With the Russia invasion of Ukraine entering its nineteenth month with no end in sight, with tensions around the Strait of Taiwan escalating, and with the U.S. entering a turbulent season of presidential electoral politics, it is a worthwhile moment to reflect on how Col. Pat Lang would have been casting these events and providing his unique brand of insights and initiatives. His passing in April of this year was a loss to his family, his friends, this committee of correspondence, and the world.

We have maintained the Turcopolier website (courtesy of TTG) and done our best to preserve this committee of correspondence along with Pat’s legacy. As part of that effort, as Pat and his wife Marguerite wished, we are also keeping Pat’s work alive by promoting the sales of his writings. In the final two years before he took ill and passed away, Pat produced three outstanding volumes: Tattoo: A Memoir of Becoming, The Human Factor: The Phenomenon of Espionage, and The Portable Pat Lang.

His memoir is a work of art that captures the life of a soldier, scholar, and spy. More than an autobiography, it is a history of the half-century of America at war and peace during which he served his country. He produced an earlier version of The Human Factor as part of a series of books on the post-911 challenges. He purchased back the copyright and updated the content, with a new introduction and further reflections on espionage. It is a primer on human intelligence from a man who headed the global human intelligence program for the Defense Intelligence Agency. The Portable Pat Lang is a collection of his best writings, both strategic analysis, historiography, and historical fiction.

Before his recent trilogy of writings, Pat produced a three-volume historical novel about spycraft, set during the Civil War. He later wrote a series of short stories carrying the narrative through to the end of the nineteenth century exclusively for The Portable Pat Lang.

Pat, on rare occasions, would make appeals to his committee of correspondence to make small financial contributions to cover some of the overhead costs of maintaining the website. There is no need for that today, but I do call on all of you to be sure you have copies of all of Pat’s books, post reviews on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, and spread the word to others. Purchase copies to donate to your local libraries and to military institutes.

Pat often commented that his skills in human intelligence were initially formed as an English Literature major at VMI, where the vast majority of his fellow cadets were in the engineering programs. He had a gift for writing and for conveying his experiences in a way that was intelligible, passionate, personal, and illuminating.

As part of Pat’s legacy, we will be at the Miami Book Fair in November at the Writers Row, selling his books, contacting libraries and publishers. This is as he wished. He has left behind a durable legacy and it is now on our shoulders to spread it.

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  1. cobo says:

    I have everything he wrote. I’ll start on them, soon. He kicked my ass when I needed it, but he never turned me away. Reading his books isn’t some kind of nostalgia for me. It is preparation for my next, most challenging phase of life. If that bothers you – good. Cobo

    • F&L says:

      I recently found some marbles rolling around on the floor here. You wouldn’t have any idea where they came from, would you? I certainly hope it doesn’t bother you that I ask. Thanks.

  2. Fred says:

    Thanks Harper. Is that the fair at Miami Dade CC?

  3. jim says:

    Langs Civil War Trilogy “Strike The Tent” Has everything In Them that Pat Could write;;That Combined ALL Areas of His .Interest.and Experiences…Military..Intrigue..Espionage…History…. Politics..Mind Sets..

    That whole Series should Be Made Imto A Movie..Put on The History..or
    Discovery Channel…As Well As Documentary’s Based On Pats other Books..

    Brilliant Mind..And I miss his Input here..How He Would Read Current Events..
    NOW..F-16s…The Final Putin Excuses ..For WW3….Saudi Border Guards..Killing Hundreds of Migrants…Men..Women..Children…The “Black Hole”…Commeth..

    The Complex Long Debates..on This Site Now…compared to Pats..”Moderation”

    The Heat Index ,,All of Middle America…130 Degrees..Prophetic..It Is..Prophetic

    • F&L says:

      Thanks, Jim. Went right by me, had to look it up. The thing is – why isn’t it better known? Another tribute to Col Pat Lang, who taught so many people how to learn for themselves.

      We were fired on repeatedly. I saw people killed in a way I have never imagined. I saw 30 killed people on the spot. I pushed myself under a rock and slept there. I could feel people sleeping around me. I realized what I thought were people sleeping around me were actually dead bodies. I woke up and I was alone.

      – Hamdiya, 14 years old

  4. Barbara Ann says:

    My very best wishes for your efforts to preserve Col. Lang’s legacy through his writings Harper. The blog he curated remains his magnum opus and it’s great TTG has been able to retain its essence as a civilized place for the passionate exchange of ideas.

  5. Keith Harbaugh says:

    Intelligence is dependent on information.
    Some of us are aging and wonder how Col. Lang made out as a person in his final years.
    It seems to me it would be beneficial if someone knowledgeable could write an account of such at this blog.

    He certainly made his thinking about many issues widely known, through his books, public appearances, and two blogs.
    It seems natural to wonder how he made out as a person.
    If advancing age brought cognitive issues, there is no shame in that – that happens to so many.
    Also he wrote of some degree of regret about being vaccinated against COVID – was that an issue in his final years?

    He made his life an example for so many.
    Should we be allowed to learn from his passing?

    • F&L says:

      It’s quite possible his cognition and or mood were affected if his descriptions of “brain bleeds” were accurate regarding his illnesses consequent the two vaccinations, and I can’t see why they wouldn’t be. On his Facebook page I read his accounts of the very arduous struggles he had with chronic and quite severe pain for much of his life due to his strenuous professional activities and later development of some form of gout. Chronic and severe pain can greatly affect anxiety levels and lead to anger, not to mention the anger associated with one of the phases of death. My great Uncle who lived to nearly 100 or more was a very sweet man all his life but became exceedingly bitter the last few years – he would scream at his sister for not telling him not to purchase a hospital stock from 1946 – screaming in 1992 from a hospital bed, bedridden. I knew a very happily married couple who in their twilight years would carp over seemingly ridiculous things from decades long past, yelling at each other about their respective no-good families. The poor Polish Jews – (the husband) – despised the rich Amsterdam Jews, (the wife) “you were spoiled you appreciate nothing .” And even worse in the opposite direction, the Polish Jews were “unspeakable trash etc I should have listened to my mother and never had a thing to do with you” etc. Both distinguished university professors, one a child psychologist, but really old. These were two Berlin Jews who got out in the 1930s, screaming about hating one variety of Jew rather that the other variety, 40 years later after surviving WW2 and Hitler. Old Age.

      Reasoning purely by analogy from the above, Col Lang’s bitterness regarding the flower-power generation’s attitudes over Viet Nam and his other antagonisms about “communists” etc may come into clearer focus. I thought his comments on the bizarre Woke movement and the BLM rioting and arson were for the most part excellent. How even a perfectly youthful person with superb cognitive faculties could NOT experience anger or at least shock over that pair of menaces is in my opinion evidence of either brain damage or unusually early senility. In the overall context of the pandemic, the absence of either is in fact evidence of incomprehensible stupidity if not utter depravity, imho.

      In conclusion, I note his interest in possible breakthrough pharmaceuticals for treatment of Alzheimers disease. It could be he feared losing his faculties but more likely he wanted insurance in case he lived another several decades and even more likely it was simply evidence of his brilliant, inquiring and basically ever youthful mind at work. Knowing his wry sense of humor though, he may have been trying to make a sly comment about Mitch, Nancy and or Joe without directly saying so.

      • TTG says:


        Pat’s cognition and mood were fine right up to the end. In the final few months we spoke often, we laughed and joked, discussed world events and got along as any brothers in arms would. Sure he was frustrated that his doctors couldn’t pinpoint what was ailing him. They couldn’t say why he got Bell’s Palsy years before Covid ever hit us. He was physically slowing down. We couldn’t go shooting anymore. He couldn’t get around like he once could and his shooting eyes were going. Hell, we’re all experiencing that. All those old injuries and wear and tear eventually catch up with us. Despite our similar career paths, our politics were very different. So different that he banned me as a guest writer twice. So what. You think ODA team mates never get into it? What connected us always brought us back together and we just never dwelled on our differences. The connections were always more important.

        He reminded me of my own father who faced death several times, kicked him square in the balls, laughed in his face and told him, Not today.” When death finally came for him, I’m sure Death was shivering in his boots and crying in fear knowing that he had to face my father one more time. Like my father, I’m sure Pat was happy, content and fully in control till the very end. He always liked that line from “The Eiger Sanction” when Clint Eastwood tells his climbing partner that they’ll make it but his partner responds, “I don’t think so, but we will continue with style.” That’s all any of us can hope for, to continue with style for none of us are going to make it out of here alive.

  6. d74 says:

    Support too far away by language and distance but confident.

  7. leith says:

    Harper –

    I’ll donate his works to my local library. Can I purchase them direct from his estate instead of paying the Bezos/Amazon empire?

  8. F&L says:

    Col Lang had great respect for this man of letters. His assertion at min 10:30 that wildfires are increasing due to “the left’s” ideas that having timber companies cut trees is “not natural,” strikes me as stretching things a bit in order to buttress his overall argument, but it’s interesting given what’s been in evidence, as is most of what he has to say. The fact that housing isn’t being built due to Wall Street & private equity firms cornering the stocks of housing, and deliberately not building so as to drive up their lucrative rental schemes isn’t mentioned but should be and certainly is an input for the timber industry, one would suspect. Forest management is very complex.
    Victor David Hanson: Demise of California (13 min)

  9. Whitewall says:

    “The Human Factor: The Phenomenon of Espionage, and The Portable Pat Lang.”
    These two works I have read and re-read as things I thought I knew, well, I didn’t. Both books have made me more suspicious of people in power as well as most everything the media prints or reports. Long term that’s probably good.

    “Tattoo”, what can I say…it is truly heroic. Even at 6 foot 3 inches tall until a few years ago, I felt quite small by the time I finished reading it.

    Colonel Lang is missed.

  10. Harper says:

    Thank you all for the comments. All of Pat’s books can be purchased directly from I-Universe, the publisher. This allows bypassing Bezos Universe and is probably also the fastest way to access them. For those in the Miami area in November, all of Pat’s books will be available for purchase at the Writer’s Row at the Miami Book Fair at the downtown Miami Wolfson campus of Miami Dade College.

  11. Escarlata says:

    Hi, it´s ages I do not come here, at Turcopolier, because of lack of time, absorbed as I am now in Telegram, since the start of the Russian SMO, and, let´s be honest, because I never was a member of this committee…It was Pat who had the patience to deal with me here….

    It is curious, but today, I was driving home from job and was hearing at a classic channel Elvis´”Suspicious Mind” and, since an old very american music, I dunno why but I remembered Colonel Lang…..
    You know, he was the american I longest treated, even if only online and through this blog…


    Came here out of curiosity, to see what was going on, and found out you were all also remembering him these days….

    I miss him too….He was very funny….There is not so many funny people left, especially since the “pandemic”….

  12. English Outsider says:

    To me he was the best and his site unique. He stayed sharp to the end and the end came far too soon. I do not think he liked what his country, indeed the West, was becoming.

    I miss his voice, as does the family. I was glad when TTG took on the heavy burden of continuing the site. Thanks, TTG.

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