Archive for category Photo

Cool Stuff: Hagel, Biden And Kerry Rescued By Security Contractors In Afghanistan, 2008

This is awesome. A big hat tip to Will for putting this one up on his site. In this photo below, it shows Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, Vice President Joe Biden and on the far right, Secretary of State John Kerry, which back then they were all Senators. The back story of this photo is that all three of these men were in a helicopter in Afghanistan during winter. During the flight, the snow got really bad and the helicopters were forced to land on some mountain top in Afghanistan.

They put out a distress call and the military was not in a position to rescue them. So security contractors or what I assume were WPS folks were called in, and they came over land to rescue them. Here is the quote in the article.

With the rapidly worsening weather, there was no way to evacuate the senators to safety by air. The U.S. military didn’t have the necessary people and vehicles nearby to rescue the senators via ground transport before the storm hit.

So the U.S. Embassy asked the men of Blackwater USA to go in by land and evacuate them to Bagram. They did the job, and the senators knew who came to their rescue mountainside when the military could not.

One of the points of Will’s post is that none of these men would acknowledge that they were rescued by contractors, or they outright lied and said it was American troops that rescued them. Here is what then Senator Kerry had to say.

“After several hours, the senators were evacuated by American troops and returned overland to Bagram Air Base, and left for their next scheduled stop in Ankara, Turkey,” a statement from Kerry’s office said. “Sen. Kerry thanks the American troops, who were terrific as always and who continue to do an incredible job in Afghanistan.”

Nope, you were not rescued by American troops– you were rescued by civilians or security contractors…..

Oh well, but at least I can help to correct the record on this blog and give it some more attention. This is just one example of many, where security contractors were the ‘cavalry’ and yet their actions were ignored or barely given a mention. If folks have any photos of the convoy that rolled up to rescue them, I would gladly make the edit and add it to this post. Good job to that team for making this rescue! –Matt

Edit: 09/24/2014–If you check out the comments below, you will see that there was a military convoy that went up to rescue these folks, but there were also contractors in vehicles that went with this convoy. So to clarify, both military and contractors were involved in this rescue operation. At the time of writing this post, I was only going with the information that was available or what was coming in via comments and email. I wasn’t there.  I also said I would make an edit if new information came in, so hopefully this helps. Keep checking the comments and the full story will present itself. Thanks to all for correcting the record and contributing to the story.

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Industry Talk: Memorial Day…

This year I wanted to find an image that said more than anything I could ever say about what Memorial Day means. I do not know who the young lady is in the photo, but I do empathize and sympathize. I think everyone here recognizes what this photo says and what her loss means to her.

No matter what country you are from, no matter if you are a soldier or contractor, a man or woman, husband or wife, boyfriend or girlfriend, son or daughter, or friend and comrade–the loss and this woman’s personal and private remembrance of her loved one  is universally understood. It is one reminder of many, that sacrifice in war is profound and painful to endure for everyone. Te numquam obliviscar…. –Matt

Edit: 06/01/2011- One of my readers sent me a link to the obituary of the lost soldier that this women is mourning. He was a Ranger and rest in peace.

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Quotes: ‘We Still Have Car Bombs (expletive) ha ha’, Juarez Cartel

     Could this signal the next phase of the drug war down south?  Because once these guys get into competition with each other over whose car bomb is bigger, more deadly, and used to greater effect than the other guy, I think we will see a level of violence that will equal Iraq or Afghanistan.

     Remember, these cartels are watching and learning what combatants are doing in other parts of the world. The various uses of the IED has become an art form with many of these folks, and I have no doubt that the cartels will make their own little masterpieces of death and destruction. –Matt


We Still Have Car Bombs

A wall at a shopping center is covered by graffiti that reads in Spanish “What happened on the 16 (street) is going to keep happening to all the authoritiesthat continue to support the Chapo (Guzman), sincerely, the Juarez Cartel. We still have car bombs (expletive) ha ha.” Cartel assailants laid a trap for federal police and attacked them with a car bomb on Thursday the first time a drug cartel have used explosives to attack Mexican security forces, marking an escalation in the country’s drug war. – From Borderland Beat

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Funny Stuff: Anwar Al-Awlaki–The Imam Of Prostitution


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Cool Stuff: Soldier Of Fortune Postcards From The Mexican Revolution

     This website has some cool photos of some forgotten history.  During the Mexican Revolution, there were many soldiers of fortune from all over the world applying their trade on both sides of the conflict.  This was a very interesting period in which at the same time, you had wars like World War 1 going on in which many battlefield innovations were going on.  You could say it was the time period in which the horse and repeating firearm was being trumped by machine guns, tanks, artillery and barbed wire.

     But back to this collection of postcards.  It is a fascinating look at the characters of that time period.  I got a kick out of the names of some of these guys.  Like Diablo or Slim.  Slim was actually the name of quite a few American mercenaries back then.

     The other thing I looked at was the amount of guys hired for their machine gun expertise.  Guys like Tom Fountain, Sam Dreben, Alfred Lewis, and of course Maximillian Kloss and his work at the Battle of Celaya. Very interesting round up of some highly specialized folks that applied their trade all over the world, to include Mexico. It kind of reminds me of the long bow mercenary archers of the 14th century and how sought after they were. (the White Company comes to mind)

     Finally, and this is what is really interesting about the mercenaries of this time period.  They were the ones importing the know how of how to use these latest tools of warfare. It was these guys working in Mexico who introduced new and interesting ways of how to use the machine gun in warfare. The war in Europe was also emphasizing how effective these weapons were, and demonstrating how they could be used.

    These soldiers for hire were the same guys who picked up battlefield innovations in other countries and wars they worked in and further evolved their ideas on how to wage war.  That to me is a very interesting area that really hasn’t been studied when it comes to the dynamic of the globe trotting soldier for hire.  Anyway, check out this link to see the other interesting characters and photos at this website. –Matt


Soldiers of fortune in Mexico

American, Canadian and other foreign mercenaries in Mexico

From Wikipedia

Members of Pancho Villa’s American Legion of Honor

Many adventurers (e.g. Sarah “Wildwoman” Horn), ideologues and freebooters from outside Mexico were attracted by the purported excitement and romance, not to mention possible booty, of the Mexican Revolution. Most mercenaries served in armies operating in the north of Mexico, partly because those areas were the closest to popular entry points to Mexico from the U.S., and partly because Pancho Villa had no compunction about hiring mercenaries. The first legion of foreign mercenaries, during the 1910 Madero revolt, was the Falange de los Extranjeros (Foreign Phalanx), which included Giuseppe (“Peppino”) Garibaldi, grandson of the famed Italian unifier, as well as many American recruits.

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Funny Stuff: Thulsa Doom

Thulsa Doom

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