So, here I am in the mid-1980’s, ‘working’ as a private investigator. And I find myself in Phoenix Police HQ (7th Ave/Washington).
No, I hadn’t been arrested.
The shoe leather part of the job. This, of course, was pre-Internet.
And I needed a copy of a motor vehicle accident report to get info on a participant. Their name, address, DL#, DOB, and if/how they were cited in said accident.
Which of course, they were.
SO, I’m standing at the counter in the main lobby, along with other ne’er-do-wells (lawyers, insurance adjusters), when a voice calls out my name.
“GUFFAW!” (Of course, he really didn’t yell Guffaw, as if commanding the people around him to laugh. :-))
I turn around, and here’s my Criminalistics professor from college! He was one of the criminalists at PPD. I was surprised he recognized me – it had been maybe 7-8 years since I had seen him.
He asked if I were busy. I responded not particularly, and he offered me a tour of the PPD crime lab!
You must remember, this was before all the CSI-based TV; the procedurals where the cops catch and convict bad guys based on scientifically-determined physical evidence. It was many times asking questions and shoe leather which ruled the day.
But, I still thought it was cool!
The water-filled bullet trap they shot into to obtain exemplars of spent bullets. The cool old photos of how it was back in the day. The wall of firearms!
Yes, they had (and presumably still have) a wall with just about every model of gun you could imagine. For comparisons, testing, all manner of stuff. Most had been confiscated from arrestees.
So they were mostly junk – the good stuff having been returned to their lawful owners or sold at auction.
They even would sometimes loan firearms to the undercover guys, to strengthen their street cred. No police .38/.357 revolvers for these guys! (It WAS the 80’s)
And there she was, a shotgun. Short enough to conceal under a knee-length coat. An over/under 12 gauge.
Sawn off to maybe 14 inches! With a hacksaw!
A Diana-grade engraved shotgun! Looked like it had been hand sawn and then dragged behind a car! No doubt recovered from some hood.
I was almost in tears.
He did tell me that one officer went undercover and carried her. No one ever thought he was a cop until it was too late – I mean, what cop would defile such a fine machine like that?
Yes, yes, we should make all nicey nice with CUBA. Aside from the missiles, what did they ever do to us?
John Lowery — February 10, 2015
This column was originally published at www.aim.org
Whatever one thinks of President Barack Obama’s overtures to Cuba and the accompanying prisoner exchange, an important consideration in need of immediate attention is an accounting of our servicemen captured in the Vietnam War and imprisoned in Cuban-operated POW camps. Of utmost importance is an accounting of the 17 American airmen captured in North Vietnam and then taken to Cuba for medical experiments in torture techniques.
Most Americans are unaware that Cuba was deeply involved in the Vietnam War. In fact they had an engineering battalion called the “Girón Brigade,” that was maintaining Route Nine, a major enemy supply line into South Vietnam. Their facilities included a POW camp and field hospital very near the DMZ, just inside North Vietnam. Meanwhile Cuban interrogators worked in Hanoi at a prison known as the Zoo. We know of these operations and some of what happened to our servicemen after so managed to survive and be repatriated in the winter of 1973, during Operation Homecoming.
Following his release Major Jack Bomar, a Zoo survivor, described the brutal beating of Captain Earl G. Cobeil, an F-105F electronics warfare officer, by Cuban Major Fernando Vecino Alegret, known by the POWs as “Fidel.” Regarding Captain Cobeil, Bomar related, “he was completely catatonic. … His body was ripped and torn everywhere…Hell cuffs appeared almost to have severed his wrists…Slivers of bamboo were imbedded in his bloodied shins, he was bleeding from everywhere, terribly swollen, a dirty yellowish black and purple [countenance] from head to toe.”
In an effort to force Cobeil to talk “Fidel smashed a fist into the man’s face, driving him against the wall. Then he was brought to the center of the room and made to get down onto his knees. Screaming in rage, Fidel took a length of rubber hose from a guard and lashed it as hard as he could into the man’s face. The prisoner did not react; he did not cry out or even blink an eye. Again and again, a dozen times, [Fidel] smashed the man’s face with the hose.”
Because of his grotesque physical condition Captain Cobeil was not repatriated but instead was listed as “died in captivity,” with his remains returned in 1974. (Miami Herald, August, 22 1999, and Benge, Michael D. “The Cuban Torture Program, Testimony before the House International Relations Committee, Chaired by the Honorable Benjamin A. Gilman, November 4, 1999.) Incredibly, Fidel’s torture of Major James Kasler is well known as he somehow managed to survive the Cuban’s torture.
Much less is known about our 17 captured airmen taken to Cuba for “experimentation in torture techniques.” They were held in Havana’s Los Maristas, a secret Cuban prison run by Castro’s G-2 Intelligence service. A few were held in the Mazorra (Psychiatric) Hospital and served as human guinea pigs used to develop improved methods of extracting information through “torture and drugs to induce [American] prisoners to cooperate.”
After being shot down in April of 1972, U.S. Navy F-4 pilot, Lt. Clemmie McKinney, an African-American, was imprisoned near the Cuban compound called Work Site Five. His capture occurred while then-Cuban president Fidel Castro was visiting the nearby Cuban field hospital. Although listed as killed in the crash by DOD, his photograph standing with Castro, was later published in a classified CIA document.
More than 13 years later, on August 14, 1985, the North Vietnamese returned Lt. McKinney’s remains, reporting that he died in November 1972. However, a U.S, Army forensic anthropologist established the “time of death as not earlier than 1975 and probably several years later.” The report speculated that he had been a guest at Havana’s Los Maristas prison, with his remains returned to Vietnam for repatriation. (We also paid big money for the remains—delivered in stacks of green dollars to Hanoi aboard an AF C-141 from Travis AFB, California.) Unfortunately, our servicemen held in the Cuban POW camp near Work Site Five (Cong Truong Five), along with those in two other Cuban run camps were never acknowledged nor accounted for and the prisoners simply disappeared.
If our honor code of “Duty, Honor, Country,” and our national policy of “No man left behind,” are more than meaningless slogans, then before our relations with Cuba can be normalized, their murderous leadership must account for our POWs—especially the 17 airmen taken to Cuba. The civilized world and American veterans demand it.#
Additional research on this topic, by John Lowery, is below:
Cuba’s Vietnam War Involvement
Research by John Lowery
1. “Torture of American Prisoners by Cuban Agents,” Juan O. Tamayo, Miami Herald, August 22, 1999.
2. “ Cuban War Crimes Against American POWs,” Michael D. Benge, Cuba Program Research Paper, October 4, 1999. www.vvof.org/cuba_res.htm
3. “The Cuban Torture Program …Torture of American Prisoners by Cuban Agents,” Testimony of Michael D. Benge, before the House International Relations Committee Chaired by the Honorable Benjamin A. Gilman. November 4, 1999. www.aiipowmia.com/testimony/cuba_benge.html.
4. “Cuban War Crimes Against American POWs During the Vietnam War,” Mike Benge, National Alliance of Families,www.nationalalliance.org/cuba/benge2.htm (Undated)
5. “The Evidence is Clear,” POW/MIA Freedom Fighters,www.powmiaff.org/evidence.htm, May 23, 2006.
6. “ Benge, Michael Dennis, Bio” Loss/Capture report, 31 January 1968.
Guest columns do not necessarily reflect the views of Accuracy in Media or its staff.
“Fundamentally transform” I believe is the felicitous phrase used by The President, with regard to what his agenda
Of course, we are now friends and trade partners with
North Vietnam, too.
And, over the past 70 years, we made what was left of Nazi Germany into world power. Fortunately for the world, reunification with financially-inept East Germany crippled them, as will our pending annexation by Mexico.
And Mexico didn’t point missiles at us and torture our POWs during the Vietnam War…
Political correctness will kill The United States.
They are not my favorite, but they are close by.
And being near a university, there are many pretty people to watch – some of them college girls! :-)
They are overpriced, and the stores are filled with students and hipsters, but the ones I sometimes visit are clean, well stocked, and the staff is attentive.
As far as that goes.
Now comes the producers of corporate messaging, trying to imbue us with the idea that Starbucks supports inclusion, racial equality, and fairness. Except for White people. They, by the wearing of their very pink skin, are racist.
Almost simultaneously with this message being promoted by handouts and scrawling cryptic racial messages on their overpriced cups came ‘news’ across the Internet that Starbucks is anti-Semitic! (I wonder if this was planned?)
It seems there are numerous and ubiquitous stores throughout the Middle East in Arab countries, but the six lone stores in Israel have been closed by corporate edict!
It certainly must be because they are anti-Semitic. Right?
A quick Internet search determined that Hebrew doesn’t necessarily mean he brews coffee. The Israelis like their tea. And Starbucks, being of a profit-making mind, decided to close the stores as they weren’t producing.
As they have been in the Arab (coffee-drinking) nations.
Of course, it was only a year or two ago that Starbucks encouraged legal firearms possession in locales where doing so was legal – then reversed their decision and said it didn’t support such action in their stores.
Perhaps they should keep their corporate minds on their coffee and not my politics!?
Of course, I still carry discretely, wherever.
(FTC – Starbucks gives me nothing! Get your own coffee!)
(Truly, I cannot believe it’s been Twenty Years!)
There are things that are good to remember; things bad to remember; and things important to remember.
The crummy part of all this is sometimes my brain is not too good at discerning which is which, or what goes with what.
My character (being flawed and neurotic as it is) has a tendency to default to the bad.
A shrink, I’m certain, would say it’s all about low self esteem, negative messages from childhood, etc. The reasons don’t matter.
Twenty years ago, today was the accident in which our daughter Molly was killed.
I was driving – this makes me ultimately responsible, as I was The Dad. The Protector. The fact the other driver ran the red light while speeding is of no consequence.
I carry a sidearm. I’ve done so for 41 years. Long before I even met Molly’s mother, I chose to do whatever I could to protect myself and my family and friends. It’s a roll I haven’t taken lightly.
And I took my assignment as Protector even more seriously when I became a father. It’s what father’s are supposed to do!
We were making a left turn from 44th Street, East onto Thomas Road. A little after 1 PM. Going to Monkey Wards after an earlier visit to Famous Footwear @ 20th St. and Camelback. Saturday’s with 12 year old daughters meant shopping! The signal didn’t have a left turn arrow back then. It was just like in the movies – in the midst of completing the turn, I sensed something was wrong. Based on the estimated speed of the other car, we were pushed across the intersection in about one-tenth of a second.
And many lives changed forever.
I’ve no memory regarding what happened next. Nothing to recall on the witness stand months later. I was told I regained consciousness enough to give my estranged wife’s phone number to the ambulance guy, when I was asked if there was anyone he could call.
I had early drugged hospital memories of being on board a ship(!) Not enough consciousness to ask why I was on a ship. Turned out, with one (now re-inflated) collapsed lung and the other half filled with fluid, County Hospital had me on a pneumatic bed which kept hissing and rolling, to keep fluids from settling in my damaged lungs. Ribs pushed into a lung. Broken collar bone. Broken arm. Tube up the nose, and IV morphine/ativan drip.
My sister, wife and friends were there, being supportive and keeping loving watch as much as they could. Not wanting to answer the obvious question: Where was Molly?
In my few awake moments, I remember asking about the funeral, desperately wanting to be well enough to attend.
My wife was told Sunday morning there had not been any brain activity, and had the courage to disconnect life support. Had our roles been reversed, I don’t think I would have had the bravery. I am forever grateful to her for this. A number of folks benefited from her decision.
The funeral was that following Tuesday. I was largely unconscious in ICU at County for another two weeks.
Ultimately, after being moved to Good Sam, being given Tylenol in lieu of the morphine/ativan drip (!) and weeks in the regular hospital and rehab, I was able to walk and breathe again.
I was deeply depressed and pretty much just counting the days.
Until I could pay my respects.
That came weeks later.
I’ll say it again, as long as I take breath – Tell your family and friends you love them, right now!
Because you may never get another chance.
AND be an organ donor.
I try to remember the good times. The IMPORTANT ONES. It’s what has kept me alive for the past twenty years.
My thanks to all of you, family and friends, for holding me up, until I could stand on my own.
(Commentary has been turned off – I know how you all feel. Thanks, again.)
(Just to show I don’t just go after leftist weasels. I go after weasels from the right side of the aisle, as well ! – Guffaw)
How did Senate Republicans violate the Logan Act? Well they did that by being war mongers. But more specifically, when 47 members of Congress signed onto a letter that was sent to Iranian officials in an attempt to undermine the peace deal with Iran, they clearly violated the act — and also all committed felonies. According to Cornell University, the act reads:
“Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.”
You should go and read the whole essay. Republicans do just as many illegal acts as Democrats. It’s actually kind of surprising, with Democrats controling most of the media, that this isn’t being more trumpeted(!)
Of course, based on so many other actions, it does appear Democrats don’t know the law!
(This doesn’t mean I agree with most actions of the current administration, but even a broken clock is right twice in seven years! :-))
h/t Doc in Yuma
David Petraeus will plead guilty in u.s. district court (criminal side) for the same thing hillary clinton has done …………….from JJhillary clinton has violated the law, and jeopardized the security of the united states of america in the way she has handled diplomatic information over her private email. she has place classified material on her own server, using her own email …. any competent operative could have accessed it, and lord knows the world is full of talented computer people.well, former 4-star general of the army and head of the central intelligence agency, david pretraeus has tendered a signed plea agreement in the u.s. dist. court for the western district of north carolina for the exact offense committed by clinton.in short, he put classified information where it didn’t belong.and, hillary clinton put classified information where it didn’t belong.if david pretraeus is to be hung out to dry, then hillary clinton should be hung out to dry. pretraeus provided information to someone to whom it should not have been given. by definition, when clinton put classified information into her own computer server, she did the exact thing.she should be prosecuted.JJ (as posted in Theo Spark)
From my friend Old NFO (in part)…
In a news conference, Deanna Favre announced she will be the starting Quarterback for the Green Bay Packers football team next season.
Deanna asserts that she is qualified to be the starting QB because she had spent 16 years married to Brett while he played QB for the Packers – even though she has actually never played football at any level from grade school up, never ran the offense of any team, nor ever played the game.
During this period of time, she became familiar with the definition of a corner blitz, the nickel package, man-to-man coverage, so she is now completely comfortable with all the other terminology involving the Packers offense. A survey of Packers fans shows 50% of those polled supported the move.
Does this sound idiotic and unbelievable … or familiar to you?
Hillary Clinton makes the same claims as to why she is qualified to be the President of the United States and 50% of Democrats polled agree.
She has never run a city, county, or state during her “career” as being Bill Clinton’s wife. When told Hillary Clinton has experience because she has 8 years in the White House. My immediate thought was, “So does the pastry chef, and the person who picks up dog shit from the White House Lawn” (…)
Of course, you should go and read Old NFO’s whole essay!
I had a supervisor at TMCCC for a number of years, who claimed to be able to analyze our personal problems and offer solutions.
She had been married to a clinical psychologist for 20 years (before their acrimonious divorce)!
She had a college degree, but not in psychology or counseling.
I wonder what proximity has to do with actual qualification? Perhaps if you are an amoeba?
So, a woman who was fired from her job as a Watergate committee lawyer for legal and ethical violations magically becomes a U.S. Senator (from New York (being an Arkansan, and all!) then U. S. Secretary of State. After some years as a schlock lawyer. Her only qualification is she was married to a serial rapist, who happened to squirm his way into The Presidency.
And, of course, she is a woman, making her as qualified as the current President, who was voted in because he was Black! (He, too, also has a questionable and inexperienced background).
Qualification by Proximity! It’s all the rage.
The bill, R50-70, was authored by Social Ecology Representative Matthew Guevara, and accuses all flags, especially, the American flag, of being “symbols of patriotism or weapons for nationalism.”“[F]lags construct paradigms of conformity and sets [sic] homogenized standards for others to obtain which in this country typically are idolized as freedom, equality, and democracY.” Tweet This
“[F]lags construct paradigms of conformity and sets [sic] homogenized standards for others to obtain which in this country typically are idolized as freedom, equality, and democracy,” the bill reads.
The legislation argues that flags may be interpreted differently; the American flag, for example, can represent “American exceptionalism and superiority,” as well as oppression.More @ Campus Reform
The Star-Spangled Banner will once again wave at the University of California, Irvine, after student government leaders nixed a bid to ban the American flag from a campus lobby.
Members of the executive cabinet of the Associated Students of UC Irvine met Saturday in an emergency session to reverse the flag ban.
And certainly more disturbing!
Long-time readers of my blog may recall my mentioning the television show Chicago PD, wherein the fictional detectives of the CPD Intelligence Squad sometimes sequester persons they have
arrested detained kidnapped and subject them to torture to obtain information to convict them, and/or locate other crimes/criminals.
Certainly not in accordance with current civilian criminal law procedures. Do we remember Escobedo? Miranda?
I pooh-poohed the program, another in the long list of shows from the Law & Order producers, as highly fictionalized.
Then comes this news…
Yesterday (March 1, 2015), ABC7 Chicago released a fact sheet from the Chicago Police Department on the Homan Square facility. There have been recent claims that the police department is operating a “secretive facility in Homan Square on Chicago’s West Side where criminal suspects are denied basic rights.” The Chicago Police Department is denying any alleged abuse of suspects, saying the lack of signage on the building is because Homan Square is the “base of operations for officers working undercover assignments.”Source: http://www.glennbeck.com/2015/03/02/secret-facility-in-chicago-where-criminals-are-being-tortured-without-due-process/?utm_source=glennbeck&utm_medium=contentcopy_link
The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts rules that a stun gun is a “dangerous and unusual” weapon, and thus not protected by the Second Amendment, so banning them is fine.
Given that police are issued tasers, I’d say that qualifies as “in common use” (Say Uncle)
I wonder what THEY would say regarding how their State has devolved into The Land of Petty Power and Control?
RE: The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts…