn’t be surprised if we were flying drones over the region, but I also wouldn’t be surprised if one accidentally crashed or was brought down by gunfire too.