Thursday, June 30, 2005


Today marks the 75th birthday of Dr. Thomas Sowell, one of the smartest men in America. Dr. Sowell wrote a column today looking at all of the events that have occurred around the world since his birth. Well worth reading, the column gives some historical perspective to our current situation.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005


I just saw this story linked at the Drudge Report:
Two thefts of small planes renew security concerns

Some 19,000 small airports across the US have varied safeguards.

By Alexandra Marks | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

NEW YORK – In the past two weeks, two small planes have been stolen and taken for joy rides. In neither case was the crime a national security threat, but some analysts note that in this post-9/11 era the thieves could have easily been Al Qaeda operatives and not teenagers out for a thrill.

That has again raised the question of whether enough is being done to secure the more than 19,000 small airports scattered across the nation. At the same time, the incidents also put into stark relief two challenges the nation faces as it tries to secure itself against another terrorist attack more than three years after 9/11.

The first is how to prioritize potential threats, determine which ones would cost too much to guard against, and then educate the public that they must simply learn to live with them. The second is how to balance the need for security against individual freedoms and commerce. Both challenges are evident in the $20 billion general aviation industry, which includes everything from small private planes to corporate jets.

"It's not enough to simply say you're going to regulate [the industry] totally - you can't because you'd end up destroying it," says Andrew Thomas, a professor at the University of Akron in Ohio and author of "Aviation Insecurity." "On the other hand, you can't do nothing, because clearly it is still a very real threat given Al Qaeda's determination to use small planes in the past. We still haven't found the balance."

If that's not enough to make you feels just a little less safe, check out this column about the effect BRAC has had on the air sovereignty mission.
As of this writing, the only ANG units answering to First Air Force that are expected to retain both an air defense/air superiority role and mission posture are the 125th Fighter Wing, FLANG, located at Jacksonville IAP, FL, the 144th Fighter Wing, CAANG at Fresno Airport, Fresno, CA and the 177th Fighter Wing, NJANG located at Atlantic City IAP, NJ. The 125th and 177th Fighter Wings will continue their missions with F-15 Eagles (the 177th after it receives their primary assigned aircraft from three ANG fighter wings stripped of theirs), and the 144th will soldier on with its F-16 Falcons.

The reduction in the number of dedicated air defense units means that the continental air defense of the lower 48 will be carried out by just three fighter units. The entire west coast will be patrolled and protected from Fresno while the east coast will have a unit in the southeast corner of the country and another located in the Mid-Atlantic region. Alaska, considered to be a separate command, will lose most of its active duty fighter aircraft to realignments or retirements and there will be considerable holes in the air defense network there until the newer F/A-22 Raptors are assigned there later in the decade.

I don't believe for a second that the terrorists have given up on another airborne attack on US soil. They're just biding their time until the opportunity presents itself. Let's hope we don't hand them one on a silver platter.

Sunday, June 26, 2005


Check out this piece, entitled 10 Things I'd Do If I Were The Commander-In-Chief, by Edward L. Daley. I'd bet that number ten will be Bloodspite's favorite.

Thursday, June 23, 2005


Yankee Sailor has posted a set of rules of engagement (ROE) for MilBloggers. You can check them out here. These are all common sense things, but like the saying goes, "common sense is not that common." Yankee Sailor's rules are pretty close to the rules I imposed on myself when blogging from Qatar. If you're a MilBlogger, this post is a must read.

Hat tip: Mustang 23


I've been hearing a lot about this case via the rumor mill. My sources are second-hand, but reliable. Be that as it may, I hesitate to post any of this info on the blog. I don't want to mess up the Army's legal case against Martinez or violate his rights--yes, even someone accused of a hideous crime like this has rights guaranteed by the Constitution and the UCMJ. I can confirm that WTEN Channel 10 is reporting the following:
A Schaghticoke man accused of killing two superior officers in Iraq was the subject of an Army investigation prior to the alleged murders.

The New York Post is reporting Staff Sergeant Alberto Martinez was the target of the probe looking into irregularities connected to his job as a supply sergeant with the 42nd Infantry Division of the Army National Guard based in Troy.

The report said something had gone wrong in the logistical charin which often refers to missing equipment.

Military officials would neither confirm nor deny the report.

Martinez is charged with the murders of Lieutentant Louis Allen and Captain Phillip Esposito after he allegedly set off an explosive device.

(emphasis mine)

Irregularities? Let's just say that would jibe with the info coming from the rumor mill. And with the fact that Martinez had military ordnance in the basement of his house in Cohoes, NY.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005


I was expecting this to happen. I just knew some of the anti-war left would become hopeful for more "fraggings" in the wake of the actions of alleged murderer Alberto Martinez. Check out this quote from the Worker's World website (that's what communists read when they can't get a copy of Newsweak):
Meanwhile, the Pentagon made it clear it considers the recent deaths of two officers in Iraq a case of "fragging." It has charged Staff Sgt. Alberto Martinez with murder in the deaths of Capt. Philip Esposito and 1st Lt. Louis Allen.

Whatever the details of the case, this sends a shiver up the generals' spines. While there have always been examples of killings not by enemy fire, in Vietnam this reached the level of political protest, which many war resisters saw as a legitimate tactic against warlike or racist officers. Between 1969 and 1971, the U.S. Army reported 600 fragging incidents, which killed 82 officers and non-commissioned officers and injured 651.

The Pentagon knows the high level of discontent among U.S. troops, and fears that fragging will become a more popular method of opposing the tour of duty in Iraq.

(emphasis mine)

I'm waiting for the lefty moonbats to start praising Martinez for killing two of his officers and to call on other troops to do the same. For all I know, it's already happening over at DU or Daily Kos.

Mark my words, this is going to turn out to be a plain, old-fashioned murder case. If he's guilty, Martinez is just a crook. Nothing more.


Well, it's official. Senator Dick Durbin is sorry. Was there ever any doubt? He shall henceforth be know as the Sorry Senator from Illinois. Or just Sorry Senator Durbin, for short.

Monday, June 20, 2005


Apparently SSG Alberto Martinez, the alleged murderer of his Commander and XO in Iraq has what you might call a less than perfect record. According to this story in the Albany Times-Union, Martinez was suspected of arson in a fire that destroyed his home in Cohoes, NY.
A Schaghticoke soldier accused of killing two of his superior officers is in a legal dispute with Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. after the insurer accused him of burning down his Cohoes home in 2002 to collect on a policy whose value had been doubled six weeks before the fire.

On Sunday, Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said the motive for the alleged ``fragging'' in Iraq is unknown. ``I don't know of any of the dynamics behind it. It may come out at trial. We have to wait for all the facts to come out.''

Staff Sgt. Alberto Martinez previously told fellow National Guardsmen, ``If I can't sell my house, I might as well burn it down,'' the insurer said in court pleadings obtained by the Times Herald-Record of Middletown.

Martinez, 37, denied any involvement in the fire. Police records show the cause was determined to be accidental. Martinez is suing Liberty Mutual for payment on the policy.

``We believe that the plaintiff, utilizing his knowledge of electrical wiring, has cleverly created the impression that this fire was of electrical origin,'' Liberty Mutual lawyer Thomas O'Connor wrote in court papers in September.

Martinez has an associate degree in electronics.

A guy is suspected of arson, and he gets deployed to Iraq? What was his chain of command thinking? Martinez is a supply NCO. Supply types often have access to arms, ammunition, and explosives. Not exactly the kind of job you want to give to a suspected arsonist.

Somebody screwed up when they decided to deploy this guy. When the whole truth comes out, I have a feeling it won't be pretty. Not that it's pretty now, but it's going to get uglier.

There's more on the Martinez story at the Insurance Journal website.
Court papers reviewed by the newspaper also show that Martinez was five months behind on his mortgage payments and his electric service was being turned off for nonpayment when the fire damaged his home. Neighbors said the family moved out about two weeks before the fire.

The civil lawsuit in the case was scheduled to go to trial in September, though what will become of that given his arrest is unclear, his lawyer in the civil case, Eugene Spada, told the newspaper.

Cohoes Detective Tom Ross told The Troy Record that 18 months after the fire, a caretaker overseeing rehabilitation work on the house reported finding in the basement a 47-pound bomb. Police contacted the Army, and the bomb was removed. Cohoes Police Chief Joe Fahd said firefighters had immediately found in the house several unarmed artillery shells, which were checked by a Watervliet Arsenal demolition team and eventually confiscated.

After the fire, Martinez moved his wife and two teenagers to his parents' house in the Schaghticoke, just outside of Troy. He worked at the Watervliet Arsenal before going full-time with the National Guard.

(emphasis mine)

A bomb? This story is just going to get weirder folks.

Thursday, June 16, 2005


Tragedy struck my former unit recently. Not the usual tragedy you expect in war. This time, the enemy was one of our own.
Soldier charged with murder
A member of Troy's Rainbow Division has been charged with murdering two members of his unit.

The Department of Defense has charged 37-year-old Army Staff Sergeant Alberto B. Martinez with two counts of premeditated murder.

It stems from the June 7 deaths of Captain Phillip T. Esposito and 1st Lieutenant Louis E. Allen.

The soldiers died at a base near Tikrit, in what was first reported to be an enemy mortar attack, but a criminal investigation found inconsistencies with that story.

If this jerk is convicted, I hope they throw the book at him. Hangin's too good for this dirtbag.


Complaints of abuse, torture, mistreatment, and poor living conditions by people who are incarcerated is nothing new. To get an idea of how often this happens, go to this site. Type the word "inmate" into the search box and click the search button. You'll get about five hundred matches. Most are lawsuits or motions brought by inmates against the State of New York in the New York State Court of Claims. Five hundred. The database only goes back five years. And most of those poor souls in NY's state prisons are innocent. Just ask 'em, they'll tell you.

No one is calling for us to close the prisons in NY. Maybe we should. Let 'em all go. Folks like David Berkowitz, Lemuel Smith, Reginald McFadden, and Patrick Baxter. Maybe they can all move in with Senator Dick Durbin. He's a millionaire, he can afford to support them.


I've spent the last couple of days fuming over all of this rhetoric from the left about the detention center at Guantanamo Bay. This BS from Dick (boy, were his parents prescient, or what?) Durbin is the straw that broke the camel's back. If crap like this had been going on in World War II, we would have lost. The truth is, if we lose the GWOT, it's going to be because of folks like Durbin. When they go on TV and say the things they have been saying, it emboldens the terrorists. They think the US is losing its resolve.

Durbin & Co. can't not know the harm they're doing. The only other alternative is that they want us to lose the war. I know these folks like hardball politics, but putting American lives at risk is inexcusable.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again; war is a holistic thing. The military can't win it alone. They need the entire country behind them. People like Durbin are trying to sabotage this. There's a word to describe people who try to sabotage their own country during wartime: traitors.

Monday, June 13, 2005


I'll be damned. So, Michael Jackson is "innocent." As soon as I heard the "not guilty" verdict on the first count, I turned to my wife and said "watch, he'll skate on all of the charges." Sure enough, he did. The question now is this: How long will it take before parents line up outside Neverland trying to get their kids next to Michael? After all, Micheal's been declared "safe" by the court, right? Or is he just a smooth criminal?

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