Category Archives: Military

Timeline of Benghazi victim #5: Nakoula Basseley Nakoula

Nakoula Basseley Nakoula is escorted out of his home by Los Angeles County Sheriff's officers in Cerritos, California (Sept 15, 2012)
Okay, I’m the first to admit that Nakoula Basseley Nakoula is a fairly unattractive victim. He has a long history of run-ins with the law, primarily on fraud charges, including bank fraud, check-kiting, and operating businesses under various aliases.

Oh, and of course, he’s still alive, unlike Ambassador Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Tyrone Woods, and Glen Doherty, the four Americans killed during the Benghazi, Libya, attack. But as he sits in jail, denied bail, Nakoula’s a victim of the Obama Administration’s refusal to admit that what happened in Benghazi had nothing to do with Nakoula’s film, Innocence of Muslims, and everything to do with a planned terrorist attack aimed at the United States, specifically on 9/11.

So in order to keep up the administration’s Potemkin façade of riot and death by video (and only video), Nakoula currently remains in jail (since September 27) on charges of violating his probation, including using the Internet without permission from his parole officer.

Before I go into the timeline, there is this bit of legal perspective from Ken from Popehat (h/t Patterico):

Based on 6 years as a federal prosecutor and 12 as a federal defense lawyer, let me say this: minor use of a computer — like uploading a video to YouTube — is not something that I would usually expect to result in arrest and a revocation proceeding; I think a warning would be more likely unless the defendant had already had warnings or the probation officer was a hardass. But if I had a client with a serious fraud conviction, and his fraud involved aliases, and he had the standard term forbidding him from using aliases during supervised release, and his probation officer found out that he was running a business, producing a movie, soliciting money, and interacting with others using an alias, I would absolutely expect him to be arrested immediately, whatever the content of the movie. Seriously. Nakoula pled guilty to using alias to scam money. Now he’s apparently been producing a film under an alias, dealing with the finances of the film under the alias, and (if his “Sam Bacile” persona is to be believed) soliciting financing under an alias. I would expect him to run into a world of hurt for that even if he were producing a “Coexist” video involving kittens.

And Patterico’s comment on that is right on the money:

The problem we have here is that the head of the federal executive has criticized this guy repeatedly. His administration pressured Google to take down his movie; his Cairo embassy called it an “abuse” of free speech; and his State Department apologized for it in a country (Pakistan) where a public official offered money for the filmmaker to be killed.

So even if the line guys are doing their jobs the way they would otherwise, the President has made them look like political hacks. Which is unfortunate on several levels.

So, now to the timeline:

  • July 1-2 – You­Tube user “sam ba­cile” up­loads a 14-minute trail­er for a movie titled Innocence of Muslims, con­sist­ing of video clips that mock the Is­lam­ic proph­et Muhammad. (Los Angeles Times)
  • September 4 – An Arabic-dubbed version of the trailer is uploaded to YouTube.
  • September 8 – The Egyptian religious television channel Al Nas airs the video and condemns it.
  • September 11 – Four Americans, including Chris Stevens, the U.S. ambassador to Libya, are killed when militants attack and burn the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. In Egypt, protesters scale the walls of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo and tear down an American flag. Emails from the State Department Operations Center linking terrorists (not protestors) to the Libyan attack are sent to a number of government and intelligence agencies (including the White House Situation Room, the office of the Director of National Intelligence, and the FBI) two hours after the attack begins. (CBS News, Sharyl Attkisson)
  • September 12President Barack Obama, in an interview with Steve Kroft of CBS 60 Minutes, says: “You’re right that this is not a situation that was exactly the same as what happened in Egypt, and my suspicion is, is that there are folks involved in this who were looking to target Americans from the start.” This part of the interview is not aired or reported by CBS until posted online on October 19. (Breitbart.com)
  • September 12 – President Obama condemns the film and any violence that has resulted from it. (USA Today)
  • September 12/September 13 – The U.S. government identifies and provides the media with the name of Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, 55, a Coptic Christian in southern California who is on probation after his conviction for financial crimes as the key figure behind the anti-Muslim film that ignited mob violence against U.S. embassies across the Mideast. It is not immediately clear whether Nakoula is the target of a criminal investigation or part of a broader investigation into the deaths of the four Americans in Libya. (AP, Stephen Braun) Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies are called to Nakoula’s Cerritos home after reports of a large group of news media gathered outside.
  • September 13 – Secretary of State Hillary Clinton condemns Nakoula’s film while meeting with Moroccan officials. (TPM)
  • September 13– The U.S. apologizes for free speech in an online statement issued by the U.S. embassy in Cairo:

    The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims — as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions. … Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy. We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others.

  • September 14Karen Redmond, a spokeswoman for the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, says that Nakoula’s federal probation on charges of bank fraud in 2010 is under review, but provides no details of why or when the probation review was initiated, or how long the process would take. (CNN)
  • September 14 – Bodies of the four Americans killed in Libya are returned to the U.S. for burial. At their memorial service at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, Charles Woods, father of fallen Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods, says that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton assures him that they are going to “arrest and prosecute” the man that made the scapegoated YouTube video critical of Islam. (Breitbart.com)
  • September 15 – Nakoula is escorted by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department to an overnight “voluntary interview” with a probation officer, after federal officials say they are reviewing his probation. He is interviewed for about half an hour at the station shortly after 12 a.m. in his hometown of Cerritos, California. Nakoula leaves the local sheriff’s station after the federal officials are done interviewing him. (CNN and the New York Daily News)
  • September 17 – Family members of Nakoula leave their their home early Monday morning to join the filmmaker in hiding. Nakoula has not returned to his home since being interviewed by federal probation officers about his role in the creation of the film, which federal authorities claim have ignited ignited violent anti-American protests across the Muslim world. Shortly before 4 a.m., officers from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department escorted members of Nakoula’s family, who had their faces covered, out of the house and into police vehicles so they could rejoin Nakoula at an undisclosed location. It is the understanding of Steve Whitmore, spokesman for the Sheriff’s Department, that they won’t ever return to their Cerritos house, though that decision is “entirely up to the family.” (ABC News)
  • September 20 – The U.S. government airs an advertisement in Pakistan condemning Nakoula’s film and apologizing, once again, for free speech. The ad, which costs around $70,000 and airs on approximately seven different television markets in Pakistan (according to U.S. State Department Spokesperson Victoria Nuland), is appearing in an attempt to undercut anger against the U.S. The television ad features clips of President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton during press appearances in Washington in which they condemn the video. Their words are subtitled in Urdu. “We absolutely reject its content and message,” said Clinton in the advertisement. A caption on the ad reads: “Paid Content.” Obama and Clinton did not film their statements for the ad, instead clips were taken from statements condemning the film each had made earlier. President Obama’s remarks were recorded in Washington, D.C. on September 12 and those of Secretary Clinton were from September 13 in Morocco. The ad ends with the seal of the American Embassy in Islamabad, the Pakistani capital. In an email, the embassy also sent out a link to video of ordinary Americans condemning the anti-Islam film, which appeared on YouTube. (CBS News and the Jewish Press)
  • September 27 – A hearing on Nakoula’s probation violations results in charges being brought against him and denial of bail. Citing a lengthy pattern of deception, U.S. Central District Chief Magistrate Judge Suzanne Segal says Nakoula should be held as a flight risk after officials say he violated his probation from a 2010 check fraud conviction. Authorities say he has eight probation violations, including lying to his probation officers and using aliases, and he might face new charges that carry a maximum two-year prison term. Nakoula remains behind bars until another hearing where a judge will rule if he broke the terms of his probation. Under his probation, Nakoula is banned from using computers and the Internet without supervision. Some critics have said the probation-violation probe of Nakoula is a sign that the White House is seeking to appease extremists and weakening U.S. speech freedoms. U.S. law-enforcement officials portray the investigation of Nakoula as a routine response to public information about a potential violation. (Wall Street Journal and the Huffington Post)
  • October 10 – Nakoula appears before U.S. District Judge Christina Snyder in Los Angeles. He denies he violated his probation that resulted from a bank fraud conviction in 2010. Snyder schedules an evidentiary hearing for November 9, 2012 (after the presidential election). (Wikipedia)

Nakoula currently remains in jail.

From the PJ Tatler

Information warfare: How Facebook gets troops killed

Outside a war zone, we just worry about employers finding out embarrassing info from social mediate sites; inside a war zone, it’s a little different. From the Strategy Page:

The U.S. Army is warning its troops to be careful what they post to on social networking sites (like Facebook). When they post photos of themselves they often reveal militarily useful information. This was discovered in Iraq, where a lot of tech savvy people working with terrorists were able to compile information from what troops posted. This sometimes led to attacks, and this was discovered from interrogating captured terrorists and captured documents and computer data. The background of pictures often indicated targets for the terrorists, or details of base defenses and American tactics. Islamic terrorists have been quick to use the Internet and other modern technology to plan and carry out their attacks….

Read it all, and check out an earlier post, Insurgents used cell phone geotags to destroy AH-64s in Iraq.

Did you know there was a coup in Mali?

The country of Mali on the continent of Africa
From Anne Kennedy at an undercurrent of compunction, who grew up in Mali, although now safely stateside:

Mali seems to be undergoing some kind of Coup d’Etat. Very angry soldiers have taken over the presidential palace, forcing the president to flee, and have suspended the constitution and all other relevant institutions. It seems to be the inevitable rolling down hill of insanity kicked off by the Libyan conflict, or at least that’s what everyone is saying, combined with an increasing influence of radical Islam in the north with a dash of Al-Qaeda to keep everything spicy. The mishandling of the northern uprising is the stated reason for a power grab, even with elections supposed to be happening at the end of April. Was rather startled, at 11 last night, to see that the name of the leader of the coup is Sanogo, the main family name from the region where I grew up….

So, for those of you prone to complaining about incivility in politics and a too long primary season, take a few moments today to pray for Mali–for ordinary Malians who don’t need this right now, for people who wanted to fly out yesterday and now can’t, for many many missionaries and aid workers who would like to be able to travel and work but who are holing up along with everyone else and trying to keep away from stray shooting. And I’m praying that this Sanogo guy is not from my village.

Read it all.

Insurgents used cell phone geotags to destroy AH-64s in Iraq

Technology is neutral–it can be used for good or evil. We have it and the enemy soon does as well. From Michael Yon, first posted at DefenseTech:

Here’s a battlefield safety issue that some people have been warning about –and others have been ignoring —  for a while now; an enemy using social media and cellphone geotagging to identify the precise location of troops on a battlefield.

When you take a photo with your cellphone, the gps coordinates of the location you took the picture is embedded into the image. When you upload said photo onto the internet for all to see, people can pull the location data from that picture. If you think this is just people being paranoid and that the Taliban would never do this in Afghanistan, think again. Insurgents figured out how to use this to their advantage in Iraq years ago. In 2007, a group of Iraqi insurgents used geotags to destroy several American AH-64 Apache choppers sitting on a flightline in Iraq.

This is just one more example of low-end cyber warfare that can be as deadly as expensive software worms designed to infiltrate an enemy’s most heavily defended networks.

Read it all, and check out Michael Yon for reporting from the war zones.

Christian soldiers banned from the Quran in the U.S. Army in Afghanistan

From BlackFive:

Now, unless your military dog tags identify you as of the Muslim faith, you cannot obtain a copy of the Quran from the military chaplain. The exception is if your commander stops fighting the war long enough to write up a memo requesting one for you including the reason why you want a Quran.

And, if you are a Muslim and obtain a Quran, it will be accounted for like any other sensitive item….

Can you order one up from Barnes & Noble?  Sure.  You just can’t get one from the chaplain.

Wow.

Does the chaplain refuse to give the bible to soldiers with Muslim on their dog tags?…

Read it all. Does this help or hurt? Is this for safety reasons or political correctness? Who made this decision: the chaplain, commanders in Afghanistan, the DoD, higher up the command chain?

Meanwhile, in the Falklands. . .

Falkland Islands
Having just seen Iron Lady and its overview of Margaret Thatcher during the 1982 Falklands War, I find this new threat to the Falkland Islands intriguing: is Argentina doing this to offset domestic issues, is it just about the oil, or what?

From BlackFive:

Last, what is this really about?

1. Natural Resources: Well, it seems that there’s oil offshore and the Brits are exploring it. The Argentines want it. Fishing rights and the extent of protected areas are of concern as well.

2. Citizenry: The Falklanders want to remain British. The Brits maintain that, as long as the islanders want to remain British, they will protect the islands. The islands have been British since 1833 (before that France, Spain, Argentina, and Britain possessed them at various times – Brit Captain John Strong landed their first in the 1690s and found the islands uninhabited – the French actually settled the islands in the 1750s).

3. Geo-politics: Other Latin American countries support Argentina in it’s bid to rid the Falklands of the Brits. Countries like Peru, Chile, Brazil and Mexico support Argentina, and want any northern or western europe influence out of the region – mostly to exploit the resources and trade themselves. Also, China supports the Argentines claim on the Falklands (who do you think is going to get the drilling contracts should Argentina succeed?).

Point number 2 resonates well. While the fight might be about resources and power-projection (navy base), it is also about the islanders and their right to stay British.

And from the BBC, Falkland Islands: What are the competing claims?, a cheat sheet on the situation

Catholic archbishop for the military speaks out (but is censored by the Army)

Archbishop Broglio

Archbishop Timothy Broglio

And I use “censored” in the correct First Amendment sense (that of government interference)–in this case, it’s a twofer: 1) prohibiting the free exercise of religion and 2) abridging freedom of speech. From CNSNews.com:

…The message from the archbishop touched off a controversy both in and outside the military when the Army’s Office of the Chief of Chaplains told the service’s senior chaplains that Catholic priests serving as Army chaplains should be told not to read the archbishop’s letter from the pulpit.

The Archdiocese for the Military Services has described that move as a violation of the archbishop’s First Amendment rights as well as the First Amendment rights of the Catholic chaplains involved and their congregations….

Archbishop [Timothy] Broglio’s letter opposing the [HHS] regulation and describing it as a violation of the constitutional rights of Catholics was read verbatim at Masses served by Navy and Air Force chaplains around the world.

However, the Army’s Office of the Chief of Chaplains attempted to silence Catholic Army chaplains from reading it at their Masses—an effort rejected and resisted by Archbishop Broglio….

In his Jan. 28 telephone conversation with Army Secretary [John] McHugh, Archbishop Broglio was able to extract from the secretary an admission that it had been wrong for the secretary to try to silence the Catholic chaplains….

And here is the letter (from His Excellency, the Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio, J.C.D., Archbishop for the Military Services) that the Army rejected:

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

It is imperative that I call to your attention an alarming and serious matter that negatively impacts the Church in the United States directly, and that strikes at the fundamental right to religious liberty for all citizens of any faith. The federal government, which claims to be “of, by, and for the people,” has just dealt a heavy blow to almost a quarter of those people—the Catholic population—and to the millions more who are served by the Catholic faithful. It is a blow to a freedom that you have fought to defend and for which you have seen your buddies fall in battle.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced last week that almost all employers, including Catholic employers, will be forced to offer their employees’ health coverage that includes sterilization, abortion-inducing drugs, and contraception. Almost all health insurers will be forced to include those immoral “services” in the health policies they write. And almost all individuals will be forced to buy that coverage as a part of their policies.

In so ruling, the Administration has cast aside the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, denying to Catholics our Nation’s first and most fundamental freedom, that of religious liberty. And as a result, unless the rule is overturned, we Catholics will be compelled to choose between violating our consciences or dropping health coverage for our employees (and suffering the penalties for doing so). The Administration’s sole concession was to give our institutions one year to comply.

We cannot—we will not—comply with this unjust law. People of faith cannot be made second-class citizens. We are already joined by our brothers and sisters of all faiths and many others of good will in this important effort to regain our religious freedom. Our parents and grandparents did not come to these shores to help build America’s cities and towns, its infrastructure and institutions, its enterprise and culture, only to have their posterity stripped of their God given rights. In generations past, the Church has always been able to count on the faithful to stand up and protect her sacred rights and duties. I hope and trust she can count on this generation of Catholics to do the same. Your children and grandchildren deserve nothing less.

Therefore, I ask two things of you. First, as a community of faith we must commit ourselves to prayer and fasting that wisdom and justice may prevail, and religious liberty may be restored. Without God, we can do nothing; with God, nothing is impossible. Second, I would also recommend visiting www.usccb.org/conscience, to learn more about this severe assault on religious liberty, and how to contact Congress in support of legislation that would reverse the Administration’s decision.

Grateful even now for your support, I remain

Sincerely in Christ,
(Most Reverend) Timothy P. Broglio
Archbishop for the Military Services

The defense budget

A post by McQ at BlackFive on the defense budget and the coming cuts:

Here’s a little fact to keep in mind when considering the current cuts to spending at DoD (and let’s be clear, there is nothing wrong with appropriate cuts to defense spending), besides all the other ramifications it promises:

Defense accounts for less than 20 percent of the federal budget but already exceeds 50 percent of deficit-reduction efforts. And for every dollar the President hopes to save in domestic programs, he plans on saving $128 in defense.

And that’s without the looming sequestration cuts (keep in mind, most war fighting costs are not included in the budget) of another half trillion dollars.

Or said another way, the administration has decided that it will attempt to cut spending primarily with cuts to national defense.  There is no serious program afoot to cut back the myriad of other government agencies and branches.  In fact, many are expanding (see EPA, IRS, etc.)….

And this point made in the comments:

In an interview with Republican Alan Simpson, he states that the Defense Budget is responsible for 2/3 of discretionary spending. Discretionary spending is the portion of the budget that is negotiated between Congress and the President. So while it is approximate 20% of the federal budget, it is the largest portion of the negotiable portion of the budget. This is part of the reason it’s getting trimmed….

Read it all.

For Iranians waylaid by pirates, U.S. to the rescue

From the New York Times:

ABOARD THE FISHING VESSEL AL MULAHI, in the Gulf of Oman — Senior Iranian military officials this week bluntly warned an American aircraft carrier that it would confront the “full force” of the Iranian military if it tried to re-enter the Persian Gulf.

On Friday, Fazel Ur Rehman, a 28-year-old Iranian fisherman, had a warmer greeting for the carrier task force.

“It is like you were sent by God,” said Mr. Rehman, huddled under a blanket in this vessel’s stern. “Every night we prayed for God to rescue us. And now you are here.”

In a naval action that mixed diplomacy, drama and Middle Eastern politics, the aircraft carrier John C. Stennis broke up a high-seas pirate attack on a cargo ship in the Gulf of Oman, then sailors from an American destroyer boarded the pirates’ mother ship and freed 13 Iranian hostages who had been held captive there for more than a month….

Neither the pirates nor the crew of the Sunshine had known it, but three Navy ships — the Stennis; the U.S.N.S. Rainier, a supply ship; and the U.S.S. Mobile Bay, a guided-missile cruiser — were steaming in formation a few miles away. The carrier was taking on provisions from the Rainier and had several helicopters in the air when the Sunshine radioed its distress call.

Aboard the carrier, Rear Adm. Craig S. Faller, who commands the carrier strike group, looked at the chart and radar images of the Sunshine’s location with something like disbelief. The Sunshine and the Stennis were only a few miles apart. “These might be the dumbest pirates ever,” he said….

Read it all, and read Pirate State: Inside Somalia’s Terrorism at Sea by Peter Eichstaedt.

After initial silence, the Iranian government responded to the rescue:

…”The rescue of Iranian sailors by American forces is considered a humanitarian gesture and we welcome this behavior,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast was quoted as saying by state TV’s Al-Alam Arabic channel.

Iran’s hard-line Fars news agency had a different take, calling the rescue operation a Hollywood dramatization of a routine event….

BlackFive: Afghan Alley

U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ryan Crane

From BlackFive:

U.S. Army Sgt. Sean Matthews searches an alley while on a patrol in the Mehtar Lam district in Afghanistan’s Laghman province, Oct. 8, 2011. Matthews is a team leader assigned to the Laghman Provincial Reconstruction Team, which visited with local leaders to discuss building a second orphanage for children who have lost their families.

U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ryan Crane

McCain warns of ‘slippery slope’ with U.S. troops in Uganda

Ugandan districts affected by Lords Resistance Army
Ugandan districts affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army

The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) is despicable, but I’m not sure what U.S. troops are doing in Uganda–and apparently, I’m not the only one.

From the Daily Caller:

The Obama administration surprised a lot of folks late last week when it announced it was sending around 100 American troops to Uganda to help regional forces take out Lord’s Resistance Army leader Joseph Kony….

[Sen. John McCain (R-AZ)] went on to criticize President Obama for not consulting with Congress before announcing the operation.

“This guy [Joseph] Kony and this Lord’s Resistance Army are guilty of unspeakable behavior and the human rights organizations all over the world want this to stop,” McCain said.

“I worry about with the best of intentions we somehow get engaged in a commitment that we can’t get out of, that’s happened before in our history and we need an explanation. And I’m very disappointed, again, that the administration has not consulted with members of Congress before taking such action….”

Check it out.

The SEALs I met

From Outside the Wire with JD Johannes:

. . . Brad’s first move after that was not to take overt control of the situation.  He complimented the platoon sergeant on the smart decisions he made so far, then by way of asking a few questions, guided the sergeant into making some even better decisions.

In all the writing about the SEALs recently, that is something I think many people miss.  Yes, SEALs are incredibly athletic and physically fit.  They are some of the best gunfighters and tacticians in the business, but they are also very intelligent, articulate and polished.  Their interpersonal communications skills could be highlighted by the Harvard Business Review.

On the surface they projected an image of deadly efficiency.  They wore full beards and weapons ranging from brass knuckles to a hatchet.  Yes, a hatchet.  Chad and Andy were muscular enough to make me feel like a pipsqueak.  Andy, in particular became the subject of a series of Chuck Norris two liners. . .

At one point I shot the breeze with Brad and explained how a mid-life crisis led me to become a combat cameraman.

“What does a guy like you do for a mid-life crisis?” I asked him.

“Get married, start a family, work at a bank.”

That low key life is not far off from how they roll around on FOBs.  Whenever I have spotted a real Budweiser Badge SEAL on base he blends in to the background wearing jeans and t-shirt, looking like he could be a guy who manages bottled water and MRE distribution at the supply yard.  Albeit one who looks like he spends a lot of his off time in the gym.

They know they are that pinnacle of the warrior food chain, don’t gloat about it and have a fondness for old fashioned grunts who do the grinding work of war.  When we were in a secured area they would drift from one group of soldiers to another talking shop and patiently answering questions.  They knew how to work a temporary patrol base like a politician works a room full of donors.  Like I said, polished, but not a just a surface gleam, a type of shine that only comes from pure mettle. . .

Check it out.

Paralytic Western society

From Victor Davis Hanson:

… We seem able to admit that massive federal and state entitlements have created a sense of dependency, a loss of self-respect and initiative, and a breakdown of the family, yet we still seem to fear that trimming the subsidies would lead to some sort of cold-turkey hyper-reaction. We assume that society is to blame for disaffected youth and therefore are hesitant to use commensurate force to quell the violence or even to make it clear that perpetrators are responsible for their own conduct. Yet at some point — when the violence reaches middle-class communities or, in serial fashion, downtown or suburban stores — we likewise assume that sufficient force will be used. Sociological exegesis will go out the window. Reality has a way of dispelling such cognitive luxuries…

Check it out.

CBS News: Gold Star kids find “heaven”

From CBS News:

Brian [Bunting] was home on a so-called rest and recreation tour in February of 2009. Shortly after he returned to Afghanistan he and three others were killed by a roadside bomb.

“At the time he was killed we didn’t know we were pregnant,” Nicki says. “Four days after I was notified of his death is when I found out that we were pregnant – so it was just such a miracle. It was the best news I could have ever received.”

Nicki says Cooper actually took his first step at his father’s grave. Nicki says he put his hand on the gravestone, “And then he just stepped. Uh-huh. It was amazing. It was remarkable. I couldn’t believe it.”

Connor, 4, is old enough to have some memory of this father, and seems to understand what this place means.

“Conner calls Arlington heaven,” Nicki says, “so he’s obviously a little confused with what’s going on. But if he wants to think that this is heaven, that’s fine.” She adds, “This is where daddy is and I tell him daddy’s in heaven. So, it makes sense.”

Thanks to Blackfive.