Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Police Officer Deaths 2009

By LARRY MARGASAK, Associated Press Writer Larry Margasak, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON – Law enforcement deaths this year dropped to their lowest level since 1959, while the decade of the 2000s was among the safest for officers — despite the deadliest single day for police on Sept. 11, 2001.

The drop in deaths, cited in a police group's report Monday, was tempered by an increase in firearm deaths. In one horrific November shooting, four officers were executed as they discussed their upcoming shift in a Lakewood, Wash., coffee shop.

Through Dec. 27, the report by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund found:

_124 officers were killed this year, compared to 133 in 2008. The 2009 total represents the fewest line-of-duty deaths since 108 a half-century ago.

_Traffic fatalities fell to 56, compared to 71 a year ago. The report said the decline was partly attributed to "move over" state laws, which require motorists to change lanes to give officers clearance on the side of a road.

_Firearms deaths rose to 48, nine more than in 2008. However, the 39 fatalities in 2008 represented the lowest annual figure in more than five decades.

_Thirty-five states and Puerto Rico had officer fatalities in 2009, with Texas the only state in double figures. Texas had 11 fatalities, followed by Florida, 9; California, 8; and North Carolina and Pennsylvania, 7.

_Six federal officers died in 2009, including three Drug Enforcement Administration special agents killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan while conducting counter-narcotics operations.

_One female officer was killed in 2009, compared with 13 the previous year. There was no explanation for the decline.

_An average of 162 officers a year died in the 2000s, compared with 160 in the 1990s, 190 in the 1980s and 228 in the 1970s — the deadliest decade for U.S. law enforcement. Seventy-two officers died on Sept. 11.

"To reach a 50-year low in officer deaths is a real credit to the law enforcement profession and its commitment to providing the best possible training and equipment to our officers," said the Memorial Fund chairman and chief executive officer, Craig Floyd.

"But we cannot allow ourselves to be lulled into a state of complacency. There are nearly 60,000 criminal assaults against our law officers every year in this country, resulting in more than 15,000 injuries. And, over the past decade, more than 1,600 officers have been killed in the line of duty."

Fifteen deaths occurred in five incidents during the year, showing the potential danger in domestic disturbances, traffic stops and serving arrest warrants.

In March, four Oakland, Calif., officers were killed after a traffic stop and subsequent barricade incident.

Three Pittsburgh officers, responding to a domestic disturbance, were ambushed in April by a heavily armed gunman wearing a bullet-resistant vest.

That same month, two Okaloosa County, Fla., sheriff's deputies were gunned down while trying to arrest a domestic violence suspect.

In July, two Seminole County, Okla., sheriff's deputies were shot and killed while trying to serve an arrest warrant.

Domestic disturbance calls were particularly dangerous for officers in 2009, resulting in 11 deaths, while unprovoked ambushes led to the deaths of six officers.

The report was issued in conjunction with a second police group, Concerns of Police Survivors.


On the Net:

National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund: http://www.lawmemorial.org/researchbulletin

My comments: High number of assaults where, fortunately, officer's aren't dying.
I'd like to know how many officer shootings there were this year and compare it to others.
I was speaking at length about this yesterday with a colleague. There are a lot of close range shootings. Officers need more CQB training, and cannot hesitate to kill in order to survive...or rather, use deadly force in order to stay safe. I believe officer's have many more chances than not to use deadly force, but they (some) fail to use it because of a host of reasons, most notably Monday morning quarterbacking and problems with legals issues, department issues, media and stress that follows. Our officers need more support when they make the right decision or more tragedies will follow.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Day Terrorist Attack

I wasn't surprised to hear about an attack on an airplane on Christmas day by an al Qaeda terrorist. It's a Christian holiday. I believe there must have been at least three other attacks that didn't occur for one reason or another. After all, al Qaeda doctrine is to attack in fours. They figure, quite rightly, that one might chicken out or another might get thwarted for one reason or another. Most people aren't aware that when Richard Reid, the infamous Shoe Bomber, tried to light his shoe bomb he did so in conjunction with another guy on another plane who got....excuse the pun...cold feet.

So, what is it that saved the plane bound for Detroit? (Note: Dearborn, Michigan outside of Detroit is home to the largest Islamic populations in the US.)

But first let's take a look at why terrorists chose an airplane on Christmas day.

Remember they're looking for the spectacular. They want something that will spread mass fear and chaos. They want to hit an economic target. I submit there is nothing better than blowing up a commercial airplane in midair.

Nevertheless, there are some other interesting soft targets that wouldn't require sneaking past security or risk that aspect of being caught.

Attacking a mall wouldn't be smart, because there aren't any large crowds on Christmas day...though watch out from here on out! The same goes for attacking airports prior to the so-called secure side -- there's simply not enough people on Christmas day. But an airplane. Now that'd leave a lasting impression whatever the day.

Folks, it's just a matter of time. I've been saying that ever since I was an air marshal. I told several people that in NYC just a few weeks before the London Bomb Plot was uncovered. Remember that? That's when terrorists wanted to blow up several planes over the Atlantic Ocean. Luckily, it didn't happen.

Ever since the Bojinka Plot and the rehearsal prior to it on the Philippines airliner that left a gaping hole in the plane and killed a Japanese student and injured or killed some others, if I recall correctly, al Qaeda has recognized blowing up planes in midair as a great thing to do.

Where are some questions to ponder -- some with answers and others rhetorical:

1) Why didn't the terrorist just go to the lav and blow himself up there? Q: He likely didn't have enough explosive so he stayed over the wing.

2) What will happen now with all the innocent, law abiding passengers, just trying to get from one destination to another hassle free? Will the TSA make life even more hectic for them? Please remove your shoes, your belts, your wallet...?

3) Surely Western intelligence and law enforcement professionals have done a good job in many instances. I believe we do not hear about many attacks because they are quietly handled, thankfully. But I pose this last question: Was it Divine providence, in conjunction with quick-acting citizens, that thwarted this horrific terrorist attack? I answer: Yes, absolutely.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

TSA gives away more secrets

Why doesn't the TSA just release all the names and photos of the undercover Federal Air Marshals (FAMs) too? Duh...

The TSA (and the FAMS managers) has given away more secrets and sensitive information to the public than should have ever been allowed. Aside from the TSA recently publishing information online about the security screening process -- thus giving any terrorist or kook information on how to defeat screening -- they recently also gave away more information about the secretive air marshal program. Unfortunately, it's not anything new. The FAM Service under Tom Quinn gave away so many secrets it was unreal! Glad I'm not there any longer.

The public is not safe...

To see the latest blundering faux pas, click here: http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/tsa-security-cops-blast-release-handgun-information/story?id=9403793

Friday, December 18, 2009

Please Remove Your Shoes -- the Movie

Please Remove Your Shoes is a powerful documentary film about aviation in-security. It's totally shocking. It debuts in 2010. Check out the links and trailers here:

PS I was invited to be interviewed for this film and I happily participated. The bulk of the film creates a powerful story of many patriotic individuals that will truly knock your...um...shoes off.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Free US Navy SEALs - Warning Graphic

This is a petition sponsored by Human Events ( http://www.humanevents.com/ ) to have the charges dropped against Navy SEAL operators SO2 Jonathan Keefe, SO1 Julio Huertas, and SO2 Matthew McCabe. These are the guys who captured Ahmed Hashim Abed – the terrorist who was responsible for the ambush, torture, murder, and desecration of the bodies of Scott Helvenston, Wesley Batalona, Jerry Zovko and Michael Teague all Blackwater employees in Fallujah Iraq on March 31, 2004. It seems that after his capture, Abed complained of having a bruised lip.

These SEALs are just the latest victims of a perverse U.S. Government witch hunt to persecute those who are on the front lines of defending America. Please sign the petition and pass on to your address book contacts.


Here's one AP pictures I took from the Internet the day after the attack of the mutilated bodies of the BW contractors attacked and immolated, then strung up over a bridge I would eventually cross over a few years later during my military deployment. Interestingly, a buddy of mine was asked to go on that mission with another contracting company.

We must never forget that our moral code is completely different than theirs.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

False Post


Thanks to a wise reader for letting me know that the last posting was falsely attributed to Dr. Kaiser.

Guess you can believe everything you read...

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

History Unfolding by Dr. David Kaiser

"My friends, we live in the greatest nation in the history of the world. I hope you'll join with me as we try to change it."
- Barack Obama

History Unfolding
I am a student of history. Professionally, I have written 15 books on history that have been published in six languages, and I have studied history all my life. I have come to think there is something monumentally large afoot, and I do not believe it is simply a banking crisis, or a mortgage crisis, or a credit crisis. Yes these exist, but they are merely single facets on a very large gemstone that is only now coming into a sharper focus.

Something of historic proportions is happening. I can sense it because I know how it feels, smells, what it looks like, and how people react to it. Yes, a perfect storm may be brewing, but there is something happening within our country that has been evolving for about ten to fifteen years. The pace has dramatically quickened in the past two.

We demand and then codify into law the requirement that our banks make massive loans to people we know they can never pay back? Why?

We learned just days ago that the Federal Reserve, which has little or no real oversight by anyone, has "loaned" two trillion dollars (that is $2,000,000,000,000) over the past few months, but will not tell us to whom or why or disclose the terms. That is our money. Yours and mine. And that is three times the $700 billion we all argued about so strenuously just this past September. Who has this money? Why do they have it? Why are the terms unavailable to us? Who asked for it? Who authorized it? I thought this was a government of "we the people," who loaned our powers to our elected leaders. Apparently not.

We have spent two or more decades intentionally de-industrializing our economy. Why?

We have intentionally dumbed down our schools, ignored our history, and no longer teach our founding documents, why we are exceptional, and why we are worth preserving. Students by and large cannot write, think critically, read, or articulate. Parents are not revolting, teachers are not picketing, school boards continue to back mediocrity. Why?

We have now established the precedent of protesting every close election (violently in California over a proposition that is so controversial that it simply wants marriage to remain defined as between one man and one woman. Did you ever think such a thing possible just a decade ago?) We have corrupted our sacred political process by allowing unelected judges to write laws that radically change our way of life, and then mainstream Marxist groups like ACORN and others to turn our voting system into a banana republic. To what purpose?

Now our mortgage industry is collapsing, housing prices are in free fall, major industries are failing, our banking system is on the verge of collapse, and social security is nearly bankrupt, as is medicare and our entire government. Our education system is worse than a joke (I teach college and I know precisely what I am talking about) - the list is staggering in its length, breadth, and depth. It is potentially 1929 x ten... And we are at war with an enemy we cannot even name for fear of offending people of the same religion, who, in turn, cannot wait to slit the throats of your children if they have the opportunity to do so.

And finally, we have elected a man that no one really knows anything about, who has never run so much as a Dairy Queen, let alone a town as big as Wasilla, Alaska. All of his associations and alliances are with real radicals in their chosen fields of employment, and everything we learn about him, drip by drip, is unsettling if not downright scary (Surely you have heard him speak about his idea to create and fund a mandatory civilian defense force stronger than our military for use inside our borders? No? Oh, of course. The media would never play that for you over and over and then demand he answer it. Sarah Palin's pregnant daughter and $150,000 wardrobe is more important.)

Mr. Obama's winning platform can be boiled down to one word: Change. Why?

I have never been so afraid for my country and for my children as I am now.

This man campaigned on bringing people together, something he has never, ever done in his professional life. In my assessment, Obama will divide us along philosophical lines, push us apart, and then try to realign the pieces into a new and different power structure. Change is indeed coming. And when it comes, you will never see the same nation again.

And that is only the beginning.

As a serious student of history, I thought I would never come to experience what the ordinary, moral German must have felt in the mid-1930s. In those times, the "savior" was a former smooth-talking rabble-rouser from the streets, about whom the average German knew next to nothing. What they should have known was that he was associated with groups that shouted, shoved, and pushed around people with whom they disagreed; he edged his way onto the political stage through great oratory. Conservative "losers" read it right now.

And there were the promises. Economic times were tough, people were losing jobs, and he was a great speaker. And he smiled and frowned and waved a lot. And people, even newspapers, were afraid to speak out for fear that his "brown shirts" would bully and beat them into submission. Which they did - regularly. And then, he was duly elected to office, while a full-throttled economic crisis bloomed at hand - the Great Depression. Slowly, but surely he seized the controls of government power, person by person, department by department, bureaucracy by bureaucracy. The children of German citizens were at first, encouraged to join a Youth Movement in his name where they were taught exactly what to think. Later, they were required to do so. No Jews of course.

How did he get people on his side? He did it by promising jobs to the jobless, money to the money-less, and rewards for the military-industrial complex. He did it by indoctrinating the children, advocating gun control, health care for all, better wages, better jobs, and promising to re-instill pride once again in the country, across Europe, and across the world. He did it with a compliant media - did you know that? And he did this all in the name of justice and.... change. And the people surely got what they voted for.

If you think I am exaggerating, look it up. It's all there in the history books.

So read your history books. Many people of conscience objected in 1933 and were shouted down, called names, laughed at, and ridiculed. When Winston Churchill pointed out the obvious in the late 1930s while seated in the House of Lords in England (he was not yet Prime Minister), he was booed into his seat and called a crazy troublemaker. He was right, though. And the world came to regret that he was not listened to.

Do not forget that Germany was the most educated, the most cultured country in Europe. It was full of music, art, museums, hospitals, laboratories, and universities. And yet, in less than six years (a shorter time span than just two terms of the U. S. presidency) it was rounding up its own citizens, killing others, abrogating its laws, turning children against parents, and neighbors against neighbors. All with the best of intentions, of course. The road to Hell is paved with them.

As a practical thinker, one not overly prone to emotional decisions, I have a choice: I can either believe what the objective pieces of evidence tell me (even if they make me cringe with disgust); I can believe what history is shouting to me from across the chasm of seven decades; or I can hope I am wrong by closing my eyes, having another latte, and ignoring what is transpiring around me..

I choose to believe the evidence. No doubt some people will scoff at me, others laugh, or think I am foolish, naive, or both. To some degree, perhaps I am. But I have never been afraid to look people in the eye and tell them exactly what I believe-and why I believe it.

I pray I am wrong. I do not think I am. Perhaps the only hope is our vote in the next elections.

Dr. Kaiser is a professor in the Strategy and Policy Department of the United States Naval War College and has previously taught at Carnegie Mellon, Williams College and Harvard University. Kaiser's latest book, The Road to Dallas, about the Kennedy assassination, was just published by Harvard University Press.
David Kaiser is a respected historian whose published works have covered a broad range of topics, from European Warfare to American League Baseball. Born in 1947, the son of a diplomat, Kaiser spent his childhood in three capital cities: Washington D.C,; Albany, New York, and Dakar , Senegal. He attended Harvard University, graduating there in 1969 with a B.A. in history. He then spent several years more at Harvard, gaining a PhD in history, which he obtained in 1976. He served in the Army Reserve from 1970 to 1976.

Monday, December 7, 2009


I'm outraged. How in the world can we win the war against terror when our US Navy SEALs are brought before a military tribunal for accusations of punching bonafide terror suspects? These same terrorists are lethally dangerous. They've killed US soldiers. Terrorists won't hesitate to sever off your head or ram planes into crowded buildings. Why in the world are operators subjected to this kind of treatment?

Now, I'm not saying any warrior should have carte blanche to go beyond what is civilly right in jus in bello, or how we should fight as a civil people, but we must remember that we cannot win an amoral enemy by adopting a pacifist mindset. We cannot win terrorists when we bring the so-called mastermind of 911 to NYC to be tried as if he has the same rights that have been afforded to US citizens! We cannot win the global war when we bring terrorists into the US and hope to treat them like they are common criminals.

If America ceases to understand the enemy, America will cease to win.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Terrorists in Our Backyard


My Little Brother

Although he looks a lot like me (and I hope I've adapted his kindness of heart and other great qualities), this is my little brother, Greg. I'm proud of him.