History / Intelligence / Iraq

The Chilcot Report

Professionally, I do a lot of work on the decision to go to war with Iraq. That involved a lot of work with now-declassified documents pertaining to Iraq, its alleged nuclear, biological and chemical programs in the 1990s, efforts to procure something called yellowcake, alleged connections to al-Qaeda, and so on. I read books, I watch videos, I study memoirs, and I swim through history. This morning, the British government finished and posted to its website (here) a 6505 page, 6.5 million word report summarizing British involvement in Iraq, from the run-up and decision to invade, to the withdrawal

History / Intelligence / Military / etc.

The train derailment in Russia

CNN is just now starting to talk about a 1.5 meter by 1 meter hole under the railbed, and Russian assertions that — gasp! — this tragic accident may not be an accident but indeed the work of (dum, dum, DUM!) terrorists. Well, of course it’s terrorism. Investigators have shown up and have begun to ask questions of the locals — have there been strangers in the area recently? Maybe Chechens? Or some other terrorists from the North Caucasus region? I have no doubt that it’s terrorism, and would not be surprised in the least if it turns out

Blogging / Culture / History / etc.

Gays in America: The Tipping Point

I read an interesting article in the USA Today. The article was on the death of Del Martin, a longtime gay rights activist. She is often cited as having played a critical role in changing gay rights, ultimately leading to legalized marriage for all in California. In reading the article, one thing struck me: In 100 years, when people study the history of this era, what will they see as being the tipping point for the change in the role of gays and the view of homosexuality in our society? I wonder. I’m not sure it was any one

History / Intelligence / Iraq

Killing Saddam

I had lunch with the kids today, at a local fast food joint. The kids picked the table while I was getting the food — the picked one right under a TV. The sound was almost off, but the news of the hour was the release of the video of the hanging and death of Saddam Hussein. I wasn’t about to draw attention to the news by forcing us to go to another table, bu I did position the kids so that they really didn’t have a good view of the screen. But it was still on. We had

History / Intelligence / Iran / etc.

My Open Letter to Nancy Pelosi

Ma’am: There are three kinds of fighting going on in Iraq, and it’s clear from your recent statements that you might not understand the scope of the fighting there. As a guy who has been on the ground there and who remains part of this nation’s armed forces while we are at war, let me see if I can offer some additional clarification for you. I would hate for you to assume your new duties as Speaker of the House while not understanding something as important as Iraq. 1. There is Sunni / Shi’a violence. Yes, you can think

44 Days / Army / History / etc.

19 March: Bubba

I’d like to be able to tell you that the war started for me with a bang, with some significant event that symbolized heading off to war – crossing the berm, lifting off and heading north, firing that first round. It didn’t. It started with a phone call. It could only have been more comical if the word had come via a PowerPoint slide briefing. “She’s turning around,” they said, “heading to an immediate target.” OK, well, that’s unusual. She is, of course, the U2 – the Dragon Lady, my mistress of the night. In the seven or so