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Books by Tom Kovach

Dec 2006

Aug 2008
Tribulation: 2008

About the author

Tom Kovach lives near Nashville, is a former USAF Blue Beret, and has written for several online publications. In December of 2006, he published his first book, Slingshot. Tom's second book, Tribulation: 2008, was released in August of 2008.

Tom is also
an inventor, a horse wrangler, a certified paralegal, and a former network talk-show host. (He would like to lauch another talk show -- perhaps on your station.)

One highlight of Tom's career in the Air Force was serving on a protection detail for US President Ronald Reagan. Tom has also run for Congress (and might run again).

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January 2009

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Sunday, 11 January 2009, at 1817 hours
Central Time -- Nashville, Tennessee, USA

The Obama Oxymoron

ox-y-mo-ron : (noun) a combination of contradictory or incongruous words; (broadly) something (as a concept) that is made up of contradictory or incongruous elements.  (from the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary)


At the gut level, there is something inherently incongruous about the terms "Barack Hussein Obama II" and "Commander-in-Chief" being in the same sentence.  And, I'm far from the only one that feels this way.

Having served as, among other things, a military law-enforcement supervisor, I am familiar with the Uniform Code of Military Justice.  That is the primary set of laws under which the military operates.  (And, they are indeed "laws" in the dictionary sense, because the Code is part of a larger set of laws passed by Congress regarding the operation and maintenance of our military forces.)  The UCMJ is a finely-crafted balance -- between military discipline and personal initiative, between historic tradition and youthful exuberance, between necessary military operations and greedily voracious rampage.  In much the same way that a helicopter manages brutally opposing forces of gravity and wind to fly gracefully and with precision, the UCMJ manages the above-described opposing forces of human behavior to build the wall between militarism and murder.

The mortar that holds together the bricks of the UCMJ is honor -- a concept that seems uniquely foreign to the man scheduled to soon become the commander-in-chief of the military that conquered three evil empires in one century.  Without honor, it is far too easy to turn our nation into the next evil empire.  Honor is the pure wool from which the mantle of military leadership is woven.  Command without honor is, at best, mere brutishness.  It is also honor that causes a wise subordinate to -- rarely, and with reasonable trepidation -- rise up to disobey an order that is unlawful.  Or, in the potential case of a soon-to-become President Barack Hussein Obama II, an order given by a person that is unlawfully in a position of command.

Enter:  an honorable man.

Gregory Hollister is a retired US Air Force colonel from Colorado Springs.  He is the plaintiff in a recently-filed lawsuit against "Barry Soetoro, a/k/a Barack Hussein Obama", the ostensible president-elect of the United States of America.  Colonel Hollister's lawsuit, like several others, alleges that Obama was born in Kenya.  Thus, the usurper-in-waiting is not eligible to become president, because he is not a "natural-born citizen" as required by the Constitution of the United States.  But, the lawsuit by this retired military officer goes in a different direction than previous lawsuits.  Colonel Hollister raises the question -- finally... and officially -- of whether military personnel under an Obama administration would be required to obey the orders of a commander-in-chief that has obtained that position by fraud.  In fact, the suit also raises the question of whether said military personnel would have "an affirmative duty" to actually disobey orders that they believed to be unlawful.  This is no trifling matter, no mere intellectual exercise.

The strategic military capabilities of this country are guarded by some of the most highly-trained personnel in all of the military.  Conventional soldiers are trained to attack and overcome an organized enemy force.  The enemy wears a recognizable uniform that is different from ours.  They engage in warfare on a battlefield.  Even in the counter-insurgency environment of Iraq and Afghanistan, the enemy usually has certain generally-recognizable features.  But, for those that guard the nuclear arsenal of the United States, a potential enemy could be "one of our own".  Thus, the training includes deterring, detecting and defeating ruses and diversions.  Many of the nuclear weapons, and nuclear-launch command posts, are protected by those that wear the Blue Beret.  "Our" duties (after all these years, it's still in my blood) are different.  To protect strategic resources, and the president, I've pulled weapons on members and employees of my own Air Force.  And, if I had not, then my career would've been in trouble.  The short version is that I was a "paid, professional paranoid for Uncle Sam".  And, without people like that, our most dangerous weapons systems would be horribly vulnerable.

Now, it might fall upon some young Air Force SP (or a Marine MP, or a Navy MA, or a joint-communications officer, or a White House Fellow, etc.) to protect a military command post from the president.  What an oxymoron!

For those that have not served in such a high-stakes environment (and, that even includes many military veterans -- especially those in non-combat jobs), a little explanation is needed.  The rules for the security of locations that store or control strategic military resources are more strict than the rules for other parts of a military base.  Most of the high-priority areas contain "no-lone zones" -- areas where no one can enter by themselves.  The sentries that control no-lone zones do so under rules where "use of deadly force is authorized".  In the world of nuclear security, it is still "shoot first, and ask questions later".  It must be that way.

But, what if the intruder purports to be the president?

And, what if the sentry truly believes that the man installed as the president is in that position unlawfully?  Which order does he obey -- the standing general order to keep the area secure, or the immediate verbal order of an imposter commander-in-chief?  This is a real and legitimate question.

For the uninitiated, the best example of a nuclear-security environment gone awry is the 1995 movie Crimson Tide, which starred Gene Hackman and Denzel Washington.  Hackman's character (Capt. Ramsey) believes that a nuclear launch from his submarine is warranted while on patrol off the Soviet coast.  Washington's character (Lt. Hunter) is Ramsey's executive officer, and he does not believe the launch is warranted.  Under the rules of nuclear security, Lt. Hunter is warranted to seize command from Capt. Ramsey to prevent the start of a needless nuclear war.  But, if his decision turns out to be wrong, then Hunter will be guilty of mutiny and sedition (which is leading or inspiring others to commit mutiny).

STANDOFF -- Capt. Ramsey and Lt. Hunter

Standoff -- who is right?

Lt. Hunter challenges an irate Capt. Ramsey, in an attempt to avoid nuclear war.

(photo copyright:  Buena Vista Pictures)

Rule 916 of the Manual for Courts-Martial (MCM), "Defenses", especially subsections (c) and (d), makes clear that not only should a military member not be charged with a UCMJ offense for not obeying an unlawful order, but also that said military member does, indeed, have an "affirmative duty" to disobey an order that he knows -- or, "that a person of ordinary sense and understanding would have known" -- to be unlawful.  The commentary of Rule 916 also cites Rule 801(e), stating that the question of whether the person giving the order was in a lawful position to give said order becomes an interlocutory question.  The brilliant men that wrote the Constitution of the United States did so in a manner that "a person of ordinary sense and understanding" could properly interpret the entire document.  Nowhere is that more clear than in the clause requiring the president to be "a natural-born citizen".

Thus, at any time after the soon-scheduled inauguration ceremony of Barack Hussein Obama II, if a military sentry should deny the incoming president access to a command post or other strategic military resource, a key question will arise.  That question will be whether the sentry was disobeying an order or enforcing a higher order.  (The long-standing rules of military security, especially in the nuclear world, go far beyond the tenure of any one particular occupant of the White House.)  In such a standoff, will the sentry's superiors back him?  Every military member takes an oath to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic".  The Constitution overrides the authority of any specific president.  (And, if modern politicians truly understood that concept, then the question of whether Obama can be a real president would never come up, because the Congress would have challenged his qualifications long ago.)  Thus, if a sentry declares that he is enforcing the Constitution by denying Obama access to, for example, the White House Situation Room, then how can the sentry be charged with a UCMJ offense?  The fact is that the sentry would be protecting the facility from penetration by an illegal alien, as the text of Colonel Hollister's lawsuit makes quite clear.

It matters not that people like "Peggy the Mooch" believe in the Obamessiah, that he will buy them gasoline and pay their mortgage.  It matters not that, somehow, an illegal alien has occupied a seat in the United States Senate for four years.  It matters not that this illegally-seated senator has managed to conduct a presidential campaign -- despite clearly illegal campaign contributions from foreign sources, and despite not being eligible for the office of president.  It only matters that somewhere, someday, someone in a position of military security duty will deny that usurper the opportunity to enter a command post.  Or, hopefully, the officer in charge of the "nuclear football" will simply refuse to hand it over to Barack Hussein Obama II.  I was there the 1983 day that Col. Rodney Cox said, "The fate of Western Europe lies in the hands of an 18-year-old Air Force Security Policeman standing in a weapons-storage area somewhere."  It was true then.  A similar situation may become even more true in the near future, if some military sentry (probably wearing a Blue Beret) confronts a person purporting to be the next President of the United States.  (The starry-eyed idealist that still resides in this 50-year-old body hopes that the incident would be investigated by Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs, of the TV series "NCIS".  Then, charges would not be brought, because Gibbs would conclude that no offense occurred.  The realist that also resides in this body worries that some career-happy officer would throw that young sentry under the political bus.)

Any way you slice it, at some point very soon, the world will face The Obama Oxymoron.

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Monday, 08 December 2008, at 2350 hours
Central Time -- Nashville, Tennessee, USA

Is CBS trying to kill "The Unit"?

Most of my writing is about very serious topics.  But, this one falls into the category of "Fun Stuff".  Regular readers know, however, that I even take my fun quite seriously.

Having grown up during "The Golden Age of Television", I've reached a point in life where I don't watch many TV programs.  Most of them are either "fluff", or are poor attempts to portray serious situations.  One program, 24, takes itself far too seriously.  (It used to be a good program.  But, the writers began giving Jack Bauer almost supernatural abilities.  It became "obvious" fiction, although the show's biggest success was built upon realism.)

There are only two shows left on TV that I watch regularly:  NCIS and The Unit.  My list previously included JAG (created by Donald Bellisario, who created the spin-off NCIS) and The Agency.  In the case of JAG, they went out at the top of their game after ten years on television.  It survives in syndication, and probably will for a long time.  The classic Magnum: PI (another Bellisario creation) remained in syndication for twenty years after its eight years as an active TV series.  (There has been occasional talk of a JAG movie or a reunion special.  Attention, producers:  I have a sample script available, if you'd like to read it.)

The plight of The Agency was far different.  Like the pioneering Mission:  Impossible, it seems to me that The Agency suffered from being "too" real.  Perhaps someone in the government got nervous, and then put pressure on the network to cancel the series.  The realism was by design.  Two former high-ranking CIA officers were the show's technical advisors.  Tony Mendez, the former Chief of Disguise (yes, that was his real job title) advised on the "inside" portions of the program.  (An entire section of the International Spy Museum is dedicated to Mendez' work to rescue American embassy employees held hostage in Iran.)  Baz Bazzel, a former Marine Corps intelligence officer and later CIA paramilitary operative, advised on the "field" portions of the program.  (Bazzel also appeared on the program, and as a competitor on the short-lived reality show Combat Missions.  That was the only "reality" show that ever had any actual elements of reality.)  The plots of The Agency were ripped from the headlines, and the scripts were skillfully crafted.

Side note:  Many bars around the country host Survivor parties, but I was the only person in the country to host a network-authorized Combat Missions TV-watching party.  (I still have the T-shirts.  Really.)  The first night that I hosted one, there was a big table of about 20 military recruiters in the audience.  Believe it or not, they had not yet heard of the program at that point.  But, when the show came on, they really got into it.  During a commercial break, I did a live telephone interview with Ed Bugarin.  A former Delta Force commando, and veteran of Operation Eagle Claw, Ed was another of the show's competitors.  (Shortly after the embassy takeover, I had gotten wind of the possibility of a rescue in Iran, and had attempted to join Delta Force back when it was still in the development stages.  It was called Project Blue Light back then.  I didn't make the cut.)  Sadly, the Combat Missions parties fizzled out, just like the series.  (Again, it was probably a case of "too much reality" for some folks.)

Anyway, with that background, you can understand that I take my fun seriously.  That includes my TV watching.  And, I'm getting a bad vibe that The Unit is about to go the way of The Agency.  The show went into a long hiatus last year, due to the writers' strike.  But, when other shows recovered, The Unit was still being replaced by the "reality" show Big Brother.  When this year's regular season started, The Unit made a surprise comeback.  But, it is now in the final time slot on Sunday evenings.  (Traditionally, that is a losing time slot, as people turn off the TV after the football games.  The Unit had been part of the "action Tuesday" lineup.)  And, the show is now opposite Army Wives — the top-rated show of Lifetime, the Left-tilting network billed as "television for women".  That juxtaposition would seem intended to create some "combat hot-spots" in living rooms across America — as husbands and wives battle for the remote control, thus deciding in "trial by combat" whether to watch a military show fueled by testosterone or estrogen.  (Has our society really devolved to that point?  Yep.)

If the network executives are not trying to starve Sergeant Major Jonas Blane and his team, then it seems that the scriptwriters are trying to stress them into self-expendability.  The Unit's commander, Colonel Tom Ryan, had an affair with the wife of one of the special operators, Master Sergeant Mack Gerhardt.  Later, Ryan and Gerhardt work elbow-to-elbow on an especially dangerous mission in the Middle East.  The team had already decided that Ryan must die for his transgression.  Tiffy Gerhardt tips off Ryan, just before the mission; but, Ryan accepts his fate as justly deserved.  The fight scene was amazing.  (Both experienced actors are also experienced martial artists, but I still think they really hurt each other in that scene.)  Blane stops the fight, because the mission is to rescue his daughter's convoy, which has been captured by terrorists.  (In the real world, the presence of his daughter would likely bar Blane's presence, as it could cloud his judgement ... or cause him to commit suicide if the mission failed.)  Ryan then offers himself in exchange, thus simultaneously aiding the mission and enabling the terrorists to become the executioners of his "sentence" for the affair.  Although I understand that such scenarios can become a part of real-life military operations*, I also think that the show's scriptwriters are trying to pack too much "emotion" into the program.  If they continue along that track, they will turn The Unit into a soap opera.  (No doubt, the writers are trying to appease the female viewers by adding so many distractions.  If they keep changing the nature of The Unit, however, then eventually there will be no distinction from Army Wives.)  (*I once served on an OSI-led protection detail for an Air Force wife who was going to testify against her husband for drug dealing.  He had given that info to his suppliers, who then put out a contract on her life.)

The Unit's wives have been forced into the position of behaving heroically, even if reluctantly.  Army intelligence discovered that some well-funded bad guys were keeping the wives under surveillance.  Colonel Ryan decides to whisk them away into a group undercover living arrangement, ostensibly to protect them.  But, it turns out that some of the bad guys are in awfully close proximity to their new lives.  (This story line has spread out over several episodes.  We still don't know how this happened.  Was it "chance", or is there a mole inside The Unit?)  Kim Brown becomes especially vulnerable, as she must act as bait by pretending to consider an affair with a traitor by whom she is disgusted.  (In the last episode, Kim was taken hostage, but the bad guy was later killed ... after he had killed an accomplice.  Does his organization still exist?  Has the cover been blown?  Are the wives still in danger?)  Through it all, Unit "senior wife" Molly Blane remains unsinkable.  She is everything a military wife should be:  loyal, patriotic, focused, smart, sexy, supportive, smooth-talking, and very savvy.  She summed it all up in one line that should become part of the ceremony for military marriages:  "A distracted soldier is a dead soldier!"  But, is it also true that a distracted viewer is a channel-changing viewer?  Is a show that is too close to reality destined to end up like The Agency?   (Sadly, there really can often be a lot of high-stakes drama in military marriages.  But, do we need to portray that on television for our enemies to watch?)

The Unit is playing very close to the edge right now.  Either it will unfold some story lines that restore some degree of stability, or it will implode under the weight of too much of a potentially good thing.  (If the show were on five nights per week, then some of these other story lines might carry better.  I understand that all soldiers, and special operators in particular, must be ready to "adapt, improvise, overcome" at all times.  But, I'm not sure that CBS executives can expect the same from a high percentage of their viewers.  (Although I hope they can, because The Unit certainly counter-balances a lot of other "fluff" programs with each episode.)

Time will soon tell whether CBS is trying to kill The Unit; or, if it is practicing Friedrich Nietzsche's maxim, "That which does not kill me makes me stronger."

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Monday, 01 December 2008, at 0104 hours
Central Time -- Nashville, Tennessee, USA

December 1st is CIVIL AIR PATROL Day

Six days before the Japanese Empire conducted the surprise attack upon the American military bases around Pearl Harbor, civilian and military leaders culminated three years of pioneering discussions by creating the Civil Air Patrol.


Sadly, that is the reaction of most Americans.  During the post-Vietnam days, many young Americans learned to look down upon military service.  (Sadly, many of them were taught that outlook by their parents — many of whom were alive to raise families because they had dodged the draft a few years earlier.)  And, if people looked down upon professional military service, imagine how much more the "Me" Generation looked down upon unpaid, volunteer, para-military service.  Yet, even during the darkest days of the Jimmy Carter administration, teenage Americans became CAP cadets.

Those that joined the Civil Air Patrol during those anti-military years of the late 1970s became part of a rich history of patriotism and service.  In the mid-1930s, during the early days of the aviation industry, forward-thinking leaders of government, business, and industry conceived of a way that civic-minded aviators could serve their country and advance aviation safety.  The concept took the best aspects of the Army (remember, at that time there was no separate Air Force) and volunteer organizations such as the Boy Scouts, and put those aspects together in an aviation framework.  Although the Civil Air Patrol is the volunteer civilian auxiliary of the United States Air Force, the CAP is actually older than the Air Force that it serves.  (The CAP was founded in December of 1941.  The USAF, evolved from the Army Air Corps, became a separate Armed Service in September of 1947.)

From the very beginning, the primary mission of Civil Air Patrol has been air search leading to ground rescue.  But, even as that important mission was being organized, our country was suddenly plunged into World War Two by the attack upon Pearl Harbor.  So, simultaneous with all the other war-related activities in America at that time (Victory Gardens, food rationing, gasoline rationing, young men leaving family farms to join the military, women going into factory work to replace the men that went to war, etc.), the volunteers of the Civil Air Patrol managed to create the first nationwide search-and-rescue network and create war-specific missions such as the Coastal Patrol.  And, keep in mind that these volunteers did this with their own money — buying their own uniforms, their own field gear, and — yes — even their own airplanes.

During World War Two, the Coastal Patrol missions of the Civil Air Patrol spotted 143 Nazi submarines off the United States coastline.  The CAP Coastal Patrol observers were credited with "assists" in the Navy's sinking of dozens of those enemy submarines.  Eventually, these volunteer, civilian pilots (nicknamed the "Flying Minutemen") were allowed to carry bombs aboard their aircraft.  Aircrews of the CAP Coastal Patrol actually sank two Nazi submarines without assistance!  They also used their bombs to damage other submarines that were later destroyed by the US Navy.

Other wartime missions of the Civil Air Patrol included courier flights of documents, material, and medicine.  The CAP also provided aerial towing of gunnery targets.  (Keep in mind that the artillery crews on the ground were students!)  And, during that time, the CAP also grew and improved their search-and-rescue (SAR) capabilities.  Those capabilities included developing the CAP Ranger Teams that conducted the ground rescues of lost people spotted by the aircrews.  Information gathered from various CAP SAR activities nationwide was consolidated into the development of the Hawk Mountain Ranger School.  (In the past, I've received angry e-mails from some former members of USAF Pararescue, who have tried to belittle the pioneering role of the CAP Rangers.  I've replied to several former PJs by telling them to research their own history, and write me back if they could prove me wrong.  Not one has ever written back.)  The original CAP SAR teams were developed in the early 1940s — building upon techniques by pioneering aviators before CAP was officially founded.  The Air Rescue Service, the parent organization of modern Pararescue, was founded in 1946  (although they trace their roots to a 1943 mission on the China-Burma border).

Both organizations serve vital functions, and many PJs were CAP Ranger cadets before they joined the Air Force.  The Air Force also conducts Pararescue Jumpers Orientation Course (PJOC) for selected CAP cadets.  (Keep in mind that the active-duty PJ instructors get paid to be there, but the CAP cadet students in this PJOC video pay to be there, and buy their own uniforms and basic gear.  One of my goals if ever elected to Congress is to provide funding for CAP members' uniforms and equipment, as the Canadians do for their Air Cadets.)  Just as the Hawk Mountain Ranger School was created to standardarze SAR procedures within CAP, the PJOC helps recruit and motivate those cadets that can become qualified as instructors at their various Wing-level schools in their home states.  The PJOC is one of the most sought-after cadet activities, and the selection process is designed to ensure the continued high quality of the course.  The Air Force also sees the value of the PJOC as a recruiting tool for the next generation of Pararescuemen.  Both organizations work together Stateside; only Pararescue operates overseas or in combat.  Because of the expense of operating Pararescue helicopters, CAP light aircraft are often used to fly grid searches.  The CAP aircrews will then radio their findings to mission headquarters, which might dispatch a Pararescue helicopter crew to the area.  Pararescuemen are trained to a much higher degree than CAP Rangers, but the CAP has also saved thousands of lives throughout its history.

The Vietnam War was "drawing down" in June of 1974, when I became a cadet.  My best friend in high school recruited me.  He was the "cadet commander" of the local CAP cadet squadron.  (Cadet squadrons have a two-tiered command structure.  Adult officers supervise all operations, but cadets have their own internal rank structure.  Both follow the Air Force model.)  In August of that year, my friend was also the cadet commander of the NY Wing Ranger School, which was located at a remote site known as Thunderbird Land-Rescue Training Center.  The "T-Bird" school followed the Hawk Mountain model, and used the Pennsylvania Wing Ranger Manual for curricula.  Hundreds of cadets passed through T-Bird in the 20-year history of that school.  Subjects included physical conditioning, obstacles, land navigation, survival, field sanitation, basic and advanced first-aid, various forms of communication (hand signals, radio, signal panels, mirrors, etc.), marksmanship, basic climbing, basic rappelling, etc.  Training was provided by people with SAR experience, and culminated in three-day "survival hikes" with minimal food or gear.  The survival hikes included timed cross-country navigation objectives, coupled with realistic SAR exercise scenarios.  The PJOC was developed after the Thunderbird School was shut down, due to NYC-area parental complaints that the school was "too tough" on their children.  (I was a staff instructor at the time, and heard some of those complaints -- from parents who claimed that they were only "sending their boy to camp".  But, those parents had signed about a half-dozen forms that stated the intense nature of the school, which had a fifty-percent washout rate every year of its existence.)

The CAP cadet program has been the foundation for many successful military careers, and successes in civilian life.  During the 20-year history of the T-Bird school, only six cadets ever earned the rating of Expert Ranger.  The first was Dick Cole, who went on to become a civilian Emergency Medical Technician.  The second was Don Carter, who became a CAP cadet squadron commander, an instructor at the T-Bird school, and an IBM engineer.  The third was Ted LaPlante, who went on to become a B-52 wing commander and later a senior staff member at The Pentagon.  (He was once part of a Time magazine cover story.)  The fourth was Charlie Hayes, who went on to become a reactor officer on a nuclear submarine, and later an instructor at a nuclear power plant.  The fifth was Dick Van Patten, who went on to become a C-130 navigator.  I was number six.

I spent 17 years in Civil Air Patrol, and 16-plus years in an Air Force uniform.  At my first "permanent" Air Force base, three former cadets met and we founded a CAP cadet squadron.  From that base, I also went "permissive TDY" back to T-Bird as an instructor.  Later, I became a deputy commander of my original cadet squadron.  At my last base, I became commander of a cadet squadron that was in the group commanded by my old high-school friend Charlie Hayes.  One of my cadets from that squadron went on to become a medic during Operation Desert Storm.

During my Air Force career, I tried to join Pararescue, but did not make the grade.  (Their school is nicknamed "Superman University" for good reason!)  I was able to do most of the things that they do -- including freefalls from ten thousand feet, sometimes on chopper loads that included PJs -- but I could not handle extreme Nap-of-the-Earth flights without vomiting from somewhere deep within my boots.  Watch a passenger go weightless inside a helicopter, not far from the ground, halfway through this NOE flight video.  At one point, the helicopter also does a complete barrel roll.  That is the sort of gut-wrenching flying that gets PJs into, and out of, battlefield hot spots.  They really are "a breed apart".

The Civil Air Patrol has a rich history of volunteerism and patriotism.  The CAP still provides important functions.  Those include air transport of human blood and organs, radiological monitoring (this was critical in the response to the Three-Mile Island nuclear incident), earthquake damage assessment, and the ever-present SAR missions that made CAP famous.

Speaking of famous, one of the many famous former CAP cadets is Nashville music superstar Aaron Tippin, whom I've interviewed a couple of times.  He was a commercial charter pilot before he was discovered as a musical talent.  He told me that his strong voice comes from singing over the sound of the tractor engine while working on his father's farm as a teenager.  (Aaron's father retired from the Air Force as a colonel.)

Tom Kovach in studio with Aaron Tippin

Sadly, the lamestream news media has chosen to focus annual attention on another anniversary that has been allowed to overshadow CAP Day.  Modern civilians are only told that the 1st of December is "World AIDS Day".  In the past 20 years since the inception of a day to commemorate political lobbying in favor of a disease, less and less news coverage has been given to Civil Air Patrol Day.  As a result, many Americans — especially high school students — do not even know that the CAP exists.  Civil Air Patrol Day was a legally-recognized anniversary in America for 42 years before "World AIDS Day" was even conceived.  So, the next time someone gets in your face about AIDS activism, simply remind them that the 1st of December has been, and will remain, Civil Air Patrol Day.

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Monday, 17 November 2008, at 0503 hours
Central Time -- Nashville, Tennessee, USA

Obama draft scandal deepens

Millions of American citizens — regardless of political party affiliation — are concerned that Barack Hussein Obama is disqualified from becoming president because he is not a "natural born citizen", as the Constitution requires (Article 2, Section 1, Paragraph 5).  But, even if he were a citizen, there is a strong possibility that the next commander-in-chief of our military violated the law regarding the military draft.  And, new evidence suggests that there could have been a cover-up effort to prevent the public from learning about the draft irregularities.

The newly-formed America's Independent Party, which endorsed Dr. Alan Keyes in the recent presidential election, has led the way by filing lawsuits to block Obama from becoming our next president.  (In 2004, Keyes ran against Obama for the US Senate seat that the latter now occupies.  If conservatives had supported Keyes in 2004, or during this recent election, then we wouldn't be fretting about a President-elect Obama now.)  The legal actions are based upon a growing body of evidence that Obama was born in Kenya, and not in Hawaii as his campaign has claimed.  Foreign birth would automatically disqualify any candidate for president.  Despite months of inquiries from multiple sources, which come from across the political spectrum, the Obama campaign refuses to produce a valid Hawaii birth certificate.


During an interview with George Stephanopoulos on Sunday, 07 September 2008, then-candidate Obama said that he had considered joining the military when he "had to" register for the draft when he graduated from high school in 1979.  But, as was reported the following morning by the premiere edition of The Crossbow, that statement was not correct.  There was no mandatory draft registration in 1979.  (Voluntary registrations were accepted then, but those were scant.)

In order to practice journalistic fairness, The Crossbow e-mailed the Obama campaign's media department for a clarification.  Despite having used the "media form" on their Web site, no reply was ever received.  (However, this writer's e-mail address was added to an Obama fundraising e-mail database, without even asking permission.  Those fundraising e-mails have come in two or three times per week ever since.  Given that the "media form" contained no mention of being added to such a database, that practice would seem to be a violation of "anti-spam" laws.  But, if the campaign has no compulsion about trampling the Constitution — or worse — then why would they care about anti-spam laws?)

Despite the lack of a direct reply to the direct request for a copy of Obama's draft registration, it seems that the Obama campaign did take some action as a result of that request.  A few days ago, blogger Debbie Schlussel revealed a copy of Obama's draft registration.  She had a trusted source, retired Federal agent Stephen Coffman, obtain and examine the registration form.  That form, which should have answered the lingering questions, raised more questions of its own.

 purported Obama draft registration form -- obtained by Debbie Schlussel

Some of those questions were also raised by the follow-up column in The Crossbow, which documents the extant request for the Obama draft registration.  In her blog, Schlussel questions why the Selective Service System's own computer data log shows that the Obama draft registration form was requested from their Data Management Center in Chicago on the 9th of September, when Schlussel's FOIA request was not written until the 13th of October, and was not mailed until the 25th of October.  The timing of that access of the file on the 9th seems to indicate that the Obama campaign took seriously the allegations made on the 8th by The Crossbow.  Although they took the allegations seriously, the reaction seems to have been "spin control" instead of forthrightness.  That, of course, leads to other questions, including the question of a cover-up.

The follow-up column in The Crossbow pointed out that it would've been impossible for Barack Obama to register for the draft in Hawaii, because he was attending college in Los Angeles at that time.  That assertion was based on the inquiry results published on 12 August 2008 by Pajamas Media blogger Bob Owens.  Those results stated that Obama had registered on 04 September 1980.  But, he had been required by law to register during the last week of July, after President Carter had revived mandatory draft registration retroactively.

new info

In the wake of Ms. Schlussel's blog revelations, via an e-mail exchange, Mr. Owens told The Crossbow that the Selective Service System had not provided him with a copy of the registration form.  (Ms. Schlussel has not replied to a separate e-mail inquiry from The Crossbow.)  Oddly, the Selective Service System in Washington, DC, had previously told Mr. Owens that Obama's draft registration form could not be accessed.  He had to make several information requests before getting an e-mail reply.  And, that reply was only a summary, which did not include the actual form.  Retired ICE agent Coffman also had to make several FOIA requests, over the course of a year, before obtaining the form.  But, in the wake of The Crossbow's allegation that Obama lied, somebody accessed that "inaccessible" record.  The Selective Service computer printout shows that the form was accessed on 09 September, one day after the original allegations by The Crossbow and the request for an Obama response.

 Selective Service System document management printout

That same computer printout shows the last "action" with the record to have been on 04 September 1980.  That was the date that the Selective Service spokesman told Mr. Owens was when Obama registered for the draft.  The form shows that Obama signed the registration on the 30th of July, which was during the week required for him to register.  But, the official stamp on the form was dated the day before.  Having worked in a Post Office on two separate occasions, I know that the routine is for the clerks to change the dates on all the stamps before opening the locked window at the customer counter.  So, even if young Barack Obama had been the first person in line that morning (not likely for a college student on summer break), the dates still should have matched between the signature and the stamp.  Retired ICE agent Coffman pointed out that anomaly via the Schlussel blog.

Here, the tale takes another strange twist.  As pointed out in the previous editions of The Crossbow, Obama claimed to have been actively considering military service at the time that he registered for the draft.  But, on the registration form, the box is not checked for the military recruiters to contact Obama.  If he were truly considering an "ennobling" service in the Armed Forces, then wouldn't he have taken that opportunity to be contacted by the recruiters?  This aspect of the examination is exclusive to The Crossbow.

Another exclusive angle is the fact the Selective Service laws require that even illegal aliens must register for the draft.  Really.  (Of course, if they broke the law to get here in the first place...)  The real irony here is that, given that Obama's draft registration form states that he showed "no ID", it is possible that the reason for the lack of ID is his lack of American citizenship.  I'd much prefer to see Obama deported to Kenya than imported to the White House.

The Schlussel blog points out irregularities with the postal date validation stamp.  And, readers of that blog have posted comments similar to my assertion above.  Some of those readers went into detail about the fact that the "round dater" stamps come with a four-digit block for the year.  The stamp on the Obama draft form shows only two digits, and the digits seem to be damaged.  A comment from Schlussel reader "Vicki551", who claims to be a retired Postal Service clerk, goes into detail about the format of the date stamp.  That sparked independent research by The Crossbow, which agrees that the date stamp on the Obama draft form does not seem genuine.

Searches of several philatelic Web sites showed beyond any shadow of a doubt that the United States postal system (whether as the "Post Office" or the "Postal Service") has used four-digit year blocks for at least a hundred years.  It was not a recent "Y2K" change, as some Obama supporters have claimed on various political Web sites.  The four-digit year block remains consistent regardless of the location of the postmark, and regardless of whether it was civilian or military.  Some examples are shown here.

 1907 Postmark with 4-digit year

1930 Postmark with 4-digit year

1942 Postmark with 4-digit year

The Crossbow also researched the Web site of a company that manufactures the "round dater" stamps, and found that the blocks for the year are, in fact, a separate and removable unit of the stamping device.  Therefore, it is possible that someone could have removed the four-digit block "2008" from a round dater, cut off the first two digits, turned the block upside-down, and then inserted it back into the date stamp to produce the two-digit "80" year stamped on the Obama form.  The condition of the numerals is consistent with such tampering.  And, the numeral "8" does appear to be upside-down.  A normal "8" in a rubber-stamp machine has a bottom loop that is larger than the top loop.  The "8" on the Obama form has a top loop that is larger than the bottom loop would be, were it not for the fact that part of the bottom loop has apparently been cut away.  This portion of the analysis moves the situation away from merely tinkering with the filing system and into the possibility of an outright forgery of the source document itself.

The timing of the FOIA-initiated computer printout also inspires questions.  If any other blogger had been pursuing this same story, and had obtained the Obama registration form, then they would've posted it as Schlussel did.  But, no one else posted it until Schlussel's blog in mid-November.  The Crossbow raised the questions in early September, and made a request to the Obama campaign on the 8th, but did not make a FOIA request to the Selective Service System.  So, who did make such a request on the 9th of September?  And, if the request was made by the Obama campaign, then is the document given to Schlussel by SSS the same document that was originally placed into their file 28 years ago?  Or, did someone remove the original, forge a backdated copy, and then place that one into the Selective Service System file?

What difference do the dates make?  Plenty!  If the signature date on the published form is correct, then Obama is in the clear.  But, if Obama did not register until the 4th of September, as the official Selective Service System spokesman told Pajamas Media back in August, then there is plenty wrong.  First, it would mean that Obama was in violation of the law for not registering in July when he was required.  Second, it would raise the question of who actually filed the original SSS registration in Hawaii, because Obama was attending college in Los Angeles at that time.  (If he was poor enough to need student loans, then he could not have afforded to jet-set over to Hawaii just to sign a form.)  Thirdly, the form specifies Obama's "current address" as being in Honolulu while he was living in Los Angeles.  Did he give the SSS his former address as a way to avoid being drafted if a war had started in the Middle East?  (The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan was the main reason that President Carter revived the draft, although the Iran hostage crisis was certainly another factor on Carter's mind.)  Could it be that Obama was dodging even the possibility of going to war against his "Muslim brothers"?

The hinge pin in this story is now the postal date stamp.  It is a felony to falsely postmark any document with any date other than the current date.  That would be the case if a Postal Service employee had done the date stamping in a Postal Service office.  If the stamp were created for the purpose of producing a forged document, then that would be an additional felony offense.

Were it not for the apparent forgery of the document, logic could have given Obama a way out of this mess.  The draft had been curtailed for five years.  Then, President Carter revived it.  There must have been a backlog of data entry as large numbers of young men registered in a short period of time.  Thus, an argument could have been made that the date on the SSS computer printout is the date that the registration was entered into their database, versus the date that Obama signed the form.  (And, several Obama supporters have already tried to use that scenario to explain away these questions.)  The problem is:  If the discrepancy was caused by a data backlog, then how does one explain the forgery of the date stamp?  And, how does one explain the documented access to the file at a time when there was no FOIA request for Obama's information?

It does appear to this writer that the date stamp is a phony creation.  Besides the problem of the two-digit year versus a four-digit year, the stamp also specifies the abbreviation "USPO", for United States Post Office.  The problem is that President Nixon in 1971 changed the name to United States Postal Service, or "USPS".  Below is a postmark from 1980 that clearly shows a USPS on the round postmark.  It is highly unlikely that the post office in Honolulu — a state capital, and home to several military bases — would have still been using an obsolete round dater nine years after the name change.  One questionable aspect of a date stamp could be a mistake.  Three such aspects on the same date stamp, on a questionable form, in a case that is so politically sensitive, is no mere mistake and no mere coincidence.

1980 Postmark shows USPS, and not USPO

Dodging the draft, or forging a document to make it appear that one did not dodge the draft, might be considered a case of "misguided youth" for the average hard drinking, dope-smoking, coke-snorting college ne'er-do-well.  (There is no slander here, because Obama admits in his memoir to being such.)  But, when that intoxicated college kid has been raised by politically-active parents, and has trotted around the globe at a young age, and has been mentored by a Communist Party organizer during his adolescence, then the situation cannot be overlooked as some mere faux pas.  This point is now exacerbated by the fact the college kid in question has gone on to (ostensibly) win an election to become the next president of the United States.  Thus, the fake draft registration form must be considered an intentional act.  The key question becomes:  Who committed the act?

That, sadly, is not the only question.  Given the obviously Socialist nature of Obama's presidential policies, and given his apparent goal of bringing America down economically in order to accept Socialism, and given the fractured nature of military organizations in Socialist countries, and given the polarizing effect that Obama has on the population, one must wonder how the election of such a man will affect our military.  President Bill Clinton also dodged the draft.  But, he at least went through some of the motions of trying to comply with the law before finding a way to pass through the eye of a legal needle.  And, rightly or wrongly, Clinton dodged the draft during the height of an unpopular war.  If it is proven that Obama dodged the draft when there was no war at all, then what does that say about the man's courage to face our nation's enemies — even if it is only from across the conference table?  The fact that such a man could get elected president brings a new level of meaning to the word "audacity", while simultaneously draining American patriots of much "hope".

Will the United States soon become like many countries in Africa, Eastern Europe, or the Middle East — where the military has entire bases and units that are described as "loyal to the president" or "disloyal to the president"?  Will it come down to the point where a military commander, or entire unit, might refuse a presidential order to prove a political point?  If that happens, would a President Obama dispatch his "loyal" troops to somehow corral the "disloyal" troops?  And, if he would send American troops en masse against other American troops, then would he also send American troops against American civilians?  And, if he would not send American troops, then is this the intended function of his proposed new "civilian national security force"?  If those questions don't get answered now, then it might become illegal to ask them later.  That is, if the people prone to ask such questions are still alive and free during an Obama regime.

Regardless of whether a court proves that Barack Hussein Obama is unqualified to become our next president, this writer asserts that Obama has already proven himself unfit.

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Thursday, 02 October 2008, at 0710 hours
Central Time -- Nashville, Tennessee, USA

The smoking guns of Islam

Having studied foreign languages and cultures, I'm often ashamed of the "ugly American" attitude.  I saw it a lot when I was stationed in Korea for a year.  But, even though I try to be culturally aware, it still amazes me how much information is right before our faces, but we don't see it because of our myopic American view of the world.

Such is the case with certain dates on the Islamic calendar.  Those dates are the "smoking guns" of Islam.

During my investigation of the Flight 800 disaster (Wed, 17 Jul 1996 -- an airliner exploded in midair of the coast of Long Island), I became aware of just how seriously the Islamist terrorists consider their calendar when planning their attacks.  And, from their viewpoint, that makes perfect sense.  Their calendar is based upon their religion.  And, their attacks are part of a jihad -- a never-ending religious war to convert the entire world to Islam.  Therefore, they view their attacks upon America as religious events, and plan them accordingly.

We ignore that point at our peril.

Several years ago, I wrote a column (that, alas, did not get published) in which I correctly predicted the date of a terrorist attack three months in advance.  The only thing I used to do that was the Islamic calendar.  And, in retrospect, we might have been able to predict (and prevent?) the "9-11" attacks if our government would have used this same lens to examine terrorist trends.  (But, of course, using the Islamists religion against them would be "politically incorrect".)

Consider this.

On the 9th of January, 1991, US Secretary of State James Baker met with Iraqi Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz.  The talks broke down.  Baker returned to the United States with his report.  Three days later, on 12 Jan 1991, a joint session of the United States Congress approved a "resolution on the use of force" -- the closest we have come to a Constitutionally-required "declaration of war" since December of 1941.  Three days after the resolution passed, the sun set on the last day of Operation Desert Shield.  When the sun rose the next morning, Baghdad had experienced the first "thunder and lightning" of Operation Desert Storm.

But, from an Islamic point of view, the war began on the day that the talks broke down.  From the point that Baker and Aziz failed to negotiate a peaceful resolution, the Islamic mindset is that the two countries were at war.  The resolution from Congress was, in the Islamist mind, a mere rubber-stamp formality.  On the Islamic calendar, the talks broke down on the date 22 Jumada t-Tania 1411.  Now, fast forward to the date 22 Jumada t-Tania 1422.

Or, on the Gregorian calendar, 11 September 2001.

But, as I began to write in my never-published book on the "9-11" attacks, (the title was Business as Usual, from the post-attack speech by President George W. Bush), that date was also the 60th anniversary (on the Gregorian calendar) of the groundbreaking ceremony for a building that was one of the engineering marvels of its day:  The Pentagon.  And, keep in mind that Osama bin-Laden is a civil engineer by training and by trade.  (He comes from a family of civil engineers; one of the wealthiest families in Saudi Arabia.)  One of the key sentences from that book was, "Osama bin-Laden is not a stupid man; he is an evil man."  The terrorist mastermind took into account -- albeit, from an Islamist viewpoint -- a date that should've been a resounding insult to Americans.

Apparently, bin-Laden underestimated our lamentable American penchant for historical nonchalance.

So, let's see if we can spark some interest.  Put on your thinking caps.  Follow the dominos.  Lets see if we can learn to avert disaster.  We must learn the lessons of history, or be doomed to repeat them.

Recent news from WorldNetDaily reports that terrorists have apparently accuired the capability to build a thermobaric bomb.  So, you might ask, "What is a thermobaric bomb, and why should I care about it?"  To understand the future of terrorism, you need to look to the past.  And, to understand what happened last month on the ground in Pakistan, you need to understand what happened last decade in the air off Long Island.

The type of thermobaric bomb described in the above-linked WND report was, by American munitions standards, fairly crude (but effective).  The bomb in Pakistan apparently used an aluminum powder to create a cloud of flammable dust immediately ahead of the blast wave from the bomb.  When the bomb's fireball caught up with the blast wave, it ignited the dust, and created an even larger explosion.  This is the same concept behind the fuel-air MOAB -- nicknamed "the Mother of All Bombs", in mocking reference to Saddam Hussein's threat to give the United States "the mother of all battles" if we invaded Iraq.  (Historical note:  after his capture by American commandos, Hussein received "the mother of all trials" in an Iraqi court, which then sentenced him to "the mother of all hangings".)

The official myth of the Flight 800 disaster is that a "random spark" in the center fuel tank caused the airliner to be cleanly cut into two major sections by a jet-fuel explosion.  The fact that jet fuel is not explosive (except under very specific condidtions) seems to have escaped FBI investigators, who were busy looking for a way to save President Bill Clinton's political skin in an election year.  The fact is that Flight 800 was brought down by a missile strike.  (Actually, the 747 was hit by three missiles, according to a detailed engineering report that I have in my possession.)  One of the missiles that intercepted Flight 800 contained a type of fuel-air explosive in its warhead.  The presence of oxidizer-pellet shrapnel in the bodies of crash victims proves this point.

So what?

The recent bombing in Pakistan was apparently the work of al-Qaida.  Why would they attack their Muslim brothers?  Because, from the Islamist viewpoint, Pakistan was a traitor.  In the current (never-ending?) war against terrorism, Pakistan has cooperated -- albeit reluctantly at times -- with the United States.  The hotel that was bombed in Islamabad was owned by an American company.  (And, not just any company.  The hotel chain's founder, J. Willard Marriott, was personal friends with President Ronald Reagan.  Terrorists had a lasting fear of "President Ray-Gun", who ordered the Navy F-14 jets that bombed Muammar Qaddafi's tent.)  The terrorists wanted to send a message to their betrayers.

The message was in the date.

The bombing took place on the 21st of September (Pakistan time), and the hotel was apparently a known meeting place for American intelligence agents.  Back in Washington, it was still the 20th of September when the bomb exploded.  And, on the Islamic calendar, the 20 September 2008 came on 19 Ramadan 1429.  The 19th of Ramadan is a sad day on the Islamic religious calendar.  It marks the anniversary of an attack upon the first Imam, the prince Ali Abu-Hasan.  He was stabbed while praying in a mosque, and he died two days later.  (Interestingly, he was born on Friday the 13th.)  The attacker was considered a man that had access to the mosque; thus, a traitor to Islam.  That was the message:  Pakistan is a traitor to Islam.

As has been pointed out by intrepid investigative author Jack Cashill, the downing of Flight 800 coincided with National Liberation Day in Iraq.  On the Islamic calendar, Flight 800 was downed on 01 Rabi al-Awwal 1417.  Perhaps not merely coincidentally, 01 Rabi al-Awwal is also the annual National Day of the Islamic government of The Maldives.  If I were to research the official calendars of the "57 states" belonging to the Organization of Islamic States, I would probably find national holidays on all of them.  The date 01 Rabi al-Awwal is the start of the Islamic calendar.  It marks the Hijra -- the migration of Muhammed from Mecca to Medina.  To the devout Muslim, the Hijra would be an approximate equivalent of the Epiphany (the baptism of Jesus) to the devout Christian.

And, there is a definite message there.

The downing of TWA Flight 800 was, in the minds of Islamist terrorists, a "migration" of sorts.  The title of Cashill's book on the topic, First Strike, asserts that the missile strike was the actual beginning of a holy war against America.  All other attacks -- such as the 1993 vehicle bomb in the basement of the World Trade Center or the bombing of Philippene Airlines Flight 434 (which also affected the center fuel tank of a 747), both carried out by Ramzi Yousef (the understudy of Khalid Sheikh Muhammad) -- were merely "probe" attacks in preparation for the jihad.  And, given the dramatic increase in the severity of subsequent attacks, history has proven Cashill correct.

There is more -- much more -- to this connect-the-dots view of Islamist war against America.  For example, just prior to the downing of Flight 800 was the attack on the Khobar Towers barracks complex in Saudi Arabia (25 June 1996; 08 Safar 1417).  The Saudis were viewed by the Islamist radicals as double-minded for hosting the Americans that had attacked Iraq.  So, just like their counterparts 1380 years earlier, on the same date (08 Safar, at the Battle of Siffin), the Islamists attacked those that they considered to be "impure" Muslims.  And, if I can come up with this information while typing a blog (for free, I might add) in my home-office, imagine what I might discover if the government actually hired me to use my military experience to do this type of analysis full-time to prevent such attacks.

Then again, it might not work out if they "can't handle the truth"*.  For example, the government claims there is absolutely nothing suspicious about the sudden crash of an Alabama Air National Guard F-16 fighter on 11 Sep 2002.  The cause of the crash was a jet engine turbine blade that suddenly came loose during flight.  The crash and fire were made worse because the pilot could not jettison his external fuel tanks -- due to a faulty control switch that can only be accessed by removing the control panel inside the cockpit.  The switch had been routinely checked not long before the crash.  There is no evidence of sabotage -- because the unit commander never called in the Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI) or the FBI to augment the crash investigation.  (The official crash report says so, and I have a copy.)  The jet belonged to the same unit as a young lieutenant named George W. Bush three decades prior.  That same unit, on the same day as the crash, did a flyover of the Alabama State Capitol to comemorate the "9-11" attacks.  Of course, the date and the unit are all "mere coincidence", and any talk of sabotage is merely "right-wing conspiracy mongering".  Right?  Of course, right -- just like it was "not an act of terrorism" when a Muslim college student suddenly drove his car onto a sidewalk and ran over more than a dozen fellow students ... while shouting anti-Israel slogans.  A mere coincidence -- just like when Flight 800 blew up all by itself ... on one of the highest dates on the Islamic calendar.

Mere coincidence, or are all these calendar anniversries the smoking guns of Islam?


*  Of course, one way to avoid being suddenly fired for telling the truth about Islamist terrorism is for me to get elected to Congress.  Hmmmmmm.

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