Newly Declassified Memo Reveals Roosevelt Was Warned of Tokyo’s Focus on Hawaii Days Before Pearl Harbor Attack | The Gateway Pundit

A newly released memo revealed that President Roosevelt was warned that Tokyo was focused on Hawaii days before the attack on Pearl Harbor.

via Newly Declassified Memo Reveals Roosevelt Was Warned of Tokyo’s Focus on Hawaii Days Before Pearl Harbor Attack | The Gateway Pundit.

Meh. Of course the Japanese were focused there. Further in the article we see this:

In the newly revealed 20-page memo from FDR’s declassified FBI file, the Office of Naval Intelligence on December 4 warned, “In anticipation of open conflict with this country, Japan is vigorously utilizing every available agency to secure military, naval and commercial information, paying particular attention to the West Coast, the Panama Canal and the Territory of Hawaii.” (emphasis mine-Xbrad)

Where else would the Japanese be focused? The primary counter to any Japanese plans would be the US Navy. Which was concentrated at Pearl Harbor, and supported by installations along the West Coast. The Panama Canal was of interest to the Japanese because it could be used to re-position forces from the Atlantic Fleet.

One of the challenges facing the administration in the days before the attack was the absolute flood of information coming in. Discerning what was important, and what was extraneous was almost impossible.  And a vague warning that the Japanese were paying attention is hardly an indication that they were actively planning a massive air attack against the islands.

This is pretty weak tea.

CDR Salamander: The Navy Abandons its Dead

We’ve all heard it; “We don’t leave our men behind.” “We will come back for you.” “You will not be forgotten.” Really?

We all see the ubiquitous POW/MIA flag, but does it really mean anything – does it have an experiation date?

via CDR Salamander: The Navy Abandons its Dead.

Apparently, yes.

It’s a very long post, but go read the whole thing.

I’ve been pretty uncommitted as to whether the Intrepid crew should be repatriated. But the conduct of CDR Richardson, as evidenced by her emails to the families of the fallen, is disgraceful.

In one of my civilian endeavors, I spent a lot of time dealing with angry relatives of the deceased.  I could never conceive of sending an email like hers.

And of course, John McCain has to show up, and make the wrong choice once again.

BLACKFIVE: M.O.H. Awardee Tells B.A.E. To Pound Sand

Two months ago, Dakota Meyer was awarded the Medal of Honor by President Barack Obama for his service in Afghanistan, the military’s most prestigious award. On Monday, Sgt. Meyer alleged that a defense contractor has called him mentally unstable and a problem drinker, ruining his chances for a job in the defense industry.

via BLACKFIVE: M.O.H. Awardee Tells B.A.E. To Pound Sand.

BAE screwed the pooch here.  Any PR consultant would have told them that if SGT Meyer wasn’t working out, they should strive to make the parting of the ways as amicable as possible.

Star Bloat

After Thanksgiving, waistlines aren’t the only things that are bloated–the Pentagon’s top ranks are fattening at an alarming rate. Despite a plan set forth by former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates to rein in the Department of Defense’s (DoD) increasingly top-heavy force and assurances from Pentagon personnel that these plans were being enacted, the U.S. military is still adding top brass faster than you can say tryptophan.

via defence.professionals | defpro.com.

My concern here isn’t so much with the direct costs of having so many general/flag officers, nor even the indirect financial costs. My heartburn is that the increasing numbers of senior officers adds undue bureaucracy and complexity.

One of the things that always astounded me when I started studying the Army in World War II was the immense responsibilities placed on relatively junior officers.  Today, a Lieutenant Colonel wouldn’t be trusted to stock the office coffee nook.

We have a defense overhead today that dwarfs the 16 million man force we fielded in World War II. Does that make sense to anyone?

Who is more trustworthy?

The Department of Homeland Security has been working on a trusted traveler registry to improve the wait times for airport screening. The House voted unanimously yesterday to add a preference system for the military, and I’m all for it. It makes no sense to trust a soldier with a M-16 to defend us, then turn around and treat him like a criminal with a pat-down and make him take off his boots and belt. I’m thinking of the shameful way Marine Corps General Joseph J. Foss and Navy Lieutenant John W. Finn were treated. Those are just a couple of incidents I remembered; I’m sure there are many more.

So thank you, Rep. Chip Cravaack of Minnesota. Any bets as to what the Senate will do?

H/T Washington Times

(Editor’s fix: Joe Foss was a major in the Marine Corps and a general in the South Dakota Air National Guard. The main point was that security at the Phoenix airport considered his Medal of Honor a suspicious weapon and made an 86-year-old war hero remove his boots, belt, and hat three times before he was allowed to board his plane.)

F-22’s still grounded

The Air Force granted a flight waiver to move F-22’s out of the path of Hurricane Irene, but the planes have been grounded off and on for the last five months while investigators try to figure out what’s wrong with the onboard oxygen generating system (OBOGS). Today they announced a delay in the scientific advisory board’s report until later in the winter.

More than 20 F-22 pilots have reported hypoxia-like symptoms. From Defense News:

Toxins found in pilots’ blood include oil fumes, residue from burned polyalphaolefin (PAO) anti-freeze, and, in one case, propane. Carbon monoxide, which leaves the blood quickly, is also suspected.

“There is a lot of nasty stuff getting pumped into the pilots’ bloodstream through what they’re breathing from that OBOGS [On-Board Oxygen Generation System]. That’s fact,” one former F-22 pilot said. “How bad it is, what type it is, exactly how much of it, how long – all these things have not been answered.”

The blood tests were performed after each of the 14 incidents in which pilots reported various cognitive dysfunctions and other symptoms of hypoxia. One couldn’t remember how to change radio frequencies. Another scraped trees on his final approach to the runway – and later could not recall the incident.

I’m sure the investigators have looked at the possibility of contaminated zeolite in the filter system. ISS had a problem with silicone outgassing in the system interfering with the zeolite doing its job of scrubbing the air. The problem was solved with a good bakeout in vacuum prior to flight.

I feel sorry for the pilots being stuck in the simulators for months, and I hope they get the OBOGS straightened out soon.

Send a postcard to ISS

NASA gives you four choices of e-postcards to send to the astronauts on the International Space Station for Christmas. You can also send a Holiday Tweet to ISS. Currently on board are Dan Burbank, Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoli Ivanishin.

http://www.nasa.gov/externalflash/postcard/

My favorite is the astronaut on a spacewalk, holding on to the Pressurized Mating Adaptor, with the docking target just visible on the lower left.