Key West domestic and foreign wars symposium: terrorists come in many forms and don’t all live in Moslem countries

Homeland Security
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mud dog
Mud Dawg” Mike Tolbert, of Daddy Bones BBQ, another casualty of the North Roosevelt Blvd redo, replied to yesterday’s  tunnel vision, similar to Pearl Harbor lookout vision, abounds in Key West, among other places near and far  post at
head up assdown the rabbit holePearl Harbor lookout

“tunnel vision, similar to Pearl Harbor lookout vision, abounds in Key West, among other places near and far” –

Today, at

  • Mike Tolbert you gotta quit making sense. If you don’t you might be the next mayor soon! Shit I might start signing folks up and haul them to the polls on election day just watch a certain mayors wife freak out! MAYOR BAHINSKY has a nice ring to it. Or I guess there’s always the FAT TONY in drag candidate Romero. NAW I like the sound of mayor Bashinsky much better!
  • Sloan Bashinsky Ran into Damian Vantriglia this evening, his mom and dad were dear friends of mine, before his dad died and then his mom moved away. She was the heart and soul of Art Behind Bars. Damian said she’s doing well now, she remarried last year, they are living in east Tennessee, just across from North Carolina. Damian is into helping people get elected down here, it’s a business for him. He’s working on Craig’s campaign, I said I’d seen this pic below on Craig’s FB page today (I had dreamt in a nap of going to FB about something, but didn’t tell Damian that.) I said just about everyone was lobbying FDOT for two-way traffic, it was not Craig’s cause. The problem was, there needed to be a turn lane, for without that, it would have been wild and wooly. I asked Damian if he knew Craig and that City Commission, on which Tony Yaniz did not sit, had chosen the nearly 2 1/2 year North Roosevelt work schedule, instead of a much shorter work schedule, because they didn’t wan to waive the city noise ordinance? Well, no, Craig had not told Damian that. I told Damian that I had found out about it from Barry Gibson about a week before the town hall meeting in Old City Hall with the FDOT folks, and then I had gone after the FDOT head and gotten out of the FDOT head honcho that it was because of the city noise ordinance that the work had not been done round the clock, including weekends. And Craig had told me, and everyone, that I was embarrassing the city. Didn’t Craig tell you that, Damian? Well, no. I said, I see Craig is saying this will his last run for mayor, the same thing he said in 2009. Craig said that in 2009, Damian asked? Yep, he didn’t tell you that, either? Did he put in in writing? No, he just said it, lots of people heard him say it. He didn’t tell you about that, Damian? Well, no. I said, I like Craig, but he shades. Maybe he didn’t shade before he became a politician. I’m not a politician, I’m a human.

    Craig Cates ad
  • Sloan Bashinsky I’m kinda freaked out, Mike, ’cause I really did think I wuz making sense all along, but maybe it wasn’t coming across as cents, maybe it was coming across as since (when). Or maybe that was when your computer was messed up and all you had was one of those hand-held telephone devices to read my ravings with. It ain’t my style to throw spaghetti against a wall, hoping some of it will stick. I said I was the off the wall candidate, because my suggestions will work, if they are tried, although maybe not in the way some, or many, people want things to work. Might be easier just to turn Patti Jo loose on them – then they have an entirely different view of weapon of mass destruction 🙂. Entirely different. Fat Tony in drag might win a contest of some kind, maybe I should have told Damian about it.
    Met a Marine vet a little while ago on Caroline Street. We talked maybe half hour. He said he was in Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan. Hell. He got shot in the leg, got honorable medical discharge in 2011, been trying to get his military retirement ever since. Came to KW because he can get by better here, with what he has to live on. Said he runs with other US military vets down here. He’s comfortable with that. The cops treat homeless people, including vets like shit; but they never tried to beat him up. a Marine, he would not stand for that. He said he was born in Ft. Myers, then his family moved to Ft. Payne, Alabama. He told me that, after I told him I was from Alabama, and had been homeless down here. His daddy had a trucking company, only used Peterbuilts. They hauled potatoes from Idaho for Frito-Lay. I said, dang, my father’s company was Golden Flake, they competed with Frito-Lay and he had helped Frito-Lay put Golden Flake nearly out of business. Dang, he said. I said fellow I went to Alabama Law School with was from Ft. Payne. Really smart, and he like to fish and hunt and pick a guitar, and he knew all the guys who became the band, Alabama, from childhood. They fished and hunted together. He played music with them. He became their music lawyer and they made a whole lot of money. Eventually, he became the President of the Alabama State Bar Association. He’s dead for some time now. The Marine vet said he’s 43. He called me a young man. I said my oldest daughter is a year older than him. No way. For sure. What do I do down here? I’m a political terrorist, the politicians think I’m the Taliban. He laughed. He said he quit voting years ago, because it didn’t matter who got elected; they put into office who they wanted to put into office. I told some his buddies how “Brain Dead” acquired his name. I’ll save that for later.
  • Mike Tolbert Sense since cents? Hell auto correct hates me! Don’t piss me off I will rent a van and bring A shitload of new voters to poll on election day! Then your butt be having to cut ribbons and kiss babies and deal with crazy redneck bbq people who don’t like arrogant Elitist! Oh wait that’s the current mayoron. You would have to do better job than that anyway. You already up on him by not sounding like your whining when u speak. And I aint gotta worry bout your wife scolding me on social media! Hell I love how The Gerald Adams city hall is supposed to be a good thing when city streets are worse than some 3rd world country. So many businesses have closed on Cates watch its starting to look like a ghost town. 5th highest place in country to rent a Apt. BUT hey lets build more govt buildings buy more cars and trucks hire more people. Makes perfect sense to me!
  • Sloan Bashinsky It’s Glynn Archer they are making into a new city hall. Craig pushed hard for that, it’s a good location, if it comes in around estimated cost, and there are no post construction “gotchas”, it should be a feather in his cap. I don’t know about the city buying a bunch of new vehicles, but I know they have a lot of city employees riding around in city vehicles. The parking meter cops ought all to be on foot, or on bicycles. I think Key West rents are higher than any place else in Florida, and I don’t see that changing, unless the city uses its own land, Truman Waterfront, for example, for real affordable rental housing, the kind your cook living at KOTS can afford on his wages. City streets are not worse than some third world county, I been to third world countries. This is a banana republic, way overbuilt, no way streets ain’t clogged as long as motorized 4 and more wheel vehicles are legal here, and not a dang thing can be done about it but moan. They could build parking decks all over town and it wouldn’t make a dent in the parking problems in Old Town and the traffic problems on main streets. And, the decks would destroy ambiance around them.
    I got to thinking about that Marine vet some more last night after writing to you. He seemed to be, of the several of his vet friends I met, the only one of them with his head screwed on pretty well. He seemed to be looking out for the rest of them. I got the sense from talking with him that being back in the States for them is kinda like being back in Afghanistan, except the VA and city police and some local citizens are now the Taliban. He said as soon as he gets his military benefits, he’s moving to the mainland where he can afford to live on his benefits – $2,000 a month, he was told. He said he doesn’t stay at KOTS. I didn’t ask where he stays nights. Dream before dawn this morning said to use this email thread and that If you think it’s too expensive to treat veterans, then don’t send them to war – better yet, don’t fight stupid, ruinous Corporate USA wars in the first place post I slaved over at the past few days, in today’s post at I didn’t talk with the Marine vet about his view of Corporate America at war, didn’t seem the time. But what he and that post represent are a billion times more important than the chicken politics going on in Key West. Been my experience that 99 or maybe even 99.99 percent of Americans don’t want to know about that side of their national government.

If you think it’s too expensive to treat veterans, then don’t send them to war – better yet, don’t fight stupid, ruinous Corporate USA wars in the first place

upside down American flag 2
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On days when there is no new post at this website, there is a new post at, where I presently am the village idiot.
This floated into my Facebook account yesterday, while I was taking a nap and dreaming of something huge coming my way, which I didn’t wish to be bothered with. But I was having a nasty day internally, and when I saw it in my Facebook account, I figured it was why and I wrote a long reply to the last entry from Kevin Stuart, which apparently was too big to post to Facebook, because it never went through. But while I wrote it, my bowel purged and I felt a heap better and knew I had just written it out of me. So, what I wrote which didn’t make it to Facebook is pasted in below this Facebook thread, started by a Keys amiga who sings like a nightingale and has fire and grit in her belly.
I completely agree.
You can read and support Sen. Bernie Sanders' comprehensive veterans bill here:
You can read and support Sen. Bernie Sanders’ comprehensive veterans bill here:
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  • Debbie Mathis That right …freedom is not free ..
  • Kim Wroble They are not fighting for freedom at all but for the empire of the controlling international bankers.. You know..the same ones that started the US Fed Bank in 1913 and have controlled DC, our media and brainwashing schools since then.. By the way, the US has dropped to #18 in free countries and is now #36 in education.. Sorry but the words”fighting for freedom” makes sparks fly out of my a$$…
  • Sean Heaney Kim; How about some extension courses in China on computer hacking or Russia on the history of NASA, our former space program? The adult-children are wrapping up their two terms of running the country into the ground. God willing adults w/knowledge of history can pick up the pieces. Today is the 70th anniversary of D-Day; ask the survivors in occupied Europe if it was a “Fight for Freedom.” Semper Fi, Sean X.
  • Sloan Bashinsky This AWOL Alabama Air National Guard draft dodger below invaded Iraq to get its oil and refineries, under pretense of weapons of mass destruction never found, then he invaded Afghanistan, long coveted a pipeline opportunity to oil and gas deposits further east, even as he lowered taxes on the rich and wrecked the US Treasury, while making Halliburton (eg.Dick Cheney) billion$$$$, not to mention other America at War, Inc. companies. Maybe the Marines should go to Texas and find the deserter and send him to the front lines of Afghanistan, along with Dick Cheny and Donald Rumsfeld, and leave them there.

    Sloan Bashinsky's photo.
  • Sean Heaney My such bile from the Tolerant Until You Disagree With Me crowd. Wake up, ye hypocrites, it’s been Prez O’s war for a long time. I was afraid he was going to surrender to Putin on D-Day. There wasn’t a Russkie in site en France. Are we supposed to go to “Rape Berlin & Poland(twice,)Day? You had two terms; the guy should go back to schoolin’, as Zep would say, & stop using the Govt. as his classroom. X. Lovely speaking voice, yes. X.
  • Kevin Stuart Well while the statement is true, we Veterans in Vermont refer to this joker as “The Village Idiot.”
  • Kevin Stuart Sloan Bashinsky, It sounds you never served in the military. But I did for 35+ years, and I was in the ANG and in Iraq. You have No Clue what the Guard does, or what was found in Iraq. So since you don’t know what your talking about, maybe you shouldn’t try to show your ignorance…
  • Sloan Bashinsky Yes, I never served in the US Military. I don’t care for Obama, either. Do you know what was found in Iraq? if so, what was it? Did you find it?
  • Kevin Stuart Yes I do know what was found, because it is classified, I can’t say what it was. It was people from my unit that found it.
  • Sloan Bashinsky That’s convenient, it’s classified. Still. What you indicate justified US invasion of Iraq cannot be made known to American public. Doesn’t pass my smell test. Might not pass a lot of Americans’ smell test, who lived through the Vietnam era and came to understand US war motives simply could not be trusted, and plenty happened after that to keep that faith alive and well. I will use this email thread in today’s post at, to which I will add a bit. Thanks, Adrienne, for starting this thread. It ain’t pretty music, but it’s still music which needs to be heard, this village idiot says. Ciao Maim
Sloan Bashinsky I tried to reply by email to yours Kevin Stuart, maybe it’s still in the air waves. Here it is again. It’s long.
The military commanders who order me around would not go for classifying evidence used to justify a foreign US war. I imagine a whole lot of Americans would like to know what was classified, regardless of whether or not it was used to justify US invading Iraq. Doesn’t pass my smell test, but I don’t know what it is. Perhaps it’s something which cannot be revealed without jeopardizing national security, as opposed to something politicians, criminals, or worse, don’t want revealed.

I’ll tell you a couple of stories about my military commanders, which I’ve told many times before, Adrienne may have read the stories, as she gets my daily email blasts dating back to 2006 after I met her singing a couple of times a week in Parrotdise on Little Torch Key, where I then lived.

Two nights before 9/11, in my sleep, a voice I had come to know well asked me, “Will you make a prayer for a Divine Intervention for all of humanity?” Startled awake, I asked for a Divine Intervention for all of humanity. Two days later, I knew why I had been asked to make that prayer. I also knew it was bait, a trap, and America should not get into an overseas war over it; another Vietnam, so to speak. When America invaded Iraq, Osama bin Laden could not have been more pleased. When America later invaded Afghanistan, that was like dying and going to heaven for bin Lader, Yeah, Obama’s troops finally killed him, after Bush had given up the hunt, but bin Laden won long before that. America was wrecked internally, like what had happened in Vietnam, but worse, because those two G.W. Bush wars destroyed the American treasury, and finished off killing what was left of America’s soul, which had survived Vietnam.

The second story about the military leaders who yank me around came when Obama was going up against Hillary Clinton in 2008 for the Democratic nomination for US Presidency. I was told in my sleep that Obama had the potential to be the Anti-Christ. I told everyone I knew about that, published it on my websites; did all I could to talk them out of voting for Obama. I’m talking about Democrats and Independents, who were infatuated with Obama, not Republicans and other conservatives. Talking with them was like talking to zombies. Similar to talking with Republicans. When Obama later accepted the Nobel Peace Prize, while still waging G.W. Bush’s two wars, which Obama should have ended the day after he was sworn in, I knew something truly EVIL had occurred. I felt a great disturbance in the FORCE, so to speak. And, my bowel locked and stayed locked for about a month, when really violent poetry aimed at Obama burst out of me during a Key West Poetry Guild monthly meeting, and a couple of days later more of it burst out of me at a Guild reading in a pocket park in Key West. My bowel unlocked.

I cannot, and would not presume to, imagine what you experienced in in Iraq. I hated what all US military personnel experienced there, and in Afghanistan. And what they came back with internally (post traumatic shock) and/or without (limbs, eyes, other body parts). I hated what those two wars did to those soldiers’ families. I hated what those two wars did to Iraqi and Afghanistan civilians, especially women and children. I hated what those two wars did to America. I never once felt those two wars were about defending Americans. I still feel Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld should have been, still should be, tried for murder, treason, war crimes. I hope you have evidence which will dissuade me from feeling that way, which you can share in this email thread. I understand evidence, once a lawyer, always a lawyer.

I don’t know how old you are, Kevin, I’m 71, in G.W. Bush’s generation. In 1999, I met and ran for a while with a woman who was one of the Kent State students on whom the Ohio National Guardsmen open fire while they were sitting on the ground protesting US expansion of the Vietnam war into countries west of Vietnam. She got up and ran with the rest of the students, with National Guard troops in hot pursuit still firing at them. When the students veered right, fleeing hopefully for safety, she veered left, alone, and the Guardsmen let her go and went after the main body of students, firing and hitting some of them, killing more of them. Nothing ever happened to those Guardsmen. She started carrying explosives in her day pack for the Weathermen between their hideouts. Then, she decided that wasn’t right and she stopped doing it. That was almost 30 years before I knew her. She still was terrified of the American government, soldiers and even police, when I was with her. Can’t say I blamed her.

I watched President Lyndon Johnson and American corporations invent the US intervention in Vietnam, after I heard Johnson promise all American parents that he would never send their sons to die in war in Asia. When he was leaving his second term in office, former General Dwight D. Eisenhower had warned the American public, “Beware of the Military-Industrial Complex.” The same General Eisenhower who had led the Allied Command against Hitler and his troops in Europe.

I can tell you stories of how Johnson and the Military Industrial Complex got America into Vietnam, which might, or might not, make you sick to your stomach. One of the stories made my father, a WW II Pacific Theater B-29 combat navigator-bombardier, sick to his stomach when he heard it at the same time I heard it from the President of the National Geographic at the Downtown Birmingham (Alabama) Rotary Club. I could tell you what a fellow who said he was ex-CIA told me and other people here in Key West maybe 10 years ago, about what his unit’s mission in Vietnam was when the French were trying to take it back from Ho Chi Minh, after France had lost it to the Japanese in WW II, which might, or might not, make you sick to your stomach. I could tell you about excerpts of President Harry Truman’s handwritten diary, wherein he wrote why he really dropped the A-bombs on Japan, which might, or might not, make you sick to your stomach.

But for a MIRACLE, I would have served in the US military during the Vietnam war, which MIRACLE might, or might not, interest you to hear. I had many friends who went over there, two were killed, for nothing. Most came back all torn up in their souls, if not also in their bodies, for nothing. One, who I met many years later, was an artillery Captain. He came back and started protesting that war, and has protested every American war since. He, too, knows about evidence, once a lawyer, always a lawyer. Vietnam taught many Americans, including my father, that the war motives of the US Government simply cannot be trusted. That’s why I really hope you will disclose what your unit found in Iraq. I, and many Americans, would like to believe there was a compelling threat AGAINST THE US in Iraq, which justified the invasion.
You know, don’t you, that when Saddam Hussein asked the US Ambassador how the older George Bush, Saddam’s old CIA buddy, would react to Saddam’s army invading Kuwait, the ambassador indicated the US would not object. You know, don’t you, when that President Bush went on national US television to explain why he was going to save Kuwait from Saddam, who Bush had kept calling by his first name in a prior national debate with Ross Perot on Larry King Live, that he, Bush, could not let the American way of life be threatened. Oil. Bush said nothing about saving the Kuwaitis from Hussein. Oil.

On Larry King Live, Perot begged Bush not to go into Iraq. Perot said he was not being unpatriotic, he had gone with hired American mercinaries into Iran to rescue a number of his own employees Iran was holding hostage. That raid was successful. Perot said he used to have business dealings with Arabs, and no matter how hard he tried, he always ended up getting skinned, so he stopped doing business with them. He said they don’t think like Americans think. Leave them alone. They will go into a tent and come out holding hands. Then, they will fight with each other again, and then they will go into a tent and come out holding hands. They will sell America their oil regardless of who among them controls it. Made a lot of sense to me.

Daddy Bush later said he had wanted to take that fight all the way to Baghdad, but the Arab allies in the UN Coaliton would not have stood for it. Bush’s old ally, whom the CIA had made who he was, was allowed to retreat with most of his army and weapons. Saddam felt betrayed by Daddy Bush. He probably had good reason to feel betrayed, because they had been buddies. Saddam and his troops had replaced Iran as America’s ally over there, a buffer against the Soviets, after the Shah was driven out of Iran and Islamic clerics took over that country.

History as a great teacher, especially when it happens during your lifetime.

My military commanders claim to be Jesus and Archangel Michael. They trained me. The training was horrible. That’s an gross understatement. The work they give me to do is horrible. Another gross understatement. You no more can imagine the work I do, Kevin, than I can imagine what it was like for you in Iraq.

Maybe you have a higher calling than the US Military Chain of Command and US classified information rules. Maybe you are being called by your Maker to tell what you know about what your unit found in Iraq. Jesus and Michael are always on the lookout for a few good men and women.

Let me know if you wish to hear why America intervened in Vietnam and why Truman dropped the A-bombs. Oh, my pardon, I forgot to mention President Roosevelt (a Democrat) knew the Japanese were going to attack Pearl Harbor, but he didn’t alert the Navy because he wanted the attack to swing American sentiment toward intervening in WW II.


Sloan at Coco's
Sloan Bashinsky
Key West
Okay, my military leaders told me in a nap earlier today to fill in the blanks I left missing, none of it is classified. In fact, in God’s realm, there are no fig leaves, nor any secrets.
President Truman wrote in his diary that the reason he dropped the A-bombs on Japan was not to win that war, the Japanese were trying to surrender, but to intimidate the Russians. He succeeded. Thus began the nuclear arms race.

The National Geographic President told the Birmingham Rotary Club that the Geographic had correspondents in Saigon when a huge street demonstration occurred. Thousands of Vietnamese carried posters, written in English, begging America to intervene and save them from the communists. The Geographic correspondents spoke Vietnamese and learned from the protesters that they did not speak English and didn’t know what was on the posters they were carrying. They lived in the countryside and had been paid money by the Saigon government to be bused into the city and demonstrate. The demonstration was widely aired on American television and swung American sentiment toward intervening in South Vietnam’s favor. Later digging by the Geographic uncovered that the money for the demonstration had been paid by the US Government and US corporations to the Saigon government for the demonstration.

The former CIA agent told us in the Unitarian Church in Key West that, while publicly the US was backing France in it efforts to retake Vietnam, his unit’s mission was to do all possible to help Ho Chi Minh defeat the French, so the US could cut a deal with Minh and replace France in Vietnam and have access to Vietnam’s rubber trees and other natural resources. Their mission succeeded, except Minh decided America was asking for too much, so he went to the Soviets for friendship and aid. He did not go to the Chinese due to longstanding hostility between China and Vietnam.

The MIRACLE, which saved me from going to Vietnam, came about in this way. My infant son died at the beginning of my last semester in law school. By then, students were being drafted, but fathers were not, and never would be. I was exposed to the draft, unless I elected to take special student deferment, which would let me finish my course of study, whereupon I would be inducted. The draft was a lottery, no one knew who would be drafted next. After going back and forth between being drafted, dropping out of law school and enlisting in the Marine Corps, and applying for the special student deferment and then being inducted and maybe ending up in the Judge Advocate General Corps as a military lawyer, I decided to apply for the special student deferment and drove to Birmingham and did that. About two weeks later, my wife discovered she was pregnant. I drove back to the draft board hoping, but not believing, I would be able to retract the special student deferment I had elected. The same woman clerk waited on me, who had processed the special student deferment application. She heard me out, said she felt for me, but the special student deferment was irrevocable. She went to a green filing cabinet and pulled out my file to show me what I had signed, which I already knew was irrevocable. Then, she said, “There’s been some mistake.” I asked, “What mistake?” She said, “You applied on the wrong form, your application for the deferment was defective, you will have to reapply.? I laugh, said, said, “No thanks, I will go back to having a father deferment.” I felt as if the weight of the world had been lifted me. I knew it was a MIRACLE. As time passed, I viewed it as God’s way of saying how God felt about that war, and how God felt about me being in it. Maybe losing my son was war enough war. It certainly left me at loose ends for a very long time. There are lots of ways to have post traumatic shock, fighting in US foreign wars is just one of the ways.

There are lots of homeless veterans down here in Key West and throughout the Florida Keys. They, and homeless people generally, are treated like scum in Key West, somewhat better up the Keys. Battle shock (post traumatic shock) is like a time bomb, tick, tick, tick-ing, until finally a veteran no longer can hold it together. Homelessness is one outcome, which can occur. Most of the homeless veterans down here are Vietnam veterans. The Iraq and Afghanistan wars are just getting started turning out homeless veterans. The wars in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan were not worth one dead, maimed or battle-shocked America soldier. Nor one homeless veteran. My way of “supporting the troops” is to encourage American soldiers to not participate in Corporate America wars, and to advocate evacuating all American troops out of those places ASAP, and bring them home.


Kevin Stuart replied that he’d sworn an oath to keep secret what his unit found in Iraq. I wrote back that he had not convinced me,that USA had cause to invade Iraq, and I had been told in a dream to fill in the missing blanks in the post at, if he, or anyone else, wished to see why President Truman dropped the A-bombs, why America intervened in Vietnam, and the miracle that saved me from same. Kevin then posted, “Spoken like a true coward.” Then, the entire email thread disappeared. I don’t know if Adrienne blocked me out, or if she took it down off of Facebook. I’ve been called a lot of things by people who didn’t like what I wrote or said to them, but not a coward. My life and my soul are on the front lines every day and night, it’s been that way a long time. Live ammo. Deadly ammo. Different warfare than what Kevin experienced in Iraq. 


On same topic, from my perspective, is this article in the current edition of Key West the Newspaper – From my perspective, the trailing reader comments are the meat of the affair.


Longtime readers know that, of all the adventures I have had in my life, I rank my three years of military service at near the top, especially my time as a paratrooper with the 101st Airborne. That time changed my life. I was discharged back into the real world, still young, but way more mature and responsible than before the Army. My brief time in the service does not make me a military expert, but I do have my opinions. Case in point: The prisoner exchange this week that resulted in Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s release from captivity as the only American prisoner of war in Afghanistan.

I remember what I thought when I heard the national news about Bergdahl’s capture back in 2009. How could that happen? What could the situation have been that would have given the enemy an opportunity to capture an American soldier? Well, subsequent news reports provided that answer– Bergdahl was a deserter! He simply left his post and walked off of his base. But regardless, our military has a tradition that we do not leave soldiers on the battlefield. So, during the five years that Bergdahl was in captivity, his fellow soldiers continued to look for him with the goal of freeing him from captivity. And six of them died in that effort.

Recently, with the war winding down in Afghanistan, the Obama administration apparently had an opportunity to do a prisoner exchange to bring Bergdahl home. But what the Taliban wanted was outrageous– the release of five of the most dangerous terrorists in the world from the prison at Guantanimo Bay in Cuba. No matter. The Obama administration agreed– even though the President has admitted in public statements that at least some of these terrorists are likely to be a threat to Americans in the future. But if that turns out to be the case, Obama said, they will be tracked down and dealt with. Yeah, right. Recall that Obama also said that the terrorists who killed four Americans in Benghazi would be tracked down and dealt with.

Many in Congress on both sides of the aisle are publicly wondering what the hell Obama was thinking. Yes, we should always try to bring all of our soldiers back from the battlefield. But aren’t there some limits? In this case, how many more American lives should be at risk to bring one disgraced soldier home? That does not mean that efforts should not have continued to free Bergdahl. But the deal that Obama made was a bad deal. And once again, the Obama administration seems to have been totally clueless as to how the American people would view the Bergdahl exchange.

Of all people, Security Advisor Susan Rice was sent out to the Sunday talk shows to proclaim that Bergdahl is a hero who had served with “honor and distinction” and that expedited action was required to make this exchange because Bergdahl’s health was failing. Both of those assertions now appear to be false. Recall that Susan Rice was the same spokesperson they sent to the Sunday shows to tell us with a straight face that the attack in Benghazi was a response to a anti-Muslem video! In addition, Obama hosted a celebratory event at the White House with Bergdahl’s parents, apparently thinking that Bergdahl’s return would be seen as a great victory for his administration.

Now, he seems to be surprised that the American people are saying, “You did what?!” In fact, it appears that this may be another embarrassing “you can keep your insurance, you can keep your doctor” pinocchio moment for Obama. While it is good that Bergdahl has been freed from captivity, the reality is that he is likely to be court martialed and will spend years in prison. Desertion is one of the most serious crimes a soldier can commit. The Army will not, cannot ignore what Bergdahl did.

Prisoner Exchange


Dennis Reeves Cooper, Ph.D

Dennis Reeves Cooper founded Key West The Newspaper in 1994 and was editor and publisher until he retired in 2012.
Key West The Newspaper [The Blue Paper] encourages spirited, open debate in comments on our stories. We do ask that you refrain from profanity, personal attacks and remarks that are off point. Please join the conversation!


  1. Thank you for addressing this topic. We got a real wing-dinger in the white house. It’s not a matter of politics, democrat or republican, liberal or conservative, black or white. I wish it were that simple.

    All five of the released terrorists will return to killing, kidnapping and injuring as many Americans as they can. Every national security agency document secured thus far, attests to this fact.

    The terrorists that our president set free are the brain trust of the Taliban. They are on equivalent to four star generals within our Armed Forces.

    There are serious questions surrounding the soundness, stability and sanity of an individual, who reignites the capacity of our assailants to kill us. Particularly, when said person is charged with a constitutional oath, to protect and defend us against all enemies.

  2. Are you going to believe it too when the news reports that these “terrorists” are the masterminds behind hijacking flight MH370 that has now been used to detonate a nuke over israel causing the official start of WW3? Oh but don’t worry, Obama will track them down (in whatever US funded torture chamber they are currently in) and they will be dealt with. Too bad the lie believers are the majority.

  3. wow, for a moment there I thought I clicked on a column by Shawn Hannity….
    are you kidding with this Mr. Reeves?? with your journalistic background it is indeed a shame you are so loose with the narrative before the facts are in. first, we are the ones invading their country, so we’re the enemy, and we’re the terrorists, let’s get that straight. second, how do you know he is a deserter? that has not been resolved yet, and in this country we are innocent until railroaded to guilty, so there’s that. also, where is the proof that anybody died looking for him, let alone 6 soldiers? it appears that that has been debunked. but then the military has a history of that; remember Jessica Lynch and Pat Tillman? then you go along with the propaganda that the released prisoners are all hardened murders just waiting for the chance to slit every American throat they can. Again, when we look at the facts (they’re pesky aren’t they?), we see that these men have all been jailed since 2002. they have long been dethroned from whatever position they may have held, and their relevancy surely has been diluted. but wait, we don’t know what they were because they were never charged with anything, never saw the inside of a court, just picked up and jailed.
    so Mr. Reeves, I suggest you put down the Fox News Reporting for Dummies book you are reading, and get back to Journalism 101.
    Lastly, I’m glad you enjoyed your military service, and I’m glad you got something out of it. but thousands upon thousands of other people were not so lucky to have that same experience at the hands of the U.S. military. killing people should not be a career.

  4. I thank Sister and Keysbum for their comments. It has caused me to dig a little deeper into this matter. I will offer a response for their consideration.

    Primary sources to the event in question, attest to the fact that Mr. Bergdahl deserted his post. The Platoon Leader, Squad Leader and Medic, along with 6 fellow soldiers, unanimously and publicly identified this man as a deserter. They all said that he walked away from his assigned post, abandoning his combat position, while they slept. If this occurred, it is a serious offense. When it’s done in a combat zone, it’s punishable by death.

    To a man, each one of these soldiers said they considered Bergdahl a Brother. They further stated that they would have unhesitatingly sacrificed their lives to save his.

    I witnessed several interviews given by the mothers, fathers and wife of two soldiers who were killed during subsequent combat operations following Mr. Bergdahl’s disappearance. They all believed their sons were killed while looking for Bergdahl. Thus far, their sentiments have been corroborated by members of Bergdahl’s Platoon.

    Particularly disturbing to me, was the fact that these veterans were all in agreement that the precision and accuracy of the attacks launched against them, significantly increased after Bergdahl’s departure.

    I agree with Keysbum, Mr. Bergdahl is presumed to be innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. However, as American citizens we are entitled to research, investigate and secure evidence, which may be used in formulating an opinion concerning the matter that is before us.

    I’ve attempted to be impartial and objective with the information that I’ve shared. I recognize that I’ve had experiences which could distort my processing this event. However, my life’s work has demonstrated a capacity to get at the truth. My yearning to authentically realize incidents as they really are, has superseded my personal biases. The propaganda, or lies that I’ve been fed, haven’t taken hold.

    Two of the five prisoners set free are wanted by the United Nations for “War Crimes Against Humanity”. They are charged with killing thousands of innocent Shiite Muslim men, women and children.

    Another, is the Deputy Minister of Intelligence for the Taliban and Al Qaeda. He is accused by “Human Rights Watch” of murdering and torturing Afghan civilians.

    Included in this exchange is a senior Taliban Commander considered to be a military mastermind in developing violent tactics utilized in assassinating political dissenters. He is a Taliban Governor for the Balkh and Lagman provinces, who has been implicated in the murder of thousands of Shiites in northern Afghanistan. When asked about the killings, he did not express any regret and stated: ” They did what they needed to do in their struggle to establish their ‘ideal state.’”

    The last prisoner let go is a former Chief of Staff and Deputy Finance Director of the Taliban Army. He served as Governor of the Herat Province in Afghanistan and has been identified as a powerful opium trafficker. He specializes in smuggling missiles and amassing weapons for the purpose of murdering Afghan civilians that disagree with him.

    Keysbum, far from being dethroned from their positions of power and influence, the aforementioned terrorists are now revered as distinguished and preeminent celebrities. They are energizing and recruiting those who find the lives of women worthless, as they kill anyone or thing that questions their authority.

    Documents reveal, that even after their capture they wielded considerable influence throughout Afghanistan. An in-depth assessment determined that: “If released, detainees would likely rejoin the Taliban and establish ties with other terrorist groups”.

    Formulating an opinion based on studying documents, investigating events and researching interviews, is not akin to parroting information proffered by any type of news program.

    War is the ultimate insanity. It highlights the weaknesses inherent in human beings. Intolerance, anger and aggression are fueled by selfishness and ignorance. Incompetent and ineffective leadership finds expression in the military industrial complex.

    We are all called upon to serve our Country and God in a multitudinous of ways. I’ve not walked in another’s shoes. I’ve come to understand the implications involved in the quote: “Judge not lest ye be judged”.

    A well developed sense of discernment and perspicacity has served me well. Most importantly, I’ve had the good fortune of learning where Peace and Love reside; between my ears.

  5. The village idiot wonders what in the hell we were doing having troops in Afghanistan in the first place? And before that, in Iraq? Obama is a national joke. His predecessor was a national joke. National jokes, which caused huge harm to American troops, their families, the US treasury, and to foreign troops and their families and civilians. Vietnam taught America nothing. I got shanghaied to write a bit about that into a Facebook thread yesterday, started by a Keys amiga I know somewhat. One of the participants in that thread said his National Guard unit in Iraq discovered something there, which, was his drift, justified the US invasion of Iraq, but it was classified back then, and still is. I replied, how convenient, it’s classified; didn’t pass this Vietnam generation American’s smell test. That entire FB thread, and my second, quite long off-Facebook reply to the Iraq veteran, are included in the June 8, 2014 “If you think it’s too expensive to treat veterans, then don’t send them to war – better yet, don’t fight stupid, ruinous Corporate USA wars in the first place ” post at

  6. Mr. Donnelly….

    first, let me say that I consider this whole episode another clown show put on by the US government and disseminated by their communication arm, the US mainstream media. the cast of characters are right out of central casting (the bearded father is hilarious).
    having said that, getting at the truth is a lot harder than watching Fox News (or MSNBC for that matter), or accepting government produced documents or spokespeople. I referenced the cases of Jessica lynch and pat tillman in my previous comment as testament to the “truth telling” we can expect. we do not know the real truth, the real agenda behind this story. but we do know there IS an agenda, and it IS a story. hopefully we will find out someday.
    but there are some truths that can be discussed now. for example the 5 men released from US custody. these people were Taliban. there were fighting US aggression. does that make them a terrorist or freedom fighter? the fact that some or all, of them may have been involved in killing members of their own country is horrifying of course, but puts them in the same company of countless of other governments (remember the US created Taliban governed Afghanistan until we over threw them), including our own (remember Waco?). these people would be of no consequence, and would have no effect on America save for the fact that we INVADED their country! whatever their crimes were, they are not against us, and should not be dealt with by us. they were illegally taken prisoner, denied any due process, probably tortured, and kept in a cage by an invading army carrying out an illegal act of aggression. who are the war criminals again?
    now, the story goes that 6 soldiers died trying to save Bergdahl. nonsense. the reasoning they have all used is to state that these soldiers might not have been where they were killed if Bergdahl had not left. stupid. what if more would have been killed if Bergdahl hadn’t of left? woulda, coulda, shoulda. just nonsense. but not one of these soldiers died even remotely connected to Bergdahl, not one. but it makes for a better story, more discussion points, more controversy, and more distraction (anyone talking about the VA story anymore?).
    one thing can be assured Mr. Donnelly: if you are getting your facts from anything you see on TV, or reading it from anything you can buy on a newsstand, you are getting a sponsored truth, and one that should only be accepted with a boulder (not grain) of salt.

  7. I think Keysbum has it pretty well sized up; all this fretting over this molecule on the little toe of a monster, which is USA invading Afghanistan, as if the Soviet experience there didn’t happen to warn us invading Afghanistan wasn’t a great idea. I spent a while last night on Caroline Street talking with a Marine vet who said he’d been in Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan. He got shot in Afghanistan, then was honorably discharged on medical grounds. That was in 2011. He went into the Marines at age 21, now is 43. For three years, he’s been trying to get his VA benefits, which he said he was told will be $2,000 a month if he receives them. Then, he will be able to afford a place to stay on the mainland. Meanwhile, he’s in Key West, homeless, biding his time, because he doesn’t need much money to stay here. He was running with several vets last night, from different branches of the US military. They all are homeless. They run together, it’s more comfortable to them. He seemed to have his head screwed on okay, the others seemed pretty messed up. He seemed to be looking out for them. He said the police down here treat homeless people, including homeless vets, like shit. My sense was, he and his buddies kinda feel like they are still in Afghanistan, and the Taliban are the VA, Key West police and local civilians who hate homeless people. This fellow was courteous to passersby and to people sitting at the tables nearby where we were talking. After he had moved on, I said to a woman he’d had some conversation with at the next table over, that it’s amazing what can be learned from people, if you aren’t all stuck up inside. She laughed. I didn’t get into the politics of the wars he’d been in. It didn’t seem the time or place. I am going deep into the politics in today’s post a t It’s a little before 8 a.m. That post should be up by 10 a.m. Today is June 10, 2014. In my experience, 99 percent, maybe 99.99 percent, of Americans don’t want to know about that side of their government.


naval battle

During a bitter City Commission meeting in Old City Hall in the fall of 2002, the Commission, by a 4/3 vote, passed a Resolution that Key West opposed US invading Iraq without UN approval and participation. Explaining his vote in favor of the Resolution, Mayor Jimmy Weekly said he could not support another American war over oil. The pro-invasion commissioners and citizens in the audience were outraged that the City Commission even considered the Resolution. They accused we who favored the Resolution of being traitors. I thought anyone who favored the invasion was a traitor.

Sloan at HH
Sloan Bashinsky

Political advertisement paid for and approved by Sloan Bashinsky, for Mayor of Key West

About Sloan

Darn, that would take a while. Try the autobiographical pages in the header. Ditto for header menu pages at Hatched and raised there, eventually I ran away from home. Here's a short list: Born 1942; male; spoken for; accused of all sorts of imaginable and unimaginable things, perhaps some true. Live on Key West of Weird asteroid. Publish something most days at, been at that since July 2007. That's heaps of catch-up reading, probably not recommended.
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