I originally planned this post for Memorial Day. Such a day, though, is for honoring the sacrifices of all who have paid for our freedom with their last full measure of devotion. This post, I pray, still honors those; but it will also speak up for those whom this country has failed. Allow me to explain.
“What is a Veteran? A ‘veteran’ whether active duty, discharged, retired, or reserve – is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made payable to ‘The United States of America’ for an amount of ‘up to, and including his life.’ That is Honor. And there are way too many people in this country today, who no longer understand that fact.” (Author unknown)
When a family grieves the loss of their Soldier, Sailor, Airman, Marine or Coast Guard they know their loved one dutifully, particularly during the draft, and many voluntarily wrote that blank check to their country. The family deserves to know the check was cashed toward protecting this country, its people, our way of life, protecting all, the great and the not-so-great. They deserve to know the check was not VOIDED and their loved one died needlessly. They know that in war and in training, accidents happen; that is not the issue. They know there are mistakes and bad judgment calls by leaders who are, themselves, human and fallible. That too, is not the issue.
The West Coast of Africa
What voids a check in such circumstances is that their loved one died because of criminal negligence and that betrayal of trust was never brought to justice. Unfortunately, over our country’s history, there are many examples. One most current, which could still be corrected by those with the power to do so, happened in two places. A small U.S. Embassy post in a place called Benghazi and in the Secretary of State’s office in Washington D.C. Four Americans died in the September 12, 2012 Benghazi attack; Ambassador Chris Stevens, former teacher Peace Corps; Information Officer Sean Smith, a U.S. Air Force veteran and two CIA operatives, Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods, both former Navy SEALS.
In January of 2013, Rep. Jim Jordan, (OH) questioned SOS Clinton concerning her lack of honesty to the American people in hearings regarding the non-response. Her response to him and the previous representative included her now infamous words, in sum, “What does it matter?” In context, she is referring to the original impetus for the attack whether it is one thing or another. For the families of those killed, it matters a great deal and so does the lack of response by the administration to send aid. Bad decisions, every one of them. What voids the check, however, are the lies produced to cover it up and the lack of justice for those who were criminally negligent in fulfilling the duties of their office. There is still time for such justice for this case. Sadly, many other cases are long out of reach, though not out of the hearts and memories of the families.
What we should commit ourselves to, as Americans, is that there will never be another VOIDED check, ever in our nation’s future. Our military families deserve to know the strength of our resolve in such a time, as this. For us, that is HONOR.
International Caution for World Travelers – worldwide impact threatens business and worldwide travelers
Analysis by Security Consulting Investigations, LLC – Your premier private investigative service worldwide – Dr. Ross L. Riggs, Director SCI
THE ISLAMIC STATE is terminology that is worthwhile as a non-identifier which aides U.S. media in re-drawing the lines as to what constitutes 1) a Member of the Islamic State 2) a State Action by the Islamic State (as compared to non-State action and classified as a ‘private’ action’ even when the subject identifies themselves in allegiance to the Islamic State and declares their actions as designed to further the Islamic State. In other words, IS has become a tool for the politically correct to redefine it however they need to for their purposes.
If one traces the etymology of the term Islamic State, a direct correlation can be found with its predecessors of ISIS including but not limited to: the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria; ISIL, the Islamic State of Syria and the Levant as well as others. The purpose of the re-codification of the terminology is to bolster the Obama Administration’s claim following the death of Osama bin Laden that al Qaeda is decimated and on the run, that terrorism as such was eliminated from the known threats for the citizens of the US by al Qaeda’s demise.
Nothing, of course, is further than the truth – al Qaeda has been growing and morphing into all varieties of terrorist outlets all across the Middle East and northern Africa. One cannot deny the vitality of the terrorist movement, unless, of course, you consider events such as the pathetic attempt by major media outlets in the U.S. kowtowing to pressure from the Obama Administration to label the beheading of Colleen Hufford, age 54 and the brutal stabbing of Traci Johnson, who remains in serious condition, by Jah’Keem Yisrael a known Muslim extremist who tried to convert co-workers to Islam and screamed Islamic phrases as “workplace violence.” According to reliable sources, Nolen began attending worship services this May at the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City. This is the same Mosque that Breitbart News report that Imam Suhaib, who had ties to al-Qaeda mastermind Anwar al-Awlaki used to attend.
Under the category of “NAH… HE DIDN’T REALLY SAY THAT, DID HE?” is the report on CNN September 30th during the morning expose’ on the Oklahoma beheading case, stating that the prosecutor was not going to seek the death penalty, the talking heads of psychobabble were declaring the actions by Jah’Keem Yisrael aka Alton Alexander Nolen a result of the build-up of family and personal pressures since he was a child and the resulting violence was the proximate result of his environment.
The anchor, John Berman, closed the segment with the statement, this case is a difficult case (referring to the beheading) … “any way you slice it.” In fact, the news watch Buzz Feed News counted 3 times in 10 seconds that he used the phrase referring to the beheading.
A SECOND THREATENED BEHEADING IN OKLAHOMA CITY – MAN ARRESTED
After a verbal altercation and on-going difficulty in an Oklahoma base nursing home, one employee threatened to behead a female employee. The man, arrested on charges of TERRORISM, claimed that he represented ISIS. Here are the basic facts from MAILONLINE:
• Jacob Mugambi Muriithi, 30, worked 20 miles away from beheading scene
• A Muslim, he was fired on Wednesday for the threats at Bellvue Nursing Home
• Muriithi told the victim he would cut off her head and post the footage on Facebook
• Police arrested him Friday – the same day Alton Alexander Nolen was identified as the suspect in the beheading at Vaughan Foods in Moore, OK.
• Muriithi is now being held on terrorism charges with his bail set at $1million
How does local law enforcement take this type of INTEL to prevent this type of TERRORISM in their communities?
First – it is critical to reinforce with local police and with the public that other than a very rare ‘in the right place at the right time’ kind of moment, police very seldom have the ability to “prevent crime” or “protect the citizens” – to understand the concept, refer to this author’s published article “To Protect and Serve” There is only one person who must accept the responsibility to protect and that is the individual who is facing the attacker. Police respond to a call for help which means that the attack has already taken place. If police take it upon themselves to be the ultimate guardian of the population then every time they fail to be at the exact right spot at the exact time, they will count themselves a failure – great for destroying a job satisfaction and increasing stress exponentially. If the public actually believe that the police officer will come springing out of a phone booth, blue tights and a red cape ready to whisk them to safety, they will certainly be eager to vote down the next safety levy and bad mouth the police every chance they get. Can crime be prevented by having a police force that is strong, resilient, professional in appearance and highly visible with a great track record of cases solved and convictions received? “Yes! Absolutely!” The ‘less –stupid’ criminals will go hunt their prey is cities where the probability of being apprehended either in the act or following the investigation is much less. The point, however, is that the individual citizen must be ready at a second’s notice to not be a victim. (I have another whole diatribe on why we should drop that word from our language all together!) The local citizens must be willing, equipped and prepared to defend themselves. Local law enforcement can learn from these recent instances however and take action to prevent such acts of terrorism in their communities.
FIRST ACTION POINT: Local Law Enforcement should get behind quality, self-protection training for their citizens; everything from identifying trouble, reporting suspicious persons and events (sometimes to their employers and to local police).
Recently in a small town in NE Ohio a 90 plus year old woman who lives alone was nearly stabbed to death one evening because she partially opened her front door to someone asking for ‘gasoline’ because his car broke down. This assault never had to happen. A peep hole in the door. A front camera with a video screen, or simply knowing that as a 90 year old woman, she does not answer the front door after dark. Yes, it is a sad commentary on our times but, these are the times in which we live and we must be prepared to protect ourselves.
SECOND ACTION POINT: Local Law Enforcement should train employers on their responsibility to take the reports by employees of bullying, extreme behavior of any kind, and threats very seriously and have a course of action laid out based on the type of threat or incident.
Develop connections within neighborhoods. COPS NEED TO GET OUT OF THEIR CARS – talk to people, develop a rapport with young people, elderly people, shop owners, – Cops need to develop their people skills. The earliest signs of someone about to cause serious trouble (even within normally closed communities like a Mosque) there are always people who either know or suspect something is building and about to happen. Usually these people would tell the authorities if they had someone they trusted and that they knew how to reach. It does not happen overnight but it will never happen if the department does not start.
Here come the ‘nay-sayers’ – not enough money, short on personnel – we’re running from call to call now and have no time to stop and walk the beat, eating the grocer’s apples and getting the kitten down from the tree (oops, that’s the fire department’s job, skip the last one!)
There are always excuses. There are always obstacles. PRO-ACTIVE POLICING requires no longer being satisfied just going from call to call as ‘responders’ – Someone once said, “If you always do what you’ve always done; you always get what you’ve always gotten.”
If you go all the way back to 9-11, there was information out there about the hijackers. The citizens who were in contact with them – such as at the flight school, were not trained on what to be looking for and there was no connection for people to know who to call, how to call or what to report. The car bomb in Times Square – how many times did those guys drive cross-country and go around buying up chemicals in quantities that only the world’s largest hair salon would need that many of those kinds of chemicals… Did you know that those guys did not exactly fit the description of ‘Che Robere’s House of Hair’? Someone, somewhere had a gut instinct that these guys were up to something but ‘who you gonna’ call?’ Agencies must not forget the lessons of 9-11 and begin to retreat behind their walls of non-cooperation. Organizations such as the International Counter Terrorism Officers’ Association continue to support inter-agency cooperation, training and information sharing. We have the tools, the people, the equipment and methodologies to stop these attacks but we have to get back to some good old fashioned police work.
Beheading of French tourist – The Islamic state claims responsibility
A 55 year old professional mountaineering guide from Nice France, Herve Gourdel was kidnapped on September 28, 2014 by a jihadist group called Jund al-Khalifa (caliphate soldiers). She had been hiking in an Algerian national park. The group claims allegiance to the Islamic State. They had threatened to kill Gourdel unless France stopped bombing ISIS targets in Iraq. A search by a large contingent of security forces of Algeria in the Tizi Ouzou region failed to locate Gourdel. Thirty minutes after President Obama urged the world to unite against ISIS and destroy what he called a “network of death” ISIS released the short video of Gourdel’s beheading.
According to the Langley Intelligence Group, “an international appeal from ISIS in which it called on its backers everywhere to attack Europeans… jihadists in the Philippines declared that they were holding two Germans hostage and would kill them unless Berlin withdrew support for the U.S. led campaign against ISIS or paid ransom… jihadists in a wide array of other locations, including Tunisia, Libya, Jordan, Pakistan and the Caucasus are among those who have pledged allegiance to ISIS, which is gaining supporters around the world… as this terror network grows, so too does the danger to the security of Americans and other westerners who seek to travel the world.”