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Military Corruption News Articles
Excerpts of key news articles on military corruption


Below are key excerpts of little-known, yet highly revealing news articles on military corruption from the major media. Links are provided to the full news articles for verification. If any link fails to function, read this webpage. These articles on military corruption are listed by order of importance. You can also explore them ordered by the date of the article or by the date posted. By choosing to educate ourselves, we can build a brighter future.

Note: Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news articles on dozens of engaging topics. And read excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.


Afghan and U.S. Forces Blamed for Killing More Civilians This Year Than Taliban Have
2019-07-03, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/30/world/asia/afghanistan-civilian-casualties...

Afghan security forces and their American-led international allies have killed more civilians so far this year than the Taliban have, the United Nations said in a report on Tuesday, once again raising alarm that ordinary Afghans are bearing the brunt of an increasingly deadly 18-year war. In the first six months of the year, the conflict killed nearly 1,400 civilians and wounded about 2,400 more. Afghan forces and their allies caused 52 percent of the civilian deaths compared with 39 percent attributable to militants — mostly the Taliban, but also the Islamic State. The figures do not total 100 percent because responsibility for some deaths could not be definitively established. The higher civilian death toll caused by Afghan and American forces comes from their greater reliance on airstrikes, which are particularly deadly for civilians. The United Nations said airstrikes resulted in 363 civilian deaths and 156 civilian injuries. The United Nations report comes as both sides try to increase their battlefield leverage amid continuing peace negotiations in Doha, Qatar, between the United States and the Taliban. The United Nations report said 83 percent of casualties from airstrikes were attributed to “international military forces,” essentially pointing the finger at the United States military, which is the only member of the international coalition in Afghanistan that carries out airstrikes. The Afghan Air Force was responsible for about 10 percent. Fourteen American soldiers have died in Afghanistan so far this year.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on war from reliable major media sources.


In an astonishing turn, George Soros and Charles Koch team up to end US ‘forever war’ policy
2019-06-30, Boston Globe
https://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2019/06/30/soros-and-koch-brothers-team-e...

The leftist financier George Soros and the right-wing Koch brothers have little in common. Now they have found something to agree on: the United States must end its “forever war” and adopt an entirely new foreign policy. In one of the most remarkable partnerships in modern American political history, Soros and Charles Koch ... are joining to finance a new foreign-policy think tank in Washington. It will promote an approach to the world based on diplomacy and restraint rather than threats, sanctions, and bombing. This think tank ... will be called the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, an homage to John Quincy Adams, who in a seminal speech on Independence Day in 1821 declared that the United States “goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all.” The Quincy Institute will promote a foreign policy based on that live-and-let-live principle. The Quincy Institute will likely advocate a withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan and Syria; a return to the nuclear deal with Iran; less confrontational approaches to Russia and China; an end to regime-change campaigns against Venezuela and Cuba; and sharp reductions in the defense budget. It aims to issue four reports before the end of 2019: two offering alternative approaches to the Middle East and East Asia, one on “ending endless war,” and one called “democratizing foreign policy.”

Note: This seems too good to be true. We'll see how it unfolds. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption from reliable major media sources.


A trail of toxicity: the US military bases making people sick
2019-05-23, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/may/23/chemical-colorado-springs-mil...

Over the last 80 years, much of the land surrounding Venetucci Farm was sold to the US army to establish the base now known as Fort Carson. Farming activities have stopped. In 2016, irrigation water was found to be contaminated with elevated levels of perfluorinated compounds (PFCs). The foundation that runs the farm has joined forces with a local water district to sue the US Air Force, alleging that toxic chemicals used in firefighting foam at a nearby base have tainted the water. Similar concerns have been raised about dozens of other bases across the country. But the problem is not limited to areas close to military installations. PFCs and related human-made chemicals, more generally known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), have been virtually unregulated since at least the 1950s. As well as at industrial sites, airports and bases, PFAS have long been used in household products. They are everywhere. A 2007 study estimated that PFAS are in the blood of 98% of Americans, while last year an analysis by the not-for-profit Environmental Working Group found that more than 1,500 drinking water systems nationwide could be contaminated by PFAS. Studies suggest that certain PFAS may affect the growth, learning and behaviour of infants and older children; lower a woman’s chance of getting pregnant; interfere with the body’s natural hormones; increase cholesterol levels; affect the immune system; and increase the risk of kidney and testicular cancer and thyroid problems.

Note: Read more about these chemicals contaminating the drinking water of 110 million Americans. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health from reliable major media sources.


U.S. Revokes Visa of I.C.C. Prosecutor Pursuing Afghan War Crimes
2019-04-05, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/05/world/europe/us-icc-prosecutor-afghanistan...

The United States has revoked the visa of the International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor because of her attempts to investigate allegations of war crimes in Afghanistan, including any that may have been committed by American forces. Ms. Bensouda, a Gambian lawyer for the court, which is based in The Hague, formally requested an investigation more than a year ago into war crimes in Afghanistan. The inquiry would mostly focus on large-scale crimes against civilians attributed to the Taliban and Afghan government forces. But it would also examine alleged C.I.A. and American military abuse in detention centers in Afghanistan in 2003 and 2004, and at sites in Poland, Lithuania and Romania, putting the court directly at odds with the United States. The United States is not a member state of the I.C.C. and does not recognize the court’s authority to prosecute Americans. In the past, though, the United States has cooperated with the court on other investigations, and Washington played a central role in establishing international criminal law at the Nuremberg trials. [Secretary of State Mike] Pompeo, in a March news briefing in Washington, said investigators “should not assume that you will still have or will get a visa, or that you will be permitted to enter the United States” if they are part of a I.C.C. investigation. “These visa restrictions will not be the end of our efforts,” Mr. Pompeo said at the time. “We are prepared to take additional steps, including economic sanctions if the I.C.C. does not change its course.”

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the intelligence community.


The Pentagon Wins Again
2019-04-04, Rolling Stone
https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-news/defense-budget-818035/

The Democrat-controlled House Budget Committee voted 19-17 Wednesday to move a bill sponsored by Chairman John Yarmuth (D-KY) out of committee. Called the “Investing for the People Act of 2019,” it’s essentially the Democrats’ answer to Donald Trump’s radical budget proposal from early March. The Trump budget ... seeks a whopping 9% cut overall in non-defense or NDD spending ... while seeking a 5% increase in defense spending. Trump wants to reward the Pentagon for flunking its first-ever audit last year by giving it a fat bump - from a record $716 billion to new record of $750 billion. Meanwhile, Trump hopes to slash non-defense spending from last year’s $597 billion figure to $543 billion this year. Now, in the Yarmuth budget bill, $733 billion is the Democrats’ opening offer to the Pentagon. Trump’s 2020 budget proposal made a joke of the 2011 Budget Control Act, which essentially forced Congress to raise and lower defense and non-defense spending together through a series of caps. Roughly speaking, defense is supposed to be capped at around 53-54% of discretionary spending. The Pentagon has always been able to get around even those generous caps ... with Overseas Contingency Operations or “OCO” spending. Often called “war funding,” OCO budgets technically don’t count as defense spending, even though they are. To make his defense-hike/non-defense cut strategy work under the Budget Control Act, Trump this year had to propose a massive hike in OCO funding, going from $69 billion last year to $165 billion this year.

Note: Read summaries of several major media articles showing the Pentagon's blatant lies and disregard for accounting. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the military.


Trump wants to give 62 cents of every dollar to the military. That's immoral
2019-03-27, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/mar/27/trump-budget-military-i...

Donald Trump recently unleashed his dark vision for our nation and our world, in the form of his budget request to Congress. With this budget, Trump takes more than $1tn in taxpayer money and disperses fully $750bn to the military. Out of every taxpayer dollar, in other words, 62 cents go to the military and our militarized Department of Homeland Security. (Veterans’ benefits take another seven cents.) The budget also cuts billions from non-discretionary anti-poverty programs outside of this $1tn. Medicaid and food stamps would be cut and disfigured beyond recognition. At every turn, the Trump budget finds vast billions for militarization, while it cuts much smaller poverty and other programs, claiming the goal is to save money. It includes $164bn in war funding, but it cuts $4.7bn in economic development and food assistance to other nations. It finds $14bn for a vanity project military branch called the space force, while it cuts $1.2bn for a program that’s built and preserved more than 1m affordable homes. It includes $11bn for contractor Lockheed Martin to build more F-35 jet fighters, but it cuts $3.7bn in heating and cooling assistance for 6m poor households. And it includes more than $12bn for a wall at our border, while it cuts $1bn for Job Corps. Unjust budgets and misplaced priorities aren’t just a Trump problem. The United States has been addicted to excessive military spending at the expense of true security at home for decades.

Note: Read summaries of several major media articles showing the Pentagon's blatant lies and disregard for accounting. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the military.


Trump revokes Obama rule on reporting drone strike deaths
2019-03-07, BBC News
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-47480207

President Donald Trump has revoked a policy set by his predecessor requiring US intelligence officials to publish the number of civilians killed in drone strikes outside of war zones. The 2016 executive order was brought in by then-President Barack Obama, who was under pressure to be more transparent. Since the 9/11 terror attack, drone strikes have been increasingly used against terror and military targets. The rule ... required the head of the CIA to release annual summaries of US drone strikes and assess how many died as a result. Mr Trump's executive order does not overturn reporting requirements on civilian deaths set for the military by Congress. During Mr Obama's eight years in office, 1,878 drone strikes were carried out. Since Mr Trump was elected in 2016, there have been 2,243 drone strikes. The Republican president has also made some of the operations, the ones outside of war zones, more secretive. As a result, things have different today: under Mr Trump, there are more drone strikes - and less transparency. Lawmakers and rights groups have criticised Mr Trump's decision, saying it could allow the CIA to conduct drone strikes without accountability. Representative Adam Schiff, a Democrat who chairs Congress's intelligence committee, called the requirement issued by Obama "an important measure of transparency," and said "there is simply no justification" for cancelling it.

Note: This 2014 article describes how attempts to kill 41 men with drone strikes resulted in 1,147 deaths. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing military corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


US is enabling war that has made Yemen a hell on earth for civilians
2018-12-06, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2018/12/06/opinions/us-involvement-yemen-war-murphy-opini...

For three years, the United States has supported a coalition led by Saudi Arabia that is waging war inside Yemen. Our role in the coalition is significant -- we sell bombs and weapons to the Saudis, we help them pick targets inside Yemen, and until recently, we refueled their planes in the sky. To anyone paying attention, it's clear that the United States is engaged in a war in Yemen. And yet this war has not been authorized or debated by Congress. Our involvement started quietly under President Barack Obama, and now President Donald Trump has increased our participation. Yemen has become a hell on earth for the civilians caught within its borders. More than 10,000 innocents have been killed in the Saudi-led bombing campaign since the beginning of the civil war. Targets have included schools, hospitals, weddings, a funeral party and recently a school bus carrying 38 children to a field trip. More than 22 million people - three quarters of the population - require humanitarian assistance and protection. The country is on the brink of famine and is in the midst of the worst cholera outbreak in the world. To date, an estimated 85,000 children under the age of 5 in Yemen may have died from starvation and disease. In many ways, this suffering is an intentional byproduct of the Saudi coalition, which has targeted water treatment plants, health clinics and even a Doctors Without Borders hospital, all with US assistance.

Note: The above was written by US senator Chris Murphy. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and war.


U.S. Military Says It Has a “Light Footprint” in Africa. These Documents Show a Vast Network of Bases.
2018-12-01, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2018/12/01/u-s-military-says-it-has-a-light-footprin...

The U.S. military has long insisted that it maintains a “light footprint” in Africa, and there have been reports of proposed drawdowns ... and closures of outposts on the continent, due to a 2017 ambush in Niger and an increasing focus on rivals like China and Russia. But through it all, U.S. Africa Command has fallen short of providing concrete information about its bases on the continent. Documents obtained from AFRICOM by The Intercept, via the Freedom of Information Act, however, offer a unique window onto the sprawling network of U.S. military outposts in Africa, including previously undisclosed or unconfirmed sites in hotspots like Libya, Niger, and Somalia. The military’s constellation of bases includes 34 sites scattered across the continent, with high concentrations in the north and west as well as the Horn of Africa. These regions, not surprisingly, have also seen numerous U.S. drone attacks and low-profile commando raids in recent years. Libya — the site of drone and commando missions, but for which President Donald Trump said he saw no U.S. military role just last year — is nonetheless home to three previously undisclosed outposts. According to [military expert] Adam Moore ... “It is getting harder for the U.S. military to plausibly claim that it has a ‘light footprint’ in Africa. In just the past five years, it has established what is perhaps the largest drone complex in the world in Djibouti — Chabelley — which is involved in wars on two continents, Yemen, and Somalia.”

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption and war.


The famine facing Yemen is a war crime – it must be investigated
2018-11-22, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/nov/22/famine-yemen-war-crime-...

Today the UN security council will debate a UK-drafted resolution containing a rather gentle entreaty to the warring parties in Yemen. It will ask them to take “constant care to spare civilian objects, including those necessary for food production, distribution, processing and storage”. If that sounds like the safety instructions for a new vacuum cleaner, then welcome to the world of UN resolutions. But what it actually reveals is a far darker, more shameful truth.The truth of a Saudi-led coalition, armed by Britain and the United States, which from the very start of the conflict in 2015 has sought to use starvation as a weapon of war. Their on-off blockades of any ports and airports controlled by the Houthi rebels have drastically cut supplies of food to a Yemeni population that relies on imports to eat. But far more insidiously, and in the absence of imports, the Saudi air force has systematically and deliberately destroyed the domestic means of producing and distributing food inside Yemen. Their bombs have constantly targeted agricultural land, dairy farms, food processing factories, and the markets where food is sold. these are no mistakes. These are medieval tactics with modern weapons deliberately employed by the architect of the Yemen war – Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman – in an attempt to bring the rebel-held areas of the country to their knees. He could not care less about the impact on Yemen’s civilian population, any more than he cared about what happened to Jamal Khashoggi.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.


The Pentagon is studying an insect army to defend crops. Critics fear a bioweapon.
2018-10-04, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/science/2018/10/04/pentagon-is-studying-an-ins...

The Pentagon is studying whether insects can be enlisted to combat crop loss during agricultural emergencies. The bugs would carry genetically engineered viruses that could be deployed rapidly if critical crops such as corn or wheat became vulnerable to a drought, a natural blight or a sudden attack by a biological weapon. The concept envisions the viruses making genetic modifications ... during a single growing season. The program, funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), has a warm and fuzzy name: “Insect Allies.” But some critics find the whole thing creepy. A team of skeptical scientists and legal scholars published an article in the journal Science on Thursday arguing that the Insect Allies program opens a “Pandora’s box" and involves technology that “may be widely perceived as an effort to develop biological agents for hostile purposes and their means of delivery.” The authors ... contend that Insect Allies could potentially be interpreted as a violation of an international treaty called the Biological Weapons Convention. “We argue that there is the risk that the program is seen as not justified by peaceful purposes,” [said] co-author Silja Voeneky, a professor of international law. She said the use of insects as a key feature of the program is particularly alarming, because insects could be deployed cheaply and surreptitiously by malevolent actors.

Note: For more, see this informative article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption and GMOs.


Viruses Spread by Insects to Crops Sound Scary. The Military Calls It Food Security.
2018-10-04, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/04/science/darpa-gene-editing.html

Within the Defense Department, one agency’s recent project sounds futuristic: millions of insects carrying viruses descend upon crops and then genetically modify them to withstand droughts, floods and foreign attacks. But in a warning published Thursday in the journal Science, a group of independent scientists and lawyers objected. They argue that the endeavor is not so different from designing biological weapons - banned under international law since 1975 - that could swarm and destroy acres of crops. “Once you engineer a virus that spreads by insect, it is hard to imagine how you would ever control it,” said Guy Reeves, a researcher ... who contributed to the critique. “You haven’t just released a transmissible virus - you’ve released a disease,” he added. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or Darpa ... launched the Insect Allies research program in 2016, budgeting $45 million over four years to transform agricultural pests into vectors that can transfer protective genes into plants within one growing season. The critics said publishing the new research findings could establish “preliminary instruction manuals” for developing offensive biological weapons. Foreign military programs are often “driven by perception of competitors’ activities,” the critics warn, and “the mere announcement of this program may motivate other countries to develop their own capabilities in this arena — indeed, it may have already done so.”

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption and GMOs.


“This Is Unacceptable”: How the UN Falls Short in Responding to Alleged Sex Abuse
2018-07-24, PBS
https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/article/this-is-unacceptable-how-the-un-fa...

When UN Secretary-General António Guterres visited the Central African Republic (CAR) in October of 2017, his words echoed a theme that he’d been sounding since taking office in January: Stemming the problem of sexual abuse and exploitation by UN peacekeepers was among his top priorities. The same month of Guterres’ visit to CAR, the UN had received a report of a new rape case there. A young woman named Mauricette, who was 17 at the time, said she was raped by peacekeepers on her way home from a funeral. Mauricette went months without hearing from the UN after her initial interview with them. The details of what allegedly happened to Mauricette are grim. “She was vomiting,” says Jean-Gaston Endjileteko, who works at Samaritans’ Medical Center, where Mauricette had been treated. “She told me she had drunk some drugged tea spiked with a powder at the Mauritanian checkpoint. The hospital reported Mauricette’s rape, and she was interviewed by a local UN representative. But then, the UN went silent. “I’ve heard nothing,” Mauricette says. “No news.” That was approximately two months after Mauricette’s initial interview with the UN — so [PBS correspondent Ramita] Navai brought the delay to the attention of Parfait Onanga-Anyanga, Head of UN Mission, Central African Republic. Mauricette still hadn’t heard anything further from the UN — four months after FRONTLINE brought the delay in communication with her about her case to the UN’s attention.

Note: An hour-long episode of PBS FRONTLINE details the sad case introduced by the article above. In 2015, more than a year after allegations of UN peacekeepers sexual abusing children came to light, it was reported that the UN had taken disciplinary action against the whistleblower who exposed wrongdoing, but not against the soldiers accused of abuses. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sexual abuse scandal news articles from reliable major media sources.


I traced missile casings in Syria back to their original sellers, so it’s time for the west to reveal who they sell arms to
2018-07-23, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/syria-missile-arms-deals-west-us-uk-saud...

Note down this number: MFG BGM-71E-1B. I found [it] printed on the side of a spent missile casing lying in the basement of a bombed-out Islamist base in eastern Aleppo last year. At the top were the words “Hughes Aircraft Co”, founded in California ... and sold in 1997 to Raytheon, the massive US defence contractor whose profits last year came to $23.35bn. Shareholders include the Bank of America and Deutsche Bank. There were dozens of other used-up identical missile casings in the same underground room in the ruins of eastern Aleppo. These anti-armour missiles ... were not individual items smuggled into Syria. These were shipments, whole batches of weapons that left their point of origin on military aircraft pallets. There are videos of Islamist fighters using the BGM-71E-1B variety in Idlib province two years before I found the casings of other anti-tank missiles in neighbouring Aleppo. There is neither an obligation nor an investigative mechanism on the part of the arms manufacturers to ensure that their infinitely expensive products are not handed over ... to Isis, al-Nusra/al-Qaeda – which was clearly the case in Aleppo – or some other [group] branded by the US State Department itself as a “terrorist organisation”. Why don’t Nato track all these weapons as they leave Europe and America? Why don’t they expose the real end-users of these deadly shipments? The arms manufacturers I spoke to in the Balkans attested that Nato and the US are fully aware of the buyers of all their machine guns and mortars.

Note: This article was written by award-winning investigative journalist Robert Fisk. More on this available here. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.


'Space force': Trump orders new branch of US military
2018-06-19, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/jun/18/space-force-donald-trump-orde...

Donald Trump said on Monday he would direct the Pentagon to create a “space force” as a new branch of the US military to shore up American dominance in space. Trump claimed that the plan will ensure that America, which plans a return to the moon and a mission to Mars, stays ahead of China and Russia in any new space race. But it is likely to raise fears over the militarisation of space. “Very importantly, I’m hereby directing the Department of Defense and Pentagon to immediately begin the process necessary to establish a space force as the sixth branch of the armed forces,” the president said at the White House. “We are going to have the air force and we are going to have the space force – separate but equal.” The president was speaking at the third meeting of the National Space Council, revived after a quarter of a century. He was joined by Mike Pence, the new Nasa administrator Jim Bridenstine and former astronaut Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the moon. But there was a skeptical reaction from Bill Nelson, the Democratic senator for Florida. He tweeted: “The president told a US general to create a new Space Force as 6th branch of military today, which generals tell me they don’t want. During his remarks, Trump ... insisted: “When it comes to defending America, it is not enough to merely have an American presence in space. We must have American dominance in space. So important.” Trump has floated the idea of a space force before but met both mockery and high-level resistance.

Note: In 1974, the founder of modern rocket science Wernher Von Braun told his spokesperson Dr. Carol Rosin that "first the Russians are going to be considered the enemy. Then terrorists would be identified. The next enemy was asteroids – against asteroids we are going to build space-based weapons. Then ... the last card is the alien card. We are going to have to build space-based weapons against aliens, and all of it is a lie."


Attacking Hodeidah is a deliberate act of cruelty by the Trump administration
2018-06-15, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/yemen-hodeidah-attack-trump-administrati...

A short press statement by the US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, effectively [gives] a green light for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to launch an offensive in Yemen aimed at capturing Hodeidah on the Red Sea. The port city is the point of entry for 70 per cent of food and medical supplies for the eight million Yemenis whom the UN says are on the brink of starvation out of the 22 million in need of humanitarian aid. Pompeo was deliberately low-key in his three sentence statement about Hodeidah: “I have spoken with Emirati leaders and made clear our desire to address their security concerns while preserving the free flow of humanitarian aid and life-saving commercial imports.” Absent from this message for the first time was any call for Saudi Arabia and the UAE not to attack Hodeidah. The US and UAE have been working hard on a smokescreen of misinformation about who is responsible for what is happening and why they are launching the offensive now. The 25,000 Yemeni fighters advancing on Hodeidah are not an independent force but are paid for and under the control of the UAE. Air support is provided by the Saudis and the UAE with the US providing essential services such as mid-air refuelling and target intelligence. The Hodeidah operation may ... turn a humanitarian disaster, which the UN is already calling the worst humanitarian crisis in the world, into complete catastrophe. Three quarters of the 27 million Yemenis already require aid to survive and this may be cut off in the next few days.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.


U.S.-Led Coalition Accused of War Crimes in Syria, May Have Killed Hundreds of Raqqa Civilians
2018-06-05, Newsweek
http://www.newsweek.com/us-led-coalition-accused-war-crimes-syria-may-have-ki...

The U.S.-led coalition fighting ISIS may have committed war crimes as its airstrikes rained down on civilians trapped by the brutal fighting in the Syrian city of Raqqa last year, a new report claims. According to an investigation by Amnesty International, American, British and French strikes on the city from June to October 2017 “decimated extended families and neighborhoods” as the coalition embarked on a “war of annihilation.” Amnesty [claimed] its investigation provided “prima facie evidence that several coalition attacks that killed and injured civilians violated international humanitarian law.” After heavy fighting, surviving ISIS fighters were allowed to leave the city in October 2017. The U.S., British and French militaries claimed they did everything possible to minimize the risk of collateral damage during the operation, but Amnesty says hundreds died and thousands more were injured during the assault. The U.S. said it fired more than 30,000 artillery rounds during the five-month operation, and American forces were responsible for 90 percent of the airstrikes. The organization interviewed 112 civilian residents of Raqqa and visited the sites of 42 air, artillery and mortar strikes. The report focused on four cases in particular, which Amnesty said amounted to war crimes. In all cases “witnesses reported that there were no fighters in the vicinity at the time of the attacks,” Amnesty said. “Such attacks could be either direct attacks on civilians or civilian objects or indiscriminate attacks.”

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.


Google to drop Pentagon AI contract after employee objections to the ‘business of war’
2018-06-01, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2018/06/01/google-to-drop-p...

Google will not seek to extend its contract next year with the Defense Department for artificial intelligence used to analyze drone video, squashing a controversial alliance that had raised alarms over the technological buildup between Silicon Valley and the military. Google ... has faced widespread public backlash and employee resignations for helping develop technological tools that could aid in warfighting. Google will soon release new company principles related to the ethical uses of AI. Thousands of Google employees wrote chief executive Sundar Pichai an open letter urging the company to cancel the contract, and many others signed a petition saying the company’s assistance in developing combat-zone technology directly countered the company’s famous “Don’t be evil” motto. Several Google AI employees had told The Post they believed they wielded a powerful influence over the company’s decision-making. The advanced technology’s top researchers and developers are in heavy demand, and many had organized resistance campaigns or threatened to leave. The sudden announcement Friday was welcomed by several high-profile employees. Meredith Whittaker, an AI researcher and the founder of Google’s Open Research group, tweeted Friday: “I am incredibly happy about this decision, and have a deep respect for the many people who worked and risked to make it happen. Google should not be in the business of war.”

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


What is Project Maven? Google Urged to Abandon U.S. Military Drone Program
2018-05-15, Newsweek
http://www.newsweek.com/project-maven-google-urged-abandon-work-military-dron...

Hundreds of academics have urged Google to abandon its work on a U.S. Department of Defense-led drone program codenamed “Project Maven”. An open letter calling for change was published Monday by the International Committee for Robot Arms Control (ICRAC). The project is formally known as the Algorithmic Warfare Cross-Functional Team. Its objective is “to turn the enormous volume of data available to DoD into actionable intelligence”. More than 3,000 Google staffers signed a petition in April in protest at the company's focus on warfare. “We believe that Google should not be in the business of war,” it read. “Therefore we ask that Project Maven be cancelled.” The ICRAC warned this week the project could potentially be mixed with general user data and exploited to aid “targeted killing.” Currently, its letter has nearly 500 signatures. It stated: “We are ... deeply concerned about the possible integration of Google’s data on people’s everyday lives with military surveillance data, and its combined application to targeted killing ... Google has moved into military work without subjecting itself to public debate or deliberation. While Google regularly decides the future of technology without democratic public engagement, its entry into military technologies casts the problems of private control of information infrastructure into high relief.” Lieutenant Colonel Garry Floyd, deputy chief of the Algorithmic Warfare Cross Functional Team, said ... earlier this month that Maven was already active in “five or six” combat locations.

Note: You can read the full employee petition on this webpage. The New York Times also published a good article on this. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and war.


Google employees quit over controversial Pentagon work
2018-05-14, New York Post
https://nypost.com/2018/05/14/google-employees-quit-over-controversial-pentag...

There’s something eating at Google employees. Roughly one dozen employees of the search giant have resigned in the wake of reports that the ... company is providing artificial intelligence to the Pentagon. The employees resigned because of ethical concerns over the company’s work with the Defense Department that includes helping the military speed up analysis of drone footage by automatically classifying images of objects and people, Gizmodo reported. Many of the employees who quit have written accounts of their decisions to leave the company. Their stories have been gathered and shared in an internal document. Google is helping the DoD’s Project Maven “implement machine learning to classify images gathered by drones,” according to the report. “Some employees believe humans, not algorithms, should be responsible for this sensitive and potentially lethal work - and that Google shouldn’t be involved in military work at all.” The 12 resignations are the first known mass resignations at Google in protest against one of the company’s business decisions - and they speak to the strongly felt ethical concerns of the employees who are departing. In addition to the resignations, nearly 4,000 Google employees have voiced their opposition to Project Maven in an internal petition that asks Google to immediately cancel the contract and institute a policy against taking on future military work.

Note: You can read the full employee petition on this webpage. An open letter in support of google employees and tech workers was signed by more than 90 academics in artificial intelligence, ethics, and computer science. The New York Times also published a good article on this. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and war


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