Military History: 10 Notorious Death Squads

In 1984, George Orwell gave his readers a shocking glimpse into the mind of authoritarianism when he put these words in the mouth of state torturer O’Brien: “If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—forever.” This image of complete state control (which Orwell lifted from Jack London’s 1908 dystopian novel The Iron Heel) has haunted readers for decades, especially considering that the history of the 20th and 21st centuries has been one of violence and terrorism. Death squads, or extralegal and paramilitary units tasked with carrying out extrajudicial executions, embody the eternal boot of tyranny like no other organizations on Earth.

Although most death squads, both government-funded and private, came to international attention during World War II and the subsequent Cold War, they have existed in one form or another for centuries. Nations as diverse as Russia, Egypt, and Brazil have all utilized death squads at one time or another, and today, death squads can still be found in those nations rotten with corruption, social strife, and deep political divisions. While death squads have been legitimized under the slogan of, “Sometimes bad things need to be done in order to keep worse things from happening,” their sole purpose is to kill and kill again.

10. The Argentine Anti-Communist Alliance

AA1
Beginning in 1943, Argentina fell under the spell of Peronism. Founded by army colonel and one-time labor minister Juan Peron, Peronism remains the guiding philosophy of Argentina’s Justicialist Party. While today, there are both left- and right-wing Peronist factions, during the first age of the movement, Peron voiced a strong populist message that embraced nationalism and promoted the interests of urban workers. As such, before being ousted in a military coup in 1955, President Peron was an incredibly popular and charismatic leader who enjoyed widespread support from both trade unionists and the lower- and upper-middle classes.

By the 1970s, however, Peronism had devolved into various squabbling factions. Making matters worse was general instability in the form of multiple coups which were rocking South America, thereby threatening Peronist power in Argentina. Right-wing Peronists tried to solve this instability by eliminating what they considered to be their internal enemies—left-wing Peronists and Marxists. In 1973, the Argentine Anti-Communist Alliance was formed in secret in order to counteract growing leftism in Argentina. During the administration of President Isabel Peron (1974–1976), the “Triple A” death squad was particularly active and worked closely with the Argentine military and police.

Before being disbanded by a military coup in 1976, the Argentine Anti-Communist Alliance is believed to have carried out anywhere between 428 and 1,000 assassinations. Later investigations in the 1980s and 1990s established that the Triple A death squad recruited its members from the army, the police forces, and the various trade unions of Argentina. On top of that, the group enjoyed healthy funding from sympathetic senators and government ministers. Even though the Argentine Anti-Communist Alliance was officially outlawed by the military junta that came to power in 1976, said junta had many of the same political enemies as Triple A and continued to use the group’s methods against its opponents.

9. Esquadrao Da Morte

AA2

 

Referenced in the 1973 US film Magnum Force, the second Dirty Harry movie about a rogue death squad within the San Francisco Police Department, Brazil’s Esquadrao da Morte, or “Death Squad,” was first formed in 1964 following the successful coup that inaugurated the Brazilian military dictatorship. Until 1985, Brazil’s military government oversaw sweeping campaigns to establish order inside the country. What this often meant was that the Brazilian authorities conducted extralegal assaults and kidnappings aimed at their Marxist opponents. While Brazil enjoyed economic success under the military government, it also witnessed approximately 500 deaths and disappearances. Most of these victims were either leftists or those whom the government deemed enemies of the state.

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the first death squads were formed in the country’s southeast in order to combat rising crime rates. Unlike later Latin American death squads, Brazil’s Esquadrao da Morte was not a single, collective organization. Several death squads existed at once and were primarily directed by professional police officers. While political opponents were sometimes targeted, Brazilian death squads in the 1970s tended to focus more on torturing and executing drug dealers, gangsters, kidnappers, and murderers.

One infamous death squad was headed by Detective Milton Le Cocq de Oliveira. Based in Rio de Janeiro, Le Cocq’s team consisted of handpicked officers who were instructed to never accept money for assassinations or to kill unarmed citizens. Despite this, Le Cocq’s group, which was noted for its bravery, became a death squad hell-bent on eradicating the many bandits that controlled Rio’s sprawling slums.

8. Thailand’s Anti-Drug Police

AA3

 

Starting in February 2003, Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra began a “war on drugs” that officially targeted drug trafficking and the gangs in charge of distributing drugs all throughout Thailand. Given that Thailand has experienced an upsurge in drug use and abuse, along with salacious stories about drug dealers giving homemade methamphetamine to children, it’s not surprising that the government would pursue a hard-line policy against drugs. That being said, human rights groups across the world quickly began to criticize the campaign as an unlawful attack on Thai citizens. In particular, Human Rights Watch published a finding that claimed that in the first three months of Prime Minister Shinawatra’s campaign, 2,800 extrajudicial killingshad taken place. Four years later, another study found that more than half of those killed during the drug war had no connection to drug trafficking at all.

Similar charges against the Thai “war on drugs” were argued by Amnesty International in 2003. The group asserted that a “shoot-to-kill” policy was encouraged by high-ranking officials in the Thai government, which resulted in 600 deaths in a three-week period alone. Most of these deaths were connected to Thailand’s police forces, especially those given the responsibility of cracking down on the country’s drug problem.

Ultimately, Shinawatra’s drug war concluded with the military coup of 2006. In the aftermath, the new military government decided to look into charging Prime Minister Shinawatra with various offenses, but by 2008, a new drug war was already underway in order to tackle yet another explosion in illegal drug trafficking.

Read the Remainder at ListVerse

Outsourcing Govt. and Military Security is DUMB

Something I have been screaming for a LONG Time.-SF

ASSER

It is not a theory that delegating the protection of our embassy and military personnel to other countries risks lives. It is a reality bathed in American blood.

The latest reports on Benghazi released this week underscore the persistent dangers of outsourcing security.

By all accounts, the security conditions at the State Department’s consular facility in Libya were “deplorable,” as the House Benghazi committee’s final summary report described it.

Then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had been warned a month before the attack that violence was “on an upward trend” and “unpredictable;” “lawlessness was increasing,” and local militia groups that were providing security in many areas were at the same time “undercutting it in others.

One of those local militia groups just happened to be in charge of providing interior armed security at the Benghazi Mission compound: the February 17 Martyrs Brigade militia.

Yes, we entrusted armed Islamic strongmen — linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, supportive of al-Qaida, and financed by the Libyan defense ministry — to guard our diplomats. No, this is not an Onion parody.

Instead of serving as a “quick reaction force” as they were contracted to do, the Muslim militiamen fled. (What’s Arabic for “cut and run force”?) Two days before Ambassador Chris Stevens was scheduled to arrive in Benghazi, the “martyrs” informed State’s Diplomatic Security Agents that they would no long provide off-compound security during transport or meetings off-site. “The meeting underscored that the militias in Benghazi controlled what little security environment existed there,” the House Benghazi final report noted.

The other entity providing internal security support was the British-operated Blue Mountain Guard Force, which employed unarmed personnel at three entrance gates and inside the compound. As documents previously obtained by Judicial Watch revealed, BMG guards had been abandoning their posts for three months before the attacks out of fear for their safety. Officials warned the State Department that they were “undermanned.”

Reuters interviewed the Libyan commander in charge of the local guards at the mission, who had applied with BMG after hearing about the company from a neighbor. “I don’t have a background in security; I’ve never held a gun in my life,” he told the news service.

As Judicial Watch’s Tom Fitton concluded, the internal communications showed that the “U.S. Special Mission at Benghazi was a sitting duck. … All security indicators were flashing red and, perhaps, with a show of strength to secure the Benghazi mission, U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods might be alive today.”

The same is true of two U.S. Marines, Lt. Col. Christopher Raible and Sgt. Bradley Atwell, who lost their lives three days after Benghazi. Remember Camp Bastion? On Sept. 14, 2012, three days after the deadly siege on our consulate in Libya, the Taliban waged an intricately coordinated, brutal attack on the base in Afghanistan. Fifteen Taliban infiltrators decimated eight U.S. aircraft, refueling stations, and a half-dozen hangars, in addition to killing the heroic Marines and wounding a dozen others.

As I’ve reported over the past four years, the Bastion families discovered to their horror that watchtower security at the besieged and vulnerable facilities had been outsourced to soldiers from Tonga who had been widely known on base to fall asleep on the job.

Compounding the insecurity on base, President Obama’s politically correct military leaders insisted on disarming Marines out of respect for their Afghan allies.

Two years after Benghazi and Bastion, the Obama administration still had learned nothing. A November 2014 federal inspector general’s audit exposed how the State Department’s outsourced contractor in Kabul, Aegis Defense Services, failed to properly vet guards hired from Nepal and failed to obtain proper training documentation from explosive detection dog handlers. A separate contractor, Armor Group North America, shelled out $7.5 million to settle claims it had misrepresented the work experience of 38 third-country national guards it contracted to do work at the U.S. embassy in Kabul.

From Benghazi to Bastion and beyond, cutting corners has cost too many of our best and brightest. American forces and American diplomats deserve the best in American-led protection and security abroad. If we can’t look after our own people, we have no business sending them to look after the rest of the world’s.

Read the Original Article at Ammo-Land

 

We Need An American Foreign Legion

Not a bad ideal when you consider the pros/con’s,  but the devil is in the details in something like this and every contingency must be planned for because of the Potential for Abuse by dumb-ass Politicians and conniving civilians in the Pentagon. -SF

Legion1

President Obama recently announced that an additional 250 Special Operations forces will be sent to Syria to stem the spread of the Islamic State. It won’t work. By now, “too little, too late” has become the moniker of the administration’s Middle East policy. To be fair, the policy of Obama’s predecessor wasn’t effective either. What is needed is a new piece on the chessboard: an American Foreign Legion.

As a former paratrooper in the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division and a former military contractor, I have seen that there is no substitute for boots on the ground. You cannot control territory from the air, and ground forces are needed to root out the Islamic State where it lives and festers. The United States has traditionally had four options. The first is isolationism: Do nothing. This means ceding the battle to the terrorists and watching them grow from a distance until they reach our shores. Few would want this.

 The second strategy is to send in Special Operations forces, as Obama is doing. While such forces are an incredible fighting machine, their main mission will be to build indigenous forces on the ground. We are terrible at this. The United States spent billions on the Iraqi and Afghan security forces, but what did taxpayers get? In 2014, Iraqi soldiers threw down their weapons, peeled off their uniforms and ran away at the sight of an inferior enemy in Mosul. The Afghan military and police are mostly ghosts collecting salaries. The Pentagon and the CIA created Syrian militias to fight the Islamic State, only to have those militias join another terrorist group or even fight each other. Conducting a strategy like this over and over and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity.

The third option is Iraq War III. We could mount another “surge” of U.S. troops, as we did in 2007 to turn the tide of the war we launched in 2003, in hopes of winning hearts and minds. But the surge and the counterinsurgency strategy failed. Once U.S. troops leave, terrorists take over again, as the Islamic State has proved. Few Americans would like us to get sucked into another long war in the Middle East.

Read the Remainder at The Washington Post

Modern War: The Decade of the Mercenary

TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY W.G. DUNLOP Iraqi soldiers receive training by foreign contractors in the Besmaya military base in southern Baghdad on April 24, 2012. The Office of Security Cooperation-Iraq (OSC-I), a group of 157 military personnel under US embassy authority, supported by some 600 civilian contractors, is working with the Iraqi military on everything from training on new equipment to military education. AFP PHOTO/AHMAD AL-RUBAYE (Photo credit should read AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP/GettyImages)

Contrary to popular belief, Mercenaries are the “Silent Majority” in Obama’s Military, and the president’s “light footprint” approach to war has relied on thousands of Americans paid to fight — and die — in the shadows.

Last weekend, the New York Times published one of what will be many takes on President Barack Obama’s legacy as commander in chief. Retroactively shoehorning seven-plus years of varied military operations into one coherent “doctrine” is impossible, but dozens of articles will soon attempt to do so.

There is one significant aspect of this doctrine, however, that is rarely mentioned by the media and never by Obama: the unprecedented use of private contractors to support foreign military operations.

Obama has authorized the continuation or re-emergence of two of the most contractor-dependent wars (or “overseas contingency operations” in Pentagon-speak) in U.S. history. As noted previously, there are roughly three contractors (28,626) for every U.S. troop (9,800) in Afghanistan, far above the contractor per uniformed military personnel average of America’s previous wars. In Iraq today, 7,773 contractors support U.S. government operations — and 4,087 U.S. troops. These numbers do not include contractors supporting CIA or other intelligence community activities, either abroad or in the United States. On April 5, Adm. Michael Rogers, commander of the U.S. Cyber Command, declared during a Senate hearing that contractors made up 25 percent of his workforce.

Under Obama, more private military contractors have died in Iraq and Afghanistan than all the U.S. troops deployed to those countries. Between Jan. 1, 2009, and March 31, 2016, 1,540 contractors were killed in Iraq and Afghanistan (176 in Iraq and 1,364 in Afghanistan). During that period, 1,301 U.S. troops were killed in Afghanistan and Iraq (289 in Iraq and 1,012 in Afghanistan). Last year was even more skewed toward contractors than the preceding six years; 58 contractorsdied in Afghanistan or Iraq, while less than half as many U.S. troops did (27) fighting in either country, includingSyria.

The first thing you learn when studying the role contractors play in U.S. military operations is there’s no easy way to do so. The U.S. government offers no practical overview, especially for the decade after 9/11. U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) began to release data on contractors only in the second half of 2007 — no other geographic combatant command provides such data for their area of operations. In 2011, the Government Accountability Office found, “Although all [State Department, USAID, and DOD] are required to track the number of personnel killed or wounded while working on contracts and assistance instruments in Iraq or Afghanistan, DOD still does not have a system that reliably tracks killed and wounded contractor personnel.” Just last month, an especially exasperated John McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, told acting Secretary of the Army Patrick Murphy, “We look forward to the day you can tell us how many contractors are employed by [the Department of Defense].”

Read the Remainder at Foreign Policy

Soldier of Fortune Magazine Issues Final Print Issue and They are Still Kicking Ass!

I am definitely one of the kids SOF influenced back in the day to join the military…THANK YOU Colonel Brown for all you have done..Your Support of ALL Veterans, including those returning from Vietnam back in the 70’s will never be forgotten. And although we will not see you in print anymore, we will definitely see you in Cyber-Space! Keep your Powder Dry and Stay Dangerous! -SF

SOF1

42 Years…and Counting

by Lt. Col. Robert K. Brown, USAR (Ret.)

A lot of rodeos in 42 years for this would-be cowboy. But the time has come to move onward with the times.

462 issues, millions of copies, pissed off mega-millions of liberals, progressives, communists, wimpy soft-bellied, sniveling journalists, who didn’t like the fact that in promoting our agenda of supporting freedom, we carried cameras and guns at the same time.

We started off as a quarterly back in July l975, supporting the recognition of the Vietnam veteran, defending the Second Amendment, covering little known, brutal wars in dreadful little known places. We trained good guys and whacked a fair number of bad guys. We provided medical treatment to unknown thousands who were victims of communist aggression on four continents.

One of the major thrusts of our initially underfunded, problematical publishing venture was giving my fellow Vietnam veterans, whose spilled blood was just as red as those who sacrificed in Korea, WWII, WWI, and previous wars, recognition for the battles they fought, the sacrifices they made while tangling with the forces of communist tyrants. Certainly we succeeded, much to the consternation of the liberal hacks and dishonest cowards who continue to babble about a “…guerrilla war conducted by oppressed peasants.” And who refuse, even now, to admit the fact that the North Vietnamese invasion of South Viet Nam, with divisions of armor, was no different than the Nazi invasion of Poland or France.

Lt. Col. David Grossman, USA (Ret.), touched on an aspect of another influence of SOF on Vietnam vets, in his classic work, On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society, when he wrote;

“It is very much to the credit of Soldier of Fortune…that for twenty years this was the only national forum in which Vietnam veterans could write such deeply emotional, open, and often unpopular reminiscences of their war…And I must deeply respect the courage and fortitude it took to…publish such accounts…”

Which leads into another area of SOF accomplishment. That is the tremendous number of young men who became intrigued with the off-the-wall editorial content and ended up joining the U.S. military. Quintessential examples, of course, are Chris Kyle, author of American Sniper, and Major Rusty Bradley, author of The Lions of Kandahar, who both told me reading SOF was the prime reason they enlisted.

The fact that SOF was responsible for 75 percent of the 450 Americans who fought in a nasty, brutal bush war again communist-sponsored terrorists, according to the Rhodesian Army Recruiting Officer, Major Lamprecht, gave me mucho pleasure. Boy, did that piss off the liberal boobs and dorks! A good example was Command Sergeant Major Michael Kelso, who joined the Rhodesian Light Infantry for a tour and retired from the U.S. Army as the CSM of the Army Infantry Center, Fort Benning, Georgia. Kelso said he became aware of the Rhodesian bush war by reading about it in SOF.

The tremendous success of SOF online ( https://www.sofmag.com ) and in social media opened up a new chapter for us. The writing was on the wall. If we were to kick ass in a timely fashion in this new world of instant gratification and more instant news, SOF had to focus on the new world of cyberspace reporting. So SOF continues to fight the good fight in the course of opposing those despicable loons of the left that are doing their best, led by Obama, who are bent on imposing top-down tyranny on our fair land as they do their damnedest to destroy our traditional culture, our religion, our history.

The gutless sheep follow their siren call to the trough of government welfare…

Part and parcel of that good fight will be, number one, reporting on our troops and their weapon craft. SOF will keep up with the industry as products are introduced. We will continue support of the right to keep and bear arms, which is essential to our freedom. As Thomas Jefferson said, “Those who beat their arms into plows will plow for those that don’t.” We will continue to support the National Rifle Association, without which we no longer would be allowed any firearms other than muzzle loaders.

So, gentle readers (yeah, that’s a joke!), keep pushing on by staying current with us at sofmag.com. My personal email is: editorsof@aol.com.
Remember, you will always be relevant as long as you can pull a trigger.SOFMAG

In closing, “Slay dragons, do noble deeds, and never, never, never, never give up.”

Thanks for your support. Let’s kick some serious ass in the next decade! To order your last copy of SOF (Soldier of Fortune) Magazine click here.

Read the Original Article at Ammo-Land

Stay Alert, Stay Armed and Stay Dangerous!!