Archive for Pentagon

Why did the USA Send a Brain Damaged Soldier to Afghanistan?

Posted in Afghanistan, America, Justice, Muslim, Obama, President, Taliban, Terrorism, USA with tags , , , , on 13/03/2012 by floroy1942

I hate to say it, I really do, but the good old USA have made another major cock-up in Afghanistan right on the heels of the Koran fiasco. As just about everyone on the planet knows by now, a soldier on duty with the American Army is accused of going on a killing rampage and killing 16 innocent civilians in a village in Kandahar Province.

Anger and Indignation

Naturally it has caused an uproar in the country, and everyone from President Karzai down wants him to stand trial in Afghanistan. That of course will never happen, for the one thing the USA is good at is protecting its own, even criminals.

The 39-year-old Staff Sergeant is said to have left the military base and entered  randomly, two houses and shot all the inhabitants. He them walked calmly back to the base and handed himself in.

An Outraged President

The latest news is that he suffered ‘a traumatic brain injury ‘ while on a previous overseas tour in Iraq in 2010 according to an ‘official’. I can already see the ‘insane’ defence peeking around the corner already!

But if this is the result of a previous brain trauma, why was someone in such a mental state sent back into a war zone? Was there not a single Army Medical Doctor who could see that the soldier suffered from a significant mental breakdown? He is reported to have told his family that he did not wish to go to Afghanistan and was obviously in a depressed state at the prospect. I cannot believe that this Staff Sergeant was the only man who could do the job required and that no-one else could be sent in his place.

What happened is despicable, and is certainly on a par with the spate of mass killings that have taken place at various schools across the USA in recent years. It is yet another massive blemish on the record of the US Armed Forces in foreign fields.

Apologies Fall on Deaf Ears

Sure, everyone from President Obama down to the tea boy in the Pentagon has apologised, but that has flown away like a feather in a gale and impresses no-one, least of all the families of those who died. I doubt even a few thousand dollars of compensation will come even close to mending the last remaining crumbs of coöperation between the Afghan people and their ‘liberators’. This whole shocking affair is without doubt the biggest mistake in the history of US intervention in Afghanistan, especially considering the dust has not even begun to settle after the last major cock-up with the Koran burning. 

What is worse, is that it has handed to the Taliban a major propaganda coup and you can be sure they will make the most of it. If the latest rhetoric from this insurgent group is to be believed, the attacks will come fast and furious, and what is more, they will have the Afghan people on their side. It is hard to judge how many Afghans will now join the ranks of the Taliban as a result of this mess, but there will be many, you can count on that. It is also true that all the Coalition Forces are carrying the blame for this affair, and one has to ask, how many more lives will be lost as a result of this stupid act?

I am well aware the American people want to do good in the world, and they wish to help the oppressed gain their freedom. Everything is done with the very best of intentions, but I don’t know if it’s a failure of the US Administration, or just the old ‘gun law’ mentality raising its head every so often that causes all the problems. As a casual observer, it seems to me that perhaps the American people just cannot forget their wild west history, which like a shadow, lurks constantly in the dark reaches of the American psyche. 

Heston's Famous Speech

They are without equal the most gun-loving nation on the planet and as everyone knows, it is written into the Constitution that everyone has the right to own a gun. I remember distinctly the words of Charlton Heston as leader of the National Rifle Association a few years ago when Congress discussed the gun laws: “If they want my gun they will have to take it from my cold dead hand!” I think that says enough. Don’t you?

Roy.

Will The Americans Ever Learn?

Posted in Afghanistan, America, Insurgents, Islamic Revolution, Muslim, Obama, President, Taliban, Terrorism, USA with tags , , , , on 22/02/2012 by floroy1942

Once again we have a furor of hatred against the American forces in Afghanistan caused by desecration of the Koran. Once again people have died because American troops failed to heed the warnings of the past.

Bagram Air Base Afghanistan

This time it seems that copies of the Muslim holy book were thrown into the garbage ‘by mistake’ and burned by unthinking idiots at Bagram air base. Naturally the desecration was discovered by Afghan civilians working at the dump and, once again, all hell has broken loose. To date six people have died and scores wounded in protests across the country at this action that can only be classified as crass stupidity. One would have thought the military commanders should have learnt from the previous occasion when riots broke out in response to a similar action by the idiot Pastor Terry Jones of Florida in 2010. But no, they make the same mistake all over again.

Muslim Rage At Bagram

When people in the command structure don’t take notice of Muslim hysteria at the burning or otherwise desecration of the Koran its no wonder the Afghan people hate them so much. The danger of course is they are driving more recruits into the arms of the Taliban by such thoughtless acts. One protester in Kabul told Reuters: “When the Americans insult us to this degree, we will join the insurgents.” You have to ask how many more are of this frame of mind, and its for sure the Taliban will use this in their propaganda war against American forces.

It makes no matter what you do to win the hearts and minds of the people, if you continue to make these serious errors in judgement it all goes down the toilet.

Mass Protest

Wake up America! You may be doing a lot of good in the world, but thoughtless acts such as this are making you the most hated country on earth in the Middle East. You can apologise to the people until hell freezes over but it won’t make a jot of difference to how the Muslim people see you. You have been in the Middle East more than long enough to understand the paranoia of the Muslim mind, especially when it comes to their religion, and yet you continue with such actions. It may have been a mistake, but a bigger one I have yet to see.

The Holy Koran

It seems to me the Pentagon perhaps needs to issue a General Order to all American troops to keep their hands off the Koran in all its forms, for a third mistake of this gravity could be sufficient to turn every man, woman and child in the whole arab world against you. Perhaps it is also time to make an example of a senior commander as a way to impress upon others the seriousness of such a rash act.

Without a doubt, this thoughtless act will remain in the minds of Muslims for a very long time, and there is no guarantee they will ever forget. I for one just hope this thoughtlessness does not cost American lives. Remember the words of Napoleon Bonaparte: “Those who ignore the mistakes of the past are doomed to repeat them”! Words to live by.

Roy. 

Is Time Running Out For the USA and Israel?

Posted in Iran, Islamic Revolution, Israel, Nuclear Weapons, Security Council, UN, United Nations, USA with tags , , , on 08/01/2012 by floroy1942

Ouch! The latest news from Iran is going to cause consternation in both Washington and Tel Aviv because the Iranians have just announced their underground nuclear facility at Fordow is beginning production of enriched uranium! This will considerably narrow the window for offensive operations by both parties if they wish to halt Iran’s nuclear weapons programme.

Fordow Enrichment Facility

Although the Iranian government strongly denies their nuclear programme is for weapons, all the evidence enforces the contrary and to put it bluntly, no-one believes them! Iran has already admitted enriching uranium to 20% which is far beyond the 3.5% required for a nuclear reactor to generate power. Their excuse is this highly enriched material is necessary for ‘medical purposes’ like X-Ray machines. Yea Right!!!!

While western scientists agree that uranium requires enrichment to 90% for a nuclear device, the fact that Iran has already reached 20% means they are on the fast track to full enrichment.

Next With a Nuclear Weapon On It?

Just about any intelligent person will realise the danger to world peace of a radical Islamic nation with nuclear weapons, and that is reason enough for all nations to step in and say no. Unfortunately the only ones likely to do this are the USA and Israel, both of whom could expect to be the target of a nuclear Iran.

So long as all the facilities remain above ground these two countries can put an end to Iran’s nuclear ambitions whenever they wish with Tomahawk missiles, but once the production of fissionable material goes deep underground it makes it that much harder to destroy.

Skilful Delaying Tactics At The UN

International negotiations have gone on now for several years in an effort to stop Iran’s nuclear programme, but all that has come out of Iran is vague promises and prevarication that even an idiot could see was nothing more than an effort to gain time. Now we are rapidly approaching the crunch!

Any overt action against Iran, be it from the USA or Israel, will be classified as an act of aggression on the international stage and as an act of war by Iran. No matter how much the other nations breathe a sigh of relief at such an event, they will be forced to back Iran on the world stage at the UN.

Israeli Missile Test

There is little doubt that military action will be necessary to force the Islamic country to back down from its nuclear ambitions, which are to be a key player internationally, and the dominant power in the Middle East. Iran has made it very clear that nothing will dissuade  them. The country is already under severe UN sanctions and more are piling up by the week, but still they refuse to back down.

Considering that much of the world’s oil comes from the Middle East this can be seen as a major threat, although it must be said that western nations do not rely on this source as much as Asia.

Straits of Hormuz Oil Traffic

Recently, during military exercises in the Gulf obviously meant to impress everyone, the Iranian government threatened to close the Straits of Hormuz through which most of the world’s oil is transported. It didn’t come to that, and such an act would have been very short lived for it is something they could not hope to sustain for more than a day.

So now the eyes of the world will be focussed on Israel and the United States to see what these two powerful nations will do to counteract the threat of Iran’s nuclear programme going underground. If they do in fact plan any military intervention it will be necessary to act before the full move from the current site, the easily targeted Natanz, takes place.

Watch this space!!!!!!

Roy.

“Can We Have Our Drone Back Please?”

Posted in Iran, Israel, Nuclear Weapons, Obama, United Nations, USA with tags , , , , on 13/12/2011 by floroy1942

Apart from being a major embarrassment for the CIA, the loss of a spy drone by America has other implications too, which may be far reaching. As one would expect, there were first direct denials by the White House, followed later by a statement that the CIA was ‘having trouble’ with one of its UAV’s. It was not until pictures of the captured craft were shown to the world on Iranian TV that the whole truth came out. This time ‘deniability’ did not save the day! 

Iran Shows Off Captured UAV

An announcement by Iran today says they intend to reverse-engineer (copy) the drone and add it to their own military arsenal. There can be little doubt the Iranians will learn a great deal from the vehicle, and will make a quantum leap forward in military hardware giving them a major technological advantage over most countries in the world.

Naturally, this will take them a couple of years, but if they achieve a working model of their own they will put it to good use. Not only will it allow them to spy on their neighbours, especially Iraq, but also American bases in the Middle East. I doubt they will ever manage to fly one over continental America, for the USA has sufficient in its armoury to shoot down any unmanned drone flying over their territory, but having said that, it is a ‘stealth’ machine. Either way, it would still be disconcerting to say the least to know Iran could fly one over their overseas bases.

RQ-170 Sentinel UAV

Many will say it was just a matter of time before someone found a way to hi-jack control over a drone and I suppose it was. From the news bulletins, it would appear the Iranian military managed to hack into the drone’s control systems and simply fly it to one of their bases. I can just imagine the consternation at CIA headquarters when the pilot lost control and could only sit and watch as the craft was landed in ‘enemy’ territory by someone else.

The most threatening aspect of the whole affair is not just the ‘gift’ of the technology, but also the information that was on board. While much of it was probably focussed on Iran, what else was in the memory banks?

Developed by Lockheed Martin

It has also been revealed that Iran may allow Chinese and Russian experts access to the technology and data gleaned from the UAV. Considering the advanced nature of the electronics on board, and the unique ‘stealth’ characteristics of the craft, this would be a serious blow to the United States.

It is certain that America, and in particular the CIA, will be desperate to regain possession of the drone and its secrets, but its not worth going to war over. Perhaps we will see in the near future a covert operation by one or other SEAL team to destroy it before too many secrets are revealed, but that in my opinion is unlikely, for such an act will most certainly be seen as an ‘act of war’ by the touchy Iranians. Another possibility is a Tomahawk missile attack on the facility, but again this would be seen as an act of war.

There is a possibility the CIA has operatives within Iran who can get to it and destroy the drone before too many secrets are uncovered, but this is open to speculation.

UAV Pilot In Action

It is perhaps lucky for America that it was in fact pilot-less. Otherwise we may have seen a repeat of the 1960 event when a U2 spy plane was shot down over Russia during the Cold War, which resulted in a show trial of the pilot Gary Powers and caused major embarrassment for the USA. 

At the  moment it would seem that a stalemate exists, for Iran has made it clear they have no intention of returning the drone and options for the US government are severely limited considering the already frosty relationship between the two countries.

Israel - A Force to be Reckoned With

There is however one ‘fly in the ointment’ (isn’t there always), and this one goes by the name of Israel. It is certain Iran’s arch enemy will not want to see them with this technology, for it would be no surprise if in a couple of years the Iranian military started flying covert missions over Israel to spy on the military bases there. Considering the constant threat Israel poses to their nuclear weapon programme, it is logical they will wish to know as much as they can about what they are facing.

If Iran does not get ‘the bomb’, Israel has nothing to fear militarily but should this happen, the whole country would be under constant threat of a nuclear attack. Pilot-less drones could conceivably be used to deliver such a weapon, and this will not have been forgotten by the Israeli military.

Ahmadinejad At the UN

As to what happens now, well, that’s open to speculation. I do not see the USA being able to apply any direct pressure on Iran for its return, for the country is already under UN sanctions over its nuclear programme. As to military action, that would be a major risk for the United States, for not only would it find itself involved in yet another war against an Islamic State after Iraq and Afghanistan, but the repercussions world-wide would be tremendous. 

To me it seems all the USA can do in this case is try and limit the damage caused by this incident and make future drones more secure electronically.

Roy. 

The UK’s Two-Faced Stance On Cybercrime

Posted in Britain, England, Extradition, Government, Hacker, Hackers, Health, Insanity, MP's, Police, Prison, Teens, UK, USA with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 12/07/2011 by floroy1942

I couldn’t help but laugh when I read an article about the Home Office stance on cyber-crime last week, when Crime and Security Minister James Brokenshire said at the International Cyber Security Protection Alliance launch that “there should be no safe havens for cyber-criminals”! He called for  ‘international treaties, bilateral treaties, and common agreements between nations to make sure miscreants active outside their home country can be prosecuted when scams and hacks take place’.

Can’t Touch Me-I’ve Got Asperger’s!

I definitely agree with the statement, but I couldn’t help feeling it was two-faced considering the case of Gary McKinnon, who was arrested in Britain in 2002 for hacking into Pentagon and NASA computer systems. He caused hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of damage and is still wriggling his way out of deportation to the States for trial after nine years. The US government has been trying to have him extradited since 2002 when the FBI and British police tracked him down. Initially, his defence stated he was looking for evidence of UFO’s, but when that didn’t seem to work they suddenly found out he was suffering from Aspeger’s Syndrome. How convenient!

Related Post:

https://floroy1942.wordpress.com/2009/06/09/a-sorry-excuse-to-evade-justice/

The sad thing is, as the case drags on people are now feeling sorry for him and want him released. It’s ridiculous! They seem to have totally forgotten that he is a criminal and deserves punishment. It’s people like him that cause misery, expense, and often despair among computer users across the globe.

It is worthy to note that Asperger’s Syndrome did not appear to have any impact McKinnon’s ability to answer questions or explain himself during this interview. In fact, he came across as a perfectly normal person and much more intelligent than the two fawning interviewers who did nothing to hide their sympathy and support for him. To me, this man’s ‘defence’ is the weakest I have ever heard!

Ryan Cleary-That’s Funny So Have I!

Ryan Cleary, who is alleged to be a member of the now defunct Lulzec Group was caught a couple of weeks ago. Cleary, who is said to be highly intelligent, is going down the same road as McKinnon by claiming he too suffers from Asperger’s Syndrome, and if these two stick to their stories they may never face trial.

Report on arrest of Ryan Cleary:

Related Post:

https://floroy1942.wordpress.com/2011/06/26/yet-another-debacle-with-english-law/

“Asperger’s Syndrome is distinguished by a pattern of symptoms rather than a single symptom. It is characterized by qualitative impairment in social interaction, by stereotyped and restricted patterns of behavior, activities and interests, and by no clinically significant delay in cognitive development or general delay in language. Intense preoccupation with a narrow subject, one-sided verbosity, restricted prosody, and physical clumsiness are typical of the condition, but are not required for diagnosis.” Quote from Wikipedia.

What this says in a nutshell is that a sufferer does not mix with others well, and suffers excessive concentration and attention on a single subject. It however goes on to say there is no significant impairment of cognitive development (i.e. relating to the process of acquiring knowledge by the use of reasoning, intuition, or perception) or general delay in language (i.e. no speech or understanding impairment).

Now to me, this does not mean these two have any excuse for ducking the legal process, or for that matter, deportation when required by another government. They may not be functioning the full 100%, but close enough to it to face their comeuppance.

So this whole scenario makes the statement by Brokenshire somewhat of a barefaced lie. You cannot go around asking other countries to stop being a haven for cyber-criminals when we ourselves do just that. Every hacker, spammer, and cyber-criminal who gets caught can just claim to have Aspergers Syndrome and walk free!

Do As You Would Be Done By?

But there again, why not? Stranger things have happened within the British justice system! It seems the Home Office have forgotten the old saying: “If you wish to lead, lead by example!”

Roy.

A Sorry Excuse to Evade Justice

Posted in Extradition, Hacker, Hackers with tags , , , on 09/06/2009 by floroy1942

I have heard some sorry excuses put forward by defence lawyers in my time, but today is one for the record books. I refer to the case of a UK hacker called Gary Mckinnon who’s extradition has been requested by the US Government.

It is alleged that in 2000/2002 he hacked into 97 government computers, including The US Navy and NASA. This was just after 9/11, and needless to say caused a furore in government circles. It is said he caused $800,000 worth of damage to computer systems in the affected departments.

In 2002 he was arrested by British Police and has been awaiting extradition to the US, where if found guilty, he faces a prison term of 70 years.

Since his arrest he has tried every means at his disposal to quash the extradition. He has appealed to the House of Lords in Westminster and the European Court of Human Rights in The Hague, and has been turned down by every one. It seems no-one has sympathy for a hacker.

His stated reason for doing it in the first place was he was looking for evidence of UFOs. Well, I believe him, but thousands wouldn’t!

After failing to get out of extradition by all legal means, his lawyers have now turned to the next best thing, the psychological approach.

They are now saying he should be tried in the UK instead of the US because his mental state is extremely fragile. Ah! Didums! If they manage to pull that one off you can bet he would be back out of jail in a few short years.

His lawyers say; ‘there is “clear, un-contradicted expert evidence” that the stress of extradition could result in psychosis and suicide’. Two High Court Judges will be asked to rule that his psychological state makes it impossible to extradite him.

Mr. Edward Fitzgerald QC, Mckinnon’s lawyer told the judges that his clients mental state had been underestimated by the Home Secretary when she ordered him to be extradited. He went on to say that Mckinnon was “an eccentric person who has passionate views on UFOs” – not a malicious hacker – and extradition was “unnecessary, avoidable and disproportionate”. If you wish to evade a 70 year jail sentence I am sure it would be considered all of those things and more. I must say though, if I ever get another traffic ticket I might think of hiring this guy. I could always plead insanity!

It is claimed that Mckinnon suffers from Asperger Syndrome, which can mean he develops a single-minded obsession for something without thought of its affects on others. According to his solicitor he needs ‘the support of family and friends close around him all the time’.

This entire process has now been going on for 7 years since his arrest and it’s about time someone had the balls to put him on a plane and ship him out. It comes down to the same old saying: If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime.

It was not as if he broke into the government computers once by accident, he did it 97 times and that to me rules out any plea bargains or excuses by his lawyers.

As an everyday computer owner, I am sick and tired of the attacks perpetrated by hackers. I am tired of viruses and Trojans that infect computers world wide and cause untold misery to millions of computer owners. I am fed up with having to reload Windows because some hacker has infected my computer, and what about all the poor souls world-wide who have been fleeced out of large and small amounts of money by malicious hackers. I am sure if they had a say they would drive him to the airport!

Send Mckinnon to the States and let him rot for what he has done, and I hope every other hacker is quick to join him.

Its about time the punishment fitted the crime, rather than the hacker being employed by some security company for a grossly exaggerated salary that leaves them laughing all the way to the bank. This is one crime that does pay, and handsomely!


May all hackers burn in hell!


Roy.

%d bloggers like this: