11 June 2016


by Andy Weddington
Saturday, 11 June 2016

The user's going to pick dancing pigs over security every time. Bruce Schneier

Seventy-two years ago, for a couple of years during World War II, a young Sailor skilled in languages listened - for secrets. In essence the job entailed monitoring grapevines of sorts.

Tuesday past that Sailor was laid to rest.

I know a little bit about Sailors and Marines (et al.) who do that sort of work. Many speak multiple languages and some are expert at devising, sending, and breaking code. They are good secret keepers.

A tagline of their trade, "In God We Trust - All Others We Monitor."  

During World War II a special group of Marines, Navajo Indians, used their native tongue to protect communications. The enemy never broke the "code." Would the Marines have conquered the South Pacific without the Navajo Code Talkers? 

Now about that Sailor.

Ninety-one years old. Never married. No children. No known family. A college graduate. A patriot. 

A fire team (that's four) was expected at the funeral. The deceased counting as one.

But a grapevine - a means for passing information, secret or not - changed that.

The Sailor's death and circumstances made Facebook - a global grapevine of yet-to-be fully realized power; some good and some not so good. But they're ever working on it.  

Some Marines found out and engaged. 

Engage, that's what Marines do. 

And so it was a couple of hundred, not all Marines, turned out to pay final respects and lay the good Sailor to rest. 

As the Sailor was interred in Quantico National Cemetery, I'd like to think some Sailors were there, too. And some of them still engaged with working secret grapevines - for there are plenty of them, such Sailors that is, in the greater Washington, D.C. area.

How ironic the Sailor's name Serina Vine. 

Some things are meant to be. 

How did I hear about Ms. Vine?

Through the public grapevine - the Internet. 

I read an article this morning. So, of course, Ms. Vine deserves a few minutes of my time to pass along her story - along the grapevine. I hope you'll continue this commentary along the grapevine. 

Alas, know Ms. Vine, through her work during the war, kept Sailors and Marines and Soldiers safe. She kept America safe. And she surely took many a secret to her grave. 

Today her fellow Sailors do the same. 

Finally, a couple of days ago I saw a modern day force protection variant of the World War II ditty Loose Lips Sink Ships - Thoughtless Tweets Sink Fleets

And so does passing national secrets over non-secure email - sink fleets and get people killed. 

You might call that a 'crime whine.' And that's not sour grapes. 

She, no Sailor but a Secretary of State, endangered us all - something she not only swore not to do but signed documents pledging. 

Hillary Clinton picked dancing pigs! 

Thus, may the bare feet of lady justice stomp her - to death is okay with we who selflessly serve. 

Rest peaceably, Ms. Vine, we have the watch.  

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