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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US aid tied to purchase of arms
2010-01-02, Sydney Mountain Herald
Posted: 2010-01-04 14:13:56
Just before Christmas, the US President, Barack Obama, signed into law one of his country's biggest aid pledges of the year. It was bound not for Africa or any of the many struggling countries on the World Bank's list. It was a deal for $US2.77 billion ($3 billion) to go to Israel in 2010 and a total of $US30 billion over the next decade. Israel is bound by the agreement to use 75 per cent of the aid to buy military hardware made in the US. For the first time the US is also providing $US500 million to the Palestinian Authority, including $US100 million to train security forces, under the strict proviso that the authority's leadership recognises Israel. For many years Israel has been the largest recipient of US foreign aid, followed by Egypt ($US1.75 billion), which also receives most of its assistance in tied military aid. The Congressional Research Service says that the US spent 17 per cent of its total aid budget - or $US5.1 billion - on military aid in 2008, of which $US4.7 billion was grants to enable governments to receive equipment from the US.
Note: Israel's population is 7.5 million. If you do the math, the US is providing the equivalent of $4,000 in aid to every man, woman and child in Israel over the next decade, with $3,000 of that to buy US military hardware. For lots more on government-facilitated profiteering in the arms industry, click here and here.
US forces mounted secret Pakistan raids
2009-12-21, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2009-12-28 13:55:13
American special forces have conducted multiple clandestine raids into Pakistan's tribal areas as part of a secret war in the border region where Washington is pressing to expand its drone assassination programme. A former Nato officer said the incursions, only one of which has been previously reported, occurred between 2003 and 2008, involved helicopter-borne elite soldiers stealing across the border at night, and were never declared to the Pakistani government. "The Pakistanis were kept entirely in the dark about it. It was one of those things we wouldn't confirm officially with them," said the source, who had detailed knowledge of the operations. Such operations are a matter of sensitivity in Pakistan. While public opinion has grudgingly tolerated CIA-led drone strikes in the tribal areas, any hint of American "boots on the ground" is greeted with virulent condemnation. After the only publicly acknowledged special forces raid in September 2008, Pakistan's foreign office condemned it as "a grave provocation" while the military threatened retaliatory action. The military source said that was the fourth raid of previous years. The secretive nature of the raids underscores the suspicious nature of the relationship between the two allies as they argue about Washington's latest demands.
Note: For lots more from reliable sources on the secret realities of the "war on terrorism," click here.
Ventura says MSNBC nixed his show for not supporting Iraq War
2009-11-30, Minneapolis Star Tribune
Posted: 2009-12-20 23:54:15
Conspiracy theorists awaiting Wednesday night's premiere of "Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura" might take interest in a curious comment Ventura made in the Los Angeles Times this weekend. Ventura ... told the paper that MSNBC cancelled his show "Jesse Ventura's America" in 2003 because he did not support the Iraq War. He said the network "in essence" paid him to be silent. "It was awful. I was basically silenced. When I came out of office, I was the hottest commodity out there. I was being groomed for a five day-a-week TV show by them. Then, all of a sudden, weird phone calls started happening: 'Is it true Jesse doesn't support the war in Iraq? My contract said I couldn't do any other cable TV or any news shows, and they honored and paid it for the duration of it. So in essence I had my silence purchased. Why do you think you didn't hear from me for three years? I was under contract. They wouldn't even use me as a consultant!"
Release of secret reports delayed
2009-11-29, Boston Globe
Posted: 2009-12-09 13:02:02
President Obama will maintain a lid of secrecy on millions of pages of military and intelligence documents that were scheduled to be declassified by the end of the year. The missed deadline spells trouble for the White House’s promises to introduce an era of government openness, say advocates, who believe that releasing historical information enforces a key check on government behavior. They cite as an example the abuses by the Central Intelligence Agency during the Cold War, including domestic spying and assassinations of foreign officials, that were publicly outlined in a set of agency documents known as the "family jewels." The White House has given the agencies ... an extension beyond Dec. 31 of an undetermined length - possibly years. It will be the third such extension: Clinton granted one in 2000 and Bush granted one in 2003. The documents, dating from World War II to the early 1980s, cover the gamut of foreign relations, intelligence activities, and military operations. The records in question are held by the Central Intelligence Agency; the National Security Agency; the departments of Justice, State, Defense, and Energy; and other security and intelligence agencies. None of the agencies involved responded to requests for comment. Steven Aftergood, a specialist on government secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists in Washington [said] "If binding deadlines can be extended more or less at will, then any new declassification requirements will be similarly subject to doubt or defiance."
Note: These documents are all more than 25 years old. Why can't the public know what their government is trying to hide from them? For lots more on government secrecy, click here.
Afghans Detail Detention in ‘Black Jail’ at U.S. Base
2009-11-29, New York Times
Posted: 2009-12-09 12:58:49
An American military detention camp in Afghanistan is still holding inmates ... without access to the International Committee of the Red Cross. The site, known to detainees as the black jail, consists of individual windowless concrete cells, each illuminated by a single light bulb glowing 24 hours a day. Former detainees said that their only human contact was at twice-daily interrogation sessions. While Mr. Obama signed an order to eliminate so-called black sites run by the [CIA] in January, it did not also close this jail, which is run by military Special Operations forces. Military officials said as recently as this summer that the Afghanistan jail and another like it at the Balad Air Base in Iraq were being used to interrogate high-value detainees. And officials said recently that there were no plans to close the jails. All three former detainees interviewed by The New York Times complained of being held for months after the intensive interrogations were over without being told why. Human rights researchers say they worry that the jail remains in the shadows and largely inaccessible both to the Red Cross and the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission.
Note: For many revealing reports from major media sources on the worsening threats to civil liberties, click here.
The Secret US War in Pakistan
2009-11-23, The Nation magazine
Posted: 2009-12-09 12:55:35
At a covert forward operating base run by the US Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) in the Pakistani port city of Karachi, members of an elite division of Blackwater are at the center of a secret program in which they plan targeted assassinations of suspected Taliban and Al Qaeda operatives, "snatch and grabs" of high-value targets and other sensitive action inside and outside Pakistan. The Blackwater operatives also assist in gathering intelligence and help direct a secret US military drone bombing campaign that runs parallel to the well-documented CIA predator strikes, according to a well-placed source within the US military intelligence apparatus. The previously unreported program, the military intelligence source said, is distinct from the CIA assassination program. "This is a parallel operation to the CIA," said the source. "They are two separate beasts." Blackwater's presence in Pakistan is "not really visible, and that's why nobody has cracked down on it," said the source. Blackwater's operations in Pakistan, he said, are not done through State Department contracts or publicly identified Defense contracts. "It's Blackwater via JSOC, and it's a classified no-bid [contract] approved on a rolling basis. Some of these strikes are attributed to [the CIA], but in reality it's JSOC. So when you see some of these hits, especially the ones with high civilian casualties, those are almost always JSOC strikes."
Note: Don't miss this key report in it's entirety. Why haven't other major media outlets mentioned the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) drone operations in Pakistan, running parallel to the CIA's?
Rise in soldier suicides leaves Pentagon looking for answers
2009-11-19, Times of London
Posted: 2009-11-28 22:53:09
American soldiers are committing suicide in the greatest numbers since official records began in 1980, with the US Army at a loss to explain the phenomenon since a third of the dead have never been deployed in combat. Suicides in the army alone have passed last year’s record of 140 — 141 in 2009 so far. The upward trend has defied efforts to improve access to appropriate counselling for veterans returning from combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. The figure for the first ten months of the year excludes 71 suicides among troops taken off active duty in 2009, and 42 in the US Marine Corps. Roughly a third of this year’s suicides have been by soldiers taking their own lives in war zones, a third by returning soldiers and a third by those based permanently in the US or awaiting deployment overseas. Many military suicides can be traced in part to an inability to process the guilt of having killed in battle.
Note: For lots more from major media sources on the horrific effects of modern war on both combatants and civilians, click here. And for the writings of a top general on why this is happening, click here.
Cluster bomb trade funded by world's biggest banks
2009-10-29, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2009-11-19 02:11:25
The deadly trade in cluster bombs is funded by the world's biggest banks who have loaned or arranged finance worth $20bn (£12.5bn) to firms producing the controversial weapons, despite growing international efforts to ban them. HSBC, led by ordained Anglican priest Stephen Green, has profited more than any other institution from companies that manufacture cluster bombs. The British bank ... has earned a total of £657.3m in fees arranging bonds and share offerings for Textron, which makes cluster munitions described by the US company as "leaving a clean battlefield". HSBC will face protests outside its London headquarters today. Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, JP Morgan and UK-based Barclays Bank are also named among the worst banks in a detailed 126-page report by Dutch and Belgian campaign groups IKV Pax Christi and Netwerk Vlaanderen. Goldman Sachs, the US bank which made £3.19bn proft in just three months, earned $588.82m for bank services and lent $250m to Alliant Techsystems and Textron. Last December 90 countries, including the UK, committed themselves to banning cluster bombs by next year. But the US was not one of them. So far 23 countries have ratified the convention. The UK has yet to do so.
Note: For many verifiable revelations of war profiteering by large corporations, click here.
Pakistan kept billions in US aid from military
2009-10-05, Boston Globe/Associated Press
Posted: 2009-10-12 14:33:55
The United States has long suspected that [many] of the billions of dollars it has sent Pakistan to battle militants has been diverted to the domestic economy and other causes, such as fighting India. Now the scope and longevity of the misuse is becoming clear: Between 2002 and 2008 ... only $500 million of the $6.6 billion in American aid actually made it to the Pakistani military, two army generals said. At the time of the siphoning, Pervez Musharraf, a Washington ally, served as chief of staff and president, making it easier to divert money intended for the military to bolster his image at home through economic subsidies. "The army itself got very little,'' said Mahmud Durrani, a retired general who was Pakistan's ambassador to the United States under Musharraf. "It went to things like subsidies, which is why everything looked hunky-dory." Generals and ministers say the diversion of the money hurt the military in several ways. Helicopters critical to the battle in rugged border regions were not available. At one point in 2007, more than 200 soldiers were trapped by insurgents in the tribal regions without a helicopter lift to rescue them. Equipment was broken, and training was lacking. The details on misuse of American aid come as Washington again promises Pakistan money. Legislation to triple general aid to Pakistan cleared Congress last week. "We don't have a mechanism for tracking the money after we have given it to them,'' said Lieutenant Colonel Mark Wright, a Pentagon spokesman.
Note: For lots more on government corruption from reliable sources, click here.
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.
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to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.