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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Packs of robots will hunt down uncooperative humans
2008-10-22, New Scientist
Posted: 2008-10-31 10:07:42
The latest request from the Pentagon jars the senses. They are looking for contractors to provide a "Multi-Robot Pursuit System" that will let packs of robots "search for and detect a non-cooperative human". Given that iRobot last year struck a deal with Taser International to mount stun weapons on its military robots, how long before we see packs of droids hunting down pesky demonstrators with paralysing weapons? Or could the packs even be lethally armed? Steve Wright of Leeds Metropolitan University is an expert on police and military technologies. "The giveaway here is the phrase 'a non-cooperative human subject'," he told me: "What we have here are the beginnings of something designed to enable robots to hunt down humans like a pack of dogs. Once the software is perfected we can reasonably anticipate that they will become autonomous and become armed. We can also expect such systems to be equipped with human detection and tracking devices including sensors which detect human breath and the radio waves associated with a human heart beat. These are technologies already developed." Noel Sharkey, an AI and robotics engineer at the University of Sheffield, says "This is a clear step towards one of the main goals of the US Army's Future Combat Systems project, which aims to make a single soldier the nexus for a large scale robot attack. Independently, ground and aerial robots have been tested together and once the bits are joined, there will be a robot force under command of a single soldier with potentially dire consequences for innocents around the corner."
Note: For many revealing reports of new weaponry technologies in the planning and development stages, click here.
'Soldiers of Conscience': To kill or not kill
2008-10-15, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2008-10-25 08:46:46
As independent documentary filmmakers from Berkeley, husband and wife Gary Weimberg and Catherine Ryan knew the Army's press office might be suspicious of their request to interview soldiers for a film about the morality of killing. Much to their surprise, though, the Army brass not only granted access to recruits on their way to Iraq and Afghanistan, but the couple's new film, "Soldiers of Conscience," which airs Thursday on PBS, also struck such a deep chord among the military, it's now to be shown in sophomore ethics classes at West Point. "They sent us a very nice, but terse, statement after they viewed it," Weimberg recalled of the military press aides who signed off on the finished product. "It read: This is approved. And, Thank you." In "Soldiers," Weimberg and Ryan focus on eight young soldiers, four of whom decide they can't pull the trigger after they reach the battlefield. Viewers may wonder why anyone with pacifist tendencies would join the Army, but each soldier has a trench epiphany - what the military calls a "crystallization of conscience" - and it's clear only the realities of wars can dredge up such emotions. The filmmakers do their utmost to ignore politics - their subjects barely mention their commander in chief's arguments for war - focusing, instead, on how soldiers marshall the will to attack. "It's not a film about Iraq," Ryan said. "Even in the wars that are supposed to be 'good wars' and fought for 'good reasons,' this question gets raised, and these stories occur."
Note: For many key reports on the realities of the Iraq and Afghan wars, click here.
Insider’s Projects Drained Missile-Defense Millions
2008-10-12, New York Times
Posted: 2008-10-17 08:09:28
Michael Cantrell, an engineer at the Army Space and Missile Defense Command headquarters in Huntsville, Ala., along with his deputy, Doug Ennis, had lined up millions of dollars from Congress for defense companies. Mr. Cantrell decided it was time to take a cut. Within months, [he] began getting personal checks from contractors and later [picked] up a briefcase stuffed with $75,000. The two men eventually collected more than $1.6 million in kickbacks, through 2007, [causing] them to plead guilty this year to corruption charges. But what has drawn little scrutiny are [Cantrell's] activities leading up to it. Thanks to important allies in Congress, he extracted nearly $350 million for projects the Pentagon did not want, wasting taxpayer money on what would become dead-end ventures. He often bypassed his bosses and broke department rules to make his case on Capitol Hill. He enlisted contractors to pitch projects that would keep the dollars flowing and paid lobbyists to ease them through. He cultivated lawmakers, who were eager to send money back home or to favored contractors and did not ask many questions. And when he ran into trouble, he could count on his powerful friends for protection from Pentagon officials who provided little oversight and were afraid of alienating lawmakers. “I could go over to the Hill and put pressure on people above me and get something done,” Mr. Cantrell explained. “With the Army, as long as the senator is not calling over and complaining, everything is O.K. And the senator will not call over and complain unless the contractor you’re working with does not get his money. So you just have to keep the players happy and it works.”
Note: For key reports on government corruption from reliable sources, click here.
Army Orders Pain Ray Trucks; New Report Shows 'Potential for Death'
2008-10-11, ABC News
Posted: 2008-10-17 08:06:05
After years of testing, the Active Denial System -- the pain ray which drives off rioters with a microwave-like beam -- could finally have its day. The Army is buying five of the truck-mounted systems for $25 million. But the energy weapon may face new hurdles, before it's shipped off to the battlefield; a new report details how the supposedly non-lethal blaster could be turned into a flesh-frying killer. The announcement arrives on the same day as a new report from less-lethal weapons expert Dr. Jürgen Altmann that analyzes the physics of several directed energy weapons, including Active Denial, the Advanced Tactical Laser (used as a non-lethal weapon), the Pulsed Energy Projectile (a.k.a. "Maximum Pain" laser) and the Long Range Acoustic Device (a.k.a. "Acoustic Blaster"). Dr. Altmann describes the Active Denial beam in some detail, noting that it will not be completely uniform; anyone unlucky enough to be caught in the center will experience more heating than someone at the edge. And perhaps more significant is his thorough analysis of the heating it produces -- and the cumulative effect if the target does not have the chance to cool down between exposures. In U.S. military tests, a fifteen-second delay between exposures was strictly observed; this may not happen when the ADS is used for real. "As a consequence, the ADS provides the technical possibility to produce burns of second and third degree. Because the beam of diameter 2 m and above is wider than human size, such burns would occur over considerable parts of the body, up to 50% of its surface."
Note: To download the technical report by Dr. Altmann referrred to in the article, click here. For lots more on "non-lethal" weapons from reliable, verifiable sources, click here.
Command for Africa Is Established by Pentagon
2008-10-05, New York Times
Posted: 2008-10-10 11:23:42
For decades, Africa was rarely more than an afterthought for the Pentagon. But since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, a new view has gained acceptance among senior Pentagon officials and military commanders: that ungoverned spaces and ill-governed states ... pose a growing risk to American security. Last week ... Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, inaugurated the newest regional headquarters, Africa Command [AFRICOM], which is responsible for coordinating American military affairs on the continent. Already ... analysts at policy advocacy organizations and research institutes are warning of a militarization of American foreign policy across Africa. Mr. Gates said the new command was an example of the Pentagon’s evolving strategy of forging what he called “civilian-military partnerships,” in which the Defense Department works alongside and supports the State Department and the Agency for International Development. While that thinking has influenced the work of all of the military’s regional war-fighting commands, it is the central focus of Africa Command. And over the past two years, it has quietly become the central focus of the military’s Southern Command, once better known for the invasions of Grenada and Panama. A number of specialists in African and Latin American politics at nongovernmental organizations express apprehension, however, that the new emphasis of both these commands represents an undesirable injection of the military into American foreign policy, a change driven by ... desires for natural resources.
Note: For lots more on war and war planning from reliable sources, click here.
Standard Warfare May Be Eclipsed By Nation-Building
2008-10-05, Washington Post
Posted: 2008-10-10 11:22:12
The Army on [October 6] will unveil an unprecedented doctrine that declares nation-building missions will probably become more important than conventional warfare and defines "fragile states" ... as the greatest threat to U.S. national security. The doctrine ... holds that in coming years, American troops are not likely to engage in major ground combat against hostile states as they did in Iraq and Afghanistan, but instead will frequently be called upon to operate in lawless areas. Such "stability operations" will last longer and ultimately contribute more to the military's success than "traditional combat operations," according to the Army's new Stability Operations Field Manual. The stability operations doctrine is an engine that will drive Army resources, organization and training for years to come ... and Army officials already have detailed plans to execute it. The operations directive underpinning the manual "elevated stability operations to a status equal to that of the offense and defense," the manual reads, describing the move as a "fundamental change in emphasis" for the Army. Today, such fragile states, if neglected, will pose mounting risks for the United States, according to Lt. Col. Steve Leonard, the manual's lead author. Weak states "create vast ungoverned areas that are breeding grounds for the threats that we fear the most." The manual adds to a growing body of doctrine focused on the military's nontraditional skills, most notably the Army's 2006 counterinsurgency manual. Civilian officials and nongovernmental groups voice [concern] that the military's push to expand its exercise of "soft power" ... marks a growing militarization of U.S. foreign policy.
Note: To download the new Stability Operations, U.S. Army Field Manual 3-07, click here. For lots more on war and war planning from reliable sources, click here.
Army combat unit to deploy within U.S.
Posted: 2008-10-10 11:19:57
The United States military's Northern Command [NORTHCOM], formed in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks, is dedicating a combat infantry team to deal with catastrophes in the U.S., including terrorist attacks and natural disasters. The 1st Brigade Combat Team of the 3rd Infantry, which was first into Baghdad, Iraq, in 2003, started its controversial assignment [on October 1]. The First Raiders will spend 2009 as the first active-duty military unit attached to the U.S. Northern Command since it was created. They will be based in Fort Stewart, Georgia, and focus primarily on logistics and support for local police and rescue personnel, the Army says. The plan is drawing skepticism from some observers who are concerned that the unit has been training with equipment generally used in law enforcement, including beanbag bullets, Tasers, spike strips and roadblocks. That kind of training seems a bit out of line for the unit's designated role as Northern Command's CCMRF (Sea Smurf), or CBRNE Consequence Management Response Force. CBRNE stands for chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and high-yield explosive incidents. Use of active-duty military as a domestic police force has been severely limited since passage of the Posse Comitatus Act following the Civil War. Bloggers are criticizing the new force, saying that because it has been training in law enforcement tactics it could be be used for domestic law enforcement.
Note: Naomi Wolf, author of Give Me Liberty and The End of America, considers this domestic deployment of combat troops to be a coup d'etat with frightening implications.
Helping ‘people at home’ may become a permanent part of the active Army
2008-09-08, Army Times
Posted: 2008-09-27 08:19:20
The 3rd Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team has spent 35 of the last 60 months in Iraq patrolling in full battle rattle. Now they’re training for the same mission — with a twist — at home. Beginning Oct. 1 for 12 months, the 1st BCT will be under the day-to-day control of U.S. Army North, the Army service component of Northern Command, as an on-call federal response force for natural or manmade emergencies and disasters. This new mission marks the first time an active unit has been given a dedicated assignment to NorthCom, a joint command established in 2002 to provide command and control for federal homeland defense efforts and coordinate defense support of civil authorities. The mission will be a permanent one. They may be called upon to help with civil unrest and crowd control or to deal with potentially horrific scenarios such as massive poisoning and chaos in response to a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or high-yield explosive, or CBRNE, attack. The 1st BCT’s soldiers also will learn how to use “the first ever nonlethal package that the Army has fielded,” 1st BCT commander Col. Roger Cloutier said, referring to crowd and traffic control equipment and nonlethal weapons designed to subdue unruly or dangerous individuals without killing them. “It’s a new modular package of nonlethal capabilities that they’re fielding. They’ve been using pieces of it in Iraq, but this is the first time that these modules were consolidated and this package fielded, and because of this mission we’re undertaking we were the first to get it.”
Note: Positioning military troops in country to deal with internal matters violates the posse comitatus act, though the administration will argue that there is a national emergency allowing this.
Bruce Ivins Wasn't the Anthrax Culprit
2008-08-05, Wall Street Journal
Posted: 2008-09-21 09:08:26
Over the past week the media was gripped by the news that the FBI was about to charge Bruce Ivins, a leading anthrax expert, as the man responsible for the anthrax letter attacks in September/October 2001. But despite the seemingly powerful narrative that Ivins committed suicide because investigators were closing in, this is still far from a shut case. The FBI needs to explain why it zeroed in on Ivins, how he could have made the anthrax mailed to lawmakers and the media, and how he (or anyone else) could have pulled off the attacks, acting alone. The spores could not have been produced at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, where Ivins worked, without many other people being aware of it. Furthermore, the equipment to make such a product does not exist at the institute. The product contained essentially pure spores. The particle size was 1.5 to 3 microns in diameter. There are several methods used to produce anthrax that small. But most of them require milling the spores to a size small enough that it can be inhaled into the lower reaches of the lungs. In this case, however, the anthrax spores were not milled. They were also tailored to make them potentially more dangerous. The spores were coated with a polyglass which tightly bound hydrophilic silica to each particle. Each particle was given a weak electric charge, thereby causing the particles to repel each other at the molecular level. This made it easier for the spores to float in the air, and increased their retention in the lungs. In short, the potential lethality of anthrax in this case far exceeds that of any powdered product found in the now extinct U.S. Biological Warfare Program.
The Army's Totally Serious Mind-Control Project
2008-09-14, Time magazine
Posted: 2008-09-19 13:32:42
Soldiers barking orders at each other is so 20th Century. That's why the U.S. Army has just awarded a $4 million contract to begin developing "thought helmets" that would harness silent brain waves for secure communication among troops. Ultimately, the Army hopes the project will "lead to direct mental control of military systems by thought alone." Improvements in computing power and a better understanding of how the brain works have scientists busy hunting for the distinctive neural fingerprints that flash through a brain when a person is talking to himself. The Army's initial goal is to capture those brain waves with incredibly sophisticated software that then translates the waves into audible radio messages for other troops in the field. It's not as far-fetched as you might think: video gamers are eagerly awaiting a crude commercial version of brain wave technology — a $299 headset from San Francisco-based Emotiv Systems — in summer 2009. The military's vastly more sophisticated system may be a decade or two away from reality, let alone implementation. The five-year contract it awarded last month to a coalition of scientists from the University of California at Irvine, Carnegie Mellon University, and the University of Maryland, seeks to "decode the activity in brain networks" so that a soldier could radio commands to one or many comrades by thinking of the message he wanted to relay and who should get it.
Note: The US military and intelligence agencies have been conducting and funding research in mind control for decades. Click here for a summary of this research.
Pentagon Debates Development of Offensive Cyberspace Capabilities
2008-09-08, Los Angeles Times
Posted: 2008-09-19 11:41:57
Igniting a provocative new debate, senior military officials are pushing the Pentagon to go on the offensive in cyberspace by developing the ability to attack other nations' computer systems, rather than concentrating on defending America's electronic security. Under the most sweeping proposals, military experts would acquire the know-how to commandeer the unmanned aerial drones of adversaries, disable enemy warplanes in mid-flight and cut off electricity at precise moments to strategic locations, such as military installations, while sparing humanitarian facilities, such as hospitals. An expansion of offensive capabilities in cyberspace would represent an important change for the military. But a new National Military Strategy for Cyberspace Operations, declassified earlier this year, fueled the Pentagon debate and gave the military a green light to push for expanded capabilities. "As we go forward in time, cyber is going to be a very important part of our war-fighting tactics, techniques and procedures," said Michael W. Wynne, a former Air Force secretary. Under Wynne, the Air Force established a provisional Cyber Command in 2007 and made operating in the cyber domain part of its mission statement, on par with air operations. Wynne clashed with superiors over the Air Force approach to cyberspace and other issues and was fired in June after breakdowns in U.S. nuclear weapons security procedures. New Air Force leaders now are reassessing plans for a permanent Cyber Command, which under Wynne's leadership would have included some offensive capabilities.
US boasts of laser weapon's 'plausible deniability'
2008-08-12, New Scientist magazine
Posted: 2008-08-23 07:57:07
An airborne laser weapon dubbed the "long-range blowtorch" has the added benefit that the US could convincingly deny any involvement with the destruction it causes, say senior officials of the US Air Force (USAF). The Advanced Tactical Laser (ATL) is to be mounted on a Hercules military transport plane. Boeing announced the first test firing of the laser, from a plane on the ground, earlier this summer. Cynthia Kaiser, chief engineer of the US Air Force Research Laboratory's Directed Energy Directorate, used the phrase "plausible deniability" to describe the weapon's benefits in a briefing ... on laser weapons to the New Mexico Optics Industry Association in June. As the term suggests, "plausible deniability" is used to describe situations where those responsible for an event could plausibly claim to have had no involvement in it. John Pike, analyst with defence think-tank Global Security, based in Virginia, says the implications are clear. "The target would never know what hit them," says Pike. "Further, there would be no munition fragments that could be used to identify the source of the strike." A laser beam is silent and invisible. An ATL can deliver the heat of a blowtorch with a range of 20 kilometres, depending on conditions. That range is great enough that the aircraft carrying it might not be seen, especially at night. With no previous examples for comparison, it may be difficult to discern whether damage to a vehicle or person was the result of a laser strike.
Note: For lots more on war and weaponry, click here.
Anthony J. Russo, 71; Rand staffer helped leak Pentagon Papers
2008-08-08, Los Angeles Times
Posted: 2008-08-17 08:40:45
Anthony J. Russo, a Rand researcher in the late 1960s who encouraged Daniel Ellsberg to leak the Pentagon Papers and stood trial with him in the Vietnam War-era case that triggered debates over freedom of the press and hastened the fall of a president, has died. In 1971, Russo helped Ellsberg copy a classified government history of the Vietnam War that Ellsberg later supplied to the New York Times, ... dubbed the Pentagon Papers. The secret study provided evidence of lying by government officials, including several presidents, about the scope and purposes of the war. "I explained [to Ellsberg] how the so-called enemy, the Viet Cong, and the North Vietnamese, were actually the legitimate parties and how the U.S. presence was illegal, immoral and unwise. I supplied him with reams of documentation," Russo later wrote. He was fired from Rand a short time later. Russo said that when he heard about the fabrication of the Gulf of Tonkin incident, he urged Ellsberg to "turn that over to the newspapers." Publication of the first installments in June  sparked an FBI manhunt for Ellsberg. Russo was harassed by police and placed under surveillance. When he was subpoenaed by a grand jury, he refused to testify against Ellsberg and was jailed for 45 days. A few days before Christmas 1971, both men were indicted on charges of conspiracy, theft and espionage. "I will be eternally grateful to Tony for his courage and partnership," Ellsberg said. "He set an example of willingness to risk everything for his country and for the Vietnam that he loved that very few, unfortunately, have emulated."
Note: For background information on "false-flag operations" like the Gulf of Tonkin incident, click here.
Scientists Question FBI Probe On Anthrax
2008-08-03, Washington Post
Posted: 2008-08-08 08:09:31
For nearly seven years, scientist Bruce E. Ivins and a small circle of fellow anthrax specialists at Fort Detrick's Army medical lab lived in a curious limbo: They served as occasional consultants for the FBI in the investigation of the deadly 2001 anthrax attacks, yet they were all potential suspects. Over lunch in the bacteriology division, nervous scientists would share stories about their latest unpleasant encounters with the FBI and ponder whether they should hire criminal defense lawyers. In tactics that the researchers considered heavy-handed and often threatening, they were interviewed and polygraphed as early as 2002, and reinterviewed numerous times. Their labs were searched, and their computers and equipment carted away. The FBI eventually focused on Ivins, whom federal prosecutors were planning to indict when he committed suicide last week. Colleagues and friends of the vaccine specialist remained convinced that Ivins was innocent: They contended that he had neither the motive nor the means to create the fine, lethal powder that was sent by mail to news outlets and congressional offices in the late summer and fall of 2001. Mindful of previous FBI mistakes in fingering others in the case, many are deeply skeptical that the bureau has gotten it right this time. "I really don't think he's the guy. I say to the FBI, 'Show me your evidence,' " said Jeffrey J. Adamovicz, former director of the bacteriology division at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases, or USAMRIID. "A lot of the tactics they used were designed to isolate him from his support. The FBI just continued to push his buttons."
Note: For revealing insights into the realities behind the war on terror, click here.
Military's Social Science Grants Raise Alarm
2008-08-03, Washington Post
Posted: 2008-08-08 08:07:30
The Pentagon's $50 million Minerva Research Initiative, named after the Roman goddess of wisdom and warriors, will fund social science research deemed crucial to national security. Initial proposals were due July 25, and the first grants are expected to be awarded by year's end. But the Network of Concerned Anthropologists ... said dependence on Pentagon funding could make universities an "instrument rather than a critic of war-making." In a May 28 letter to federal officials, the American Anthropological Association said that ... its members are "deeply concerned that funding such research through the Pentagon may pose a potential conflict of interest." David Price, an anthropologist at St. Martin's University in Lacey, Wash., and the author of a book on anthropological intelligence in World War II, [said] the Pentagon effort is flawed. "It sets up sort of a Soviet system, or top-down system," Price said. "If you look at the big picture, this will not make us smarter -- this will make us much more narrow. It will only look at problems Defense wants us to in a narrow way." Recently, the Army's Human Terrain System has embedded social scientists in military units in Iraq and Afghanistan with the aim of helping commanders understand local culture and customs. The project has drawn criticism from many academics. Two scholars have been killed. The Network of Concerned Anthropologists, which describes itself as an advocate for ethical anthropology, said the research topics could "contribute to creating more national and human insecurity by trafficking in the construction of . . . a connection between Islam and violence."
Note: For many revealing reports on government corruption from reliable sources, click here.
Pentagon Auditors Pressured To Favor Contractors, GAO Says
2008-07-24, Washington Post
Posted: 2008-07-31 08:03:56
Auditors at a Pentagon oversight agency were pressured by supervisors to skew their reports on major defense contractors to make them look more favorable instead of exposing wrongdoing and charges of overbilling, according to an 80-page report released yesterday by the Government Accountability Office. The Defense Contract Audit Agency, which oversees contractors for the Defense Department, "improperly influenced the audit scope, conclusions and opinions" of reviews of contractor performance, the GAO said, creating a "serious independence issue." The report does not name the projects or the contractors involved, but staff members on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee who were briefed on the findings cited seven contractors, some of whom are among the biggest in the defense industry: Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Fluor, Parker Hannifin, Sparta, SRS Technologies and a subsidiary of L3 Communications. Supervisors at DCAA attempted to intimidate auditors, prevented them from speaking with GAO investigators and created a "generally abusive work environment," the report said. It cited incidents of "verbal admonishments, reassignments and threats of disciplinary action" against workers who "raised questions about management guidance." The GAO said it launched the two-year inquiry after complaints on a fraud hotline. Its investigators conducted more than 100 interviews of 50 people involved in audits between 2003 and 2007.
Note: For eye-opening reports on government corruption from reliable sources, click here.
US weapons 'withdrawn' from base
2008-06-27, BBC News
Posted: 2008-07-03 10:42:17
Peace campaigners have welcomed reports that the US military has withdrawn its last nuclear weapons from Britain. The Federation of American Scientists said in a report 110 nuclear bombs were removed from RAF Lakenheath in Suffolk. The US military said it was policy not to confirm or deny the presence of nuclear weapons at Lakenheath. Kate Hudson, from the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), said: "We would like official confirmation from the government that this has happened." She added: "We believe an open admission will be a confidence-boosting measure for future disarmament initiatives." The report's author, Hans Kristensen, said the move had happened in the past few years. Mr Kristensen, an expert on the US nuclear arsenal, said the withdrawal of the bombs [is] part of a general strategic shift since the end of the Cold War. The Suffolk base has been the site of many protests over the years, mainly due to the claims that nuclear bombs were stored at the base.
General Accuses White House of War Crimes
2008-06-18, Washington Post
Posted: 2008-06-26 11:02:29
The two-star general who led an Army investigation into the horrific detainee abuse at Abu Ghraib has accused the Bush administration of war crimes and is calling for accountability. In his 2004 report on Abu Ghraib, then-Major General Anthony Taguba concluded that "numerous incidents of sadistic, blatant, and wanton criminal abuses were inflicted on several detainees." He called the abuse "systemic and illegal." And, as Seymour M. Hersh reported in The New Yorker, he was rewarded for his honesty by being forced into retirement. Now, in a preface to a Physicians for Human Rights report based on medical examinations of former detainees, Taguba adds an epilogue to his own investigation. The new report, he writes, "tells the largely untold human story of what happened to detainees in our custody when the Commander-in-Chief and those under him authorized a systematic regime of torture. This story is not only written in words: It is scrawled for the rest of these individual's lives on their bodies and minds. The profiles of these eleven former detainees, none of whom were ever charged with a crime or told why they were detained, are tragic and brutal rebuttals to those who claim that torture is ever justified. In order for these individuals to suffer the wanton cruelty to which they were subjected, a government policy was promulgated to the field whereby the Geneva Conventions and the Uniform Code of Military Justice were disregarded. The UN Convention Against Torture was indiscriminately ignored. There is no longer any doubt as to whether the current administration has committed war crimes."
Note: For many revealing reports on the brutal realities of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, click here.
Army Overseer Tells of Ouster Over KBR Stir
2008-06-17, New York Times
Posted: 2008-06-26 10:50:25
The Army official who managed the Pentagon’s largest contract in Iraq says he was ousted from his job when he refused to approve paying more than $1 billion in questionable charges to KBR, the Houston-based company that has provided food, housing and other services to American troops. The official, Charles M. Smith, was the senior civilian overseeing the multibillion-dollar contract with KBR during the first two years of the war. Speaking out for the first time, Mr. Smith said that he was forced from his job in 2004 after informing KBR officials that the Army would impose escalating financial penalties if they failed to improve their chaotic Iraqi operations. Army auditors had determined that KBR lacked credible data or records for more than $1 billion in spending, so Mr. Smith refused to sign off on the payments to the company. “They had a gigantic amount of costs they couldn’t justify,” he said in an interview. But he was suddenly replaced, he said, and his successors — after taking the unusual step of hiring an outside contractor to consider KBR’s claims — approved most of the payments he had tried to block. Mr. Smith’s account fills in important gaps about the Pentagon’s handling of the KBR contract, which has cost more than $20 billion so far and has come under fierce criticism from lawmakers. Mr. Smith ... is giving his account just as the Pentagon has recently awarded KBR part of a 10-year, $150 billion contract in Iraq.
Note: For a summary of US Marine Corps General Smedley Butler's book on war profiteering, click here.
Pentagon to Consult Academics on Security
2008-06-18, New York Times
Posted: 2008-06-26 10:47:49
The Pentagon has started an ambitious and unusual program to recruit social scientists and direct the nation’s brainpower to combating security threats like the Chinese military, Iraq, terrorism and religious fundamentalism. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has compared the initiative — named Minerva, after the Roman goddess of wisdom (and warriors) — to the government’s effort to pump up its intellectual capital during the cold war after the Soviet Union launched Sputnik in 1957. Although the Pentagon regularly finances science and engineering research, systematic support for the social sciences and humanities has been rare. But if the uncustomary push to engage the nation’s evolutionary psychologists, demographers, sociologists, historians and anthropologists in security research — as well as the prospect of new financial support in lean times — has generated excitement among some scholars, it has also aroused opposition from others, who worry that the Defense Department and the academy are getting too cozy. Cooperation between universities and the Pentagon has long been a contentious issue. The Pentagon put out its first requests for proposals last week. Minerva will award $50 million over five years. Another set of grants administered by the National Science Foundation is expected to be announced by the end of this month. [Gates] contacted Robert M. Berdahl, [former chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley and] the president of the Association of American Universities — which represents 60 of the top research universities in the country — in December to help design Minerva.
Note: For many revealing reports on government corruption from reliable sources, click here.