Author: Justin King

Trump causes split in the military over sexual assault statements


About a month ago, 88 high-ranking retired military officers signed a letter endorsing Donald Trump for President. Now a collection of high-ranking retired military officers have released a letter condemning Mr. Trump for his antics and begging the American people to keep him out of the Commander in Chief’s office.

The officers condemning Trump have expressed a very real concern: that his attitude towards women will create a hostile command climate. The military has spent decades attempting to stem sexual harassment and sexual assault within its ranks. The push back against this type of behavior began in earnest after the Tailhook scandal in 1991. During a symposium in Nevada, 83 women and 7 men were sexually assaulted by Navy and Marine officers. Incidentally, four of those who signed the endorsement of Trump were present at that symposium, though none were charged.

The facts you need about the ‘New Cold War’

It’s time to separate some fact and fiction. The current show playing out center-stage in the global political theater is, of course, the “new Cold War”. None of the developments are spectacular. None are truly pressing. The “new Cold War” isn’t even that new. The first articles filled under “new cold war” on The Fifth Column date to over a year and a half ago. There’s nothing emergent about the current situation. It’s the natural progression of events.

Most of what is flowing through the news cycles right now, is nothing short of propaganda. TFC is taking this opportunity to provide some context behind some of the situations and dispel some of the blatant propaganda.

Russia did not put 40 million people into shelters

Image Source:

There’s been word of Russia placing 40 million people into shelters to drill for nuclear war with the United States. This led to other rumors including imminent nuclear war between the two superpowers.

So did Russia really place 40 million people in shelters? No. The Russian government conducted an exercise that involved 40 million people. That means that 40 million people were somehow impacted. Emergency medical services conducted additional training, the military went on alert, citizens received a broadcast message, police conducted drills. If all of these people are added together, 40 million people were involved. Most of these people simply heard an emergency broadcast.

Greed and Rolling Stone


For the first time, an outside investor has bought into Rolling Stone. The outside investor is a social media entrepreneur from Singapore. What is being described in the media as a “minority share” of the once illustrious counter-culture magazine is a 49% stake. The sale is indicative of what is happening to many traditionally anti-establishment and counter-culture outlets. They’ve become properties on the Monopoly board of the international publishing world.

From Vice to Rolling Stone the pop culture counter-narrative is dying. So where can readers find a substitute? It was greed that got us into this mess, and hopefully it will be Greed that gets us out of it.

Tradecraft: The Book Cipher & Other Old School Techniques

Image Source:

More than 48 hours ago, a message was posted in an article on The Fifth Column. Readers were asked to break the cryptogram. At the time of writing, the message remains unreadable. At least one person with training from the NSA and three hackers associated with the Anonymous collective have made the attempt. It doesn’t use advanced cryptography or anything like that. It didn’t even require a computer. It was made using a multi-layer cipher. The key component of the cipher is a modified book cipher, sometimes called a Beale code.

In this installment of Tradecraft, we will be discussing how to manufacture your own cipher systems. Multiple ciphers will be discussed, and they can be combined to create your own system. You are only limited by your imagination. Some may be asking what about the NSA supercomputers? Can’t they crack it? Maybe. Later this week, a new message will be rendered and we will encourage our readers to tweet it directly to the NSA in the hopes of getting a response.

The Snowden Cipher: Can You Break It?


Your privacy and way of life is in jeopardy. Snowden risked his life, freedom, and reputation to warn you. He deserves a pardon. He displayed himself a true patriot.

In 2002, I developed a multi-step cipher. Over the years, it has been used to transmit information in the United States and in foreign countries. It has securely transmitted information across international borders and out of prisons. Maybe half a dozen people know the steps necessary to render the message below in plain text. #PardonSnowden

Hot for Teacher: What you really need to know about #TeacherBae and Atlanta’s schools

Ms. Brown

Georgia’s schools are a disaster. 127 of them could be taken over by a new initiative from the governor’s office for “chronically failing.” In Atlanta, more than a quarter of students didn’t graduate last year, and that’s the best graduation rate on record. In 2014, 4 out of 10 didn’t graduate. Instead of focusing on that, Atlanta Public Schools are concerned with an educator who is apparently too pretty to teach.

Patrice Brown was recently named “Educator of the Month”. She’s a graduate of Alabama State University. She teaches 4th graders in Atlanta. Now, she’s being reprimanded by the district after her fashion choices went viral under the hashtag #teacherbae. Some of the clothing she’s seen sporting at school is tight fitting, but she’s a curvy woman.

Death of beautiful teenage Kurdish fighter sparks multiple debates

Image Source: Kurdishstruggle, Flickr, Creative Commons

Viyan Antar, 19, was killed fighting Islamic State forces in Northern Syria last month. Undoubtedly, Viyan, like many Kurdish fighters, was gorgeous. Western media outlets sought to capitalize on the death of the “Kurdish Angelina Jolie”. Her photo was plastered all over the media. Her death was used to further the march for war in Syria. Had this been a US soldier, the incident would have been forgotten before her body was cold. In this case, the media’s treatment of the young Kurdish fighter unleashed a firestorm of criticism and sparked multiple debates.

The first and most obvious is the sexualization of a fighter who gave her life fighting in support of a philosophy that seeks to end the sexualization of women. In something glossed over in the rush to create propaganda, the media failed to mention that Viyan was fighting with the YPG, a Kurdish group dedicated to a certain set of ideas. One of the major beliefs is that people are judged by their service to cause of liberation, not their appearance. Casting Viyan as the teenage beauty queen martyred on the alter of fighting the Islamic State betrayed everything she actually fought and died for. It was a travesty of journalism.

How to rescue yourself from a natural or man-made disaster

The Fifth

Preparing for a natural or man-made disaster is crucial. It must be done before the disaster strikes. Whether it’s a fire out West, a flood in Louisiana, a blizzard in the Northeast, a riot in Baltimore, a pollution-related disaster, or an all out civil war, you can prepare and you can survive. It’s up to you though. Every major incident in the last few years has demonstrated clearly that the government will not come to your assistance quickly, if at all.

Preparing to rescue yourself isn’t difficult, it isn’t expensive, and it isn’t time consuming. You don’t have to have to become a survivalist to survive. You just have to plan.

Understanding the difference: Terrorism, Insurrection, and Guerrilla Warfare

US Army

Image Source: U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jason T. Bailey

Due to the continued plunge into “The War on Terror” and the different conflicts the West has started, become involved with, or prolonged; a series of terms have lost their meaning. The meanings are important. It is fundamentally impossible to understand the nature of many of today’s conflicts because the terms defining them are muddled and lead people to believe a cookie cutter response is appropriate.

The response that may destroy an organization engaging in guerrilla warfare will strengthen a terrorist group. In some cases a certain response can turn a guerrilla group into a terrorist group. The tactics used to disrupt a terrorist group will typically have little or no impact on a mature guerrilla group. Understanding the definitions of political violence are essential to understanding a world steeped in it.

Cycle of Insurgency: How the US military is expected to put down an insurrection

Image Source: Pixabay

One of the overriding questions when discussing an insurgency within the United States has always been the debate over how the military would respond. Those who hope for the military to break ranks and join the resistance will be disappointed. Those who would believe the military will employ surgical strikes to remove dissidents through technology will be surprised. The American people don’t have to guess how the US military would respond any longer. Two respected academics chose to war game a scenario using the United States Operating Concept (2010) as a guide.

The first thing to understand about an insurrection is that it isn’t terrorism. The terms are often used interchangeably by the media, but there is a significant difference.

Cycle of Insurgency: Would US soldiers open fire on citizens?

Image Source: Pixabay

In light of the recent unrest across the country, the debate over police militarization has reached an all time high, but the discussion brings the reader face to face with another and more frightening question: would US troops really open fire on the public?

The best place to begin a prediction of the future is in the past. Historical examples are often discounted for various reasons. A mention of Nazi Germany is immediately discounted because “those people were just evil.” Situations in Eastern Europe are discounted because of the communist or totalitarian regimes that existed there in the past. Bringing up the times militaries in the Far East, Africa, or Latin America opened fire on their citizens triggers the unconscious racist part of some brains that says “well those countries aren’t white.” Instances from US history are dismissed because they were “isolated incidents” or the patriotism gene kicks in and somehow “the citizens deserved it.”

Reasons to thank your local criminal


What causes societal change? Crime. From acts of civil disobedience to organized criminal endeavors; it’s somebody willing to stand up and claim a dormant or unasserted right that forces government’s to change. Contrary to the founding documents of this country, rights are not “self-evident”. If they were, “we the people” would have meant more than “we the people who are white” when the words were first penned. Rights are claimed, asserted, and sometimes taken by force.

The “law and order” crowd is squirming at the concept. Luckily, the members of that crowd are typically ardent defenders of the Second Amendment. That right wasn’t always there. Reaching back through history, tyrants of all sorts disarmed their populations. That right was claimed through the blood of criminals. Of course, today we call them “patriots” but that was a different year. They were criminals and traitors, nothing more. They only became heroes once they succeeded in claiming their rights.

If you want to fix the US, there can be no end to the call for police reform

Image Source:

If you have a concern about any form over government overreach, the movement for police accountability is your fight. Even if you’ve never had a run in with law enforcement, it’s your fight. If you are concerned about the government removing your right to homeschool your children, it’s your fight. If you’re worried about forced vaccinations, it’s your fight. If you’re fighting for an end to prohibition, it’s your fight. If you want to keep your firearms, it’s your fight. If you want to aid the homeless or alleviate poverty, it’s your fight. If you want to stand against imminent domain, it’s your fight. It doesn’t matter what form of government overreach you want to end, it’s your fight.

It may seem difficult to connect some of these to the movement for police reform. All of these, indeed every single government regulation is enforced by the barrel of a gun. No matter how trivial the law, an infraction places you at the wrong of end of a cop’s gun. Even the act of feeding the homeless can in some areas put you seconds from death. When the police arrive and the person feeding the homeless resists having his rights violated, he will be shot. If he simply moves to quickly to pack up his kitchen utensils and the officer fears for his life because of the fork or knife, he will be shot.

Cops claim 28 infants admitted to being gang members

Image Source:

An internal audit of California’s gang database revealed some startling trends. Infants are joining gangs at an alarming rate. According to the database CalGang, California has no less than 42 infants enlisted in dangerous criminal gangs. 28 of them apparently admitted their gang membership to officers. This would be funny, if it wasn’t exactly what the database showed.

Officers in California marked infants as gang members and lied about how the information was obtained. This database is widely used by officers in California and being marked as a gang member would make life especially dangerous for the child during any police interaction.