Monday, May 29, 2017

Today's 21-Gun Salute

Echoes. You heard echoes!

"For Trump, some lessons about family ties from the Kennedys" by Larry Tye Globe Correspondent  May 29, 2017

President Trump’s first months in office have spawned comparisons with the Nixon White House. For now, though, the real template is the administration of President John F. Kennedy, who would have turned 100 today.


First there is Trump’s penchant for naming close relatives to high-level posts, the only statutory limit on which is the antinepotism law Congress passed after JFK named his brother Bobby as attorney general. Then there are Trump’s obsessions with ISIS and North Korea as the sole enemies that count, which conjure up the Kennedy brothers’ consuming and secretive war against Cuba and Fidel Castro that brought the world to the brink of nuclear war in October 1962. Now comes the latest in the rain of falling shoes: Trump son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner seeking precisely the kind of back-channel communications with Russia that RFK did in the early days of the Kennedy administration.

If this unsettling narrative and scenario the agenda-tippers in the pre$$ is valid, we can only hope the kid and DJT are as wise as those guys. Does Trump have a brother?

I guess it will be a Korean stand-off this time, huh?

There is no guarantee that any of these controversial moves will work out as well for the Trumps as they did for Kennedys.

What? Don't they remember how it ended?

Quite the reverse, so far. But the current president would do well to study the lessons of his predecessor of half a century ago if he hopes to craft an administration that will thrive or even survive.

Well, that.... explains all the DJT reversals.

I'm kind of at a loss with the veiled threat, but I suppose that is all in my interpretation.

I was already worried about this president because of the snub by his wife (an isolated man reaching out for support and rebuffed, who then reacted to it negatively when he arrived in Europe) and his possible mental deterioration, and now the pre$$ is sending out vibes regarding his physical safety.

The gunshots of Dealey still echo throughout the country, even today.

President Kennedy knew tapping his brother to run the Justice Department was unprecedented and perhaps preposterous. There was nothing new in a president keeping around his campaign manager to help with the challenge of running the country, but the tradition was to make him postmaster general, not attorney general. Eisenhower broke the pattern in 1953 by naming Herbert Brownell Jr., a key political operative, as attorney general, but that president kept his brother Milton in the low-key role of special ambassador. Woodrow Wilson thought about making his only brother a postmaster in Nashville in 1913 but decided “it would be a very serious mistake both for you and for me.” The whole government eventually came around to that thinking, and in 1967 Congress passed and President Lyndon Johnson signed a ban on nepotism that became known informally as the Bobby Kennedy law.

They can still be unpaid advisors.

Neither Eisenhower nor Wilson was as brazen as JFK. Wit helped, too. Asked by Newsweek’s Ben Bradlee how he would announce his brother’s appointment, a straight-faced Kennedy said, “I think I’ll open the front door of the Georgetown house some morning about 2 a.m., look up and down the street, and, if there’s no one there, I’ll whisper, ‘It’s Bobby.’ ” A week after he made it official, the newly inaugurated president joked, “I don’t see anything wrong with getting [Bobby] a little legal experience before he goes out to practice law.”

While Robert Kennedy may have begun his tenure as one of the least-prepared attorneys general, he ended it as arguably the best ever. He stage-managed America’s most aggressive war against organized crime. He stood up for civil rights in a way none of his predecessors and few successors did. And he so inspired his staff and the nation that he offers a model to current Attorney General Jeff Sessions and convinced George W. Bush and his arch-conservative attorney general John Ashcroft to rename Justice Department headquarters the Robert F. Kennedy Building.

In an odd twist of irony, those behind the murders of influential public figures are most likely to honor them and build a myth around them.

RFK had his faults, no doubt about that, but he was a man who became connected to the world's pain when his brother was taken from him. That's why he needed to get a bullet in the back of the head while traversing a hotel kitchen. I can't type about it too much even to this day  without getting teary-eyed because splayed out on that floor and leaking away like his lifeblood was -- in retrospect and hindsight -- the last, best hope for peace. It's been 49 years of non-stop war ever since, with no end in sight.

The Kennedys’ behavior in the Cuban Missile Crisis suggests a different lesson for Trump. While the public didn’t know it at the time, the superpower standoff wasn’t the devious Russians acting out of the blue and guileless Americans responding with what Robert Kennedy called “shocked incredulity.” It was a predictable response to US aggression in arming, training, and bankrolling the émigrés who tried to reclaim Cuba by staging an invasion at an inlet on its southern coast known as the Bay of Pigs.

When that failed, Bobby Kennedy personally steered a year-long campaign of sabotaging Cuban agriculture, inciting political upheaval, and charting cloak-and-dagger schemes for invading the island and deposing its leaders. The attorney general was too myopic to consider how what he called Operation Mongoose would be perceived in Havana and Moscow. It was logical for Castro to conclude that the United States was hell-bent on eliminating his regime and understandable for his primary protector, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, to come to his aid. “We had to think up some way of confronting America with more than words . . . The logical answer was missiles,” Khrushchev wrote in his memoir. “The installation of our missiles in Cuba would, I thought, restrain the United States from precipitous military action against Castro’s government.”

The pre$$ always fingers him for that.

It was the sort of gambit the United States should have understood, since we had similar mutual defense pacts with our allies in Europe. Grave as we thought the dangers of the Missile Crisis were in 1962, they were substantially worse. The Russians had more missiles than we believed, with the capability to take out targets as far away as Manhattan. There were 43,000 Soviet soldiers on hand, not the 10,000 we thought, and Castro encouraged Khrushchev to launch a preemptive nuclear strike if America invaded Cuba. What saved the day was not our staring down Khrushchev and Castro, the way the Kennedys had us believe, but rather that both sides blinked.

Thank God for that, and the real hero is a guy named Vasili Arkhipov.

And let's not fail to give Khrushchev and Kennedy their due. Had they given in to the rapid militarists at the time, I wouldn't be here typing this to you.

Are you listening, commander in chief Trump?

Is the Deep State and War Pre$$?

It was with aim of avoiding just such confrontations that, at the start of his brother’s administration, Bobby Kennedy had begun meeting with Georgi Bolshakov, a faintly disguised Soviet spy posted to its embassy in Washington as bureau chief for the Tass news agency. Theirs was one of the most beguiling relationships of the Cold War and brings to mind what Kushner may have had in mind last year when he reportedly proposed a comparably secretive back channel with Moscow to discuss Syria and other issues.

The buttoned-down Attorney General Kennedy and the hail-fellow secret agent Bolshakov got together an average of three times a month for a year-and-a-half, starting in the spring of 1961. They conferred sitting on the lawn near the US Capitol, in the back office at the Justice Department, and at RFK’s compound at Hickory Hill, where the Russian dazzled the Kennedy children by dancing on his haunches. Conversations ranged from crises in Berlin and Laos to the upcoming superpower summit in Vienna.

Why, agents at the FBI and elsewhere wanted to know, was the president’s brother risking these unprecedented cloak-and-dagger encounters? To the Kennedys, however, they were just the thing. What better conduit for messages to be passed between JFK and Khrushchev without the misinterpretation, second-guessing, and risk of leaks of regular diplomatic channels? Who better to do it than Robert Kennedy, who wasn’t bound by rules of spycraft or diplomacy yet could be trusted with anything? No need to share this unshareable information with FBI boss J. Edgar Hoover or to write anything down. It worked brilliantly until the Missile Crisis in 1962, when Bolshakov either didn’t know or lied about Khrushchev’s true plans for Cuba.

In either case Robert Kennedy was heard to say, “That son of a bitch has got to go.” Khrushchev got the message and recalled him, which was just fine with the new Soviet Ambassador Anatoly Dobrynin, who felt he should be Bobby’s channel to Moscow.

They are Thirteen Days I'll never forget.


Also see:

Putting the icing on JFK centennial celebration

Navy jet flyover to mark JFK centennial

Look who thinks he is the 21st-century JFK of Ma$$achu$etts.

"Army antifraud crackdown called flawed, unfair" by Dave Philipps New York Times  May 28, 2017

AGUAS BUENAS, Puerto Rico — Task Force Raptor, a nationwide antifraud operation run by the Army’s Criminal Investigation Command has grown into one of the largest criminal investigations ever conducted in the military, but critics say many people have been unfarily targeted and few have been found guilty.

Because, thankfully(??), the audit of some $2-3 trillion unaccounted for funds was shut down when a plane(??) plowed into the Pentagon on, well, you know.

The task force has looked into tens of thousands of current and former soldiers, from Maine to Guam. More than 150 have been charged; 540 more remain under investigation.

Five years after the task force was formed, National Guard members continue to be charged all over the country. In the coming weeks, several are headed to trial. The government says it’s hunting down scammers who took advantage of a defunct program called the Guard Recruiting Assistance Program, which at the height of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan paid soldiers a bounty for referring new recruits.

The Army says it paid out millions for referrals of recruits who enlisted of their own accord.

They gave you a bonus, and now the Army wants it back. 

You should have incorporated yourself as a weapons manufacturer; then you would have gotten cost-plus overrun payments.

Soldiers targeted by the investigation say the task force, under pressure from Army leadership and the Congress, is determined to pursue charges when there are no crimes.

In Puerto Rico, scores of agents from the mainland stormed houses all over the island two years ago, arresting at gunpoint 25 current and former National Guard soldiers whom authorities accused of claiming hundreds of referral bonuses for recruits they had never met. Soldiers there said in interviews that they had done nothing wrong and were mystified by the nighttime raids.

And Puerto Rico already has major i$$ues:

"The administration of Puerto Rico’s new governor warned on Tuesday that the US commonwealth’s government could shut down if dramatic measures to offset the economic crisis aren’t taken soon. The warning came as officials released new data that they say show the crisis is worse than previously believed. ‘‘If we don’t make a dramatic adjustment, there could be a total collapse in upcoming months,’’ said Elias Sanchez, the governor’s representative to a federal control board created last year to oversee Puerto Rico’s finances. He told reporters that the extent of the fiscal crisis is still unknown, in part because of a lack of communication among public agencies. Overall, Puerto Rico is seeking to restructure its nearly $70 billion in public debt, and the island has defaulted on millions of dollars’ worth of bond payments since August, angering creditors who have filed multiple lawsuits. Puerto Rico has a multimillion-dollar bond payment due in February, but Sanchez said it’s too early to say whether it will be made. He said the government will talk with the federal control board in upcoming days about that payment."

They think the court will $ave them, but there is fear everywhere. From what I read they are emptying the jails and letting terrorists out. They even had to cancel the parade in Bo$ton's Latin Quarter

Maybe they should finally become a state.

Others say the task force has relied on flimsy evidence that is often a decade old to arrest troops who have done nothing wrong, upending lives while delivering few convictions.

“Early on there were, in fact, cases of bad people doing bad things, and hopefully they got justice,” said Doug O’Connell, a National Guard colonel and former US prosecutor who, as a defense attorney, has represented more than a dozen soldiers accused of defrauding the incentive program. “But they kept going.’’

“Now we are down to the little guys, the average soldier, who if they did something wrong, they didn’t know it,” he said.

Initially, Task Force Raptor made headlines with a few big arrests, including of a fraud ring in Texas involving 13 soldiers who pleaded guilty to bilking the Army out of $244,000. But then the investigation foundered, uncovering far less fraud than originally estimated.

Or there were certain avenues they are not allowed to inve$tigate (like CIA black budgets and such?).

In 2014, Army leaders told Congress they had identified $29 million in fraud, and Raptor might find as much as $100 million. Years later, though, the Army has revised the number down to $6 million, according to an Army spokeswoman, recovering less than $3 million through the courts.

The program encouraged the Guard’s citizen-soldiers, who hold civilian jobs while performing part-time military service, to refer potential recruits they met at work, church, county fairs — anywhere their “sphere of influence” might extend. Soldiers whose referral resulted in a successful recruitment were paid between $2,000 and $7,500....

Forget about the missing trillions. That would be too hard to find.


Other things of which the Army failed to keep track:

"US failed to keep proper track of more than $1 billion in weapons and equipment in Iraq" by Thomas Gibbons-Neff Washington Post  May 25, 2017

IRBIL, Iraq — The US Army failed to properly keep track of hundreds of humvees, tens of thousands of rifles, and other pieces of military equipment that was sent to Iraq, according to a government audit from 2016 that was obtained by Amnesty International and released Wednesday.

The price of the equipment — meant for the Iraqi army, Shia militias, and the Kurdish Peshmerga — totaled more than $1 billion.

‘‘This audit provides a worrying insight into the US Army’s flawed — and potentially dangerous — system for controlling millions of dollars’ worth of arms transfers to a hugely volatile region,’’ Patrick Wilcken, Amnesty International’s Arms Control and Human Rights researcher, said in a statement.

The arms and equipment transfers were a part of the Iraq Train and Equip Fund, a program that initially appropriated $1.6 billion under the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act to help Iraqi forces combat the rise of the Islamic State. The 2017 act is slated to lend $919.5 million to the fund.

The audit found that improper record-keeping, including duplicated spreadsheets, handwritten receipts, and a lack of a central database to track the transfers, contributed to the report’s findings. Additionally, the audit said that under the Iraqi Train and Equip Fund, once the equipment was transferred to the government of Iraq, the Pentagon no longer had to monitor the material as it was no longer US government property.

The lack of any post-transfer accountability on US arms and munitions raises the chances for illicit diversion from the intended supply chain.

I was wondering all through this piece how much of it ended up in the hands of the terrorists.

Currently, the Middle East is awash in US weapons and equipment, and with President Trump’s decision to equip Kurdish forces in Syria with more weapons, it is unclear whether the United States has learned from any of its past mistakes in the region.


Here is another fight in which they want you to enlist:

"Democrats hope to enlist military veterans in another type of fight — for majority control of the House. Several veterans already have announced their bids in some of the 79 Republican-held House districts that national Democratic Party leaders have identified as top targets.... "

The already rigged election will be returning Democrats to House control so the impeachment articles against Trump can be filed in 2018. Read it here first.

So where do they want to send you now (and are they making the world safer? Is that what the children victimized by UN sex rings would say)?

At Cambridge Cemetery, a mystery solved — and remembered

Here is how the used to notify you of casualties.

Here’s how Boston is trying to control the geese population

The message I'm getting is burn them all down.

Runners race in Boston to commemorate fallen first responders

A dud?

State may expand time for sea urchin harvest

Crash, Stabbing, Crash, Crash

Home solar power becomes a brighter prospect for many

No more wars for the you-know-whos under cover of oil.

VietJet seeks first Vietnam overseas listing with New York, London

And if you were lucky enough to make it home, you didn't get a hero's welcome.


And let's not forget the ladies, who will be all, all eligible, for military service:

"The hearing aid industry is against the bill, but in recent weeks, opposition has emerged from less expected places: gun owners and a slew of conservative groups....."

I'm sorry, I can't hear her and it's time to suit up for battle anyway.

"Female infantry Marines will be sleeping in makeshift shelters next to their male counterparts when out in the field and no special accommodation will be offered to them, a Marine Corps official said Thursday. Marines in the field stay in everything from a large, single-room shelter filled with dozens of cots to sleeping under tarps or nothing at all, said Major Charles Anklam III, executive officer for First Battalion, Eighth Marines at Camp Lejeune, N.C. — the first gender-integrated Marine infantry battalion. Female Marines have private rooms and bathrooms in their living quarters, and female bathrooms have been added to buildings where Marines work. But female Marines will be expected to share any living spaces with male squad members in the field to keep unit cohesion and replicate battlefield conditions, he said...."

That really a good idea?

‘It’s Marine Corps wide’ — female Marines detail harassment, nude photos scandal" by Thomas Gibbons-Neff Washington Post  March 07, 2017

WASHINGTON — Some female Marines were sent screenshots of nude and private pictures of themselves from concerned colleagues. A few would get texts from their friends alerting them to what was online. Others found vulgar messages from strangers in their inboxes. The red flags were different, but the revelation was the same: Their intimate photos had been shared online without their consent.

Marine officials on Sunday said the branch was looking into a number of Marines, current and former service members, who shared naked and compromising photos of their female colleagues on social media through a shared drive on a Facebook group called Marines United.

The incident has prompted an outcry from senior Marine leaders and an investigation by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, but according to nine current and former female service members, online harassment goes well beyond a single shared drive or Facebook group. The behavior has become pervasive in the younger enlisted ranks throughout the Marine Corps, threatening unit cohesion at the lowest levels and its ethos at the highest.

And they will all be in the next tent over.

The existence of the shared drive was first reported through the website Reveal, in conjunction with the War Horse military news website. Many of the women who spoke to the Post did so on the condition of anonymity because they fear reprisals from fellow service members and their chains of command.

Why am I reading this then?

Prop pre$$ is always days, weeks, months behind -- if they even bother.

The Marine Facebook group called ‘‘Just the Tip of the Spear,’’ commonly known as JTTOTS, like many other Marine Facebook groups that have at one point or another displayed inappropriate pictures, has been taken down numerous times only to reappear in different incarnations with different names or privacy settings.  In recent months, however, the amount of hate a female Marine who recently completed the infantry training with hopes of joining an infantry unit said she has seen on the Internet has slowly broken her down.....

Then how is she going to survive combat?


Sorry to disappoint you, but you will never find any images of nudity here.

"With their leaders at a loss, Marine veterans fight abusers" by Dave Philipps New York Times   March 17, 2017

NEW YORK — As a Marine infantry sergeant, James LaPorta once led an intelligence team in Afghanistan. Now, as a private citizen, he is doggedly tracking the moves of an online group that has been secretly compiling and sharing nude photos of hundreds of women in the Marine Corps. 

Why doesn't someone just go over to the NSA and see what data they or the telecoms have collected?

With top generals admitting before Congress that they are unsure how to protect members of the Marine Corps from nameless, faceless social-media predators, LaPorta is among an unlikely scattering of can-do young veterans who have decided to take that assignment upon themselves.

Oh, I see. This is another backdoor attempt to shut down any criticism of official policies or the questioning of authority's accounts.

He and his comrades in online vigilance have been gathering intelligence and making counterstrikes. They are tracking the members of illicit groups, including Marines United, as they try to hide, and stripping away the anonymity that has allowed the group to thrive. They are also feeding information back to Marine Corps investigators.

Marine Corps leaders have resorted to traditional moves, commissioning a task force and mounting a meticulous investigation. But the commandant of the Marine Corps, General Robert B. Neller, acknowledged to the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday that the nude-photo scandal was a cultural problem he was ill-prepared to address.

Traditional moves is newspeak for cover-up.

It is certainly not easy: Marines United, which consists of thousands of active-duty and veteran Marines, has hopped from Facebook page to Facebook page, changing its name each time it gets shut down, while still trading illicit photos and taunting federal investigators.

LaPorta and other veterans trying to fight groups like Marines United have been deluged with online harassment themselves. Other Marines have called them traitors and threatened them with violence, but they have pressed on in what they see as a battle for the future of the Corps.

“The Marine Corps can’t do this alone. The Internet is too huge,” LaPorta said.

“There is a disconnect between the upper echelon and a digital millennial generation,” said Thomas Brennan, 31, a former Marine sergeant who revealed the existence of Marines United this month.

For several years, the Marine Corps has known of webpages where Marines shared racist and sexist memes, as well as photos of female Marines posted without their consent. Despite several public reports, the Corps has failed to crack down on the sites.

They probably start looking at them and, you know.

Active-duty and veteran Marines in a group called Just the Tip of the Spear have been posting illegal and offensive material on Facebook, Instagram, and other sites.

Like Marines United, they have posted nude photos of servicewomen without their permission. In some cases, they have also posted the women’s telephone numbers and other private information. When women complained, the site’s followers often harassed them more....

That and addresses are something else I will always edit out. Government doesn't guard your privacy. I do.


Also see:

"The move comes as the service grapples with the fallout of a scandal first reported in March, in which dozens of Marines are believed to have accessed nude photographs of female colleagues through a Facebook group called Marines United. It specifically applies to cases in which a Marine distributes intimate photographs of someone else without their consent, as well as harassment in which a Marine offers to influence someone’s career in exchange for sexual favors or initiates unwanted physical contact of a sexual nature....."

And it is not just the Marines:

"Sexual assault reports up at Navy, Army academies" by Lolita C. Baldor Associated Press  March 15, 2017

WASHINGTON — The new data underscore the challenge in stemming these crimes by young people at the military college campuses, despite a slew of programs designed to prevent assaults, help victims, and encourage them to come forward. The difficulties in some ways mirror those the larger military is struggling with amid revelations about Marines and other service members sharing nude photos on websites.

Nate Galbreath, deputy director of the Pentagon’s sexual assault prevention office, said sexual assault prevention instruction may be getting lost amid the many messages about social behavior, including not drinking and driving or texting and driving. The Pentagon, he said, is encouraging the academies to increase the amount of time they spend talking about how future leaders must foster a climate of dignity and respect. He said students should know that enforcing good conduct is something they will need to do as officers when they graduate and lead troops in combat.

Galbreath and Elizabeth Van Winkle, who is currently the assistant defense secretary for readiness, said drinking remains a major concern....



"Black women serving in the US Army are cheering revised regulations that permit hair locks, ending what critics said were years of scrutiny and confusing enforcement of rules about their appearance. The change surfaced in January in an Army directive that focused largely on grooming policy changes related to religious accommodations. Buried in the directive was text allowing female soldiers to wear “dreadlocks/locks,” which were previously banned. The change was made in the Army’s regulations about grooming, which are detailed in a larger collection of rules about appearance and uniforms, known as Army Regulation 670-1....."

You've come a long way, baby!

Also see:

Female WWII pilot has finally been laid to rest at Arlington

Missing Persons Case: Where Are Women in FBI’s Top Ranks?

Not there because they might pull a Kane?

Time for basic training:

"Documents detail abuse at Marine training at Parris Island" by Dan Lamothe Washington Post  September 13, 2016

WASHINGTON — The issue of hazing and abuse at Parris Island surfaced March 18, when a 20-year-old recruit with Pakistani roots — Raheel Siddiqui of Taylor, Mich. — died after leaping from a stairwell landing that was nearly 40 feet high while running away from the drill instructor.

Last week, service officials revealed that 20 members of Parris Island’s staff could face criminal charges or administrative discipline following the conclusion of three investigations into abuse allegations. But the documents and an interview with a Marine official with knowledge of the investigations suggest dozens more Parris Island Marines could be implicated in the scandal.

Some details of the abuse have previously been reported, but the investigative documents describe an environment in which one unit in particular — Third Recruit Training Battalion — had drill instructors who not only tested recruits’ mettle, as is expected, but abused them physically and emotionally.

Ethnic and gay slurs were also used regularly, and drill instructors ordered repeated, unauthorized physical training that sometimes injured recruits. The alleged dryer incident occurred in 2015 and was reported in November by the targeted Marine and two enlisted colleagues who by then had moved on to initial aviation training in Pensacola, Fla. The new Marine said he was also accused of participating in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

The allegations shocked drill instructors at the service’s only other enlisted training depot in San Diego. ‘‘Even back in the day when they were really brutal at Parris Island, I can’t imagine that happening. That’s abuse,’’ the Marine said when informed of the dryer incident. ‘‘It’s beyond me. We are entrusted to take care of those recruits and train them. There was clearly a breakdown in leadership at Parris Island.’’


RelatedFamily disputes report Marine recruit killed himself

"Marine drill instructors accused of using a ‘dungeon’ on recruits and drinking on the job" by Dan Lamothe Washington Post   January 06, 2017

QUANTICO, Va. — Drill instructors at the Marine Corps recruit center at Parris Island, S.C., drank on the job and repeatedly ordered recruits to do calisthenics in a decrepit building called ‘‘the dungeon,’’ recruits testified Thursday.

The allegation emerged as Staff Sergeant Antonio B. Burke, a Parris Island drill instructor, became the first Marine to face a hearing in a series of cases involving hazing and abuse allegations over the last couple of years. Burke is charged with cruelty and maltreatment, failure to obey a lawful general order, and making a false official statement.

The alleged abuse came to light after a recruit, Private Raheel Sidiqqui, 20, died March 18 in a fall from a third-story landing while running away from a drill instructor who had hazed numerous recruits, according to one of three investigations the service has carried out over the last year. Burke is at the center of a case that emerged a few weeks after Sidiqqui’s death, when a recruit’s family wrote an April 27 letter to the White House complaining about his actions as well as those of several other drill instructors.

In other cases, drill instructors were accused of putting recruits in an industrial-size clothes dryer and turning it on, including a Muslim recruit who was called a ‘‘terrorist.’’ Marine officials have not yet identified the drill instructors in those cases, but have said that up to 20 Marines at Parris Island could face criminal or administrative discipline.

One Marine told the hearing that Burke’s team of drill instructors took his platoon of recruits into ‘‘the dungeon’’ on at least two occasions during his training. The building was once used as quarters for recruits, but has fallen into disrepair and is filthy.


And if you make it through that gauntlet:

"The Navy says the names, Social Security numbers, and other details of 134,386 current and former sailors have been breached on a contractor’s laptop. Investigators determined this week that the information had been accessed by unknown people, and the Navy has begun notifying affected sailors. On Oct. 27, Hewlett Packard Enterprise Services told the Navy that the laptop of an employee working on a Navy contract had been compromised. Vice Admiral Robert Burke said the Navy is in the early stages of investigating, and his office says there’s no evidence to date that the information has been misused. The Navy is looking into credit monitoring services for the affected sailors."

"A commander is the 12th Navy official to be charged in a wide-ranging bribery case involving a Malaysian defense contractor. Mario Herrera is accused of accepting prostitutes, luxury trips, and $1,800 in steaks from Leonard Glenn Francis in exchange for classified information. Herrera could not be reached for comment. According to the complaint, Herrera and other US Navy 7th Fleet officers who helped Francis called themselves the ‘‘Band of Brothers’’ and the ‘‘Wolf Pack.’’ Francis pleaded guilty to fraud involving his ship supply company. Prosecutors say the firm, Glenn Defense Marine Asia, bilked the Navy out of $35 million."

RelatedNavy to commission USS Gabrielle Giffords

So much for gun control.

And once deployed:

"A Pentagon spokesman said Monday that US officials are assessing possible civilian casualties, including women and children, but emphasized a US belief that there were ‘‘a lot of female combatants’’ at what he described as preset positions, indicating that they were legitimate targets in the firefight that ensued. Navy Captain Jeff Davis said an unspecified number of the estimated 14 fighters killed in the raid were female combatants, and said reports of female civilian deaths should be taken ‘‘with a grain of salt.’’

You will all be fair game.

That's taps, readers.

Thanks for the memories. 

Until we meet again, this blog is at an end....