Ed's Blog

"Some people know everything, but that's all they know."


DIA Director Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn at the John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum

The minute Gen. Mike Flynn decided he could fly solo in his interaction with Russian officials, his fate was sealed. This happened before President Donald Trump selected him to be his national security advisor or when he lied to Vice President Pence about his phone conversation with the Russian ambassador. It likely began in 2015 when he traveled to Russia to participate in a forum and he met with Vladimir Putin .

As a former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency it’s not as if Gen. Flynn doesn’t have plenty of experience dealing with foreign intelligence officials (friendly and not so friendly), although I doubt he met with them alone. Furthermore, his career in U.S. Army military Intelligence wasn’t in counter-intelligence or counter-espionage. Why is that important? Because counter-intelligence trained people never forget that practically every Russian or Chinese government official, especially diplomats, are always spotting and assessing individuals susceptible to recruitment, people they can elicit information from or useful idiots they can use.

Understanding the breadth and depth of their efforts and the measures the United States uses to counter them makes one far more sensitive to the danger that exists when you appear on their radar. I suspect Gen. Flynn didn’t fully appreciate the risk he was taking, or he just became overconfident in himself. He should have known that any phone conversation with the Russian ambassador would be tapped by NSA and made available to the Department of Justice. If he had, he never would have kept the Vice President in the dark. I heard in a news report today that Gen. Flynn knew he was under surveillance. If that’s true, the first thing he should have done was immediately make the President and Vice President aware of what he was doing and saying, but apparently he didn’t.

Throughout my 43-year career in the military and as a Department of Defense civilian I’ve seen this happen too many times. A military officer or civilian official decides he has the skills or rank to meet with Russian or Chinese officials on his own for the purpose of improving U.S.-Russia or U.S.-China relations. He allows himself to believe that there is no requirement to take someone else along or report his contact to the FBI or his superior to ensure that nothing in the meeting or conversation comes back to bite him.

Three individuals I know were convicted and went to jail because of their contacts with Chinese officials. Others were harshly counseled or their careers were ruined. As the senior country director for China in the office of the Secretary of Defense, I met with Chinese attaches and diplomats on a regular basis. I even had one defect to me in my office. I either took someone along to lunches and meetings with them, or I reported my contacts to the FBI. I knew never to say anything to a Chinese official I didn’t want my boss reading back to me.

I have no doubt that Gen. Flynn is a patriot and had nothing but the best intentions. His service to America has been exemplary. We have not yet seen a transcript of the phone conversation between Gen. Flynn and the Russian ambassador, and I doubt we ever will given how it was obtained, so we don’t know if he gave the ambassador assurances about what the Trump Administration might do after the election on U.S. sanctions on Russia or if the subject only came up tangentially. Personally, I would be surprised if it was the former. Gen. Flynn has enormous staff experience and knew that staff officers don’t make such commitments to foreign governments. Despite accusations by Democrats, it’s also highly unlikely that President Trump told him what to tell the Russian, otherwise, there would have been no reason to lie to the Vice President.

Serving at the highest levels in the national security establishment is a high honor and rare opportunity to serve your country. In that sense, it can be extremely rewarding. At the same time it often is like walking on a wire over an alligator pit. When you slip and fall there is no forgiveness and there are no second chances.

Filed under: China-Taiwan, Military, National Security, Uncategorized, , , , , , , ,

Win a free copy of my novel ” Odds 300

Win a free copy of my novel ” Odds 300 to 1. https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/8335aeba2563aac5 http://ow.ly/i/oQTVS

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I just sent off the manuscript of my memoir, “Journey to an Unknown Destination: In the Company of Great Americans” to DoD for security review. Have any of you published a memoir. If so who was your agent and or publisher? My goal is to publish my book by the fall of 2017. Below is a synopsis of the book.

Life is a journey to an unknown destination, best traveled in the company of Great Americans. Ed Ross’ life is just such a story. This incredible no-holds-barred, first-person memoir reveals the good the bad and the evil of a 43-year career in the military and government, with stories of triumph, tragedy, murder, espionage, suicide, defection, terrorism, bureaucratic politics, sacrifice for love of country and associations with great Americans. He rises from a small child running free on the streets of Swissvale, Pennsylvania, to senior executive in the Department of Defense at home in the halls of power in Washington D.C. A highly decorated Vietnam War combat veteran, he fights the Viet Cong in some of the major combat operations of the Vietham War. As a case officer and counter-intelligence, counter-espionage special agent, he runs sensitive, deep cover operations against the Viet Cong, manages the U.S. Army’s clandestine intelligence operations in the Asia-Pacific Theater of Operations. A fluent and literate Chinese linguist, as a China/Taiwan analyst in the Defense Intelligence Agency and as a military attache’ to China he spearheads the opening of U.S.-China defense relations.

Medically retired from the U.S. Army in 1984 with life threatening end-stage renal disease, he receives a kidney transplant the following year and goes on to a 23-year career in Washington, D.C., as the Special Assistant for China in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, where he is the architect of U.S. arms sales to China and oversees sensitive U.S. arms sales to Taiwan. As Acting Deputy Assistant of Defense for POW/MOIA Affairs, he establishes the Defense Prisoner of war Missing in Action Office and leads the Department of Defense through the intense scrutiny of the American people, the media and the Congress of the controversy over accounting for MIAs in Southeast Asia. As Principal Director for Operations in the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, he led at the nexus where grand strategy and amorphous bureaucracy converged to train and equip friends and allies around the world

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When the election is over Americans may look back on this weekend as the turning point when Hillary Clinton handed Donald Trump the election. First she said, “To just be grossly generalistic, you can put half of Trump supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables, Right? Racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic, you name it.” Translation: if you don’t vote Democrat you likely fall into one of these categories. Then while attending the 9/11 Memorial Ceremony in New Your she faints, stumbles and collapses, giving credibility to claims that is is not medically fit for the presidency.

In the first instance Hillary Clinton believes that 20 to 25 percent of American voters fall into this category. If you’re a Trump supporter, this may well include you. Attacking the candidate is on thing, but attacking voters is never a good idea. Independents in particular who may be leaning toward Trump are likely insensed.

In the second instance, Democrats and the liberal media no longer can argue that comments about Hillary’s health are part of some right wing conspiracy. Hillary most definitely has health problems. The debates, no doubt, have Hillary’s campaign managers worried sick. Should she faulted behind the podium in one of the three debates, it would be the nail in the coffin.

Of course, Donald Trump could do something equally as damaging, but a word of caution for Donald Trump. Don’t overplay your hand. Hillary has done enough damage to herself.




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JOURNEY TO AN UNKNOWN DESTINATION: In the Company of Great Americans

Beside Birddog at Vung Tau Apr 67

If you wonder why I haven’t posted anything on this blog recently, it’s because I’ve been writing my memoir for the past several months. It will still be a while before it’s published, because I’m having several people review the manuscript before I submit it to the Department of Defense for security review. Like everyone else in government who had a Top Secret security clearance, I signed a non disclosure agreement that requires me to submit any book that deals with what I did in government for review before I can publish it. Since many of you who know me or worked with me over the years are in the book, I want to keep you up to date as we move forward. To whet your interest, here’s the synopsis.


Life is a journey to an unknown destination, best traveled in the company of Great Americans. Ed Ross’ life is just such a story. This incredible no-holds-barred, first-person memoir reveals the good the bad and the evil of a 43-year career in the military and government, with stories of triumph, tragedy, murder, espionage, suicide, defection, terrorism, bureaucratic politics, sacrifice for love of country and associations with great Americans. It begins with a small child running free on the streets of Swissvale, Pennsylvania. Drafted into the U.S. Army in 1965, he becomes a highly decorated artillery observer with the 9th Infantry Division in Vietnam, where he comes face to face with the reality of death. Recruited by U.S. Army Military Intelligence, he becomes a clandestine case officer and returns to Vietnam as a covert intelligence operative, running sensitive, deep-cover operations against the Viet Cong. Following his second tour in Vietnam he serves as the chief counter-intelligence/counter-espionage in the 500th Military Intelligence Group, Hawaii, responsible for the Asia-Pacific Theater of operations. Studying Chinese at the Defense Language Institute in Anacostia, Maryland, and the American Embassy School for Chinese Language and Area Studies in Taichung, Taiwan, becoming fluent and literate in Chinese, he receives his master’s degree at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, and is assigned as a senior China analyst in the Defense Intelligence Agency, Washington, D.C., where he writes Defense and National Intelligence Estimates on China and Taiwan that help change the course of history. As a U.S. military attaché in the People’s Republic of China, he opens the door to U.S.-China defense relations. Medically retired from the U.S. Army in 1984 with life threatening end-stage renal disease, he receives a kidney transplant the following year and goes on to a 23-year career in Washington, D.C., as the Special Assistant for China in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, where he is the architect of U.S. arms sales to China and oversees sensitive U.S. arms sales to Taiwan. As Acting Deputy Assistant of Defense for POW/MOIA Affairs, he creates the Defense Prisoner of war Missing in Action Office and leads the Department of Defense through the intense scrutiny of the American people, the media and the Congress of the controversy over accounting for MIAs in Southeast Asia. As Principal Director for Operations in the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, he led at the nexus where grand strategy and amorphous bureaucracy converged to train and equip friends and allies around the world. A novelist and a columnist, he is a prolific writer.

Check back for updates.

Filed under: Books, China-Taiwan, Movies-TV, National Security, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Transplants, you’ll never forget it

The Transplants, you’ll never forget it. http://ewross.com/transplants.htm

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We have owned 19 cars and one motorcycle. The shortest we’ve owned a car was the VW Beetle (less than 1 year). The longest we’ve owned one is the 1989 BMW 525i (15 years). My worst car experience was trying to restore an old TR2. Never try to restore an old car unless you have plenty of money and free time. My favorite car is my 2007 BMW 335i, followed by my 1967 Jaguar XKE. Seventy one Thunderbird got the worst gas milage, around 11 miles to the gallon, right in the middle President Carter’s gas crisis. Owned 3 Z cars. Fun to drive. Sold the 240Z after 3 years for more than I paid for it. Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited caught fire while my daughter was driving down the road. Policeman saw the flames and pulled her over in time for her to get out of the car before enveloped in flames. The fastest I’ve ever driven in a car was 151 mph in the XKE. When the Missouri State Patrolman pulled me over and asked me “Do you know how fast you were going?” I replied “Yes, but I’m not going to tell you.” When he found out I had just returned from Vietnam he let me go without a ticket.

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“13 Hours” ranks up there with the best war movies ever made. It’s a gripping movie that arouses your patriotism, touches your heart, and peaks your anger. My top ten list of great war movies, in order of release date, are listed below with links to the Internet Movie Database.

They Were Expendable (1945)

Twelve O’clock High (1949)

From Here to Eternity (1953)

In Harms Way (1965)

Patton (1970)

Saving Private Ryan (1998)

The Patriot (2000)

We Were Soldiers (2002)

American Sniper (2014)

13 Hours (2016) 

What all these movies have in common is that they not only portray combat realistically, it shows those who fight and die for our country as the complex, compassionate and patriotic people they really are. There’s a reason the American Warrior and the U.S. Armed Forces are the most respected class of people and institution in America, and they are it.

War movies at the top of my list, made in the twentieth century, didn’t have the advantage of the sophisticated, real-life-effect computerized graphics movies today have. But great graphics alone don’t make a good movie. Too many filmmakers today believe that all you need is eye-popping destruction and that will drive people to the box office. Moviegoers haven’t changed in the past 100 years. They want a good story, well acted, and well told.

To be sure, “13 Hours” has plenty of great graphic effects, but they don’t overshadow the story of the bravery and sacrifice of a small group of men who fought and died for their comrades. We’ve heard a lot about Benghazi on the news over the past three years. It’s become a hot political topic divided along party lines. For that reason, along with the fact that the story has received scant coverage in the mainstream media, many of not most Americans have tuned out to the story.

Michael Bay did a great job of making the movie as apolitical as possible. There’s no mention of Hillary Clinton or the Obama administration attempt to cover up what really happened in Benghazi. Nevertheless, the debate over Benghazi is too well known, if not well understood, and you can’t watch the move without asking yourself, Why did the President, the Secretary of State and the National Security Advisor lie to the American people and believe they could get away with it. Why didn’t AFRICOM deploy assets to support the beleaguered diplomatic post and the CIA annex?

The movie never explains why AFRICACOM or EUCOM never launched an effort to support those fighting and dying in Benghazi; but can you imagine them not taking action unless ordered not to from above? I can’t.

There’s no need for me to summarize the plot of “13 Hours.” You know the gist of the story. But no matter what you think you know, I guarantee you that you’ll come away from the movie with knowledge and insight you didn’t have before. I give “13 Hours” five stars.


“The Transplants” a novel by Ed Ross. Click on image.

Cover and Photo





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Will the migrant/refugee flash-mob rape attacks that happened in Europe likely spread to the United States.

The short answer to that question is probably not, and the reason for that is that we have fewer Middle Eastern refugees, Those already here are more integrated into society, and American women are better armed than their European cousins.

What happened in Europe on New Year’s Eve is deplorable. Bands of Middle Eastern men, presumably Muslins, sexually assaulted and robbed women in Germany, France, Sweden, Finland, Austria and Switzerland. Assaults in Germany occurred in at least six cities. Precisely how many women were assaulted is unknowable as many, no doubt, did not report their incidents.

What happened isn’t surprising considering the status of women in Middle Eastern cultures. Abuse of women and children is far more prevalent than in the U.S. Why would young Middle Eastern men behave any differently after they arrive in Europe than they did in their home countries. I’m not referring to all Middle Eastern or Muslim males, just a large percentage of those who have been educated not to see women as equals. The logical conclusion many come to, therefore, is that as the number of Middle Eastern/Muslin migrants/refugees in the United States increases, sexual assaults of this sort will become more common.

Other commentators, however, have noted that the integration of Muslims into society in the United States if far better than in Europe where Muslin populations have grown quickly and tend to isolate themselves in their own communities where they don’t assimilate Western values. Add to that the smaller number of muslins in the U.S. (1%) compared to Europe (6% and increasing rapidly to 8% by 2030). The numbers of Middle Eastern/Muslim men in America who reflect the behavior of those we saw in Europe on New Year’s eve is only a small fraction of the 1% of them in the U.S. This could change, of course, if large numbers of Middle Eastern migrants/refugees enter the U.S. in a short time.

Beyond these considerations, we should not play down the fact that the number of American women buying guns and obtaining concealed-carry permits for self defense has increased exponentially. “The number of women going to gun ranges has jumped roughly 60 percent since 2001 to more than five million, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation.” More women bought guns in 2015 than men. Contrary to President Obama’s response to a rape victim in the CNN Town Hall on Guns that a woman with a gun is more likely to get shot with her own gun than an attacker, women have demonstrated time and again this is not true.

I don’t expect we will see flash-rape mobs in the U.S. any time soon, but if we do, let them be forewarned.

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chinese _chess

If you regularly follow this blog, you know I’m working on the sequel to “The Transplants,” my sci-fi, action adventure novel available at Amazon.com and all major eBook distributors. I had originally planned on having the sequel “The Transplants: Errant Dragons,” available for sale on line this month. However, I made a vow to myself that I wouldn’t publish the book unless it was better than the original, which took me almost three years to conceive, organize and write. About half way through I didn’t think I was headed in that direction, and I have gone back and am doing a major rewrite.

Think about it. How many sequels (books or movies) can you think of that were better than the original? Among the most successful movie sequels (James Bond, Star Trek and Star Wars) not every sequel made the grade. What made one better than another was the story, characters and the quality of the script. Add to that something new and original. The exception to that rule is probably the Jason Bourne trilogy. In all three books and movies the CIA is out to kill him and he is out to find out who he is and get to the source of the problem. It works because all three episodes are part of one big action-packed story.

In “The Transplants,” Rion and Sena arrive on earth from the planet Auria, pass themselves off as humans and cross two continents looking for each other while evading and escaping the U.S., Russian and Chinese governments. What’s different about “The Transplants: Errant Dragons” is that the tables are turned. These governments aren’t so much chasing them as they are after the Chinese government that abducted their children in a failed attempt to abduct them. And after ten years on Earth, the couple have become human psychologically and emotionally. On Auria, God, religion and faith were alien concepts to them. On earth they accept them, while not becoming overly religious.

If you have read “The Transplants,” I welcome your suggestions and recommendations on what you would like to see in the sequel. If you haven’t read it yet, you’ll find links to where you can purchase it at http://ewross.com/transplants.htm. For updates and blogs on a variety of topics you can subscribe to Ed’s Blog at the link to the right in the center column beneath the picture of Washington, D.C.

All the best, Ed

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gun-controlLike millions of

American gun owners, I am bothered by President Obama’s and Democrats’ constant attempts at so called “common sense” gun control. Why they can’t understand the facts that stare them in the face befuddles me. Nevertheless, I am not overly concerned. Here’s why.

Large numbers of felons who should be denied the right to purchase a firearm after a background check aren’t. Poor and inconsistent reporting keeps them off the list. Prosecutions for gun crimes has dropped precipitously over the past decade. Etc., etc. We don’t enforce the gun laws we have on the books. Americans don’t understand why we need new gun laws when we don’t enforce the ones we have.

Beyond this, terrorism, the Ferguson Effect (discouraging aggressive policing) and rising crime rates make Americans feel less safe. Law abiding Americans buy guns to protect themselves and their families because they know that by the time first responders reach them, in most cases it will be too late.

Gun purchases and gun manufacturers stock prices are going through the roof not because rural rednecks are buying their tenth and twentieth gun. They are on the rise because more and more Americans who have never owned a gun are buying them. Despite all the anti-gun propaganda, they understand that they are their own first responder.

There will always be a cohort of people, mostly on the left, who abhor guns and would like to eliminate them from society altogether, but they are losing the battle. With every domestic terrorist attack and mass shooting in a “no-gun zone” more Americans buy guns.

Despite Barack Obama’s tendency to ignore The Constitution and the law, there is little he can do with his pen and his phone. The 10 executive measures announced on January 5 are meager and won’t stand up in the courts or survive a Republican president.

I don’t suggest we shouldn’t resist Obama’s and Democrats’ gun-control campaign, we should just buy more guns and more shares of American gun manufacturer’s stock. That sends a powerful message no on can ignore. Gun owners vote, and 2016 is a year to send another message. “Don’t mess with my guns.”

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“The Transplants” http://ow.ly/TsaTe is still selling strong, but the sequel is progressing. If you haven’t read “The Transplants” yet, you’ll want to before “The Transplants: Errant Dragons” comes out. Book one takes place in Australia and the US. Book two will unfold in China. Like all sequels, you need to read the first book for it to make the most sense. Ed

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I was one of the few people fortunate enough to receive an advanced copy of the new Mitch Rapp novel that comes out on October 6, thanks to Vince Flynn.com and Simon and Schuster. Here’s my review with no spoilers.

Like most Vince Flynn/Mitch Rapp fans I’ve read every one of Vince’s books and was saddened and disappointed when he died from prostate cancer on June 13, 2013. Vince had begun his next book in the Mitch Rapp series, “The Survivor,” before he died, but hadn’t completed it. Judging from what we learned on Vince’s webpage, most people, like me, believed the book would never be published, and the Mitch Rapp series had come to and end.

Along comes Kyle Mills. Kyle is an experienced New York Time best-selling author like Vince with 14 political thrillers under his belt written between 1997 and 2015. You can check him out at http://www.kylemills.com.

Nevertheless, there was only one Vince Flynn, and I wasn’t sure Kyle could love the colorful and complex characters Vince created, like Mitch, CIA Director Irene Kennedy, Stan Hurley, Scott Coleman and a host of other allies and villains. Most important, I didn’t think anyone but Vince, could capture the complex character of Mitch Rapp. After all, when it comes down to the essentials, it’s not the plot that makes or breaks a book. It’s the characters and what the author does with them. Assassins kill bad guys and occasionally a not-so bad-guy. How and why the kill them makes all the difference.

Mitch often is brutal, but he isn’t a cold-blooded, emotionless killer, it’s-all-in-a-days-work-kind’a guy, at least not all the time. He’s a patriot who loves his country and puts his life on the line for it, which is what makes Mitch Rapp such a compelling character. All the Mitch Rapp books have counterbalanced plot lines, and the survivor is no different. One is Mitch in the field doing what the world’s most feared assassin does. The other is Mitch in Washington, D.C. fighting an often corrupt political system and CIA haters that are true to contemporary headlines.

Unlike just about every other fictional assassin, Mitch wasn’t an ex-military, ex-special forces veteran used to killing for a living. He was an All-American Lacrosse player at Syracuse University when Libyan terrorists blew Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing his sweetheart Maureen, whom Mitch had known since he was 15, along with 35 other Syracuse students returning from a semester overseas. Determined to make the terrorist who had done this pay, he was an easy recruit for then case officer Irene Kennedy. The rest is literary legend.

Whether you begin with the Survivor, or American Assassin and read the books in story vs. published order, you won’t be sorry. American Assassin and Kill Shot are prequels, the last two complete books Vince wrote, but they begin at the beginning of Mitch’s professional life and I recommend that anyone new to Vince/Flynn and Mitch Rapp begin there.

Finally, allow me to put in a shameless plug for my novel “The Transplants” http”//ewross.com/transplants.htm. Vince was a big inspiration for me and I tried to create characters that he would like and understand.


Filed under: Books, Uncategorized, , , , ,


I’m reading this AM about space elevators and aliens that prevented nuclear war. Did I write a novel or a documentary? http://ow.ly/QZyCT http://ow.ly/QZyH2

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Interview with author Ed Ross https://www.smashwords.com/interview/EWRoss

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