am a Cpl. in the Army and just returned from Iraq. I carried my shotgun
all year on my back in your shotgun scabbard, and it worked great! I
was glad to have it around several times, and it proved to be an easy
way to keep the shotgun handy for the squad. Thanks for your great
product, and for your support of our troops!!|
Cpl. C.R. [omitted]
36th Infantry Div.
Got the T-shirt....IT ROCKS!!!!
Sir, The Falcon Chest Harness finally arrived to me at Camp Taji, Iraq.
Thank You! It is now set up for fitting over my IOTV and Battle
(already the guys are asking who to order one from, so you might be getting a few more requests!!!).
Dear SF company.
for sending another t-shirt it looks great the boys in the unit will
want one when they see it. I'll be sending them right to you.
Another happy customer
I was stationed at Camp Pendleton I was in Weapons Company 3/5. The
unit made us t-shirts with the 3/5 logo/emblem/crest, "Consumate
Professionals". I was honorable discharged in 1999 and the t-shirt has
been long-gone. I searched a couple of web site to find a shirt with the
logo/emblem/crest but there was no luck. It didn't take me long to
search this site before I found what I was looking for. When the shirt
arrived it was better than what I expected. I love the t-shirt and wear
it with pride and often. Thank you SpecialForces.com
Your Shirts are the best.
Thank you for being so prompt with my order, and the refund as well.
I thought a little constructive thoughts were in order.
The "HRT" boot knife is well constructed. I had to "hone" the edge though, both sides,to get it up to spec.
for the "GI USMC Combat Knife"......Well, it wasn't really a K-Bar, at
least not one that I've ever seen. It read "US", and above that it read
"Ontario". No worries though, after I used a ceramic sharpening stone on
both the small back edge and the full length edge, I'm quite pleased
with them both. Oh, I almost forgot, both were very pretty well
I'll be purchasing again from you in the near future.
Dear Special Forces
I received my order i have to say that is better than i expected! Thank you and you'll hear fom me soon.
They turned out GREAT!!!!!! Thanks. I will be back for other things.
Thanks Folks. As always you have been most polite and professional. Best wishes for a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Jack And Melanie Edgar
That looks awesome! Is there any logo on the front? Can I buy these off
the website? I'm sure a lot of SWCC guys are going to want these!
Amanda Van Every
love the art work. They are awesome. I'll be ordering mine right after
this. Thanks for all the work. I am recommending you guys to all the
other battalions and ODA's.
Just to let you know all items have been recieved, fantastic quality as all ways.
Cheers Andrew and best wishes for the New Year.
Leadership Demands Honor
"Duty, Honor, Country. Those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be"
- General Douglas MacArthur
for a leader requires a personal honor code and
adherence to the principles of that code. This means
that a leader must have integrity which is loyalty
to truth and principles in order to execute his
Personal Code of Honor.
"You are remembered for the rules you break"
- General Douglas MacArthur
|Dick Meadows leads the BLUEBOY assault team inside the Son Tay prison compound, 21 Nov 1970|
Major Richard J. Meadows a legend in the Special
Forces Community lived by a personal Code of Honor.
For those of you who do not know him here is a
Major Richard J. Meadows (June
16, 1931 - July 29, 1995) was a U.S. Army Special
Forces officer who saw combat in U.S. wars from
Korea to the Iran Hostage Rescue mission in 1980.
He was a pivotal player in the creation of the
modern U.S. Army Special Forces.
Meadows enlisted in the
Army at age 15. He first saw combat in Korea and
was, by age 20, the youngest Master Sergeant in
the Army at that time. In 1953, he entered the
U.S. Army Special Forces and remained active in
them or the Rangers until his retirement in 1977.
His participation in the Iran Hostage Rescue
mission came after his official retirement.
1960, Meadows was one of the first U.S. Army
officers to participate in an exchange program
with the British Special Air Service special
forces unit. Meadows completed SAS training, was
an acting troop leader for 12 months, and
participated in a field combat operation with his
unit. It is widely believed that Meadows' SAS
experience helped form the basis for future US
Army Special Forces selection, training, and
While assigned to the 8th
Special Forces Group in Panama, MSG Meadows
volunteered for a tour in Vietnam. At the end of
his first tour, serving in the Military Assistance
Command, Vietnam - Studies and Observations
Group, Meadows received a direct commission as a
captain on April 14, 1967.
|BLUEBOY Assault Element: Dick Meadows (lower left)|
Nov 21, 1970 Capt. Meadows was the team leader
for the initial assault team in the Son Tay prison
camp raid (see Operation Ivory Coast). This
14-man team (plus pilots), code-named Blueboy,
intentionally crash-landed an HH-3 helicopter
right in the middle of the prison camp to achieve
maximum surprise. One team member was injured in
the landing (broken ankle). The remaining team
members executed their mission without further
casualties. However, much to Meadows'
disappointment, the prison camp had moved all its
captives' weeks earlier. The possibility that the
POW's were moved was known to CPT Meadows so this
was not an unexpected surprise because they had
elected to continue the raid on a chance some were
|Capt. Dick Meadows, Leader Assault Element BLUEBOY|
In the mid-1970s, Meadows was a key figure in the
founding of the US Delta Force special operations
and hostage rescue force.
Major Meadows retired in 1977.
1980, Major Meadows returned to service as a
special consultant and performed a covert
reconnaissance of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran prior
to and during Operation Eagle Claw, better known
as the Iran Hostage Rescue mission. That mission
ended in a major accident at a ground refueling
point in the Iran desert, and was aborted.
Documents found at the crash site compromised both
the mission and Meadows' cover in Iran. Under
cover as a foreign businessman, Meadows escaped
Iran aboard a commercial flight.
In 1995, Meadows was
diagnosed with and subsequently died of leukemia.
It is contended by many in the Special Forces
community that, had the contents of Meadows'
military record been disclosed, he would have been
awarded the Medal of Honor. However, the majority
of Meadows' covert roles in Vietnam working with
the CIA's Special Activities Division remain
The statue of Major Meadows at F
Bragg and the Dick Meadows award for Heroism record
his legacy to Special Forces and should inspire us
Mark Meadows knew his
father in a perspective no one else could and wrote
about his father recognizing the role honor played
in his life.
"How do you get into a man's mind?
Where or what is the button that makes him react,
and how or why does he think the way he does? To
study people you do not need to be a psychologist,
just interested. Let's take this guy Captain Meadows
for example and look at a segment of his life. The
curiosity-what is the motivation behind his actions?
been isolated from his family and friends for four
months. He lives in a single room billet where he
stays most of the time if he's not training or
conducting business with his unit. The hours are
long by the standards of a normal garrison. But not
here, to work well into the evening is a normal and
even a welcomed routine, for boredom quickly becomes
the enemy. Being a leader of this unit keeps him
busy; he has been planning an air assault raid in
his head for quite a while. Now the training is in
full swing and planning continues. He's gone over
the rehearsals in his head time after time. He knows
exactly what's needed to execute the mission without
incident. He quietly and calmly gives the orders,
guiding his unit in the right direction. His
intuition is brilliant; a smooth decision making
process that leaves others confused while he
meticulously and methodically matures the plan. He
sees and thinks the "what ifs" that no one else
sees. He consults with his peers and subordinates
periodically but only to research something he has
been thinking about. And without disclosing his
ideas, he eases out of the conversation to return to
the drawing board in his head where the real plan
has been written.
he checks on his soldiers and his young leaders.
Watching their skills in both combat and leadership
development. He allows the small expected mistakes
within his parameters of the direction he intends to
lead the unit. Like a sheep herder, he watches over
his responsibility, the men. His training
philosophy: take care of the men and train them the
right way that allows personal and professional
growth. By doing this a leader secures the success
of the mission as well as the survival of the men.
"Mission first, men always."" And when the training
is done for the day and the soldier has been put to
rest, he's thinking and planning for tomorrow. He's
studying the drawing board, making the necessary
notes. A quick thought of his wife and he drifts off
And why, why all the
selfless devotion, sacrifice of his time to
painfully make sure everything is right? Who
can answer this question? I can. And simply put, the
common denominator of everything he does is honor.
He has honor. I know this to be true. I've studied
it for fifteen plus years, watched, listened and
practiced. This Captain Meadows is unusual and I
know it, I know it all too well. He's my mentor,
role model. He's my Dad. And in 1970 he had a small
part in an air assault raid. He's the most unusual
man I've ever known and has taught me without
teaching. I continue to chase his reputation and I
don't mind, it's the best goal I could have.
greatest reward I've ever received was at a private
dinner; just the two of us. I was told by my mentor
that he was proud of me and pleased that I had
learned the common denominator-honor. That he gave
me something very important. He gave me his
unquestionable trust. Something he has never given
to any other man. Now I'm Captain Meadows and I'm
planning the missions; I've learned the secret.
Meadows identifies his father's sense of honor as
the focus of all his actions and his life and his
Military career appeared to be driven by it.
"Ability without honor is useless."
- Marcus Tullius Cicero
Personal Code of Honor serves as a guiding light
and drives our behavior. We all need a Code of Honor
to live by. For our nation it is the Declaration of
Independence when I served in the 1st Ranger Bn it
was the Ranger Creed. One of the first things
required of us was to memorize the Ranger Creed
because they knew the importance of an honor
code. As one matures in life we should learn
and develop our own Personal Code of Honor it can be
from looking at role models, other honor codes, if
you were lucky your parents taught you what you
needed for your honor code when you were growing up.
The best source of truth to formulate your Personal
Code of Honor from is the Bible if you can get
under the right Pastor Teacher it will take you far
beyond any other source available and it covers
All leaders must have a personal
code of Honor to guide them in everything they do.
It is terribly important that they adopt correct
principles because any false or weak concepts will
weaken the Leader and could turn the code into a
tool of destruction instead of a pathway to success.
leader should never compromise principle but when
it comes to others especially his men he must have
flexibility. For a leader it is one thing to
evaluate men based on one's Personal Code of Honor
but it is a mistake to judge men by it. An honorable
leader must be above self righteousness a form of
arrogance and when responsible to pass judgment when
duty calls it must be done fairly, impersonally and
you examine a man exclusively for his weaknesses
and his faults, you will be in danger of neither
liking him nor trusting him. Look for his strengths.
As a leader encourage him to build on them. Do this
properly and from that he'll recognize and correct
his own shortcomings. If you have a difficult man
with whom you think it is worth persevering, then
don't ever get angry with him. Especially don't go
to bed angry with him, because that's when the
little maggots eat at your brain and you wake up
still angry with him and you've lost your
objectivity. Worse-you might have adversely affected
a good man's career."
- Mark Meadows
of my favorite Generals was General Thomas Jonathon
Jackson famously known as Stonewall Jackson. He
lived by a personal code of honor that brought him
success and greatness. Here is a glimpse of the man. This
incident took place shortly before the Civil War while
Jackson was serving as Professor of Artillery
Tactics and Natural Philosophy at the Virginia
"Why, in the name of reason," he
was asked, do you walk a mile in the rain for a
perfectly unimportant thing?" 'Simply
because I have discovered that it was a
misstatement, and I could not sleep comfortably
unless I put it right.'
had occasion to censure a cadet who had given, as
Jackson believed, the wrong solution of a problem.
On thinking the matter over at home he found that
the pupil was right and the teacher wrong. It was
late at night and in the depth of winter, but he
immediately started off to the Institute some
distance from his quarters, and sent for the cadet.
The delinquent, answering with much trepidation the
untimely summons, found himself to his astonishment
the recipient of a frank apology. Jackson's scruples
carried him even further. Persons who interlarded
their conversation with the unmeaning phrase 'you
know' were often astonished by the blunt
interruption that he did not know. But if he carried
his conscientiousness to extremes, if he laid down
stringent rules for his own governance, he neither
set himself up for a model nor did he attempt to
force his convictions upon others. He was always
tolerant; he knew his own faults, and his own
temptations, and if he could say nothing good of a
man he would not speak of him at all. But he was by
no means disposed to overlook conduct of which he
disapproved, and undue leniency was a weakness to
which he never yielded.
Leadership without honor blunders through life.
"Never give an order that can't be obeyed"
- Douglas MacArthur
"I Love the name of honor, more than I fear death"
- Julius Caesar
I urge you all to adopt a personal code of honor.
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|Voice of the Soldier|
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Special Operations Warrior Foundation
Special Forces Gear is now hosting a special section for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation.
Special Operations Warrior Foundation (SOWF) provides college
scholarship grants, along with financial aid and educational counseling,
to the children of Special Operations personnel who were killed in an
operational mission or training accident.
All profits from these items go to the
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Warrior Brotherhood Veterans Motorcycle Club
Warrior Brotherhood Veterans Motorcycle Club is a not-for-profit
(501c3) fraternal organization. It was formed to provide a fraternal
organization for qualified military veterans who have served, or are
currently serving, in the Armed Forces of the United States or US
Allied Nations. They support Veterans and Active Duty Members in
many different ways. A few of the many causes projects they
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|F-35B Ship Suitability Testing|
|CV-22 Ospreys in Action|
|Word of Truth|
By Rev G.J. Rako
LTC IN USAR (Ret)
Satan has a plan, policy and system of deceiving the world ("Then the
great dragon, the ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan,
who keeps on deceiving the entire world"...Rev 12:9, "and he will go out
to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth." Rev 20:3,
20:8 ). He is the ruler of this world (Lk 4:5-7; Jn 12:31, 14:30, 16:11;
2 Cor 4:4) and is opposed to God. Therefore, his plan is to deceive
humanity with regard to the eternal truth of the living and written Word
of God. His plan and policy can be entitled the "lie" for "he is a liar
and the father of lies and there is no truth in him" (John 8:44). The
Bible is the "truth"; Satan's system is the "lie". As the Word of Truth
has many facets so, each must be countered by the lie.
Two aspects of this great lie are Satan's deceptions and counterfeits
regarding first, salvation and then the Christian way of life.
Bible states that there is one way to heaven and a relationship with
the eternal God; faith alone in Christ alone. "Salvation is found in no
one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men
whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). Jesus said, "I am the way, the
truth and the life, no one comes to the Father but, by me" (John 14:6).
Now, how many other names can you think of, all of which characterize
the lie. Satan in his genius has developed a system to counterfeit God's
plan of salvation. We call this system religion. Religion is man by
man's own efforts attempting to gain the favor of God. It is a system of
works and merit on man's part. God's plan of salvation is grace. "For
by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not of
yourselves, it is a gift from God, not of works, so that no man can
boast" (Eph 2:8-9).
Once we become believers in Jesus Christ, our
purpose is to grow to spiritual maturity and execute the unique
spiritual life of the church age. We are commanded to renew our
thinking, (Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is
decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. II Cor 4:16;
and that you be renewed in the spirit of your thinking, Eph 4:23, and
have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge
according to the image of the One who created him. Col 3:10) by growing
in grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (II Peter 3:18), that is
to replace the doctrine of demons ("But the Spirit explicitly
communicates that in latter periods of time, some believers will fall
away from doctrine, giving attention to deceitful spirits, even
doctrines from demons. I Tim 4:1) with the thinking of our Lord (Have
this thinking in you, which was also in Christ Jesus. Phil 2:5).
The Word of Truth - Alive and Powerful
we think ourselves too smart to be deceived. If Satan deceived the
woman in the garden, (Gen 3:13) he can deceive any of us. God himself
created her perfect in every sense of the word. She had a perfect body
and a perfect mind. Yet, Satan in the garden was able to deceive this
perfect person. If perfection could fall to deception then certainly all
of us (imperfection) can be deceived, and yes, we are all being
deceived. Only ignorance and arrogance thinks itself safe from
deception. Satan's deadly deception permeates all systems of human
thought and endeavor.
There is only one way in which we can
combat this deception. We must make the Word of God the priority in our
lives. ("that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of
Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, and with every
deception of unrighteousness for those who perish, because they did not
receive the love for the truth with the result that they might be
delivered" Thes 2:9-10). The love of the truth is God's answer for our
deliverance. This is God's purpose, plan, and will for our lives.
Fulfilling the command to grow in grace and the knowledge of our Lord
and Savior, Jesus Christ is the only way we will even recognize the lie.
We are bombarded with the doctrine of demons all day, everyday. It is
on the lips of our family, friends and associates. It comes across the
television and the radio. We are continuously being brainwashed to
believe the lie instead of the truth. Moreover, in so doing we have
become combat ineffective, casualties in the spiritual conflict that
rages around us. The Apostle Paul warns us in Romans 12:2-3; "Stop being
conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renovation of your
thought, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good
and acceptable and perfect. For I say through the grace which has been
given to me to every one who is among you stop thinking of self in terms
of arrogance beyond what you ought to think; but think in terms of
sanity for the purpose of being rational without illusion, as God has
assigned to each one of us a standard of thinking from doctrine." We are
told to; "put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to
stand firm against the schemes of the devil (Eph 6:11). There is a way
which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death (Prov
14:12). "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My
ways," declares the Lord. "For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your
thoughts" (Isa 55:8-9).
Do not be deceived. Do not blame the
government or others for the problems in this country, (Therefore, My
people go into exile for their lack of knowledge Isa 5:13, My people are
destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I
also will reject you from being My priest. Since you have forgotten the
law of your God, I also will forget your children). As goes the
believer, so goes the nation (if My people who are called by My name
humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked
ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal
their land, II Chron. 7:14). God will heal our land by the choices you
make. You can make a difference. The choice is yours. Use your volition
to execute the unique spiritual life of the church age, or become a
casualty in spiritual combat by believing the lie. There are no
accidents, coincidences or tragedies in the Christian way of life,
everything happens for a reason. Everything happens for our benefit.
Ignorance of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob will keep your thinking
in the center of Satan's deadly deception. Knowledge of God will break
the chains that enslave, Jesus said, "and you shall know the truth, and
the truth will make you free" (John 8:32). "and if the Son makes you
free, you shall be free indeed" (John 8:36).
Contact Reverend Rako >>
Ambush on America
young men are killed each day on the streets of America than on the
worst days of carnage and loss in Iraq. There is a war at home raging
every day, filling our trauma centers with so many wounded children that
it sometimes makes Baghdad seem like a quiet city in Iowa". - Dr. John
Pryor, U.S. Army Surgeon, KIA Christmas Day 2009
Sunday January 23rd 2011, Lamar
D. Moore calmly walked into the Detroit Police Department's
Northwestern District station just after shift change, and approached
the front desk while concealing a pistol-grip shotgun.
moments, he began firing, striking officers with his shotgun at point
blank range. The calm Sunday morning at the desk turned into a gun
battle in an instant. Moore ambushed the DPD precenct while officers
went about their Sunday morning routine.
Brian Davis, stopped into his precenct to check on his officers that
morning and get a briefing on an unrelated incident that occurred the
previous night. He was wearing his church clothes with a small back up
weapon strapped to his ankle. The officers working the desk were going
about their business as they normally do on a Sunday morning that is
until, Moore approached the desk and ambushed these officers.
had been implicated in the kidnapping and sexual assault of a runaway
teenage girl. She escaped Sunday afternoon from Moore's house and police
responded, it was after this that Moore shot up the station.
walked into the station and approached the desk. Before anybody could
even greet Moore he pulled his shotgun and starting shooting at officers
from a distance less than six feet away. Commander Davis, Sgt. Ray
Saati, Sgt. Carrie Schulz, and Officer David Anderson dropped to find
cover behind the desk. Two of these officers were already struck by
took a couple steps back towards the door as officers started to return
fire but in an instant Moore charged the desk and leaped over the high
counter like something straight out of a Hollywood movie. Commander
Davis couldn't believe what was happening, after all it was just another
was now behind the police desk shooting at the officers. Commander
Davis took a handgun from one of his injured officers laying next to
him. He then engaged Moore in a gun fight that lasted 37 seconds from
the time the first shot rang out at a distance starting out around
fifteen feet until the finally volley at each other barely two feet
away. Moore stood up and continued to shoot at the officers laying on
the floor another officer covered Commander Davis as to protect him and
fired upon Moore, until Moore shot him.
approached Commander Davis's position behind a small partition,
Commander Davis stood up and greeted his adversary with the desire to
nuetralize his threat at all costs. He found himself only a couple feet
from the shotgun barrel Moore was pointing at him. The two engaged each
other and both were struck by bullets.
fell back and Moore ran around the partition and continued to shoot
Davis. Commander Davis even through a trash can at Moore as he fell back
onto the floor. Shortly, after the two fired upon each other Moore fell
to the ground mortally wouned.
of Detroits finest were laying wounded from shotgun blasts cluchting
the will to survive. Commander Davis was huried to a chair in an
adjoining office. As officers checked Davis for wounds. They found his
hand had been shot up and a finger was destroyed. Then all of a sudden
the officer checking Davis for injuries yelled for another officer to
help him. They whisked Davis out of the office in the same chair he was
sitting in outside to a patrol car.
still in shock wasn't clear on the need to hurry and wondered why his
officers were driving so fast to the hospital. Once in the emergency
room the medical staff was frantically working on Davis. He eventully
overheard the doctors state to prep him for surgury. Davis, then asked a
nurse why was he going to surgery? She replied that he had been shot in
the back. He eventuially learns that there was a hole the size of a
softball in his back from one of the shotgun rounds.
I am happy today to report that all of the DPD officers and Commander Davis survived the ambush that day in January.
Davis embraced his warrior spirit as his adversary sought to kill him
and his officers. That spirit is the cornerstone to survival in an era
when more officers are ambushed than in recent history.
believe strongly that the will to survive is embraced by some officers
and nothing more than a statement to others. Tactical self talk can help
you in such an ambush and the aftermath. Try living this statement as
you patrol the streets of your city "through practice and reputition I
will survive and I am in control". Training your mind to battle an
ambush provides the necceasrry information that your brain will seek in
that short instant your compeled into a fight for your life. Repeat this
statement everyday, often until the day you get your retirement watch.
The warrior spirit can be taught, and its not the only element needed in
combat but its proven to help.
and time again I watch videos of officers being confronted by an armed
adversary and they choose dialogue over lethal force. There is an
element in many humans that chose flight over fight. The fact is that
many police agencies have plenty of officers that will chose not to
battle for various reasons. That apprehension clearly gets cops killed,
and sadly we then burry that person knowing that the outcome could have
Davis chose to strike his adversary, quick and hard. He didn't hesitate
to obtain an injured officers gun, stand up in civilan clothes and
shoot as many times as he could at a man wanting him dead. Imagine the
confusion as the battle instantly unfolds and then consider how long it
would take you to process the information. You must be able to react as
Commander Davis did or you may end up on the losing side of this fight.
After all, any hesitattion from him that morning most likely would have
enabeled Moore to murder those officers laying on the precinct floor
we patrol the streets in 2012 let Commander Davis and the men and women
of the Detroit Police Department remind us that the will to survive is
the cornerstone to survival in an ambush that sadly some unsuspecting
officer(s) will face in this New Year.
"An Army stronger in soul, will be victorious over the army of lesser"-Greek Army General
Sgt. French also is the president of the Detroit Special Operations Group tactical training company and founder of the Detroit SWAT Challenge. Glenn is a columnist with www.PoliceOne.com, and his column is the"SWAT Operator".
has instructed Basic and Advanced SWAT / Tactical officer courses,
Basic and Advanced Sniper courses, Cold Weather / Winter Sniper
Operations and Active Shooter Response courses and others. Sgt French
served in the U.S. Army and is a veteran of the Gulf war "Operation
Desert Storm." During his military tenure Sgt French gained valuable
experience in C.Q.B., infantry tactics and explosive breaching
operations and he served as a Platoon sergeant and a squad leader.
Back Up Heating during an Emergency
Now that winter is here,
most of us have done all we wanted to do or were able to afford to do
preparing for the cold weather. Now, we just sit back and see what
happens. Did you however prepare for a worst case scenario? More than
likely you're answer is "no". I understand it's hard enough just to get
through the winter utility bills and for those on wood heat; it's a
large enough task to go cut or purchase your wood for the season. But I
found a pretty handy and fairly inexpensive way to really heat a large
portion of your home in an emergency. Let's say an ice storm hits,
knocks out your power for a week. This means no electric heat or cooking
abilities. For those on wood this may mean using more wood than you
planned on which may lead to a shortage if you didn't buy enough
extra... Whatever the case, you need some heat.
You can pick up a Propane Wall Heater at your
local hardware and online for under $200, I've even seen them at
Goodwill from time to time (By the way if you don't look at Goodwill for
survival stuff you're missing out!). These simple machines do not
require electricity unless you get one with a blower and some heat up to
2000 sq. ft. But remember, this is a back up heating plan, so plan on
something less than half that size, plus you don't want to buy a 500
gallon propane tank to heat your entire home. For those already on
gas/propane heat this is a perfect backup option for you since you
already have the tank.
everyone else, just rig up your full gas grill cylinder and you'll get
up to 3 days of heat if on a low setting leading to an average
temperature of around 65 degrees F. It costs me $12 to fill a standard
20# propane gas cylinder and I normally have several sitting around for
various reasons. If I just made sure they were filled up before winter, I
personally would have a couple weeks worth of propane. You can
typically purchase extra filled cylinders for around $25-$30. The
connections for this system are very easy to obtain at any local
hardware and should cost less than $20.
I can't take credit for
this system, I was shown it from a fellow firefighter and this has been
his primary system for almost ten years. He's a single guy that works
long hours so he only uses it when he's at the house which is why it's
more practical for him. So, just add this plan to your toolbox and maybe
it will be of use sometime down the line. A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences. (Prov. 22:3)
About the Author
Jason Hunt is the president of Frontier Christian University and Chief Instructor at the Kentucky River Outdoor & Survival School. You can sign up for their free magazine featuring more articles like this one at www.thewildernessvoice.com
|Special Forces History|
|Special Forces History
With Charles Woodson
Sincere, one of the original founding members of the U.S. Army Special
Forces at Fort Bragg, North Carolina in the early 1950's recollects
the training and early staff.
|Green Berets Project: Clyde Sincere Interview 5|
The SOA has appointed Charles
Woodson as their Personal History Project Officer. They have
asked me to interview, over time, their entire membership. We have
started with this past reunion, in Las Vegas to interview the first
group. This coming September 13th through the 17th we will be
interviewing the second group. The stories, needless to say, are incredible!
are looking for support in this huge effort. So any interested
parties can contact me at my email address I can provide additional
These words spoken by Abraham Lincoln are as true today as they were then.
the armies of Europe, Asia, and Africa combined...
could not, by force, take a drink from the Ohio... At what
point, then, is the approach of danger to be expected? I
answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring upamongst us, it
cannot come from abroad."
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THE ASS, THE FOX, AND THE LIONS
The Ass and the Fox,
having entered into partnership together for their mutual protection,
went out into the forest to hunt. They had not proceeded far when they
met a Lion. The Fox, seeing imminent danger, approached the Lion and
promised to contrive for him the capture of the Ass if the Lion would
pledge his word not to harm the Fox. Then, upon assuring the Ass that
he would not be injured, the Fox led him to a deep pit and arranged
that he should fall into it. The Lion, seeing that the Ass was secured,
immediately clutched the Fox, and attacked the Ass at his leisure.
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|Quotes & Jokes|
Year's is a harmless annual institution, of no particular use
to anybody save as a scapegoat for promiscuous drunks, and
friendly calls and humbug resolutions.
W. C. Fields I never worry about being driven to drink; I just worry about being driven home.
the last year into the silent limbo of the past. Let it go, for
it was imperfect, and thank God that it can go.
Youth is when you're allowed to stay up late on New Year's Eve. Middle age is when you're forced to.
Year's Day... now is the accepted time to make your regular
annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell
with them as usual.
Good resolutions are simply checks that men draw on a bank where they have no account.
A New Year's resolution is something that goes in one Year and out the other.
Year's Resolution: To tolerate fools more gladly, provided this
does not encourage them to take up more of my time.
G. K. Chesterton
object of a New Year is not that we should have a new year. It
is that we should have a new soul and a new nose; new feet, a
new backbone, new ears, and new eyes. Unless a particular man
made New Year resolutions, he would make no resolutions. Unless a
man starts afresh about things, he will certainly do nothing
effective. Unless a man starts on the strange assumption that he
has never existed before, it is quite certain that he will never
exist afterwards. Unless a man be born again, he shall by no
means enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.
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The Disaster Supplies
Kit is a kit to keep at home or some other place to get quick
access when the things can get tough. It's directed for two individuasl
to survive in times of affliction providing the basic needs to
overcome harsh situations for a greater period of time than the other
SFG disaster kits. All the suplements fit into two backpacks for easy
transportation, and still have space to include some personal items
that you think might be important like clothes and medicine. Time of
survival depends on the Meal options selected.
Stainless Steel Metal Back 12 and 24 Hour Display
Day and Date
50M Water Resistant
PU Rubber Strap
Clichs of Socialism
"IF free enterprise really works, why the Great Depression"
To enumerate the
blessings and advantages of competitive private enterprise before most
any audience in this day and age is to evoke the protest: "Well, if the
free enterprise system is so wonderful, how do you account for the
unemployment, bank failures, and prolonged business depression of the
early 1930's? Are periodic depressions an inevitable cost of freedom?"
Free enterprise of
course, does not prohibit or preclude human or business failure.
Freedom to choose, to exercise one's own judgment in the conduct of his
life and his business, permits mistakes as well as growth, progress,
and success. Among fallible human beings, it is to be expected that
some of us will fail in some of our ventures. Human failure cannot be
eliminated entirely, but the harm can be localized. It is one of the
advantages of competitive private enterprise that the penalties for
failure are levied against those who fail-the damage is not assessed
against the whole society-and that the greatest rewards go to those
whom their fellows deem most worthy of success. This is
self-responsibility, the other side of the coin of personal freedom to
choose. To be held accountable for one's errors is to assure the optimum
of responsible human action in society. This is the primary reason why
the free enterprise system is so much to be preferred over the only
possible alternative a system of central planning, authoritarian
control, dictatorship, where one man makes all the mistakes, always on
the grand scale, and always at the expense of everyone else. The great
weakness of socialism is that no one, neither the leader nor any of the
followers assumes any sense of accountability or responsibility,
someone else is always to blame.
This is why the
advocates of central planning and government control are prone to cast
the blame for the Great Depression onto someone else-to make free
enterprise the goat. . But there is nothing in either the theory or the
practice of responsible individualism, with individuals held
accountable for their inevitable errors that will explain a major
depression such as the one following the boom and crash of 1929. Such
massive social upheavals require some other explanation.
If one looks back upon
the events and causes of World War I, he discovers that our own
government had long been inhibiting free enterprise in numerous major
ways. Since 1913, we have had a politically controlled
fractional-reserve central banking system capable of irresponsible and
uncontrollable expansion of the supply of money and credit-the engine
of inflation. And this engine has been used with monotonous regularity
in an attempt to finance, implement, camouflage, nullify, or offset the
many other costly programs of government intervention.
We have had a steeply
graduated income tax to penalize the thrifty and successful. We have
had government regulation and control of transportation, public
utilities, and many other business enterprises. Much of the more recent
legislation giving special coercive powers to the leader of organized
labor had its origin during World War I. Especially in the 1920's, we
began experimenting on a major scale with farm support programs. We
have had wage and hour legislation, tariffs, and many other forms of
protectionism and government control. But, most and worst of all was
the inflation growing out of the deficit spending of World War I and
the Federal Reserve Board's artificially depressed interest rates of
promotion of cheap money during and after World War I led at that time
to private speculation and investment of resources in unsound business
ventures, just as similar policies are doing now. During such a boom
period there always is a great deal of malinvestment of economic
resources under the illusion that the government can and will keep on
promoting easy money-inflation. The continuing Inflation temporarily
hides many of the mistaken judgments of businessmen, tempting others to
make similar mistakes instead of taking sound corrective actions. With
government pumping forth the money, all businessmen are inclined to be
borrowers, until bankers eventually find themselves over loaned on bad
The crash of 1029 was
strictly a crash of confidence in the soundness of the government's
monetary policy-the government's dollar-the shocking discovery,
accompanied by great despair, that government interventionism or
socialism doesn't work as promised.
Free enterprise can
accomplish miracles of productivity, but it is wholly incapable of
causing a major boom of speculative malinvestment which inevitable ends
in a crisis of readjustment called depression.
The opening question should be restated: "If government control
(socialism) is so wonderful, why the Great Depression?" What
happened in 1929, what happens whenever political intervention prices
the various factors of production out of the market and leaves idle
plants and idle men, must be attributed to socialism-not to free
|What Has Really Changed?|
What Has Really Changed?
XF2Y-1/YF2Y-1 Sea Dart: A Jet Fighter on Water Skis
Convair's Sea Dart waterborne jet fighter was a brilliant mistake whose time never came
"From the sea..." was a strategic doctrine that might have included jet fighters if the Convair F2Y Sea Dart had succeeded.
The Sea Dart began as
Convair's entry to a 1948 U.S. Navy competition for a supersonic
interceptor. It was a product of the same design team that produced the
delta-winged XF-92A testbed and the F-102 Delta Dagger interceptor for the Air Force.
In the 1950s, a few Navy
engineers and planners began to pursue a delta-winged supersonic
fighter that could take off from and land on water. Some Navy leaders
had doubts about employing supersonic fighters aboard aircraft carriers
because of their long takeoff rolls, high-speed approaches and general
It was a time when jet engines were thoroughly unreliable and jet aircraft had not yet fully replaced propeller-driven warplanes. Using open water to takeoff and land was an idea that appeared to offer great flexibility.
"The Sea Dart had a watertight hull and was the only flying boat fighter ever tested in the United States."
In 1951, the Navy awarded a contract to
Convair, the San Diego, Calif. company created by the merger of
Consolidated and Vultee, to build two prototypes of a single-seat,
delta-wing seaplane fighter, the F2Y Sea Dart.
The XF2Y-1 Sea Dart pictured during a take-off run in the waters off San Diego, Calif. U.S. Naval Aviation Museum photo
Eventually, the Navy
placed firm orders for no fewer than 22 of the planes, including two
XF2Y-1 "experimental" versions, four YF2Y-1 "service test" aircraft and
sixteen F2Y-1 production aircraft, or, roughly, enough for a squadron.
concepts from the period showed squadrons of Sea Darts operating in the
open ocean, being fueled and loaded with ammunition by accompanying
fleets of warships. A Washington, D.C., newspaper published a drawing
of a Sea Dart operating from the Tidal Basin to defend the capital from
Soviet bombers. The basin is about three feet deep and in no way
suitable for any seaplane, but the image was captivating.
The Sea Dart was not
without aesthetic appeal, but in engineering terms it left something to
be desired. When Convair test pilot E. D. "Sam" Shannon took the first
plane, designated XF2Y-1, aloft at San Diego on its first official
flight on April 9, 1953, the Sea Dart was already in trouble.
The Sea Dart arrived
full-blown in an era when jet engines were unreliable and Navy
Westinghouse jet engines, especially the J40 and J46, had more problems
than others. The Sea Dart was to be powered by twin 6,000-pound thrust
Westinghouse XJ46-WE-02 turbojet engines. However, the XF2Y-1
prototype was finished before the XJ46 was available, so it was fitted
with twin 3,400-pound thrust Westinghouse J34-WE-32s. The Sea Dart was
badly underpowered with J34s (although they were more reliable than
other powerplants of the era) and could not attain its intended
supersonic speed. The aircraft made use of hydro-skis, which, as it
turned out, provided a rough ride on takeoff and landing and were less
effective than expected. When stationary or taxiing slowly in the
water, the Sea Dart moved along the surface with the trailing edge of
its wings brushing the water. The skis were extended when the aircraft
reached about 10 miles per hour during its takeoff run.
A Navy plan for mobile bases for water-borne aircraft began to lag and, in the end, never became reality.
Moreover, the Korean War was going on. The Navy was embarrassed that
its carrier decks could not boast a conventional jet fighter with the
capabilities of, say, the Air Force F-86 Sabre or the Soviet MiG-15.
The lone YF2Y-1 Sea Dart prototype that featured twin skis. U.S. Navy photo
The Sea Dart program
went through several changes on paper and in fact as the Navy changed
the number of planes it wanted from seven to 22 to, finally, just five.
Several engines were considered for a production version of the Sea
For the most part, the aircraft performed well in tests, but the Navy seemed to be unable to decide what to do with it.
The program took a
tragic turn on Nov. 4, 1954, when Convair test pilot Charles E. "Chuck"
Richbourg was killed in the no. 2 Sea Dart, called a YF2Y-1, as it
disintegrated during a low-level, high-speed fly-past with the press
watching and television cameras running. Some Americans saw this happen
on live television. The crash was the lead item in the day's
television and print news.
As a result of the
tragedy, the Navy canceled all the production F2Y-1s but stayed with
its plan to build one more XF2Y-1 prototype and the three remaining
YF2Y-1 service test aircraft.
Improving An Idea
Tests resumed after its
makers redesigned the lone prototype XF2Y-1 with a single hydro ski
replacing dual skis. An unhappy compromise, the new hydro ski was not
fully retractable. Moreover, the wells for the old twin skis had not
been faired over. The new single ski had a pair of retractable beaching
wheels at the end, intended to permit the aircraft to beach itself.
Another aircraft, a YF2Y-1, flew with a new version of twin skis -
bringing to three the number of Sea Darts that actually made it into
While the two surviving
Sea Darts resumed the flight test program, two more were built but
never flown. They were eventually scrapped.
sole XF2Y-1 and YF2Y-1, with their differing ski configurations, both
demonstrated an ability to operate in waves up to 10 feet high and to
fly faster than sound in a shallow dive. It is questionable whether a
Sea Dart would have been able to prevail in a dogfight or to maintain
supersonic speed in level flight as had been hoped."
XF2Y-1 Sea Dart takes off from waters around San Diego,
Calif., during an early test flight of the aircraft. The aircraft
pictured is the first prototype of the Sea Dart. U.S. Naval Aviation
Documents preserved at the San Diego Aerospace Museum
show that Convair and Navy experts solved one technical problem after
another. By 1957, they had a Sea Dart design that would have worked
perfectly well in service, although its air-to-air capability remained
open to question. By that time, in any event, interest in sea bases and
sea-borne combat planes had waned. Moreover, the Air Force F-100 Super
Sabre and the Navy F8U Crusader were now pushing the envelope farther
than the Sea Dart could ever go.
According to General Dynamics Aircraft and Their Predecessors, by John Wegg, the Sea Dart logged over 300 flights in 46 months before the Navy discontinued the program in 1957.
Navy abandoned plans to produce an F2Y-2 version incorporating area
rule to enhance supersonic flight and powered by two 15,000-pound
thrust Pratt & Whitney J75 turbojets.
years later, when the Pentagon's system for naming aircraft was
overhauled on Oct. 1, 1962, the F2Y was re-named the F-7A. It was the
only naval aircraft to be given a new name five years after it ceased
flying. All four surviving Sea Darts are in the hands of various museums
around the country.
The Abandoned Relief of
When Adm. William S. Pye took counsel of his fears
Wrecked U.S. Marine Corps Grumman F4F-3 Wildcat fighters of Marine
Fighting Squadron 211 (VMF-211), photographed by by the Wake Island
airstrip sometime after the Japanese captured the island on Dec. 23,
1941. The plane in the foreground, "211-F-11" was flown by Capt. Henry
T. Elrod during the Dec. 11 attacks that sank the Japanese destroyer
Kisaragi. Damaged beyond repair at that time, "211-F-11" was
subsequently used as a source of parts to keep other planes operational.
"Where oh where, is the United States Navy?"
the long list of bad war news coming out of the Pacific in December
1941, one item of good news stood out for the American public. On Dec.
11, 1941, the small Marine and Navy force on the strategic American
outpost of Wake Island had repulsed an attempted Japanese amphibious
assault, sinking two Japanese destroyers. The gallant success and
temporary victory electrified the nation. But that force needed
reinforcements fast, or it would be overwhelmed.
one of his last acts as commander in chief of the United States
Pacific Fleet, Adm. Husband E. Kimmel ordered Task Force 14, containing
the aircraft carrier Saratoga and under the command of Rear Adm. Frank
Jack Fletcher, to ferry supplies and a relief force to reinforce the
defenders on Wake. On Dec. 15, Task Force 14 left Pearl Harbor. Three
days later, Kimmel was relieved.
responsibility of prosecuting the U.S. Navy's war in the Pacific now
belonged to Vice Adm. William S. Pye, who would hold the position until
Kimmel's permanent replacement, Adm. Chester W. Nimitz, arrived. The
fate of the Wake garrison was now in the hands of the Pacific Fleet's
former Battle Force commander, whose flagship California, and almost
all of that command, was resting on the bottom of Pearl Harbor."
naval career began in 1901 when he graduated from Annapolis. During
World War I he was on the staff of the Atlantic Fleet's commander in
chief, where he was awarded the Navy Cross for "exceptionally
distinguished" staff work (the Navy Cross did not become a combat
valor-only decoration until 1942). With a stocky and pugnacious
appearance that made him look more like a beat cop than an admiral, Pye
was considered one of the Navy's best strategic minds. The question now
was would Pye act as tough as he looked?
On Saturday, Dec. 6, Kimmel, through his
intelligence chief Lt. Cmdr. Edwin T. Layton, asked Pye for his
opinion regarding an intelligence report about Japanese fleet movement
south, possibly toward the Philippines or the Dutch East Indies. Pye
stated, "The Japanese will not go to war with the United States. We are
too big, too powerful, and too strong." Less than twenty-four hours
later and covered in oil after having left his sinking flagship, he was
beside Kimmel in the War Plans Office of CINCPAC headquarters watching
Japanese aircraft turn the Pacific Fleet into so much burning
The Japanese destroyer Kisaragi, destroyed by Marine
Wildcats in the successful first defense of Wake Island. Kure Maritime
Vice Adm. William S. Pye. National Archives
appointment as temporary CINCPAC shocked Layton, who vividly recalled
the admiral's Dec. 6 prediction. Others noticed that Pye, after having
dismissed the Imperial Japanese Fleet threat out of hand, had now done a
complete about face and seemed to be particularly gun-shy about
engaging it, especially when he read any intelligence report containing
the words "Japanese carrier." Even so, Pye did not countermand Task
Force 14's mission. He also allowed a diversionary attack on the
Japanese-held Marshall Islands by the carrier Lexington to continue.
Dec. 20 (Dec. 21, Wake time), Pye received a report that the Japanese
had renewed their assault on Wake, and that one, possibly two, big
Japanese carriers were providing support. Two days later, Pye received
from Cmdr. Winfield Scott Cunningham, the overall commander on Wake,
the message: enemy on island - issue in doubt. Delayed by fueling
problems, Task Force 14 was more than 500 miles from Wake. At about the
same time, Pye was handed a message from Chief of Naval Operations Adm.
Harold Stark that read, in part, "Wake is now and will continue to be a
liability." He was authorized to evacuate the island. But by then
evacuation was impossible.
Fletcher was on the bridge of the Saratogawhen he received his latest order from Pye.
The Japanese destroyer Hayate, sunk by Marine Corps gun
batteries during the initial defense of Wake Island. Photo from
History of Japanese Destroyers, Kaigunsha Press
After he read it, he said to the staff, "We're calledback
to Pearl Harbor." He then angrily threw his hat onto the deck. The
outraged staff officers urged Fletcher to disobey the order. Fletcher
refused, believing that Pye knew something that he didn't. The news
rocketed through the ship and fleet and was received with curses. Many
men hung their heads and wept.
Nimitz assumed command, Pye was transferred to the States and made
commander of Task Force One based in San Francisco, a surface fleet
containing the Pacific Fleet's remaining operational battleships. In
October 1942, he was appointed president of the Naval War College. He
retired in 1944, having never received another operational command.
President Franklin Roosevelt received word of the fall of Wake Island
he called the news "worse than Pearl Harbor" and never quite forgave
Pye for his decision to abandon its defenders.
As for the Marine Corps, it never forgave him.
LAPD was once known as "the world's greatest police
department," due largely to its stringent character
screening. Back in the era of Sergeant Joe Friday, LAPD
candidates were checked out as thoroughly as homicide
suspects. Even a casual relationship with any known
criminal excluded a candidate from being considered as a
All that is now history. In a bid to
appease racial activists and meet federal
decrees, strict screening and testing measures
were dismantled. New black and Hispanic
officer candidates were hustled into the ranks
at any cost. What former deputy chief Steve
Downing called "a quagmire of quota systems"
was set up, and "standards were lowered and
merit took a back seat to the new political
It was back in 1981 that the LAPD first
entered into a federal consent decree that
instituted quotas for female and minority
hiring. To meet these demands, the standards
for physical capability, intellectual
capacity, and personal character were lowered.
The result was that many incapable or
mediocre recruits--even significant numbers
with criminal links or gang associations--were
accepted into the department.
L.A. is not the only city that damaged
its police force in a headlong rush for
"diversity." During the 1990s, Washington ,
D.C. had to fire or indict 250 cops after a
similar lowering of standards, and New Orleans
indicted more than 100 crooked or inept cops
who had been hired--it was later found--due to
"political pressures." Miami had a similar
scandal after scores of cops hastily recruited
in response to race riots and an immigration
surge got involved in robbing cocaine dealers
and reselling their drugs. "We didn't get the
quality of officers we should have,"
acknowledged department spokesman Dave
A scholarly study published in April 2000
in the professional journal Economic Inquiry
found that aggressive "affirmative action"
hiring raised crime rates in many parts of the
U.S. In careful statistical analysis of
1987-1993 U.S. Department of Justice data from
hundreds of cities, economist John Lott (then
of the Yale School of Law, now a resident
scholar at the American Enterprise Institute)
found that quotas requiring more black and
minority police officers clearly increase
crime rates. When affirmative action rules
take over, he reports, the standards on
physical strength tests, mental aptitude
tests, and other forms of screening are
lowered. The result is a reduced quality of
officers--both minority and non-minority
recruits end up being less impressive.
Politicians refuse to admit that dropping
standards can create problems, but other L.A.
authorities are blunt about it. Los Angeles
's police academy, training experts say, can
no longer reliably be used as "a de-selector"
(to use the P.C.-speak). "I had mediocre
trainees, some just plain incompetent. They
were giving us trash. I finally transferred
out because I didn't want to go out in the
field with these kids anymore," explained
retired LAPD training officer Jim Peasha. When
he got a bad minority recruit, Peasha
couldn't drum him or her out, no matter what.
"I had some fantastic minority recruits. One
black kid was the best I ever had. But I also
had one guy who I knew was on drugs and I
couldn't get him out. He wound up getting
caught working as a guard at a rock [cocaine]
house. An off-duty cop!"
Rot protected by race
On March 16, 1997 , black off-duty LAPD
officer Kevin Gaines was shot and killed in a
"road rage" dispute. Gaines, angry and out of
control, had pulled a gun on motorist Frank
Lyga and threatened to "cap his ass." Lyga, it
turned out, was an undercover LAPD narcotics
detective. He drew his 9 mm pistol and shot
Gaines through the heart. Only later did he
learn that Gaines was also LAPD. The incident
made international headlines: "Cop Kills Cop."
Russell Poole, who had a reputation as
one of the LAPD's best homicide detectives,
was assigned to investigate the shooting. He
discovered that Kevin Gaines drove an
expensive Mercedes Benz, wore $5,000 suits,
$1,000 Versace shirts, and lived his off-duty
life in the fast lane of L.A. and Las Vegas
nightclubs, a lifestyle he obviously didn't
maintain on his $55,000-per-year policeman's
salary. Gaines had many credit cards with
expenses like the $952 he had dropped just the
month before for lunch at Monty's Steakhouse
in Westwood, a favorite hangout for black
gangster rappers. And at the time of his
death, Gaines was living with the ex-wife of
gangster rap music mogul Suge Knight--whose
own criminal history included eight felony
It turned out that Gaines, like a
significant number of other LAPD officers, was
working on the side to provide "security" for
Death Row Records, Knight's notorious hoodlum
rap music business that was deeply enmeshed
in drugs and gang violence. The FBI had been
following Gaines, who they suspected was
moving drugs and money around L.A. for Death
Row. Gaines was shameless. The vanity plates
on his Mercedes read "ITS OK IA"--a brash
taunt to the department's Internal Affairs
While investigating Gaines, Poole was led
to another flashy black cop named David Mack.
Mack had grown up in a gang-infested Compton
neighborhood before being hired by the LAPD.
His nearly inseparable friend was fellow
police officer Rafael Perez. Like Gaines, Mack
and Perez lived large--nightclubs, girls,
expensive cars and clothes.
In December 1997, David Mack was arrested
for the armed robbery of a Bank of America
branch in which he got away with $772,000. He
was convicted and sentenced to 17 years in
prison. Meanwhile, Perez's coming and
goings--and his astounding number of short
cellular phone calls--convinced investigators
he was dealing drugs. Following a six-month
investigation, he was arrested for stealing
eight pounds of cocaine from LAPD evidence
lockers. Perez cut a deal for a 12-year prison
sentence and talked.
The discovery of these dirty cops became
known as the Rampart Scandal, the worst in
LAPD history. Perez's confession exposed a
group of police officers who engaged in theft,
drug dealing, perjury, improper shootings,
evidence tampering, false arrests, witness
intimidation, and beatings. They cribbed up in
bachelor pad apartments for sex parties with
hookers. These men were as out of control as
the gangs they were supposed to police--in too
many cases they were from the gangs they were
supposed to police.
More than 30 officers were suspended or
fired in the Rampart probe. Hundreds of
criminal convictions tainted by links to
Rampart cops were overturned. Although it did
not receive much attention in the mainstream
media, an embarrassing truth was exposed: Many
L.A. cops had been corrupted by black
gangsters (just as many New York cops were
corrupted in another era by the Italian mob).
"Rampart wasn't about cops who became
gangsters," explained former LAPD deputy chief
Downing. "It was about gangsters who became
How did city officials react to this
painful lesson? By paying $70 million in
settlements. By doing nothing about the P.C.
race rules that opened the floodgates. And by
agreeing to a consent decree that turned
control of the LAPD over to the Feds. The
consent decree drained crucial resources from
crime fighting--nearly 350 department
supervisors were permanently assigned to
reporting on the decree, and tens of thousands
of hours were spent by other officers on its
This was salt in the wounds of a
department already hogtied by paperwork. After
the Rodney King riots, the Christopher
Commission (chaired by Bill Clinton's future
Secretary of State) demanded that the LAPD
investigate every single civilian complaint
against any officer, no matter how frivolous.
This required three or four supervisors at
each division to spend full time on complaint
duty. Department investigators often ended up
devoting more days to interviewing witnesses
about bogus complaints, and meeting P.C.
mandates on domestic violence cases, than to
investigating crimes. Motivated by the
media-fueled presumption that brutality and
racism were "endemic" in the LAPD, Bill
Clinton's Justice Department also demanded
detailed racial data to see if cops were
"racially profiling." Not surprisingly,
serious felonies rose dramatically during this
period in Los Angeles .
Ignoring root causes
Police Chief Bernard Parks fired more
than 100 police officers at about this time,
citing a wide range of infractions including
unapproved off-duty work as security guards at
gangster rap functions. Many believe he was
quietly trying to purge the department of cops
who had gang associations. But officially,
the city of Los Angeles never faced up to how
it had gotten into this dreadful mess.
One indication is the $250,000 payment to
the family of gangster-cop Kevin Gaines that
city fathers quietly agreed to in 1999.
Race-baiting attorney Johnny Cochran had sued
the city for $100 million, accusing Frank Lyga
of being an out-of-control white racist
officer. The backroom deal, brokered by city
attorney James Hahn (now L.A. 's mayor), and
approved by Chief Parks (who ran for mayor in
2005), was deliberately shielded from the
public and the L.A. City Council.
Lyga's shooting of Gaines had been found
justifiable by three board panels. The Police
Commission ruled that he acted in
self-defense. Yet the city paid off Johnny
Cochran to bury the evidence that his client
was part of a cancerous knot of minority cops
hurriedly introduced into the force without
adequate screening, and left there even after
evidence accumulated that they were not
law-abiding citizens themselves. The city hung
Detective Lyga out to dry.
Poole believes that had natural leads
been followed, the Rampart miscreants and
other incompetent or corrupt officers could
have been exposed at least a year before
Rafael Perez spilled his guts. Poole had
alerted Chief Parks--an African American
brought in to generate racial amity after the
Rodney King riots--that Rampart Division was
out of control, but he was told to limit his
investigations. Poole was so distraught, he
resigned. "I left because the department
literally wanted me to lie and keep things
from the D.A.'s office. They knew the
seriousness of what was going on, but they did
not want to pursue it aggressively. They just
wanted to let it go." It was all too
embarassing to liberal pieties.
After Rampart blew up, hundreds of
experts eventually produced three major
reports on the scandal. Each concluded that
department standards had been lowered. "But
not a single one dealt with the core problem,"
says Steve Downing. "Where did all these
crooked cops come from? How did they ever get
hired in the first place? That's the question
nobody will address." Because it is
The core problem behind L.A. 's Rampart,
and similar corruption and competence scandals
in other police departments, was that
politicians insisted on forcing racial
minorities into police ranks no matter what.
Even now, years after the sour fruits of such
efforts have been exposed, elected officials
refuse to state out loud the obvious:
Institutionalized practice of reverse racial
discrimination "allowed persons of poor
character to be hired," as Downing summarizes.
At one time in the late 1990s, as many as
25 black police officers in the Los Angeles
Police Department were believed to have direct
ties to the criminal gangs they were supposed
to be stamping out. The problem extended to
other police departments in the area as well,
including Hawthorne , Inglewood , Compton ,
and the L.A. County sheriffs. "This is not an
LAPD problem," stated one top LAPD official
during the Rampart scandal. "This is a black
The local and national press were no
braver than the politicians at facing this
issue. Despite a supertanker of ink spilled on
Rampart stories, no reporters or editors had
the stomach to address its causes. Only a few
radio hosts broached the truth voiced by
virtually every L.A. cop. "The corruption of
affirmative action," states Steve Downing,
"has been treated as if it never occurred."
The racial no-fly zone
For the past 25 years, Los Angeles has
been like Russia under Krushchev: Everybody
knows the truth, but nobody dares to speak it.
Much as Pravda ignored Moscow meat and bread
shortages, the Los Angeles Times has adamantly
refused to report on the damage caused by
racial demogoguery and quotas. No one dares
challenge the party line lest he be punished.
"Don't ask me to go there," a city official
once told me. "I have a family, a mortgage, a
car, and a dog, and I have to work in this
Late last year, the Times finally ran a
four-part expose on Martin Luther King
Hospital in south Los Angeles . A team of
reporters spent a year examining the
scandalous number of unexplained deaths and
administrative peculiarities that led to the
closure of the hospital's trauma center and
the loss of its national accreditation. One of
the conclusions of the series was that the
hospital, which may be forced to close
completely, had avoided normal scrutiny for
the past 30 years due to racial politics. "Why
Supervisors Let Deadly Problems Slide," read
one headline. "Fearful of provoking black
protests, they shied away from imposing tough
remedies on inept administrators," read the
For three decades, nobody would speak the
truth about MLK Hospital . The Times
celebrated with champagne when its series won a
Pulitzer in April--but the paper could have
prevented the tragedy by writing two decades
earlier. Everybody knew MLK was substandard,
that's why folks in South Central dubbed it
"Killer King." Alternative publications wrote
about it, but the Times and network TV
wouldn't touch it. Their refusal to hold
incompetent blacks accountable allowed the
disaster to compound.
Politically correct reporting on the LAPD
has had even more tragic consequences. The
media have not only failed to acknowledge the
corruption of affirmative action, they have
leapt at every opportunity to brand the LAPD
as racist, undercutting many dedicated
officers, and deeply corroding the force's
ability to battle crime.
The tragedy that took place this February
6 is the latest example. A little before 4
a.m., two officers in an LAPD patrol car saw a
Toyota Camry run a red light. When they tried
to pull the car over, the driver took off.
After a high speed chase lasting several
minutes, the car left the road and slid to a
halt. Disregarding commands to leave the
vehicle, the driver then backed up directly at
officer Steve Garcia as he exited the squad
car's passenger door. In fear for his life,
Garcia shot several times as the Toyota
smashed into his cruiser.
The car was found to be stolen. The
driver--who died from gunshot wounds--turned
out to be a black 13-year-old named Devin
Brown. Neighbors reported that the teenager
had become involved with the local Van Ness
Bloods gang, and police stated that he had
been at a gang gathering prior to this
incident. The media described Brown as
unarmed, ignoring how lethal a car can be when
used as a weapon.
A mob of politicians and race activists,
including inflammatory Congresswoman Maxine
Waters, immediately condemned the act as yet
another example of LAPD racism. Crowds
gathered at the scene chanting "No Justice, No
Peace," and waving placards that read "LAPD =
KKK" and "Kill The Pigs."
"Children tend to be mischievous," one
woman complained at a subsequent protest, "but
they shouldn't have to die.... Children do
stuff like that all the time." To which an
L.A. police officer writing in National Review
Online answered, "Children? Mischievous?
Devin Brown, God rest his soul, was not out
toilet-papering the gym teacher's house. He
committed at least three felonies, crimes
which might have resulted in the death of a
police officer, his own passenger, or some
innocent bystander." This same officer later
noted that more than 20 U.S. police
officers have been killed over the last
five years by suspects deliberately running
them over with cars.
Before the investigation into this event
even got serious, Mayor James Hahn convinced
the L.A. Police Commission to change
regulations. A new policy now prohibits
officers from firing into moving vehicles. In
one more little way, the police have been
hamstrung by the racialized fallout of a sad
A presumption of prejudice
Ever since the Watts riots of 1964, the
media have pandered to the presumption of
prejudice in the LAPD. Black Los Angeleno
Eulia Love was shot and killed in 1979 by two
cops. One of the officers was black, one
Hispanic-Native American, yet they were both
vilified as racists. Today, whenever the L.A.
media refer to this incident they invariably
report that Ms. Love was killed over a $20 gas
bill. They always fail to mention that she
attacked the gasman with a shovel, or that the
hysterical, mentally deranged, foaming at the
mouth Ms. Love threw a knife at the officers
who responded to his complaint. Race had
nothing to do with the tragic demise of Eulia
Love, yet thanks to years of politically
correct commentary, most Los Angelenos now
believe it to be an historic fact that she was
a victim of a "racist shooting."
Another notorious case involved Clarence
Chance and Benny Powell, two black men who
spent 17 years in prison for killing a black
L.A. County sheriff. They were freed in
1992--shortly after a spasm of post-Rodney
King guilt swept liberal Los Angeles--because
it was alleged they had been "framed by the
LAPD." The L.A. City Council awarded them $7
million, and the media turned them into
international folk heroes, second only to
Rodney King himself as symbols of racial
injustice in America .
The truth is that Chance and Powell were
released due to an expedient and highly
symbolic decision by L.A. officials. With
Daryl Gates, Mark Fuhrman, and the rest of the
LAPD on the roasting spit, nobody dared
question claims of an LAPD racist frame-up. It
didn't seem to matter that the murder victim
was black, or that the eyewitness who
identified Chance and Powell was black, or
that 17 years later she stuck to her ID.
Upon his release, Benny Powell, now a
millionaire, was feted on TV talk shows. He
also embarked on a rampage of drugs, rape,
beatings, car chases, and shootings. One
shootout landed him in the hospital--between
two paid speaking engagements. After a brutal
day-long cocaine-fueled motel rape of a UCLA
student (in which he employed an ax handle as
his raping tool), he was finally arrested for
good when a witness saw Powell in a field
chasing a nude woman with her hands tied
behind her as Powell beat her with a stick.
Nobody in the media ever interviewed the
UCLA coed except me. I remember her
thousand-mile stare, a life ruined, as she
explained why she had agreed to go on a road
trip with Benny Powell. "I thought he was
found innocent," she stated, having read all
about Benny Powell in the Los Angeles Times,
including what a sad victim and genuine hero
he was. Her innocence combined with
politically correct lies nearly cost her her
The Nazi cops myth
The O. J. Simpson verdict just two years
later, which ended with the judgment that O.
J. had been framed, was built on the
assumption that LAPD detective Mark Fuhrman
was a racist. When I wrote a story for Los
Angeles magazine on Fuhrman's former partners,
none of them, including blacks and Hispanics,
believed he was racist. One black female cop
who had only praise for Fuhrman begged me not
to quote her because, she explained, "it would
ruin my career and my life." The Oscar Joel
Bryant Association, the LAPD's black officers
group, would blackball her. Her kids would
come home from school crying that she was an
In another feature I wrote for the same
magazine, about L.A. cops who retired to Idaho
, I brushed up against the virulent anti-cop
bias of many reporters, which helped form the
mindset of the O. J. jurors. So many L.A. cops
retire near Coeur d'Alene , Idaho , that they
have an annual retired-LAPD barbecue there.
Police officers move there for affordable
housing, and because it is a hunter's and
fisherman's paradise. But that's not what the
public was told Mark Fuhrman wanted up there.
The week after Fuhrman moved to Sandpoint
, Idaho , the founder of the white
supremacist group Aryan Nations, Richard
Butler, was quoted from nearby Hayden Lake by
every national TV network, wire service, and
newspaper. In each interview (a swastika
visible over his shoulder), Butler claimed
that cops who came to Idaho were racists. The
media never questioned the assertion.
I was the only reporter who bothered to
fly up to Butler's Hayden Lake "compound"
(five small clapboard shacks in the middle of
the woods) and ask him about his assertions.
Q: "Mr. Butler, do you know Mark Fuhrman?"
A: "Well, no."
Q: "Have you ever talked to Mark Fuhrman?"
A: "Uh, well, no."
Q: "Has Mark Fuhrman ever visited you?"
Q: "Is Mark Fuhrman a member of your organization?"
Q: "Are any cops members of your organization?"
Richard Butler turned out to be a
pathetic, doddering old man. His
"followers"--as many as two at any given
time--were marginal characters more worthy of
pity than fear.
But just before my trip to Idaho, the
Sunday New York Times Magazine had run a cover
story with a two-page photo of a Hayden Lake
cross-burning. Millions of people saw that
picture. What they didn't know was that
only five people witnessed the event in
person: Richard Butler with his German
Shepherd, two of Butler's followers, and the
Times photo-grapher and his assistant--for
whose benefit the cross had been set aflame in
the first place. Mike Feiler, managing editor
of the Coeur d'Alene Press, described to me
the reporters who had swarmed the area after
Fuhrman's arrival: "Every one of them has come
in here with marching orders, not to get the
truth, but to get the story of white
supremacist cops in north Idaho."
The Aryan Nations is a powerless group
listened to by nobody. But the Times
newspapers of Los Angeles and New York
influence millions of people every day. And
they rarely pass up an opportunity to lambaste
"the racist LAPD" and drive a wedge into the
heart of my city.
When diversity trumps truth and justice
Three decades of deplorable coverage of
Los Angeles policing--from Rodney King to O.
J. to Rampart and now Devin Brown--have left
all Americans with a horrific legacy. Today,
cops all across the United States battle a foe
as destructive as crime itself: the
presumption of common prejudice. "You only
stopped me because I'm black."
This view has been fanned by a media
elite which has made "diversity" its virtual
religion. Since the late 1980s, newspapers
have mandated diversity management seminars,
held multicultural weekend retreats, and hired
diversity consultants to remake their
newsrooms and reporting guidelines. Editors'
salaries are often based on the number of
minorities they hire and promote. There are
editorial guidelines for racial and ethnic
balance in sourcing. Minorities are encouraged
to complain about any perceived slights to
their particular group, and to challenge the
assumptions of "the white male hegemony." At
one point the Los Angeles Times put a hiring
freeze on white males, and issued highly
tendentious style guides to its writers, along
with lists of forbidden "insensitive" terms.
Minority journalists regularly circulate
petitions demanding that un-P.C. colleagues be
chastised or fired. They demand meetings with
management to discuss editorial
transgressions. The chill that this racial
mau-mauing exerts on frank reporting is
profound. When someone in the newsroom cries
"racism," "sexism," or "homophobia," everyone
backs away. Even the most dedicated reporters
eventually give up and stop following leads on
stories they know will never see print, and
could even lead to persecution.
Hence, most of the elite media's sins are
now sins of omission--the stories never told.
Propaganda, as Orwell said, is in what gets
left out. This syndrome extends far beyond
reporting on crime and policing. To
demonstrate "moral neutrality," terrorists are
no longer identified as terrorists at many
publications; AIDS is misrepresented as a
primarily heterosexual disease in the
West in order to show sensitivity to gays;
troubling realities that plague our urban
underclass, like illegitimacy, welfare
dependency, and criminal behavior, are
ignored. These evasions cause problems to be
mis- and undiagnosed, and lead to millions of
misspent dollars and unnecessary deaths.
But the literal life-and-death risks of
political correctness are nowhere more visible
than in policing. Blind eyes have been turned
to the grave risks created by quota hiring,
lowered standards, the fomenting of racialized
suspicions in the citizenry, P.C. policies
toward aliens and immigrants, draconian
restraint of officers in the field, the
explosion of complaints and lawsuits that
shake down officers with claims of harassment
and excessive force.
Meanwhile, police-attackers like Sara
Jane Olson are often lionized. In 2001, Olson
finally pled guilty to her role in placing a
bomb under an LAPD squad car in 1975. But the
'60s radical had turned "respectable"
Minnesota housewife during her years on the
run, and generated sympathy from the left-wing
aristocracy as deep as the outrage she
inspired from police officers. She became one
more focal point for the political forces that
have long embraced violent outlaws like the
Black Panthers and various criminals and gang
members when they become locked in conflicts
with law enforcement.
These Sara Janes in policy-making
positions, activist organizations, law
offices, and newsrooms have wreaked more havoc
on civic peace and safe streets than any bomb
placed under a squad car. Radicals no longer
call for people to "Kill the Pigs," they now
bring down whole police departments with
procedural coups. They turned "motorist Rodney
King" (a violent, intoxicated,
out-of-control, fleeing felon) into an
international symbol of racial injustice, and
the 1992 L.A. riots into a political
"uprising." They have assassinated the
character of scores of officers, and painted
the whole department as racist. They have
pandered to the paranoia that "O. J. was
framed by the LAPD," and turned the
indispensable tool of "criminal profiling"
into the unacceptable horror of "racial
profiling." They shut down the LAPD's
Intelligence Division, making it (among other
things) impossible for the city to identify
foreign terrorists. They have fostered a view
of police officers as bullies and oppressors
not to be cooperated with. Collectively, the
Sara Janes have made it nearly impossible for
the LAPD to suppress gangs, control drugs,
arrest criminals, or keep the peace. The
result is that many neighborhoods (though not
the wealthy ones the Sara Janes live in) are
run by hoodlums, and thousands of innocents
live in fear.
The victims of political correctness
Los Angeles County averages 1,000 murders
every year, two thirds of them carried out by
gangs. Most of the victims never make the
papers (though every charge of "racial
profiling" by an ACLU attorney gets
headlines). After the Rampart scandal, L.A.'s
anti-gang units were disbanded, leaving the
gang-directed narcotics trade virtually
unpoliced. During the year that followed,
crime increased 10 percent, and the murder
rate rose 25 percent, while arrests dropped 25
percent. The best cops fled to jobs at more
supportive departments and communities.
By 2001, the LAPD was 884 officers short
of full strength. Half the cops on the street
suddenly had less than five years experience.
The remaining veterans continued to leave in
droves; at some divisions, 40 percent of the
officers were applying for jobs at other
departments. The attrition rate was double the
hiring rate. Special units were disbanded or
cannibalized just to keep officers on the
"We have money to hire officers but we
can't get them," explained Dennis Zine of the
Los Angeles Police Protective League in 2001.
Good candidates "won't go to a police
department in turmoil. And the message in the
recent verdicts is that Los Angelenos are
going to believe the gangbangers. There's a
'hang the cops at the airport' mentality."
Zine was so appalled by the city's failed
leadership that he ran for city council, and
won. "The city leaders were culpable for
allowing the LAPD to get into a situation
where officers were afraid to do their jobs.
And they cost the taxpayers millions. They
settled every lawsuit. They rolled over and
accepted a consent decree. They wouldn't fight
for the department."
Local newspapers suggested officers were
leaving because they had suddenly found more
convenient schedules, fatter benefits, or
better retirement packages at other
departments. But the real issues driving cops
away, wholly ignored by the media, were racial
suspicions, absurd constraints, and the
hostile complaint system imposed upon the LAPD
by politically correct "reformers."
Any citizen complaint, no matter how
petty, was required to be fully investigated, a
process that could take as long as a year,
stalling promotions, raises, or transfers, and
blackening an officer's name. For a while,
the LAPD was investigating ten times the
number of complaints as most departments.
Nearly one third of all LAPD man-hours were
spent investigating each other. And the
gangbangers knew this. By filing a complaint,
they could "jam up" a cop--while
simultaneously taking another officer off the
streets to investigate the complaint.
In response, the LAPD resorted to a
"3-12" work schedule. This allows cops to work
three 12-hour shifts while taking the rest of
the week off. The mass exodus of officers
stopped, but no one asked why "the nation's
best police department" needed to give its
employees four days off every week (one third
of them now hold a second job during that
time) to make them stay.
This coincided with the arrival of Bill
Bratton as L.A.'s new police chief in 2002.
The renowned former Boston and New York City
chief knew he had to take emergency measures
to stanch the bleeding at the department, and
he has. By most accounts, Bratton has pulled
the department back from the precipice with a
combination of good leadership, smart
personnel choices, a return to reasonable
discretion in the complaint process (reformers
be damned), along with some tireless
hand-holding with the black community.
The result has been an 18 percent decline
in violent crime from the recent peaks.
Bratton has won the respect of citizens and
officers alike, achieving an 85 percent vote
of confidence among the police rank and file.
But the LAPD still has 215 fewer officers than
when Bratton arrived. A ballot initiative
that would have provided funding for an
additional 1,260 officers failed to pass last
November--in part due to the anti-police
attitudes long fomented among Los Angelenos.
"The LAPD is struggling to hold off an inferno
of criminal activity," Bratton has said of
his undermanned force. "As soon as the
department puts out one fire by mustering its
scarce resources to respond to a flashpoint of
violent crime, the violence jumps to a new
Despite Bratton's admirable improvements,
the LAPD remains on a knife's edge, one
politicized incident away from disaster. How
will the media and local citizens react to the
next "racial incident"? Has anyone learned
anything from the disaster of the last
Cops and Gender P.C.
By Erica Walter
An Atlanta courthouse was recently the
scene of slaughter as a six-foot-one former
linebacker awaiting trial for rape took the
gun from his lone guard, a five-foot,
50-something grandmother. After murdering a
judge, a court reporter, and a deputy, Brian
Nichols allegedly killed a fourth person
before kidnapping Ashley Smith at two o'clock
in the morning, taking her back to her
apartment, and tying the young woman up in her
The story ended with a twist: The
murderous chaos the first woman allowed to
erupt was ended by the second woman, as Ashley
Smith in just a few hours managed to gain the
man's trust, and then to change his course
from violence to peace. The gunman let Smith
go and surrendered to the police around noon.
Almost no press stories dared say much
about the politically incorrect aspect of this
bloodbath: that a 210-pound man charged with a
violent crime, who only a week before had
been found with metal shanks hidden in his
socks, should not have been guarded by a
petite grandmother who had been forced to take
remedial firearms training the year before.
This and other similar stories confirm that,
whether anyone cares to admit it, sex
differences remain a powerful fact of
life--and when ignored in fields like policing
can have deadly repercussions.
Take the Rodney King arrest. When an
intoxicated King zoomed past California
Highway Patrol officer Melanie Singer, she
started a high-speed pursuit. By the time he
stopped, several LAPD cops had joined the
chase and watched as Singer, not a physically
prepossessing woman, approached the large,
bizarrely acting King with her gun drawn. This
dangerous tack was too much for the LAPD
cops, who pulled rank, told Singer to "stand
back," and took over the arrest. The most
experienced officers on the scene became upset
when Singer approached King with her gun
drawn. They envisioned bad
consequences--either an unarmed suspect
needlessly shot (as would apparently happen a
few months later in a Washington, D.C. case)
or (as we just saw in Atlanta) a large
criminal taking a small female cop's gun and
inflicting mayhem. Or, one other LAPD cop
worried, the criminal may lunge at the woman
and cause the less experienced officers at the
scene to shoot them both in a desperate
attempt to save her.
The Rodney King arrest involves many
other issues besides female cops, but in
Official Negligence, his definitive history of
the case, Washington Post reporter Lou Cannon
makes clear that the LAPD veterans were
legitimately disturbed at Melanie Singer's
actions. King's reaction to the fact that it
was a female cop barking orders at him was
part of the problem. He was disrespectful and
sexual: "He grabbed his butt with both hands
and began to shake and gyrate his fanny in a
sexually suggestive fashion," Stacey Koon of
the LAPD stated. The chain of events that
followed led to the 1992 Los Angeles riots
that raged for six days, leaving 34 people
dead, 1,032 injured, and millions of dollars
of property stolen and destroyed.
A smaller but also traumatic incident
that occurred in Washington, D.C. a couple of
months after King's arrest was perhaps a more
representative example of the same problem. In
the Mount Pleasant neighborhood, whose
population includes many poor Latino
immigrants, two Hispanic men were drunk and
disorderly, according to the initial police
report. As they were being arrested by two
female police officers, Girsel Del Valle and
her rookie partner Angela Jewell, a third man,
Daniel Enrique Gomez, became disorderly. As
the officers tried to subdue Gomez, a fourth
man began to assault the cops, who by now
numbered three women and one man. Gomez was
not fully handcuffed; he pulled out a knife
and thrust it at Jewell. Drawing her revolver
while backing away, she ordered him to drop
the knife. He lunged at her, and she shot him.
That is not, however, the way other
Latinos who were watching the arrest saw
things, and they became angry because they
thought the shooting unjustified. Some said
that they saw no knife and that the man who
was shot had both hands behind his back,
although they admitted he was walking toward
Jewell and using foul language. Within hours,
riots broke out in Mount Pleasant and
adjoining neighborhoods and continued through
the next two nights, resulting in hundreds of
thousands of dollars in damage to cars and
At trial, the police dropped any claim
that Gomez had lunged at Jewell with the
knife, and the "fourth man" disappeared from
the story. Given these discrepancies and the
fierce anger of nearby observers, one may
suspect that Gomez, who was drunk and probably
using foul language, while approaching
Jewell, managed both to offend and frighten
her, which led to her shooting him, perhaps
A veteran detective, who asked to remain
anonymous, reports having seen similar
problems again and again. He points out that
very few men measuring five to five-and-a-half
feet tall, 100 to 130 pounds, are hired, yet
most female officers fit that description and
are in danger of being overpowered by big
thugs. (A few years ago, the LAPD, in reaction
to pressure from feminist groups, even
dropped its requirement that officers be at
least five feet tall.) "Most bad guys fall
into two categories," reports the detective.
"Either they show no respect to female cops
because they know they can take them, or they
fear female cops because they know the women
know they can be taken and will shoot
He also observes that typical men who
become cops "have already been exposed to the
fist fights, pushing matches, and other
physical contact of the job. They also read
other men better--the physical stances,
clenching of fists, rolling up on the balls of
the feet to get ready to fight." Most male
cops, but few female ones, have also played
contact sports and had some exposure to
firearms. They've bloodied and been bloodied
by others. He says male cops, in his
experience, are also more likely to enjoy gun
practice and physical exercise, and more
likely to be experienced and competent at the
aggressive high-speed driving sometimes
required of officers. Conversely, most of the
women couldn't carry a wounded officer to
safety, though he adds, "Some would try. It
isn't a case of bravery or sacrifice. It's a
matter of strength."
None of this means we should denigrate
the risks and sacrifices made by women police,
or that all male cops are excellent.
Another complicating factor in the Rodney
King case was a male officer who wasn't in
good physical shape, hadn't mastered his
baton, and didn't keep his composure once the
fight broke out. That only further illustrates
the importance of strength, size, weapons
proficiency, and mental toughness.
One study of public safety officers found
that the women had only half to two thirds
the upper body strength, and half to four
fifths the lower body strength of male
counterparts. Presumably this explains the
finding by AEI economist John Lott, drawing on
U.S. Department of Justice statistics, that
increasing the number of female officers in a
police force by 1 percentage point appears to
increase assaults on police by 15 to 19
Women can be amazingly courageous. Ashley
Smith's taming of the Atlanta shooter proves
that. At one point the murderer told Smith to
follow him in her car while he drove a stolen
truck. She could have escaped then, but didn't
because she feared if she did, he would kill
But when the murderer put his guns down
in her apartment, Smith didn't grab them and
try to overpower him, tough-guy style. Instead
of using the classic masculine virtues, she
used the classic feminine ones. She listened
to him, cooked him breakfast, opened up her
heart and persuaded him to open up his.
She encouraged him by telling him she had
faith in his ability to make amends for the
wrongs he'd committed, and she urged him to
improve his life. The hope Smith held out for
him was not that some judge would let him off,
but that once he was in prison he could share
the Christian faith he and Smith had in
common, with other inmates. It was Smith's
"gentle" virtues--and perhaps that they were
displayed by a woman--that made this violent
man willing to drop his guard and act right.
These same virtues are why women are
often excellent police officers outside of the
aspects of the job that involve violence and
physical confrontation. As policing expert and
former TAE editor Eli Lehrer points out:
Policing is fundamentally a helping
profession, and the non-violent parts of the
job involve talking with people and human
relations--things that women are generally
better at than men. For some crimes, like
domestic violence, women are better at dealing
with it in almost all cases. Women also do a
better job building cases based on detailed
evidence, like solving car break-ins. Male
cops are perpetrators in 95 percent of police
bribery cases. They're not as good at report
writing (the key to getting bad guys locked
up). Good departments, therefore, need both
male and female officers.
The key, then, is for police forces to
respect the reality that male and female
officers are not interchangeable. The
real-world results of pretending are ugly.
They can be seen on the Atlanta videotape
showing Brian Nichols smashing a grandmother's
head on the courthouse floor, sending her to
the hospital in critical condition before he
sends four more victims to the morgue.
Our refusal to acknowledge differences
between men and women, and the ways those
differences affect our social interactions,
can be called many things. Just don't call it
progress for women.
Erica Walter is a mother and writer in
Prosthetics: State of the Art and Beyond
prosthetic legs of a Paralympic Military Sports Camp participant frame
U.S. Navy volunteers at Balboa Naval Medical Center in San Diego,
Calif., Oct. 5, 2010. Prosthetics today have progressed far beyond the
state of the art a decade ago. DoD photo by Mass Communications
Specialist 3rd Class Travis K. Mendoza, U.S. Navy|
the past few years, increased funding and effort have gone into
pushing the boundaries of the possible, of going beyond even the most advanced traditional prosthetics
to technologies that have long been the staple of science fiction, not
clinical reality. These include bone and tissue regeneration, hand and
face transplants, biomechanical interfaces (which could provide brain
control of prosthetic arms and hands, being able to "feel" objects,
etc.), cloning replacement parts using the recipient's own DNA to avoid
rejection, and more.
all began with a change in attitude and perspective among doctors,
both those in the battlespace dealing with wounded warfighters in the
"golden hour" after injury and those at advanced treatment and
rehabilitation facilities in the United States and at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, the first stop between combat and CONUS for most severely wounded warriors.
in the war there were issues related to the salvaging of limbs. When
we discovered better ways to do that, we got that information to the
field to ensure all limbs that can be saved are saved," Dr. Jonathan
Woodson, the assistant secretary of Defense-Health Affairs, said. "So
the system has done a good job of being a learning organization and
improving strategies for care."
Woodson (an Army Reserve brigadier general), Air Force Lt. Col.
Michael R. Davis, chief of Reconstructive Surgery & Regenerative
Medicine at the Army Institute of Surgical Research (ISR)
- has served as a combat surgeon. His experiences in theater and at
USAF hospitals in the United States led him to focus on finding faster
and less painful ways to improve both functionality and aesthetics for
warfighters with extremities loss or severe damage.
a surgeon stationed in Afghanistan, I witnessed firsthand the impact
of that on our troops and, back here, I have seen an increasing
capability in being able to care for these injured soldiers," he said.
"We have a great responsibility to develop techniques and technologies
for those in need. And with the conflicts drawing to a close, there will
be a heavy emphasis within the military medical community to further
Marine Corps Sgt. Jordan Pierson climbs a 30-foot rock-climbing wall
during a therapy session in the new Comprehensive Combat and Complex
Casualty Care (C5) facility. C5 is a program of care that manages
severely injured or ill patients from medical evacuation through
inpatient care, outpatient rehabilitation, and their return to active
duty or transition from the military. Prosthetics today must be designed
with active-duty personnel in mind, because many amputees are
choosing to remain in the armed forces. U.S. Navy photo by Mass
Communications Specialist 2nd Class Greg Mitchell
"In the past, the standard was to reconstruct everyone,
every possible limb. But over time, as prosthetics have become more
advanced and the benefit of a prosthesis has gone up, we have seen many
cases where patients are more debilitated than they would have been
with primary amputation. That has caused a paradigm shift in the
orthopedic and reconstruction communities about how they feel about
reconstruction versus primary amputation and prosthesis."
The new prosthetics provide more than just better functionality, added Lt. Col. John M. Scherer, director of the Army's Clinical and Rehabilitative Medicine Research Program (CRMRP), they offer the prospect of a return to duty or a far more "normal" civilian life.
prosthetics before were not designed with a highly active 20-year-old
amputee in mind. In addition, we now are looking at them from a combat
environment requirement, because we have deployed people back into the
combat zone with lower extremity prostheses," he explained.
the military, they normally don't have to be waterproof or sandproof
because, if the weather is bad in the U.S. and you have a powered
prosthetic limb, you either don't go out or make sure it is protected
from the weather. You can't do that in combat, so there have been
changes to make the batteries last longer and function in harsh
environments - sand, heat, water, exposure - as well as giving them
additional functions, such as the ability to go backwards."
is working with the Military Amputee Research Program to capitalize on
advancements in neural interfaces, nanotechnology, and prosthetic
design to improve foot and knee prosthetics, knee prosthetic control,
and haptic [touch] feedback. Their coordinated research is designed to
improve prosthetic performance through advanced clinical practices and
strategies, but also will contribute to the overall advancement beyond
The vast majority of advances during the current conflict have involved replacing amputated feet and legs.
in the knee have replaced control by the physics of the prosthetic
movement. Basically, that makes you fall less and your gait is closer
to normal, so you don't injure the healthy limb. From that perspective,
there has been a huge improvement in the ability to walk in a normal
way compared to how you would have moved prior to these advancements,"
really has not been a lot of effort in changing the current state of
the art for upper extremities - which includes the 'hook' that has been
used for quite a while. There are lots of reasons for that, but DARPA's [the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's] prosthetics
program has brought a lot of robotic improvements to upper extremity
devices and we hope to go into clinical trials soon. Most of the
biomechanical neural interfaces to prosthetic limbs also are being done
by DARPA. And that is the holy grail - making the prosthetic work with a
neural interface, with feedback, so you can actually feel in your
'fingertips' what you are touching and do direct movement."
in lower limb prosthetics that have enabled many amputees to regain a
more normal life also have resulted in a new development that concerns
many in military medicine: Warfighters whose damaged feet or legs were
saved by advances in battlefield and follow-up surgery asking to have
the limb amputated anyway because they believe a prosthetic would give
them greater functionality than their reduced capability real foot or
leg. Those advances also give warfighters other "positive" arguments
who undergoes primary amputation will heal and get through the process
of rehab much faster. Someone who undergoes limb salvage could face 10
or more operations over a period of years before they see adequate
healing and rehabilitation - if they ever get to a point of full
functionality. So it requires very careful patient selection for
complex reconstruction and who we recommend for primary amputation and
fitting of an advanced prosthesis," Davis said, but added new options
are becoming available. "You can't compare a prosthesis to a natural
limb, but you can compare it to a reconstructed limb using techniques
such as free tissue transfers and bone grafting."
1st Class Leroy Petry salutes former Chief of Staff of the Army Gen.
George W. Casey Jr. with his prosthetic hand at the Center for the
Intrepid on Fort Sam Houston, Texas, Nov. 17, 2008. Prety received the
Medal of Honor on July 12, 2011. U.S. Army photo by D. Myles Cullen
medical research has been an isolated pursuit, both in terms of
competition in academia and industry and in a single-issue or
application focus, such as brain injuries, orthopaedics, dentistry, etc.
In recent years, however, the U.S. Military Health System has sought
to bring multiple university and commercial researchers and disciplines
together to pursue specific issues but also to share knowledge and
find new applications for what works in one area to the needs of
Robert G. Hale, commander of the Army Dental Corps' Dental and Trauma
Research Detachment (DTRD), spends the majority of his time on issues
related to regenerating bone, tissue, muscle, and nerves, including
face transplants, and ways to block or kill biofilm, which causes
plaque and gum disease in the mouth but also keeps open wounds from
healing. Tapping into DoD-sponsored multidiscipline research has
brought new solutions to his concerns, while DTRD advances are finding
applications in amputation and prosthetics - and moving beyond both.
bone regeneration biomaterials, better than our most recent
capabilities, could improve patient outcomes with fewer and less
invasive surgeries, both for craniofacial and limb salvage. Another
advance is adipose fat, which regenerates very quickly. If we can tap
into the regenerative abilities we know exist in fat and place that into
a wound, it can heal with less scarring and improve mobility anywhere
on the body there is movement," he said.
follow-on, perhaps starting next year, will be a stem cell-enriched
fat. We may not be able to regenerate an arm muscle in the next 10
years, but maybe in 15 or 20 years we can slide a scaffold under the
skin, then inject stem cells that will homein on that scaffold and help
patients recover better."
scaffolds are considered the medical implants of the future. Made of
fully degradable biomaterials, they support cells at the site of injury
and assist the body in growing new, functional tissue. Once that new
tissue has successfully replaced damaged or lost tissue, the body's
natural systems will dissolve and recycle the scaffold."
the cells used in that process are either produced synthetically or
taken from the patient's body and processed for application to the
wound or transplant area. That process is expected to become
substantially more successful with the use of stem cells -
unspecialized cells with the ability to transform into specialized cells
in the body. Adult stem cells, recently found to be both more
plentiful and more adaptable than previously thought, are at the center
of many medical research programs.
those efforts cannot regenerate entire limbs - yet - in combination
with bioactive factors and biomaterials, stem cells can form new bone,
nerves, and soft tissue (skin, tendons, muscles, blood vessels) to
replace damaged tissues and speed recovery. Even if salamander-like
limb regrowth does become possible, however, growing a new hand, arm,
foot, or leg that would be a true part of the patient's body may have
more drawbacks than advantages.
are studies under way to figure out how other organisms can regenerate
body tissues and hopefully translate that into a human ability to do
the same. The answer probably will lie with stem cells, but to
regenerate something as complex as a hand is still science fiction,"
another hundred years, will we be further along in terms of that kind
of capability? Yes. The problem is, when someone needs a functionalized
limb, growing one can cause substantial delay. So even if that becomes
possible in the future, the time involved to complete the process may
advances in limb salvage that return the damaged hand or leg to an
acceptable level of function and appearance are seen as the best hope
to avoid future amputations. For those who already have lost a limb or
future wounded warriors whose limbs cannot be saved, if full
regeneration is not a viable option, the ultimate answer may lie in
improved biomechanical interfaces and - for hands, at least -
transplants, from human donors or using hands cloned from the patient's
Rear Adm. Elaine
Wagner, director of Medical Resources Plans and Policy Division and
chief of the Navy Dental Corps, is shown the advanced features of
various prosthetics by Dr. Joanne Smith, president and chief executive
officer of the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, during a Chicago
Navy Week 2011 event. U.S. Navy photo by Valerie A. Kremer
Because a cloned limb would take as long to
grow into adult size and appearance as the original, that source for a
hand transplant would be a long-term solution, requiring some other
approach immediately after amputation. While using a donated hand for
transplant appears to offer the best choice, as with any surgical
procedure, it has drawbacks, including an average 16-hour operation -
twice that of a heart transplant. Finding a match also is more
difficult than with a heart - in addition to all the usual blood and
tissue match requirements, it also has to match the recipient's age,
sex, hand size, and skin color.
is a debate over what would make a hand transplant standard care. For a
bilateral hand amputee, there is no better way to rehabilitate someone
than through a transplant. But what if it is a single hand - either
dominant or non-dominant? Those questions are still subject to
determination, and whether they are still experimental or part of
standard care is still a great debate within the military and civilian
medical communities," Davis explained.
needs to be great collaboration among the facilities doing these
procedures to answer those questions and advance the field. And we are
seeing that, with centers coming together and forming groups to answer
these questions. We really need to go forth responsibly, not just doing
transplants because we can, but because we should. Ultimately, those
are patient decisions, but we need to be in the best position to
recommend a course of care."
One of those facilities is the Atlanta VA Medical Center and its affiliate, Emory University, where Dr. Linda Cendales performs hand transplants and is conducting a new VA study tracking transplant patients.
my experience, patients report the new hand has been better for them
than the prostheses they were wearing," she said. "It's a human hand,
not a device. The hand recovers sensation and patients are able to
perform activities such as turning doorknobs, holding the newspaper,
tying their shoes. It's not a life-saving organ - it's a
have a multidisciplinary team that is patient-centered. Our program
aims to provide another option for a selected group of patients and to
provide the best options overall for our amputees. If it's a
prosthesis, the best prosthesis; if it's a hand, the best-matched human
other leading option for the future is a greatly improved
biomechanical interface - linking the amputee's living tissue to a
prosthesis. Some elements of that already are available, some are in or
close to beginning clinical trials, some are still in the lab, and, for
a few, science and technology have not yet advanced far enough to move
them from science fiction to science fact.
that recently did make that transition is 3-D bio-printing - similar
to industrial fast prototyping, where a solid object is built, layer by
layer, from special plastics or other materials. In this case,
researchers at Wake Forest University have
successfully "printed" human skin. While a revolutionary leap in
current technology, it may be years from wide-scale clinical use for
other body parts.
able to print biological materials, such as skin, will greatly advance
our ability to create functionalized synthetic reconstructive tissues.
It holds a lot of promise, but bio tissues are complex and much more
difficult to synthesize and print than industrial materials," Davis
noted. "So I think that capability will come, but not in the near
the meantime, tissue regeneration in vitro, using processed body cells
or adult stem cells, may be combined with new titanium bone implants
to resolve a number of problems with the interface of prosthetics and
human bodies. First on that list is bacteria entering the space where
the prosthetic connects to the body; second is the body's tendency to
reject the prosthetic as a "foreign body."
are being addressed by VA-sponsored research led by Thomas Webster,
associate professor of engineering and orthopaedics at Brown
University. Webster's team has developed two techniques, which may work
together: first, modifying the surface of titanium leg implants to
promote cell growth and create a natural skin layer to seal the gap;
second, covering the implant connection point with a molecular chain of
proteins to hasten skin growth.
definitely have a complete layer of skin," Webster said of the
process. "There's no more gap for the bacteria to go through."
prosthetics and how they connect to and work with the body, and
developing new techniques to replace prosthetics or even avoid the need
for amputation are subjects of active and intense research across the
DoD, VA, academia, and industry. While spurred by a modern record
number of severe combat limb injuries and amputations, it is an effort
that will continue long after the last U.S. warfighter leaves
biggest point to all this is we have a responsibility to get the best
possible outcome for our wounded service members, who risk their lives
every day and many suffer devastating injuries. I've seen these
injuries firsthand while stationed in Bagram [Air Base, Afghanistan]
and, knowing our current capabilities, realized the long-term outcome
was not nearly as good as we could achieve. And they deserve the best
outcome possible," Davis concluded.
within the military have the capability to advance these techniques,
which in combination with top-level support and funding for this
research, creates an environment where we can help them. What this does
is create hope for our warfighters, which is one of the most positive
outcomes of what we do, that a wounded service member can regain
functionality they lost to injury."
This article first appeared in The Year in Veterans Affairs & Military Medicine: 2011-2012 Edition.
China's first aircraft carrier
spotted at sea
DENVER - A commercial U.S. satellite company said it has captured a
photo of China's first aircraft carrier in the Yellow Sea off the
Inc. said Wednesday one of its satellites photographed the carrier
Dec. 8. A DigitalGlobe analyst found the image Tuesday while searching
Wood, director of DigitalGlobe's analysis center, said he's confident
the ship is the Chinese carrier because of the location and date of the
photo. The carrier was on a sea trial at the time.
based in Longmont, Colorado, sells satellite imagery and analysis to
clients that include the U.S. military, emergency response agencies and
private companies. DigitalGlobe has three orbiting satellites and a
fourth is under construction.
aircraft carrier has generated intense international interest because
of what it might portend about China's intentions as a military power.
former Soviet Union started building the carrier, which it called the
Varyag, but never finished it. When the Soviet Union collapsed, it
ended up in the hands of Ukraine, a former Soviet republic.
bought the ship from Ukraine in 1998 and spent years refurbishing it.
It had no engines, weaponry or navigation systems when China acquired
has said the carrier is intended for research and training, which has
led to speculation that it plans to build future copies.
initially said little about its plans for the carrier but has been
more open in recent years, said Bonnie S. Glaser, a China expert at the
Center for Strategic and International Studies.
wasn't until the Chinese actually announced they were sending it out
on a trial run they admitted, `Yes, we are actually launching a
carrier,"' she said.
China publicly announced two sea trials for the carrier that occurred this year, she said.
carrier's progress is in line with the U.S. military's expectations,
said Cmdr. Leslie Hull-Ryde, a Defense Department spokeswoman.
Defense Department report to Congress this year said the carrier could
become operationally available to the Chinese navy by the end of next
year but without aircraft.
that point, it will take several additional years before the carrier
has an operationally viable air group," Hull-Ryde said in an email.
She declined to comment on the DigitalGlobe photo, saying it was an intelligence matter.
tell of killing 'Bert' Laden
Upset by the official account, US
Navy Seals commandos reveal the
truth of the raid that killed
Osama Bin Laden, nicknames and all.
Bin Laden was killed within 90 seconds of the
US Navy Seals landing in his compound and not
after a protracted gun battle, according to the
first account by the men who carried out the
raid. The operation was so clinical that only 12
bullets were fired.
Seals have spoken out because they were angered at
the version given by politicians, which they see as
portraying them as cold-blooded murderers on a "kill
mission". They were also shocked that
President Barack Obama announced Bin Laden's death
on television the same evening, rendering useless
much of the intelligence they had seized.
Pfarrer, a former commander of Seal Team 6, which
conducted the operation, has interviewed many of
those who took part for a book, Seal Target
Geronimo, to be published in the US this week.
Seals' own accounts differ from the White House
version, which gave the impression that Bin Laden
was killed at the end of the operation rather than
in its opening seconds. Pfarrer insists Bin Laden
would have been captured had he surrendered.
isn't a politician in the world who could resist
trying to take credit for getting Bin Laden but it
devalued the 'intel' and gave time for every other
Al-Qaeda leader to scurry to another bolthole," said
Pfarrer. "The men who did this and their valorous
act deserve better. It's a pretty shabby way to
treat these guys."
first hint of the mission came in January last year
when the team's commanding officer was called to a
meeting at the headquarters of joint special
operations command. The meeting was held in a
soundproof bunker three story's below ground with
his boss, Admiral William McRaven, and a CIA
told him a walled compound in Pakistan had been
under surveillance for a couple of weeks. They were
certain a high-value individual was inside and
needed a plan to present to the president.
had to be someone important. "So is this Bert or
Ernie?" he asked. The Seals' nicknames for Bin Laden
and his deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri are a reference to
two Muppets in Sesame Street, one tall and thin and
the other short and fat. "We have a voice print,"
said the CIA officer, "and we're 60% or 70% certain
it's our guy." McRaven added that a reconnaissance
satellite had measured the target's shadow. "Over
McRaven added they would use Ghost Hawk
helicopters, the team leader had no doubt. "These
are the most classified, sophisticated stealth
helicopters ever developed," said Pfarrer. "They are
kept in locked hangars and fly so quiet we call it
the next couple of months a plan was hatched. A
mock-up of the compound was built at Tall Pines, an
army facility in a national forest somewhere in the
reconnaissance satellites were placed in orbit over
the compound, sending back video and communications
intercepts. A tall figure seen walking up and down
was named "the Pacer".
gave the go-ahead and Seal Team 6, known as the
Jedi, was deployed to Afghanistan. The White House
cancelled plans to provide air cover using jet
fighters, fearing this might endanger relations with
in the Ghost Hawks without air cover was considered
too risky so the Seals had to use older Stealth
Hawks. A Prowler electronic warfare aircraft from
the carrier USS Carl Vinson was used to jam
Pakistan's radar and create decoy targets.
Neptune's Spear was initially planned for April 30
but bad weather delayed it until May 1, a moonless
night. The commandos flew on two Stealth Hawks,
codenamed Razor 1 and 2, followed by two Chinooks
five minutes behind, known as "Command Bird" and the
"gun platform". On board, each Seal was clad in
body armour and night vision goggles and equipped
with laser targets, radios and sawn-off M4 rifles.
They were expecting up to 30 people in the main
house, including Bin Laden and three of his wives,
two sons, Khalid and Hamza, his courier, Abu Ahmed
al- Kuwaiti, four bodyguards and a number of
children. At 56 minutes past midnight the compound
came into sight and the code "Palm Beach" signaled
three minutes to landing.
1 hovered above the main house, a three-storey
building where Bin Laden lived on the top floor.
Twelve Seals abseiled the 5ft-6ft down onto the roof
and then jumped to a third-floor patio, where they
kicked in the windows and entered.
first person the Seals encountered was a terrified
woman, Bin Laden's third wife, Khaira, who ran into
the hall. Blinded by a searing white strobe light
they shone at her, she stumbled back. A Seal grabbed
her by the arm and threw her to the floor.
Laden's bedroom was along a short hall. The door
opened; he popped out and then slammed the door
shut. "Geronimo, Geronimo, Geronimo," radioed one
Seal, meaning "eyes on target".
the same time lights came on from the floor below
and Bin Laden's son Khalid came running up the
stairs towards the Seals. He was shot dead.
Seals kicked in Bin Laden's door. The room, they
later recalled, "smelt like old clothing, like a
guest bedroom in a grandmother's house". Inside was
the Al-Qaeda leader and his youngest wife, Amal, who
was screaming as he pushed her in front of
no, don't do this!" she shouted as her husband
reached across the king-size bed for his AK-47
assault rifle. The Seals reacted instantly, firing
in the same second. One round thudded into the
mattress. The other, aimed at Bin Laden's head,
grazed Amal in the calf. As his hand reached for the
gun, they each fired again: one shot hit his
breastbone, the other his skull, killing him
instantly and blowing out the back of his head.
Razor 2 was heading for the guesthouse, a low,
shoebox-like building, where Bin Laden's courier,
Kuwaiti, and his brother lived.
the helicopter neared, a door opened and two
figures appeared, one waving an AK-47. This was
Kuwaiti. In the moonless night he could see nothing
and lifted his rifle, spraying bullets wildly.
did not see the Stealth Hawk. On board someone
shouted, "Bust him!", and a sniper fired two shots.
Kuwaiti was killed, as was the person behind him,
who turned out to be his wife. Also on board were a
CIA agent, a Pakistani- American who would act as
interpreter, and a sniffer dog called Karo, wearing
dog body armour and goggles.
two minutes the Seals from Razor 2 had cleared the
guesthouse and removed the women and children.
then ran to the main house and entered from the
ground floor, checking the rooms. One of Bin Laden's
bodyguards was waiting with his AK-47. The Seals
shot him twice and he toppled over.
minutes into the operation the command Chinook
landed outside the compound, disgorging the
commanding officer and more men. They blasted
through the compound wall and rushed in.
commander made his way to the third floor, where
Bin Laden's body lay on the floor face up.
Photographs were taken, and the commander called on
his satellite phone to headquarters with the words:
"Geronimo Echo KIA" - Bin Laden enemy killed in
was the first time the White House knew he was dead
and it was probably 20 minutes into the raid," said
sample of Bin Laden's DNA was taken and the body
was bagged. They kept his rifle. It is now mounted
on the wall of their team room at their headquarters
in Virginia Beach, Virginia, alongside photographs
of a dozen colleagues killed in action in the past
this point things started to go wrong. Razor 1 took
off but the top secret "green unit" that controls
the electronics failed. The aircraft went into a
spin and crashed tail-first into the compound.
Seals were alarmed, thinking it had been shot down,
and several rushed to the wreckage. The crew
climbed out, shaken but unharmed.
commanding officer ordered them to destroy Razor 2,
to remove the green unit, and to smash the
avionics. They then laid explosive charges.
loaded Bin Laden's body onto the Chinook along with
the cache of intelligence in plastic bin bags and
headed toward the USS Carl Vinson. As they flew off
they blew up Razor 2. The whole operation had taken
following morning White House officials announced
that the helicopter had crashed as it arrived,
forcing the Seals to abandon plans to enter from the
roof. A photograph of the situation room showed a
shocked Hillary Clinton, the secretary of state,
with her hand to her mouth.
did they get it so wrong? What they were watching
was live video but it was shot from 20,000ft by a
drone circling overhead and relayed in real time to
the White House and Leon Panetta, the CIA director,
in Langley. The Seals were not wearing helmet
cameras, and those watching in Washington had no
idea what was happening inside the buildings.
don't understand our terminology, so when someone
said the 'insertion helicopter' has crashed, they
assumed it meant on entry," said Pfarrer.
infuriated the Seals, according to Pfarrer, was the
description of the raid as a kill mission. "I've
been a Seal for 30 years and I never heard the words
'kill mission'," he said. "It's a Beltway
[Washington insider's] ]fantasy word. If it was a
kill mission you don't need Seal Team 6; you need a
box of hand grenades."
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