Why the OPM hack matters to you

The OPM hack began last year. The security processes and tools that failed you at OPM are also found in other government agencies. Very likely all of your financial information is already for sale on the Dark Web, even with the Silk Road shut down, other market places opened up. And no, the US is not going to change banking and tax laws to de-fang what will happen to you. But it gets worse! But in fact, the data accessed by the intruders may be far broader. The 127-page SF-86 forms believed to have been accessed by the hackers also […]

“The Big War” … (Not WW2)

I’m not sure I see the 1914 parallel, but there’s something to it: ISTANBUL — The Middle East crisis that peaked one year ago Wednesday when the Islamic State captured Mosul may result in the breakup of Iraq and an indefinite continuation of a war in Syria that’s already out of control, analysts say. Yet still worse things could happen. Indeed. “I am extremely pessimistic” about the future of Iraq, said Toby Dodge, a leading scholar on Iraq who teaches at the London School of Economics. He said he doubted that Prime Minister Haider al Abadi, “a very decent man, […]

… And a Tajik Defector

Allright, Mister DaveO, I see your Syrian wild geese taking flight, and I raise you one (1) Tajik defector. Colonel Gulmurod Khalimov, trained by both Russian and American special forces to head up the elite OMON police force of Tajikistan, has defected to the Islamic State. He disappeared in April after he “told his wife he was going on a business trip,” but he appeared on Wednesday in an ISIS video, vowing to bring jihad and “slaughter” to the caliphate’s adversaries. It’s not clear where the video was recorded, although the BBC theorizes it might have been shot at a Syrian […]

Flight of the Wild Geese

Mustapha Sejari, one of the rebels already approved for the U.S. training program, told The Daily Beast that he and his 1,000 men are on the verge of withdrawing from the program. The issue: the American government’s demand that the rebels can’t use any of their newfound battlefield prowess or U.S.-provided weaponry against the army of Bashar al-Assad or any of its manifold proxies and allies, which include Iranian-built militias such as Lebanese Hezbollah. They must only fight ISIS, Washington insists. [emphases by author] Didn’t we learn the downside of creating mercenary armies when the CIA fought the Congolese? Who […]

VMI Grad Follows in Brother’s Footsteps

Many thanks to GW’64 who sent this in today: LEXINGTON (WSLS 10) –  Nearly three years ago Lexington and Rockbridge County rallied around a family who lost a son too soon. Army Ranger Chase Prasnicki was killed just days after he deployed to Afghanistan. His death left a lasting impression on his younger brother. In a WSLS 10 exclusive we were there for the emotional day as Tyler Prasnicki officially joined the ranks of the military and takes the next steps in following his older brother. Tyler Prasnicki took the officer’s oath, volunteering to serve in the United States Army […]

Journalism and Civil War

 “If I’d written all the truth I knew for the past ten years, about 600 people – including me – would be rotting in prison cells from Rio to Seattle today. Absolute truth is a very rare and dangerous commodity in the context of professional journalism.” Hunter S. Thompson Absolute truth is a dangerous thing. The proverbial wish for a gaining a nickel every time someone wanted absolute truth would pay off our great Nation’s debt. Journalism started with two branches: strict reporting of facts, and advocacy. Facts are boring, and boring doesn’t sell. Strict reporting was abandoned in the […]

Details From the Mohammed Cartoon Shooting

Details are coming out on the attack at the Mohammed cartoon event. We now know more about the fanatics who did it– a cradle heathen and an angry convert, no surprises there, dog-bites-man and all that. But the details about the police officer and the brief action are of great interest to all of us: – A “traffic” cop with his service weapon, not a SWAT guy with an M4 – A handgun vs two “assault rifles” – One man vs two in body armor In other words, while most people would call this cop out-gunned, he clearly wasn’t. He […]

ISIS Strikes In Afghanistan

Breaking this morning: Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN): A suicide bomber on a motorbike blew himself up in front of the Kabul Bank in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, early Saturday, a local government spokesman said. Terror group ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack. The explosion killed at least 33 people and wounded more than 100 others, said public health spokesman Najibullah Kamawal. Interestingly, the Taliban disavowed it. Not good news.

Weapons Wednesday: FPF Training’s New Offerings

Those who have been around this place for a while know my affinity for John R. Murphy and FPF Training. (If not, check the archives.) It’s worth noting that John has recently revamped his offerings and his site, with what appear to be distinct upgrades to both. Two things caught my eye. The first is the “Pistol vs Rifle” class– This four hour seminar deals with the tactical problems faced by an armed citizen confronted with a criminal armed with a rifle. Topics will be: – Ballistic Disadvantage – Movement and Cover – Marksmanship at Distance – AK Pick up […]

Rusty Warhorses in Iraq Are Resurrected

Well, who can blame them? In a military scrapyard in the southern Iraqi desert, abandoned army equipment sat for years waiting to be melted down to steel bars. Now, thanks to new conflict and a resourceful old mechanic, some of the rusty warhorses have won a reprieve. Last June’s stunning offensive by Islamic State militants who control much of northern and western Iraq left the army in disarray and much of its U.S.-supplied equipment was taken over by the advancing radical Sunni Muslim fighters. Baghdad’s Shi’ite-led government appealed for reinforcements from across the world to help it fight back. But […]