Coming to Kindle and Smashwords

Coming to Kindle and Smashwords
November 2013

May 23, 2013

New ‘Man of Steel’ Trailer & Posters Introduce Supervillain General Zod

Warner Brothers has released the new teaser trailer

The Fox-induced hysteria over Benghazi collapses

What happens when a lie goes astray?
You may recall the right wing’s hysteria last week over the way that events had supposedly played out in Benghazi, Libya. Stoked by inflammatory, deeply irresponsible misreporting on Fox News, they insisted that this scandal was bigger than Watergate, and that for his cowardice President Obama would be disgraced as commander in chief and impeached and removed from office should he win a second term.
Oh, they were in fine, fine form, braying like so many hounds certain they have finally treed the fox.
President Obama, we were told, had AC-130 gunships within an hour of Benghazi but refused to use them to try to intervene on behalf of his ambassador. We had Special Forces units ready to go just two hours away, at Sigonella Air Base in Sicily, but a cowardly Obama again barred a rescue operation, fearful that it might endanger his re-election if it went astray.
And twice — TWICE!!! — former SEALs at a nearby CIA compound had requested permission to intervene in the assault on the U.S. consulate, but twice they had been ordered to stand down and do nothing. Finally, the ex-SEALS defied orders from Washington, made their way to the consulate and rescued some of their fellow Americans. Obama, in contrast, was ready to just let them all die.
Fox News also reported that upon returning to the CIA annex, those same ex-SEALs had “lasered” a mortar targeting their position in hopes that an AC-130 would arrive to take it out, but again no help came. That same mortar later killed two of those ex-SEALs.
But as predicted here, none of that turned out to be true. None. From beginning to end, and in all its details, that story has proved to be false.
– There were no orders from the CIA or anyone else to stand down. According to a CIA timeline released last week, once those at the CIA annex learned that the nearby consulate was under attack, an ad hoc rescue mission was quickly put together and launched within 25 minutes.
– As Pentagon spokesman George Little described it Friday, “there was no AC-130 within a continent’s range of Benghazi” that night. The closest gunship was in Afghanistan, some 2,500 miles away. The two surveillance drones that eventually reached the scene in Benghazi also had to be reassigned from elsewhere; neither was armed.
– Contrary to the Fox report, there were no Special Forces units available for insertion into the situation. Soon after word of the attack reached Washington, a special ops team was scrambled from a training facility somewhere in Central Europe — some sources have reported Croatia — and transported to Sigonella.
In addition, a second special ops unit was immediately alerted and transported from a military base here in the United States to Sigonella, as an option should a hostage situation develop. In other words, major preparations were underway to provide a military option should the opportunity arise to use it.
But as Little put it last week, the units “did not arrive until after the entire sequence of events was complete. … They were in Sigonella many hours after the attacks.” Two platoons of specially trained Marines had also been hustled to Sigonella, but again too late for intervention.
– Finally, there had been no “lasering” of the mortar position used to attack the CIA annex in the second phase of the assault. (That second phase occurred more than seven hours after the attack on the consulate had ended). There was no reason to use a laser in that fashion — the SEALs knew they had no air cover to intervene — and more importantly, no opportunity to do so.
According to the CIA, its personnel at the annex were not even aware that the mortars existed until mortar shells began falling on their position; from beginning to end, the deadly mortar attack lasted all of 11 minutes.
In conclusion, last week’s entire controversy was spectacularly, embarrassingly wrong-headed. No facts exist to justify the overheated rhetoric and allegations directed at Obama and top officials in his administration, but no apologies will follow either. Quite the contrary, I’m sure.

Batman: Arkham Origins, A Prequel Video Game Starring a ‘Young and Unrefined’ Batman

Batman: Arkham Origins is a new prequel set several years before the popular video games Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City, and will tell the story of a “young and unrefined Batman as he faces a defining moment in his early career as a crime fighter.” The game is expected to launch on October 25th, 2013 for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii U, and Windows PC, and is currently available for pre-order from retailers like Amazon, Best Buy, GameStop, and Walmart.
Batman: Arkham Origins
image via Batman Arkham

After Being Sealed for 100 Years, Time Capsule in Oklahoma City Reveals Pristine Artifacts

Century Chest time capsule
photo by Paul B. Southerland/The Oklahoman
On April 22, 2013, the Century Chest, a time capsule that had been sealed for 100 years, was opened during a ceremony at the First Lutheran Church of Oklahoma City. Onlookers and historians were astonished by the pristine condition of the contents: an untarnished desk telephone, a shiny pair of women’s shoes, a Kodak camera, and much more. The Century Chest was originally buried under the church on April 22, 1913 as part of fundraiser to pay for a church organ (the organ is still in use). The opening ceremony was captured on video for posterity. The actual opening occurs at the 1:10 mark. For photos of the contents, check out this gallery on the Downtown OKC Facebook page.

Century Chest time capsule
photo via Downtown OKC
Century Chest time capsule
photo via Downtown OKC
Century Chest time capsule
photo via Downtown OKC
Century Chest time capsule
photo via Downtown OKC
Century Chest time capsule
photo via Downtown