CIA director doesn't trust Taliban during peace talks - We Are The Mighty
MIGHTY TRENDING

CIA director doesn’t trust Taliban during peace talks

In a hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Jan. 29, 2019, CIA Director Gina Haspel was asked point blank if she trusts the Taliban to uphold promises they made to work with the Afghan government and never allow the country to again be a safe haven for terrorists.

“If there were an eventual peace agreement, a very robust monitoring regime would be critical,” she responded. “We would still need the capability to act in our national interest if we needed to.”


The peace talks, which began Jan. 21, 2019, are focused on settling the terms for a complete withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan. US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad has said that significant progress has been made during the negotiations, according to the Associated Press.

CIA director doesn’t trust Taliban during peace talks

Zalmay Khalilzad.

(Photo by Gage Skidmore)

On Jan. 30, 2019, the Taliban said in a recorded statement to AP that it had no intentions of creating a monopoly on Afghan institutions.

“After the end of the occupation, Afghans should forget their past and tolerate one another and start life like brothers,” Suhail Shaheen, a Taliban spokesman said in the statement.

Other major concessions to the US include promises that the group would not allow terrorist groups to plan attacks from Afghanistan, according to the Wall Street Journal.

But Haspel’s comments Jan. 29, 2019, reflect a troubling concern that a complete withdrawal of the 22,000 troops in the US-led coalition will allow the Taliban to regain control — a concern shared by former US ambassador Ryan Crocker.

“You will simply see the Taliban move in and retake the country,” Crocker told Foreign Policy. Even as the peace talks began, the Taliban claimed responsibility for a devastating attack against Afghan forces, giving credence to the concerns over the group’s sincerity.

This article originally appeared on Business Insider. Follow @BusinessInsider on Twitter.

MIGHTY HISTORY

The surprising and resourceful ways people caught in the middle of World War II reused US military parachutes

Parachutes, manufactured and packed en masse during World War II to accompany Allied aviators on missions, had a very important job to do: open.

Lucky for me, my grandfather’s did. He was a 23-year-old US Army Air Corps pilot shot down over France a month before D-Day. He bailed out over central France, after his seven crewmates and moments before their B-24 Liberator exploded in the sky.


[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2F5e90add015ea4b4861024215%3Fwidth%3D700%26format%3Djpeg%26auto%3Dwebp&ho=https%3A%2F%2Fi.insider.com&s=449&h=7ba71d3c80fa880cc60c5d5bdb034f49f3b56fac82857a5777d77877263ebc24&size=980x&c=3488510449 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252F5e90add015ea4b4861024215%253Fwidth%253D700%2526format%253Djpeg%2526auto%253Dwebp%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Fi.insider.com%26s%3D449%26h%3D7ba71d3c80fa880cc60c5d5bdb034f49f3b56fac82857a5777d77877263ebc24%26size%3D980x%26c%3D3488510449%22%7D” expand=1]

Chest packs like the above were among the most common American parachutes.

Leo Kerns Collection/National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force

They all hit the ground on better terms than their plane, thanks to their parachutes (and, in a longer story, they all survived their respective journeys through occupied France, thanks largely to French patriots and resistants who helped them).

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2F5e90add0b3b09269d37b0037%3Fwidth%3D700%26format%3Djpeg%26auto%3Dwebp&ho=https%3A%2F%2Fi.insider.com&s=13&h=db9ae3923f8cbb515d13c69ab77881bcae54971ef8a4374016cd69357378cbb1&size=980x&c=1561412075 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252F5e90add0b3b09269d37b0037%253Fwidth%253D700%2526format%253Djpeg%2526auto%253Dwebp%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Fi.insider.com%26s%3D13%26h%3Ddb9ae3923f8cbb515d13c69ab77881bcae54971ef8a4374016cd69357378cbb1%26size%3D980x%26c%3D1561412075%22%7D” expand=1]

The author’s grandfather, then-2nd Lt. Murray Simon, top right, and his crew.

801st/492nd Bomb Group/Carpetbagger Association

I never met my grandfather, but I have his “Caterpillar Club” membership and the packing log of the parachute that saved his life.

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2F5e90add015ea4b48735607c8%3Fwidth%3D700%26format%3Djpeg%26auto%3Dwebp&ho=https%3A%2F%2Fi.insider.com&s=532&h=debd8bd5aedf35b94104478b807693bc398306b46ace1c7cd955b742659cf4d9&size=980x&c=959347433 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252F5e90add015ea4b48735607c8%253Fwidth%253D700%2526format%253Djpeg%2526auto%253Dwebp%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Fi.insider.com%26s%3D532%26h%3Ddebd8bd5aedf35b94104478b807693bc398306b46ace1c7cd955b742659cf4d9%26size%3D980x%26c%3D959347433%22%7D” expand=1]

Katie Sanders

And last May, I traveled to his crash site in Mably, France, for a beautiful 75th anniversary commemoration event. A Frenchman came up to me and explained that he’d been a baby in a village near the crash site during the war, and that his mother recovered one of the airman’s parachutes and made it into a swaddle and carrier for him.

He recalled converting the material into a hammock — a swing he played in even after the war, when shortages and hardship from the devastation of the battles, air raids, and Nazi occupation persisted throughout Europe. This is one of many examples of how people made use of the life-saving silk, canvas, and nylon canopy contraptions falling from the sky during World War II everywhere from France and Yugoslavia to Japan and the Philippines.

Here are more ways parachutes’ function and form extended beyond the time they hit the ground.

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2F5e90b18b0b3c9b54482529d3%3Fwidth%3D700%26format%3Djpeg%26auto%3Dwebp&ho=https%3A%2F%2Fi.insider.com&s=229&h=e139a51ca63c4b2fd6a6d99014123c498f918043874e51f208a66021ebf44b48&size=980x&c=4089553157 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252F5e90b18b0b3c9b54482529d3%253Fwidth%253D700%2526format%253Djpeg%2526auto%253Dwebp%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Fi.insider.com%26s%3D229%26h%3De139a51ca63c4b2fd6a6d99014123c498f918043874e51f208a66021ebf44b48%26size%3D980x%26c%3D4089553157%22%7D” expand=1]

This nightgown, or “peignoir” — is made from parachute silk.

National WWII Museum

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2F5e90b18b92e8ba646f07f844%3Fwidth%3D700%26format%3Djpeg%26auto%3Dwebp&ho=https%3A%2F%2Fi.insider.com&s=620&h=19c4358ccf08f2bb9c6cbd4d3b239ed58b86aee7dced5c9b022921ccd683c376&size=980x&c=1744354423 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252F5e90b18b92e8ba646f07f844%253Fwidth%253D700%2526format%253Djpeg%2526auto%253Dwebp%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Fi.insider.com%26s%3D620%26h%3D19c4358ccf08f2bb9c6cbd4d3b239ed58b86aee7dced5c9b022921ccd683c376%26size%3D980x%26c%3D1744354423%22%7D” expand=1]

A silk shirt embroidered with dragon and floral designs.

National WWII Museum

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2F5e90b18b15ea4b4a4245f34e%3Fwidth%3D700%26format%3Djpeg%26auto%3Dwebp&ho=https%3A%2F%2Fi.insider.com&s=803&h=e66d7668e818a9328acea2d26b9fb01d90ba15b87b30567ab3a6786f70952f5e&size=980x&c=2180179455 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252F5e90b18b15ea4b4a4245f34e%253Fwidth%253D700%2526format%253Djpeg%2526auto%253Dwebp%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Fi.insider.com%26s%3D803%26h%3De66d7668e818a9328acea2d26b9fb01d90ba15b87b30567ab3a6786f70952f5e%26size%3D980x%26c%3D2180179455%22%7D” expand=1]

A woven purse made from US Navy parachute material in the Pacific.

National WWII Museum

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2F5e90b18bb3b0926c3001a3c7%3Fwidth%3D700%26format%3Djpeg%26auto%3Dwebp&ho=https%3A%2F%2Fi.insider.com&s=592&h=b6de609a6e5873424503321368da8ba88b2f5ec481a0616c85e21fbbdac7a74e&size=980x&c=1219595084 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252F5e90b18bb3b0926c3001a3c7%253Fwidth%253D700%2526format%253Djpeg%2526auto%253Dwebp%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Fi.insider.com%26s%3D592%26h%3Db6de609a6e5873424503321368da8ba88b2f5ec481a0616c85e21fbbdac7a74e%26size%3D980x%26c%3D1219595084%22%7D” expand=1]

A woven purse made from US Navy parachute material in the Pacific.

National WWII Museum

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2F5e90b18bc023205cd71cdf64%3Fwidth%3D700%26format%3Djpeg%26auto%3Dwebp&ho=https%3A%2F%2Fi.insider.com&s=176&h=98213b1b420d97d169de25755357e0a866392bca9b0b2dadff6a14f1d9230e36&size=980x&c=3906704242 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252F5e90b18bc023205cd71cdf64%253Fwidth%253D700%2526format%253Djpeg%2526auto%253Dwebp%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Fi.insider.com%26s%3D176%26h%3D98213b1b420d97d169de25755357e0a866392bca9b0b2dadff6a14f1d9230e36%26size%3D980x%26c%3D3906704242%22%7D” expand=1]

A woven skirt made from parachute material from the US Navy.

National WWII Museum

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2F5e90b2120b3c9b544e6cd7ac%3Fwidth%3D700%26format%3Djpeg%26auto%3Dwebp&ho=https%3A%2F%2Fi.insider.com&s=890&h=e9064f7324fd821033c7051287a793acaf857be9e0b55ecfd1239ac04fa00a38&size=980x&c=2467669507 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252F5e90b2120b3c9b544e6cd7ac%253Fwidth%253D700%2526format%253Djpeg%2526auto%253Dwebp%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Fi.insider.com%26s%3D890%26h%3De9064f7324fd821033c7051287a793acaf857be9e0b55ecfd1239ac04fa00a38%26size%3D980x%26c%3D2467669507%22%7D” expand=1]

This parachute silk became a light and airy quilt, with knots of yarn knitted throughout.

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2F5e90b53d8427e95d11712c12%3Fwidth%3D700%26format%3Djpeg%26auto%3Dwebp&ho=https%3A%2F%2Fi.insider.com&s=34&h=c6fb73280d4d63f82a95195e4fa216c925aa372cc52a8720d94185b86d8f6a1b&size=980x&c=4137711426 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252F5e90b53d8427e95d11712c12%253Fwidth%253D700%2526format%253Djpeg%2526auto%253Dwebp%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Fi.insider.com%26s%3D34%26h%3Dc6fb73280d4d63f82a95195e4fa216c925aa372cc52a8720d94185b86d8f6a1b%26size%3D980x%26c%3D4137711426%22%7D” expand=1]

This silk camouflage parachute pajama sets came from the 17th Airborne Division.

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2F5e90b53dc0232060a608cf43%3Fwidth%3D700%26format%3Djpeg%26auto%3Dwebp&ho=https%3A%2F%2Fi.insider.com&s=366&h=9de3deda73b309a326c36dc7a1a0479cde6f0454be7f4debac09bf2ad5467127&size=980x&c=2311443640 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252F5e90b53dc0232060a608cf43%253Fwidth%253D700%2526format%253Djpeg%2526auto%253Dwebp%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Fi.insider.com%26s%3D366%26h%3D9de3deda73b309a326c36dc7a1a0479cde6f0454be7f4debac09bf2ad5467127%26size%3D980x%26c%3D2311443640%22%7D” expand=1]

These silk camouflage parachute boxer shorts came from the 17th Airborne Division.

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2F5e90b53dc02320609e5eb384%3Fwidth%3D700%26format%3Djpeg%26auto%3Dwebp&ho=https%3A%2F%2Fi.insider.com&s=434&h=669dfffa62f59e0c42652550a76fada596f856a61e76d3b1d1b0ab0f7ec23794&size=980x&c=111009151 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252F5e90b53dc02320609e5eb384%253Fwidth%253D700%2526format%253Djpeg%2526auto%253Dwebp%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Fi.insider.com%26s%3D434%26h%3D669dfffa62f59e0c42652550a76fada596f856a61e76d3b1d1b0ab0f7ec23794%26size%3D980x%26c%3D111009151%22%7D” expand=1]

Hilda Galloway and Robert Ellsworth Wickham at their wedding on October 14, 1945. Ellsworth Wickham flew 22 missions, including one bail out over France in January 1945. He gave pieces of his parachute to the doctors and nurses who helped him after he jumped.

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2F5e90b53d8427e95d13101232%3Fwidth%3D700%26format%3Djpeg%26auto%3Dwebp&ho=https%3A%2F%2Fi.insider.com&s=633&h=ea8dd1b8263662f7adc8dbd57ab117c7760940017a4f1bd5b01304b098695d60&size=980x&c=173441280 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252F5e90b53d8427e95d13101232%253Fwidth%253D700%2526format%253Djpeg%2526auto%253Dwebp%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Fi.insider.com%26s%3D633%26h%3Dea8dd1b8263662f7adc8dbd57ab117c7760940017a4f1bd5b01304b098695d60%26size%3D980x%26c%3D173441280%22%7D” expand=1]

Galloway’s wedding dress.

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2F5e90b53d29d6d9651e6df0a2%3Fwidth%3D700%26format%3Djpeg%26auto%3Dwebp&ho=https%3A%2F%2Fi.insider.com&s=613&h=be0da6917e3a28426d4d593c25dc3f5c6f331d3c636475258da0fc9e65b5798d&size=980x&c=1150158399 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252F5e90b53d29d6d9651e6df0a2%253Fwidth%253D700%2526format%253Djpeg%2526auto%253Dwebp%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Fi.insider.com%26s%3D613%26h%3Dbe0da6917e3a28426d4d593c25dc3f5c6f331d3c636475258da0fc9e65b5798d%26size%3D980x%26c%3D1150158399%22%7D” expand=1]

An American sergeant in the China-India-Burma Theater sent a white US reserve parachute to his mother, who sewed the nylon into a communion dress for his younger sister in 1944.

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2F5e90b53d0b3c9b56cb59cec5%3Fwidth%3D700%26format%3Djpeg%26auto%3Dwebp&ho=https%3A%2F%2Fi.insider.com&s=545&h=5167f03a4fd9e4b2b729bcf2fabd3e8d64608f249c01b128329edb553a481dc9&size=980x&c=895470034 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252F5e90b53d0b3c9b56cb59cec5%253Fwidth%253D700%2526format%253Djpeg%2526auto%253Dwebp%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Fi.insider.com%26s%3D545%26h%3D5167f03a4fd9e4b2b729bcf2fabd3e8d64608f249c01b128329edb553a481dc9%26size%3D980x%26c%3D895470034%22%7D” expand=1]

Albert Williamson was a radio operator/gunner with the 384th BG/545th Bomb Squadron. On December 15, 1945 he married his longtime sweetheart, Ruth Glendinning, who walked down the aisle in this gown her cousin sewed using a parachute Williamson brought home.

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2F5e90b5b9c0232060b311d410%3Fwidth%3D700%26format%3Djpeg%26auto%3Dwebp&ho=https%3A%2F%2Fi.insider.com&s=768&h=dbc9e0d7578c73820e7099196811941f94b99f36a2d924663f82ae3178859f63&size=980x&c=599988225 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252F5e90b5b9c0232060b311d410%253Fwidth%253D700%2526format%253Djpeg%2526auto%253Dwebp%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Fi.insider.com%26s%3D768%26h%3Ddbc9e0d7578c73820e7099196811941f94b99f36a2d924663f82ae3178859f63%26size%3D980x%26c%3D599988225%22%7D” expand=1]

i.insider.com

So began a wave of wedding wear constructed from chutes brought back from war, including ones that fellow American women and men had sewn on the homefront and that had saved their and their enemies’ lives.

There was the commodity in and of itself, along with the meaning and specialness behind it. Used and surplus World War II parachutes were “a wonderful gift to pass along,” Kiser says.

This article originally appeared on Business Insider. Follow @BusinessInsider on Twitter.

MIGHTY TRENDING

Hawaii freaked out because the governor forgot his Twitter password

Hawaii Gov. David Ige said the panic that ensued during a false alarm warning of an imminent missile attack wasn’t addressed sooner because he forgot his Twitter password and couldn’t notify the public.


During a press conference on Jan. 22, Ige took some of the blame the mix-up that caused panic throughout Hawaii and made headlines worldwide, according to the Honolulu Star Advertiser.

The missile defense notification system was accidentally triggered on January 13 after an employee mistakenly pushed the wrong button and sent mobile notifications to all in the vicinity, warning them of an imminent ballistic missile attack.

CIA director doesn’t trust Taliban during peace talks
Residents and visitors in Hawaii receive alerts from the state Emergency Management Agency on Saturday morning. (Courtesy photo)

The blunder caused mass panic around Hawaii, as people quickly took cover and prepared for impact.

A second alert clarifying that there was no missile threat to Hawaii was not sent out until 38 minutes after the initial notice.

Soon after, officials confirmed that the alert was a mistake.

The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency tweeted, “NO missile threat to Hawaii.”

Also Read: Hawaii emergency agency password photo shows why OPSEC is actually important

Ige responded to the incident at the time, saying the triggering of the alert system was an “error” and was being investigated to avoid the incident from “ever happening again.”

Hawaii began testing its nuclear warning system in December, CNN reported. It is the first time since the Cold War that Hawaii brought back the system and comes amid North Korea’s increased missile testing.

MIGHTY TRENDING

North and South Korea had formal talks for the first time in 2 years

North Korean delegates scheduled to meet their counterparts from South Korea in the first dialogue between the countries in over two years will cross the contentious military demarcation line (MDL) separating the border, South Korean news outlet KBS reported Jan. 8.


South Korea’s Unification Ministry said that the North Korean officials will walk across the MDL at 9:30 a.m. local time to the Peace House at Panmunjom, or “truce village,” according to KBS. The walk from the MDL to the Peace House is roughly 250 meters, South Korean news outlet YTN reported.

CIA director doesn’t trust Taliban during peace talks
This shows the Conference Row in the Joint Security Area of the Korean Demilitarized Zone, looking into South Korea from North Korea. It shows guards on both sides and a group of tourists in the South. (Image Wikipedia)

The Peace House, located in the South Korean portion of Panmunjom, was previously used to hold talks with North Korea, including the prospect of reunifying families separated during the Korean War in the 1950’s.

The itinerary for the historic trip has been fully planned out, according to Reuters, and the discussion will focus around the upcoming 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea next month, including the possibility of having North Korean athletes attend the event.

The MDL has seen escalated tensions in recent weeks, particularly due to several North Korean defections.

Also Read: Watch a North Korean defector dodging bullets to cross the DMZ

On Dec. 20, a “low ranking” soldier reportedly defected to South Korea, causing South Korean troops to fire warning shots towards North Korean border guards who approached the MDL in what appeared to be a search for their comrade.

In November, another defector crossed the border in a dramatic escape under a hail of gunfire. Video footage of the incident showed North Korean soldiers firing their weapons at the defector, and crossing the MDL in violation of the UN Armistice Agreement.

MIGHTY HISTORY

4 things you should know about the Tuskegee Airmen

The name rings bells. It’s got the glitz, having been the subject of two different Hollywood films complete with big-name Hollywood actors such as Laurence Fishburne, Cuba Gooding Jr., Michael B. Jordan, and Terrence Howard. That is wonderful and, I’m sure, absolutely appreciated by the surviving members and their family. There are some things that may not immediately pop out but are, nonetheless, extremely interesting.

The Tuskegee Airmen were one of the most accomplished groups of service members of any generation, but most can’t tell you why their name is so revered. Below are some of the most praiseworthy feats ever accomplished.


CIA director doesn’t trust Taliban during peace talks

One of the first defenders of the Tuskegee Airmen

(Image courtesy of OnThisDay.com)

Thurgood Marshall

Supreme Court Thurgood Marshall? Yes, that Thurgood Marshall. Before you go off saying he wasn’t a Tuskegee Airmen, you have to consider his tie to them. While he was a young lawyer, he represented 100 black officers who were charged with mutiny after entering a club that was then considered off-limits to them.

He would eventually get them all released.

CIA director doesn’t trust Taliban during peace talks

The photo that opened many doors.

(Image courtesy of RedTail.org)

Eleanor Roosevelt

The Tuskegee Airmen came to during an age of segregated America. While the Tuskegee Airmen, or the Tuskegee experiment as it was then known, was great it still lacked the prerequisite respect and support.

It wasn’t until a visit from FLOTUS Eleanor Roosevelt that support would begin to flow in. Photo and film from a flight around the field would be the push needed to get the support to really come in.

CIA director doesn’t trust Taliban during peace talks

Lieutenant General Benjamin O. Davis Jr.

(Image courtesy of AF.mil)

Generalmaker

Three different members, or graduates, of the Tuskegee experiment, went on to become Generals. The first was Benjamin O. Davis, Sr. He was the first commander of the 332nd Fighter Group and the first Black General of the U.S. Air Force.

Daniel “Chapple” James was appointed brigadier general by Richard Nixon and also went on to become a General. The last, Lucius Theus, would retire at the rank of Major General after a 36-year career.

CIA director doesn’t trust Taliban during peace talks

Batting a thousand..

Perfect record

The Tuskegee Airmen flew more than 700 bomber escort missions during World War II. They wound up being the only fighter group to achieve and maintain a perfect record protecting bombers.

MIGHTY TRENDING

This veteran is being forced to give up his support dog

Seventy-year-old Robert L. Brady has until Jan. 11 to give up Bane, the mixed-breed sidekick that his psychologist deemed as an emotional support dog.


His Conway-area condominium association won an arbitration order Dec. 12 requiring the Vietnam veteran to surrender the 4-year-old dog because it exceeds the community’s 35-pound weight limit for pets. Bane weighs about 41 pounds. The canine now faces an uncertain future even as assistance dogs have gained greater access to communities, restaurants and shops.

“The reason I don’t want to lose him is that he keeps my mind off the war and everything. He’s just a wonderful companion,” said the widower, who retired last year from working as a theme-park bus driver. “My life would be lost without a good companion and that’s why I’m doing all I can to keep from having to get rid of him.”

Brady’s attorney, Jonathan Paul, said the association discriminated by looking only at the dog’s weight without considering the disabled military veteran’s documented need for an emotional support animal. He said they are also seeking guidance under federal fair housing laws aimed at protecting housing rights of disabled residents.

Homeowner and condo associations are among those grappling with the boundary lines for emotional support dogs. Unlike service dogs trained to assist disabled people with daily tasks, emotional support animals don’t require training. They can be any species and require no certification to assist owners who have psychological disabilities, according to a June article published by the National Institutes of Health. In Florida, one association lawyer is seeking legislation to further clarify issues related to emotional support animals.

Florida law allows service dogs that calm “an individual with post traumatic stress disorder during an anxiety attack.” Dogs that simply provide comfort, companionship and security don’t qualify as service dogs, according to statutes.

CIA director doesn’t trust Taliban during peace talks
Bane’s fate is uncertain since he exceeds community weight limits but is deemed an emotional support dog. (Orlando Sentinel)

Orlando Veteran Administration psychologist Matthew Waesche wrote in an October 2015 letter that Brady was under his care and that the dog appears to help keep his owner’s mental health issues in remission.

Orlando attorney Peter McGrath, who represents Orange Tree Village Condominiums, said Brady is a sympathetic figure but the association’s animal restrictions become meaningless if left unenforced.

Brady and his dog have never caused problems, although Bane once lunged at a dachshund owned by an association officer and sometimes barks for extended periods, McGrath said. The situation is complicated because Brady’s adult children resided in a nearby Orange Tree Village condo and kept the dog there until they were cited more than a year ago by the association, the attorney added. And even though no one has done genetic testing, McGrath said Bane could be a breed mix that is prohibited on the condo grounds.

The bottom line is that Brady can continue to pursue further legal channels but must give up the dog in three weeks unless he gets an injunction, McGrath added.

Donna Berger, an attorney who specializes in Florida condominium association law, said property-owner associations can sometimes be “mean spirited” but pet owners can also push the limits in efforts to keep dogs that violate rules.

“Every pet that needs to go suddenly morphs into an ESA [emotional support animal],” she said. “It’s the same old routine.”

She said she is pushing for legislation calling for pet owners to establish the need for emotional support animals with current medical records.

Also Read: New House bill proposes providing veterans with service dogs

Bane lays his chestnut-and-white head in Brady’s lap as his owner describes why he needs the dog: “Since my wife passed, he helps take my mind off stuff, like the war.”

Orange Tree Village Condominiums has focused on Bane’s weight for more than a year. Brady said he has been trying to feed the pet lean food to bring him closer to the limit but he doesn’t want to starve Bane just to comply with the association’s prescribed weight for pets.

Berger, whose firms represents associations across the state, said evicting animals based on their weight is “senseless” because size doesn’t predict whether a dog will attack someone. Larger dogs can be more gentle and puppies are acceptable weights — until they grow up. By then, they are cemented into the family.

“A lot of these weight restrictions are antiquated,” she said.

MIGHTY CULTURE

The 13 funniest military memes for the week of October 18th

As you may have heard already, the U.S. pulled out of Syria. Catch literally any other news agency for a hot take on that one. Me? I’d just like to point out the little things that also happened with that event. Namely, Russian troops immediately seized control of the compound the U.S. troops previously occupied.

The U.S. troops must have known something was up because they took the time to clear out literally every scrap of U.S. military hardware while not giving a single sh*t about their trash in the DFAC – much to the dismay of every DFAC NCO ever. Best of all, is the board with the Russian flag dong and other obscenities, mostly in Russian, sprawled across for the Ruskies to find.


All I’m saying is that I’m proud of you motherf*ckers is all. You’re doing Uncle Sam’s work. Anyways, here are some memes you glorious bastards.

CIA director doesn’t trust Taliban during peace talks

(Meme via ASMDSS)

CIA director doesn’t trust Taliban during peace talks

(Meme via The Salty Soldier)

CIA director doesn’t trust Taliban during peace talks

(Photo via Infantry Follow Me)

CIA director doesn’t trust Taliban during peace talks

(Meme via Disgruntled Vets)

CIA director doesn’t trust Taliban during peace talks

(Meme via On The Minute Memes)

CIA director doesn’t trust Taliban during peace talks

(Meme via Call for Fire)

CIA director doesn’t trust Taliban during peace talks

(Meme via Team Non-Rec)

CIA director doesn’t trust Taliban during peace talks

(Meme via Not CID)

CIA director doesn’t trust Taliban during peace talks

(Meme via Lost in the Sauce)

CIA director doesn’t trust Taliban during peace talks

(Meme via Valhalla Wear)

CIA director doesn’t trust Taliban during peace talks

(Meme via Private News Network)

Just for my own personal reasons, which post of mine was the final straw? Just curious…

Funny how “Ride or Die” just went until “we had a minor disagreement over something stupid.”

CIA director doesn’t trust Taliban during peace talks

(Meme via Thank You for My Service)

CIA director doesn’t trust Taliban during peace talks

(Meme via Decelerate Your Life)

MIGHTY TACTICAL

China unleashes its ‘Reaper’ copy in exciting footage

The developers of one of China’s newest and most advanced combat drones have released a new video showcasing its destructive capabilities.

The video was released just one week prior to the start of the China International Aviation & Aerospace Exhibition in Zhuhai, Guangdong, China, where this drone made its debut in 2016.


China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation’s CH-5 combat drone, nicknamed the “Air Bomb Truck” because it soars into battle with 16 missiles, is the successor to the CH-4, which many call the “AK-47 of drones.”

CH-5 UAV appears in recent video released

www.youtube.com

Resembling General Atomics’ MQ-9 Reaper drone, the developers claim the weapon is superior to its combat-tested American counterpart, which carries four Hellfire missiles and two 500-pound precision bombs. The Reaper is one of America’s top hunter-killer drones and a key weapon that can stalk and strike militants in the war on terror.

The CH-5 “can perform whatever operations the MQ-9 Reaper can and is even better than the US vehicle when it comes to flight duration and operational efficiency,” Shi Wen, a chief CH series drone designer at the China Academy of Aerospace Aerodynamics, told the China Daily two years ago.

But, while the CH-5 and the MQ-9 may look a lot alike, it is technological similarity, not parity. The Reaper’s payload, for instance, is roughly double that of China’s CH-5. And, while China’s drone may excel in endurance, its American counterpart has a greater maximum take-off weight and a much higher service ceiling.

The sensors and communications equipment on the Chinese drone are also suspected to be inferior to those on the MQ-9, which in 2017 achieved the ability to not only wipe out ground targets but eliminate air assets as well.

Nonetheless, these systems can get the job done. The CH-4, the predecessor to the latest CH series drone, has been deployed in the fight against the Islamic State.

China has exported numerous drones to countries across the Middle East, presenting them as comparable to US products with less restrictions and for a lower price.

This article originally appeared on Business Insider. Follow @BusinessInsider on Twitter.

MIGHTY CULTURE

This ‘Dear John’ SNL video is way too real

Mikey Day’s World War I soldier desperately trying to get comfort from home is so real.

I just discovered this SNL sketch and then I had a drink in honor of everyone who got screwed over by Jody…

Not only that, it slyly captures the feeling of being overseas and wanting to connect with people back home. For service members, life gets put on pause during training, deployments, or remote assignments, but for the people we leave behind, well, life goes on.

Sometimes in really weird ways…


The War in Words – SNL

www.youtube.com

The War in Words – SNL

But really, who hasn’t slowly decrypted a cheating lover’s transgressions over time while serving your country overseas?

Claire Foy and Kenan Thompson are just fine in this, but Mikey Day is perfect as the poor soldier really trying to keep it together while literally everything goes to hell around him.

CIA director doesn’t trust Taliban during peace talks

“In future letters please elaborate…” said everyone deployed ever.

I’ll just put this right here:

Popular Article: What troops really want in their care packages

This isn’t the first “The War in Words” sketch from SNL (Maya Rudolph joined Day in a Civil War sketch and it was also clever) but this World War I version cracks me up. Day plays the little voice inside all of us who just wants to do their duty but feels alarmed when it begins to dawn on them that they’re f***ed even though everyone else around them maintains that everything is fine.

CIA director doesn’t trust Taliban during peace talks

It’s not fine.

Case in point: Day’s opening line in the Alec Baldwin Drill Sergeant video captures every single cadet I ever saw just…desperately trying to take a training environment seriously:

Drill Sergeant – SNL

www.youtube.com

Drill Sergeant – SNL

I’ll never not laugh at someone standing at attention and yelling out their response to a question.

Give the video a watch and let me know your favorite military sketch.

MIGHTY CULTURE

The most recent Korean War remains are close to a final ID

In defusing tensions between the United States and North Korea in 2018, North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un returned the remains of 55 allied troops, kept by the North for the previous 65 years or more. Almost 7,700 members of the United States Military remain unidentified from the Korean War, which killed more than 36,000.


North Korea returned the remains in July 2018 after a historic summit with President Donald Trump in Singapore. It was a first for a sitting President to meet the reclusive leader of North Korea and a first for the North Korean dictator to meet with a non-Chinese foreign leader outside of the Hermit Kingdom.

CIA director doesn’t trust Taliban during peace talks

Transfer cases, containing the remains of what are believed to be U.S. service members lost in the Korean War, line a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III aircraft during an honorable carry ceremony at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Apryl Hall)

Unidentified remains were transferred from the United Nations Command in South Korea to the U.S. Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, the team that manages the repatriation of American war dead, identifies them, and ensures they are returned to their families for a proper burial. They were received in an “honorable carry” ceremony in Hawaii.

The only personal item returned by North Korea that could identify any of the remains was the dog tag of Army medic Master Sgt. Charles H. McDaniel. It was the first of such returns since President George W. Bush halted the cooperation with North Korea in 2005.

CIA director doesn’t trust Taliban during peace talks

An honor guard detail of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command personnel conducts an honorable carry ceremony at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, Aug. 1, 2018.

(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Apryl Hall)

DPAA’s mission is to search for, find, and account for missing Defense Department personnel from World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Cold War, the Gulf War, and other recent conflicts. More than 82,000 Americans remain missing from those conflicts, with 34,000 believed to be recoverable.

The recently recovered remains have been mostly identified. The lab responsible is still finalizing the process and doing one last quality check before telling the families of the fallen. Master Sgt. McDaniel’s family has already received his dog tags, along with the hope that their long-lost father is among the honored dead on their way home. Only three others have been positively identified thus far.

Trump and Kim are expected to meet again in Hanoi, Vietnam in 2019.

MIGHTY TACTICAL

Legendary Russian arms maker unveils new combat rifle

The Russian maker of the AK-47 unveiled a new rifle on Aug. 20, 2018, called the AK-308, which it is expected to demonstrate at the Army-2018 Forum on Aug. 21, 2018.

“The weapon is based on the AK103 submachine gun for the cartridge 7.62×51 mm with elements and components of the AK-12 automatic machine,” Kalashnikov Concern said in a press statement on Aug. 20, 2018.

“At the moment, preparations are under way for preliminary testing of weapons,” Kalashnikov added.


The AK-308 weighs about 9 1/2 pounds with an empty 20-round magazine, Kalashnikov said. The gun also has a dioptric sight and foldable stock.

At this point, it’s unclear whether the Russian military will field the new AK-308, but it certainly seems like a possibility.

In January 2018, the Russian military announced it would replace its standard issue AK-74M rifles with AK-12 and AK-15 rifles.

CIA director doesn’t trust Taliban during peace talks

AK-15 rifle.

(Kalashnikov photo)

The AK-74M fires a 5.45×39 mm round, has a 30-round magazine, and weighs about 8.6 pounds when fully loaded.

On the other hand, the AK-12 shoots a 5.45×39 mm caliber round, and the AK-15 shoots a 7.62×39 mm round, according to Kalashnikov. Each of those two weapons with an empty 30-round magazine weigh about 7.7 pounds.

This article originally appeared on Business Insider. Follow @BusinessInsider on Twitter.

MIGHTY CULTURE

Butterfly garden acts as ‘spiritual refuge’ for vets

Veteran James Petersen noticed five unused planting beds on the grounds of the PFC Floyd K. Lindstrom Clinic in Colorado Springs. He realized they would be perfect for a butterfly garden.

Petersen is a social worker for the VA Eastern Colorado Healthcare System (VAECHS). He and his “Butterfly Brigade” filled the planters with soil and flowers. The brigade includes VAECHS volunteers and patients.

“The beds hadn’t been touched in years,” said Peterson. But he welcomed the challenge. “I thought this would be a great opportunity to engage our veterans, as well as create a place for them to socialize between appointments.”


The garden features perennial and annual flowers. It also contains milkweed, the only food eaten by the monarch caterpillar.

CIA director doesn’t trust Taliban during peace talks

The garden is an official monarch waystation.

A painted lady butterfly stops at the garden.

“The monarch butterfly is endangered, declining almost 90% over the past 20 years,” Petersen noted. Because of their efforts, the garden now is an official monarch butterfly migration pathway station.

Petersen has planted flowers to attract butterflies before. When he returned from five years in Iraq and Afghanistan, he said he “found a lot of therapeutic value in gardening.” As a result, Petersen went through the master gardener program at the Missouri Botanical Garden.

“When I worked at the St. Louis VA last summer, I planted a monarch butterfly garden,” he said. “Several of the veterans on my caseload worked with me in planting the garden. They loved it.”

CIA director doesn’t trust Taliban during peace talks

A painted lady butterfly stops at the garden.

Place of change for butterflies and veterans

“This is a place to meditate, minimize stress, socialize and observe the many changes butterflies encounter, much like our own lives,” said clinic director Kim Hoge. She further called the garden a “spiritual refuge” and thanked clinic employees for donating their time, money and resources to build it.

Peterson said just as caterpillars become butterflies, veterans change when they transition to civilian life.

“This garden will do our part for conservation. It will also create a therapeutic place for veterans to hang out,” he said. “They will appreciate the symbolism of transformation and metamorphosis. Especially those who are dealing with traumatic histories.”

This article originally appeared on VAntage Point. Follow @DeptVetAffairs on Twitter.

MIGHTY TRENDING

Why Russia is hiring mercenaries to fight in Syria

Bloomberg has reported that the Feb. 7, 2018 attack on U.S.-backed Kurdish fighters by forces aligned with the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was actually conducted by Russian mercenaries, and that at least 100 of them died in the failed attack.


The attack happened just five miles east of the “de-confliction” line between the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the Russian-supported Syrian government in the oil-rich Deir Ezzor region.

Some 500 “pro-Assad” fighters attempted to attack an SDF headquarters, but were repelled by American artillery and airstrikes that were called in by U.S. advisers on the ground. Russian nationals were suspected of being part of the attack, but no casualties were reported, and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said he did not think there were any Russian casualties.

CIA director doesn’t trust Taliban during peace talks
Fighters of the Euphrates Liberation Brigade, part of the Manbij Military Council of the Syrian Democratic Forces, in the city of Manbij in northern Syria. (Wikimedia Commons photo from Kurdishstruggle.)

Bloomberg, however, reported that three Russian sources told them the attack was conducted by Russian mercenaries, and that as many as 200 Russian “contract soldiers” died in the attack.

Russia has denied that any of its forces were killed or wounded in the attack, but evidence that Russians had died have slowly begun to surface on Russian social media.

Also read: How militants shot down a Russian fighter in Syria

It is unclear who was paying the mercenaries involved in last week’s attack, or what group they were a part of, but reports of a Russian private military company (PMC) by the name of Wagner have surfaced throughout the last few years.

Reports of Wagner mercenaries in Syria

This incident is not the first time Russian mercenaries have been reported to be operating in Syria. Stratfor, an American geopolitical intelligence firm, recently reported that Wagner mercenaries had served in Ukraine, Syria, and parts of Africa.

In September 2017, two Wagner operators were reportedly taken prisoner by the terrorist group ISIS in Syria’s Deir Ezzor region, and in August 2016, Sky News interviewed Russian men who claimed to be mercenaries who fought at the Battle of Palmyra.

Related: Thousands of Russian private contractors are fighting in Syria

The independent Russian media outlet Fontanka published an investigation from 2016 that claimed that as many as 2,500 men from Wagner were operating in Syria. They reported that they had a training base in Russia’s Krasnodar Krai region, and that many of the men in the group had fought in Ukraine’s Donbas war on the side of the separatists.

CIA director doesn’t trust Taliban during peace talks

In early February 2018, Igor Girkin, the former defense minister for the self-declared Donetsk Peoples Republic, a separatist region backed by Russia in eastern Ukraine, said Russian mercenaries operating in Syria who died in combat were cremated on sight, so as to hide the true cost of Russia’s involvement.

“‘No body, no criminal case’ — this Russian investigative principle is being creatively used in the military campaign,” Girkin said on the Russian social media website VKontakte. “It is possible to dispose of a considerable number of bodies without anyone noticing. What can I say? There has never been such cynicism in our country.”

Russian mercenaries are reportedly being used for two purposes: to achieve objectives that the poorly trained and equipped Syrian Arab Army are not capable of achieving alone, and to hide the true cost of Russia’s involvement in Syria.

The tactic is not unheard of. The U.S. employed mercenaries during its wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and their deaths were not reported in official counts. The U.S. continues to rely on PMCs in active warzones around the world.

If accurate, the losses sustained last week would make the number of Russian military deaths five times higher than the official count — and that does not even include previous losses sustained by Wagner.

Do Not Sell My Personal Information