22 June 1941

First I would like to apologize this post is a day late because of TS Cindy….it made my internet a bit spotty at times and I missed posting this on the anniversary day.

As most readers know I like history and I try to impart as much as I can when I can…….

This is the 76th anniversary of Operation Barbarossa….where Germany attacks the Soviet Union

On June 22, 1941, Adolf Hitler launched his armies eastward in a massive invasion of the Soviet Union: three great army groups with over three million German soldiers, 150 divisions, and three thousand tanks smashed across the frontier into Soviet territory. The invasion covered a front from the North Cape to the Black Sea, a distance of two thousand miles. By this point German combat effectiveness had reached its apogee; in training, doctrine, and fighting ability, the forces invading Russia represented the finest army to fight in the twentieth century. Barbarossa was the crucial turning point in World War II, for its failure forced Nazi Germany to fight a two-front war against a coalition possessing immensely superior resources.

Source: Operation Barbarossa – World War II – HISTORY.com

The USSR was caught flat footed which allow the Nazis a upper hand for awhile….

Russia has declassified some documents about that invasion…..(I must insert here that this could be a whitewash since they date back to 1952)

In 1952, the Soviet General Staff gathered a task force in its military science and history directorate, headed by Colonel-General Aleksandr Pokrovsky. Their task was to collect data, including eyewitness accounts, on the state of the Red Army shortly before and in the first part of the war with the Nazis.

As part of the study, Pokrovsky gathered accounts from surviving officers, who were in charge of the three western military districts and responsible for protecting the border. Among the five questions he asked for were details of how the Soviet armed forces prepared for a looming Nazi attack, how they responded to it, and whether or not the staff maintained control over the troops during the first frantic days of fighting.

Source: Russian MoD declassifies docs on Soviet Union’s preparedness for 1941 Nazi invasion — RT News

The documents are interesting but you will need a translation widget.

There is more this from a US site……

The German invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941 was one of the pivotal events of the 20th century. It transformed the Second World War and led, perhaps inevitably, to the Cold War and the half-century domination of Eastern Europe by the Soviet Union. It was, furthermore, one of the most brutal campaigns of modern times, bringing unspeakable atrocities and the near-annihilation of whole nationalities. The Nazis probably bear the principal responsibility for the character of the campaign, but the Soviet regime must shoulder some of the blame.

Source: What Stalin Knew: The Enigma of Barbarossa — Central Intelligence Agency

Source: 8 Things You Should Know About WWII’s Eastern Front – History Lists

A fascinating slice of 20th century history……enjoy

Russia Assaults Democracy

For months now, ever since the 2016 election, we have been told daily about the historic Russian attack on American democracy….they allegedly hacked into the election process, the DNC and other entities.

The MSM makes it seem as if this is all new for Russia to try and influence our democratic process……wrong!

Moscow’s interference began 80 years ago……

Over the last nine months, headlines have reverberated with questions regarding the Russian role in “hacking” the American electoral process. On January 5, 2017, James Clapper, then Director of National Intelligence, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that, “The Russians have a long history of interfering in elections. Theirs and other peoples…This goes back to the 60s, from the heyday of the Cold War.” He went on to call Russian interference in the 2016 election “unprecedented.” In some respects — the scale and impact of the accusations — they are. In other ways, however, they are a throwback to an 80-year-old saga.

The role of Russia’s intelligence services in the 2016 election represents the revival of Soviet efforts that predate even the Cold War. “Fake news” and financial assistance to opposition candidates, two measures that define Russian influence operations targeting the West, both date to the Stalinist period and the rise of the Soviet foreign intelligence apparatus. In the 1930s, when these methods were first unleashed, the United States had almost no counterintelligence capabilities. Until the early Cold War, the Soviets proved reasonably adept at influencing American politics towards Russia and acquiring information. Only with the expansion of the FBI and the reorganization of the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) did Soviet efforts at directly influencing American elections dwindle.

Source: Moscow’s Assaults on American Democracy Began 80 Years Ago

It is a “New” occurrence only if you do not know history…and now you do.

Congrats!

Iran: How It All Began

I see that Iran has once again made it into the conversation about foreign policy….there is the nuke deal that Congress is screwing with and then there is the Iranian interference in Syria or should I say…the Middle East?

I realize that Iran has become the “bad guy” in our foreign policy…..and since many readers are not old enough to remember the history behind the situation ….leave it to me to fill in the blanks for you….

Relations with Iran has been in the dumper since 1979 and the taking of American hostages….that is the story the media and the history book will pass along…..but actually the problem began further back than 1979…..it all began in 1953…..with the plot to overthrow a popularly elected prime minister because of his leftist leanings….

The State Department today released a long-awaited “retrospective” volume of declassified U.S. government documents on the 1953 coup in Iran, including records describing planning and implementation of the covert operation.  The publication is the culmination of decades of internal debates and public controversy after a previous official collection omitted all references to the role of American and British intelligence in the ouster of Iran’s then-prime minister, Mohammad Mosaddeq.  The volume is part of the Department’s venerable Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS) series.

For decades, neither the U.S. nor the British governments would acknowledge their part in Mosaddeq’s overthrow, even though a detailed account appeared as early as 1954 in The Saturday Evening Post, and since then CIA and MI6 veterans of the coup have published memoirs detailing their activities.  Kermit Roosevelt’s Countercoup is the best known and most detailed such account, although highly controversial because of its selective rendering of events.  In 2000, The New York Times posted a 200-page classified internal CIA history of the operation.

Source: US Releases Long-Awaited Documents on 1953 Coup in Iran

Now as Paul Harvey use to say….”You know the rest of the story”.

(For those too young…Paul Harvey was a radio show commentator for decades)

Then We Have “Executive Privilege”

WE heard the term many many times during Watergate and now with this hearing thing in full swing we are hearing it again……but what is “executive privilege”?  What do they mean?

Let’s go to the definition….

The Constitution does not specifically enumerate the president’s right to executive privilege; rather, the concept has evolved over the years as presidents have claimed it. As the courts have ruled on these claims, their decisions have refined the notion of executive privilege and have clarified the instances in which it can be invoked. The courts have ruled that it is implicit in the constitutional Separation of Powers, which assigns discrete powers and rights to the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government. In reality, however, the three branches enjoy not separate but shared powers, and thus are occasionally in conflict. When the president’s wish to keep certain information confidential causes such a conflict, the president might claim the right of executive privilege.

The term executive privilege emerged in the 1950s, but presidents since George Washington have claimed the right to withhold information from Congress and the courts. The issue first arose in 1792, when a congressional committee requested information from Washington regarding a disastrous expedition of General Arthur St. Clair against American Indian tribes along the Ohio River, which resulted in the loss of an entire division of the U.S. Army. Washington, concerned about how to respond to this request and about the legal precedent his actions would set, called a cabinet meeting. Although no official record was kept of the proceedings, Thomas Jefferson described the deliberations in his diary. The participants, Jefferson wrote, concluded that Congress had the right to request information from the president and that the president “ought to communicate such papers as the public good would permit & ought to refuse those the disclosure of which would injure the public.” In the case at hand, they agreed that “there was not a paper which might not be properly produced,” so Washington provided all the documents that Congress had requested. This event, though notable as the first recorded deliberation concerning executive privilege, did not carry precedential value until after 1957, when Jefferson’s notes were discovered. In 1958, Attorney General William P. Rogers cited Jefferson’s remarks as precedent for an absolute presidential privilege. Legal scholar Raoul Berger declaimed Rogers’s arguments as “at best self serving assertions by one of the claimants in a constitutional boundary dispute.” Instead, Berger argued, Washington’s willingness to turn over the requested documents shows his recognition of Congress’s right to such materials.

In subsequent incidents, however, Washington and his successors did choose to withhold requested information from Congress, citing various reasons. In 1794, for example, the Senate requested from Washington the correspondence of Gouverneur Morris, the U.S. ambassador to France, who was suspected of aiding the French aristocrats against the revolutionaries despite the United States’ official stance of neutrality. Washington provided the letters, but he censored them first, acting on the advice of officials such as Attorney General William Bradford, who said that the president should “communicate to the Senate such parts of the said correspondence as upon examination he shall deem safe and proper to disclose: withholding all such, as any circumstances, may render improper to be communicated.” The following year, Washington refused to provide the House with information relating to Ambassador John Jay’s negotiation of a treaty with Great Britain, arguing that the House had no constitutional right to participate in the treaty making process and so had no right to request materials associated with it.

A short history of the situation and its use and legality……

You now more than you did before you read this piece……you are welcome!

Believe me we will be hearing this term a lot in the coming months and now you can write on the phenom with a bit more knowledge….

Meeting Of The Psi Phi Society

First let me wish all the Fathers that follow and read IST a very Happy Father’s Day.  Enjoy your special day.

Yesterday I got to watch the start of 24 hrs du Le Mans……as a sports car racing fan this is a must…..I am pulling for the Ford GT and the Toyota in the “hybrid” category…..had to take a break from the race to attend my meeting…..

To celebrate the race I am preparing a Cassoulet served with a fine white Bordeaux and a baguette….very French…….oui?

The Psi Phi Society has nothing to do with science fiction or the channel on cable (SyFy)……it is just a friendly (mostly) discussion group that meets a couple times a year.

My Sunday begins and I would like to talk about the meeting of the Psi Phi Society…..we have our get together at a local steak house and hold our discussions and debates.

After our meal we settle in with a cocktail and decide what the topic will be for the evening…..the group is me and another professor, a preacher, a scientist (chemist), a nurse, a contractor and a local artist.

As you would imagine with a diverse group there would be diverse opinions on what the discuss….after about an hour of debate my fellow professor, a historian, brought up a topic that we all found interesting….what race were the Greeks and Romans?  (To be honest she picked up the check for all of us as a bribe to discuss her topic)

She brought up a paper that she had read recently on this subject…..to be on equal footing we asked the owner of the steakhouse (a friend) if he would print out the paper so that we could read it and then debate…..

Recent films about ancient Greece such as Troy, Helen of Troy, and 300, have used actors who are of Anglo-Saxon or Celtic ancestry (e.g. Brad Pitt, Gerard Butler). Recent films about ancient Rome, such as Gladiator and HBO’s series Rome, have done the same (e.g. Russell Crowe). Were the directors right, from an historical point of view? Were the ancient Greeks and Romans of North European stock?

Most classical historians today are silent on the subject. For example, Paul Cartledge, a professor of Greek culture at Cambridge, writes about his specialty, Sparta, for educated but non-academic readers, yet nowhere that I can find does he discuss the racial origins of the Spartans. Some years ago I asked several classics professors about the race of the ancient Greeks only to be met with shrugs that suggested that no one knew, and that it was not something worth looking into. Today, an interest in the race of the ancients seems to be taken as an unhealthy sign, and any evidence of their Nordic origins discounted for fear it might give rise to dangerous sentiments.

Source: What Race Were the Greeks and Romans? – The Unz Review

The discussion went into the late evening.

Me?

I came down on the side that the Greeks were of Minoan descent because they were great seafaring people and opened up new lands for colonies and settlements….thus Romans were descendants of these people as well…therefore olive skin with dark hair.

The evening ended when I got a call from a friend in Lebanon and had to cut my evening short.

We did decide to have another meeting next month…..

If you read the paper then….what do you think?

Settling in for a good a restful day and in prep for Monday and a new week……after all it is Father’s day….I hope everyone enjoys their special day……plus the race should be ending shortly…..Peace Out……chuq

Military Intelligence (Not The Oxymoron)

These days in the news and opinion blogs we see a lot about the CIA, NSA, etc…..has anyone asked…where did all this stuff begin?

Yep, another Professor’s Classroom…..

There have always been spies….those individuals that were employed to get info, vital info, on the enemy……but military intelligence came into its own during the years of World War One……

Near the beginning of the Revolutionary War, George Washington purportedly said, “The necessity of procuring good intelligence is apparent and need not be further urged.” Even in the 18th Century the importance of intelligence collection and analysis was understood. Today commanders often take for granted the fact that they will have robust intelligence assets and organizations to inform their decision making process, supporting them in ways Washington never could have envisioned. But as James L. Gilbert points out in his book, World War I and the Origins of U.S. Military Intelligence this was not always the case. George Washington who is often credited as the United States first great spymaster ran several spy rings during the revolutionary war including the famous Culper Ring.  The Culper Ring is credited, among other things with providing Washington early warning of British activity and helping identify a British spy working with Benedict Arnold. Washington’s intelligence collection abilities were so good that an unnamed British Intelligence Officer is often quoted as saying, ““Washington did not really outfight the British. He simply out-spied us.” It would take the U.S. Army almost 150 years to comply with George Washington’s urging and create a permanent Intelligence apparatus.

Source: World War I and the Origins of U.S. Military Intelligence | RealClearDefense

Now you know the “rest of the story”……..

Class dismissed!

Not Remembering the USS Liberty

I will be dedicating today’s posts to the attack on 08Jun1967…..

It is June and everywhere there are celebrations of the victory in the 6 Day War….nowhere in all this is there ever much mention of the deadly attack by Israel on a US naval vessel, USS Liberty, and the death and injuries that it caused.

If Trump were this “America First” dude then why did he NOT bring up this attack that the world knows about but the US and Israel choose to forget?  Why?

It is safe to assume that when President Donald Trump lands in Israel Monday, he will not have been briefed on the irrefutable evidence that, nearly 50 years ago – on June 8, 1967 – Israel deliberately attacked the USS Liberty in international waters, killing 34 U.S. sailors and wounding more than 170 other crew. All of Trump’s predecessors – Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama – have refused to address the ugly reality and/or covered up the attack on the Liberty.

Source: Not Remembering the USS Liberty by — Antiwar.com

Every American should be outraged at this dismal of American deaths….the US should sack up and confront Israel over this betrayal…instead of cowering to them like well beaten mutts…..only COWARDS allow this to go unanswered……

Then we remember the day……

There has been a lot of media coverage mostly written by Israelis or American Jews regarding Israel’s “victory” fifty years ago during the so-called Six Days War directed against its Arab neighbors but I have yet to see an account that mentions the fate of the U.S.S. Liberty. Nevertheless, the Liberty is not forgotten. This Thursday at noon at Arlington National Cemetery there will be a small gathering for the annual coming together with the survivors and friends of the most decorated ship in the history of the U.S. Navy, a victim of a particularly brutal and unprovoked attack by Israel that has been covered up for half a century by the powers that be in Washington. The moving service will include reminiscences by surviving crew members plus the ringing of a ship’s bell for each one of the thirty-four American sailors, Marines and civilians that were killed in the deliberate Israeli air and sea onslaught that sought to sink the intelligence gathering ship and kill all its crew. Present will be a number of veterans like myself and other Americans who are committed to ensuring that the story of the Liberty will not die in hopes that someday the United States government will have the courage to acknowledge what actually happened on that fateful day.

Source: Remembering the U.S.S. Liberty – The Unz Review

Source: Infamy at Sea: Israel’s Attack on the USS Liberty 50 Years Later

Source: The Day Israel Attacked America – Al Jazeera English

Source: USS Liberty crew member recalls fatal ’67 US-Israeli skirmish – News – Stripes

Source: 50 Years Ago: NSA’s Deadliest Day | Observer