July 29, 2010

Bo Dietl Doesn't Know His Butt From a Hole In The Ground

Why being a retired NYPD detective earns someone the right to be called a "gun expert" is anyone's guess, but Edgar Sandoval and Samuel Goldsmith of the N.Y. Daily News called Bo Dietl one, and he promptly returned their thanks by making all three of them look like idiots.

Anna Fermanova has been accused of attempting to smuggle three high-end night vision rifle scopes to her husband in Russia, a gross violation of export laws that could result in serious jail time for the native Latvian. Fermanova is the second very attractive young woman accused of being a Russian spy in recent months after Anna Chapman, and the media wasn't about to miss a chance to sell advertising, so they decided they needed another story (presumably as an excuse to post her pictures).

The Daily News then decided Dietl was just the gun expert to interview about these scopes, and it all went to Hell from there:

"These are used specifically for an assassination," said security consultant Bo Dietl, a former NYPD detective. "You're not going to hunt deer with a super scope. That's crazy.

"You could take someone out with one of these scopes in the dead of night from up to a mile-and-a-half-away," he said. "I have friends in Iraq who use these. These are the real deal."

The optics—which the Daily News grossly over-valued by $1,000-$1,500—are indeed marketed as having a range in excess of a thousand yards, but the simply fact of the matter is that these Raptor scopes (when they were available to the public) were only available with short- to mid-range 4x or 6x power magnification. This magnification range is popular among sportsmen and the military to ranges of perhaps several hundred yards even during the daylight and twilight hours, but for Dietl to claim "you could take someone out with one of these scopes in the dead of night from up to a mile-and-a-half-away" is, to put it mildly, a load of crap.

As for Dietl's claim that "These are used specifically for an assassination," well, he's astoundingly ignorant about that as well.

The primary use for night vision (NV) scopes hasn't changed much in the 50+ years they've been used. NV scopes and googles are primarily used by soldiers to identify the enemy, either while out on patrol or while guarding static positions. They are not "specifically used for assassination", unless Dietl wants to label the thousands of U.S. soldiers using this sort of technology every night in Afghanistan and Iraq as assassins.

If someone did know a little bit about this kind of technology, and had a grasp of history, they would come to the much more reasonable conclusion that the Russians would be interested in obtaining the latest U.S. technology so that they could reverse engineer it and then build advanced night vision scopes for export sales and/or use this tech to equip their own soldiers.

For the record, Russian soldiers aren't assassins either, and know hell of a lot more about night vision gear than some self-aggrandizing media whore retired New York cop.

I'd also point out that night vision rifle scopes are used in the taking of various animals including wild hogs in Texas, where Fermanova lives. I'd also point out that wild boar hunting is a sport in Russia and other parts of the former USSR as well (though I still find her story more than likely a bad cover story).

I would mention that night vision scopes are also used for predator hunting and predator control.

But that would just be piling on.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at July 29, 2010 04:23 PM

"in the dead of night from up to a mile-and-a-half-away"

They would have to put out IR laser beams that could burn a hole in you hand (or anything else that go in the way) to light up something at a mile and a half.

Posted by: Neo at July 29, 2010 04:39 PM

The headline tells the whole story. Bo Dietl has no idea whatsoever of where his ass is. No doubt the MSM will eat this crap up like gospel from the preacher on the stump going for a chicken dinner!

Posted by: gDavid at July 29, 2010 05:01 PM

Dietl is, and always was, a self-promoting B.S. artist going back to his days in the NYPD. To listen to Dietel - there wasn't a single other cop or detective on the job who could find his own ass with both hands. He has no credibility at all among fellow officers, myself included. I have refused to watch the Imus show since he brought this buffoon on as his "expert at all things." Night vision technology "used EXCLUSIVELY for assassination" indeed.

[edited for language--ed.]

Posted by: Bruce at July 29, 2010 08:47 PM

It's always amusing to hear people talking about superhuman feats with scoped rifles such as off hand 600 yard shots on running game. In reality, at 600 yards (and even closer) most game outside of a moose are simply not visible to the naked eye, and if one can't see it, one can't find it in a rifle scope which has a much more limited field of view than the Mark I eyeball, two each. Add the loss of resolution inherent in even very good night vision optics (and by the way, gen. III optics are good, but no longer state of the art) and one can see the folly inherent in Dietl's pronouncements.

It should also be noted that any assassin worthy of the name would not take a shot that they could not be absolutely certain of making. Therefore, shorter ranges would be the rule, particularly in lower light and absolutely with night vision.

As to extraordinary distance shots, all such things occur in two realms: Testing and evaluation of weapons, scopes and ammunition (commonly done on familiar ranges, with rests, and at known distances) and by military snipers operating in areas where the opportunity to make such shots may occur. But even the best military snipers do their best to avoid extreme distance shots as the variables involved are so great as to make hits at those distances far more a matter of art and luck than certainty. Using night vision optics greatly complicates such shots to the point of making them, for all practical intents and purposes, impossible.

Posted by: mikemcdaniel at July 29, 2010 10:16 PM

Firearms are much too messy and noisy for Russian assassins these days. IIRC, I believe ricen laced pellets are now their weapon of choice.

Posted by: Diogenes Online at July 30, 2010 09:31 AM

Dietl's a jackass, allright...after all, he's Don Imus' best buddy...

Posted by: Flighterdoc at July 30, 2010 10:04 AM

Good for hobo hunting as well.

Posted by: Federale at July 30, 2010 12:01 PM

Diogenes Online

I believe ricen laced pellets are now their weapon of choice.

And polonium tea.

Posted by: PKO Strany at August 4, 2010 01:09 AM