Military Corruption Media Articles
Excerpts of Key Military Corruption Media Articles from Major Media
Below are many highly revealing excerpts of important military corruption articles reported in the mainstream media suggesting a cover-up.
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For an index to revealing excerpts of media articles on several dozen engaging topics, click here
Strange New Air Force Facility Energizes Ionosphere, Fans Conspiracy Flames
2009-07-20, Wired magazine
The senior senator from Alaska, Ted Stevens, enjoyed a reputation for inserting projects into the federal budget to benefit his home state, most notoriously a $223 million bridge from the town of Ketchikan to, well, not much of anyplace. In 1988, [physics] researchers sat down with Stevens and assured him that an ionospheric heater would be a bona fide scientific marvel and a guaranteed job creator, and it could be built for a mere $30 million. Just like that, the Pentagon had $10 million for ionospheric heater research. In a series of meetings in the winter of 1989-90, the field's leading lights ... pitched the Navy and the Air Force. Haarp, they asserted, could lead to "significant operational capabilities." They'd build a giant phased antenna array that would aim a finely tuned beam of high-frequency radio waves into the sky. The beam would excite electrons in the ionosphere, altering that spot's conductivity and inducing it to emit its own extremely low frequency waves, which could theoretically penetrate the earth's surface to reveal hidden bunkers or be used to contact deeply submerged submarines. Of course, the scientists said, you'd need a brand-new, state-of-the-art ionospheric heater to see if any of this was even feasible. The Pentagon ... began using Stevens' earmarked cash to fund the appropriate studies. For more than a year, planning proceeded largely out of public view. Then, in 1993, an Anchorage teachers' union rep named Nick Begich—son of one of Alaska's most important political families—found a notice about Haarp in the Australian conspiracy magazine Nexus. In 1995, he self-published a book, Angels Don't Play This HAARP. It sold 100,000 copies. He started giving speeches on Haarp's dangers everywhere, from UFO conventions to the European Parliament.
Note: For more excellent information on HAARP, click here. There is much more than meets the eye here.
D.C. Crash Kills General Who Scrambled Jets on 9/11
2009-06-24, Bloomberg News
David F. Wherley Jr., the head of the Washington National Guard who scrambled jets over the city during the 9/11 terrorist attacks, was among those killed in the worst commuter train crash in the city’s history, officials said. Wherley’s wife, Ann, was also among the nine people killed when a train plowed into the rear of a stopped train during rush hour on June 22, Quintin Peterson, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Police Department, said in a telephone interview. Both were 62 and lived in southeast Washington. Wherley was commander of the 113th Fighter Wing at Andrews Air Force base in Maryland during the September 2001 terrorist attacks and sent up aircraft with orders to protect the White House and the Capitol, according to the 9/11 Commission report. He commanded the District of Columbia National Guard from 2003 to 2008, the unit said in a statement. Wherley flew T-38 training jets and F-105 Thunderchief and F-4 Phantom combat jets during a military career that began in 1969, according to the guard’s statement. It said he earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Fordham University in New York City in 1969, and a master’s in business administration from the University of Maryland in 1977.
Note: Could there be something more than a mere accident behind the death of the commander of the air defense forces over Washington DC on 9/11? Many questions continue to swirl concerning what was in the air over the city that morning, what was launched by Gen. Wherley and when, and why no interception of an attack aircraft approaching the Pentagon occurred. He knew more than the public does about what really took place in those crucial hours, but he will now not be available for questioning should a real investigation into the 9/11 attacks take place. For lots more on the suspicions that surround the official explanation and calls by highly respected citizens for just such an investigation, click here and here.
Pentagon Exam Calls Protests 'Low-Level Terrorism,' Angering Activists
2009-06-17, Fox News
A written exam administered by the Pentagon labels "protests" as a form of “low-level terrorism” – enraging civil liberties advocates and activist groups who say it shows blatant disregard of the First Amendment. The written exam, given as part of Department of Defense employees’ routine training, includes a multiple-choice question that asks:
“Which of the following is an example of low-level terrorism?” – Attacking the Pentagon – IEDs – Hate crimes against racial groups – Protests. The correct answer, according to the exam, is "Protests." “Its part of a pattern of equating dissent and protest with terrorism," said Ann Brick, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union, which obtained a copy of the question after a Defense Department employee who was taking the test printed the screen on his or her computer terminal.
"It undermines the core constitutional values the Department of Defense is supposed to be defending,” Brick said, referring to the First Amendment right to peaceably assemble. She said the ACLU has asked the Defense Department to remove the question and send out a correction to all employees who took the exam. “There were other employees who were unhappy with it and disturbed by it,” Brick said. Anti-war protesters, who say they have been targets of federal surveillance for years, were livid when they were told about the exam question. “That’s illegal,” said George Martin, national co-chairman of United for Peace and Justice. “Protest in terms of legal dissent has to be recognized, especially by the authorities. It’s not terrorism or a lack of patriotism. We care enough to be active in our government.”
Note: For lots more on the continually-escalating government threats to civil liberties, click here.
Torture, the painful truth
2009-06-15, Los Angeles Times
Perhaps we protest too much. Torture, after all, is a venerable American tradition. If not quite as homespun as apple pie or lynching, it is at least as old as our imperial aspirations. We were waterboarding captives in one of our earliest wars of occupation, the Philippine-American War, which cost as many as 1 million civilian lives. In 1902, Teddy Roosevelt himself wrote with laconic praise of "the old Filipino method." Other techniques, crude or sophisticated, have filled the war bag since. CIA interrogation manuals from the 1960s, which lay out the basic stress-position and sleep- and sensory-deprivation techniques later applied at Bagram and Guantanamo, have been public since 1997. Despite our protestations, we have little to be surprised about. Now, when President Obama vows that "the United States does not torture" and spars with the former vice president over details, he crosses his fingers behind his back and saves himself a loophole. Via "extraordinary rendition" -- a Clinton administration innovation -- our government is still free to outsource torture and claim it doesn't know. The Obama administration has been relying increasingly on foreign intelligence services to detain and interrogate our suspects for us. Despite hundreds of front-page stories, we pretend we didn't know, that it was all somehow kept secret from us. This blindness serves a function. By declaring torture anomalous, by pushing it once again to the margins of legality, we can preserve a vision of U.S. military power -- and of American empire -- that is essentially benevolent. [But] maintaining military and economic hegemony over the planet remains an inherently bloody affair. Empire is a synonym for subjugation, and hence for violence on a massive scale.
Note: For a retired Marine Corps general's understanding of the real reasons behind both torture and mass slaughter of civilian populations by the US military, click here.
Military Covering Up Fireballs From Space
2009-06-11, Fox News
For 15 years, scientists have benefited from data gleaned by U.S. classified satellites of natural fireball events in Earth's atmosphere — but no longer. A recent U.S. military policy decision now explicitly states that observations by hush-hush government spacecraft of incoming bolides and fireballs are classified secret and are not to be released. The satellites' main objectives include detecting nuclear bomb tests, and their characterizations of asteroids and lesser meteoroids as they crash through the atmosphere has been a byproduct data bonanza for scientists. The upshot: Space rocks that explode in the atmosphere are now classified. Scientists say not only will research into the threat from space be hampered, but public understanding of sometimes dramatic sky explosions will be diminished, perhaps leading to hype and fear of the unknown. "The fireball data from military or surveillance assets have been of critical importance for assessing the impact hazard," said David Morrison, a Near Earth Object (NEO) scientist at NASA's Ames Research Center. He noted that his views are his own, not as a NASA spokesperson. "These fireball data together with astronomical observations of larger near-Earth asteroids define the nature of the impact hazard and allow rational planning to deal with this issue," Morrison said.
Note: For lots more on government secrecy from major media sources, click here.
Military spending sets new record
2009-06-08, BBC News
Global military spending rose 4% in 2008 to a record $1,464bn (Â£914bn) - up 45% since 1999, according to the Stockholm-based peace institute Sipri. "The global financial crisis has yet to have an impact on major arms companies' revenues, profits and order backlogs," Sipri said. Peace-keeping operations - which also benefit defence firms - rose 11%. Missions were launched in trouble spots such as Darfur and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. "Another record was set, with the total of international peace operation personnel reaching 187,586," said Sipri. As the world's aerospace and defence industry prepares for next week's Paris air show centenary, it seems much of the focus is set to shift away from troubled civilian aircraft makers, which are struggling with reduced orders from recession-hit airlines, towards the companies that make fighter jets and other military hardware. In total, the 100 leading defence manufacturers sold arms worth $347bn during 2007, the most recent year for which reliable data are available. Almost all the companies were American or European. "Since 2002, the value of the top 100 arms sales has increased by 37% in real terms," Sipri said. US military spending accounted for 58% of the total global spending increase during the decade, with extra funds set aside to fight the "war on terror". "The idea of the 'war on terror' has encouraged many countries to see their problems through a highly militarised lens, using this to justify high military spending," said Sam Perlo-Freeman, head of the military expenditure project at Sipri.
Note: With all of the government cost-cutting in so many sectors, why aren't more people calling for military cutbacks? For a top U.S. general's insight into the profiteering that drives war (and "peacekeeping" operations as well), click here.
Network of Wi-Fi-Enabled Cyborg Insects Hunts Down WMDs
2009-06-07, Popular Science magazine
In its attempts to quash weapons of mass destruction, the Pentagon has been trying novel ways to track down dangerous materiel. For years, DARPA [the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency] has been trying to train insects and bugs to sniff out toxic substances, providing more sensitive detection, as well as access that conventional sensors might not have. The newest twist on this concept is a plan to link up armies of the cyborg bugs in a peer-to-peer, or insect-to-insect, network that will allow them to communicate with each other and with their human masters. This next approach will implant insects with a chip that reads certain muscle twitches, which correspond to the presence of certain chemicals. The chips will then modify the chirps of insects like cicadas or crickets into an electronic signal that could be transmitted to other chipped insects in the area. Information about detected weaponized chemicals could bounce around this mobile insect network, and then be picked up by humans. The idea of creating a decentralized communication network between free-roaming insects could radically increase the bugs' range of detection.
Note: For a video and more on this, see the New Scientist article at this link.
Pentagon Plans New Arm to Wage Cyberspace Wars
2009-05-29, New York Times
The Pentagon plans to create a new military command for cyberspace ... stepping up preparations by the armed forces to conduct both offensive and defensive computer warfare. White House officials say Mr. Obama has not yet been formally presented with the Pentagon plan. But he is expected to sign a classified order in coming weeks that will create the military cybercommand, officials said. It is a recognition that the United States already has a growing number of computer weapons in its arsenal and must prepare strategies for their use — as a deterrent or alongside conventional weapons — in a wide variety of possible future conflicts. [A] main dispute has been over whether the Pentagon or the National Security Agency should take the lead in preparing for and fighting cyberbattles. Under one proposal still being debated, parts of the N.S.A. would be integrated into the military command so they could operate jointly. A classified set of presidential directives is expected to lay out the military’s new responsibilities and how it coordinates its mission with that of the N.S.A., where most of the expertise on digital warfare resides today. The decision to create a cybercommand is a major step beyond the actions taken by the Bush administration, which authorized several computer-based attacks but never resolved the question of how the government would prepare for a new era of warfare fought over digital networks. Officials declined to describe potential offensive operations, but said they now viewed cyberspace as comparable to more traditional battlefields.
Note: Combine this with the BBC's revealing article on US plans to fight the Internet, and there is reason for concern. For lots more on new developments in modern war planning, click here.
Military tribunals not the same as U.S. courts
2009-05-23, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
President Obama says his proposed reforms to the military commissions his predecessor established to try suspected terrorists will bring the tribunals "in line with the rule of law." But it isn't the same law that applies in U.S. courts. Pentagon officials appoint the judges and can remove them. Military commanders choose the jurors, who can convict defendants by non-unanimous votes, except in death penalty cases. The military can monitor defense lawyers' conversations with their clients. Prosecutors can also present evidence that would never pass muster in civilian courts. Confessions made under physical or mental pressure could be admissible, despite Obama's disavowal of torture and coercion. There's no ban on evidence from illegal searches. And defendants may be convicted on the basis of hearsay - a second hand report of an out-of-court accusation by another person, perhaps a fellow suspect, whom the defense never gets to see or question. Civil-liberties advocates and legal organizations defending prisoners who may be tried before the commissions say the system is an invitation to abuse and differs little from the tribunals established by President George W. Bush. "The system is designed to ensure the outcome they want ... convictions in every case," said Ben Wizner, an American Civil Liberties Union attorney who has attended proceedings for prisoners at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. "This suggests that the much-heralded improvements to the Bush military commission system are largely cosmetic."
Note: For lots more on the "war on terror" from reliable sources, click here.
Inspector at Pentagon Says Report Was Flawed
2009-05-06, New York Times
In a highly unusual reversal, the Defense Department’s inspector general’s office has withdrawn a report it issued in January exonerating a Pentagon public relations program that made extensive use of retired officers who worked as military analysts for television and radio networks. Donald M. Horstman, the Pentagon’s deputy inspector general for policy and oversight, said in a memorandum released on Tuesday that the report was so riddled with flaws and inaccuracies that none of its conclusions could be relied upon. In addition to repudiating its own report, the inspector general’s office took the additional step of removing the report from its Web site. The inspector general’s office began investigating the public relations program last year, in response to articles in The New York Times that exposed an extensive and largely hidden Pentagon campaign to transform network military analysts into “surrogates” and “message force multipliers” for the Bush administration. The articles also showed how military analysts with ties to defense contractors sometimes used their special access to seek advantage in the competition for contracts related to Iraq and Afghanistan. The report released in January took issue with the articles. [It] has been the subject of controversy, with some members of Congress calling it a “whitewash” marred by obvious factual errors. For example, the report erroneously listed many military analysts as having no ties whatsoever to defense contractors.
Note: The author of this article, David Barstow, won a 2009 Pulitzer prize for exposing military corruption, yet the press gave virtually no coverage to his prize.
Why does it seem that the media don't want us to know about military influence on the news we receive?
NATO Meeting to Highlight Strains on Afghanistan
2009-04-03, New York Times
NATO leaders gathered here Friday to celebrate the 60th anniversary of [the] alliance ... also must face the harsh reality that NATO’s first military mission outside Europe is failing in a way that risks fracturing the alliance. Obama, [by] increasing American troops in Afghanistan to some 68,000 by the end of the year from 38,000 today, is also likely to significantly Americanize an operation that in recent years had been divided equally between American troops and allied forces. By year’s end, American troops will outnumber allied forces by at least two to one. His NATO allies are giving ... him very few new troops on the ground, underlining the fundamental strains in the alliance. The allies will offer more funds but no more than several thousand new personnel members, according to alliance military planners. Many of those will not be soldiers, but police trainers to meet a central pillar of the president’s new Afghan strategy, which focuses on an expansion of Afghan security forces. But even for the small numbers of European combat reinforcements, check the fine print: Nearly all will be sent to provide security for Afghanistan’s elections this summer, and will not be permanently deployed. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and his British counterpart, John Hutton, have publicly warned that the performance of some European troops demonstrates that NATO risks slipping toward a two-tiered alliance. In that event, it would be divided between those that can and will fight, like Britain, Canada, France and Poland, and those that cannot or will not because of public opinion at home.
Note: Why does the U.S. need a strong presence in Afghanistan? Obama is clearly giving in to the military/industrial complex by pouring billions of tax dollars into operations in this country where military contractors can reap huge profits. For the comments of a top U.S. general revealing the deeper reasons behind war, click here. For further important revelations from reliable sources about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, click here.
Robot killers might be allowed to fire on their own
2009-03-29, Sacramento Bee (the leading newspaper of California's capital city)
The unmanned bombers that frequently cause unintended civilian casualties in Pakistan are a step toward an even more lethal generation of robotic hunters-killers that operate with limited, if any, human control. The Defense Department is financing studies of autonomous, or self-governing, armed robots that could find and destroy targets on their own. On-board computer programs, not flesh-and-blood people, would decide whether to fire their weapons. "The trend is clear: Warfare will continue and autonomous robots will ultimately be deployed in its conduct," Ronald Arkin, a robotics expert at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, wrote in a study commissioned by the Army. Autonomous armed robotic systems probably will be operating by 2020, according to John Pike, an expert on defense and intelligence matters and the director of the security Web site GlobalSecurity.org in Washington. This prospect alarms experts, who fear that machines will be unable to distinguish between legitimate targets and civilians in a war zone. "We are sleepwalking into a brave new world where robots decide who, where and when to kill," said Noel Sharkey, an expert on robotics and artificial intelligence at the University of Sheffield, England. Human operators thousands of miles away in Nevada, using satellite communications, control the current generation of missile-firing robotic aircraft, known as Predators and Reapers. Armed ground robots, such as the Army's Modular Advanced Armed Robotic System, also require a human decision-maker before they shoot.
Note: For further reports from reliable sources on new weapons under development for future wars, click here.
Israel soldier calls order during Gaza assault 'murder'
2009-03-21, Los Angeles Times
Israelis on Friday got a fuller dose of rank-and-file angst over their army's winter assault on the Gaza Strip, as newspapers elaborated on allegations that commanders created a permissive attitude toward the killing of civilians. Soldiers' accounts of two killings of women and children appeared Thursday in Haaretz and Maariv. Both papers followed up Friday with lengthy excerpts of the soldiers’ comments about confusion and doubt over the rules of engagement during the 22-day offensive, which left an estimated 1,400 Palestinians dead. The accounts came from a Feb. 13 discussion at a military preparatory academy. AVIV: At first the specified action was to go into a house ... with an armored personnel carrier ... and start shooting inside. I call this murder. We were supposed to go up floor by floor, and any person we identified, we were supposed to shoot. I initially asked myself, "Where is the logic?" They said it was permissible because anyone who remained in the sector was in effect condemned, a terrorist, because they hadn't fled. I didn't really understand. They don't have anywhere to flee to. ... This scared me a bit. I tried to exert some influence I try to explain to the guy that not everyone in there is a terrorist, and that after he kills, say, three children and four mothers, we'll go upstairs and kill another 20 or so people. I tried to explain why we had to let them leave. It didn't really help. This is really frustrating, to see that they understand that inside Gaza you are allowed to do anything you want.
Note: For many revelations of the realities of the wars in the Middle East and Afghanistan, click here.
Wars, Endless Wars
2009-03-03, New York Times
The U.S. economy is in free fall, the banking system is in a state of complete collapse and Americans all across the country are downsizing their standards of living. The nation as we’ve known it is fading before our very eyes, but we’re still pouring billions of dollars into wars in Afghanistan and Iraq with missions we are still unable to define. Even as the U.S. begins plans to reduce troop commitments in Iraq, it is sending thousands of additional troops into Afghanistan. The strategic purpose of this escalation, as Defense Secretary Robert Gates acknowledged, is not at all clear. We invaded Afghanistan more than seven years ago. We don’t even have an escalation strategy, much less an exit strategy. An honest assessment of the situation ... would lead inexorably to such terms as fiasco and quagmire. Instead of cutting our losses, we appear to be doubling down. As for Iraq, President Obama announced last week that substantial troop withdrawals will take place over the next year and a half and that U.S. combat operations would cease by the end of August 2010. But, he said, a large contingent of American troops, perhaps as many as 50,000, would still remain in Iraq for a “period of transition.” That’s a large number of troops, and the cost of keeping them there will be huge. I can easily imagine a scenario in which Afghanistan and Iraq both heat up and the U.S., caught in an extended economic disaster at home, undermines its fragile recovery efforts in the same way that societies have undermined themselves since the dawn of time — with endless warfare.
Note: The strategic purpose of keeping the wars going is well known by the bankers and power elite. A top U.S. general revealed it all in a powerful book, of which we have a two-page summary available here. For revealing reports from reliable sources on the realities of the Iraq and Afghan wars, click here.
Army manual raises emphasis on electronic warfare
2009-02-25, Washington Post/Associated Press
For the first time since the end of the Cold War, the Army is updating its plans for electronic warfare, calling for more use of high-powered microwaves, lasers and infrared beams to attack enemy targets and control angry crowds. The 112-page manual, a copy of which was obtained by The Associated Press ... doesn't offer specifics on new equipment or gadgetry but lays out in broad terms the Army's fear that without new equipment and training, U.S. forces may be at a deadly disadvantage. Army patrols currently rely on specially trained Air Force and Navy members whose electronic expertise helps sniff out improvised explosive devices, which have killed more than 1,700 U.S. troops since the war began. The Army sees the need for a new system more finely tuned to its purposes. The new doctrine directs the Army, which has put a premium on fighting insurgents in Iraq's most populous cities, to use technology that can distinguish enemy threats from common technologies such as radios or cell phones used by civilians or friendly forces.
It also calls on the Army to develop and deploy directed-energy weapons, which would produce a concentrated beam of electromagnetic energy or atomic or subatomic particles to blind, disrupt or destroy targets. Such technology could be used in a variety of attack modes against enemy equipment, facilities or personnel.
Note: How can anyone claim that our troops, with all of their already sophisticated weapons, may be "at a deadly disadvantage"? For many key reports on the realities of modern warfare, click here.
Pentagon sets sights on public opinion
2009-02-05, MSNBC/Associated Press
The Pentagon is steadily and dramatically increasing the money it spends to win what it calls "the human terrain" of world public opinion. In the process, it is raising concerns of spreading propaganda at home in violation of federal law. An Associated Press investigation found that over the past five years, the money the military spends on winning hearts and minds at home and abroad has grown by 63 percent, to at least $4.7 billion this year, according to Department of Defense budgets and other documents. That's almost as much as it spent on body armor for troops in Iraq and Afghanistan between 2004 and 2006. This year, the Pentagon will employ 27,000 people just for recruitment, advertising and public relations — almost as many as the total 30,000-person work force in the State Department. The biggest chunk of funds — about $1.6 billion — goes into recruitment and advertising. Another $547 million goes into public affairs, which reaches American audiences. And about $489 million more goes into what is known as psychological operations. Staffing across all these areas costs about $2.1 billion, as calculated by the number of full-time employees and the military's average cost per service member. That's double the staffing costs for 2003. Recruitment and advertising are the only two areas where Congress has authorized the military to influence the American public. Far more controversial is public affairs, because of the prohibition on propaganda to the American public.
Note: For more revealing reports from reliable sources on the realities of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, click here.
General Says Shoot Dealers in Afghanistan
2009-01-31, New York Times
NATO’s senior military commander has proposed that the alliance’s soldiers in Afghanistan shoot drug traffickers without waiting for proof of their involvement with the Taliban insurgency, according to a report in the online edition of Der Spiegel magazine. The commander, Gen. John Craddock of the United States, floated the idea in a confidential letter on Jan. 5 to Gen. Egon Ramms, a German officer who heads the NATO command center responsible for Afghanistan. General Craddock wrote that “it was no longer necessary to produce intelligence or other evidence that each particular drug trafficker or narcotics facility in Afghanistan meets the criteria of being a military objective." A NATO official, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed the wording of the letter. The proposal was widely criticized, with politicians [in Berlin] saying that it would flout international law and alter NATO’s mission in Afghanistan. Such an order, they said, would signal a major shift in how the alliance intended to deal with the Afghan insurgency, along with the opium trade that finances the Taliban and other militant groups. Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, NATO’s secretary general, has ordered an investigation into how the general’s letter was obtained by Spiegel Online.
Note: The Times failed to mention the rift this has created in NATO and more. Click here for a revealing article about this in one of Germany's top publications.
Urban Tool in Recruiting by the Army: An Arcade
2009-01-05, New York Times
At the Franklin Mills mall [in Philadelphia], past the Gap Outlet and the China Buddha Express, is a $13 million video arcade that the Army hopes will become a model for recruitment in urban areas, where the armed services typically have a hard time attracting recruits. The Army Experience Center is a fitting counterpart to the retail experience: 14,500 square feet of mostly shoot-’em-up video games and three full-scale simulators, including an AH-64 Apache Longbow helicopter, an armed Humvee and a Black Hawk copter with M4 carbine assault rifles. For those who want to take the experience deeper, the center has 22 recruiters. Or for more immediate full-contact mayhem, there are the outlet stores. The facility, which opened in August, is the first of its kind. Philadelphia has been a particularly difficult area for recruitment. In recent years the Army has tried a number of ways to increase enlistment, including home video games, direct marketing promotions, a stronger online presence and recruitment-themed music videos. In 2007 it added bonuses of up to $2,000 for Army reservists who signed up new recruits. Civil liberties groups have criticized the Pentagon for its efforts to reach high school students. [At the arcade] conversations with recruiters [took] place in an adjacent room or the central lounge area, where there were comfortable leather chairs and a soundtrack of Jane’s Addiction and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Note: For lots more on modern war, click here.
Coming to the Battlefield: Stone-Cold Robot Killers
2009-01-04, Washington Post
Armed robotic aircraft soar in the skies above Pakistan, hurling death down. Soon -- years, not decades, from now -- American armed robots will patrol on the ground as well, fundamentally transforming the face of battle. The detachment with which the United States can inflict death upon our enemies is surely one reason why U.S. military involvement around the world has expanded over the past two decades. The Future Combat Systems program is aimed at developing an array of new vehicles and systems -- including armed robots. These killers will be utterly without remorse or pity when confronting the enemy. Armed robots will all be snipers. Stone-cold killers, every one of them. They will aim with inhuman precision and fire without human hesitation. They will not need bonuses to enlist or housing for their families or expensive training ranges or retirement payments. Commanders will order them onto battlefields that would mean certain death for humans, knowing that the worst to come is a trip to the shop for repairs.
Note: For lots more on developing war technologies from reliable sources, click here.
The Pentagon is muscling in everywhere. It's time to stop the mission creep.
2008-12-21, Washington Post
We no longer have a civilian-led government. The most unnerving legacy of the Bush administration is the encroachment of the Department of Defense into a striking number of aspects of civilian government. Our Constitution is at risk. President-elect Barack Obama's selections of James L. Jones, a retired four-star Marine general, to be his national security adviser and, it appears, retired Navy Adm. Dennis C. Blair to be his director of national intelligence ... could complete the silent military coup d'etat that has been steadily gaining ground below the radar screen of most Americans and the media. While serving the State Department in several senior capacities over the past four years, I witnessed firsthand the quiet, de facto military takeover of much of the U.S. government. The first assault on civilian government occurred in faraway places -- Iraq and Afghanistan. As military officers sought to take over the role played by civilian development experts abroad, Pentagon bureaucrats quietly populated the National Security Council and the State Department with their own personnel ... to ensure that the Defense Department could keep an eye on its rival agencies. The encroachment within America's borders continued with the military's increased involvement in domestic surveillance and its attempts to usurp the role of the federal courts in reviewing detainee cases. The Pentagon also resisted ceding any authority over its extensive intelligence operations to the ... director of national intelligence. Now the Pentagon has drawn up plans to deploy 20,000 U.S. soldiers inside our borders by 2011.
Note: The author of this piece, Thomas A. Schweich, served the Bush administration as ambassador for counter-narcotics in Afghanistan and deputy assistant secretary of state for international law enforcement affairs.