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Snipers in Iraq
WashTimes ^ | 10 FEB 2007 | Bill Gertz and Rowan Scarborough

Posted on 02/10/2007 5:23:46 AM PST by radar101

U.S. intelligence agencies have built their own version of the famous Russian-designed AK-47 assault rifle for use by American snipers in Iraq. The snipers are firing at one form of deadly insurgent and terrorist attack, the so-called "spray and pray" method used by those who try to sow terror by emerging from hiding and firing a machine gun randomly into crowds. The special U.S. snipers have used .50-caliber long-range rifles for killing terrorists. Now, they are using the modified AK-47s to kill insurgents without a normal shot to the head. Instead, snipers are killing insurgents with shots to the heart, and creating dissension and doubt in the groups over who is behind the sniping. The 7.62 mm round used by the AK-47 differs from the 7.62 mm sniper round used in normal U.S. sniper ammunition and creates a different wound.

(Excerpt) Read more at washtimes.com ...


TOPICS: War on Terror
KEYWORDS: banglist; oneshotonekill; sharpshooting; snipers
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1 posted on 02/10/2007 5:23:47 AM PST by radar101
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To: radar101

Man the media does not care a whit about aiding the enemy.


2 posted on 02/10/2007 5:28:26 AM PST by DainBramage
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To: radar101

The liberals have destroyed our intelligence services.

First, by gutting and slashing after the Church Committee.

Second, by leaks to the media that reveal the inner workings of an organization that could never stand up to public scrutiny. Those leaks have led to lawyers second-guessing every step.

Intelligence services are like hot dogs. Don't ask what's in it or how did it get there. Just accept it.


3 posted on 02/10/2007 5:31:47 AM PST by Erik Latranyi (The Democratic Party will not exist in a few years....we are watching history unfold before us.)
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To: radar101

This is Gertz. He's hardly a liberal. He's the guy who exposed a lot of Clinton's dealings with China.


4 posted on 02/10/2007 5:34:30 AM PST by Doctor Raoul (What's the difference between the CIA and the Free Clinic? The Free Clinic knows how to stop leaks.)
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To: DainBramage
I don't think your response is appropriate. I know Bill Gertz ; he's not your liberal lefty writer. Furthermore, don't you think the enemy already knows about this tactic?

Back in World War II, Ernie Pyle was writing about flying in American dive bombers, including details about tactics. This is the same thing.

We are not a dictatorship, despite the claims of our opposite numbers on DU. We have a right to know how the war is going and what's being done. The military itself provides hundreds of postings per week about unit deployments and tactics and the opinions of senior commanders. Gertz and Scarborough probably got this story from the military.

So, before you say "the media is giving it all away," start thinking "What are they giving away and why?" Of course, that's not easy to do when your mind is prejudged.
5 posted on 02/10/2007 5:38:35 AM PST by GAB-1955 (being dragged, kicking and screaming, into the Kingdom of Heaven....)
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To: Doctor Raoul

"This is Gertz. He's hardly a liberal. He's the guy who exposed a lot of Clinton's dealings with China."

Then why is he exposing American sniper tactics in the media?


6 posted on 02/10/2007 5:39:27 AM PST by MaDeuce (Do it to them, before they do it to you! (MaDeuce = John Browning's gift to freedom))
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To: radar101

This is one of those times when you hope a totally bogus story fed to an Historically Left Wing rag, is believed.

Hope it causes a lot of confusion and fear among the diaper heads.
On the other hand if the terrorists can dress up in U S uniforms and drive official Chevy SUVs' into a secured area and murder seven of ours....I think it's perfectly acceptable to off them with their own "famous Russian-designed"
weapons.


7 posted on 02/10/2007 5:44:22 AM PST by TET1968 (SI MINOR PLUS EST ERGO NIHIL SUNT OMNIA)
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To: GAB-1955
Furthermore, don't you think the enemy already knows about this tactic?

Maybe, maybe not before publication.

Concur Gertz is one of the good guys, however, the bad guys were supposed to believe that they a "blue on blue" problem with that "spray and pray" tactic. Now that it's out there, they won't attribute even a real "blue on blue" engagement to their own folks if they're aware of this story.

Question is, how well will this information get distributed to all the bad guys.

Personally, I'm not happy they published this one.

8 posted on 02/10/2007 5:44:32 AM PST by Doctor Raoul (What's the difference between the CIA and the Free Clinic? The Free Clinic knows how to stop leaks.)
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To: MaDeuce
I hardly think this is a tactic. All sniping is not "one shot one kill" from any particular gun or caliber. What's the difference between a head, center mass, or apex [the family jewels] shot?
9 posted on 02/10/2007 5:46:34 AM PST by tiger-one (The night has a thousand eyes)
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To: radar101
So they are using AK's chambered for the 308, hardly anything new, could be bought commercially for several years. Doubt if they are very accurate, however, the 308 bullet will put you down for keeps and the 223 will not.
10 posted on 02/10/2007 5:47:00 AM PST by org.whodat (Never let the facts get in the way of a good assumption.)
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To: TET1968

The Washington Times is hardly "an Historically Left Wing rag".


11 posted on 02/10/2007 5:49:11 AM PST by FreedomPoster (Guns themselves are fairly robust; their chief enemies are rust and politicians) (NRA)
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To: GAB-1955
Why are you insulting me? You tell me one single advantage that the military would have releasing this info?

Bill Gertz is a pentagon reporter and no more. He gets it wrong just like anybody else. When you start taking one mans information as being solid gold no matter what IMO you've made a big mistake. Go to the bottom of that column itself. They are apologizing for the mistakes on the last column.

KMA is my prejudgment on you.

12 posted on 02/10/2007 5:50:50 AM PST by DainBramage
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To: Doctor Raoul
Good morning.

Personally, I'm not happy they published this one.

Neither am I.

5.56mm

13 posted on 02/10/2007 5:53:32 AM PST by M Kehoe
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To: GAB-1955
...on't you think the enemy already knows about this tactic?...

That's been used a lot to justify revealing secrets.

Heard it a lot during the Cold War: "Don't you think the Russians already know...?"

Well, the truth is: THEY MIGHT NOT!

In fact, odds are they DON'T!

At least not until now.

14 posted on 02/10/2007 5:54:07 AM PST by FReepaholic (If daydreaming were an Olympic sport I'd be a gold medalist.)
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To: org.whodat
All true. I can't imagine a "sniper" using that lobbed 7.62x39 bullet for anything beyond 300 yards. And forget about those loose tolerance AK's hitting anything reliably at that distance.

I know... trigger control, breathing and practice, practice, practice, but an AK's basic design is simply not that accurate, and the bullet is not flat shooting enough for long range.

I don't think they guy has any idea what he's talking about. It sounds like basically gibberish to me.

15 posted on 02/10/2007 5:56:23 AM PST by tcostell (MOLON LABE)
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To: radar101


Help the boys with some green. I've bought the "sniper bracelet for myself and every family member. Profits go to buy them specialized gear not supplied by the Pentagon.

The bracelet also has the wonderful property of causing spontaneous combustion among any liberals who notice it....

http://americansnipers.org/index.html
16 posted on 02/10/2007 5:56:49 AM PST by Kozak (Anti Shahada: " There is no God named Allah, and Muhammed is his False Prophet")
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To: tcostell

I think they are using the 7.62 x 54 round used in the Dragunov.


17 posted on 02/10/2007 5:58:40 AM PST by Kozak (Anti Shahada: " There is no God named Allah, and Muhammed is his False Prophet")
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To: GAB-1955
"Ernie Pyle was writing about flying in American dive bombers, including details about tactics. This is the same thing"

Not exactly. Ernie was in the foxholes with the troops and everything Ernie wrote went through rigid military censors. It would be hard to say that today's media suffers the same inhibition. It really isn't the same thing. We have much more trust in Bill Gertz than your standard lib reporter, but I must admit that when I read this my first thought was, "This is interesting, but why am I seeing it in print?"
18 posted on 02/10/2007 6:00:16 AM PST by wgflyer (Liberalism is to society what HIV is to the immune system.)
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To: radar101

WTH is wrong with them? Why on earth would they publish something like this? Are they taking their paychecks directly from Osama Bin Laden?


19 posted on 02/10/2007 6:00:49 AM PST by McGavin999 (I need a new tag line)
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To: DainBramage
You tell me one single advantage that the military would have releasing this info?

Messing with the terrorists' minds. The more bullets they find that they think might be from an all-seeing sniper, the better. Fodder for the minds of superstitious cowards.

20 posted on 02/10/2007 6:01:46 AM PST by SamuraiScot
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To: SamuraiScot
Duh...Im talking about what advantage in telling the terrorists its us doing it?

The idea would be for them to not know its us.

21 posted on 02/10/2007 6:03:52 AM PST by DainBramage
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To: radar101

I skimmed through the story but it seems to me that it is unlikely that U.S. troops would use AK-47's for sniper rifles. These rifles are not accurate and are intermediate range. The U.S military bringing back the M14 for what I think are called "designated marksmen." An M14 can be quite accurate fired semi-auto and can be effective long range (600 yards or so). The author must be confused because the AK-47 uses a 7.62 x 39 mm round while the M14 uses the much more powerful 7.62 x 51 NATO round. The author must have heard "7.62" and made the wrong assumption. Do journalists do fact checking at all beyond reading the latest release from the DNC?


22 posted on 02/10/2007 6:05:30 AM PST by Wilhelm Tell (True or False? This is not a tag line.)
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To: SamuraiScot

The idea presented in this article is that its other terrorists doing it.


23 posted on 02/10/2007 6:06:00 AM PST by DainBramage
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To: Kozak
I guess it's possible, but that some illiterate, uneducated Iranian peasant can tell a wound difference between a 7.62x54, and a 7.62x51 Nato bullet seems unlikely to me.

Although at least the story would start to make some sense then. Our guys take up the using Dragunov rifles to throw the enemies off in terms of report similarity and wound characteristics, and how this guy describes it is we've taken up using a custom built AK47 and some nonsense about firing machine guns into crowds.

That sounds like a member of the MSM talking about guns.

24 posted on 02/10/2007 6:10:05 AM PST by tcostell (MOLON LABE)
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To: radar101

I'm not sure that the info Gertz has provided is going help insurgents. They don't read the Washing Times and, frankly, even if they know about this tactic, the tactic itself still works.


If you click the link to read the whole story I think the more important part of the article (which is really a series of small articles) concerns the ROE in Iraq. Here is an excerpt...

"Overlawyering:

When the history of the war on terrorism is written one day, historians no doubt will credit risk-averse lawyers with making the war longer.
Legal restrictions are hampering soldiers from defending themselves in the streets of Baghdad and are limiting the effectiveness of secret operations by special operations forces and intelligence personnel, defense officials say.
One Special Forces commando stated that the lawyers are risking lives in Iraq because of confusing written rules on when troops can fire weapons in "Escalation of Force" cases, that is, combat against insurgents and al Qaeda terrorists.
"Escalation of force is ridiculous over there," the commando said. "If an EOF occurs and a weapon is fired, it is to be reported so 'a 15-6 investigation' can be initiated."
An Army Regulation 15-6 investigation requires a commanding officer to gather evidence, interview witnesses and write a report every time a weapon is fired, a time-consuming and useless bureaucratic exercise in a war zone where numerous firefights take place almost every day."


THAT, in my mind, is a far more important issue and one the Pentagon needs to address.


25 posted on 02/10/2007 6:15:05 AM PST by navyguy (We don't need more youth. What we need is a fountain of SMART.)
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To: radar101

They ought to be using the 416 Barrett round for sniping.

check it out:

http://airbornecombatengineer.typepad.com/airborne_combat_engineer/2006/02/barretts_propri.html


26 posted on 02/10/2007 6:18:38 AM PST by Kolb
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To: radar101

There has been some discussion about opening a season on liberals. Does anyone have the dates?


27 posted on 02/10/2007 6:18:50 AM PST by Neoliberalnot
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To: tcostell; All
When we tell the world we are using AK-47 to snipe then we open ourselves to blame for every AK wound in the country.

Any innocent civilian shot in cross fire could be our fault.

I don't mind the idea but to announce it to the world seems irresponsible at least.

28 posted on 02/10/2007 6:19:34 AM PST by DainBramage
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To: radar101

FEAR FIGHT!


29 posted on 02/10/2007 6:24:57 AM PST by philman_36
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To: Kolb

I thought the same thing. I saw a demonstration on "Future Weapons" and was blown away.


30 posted on 02/10/2007 6:32:54 AM PST by nitzy (America is a nation not an economy)
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To: radar101
U.S. intelligence agencies have built their own version of the famous Russian-designed AK-47 assault rifle for use by American snipers in Iraq.
They'd have to, as the AK-47 ain't no sniper rifle. The beauty of the AK-47 is its reliability of firing even if dirty as hell and dropped in mud. All because the tolerances are so loose -- but therefore 'a tad' inaccurate.

The 7.62 mm round used by the AK-47 differs from the 7.62 mm sniper round used in normal U.S. sniper ammunition and creates a different wound.

Well sorry but .. DUH!
The AK in question fires a 7.62x39mm and a U.S. 'sniper round' is a 7.62x51mm (NATO), aka .308 Winchester (but its really not the same). But unless they're completely rebuilding this new super duper AK from the ground up (receiver, longer barrel, etc) I question the veracity of this.

To me a modified SKS makes more sense (we know how the MSM calls everything an AK-47). It still fires the 7.62x39, has a longer barrel (20" vs 16") and when you put a scope and new stock on it and wham - instant 'sniper rifle'. Though with the 7.62x39 still not much good past 200 yards (Remington Ballistics charts STOP at 200 for the 7.62x39)

31 posted on 02/10/2007 6:36:29 AM PST by Condor51 (Where's Attila The Hun when you need him? [Go sit down Rudy])
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To: navyguy

--ditto--


32 posted on 02/10/2007 6:45:52 AM PST by rellimpank (-don't believe anything the MSM states about firearms or explosives--NRA Benefactor)
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To: DainBramage
No insult was intended; for any misperception, I apologize. However, I do know this isn't a shock to al-Queda, except in the worst way.
33 posted on 02/10/2007 6:59:30 AM PST by GAB-1955 (being dragged, kicking and screaming, into the Kingdom of Heaven....)
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To: wgflyer

No, I read Pyle's story on the A-51 in his book, "Brave Men," published during the war.


34 posted on 02/10/2007 7:00:57 AM PST by GAB-1955 (being dragged, kicking and screaming, into the Kingdom of Heaven....)
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To: radar101
7.62x39 will never be an effective sniper rifle. It's flight ballistics won't allow for it. It's not going to be accurate for the alleged heart shot beyond probably 125 yards. It's leaving the muzzle at around 2300 feet per second. Think 30-30 ballistics to for comparison.
35 posted on 02/10/2007 7:03:46 AM PST by elhombrelibre (Hagel, Obama, Voinovich and Biden making the world safe for Iranian terrorists.)
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To: Kozak
That would at least make some sense, but why then the heart shots?
36 posted on 02/10/2007 7:05:00 AM PST by elhombrelibre (Hagel, Obama, Voinovich and Biden making the world safe for Iranian terrorists.)
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To: MaDeuce
This isn't news to anybody in Iraq - both bad guys and good guys. You have to understand the bad guys mentality. They are devoted but not to bright. ANY doubt is like a cancer in them. That is one of the reasons that Islam is so strict - to keep the stupid in line. Our guys would prefer wacking them at 1,000 meters because the head trip that causes is very insidious; however, that is not always practical.

The article is inaccurate in several points of which I will not discuss in public.

37 posted on 02/10/2007 7:10:57 AM PST by mad_as_he$$ (So many geeks so few circuses.)
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To: Condor51
A Dragunov makes better sense than an SKS. By all accounts, they are wonderful sniper rifles. I once held a Dragunov in my hands (but never fired it) and it appeared to be an evolution based wholly on the AK-47.

http://www.dragunov.net/

38 posted on 02/10/2007 7:12:14 AM PST by PUGACHEV
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To: radar101

"One Special Forces commando stated that the lawyers are risking lives in Iraq because of confusing written rules on when troops can fire weapons in "Escalation of Force" cases, that is, combat against insurgents and al Qaeda terrorists.
"Escalation of force is ridiculous over there," the commando said. "If an EOF occurs and a weapon is fired, it is to be reported so 'a 15-6 investigation' can be initiated."
An Army Regulation 15-6 investigation requires a commanding officer to gather evidence, interview witnesses and write a report every time a weapon is fired, a time-consuming and useless bureaucratic exercise in a war zone where numerous firefights take place almost every day"

This isn't a police department dealing with a high crime area. This is our military fighting in a war!

WHEN will the Beltway folks wake up to the reality that the only way to engage an enemy is the aggressive use of massively overpowering force designed to kill as many of the enemy as can be killed in the shortest time possible? Anything less and we are wasting our time,


39 posted on 02/10/2007 7:13:34 AM PST by GLH3IL (Truth: The remedy for liberalism.)
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To: tcostell
It's neither a 7.62X39 AK round, nor a "308" (7.62X51).

It's a 7.62X54R (R = "rimmed") that's a very old but extremely effective Russian cartridge that goes all the way back to the bolt action Mosin-Nagants used by the Russians in WW's 1 and 2, and a number of Russian light machine guns, but in this instance it is used in the SVD ("Dragunov") sniper weapon.

While they do share a common bullet diameter, the bullets themselves are much different, and the "39", "51", and "54" denote the length of the cartridges in millimeters, so one can understand the advanced ballistic performance afforded by the additional size of the cartridge. Very deadly round, reasonably effective sniper weapon.
40 posted on 02/10/2007 7:18:28 AM PST by conservativeharleyguy (Technically, we're all Republicans)
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To: tcostell
The AK is inaccurate at over 300 yards because of design. Give me a accurized M-16 any day. The Military channel runs a show pitting the M-16 against the AK in equal footings. AK wins of bullet ballistics but the M-16 kicks it in accuracy.

Remember that we were the spray and pray guys of Nam. Don't remember the exact number but it was in the thousands per kill. Spooky's alone fired over 9,000,000 rounds and there was only about 35 or so of them in action.

41 posted on 02/10/2007 7:18:54 AM PST by mad_as_he$$ (So many geeks so few circuses.)
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To: MaDeuce

He's exposing a weapon we are using against our enemy, that is likely already aware of the fact that we are using it. Honestly, our special forces has long made use of the AK-47 and it's endless variations, this is hardly classified information. Perhaps this article is intended to be read by our adversaries so as to heighten their confusion about exactly who is firing those shots. I must admit, it would be a pretty obvious indicator as to who the sniper is working for when a bad guy's head is turned to a fine pink mist by a .50 round....


42 posted on 02/10/2007 7:18:56 AM PST by GLH3IL (Truth: The remedy for liberalism.)
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To: radar101
This is coming from the Washington Times, guys. Harldy a bastion of liberalism.

The release of this information may actually prove beneficial. If it causes the ragheads to wonder about where the shot came from, knowing that this is not an unheard-of practice, then it accomplished exactly what it set out to do.

43 posted on 02/10/2007 7:22:21 AM PST by IronJack (=)
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To: PUGACHEV
****A Dragunov makes better sense than an SKS. By all accounts, they are wonderful sniper rifles. I once held a Dragunov in my hands (but never fired it) and it appeared to be an evolution based wholly on the AK-47.***

I agree. But the Dragunov is chambered in 7.62x54R. Since the article mentioned the AK round (7.62x39) I went from there.


Sweeeeeeet!!

44 posted on 02/10/2007 7:25:06 AM PST by Condor51 (Where's Attila The Hun when you need him? [Go sit down Rudy])
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To: Wilhelm Tell
I think you're right. Gertz is one of the good guys, but that doesn't necessarily mean he knows jack about firearms. Either he got mixed up on the 7.62 thing, or he's providing "dubious" information to the enemy that "we're using your own weapons against you."

Couldn't speculate towards why in the latter case.

45 posted on 02/10/2007 7:26:09 AM PST by OKSooner
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To: Kozak
I think they are using the 7.62 x 54 round used in the Dragunov.

You must have skipped over the part where they said using readly available American ammo.

46 posted on 02/10/2007 7:38:17 AM PST by org.whodat (Never let the facts get in the way of a good assumption.)
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To: radar101; All
The 7.62 mm round used by the AK-47 differs from the 7.62 mm sniper round used in normal U.S. sniper ammunition and creates a different wound.

How can the same diameter bullet produce a different wound? Velocity, range, and the locations the bullets hit are going to vary wildly. I would seriously doubt that without a proper autopsy that they could tell the difference between any bullet in that size range. And they would definitely need the bullet,

47 posted on 02/10/2007 7:42:19 AM PST by LeGrande
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To: Kolb
They ought to be using the 416 Barrett round for sniping.

Why, they already us the 300 win mag for an intermediate round between the 308 and the fifty. The cost of new weapon and new inventory would be a waste of money.

48 posted on 02/10/2007 7:42:26 AM PST by org.whodat (Never let the facts get in the way of a good assumption.)
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To: radar101
The agency is trying to reinvigorate its human spying capability, which officials say was gutted after a policy shift in favor of electronic and technical spying during the 1970s and budget cuts during the 1990s.

The era that the author is referring to in the 1970's was the Jimmy Carter years, the head of the CIA at the time was Stansfield Turner. The 1990's brought us the Clinton's ... nothing more needs to be said.

49 posted on 02/10/2007 7:57:16 AM PST by BluH2o
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To: radar101
Now, they are using the modified AK-47s...

Seems to me that this means our armorors have have accurized some AK-47s for this purpose. For urban use a 300 yard maximum range is plenty.

50 posted on 02/10/2007 8:10:34 AM PST by CPOSharky (Year = 365 days. muzzy 'most holy' days = 450. Go figure.)
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