Free Markets, Free People

Daily Archives: July 5, 2011

Super-sniper emerges in Fayetteville w/ 316 “confirmed” kills

I’m always somewhat naively amazed by stories like this (Google cache version – original link has been pulled) because I have to wonder how these guys think they can get away with claims like this.  The first thing that obviously catches your eye are the inordinate number of ARCOMs and AAMs the man claims (54?).  He claims he was a Ranger and claims “six Overseas Service ribbons for combat” but no CIB (all this apparently dutifully written up without question by the “reporter”).  And of course the award from the “emperor of Saudi Arabia” along with “several dozen others”.  Several dozen, mind you:

Jeff "Rock" Harris refuses to display his medals and honors in his Kinston home.

He tries to keep the awards – three Purple Hearts, two Silver Stars, a Bronze Star, 23 Army Commendation Medals, 31 Army Achievement Medals, six Overseas Service ribbons for combat, an award from the emperor of Saudi Arabia, along with several dozen others, he acquired during his time as a U.S. Army Ranger – packed away. However, those around him refuse to let him forget how important his time in the military was.

Yeah, I can understand why he refuses to display them (someone wondered what the gross poundage of the oak leaf clusters would be). Then this:

"I have 316 confirmed kills as a sniper, and that’s only in that last three years I was in the Army," Harris said. "Every one of those horrifies me regularly because they were somebody’s children, somebody’s husband or father."

He still feels conflicted about what he had to do, but in the end, he knew it was his duty as a sworn soldier.

"They’re bad people and they’ve done bad things, but who am I to take that away from them?" he asked. "But it was my job to do. Lives were safer because of that – but it’s never easy."

Gee, really?   316 confirmed kills, eh?  Funny, but the 4 most storied snipers in our recent history, the top four snipers, only had a little over 400 confirmed kills between them.  So here we have super-sniper who apparently absolutely no one knows about and he killed almost 3 times the confirmed number of our most lethal sniper, Adelbert Waldron (109 confirmed) had in VN.  In fact he so badly outshot Chuck Mawinny (103 confirmed -VN), Eric England (98 confirmed-VN) and Carlos Hathcock (93 confirmed-VN) that he ought to be a legend in the SpecOps community.

Except apparently no one there has ever heard of him.

Finally there is this bit of “corroboration” which is just as puzzling:

James Murphy served in the Army as a Ranger with Harris and said he wouldn’t be alive if not for Harris’ heroic actions. Murphy recalled after he and another soldier were hit by a rocket-propelled grenade in Mogadishu, Harris ran to their position and carried both of them a half-mile away "not knowing if we were alive or not." He drove them to safety in a burning vehicle and returned to continue to fight.

"If you know him, you are privileged," Murphy said. "If you served with him, you were in the presence of a true American patriot. If he is your friend, you should be honored. He gives hope to humanity that there are still decent, amazing people all around you."

Mmmm … half-mile.  Didn’t know if they were alive or dead (really?).  Drove them to safety in a burning vehicle.  Huh … so that relief taskforce in Mogadishu wasn’t really necessary – all they had to do was follow super-sniper out … in his burning vehicle.  Hey, at least it would be easy to follow.

Of course this should all be easy to check out – as I recall, it was B Co., 3rd Bat, 75th Ranger RGT that was at Mogadishu.  This nonsense has already caught the attention of the US Army Ranger Association (that’s where I found out about it).   Their quick internal checks came up empty on the guy and Murphy.

Two questions – how does a person think such a story will pass undetected and unchallenged?  The irony is this piece was in the Fayetteville Observer.  Yeah, that’s right, the newspaper of the town in which Ft. Bragg, NC is located.  Yeah, no one there is going to notice, are they?

Which brings me to the second question – how does something like this get through the editorial process without being heavily questioned, especially in a paper that should have a staff thoroughly educated in the military given their proximity and the huge part the base plays in the life of the town?  Whatever happened to fact checking?  What ever happened to knowing enough about your subject that you’re not as easily gulled as these folks appear to have been?

Anyway, something tells me this isn’t going to turn out well for “Rock”.

/sarc

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO

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Right-to-work states most productive

You remember our Chicago lawyer whose sole argument against moving some of the Boeing Dreamliner production to a non-union plant in SC (a right to work state) was that Southerners in general were less skilled and less literate?

Apparently he pulled that out of the part of the anatomy that doesn’t get much sunshine.  In his case that might have been his head, considering where it had to be residing at the time to come up with that sort of an argument.

Nevertheless, the Washington Examiner, in an editorial, examines a CNBC survey on exactly that topic and finds the lawyer’s argument to be specious:

The strongest remaining argument that labor unions are relevant or desirable is that they provide business with a better-trained and more knowledgeable work force. But as quaint as it is to think of organized labor as the guardian of know-how and quality, it just isn’t so, according to a new CNBC ranking of "America’s top states for business." The survey, which considered the work forces of all 50 states, found that the downsides of unionism far outweigh any advantages when it comes to work force quality.

And those downsides are demonstrated by the results of the survey:

Incredibly, 17 of the top 18 states ranked by CNBC in terms of "work force" are "right-to-work" states, where unions are significantly less powerful. In states with right-to-work laws, workers cannot be compelled to pay union dues, and workers are far less likely to let unions represent them if they are actually given the choice. In CNBC’s survey, all 22 of the nation’s right-to-work states (mostly states in the South and West) made the top 25 in terms of quality of work force. In the separate category of business friendliness, which gauged states’ regulatory and legal environments, 10 of the top 15 states were right-to-work states as well. Needless to say, the combination of good workers and congenial business climates make these states highly attractive to business.

You’d think it would be “needless to say” such a thing, but then our Chicago labor union lawyer points out why, in fact, it is necessary to say these things.   Primarily because it is a myth that union states provide a more highly skilled and productive workforce and it is also a myth that unions are necessary in today’s business climate.  Those are two myths which are obviously hard to kill, but the survey makes the point that potential employers have already discovered and have been taking advantage of for years – something of which our Chicago lawyer was obviously completely unaware.  Workers in right-to-work states are highly skilled and productive and willing to work at a good wage that still gives their employer the ability to compete.

But on the other side of this there’s a method, or at least a policy, that is so obvious it is getting to be hard to deny, and the Examiner hits it:

Obama has made the survival of unions a much higher priority for his administration than sustainable job growth, beginning with the bailout of the automakers and continuing most recently with his National Labor Relations Board’s persecution of Boeing for expanding its manufacturing operations in the right-to-work state of South Carolina. It is sad, although perhaps not surprising, that Obama would subordinate the interests of 93 percent of American workers to those of one politically favored group, but this is precisely what he is doing. The 93 percent would do well to take notice in the coming elections.

I’m not sure all of the 93% will all notice, but those who are and have been effected by this administration’s obvious bias should – like those Boeing workers in SC, or the screwed-over stakeholders in GM and Chrysler, etc.  This is an administration, along with the party it is a part of, which have cast their lot with unions almost to the exclusion of the rest of the working public.  Their NLRB action against Boeing in SC makes that point loud and clear.

And that’s not a myth – that’s reality.  It is a narrative which needs to be used in 2012 when it will again become obvious who it is the Democrats and the Obama administration will turn for funding and activists.   We’ve seen the union rent-a-mobs working before.  They’ll be in action again.   That relationship needs to be highlighted and relentlessly exposed, especially in this era of high unemployment.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO

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