Kim's squad goals are a little grim

Today's look at war from the cheap seats.

Holy. Fuck. I’ve managed (if I get all the way to pushing “publish” at the end) to put this thing out for ONE WHOLE WEEK. I know, that is is not…terribly significant, but it kinda is for me. I’m known for not being terribly consistent, or maybe for being consistently inconsistent?

I think that’s because I’m afraid of working really hard at a thing and maybe it doesn’t go like I’d planned. I’M SURE NONE OF YOU HAVE THIS PROBLEM. Still, kind of a bummer of looking around at all the things I’ve started over the years and then figured out I’d rather do something else.

Which brings me to what none of you have asked me, and that’s why this thing is free to everyone right now. Because I’d like some more eyeballs on this thing, and fuck, if you can’t count on me to put this out every weekday, why the hell would you give you me money if you’re not sure it’s going to show up?

Fair question.

So it’s gonna be free to all for a bit. However, if you feel like it’s worth paying for? Feel free to do that. I’m cool with that.

Oh. And the blathering at the top? Probably going to be a regular feature. Because this is supposed to be something different than a link list to whatever the fuck’s happening in national security right now. It’s supposed to be something different, so I’m going to be playing with how I make the sausage for a while.

Buckle up. And enjoy. And as always, thanks for being a reader.

Today’s been a little harder than usual to pull from the 300+ stories I go through every day to make this thing and keep it to just five. Because we’ve got everything from Kim Jong Un wacking the folks who failed him in Hanoi to F-35 pilots drawing “accidental” sky dicks. Call me when they manage to draw a sky vagina. Accidentally.

1) A North Korea Thing: We’ve all had that awkward moment when your BFF’s been hitting the Mike’s Hard Lemonade and makes one too many passes with the red Solo and feel like they’ve just got to tell you about that time they executed their special envoy to the United States. I mean, who hasn’t been there?

In case you haven’t, it looks like this:

Kim Hyok Chol was executed in March at Mirim Airport in Pyongyang, along with four foreign ministry executives after they were all charged with spying for the United States, the Chosun Ilbo reported, citing an unidentified source with knowledge of the situation.

And this is a helluva tough performance review:

“He was accused of spying for the United States for poorly reporting on the negotiations without properly grasping U.S. intentions,” the source was quoted as saying.

Sounds like he was a Star Trek red shirt anyway, so that’s…cool?

“This is a man who might provide some tactical advice to the leader but is otherwise a message bearer with little negotiating or policymaking latitude,” said Michael Madden, a North Korea leadership expert at the Washington-based Stimson Centre.

“Instead, they put in someone like Kim Hyok Chol to insulate Choe Son Hui and more substantive diplomatic personnel, to a certain degree he is expendable and his superiors are not.”

Oh, ICYMI, this would be the same Kim Jong Un that Trump said this about during last week’s state visit to Japan:

DPRK just fired off a bunch of rockets that could threaten the North’s neighbors, but no big deal, because Kim’s got a smile for the Trumpster. So. Everything’s fine.

Push the button: $5/month, $50/year - and the first month’s free. Or just keep reading anyway. That’s cool, too. I am…fine…really…either way.

Today in “How the fuck would you know?” the president gave a speech at the US Air Force Academy and had this to say to graduates:

You could have chosen any school, any career you wanted, but you chose a harder path and a higher calling: to protect and defend the United States of America. I know what you've been through, and it's tougher. But you know what? In the end, it's better. You're going see. You'll see. You'll see. 

Must have been that seminar, “You and Dad’s Money: How You Too Can Dodge The Draft.”

2) A Collusion Thing I know, I know: it’s super lazy of me to just throw some tweets up, but holy shit when they’re this contorted you’ve just got to share. Because if you’ve got a life you probably missed Robert Mueller telling Congress to do their homework and get to doing what his investigation couldn’t do when it comes to the Tweeter-in-Chief. Who, of course, had a tweet (or 2) for that.

Let’s…get past the sorta admission on this thing and get into what’s got the rest of the Five Eyes worried right now, and that’s how far Attorney General Barr is going to go in order to prove that US intelligence assets were used during the whole Russia investigation. Here’s why that’s got them concerned, because Trump had this to say about talking to outgoing UK PM Theresa May.

"There's word and rumor that the FBI and others were involved, CIA were involved, with the UK, having to do with the Russian hoax," Trump told reporters on Friday. "And I may very well talk to her about that, yes."

Because those other countries aren’t terribly keen on having their intel processes exposed by Barr’s willy-nilly declassification of what he finds, something that’s on the DNI’s mind:

But Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats warned Barr against being too public with what he declassifies.

"I am confident that the Attorney General will work with the IC in accordance with the long-established standards to protect highly-sensitive classified information that, if publicly released, would put our national security at risk," Coats said in a statement.

In the race to prove something about how great his president is, America’s attorney general might end up fucking up the intel-sharing relationship with the other Five Eyes countries, which means that the US would end up relying more on its own assets for global intel, and vice versa.

Once again, a political football threatens the big glass window of US foreign relations.

3) A Nigerian Thing: I only think about Nigeria every time I send its crown prince another thousand dollars to free up my millions, but its military is up to something shitty with non-government organizations (NGOs) in the country.

NAN reports that in December 2018, the army suspended the operations of the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) in the North-East theatre until further notice.

The army alleged that UNICEF had shifted from "its duty of catering to the wellbeing of children and the vulnerable through humanitarian activities and now engages in training selected persons for clandestine activities."

"The Theatre Command will not tolerate this kind of sabotage from any individual, group of persons or organisation.

"We call on all Non-Governmental Organisations and members of humanitarian agencies to keep to their legitimate norms in the discharge of their acclaimed humanitarian duties."

The army provided no evidence against UNICEF.

Now they’re leveling similar accusations against NGOs, which is the kind of thing you do when you’re trying to starve out an insurgency: cut off any aid being provided to the area, regardless of who suffers. It’s kind of like embargoes, but at a lower level and usually just ends up meaning dead kids because they go hungry. You stay classy, Nigeria.

4) A PTSD Thing: Melissa Thomas went to Iraq twice and picked up the appropriate t-shirts, getting herself blown up and having to deal with the aftermath of prepping dying people for transport. Then this happened:

A few years ago, my husband, Chris, who survived four deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, was killed by an avalanche in Colorado. I am an Army veteran who was deployed to combat zones twice, in 2005 and 2008, without any serious lingering psychological ramifications. But I thought my husband’s death, that New Year’s Eve day, would be the final trigger for post-traumatic stress disorder; it would be what sent me over the edge.

The next few months were filled with sleeplessness and drinking, but also exercising and thoughtful introspection as I scoured self-help books and sought therapy. I never had trouble getting out of bed in the morning, and I continued to make it to work on time. I was sad yet functional. I wasn’t given a diagnosis of clinical depression or PTSD. There must be something wrong with me for not having something wrong, I thought.

So she decided to help others, by figuring out why she wasn’t suffering like others.

Many people wrongly assume that PTSD is inevitable for anyone exposed to trauma. Because I endured trauma at home and on the front lines but never suffered from PTSD, three years ago I volunteered to serve as a control for a study funded by the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Center for PTSD at the Department of Veterans Affairs. 

This is readable as fuck, so please, if you’re a veteran who didn’t get the PTSDs and you worry there’s something wrong with you? Please please please read this. Because the conventional wisdom is that if we’ve been to foreign places to kill people that we all need to be fucked up and broken somehow. And for some us, that’s just not the case.

5) A Sky Penis Thing: I know, I know, there are a LOT of other pressing things to worry about in the world than whether or not some jet jockey drew a dick in the clouds, but there’s been another report of some F-35s drawing a cock and balls over Arizona. But it’s cool, because that totally wasn’t what they meant to do.

“We’ve seen the photos that have been circulating online from Tuesday afternoon,” Maj. Rebecca Heyse, chief of public affairs for the 56th Fighter Wing at Luke, said in the email. “56th Fighter Wing senior leadership reviewed the training tapes from the flight and confirmed that F-35s conducting standard fighter training maneuvers Tuesday afternoon in the Gladden and Bagdad military operating airspace resulted in the creation of the contrails. There was no nefarious or inappropriate behavior during the training flight.”

Because that’s why Public Affairs Officers get into the game: debunking dick pics.