Military Corruption News ArticlesExcerpts of key news articles on military corruption
At one point in the 1970s there were more than 1,000 people in the Danbury area working on The Secret. And though they worked long hours under intense deadlines, sometimes missing family holidays and anniversaries, they could tell no one — not even their wives and children — what they did. They were engineers, scientists, draftsmen and inventors. It was dubbed “Big Bird’’ and it was considered the most successful space spy satellite program of the Cold War era. From 1971 to 1986 a total of 20 satellites were launched, each containing 60 miles of film and sophisticated cameras that orbited the earth snapping vast, panoramic photographs of the Soviet Union, China and other potential foes. The film was shot back through the earth’s atmosphere in buckets that parachuted over the Pacific Ocean, where C-130 Air Force planes snagged them with grappling hooks. The scale, ambition and sheer ingenuity of Hexagon KH-9 was breathtaking. So too is the human tale of the 45-year-old secret that many took to their graves. Hexagon was declassified in September. “The question became, how do you hide an elephant?’’ a National Reconnaissance Office report stated at the time. It decided on a simple response: “What elephant?’’ Employees were told to ignore any questions from the media, and never confirm the slightest detail about what they worked on.
Note: This is another excellent example of how government is able to keep huge projects secret, and how top secret military technology is often decades ahead of anything which has been publicly revealed. Note that even the existence of the National Reconnaissance Office, founded in 1960, was completely denied until it's existence was declassified in 1992. Does government lie to us? Without a doubt.
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.
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.
Disturbing footage of Apache attack helicopters killing people in Afghanistan is being shown to frontline British soldiers in "Kill TV nights" designed to boost morale. The discovery of the practice ... casts fresh questions over the conduct of soldiers deployed abroad and has provoked a furious response from peace campaigners. Andrew Burgin from Stop the War ... described it as the "ultimate degradation of British troops", comparing it to the desensitisation to death of US soldiers in the final stages of the Vietnam War. The footage ... shows ground troops at the British headquarters in Helmand province, Camp Bastion, gathered for a get-together said to be called "Kill TV night". It shows an Apache helicopter commander admitting possible errors of judgement and warning colleagues not to disclose what they have seen. "This is not for discussion with anybody else; keep it quiet about what you see up here," he says. "It's not because we've done anything wrong. But we might have done." Much of the footage is along the lines of the now infamous video of a US Apache helicopter strike on civilians in Baghdad in 2007, first released on WikiLeaks last year. In one clip an Afghan woman is targeted after a radio dialogue between pilots refers to her as a "snake with tits".
Note: For reliable reports on war atrocities by US and NATO forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, click here.
Two companies incorporated at a little house in Cheyenne, Wyoming, won Pentagon contracts after their owner took advantage of the state's liberal incorporation laws to create the firms using an alias, and then represented them as minority-owned to win favorable treatment as a military supplier. The firms and their owner were later banned from doing business with the Pentagon for providing knock-off parts. A Reuters investigation has found that more than 2,000 companies are registered at 2710 Thomes Avenue in Cheyenne, the headquarters for Wyoming Corporate Services, a business incorporation company that specializes in corporate anonymity. A Reuters review of federal contracting databases found nine firms registered at 2710 Thomes Avenue have been awarded 93 contracts worth more than $1.6 million by a half dozen government agencies, including the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Treasury's Internal Revenue Service, the Centers for Disease Control, and the Department of Veterans Affairs. More than 90 percent of the contracts were awarded by the Department of Defense. The companies were created by Atilla C. Kan, an employee of another Pentagon supplier called New York Machinery. Kan formed the companies in Wyoming under the name John Ryan. He later used the alias, and a description of the companies as "minority-owned," "woman-owned" and "Hispanic-owned," when applying to supply military parts, the documents show.
Note: For more on this showing a vast level of corruption, click here and watch the Reuters video available here. For a powerful and deep analysis by David Wilcock on this important topic, which he calls the ultimate ponzi scheme, click here.
Four decades ago, [Daniel Ellsberg] leaked a top-secret study packed with damaging revelations about U.S. conduct of the Vietnam War. On [June 13] that study, dubbed the Pentagon Papers, finally came out in complete form. The National Archives and a trio of presidential libraries released the papers 40 years after The New York Times published the first in its series on the report. Most of the 7,000-page study has been out for years. Monday's release draws it together for the first time, and online. The study reveals a pattern of deception as the Johnson, Kennedy and prior administrations secretly escalated the Vietnam conflict. The declassified report includes 2,384 pages missing from what was regarded as the most complete version of the Pentagon Papers, published in 1971 by Democratic Sen. Mike Gravel of Alaska. Ellsberg served with the Marines in Vietnam and came back disillusioned. A protegé of Nixon adviser Henry Kissinger, who called the young man his most brilliant student, Ellsberg served the administration as an analyst, tied to the Rand Corporation. The report was by a team of analysts. To this day, Ellsberg regrets staying mum for as long as he did. "I was part, on a middle level, of what is best described as a conspiracy by the government to get us into war," he said. His message to whistleblowers now: Speak up sooner. "Don't do what I did. Don't wait until the bombs start falling."
Note: Forty years later, both Democratic and Republican administrations continue to escalate war expenses while telling the public they are doing the opposite. For the powerful revelations of a top US general exposing the manipulations behind the war machine, click here. Senator Gravel is spearheading the call for an independent 9/11 investigation and prosecution of Bush and Cheney. For more on this, click here and here.
A U.S. missile strike in Pakistan's North Waziristan region killed at least 25 people on [April 22], sending a clear sign that Washington's use of drones against militants along the Afghan border will continue despite rising opposition from Islamabad's top civilian and military leaders. The strike in the village of Spinwam came two days after Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, held tense talks with Pakistani army chief Gen. Ashfaq Kayani amid a pall of mistrust that has weakened relations between Washington and Islamabad in recent months. Pakistan intensified its criticism of the drone campaign after a March 17 strike killed more than 40 people in the North Waziristan village of Datta Khel. Pakistani military leaders said that missile strike killed civilian tribal elders meeting to discuss a dispute over local mining rights, though the U.S. maintains that the people killed were militants. The Datta Khel strike came a day after the release of Raymond Davis, the CIA contractor whose arrest in connection with the shooting deaths of two Pakistanis brought relations between Washington and Islamabad to one of their lowest points in years. Officials in North Waziristan said [the April 22] strike killed 18 suspected militants, though seven of the dead were civilians - three women and four children. Four missiles were fired, two of which struck a guest house with the suspected militants, the officials said. The other two missiles hit another building where the women and children were.
Note: Imagine if another country were flying unmanned flights in the US and killing US citizens who they suspected were terrorists along with innocent civilians as collateral damage. There would be an uproar. Why isn't anyone talking about the legality of a foreign country killing citizens of another country without any judicial process at all, especially when the government of the invaded country opposes the attacks?
The top U.S. military commander in Afghanistan intends to order an investigation into whether a three-star general responsible for training Afghan security forces inappropriately used members of a psychological operations team to influence visiting U.S. senators into providing more funding for the war. The U.S. command in Kabul issued a statement Thursday saying Gen. David H. Petraeus "is preparing to order an investigation to determine the facts and circumstances surrounding the issue." The investigation stems from an article published ... on the Web site of Rolling Stone magazine alleging that Lt. Gen. William Caldwell, the head of the U.S. and NATO training operation for Afghan forces, used an "information operations" team to "manipulate visiting American senators" and other visitors, including the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen. The article is based on the claims of a lieutenant colonel who served on a psychological operations team in Afghanistan last year and who alleges he was subjected to retribution when he resisted the assignment.
Note: To read Rolling Stone's fascinating report on how the US military used a secret program to pressure Senators to support the war, click here.
Nine years after the terrorist attacks of 2001, the United States is assembling a vast domestic intelligence apparatus to collect information about Americans, using the FBI, local police, state homeland security offices and military criminal investigators. The system, by far the largest and most technologically sophisticated in the nation's history, collects, stores and analyzes information about thousands of U.S. citizens and residents, many of whom have not been accused of any wrongdoing. The months-long investigation [by The Washington Post], based on nearly 100 interviews and 1,000 documents, found that: * Technologies and techniques honed for use on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan have migrated into the hands of law enforcement agencies in America. * The FBI is building a database with the names and certain personal information, such as employment history, of thousands of U.S. citizens and residents whom a local police officer or a fellow citizen believed to be acting suspiciously. * Law enforcement agencies have hired as trainers self-described experts whose extremist views on Islam and terrorism are considered inaccurate and counterproductive by the FBI and U.S. intelligence agencies. * The Department of Homeland Security sends its state and local partners intelligence reports with little meaningful guidance, and state reports have sometimes inappropriately reported on lawful meetings.
Note: This report is part of a series, "Top Secret America," by The Washington Post. For more, click here.
Gordon R. England's appointment to a top Pentagon post in 2006 came at a high price. The Senate committee overseeing his confirmation demanded that he give up lucrative stocks and options he held in companies that do business with the military. England said he took a big hit on his taxes and lost out on more than $1 million in potential profits that year when he divested himself of interests in companies that included General Dynamics. If he had been a senator, he would not have had to sell anything. The Senate Armed Services Committee prohibits its staff and presidential appointees requiring Senate confirmation from owning stocks or bonds in 48,096 companies that have Defense Department contracts. But the senators who sit on the influential panel are allowed to own any assets they want. And they have owned millions in interests in these firms. The committee's prohibition is designed to prevent high-ranking Pentagon officials from using inside information to enrich themselves or members of their immediate family. But panel members have access to much of the same inside information, because they receive classified briefings from high-ranking defense officials about policy, contracts and plans for combat strategies and weapons systems. "I think Congress should live by the rules they impose on other people," said England, who served as deputy defense secretary under George W. Bush until 2009.
Note: Congress is amost always exempt from it's own rules, as further described in this powerful Time magazine article. This is one major source of rampant corruption in US government. For more on government corruption, click here.
Sexual assault pervades the military, but the Pentagon refuses to release records that fully document the problem and how it is handled, the American Civil Liberties Union and other groups said in a federal lawsuit that seeks access to the records. Tens of thousands of service members have reported some form of sexual assault, harassment or trauma in the past decade, according to the lawsuit filed [on December 13] in New Haven against the departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs. "The government's refusal to even take the first step of providing comprehensive and accurate information about the sexual trauma inflicted upon our women and men in uniform ... is all too telling," said Anuradha Bhagwati, a former Marine captain. The government prosecutes 8 percent of military sex offenders, while 40 percent of civilian sex offenders are prosecuted. The lawsuit contends sexual assaults are nearly twice as common within military ranks as in civilian society, and surveys show that nearly one in three women report being sexually assaulted during their time in the military. About 80 percent of unwanted or threatening sexual acts are not reported, according to the lawsuit. Victims who report abuse to their superiors often face social isolation, retribution and counteraccusations, the lawsuit says.
The British military has been training interrogators in techniques that include threats, sensory deprivation and enforced nakedness in an apparent breach of the Geneva conventions. Training materials drawn up secretly in recent years tell interrogators they should aim to provoke humiliation, insecurity, disorientation, exhaustion, anxiety and fear in the prisoners they are questioning, and suggest ways in which this can be achieved. A manual prepared in April 2008 suggests that "Cpers" – captured personnel – be kept in conditions of physical discomfort and intimidated. Sensory deprivation is lawful, it adds, if there are "valid operational reasons". It also urges enforced nakedness. More recent training material says blindfolds, earmuffs and plastic handcuffs are essential equipment for military interrogators, and says that while prisoners should be allowed to sleep or rest for eight hours in each 24, they need be permitted only four hours unbroken sleep. It also suggests that interrogators tell prisoners they will be held incommunicado unless they answer questions. The 1949 Geneva conventions prohibit any "physical or moral coercion", in particular any coercion employed to obtain information. All the British classified training material was produced after the death of Baha Mousa, the Iraqi hotel receptionist tortured to death by British troops in Basra in September 2003.
Note: For a survey of historic and contemporary uses of torture, click here. For more disturbing information on how Nazi torture techniques were eventually used by the CIA for mind control, click here.
A document obtained and witnesses interviewed by Fox News raise new questions over whether there was an effort by the Defense Department to cover up a pre-9/11 military intelligence program known as "Able Danger." At least five witnesses questioned by the Defense Department's Inspector General told Fox News that their statements were distorted by investigators in the final IG's report -- or it left out key information, backing up assertions that lead hijacker Mohammed Atta was identified a year before 9/11. Lt. Col Tony Shaffer, an operative involved with Able Danger [and author of Operation Dark Heart, a recent book which discussed the Able Danger operation, and all copies of which were destroyed by the Pentagon] said, "My last interview was very, very hostile." When asked why the IG's report was so aggressive in its denials of his claims and those of other witnesses -- that the data mining project had identified Atta as a threat to the U.S. before 9/11 -- Shaffer said [the] Defense Department was worried about taking some of the blame for 9/11. Specifically, the Defense Intelligence Agency ... wanted the removal of references to a meeting between Shaffer and the executive director of the 9/11 Commission, Philip Zelikow, removed. Shaffer alleges that in that meeting, which took place in Afghanistan, the commission was told about Able Danger and the identification of Atta before the attacks. Shaffer, who was undercover at the time, said there was "stunned silence" at the meeting. No mention of this was made in the final 9/11 Commission report.
Note: Able Danger was the program which identified Mohamed Atta and three other alleged 9/11 hijackers as a potential terror threat before 9/11. To read major media reports on the intense controversy around this program (which is likely why Shaffer's book is being burned by the Pentagon), click here. For a highly revealing Fox News interview with Col. Shaffer on these major deceptions, click here.
Twelve American soldiers face charges over a secret "kill team" that allegedly blew up and shot Afghan civilians at random and collected their fingers as trophies. Five of the soldiers are charged with murdering three Afghan men who were allegedly killed for sport in separate attacks this year. Seven others are accused of covering up the killings and assaulting a recruit who exposed the murders. In one of the most serious accusations of war crimes to emerge from the Afghan conflict, the killings are alleged to have been carried out by members of a Stryker infantry brigade based in Kandahar province in southern Afghanistan. According to investigators and legal documents, discussion of killing Afghan civilians began after the arrival of Staff Sergeant Calvin Gibbs at forward operating base Ramrod last November. Other soldiers told the army's criminal investigation command that Gibbs boasted of the things he got away with while serving in Iraq and said how easy it would be to "toss a grenade at someone and kill them". Investigators said Gibbs, 25, hatched a plan with another soldier, Jeremy Morlock, 22, and other members of the unit to form a "kill team". The Army Times reported that a least one of the soldiers collected the fingers of the victims as souvenirs and that some of them posed for photographs with the bodies.
Note: For analysis of this latest report of US military atrocities in Afghanistan, click here and here. For an analysis of how this and other US atrocities in Afghanistan have been systematically suppressed by the US media, click here. For a powerful analysis of "Why America Cannot Win the War in Afghanistan" by a former high-ranking Pakistani general, Hamid Gul, click here.
A 2006 Immigration and Customs Enforcement investigation into the purchase of child pornography online turned up more than 250 civilian and military employees of the Defense Department -- including some with the highest available security clearance -- who used credit cards or PayPal to purchase images of children in sexual situations. But the Pentagon investigated only a handful of the cases, Defense Department records show. The cases turned up during a 2006 ICE inquiry, called Project Flicker, which targeted overseas processing of child-porn payments. As part of the probe, ICE investigators gained access to the names and credit card information of more than 5,000 Americans who had subscribed to websites offering images of child pornography. Many of those individuals provided military email addresses or physical addresses with Army or fleet ZIP codes when they purchased the subscriptions. In a related inquiry, the Pentagon's Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS) cross-checked the ICE list against military databases to come up with a list of Defense employees and contractors who appeared to be guilty of purchasing child pornography. The names included staffers for the secretary of defense, contractors for the ultra-secretive National Security Agency, and a program manager at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. But the DCIS opened investigations into only 20 percent of the individuals identified, and succeeded in prosecuting just a handful.
Dramatic increases in infant mortality, cancer and leukemia in the Iraqi city of Fallujah, which was bombarded by US Marines in 2004, exceed those reported by survivors of the atomic bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, according to a new study. Iraqi doctors in Fallujah have complained since 2005 of being overwhelmed by the number of babies with serious birth defects, ranging from a girl born with two heads to paralysis of the lower limbs. They said they were also seeing far more cancers than they did before the battle for Fallujah between US troops and insurgents. Their claims have been supported by a survey showing a four-fold increase in all cancers and a 12-fold increase in childhood cancer in under-14s. Infant mortality in the city is more than four times higher than in neighbouring Jordan and eight times higher than in Kuwait. Dr Chris Busby, ... one of the authors of the survey of 4,800 individuals in Fallujah, said ... "to produce an effect like this, some very major mutagenic exposure must have occurred in 2004 when the attacks happened". US Marines first besieged and bombarded Fallujah, 30 miles west of Baghdad, in April 2004 after four employees of the American security company Blackwater were killed and their bodies burned. After an eight-month stand-off, the Marines stormed the city in November using artillery and aerial bombing against rebel positions. US forces later admitted that they had employed white phosphorus as well as other munitions.
Note: For many reports from major media sources of the horrific impacts of the US wars of aggression in the Middle East and Central Asia, click here.
The Department of Defense announced that Specialist [Bradley] Manning, of Potomac, Md., had been arrested and was under investigation [for leaking a video of a US helicopter attack on civilians in Baghdad to a whistleblower website, Wikileaks]. The leak of the helicopter video, which Wikileaks titled â€śCollateral Murder,â€ť caused serious consternation at the Pentagon, where senior officials are increasingly concerned about technology that makes it easier to anonymously post documents, photographs and videos online. But opponents of the Iraq war have said that the video provided irrefutable evidence of a military blunder, and that it should not have been classified. The episode also drew wide attention to Wikileaks, a once-fringe Web site that aims to bring to light secret information about governments and corporations. It was founded three years ago by Julian Assange, an Australian activist and journalist, and has published documents about toxic dumping in Africa, protocols from GuantĂˇnamo Bay and e-mail messages from Sarah Palinâ€™s personal account.
Note: In case the above video disappears, click here to view it on one of our websites. The only reason this event made news is because the two cameramen killed were Reuters staff. US forces then fired on an unarmed van with children in it, which was attempting to bring the dead and wounded out of the combat zone. How many innocent civilians are killed like this and never make the news? Please spread this important video and help others to wake up and work together to stop the cruelty of some of the US forces. The Pentagon is working hard to shut down Wikileaks, the organization which secured this powerful video.
The Obama administration has significantly expanded a largely secret U.S. war against al-Qaeda and other radical groups, according to senior military and administration officials. Special Operations forces have grown both in number and budget, and are deployed in 75 countries, compared with about 60 at the beginning of last year. In addition to units that have spent years in the Philippines and Colombia, teams are operating in Yemen and elsewhere in the Middle East, Africa and Central Asia. Plans exist for preemptive or retaliatory strikes in numerous places around the world. Obama, one senior military official said, has allowed "things that the previous administration did not." Special Operations commanders have also become a far more regular presence at the White House than they were under George W. Bush's administration. The Special Operations capabilities requested by the White House go beyond unilateral strikes and include the training of local counterterrorism forces and joint operations with them. Obama has made such forces a far more integrated part of his global security strategy. He has asked for a 5.7 percent increase in the Special Operations budget for fiscal 2011, for a total of $6.3 billion, plus an additional $3.5 billion in 2010 contingency funding.
Israel was tonight under pressure to allow an independent inquiry into its assault on the Gaza aid flotilla after autopsy results on the bodies of those killed, obtained by the Guardian, revealed they were peppered with 9mm bullets, many fired at close range. Nine Turkish men on board the Mavi Marmara were shot a total of 30 times and five were killed by gunshot wounds to the head, according to the vice-chairman of the Turkish council of forensic medicine, [Yalcin Buyuk]. The results revealed that a 60-year-old man, Ibrahim Bilgen, was shot four times in the temple, chest, hip and back. A 19-year-old, named as Fulkan Dogan, who also has US citizenship, was shot five times from less that 45cm, in the face, in the back of the head, twice in the leg and once in the back. Two other men were shot four times, and five of the victims were shot either in the back of the head or in the back. The new information about the manner and intensity of the killings undermines Israel's insistence that its soldiers opened fire only in self defence and in response to attacks by the activists. "Given the very disturbing evidence which contradicts the line from the Israeli media and suggests that Israelis have been very selective in the way they have addressed this, there is now an overwhelming need for an international inquiry," said Andrew Slaughter MP, a member of the all party group on Britain and Palestine.
Secret South African documents reveal that Israel offered to sell nuclear warheads to the apartheid regime, providing the first official documentary evidence of [Israel's] possession of nuclear weapons. The "top secret" minutes of meetings between senior officials from the two countries in 1975 show that South Africa's defence minister, PW Botha, asked for the warheads and Shimon Peres, then Israel's defence minister and now its president, responded by offering them "in three sizes". The two men also signed a broad-ranging agreement governing military ties between the two countries that included a clause declaring that "the very existence of this agreement" was to remain secret. The documents, uncovered by an American academic, Sasha Polakow-Suransky ... provide evidence that Israel has nuclear weapons despite its policy of "ambiguity" in neither confirming nor denying their existence. The Israeli authorities tried to stop South Africa's post-apartheid government declassifying the documents at Polakow-Suransky's request.
Note: A New York Times article states that Isreal has strongly denied this story. Yet even this articles states, "Israel has a longstanding policy of nuclear ambiguity, neither confirming nor denying that it has nuclear weapons, though it is widely believed to have developed a large arsenal."
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