I wish neither to add anything to nor subtract anything from President Trump’s condemnation of last Tuesday’s atrocity at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde TX, near San Antonio. Eighteen year old Salvador Ramos shot dead 19 elementary students and two brave teachers, who died trying to defend their young charges. How was it allowed to happen, and how do we stop it from happening again?
As usual politicians have been running around like headless chickens. No offense intended but none has been more headless than State Senator Roland Gutierrez, who wants to pass knee-jerk gun control laws. Since the shooting was almost certainly set up by the Correa Group, who would supply guns to shooters if need be, violating the Second Amendment is not the way forward.
Governor Greg Abbott, who comes across as a nice chap but a bit dim, no offense intended, wants to amend Texas’s mental health laws. Again this won’t stop further shootings. The key point to understanding mass shootings is that they are invariably organised. The motives of the shooter(s) is/are irrelevant, since the decision to kill is not theirs. They are just cogs in the wheel.
Our understanding of mass shootings has not moved on since the Sandy Hook shooting in December 2012, which as all ya’ll will recall involved multiple shooters. The critical work of analysis and intelligence gathering has not been done, sadly leaving America wide open to further shootings. It’s personally frustrating for me, since none of the well-connected and influential people who get copies of my columns has been willing to pass them on to US lawmakers.
The Texas state government doesn’t have access to serious intelligence resources, nor will there be a serious investigation into the Uvalde shooting. The shooter (it does seem that only one shooter was involved) is dead, case closed. That will be the official attitude at any rate.
No one will ask how he got to the target school, who drove him if he was driven to the school, who selected that particular school and why. As usual law enforcement and the media have obsessed on the guns Ramos was able to buy and are overlooking the ammunition. No one is asking how he was able to buy a brand new truck out of his earnings in a fast food restaurant, indeed no one is looking at his finances at all. So far as I can tell he didn’t actually purchase the ammo.
Once you obsess on the idea that Ramos acted alone you lose all ability to analyse the incident objectively. A serious intelligence analyst would be looking at other mass shootings, seeking to draw comparisons. The investigation, such as it is, into Uvalde, will most likely be led by the FBI. In other words it won’t be a serious investigation. Indeed, since the FBI is under the effective control of the Correa Group, who probably recruited Ramos, they would in practice be investigating themselves.
The NRA should be able to head off Democratic attacks on the Second Amendment, but with respect they lack the intellectual capacity for serious intelligence analysis and the willingness to listen to people who do. I haven’t reached out to the NRA this time – they never respond. The lights are on, but nobody’s home.
The law enforcement tactics in Uvalde are causing puzzlement for commentators without knowledge of the Correa Group and its methods. Almost universally these commentators assume that the law enforcement role was to stop Ramos, rather than facilitate his rampage.
If you assume that law enforcement in that part of Texas is corrupt and was trying to facilitate the murders then the lengthy delay before going in makes sense. It also made sense for the feds to execute Ramos to prevent him talking – dead men don’t talk. The Germans are always willing to expend their own assets in order to achieve wider goal, indeed it was a standard tactic in both world wars. If you work for the Germans you are expendable.
Naturally Correa Group influence would operate at the top. The junior officers must have felt frustrated at the inaction whilst young kids were dying and others were screaming down their phones for help.
My provisional analysis is a door was left open to allow Ramos access to the kids, that the police delayed entering the classroom in order to allow Ramos as much time as possible to kill as many kids as possible and that when further delay no longer became an option the decision was taken to execute Ramos for fear that he might try to cut a deal to avoid the death penalty. In Texas you can be executed if you commit a capital crime over 18 years of age.
I am optimistic by nature (I’m still including the PayPal link, for example) but at the same time I try to be objective. No lessons will learned from Uvalde, sadly. American legislators at both state and federal level will continue to be as bewildered by mass shootings as before. The NRA will continue to accept them as a sad fact of life. The Correa Group, as usual, will get away scot free and will continue to be able to organise mass shootings of Americans at will.
Anxious parents should understand that America is in a quasi-war with the Federal Republic of Germany, that the US intelligence community, sadly, is not up to the task of engaging with the Germans, any more than the British, and that Germany will continue to wage war on American children. School security needs to be improved, although there’s not much point in having secure doors if someone’s going to leave them open.
Teachers should be given firearms training and armed wherever possible, preferably with automatic weapons, and should be issued with flak jackets to be worn in an emergency. Background checks on school employees need to be tightened.
Each classroom should have a discreetly operated alarm button linked to the nearest police station, modeled on those used in banks. A separate alarm in each classroom should be capable of activating a warning siren, alerting the community to a school attack in progress. The head teacher should be able to sound the all-clear when the situation is under control.
Teachers Eva Mireles and Irma Garcia (whose devoted husband Joe died of a broken heart days after the murder of his wife, making four children orphans), who died protecting their students, should be posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom with distinction. Each should have an elementary school named after them. Teaching is a noble profession. Those who die shielding their children from violent madmen deserve the highest commendation.
There is a fascinating article by Paul Truelove in the June edition of Mensa Magazine, the journal of British Mensa, on the American genius William Sidis (1898-1944). (Tragic tale of the most intelligent man who ever lived, p.42). William was thought to have an IQ of between 250 and 300. Truelove, to whom I shall copy this column as a courtesy, gives figures of 160 for Einstein and Professor Hawkins, 180 for Leonardo da Vinci and 190 for Sir Isaac Newton. (I’m not that he realised that one of his readers would be up there with Sir Isaac!)
William, who was almost certainly gay, enrolled in Harvard at 13, graduating at 16, by which time he was fluent in no fewer than seven languages. As a boy he was stalked by the press and bullied. As a man he was thrown into jail on a bogus charge, almost certainly arranged by the Abwehr, humiliated and impoverished.
America paid a tragic price for the persecution of William Sidis. Had he been an adviser to President Roosevelt he would almost certainly have spotted the Pearl Harbor attack in time to allow Nagumo’s strike force to be ambushed north of the Hawaiian islands by submarines and land-based bombers. He would also probably have been able to figure out who set up the Great Depression and why (it was the Abwehr, of course).
He might well have spotted German assets Admiral Ernest King and General George Marshall, sparing the US Navy and Army (and in turn the Army Air Forces) from being run by enemy spies for the whole of America’s participation in World War II. One day someone will work out the price in blood and treasure America paid for side-lining and ignoring her brightest son.
Our community partner Jerry has long targeted those with high intelligence. My file at the Vatican was opened in the early 70s, following an IQ test (I was invited to a general audience with His Holiness Pope Paul VI in 1975 at the age of 18). Word on the street is that my DVD file was opened in about 1972. The Cabinet Office tried to force me out of university in 1979 by jacking up overseas students fees mid-course. The Education Secretary, Mark Carlisle, was powerless to stop them, having been asked to do so by the excellent MP for Cardiff North, the late Ian Grist.
Given the known correlation between sexuality and intelligence, it is entirely possible that German intelligence’s targeting of gays from 1933 to 1945 and, using the AIDS bioweapon, from about 1960 (albeit that mass casualties didn’t start until about 1980) was due to their higher average intelligence. It’s unlikely that it was due to homophobia, given that Admiral Canaris himself was gay.
The Gray Report
It was almost too much to hope for – a senior Cabinet Office official with integrity. Sadly it appears that Sue Gray was leant on. At any rate her report looks to have been watered down. When it finally emerged it was the biggest damp squib in Whitehall since Guy Fawkes and the boys failed to blow up Parliament.
Tory MPs are already discounting it. So far from being safe pressure is mounting on both Boris and the oleaginous (no offense intended) Cabinet Secretary, Simon ‘von’ Case. They are fighting a rearguard action but it’s as doomed as the Franco-Ukrainian defense of the Azovstal steelworks.
As power drains away from Boris (the monkey) and Simon (the organ grinder) momentum is building behind that nice man Lord Frost. A number of senior Tories are still hung up on the idea that you have to be an MP to be Prime Minister, even though by my count Frosty would be the 24th Prime Minister to serve from the House of Lords, albeit the first since 1963.
West Somerset Railway
Courtesy of some nice friends (gay, of course) I’ve just spent a week in the beautiful county of Devon. Naturally I managed to fit in a ride on a steam train. The West Somerset Railway is really worth a visit. It’s the longest steam line in Britain. The engine is a Great Western Railway Churchward 2-8-0 freight engine, 2857, built in 1918 to a 1903 design. Even AMTRAK doesn’t have locomotives that old!
The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee
Whilst Covid was party time in the Cabinet Office and Number 10, where they no doubt celebrated the number of old folk they’d been able to bump off with their ridiculous policies, this week it’s the country’s turn.
Thursday and Friday are Bank Holidays, marking Her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. No British Monarch has reigned for so long, not even nice old King George III.
I shall of course be joining my local beacon lighting and street party, not to mention going to Lord’s for the Test Match. My next column, which will on the war, unless Jerry organises another mass shooting, should be out by June 11th.
This week’s movie review: Top Gun: Maverick (2022, dir. Joseph Kosinski)
Released to theaters in the UK last week Top Gun: Maverick if anything is even better than the original. It’s not just good, it’s outstanding, arguably the finest movie ever made about naval aviation. The air combat sequences are brilliantly done.
Sensibly the US Navy made available not just one, but two nuclear powered aircraft carriers, USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) and Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71). Attack carriers are big-ticket items – you can’t just ask the Pentagon to borrow them to make any old movie.
Tom Cruise, a friend of an acquaintance, reprising his role as Captain Pete Mitchell (“Maverick”), is excellent in the lead role, but there is strong support from Val Kilmer, movingly playing Admiral Kazansky (“Iceman”), Ed Harris, playing Rear Admiral Cain and others. It’s very well casted.
It’s more than just an action movie. Top Gun: Maverick makes the case for manned combat aircraft. Rear Admiral Cain is an enthusiast for drones, which in practice can only operate in uncontested airspace. The evil baddies are so mean they could be Germans.
The score is superb, thanks to Hans Zimmer and Lady Gaga, who is not to be confused with Joe Biden (he’s Mr Gaga, no offense intended). They didn’t mess with the theme tune, thankfully.
Ignoring the fact that Iran already has nuclear weapons (she is not mentioned by name but the target country is clearly Iran) the plot is well thought out. There’s even an honorable role for the dear old F-14 Tomcat and a nice sequence at the end involving a P-51D Mustang. The Tomcat now of course is as antique as the Mustang was in 1986. The dialog isn’t sophisticated but nobody goes to a Top Gun movie for the dialog. If you want sophisticated dialog watch Downton Abbey.
There’s no point British readers complaining that I’m enthusiastic about an American movie about US naval aviation. There are two reasons other than the excellence of the production itself, one personal and one strategic.
No one has ever honored me more than the US Navy did in 2006 when flying me out to Enterprise (CVN-65), where I was treated very well. In turn I shall honor the US Navy until the day I die. Secondly, we are allies and friends. Our friendship has been forged in battle since the day Admiral Rodman’s 6th Battle Squadron joined the Grand Fleet in Scapa Flow.
You can still support my work! Please bear in mind that I’ve had to battle with the might of German intelligence for paid work for over 40 years. There’s always been someone raining on my parade. Please click on this link:
Michael Shrimpton was a barrister from his call to the Bar in London in 1983 until being disbarred in 2019 over a fraudulently obtained conviction. He is a specialist in National Security and Constitutional Law, Strategic Intelligence and Counter-terrorism. He is a former Adjunct Professor of Intelligence Studies at the American Military University.