Former 2nd Infantry Division Commander General Honore Critical of Federal Response to Hurricane Harvey

The former commander of 2ID who became famous for leading the military response to Hurricane Katrina is now making the rounds in the media with his critical comments about the federal response to Hurricane Harvey:

Former Joint Task Force Katrina Commander Russel Honore said Wednesday the military’s rescue efforts in states affected by Hurricane Harvey resembles “amateur hour” because the federal government lacks a strategy for how to respond to large-scale natural disasters.

“The American people have put too much confidence in us,” Honore told CNN host Erin Burnett. “We have been too successful overseas to come out in amateur hour and incrementally deploy the force.”

The retired Army lieutenant general said the federal government should have “come in big” and arrived at the “edge of the storm” so that rescue efforts could begin immediately after it passes.

“We don’t have 100 helicopters here as of last night,” said Honore, who handled the response in New Orleans to Hurricane Katrina 12 years ago.

Despite an extensive study by the Army Corps of Engineers on how to handle these types of disasters, Honore said the government has left it to the states to create and carry out their own responses.

“The problem is we have 50 different solutions,” Honore added. “The federal government took their hand off it and went off to fight terrorism — and each time we have a Sandy or Harvey, the solution is different … It’s cooked up locally by the state.” [Washington Examiner]

You can read more at the link.

Overbooked United Airlines Passenger Beaten and Forcibly Removed from Plane

All the Internet has been talking about is the man that was physically pulled off of a United Airlines flight in Chicago.  It has been revealed the man’ name is David Dao and he is an internal medicine doctor in Kentucky:

The passenger who was dragged from an United Airlines flight is 69-year-old grandfather Dr David Dao.

Footage of the Vietnamese-American being hauled off the overbooked flight at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport on Sunday caused outrage on Monday.

Dr Dao was heard in videos captured of his shocking eviction saying he needed to get home to Louisville so he could see patients.

DailyMail.com can reveal Dr Dao is a father of five and a grandfather, who specializes in internal medicine. Four of his five children are doctors.  [Daily Mail]

You can read more at the link, but if you haven’t seen the video yet here it is:

It seems a lot of people are directing their anger towards United Airlines for overbooking the flight without understanding that overbooking is standard policy in the airline industry.  It has only happened to me once many years ago when flying American Airlines.  It happened in the terminal and not on the plane which I can understand would make Mr. Dao more upset.  However, I have seen overbooked flights have people removed while sitting in the plane as well and never have I seen anyone resist getting off the plane.

As upset as I am sure Mr. Dao was, he should not have become non-compliant with the United staff.  Regardless Mr. Dao should have never been beaten by the Aviation Security Officers either.  The guy that slammed Mr. Dao face into the arm rest to get him removed from the plane should find another line of work.  However, before resorting to police to remove a non-compliant passenger the airline should have increased the compensation to get someone to volunteer.  I would be surprised if the airline offered $2,000 and a hotel stay that someone would not have volunteered to get off of the flight.  It seems that would be better business than the PR nightmare United is facing today.

This is why I fly Korean Air or Asiana Airlines when flying to and from Korea.  I cannot imagine Korean Air or Asiana resorting to force to remove an overbooked passenger.  However, with a domestic US airline something like this does not surprise me at all.

Philippines President Opposes Joint Patrols With the US In the South China Sea

It sounds like Duterte may be trying to bring his country more closely into the orbits of Russia and China in a bid to keep control over their contested South China Sea islands:

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said Tuesday he won’t allow government forces to conduct joint patrols of disputed waters near the South China Sea with foreign powers, apparently scrapping a deal his predecessor reached with the U.S. military earlier this year.

Duterte also said he was considering acquiring defense equipment from Russia and China. The Philippines has traditionally leaned on the U.S., its longtime treaty ally, and other Western allies for its security needs.

The remarks were the latest from a Philippine president who has had an uneasy relationship with the U.S. but also has tried to mend relations with China strained over South China Sea disputes.

Duterte said he wanted only Philippine territorial waters, up to 12 nautical miles offshore, to be patrolled by Filipino forces, but not other offshore areas that are contested. He added he opposes Filipino forces accompanying foreign powers like the U.S. and China in joint patrols which could entangle the Philippines in hostilities.  [Associated Press]

You can read much more at the link.

Supporters Push for Pardon of Edward Snowden as He Racks In Money from Speaking Fees

Below is an excerpt from a much longer article that details what fugitive former NSA contractor Edward Snowden has been up to while in exile in Russia:

More than three years after fleeing the United States with a massive cache of top-secret documents, former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden remains a federal fugitive, living in Moscow courtesy of President Vladimir Putin of Russia.

But Snowden — who is the subject of a new Oliver Stone biopic that hits movie theaters next month — is making the most of his exile: Over the past year, he has collected over $200,000 in fees for digital speaking appearances that have been arranged by one of the country’s elite speakers bureaus, according to a source close to Snowden who is intimately familiar with his business affairs. At least three of these paid speeches were hosted by public American universities, and documents obtained by Yahoo News highlight various concerns raised by college officials about paying Snowden.

The former intelligence analyst uses video chat technology to address audiences around the globe: In the last five months, a larger-than-life Snowden has appeared on giant screens to a sold-out audience at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, northern Europe’s largest music festival, a symposium on surveillance and civil rights in Tokyo, and Comic-Con in San Diego. In all of these cases, as with most of his appearances, sympathetic crowds greeted him with thunderous applause and praise for his decision to leak classified documents to journalists about U.S. surveillance programs.

“Arguing you don’t care about privacy because you’ve got nothing to hide is no different than saying that you don’t care about free speech because you have nothing to say,” Snowden, using one of his classic lines, last month told the Roskilde Festivalin Denmark. After the crowd — reportedly Snowden’s largest ever — sang “Happy Birthday,” the 33-year-old said: “Everyone, thank you. Really. You guys staying with me… is overwhelming. But this is not about me. This is about us.”  (………)

At this point, more than three years and many revelations later, Snowden’s backers are aiming at a full pardon. According to Wizner, they are creating a new nonprofit organization that will promote the cause starting this fall, after the Stone movie is released on Sept. 16. Among the advisers to the campaign, he said, is veteran liberal public relations executive David Fenton.  [Yahoo News]

You can read more at the link, but you would think the federal government would ban US institutions from paying a wanted fugitive large speaking fees?  As far as the pardon I just can’t see President Obama allowing something like that to define his legacy once he leaves office.

French Embassy In Seoul Lowers Flags In Remembrance of Terror Attack Victims

Yesterday’s terrorist attack in France is an example of the type of attack these ISIS terrorists could attempt in South Korea with the massive crowds that gather for events in places like Seoul.

French embassy hoists flag at half-staff

The French Embassy in Seoul raises the national flag at half-staff on July 15, 2016, to pay tribute to victims of a deadly terrorist attack which killed at least 80 people and wounded dozens of others in the southern French city of Nice the previous day. (Yonhap)

Dallas Shooter Was Kicked Out of Army and Had Possible Mental Issues

Here is yet another example of a mass shooter with possible mental issues:

For six years starting in 2009, Johnson served in the Army Reserve as a private first class with a specialty in carpentry and masonry, the military said.

In May 2014, six months into his Afghanistan tour, he was accused of sexual harassment by a female soldier. The Army sent him stateside, recommending an “other than honorable discharge,” said Bradford Glendening, the military lawyer who represented him.

That recommendation was “highly unusual,” Bradford said, since counseling is usually ordered before more drastic steps are taken.

“In his case, it was apparently so egregious, it was not just the act itself,” Glendening told The Associated Press. “I’m sure that this guy was the black sheep of his unit.”

According to a court filing Glendening read over the phone Friday, the victim said she wanted Johnson to “receive mental help,” while also seeking a protective order to keep him away from her and her family, wherever they went. Johnson was ordered to avoid all contact with her.

Glendening said Johnson was set to be removed from the Army in September 2014 because of the incident, but instead got an honorable discharge months later — for reasons he can’t understand.

“Someone really screwed up,” he said. “But to my client’s benefit.”  [Associated Press]

You can read more at the link, but just like the Orlando shooting it appears a guy with mental issues influenced by radical hate spread through mainstream and social media decided to take action at the urging of others.

US Marine To Use Clinton Case To Fight Against Involuntary Separation for Improperly Distributing Classified Information

This story has been sweeping the Internet because it appears to show the extreme double standard between Hillary Clinton and everyone else that is not politically connected:

Maj. Jason Brezler, seen here during a deployment to Afghanistan spanning 2009 and 2010, is locked in a legal battle with the Marine Corps. (Courtesy of Kevin Carroll)

A Marine Corps officer who has been locked in a legal battle with his service after self-reporting that he improperly disseminated classified information will use Hillary Clinton’s email case to fight his involuntary separation from the service, his lawyer said.

Maj. Jason Brezler’s case has been tied up in federal court since he sued the service in December 2014. He became a cause celebre among some members of Congress, Marine generals and military veterans after he sent a classified message using an unclassified Yahoo email account to warn fellow Marines in southern Afghanistan about a potentially corrupt Afghan police chief. A servant of that police official killed three Marines and severely wounded a fourth 17 days later, on Aug. 10, 2012, opening fire with a Kalashnikov rifle in an insider attack.  [Washington Post]

You can read more at the link, but it is important to realize that like Clinton, Maj. Brezler was not criminally charged.  Instead he received a career ending report that led to involuntary separation proceedings by the Marine Corps.  So the circumstances are different and not the best comparison in my opinion.  I still think the David Petraeus situation is a better comparison considering he was criminally charged and punished for doing something in my opinion was a far less of a transgression than what Clinton did.

What that all said I don’t blame this Marine or anyone else in trouble fill spillage for citing the Clinton case as a way to avoid punishment.

“Brexit” Causes Korean Stock Market To Fall

It is amazing how interconnect the world has become when Britain leaving the European Union is having financial ripple effects across the entire world to include in South Korea:

Korea’s stocks and currency plunged as investors panicked over the possible fallout of Britain’s surprise vote to exit from the EU, dealers said.

Analysts said growing uncertainties on global financial markets, triggered by the Brexit, will overshadow the sluggish Korean economy. They ruled out any immediate huge direct impact on the real economy, but said it will weaken overall investment and consumer sentiment.

The benchmark KOSPI closed down 3.09 percent at 1,925.24 points. The tech-loaded KOSDAQ market plunged 4.76 percent to 647.16.

The won tumbled, closing at 1,179.9 won against the dollar, losing 29.7 won from the previous day.

Analysts said the Seoul stock market will remain weak for the time being on growing uncertainties in global financial markets. [Korea Times]

You can read more at the link.