Military Corruption News Stories
Excerpts of Key Military Corruption News Stories in Major Media
Below are many highly revealing excerpts of important military corruption news stories reported in the major media that suggest a major cover-up.
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Pittsburgh police used acoustic warfare during G-20 protests, drawing legal groups' ire
2009-10-01, ABC News/Associated Press
Posted: 2009-10-12 14:26:46
Police ordered protesters to disperse at the Group of 20 summit last week with a device that can beam earsplitting alarm tones and verbal instructions that the manufacturer likens to a "spotlight of sound," but that legal groups called potentially dangerous. The device, called a Long Range Acoustic Device, concentrates voice commands and a car alarm-like sound in a 30- or 60-degree cone that can be heard nearly two miles away. The volume measures 140-150 decibels three feet away – louder than a jet engine. During the Pittsburgh protests, police used the device to order demonstrators to disperse and to play a high-pitched "deterrent tone" designed to drive people away. It was the first time the device was used in a riot-control situation on U.S. soil. Those who heard it said ... the "deterrent tone" as unbearable. Joel Kupferman, who was at Thursday's march as a legal observer for the National Lawyer's Guild, said he was overwhelmed by the tone and called it "overkill." "When people were moving and they still continued to use it, it was an excessive use of weaponry," Kupferman said. Witold "Vic" Walczak, legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union in Pennsylvania, said the device is a military weapon capable of producing permanent hearing loss, something he called "an invitation to an excessive-force lawsuit." Catherine Palmer, director of audiology at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, said 140 decibels can cause immediate hearing loss. ["Public safety"] officials said the complaints prove the device worked as designed.
Note: To watch a disturbing 10-minute clip of the use of this weapon at the G-20 meeting, click here. For many revealing reports from major media sources on increasing threats to civil liberties, click here.
Military to get mandatory swine flu shots soon
2009-09-29, MSNBC/Associated Press
Posted: 2009-10-03 22:35:46
U.S. military troops will begin getting required swine flu shots in the next week to 10 days, with active duty forces deploying to war zones and other critical areas going to the front of the vaccine line. Air Force Gen. Gene Renuart also [said] that as many as 400 troops are ready to go to five regional headquarters around the country to assist federal health and emergency management officials. The Pentagon has bought 2.7 million vaccines, and 1.4 million of those will go to active duty military. National Guard troops on active duty are also required to receive the vaccine, as are civilian Defense Department employees who are in critical jobs. "Because I can compel people to get the shots, larger numbers will have the vaccine," said Renuart, commander of U.S. Northern Command. "They will, as a percentage of the population, be vaccinated more rapidly than many of us. So we may see some objective results, good or not, of the vaccinations." Shots will be doled out on a priority basis, with troops preparing to deploy first, followed by other active duty forces, particularly any who might be needed to quickly respond to a hurricane or other emergency. Inoculating the military is a key requirement of the Pentagon's emergency plan, as a way to ensure that troops are available to protect the nation. They also will be on tap to provide help to states if problems come up as the flu season continues.
Note: It is not made clear by this article precisely how military personnel will "assist" civilian authorities handle a mass swine flue vaccination program. The plans to use the military for this purpose are unprecedented and formerly illegal. For lots more from reliable sources on the dangers of vaccines, click here and here.
US Air Force prepares drones to end era of fighter pilots
2009-08-23, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2009-08-29 22:36:51
As part of an expanding programme of battlefield automation, the US Air Force has said it is now training more drone operators than fighter and bomber pilots and signalled the end of the era of the fighter pilot is in sight. Just three years ago, the service was able to fly just 12 drones at a time; now it can fly more than 50. At a trade conference outside Washington last week, military contractors presented a future vision in which pilotless drones serve as fighters, bombers and transports, even automatic mini-drones programmed to attack in swarms. Contractors made presentations for "nano-size" drones the size of moths that can flit into buildings to gather intelligence; drone helicopters; large aircraft that could be used as strategic bombers and new mid-sized drones could act as jet fighters. This Terminator-like vision in which future generations of fighter aces become cubicle-bound drone operators thousands of miles from conflict is already here: the deployment that began during the Bush administration has accelerated during the first seven months of Obama's term. Some 5,000 robotic vehicles and drones are now deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. By 2015, the Pentagon's $230bn arms procurement programme Future Combat Systems expects to robotise around 15% of America's armed forces. As US domestic approval for the "Af-Pak" conflict slips (a new Washington Post poll found less than a quarter of the US public support sending more troops to Afghanistan), the reliance of drones is likely to grow, analysts say. The air force study suggests areas of warfare too critical for automation, including dogfighting and nuclear-bombing, could eventually be handled by drones.
Note: For revealing reports on Pentagon war planning from major media sources, click here.
Strange New Air Force Facility Energizes Ionosphere, Fans Conspiracy Flames
2009-07-20, Wired magazine
Posted: 2009-08-23 18:37:05
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.
Military Poised to Help FEMA Battle Swine Flu Outbreak
2009-07-29, Fox News
Posted: 2009-08-02 23:51:13
The Pentagon is preparing to make troops available if necessary to help the Federal Emergency Management Agency tackle a potential outbreak of the H1N1 virus this fall, FOX News has confirmed. Defense Secretary Robert Gates is preparing to sign an order authorizing the military to set up five regional teams to deal with the potential outbreak of H1N1 influenza if FEMA requests help. A senior U.S. defense official told FOX News that the plan calls for military task forces to work in conjunction with the FEMA. No final decision has been reached on how the military effort would be manned, but one source said it likely would include personnel from all branches of the military. It is not known how many troops would be needed and whether they would come from the active duty or the National Guard and Reserve forces. In the event of a major outbreak, civilian authorities would lead any relief efforts, the official said. The military, as it would for a natural disaster or other significant emergency situation, could provide support and fulfill any tasks that civilian authorities could not, such as air transport or testing of large numbers of viral samples from infected patients. As a first step, military leaders have asked Gates to authorize planning for the potential assistance. Orders to deploy actual forces would be reviewed later, depending on how much of a health threat the flu poses this fall, the officials said.
Note: In conjunction with all the other evidence that the swine flu scare is bogus, it appears that it may also be designed to provide a "wedge" to break down the prohibition, established by the Posse Comitatus Act, against use of military troops in domestic operations. For many revealing reports from reliable sources on government and military threats to civil liberties, click here.
Bush Weighed Using Military in Arrests
2009-07-25, New York Times
Posted: 2009-08-02 23:35:32
Top Bush administration officials in 2002 debated testing the Constitution by sending American troops into the suburbs of Buffalo to arrest a group of men suspected of plotting with Al Qaeda, according to former administration officials. Some of the advisers to President George W. Bush, including Vice President Dick Cheney, argued that a president had the power to use the military on domestic soil to sweep up the terrorism suspects, who came to be known as the Lackawanna Six, and declare them enemy combatants. A decision to dispatch troops into the streets to make arrests has few precedents in American history, as both the Constitution and subsequent laws restrict the military from being used to conduct domestic raids and seize property.
The Fourth Amendment bans “unreasonable” searches and seizures without probable cause. And the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 generally prohibits the military from acting in a law-enforcement capacity. In the discussions, Mr. Cheney and others cited an Oct. 23, 2001, memorandum from the Justice Department that, using a broad interpretation of presidential authority, argued that the domestic use of the military against Al Qaeda would be legal because it served a national security, rather than a law enforcement, purpose. “The president has ample constitutional and statutory authority to deploy the military against international or foreign terrorists operating within the United States,” the memorandum said. The memorandum was declassified in March. But the White House debate about the Lackawanna group is the first evidence that top American officials ... actually considered using the document to justify deploying the military into an American town to make arrests.
Note: For many revealing reports from reliable sources on government and military threats to civil liberties, click here.
The Military Is Not the Police
2009-07-30, New York Times
Posted: 2009-08-02 23:32:58
It was disturbing to learn ... just how close the last administration came to violating laws barring the military from engaging in law enforcement when President George W. Bush considered sending troops into a Buffalo suburb in 2002 to arrest terrorism suspects. Unfortunately, this is not necessarily a problem of the past. More needs to be done to ensure that the military is not illegally deployed in this country. The Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 generally prohibits the military from law enforcement activities within the United States. The Lackawanna Six controversy is history, but there are troubling signs the military may be injecting itself today into law enforcement. The American Civil Liberties Union has been sounding the alarm about the proliferation of "fusion centers," in which federal, state and local law enforcement cooperate on anti-terrorism work. According to the A.C.L.U., the lines have blurred, and the centers have involved military personnel in domestic law enforcement. Congress should investigate. Civil libertarians are also raising questions about a program known as the Chemical, Biological, Radiological/Nuclear and High-Yield Explosives Consequence Management Response Force. The Army says its aim is to have active-duty troops ready to back up local law enforcement in catastrophic situations, like an attack with a nuclear weapon. That could be legal, but the workings of these units are murky. Again, Congress should ensure that the military is not moving into prohibited areas. After the lack of respect for posse comitatus at the highest ranks of the previous administration, the Obama White House and Congress must ensure that the lines between military and law enforcement have been restored, clearly, and that they are respected.
Note: For many revealing reports from reliable sources on government and military threats to civil liberties, click here.
Pentagon Exam Calls Protests 'Low-Level Terrorism,' Angering Activists
2009-06-17, Fox News
Posted: 2009-07-12 17:57:54
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.
D.C. Crash Kills General Who Scrambled Jets on 9/11
2009-06-24, Bloomberg News
Posted: 2009-06-29 18:37:10
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.
Torture, the painful truth
2009-06-15, Los Angeles Times
Posted: 2009-06-23 13:32:59
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 spending sets new record
2009-06-08, BBC News
Posted: 2009-06-14 14:42:09
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.
Pentagon Plans New Arm to Wage Cyberspace Wars
2009-05-29, New York Times
Posted: 2009-05-31 18:17:32
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)
Posted: 2009-05-25 11:39:07
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.
U.S. finds lost nuclear bomb
1966-03-18, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2009-05-25 11:18:07
A hydrogen bomb that went missing for three months in the Mediterranean Sea is back in the hands of the U.S. military after being found the previous day. The bomb had been lost in January when two U.S. military planes, a KC-135 tanker and a B-52 carrying four thermonuclear weapons, collided during midair refueling. Three of the four bombs fell to the ground near Palomares, Spain. While none of them detonated with a nuclear explosion, the high-explosive triggers in two of the bombs went off upon impact and contaminated the area with radioactive material. A fourth bomb plunged into the water off Spain's southeastern coastline. Following the incident, the Spanish government announced it would no longer allow U.S. planes carrying nuclear weapons to fly over its territory.
On March 17, the U.S. Navy, using a midget submarine called the Alvin [found] the bomb 2,500 feet underwater, intact and with its parachute still attached.
Note: You can access a Jan. 27, 1966 NY Times article on this incident for a small fee at this link.
Inspector at Pentagon Says Report Was Flawed
2009-05-06, New York Times
Posted: 2009-05-17 11:39:04
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
Posted: 2009-04-11 07:00:06
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)
Posted: 2009-04-05 19:47:10
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
Posted: 2009-04-05 19:38:43
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
Posted: 2009-03-14 08:02:59
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
Posted: 2009-03-07 07:18:21
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.
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