Wednesday, November 18, 2015

EVERY GUN TELLS A STORY - Even Mr. Zehah-Bibeau's Model 1894 Winchester

Ronald J. Jack

The Gun - that killed J.F.K. - Bantam, 1976
THE GUN (that killed J.F.K.) by Henry Bloomgarden - was a
Bantam paperback, 1976.  An example of pre-Internet gun prose.

When I was a junior-high school student I shared the enthusiasms of Canadian boys my own age. Many of us developed an interest in the history of weaponry and warfare, and we could rattle off the names and specifications of almost any model that could fire a projectile.  I couldn't afford to buy a gun of my own, but we had a shop teacher who was also a gunsmith. If we brought scrap lead to class he would let us melt it down in a crucible and pour the molten metal into bullet moulds for .45 and .38 slugs. He also let us watch as he cut down the barrels of .12 Gauge and .410 Gauge shotguns and re-bedded them with pistol grips, sans any butt-stock.  He was breaking the law, but we didn't know any better. He was our teacher.

THE WAR BUSINESS - George Thayer, 1970 - book cover

At about that time I read a book that opened my eyes to much bigger issues.  George Thayer's, THE WAR BUSINESS: The International Trade in Armaments (AVON 1970) alerted me to the fact that Canadians companies also sold weapons illicitly, and they didn't particularly care if they were enabling foreign dictators or mercenary armies.  More interesting were a few pages on the importation of cheap war surplus firearms, typified by the Italian carbine (a Mannlicher-Carcano Serial No. C2766) that Lee Harvey Oswald used to assassinate President John F. Kennedy.  A few years later, Henry S. Bloomgarden had an original idea, or so I thought at the time. Why not write a biography of the rifle used to kill Kennedy?  Bantam Books published  THE GUN in 1976 and I pounced on a copy. The story satisfied because the  book described not only the life story of the infamous rifle, but something of of Terni, the company town that produced it, and the lives of the Italian craftsmen who designed and built firearms. More, Bloomgarden detailed the U.S. laws and the lawmakers who aided the importation of surplus weaponry.  

During high school I became aware of the fact that many thousands of collectors were researching the 'biographiies' of individual firearms, and I read many fascinating articles in the gun press which were in effect 'dual biographies' of interesting weapons and the men who once owned them. Some firearms historians spare no effort or expense when sleuthing out the life story of a gun, and many maintain private reference libraries that have cost tens of thousands of dollars to assemble.  With the advent of the Internet came the added ability to swap data with collector-researchers worldwide, and for modest fees acquire personal records that were once impossible to acquire.  I haven't fired a weapon since completing my service in the Canadian Militia in 1981 (Military Police and Infantry) but I have maintained a research/writing interest in modern warfare and weapons design.

Mr. Zehaf-Bibeau at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier - Ottawa.
He killed a sentry, but fired few shots. The Winchester Model 1894
holds only a few cartridges in its spring-loaded tube magazine.

"Dead End" on tracing  Zehaf-Bibeau's Winchester

And so when I read reporter Jim Bronskill's  claim (November 10, 2015) of a "Dead End" in the Michael Zehaf-Bibeau investigation, I could smell the fish rotting.  Zehaf-Bibeau, most will recall, was the disturbed man who terrorized Parliament Hill in 2014,  brandishing a very old Winchester lever-action rifle, and fatally shooting a reservist in the back at the National War Memorial.  Under intense pressure, the R.C.M.P. released a photo of the damaged weapon, but not a single detail about its history.  Had they shared even basic information with the public, I feel certain that gun historians would have done their part, and in combination with investigative journalists who could canvass appropriate neighbourhoods and gun enthusiasts, would have done the R.C.M.P.s job for it.  And that, the federal troopers will never allow.

RCMP fail to trace Zehaf-Bibeau rifle -  Canadian Press report

Mr. Bronskill, of the Canadian Press news agency, is one of our most reliable journalists specializing in matters of National Defence, Canada's Intelligence gathering agencies, and Official Secrecy.  He wrote that an inside source had tipped him of the R.C.M.P.s inability to solve the mystery of how and where the gunman acquired his Winchester .30-.30.  "The RCMP devoted more than 130 full-time investigators and staff to the case, interviewing several hundred people across the country."

Just as interesting was a CBC News report, on the same day, that described an internal dispute among the current and former members of the House of Commons security detail.  "RCMP accused of rewriting history of Parliament Hill attack" Only days after the attack on Canada's Parliament, the House of Commons security force was disbanded (without ceremony) and the R.C.M.P. immediately took over the assignment. In order to keep the Ottawa media out of the government's laundry basket, Kevin Vickers was declared a 'Hero' (or National distraction) for his firing a 9 mm. bullet into the back of the gunman's head, and quickly shipped off to an Ambassadorship in Ireland.  (Refer to my previous Runagates Club article.)  Clearly the whole matter has become completely politicized, and the biography of the Zehaf-Bibeau Winchester 94, is not a book that anyone in Ottawa ever plans to write. Inquiring minds just don't want to know.

In truth, Federal authorities would have known quite quickly the genesis or "birth date" of the rifle and when it was shipped into Canada.  The early records of the factory are in the custody of the Cody Firearms Museum in Wyoming, which has (like Colt) made millions of dollars selling authentication letters to Winchester collectors over the years. I have R.L. Wilson's history of Winchester, but there are a host of expensive "collector-grade" reference works, including one just on the Model 1894 rifle. Basic information on serial numbers (never released by the RCMP) are available all over the Internet, as are archived discussions between serious collectors.  Even pamphlets distributed by Winchester (below) give basic historical information, just to whet the appetite for owning a piece of firearms history. Collectors maintain files of vintage Canadian sales catalogs and advertising for individual communities, and it is often possible to determine which retailer (usually a hardware store) was stocking particular makes in a given community.  

Winchester Model 1894 Serial numbers - by year date

SADDLE GUN :"Since the world was powered by horse flesh at the 
time of its introduction, the 1894 just begs to be slipped into a horse 
scabbard with a string of rawhide or braided suede tied around the 
saddle ring to hold her in place on a rough ride."  -  Kevin Gibson

Mr. Zehaf-Bibeau's rifle appears to be of pre-WW1 manufacture, with an octagonal barrel and a crescent shaped steel butt-plate. It was officially an "antique" (100+ years) when he used it to murder a sentry in Ottawa. Such weapons are noticed, and valued. One identical to it, and with no history, sold recently at auction for $ U.S. 1,175. If you owned one, or had one stolen from you, it would matter. Zehaf-Bibeau did not transport it from British Columbia back to Ontario or Quebec. He acquired it there, and quite possibly it came to him through the family. They deny it, and this is Canada, so there will be no nail-pulling. Of course the R.C.M.P. are only interested in establishing if there is another person tied to the rifle, who is chargeable with a crime. Should you think that the registration of rifles and shotguns is a very modern phenomenon in Canada, think again. Handgun registration started very early, but in 1940 our government decreed that all rifles and shotguns had to be registered. (See the clipping below.) Of course many rural Canadians ignored the law, but that is beside the point. The salient point is that taxpayers have forked over more than a Billion Dollars for the funding of a registration system for so-called "long arms", ostensibly in an attempt to eliminate gun crime, and the very moment in our history that a nut dashes onto Parliament Hill with a hunting rifle, the entire program is shown to be a mirage. A year has passed and we are told "the probe has come to a dead end". My gawd! Even more exasperating, very few newspapers bothered to print Bronskill's story, and NONE have attempted a followup.

Registration of ALL firearms in Canada - WW2 law
In 1940 War Measures allowed the government 
to require that all rifles and shotguns be registered. 
Handguns were already tightly controlled in Canada.

So how could this happen? The Canadian Firearms Registry cost Canadian taxpayers somewhere between $1 Billion - $2 Billion dollars. The exact dollar figure is lost in the fog of political warfare. The project was a Chretien-Liberal boondoggle and was cancelled in 2012, although federal law enforcement still requires individual gun owners be licensed.
The first mass-registration of ALL guns in Canada took place during World War II, and might then have picked up the Winchester Model 94. But it didn't. Surely the Chretien Era registration, with its dire threats of jail time for non-compliance, would have detected it? Well, NO. According to the Bronskill report, the Mounties are at a "Dead End". So gun registration was one of the more costly job creation schemes run by Ottawa, but it didn't make a bit of difference in preventing gun crimes like the Zehaf-Bibeau shooting.

Canadian - U.S. Cooperation on Tracing Guns
We Canadians are very aware of the American obsession with the right to own unlimited numbers of guns, and the resulting carnage that ensues. For a look at how the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms handles illicit gun tracing, I turned to YOUTUBE. The ATF National Tracing Center is located in Martinsburg, West Virginia, and it employs approximately 400 full-time staff. The video is only a few minutes long, and I provide a hot link below.

published on YOUTUBE,  in early February 2013.

Despite claims of overwork by staff and the complaint of somehow being handicapped by U.S. Federal privacy laws (somewhat of a hollow joke from an employee of the world's leading surveillance-state) the vaunted A.T.F. racks up an impressive success rate. So is it fair to make a direct comparison between American and Canadian capabilities? It would be IF we Canadians had a little more to go on. With respect to current operations and programs, the level of information control in Ottawa is now so routine and pervasive, that it is virtually equivalent to wartime conditions. I daresay, for example, that Canadians during World War II were able to follow the campaigns in Europe more easily than we were able to do with units deployed to Somalia, Bosnia, Afghanistan, or currently bombing Syria. Could you even secure a list of the names of R.C.M.P. officers serving in your community, much less specific details on why investigators were skunked by Mr. Zehaf-Bibeau? Not a chance.  It's interesting to note that when the Windsor Star did a five-part investigative series (2013) on smuggled guns and Canadian victims, they consulted staff at the ATF in West Virginia, and not our own specialists.

Eight Bandido bikers murdered in Shedden, Ontario in 2006
with one Hi-Point .380 pistol. The ATF traced its biography.

Did you know that Canada has a "Commissioner of Firearms"?  Did you know that each year the Canadian Firearms Program  (CFP) publishes a glossy report summarizing annual achievements?  The CFP is "Canada's Authority on Firearms", and so the Commissioner's next report may include a paragraph or two on the Zehaf-Bibeau case - arguably the most important attempt to trace a firearm that the CFP have yet attempted.  It depends on your P.O.V., I guess.  It seems to me that the program has too many chiefs, and not enough Indians.  

Commissioner of Firearms - 2013 Report, Ottawa

If you read the most recent annual report, you will find a "Program Overview". (Provided below)  You will see listed:
- the Chief Firearms Officer Operations and Firearms Safety Training Directorate
- the Firearms Service Delivery Directorate
- the Firearms investigative and Enforcement Services Directorate
- the Firearms Management and Strategic Services Directorate
- the Information Technology Integration and Business Improvement Section

And these CFP  "Directorates" have "components," and are further supported by Department of Justice lawyers in regional offices.

And if that were not enough, consider this recent refinement in Canada's federal gun tracing efforts:

"The Canadian Integrated Ballistics Information Network - CIBIN"
Based in Ottawa this program seeks to instantly link criminal occurrences anywhere in Canada (and by extension the U.S.) by matching digital records of fired bullets, marks left on cartridge casings, etc. The really sneaky component of the service to "frontline" law enforcement is the "Suspicious Firearms Index" which is a growing compilation of evidence taken from "firearms of interest not known to be associated with a criminal charge but that may generate intelligence for investigators". In other words, the goal is to surreptitiously collect firearms evidence from citizens you don't trust, and hold it for a future match when the weapon is illegally used.

"It's 2015"
On the R.C.M.P.s wish list is "Pursuit of the establishment of a live connection between NIBIN and CIBIN".   NIBIN  is the U.S.A.'s  National Integrated Ballistic Information Network.

And yet none of this technology and bureaucracy would have stopped an attack like that perpetrated in Ottawa by one angry and disturbed man who had access to an antique Winchester found somewhere in a closet. What it does do,  is employ a large number R.C.M.P. officers at six-figure salaries, who are counting on pension cycles guaranteed to far exceed their actual years of service.  And bureaucratic waste is a whole different category of crime best left for another time.  Ironically, many American crime labs are abandoning the technology the RCMP are boasting of acquiring.  The consensus among lab staff is that massive centralized databases are not resulting in local arrests and prosecutions, so they don't feel particularly obligated to waste precious hours feeding information to the insatiable Intelligence dragon. ...But I digress.  The killer was himself killed, so if the R.C.M.P. would just share what they do know about the Model 1894 in discussion, then citizen sleuths might get to work and contribute something helpful to the investigation.


Thursday, August 27, 2015

Kevin Vickers - the Mountie and the Head Shot

Kevin Vickers - R.C.M.P. career officer

Ambassador Kevin Michael Vickers is receiving visitors in Dublin.  This week it was the dubious duo from CTV - Craig Oliver and Lloyd Robertson - checking out the lush back pasture Mr. Vickers is grazing.   Vickers' wall is covered with plastic plaques, Maritime universities now invite him to give inspirational speeches, and many feckless Canadians even call him a "hero".   (He's the Mountie who performed the coup-de-grace on that well-riddled mental defective on Parliament Hill.)  You can check out the list of his honours and ribbon bars here, but I think Mr. Vickers is richly deserving of at least one more distinction - the Flying Fickle Finger of Fate.  This was a trophy first awarded to the U.S. Congress for failing to pass much needed Gun Control Legislation -   That golden moment, a clip from Rowan and Martin's Laugh-in,  is on Youtube  - FICKLE FINGER OF FATE.

By now you may not even remember Michael Zehaf-Bibeau.  He was an angry Canadian drifter who used to "crash" at night in a mosque just a few blocks from my home. It was an anger fuelled by his twisted perception of an alleged Muslim cultural marginalization.  His story can be instructive, if told with calm and a pinch of honesty. But we don't get that much these days. Here is why I'm tossing in my two cents:

There were two men shot to death in Ottawa on October 22, 2014.  One death was a tragedy, and the other death a complete farce.  We were all outraged when an unarmed Canadian soldier was shot in the back at the National War Memorial.  But Canadians should have been apoplectic with outrage by the ensuing events.  Video surveillance, and bystander cell-video documented the breakneck dash by car to Parliament Hill, where the murderer...  a totally untrained man, penetrated the RCMP defensive perimeter - and then (armed with an antique saddle gun) burst past the House of Commons Security Detail... and came within killing distance of our National Leader.  

But there was no outrage at all - not on the Hill, nor anywhere across this "Fair Land". We were fed a shovel full of murky disinformation and then witnessed "Sergeant at Arms" Vickers (who was just one of six trained men who threw lead at Zehaf-Bibeau) - anointed a national "Hero" for doing the job he was very well paid to perform these past 30 years. More odious still, he was elevated to an ambassadorship!  This to provide a smokescreen for the fact that Parliament Hill Security was a slack-ass joke, and in fact so bad that the government had just quietly disbanded the whole outfit. And what about those bozos in the LPC and NDP... they who want to govern this country?  Did they demand an inquiry into how and why Parliament Hill has been successfully penetrated, again and again? No. 

There is a very lengthy and detailed wiki page on the shooting incident, if you have time to read it.

The Winchester Model 94  rifle (M1894),  was popularly known 
as a "saddle gun" because cowboys and ranchers carried it in 
a leather scabbard strapped to the saddle. 

Almost a year later, the RCMP have not discovered where the shooter acquired the antique rifle. (An "antique" is any artifact over 100 years old.)  The official report does not say how the fore-stock came to be shattered.  There were 56 spent 9mm cartridge casings collected from the scene, and we should trust that nobody pocketed any casings.  The target was hit 31 times, with 8 pistol slugs remaining lodged in his body.  These gory details may impress the casual reader, but the report neglects to offer us a tally of bullet strikes - on walls, pillars and the floor around and underneath the deceased. There is no doubt in my mind that such evidence was collected. But in whose interest is it to bury that evidence?

Constable Samearn Son - wounded by .30-30 round

There is no Wiki-page for Constable Samearn Son.  The Laotion-Canadian
had ten years of service on the Hill on the day that Mr.  Zehaf-Bibeau
burst through the entrance doors.  Son grabbed at the Winchester rifle and
alerted his colleagues: "Gun, gun, gun!"  He took a .30-30 bullet in the
foot.  I don't know if he was awarded a medal, but he did receive a round
of applause from M.P.s  in the Federal Parliament on December 14, 2014.

And what was the Mountie packing in Parliament?

"Speaker" Kevin Vickers pistol

Coup de Grace
At the time of the shooting inside the Center Block on Parliament, both sides were lacking crucial information.  Hill Security did not know that a serious shooting incident was underway at the National War Memorial, and the shooter himself was equally confused.  He was now INSIDE, but he didn't know the layout of the building.  All that was left to him was death.  It has always been alleged that  Chief Superintendent Vickers fired the fatal shot that finished off the intruder, but the official report makes no such claim.  What it does say, under "Fatal Wounds" : "The penetrating wound to the back of the neck that perforated the brain would have been immediately incapacitating and rapidly fatal." Media accounts make the claim that Vickers, using a stone pillar as a barrier, stretched around and fired two shots upward into his target.   Kevin Vickers collected all the rewards and public acclaim for making the kill shot.  The fatal shot was to the back of the head.   Two men were fatally shot in the back on that black day. One unlawfully, and the other quite lawfully.

Official Report - Investigation Into the Death of Michael Zehaf-Bibeau

Mr. Vickers has now had plenty of time to sort out his thoughts.  I would like to see him make a definitive statement under oath, and stick to it.  The most ridiculous of his statements that I have read is an extract from a speech he gave in May of 2015, when his birthplace honoured him with a dinner.  "I was on one side of the wall and the gunman was on the other side of the wall  and I remember thinking, and this is the truth, about being with my friend from Eel Ground Hubert Barnaby, hiding on the bank of the river as the [game] warden was coming and his feet were so close to us we could almost reach out and touch them." ???   No,  I'm not naive. I know that Vickers' claim, "This is the truth" is a sure tip off that he was bullshitting.  The legal issue at stake here, is that Vickers has never been required to swear to what actually transpired.  The Wikipedia page reports that Vickers told members of the federal cabinet, "I put him down." 

Notice how quickly the Tories whisked him out of town?  Notice how fast they threw the Canadian public a hero-bone to chew on?  Arf Arf!  The irony of course is that many, many more Canadians will hate me for pricking their hero-balloon, than would ever turn on those who constantly manipulate their feelings and make a habit of deceiving them.  

Kevin Vickers = Poster Boy for the Salvation Army
This is nothing short of obnoxious: Kevin Vickers chosen Poster Boy
for the Salvation Army ?!  For shooting a man in the back of the head?
Vickers will speak at a "Leadership Breakfast" at the Saint John Trade
And Convention Center on Nov. 12, 2015. No mention that he was a career Mountie.
Michael Zihaf-Bibeau (though a criminal)  was exactly the
type of troubled misfit, (a drifter with probable mental deficits) who
was living in an Ottawa homeless shelter at the time he snapped. 
The very profile of indigents the Sally Ann has a history of helping.  
How confused was Zehaf-Bibeau's mind?
After spewing hate in a recorded video, he ended with "Thank you."
Vickers was not in ceremonial Sarge-At-Arms getup, when he joined 
in pursuit of the suspect,  with his service pistol drawn. 

PTSD -  Pass it Around
If we are to believe news report, virtually ever Canadian soldier who served in Afghanistan is suffering, or will eventually suffer, from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  If we add to their ranks the hundreds of mounties and municipal cops who volunteered as Afghan police trainers, (to goose their pension portfolios?), and who will also be claiming PTSD, then appreciative Canadian taxpayers are saddled with a billion dollar problem over the next 50-60 years.  Call it a  - Post-Taxation Stress Disorder.

Now we learn that a band of brothers have "Declared War" on the Harper Tories this election season - all in the name of getting "veterans" the treatment and compensation they deserve.  The subject of "Veteran's Rights" is just as frightening to the average Canadian politician as an honest chat about abortion, religion, worker productivity - or anything else that gets folks on their feet punching and screaming.  It's never a fair fight.  So just pay up Stevie. It's only money.

The alternative to letting men with mental health issues go untreated or ignored, is to risk having a trained man storm Parliament.  A man well-armed and experienced in battle tactics and simple countermeasures. And did I mention, ANGRY.   Don't say it can't happen, because it certainly will happen. If not in Ottawa, in one of the provincial legislatures, which are also equipped for live television broadcast.  I'm old enough to remember Corporal Lortie, the disturbed serviceman  from C.F.S. Carp, (Ottawa) who murdered three people when he stormed the Quebec Legislature back in 1984.  If there is another Lortie lurking out there, the boys-in-black-balaclavas will certainly be in for some traumatic stress. Our world gets nuttier by the minute.

Major Jalbert vs. Corporal Lortie -  May 8, 1984

Corporal Lortie - Quebec Legislature 1984

It is interesting to recall that earlier, and far more interesting assault on a Canadian legislative chamber, because heroism doesn't have to trigger a deceitful response from government.  Major Jalbert was a veteran of WW2 and Korea.  He was a modest man possessed of an iron nerve.  He could hear Cpl. Lortie ranting and firing indiscriminately inside the chamber of government, yet he stepped inside (unarmed) and faced the gunman.  Even as Lortie continued to fire rounds  3-4 feet in front of his chest, Jalbert stood his ground.  After four hours of reasoning and pleading with him, the deranged soldier surrendered.

Major Jalbert was a awarded a medal, and he had a street named after him.

Lortie fires his submachinegun in Quebec Legislature - May 8, 1984

Mr. Vickers was coasting toward retirement when fate chose to cast him for a National television broadcast.  Television networks cut into their scheduled broadcasts to give the Ottawa incident saturation coverage. It went on for the better part of the week, when the show was moved inside the House of Commons, so that Canadian M.P.s could share the spotlight.  A Big Show requires a kick-ass finish.  Hello Mr. Ambassador!


Because the "Official Opposition" was out to lunch.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Everybody was a liar in Garland, Texas - but mostly the Law Enforcement Agencies

Garland, Texas - SWAT shootout with two wanna-be jihadis. Just another sickening story of American gun violence triggering a cascade of lying by Police, FBI and ATF officials.  

Gunman at Garland - New York Times headline

The first words I read on the Garland, Texas shooting were from the New York Times, picked up by the Google News aggregator. The N.Y.T. headline was "Police in Texas Kill Gunman at Exhibit Defying Islam".  As we all know, the "defiance" of Islam's militancy is a modern blood sport that takes great courage to play.   I never forget what film maker Theo Van Gogh got for "defying Islam". He was gutted and had his throat cut, on a public street in Amsterdam.  I decided to follow the Garland incident on the Net:

Garland Texas SWAT meets Muhammad

Dateline: Garland Texas, May 3, 2015 -   American and Dutch Free Speech advocates held a cartoon drawing contest, to make a point about FREE SPEECH.  A $10,000 prize was awarded for the best cartoon to caricature Muhammad (aka "the prophet"..."the messenger"..."the blessed and merciful"  yadda yadda).  The local Police expected trouble and established a security perimeter,  comprised of both uniformed cops and off-duty officers hired out for security. They were not going to allow a CHARLIE HEBDO type massacre on their watch. No sir!

On a death-defying mission from Muhammad, two lunatics drove into the kill zone, and opened fire on the exhibition building.  They were dead in seconds.  Minutes later, heavily armed Garland SWAT team members took to the stage, and informed the audience that there had been an incident outside. They also posed with the winning Muhammad cartoons.  The American media is obsessed with Baltimore at the moment, so the Garland shootout got short shrift. Given the firepower deployed at the cartoon Expo, it's clear that the Juhadis went into action blind. No recon at all. Did I hear somebody say,  "Don't mess with Texas!"    The SWAT officer (above) staring down the Muhammad snakehead painting is the craziest photo I saw all weekend.  I just had to share.

Event Poster - Muhammad Cartoon Contest - Garland, Texas
This is the poster advertising the cartoon contest at Garland, Texas.
It references the JYLLANDS POSTEN Muhammad cartoons Furor,
the CHARLIE HEBDO  massacre in Paris, and Muslim child brides. 

Twitter posting from Terrorist in Garland, Texas
Getting some revenge for U.S. Drone Strikes and the killing of U.S. citizen
Anwar Al-Alwaki.  If you don't know who he WAS, watch the documentary
DIRTY WARS on Netflix. The Muhammad Art Expo was just a convenient place 
for a slaughter.  Fortunately nobody got slaughtered except the Jihadists.

Texas Attack - Twitter traffic

Mocking Muslim No. 1

Winning Muhammad cartoon, Garland, Texas
Winner of the People's Choice Award, and the $10,000 prize:
Comic Book artist and fellow blogger,  Bosch Fawstin.
It really is ludicrous that techno-Muslims, those who Twitter
and Youtube their hate and butchery, are so obsessed with
this nonsense of banning any depiction of Muslim No. 1.

The Morning After:
And how will the Media report  the crazy attempt to murder people at a FREE SPEECH event?  Badly. Here is another photo - from the webpage of THE DAILY MAIL, London.  What a crude insult to citizens who still turn to daily newspapers for information. I'm insulted, and so should you be.

Censored photo of Garland Texas SWAT officers
THE DAILY MAIL crudely censored a photo taken at the site of the
May 3, 2015 attack in Garland, Texas.  

We live in a culture where most people are taking their information and political messages visually.  That is why I.S.I.S. militants do not issue manifestos, they publish videos.  And that is why newspapers are filled with colour photos these days.  Readers have turned into lookers.  Publishing a mutilated news photo like the DAILY MAIL has done this morning, is  the equivalent to using the silly phrase "the N-Word" or "the F-Word" in your conversation.  In seeking not to offend the self-righteous, we betray whatever integrity we think we possess.

Geert Wilders, Dutch M.P. posing with Garland, Texas SWAT Team
The Garland, Texas SWAT Team posed with
visiting Dutch M.P. Geert Wilders, May 3, 2015.

Early morning reports tell us that security for the Muhammad Cartoon Expo was months in preparation. The event co-ordinators paid $10,000 to the City of Garland for extra police protection.  They got the entire Garland, Texas SWAT Team, and before the event got underway, the keynote speaker (Geert Wilders, Dutch M.P.) posed with the SWAT Team.  This is a scrape from A.F.P. - Agence France Press which says Wilders released the photo to them.   The irony is that these SWAT dudes, dressed for war, didn't get the kills.  An off duty Texas cop faced off with the two gunmen, and shot them dead with his pistol.  They were armed with assault rifles.


"They crossed the line" is usually just a metaphorical expression.
But in Garland, Texas the Jihadis literally tried to cross the line.
The entire venue was demarcated with yellow police tape, and the entrance
to the building was closed off with barriers. Even with assault rifles
there was no way in hell the TWO HOMEGROWN JIHADIS were getting inside. 

UPDATE:  As of noon May 7th, no photos have been released of the weapons used by the Juihadis in Garland Texas. They have their reasons.  But at least one fully loaded magazine is visible in a crime-scene photo. The officer is holding a South Korean manufactured KCI 100-round  dual-drum mag. Note that it is fully charged with .223 rounds.  Elton Simpson had enough ammunition in that one magazine to kill everyone in the audience at the Garland Free Speech event ...without reloading.  He was planning a massacre of colossal proportions,  but instead he stepped into a buzz saw.  No doubt there are a few Jihadi whackos in the U.S. who are smart enough to learn from Simpson's stupidity.  The next target will be oh, so very soft.

Garland Texas Shooting - 100 round drum for assault rifle

And for a YOUTUBE test firing of the ultra-high capacity  KCI dual-drum magazine, jump to  BANG.

KCI 100-round dual drum magazine, Garland, Texas crime scene

Such things are illegal in Canada. And for good reason. We don't want our home-grown Jihadis being able to put the implements of murder on their credit cards.

FINAL UPDATE :   The story just gets too obnoxious.  The police stuck to the "off duty traffic cop" lie for days. Then the coroner's report was released.  The bodies of the two toasted jihadis had been riddled by several pistols and at least three separate Colt M4 assault rifles ... just like those carried by all Garland Texas SWAT team members.

What happened to the story about a Cartoon contest?  Two dead Jihadis?  Garland morphed into yet another example of lying law enforcement flaks and third-rate media coverage.  

Friday, February 6, 2015

I.S.I.S. Snuff Films - that "GITMO-Orange" metaphor goes over many heads

Jihadi John - I.S.I.S. video star
Jihadi John - the I.S.I.S. video star of 2014

Week-by-week the fanatics who call themselves the "Islamic State" struggle with the same problem facing Hollywood celebrities, Rock bands, and politicians of every stripe.  How do we hold our audience?  With I.S.I.S. it's all about brutality and sadistic forms of execution. To listen to CNN meat puppets talking about the "slick production values" used in I.S.I.S. videos, is to realize that they are acknowledging a competitor for American  'eyes and ears'.... because 'hearts and minds' are completely out of the question.

I.S.I.S.  - the so-called "Jihadeos"

Recently though, I was startled to learn that Canadians don't "get" many of the metaphors common to political theatre as practiced by Muslim militants.  They certainly don't understand the orange-jumpsuit metaphor which is common to all I.S.I.S. snuff videos directed toward a Western audience.  Following the recent murder of the two Japanese captives I asked several students their best guess why the videos were always staged the same way.  Not a clue! Then I moved on to adults. Nobody knew!   That's very, very odd because evidence suggests that millions of news viewers in the U.S. and Europe are savvy to "Gitmo-orange", but why not Canadians?

In short, the I.S.I.S. executioners are reminding us all of the Muslims imprisoned and indoctrinated at the American military base on Cuba.  The whole sordid freak-show of the United States handling high risk enemy militants -  with offshore military prisons, C.I.A. torture centers, rendition flights, etc., gets thrown back into American faces when I.S.I.S. puts its own prisoners on display and administers its own own sadistic and perverted form of "justice". 

Muslim detainees 2002 - Camp X-Ray, Guantanamo Bay

It's January 11, 2002 - and the first twenty "detainees" arrive at Camp X-Ray in the American Zone on Cuba.  The prisoners, shackled and wearing orange jumpsuits, kneel with their heads bowed during "in-processing".   [U.S. D.O.D. handout photo - click to enlarge]  Twelve years later I.S.I.S. would storm out of Syria into Iraq and carve out a sinuous territory they call the "Islamic State"  The Black banner and kneeling prisoners garbed in "Gitmo-orange" was evidence of a new form of militant threat and the Americans took several months to recover from the shock.

Protestors in England wear distinctive GITMO orange

All over Europe and in many American cities, the display of political prisoners in orange jumpsuits, bound and often hooded, became the new shock-metaphor for those publicly rejecting American foreign policy, U.S. global surveillance, and Washington's continued illegal occupation of a corner of Cuba.

Mass beheadings of Syrian Soldiers by ISIS
Click on photos if you need enlargement.

The Islamic State has captured thousands of Syrian soldiers and officers. Most have been executed by rifle fire, but a number have been beheaded on camera. None were garbed in "Gitmo-orange".  The colour orange is reserved for "high value detainees", a term invented by the Americans and now whole-heartedly adopted by I.S.I.S.  The use of video is common to both sides.  For example, the Americans have given hundreds of T.O.W. missile launchers to an A.B.C. of crackpot Syrian guerrilla groups.  The stipulation is that every missile launch MUST be videotaped.  Not for publication on YOUTUBE (although many TOW shots have appeared) but because the Americans want to count every missile firing. After Syrian President Assad is dragged out and killed like Gaddafi, the U.S. will probably bomb the guerrilla arms depots, in attempt to destroy the borrowed launchers and unexpended missiles.  Likewise every American assassination by Predator drone is video recorded, and I would suggest that atomizing a Toyota sedan and its passengers with a Hellfire missile is no less cowardly that taking the head of a bound captive.

CLOSE GUANTANAMO BAY, an Amnesty International poster

I close with this Amnesty International poster (above) which is simple yet eloquent.  I think you would agree that it is clever and definitely ironic.   Three symbols - the dove of peace, the Amnesty International motif of barbed wire, and the bright orange of Guantanamo, combined into one.  What I find especially ironic is that those first photographs taken of the kneeling terrorists at Camp X-Ray were not the work of some intrepid journalist using a long lens. They were taken by a U.S. Navy petty officer and released to the media by the D.O.D.   Fast forward to 2015.   I.S.I.S. captives are now posed on their knees as  Muslim "detainees" were posed on their knees in 2002.  Both sides kill, and kill often, but I.S.I.S.  is much more clever at satisfying the worldwide thirst for menacing images and vicarious thrills.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

I.S.I.S. takes Japanese Head Trophies - when will it be a Canadian's turn?

Kenji Goto displays the photo of beheaded ISIS hostage Haruna Yukawa

Japanese hostage Kenji Goto displays photo of fellow prisoner Haruna Yukawa,
who was beheaded by an I.S.I.S. guerrilla on January 25, 2015.  The latest
instalment of Islamic vengeance killings designed to weaken our resolve.

Or, if you prefer,  the tremulous media version... pixilated:

pixilated  I.S.I.S. Japanese hostages - Yukaw3a and Goto

It's really rather amazing how quickly the iconic image of 
kneeling I.S.I.S. hostages has burned into our subconscious.
It's been less than a year, and we easily recognize the black and
bright-orange hostage photos  pixilated AND miniaturized:

Yukawa Haruna - Japan's wannabe mercenary

There have been very few Japanese mercenaries in the modern era. I can think of perhaps two who made a name for themselves.  Yukawa Haruna was not made of the "right stuff".  Like millions of his fellow Japanese, he enjoyed dressing up in costumes and posing for the camera, but he was not a killer. He should not have journeyed into the most dangerous war zone in the world unless he was very prepared to die. Now he is dead, and Kenji Goto may soon join him.

Yukawa Haruna - tank boy, a childhood pose in front of Japanese tank

Yukawa Haruna - as tank boy. Nobody could fault the lad, or his dad, for this playful childhood pose. We've all done it with our kids.  Here he stands in front of a Japanese Self-Defence Force  M.B.T. 

Yukawa Haruna - posing in tactical gear - Japan
Just cosplay, or was he serious?  Yukawa Haruna poses in
tactical gear, somewhere in Japan, before leaving for Syria.

One is struck by the feminine appearance of the Yukawa face in the passport photo, (above)  in comparison to the matured face of the I.S.I.S. hostage.  I guess certain knowledge of your impending death by decapitation will do that to a fellow.

Yukawa Haruna posing with RPG launcher, Aleppo, Syria 2014

Professional mercenaries do not Blog from the battlefield.  Yukawa Haruna posed for and posted war-zone portraits constantly to the Internet, and he had a small fan following among members of Japan's para-military sub-culture.  It is quite obvious why I.S.I.S. chose to execute him first.   On his quirky FACEBOOK page he listed among his favorite music - Justin Bieber ! Another sure indication, as we Canadians might phrase it...   that Yukawa "wasn't all there!" 

It's interesting that I.S.I.S. executioners have now beheaded two Japanese, with a third condemned man soon to die.  This ferocious head trophy fetish was the big atrocity story of 2014, and may not burn itself out for a few years.  My generation was raised on history which emphasized Bushido and Japanese war crimes of civilian massacres and the beheading of Allied prisoners.  And now Japanese society is said to be severely shaken by recent events. Are they really?

For my earlier introduction to the history of head trophies, jump to BLACK JUNE - ISIS "Selfies" of head trophies shouldn't surprise anyone.

An Australian P.O.W. shown the instant before he was beheaded
by a Japanese with a sword. Thousands of civilians were so murdered.

I can't help speculating on how well the Canadian people will take it should I.S.I.S. get ahold of one of our CF18 pilots,  or one of our Special Forces soldiers who are currently "painting" targets with lasers in assistance of the bombing campaign.  I don't think our people can stomach that level of bestiality directed at one of our own, but they may have to. Worse, I already shudder at the paroxysms of  faux-suffering and genuine political theatrics that will ensue. 

CANSOFCOM - Canadian elite soldier deployed to Iraq

In 2014 CANSOFCOM deployed to Iraq and un-named countries in that region.  This is one of Canada's elite warriors -  who are authorized to engage I.S.I.S. and exterminate as many possible.  This past week our Prime Minister altered an unimportant speech to include a few words about Canadian operations in Iraq and Syria.  I quote Mr. Harper:
"Let me be clear. This is a robust mission. We're there to make those guys [Special Forces] effective so they can take on the Islamic State and deal with them. And if those guys fire at us, we're going to fire back and we're going to kill them, just like our guys did, and we're very proud of what they're doing in Iraq."
To my knowledge, that is the first time a Canadian prime minister has uttered the words "we're going to kill them" or anything even close to that phrase. I am proud of him for showing some balls at the appropriate moment. I haven't voted Tory in decades but with that genuine response to ISIS terror he just earned my vote, and a donation at election time.

Feb. 2, 2015 Update - And now the Japanese Prime MInister shows us he too has a pair of testicles.  Kenji Goto was beheaded on the weekend, and the Japanese are naturally feeling outrage and even a little vengeful.  Haruna Yakuna was an adventurer who needlessly exposed himself to I.S.I.S. killers, but the Kenji Goto was a harmless reporter of the news, with no connection to the Western intelligence agencies. The Japanese Prime Minister said his country "will cooperate with the international community and make the terrorists pay the price."  Hopefully he means providing additional  funding for the Japanese military, and not simply letting the NSA bug the toilets in every mosque in Japan.