The true account of 18 years of terrorist hunting with half-crazy geniuses and how the Air Force is losing the capability to do it.
I will write things that are unclassified but VERY embarrassing and revealing of our deficiencies, but sometimes you have to tell the Emperor he has no clothes, even if he gets mad. I will also tell stories of people who defy every aspect of military culture and get away with it. 5 years ago, an Army psychiatrist said that we linguists were the most F###ed up group of brilliant people he had ever come across. He was trying to write a post-doctoral thesis on us until he had to abandon the effort because "dumbing it down to the unclassified level" negated his ability to publish at that level with all the requisite references and statistics. Apparently, at that level, they want documented proof of what he says and you can imagine the government's response to that request given some of the stuff we did. Anyway, he had been practicing for 40 years and said he had "never met a group who had the smarts to be doctors, lawyers, or whatever you want, but would rather grow your hair long in defiance of instructions and sit around here telling us all to go F### ourselves." And he was right. Funny thing is, the Air Force fights to keep us around because they desperately need the skills and we always delivered the goods, saving the lives of numerous aircrews and helping to put an end to thousands of threats around the world, so they put up with it for the most part. In addition to all the truly outrageous stuff we got away with that no other military member (except the elite spec ops guys I worked with) would ever dream of attempting, I'll go into a fair bit of the operational stuff I've done. Of course, I can't reveal classified and some of it may be redacted by the security guys I am legally bound to vet the book through, but most will make it through. Interspersed amongst the "holy crap - you guys did that?!?!", will be a truly concerning story of how the Air Force has utterly failed to retain a talented cadre of airborne linguists and why this is so. Why can't we keep guys and gals in? Why are the language test pass rates so miserably low when we get the best training in the world initially? What has gone wrong at the leadership level to get us to this point? And most importantly, how do we fix it? Actually, the fix is pretty easy and every one of us at the operational level has known about the solution for years, but it is like swallowing glass shards to some in Air Force leadership, so it will probably never get done. I should say I have met many of the Air Force leadership and they are mostly good people who want to do right, but like politics, no one wants to throw their career on the sword to fix it - or they aren't getting the ground-truth info fed all the way up to them. Like Bob Baer (huge respect) did in his book, "See No Evil" about the CIA, I will expose one area that has weakened our country in the hope that the exposure inspires the solution. One thing I will NOT do is endanger any of my friends or peers in the field (I don't like everyone and some of them don't like me - thus "peers not friends" but I will still protect them). Thus, many names will be changed, though they and probably everyone else in the community will know who they are. I might embarrass them (usually richly deserved), but I won't endanger them or their missions. In the end, it will be an entertaining yet serious book that will give you a view through a window few know exists and even fewer have ever seen through. And, finally, to those who might freak out that I may write something that you would consider "traitorous", relax. Not only does everything have to go through security clearing, but I am too much of a patriot to do that.
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pledged of $20,000 goal
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Funding Unsuccessful This project reached the deadline without achieving its funding goal on June 3, 2012.
May 4, 2012 - Jun 3, 2012 (30 days)
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My heart-felt thank you.Estimated delivery: Mar 2013
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For DLI students and graduates ONLY! Reward = a PDF version of the book. Catch = to get this reward level, you have to: 1. send me an image that proves you are going to or went to DLI. I don't care what it is - be creative. Just make sure it communicates to me that you went. It can be a picture, a scan of something, a poem - I don't care. You can be in the pic or not. It can be from anywhere in the world. In the end, I'll know if you're legit. No doubt, I'll get plenty of bar scenes from the 1A8s and lots of 1N3s dressed as wizards in their latest LARPing adventure. Whatever it takes. 2. By sending me this image, you automatically give me the right to publish it. I'm thinking of a follow on book - maybe "A Linguist Mind" or something equally as disturbing. You can have it attributed to you in my future book or not - let me know either way. And by the way - this offer is open to ALL service linguists and students. Navy - you're as weird as we are and Army/Marines, you will likely end up married to (and probably divorced from) one of the Air Force girls in the next year or two, so this book will be a great souvenir. Thus, all your pictures are welcome, too.Estimated delivery: Mar 2013
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A downloadable PDF version of the book.Estimated delivery: Mar 2013
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Hardcover edition of the book plus the PDF version. (Add $10 for international shipping)Estimated delivery: Mar 2013
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Your name mentioned in the book as a backer plus a SIGNED hardcopy edition of the book, and the downloadable PDF copy. (add $10 for international shipping)Estimated delivery: Mar 2013
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4 additional hardcover copies to share with friends, your name mentioned in the book as a backer plus a SIGNED hardcopy edition of the book, and the downloadable PDF copy. (add $10 for international shipping)Estimated delivery: Mar 2013
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A SIGNED JSOC lithograph inscribed to you or someone of your choice. A flight patch NEVER authorized by the Air Force but worn by a select few of us for years - this patch has since been phased out and you will never find it in any collection or book. Less than 50 of us ever wore it! 4 additional hardcover copies to share with friends, your name mentioned in the book as a backer plus a SIGNED hardcopy edition of the book, and the downloadable PDF copy. (add $10 for international shipping)Estimated delivery: Mar 2013
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A signed A-2 Air Force leather flight jacket with a CENTCOM bloodchit replica (you don't want a real one - they will come looking for you and me for giving it to you) sewn in the back with your name on the nametag. The A-2 is the jacket (with bloodchit) I have worn for 16 years. For those who don't know the history of the bloodchit, I recommend you google it - not because I don't want to explain it, but because the significance is far too long for this reward description. Plus, a set of Air Force intelligence flight wings. A SIGNED JSOC lithograph inscribed to you or someone of your choice. A flight patch NEVER authorized by the Air Force but worn by a select few of us for years - this patch has since been phased out and you will never find it in any collection or book. Less than 50 of us ever wore it! Plus, 4 additional hardcover copies to share with friends, your name mentioned in the book as a backer plus a SIGNED hardcopy edition of the book, and the downloadable PDF copy. (add $10 for international shipping)Estimated delivery: Mar 2013
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In addition to everything in the $2500 reward, I will come speak to your group anywhere in the world. In addition to the reward price, my plane ticket (coach is fine - I've been on much worse) and a modest hotel is at your expense. I do reserve the right to insist on an alternate location for the speech if you live in, say, North Korea for example.Estimated delivery: Mar 2013