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History’s Greatest Heist

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Tag: Pentagon

Let's Get Ready to Rumsfeld
AP photo / Rick Browmer

Senate Panel’s Report on U.S. Torture Abuse

Read the devastating bipartisan report from the Senate Armed Services Committee that indicts high-level Bush administration officials—including former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld—as bearing major responsibility for the torture at Abu Gharib, Guantanamo, and other detention facilities.

Posted on Dec 12, 2008 READ MORE



USAF / Master Sgt. Kristen Stanley

For Pentagon, More Wal-Mart, Less Gucci

“It is going to be more of a Wal-Mart approach than a Gucci approach.” That’s how a senior Defense Department official, quoted in the L.A. Times, describes perennial Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ vision for Pentagon spending priorities.

Posted on Dec 9, 2008 READ MORE


Clinton and Obama
AP photo / Charles Dharapak

Keeping Track of Change

For anyone seeking real reform of America’s foreign and defense policies in the years ahead, the introduction of Barack Obama’s national security team last Monday was a mixed bag. Yet what these and other appointments really suggest about Obama’s broader prospects for reform requires vigilant public attention.

Posted on Dec 5, 2008 READ MORE


Remaking the World in America’s Image

The evidence suggests that American policy under Barack Obama will be a continuation of the neoconservative foreign policy of the Bush administration, given a human face.

Posted on Dec 4, 2008 READ MORE


Taking Over Bush’s Endless War

Terrorism (for the umpteenth time) is a tactic, not an enemy. One of the most urgent tasks for President-elect Barack Obama’s “team of rivals” is coming up with a coherent intellectual framework—and a winning battle plan—for George W. Bush’s globe-spanning “war on terror.”

Posted on Dec 1, 2008 READ MORE



USAF / Tech. Sgt. Jerry Morrison

Gates to Keep the Reins of War

Multiple news outlets, from ABC to Fox, now confirm that Robert Gates will retain his post as secretary of defense for at least the first year of the Obama administration. The president-elect will roll out Gates and his other hawks during a national security team unveiling next week.

Posted on Nov 25, 2008 READ MORE



USAF / Staff Sgt. Samuel Rogers

Bush’s Follies Will Destroy Obama If He Lets Them

Barack Obama has no choice but to accept responsibility for America’s foreign policy crises. But why should he accept them on the distorted and even hysterical terms by which the Bush administration has defined world affairs since 2001?

Posted on Nov 25, 2008 READ MORE


Why Obama Can Keep Gates

If the prospect of appointing Hillary Clinton as secretary of state irritates the Obama base, what will they make of keeping the man who has executed President Bush’s policies at the Pentagon?

Posted on Nov 20, 2008 READ MORE


To Each His Own Nuke

The cynical view of national sovereignty holds that it belongs only to those who can defend it. This was said recently at the Pentagon concerning American manned and unmanned attacks inside Pakistan.

Posted on Nov 20, 2008 READ MORE



DoD / Tech. Sgt. Jerry Morrison, USAF

Gates Might Stick Around

The Financial Times is reporting that Barack Obama is keen to have Robert Gates stay on as defense secretary. The paper says the two are currently negotiating their differences, but then that’s the whole point: Obama wants people who disagree with him in his Cabinet.

Posted on Nov 18, 2008 READ MORE


How Many Villages Must We Bomb Before We Find bin Laden?

Barack Obama has said that he is not against war, only against stupid wars. One might then reasonably ask if the present war in Afghanistan is not a stupid war?

Posted on Nov 13, 2008 READ MORE


This Is What He’s Sorry About?

It was nothing Bush did—no decision he made, no policy he pursued, no faith that he placed in ideological dogma—that he finds regrettable. Bush told a cable network, “I regret saying some things I shouldn’t have said” over the course of eight tumultuous years.

Posted on Nov 13, 2008 READ MORE



U.S. Navy / Petty Officer 3rd Class Josue L. Escobosa

Military Spending ‘Not Sustainable’

The Defense Business Board, an official oversight body appointed by the secretary of defense, has warned the president-elect that the Pentagon’s bloated budget ($512 billion this year, not including war costs) is “not sustainable.” An unprecedented spending spree since 9/11 has run head-on into a financial meltdown, and Barack Obama is now stuck in the middle.

Posted on Nov 10, 2008 READ MORE


Neocons Plot to Co-Opt Obama

The president-elect is a foreign policy novice and will find himself under great pressure to follow Middle Eastern and China and Russia policies inherited from George Bush, even though these are what Barack Obama was elected to change or terminate.

Posted on Nov 6, 2008 READ MORE


What McCain and Obama Just Don’t Get About Central Asia

There are only two real issues left in the foreign policy debate between John McCain and Barack Obama. Yet neither the Iraq nor the Afghanistan issue is within the power of any American president to resolve.

Posted on Oct 7, 2008 READ MORE


Will the Pentagon Be the Next U.S. Institution to Crash?

Less apparent to most people than the economic crisis, but just as real, are the signs of an impending crash of an American military system in which, since the end of the Cold War, Pentagon dysfunction has metastasized so uncontrollably as to scandalize the men who have overseen it.

Posted on Oct 2, 2008 READ MORE


Pentagon
flickr.com/mindfrieze

The Bailout vs. the Defense Budget

There has been much moaning, air-sucking and outrage about the U.S. government’s $700-billion bailout deal, but in fact we dole out similar amounts of money every year in the form of payoffs to the armed services, the military-industrial complex, and powerful senators and representatives allied with the Pentagon.

Posted on Sep 28, 2008 READ MORE


Back in the USSR

In the late 1990s, Washington was in the throes of a deregulatory orgy. Many lampooned Rep. Bernie Sanders’ opposition to the grotesquerie, and his notoriety as the only self-described socialist in Congress. Nobody guessed that in a few years our country would become the United States’ Socialist Republic.

Posted on Sep 25, 2008 READ MORE


KC-45/30
Northrop Grumman

$40 Billion Tanker Contract Grounded

Unnecessary and extraordinarily expensive, the once-green-lit controversial KC-X midair refueling tanker program has stalled, according to the Pentagon. Any movement on the $40 billion contract to purchase new Air Force tankers will have to wait for the next U.S. administration, a clear sign that military-industrial complex spending is an institutional, rather than administrative, problem.

Posted on Sep 10, 2008 READ MORE


The Cost of Saakashvili’s Folly

The West’s response to the situation in Georgia evades acknowledgement of the damage Georgia’s President Mikheil Saakashvili has done to the United States and NATO, and to Georgia itself, which for the foreseeable future will now be a nation of limited sovereignty, and an awkward embarrassment to its Western allies.

Posted on Aug 26, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Hasan Sarbakhshian

A War of Self-Destruction

An attack on Iran, which Israeli and Bush administration officials appear set to carry out if Iranian uranium enrichment is not halted, would ignite a regional war in the Middle East and lead to economic collapse and political upheaval in the United States.

Posted on Aug 4, 2008 READ MORE


Donald Rumsfeld
DoD photo / Chad J. McNeeley

The Return of Rumsfeld

Is the master of the rhetorical question back? Well, in spirit at least. Truthdig contributor Allen McDuffee warns that a group of Democratic foreign policy hawks is pushing one of Donald Rumsfeld’s big ideas for overhauling the U.S. military. These are the same security-obsessed Democrats, by the way, who helped sell the Iraq war to the American people.

Posted on Jul 30, 2008 READ MORE


U.S. Keeps Bombing Weddings

Apparently, the Bush administration is also against straight marriage—if you live in the desert under U.S. military occupation. Tom Engelhardt details seven years of wedding crashing in Afganistan and Iraq, and the notable lack of remorse on the part of the Pentagon.

Posted on Jul 15, 2008 READ MORE


Kunar Province attack

U.S. Generals in Afghanistan Ask for More Armored Vehicles

Following this weekend’s attack in Afghanistan’s Kunar province, in which nine American soldiers were killed by Afghan insurgents, U.S. commanders have asked the Pentagon for more heavily armored MRAP vehicles—as many as 600 to 1,000 more—according to this CNN report from Monday morning.

Posted on Jul 14, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Hasan Sarbakhshian

Iran Shows Its Cards

Iran’s recent missile tests should remove all doubt that an attack by either the United States or Israel would be a terrible mistake.

Posted on Jul 14, 2008 READ MORE


Chinese flight to Taiwan
AP photo / Greg Baker

Taiwan Declares Peace on China

You can’t trust the Chinese. I don’t care if you’re talking about those communists on the mainland or the other guys on Taiwan; they just won’t follow the war-games script that our weapons hawks had counted on.

Posted on Jul 8, 2008 READ MORE


Gorby doll
Flickr / h-angele

Gorbachev Scolds Obama and McCain

According to Mikhail Gorbachev, John McCain and Barack Obama have more in common than they’d like to admit. Both have refused to address their country’s unprecedented military spending, which the former Soviet leader blames for America’s economic woes. Writing in a Russian newspaper, Gorbachev argued that the U.S. behaves “as if the Cold War were not a thing of the past, and the country were surrounded by enemies.”

Posted on Jul 8, 2008 READ MORE


Elah
thecia.com.au

Pentagon Looking to Help Shape War Films

The recent spate of war movies about Iraq and Afghanistan has proved to be a hard sell with American audiences—even more so with the U.S. military. Now, the Pentagon is combating a certain lack of nuance, as military officials see it, in flicks like “Redacted” and “In the Valley of Elah” by offering script consultation services to Hollywood types looking to make movies about the current conflicts in the Middle East.

Posted on Jul 7, 2008 READ MORE



Flickr / soldiersmediacenter

Maliki Mulls Troop Pullout

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, eager to sell his colleagues on a status-of-forces agreement with the U.S., has suggested the possibility of a built-in troop withdrawal timetable. The Pentagon isn’t impressed. “Timelines tend to be artificial in nature,” cautioned a U.S. military spokesman.

Posted on Jul 7, 2008 READ MORE


The Illusion of Saving Nations From Themselves

The Bush government was elected in 2000 on a platform including vigorous opposition to the United States Army’s doing “nation-building.” What a difference a five-year-long military disaster can make!

Posted on Jun 30, 2008 READ MORE



Army.mil / Mike A. Glas

Women Bear the Brunt of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’

Although women make up a small percentage of Army and Air Force personnel, nearly half of all discharges last year related to “don’t ask, don’t tell” were of women. The Pentagon could not explain to The New York Times why the numbers were so much higher for women, but it continues to stand by the policy.

Posted on Jun 22, 2008 READ MORE


Victims of Military Chemical Tests Demand Answers

According to the Pentagon, the U.S. military carried out tests of chemical and biological agents on 6,440 of its own personnel between 1962 and 1973. One Navy veteran who participated in some of those tests is now pushing for recognition and benefits, having learned that more than half of his fellow seamen are either dead or stricken with cancer or other illnesses.

Posted on Jun 12, 2008 READ MORE



DoD / R.D. Ward

Investigate This

As a critic of U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East, especially when unsubstantiated allegations of weapons of mass destruction are used to sell a war, I am no stranger to the concept of questioning authority. It’s too bad more journalists can’t say the same thing.

Posted on Jun 9, 2008 READ MORE


fighter plane
AP photo / LM Otero

Indefensible Spending

What should be the most important issue in this election is one that is rarely, if ever, addressed: Why is U.S. military spending at the highest point, in inflation-adjusted dollars, than at any time since the end of World War II?

Posted on Jun 1, 2008 READ MORE


Scheer and Goodman

Amy Goodman Talks to Robert Scheer About ‘The Pornography of Power’

“Democracy Now!” host Amy Goodman sat down with Truthdig Editor Robert Scheer on Friday to discuss his new book, “The Pornography of Power: How Defense Hawks Hijacked 9/11 and Weakened America.” Watch as Scheer explains the metaphor behind the title, how the U.S. government spends more on defense than the rest of the world combined, and how some key players in Washington took 9/11 as a “license to steal.”

Posted on May 30, 2008 READ MORE


Defense Auditors Can’t Keep Up

Thanks to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the privatization of the military and the surge in defense spending since 9/11, individual Pentagon auditors now have to keep track of more than three times as much money as they did 10 years ago. Because of limited resources, the Defense Department inspector general revealed in a recent report, about half of the military’s $316 billion weapons budget went under the radar last year.

Posted on May 28, 2008 READ MORE


Mohammed
foxnews.com

Pentagon Opening Gitmo 9/11 Hearings to (Some) Media Outlets

A Pentagon representative has confirmed that “about four or five dozen” news journalists and associated personnel from both the U.S. and abroad are being invited to attend the June 5 arraignment at Guantanamo Bay of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, often referred to as the “mastermind” of 9/11, and four others allegedly involved in the Sept. 11 attacks.

Posted on May 27, 2008 READ MORE


Iron Man still
gizmodo.com

Torturing Iron Man

Those who haven’t seen this summer’s biggest blockbuster (so far, at least—this weekend’s “Indiana Jones” sequel may well change that) “Iron Man” and are planning to hit the multiplex might want to take a gander at this review. The article points out how “Iron Man” is the latest in a string of “pro-military” movies served up for youngsters’ consumption—even as two disastrous wars rage on overseas.

Posted on May 24, 2008 READ MORE


Presidential Race Ignores Arms Race

Obama’s stated willingness to unilaterally strike nuclear-armed U.S. ally Pakistan, Clinton’s promise to Iran to “totally obliterate” the nation of 70 million (should it attack Israel), and McCain’s hard-line position on Russia, including the deployment of a missile defense in Eastern Europe, all point to a reliance on military solutions.

Posted on May 21, 2008 READ MORE


The Face of Torture

Seven years after the 9/11 attacks, if we were to seek a portrait that is emblematic of the way the U.S. has tried—and failed—to bring those responsible for the heinous plot to justice, we would have to produce a photograph of Mohammed al-Qahtani.

Posted on May 14, 2008 READ MORE


Whistle-Blower Points to Target List in U.S. Attack on Hotel

A veteran of Army intelligence has shed new light on the military’s 2003 shelling of the Palestine Hotel, a Baghdad home to many journalists, including two who were killed by that attack.

Posted on May 14, 2008 READ MORE


feith

Douglas Feith Defends Bush on ‘Daily Show’

Is some of what we now consider common knowledge about the run-up to the Iraq war wrong—for example, that we were deceived about the U.S.‘s reasons for invading Iraq? Former Pentagon official Douglas Feith, who has been harshly criticized for his involvement in that process, thinks so—and he has a new book to make his point. Here he faces Jon Stewart and his “Daily Show” audience to talk about it all.

Posted on May 13, 2008 READ MORE


General Happy Swellspin

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Posted on May 8, 2008 READ MORE


Pat Tillman
terrorism.inreview.com

Pat and Mary Tillman Are Saluted in N.Y. Times

Four years after Pat Tillman’s death by friendly fire in Afghanistan, his mother, Mary Tillman, is still asking questions—primarily about the U.S. government’s initial cover-up of the details of Pat’s death and about how far up the chain of command the deception extended.  Here, New York Times sports writer George Vecsey praises Mary Tillman and her new memoir, “Boots on the Ground by Dusk: My Tribute to Pat Tillman.”

Posted on May 8, 2008 READ MORE


Mary Tillman

Mary Tillman on ‘Today’: ‘Pat’s Death Was a Lie to the Country’

Mary Tillman made a sharp and moving appearance Tuesday morning on the “Today” show to talk about her new book, “Boots on the Ground by Dusk: My Tribute to Pat Tillman,” about the friendly-fire death of her son, Pat, and the U.S. military’s subsequent cover-up in 2004.

Posted on May 6, 2008 READ MORE



DoD / U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Chad J. McNeeley

The Pentagon vs. America

Former Marine and U.N. weapons inspector Scott Ritter has spoken out vehemently against the war, so it surprises some that he still embraces military service. In this article, Ritter explains why opposition to a war doesn’t mean lack of patriotism or a failure to “support the troops” and the services in which they serve.

Posted on May 5, 2008 READ MORE


Map of Iran
opendemocracy.net

Pentagon Eyeing Military Option Aganst Iran

On Friday, a day after an American cargo ship fired warning shots at two small boats off the coast of Iran, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Michael Mullen said the Pentagon is considering various options, including military action, to deal with what he characterized as the Iranian government’s “increasingly lethal and malign influence” in Iraq.

Posted on Apr 25, 2008 READ MORE


New York Times report
nytimes.com

NYT: Pentagon Primed TV Military Experts

The Bush administration’s skill in working the media to promote its interests is not a new story, but The New York Times has just uncovered a new twist: According to the paper, administration insiders courted a troop of retired military men to serve as trained PR agents for the White House on major broadcast outlets. 

Posted on Apr 19, 2008 READ MORE


memorial
Flickr / Kevindooley

The $3-Trillion War

Harvard scholar Linda Bilmes speaks about the book on the Iraq war’s costs that she wrote with Joseph Stiglitz. The two former Truthdiggers of the Week have been working hard to uncover even more hidden expenses for the war, which they estimate will cost the taxpayers and their children trillions of dollars.

Posted on Apr 16, 2008 READ MORE


petraeus
AP photo / Susan Walsh

No Exit (Yet)

Gen. David Petraeus dug in his heels during a Senate hearing Tuesday, refusing to give specifics about additional U.S. troop withdrawal plans after July, recommending a “pause” instead and taking heat from congressional opponents like Carl Levin and Hillary Clinton in the process.  Meanwhile, John McCain spoke of “real hope and optimism” for Iraq’s future.

Posted on Apr 8, 2008 READ MORE


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