Open Thread – 14 August 2020



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47 Responses to Open Thread – 14 August 2020

  1. Leith says:

    Anybody else besides me having a slowdown in delivery of TRICARE/ExpressScripts medications? My SWMBO has several that she depends on that are now taking several weeks.

  2. EEngineer says:

    About a week ago I saw an report that the US Navy had seized a ship bound for Iran just outside Chinese waters. Today zerohedge runs a piece about Iranian tankers headed for Venezuela being seized. No details though. Psyop? Real? Someone trying to drum up a nice little war or provoke a response? Anyone have insight?

  3. Fred says:

    I was listening to Forrest Pogue’s interview with General George C. Marshall recently and in one General Marshal mentioned that the original Normanday invasion plans envisioned using the airborn forces to sieze airfields near Paris and use the transport aircraft to reinforce them rather than the alternate, which Eisenhower chose, to scatter them in drops directly behind the invasion beaches. I don’t recall having read or heard of that before but it certainly sounds like it would have changed the course of the war during the summer of 1944.

  4. ex PFC Chuck says:

    A couple of provocative reads. First up a two part series by the Canadian Matthew Ehret suggesting, among other things, we here in the USA are still, de facto, a part of the British Empire:
    “The Brookings Hand Behind Russiagate Points Back to Rhodes Trust Coup on America”
    “The Birth of a Global Nation: What Makes a Modern Rhodes Scholar?”
    Then there’s this by James Attucher, a long-time denizen of the New York theater scene:
    “NYC Is Dead Forever. Here’s Why”

  5. Vegetius says:

    Anyone know if Van Riper’s memo on the Millennium Challenge 2002 exercise has been declassified?
    Anybody have any thoughts on this exercise in light of recent and much ballyhooed Russian hypersonic weapons tech? Specifically, are our carrier battlegroups as useless as some would have us believe?

  6. English Outsider says:

    Open thread so I wondered if you might like an update on how Brexit’s going, Colonel.
    One or two loose ends to tidy up but another few years should see it done.
    I loved your new music section.

  7. J says:

    Retd. LTC John Nagel, Ret. LTC Paul Yingling sent a letter to CJCS Gen. Mark Milley, the letter was titled “All Enemies, Foreign and Domestic: An Open Letter to Gen. Milley” demanding that he overthrow President Trump.
    The thing these two individuals seem to overlook is the fact that their claims have no basis in either fact or reality, as President Trump has in no way whatsoever subverted the electoral system or assaulted the integrity of an election that hasn’t even taken place, as well as no one even knowing what private army he has supposedly created.

  8. Deap says:

    Do we have a system so fragile that one changed word by staff attorney Clinesmith can be used to take down a President?
    Or did Clinesmith provide the thread that unravels the entire deep state conspiracy against Trump, these past four years. Clinesmith is the bottom of the toothpaste tube that will get squeezed all the way to the top, in order to get it all out.

  9. Bobo says:

    Kevin Clinesmith has been charged which is a beginning. Seems Page was a source for a governmental agency as well as a source for the FBI but that somehow escaped the initial FISA filing on Page but that was not enough as an honest SSA demanded the information prior to filing a subsequent FISA filing and Clinesmith changed the wording from the other agency to state Page “was not a source”.
    What kind of people were running the FBI to eat their own in pursuit of another who was innocent. Pure SCUM.

  10. Schoppee_j says:

    Do you have any thoughts or concerns regarding the current national ammunition shortage? I’m curious if there are any external forces beyond COVID or demand that are making it more extreme. In my area, most caliber ammunition is completely unavailable.

  11. FakeBot says:

    1. Elliot Abrams is now US envoy to Iran. I don’t think he’s going to be fiddling his thumbs for the next couple of months. Is Trump trying to win Adelson back and put money back into Republican coffers with this move?
    2. Putin wants a UN security council summit regarding Iran. Says its urgent to avoid a confrontation. Are tensions escalating to point of no return after the spate of orchestrated bombings?
    3. Maybe there is light at the end of the tunnel, however. There is a possibility Germany is working out some deal with Iran through a backchannel with the US. You can read about it here:
    Given the deal between the UAE and Israel, maybe. Trump did promise the deal of the century. If all parties involved are willing to make the right concessions, who knows…

  12. turcopolier says:

    Schoppee j
    with the boom in weapons sales there is a logically large boom in ammunitions sales. that’s all. i have my pile.

  13. turcopolier says:

    He is kinda cute. Would be the most popular guy in the prison showers. He will sing like a bird to get a deal that keeps him from playing “who dropped the soap.”

  14. turcopolier says:

    j et al
    I know Nagl. He is a very conceited man who was swept away by the success of his book about the Arab Revolt in WW1. I debated him once and over a drink afterward told him that counter-insurgency is not a strategy that works unless the country fought over belongs to you. The costs of success in blood and treasure are so high that you give up before the insurgents do. I told him that we would fail in Iraq and Afghanistan and that the failure would destroy him. It did.

  15. turcopolier says:

    I would not be surprised to see Trumpy pull a deal with Iran out of his a-s with German help.

  16. Jim says:

    Kevin Clinesmith
    The indictment of ex-FBI lawyer Clinesmith today for falsifying information presented to FISA court, by AG Barr’s Special [prosecutor] Attorney John Durham, includes information saying CIA [indictment says OGA, other government agency] provided Crossfire Hurricane investigators documentation showing Carter Page was a CIA asset of some sort. [Page has said numerous times publicly he assisted CIA.]
    Indictment says this information: provided by CIA to FBI/DOJ in August 2016 — at request of Crossfire Hurricane investigators [showing Page’s work for agency].
    This would be more than two months before FISA court authorized spying on Page, that October.
    Indictment says none of this particular information was: included in any FISA application sought by DOJ – that is, showing Page was CIA asset of some sort.
    It says the 4 FISA against Page [all good for up to 90 days] approved on
    Oct. 21, 2016
    Jan. 12, 2017
    April 7, 2017
    June 29, 2017
    What is interesting is that today’s Durham indictment of Clinesmith says that:
    “During the preparation of FISA #4, an FBI Supervisory Special Agent, who was the affiant on FISA #4, asked the defendant [Clinesmith] to inquire with the OGA [other government agency, CIA] as to whether the Individual #1 [Carter Page] had ever been a ‘source’ for the OGA.” [Page is identified as Individual #1 in indictment.]
    It is at this point, in June 2017, Clinesmith, the indictment said, allegedly broke the law by falsifying information.
    The false information involves Clinesmith making representation that Page wasn’t CIA asset of some sort.
    This false information was in FISA #4 [that expired Sept. 22, 2017].
    To recap:
    1] Crossfire Hurricane investigators had the correct information on Page, at least since August 2016. [And did not include this in FISAs #1-3]]
    2] An FBI Supervisory Special Agent asked Clinesmith, June 2017, to verify this [again], in June 2017. [And did include the falsified information, in #4].
    This shows incompetence and/or malice and/or?
    If the correct Page CIA information was not included in first three FISA, why was false information provided in fourth one? Wouldn’t it have not still been approved? [albeit, however falsely, as 1-3 were?]
    Why did this FBI SSA ask for this re-affirmation about Page, from Clinesmith?
    Five page indictment at

  17. EEngineer says:

    What are the odds the Iranians take the beating to give the US (Trump) a bloody nose in return? Trump seems to negotiate like a mafia don that’s used to pounding on suits that will settle when you throw them a few dollars. The Iranians are made of a lot harder stuff. Both side might also think war works in their favor, even if only for domestic political reasons.

  18. ked says:

    I would be equally unsurprised if a US military action against Iran took place. Say, sometime in October.

  19. Deap says:

    Open thread topic: Into the mix of new information about potential covid comorbidities, California Dental Association presents a study linking periodontal (gum) disease with extreme covid reactions:
    This can be a possible explanation why this concentrated in congregrate care facilities, where one can assume dental care for the very frail elderly is marginal at best. Worth more exploration.

  20. mcohen says:

    Had anyone tried a fish called orange roughy.Beautiful white fillets.They are in season in oz.Going to try cooking them in coarse salt.
    Also thinking of grilled turkey fillets in bread crumbs.I think that the Beirut blast loosened the African rift plate.Definitely.

  21. Deap says:

    Any insights into this article from American Thinker: “What is with all those (anti-Trump) retired military officers?”

  22. Deap says:

    Alleged Kevin Klinesmith statements after election day 2016 (FOIA):
    Attorney 2: “I’m just devastated. I can’t wait until I can leave today and just shut off the world for the next four days…
    —I just can’t imagine the systematic disassembly of the progress we made over the last 8 years.
    —ACA is gone.
    —Who knows if the rhetoric about deporting people, walls and crap is true.
    —I honestly feel like there is going to be a lot more gun issues too, the crazies won finally.
    —This is the tea party on steroids.
    — And the GOP is going to be lost, they have to deal with an incumbent in 4 years. We have to fight this again.
    —Also Pence is stupid.”

  23. Jim S says:

    A lack of musical interlude lately, so here’s ein klein popmusik:
    Moskau – Dischingis Khan
    99 Luftballons – Nena
    Together In Electric Dreams – Giorgio Moroder
    Plastic Love – Mariya Takeuchi
    Take On Me – A-Ha
    Désenchantée – Mylene Farmer
    Please Don’t Leave Me – Pretty Maids
    Sleeping Sun – Nightwish
    Dans Ma Memoire – In-Grid
    Byakkoya no Musume/White Tiger Field – Susumu Hirasawa
    There’s Something About Us Under The Sheets – Ellie Goulding vs. Daft Punk
    The In-Grid track is the weakest of the list; any suggestions to replace it?

  24. Babak makkinejad says:

    I would be.

  25. Babak makkinejad says:

    There will be no deal with US, that train was wrecked when Major General Solimani was murdered.
    Germany is a nobody, in fact, so is the entire European Union.

  26. Serge says:

    After a week of what is considered heavy fighting for this theater, IS Central African Wilayat seized the port town of Cabo Delgado in northern Mozambique. Area happens to be sitting on an Exxon gas field worth 60$billion, project backed by many govs including the UK which has reportedly dumped 1$billion into the project. Interestingly the Russian Wagner group has been fighting IS hard here on behalf of the Mozambique government for the past 1.5 years. This branch of IS, split between groups of ex-ADF ugandans exiles based in the Congo and these muslim anti-government groups in Mozambique, is the newest IS wilayat declared in April 2019, and the most low tech of the bunch.

  27. Adrestia says:

    next week the IDFAF Will start expertises in Germany for the first time in its history. 6 F16I (the Israëli modified F16) and 2 G550 Aew-ew supporter bv Israëli tankers tot the flights in and out. Also at very short notice (within a week)
    Also a lot of security measures on the ground inclusief new fences that prevent ground views.
    The way the tankers operatie is not the usual on similar exercises. Couldn’t help thinking about training for a long range raid. Iran seemed a logical target.
    Could be coincidence.

  28. J says:

    The thing that really stuck out in Nagel and Yingling’s letter to Milley, is that it wreaked with how they feel they’re now so impotent and so starved for attention, and hey guys we’re still here . Of course notwithstanding the lack of any credibility in their ‘rantings against POTUS’.
    Both are attention starved individuals and bat-sh*t crazy.

  29. turcopolier says:

    They are simple minded and want war.

  30. Barbara Ann says:

    The White Revolution appears to be gaining a head of steam in Belarus. It will be very interesting to see the Kremlin’s response. After 2014 I assume exactly such a scenario has both been envisaged and planned for. Lukashenko himself seems all out of friends – entirely thanks to his own efforts.

  31. FakeBot says:

    Jim, how about putting some whiskey in the jar-o? A little Allman Brothers maybe. You know Elvis never hurt anybody.

  32. JoeC100 says:

    This appears to be a small bit of good bipartisan news from Congress:
    Now perhaps action could finally be taken to acknowledge and compensate the South Vietnamese we sent into North Vietnam who were mostly captured.

  33. simp says:

    US Fails to renew UN Arms embargo against Iran in embarrassing defeat.
    “Washington and the Dominican Republic were the only yes votes, according to Reuters..”

  34. rjj says:

    1. REMINDER: Today is the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment. Admonition to Tyler: μηδὲν ἄγαν – ‘Nothing in excess’ also applies to both decorum and moderation. Gravitas gets ya down.
    2. is Crabill’s still the go-to place for LOCALLY raised and processed meats. Most of the posts in the links below are 5-10 years old. Things have changed. Would appreciate updated recommendations.

  35. turcopolier says:

    Are you still up in Maine? I sold my house in the Valley and haven’t been to Crabill’s for years.

  36. The Beaver says:

    What will Bibi, the Zionists like Feltman or the SoS do ?
    It is going to be a 6 hour long verdict !

  37. wtofd says:

    Finishing Windrow’s The Last Valley and the VM sappers just reached the airstrip. Ugh. Cannot recommend this book too strongly. Really magnificent. The French bungled airdrops are heartbreaking.

  38. Fred says:

    finished up the last of the Crabill’s sausage I had frozen earlier in the year. Sadly the China plague over-reacation has caused me to miss out on traveling to VA this year. (Paris too for that matter). They were still going strong 18 months ago, I suspect they are still as good as ever.

  39. turcopolier says:

    Yes, the ultimate VN book.

  40. rjj says:

    Been rusticating in down home country for a while. First stopped by bad winter weather then the virus. Intend/hope to return when auspices [or the reliability of expert opinion (this may take a while)] improve.

  41. Fred says:

    Looks like there are some financial problems North of the border.
    What would be the benefit of proroguing parliament, other than Justin remaining as Prime Minister?

  42. Keith Harbaugh says:

    Not sure if this is worth noting.
    Your call, Colonel.
    “Anthony Schinella, 52, the National Intelligence Officer for Military Issues, shot himself on June 14 in the front yard of his Arlington home.

    As NIO for Military Issues, Schinella was the highest-ranking military affairs analyst in the U.S. intelligence community…”

  43. turcopolier says:

    Keith Harbaugh
    Why do they have an NIO for that?

  44. Keith Harbaugh says:

    To your question, I have no idea.
    To the general readership, if any of you have Scotch warriors in your ancestry, here is a video towards that heritage:

  45. turcopolier says:

    Keith Harbaugh
    That would be me among others.

  46. Keith Harbaugh says:

    Schinella’s wife, Sara Corcoran, describes in great detail the events immediately prior to Schinella’s suicide:
    It is particularly interesting how the US MSM have totally ignored this story.
    Google “schinella suicide” to see this.
    OTOH, the UK media is all over it.
    One may wonder why the discrepancy.
    For Tony’s truly outstanding contributions to society, it is hard to imagine a more laudatory writeup than:
    His wife, Sara Cocoran, was a prominent and prolific contributor to the media.
    An example, dealing with her experience with men of Brett Kavanaugh’s generation and social class, is:

  47. Keith Harbaugh says:

    Colonel: While issues involving the U.S. Navy are surely not central to this blog,
    even so I think the following article raises some high-level issues involving the USN worth mentioning.
    A sample from the article:
    “While the “Fat Leonard” scandal is a symptom of various cultural ills plaguing parts of the U.S. Navy, the Navy’s problems with ship handling—as well as recent fire prevention and disease response missteps—manifested more than a decade ago, years before the “Fat Leonard” investigation exploded into public view.

    Years before “Fat Leonard” was arrested, concern over naval ship-handling was on full display. As early as 2006, Captain Stuart Landersman (USN, Ret.), in a scathing professional article, noted how ship handling went from a critical competency, “essential to a career officer’s reputation, professionalism and promotion,” to where it was no longer included in Fitness Reports and Counseling Records.”
    P.S. I have no idea how blame should be divided among the possibilities.
    Just want to front some of those possibilities.

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