Come clean, New Republic; Update: TNR investigating

posted at 3:02 pm on July 20, 2007 by Bryan

Set your BS detector on its lowest possible setting. If you know anything about Iraq or guns at all, your detector will bury the needle when you read this:

Someone reached down and picked a shell casing up off the ground. It was 9mm with a square back. Everything suddenly became clear. The only shell casings that look like that belong to Glocks. And the only people who use Glocks are the Iraqi police.

That’s from Dead of Night by “Scott Thomas,” the pseudonymous soldier whose claims have raised much suspicion among the blogs of late. It’s completely insane.

I’ll give you one reason, and then quote another. During my brief stay in Baghdad, I discussed the nature of the battlefield with several of the troops. CPT Stacy Bare, the civil affairs officer I quoted extensively in this piece, told me about seeing German (and other mostly European) arms dealers in Baghdad who were selling arms and supplies to anyone and everyone who could buy them. He said, in fact, that one reason the Iraq war has been so tough to wrestle down is that arms dealers see it as their greatest commercial opportunity — it’s the biggest war going on at the moment, and with so many factions on the battlefield there’s a wealth of potential customers to tap. With arms flowing in to so many customers, the potential for violence increases daily. Add in the Iranians supplying arms to various factions, the Syrians doing the same, and the Baathist holdouts using their own stores or tapping yet more supply lines, and you can readily see that it would be impossible to determine the identity of a shooter based on a lone shell casing. The Iraqi police are surely not the only group in Iraq using Glocks. Weapons are flowing into that country from every which way. Surely one or more of all of the arms dealers have Glocks that they’re willing to sell to anyone with the cash to buy them. The battlefield is just too chaotic for an infantryman who can’t tell the difference between a military and a civilian to be able to go SNAP–this lone casing proves that someone in the Iraqi police did this. That might work on CSI, but not in the real world.

Now, the other reason that this assertion on the part of “Scott Thomas” is insane:

I know for sure that the round fired by the Glock 17 (their standard 9mm service pistol) fires the same round as the 9mm Beretta, the M9 (known in the civilian world as the 92… I know quite a bit about guns, and I have NEVER heard of a 9mm round with a “square back”. In fact, I’ve never heard of ANY centerfire cartridge with a squared-off rim. A square rim would screw up how the round would sit in the magazine, and how it would feed into the chamber. The only “square” “cartridges” I’ve ever heard of came with caseless rounds, and weapons using caseless ammunition is so complex that it has yet to be fielded in any form.

“Scott Thomas” is bogus. He’s a fraud. He might be Clifton Hicks, he might be someone else, but whoever he is, it’s become clear that he has an eye for made-up detail but doesn’t know much about reality.

The New Republic will have to out “Scott Thomas” in order to protect its own credibility. It’s that simple.

Update: Bob Owens weighs in:

For “Scott Thomas” to claim that “the only people who use Glocks are the Iraqi police” is laughable, and coming from someone who claims to be a United State soldier in Iraq who would certainly know that to be a false statement, is perhaps as clear an audacious a display of willfully libeling the Iraqi police as has been written in the American media.

Update: Baldilocks opines:

It’s amazing how often Big Media entities try to get away with this sort of thing. I read the first two “Scott Thomas” stories also (the third story, “Shock Troops,” is the one that has been subject to dissection over the past few days) but since I’m less than familiar with things Army I couldn’t see anything wrong with them. From what I can tell, other than the Glock information, there is nothing that stands out as bogus in the first two stories and, as a result, no one in the know raised an alarm. Because of that, TNR’s editors became emboldened enough to put out such egregious B(D)S as “Shock Troops.” Hubris makes one careless.

Indeed.

Update (AP): Sounds like TNR is leaning towards standing by its story.

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Nice work. Blogs have gotten really good at sniffing out bogus stories lately.

BadgerHawk on July 20, 2007 at 3:07 PM

Wow. If I had read that I could have called BS on this. 9mm is 9mm, and the only way you might be able to tell the difference which gun fired it is the firing pin indentation.

A square back?

frankj on July 20, 2007 at 3:09 PM

There are maybe 25 houses on my block and I would bet you could find a couple of Glocks here. maybe one of my neighbors were at the massacre.

When is someone going national and asking for proof from TNR? How about on the floor of Congress? No doubt they will try to hide behind the First Amendment but that doesn’t mean they can’t be totally discredited.

peacenprosperity on July 20, 2007 at 3:10 PM

Thanks for the BS detector warning as this proves that this guy is full of it. You would think that if these guys were going to use someone to pretend to be a soldier, they would at least get someone who new what the hell they were talking about.

mundayr on July 20, 2007 at 3:10 PM

Maybe it was written by the same San Fran reporter that wrote in an article concerning more women getting firearms training that there was an “auto-ejecting revolver.”

Tennessee Dave on July 20, 2007 at 3:10 PM

I was gonna say, I thought 9mm’s were 9mm’s. I kept reading that back to myself. I didn’t think they made squared off backed ones, and I’m not that gun savvy.

Bad Candy on July 20, 2007 at 3:11 PM

I’ve learned you can usually tell a liberal has written something when the info about guns is totally wrong or bass-ackwards.

Bad Candy on July 20, 2007 at 3:12 PM

The screeching of “fake but accurate” in 5…4…3…

KelliD on July 20, 2007 at 3:12 PM

I give this Glockin’ spiel the expected zero credibility points.

James on July 20, 2007 at 3:13 PM

If Glocks required a unique round, they would be worthless in the real world.

Oops I’m sorry this story isn’t about the real world.

TunaTalon on July 20, 2007 at 3:13 PM

Someone reached down and picked a shell casing up off the ground. It was 9mm with a square back. Everything suddenly became clear. The only shell casings that look like that belong to Glocks. And the only people who use Glocks are the Iraqi police.

Except for the 9mm service Berettas. Brass is brass. 9mm/9mm parabellum/9×19/9 luger brass all look the same.

PRCalDude on July 20, 2007 at 3:13 PM

These liberal media outlets endlessly cast aspersions on the administration. They are part of the democrat party scandal machine that knows that proof isn’t necessary, just put something out there and let it poison the publics perception. It’s great that here in blogland that these stories get torn apart but what about all those that heard the original story but don’t follow blogs? The editor of TNR who approved of this story needs to be followed around with TV cameras and microphones and called in front of Congress to give the facts. If they had information about Abu Graib they would be happy to testify.

peacenprosperity on July 20, 2007 at 3:15 PM

Keep up the pressure Bryan TNR needs to have their nose rubbed in this story.

O/T I wish something like this could be done regarding the way ABC is censoring things posted over at…Stalin would be proud of them.

http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalradar/2007/07/cia-leak-lawsui.html#comment-76690978

doriangrey on July 20, 2007 at 3:16 PM

I don’t get it! I never had a problem telling the VC from the general population. The VC were the ones without round eyes! (Ok it’s friday and it’s late)

Dread Pirate Roberts VI on July 20, 2007 at 3:17 PM

not only do we have to fight our enemies overseas but just as important the enemies on the homefront….because that is what they are and they can not hide behind the 1st amendment.

robo on July 20, 2007 at 3:18 PM

Bryan,

From your link, an update added that the glock 17 has a squarish firing pin, imparting a square mark into the brass where it contacts. Sounds like ‘Thomas’ was trying to fake the fact that the Iraqi police use glocks, but didn’t know enough about guns to get the details right. Glocks shoot standard 9mm.

PRCalDude on July 20, 2007 at 3:22 PM

PRCalDude on July 20, 2007 at 3:22 PM

Heh. So he blew his fabricated detail. Figures.

Bryan on July 20, 2007 at 3:25 PM

So, the question is, does the Glock17 have a squarish piring pin?

Bad Candy on July 20, 2007 at 3:27 PM

I’m sure there are exceptions, but I smell a great way to sense when a Dhimmicrat is near….. the knowledge about firearms and combat is directly proportional to their honesty. Remember, though I said, of course there are exceptions.

MNDavenotPC on July 20, 2007 at 3:27 PM

Square back?

A 9mm round is an ACP type round with an indention so the extractor has something to grab. If you lay the round on its side, it will lay flat because the circumference of the rim below the indention is the same as the circumference of the rest of the brass. I guess you could say the rim of the brass below the indention could be called squared off, but it is not unique to a Glock.

This guy sounds like he is full of s#*t just like the last numbskull with the funky uniform. It just shows how stupid these fakers are.

saiga on July 20, 2007 at 3:29 PM

I found this over in the American Spectator’scomments saying the same thing I just said:

The Glock has a slightly off-shaped firing pin which makes somewhat distinctive strikes on the primer (sometimes called a “wedge” shaped dimple). This possibly could be what the writer is referring to. However, since the writing is first-person and meant to show an intimate knowledge with firearms, it is obvious that the writer knows nothing about firearms and is potentially mis-transcripting a remark from another source.

I call BS.

PRCalDude on July 20, 2007 at 3:31 PM

It’s all part of the MSM’s script.

First, our soldiers were made out to be kids, then they were made out to be victims, now they are made to be monsters.

danking70 on July 20, 2007 at 3:33 PM

Bryan on July 20, 2007 at 3:25 PM

Funny thing about it is that the square shell thing was a urban myth popular here in Southern California about 10 years ago or so among those who had heard about the Glock but didn’t actually know jack $hit about guns.

doriangrey on July 20, 2007 at 3:33 PM

Bryan,

Can’t the Boss put this in O’Reilly’s ear. Seems like something he might grab hold of. He could invite you and someone from TNR onto his show. Let’s see if they even show.

peacenprosperity on July 20, 2007 at 3:33 PM

Making up stories that paint our troops in an unfavorable light? Sounds like ‘Scott Thomas’ has a real future in the Democratic Party. First, he becomes a Senator from Massachusetts and then the party’s nominee for President. If he’s real lucky he’ll marry a billionaire widow.

The left is correct that Iraq=Vietnam in one very important respect…the depths they will sink to defame their fellow Americans who serve in the military.

Somebody better get fired over this.

Drew on July 20, 2007 at 3:34 PM

This from Wikipedia:

The Glock 17 and all others that Glock has since produced use the “safe action” fire control system, a single-action mechanism utilizing a striker instead of a hammer and firing pin. Like most other striker-fired pistols, the Glock pistol requires the trigger to pull the striker back the rest of the way, and to release it.

Don’t know if it’s significant. I know very little about guns.

amerpundit on July 20, 2007 at 3:34 PM

Or, at least how the variations operate.

amerpundit on July 20, 2007 at 3:35 PM

Hey, Michelle is on the Factor tonight right? As long as they don’t make her cover more Pro-Wrestling stories maybe she could do a piece on this.

Bad Candy on July 20, 2007 at 3:35 PM

So, the question is, does the Glock17 have a squarish piring pin?

It’s more rectangular then square but it’s unlike any other gun I own. The indentation is easy to recognize but the ammo is regular 9mm.

alilianstrom on July 20, 2007 at 3:37 PM

The Glock 17 and all others that Glock has since produced use the “safe action” fire control system, a single-action mechanism utilizing a striker instead of a hammer and firing pin. Like most other striker-fired pistols, the Glock pistol requires the trigger to pull the striker back the rest of the way, and to release it.

All this means is that in 1911 and other type pistols, the hammer is all the way to the rear when cocked, so that the trigger pull sends the hammer forward. In glocks, I guess, the trigger does some of the work in sending the striker all the way to the rear before coming forward. I guess this helps prevent accidental discharges better, but doesn’t affect how the spent brass looks.

PRCalDude on July 20, 2007 at 3:37 PM

It’s more rectangular then square but it’s unlike any other gun I own. The indentation is easy to recognize but the ammo is regular 9mm.

alilianstrom on July 20, 2007 at 3:37 PM

There you have it. ‘Thomas’ transcribed a detail incorrectly when making up the story.

PRCalDude on July 20, 2007 at 3:39 PM

No one tell Bob over at Confederate Yankee. As a subject matter expert on firearms, he’ll blow a blood vessel when he read’s this. I’m just looking out for his health.

BohicaTwentyTwo on July 20, 2007 at 3:40 PM

Can’t the Boss put this in O’Reilly’s ear.

Getting stories into O’R’s ear is one thing. Getting them on the air is quite another. And even getting stories to his ear isn’t as easy as most people seem to think.

I could give you all the lowdown on how it all works wrt The Factor, but basically, as a segment guest Michelle usually has very little input on the topics to be discussed. She can and does make suggestions, and the producers can and do take and reject those suggestions as they see fit. As a guest host, the amount of input from her that actually makes it into the show varies widely depending on the news of the day and so forth.

All of this is among the reasons that we produce Vent. Vent is about what we want to say and when we want to say it, on whatever topics we choose to address.

Bryan on July 20, 2007 at 3:41 PM

Getting stories into O’R’s ear is one thing. Getting them on the air is quite another. And even getting stories to his ear isn’t as easy as most people seem to think.

Of course. His head is too far up his own ___ to bother. He’d rather moralize on unimportant issues.

PRCalDude on July 20, 2007 at 3:42 PM

Square backs? That sounds like it would be almost impossible to get into a normal magazine, much less chambered.

Tanya on July 20, 2007 at 3:44 PM

PRCalDude on July 20, 2007 at 3:37 PM

Thanks.

PRCalDude on July 20, 2007 at 3:42 PM

True.

amerpundit on July 20, 2007 at 3:44 PM

Bill O’ is more interested in what Nick Lachey did in a hot tub, than what a media source is doing to make our troops look bad.

amerpundit on July 20, 2007 at 3:45 PM

The only “square” “cartridges” I’ve ever heard of came with caseless rounds

Well, that’s not entirely true. Everyone knows that the M41A Pulse Rifle uses a 10mm exploding tip caseless, standard armor piercing round.

BohicaTwentyTwo on July 20, 2007 at 3:48 PM

Ok, I’ll try helping out one more time, then I give up. Here’s Glock’s website on the 17.

amerpundit on July 20, 2007 at 3:48 PM

I know O’Reilly drives people nuts, but frankly, beggars can’t be choosers at this point, and O’Reilly’s what you got if you need to make a story go big for a TV audience. Talk Radio and Blogs aren’t enough.

Bad Candy on July 20, 2007 at 3:49 PM

Everyone knows that the M41A Pulse Rifle uses a 10mm exploding tip caseless, standard armor piercing round.

BohicaTwentyTwo on July 20, 2007 at 3:48 PM

How many of those do you think the Iraqi police have lying around? Maybe you’ve just fisked the fiskers (us). /sarc

PRCalDude on July 20, 2007 at 3:50 PM

amerpundit on July 20, 2007 at 3:45 PM

No to be fair to Bill he is just more interested in what will increase his viewer ship without too dramatically impacting his “looking out for you” mantra.

doriangrey on July 20, 2007 at 3:52 PM

OMG!!! So my Springfield-Armory 9mm can’t shoot Glock-specific shells?

jediwebdude on July 20, 2007 at 3:52 PM

No to be fair to Bill he is just more interested in what will increase his viewer ship without too dramatically impacting his “looking out for you” mantra.

doriangrey on July 20, 2007 at 3:52 PM

But what do you mean? He’s the culture warrior, remember?

PRCalDude on July 20, 2007 at 3:53 PM

doriangrey on July 20, 2007 at 3:52 PM

Quite frankly, I’d rather watch this story.

amerpundit on July 20, 2007 at 3:59 PM

OMG!!! So my Springfield-Armory 9mm can’t shoot Glock-specific shells?

jediwebdude on July 20, 2007 at 3:52 PM

Of course not! Your firearm doesn’t have the incredibly complex square cartridge (heh, I almost said ‘square round’) alignment system that’s guaranteed to prevent a misfed round almost 2% of the time.

But hey, at least TNR can claim that it found a way to put a square peg into a round hole.

James on July 20, 2007 at 4:00 PM

amerpundit on July 20, 2007 at 3:59 PM

So e-mail Bill and suggest he ask Michelle about it…

doriangrey on July 20, 2007 at 4:01 PM

Glocks are known to leave bulges at the base of the casings. But they’re not square.

desertdweller on July 20, 2007 at 4:15 PM

I getting the feeling that Mr. Thomas MEANT to say the brass has a square firing pin impression, not a square back. However, that’s a pretty pathetic mistake for someone in the profession of arms. Sounds more like someone who gets their firearms knowledge from CSI, rather than someone who trains day in and day out with them. Seriously, Mr. Thomas is supposed to be an Infantry man, right? 11M, maybe 19D.

BohicaTwentyTwo on July 20, 2007 at 4:15 PM

BohicaTwentyTwo on July 20, 2007 at 4:15 PM

Maybe 1d10t???

doriangrey on July 20, 2007 at 4:30 PM

Like Jayson Blair (has anyone ever seen him and “Scott Thomas” in the same room together?), apparently this jackhole thinks he’s too smart to get caught making up utter lies to denigrate our soldiers. But he isn’t nearly as good as he thinks he is. The New (Soviet Socialist) Republic has some ‘splainin’ to do, pronto. Can they get sued for this? How about a class-action defamation suit on the part of everybody in the military?

Well, that’s not entirely true. Everyone knows that the M41A Pulse Rifle uses a 10mm exploding tip caseless, standard armor piercing round.

BohicaTwentyTwo on July 20, 2007 at 3:48 PM

I prefer a plasma rifle in the 40-watt range.

ReubenJCogburn on July 20, 2007 at 4:30 PM

“It looks like it came from a Glock?”

Huh?

This guy needs an editor for his fairy tales. I think the average American housewife would have caught that boo-boo.

Note to future liberal authors of America-hating urban myths: it’s called research. You can actually do it on that little box you’re typing on.

I’m starting to have the same reaction to liberals I have to both criminals and terrorists: we might be in trouble with all three … if they weren’t almost universally clueless and inept.

Professor Blather on July 20, 2007 at 4:30 PM

The schmuck is clearly a phoney. You would have to have a pretty good eye to analyze the dent in the primer just walking by. But then again, my eyes were much better when I was younger.

saiga on July 20, 2007 at 4:32 PM

I went back and checked ALL of my bullets. Not one square one. Dude! To think these libs actually take themselves seriously is astounding. Thank God for the Internet and FOX. There’ll be more conservative outlets soon.

Mojave Mark on July 20, 2007 at 4:33 PM

This would be soooo delicious if Scott Thomas was actually Stephen Glass messing with TNR’s head again.

Dusty on July 20, 2007 at 4:39 PM

Again I say, “Scott Thomas” is the new Stephen Glass. TNR has learned nothing from their previous experience with a lying reporter.

corbettw on July 20, 2007 at 4:40 PM

Heres one more wrench in the works…turn of the last century sometime around 1900. They did come up with a revolver that fired square bullets. Believe it or not it had something to do with the Turks and shooting Muslims, I just can’t remember the details…

serenity on July 20, 2007 at 4:43 PM

Too bad they don’t issue the Iraqi police Dardicks.
http://www.municion.org/Dardick/Dardick.htm

Well, I guess the people that these stories are intended for in the first place have zero knowledge about weapons or warriors, and are beyond caring that they can and will be shown for the lies that they are at places like HotAir, FR etc.

If I were a leftist rabble-rouser, I’d make an effort to be plausible, but hey, If lefties had any common sense or knowledge of the real world, they wouldn’t be lefties.

LegendHasIt on July 20, 2007 at 4:43 PM

My personal carry weapon of choice is my S&W series 65 3inch barrel 38/357….. no square notches there.. but it will stop extremists and illegals. Not that I’d EVER carry it concealed ( although I legally can)

MNDavenotPC on July 20, 2007 at 4:53 PM

I’ve been in enough writing workshops and seen enough writing by committee to think this looks like an amalgam of ideas and stories. Perhaps someone who actually knew something but doesn’t have the ability or determination to actually construct the written portion told the person punching the keys, and this is what came out.

TinMan13 on July 20, 2007 at 4:59 PM

I have a Glock 19, which is 9mm, and just examined the primers on several pieces of brass I’ve collected for reloading: it has a shallow rectangular imprint that surrounds the main indentation of the firing pin. I suspect this is what the article is referring to, although I’m not trying to suggest that the article is therefore accurate.

Considering that Glocks are one of the world’s most popular firearms, I would say that Bryan’s analysis above is accurate. Finding a round that has been fired by a Glock doesn’t prove anything at all, IMO.

FloatingRock on July 20, 2007 at 5:00 PM

a spent Glock casing may have a sort of “square” impression or primer strike where the firing pin struck due to the “flat tapered” shape of the firing pin.

“Square back” casing?? What the hell is this guy talking about???

186k on July 20, 2007 at 5:21 PM

This prose sounds like it came from someone who was bounced from creative writing class.

JM Hanes on July 20, 2007 at 5:22 PM

Speaking of arms sales and the Iraqi police:

according to government watchdogs, more than 13,000 Glock semi-automatic pistols, 751 assault weapons and almost 100 machine guns cannot be accounted for in Iraq, raising the possibility that they may have fallen into the hands of insurgents.

Indeed, thanks to the late Steve Gillard quoting the NYT, we know:

three types of American-issued weapons are now readily visible in shops and bazaars here as well: Glock and Walther 9-millimeter pistols, and pristine, unused Kalashnikovs from post-Soviet Eastern European countries.

Jamil Scott Thomas must be a pseudonym for Sherlock Holmes.

Bryan may also want to contact StrategyPage:

One of the more popular weapons in Iraq, for those that can afford it, is the Glock 18C 9mm pistol. This one looks just like the widely used Glock 17 pistol…

Karl on July 20, 2007 at 5:25 PM

Karl on July 20, 2007 at 5:25 PM

I realize that you are just quoting someone else’s article… but…. When did America EVER issue Walthers? And Glocks are not a regular issue item, although have been issued to a few special type folks.

LegendHasIt on July 20, 2007 at 5:32 PM

I realize that you are just quoting someone else’s article… but…. When did America EVER issue Walthers? And Glocks are not a regular issue item, although have been issued to a few special type folks.

LegendHasIt on July 20, 2007 at 5:32 PM

Not to mention “pristine, unused Kalashnikovs from post-Soviet Eastern European countries.”

madne0 on July 20, 2007 at 6:04 PM

Great report Bryan.

I believe the far left press has gone absolutely bonkers! By catering to a single issue audience, i.e. Bush haters, they have shattered what little credibility they had remaining after last summers fauxtography debacle.

The old media has forgotten an important rule, stick with the facts and let the cards fall where they may.

Zorro on July 20, 2007 at 6:12 PM

TinMan13 on July 20, 2007 at 4:59 PM

I have been thinking all along how much it sounds like a high school creative writing project. He or She mentions “folding in half” with laughter twice.

Could the clueless author be referencing a magazine shape instead of a casing shape?

BentOuttaRound on July 20, 2007 at 6:15 PM

I made a square back shell casing once… I put it in the vice, two times.

ricer1 on July 20, 2007 at 6:26 PM

I think I’ve found the explanation.

RedWinged Blackbird on July 20, 2007 at 6:32 PM

LegendHasIt on July 20, 2007 at 5:32 PM

It’s possibly what we’re issuing to the Iraqi military, but the quote is indeed strange. The bit about the “pristine unused kalishnikovs” is also likely uninformed. There are tons of AK variants, and they’re likely “pristine” because they’re “brand spanking new” not leftover from some scary sounding eastern bloc country.

TexasDan on July 20, 2007 at 6:38 PM

I realize that you are just quoting someone else’s article… but…. When did America EVER issue Walthers? And Glocks are not a regular issue item, although have been issued to a few special type folks.

Yes, I’m shocked that the NYT was sloppy ’bout the descriptions, but (a) I am cutting them enough slck to believe they saw such guns in store windows, etc.; and (b) the US certainly did provide Glocks to the Iraqi police (indeed, there were those in the US upset that Glock was picked, as opposed to a US company). Thousands of these Glocks have gone missing (see my first link). So Jamil Thomas is either hoaxing or an idiot when he immediately concluded the Iraqi police were involved in the death.

Karl on July 20, 2007 at 6:45 PM

PS: Indeed, I consider it quite likely that an NYT reporter would have no idea who makes Glocks and Walthers and considered them “American” out of sheer ignorance of all things ballistic.

Karl on July 20, 2007 at 6:53 PM

Did Tommy write this?

Dave Shay on July 20, 2007 at 7:15 PM

First, our soldiers were made out to be kids, then they were made out to be victims, now they are made to be monsters.

All in the same day, sometimes.

saint kansas on July 20, 2007 at 7:36 PM

Hope ol’ “Scott” has a good explanation for the Humvee tire story.

Karl on July 20, 2007 at 7:53 PM

Well — Weekly Standard is finding more problems (with earlier thomas stories) even as the TNR investigates — in this case the flat tire of the Humvee:

In Baghdad, a busted infrastructure has left entire neighborhoods navigable by vehicle only. The sector we soldiers patrol is known unaffectionately as “Little Venice” because of the dark brown rivers of sewage that backwash from broken pipes. The biggest fear in these parts isn’t sniper fire or IEDs, but a flat tire that forces you to wade through the reeking fluids. Occasionally, that fear is realized–like on the day when I met Ali.

aren’t Humvees equipped with a centralized mechanism to pump air into punctured tires so that they can still drive with a blow out (say from a bullet hole). Is it possible they really couldn’t drive on this tire long enough to pull out of a three foot deep river of sh%*.

And then?

WWS pal Stuart Koehl, who is regularly quoted here as an expert on all things technology-related and who first chimed in on this story to explain that there was no way a Bradley driver could see a dog to the right of the vehicle as “Thomas” describes in “Shock Troops,” now writes in to cast doubt on this story as well.

Koehl says,

HMMWVs [Humvees] are equipped with a special type of “run flat” tire–there is a solid rubber doughnut wrapped around the rim inside the pneumatic tire. If the inflatable gets punctured, the vehicle settles down on the run-flat insert, which allows it to be driven out of the battle area. The adjustable tire pressure system might keep the tire inflated if it has only a small hole, but its real purpose is to match ground pressure to the road surface for maximum traction. HMMWV tires are huge, heavy, and most vehicles don’t carry a spare. A drop-down spare tire carrier has only recently become available as an option on Up-Armored HMMWVs.

there is a lot more at the link…

Topsecretk9 on July 20, 2007 at 7:54 PM

When I hear about firearms being ‘issued’, my instinct is that they mean issued to military personnel. Maybe my semantic take on this is wrong.

Even in the position of ‘occupiers’ would we be ISSUING firearms to the Iraqi police? I mean, I can see us contracting for the purchase, handling the distribution and training the Iraqis in the use of them.

But when I hear the word issue, the implication is that ‘we’ retain ownership and the ultimate responsibility for the use and disposition of them.

I have no problem with US being the middle man in this deal, but the Iraq government sure ought to be paying for them… And if they are, I don’t think ‘American issued’ is a proper or honest term. If we ARE paying for them and indeed ISSUING them, we better darn well take them back when we leave.

My main issue is with the word issue ;-) (No, I’m not drunk, even though this post certainly could be taken as evidence that I am… Sorry for the lack of coherence.)

LegendHasIt on July 20, 2007 at 7:56 PM

Darn — Karl beat me!

Topsecretk9 on July 20, 2007 at 7:56 PM

This would be soooo delicious if Scott Thomas was actually Stephen Glass messing with TNR’s head again.

Oh thank God, someone finally stated the freaking obvious.

fusionaddict on July 20, 2007 at 8:15 PM

Obviously, no ammunition has a square casing. However, Glocks use a square firing pin, as opposed to a conventional round one. Therefore, a spent casing from a round fired from a Glock will indeed have a distinctive square impression imprinted where the pin struck the primer. It’s readily discernible with the naked eye from the impression left by a round pin.

I can’t say unequivocally that no other make of gun utilizes a square firing pin, but Glocks are certainly the most ubiquitous. If you do find a handgun casing with a square firing pin imprint, you’d be safe to bet significant money it came from a Glock.

Not that the stories in question aren’t BS. In fact, this might be stronger evidence that they are than not: An author who knows nothing about the real properties of a Glock could easily hear about them leaving a square impression in the backs of casings, then garbled the information into the false claim that the backs of the casings themselves were square.

Blacklake on July 20, 2007 at 8:20 PM

Scott Thomas is Jamil Hussein’s brother.

JustTruth101 on July 20, 2007 at 8:49 PM

All of this is among the reasons that we produce Vent. Vent is about what we want to say and when we want to say it, on whatever topics we choose to address.

Bryan on July 20, 2007 at 3:41 PM

Good job on your vents and independent news blogging.

Great detailed B.S. detector.

Mcguyver on July 20, 2007 at 9:33 PM

Just remember the roll TNR had in aiding and abetting the murder of 2.25 million Cambodians that I cited in the other thread.

Liberal Democrats: still genocide loving monsters after all these years.

georgej on July 20, 2007 at 11:46 PM

I have a Glock 17. There is no such thing as a square backed cartridge.

Warner Todd Huston on July 21, 2007 at 1:11 AM

Just to clarify – there have been at least two weapons issued that used caseless ammunition. The Heckler & Koch G11 assault rifle, which existed only as a prototype, and the Voere VEC-91 (actually went on the market), which ignited the case electronically. Both were rifles.

Although the compressed charge that forms the “case” (gunpowder plus some sort of resin and maybe the primer) is more or less square in cross section, the salient point about caseless ammo is, uhmmm, there is no case left behind after you fire it.

I have 3 Glocks, all have the same striker design, the tip of which sort of looks like a small wedge (or the tip of a dull arrowhead), accounting for the quasi-rectangular shape that it leaves in the primer.

The rim of the casing is the little lip on the back end that the extractor uses to grab the spent case and pull it from the firing chamber before it is ejected by (you guessed it) the ejector. In some designs, it can also serve as a stop to help ensure that the bullet (the part that flies out of the barrel) is properly positioned the right distance in the chamber, ensuring the correct headspace. (Other designs use other parts of the cartridge to do this.)

The base of the case is the part that the primer goes into. Most people might call it the bottom.

The quoted article unambiguously states that the back was square. There is no part of a brass casing that is called the “back.” In casual speech this can only mean the combined base and rim. There is no intelligent way to reinterpret a square back as the indention left by the striker.

There is no standard sidearm, 9mm or otherwise, that uses a cartridge with a square rim/base.

For the benefit or PRCalDude, in a striker system, all the trigger does is free the striker, which is then propelled forward by a spring. When the slide is pushed back by the recoil impulse, the motion of the slide compresses the spring and a latching mechanism (the trigger bar cruciform pressing against the striker dog-leg) holds the striker back until the trigger frees it for the next shot.

It’s not quite that simple because several safeties are involved, but that is the general idea of what happens.

In a pistol with a hammer and firing pin (like the 1911s)the trigger releases the hammer, usually via a mechanism called a sear. The pull of the trigger only provides cocking energy for the first round on a double-action pistol. On a single action pistol you have to manually cock the gun for the first round.

In a pistol with a striker mechanism, the striking energy for the first round is provided by racking (pulling back) the slide.

(Every time you see some idiot actor rack the slide in a movie to show they are serious about shooting somebody’s head off, you can have a good chuckle. Since a round never flies out, it means the gun had not been loaded until that moment.)

After that, recoil energy is used to recock the firing mechanism for all types of pistols (as distinct from revolvers where the recocking energy is provided by the trigger or the thumb).

Herikutsu on July 21, 2007 at 1:15 AM

I think I’ve found the explanation.

RedWinged Blackbird on July 20, 2007 at 6:32 PM

Now thats pretty cool. I may have to get myself one to go with my real G17.

alilianstrom on July 21, 2007 at 10:35 AM

Someone reached down and picked a shell casing up off the ground. It was 9mm with a square back. Everything suddenly became clear. The only shell casings that look like that belong to Glocks. And the only people who use Glocks are the Iraqi police.

Everything suddenly became clear!
Now we’ll explain the connection that we want YOU to make!
9mm with a square back.
Uh huh.
No one who actually is familiar with guns would ever make a phrasing mistake like that, even if a poor writer. But a writer who’s handy with prose, but not guns, could make it easily.

naliaka on July 21, 2007 at 10:14 PM

I’m late to this party.

Excellent explanation Herikutsu!

When I first read about the “on the street” ID of cartridge brass as being from a Glock (assuming the intent was to refer to a rectangular – not square- marking on the primer face and not an actually square cartridge) I instantly thought of a CSI Miami episode where Callie picked up spent brass at a crime scene and immediately identifies it as being from a Glock due to the rectangular primer marking. Now I can’t swear that I actually saw that on a CSI Miami episode but I am darn near positive that I did. If my memory is correct, that may be the genesis of Scott Thompson’s fairy tale.

I have 3 Glocks, all have the same striker design, the tip of which sort of looks like a small wedge (or the tip of a dull arrowhead), accounting for the quasi-rectangular shape that it leaves in the primer.

Herikutsu on July 21, 2007 at 1:15 AM

The Springfield Arms XD .40 and .45 for 2 examples can leave a similar primer marking to the Glock when looked at with the naked eye. The reason for this is that in some pistols the striker tip drags slightly across the primer face as the ejection begins, thereby elongating what would otherwise be a round indentation. Depending on the ammunition, sometimes this results in a keyhole shape or in a rectangular shape very similar to the Glock primer marks. I compared spent brass I had collected separately from my XD .45 and from my friend’s Glock 30, also .45 caliber (well used so this may not apply to a brand new Glock striker). With the naked eye it is not readily apparent with many primers which came from which pistol. Furthermore, I have read that while a Glock’s striker marking can often (not always) be distinguished from other brands of pistols, it requires significant magnification to do so reliably.

deepdiver on July 21, 2007 at 10:46 PM