Sunday, December 6, 2015

Weaponize your Hate - MR. AND MRS. MASSACRE terrorize San Bernardino


"Weaponize your Hate!" - a Heavy Metal lyric 

The NEW YORK TIMES has described them as "one of the most perplexing pairs in the recent history of mass homicide".

"They were living the American Dream." So claimed an acquaintance of the Muslim couple, quickly identified as Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik. Really?  He was born in California, but clearly was not coping. She was a new arrival, and never intended to assimilate. But before I go any further, let's be very clear about the U.S.A. in 2015. There is no longer an "American Dream".  Since 9/11 that comforting myth has morphed into an American Nightmare, and there is no evidence that the dreamers will ever awake.  I have written before in this Blog, and I confidently repeat, "Americans are Crazy".  Some will find that remark offensive, but it is an obvious conclusion.

Syed Farook - his university ID card with photo
Syed Rizwan Farook -  Mr. Massacre.
His California State University  ID card.

TELEVISED MAYHEM - Audio recording on the periphery of the kill zone - a Medical Centre in San Bernardino:  "Oh, that is scary!"  ... "They're all geared up! Rifles and everything!"

 On December 2, 2015 the news channels locked into the most recent American "mass shooting" and the video stream began hypnotizing millions of television viewers. I watched about ten minutes of Live Coverage on Al Jazeera, caught the gist of the story, and turned off the noise. I have observed "saturation" event coverage hundreds of times, with events stretching back to the 1970s, and I have learned to ignore the first day of the cycle. (The exception was 9/11 itself. Those images and that pain simply had to be shared and endured.) 

I could write the script on a typical A.M.S. (American Mass Shooting) and hand out pages to the participants.  I don't have to because there are already hundreds of thousands of copy writers worldwide who perform that function. The morning after, I woke refreshed and learned that the American news media (and the Obama White House) had classified this one as a Non-Terrorist massacre.  President Obama was hopeful the event was just a typical A.M.S. He said:
"It is possible that this was terrorist related, but we don't know. It is also possible that this was workplace related."
Now Barack Obama is no body's fool. He was just talking lawyer trash, stalling for time.

For three days the news media cooperated with the White House, downplaying the attack to a garden variety "Mass Shooting". The Americans have a definition for it... I kid you not.  A mass shooting is "any shooting of four or more people at one time".  The F.B.I. is a little fussier with their definition. It's still four or more, but the F.B.I. doesn't include mass killings by ghetto thugs or biker gangs. Those folks are outlaws, and their slaughter is just a little extra-judicial house cleaning.

Semantics also come into play when  deciding when a gunman gets to be labelled a "Terrorist".  When is it safe for the media to label an A.M.S.  a "Terrorist Attack"?   A) When the killers are proven members or self-confessed affiliates of a Terrorist Organizations on the U.S. State Department's Official List.  or B) When the shooter is identified as a "Right Wing, Christian Fundamentalist, Gun Lovin' whack job".  Those losers don't have to have an ideological affiliation. They are assumed to be Republican, and at large.   Big Government and its handmaiden Big Media, are the official arbiters of the Terror Lexicon.

Tashfeen Malik - Pakistani wife of Sayed Farook
Tashfeen Malik  - Mrs. Massacre.
One of her Pakistani ID cards.


The morning after - a screen grab documents the confusion 
and the deception. "Could be Terrorism"  Obama says.
"Attack Doesn't Fit Our Familiar Scripts". Whose scripts?

Mr. and Mrs. Massacre - Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik, were killed in a shootout with SWAT before they could upload their political manifesto or any of their attack video. (Like the recent Muslim monsters in Paris,  the San Bernardino terrorists were wearing GoPro video cameras.  This is standard ISIS methodology. Record and upload your gore to the Internet because only Coroner's juries will get to see images of the carnage left in the kill zone.  Video of an assault on the American "Homeland" would be a gift to Muslim fanatics worldwide, and their attack would be celebrated.  In fact it's not another San Bernardino-style attack the White House fears, it's the video of that next attack being enjoyed by millions of Muslim fanatics.

The really shocking fact about the carnage in California was that many in San Bernardino were not that terrorized.  Most bystanders were trying to be citizen reporters for a day, recording the action. Many of those evacuees who filed off buses were not hysterical or even reaching out to be hugged. I don't say they all took events in their stride, but this wasn't Columbine. In fact most of them were prepared for an attack.  Everyone in America who assembles each day in a large public building to work or study is being trained to respond, like Israelis, to sudden attacks.  Just as the American Public was trained to "Duck and Cover" during the first two decades of the Cold War, modern Americans are trained to "Shelter in Place", or if licensed to carry a weapon, to defend themselves.

As the concussion of rifle fire shook the walls of the INLAND REGIONAL CENTER, many of the trapped were taking cellphone videos. One nurse who recorded video, and shared it, pointed out that staff "have active shooter drills every month or so".  How nuts is that? A medical outreach facility holding anti-terror drills every other month!  Not to be outdone a College just up the street from the massacre site had its own "Active Shooter Drill" less than a week before (Nov. 30th). Hundreds of college students lay down and pretended to be be shooting victims, while SWAT teams moved about the simulated carnage and rooted out fake shooters. Jesus Christ, how insane is that?  Students play-acting their own deaths, doctors and nurses learning to "shelter in place", and then as if on cue, the neighbourhood terror cell springs from cover and gives them all a damned good workout. In fact the San Bernardino SWAT were running a training exercise nearby - suited up, fully armed and mobile - when the terrorists stormed a Christmas party at the Center.  Mr. Massacre, possibly having participated in "Active Shooter Drills", new better than to hole up, and so he and Mrs. Massacre got out so fast that SWAT missed them.

How crazy are Americans?  You can't judge an entire nation by their leading actors - politicians, the pantheon of celebrities and the editorial writers who hog the stage of public performance, but there is much hard evidence to ponder. A case in point: Remember those "Black Friday" feeding frenzies the Network News made so much of?  It turns out that Black Friday set an all-time record for gun sales in a single day.  The F.B.I. processed 185,345 gun sale background checks on that single day! [ref. TIME magazine website] Even nuttier, the Bureau processed  2,243,030 gun buyer records checks in the month of November 2015. Here is the kicker.  There are now several million assault rifles in private hands in the U.S.A.  - each and every one of them of sufficient lethality to produce its own "mass shooting". Now that's a statistic to scare the hell out of anyone down there who is still sane!

You can't make this shit up.  In America brutal gun violence is so routine that it doesn't really scare the hell out of anyone. Terrorism just pisses them and makes them buy more guns.  "Terrorism" is actually any act of extreme violence that satisfies the need of the TWO political factions to score points on each other. When the President responds each month to the "latest massacre" he has to measure his words very carefully, because bleeding bodies at the curb is not the issue.  The issue is whether that "latest massacre" hurts the chances of his party winning the upcoming election.  And the Republicans are no better. If they win the election they will let Homeland Security put mini-guns in every Precinct House in America.  Welcome to their Nightmare!

Hillary Clinton - San Bernardino Massacre Dec 2015
Hillary Clinton - She plans to become the Head Keeper of the American Bedlam

When news of Mr. and Mrs. Massacre hit Social Media, the Presidential hopefuls on each side of the American Divide took a deep breath, and chose their words with care. Hillary Clinton tweeted "I refuse to accept this as normal. We must take action to stop gun violence now."  Well Hillary, as Queen of National Dysfunction must know that "Mass Shootings" are now a staple of American middle-class political expression.  (Assault weapons, ammo and tactical gear cost thousands of dollars.)  They are certainly the new norm.  Obama know it, because one of his very first actions when elected, was to draft and pass a law requiring the Secret Service to protect his wife and their children for the rest of their lives. His family is the only American Family, protected by Federal Agents, forever.  Even the Clinton's don't have that.  If the Democrats grab guns, the Democrats lose power. He'll tinker and toy, but he won't confiscate.  Hillary, if victorious, will only further militarize American cities, and double the Orwellian surveillance.   None of the totalitarian surveillance and domestic firepower stopped Mr. Farook and Ms. Malik, nor could it have.


Tashfeen Malik arriving in the U.S., July 27, 2014  (US  Official Photo)
This photo is priceless!  It shows Muslim Terrorist Tashfeen Malik
arriving in the U.S. from Saudi Arabia on July 27, 2014.  (Saudi Arabia 
was also the origin of almost all of the "radicalized"  9/11 Terrorists.)
She is entering the MOST heavily defended and most surveilled nation
on earth, and she has already defeated her enemy. Cool as a cucumber!

THE SAN BERNARDINO MASSACRE VICTIMS HAD PRACTICED AN "ACTIVE SHOOTER DRILL" in the very room they were all murdered. It's astounding! 

We now know why Mr. and Mrs. Massacre chose as their terror target a center for the developmentally disabled.  THE ROOM was the target, NOT the health facility.  The room in Building Three was the venue for their "annual training and Christmas potluck party".   What training?  Well last year it included an "Active Shooter Drill".  So picture this... one year ago Farook attends an Active Shooter Drill. He goes home and the couple discusses what he learned.  They look at each other and share a laugh. "They think they can protect themselves from the justice of Allah! Hah, those American fools."  They begin stockpiling weapons in earnest, and we now know, a week before their attack they went twice to a nearby gun range to practice shooting weapons.  On December 2nd Mr. Farook was the first to arrive at the "party", and when the conference room was full he left to collect his wife. She was waiting. They had already given their baby into the care of the grandmother.  Every planning detail was already covered - the black SUV,  the black clothing and black masks, the pipe bombs, and their arsenal.  The only thing missing was a black I.S.I.S. flag. 

"They considered Farook a friend."  When he and his wife stormed the room, the party goers did exactly as they had been trained to do in the Active Shooter Drill.  They scattered and sheltered behind overturned trestle tables and other upended furniture. Some feigned death, pretending they had already been shot. But there was insufficient cover for so many people.  The survivors recognized their co-worker and his wife, and using cellphones they immediately began calling in precise details to local law enforcement. Mr. and Mrs. Massacre fled the scene and the chase was on. SWAT wa already deployed.


Even if...if, the Americans ever won the "War on Terror",  they now have a worse problem on their doorstep.  A frightened political class protecting itself with "Homeland Security"  and a suspicious civil population arming itself against oppressive government. There is no possibility of this turning out well.

UPDATE: Bitter Humour Department
Dec. 12, 2015 - there is this from the N.Y. TIMES this morning:

The Americans record everything on the Internet. EVERYTHING. But they don't read it.
Look at that face.  She makes me think of think of Kipling...

"When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains,
And the women come out to cut up what remains,
Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains
An' go to your Gawd like a soldier

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Beauty and the Beasts - the Tragic Murder of a Young Russian Politician

Crime Scene in Novosibirsk - Russian M.P. murdered Nov. 2015
The crime scene - Novosibirsk, Siberia, Nov. 26, 2015.

Imagine having your face punched in by thumb-sized hand grenade fragments. The air outside was a frigid  -6 Celsius, but you were bathed in the flow of heat forced through the dashboard louvres. You were also being carelessly intimate with your husband, just a few steps from the entrance to a massive apartment block.  Now you are dead. In the seven seconds it took for the ugly little weapon to detonate, did you even know it threatened to your life?

Within minutes police filled the parking lot, their heavy boots crunching on the hard-packed snow. They huddle in thick coats and fur caps, hands thrust into deep pockets. They pull your body, and that of your husband from the Toyota sedan, and do a careful search for additional explosives.  In minutes your husband's body is bagged and whisked away. Later a flat-bed truck arrives and loads your white RAV- 4, and then it too is trundled out of sight.  All the while you lay there on the packed snow, naked and needlessly exposed to dozens of pairs of greedy eyes.  All of them have made you their trophy, taking countless photos of the kill, and at least to full-length videos.  For over an hour you are humiliated, until finally someone throws a cloth over your smashed head. Just your head. They continue to leave your   trim torso and your sexuality on display. You have never been photographed naked before. This is your screen debut.  Within hours one video is uploaded to the Internet, and the foreign press begins to crow.  Caw, caw. Haw, haw.

She was Oksana Bobrovskaya, a neophyte Russian politician. Young and beautiful, she was in love with life and doted on her  4yr. old daughter. The pretty child was a fixture of the proud mother's social media pages.  Though she was an Putin's government (I know all the current connotations) there was no stain on her public record. In fact Mrs. Bobrovskaya had committed no crime, and she was certainly deserving of respect and a little common decency.  Her death was a vicious atrocity, but the world's reaction was uglier.

Grenade used to kill  Oksana Bobrovskaya, Russian M.P.

An Ugly, Disturbing Trend in "Journalism"
Old-style journalism is dead.  Investigative reporting is now very rare, because the consuming public has no patience with in-depth coverage of a story that has already completed its "cycle".  Most newspapers don't even employ photographers any more, because they can easily strip all the visuals  they need from Social Media, or harvest the flood of "leaked" imagery that always accompanies any notorious event. In fact Social Media "channels" are now leading news coverage,  and we all know it.  As the news media struggles to survive, it adopts the sloppy habits of our instant culture, and in the process is virtually shredding its credibility and reputation.   Consider this:

Within hours of the recent Paris Terror Attacks, a group of suspects was cornered and all were killed in the shootout and explosions.  It was immediately claimed that one Muslim female had detonated a suicide vest (she was blown into large chunks by one powerful blast) and she was dubbed "Europe's first female suicide bomber".   The London DAILY MAIL purchased a set of private photographs of that woman and published the "scoop" above the banner "BOMBER IN THE BATH", coyly blacking out her exposed nipple.  Within hours most major news organizations were featuring the photos, and several used the nude in the bathtub image as a lead graphic.  The New York Post dubbed the lady "THUG IN A TUB", and the general public, taking their cue from the news media, called her worse names. Much, much worse.

BOMBER IN THE BATH - The Daily Mail, November 2015

Of course the whole point of the photo-splash was to develop an aggressive narrative widely shared in news circles.  The way to interdict the steady flow to the Islamic State of "radicalized" Muslim youth, is to discredit individuals. Relishing a "gotcha" moment, they pounced on the Paris woman, describing her as a "party animal" who drank and smoked and used make up.  More she was photographed in an American cowboy hat, and posed nude in a bathtub.  She was not only a "fake" Muslim, but a "scuzz" and as such, she was poster-girl for a bastardized brand of Islam and richly deserving of our collective contempt. (I emphasize CONTEMPT.)  Left unsaid of course, was that the woman in all the photos was behaving exactly the way a majority of young women now conduct themselves.  Better zipper up some of that contempt Mr. Journalist, Sir.  

New York Post - Thug in a Tub, November 2015

It wasn't long before we found out that there was no female suicide bomber on November 17th. The woman shredded in Paris was not wearing a suicide vest after all. That was hasty reporting.  In the seconds before death, she actually cried out that she wasn't a militant. ... All over the world news staff began deleting headlines and whole articles, to cover their journalistic tracks.  Winston Smith couldn't have orchestrated a more thorough sweep.   And then it got worse.  It has since been revealed that all of the salacious photos the DAILY MAIL had peddled were not even of the dead "terrorist".   The Lady in the bathtub still lives, and she has taken the matter of her stolen privacy to court.  And of course the many, many News sites that published the story and pictures engaged in the same Orwellian cover-up - they deleted all evidence, or at least the digital caches.  You can't recall and burn a printed edition.

"Suicide Blonde" - ISIS attack on Paris - horrid journalism
"Suicide Blonde" British tabloid journalism at its worst.
The wrong woman and,  an insult to half of the female population.

It might seem unfair to single out the DAILY MAIL, but they earned my contempt with their "Bomber in the Bath" nonsense.  Consider this:
"Glamorous Russian M.P. is blown up while having sex with her husband in the back of their car 'after he detonated explosives in a fit of jealousy' "  That's rather a mouthful, and given that the Daily Mail has a reporter in Siberia, how do they manage to put a story together?   And why bother?  After all, a Russian woman totally unknown to MAIL readers, was having sex with her husband in their own car, when he (allegedly) committed an act of murder-suicide.  The powerful motive (journalistic motive, not the husband's) is delivered in a sub-headline: "Oksana Bobrovskaya, 30,  was in Vladimir Putin's United Russia Party".  Once again we see a coherent strategy at play, and one that is shared by papers throughout Europe and North America.  Denigrating an individual who exists within a group you despise, is a guaranteed method to diminish the group itself.  Putin is despised by every squishy Liberal from Paris to Pittsburgh, and in fact we are collectively waging undeclared economic and political warfare against the Russian Federation.  Our media will pounce on any figure or story that could discredit the Mr. Putin's "regime". If there is sex in the story, all the better. The Prols will drool over it.

Glamourous Russian M.P. Blown Up - DAILY  MAIL
"Glamorous"?  Really? Mrs. Bobrovskaya had two photo-packages
taken by a Novosibirsk studio that specializes in family
portraits. One set to promote her candidacy, and the other set
Christmas portraits.  She looks great, but not "glamorous".  Most of
the shots were scraped by media  from her  Instagram account.

Oksana Bobrovskaya - the murdered Russian M.P.
A beautiful, caring mother.  Keep this charming image in mind
when you remember her - not the beastly ugliness that follows.

Novosibirsk is Russia's third largest city. Mrs. Bobrovskaya's political party, United Russia, has not faired well of late. In 2014 they lost the mayoralty, and Moscow had sent in "political technologists" to train and support local candidates. Bobrovskaya was a federal M.P., representing United Russia and had not been associated with scandal. Her husband, a former member of the Security Services, was reported to be unemployed and brooding. If you believe the husband's alleged motive for killing her, the lady was having an affair with her boss at DISCUS, a major construction company, a man who is also Deputy of the Novosibirsk City Council. The businessman is said to have been her political mentor, and the supplier of the RAV-4 she had been driving since March. The husband, lurid news report insist, was insanely jealous and decided to have one last go at his wife, and detonate a grenade while they were in the throws of passion. Their bodies were found in the back seat of the Toyota, naked from the waist down.

The crime scene was the parking area of a five-storey apartment building located handy to the DISCUS Construction Company. Try to believe this story line... because I cannot.   The husband, who has guns at home, has decided to kill her and himself in the bargain, with a fragmentation grenade.  And he will do it in a public setting.  In sub-zero temperatures she has consented to sex, so they pull into a decidedly unromantic setting - a residential complex. Though it is night, the lot is well illuminated, and they don't even bother to park the car.  The leave the engine to idle, and with headlights on they feed each others passion. Now I drive a Toyota RAV-4  and I can tell you that about the only possibility up front  is mutual masturbation, as a console divides the two seats. Near the building entrance, and overlooked by dozens of apartment windows, they would have had to get out and re-enter the RAV by the passenger doors - a suspicious act in itself. You cannot climb over the seats.   Now remember that the lady is a sitting member of the Russian Parliament and has everything to lose if bystanders recognize her and take photos. (Since she was found naked we know she was acting recklessly.) We already know the two local TV stations will broadcast ANYTHING sordid, because we have ample evidence.

Now remember that she stands accused of having an affair, and if her husband was angry enough to kill her, he would not easily have concealed his suspicions.  With his military training he was capable of killing her with his bare hands, but we are told, he chose to mutilate the woman he loved.  If I were that young man, I would be fragging the boss, and not my wife, but perhaps I do not understand Russian men.  If he did murder her, and this was not a professional frame-up, he might also have tipped off the local news media.  They were on site and filming even before the crime scene was secured.

Murder of Russian woman M.P. in Siberia, Nov 24, 2015

Closeup pictures of the couple show that he was disembowelled by the blast and she had her face caved in.  About what you might expect from a hand grenade.  No attempt was made to conceal the gore from the media or from the tenants of the apartment block. In fact the crime scene was left entirely open, and the display of her body was so obvious, as to constitute a crime in itself.

Oksana Bobrovskaya - her car taken awa

I have watched two lengthy videos made at the crime scene, as well as edited footage broadcast in Russia, and I can come to only one conclusion. Mrs. Bobrovskaya's body was callously left on display for news media and passers by to photograph with impunity. Nobody cared enough about her to intervene or even cover her up.  The husband mutilated her, the media denigrated her, and the police humiliated her.  A very thorough job. 

The final act was to share Novosibirsk's disgrace with the wide world.

The final indignity to the victim was recorded by LIFE NEWS, which broadcast the removal of Mrs. Bobrovskaya with her body pixelated.  At first the morgue attendant crossed her ankles, the very first man to acknowledge that this was a woman he was grabbing hold of. Then with a shrug, he spread her legs and had a good look.  CHANNEL 8 had the footage and someone from the station uploaded it to the Internet. These images are graphic of course, but I have spared you the worst of it.

Body of murdered Russian M.P. removed from crime scene

I invite you now to go back to the scraped article from the London DAILY MAIL, and understand that hundreds of newspapers and websites (including Canadian) published the same smarmy account of what happened to her.  More important, be on guard for more stories like this one - moments in which a woman's sexuality is used to humiliate her, and where her dignity is far less important than the opportunity for news writers or propagandists to score cheap political points.  Beauty and the Beasts.


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.

UPDATE -  May 27, 2016

Kevin Vickers - ex RCMP "Hero"  performs in Dublin
This was the lead National story yesterday. Kevin Vickers at it again, this time in Dublin. I don't really mind our "Ambassador" to Ireland acting like a bar-room bouncer, but what I do mind is absent-minded news reporting and myth-making.  He didn't"take dow the terrorist".  He finished him off after he was already riddled by the Parliament Hill security detail.