War Media ArticlesExcerpts of Key War Media Articles in Major Media
Note: Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news articles on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.
A Pentagon public relations program that sought to transform high-profile military analysts into "surrogates" and "message force multipliers" for the Bush administration complied with Defense Department regulations and directives, the Pentagon's inspector general has concluded after a two-year investigation. The inquiry was prompted by articles published in the New York Times in 2008 that described how the Pentagon, in the years after the Sept. 11 attacks, cultivated close ties with retired officers who worked as military analysts for television and radio networks. In response to the articles, the Pentagon suspended the program, and members of Congress asked the Defense Department's inspector general to investigate. The results of the inquiry ... confirm that the Pentagon under Donald Rumsfeld made a concerted effort ... to build and sustain public support for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The inquiry found that from 2002 to 2008, Rumsfeld's Pentagon organized 147 events for 74 military analysts. The inquiry confirmed that Rumsfeld's staff frequently provided military analysts with discussion points before their network appearances.
Note: For lots more on government corruption from reliable sources, click here.
It has been seven years since the end of the second siege of Fallujah – the US assault that left the city in ruins, killed thousands of civilians, and displaced hundreds of thousands more; the assault that poisoned a generation, plaguing the people who live there with cancers and their children with birth defects. It has been seven years and the lies that justified the assault still perpetuate false beliefs about what we did. Unlike most of my counterparts, I understand that I was the aggressor, and that the resistance fighters in Fallujah were defending their city. How can I begrudge the resistance in Fallujah for killing my friends, when I know that I would have done the same thing if I were in their place? How can I blame them when we were the aggressors? I carried a radio on my back that dropped the bombs that killed civilians and reduced Fallujah to rubble. If I were a Fallujan, I would have killed anyone like me. I would have had no choice. The fate of my city and my family would have depended on it. I would have killed the foreign invaders. [US soldiers] were killed and they killed others because of a political agenda in which they were just pawns. They were the iron fist of American empire, and an expendable loss in the eyes of their leaders. What we did to Fallujah cannot be undone. What I want to attack are the lies and false beliefs. I want to destroy the prejudices that prevented us from putting ourselves in the other's shoes and asking ourselves what we would have done if a foreign army invaded our country and laid siege to our city.
Note: For key reports from reliable, verifiable sources detailing atrocities carried out by the US military and its allies in the "global war on terror", click here.
If terrorists ever target Fargo, N.D., the local police will be ready. In recent years, they have bought bomb-detection robots, digital communications equipment and Kevlar helmets, like those used by soldiers in foreign wars. For local siege situations requiring real firepower, police there can use a new $256,643 armored truck, complete with a rotating turret. Until that day, however, the menacing truck is mostly used for training runs and appearances at the annual Fargo picnic, where it’s been displayed near a children’s bounce house. Fargo, like thousands of other communities in every state, has been on a gear-buying spree with the aid of more than $34 billion in federal government grants since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on New York and the Pentagon. The federal grant spending, awarded with little oversight from Washington, has fueled a rapid, broad transformation of police operations in Fargo and in departments across the country. More than ever before, police rely on quasi-military tactics and equipment. A review of records from 41 states obtained through open-government requests, and interviews with more than two-dozen current and former police officials and terrorism experts, shows police departments around the U.S. have transformed into small army-like forces. Many police, including beat cops, now routinely carry assault rifles.
Since September, at least 60 people have died in 14 reported CIA drone strikes in Pakistan’s tribal regions. The Obama administration has named only one of the dead, hailing the elimination of Janbaz Zadran, a top official in the Haqqani insurgent network, as a counterterrorism victory. The identities of the rest remain classified, as does the existence of the drone program itself. The administration ... has parried reports of collateral damage and the alleged killing of innocents by saying that drones, with their surveillance capabilities and precision missiles, result in far fewer mistakes than less sophisticated weapons. Yet in carrying out hundreds of strikes over three years — resulting in an estimated 1,350 to 2,250 deaths in Pakistan — it has provided virtually no details to support those assertions. The rapid expansion in the size and scope of the drone campaign as the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been winding down has led to increased criticism from human rights and international law experts, many of whom dispute the legal justification for the program. Much of the resistance to increased disclosure has come from the CIA, which has argued that the release of any information about the program, particularly on how targets are chosen and strikes approved, would aid the enemy. The Defense Department’s Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), which has carried out strikes in Yemen and Somalia, refuses to discuss drones or any other aspect of its secret counterterrorism operations.
Note: For key reports from major media sources on government secrecy, click here.
Barack Obama has abandoned a commitment to veto a new security law that allows the military to indefinitely detain without trial American terrorism suspects arrested on US soil who could then be shipped to Guantánamo Bay. Human rights groups accused the president of deserting his principles and disregarding the long-established principle that the military is not used in domestic policing. The legislation has also been strongly criticised by libertarians on the right angered at the stripping of individual rights for the duration of "a war that appears to have no end". The law ... effectively extends the battlefield in the "war on terror" to the US and applies the established principle that combatants in any war are subject to military detention. The law's critics describe it as a draconian piece of legislation that extends the reach of detention without trial to include US citizens arrested in their own country. "It's something so radical that it would have been considered crazy had it been pushed by the Bush administration," said Tom Malinowski of Human Rights Watch. "It establishes precisely the kind of system that the United States has consistently urged other countries not to adopt. At a time when the United States is urging Egypt, for example, to scrap its emergency law and military courts, this is not consistent."
Note: The implications of the passage of this bill to authorize the US military to carry out domestic arrest and imprisonment of US citizens have hardly been reported on by the major media. The defense authorization bill undermines protections established by the Bill of Rights and the Posse Comitatus Act against use of US military forces in domestic control and arrest. For further analysis of the implications of this legislation, click here and here.
Armed with a search warrant, Nelson County Sheriff Kelly Janke went looking for six missing cows on the Brossart family farm in [eastern North Dakota]. He called in reinforcements from the state Highway Patrol, a regional SWAT team, a bomb squad, ambulances and deputy sheriffs from three other counties. He also called in a Predator B drone. Sophisticated sensors under the nose helped pinpoint the three suspects and showed they were unarmed. Police rushed in and made the first known arrests of U.S. citizens with help from a Predator, the spy drone that has helped revolutionize modern warfare. But that was just the start. Local police say they have used two unarmed Predators based at Grand Forks Air Force Base to fly at least two dozen surveillance flights since June. The FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration have used Predators for other domestic investigations, officials said. The drones belong to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which operates eight Predators on the country's northern and southwestern borders to search for illegal immigrants and smugglers. The previously unreported use of its drones to assist local, state and federal law enforcement has occurred without any public acknowledgment or debate.
Note: "Looking for six cows," the Sheriff called in "a regional SWAT team, a bomb squad, ambulances and deputy sheriffs from three other counties. He also called in a Predator B drone." Does that sound like a reasonable response to the problem of missing cows? Or could there be an agenda to establish aerial surveillance by drones as the norm in the US?
Amnesty International on [December 1] called on Ethiopia, Tanzania and Zambia to arrest former U.S. President George W. Bush for human rights abuse when he visits the region this month. During his time as President from 2001 to 2009, Bush authorized the use of waterboarding and other interrogation techniques that Amnesty and other human rights groups consider torture. "International law requires that there be no safe haven for those responsible for torture; Ethiopia, Tanzania and Zambia must seize this opportunity to fulfill their obligations and end the impunity George W. Bush has so far enjoyed," Matt Pollard, senior legal adviser, said in a statement. Bush has defended the use of waterboarding -- which simulates the sensation of drowning -- as key to preventing a repeat of the September 11 attacks on the United States. Bush is expected to visit the region this week to raise awareness about cancer in Africa, Amnesty said.
Note: For the full text of Amnesty's call for the arrest of George W. Bush, click here. For lots more from major media sources on the crimes of the Bush administration during the "global war on terror," click here.
Battlefield technology is coming to the streets of Los Angeles County. Starting this month, one of the nation's major military contractors is outfitting the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department's patrol cars with sophisticated computer systems and high-tech gadgetry that has been perfected for the battlefield. At a total cost to taxpayers of $20 million, Raytheon Co. promises to deliver technology that will enable deputies on the road to sort through key intelligence information in mere seconds. In a single roadside stop, they'll have the ability to run a background check using a searchable FBI database — or pull up a suspect's mug shots or even obtain biometric data, such as fingerprints — on the spot. The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department is the largest in the nation, covering more than 4,000 square miles and a population of more than 10 million. Daniel J. Crowley, president of Raytheon's Network Centric Systems, noted that ... the Sheriff's Department's new equipment is being used by security forces in the Green Zone in Baghdad to police the area. "The military's situation overseas may be much different from the Sheriff's Department, but the need is basically the same."
Note: For an illuminating article revealing that the Pentagon is supplying police departments across the US with military technology and supplies for no cost, click here.
A tribunal formed by Malaysia’s former leader has convicted former President George W. Bush and Britain’s ex-prime minister Tony Blair at a symbolic trial for “crimes against peace” in Iraq. Malaysia’s outspoken former leader Mahathir Mohamad founded a peace organization that set up the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal specifically for trying Bush and Blair. Mahathir’s son, Mukhriz Mahathir, said international judges and lawyers convicted the men Tuesday for crimes against peace over the 2003 Iraq invasion. It plans to hear symbolic war crimes charges against them later. Malaysian activists say they sent information about the charges to Bush and Blair but received no response.
Note: This story sadly received very little press in the major media. For an earlier Associated Press story on the background to the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal, click here. For more on the results in Canada's conservative National Post, click here. For a press release from the Tribunal, click here. To visit the Tribunal website, click here.
The armed forces minister has been forced to apologise over misleading statements he made regarding the legality and dangers of depleted uranium weapons. Nick Harvey admitted that he had inadvertently misled MPs about a Ministry of Defence review that he said had concluded the weapons were permissible on humanitarian and environmental grounds under the Geneva conventions. It subsequently emerged that the review had never happened. The revelations come as a cross-party campaign is launched to pile pressure on the MoD to phase out the use of depleted uranium (DU). The tank shells that depend on it have to be renewed in 2013. The British army fired shells containing 2.3 tonnes of DU during the Gulf wars in 1990-91 and 2003. DU is used to harden 'Charm3' armour-piercing shells carried by British Challenger tanks. In 1998 the UK government ratified additional protocol 1 of the Geneva conventions. Article 36 of that requires that all weapons are subject to a legal review to assess whether they are "capable of being used discriminately", or cause "widespread and severe damage to the natural environment".
Note: For key reports from reliable sources on government corruption, click here.
Israel has refused to reassure President Barack Obama that it would warn him in advance of any pre-emptive strike on Iran's nuclear capabilities, raising fears that it may be planning a go-it-alone attack as early as next summer. The US leader was rebuffed last month when he demanded private guarantees that no strike would go ahead without White House notification, suggesting Israel no longer plans to "seek Washington's permission", sources said. The disclosure [was] made by insiders briefed on a top-secret meeting between America's most senior defence chief and Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel's hawkish prime minister. Leon Panetta, the US defence secretary, flew into Israel last month on what was ostensibly a routine trip. Mr Panetta conveyed an urgent message from Barack Obama. The president, Mr Panetta said, wanted an unshakable guarantee that Israel would not carry out a unilateral military strike against Iran's nuclear installations without first seeking Washington's clearance. The two Israelis were notably evasive in their response, according to sources both in Israel and the United States. Alarmed by Mr Netanyahu's noncommittal response, Mr Obama reportedly ordered the US intelligence services to step up monitoring of Israel to glean clues of its intentions. What those intentions might be remains distinctly murky. Over the past fortnight, Israel's press has given every impression that the country is on a war footing, with numerous claims that Mr Netanyahu and Mr Barak are lobbying the cabinet to support the military option.
Note: For veteran geopolitical analyst Michel Chossudovsky's view that the "intelligence" on Iran's nuclear program is being "cooked" to justify an upcoming war, click here. For an investigative report showing that the IAEA's November 8 report on the "Iranian nuclear threat" falsely claimed that a Russian advisor to Iran is a nuclear scientist, click here. On the preparations for this war by the US and UK, which go far beyond the usual contingency planning for future possibilities, click here.
Prominent international human rights lawyer Clive Stafford Smith was impressed by the 16-year-old boy who wanted to draw attention to civilian deaths caused by U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan. Tariq Aziz had volunteered to take pictures of people killed by the remotely piloted aircraft to help Stafford Smith highlight what he calls illegal killings. Three days later, on October 31, he and his 12-year-old cousin were themselves killed by a drone missile strike in the North Waziristan region on the Afghan border, Stafford Smith said. For the veteran lawyer, the deaths highlighted major flaws in the CIA-run drone campaign, which U.S. officials say is invaluable in the war on militants. He considers the drones as "scandalous" as the secret U.S. bombing of Cambodia during the Vietnam War. "What we are seeing in Waziristan is a process that is alienating the population just as napalm in Vietnam did and it's achieving very little benefit." Stafford Smith [also] drew parallels between Guantanamo and the drone campaign in Pakistan, arguing both detentions and strikes were often based on dubious intelligence. He suspects the death of Aziz was a prime example of that. "We as America offer large bounties to different informants and these informants would sell their own mothers," said Stafford Smith, 52, a dual U.S.-British citizen who is the director of Reprieve, an organization that advocates for prisoners' rights.
Note: For key reports from major media sources on the killing of innocent people by US drones, click here.
Thirty-one seconds after the pilot reported muzzle flashes, the Marines at Alcatraz ordered that the Predator be prepared to strike if the shooters could be confirmed as hostile. At 8:49 a.m., 29 minutes after the ambush began, they authorized the pilot to fire. In minutes, two Americans would be dead. The decision to fire a missile from one of the growing fleet of U.S. unmanned aircraft is the result of work by ground commanders, pilots and analysts at far-flung military installations, who analyze video and data feeds and communicate by a system of voice and text messages. In addition to the platoon taking fire that morning in Helmand province's Upper Sangin Valley, the mission involved Marine Corps and Air Force personnel at four locations: Marines of the 2nd Reconnaissance Battalion at Alcatraz, the drone crew in Nevada, the analyst in Indiana and a mission intelligence coordinator at March Air Reserve Base in California. Senior officers say drone technology has vastly improved their ability to tell friend from foe in the confusion of battle. But the video can also prompt commanders to make decisions before they fully understand what they're seeing. In February 2009, a crew operating a drone over Afghanistan misidentified a civilian convoy as an enemy force. The Predator pilot and the Army captain who called in the airstrike disregarded warnings from Air Force analysts who had observed children in the convoy. At least 15 people were killed.
Note: For key reports from major media sources on the illegal and immoral prosecution of the global "war on terror" by the US military and NATO, click here.
Israel's prime minister [Benyamin Netanyahu] has ordered an investigation into alleged leaks of plans to attack Iran's nuclear facilities. According to the Kuwaiti newspaper al-Jarida, the main suspects are the former heads of the Mossad and the Shin Bet, respectively Israel's foreign and domestic intelligence agencies. Netanyahu is said to believe that the two, Meir Dagan and Yuval Diskin, wanted to torpedo plans being drawn up by him and Ehud Barak, the defence minister, to hit Iranian nuclear sites. The purpose of the leaks was to prevent an attack, which had moved from the stage of discussion to implementation. Both Dagan and Diskin oppose military action against Iran unless all other options – primarily international diplomatic pressure and perhaps sabotage — have been exhausted. In January the recently retired Dagan, a hawk when he was running the Mossad, called an attack on Iran "the stupidest idea I've ever heard". The Kuwait paper has a track record of running stories based on apparently high-level leaks from Israeli officials. Even well-informed Israeli observers admit to being confused about what is going on behind the scenes. "It seems that only Netanyahu and Barak know," commented Amos Harel and Avi Issacharoff, both respected Haaretz writers. "While many people say Netanyahu and Barak are conducting sophisticated psychological warfare and don't intend to launch a military operation, top officials … are still afraid."
Note: The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reports that "U.S. officials are concerned that Israel will not warn them before taking military action against Iran's nuclear facilities."
The Air Force has been secretly flying Reaper drones on counterterrorism missions from a remote civilian airport in southern Ethiopia as part of a rapidly expanding U.S.-led proxy war ... in East Africa, U.S. military officials said. The Reapers began flying missions earlier this year over neighboring Somalia. The United States has relied on lethal drone attacks, a burgeoning CIA presence in Mogadishu and small-scale missions carried out by U.S. Special Forces. The Washington Post reported last month that the Obama administration is building a constellation of secret drone bases in the Arabian Peninsula and the Horn of Africa. The location of the Ethiopian base and the fact that it became operational this year, however, have not been previously disclosed. Some bases in the region also have been used to carry out operations ... in Yemen. The U.S. military deploys drones on attack and surveillance missions over Somalia from a number of bases in the region. The Air Force operates a small fleet of Reapers from the Seychelles, a tropical archipelago in the Indian Ocean, about 800 miles from the Somali coast. The U.S. military also operates drones — both armed versions and models used strictly for surveillance — from Djibouti, a tiny African nation that abuts northwest Somalia at the junction of the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.
Note: For more from reliable sources on war manipulations and the expanding use of drones worldwide, click here.
Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, said ... that his controversial website could be forced to shut down by the end of the year because a 10-month-old "financial blockade" had sharply reduced the donations on which it depends. Calling the blockade a "dangerous, oppressive and undemocratic" attack led by the United States, Assange said at a news conference that it had deprived his organization of "tens of millions of dollars," and warned, "If WikiLeaks does not find a way to remove this blockade, we will not be able to continue by the turn of the new year." Since the end of 2010, financial intermediaries - including Visa, MasterCard, PayPal and Western Union - have refused to allow donations to WikiLeaks to flow through their systems, he said, blocking "95 percent" of the website's revenue and leaving it to operate on its cash reserves for the past 10 months. An aide said that WikiLeaks was now receiving less than $10,000 a month in donations. Assange said that WikiLeaks had been forced to halt work on the processing of tens of thousands of secret documents that it has received, and to turn its attention instead to lawsuits it has filed in the United States, Australia, Scandinavian countries and elsewhere, as well as to a formal petition to the European Commission to try to restore donors' ability to send it money through normal channels.
Note: For more on this from BBC, click here.
The last of the nation's biggest nuclear bombs, a Cold War relic 600 times more powerful than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima was dismantled [on October 25]. Workers in Texas separated the roughly 300 pounds of high explosives inside from the special nuclear material — uranium — known as the pit. The work was done outside of public view for security reasons, but explosives from a bomb taken apart earlier were detonated as officials and reporters watched from less than a mile away. Put into service in 1962, when Cold War tensions peaked during the Cuban Missile Crisis, the B53 weighed 10,000 pounds and was the size of a minivan. The B53's disassembly ends the era of big megaton bombs, said Hans Kristensen, a spokesman for the Federation of American Scientists. The biggest nuclear bomb in the nation's arsenal now is the 1.2-megaton B83, he said. The B53 was 9 megatons. The 15-kiloton bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, at the end of World War II killed as many as 140,000 people. Kristensen said the Obama administration shouldn't boast too much about dismantling the B53 when its arsenal of active nuclear warheads has been reduced by only 10 in the past seven months and Russia's arsenal has grown by 29. The two nations signed a treaty in December to reduce their arsenals.
In December 2010 three of the world's biggest payment providers, Visa, Mastercard and Paypal, cut off funding to WikiLeaks. Ten months later, Julian Assange has announced the whistleblowing site will suspend operations until the blockade is lifted – and warned WikiLeaks does not have the money to continue into 2012 at current levels of funding. The banking blockade against WikiLeaks is one of the most sinister developments in recent years, and perhaps the most extreme example in a western democracy of extrajudicial actions aimed at stifling free speech. Payment companies representing more than 97% of the global market have shut off the funding taps between WikiLeaks and those who would donate to it. Unlike many of the country's leading corporations, WikiLeaks has neither been charged with, nor convicted of, any crime at either state, federal, or international level. Visa and Mastercard are already inescapable. As the world becomes ever-more digital ... they will become still more pervasive. If they are allowed to cut off payment to lawful organisations with whom they disagree, the US's first amendment, the European convention on human rights' article 10, and all other legal free speech protections become irrelevant. Those who value free expression, whether they like WikiLeaks or loathe it, should hope it wins its current battle.
Note: For more on this from BBC, click here.
One week after a U.S. military airstrike killed a 16-year-old American citizen in Yemen, no one in the Obama administration, Pentagon or Congress has taken responsibility for his death, or even publicly acknowledged that it happened. The absence of official accountability for the demise of Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, a Denver native and the son of [Anwar al-Awlaki], deepens the legal and ethical murkiness of the Obama administration’s campaign to kill alleged enemies of the state outside of traditional war zones. Officials throughout the U.S. government ... have refused to answer questions for the record about how or why Awlaki was killed Oct. 14 in a remote part of Yemen, along with eight other people. The official silence about the death of the American teenager contrasts with the Obama administration’s eagerness to trumpet another airstrike in Yemen two weeks earlier. In that case, armed drones controlled by the CIA killed the teen’s father, Anwar al-Awlaki. [A] U.S. official said the airstrike was launched by the military’s secretive Joint Special Operations Command, or JSOC. The younger Awlaki was the third U.S. citizen killed by the U.S. government in Yemen in recent weeks.
Note: For deep background on reasons why the US government may have wanted to eliminate Anwar al-Awlaki and his son, click here.
A highly sophisticated computer worm which has many of the same characteristics of the virus used to attack Iran's nuclear programme has been discovered targeting companies in Europe. Experts say its code is so similar to the Stuxnet worm that attacked Iran, that it may have been engineered by the same people. The US and Israel were widely thought to be behind Stuxnet, which sent many of the centrifigues at Tehran's nuclear facilities spinning out of control. It took this kind of cyberwarfare to a new level. The new virus was discovered by Symantec, a leading cybersecurity firm, and has been called Duqu. Symantec would not disclose which firms had been targeted. "The majority of the code is consistent with the Stuxnet code," said a spokesman for Symantec. "So this new worm either came from the authors of Stuxnet, or someone was given access to the Stuxnet source codes." Symantec suspects that Duqu may have been the first in a wave of new Stuxnet-style viruses, and that further sophisticated versions of it with a more aggressive purpose may emerge in the coming months. Stuxnet showed that cyberwarfare is developing fast, and is increasingly being thought of by states as a means of inflicting maximum damage with minimum risk. Earlier this year the Guardian revealed that the UK is developing its own "first strike" capability.
Important Note: Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news articles on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.