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17 June 2010


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Patrick Lang


Michael Rubin has been hyper about me for a long time. He used to contact editors and network executives to inform tham that I was a "Syrian agent," an anti-Semite of course and that I should be described as such. He and several others did this for a number of years.

I would be curious to know who the "other DIA fficials" are. pl


From Rubins article:

"Even wackier is former DIA official Pat Lang, who writes:

It is pretty obvious that a talking points memo went out from the Israeli embassy or some other locale, because in a matter of days, many of the usual suspects—Daniel Pipes, Stephen Schwartz, Michael Rubin, and Victor Davis Hanson, not to mention the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA)—all came out with the identical, preposterous notion that Turkey is the perp and Israel the victim.

Maybe this is projection, maybe not; I've never met Mr. Lang and only know him through the eye-rolls of other DIA officials. Again, let's put aside his conspiratorial nonsense which assumes that anyone, absent evidence, who disagrees with Mr. Lang has dual loyalty."

Conspiratorial nonsense?

You want evidence?

How about the Jewish Internet Defence Force?


Then there is giyus.org (give Israel Your United Support)

They ask you to download their client which will direct you where and when to start astroturfing.

Simple traffic analysis (which I am too lazy to do) easily shows that the same talking points are used by multiple commentators in a closely spaced time frame which is statistically highly unlikely to be random.


For an example of traffic analysis, this is a table of the number of times Israeli websites have mentioned the Keywords "Armenian Genocide"

The first figure is Israeli websites, the second is the world total (data from Google)

2006 - 24 times - world 31

2007 - 10 times - world 28

2008 - 20 times - world 51

2009 - 42 times - world 78

2010 to date - 108 times - world - 178


Do you take it as a "badge of honor" to be called a buffoon by Rubin? I would.

Regarding Thatcher, Reagan and Alzheimers: they were not my favorite politicians but I wouldn't wish that disease on anyone. My father-in-law had it and mercifully died of a heart attack.

Patrick Lang


I don't remember writing the thing about the talking points memo. Do you have a citation? I am quite sure that I did not write that. I would not have mentioned Hanson with whom i serve on a board of directors.

Rubin has a long history of political viciousness.

What do the rest of those URLs have to do with me?


I am deeply wounded by his unkind words. pl

Patrick Lang


I see that Rubin has attributed to me a statement made by Harper on SST.

I have sent National Review the following message:



It has been pointed out to me that Rubin recently incorrectly attributed to me on your blog remarks made by a poster who uses the pen name “Harper” on my blog.

“It is pretty obvious that a talking points memo went out from the Israeli embassy or some other locale, because in a matter of days, many of the usual suspects—Daniel Pipes, Stephen Schwartz, Michael Rubin, and Victor Davis Hanson, not to mention the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA)—all came out with the identical, preposterous notion that Turkey is the perp and Israel the victim.” Harper


This is the second time that the National review and its outlets has allowed Rubin to slander me. The last time my lawyer threatened legal action and you withdrew the slander.

What do you intend to do?

W. Patrick Lang
Aka “the buffoon”"


Good for you. Did Rubin not know you would fight back?

Right after he supposedly quotes you he writes
"Maybe this is projection, maybe not; I don't know him." It's projection
and weasel words.

Patrick Lang


He has met me several times. pl


Well, how unfortunate for you! My sympathies.

You must be quite the threat, since he goes out of his way to smear you and Walt.


Pejoratives reveal anxieties.


Odd choice.

Interesting, eh?

Green Zone Cafe

Dr. Silverman's account is something that happens frequently in-theater.

Last year, I went along with a portion of a tour by Kim Kagan, Kori Schalke, Lawrence Korb and a few other think-tankers. It was weighted toward the warmonger side, in my opinion.

They were supposed to be providing advice on strategy to Odierno.

This was something put together by either Odierno or Petraeus. Max Boot is another frequent visitor.

It seems to me to be related to the subject of the article, the generals boosting the creds of the think-tankers, so they can start their op-ed back-dooring the general's position with "On my recent trip to (Iraq)(Afghanistan).

Adam L. Silverman

Green Zone Cafe: None of that surprises me. Dr. O'Hanlon came through a different part of the OE while I was there, in fact the least stable portion (and even that was comparatively stable), came back and wrote up an all is progressing apace op-ed for someone. But you're comment about being their to provide advice on strategy brings me right back to my question for these folks about giving them straight advice or feathering one's nest.

Green Zone Cafe

Dr. Silverman,

You are right. Are they really capable of giving better advice than their War College grad colonels with experience in the field, like McMasters? Than the FAOs, Polads, and BBAs?

I know a guy who was/is Petraeus's Polad - he's at FSI 4 in Arabic, marvelously fluent.

Even with the problem of staffs not wanting to give the boss bad news, do not tell me that O'Hanlon (met him, too: an a-hole) can tell Odierno or Petraeus more than their own staff advisors.

The think tankers come to Iraq and Afghanistan not for Iraq or Afghanistan, but for USA-directed IO purposes.

Adam L. Silverman

Green Zone Cafe: I think you're spot on regarding the FAOs and POLADs. In fact part of the issue here is we have too few of them and they wind up being assigned to high up to often do much good. Moreover, the ability to get folks who have backgrounds like mine into some of these advisory spots is nearly impossible. In mid 2009 I tried to assist an HTS field social scientist whose work had been predominantly with her BCT's PRT (the BCT CDR apparently didn't have much use for the HTT assigned him, but the PRT folks recognized the potential and the Team Lead and Social Scientist worked that interaction really well) to get signed on with the State Department folks in Iraq. I had a direct connection at a high level with someone from State as I'd done some briefings and direct support SME work for her. My POC had the ability to direct that this HTS social scientist be brought on, but it never happened because NO ONE could figure out how to do a direct hire! I've seen the same thing on both the military and civilian agency side over and over in both Iraq and Afghanistan: people who can make a positive contribution, willing to do the deployment, and stuck on perpetual wait while the POCs that want them can't ever figure out how to bring them on board - not as fixed term civil service, not as IPAs, not as contractors. This is why I remarked at Tom Ricks' site back in APR that we're not really serious about doing this stuff right because its just not being institutionalized. Its all well and good to have a COIN Center at Ft. Leavenworth, have people teaching this stuff at the various military school houses, colleges, and universities, but if folks were really serious they'd find a way to really leverage folks that can help, and are willing to help, rather than keeping them on perpetual wait. And this stuff would be systematized!

Additionally, the staff advisors find out who they themselves should contact as SMEs, so they set up their own networks regardless of who comes for a junket.

As for the BBAs (bilingual bicultural advisors): I was not that thrilled with them when I was in Iraq. Several were glorified translators. My impression always was that many were working some scam of their own.

Green Zone Cafe

HTTs seemed to be like stepchildren on staffs from what I saw. Could not move off base often. They would have been better off as organic to PRTs in a governance role, but that would probably fail to acknowledge the reason they were contracted for - to provide advice to the warfighter. Well, now the war's going away for the U.S. in Iraq.

If you have good working relationships, all is possible. So much is driven by personalities and interagency BS. This is all fueled by our almost random but also rigid contracting system (you note the difficulty of just hiring someone). We suck.

There are some real good BBAs, some at Victory - but I agree on the highly variable quality. When a body shop hires, they want bodies.

Maybe this Civilian Response Corps will change things. Or maybe we'll come home.

Adam L. Silverman

Green Zone Cafe: The HTT issue you describe is not inaccurate. My team was unique in that I took a hand in staffing it, took over its training on my own time and nickel, we did a full CTC rotation with the BCT we deployed with (and deployed with them specifically because the CDR and the Corps DCG requested us), then spent two months with them in garrison prior to deployment working for and with them, and RIPTOAed with them into Iraq. We also did not have either a current or retired O5 or O6 leading the team. I ran all the research and analysis and was the direct conduit to the BCT staff, as well as the PRT. I had an excellent O3 who ran my staff functions and together we successfully tag teamed the Team Leader functions - he was also given a BCT staff assignment, which further fostered integration. And we made sure we stayed out of the Intel shop. We were officially wire diagrammed into the Planner and from him into Operations and up through the XO with supporting lines to the CMO, the IO, the PRT, etc. We also made a major effort to function as an enabler, not an actor. We worked very hard with the CA and the CIM Cell (and we shared some space with them) to all enable each other. It was also made very clear to me by the DCO that I didn't have one Line of Operation/Engagement to run, my job was to run the Line of Engagement that supported all the other (non-lethal) lines of engagement. By doing all of this, or by doing some and having other parts happen, we were able to feed the meet eaters, support everyone, and do consistently good work. We never had trouble getting off post to do what we needed to do, and while I had authorization to request a PSD whenever i felt we needed one, we preferred, for integration purposes, to piggyback what we were doing onto existing BCT, BN, CO, or PRT activities. I was ordered by the Planner to not leave the FOB for most of JUL 08 though as he wanted me in all the sessions as a resource because we were writing the BCT campaign plan (which while driving me nearly stir crazy, I took as a compliment). One of the greatest compliments I ever received was from our Armor BN CDR who said that we were "low maintenance and high value".

Not that the teams that proceeded us didn't do good work or have some good folks, but the dynamic I described above never happened before the Original IZ6 and it never happened again after it. As a result even the best of the other teams had to (and my understanding is that they still have to) struggle to get BCTs to understand who they were, why they were there, what they were supposed to be doing. While I've not been with HTS for a year now, my understanding is that some teams are organized under Ops, others under IO. Its clear that some commanders don't want them around or don't know how to use them or the teams themselves don't know how to get the commander and staff to use them correctly.

All of this is what happens when you try to build a concept at the same time you have to execute it - you get hit or miss results - and a lot depends on people and personalities even more than on training! I don't see the Civilian Response Corps going anywhere because I've seen repeated news stories indicating there aren't any bodies there; that all the planning for a civilian surge in Afghanistan was redone to recognize the fact that the Green Suiters would have to do it as too few civilians are signing up.

Adam L. Silverman

And lest I forget: as good as my team mates and I were, we were fortunate to work with a commander and staff that wanted what we had to offer, that always wanted to hear from us even when they couldn't follow our advice, and that made us part of the overall team. This was top to bottom in the BCT from BCT to BN to CO and we also had an excellent ePRT as well. My team mates and I were very fortunate to have each other, to have an ASO who had been a real ASO in SF, to have access to folks on the rear D like COL Lang, and to have had a great BCT to work with.

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