Thoughts on the military and military activities of a diverse nature. Free-ranging and eclectic.

Thursday, September 29, 2005


This is coolbert:

A lot of hay has been made recently regarding the alleged identification of Atta and several of his confederates as being Al Qaeda operatives PRIOR to 9/11. This was supposedly [again, an allegation], an identification made by the Able/Danger intelligence unit. Apparently, using data mining techniques.

These allegations always make for lurid headlines in the newspapers. Especially those that have a political axe to grind. Headlines that seem to suggest - - NO - - SAY, that the government KNEW that the attack on 9/11 was coming!!

KNEW it, and yet DID NOTHING!!

OUR government is complicit, or so the headlines seem to say!!

Even such a person as Dick Morris, a political operative and advisor to President Clinton, wrote an article saying that "the government knew that 9/11 was coming!!" See this article by clicking here.

[I have often thought that I was a case officer for a foreign intelligence service [a hostile service could covet this even more], Dick Morris would be the # 1 person I would have like to have recruited to spy upon and influence the Clinton administration. Dick Morris was the ONE man most trusted by Bill Clinton. A man who the President listened to and sought the advice of. Dick Morris WAS a man at the center of things. NOT ONLY privy to information, but instrumental, in a big way, in formulating policy and advising the President. This WAS a man the Pres did listen to.

But, in addition, this was a man with very serious security problems. Was a married man with a prostitute mistress AND an illegitimate child to boot. Morris WAS a man susceptible to blackmail or recruitment by a foreign intelligence service!! Morris SHOULD have been the last man to be trusted so implicitly by the Pres, but for whatever reasons, he WAS!! Should NOT have been so!! A man such as Morris, if recruited by a foreign intelligence service, would be referred to by Sun Tzu as an "inward" spy!!]

Well, did our government know that 9/11 was going to happen and DID NOTHING??!!

NOT in the sense that the government knew of a date, time, persons involved, modus operandi [MO], and targets to be struck [WTC]. This the government did NOT know.

First consider the assertion of Dick Morris.

Morris is describing a commission chaired by VP Gore in 1998. Dealt with the POSSIBILITIES of airlines being hijacked and used as weapons of terrorism. This commission examined all possibilities and concluded that airliners COULD be used as weaponry, used as flying bombs. Pilots on suicide missions would fly an airliner into a target. This WAS seen as a possibility. Airline flights that originated overseas were seen as being flights most susceptible to hijacking and being employed as flying bombs. NOT domestic U.S. flights.

While admitting that airliners COULD be hijacked and employed as flying bombs, little if any measures were either taken or recommended by the Gore Commission!!

It probably was surmised that U.S. authorities had no real control over the security taken by foreign airlines. Almost nothing could be done to stop the hijacking of a foreign airliner.

Domestic flights were felt to be secure.

After all, there had not been a hijacking of a domestic airline flight in TEN YEARS!!

Persons on domestic flights STILL allowed, after the recommendations of the Gore Commission, to carry box cutters and pocket knives on their persons when boarding domestic flights [why a person on an airliner would EVEN FEEL compelled to carry a box cutter or pocket knife on an airline flight to begin with is a mystery to me. For what purpose would they possibly NEED such implements?? Well, it is OBVIOUS. There WAS NO RATIONAL NEED at all!!!].

[There had also, up until the time of 9/11 NOT been a case of MULTIPLE simultaneous hijackings. This had never been done!! It is reputed to be a major undertaking to hijack just one airline, much less four of them, and do so all at the same time!!]

Can it be said that the Gore Commission KNEW that 9/11 was going to happen, as is asserted by Dick Morris?? NO, obviously Dick Morris has overstated the case by magnitudes!! Much to his discredit.

As to the assertion that officials knew that Mohammad Atta and others associated with him WERE an Al Qaeda cell, this being evidence that the U.S. government KNEW that the 9/11 attack was going to happen!!??

It does seem that the Able/anger military intelligence unit, using data mining techniques, WAS able to determine that Atta WAS part of an Al Qaeda cell in the U.S. prior to 9/11.

Let us assume that is the case. This was determined to be true. Atta and his fellow conspirators had been identified! What would it mean?? What would have been done?

As has been determined by the 9/11 commission, NOT a whole lot. Given the law, the legal interpretations of those laws, and the procedures and protocols IN PLACE PRIOR to 9/11.

Up until the point that Atta and his confederates hijacked the first plane, killed the flight crew, and took control of the jet, they HAD DONE NOTHING WRONG!! Under what grounds could have legal action been taken against Atta?? I am not sure ANY ACTION could have been taken!! [you could make a case that Atta was an unregistered agent of a foreign power [this method of prosecuting spies and terrorists HAS been used in the past]. Other than that, I am not sure what other legal recourse was available to the U.S. government.]

Even if ACTION had been taken by the FBI or another branch of the U.S. government, such action might very well have taken a form that would surprise most people.

Contrary to what the average citizen would think, you DO NOT necessarily WANT to "catch" a spy, or in this case, a terrorist.

[The quotation attributed to English Prime Minister Harold Mac Millan, during the various spy scandals the English suffered in the 1950's, has been pointed to as evidence that governments tend to COVER-UP successful espionage efforts by foreign powers to prevent embarrassment on their [the English in this case] part.]

"Catch" here is used in the figurative sense of the word.

First, DO NOT arrest and making public the arrest, with fanfare. Rather, observe in a surreptitious manner, Atta and his confederates.

More can be gained, perhaps much more, by surreptitious observation of a terrorist cell than can be gained by mere arrest, trial, imprisonment of the terrorists. [and recall, what would you try the terrorists for prior to 9/11?? Deportation was an option. But counter-intelligence would have preferred the surreptitious observation route.]

There was the historic case of the FALN. Puerto Rican terrorists operating in the U.S.

A number of years ago now, an active terrorist cell of the FALN was detected by the FBI.

Rather than merely arresting the members of the cell, the FBI, using surreptitious methods [hidden microphones and video cameras], was able to actually observe over an extended period the members of the cell discussing plans and ACTUALLY manufacturing bombs to be detonated as part of a terrorist campaign. Insights not obtainable otherwise into the workings of the FALN was thereby obtained. [the conspirators WERE arrested prior to their employing the bombs!!]

[there was also the case in St. Louis where the FBI had hidden microphones in the home of a man known to be a Hamas terrorist. This man was caught on tape actually murdering his teenage daughter as part of an odious Arab tradition known as "honor killing". The daughter had sex with an American black teenager, this so outraging the father that he strangled his daughter, the whole event being recorded, unbeknowst to him!! This man now sits on death row in Missouri. Such is the case that the FBI DOES surreptitiously observes enemy spies and terrorists!!]

Surreptitious observation as a technique for obtaining insights of a "target" is not confined to intelligence agencies or counter-intelligence organizations.

There was another famous case where an American submarine trailed a Soviet submarine for forty five days straight without being detected!!

This was done by [the American sub] moving into and maintaining position in a "blind zone" where the Soviet subs detection devices were not effective. This sort of thing was done at CLOSE RANGE. VERY CLOSE RANGE. DANGEROUS!! Hard to do, but effective. Results and insights obtained cannot be done by OTHER means. It is important that the target NOT REALIZE THEY ARE BEING OBSERVED!! Great credit is due to the crew of that American submarine!!

Secondly, if the decision had been made to confront or apprehend Atta and his fellow terrorists, the scenario of confrontation or apprehension would again, be quite different from what most people imagine.

The FBI would have used a carrot and stick approach to try to "turn" Atta. Make him a double agent [double terrorist??] and work against his own masters.

[Sun Tzu would refer to such a spy [terrorist] as a "converted" spy [terrorist].

"Turning an agent, that is to say, convincing a man working in another cause that he should change sides and continue active in the conflict, with all the added risks involved, is clearly a psychological operation of immense complexity."

The reasons for doing this would be the same as they were when the British ran the XX "doublecross" program in World War Two [WW2].

According to Masterman, these reasons would include:

1. The prime object is to control the enemy espionage [terrorist] system in this country.

2. Our controlled agents will help us to contact and to apprehend new agents and spies [terrorists].

3. We obtain information about the personalities and working methods of the German service [Al Qaeda], and this knowledge is of the highest importance for counter-espionage purposes.

4. We get information about the code and cipher procedures of the enemy.

5. We gain evidence of the enemy's intentions.

6. With proper support and adequate preparation we can in some instances not only learn about, but also influence and perhaps change the operational intentions of the enemy.

7. Finally, we are in the position to deceive the enemy.

[John C. Masterman was the man who was part [chaired] of the British XX Committee during WW2 that "turned" and "ran" German spies caught in England during that conflict. If ANY man knows about "turning" agents and using them against their OWN masters, it IS THIS MAN!! In this regard, John C. Masterman was indeed a MASTER-MAN]

[Another archetype of this sort of counter-intelligence operation would be the German WW2 "North Pole" operation. The Germans were able to "sweep" up almost the entire Dutch resistance organization working for British SOE!! Various counter-intelligence agencies throughout the world are familiar with and adept at this methodology!!]

Turning a terrorist that work for Al Qaeda apparently has been done.

We like to think of these Al Qaeda hard cases as not being amenable to blandishments of the carrot and stick nature.

The case of Faris seems to indicate otherwise!

Faris apparently was the Al Qaeda operative living quite freely in the U.S. Working as a truck driver. Criss-crossing the country on purported espionage missions. Getting the lay of the land and surveying possible targets.

Is described as telling bin Laden that the Brooklyn bridge was too "hot". Meaning that facility DID NOT make a worthy target.

By whatever circumstances, Faris was detected, caught, and turned. Worked for the FBI against his buddies. Did a lot of cell phone work masking calls and identifying other Al Qaeda operatives world-wide. Was a very good catch. Turning a terrorist can and is and will be done. MUST be done. You want to do more than just CATCH the terrorist. You want him to lead you to other terrorist cohorts and roll up entire networks if possible. This CAN be done.

Again, did the identification of Atta through data mining techniques demonstrate that the U.S. government KNEW that 9/11 was going to happen in advance? NOT AS KNOWING IN ADVANCE AS THE WORDS ARE CONVENTIONALLY DEFINED AND USED IN EVERYDAY CONVERSATION MEANS!!



Wednesday, September 28, 2005


This is coolbert:

Very interesting article in the newspaper today about the Able/Danger "secret" military unit that supposedly "identified" Mohammad Atta as being an Al Qaeda operative living in the U.S. prior to 9/11. This has been a controversial topic in the news recently.

This article DOES shed some light on the subject.

Among the highlights are:

* Atta and several others [9/11 co-conspirators] were originally ID'd as being Al Qaeda operatives with links to the group that perpetrated the first World Trade Center [WTC] bombing in 1993. [Atta was an Egyptian. The perps from the first WTC attack were primarily Egyptian.]

* The Able/Danger unit was disbanded in 2000 and the voluminous amount of material gathered by the unit DESTROYED!!

* Able/Danger WAS an EXPERIMENT in Information Warfare [also called Information Dominance].

"Information warfare is the offensive and defensive use of information
and information systems to deny, exploit, corrupt, or destroy, an
adversary's information, information-based processes, information
systems, and computer-based networks while protecting one's own.
Such actions are designed to achieve advantages over military,
political or business adversaries. -- Dr. Ivan Goldberg"


The data miners of Able/Danger used programs such as Spire, Parentage, and Starlight. Read further about data mining by clicking here, here, and here. [the last link contains a very detailed description of Able/Danger and it's mission.]

It is possible that "such data mining can make false connections along the lines of "six degrees of separation", the popular theory that any two people on Earth can be linked through their relationships to no more than six other people." Read further about the "six degrees" theory by clicking here.

Atta was linked "through "a foreign source" who monitors radical mosques in Europe."

"Atta, whose full name was Mohammad El-Amir Awad el-Sayid Atta, called himself Mohammad el-Amir while living in Germany and thus would not have been readily identifiable as "Mohammad Atta." He switched to the surname Atta as he prepared to move to the U.S" [this is supposed to be a big problem for U.S. Embassies world wide when issuing visas for Arabs and Muslims who travel to the U.S. Arabic names can have different forms, spellings, and one person can call himself with justification several different names, as did Atta.]



Thursday, September 22, 2005


This is coolbert:

I was wrong about the number of Iridium radio-telephones that had been purchased by the U.S. DoD [Department of Defense].

The number is NOT 1500. The number is 15,000. Well, off by one zero, not that bad.

Anyhow, see the Iridium "press" web site by clicking here. Iridium is still up and going and functioning and doing yeomans service. Such as in the New Orleans disaster. Read further about how the Iridium satellite phone system was used by the military and other government agencies in New Orleans, and is being used right now, as we speak, by clicking here. Why shoot, a success such as Iridium has had in the New Orleans disaster will only mean that the system will continue to thrive, seeing more attention paid to it by potential subscribers!!

I doubt anyone will suggest that Iridium is the sole solution to the disaster communication problem. It is a big step forward. But of itself is probably not the be-all, and end-all. These disaster task forces, combining many disparate organizations working for the same goal, will need task tailored communications. Who is going to organize a system for each individual disaster and put together a working plan? I am not sure? Homeland Security?? And who will have the time to put together a functioning, effective system?

[you could have a general standard model that can be quickly modified for each individual situation??!!]

You DO NOT have a lot of time in these situations! You WOULD like to have something other than a fly-by-the-seat-of-your pants ad hoc organization. Somebody had better give good thought to this stuff!


Wednesday, September 21, 2005


This is coolbert:

And of course we cannot forget the Soviet approach to "mentally conditioning" their troops to the sight of blood, guts, and gore. According to Suvorov, this WAS an important factor in the training of Spetsnaz [special purpose] troops.

According to Suvorov:

"Another very important element of spetsnaz training is to teach the soldier not to be afraid of blood . . . . blood is a constant attribute for the battle training of a soldier . . . The spetsnaz soldier's first encounter with blood should be . . . quite unexpected and in copious quantities . . . The whole group, running full tilt without slowing down rushes straight into some sticky liquid. A blinding light flashes on. It's not water they are in - - it's blood. Blood up to the knees, the waist, the chest. On the walls and the ceiling are chunks of rotten flesh, piles of bleeding entrails. The steps are slippery from slim bits of brain. Undecided, the young soldiers jam the corridor. Then somebody in the darkness lets a huge dog off it's chain. There is only one way out - - through the blood . . . Where on earth could they get so much blood? From the slaughter-house, of course . . . . The men have to crawl beneath some barbed wire. Why not thrown some sheep's innards on the ground and the wire . . . . The process of familiarizing spetsnaz men with the sight and the reality of blood is not in the least intended to make them into sadists. It is simply that blood is a liquid with which they are going to have to work in wartime. A spetsnaz soldier may not be scared of the red liquid. A surgeon works continually with blood and so does the butcher. What would happen if the surgeon or a butcher were suddenly to be afraid of the sight of blood?"

NO ONE can say the communist military took things lightly!!

Such is the way the Soviets are alleged to have trained their most elite forces for combat. Combat where blood, gore, guts, and dismembered bodies are the norm. An effort WAS made to accustom the troop to conditions that are unnatural and horrifying. But conditions the troop must work within to accomplish his mission.



This is coolbert:

In my last blog entry I mentioned the program of mental conditioning and mental toughening currently being undergone by selected 101st Airborne troops destined for deployment to Iraq.

This sort of "thing" would not have been needed for the medieval soldier, or even, for a matter of act, by the American soldier of the Civil War era.

Death, dismemberment, and traumatic injury was a common fact of life. Folks were more accustomed to these sorts of "life events" than are moderns.

Death was considered to be a norm of life. In a family of say twelve children, maybe only three would grow to adulthood. And of those three, maybe only ONE would reach old age. Such was the effect primarily of disease. Even up to the year 1900, the average life expectancy of an American was only fifty years!!

Butchering of livestock was a skill most adults could perform without much trepidation. Blood, guts, animal parts, and cutting of a freshly killed carcass was almost a NECESSITY for survival. People were accustomed to this!!

Dismemberment and traumatic injury were much more common among people that lived and worked with large draft animals or toiled in occupations that involved heavy manual labor, often using tools that were and are dangerous in themselves [saws, axes, etc.].

[there was an article in the National Geographic magazine some time ago about the type of injuries suffered by Neanderthal Man. There are about forty skeletal remains of Neanderthals that have been thoroughly studied as to injuries suffered during adult life. It was found that these Neanderthals had injuries that correspond to the injuries suffered by persons in only one particular type of modern profession, that of the rodeo cowboy. Rodeo cowboys and Neanderthals suffer injuries in a manner statistically almost never found in the real world. Persons who hunted and worked around dangerous big animals. Big enormous critters can hurt you easily and without even provocation!!]

Hard physical labor, and a life often of much privation was the norm for the medieval person, and was so until quite recently too!! Persons were accustomed to walking long distances bearing load, and doing so without a murmur for the most part. This was expected of you. The soldier of yore for the most part DID NOT need a period of physical conditioning to bring him up to snuff. He ALREADY WAS!!

[a recent study demonstrates that an Amish man in America walks three times as far each day than does his civilized, technological counter-part. It is also known that over 100 years ago, when cutting blocks of ice from a pond for storage, the average person of the time could handle 150 pound blocks without problem. Modern man can average only 70 to 80 pound blocks, in comparison. Modern man HAS become a wuss!!]

Violence and killing, often of a bloody and close-up nature, was the rule of the day. People in say medieval times were NOT a whole lot more peaceful than what modern man is. According to the British military historian John Keegan:

"Warfare in the age of edged weapons required yet another vanished military quality . . . a physical brazenness which would allow a man to look a stranger in the face and strike to fell him without provocation and compunction [even to cutting your adversary into two pieces!!] . . . For direct, face-to-face knock-down and drag-out violence is something which modern, middle- class Western man encounters rarely if at all in his everyday life."


"But in violent and technically primitive societies, the facts of battle come as less of a shock to those who first face them, and leave presumably less of a scar, than they do in ordered, technically developed states."

Training for mental toughening would have been not even required for the medieval soldier. He was already there!!



This is coolbert:

Very interesting program on the evening news today. How the 101st Airborne Division [actually airmobile], is toughening a select number of troops for service in Iraq.

Toughening the troops mentally, not physically in this case.

Combat medics are going on duty with EMT's in Memphis.

Riding around with the paramedics as they make their rounds. Getting real world, hard to obtain otherwise, medical training and EXPERIENCE in dealing with wounded and sick people. Preparing for the duty they will see in Iraq. These medics will not be shocked when they see their first victim. Will be mentally prepared for dealing with casualties. Casualties that will quite often resemble what they will see in Iraq. Accident victims from automobile crashes, gunshot and beating victims, etc. Persons that have traumatic injuries that need TREATMENT on the spot.

Officers and senior enlisted are having to undergo mandatory mental toughening too. Visit a morgue, observe an autopsy, and HANDLE human body parts taken from a person who has been autopsied. This type of "training" is also to mentally condition the senior and command troops to seeing blood and guts for real. NOT just playing at war and seeing what are called "notional" casualties. This stuff is not make believe!!

These "programs" can be said to have merit.

We in modern American society are just not accustomed to seeing blood, guts, and death, whatever the nature of the death, natural or traumatic.

We live in a clean, antiseptic, world, where death is supposed to be ONLY for the aged. This is in marked contrast to what the American soldier will see in Iraq. A lot of the combat is close-quarters-combat. You look in the other guys eyes before you shoot him or blow him up. You see his guts and blood and body parts all over the place. The sort of training now underway for SOME troops will just that much better mentally prepare them for the rigors of combat, with all that it brings.

[there is the story of the Army troop that on his first day in Iraq, saw, immediately, after disembarking from a helicopter, a dead Iraqi laying cut in two on the ground. This troop vomited, lost control of himself, and became a wreck. He had just completed a one year training course in Arabic language and was going to act as a translator. His skills were sorely needed. The troop was evacuated from the area as he could no longer function, was going to be tried for cowardice, and was then mustered out. This could have been handled differently and the troop put to good use if proper measures and steps taken. But obviously this was not the case!!]



This is coolbert:

General Honore, the man in charge of the military forces at work in New Orleans is being interviewed on the radio this morning.

Two aspects of the disaster relief were highlighted by the General.

One was that better communications needed to be had for such disaster operation.

With the various military and civilian agencies all at work in the same place at the same time, communications of an instant and reliable nature is a necessity. And this was not had in New Orleans.

Radios DO NOT net with one another. NOT the frequencies [high frequency, very-high, ultra-high, etc.], or the mode of communications [AM, WFM [wide band FM], NFM [narrow band FM]] is common across the board. Something better is needed. The general suggested that some sort of instant on demand satellite commo be in place for such disaster operations. Everyone can just be issued radios that can access the satellite and presto, you have instant and common and reliable commo.

Such a system was in place and maybe to some extent still is. This was the Motorola Iridium satellite system. About sixty satellites were put into low earth orbit and would guarantee instant telephone communications to anywhere in the world. This system turned out to be a boondoggle and most of the satellites have been brought out of orbit and burned up in the atmosphere. The radio-telephones were too expensive and too bulky for the average consumer. Cell phones came on line about the same time and became the commo mode of choice. I understand that the U.S. DoD [Department of Defense]had purchase about fifteen hundred [1500] of the Iridium handsets and planned to issue the radio-telephones on demand when needed. Never heard anything more about it after that.

[I would also suggest that large numbers of GMRS [general mobile radio service] and FMRS [family mobile radio service] radios be issued to relief and disaster relief workers. With appropriate relay stations in place [stations that can be presighted and maybe even installed], an effective commo system could instantly be in place too. Just issue the little walkie-talkie radios to the folks involved and you are set.]

General Honore also spoke about the need for Congress to consider rewriting or amending or abolishing the Posse Comitatus law. The law that PREVENTS the military from having a role in law enforcement operations. This law was originally written in 1876 and was at the time a sop thrown to southern states still under Union Army occupation. Removing the Union troops from a law enforcement role was part of the deal struck to ensure that Garfield would be elected President. In all likelihood, the law written in 1876 DOES need drastic rewriting. NOT only for now, but for the future too.

General Honore has struck me as a real DOER.

A man of action that gets things done. A LEADER who LEADS [lead, follow, or get out of the way!!!!!]. This man should be considered for further high position after this New Orleans disaster is cleaned up. A man of action that IS needed at the highest levels of command!!


Tuesday, September 13, 2005


This is coolbert.

Movie Review.

The movie being reviewed is "Downfall" .

The German version of the last days of the Third Reich. Won the Academy Award for a documentary.

This movie did not strike me as being a documentary. But was categorized as such.

Was well done and very worth seeing. I recommend this movie!

This subject matter, the last days of Hitler and the Third Reich has been touched upon on a number of occasions by the film industry. And uniformly done well too. I cannot recall seeing a bad version of this material.

This particular film, "Downfall" is largely based upon the memoirs of Traudl Junge, Hitler's personal secretary [Hitler appears to have had three personal secretaries at any given moment]. Also contains material taken from other memoirs.

It seems that in some circles and to a lot a persons, the topic of Adolf Hitler is one of unending fascination.

Much of this fascination seems to center around apocrypha relating to Hitler. Aprocrypha [something that cannot be confirmed or denied or is of dubious source.] such as:

Did Hitler actually have sex with Eva Braun?? [undetermined!!]

Was Hitler Jewish?? [under the laws of the Third Reich - - perhaps!! Under Jewish Law - - NO!!]

Was his real name Schicklgruber or Hitler. [father's name is either Hitler or Schicklgruber. Adolf always went by the name of Hitler.]

Was Hitler mentally deranged?? [not until the very end, NOT mentally deranged as the term is generally understood!]

To me, that Hitler was ABLE to gain power and maintain that power undiminished IS amazing.

By modern standards, and perhaps even by the standards of the time, Hitler WAS an anomaly. Hitler DID NOT possess any of the qualities normally associated with a leader or leadership as we understand it today.

Hitler was neither physically attractive or imposing. Rather, the opposite.

[applying for enlistment in the pre-World War One Austrian Army, Hitler was found to be physically not fit and too weak to perform the task of a soldier!!]

Hitler was not an intellectually gifted person. Rather, the opposite. A mediocre student AT BEST who barely completed secondary education.

[Hitler is said to have possessed the greatest oratorical ability of any person that every lived. Why that is so, if it is so, is just unexplicable, even to the experts. It would seem to me that Hitler also possessed a nature that could best be described in modern terms as being "street wise". From his experiences during his "artistic" period, when he roamed Vienna living the life of a "hobo", or again, in modern terms, a "homeless" person.]

And yet, Hitler was able to rise to power of perhaps the most forward and progressive nation of Europe.

Hitler seemed to stumble his way through life without direction, National Socialism only being "discovered" by Hitler when he spied on the Nazis for the post-war Weimar Republic Army, the Reichswehr. It seems quite an accident that Hitler even found out the Nazi Party existed, much less that he became their leader!!

Not only rise to power, but maintained that power with ruthlessness. Command authority from those around him with slavish devotion. DOMINATE the situation in a manner that others did NOT, and did so uncontestedly!

And WAS able to continue his rule in this manner until the very end. For whatever reasons, the German people and his [Hitler's] coterie were malleable to his will and followed him to the bitter end, in most cases without murmur.

[Even those senior figures of the Third Reich who wielded considerable power and were strong willed characters in their own right appear to have been very deferential and obsequious in the extreme to their "Fuhrer".]

As to the mental illness.

Hitler did suffer from Parkinson's disease. That has recently become accepted fact. During that time, in the 1940's, and at least until the 1950's, the diagnosis and recognition of Parkinson's was not fully understood by the medical profession. To what extent Parkinson's would have effected Hitler's mental health is unclear.

He did have rages, yelling, screaming, shouting, rabid like behavior [this is shown in the movie repeatedly]. During the last years of the war, Hitler DID have to be sedated so he could sleep [excessive stress??!!]. It would seem the pressures of war leadership and the realization that Germany COULD ONLY NOT WIN the war, but were doomed to LOSE it, became too much for Hitler.

On many occasion, Hitler displayed a total lack of being in touch with reality. With the Soviet forces closing in on him, he DID continue the practice of issuing orders to non-existent German military units, fully expecting deliverance from further Soviet attack. Deliverance that did not materialize.

Hitler probably did suffer from some sort of mental derangement at the end, becoming unhinged, but to what extent is unclear, and will probably always remain so.

Again, "Downfall" is worth seeing!


Sunday, September 11, 2005


This is coolbert:

Here is a web site [click here to see the site] that at one time was part of the Total Information Awareness [TIA] program. TIA was to provide information and intelligence by gathering together data from a number of sources and make that data available for analysis. By using techniques such as "data mining".

This particular web site, Policy Analysis Market [PAM], a part [only a part] of the TIA program, was going to trade in "terrorist futures". Persons, world-wide, would trade futures with regard whether terrorist attacks were going to occur or not. Trade futures on terror as one would trade say futures on commodities.

When this particular part of TIA became know, the outrage and scorn was immense.

See these comments:

"Senate minority leader Tom Daschle took to the floor to denounce the program as "an incentive actually to commit acts of terrorism.""

"Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-New York), said she was appalled to hear of plans to set up "a futures market in death.""

"The idea of a federal betting parlor on atrocities and terrorism is ridiculous and it's grotesque," said Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon)"

"Democratic Sen. Byron Dorgan of North Dakota criticized the market."

"Dorgan described the market as "unbelievably stupid."

"Can you imagine if another country set up a betting parlor so that people could go in ... and bet on the assassination of an American political figure or the overthrow of this institution or that institution?" he said."

The idea was dropped about as fast as the lead balloon would drop.

A private concern still thought this was a good idea and took over the web site, with a promise to still trade in "terror futures". It seems the site is still on the web, as you can see, but is NOT active.

This is too bad!! The idea is sound!!

"Analysts often use prices from various markets as indicators of potential events."

"This price discovery process, with the prospect of profit and at pain of loss, is at the core of a market's predictive power." [the predictive power in this case would be to predict to some degree of probability, with some degree of certainty, future terrorist events.]

"The PAM trading interface presents A Market in the Future of the Middle East."

Click here to see a whole page containing positive comments about PAM.

Click here to see another web site that comments on the idea of what they call, "Idea Futures
(a.k.a. Prediction Markets, Information Markets)"

[this stuff is already out there, and has been for some time, and is being done, trading in futures of all sorts, as we speak!!]

Was the proposed trading in futures in terror a bad idea!!


Futures traders, normally trading in commodities, DO have their own apparatus analogous to an intelligence network available to them. To evaluate the future of a commodity with regard to it's value. That is why they call it FUTURES. They, the traders, are looking ahead to see what the price of a commodity will be in the future so as to make sound decisions that lead to a profit. When trading commodities, whatever the nature of the commodity, the trader MUST have data and information to process so as to make sound decisions. They cannot trade successfully unless they have at their disposal intelligence, either of their own devising or someone else's [there are private concerns that provide such analysis for a cost].

The Policy Analysis Market [PAM] was a way to do trading on the international level and get input from a whole lot of astute individuals as to what direction international terrorism would take. COULD have provided valuable intelligence into the whole anti-terrorist war.

This WAS an unwise and foolhardy decision to drop the PAM program. We need all the help we can get in the anti-terror war. Do not drop a program for what are very superficial and not well thought out arguments of nay sayers!!

[personal comment. Traders in the terrorist "futures" would be betting their own MONEY as to whether or not a particular future "terrorist event" would happen or not. These traders would be BETTING shrewdly, or at least one would think so, BECAUSE THEIR OWN MONEY WOULD BE AT STAKE. A government analyst, not betting his own money, DOES NOT RUN THIS RISK.]



This is coolbert:

In case of an attack by Warsaw Pact forces [spearheaded by Soviet units], NATO did intend to organize strongpoints analogous to the British "blocks" as were used in Burma in World War Two [WW2].

It was realized that in case of an attack by first echelon Soviet units, many NATO units would be bypassed, get caught off, or have troops that would just get separated from their units.

German countryside small towns were to be utilized as strongpoints to which NATO forces could rally. Troops that had been left out of the battle would find haven in these German small towns, re-organize and form AD HOC units. To continue the battle against advancing second and third echelon Pact units.

The rural countryside of Germany is populated by small towns of perhaps 1,000-2000 persons. And consists of buildings sturdily made, many of thick stone, with basements also of solid constructions. Made in robust German fashion.

Such small towns, occupied by an ad hoc unit, would make an effective strongpoint to continue the battle, albeit defensively.

Such ad hoc units could direct air strikes, long range artillery and rocket fire against follow-up Soviet second and third echelon units. Cause casualties using their organic firepower. Using anti-tank-guided-missiles [ATGM] when available. Defending themselves against further Soviet attack. Interlocking fields of fire with other adjacent small town strongpoints as best as possible.

This was referred to as "sponge" tactics. Rather than stopping the Soviet attack [the advance of a tank army can be considered to be analogous to a rushing stream of water] with a sturdy dam, rather absorb the water with a sponge. NOT as elegant or robust, but a workable solution.

This type of defense WAS going to happen in case of a Soviet and Warsaw Pact attack upon western Europe. Such an attack did not occur. Thank GOD! "Sponge" tactics, if employed, would have resulted in those small town and towns being destroyed. Deterrent prevented a Soviet attack. And an appreciation by the Soviets that if they did attack, resistance [including the use of "sponge" tactics] would be determined. Their [Soviets] plans would come to naught!!


Saturday, September 10, 2005


This is coolbert:

During the Second World War [WW2], the German commanders proved themselves, as mentioned in many previous blog entries, as being adept at creating and commanding, with success, ad hoc units.

In another theatre of that war, [WW2], the British also proved themselves to be masters of the same game, creating effective ad hoc units.

This was in the China-Burma-India [CBI] theatre.

British units, in the early stages of the war, first in Malaya, then in Burma, and up to the border of India [Kohima and Imphal], found the Japanese Army, as was the Soviet Army, to be masters of infiltration tactics.

"infiltration - - (DOD) 1. The movement through or into an area or territory occupied by either friendly or enemy troops or organizations. The movement is made, either by small groups or by individuals, at extended or irregular intervals. When used in connection with the enemy, it infers that contact is avoided."

[movement by stealth is a hallmark of infiltration tactics. The Japanese excelled at this!!]

Infiltration tactics for which the British commanders did not seem to have an answer.

Time and again, British forces, consisting of a variety of units and types of arms and personnel, would find themselves being bypassed by infiltrating Japanese troops. This could occur either when the British were on the offensive or defensive. Often finding themselves fifty or so miles behind Japanese lines, and not EVEN REALIZING IT, British units would be forced to beat a retreat, often in disarray. This DID OCCUR, over and over.

A solution to this problem was not devised until the Royal Air Force [RAF] was able to gain control of the skies over Burma from the Japanese. At that point, aerial resupply of marooned units became possible.

The solution was to tell units to remain in place when bypassed by infiltrating Japanese troops, await aerial resupply, organize themselves into strongpoints for the defensive, and await relief from overland columns. Retreat, which was formerly the ONLY option available, was NO LONGER AN OPTION.

These strongpoints became known as "blocks" or "boxes".

"strong point - - (DOD, NATO) A key point in a defensive position, usually strongly fortified and heavily armed with automatic weapons, around which other positions are grouped for its protection."

[when a strongpoint is established, usually no retreat from such a defensive position is possible without release from higher command. The commander must stand his ground no matter what unless permission from his superior is first obtained!!]

British commanders often had a melange of units and troops at their disposal for defense of the "block".

"Melange - - a mixture often of incongruous elements"

Signallers, headquarters troops, mess waiters, "batmen" [personal valets for officers], muleteers [mules were used extensively in CBI for supply], construction troops [soldiers often having only the most rudimentary knowledge of how to use a rifle], and combat arms units of various sizes and capacities.

These troops were also of various nationalities. British, Gurkha, British Indian Army troops, and local levies [Burmese].

All were thrown together into an AD HOC unit with the mission of defending the "block".

These "blocks" became an excellent example of the verity of warfare that says, "defense is the stronger form of combat". As enunciated by Clausewitz. More can be accomplished with less and easier too by soldiers on the defensive.

The concept of the "block" was successful.

As LONG as aerial resupply WAS possible, the "block" concept worked.

[[aerial resupply was carried out almost exclusively by American Army Air Corps aircraft. This is where "Terry and the Pirates" had their start!!]

Having a strong and imaginative commander also went a long way to guaranteeing success. The senior office in charge of the "block" had to inspire his troops and command in a forceful manner. Holding such an "ad hoc" unit together and having them fight well was NOT EASY.

[having a trained, experienced, well-led combat arms unit available for the commander of the "block" often went a long way to make the defense of the "block" a success.]

Against the Japanese, troops contained with such a "block" came to quickly realize that defeat WAS NOT an option. The Japanese were NOT noted for "kindly" treatment of prisoners. Rather the OPPOSITE. Knowing this, forces within the "block" often, out of necessity, fought with exceptional vigor.

Troops with the "block" WERE able to conduct a successful defense, often causing great casualties among the attacking Japanese!!

DEFENSE does seem to be the "stronger form of combat". The "block" concept seems to say this true.



Tuesday, September 06, 2005


This is coolbert: Miscellany:

I see that some folks trapped in New Orleans by the flood, are REFUSING rescue or aid of any sort. They just want to stay, "hell or HIGH WATER", as they say. What is one to make of this?? This is another problem that Homeland Security will have to take into consideration when formulating plans for evacuating a major U.S. city in case of a nuclear detonation! The stranded who refuse to leave the disaster area are being told to leave, or they will be refused any further requests for assistance. It will be up to them from that point on!!

It should be abundantly clear that in case of further natural or man-made disasters [atomic detonation!!] of a magnitude similar to that of which occurred in New Orleans, folks in the disaster area will HAVE TO fend for themselves for a period of time before help arrives.


People all throughout the country must make preparations, NOT really extensive, but they must make them, and NOW!!

Each and every person and family needs to prepare a survival kit that will last them a MINIMUM of a week, perhaps for longer!

Such a kit would include bottled water, and canned food that can be eaten OUT OF THE CAN, no heating or cooking required!!

The infamous bomber/fanatic/survivalist Eric Robert Rudolph was reputed to survive on a diet of oatmeal, green beans, and sardines for an extended period. This is the type of stuff I am thinking of as food to stockpile. Perhaps dried cereal that can be eaten right out of the box can be substituted for the oatmeal!!??

Homeland Security should compile a list of additional items that household should have on hand and IN ONE SPOT for IMMEDIATE USAGE, such as flashlights, FRESH batteries, transistor radios [keeping in mind that such radios may well be destroyed by the EMP that will accompany a nuclear blast] with FRESH batteries, important papers [ID, deeds, insurance policies, etc.].

HOW folks MUST make preparations can be disseminated through a wide variety of media. In the aftermath of Katrina, and the devastation wrought by the storm, this MUST be done, and NOW!

Another absurdity from New Orleans.

It seems people are loathe to leave the disaster area UNLESS their pets can be brought with them. At first, people being bussed away from the disaster zone were NOT allowed to bring their dogs with them. When word of this policy spread, folks WERE NOT leaving the disaster area for fear of having to leave their pet behind!

This is just a perfect example of why Americans are not felt to work well in disaster relief operations all over the world. Americans are just felt TO BE TOO SENTIMENTAL. DO NOT SPEND RESOURCES WHERE THEY CAN DO THE GREATEST GOOD FOR THE MOST!!

I see that the "eminent" Senator from Illinois Barack Obama has made some insightful comments about the disaster in New Orleans.

Barack has said, "if this is how our government deals with a natural disaster, how will it be able to cope with a man-made disaster, such as a radiological weapon being detonated??!!'

Well, BINGO Senator!! Congratulations!! Maybe you have a brain upstairs after all. YOU DID edit the Harvard Law Review, did you not?? It seems the junior Senator from Illinois IS thinking in a clear and logical manner.

YES, what does this say about our nations ability to handle with the detonation of a radiological weapon by Al Qaeda in a major U.S. city?? The response of the government agencies at all levels HAS been chaotic to the flood in New Orleans. And a nuclear DETONATION would pose an even worse threat than would a radiological [dirty bomb] explosion. It would seem that even the most casual of observers would easily conclude that the governments ability to deal with such an atomic event would be NOT GOOD!!

[and this with four YEARS to prepare [since 9/11] too!!]

[Senator Obama just returned from a trip to the old Soviet Union, accompanying Senator Lugar. It appears both these Senators have reviewed measures the various nations of the region are using to safeguard weapons of mass destruction [WMD] storage sites. Presumably, as part of this duties, Obama HAS been briefed and IS congnizant of the danger to American cities that such WMD pose.]


Monday, September 05, 2005


This is coolbert:

I refreshed my memory regarding those cipher systems employed by the Axis spies in South America. The ciphers that Herbert O. Yardley was able to read in the latter part of 1940.

These ciphers, three of them demonstrated by illustration in the book, "Hitler's Secret War In South America", WERE low-grade ciphers NOT of great complexity.

[Two of the ciphers systems were transpositions. NOT hard in these two instances for skilled cryptanalysts to read. The Germans had added simple refinements that would make the enemy cryptanalysts job more difficult, but not that more difficult. The Germans did create ciphers that were simple for low level agents to use. Maybe that is all they had in mind, ease of use, without a whole lot of regard to security? The third cipher was a simple substitution cipher CREATED BY THE USER [the German secret agent]. Why German intelligence would have allowed such a cipher to be used is beyond me? Again, ease of use must have been the main consideration, not security. Even this simple substitution cipher would not have posed a big problem for even the most NOVICE of cryptanalysts.]

Yardley and his team of analysts probably had no problem in reading these messages from Axis spies to headquarters in Berlin. The messages concerned shipping in and out of Brazilian ports. Shipping that in 1940 was vital to the Allied war effort. Shipping at the mercy of German U-Boats.

Reading these messages could lead to capture of the spies. Denying the German Navy vital intelligence at a time when it was vital to them also.

In the notes section at the end of the book this reference is made to the ciphers:

"The code [actually a cipher as opposed to a code] is described in U.S. embassy (Rio) to State Dept., April 20, 1943, NA, RG, 59 862.20210/2338."

Again, same as above, but dated "March 3, March 16, 1943."

This would suggest to me that these German cryptographic systems were NOT being read by U.S. authorities until 1943!!?? I sure would hope not. If Yardley was reading these ciphers in late 1940, and the U.S. did NOT read them until 1943, what does that say??



Friday, September 02, 2005


This is coolbert.

I hope that Homeland Security is paying close attention to what is occurring in New Orleans, right now, as we speak.

This natural disaster is probably as close as you are going to get to the disaster that would occur if some terrorist group, such as Al Qaeda, was to detonate an atomic weapon in a major U.S. city.

I am SURE there are many lessons to be learned from this natural disaster that would also apply to the disaster created by a man-made nuclear detonation. I would hope that lessons learned are being determined, studied, absorbed, and planned for.

One thing instantaneously clear is that life in a large city [500,000 persons], such as New Orleans, when faced with a disaster of such magnitude, becomes untenable.

The city becomes uninhabitable. Life cannot be sustained any further without monumental action being taken. Monumental action that will months, if not years to implement. In the mean time, evacuation of the city is the only near term answer.

Of course, in the case of New Orleans, the causation of the disaster is the flooding, coupled with wind damage.

In an atomic detonation event, the causation of the disaster would be blast, heat, and residual radiation.

Regardless of the causation, utilities are lost for an indefinite period.

[in the case of flooding, there IS warning. Such as with New Orleans. Authority KNEW the storm was approaching. With a nuclear event, there will probably BE NO warning. This exacerbates the situation. Having responders at readiness will not be possible in the latter case [atomic weapon being used.]]

Utilities that human life depends upon in the modern world. Electricity, natural gas, fresh water, sewage, communications, transport, etc. All lost! Habitation in such an environment is impossible.

Evacuation of the ENTIRE city is the only option until assessments of damage can be made and rebuilding plans formulated.

Evacuating a surviving populace of a major U.S. city is going to be itself a nightmare.

EMP [Electro-Magnetic-Pulse] from a nuclear detonation will render all solid-state vehicle ignitions inoperable. Within a certain radius of an atomic weapon detonation, NO internal combustion powered vehicles WILL WORK! Survivors WILL NOT be able to just jump into their cars and drive out of the city.

Vehicles, presumably buses and large trucks, will have to COME INTO the city to evacuate the populace. This of itself will be extremely difficult, due to the roadways being blocked by downed trees and fallen poles of all sorts, i.e., power, light, telephone, etc. You MAY have TO CUT YOUR WAY INTO THE CITY just to conduct an evacuation.

[as mentioned, in case of a nuclear detonation, in addition to trees and fallen poles, the streets will be clogged with disabled, inoperable vehicles that will have to moved as well for vehicular traffic to make it's way into the city!! How to move all that?? Probably practically impossible!! Rather the people MOVE THEMSELVES using foot power!!]

It can also be expected that certain segments of the populace to be evacuated will pose an additional nightmare for those conducting the evacuation.

Persons best described as having "problems", "issues", or "difficulties".

Street gangs that exist in ALL major American cities will undoubtedly taken advantage of the situation. A total break down of law and order due to the absence of police [in the event of an atomic blast, many "first responders", such as the police, may be killed or wounded. There will be just NOT enough law and order people to go around]. Street gangs do have the numbers, the organization, the weaponry, the physical and mental wherewithal to "take over" large portions of American cities and become the controlling force. All entering their "turf' will have to bend to their will.

In some American big cities, there exist areas where the community is very resistant to governmental authority of any type. Mandatory orders to evacuate WILL only heighten tensions and anger directed at "authority". Especially in the aftermath of an atomic detonation. Emotions will overpower reason. Governmental "officials" in this case will have to act as if they were "walking on eggs" when dealing with such unruly "communities". These WILL NOT be docile folks that obey and do as they are told.

Provisions will have to be made to "deal" with drug addicts of all sorts. Persons NO LONGER to get their "fix". Desperate people, whether they be "crackheads" [cocaine] or "fiends" [heroin] of a sort that will pose significant difficulties for "authority".

Indeed, the whole gamut of "street people" or "homeless" will pose grave problems for "authority". 75 % of such folks are either mentally deranged, alcoholics, or drug addicts. Corralling, immobilizing, sedating, and "securing" such folks will not be easy. Moving them by evacuation is one thing, handling them afterwards is a different matter. A subject for another blog. These folks again, are dangerous to "first responders" in normal circumstances, much less in the aftermath of a catastrophe.

[This being America, also include a category of armed folks. Desperate and wanting THEIR needs attended to right NOW, no matter what!! Normally law-abiding people becoming armed and dangerous given the serious situation. "Treat my family member now, doc, or you are going to get it!!" This does happen. I heard an interview on National Public Radio [NPR] a number of years ago now where a doctor described this exact event. In such a circumstance, the doctor DOES have to comply while someone is holding a gun to his head!!]

Other classes of people will also pose a problem for those implementing evacuation. NOT "difficult" or unruly or criminal minded people, but folks with problems that are no fault of their own. Among these people will be found:

Grossly obese persons.

[Years ago now, there was a famous incident where two para-medics attempted to manhandle a four hundred pound woman down eighteen flights of stairs to a waiting ambulance. In two hours, the paramedics were able to move this woman down ONE flight of stairs, all the while being harassed by an unruly and most vociferous group of family members!! The woman died!!]

Institutionalized persons, such as found in nursing homes, or in mental institutions

Handicapped persons, such as the wheelchair bound, paraplegics, quadriplegic, and the retarded.

Sick and infirm persons as found in intensive care units [ICU's] of hospitals.

There also seems to be a difficulty that arises when people WANT to go back INTO the disaster area. This may sound strange, but this seems to be a tendency folks have when the status of their family or possessions or dwelling is in question. People WANT to know WHAT has happened. There seems to be a strong desire for information. Danger does not deter. NOR do admonitions from authorities. People going INTO a disaster area create a further problem for the authorities.

Persons being evacuated FROM a disaster must also be decontaminated.

This is true in New Orleans right now.

Would be the case if an atomic event occurred.

Contamination in each case is different, but still potentially lethal. You DO NOT want evacuees to spread contamination if possible. Uncontrolled evacuation without decontamination will only spread toxins.

Decontamination must be planned for. In the case of New Orleans, folks wading in the flood waters have been exposed to raw sewage, floating animal carcasses, human remains from above-ground-burials-New Orleans-style, and a variety of chemical runoffs [generally referred to as a "witches brew"!!].

In the case of an atomic attack, the culprit for contamination would of course be radioactive fallout. Evacuees must be decontaminated by taking showers using strong soap, clean water, bleach if necessary, getting shots for infections, and having their dirty clothes burned. Same for the victims of radioactive fallout. Slurry ponds must be set as run-off basins. What you end up with is a slurry pond filled with poisonous, potentially lethal water. On a massive scale, preparations to provide for slurry ponds must be done well in advance.

Can further lessons be learned from the New Orleans disaster?? Undoubtedly so!! Further blog entries may well bear this out!!


Foolishness III.

This is coolbert:

"When asked about Yardley's technical competence, Olmstead replied by asking the Canadians whether, if they were hiring a chef and one applied who was a known criminal, they would be interested in his ability to make an omelet."

As cited in my previous blog entry, Foolishness II.

From this statement one can reasonably infer that American military intelligence officers ONLY desire to employ "high born Christians". Persons of the highest and most impeccable character and integrity.


Is this so??

NO!! Emphatically NO!!

During time of war, the U.S. military HAS employed persons of unsavory reputation. Persons whose "abilities" were found to be VITAL to the war effort.

From the very entry of the U.S. into World War Two [WW2], the U.S. government was MOST desirous to protect the docks of major American sea ports from sabotage.

Especially New York City [NYC]. The largest and busiest port in the U.S. Secure functioning of this port was A MUST for a successful war effort.

The threat from Axis sabotage against U.S. port facilities was clearly on the mind of U.S. authorities. During World War One [WW1], there HAD BEEN a whole series of sabotages directed against the NYC port facilities. These were called "The Black Tom Explosions". Click here to read about the "Black Tom" explosions. Sabotage in the case of "Black Tom" was directed against warehouses storing munitions [in many cases black powder], destined for shipment to the WW1 Western Front in France.

Keep in mind that U.S. security and investigators were neither able to STOP OR CATCH the perpetrator or perpetrators of "Black Tom".

A recurrence of "Black Tom" was totally unacceptable. A quick and dirty solution to the sabotage threat HAD to be found.

A solution WAS found. A solution for which the U.S. government had to swallow it's pride and accept. A solution that would NOT be normally even be considered except for the dire need that existed at the time.

This solution was the American Mafia.

It was well understood that the Mafia already had in place for decades prior to the start of WW2 a very, very, very strong presence on the docks of NYC. Shippers would actually take into account that about 10 % of all goods being shipped through the docks of NYC would be pilfered by the Mafia.

The Mafia already had, IN PLACE, it's own very effective intelligence and security apparatus at work on the docks of NYC. The U.S. government must have reasoned, "why spend the time, money, effort to train and put in place our own security organization to guard the docks of NYC, and maybe not even be successful, when there is already an organization in place? An organization that perhaps can succeed where we CANNOT."

[the reader may ask, "well, how good is the Mafiosi intelligence apparatus?? Consider the comments of a Chicago police officer as contained in the book, "What Every Cop Knows". "they [the Mafia] have more and better intelligence on us [Chicago police] than we have on them!!"]

A deal WAS made between the American Mafia and the U.S. government concerning the docks of NYC.


Security which proved to be outstanding. So much so, that there WAS NOT ONE incident of sabotage on the docks of NYC for the duration of the war.

The Mafia WAS able to succeed. Perhaps WAS able to do what the American governmental agencies responsible for security COULD NOT do.

Of course, please keep in mind that when you make a pact with the devil, the devil will give you what you want, but, also, the devil WANTS something in return. You must give the devil something that he wants. Something you ordinarily WOULD NOT be willing to give him.

One "thing" given to the Mafia was for the "boss of bosses", Lucky Luciano, to be released from prison. As a good will gesture.

A second "thing" the Mafia obtained was an assurance that the U.S. government would "turn a blind eye" to any pilferage that would occur at the NYC docks for the duration of the war. The Mafia would get "it's" 10 % to sell on the blackmarket. Items that were rationed were of high value. Consumers WOULD pay a premium price on the black market for certain items. Rubber tires, meat, gasoline, etc.

Such is the price when you deal with the devil. YOU get something YOU want, but in return, YOU MUST give something the devil wants. This was so in WW2 on the docks of NYC.


Foolishness II.

This is coolbert:

Regarding the exclusion of Admiral Poindexter from future Homeland Security, anti-terrorist operations, there does seem to be precedent for this sort of thing.

Persons that can contribute in a significant way to the war effort, but for extraneous and sometimes outrageous reasons, are felt to be unsuitable and undesirable.

Persons that become pariahs.

Persons whose talents are wasted. To the detriment of all.

Such a situation existed in World War Two [WW2] also.

This was the case of Herbert Osborne Yardley. American cryptologist.

Cryptologist - - "A person who engages in the scientific study of cryptography and cryptanalysis."

Who had served admirably during World War One [WW1] and HAD also served the Nationalist Chinese government in a similar manner [as an advisor in cryptologic matters]..

Yardley's particular expertise was as a cryptanalyst.

"Cryptanalyst - - A person who engages in: 1 : the solving of cryptograms or cryptographic systems 2 : the theory of solving cryptograms or cryptographic systems : the art of devising methods for this."

Was also an excellent administrator, a hard worker, and a man possessing a particular persuasive charm.

Was also a man deemed untrustworthy by many in the field of intelligence. U.S. and British intelligence officers were loathe to deal with Yardley at any level. Yardley, in the early 1930's, DID write a tell-all book that scandalized many and DID reveal many secrets. This is a story in itself. NOT a subject for this blog entry. Let us say that Yardley was DESPISED by many.

[this tell-all book, the "American Black Chamber", to this day, is usually on the MUST READ list of those who are interested in the field of intelligence. Well written, easy to read, an enjoyable read, very entertaining. Yardley also wrote a book entitled, "Chinese Black Chamber". A chronicle of his Chinese experience. This book was Also an entertaining read, but NOT as good as his former work!!]

Nonetheless, in 1940, Yardley found himself back in the crypto business.

Working for the Canadians.

At this point in the war, the Canada did NOT possess an independent radio intelligence service

[a radio intelligence service intercepts SECRET radio communications of foreign powers and analyzes same for the purpose of developing intelligence.]

An independent service that would have an intercept capability coupled with analysis. In 1940, the Canadians DID have an intercept service, but DID NOT have an analysis capability. The British provided analysis, the Canadians told to merely copy and forward raw radio intercepts.

Yardley had assured Canadian authorities that in six weeks, with a minimum of say fifteen analysts, trained by himself, he could have an analysis bureau up and running. This was in extreme MARKED contrast to what other American authorities had told the Canadians.

[General Mauborgne, American Signal Corps officer, had told the Canadians that it would take a year of training and a minimum of two hundred fifty personnel to get an radio intelligence analysis bureau going!!!]

Yardley was duly hired as head of the brand new Canadian radio intelligence analysis bureau!!

It seems that Yardley WAS ABLE to deliver on his promise!!

"Within two weeks he confirmed his patrons' confidence in him by solving a cipher used by German agents in Brazil to report the movements of merchant ships. By September, Yardley was routinely reading German clandestine traffic out of South America and had cracked ciphers used by the governments of Vichy France and Columbia. By October he had solved a medium-grade Japanese system."

A pretty outstanding performance, by almost any standard!! Yardley even exceeded his promised expectations!

[these secret messages of Axis spies in South America were encrypted in relatively simple transposition cryptographic systems [what would classified as low-grade crypto systems]. NOT difficult for skilled cryptanalysts to read. This was well within the abilities of Yardley and his trainees. One would ask, however, if this stuff was so easy to read, why were not others doing the same? Were these secret messages from Axis spies going unread?? It may very well be that Yardley was doing what others could do, BUT WERE NOT doing!! What is one to make of this??]

Within several months, however, Yardley was curtly dismissed from his position. This at the insistence of American and British intelligence officers, who told the Canadians there WOULD BE NO further cooperation in cryptologic matters until Yardley was fired. Yardley, years after his major indiscretions, was still despised and loathed, his skills nothwithstanding!!

"When asked about Yardley's technical competence, Olmstead replied by asking the Canadians whether, if they were hiring a chef and one applied who was a known criminal, they would be interested in his ability to make an omelet."

[this argument is ABSURD!! You can find a whole bunch of cooks that can make good omelets. You CANNOT find but a few persons, such as Yardley, who have GOD-given innate talent in the cryptologic field. And that is what it is, GOD-given innate talent. It is even MUCH harder to find persons with GOD-given innate cryptologic talent that are intuitive auto-didacts [self-taught person] as was Yardley. And EVEN BEYOND THAT, it is much, much, more difficult to find such persons that are at the same time able administrators!! Yardley DID have considerable talents!!]

Was this a wise decision!! Firing Yardley and dismissing the man without regard to contributions he still may have been able to make??

I would think that during WAR TIME, you should avail yourself of all the help you can get. Including persons who are of dubious repute. There ARE ways to handle this type of individual you may not like. An amicable working relationship can in some manner be worked out, without regard to personal animosities, the greater good in the end always being kept in mind!!

This did not occur with Herbert Osborne Yardley!!

Yardley was given, years later, an honorable burial at Arlington National Cemetery, in light of his WW1 war record and his outstanding devotion to the defense of his country during that conflict.