2020 The Year of Endless Turmoil – Part 1 The Insurrection

The in-custody death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, MN sparked outrage in the local Minneapolis community as to what appears to be excessive force utilized by at least one involved officer and possible negligence on the part of others.

Amazingly, and unlike other similar incidents, virtually everyone across the country no matter what ethnicity, gender, or race agreed that the tactics utilized to affect the arrest of Mr. Floyd appeared to be excessive. Chiefs of Police, police unions and associations, and individual officers joined in conversation, not defending the rights of their fellow officers but condemning the actions and inactions of the arresting officers which lead to Mr. Floyd’s untimely death.

Under extreme pressure the Hennepin County attorney arrested and charged former officer, Derek Chauvin, with 3rd degree murder in record time and with the minimum evidence necessary to move the case forward. The other three officers involved have been fired and will undoubtedly face arrest and possible prosecution. Understandably, the Floyd family is seeking justice as other concerned people and groups took to the street to protest for police reform.

But the violent criminal riots we are witnessing nationwide has all but hijacked the entire Floyd situation and diminished its significance.

That’s because the riots are not about the George Floyd incident at all, or for that matter, even about any other similar police use of force incidents we have seen in the recent past. Sure there are people involved in the protesting and rioting that are angry and want reforms in police tactics but they are being used by larger entities with an entirely different agenda. These rioters and riots are orchestrated, organized, funded, and utilize insurgency type tactics with leadership pulling the strings and stoking the flames of dissent.

In years past our local, state, and federal government was stable with employees and elected officials committed to doing their jobs outside of their personal views and philosophies in order to quell violent social events. But that is no longer the case as we now have a large percentage of politicians and leadership of city and state governments, police departments, and legislative bodies, to include Congress, who no longer see it their duty to uphold the offices they hold and perform the duties required of them despite their personal opinions regarding social issues. The highly divisive societal issues have permeated into our governmental structure so much so that the very offices and institutions that once held our society together in times of great consequence are now outright supporting the violent anarchy that is taking place in our communities nationwide.

Governors and mayors hamstring law enforcement agencies and prevent them from enforcing law and order while they openly advocate and support violence protests, criminality in general, looting, and pillaging of entire business districts. In many liberal cities, senior police leadership has also adopted the same philosophies and even further hampered front line officers and special units from carrying out their sworn duties to protect and defend the helpless business owners and citizens.

What about the constitutional rights of those business owners and individuals who have nothing to do with any of this? Who is liable for their losses? What about the many victims of this violence to include scores of law enforcement officers already gravely injured or killed?

The answer: Those people are trivial collateral damage as part of the ongoing and ever increasing internal warfare we are witnessing in our nation.

Perhaps the appointed leaders who have failed to fulfill the duties and responsibilities of the offices they hold should be held civilly and criminally liable for their actions and inactions of facilitating, encouraging, turning a blind eye, and outright supporting what I call is an insurgency.

This is not about a bunch of innocent protesters yelling for change. It is about what is very clearly an overt violent and criminal attempt to fundamentally change this nation from the ground up by using guerrilla warfare tactics to carry out the stated goals of Antifa.

Antifa is not a bunch of college age kids vocalizing there discontent over some social issue even though a majority of them are heavily recruited on college campuses under the false banner of fighting racism. No, Antifa, is a hard core movement that needs to be taken very seriously and thankfully it is now labeled a Domestic Terror Group. Why are they a domestic terror group? Let me site but one of thousands examples. Recently in Richmond VA, rioters intentionally set fire to an occupied multi-family residence with a child inside. Antifa and it’s supporters then blocked the fire department’s access to the residence by setting up a road block and thus ensuring the death of the innocent child. There is no doubt that Antifa, it’s members, supporters, leadership, and the enablers are a murderous domestic terror organization.

But make no mistake and don’t put your head to the sand because Antifa is not going away any time soon. The overall transformational agenda and the goals they seek are long term and not in line with the founding principals of this nation. Their leftist elite leadership and string pullers, who are at every level of our government, support their cause because it is their cause too. Understand that Antifa with their fighting mantra of “by any means necessary” is not going away and very well could achieve their goals unless they are immediately stopped and the leadership at all levels exposed and held responsible.

Viper One Six – Out

Dave Shearman is the co-author of the book “Outside The Wire In Blue”

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Operation Bulldog Bite – A Cop and a Hero

It was mid-November of 2010 in Kunar Province, Afghanistan and throughout Eastern Afghanistan the threat of the harsh winter was just weeks away. Kunar was one of 14 provinces encompassing the U.S. commanded Regional Command–East (RC-East) and it had the reputation of being a fierce strong hold for the Taliban Insurgency.  RC-East in general, and Kunar Province, specifically, was different from other parts of Afghanistan in that the terrain was far more formidable and unforgiving with its massive mountain ranges and deep valleys. Helicopters were used extensively not only for combat operations, but for re-supply of the U.S. bases scattered throughout the Province. Ground mobility on the narrow valley roads was extremely limited as the mountainous high ground was teeming with fighters secreted in the rocks and ledges above.

Kunar was also different from other parts of Afghanistan in terms of the enemy who lived and fought along the Pech and Kunar River Valleys. Not only were U.S. Forces trying to root out the Taliban, who were a cunning and formidable foe, but scores of Foreign Fighters from the Haqqani Network and other Pakistan Terrorist Organization to include al-Qaida were also amassed in and throughout the province which bordered Pakistan.

Task Force Bulldog, the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) from Fort Campbell, KY was the Battlespace Owner and the 1st Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team of the 101st was operating out of FOB Blessing located on the Pech River near the village of Nagalam. Recent intelligence indicated the presence of Taliban training camps operating along the Pech in the Watahpur Valley which demanded a clearing operation be conducted.

Operation Bulldog Bite was initiated and an Air Assault force totaling 150 warriors of the famed 101st Airborne, the 75th Rangers combined with elements of the Afghan National Army commenced a 4 day clearing operation to rid the area of these camps. In the dark of night U.S. Army Chinooks unloaded the assault force on the mountain peaks above the Watahpur Valley and the 150 soldier element was split into thirds as they searched and destroyed the identified training camps. 101st Soldiers moved during the darkness of night from one target to the next and Cobra Attack helicopters tamed the Insurgents during the clearing operations in the day. A four day running gun battle was endured as Insurgents forces, secreted in the cliffs and ridges above, rained heavy fire down on the soldiers.

U.S. Army Specialist Jessie A. Snow

Among those brave soldiers executing Bulldog Bite that second week of November 2010 was a young 25 year old U.S. Army Specialist from Fairborn, Ohio by the name of Jessie A. Snow. Specialist Snow was a member of Abu Company, 1st Battalion and based out of FOB Blessing. Bulldog Bite was not Snow’s first mission as he had already participated in over 18 air assault mission and three major operations and had earned his due in this unforgiving piece of ground in eastern Afghanistan.

Combat is many things and sometimes in the midst of all the chaos there are moments where some of the most unsuspecting people find one another and connect in unforeseen ways. You see, during this mission a 46 year old retired police officer of the Santa Ana, CA Police Department by the name of Karl Beilby was embedded with the 101st. His mission, like many of the LEPs embedded in OEF and OIF, was to bring to the counterinsurgency fight his unique knowledge and investigative police skills.

Over the course of the 4 day mission, LEP Beilby and Specialist Snow met one another as they traversed through the Watahpur Valley with their fellow warriors. Snow, as it turns out, was very interested in law enforcement and sought out LEP Beilby to get an old cop’s take on pursuing a career as a police officer after his time in the Army was over. During breaks in between marching, eating, cat naps, and fighting, Beilby told Snow stories of his law enforcement career while in Southern California. This was intriguing to Snow and over what amounted to only a few days spent together in the remote Hindu Kush Mountains of eastern Afghanistan, Specialist Snow and LEP Beilby became the unlikeliest of friends with Snow referring to Beilby as “sir” and Beilby referring to Snow as “kid.”

U.S. Army Specialist Jessie A. Snow foreground and LEP Karl Beilby Pech River Valley, Kunar Province, AFG November 2010

Fighting continued for three days up and down the valley and losses were mounting and the number of walking wounded increased. Onto the fourth day, November 14, 2010, the soldiers sought higher ground in order to seek refuge and out maneuver the enemy. On an outcrop near a steep mountain peak, Specialist Snow, LEP Beilby and a handful of other soldiers set up a perimeter and took a few minutes of down time as they believed they were in a good defensible position.  At approximately 1500 hours, as LEP Beilby was seated leaning against a 12 inch wide tree and Specialist Snow was in a position nearby, all hell broke loose when an RPG impacted 30 feet below their position and machine gun fire riddled the ground all around them. Specialist Snow, Beilby, and the others returned fire in all directions. LEP Beilby left his cover behind the small tree and crawled to a nearby soldier who was hit in the shoulder by gunfire. As Beilby was attempting to get a dressing out of his med kit, he too was struck as a bullet entered his lower back, went through his intestines, shattered his left hip, and exited his stomach.

Seeing Beilby and the other wounded soldier, Specialist Snow, who disregarded his own personal safety and exposed himself to incredible direct enemy fire, made his way to both men and covered both of their bodies with his own. While shielding Beilby from incoming fire, he began to stuff Beilby’s wounds with dressings until a fatal round struck him in the head.

Tribute to fallen soldiers of Operation Bulldog Bite – November 2010

Beilby felt Snow’s body go limp and at that moment knew that the young warrior, a kid in Beilby’s eyes, had done the unthinkable, sacrificed his young life for his own.

Beilby, under fire himself was able to pull both Specialist Snow and the other soldier to safety in a nearby small ditch where other soldiers were also laying. For more than three more hours, until after sunset, the fighting continued until Blackhawks appeared overhead and U.S. Airforce Pararescue Jumpers (PJs) from the 176th Wing of the Alaska Air National Guard descended and hoisted the over 30 WIAs  and 6 KIAs to safety.

In combat, many things are turned upside down and during Operation Bulldog Bite in November 2010, a 46 year old retired police officer from Southern California who was embedded with the 101st Airborne as a LEP/would be soldier was befriended by a 25 year old full-time soldier who wanted to be a cop and who paid the ultimate sacrifice so that Beilby could live.

LEP Karl Beilby eventually recovered from his physical wounds but not a day goes by that he does not think about the kid, the warrior, and the hero, known to him as Jessie.

U.S. Army Specialist Jessie A. Snow was posthumously awarded the Silver Star medal for valor.

Final resting place for Jessie A. Snow – Silver Star Warrior

I offer this story as a salute to all of our Troops and Warriors who have given their all and paid the ultimate sacrifice so that we can live in freedom and during this month of May when we pay tribute to and honor those police officers across our great nation who, like Officer Karl Beilby, quietly serve their communities and the nation they love never seeking recognition or fame while risking their lives each and every day.

May God bless them all.

Viper One Six – Out

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The Great American Asset – The Common Everyday American Worker

In my last column for Gatehouse Media/Leavenworth Times, I wrote about the everyday American citizen, the common folks who are perseverant, resilient, innovative, compassionate and giving. Over the last couple months we have witnessed stunning examples of those altruistic behaviors being played out each and every day. When it has come down to it, in times of struggle and need, the common everyday American citizen will always step up to a challenge and move collectively towards a common and shared goal.

Over the past years, thanking our military service members for their service to the country has become a welcomed tradition and one that has been much overdue. We know the sacrifice these everyday heroes provide and we acknowledge their service.

Now we are experiencing firsthand the selfless sacrifice of other silent heroes within our communities who are working so very hard to support all of us. Those doctors and nurses, first responders, truck and home delivery drivers, grocery store clerks and shelf stockers, farmers and tradesmen, utility providers, bankers and financiers, beauticians and barbers, sanitation and welfare workers, restaurant professionals, and so many others are finally being recognized for their contributions. Yes, in times like these, they too are American heroes.

What has become very evident is that these everyday American citizen/workers are the driving force behind this wonderful country. Like cogs in a wheel, each of us plays a vital role in this complex and inter-dependent economy. The jobs we all do are so very important to how this great American machine functions.

During these unprecedented times, as many of us are holed up in our homes and unable to go to our places of work or go about our daily lives, it has become abundantly clear just how important each of us is to the overall composition of our economy. What is even more uplifting is that, historically, during times of national crisis, everyday Americans come together as one. They put aside their differences and work together in support of one another as we have suffered through terrorist attacks, violence in our communities, natural disasters and more. It is incredibly inspirational to witness.

Without a doubt, the greatest asset this country possesses is the everyday American citizen.

What is also very clear, and frankly sickening and disgusting, is the fact that there are some Americans, namely state and national politicians, who use times of crisis to take advantage of their fellow citizens for their own personal gain and benefit. There are some, not all, elected national leaders who plainly do not believe in this country nor support the founding principles and therefore seek to change or even destroy this country.

There are some governors, senators, and congressional members, who stonewall, undercut, manipulate, deceive, and fabricate in order to seek more personal power and move forward anti-American ideas and policies. This is an all too familiar reality, one that has been silently accepted for far too many years, and which needs to be stopped.

But the good news is that the everyday American citizen is who really runs and controls this country, not the so-called representatives. Without the American worker, this all falls apart. We are witnessing that reality being played out before our very eyes as Americans are forced to stay at home and the economy tanks as Americans are not working.

Americans are very independent minded people. We like to work, that’s what we do. We like to earn our own way by working hard so we can play hard. We don’t like unnecessary interference in our lives and we won’t accept our rights being taken away. Make no mistake, we love our personal freedoms and will defend our liberties robustly. This has been evident in the past couple days as protesters have taken to the steps of state capitals across the country demanding the re-opening of their states and the re-establishment of their unalienable rights.

Without a doubt, this pandemic has cost many lives and sickened many others. But we can’t allow it to destroy our economy and, by default, our nation. There are far too many people who have been financially adversely affected by way of the country being shut down. Millions are now unemployed, small businesses have shut down and will never return, industries have been decimated, and trillions of dollars have been spent in just a matter of a few months. So while we do everything needed to help fight off the Wuhan/COVID-19 virus, let’s get America safely back to work.

Viper One Six – Out

Dave Shearman is the co-author of Outside The Wire In Blue

www.outsidethewireinblue.com

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We all react to threats differently

Hello Viper One Six readers!

I have not written a column for over a year as I have been engaged in some other writing endeavors. Namely, I had my first book published in late 2018 and since then my co-author, JT Taman, and I have been travelling around the U.S. on a book tour which was just absolutely amazing. Thanks to those local readers who supported me and sent kind comments to me via social media and our website.

What to write about? Let’s just dive into the obvious – the COVID-19 virus. As we all sort out how to handle this worldwide pandemic that seems destined to hit all too close to home it is daunting to handle the constant influx of information and news. Our elected officials are trying to calm all of us and at the same time trying to mitigate the threat. Our medical experts work around the clock to try to get out ahead of this life altering event. No doubt, for many reasons, this crisis is to be taken seriously.

Threats come in many forms and with many sub-layers and multi-order effects. Some threats are straight forward with a single angle of attack, if you will, that allow for a directed and focused defense and counter-attack to use military terminology. Others are more complex which make preparation and response far more challenging. No matter what type of threat we face, the often complicating component is how we, as humans, react to it.

Reacting to a threat and how people behave in uncertain times is an interesting subject and one of which that has been researched by scholars, and psychologists, and tacticians for years. Interesting to me is the Social Defense Theory (SDT, Ein-Dor et al, 2010) which has its roots in the Attachment Theory (Bowlby J. (1982). According to the Attachment Theory, human defensive reactions lie in our psycho-biological system.

When under threat or a perceived threat, individuals will feel a need for protection and care and consequently seek out care and protection from others. If the individual receives a positive response, then the individual feels secure and forms what is called Attachment Security, meaning the person feels secure which results in a higher self-esteem. These people tend to become leaders within a group and lead the group in defense of threats.

When an individual does not receive a positive response from another they instinctively develop one of two states of what is called Attachment Insecurity – that being Attachment Avoidance or Attachment Anxiety.

With Attachment Avoidance, the individual develops a lack of trust in others and consequently develops a pretense to security or more simply stated, the individual does not perceive threats accordingly and therefore does not implement defense mechanisms as a result. This type of person tends to be a loner and shrugs off the cohesive nature of a group. This is a negative attribute in the group setting but the positive side to this person is that they tend to be self-reliant and self-protective. This is the type of person who avoids a threat and looks for ways to elude it. Example being: a person in crowd at a large gathering and a threat emerges. That person looks for the quickest avenue of escape and takes it, perhaps only notifying those closest to him. It is good to remain in sync with these people because they can get you out of harm’s way in an instant.

With Anxiety Attachment, the individual is overly dependent upon others and at the same time develops a hyper-vigilance to threats. This type of individual tends to become the guardian or sentry – always on guard for approaching threats.

The Social Defense Theory submits that groups (AKA, families, employers, communities, regions, nations, etc.) work better if the group is made up of all three types of individuals – the Secure Leader, the Loner/Eluder, and the Sentry versus having homogeneous groups.

As we all make our way through these uncertain times full of multiple approaching threats – health, employment, financial, technology, etc. – and at the same time invoke Social Distancing, remember that all of us react to threats differently. Perhaps knowing these three types of Attachment Theory individuals we can bring our individual greatest strengths to bear against an incoming tide of uncertainty.

 

Viper One Six – Out

Dave Shearman is the author of Outside The Wire In Blue

www.outsidethewireinblue.com

www.david.r.shearman.com

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Resilient nation will overcome this crisis

An invader – COVID-19 – has silently permeated our land and effectively brought life as we know it to an utter standstill. From coast to coast, northern border to southern, big city to small, town hall to Capitol Hill, regular everyday life in America has mostly come to a halt.

In the last few days, municipal, county and state government officials have issued stay at home orders to residents and required or requested non-essential businesses to close or find alternative service capabilities. A new form of social etiquette has been introduced into our lives which mandates respecting an invisible barrier around each of us of six feet or more. Schools from kindergarten to college have sent their students home, churches have shut their proverbial open doors, businesses have closed and everyone is just stuck in place, waiting for tomorrow.

We have witnessed panic buying and hoarding of everyday goods on a national level that this country has not seen in recent memory. People are understandably concerned and afraid. The unknown and uncertainty can produce many emotions and fears and Lord knows we are in the midst of plenty of that.

However, one thing is certain – we will come out of this. What we as individuals, communities and a nation look like on the other side, and what changes in our personal, social, societal and governmental behaviors remains to be seen. This experience will place an indelible impression on each of us individually as well as our collective national psyche. Similar to the Great Depression or WWII, where people endured great personal and shared sacrifice that shaped their attitudes forever, this event will do much the same. Similar to professions such as the military, law enforcement, first responders, etc., our shared COVID-19 experience can influence and shape the future, hopefully in a positive sense. The sense of commonality and being part of a group enduring and fighting back against a common enemy is profound and many times unforgettable.

This common sense of coming together and persevering in the face of the unknown brings us all together and breaks down barriers. We are seeing examples of this every day across the country. People are singing from their balconies, preparing and delivering meals to the needy, volunteering, coming out of retirement, developing new and different methods in industries, making the hard decisions to retain their workforce despite business being shut down and generally being a good neighbor.

To me, this is what America is all about. In times such as these, America shines and is at its best. Throughout our national history, the everyday American has demonstrated the attributes that have shaped and built this country through thick and thin.

I believe that because of these attributes, despite a constant stream of adversities thrown our way and the never ending theme of widening divisions spewed on us by those wishing to sow the seeds of negativity, that America, as it has in the past, will prevail by the virtues, steadfastness, stubbornness and resiliency of the common everyday American.

Viper One Six – Out.

Dave Shearman is the author of “Outside the Wire in Blue.” For more information, visit www.outsidethewireinblue.com or www.david.r.shearman.com

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