This is an end-of-mission report for The Bruce-Partington Planners within the Military-Industrial Complex, a BSI scion society that was not entirely a figment of my imagination during the years I lived in Washington, D.C.
But there was no forum for strategic sodality in 1971, so after getting the drift of things from Julian Wolff and John Bennett Shaw, The Bruce-Partington Planners was launched. These were still Cold War years, after all, with Soviet submarines (not Bruce-Partingtons!) violating neutral Swedish waters, and Moscow trying to deny it by comparing the charges to a€?a cheap Sherlock Holmes,a€? and later having to admit that they might not have invaded Afghanistan if theya€™d known their Sherlock Holmes better. Bruce-Partington Planners have no constitution, dues, toasts, rituals, officers, awards, events, artifacts, archives, scion society reports for The Baker Street Journal, or other impedimenta and paper trails that might call public attention to itself and its members. To date, the scion societya€™s sole project has been to collect funds for a larger-than-life-sized bronze statue of Mycroft Holmes, which eventually will be placed anonymously next to the statue of Winston Churchill on the grounds of the British Embassy in Washington, D.C.
As time passed, The Bruce-Partington Planners did come to include others at the Pentagon, the State Department (most notably Thomas Cynkin, a past winner of the Morley-Montgomery Award, now stationed overseas), and some other agencies. And when Caleb Carra€™s Sherlock Holmes novel The Italian Secretary came out last year with an afterword by me, his following resulted in my hearing from professional colleagues from coast to coast, secret Holmes fans all, whoa€™d never detected any literate streak in me before: from a senior colonel at Special Forces Command, Fort Bragg, North Carolina, to the director of the special ops program at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, and others in between .
Another former member of my staff, Special Forces Lieutenant Colonel Donald Bolduc, is now the commander of 1st Battalion, 3rd U.S. Don and his troop visited the battlefield on their way back to Kandahar during a combat reconnaissance patrol, following the same route the Afghans and the British troops took that terrible day in 1880. For 35 years, it was my great privilege to work closely with the exceptional men and women of the U.S. JON LELLENBERG (a€?Rodger Prescott of evil memorya€?) has edited six eight volumes of the BSI Archival History so far [but hasna€™t gotten to the 1950s yet!], and is a past winner of both the Two Shilling Award and the Morley-Montgomery Award. When natural gas (methane) burns, each molecule of methane (CH4) combines with the four atoms in two molecules of oxygen, to make two molecules of water (H2O), and one molecule of carbon dioxide (CO2). Have you figured out what kind of atom is represented by the yellow balls in the above model? When gasoline burns, two molecules of octane (C8H18) combine with twenty-five oxygen molecules (50 oxygen atoms!) to produce sixteen carbon dioxide (CO2) molecules and eighteen water molecules (H2O). Nearly all of the world's transportation depends upon reactions similar to this to propel civilization's cars, trucks, aircraft, and ships. Some of the molecules in auto fuel are a little bit shorter than octane, and the molecules in the diesel used in trucks and the jet fuel used in airplanes are a little bit longer. To produce energy from carbon-based fuels we ALWAYS burn carbon or carbon-chain molecules, and we ALWAYS produce carbon dioxide.
A A A  Stinchcombe isna€™t crazy about the expression a€?beat the rap.a€? His view of the whole mess is decidedly less romantic.
A A A  His ground of appeal was that during the trial the Crown refused to disclose important information to him.
A A A  She indicated that she was no longer working for Stinchcombe on the date she had supposedly typed the document and seen Abrams sign it. A A A  The trial judge ruled that it was perfectly proper for the Crown not to disclose these items, and the Alberta Court of Appeal agreed. A A A  The prosecutor wasna€™t sure if Abrams might have lied when he made an earlier assignment in bankruptcy, or whether he might have lied at Stinchcombea€™s preliminary inquiry. A A A  Stinchcombe was also turfed from his volunteer position with the Calgary Stampede, where he had worked extensively on the Indian Events Committee.
A A A  As bad as the fallout from the criminal charges was, Stinchcombea€™s suspension from the practice of law may have had greater impact a€“ at least, on his day-to-day life. A A A  Soon after this judgment was released Stinchcombe was reinstated to the Alberta bar. A A A  Jerry Schwartz, a Calgary electrical engineer who also complained that Stinchcombe ripped him off, says the reinstatement is a€?the best thing that could have happened to me. A A A  Apparently Stinchcombe persuaded Schwartz, who had become both a client and a friend, to lend him $310,000 to help finance a hotel.
A A A  The court observed that at some point Stinchcombe sold the stock but the proceeds never made it to Schwartz.
A A A  Efforts to contact Jack Abrams who, if he is still with us, would be in his mid-eighties by now, were not successful. A A A  Schwartz isna€™t bitter either, even though he took a financial hit and spent somewhere around $200,000 in legal fees pursuing various remedies, which he says he did a€?on principle.a€? He feels wronged, but he maintains a healthy perspective.
There must be a lesson here, somewhere, although one probably wouldna€™t want to follow Stinchcombea€™sA exactA life-path. A A A  Although Stinchcombe became estranged from much of his family, he has largely reconciled. A A A  He often wonders why the charges and complaints against him were pursued with such persistence and vigour, and whether, in regards to some of those charges and complaints, there might conceivably have been motivations other than the pure pursuit of justice.
A A A  What would have happened if the smoking-gun memo had surfaced at the very beginning?
Baker Street Irregularity is a state of mind more than anything else, and much the same must be said of Washington, which at various times resembles a company town, a theme park, a political mirage, or (in the Marion Barry era, not yet over, alas) a small corrupt Third World country.
Candidates are examined in the fields of cryptography, identity of foreign agents, and submarine design.
Financial contributions to this project may be sent to The Bruce-Partington Plannersa€™ point of contact.
The deplorable New Yorker article in 2004 exploiting Richard Lancelyn Greena€™s tragic suicide was enough to identify me to a member of my own staff, a Navy commander and SEAL in our special operations bureau a€” but he learned long ago to take the press with a big grain of salt, since his father happens to be G.
Perhaps what most made life seem to imitate art was a telephone call I received on my cellphone in New York in January a€™03, during the BSI weekend, as I was hastening to the Williams Club for the Morley-Montgomery Award reception. Have you noticed that the total number of hydrogen atoms before the reaction (on the left side of the arrow) is equal to the total number of hydrogen atoms after the reaction (on the right side)? We considered showing all of the molecules involved, but decided that it would be too confusing. It was September of 1987 when the former Calgary lawyer found himself driving his pick-up truck, with a trailer full of horses in tow, through the Alberta Rockies. However, the mountaintop reprieve was not the end but the beginning of an odyssey of trouble. At the first trial, which occurred in February of 1989, he was convicted of criminal breach of trust, theft and fraud and sentenced to nine years in prison. All he knew was that Lineham, his star witness who had testified so helpfully at the preliminary inquiry, had now changed her story, or done something else disastrous, and the Crown, having decided she was a€?not worthy of credit,a€? was opting not to call her as a witness. As trial number three was gearing up, with the tape in hand, it emerged that there wassomething elseA the Crown should have disclosed but hadna€™t. Police interviewed Abramsa€™ lawyer to see what the heck was going on, but he had no memory of conversations with the prosecutor, or with Abrams, about lying. Finally, on April 26, 2002, the Alberta Court of Appeal stayed all Law Society charges against him. Because if Stinchcombe starts making money, maybe Ia€™ll actually collect something.a€? Schwartz won a civil suit against him in March of 1994. According to the court, a€?Schwartz had no idea the hotel was facing foreclosure proceedings.a€? He also had no idea of the existence of Jack Abrams, and no idea that the stock Stinchcombe put up as collateral for the loan was clouded with dispute about who owned it a€“ Abrams claimed it was his, and that Stinchcombe had misappropriated it.
It was, after all, the bitter recession and real estate crash of the early 1980s, and money was evaporating left, right and centre. He often thinks about the old legal adage: cases are not won and lost on what actually happened, but on whatA evidenceA comes out in court. Stinchcombea€™s voice a€“ over the phone from Australia a€“ is velvety, seductive, and altogether pleasant. As he talks on the phone, his life-partner Margaret pipes up in the background: a€?We have a passion fruit on the vine!a€? He says the beach is visible in the distance, and the backyard is host to many attractive flora and fauna, including wild wallabies.
He figures that, afterA Stinchcombe, criminal lawyers suddenly needed twice as much office space to store all the disclosed documents.
But to Stinchcombe, having a Supreme Court decision of such monumental importance named after him is no big deal.


He was acquitted of the criminal charges, he had his licence to practise law reinstated, and he came out of it all with a smile. But contrary to what some suspected, The Bruce-Partington Planners did have an existence beyond me, and even whimsical aspects of it took on corporeal dimensions as time went by. I found upon arriving that The Red Circle had been revived the year before, giving me an excellent introduction to organized Sherlockiana. Watson used to complain to Sherlock Holmes that he had received his leg wound nowhere else but in Herat.a€? (Herat, Afghanistana€™s third largest city, is located in the western part of the country, far from Maiwand.
Since the examination requires access to classified data, only those already inside the military-industrial complex with the proper security clearances are able to satisfy the requirements for membership. In 1987, Sherlock Holmesa€™s centenary year, our security was breached by an a€?odd people in funny hatsa€? article about Sherlockians in Smithsonian magazine, but fortunately no Plannersa€™ names, especially mine, were divulged. It was from a new member of my staff, and until that moment, switching mental gears from Sherlock Holmes back to special operations, I swear it hadna€™t occurred to me that I had Colonel Moran for a henchman. In 35 years I have never known a more dedicated soldier, and my excitement grew as the time for Dona€™s reassignment approached a year ago, for I realized that by July 27th, the anniversary of the Battle of Maiwand, his new headquarters would be barely 25 miles away. In dark green battledress beside Don is Major Sahky Bariz of the Afghan National Army, representing the victorious side in the historic battle; we Americans and our trusty comrades in Afghanistan have in common the experience of driving British armies from our lands.
I will miss them greatly as I take up residence in Chicago, and devote more time to literary matters now. Also, there are four oxygen atoms before and after; and there is one carbon atom before and after. In all three cases, the lengths of the molecules vary, but the atoms involved are the same.
He stood accused of misappropriating $1.6 million he allegedly held in trust for Calgary geologist Jack Abrams. Then there wouldna€™t be a problem anymore.a€? What saved him was an eleventh-hour burst of sympathy for his animals. They stayed alive seven years, during which he was put on trial three a€“ repeat,A threeA a€“ separate times. Previously, at the preliminary inquiry, Lineham had said some things that might have exonerated Stinchcombe a€“ she testified that she had typed and witnessed the signing of a document which purported to abolish all trust agreements between Stinchcombe and Abrams. The police officer who possessed them had passed away of a brain tumor and his widow couldna€™t find them.
There was a group a€“ the Magnificent Seven, he calls them a€“ who put up the $150,000 to bail him out of jail, where he was locked up for nearly a week.
It appears to me that he became caught up with people living a lifestyle to which he aspired but could not attain by working merely as a lawyer. Sprague de Camp, he was one of Americaa€™s leading military and naval historians from the 1930s on, and his book Secret and Urgent (1939) is a cryptography classic.
The membership list itself is classified, and The Bruce-Partington Planners is so covert that several members are not aware of its existence.
Discretion and confidentiality are the hallmarks of Bruce-Partington Planners, and requests for information are never entertained.
I showed him the opening chapter of A Study in Scarlet, and a smile spread across his face.
He was in serious trouble, and the enormity of his predicament hit home that September day as he negotiated the mountain road. The Crown managed to provide a photocopy of the statement andA transcriptsA of the tape, but Stinchcombe demanded the tape itself.
It was enough to prompt the Crown who now had carriage of the file, Tudor Beattie of Albertaa€™s Dept. I became paranoid to the extent that I didna€™t want to go anywhere for fear I would meet someone I knew and be snubbed.a€? He remembers one particular incident in a Calgary grocery store. Well, heA didA a€“ he ended up getting the principal of the loan back, from Stinchcombea€™s malpractice insurer. Although he now minimizes the lifestyle he came to lead, the fact is that he continually had a string of four to six polo ponies and related equipment and traveled around North America playing polo. Ita€™s all water under the bridge.a€? As for Stinchcombe, Schwartz thinks of him as a€?a very, very articulate and affable guy.
Instead of ending up bitter and miserable, condemned to life of furtive wandering and resentful remembering, hea€™s at peace. During World War II, therea€™d been The Blanched Soldiers of the Pentagon a€” about whom one of the few things known today is that they didna€™t include the Pentagona€™s mobilized BSI during 1943-45: Irregulars Colonel John Winterich, Major Robert Keith Leavitt, and Captain Howard Haycraft a€” members of what were called the Pentagona€™s 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Chairborne Divisions a€”plus Lieutenant Wilbur McKee over at the Navy Department, and Elmer Davis running the Office of War Information. Moran, no less, though in this case it stood for Sylvia, not Sebastian: one of the first women to graduate from West Point, an Arabic-speaking intelligence officer, and a smart tough professional who also supports half a dozen foster children in Third World countries. But it was because when there were arguments with the Stampede Board, or if the Indians needed something said for them, I was the one who did it.a€? And sometimes those arguments turned passionate. It worried me, new to the business at age 25, that those who approved (or disapproved) Pentagon security clearances might not understand a deep interest in treating Sherlock Holmes as fact. Three months later, on July 27, 2005, he and a Special Forces A-team of his were present on the battlefield of Maiwand to commemorate the event as shown in the photograph below. Conan Doylea€™s letters to his mother, in collaboration with my fellow Irregulars Daniel Stashower and Charles Foley, but, at last, the BSI Archival History of the 1950s. And worse, it describes a Gordian knot of financial transactions so convoluted that reading about them could cause serious mental trauma, even a brain hemorrhage.
And then I said yeah, but if I do that, then my son wona€™t have anybody to go to the movies with on Friday night.
But I know enough about chemistry to know that a chemical by itself may be poisonous but not poisonous when in a compound with other chemicals. But you should be aware that the story of Chicken Little is notA  a "fable character." While he did say "The sky is falling" quite a bit, this was only because he had difficulty making contact the his agent provocateur whose actual physical appearance had changed over the years.
The video faculty includes Eric Hulsizer, a former Channel 8 cameramanA who photographed "Channel 8 On Your Side," and Lisa Inserra of Cox Media (the company that owns Valpack) who is active in producing television commercials for her company's clients.az?i»? In my program, I've studied drawing, camera operation, scripting, digital imaging, programming basics, copyright law, video editing, website design, sound production and editing.
One of myA professors says the program is the best of its kind in the Tampa Bay area and I think he's right.az?i»?i»? Please, please, put the word out to others so that this fine program will be better known. It doesn't matter what your heritage is or whether you are still in high school or old enough for Medicare. Petersburg Collede digital arts program is filled with both talented professors and students.
In your story on stadium horns, you called them vuvuzwelas, what is that funny looking symbol after the photo credits.
The image can be used freely, subject to some restrictive terms in the license, including crediting the photographer.
It looks to me like he called on Curtis LeMay, Colonel Clearwater - and then realizing he had made a mistake - schluffed it into Colonel Kilgore.
Here's a photo of American school children using the original Bellamy salute:A I think the photo speaks for itself. Colonel Clearwater Dear Colonel Clearwater: What do you think about the Egyptian revolution? Fundamentalists, in any religion, are usually a reaction to what the followers perceive as injustice. This doesn't mean Egyptian society and culture will necessarily change; it is still their culture and values. But in the long run any thing they make of it will be for their benefit (and not the benefit of the United States). Not by rampeling down the side of the building like Tom Cruise, but by sliding in with a tourist visa when it was not open to tourists. Clearwater: Republicans are betting that your readers don't care - that after all you did to beat them in 2006 and 2008, you're going to sit this one out.
So they're whipping up their base by blocking help to unemployed workers, blocking summer jobs for teens, apologizing to the big companies that gave us the spill in the Gulf, and doing anything else they can do to stop progress.


Yes, that Rand Paul, who says freedom means a private business can discriminate against African-Americans, and that President Obama holding polluters accountable for the mess in the Gulf is "un-American." And he's not alone.
One candidate calls Social Security "horrible policy," while another has said that Americans will turn to "Second Amendment remedies" against Democrats. In New Hampshire, Paul Hodes is running neck-and-neck with his Republican opponent to take this seat for the Democrats. We've just started to turn our country around, passing healthcare reform, working to hold the big banks accountable for the Wall Street meltdown, pushing legislation to address climate change and end our addiction to oil.
The GOP is betting big that saying "no" and blocking progress is a path to success in November.What bet will you make? I think the Republicans should adopt as their emblem the condom because it more clearly reflects the party's political stance. A condom stands for inflation, halts production, destroys the next generation, protects a bunch of pricks, and gives one a sense of security while screwing others. Colonel ClearwaterDear Colonel Clearwater, Last week, my friend and colleague, Congressman Anthony Weiner, did something very good, and very gutsy. Weiner's report showed that this firm, which sells gold coins, rips off its customers while benefiting directly from Beck's Chicken Little lunacy about the economy. Every time Beck screams that there is an impending Obama-led government takeover of the economy and your savings aren't safe, he's making a sales pitch for this sleazy advertiser. You see, Beck's ratings have recently crashed, and most of his reputable advertisers have deserted him. Now that he's been exposed, Beck has spent the last week using his big media platform to attack and undermine Weiner - he even set up an attack website designed to damage Weiner's political standing. This collusion between big media, conservative commentators, and quack economics is a scam, but it is powerful if it remains unopposed.
And we need to support people like Weiner, who have the guts to go after right-wing lunacy at the source. Consider his statement: "I beg you, look for the words 'social justice' or 'economic justice' on your church Web site. That oil disaster must be stopped, and a way must be found."I am not the original author of that sensible thought, but it has been my favorite definition of faith for a while.
While we have no way of certainty for moving past them, working to find a pathway that takes us beyond our doubts is the best option in my view. Then how come Congress starts each session with a prayer and the president is sworn in on a Bible?
Wants to KnowDear Wants to Know, As I said in an earlier reply, our countrys laws and structure are not based on the God of the Bible and the Ten Commandments, as Sarah Palin and others claim. So most of us do not work on Sunday and some businesses are not open for business on Sunday.
So we have a religious custom of not working on Sunday and a secular custom of watching football on Sunday. The Constitution states that the president must take an oath, but it does not mention anything about a Bible.
Colonel ClearwaterDear Colonel Clearwater, I understand you answer, but you say customs and traditions. Wants to Know MoreDear Wants to Know More, It is important to realize the difference between a custom and a tradition.
It is a custom at my house that every year we watch football on Thanksgiving Day after we eat. A tradition is a ceremony invented for the purpose of commemorating some historical event or to develop a sense of binding in a community or religious group. Thanksgiving Day is a tradition in America that serves the purpose of reminding us of what we have from God for which to be thankful and is loosely based on the first harvest feast of the Pilgrims to celebrate their first year of survival in the New World.
It is a tradition; a ceremony we use to create a common bond among Americans by commemorating our heritage.
When Congress meets, the first thing that happens is that the designated speaker calls the group together.
Colonel ClearwaterDear Colonel Clearwater, I have just seen a video about an organization called the Council on Foreign Relations. This organization has members who were past Presidents and past Secretary of States of the United States, plus leaders in the fields of finance, industry, and other important positions in society.
The spokesman on the video has concluded that this organization must be a part of world conspiracy to take over the world and put the entire world under a one-world socialist government and I agree with him. The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) is an organization of foreign policy experts, people concerned with international trade, prominent historians and writers, as well as others who are involved with foreign policy and international affairs.
The CFR hold speaking events with question-and-answer periods which are usually televised on CSpan or other cable stations. The speakers are usually world leaders, historians, writers, or others involved in international affairs. Some of the speakers have included such figures as Nelson Mandela, George Soros, Thomas Friedman, Mikhail Gorbachev, and Ronald Reagan. The journal, which I have subscribed to and read for over 25 years (plus you can buy it at the newsstands in Borders or Barnes and Noble) provides a forum for contrasting views and opinions regarding issues affecting foreign policy.
Some people have made a nice living scarring others with conspiracy theories about the CFR.
My advice to you is to go to the store, buy and read their journal, watch their events on CSpan, and be wary of people who wish to sell you on the idea that other people are out to get you. Colonel Clearwater________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________Dear Colonel Clearwater: Cancel my subscription to your liberal rage. And no matter how great the obstacles may seem, we must never stop our efforts to reduce the weapons of war. We must never stop at all until we see the day when nuclear arms have been banished from the face of this earth." Ronald Wilson Reagan, 1984 Colonel ClearwaterDear Colonel Clearwater: Liberals? I realize that there is collateral damage in war, but this is no less than cold-blooded genocide.
They were shooting at insurgents who, upon later investigation, turned out to be civilians.
By saying the soldiers were shooting civilans implies that they knew they were shooting civiliansj. The real guilty party are those who convinced the American public that this war was necessary and just. Can you tell me how the "Smallest of the World's Leading Newspapers" managed to scoop "Florida's Best Newspaper?" Pedro TechadorDear Pedro, Always nice to hear from one of the Techadors.This was a WikiLeak scoop.
Palin:Your statement reminds me of what Republican Congressman, Devin Nunes said during the health care vote.
And now you are bringing the ghosts back into this chamber." There is no polite way to get around this.
Tea Party Patriots are morons when it comes to history, economics, and how to run a society. Much like the resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan after World War I, the Tea Party Patriots are people who believe they have lost their privileged status in American society and wish to thwart others hopes for the American dream. Unfortunately, or fortunately (depending on which editor yells loudest) President Obama considers Wall Street, the banks, the Republicans in congress, and those with tea party policies as necessary players in the solution when they are, in fact, part of the problem. Both the Senior Citizens' Right to Work Act and the Family Medical Leave Act were passed this way.



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