Military Corruption Media ArticlesExcerpts of Key Military Corruption Media Articles in Major Media
Note: Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news articles on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.
Not since the end of the Cold War has the Pentagon spent so much to develop and deploy secret weapons. But now military researchers have turned their attention from mass destruction to a far more precise challenge: finding, tracking, and killing individuals. Every year, tens of billions of Pentagon dollars go missing. The money vanishes not because of fraud, waste or abuse, but because U.S. military planners have appropriated it to secretly develop advanced weapons and fund clandestine operations. Next year, this so-called black budget will be even larger than it was in the Cold War days of 1987, when the leading black-budget watchdog, the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA), began gathering reliable estimates. The current total is staggering: $58 billion—enough to pay for two complete Manhattan Projects.
Writing in these pages in early 2008, we put the total cost to the United States of the Iraq war at $3 trillion. This price tag dwarfed previous estimates, including the Bush administration's 2003 projections of a $50 billion to $60 billion war. But today, as the United States ends combat in Iraq, it appears that our $3 trillion estimate (which accounted for both government expenses and the war's broader impact on the U.S. economy) was, if anything, too low. For example, the cost of diagnosing, treating and compensating disabled veterans has proved higher than we expected. Moreover, two years on, it has become clear to us that our estimate did not capture what may have been the conflict's most sobering expenses: those in the category of "might have beens," or what economists call opportunity costs. For instance, many have wondered aloud whether, absent the Iraq invasion, we would still be stuck in Afghanistan. And this is not the only "what if" worth contemplating. We might also ask: If not for the war in Iraq, would oil prices have risen so rapidly? Would the federal debt be so high? Would the economic crisis have been so severe? The answer to all four of these questions is probably no.
Note: You may remember that Bush's very low estimated war cost was one of the justifications used to push the war. Joseph E. Stiglitz, a professor at Columbia University, was a winner of the Nobel Prize in economics in 2001. Linda J. Bilmes is the Daniel Patrick Moynihan senior lecturer in public policy at Harvard University. They are co-authors of The Three Trillion Dollar War: The True Cost of the Iraq Conflict.
A 2006 Immigration and Customs Enforcement investigation into the purchase of child pornography online turned up more than 250 civilian and military employees of the Defense Department -- including some with the highest available security clearance -- who used credit cards or PayPal to purchase images of children in sexual situations. But the Pentagon investigated only a handful of the cases, Defense Department records show. The cases turned up during a 2006 ICE inquiry, called Project Flicker, which targeted overseas processing of child-porn payments. As part of the probe, ICE investigators gained access to the names and credit card information of more than 5,000 Americans who had subscribed to websites offering images of child pornography. Many of those individuals provided military email addresses or physical addresses with Army or fleet ZIP codes when they purchased the subscriptions. In a related inquiry, the Pentagon's Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS) cross-checked the ICE list against military databases to come up with a list of Defense employees and contractors who appeared to be guilty of purchasing child pornography. The names included staffers for the secretary of defense, contractors for the ultra-secretive National Security Agency, and a program manager at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. But the DCIS opened investigations into only 20 percent of the individuals identified, and succeeded in prosecuting just a handful.
A $40 million prison sits in the desert north of Baghdad, empty. A $165 million children's hospital goes unused in the south. A $100 million wastewater treatment system in Fallujah has cost three times more than projected, yet sewage still runs through the streets. As the U.S. draws down in Iraq, it is leaving behind hundreds of abandoned or incomplete projects. More than $5 billion in U.S. taxpayer funds has been wasted on these projects - more than 10 percent of the $53.7 billion the US has spent on reconstruction in Iraq, according to audits from a U.S. watchdog agency. That amount is likely an underestimate, based on an analysis of more than 300 reports by auditors with the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction. And it does not take into account security costs, which have run almost 17 percent for some projects. Even completed projects for the most part fell far short of original goals, according to an Associated Press review of hundreds of audits and investigations and visits to several sites. The reconstruction program in Iraq has been troubled since its birth shortly after the U.S.-led invasion in 2003. The U.S. was forced to scale back many projects even as they spiked in cost, sometimes to more than double or triple initial projections.
Note: For key reports on the corruption and profiteering that are the real fuels for war, click here.
U.S. Army specialist Ethan McCord was one of the first on the scene when a group of suspected insurgents was blown up on a Baghdad street in 2007, hit by 30-mm bursts from an Apache helicopter. "The top of one guy's head was completely off," he recalls. "Another guy was ripped open from groin to neck. A third had lost a leg ... Their insides were out and exposed. I'd never seen anything like this before." Then McCord heard a child crying from a black minivan caught in the barrage. Inside, he found a frightened and wounded girl, perhaps 4. Next to her was a boy of 7 or so, soaked in blood. Their father, McCord says, "was slumped over on his side, like he was trying to protect the children, but he was just destroyed." McCord couldn't look away from the kids. "I started seeing images of my own two children back home in Kansas." McCord Pulled the two kids out of the minivan--the boy was still alive--and helped get them to a hospital. The Apache gunship killed a dozen men, including a pair working for the Reuters news agency; the episode became a video sensation after WikiLeaks released footage of it in April. Back at his base, McCord washed the children's blood off his uniform and body armor. That night, he told his staff sergeant he needed help. "Get the sand out of your vagina," McCord says his sergeant responded. "He told me I was being a homo and needed to suck it up." McCord says he never spoke to anyone about it after that because he didn't want to get in trouble and instead did what soldiers have done forever. "I decided to try to push it down and bottle it up," he says.
In roughly a dozen countries — from the deserts of North Africa, to the mountains of Pakistan, to former Soviet republics crippled by ethnic and religious strife — the United States has significantly increased military and intelligence operations, ... using robotic drones and commando teams, paying contractors to spy and training local operatives. The White House has intensified the Central Intelligence Agency’s drone missile campaign in Pakistan, approved raids ... in Somalia and launched clandestine operations from Kenya. The administration has worked with European allies ... in North Africa, efforts that include a recent French strike in Algeria. And the Pentagon tapped a network of private contractors to gather intelligence ... in Pakistan. While the stealth war began in the Bush administration, it has expanded under President Obama, who rose to prominence in part for his early opposition to the invasion of Iraq. Virtually none of the newly aggressive steps undertaken by the United States government have been publicly acknowledged. In contrast with the troop buildup in Afghanistan, which came after months of robust debate, for example, the American military campaign in Yemen began without notice in December and has never been officially confirmed.
Note: For many revealing reports on the secret operations of the US military and intelligence services in its "global war on terrorism", click here.
The Navy plans to increase ocean warfare exercises, conduct more sonar tests and expand coastal training areas by hundreds of square miles — activities that could harass, injure or disturb the habitats of hundreds of thousands of marine mammals, federal records show. The Navy is seeking federal permits to broaden an existing range off the Pacific Northwest and dramatically expand exercises and sonar use in the Gulf of Alaska. The Navy's plans have ignited a debate with environmental groups that say the service underestimates the long-term impact of its activities and fails to restrict training sufficiently in marine sanctuaries and other areas where it is likely to affect sensitive species. The plans to expand training off the Pacific Northwest, where the service's exercise areas reach into the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary, have drawn about 3,500 public comments, most in opposition. Critics of the Navy's plans point to its use of new sonar systems that can disrupt marine mammals' brain function and behavior, noting that even brief disorientation or other "temporary" effects can have serious consequences, such as changes in reproductive activity. Among the most serious concerns is the potential for whales to strand themselves on beaches: Since 2000, there have been at least four instances in which mass strandings of whales have been associated with the Navy's sonar use, federal records show.
Note: For many reports on the wonderful abilities of and the terrible threats to marine mammals, click here.
A US federal watchdog has criticised the US military for failing to account properly for billions of dollars it received to help rebuild Iraq. The Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction says the US Department of Defence is unable to account properly for 96% of the money. Out of just over $9bn, $8.7bn is unaccounted for, the inspector says. Much of the money came from the sale of Iraqi oil and gas, and some frozen Saddam Hussein-era assets were also sold off. The money was in a special fund administered by the US Department of Defense, the Development Fund for Iraq (DFI), and was earmarked for reconstruction projects. But the report says that a lack of proper accounting and poor oversight makes it impossible to say exactly what happened to most of it. "The breakdown in controls left the funds vulnerable to inappropriate uses and undetected loss," the report said. This is not the first time that allegations of missing billions have surfaced in relation to the US-led invasion of Iraq and its aftermath. In 2005, the inspector general criticised the Coalition Provisional Authority, the US-led occupation administration, for its management of an $8.8bn fund that belonged to the Iraqi government. A criminal investigation conducted led to the conviction of eight US officials on bribery, fraud and money-laundering charges.
Note: For a collection of major media articles showing how the US military has repeatedly failed to account for hundreds of billions of dollars, click here.
A huge cache of secret US military files today provides a devastating portrait of the failing war in Afghanistan. The disclosures come from more than 90,000 records of incidents and intelligence reports about the conflict obtained by the whistleblowers' website Wikileaks in one of the biggest leaks in US military history. The files, which were made available to the Guardian, the New York Times and the German weekly Der Spiegel, give a blow-by-blow account of the fighting over the last six years. The war logs [detail]: • How a secret "black" unit of special forces hunts down Taliban leaders for "kill or capture" without trial. • How the US covered up evidence that the Taliban have acquired deadly surface-to-air missiles. • How the coalition is increasingly using deadly Reaper drones to hunt and kill Taliban targets by remote control from a base in Nevada. The logs detail, in sometimes harrowing vignettes, the toll on civilians exacted by coalition forces: events termed "blue on white" in military jargon. The logs reveal 144 such incidents. Some of these casualties come from the controversial air strikes ... but a large number of previously unknown incidents also appear to be the result of troops shooting unarmed drivers or motorcyclists. Rachel Reid, who investigates civilian casualty incidents in Afghanistan for Human Rights Watch, said: "These files bring to light what's been a consistent trend by US and Nato forces: the concealment of civilian casualties."
Note: To check out WikiLeak's Afghan War Diary website, click here. Despite the media attention the logs have received, with many comparisons to the Pentagon Papers, some observers have noted that, unlike the Pentagon Papers, very few of the "revelations" in the Afghan War Logs have revealed anything previously unknown.
Dramatic increases in infant mortality, cancer and leukemia in the Iraqi city of Fallujah, which was bombarded by US Marines in 2004, exceed those reported by survivors of the atomic bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, according to a new study. Iraqi doctors in Fallujah have complained since 2005 of being overwhelmed by the number of babies with serious birth defects, ranging from a girl born with two heads to paralysis of the lower limbs. They said they were also seeing far more cancers than they did before the battle for Fallujah between US troops and insurgents. Their claims have been supported by a survey showing a four-fold increase in all cancers and a 12-fold increase in childhood cancer in under-14s. Infant mortality in the city is more than four times higher than in neighbouring Jordan and eight times higher than in Kuwait. Dr Chris Busby, ... one of the authors of the survey of 4,800 individuals in Fallujah, said ... "to produce an effect like this, some very major mutagenic exposure must have occurred in 2004 when the attacks happened". US Marines first besieged and bombarded Fallujah, 30 miles west of Baghdad, in April 2004 after four employees of the American security company Blackwater were killed and their bodies burned. After an eight-month stand-off, the Marines stormed the city in November using artillery and aerial bombing against rebel positions. US forces later admitted that they had employed white phosphorus as well as other munitions.
Note: For many reports from major media sources of the horrific impacts of the US wars of aggression in the Middle East and Central Asia, click here.
Federal investigators have identified several dozen Pentagon officials and contractors with high-level security clearances who allegedly purchased and downloaded child pornography, including an undisclosed number who used their government computers to obtain the illegal material, according to investigative reports. The investigations have included employees of the National Security Agency, the National Reconnaissance Office, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency — which deal with some of the most sensitive work in intelligence and defense — among other organizations within the Defense Department. The fact that offenders include people with access to government secrets puts national security agencies “at risk of blackmail, bribery, and threats, especially since these individuals typically have access to military installations,’’ according to one report by the Defense Criminal Investigative Service from late 2009. At least two of the cases were contractors with top secret clearances at the National Security Agency, which eavesdrops on foreign communications. A separate case involves a contractor working at the National Reconnaissance Office, the agency that builds and operates the nation’s spy satellites. A large amount of pornography was found on the office computer of a program manager at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. DARPA is responsible for developing some of the military’s most secret weapons and technologies.
A senior US general once criticised for saying it was "fun to shoot some people" has been picked to take over US Central Command, leading the military command running the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. General James Mattis, the current head of the US Joint Forces Command ... previously led troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Centcom ... covers 20 countries and stretches from Egypt across the Middle East and into south and central Asia. Gen Mattis was reprimanded [in 2005] by the Marine Corps for telling a conference in San Diego, California: "It's fun to shoot some people. I'll be right up front with you, I like brawling." During a discussion panel he said: "You go into Afghanistan, you got guys who slap women around for five years because they didn't wear a veil. You know, guys like that ain't got no manhood left anyway. So it's a hell of a lot of fun to shoot them."
Note: For reports from reliable sources which reveal the realities of the US wars of aggression in the Middle East and Central Asia, click here.
A short but growing list of criminal indictments and disciplinary actions stemming from Israel's offensive in the Gaza Strip 18 months ago [supports] the conclusion last year by [a] United Nations-appointed panel that Israel committed war crimes, targeted civilians and used disproportionate force. The facts and findings were dismissed by the government as deeply flawed, and [UN] panel chairman Richard Goldstone, a Jewish jurist from South Africa, was reviled in Israel as a traitor and even anti-Semitic. But the military's own investigations during the last six months have now verified some of the panel's findings. In seven cases disclosed so far, the military found that a sniper "deliberately targeted" civilians; soldiers used Palestinians, including a 9-year-old boy, as human shields; and commanders authorized at least three separate bomb attacks that killed and injured several dozen civilians who were taking refuge in a family home, a U.N. compound and a mosque. "The military is finding out that some of what Goldstone said is true, even though no one wants to admit it," said Gershon Baskin, a political consultant and former Labor Party advisor. "This should indicate that there needs to be deeper investigation."
Note: For many key reports on the horrific realities of the wars in the Middle East and Central Asia, click here.
An American soldier in Iraq who was arrested on charges of leaking a video of a deadly American helicopter attack [in Baghdad] in 2007 has also been charged with downloading more than 150,000 highly classified diplomatic cables that could, if made public, reveal the inner workings of American embassies around the world. The full contents of the cables remain unclear. The charges cited only one cable by name, “Reykjavik 13,” which appeared to be one made public by WikiLeaks.org, a whistle-blowing Web site devoted to disclosing the secrets of governments and corporations. In the cable, dated Jan. 13, the American deputy chief of mission, Sam Watson, detailed private discussions he held with Iceland’s leaders over a referendum on whether to repay losses from a bank failure, including a frank assessment that Iceland could default in 2011. WikiLeaks ... disclosed a second cable from the nation in March profiling its leaders, including Prime Minister Johanna Sigurdardottir. The cable [reveals] a complaint over the “alleged use of Icelandic airspace by C.I.A.-operated planes” by the Icelandic ambassador to the United States, Albert Jonsson.
Note: For lots more on government secrecy from reliable sources, click here.
The Army has dropped the Vietnam-era name "psychological operations" for its branch in charge of trying to change minds behind enemy lines, acknowledging the term can sound ominous. The Defense Department picked a more neutral moniker: "Military Information Support Operations," or MISO. Fort Bragg is home to the 4th Psychological Operations Group, the Army's only active duty psychological operations unit. Psychological operations soldiers are trained at the post. The change was driven from the top, by Pentagon policymakers working for Defense Secretary Robert Gates. It reflects unease with the Cold War echoes of the old terminology, and the implication that the work involved subterfuge. Psychological operations have been cast as spooky in movies and books over the years portraying the soldiers as master manipulators. The 2009 movie "The Men Who Stare at Goats," staring George Clooney, was about an army unit that trains psychic spies, based on Jon Ronson's nonfiction account of the U.S. military's hush-hush research into psychic warfare and espionage.
Note: For more on psychological operations and mind control, click here.
The whistleblowing website WikiLeaks says it plans to release a secret military video of one of the deadliest US air strikes in Afghanistan in which scores of children are believed to have been killed. It said it fears it is under attack after the US authorities said they were searching for the site's founder, Julian Assange, following the arrest of a US soldier accused of leaking the Afghanistan video and another of a US attack in Baghdad in which civilians were killed. It says it is still working to prepare the film of the bombing of the Afghan village of Garani in May 2009. The video could prove to be extremely embarrassing to the US military. The US ... used weapons that create casualties over a wide area, including one-tonne bombs and others that burst in the air. But two US military officials told a newspaper last year that no one checked to see whether there were women and children in the buildings. In an email to supporters, Assange said WikiLeaks has the Garani video and "a lot of other material that exposes human rights abuses by the US government". In his email, Assange also calls on supporters to protect the website from "attack" by the authorities following the detention of a US soldier, Bradley Manning, who was arrested in Iraq after admitting to a former hacker that he leaked the Garani and Baghdad videos to WikiLeaks.
Note: For lots more on government secrecy from major media sources, click here.
The United States has discovered nearly $1 trillion in untapped mineral deposits in Afghanistan, far beyond any previously known reserves. The previously unknown deposits â€” including huge veins of iron, copper, cobalt, gold and critical industrial metals like lithium â€” are so big and include so many minerals that are essential to modern industry that Afghanistan could eventually be transformed into one of the most important mining centers in the world. American and Afghan officials agreed to discuss the mineral discoveries at a difficult moment in the war in Afghanistan. Just last year, Afghanistanâ€™s minister of mines was accused by American officials of accepting a $30 million bribe to award China the rights to develop its copper mine. The minister has since been replaced. American officials fear resource-hungry China will try to dominate the development of Afghanistanâ€™s mineral wealth, which could upset the United States, given its heavy investment in the region. After winning the bid for its Aynak copper mine in Logar Province, China clearly wants more, American officials said.
Note: With the highly sophisticated equipment now available for finding minerals underground, do you really think this was not known a while back? For an analysis of this "discovery," click here.
The Department of Defense announced that Specialist [Bradley] Manning, of Potomac, Md., had been arrested and was under investigation [for leaking a video of a US helicopter attack on civilians in Baghdad to a whistleblower website, Wikileaks]. The leak of the helicopter video, which Wikileaks titled â€śCollateral Murder,â€ť caused serious consternation at the Pentagon, where senior officials are increasingly concerned about technology that makes it easier to anonymously post documents, photographs and videos online. But opponents of the Iraq war have said that the video provided irrefutable evidence of a military blunder, and that it should not have been classified. The episode also drew wide attention to Wikileaks, a once-fringe Web site that aims to bring to light secret information about governments and corporations. It was founded three years ago by Julian Assange, an Australian activist and journalist, and has published documents about toxic dumping in Africa, protocols from GuantĂˇnamo Bay and e-mail messages from Sarah Palinâ€™s personal account.
Note: In case the above video disappears, click here to view it on one of our websites. The only reason this event made news is because the two cameramen killed were Reuters staff. US forces then fired on an unarmed van with children in it, which was attempting to bring the dead and wounded out of the combat zone. How many innocent civilians are killed like this and never make the news? Please spread this important video and help others to wake up and work together to stop the cruelty of some of the US forces. The Pentagon is working hard to shut down Wikileaks, the organization which secured this powerful video.
The Obama administration has significantly expanded a largely secret U.S. war against al-Qaeda and other radical groups, according to senior military and administration officials. Special Operations forces have grown both in number and budget, and are deployed in 75 countries, compared with about 60 at the beginning of last year. In addition to units that have spent years in the Philippines and Colombia, teams are operating in Yemen and elsewhere in the Middle East, Africa and Central Asia. Plans exist for preemptive or retaliatory strikes in numerous places around the world. Obama, one senior military official said, has allowed "things that the previous administration did not." Special Operations commanders have also become a far more regular presence at the White House than they were under George W. Bush's administration. The Special Operations capabilities requested by the White House go beyond unilateral strikes and include the training of local counterterrorism forces and joint operations with them. Obama has made such forces a far more integrated part of his global security strategy. He has asked for a 5.7 percent increase in the Special Operations budget for fiscal 2011, for a total of $6.3 billion, plus an additional $3.5 billion in 2010 contingency funding.
Israel was tonight under pressure to allow an independent inquiry into its assault on the Gaza aid flotilla after autopsy results on the bodies of those killed, obtained by the Guardian, revealed they were peppered with 9mm bullets, many fired at close range. Nine Turkish men on board the Mavi Marmara were shot a total of 30 times and five were killed by gunshot wounds to the head, according to the vice-chairman of the Turkish council of forensic medicine, [Yalcin Buyuk]. The results revealed that a 60-year-old man, Ibrahim Bilgen, was shot four times in the temple, chest, hip and back. A 19-year-old, named as Fulkan Dogan, who also has US citizenship, was shot five times from less that 45cm, in the face, in the back of the head, twice in the leg and once in the back. Two other men were shot four times, and five of the victims were shot either in the back of the head or in the back. The new information about the manner and intensity of the killings undermines Israel's insistence that its soldiers opened fire only in self defence and in response to attacks by the activists. "Given the very disturbing evidence which contradicts the line from the Israeli media and suggests that Israelis have been very selective in the way they have addressed this, there is now an overwhelming need for an international inquiry," said Andrew Slaughter MP, a member of the all party group on Britain and Palestine.
Important Note: Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news articles on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.