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    Entries in Rick Rescorla (4)

    Tuesday
    Sep112012

    Rick Rescorla

    A HERO OF THE FREE WORLD

    Originally published in 2006, this is my account of but one man. I plan on posting this every September, on or near the 11th, in honor of Rick and all who perished that day. I will do this until I can do it no more.

    Rick Rescorla was born in England. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1963 and retired as a colonel in 1990. Rick was a bonafide hero of the Vietnam war. In 1965, at the la Drang Valley battles, Lt. Gen. Hal Moore described him as “the best platoon leader I ever saw.” Rescorla’s men nicknamed him “Hard Core” for his bravery in battle. His heroism was documented and highlighted in the 2002 movie “We Were Soldiers” from the book “We Were Soldiers Once… and Young” co-written by Gen. Moore.

    Since 1985, he worked in corporate security, subsequently becoming Vice President of Security for Morgan-Stanley/Dean-Witter, the largest tenant in the World Trade Center. After the 1993 attack, he trained all employees to evacuate the building. He maintained a structured, quarterly drill carried out byall staff to orderly get out. He is the man who predicted 9/11. Please see The Richard C. Rescorla Memorial Foundation.

    On that fateful day, he safely evacuated all 2,800 Morgan-Stanley/Dean-Witter employees but himself and a few of his security staff. After doing his job, he returned to rescue others still inside. These were not even his people, yet, they were all his people. He was last seen heading up the stairs of the tenth floor of the collapsing WTC 2. His remains have not been recovered. He left a wife and two children. This man is widely recognized as being solely responsible for saving over 3,000 lives. Is it of any importance that he became an American citizen after Vietnam? He is a citizen of all mankind.

    Rick Rescorla is but one hero who perished that fateful day, but what a man he was and what a soul he has that will and should live forever in the hearts and minds of everyone who cherishes freedom. All over the world.

    See also: 

    Calegion Post 149

    Mudville Gazette

    September 11 | A Memorial

    Please help if you can

    Thursday
    Feb092012

    Predicting A Coward's Way Out

    There seems to be a recurring theme when it comes to murder, especially when children are involved. In cases of filicide, when a parent unceremoniously ends the life of their own child — or children, questions are raised about why no one saw it coming. Certainly, we heard it over and over during the course of three years, from July 15, 2008 through the trial and sentencing of Casey Marie Anthony. Why didn’t George and Cindy see what kind of monster their daughter was? Why didn’t they stop her? Today, many in the public still blame them for Caylee’s death.

    Then, there’s Alyssa Bustamante, who was sentenced to life in prison this week for brutally murdering her 9-year-old neighbor, Elizabeth Olten. Bustamante was only 15 at the time and her only motive was the thrill of watching someone die by her own hands; to see for herself the eyes of a young and vibrant life fade into a vacuous void. Bustamante not only saw death, she felt it. Night after night, she will wake up from recurring dreams caused by the hellish storm she created; ones that will drown her soul in flash floods of blood gushing from every corner of her mind. Why didn’t anyone see this coming? Surely, someone else is to blame, too, for being so naive.

    It seems to be a daily ritual anymore; a rite of passage or something. Horror stories of missing and murdered children pop up in the news and each time we promise ourselves we’ve had enough, but is that really true? Hardly. We are very sensitive creatures, for sure, but sometimes we thrive on the pains of others. Not in a bad sense, mind you, but think about it. We hate accidents, yet whenever we approach one on the highway, we slow down to gawk. Oh my, we think to ourselves, I hope and pray they’re alright. And then we go home to watch it on the news.

    What happened to Susan Powell and her sons was a travesty waiting to happen, but did anyone see it coming? Should it have been predicted years ago?

    Michel de Nostredame was born 509 years ago. We know him by his Latin name, Nostradamus. The first edition of his most famous book The Prophecies was published in 1555, eleven years before his death, which he never did predict. Today, he has a strong and loyal following that credits him with predicting many worldwide events. Whether true or not remains a source of great consternation, but one thing is plain and simple. Every one of his quatrains is so tenuous, at best, they are rendered useless. In other words, and to be quite blunt about it, every single one of his “predictions” aren’t interpreted until after the fact. Hitler? Oh yes, ol’ Nostrie predicted him over 400-years-ago, but no one knew it until long after the head Nazi was dead. Osama bin Laden and the World Trade Center? Yup, that too.

    So what’s my point? Even Nostradamus didn’t truly consider himself a seer; a prophet, and no one has yet to predict something before it happens. Not Nostradamus, nor anyone else for that matter. No one can predict the future any more than someone could ever predict a murder, not counting serial killers. Sure, there are predictions based on similar instances and scientific fact. Rick Rescorla predicted the attacks on the WTC, but he based it on evidence of past atrocities, such as the 1993 bombing. That it remained an easy target was as plain as the nose on his face.

    In the case of Josh Powell, what do we know? So far, a rush of information has been gushing and, once again, we have a major problem discerning truth from fiction. But now, after the fact, I “predict” a heavy dose of psychiatric and psychological discussion and diagnoses, but I base it on prior evidence — cause and effect, or causality, in which an action or event produces a certain response. Because of this, then that, only it’s always based on ’after the fact,’ and sometimes the ‘that’ becomes a blame game. I also “predict” this will go on for years.

    Josh Powell most likely murdered his wife in 2009. I say this because of what we already know about the night Susan Cox Powell disappeared. Josh took his young sons camping in the middle of a harsh winter night — unfit for most people, and certainly small children. Who gets up in the middle of the night, yanks his kids out of bed and says, “let’s go camping?” Conveniently, he forgot where he camped, too, but the most important part was that Susan was never seen again. 

    Authorities in Utah, where the Powell family lived at the time that Susan went missing, have investigated her disappearance as a murder case for at least the past six months now, but without a body, it’s a tough nut to crack. Publicly, they held out hope that she would be found alive, but did they believe it? Seriously? No. Josh moved his sons less than a month later from West Valley City, Utah, to Puyallup, Washington, south of Seattle. That made the case harder to work on because he wasn’t around to cooperate.

    Does any other evidence exist? Aside from the late December night camping trip being so absurd, there was a damp spot found on the floor of their home. What was it? No one is saying.

    On Monday, following the explosion that took the young boys’ lives, their grandfather, Charles Cox, spoke to the media. When the boys first arrived, they were emotionally distant, but recently they had opened up. He hoped that one day they would be able to remember what happened the night of the camping trip. The boys never did, but Cox then told the story of what Braden had said almost two years ago. Braden was the younger brother. During the summer after Susan went missing, he drew a picture of a van while at a day care center. Three people were in it. The four women in charge asked him what the drawing was.

    “That’s us going camping,” he responded.

    Who is in the car, one of them asked.

    “That’s Daddy, that’s Charlie, that’s me.” Then, he added, “Well, Mommy’s in the trunk.”

    If Mommy was in the trunk, why was she there?

    He didn’t know, but then he said, “We stopped somewhere and Mommy and Daddy got out and Mommy didn’t come back.”

    While this is certainly important, it means virtually nothing to law enforcement. Is the statement of a 3-year-old something that would hold up in court?

    §

    Josh had a tumultuous relationship with his father, Steven. He moved into his father’s house when he left Utah, and they lived together until September of last year, when Steven was arrested and charged with 14 counts of voyeurism and 1 count of child pornography. Prosecutors said that, for at least ten years, he secretly spied on and shot videos of women, including his daughter-in-law, Susan, and two young neighbors as they bathed and used the toilet. Bail was set at $200,000, something he was not flush with, and he remains in jail, but Josh adamantly denied having any knowledge of the pornography. Unfortunately for him, because it was kept in the home they shared, he lost full custody of his sons that month to Charles and Judy Cox, the boys’ maternal grandparents — but there was more to the story than just Steven the Sicko.

    Ironically, Josh moved his family to Utah to escape daddy dearest, yet in a September 2011 interview, Steven Powell claimed that he was in love with Susan, and that his son was fine with it. As a matter of fact, she was in love with him, too.

    In truth, Susan couldn’t stand the guy. She despised him, she thought he was a creep and she told her friends he was weird and disgusting. It was her idea to move out of state.

    Last Wednesday. February 1, Josh was back in court. He had left his father’s place and moved into a house down the street. Surely, this would mean he’d get his sons back, but remember, there’s more to this story. Before we go into those details, let’s take a quick look at what state law is regarding children and families. States bend over backwards to maintain the family core. According to the Washington state Family Law Handbook:

    Generally, the government does not interfere in family matters, but there are laws that allow the government to step in to protect a child from harm within the family. Sometimes this will result in  a legal action called a “dependency.” A dependency proceeding is usually, but not always, started by the state after an investigation by a Child Protective Services social worker. The goals of such legal actions are safety of children and reunification and preservation of families.

    States seldom like to get involved, and in the case of Josh Powell, the state never intended to completely sever the relationship he had with his sons. Initially, the questions over Steven’s pornography and the safety of the children were the issues. Should the state case workers have insisted that Josh meet his sons on neutral ground? Yes, and initially they did.

    When Josh went back to court Wednesday to argue over custody, the issue his in-laws had so adamantly fought over, he made a declaration that he was the best and safest person to raise his two sons, saying he had proven himself to be “a fit and loving father.” In documents filed with the court, he wrote that it was unfair for his sons to be removed from his care based on what his own father had done. During supervised visits, two times a week for three hours each, he demonstrated his love of the boys and his competence as a caregiver. When Child Protective Services completed their investigation on November 30, 2011, he was cleared of any negligent treatment and he should, therefore, be reunited with the boys. “No child wants to be taken from their parents and it is not reasonable to continue this process.”

    The case worker in charge was a woman from a company contracted by the state to supervise visitations. Sherry Hill is a spokeswoman for the Children’s Administration at the Department of Social and Health Services in Washington. She said that state authorities work very closely with the courts to determine whether supervised visits should be allowed and held at either a parent’s home or a neutral site. In Josh’s case, the move away from his father’s house demonstrated that the safety of his children was of utmost importance, and there was no need to keep them from the new home. Everything looked good.

    “If there had been any indication of suicidal thoughts, or anything that we would have thought there was an intent to harm the children, we would have taken immediate action,” Hill said. “If we had thought that, we would have done what we could. I don’t think there’s anything else we could have done.”

    Remember, generally, the government hates to interfere in family matters, and with his compliance, Josh fully expected to regain custody of his children that Wednesday. He wasn’t. Why?

    There was one peculiar issue over his own morality, so the judge ordered him to undergo a psycho-sexual testing and evaluation. What’s that, you may ask? Let’s just say it’s not something I would enjoy, but I will never be in a situation where it could possibly arise. If you are interested, you can read here. Or, from the Rosenberg & Associates website, a more palatable explanation:

    A psycho-sexual assessment is an evaluation that focuses on an individuals sexual development, sexual history, paraphilic interests, sexual adjustment, risk level, and victimology. It also includes a full social history, familial history, employment/school history, case formulation, and specific treatment recommendations. The evaluation greatly assists attorneys and courts (prior to sentencing for adults), foster care and social service agencies that work with sexually reactive children or children who have been sexually abused, and others.

    Paraphilia is a biomedical term that describes sexual arousal to objects, situations or individuals not generally associated with typical standards of stimulation. Need I say more?

    Why the judge ordered this test is quite simple, very important and legally valid. It was based on something brought to the court’s attention: the results of the psychological evaluation Josh had last October. Keep in mind that Charlie and Judy Cox were given custody a month earlier. Upon completion of the evaluation, “the psychologist received information from police in West Valley City, Utah, about undisclosed materials found on his computer during a search in 2009. That material prompted the psychologist to recommend a psycho-sexual evaluation before Powell be given custody or expanded visitation rights.” (See: Could More Have Been Done To Save Charlie And Braden Powell? )

    [Since the writing of this post, news surfaced that Josh was also ordered to take a polygraph test, and it meant he would have had to answer questions regarding the disappearance of his wife, including the matter of her death. Did he kill her?]

    §

    Up until the day of the explosive fire, there seemed to be no cause for alarm. Although frustrated and depressed over his latest round in the courtroom, Josh seemed to be of sound mind — sound enough that no one in the courtroom had qualms about Charlie and Braden visiting their father at his home instead of a neutral location. The visits were, after all, supervised. He could not be alone with his sons.

    Later, Charles Cox said he didn’t really think there was anything more the court could have done legally to protect the boys, but he wasn’t quite comfortable with only one supervisor. “We suspected that if [Josh] had the boys in his control, with him, and he felt the police were closing in, he was capable [of doing them harm.]” He didn’t think the lone female supervisor could have stopped him, and he was right.

    Earlier that day, the boys told their family that they did not want to go to their father’s house because they wanted to stay and play with their cousins instead. They needed to go see their father, they were told. They would have plenty of time to play with them again.

    When the boys arrived at the house, they ran up to the front door, ahead of the social worker. By the time she got to the entrance, Powell had let his sons in but pushed her out, locking the door behind him.

    “He pushed her out. He blocked her out,” Pierce County sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer stated. “The whole thing was planned.”

    Minutes before, Powell sent an e-mail to his attorney, Jeff Bassett. It was three words. “I’m sorry, goodbye.”

    The rest we know. Two days after his court hearing, Josh Powell set in motion his final plan. The children’s toys were donated. He took $7,000 out of his bank account to settle his bills. No one saw it coming. No one at the bank, no one at Goodwill, and no one in his own family. Last August, he told ABC news that he would always protect his boys. “The people who know me know that I’m a good dad,” Powell told Good Morning America. “I work hard. I put my sons first. I was a good husband. I took care of my family.”

    He took care of his family, alright.

    There will be lots of investigations, from the top on down in Washington state. Despite Josh Powell’s death, Utah police will press on until they find the truth about Susan. Justice has come for Josh. He will never be reunited with the boys he so loved and fought for. Hell has no place for children.

    §

    To randomly place blame on this person or that agency is wrong. No one got up that morning and asked themselves if this was the day Charlie and Braden would die at their father’s hands. No one expected it in court last week. Except Josh. When agency after agency, including the court and judge, finish blaming each other, we may find out why things fell so out of place; somehow lost in the system. But remember one thing; while we complain about too much government interference, all it takes is something like this to do a complete about face. Then, there isn’t enough. Why is that?

    Nostradamus never predicted this tragedy. He never predicted the end of the world, either. Nor did the Mayans and their calendar. As for murder, predicting it is as, well, predictable as pulling petals from a dandelion. I kill you, I kill you not. You decide what is real and what is an illusion, but in the end, I predict we will all be wrong, and that’s my predilection. You can’t guess a coward’s way out.


    Thursday
    Sep082011

    Rick Rescorla

    A HERO OF THE FREE WORLD

    Originally published in 2006, this is my account of but one man. I plan on posting this every September, on or near the 11th, in honor of Rick and all who perished that day. I will do this until I can do it no more.

    Rick Rescorla was born in England. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1963 and retired as a colonel in 1990. Rick was a bonafide hero of the Vietnam war. In 1965, at the la Drang Valley battles, Lt. Gen. Hal Moore described him as “the best platoon leader I ever saw.” Rescorla’s men nicknamed him “Hard Core” for his bravery in battle. His heroism was documented and highlighted in the 2002 movie “We Were Soldiers” from the book “We Were Soldiers Once… and Young” co-written by Gen. Moore.

    Since 1985, he worked in corporate security, subsequently becoming Vice President of Security for Morgan-Stanley/Dean-Witter, the largest tenant in the World Trade Center. After the 1993 attack, he trained all employees to evacuate the building. He maintained a structured, quarterly drill carried out by all staff to orderly get out. He is the man who predicted 9/11. Please see The Richard C. Rescorla Memorial Foundation.

    On that fateful day, he safely evacuated all 2,800 Morgan-Stanley/Dean-Witter employees but himself and a few of his security staff. After doing his job, he returned to rescue others still inside. These were not even his people, yet, they were all his people. He was last seen heading up the stairs of the tenth floor of the collapsing WTC 2. His remains have not been recovered. He left a wife and two children. This man is widely recognized as being solely responsible for saving over 3,000 lives. Is it of any importance that he became an American citizen after Vietnam? He is a citizen for all mankind.

    Rick Rescorla is but one hero who perished that fateful day, but what a man he was and what a soul he has that will and should live forever in the hearts and minds of everyone who cherishes freedom. All over the world.

    See also: 

    Calegion Post 149

    Mudville Gazette

    September 11 | A Memorial

    Please help if you can

    Friday
    Sep102010

    Rick Rescorla - A True American Hero

    This is not about the Anthonys. This is about someone who should never be forgotten.

    RickRescorlaCOLArmyPhoto

     

    Originally published in 2006, this is my account of but one man. I plan on posting this every September 11, in honor of Rick and all who perished that day. I will do this until I can do it no more.

    Rick Rescorla was born in England. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1963 and retired as a colonel in 1990. Rick was a bonafide hero of the Vietnam war. In 1965, at the la Drang Valley battles, Lt. Gen. Hal Moore described him as “the best platoon leader I ever saw.” Rescorla’s men nicknamed him “Hard Core” for his bravery in battle. His heroism was documented and highlighted in the 2002 movie “We Were Soldiers” from the book “We Were Soldiers Once… and Young” co-written by Gen. Moore.

    Since 1985, he worked in corporate security, subsequently becoming Vice President of Security for Morgan-Stanley/Dean-Witter, the largest tenant in the World Trade Center. After the 1993 attack, he trained all employees to evacuate the building. He maintained a structured, quarterly drill carried out by all staff to orderly get out. He is the man who predicted 9/11. Please see The Richard C. Rescorla Memorial Foundation.

    On that fateful day, he safely evacuated all 2,800 Morgan-Stanley/Dean-Witter employees but himself and a few of his security staff. After doing his job, he returned to rescue others still inside. These were not even his people. They were all his people. He was last seen heading up the stairs of the tenth floor of the collapsing WTC 2. His remains have not been recovered. He left a wife and two children. This man is widely recognized as being solely responsible for saving over 3,000 lives. Is it of any importance that he became an American citizen after Vietnam?

    Rick Rescorla is but one hero who perished that fateful day, but what a man he was and what a soul he has that will and should live forever in the hearts and minds of all who cherish freedom. All over the world.

    See also: Calegion Post 149

     

    MICHAEL NAGLE / NEW YORK TIMES / REDUX

    MICHAEL NAGLE / NEW YORK TIMES / REDUX

     The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which holds approximately 2,000 pieces from the original WTC site in a hangar at JFK airport, has recently stepped up its efforts to find permanent homes for the artifacts. Any town or city, anywhere in the world, can apply for permission to take away a piece from the collection and build their own memorial around it. In this photo, a piece destined to become part of a memorial in York, Pennsylvania is secured to the bed of a trailer.