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Monday, June 20, 2005

Paul Galanti's Response to Gitmo Dick

The other day, I posted a letter from former POW Paul Galanti, written in 1998.

Well, he's got a few words for "Gitmo Dick," too.

You can find them at Jennifer Martinez's A Collection of Thoughts.

Are You in the Pasadena, CA Area?

or are you going to be next April? If so, from Seamus comes this information on an event to help a Marine family with their efforts to fund cancer research.

Save the Date!
Second Annual 2nd Lt. Andrew Jacob Torres Memorial Golf Classic
Monday, April 3, 2006

Dear Mr. Garrahy

I saw your web site at the 38 OCC TBS website

My husband, Len Torres, was in that class (1966) and he served as a young second Lt. running patrols with Force Recon.

Our son, Andrew, grew up to be a Marine also. He graduated from the Naval Academy in 2002 and was commissioned into the Marine Corps. Unfortunately, he came down with cancer and died in April of 2004.

I'd like to ask you to help us with the Second Annual Andrew Torres Golf Classic. The beneficiary is a cancer research project in Pasadena CA. There's more information at

We have a silent auction and I think the sauce (Seamus' gung-ho sauce) would be a great item.

I can also send you information and press clippings. Since Andrew was a Marine and was on active duty when he died, there's a USMC theme to the event, with Marines of all ages attending, as well as people from our town, La Canada Flintridge in California.

Thank you so much for considering this.

Much appreciated,
Anita Torres
To find out more, or to see how you can help in next year's event, go to

Gutless Wonders

from Seamus


Gutless wonders
June 15th, 2005

Months ago, as the war in Iraq spooled up and we poured men and equipment into the breach, those on the left compared this conflict with the war we fought in Vietnam. Somehow, the war in Vietnam had become the defining event against which would be judged all of our future conflicts, wars and military interventions. At least by some in our country.

The same dubious outcome, supposedly guaranteed largely by flawed policy and micro-managed execution by incompetent politicians, lent a smug “told you so” sense of importance and overblown wisdom in these matters to these critics.

When I heard their comparisons, I thought that they had based their commentary upon the military and political components of the war. I disagreed with them then. Sadly, their comparisons may have the appearance of having relevance…but for very different reasons than previously presented.

America must pose a startling paradox to our enemies. Here we are a nation of laws, a representative republic governed by elected civilians who decide the direction, reasons, timing and rules under which brave men and women are sent into harm’s way. Our enemies have met the warriors we send to engage them and know first hand that they are tough, resourceful, compassionate, brave and persistent. They know that our people, our weapons and our war fighting spirit and skills will defeat them time and time again. Yet, they find hope for their causes.
We as Americans know this to be true as well. Time and time again, we see the television clips of interviews and activities dealing with the men and women in the Armed Forces and their commitment to their friends, units and the mission they were sent to accomplish. We are in awe of them. Even the most jaded politicians are quick to distance themselves from any public hint that they don’t support our troops. They know that this is the political kiss of death. No, they are too cowardly for that. Cleverly, they busy themselves in more subtle activities that are not aimed at our military directly, but nevertheless damn them by association. Their tactics involve such things as redefining our world image, our honor and our sense of fairness in a world apparently devoid of such concepts, if you believe what they tell us.

They demand public reviews in excruciating detail of pictures accounts and videos showing our abuse of captured prisoners. They lock arms with so called human rights’ groups, who, with shrill voices and outraged visages, appear on public television decrying our treatment of detainees. They coin the term “insurgent” instead of thug, murderer or even the most generic term, terrorist, as the main descriptor of those whose gun belts are notched with the slaughter of defenseless and innocent civilians day after day after day in Iraq. They are quick to make public our casualty rates when they reach some prearranged level that will call attention to the cost of our involvement over there. They will turn a deaf ear to the repeated pleadings coming from returning Veterans that the full story is not being told about what is going on over there. The good things our folks do are not in their best interest to publicize. They even call for a hard date by which we will withdraw from Iraq. Think about that one for a minute.

Yes, it must be puzzling to our enemies as to how the bravery of the warriors they face in combat can be offset by the cowardly and self-serving behavior those far from harm’s way publicly display at every opportunity. Who is the real American?

So you see there is a comparison to be made between the war in Iraq and the war in Vietnam. The same crowd who broke our national will in Vietnam and turned the selfless acts of so many into alleged “war crimes” for their own ends is at it again.

Have we learned our lesson about the destructive influence of this group? Do any of us think that they might be on to something here? Are there those among us who have forgotten the horrific events on September 11? Have we become so disassociated with reality that we can reasonably equate handling a Koran with bare hands with flying a passenger plane into the South Tower?

Some of these folks are going to ask for your vote soon. “Trust me, send me back for another term and I’ll clean up that mess in Washington,” they will promise. Recognize it for what it is.

Tough talk from gutless wonders.

Dave St. John

Dave St. John is a Captain in the USMCR. He served in Chu Lai, RVN 1966-‘67


Lately, I've been posting about some anti-troop lunacy. With idiots like "Gitmo Dick" Durbin and others around, it's never been more important for those of us who support our heroes to get involved in doing something for them.

Any of you who visit regularly know that I am involved with Soldiers' Angels. I've posted about a couple of other organizations, too, and wanted to remind you of one of them in particular. is a great way to support the troops, even if you haven't got a lot of money. They donate the entire purchase price of any bracelets bought (you can select your price, between $1 and $5) to the charity you select. Organizations help our wounded heroes, as well as the families of the wounded or fallen.

Some of the groups you can help are:

- The Military Order of the Purple Heart meets every air ambulance that arrives at Andrews Air Force Base. Our wounded and injured heroes always need some basic but very important supplies. The wish list is based on requests from OIF and OEF patients, and it has been approved by medical staff.

- Soldiers' Angels need help with Care Packages and Armor Up projects. They are receiving 1,500 to 2,000 soldiers and 10 requests a month for armor blankets.

- North County Honor Campaign has given out 64 scholarships to the children of the fallen troops in San Diego area. 6 more scholarships are near final approval. After the 6, they have enough money left for 4 more scholarships, and need donations for more scholarships.
There are many other first class charity organizations to donate to at the Web site.

Others include the Fisher House, the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund, The Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, Homes for Our Troops, and the Wounded Warrior project. The list includes national as well as local funds, so you're bound to find one that interests you.

My GI-Bracelet is on my wrist every day, right next to my National Guard bracelet. And it's on my gift list this year for everyone I know.

To order, you can go to the website at, or click on the picture below.

Col. Thear, commander of the 2nd Battalion, 2nd Iraqi Army Brigade briefs his troops during training on the MTLB personnel carriers at the Diyala Regional Training Facility at Forward Operating Base Normandy, Iraq on June 3, 2005. U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Suzanne M.

COMMANDANT VISIT — U.S Marine Corps Gen. Michael Hagee, Commandant of the Marine Corps, addresses sailors and Marines on the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge, June 17, 2005. The Kearsarge and embarked 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit are on a scheduled deployment and are conducting Maritime Security Operations in the Persian Gulf. U.S. Navy photo by Airman Finley Williams

In Today's News - Monday, June 20, 2005

Quote of the Day
"May those who paid the supreme sacrifice never be forgotten and I also hope that you are constantly reminded of the unswerving dedication of our enemy to do anything necessary to eventually destroy everything we hold so dear. "
-- former POW Paul A. Kari

News of Note
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Tribunal airs 'Chemical Ali' testimony
Iraq announces arrest of terror suspect
U.S. Marines rescue tortured Iraqis
RAF joins US forces in Iraq assault
Casper and Sheridan army reservists leave for Iraq
Released Australian Hostage Apologizes for His Plea to Withdraw Troops in Iraq

Operation Enduring Freedom
CIA Chief: 'Excellent Idea' Where Bin Laden Hiding
Eighteen Taliban Terrorists Killed in Afghan Clashes

Hunter: Gitmo Release Policy 'Too Liberal'
Durbin Clarifies Gitmo Remarks
Administration Appalled by Durbin Remarks
Inside Gitmo - Fox News Photo Essay

Who Didn't See This Coming?
Withdrawal Chorus Rises - Some politicians begin using Iraq exit strategy as a political pitch to voters
Vote-Rigging Feared in Iran

Oh, the Irony
Terrorist Slams Democratic Reforms

Fox News
Homicide Bomber Kills 20, Wounds 100 in Iraq
Baghdad Blast Rips Through Eatery
GIs Kill About 50 Terrorists in Iraq
'Operation Spear' Launched in Iraq
Rice Calls for Democratic Reforms in Muslim World
Bush May Temporarily Bypass Senate on Bolton
Testimony Shows FBI Did Not Seek Mideast Experts Associated Press
Suicide bomber kills 20 at Iraq police HQ
Rice promotes democracy in Muslim world

Seattle Post-Intelligencer: War on Iraq
Rice makes case for democracy in Egypt
Iran run-off front-runner chides clerics
Suicide bomber kills 20 at Iraq police HQ
Anti-Syrians headed for victory in Lebanon
Israel, Palestinians work on Gaza pullout
Barzani wants Kurdish recognition
3 Israelis wounded by Palestinian gunmen

Yahoo! News: War with Iraq
Car bombs hit Baghdad and north Iraq, 17 dead
Iraqi government makes international debut in Brussels
Iraq Leaders Seek Europe, Mideast Backing
Iraqis Found in Torture House Tell of Brutality of Insurgents
U.S. pursues militants; 21 more deaths reported

The US News: Iraq News
Iraq the central front in war on terror, says Bush
Some Iraqi legislators seek U.S. pullout
Politics, military defeat insurgency
Foreign fighters increase in Iraq
Hamdan bin Zayed receives Iraqi Minister of Defence
Sheikh thanks Iraqis for Wood
4 Iraqis found alive in torture center
Iraqis, Coalition Combine to Snare Terror Leaders
Iraq Resumes N Oil Export Flow; S Exports Normal -Source
Robots save lives in Iraq
Americans bombard Iraq border town
Kiwi training for Iraqis
Briefing About Iraqi Kurdistan
Iraqi army and Coalition Forces secure hospital for inspection
No infiltration into Iraq: Saudi
At least three Iraqis killed in Tikrit attack on US base
McCain Expects U.S. in Iraq 2 More Years
23 slain in Baghdad bombing as US, Iraqi forces hit rebels near Syrian border
Iraq's al Qaeda slams Al Jazeera as pro-US
Iraqi Pipelines Getting Protection

Department of Defense
Rice: Progress in Iraq Can't be IgnoredStory
Patience Needed as Democracy Emerges
U.S., Iraqis Continue Operation Spear in Iraq — Story
Operations Result in Captures, Arms-Cache Discovery
Baghdad Attacks Kill, Wound Iraqi CiviliansStory
Iraqis, Coalition Forces Combine to Snare Terror Leaders
Militants Die in U.S. Air Strikes in AfghanistanStory
Bush Asks Americans to Unite Against Terror — Story

U.S., Iraqi Soldiers Reverse Effects of War — Story
Kitchen Builders Serve Up Safer Humvees — Story
Mississippi Guard Troops Patrol for Insurgents — Story

Woman Soldier Receives Silver Star for Valor
Iraqis Prepare for Oil Platform Security Duties
U.S. Army Doctors Offer Hope, Health to Iraqis

Bagram Groundbreaking Marks Hospital Start
Infantry Course Provides Realistic Training

First Female Pilot Joins 2006 Thunderbirds Team — Story

Insurgency Unpopular in Iraq
Two Soldiers, Two Marines Killed
Soldier Charged in Deaths
Leader Talks of Progress in Iraq
Iraq Daily Update
Multinational Force Iraq
Iraq Reconstruction
Weekly Progress Report (pdf)

U.S. Soldiers Wounded by IED
Afghanistan Daily Update
Afghan Reconstruction Group Recruiting

DoD Supports Stabilization Office
Officials Detail Detainee Efforts
Progress in WMD Countermeasure
Waging and Winning the War on Terror
Terrorism Timeline
Terrorism Knowledge Base

Influencers Can Affect Recruiting
National Guard, Reserve Update

from The Weather Channel

Al Azamiyah Al Basrah Al Hillah Al Karkh Al Kazimiyah Al Kut An Nasiriyah Baghdad Baqubah Mosul Najaf Nineveh Tall Kayf

Bost/Laskar Ghurian Herat Kabul Qandahar


Today in History
1567 - Jews are expelled from Brazil.
1756 - 146 British soldiers are imprisoned in the 'Black Hole of Calcutta'; most will die there.
1779 - Battle of Stone Ferry
1782 - Congress approves the Great Seal of the U.S., and the eagle as its symbol.
1791 - King Louis XVI is caught trying to escape the French Revolution.
1793 - Eli Whitney applies for a patent for his cotton gin.
1837 - Queen Victoria ascends British throne at 18.
1863 - The National Bank of Davenport, IA, becomes the first bank chartered in the U.S.
1863 - West Virginia becomes the 35th U.S. state.
1867 - President Andrew Johnson announces the purchase of Alaska.
1893 - Lizzie Borden is acquitted of murder in New Bedford, MA.
1900 - In China, the Boxer Rebellion begins.
1911 - In New York, the NAACP is incorporated.
1943 - British troops launch Operation Bellicose, the first 'shuttle bombing' raid of WWII.
1944 - Congress charters the Central Intelligence Agency.
1947 - President Truman vetoes the Taft-Hartley Act.
1963 - The U.S. and U.S.S.R. agree to set up a 'Hot Line.'
1964 - General William Westmoreland succeeds General Paul Harkins as head of U.S. Military Assistance Command Vietnam (MACV).

1899 - Jean Moulin hero of the French Resistance during WW II
1945 - James F Buchli New Rockford ND, USMC/astr (STS 51C, 61A, 29, 48)
1953 - Brian Duffy Boston Mass, Major USAF/astronaut (STS 45)

- King William IV of England
1947 - Benjamin 'Bugsy' Siegel, gangster, shot
1966 - Georges Lemaître, originator of "Big Bang" Theory

Reported Missing in Action
Kari, Paul A., USAF (OH); According to him, this is the first F4C shot down, released by DRV February, 1973 - alive as of 1998

McDonough, John R., USNR (NJ); bridle connecting cable from launch catapault to EA1F broke; insufficient launch speed, plane sank - Killed, body not recovered
Tunnell, John W., USN (CA); A1H lost over water - KIA, body not recovered

McCain, Marvin Raymond, Jr., US Army (AL); KIA, remains recovered August, 1973