God and the Intelligence Community

I am a member of a blog group of current and former Naval Intelligence personnel. We may receive anywhere from five to 20 emails a day concerning open source intelligence information from around the world. While it is very tempting to slide from intelligence issues into religious or political arenas, the moderator is very diligent in keeping everyone on track. However, tonight I received an email about the new head of the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), Lt. General Ronnie Hawkins, USAF.

In a brief that he gave to agency employees that he titled “Ronnie’s Rules,” he gave an outline of his 18 priorities. His lead-off slide stated, “Always put God first, and stay within His will.” The last slide stated, “Always remember God is good – all the time!” To say that some of his employees were “concerned” would be an understatement. For many decades now it has been taboo for commanders, or anyone other than official military chaplains to speak of God. Some person who, I believe, has no regard for America took an obscure passage from a Thomas Jefferson letter and blew it up into the creed of separation of church and state.

The moderator of the Naval Intelligence blog group sent out a note that this type of posting was not appropriate for this forum. Normally I agree with this type of decision when members get into political or religious discussions but in this case I cannot agree.

One of our learned and well-reasoned members has made an outstanding argument that we as intelligence professionals should be very concerned about the religious nature of our country and military. He made the point from the view of infiltration of subversive elements. These elements have taken place over the life of our country but have increased over the past 60 or so years. Of particular concern is the infiltration of anti-American thought which has seeped into our education system to the point that now very little if any American thought is taught in our schools. Even our sitting president has called the US “a Muslim nation.” At this point in time that is only wishful thinking; but wait another 10 years and that may not be the case.

We as intelligence professionals should be very concerned with this infiltration. Of course, most of us are retired or no longer on active duty so we can look at and study any open source material on any arena we wish. Unfortunately, those on active duty cannot do this due to Executive Order 12333. This E.O. prohibits national level intelligence agencies from looking within the borders of the US. But those of us on the “gray beard” side of the line can look at these issues as they concern us.

But somebody in the Intelligence Community (IC) had better be doing it with the view of the Muslims striving to force Sharia law on us. At this time in our history, the main stream media will only identify the bad guys by name and/or nationality. For instance, an illegal Moroccan immigrant was caught just a few days ago in a plot to bomb the US Capitol. Does anyone want to bet he was Muslim and was planning on this deed as a way to further his religion?

When we look at our own history we need to go back to the Founders. Those of you who have read these pages over the years know that I love referring back to the Founders. In the late 1700s and early 1800s no man was more revered in the United States than George Washington. He led our country to freedom and brought this new nation through the harsh transition from war to an effective new type of government; one that had never been tried. It has been reported that he spent at least one hour each morning in prayerful contemplation of the Bible. In his farewell address published on 19 September 1796, he wrote:

Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked: Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice? And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.

Would Washington approve of the chastisement military leaders such as Lt. Gen Hawkins are sure to receive? We should be looking at this issue from two points of view. First and foremost is the moral character of our country. God has been taken out of our schools. The primary reading primer of the 1800s was the Bible. I contend the morality of our country was on a much higher plane than it is today. When you look at the debauchery that is depicted in the entertainment industry I can only imagine what the Founders would think if they were to see it.

The other point of view that is equally important is that of examining those forces seeking to destroy the very core of our country; Muslims who are striving to institute Sharia law within our country. A number of states have already passed laws stating that no foreign laws are to be considered when cases are brought before the bench. When these laws are passed, the Muslims scream. They say it is a violation of the First Amendment and therefore unconstitutional.

Really? Is it unconstitutional to uphold the laws of the United States? Is it really wrong for a commander to tell his employees where he stands on the issue of his faith? Just remember, there is NO language in the Constitution dictating a separation of church and state.

As always, I welcome your comments and discussion,


War and the National Will


This morning a coworker and I were discussing the increased use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) or as the mass media lumps them, drones. UAVs are used for a wide variety of tasks today that just 10 years ago were the purview of manned aircraft, requiring a human in the cockpit to execute the mission. That mission could be anything from taking reconnaissance pictures to bombing the bad guys who are shooting at the good guys.

The conversation twisted around to the ever encroaching sterility of war as seen by our populace. I won’t address the rest of the people in the world. When we look back on the wars of the last 150 years this country has been involved in we see that they were much different in the area of casualties. Probably the most horrific war this country has seen was the Civil War. Hundreds of thousands of young men were killed in individual battles. There was scarcely a family in the United States that wasn’t affected by the war. Those that survived often were scarred mentally and physically.

Looking ahead to World War I and World War II, while the loss of American lives was not as heavy, they were still national efforts because we, the citizens of this great country knew that losing those wars would have irreparably change our way of life and our way of government, not to mention our national language.

In the Korean and Vietnamese wars, there was no chance of a direct attack on the US mainland from our foes; there was still a national effort, no matter how unpopular. The American people sent their young to fight and die for our national interests. Many scars came out of those conflicts, both on the warriors and the families.

Now, let’s fast-forward to Iraq and Afghanistan. When you look at the magnificent young men and women fighting and supporting those efforts, they are almost viewed as being in a vacuum. Looking around today life goes on much the way it did before September 11, 2001. We are in our second president’s term and everyone is concerned about the next shoe to drop out of Congress or the administration but there is very little talk of progress, or lack thereof, being made in Kandahar, or the increased bombing in Iraq.

In short, the country is either completely ignorant of what is going on in the Middle East or they have become so calloused as to be unaffected. Please don’t misunderstand me, massive numbers of soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen, and their families are deeply affected by these conflicts. But how affected is the general public? In World War II we had campaigns for scrap metal, war bonds, and rationing. Now our forces are much smaller and more high tech and the bad guy they are fighting is 8,000 miles away. Why should we care back here? I won’t go into the possibility of success or failure in Afghanistan, which is another issue. My concern is the concern felt by the American public; what used to be called National Will.

A few days ago I read a story about Hezbollah developing relationships with the Mexican drug cartels. This is a terrorist group that is supported directly by Iran. Unfortunately, Iran is the Big Daddy Rabbit in the terrorist game. Their only major rival in that contest is the Muslim Brotherhood. I consider al Qaida as a subsidiary of the Brotherhood.

The Mexican cartels already have almost unfettered access across our southern border and with the developing partnerships with Hezbollah they will have the same access.

Now the military is leaning heavily on the use of UAVs to do those tasks we used to send young men into harm’s way for. Personally, I would much rather see an unmanned piece of machinery shot at than one of my shipmates. But this further sterilizes the conflicts in which we are engaged. The average citizen has not been made aware of what is at stake if the forces of evil are allowed to have their way anywhere at any time. The reason for “The War on Terror” has not been fully explained to the American public sufficiently to get the message across.

The unfortunate side effect of this sterility is that Americans will be extremely surprised when large numbers of coordinated attacks take place right here at home, in our own neighborhoods, churches, malls, and schools. Those attacks will be perpetrated by those same Muslim terrorists crossing the border with the aid of the cartels.

I can’t help but wonder if anyone at the Department of Homeland Defense has any clue what-so-ever as to how many Muslim terrorists have crossed our southern border. We are already aware of numerous Muslim terrorist training camps located within our borders. Couple the graduates of those training camps with the Muslim terrorists crossing our borders and you have a recipe for disaster on a grand scale. I am not talking about another 9-11, I am talking about a massive number of coordinated incidents, whether suicide bombers, snipers, or improvised explosive devices.

Our military is fielding many marvelous implements to aid our troops but are utterly failing at telling the American public why they are doing it. It is my belief that this administration is charging full speed ahead while wearing blinders. They don’t have a clue how to address the situation with the American public and we will be caught flat-footed.

As always, I welcome your comments and questions.