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Happy 240th Marines!….”From the Halls of Montezuma to the Shores of Tripoli…” November 10, 2015

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IwoJima240 years ago..on November 10th 1775…in a pub (go figure) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania the Marines were born.  According to USMC Press.com..“On November 10, 1775, the Continental Congress commissioned Samuel Nicholas to raise two Battalions of Marines. That very day, Nicholas set up shop in Tun Tavern. He appointed Robert Mullan, then the proprietor of the tavern, to the job of chief Marine Recruiter — serving, of course, from his place of business at Tun Tavern. Prospective recruits flocked to the tavern, lured by (1) cold beer and (2) the opportunity to serve in the new Corps of Marines. So, yes, the U.S. Marine Corps was indeed born in Tun Tavern. Needless to say, both the Marine Corps and the tavern thrived during this new relationship.”

From the “Halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli..”…and to Baghdad and beyond, the US Marines have been ready and willing to lead the charge into battle to carry the flag of the United States!…Those who have had the luxury..or displeasure…of meeting US Marines have very strong opionions…here are some comments throughout history of my beloved Corps…

Eleanor Roosevelt said:

“The Marines I have seen around the world have the cleanest bodies, the filthiest minds, the highest morale, and the lowest morals of any group of animals I have ever seen. Thank God for the United States Marine Corps!”

And…Army General William Thornson said:

“There are only two kinds of people that understand Marines: Marines and the enemy. Everyone else has a second-hand opinion.”

While there are many comments about US Marines…I would agree with these two…

To all those who have given the ultimate sacrifice…I will see you in Valhalla…Godspeed my brothers…

Semper Fi! and Happy 240th!….“Never above you…never below you..always beside you….”

A Sniper talks about Killing…and Objectivication… and prevarication…Oh My! October 27, 2015

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DermishA few years ago I wrote a post titled “A Perspective on Killing by a Marine and His Rifle”.  The post was intended to describe, in broad terms, the difficulty in taking a human life.  This post was motivated by the killings in Newton , Connecticut.  In short, the post was intended to show the average civilian that ‘killing’ another human being is not trivial and is very, very difficult. I can say with confidence that most people I know could not do it and would be horrified by the act.   In January 2015, I wrote an article for the National Review.  I was sent hate mail calling me a “cold blooded killer” “Baby killer” etc. etc.  I am not ashamed of my role as a Marine sniper and I am not offended by those comments, I find it interesting that “I” am a “cold blooded” killer yet “Dr. Armna Dermish” is just providing “women’s health care”…

When discussing the difficulty of killing a human being Chief US Army History S.L.A Marshall said:

“It is therefore reasonable to believe that the average and healthy individual – the man who can endure the mental and physical stresses of combat- still has such an inner and usually unrealized resistance towards killing a fellow man that he will not of his own volition take a life if it is possible to turn away from that responsibility…At the vital point he becomes a conscientious objector.” 

Think about that for a minute.  It is so difficult to kill another human being that people become ‘conscientious objectors’. So how do rational people become ‘killers’?  Easy…objectification and dehumanization.  As a sniper we were taught that we were ‘eliminating the threat’…’reducing the target’…’engaging the target’.  These are all very valuable tactics when used in combat.  Where is struggle today is with the same tactics being used to kill babies.  Let me be clear.  I support a women’s right to their bodies.  On that note, I believe that actions taken should minimize suffering and be done with respect.  When we shot someone  and they were wounded…as a Soldier, Sailor, Marine, or Airman we were REQUIRED to render aid.  Our job may be unpalatable to most but we try to do it with respect and to minimize suffering. It is also important to note that it was done in a combat situation…  Listen to the recording.  These people are not “killing” they are “terminating a pregnancy”…”eliminating a fetus”…”collecting fetal tissue” etc.  Nice description of killing.  “Reducing a Target”..they can borrow that one from me….

Today I watched yet another video related to Planned Parenthood.  As a person who has taken lives in the service of my country…I was horrified and disgusted.  I listened to a “doctor” (in quotes because I cannot imagine any doctor who abides by the Hippocratic oath acting this way) describe in dispassionate terms how she killed children.  “Dr. Amna Dermish, of Planned Parenthood, describes how she will use a sonogram to rotate a “fetus” to ensure she can capture as much “tissue” as possible.  She says: “Usually what I do, if it’s a [feet-first] presentation, I’ll remove the extremities first, the lower extremities, and then go for the spine and then sort of bring it down that way,” Wow!…I would love to have had her on my sniper team (or maybe she would have been better suited for waterboarding people)…the cold, dispassionate description of killing is chilling…even to me.  When asked if they can produce a “full head” for brain dissection Dermish says: ““I haven’t been able to do that yet,…Well this will give me something to strive for!”...Hey…Amna Dermish..take it from me.  You are a cold blooded killer..plain and simple…..you can use all the euphemisms you want…you are killing human beings.  You are truly a “baby killer!”  Make no mistake Amna..you are a cool blooded killer. 

I have listened without emotion to Marine snipers talk about killing people.  I was not offended.  Listening to Amna Dermish reinforced that there are truly bad people in this world who relish the taking of lives.  She can objectify those she kills and use all the euphemisms she wants…she is a killer. Welcome to the club Amna…I wonder if you are as haunted as most snipers at the lives we have taken?

Like I said before I agree with a woman’s right to her body.  I respect the Supreme Court decision and understand that terminating a pregnancy may be necessary.  What I do not abide by is the cold blooded murdering of babies to “harvest their organs” for profit.

Help Jessie Fletcher get a Wheelchair accessible House!- Double Amputee Scout/Sniper from 1/6. October 24, 2015

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JessiePlease consider helping.  Jessie Fletcher is a Scout/Sniper who serve with 1st Battalion, 6th Marines (1/6 for most of us) and was wounded in Iraq when an IED exploded. (he is no longer on active duty but you are always a Marine). He lost both legs above the knee and he and he is in need of a Wheelchair accessible home.  Jessie spent over a year at Walter Reed National Medical Center recovering from his wounds.  If you are moved to donate, please consider donating to the cause OR (if you don’t want to donate) you can buy some badass Bravelets for yourself or your loved ones! $10 from every purchase goes to Jessie’s cause.  These are cool!  This man sacrificed a LOT for us…let’s give a bit back in return!…Even if you can’t donate, let’s help this HOG (affectionate term for Marine Scout/Snipers) get his house by spreading the word.  Many brave warriors have sacrificed for us…the least we can do is try to give a little back when they return.

Chris Mark speaking at Secura Risk Management Fall Forum (Oct 28-29) October 24, 2015

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SecuraIf you are a bank, credit union, or work for one and want to listen to me (Chris) speak and are looking for a reason to go to beautiful Charleston, South Carolina..check out the Secura Fall Risk Management Forum!  Yours Truly will be speaking on CyberCrime and the DarkNet as well as EMV “Chip & PIN” (a misnomer but…I will not discuss here).  Should be a great event and will be in one of my favorite US cities…Charleston, South Carolina!..I have not had an opportunity to speak at a Secura event yet but they appear to be very well put together and the agenda looks very compelling.  Also, if you didn’t have a chance to attend the AT&T Cyber Security Conference in NYC, you can watch a replay of the event here!  You can see me on the ‘big stage’ talking with Jamie Wallace on Mobile Security.  It was a great event with top shelf speakers…(notice that I am rocking my Recon Jack to represent the USMC Recon Community!)

Dear OPM – Thanks for exposing my data!…”Clean up your own backyard!” (Elvis) October 20, 2015

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Let me start with Elvis’ “Clean up your own Backyard”

“Back porch preacher preaching at me
Acting like he wrote the golden rules
Shaking his fist and speeching at me
Shouting from his soap box like a fool
Come Sunday morning he’s lying in bed
With his eye all red, with the wine in his head
Wishing he was dead when he oughta be
Heading for Sunday school

Clean up your own backyard
Oh don’t you hand me none of your lines
Clean up your own backyard
You tend to your business, I’ll tend to mine”

menendezToday I received a letter from the United States Office of Personnel Management or OPM informing me that my personal data had been stolen in a data breach.  As a quick reminder the OPM was the victim of a major data breach in which over 22.4 million current and former federal workers and military members’ personal information was stolen by the Chinese Government although the Obama administration did not formally accuse Beijing.

The breach was finally disclosed by the OPM in June 2015 but started in March 2014. So what was stolen?  According to the report I received today…it included (ready for this)…1) Social Security Number 2) Full Name 3) Address 4) Education History 5) Employment History 6) Information on my dependents and close family and 7) my SF86 from when I applied for my security clearance…among other data. For those who are unaware..the SF86 is a 127 page document titled “Questionnaire for National Security Positions” that asks questions about every aspect of a person’s life to include 1) Friends’ names, 2) Emotional and Psychological health, 3) use of alcohol and drugs 4) financial issues 5) affiliations with groups and more!  This information is much more personal and sensitive than just a social security administration.

I find it amusing that within 2 days of Target notifying that they had been victimized by criminals who stole millions of credit card numbers that the “Honorable” Senator Menendez (D NJ) a sitting US Senator (and “back porch preacher” who is now under criminal indictment) would deride Target and ask whether the: “…FTC has the teeth to hold retailers who failed to protect consumers’ information accountable,” He then continued: “if a company doesn’t invest in security to ensure customer data can’t be stolen, “then you have to question why a company would not do that.” The Target CFO would be forced to APOLOGIZE to the US Congress for security ‘failures’ yet when the OPM is breached the US Government distances itself from any liability.  This is sine qua non for any action in which the Federal Government fails..they simply deny that they failed.  According to OPM spokesperson Samuel Shumach:  (more…)


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