Tag Archives: US Army

Day-Off: Green Beret Logan Melgar’s assassination. Kryptos stupid analogy.

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Rarely, I’ll put up a detail of the QIT 97-99 targets for the FBI course at 3-5-7-15-25 yards out. Late morning on the Day-Off some weeks ago I did up my usual timed target practice at the hermitage, though this time skipping the SEALs course and instead doing up the FBI and FAM courses, the FAST drill, and then some extra 2+1 drills out 21 feet and down to 1.62″ seconds from my bad-and-evil-to-be-rejected-serpa-blackhawk-locked-slow-you-down-a-lot-holster. This isn’t about merely speed and accuracy after all. This is about practicing with one’s EDC, bad as it is. Right?

The ripped up towel you see at the bottom of the picture is to catch mags during tactical and combat reloads and for dropping to a knee during some stages of some courses.

By the way, we found out that the weird gun we’ve been hearing ripping through the forest back mountain ridges right behind me when I go out practicing is a .270, only very slightly different from a .30-06, well able with a single shot to take down any beast (bear, elk, deer, boar, lions, panthers, wolves, all of which are found here) or… or… the bullets of which .270 can – in my personal experience – rip through, say, a half dozen branches round about one’s head: crack-crack-crack-crack-crack-crack ddzzrrzz, ddzzrrzz, ddzzrrzz… (you know, that weird sound bullets make when they whiz past your head after they’ve hit something first and are tumbling instead of zipping through the air.

That’s just a whiz sound at about the 10 second mark of the 15 second video, as the bullet didn’t hit anything first. But what I remember, even from, say, 42 years ago onward, is the whiz sound on it’s own or combined with a ddzzrrzz kind of a sound, I guess when the bullets were set tumbling for having ricocheted off water right in front of me because the shooter didn’t calculate the drop of the bullet from what I now know to have been exactly 300 yards out on the other side of a small lake. The ones that remained in the air – yeah – they just had more of a whiz sound to them. When they’re next to your ears, well, that’s an experience… that you don’t forget… But I digress, kind of…

Later in the day, in a location far removed even from the hermitage, I mentioned the 2+1 timing of 1.62″ from a locked holster to a CIA friend, the famed “The Guy” (Military but then a teacher of the cream of the crop field spooks that were being suctioned into The Company), and he said that 1.62″ from a locked holster was kinda pretty good, you know, maybe, kinda, but then straightaway mocked all of this [as in: “Ain’t a gonna help you none, buddy!” to which my response is, “I don’t carry or practice for any of that anyway”]. He then instantly launched into a story which was obviously the reason he had called me from his car while traveling half way across the country. It’s all come up in the news yet again and it was bothering him, it seems, in relation to me, as an analogy of sorts. The analogy is with my situation with the State Department along with our intel services on the one side, and a certain Green Beret, Staff Sgt. Logan J. Melgar with four special operators on the other side. I like to think of myself as a patriot, respectful of law and order, of justice and mercy, as one who is thankful to our public servants, our military, our operators, our law enforcement. I’m sure Logan felt the same way about himself, just with a thousand times more reality and actions to back that up. As it is, Logan was strangled to death (by accident?) by two Navy SEALs and two USMC Raiders. I’ve written about his sacrifice previously. He knew what he was signing up for, making him especially a hero.

But I’m bad and evil, so I asked “The Guy” if Logan was a bad actor, and was told that, instead, Logan simply knew too much [It seems some of his fellow operators were taking money earmarked for informants, and he wouldn’t take any when offered, in which case, he’s the most upstanding guy ever. The policy is: never ever take money or gifts or bribes, anything, anywhere, anytime (so to speak)]. I know nothing about all that on the part of the other operators, but I am interested in any motive of any analogy made presently by “The Guy.” As it is, “The Guy” has often told me in these recent years that I’m at risk of being taken off the perpetual interdepartmental program that I’m on if I keep pushing about it so that I can distance myself from the guy who stole my identity, the last thing they want as he works for them. The only way out of that program is… well… you know…

It’s not my analogy. It’s his. It’s a stupid analogy. Firstly, Logan is a hero. As I’ve said elsewhere, I’m just a PoS (sorry for the language). Secondly, I don’t know anything. But to all intents, purposes and reconstructions, it seems like that is similar to the protestations of the druggie in the church parking lot the other week; the first thing he said to the police, volunteering the information straight away, is that he wasn’t selling drugs in the church parking lot. I mean, one recalls the assessment in a rather famous line of the second quarto – also set in iambic pentameter for emphasis – of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, viz., that one “dóth protést too múch, methínks.” To which my response is that stolen identities are annoying. I mean, can you imagine trying to tell interrogators in GTMO or in some basement of an abandoned warehouse, “I don’t know anything!” like they’ve never heard that before, like a hundred million times before, with all that being followed by yet another round of waterboarding and small-box confinement? Good grief. Good thing that my “Shadow” works for State, effectively anyway, right?

Who has conversations like this about your own who turn on you to do you in? I am again reminded of the murder portrayed as suicide as an assignment[!] comments by certain GTMO visitors to my neck of the woods a while back. In any case…

For Logan’s soul and the souls of all the departed: Hail Mary…

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Army: Land Navigation Pace Counter

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Once in a while a guy shows up in the parish wearing just such a rosary around his neck, skulls and all. He just said it was interesting to have skulls. Meanwhile, the priest friend sending in the picture of this rosary said that they are actually US Army Land Navigation Pace Counters:

“When you’re in the field, you count pace by your steps, and when you’ve traveled a certain distance you pull a bead back to show you’ve gone a mile or five miles or whatever. The beads grip the cord to you can keep track.”

  • Favoring the USMC, I’m going to poke fun at land lubbers using the word navigation for anything. ;-)
  • I need verification from any member of the U.S. Army as to the veracity of the assertion for the skulls. I’m thinking skulls are not used. He says he heard this said while he himself was a Boy Scout way back in the day.

Meanwhile, we wouldn’t want anyone to have the idea that one is pelagianistically pacing one’s journey to heaven because of saying prayers. We don’t acquire heaven. Salvation is a gift. We are drawn into true prayer by the grace of Jesus at Mary’s intercession.

Meanwhile, I have no problem with calling to mind our demise because of sin. It’s helpful to have a humble and contrite heart while thinking of the goodness and kindness of Jesus and Mary, neither of whom knew the corruption of the tomb though incomparably they knew the pain of death. We thank them.

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Day-off: Getting professionally baited, you know, on purpose. ;-)

baiting

Waiting for boarding time for the trip to Rome, I’m noticing more old drafts that need sprucing up and publishing.

On my “day-off” the other week… month.. I returned the Sig Sauer P226 variant to “The Guy” (a label which can refer to any guy or number of people or group or groups of people in any number of places in any number of countries, right?). He lent his Sig to me to that I could see what a Sig is all about. He’s had it since the mid-1980s. I actually in the end didn’t like the grip, a bit like a revolver, almost the opposite grip-system as is found on a “normal” pistol, at least compared to my Glock 19 Gen4.

This time, our chat wasn’t a mere two or four hours. We went six hours non-stop.

suicide bomber land day 2001

Before I could say anything at all – no, really, nothing – he gave me further lessons in shooting. Non stop talking. Like he was on assignment. Great, thought I, as I need all the help I can get. I didn’t say anything, just took it all in. Strange, though, as this time he was mentioning targets, as if they were assignments. Instructions were about how to kill as many people (all head shots) as possible as fast as one could pull the trigger, that is, how it is, counterintuitively, that one moves from one target to the next as fast as one can aim even while not quite aiming, if that makes sense. To real shooters it will. Imagine a row of small steel targets on springs but unevenly spaced and of uneven heights and all moving on horizontal bars in different directions but you able to get a “kill” each trigger pull as fast as you can pull the trigger. Its where your eyes are looking. Not where you think. This was scaring me, needless to say. I decided to let him just keep going to see where this was going to go. He was clearly baiting. Field guys aren’t always the best counterintel guys.

Before I could say anything at all – no, really, nothing – he gave me lessons in bomb making for all situations, for cars, for entire buildings, for suicide bombing – yep- or for events from which you could walk away before it happened, always looking for a reaction from me, a question from me, a request for clarification from me. I said nothing. I just watched the show of baiting. He described usage of Composition-C (C-4) and of other otherwise easily obtainable materials. On and on he went. And that’s not the first time he said he could actually obtain such things. I’m sure he must have been leaving out details – or perhaps all the details were entirely fictional – as I’m guessing that such lessons would otherwise be rather illegal. He knows I write this blog. I have to wonder what he’s up to. He didn’t mind that all-hearing-cell-phones were present… So…

terrorist suicide bomber

This is like the third time he’s shared bomb making, so I suppose he’s just venting about his life up to now in the military and The Company. But this was different with the detail, even named targets such as an elevator toward the top of the […!]. Was he looking for another partner in a group no one would suspect, you know, like, a priest? He spoke to that point rather incisively. I’m guessing these are not conversations priests casually have now and again. But, then again, this was a monologue. So, coming at that from a different angle, is he trying to frame me for some future event, or perhaps frame the guy who stole my identity, you know, if I took an interest in all this? It’s all too easy, isn’t it? But, whatever, I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. For myself, I didn’t show any interest, ask any questions, or take any notes, or set any appointments to see some demonstrations. Nor did he push any of that. Probably just venting. Yep. That‘s what he’s doing. PTSD and all that. Fine. A bit weird all the talk on suicide bombs though.

Attempting to move on to a conversation instead me just watching a monologue for the longest time – as the hands of the clock were now spinning around – I recounted to him more of the baiting to which I’ve been subjected a few weeks ago by the GTMO guys with the bit about murder as “suicide” as an “assignment”. He said it was all perfectly familiar to him, that that’s how it’s done, how assignments are given out. Bingo, thought I. I asked: How’s that? He said it was all so familiar – expressly exclaiming this many times – but also signaling his recognition of details of what I was saying with his body language, point after point, nodding his head, smiling for just a nanosecond at this or that, pointing with a finger at any important detail… because, he said, this is all exactly the kind of thing he himself did, in detail, when he was stationed in France, baiting people, manipulating people, having people carry things out without their even knowing they were doing it at his bidding, expert, he thought anyway, at counterintelligence in a field-counterterrorism way. Why do things yourself if you can get your enemy to do them against himself for you? It’s all a rather murky world.

It gets so screwed up that in the end you don’t know who’s who and what’s what, whether the deep state is the real government or whether there are string pullers who make nations and governments a fiction and anything said to be deep into self-delusionary self-protectionist dramas lacking importance and influence on the world stage whatever individual players think of themselves. “The Guy” supported the view of just a few string pullers, while actual nations, including our own USA, are entirely irrelevant, unimportant, almost fictional. He himself, for instance, laughing at the upper echelon of The Company, in particular at Pompeo, then Director now Secretary, and Haspel, then someone providing enhanced interrogation now Director. Um…

Catching him off guard, I mentioned a possible connection down in the far western Florida panhandle. “So what?” he challenged, glaring me down.

Catching him off guard, I mentioned KSM singing after enhanced interrogation. This put him into controlled anger mode. He did well, but he was upset. To be clear, he was angry at the fact of enhanced interrogation being used, and his doubts that anything whatsoever actionable had been obtained in such fashion and where exactly did I get my information that KSM actually gave up anything actionable.

Mind you, it wasn’t all like this. We spoke of the faith. He also went on an on with social justice issues that he immersed himself into coming off of his ops. But in speaking of the faith there were a couple of topics which he himself brought up, as he always does, which put him into barely controlled anger mode, specifically anger against the Successor of Saint Peter, speaking not just of Pope Francis, but all of the Popes these past decades, none of them caving in on two topics, not caving in because of the truth of the matter (that being irrelevant), but because, he said, with white hot, momentarily shaking anger, because of power. They won’t give up on their power, he insisted again and again, with a crazy look in his eyes when he said ‘power’. The two topics making him so angry?

  • He supports divorce and remarriage (he’s happily married) because, after all, what difference does it make? This goes along with marriage for any reason, like LGBTQ “marriage”. I recall the Eritrean operative (Front of House for Pope Francis) who was murdered with the child in her womb as a shot over the bow when there was a referendum on “Gay Marriage” in Italy and there was huge pressure that the Catholic Church would make no intervention.
  • But the topic that made him really angry was that the Catholic Church teaches that women’s ordination is impossible regardless of any rite that anyone pretends to accomplish. It was like the Popes are interested not in truth, but just in ‘power’ because they follow the example of Christ.

Surreal, you say? No. Not at all. Actions against the Catholic Church are all about getting the Successor of Peter to cave in on but one matter of faith or morals, because after that, the Catholic Church is simply no more, because then Christ is a liar, the Church is as wishy-washy as anyone else, merely politically correct, a nothing, to be dismissed, which allows us, then, to congratulate ourselves, cursing God and feeling the power. Oooo! Power! He’s repeated very many times that these USA maintains a two-hour window in which we can assassinate any world leader. Some very few, one or two, might take just a bit longer, but it will happen very quickly. Think about that for a moment. The changing logistics needs massive teams just to be readied to do this in any given two-hour window.

Here’s the deal: Pope Francis wants his Missionaries of Mercy to go into and even beyond the peripheries, right out into the darkest of existential suffering, not necessarily to be successful, mind you, but to be a presence of mercy – at least the offering of it – for those who want it. In this case, it is to witness to the light of Christ regardless of the rage of the world.

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

CIA MEMORIAL LANGLEY

Today’s 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.

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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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A day in the death at the Holy See. Chilling chat with a string puller.

It’s well over a year now that 34 year old Miriam Woldu of Eritrea, “Front of House” receptionist at the Pope’s residence of Santa Marta, was assassinated with her baby in her womb. Intense culpable homicide investigations began after the autopsy and examination of her medical supplies. After. The deaths were a shot over the bow. All never to be heard from again.

Hey! “The Vote” in Italy went as planned with highly publicized negligence on the part of the Holy See and Italian hierarchy to provide any direction. There were plenty of sycophantic exclamations like: “We never said anything and so we are nice and so be nice to us, please!” We pray for her soul and the souls of all the faithful departed.

I have to wonder if she’s the (at the time) young lady our intelligence community bragged to me about finding (to see if I knew her?), someone who could remember every face years later even though only glimpsed once, able to give accurate descriptions about associated times and places. You don’t get “Front of House” for the leader of 1.3 billion people without being a most extraordinary individual. And yet some of the media conjectured she was just a stupid girl from a third world country and couldn’t possibly know how to manage her medical supplies. One of our readers, whose comment I did not publish, but who has a (malicious?) penchant for mocking anything but extreme naivete cleverly agreed with that bit of racism if I recall correctly. Anyway…

This comes to mind again after a chat I had the other day with someone all too interested in everything to do with replacing the one I think facilitated, set up the assassination. The facilitator, who I knew very well, was there for years, under orders, and had personal motives, ample opportunity and all logistics clicking into place, and exactly the right time with the message all too clear. I mean, I knew who trained him, who assigned him, and all his daily activities. He’s now “dead” and entirely removed from Italy. The fellow I had a chat with the other day has the string-pulling ability to replace the now removed facilitator guy with another like minded fellow, regardless of who took his place some few years ago. It was a bit of a chilling conversation. The perception is that it’s just all too easy as so many of the people in place in the Holy See are so entirely able to be manipulated.

Some higher-ups in our DoD well understand that I am rightly concerned for the safety of the Holy Father even while they correctly acknowledge my patriotism regarding these USA and my support of the CIA and State Department generally speaking. Many of them, who have spent lifetimes in the Military at the Pentagon and loaned out to the CIA (high ranking guys) warn me about my interfering to the point of my outing an agent, speaking of the usual penalty for doing so, and yet at the same time again praise my loyalty to the Holy Father and my patriotism of these USA as being understandable.

So, O.K. I’ll run some interference already this morning.

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