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Honorverse ramblings and musings

Join us in talking discussing all things Honor, including (but not limited to) tactics, favorite characters, and book discussions.
Re: Honorverse ramblings and musings
Post by Weird Harold   » Fri Feb 17, 2017 8:53 pm

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cthia wrote:I was always surprised that attempted assassinations in the technologically advanced Honorverse hasn't progressed beyond suicide by armsman or by Honor's finger. ...

Even modern day terrorists strap enough C-4 to their body to effect a blast radius that ensures the target's death and many collateral deaths as well.


I refer you to Crown of Slaves and the assassination that prompted the rest of the events in the book. (Masadans, at least, don't care about collateral damage.)
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Re: Honorverse ramblings and musings
Post by cthia   » Sat Feb 18, 2017 7:47 am

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Weird Harold wrote:
cthia wrote:I was always surprised that attempted assassinations in the technologically advanced Honorverse hasn't progressed beyond suicide by armsman or by Honor's finger. ...

Even modern day terrorists strap enough C-4 to their body to effect a blast radius that ensures the target's death and many collateral deaths as well.


I refer you to Crown of Slaves and the assassination that prompted the rest of the events in the book. (Masadans, at least, don't care about collateral damage.)

Indeed, there was also the complicated assassination attempt in the Endicott system involving the "moon stone?" which was actually a beacon. Nevertheless, I guess I'm simply gobsmacked that the old traditional tactics of assassination are still implemented, considering the fact that so much other technology simply has to be available and considering that treecats abound and also considering that I suspect that method has always been fraught with the lowest success rate. I suppose it boils down to the fact that one should expect more from the MA. I mean really, why incorporate such an archaic component - which serves as a weak link - intermixed with a pretty much unprecedented method of assassination? :shrug:

IF today's terrorists had the means and tech to surgically place the equivalent of a shitload-of-a-payload of C-4 inside of a terrorist, then people would be falling from the earth like flies all over the world, or at least their remains would be.

Son, your mother says I have to hang you. Personally I don't think this is a capital offense. But if I don't hang you, she's gonna hang me and frankly, I'm not the one in trouble. —cthia's father. Incident in ? Axiom of Common Sense
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Re: Honorverse ramblings and musings
Post by cthia   » Thu Feb 23, 2017 3:27 pm

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I don't know why, but a very humorous image flashed in the mind. Wouldn't it be hilarious if a treecat came into the range of Gustav Anderman and the will to bond hit it and the subsequent charge towards Gustav who isn't in the habit of having weapons near him? I wonder if the cat would be shot?

It would certainly be an emotionally charged moment.

Son, your mother says I have to hang you. Personally I don't think this is a capital offense. But if I don't hang you, she's gonna hang me and frankly, I'm not the one in trouble. —cthia's father. Incident in ? Axiom of Common Sense
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Re: Honorverse ramblings and musings
Post by cthia   » Mon Mar 13, 2017 4:16 pm

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Someone please tell me that textev bears witness to this speech somewhere and I just missed it. Regarding Cathy Montaigne...
wiki wrote:When she was young, she defended Commander Honor Harrington's actions in demolishing a Mesan slave depot in the Casimir System. Montaigne argued in the House of Lords that a Queen's officer who was actually enforcing the law should be commended, not criticized. (HHA3.3: FtH)

Her language and attitude was sufficiently disturbing that she was expelled from the House of Lords, largely for a speech she gave there, which was witnessed by a young Michael Oversteegen. Her speaking style was very effective and much less intemperate than might be expected from those who knew her and her nervous energy and inability to sit still when she was thinking; she earned the name "Prancer" from her friends in part for this and in part because she was tall and quite slender.

Son, your mother says I have to hang you. Personally I don't think this is a capital offense. But if I don't hang you, she's gonna hang me and frankly, I'm not the one in trouble. —cthia's father. Incident in ? Axiom of Common Sense
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Re: Honorverse ramblings and musings
Post by Theemile   » Mon Mar 13, 2017 5:22 pm

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cthia wrote:Someone please tell me that textev bears witness to this speech somewhere and I just missed it. Regarding Cathy Montaigne...
wiki wrote:When she was young, she defended Commander Honor Harrington's actions in demolishing a Mesan slave depot in the Casimir System. Montaigne argued in the House of Lords that a Queen's officer who was actually enforcing the law should be commended, not criticized. (HHA3.3: FtH)

Her language and attitude was sufficiently disturbing that she was expelled from the House of Lords, largely for a speech she gave there, which was witnessed by a young Michael Oversteegen. Her speaking style was very effective and much less intemperate than might be expected from those who knew her and her nervous energy and inability to sit still when she was thinking; she earned the name "Prancer" from her friends in part for this and in part because she was tall and quite slender.


The actual speech is offsceen, but the above comments are spread through Flint's works. and then David's works starting with WoH. It was first Mentioned in "From the Highlands" where we meet Montaign. The Oversteengen parts are from "Crown of Slaves". The speech itself happens between the happenings of "Let's Dance" and before Honor is Assigned to AAC and the Crusher just prior to "On Basilisk Station."
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RFC said "refitting a Beowulfan SD to Manticoran standards would be just as difficult as refitting a standard SLN SD to those standards. In other words, it would be cheaper and faster to build new ships."
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Re: Honorverse ramblings and musings
Post by cthia   » Tue May 09, 2017 12:43 pm

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Jonathan_S wrote:
Louis R wrote:You're missing two things. First, of course, is the fact that in an alliance, each member is responsible for clearing their own people. So if Grayson says Honor's armsmen are cleared, they are.

Second, Grayson armsmen are _not_ chosen at random - you're trusting the lives of the rulers of your planet to them. So they have been very thoroughly vetted, and Honor's more so than most since they were the founding members of the brand new security team of the most controversial Steadholder in a thousand+ years.

Honor's reflection was a nod to the principle that the mere fact that you are cleared for access to information doesn't automatically grant you access: you also have to _need_ that access, and, technically, her armsmen can do their jobs without knowing what people are saying to her as long as they know who's saying it. Or so it was long thought, anyway.
That's not necessarily true - even before you start talking about things like compartmented access and need-to-know which mean that even the government clearing people for access to the most sensitive information aren't cleared to know all the information at that sensitivity level.

And alliance would have to address how security clearances for shared information would work - and often they would not simply agree to accept each other's security clearances without further review or oversight -- especially for clearances that pre-date the alliance where you might be concerned about ideological tendencies that are hostile to some members of the alliance that weren't an issue when you were only considering their loyalty to their home system.

The other countries may well insist on the right to review supporting records (interview notes, background investigation details, etc) before accepting any given person's clearance for shared alliance classified material. They might even request the government that issued the clearance do some additional investigation about alliance specific security concerns. This could be even more likely if the alliance has access to screening methods that the pre-alliance systems didn't (treecats or other more reliable lie detection methods)
At an extreme they might insist on repeating some of the security clearance process themselves.

And of course this is only step one. Even once the other systems in the alliance agree to accept someone's clearance someone still has to add them to the need-to-know list for any given project or area. I'd image that, except for purely internal items, that that would either be the system that's taking the lead in providing the intel or doing the research or its a group drawn from various allied systems. But I can't imagine either Grayson or Manticore would be willing to let the other unilaterally add even cleared people to every single classified project or area.
In other words, even if Manticore's security establishment has accepted the Top Secret Compartmentalized clearance for her armsment the process to add them to the cleared list for an eye's only Manticoran naval dispatch it going to involve discussions between Grayson and the RMN; Grayson can't do it unilaterally.

Though commanding officers usually have some leeway to provisionally override normal classified handling rules if a developing situation calls for it (though they'll have to justify it later). But I'd think allowing the armsman to stay inside the hatch rather than outside is arguably a small abuse of that customary authority.

Had a conversation with a couple of acquaintances who have government security clearances and I was informed that they have to be vetted every five years. Naive lil ole me thought it was a one time and you're done ordeal. I took their lead and researched it a bit further online and yep, England, The U.S. and other countries vet at regular intervals depending on the job, situation, exposure and risk factor.

It was explained to me that the vetting process may become even more aggressive as you are exposed to various risky conditions. Part of the vetting process may include intensive psychiatric evaluations if necessary. Depending on where and what you were exposed to, vetting can take on an entirely different "tailored" turn, e.g., if you are exposed to a region across the pond where terrorist cells run amok, you automatically become a higher risk and may be vetted to catch any rogue elements -- perhaps having been approached by said criminal cells.

Apparently there are unlimited circumstances that can increase one's ever changing risk factor and alter the size and aggressiveness of the sieve.

Appears as if Grayson's armsmen and perhaps the Maccabeus group should have been part of a consistent ongoing scheduled vetting program. Bottom line, Grayson's armsmen should have been vetted several times over by now. IMO.

Son, your mother says I have to hang you. Personally I don't think this is a capital offense. But if I don't hang you, she's gonna hang me and frankly, I'm not the one in trouble. —cthia's father. Incident in ? Axiom of Common Sense
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Re: Honorverse ramblings and musings
Post by cthia   » Mon May 15, 2017 11:56 pm

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Perhaps one of these scheduled vetting processes will yield something fishy and a MAlign sleeper is un-covered.

****** *

With what happened with Maccabeus, I would imagine that at some point Protector Benjamin would have all of the treecats hanging around Protector's Palace in any subsequent occasions where the family will be "exposed."

Makes me wish Ariel was mated and had offspring living around the grounds of Mount Royal. In the same spirit, Elizabeth should have her own brood hanging around her.

If Benjy can have the Protector's Own can't Beth have her own? In the form of a contingent of cats protecting her and doing her bidding? A bag of cats itching to be let out of the bag?

The Queen's Own?

Son, your mother says I have to hang you. Personally I don't think this is a capital offense. But if I don't hang you, she's gonna hang me and frankly, I'm not the one in trouble. —cthia's father. Incident in ? Axiom of Common Sense
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Re: Honorverse ramblings and musings
Post by Duckk   » Tue May 16, 2017 6:30 am

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If Benjy can have the Protector's Own can't Beth have her own? In the form of a contingent of cats protecting her and doing her bidding? A bag of cats itching to be let out of the bag?


Because they're completely different systems of government which assigns them different constitutional powers. The Protector is basically a feudal lord. If he wants to make a military force directly answerable to him, he can go ahead and do it. Elizabeth can't. This is all brought up in AoV when the Protector's Own was formed.

Elizabeth does have a bodyguard formation, the Queen's (or King's) Regiment. But their function is strictly proscribed to just protecting the royal family, and certain royal and governmental facilities. It is still an Army unit, however, which means it follows the nominal military chain of command.
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Re: Honorverse ramblings and musings
Post by robert132   » Tue May 16, 2017 1:20 pm

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Duckk wrote:
If Benjy can have the Protector's Own can't Beth have her own? In the form of a contingent of cats protecting her and doing her bidding? A bag of cats itching to be let out of the bag?


Because they're completely different systems of government which assigns them different constitutional powers. The Protector is basically a feudal lord. If he wants to make a military force directly answerable to him, he can go ahead and do it. Elizabeth can't. This is all brought up in AoV when the Protector's Own was formed.

Elizabeth does have a bodyguard formation, the Queen's (or King's) Regiment. But their function is strictly proscribed to just protecting the royal family, and certain royal and governmental facilities. It is still an Army unit, however, which means it follows the nominal military chain of command.


Actually the Queen does have a military force answerable to her ... The Royal Mantacoran Navy.

If the RMNs charter is anything like the old British Royal Navy had as it was explained (incorrectly?) to me years ago, it was signed by the founding Monarch and the Navy is answerable to the Monarch or whoever presently wears the crown. I don't believe the modern Royal Navy is an independent force anymore, but back in the days of its founding (Drake and before) it was answerable to the Monarch, not to Parliament and took its orders from him or her via the First Sea Lord, or sometimes directly (Drake again.)

Note that the British Army isn't referred to as the Royal Army. Why is this? And why is the Brit Air Force called "The Royal Air Force?" Is it a matter of the level of government that provided the Charter?

Hey! I'm a Yank, I plead ignorance.

I really need to hit the books on this subject.
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Just my opinion of course and probably not worth the paper it's not written on.
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Re: Honorverse ramblings and musings
Post by robert132   » Tue May 16, 2017 1:41 pm

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cthia wrote:
That's not necessarily true - even before you start talking about things like compartmented access and need-to-know which mean that even the government clearing people for access to the most sensitive information aren't cleared to know all the information at that sensitivity level.

And alliance would have to address how security clearances for shared information would work - and often they would not simply agree to accept each other's security clearances without further review or oversight -- especially for clearances that pre-date the alliance where you might be concerned about ideological tendencies that are hostile to some members of the alliance that weren't an issue when you were only considering their loyalty to their home system.

The other countries may well insist on the right to review supporting records (interview notes, background investigation details, etc) before accepting any given person's clearance for shared alliance classified material. They might even request the government that issued the clearance do some additional investigation about alliance specific security concerns. This could be even more likely if the alliance has access to screening methods that the pre-alliance systems didn't (treecats or other more reliable lie detection methods)
At an extreme they might insist on repeating some of the security clearance process themselves.

And of course this is only step one. Even once the other systems in the alliance agree to accept someone's clearance someone still has to add them to the need-to-know list for any given project or area. I'd image that, except for purely internal items, that that would either be the system that's taking the lead in providing the intel or doing the research or its a group drawn from various allied systems. But I can't imagine either Grayson or Manticore would be willing to let the other unilaterally add even cleared people to every single classified project or area.
In other words, even if Manticore's security establishment has accepted the Top Secret Compartmentalized clearance for her armsment the process to add them to the cleared list for an eye's only Manticoran naval dispatch it going to involve discussions between Grayson and the RMN; Grayson can't do it unilaterally.

Though commanding officers usually have some leeway to provisionally override normal classified handling rules if a developing situation calls for it (though they'll have to justify it later). But I'd think allowing the armsman to stay inside the hatch rather than outside is arguably a small abuse of that customary authority.

Had a conversation with a couple of acquaintances who have government security clearances and I was informed that they have to be vetted every five years. Naive lil ole me thought it was a one time and you're done ordeal. I took their lead and researched it a bit further online and yep, England, The U.S. and other countries vet at regular intervals depending on the job, situation, exposure and risk factor.

It was explained to me that the vetting process may become even more aggressive as you are exposed to various risky conditions. Part of the vetting process may include intensive psychiatric evaluations if necessary. Depending on where and what you were exposed to, vetting can take on an entirely different "tailored" turn, e.g., if you are exposed to a region across the pond where terrorist cells run amok, you automatically become a higher risk and may be vetted to catch any rogue elements -- perhaps having been approached by said criminal cells.

Apparently there are unlimited circumstances that can increase one's ever changing risk factor and alter the size and aggressiveness of the sieve.

Appears as if Grayson's armsmen and perhaps the Maccabeus group should have been part of a consistent ongoing scheduled vetting program. Bottom line, Grayson's armsmen should have been vetted several times over by now. IMO.[/quote]

For a little over 20 years over my misspent youth Security Clearances were my bread and butter, I was trained as an assistant security manager and Special Security Officer dealing with screening and starting the investigations necessary to clear individuals for everything up to and including TS/Codeword (compartmented programs) and nuclear weapons tech.

What your friends told you about the periodic re-investigations and screenings is true, every 5 years unless additional screening is deemed necessary due to various reasons.

There are some variations from one nation to another but very similar. And again they are correct that the vetting becomes more strict for some programs or projects.

Polygraph exams can be required as part of the screening process.

In some cases a Hazardous Activity Restriction (HAR) can be imposed which can limit your travel to other nations or potentially keep you out of military missions that might subject you to capture and interrogation. While I was still on active duty we had 3 Soviet ships (cruiser, destroyer and supply ship) make port in Norfolk VA. My HAR kept me from touring any of them.

My CO was adamant, the FBI and NIS (NCIS today) was watching and photographing EVERYONE who boarded those ships, even as part of organized tours and if any of us got caught, well ... (he drew his finger across his neck while making a vaguely strangling sound.)

To say I was disappointed would be an understatement. But even while moored to the pier in Norfolk if you crossed onto the decks of any of those ships you WERE in that nation, the Soviet Union in this case. That was and still is part of international law.

Bummer.
****

Just my opinion of course and probably not worth the paper it's not written on.
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