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Tag: Pentagon

‘From the Desk of Donald Rumsfeld’

The Washington Post has obtained a number of former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s “snowflakes,” curt memos fired off at a rate of up to 60 a day. The documents offer rare, unpolished insight into one of the principal architects of the Iraq war, who “argued that Muslims avoid ‘physical labor’ and wrote of the need to ‘keep elevating the threat,’ ‘link Iraq to Iran’ and develop ‘bumper sticker statements’ to rally public support for an increasingly unpopular war.”

Posted on Nov 1, 2007 READ MORE


jet fighter
AP photo / Junji Kurokawa

Cashing In on Terror

Not to stoke any of the inane conspiracy theories running wild on the Internet, but if Osama bin Laden wasn’t on the payroll of Lockheed-Martin or some other large defense contractor, he deserves to have been. What a boondoggle 9/11 has been for the merchants of war, who this week announced yet another quarter of whopping profits made possible by George Bush’s pretending to fight terrorism by throwing money at outdated Cold War-style weapons systems.

Posted on Oct 30, 2007 READ MORE


Pentagon building

Imaginary Weapons

Truthdig speaks with Sharon Weinberger, whose book “Imaginary Weapons” looks into why the Pentagon has spent billions of dollars on fantastical weapons programs, some of which defy the laws of physics.

Posted on Oct 30, 2007 READ MORE


Bush and Cheney
AP photo / Charles Dharapak

On the Eve of Destruction

The former intelligence officer and weapons inspector argues that the president’s recent World War III comment offers some rare insight into the highly secretive world of George W. Bush’s White House, where the leader of the free world gets advice from reckless neoconservatives, “war criminal” Dick Cheney and “God.”

Posted on Oct 22, 2007 READ MORE


Imagine Peace—A Ray of Light in Dark Times

John Lennon would have turned 67 years old last week had he not been murdered in 1980 by a mentally disturbed fan. On his birthday, Oct. 9, his widow, peace activist and artist Yoko Ono, realized a dream they shared.

Posted on Oct 16, 2007 READ MORE


Egyptian protest
AP photo

Outsourcing Torture

The Bush administration has called for the respect of human rights in Burma, a pretty safe piece of posturing, but it remains silent as Egypt’s dictator, Gen. Hosni Mubarak, unleashes the largest crackdown on public opposition in over a decade. Our moral indignation over the shooting of monks masks the incestuous and growing alliance we have built in the so-called war on terror with some of the world’s most venal dictatorships.

Posted on Oct 15, 2007 READ MORE


Jet fighter
AP photo / LM Otero

Inside the Military-Industrial Complex

Former Assistant Secretary of Defense Philip Coyle knows a thing or two about the “staggering” amounts of money the U.S. funnels into the military-industrial complex, and why it is so difficult to stanch the profiteering.

Posted on Oct 10, 2007 READ MORE


Ciara Durkin
rawstory.com

Slain Soldier’s Family Wants Answers From Pentagon

Last Friday, National Guard Spc. Ciara Durkin was found dead on her U.S. base in Afghanistan with a single gunshot wound in her head.  Now, her family is looking for answers and wondering why the U.S. military isn’t offering details about the mysterious circumstances surrounding her death.

Posted on Oct 4, 2007 READ MORE


Saddam statue
AP photo / Jerome Delay

‘You Left Us With 50 Saddams’

As the U.S. government is learning much too late, democracy is not a one-size-fits-all application that can be lifted from one culture and grafted onto another.  Here, UK reporter Ian Black from the Guardian Unlimited takes a look at what’s really going on politically and culturally in Iraq according to a prominent historian and his Iraqi contacts.

Posted on Sep 24, 2007 READ MORE


Team Bush Wants $50 Billion More for ‘08 Military Budget

Add another $50 billion to the tab the Bush administration is looking to run up in military costs for the  ‘08 fiscal year, bringing the potential total to around $200 billion if this latest request goes through. 

Posted on Sep 23, 2007 READ MORE


Privatizing Murder

There is no set piece more emblematic of the tragic farce that is the American involvement in Iraq than the grotesque episode of Blackwater USA and the killing of civilians in Baghdad—at least nine and as many as 28—on Sunday.

Posted on Sep 20, 2007 READ MORE


American Exceptionalism Meets Team Jesus

There’s a lot of talk about religious fundamentalism these days, but how much do we really know about the brand of Christian fundamentalism that has developed in America since, and in response to, the Enlightenment?  Author James Carroll holds forth on the subject in this interview with TomDispatch editor Tom Engelhardt.

Posted on Sep 17, 2007 READ MORE


The Illusion of Progress in Iraq

Following two days of carefully staged theatrics on Capitol Hill and cable television, the essential facts about Iraq remain unchanged. Despite the big charts and the blustering fanfare highlighted by Fox News, neither Gen. David H. Petraeus nor Ambassador Ryan Crocker could convincingly claim that the American military escalation in Iraq is achieving its original goals.

Posted on Sep 14, 2007 READ MORE


9/11 memorial
video.on.nytimes.com

Services Mark Sixth Anniversary of 9/11

Mourners, visitors and public figures converged in New York, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania to observe the anniversary of Sept. 11 at or near the sites where the terrorist attacks took place six years ago.

Posted on Sep 11, 2007 READ MORE


Forget About the ‘Surge’

The question of whether or not the “surge” is working is a distraction from the fact that fighting “them” over there makes us less safe at home. If the Democrats want to bring the troops home, they should repeat that mantra over and over.

Posted on Sep 10, 2007 READ MORE


Iraq by the Numbers with Petraeus

Opening his testimony before Congress on Monday with the insistence, “I wrote this testimony myself,” and adding that his Iraq progress report hadn’t been vetted in advance, Gen. David Petraeus trotted out figures and charts to argue that “the military objectives of the surge are, in large measure, being met.”

Posted on Sep 10, 2007 READ MORE


Pentagon
DoD / Tech. Sgt. Andy Dunaway, USAF

China Denies Hacking Pentagon

China has denied responsibility for a large raid on the Department of Defense’s computer network, attributing the accusation to a “Cold War mentality.” A senior U.S. official was quoted in the Financial Times as implicating the People’s Liberation Army in the attack, which forced the Pentagon to shut down its network for more than a week.

Posted on Sep 4, 2007 READ MORE


Troops Still Waiting for Armored Vehicles

Throughout the war, getting the troops the equipment they need to stay alive has been more of a goal than a reality. The latest example is the expected delivery shortfall of MRAPs—the specially designed armored vehicles that have proved particularly resistant to roadside bombs. The Pentagon had hoped to deliver 3,500 of the vehicles to Iraq, but it looks as if only 1,500 or so will make it there by year’s end.

Posted on Aug 22, 2007 READ MORE


recruiters
msnbc.com

Army Throws Cash at Recruitment Problem

In an effort to combat ever dwindling enthusiasm among America’s youths for a career in the military, the Army is enlarging its recruitment staff, loosening age and criminal record restrictions and offering more cash bonuses, such as $45,000 tax-free to buy a house. Last year the Army spent $1 billion on bonuses and advertisements.

Posted on Aug 9, 2007 READ MORE


ak-47
AP Photo / John Moore

The Case of the Missing Weapons

How exactly do some 190,000 pistols and AK-47 rifles go missing?  That’s the mystery the Pentagon is facing, according to the Government Accountability Office, which estimates that the U.S. military can’t account for 30 percent of the arms given to Iraqi security forces to help “spread democracy” since 2004.

Posted on Aug 6, 2007 READ MORE


pat tillman
foxnews.com

Pat Tillman Murdered?

Defense Department documents handed over to the Associated Press under a Freedom of Information Act request raised the possibility that the “friendly-fire” death of soldier Pat Tillman, a former NFL player, was the result of an intentional act that amounted to a crime

Posted on Jul 26, 2007 READ MORE


Contractors Outnumber U.S. Troops in Iraq

According to data from the State and Defense departments, there are more than 180,000 civilian contractors on America’s payroll in Iraq.  That’s about a surge’s worth more than the current troop count, and it doesn’t fully include private security contractors.  The L.A. Times takes an exhaustive look at the “coalition of the billing.”

Posted on Jul 4, 2007 READ MORE


Eddie Slovik
detnews.com

Pentagon Mostly Ignores Deserters

Although desertions from the Army have gone up, the military has apparently taken little interest.  There is no active program for finding those who simply walk away, and when deserters are caught (usually they turn themselves in), most face merely a less than honorable discharge.  According to the AP, just 5 percent of Army deserters were court-martialed in 2006.

Posted on Jun 29, 2007 READ MORE


soldiers
U.S. Army photo by Spc. Ben Brody

Military Chiefs Have ‘Surge’ Doubts

At the core of the “surge” strategy is the notion that once U.S. troops clear a particularly hostile patch of Iraq, the Iraqi army and police will move in to maintain order. But senior American officers are now raising serious doubts about Iraqi forces’ ability to take over.

Posted on Jun 26, 2007 READ MORE


The Pentagon vs. Peak Oil

What if wars of the future are fought just to run the machines that fight them?  That’s just the alarmingly ironic point that Klare, author of “Blood and Oil,” takes on in this essay, sizing up the Pentagon’s huge energy expenditure—which will only increase exponentially if America’s imperialist globe-trotting continues.  Note:  Originally posted on TomDispatch.

Posted on Jun 15, 2007 READ MORE


Pentagon Report: ‘Surge’ Only Shifts Violence

Further evidence that the U.S. military buildup in Iraq is failing to quell violence in the country came Wednesday with the release of a Pentagon report detailing the sobering statistics about widespread bloodshed in Baghdad and other areas.

Posted on Jun 14, 2007 READ MORE


White House Boots Joint Chiefs Chairman

The Bush administration has announced plans to oust Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Peter Pace and Vice Chairman Adm. Ed Giambastiani. Pace was involved with the planning and execution of the Iraq war from the beginning, and his reappointment would likely spark a debate and raise uncomfortable questions in the Senate during his reconfirmation.

Posted on Jun 8, 2007 READ MORE


Joint Chiefs Chairman Has Trouble Counting

Gen. Peter Pace, speaking to CBS’ Harry Smith on Memorial Day, said: “When you take a look at the life of a nation and all that’s required to keep us free, we had more than 3,000 Americans murdered on 11 September, 2001. The number who have died, sacrificed themselves since that time, is approaching that number.” In actuality, 3,455 U.S. military personnel had been killed in Iraq alone at the time of Pace’s blunder.

Posted on May 29, 2007 READ MORE


The Next Cold War?

The Pentagon, possibly suffering from a superpower complex, has accused China of spending substantially more on its military buildup than publicly stated. In a report to Congress, the U.S. military also warns of advanced nuclear capability and a possible conflict over Taiwan. Still, even if China spends two or three times the $46 billion on defense it claims, it couldn’t hope to keep pace with the hundreds of billions the U.S. throws at the military every year.

Posted on May 25, 2007 READ MORE


Lute
news.bbc.co.uk

Meet the War Czar

Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute has agreed to be President Bush’s first “war czar.” Lute will answer directly to the president, although it’s still not entirely clear how much authority he’ll have. The White House had offered the job to a number of nominees who turned it down.

Posted on May 15, 2007 READ MORE


What Price Slaughter?

In New York and Jalalabad, human life is valued differently by the U.S. government.  A loved one lost in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack was worth about $1.8 million, according to the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund.  The life of a 16-year-old Afghan girl is set, by tragic contrast, at $2,000.

Posted on May 15, 2007 READ MORE


Search for Missing Troops Continues Despite Threats

U.S. and Iraqi forces are continuing their search for three missing American soldiers, despite threats from the Sunni insurgent coalition that claims to have taken them as hostages. Some 4,000 troops along with helicopters, jets and unmanned aerial vehicles are involved in the effort. The Pentagon said on Monday that it believed the soldiers had fallen into enemy hands.

Posted on May 15, 2007 READ MORE


YouTube Banned on Military Computers

YouTube, MySpace and 11 other popular websites will no longer be accessible via U.S. military computers. A military spokesman says the move is meant to address bandwidth issues, but it’s no secret the military has been less than thrilled with the content sometimes posted by soldiers. Service members with personal computers will be unaffected, free to visit the Pentagon’s own YouTube channel.

Posted on May 14, 2007 READ MORE


Bush
aftonbladet.se

Bush Has Veto Fever

President Bush has already decided to veto a second war funding bill that the House Democrats haven’t even finished drafting. The measure would require the White House to report on progress in Iraq in order to free up funds past July.

Posted on May 9, 2007 READ MORE


Is Gates on a Different Page?

While the Bush administration has repeatedly referred to the Democrats’ timetable for withdrawal from Iraq as a recipe for failure, Defense Secretary Robert Gates has praised the measure. He’s also urged an assessment of the troop escalation by this summer—sooner than supporters of the “surge” would like—and indicated support for a withdrawal as outlined by the Iraq Study Group, which he was once a part of.

Posted on May 6, 2007 READ MORE


Survey: Many Soldiers Approve of Torture

An Army survey of troops in Iraq has found some disturbing attitudes, and recommends shorter deployments for the mentally exhausted soldiers. Asked whether civilians should be treated with dignity and respect, less than half said yes and more than a third found torture acceptable.

Posted on May 4, 2007 READ MORE


Congress Probes White House Over Tillman Affair

The House Oversight Committee has sent requests to the White House and Pentagon asking for all documents related to the death of Pat Tillman. The committee is investigating why the Army misrepresented the circumstances of the Ranger’s death. Key to that effort is a letter sent by a top general urging Gen. John Abizaid to warn the White House.

Posted on Apr 27, 2007 READ MORE


Testimony

Tillman Family, Jessica Lynch Challenge Pentagon Misinformation

Testifying before the House Committee on Government Oversight and Reform, Jessica Lynch and Pat Tillman’s brother and mother criticized the Pentagon and the government, which they said manipulated the truth for the sake of political gain.

Posted on Apr 24, 2007 READ MORE


World Shocked That Wolfowitz Has Girlfriend

The satirist writes that the most improbable aspect of the Wolfowitz scandal is that the World Bank president actually has a girlfriend.

Posted on Apr 20, 2007 READ MORE


Congress to Investigate Tillman Cover-Up

From documents already released, it has become clear that the Army acted inappropriately following the death of Pat Tillman, destroying evidence, instituting an “information lockdown” and possibly even discussing a PR strategy. Congress will now investigate the matter, with the aid of uncensored documents and testimony from the Tillman family.

Posted on Apr 20, 2007 READ MORE


Jon Stewart

War Czar Gets a Makeover

The White House is having trouble finding someone to be the new “war czar,” and it has apparently decided the problem is the name. The position will now be called “execution manager.” Is it just us, or has this administration lost its flair for snazzy Orwellian lingo? Bonus: Jon Stewart catches Bush in a lie obstruction of the truth.

Posted on Apr 20, 2007 READ MORE


Wolfowitz
AP Photo / Charles Dharapak

Heck of a Job, Wolfie

Paul Wolfowitz, the former deputy secretary of defense who helped sell a stupid war, now finds himself in a bit of trouble. As head of the World Bank, he secured a cushy pay raise for his girlfriend, lied about it and alienated his staff in the process. Not to worry—President Bush still thinks he’s doing a bang-up job.

Posted on Apr 17, 2007 READ MORE


Jim Lehrer

Shortchanging Veterans

Jim Lehrer reports that the Army may be underestimating the severity of disabilities, denying servicemen and -women lifetime benefits. The Veterans Disability Benefits Commission found that disability ratings made by the Veterans Affairs Department were typically higher than those of the Army.

Posted on Apr 16, 2007 READ MORE


Soldier
AP Photo / Darko Vojinovic

Stretched Military Extends Tours to Keep Surge Going

Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced Wednesday that the Pentagon is likely to extend the tours of duty of some 100,000 soldiers currently deployed in Iraq by three months. The new policy would enable the surge to last for a year.

Posted on Apr 11, 2007 READ MORE


Tillman and Lynch

Congress Will Investigate Misinformation on Tillman, Lynch

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform will investigate the Pentagon’s handling of the death of Pat Tillman and the rescue of Jessica Lynch to determine “why inaccurate accounts of these two incidents were disseminated, the sources and motivations for the accounts, and whether the appropriate administration officials have been held accountable.”

Posted on Apr 10, 2007 READ MORE


Keeping Up With the Surge

In an effort to meet the demands of the administration, Defense Secretary Robert Gates plans to send 12,000 National Guard troops to Iraq, according to a report from NBC News. In other news, the Pentagon said Monday that roughly 4,500 troops would soon redeploy without getting their full year off.

Posted on Apr 5, 2007 READ MORE


Gitmo Legal Process Questioned After Hicks Trial

The handling of Guantanamo Bay detainee David Hicks’ war-crimes trial has triggered widespread criticism and speculation about politically motivated maneuverings that could undermine the entire legal operation at the Cuban prison camp. 

Posted on Apr 1, 2007 READ MORE


Pentagon briefing
AP Photo / Haraz N. Ghanbari

Pentagon Cowers Behind Wordplay

The military covered its ass on Monday, with a report on the investigation into the exploitation of Pat Tillman that stank of non-denial denials. After three years of lies and obfuscation, the Tillman family deserves better.

Posted on Mar 27, 2007 READ MORE


Tillman
news.bbc.co.uk

Nine Officers Blamed in Tillman Cover-Up

The findings of an investigation into the cover-up of the circumstances of Pat Tillman’s death won’t be officially released until Monday, but details are leaking out. According to Defense Department officials, the report will recommend holding nine officers, including up to four generals, accountable.

Posted on Mar 23, 2007 READ MORE


Lessons From Walter Reed

Linda Bilmes, the Harvard finance expert who helped establish the true cost of the war, including veteran healthcare, turns her attention to the Walter Reed scandal, and the bureaucratic quagmire that keeps our soldiers from getting help. Bilmes offers four lessons to avoid future problems. We can only hope someone takes her advice.

Posted on Mar 22, 2007 READ MORE


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