Sunday, March 29, 2015


The reason why I almost never wear my wedding ring - certainly not when I'm working . . . S.L.

I just spent last week in Houston doing BOISET (Basic Offshore Safety Induction and Emergency Training) to include HUET (Helicopter Underwater Escape Training). During the first iteration in the simulator my left shoulder strap did not release - trapped upside down, underwater, in a helo mock-up - I had to keep my head straight while I worked my way thru the problem . . .

. . . I popped the window out and rotated my body to slither out of the strap. After I surfaced and reported for equipment inspection prior to the next go round, the instructor checking me out noticed I'd skinned my finger - a pretty good gouge on my left ring finger, significantly enough.

My Dad started out as a machinist apprentice in the shipyards of Williamston, Victoria during World War II. He told me he never wore rings, because of his work around machinery. As a paratrooper, I have seen two instances where fellow troopers lost their ring fingers - once from getting a wedding ring hooked on something near the door of the aircraft on exit, and once from jumping out the back of a 5-ton truck. The injuries look exactly like THIS:

(NOT me)

Bottom Line:

If I'd been wearing my wedding ring the damage would have been a LOT worse, and if it had been an actual helicopter crash I'd have either lost my finger, or I'd have died.


Sunday, March 22, 2015


Just my luck this thing pops up the minute I'm on contract . . . oh well you guys go play at being Vikings I'll be overseas doing the real thing . . . S.L.

The contract came up quite quickly - the only sure thing I've seen in six months - and I had to move on it. I've been busy jumping out of my fourth point-of-contact last week; I ship out on Tuesday. It'll be good work for good pay and because I'm on ships there should be good comm's for keeping the blog; the only question is a question of time. We'll see. Hopefully there'll be some time for writing; one would think being between contracts would give a man all kinds of time to write but looking for the next thing is a full time job in and of itself. Job hunting is also a team sport and I'd like to take the opportunity to thank my team, notably the Deacon of Doom, Stark the Snark, Ann-of-a-Thousand-Days and Sheila the Sheila for all your help and assistance in what's been too long a dry spell.


Looking at my banana this morning I wondered why bananas are so popular with those French Impressionist guys in their still lifes?

Bananas are bright and yellow, of course, and have a nice curvy shape . . . but could it be something more? Impressionism emerged around the same time Sigmund Freud came out with all his goofy theories . . . is there a connection ? ? ? . . . or am I thinking too much into this?

When I came to this great country of ours I literally came off the Banana Boat, 21 years old with my suitcase in my hand . . .

. . . now I'm going back to the Land of Bananas and yes, I will be on a boat . . .

Man, that's a lot of bananas . . .

I'll keep you informed . . .


Tuesday, March 17, 2015


Busy schedule today - its incredible how busy you can be when you have nothing to do - more to report later . . . S.L.

God Bless Ireland . . . and God Bless the Rest of the World!


Sunday, March 15, 2015


6 myths about the Ides of March and killing Caesar:

This is what most of us know about the death of Julius Caesar, half-remembered from movies and plays:
  • Some soothsayer said, "Beware the Ides of March."
  • A few idealistic Romans decided to win back Rome for the people.
  • Caesar got stabbed by Brutus with a big sword, said "Et tu, Brute?" and died nobly.
All of that is wrong. Incredibly, we know an awful LOT about the conspiracy and what happened on this day, two thousand and fifty nine years ago.

Learn the real story HERE


Friday, March 13, 2015


Today we honor Lefty, a very special Jack Russell Terrior from Derbyshire, UK . . .

It is not known how old was Lefty, she was a rescue dog who had been abused by cruel boys . . . nearest guess is fifteen or sixteen. Lefty lived a good life with her People. Here is Lefty on her Human family's boat, cruising the Solent . . .

Rainbow Bridge

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together . . .

Thursday, March 12, 2015


Interesting phone call this morning by the IRS saying they had a warrant for me unless I paid 2000 dollars, total scam of course. Did a little research, next time I'll give give this technique a try . . . S.L.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015


Readers' Digest Version:

Hillary Clinton is full of crap, and I'm being polite. Consider: she set up a personal server and created her own e-mail address, using it for private AND official State Department use. From a SIGINT perspective, the Secretary of State is a High Value Target - not for destruction but for electronic surveillance and collection. The collection is conducted not only by hostile governments, but by friendly ones as well - our allies spy on us, and vice versa. Long before she took the job - probably when she was occupying the White House with Bill Clinton - collection against her began. She must think that her server is more secure than that of the DOS. Government agencies' electronic communications are always being targeted for "hacking" but more often, they are monitored for message traffic. Information is gathered via electronic monitoring. Hacking is more akin to an act of sabotage. Some technician who serviced the server in her home was probably bribed, blackmailed or otherwise coerced by an interested foreign intelligence service for the purpose of gaining access to the Clintons' in-home server.

U.S. "dot gov" e-mail services are monitored by U.S. government employees whose job is to watch for classified "leaks" (AKA "spillage"). Was Hillary concerned that the Communications Security (COMSEC) monitors might find out something about her attitudes, behaviors, and opinions that might get out to the public? By law, COMSEC monitors are prohibited from tapping into private e-mails. (We'll ask Edward Snowden about that oversight & compliance someday.)

Here's a piece of trivia: Ninety-eight percent of SIGINT during the Second World War was not from breaking codes, but by "traffic analysis." That is, simply watching who is talking to who and how often. In the modern context, If the Secretary of State is going to China, there will be an increase in message traffic going to the Embassy in Beijing. If there are to be other stops along the way, there will be an uptick in traffic to those embassies as well. When the attack on our facilities in Benghazi took place, you can bet there was message traffic flying in all directions. Hillary was likely at the center of that "spider web."

When the hit on Osama Bin Laden was going down, the message traffic surely jumped, and there was HRC, sending and receiving messages on her non-secure personal server. There were likely foreign electronic monitors reading her traffic and thus, putting our military personnel in additional danger.

Let's talk about "spillage." Here's the definition: "Data spillage occurs when information in any form is moved from a protected system and introduced into a system that does not afford it the same or better level of protection as the system from which it was moved. In the case of classified information: when data that is classified at one level is placed into a system or network that is protected at a lower or unclassified level. The same is true for privileged medical, financial, or personally identifiable information that is moved from a privileged directory and placed in an 'all users' directory."

If you take classified message traffic and put it on a THUMBDRIVE - never mind your own personal server - that is a COMSEC violation right there. If I or any of my buddies holding a clearance did a thing like this we would be in Leavenworth breaking big rocks into little rocks. But not the Hildebeest; she is going to walk without even being charged. Democrat or Republican, the law is the law or at least it should be. Now let me tell you something: I have had my rights read to me over an OVERLAY that wasn't even classified - it was Law Enforcement SENSITIVE - that my stupid Intell Sergeant threw in the dumpster and CI (CounterIntelligence) found it. Holy Shit that was an unpleasant experience

If anyone thinks that Hillary Rodham Clinton sent 50,000 e-mails in four years and there wasn't an increased risk of "spillage" they are smoking dogfood (I won't say if they are inhaling or not). No doubt she spilled a lot. She was handing information to our enemies, and the NSA COMSEC guys were likely going berserk. Others have been fired for less. Hillary's above the law - Richard Nixon would be smiling (some of you will catch that reference right away. Others will have to look it up).

Will this effect the Hildebeest's bid for the Presidency? In my opinion - NO. She has her base, and they have no idea or simply do not care what has transpired. They are going to vote for her. She could inject their families with smallpox and they would still show up singing her praises on Election Day.

For my ASA and 18E buddies: QRU BTAR

General David Petraeus was prosecuted for sins much less than what The Poster Child for Coyote Ugly did, I can hardly wait to see the indictments . . .


Tuesday, March 10, 2015


. . . embedded with Special Forces Operational Detachment Teams in Diyala Province, Iraq, as they called in airstrikes with A-10s and F-16s in 2007 and 2008, and advised as many as 1,400-Iraqis on missions.


On my right hand there were lines of fishing stakes resembling a mysterious system of half-submerged bamboo fences, incomprehensible in its division of the domain of tropical fishes, and crazy of aspect as if abandoned forever by some nomad tribe of fishermen now gone to the other end of the ocean; for there was no sign of human habitation as far as the eye could reach. To the left a group of barren islets, suggesting ruins of stone walls, towers, and blockhouses, had its foundations set in a blue sea that itself looked solid, so still and stable did it lie below my feet; even the track of light from the westering sun shone smoothly, without that animated glitter which tells of an imperceptible ripple. And when I turned my head to take a parting glance at the tug which had just left us anchored outside the bar, I saw the straight line of the flat shore joined to the stable sea, edge to edge, with a perfect and unmarked closeness, in one leveled floor half brown, half blue under the enormous dome of the sky. Corresponding in their insignificance to the islets of the sea, two small clumps of trees, one on each side of the only fault in the impeccable joint, marked the mouth of the river Meinam we had just left on the first preparatory stage of our homeward journey; and, far back on the inland level, a larger and loftier mass, the grove surrounding the great Paknam pagoda, was the only thing on which the eye could rest from the vain task of exploring the monotonous sweep of the horizon. Here and there gleams as of a few scattered pieces of silver marked the windings of the great river; and on the nearest of them, just within the bar, the tug steaming right into the land became lost to my sight, hull and funnel and masts, as though the impassive earth had swallowed her up without an effort, without a tremor. My eye followed the light cloud of her smoke, now here, now there, above the plain, according to the devious curves of the stream, but always fainter and farther away, till I lost it at last behind the miter-shaped hill of the great pagoda. And then I was left alone with my ship, anchored at the head of the Gulf of Siam.
- The Secret Sharer - by Joseph Conrad, 1909


Yea, though I fly through shadow of the valley of death, I shall fear no evil . . .

. . . for I am at 80,000 feet and climbing at Mach 3.2 . . .


Monday, March 9, 2015


This came across the Ultra Top Secret Unauthorized Special Forces Illegal Back Channel Team Frequency just moments ago . . . S.L.

They've been having a tough go at it. There are also IS forces to the east, west and north. Suleimani is actually on the ground in the area directing this operation. Will be interesting to see the outcome.


Thursday, March 5, 2015


From open source references regarding Qassim Suleimani over the past 4 years plus . . . a person to pay attention to . . . look for his name being mentioned more and more on the media . . . S.L.

What sparked interest in him (from a DoS source) was a hunch during the so-called "Arab Spring", many sightings of him in airports coming in or out of Baghdad and Beriut from throughout the region several times a month. I've heard his name at least 5 times from different sources this morning alone. Kind of creepy when bad things you ponder end up becoming reality.

I stumbled on a DoS cable mentioning this guy when he was a Brigadier General in charge of Iran's Qud's force Intelligence unit (Iran's equivalent of the DIA). His bio reads like their version of General Patreaus. Qassim is a highly Decorated officer from the Iran/Iraq War in the eighties and many other battles since then, hometown hero, relatives and tribal influence on both sides of the Iran/Iraq border. He has Kurdish blood/history in him but not sure how much is admitted. Qassim had close ties with Afghan Northern Alliance at turn of the century as his hometown of Kerman is stones throw from Afghanistan. Intellectual, intelligent, good looking, command presence and lauded in both Iran and Iraq for his continuing successful career and influence throughout the region. Who knows, he might be getting groomed for President (Ayatollah side-kick) one day.

The most dangerous course of action we could take would be crawling in the sack with this man and his Quds force "fleas". Too late I guess as we've already had cross communication and planning with him and his staff over the past several months at least. He is the Ground Force Commander for the Tikrit and Mosul campaign with the US providing other ground assets and CAS.

BOTTOM LINE UP FRONT: Qassim will be good for Iran and its allies, bad for us and the western world. Just wonder how many long distance teleconference calls between White House, DoS, and the good General discussing Campaign COA's plans for Tikrit, Mosul, Kirkuk? I would love to have been a fly on the wall or flat-screen TV in that meeting room.

Nickname:The Shadow Commander
Born: 11 March 1955 (age 59) Rabor, Iran
Allegiance: Islamic Republic of Iran
Service/branch: Revolutionary Guard
Years of service:1980—present
Rank: Major General
Unit: Quds Force
Commands held: 41st Sarallah Division of Kerman
Quds Force
Awards: Fath Medal of Honor

Iran–Iraq War
Kurdish Rebellion (1979)
Operation Tariq al-Qods
Operation Beit ol-Moqaddas
Operation Ramadan
Operation Kheibar
Operation Before the Dawn
Operation Dawn (1983)
Operation Dawn 5
Operation Dawn 6
Battle of the Marshes
Operation Badr (1985)
Operation Dawn 8First Battle of al-Faw
Battle of Mehran
Operation Karbala-5
Operation Karbala-6
Operation Karbala 10
Operation Mersad
KDPI insurgency (1989–96)
South Lebanon conflict
Invasion of Afghanistan[1]
Iraq War
Karbal raid
Sa'dah War
Iran–Israel proxy conflict
2006 Lebanon War
Israel-Gaza conflict
Syrian Civil War
Al-Qusayr offensive
Southern Syria
War on ISIS
Iraqi theatre
Siege of Amirli
Operation Ashura
Battle of Baiji
Second Tikrit
Syrian theatre


Monday, March 2, 2015


Spring roared in with an ice storm and now the Big Thaw is happening . . . so it is in the Security Business . . . S.L.

HERE's THE DEAL FOLKS: Friends & family have been urging me to write, but I've always been too busy working for a living. This blog was an attempt in that direction but over the years I keep getting lured away, or pulled into political content. That's not what this blog is supposed to be about.

STORMBRINGER is changing and with it I am emerging from the shadows . . . an earlier creative piece was well received . . . now there's MORE

I'm currently in a long lull between contracts - there is finally time for me to write. The story I'm writing now is drawn from actual events that occurred when I lived in Bangkok, recounted forty years later after a chance encounter with somebody I knew back then, but didn't really know at all. I've been living & writing this story for a long, long time.

Black Thai Days

A seasoned veteran of the war in Vietnam, now working for the Agency in Thailand, is tasked with an unusual mission. An Embassy officer's daughter has been kidnapped - white slavers are suspected - and John Sloane is to track her down. The trail is absolutely cold, and time is definitely not on his side.

A game of cat-and-mouse ensues from the dark, dirty shantytown slums of Bangkok to the rice paddies and forested hill country and back into the concrete maze that is Bangkok.

The girl is ultimately returned to her family - unharmed, incredibly - but it is not until a chance meeting forty years later that Sloane learns what really happened all those years . . . the horrible, shocking truth emerges about who was behind her abduction, and why . . .

Now is the time to connect the stories (already written) that cover this adventure into a book-length project. From this point on, STORMBRINGER is dedicated to the storyline; stand by for excerpts.

In my work as a consultant I go from contract to contract. A few opportunities are emerging but nothing moves fast in the corporate world. Even if somebody said they'd pick me up right away, it really wouldn't start until the last week of March at the earliest. In the meantime the bills still need paying. I have never tried to monetize STORMBRINGER but now I am via this Kickstarter project: BLACK THAI DAYS Adding a monetary incentive will drive this project to completion. I intend to complete a rough draft by 15 March and arrange publishing details, final draft will be a follow-on kickstarter taking it out to the end of the month.

There is another project in the works that should interest followers of STORMBRINGER and I'll keep you informed as that develops. Your donations will drive this thing to completion, and I thank you.


© Sean Linnane, Kit Noir and STORMBRINGER, 2009-2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sean Linnane, Kit Noir and STORMBRINGER with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.