War News Stories
Excerpts of Key War News Stories in Major Media


Below are many highly revealing excerpts of important war news stories reported in the major media that suggest a major cover-up. Links are provided to the full stories on their mainstream media websites. If any link fails to function, read this webpage. These war news stories are listed by date posted to this webpage. You can explore the same articles listed by order of importance or by article date. By choosing to educate ourselves on these important issues and to spread the word, we can and will build a brighter future.


War News stories


Note: This comprehensive list of war news stories is usually updated once a week. Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.

U.S. acknowledges killing of four U.S. citizens in counterterrorism operations
2013-05-22, Washington Post
Posted: 2013-05-28 11:06:58
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/us-acknowledges-killing...

The Obama administration acknowledged [on May 22] that it has killed four Americans in overseas counterterrorism operations since 2009, the first time it has publicly taken responsibility for the deaths. Three are known to have died in CIA drone strikes in Yemen in 2011: Anwar al-Awlaki, his 16-year-old son and Samir Khan. The fourth — Jude Kennan Mohammad, a Florida native indicted in North Carolina in 2009 — was killed in Pakistan, where the CIA has operated a drone campaign against terrorism suspects for nearly a decade. His death was previously unreported. In addition to disclosure of the four killings, Holder wrote that Obama has approved classified briefings for Congress on an overall policy document, informally called the “playbook.” The document, more than a year in the making, codifies the administration’s standards and processes for its unprecedented program of targeted killing and capture of terrorism suspects outside of war zones. Nearly 400 drone strikes, in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia, have been launched by the CIA and U.S. military forces during Obama’s presidency. According to Holder’s letter, Awlaki was the only U.S. citizen the administration “has specifically targeted and killed.” Two weeks after Awlaki’s death, his 16-year-old son, Abdulrahman — who had gone to the Yemeni desert in search of his father — was killed in a drone strike meant for someone else. That strike was similarly unacknowledged, although a senior administration official privately characterized it as a “mistake.”

Note: So an American citizen, Awlaki's son, was killed by a drone by "mistake"? What happened to the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which states no citizen shall "be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law"? For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on the atrocities carried out by the US and UK in their global wars of aggression, click here.




Washington gets explicit: its 'war on terror' is permanent
2013-05-17, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2013-05-28 11:05:28
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/may/17/endless-war-on-terror-obama

On [May 16], the Senate Armed Services Committee held a hearing on whether the statutory basis for [the "Global War on Terror"] - the 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF) - should be revised (meaning: expanded). Asked at a Senate hearing today how long the war on terrorism will last, Michael Sheehan, the assistant secretary of defense for special operations and low-intensity conflict, answered, 'At least 10 to 20 years.' The military historian Andrew Bacevich has spent years warning that US policy planners have adopted an explicit doctrine of "endless war". Obama officials, despite repeatedly boasting that they have delivered permanently crippling blows to al-Qaida, are now, as clearly as the English language permits, openly declaring this to be so. It is hard to resist the conclusion that this war has no purpose other than its own eternal perpetuation. This war is not a means to any end but rather is the end in itself. The "war on terror" cannot and will not end on its own [because] the nation's most powerful political and economic factions reap a bonanza of benefits from its continuation. The genius of America's endless war machine is that, learning from the unpleasantness of the Vietnam war protests, it has rendered the costs of war largely invisible.

Note: A top US general long ago exposed the corrupt roots of war in his penetrating book War is a Racket. For a concise, two-page summary of this revealing book, click here. For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on the atrocities carried out by the US and UK in their global wars of aggression, click here.




The price of pacifism: Refusing to go to war is finally being recognised as a brave act
2013-05-18, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2013-05-28 09:54:29
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/world-history/the-price-of-pacifism-r...

International Conscientious Objection Day took place this week, on 15 May, and in the UK, a ceremony was held at the CO Commemorative Stone in Tavistock Square, Bloomsbury. The UK has also recently seen the opening of a new memorial to COs, at The National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire. The earliest recorded incidence of conscientious objection was in 296AD, when a Roman refused to serve as a soldier because of his religious beliefs; he was killed, but subsequently canonised as Saint Maximilian. The term 'conscientious objector', however, only gained currency during the First World War, following the implementation of conscription in 1916. In Britain, over 16,000 men refused to fight. While it is well known that many with strong religious beliefs objected, interestingly some war-resisters refused on socialist grounds: they would not fight brother workers, feeling that the average soldier was but a pawn of the ruling classes. Few were given total exemption. Many were forced to join the army or the Non-Combatant Corps (NCC), to serve in a supporting role to the armed forces. Many 'conchies' refused either option, and were sent to prison as a result. The abuses they suffered for their stance make for extremely grim reading, [as] told by David Boulton, in his book Objection Overruled. But word got out about such experiences – and public feeling did move towards respect. It became recognised that to stand up and be counted as someone who would not fight required its own, very high, degree of courage.

Note: For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.




With Bags of Cash, C.I.A. Seeks Influence in Afghanistan
2013-04-29, New York Times
Posted: 2013-05-07 08:23:15
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/29/world/asia/cia-delivers-cash-to-afghan-lead...

For more than a decade, wads of American dollars packed into suitcases, backpacks and, on occasion, plastic shopping bags have been dropped off every month or so at the offices of Afghanistan’s president — courtesy of the Central Intelligence Agency. All told, tens of millions of dollars have flowed from the C.I.A. to the office of President Hamid Karzai, according to current and former advisers to the Afghan leader. “We called it ‘ghost money,’ ” said Khalil Roman, who served as Mr. Karzai’s deputy chief of staff from 2002 until 2005. “It came in secret, and it left in secret.” The C.I.A. ... has long been known to support some relatives and close aides of Mr. Karzai. But the new accounts of off-the-books cash delivered directly to his office show payments on a vaster scale, and with a far greater impact on everyday governing. Moreover, there is little evidence that the payments bought the influence the C.I.A. sought. Instead, some American officials said, the cash has fueled corruption and empowered warlords, undermining Washington’s exit strategy from Afghanistan. “The biggest source of corruption in Afghanistan,” one American official said, “was the United States.” Now, Mr. Karzai is seeking control over the Afghan militias raised by the C.I.A. to target ... insurgent commanders, potentially upending a critical part of the Obama administration’s plans for fighting militants as conventional military forces pull back this year. But the C.I.A. has continued to pay.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on government corruption, click here.




UN report wants to terminate killer robots, opposes life-or-death powers over humans
2013-05-02, Washington Post/Associated Press
Posted: 2013-05-07 08:08:46
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/un-draft-report-wants-to-terminate-killer...

Killer robots that can attack targets without any human input “should not have the power of life and death over human beings,” a new draft U.N. report says. The report for the U.N. Human Rights Commission ... deals with legal and philosophical issues involved in giving robots lethal powers over humans. Report author Christof Heyns, a South African professor of human rights law, calls for a worldwide moratorium on the “testing, production, assembly, transfer, acquisition, deployment and use” of killer robots until an international conference can develop rules for their use. The United States, Britain, Israel, South Korea and Japan have developed various types of fully or semi-autonomous weapons. Heyns focuses on a new generation of weapons that choose their targets and execute them. He calls them “lethal autonomous robotics,” or LARs for short, and says: “Decisions over life and death in armed conflict may require compassion and intuition. Humans — while they are fallible — at least might possess these qualities, whereas robots definitely do not.” The report goes beyond the recent debate over drone killings. Drones do have human oversight. The killer robots are programmed to make autonomous decisions on the spot without orders from humans. “Lethal autonomous robotics (LARs) ... would add a new dimension to this distancing [i.e., the remote control of drones], in that targeting decisions could be taken by the robots themselves. In addition to being physically removed from the kinetic action, humans would also become more detached from decisions to kill - and their execution,” he wrote.

Note: The U.N. draft report is available at this link.




The Billionaire Brothers Behind America's Predator Drones -- And Their Very Strange Past
2013-04-24, AlterNet
Posted: 2013-05-07 08:01:42
http://www.alternet.org/investigations/billionaire-brothers-behind-americas-p...

Gray Butte, CA: The General Atomics drone base, way out in the wastelands of the Mojave Desert ... today ranks as possibly the largest private drone base in the United States. General Atomics took the base over in 2001 and converted it into a testing and quality control facility for its drone fleet. This is where the company tests experimental drone technology--like the newfangled stealth bomber jet drone. But mostly the base is where General Atomics techs assemble and test their Predator and Reaper drones before breaking them down again and shipping them to eager customers in the Air Force, Border Patrol, National Guard and the CIA. The Guardian estimated that U.S. armed forces had about 250 General Atomics drones in 2012. And a good number of them first came through Grey Butte. [The] brothers who make them: Linden Stanley and James Neal Blue, the mysterious Blue brothers who own and run General Atomics. General Atomics does not disclose its financial information, but stats gleaned from public data show that they took in just under $5 billion from U.S. taxpayers from 2000 to 2009. Current annual revenue is estimated to between $600 million and $1 billion, with about 80 percent coming from government defense contracts. Today, General Atomics dominates 25% of the UAV market--a market that will only keep getting bigger and bigger.

Note: For lots more excellent background to the Blue brothers and their predator-producing company, read the NY Times article at this link.




Combat school must disclose trainees
2013-04-23, San Francisco Chronicle (SF's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2013-04-30 08:17:43
http://www.sfgate.com/nation/article/Combat-school-must-disclose-trainees-445...

A federal judge in Oakland says the government must release the names of Latin American military leaders it has trained at the installation formerly known as the School of the Americas, where protesters say the United States has nurtured some of the hemisphere's worst human rights abusers. The Defense Department facility at Fort Benning, Ga., now called the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, provides training in combat and counterinsurgency techniques. The U.S. government, starting in 1994, released the names and military units of trainees who had attended the school since 1946. The list contained more than 60,000 names when disclosure was ended by President George W. Bush's administration in 2004. The Obama administration has defended its predecessor's action in court. But U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton ruled ... that members of SOA Watch, which has protested at the school for more than two decades, were entitled to the names under [FOIA]. She said there was no evidence that any trainees had ever been promised anonymity or had been harmed by the pre-2004 practice of public identification. If Hamilton's decision stands, it will restore an important public safeguard, said Judith Liteky of San Francisco, a plaintiff in the suit and a participant in the protest movement since 1990. Liteky's husband, Charlie Liteky, was awarded the Medal of Honor as an Army chaplain in Vietnam and has served two jail sentences for protests at the Georgia school. Judith Liteky described the school as "an affront to our democracy," saying the opposition movement has compiled more than 500 names of human rights abusers among the graduates.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on government corruption, click here.




Gitmo Is Killing Me
2013-04-15, New York Times
Posted: 2013-04-23 08:36:40
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/15/opinion/hunger-striking-at-guantanamo-bay.html

I’ve been detained at Guantánamo for 11 years and three months. I have never been charged with any crime. I have never received a trial. Last month, on March 15, I was sick in the prison hospital and refused to be fed. A team from the E.R.F. (Extreme Reaction Force), a squad of eight military police officers in riot gear, burst in. They tied my hands and feet to the bed. They forcibly inserted an IV into my hand. I spent 26 hours in this state, tied to the bed. During this time I was not permitted to go to the toilet. They inserted a catheter, which was painful, degrading and unnecessary. I was not even permitted to pray. I will never forget the first time they passed the feeding tube up my nose. I can’t describe how painful it is to be force-fed this way. As it was thrust in, it made me feel like throwing up. I wanted to vomit, but I couldn’t. There was agony in my chest, throat and stomach. I had never experienced such pain before. I would not wish this cruel punishment upon anyone. I am still being force-fed. Two times a day they tie me to a chair in my cell. My arms, legs and head are strapped down. When they come to force me into the chair, if I refuse to be tied up, they call the E.R.F. team. So I have a choice. Either I can exercise my right to protest my detention, and be beaten up, or I can submit to painful force-feeding. The only reason I am still here is that President Obama refuses to send any detainees back to Yemen. This makes no sense. I am a human being ... and I deserve to be treated like one.

Note: Samir Naji al Hasan Moqbel, has been a prisoner at Guantánamo Bay since 2002. For an illuminating analysis of this situation by the Washington Post, click here.




Indisputable Torture
2013-04-17, New York Times
Posted: 2013-04-23 08:35:08
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/17/opinion/indisputable-torture-of-prisoners.html

A dozen years after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, an independent, nonpartisan panel’s examination of the interrogation and detention programs carried out in their aftermath by the Bush administration ... provides a valuable, even necessary reckoning. The work of the [11-member task force convened by the Constitution Project, a legal research and advocacy group] is informed by interviews with dozens of former American and foreign officials, as well as with former prisoners. It is the fullest independent effort so far to assess the treatment of detainees at Guantánamo Bay, in Afghanistan and Iraq, and at the C.I.A.’s secret prisons. The report’s authoritative conclusion that “the United States engaged in the practice of torture” is impossible to dismiss. The report found that those methods violated international legal obligations with “no firm or persuasive evidence” that they produced valuable information that could not have been obtained by other means. The task force found that using torture — like waterboarding, slamming prisoners into walls, and chaining them in uncomfortable stress position for hours — had “no justification”. And in engineering “enforced disappearances” and secret detentions, the United States violated its international treaty obligations. As the panel notes, there never was before “the kind of considered and detailed discussions that occurred after 9/11 directly involving a president and his top advisers on the wisdom, propriety and legality of inflicting pain and torment on some detainees in our custody.”

Note: For another informative article on this from the Times, click here.




Three key lessons from the Obama administration's drone lies
2013-04-11, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2013-04-16 08:41:10
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/apr/11/three-lessons-obama-drone...

For years, senior Obama officials, including the president himself, have been making public claims about their drone program that have just been proven to be categorically false. McClatchy's national security reporter, Jonathan Landay, obtained top-secret intelligence documents showing that "contrary to assurances it has deployed US drones only against known senior leaders of al-Qaida and allied groups, the Obama administration has targeted and killed hundreds of suspected lower-level Afghan, Pakistani and unidentified 'other' militants in scores of strikes in Pakistan's rugged tribal area." That article quotes drone expert Micah Zenko of the Council on Foreign Relations as saying that "McClatchy's findings indicate that the administration is 'misleading the public about the scope of who can legitimately be targeted.'" In his own must-read article at Foreign Policy about these disclosures, Zenko writes - under the headline: "Finally, proof that the United States has lied in the drone wars" - that "it turns out that the Obama administration has not been honest about who the CIA has been targeting with drones in Pakistan" and that the McClatchy article "plainly demonstrates that the claim repeatedly made by President Obama and his senior aides - that targeted killings are limited only to officials, members, and affiliates of al-Qaida who pose an imminent threat of attack on the US homeland - is false." Zenko explains that these now-disproven claims may very well make the drone strikes illegal since assertions about who is being targeted were "essential to the legal foundations on which the strikes are ultimately based."

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on the lies and crimes committed by the US and UK in their global wars of aggression, click here.




UN Adopts Treaty to Regulate Global Arms Trade
2013-04-03, ABC News/Associated Press
Posted: 2013-04-09 15:10:28
http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/adopts-treaty-regulate-global-arms-trade-1...

The U.N. General Assembly overwhelmingly approved the first international treaty regulating the multibillion-dollar global arms trade [on April 2], after a more than decade-long campaign. The final vote: 154 in favor, 3 against and 23 abstentions. "This is a victory for the world's people," U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said. "The Arms Trade Treaty will make it more difficult for deadly weapons to be diverted into the illicit market. ... It will be a powerful new tool in our efforts to prevent grave human rights abuses or violations of international humanitarian law." Never before has there been a treaty regulating the global arms trade, which is estimated to be worth $60 billion. Frank Jannuzi, deputy executive director of Amnesty International USA [said,] "The voices of reason triumphed over skeptics, treaty opponents and dealers in death to establish a revolutionary treaty that constitutes a major step toward keeping assault rifles, rocket-propelled grenades and other weapons out of the hands of despots and warlords who use them to kill and maim civilians, recruit child soldiers and commit other serious abuses." What impact the treaty will actually have remains to be seen. It will take effect 90 days after 50 countries ratify it, and a lot will depend on which ones ratify and which ones don't, and how stringently it is implemented. As for its chances of being ratified by the U.S., the powerful National Rifle Association has vehemently opposed it, and it is likely to face stiff resistance from conservatives in the Senate, where it needs two-thirds to win ratification.




Top Pentagon thinker bemoans “civilian subjugation to the military.”
2013-03-26, Boston Globe
Posted: 2013-04-02 09:10:23
http://www.boston.com/news/local/blogs/war-and-peace/2013/03/26/top-pentagon-...

Blistering charges of misplaced power and a morally bankrupt culture in the nation’s “military-industrial complex” are rarely leveled by one of the defense establishment’s own. But that is exactly what ... Gregory D. Foster, a former Army officer and West Point graduate who now teaches national security studies at the National Defense University in Washington [did] when he went after the top brass, political leaders, and defense company executives [at a recent defense budget conference]. He accused them of allowing the nearly sacrosanct principle of civilian control of the military—an early building block of American democracy—to be turned on its head. How? By virtually never questioning the key assumptions of military planning and allowing a largely unchecked, destructive and highly militarized foreign policy to pose as a “properly subordinated military industrial complex.” [Foster said] “This is what I call civilian subjugation to the military. We face it in this administration, we faced it in the Clinton administration...we faced it in the Bush administration.” It all makes for a national security establishment, in Foster’s view, that perpetuates an approach to the world that is overly confrontational, lacks critical thinking about long term objectives, and even undercuts the strategic aims of democracy. For example, he said the accepted orthodoxy of never-ending global threats and the necessity to confront them militarily makes it nearly impossible to fashion a national security strategy that puts real security, crisis prevention, and the preservation of civil society ahead of institutional bias and private profit.

Note: For a penetrating analysis by a great general of the real purposes served by continuous war, click here.




The Lyndon Johnson tapes: Richard Nixon's 'treason'
2013-03-22, BBC News
Posted: 2013-03-25 16:05:16
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-21768668

Declassified tapes of President Lyndon Johnson's telephone calls provide a fresh insight into his world. Among the revelations - he caught Richard Nixon sabotaging the Vietnam peace talks... but said nothing. By the time of the election in November 1968, LBJ had evidence Nixon had sabotaged the Vietnam war peace talks - or, as he put it, that Nixon was guilty of treason and had "blood on his hands". Now, for the first time, the whole story can be told. It begins in the summer of 1968. Nixon feared a breakthrough at the Paris Peace talks designed to find a negotiated settlement to the Vietnam war, and he knew this would derail his campaign. He therefore set up a clandestine back-channel involving Anna Chennault, a senior campaign adviser. At a July meeting in Nixon's New York apartment, the South Vietnamese ambassador was told Chennault represented Nixon and spoke for the campaign. If any message needed to be passed to the South Vietnamese president, Nguyen Van Thieu, it would come via Chennault. In late October 1968 there were major concessions from Hanoi which promised to allow meaningful talks to get underway in Paris - concessions that would justify Johnson calling for a complete bombing halt of North Vietnam. This was exactly what Nixon feared. Chennault was despatched to the South Vietnamese embassy with a clear message: the South Vietnamese government should withdraw from the talks, refuse to deal with Johnson, and if Nixon was elected, they would get a much better deal. So on the eve of his planned announcement of a halt to the bombing, Johnson learned the South Vietnamese were pulling out.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on government corruption, click here.




Federal court rejects CIA's denial of drone strikes as 'fiction'
2013-03-15, Los Angeles Times
Posted: 2013-03-25 16:01:07
http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-pn-court-cia-drone-20130315,0,1257923...

A federal appeals court said [on March 15] that it will no longer accept the “fiction” from the Obama administration’s lawyers that the CIA has no interest in or documents that describe drone strikes. “It is neither logical nor plausible for the CIA to maintain that it would reveal anything not already in the public domain to say the Agency at least has an intelligence interest in such strikes,” said Chief Judge Merrick Garland. “The defendant is, after all, the Central Intelligence Agency.” The decision gave a partial victory to the American Civil Liberties Union in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit that seeks documents on the government’s still-secret policy on drone strikes. The three judges ... rejected the administration’s position that it could simply refuse to “confirm or deny” that it had any such documents. A federal judge had rejected the ACLU’s suit entirely, but the three-judge appeals court revived the suit. The agency’s non-response does not pass the “straight face” test, Garland concluded. He cited public statements from President Obama, new CIA Director John Brennan and former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta that discussed the use of drone strikes abroad. “In this case, the CIA has asked the courts ... to give their imprimatur to a fiction of deniability that no reasonable person would regard as plausible,” Garland wrote in ACLU vs. CIA. ACLU attorney Jameel Jaffer called the decision a victory. “It requires the government to retire the absurd claim that the CIA’s interest in targeted killing is a secret,” he said. “It also means that the CIA will have to explain what records it is withholding and on what grounds it is withholding them."

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on the lies required to sustain the illegal US/UK wars of aggression in the Middle East, Asia and Africa, click here.




UN: Pakistan 'does not sanction' US drone strikes
2013-03-15, BBC News
Posted: 2013-03-25 15:59:45
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-21803391

The head of a UN team investigating US drone strikes in Pakistan has said that Islamabad does not consent to them and sees them as a territorial violation. American officials say privately that co-operation with Pakistan has not ended altogether - despite a cooling of relations - and key Pakistani military officers and civilian politicians continue to support the strikes. It is estimated that between 2004 and 2013, CIA drone attacks in Pakistan killed up to 3,460 people. About 890 of them were civilians and the vast majority of strikes were carried out under the President Barack Obama's administration. "The position of the government of Pakistan is quite clear," Mr Emmerson said on Friday. "It does not consent to the use of drones by the United States on its territory and it considers this to be a violation of Pakistan's sovereignty and territorial integrity." The drone campaign "involves the use of force on the territory of another state without its consent", he said. Furthermore Pakistan believes that drone strikes are radicalising a new generation of militants, he said, when it was capable of fighting Islamist extremists in the country by itself. The UN special rapporteur said that as a matter of international law, drone strikes were only lawful if they took place at the express request of the country concerned.

Note: Why are these drone strikes allowed to continue when Pakistan clear opposes them and when there is not doubt many civilians are killed? For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on government corruption, click here.




U.S. Air Force stops reporting data on Afghan drone strikes
2013-03-10, NBC News/Reuters
Posted: 2013-03-19 09:21:34
http://www.nbcnews.com/id/51122184/ns/world_news-south_and_central_asia

With debate intensifying in the United States over the use of drone aircraft, the U.S. military said ... that it had removed data about air strikes carried out by unmanned planes in Afghanistan from its monthly air power summaries. U.S. President Barack Obama's administration has increasingly used drones to target against ... militants overseas. The debate was intensified by Obama's decision to nominate his chief counter-terrorism adviser John Brennan, an architect of the drone campaign, as the new director of the CIA. Brennan was sworn into office on [March 8] following a protracted confirmation battle that saw Senator Rand Paul attempt to block a vote on the nomination with a technical maneuver called a filibuster, in which he tried to prevent a vote by talking continuously. Paul held the Senate floor for more than 12 hours while talking mainly about drones, expressing concern that Obama's administration might use the aircraft to target U.S. citizens on home soil.

Note: For a disturbing report on the massive expansion of drones over US skies, click here.




Court Docs Reveal Blackwater’s Secret CIA Past
2013-03-14, The Daily Beast/Newsweek
Posted: 2013-03-19 09:19:54
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/03/14/exclusive-erik-prince-on-bla...

Last month a three-year-long federal prosecution of Blackwater collapsed. The government’s 15-felony indictment—on such charges as conspiring to hide purchases of automatic rifles and other weapons from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives—could have led to years of jail time for Blackwater personnel. In the end, however, the government got only misdemeanor guilty pleas by two former executives, each of whom were sentenced to four months of house arrest, three years’ probation, and a fine of $5,000. Prosecutors dropped charges against three other executives named in the suit and abandoned the felony charges altogether. But the most noteworthy thing about the largely failed prosecution wasn’t the outcome. It was the tens of thousands of pages of documents—some declassified—that the litigation left in its wake. These documents illuminate Blackwater’s defense strategy: to defeat the charges it was facing, Blackwater built a case not only that it worked with the CIA—which was already widely known—but that it was in many ways an extension of the agency itself. [CEO Erik] Prince [said] recently, “Blackwater’s work with the CIA began when we provided specialized instructors and facilities that the Agency lacked. In the years that followed, the company became a virtual extension of the CIA because we were asked time and again to carry out dangerous missions, which the Agency either could not or would not do in-house.”

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on the growing privatization of intelligence agency functions, click here.




How the US public was defrauded by the hidden cost of the Iraq war
2013-03-11, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2013-03-19 09:18:18
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/mar/11/us-public-defrauded-hidde...

When the US invaded Iraq in March 2003, the Bush administration estimated that it would cost $50-60bn to overthrow Saddam Hussein and establish a functioning government. This estimate was catastrophically wrong: the war in Iraq has cost $823.2bn between 2003 and 2011. Some estimates suggest that it may eventually cost as much as $3.7tn when ... the long-term costs of caring for the wounded and the families of those killed [are factored in]. The most striking fact about the cost of the war in Iraq has been the extent to which it has been kept "off the books" of the government's ledgers and hidden from the American people. This was done by design. The most obvious way in which the true cost of this war was kept hidden was with the use of supplemental appropriations to fund the occupation. By one estimate, 70% of the costs of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan between 2003 and 2008 were funded with supplemental or emergency appropriations approved outside the Pentagon's annual budget. With the Iraq war treated as an "off the books" expense, the Pentagon was allowed to keep spending on high-end military equipment and cutting-edge technology. The Bush administration masked the cost of the war with deficit spending to ensure that the American people would not face up to its costs while President Bush was in office. [It] encouraged the American people to keep spending and "enjoy life", while the government paid for the occupation of Iraq on a credit card they hoped never to have to repay.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on government corruption, click here.




President Could, In Theory, Order Drone Strike Inside U.S., Holder Says
2013-03-05, NPR
Posted: 2013-03-12 09:24:57
http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/03/05/173572444/president-could-in-t...

Attorney General Eric Holder has said in a letter to Sen. Rand Paul that the president could in an "entirely hypothetical" situation authorize the military to use lethal force within U.S. territory. The letter to Paul came in response to three inquiries the Kentucky Republican sent to John Brennan, President Obama's nominee for CIA director. Paul's letters asked if it was legal for the U.S. government to use lethal force, including in the form of drone strikes, on Americans inside the country. Here's Holder's response, in part: "As members of this Administration have previously indicated, the U.S. government has not carried out drone strikes in the United States and has no intention of doing so. The question you have posed is therefore entirely hypothetical, unlikely to occur, and one we hope no President will ever have to confront. It is possible, I suppose, to imagine an extraordinary circumstance in which it would be necessary and appropriate for the President to authorize the military to use lethal force within the territory of the United States. For example, the President could conceivably have no choice but to authorize the military to use such force if necessary to protect the homeland in the circumstances of a catastrophic attack like the ones suffered on December 7, 1941, and September 11, 2001."

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on the loss of civil liberties in the US, click here.




Rand Paul filibusters vote on CIA director nominee John Brennan over drones
2013-03-06, CBS News
Posted: 2013-03-12 09:22:24
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-250_162-57572883/rand-paul-filibusters-vote-on-ci...

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., is filibustering the nomination of John Brennan to be director of the CIA, delivering a protracted speech on the Senate floor in protest of the Obama administration's controversial drone program, of which Brennan has been a key architect. Paul, speaking during the debate surrounding Brennan's nomination on the Senate floor, said he would "speak until I can no longer speak" in order to get his point across. "I will speak as long as it takes, until the alarm is sounded from coast to coast that our Constitution is important, that your rights to trial by jury are precious, that no American should be killed by a drone on American soil without first being charged with a crime, without first being found to be guilty by a court," he said. Yesterday, Attorney General Eric Holder clarified to Paul in a letter that the U.S. drone policy does authorize the use of military force on against Americans on U.S. soil in cases of "extraordinary circumstance." Paul, a longstanding opponent of the administration's controversial targeted killing policy, expressed his outrage in a statement following his receipt of the letter and continued that tirade on the floor today. "That Americans could be killed in a cafe in San Francisco or in a restaurant in Houston or at their home in bowling green, Kentucky, is an abomination," Paul said. "I object to people becoming so fearful they gradually give up their rights."

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