"...do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic..."

"For the good of the Air Force, for the good of the armed services and for the good of our country, I urge you to reject convention and careerism..."
- Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Maxwell AFB, April 21, 2008

"You will need to challenge conventional wisdom and call things like you see them to subordinates and superiors alike."
- Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, United States Air Force Academy, March 4, 2011

Saturday, February 18, 2023

Contacted Again by the Fiasco Podcast Folks

I have previously blogged about being contacted by the Fiasco folks here.  This morning I got another email from Leon Neyfakh.  The subject line was "Brandon Bryant" and the message read:

Dear Rick,

I hope you are well. Last week I interviewed a sensor operator named Brandon Bryant. I am wondering if you might agree to speak to me, off-the-record, about your experience with him. I just need to know how to assess some of the things he told me. 

I would be most grateful for your help. 
I responded:
What I will tell you about Brandon Bryant is that he is a mythomaniac and he is severely mentally ill.  So whatever claims he's making about me (and he has a habit of making false claims about me), if you simply require him to provide evidence for his claims that should prove helpful.  If he cannot, then they're false claims.  Sadly Bryant is adept at finding "journalists" who don't require evidence and who don't ask follow up questions.

You can feel free to share with me what claims he's made about me and I'll consider responding.

You might also want to check out: https://youtu.be/HDU9Icy_E9wk

And also: https://youtu.be/y8gO1jBykPY

I followed that up with this response:

While hopefully you won't sacrifice your podcast's credibility by including Brandon Bryant in it, here is another video you may find useful.  It'sf Bryant talking about me.  You might consider his claims in this video while evaluating whatever claims he has made about me now in case it's useful.  Cheers.


19 Feb 23 Update:

Leon followed up with another email stating:

Hi Rick,

Thanks for your response -- writing you back from my work email to keep things straight. 

Brandon actually didn't mention you by name in our interview. He did talk about someone he referred to as "the major," who he says informed him of the order to kill al-Awlaki. According to Brandon, the major said he believed the order was unconstitutional because the target was an American citizen.

This struck me as something you could provide context for. Having watched the video you sent, and the longer documentary you posted, I'm hoping to convince you to speak with me by phone or video chat. (You would be free to record the conversation even if you don't want me to use it in our podcast.)

My purpose here is to figure out, as best I can, how the killing of al-Awlaki happened, and to better understand the events that led up to it.


 I responded:

"He did talk about someone he referred to as "the major," who he says informed him of the order to kill al-Awlaki."

If Bryant was referring to me, then he made a false claim.

It's possible he is referring to some unidentified "flight operations supervisor" that he claims, in a TedX talk, told him that.  See 20:43 in this video: https://youtu.be/HDU9Icy_E9w?t=1243

I was not Bryant's "flight operations supervisor" and have never had a physical conversation with Bryant.

I suspect the story Bryant tells in his TedX talk is made up, but you could simply ask him to name the "flight operations supervisor" he was referring to if you want to track down the veracity of his claim.

You should have more than enough information to make it clear that Bryant is a serial liar who makes up claims, but if you choose to investigate his claims, simply require him to provide evidence for them.  Good luck.

 Leon responded:

Thanks Rick. Sounds like you're not the person he's talking about. 

Is there anything you'd be willing to tell me about your own experience being ordered to target an American citizen?

I responded:

As I stated previously, I am not interested in participating in your podcast but I wish you the best with your journalism.  It's an important discussion.

Leon responded:

Can I ask you why you don't want to participate? I accept your decision, I just want to understand it... 

I did not respond.  He then followed up with:

Haha, just saw your blog post. Hello to all your readers! If any of them want to help me, I'll await their outreach :)

If any of my two, possibly three on a busy day, readers want to assist with this story, Leon is easy to find on Twitter.

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Welcome back JR!

For more than a decade now, one of my favorite contributors over on the BaseOps.Net forum has been GearPig.  He typically offers reasoned views and has a decent enough head on his shoulders.  He's a bit too responsive to bad actor pressures that lead him to practice the conformity he no doubt disdains, and he goes off the deep end every once in awhile culminating in some wild accusations of various online identities being me, going "underground" in a frenzied panic via a name change and other spectacular antics, but his offered views are often value added so I appreciate his voice on social media.

If you want an interesting chit chat over coffee, or a riling forum discussion, the newly dubbed GearHog is your guy as he has an uncommon level of intelligence and an operational bullshit-meter.  But intelligence isn't what makes a good military officer.  Rather, what makes a good military officer (or any public servant) is intelligence combined with principle.  Principle is best demonstrated by courage.

Having some "correct" views that challenge the herd may be fun for discussion and might stroke one's ego in a debate, but it's acting courageously for what is right that makes a good military officer.  Most military pilots are intelligent in comparison to society at large.  They can tie their shoes, they can read good, they can take tests.  But few are principled.  While they mouth their oaths of office and obey commands to salute symbols they don't understand or actually value, the vast majority haven't thought deeply about what America actually is (the idea that they are paid to make more real) and they don't really care about their country.  They want a paycheck, they want a fun job, and they want people to see them in uniform and credit them with all the character they don't actually possess.  And there it ends.

They are herd animals.  Worse, they are herd animals who think they are the best of the best.  As a result, people with a bit more intelligence like GearPig are able to take them to task fairly easily.

If only America's defense were a forum thread debate like the heavily censored BaseOps.Net.  But it's not.  It requires much more than being right on the Internets.  You can admire those who venture where you dare not tread, but your admiration of your betters is also not good enough.

America is critically injured and dying.  And cowardice by those entrusted with her defense is the dagger in her back.

Thursday, February 2, 2023

The Good Ole USA - a Satelite of China


While hundreds of American citizens in Montana are herded like cattle, scanned, and groped in Department of Homeland Security airport lines that infringe on their constitutional rights, overhead is a Chinese spy balloon on its days long trip overhead our nation's ICBM facilities.

Our government could have shot the craft down before it entered our airspace, but it didn't.  It could have gotten on the phone and made it clear to China that it would remove its spy balloon immediately.  But it didn't do that either.

General Milley, our nation's ranking military member, certainly has Communist China's phone number since he used it to conspire with their military to thwart a sitting President of the United States and any potential nuclear strike that President might make.  Despite General Milley's literal treason, he was not reprimanded and is still at the helm of our military.

Biden will do as he does, and talk a good game that doesn't comport with his actions.  He has serious financial ties to China and his loyalties are less divided than they are non-existent when it comes to America.  Likewise, many politicians in both parties are purchased by China just as multitudes of business leaders are.  These politicians, like bureaucrats in our nation's institutes of higher learning, work tirelessly on behalf of China to implement policies that weaken our nation militarily, economically, and socially.

The spy balloon is just the latest action by China to make it obvious who is in control of who.  While our politicians still talk a good game and play tough, just as Democrats and Republicans pretend to oppose one another while walking hand in hand, they are merely playing to the dumbest among us who still don't get it.  Much as our installed "leaders" in foreign nations would talk a good game about being against policies of the United States to appease their masses, while dutifully moving as the puppet master required.

The United States has been conquered by China.  We are a mere puppet nation.  A satellite.  We are a Made-in-China-America that was defeated from the inside in a fifth generation war combined with good old fashioned dollar diplomacy.  Our decision makers and power base was purchased, and the rest of us have been programmed with the over-confidence we love so much, the pom-pom patriotism and cheap plastic pride in our nation and we have been conditioned to see our rights and liberty as a threat (whether the ability to freely speak, or keep and bear arms, or protest) and we have been inundated with the notion that the majority in our nation are bad because of their skin color, and that criticizing non-white nations is racism.

We have been encouraged to degrade our nation's ability to produce energy, our food production, and told that every conceivable physical or taste difference between us is paramount.  Our ability to speak has been controlled and censored as is done in China, protestors have been arrested and locked away without due process for having anti-government views as is done in China, and the armed-components of our government are increasingly used against citizens to punish dissent.  Our nation has been divided, splintered, plundered, and conquered.  From the inside on behalf of the outside.

The fact that a hostile nation's spy balloon continues for days above a key piece of our nuclear triad makes this perfectly clear.  That would have never happened at any other time in America's history when it was an independent nation comprised of people who valued freedom.  That it is happening now while few take it seriously, to include active serving military officers, is just one more indicator of our failed nation.

The United States of America no longer exists and hasn't for some time now.  It has never been more obvious than it is today.