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October 28, 2016
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By Richard Ford



By Sharon Waxman

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Tag: Pentagon

The ‘P’ in PBS Should Stand for ‘Plutocratic’ or ‘Pentagon’

The American broadcaster depends on foundations, corporations and wealthy individuals to pay for much of its programming. This private funding undermines the integrity of the “independent” journalism it bankrolls.

Posted on Oct 27, 2016 READ MORE


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Why Is It So Hard to Reduce the Pentagon Budget?

An ideology of armed exceptionalism and the entrenched power of the arms lobby are the pillars that uphold the Defense Department’s $600 billion annual stranglehold on our tax dollars year after year.

Posted on Oct 27, 2016 READ MORE

The Pentagon Paid a British Public Relations Firm $500 Million to Produce Iraq War Propaganda Films

Material signed off by the White House and Gen. David Petraeus included fake al-Qaida propaganda videos that could be used to track viewers.

Posted on Oct 3, 2016 READ MORE

Apologizing to My Daughter for the Last 15 Years of War

What I really wanted to say when I dropped her off for her last year at college was just how sorry I was that she would have to live in what 9/11 transformed into the most frightened country on earth.

Posted on Sep 22, 2016 READ MORE

How Everything Became War

As the distinction between war and peace has blurred, international law has not kept pace with the smudging of this line. Unless we build legal foundations that stand some chance of containing war, we invite further chaos, endangering future generations.

Posted on Sep 10, 2016 READ MORE

The U.S. Army Made Trillions of Dollars in Accounting ‘Errors’

An audit revealed that the Army made $6.5 trillion worth of wrongful adjustments to accounting entries in 2015, either because it “lacked receipts and invoices to support those numbers or simply made them up,” Reuters reports.

Posted on Sep 1, 2016 READ MORE

U.S. Declares Turkish-Backed Campaign Against Our Allies in Syria ‘Unacceptable’

Recent developments in Syria are reminiscent of the cartoon strip “Peanuts” scenario in which Lucy pulls the football away from Charlie Brown at the last minute and he ends up on his back. In this case, Washington is playing Lucy and the Kurds are playing Charlie Brown.

Posted on Aug 31, 2016 READ MORE

America’s Syria Snafu: Pentagon’s Militias Are Fighting Turkey and CIA’s Militias

U.S. Syrian policy is in disarray despite recent victories against Islamic State.

Posted on Aug 31, 2016 READ MORE

For Future Summer Olympics, Climate Change Is No Game

A report just published in the British medical journal The Lancet suggests that by the year 2085, almost all of the cities that could host the Summer Games will be too hot for outdoor events.

Posted on Aug 18, 2016 READ MORE

Why It’s So Hard for Members of the Military to Speak Out

Assuming that many privates and generals have complicated, often highly critical feelings about various crises of war-making, why don’t they ever express them publicly?

Posted on Aug 12, 2016 READ MORE

The Pentagon Has Been Preparing for Worldwide Civil Unrest by Learning to Target Protesters

Since 2008, the Department of Defense has been funding research that studies the dynamics of civil unrest; some planes have what is called a “corpse cupboard” to store dead passengers; and it turns out that the first person to use an umbrella in England was publicly shamed for his audacious attempt to stay dry. These discoveries and more after the jump.

Posted on Aug 10, 2016 READ MORE

Pentagon Tapping In to Social Science to Target Activist Movements

A report published by The Guardian explains how the Minerva Initiative is partnering with universities to militarize social science and better understand the factors behind civil unrest.

Posted on Aug 6, 2016 READ MORE

How to Disappear Money, Pentagon-Style

By keeping us in the dark about how it spends our money, the Pentagon has made it virtually impossible for anyone to hold it accountable for just about anything.

Posted on May 25, 2016 READ MORE

Edward Snowden: New Pentagon Source Shows Need for Whistleblower Shield

Edward Snowden is calling for a complete overhaul of U.S. whistleblower protections after a new source from inside the Pentagon leaked a startling account of how the system became a “trap” for those seeking to expose wrongdoing by the government.

Posted on May 23, 2016 READ MORE

Washington Just Can’t Help Itself

It’s as if every time our representatives look into the closet marked “solutions,” the only thing they see is a hulking, over-armed soldier whom they obsessively let loose.

Posted on May 13, 2016 READ MORE

The U.S. Military—What a Waste

Squandering vast sums of taxpayer money is a way of life for the Department of Defense. With that in mind, let’s take a little tour through the highlights of Pentagon waste from the 1960s to the present.

Posted on Apr 11, 2016 READ MORE

How the United States Became a Prisoner of War and Congress Went MIA

Through inaction, the legislative branch has surrendered the final remnant of authority it retained on matters relating to whether, when, against whom, and for what purpose the United States should go to war.

Posted on Apr 6, 2016 READ MORE

Pentagon Excess Has Fueled a Civil-Military Crisis

Like climate change, lymphoma or a termite infestation that destroys from within, an unrecognized and unattended crisis in civil-military relations afflicts the United States.

Posted on Mar 17, 2016 READ MORE

How the Pentagon Is Trying to Cover Up the Toxic Effects of Its Deadly Burn Pits

The military isn’t just in the business of inspiring books: Sometimes it bans them, too.

Posted on Mar 13, 2016 READ MORE

Been There, Done That: The American Way of War as a Do-Over

Yearly do-overs are a hell of a way to run a war, but they’re a great mechanism for ensuring that no one will need to take responsibility for a disaster of 14 years and counting.

Posted on Mar 12, 2016 READ MORE

War Zone Tactics Come Home as Pentagon Admits Domestic Spy Drone Use

“The appetite to use surveillance drones in the domestic environment to collect airborne imagery continues to grow,” an internal report states.

Posted on Mar 9, 2016 READ MORE

War, What Is It Good For? Absolutely Nothing.

You could think of American war in the 21st century as an ongoing experiment in proving just that point.

Posted on Feb 26, 2016 READ MORE

The U.S. Military Suffers from Affluenza

The Pentagon has immense difficulty shouldering blame for its massively fatal failures and wrongdoing, and thus suffers from an institutional version of affluenza.

Posted on Feb 12, 2016 READ MORE

Manna From Hell

War is hell. Unless, of course, you happen to be a global corporate peddler of rockets, drones, bombs and all the other hellish weaponry of military conflict.

Posted on Jan 31, 2016 READ MORE

Failed States and States of Failure

Here, amid Washington’s remarkably unwinnable wars, interventions, and conflicts, is a range of tomorrow’s headlines that could be written today and stand a painfully reasonable chance of coming true.

Posted on Jan 25, 2016 READ MORE

Will American ‘Successes’ Lead to More Iraqi Military Failures?

There’s good news coming out of Iraq ... again. The efforts of a 65-nation coalition and punishing U.S. airstrikes have helped local ground forces roll back gains by Islamic State.

Posted on Jan 22, 2016 READ MORE

‘Diplomacy Works’: Peace Groups Hail Iran Deal; Clinton Talks Like a Hawk

“The implementation of the agreement proves that diplomacy works.”

Posted on Jan 17, 2016 READ MORE

Doubling Down on a Failed Strategy: The Pentagon’s Dangerous ‘New’ Base Plan

The Obama administration’s consideration of a Pentagon proposal to create a “new” and “enduring” system of military bases around the Middle East confirms that the military intends to stay in the region for decades, if not generations, to come.

Posted on Jan 15, 2016 READ MORE

Congress Now Has Less Oversight of Drone Strikes

The U.S. military has taken greater charge of drone strikes in Iraq and Syria, effectively reducing congressional scrutiny and leaving officials, lawmakers and activists fearful of increased civilian casualties.

Posted on Dec 24, 2015 READ MORE

Washington to Whomever: Please Fight Islamic State for Us

The United States will send in planes, advisers and special-ops guys if the Arabs, Kurds, Turks, Sunnis and/or Shiites will please step in soon and get America off the hook.

Posted on Dec 10, 2015 READ MORE

AUDIO: Defense Contractors Tell Investors That Escalating Conflicts Are Good for Business

Major defense contractors Raytheon, Oshkosh and Lockheed Martin assured investors at a conference in West Palm Beach, Fla., recently that they stand to profit from escalating conflicts in the Middle East.

Posted on Dec 5, 2015 READ MORE

Beyond Islamic State: The Folly of World War IV

Arguing that no alternative exists to open-ended war represents not hard-nosed realism, but the abdication of statecraft. The real problem is war itself and the conviction that only through war can America remain America.

Posted on Dec 3, 2015 READ MORE

Doctors Without Borders Calls U.S. Report on Afghan Hospital Bombing ‘Shocking’

The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan said Wednesday that “human error” was a factor in the Oct. 3 bombing of the Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, that killed 30 civilians and left 37 wounded. In a statement, Doctors Without Borders, which had previously called the attack a probable war crime, said the report was “shocking” and left “more questions than answers.”

Posted on Nov 25, 2015 READ MORE

AFRICOM’s New Math, the U.S. Base Bonanza and ‘Scarier’ Times Ahead in Africa

In the shadows of what was once called the “dark continent,” a scramble has come and gone. Look hard enough and you’ll find the results of that effort: a network of bases, compounds and other sites whose sum total exceeds the number of nations on the continent.

Posted on Nov 18, 2015 READ MORE

American War in the 21st Century: A Scam, a Swindle and a Fraud

In the post-9/11 years, “reconstruction” and “war” have really been euphemisms for what, in other countries, would be recognized as a massive system of corruption.

Posted on Nov 12, 2015 READ MORE

How to Thank a Veteran on Veterans Day

Please don’t call us “heroes.” Honor our service by telling us you participate in our democracy.

Posted on Nov 11, 2015 READ MORE

The CIA Is an Ethics-Free Zone

Members of America’s spy agency don’t even learn the rules.

Posted on Nov 4, 2015 READ MORE

Watchdog Accuses Pentagon of Evading Questions on $800 Million Afghanistan Program

Despite lacking access to key documents and personnel, the inspector general determined that nearly $43 million had been spent on a natural gas station that should have cost closer to $300,000.

Posted on Nov 3, 2015 READ MORE

The Pentagon Spent $43 Million on a Project That Should Have Cost $300,000

The Department of Defense claims it is unable to provide an explanation for the high cost of the project—a compressed natural gas station in Afghanistan—according to a special inspector general’s report released Monday.

Posted on Nov 2, 2015 READ MORE

Creating an Un-Intelligence Machine

Reports that U.S. Central Command employs some 1,500 analysts indicate that the military has been ramping up its own labyrinthine set of intelligence structures that are drowning in “information.”

Posted on Oct 15, 2015 READ MORE

On Building Armies and Watching Them Fail: Why Washington Can’t Prop Up Foreign Militaries

Prudence might counsel Washington to assume that when it comes to organizing, training, equipping and motivating foreign armies, the United States is essentially clueless.

Posted on Oct 14, 2015 READ MORE

Kunduz Hospital Bombing: Probable Cause That the U.S. Committed a War Crime

The Pentagon has access to video and audio recordings taken from the gunship that carried out the attack that killed 22, so officials must know what actually occurred. It’s time for a full accounting.

Posted on Oct 13, 2015 READ MORE

U.S. Government’s Bid to Train Overseas Security Forces Has Basically Been a Wash

When asking an expert how the U.S. government’s very expensive and time-consuming push to train security forces in other countries has fared, the last thing that government would want to hear is this kind of description: “Our track record at building security forces over the past 15 years is miserable.”

Posted on Oct 4, 2015 READ MORE

Air Force Times Runs Veterans’ Ad Urging Drone Pilots to Refuse to Fly

In mid-September, the weekly military newspaper published an advertisement carrying a message from 54 U.S. military veterans urging U.S. drone operators to refuse to follow orders to fly surveillance and attack missions, citing international law.

Posted on Sep 19, 2015 READ MORE

U.S. Is Finalizing a $1 Billion Arms Deal With Saudi Arabia

In a move to allay the Persian Gulf state’s concerns over the Iran nuclear deal, the Pentagon is completing an agreement to provide weapons for the Saudi military effort against Islamic State and Yemen.

Posted on Sep 4, 2015 READ MORE

From Japan to Vietnam, Radiation and Agent Orange Survivors Deserve Justice From the U.S.

Besides being criminal, the United States’ use of nuclear weapons in Hiroshima and Nagasaki and its poisoning of Vietnam and Okinawa with Agent Orange are a shameful legacy. The denial and cover-up of each of these crimes add U.S. insult to injury.

Posted on Aug 19, 2015 READ MORE

The Shared Failings of America’s Military Academies and Senior Officers

Familiar as America’s most senior military officers may be with the warnings of Thomas Jefferson, they have consistently ignored or misapplied them, facilitating our current state of endless war and national decline.

Posted on Aug 19, 2015 READ MORE

Torture, Impunity and the American Psychological Association

This month, the APA released a stunning independent report that confirms what whistleblowers and dissident psychologists have maintained for close to a decade.

Posted on Jul 15, 2015 READ MORE

Pentagon Working on Plan to Allow Transgender People to Serve Openly in Military

Defense Secretary Ash Carter on Monday paved the way for transgender people to serve openly in the U.S. military. Some estimates put the number of transgender people in the military at 15,000.

Posted on Jul 13, 2015 READ MORE

No Lone Rangers in Drone Warfare

There’s nothing “lone” about drone warfare. Think of the structure for carrying out Washington’s drone killing program as a multidimensional pyramid populated with hundreds of personnel and so complex that just about no one involved really grasps the full picture.

Posted on Jul 13, 2015 READ MORE

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