War News ArticlesExcerpts of Key War News Articles in Media
In the early 1960s, America's top military leaders reportedly drafted plans to kill innocent people and commit acts of terrorism in U.S. cities to create public support for a war against Cuba. Code named Operation Northwoods, the plans reportedly included the possible assassination of Cuban émigrés, sinking boats of Cuban refugees on the high seas, hijacking planes, blowing up a U.S. ship, and even orchestrating violent terrorism in U.S. cities. The plans were developed as ways to trick the American public and the international community into supporting a war to oust Cuba's ... Fidel Castro. America's top military brass even contemplated causing U.S. military casualties, writing: "We could blow up a U.S. ship in Guantanamo Bay and blame Cuba," and, "casualty lists in U.S. newspapers would cause a helpful wave of national indignation." The plans had the written approval of all of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and were presented to President Kennedy's defense secretary, Robert McNamara, in March 1962. But they apparently were rejected by the civilian leadership and have gone undisclosed for nearly 40 years. The Joint Chiefs even proposed using the potential death of astronaut John Glenn during the first attempt to put an American into orbit as a false pretext for war with Cuba. Should the rocket explode and kill Glenn, they wrote, "the objective is to provide irrevocable proof … that the fault lies with the Communists." The scary thing is none of this stuff comes out until 40 years after.
Note: Why was ABC the only major news source to report on this highly revealing story? Read the shocking declassified documents on Operation Northwoods. Many military and political leaders look at the world as a grand chessboard. Sacrificing pawns (innocent civilians) is sometimes necessary to capture the queen. Explore revealing news articles on military corruption. Then check out eye-opening 9/11 news articles.
The U.S. government's official line may be that unidentified flying objects (UFOs) don't pose a national security threat, but a group of former Air Force officers gathered Monday in the nation's capital to tell a different story. During a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., seven former Air Force officers once stationed at nuclear bases around the country said that not only have UFOs visited Air Force bases, some have succeeded in disabling nuclear missiles stationed there. "I want the government to acknowledge that this phenomenon exists," said Robert Salas, a former U.S. Air Force Nuclear Launch Officer. Salas said he doesn't think the UFOs he claims to have encountered had any offensive intent, but he believes they wanted to leave an impression. "They wanted to shine a light on our nuclear weapons and just send us a message," he said. "My interpretation is the message is get rid of them because it's going to mean our destruction." Other former officers recounted similar stories of unexplained moving lights and odd-shaped flying objects during their time in the service. Leslie Kean, an investigative journalist and author of the new book "UFOs: Generals, Pilots, and Government Officials Go on the Record," said thousands of pages of documentation support the officers' accounts. She spent the last 10 years researching UFOs and combing through thousands of pages of declassified government material. Kean said that one declassified document that she researched for her book, relating to the Salas incident, said, "the fact that no apparent reason for the loss of the 10 missiles can easily be identified is a cause for grave concern to this headquarters."
Note: Watch CNN coverage of this most fascinating testimony. This is not the first time government and military witnesses have testified at the National Press Club about a major cover-up of UFOs. Watch 22 witnesses testifying to remarkable personal stories in May 2001. A two-page written summary presents amazing UFO testimony from top officials. And don't miss these fascinating news articles on UFOs. What may be the best UFO documentary ever made, Out of the Blue, is also available for free viewing.
On Sept. 10 , Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld declared war. Not on foreign terrorists, "the adversary's closer to home. It's the Pentagon bureaucracy." He said money wasted by the military poses a serious threat. Rumsfeld promised change but the next day—Sept. 11—the world changed and in the rush to fund the war on terrorism, the war on waste seems to have been forgotten. Just last week President Bush announced, "my 2003 budget calls for more than $48 billion in new defense spending." More money for the Pentagon ... while its own auditors admit the military cannot account for 25 percent of what it spends. "According to some estimates we cannot track $2.3 trillion in transactions," Rumsfeld admitted. $2.3 trillion—that's $8,000 for every man, woman and child in America. A former Marine turned whistle-blower is risking his job by speaking out ... about the millions he noticed were missing from one defense agency's balance sheets. Jim Minnery, Defense Finance and Accounting Service ... tried to follow the money trail, even crisscrossing the country looking for records. "The director looked at me and said 'Why do you care about this stuff?' It took me aback. My supervisor asking me why I care about doing a good job," said Minnery. He was reassigned and says officials then covered up the problem. The Pentagon's Inspector General "partially substantiated" several of Minnery's allegations.
Note: To see the CBS video clip of this shocking admission, click here. For another key clip, click here. For other media articles revealing major corruption, click here. Even though originally not reported because of the trauma of 9/11, why wasn't this news broadcast far and wide later? Why isn't it making media headlines now? For other revealing news articles on military corruption, click here.
A newly declassified document gives a fascinating glimpse into the US military's plans for "information operations". The declassified document is called "Information Operations Roadmap". It was obtained by the National Security Archive at George Washington University using the Freedom of Information Act. Officials in the Pentagon wrote it in 2003. The Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, signed it. The operations described in the document include a surprising range of military activities: public affairs officers who brief journalists, psychological operations troops who try to manipulate the thoughts and beliefs of an enemy, computer network attack specialists who seek to destroy enemy networks. The military's psychological operations, or Psyops, is finding its way onto the computer and television screens of ordinary Americans. "Psyops messages will often be replayed by the news media for much larger audiences, including the American public. Strategy should be based on the premise that the Department [of Defense] will 'fight the net' as it would an enemy weapons system," it reads. The document recommends that the United States should seek the ability to "provide maximum control of the entire electromagnetic spectrum". US forces should be able to "disrupt or destroy the full spectrum of globally emerging communications systems, sensors, and weapons systems dependent on the electromagnetic spectrum". The fact that the "Information Operations Roadmap" is approved by the Secretary of Defense suggests that these plans are taken very seriously indeed in the Pentagon.
U.S. military sources have given the FBI information that suggests five of the alleged hijackers of the planes that were used in [the 9/11] terror attacks received training at secure U.S. military installations in the 1990s. Three of the alleged hijackers listed their address on drivers licenses and car registrations as the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Fla. -- known as the "Cradle of U.S. Navy Aviation," according to a high-ranking U.S. Navy source. Another of the alleged hijackers may have been trained in strategy and tactics at the Air War College in Montgomery, Ala., said another high-ranking Pentagon official. The fifth man may have received language instruction at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Tex. Both were former Saudi Air Force pilots who had come to the United States, according to the Pentagon source. The five men were on a list of 19 people identified as hijackers by the FBI on [September 14]. The three foreign nationals training in Pensacola appear to be Saeed Alghamdi and Ahmad Alnami, who were among the four men who allegedly commandeered United Airlines Flight 93. That flight [ended in] rural Pennsylvania. The third man who may have trained in Pensacola, Ahmed Alghamdi, allegedly helped highjack United Airlines Flight 75, which hit the south tower of the World Trade Center. Military records show that the three used as their address 10 Radford Boulevard, a base roadway on which residences for foreign-military flight trainees are located.
Note: For more on this vitally important news, see the Washington Post news article available here and the Los Angeles Times news article here. Several of the alleged hijackers also contacted US media shortly after 9/11 to report that they were alive and were not on the hijacked planes. See the BBC News and Times of London news articles on this. Yet the 9/11 Commission Report lists these men as the official hijackers at this link. So what's really going on here? For many other major media news articles suggesting that rogue elements of government were involved in 9/11, click here. For our reliable 9/11 Information Center, click here.
"Gentlemen! We have called you together to inform you that we are going to overthrow the United States government." So begins a statement being delivered by Gen. Carl W. Steiner. At least the voice sounds amazingly like him. But it is not Steiner. It is the result of voice "morphing" technology developed at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. Psychological operations ... PSYOPS, as the military calls it, seek to exploit human vulnerabilities in enemy governments, militaries and populations to pursue national and battlefield objectives. Covert operators kicked around the idea of creating a computer-faked videotape of Saddam Hussein crying or showing other such manly weaknesses, or in some sexually compromising situation. The nascent plan was for the tapes to be flooded into Iraq and the Arab world. The tape war never proceeded ... but the "strategic" PSYOPS scheming didn't die. What if the U.S. projected a holographic image of Allah floating over Baghdad urging the Iraqi people and Army to rise up against Saddam? According to a military physicist given the task of looking into the hologram idea, the feasibility had been established of projecting large, three-dimensional objects that appeared to float in the air. A super secret program was established in 1994 to pursue the very technology for PSYOPS application. The "Holographic Projector" is described in a classified Air Force document as a system to "project information power from space ... for special operations deception missions."
Note: If the above link fails, click here. If you want to understand some of the many hidden capabilities of the U.S. military, this article is a must read. For other revealing news articles on the use of these "nonlethal" weapons, click here.
In the weeks following the atomic attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, U.S. authorities seized and suppressed film shot in the bombed cities by U.S. military crews and Japanese newsreel teams to prevent Americans from seeing the full extent of devastation wrought by the new weapons. It remained hidden until the early 1980s and has never been fully aired. "Although there are clearly huge differences with Iraq, there are also some similarities," said Mitchell, co-author of "Hiroshima in America" and editor of Editor & Publisher. "The chief similarity is that Americans are still being kept at a distance from images of death, whether of their own soldiers or Iraqi civilians." The Los Angeles Times released a survey of six months of media coverage of the Iraq war in six prominent U.S. newspapers and two news magazines -- a period during which 559 coalition forces, the vast majority American, were killed. It found they had run almost no photographs of Americans killed in action. "So much of the media is owned by big corporations and they would much rather focus on making money than setting themselves up for criticism from the White House and Congress," said Ralph Begleiter, a former CNN correspondent. In 1945, U.S. policymakers wanted to be able to continue to develop and test atomic and eventually nuclear weapons without an outcry of public opinion. "They succeeded but the subject is still a raw nerve."
Note: As this highly revealing Reuters article was removed from both the New York Times and the Reuters websites, click here to view it in its entirely on one of the few alternative news websites to report it. And to go much deeper into how the devastating effects of the bomb were covered up by various entities within government, click here.
Is it conceivable that Al Qaeda, as defined by President Bush as the center of a vast and well-organized international terrorist conspiracy, does not exist? To even raise the question amid all the officially inspired hysteria is heretical. Yet a brilliant new BBC film produced by one of Britain's leading documentary filmmakers systematically challenges this. "The Power of Nightmares: The Rise of the Politics of Fear" ... argues coherently that much of what we have been told about the threat of international terrorism "is a fantasy that has been exaggerated and distorted by politicians. It is a dark illusion that has spread unquestioned ... around the world." Why have we heard so much frightening talk about "dirty bombs" when experts say it is panic rather than radioactivity that would kill people? Why did Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld claim on "Meet the Press" in 2001 that Al Qaeda controlled massive high-tech cave complexes in Afghanistan, when British and U.S. military forces later found no such thing? The film ... directly challenges the conventional wisdom by making a powerful case that the Bush administration, led by a tight-knit cabal of Machiavellian neoconservatives, has seized upon the false image of a unified international terrorist threat to replace the expired Soviet empire in order to push a political agenda. "The nightmare vision of a uniquely powerful hidden organization waiting to strike our societies is an illusion. Wherever one looks for this Al Qaeda organization, from the mountains of Afghanistan to the 'sleeper cells' in America, the British and Americans are chasing a phantom enemy."
Note: If above link fails, click here. This highly revealing film by one of Britain's most respected documentary makers is available for free viewing on the Internet. For the link and lots more on this amazingly revealing documentary, click here. For an excellent review of the film in one of the U.K.'s leading newspapers, click here.
Lockheed Martin doesn't run the United States. But it does help run a breathtakingly big part of it. Lockheed ... has built a formidable information-technology empire that now stretches from the Pentagon to the post office. It sorts your mail and totals your taxes. It cuts Social Security checks and counts the United States census. It runs space flights and monitors air traffic. Lockheed ... is best known for its weapons. But in the post-9/11 world, Lockheed has become more than just the biggest corporate cog in what Dwight D. Eisenhower called the military-industrial complex. It is increasingly putting its stamp on the nation's military policies. Former Lockheed executives, lobbyists and lawyers hold crucial posts at the White House and the Pentagon, picking weapons and setting policies. War and crisis have been good for business. The company's stock has tripled in the last four years. Lockheed is creating robot soldiers and neural software - "intelligent agents" - to do their work. Israel spends much of the $1.8 billion in annual military aid from the United States to buy F-16 warplanes from Lockheed. Its own executives say the concentration of power among military contractors is more intense than in any other sector of business outside banking. AND, after 9/11 ... cost is essentially irrelevant. Former Lockheed executives serve on the Defense Policy Board ... and the Homeland Security Advisory Council, which help make military and intelligence policy and pick weapons for future battles. Lockheed's board includes E. C. Aldridge Jr. ... the Pentagon's chief weapons buyer.
Note: If the above link fails, click here. To say that "war and crisis have been good for business" is quite an understatement. To read what one of the most highly decorated generals had to say about this, click here.
As troops and equipment pour into the Gulf for a looming war with Iraq, United States military thinkers admit that "defence" means protecting ... cheap oil. As far back as 1975, Henry Kissinger, then secretary of state, said America was prepared to wage war over oil. Separate plans advocating US conquest of Saudi oilfields were published in the '70s. So it should come as little surprise that ... four months before the terrorist attacks on Washington and New York - a battle plan for Afghanistan was already being reviewed by the US Command that would carry it out after September 11. Military strategists were highlighting the energy wealth of the Caspian Sea and Central Asia and its importance to America's "security". The Indian media and Jane's Intelligence Review reported that the US was fighting covert battles against the Taliban, months before the "war on terrorism" was declared. Over several months beginning in April last year a series of military and governmental policy documents was released that sought to legitimise the use of US military force in the pursuit of oil and gas. A spring 2001 article by Jeffrey Record in the War College's journal, Parameters, argued the legitimacy of "shooting in the Persian Gulf on behalf of lower gas prices". Mr Record [is] a former staff member of the Senate armed services committee (and an apparent favourite of the Council on Foreign Relations). [He] advocated the acceptability of presidential subterfuge in the promotion of a conflict. Mr Record explicitly urged painting over the US's actual reasons for warfare with a nobly high-minded veneer, seeing such as a necessity for mobilising public support for a conflict.
Note: This highly revealing report on the military planning of wars for oil is well worth reading in its entirety, at the link above. For lots more on major deception and manipulation around the event of 9/11, click here.
Outside this country, there is a widespread belief that U.S. military deployments in Central Asia mostly are about oil. An article in the Guardian of London headlined, “A pro-western regime in Kabul should give the U.S. an Afghan route for Caspian oil,” foreshadowed the kind of skeptical coverage the U.S. war now receives in many countries. Author George Monbiot ... wrote that the U.S. oil company Unocal Corp. had been negotiating with the Taliban since 1995 to build "oil and gas pipelines from Turkmenistan, through Afghanistan and into Pakistani ports on the Arabian sea." Unocal pulled out of the deal after the 1998 terrorist attacks on U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were linked to terrorists based in Afghanistan. The terrorist acts of Sept. 11, though tragic, provided the Bush administration a [pretext] to invade Afghanistan, oust the recalcitrant Taliban and, coincidentally, smooth the way for the pipeline. To make things even smoother, the U.S. engineered the rise to power of two former Unocal employees: Hamid Karzai, the new interim president of Afghanistan, and Zalmay Khalizad, the Bush administration’s Afghanistan envoy. [Uri] Averny, a former member of the Israeli Knesset ... argues that the war on terrorism provides a perfect pretext for America’s imperial interests. “If one looks at the map of the big American bases created for the war, one is struck by the fact that they are completely identical to the route of the projected oil pipeline to the Indian Ocean.” No wonder the rest of the world is a bit skeptical about our war on evildoers.
Note: Why do so few people know that these two top officials of Afghanistan were once paid by an American oil company? For important reports from major media sources on the realities of the "war on terror," click here.
For nearly nine months the congressional investigations of the Central Intelligence Agency have been conducted behind closed doors. In the old Senate caucus room the ten members of the select Senate committee were questioning CIA officials, including Director William Colby and the deputy director for science and technology, Sayre Stevens, about 11 gm. of shellfish toxin and 8 mg. of cobra venom discovered last May in a CIA storeroom. Colby revealed that the agency in 1952 began a supersecret research program, code-named M.K. Naomi, partly to find countermeasures to chemical and biological weapons that might be used by the Russian KGB. CIA researchers ... came up with an array of James Bond weaponry that could use the shellfish toxin and other poisons as ammunition. To illustrate his testimony, Colby handed a pistol to Committee Chairman Frank Church. Resembling a Colt .45 equipped with a fat telescopic sight, the gun fires a toxin-tipped dart, almost silently and accurately up to 250 ft. Moreover, the dart is so tiny—the width of a human hair and a quarter of an inch long—as to be almost indetectable, and the poison leaves no trace in a victim's body. Charles Senseney, an engineer for the Defense Department, told the Senators that he had devised dart launchers that were disguised as walking canes and umbrellas.
Note: This silent, lethal dart gun causes what looks like a natural heart attack. If this sophisticated assassination technology was available back in 1975, what kind of secret weapons do you think they have now? To watch an incredible one-minute video clip on this dart gun, click here. To watch the full, highly revealing Warner Brothers documentary Secrets of the CIA, click here. For other riveting major media articles along these lines, click here.
A community of people who believe the government is beaming voices into their minds ... may be crazy, but the Pentagon has pursued a weapon that can do just that. An academic paper written for the Air Force in the mid-1990s mentions the idea of [such] a weapon. "The signal can be a 'message from God' that can warn the enemy of impending doom, or encourage the enemy to surrender." In 2002, the Air Force Research Laboratory patented precisely such a technology: using microwaves to send words into someone's head. The patent was based on human experimentation in October 1994 at the Air Force lab, where scientists were able to transmit phrases into the heads of human subjects, albeit with marginal intelligibility. The official U.S. Air Force position is that there are no non-thermal effects of microwaves. Yet ... the military's use of weapons that employ electromagnetic radiation to create pain is well-known. In 2001, the Pentagon declassified one element of this research: the Active Denial System, a weapon that uses electromagnetic radiation to heat skin and create an intense burning sensation. While its exact range is classified, Doug Beason, an expert in directed-energy weapons, puts it at about 700 meters, and the beam cannot penetrate a number of materials, such as aluminum. Given the history of America's clandestine research, it's reasonable to assume that if the defense establishment could develop mind-control or long-distance ray weapons, it almost certainly would. And, once developed, the possibility that they might be tested on innocent civilians could not be categorically dismissed.
Note: For lots more reliable, verifiable information on the little-known, yet critical topic of nonlethal weapons, click here. For an excellent two-page summary of government mind control programs, click here.
Michael Scheuer, a 22-year veteran of the CIA, wrote "Imperial Hubris: Why the West is Losing the War on Terror." Between January 1996 and June 1999 I was in charge of running operations against Al Qaeda from Washington. When it comes to this small slice of the large U.S. national security pie, I speak with firsthand experience (and for several score of CIA officers) when I state categorically that during this time senior White House officials repeatedly refused to act on sound intelligence that provided multiple chances to eliminate Osama bin Laden — either by capture or by U.S. military attack. I witnessed and documented, along with dozens of other CIA officers, instances where life-risking intelligence-gathering work of the agency's men and women in the field was wasted. I was never charged with deciding whether to act against Bin Laden. That decision properly belongs solely to senior White House officials. However, as a now-private American citizen, it is my right to question their judgment; I am entitled to know why the protection of Americans — most selfishly, my own children and grandchildren — was not the top priority of the senior officials who refused to act on the opportunities to attack Bin Laden provided by the clandestine service. Each of these officials have publicly argued that the intelligence was not "good enough" to act, but they almost always neglect to say that they were repeatedly advised that the intelligence was not going to get better and that Bin Laden was going to kill thousands of Americans if he was not stopped.
Much of what the Pentagon knows about the effects of bacterial attacks on cities came from ... secret tests conducted on San Francisco and other American cities from the 1940s through the 1960s, experts say. In the 1950s, Army researchers dispersed Serratia on Panama City, Fla., and Key West, Fla., with no known illnesses resulting. They also released fluorescent compounds over Minnesota and other Midwestern states to see how far they would spread in the atmosphere. The particles of zinc-cadmium-sulfide -- now a known cancer-causing agent -- were detected more than 1,000 miles away in New York state, the Army told the Senate hearings. In New York, military researchers in 1966 spread Bacillus subtilis variant Niger, also believed to be harmless, in the subway system by dropping lightbulbs filled with the bacteria onto tracks in stations in midtown Manhattan. The bacteria were carried for miles throughout the subway system. The Army kept the biological-warfare tests secret until word of them was leaked to the press in the 1970s. Between 1949 and 1969 ... open-air tests of biological agents were conducted 239 times, according to the Army's testimony in 1977 before the Senate's subcommittee on health. In 80 of those experiments, the Army said it used live bacteria that its researchers at the time thought were harmless. Several medical experts have since claimed that an untold number of people may have gotten sick as a result of the germ tests. These researchers say even benign agents can mutate into unpredictable pathogens once exposed to the elements.
Note: Reading the full article on the Wall Street Journal website requires a paid subscription. You can read it free at this link. Considering that the army kept all of these tests secret for decades, is it possible that they are keeping information on chemtrails secret from the public? For lots more on the government secretly using unsuspecting citizens as guinea pigs in its risky experiments over the years, click here. For powerful evidence that this is still happening, click here.
Security chiefs on both sides of the Atlantic repeatedly turned down the chance to acquire a vast intelligence database on Osama bin Laden and more than 200 leading members of his al-Qaeda terrorist network in the years leading up to the 11 September attacks. They were offered thick files, with photographs and detailed biographies of many of his principal cadres, and vital information about al-Qaeda's financial interests in many parts of the globe. On two separate occasions, they were given an opportunity to extradite or interview key bin Laden operatives who had been arrested in Africa because they appeared to be planning terrorist atrocities. None of the offers, made regularly from the start of 1995, was taken up. One senior CIA source admitted last night: 'This represents the worst single intelligence failure in this whole terrible business.' Bin Laden and his cadres came to Sudan in 1992 because at that time it was one of the few Islamic countries where they did not need visas. He used his time there to build a lucrative web of legitimate businesses, and to seed a far-flung financial network - much of which was monitored by the Sudanese. They also kept his followers under close surveillance. One US source who has seen the files on bin Laden's men in Khartoum said some were 'an inch and a half thick'. They included photographs, and information on their families, backgrounds and contacts.
Dean Baquet, the executive editor of the New York Times, believes his newspaper – in company with the US mainstream media – failed their audiences after 9/11. He told the German news magazine Der Spiegel that he agreed with the criticism originally made by an NYT reporter, James Risen, Baquet said: “The mainstream press was not aggressive enough after 9/11, was not aggressive enough in asking questions about a decision to go to war in Iraq, was not aggressive enough in asking the hard questions about the war on terror. I accept that for the Los Angeles Times and the New York Times”. Baquet, in charge of the NYT since May 2014, was previously editor-in-chief of the LA Times. In his wide-ranging interview with Der Spiegel, Baquet also spoke about the NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden having chosen to tell his story to the Guardian. He said he regards the Guardian as “a new competitor [for the NYT] in the digital age.” He said: “Does it make me nervous that they compete with us and in fact beat us on the Snowden story? Yes. "It hurt a lot. It meant two things. Morally, it meant that somebody with a big story to tell didn’t think we were the place to go, and that’s painful. And then it also meant that we got beaten on what was arguably the biggest national security story in many, many years.
Note: When asked about the New York Times' refusal to report on military drone base locations in the interview referenced above, Baquet recalls, "A high-ranking CIA official called me up and made the case to leave out where the drone base was. It was Saudi Arabia. I accepted it. And I was wrong." For more along these lines, see these concise summaries of deeply revealing articles about mass media manipulation.
A century has passed since the start of World War I, which many people at the time declared was “the war to end all wars.” Unfortunately, wars just kept happening. In influential research sponsored by the World Bank, the Oxford economist Paul Collier has shown that the best predictor of civil war, which is all too common in poor countries, is the availability of lootable resources like diamonds. Whatever other reasons rebels cite for their actions seem to be mainly after-the-fact rationalizations. If you’re a modern, wealthy nation, however, war — even easy, victorious war — doesn’t pay. And this has been true for a long time. In his famous 1910 book The Great Illusion, the British journalist Norman Angell argued that “military power is socially and economically futile.” As he pointed out, in an interdependent world (which already existed in the age of steamships, railroads, and the telegraph), war would necessarily inflict severe economic harm even on the victor. Modern nations can’t enrich themselves by waging war. Yet wars keep happening. Why? Governments all too often gain politically from war, even if the war in question makes no sense in terms of national interests. Nations almost always rally around their leaders in times of war, no matter how foolish the war or how awful the leaders. Argentina’s junta briefly became extremely popular during the Falklands war. For a time, the “war on terror” took President George W. Bush’s approval to dizzying heights, and Iraq probably won him the 2004 election. True to form, Mr. Putin’s approval ratings have soared since the Ukraine crisis began.
Note: For more on this, see this concise summary of War Is A Racket, a powerful book written by one of the most highly decorated US generals ever.
Just weeks before Blackwater guards fatally shot 17 civilians at Baghdad’s Nisour Square in 2007, the State Department began investigating the security contractor’s operations in Iraq. But the inquiry was abandoned after Blackwater’s top manager there issued a threat: “that he could kill” the government’s chief investigator and “no one could or would do anything about it as we were in Iraq.” American Embassy officials in Baghdad sided with Blackwater rather than the State Department investigators as a dispute over the probe escalated in August 2007, the previously undisclosed documents show. The officials told the investigators that they had disrupted the embassy’s relationship with the security contractor and ordered them to leave the country. After returning to Washington, the chief investigator wrote a scathing report to State Department officials documenting misconduct by Blackwater employees and warning that lax oversight of the company, which had a contract worth more than $1 billion to protect American diplomats, had created “an environment full of liability and negligence.” “The management structures in place to manage and monitor our contracts in Iraq have become subservient to the contractors themselves,” the investigator, Jean C. Richter, wrote in an Aug. 31, 2007, memo to State Department officials. “Blackwater contractors saw themselves as above the law,” he said, adding that the “hands off” management resulted in a situation in which “the contractors, instead of Department officials, are in command and in control.”
Note: For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war crimes news articles from reliable major media sources.
For almost nine hours starting on Sept. 18, 1980, brave airmen sought to contain the damage precipitated by a dropped wrench socket that hit a Titan II missile -- which was tipped with a W-53 thermonuclear warhead -- in its silo [in Damascus, Arkansas]. The socket pierced the missile’s skin, causing fuel and oxidizer leaks. The ensuing explosion destroyed the silo, propelling missile parts and [the] warhead into abbreviated flight. One airman died from internal wounds while 21 personnel were injured. The W-53 warhead ended up on a nearby roadside -- passed by motorists but fortunately never detonated. Close, but no mushroom cloud. This freakish event is at the core of Eric Schlosser’s new book, Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident and the Illusion of Safety. “The United States has narrowly avoided a long series of nuclear disasters,” he writes. He reveals declassified studies that disclose hundreds of mishaps between 1950 and 1967 and beyond. They include a B-61 hydrogen bomb accidentally dropped 7 feet from a parked B-52 bomber at Carswell Air Force Base when a crewman pulled a handle too hard, and a Mark 6 atomic bomb landing in a Mars Bluff, South Carolina backyard, creating a 35-foot-deep crater and blowing out nearby windows and doors. Schlosser takes Baby Boomers of the “duck and cover” era down a Megaton Memory Lane while providing a vivid primer for the Twitter generation on a world where nuclear weapons were a fact of life to deter a larger-than-life Soviet Union depicted as bent on world domination.
Note: Watch a 16-minute interview with Erik Schlosser showing how close we have come to accidental nuclear explosions. For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing nuclear risk news articles from reliable major media sources.
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