1954 ~ Quite a Year!

…concerning the brutal murder of Syrian civilians, including children and infants by Sarin gas, President Obama said, “I’m ready to act in the face of this outrage.” According to sources, immediately he and VP Joe Biden headed directly to Fort Belvoir…

For the very first time, January 1st 1954 the Rose Bowl and the Cotton Bowl were broadcast in color and two more television stations signed on the air with the CBS call sign. On January 20th the NNN grew to 40 – that is the National Negro Network now had 40 radio stations and, in the category of some things never change, President Eisenhower announced on February 2nd the detonation of the first H-bomb. (The detonation had occurred in 1952, two years earlier!) That same month President Eisenhower warned the U.S. people against getting involved in trouble in a small nation named Vietnam.

And the list goes on, all through the year… new happenings in the world of invention and particularly electronics, steps backward at times particularly in areas of humanity. A bloody revolution in Syria and a ‘peaceful’ change of government in Egypt where 36-year-old Abdul Nasser appointed Egyptian Premier. (He was assassinated twenty-six years later). Ruth Thompson, a Congressman from Michigan, authored a bill against the lewd, lasciviousness of Rock and Roll music. Yes, she was a Republican and Elvis Presley paid $4.00 to get the rights to two of his songs back from a producer in Nashville.

An active shooter incident in the Capital – 4 Puerto Ricans open fire injuring four Congressmen. Eisenhower warned of the ‘Domino-Effect’ in SE Asia. A rookie playing in an Exhibition Game hit a home run, his first as a professional baseball player – none other than Henry (Hank) Aaron, later that month would come his first of the 755. In April, the USAF flew a French battalion of soldiers to Vietnam… later that month the very first American injured in Vietnam, a civilian pilot.

While Disneyland is being built and the MLB sports franchise was born, on July 20th an Armistice officially separated Vietnam into North and South… one year and one week exactly from when an Armistice ended the Korean War leaving it divided North and South. Russia was denied entry into NATO – the Cold War begins to heat up, Senator McCarthy on full boil. The Tasmanian Devil debuts in a Warner Brothers cartoon!

In October, after the last French pull out of Vietnam, a Communist Revolutionary enters Hanoi by the name of Ho Chi Minh. The leader of the Muslim ‘brothership’, Hassan el Hodieby arrested in Egypt. The Giants sweep the Cleveland Indians taking the World Series in four games. Texas Instruments announced the first “Transistor Radio.” Dr. Albert Schweitzer and Ernest Hemingway received Nobel prizes in Peace and in Literature. In entertainment, the television show ‘Disneyland’ began as did ‘Father Knows Best’ – on the silver screen ‘A Star is Born’ with Judy Garland and Steve Allen begins the Tonight Show. In crime and entertainment – Dr. Sam Shepherd’s wife murdered in Cleveland Ohio – it became the back story for the iconic story of ‘The Fugitive’ and his relentless pursuit of the ‘one-armed man.’

Yes, 1954 was quite a year. An amendment to allow 18 year olds the right to vote was defeated. The population of the United States was 2,723,726,367. President Eisenhower signed a bill adding “Under God” to the Pledge of Allegiance.

Almost sixty years later the population is more than two and a half times that at 7,207,459,699.

But, with all of the amazing memories listed here for 1954 there is one record that is more important to us now in 2013 than perhaps any of these others…

Under the watch of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, Secretary of State John Kerry and his predecessor Hilary Clinton and the Commander-in-Chief Barrack Hussein Obama, through sequestration and the President’s own promises to the Russian Vladimir Putin, the U.S. nuclear arsenal will be as low or lower than our arsenal in 1954; our troop strength will be as low or lower than our troop strength than at any time since 1954; our ability to have a nuclear umbrella protecting CONUS will be lost.

Dr. Frank Gaffney of the Center for Security Policy warns that the Syria debacle is “but a harbinger of what is to come as reckless U.S. national security policies and postures meet the hard reality of determined adversaries emboldened by our perceived weakness.”[i]

The U.S. Army could drop from 535,000 soldiers to as few as 380,000; Marines 182,000 to 150,000, and the Navy from 11 Carrier Task Forces to just 8. Already from the 11, one is in long-term dry dock for repairs, another is also in the Navy Yard for repairs, two are on the West Coast, one in the Sea of Japan and only one is anywhere near the Mediterranean – does that sounds like combat readiness?!

On September 4, 2013 the Undersecretary for the Department of Defense, Frank Kendall spoke before the National Press Club. “This is a bizarre situation for the United States…We are seeing growing national security threats but we are unilaterally disarming because of concerns about the deficit and the national debt. This is a very unusual situation for us.”[ii]

Beyond the loss of military capability, there also comes the loss of credibility. In September 2013 during a Rose Garden press conference concerning the brutal murder of Syrian civilians, including children and infants by Sarin gas, President Obama said, “I’m ready to act in the face of this outrage.” According to sources, immediately he and VP Joe Biden headed directly to Fort Belvoir, a U.S. Army installation in Fairfax County Virginia. Upon arrival at the fort, they went straight to 18 holes of golf; while, well, you know…

Ft Belvoir CC

… in Damascus Syria  





[i] “Shrinking U.S. Nuclear Arsenal Worries Experts too” US NEWS, October 2013

[ii] Can We Trim $1 Trillion in Defense Spending and Still Draw Red Lines?” US NEWS, October 2013

   Facts for 1954 courtesy of HistoryOrb.com

CYBER WAR: Forward to the Past

Dr. R.L. Riggs, Director           Security Consulting Investigations, LLC  

22 February 2013


Thirty years ago, in March, President Ronald Reagan approached the American public and the Congress of the United States and gave them the hard facts about the future. In fact, he was very clear how important he felt the cause, or as he defined it, the duty is, that he was bringing before the American people. He said that it was “the most basic duty that any President and any people share – the duty to protect and strengthen the peace.” Either the United States prepares for a war from outer space or enters the 21st century with the awareness that their failure to prepare could bring annihilation.   President Reagan said that his plan would provide “new hope for our children in the 21st century” and now we stand in need of that hope. The political opponents mocked his ‘Chicken Little’ approach to his Star Wars Defense Initiative. America’s enemies, particularly Russia and China supported the President’s detractors hoping to forestall America enhancing its satellite defense systems. President Reagan saw only too clearly the threat of nuclear attacks from the upper atmosphere. He did not have the context to see, however, the role that electronics and computerization would have in this century both for good and evil. And so went the years, the changing of the guard, new presidents with new initiatives, new challenges to take up the attention of the American people and Congress. Then came the 21st century, right on schedule and America was embroiled in a war of more basic weaponry; until China unveiled their forty year quest for weapons aimed for the stars.

America and the world have flown into the cyber future at nano-speed to where almost every part of our culture is somehow inter-connected with those streams of 1’s and 0’s. Your car’s ignition will not turn over without the electronic signal from its computer chip. The traffic lights at the corner cannot function nor can water get to your home. Your furnace won’t light and your appliances will grind to a halt. For those who are dependent on medical equipment which in turn is dependent on electronics, you will need help; but, don’t try to use your cellphone to call for help… the cellphone signal won’t get through and even if it did, the ambulance drivers won’t be able to start their trucks. Prevention and deterrence are too late then.

President Reagan understood deterrence. He said, Deterrence means simply this: Making sure any adversary who thinks about attacking the United States or our allies or our vital interests concludes that the risks to him outweigh any potential gains. Once he understands that, he won’t attack. We maintain the peace through our strength; weakness only invites aggression.” That is the whole premise behind the much mis-quoted Admiral Yamamoto warning of a ‘rifle behind every blade of grass.’

Cyber-war involves electronic attacks that need not come from a satellite. The international electronic infrastructure of the internet itself is a pathway for attack. Just this week a report by Mandiant, a major cyber-warfare defense entity clearly showed evidence of China’s involvement in the thousands of hacking attempts against the U.S. corporate structures. The connection in China went directly to a specialized unit of the PLA (People’s Liberation Army) known as APT1 (Advanced Persistent Threat) a subdivision of the PLA’s 61398 unit located just outside of Shanghai.

In an almost laughable response to the allegations that his country is behind the cyber-warfare, China’s Defense Ministry told reporters of AFP (Agence France-Presse) this week that “… there was no internationally agreed definition of hacking.”[i] An AFP photographer was detained by Chinese authorities shortly thereafter when found taking photographs of the non-descript warehouse near Gaoqiao, a suburb in the north of Shanghai. The security breaches themselves are an immediate threat that must be dealt with at all possible speed. The possibility that China could use its technology for a laser attack against our power grid is even more disconcerting.

The Defense Science Board released this statement regarding Directed Energy and Electric Weapons Systems (DEEWS) almost six years ago:  

As far back as 1964, Dr. Qian Xuesen issued to China his 640 Directivve with the blessing of Chairman Mao Zedong. Among other things, the 640 Directive called for the development of a laser capable of shooting a missile out of its trajectory. The Shanghai Institute of Optics and Fine Mechanics (SIOM) was created. In 1970, the Anhui Institute of Optics and Fine Mechanics (AIOFM) came into being alongside the already functioning SIOM. Thousands of persons have been working on the systems for decades. In 2006, “China reportedly fired a ground-based high-power laser at and blinded U.S. surveillance satellites in orbit over China.”[ii] Sean O’Conner, an internationally known analyst and author of the IMINT and Analysis blog has identified “the potential sliding hangar locations of space-oriented Free Electron Lasers at the AIOFM center in Hefei, the Chinese Academy of Engineering Physics (CAEP) center in Mianyang, and the laser Anti-Satellite (ASAT) site in Xinjiang province.”[iii]

As of now, we know of three lasers: the banned blinding ZM87, the JD3 (which serves as a ‘range-finder and self-defense device’ and can be mounted on battle tanks) and the laser that blinded the U.S. satellite in 2006. Work continues, according to sources across China, on the newest and best models. Bryan McGrath of the Information Dissemination Net is concerned that the U.S. determination to get the laser weapons into the hands of the ‘warriors’ who find much more intriguing ways to utilize such weapons will not match that of the Chinese. You may want to find that old hand crank ice cream maker your grandfather used on hot summer days. It could be your only cooling thought when the winds of war blow across the barren wasteland after a DEEWS attack. President Reagan said in his ‘Star Wars Speech’ in March of 1983, We start by considering what must be done to maintain peace and review all the possible threats against our security. Then a strategy for strengthening peace and defending against those threats must be agreed upon. And finally our defense establishment must be evaluated to see what is necessary to protect against any or all of the potential threats.” Let’s pray that someone will explain that to President Obama and Chuck Hagel.

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