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Welcome to the Vietnam Veterans Institute Website

"If we who served and those who were otherwise involved do not, through our words and deeds, challenge the revisionist history, a generation of young American fighting men will be forever denigrated and a vital chapter in our national history will be remembered erroneously." 

J. Eldon(Jer) Yates

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Vets & Spouses Free Transition Training ]
Posted: jeyates @ October/21/2014 11:01
Transitioning from the military to careers in civilian
business/industry, government and other careers often
presents two challenges:

How to translate education, experience, skills and
training from a military to civilian environment to be a
competitive candidate for recruitment and hiring?
How to develop the soft skills necessary to succeed in a
civilian corporate or government environment,
particularly in business sectors not closely connected to
the military?
The Veterans Career Transition Program, operated by the
Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse
University, is delivered at no cost to post-9/11 veterans,
their spouses, and spouses of active duty military. Paid
for in entirety by a grant from JPMorgan Chase & Co,
VCTP offers solutions to the above challenges, as well as
connections to specific education and training programs,
business/industry coalitions focused on veteran
employment and information about national and state-
level opportunities and benefits for veterans and their
families. The Professional Skills Track and the Tech Track
are offered through an advisor-led group admitted
quarterly, and the Independent Study Track is available
for start at any time. Each track is described below.

Through online courses—accessible from any location, at
any time–participants have the opportunity to gain an
understanding and insight into the corporate culture of
civilian business/industry, government and other civilian
sector employment opportunities.



Veterans: You must be a post-9/11 veteran who has
already separated or retired from the military, OR who
will transition from military service to the civilian
workforce in the next 18 months. Service members
must have served at least one day on active duty after
9/11/01. This includes Guard and Reserve members who
have civilian sector employment, or will be transitioning
into the civilian sector within 18 months.

Spouses: Spouses of eligible veterans, as well as spouses
of all active duty service members military are eligible to
apply to the program.

You may be employed and seeking career advancement
or change, underemployed (working in a field other than
your qualifications would prepare you for, or working for
lower salary or fewer hours than you would like) or
unemployed. VCTP requires an application (which reviews
your preparedness and likelihood of success in the
program) as well as your career goals and fit with the
program’s offerings.

The program is offered at no-cost to eligible veterans,
service members and spouses. Costs are currently
underwritten by JPMC as part of their extensive
collaboration with Syracuse University and as founding
partner of the IVMF. Certification exam preparation and
exams may be paid for by the program based on progress
in the courses, and in the case of exams, results on
preparation exams.

To view this full list of system requirements, click here.

The Professional Skills Track gives you skills to effectively
prepare for and execute job searches, including company
research, and résumé and cover letter writing.
Participants become official SU students and receive non-
credit certificates upon completion. This track also offers
a foundation to advanced level courses in Microsoft
Office, Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook. You will be
assigned an academic advisor to assist you as you
progress through the program.

Access courses for up to one full year
Academic advisors available
Classes begin quarterly


Interested in launching a career in information
technology but not sure where to start? The Tech Track
is focused on preparing transitioning service members
and spouses for their next careers in operations or IT.
Participants become official SU students and receive non-
credit certificates upon completion. Where applicable, the
program will pay the graduate’s associated exam fees for
industry certification.

Access courses for up to one full year
Academic advisors available
Classes begin quarterly
Industry certification available



The Independent Study Track is intended for veterans
and spouses who are currently employed and need to
achieve industry certifications in order to advance or
maintain their current employment. In the Independent
Study Track, you will have six months of access to a
variety of classes and a bank of 25 courses to design
your own program. Veterans and their spouses can enroll
through an individual admissions process at any time to
gain access to our large library of online coursework
covering all subject matters, such as professional and
personal development, leadership, information
technology, accounting and finance. Through the
Independent Study Track, you can pick and choose
individual online classes in areas that interest you and
support your individual career development needs. IT
and operations courses are available. For participants
who complete the entire learning paths associated with
select industry certification exams, the program will pay
associated exam fees for industry certification.

For individual learners – participants will not have an
Participants must be employed and submit a letter of
reference from their employer acknowledging their
participation in this program
Start classes immediately
Industry certification available
Program does not result in an SU certificate
Through the Independent Study Track, you have three
different options of how you proceed through the

Pre-defined learning paths surrounding a specific skill-set
Pre-defined certificate paths, which can lead to industry
Pick and choose individual online classes in areas that
interest you and support your individual career
development needs

Comments:  0 | Views:  24 | Add/View Comments
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Spy Games: ]
Posted: jeyates @ October/16/2014 13:24

Spy Games: General Clapper in History

by Ed Timperlake

The US Intelligence Community is a famously federated league of like-minded sleuths conjoined by parallel mandates.

It is not dysfunctional, merely less effective than it has to be. Like any large cobbled together organization the Intelligence Community (IC) operates on the maxim that “people are people,” and that the system, which now has a Director of National Intelligence (DNI) overseeing its vast responsibilities, will somehow overcome its rivalries and institutional  priorities to provide the President with accurate and timely intelligence. The quality of the people, as everywhere, is uneven: Some are dedicated and brilliant and extremely good at what they do while others are less good and less clearly focused.

Organizationally it is extremely difficult to get 16 separate elements to arrive at a consensus on threat assessments in a dynamic changing world. Getting the best IC products to both the US National Command Authority  and the Congress, however, is essential to US security and, indeed, survival. .

Accurate and timely IC reporting will drive significant budgeting allocations to US fighting forces and also greatly aid the services mission to support, equip and train the needed forces. But even more importantly, IC success may be unheralded and conflict avoided with lives saved; IC failures, however, can have significant consequences for war and peace as the mere reference to 9/11 indicates.

What confidence should anyone have in DNI’s consensus reporting on Iranian Nukes? Credit Image: Bigstock

The most recent example of timely intelligence warning is testimony from General Fraser USAF Commanding General of SOUTHCOM pointing up significant and growing Iranian intelligence operations in his area of responsibility—Central and South America, including Caribbean Island  nations. The general is 100% correct based on my personal experience working with the FBI, who are extremely vigilant to Iranian networks.

As Director, Technology Assessment, International Technology Security/OSD I was the DOD liaison to the National Counterintelligence Executive Committee. I saw personally how forward thinking the FBI is on Iranian activity. Focusing on Iranian agents will cover identifying collectors and agents of influence, something every country with an espionage operation has in play. However, the Iranians also bring direct violence as part of their tradecraft including murder.

Moreover, intelligence I received at ITS from 2006 on indicated Middle East terrorist, especially Iranian, focus on South America, Central America and the Caribbean as America’s soft underbelly. The fact DNI did not include this region in his most recent national threat assessment should therefore be of significant concern.

It is useful to look at General James Clapper’s intelligence background as an indicator of his successful performance as DNI.

Clapper completed a successful tour as director of DIA, and moved on the head up the Geospatial Intelligence Agency. There, he did a reportedly good job, but somehow incurred the disdain of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and was replaced. When Robert Gates, who came up from the career IC ranks, replaced Rumsfeld, he rescued Clapper from intelligence oblivion and made him undersecretary of defense for intelligence. This in turn set him up as a potential default candidate for DNI each time the musical chairs inherent in that appointment stopped. And Gates then became his sponsor for the DNI job.

Clapper, like Gates himself, was a consummate process guy, good at making the normal intelligence machinery work, and not particularly consumed at shaking up the system to insure he had the maverick outlying inputs that are ultimately the most important product of the system.

A relationship from his tenure at DIA, however, brought Clapper in from the cold at NGA. At the time of Ukrainian independence he had been befriended by Igor Smeshko, then the Ukrainian military attaché in Washington, and after 2000 the head of Ukrainian intelligence. Ukraine became part of the coalition fighting the Iraq war, and Smeshko, became a prime source of the intelligence underlying the disposition of Russian WMD out of Iraq. Smeshko established that the Russians, as part of its normal policy of denial and deception in covering up its armament sales in the Middle East and elsewhere, were the architects and implementers of the disappearance of some of Saddam’s weapons.

It is a known fact that Iraq had chemical weapons and actually used them in combat.

My office had confirmed and catalogued the inventory of high-powered conventional weapons in Iraq, an inventory that compared in its relative size to that of the US. When the expected quantities of  chemical weapons were not found, the press developed the myth that they were non-existent.

Consequently, the opponents of President Bush who had opposed the war took up the mantra that “Bush lied and people died.” This was the Big Lie that was to dominate the ongoing debate despite daily proof provided by Smeshko and others that it had been moved out of the  country by the Russians in an organized effort. Some facts should clarify what really happened in a very murky time, and how General Clapper came into the picture to help confirm the dispersion of chemical weapons into Syria and Lebanon.

In the early stages of US and allied combat in Iraq, Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for International Technology Security, John A. Shaw, who had thirty five years of senior experience in dealing with arms and technology transfers and had served as inspector general overseeing these issues at the State and Defense departments, was given particular responsibility for determining the disposition and whereabouts of Iraqi weaponry in the immediate aftermath of the war.

In addition to senior staff missions to Iraq and the employment of a variety of irregular agents on the ground in Iraq, Shaw had several meetings with Smeshko’s senior people and established that significant tonnage of both chemical weapons components and other heavy explosives  had been transported out of the country in the month preceding the invasion. Shaw had had a long connection with the head of MI6 and had worked with him on several Iraq related matters since the beginning of the war, and arranged a series of meetings with Smeshko in London  under MI6’s aegis. Smeshko had particularly asked to have General Clapper present, and Shaw had him included.

The meetings in London in the early spring of 2004 had two parts: The head of MI6 met privately with Smeshko but had his key people interact with the others at the communal meetings. As former undersecretary John Shaw tells it,

“The information on the heavy explosives (which were also missing) and WMD (especially chemical munitions) and their movement out of Iraq by the Russians came from Igor Shmeshko the head of Ukrainian intelligence. I arranged a meeting in London via an old friend who was  then head of MI6, along with Gen. James Clapper, former head of DIA who had known Smeshko for years and who had been deputized by George Tenant to represent him there.”

“There were two meetings and a farewell postscript in the lobby of Smeshko’s hotel with only the Americans and the Ukrainians. The first was a dinner in the Director’s dining room at the Vauxhall Cross headquarters of MI6, and the second the following morning at a Regency  terrace building off Pall Mall. Clapper got there only for the later meeting and concentrated on renewing his relationship with Smeshko while the Brits and I were focused on weaponry coming out of Iraq and Iranian efforts to obtain various weapons and components. In the end he  got Smeshko and we got the intelligence we wanted.”

Smeshko confirmed the Russian transport by both road and air of Saddam’s weaponry to Syria in the period just before the war.

This reflected the detailed reports I had had from my own irregulars on the ground on truck convoys moving from Baghdad toward the Syrian border as  well as Clapper’s satellite images of those movements. Smeshko promised detailed reports on what was being moved and the units responsible. Our people on the ground had already identified several specific destinations for this materiel, later confirmed by a Dutch journalist.”

Needless to say all of this information did not fit a media template, especially at the media narrative bumper sticker level—but it was real and happened. The best proof of that transfer comes from a planned explosion of a large quantity of those materials along the lines of the  Oklahoma City bombing in the capitol of Jordan, where thousands of Iraqis had fled. Fortunately, the attack was stopped in Amman just before it was intended to occur.

In a very underreported story the Jordan Intelligence service often said to be second only to Israel’s Mossad in Middle East intelligence circles, foiled the chemical attack, in April 2004, confiscated the explosives and arrested several people. Terrorist operatives were going to use 20 tons of chemical munitions to try and kill 80.000 people in Aman.

The materials all came from Syria and could not have been put together from Syrian stores or manufactured in sufficient quantity prior to the attack unless they were those exported by the Russians. In retrospect this now looks like a use it or lose it attack perhaps by some of Saddam’s hard-core supporters and/or deadly Al Quadia operatives.

Had the attack been carried out it would have been the story of the year. As the explosion did not occur, the story disappeared after a few days.

Now again Syria is the focal point of news about WMD stockpiles.

This time openly confirmed by US Department of State- a Bangor (Maine) Daily News, headline “State Department quietly warning region about Syrian WNDs” Josh Rogan, February 24 2012.

“This week, the State Department sent a diplomatic demarche to Syria’s neighbors Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia, warning them about the possibility of Syria’s WMDs crossing their borders and offering U.S. government help in dealing with the problem, three Obama administration officials confirmed”

“Syria is believed to have a substantial chemical weapons program, which includes mustard gas and sophisticated nerve agents, such as saran gas, as well as biological weapons.”

“The administration is also working closely with the Jordanians on the issue. A Jordanian military delegation was at the Pentagon Thursday to meet with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.”

Again in history, Russia and DNI’s path cross in a murky IC situation.

It has been widely known that the Russians have been active in Syria with military and technical support, and there are now serious press reports about increased Russian presence with their troops who have special training arriving in Syria. The Russians are going out of their way to spin and minimize such reporting just like they did when they were accused of orchestrating the removal of chemical munitions in Iraq.

The problem is DNI has let Senator McCain position himself as an advocate for airstrikes that might now have a higher probability of directly killing Russian troops while also blasting chemical and biological agents all over the place including potentially killing rebels.

Again it is all very confusing and a fast breaking situation.

However, I do not think Senator McCain wants to follow the path of General Clark in the Balkans when his order to a British General to confront a Russian military held position generated a legendary historic response by General Sir Mike Jackson-”I’m not going to start the Third World War for you”.

The bottom line: what confidence should anyone have in DNI’s consensus reporting on Iranian Nukes with this track record?

Nonetheless, one additional difference that must be pointed out.  Unlike Syria, which has an active rebel movement, if foreign nationals, in or out of uniform, are in Iran supporting Iranian leader’s quest to develop weapons that can totally destroy Israel and they are hit in any attack– then tough luck-they should have known better.

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Slaughtered in the Ukraine ]
Posted: jeyates @ February/26/2014 22:43

Historically various Russian Governments have slaughtered millions and millions in the Ukraine. All we can do is try raised the conciseness of American Citizens and our Friends around the Globe in the hope that international public opinion can thwart further blood shed.
Once the Olympics closes Putin likely will move against the Ukrainian protesters. At the vary least there is no way he will give up the Russian Naval Bases on the Black Sea cost.

The Ukrainians get it and deserve, at the very least, our public support.

 Odessa is beautiful and with a very different historical cultural from the Eastern, Russian dominated, Ukraine. Their cultural roots are the inspiration for the youth movement of today and the root of the protest. Their passion and their willingness to die for a more democratic government should be lauded.  Their western culture evolved from the Hapsburgs and hence the vast difference between they and the East, Russian inhabited, Ukraine.  And -- they have a hell of a lot more in common with the friendly, artistic Viennese than corrupt totalitarian Moscow. And they still believe that US democracy is to be emulated (Pity so many in our country are hell bent on destroying ours).

  Of course ours is not perfect.  But we are a lot more perfect than current governments in the Ukraine, Russia or Argentina where protesters, still view our form of government, naively perhaps, as a panacea.

The Ukrainians get it.  All change comes at a price -- and with disappointment and ongoing struggle. 


The following is a dialog between a friend in Odessa and me.  Her web site went Black after her January 30, 2014 message.


January 22

Inna How are you and your family? Our News is reporting a lot of unrest in the Ukraine. Best wishes and regards, Jer

January 22

 1/22, 4:14pm

Inna (redacted)

Hello, Jer, Thank you, I and my family are well. In our city situation is relatively quiet. But, yes, in my country for two last months it's confrontation people and government. I support and worry about all those people who are protesting against the government. Because our government is really criminals in power. And many, many people worry, all who are not indifferent to the fate of the country. We do not know how this will end, but really is fear for the future. Today unfortunately already there are people, who are died in Kiev, they was killed..

Thank you again, Jer, my sincere thanks for your friendly concern and for your wishes. My best, best wishes for you and your family. Sincerely, Inna

 January 23


1/23, 12:04am


Inna My Hopes and payers for you and the good citizens of Ukraine get a much better Government and peaceful life. We have our problems here – but not the nearly the trauma and political crime and corruption you live with.

Best Regards, Jer

January 30

1/30, 2:29am

Inna (redacted)

Hello, Jer! Thank you very much for the link, I will watch this movie tonight. Thanks for your support, for your kind words. Yes, now the prime minister and cabinet resigned, but still not all so good. Many say that it may just be a crafty move to prolong the time and since we now have all the power in the hands of one person - the president, he can change everything again at any time. We will know that there is at least a small victory, only then, when we get back to the constitution of 2004, which was amended in 2010 by Yanukovych. When our country will once again be a parliamentary-presidential, then only will the hope that all will be well. Now still people are persecuted, imprisoned, plagued people, many people disappear and can not be found, etc. When I read or watch the news, what is happening in our country, it is so scary, it looks as if we are back in Stalin's times..

I read that you recently lost your dog.. I'm very, very sorry for that. I hope she lived a wonderful life in a loving family, and now she's really in Heaven.

Thank you again for everything, my dear friend. I wish you a nice and beautiful day. Regards and best, best wishes for you and your wonderful family, Inna


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