Friday, July 29, 2005

Amazing and amusing tales from the Cold War

Special Operations.Com The amazing story of how the US eavesdropped on Soviet naval communications from the 1970s until they were sold out by spy Robert Pelton in 1980.
In the early 1970's, the U.S. government learned of the existence of an undersea cable running parallel to the Kuril Islands chain, connecting the major Soviet naval bases at Vladivostok and Petropavlovsk.
[A] joint Navy-National Security Agency (NSA) mission was initiated, code-named Operation Ivy Bells, involving the use of U.S. Navy fast attack submarines working in conjunction with specially-trained Navy combat divers. Working in tandem, they would make monthly incursions into these dangerous waters to "tap" the line.
Once the device was in place, subsequent missions were required in which a submarine would return to the location to pick up the six to eight weeks' worth of recordings inside the pod. For this operation, the frogmen would depart the sub's escape trunk, swim to the cable (reportedly with the aid of a minisub on occasion), remove the recorded tape, and then make their way back to the waiting submarine. This tape was then delivered to the NSA for processing and dissemination to the appropriate military and civilian agencies. Not long after the recovery of the first tapes, it was discovered that the Soviets felt so sure of the security of their undersea communication line, that the majority of the concersations recorded were completely uncoded!
Also this related, lighthearted tale from < a href="">Spookgroup:
From LCDR(Ret) John Arnold
On Halibut, after our 2nd back-to-back Ivy Bells mission, my 4 Chiefs were bored and up to mischief on our return to CONUS. They stole the CO's stateroom door. The CO had the XO's door transfered to his stateroom & told the XO he didn't care if they ever found the door. Needless to say the XO was ticked. Each watch section had a search/recovery team looking in vain for the elusive door. To add insult to injury, the spook Chiefs re installed the (missing for 10 days) door on the XO's stateroom. All of this accomplished without discovery or even a clue as to who pulled off this great TF. It wasn't until our mission debrief at NSA that we revealed the Mystery to the skipper-Chuck Larsen. I've heard that other ships have tried this but the door has always been found and many times the culprit is caught in the act of removing the door. These guys were a cleaver team aside from providing NSA with hundreds of the finest broadband tapes that they had ever received!

True, and correct, and yet not far enough

Youssef M. Ibrahim is getting close

The world of Islam is on fire. Indeed, the Muslim mind is on fire. Above all, the West is now ready to take both of them on.

The latest reliable report confirms that on average 33 Iraqis die every day, executed by Iraqis and foreign jihadis and suicide bombers, not by US or British soldiers. In fact, fewer than ever US or British soldiers are dying since the invasion more than two years ago. ...

A couple of weeks ago London was on fire as Pakistani and other Muslims with British citizenship blew up tube stations in the name of Islam. ...

Madrid was on fire, too, last year...

...let us not forget that in September 2001, long before Iraq, Osama Bin Laden proudly announced that he ordered the killing of some 3,000 in the United States, in the name of avenging Islam. Let us not forget that the killing began a long time before the invasion of Iraq. ...

They killed innocent tourists and natives in Morocco and Egypt, in Africa, in Indonesia and in Yemen, all done in the name of Islam by Muslims who say that they are better than all other Muslims. They killed in India, in Thailand and are now talking of killing in Germany and Denmark and so on. There were attacks with bombs that killed scores inside Shia and Sunni mosques, inside churches and inside synagogues in Turkey and Tunisia, with Muslim preachers saying that it is okay to kill Jews and Christians - the so called infidels.

Above all, it is the Muslim mind that is on fire.

The Muslim fundamentalist who attacked the Dutch film director Theo Van Gogh in the Netherlands, stabbed him more than 23 times then cut his throat. He recently proudly proclaimed at his trial: "I did it because my religion - Islam - dictated it and I would do it again if were free." Which preacher told this guy this is Islam? That preacher should be in jail with him.

Visas for Arab and Muslim young men will be impossible to get for the United States and Western Europe. Those working there will be expelled if they are illegal, and harassed even if their papers are in order. Airlines will have to right to refuse boarding to passengers if their names even resemble names on a prohibited list on all flights heading to Europe and the United States.

I fear those naïve Muslims who think that they are beating the West have now achieved their worst crime of all. The West is now going to war against not only Muslims, but also, sadly, Islam as a religion.

In this new cold and hot war, car bombs and suicide bombers here and there will be no match for the arsenal that those Westerners are putting together - an arsenal of laws, intelligence pooling, surveillance by satellites, armies of special forces and indeed, allies inside the Arab world who are tired of having their lives disrupted by demented so-called jihadis or those bearded preachers who, under the guise of preaching, do little to teach and much to ignite the fire, those who know little about Islam and nothing about humanity. ht: Hugh of course

Here's the problem as I see it: There's no call to action. It's hand-wringing worthy of the best of the American Left. "Oh, these terrible arhabi have brought the wrath of the Infidel West down on us, and we're scr3wed."

He stopped short.

He could - and IMO SHOULD - have said something like this: "The arhabi have perverted Islam and as a result, have incurred the wrath of not only the infidels, but that of other Peoples Of The Book, with which Islam teaches we should live peacefully. In the name of Allah the merciful, it is the holy duty of al Muslims to expose to the full justice of the law those who committ or who plan to commit such shameful acts that bring dishonor to Islam and the name of Allah."

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Al-Qaida Says It Killed Algerian Diplomats

Al-Qaida Says It Killed Algerian Diplomats - Yahoo! News: "Wednesday's statement, which appeared on an Islamic Web site, claimed the envoys had been killed because of the Algerian government's repression of Muslims in the north African country."

I really want to see how the Left spins THIS as Bush's fault. Not that I don't expect them to try, of course.

It IS notable that the Algerians were kidnapped and killed in Iraq. Perhaps AQ has no operatives inside Algeria itself? No access to Algerians anywhere else in the world? Or perhaps this is part of AQ's strategy to keep Iraq from becoming a normal state, to keep it stirred up and disfunctional by constant attacks.

That strategy will fail in the long term. The vast majority of Muslims do not buy into arhabi ideology, and the atrocities they commit merely drive them further away. The Muslim world will not rise up against the West. Most of the arhabi are foreigners, and as Iraq gets control of its borders they will decrease in number. There's not an inexhaustible supply of suicide bombers. It may be a large supply, but it is finite. As we have seen in London and the Netherlands, some number of them are living in the West already. Some may be able to perform their missions, though we are drying up their money and cutting their communication lines. When we find them, we either kill them or lock them away.


Aircraft Industry Shaking Up Unions - Yahoo! News

Too. Rich.

Military Jokes Military Humor:

"Roosevelt: o yah hit the navajo button guys
deGaulle: eisenhower ur worthless come help me quick
Eisenhower: i cant do **** til rosevelt gives me an army
paTTon: yah hurry the fock up
Churchill: d00d im gettin pounded
deGaulle: this is fockin weak u guys suck
*deGaulle has left the game.*"


WAYYY too funny!!

Monday, July 25, 2005

A visit to Club Gitmo

HUMAN EVENTS ONLINE :: Gitmo Prisoners Are Right Where They Belong by Carlton Sherwood

Business casual

LILEKS (James) Screeeeeeedblog: Lileks riffs (and rips) on some yahoo who didn't like the way the Roberts family was dressed:
"I dress casually in the summer, because it’s hot. But for the last few years I’ve returned to good slacks and decent shoes and a crisp shirt and a tie. Grown-up clothes. Dad clothes. A man ought to be able to put on a shirt and tie without thinking he’s putting on a costume to deal with The Man; he should regard it as the Rainments of Masculinity, the costume we wear to project the impression of seriousness. If we’re not serious, it’ll be apparent quite soon. ... I just know that I feel different in a shirt and tie. I stand up straighter. I don’t feel as though I’m owed more respect; on the contrary, I feel obliged to be more respectful.
Not classic, but old-fashioned. Yes, that’s a distinction starkly apparent to the rest of the nation. A cut above the light-up-shoe hoi polloi, perhaps – but only because that particular demographic may have forgotten or rejected the very notion of dressing up, and sees nothing wrong in sending the kid to Sunday School wearing a Ninja Turtles t-shirt instead of a nice shirt with a clip-on tie and itchy church pants. [ummm.... sorry, James. I pick my battles. But I get your point.]

Why, it’s almost as if the Roberts thought they were better than the rest of us. I’ll tell you this: when it comes to dressing the kids, it’s quite possible they look at parents who get on airplanes in flip-flops with 12-year old daughters who have the word JUICY spelled out on their behinds, and they actually do think they’re better than those parents. Because they put some stock in appearance, in public decorum. When required. Like showing up at the White House. To be nominated for the Supreme Court. That's the sort of event that makes a man spend fifteen minutes choosing his socks, even though they'll never been seen, and even though they're black. "

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Paging Ms. Morissette, paging Ms. Alannis Morissette

Kerry Seeks Release of Roberts' Documents

I don't recall from reading the bios whether or not Judge Roberts ever served in the military. Is Kerry calling on him to sign a SF-180?

Seriously. If the Left is THIS politically stupid, how can they be trusted to run a nation? When Tancredo jammed his foot down his throat, at center-right bloggers were first off the mark telling him to can it.

Did no one counsel John Kerry that talking about "releasing documents" is not particularly la good idea?

Friday, July 22, 2005

Scotland Yard says bombs were 'home-made'

Scotland Yard says bombs were 'home-made'

This tripped the absurdity alert system. OF COURSE the bombs were home-made. You can't just pop down to Bombs-R-Us and pick one off the shelf.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

French fry logic

From The opinion of Judge John Roberts in the "Case of the consumed french fry:
No one is very happy about the events that led to this litigation. A twelve-year-old girl was arrested, searched, and handcuffed. Her shoelaces were removed, and she was transported in the windowless rear compartment of a police vehicle to a juvenile processing center, where she was booked, fingerprinted, and detained until released to her mother some three hours later - all for eating a single french fry in a Metrorail station. The child was frightened, embarrassed, and crying throughout the ordeal. The district court described the policies that led to her arrest as "foolish," and indeed the policies were changed after those responsible endured the sort of publicity reserved for adults who make young girls cry. The question before us, however, is not whether these policies were a bad idea, but whether they violated the Fourth and Fifth Amendments to the Constitution. Like the district court, we conclude that they did not, and accordingly we affirm.
Emphasis added.

That is what an appeals-court judge is supposed to do.

Monday, July 18, 2005

The Long Ride Home

Firepower Forward - The Cutting Edge of Freedom: The Long Ride Home


Payoff is at the end. Warning - eyes may sweat a bit.


Christopher Hitchens gets it.
I remember living in London through the Provisional IRA bombing in the 70s. ...

And, even as I detested the people who might have just as soon have blown me up as anyone else, I was aware there were ancient disputes involved, and that there was a potential political solution.

Nothing of the sort applies in this case. We know very well what the "grievances" of the jihadists are.

The grievance of seeing unveiled women. The grievance of the existence, not of the State of Israel, but of the Jewish people. The grievance of the heresy of democracy, which impedes the imposition of sharia law. The grievance of a work of fiction written by an Indian living in London. The grievance of the existence of black African Muslim farmers, who won't abandon lands in Darfur. The grievance of the existence of homosexuals. The grievance of music, and of most representational art. The grievance of the existence of Hinduism. The grievance of East Timor's liberation from Indonesian rule. All of these have been proclaimed as a licence to kill infidels or apostates, or anyone who just gets in the way.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Airshow weekend

Tired, sore, sunburned, blisters on the feet (at least until they popped)... I musta had a good time, eh?


Worked the flightline at a local airshow this weekend. Three days. Worked with aircraft ranging from a radio-controlled 1/3-scale Piper Cub to Cessna 152 (local guy) to a DeHavilland Chipmunk (x2) to a replica Junkers CL-1 to a YAK-52 and a CJ-3 to a 3/4-scale P-51 to General Patton's (no kidding!) L-bird to an AD-1 Skyraider to a B-17. Yes, I got to park a B-17.

Good times.

Friday, July 01, 2005


Once again, Lileks hits the nail on the head:

"I would be highly remiss to call any of the contrusions I'm facing as "problems." They are, at worst, situations, and at best opportunities. A "problem" is taking fire when you're in a helicopter heading off to rescue comrades. I was listening to Hewitt's show today about the SEALs shot down in Afghanistan, and felt abashed for having anything on my mind by a song and a smile. These are the men who make my fat happy life possible, who will jump on a plane and go to Venus on behalf of people whose idea of sacrifice is taking a few minutes to sort the plastic from the glass on recycling night. Puts things in perspective.

Anyway. The doorbell rang tonight, and my wife answered. She traded the check and the coupon for a nice hot pizza.

I never have to worry about who's at the door, or why they've come. My heart never leaps when the doorknocker falls; my stomach never flips when the phone rings.

I am a modern happy American. I have no idea."