Showing posts with label Pentagon. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pentagon. Show all posts

8/20/08

Lost $2,300,000,000,000.00? Bush Loose Change

Questions from September 10th, 2001 that nobody ever got around to answering:

How did the Pentagon lose 2.3 TRILLION dollars?



Those 911 truthers out there sometimes make some really good points beyond just conspiracy theories. Think about it:



$2,300,000,000,000.00
lost by the Pentagon in 1 year alone and neither Donald Rumsfeld nor George Bush have ever accounted for that money. And that was before Congress started handing over even more money to these lying, corrupt, incompetent and criminal fools in the Bush administration to fund never-ending illegal invasions and occupations.

And not only does John McCain want to continue on this failed path... John McCain wants to draft your kids into this fiscally irresponsible, militarily disastrous, warmongering cluster fuck.

Today at a townhall meeting, an audience member praised Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) for his vow to “follow bin Laden to the gates of hell.” After a long question about veterans’ care, the questioner said she believed we needed to reinstate the draft, to which McCain seemed to readily agree:

QUESTIONER: If we don’t reenact the draft, I don’t think we’ll have anyone to chase Bin Laden to the gates of hell.

[Appaluse]

MCCAIN: Ma’am, let me say that I don’t disagree with anything you said.

Let us be clear on what John McCain says:
And , now, for the second time he has said he would like to draft your kids for his continued neocon warmongering administration.

2/17/08

In Iraq: Is US Diplomacy Being Shortchanged?

Some people might think so... Some might even think others are "willfully negligent or criminal" in their mismanagement of the job in Iraq:
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice sat before senators on Capitol Hill Wednesday to urge a State Department budget increase of 8.5% and the hiring of 1,100 new staff. Unusually, some lawmakers wished she'd have asked for even more. Senator Russ Feingold, the Wisconsin Democrat, told Rice that her request was "small compared to the overall needs." and that U.S. diplomacy was still getting "shortchanged."

snip

A former top Republican congressional aide who this month completed an assignment as an adviser to Ambassador Ryan Crocker in Iraq blasted the State Department's performance there in a valedictory memo. "The foreign service is not competent to do the job that they have undertaken in Iraq," wrote Manuel Miranda, citing "an excuse-making culture," "willfully negligent if not criminal" management, a "built-in attention deficit disorder," and "information hoarding."

Even more might think so after reading that article from Time Magazine. (h/t buzzflash)

Meanwhile, in other Iraq news:
Anger grew on Sunday at an overnight air raid by US forces on a village in central Iraq that a tribal leader said killed three members of an American-backed anti-Qaeda "Awakening" front.

The helicopter attack on the village of Jurf al-Sakher, about 120 kilometres (75 miles) south of Baghdad, on Saturday provoked furious members of the group to quit en masse, according to their tribal leader Sabah al-Janabi.

"It was the third incident in a month. We have lost 19 men while 12 have been injured because of coalition attacks," Janabi said.

"The group, which comprises 110 members, resigned in protest at organised assassinations by the coalition forces,"
Janabi added.

"We have been badly affected and are very angry at this aggression," said Rariri. "Whether it was an error or intentional, it proves that the coalition is not worried about the stability of our area."

Another member, Abdallah al-Janabi, 29, accused the US military of deliberately sowing disorder so that they can stay in Iraq "for as long as possible."

"They ensure that chaos and terrorism continues by all possible means," he charged. "But we remain vigilant against those who want to kill our children and our families."
And St. McCain says he wants another 100 years of this... Think about that.

100 years more of Republican terrorism. Heck! Maybe even ten thousand years...

John McCain in 2008!
The best of the worst the GOP has to offer!
"The jobs are never coming back,
the illegals are never going home,
but we’re gonna have a lot more wars."


The Republican party is insane enough to ALMOST make me want to join the Democratic party.

[update] ThePoliticalCat has some thoughts on this and other things:
Damn, all this successful successin' is just too fucking confusing for us. There must be somebody out there who can figure out just who the fuck our friends are and who our enemies are in this unholy mess.

Meanwhile, in other late-breaking news, a woman suicide bomber has blown herself up in a Baghdad shopping mall; a suicide bomber killed 80 people in the southern Afghani town of Kandahar; and the Pentagon states that there will be more U.S. troops in Iraq after the "drawdown" (huh?).

And Bush's friend, Prince Bandar of the House of Saud (whose country generously supplied 15 of the 19 terrorists responsible for the September 11th attacks on the U.S.), has been doing some stenchful deals for military might with U.K. companies, and threatening the UK with terrorist attacks if they investigate bribes that were paid to him.

The Boston Globe tells us that the Saudi government provided the September 11th terrorists with financial and logistics support in their quest to destroy the Twin Towers. While the New Yorker (Seymour Hersh, the most trusted name in news) tells us that the Saudi government has given a great deal of financial support to Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda. Why is the Bush family personal friends with these people?
Bush friends with the terrorist financier Bandar who?

Ambassador and terrorist Prince Bandar bin Sultan at the Bush
Ranch in Crawford, Texas, Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2002

12/14/07

What will 32 Million buy you in Iraq?

Absolutely nothing:
The U.S. military paid a Florida company nearly $32 million to build barracks and offices for Iraqi army units even though nothing was ever built, Pentagon investigators reported.

The project had to be abandoned because the Iraqi Defense Ministry couldn't obtain rights to the land where the headquarters were to be built, according to a report released this month by the Defense Department's Office of Inspector General. Contracting records show the buildings would have housed one brigade and three battalions of the Iraqi military in Ramadi, a hotbed of the Sunni Muslim insurgency and capital of Anbar province.

Still, the Air Force agency overseeing the project paid contractor Ellis Environmental Group $31.9 million of the $34.2 million obligated for the project, the report said.

How many kids could have been added to SCHIP with that kind of money?

And does John Ellis Bush (JEB) have any ties to the contractor in question?

Anyway... That company has done a lot of business with the military over the years:
Companies with federal contracts located in this zip code (NEWBERRY, FL):

* ELLIS ENVIRONMENTAL GROUP, LC (414 SW 140TH TERRACE; small business): $122,166,659 in 581 contracts from 1999 to 2006

Contracts for Maintenance, Repair or Alteration of Real Property -- Family Housing Facilities, Maintenance, Repair or Alteration of Real Property -- Other Administrative Facilities and Service Buildings, Maintenance, Repair or Alteration of Real Property -- Maintenance Buildings, Maintenance, Repair or Alteration of Real Property -- Office Buildings, and more by Army, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers - civil program financing only, Air Force, Navy, and others Signed by year: 2000: $9,835,797; 2001: $13,662,347; 2002: $19,509,481; 2003: $15,617,861; 2004: $33,553,061; 2005: $28,096,520; 2006: $1,298,719.

Biggest contracts:
$6,000,000 with Army for Maintenance, Repair or Alteration of Real Property -- Family Housing Facilities. Signed on 2004-11-06. Completion date: 2005-04-29.
$6,000,000 with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers - civil program financing only for Maintenance, Repair or Alteration of Real Property -- Family Housing Facilities. Signed on 2004-11-06. Completion date: 2005-04-29. $3,613,450 with Air Force for Maintenance, Repair or Alteration of Real Property -- Other Administrative Facilities and Service Buildings. Taking place in AL. Signed on 2005-09-27. Completion date: 2007-05-10. $3,500,000 with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers - civil program financing only for Maintenance, Repair or Alteration of Real Property -- Family Housing Facilities. Signed on 2004-10-20. Completion date: 2005-04-29.

For a company with all of that money from these contracts it is mighty odd that their web site is a blank now...

But the wayback machine gives us some info on the real Billions in contracts:

IMMEDIATE RELEASE
APRIL 13, 2006
Ellis Environmental Group, LC (EEG) based in Jonesville, Florida announced today they have been awarded a new Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract called HERC (Heavy Engineering Repair and Construction). This is a worldwide contract with the Air Force Center for Environmental Excellence (AFCEE). The contract was awarded to 20 firms, and can be worth up to $15 billion over an 8 year ordering period. This contract is the largest won by EEG and eclipses the $4 billion contract awarded to the firm by the United States Air Force two years ago. The company plans to administer the contract from its corporate headquarters in Jonesville. “This contract will most certainly create more jobs for our community” stated Dena D. Marriott, EEG’s public relations manager and human resources director. The company was founded in 1995 and is owned by Rusi B. Charna, Jeffrey P. Bleke (formerly with Environmental Science and Engineering), and James E. Bleke. For further information, EEG can be contacted at 352.332.3888.
Rusi B. Charna, CEO
Jeffrey P. Bleke, President
James E. Bleke, Executive Vice President
Dena D. Marriott, Company Spokesperson

As for who really owns the company?

Top 500 Diversity Owned Businesses in the U.S. -- 2001

#349
Ellis Environmetnal Group, LC
Newberry, FL www.ellisenv.com
Subcontinent Asian American

Your guess is as good as mine...

9/24/07

Snipers, Bait and Dead Iraqis


This just one of the most disgusting ideas I have ever heard of:
"Baiting is putting an object out there that we know they will use, with the intention of destroying the enemy," Capt. Matthew P. Didier, the leader of an elite sniper scout platoon attached to the 1st Battalion of the 501st Infantry Regiment, said in a sworn statement. "Basically, we would put an item out there and watch it. If someone found the item, picked it up and attempted to leave with the item, we would engage the individual as I saw this as a sign they would use the item against U.S. Forces."

In documents obtained by The Washington Post from family members of the accused soldiers, Didier said members of the U.S. military's Asymmetric Warfare Group visited his unit in January and later passed along ammunition boxes filled with the "drop items" to be used "to disrupt the AIF [Anti-Iraq Forces] attempts at harming Coalition Forces and give us the upper hand in a fight."

Eugene Fidell, president of the National Institute of Military Justice, said such a baiting program should be examined "quite meticulously" because it raises troubling possibilities, such as what happens when civilians pick up the items.

"In a country that is awash in armaments and magazines and implements of war, if every time somebody picked up something that was potentially useful as a weapon, you might as well ask every Iraqi to walk around with a target on his back," Fidell said.

5/2/07

Army Puts a Chokehold On Military Blogs

The Army makes a move that could effectively shut down the military Blogosphere:
Army Regulation 530--1: Operations Security (OPSEC) (.pdf) restricts more than just blogs, however. Previous editions of the rules asked Army personnel to "consult with their immediate supervisor" before posting a document "that might contain sensitive and/or critical information in a public forum." The new version, in contrast, requires "an OPSEC review prior to publishing" anything -- from "web log (blog) postings" to comments on internet message boards, from resumes to letters home.

Failure to do so, the document adds, could result in a court-martial, or "administrative, disciplinary, contractual, or criminal action."

Despite the absolutist language, the guidelines' author, Major Ray Ceralde, said there is some leeway in enforcement of the rules. "It is not practical to check all communication, especially private communication," he noted in an e-mail. "Some units may require that soldiers register their blog with the unit for identification purposes with occasional spot checks after an initial review. Other units may require a review before every posting."

But with the regulations drawn so tightly, "many commanders will feel like they have no choice but to forbid their soldiers from blogging -- or even using e-mail," said Jeff Nuding, who won the bronze star for his service in Iraq. "If I'm a commander, and think that any slip-up gets me screwed, I'm making it easy: No blogs," added Nuding, writer of the "pro-victory" Dadmanly site. "I think this means the end of my blogging."

Active-duty troops aren't the only ones affected by the new guidelines. Civilians working for the military, Army contractors -- even soldiers' families -- are all subject to the directive as well.


There won't be much interesting coming out of the MilBlogs any longer if it all has to be Pentagon/White House approved propaganda...

3/2/07

Bush, NOLA & The National Guard: Building on Failures

ConnecticutBLOG takes a long hard look at Bush's failures in New Orleans:
"In honor of President Bush's photo-op in New Orleans today, it's my honor to re-post these oldie but goodie video clips.

...but first, a look at Bush's screw-ups."

Read the rest here...


You would think that he would take preparedness for disasters a little more seriously considering how many he has presided over and created, but a quick look at the National Guard foretells the probablity of more failure:

Nearly 90 percent of Army National Guard units in the United States are rated "not ready" -- largely as a result of shortfalls in billions of dollars' worth of equipment -- jeopardizing their capability to respond to crises at home and abroad, according to a congressional commission that released a preliminary report yesterday on the state of U.S. military reserve forces.


Considering the National Guard are our traditional frontline providers, and lifeline, in national emergencies you can understand why all Americans should be concerned with this. There wasn't enough available personel and equipment to provide releif during the tragic Katrinadisaster , but if there is a disaster down there right now it will be only worse:

From Virginia and the District of Columbia to Indiana and New Mexico, National Guard units lack thousands of trucks, Humvees, generators, radios, night-vision goggles and other gear that would be critical for responding to a major disaster, terrorist attack or other domestic emergency, according to state Guard officials.

The equipment shortage extends to Gulf Coast states such as Louisiana and Mississippi -- devastated in 2005 by Hurricane Katrina -- where Guard units have only a fraction of what they would need to respond to another large-scale disaster.

The Louisiana Guard, its gear depleted by Iraq and Katrina, is short of Humvees and trucks such as high-water vehicles critical for a major evacuation. "We are really concerned about vehicles," said Lt. Col. Pete Schneider, a spokesman for the Louisiana Guard. "We would have enough for a small-scale issue . . . maybe a Category 1 tropical storm we could handle -- an event that doesn't involve massive flooding or massive search and rescue," he said. But for bigger disasters, Louisiana would need help from other states.


Last time Louisiana needed help and there just wasn't enough soldiers and equipment to provide relief. Not to mention that Bush just didn't show any of that compassionate conservatism he lies about all the time. Bush just didn't give a fuck about certain people in need. And things are only going to get worse and worse as long as we continue to follow Bush's failed policies.




Impeachment isn't harsh enough punishment for Bush and his failed policies...

2/8/07

NSA Employee Pleads Guilty to Conflict of Interest

$770,000.00 worth of conflict of interest.
NSA Employee Pleads Guilty to Conflict of Interest:
"Wayne J. Schepens, 37, of Severna Park, Md., pleaded guilty today to engaging in a conflict of interest by using his official position as a National Security Agency (NSA) employee to cause government contracts to be awarded to companies owned and operated by Schepens or his spouse, announced Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher for the Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein for the District of Maryland.

'While he was working for NSA, Wayne Schepens arranged to award government contracts worth over $770,000 to companies in which he and his wife had a financial interest,' said U.S. Attorney Rosenstein. 'It is a crime for government employees to participate in awarding contracts that bring them personal financial benefits.'"

What I find galling is that instead of getting ALL OF THE MONEY back the government only fines these con-artists a fraction of the amount. Maximum of $250,000.00 fine in this case.

And to make matters worse, this guy was stealing from a program that is supposed to train soldiers. And in the meantime soldiers in Iraq, Afghanistan, and even here in the USA don't have all of the equipment they need to do their jobs safely.

The crook has yet to be sentenced and I hope he gets made an example of. Give Halliburton-Cheney something to think about.

2/2/07

Iraq NIE

Below are the Key Judgements of the NIE (at least the declasified version taken from the PDF that was released) and it is obvious that it does not paint a pretty picture. Of note is that while it mentions the influence of Iran, they also make it clear that Iran's influence is the negligible when you look at the overall picture of chaos.

I am including the "Explanation of Estimative Language" at the bottom of this so that you can get a clearer picture of what they mean to say with their specific choice of wording. Also, all emphasis and formatting is NOT mine, and is included as originally in the report.

-------------

Key Judgments

Iraqi society’s growing polarization, the persistent weakness of the security forces and the state in general, and all sides’ ready recourse to violence are collectively driving an increase in communal and insurgent violence and political extremism. Unless efforts to reverse these conditions show measurable progress during the term of this Estimate, the coming 12 to 18 months, we assess that the overall security situation will continue to deteriorate at rates comparable to the latter part of 2006. If strengthened Iraqi Security Forces (ISF), more loyal to the government and supported by Coalition forces, are able to reduce levels of violence and establish more effective security for Iraq’s population, Iraqi leaders could have an opportunity to begin the process of political compromise necessary for longer term stability, political progress, and economic recovery.
• Nevertheless, even if violence is diminished, given the current winner-take-all attitude and sectarian animosities infecting the political scene, Iraqi leaders will be hard pressed to achieve sustained political reconciliation in the time frame of this Estimate.

The challenges confronting Iraqis are daunting, and multiple factors are driving the current trajectory of the country’s security and political evolution.
• Decades of subordination to Sunni political, social, and economic domination have made the Shia deeply insecure about their hold on power. This insecurity leads the Shia to mistrust US efforts to reconcile Iraqi sects and reinforces their unwillingness to engage with the Sunnis on a variety of issues, including adjusting the structure of Iraq’s federal system, reining in Shia militias, and easing de-Bathification.

• Many Sunni Arabs remain unwilling to accept their minority status, believe the central government is illegitimate and incompetent, and are convinced that Shia dominance will increase Iranian influence over Iraq, in ways that erode the state’s Arab character and increase Sunni repression.

• The absence of unifying leaders among the Arab Sunni or Shia with the capacity to speak for or exert control over their confessional groups limits prospects for reconciliation. The Kurds remain willing to participate in Iraqi state building but reluctant to surrender any of the gains in autonomy they have achieved.

• The Kurds are moving systematically to increase their control of Kirkuk to guarantee annexation of all or most of the city and province into the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) after the constitutionally mandated referendum scheduled to occur no later than 31 December 2007. Arab groups in Kirkuk continue to resist violently what they see as Kurdish encroachment.

• Despite real improvements, the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF)—particularly the Iraqi police—will be hard pressed in the next 12-18 months to execute significantly increased security responsibilities, and particularly to operate independently against Shia militias with success. Sectarian divisions erode the dependability of many units, many are hampered by personnel and equipment shortfalls, and a number of Iraqi units have refused to serve outside of the areas where they were recruited.

• Extremists—most notably the Sunni jihadist group al-Qa’ida in Iraq (AQI) and Shia oppositionist Jaysh al-Mahdi (JAM)—continue to act as very effective accelerators for what has become a self-sustaining inter-sectarian struggle between Shia and Sunnis.

• Significant population displacement, both within Iraq and the movement of Iraqis into neighboring countries, indicates the hardening of ethno-sectarian divisions, diminishes Iraq’s professional and entrepreneurial classes, and strains the capacities of the countries to which they have relocated. The UN estimates over a million Iraqis are now in Syria and Jordan.

The Intelligence Community judges that the term “civil war” does not adequately capture the complexity of the conflict in Iraq, which includes extensive Shia-on-Shia violence, al-Qa’ida and Sunni insurgent attacks on Coalition forces, and widespread criminally motivated violence. Nonetheless, the term “civil war” accurately describes key elements of the Iraqi conflict, including the hardening of ethno-sectarian identities, a sea change in the character of the violence, ethno-sectarian mobilization, and population displacements.

Coalition capabilities, including force levels, resources, and operations, remain an essential stabilizing element in Iraq. If Coalition forces were withdrawn rapidly during the term of this Estimate, we judge that this almost certainly would lead to a significant increase in the scale and scope of sectarian conflict in Iraq, intensify Sunni resistance to the Iraqi Government, and have adverse consequences for national reconciliation.
• If such a rapid withdrawal were to take place, we judge that the ISF would be unlikely to survive as a non-sectarian national institution; neighboring countries—invited by Iraqi factions or unilaterally—might intervene openly in the conflict; massive civilian casualties and forced population displacement would be probable; AQI would attempt to use parts of the country—particularly al-Anbar province—to plan increased attacks in and outside of Iraq; and spiraling violence and political disarray in Iraq, along with Kurdish moves to control Kirkuk and strengthen autonomy, could prompt Turkey to launch a military incursion.

A number of identifiable developments could help to reverse the negative trends driving Iraq’s current trajectory. They include:
Broader Sunni acceptance of the current political structure and federalism to begin to reduce one of the major sources of Iraq’s instability.

Significant concessions by Shia and Kurds to create space for Sunni acceptance of federalism.

A bottom-up approach—deputizing, resourcing, and working more directly with neighborhood watch groups and establishing grievance committees—to help mend frayed relationships between tribal and religious groups, which have been mobilized into communal warfare over the past three years.

A key enabler for all of these steps would be stronger Iraqi leadership, which could enhance the positive impact of all the above developments.

Iraq’s neighbors influence, and are influenced by, events within Iraq, but the involvement of these outside actors is not likely to be a major driver of violence or the prospects for stability because of the self-sustaining character of Iraq’s internal sectarian dynamics. Nonetheless, Iranian lethal support for select groups of Iraqi Shia militants clearly intensifies the conflict in Iraq. Syria continues to provide safehaven for expatriate Iraqi Bathists and to take less than adequate measures to stop the flow of foreign jihadists into Iraq.
• For key Sunni regimes, intense communal warfare, Shia gains in Iraq, and Iran’s assertive role have heightened fears of regional instability and unrest and contributed to a growing polarization between Iran and Syria on the one hand and other Middle East governments on the other. But traditional regional rivalries, deepening ethnic and sectarian violence in Iraq over the past year, persistent anti-Americanism in the region, anti-Shia prejudice among Arab states, and fears of being perceived by their publics as abandoning their Sunni co-religionists in Iraq have constrained Arab states’ willingness to engage politically and economically with the Shia-dominated government in Baghdad and led them to consider unilateral support to Sunni groups.

• Turkey does not want Iraq to disintegrate and is determined to eliminate the safehaven in northern Iraq of the Kurdistan People’s Congress (KGK, formerly PKK)—a Turkish Kurdish terrorist group.

A number of identifiable internal security and political triggering events, including sustained mass sectarian killings, assassination of major religious and political leaders, and a complete Sunni defection from the government have the potential to convulse severely Iraq’s security environment. Should these events take place, they could spark an abrupt increase in communal and insurgent violence and shift Iraq’s trajectory from gradual decline to rapid deterioration with grave humanitarian, political, and security consequences. Three prospective security paths might then emerge:
Chaos Leading to Partition. With a rapid deterioration in the capacity of Iraq’s central government to function, security services and other aspects of sovereignty would collapse. Resulting widespread fighting could produce de facto partition, dividing Iraq into three mutually antagonistic parts. Collapse of this magnitude would generate fierce violence for at least several years, ranging well beyond the time frame of this Estimate, before settling into a partially stable end-state.

Emergence of a Shia Strongman. Instead of a disintegrating central government producing partition, a security implosion could lead Iraq’s potentially most powerful group, the Shia, to assert its latent strength.

Anarchic Fragmentation of Power. The emergence of a checkered pattern of local control would present the greatest potential for instability, mixing extreme ethno-sectarian violence with debilitating intra-group clashes.
------------------------
What We Mean When We Say:
An Explanation of Estimative Language


When we use words such as “we judge” or “we assess”—terms we use synonymously—as well as “we estimate,” “likely” or “indicate,” we are trying to convey an analytical assessment or judgment. These assessments, which are based on incomplete or at times fragmentary information are not a fact, proof, or knowledge. Some analytical judgments are based directly on collected information; others rest on previous judgments, which serve as building blocks. In either type of judgment, we do not have “evidence” that shows something to be a fact or that definitively links two items or issues.

Intelligence judgments pertaining to likelihood are intended to reflect the Community’s sense of the probability of a development or event. Assigning precise numerical ratings to such judgments would imply more rigor than we intend. The chart below provides a rough idea of the relationship of terms to each other.



We do not intend the term “unlikely” to imply an event will not happen. We use “probably” and “likely” to indicate there is a greater than even chance. We use words such as “we cannot dismiss,” “we cannot rule out,” and “we cannot discount” to reflect an unlikely—or even remote—event whose consequences are such it warrants mentioning. Words such as “may be” and “suggest” are used to reflect situations in which we are unable to assess the likelihood generally because relevant information is nonexistent, sketchy, or fragmented.

In addition to using words within a judgment to convey degrees of likelihood, we also ascribe “high,” “moderate,” or “low” confidence levels based on the scope and quality of information supporting our judgments.

• “High confidence” generally indicates our judgments are based on high-quality information and/or the nature of the issue makes it possible to render a solid judgment.

• “Moderate confidence” generally means the information is interpreted in various ways, we have alternative views, or the information is credible and plausible but not corroborated sufficiently to warrant a higher level of confidence.

• “Low confidence” generally means the information is scant, questionable, or very fragmented and it is difficult to make solid analytic inferences, or we have significant concerns or problems with the sources.

1/26/07

U.S. Military Spied on Hundreds of Antiwar Demonstrattions

Just waiting for that next Ken Krayeske moment:
U.S. Military Spied on Hundreds of Antiwar Demos:
"At least 186 antiwar protests in the United States have been monitored by the Pentagon's domestic surveillance program, according to documents obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which also found that the Defense Department collected more than 2,800 reports involving Americans in a single anti-terrorism database.

snip

"It cannot be an accident or coincidence that nearly 200 antiwar protests ended up in a Pentagon threat database," Ann Beeson, associate legal director of the ACLU, said in a statement. "This unchecked surveillance is part of a broad pattern of the Bush administration using 'national security' as an excuse to run roughshod over the privacy and free speech rights of Americans."

The internal Defense Department documents show it is monitoring the activities of a wide swath of peace groups, including Veterans for Peace,
Iraq Veterans Against the War, Military Families Speak Out, Code Pink, the American Friends Service Committee, the War Resisters League, and the umbrella group United for Peace and Justice, which is spearheading what organizers hope will be a massive march on Washington this Saturday.

This Ken Krayeske moment was brought to you by your Constitution hating republicans everywhere, in conjunction with our highly paranoid Governor Jodi Rell.

I wouldn't be surprised if some quaint wiretapping or mail opening was involved in this repeated Constitutional rape of Americans' rights...

Bill Moyers, the respected TV journalist, analyzes the threats to constitutional government posed by an illegitimate network operating from within the government but using secrecy to set itself up outside of the government / peoples oversight. All this back in 1987. This documentary gives a fascinating overview of what has actually happened in the last 50 years regarding the CIA and the Cold War (including Iran, Guatamala, Cuba, Vietnam and Chile). The foundation for the massive push towards greater secrecy in government going on today.



Not like anyone really cares, right? Right? Well... Not anyone that is Republican.

1/22/07

Where Do YOUR Congress Critters Stand on Escalation?

Do you know who is in the BIPARTISAN CAMP and who stands out like a sore thumb?

Rep. John Larson (D, CT-1)

“The rally, organized by Connecticut Opposes the War, a single-issue coalition of political, religious, community and labor organizations, focused on two themes: the Iraq war’s continuing cost in lives, money and American ideals and the need for the new Congress to say no more, particularly to Bush’s recently announced plan to send about 20,000 more troops to Iraq. … ‘What we need to do is escalate diplomacy in the [Mideast] region,’ Larson told the crowd.” [Link]

Rep. Joe Courtney (D, CT-2)

“U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney, D-Conn., who won his first term by defeating Republican Rob Simmons in November, criticized the president’s plan and said adding more troops is not the answer to stopping the sectarian violence.” [Link]

Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D, CT-3)

“I have opposed this war from the outset, and I have cosponsored legislation opposing an escalation of the Iraq war.” [Link]

Rep. Christopher Shays (R, CT-4)

U.S. Rep. Christopher Shays said yesterday it would be a ‘huge mistake’ to send more American troops to Iraq if that country’s government ‘doesn’t do the heavy lifting it has to do.’ [Link]

Rep. Christopher Murphy (D, CT-5)
No opinion given YET!
Sen. Chris Dodd (D, CT)

“I believe it will be a mistake for us at this juncture to be adding more troops. … I don’t see any mission associated with this. It sounds to me like a tactic in search of a strategy.” [Link]

Sen. Joe Lieberman (I, CT)

“I applaud the President for rejecting the fatalism of failure and pursuing a new course to achieve success in Iraq.”...“Tonight, the President did not take the easy path, but he took the correct and courageous course.” [Link]

Interesting that the primary sore loser stands out like sore thumb...

We need to get an official response from Chris Murphy on this!

1/14/07

Strategic Redeployment

Mr. Bush in his radio address last week:
“ Members of Congress have a right to express their views, and express them forcefully. But those who refuse to give this plan a chance to work have an obligation to offer an alternative that has a better chance for success. To oppose everything while proposing nothing is irresponsible.”

Over and over again we have proposed the only real solution left to you, and you refuse to listen to it because of your vanity Mr. Bush... Redeployment.

America is Ready for Change

By Lawrence J. Korb, Brian Katulis

November 8, 2006

When the new Congress takes office in January, it will be time to get serious about America's strategy in Iraq. It's time to change course.

That's why today we ask the president, his handpicked Iraq Study Group (led by former Secretary of State James Baker and former Indiana congressman Lee H. Hamilton), and congressional leaders to consider our reasoned, pragmatic plan to strategically redeploy our military forces in Iraq and around the region to fight our terrorist enemies in the most effective and most lethal fashion possible.

One year ago the Center for American Progress issued its first report calling for a responsible exit from Iraq as part of a balanced global strategy to make Americans safer. We reiterated that call six months later as subsequent events only underscored the need to act on our proposals. Today, the situation in Iraq is even more dire.

Violence in Iraq is spiraling out of control as it turns inward, with sectarian killings surpassing deaths from terrorist bombings and militias splintering the country. Squabbling among Iraqi leaders makes matters worse. America simply must adjust to the grim realities on the ground.

The Bush administration's mistakes in Iraq - invading for the wrong reasons and without enough troops to secure the country - have left us with no good options. It's understandable that a growing number of Americans are calling for an immediate withdrawal, but we believe that would only further destabilize Iraq and much of the Middle East. Accordingly, we are calling for a comprehensive strategic redeployment from Iraq by the end of 2007 that will:

  • Restore the strength of U.S. ground troops.
  • Exercise a strategic shift to meet global threats from Islamist extremists.
  • Prevent U.S. troops from being caught in the middle of a civil war in Iraq.
  • Avert mass sectarian and ethnic cleansing in Iraq.
  • Provide time for Iraq's elected leaders to strike a power-sharing agreement.
  • Empower Iraq's security forces to take control.
  • Get those Iraqis fighting to end the occupation to lay down their arms.
  • Motivate the U.N., global, and regional powers to get more involved in Iraq.
  • Give the U.S. the moral, political, and military power to deal with Iran's attempt to develop nuclear weapons.
  • Prevent an outbreak of isolationism in the United States.

The end goals of this strategic shift are clear, but to accomplish it the United States must implement a policy of strategic redeployment that:

  • Reduces U.S. troops to 60,000 by the end of 2006 and to zero by the end of 2007, while redeploying troops to Afghanistan, Kuwait, and the Persian Gulf.
  • Engages in diplomacy to resolve the conflict within Iraq by convening a Geneva Peace Conference modeled on the Dayton Accords.
  • Establishes a Gulf Security initiative to deal with the aftermath of U.S. redeployment from Iraq and the growing nuclear capabilities of Iran.
  • Puts Iraq's reconstruction back on track with targeted international funds.
  • Counters extremist Islamic ideology around the globe through long-term efforts to support the creation of democratic institutions and press freedoms.

Only after the United States has set the conditions for redeployment out of Iraq in order to engage the global strategic threats our nation faces can Americans rest assured that they will be safer. For more details on the report, please see our executive summary, the full report, and related materials gathered by the Center for American Progress elsewhere on our website.

Strategic Redeployment 2.0: Read the executive summary and full report here (PDF)


Change a few of those dates on those strategy suggestions and it is still a working plan that would have us down to 60,000 soldiers being used as Iraqi insurgents targets by mid 2007.

The problem for Bush is not that we don't have a plan... It is that it makes him and his failed White House administration take responsibility for their failures before Bush is out of office. And Bush is not man enough to accept his failure gracefully. Bush would rather play politics with the soldiers lives.

1/12/07

Pentagon drops active-duty time limit - Soldier drops clothes

While bush gets the Pentagon to abandon active-duty time limits in order to break the military even more than they already have:
The Pentagon has abandoned its limit on the time a citizen-soldier can be required to serve on active duty, officials said Thursday, a major change that reflects an Army stretched thin by longer-than-expected combat in
Iraq.

It appears that one soldier may have found a way to get out of going back to the middle east:
An Air Force staff sergeant who posed nude for Playboy magazine has been relieved of her duties while the military investigates, officials said Thursday.

In February's issue, hitting newsstands this week, Michelle Manhart is photographed in uniform yelling and holding weapons under the headline "Tough Love." The following pages show her partially clothed, wearing her dog tags while working out, as well as completely nude.

snip

"Of what I did, nothing is wrong, so I didn't anticipate anything, of course," Manhart, 30, told The Associated Press. "I didn't do anything wrong, so I didn't think it would be a major issue."

I have never heard of any soldier dropping their clothes for a magazine and not getting the boot from the military, so I doubt she will be the exception to the rule.