6/6/14 National News by Geoff Metcalf

6/6/14 National News by Geoff Metcalf

D-Day June 6, 1944, Normandy Landing, Bergdahl Yet to Speak to Parents? Bergdahl Declared Jihad in Captivity Shown in Secret Documents, Vodafone: Spooks are Plugged Directly into Our Network


D-Day June 6. 1944
          

On June 6, 1944, more than 160,000 Allied troops landed along a 50-mile stretch of heavily-fortified French coastline, to fight Nazi Germany on the beaches of Normandy, France. Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower called the operation a crusade in which, “we will accept nothing less than full victory.” More than 5,000 Ships and 13,000 aircraft supported the D-Day invasion, and by day’s end, the Allies gained a foot-hold in Continental Europe. The cost in lives on D-Day was high. More than 9,000 Allied Soldiers were killed or wounded, but their sacrifice allowed more than 100,000 Soldiers to begin the slow, hard slog across Europe, to defeat Adolph Hitler’s crack troops.

 



Normandy landing

         

Operation Overlord
Invasion of Normandy

The Normandy landings, code named Operation Neptune, were the landing operations on 6 June 1944 (termed D-Day) of the Allied invasion of Normandy in Operation Overlord during World War II. The largest seaborne invasion in history, the operation began the invasion of German-occupied western Europe, led to the restoration of the French Republic, and contributed to an Allied victory in the war.

Planning for the operation began in 1943. In the months leading up to the invasion, the Allies conducted a substantial military deception, code named Operation Bodyguard, to mislead the Germans as to the date and location of the main Allied landings. The weather on D-Day was far from ideal, but postponing would have meant a delay of at least two weeks, as the invasion planners set conditions regarding the phase of the moon, the tides, and the time of day that meant only a few days in each month were deemed suitable. Hitler placed German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel in command of German forces and of developing fortifications along the Atlantic Wall in anticipation of an Allied invasion.

The amphibious landings were preceded by extensive aerial and naval bombardment and an airborne assault—the landing of 24,000 British, US, and Canadian airborne troops shortly after midnight. Allied infantry and armoured divisions began landing on the coast of France starting at 06:30. The target 50-mile (80 km) stretch of the Normandy coast was divided into five sectors: Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword Beach. Strong winds blew the landing craft east of their intended positions, particularly at Utah and Omaha. The men landed under heavy fire from gun emplacements overlooking the beaches, and the shore was mined and covered with obstacles such as wooden stakes, metal tripods, and barbed wire, making the work of the beach clearing teams difficult and dangerous. Casualties were heaviest at Omaha, with its high cliffs. At Gold, Juno, and Sword, several fortified towns were cleared in house-to-house fighting, and two major gun emplacements at Gold were disabled using specialized tanks.

 


Bergdahl Yet to Speak to Parents?

A Pentagon spokesman says former military captive Bowe Bergdahl’s health is improving daily, and he is resting more comfortably and becoming more involved in a treatment plan designed to ease his return to the U.S.

The spokesman, Army Col. Steve Warren, said there is no date set for Bergdahl to make his first phone call to his family in Idaho or to be transferred from a U.S. military hospital in Germany to an Army hospital in Texas.



Bergdahl declared jihad in captivity, secret documents show

U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl at one point during his captivity converted to Islam, fraternized openly with his captors and declared himself a “mujahid,” or warrior for Islam, according to secret documents prepared on the basis of a purported eyewitness account and obtained by Fox News.

The reports indicate that Bergdahl’s relations with his Haqqani captors morphed over time, from periods of hostility, where he was treated very much like a hostage, to periods where, as one source told Fox News, “he became much more of an accepted fellow” than is popularly understood. He even reportedly was allowed to carry a gun at times.

The documents show that Bergdahl at one point escaped his captors for five days and was kept, upon his re-capture, in a metal cage, like an animal. In addition, the reports detail discussions of prisoner swaps and other attempts at a negotiated resolution to the case that appear to have commenced as early as the fall of 2009.


Vodafone: Spooks are plugged Directly into our network

Vodafone has published a report detailing how cops, g-men and spies around the world tap into its systems – in some cases, directly hooking into phone networks without a warrant.

The dossier covers the 29 countries in which the mobile telco operates, including joint-ventures in Australia, Kenya and Fiji. The document [PDF] reveals the sorts of information agents can intercept, how people are tracked and snooped on in real-time, the steps (if any) that must be taken to request the data, and the laws allowing the g-men to do so.



Chuck Todd: Bergdahl Swap is About Emptying Gitmo

The release of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in the prisoner swap that set five senior Taliban leaders free was simply a convenient opportunity motivated by President Barack Obama’s desire to start the closure of the Guantanamo prison, said Chuck Todd, chief White House correspondent for NBC News.

“Everything about this has been about Gitmo, and finally we heard an Obama administration official yesterday, Marie Harf, one of the spokespeople at the State Department, for the first time said something on the record that I had been hearing on background and off the record is, ‘We had to get something for these guys because we were eventually going to have to release them anyway.'”

He added that the Bergdahl release was a “PR attempt” by the administration to deflect partisan controversy over releasing detainees.



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