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Due Diligence - Frontline Debriefs (permalink)

At this stage of my life, I’m no longer surprised at the hokum spread out there—and brother, is it thicker than ever!

First of all, if someone tells you they were a covert assassin for the CIA, do you think they were ever supposed to tell you? Doesn’t “covert” imply that no one ever knows about it?

And no, you don’t go directly into SEAL Team 6 from BUDS.

And no, you don’t ever forget your BUDS class number.

At last count, there were approximately 11,456.5 supposed SEALs working in Hollywood as technical advisors. The closest many of these guys ever got to water was a YMCA pool.

Additionally, a real SEAL would know how to operate an M4 rifle and would also know that you need to disengage the thumb safety on a 1911 .45 auto in order to retract the slide to the rear (it’s not a “frozen” slide).

A number of years ago, I was teaching LAPD’s Metro Division on the range. I departed the range and went directly to a movie set to consult on a scene with Jackie Chan. I called the prop master to let him know I was on my way.

“Hey, there’s a guy here from SWAT.”

“Cool…” I responded. “Who is he?”

“He’s so and so.”

At that time, I had over 20 years in Metro Division, so I pretty much knew everyone who had ever filtered through or was still in a holding pattern in Metro. I’d never heard of this guy.

“I’ll be there in about 20,” I informed the prop master.

When I arrived, they couldn’t find the guy. He had literally vanished into thin air never to be heard from again—he didn’t even pick up his check. This is a classic poser who fools people for only so long.

The other day, someone said, “I’ve been going to shooting classes taught by a guy who has 97 confirmed ‘wet kills’ to his name.”

“So what’s a wet kill?” I asked.

“You know, with a blade, a knife—jeez, don’t you know anything?”

“How old is this guy?"

“I dunno—maybe in his thirties.”

“And just where did these soaking wet kills occur?”

“He can’t say.”

“I see. What agency or unit did he work for?”

“The government hires him out for the really dangerous missions, but he’s not supposed to let us know that.”

“But he told your entire class, right?”

“Sure.”

Try this one on for size: A student of mine at ITTS had encountered another supposed former “Ultra Top Secret” Special Forces Delta operator.

He sold this student two 1911-style .45 autos for thousands, claiming they were custom “one-of-a-kind 1911s” made by a special armorer for Delta operators. They were stock pistols with bright chrome finish, some funky after-market barrel with little slits cut into the top, adjustable sights and stock side panels.

Nothing had been done to them other than cheap aftermarket add-ons. In short, they weren’t worth $300 together, as you’d have to put another $1,500 into each of them just to get them to work properly.

“Who’s the armorer?” I asked.

“I asked the same thing,” the student responded. “He said he’s dead now.”

“Really? I’m sorry to hear that.”

“Think he’ll buy them back?”

Another great one: if someone tells you they were involved in “top secret” police shootings yet there is no record of them because they were so top secret, you’re being had. All police activity is subject to public disclosure. Police are simply civilians who have been blessed by the public to perform their jobs.

There was a book out there by a guy who claimed to be an LAPD SWAT member. Now, not only was he never in LAPD SWAT, he wasn’t even in Metro, which is a requirement to apply for SWAT. To go one step further, he wasn’t even an LAPD Officer!

This guy told me personally that it was a “typo” and a “misunderstanding.” Really? On the main book cover that you supposedly authored and proofread? No, what it is, is deliberately misleading and patently dishonest.

The SEALs have a “Wall of Shame” for all posers and liars who claim to be SEALs. I like this.

You can call information, ask for LAPD’s number, ask them for Metro’s number, and get in touch with a supervisor from SWAT. They have a roster of all past and present SWAT members.

If you ever want to know about someone, ask them for a signed CV (Curriculum Vitae) and tell them you’re going to check into everything they have put down in black and white. One of two things will happen: they will never be heard from again or they will have every excuse in the book why they cannot possibly accommodate you on this issue. It’s all B.S. Every time I am in court or depositions, my CV is subjected to intense scrutiny.

If something sounds wrong or fishy, then it’s probably wrong or fishy. When someone dances around an answer like a frog on a hot plate, that should be Clue Number One that you are dealing with a fraud. Honesty is pretty straightfor-ward, and the answers come quickly.

Do your due diligence before you bet your future or spend exorbitant funds on frauds. The individuals worthy of your trust have spent real time, made real sacrifices and taken real risks in order to gain their experience, and none of them appreciate the charlatans.

What color is the boathouse?

Scott Reitz is a 30-year veteran of the Los Angeles Police Department and director of the highly acclaimed International Tactical Training Seminars. Course information and schedules are available at their website at http://www.internationaltactical.com

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