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June 2017

Navy MQ-4C Triton – High Altitude Maritime Autonomous Drone — Will Deliver Later This Year :Scout Warrior

The Navy is Preparing the MQ-4C Triton Maritime Drone for Service in the Pacific Theater; the drone is now being configured with collision avoidance technology and advanced maritime sensors enabling it to zero in on enemy ships at sea.

The Navy and Northrop Grumman are updating software and sensors on a new high-tech, autonomous maritime drone designed to identify and zero in on enemy ship targets at sea, service and industry officials said.

The Navy’s Triton autonomous drone, called the MQ-4C, is now receiving a “3.1 software” integration as part of a technical plan for the aircraft to be operational by 2018. The first Tritons are slated to deliver sometime later this year, developers said.
“3.1 software gets you to the point where you can use the sensors in an operational environment,” Tom Twomey, senior manager business development, Triton, Northrop Grumman, told Scout Warrior in an interview.

The sensor package being designed for the aircraft includes what the Navy calls a multi-function array sensor, or MFAS.

The Triton’s electronics include an electro-optical/infrared sensor, a 360-degree active electronically scanned array radar and inverse synthetic aperture radar (ISAR), among other things, Navy developers have said. The sensors create a common operational maritime picture including images, data and full-motion video. An electronic support measure is also able to detect maritime signals.

Synthetic Aperture Radar, or SAR, sends an electromagnetic signal forward and then analyzes the return signal to paint a picture or “rendering” of the terrain below. SAR is primarily used for land missions, whereas ISAR is especially engineered to zero in on targets in a maritime environment.

“Inverse synthetic aperture radar is a mode that allows you to stop on one particular target and get an ID on that. It gives you a picture of a ship showing the superstructure in order to see if, for example, it is a tanker or warship. It can pick steel out of the water,” Twomey said.

Feinstein Calls for Probe of Loretta Lynch Handling of Email Investigation By Rick Moran


The ranking minority member of the Senate Judiciary Committee has called for an investigation into former Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s actions in connection with the federal investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails.

Senator Diane Feinstein was reacting to comments made by former FBI Director James Comey during testimony on Capitol Hill that Lynch asked him to downplay the Clinton investigation.

More Video of CNN’s Staged Muslim ‘Anti-Terror Protest’ By Rick Moran

This would be amusing if the subject matter weren’t so serious.

CNN was caught on video last week literally staging an anti-terror protest by a group of Muslim women.

The crew tightly packs the approximately two dozen protesters together with signs facing the camera, while Anderson monologues about the “beautiful” anti-terror protest.

CNN International responded to the claims that they staged the protest, writing, “This is nonsense. Police let demonstrators through the cordon to show their signs. CNN along with other media simply filmed them doing so.”

Oh, really? Here’s a YouTube video showing what was going on prior to the Twitter video:

Youtube video taken by Claire Jordan shows her milling around the scene and “protest” prior to CNN lining up the protesters for their on-air shot.

There is a group of people in the area, both Muslim and non-Muslim, and some of them can be seen handing out bouquets of flowers and posters.

Jordan, narrating the video, observes, “you see more press than anyone else.

Jordan then crosses the street and shows the Muslim women who were featured on the CNN broadcast. They are located on the opposite side of the street and “they’re taking selfies, none of them have got flowers.”

“I was there just before,” she explains, “and you see, again, this is the group of women and the little boy–they’re just getting their posters now.”

The Muslim women then gather their posters and cross the street to set up for the CNN shot that was used in the broadcast.

“Nonsense,” eh? They “simply filmed” this “authentic” display of anti-terrorism sentiment by a small group of Muslim women? (We had bigger protests against “meatless Fridays” at my high school back in the day.)

Question: Where did the flowers come from? Who made up the signs? Are we to believe that a group of random Muslim women spontaneously showed up and wanted to express their sentiments against terrorism?

I am not saying that these women are expressing a false belief. I have no doubt they — and millions of Muslims around the world — are opposed to terrorism.

But a prominent media outlet staging a protest to play to politically correct notions of what we “should” think about Muslim attitudes toward terrorists and terrorism — and then issuing a lying denial of their part in broadcasting fake news — is absolutely outrageous. Why not just come clean and state the obvious — that protests make good TV and choreographing a demonstration makes sense from a profit-and-loss perspective?

CNN could claim that the sentiment expressed at the demonstration was real and that they just helped get the message out a little bit. But no matter how authentic the feelings, the fact that CNN inserted themselves into the scene to heighten the dramatic effect is inexcusable.

Corruption and Collusion: Obama, Comey, and the Press By Andrew Klavan

It now seems clear that Barack Obama was a corrupt machine politician in the worst Chicago mold. He used the IRS to silence his enemies, and the Justice Department to protect his friends. His two major “achievements” — a health care law that doesn’t work and a deal that increased the power and prestige of the terrorist state of Iran — were built on lies to the public and manipulation of the press. And that’s according to his own allies! Only the leftist bias and racial pathology of the media kept his administration from being destroyed by scandal, as it surely would have been had he been a white Republican.

I don’t mention this to bring up old grudges, but for what it says about the current moment and the week just passed. Here’s some of what we recently learned:

Former FBI Director James Comey’s Senate testimony concerning former Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s corruption confirmed our worst suspicions about the Obama DOJ. In an apparent attempt to help Hillary Clinton’s campaign, Lynch told Comey to refer to the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s abuse of classified material as “a matter” rather than an investigation. And, as we already knew but Comey confirmed, Lynch’s secret tarmac meeting with Bill Clinton so underscored Comey’s sense of her crookedness that the self-serving drama queen Comey actually went around her to publicly declare Hillary guilty-but-not-guilty.

“It won’t get much attention, but that was pretty damning,” said CNN’s John King of Comey’s testimony about Lynch. You can translate “it won’t get much attention” into “we won’t give it much attention.”

But all that was nothing compared to the brutal, nearly 300-page report released last week by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, a report absolutely blasting the previous Obama AG, Eric Holder. The report details how Holder and the Obama administration labored to cover up the details of the Fast and Furious gun-running scandal — a scandal which, unlike the non-collusion-with-Russia non-scandal, was implicated in the murder of an American law officer. Even the mom of the slain officer couldn’t get the truth out of Holder and his cronies. The report says Holder considered the officer’s family a “nuisance” because they were trying to get him to tell them how exactly the lawman died at the hands of gangsters who were wielding guns Obama’s DOJ had allowed them to buy. CONTINUE AT SITE

The Hard Realities of Hard Time By being honest about facts and statistics, John Pfaff undermines his own book’s case against imprisonment. Barry Latzer

Locked In: The True Causes of Mass Incarceration and How to Achieve Real Reform, by John F. Pfaff (Basic Books, 272 pp., $27.99)

John F. Pfaff’s Locked In: The True Causes of Mass Incarceration and How to Achieve Real Reform is probably the best book on so-called mass incarceration to date. A professor of law at Fordham, Pfaff doesn’t cherry-pick data to support some a priori theory; staying empirically grounded, he grapples directly with the data—an approach that makes his argument for reducing imprisonment a very tough sell. If, as Pfaff’s own figures demonstrate, violent crime and other serious offenses are the primary reasons for incarceration, then why should we reduce imprisonment?

The author’s main point is that the usual explanations for the rise in imprisonment—the “standard story,” as he calls it—are not only wrong but also counterproductive to de-incarceration efforts. The standard story has three components: the war on drugs, long prison sentences, and the growth of private prisons. Each of the three, Pfaff demonstrates, is a secondary contributor at best.

Pfaff quickly dismisses the contribution of the “prison industrial complex” to mass incarceration, noting that privately managed prisons house only about 7 percent of U.S. inmates, and that their management policies are no worse than those of the public sector. The drug war is a more serious contributing factor to rising imprisonment rates: drug convictions put thousands behind bars, especially during the crack cocaine epidemic of the 1980s. Michelle Alexander, in her much-ballyhooed 2012 book The New Jim Crow, writes that the “impact of the drug war has been astounding. In less than thirty years, the U.S penal population exploded from around 300,000 to more than 2 million, with drug convictions accounting for the majority of the increase.” But as Pfaff demonstrates, at the peak of the great crackdown in 1990, inmates serving time in state prisons for drug crimes accounted for 22 percent of the state-prison population, whereas violent inmates made up 47 percent—more than twice as many. When prison populations increased dramatically, from 1980 to 1990, drugs accounted for only a third of the increase. Even in that lock-’em-up decade, crimes of violence put a greater number, 36 percent, behind bars.

In the decades before and after the more punitive 1980s, the case for emphasizing drug imprisonments is even weaker. A 1974 survey of state prisoners found that only 10 percent were in for drug offenses, while 52 percent were incarcerated for violent crimes. From 1990 to 2009, Pfaff found, drugs contributed only 14 percent to state confinement; violence, a whopping 60 percent.

Pfaff thinks that false claims about drug imprisonment actually hurt the case for disincarceration, because reducing drug imprisonment leaves the main culprit—violent crime—unaffected. If all drug-law violators were freed tomorrow (and most of those in prison are traffickers, not simple users, so this won’t happen), then the number of inmates in our state prisons would drop by only 16 percent, leaving 1.1 million people behind bars. And, as Pfaff notes, the structural basis for another period of increased imprisonment in response to the next crime wave remains intact.

When imprisonment rates rise, it must mean either that more people are being incarcerated or that they are being confined for longer periods—or some combination of the two. Pfaff denies that longer terms of imprisonment are to blame for mass incarceration. Indeed, he says that time served in the United States is “surprisingly short, and there’s no real evidence that it grew much as prison populations soared.” In 2010, armed robbers, to take a particularly scary sector of the criminal population, were released in a median 2.3 years. Moreover, actual prison time has decreased in the last few years (few prisoners serve their maximum sentences).

Cutting Abbas down to size :Ruthie Blum

On Thursday, Bloomberg quoted a Palestinian Authority official saying that PA President Mahmoud Abbas is willing to forgo his usual preconditions for negotiations with Israel — such as a freeze on all settlement construction — in order to give the administration in Washington “a chance to deliver.”

In addition, according to the report, Mohammad Mustafa, Abbas’ senior economic adviser and former deputy prime minister said that the Palestinian leader will “tone down his campaign to prosecute Israel for alleged war crimes and to rally condemnation of the Jewish state at the United Nations.”

This claim came mere days after Fatah Central Committee member Jibril Rajoub, head of the Palestinian Football Association and Olympic committee, declared in an interview on Israel’s Channel 2 that the Western Wall in Jerusalem “must be under Israeli sovereignty, but the Temple Mount is ours.”

Rajoub proceeded to praise U.S. President Donald Trump for his “clear intentions for an ultimate deal to end the suffering of both peoples.”

Neither Mustafa nor Rajoub was telling the truth, of course. Rajoub even issued a firm denial in Arabic the day after the interview. But the relatively mild rhetoric used by each was highly significant, as it was the direct result of a tongue-lashing that Trump gave Abbas less than three weeks ago in Bethlehem, for being deceitful about his role in incitement to violence.

Buoyed by the warmth with which he had been greeted at the White House on May 3, and familiar with the previous American administration’s continual appeasement, Abbas was stunned by the reprimand.

Although Trump should have been informed by his advisers that Abbas is and always has been a bald-faced liar — professing to seek statehood and peace, while funding and glorifying terrorists and infusing hatred for Israel and the Jews into the PA education system and media — he was apparently taken aback when shown very recent concrete examples.

Trump’s surprise at something so self-evident was disconcerting, particularly in light of his faith in his ability to facilitate a deal between Israel and the PA, and his backtracking on his promise to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. His response to being manipulated by the aging despot, however, was heartening.

In a global context, Trump’s dressing down of Abbas constituted a welcome shift in the attitude of the administration in Washington to its place among nations. One shudders to remember, for instance, that former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry allowed Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to browbeat him shamelessly and with impunity during the negotiations that led to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action — the nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers signed in July 2015.

Paul Monk :Soviet Moles in Australia Really long and really interesting

The moles who operated in ASIO are living in quiet retirement, but the agency’s official historians aren’t allowed to tell us their names. As long as ASIO insists on protecting its ‘reputation’ from the truth it will anger and disconcert those whose trust it most needs.

The January-February edition of Quadrant carried a substantial review of the third volume of the official history of ASIO: The Secret Cold War: The Official History of ASIO 1975–1989, by John Blaxland and Rhys Crawley. The reviewer, Harold Callaghan, was highly critical of the book and dismissed “official history” as an oxymoron. It would be unusual for the magazine to run two reviews of the same book and for that reason the following is offered not as a review of the third volume or of the history as a whole, but as a reflection on the critical issue of Soviet penetration of ASIO and the implications for our national security of this hostile penetration of our security intelligence body during the Cold War.

The official history should, in the nature of the case, have had the matter of Soviet penetration of the Australian intelligence services as one of its central preoccupations. It has failed the Australian public in that regard and it is important that this fact be registered as clearly as possible, now that all three volumes have been published and the official exercise finished. The final volume confesses that ASIO was in fact penetrated. It fails, however, to disclose anything of significance about the nature, extent or consequences of the penetration. This is disturbing. At the very least, the citizenry of this country deserve and should demand a clear account of the extent of the penetration and why it took so very long to discover it. As it is, the history remains lame and does a grave disservice to ASIO veterans by implying that treason does not matter and will go unpunished. Why, then, have an ASIO at all?

The three-volume official history had to cover and did cover an enormous amount of territory. Soviet penetration was only one of many things with which the small team of historians at the Australian National University were required to deal. The lead historian on the project, David Horner, before the project got under way, remarked that “there is much sucking of teeth at ASIO when you raise the question of penetration and we may not have a lot of room for addressing it”. This has been borne out in the published volumes—the whole problem of counter-intelligence and counter-espionage is poorly handled and the question of hostile penetration is not addressed adequately or honestly. The fault here lies with ASIO itself, which censored the official history and withheld the materials that matter most.

We need to be clear here. Hostile penetration of one’s security intelligence service vitiates both it and the other government functions it is intended to protect. Prevention of such penetration must, therefore, always be its highest priority. This subject is thus more intrinsically important than any other aspect of the official history. Complacency, indifference and secrecy about it make a mockery of our having a security intelligence service at all. Secrecy about what has happened does nothing to foil our enemies. It simply misleads the tax-paying public. This should be inadmissible, but it is what has happened. After Julian Assange and Edward Snowden, discussion of intelligence and security needs to be based on a clear premise: if these things are necessary at all, then hostile penetration of the agencies charged with such work must be prevented. This requires a highly professional counter-intelligence function. We now know that, throughout the Cold War, ASIO failed abysmally in this regard. We should not allow it to fail so badly again in the twenty-first century.

ASIO was formed, to begin with, because it was discovered in the 1940s that Canberra had been deeply penetrated by Soviet moles and spies. Those moles were not working at the margins of Australian society or confined to elements of the trade union movement. They were operating in the offices of the Minister for External Affairs (H.V. Evatt), the Secretary for External Affairs (John Burton) and on the staff of Paul Hasluck (in External Affairs and at the United Nations). The late Desmond Ball, doyen of Australian scholars on intelligence matters, went so far as to declare in his last years that he believed both Evatt and Burton had been knowing collaborators in this espionage in the 1940s. Both were resistant to the establishment of ASIO and to any vetting of External Affairs staff. Evatt notoriously remarked in the House of Representatives, in the mid-1950s, that there were no Soviet spies in Australia. He had asked the Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov and been reassured of this, he told his astounded fellow parliamentarians.

Hezbollah in the Bronx The feds say the Iran-backed militia recruited agents in the U.S.

Federal prosecutors have charged two U.S. citizens with providing material support to Hezbollah and helping the Iranian-backed Lebanese terror group prepare potential attacks in America and Panama. The charges, announced last Thursday after the men were arrested June 1, show that Iran’s terror proxies roam far beyond the Middle East.

The FBI and New York Police Department carried out the investigation, which resulted in a raft of terror-related charges for naturalized citizens Ali Kourani of the Bronx and Samer el Debek of Dearborn, Mich. Prosecutors say Hezbollah recruited the men as “operatives,” provided them with “military-style training,” then gave them a variety of ominous tasks.

Prosecutors in the Southern District of New York say the 32-year-old Mr. Kourani conducted “pre-operational surveillance” of military and law-enforcement sites around New York as well as Kennedy Airport. The feds allege that Mr. Debek, age 37, staked out targets in Panama that included the American and Israeli embassies as well as the Panama Canal. Attorneys for the two men did not respond to media inquiries.

Mr. Debek’s alleged Panamanian operations are consistent with Hezbollah’s presence across Latin America that goes back to the bombings of the Israeli embassy and a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, in 1992 and 1994 respectively, killing more than 100 people.

In 2011 U.S. investigators foiled a plot to kill the Saudi ambassador at a Washington restaurant, leading to a guilty plea by the would-be assassin. Hezbollah was also behind a 2012 bus bombing in Bulgaria that killed five Israeli tourists and their local bus driver.

Iran bankrolls Hezbollah to the tune of $200 million annually and provides most of the 80,000 missiles the group points at Israel. The latest allegations are a reminder that the Tehran regime still deserves its reputation as the world’s leading state sponsor of terror.

The Trump Budget Still Shortchanges The Military After the stagnant ’70s, Presidents Carter and Reagan boosted spending by double digits annually. By Mac Thornberry

Mr. Thornberry, a Texas Republican, is chairman of the House Armed Services Committee.

Ask anyone who served in the U.S. military in the late 1970s, and he will tell you it was a miserable time. Morale was low. Training was deficient. Weapons and equipment didn’t work. Good people left the armed services in droves. At the same time the world was growing more dangerous, with the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the Iranian revolution and hostage crisis, and multiple nations falling to communism.

A decade later the situation had turned around. How did America go from the hollow military of the 1970s to the strength that helped drive the Soviet Union out of existence? Are there lessons we could apply today?

A few months ago the vice chiefs from each branch of the military appeared before the House Armed Services Committee, which I lead. Their testimony certainly got my attention. Only three of the Army’s 58 Brigade Combat Teams are “ready to fight tonight.” More than half the Navy’s airplanes cannot fly because they are awaiting maintenance and spare parts. The Air Force is short 1,500 pilots and 3,000 mechanics, and its fleet is older and smaller than ever. All that is alarming enough, but what surprised me most was testimony that pilots today get fewer training hours in the cockpit than during the dire days of the 1970s.

How did this happen? Since 2010 the defense budget has been cut by more than 20%, but the world has not become 20% safer. To get planes, ships and equipment ready to deploy to the Middle East or elsewhere, the military has had to take parts off other planes, ships and units. This cannibalization has diminished American readiness. The military is not prepared to carry out all the missions it may be asked to do in time of war.

What is the answer? Rebuilding the military after the 1970s took serious and sustained effort. When the Soviets invaded Afghanistan, the Carter administration raised defense spending by 12% in 1979 and 15% in 1980.

Ronald Reagan added even more: 17% in 1981 and 18% in 1982. After that the rate of growth slowed a bit, but in all there were five straight years of double-digit increases followed by three more of nearly 10%. At that point the defense budget was about 6% of America’s gross domestic product. Today it is only 3.1%.

Repairing the damage done to the military in our time will require a similar sort of response. It is wrong to send brave men and women out on missions for which they are not fully prepared or without the best equipment the nation can produce. CONTINUE AT SITE

Comey Closes the Case—Almost The president’s insistence on disputing the former director’s testimony was a needless complication. By Peter J. Wallison

Now we know, thanks to former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony last week, that President Trump was not a target of the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

That’s by far the most important thing Mr. Comey said. For a year, the FBI has been looking into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, and apparently there was not enough evidence to make Mr. Trump a target. That news should put to rest—as the president had hoped—an allegation that, if true, would undoubtedly have caused even Republicans in Congress to consider impeachment.

But Mr. Comey’s testimony has put another question on the table: whether the president attempted to obstruct justice. According to Mr. Comey, he met with Mr. Trump privately in the Oval Office while the FBI was investigating former national security adviser Mike Flynn. “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this thing go,” Mr. Comey says the president told him. The former FBI chief testified that the president also asked him for “loyalty.” Mr. Trump later fired Mr. Comey, possibly because he had not shown it.

As this national obsession continues, there will be heated discussions about whether Mr. Trump’s statements and actions, and the surrounding circumstances, were an effort to obstruct justice. The answer: Given what we know, there is very little chance Special Counsel Robert Mueller will bring an obstruction charge.

For one thing, the facts are ambiguous. Yes, Mr. Trump asked Mr. Comey to abandon the investigation of Mr. Flynn, but he didn’t order it—something that, as president, he had the authority to do. As Mr. Comey remembered the president’s request, it was couched as a wish: “I hope you can see your way clear . . .” Similarly, the president’s desire for loyalty is not unusual. All presidents expect loyalty from those in their administrations. The executive branch cannot function if subordinates are not loyal to the president. Leaks are evidence of this.

In addition, Mr. Comey reported Mr. Trump said several things that are inconsistent with an intent to disrupt the investigation generally. The most serious part of the inquiry relates to the Trump campaign’s possible collusion with the Russians—clearly an impeachable offense if it occurred with Mr. Trump’s knowledge or direction. Mr. Comey reports Mr. Trump as saying “if there were some ‘satellite’ associates of his who did something wrong, it would be good to find that out.” That clearly indicates Mr. Trump was not trying to keep the FBI from investigating the Russia collusion issue.

These factual ambiguities alone make the case for obstruction of justice far less than clear-cut. Legal and political considerations militate in the same direction.

There is a strong argument that, as a matter of law, the president cannot be criminally guilty of obstructing justice if he simply orders the FBI director not to investigate someone. All appointed officials are the president’s subordinates, and he is responsible for, and has authority over, their actions. CONTINUE AT SITE