Category Archives: Intelligence Community

About your trauma recovery dear Father Byers… ;-)

A couple of articles have been published in recent years about terrorist suicide bomber Saeed Hotari.

There was nothing traumatic in all that. I was never much traumatized by my being shot at I don’t know how many times over decades and the ten thousand other “incidents” any one of which might throw someone into a trauma-recovery program, say, in North East Virginia, say, at Wolf Trap or at Liberty Crossing Campus. As I’ve often said however, bullets buzzing by one’s ears are certainly memorable.

In that more recent article linked above I mentioned that I carry. It’s a Glock 19, chambered. I like the Serpa Blackhawk OWB, for convenience, my stupid record (as I’ll never repeat that again) is 1.01 seconds for 2 to the “body” (spine) 1 to the head (brain-box) 25 feet out from the holster. Being in a state of prompt readiness to protect the innocent from unjust aggression is a virtue related to justice. Just to say it, mercy is a potential part of the virtue of justice, as Saint Thomas Aquinas points out in his commentary on the Sentences. Providing justice is a mercy. Yes.

I received a very clever comment on that more recent article. At first glance I thought this was a denunciation of carrying a Glock. But it’s not that at all. I didn’t let it out of moderation there as I wanted to give it a bit more visibility. I include my interlinear [comments]:

  • “We cannot rely on our own ability to fight evil [she’s referring to Peter slicing off the ear of Malchus when Jesus is being betrayed, as we’ll see momentarily] but must depend on God. [I agree.] How often we forget our survival is totally dependent on God. [Hey! I forget all the time, you know, not having the beatific vision and all that. Yep. I agree. I want to go to heaven!] Eventually we all learn [well, some of us] that the unstable world [crux stat dum volitur orbis: let’s just call it a fallen world and figure this out] cannot be the source of our security, of true peace of heart. [“My strength shines out through your weakness” – Jesus to Paul] I’m interested in how you square your essay with Luke 22:51. [I’m paraphrasing because of bad translations, but Lk 22:51 is this: Jesus said: “All of you let me do this!” And He touched the ear of (Malchus) and healed him.] Your words make it sound like you live your trauma recovery [with me being Malchus and all… (adn with trauma recovery being a very technical term betraying much background in the same] in a state of protection with a clenched fist. [That is, not trusting in God and full of fear, whereby Malchus steals Peter’s sword and I forge it into a Glock. Very clever, that. And lots of work to be able to spit that out just like that. There’s no way out except like this:] Meanwhile another hand, not yours or mine, reaches out in the Eucharist. [See top picture on the Eucharist. And I agree with that, to a point.]

Malchus was an enemy, a servant of the High Priest, literally dead set against Jesus. Malchus learned from the mercy shown him to be sure. It being that I’m the Missionary of Mercy of the High Priest, Pope Francis, maybe I too should learn something of mercy. But is carrying a tool to protect the innocent from unjust aggression a lack of mercy making me the enemy of Jesus?

Jesus was a special case. His reprimand not only to Peter but to all the Apostles (it’s a plural imperative) was not about the inappropriateness of what Peter was doing so much as it gave Jesus a moment to show mercy to the end. This was precisely like His reprimand to John the Baptist: Let it be so for now for the fulfillment of righteousness! When Jesus was baptized He was asking our Heavenly Father to treat Him as if were guilty of sin, not just like the charioteers and soldiers of Pharaoh who were drowned for their sin of enslaving the chosen people, but He was asking to be treated like He was guilty for having enslaved all in sin, all peoples of all times, from Adam until the last man is conceived. Jesus lays down His life, taking on the punishment we deserve for original sin and all our own rubbish, so that He has the right in His own justice to have mercy on us. The Apostles see this mercy with Malchus and off they go.

Is it wrong to protect oneself and others while trusting in God while doing this mercy? No. In fact, it’s a contribution to the virtue of justice.

Two points and excuse my theological language:

First of all, I don’t want any trauma recovery, particularly not anything from Northeast Virginia. Why not? Because I’m not traumatized enough, not yet. As some priest friends from Colombia told me, “We’ve done nothing; we’ve not lain down our lives for the brethren.” Get me away from all that is trauma recovery. If anything, my therapy will be to put my fingers into Jesus’ wounds in His hands and my hand right into the wound in His side, into His heart.

My saying, “My Lord and my God” will be my entire trauma recovery, good enough to take my right through torture and death. I deserve everything I get along the way of the effects of original sin and my own, including being available to the malevolence of others (there ain’t no Glock that’s gonna stop that). And because Jesus laid down His life for me and called me to be His priest, He deserves that I un-clench my fists so as to Consecrate His Body and Blood at Holy Mass, so as to provide Absolution of sin, so as to Baptize, so as to Confirm… Yes. But I still carry. In calmness. Tranquility. You know the drill: “Carry! And carry on!”

It is no trauma to follow up on Jesus’ invitation: “As the Master, so the disciple.” Why not? Because His strength shines out through our weakness. His love carries us in the peace and joy of the Holy Spirit.

Let me give an example. This very morning, while that lady wrote her comment, I myself at the same time was being stripped of my carry and locked in jail. I’m out now, obviously. But you have to know that I feel most at home among sinners like Malchus because I’m so like him. I make lots of friends in jail. I have a Bible study with the guys every week. I love it. What a joy. And I gotta say, lots of the guys are much better prepared in the Scriptures than were my seminarians anywhere around the world. Truly. I love it. We help each other out to get to know the Lord. Believe me, no protection or clenched fists inside the stone walls. No, no. It’s all about Jesus. It’s all about putting that ear back on Malchus. And about letting that ear get put back on me by those, you know, “sinners” and all that.

But, hey! Not to worry my interlocutor comment friend. Maybe you can help me with a bit of trauma recovery after all. There are some adjustments to the “recovery program” that I’m on – if you want to call it that – (DS or DipSec might have another name for all that), adjustments which I would like to be implemented, but I won’t write about that or say it over the phone. I need an in-person interview with someone, say, I don’t know, just up from the Rosslyn metro stop, maybe at the Campus… Can you swing that, maybe with CCS oversight? That would be really, really cool. Seriously, if you want to help me, that would go a long way.

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Filed under Guns, Intelligence Community, Interreligious dialogue, Law enforcement, Military, Missionaries of Mercy, Pope Francis, Priesthood, Prison, Terrorism, Vocations

Cicada! Cikada! CISA beware! Eschatological hopes of heaven to dare!

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It’s enough to spook even the most seasoned of agents of the new CISA (Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency), part of the Department of Homeland Security and headquarted in my favorite small town of Rosslyn, VA. ;-) A good friend is one of the few and the brave who work for CISA. The reason for any nervous spookiness is that these insects sound like transformers in the nanoseconds prior to blowing up, the last thing CISA would want regarding essential online military and intelligence stability:

To do anything about them you have to wear hearing protection. The cicada pictured up top and twice more below did his transformation thing on one of the old fence posts along my driveway.

The transformation thing means that he may well now be fully 17 years old. If he’s in sync with his fellow cicadas, there may be others – by the millions – hatching out right about now. The sound they make is literally deafening. Let the concert begin! That’s what I say. This is one of the coolest wonders of nature, of our good God’s creation. What a great imagination God has! Um… Can one even say that?

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Look, I’m sure we will all look much worse than that if we were buried six feet under for 17 years! That he comes out in bright green (green is for hope) ready to play an orchestral performance is – sorry if the analogy limps – is like the resurrection from the dead…

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Well. Fine. Some may find that the analogy isn’t just limping, but is rather crippled.

I bet such unimaginationed people find everything about cicadas to be annoying.

As for me, I find cicada concerts to be soothing. And I like how they look fierce with the big green hammer-head shark eyes.

I wonder what I will look like at the resurrection unto life before the general judgment wrought by Jesus, Son of God and Son of Man, who will absolutely come to judge the living and the dead and the world by fire. Oh! I remember:

  • “Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we shall be has not yet been revealed. We do know that when it is revealed we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.” (1 John 3:2)

By the way, I don’t at all mean to be presumptuous in hoping to make it through the general judgement so as to be on my to heaven so as to be part of the Holy Family. Hope is an infused virtue that comes with sanctifying grace (which I hope to enjoy!). We have to have hope. Confession helps with that, right? It makes for a transformation, right?

If we didn’t have hope, we would only look forward to looking like the empty shell of a bug a couple of pictures above, but not just for 17 years, for all eternity.

As I always say really very frequently: “I wanna go to heaven!”

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Filed under Intelligence Community, Nature

Bait so as to receive: how very Kryptos. Plot twist. Jesus reveals our identity.

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The picture above, taken at a parishioner’s house, is of Alex Trebek decades ago. Yes, there are re-runs of game shows from a lifetime ago. I just thought this particular scene was humorous and so took a picture of it. Sorry for using poor “Shadow” the other day as bait so as to watch the the knuckleheads show themselves. And they did. It is to laugh, out loud too.

Sorry if this is all a bit Kryptic. Some are bewildered at such Kryptesque posts that mention my “Shadow,” the guy who has been “established with secured identity” by those in DS-Rosslyn, with my own identity. The analogy for the continuing bewilderment that comes to mind is the befuddlement over seemingly entirely outrageous statements of POTUS Trump that he makes correctly but without revealing important circumstances. Like clockwork, over the space of a week or two, this exercise in baiting has the knuckleheads go full apoplectic and show themselves for who they are, and then after they make fools of themselves, good old Trump reveals the rest of the story as Paul Harvey would say. Checkmate. They know they’ve been had. In my own little world the rest of the story may or may not be revealed in this lifetime. I’m working on it, and I’m having fun while doing it, laughing all the way, even if the subject matter involves otherwise stunningly illegal arms transfers and rather shadowy characters and endless violence and loss of life. My “Shadow” might well be revealed even while exaggeratedly attempting to remain hidden, an unexpected plot twist. I digress.

This kind of entertainment – and it is just that, for me, entertainment – takes up about 0.00001% of my free time. I write about it because it’s all so stupid. It just is what it is. And I cannot, cannot, cannot write about what happens the other 99.99999% of my free time, not to mention what happens in my full-on priestly activities in confession, in spiritual direction, all that for which I actually live. Don’t get the wrong idea.

You have to know, I absolutely love being a priest, all of the priestly everything about visiting the sick, providing Last Rites, doing up funerals, and preaching!

Oh my! I love preaching. I learn about the Sacred Scriptures pretty much only while I’m preaching, that is, not so much any preparation, if any, but in the actual preaching. I’ve often spoken of this with my confessor. He has the same experience in being brought into a crushing-uplifting reverence before the Living Truth of Jesus by the Holy Spirit while preaching. I guess that’s how the Lord tells us that we’ve said enough and need to move things along, because… after that… we can get choked up, and simply not be able to say anything more. Preaching from the heart? This is more like putting one’s useless heart aside, because, look… look at that Sacred Heart of Jesus… In trying to reveal what is otherwise hidden in the Mystery of God’s love for us – plot twist – our own inadequacy otherwise hidden also to ourselves is – plot twist – revealed before the Light that comes into such darkness. Such Light! I love it, but…

This kind of thing is almost annoying. Take for instance the Consecrations at Holy Mass. I can usually get through the first, but by the second I have to battle with all my might from getting choked up in the presence of the Most Sacred Mysteries – the ultimate Kryptos – of our Lord’s ever so hidden love for us. I am a weak and useless and simple man. So, there we have it, a plot twist. Who we are, our identity, is revealed not when we claim an identity, but when we stand ever so simply before our Creator. We are revealed for who we are. Jesus strips us of our fear in which we stupidly try to hide ourselves. Fear is not an identity. Being forgiven reveals who we are before our Redeemer because He forgives by pouring into us the created presence of the Most Holy Trinity otherwise called sanctifying grace. How to say it?

“Hidden.” That’s “Kryptic.” Watch what happens the other way. The dear Lord, by way of His goodness and kindness and the Living Truth that He is, lays open our souls before His majesty. We know who we are when like the Apostle Thomas , we place our finger into the marks of the nails, and our hand into the gaping wound in His side that was made on Calvary by the sword of the Roman soldier.

Plot twist? Oh yes. And the games human beings play in this world which congratulates itself on being clever and shadowy? It is to laugh, but also to cry, for there is altogether too much game playing and violence and not enough of being drawn into the Living Sacred Mysteries of God’s Love and Truth, of Jesus, who will come to judge the living and the dead and the world by fire.

And if you feel lost in all this seeming convolutedness, like it’s all still too Kryptic, let some piercing eyes cut right into your very soul revealing how you stand before God, for her soul was pierced through that the thoughts of many hearts might be revealed (see Luke 2:35).

pieta

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Filed under Flores, Humor, Intelligence Community, Spiritual life

Cruising with DoD Intel and a great law enforcement encounter at midnight

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Every seagoing vessel needs proper rope discipline.

Every seagoing vessel needs proper maintenance of sailors. For me, La Croix:

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Off we go into the magnificent reservoirs in the back mountains here:

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This was truly a gift to be away from the drug-violence of town. Thanks to our retired officers for this super pleasant outing. I had a great talk with the wife of the Navy guy. Interesting that her first question was pretty much verbatim what the “CIA” guy was asking to all my parishioners a couple of years back. ;-) All good.

We had refreshing showers of rain drops from a cloud a good half-mile or more away:

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Very nice. Irish weather, I call it.

Let’s test your situational awareness in this next picture. Can you find what’s out of place? Try! (Hint: It has something do do with the power lines.)

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So, here’s a bit closer:

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That’s an Osprey nest. You know, of Ospreys:

OSPREY

I love it.

Afterward, we had a very pleasant meal with their neighbors, also lifetime Military Intel. This has now become a yearly event together. I think I’m the luckiest priest in these USA. Having said that a number of times on this outing, I immediately made the caveat that should my guardian angel hear that, I might be in trouble. I might just be having TOO much fun. So I begged him to be easy with me, because I’m so very stupid and know nothing of the providence of the Lord Jesus…

As soon as I got back on the road to come back across the mountains, I was greeted by a good dozen law enforcement officers, blue lights filling the midnight forests. Cruisers were all over the sides of the road and they were standing right across the road with flashlights. Not very safe that. Not in these times. Anywhere else they would simply have been run over.

  • My windows rolled down, hands on the steering wheel, I said: Good evening, gentlemen. Hope everything’s alright. I gotta say that I’m carrying appendix.
  • You got a permit for that?
  • Yes sir. (I show it to him).
  • Driver license?
  • Yes sir. (I show it to him). Anything dangerous in the county tonight?
  • No, no. We’re just checking.
  • Thanks to all you for keeping up with law enforcement for us. We’re living in some really weird times. All respect for you guys, thank you.
  • A whole chorus of officers responded together: Thank you for that. Thank you.
  • Me: You guys be safe out here.
  • Them: You have a good night now.

THAT’s how to do up a law enforcement stop. Don’t be the sovereign citizen. Don’t keep your windows rolled up. Just comply. Answer simple questions like about the permit and driver licence. These were totally cool officers. It’s not a police state. We should be thankful that we have any law enforcement whatsoever. It’s a thankless job. But we all depend on law enforcement. So…

Thanks to our Military. Thanks to our Law Enforcement.

P.S. And, yes, there were plenty of questions from all about religious everything. :-)

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Filed under Intelligence Community, Law enforcement, Military

Cheetahs of the Homeland full throttle

Now extremely rare in the homeland of Israel, the Cheetah is this very day, this very hour, flourishing in Iran, fast as they can go. Just in time. Fancy that.

Cheetahs of the Homeland. Catchy name. I like it. It even reminds me of Homeland…

😎

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Filed under Intelligence Community, Military, Patriotism

Fr Byers, the FBI investigated you how many times? We want files! My real ID.

cia memorial

/// Now re-posted, for a reason, a couple of years later with some date revisions, etc.

  • On the one hand, please understand that this entire diatribe/rant is proffered with a great abundance of sarcasm, my sorry attempt at humor because I’m really bad and evil.
  • On the other hand, what I say here is all true, but it’s just something that I play with, baiting stuff over the years, over the decades (going back to the mid-late 1970’s) out of some characters up in Northeast Virginia and Northwest Washington DC and Maryland, and Rome, and Oceania, the Middle-east…  ///

Here’s the high pressure repeated request from a self-described [ex-?]CIA guy who’s now […] as cover: “Father Byers, the FBI investigated you how many times? We want files! Who are you, anyway?”

Continue reading

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Filed under Intelligence Community, Law enforcement, Military, Terrorism, המוסד

Profiling TRIAD killer before the fact: DARPA COMPASS indicators predictors

Excuse the language of that video. The point of it is that those who are not at the top in “power” and profession might just be the best in profiling. “Maya”, in the scene above, is correct about the whereabouts of Usama bin Laden. But she’s just a “mere” analyst. Her indicators were taken as predictors and it all turned out. This time. But…

There’s really a lot of arson going on here in Andrews, NC. I don’t know if this is a single person, unrelated persons with unrelated incidents, or a group of people together. I don’t know him/her/them personally, so the profile of a TRIAD psychopath killer outlined below may or may not be applicable to him/her/them. But the profile is worth noting for future reference regardless, just as an awareness thing, but we’ll nuance that.

Before going through this, note that these are only indicators, NOT predictors, and that there are two parts to the present post: (A) Using indicators as predictors (this will heavily provide on side of the argument); (B) Recognizing indicators post-hoc but the impossibility of using indicators as predictors before the fact (this will heavily provide the other side of the argument). The latter (B) has everything to do with making a critique of DARPA COMPASS, which does precisely that, using indicators as predictors. But let’s start at the beginning so as to be able to establish some reference points.

(A) Using TRIAD indicators as predictors for serial killers

The very many arson events have been, as you can imagine, the talk of this tiny town. People bring it up wherever I go. For instance, during my rounds to the home-bound and nursing homes just yesterday, a good friend who has much wherewithal in the medical / psychiatric / law enforcement fields wanted to explain to me at length – motu proprio – the profile of a killer, the TRIAD, as she called it. She’s knows I’m now with the Andrews Police Department as a Chaplain. Perhaps she wanted me to pass this info along. She went on at length about the three things which, when they go together, point to a psychopath, a future killer, she says: 100%. Again, I’ll dispute that just a bit further below.

  • I immediately asked: “All cases? One hundred percent?”
  • “Yes. All cases,” she replied with emphasis, “One hundred percent. Those three things together: bed-wetting, torture of animals, arson.”

(1) Bed-wetting

Millions of kids, mostly boys, mostly as toddlers, wet the bed. This is ubiquitous and means absolutely nothing on its own. It’s when the bed wetting continues into early teens that… no… it still means nothing as far as profiling, but at this later age when it goes with a couple of other things, then there’s a concern. There’s shame that goes along with this. If parents are supportive, she says, that lessens any psychological scars, if any. But if the parents freak out, this can make things worse, leading to night terrors, and there can be some negative and even lasting scars. Be supportive of your kids.

(2) Torturing animals, real torture

I don’t understand this. It happens. I mean look at this picture of Laudie-dog below. How could anyone torture her or any animal? My friend says that for the psychopath in the making, this is all about abstraction from the personal, so that the “other” is no longer “other”, but rather a mere object that is under one’s power. Animals are experiments, she says, in how to go about depersonalizing sentient beings, not only animals, but human beings.

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It’s practice for stepping up the game, she said. Stepping things up refers to transferring from animals to human beings. And, in fact, we find out that the stats on people who mistreat animals are doing this to human beings, pretty much 100%, not quite 100% because it might still be in process for some, and that process might take some decades. My comment below is that this is confusing indicators with predictors. But let’s continue…

My friend said that the torture of animals is a way to take out on a scapegoat the “guilt” for the bed wetting. So, in this narrative, there’s a progression. I would add that if that torture is done in front of another person, such as kicking a dog through drywall, terrorizing that other person as much as the dog (note the proportion), with the kicking done so as to accomplish the terror in the other, we’re moving quickly to the next step of the TRIAD.

(3) Arson

Here we move to the destruction of that which involves human beings very directly, regardless of whether the house is presently occupied or not, regardless of any “cover” for motivation such as whether or not such dwellings were insured or not. “Cover.” Get it? If uninsured, it hurts human beings more. If just one or two are insured, that make just be deeper “cover” yet. Psychopaths are usually of way-above average intelligence. Note that with arson:

  • There’s always a risk that squatters are inside.
  • It creates a risk of life and limb to firefighters: authority figures…
  • It creates a risk of life and limb to law enforcement: authority figures…
  • It hurts people economically, even to bankruptcy.
  • It terrorizes people.

Have you noted the progression? But be careful to draw conclusions, as we will see. That might just be an opinion of a narrative of someone trying to make sense of things…

Therefore, is it hopeless for such a person to come around?

My friend speaks from her own experience with profiles of people she has worked with herself, and from her own studies. Don’t ask me how accurate that all is. I don’t know. I don’t have too much experience in that area.

As a priest, I have to ask as to whether I am naive to hold out hope for people who are caught up in this cycle. I don’t know enough about psychopaths to know if they are reachable. As a priest, I would never say someone is hopeless. I can’t do that. I can’t. But, if someone has some advice on all that, let me know. If you don’t want your comment published, just say so, and I’ll totally respect that.

(4) The TRIAD psychopath is bound to become a killer: TRIAD or QUADRAD? 

I don’t know if that’s true. I don’t want to give an excuse of “prophesying” like this to a TRIAD psychopath. However, my friend says that if a no-longer-a-child-bed-wetter who tortures animals also destroys things with fire, so that the “TRIAD” is present, you can bet that such a person, a psychopath, super-intelligent, has already been fantasizing murdering a human being, sometimes for decades. So, I’m guessing that when trying to reach such a person, to bring them out of such a cycle, they are looking at you as a mere object, someone who is not hearing you at all, but rather looking at you with the thought that they can torture and kill you just like they did with animals. There’s a wall.

I think of someone who has slashed his girl friend, torturing her, and who poured fuel down her throat, and then lit her on fire. But this is emotional sensationalism. My friend says the TRIAD is a 100% predictor. I don’t know. I think we’re more complicated than that. For instance:

She also said that if you are caught defenseless against such a person, you do have one hope of surviving, that is, she said, if you can somehow get them to use your name, as that personalizes things. That goes against the grain of objectifying someone. It might well at least buy you time. Re-personalizing is perhaps the key to bringing someone out of this cycle, but that would take years of psych work in a maximum security psych institution. But even there, the psychopath might well be much more intelligent than the doctors and shrinks, and fool them into having them think he’s cured, just to get out and kill again. That would almost act like a mandate to kill again. They’ve conquered the best in psych care and so have all power in their mind-game.

She said the TRIAD psychopath’s first killing is an experimental gateway. After the first killing there “has to be” many more, very many more. It’s like the arson thing going on right now. They could be copycat, but really, they are close together, one after the other, almost like a challenge. That’s how it is with serial killers. She said that all the serial killer cases she is familiar with have the TRIAD. But…

(B) Recognizing indicators post-hoc (too late) but the impossibility of using indicators as predictors before the fact.

I spoke at length with a world class psychologist friend of very many years. He says that while you can say that every psychopath killer has this TRIAD happenstance, it is an illogicity to say that those who have TRIAD behavioral history will certainly become serial killers. Indicators not predictors. Thus:

  • Self-entitled white boys don’t all become church or shopping mall shooters.
  • Not all poor black boys become gang members shooting each other down.
  • Not all mosque attending Muslim men become or plot to become terrorists.
  • Not all white Puritan women in Salem, Massachusetts were guilty of being witches just because they were accused. Etc.

Those are just analogies, limping at that, as they are based on prejudicial profiling instead of individual behavioral history. But what my other friend was trying to say is that indicators are not the whole story. You might note those indicators, but they are not proof. We are not so absolutely determined by unrepeatable personal histories of whatever behaviors. To say that we are entirely determined by historical indicators actually pushes people into jacking up the stakes. It gives them as excuse. It’s what society has done to them. They’re not culpable. They are the animal that has been tortured and made into an object. They are now simply lashing out. Who can blame them? So, it’s all a mind game. On the one hand, you don’t want a TRIAD offender to kill someone. On the other hand, you don’t want to give him an excuse. And you sure don’t want to say all TRIAD offenders are serial killers waiting for opportunities.

(C) There’s actually a third part ending with such as DARPA COMPASS

I personally know someone who has this TRIAD history on steroids, big time, all three, the bed-wetting, the torture of animals, the arson. That person has shot at me many times. You don’t easily forget bullets whizzing past your head. It took him no time at all after the arson bit. That person became an arms dealer for the Sinaloa cartel. That person told me recently enough that he wants to kill Jews. But when you say to appropriate people – “I’ve always heard, if you see something, say something, so this is what’s going down…” – the invariable response interrupting any reporting has been:

Look, I don’t have any idea about any arsonist(s) here in Andrews. But, like Maya in the video up top of this post, I’m 100% on the intent of this guy I know. All the indicators are there. Ooops! I just crossed the line from indicators to predictors, didn’t I? Yes. That’s because there’s a bit of emotion in it for me. That confuses things right quick for anybody. That’s a no go. But, can someone set me straight on this, say, in the field of criminology? Again, I won’t publish your comment if you tell me not to do that. I gotta wonder if the DARPA COMPASS crowd are subject to emotion. Reading their presentation is like reading a rationalization for assassination based not on any wrongdoing but merely confusing indicators to predictors. The rationalization:

  • The geeks behind computer screens indicating possible targets for field officers to decide to kill or not: “We’re not pulling the trigger. That’s the decision of the field officer.”
  • The field officer getting target info from the geeks: “We’re not really pulling the trigger. That’s the decision of the geeks at DARPA. How can I question their gaming theory combined with situational awareness. Take the guy out.”

Meanwhile, a guy who shuns terrorism is killed because it’s thought he might think about it, maybe, perhaps. Confusing indicators and predictors. Hmmm….

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Filed under Firefighters, Intelligence Community, Law enforcement, Situational awareness

Mike Pompeo on China. Bringing swagger back.

Now, if we could just do something more about the persecution of Catholics and human rights abuses in China. But I have a feeling that this is also a concern in the present administration specifically in regard to China such that this will also arise more strongly in negotiations between these USA and China.

I’m not going to comment much on volleys of whatever kind between the Holy See and China in the last couple of years. A new friend, privy to that goes on with such things, enlightened me that there is much more going on behind the scenes, much much more.

But on a secular level, I’m so happy to see these USA speak frankly about some of the nefarious practices of China.

I even detect a bit of swagger, as was promised. That’s refreshing.

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Killing the FBI in my parish

forensic camera

Holy Mass was offered in my parish for the repose of the soul of a Huntsville, Alabama FBI forensic photographer who suffered what is termed a suspicious death the other week in my parish, that is, in one of the most remote patches of national forest in North America, up at historic Stewart Cabin campground. Google-Map “Stewart Cabin” to see just how remote it is from… anything…

In my varied life I’ve learned that that which answers a question the most consistently – internally and externally – and also the most simply, leaving little room for complexities to be subject to confirmation bias or whatever manipulation, is usually the hypothesis that’s getting closer to the truth than anything else. Everything about this seems rotten to the core.

The FBI has already swarmed away (along with four other law enforcement agencies), for what it’s worth depending on who’s directing things. But when something like this happens in my parish, I take it personally. Was she doing something she shouldn’t have been doing, you know, from whatever perspective on whatever side of the fence? Was she doing something way too well, getting too close to the truth? Was she just taking pictures of nature? Really? Appearances mean nothing one way or the other when it comes to this level of law enforcement. So, again, if it happens in my parish, I’m personally offended. It is what it is.

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Taking aim at my lack of aim because…

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Before I got my purchase permit and then immediately my concealed carry permit here in Western North Carolina 2+ years ago, I had never shot a pistol in my life. I got it because in some places of our Catholic Diocese a prerequisite for being a police chaplain is to go though critical incident training facilitated by the FBI. Part of the course deals with terrorists and terrorism and situational awareness and the handling of critical incidents so as to facilitate the most people surviving in whatever ways of assistance that is possible according to the possibilities.

Because of unforeseen contingencies, the agents make you familiar with, that is, know how to break down and set up and accurately fire under any conditions pretty much any kind of gun there is, at least all the variants used by any police department or police response unit in one’s region. While I figured I could learn how to work with rifles or shotguns easy enough (though I would have to stare at the math for sniper work a bit), I also thought that it would be more difficult to acquire skills for a pistol, such as shooting while running, etc., and that those lack of skills would slow me down.

As one can tell from the older pictures above, early on I was tending to make grip mistakes, with inconsistency being my strong point, you know, with being self-taught and all that. It’s pretty bad when inconsistency is your strongest point! I had plenty of hyper-qualified people giving advice, but only rarely would I be at a range with anyone. The hermitage is the most middle of nowhere place for a range imaginable. Leading myself, it’s the blind leading the blind. And it’s that way until today. So, I need practice. But I haven’t been able to have a good extended session for really quite a long time now. And since those pictures were taken above I’ve pretty much limited myself to various tactical pistol courses, such as this simple one for periodic pistol qualification for already serving FBI agents. It’s easy as they don’t want agents getting a DQ, a disqualification. Here’s that course pictured below:

That picture is also pretty old, but it exactly represents what I put up the other day in the exact same place at the hermitage. Those are legal size paper details of the inside bottle of the QIT 97-99 set out at 3-5-7-15-25 yards. One draws from the holster for various combinations of shots and timings. Here’s what I had just started to do on the infamous “Day Off” the other day in a totally relaxed manner. Timings are in hundredths of seconds:

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So, not so quick. Cutting those times in half would be ideal. But the hits were all in time and all accurate. But that’s a false report, really, as I didn’t bother to get myself worked up with a bit of adrenaline (as one can do with, say, hill sprints, or not!), which adrenaline is what will always happen in a critical incident. Anyway, after this, I had planned on doing the FAMs course and SEALs course, et al., but I didn’t even finish stage four (of five stages) a couple of minutes into the first run through the FBI course.

The phone rang. The police.

As soon as I answered, I knew I was done with any shooting for the day and started packing up the targets mid-course while I continued speaking. That phone call went on for a very long time there on that mountain trail up to the hermitage. The phone cut out multiple times (no strong cell-tower signal at the hermitage) but we reconnected and continued until we talked ourselves out for the day. It was getting dark out, so I headed down the ridge and had a great chat and meal with the neighbors and then got myself back home before midnight. Some hundreds of miles. The next day was given to research about that conversation, and today will be given over to answering this interlocutor by email.

The guy with whom I was talking is well known to all police chiefs in the country. He recommended lots of things to me to put some past skills at the service of law enforcement locally, in these USA, and on a more international basis. I recognized in him a spirit which I only sometimes come across. His devotion to God and country, his patriotism, his integrity, the suffering he’s been through, all so inspiring.

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HALO 78,000 ft > mach 3 SR71

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Call 911! Simultaneous church incidents. Confessing situational UN-awareness.

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We had some sort of emergency in the far back corner of Holy Redeemer Church this past Sunday, September 8, at the end of the offertory of the 11:00 AM Mass. Our entire church can fit into most sanctuaries of most churches, so, the far back corner of the church is, like, merely 25 feet away from the altar.

Someone cried out: “Call 911!” And the chorus of “Call 911!” multiplied in seconds. But there was no noisy commotion. No one said what the emergency was in those first seconds. I hiked it down from the altar to the back of the church in those few seconds. Pastor is as pastor does, right? As I then found out, it was a medical emergency for one of our ushers. In mere seconds, I gave an emergency anointing of the sick to the usher even before they were able to lay him down on the floor. EMS arrived minutes later and our usher is just fine now.

Since our faith family is small, we’re pretty tightly knit, so you can imagine our hearts were entirely in solidarity with our usher. You might say that we were distracted, that anyone bothering to have any situational awareness could now relax as it’s surely impossible that any other critical incident indicators that might present themselves cannot happen, because, you know, emergencies rarely happen, and un-associated and entirely diverse critical incidents never happen at the same time. So, go ahead, let your guard down, right? Wrong.

We immediately continued Mass starting with the Preface. “The Lord be with you!” “And with your spirit!” came the strikingly strong response. I can’t imagine that anyone would or, humanly speaking, could complain about these few seconds given over for the anointing, either time-wise or appropriateness-wise. So, no big deal, right? But something else happened in those few seconds in back of the church which should have had me run after someone so as to get a licence plate without him realizing it, you know, right after that anointing. That would have been logistically pretty easy in our circumstances. But I didn’t do it. Stupid me. Let’s review.

We had an unusually high number of visitors throughout the church. The emergency and the calls to call 911 were happening right in back of a certain visitor, who, unlike the others, did not come with a family. Never seen him before. He was alone [… description removed…]. By the time I got next to that certain visitor who was sitting at the end of the pew in the side aisle in that back corner of the church, with me just about to reach over others to anoint our usher, the visitor guy came out of the end of the pew and simply pushed me into those holding up the usher, that is, out of his own way. The visitor guy then bolted to the front-side door of the church and made good his escape. “Escape…”

The push wasn’t anything violent, but it was forceful enough to get the job done (I’m a pretty big guy), forceful enough that I had to turn to look at him while he bolted out. It was all too surreal. I was instantly all questions about who he was and what he was up to. I watched him until he went out the door next to the sanctuary in, say, four seconds. Whatever about him, I then turned my attention over to the usher so as to get him anointed.

Many are able to keep a sense of situational awareness for a singular critical incident that may take place at any given time, but it is not so easy to be entirely in the midst of one incident while another, entirely un-associated and entirely diverse and utterly unexpected critical incident begins at the same time in the same place. That’s what was happening here. This was an excellent experience easily able to demonstrate lack of readiness. Humility is always needed. To be noted:

  • The visitor was visibly shaken when the calls to call 911 rang out right behind him. A description of his fear from someone who, having turned around in the pew directly in front of him, looking him square in the face, was that he was all worked up in fear, something you can’t do instantaneously. Shock is one thing, freezing up. But being worked up in fear is another thing altogether. This was a fear he was already in the midst of, during which the calls to call 911 took him by surprise. He did NOT turn to see what was happening right in back of him in those first seconds when it was not being said if this was a medical emergency or a law enforcement emergency of some kind. Everyone else turned to see what was happening. That he didn’t turn to see what was going on right behind him is quite impossible. Was it that any medical emergency was insignificant compared to what he himself was about to cause? Did he feel caught out in some way, that someone recognized him?

Recall the discovery of “White Hat”, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, one of the two terrorist bombers of the Boston Marathon, now locked up in the ultra-super-max ADX facility in Florence, Colorado. He was the only one who did NOT look at the explosion as it took place on Boylston Street near the finish line of the race. He is the only one who looked away from the explosion, and then made good his escape:

I have the link of that video set to 49:36. Watch until 50:35, just under a minute. This is a lesson in catching out a bad actor. Note how the terrorist guy doesn’t look, but looks away. This is important. Also:

  • The visitor guy quietly said something with quiet deliberate determination as a proclamation to himself, to God, to neighbor, though as a kind of soliloquy:

“No! – I can’t do this! – I have to leave!”

This was not a frantic, panic attack statement, nor a statement issuing from PTSD. It was all quite deliberate, even ever so slightly tinged with anger, but not at any of us, but rather with himself, disappointed, it seems, perhaps, that he had actually decided to do something horrific, but was just now changing his mind. He wasn’t at all in panic-like fear. Nor was he suffering from wartime violent sensory overload and couldn’t bear to see anything anymore even in the form of a non-violent medical emergency. He didn’t know if it was a medical emergency or he was being called out. If he was a bad actor and was just now changing his mind to not do the unthinkable, a medical emergency and calls to 911 would act as a preview of what he himself was about to bring about. He couldn’t take it.

(1) “No!” — This is an answer, voiced for himself to hear physically, regarding an internal agonizing dialogue that he had been having, much longer than just a few seconds.

(2) “I can’t do this!” — The reasoned conclusion isn’t about someone deciding to get over agoraphobia and feeling like a failure, so that he had heroically decided to be in a place as public as a church but was failing in the attempt. No. For all his fear, his words were way too deliberate to be issuing from panic. The reference of “this” is not a reference to a PTSD episode. Again, note that the statement was reasoned and deliberate. He was thinking about doing some thing, not thinking about suffering some episode. He’s entrenching his “No!”

(3) “I have to leave!” — He was a heap of chaotic emotions. IF he was a bad actor – and I’m not saying that he was (I’m just using this as a lesson in situational awareness) – but if he was a bad actor and had repented on the spot, he would want to get himself the heck out of there lest he change his mind. And the dichotomy between what he was seeing in the calm worshiping and his would-be senseless violence was too much to handle in front of others. He needed to be alone to sort things out. Such on the spot repentance is one of the best things I’ve ever seen. Good for him. He did it. He did the right thing. This was grace at work. The Holy Spirit working on him. His conscience getting to him. Great!

If that guy is reading this, and I’m wrong about all this, please, accept my apologies. It’s just that this makes for a good lesson in situational awareness. If you’re a good actor, you’ll understand that we can’t be too careful in these weird days of waaaay toooo many critical incidents, and that we have to learn from out-of-the-ordinary behaviors. It’s not you I’m judging. I’m just wondering about the ensemble of indicators. That’s all.

If that guy is reading this, and I’m right about all this, please, know that God loves you and wants you in heaven for ever. Yep. God’s love is more powerful than anything we could ever come up with. He wants us back. Always. If you’re Catholic, Go to Confession! Taking your own life is not allowed. You are not beyond redemption, not beyond salvation. God loves you. We love you. God’s love is more powerful. Don’t hate yourself. Just receive our Lord’s forgiveness. I, for one, would give you a do-able penance for sure. And the secret of any Confession is absolute. This is what we have to be about in this world, helping each other to get to heaven. We can be thankful to the Lord together, for Jesus’ mercy endures forever. Amen.

The time that the visitor guy was noticed in particular and until he left the church was, like, eight seconds. These things take place very quickly.

If there was a scary part, it was that he hesitated, wavered for just a split second before exiting out the side door, like he had to make one final decision not to do something.

Finally: Thanks go to guardian angels.

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Filed under Confession, Intelligence Community, Law enforcement, Missionaries of Mercy, Situational awareness, Terrorism

Law officers, counterintel, humility. Shadow-dog and Chesterton…

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GSD’s, being wolves, are baiter-hunters. Domesticated just enough, Shadow-dog, for instance, thinks he sees something not entirely irredeemable in me, and so is forever trying his loyal best to teach me about the baiting game, because proper counterintelligence techniques are what anyone who’s not entirely naive would want to have in their toolkit for life, you know, what Jesus mentioned to us all – commanded us, really – that we are to be as clever as serpents even while being as innocent as doves what with being sent out as lambs in the midst of wolves…

So, there Shadow-dog stands in front of me, his instruction for me being in the form of play. That one plays does not mean that one is not deadly serious. Competitive fun as a form of instruction makes learning enjoyable, and therefore naturally memorable.

Shadow-dog is not cross-eyed, but he is that ever so slightly at this moment, trying to guess how I will take up his challenge to take his bait. He’s electrified, and like a contained explosion, is instantly ready to burst in whatever direction. Do I lunge to the left or right or straight ahead?

  • If I go straight ahead he lunges at me and we collide in less than a nano-second.
  • If I go to the left, he also goes to the left, just way faster than I ever could, and is that a dog-laugh I heard?
  • If I go to the right, he also goes to the right, just way faster than I ever could, and is that a dog-laugh I heard?

You would think he would chase off in the opposite direction, but, no. He enjoys a good dog-laugh. And this is the instruction Shadow-dog provides. Trying in every which way to indicate that I’m going to lunge in a different direction, he always is way ahead of me, reading me like a book.

But then, rarely, randomly, after having taught me to lunge in a direction I think he’s going to lunge in, Shadow-dog will instead head off in the opposite direction from which I’m lunging. After just a few steps, he then instantly turns, and, now all relaxed, having done his work in instructing my stupidity, he calmly stares, entirely happy with himself. The dog-smirk is unbearably humiliating. And then it’s time to get petted for a job he knows has been well done. He trots right over to me. Gooooood daaaaawwwg! “Unbearably humilitating” is also great learning territory. And he knows it. We make a good team. Someday, perhaps, I will learn.

chess board robert van der steeg impossible world

The problem with finding the right people for counterintelligence is in finding those who have some humility. Counterintelligence baits people to be arrogant: “I’ve got them now! – I’m in control! – Look at me!” Pride is the enemy of counterintel success. Humility, humility, humility.

Let’s see what that looks like in a counterintel situation. Let’s see what that looks like in the chapter of the Father Brown stories of G.K. Chesterton called The Secret of Father Brown in the volume also by that name. Chesterton uses the Father Brown character to go out of his way to humiliate (with good intentions) all law enforcement and our intel services. All in good humor and in good faith.

Here’s the deal: When the police chase a criminal they try to think like a criminal. But thinking merely “like” a criminal is not good enough. Meanwhile, the criminal is desperately trying to think “like” the police. But thinking merely “like” the police is never enough. Such scruples on both sides are to be avoided. ;-)

If you grapple with this simple story, it’ll be an occasion to enter deeply into the reality of life, making you quite successful with counterintelligence:

CHESTERTON FATHER BROWN

THE SECRET OF FATHER BROWN

FLAMBEAU, once the most famous criminal in France and later a very private detective in England, had long retired from both professions. Some say a career of crime had left him with too many scruples for a career of detection. Anyhow, after a life of romantic escapes and tricks of evasion, he had ended at what some might consider an appropriate address: in a castle in Spain. The castle, however, was solid though relatively small; and the black vineyard and green stripes of kitchen garden covered a respectable square on the brown hillside. For Flambeau, after all his violent adventures, still possessed what is possessed by so many Latins, what is absent (for instance) in so many Americans, the energy to retire. It can be seen in many a large hotel-proprietor whose one ambition is to be a small peasant. It can be seen in many a French provincial shopkeeper, who pauses at the moment when he might develop into a detestable millionaire and buy a street of shops, to fall back quietly and comfortably on domesticity and dominoes. Flambeau had casually and almost abruptly fallen in love with a Spanish Lady, married and brought up a large family on a Spanish estate, without displaying any apparent desire to stray again beyond its borders. But on one particular morning he was observed by his family to be unusually restless and excited; and he outran the little boys and descended the greater part of the long mountain slope to meet the visitor who was coming across the valley; even when the visitor was still a black dot in the distance.

The black dot gradually increased in size without very much altering in the shape; for it continued, roughly speaking, to be both round and black. The black clothes of clerics were not unknown upon those hills; but these clothes, however clerical, had about them something at once commonplace and yet almost jaunty in comparison with the cassock or soutane, and marked the wearer as a man from the northwestern islands, as clearly as if he had been labelled Clapham Junction. He carried a short thick umbrella with a knob like a club, at the sight of which his Latin friend almost shed tears of sentiment; for it had figured in many adventures that they shared long ago. For this was the Frenchman’s English friend, Father Brown, paying a long-desired but long-delayed visit. They had corresponded constantly, but they had not met for years.

Father Brown was soon established in the family circle, which was quite large enough to give the general sense of company or a community. He was introduced to the big wooden images of the Three Kings, of painted and gilded wood, who bring the gifts to the children at Christmas; for Spain is a country where the affairs of the children bulk large in the life of the home. He was introduced to the dog and the cat and the live-stock on the farm. But he was also, as it happened, introduced to one neighbour who, like himself, had brought into that valley the garb and manners of distant lands.

It was on the third night of the priest’s stay at the little chateau that he beheld a stately stranger who paid his respects to the Spanish household with bows that no Spanish grandee could emulate. He was a tall, thin grey-haired and very handsome gentleman, and his hands, cuffs and cuff-links had something overpowering in their polish. But his long face had nothing of that languor which is associated with long cuffs and manicuring in the caricatures of our own country. It was rather arrestingly alert and keen; and the eyes had an innocent intensity of inquiry that does not go often with grey hairs. That alone might have marked the man’s nationality, as well the nasal note in his refined voice and his rather too ready assumption of the vast antiquity of all the European things around him. This was, indeed, no less a person than Mr. Grandison Chace, of Boston, an American traveller who had halted for a time in his American travels by taking a lease of the adjoining estate; a somewhat similar castle on a somewhat similar hill. He delighted in his old castle, and he regarded his friendly neighbour as a local antiquity of the same type. For Flambeau managed, as we have said, really to look retired in the sense of rooted. He might have grown there with his own vine and fig-tree for ages. He had resumed his real family name of Duroc; for the other title of “The Torch” had only been a title de guerre, like that under which such a man will often wage war on society. He was fond of his wife and family; he never went farther afield than was needed for a little shooting; and he seemed, to the American globe-trotter, the embodiment of that cult of a sunny respectability and a temperate luxury, which the American was wise enough to see and admire in the Mediterranean peoples. The rolling stone from the West was glad to rest for a moment on this rock in the South that had gathered so very much moss. But Mr. Chace had heard of Father Brown, and his tone faintly changed, as towards a celebrity. The interviewing instinct awoke, tactful but tense. If he did try to draw Father Brown, as if he were a tooth, it was done with the most dexterous and painless American dentistry.

They were sitting in a sort of partly unroofed outer court of the house, such as often forms the entrance to Spanish houses. It was dusk turning to dark; and as all that mountain air sharpens suddenly after sunset, a small stove stood on the flagstones, glowing with red eyes like a goblin, and painting a red pattern on the pavement; but scarcely a ray of it reached the lower bricks of the great bare, brown brick wall that went soaring up above them into the deep blue night. Flambeau’s big broad-shouldered figure and great moustaches, like sabres, could be traced dimly in the twilight, as he moved about, drawing dark wine from a great cask and handing it round. In his shadow, the priest looked very shrunken and small, as if huddled over the stove; but the American visitor leaned forward elegantly with his elbow on his knee and his fine pointed features in the full light; his eyes shone with inquisitive intelligence.

“I can assure you, sir,” he was saying, “we consider your achievement in the matter of the Moonshine Murder the most remarkable triumph in the history of detective science.”

Father Brown murmured something; some might have imagined that the murmur was a little like a moan.

“We are well acquainted,” went on the stranger firmly, “with the alleged achievements of Dupin and others; and with those of Lecoq, Sherlock Holmes, Nicholas Carter, and other imaginative incarnations of the craft. But we observe there is in many ways, a marked difference between your own method of approach and that of these other thinkers, whether fictitious or actual. Some have spec’lated, sir, as to whether the difference of method may perhaps involve rather the absence of method.”

Father Brown was silent; then he started a little, almost as if he had been nodding over the stove, and said: “I beg your pardon. Yes. . .. Absence of method. . . . Absence of mind, too, I’m afraid.”

“I should say of strictly tabulated scientific method,” went on the inquirer. “Edgar Poe throws off several little essays in a conversational form, explaining Dupin’s method, with its fine links of logic. Dr. Watson had to listen to some pretty exact expositions of Holmes’s method with its observation of material details. But nobody seems to have got on to any full account of your method, Father Brown, and I was informed you declined the offer to give a series of lectures in the States on the matter.”

“Yes,” said the priest, frowning at the stove; “I declined.”

“Your refusal gave rise to a remarkable lot of interesting talk,” remarked Chace. “I may say that some of our people are saying your science can’t be expounded, because it’s something more than just natural science. They say your secret’s not to be divulged, as being occult in its character.”

“Being what?” asked Father Brown, rather sharply.

“Why, kind of esoteric,” replied the other. “I can tell you, people got considerably worked up about Gallup’s murder, and Stein’s murder, and then old man Merton’s murder, and now Judge Gwynne’s murder, and a double murder by Dalmon, who was well known in the States. And there were you, on the spot every time, slap in the middle of it; telling everybody how it was done and never telling anybody how you knew. So some people got to think you knew without looking, so to speak. And Carlotta Brownson gave a lecture on Thought-Forms with illustrations from these cases of yours. The Second Sight Sisterhood of Indianapolis —— ”

Father Brown, was still staring at the stove; then he said quite loud yet as if hardly aware that anyone heard him: “Oh, I say. This will never do.”

“I don’t exactly know how it’s to be helped,” said Mr. Chace humorously. “The Second Sight Sisterhood want a lot of holding down. The only way I can think of stopping it is for you to tell us the secret after all.”

Father Brown groaned. He put his head on his hands and remained a moment, as if full of a silent convulsion of thought. Then he lifted his head and said in a dull voice:

“Very well. I must tell the secret.”

His eyes rolled darkly over the whole darkling scene, from the red eyes of the little stove to the stark expanse of the ancient wall, over which were standing out, more and more brightly, the strong stars of the south.

“The secret is,” he said; and then stopped as if unable to go on. Then he began again and said:

“You see, it was I who killed all those people.”

“What?” repeated the other, in a small voice out of a vast silence.

“You see, I had murdered them all myself,” explained Father Brown patiently. “So, of course, I knew how it was done.”

Grandison Chace had risen to his great height like a man lifted to the ceiling by a sort of slow explosion. Staring down at the other he repeated his incredulous question.

“I had planned out each of the crimes very carefully,” went on Father Brown, “I had thought out exactly how a thing like that could be done, and in what style or state of mind a man could really do it. And when I was quite sure that I felt exactly like the murderer myself, of course I knew who he was.”

Chace gradually released a sort of broken sigh.

“You frightened me all right,” he said. “For the minute I really did think you meant you were the murderer. Just for the minute I kind of saw it splashed over all the papers in the States: ‘Saintly Sleuth Exposed as Killer: Hundred Crimes of Father Brown.’ Why, of course, if it’s just a figure of speech and means you tried to reconstruct the psychogy — ”

Father Brown rapped sharply on the stove with the short pipe he was about to fill; one of his very rare spasms of annoyance contracted his face.

“No, no, no,” he said, almost angrily; “I don’t mean just a figure of speech. This is what comes of trying to talk about deep things. . . . What’s the good of words . . .? If you try to talk about a truth that’s merely moral, people always think it’s merely metaphorical. A real live man with two legs once said to me: ‘I only believe in the Holy Ghost in a spiritual sense.’ Naturally, I said: ‘In what other sense could you believe it?’ And then he thought I meant he needn’t believe in anything except evolution, or ethical fellowship, or some bilge. . . . I mean that I really did see myself, and my real self, committing the murders. I didn’t actually kill the men by material means; but that’s not the point. Any brick or bit of machinery might have killed them by material means. I mean that I thought and thought about how a man might come to be like that, until I realized that I really was like that, in everything except actual final consent to the action. It was once suggested to me by a friend of mine, as a sort of religious exercise. I believe he got it from Pope Leo XIII, who was always rather a hero of mine.”

“I’m afraid,” said the American, in tones that were still doubtful, and keeping his eye on the priest rather as if he were a wild animal, “that you’d have to explain a lot to me before I knew what you were talking about. The science of detection —— ”

Father Brown snapped his fingers with the same animated annoyance. “That’s it,” he cried; “that’s just where we part company. Science is a grand thing when you can get it; in its real sense one of the grandest words in the world. But what do these men mean, nine times out of ten, when they use it nowadays? When they say detection is a science? When they say criminology is a science? They mean getting outside a man and studying him as if he were a gigantic insect: in what they would call a dry impartial light, in what I should call a dead and dehumanized light. They mean getting a long way off him, as if he were a distant prehistoric monster; staring at the shape of his ‘criminal skull’ as if it were a sort of eerie growth, like the horn on a rhinoceros’s nose. When the scientist talks about a type, he never means himself, but always his neighbour; probably his poorer neighbour. I don’t deny the dry light may sometimes do good; though in one sense it’s the very reverse of science. So far from being knowledge, it’s actually suppression of what we know. It’s treating a friend as a stranger, and pretending that something familiar is really remote and mysterious. It’s like saying that a man has a proboscis between the eyes, or that he falls down in a fit of insensibility once every twenty-four hours. Well, what you call ‘the secret’ is exactly the opposite. I don’t try to get outside the man. I try to get inside the murderer . . . . Indeed it’s much more than that, don’t you see? I am inside a man. I am always inside a man, moving his arms and legs; but I wait till I know I am inside a murderer, thinking his thoughts, wrestling with his passions; till I have bent myself into the posture of his hunched and peering hatred; till I see the world with his bloodshot and squinting eyes, looking between the blinkers of his half-witted concentration; looking up the short and sharp perspective of a straight road to a pool of blood. Till I am really a murderer.”

“Oh,” said Mr. Chace, regarding him with a long, grim face, and added: “And that is what you call a religious exercise.”

“Yes,” said Father Brown; “that is what I call a religious exercise.”

After an instant’s silence he resumed: “It’s so real a religious exercise that I’d rather not have said anything about it. But I simply couldn’t have you going off and telling all your countrymen that I had a secret magic connected with Thought-Forms, could I? I’ve put it badly, but it’s true. No man’s really any good till he knows how bad he is, or might be; till he’s realized exactly how much right he has to all this snobbery, and sneering, and talking about ‘criminals,’ as if they were apes in a forest ten thousand miles away; till he’s got rid of all the dirty self-deception of talking about low types and deficient skulls; till he’s squeezed out of his soul the last drop of the oil of the Pharisees; till his only hope is somehow or other to have captured one criminal, and kept him safe and sane under his own hat.”

Flambeau came forward and filled a great goblet with Spanish wine and set it before his friend, as he had already set one before his fellow guest. Then he himself spoke for the first time:

“I believe Father Brown has had a new batch of mysteries. We were talking about them the other day, I fancy. He has been dealing with some queer people since we last met.”

“Yes; I know the stories more or less — but not the application,” said Chace, lifting his glass thoughtfully. “Can you give me any examples, I wonder. . . . I mean, did you deal with this last batch in that introspective style?”

Father Brown also lifted his glass, and the glow of the fire turned the red wine transparent, like the glorious blood-red glass of a martyr’s window. The red flame seemed to hold his eyes and absorb his gaze that sank deeper and deeper into it, as if that single cup held a red sea of the blood of all men, and his soul were a diver, ever plunging in dark humility and inverted imagination, lower than its lowest monsters and its most ancient slime. In that cup, as in a red mirror, he saw many things; the doings of his last days moved in crimson shadows; the examples that his companions demanded danced in symbolic shapes; and there passed before him all the stories that are told here. Now, the luminous wine was like a vast red sunset upon dark red sands, where stood dark figures of men; one was fallen and another running towards him. Then the sunset seemed to break up into patches: red lanterns swinging from garden trees and a pond gleaming red with reflection; and then all the colour seemed to cluster again into a great rose of red crystal, a jewel that irradiated the world like a red sun, save for the shadow of a tall figure with a high head-dress as of some prehistoric priest; and then faded again till nothing was left but a flame of wild red beard blowing in the wind upon a wild grey moor. All these things, which may be seen later from other angles and in other moods than his own, rose up in his memory at the challenge and began to form themselves into anecdotes and arguments.

“Yes,” he said, as he raised the wine cup slowly to his lips, “I can remember pretty well —— ”

===========

After all that, I wonder if I have to the humility to be the dog, Shadow-dog, not just “like” a dog, but, you know, a dog, and learn what Shadow-dog has to teach me.

After all that, I wonder if I have the humility to be understand just how bad and evil I myself can be, and thus think not just “like” a criminal, but as the criminal I am if I am without the grace of God, and thus be able to catch the criminal, because, you know, I’m him. Of course, when I catch a criminal it’s to bring him to the confessional. The best priests in the Confessional hearing confessions of others are the very priests who also make a practice of regular confession.

Or, heck, instead of all that I could just bait and wait for the counter-bait… and then counter-counter-bait, and then wait for the…

// Hey, I lost track of what’s being reacted to. PAUSE… Then…

Counter-counter-counter-counter-bait…

Counter-counter-counter-counter-counter-bait…

Counter-counter-counter-counter-counter-counter-bait…

Counter-counter-counter-counter-counter-counter-counter-bait…

// Pause… whew! Time to get out of counterintel…

============

So, let’s see, maybe there is something to just looking in oneself when looking for any and all criminals, any and all terrorists…. If we ever say, “I would never do that,” we’ve already lost the game. Honesty and integrity and humility admit that even if psychologically I probably wouldn’t do… you know… those crimes… because of my upbringing or whatever… nevertheless I probably would if given the circumstances that others have suffered and I were without God’s grace. Yep. There but for the grace of God go I. A bit aphoristic, I know. But so very, very true. Actually, people can change pretty fast. If one has the purity of heart and agility of soul to see that even one’s very self can do such things, it’s that person that will not do such things because of looking to God’s grace with honesty and integrity and humility. God doesn’t save me because I’m good. God saves me because I need saving and can’t save myself.

Then, when that Living Love who is God and that Living Truth who is God are with me, I can easily see the contrast of what would be bad and evil in myself and therefore what would be bad and evil in others. For law enforcement and counterintel this is also a boon to catching the criminal and the terrorist, regardless of culture, regardless of religion or none, regardless of anything else.

For a priest it’s all about more ably bringing people to Jesus. We priests need to get out of Jesus’ way and let Jesus be the priest in the parish.

We all need to let Jesus work through us, and with us, and in us. Needed: HUMILITY!

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Pre-critical-incident forced psych lockup program for would-be active-mass-shooter domestic terrorists already underway? DARPA COMPASS

Google this: DARPA COMPASS. It’s the first entry. This started a while back. The confluence of information replacing the census citizenship question goes a long way to making this happen for those of whatever status in these USA. Algorithms of gaming theory and the OODA Loop can sort out who needs targeting. This seems to be the obvious reference of Trump’s reaction to the El Paso and Dayton shootings on Monday August 5, what his quick due process means. The psych lockup is a dumbed down version. The program usually just gives a target-name to a field operator who terminates the possible terroristic threat. The mere psych lockup for those in these USA makes the program seem a bit more acceptable as a way to do something about mass shootings.

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Diplomatic Security Rosslyn (and me)

spy vs spyThe Bureau for Diplomatic Security (DS) in Rosslyn, at the behest of Counterintel for Consular Services (CCS) at the Department of State (DoS) at Foggy Bottom (“Main State”), early in 2019, declared to me that they had been in charge of creating two of me, purposely establishing and issuing to someone else (who looks quite like me and is about the same age) secured identity, including a U.S. Passport, with all of my own identifying characteristics. The program may have started way back in the mid-late 1970s. I say “declaration” in that this revelation was emphasized and repeated.

Until they disabused me of my naïveté, I had always thought that someone had stolen my identity. Not at all. That guy needed an unwitting fall guy in the wings, just in case. There are many persons in need of a fall guy.

But there’s two of me, I objected.

So, what’s the problem? Can you use your identity? it was asked rhetorically.

Yes, said I with the most deadpan voice I could muster.

♬ Soooooooooooo! ♬ No problem then! ♬ said the now melodious voice.

You have to know that Diplomatic Security prosecutes a few problem fraudulent passports, those used for more than the usual criminal fraud, namely, something more along the lines of terrorists and foreign spies (sometimes diplomats) with multiple alternative identities, including as U.S. citizens. They also issue passports for certain people stationed at certain consulates and embassies, where even the janitors are CIA and FBI officers and agents unable to use their real identities.

Silly me, I brought up the possibility that there must be some mistake. Not at all. It was insisted upon that Diplomatic Security Rosslyn never makes mistakes, not ever. When we issue a passport, he said, that passport in the hand of that person is indeed for that person. No mistakes. Not ever. It’s who that person is, because we issued that passport to that person. If he has that passport in his hand, it’s for him. End of story. No mistakes, not ever.

But there’s two of me, I objected.

It’s not a mistake. It was insisted upon. ♯ We ♯ Don’t ♯ Make ♯ Mistakes ♯

As to this last point, pretty much every sensitive ongoing operation is done with a credible fall guy – often unwitting – with me being the fall guy for the one to whom they issued my identity, under which he entrenched as an arms supplier for the new Sinaloa Cartel. The Bureau of Diplomatic Security (by whatever name) was already doing this kind of thing for now more than a century. It’s their 101st anniversary this year (2019). Wikipedia’s top-line summary:

The Bureau of Diplomatic Security, more commonly known as Diplomatic Security, or DS, is the security and law enforcement arm of the United States Department of State. DS is a world leader in international investigations, threat analysis, cyber security, counterterrorism, security technology, and protection of people, property, and information. DS’s mission is to provide a safe and secure environment for officials to carry out U.S. foreign policy.”

One might finish that last sentence with “…often at the expense, sometimes fatal, of unwitting citizens in good standing of these United States.”

The idea behind propping up one cartel over another, it is said, is to be able to more easily control the situation. That didn’t quite work. But that’s the idea. It’s always about the economy. And anyway, competing cartels wasn’t so much of a thing back in the day. We created “El Chapo”, bringing his violence to bear, effectively creating the Sinaloa Cartel.

I always despised my identity being used for anything benefiting Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán Lorea. My name is written all over so many guns, so many bullets, which have been used to kill so many people. Were these cartel agents, even of different cartels, sicarios and disloyal druggies who were killed? Sure. Those guns and bullets were also used to kill untold numbers of innocent men, women and children just to instill fear. It is said that “El Chapo” is treated as a god in Mexico, but that is out of fear, regardless of how much nice stuff he gave to people with money he otherwise couldn’t launder anyway. I don’t like my name being used for all this.

“El Chapo” is now enjoying the extra security of the ultra-super-max solitary confinement of the ADX facility in Florence, Colorado. Fine. But that doesn’t mean it’s over. That means it’s only begun. Locking him up is not something you do and then you cheer. Vengeance for the vengeance is coming. There’s an entire Cartel which is now especially upset. If we created “El Chapo” and we are now treating him in this way, well, I’m sure there will be some who reckon that a reckoning needs to be done. The monster is now bigger than “El Chapo.” When you take out a devil you might get Satan himself to replace him.

Which brings me to the point of this screed. There are a couple of favors – easy to do, ever so easy, which I think I’ve earned – that Diplomatic Security Rosslyn could and should do for me (with a heads-up to CCS). DS asked me what these requests might be, but I regrettably had to decline to mention them over a cell phone. Perhaps I can put the request in through a favorite congressman. But really, does this have to get even more stupid than it already is? Could I just talk to someone in, say, the Diplomatic Security building in Greensboro, N.C.?

P.S. For decades I’ve been baiting for any takers in an effort to figure all this out. Some took the bait not knowing what they were wading into. How annoying. But I opened myself up to that. I get what I deserve. But now the dynamics change, radically. If DS openly admits all this to me, it’s not because they think there’s no supporting documentation (they know there is), but rather because I’m so very unimportant and so utterly expendable and am an absolute nobody, just another typical fall guy. This is the normal course of affairs. It is what it is. My talking about it proves nothing. I’m still totally the fall guy. I would still like to have a chat with someone in Greensboro.

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Listen up, CIA! Dedicatio par aevum REPOST: Heroic history: Joyce Kilmer

CIA MEMORIAL LANGLEY

Last year, July 30, 2018, was the 100th anniversary of death by sniper of forward field intelligence officer Joyce Kilmer. He’s personally the heroic example of what would become the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) which would itself turn into the Central Intelligence Agency. I’m putting this up to encourage those looking for a break from the heat by coming up to the mountains and quietly hiking the trails of the memorial forest. Here’s the post from last year:

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We had a memorial today, July 30, 2018, in the absolutely gorgeous National Forest dedicated to the memory of the great military operative Joyce Kilmer. Joyce, mind you, was a literary giant, compared even to G.K. Chesterton, certainly for his poetry. Look him up in Wikipedia. You won’t be disappointed.

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Descendants of Joyce Kilmer were there. The VFW was there in force, including the State and National Commanders. There were bagpipes, the bugle for Taps, the 21 gun salute.

I also had a part to play, offering a few religious words about heroism. I then had the great privilege of reciting the entire Rouge Bouquet included below.

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JOYCE KILMER: Memorial – Rev. George David Byers
July 30, 2018 – Centenary Memorial Service – Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest

Since Joyce Kilmer was a devout Catholic and since I’m the Catholic pastor of the local parish, I’ve been invited to say a few words to attempt to go the heart of who Joyce Kilmer is as a hero. Joyce’s Rouge Bouquet will then be read before a short prayer, followed by rendering honors and the Taps.

Joyce Kilmer was enthusiastically respected in all good friendship by his brothers in arms back in the day, a lively respect which continues today as we are now witnessing one hundred years later. Anyone who is profoundly immersed in their own times remains at one with us in all times. Joyce Kilmer is a hero because he leads us back to ourselves and who we are before God. Joyce’s poetical intervention about, say, any tree being awesome because of being just another tree, but made by God is an analogy bringing us into the lived reality of who any one of us is to be as a hero.

Like so many others in our topsy turvy society with wars and rumors of wars, in our day as people did in Joyce’s day, I have searched for heroism if not in all the wrong places then surely in all the wrong ways. Growing up in a military family, my father having been trained up at Parris Island as a Marine Fighter Attack Pilot in Guam, the Philippines, Japan, China and Korea, having been commander of the famed Checkerboard Squadron, I have bragged about him as my hero, perhaps making him too extra special. Joyce Kilmer knew there was a danger to making one tree more special than all the others, a danger of not seeing that we are all made by God, the danger of thinking that this other fellow is a hero so I don’t have to be one. That’s not the kind of respect a real hero wants.

At the same time I would go out of my way to greet any veteran I might see at a gas station or a supermarket or at church. I’ve learned NOT to say, “Thank you for your service,” as I would often get a half-hearted, or sad, or almost cynical if polite acknowledgment in return. To say “Thank you for your service” almost seems ungrateful to the very veteran before whom one stands, being thankful perhaps only for his or her service in unrepeatable circumstances so very far away, a fog of war that any veteran struggles to recount to anyone, a service which, therefore, is in danger of being forgotten if heroism is merely about things done, if heroism is just that specialized, that distant, that out of reach, my usual mistake of “he’s the hero so I don’t have to be one.”

To veterans then, I’ve learned NOT to say “Thank you for your service,” but simply, “Thank you.” The acknowledgment is immediate, sincere, one of appreciated solidarity. And yet, even in this thanksgiving there can still be something missing about the heroism Joyce Kilmer lived out, the heroism which won him the enthusiastic respect in all good friendship of his brothers in arms and of our own respect today.

An Army friend of mine who was taken up as a field agent of the CIA much along the lines of Joyce becoming a kind of distant forerunner of the best of our CIA operatives, reprimanded me, saying that I had much to learn about thanking any veteran. He said that a hero isn’t someone you thank so much as strive to imitate with intensity of service at whatever cost. That’s it, thought I foolishly. Striving to imitate intensity of service is a real compliment, a real thanksgiving, and goes a long way and is what any veteran would like to see from anyone. But it still isn’t the full story and is certainly not quite yet an appreciation of the kind of heroism lived out by Joyce Kilmer.

We’ve all heard veterans of foreign wars like Marcus Luttrell or Robert O’Neill say it; we’ve all heard our friends in Law Enforcement and Firefighting say it; I’m certain that most who are here today have said it, as heroes: “I’ve done nothing special.” And then they add what our Lord said we will all say should we make it into the gates of heaven: “I’ve only done what I had to do.” There are those who think that this is what humility is all about, misunderstanding this as some sort of self-deprecation. But they miss the point. This isn’t false humility to say “I’ve done nothing special.” It is to say in Joyce Kilmer’s analogy, that any tree is awesome among any other trees, each having been made by God, so that each tree, each person is to do what they have to do, what they’ve been given to do, what they’ve been called to do in whatever impossibly unrepeatable circumstances they happen to be in. We’re all called to be heroes.

What was so attractive about Joyce Kilmer to his brothers in arms and to us today is that he knew he had what we can all have by way of God: we can all have a love that is stronger than death, a love stronger than death. “Let me have the most dangerous assignment!” said Joyce Kilmer again and again. A love stronger than death given by God. That’s what we recognize as what we are all to have, a love stronger than death given by God; this is who we are all to be, one who lives out what we have to do, what we’ve been given to do, what we’ve been called to do in all our impossibly unrepeatable circumstances. What makes the hero is that which all can have, this God given love which is stronger than death. “Let me have the most dangerous assignment!”

So said the eternal Word of God the Father: let me have the most dangerous assignment; let me stand in their place, the innocent for the guilty, so that I might have the right in my own justice to have mercy on them. And we know what happened next: “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life,” eternal life, a love stronger than death, the eternal Son of God, our warrior of goodness conquering evil because giving us of his love that is stronger than death so that we might also say: “Let me have the most dangerous assignment!” Jesus is the One hero, and we are all heroes in him, recognizing before this love that is stronger than death that is offered to us all, that we then do, in thanksgiving, what we have to do, what we’ve been given to do, what we’ve been called to do in all our own unrepeatable circumstances, as in Joyce’s day, so in our own. The thanksgiving that our hero veterans want to have is that we all become heroes.

My own prayer this day is that those who visit this forest, coming into contact with the eternal Creator of creation, might find out about the heroism of Joyce Kilmer, the heroism we can all have with that God-given love that is stronger than death, that love which is eternal. Only God can make a tree. Only God can make a hero. We thank God for all our heroes, begging that we might strive to imitate intensity of generosity by living out in our everyday circumstances, with enthusiasm, that love which is stronger than death. Thank you, Joyce. Thanks to all our veterans. Thanks to all our heroes. Thanks to Jesus for giving us a love stronger than death.

The Rouge Bouquet

In a wood they call the Rouge Bouquet
There is a new-made grave to-day,
Built by never a spade nor pick
Yet covered with earth ten metres thick.
There lie many fighting men,
Dead in their youthful prime,
Never to laugh nor love again
Nor taste the Summertime.
For Death came flying through the air
And stopped his flight at the dugout stair,
Touched his prey and left them there,
Clay to clay.
He hid their bodies stealthily
In the soil of the land they fought to free
And fled away.
Now over the grave abrupt and clear
Three volleys ring;
And perhaps their brave young spirits hear
The bugle sing: “Go to sleep! Go to sleep!
Slumber well where the shell screamed
and fell.
Let your rifles rest on the muddy floor,
You will not need them any more.
Danger’s past;
Now at last, Go to sleep!”
There is on earth no worthier grave
To hold the bodies of the brave
Than this place of pain and pride
Where they nobly fought and nobly died.
Never fear but in the skies
Saints and angels stand
Smiling with their holy eyes
On this new-come band.
St. Michael’s sword darts through the air
And touches the aureole on his hair
As he sees them stand saluting there,
His stalwart sons;
And Patrick, Brigid, Columkill
Rejoice that in veins of warriors still
The Gael’s blood runs.
And up to Heaven’s doorway floats,
From the wood called Rouge Bouquet
A delicate cloud of bugle notes
That softly say: “Farewell! Farewell!
Comrades true, born anew, peace to you!
Your souls shall be where the heroes are
And your memory shine like the morning-star.
Brave and dear, Shield us here. Farewell!”

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From the Catholic funerary rites:

Saints of God, come to their aid! Come to meet them angels of the Lord!
Receive their souls and present them to God the Most High.
May Christ, Who called you, take you to Himself; may angels lead you to Abraham’s side.
Receive their souls and present them to God the Most High.
Let us pray: We commend our brothers and sisters to you, Lord. Now that they have passed from this life, may they live on in Your presence. Amen.
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May their souls and all the souls of the faithful departed,
through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

Render honors…

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Civil Registration of Clergy in China

On the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus the “Holy See” published a comment on whether or not clergy (priests and bishops) in China should go ahead and register civilly as clergy. It’s a dire situation. The short comment put out by the Holy See is ambiguous at best.

I’m guessing that this was prepared by McCarrick. I’m guessing that the Chinese extorted Pope Francis to publish it. Extortion is possible. Anyone remember Pope Francis’ “Front of House”, Miriam Woldu, who was murdered just before the homosexualist referendum in Italy? As expected, no one made a peep about that after her murder.

I note that this comment on civil registration in China has no provenance other than the “Holy See.” In other words, the document is so horrifically ambiguous that no one is willing to take responsibility for it, not even the Secretary of State. Incredible. Almost without precedent. I’ll write more about this, please God, with full analysis. But I just wanted to put this out there with a mention of McCarrick, you know, to bait some reaction. Anyone with something helpful to say?

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CIA: “Show time!” Angels: “Show time!”

The lead picture is from actual footage out of one of the windows of Air Force 1. POTUS was being accompanied by multiple F-16s on September 11, 2001. They were there to protect him.

I can’t even count the times I’ve seen such accompaniment from my own window in a commercial jetliner. Most incidents were on the Stateside termination of transatlantic flights. I’m guessing that this accompaniment was not for the protection of anyone inside, but rather to practice being in place for the downing of a commercial airliner if it suddenly itself became weaponized. A common exercise for the fighter pilots, surely. Some examples:

  • Chicago – O’Hare International Airport: With fuel mostly depleted after such an extra-long flight, we were, instead, put in a rather weird holding pattern. The pilot was punctuating the ticking of the clock with apologies. Five minutes, fifteen, thirty, thirty five… Passengers were getting a bit agitated. The weather wasn’t good. That was the excuse. Until the pilot started expressing some distress about running out of fuel, and that the tower knew that, but would not, not, not give permission to land. I think the pilot brought the fuel thing up like three times. I love flying, so I thought it was all good, especially because of the airshow outside, F-16s to the sides of the plane. Cool! It was stunning to me – I’m so naive – that no one could care less about the cool F-16s. The other passengers were too agitated with the flight attendants who were trying to keep people calm by proffering hope for getting to any connecting flights. These were the days of “mere” highjacking instead of the blowing up of planes or running them into buildings. The F-16 on my side of the plane (the left side) pulled away. Momentarily, another took its place. Just practice, surely. We landed. My connecting flight was to the Wold–Chamberlain Field of the Twin Cities in Minnesota. We were diverted mid-flight to what looked to be a small-town airstrip somewhere in a pasture in nowheresville, Wisconsin. After a long delay, everyone was hauled out onto the tarmac. All the luggage came off. Dogs arrived with a multitude of law enforcement… Inside the plane, outside the plane, with the luggage, with us… nothing. That was a fad for some years in my experience anyway. Again and again. Then it was back on the plane. Just training, surely. Great!
  • JFK International Airport: I’ve elsewhere told the story about my involvement when terrorists threatened to blow up a transatlantic flight half way to JFK. I’ll spare you. Needless to say, this was another occasion for accompaniment of a commercial airliner with F-16s. They weren’t there for practice, however. They were waiting for a go-ahead to down the plane if need be. We did land, only to taxi out as far away from the airport as possible, almost in the water of the Atlantic, to be met by a multitude of emergency vehicles and then a storming of the plane by special operators.

I remember the details of these incidents of accompaniment more than the details of others as there were more concomitant circumstances that were… special.

Dad used to train in fighter pilots at Andrews just south of DC as they were putting him through JAG law training at Georgetown University. But how do you train in pilots to down commercial airliners full of innocent American citizens? What’s going through the pilots’ minds and hearts and souls? Unimaginable. But that’s why you train. But the question is always, immediately, Is this just an exercise? And then you hear, No. It’s not. … … … as your heart about stops and then about breaks your ribs pounding so hard.

Analogy: We’re all each of us in crazy changing circumstances every day that are permitted or provided by our Lord who is the Lord of History. He sees all. Our angels see all. We’re expected to be faithful in whatever circumstances, to do what we need to do, whether this means anything from going to heaven when called, promptly, with enthusiasm, or “to protect and serve” as is said. And all in between. Do we think, however, that maybe our circumstances aren’t quite so dramatic, and therefore our faithfulness isn’t really a big deal in those small circumstances, so that – Hey! – we can be politically correct or “get along to get along” or not witness to the goodness and kindness and truth and honesty and integrity that our Lord demands of us every second of every hour of every day?

Here’s the deal: It might be faithfulness in that tiny circumstance that will especially touch the heart and soul of someone and have them turn to the Lord and be on their way to heaven. And that epic saving of a soul is incomparably more dramatic than anything whatsoever that could possibly happen to us in this world. The salvation of souls is about eternity. It’s the small things that are going to draw people in, goodness and kindness and truth and honesty and integrity, always, always, and everywhere, everywhere.

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Mueller’s peachy social engineering

interstate 85 peach

Mueller: “After that investigation, if we had confidence that the president did NOT commit a crime, then we would have said so.”

How peachy is that? A hardly veiled referral to Congress for impeachment. Mueller turns on its head the principle that one is innocent until proven guilty and assumes that insufficient evidence screams guilt. Since pretty much anyone who is alive is able to commit any crime, that evidence, that one was alive, however insufficient, means that pretty much everyone is guilty of whatever crime. Everyone is dead.

If the victim is accused of being a witch in such a witch hunt, he is thrown into a river. If he drowns, he’s innocent. If he survives, he is guilty and then killed another way. Dead both ways.

That’s the American way! Peachy! Impeachy! But no. That’s not the American way.

Social engineering that clockwork-encourages Congress to undo the Constitution without the Constitution undergoing duly legislated amendment is…

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Analyzing Strzok’s capacity to lie. The deadpan declaration: “I am America.”

Analysts love declarations. There are certain declarations that are stand-alone, and which simply cannot be voiced unless you mean them in any and all contexts or regardless of any particular context whatsoever. They reveal a helluvalot about a person.

Here’s Peter Strzok declaring away to Tray Gowdy at 5’38″…

“The American electorate I respect in their decisions and their right to vote is absolutely a cornerstone of our democracy so at no time did I insult or call into question the judgment or the power of the American electorate.”

And he later repeats a version of that. It’s ingrained into him.

It’s all in the “so.” The “so” inescapably indicates that Peter Strzok believes that he, personally, is America. But this is not the Patriotism of which he thinks he is the definition. Instead, this is, for him, about his inability to do wrong. This, my friends, is as cynical as it gets. It’s a licence to kill. It’s a licence to betray one’s country as doing so could not possibly be considered betrayal by him: he IS America.

There are plenty of false patriots who say: “I love America and I’m the most patriotic person ever and I embody all that America is.” No. That doesn’t work.

It needs to be added instantaneously that there is an ever present possibility that we can fall short, we are able to betray. It is this honesty and humility which keeps one sharp, frosty, and, indeed, able to see ever so easily how it is that this or that person is at the verge of or has already betrayed America and is a danger.

Anyone who embodies the “so” principle of Peter Strzok cannot be trusted.

Do the analogy. The person who, in the spiritual life says to himself that he is doing just fine and is strong because he hasn’t killed anyone in a long time or ever and that makes him all good is a fraud. The person who by the grace of God is in humble thanksgiving before the Lord gets it, knowing that he could fall at any time into whatever lack. Holiness is about the Lord creating us as His friends: “I call you friends.” The trust is not in ourselves but in Jesus. Jesus I trust in you.

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