One of the very basic freedoms that we have in this country is the Second Amendment. That gives us something that a lot of nations around the world don’t have, and that is the freedom to buy and own, guns. There may be some of you that think the average person doesn’t need a gun, and that’s your privilege to think that way. Others, like myself, believe that guns are necessary for all sorts of things. If I was a hunter, which I’m not, a rifle or a shotgun might be helping to provide food for the table, possibly to keep predators away from my livestock. Whichever way you choose to think is a personal choice…can we agree on that?
The very first “freedom” that is guaranteed to Americans is free speech. This has been severely abused in previous years and, in my not-so-humble opinion, continues to be restricted even more. There are several groups who, despite their claims to the contrary, are definitely not for free speech and will use all manner of means, including violence, to silence it. On college campuses, in high schools and yes, even in grade schools, the “younger generations” are being indoctrinated instead of being taught. The freedoms for which this country has fought, and sacrificed, are being denied to many of us and, appallingly enough, many of us are for that denial! You should really think about what you are hearing, seeing or reading and determine if it fits in with the freedom that you want.
From Wikipedia: “Margaretha Geertruida “Margreet” MacLeod (née Zelle; 7 August 1876 – 15 October 1917), better known by the stage name Mata Hari, was a Dutch exotic dancer and courtesan who was convicted of being a spy for Germany during World War I and executed by firing squad in France.”
Spying has been around since forever, I’m guessing. Certainly since the American Revolution, and Benedict Arnold. Spies, as we’ve seen, come from all walks of life, all colors, sizes, and shapes. There is no one method of identifying a spy, nor is there one method of “inserting” a spy into the enemy “camp”.
Recently, a very interesting spy story came to light.
The New York Times, on August 19th, ran a story that was quite interesting. It seems that Captain Harith Al Sudani was driving a pickup truck loaded down with 1100 pounds of military grade explosives that the Islamic State planned to use in an attack on New Year’s Eve shoppers in the Iraqi capital.
Any sort of accident, however slight, might be enough to detonate the bomb he was transporting. Even a dispute erupting at one of the checkpoints along the highway, might wind up with gunfire and that would set off the explosives. It was touch-and-go every minute. He was an outstanding military man, with an excellent record. He had foiled 30 planned vehicle-bomb attacks and 18 suicide bombers. Sudani also gave the agency a direct line to some of the Islamic State’s senior commanders in Mosul, Iraq. You see, Sudani was a spy. While active on the side of the Islamic State he was funneling information to the “allied” forces.
He always had to watch for anything unusual in his relations with the Islamic State personnel in case they had discovered him to be one of the enemy. He had already been caught in a small lie, and that made him suspect. The truck, carrying half-a-ton of C-4 plastic explosive was dangerous enough, and if he lived through this event he could still be exposed as a spy.
He was one of several spies, called “the Falcons” placed inside and high up in the Islamic State’s ranks. A sting, operated by these Falcons, led to the arrest of five senior Islamic State members who were hiding in Turkey and Syria. Sudani was handled by members of the Islamic State and told where, when, and how to complete a mission. Whenever he got an order, and if it was possible, he would alert the Falcons and they would intercept and capture the enemy. Once alerted, the Falcons would send a chase car to follow Sudani and jam the signal that would detonate the bomb, which were almost always set off with a phone call to the detonator. The Falcons, once the mission had been thwarted, would set off fake explosions, issue fake news releases…whatever it took to make it look as though the mission had been completed.
Now, a bit closer to home, we learn something interesting about the Mormons…and why that term is not being used anymore. The current president of the Utah-based church says “Mormon” is out. Russell Nelson issued a statement on August 19th in which he said that the policy change came to him in a revelation from God. No longer can “Mormon”, “Mormon Church”, “Mormonism” and even “LDS” can be used. The now-official name is “Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” and the members will have to make whatever adjustments they need to make. The only exceptions are for the Book of Mormon, which is the sacred text, and any historical names such as The Mormon Trail which is the path the church took from Illinois to Utah in the mid-19th century.
Parting shot: Someone once said that the only constant in life is change and that is something I believe whole-heartedly. Some changes are good.
Image: CCO Creative Commmons; https://pixabay.com/en/eye-eyes-dark-watching-observing-2488227/